Media perspective
Jun 29th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Spinning…When a President who Seeks Dictatorial Powers in an Illegal Move is Removed by the Congress and by the Supreme Court, is it a “Military Coup”?.

The media discussion of events in Honduras is remarkably confused. Here’s CNN:

The president of the U.N. General Assembly scheduled a noon session Monday to discuss the situation in Honduras, following a military-led coup that ousted the sitting president.


Micheletti, the head of Congress, became president after lawmakers voted by a show of hands to strip Zelaya of his powers, with a resolution stating that Zelaya “provoked confrontations and divisions” within the country.


The coup came on the same day that he had vowed to follow through with a nonbinding referendum that the Honduran Supreme Court had ruled illegal.

Imagine that George Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or some other American president had decided to overturn the Constitution so that he could stay in power beyond the constitutionally limited time. To do that, he orders a nationwide referendum that is not constitutionally authorized and blatantly illegal. The Federal Election Commission rules that it is illegal. The Supreme Court rules that it is illegal. The Congress votes to strip the president of his powers and, as members of Congress are not that good at overcoming the president’s personally loyal and handpicked bodyguards, they send police and military to arrest the president. Now, which party is guilty of leading a coup?

This is another example of populist, dictatorial, anti-democratic thought parading as “democratic.” I discuss the issue in my recent lecture on enduring democracy in New Delhi.


The answer is “yes,” if the would-be dictator is a socialist and the mainstream media is reporting.

Cassandra syndrome
Jun 24th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

What It’s Like To Be a Libertarian.

A bit self-pitying for my taste, but the gist is spot-on.

[The Agitator]

If you’d like a taste of what it feels like to be a libertarian, try telling people that the incoming Obama Administration is advocating precisely those aspects of FDR’s New Deal that prolonged the great depression for a decade; that propping up failed and failing ventures with government money in order to save jobs in the present merely shifts resources from relatively more to relatively less productive uses, impedes the corrective process, undermines the economic growth necessary for recovery, and increases unemployment in the long term; and that any “economic” stimulus package will inexorably be made to serve political rather than economic ends, and see what kind of reaction you get. And trust me, it won’t feel any better five or ten years from now when everything you have just said has been proven true and Obama, like FDR, is nonetheless revered as the savior of the country.

Kodachrome cancellation
Jun 22nd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Kodachrome Ends 74-Year Run.

HaasroseBy Ernst Haas

Eastman Kodak announced this morning that it will cease the manufacture of Kodachrome this year.

Celebrated in song (literally!) and story, Kodachrome is the oldest film in production and the longest-lived film product in the entire history of photography. Developed by Leopold Godowsky and Leopold Mannes (known as “God and Man” within Kodak) in 1935, Kodachrome had exceptionally low contrast (a good thing in a transparency film) and an inimitably rich, beautiful color palette. For decades it was by far the best color material extant. Among other things, for many years around mid-century it relegated families to long sessions in darkened rooms with a slide projector and a screen, the best way people had of showing each other their vacation and birthday party pictures. Many leading photographers even today, including Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, and Steve McCurry, did much of their important early work on Kodachrome.

However, it is inherently slow and very difficult to manufacture, and devilishly intricate to process. Only one lab in the world is currently processing it—Dwayne’s in Kansas, USA. The best article about Kodachrome was published in Popular Photography and reprinted in the book The Best of Popular Photography. (I should be able to provide issue and page number, but I can’t seem to put my hands on it.) Many film users—including avowed Kodachrome fans—have moved away from it in recent years. It currently accounts for less than 1% of Kodak’s shrinking film sales.

It might have been ’97 or ’98 that I first wrote about the coming demise of Kodachrome, in the pages of Photo Techniques, at the time Kodak suspended in-house processing services. If memory serves, however, Kodak promised back then to continue manufacturing the film for at least ten more years. It kept that promise.

GodandmanGod and Man, inventors of Kodachrome. I own a large dye transfer print of this picture, but I’ve never been sure who was who. I think Godowsky is at the piano. (Thanks to Helen Bach.)

This end was inevitable, but it was certainly a fine long run! Not for nothing is the press around the world this morning calling Kodachrome “one of the iconic products of the 20th century.”

Bravo to God, Man, Kodachrome, Kodak, and “those nice, bright colors.” R.I.P.


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[The Online Photographer]

Kodachrome is my favorite color film. The patent for it has to be long-expired by now, so maybe we’ll get lucky and someone else will start making it (under a different name), the way that Fuji makes Polaroid film.

Seen on a bumper sticker: Bewa…
Jun 17th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Seen on a bumper sticker: Beware of invisible cows.

This sounds familiar
Jun 16th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

NASA To Trigger Massive Explosion On the Moon In Search of Ice. Hugh Pickens writes “NASA is preparing to launch the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, which will fly a Centaur rocket booster into the moon, triggering a six-mile-high explosion that scientists hope will confirm whether water is frozen in the perpetual darkness of craters near the moon’s south pole. If the spacecraft launches on schedule at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday, it will hit the moon in the early morning hours of October 8 after an 86-day Lunar Gravity-Assist, Lunar Return Orbit that will allow the spacecraft time to complete its two-month commissioning phase and conduct nearly a month of science data collection of polar crater measurements before colliding with the moon just 10 minutes behind the Centaur.” (Continues, below.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Somebody better warn Moonbase Alpha

@sethdill It’s copper
Jun 10th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

@sethdill It’s copper

Great name for a pet-related app
Jun 5th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

KennettNet intros Clarus 1.0 pet manager. KennettNet has released the first version of Clarus. The application is used to manage a variety of pet-related documents, including veterinary bills, expense receipts, and insurance or medical records. The software can also generate posters for missing pets, complete with photos, details and reward information…. [The Macintosh News Network]

Long-time Mac users will remember that Clarus was the name of the famous dogcow.

Quote of the Day
Jun 5th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.

River Tam

Totally predictable outcome
Jun 3rd, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Warrantless surveillance lawsuit thrown out. companion photo for Warrantless surveillance lawsuit thrown out

Federal district judge Vaughn Walker has rejected lawsuits that aimed to hold telecommunications companies accountable for their role in a controversial warrantless surveillance program that was orchestrated in secret by the federal government. The Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union are preparing to appeal the dismissal.

The warrantless surveillance program is one the more contentious controversies that still lingers from Bush’s tenure in office. The Bush administration attempted to leverage the State Secrets privilege to block litigation that aimed to hold participants in the surveillance program accountable for violating privacy laws. When it became clear that the courts were going to allow the lawsuits to move forward, Congress intervened and passed a FISA amendment to grant the telecom companies explicit immunity. President Obama voted in favor of immunity, despite consistently promising to oppose it.

Click here to read the rest of this article

[Law & Disorder]

A government judge ruling in favor of the government’s interests? Imagine that.

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