Archive for December, 2003

TCS: Tech Central Station – Our Brave New World

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003

Lee Harris misses the clarity of the Cold War.

Cilantro: Herb of Emotion : The Sneeze – Quick. Infectious. Occasionally snotty.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

The Sneeze says people get to emotional about cilantro.

Steve, Don’t Eat it! Vol. 3 : The Sneeze – Quick. Infectious. Occasionally snotty.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2003

Beggin’ Strips do not taste like Bacon.

link via Lingosphere Daily

Hit & Run: Orange Alert, Orange Alert

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Julian Sanchez asks these questions about the potential effects to civil liberties of another terroist attack. Quote:

Seriously, though, if we did see holiday attacks that “rival” or “exceed” 9/11, would there be any political will whatever to hold the line on civil liberties? There’s been a gradual return to sanity among many of the legislators who voted for PATRIOT, and moves to repeal provisions that threaten privacy without making us appreciably safer. An attack won’t change the wisdom of those provisions, but it’d likely make that momentum evaporate.

Julian makes a good point here that one of the most damaging effects of another terrorist attack like 9/11 would be what the American government would do to its own people.

FCC Media Consolidation

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

Joe Weisenthal has a post worth reading on media consolidation.

I think it is quite easy to enumerate some of the benefits from further deregulation of ownership. They are broader reach and broader recourses for local stations, efficiency gains that benefit can both company and consumer. The fact is is that consolidation phases happen in every industry, and to think that the driving force behind them is predatory behemoths trying to corner the market is not just simplistic, but wrong. Consolidation occurs not just because some companies wish to expand, but because small companies realize they can make more money by joining up than by remaining independent. Were these companies not able to find suitors they would simply go out of business, and their range on the dial would get sold off. We see this in almost any industry. 20 years ago there were over 500 Personal Computer Makers. Of those only 1 remains: Apple Computers (one of the smallest players currently in the industry) Since then other companies have been created, merged, gone out of business, gotten into the business who weren’t previously in it (IBM) etc, all without any prospect of an emerging monopoly. In fact, Monopoly have almost never been formed without some sort of government help, and particularly not in an area in where there is such great subsitutability, and ease of entry.

OpinionJournal – The Real World

Friday, December 19th, 2003

One of the reasons some opposed going to war in Iraq was because we could not possibly take down all the world’s dictatoships. Mark Palmer thinks America could rid the world of its dictatorships by 2025.

Link via Gene Healy

The Miami Herald | 12/18/2003 | Hip-hop’s disrespect of women is nothing new

Thursday, December 18th, 2003

Evelyn McDonnel argues that rappers should take responsibility for their sexist lyrics.

Hip-hop is not inherently sexist. In fact, some of its brightest stars — Outkast, Missy Elliott, Atmosphere, Mos Def — infuse their music with love of women. Nor are rappers more likely to objectify and demean women than rockers, teen-pop stars, or Frank Sinatra.

But as in all things, rappers are generally more blatant and unapologetic. Plus, there’s a disconnect between hip-hop’s pro-black stance and its anti-female tendencies. The music helps black women up with one hand, then shoves them back down with the other. Those women face the same-old feminist quandary: If they criticize their men, they’re seen as criticizing their race. And race always comes first.

Rap News Direct – De La Soul is Back to Hip-Hop

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

Rap News Direct is reporting that De La Soul plans two release two new albums in the upcoming year. / News / Boston Globe / Living / Arts / Hip-hop music gets a bad rap in coverage of prosecutor’s murder

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

The Boston Globe points out that hip-hop didn’t kill Jonathan Luna. Quote:

A federal prosecutor in Baltimore, Luna was found dead Dec. 4. He was stabbed multiple times, and his body was discovered face down in a creek in rural Pennsylvania. An autopsy later revealed that Luna, 38, may have been tortured before he drowned. When Luna’s death was reported, attention quickly turned to the lawyer’s recent cases, in particular his prosecution of two men accused of trafficking heroin. Yet what the headlines and sound bites blared was that one of the men was an aspiring rapper.

From CNN to CNBC to National Public Radio, there was an implicit nudge-and-wink that if Luna, at the time of his death, was prosecuting someone even marginally connected to rap music, then that person had to be involved with the lawyer’s murder. In a Dec. 4 story on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” correspondent Brian Naylor spent a sizable chunk of his report talking about the men who ran a “violent drug ring in part from a recording studio in Baltimore they called Stash House Records.” CNBC’s Brian Williams opened his report saying Luna was “in the middle of a major drug case against a rap artist.” CNN flashed a smiling photo of Luna, with the words “was prosecuting a rap artist,” as if that caption was supposed to connect the dots and explain everything.

In an example of the media’s dunderheaded tendency to sanctify the victim first and ask pertinent questions later (if at all), few seemed willing to consider that Luna’s caseload may have had nothing to do with his death. Those two men Luna had been prosecuting — Luna was reported missing after he had failed to appear in court for their trial — were already in jail when Luna was killed. Furthermore, the men had pleaded guilty to some of the drug charges in exchange for the government dropping the more serious conspiracy charges. Satisfied with the plea agreement, the men had no reason to want Luna dead, their lawyer said.

But associating rap music and hip-hop culture with the brutal death of a dedicated, hard-working prosecutor was just too sexy for the lazy media to ignore. There was little focus on Luna’s other cases, which included others facing drug charges.

Instant Analysis: Saddam Hussein Captured (

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

Saddam was captured on Saturday It is always a good day when a dictator is put in prison.

UPDATE: To quote Gene Healy

“It’s about time this war saw a good day, and it’s always a good day when you see a murderous, once-mighty tyrant looking like a bedraggled drunk rousted from the bus station. I hope we turn him over to the Iraqis and they hang him high.”