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Washington Post
Koran allegation won't go away soon "The desecration of the Holy Koran by U.S. soldiers shows that the United States is on a path of clashing with Islam." Ahmad said that his alliance, the Muttahida Majlis Amal, was planning nationwide protests May 27 and that it had "coordinated with Islamic organizations all over the world to join us in this day of condemnation."

NY Times
White House presses Newsweek on Koran story The Pentagon's spokesman, Lawrence DiRita, said the military was still reviewing whether there had been any incidents of abusing the Koran at [Guantanamo] and said no methodical examination of this question had occurred before Newsweek published its May 1 article.


Three of many cartoons making a similar point:





Guillermo X. Garcia
Express-News Austin Bureau

Legislators vote to raise own pensions $6,000 With no debate and no recorded vote, the House agreed to add $6,000 to the annual retirement benefits of lawmakers, the governor and other statewide elective office holders

Ten-Foot Poll on Texas Reps---RESULT
posted 945a-1145p Tue 5/17/2005
How do you feel about Texas representatives quietly voting to raise their pensions, and not recording their votes?

It's their right and it was all legal
It was legal but still pretty shady
It was legal but still disgusting
I have NO respect for them, period
Vote total 454-


Swanky Memphis suburb would regulate garage doors being open

FBI: Grenade at Bush rally was live

Man says drinking Coors cost him Budweiser job

Gunmen kill Iraqi general, driver in Baghdad Insurgent attacks against officials escalate

Promotion may sway Hutchison from Perry challenge

ABC kills Extreme Makeover, Eyes, Blind Justice Grey's Anatomy was renewed and will continue in its Sunday time slot. Boston Legal will move to Tuesday and Alias will get that Thursdays-at-7 death slot (watch your back, Jennifer Garner)

CBS cancels Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes Dan Rather will probably be given a slot on the Sunday edition of "60 Minutes" through 2006, according to two people familiar with his contract.

Orange County diocese docs show coverups for pedophiles For more than two decades, covered up for priests who molested children, shuffling predators from parish to parish and diocese to diocese, protecting them from prosecution and failing to warn parishioners of the danger

Air Force changes rules to allow airmen to wear uniforms on some flights home
Airport travelers will now be able to see, and thank, airmen returning home from overseas.

Outrage and Silence [Iraq suicide bombings] mass murders - this desecration and dismemberment of real Muslims by other Muslims - have not prompted a single protest march anywhere in the Muslim world.

PETA charges lab cruelty has accused a northern Virginia laboratory of animal cruelty -- including charges of punching and choking lab monkeys -- and has produced a videotape to prove it.

Critic takes on the logic of female orgasm Scientists have never had difficulty explaining the male orgasm, but what is the evolutionary purpose of the female version?


On home page today

San Antonio's River Walk
"Our expert leads you to his favorite San Antonio spots.."


Our friend Dr. Avi Rubin makes the NY Times again
Personal data for the taking A class at Johns Hopkins was able to build detailed dossiers on Baltimore citizens using only public databases.

Some tickets for Rolling Stones concert are over $5K apiece

Sleepy burglar arrested

Univ of Iowa to offer porn course


email Newsweek story


The reporting on the Newsweek story concerning the alleged desecration of a Koran seems pretty one-sided -- and definitely not as a result of spin by the "liberal media." Newsreaders and legitimate journalists alike seem fond of saying that the release of the false story has cost lives, as if that is a fact that has been proved. In fact, General Richard Myers has stated that the rioting in Afghanistan is more related to the on-going political reconciliation process in Afghanistan than to the Gitmo incident.

There is a common but logically erroneous argument known in philosophy as "post hoc, ergo propter hoc." It means literally "after the fact, therefore because of the fact." This logical fallacy is seductive in its simplicity and is "bought" by many uncritical thinkers. An old example of this argument goes like this:

1. 70% of heroin users tried marijuana;
2. Therefore, marijuana use leads to heroin use.

The problem with this argument is transparent: in all likelihood, over 99% of heroin users drank milk as children. The more relevant query would be what percentage of milk drinkers went on to use heroin. I wold surmise that there is no statistical relevance between those two variables (milk drinking and heroin use). Likewise, just because the rioting in Afghanistan occurred after the Newsweek story does not establish a causal relation.

Another issue regarding Newsweek's report is that the reporter apparently submitted the story to Army brass prior to its publication. Although the military had criticism of one portion of the story, no criticism was leveled against the report of the Koran incident. Doesn't the military bear some responsibility? And why hasn't the White House come clean about this part of the story?

My point to all this is that the mainstream press reports and repeats this story as if there is no doubt that Newsweek alone is reponsible and people died. There seems to be more to it than that.

Steve W.


email response

Excellent, well said, accurate and timely. But---------Steve W has to understand that our educational system spends 10 times more on sports than on journalism, education and scientific inquiry combined and has no use for philosophy at all unless you want to call dogma philosophy. The Philosophy at work here, and in most of the media today, the Brad Messer show excepted of course, is that the media creates the news out of the facts. The facts are just seeds doused with a hefty dose of Miracle Gro and presented as a colorful flower to the audience as God's own creation. And because the educational system is what it is, the audience goes "OOOOOOOO-how pretty" and goes about planning their next trip to the Wal Mart or the next exciting adventure in Spurland. Your thoughts are admirable Steve W, honest and true, maybe you, I, and Brad can discuss them endlessly in the hold of this sinking ship we call "Media Integrity."

Gary B.



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