Thursday, August 29, 2002

Paul Starr in The American Prospect has an article about the telecom implosion. Of the 7 trillion dollars in lost market capitalization since the peak, 2 trillion of it comes from the telecom industry alone.

One reason Starr gives for it is the lessons unlearned from the past, oh, 150 years of telecom. With every new advance (telegraph, telephone, Internet), there has been an explosion of competition on only one set of routes. In the race for everyone to get big, there ends up being a monopoly while the rest are swallowed up. But with the internet, they said that that wouldn't happen, so they should get a whole bunch of gieaways from the government to facilitate themselves getting big. Well, look what's happening. One by one, most of the companies are going under, feigning surprise as they hit the shower rod.

Maintenance thingy. New email address that's dedicated to the blog. So send your stuff there instead. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Study Finds Big Increase in Black Men as Inmates Since 1980, says the New York Times headline. That's understating it a bit. In 1980, 143,000 black men in jail and 463,700 enrolled at a place of higher learning. In 2000, those numbers are 791,000 in jail and 603,200 in college. The number of blacks in jail increased about 6-fold over that period, while the number of prisoners has increased 4-fold.

So what's changed since 1980? Black men? Yeah, right. Nobody is getting more violent than before - we've always been pretty high on the violence scale in the US. So what else? Well, there was this greatly increased emphasis on the drug war. The Justice Department claims that the increase in black prison population was only 20% due to drug offenses, but there may be some cooking of those numbers. That and they didn't bother going before 1990.

Any good news? Well, the number of black men in college increased by 30% over that period, which is faster than the 22% general increase.

The Big Dog wows 'em in West Memphis. Especially good lines from Clinton:

The Republicans campaign on ideology and resentment. They're good and the rest of us are bad. They spent $70 million of your money to prove I was a sinner, and you could have told 'em that for free.

I'm making a lot of money now. You know what my sacrifice is? They want me to expend the energy necessary to open the envelope containing my tax cut. They want to give me a tax break cut with your Social Security money and your Medicare money - and it's wrong. It's not right.

And blonde pundettes everywhere are blubbering.

MWO and Altercation note that the average visitor to America's premier site for compassionate conservatives stays there for 5 hours and 14 minutes. MWO, on the other hand, only takes two hours a day to produce.

That 5:14 number is a bit misleading. From MWO:

Some of our contributors spent time in Freeper Boot Camp in preparation for a counteroffensive, boring into their psyches, honing third-party elimination techniques, stealthily mimicking their every boneheaded rhetorical device, even throwing out an occasional "Xlintoon" to maintain cover. But never five hours and fourteen minutes.

This means that MWO's regulars are skewing that mean downward. Therefore, the nuts are there even longer than 5:14 a visit. Try six hours.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

The incomparable Daily Howler's latest media canard has been the Washington Times trashing of NEA suggestions for how to teach about 9-11. The Times quite incredibly claims that the NEA says that teachers shouldn't "suggest any group is responsible" for the attack. Their main source for quote mining is one Brian Lippincott essay. In that essay, Lippincott had said that children should be taught not to assign Arab-Americans guilt by association.

Now then, it's pretty clear that the Times reporter had read that children should not practice a "pin the blame" on someone near. So why leave that out? Well, because the bosses at the Times disagreed with that Lippincott statement. So by leaving that important bit out of their paper, it seems clear to me that the Washington Times does blame Arab-Americans for the 9-11 attacks. As does Annie Free Fries, who said that straight out in calling for FBI profiling of 'swarthy males'.

Nice article in the St. Petersburg Times about the debunking of La Coulter by Bob Somerby, Scoobie Davis, and Dr. Limerick (who was the one who bought www.mediahorseonline.com). They even have a snippet of Scoobie's mock interview with The Bony One.


Monday, August 26, 2002

Blah3.com got a clarification from someone in Portland, Oregon regarding the rather brutal suppression of a Shrub protest by Portland police. And it contained a really familiar name to me, Portland chief Mark Kroeker. Quoth the letter writer, "It doesn't take jack for the cops to start spraying rubber bullets and chemical agents at our peacefully protesting citizens."

Background: I lived around Los Angeles from 1990-1993, which would put me there at the time of the Rodney King beating. Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell, the two most guilty in the beating, worked in a station under the command of ... Mark Kroeker.

Draw your own conclusions.

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