Archive | Just Plain Crazy

They didn’t know bin Laden was dead

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Since the 1950s, right wing groups and foundations laid the groundwork to defund public schools and push everyone into for-profit private schools or charters, because poorly educated students become easily-manipulated voters. Look at the results:

Veteran journalist Alan Miller tells the story of the high school students who, years after the fact, didn’t know that Osama bin Laden had been killed. These were seniors, no less — in a journalism class at a well-regarded New York City charter school.

“Their reaction was ‘Wait, what? He’s dead?’ ” said Miller, who won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times.

His story, though, has a happy ending. After immersion in the News Literacy Project, a Bethesda-based nonprofit organization that Miller founded to give teenagers the tools to know what to believe in the digital age, the students became news junkies. They were seriously annoyed if their classroom copies of the New York Times didn’t show up on time.

Every bit as dead as bin Laden, it sometimes seems, is many American citizens’ basic knowledge of news. Young people, especially, get their news in isolated bursts on their phones (the experts call this disaggregation). That makes it harder than ever to tell established truth from opinion, propaganda or pure fiction.

I always thought this is where people like me would find a niche. People so immersed in news, readers would pay for someone to filter out the rest. That happened for a while, but not enough to make a living.

You could see that last week when, during NBC’s commander-in-chief forum, moderator Matt Lauer didn’t even raise a skeptical eyebrow as Donald Trump claimed — again, and falsely — to have opposed the war in Iraq from the start. Although, as a broadcast pro, Lauer should have been far better prepared to parry this and other politically expedient flights of fancy, his ailment — apparent ignorance — is a common one. (Consider Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s query in an MSNBC interview: “What is Aleppo?”)

“There’s a cacophony of untrue information out there,” and it’s drowning out what’s dependable and accurate, said Leonard Downie Jr., former Washington Post executive editor, whose new book, “The News Media: What Everyone Needs to Know,” provides some help in question-and-answer form. (For example: “How dependent is journalism on leaks?” and “How are private interests trying to manage news now?”)



The ‘stand your ground’ hotline

Punisher - 00 - MCSG Application

This is really disgusting:

TAMPA — Carlos Garcia lay bleeding on the street in front of his family’s mailbox.

“Yes, ma’am. I just had a man attack me in my front yard,” Nick Julian IV told a 911 operator on Sept. 19, 2015.

“He attacked me and I had to use force,” said Julian. “I was afraid for my life.”

“Well who used the gun?” the operator said.

“I did,” Julian said.

In the background, Garcia’s ex-wife screamed: “Why would you do this?”

” ‘Cause he charged me and I was in fear of my life,” said Julian, then 26.

He said that he needed to call his lawyer. It was 2:05 a.m.

Before Garcia, a 37-year-old father of three, had even been declared dead, the man who shot him was already on the phone with the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.

The association offers a 24-hour hotline, an attorney on retainer, bail money and a wallet-sized card instructing members on what to say after a shooting — starting at just $13 a month.

It’s one of a handful of organizations that says they can help its members strengthen their claim of self-defense from the moment they pull the trigger.

“This is basically preparing people: You’re going to kill someone and you need to know what to do,” said University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks.

Medical disclosure for thee but not for me

"Rape Would Not Exist if Women Were Stronger", according to Trump’s Campaign Manager

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended Donald’s right to privacy when it comes to his medical records and then attacked Hillary Clinton for not being forthcoming about her pneumonia. Conway is making the cable TV rounds today and she’s in rare form. On CNN she was belligerent and on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell she was nonsensical.… Continue Reading →

This is life and death in my city

Roof Lines

Every damned day, because of the damned guns. If you get shot, you want to go to Temple, because they handle more gunshot wounds than anyone else. So this routine happens at Temple U. Hospital more than anyplace else:

Philadelphia — First you get your coat. I don’t care if you don’t remember where you left it, you find it. If there was a lot of blood you ask someone to go quickly to the basement to get you a new set of scrubs. You put on your coat and you go into the bathroom. You look in the mirror and you say it. You use the mother’s name and you use her child’s name. You may not adjust this part in any way.

I will show you: If it were my mother you would say, “Mrs. Rosenberg. I have terrible, terrible news. Naomi died today.” You say it out loud until you can say it clearly and loudly. How loudly? Loudly enough. If it takes you fewer than five tries you are rushing it and you will not do it right. You take your time.

After the bathroom you do nothing before you go to her. You don’t make a phone call, you do not talk to the medical student, you do not put in an order. You never make her wait. She is his mother.

When you get inside the room you will know who the mother is. Yes, I’m very sure. Shake her hand and tell her who you are. If there is time you shake everyone’s hand. Yes, you will know if there is time. You never stand. If there are no seats left, the couches have arms on them.

You will have to make a decision about whether you will ask what she already knows. If you were the one to call her and tell her that her son had been shot then you have already done part of it, but you have not done it yet. You are about to do it now. You never make her wait. She is his mother. Now you explode the world. Yes, you have to. You say something like: “Mrs. Booker. I have terrible, terrible news. Ernest died today.”

Then you wait.

Shut up already about Colin Kaepernick

Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick says more about our patriotism than his

(Photo: Flikr)

I’m so done with this Colin Kaepernick “controversy.”

1) This is his First Amendment right. Get over yourselves if you want to deny him. People have died for our right to free speech. How dare you diminish that sacrifice for you not to feel uncomfortable? It doesn’t mean that he’s immune from criticism, but there’s something incredibly ironic to hear people complain about Kaepernick using his stature to take a stand.  Would anyone care if Colin, your local Starbucks barista, sat down during the Star Spangled Banner?  Does the money in his bank make him less a Person of Color?

2) He sat down during the playing of the National Anthem. That hurt exactly ZERO people. Where was the outrage for NFL players who beat their wives/girlfriends senseless, raped fans, got into car accidents while intoxicated, held vicious dog fights and killed puppies, or expressed racism, homophobia, sexism or other abject and un-American stupidities?

3) Do not for a moment think that it’s been missed within the African American community that standing up and protesting for equality has been criticized as being too confrontational.  As has performing in public, come to that.  But Kaepernick sits down quietly and that’s just as egregious?  Make up your damn minds.  Or could it be that the most important thing is to never make white people uncomfortable about their privilege?

While I’m on the subject of consistency, it also hasn’t passed anyone’s notice that the ones who are most offended by Kaepernick calling attention to things not being great in this country if you’re a Person of Color are the same people cheering on the privileged white guy whose entire presidential campaign is built on the country not being great for white people.

I came to San Francisco to change my life: I found a tribe of depressed workaholics living on top of one another

San Francisco Skyline

I might have been trespassing up there, but I would often go to the 19th-floor business lounge to work and study. Located on the top floor of the a luxury high-rise in the SOMA district of San Francisco, the lounge was only accessible to residents of the building. Yet for a while I found myself there… Continue Reading →


Саммит Эрдогана и Путина в зеркале западных СМИ

I’m sure this has nothing to do with Donald Trump, so don’t worry your little heads about it:

Hackers thought to be working for Russian intelligence have carried out a series of cyber breaches targeting reporters at the New York Times and other US news organizations, according to US officials briefed on the matter.

The intrusions, detected in recent months, are under investigation by the FBI and other US security agencies. Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organizations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organizations, the officials said.
The FBI declined to comment and a spokesperson for The New York Times would not confirm the attacks or the investigation.
“Like most news organizations we are vigilant about guarding against attempts to hack into our systems,” said New York Times Co. spokeswoman Eileen Murphy. “There are a variety of approaches we take up to and including working with outside investigators and law enforcement. We won’t comment on any specific attempt to gain unauthorized access to The Times.”

The Hill publishes Roger Stone’s conspiracy theories

Alex Jones & Roger Stone-001

The Hill has until recently been regarded as an unbiased reporter of Capitol Hill news and information. But this year’s election combined (obviously) with a strong desire for clickbait has led them to publish a “column” by well-known conspiracy theorist and Alex Jones BFF, as well as CNN contributor, Roger Stone. Stone uses the opportunity to… Continue Reading →

Rudy: There were no terror attacks in the U.S. before Obama


Rudy Giuliani, the very man who touts his efforts as Mayor of New York City after the attacks on September 11, 2001, just said, “Under those eight years before Obama came along we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks inside the United States.” Giuliani said that in Youngstown, Ohio, just after discussing Ground Zero… Continue Reading →

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