Obama has a big speech tonight. He has quite a bit of history to “beat”:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”²
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
Texas once again led the nation with the highest percentage of residents without health insurance, a U.S. Census Bureau report showed Tuesday, although the same study also reports a slight dip last year in the percentage without coverage across the nation.
Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain’s health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)
“So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime,” Mr. Goodman said. “The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.
“So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.”
But doctored photographs are the least of our worries. If you want to trick someone with a photograph, there are lots of easy ways to do it. You don’t need Photoshop. You don’t need sophisticated digital photo-manipulation. You don’t need a computer. All you need to do is change the caption.
[The photographs presented by Colin Powell at the United Nations in 2003 provide several examples. Photographs that were used to justify a war. And yet, the actual photographs are low-res, muddy aerial surveillance photographs of buildings and vehicles on the ground in Iraq. I’m not an aerial intelligence expert. I could be looking at anything. It is the labels, the captions, and the surrounding text that turn the images from one thing into another.
Photographs presented by Colin Powell at the United Nations in 2003. (U.S. Department of State)
Powell was arguing that the Iraqis were doing something wrong, knew they were doing something wrong, and were trying to cover their tracks. Later, it was revealed that the captions were wrong. There was no evidence of chemical weapons and no evidence of concealment.
Reinterpretation of photographs presented by Colin Powell, by Daniel Mooney.
There is a larger point. I don’t know what these buildings were really used for. I don’t know whether they were used for chemical weapons at one time, and then transformed into something relatively innocuous, in order to hide the reality of what was going on from weapons inspectors. But I do know that the yellow captions influence how we see the pictures. “Chemical Munitions Bunker” is different from “Empty Warehouse” which is different from “International House of Pancakes.” The image remains the same but we see it differently.
Change the yellow labels, change the caption and you change the meaning of the photographs. You don’t need Photoshop. That’s the disturbing part. Captions do the heavy lifting as far as deception is concerned. The pictures merely provide the window-dressing. The unending series of errors engendered by falsely captioned photographs are rarely remarked on.
Don’t forget BS like the Tuvia Grossman incident, where the Associated Press put out a photo in which a big, mean, ugly looking Israeli cop in full body armor, screaming and waving a club, stood over a frail looking young man covered in blood sitting on the ground.
The caption read simply “An Israeli policeman and a Palestinian on the Temple Mount”.
Clearly this big hulking brute had been beating this poor defenseless Palestinian and was now threatening the photographer- the Guardian of Truth and Social Justice in a World Gone Mad- against taking a picture of this brutal act.
What actually happened was (according to Wikipedia):
On the eve of Rosh Hashanah 2000, Grossman hailed a taxi with two friends to visit the Western Wall. When the driver took a shortcut through the Arab neighborhood of Wadi Al-Joz, a mob of about 40 Arabs surrounded the taxi, smashed the windows, and dragged Grossman out, whereupon they beat him. The mob kicked him repeatedly, stabbed him once in the leg, and then pounded his head with rocks. Grossman managed to run to a nearby gas station, where he collapsed, and an Israeli policeman wielding a club protected him, threatening the mob. This was when the infamous picture was taken, by some freelance photographers who were at the gas station, of Grossman bleeding and crouched under the policeman, who is shouting and waving his club.
How do we know this?
His dad wrote a letter to the New York Times complaining about them running a photo implicating the police officer who had likely saved his son’s life with some horrific if unspecified act.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Haiti from the Dominican republic-Haiti border westward to le mole St. Nicholas. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.
Check out the prediction:
The storm is expected to reach New Orleans on Monday, the same day President Bush is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention and just in time for the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Great timing!
“Candidate McCain says he’d vote against the immigration bill Senator McCain wrote. (pause) Talk about being for it before you were against it! Before he debates Barack Obama, John McCain needs to finish the debate with himself.”
– who else but John Kerry
Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can’t drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards, including the ones he can’t even remember.
– Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer
Earlier this month a group of pharmacists and chemists published a study in which they found that cannabis is a source of antibacterial chemicals for multidrug resistant bacteria. If you are a pharmacists or chemist here is the actual study. A synopsis of the study for everyone else.
If the pro/anti marijuana argument was a rational argument, it would’ve been resolved decades ago. Which brings to mind a recent comment from one of Canada’s top Conservative “thinkers” (a cabinet minister, I think) on the topic of safe injection sites (for heroin users) in Vancouver’s deep, dark Downtown Eastside:
“Rest assured, the final decision on this issue will not be based on science alone.”
Oh ya, did I mention that this thing shoots video?!
The FBI has arrested a 27-year-old American blogger for leaking some unreleased Guns N’ Roses tunes to the internet.
According to The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times, the Feds cuffed Culver City, California’s Kevin Cogill on Wednesday morning, two months after his web site Antiquiet served up nine tunes from “Chinese Democracy” – an album Axl Rose and various other people have been dawdling over for more than a decade.
Clearly, an online “Chinese Democracy” leak poses a serious threat to Guns N’ Roses and its label, Geffen Records. If web surfers actually hear the unreleased album, the mix n’ match band can no longer maintain the illusion that it isn’t complete shite. ®
FBI and Geffen Records to be applauded for their attempts to contain this tripe, hopefully they will now realize the danger and burn the master tapes too.
A propaganda war, that is:
Soldiers at war rarely write magazine stories. But on July 13, 2007, a 24-year-old army private named Scott Thomas Beauchamp who had been serving in Iraq for about 10 months published a short, pseudonymous essay in the New Republic magazine that created a media firestorm.