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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-10-19 05:14
Subject: [links] Link salad hears a pin drop
Security: Public
Tags:books, cool, green, links, personal, photos, politics, reviews, science, tech
A review of Green Powell's | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Borders ] — By The Long Island Press. (Thanks to scarlettina.)

Weirdest cell phones ever! — Another Dark Roasted Blend classic. Some nifty design ideas here.

Nereus Crater on MarsAPOD with a nifty image from Opportunity (which continues to exceed its 90-day design life).

England's libel laws don't just gag me, they blindfold you — The one thing that truly makes the UK England a menace to society worldwide: their ludicrous libel laws, which are completely focused on maintaining the positions of those privileged by money.

Saddam & Laura & PropagandaA Tiny Revolution with another dispatch from irony's graveside.

Secret Service strained as leaders face more threatsThe unprecedented number of death threats against President Obama, a rise in racist hate groups, and a new wave of antigovernment fervor threaten to overwhelm the US Secret Service I'm going to go out on a limb here and say these aren't liberal-progressives causing the problem. Any more than liberal-progressives caused these kinds of problems for Bush 43. Confidential to conservative America - you are known by the company you keep (and encourage).

The O’Garbage Factor - Fox News isn't just bad. It's un-American. — Again with the speaking out. Is some rationality finally returning to American political discourse?

?otD: How many angels are obtuse? How many are acute? Show your work.

Body movement: 15 minutes of stretching and meditation, 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 6.25
This morning's weigh-in: n/a (forgot)
Currently reading: Dragon in Chains by Daniel Fox

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User: autopope
Date: 2009-10-19 13:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Obligatory annoyance: England and Wales have a Libel law.

Scotland has a different legal system entirely.

In Scotland, to get a judgement under the Defamation law requires actual proof of malicious intent.

Guess which country gets the libel tourism? Hint: suing for defamation in Scotland is not the first option of the rich and powerful.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-19 13:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And edited accordingly! I actually knew that - I do know the difference between Britain, England and the UK - I can only plead morning brain.
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User: ozarque
Date: 2009-10-19 13:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your obtuse angels and your acute angels have made my day. Lovely.
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Sean P. Fodera
User: delkytlar
Date: 2009-10-19 18:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Non-corporeal beings don't generally conform to the standards of Euclidean geometry.

The answer, however, is six of one, half-a-dozen of the other, and on the seventh day, they rest.
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User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2009-10-20 05:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your example of rationality returning to American political discourse is a column accusing people of being un-American? Seriously?

I can't believe I'm going to do this, but I'm going to recommend your read this column by a political correspondent for The Nation to find a little balance. Or is The Nation too right-wing for you?
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2009-10-20 10:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the only thing wrong with Weisberg's article is the silly digression into suggesting that partisan media are "un-American," as if we haven't had wildly partisan news operations throughout our history.

That said, there's also nothing wrong with any politician deciding that one or another news outfit is simply serving as an agent of the opposition, and behaving accordingly. Nobody would be surprised if Newt Gingrich found he had better things to do with his time than be interviewed by Mother Jones.

John Nichols' assertion that "Presidents are supposed to rise above their own partisanship and engage with a wide range of media" is a nice piece of card-palming. In fact, just as we've always had partisan media, we've also had Presidents of both parties who called bullshit on the partisan media of the other side. Weisberg's article falsifies history by suggesting that partisan media operations are "un-American"; Nichols falsifies history by inventing an obligation for Presidents that has never actually been observed.
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User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2009-10-20 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Not "partisan media" but Fox's style in particular is so described. In the context Weisberg uses - (re)introduction of European-style Opinion passing for news vs the fairly recent more-or-less impartial media - the label of "un-American" would appear to have some validity.

To be sure, many papers in the 19th century were explicitly set up as mouthpieces for a party. This becomes important on a historical level when trying to find out something like what was actually said at the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Sure, each sides' papers cheer for their guy, but even the quotes differ, sometimes greatly.

I concur with Jay that "rationality" appears by at last dispelling the illusion that Fox IS news, in the current American understanding of the term - feeding back to the validity of un- or perhaps non- Americanism. (esp. "fair and balanced". Some Truth in Advertising might go down well)

I'd suggest the administration, and everyone else, simply note the next time a FOX mic appears in their face that "I only talk to journalists" and move on.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-20 11:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, my example of rationality was dropping the pretense that FOX News is an objective source of, well, anything. The polling a few years ago on how FOX viewers view the question of WMDs in Iraq, for example, is so profoundly counterfactual, and different from what people with any other media source saw.

However, I'm off to read The Nation now...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-10-20 11:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
To be slightly more clear (it *is* early and I do have cancerbrain this morning something fierce), it's not that I think FOX shouldn't have a slant. Every media outlet has a slant. It's that FOX's self-decription of their slant is so at odds with their reality. If their tag was "Right Wing News for Right Wing People", I'd just shake my head at them, as I do at Red State, or you likely do at Daily Kos. But they loudly proclaim their independence, their fairness and balance, their no-spin zones, while being the most extremely partisan of any major news outlet.

(I could complain about their being no FOX of the Left, but that would just be sour grapes - I'd rather have an open media market than some attempt at regulating political balance. What I would like to see is some better truth in labeling.)
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