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Stateside: Banana Sunday With A Sprinkling Of Nuts

Stateside with Rosalea Barker

Banana Sunday With A Sprinkling Of Nuts

::Two more scoops please::

Besides our beloved Kiwi Scoop, here's a couple more that have caught my attention this week. One of my fellow bloggers on another website--now defunct--has moved on to, which is powered by software called Scoop. According to the application's website, "Scoop is a 'collaborative media application'. It falls somewhere between a content management system, a web bulletin board system, and a weblog."

And chapter 2 of Jason Leopold's book is entitled "The Scoop". It is available as a pdf here: Be forewarned, if you don't like reading the f-word and think that liberal, leftie journalists like Leopold (whose columns you'll know from our own Scoop) are polite, well-mannered, nice folks, don't go there. The book, News Junkie, will be released this month.

::International Conscientious Objector Day::

From my email in-box: For over 20 years May 15 has been celebrated as International Conscientious Objectors Day. Each year activities are focused in a country where war objectors are being harassed or persecuted.

This year the international focus is on the United States' denial of the right of soldiers to object. Conscientious Objectors, GI resisters and dissent within the military deserve our support as they stand up for human rights and dignity, democratic rights, and international law. Widespread public support and pressure can help protect these courageous individuals from feelings of isolation and from repression of them and their rights.

Coordinated activities are being planned in the U.S. in New York, Washington DC and the SF Bay Area.

::Can a junta be far away?::

With each new person in military uniform who gets appointed to a high post in the Bush administration I feel more and more like I'm living in South America, not North. It's unlikely that the president's nominee for head of the CIA will be turned down in the Senate hearings despite his connection with the National Security Agency's collection of data on the telephone calls made between folks in the US and overseas.

It just astonishes me how time after time the Democrats fall for these kinds of leaks. No matter that Time and Newsweek think this is cover story material, very few people seriously care if, in the execution of the "war on terror", their calling data finds its way into a database that might be mined by the government. The argument for that data being collected is exactly the same argument that Democrats make that gun ownership should be tracked. The Republicans will gain--not lose--popularity on this issue.

::Pardon my ad campaign::

The NSA data collection story was the topic de jour on the Sunday talking head shows this morning. I couldn't help but be amused by the ads carried by Face the Nation, which devoted its whole half-hour to the topic. "Someday is Today" trumpeted the Verizon business networks ad, forgetting perhaps that not so long ago 1984 was "someday...." In the next break, AT&T promised "Your World. Delivered." Unto whom?, one might ask.


Early in the week, ABC featured a drama about the avian flu causing widespread death in the world and panic and mayhem in the US. Television here relentlessly portrays the world as a dark, dangerous place, enlivened only by your ability to go out and buy the things that appear in the ad breaks. Although this was a drama, documentaries fill that role as well.

On May 24, Al Gore's bejesus-scaring documentary about climate warming will be released in theatres. You can see the preview and sign the pledge to be there on opening day here:

::Bill Gates outlaws satire::

Old Spice has an internet film festival running at the moment called the Last Guy Film Festival: As you can see from the URL, it's carried by Microsoft Networks, which perhaps is the reason that among the usual submission rules regarding what you cannot have in the film--advertising, racism, sex, etc-- is this remarkable "must not" clause:

"Attempt to impersonate a Microsoft employee, agent, manager, host, another user, or any other person though any means,"

Forget the spelling mistake, you're telling me I can't have someone impersonate Bill Gates in my movie about the last guy on earth? How did he know it was called "Even Iffy Woz"? Has Bill been reading my Hotmail?



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