May 11th, 2010

ADN – dirty words

Anchorage Daily News disallows these words in comments:

Whore
Pissed
Screwed
PO (from update)

Tonight I wrote a comment to an editorial that the Anchorage Daily News wrote:

Our view: Keep ANWR in play: Wilderness designation wrong for coastal plain

What really got my goat was this statement from ADN editors:

The coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be open to careful oil and gas exploration.

In my comment I tried to call the press in Alaska “whores” but ADN disallowed the use of the word “whore” and would not accept my comment.

No doubt ADN has lots of other words they won’t allow – I’d like to create a list. Send me any words that ADN flags for you: citykid@ptarmigannest.net.

Update: my last comment sums it up:

CityKid wrote on 05/11/2010 03:00:02 AM:

Politics is, after all, the allocation of scarce commodities and resources. Prostitution is, it seems to me, a perfect metaphor. How ironic that the Anchorage Daily News bans the use of the word _hore in its comment section.

UPDATE 2010 July 04 – add “PO” to the banned list. Guess the abbreviation for “Police Officer” is an ADN no-no.

April 20th, 2010

BBC: Human technology vs. nature

Updated below.

Here in Anchorage we have to listen to BBC on Public Radio for most of the late night hours. The eruption of a volcano in Iceland has disrupted human activity that is reliant on recently developed technologies. The folks at the BBC don’t seem to get it. Simply, nature trumps man. How ironic that the BBC can’t seem to mention that we humans have built an unworkable system. Rather than focus on the cascading technological failures caused by a natural event in Iceland the BBC can’t go beyond reporting effects. How odd.

We have created for ourselves some unreal views of nature and our relationship to nature. Technologists hate to say they got it wrong. We have convinced ourselves, and our media trumpets the view that our technology has outdone nature. Nothing could be further from the truth.

See for example:

Winner, Langdon. Autonomous Technology: Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1992.

Ellul, Jacques. The The Technological Society. New York, NY: Random House, 1964.

Update: 2010 April 28

I think Joe Bageant’s take is grounded in reality,

Thanks to technology and layers upon layers of mediation by TV, movies, the Internet, etc., gadgets and manufactured imagery, we all live many steps removed from reality. Collapse is symbolized to each of us in different ways. To some it would be the sustained malfunction and lack of access of the Internet, which is surely coming……

I have come to think the price of admission anywhere in the world, (except in America and Europe, where enough dough will get your ass kissed in any circles) is service to others. We have been indoctrinated by an earth devouring capitalist system to believe otherwise. Believe that giving only depletes. And that mankind and civilization came about through kings and warriors and “great men.” But the essential glue of man the social animal has always been on cooperation and sharing. That an endless stream of elite thieves have always managed to steal the fruits of that cooperation does not matter. And the best that is in man still rests on the same fundamentals — cooperation for the greater good of all.

Most of the folks here in the U.S. can’t imagine a “cooperative economic model.” I think it’s been “programmed” out of most folks here in the U.S. – cooperation is a model that few U.S. citizens have ever encountered over the course of their lives. Too bad for all of us.

January 9th, 2009

Why ADN is failing – we here in Alaska will suffer!

Two words, it’s not complicated: “Outside ownership.”

Just a couple of years back the Anchorage Daily News was a profitable newspaper. But ADN has been in trouble ever since The McClatchy Comapany which owns the Daily News burdened itself with debts intended to grow its holdings. ADN management now claims that they are in trouble because of “National trends” in the newspaper business. That’s pure B.S. ADN is in trouble because the owners, The McClatchy Company, has been demanding cuts (wage, costs, salaries) from all of the papers that they own. That in turn has diminished the quality of the newspapers that The McClatchy Company publishes and has severely damaged the subscriber base of their newspapers (I bailed on ADN a year ago). McClatchy bought ADN, killed off the competition and sucked off the profits for many years. NOW, when The McClatchy Company is in trouble, we Alaskans are being left without quality news coverage -and- not even a hint of investigative journalism. The McClatchy Company, using ADN management to cover their tracks, has the temerity to blame ADN’s problems on National Trends. That’s BS – but, of course, we will end up paying the price for McClatchy’s bad business practices. ADN is failing because a large National Corporation is failing. Left alone ADN would still be a viable business entity.

Good nite, and good luck to us all.

August 5th, 2008

The olympics

This is the best comment I read in ages.

There’s been questions coming our way about the olympics – are we going to promote it on The Pirate Bay or not. The answer is ‘No!’

First of all, sports are not that interesting! Politics however is. Helping out promoting a country like China is not in anyones interest besides their oppressive government. I’m quite surprised that the discussions about China versus human rights have been so quiet during the olympics. In my opinion the olympics should never be held in a country like that.

I feel a bit sick in my body when I see that journalists are upset that they would have to use a restricted Internet during their stay in China – and that they’re OK with going there anyhow, when the restrictions are lifted for them, personally. It’s sickening! Everybody needs to demand freedom for the people, not only freedom for some lucky ones. It’s spineless.

My emphasis. Peter is “Pirate Bay“. Thanks.

August 17th, 2007

Fed up

Dear xxxxx,

I’m hanging out in Berkeley (land of Fruits and Nuts) with xxxxx at the moment.

Don’t know if you have any interest in AK politics, but if you do this might
be of interest (though if stripped of the details I’m sure it is applicable
in most any part of our country).

FBI investigates science contracts awarded Veco
ARCTIC: $170 million in research contracts coincided with support for polar funding by Sen. Stevens.

FWIW the press keeps reporting how low the approval #’s are for our
Congress – what they fail to mention is that the numbers are low because the
Democrats and Republicans fail to hold our leaders accountable. The press
spins it that the public is upset because the Dems are going after the
Repubs – that of course is BS – the public is PO’d ’cause nobody is swinging
from a tree, not even the low hanging fruit. I’m disgusted with what’s
going on – with the president, the legislature, the current crop of presidential
“hopefuls” and, of course, the Fourth Estate.

July 5th, 2007

The reverse view

As your foreign reporter (where are the locals?) it’s easy for me to comment on how American issues are viewed here. Now and then I get a mirror too. Fair use from a Boston Globe article.

“People in high political circles are saying it can’t be good to have a society so liberal that everything is allowed,” said Kranendonk, editor of Reformist Daily and an increasingly influential voice that resonates in the shifting mainstream of Dutch public opinion. “People are saying we should have values; people are asking for more and more rules in society.”

In cities across the Netherlands, mayors and town councils are closing down shops where marijuana is sold, rolled, and smoked. Municipalities are shuttering the brothels where prostitutes have been allowed to ply their trade legally. Parliament is considering a ban on the sale of hallucinogenic “magic mushrooms.”

Orthodox Christian members of Parliament have introduced a bill that would allow civil officials with moral objections to refuse to perform gay marriages. And Dutch authorities are trying to curtail the activities of an abortion-rights group that assists women in neighboring countries where abortions are illegal.

Yes folks, here too there is a shift to the administration doing the thinking for us.

June 17th, 2007

The BBC in America ads

Interesting concept.

BBC in America

June 16th, 2007

The numbers in journalism

The project for excellence in journalism is an interesting site. Instead of focusing on the rhetoric it does a quantitative analysis on where the focus is in the media. Last week:

buildchartp2.jpg

Interesting huh? PH outdoing the cause of the king being a lame dead duck, and the demise of state finances by a long shot. What a mess. Speaking of finances. I tend to support the idea that it will be the Reps killing the $ for the war in Iraq, in a desperate move to cut loose the weight. Unless Cheney, who has been blatantly ignored the last couple of weeks, talks the crooks into bombing Iran; he’s already spreading (false) claims Iran is supplying the Taliban with weapons.

On a funny sidenote. Bush did get a ovational reception the other day. Where you ask? In Albania!

OK, I’ll stop. I have no right to comment on foreign leaders, although my government is so influenced by U.S. politics, I think I can now and then. 600 days to go. It’ll be a long 600 days.

May 6th, 2007

The freedom of the press

Reporters sans frontiers (reporters without borders) is an organisation watching the freedom of press throughout the world. The ranking order for 2006 is published here. Freedom of press is a good indication of democracy and anyone who believes democracy is the best (or arguably the least worse) system, should watch this. The list has 168 entries. A few things that caught my eye:

  • The US is listed on position 53 (down 9). “Relations between the media and the Bush administration harply deteriorated after the president used the pretext of “national security” to regard as suspicious any journalist who questioned his “war on terrorism.” The zeal of federal courts which, unlike those in 33 US states, refuse to recognise the media’s right not to reveal its sources, even threatens journalists whose investigations have no connection at all with terrorism.”
  • China is on position 163. “China (163rd) has dropped four places. The country’s media outlets are more numerous and aggressive now, but repression, carried out jointly by the government departments of propaganda and public security, has increased. The government of the world’s most populous country stresses that it wants to keep its monopoly on all news, mainly through the state-run Xinhua news agency. Censorship has been stepped up, penalties increased, many news websites shut down and physical attacks have escalated. One journalist was killed by police.”

My country is, in this list, still in the (shared) number one position, but that will surely change next year, by probably between 10 and 20 marks. Reason is that 3 journalists were (unsuccessfully) held hostage by the authorities for not revealing their sources. That would put us between the likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More worrying than obvious repression of journalists doing their work is the increasing self-censorship, fueled by spokesmen and lobbyists. “If you publish this, we’ll never give you an item anymore” is an effective threat, especially with old media under time pressure and eroding revenues.

February 3rd, 2007

The other flood

Jakarta, Indonesia, is divided by 13 rivers. Most have risen beyond control due to heavy rainfall in the last couple of days. 40.000 people have fled, the water is in may area’s 6-7 feet high, and at least 5 are left dead. Why aren’t we hearing much?

Update feb 4th: 200.000 homeless now, at least 20 fatalities.

Update feb 5th: 270.000 homeless now, at least 25 fatalities.

Update feb 6th: 340.000 homeless now, at least 36 fatalities.

Update feb 10th: Fear for cholera rising, at least 5680 fatalities.

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