What makes up ‘the press’ and who is a ‘journalist’?

Times are hard for the mainstream media. They are suddenly waking up to the fact that they are not such an exclusive and desirable club after all and that people do not need them that much anymore. In response they are trying to desperately reserve the label of ‘journalist’ only to those who belong to their club. It is amusing to see how some courtier journalists like David Gregory are forced to interview people like Glenn Greenwald and yet try to avoid at all costs calling him a journalist, instead referring to him as a blogger, columnist, activist, lawyer, and the like. [Read more…]

The dismal state of the US banking industry

The Daily Show takes a close look at the banking sector in the US where, unlike in many countries, the banks seem to be more like crime syndicates than staid financial institutions.

In the first clip, the show discusses yet another revelation about how the banks and ratings agencies colluded to play fast and loose with other people’s money while they got rich, knowing that what they were doing was corrupt and likely to cause a collapse. [Read more…]

The practical consequences of the same-sex court decisions

While yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions undoubtedly advanced the movement towards full equality for same-sex couples, there are still many practical matters that need to be addressed. NPR had a good segment where they looked at how the court rulings will affect a whole list of things such as immigration, taxation, social security, armed forces, etc., especially in those states that still do not recognize same-sex marriages. This is because some federal regulations are tied to state laws, and that will cause complications that need to be unentangled. [Read more…]

Top five regrets of the dying

An Australian nurse who spent years working in palliative care looking after dying people during the last twelve weeks of their lives, recorded their epiphanies at the end of life and has compiled a list of their top five regrets.

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard (most often expressed by men)
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier

[Read more…]

A new paradigm of whistleblowing

As an advocate of the rule of law, I have naturally supported efforts to increase government transparency. If you allow governments to act in the dark and claim secret knowledge and powers and an unfettered right to take actions based on that secret information, you have pretty much abandoned the rule of law. I have long been frustrated with how subservient the US mainstream media has been to governments, not aggressively probing and investigating but instead being satisfied with authorized leaks by high government officials who give out this information either to promote the government’s agenda or advance their own careers or both. [Read more…]