Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Decline and Fall

The Decline and Fall of Public Broadcasting a must-read book by David Barsamian.

In this concise book Barsamian gives an account of the current state of public radio/TV broadcasting in the USA, what it was intended for, how it has been corporatized, the uni-dimensional programming and the resulting lack of political debate and discussion of "controverial" topics. He also gives a historical perspective of broadcasting, the role of the FCC and the media alternatives.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, in his Afterword, quotes Eldridge Cleaver (Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party) ...
Information is the raw material for new ideas; if you give misinformation, you get some pretty fucked-up ideas.

Related books:
The New Media Monopoly, Ben Bagdikan
Tube of Plenty---The Evolution of American Television, Erik Barnouw

from Bagdikan's book ...
These five huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — own most of the newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TV stations, and movie studios of the United States.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

books and toys

Books and Toys, a great site (link via Ashwin) for free books and toys. A huge collection of downloadable English, Hindi and Marathi books and ideas for toys from day-today objects. An awesome initiative by Arvind Gupta and his colleagues.

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TAKEOVER!, Students U.S.A mobilize for the 90's, documents from the the movement. The e-book (courtesy Mike) is about the student movement at University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1989-90, against defense funded research and to defend abortion rights. In my opinion, should be required reading for all new students!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chomsky interview

Noam Chomsy and Thomas Ricks talk about the war in Iraq and the Middle East situation on Open Source Radio.

MP3 link of the show is here.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


An essay on patriotism, Patriotism: A menace to liberty, by Emma Goldman.
Conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. [...] Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.


A must-watch video of a short interview of British MP George Galloway on SkyNews. He is commmenting on the situation in the Middle East. (link sent by Swati)

Robert Fisk on the Middle East ceasefire---

Jaideep Hardikar reports on the continued crisis in Vidarbha---

Friday, August 11, 2006


Arrogance and Impunity - Coca-Cola in India, by Amit Srivastava.

"Give us a price, not a package" and A 'final' note on credit, P. Sainath reports farmers reactions to the "relief packages" and its effects (the latest package was announced about a month back).

Ye Dil Maange No More!, Tejal's post on the pesticide and the large issues with Coke and Pepsi in India.

Destruction, Death, And Drastic Measures, Dahr Jamail reports from Damascus, Syria.

Monday, August 07, 2006

on the UN resolution on Lebanon

UN Resolution On Lebanon: Blueprint For Intensified War And Colonial Occupation.
It is deliberately written in such a provocative manner as to ensure its rejection not only by Hezbollah, but by the Lebanese government itself. Not a single Lebanese grievance is addressed. What it demands, essentially, is that Hezbollah enter a suicide pact with its enemies and that Lebanon accepts its transformation into a semi-colony.
The aim is to provide prior justification for the continued massacre of the Lebanese people. The inevitable mantra that will be played out by government officials and in the mass media in the days and weeks ahead will be that bleeding Lebanon has only itself to blame for its suffering, because it would not accept “peace.”
The criminality and cynicism of Washington’s diplomacy found clearest expression in Secretary of State Rice’s explanation of why the war against Lebanon can be expected to go on for weeks more, with Washington’s approval. “We’re trying to deal with a problem that has been festering and brewing in Lebanon now for years and years and years, and so it’s not going to be solved by one resolution in the Security Council,” she declared.
This “festering” problem is not, in the eyes of Washington, the continuous Israeli seizure of land and use of military force against neighboring Arab countries, the plight of the Palestinians expelled from their homeland and subjected to decades of occupation or Israel’s constant flouting of international law and United Nations resolution. On the contrary, the problem is the failure of Israel’s 18-year occupation to defeat the Lebanese masses and the emergence of a powerful resistance movement. This is what Washington now proposes to crush by military force as part of its drive to assert US hegemony over the entire Middle East.

Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal, winner of the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership, talks about the RTI movement, it's formidable power and the proposed ammendments.
Firstly, I would like to clarify that the award does not belong to me – it belongs to the entire RTI movement and every RTI activist in the country. I am happy that the world has responded so positively to the RTI movement in India. Though sadly, the Indian government is all set to kill it through amendments, which it proposes to pass shortly in the Parliament, with disastrous effects on transparency, which had just made its presence felt in the country. I have procured the copy of these amendments and if it is passed by the Parliament, then it will practically kill the RTI movement in our country.

Friday, August 04, 2006

middle east

  • U.S. to supply food with one hand, arms with other.
  • Fuel running out at Beirut Medical Center, Israel continues fuel blockade and rest of world watches! Did you hear this on TV?
  • Hundreds of thousands rally in Iraq against the war in Lebanon.
  • 300,000 Lebanese children displaced.
  • In fresh strikes, Israel kills 28, Hezbollah 4.

today on Democracy Now!

Three stories from today's Democracy Now! ---
  • Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of War Crimes for indiscriminately targeting Lebanese civilians.
  • Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land: Documentary examines US media coverage of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.
  • Is America Watching a Different War? American, Lebanese and Israeli panel on how the US media is covering the invasion of Lebanon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


The arguing India, Amartya Sen on why democracy doesn't belong to the West, the fallacy of the "moderate" Muslim, India's atheist tradition, and other contentions, in the California Magazine.

Perils of Israel model, Praful Bidwai on why following the Israel model is a recipe for disaster and for courting more insecurity and making citizens more vulnerable to terrorist violence.

Kaala Colas

CSEIndia releases results of its second study in three years on the high pesticide levels in soft drinks.
More articles on the same here and here.
The latest CSE study is based on tests conducted on 57 samples of 11 soft drink brands from 25 different manufacturing plants of Coca-Cola and Pepsico, spread over 12 States.
The report indicated the presence of an average of three to five different pesticides in all the samples, 24 times higher than the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms, which have been finalised but not yet notified.
The levels in some samples — for instance, Coca-Cola bought in Kolkata — exceeded the BIS standards by 140 times for the deadly pesticide Lindane, a confirmed carcinogen.

Previous posts on Kaala Colas: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5