The political-media axis

Charles Davis recounts how as a newly minted reporter starting his first job in 2007, he learned first hand how the system works when he reported on what should have been an important story only to have his editors quash it because they feared that if they published it they would lose access to the powerful politician who had spoken to him on the record. [Read more...]

Seeking Asian Female

This is the name of a new documentary by Debbie Lum who wanted to examine the phenomenon of “yellow fever”, the extreme attraction some American men have for Asian women that sometimes borders on fetishism. While starting out with every intention of being just a dispassionate observer of one man’s search for an Asian bride, she ended up as an awkward participant. [Read more...]

Another example of not getting the benefit of the doubt

A black couple bought a foreclosed house and were doing something to it prior to moving in when they were attacked by neighbors at gunpoint who thought they were burglars. To add insult to injury, because they did not have the purchase documents on them, the law enforcement officers whom the neighbors called did not believe they were the owners and arrested the couple and took them to jail where they were forced to spend the night. [Read more...]

For whose benefit are the current economic policies designed?

One of the mysteries of governmental responses to the current financial crises in the US and Europe has been the call for more austerity and belt tightening, even at the risk of social turmoil. One would think that the natural tendency for policy makers fighting a depressed economy is for increased government spending to stimulate employment and growth. And yet we hear endless blathering about the importance of balancing budgets and closing deficits, by which is meant cutting social programs that benefit the majority rather than cutting spending on defense or raising taxes on the wealthy. [Read more...]

The national security state grows even more threatening

The excellent news program Democracy Now! had a discussion with three people about the increasingly police state nature of the US. One guest was William Binney, a whistleblower who used to work for the National Security Agency for nearly 40 years and revealed their covert and illegal invasion of American’s communications. He was unsuccessfully prosecuted by president Obama’s administration for whistleblowing. The second was Laura Poitras, an Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker who made films about Iraq and Yemen and is currently working on one about increasing domestic surveillance and the attacks on whistleblowers. The third was internet security expert and hacker Jacob Appelbaum who has been a spokesperson for WikiLeaks and has tried to create portals of anonymity for web users. Listen to them describe their experiences. [Read more...]

How far should commitment to nondiscrimination go?

Vanderbilt University has stripped a Christian student group of official recognition because it had a clause that says “Criteria for officer selection will include level and quality of past involvement, personal commitment to Jesus Christ, commitment to the organization, and demonstrated leadership ability.” It was the phrase “personal commitment to Jesus Christ’ that resulted in the plug being pulled. [Read more...]