02 February 2005

At least we lead the world in something!

The EU’s embassies in Havana will now craft their guest lists in accordance with the Cuban government’s wishes. […]

Try to imagine what will happen: At each European embassy, someone will be appointed to screen the list, name by name, and assess whether and to what extent the persons in question behave freely or speak out freely in public, to what extent they criticize the regime, or even whether they are former political prisoners. Lists will be shortened and deletions made, and this will frequently entail eliminating even good personal friends of the diplomats in charge of the screening, people whom they have given various forms of intellectual, political or material assistance. It will be even worse if the EU countries try to mask their screening activities by inviting only diplomats to embassy celebrations in Cuba.

I can hardly think of a better way for the EU to dishonor the noble ideals of freedom, equality and human rights that the Union espouses — indeed, principles that it reiterates in its constitutional agreement. To protect European corporations’ profits from their Havana hotels, the Union will cease inviting open-minded people to EU embassies, and we will deduce who they are from the expression on the face of the dictator and his associates. It is hard to imagine a more shameful deal.

Vaclav Havel

That’s the EU, always making it hard to imagine a more shameful deal.

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Is that what passes for values in the Democratic Party?

I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for, but I admire their discipline and their organization

Howard Dean

The generation of the Summer of Love final lets it all hang out.

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Reading, eh? Is that were those "facts" come from?


Journalism students don’t read newspapers and magazines, a Detroit News columnist discovers. She asked University of Michigan-Dearborn students to name their favorite columnist.

Slowly, one hand rises. A sports columnist is mentioned.

Nobody else in the room hints at any recognition of the sports columnist’s name: Anyone?

“My generation is very visually oriented,” explains Ryan Schreiber, a U-M Dearborn junior from Dearborn who — like most in the class — is majoring in journalism but doesn’t read much of it.

“My generation grew up watching MTV. We are used to short spurts of words, lots of images…We’re used to immediate gratification.”

He points out that columns like this one are blocks of text, decorated only with a thumbnail photo and a headline.No dancing images, no colorful pop-ups, no audio.

Words on paper. Blah.

The newspaper columnist likes immediate gratification, too. And imagining a future filled with non-reading writers doesn’t provide such gratification. It is, in fact, a terrifying thought.

In another UM-D class, the professor discovered only four or five of 35 journalism students read a newspaper regularly. He required students to bring a paper to class twice a week. Students complained.

Another bit of evidence in favor of the “too clueless to have an ideology” theory.

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What are these "facts" you keep asking about?


[Eason] Jordan, CNN’s news boss, appeared in a panel at Davos and the official blog reported:

Jordan asserted that he knew of 12 journalists who had not only been killed by US troops in Iraq, but they had in fact been targeted. He repeated the assertion a few times, which seemed to win favor in parts of the audience (the anti-US crowd) and cause great strain on others.

The blogger, Rony Abovitz, said a crapstorm ensued with some troubled by what Eason alleged and others — antiAmericans and Arabs are singled out — grabbing onto it as if it were truth and Jordan finally pulling back:

To be fair (and balanced), Eason did backpedal and make a number of statements claiming that he really did not know if what he said was true, and that he did not himself believe it.

The best theory I’ve seen is that Eason is right and these reporters were stringers who were targeted while bearing arms against Coalition forces (one man’s terrorist is CNN’s journalist). We already know that there are close connections between the two groups and Eason has a history of cooperating with violent killers in exchange for news.

Or maybe he’s just lieing to curry favor with CNN’s base audience.

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