Archive: May, 2012
If you like to read good stories about sports in this town, you probably know all about Mark Kram Jr. of the Daily News. He is, without a doubt, the best long-form sportswriter in Philadelphia. Mark's stories are the ones they always run in the newspaper on the Fridays or the Tuesdays when none of the local teams have been in action -- because they want to give Mark extra pages for his prose, and they want you to pay full attention.
Most sports journalists write about games. Mark writes about human beings. You know, it always get mentioned (and here I am, falling into the same trap) that Mark's dad was a famous writer for Sports Illustrated back in the glory days of the 1960s and 1970s, covering the larger than life canvas of Ali and Frazier in their heyday. That is interesting...in the way of trivia. Mark Kram Jr. shows day in and day out that you can be a great co-worker, a great husband, a great dad to two successful daughters -- and a great sportswriter at the same time. To me, that's worth about 1,000 "Thrilla in Manilla"s.
That's an actual sentence from a very good ProPublica explainer about drones. How weird. I'm sure it would be extremely popular if other nations rained down death and destruction on American citizens from our airspace.
Anywho, the New York Times weighed in today with an editorial about President Obama and his extraordinary power over who lives or dies. It goes something like this:
The other day I was bemoaning the journalism crisis (and yes, Sara Ganim, it is a crisis) in New Orleans, where a crime-and-corruption-ridden city with an abysmally low rate of Internet penetration is losing as many as 50 traditional journalists and delivering a printed newspaper to its citizens only three times a week.
Today, I decided to quit my bemoaning and suggest some actual solutions to the problems in the Crescent City. I've published a piece on the journalism website Poynter.org that's entitled, "A Big, Not Easy solution to the journalism crisis in New Orleans."
If Upper Darby's Tina Fey had come of age during the Tom Corbett era, there'd be no high school theater -- so I guess if she were lucky she could have worked three jobs to pay for a Penn State degree as a fracking engineer. Instead, she's a famous writer and actress who's calling out Corbett's baloney policies.
" ‘Educational Realignment’ should be the new euphemism for crapping in your own bed," Fey writes in an email to friends and family.
Think about it for a minute. Bob Dylan writes a song in the '60s called "Subterranean Homesick Blues" that features the line, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." That inspires a radical bombmaking group called the Weathermen and later the Weather Underground, which included Chicago's William Ayers. More than four decades later, Obama gets himself elected president so he can reward Dylan with a medal.
All proof that Obama really was born in Kenya.
Since they chanted "Drill, baby, drill!" at the 2008 RNC, maybe they could chant "Kill, baby, kill" at the 2012 DNC when they re-nominate President Obama:
Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.
People have complained that I've been too bitter and cranky lately (unlike the bright and sunny days of this blog during the Iraq War, etc.) and maybe they have a point. So this is a groovy, peace-and-love-filled shout-out to a great Daily News front page story by Jason Narkand a great front page by designer Amy Raudenbush, which got this well-deserved recognition.
And just remember what the Dormouse said:
A profile of venture capitalist Peter Thiel in the new New Yorker (yes, the New Yorker) is one of the more thought-provoking pieces I've read in a while. Here's the money paragraph:
The information age has made Thiel rich, but it has also been a disappointment to him. It hasn’t created enough jobs, and it hasn’t produced revolutionary improvements in manufacturing and productivity. The creation of virtual worlds turns out to be no substitute for advances in the physical world. “The Internet—I think it’s a net plus, but not a big one,” he said. “Apple is an innovative company, but I think it’s mostly a design innovator.” Twitter has a lot of users, but it doesn’t employ that many Americans: “Five hundred people will have job security for the next decade, but how much value does it create for the entire economy? It may not be enough to dramatically improve living standards in the U.S. over the next decade or two decades.” Facebook was, he said, “on balance positive,” because of the social disruptions it had created—it was radical enough to have been “outlawed in China.” That’s the most he will say for the celebrated era of social media.
It was a day for remembering, a day for waving flags, bowing heads and playing Taps, clear and true, across the cemetery, where veterans and others gathered at the end of the parade route for a short memorial service.
Once upon a time, the New Orleans Times-Picayune wasn't able to publish a newspaper every day. You may have heard about it: Hurricane Katrina. The year was 2005 and people knew even less about getting news to folks over the Internet -- but that's what the intrepid staff of one America's great newspapers did, as best as they could. And did it ever work.
The Times-Picayune newsroom -- and its relentless push to get the story out through any channel it could -- saved lives: