Thursday, May 17, 2007

a mid-month miscellany

image: a Denslow illustration from one of the Oz books, 1903
illustration by W.W. Denslow, 1903.

Mark Kleiman on another example of

'why so many of us find the idea of "liberal media bias" risible.'

and, here:
"Make that almost no disclosure"

Dana Gardner, "Microsoft: a law firm pretending to be a software company"

Two longish but worthwhile posts from Helena Cobban:

"Global security after Iraq" and "Global security after Iraq, part 2"

a snippet from part one:
It is worth re-reading the whole of this excellent article that the Guardian's Ian Kershaw published in February 2003. In it, Kershaw compiled the judgments that Avi and eleven other historians offered on the question of whether what Bush (and Blair) were facing in Iraq was another "Munich"-type challenge, or the first act of a Suez-type debacle.
Almost every time I post I feel I'm leaving something out. For example, I sometimes feel regret that I've never written about the situations in Afghanistan, or Darfur or Somalia, or the apparently deteriorating situation in Pakistan.

Earlier this week Rob wrote about the American predisposition towards incuriousness-- I fault the national-level press more than regular people, insofar as I think it's especially damning how the current unrest in Pakistan, the only Islamic country with actual nuclear warheads, is virtually invisible on the nightly news, presumably because their little general is a Bush ally, while the media is happy to carry water for the political forces who want to get people all worked up about war with Iran.

This is mainly, I suspect, because their president is an obnoxious loudmouth whom our president finds irksome. I occasionally wonder if Ahmedinejad is normally mild-mannered, but saw how Hugo Chavez managed to stave off an oil company jiggered recall election and how, seemingly unfathomably, George Bush,jr managed to get re-elected, and made a conscious desicion to be a chest-beating blowhard, having seen it work so well for the other two guys. I also think Chavez carries it off the best of the three, but it may be that I'm just flattered by his parents' choice in names.

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