Democracy polls well: A poll published in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabah Al-Jadeed suggests the overwhelming majority of Iraqis are optimistic about their government and the future prospects of the troubled nation. That's according to conservative powerhouse Powerline, which had the poll translated this weekend. According to Powerline, the newspaper found that 93.56 percent of respondents supported the Iraqi government's prosecution of terrorism within its borders, 73.12 percent thought U.N. Resolution 1546 "achieves the ambitions of Iraqis for sovereignty," and 76 percent believed Arab satellite television coverage of Iraqi news was negatively biased.
Bloggers see sunshine in the results. Trodwell, a Canadian who posts at RightThinkingPeople, thinks that "freedom has encouraged the Iraqi people to accept responsibility for their own security – and has therefore mortally wounded the insurgency." Trodwell is also excited about the poll's finding that Iraqis don't trust Arab satellite media. "Iraqis have recognized al Jazeera for what it is – an unapologetic mouthpiece of Islamic extremism. And they want none of it," he proclaims. Dave S. from No Easy Answers writes that the Bush Doctrine "has clearly begun to separate the Arab Street from the terrorists" by making Iraqis choose between the stark alternatives of progress and violence. He also sees progress in this poll, which shows that a majority of people in Indonesia, the nation with the largest Muslim population, support the American fight against terrorism.
Many bloggers think Iraq might have reached a positive tipping point without attracting the attention of any major news outlets. "The 'insurgency' is over," declares Powerline's Hindrocket. "The terrorists lost. What is going on now is just crime. Criminals can kill, but they can't affect history." The mainstream media haters at Media Lies write, "Obviously the Iraqis see the present violence as terrorism and criminal activity, not an 'insurgency' as the media likes to frame it."
Read more about the poll here.
A rager at Chapel Hill: A federal court has ordered the reinstatement of the Alpha Iota Omega fraternity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, after the fraternity had been denied recognition for refusing the university's non-discrimination policy and restricting membership to heterosexual Christians. Progressive blogger David Anderson at In Search of Utopia supports the ruling, arguing that "organizations that are based on religious doctrine should not be forced to admit members who do not share a belief in that doctrine, or who's lifestyles go against the religious beliefs of the group." Equal-opportunity advocate Mike at ThoseThingsWeSay disagrees. He admits that freedom of association is important, but insists the university should fight exclusive groups, since its primary obligation is to society at large.
A new hope: On Friday, the New York Times reported FEC commissioner Bradley Smith's prediction that campaign finance reform would ultimately stifle political commentary on the Internet. Bloggers, who were initially skeptical of Smith, have grown outright dismissive. Liberal Iron Mouth thinks the statements in Smith's interview were baseless and designed to turn liberals against campaign finance reform by suggesting it might mean the end of free speech on the Internet. Iron Mouth "has a pretty good case," writes Charles Kuffner at Off the Kuff. At The Marprelate Tracts, former Salon blogger Martin Marprelate agrees: "Something in this article is just not adding up."
Netscape 8.nil: AOL released a beta version of its upcoming Netscape 8.0 browser, to generally unenthusiastic response. "I just about spit up my coke when I saw a picture of Netscpae 8's new user-interface," writes Cincinnati-based programmer Clint Ecker, who finds the non-traditional design disorienting. Hermos from Slashdot waxes nostalgic: "Ah, remember when the release of a Netscape mattered?" In a detailed review, 17-year-old Brit Smiler from Smiler's Scribbles writes that the new Netscape is basically a Firefox ripoff.
Read more about Netscape 8.0 here.
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