Why I love WikiLeaks

November 30, 2010

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Why does wheat cause arthritis? Wheat causes arthritis. Before you say “What the hell is he saying now?”, let me connect the dots on how this ubiquitous dietary ingredient accelerates the path to arthritis in its many forms.

http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/why-does-wheat-cause-arthritis.html

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — We are driving to Costco to buy beer for a horse. Not just any beer. It has to be Guinness. The horse likes Guinness, likes it room temperature, likes it at a certain time of day. So assistant trainer Michelle Jensen and I are taking the truck to a strip mall. http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/eticket/story?page=101104/Zenyatta

 

 

Posted via email from David Locker’s Posterous

Thomas Jefferson on Banking

November 18, 2010

“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816. http://www.dylanratigan.com/2010/11/18/thomas-jefferson-on-banking/

Think About Pink

November 15, 2010

I hate to be a buzz kill, but breast cancer is just not sexy. It’s not ennobling. It’s not a feminine rite of passage. And, though it pains me to say it, it’s also not very much fun. I get that the irreverence is meant to combat crisis fatigue, the complacency brought on by the annual onslaught of pink, yet it similarly risks turning people cynical. By making consumers feel good without actually doing anything meaningful, it discourages understanding, undermining the search for better detection, safer treatments, causes and cures for a disease that still afflicts 250,000 women annually (and speaking of figures, the number who die has remained unchanged — hovering around 40,000 — for more than a decade). http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/14/magazine/14FOB-wwln-t.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

Salaries

November 14, 2010

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

Many left-leaning moviegoers will believe the film must be true: it’s produced by that great curly-haired fellow who made ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’  Never mind his misunderstanding of NAEP cut levels, his misrepresentation of tenure, and his refusal to provide even a slight bit of nuance about charter schools – the public comes away from this flick not even know what they don’t know (yes, I’ve seen it).  And, as far as someone like Philip Anschutz is concerned, that’s just fine and dandy – it fits right in with the school reform agenda pushed by the think tanks he funds. http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2010/10/philip-anschutz-and-walden-media-what.html 

This boils down to a non partisan issue. This reveals some hidden partisanship on behalf of the filmmakers, which ultimately means they don’t have the interests of the kids. Surprise.

Back then, a policy against political contributions would have aimed to avoid even the appearance of partisanship. But today, when Olbermann draws more than 1 million like-minded viewers to his program every night precisely because he is avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan, it is not clear what misdemeanor his donations constituted. Consistency?

We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

The commercial success of both MSNBC and Fox News is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s oft-quoted observation that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” seems almost quaint in an environment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts.

And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone.

It is also part of a pervasive ethos that eschews facts in favor of an idealized reality. The fashion industry has known this for years. A recent investigative report by Esquire magazine found that men’s jeans from a variety of name-brand manufacturers are cut large but labeled small. The actual waist sizes are tailored anywhere from three to six inches roomier than their labels insist.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter that we are being flattered into believing what any full-length mirror can tell us is untrue. But when our accountants, bankers and lawyers, our doctors and our politicians tell us only what we want to hear, despite hard evidence to the contrary, we are headed for disaster. We need only look at our housing industry, our credit card debt, the cost of two wars subsidized by borrowed money, and the rising deficit to understand the dangers of entitlement run rampant. We celebrate truth as a virtue, but only in the abstract. What we really need in our search for truth is a commodity that used to be at the heart of good journalism: facts – along with a willingness to present those facts without fear or favor.

To the degree that broadcast news was a more virtuous operation 40 years ago, it was a function of both fear and innocence. Network executives were afraid that a failure to work in the “public interest, convenience and necessity,” as set forth in the Radio Act of 1927, might cause the Federal Communications Commission to suspend or even revoke their licenses. The three major broadcast networks pointed to their news divisions (which operated at a loss or barely broke even) as evidence that they were fulfilling the FCC’s mandate. News was, in a manner of speaking, the loss leader that permitted NBC, CBS and ABC to justify the enormous profits made by their entertainment divisions.

On the innocence side of the ledger, meanwhile, it never occurred to the network brass that news programming could be profitable.

Until, that is, CBS News unveiled its “60 Minutes” news magazine in 1968. When, after three years or so, “60 Minutes” turned a profit (something no television news program had previously achieved), a light went on, and the news divisions of all three networks came to be seen as profit centers, with all the expectations that entailed.

I recall a Washington meeting many years later at which Michael Eisner, then the chief executive of Disney, ABC’s parent company, took questions from a group of ABC News correspondents and compared our status in the corporate structure to that of the Disney artists who create the company’s world-famous cartoons. (He clearly and sincerely intended the analogy to flatter us.) Even they, Eisner pointed out, were expected to make budget cuts; we would have to do the same.

I mentioned several names to Eisner and asked if he recognized any. He did not. They were, I said, ABC correspondents and cameramen who had been killed or wounded while on assignment. While appreciating the enormous talent of the corporation’s cartoonists, I pointed out that working on a television crew, covering wars, revolutions and natural disasters, was different. The suggestion was not well received.

Please, change your party affiliation to IND…and start thinking for yourself.

Hunter-Gatherer extraordinaire

But more than anything, the fact that the president took on the structural flaws of a broken free enterprise system instead of focusing on things that the average voter could understand explains why his party was routed on Tuesday. Obama got on the wrong side of voter anxiety in a decade of diminished fortunes. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/how-obama-saved-capitalism-an…