Monthly Archive: August 2010

Aug 31 2010

Competing journalistic models

The 1970s had two major events that had implications for journalism. One was the publication in June 1971 by the New York Times of a top secret history of the US military involvement in Vietnam from 1945-1967, now called the Pentagon Papers, that had been leaked to it by a then-unknown mid-level intelligence analyst named …

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Aug 30 2010

No blog posts until further notice

Due to technical problems with my computer, I will not be able to post anything until it is fixed, which I hope will be later today.

Aug 27 2010


One of the interesting things about a blog is the comments section that enables readers and author to interact. The problem, as I have written before, is spam comments that just clog up the boards and waste people’s time. I have an open and unmoderated comment system which means that anyone can comment without registering …

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Aug 26 2010

The controversy over the Islamic center in New York

I don’t usually write much about many of the political events that dominate the news. Most of the time, our national discourse is dominated by the trivial and to even comment on it is to give undue importance to it and feed the flames. But another reason I don’t comment is because there is usually …

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Aug 25 2010

Film Review: The Lives of Others and Quantum of Solace

It’s been a couple of decades since I watched a James Bond film. I saw almost all of the Sean Connery originals, then a couple of the Roger Moore versions, and then gave up on the franchise, thus missing out on what George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, and Pierce Brosnan added to this iconic figure of …

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Aug 24 2010

The shrinking credibility of the US government: The case of Shahram Amiri

As a result of all the shameful things the US government is doing in the name of fighting terrorism, it now has little credibility when it comes to claiming any moral superiority over other nations. It can no longer credibly condemn arbitrary arrest, indefinite detention, denial of habeas corpus, torture, and summary executions by the …

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Aug 23 2010

From consumer to citizen

(Text of a talk given at Case Western Reserve University’s Share the Vision program in Severance Hall on Friday, August 20, 2010 1:00 pm. This program is to welcome all incoming first year students. My comments centered on the common reading book selection Bottlemania by Elizabeth Royte.) As those of you near the front rows …

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Aug 20 2010

Testing the commitment to fundamental rights

The real test of your commitment to fundamental rights comes when the exercise of those rights arouses strong antagonistic feelings in you. Are you willing to defend the free speech rights of people who say things you find hateful? Are you willing to defend due process rights for those whom you despise? Why I support …

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Aug 19 2010

More on Obama’s disdain for due process and civil liberties

As an example of the disdain that the Obama administration has for the rights of even US citizens, take the case of Yahya Wehelie, a 26-year old US-born citizen. His case, though not involving torture, illustrates how government power can be abused when we allow it to operate in secrecy. While Wehelie was traveling abroad, …

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Aug 18 2010

Obama’s disdain for civil liberties

As readers of this blog know, after supporting Barack Obama against John McCain in the presidential election, I have been a harsh critic of his actions once in power. This should not come as a surprise as I said before the election that I would hold him to the same standards I applied to Bush-Cheney …

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