Links 7/6/08

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Study: Orangutan populations declining sharply PhysOrg

Italy declares Pompeii emergency BBC

The Spying Started BEFORE September 11 – That’s The Whole POINT Seeing the Forest

FAKE FARC Hostage Election Meddling Elaine Meniel Supkis. Her father was one of the founders of the CIA, so she probably does have some insight here. And while we are on the subject of the CIA, A Coup in Australia and the CIA Econospeak

The Shortage of Low-Paid Journalists Dean Baker

Let’s stop subsidising the production and use of bio-fuels Willem Buiter. Comments on the World Bank paper attributing 65% to 75% of the increase in food prices to biofuels as best he can, given he hasn’t been able to obtain a copy. Useful nevertheless.

Gorbachev: Will the US Become an Empire or a Democracy? Mark Thoma

Iraq is a success if… Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser. A great post.

Antidote du jour. The music is a bit de trop (you can turn the sound down), but the oldie but goodie clip makes up for it:

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  1. Richard Kline

    The fake FARC rescue is a mesmerizing story.

    I have followed the FARC, and the political situation in Colombia for decades: absolutely _nothing_ about the intitial story rang true. It was just bizarre, stank. FARC security is outstanding; they have never suffered a serious operational surprise, or high-level penetration. And the timing: right before the July 4th weekend, loads of favorable media coverage not to mention McCain’s so _NOT_ coincidental presence down south. Now we get a trickle-out that it was totally staged, which is so Rovian that it rings true on first hearing, though to be fair we really need more detail here. But the presentation of this as a ‘glorious rescue’ would be scandalous in any times but our own. Any statement by the present US Administration, even of “The sky is blue” variety, I take as a patently lie until and unless confirmed, and we see here again the reason why.

    It is a good thing that some of the hostages at least are free. Tactically, it has been a major propaganda loser for the FARC to continue to hold these folks, but they were determined to do a hostage swap which Uribe could afford to block. That the FARC settled for straight payment, if true and it sounds true, is a major concession on their part.

    Now, let’s see if the US MSM makes any attempt to follow this up in the coming week. Here’s betting they don’t, not least because it will emphasize how completely and willingly they were conned by the Dubyas.

  2. donna

    I think McCain was planning to get a lot more press out of the FARC rescue. But nobody really seemed to care. It felt staged, obviously staged, to everyone, and we are all so tired of the Iran/Contra/WMD in Iarq/PNAC “we create reality” crap of the neocons that we simply ignore it all these days.

    Except for the 28% ers, the Rovians are done manipulating the American public. We’ve all had it.

  3. Lune

    Here’s a direct link to Dean Baker’s article on low paid journalists (the one in the post leads to Google Reader):

    Actually though, Dean Baker is wrong. There are plenty of low paid journalists. They’re called bloggers. And some of them do much better than the highly paid journalists of the print media (TV media is already a basket case).

    I’ve always felt that the best journalists are experts in a field who happen to be able to write, rather than expert writers who try to familiarize themselves with a field. I can cut through poor writing and still get the gist of an article. But I can’t cut through mistakes in analysis and still get accurate information. I think that’s why good blogs, written by experts in a field rather than “journalists” per se, can be so much better than the mainstream press.

  4. Peripheral Visionary

    “The fake FARC rescue is a mesmerizing story.”

    A mesmerizing story perhaps, but nothing more than that. She cites no sources for her assertions, just some vague claims about some spy friends who might have seen some spy movies once, and based on that and having read a couple of books based on spying are convinced, absolutely convinced, that it’s all a sham!

    The facts are simple: the hostages were the last card the FARC had left in its hand, the hostages are now gone, and the FARC is at the end of the road, with nothing left to protect it from eradication by the Colombian government. No amount of Marxist-sympathy weeping and conspiracy theorizing is going to change that.

    “There are plenty of low paid journalists. They’re called bloggers.”

    Journalists do actual research, they don’t just copy and paste articles written by other people. I appreciate bloggers and their insights, but let’s not confuse them with the people who do the real work.

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