Previous month:
August 2006
Next month:
June 2007

Making news, making war, growing food

My partner Titus Levi has raised all sorts of interesting questions: from the alternatives to war economics to who we take seriously about framing "the news," and by extension, meaning. What strikes me about what Titus writes is so much is about resource allocation, whether physical, financial or mental. There's irony in the fact that beyond building tanks and jets or making movies, the economy of California is part of this nation's bread basket. Or more accurately, fruit basket. I still remember my father, an environmental planner, marveling at a visit to San Diego County in the 1980s as he... Read more →

Looking Beyond Katie Couric: The Numbers

Katie Couric, after all the hype, hand-wringing, and haranguing, has finally settled in as the inheritor of the Tiffany Network’s “Voice of the News” mantle. Whatever. If you’re interested in reading reviews of how she read the teleprompter, check out this roundup of various media mavens at the Poynter Institute’s site. What interests me is not how convincingly Katie reads, but what Media Matters had to say about the opening night. Under the headline “CBS Evening News With Couric Scores Net's Best Ratings in Seven Years” Marc Berman proceeds to spew forth a breathless blizzard of figures regarding the ratings... Read more →

Company Town, Company Media

As part of the continuing evolution of That’s Capital, I’m contributing regular dispatches on various aspects of culture and economics here in Los Angeles (check on Fridays for these updates) as well as the intersection of media and economics. This week, I’m rolling these two posts into one. Last week Sumner Redstone went on something of a mini-rampage, exercising his authority as Chairman by ousting Viacom CEO Tom Freston. Then he put two of his long-time advisors, who had been on the board of Viacom, at the company’s helm. While this is hardly earth-shattering stuff given that Mr. Redstone has... Read more →

From An Economics Of War To An Economics Of Peace

America has cultivated a habit for going to war. Since WW2 and the establishment of, as Dwight Eisenhower called it, “a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions”, the United States has been engaged in military ventures all over Eurasia. Let’s take a quick roll call: Korea Cuba (Bay of Pigs Invasion) The Dominican Republic Vietnam Tehran hostage rescue Grenada Lebanon (Beirut) Panama Gulf War (Kuwait/Iraq) Somalia Yugoslavia (and the post-Yugoslav states) Afghanistan Philippines Iraq Liberia This list doesn’t include all manner of covert interventions and special operations work in several other countries: Chile Honduras Guatemala Congo Chile Libya Haiti. You... Read more →

Hezbollah - Thoughts about Mark Perry's analysis

A few things stick out for me reading Mark Perry's email published last month. First is his goal to "deny the efficacy of those in the West who would refuse Islam the richness of its diversity at the same time that it rejects Islam's rhetoric of the West's collective guilt." Maybe its my own mental efficacy, but it took me five times reading the second part of the sentence, namely who is doing the "rejecting" of "Islam's rhetoric..." to get his point. Nevertheless, the first part of the sentence has my sympathy. And so does a lot of other things... Read more →