Archive for April, 2011

Those scrappy Gen Xers

By • on April 30, 2011 at 4:50 am

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“Bad media!” sez government

By • on April 30, 2011 at 2:57 am

“Bad media!” sez government. “Bradley Manning bad man! Bad protesters for supporting bad man! Bad media for reporting on bad protesters supporting bad man! Bad bad bad!!! No more biscuit!”

That’ll teach the S.F. Chronicle not to actually, y’know, chronicle stuff.

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Three Cups of a Flawed Hero: The Limits of Greg Mortenson’s Model of Change

By • on April 28, 2011 at 9:46 pm

It’s tempting to expect perfection from those we admire, but we romanticize lone heroes at our peril. A few years before one-time supporter Jon Krakauer challenged the truthfulness of Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, a professor asked me my thoughts on using the book as a reading for first-year students, to encourage them to [...]

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Corporate America’s War on Political Transparency

By • on April 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm

It’s a modest notion. Companies that bid for government contracts should disclose their campaign spending, in order to diminish the likelihood that contracts are a payoff for political expenditures. The Obama administration has indicated that it plans to impose such a rule, through an executive order. Ideally, the rule would prohibit contractors and lobbyists from [...]

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April 28, 1987: Benjamin Linder

By • on April 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm

The University of Washington has a long tradition of students and graduates who have bravely traveled to Central America to help improve the lives of ordinary people there. A great many of these have returned to their alma mater to tell the stories of the work they’ve done in that long-troubled region. For Benjamin Linder, [...]

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Thrifty Families and Other Lies

By • on April 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

In his State of the Union address President Obama repeated this ancient canard: “We have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in,” he said. “That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.” Republicans have used this [...]

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Indelible Passions: From the Easter Rising to the American Civil War

By • on April 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

Back in Ireland when I grew up, Easter was a very serious affair. In my home town of Youghal many shops closed for the entire week, as you might expect in a country at that time vying with Poland, Spain and the Philippines as the most intensely Catholic country on the planet. Throw into the [...]

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Polls to pols – pay attention!

By • on April 21, 2011 at 4:15 am

Polls continue to show that most people oppose Republican proposals for addressing government deficits. Yet Republicans get high marks for “stronger leadership.” Apparently, people want strong leadership, even in the wrong direction. But what if someone offered leadership in the direction most people want, i.e. taxing the rich instead of punishing those on Medicare and Social Security?

Time for Dems to wake up and smell the coffee.

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Why Not Link Pols’ Pay Level to Ours?

By • on April 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Most Americans don’t like Moammar Kadafi or Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. But that might change if they knew their paychecks. The leaders of Libya and Iran get $9,516 and $3,000 a year annually, respectively. Obama collects $5,505,509–a whopping $22,022 per day. Who’s the real out-of-touch dictator? As the U.S. enters its third year of economic collapse, real [...]

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What’s Really Going on in Libya?

By • on April 17, 2011 at 7:35 pm

It looks as though eastern Libya will slide into the Mediterranean under the sheer weight of western journalists assembled in Benghazi and Misrata. A tsunami of breathless reports suggests that Misrata is enduring travails not far short of the siege of Leningrad in World War II. The reports have been seized on by Obama, Cameron [...]

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