Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fu Manchu versus the BBC

There was sad news over the weekend. Mark Steyn is no longer published in the British Isles. Lionel Shriver of the Guardian reports:

Let me rue the passing of Mark Steyn's syndication in Britain, for his column has now been dropped by both the Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. I don't know the inside story, so I can't be certain that the jettisoning of this notoriously conservative Canadian constitutes political self-censorship.

Whatever the real reasons might be, his departure recalls one of the strangest struggles of modern times between a state monopoly and those who would circumvent it. Once upon a time, listeners in a European country gathered around their receivers to tune into radio programs beamed in from across the border. No, the country was not Nazi occupied France. The country was Britain and the "pirate" radio programs were call signed from locations like Brussels. Before the Second World War, the BBC had the sole right to operate radio stations within the UK. The term "pirate" radio referred to broadcasters seen to be stealing

audience from the state monopoly broadcaster, the BBC. ... The English language evening broadcasts from Radio Luxembourg were intentionally beamed toward the British Isles by Luxembourg licensed transmitters, while the intended audience in the United Kingdom originally listened to their radio sets by permission of a Wireless License issued by the British General Post Office (GPO). However, under terms of that Wireless License, it was an offense under the Wireless Telegraphy Act to listen to unauthorized broadcasts such as those transmitted by Radio Luxembourg. Therefore as far as the British authorities were concerned, Radio Luxembourg was a "pirate radio station" and British listeners to the station were breaking the law.

Nevertheless, listen the British audiences did.

By 1938 on Sundays upwards of 80% of the British audience turned their dials away from the BBC to these IBC stations which followed an American format of commercial broadcasting. They were eventually silenced by the advent of the German military taking control of their transmitters in France, Luxembourg and other countries during World War II.

The head pirate was none other than the improbably named Captain Leonard F. Plugge.

a British Member of Parliament who created the International Broadcasting Company as a commercial rival to the British Broadcasting Corporation by using the leased transmitters of stations such as Radio Luxembourg and Radio Normandie in the 1930s. He so enthusiastically endorsed products on his station that he contributed a word to the English language: to "plug" a product.

The Radio Eric site has facsimiles of the full-featured radio schedules provided by the BBC's competitors. The most bizarre part of the "pirate" radio saga was that the transmitters eventually moved to ships or on old military forts after the war, where they broadcast from international waters into the UK. Radio Eric lists the locations of these offshore transmitters as they existed in 1965.  This Wikipedia article describes the battle battle between the high-seas pirates and BBC.

WWII silenced all but one of the original IBC stations and Radio Luxembourg continued its nightly tranmsissions to Britain as a commercial radio station featuring American-style entertainment and religion. Beginning in 1964 the first in what became a fleet of 10 offshore pirate radio stations began to ring the British coastline. By 1967 millions were tuning into these commercial operations and the BBC was rapidly losing its radio listening audience.

The British Government reacted by imposing a draconian censorship law which all but wiped out all of the stations by midnight on August 14, 1967. One of the stations called Wonderful Radio London ("Big L") was so successful that the BBC was told to copy it as best they could. The creator of BBC Radio One told the press that his family had been fans of that station. The BBC hired many out-of-work broadcasting staff who had come from the former offshore stations ...

The Radio Eric site describes the final victorious push by the BBC against the pirates:

the new Postmaster General Edward Short immediately pushed through legislation making it illegal for British citizens and companies to work for, supply, or advertise on an offshore radio station. While the bill was going through parliament, the Post Office summonsed all the fort based stations for broadcasting without a licence. The authorities now decided to use the powers gained in 1964 putting the forts within territorial waters. After long court battles all the stations were forced to close. Two forts remained in international waters, and one of these became the place of violent battles, as two stations vied for control. The other was blown up by the British Army in 1967.

The new anti pirate legislation became law on August 15th 1967, and all the stations except Radio Caroline closed down, knowing they could not survive financailly. On the Isle of Man, the Manx government tried to avoid the new law being imposed by Westminster, and a bitter battle ensued. They were forced to ratify the law which came into effect on the Isle of Man two weeks after the mainland.

One of the programs produced in Luxembourg was Sax Rohmer's In the Shadow of Fu Manchu. "In 1936, Radio Luxembourg decided to feature a series of mystery adventures built around a single character. This series would originally be written and supervised by Sax Rohmer himself."

The chimes of old Big Ben, London’s historic clock, ring out. A sharp rap on a door is heard. The door creaks and warns of a stealthy entrance. A girl gasps and piercingly screams. A shot is fired. The Yellow Peril Incarnate laughs terrifyingly and sends shivers through millions of listeners from coast to coast. Dr. Fu Manchu, Mastermind of Crime, is on the air!

Eventually however, the BBC won against Fu Manchu as well.

According to Gordon Payton (a.k.a. “The Sci-Fi Guy”), In 1945, Sax Rohmer wrote a series of eight radio plays for the BBC. Fu Manchu was a bit too politically incorrect for the BBC, in light of England’s large Asian population, and they liked to avoid criticism from any quarter, so Sax created for them a character named Sumuru, who, in effect, was a female Fu Manchu. Described as “a glamorous witch of totally untraceable nationality, heading an international crime organization which employed strange and bizarre devices.” This aired from December 30, 1945 to February 17, 1946. No copies survive, but Rohmer later wrote a series of five books based on his BBC plays.

And that's the way it happened.


In the end, however, maybe Fu Manchu won. The demand for pirate radio stations was eventually killed off by liberalizing entry into the radio station business in the UK. With many more channels to choose from the attraction of pirate radio eventually waned. The BBC triumphed only at the cost of watering down their monopoly.


Blogger USAUK said...

I emailed The Spectator over the weekend on hearing the Mark Steyn news. I received a reply signed by Matthew D'Ancona stating "We hope to have Mark Steyn back on our pages very soon.
Thank you for taking the trouble to write."
I wrote back "Thank you for your reply. When Steyn does rejoin you, perhaps there will also be an explanation??"

3/14/2006 03:22:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

It's foolish/desperate moves like this that make me believe that we are winning.

3/14/2006 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Considering that America is to a large extent the extension of British history, it's always surprising to see how authoritarian Parliament can be.

3/14/2006 05:33:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...


The immutable Mark Steyn will rise again. It is curious that his apparent ignominy would be realized at the exact same moment of clarity for the Telegraph and the Spectator. Perhaps a more pedestrian reason will surface, such as his press agent demanding exorbitant fees or some such.

To this days the British government taxes each television set and this strange practice seems to parallel the potential for muting freedom of speech, at least it certainly gives the government a leg up on control of content. It is the relative success of this government information monopoly that makes me fear of a UN/EU/UK internet tax. If such a thing should come about we’ll all be screwed. Perhaps they will have free information of the government sort and a highly taxed information like the Steyn or the Wretchard tax. But here in the states free speech seems to be doing well. We have the Public Broadcasting Service that, though government subsidized, does a fair job of giving balanced news. Particularly shows like Frontline, though with a vaguely left taint, do admirably well. It is little surprise that the most left wing, BS propaganda comes directly out of the UK in the form of the BBC. During the most trying events in Iraq the Beeb has been just awful. Fortunately, the US public has the free opportunity to get it’s news elsewhere and PBS must walk the tight rope of consumer demand. Pledge drives have become more frequent, and overt commercials are subsumed in near infomercials that thank the grants and thoughtful patronage of the sponsor that makes these shows possible, along with viewer contributions.

We inhabitants of Southern California get much of our radio beams from Mexico. US radio station giants like Clear Channel Communications buys their RF energy from AM blow torches south of the border who made their entry into the market by having their own rules that flouted the US FCC. They are now pretty much mainstream, with the exception of occasional propaganda from the Mexican government, and an obligatory ovation of the Mexican national anthem at midnight.

A few summers back I spent the summer in the mountains of central California. Amazingly enough, I was able to get crystal clear reception of a LA radio station (AM 1170 KNX) that played old radio dramas every night at 9:00pm. So, huddled in my tent, in the pitch black I would listen to the various radio dramas of lore with the grand finale Sunday night, the Lux Radio Theater, hosted by Cecil B. DeMille. I was alone in the wilderness and in this odd crucible, transported back to a time where the radio was everyone’s common link to civilization. Phantom of the Opera with Basil Rathbone was preternatural and Jack Benny on Saturday nights was always a pleaser.

Mon. Tales of the Texas Rangers -Sherlock Holmes
Tues. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - Sgt. Preston of the Yukon.
Wed. Dragnet - The Whistler.
Thurs. Nightbeat (was Adventures of Sam Spade- The Lone Ranger.
Fri. Gunsmoke - Suspense.
Sat. The Jack Benny Program - Fibber McGee & Molly. -Hall of Fame Radio Hour
Sun. Lux Radio Theater

3/14/2006 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

It really rankles with me, BBC having a 'monopoly'! And after their Gilligan in Baghdad Debacle, I like it even less.

So I take this chance to share that I have been recording a short (1.5MB to 5.2MB) item in support of America OR satirizing moonbats like Bennish or the LLLeft's "Pancake Breakfast" in memory of Rachel Corrie! (Yeah, really!)

I would appreciate ANY suggestions you denizens of Belmont could offer, and when I record it, it'll be posted for free downloading at

I'm syndicating it sometime this week, like a good lil podcaster.

Watch out, BBC! Here comes Karridine!

3/14/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The British Government tried to control Radio and Television, the Information flow to it's citizens. This began when Radio and Television were "new", they continued the practice, even using their Military in the attempt to censor content until the late '60's.
They are our most trusted ally.

The Chinese try to regulate their citizens access to the Information flow on the INet. Using licensing agreements with foreign firms as the mode of control.
They, as well as the firms are not to be trusted.

You see, the Chinese Government does not believe in "freedom". Not like our friends, the Brits.

3/14/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There is a reason why the US is exceptional.
As well as why England lost it's Empire.

The King of England is chosen, by God, to Rule the Land. The Prime Minister rules in the King's name.

Tony Blair, agent of God.

It is why the US left.
Let Freedom Ring!

3/14/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

the suppression of Mark Steyn in England only raises the profile of Mark Steyn, now, because of this, I will google Mark and read his wisdom on that unique creation... the internet

3/14/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger whit said...

Yes, the Beeb has been going leftward for about the past ten years. It used to be an excellent international news alternative to the decidedly leftwing PBS. I still listen but it's not the same.

Steyn's old columns are still up at the Telegraph website so I don't think it's self censoring as much as maybe contractual issues. He says nothing about it at Steyn Online.

For years, I thought the British ,being unemcumbered with a Bill of Rights, "got away" with much more than could be in the US. Now it seems that political correctness and multi-culti nonsense has won out over the "common horse sense" that Margaret Thatcher decried the loss of in her country.

3/14/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger fastfoodnationalist said...

Since 9/11, there have been several distinct mobilizations, so to speak. Each mobilization of people saw different alignments, different bedfellows and different distributions of power.

These arrangements have not been limited to military mobilizations. Indeed, there has been ongoing conflicts in media battlespaces, whether domestically with the NY Times publishing shadily assembled (LGF re: Abu Gharib "martyr") or out and out misconstrued information (artillery shell <> hellfire).

As Bing West's "No True Glory" indicates, Al Jazeera gained much strategic ground at least re: Fallujah if not also in the larger context of ideas embodied in OIF. Discourse, policy and strategy were all impacted by the ethereal immaterial of mindstuff - mindstuff that saw itself standing against the "mass punishment" of a proud and innocent people caught up in the wrong geopolitics at the wrong time in history. The causal significance is powerful; the fatal consequences for US servicemen is upsetting.

But it seems the strategic gains made by al Jazeera (at least those gains made into American society) were lost duing the triple threat manifest in the cartoon snafu and likely even the election of Hamas that occured concomitantly with the genocidal rhetoric from Iran.

What remains uncertain, and difficult to guage, is what is the state of the conflict between media (old and new, electronic and paper etc) in America? Who is mobilized and to what effect?
Blogs are a presence but how significant are they? Do they serve as rallying points for self-aggregating groups or do they disperse powerful new ideas? Are their effects numerically compelling?

Defenselink has a primer up on strategies to break terrorism's idealogical glass jaw by exploiting extremism, for instance, and hastening the "balkanization" that can occur, thusly weakening the organization. Has that been happening in US MSM? Certain the term "MSM" is not merely a domestic body - its international with the BBC and al Jazeera being in cahoots - Is Steyn's firing being part of a phenomenon of "balkanization" whose newly drawn ideological boundaries cannot tolerate his challenge?

Has the blogosphere forced the stewards of thought into explicit deceit in the case of the NYTimes, or childish drivel that boasts "screw them" when americans are murdered and desecrated to a psychopathic mob(Daily KOS)?

Mark Steyn, the editor of the Daily Illini, the french editor of the Egyptian-owned newspaper would seem to be victims of the current forms of discourse, policy and strategy. Do these dynamics produce a consensus? Is this what we saw in the Dubai Ports?

Are they necessary losses, idealogical cannon fodder? Or do their sacrifices portend the progress of our enemies, as ambiguous as they may be?

3/14/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

NYT caught lying again

Not that it makes any difference.

3/14/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger opotho said...

Well the only challenge for the NYT that I can see concerns the identity of the man in the photo, which is not exactly a lie on par with their more serious truth-bending.

3/14/2006 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger kariato said...

As a Brit in America it was interesting to see a similar thing happen here recently. Due to increasingly lax ownership rules American FM broadcasters were concentrated into a few mega companies in the form of an Oligopoly. In an effort to maximize profit they increased the number of commercials and focused on key advertising groups so that only a few formats homogenized where broadcast. The effect was that radio became predictable and boring. Suddenly technology came along and created a very aggressive completion in the form of podcasts, audiobooks and Satellite radio. The oligopolies could not purchase these alternative forms of competition because they were either to fragmented or due to their bloated size they could not react quickly enough. I think when any entity attempts to monopolies media a fickle public in almost a Darwinian was adapts and evolves to a against the monopoly,

3/14/2006 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


Interesting reaction considering that the story was the profile of the "man in the photo." You don't think the NYT story would have had a different intended effect on its readers if the "man in the photo" raped children and murdered their mothers while shouting Allah is great?

3/14/2006 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

I hate to repeat myself, but Fastfoodnationalist made me think, once again, that Al'Jazeera and Al'Arabiya are our trojan horses.

They were wheeled into the city under assumptions that will not always be valid. To the chagrin of the Islamists, I think they will find that all manner of things were hidden inside. Wafa Sultan's interview on Al'Jazeera was, in this sense, inevitable -- once the false gifts had been received.

Think about it: her interview was downloaded, emailed, discussed, and written about all over the Muslim world. She has become a global phenomenon.

The gate is open, and it is ideas that are marching through.

3/14/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

Your absolutely right, peterboston.

3/14/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Line of the decade:

Al'Khouli: "You are a heretic. If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran..."

Sultan: "Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me."

3/14/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Wretchard, I posted on this one when it came out. I was gobsmacked that any news entity could be that stupid....

The British Press Gets Dimmer By the Day

I can't decide which is worse: the Brits or the NYT..

3/14/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

while it's true the communications companies have consolidated, not just in Radio, it was an unforeseen consequence, not a direct act of Government that caused it.

The License for a small market radio station has been bid up to over $1 Million USD, plus required infrastructure, puts a little radio station in $ 2 or 3 Million USD range.

Without the consolidation the Stations could never have carried values like that. The local advertising could never carry Million dollar values.

In the long run, I don't see how it can continue, local radio with little local input.

3/14/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

that was always the point I was trying to make. That the electronic media have the broadest reach. In a semi-literate society the visual mediums are best. Those are the mediums the Enemy is using, Lots of audio and video, not to many Manifestos.

3/14/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger fastfoodnationalist said...


I've been thinking about the strange duality that is al-Jazeera. I'm unsure if the US has reversed this policy, but after 9/11, they essentially boycotted the network - which may feel very good to do given the trash they broadcast. Nonetheless, the only way to destroy ideas are to compete against them and the market of ideas embodied in al-Jazeera became something of a monopoly - or oligopoly as Kariato referenced.

It probably doesn't matter if al-jazeera has Rice debating some Islamist nutcase to cheers of fellow nutcases; some non-nutcases will be watching and perhaps be compelled. This is, admittedly, terribly optimistic in its simplicity; i like to see it as "elegant".

We need people to stand behind and stand shoulder to shoulder to in the region; given our gov's gamesmanship re: cartoons, and perhaps even the Dubai ports deal, we risk seeming rather Clinton-esque in our conviction and resolve. Again, characteristics of the mind appear with geopolitical relevance and strategic importance.

The mind does not create delusions for fun; it creates them because they are convenient. While the cultures over there are pretty ridiculous, they are made of people with brains. And though those brains may even be irked by hearing our ideas, those who must reconcile our words and our actions against the Islamists' words and actions will likely serve our overall strategic interest in reforming the region.

Al Jazeera's broadcasting the irksome message of Wafa Sultan showed how that odd duality - the 21st Century trojan horse as you called it - infected the Islamist markets with an iPod of an idea, hopefully with many upgraded versions and aftermarket modifications to follow.

3/14/2006 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Interesting point about the Trojan horse, Arabs have a unique propensity for conspiracies and they can’t be sated by the daily pabulum of the NYT. In an already competitive market, Al Jazeera doesn’t want to play second fiddle to any other news source. If the Arabs have accepted the ‘gift’ of western style news media as their own, it should prove interesting in the long run to see if they believe what comes out of it as the truth. Will there ever be a schism between ME news and Western news media sources? Right now they seem to be pretty much lock step with one another. Al Reuters seems all too happy to give them what they want to hear.

3/14/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Sonspot said...

Are we saying Islam can moderate if given enough truth? Or are we hoping to simply confuse and fragment the opposition?

3/14/2006 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger fastfoodnationalist said...


What's happened to Britain makes their involvement in OIF seem stranger by the day, no?

I've lately felt something more in common with the French than the English, especially after the Cartoon SNAFU.

I look forward to their next election though - all i ever read is how unpopular Labour is. May the electorate save Britain...

3/14/2006 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In the Region, am, all the stringers are the same, they are selling their wares, the stories and tape.
How does one influence a market place? through demand or supply.

The US can little effect demand for information in the ME.

But we could tilt the content.
It would have to be false flagged, but aj-Jezeera will play the tape, just as they play Osama's, it just has to be delivered to them.

Dr Sultan is proof enough.

3/14/2006 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

sunspot, yes

3/14/2006 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Ramen said...

Fear not! Within days, Steyn got picked up by the Guardian of all papers. I think there's more to this than meets the eye..


3/14/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger opotho said...

We prioritize.

1st: Simply confuse and fragment the opposition.

2nd: Help Islam moderate by providing enough truth.

Primary obstacle: narccisistic Western identity crisis.

3/14/2006 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


Britian has begun to withdraw from Iraq, already. According to Mr Rumsfeld's talk today.

All 800 will be out BY May, but they have started to leave, NOW.

The Battle of Iraq is over, General Pace certainly seemed to think so. The ISF has held.

The violence is, as Mr Rumsfeld once called the Insurgency, miltarily insignifcant.

The Parliment will be meeting soon, in Iraq, they seem to be a Deadline Oriented people.

3/14/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...






3/14/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Al Jazeera's broadcasting the irksome message of Wafa Sultan showed how that odd duality - the 21st Century trojan horse as you called it - infected the Islamist markets with an iPod of an idea, hopefully with many upgraded versions and aftermarket modifications to follow.

The upgrade has already been planned. Wafa Sultan is writing a book for the Muslim world:

The Escaped Prisoner: When God Is a Monster.

We might very well be witnessing Islam's Voltaire.

Note her message:

My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? What gives you the right to call them "those who incur Allah's wrath," or "those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?

Or this:

You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people's beliefs are not your concern, whether they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs.

Or this:

I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others' right to believe in it.

Or this:

The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

A little while ago, I wrote this:

As long as the identifier "Muslim" stays unassimilated within the uber-identifier "human", our goal of civilizational rapprochement will continue to be frustrated by a plurality of logics.

Humans are genetically predisposed towards transactional "fairness", so long as the transaction is between equals (this affinity for and motivation towards logical consistency has been selected for). The true belief of equality between agents is therefore a precondition of fairness--a precondition of the logical inevitability of the Golden Rule.

So long as Muslims believe in the supremacy of their identifier--and use the logic that flows from it to motivate their behavior--their minds will never embrace the stabilizing ethic of the Golden Rule, and we will never be rid of this war.

And this:

[Huntington] says that Western, Islamic, Asian, etc. are the highest levels of identification, and that most of the clash will take place on this level. However, what is Western if not the rather simple concept that we are all human, all in it together? That uber-identification flows from the West, and specifically from the Enlightenment. It is a fundamentally inclusive identifier, capable of absorbing all others that do not directly contradict.

The Golden Rule. Human. Logic.

They all go together.

3/14/2006 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...


I agree completely, though I am reminded of Egon Spangler for some reason:

Print is dead.

3/14/2006 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Print is dead.

As in:

This article:

I just got the page proofs of my latest book, my eighth. Will it also be my last? Who will write the very last book in America?

Writing is an unkillable impulse. It is like second sight or a blood disease, a gift or a state beyond our control. Writing is older than writing, as the songs and stories of the illiterate attest, and will go on, in whatever should be the prevailing technology, as long as intelligence thinks in language. But the book, the bound collection of written or printed pages that has been the main vessel of writing for 1,500 years, may be on its last legs. So those who tout the e-book tell us.

Sony will be releasing an e-book in Japan in April. Sony promises, rather opaquely, that it will be “half” the size of a paperback book (which paperback—Atlas Shrugged, or The Prophet?), and that it will have memory capable of storing 20 books (same question). Sony is more definite about the price—$375—and claims to offer “a level of text clarity comparable to paper.” In other words, reading it won’t be like staring at a sidewalk A.T.M. in the blizzard of ’06.

3/14/2006 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

There are over 50 miles of secret police files at the Institute of National Remembrance (Instytut Pamieci Narodowej -- IPN) in Warsaw and its branches throughout Poland. Pope John Paul II's Secret Files

We're chumps when it comes to propaganda. It's difficult to wrap your brain around the extent that totalitarian regimes go to control behaviour by controlling the Conversation. The article tells us that the Polish Commies compiled 700 pages of documents and numerous tape recordings on their contacts with one collaborator priest. A minor story at best. How many other collaborators in how many other positions of influence or authority outside the Party were on the money and favors payroll?

Armed and Dangerous had some good threads going on the connection between 1930s Soviet propaganda and what can be seen as the present day suicidalism of Western Europe. This is a subject that deserves a book. When the table of contents of the 2006 Postmodern handbook looks exactly like the 1930 Soviet disinformation playbook you start to catch on how effective Soviet propaganda really was.

Stalin isn't around but in a way we still live with him. Oafish progeny like Bennish and Clooney are pretty easy to spot but you still have to wonder exactly how movies like Syriana, Munich or the one about the Palestinian explode-a-dopes get written and produced, or articles about the RoP get written.

3/14/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Thanks. I would've wanted to be a radio pirate myself, with the carbon mike, the bakelite earphones, the reel taperecorder and glass of Scotch whiskey in the galley. But I was born in the wrong time and place for that.

3/14/2006 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

But Wretchard, that's exactly what you are.

The internet is the ultimate flanking maneuver. Start podcasting, and we'll send the scotch.

3/14/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Oh, and an update on the Moussaoui trial:

A U.S. judge ruled prosecutors can continue to seek the death penalty for confessed Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, though she barred testimony from some witnesses the government said were central to its case.

3/14/2006 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I recently recommended to a writer friend of mine that he consider capturing his writing in the form of a blog. It would be a writing task like any other, except that he’d capture it one bit at a time online. The notion first came to me a year or more ago when I was collaborating with someone on an arcane technical interest. The greatest advantage to using the blog as a vehicle is not the publishing domain but the collaborative possibilities.

I agree with C4 in regards to Wrecthard consolidating his efforts and publishing a book, I would buy it as well, but I am afraid it is for the most selfish of purposes that I hope that it doesn’t come to pass. I would miss having to share Wrecthard with the rest of the print world. The good news is that Wrecthard has already written the body of work, only a modest(lol) editing effort would be required.

Until they install electronic books in bathrooms I am content to read the printed page. We are a long way away from having well dog-eared electronic copies of our favorite subjects. You can also be sure that Sony will bollix up the technology with copy write paranoia. I can lend you a book. I can sell you my old book. I can go to the library and check out a book. I can burn the pages of a book for warmth. Stand on it to reach where I might otherwise not. But you can be sure Sony will make the ownership of electronic content unusable in the end. I am not baiting anyone on the can-of-worms that is intellectual property law these days.

I used to fast forward through advertising crap on my VHS. Now I am expected to sit back, nice and content-like while the b@stards shove their drivel down my throat while I watch a DVD. It annoys me yes.

3/14/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jorge Curioso said...

Per Steyn, the Speccie issue is a payment one.

"As I said last week, the Telegraph Group owes us money which it’s being remarkably uncooperative in ponying up. But one day I’ll be back in print in the United Kingdom again. After I left The National Post, the general view among rival papers was that they didn’t need a right-wing madman like me in Canada. But a year or two went by and they all came creeping back with their woefully inadequate offers. I wouldn’t be surprised to get the odd tinkle from Fleet Street before too long."

Steyn Online

3/14/2006 03:55:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretchard: Give me an address for shipping the Bakelite earphones and the carbon mike; I have them out in the garage.

I also have a WWII USN transmitter that tunes down to 1.5 MHZ that I think I can get working.

And I have a few WWII USAAF receivers that tune those frequencies, too - made by - of all things - the BELMONT RADIO COMPANY.

No reel-to-reel recorder ... but a VCR makes a very suitable substitute.

CQ, CQ .....

3/14/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Arthur Dent said...

The truly sad aspect of all of this is that the UK is better at protecting individual freedom and rights than pan-EUnuchstan.

The whole continent is FUBAR and sinking fast.

Do ideologies emit climate changing gas? If so what is China inhaling?

3/14/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

[Here in the States, free speech seems to be doing well]

Ha! Only because of our federal court judges.

The ENTIRE CONGRESS (12/24) and the President (1/6) allowed a new law called IMBRA recently which makes it illegal for an American to contact a foreigner socially without first sending a criminal background history (to the foreigner!). See www.imbra.org.

Morons in America were OK with this law (promoted by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell but finding much support on FreeRepublic.com among female FReepers)...because it was meant to destroy the socalled "mail order bride industry".

But no matter what your ignorant prejudices might be against American businessmen sleeping with 6 foot tall gorgeous Russian college students...this law set a massive precedent that Americans could be stopped (and regulated) from talking to foreigners.

Would you believe the law also forced men to state whether they were married or not and how many kids they really had...before they could speak with a foreign woman? The feminist nanny state wanted to protect "naive foreigners" from married American men cheating on their wives. Plus the American feminists wanted men who were financially strapped with childcare payments...to be forced to tell everyone so women could reject them in time. :-0

It was legislated feminist morality and spite...and it found resonance among female evangelical "christians" at FR.

Scary law.

A federal judge put a temporary restraining order on the law on March 6th...the day it was supposed to come into effect...and the judge will hopefully deep-six the law permanently at a hearing on March 20th.

Legislators, either conservative or liberal, will TAKE YOUR RIGHTS away relentlessly if you let them...and if we lived in "democracies" that really did rely on the stupid 'masses' to vote on things.

It is only the "autocracy" of judges with lifetime terms that keeps our freedoms alive.

3/15/2006 01:01:00 AM  
Blogger kariato said...

It striked me as how small the world has become. I was listening to the said BBC radio 1 on Sirius Sat radio while driving down a rural Indiana road with corn fields on either side. As I passed a farmer in an old pickup truck, I thought how things are changing.

3/15/2006 07:33:00 AM  

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