Rush Limbaugh has apparently eaten all $250 million he is being paid, causing acute mental distress to the point that when he looks at Tom Daschle he sees the devil. If you read the transcript of his show without knowing what it was you might think it was the ravings of an insane homeless person.
I like how the The Guardian has 'Special Report: Globalisation' heading its article on the beatings and torture meted out by the Italian police (actually, the Carabiniere, a military, and not a police, corps) in Genoa, rightly tying the issue of globalism to the violence of the government. The Italians have to realize that they can't elect a quasi-fascist government and expect that it won't let its quasi-fascist military/police force loose to do its worst. The sociopaths that run these kind of organizations are just itching to have the opportunity to show off their muscle. Why does Italy, a democratic country, have an army unit as its main police force?
This is a very lively and funny review of the life of Mortimer Adler. I particularly liked the term 'bad-books education'. There is something fundamentally totalitarian in Adler's philosophy of education.
James Howard Hatfield, author of the suppressed book about Bush, "Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President", has (ahem) 'killed himself'. What better proof could there be of the veracity of the book?
Mel Lastman, mayor of Toronto, got into all sorts of trouble for a remark about being in Africa and finding himself in a pot of boiling water surrounded by dancing natives. Only weeks later, a Nigerian man has won an appeal from a Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board decision that he should be deported. The appeal was won on the basis that he feared that a return to Nigeria would mean he would have to join a cult that practices human sacrifice and cannibalism. A new refugee panel must now consider whether the Nigerian man can remain in Canada, and I recommend that he call Mel as a witness.
Just what did the geniuses who run Adobe think they were going to get out of sicking the feds on Sklyarov? There is no imaginable advantage to Adobe, as its dispute is with a Russian corporation. This whole issue seems to be a petty personal vendetta of certain executives of Adobe, a vendetta which is going to turn around and bite Adobe on the ass. People now want to boycott Adobe. Any shareholder of Adobe should be able to see that the executives of Adobe are using a silly and hopefully unconstitutional law to vent their own personal squabbles at the expense of the corporation and its shareholders, and should get rid of their shares until the persons responsible at Adobe are identified and fired.
I suppose that Dmitri Sklyarov naively felt that he was leaving the vestiges of Stalinism behind when he came to the United States to give a presentation on decrypting the software used to protect electronic books. Little did he realize that the mere hint of a threat to monopolist control over the capital in intellectual property would bring Stalin back to life in Las Vegas. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is the most obvious evidence that large corporations have given up even the slightest pretense that human beings have any rights in the United States.
Thoughts on Beijing and the Olympics: 1) Avoiding having to host a bunch of organized criminals running a bunch of drug bunnies around various types of tracks for the purposes of marketing the junk of transnational corporations is the best luck Toronto has had in years; 2) What will happen when Bush and the U. S. oligarchs arrange a war between China and Taiwan in, say, March 2004, for the purposes of getting Bush reelected and hugely inflating military spending?; and 3) Despite the efforts of Toronto Mayor "Cannibal Treat" Lastman's many apologists, it is clear that his racist remarks did have an effect on Toronto losing the Olympics. Many rich developers and businessmen have lost the chance to soak the taxpayers of Canada, Ontario, and Toronto for hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, and they won't be happy with Mayor Mel.
If the White House is writing the news and supplying it to the press in advance of the events described in the news, the independent press is nothing more than a PR firm acting for the White House. Obviously, the state of
Cheney's health makes everyone nervous, especially as he is thought of as the acting President (imagine what the stock markets would do if Cheney suddenly died, and how this would reflect on Bush). This nervousness is no excuse for a controlled press. This whole thing reminds me of the rumour that a New Zealand newspaper had published an edition containing details of Lee Harvey Oswald before he had been caught and identified in Dallas! (Speaking of Cheney, he's become so nonchalant about heart surgery that he'll probably end up getting a heart transplant on an out-patient basis - in for a change at 9 a. m., and back to work after lunch.)
For all intents and purposes, Serbia has sold Milosevic to NATO for the promise of future aid. Some find this to be a bad precedent, but given these days of turbo-capitalism where everything has a price, perhaps we should get with the program and establish an international market for politicians. Many countries sheltering nasty old rulers need money. and would probably be glad to trade the politicians for aid. The problem will be establishing a market for people living in rich countries. What would the United States get for Henry Kissinger? What would Saudi Arabia get for Idi Amin? What would Japan get for Fujimoro? Perhaps countries could get some form of credit at an international tribunal which could be used to pay for the nasty politicians that they wish to have tried. If the United States wanted to have bin Laden tried, they could work out a deal to trade him for Kissinger, or someone equally nasty (the United States has plenty of nasty politicians to trade). A 'free market' could determine how many of one country's nasty politicians would have to be traded in to get the particular one it wanted to have tried. Someone of Kissinger's ilk would be very valuable.