wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1

As of this evening (December 4th 2010)I could still get wikileaks here:

It seems there is a meme out there that wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be hunted down and killed. This noise is being spouted by US right-wing hate groups, as well as some semi-mainstream press figures (although the difference between those two groups is getting paper thin), and they seem to forget that freedom of speech is, like, in the Constitution. I won’t link to any of the pundits that are out there brazenly advocating murder, except to make the very obvious comment that they are very evil, and if anything should happen to Julian, they would obviously bear a great deal of the responsibility and should therefore also bear some punishment if Julian were to be harmed. Of course I am only advocating legal punishment, not extra-judicial killing or anything like that. That would be wrong.

But before anyone goes out and kills Julian they should take note of how very popular he is. Look at the comments from the BBC sound-off board. Pro-wikileaks comments are running about 10 to 1. And I feel quit certain that of the 10% of the population that doesn’t like what wikileaks has done, the majority would not favor his extra-judicial killing.

So, think before you sic your goons on Julian.

Don’t believe me? Just check below…

Continue reading “wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1”

wikileaks – 10, American would-be murderers – 1

More Not-for-profit journalism

HuffPost starts investigative reporting fund
Mar. 30th, 2009 by Pia Christensen · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Health journalism

The Huffington Post is launching a fund that will support investigative reporting. The initial budget of $1.75 million is expected to pay for 10 staff journalists who will coordinate stories with freelancers.

Work that the journalists produce will be available for any publication or Web site to use at the same time it is posted on The Huffington Post, she said.

The first topic the journalists will be expected to delve into is the nation’s economy.

The Huffington Post skews liberal, but its founder promised that the work done by the investigative fund would be nonpartisan. The group would be discredited quickly if it puts out faulty information, said Nick Penniman, the fund’s executive director.

“We care about democracy, not Democrats,” he said.

More Not-for-profit journalism

Bjørn Lomborg’s mixed up short term logic

Another in a series brought to you by the military-installed & amazingly free sideways adjectives…

Bjørn Lomborg backtracks so quickly, he falls down quite a bit, in a mis-titled piece over at Project Syndicate. I say mis-titled because the secret in the title: Global Warming’s Dirty Secret turns out not to be Global Warming’s secret but the Kyoto agreement’s secret:

But nobody sees fit to reveal the agreement’s dirty little secret: it will do next to no good, and again at very high cost. According to one well-established and peer-reviewed model, the effect of the EU cutting emissions by 20% will postpone warming in 2100 by just two years, yet the cost will be about $90 billion annually. It will be costly, because Europe is a costly place to cut CO2, and it will be inconsequential, because the EU will account for only about 6% of all emissions in the twenty-first century. So the new treaty will be an even less efficient use of our resources than the old Kyoto Protocol.

So, if Mr. Lomborg wants to write a piece about Kyoto’s dirty little secret, great, perhaps he should. But if someone lies right in the title of a piece, why does he deserve any credibility at all?  But, his piece gets even worse as we dive a little deeper.

Continue reading “Bjørn Lomborg’s mixed up short term logic”

Bjørn Lomborg’s mixed up short term logic

Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla is amazingly stupid or, in the unthinkable alternative, the Financial Times is biased

A modest post, including, as a special bonus, an enlightened understanding of the terms amazingly free and military-installed

Here we have a story about a developing country, realizing that it can’t afford some of the most expensive medicines necessary for treating AIDS, announcing that it will therefore begin producing generic versions of these very few (just 2 actually) very expensive medications.  This is specifically allowed, under the declaration of a health emergency, by WIPO rules.  But if Thailand does declare such an emergency, it is almost certain that the pharmaceutical companies or their trade group would appeal this.  It may just be posturing by the Thai government to get the best possible bargaining position, when they buy some pharmaceuticals, but this somehow seems a little more premeditated.  The Financial Times covers the story:

Thais warn of switch to generic medicines

By Amy Kazmin in Bangkok

Published: February 18 2007 22:12 | Last updated: February 18 2007 22:12

Thailand is likely to widen its use of cheaper, generic versions of patented drugs, unless western drug companies cut the prices of their original medications, the country’s health minister has said.

Dr Mongkol Na Songkhla, health minister, told the Financial Times that the military-installed government was considering whether to ignore the patents for drugs used to treat leading causes of death – such as cancer and heart disease – as it escalates its confrontation with big pharmaceuticals groups.[n.b.:emphasis added by e_f]

Hmmm…So did Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla really say something like “Today, our military-installed government has decided that it will begin producing generic pharmaceuticals?” Now, I have never worked for a “military-installed ” government, but it seems fairly obvious that reminding one’s superiors that they came into power undemocratically is not a career-enhancing move. So, perhaps, Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla is really, really dense. Or did the Financial Times insert that adjective sideways, to indicate disapproval of that action. If so, isn’t this news piece really an editorial? And if it is an editorial, whose interests are being represented here?

Continue reading “Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla is amazingly stupid or, in the unthinkable alternative, the Financial Times is biased”

Dr. Mongkol Na Songkhla is amazingly stupid or, in the unthinkable alternative, the Financial Times is biased

Is this Progress?

An interesting little video from 1968, in which Noam Chomsky debates William Buckley about the Vietnam War. What struck me is how very civil they both were towards each other, even though they held such different views on a highly divisive issue:

Now flash forward to 2006, and look how the host of this show abuses the mother of a slain soldier:

So, what have we gained by being so abusive and rude to people because they hold different views?

Do Americans really deserve such hosts, who are rude and abusive, and have no content or original thoughts to back up their outrageous behavior? Is political debate only entertainment, or does it serve some other social function, which would demand a certain level of quality?

If Americans don’t demand this certain level of quality, will they ever get it?  Do media companies have a responsibility, other than higher ratings?

Is this Progress?

Economist on Bio-Terrorism

Well, just a slight ripple in the press, about the lack of preparedness for a bio-terror event, and the glacial pace that the authorities are preparing for such an event is contrasted with the near certainty among those leaders polled that a bio-terror attack is likely within the next 5 years. This is from the Economist, which IMHO has had consistently better reportage about Science and Health Issues. Perhaps their Art department and their Science and Technology staff have both been somewhat immune to the long, slow quality decline in the Economist I have noted over the last 6 or seven years or so?

Also, recall another Economist article “Chronicle of a Disease Foretold” from 1990 or so, another example of thoughtful reporting about the intersection of globalization and disease processes.


Can the line against bio-terror hold?
Dec 13th 2006

From The Economist print edition

Efforts to avert germ warfare succumb to low expectations

IMAGINE if the tiny amount of radioactive polonium-210 that killed a former Russian agent, Alexander Litvinenko, in London last month—contaminating his family and more than a dozen other people from London’s Mayfair district to Hamburg and Moscow—had instead been minute droplets of highly contagious smallpox virus, genetically engineered to neutralise vaccines. Does that sound too hard a trick for a would-be suicidal terrorist to pull off? In early 2001 a team of Australian-based scientists attempting to find a contraceptive vaccine for mice slipped a gene into the mousepox virus that inadvertently turned the normally mild strain deadly.


Yet a recent survey by Amy Smithson of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a think-tank in Washington, DC, found that over 80% of past and present senior American officials, congressmen and non-government experts interviewed thought a biological attack in the next five to ten years to be likely, very likely or else a dead cert.


Meanwhile, before the next review in 2011, annual meetings of experts will actually spend less time (one week, instead of two until now) discussing ways to improve lab safety and the security measures needed to govern dangerous pathogens, and on developing codes of conduct for those working in the biotech industry.

Well, thank heavens the safety of the American People is GWB’s first priority, otherwise, we’d be in real trouble, right?

Economist on Bio-Terrorism

If you’re not worried, you’re REALLY not paying attention…

Or, all hail King George! (And if you don’t , I’ll cut your newspapers to ribbons…)

So here’s what a recent Op-ed piece looked like in a major newspaper. A petty Thirld World dictatorship? An Eastern Bloc Country before Perestroika?

NO, it’s AMERICA and it’s TODAY, 23 December 2006.


New York Times: What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran

Continue reading “If you’re not worried, you’re REALLY not paying attention…”

If you’re not worried, you’re REALLY not paying attention…