Condi Speaks of Dignified Capital Punishment?!?

Sec. State Condoleezza Rice’s voice trembled as she was inclined to sort-of apologize for the lack of “dignity given to the accused” at a news conference in Egypt today. Perhaps the shakiness of her comment can be pinned to its sickening irony.

Saddam Hussein and two of his aides were executed by the Iraqi government within weeks of being sentenced to death for the killing of 148 civilians in the Iraqi city Dujail. Saddam was hanged a mere 56 days after his sentencing — so quick, in fact, that it necessitated the dropping of a separate case charging Hussein with the murders of some 100,000 Kurds.

The average length of stay on U.S. death is up to 12.86 years for current inmates (as of Oct, 2006). Capital punishment is officially sanctioned in 38 of the 50 states, although court appointed doctors are consistently questioning the ethics.

Last month in Florida, it took Angel Diaz 34 minutes to die in a botched execution that left him talking and gasping for air for a good 11 minutes. The last execution in California was that of 76-year-old Clarence Ray Allen, a blind, wheelchair-bound man who spent 26 years on death row.

So what’s this about “dignity” Ms. Rice?

Wire reports fail to adequately reflect Rice’s halting and uncomfortable statement to Middle East diplomats in Egypt. So I’ve…um…. posted…the…uh… audio… below.

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Nat’l Conference for Media Reform w/ Bill Moyers Video

More than 3,000 people came together for NCMR2007 in Memphis this weekend and though I wasn’t able to attend, I would like to channel the messages and motivation expressed at the conference. The Free Press Action Center, which organized the event, is hosting some video and audio of all sessions on its conference page. More on the conference blog

Additionally, they’ve released calls for action regarding stopping big media, saving the internet, and promoting media reform and justice.

Part two of the above video of Bill Moyers‘ opening plenary is available here.

More from Nieman Watchdog, BuzzMachine, Memphis Commercial Appeal, SavetheInternet. Photos here and here.

Mark at News Corpse provided a brief summary:

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John Gilmore’s Airport ID SCotUS Challenge Fails

Thus ends — onen would think — Gilmore’s valiant effort to uncover a secret law. Read the article:

The Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a challenge to the federal government’s policy of requiring airline passengers to show identification before they board flights, spurning arguments that the well-known but unpublished policy would lead to more secret laws.

My interviews with Gilmore are here and here.

Airport ID Secret Law Redux

NPR’s Martin Kaste did an excellent piece on the ridiculous SSI (sensitive security information) that is the law requiring one show ID at an airport. Although he doesn’t mention John Gilmore, plaintiff in the case awaiting grant of certiori at Supreme Court by name, he thoroughly explains why this secret law is such a farce.

For my piece on Gilmore’s case, go to Annenberg Radio News and scroll down.

Tom Brady Sues Yahoo! for Using Image on Fantasy

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read stuff like this. New England Patriot’s QB Tom Brady, yeah, the Michigan alum and 3-time Super Bowl champ, is suing Yahoo! for using an image of him to promote Y! Fantasy Football “without authorization” in both a print ad in Sports Illustrated and in banner ads on the site.

Having worked with Yahoo! (I am currently a part-time, contract content producer), I find it hard to believe they an unlicensed image would have been used for something as high-profile as Fant. Football. Nonetheless, CNET News reports:

The New England Patriots’ three-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, Tom Brady, is alleging in a lawsuit that Yahoo used his likeness to promote the portal’s fantasy football league without his permission.

According to a report on the news site The Smoking Gun, Brady filed his suit in U.S. District Court and is asking for unspecified damages.


Brady asserts that Yahoo’s use of his image “connotes a false endorsement,” according to the news site.

The advertisement in question shows several NFL players with their teams’ helmet insignias removed. Among the players are running back LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers, and New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Calls to Yahoo representatives were not immediately returned on Thursday. With more than 4 million users, the portal’s fantasy football league is one of the largest on the Internet.