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October 08, 2005
Otherwise Read

A Question for Journalists: How Do We Cover Penguins and the Politics of Denial? by Bill Moyers

I don't fit neatly into the job description of an environmental journalist although I have kept returning to the beat ever since my first documentary on the subject some 30 years ago. That was a story about how the new Republican governor of Oregon, Tom McCall, had set out to prove that the economy and the environment could share the center lane on the highway to the future.

Those were optimistic years for the emerging environmental movement. Rachel Carson had rattled the cage with Silent Spring and on the first Earth Day in 1970 twenty million Americans rose from the grassroots to speak for the planet. Even Richard Nixon couldn't say no to so powerful a subpoena by public opinion, and he put his signature to some far-reaching measures for environmental protection.

Nowadays, of course, 20 million people is merely a "focus group" to be ignored at a Presidential whim.

It's something to be a worse President than Richard Nixon, I guess.


Making Sense of the Miers Nomination

George W. Bush's nomination of his personal lawyer, Harriet Miers, to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is causing conservatives as well as liberals to scratch their heads. But the choice might make sense if Bush's primary goal is protecting his administration from criminal and other legal liabilities, rather than changing constitutional law on social issues like abortion.

And, if anyone still cares, revelations of possible media covering-up of '04 election shenanigans.


Delphi execs get severance boost

With reports circulating that Delphi Corp. could file for bankruptcy as early as today, the company promised about 21 of its top executives Friday that they'd get more money if they are fired or laid off.

[. . . .]

But the richer benefits for top executives were just another insult to many of the company's blue-collar workers, who found out Thursday that the company wants to cut their pay as much as 63% and reduce health care and retirement benefits.


'N.Y. Times' Scooped Again, This Time on Miller's Notes

What on earth has happened to the NYTimes?


Webmaster for site with Iraqi corpse pics accused of obscenity

No matter how you look at it, they arrested him because of the Iraq war photos, not because of the other photos on his website.

And, as long as we're talking about atrocities committed in Iraq, it looks like there's going to be a book.


Over at Slate, I took a look at the "Today's Papers" section and ran across this gem:

The NYT reefers a look at how former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton still have not decided how they are going to distribute the more than $108 million they have raised to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The presidents also haven't distributed the $10.7 million that was sent directly to their offices during the tsunami fundraising effort.



Patrick Doherty kicks The Center for American Progress in the teeth with "Un-Strategic Redeployment."

I just read the Center for American Progress' latest foreign policy offering, "Strategic Redeployment," and I am simply angry at the shortsightedness and cynicism. Far from being a progressive plan for Iraq, this 10-page report is a masterful revival of the same myopic foreign policy thinking that lost John Kerry the election in 2004. This time, it will be at the cost of a million Iraqi lives and continued GOP dominance in Congress. We must do better and we can.

Me, I don't know who's right. I agree with Doherty that Iraq is on the verge of a civil war. I don't think keeping 100,000+ USofA soldiers there is the way to prevent it.


And, finally, where on earth are the N. Mariana Islands and why are they in the USofA's Clean Water State Revolving Fund?

Ahhh, I see. They're a territory of ours.

Under US administration as part of the UN Trust Territory of the Pacific, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands decided in the 1970s not to seek independence but instead to forge closer links with the US. Negotiations for territorial status began in 1972. A covenant to establish a commonwealth in political union with the US was approved in 1975. A new government and constitution went into effect in 1978.

I'm just thinking...if they're a territory of ours, shouldn't I have heard of them before?

Maybe I just wasn't reading stories like this one closely enough.

Posted by AnneZook at 04:40 PM


We got the Marianas after WWII, I believe. They were colonies of Germany before WWI, League of Nations Mandate territories administed by Japan between the wars, and semi-autonomous territories under US administration since. The population is very small.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at October 8, 2005 05:46 PM

With all due respect to Parry, on the Miers nomination, I got there first. It's nice to see that I'm not the only person who's figured it out, though.

Posted by: Ahistoricality at October 8, 2005 05:48 PM

Jonathan - I think it's cool we have islandes I never heard of. Maybe I'll win the lottery and retire there.

Ahistoricality - I should have linked to your post. (Taken care of in a later entry.)

Posted by: Anne at October 10, 2005 08:54 PM