Haleh Esfandiari is the Director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She describes how the so-called “Islamic State” fills its coffers by sex trafficking, among other things. To say the least, accusations of “Western decadence” from this organization ring hollow. Some say its administration is more efficient than before, but at what price?
September 29, 2014
I thought my eyes were deceiving me. About four hundred thousand people marched in New York City on September 21st — the largest single protest ever held on climate change — with similar events occurring in 166 countries. Yet my local paper, the Journal Inquirer of Manchester, CT, didn’t mention it on September 22. Not even a news brief. Meanwhile, the paper had space for an all-important brief about a ranger being arrested for poaching in South Africa, a story about a police chief in a small New Hampshire town getting a restraining order, and a story about the US Navy’s plan to restore a historic prison in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. There was a long one about holding back dust mite dung and that stop-the-press feature on “6 simple routines for healthy hair and skin.” But, apparently, THE JOURNAL INQUIRER (which, to be fair, is one of the few remaining snappy papers that doesn’t mainly feature fluff) said nothing about a historic march in New York.
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To clarify: This isn’t a criticism of the general media. The event made the front page in countless outlets; this is a criticism of the Journal Inquirer, specifically, which publishes under the motto: “The JI tells it like it is. Somebody has to.” It is primarily a local paper but it carries national and international news — which means it has no excuse.
I was once in the business and I can hear the replies: “We’re local … we were understaffed on Sunday … we didn’t have space for it … other news outlets handled it … we’re an afternoon paper …”
Nonsense. The editors could have chased the story via the “local angle.” Send a reporter with local groups, interview them, and splash it across the page.
As it was, JI readers were told nothing. Apparently, it was a non-event.
Here is some aerial footage of the non-event event:
Letters to the editor
September 15, 2014
It’s a strange harmony. Wall Street powerhouses now chime with robed clerics in an offbeat tune: Ruining our atmosphere is not only immoral, it’s bad for the S&P 500. What’s next? Will the executives and clergy swap portfolio tips for divestment brochures at the People’s Climate March on September 21 in New York City?
August 2, 2014
It’s a verified fact: Anyone signing up for the professional ministry is nuts. Don’t waste time on those psychological tests. If they apply, they’re cracked. That would be me. I’ve been throwing myself into the kind of work that lands people on the operating table for 25 years. It’s American Anxiety Employment on steroids. I’m loopy.
July 14, 2014
Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.
May 28, 2014
Since two independent teams of scientists independently concluded that ice sheets in West Antarctica are past the tipping point — behaving independently from ostrich-in-the-sand dreams — maybe it’s time we get independent in our thinking. A possible path toward such independence (play the video) …