Monday, December 05, 2005

Megan Weadock

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Recently in one of my classes, we discussed the motivation for the terrorist bombings in Jordan. We had a conference call with the creator of www.clandestineradio.com, an amazing Web site that monitors secret media throughout the world and reports on non-mainstream news each week. Nick Grace, the creator, said the leader of the group claiming responsibility for the Jordan bombings explained the group's motivation in a speech - during which he quoted a Los Angeles Times article! I found this amazing: thanks to new technologies, major U.S. newspapers are available throughout the world and are translated into other languages every day. That part of is cool, because this is a major step forward in world communications and connectivity. This has the ability to bring other countries into the mainstream technological and informational realm. However, it also gives unprecidented power and resources to the bad guys too. In the Lost Angeles Times article, information had been leaked from the CIA that implied Jordan has pledged its assistance to the U.S. in the fight against (not necessarily the war on) terror. So, the leader guy of this Jordan bombing group cited the article to provide justification for the act! It all comes back to their hatred of the U.S. This whole episode is really scary because it proves that terrorists have access to a wealth of information we might not want them to see. But on the other hand, what are media supposed to do: censor themselves in case the terrorists are reading? That may be even worse.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Wow..."Bamboozled" is a pretty amazing film. I actually had chills during the scene in which the actors are putting on their black face for the first time. It was interesting to be experiencing the range of emotions and reactions Spike Lee wanted viewers to experience. Of course, you feel disgust at Dunwitty, who thinks he knows more about being black than a black man because he's married to a black woman, he listens to rap and he collects African figurines. He completely rejects Dela's ideas for shows about normal black people; he only wants stereotypical black shows that portray black people as the entertainers, rappers, gansters, etc. I don't think I look at entertainment media like this, but I'm not sure. What would the world be like if the notion of race had never been fathomed? Pretty different. I also like how "Bamboozled" explores the involvement of Mantan and his friend, who are pretty much only in it for the money. Is Lee saying that black actors, singers, etc help propagate their own stereotypes for a little money here, a little fame there?

Monday, October 17, 2005

I find it so weird and disheartening that people are so apathic about the Pakistan earthquake. It's barely making news, and no one is talking about it on tv or even on campus. The first two weeks of school were all about Katrina, and I haven't even heard a mention of the earthquake in my classes. And now they're thinking 50,000 people may have died! Regardless of where it happened or who it happened to, that's a LOT of people, and doesn't that constitute a newsworthy event, even in North Texas? Maybe CNN.com was right when they polled people about being too fed up with disasters after Katrina and Rita to be interested in the quake. Regardless of the hurricanes, though, if it had happened in California, it would be a different story altogether!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

So we have a new chief justice! John "Whitebread, Ultra-conservative, I hate Roe v. Wade" Roberts. I'm sure young women across the nation are praising Bush tonight. Actually, maybe some are. Maybe they don't really realize the danger their rights are in right now. I think the remaining years of Bush's presidency will see some surprising returns to the pre-1970s. This has already begun in the few states (Texas being one of them!) that gave pharmacists the choice of whether or not to provide patients with the Morning After pill. Some - within Texas - even chose not to give out birth control pills!!! If my pharmacist denied me my birth control, I would throw a FIT! But the fact that ANY woman was denied access to her birth control (denied her freedom to live her life without bringing some poor kid into the world unintentionally) is very, very scary. This conservative slide in regard to sex and birth control (and, in the future, abortion) is limiting women's rights. And now, with a chief justice like Roberts .... I guess we all better stop having sex unless we want to have children, because if some Repubs have their way, there will be no birth control or abortions to fall back on. And, boy, will they be teaching us kids a lesson then!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Did anyone else notice how quick the Texas government was to declare Galveston a state of emergency, evacuate and send supplies? I thought it was hilarious to hear how fast they scrambled to get all this done. No doubt they wanted to avoid any possibility of feeling the wrath the governor of Louisiana, the mayor of New Orleans and Pres. Bush are going to feel. I wonder if some people are going to point to Galveston's preparation for Rita and say, "See, we told you New Orleans was all about race." Of course, it's not like that. The Texas government acted quickly because of the recency of the Katrina debacle and because they know how susceptible Galveston is. Before New Orleans, it was the site of the most deadly natural disaster in America. And what was it? A huge hurricane, of course! And only about a decade later, another one came along to destroy any preventative measures they had taken in Galveston against hurricanes. And today, the area is still capable of being utterly ravaged by storms. So please, no one say that much more attention was paid to the people of Galveston because it has a higher population of white people. Please.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I read in the Dallas Morning News today that terrorist "probes" on airplanes have become increasingly common since 9-11, even though you'd think it would be the other way around. The author said by taking flights and testing what type of behavior is acceptable (and checking out the bathrooms, etc.), terrorists are getting a feel for how strict our security is, what power flight attendants have and how other passengers act. This has really scary implications. So, something like 9-11 could happen again? And if these probes are really going on (and, as the author says, the government knows about them), where's the security failing? Why are people who are on the no-fly list being allowed onto airplanes (as the author says)? Is this an attempt to not discriminate or commit racial profiling? If we face the possibility of more people dying at the hand of terrorists, I think we can manage to be a little less bleeding heart about hurting passengers' feelings by being more strict with security precautions! And if the government really knows about these probes, then why not arrest and question the passengers involved instead of sweeping it under the rug in order to not cause a stir? If we keep having so many obvious problems within our country with security (and emergency response), it will only encourage America-haters to take advantage. In short, we need to get our crap together!