George Carlin 1937-2008
This is vintage George Carlin talking about his favorite subject - death.
Innovative Communication for Advancing Social Justice © 2012
This is vintage George Carlin talking about his favorite subject - death.
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, a monitoring group, reported that people had been forced to vote in most rural areas.
A Zimbabwean journalist said militias loyal to Mr Mugabe had gone door-to-door in townships outside the capital, Harare, to coerce people.
Despite the pressure, Marwick Khumalo, who heads of the Pan-African parliamentary observer mission, told the BBC that overall turnout had been low and the mood sombre.
"We saw one long queue, which we mistook for a polling station, only to find the people were queuing for bread," he said, adding that the ingredients for a free and fair election were missing.
Labels: Zim Watch
...An increasing number of journalists are toeing the line with MySpace and Facebook. Whether adding a candidate as a “friend” or posting messages about his campaign, many journalists are, for better or worse, bending the rules.
Given Barack Obama’s stunning ascent from local Illinois politician to strong contender for the presidency, largely due to his wide appeal among the young and tech-savvy, it’s natural to see a surge in excitement among the public.
But in media, are we witnessing the dawn of a new paradigm, or a crumbling of rules designed to keep the press transparent and free?
Racist violence and discrimination persist across the European Union, and most members of the 27-nation bloc aren't taking advantage of tough legislation to crack down, the EU's rights agency warned.
Britain and France lead a list of nine countries credited with actively fighting racism and xenophobia, but most other EU members aren't making the most of a tough EU-wide "racial equality directive," the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights said.
Between 2006 and 2007, Britain punished 95 offenders, more than the other 26 members combined, the Vienna-based agency said. It also lauded Bulgaria, France, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Finland and Sweden.
By contrast, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia issued no sanctions during the same period.
Labels: Post Colonial Moment
"The courageous people of Zimbabwe, of this country, and the people of the MDC have done everything humanly and democratically possible to deliver a new Zimbabwe and new government," candidate Morgan Tsvangirai said after a closed-door meeting of his Movement for Democratic Change.
A government official, however, said Tsvangirai dropped out only because he fears being handed a "humiliating defeat" in the runoff.
Labels: Zim Watch
In response to questions about the use of Associated Press content on the Drudge Retort web site, the AP was able to provide additional information to the operator of the site, Rogers Cadenhead, on Thursday. That information was aimed at enabling Mr. Cadenhead to bring the contributed content on his site into conformance with the policy he earlier set for his contributors. Both parties consider the matter closed.
In addition, the AP has had a constructive exchange of views this week with a number of interested parties in the blogging community about the relationship between news providers and bloggers and that dialogue will continue. The resolution of this matter illustrates that the interests of bloggers can be served while still respecting the intellectual property rights of news providers.
Two Muslim women at Barack Obama's rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women's headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.
The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally.
"This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama's commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. "We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers."
Building a human backdrop to a political candidate, a set of faces to appear on television and in photographs, is always a delicate exercise in demographics and political correctness. Advance staffers typically pick supporters out of a crowd to reflect the candidate's message...
Democrat Barack Obama became the first major presidential candidate to reject taxpayer financing for his general-election campaign, allowing him to spend without limit in his contest against Republican John McCain.
The move, never attempted in three decades of public financing for presidential candidates, puts the Illinois senator in the position of being a self-styled reformer, pledged to diminish the influence of money in politics, who now plans to wage the most expensive campaign in history.
Sen. Obama's decision, which may kill off the reform program created in the wake of the Watergate-era scandals, came after he signaled earlier in the campaign that he was committed to staying inside the system. But the move wasn't entirely unexpected. With his campaign able to draw more than $1 million a day in donations from mainly small contributors, he will hold a financial edge by opting out of public financing.
Through April, Sen. Obama had raised an unprecedented $265 million -- far more than the $96 million Sen. McCain had raised -- and had $46.5 million on hand, including $8.8 million for the general election. By staying in the public-financing system, Sen. Obama would have been limited to spending $84.1 million in taxpayer cash between his late-August nominating convention and the Nov. 4 election. Sen. McCain said Thursday he would stick to public financing...
...Sen. Obama is one of three major authors of legislation to revamp the public-financing system for presidential elections. He has said on several occasions that he supports public financing -- an endorsement noted in a "Timeline of Reversal" missive sent out Thursday by the McCain campaign.
In January 2007, Sen. Obama criticized Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for opting out of public financing for the primary season. In February, responding to a questionnaire, he pledged to remain in the public-financing system as long as his Republican opponent agreed to a "fund-raising truce" for the general election...
A study by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2006 showed that the number of women executives has stagnated in this sector. "The percentage of women in daily newsrooms increased slightly to 37.7 percent ... 64.5 percent of all supervisors are men. They are also 58.5 percent of all copy editors, 60.3 percent of reporters and 72.6 percent of photographers," the study said.
"Part of the reason could be that women are frustrated with their progress. A 2002 study by the American Press Institute and the Pew Center for Civic Journalism documented a brain drain among women who didn't anticipate moving up in their organizations and thought they might leave journalism," the International Women's Media Foundation report said.
The group Media Report to Women, a provider of information about how media depicts women, cited a 2006 study by the Atlantic, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, which found a 3-to-1 ratio of male to female bylines.
And the American Journalist Survey, released in 2003 by Indiana University, showed that female journalists' median salary in 2001 was about 81 percent of men's salary of $46,758. The wage gap widened as journalists grew older.
Staffing in the nation’s newsrooms declined for the fourth consecutive year and efforts to bring diversity to reporting and editing teams remained a challenge according to the annual census released Sunday by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) at their annual gathering in the nation’s capital.
The number of newsroom employees in 2007 dropped by 2,400 jobs or 4.4 percent when compared with the previous year. Journalists of color left 300 positions, falling to 7,100, according to the 2008 census released at ASNE’s annual convention in Washington, D.C.
But because of layoffs and hiring freezes, the percentage of journalists of color in daily newsrooms actually grew by a tiny margin, to 13.52% from 13.43% of all journalists.
Blacks make up the largest number and percentage of journalists of color with 2,790 or 5.3 percent of the workforce, according to the survey.
That figure has remained near 13 percent for the last four years, illustrating that as the nation’s minority population continues to rise at 36 percent, its newsrooms continue to fail that pace of diversity.
Miami real estate agent Lucas Lechuga didn't expect a $25 million defamation lawsuit when he started a blog to share his knowledge of the local market.
And Wisconsin commodities trader Gary Millitte is so worried about the legal boundaries of writing online that he still hasn't started LakeGenevaNews.com in the eight years since he purchased the domain name.
That's why non-journalists entering the world of blogs are turning to professional reporters for help learning what's libelous, how to find public documents and the difference between opinion and news.
About a dozen would-be reporters navigated the basics of journalism at a recent training offered by the Society of Professional Journalists in Chicago.
The group is planning similar seminars this month in Greensboro, North Carolina and Los Angeles.
Lechuga, who didn't attend the training, said it would have been a good idea. Having jumped into the world of online publishing with a finance degree, he said the claims against him -- which are still pending -- arose from a question of semantics, and he would have chose his words differently if he had a second chance.
"It would definitely have been something that would be worthwhile and I'd (have) been able to prevent this," said Lechuga.
Roy Peter Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., which supports working journalists, praised the effort to offer training to so-called citizen journalists.
"I think that what we're moving toward is some king of positioning between amateur and professional," Clark said.
The PBS documentary series P.O.V. recently gave its "Film Your Issue" award to Brandon Odum, the director of "New Orleans For Sale."
Odums is a 22-year old New Orleans college student who is part of a young filmmaking collective called 2-cent that makes projects to inspire change within young people. When they noticed the gawking tourists who had come to see the devastated 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina, they decided to make a video about the locals' reactions.
In addition to winning the P.O.V. award, New Orleans for Sale also garnered an FYI Jury Award 2008, the NAACP Award and the AFI SILVERDOCS Award.
To many South Koreans, however, the beef dispute was not entirely about health concern or science. It was not entirely about the economy, either — beef from the United States is half the price of homegrown meat. To them, it is also the latest symbolic test of whether their leader can resist pressure from superpowers, even if there is good reason for the pressure, as is the case in the beef dispute. South Korea had promised to lift the ban once the World Organization for Animal Health ruled American beef fit for consumption, as it did last September.
South Korea has built the world’s 13th largest economy largely through exports. Nonetheless, historical resentments linger.
South Koreans in their 40s remember a popular childhood song handed down from their fathers and grandfathers: “Don’t be cheated by the Soviets. Don’t trust the Americans. Or the Japanese will rise again.” Koreans still chafe at the fact that the United States and the Soviet Union divided Korea after liberating it from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II.
Earlier this month the Bush administration urged a federal appeals court to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Arkansas City, Kan.-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct advanced mad cow testing on its animals -- presumably because it would raise consumer questions and make other packers look bad. (viz. BST-free milk labels)
"This is the government telling the consumers, 'You're not entitled to this information,'" protested Creekstone attorney Russell Frye, according to the Associated Press -- a charge also heard in March when the USDA refused to name companies selling 143 million pounds of recalled Westland/Hallmark beef because the information was "proprietary."
Meat from 200,000 dairy cows was impounded after a Humane Society of the United States undercover video was released depicting slaughter of downer cattle -- a violation of U.S. mad cow regulations.
The video may even have reached South Korea.
Labels: Book Review
Check out a preview of the new series by the National Black Programming Consortium, Afropop, which will be airing on PBS stations nationwide June and July. The series will premiere great documentaries by some of the most innovative black filmmakers on modern life in Africa and how the African diaspora interacts with each other. AfroPop will be hosted by none other than the fabulous actor Idris Elba (don't all sigh at the same time). Did I also mention that he is quite the fine-looking man? I will be doing an article on AfroPop in the next couple of weeks for a local publication.
Did you know that U.S. foreign policy is backwards? Okay, I think that might be a dump question considering the people currently running the White House. No, but serious, the way America deals with providing aid overseas today is mostly based on how on the world dealt with problems under the pressures of the Cold War.
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected as opportunities and challenges here in the U.S. and abroad tie us to the rest of the world in ways we are only beginning to understand.
American foreign assistance programs have proved to be an influential aspect of our engagement with the world in the past, but our foreign assistance policy was written in 1961. A lot has changed since then.
We need a new foreign assistance policy for the 21st century. The 2008 presidential elections are our chance to make that happen.
More than 100 delegates from international social movements, farmers organisations, indigenous groups from the South and NGOs are holding a five-day forum on food sovereignty.
The civil society forum Terra Preta (black soil, in Portuguese) has been organised by the International Planning Committee (IPC), a global network of NGOs and civil society groups concerned with agricultural issues.
IPC includes social organisations representing small farmers, fisher folk, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers' trade unions. It works as a facilitation mechanism for dialogue between social movements and the UN agencies dealing with food and agriculture.
"We are here to remind governments that they cannot take any effective decision to solve the food crisis without consulting those who feed the planet," Antonio Onorati from IPC told IPS.
"While 80 percent of the world food comes from their work, farmers are not represented enough at the official meeting," he said. "Normally those desks are occupied by the interests of the big agro-alimentary transnational companies and financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that asks for a further liberalisation of the agricultural market, which would foster uncontrolled food price rise."
Across from the FAO headquarters in Rome, farmers have set up a table with empty plates on it to represent world hunger. Demonstrations continue outside the building.
Labels: Random Ridiculousness
Labels: America's Dereliction '08
I was trolling YouTube yesterday and found this vintage film of legendary comedian Dick Gregory talking about the benefits of water and good nutrition in general.
In recent years, Gregory has been a figure in the health food industry, becoming better known as a nutrition guru during the 1980s, advocating for a raw fruit and vegetable diet. Gregory first became a vegetarian in the 1960s, and has lost a considerable amount of weight by going on extreme fasts, some lasting upwards of 50 days. He developed a diet drink called "Bahamian Diet Nutritional Drink" and went on TV shows advocating for his diet and to help the morbidly obese. He is probably best remembered for his attempts, chronicled in the media on daytime talk shows in early 1988, at helping 1,200 pound (540 kg) Long Island man Walter Hudson drop nearly 600 pounds (270 kg) in only a few months on a liquid diet. Mr. Hudson shortly gained the weight back and later died from complications from his extreme obesity. Nonetheless, Gregory claims his diet has kept him in good health and continues to advocate for a natural diet lifestyle.