:: eyedot ::: images information ideation ::

:: EYE (anatomy), light-sensitive organ of vision in animals.
:: EYE (verb), to look at to look at something or somebody inquisitively.
:: EYE (noun), an ability to recognize and appreciate something; a point of view or way of thinking.

[::..archive..::]
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:: 6.30.2003 ::  



FYI,
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Democratic National Committee announced details Friday for four of six presidential primary debates that will involve the nine candidates seeking the party's 2004 presidential nomination.
...
Here is the schedule:

• September 4 in Albuquerque, New Mexico: The event will be hosted by Gov. Bill Richardson and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and broadcast jointly by Univision and participating Public Broadcasting System stations.

• September 25 in New York City: This CNBC/Wall Street Journal debate will be broadcast by CNBC and MSNBC.

• October 12 in Phoenix, Arizona: It will be hosted by Gov. Janet Napolitano and the Arizona Democratic Party and broadcast on CNN.

• October 26 in Detroit, Michigan: This debate is to be hosted by members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Network broadcasting to be determined.

Two additional debates, to be held in November and December in Iowa and New Hampshire, will be announced in the coming weeks, the DNC said.

:: Deb 5:08 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



I saw this on Tom Tomorrow today. The Memory Hole has links to medium- and lo-res video of Bush II receiving word that the WTC was under attack on the morning of 9-11-01, and doing NOTHING ABOUT IT for a full five minutes. You may remember that he was in the middle of a photo op with a roomfull of schoolchildren when his Chief of Staff gave him the news.... In addition, at the bottom of the page there is an excerpt from an article describing how he in fact did nothing until the press had left the room, several minutes after he was done with the children. Check it out, download the video, keep the story alive. This is something they don't want you to know.

:: Deb 3:58 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Court overturns D-E-A's ban on hemp products in foods
San Francisco-AP -- A federal court is overturning a government ban on the sale of foods containing hemp.

The court says the Drug Enforcement Administration didn't give enough public notice when it imposed the ban two years ago. But the judges aren't commenting on the merits of the ban itself.

Hemp is an industrial plant related to marijuana. Its fiber has been used in food products like energy bars, waffles, veggie burgers and non-dairy cheese. Hemp oil is also used in lotions, soap and cosmetics.

The hemp industry is challenging the ban itself.
Story.
Also on on KRON's website today, I noticed the following headline: Majority in poll think U-S troops are doing fairly well in Iraq My first thought was "argh." Then I read the story, which in my mind says something quite different - take this quote, for example: "Nearly 40 percent of the respondents now think the Bush administration misled the public." That seeems like big news to me! But instead they emphasized that a majority (albeit a slim one - 53%) of those polled still think things are going well - rather than the fact that the number of people who think it's going badly has TRIPLED since May. Weird and ridiculous.

:: Deb 3:33 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.27.2003 ::  



Wow. So I'm going over old Tom Tomorrow blog entries, and I see this beauty:
U.S. troops in Iraq: 10 years @ $3 billion per month?
(Note: this entry posted by Bob Harris)

This just in, courtesy alert reader Dorian:
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave no explicit estimates for the time U.S. forces would stay in Iraq, but they did not dispute members of Congress who said the deployment could last a decade or more.
-- snip --
Wolfowitz said the size of the supplemental funding request will be determined in the fall. But he did not dispute an estimate by Rep. John Spratt (news, bio, voting record), D-S.C., that the military would need an annual budget of $54 billion -- $1.5 billion a month for Afghanistan, $3 billion a month for Iraq.
-- snip --
Pace told the committee that the U.S. force in Iraq is just under its peak of 151,000 combat troops and that the number will not be reduced in the foreseeable future.
Mission accomplished.
You have GOT to be kidding me. How is this not all over every front page?

:: Deb 6:38 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



COOOOL!
Antibody could lead to HIV vaccine
Scientists discover how substance fights off AIDS virus
WASHINGTON, June 26 — Researchers said Thursday they have figured out how a rare antibody sees past the disguises of the AIDS virus — a finding that may lead to a vaccine that will finally work against the killer microbe.
Fark.

:: Deb 4:36 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.26.2003 ::  



Hey, here's some good news: the US Supreme Court overturned sodomoy laws in all 13 states that still had them on the books! No surprise about who dissented: William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Story here and here. "The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court's majority. "The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime."

:: Deb 5:59 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



What we've been saying all along - and look! it's true:
In a finding that undermines one key argument in favor of genetically modified (GM) crops, researchers at Iowa State University have discovered that a number of "superweeds" have developed a resistance to Monsanto's widely used Roundup herbicide. Monsanto has engineered crops that are tolerant of Roundup, the idea being that the chemical would kill everything in a field but the desired crop, thereby freeing farmers from using additional herbicides and leading to an overall decrease in the use of chemicals. But if superweeds gain a foothold, farmers will again need other herbicides. "Companies like Monsanto have spun GM crops and their weed killers as having less impact on the environment, but the fact of resistant weeds undoubtedly means more weed killers, and means the impact on the environment will be greater," said Pete Riley of Friends of the Earth. "These discoveries remove a central plank from the whole argument for GM crops."
From the London Independent, c/o the Daily Grist. Somewhat unexpectedly, however, "The resistance has come about not through gene transfer from GM herbicide-tolerant crops, as some have feared, but through natural evolution."

:: Deb 5:25 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



The Bush administration has asked the United Nations to remove Yellowstone National Park from a list of endangered World Heritage sites. "Yellowstone is no longer in danger," wrote the Interior Department's Paul Hoffman in a letter to the World Heritage Committee. There's just one snag: The park staff disagree with Hoffman, saying Yellowstone still faces the kinds of problems -- threats to water quality, bison, and trout populations, among others -- that put it on the endangered list in the first place, back in 1995. But in its recent report to the U.N. committee, the Bush administration diluted or deleted those problems, in a move critics say is emblematic of White House efforts to water down, sugarcoat, or deny environmental problems across the board. "Tinkering with scientific information, either striking it from reports or altering it, is becoming a pattern of behavior," said former National Park Service Director Roger Kennedy.
Los Angeles Times, via the Daily Grist. Only in Grist: Not just a walk in the park -- a week in the life of Robert Di Silvestro, National Parks Conservation Association.

:: Deb 3:48 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



...and still more good news.
Len Burman, co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said the reports on non-payers and the 400 highest income filers were related, in that they showed the role of capital gains in reducing taxes.
Of $69.57 billion in adjusted gross income reported by the top 400 filers in 2000, about $44.53 billion was made through capital gains, Burman said
"Capital gains is the linchpin of every tax shelter I know of, except for municipal bonds," he said.
Capital gains are generally taxed at a lower rate than wages for all but low-income taxpayers. With the tax package passed in May, the rate will fall to 15 percent.
Oh goody. On top of that, the rich are getting richer at a faster rate than their share of the total tax burden.
A) "Had President Bush's latest tax cuts been in effect in 2000, the amount of taxes paid by the wealthiest Americans would have dropped an additional 20 percent, according to analysis by the New York Times."
B) The biggest source of income for the wealthiest Americans is - you guessed it - capital gains, at 64%, versus the runner-up, salaries and wages at 16.7%.

:: Deb 12:56 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



And this is fun - The Labor Dept. is unilaterally planning to institute new rules governing overtime - rules that may exclude 8 million workers from OT pay:
According to the EPI study, which used Labor Department and General Accounting Office data about worker pay and qualifications, the total effect of the three changes is to exclude at least 8.025 million workers from overtime -- and probably more, the study said, since the EPI only looked at 78 of the 257 "white collar" occupations identified by the Labor Department.
Not only that, but they have held no public hearings on the issue and CANCELLED the AFL-CIO's paid reservation for a hearing. The public comment period expires Monday.

:: Deb 12:29 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Oh, and by the way, sorry but "a mistake was made within the drafting process" of the FIRST of two dossiers (not the second, as it says in the article). Apparently a lot of it was lifted directly from a CA student's PhD thesis, without attribution. This is a real problem, since, according to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief spokesman, "The first dossier ... was a serious, thorough piece of work setting out why it was so vital to tackle Saddam and WMD (weapons of mass destruction)."
From CNN.

:: Deb 12:12 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.24.2003 ::  



On the passage of the flag-burning amendment:
"This means that any low-life daring to publicly destroy our national symbol of freedom will be breaking the law and will get what's coming to him."
Detect any sarcasm here?
The Daily Show reran a show last night in which Jon Stewart talked about this amendment:
The bill's primary sponsor, California Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham, questioned the patriotism of those who oppose the bill. Quote: "Some people, in my opinion, like to hide behind the First Amendment." Perhaps because they're being shot at by people hiding behind the Second.
Thunderous, extended applause, including from me, in my living room. Go Jon! And thanks to Sarah at fiedishplot for the full quote.

On the same subject, here are words from Roger Pilon, Ph.D., J.D., Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute, before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary on April 30, 1997: "...flag desecration of a kind that this amendment would... prohibit is political expression and... that political expression is precisely what the Framers wanted most to protect when they drafted the First Amendment." Dr. Pilon is a known conservative, who starts his testimony by asserting his dislike for flag-burning.

:: Deb 5:17 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.23.2003 ::  



From the Daily Grist:
Bowdlerizing what was meant to be the first-ever comprehensive report on environmental problems facing the U.S., the White House has deleted most of the information the report contained on global climate change and reduced the remainder to a few vague paragraphs. The omitted sections referred to findings that climate change is at least partly caused by emissions from vehicles and power plants and could have dire consequences for human and environmental health. Environmental organizations and some EPA staff members strongly criticized the revisions; Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation compared them to "the White House directing the secretary of labor to alter unemployment data to paint a rosy economic picture." The report was commissioned in 2001 by U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman, who said she was "perfectly comfortable" with the edited version; it is scheduled to be released next week, before Whitman steps down on June 27.
Story in the New York Times.
Also,
The amount of dangerous industrial contaminants seeping into Canada's environment has risen 20 percent since 1995, according to a report by three environmental organizations that compiled data from industrial polluters. The biggest increase came in discharges into lakes and rivers, which rose 37 percent, while air and land pollution each rose 9 percent. The increase in hazardous pollutants -- including lead, arsenic, asbestos, and benzene -- suggests that recent cleanup efforts by government and industry have been insufficient, the report's authors say. They called for more stringent laws to reduce the rate of chemicals released into the environment and thereby protect wildlife and human health. Since the early 1990s, Canada, like the U.S. under the Bush administration, has generally relied on voluntary agreements rather than mandatory regulations to coax industries to reduce their environmental impacts.
Story in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Canadians, find the largest polluters in your neighborhoods

:: Deb 11:33 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.20.2003 ::  



The Senate Commerce Committee passed a bill yesterday to overturn the new FCC media ownership rules; no word on whether the bill has a chance in the full Senate or House. I'm not sure what it would mean for the rules if the bill passed completely - would the FCC have to come up with new ones? Would Congress have to come up with them and pass them back to the FCC?

:: Deb 5:20 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Cool!
"You see hardened convicts all of a sudden — in a middle of a scene — just have almost a nervous breakdown," said Jerry Guenthner, a prisoner serving a life sentence for killing a police officer. "To face what you've done, in a lot of cases, is very difficult to do. And it takes courage to do that."
Kentucky state prison has a successful Shakespearean theater program.
Fark.

:: Deb 4:55 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



If you live in the Pacific Northwest and shop at one of the 11 Wild Oats grocery stores in the region, you may be buying your food in corntainers. No, that's not a typo: This month, Wild Oats Markets became the first food store chain in the country to use environmentally friendly packaging made of corn. Most traditional food packaging is made from petroleum products; the corntainer is fossil-fuel-free (except for shipping and production processes, of course) and can be thrown in the compost right along with the leftovers of your portabello-and-sundried-tomato sandwich. Alternatively, consumers can return the packaging to Wild Oats stores, where they are subsequently recycled into organic soil by an Oregon company. The company says people love the corntainer, and it plans to begin using them at 77 stores nationwide by the fall.

From CNN. Link thanks to Grist Magazine.

:: Deb 3:16 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.19.2003 ::  



This month's Harper's Index:
Last calendar year in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained in value : 1999
Last period in which the Dow declined for four consecutive years : 1929–1932
Percentage change since 1968 in the real value of the U.S. federal minimum wage : –37
Factor by which Americans' total debt to private lenders for college tuition has increased since 1995 : 4

:: Deb 4:14 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.17.2003 ::  



From today's Daily Telegraph:
The American-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is "in chaos" and suffering from "a complete absence of strategic direction", a very senior British official in Baghdad has told The Telegraph.
...
In Baghdad the senior British official said the chaos at the heart of the coalition was seriously hampering its ability to deliver vital services to the Iraqi people, such as salaries, electricity and security.
Heard on NPR this morning.

:: Deb 5:37 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.13.2003 ::  



"The 'gay disease' -- that's out the window when you've got pictures of a kid on the fridge." Strange bedfellows - Evangelical Christians lobby for full funding of President Bush's five-year, $15 billion program to prevent and treat AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean. From the Washington Post. Here's a story about the prevailing theory of the history of the virus.

:: Deb 11:38 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



A moment of silence for the American men and women who have died since the war "ended."

:: Deb 11:04 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



I didn't know it was possible to knock over a Segway - but this guy proved me wrong.
Fark.

:: Deb 10:37 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.12.2003 ::  



Contribute to the Democratic Party so the nominees stand a chance against Bush in 2004.

:: Deb 7:53 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Is lying about the reason for a war an impeachable offense?
[Senator Bob] Graham has good reason to complain. According to the New York Times, he was one of the few members of the Senate who saw the national intelligence estimate that was the basis for Bush's decisions. After reviewing it, Graham requested that the Bush administration declassify the information before the Senate voted on the administration's resolution requesting use of the military in Iraq.

But rather than do so, CIA Director Tenet merely sent Graham a letter discussing the findings. Graham then complained that Tenet's letter only addressed "findings that supported the administration's position on Iraq," and ignored information that raised questions about intelligence. In short, Graham suggested that the Administration, by cherrypicking only evidence to its own liking, had manipulated the information to support its conclusion.
...
To put it bluntly, if Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked. Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be "a high crime" under the Constitution's impeachment clause. It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony "to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."
...
Nixon claimed that his misuses of the federal agencies for his political purposes were in the interest of national security. The same kind of thinking might lead a President to manipulate and misuse national security agencies or their intelligence to create a phony reason to lead the nation into a politically desirable war. Let us hope that is not the case.

Thanks to Bob Harris from www.thismodernworld.com.

:: Deb 6:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Lifted from Tom Tomorrow's blog:
Interesting quote...
...from the Associated Press, March 17, 2003 (thanks to the alert reader who caught this one):

Iraq also handed over videotapes of mobile biological weapons laboratories to inspectors. Iraq says the videos show that the laboratories do not violate UN resolutions.
For what it's worth...

Indeed! Another gem:
You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons," Bush said in an interview before leaving today on a seven-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. "They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.

"And we'll find more weapons as time goes on," Bush said. "But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them."

Hm. What about those videotapes, sir?
And as to the likelihood that they are weapons labs at all, check out this item from the Observer:
One of those expressing severe doubts about the alleged mobile germ labs is Professor Harry Smith, who chairs the Royal Society's working party on biological weapons.

He told The Observer 'I am concerned about the [vehicles'] canvas sides. Ideally, you would want airtight facilities for making something like anthrax. Not only that, it is a very resistant organism and even if the Iraqis cleaned the equipment, I would still expect to find some trace of it.'

:: Deb 5:26 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



"I've always said George Bush's chemical dependency problem has nothing to do with cocaine; it has to do with Dow and Monsanto. They were the forces that put him in office down in Texas."
- Molly Ivins, talking about her new book Bushwacked: Life in George W. Bush's America on BookTV. This particular part of her talk was about the gutting of Superfund. Another beauty: "I've always thought that the only questions in goverment are who's gettin' screwed, and who's doin' the screwin." She also had a great quote from Mussolini: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, because it is the merger of corporate and government power." Okay, one more: "Ann Richards says that the price of gas in Texas has gotten so high that women who want to run over their husbands have to carpool now."
At the same link, you can also find Al Franken's diatribe on right-wing lies. Definitely worth a listen.

:: Deb 12:49 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.10.2003 ::  



Published on Monday, June 9, 2003 by The Nation

Bill Moyers' "Presidential" Address
by John Nichols
Democratic presidential candidates were handed a dream audience of 1,000 "ready-for-action" labor, civil rights, peace and economic justice campaigners at the Take Back America conference organized in Washington last week by the Campaign for America's Future. And the 2004 contenders grabbed for it, delivering some of the better speeches of a campaign that remains rhetorically -- and directionally -- challenged. But it was a non-candidate who won the hearts and minds of the crowd with a "Cross of Gold" speech for the 21st century.

Thanks to Dave for the forward.

:: Deb 10:53 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.06.2003 ::  



Climate change shown to affect plant growth around the globe. Big 3 still insist global warming a myth - "these guys have no idea what they're talking about," says oil baron.
Fark.

:: Deb 6:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



It sure is nice to see Democratic presidential candidates in the news for talking about important issues!
On Capitol Hill in Washington, another presidential candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, said he wants the White House to provide Congress with evidence to support administration claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

"The president led the nation to war on the basis of unfounded assertions," Kucinich said. "It is long time past that the administration shows its evidence."

Kucinich said he will introduce a resolution of inquiry on Thursday asking for the evidence to back up 10 statements made by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and White House press secretary Ari Fleischer from Aug. 26, 2002 through March 30, 2003.

From APWire. Also check out this story about Howard Dean calling for a repeal of the Bush tax cut. All four Democratic senators running for President opposed the cut.
The former Vermont governor, like his Democratic rivals, cited the 2.7 million jobs lost during Bush's tenure in the White House and pointed to the fact that a day earlier, the president signed a bill allowing the federal government to borrow as much as $7.4 trillion, an increase in the federal debt limit.

"The president promises everything and delivers nothing," Dean said.

:: Deb 4:50 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Gay Republicans an endangered species? Possibly. The DOJ has refused to allow a gay and lesbian employee association to hold their annual gay pride event this year. The reason? "the White House had not formally recognized Gay Pride Month with a presidential proclamation." Every other association at the department has its recognized month and event, except fror DOJ Pride; this is the first year the event has been banned since it's inception.
Thanks to Damian for the link.

:: Deb 2:31 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.04.2003 ::  



More on the FCC ruling:
Senators blast FCC decision

Democrat Hollings says easing of media ownership rules makes FCC an 'instrument of corporate greed.'
June 4, 2003: 12:32 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Several Senate Commerce Committee members Wednesday blasted the Federal Communications Commission's decision to ease limits on the ownership of media outlets, with one senator accusing the agency's chairman of "spin and fraud."

:: Deb 7:03 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



Fantastic! Ed Rosenthal received a sentence of one day with credit for time served - he's free!

:: Deb 10:43 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.03.2003 ::  



Environmental advocates in Oregon are worried that a bill intended to crack down on so-called ecoterrorism could punish activists who take part in peaceful protests and acts of civil disobedience. The Oregon Senate yesterday overwhelmingly passed legislation that would let "eco-sabotage" crimes be prosecuted under the state's racketeering laws and would allow prosecutors to seek triple damages against those convicted of such crimes. The bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R), said that environmental vandalism had resulted in $50 million worth of damage in the state over the past 10 years, citing arson at a timber company office, a bombing at a car dealership, and the destruction of genetically engineered trees. But Sen. Charlie Ringo (D), who voted against the bill, argued that laws are already on the books to deal with these sorts of crimes and that the new legislation could be used against mainstream environmental activists. The bill, which is now headed for the Oregon House, defines eco-sabotage as a crime committed "to further environmental objectives."
Associated Press, link thanks to Grist Magazine.
How much would you like to bet that Sen. Ted Ferrioli opposes hate crime legislation? This is the same kind of legisation; except that on the one hand you have assault, murder, and property defacement and damage; and on the other you have resisting arrest, blocking traffic, property defacement, and in the most extreme cases, property damage. Not really the same thing at all.

:: Deb 3:47 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA plans to give lawmakers intelligence data that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell used for a prewar U.N. presentation on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction in response to concerns those weapons haven't been found, a U.S. intelligence official said.

From CNN.
Also in this article:
U.S. reinforces Fallujah
U.S. commanders are redeploying about 4,000 troops from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division from Baghdad to Fallujah -- which continues to be a stronghold of Iraqi resistance, U.S. military officials said.

Members of the division's 2nd Brigade will replace 1,200 troops that are patrolling the central Iraqi city, which is 43 miles (about 70 kilometers) west of Baghdad. Saddam Hussein sympathizers continue to stir up resistance and U.S. forces have taken fire in Fallujah. Two U.S. soldiers were killed and nine others wounded May 27 in an attack on an Army unit there.

The larger force will use its 88 tanks and 44 Bradley Fighting Vehicles to establish an increased presence on Fallujah's streets, officials said.

The move comes in response to a series of attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq in recent days.

But the war's over. Isn't it?

:: Deb 11:51 AM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

:: 6.02.2003 ::  



Some background on Michael Powell - a very comprehensive article, with lots of references and quotes from Powell and others, detailing exactly why we shouldn't be surprised by today's decision.

:: Deb 6:10 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



What the new rules mean:
A national television network may now aqcuire dozens of local broadcaster stations and control up to 90 percent of the national television market.
A single corporation may now acquire, in one city, up to three television stations, eight radio stations, the cable TV system, numerous cable TV stations, and the only daily newspaper.

This does not sound balanced to me.

:: Deb 5:52 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::
 



From the FCC website:

Headlines

6/2/03
FCC Sets Limits on Media Concentration: Unprecedented Public Record Results in Enforceable and Balanced Broadcast Ownership Rules.

Well, you can decide for yourself, if you feel like wading thru the whole document. It's pretty easy to read, but it's a lot of information.

Here's a snippet of FCC Chairman Powell's statement:
This proceeding has been the subject of extraordinary public attention. It is right that it has been so, for the values these rules are intended to advance are critically important to a vibrant democracy. I have heard the concerns expressed by the public about excessive consolidation.... they have introduced a note of caution in the choices we have made. Consequently, our decisions today - retaining the rule against networks merging, tightening the limits on radio ownership, and modifying, rather than eliminating, the remaining rules - are modest, albeit very significant changes.

Commissioner Abernathy gets a little more sarcastic about it:
The federal court opinions speciifically tell me that any restrictions we place on ownership musr be based on concrete evidence - not on fear and speculation about hypothetical media monopolies intent on exercising some type of Vulcan mind control over the American people.

Cuz, y'know, the liberals made all that up about ClearChannel refusing to play the Dixie Chicks on any of their 12000 radio stations throughout the US, simply because one of them said she was ashamed Bush was a Texan, too.

For the dissenting opinion, here's an excerpt from Commissioner Copps' statement:
In 1996 Congress and the FCC eliminated the national cap for radio concentration. Over the years the Commission has loosened the local radio concentration rules so that one corporation can now own up to eight stations in a market. These deregulatory changes provide the FCC with a record to study the impact of fewer media concentration protections on localism, diversity and competition.
The largest company owned less than 75 stations before deregulation. Today one company, Clear Channel, owns more than 1200 stations. This company owns eight radio stations in many cities.... The number of radio station owners has decreased by an incredible 34 percent since 1996....
Even supporters of today's decision have been heard to say that the state of radio is troubling - yet the Commission charges ahead to deregulate TV and newspapers without comprehensivley studying the results of radio concentration. The failure to do so ignores critical information that is both relevant to these rules and that suggests the rules we vote on today are a mistake. (emphasis added)

:: Deb 2:51 PM :: permalink :: [0] comments :: links to this post ::

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