Over to you Marco, once you’re done playing

As we head into the final weeks before the Iowa caucuses on February 1, if you live in that state expect to see a barrage of ads from each candidate featuring the familiar Republican story that the country is besieged by dangers on all fronts that is threatening the very existence of the republic and only their particular candidate knows what to do to meet the challenge.
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Should a newspaper’s owner be allowed to be anonymous?

This question has arisen because the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the state of Nevada’s largest circulation newspaper, was bought by someone and no one, not even the reporters working at the paper, knows their identity. What is more, the new owner paid a sum of $140 million, which was well above what people considered the market value.
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Leave aging celebrities alone

The public has a love-hate relationship with celebrities, idolizing them when they are at their peak and then turning on them when they inevitably decline with age. That thought occurred to me when I looked at the sponsored advertisements at the bottom of each post. It is depressing to see the number of them that have titles like Gross: See Photos Of 35 Celebrities Who’ve Aged Horribly and Celebs Who Went From Bombshell to Bummer. Since these ads are designed to be click-bait, it is clear that there is a market to simply see people who are no longer as young and conventionally attractive as they once were.
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Michael Moore’s new film Where to Invade Next

I had been wondering when Michael Moore would come up with another of his zany documentaries and whether he was working on one at all. I was glad to see that he was and that he did it in secret to enable him to employ his usual guerilla filmmaking tactics more effectively. It is going to be out soon. In this one, Moore ‘invades’ Europe to see how those countries differ from the US and to seize all their good ideas, rather than invade countries for their oil.
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Matt Taibbi tears into Thomas Friedman, again

Readers will have noted that I am an admirer of Matt Taibbi’s writings, quoting extensively from his articles because I see him as an accurate observer of the American political scene with a witty style. I also cannot stand New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and am baffled by the admiration he seems to generate with his vacuous pieties. I first came across Taibbi a long time ago when he was writing for a regional paper because of his hilarious and brutal takedown of Friedman’s inanities. Taibbi and Friedman seemed to be made for each other. (See here, here, and here.)
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Nudity in classical art

Anyone who has been to any art museum, especially those featuring traditional works, will know that they contain rampant full frontal nudity. This is a problem for the media in the US when they have to report on record-breaking auction sales of art works like Modigliani’s Reclining Nude because they have to deal with readers and viewers who are offended by the sight of naked humans even in paintings and sculptures. Should they show the work as is or cover up the naughty bits?
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What the post-debate debate on the debate teaches us

There has been an intriguing post-debate debate on who ‘won’ the Democratic debate. I commented before that the professional pundits in the media seem to be overwhelmingly of the opinion that Hillary Clinton won while my opinion of it was that Bernie Sanders did much better. Of course, all these are just subjective opinions and colored by one’s own preferences. Since I am a Sanders supporter and a Clinton skeptic, my views have a high probability of being skewed.
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