“I’m really sick of reading the pseudo-news that fills newspapers and magazines,” Kragen Sitaker wrote in January 1997. “I read the news because I want to know what is happening in the world; I want the information I need to formulate an informed opinion about the state of the world. Newspapers fall far short.”

Apparently, after 1982, the bottom 40% of the population became significantly richer - about 8.6% — as measured in the Census’s version of constant dollars. And, suddenly, from 1990 to 1992, it dropped precipitously, down to below its 1983 level! And, apparently, it has been rising since about 1993. No news organization gave me an inkling of this. But it’s certainly important information to know if you want to understand the economic reality in the US.
I cannot make informed decisions about the world I live in without such information. I cannot live in such a fact-free environment and have an accurate picture of the world.

He proposed to cover these real stories; unfortunately it never went anywhere.

Writing in the New Yorker, Henrik Hertzberg noted that “Within hours of the [Iraq] war’s beginning, the Cuban government began systematically arresting its nonviolent opponents […] There’s a war on, and Fidel Castro knows it. Absent Iraq, what the Commandante is doing would be front-page news throughout Europe and the Americas; most likely he would not be doing it at all. […] In Zimbabwe last week, hundreds of opponents of the Robert Mugabe regime were arrested or beaten. There is similar news from Belarus, but it is little seen or heard. The fog of war is thick, and it covers the globe.”

I don’t read any of the traditional “news” in this country; the closest I get is watching The Daily Show (Salon apppreciation). The things I do read are listed to the right (just updated the list).

I do get some news from them. Ed Felten has done an excellent job covering “the Super-DMCA”, an MPAA-sponsored bill which, among other things, makes protecting your privacy and watching TV without permission a crime. Amazingly (and sadly), the bill has already been passed in Illinois. I hope it won’t be enforced.

Oddly the MPAA won’t explain why they’re fighting so hard for the bill. One MPAA Vice President said that people opposed to the bill must be “against shoplifting laws that would punish someone from stealing a movie at Blockbuster” and don’t “subscribe to the moral compass this country was founded on”.

I’m back from Japan, I’m just not sure the plane landed on the right planet.

posted April 11, 2003 01:37 PM (Web Memes) #


where are the warmongers?
We’re Going to Japan
Flight Report
Live From Japan
Japanese Oddities
Real News
Illinois’s state “super-DMCA”
Locked in the Trunk
Escaping the Trunk
Cox News
Media Concentration

Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)