Archives for category: Honesty

My girlfriend and I were eating breakfast today when an idea suddenly hit her (as they often do, those violent ideas):

“Babe!” she screamed. “I think in the future, the most attractive thing about a person will be the extent to which they are dumb about the world around them.”

I looked at her, vaguely interested, and chewed my sausage.

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By now it must seem that all I read is The New York Times. That’s not true. I mainly read the Times’ editorials and the reader comments (especially the reader recommended comments) because I do think that the editorials/op-eds are actually more informative and honest than “all the news that’s fit to print.” But that’s the subject of another blog post.

One commenter in particular* is the subject of my most recent “blog crush,” though she’s not writing a blog per se. Her name is AnnS and she’s apparently from Michigan and holds multiple degrees in social/historical/political/economic fields, with a specialty in The Great Depression. She responds to most of the articles that I read, and is one of the top recommended commenters on every post. She should be writing for the Times, but I think she might be too honest for them.

Today, David Brooks wrote a column in which he claims he explains one-on-one conversations he has had with people in the Obama White House about policy – specifically that he, as a professed moderate (really he’s a neoconservative) Republican, was concerned about all the spending and the resulting taxes, and Brooks says that these Obamatons (Brooks’ word for them) told him, privately, things that make them seem much¬† more conservative than I think most people view them to be.

Of particular interest to me in this article was the part in which Brooks claims that some Obama staffer actually told him that Obama is “extremely committed to entitlement reform and is plotting politically feasible ways to reduce Social Security as well as health spending.”

Excuse me?

Obama is committed to reducing Social Security and health spending?

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Image via The Economist

Image via The Economist

Above: AP photo from the Greek riots of December 2008

I’ve been busy, and I’ve not been blogging! My good friend Sheena tried to remind me that I should be updating my blog more often, since print is dead and all.

But ever since leaving PEOPLE I’ve been busy trying to start my new online newsmagazine (coming soon) and writing for The Indypendent newspaper/website here in New York.

(Tangent: It’s not just because I want to curry favor among The Indypendent‘s editors, but the newspaper is a hotbed exactly the kind of of serious-minded yet fun-loving folks that everyone would be lucky to know. It’s got enormous potential.)

When I’ve not been writing, I’ve, as usual, been reading – and far too much of that, I might add. The news these days is almost all bad but is also really amazing in a lot of ways. Finally it’s okay to say that government investment in society is what we’ve needed for the past 30 years. Finally it’s okay to say that most news is actually making people dumber. People are responding to news articles by the thousands to let writers and editors know that they don’t always buy their glossed-over commentary. It’s getting more democratic out there in Internet-land.

But amid all of this excitement, there are still glaring voids in what’s being covered by mainstream media. There was nary a whisper on The New York Times website about the effects the collapse of Iceland’s krona and the IMF’s disastrous 18% interest on the loan they gave the country will have on its people.¬† This was a highly important development because Iceland represents the first primarily Caucasian country that the IMF is helping to destroy with its relentless free-trade policies, the same policies the country has, to its benefit, resisted for so long. A similar media black-out has been instituted for the same situation happening in Hungary (You can, however, find stories about how the IMF loan raised the country’s stock prices). I can’t believe that it’s just because there are no international reporters/bureaus that could report on these developments.

Also glaring was the scant in-depth coverage of Greece’s devolution into chaos and instability in the aftermath of the police murder of a 15-year-old boy named Alexandros Grigoropoulos. Now I’ve begun to understand that Greece has a history of rioting often, but that, to me, does not matter given the gravity of the current problems there that are the basis of these most recent riots and protests. Every day, Greek kids (and some adults) are firebombing businesses, looting grocery stores, even setting fire to police officers and in the midst of that chaos, the entire country endured a general strike related to economic policy and high rates of unemployment. Woah! This is big news!

But you won’t find the terrifying and also beautiful daily photos from all over Greece on most U.S. newspaper’s websites (one better site is Why? That’s up for discussion. The photos are nowhere near as gruesome as, say, pictures of murdered Iraqis from the U.S. occupation of that country. Nobody could seriously claim that Americans aren’t ready for the Greek riots.

Or could they? Is it possible that the MSM and their handlers are afraid of even mentioning a general strike in an entire country during this time of high dissatisfaction with our own economic situation and government?

That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

I, for one, would love to hear an in-depth analysis with proper historical context of the economic conditions on the ground in Greece that helped to incite violence on the scale that is currently being perpetrated there. Oh, and hold the anti-anarchist propaganda, would you?

Update: writer Ms. Railey has been analyzing the Greek situation in-depth and has a good perspective.

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