Thursday, October 4, 2007


Secret US Endorsement of Severe Interrogations - Remain calm. As Good As News will not embark on yet another rant about John Yoo, the Dr. Yes of torture ( "Severe Interrogation" is the new NY Timesese for torture) and warrantless surveillance, and Alberto Gonzales, Yoo's partner in lapdogdom. Been there (the Fatwa at Home and Abroad), done that (Second Opinion). We won't even revisit them as comedic material (but see The Decider Picks None of The Above ). Today we strike a few glancing blows on this subject and move on: 1) the linked story is a tremendously detailed history of goings on at the Justice Department, Office of Legal counsel on both torture and surveillance - kudos NY Times - almost makes up for your abysmal failure to cover the Rockies heroic run to the playoffs: 2) interesting that Yoo ended up back at Berkeley - the more publicity his Justice Department role gets the warmer that tenured chair will become, at some point he may feel like he's handcuffed to a hot seat; 3) the Times story spreads across 3 pages, if you don't have time to read the whole thing, see my stand up act on Monday, October 8 for the 70 second version, laughs included with the two drink minimum.

Monks Are Silenced and Now the Web Is Too - Burma's military rulers have shut down Burma's two ISPs and launched a successful viral attack on The Irrawaddy, a Thailand based site that had posted extensive material on protests in Burma. ATTENTION HACKERS - The stone age sergeants running Burma have shown their colors, where's the counterattack? Let's make sure it's targeted narrowly on the ruling junta. These guys don't believe in the Internet, but they use computers and telephones. "Burma" is not a slip or an endorsement of colonialism. It's not totally a concession to lazy fingers. The name change to Myanmar in 1989 was the product of a military regime (the same crowd that just shut down the Internet) which had no claim to being a representative government. The regime's claim that Myanmar more inclusively represented the nation's varied ethnicities is not historically accurate. As Good As News is sticking with Burma unless and until it's changed by a representative government of that nation.

Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some - An important and fascinating story, NYC schools give parents homework - oh wait it's not NYC, it's Montclair, this is really important, no wonder it got half of page B-1. Based on decades of carefully reading the NY Times, As Good As News has concluded that Montclair is the only town in New Jersey. Perhaps the Time's staff all lives there because they can pretend they are still on NYC's Upper West Side, an area with which Montclair has much in common. Montclair features liberal politics with constant bickering between the Hillaryists, the Obamans and the Trotskyites. It has high real estate taxes to pay for expensive public schools, yet half the town goes to private school anyway. Montclair's best restaurants and delis rival the West Side's, you can take in "Ira and Abby"at the local art cinema and you can even find parking for your Volvo. NY Times staff, if you want to live in Montclair that's your call, but please, it is not news when a flea lands in Montclair. There are other suburbs in NJ, (including my own - to record my already obvious bias on this point), that are less expensive and more diverse, ethnically and economically, than Montclair, with better public schools. Get a relocation service to help your thirty something staffers look at some other options when they have kids and abandon Manhattan, we're sick of Montclair as the center of the suburban universe, the go to town for every family feature. It's time for a little geographic diversity.

Tailoring Messages to a New Audience: Wrinkled Baby Boomers -Great photo, Harley Davidson, but I'm not sure if I will run out and buy one today. It's nice to be wanted but my resistance to advertising and impulse buying has hardened along with my arteries.

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