Archive for May 8th, 2009
The NYT today published an obituary for a deceased American fighter pilot who was captured by the Chinese:
Harold E. Fischer Jr., an American Flier Tortured in a Chinese Prison, Dies at 83…
From April 1953 through May 1955, Colonel Fischer — then an Air Force captain — was held at a prison outside Mukden, Manchuria. For most of that time, he was kept in a dark, damp cell with no bed and no opening except a slot in the door through which a bowl of food could be pushed. Much of the time he was handcuffed. Hour after hour, a high-frequency whistle pierced the air. [...] Under duress, Captain Fischer had falsely confessed to participating in germ warfare.
So – when the Chinese do it it’s torture. When the US do it it’s “harsh interrogation”.
We expect more consistency of our major news organizations. We expect more of our own government.
It’s time to call for a special prosecutor, Mr. Attorney General.
I’d forgotten how refreshingly loud British government debates could be. Prime Minister’s Question Time is a classic opportunity for any MP to question and challenge the Prime Minister directly. I wonder how the US congress or senate would handle such a debate. If CSpan was this much fun, it would be prime time TV.
According to the MPAA the fair use provision in our copyright laws is flawed and needs to be qualified. During the continuing DCMA hearings they have again surfaced the claim that ripping a DVD shouldn’t be allowed, since the teacher can copy the video using a video camera pointed at the TV screen.
That’s as ludicrous as requiring that teachers may only copy from a photocopy, and not from the original book!
They even created a video to demonstrate the process. Anyone concerned about fair use and copyright should be aghast at this blatantly stupid, but well financed, attack on rights. This ‘process’ is not only more cumbersome and time consuming (but teachers have loads of free time, right?) but also significantly more costly (you need a camcorder, tapes, and a tripod – in addition to the equipment you already have).
via [Ars Technica]
video after the fold