Saturday, June 27, 2009

iran momentum

i had not mobilized myself to the street in support of the opposition in iran, as generally that is not my M.O., but had decided to do so...unfortunately the rally i was to attend tomorrow was canceled. i think this points to the gradual waning of the collective attention to this issue. not only have the authorities effectively limited dissent in iran, but other events continue in the US and elsewhere, and sadly peoples attention spans are short. it would have been good to participate in something last week, but i have at least kept myself informed on events, and at the very least have learned a great deal about iran that i may have not otherwise.

the nytimes discusses, as i'm sure others have, what are the next steps for the opposition movement. with protests suppressed, i think a general strike and some political machinations need to occur. but time will tell how things change. i pray that the voices of those opposed to repression are heard.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

as if my disheartenment at the MSM couldn't go any further

today was a banner day for the MSM. CBS selectively edits (very unethically) an exchange between Billy Graham and Nixon from the Watergate tapes. Dana Milbank writes a ridiculous and fact-short article (when did he become such a self-important, snarky, pompous dick?). jonathan weisman, who didn't win me over at the WaPo, has an above the fold piece for the WSJ (a poor one at that). and i'm also reminded that john solomon landed as an editor at the washington times (AP -> WaPo -> WashTimes: not so hot).

i have been left yearning for so long for a halfway decent source of comprehensive news, and it looks like the possibility of finding one gets dimmer by the day. the NYT is barely adequate, the WaPo is very questionable, it seems the WSJ has lowered their standards (aside from the above, editing, a highlight of their work, was cut significantly by Murdoch, and there seems to be other things i need to catch up on), and the FT doesn't have an adequate American presence.

someday i can't get all their news from blogs.

Monday, June 22, 2009

i've been too busy reading to say anything worthwhile (i did post a few things on facebook), but a couple thoughts:

from huffpo live-blogging (monday 6/22):

5:20 PM ET -- A word about the past two days. In ordinary times, the violence in the streets on Sunday and Monday would have been shocking. But compared to Saturday's massive outpouring, the turnout of demonstrators has been significantly smaller. There is a good reason for it.

Over the past week, the reformist rallies that have succeeded were those scheduled days in advance, with turnout aided by massive word-of-mouth promotion. Today's mourning rally for Neda, on the other hand, was announced only this morning on Karroubi's social networking sites. In the midst of a near-complete media and technological blackout, these large demonstrations need time to develop.

It's virtually impossible for anyone to gauge whether there is a petering off of intensity among demonstrators, who now know they face incredible risks if they show up in the streets. But the last two days should not be used to argue that the unrest has dampened. The reformists are organizing another major demonstration for Thursday, and a national strike is set to begin by tomorrow or Wednesday. Those will be far better guides to how Iranians are reacting to the government's campaign of repression.

and from the daily beast, via the lede, live blogging on monday as well:

On the Web site The Daily Beast, an Iranian university student explains that, in his family, the video has exposed the deep rift in the way younger Iranians look outside the state-run media for the truth, while their parents and grandparents may not. Telmah Parsa writes:

more soon as soon as i have the time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

a prelude to a post: a snap from iran, mama

something else coming on the iranian elections and their aftermath, to which i have been absolutely riveted.

but for now, this was really interesting. the words below are quoting a guns n' roses song. a stark illusion to the love/hate relationship much of the world has with America. in particular, they often hate our government, but love our culture (at least parts). i often find myself in the same boat.

credit: Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

these are our leaders

the intersection of politics and new media has produced some interesting results, as TPM has documented. but grassley takes the cake. his tweets aren't merely akin to a 13-year's like a 13-year old hybridized with a senile senator, who is excited like a puppy dog about this new fangled technology. a sample below, but read the whole bit.

Yesterday, Grassley told President Obama via Twitter that "you got nerve" for telling Congress to deliver on health care, while Obama himself was "sightseeing in Paris:"

Pres Obama you got nerve while u sightseeing in Paris to tell us"time to deliver" on health care. We still on skedul/even workinWKEND.

an open letter to eMusic

eMusic has recently almost doubled their prices, in tandem with an expansion of their download catalog. here is my email to their customer service, expressing my dissatisfaction:

I am really disappointed with the new pricing structure of eMusic. Under the new scheme, the price of each download will increase from $.25 per song to $.40 per song, under my current plan. Frankly I think this is pretty ridiculous considering other services like iTunes are lowering their prices.

I understand eMusic's desire to broaden their customer base by offering more mainstream music. But I, like most other eMusic customers, do not subscribe to this service for these types of offerings. And, sadly, I have a sneaking suspicion that by making your offerings more mainstream, you will neglect the more niche offerings to which most people on eMusic are attuned.

An obvious solution is to have a tiered pricing system, similar to that adopted by iTunes, that places a premium on more popular works. This would keep eMusic a more viable place for smaller artists, for which demand for their work may be more price elastic.

The previous comments are predicated on the idea that the new music you are offering costs more, which is why you are raising your prices. If the price increase is not simply designed to offset higher acquisition costs on your end, but also allows for an increase in artist royalties from downloads, than that is a different story.

I will say that unless a tiered pricing structure is implemented, or if the album pricing system does not provide a significant cost savings, I will probably cancel my eMusic subscription after a few months of the new system. I enjoy and appreciate your service but there are number of issues, most of all the rise in prices, that I find discouraging about the new arrangement.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

once again, ladies and gentleman, it's our 24 hour news culture

leave it to jon to hold their feet to the fire

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
"i" on News
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

to answer my previous question

in reading the wikipedia entry concerning my last post, it became pretty obvious that canseco was in fact juicing while on the simpsons, given his on-set behavior. or as it were, in the recording booth, which included intimidating the writers and demanding different lines that made him more "heroic." yeesshh