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Pigs, lipstick, lies

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A couple of things have happened of late that led me to believe that the once-proud institution of American journalism might shake itself free of its calcified stupor and cover this presidential campaign in a manner befitting a free society. But then the Pig-n-Lipstick Pageant broke out and it's back to breathless junior high whispering for the chattering classes.

Does anyone really believe that Barack Obama would be so stupid as to characterize Sarah Palin as a pig? C'mon. Any truthful review of Obama's comments shows that he was referring to a McCain policy and not his running mate. This is Al Gore sighing, this is John Kerry on a windsurfing board. Another useless diversion from what's actually being said, what's actually at stake.

And it's a shame, cuz one of the recent happenings that has led me to believe that American journalism might be -- might be -- on the way back from wandering in the He-Said-She-Said wilderness is the growing willingess of reporters from major news organizations to call the McCain/Palin campaign out on Gov. Palin's false claim that she opposed the "Bridge to Nowhere."

See, it's important for reporters to not simply be stenographers. It's not enough to report one side's claim, and the other side's response. A good reporter has to determine which party's story falls closest to measurable, objective reality. It's not enought to report, "Republicans today claimed that 2+2=5. Some Democrats disagreed."

A good reporter might conclude that observable reality -- including things like counting, centuries of tradition, and the application of heretofore accepted mathematical theories and practices -- supports the fact that 2+2 does in fact equal 4, and thus, the Democratic position is the correct one.

And pointing out a falsehood and calling it as much is not bias, it's not the "liberal media," it's good journalism.

Even better is the Obama campaign calling out McCain for lying:

"I don't care what they say about me, but I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and swift-boat politics. Enough is enough."

Lies. It's important to say the word. Lies are different than omissions, weasel words, or mistakes. Lying is a deliberate, conscious act.

John Kerry never came out in 2004 and said that Dubya was a liar -- about the war, about wiretapping, about torture, ad nauseam. In fact, he went out of his way during a debate to say he wasn't using that term. And he lost.

Obama is saying it. I hope he doesn't stop now.

And I hope the Pig-n-Lipstick Parade is over in time to talk about real life.

-A

New McCain ad: Obama is a big scary black man who wants to teach your children about sex

 New McCain ad: Obama is a big scary black man who wants to teach your children about sex

Not really sure what to say about this one. It certainly plumbs hitherto unfounded depths of sleaze.

I don't know the particulars of the law in question. I'm looking into it.

-A

UPDATE: The Obama camp responds:

"It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited  political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds.  Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was.  Now we know why."

LATE UPDATE: The law in question was from Obama's time in the Illinois Legislature. The kindergarten sex-ed referenced by the McCain ad amounts to teaching the difference between appropriate and inappropriate touching.

Five reasons to be frightened of Sarah Palin

 1) She's a global warming denier.

2)  She thinks that God likes pipelines,  (h/t Juan Cole)

3) She has a whole lot in common with fundamentalists from other parts of the world.

4) She's a liar.

5) She believes the war in Iraq is God's work.

And there's more, believe me. I didn't even get to reproductive rights yet. Or the strange fetishizing of married teen parents.

Nice to be back

 Was on vacation. It was good.

Some of my KBOO's 40th birthday street party pictures

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Here's some of my pictures from the big fracas on Friday night.

KBOO Party street scene

More at the KBOO Flickr pool.

If you took some pictures and have a Flickr account (or want one), why not add yours to the KBOO pool?

labor day

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for the Old Mole, September 1, 2008

Today is Labor Day. Most nations celebrate Labor day on May first, to commemorate the eight hour work day and the Haymarket riot, while we in the US celebrate instead the less radical date associated with outdoor barbecue and the end of white shoe season.

But this Labor Day, I’m thinking about Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, set in a future American theocracy in which declining fertility has led to assigning still-fertile women the role of designated breeders, or handmaids.

HTTP 0 errors

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Many users submitting playlists, audio, and other forms are getting an error that begins with "An HTTP 0 error..."

If this happens to you please send me an email with the details of the error message and what you were doing when it occured.  Our web develper is actively working on this.  Thanks for your patience.

the war on our minds

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Rape a woman, go to jail.  The woman goes to jail, that is.  Turn to the foreign press to find out what it means for Uncle Sam to be in charge in Afghanistan:

The Independent/ Terri Judd/Afghanistan

"....Two-thirds of the women in Lashkar Gah's medieval-looking jail have been convicted of illegal sexual relations, but most are simply rape victims – mirroring the situation nationwide. The system does not distinguish between those who have been attacked and those who have chosen to run off with a man.

WANNA PLAY & MAKE RADIO? Numbered Entries Below Are Dada/ Surrealist Festival Communications

KBOO is hosting a Dada/Surrealism Festival Aug. 27-31.
It will be titled:
One hundred one hours of innumerable small events which may or may not be related to one another.

The numbered blog entries below are festival group communications including interesting websites you can check out (labeled "SITE"), source information, performance scripts (labeled "TEXT"), and some of the event proposals (labeled "PROP").

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