Archive for January, 2005

More Media Payola

Posted in Media Watch on January 29, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>Apparently the Bush administration is taking literally the idea of selling its policies to  the American people by targeting key pundits and bribing them for their support.  Columnist Mike McManus is the latest to be found out.  <a href="">According to CNN</a>, <font color="#ffff00">&quot;<strong><font size="2">The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday that a third conservative columnist was paid to assist in promoting a Bush administration policy.&quot;</font></strong></font>  McManus joins <a href="">Armstrong Williams</a> and <a href="">Maggie Gallagher </a>as pundits receiving administration payola.</p><p>Personally, I can think of better ways to spend tax-payer money than bribing columnists.  How about putting some money behind your &quot;No Child Left Behind&quot; initiative, rather than paying Armstrong Williams nearly a quarter-million dollars to support his flawed policy.</p>

Ending tyranny?

Posted in Media Watch on January 24, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>In President Bush's<a href=""> inaugural address</a> he states the following:</p><p><font color="#ffff00">&quot;The great objective of ending tyranny is the concentrated work of generations. The difficulty of the task is no excuse for avoiding it. America's influence is not unlimited, but fortunately for the oppressed, America's influence is considerable, and we will use it confidently in freedom's cause. &quot;</font></p><p>How about ending corporate tyranny right here in this country?  How can we battle tyranny in other countries, when we permit working conditions that are similar to those at the turn of the century, as described by Upton Sinclair in <em><a href="">The Jungle.</a></em> Christopher Cook's wonderful book, &quot;<a href="">Diet for a Dead Planet&quot;</a> describes how immigrant workers working in the meat packing industry are denied bathroom breaks and suffer repetitive motion problems at high rates due to excessive line speeds that are set by the <a href="">USDA</a>.  Other problems such as contaminated meat also result from this.  So, hey Bush!  Slow the lines down!</p>

"Math is hard", Barbie

Posted in Sexist pigs on January 20, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>Here we go again!  Derrick Jackson summarizes Harvard President, <font color="#ffff00">Lawrence Summers</font>'s recent bungling in his <a href="">Boston Globe editorial</a>.  Summers suggests that under representation of women in science and engineering may be due to women's innate lack of ability or willingness to work hard. Gee, I wonder why Harvard has so few tenured women professors!?  Can you say &quot;class action law suit&quot;?  I am a professor in computer science and information technology at a small university, and I am frustrated by how few women attempt to major in either discipline.  I understand the social dynamics that steer women to other majors.  Despite these influences some sciences have made spectacular advances, like the biological sciences.  There is a significant research suggesting how we as teachers can make our disciplines more appealing to women.  For computer science, may I suggest:  <a href="">&quot;Unlocking the Clubhouse, Women in Computing&quot;</a> by Jane Margolis and Allan Fisher, which documents Carnegie Mellon's increase in women's enrollment.  CMU went from 8%  women in 1995 to 42% women in 2000.  Brilliant!</p>

Scare tactics again!?

Posted in Social Security Watch on January 17, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>Here we go again.  The Bush administration is trying to use scare tactics to rally people behind his Social Security privatization scheme:</p><p><a title="Scare tactics" href="">Democrats and AARP officials say the administration is using fear tactics to push through a program that they say will benefit only private investment banks -- to the tune of $2 trillion. Bob Jackson, AARP's North Carolina state director, said his organization is gearing up for &quot;the fight of our lives.&quot;</a> <font color="#00cc66">*</font></p><p>Somehow the Bush administration convinced many of the American people that Iraq posed a threat to <strong>OUR </strong>safety.  Saddam was clearly a threat to the Iraqi people, but I believe many Americans feared for their own safety by erroneously associating Iraq with 9/11/01.   Please do not fall for his latest campaign of disinformation.</p><p><sup><font color="#00cc66">* If you are asked to login in - simply delete your cookies to view the article without login.</font></sup></p>

Am I crazy?!

Posted in Media Watch on January 13, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p>In the January 11 edition of the Boston Globe I was struck by the unbelievable level of irony posed by a pair of articles.  The first article, <font color="#ffff00">&quot;4 fired at CBS for report on Bush&quot;</font>, discusses how four high-level CBS employees were fired for their handling of the 60 Minutes piece concerning George W. Bush's service record.  The second article, <font color="#ffff00">&quot;Despite false claim, his star rises&quot;</font> discusses how <font color="#ffff00">Robert G. Joseph</font> insisted that Bush make the claim that Saddam Hussein was seeking uranium for nuclear weapons, and now he is likely to become undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.  </p><p>The irony stems from the consequences of each group/person's laxity of fact checking.  In the case of Joseph, tens of thousands of innocent lives have been lost and hundreds of billions of dollars squandered as a result of the war with Iraq, so he is being promoted.  In the case of CBS, their journalistic integrity has suffered, but Bush was still reelected, and they are being fired.</p>

WorldCom in the media

Posted in Media Watch on January 12, 2005 by Blog Admin

<p><span class="date">January 6, 2005</span> · <a href=""><font color="#ffffff">NPR's Madeleine Brand</font></a> talks to Tess Vigeland of <i>Marketplace</i> about the latest turn in the WorldCom accounting scandal. Ten former WorldCom board members reportedly have agreed to pay millions of dollars <strong><font color="#ffff00">out of their own pockets</font></strong> to settle some pending lawsuits.</p><p>Using the phrase, &quot; out of their own pockets&quot;,  has a similar effect as saying &quot;out of the goodness of their hearts&quot;.  The money was effectively stolen from employees and investors, so a phrase reflecting that should be used.  For example, I would say WorldCom board members are agreeing to repay some small portion of investors' money.<!-- end center column --><!-- start resources in center column --><noindex /></p>