Friday, December 16, 2011

Congress Restricts Aid to Egypt, Pakistan -

How about a little budget cutting and spending saving when it comes to Israel, too?

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Hobbling the Fight Against Terrorism -


Why, Mr. President?

Why have you taken such an un-American position on this matter? I simply do not understand why or what has changed.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ireland’s Austerity Hailed as Example of Financial Survival -

The causes of cancer you can control : Cancer Research UK - Cancer Research UK - Science Update blog

How do we put this to use in NC?

Romney vows to visit Israel first if elected to White House - Yahoo! News

Well, he could pick any place to imagine visiting as President. What I'd like to know is why he picked Israel over China, Ireland, France, Germany, Libya, Israel, Burundi, Kazahkstan, etc. If I were in a position to ask him, I'd press him to say why shouldn't any other country be first?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ireland’s Austerity Hailed as Example of Financial Survival -

Around the World in One Movie - Film Financing’s Global Future -

What's the newspaper reporting equivalent of this? Surely, it could be much more than very good AP reporters spread about the globe.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Many Online Book Buyers First Shop Around in Stores" -

How about those who first read a newspaper and then go buy something based on an ad, story, review, or other content in a printed or digital newspaper?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Invitation to a Dialogue - Nameless on the Web?" -

The only responsible thing for the owner of a website or online offering to do is to insist on real names, grant highly limited exceptions, police abuse and discourage, aggressively, the idea that "public performances" by anonymous "players" ought to bring public dientificaiton as well.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"For European Union and the Euro, a Moment of Truth" -

There seems to be such a disconnect between a story like this and the lives of most people in Europe, at least in France. As I watch US and French news in various media from here, I sense almost a reluctance to cover this story of the economy the way it should be covered. Why? Because people's eyes glaze over so quickly when the subject is raised or simply start thinking the worst. How do we put in this in better personal perspective - not just how it affects pocketbooks but how a democratic society (ies) can work together with all their citizens to solve the problem. Surely, this is doable.
For example, here in Nice, what are 10 things that each of us might do in the week ahead to help address the problem? Is it a question of saving, spending, sending a message to someone, coming up with an idea, doing something differently? What is it? In a democratic society, we ought to be able to help out everyone and ourselves if we just get ourselves more knowledgeably organized.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"With Flixster, Studios Bet Consumers Will Buy Movies Again" -

What an interesting idea.
If going to the movies costs 10-15 USD for two people, how much would I pay, when, to be able to watch it live in a theater and then later. 20?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"Are Apps Making Cookbooks Obsolete?" -

The answer to this question will tell us a lot about the future of newspapers, believe it or not!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Times Events

The New York Times does these very well.
What I keep thinking, however, is that every newspaper has their own set of internal stars and people whom they can attract to an event. Why are more newspapers not doing this on their own scale in their own markets and making it all part of the service those newspapers offer to their customers, present, past, and future?

Finding e-mail addresses

I don't know why it remains so hard to find an e-mail address for someone. Why don't the same rules apply as for phone numbers. They are so much easier to find.

Someone needs to come up with a way to do this. There are such simple ways to do it so that people don't get bombarded with spam if that is what worries many.

But if you are at a company or in business in some way and you don't at least allow me to click on your name and send through a form to YOU, there is something wrong with how you look at the world beyond yourself. Sometimes someone might just have something to offer and you may miss it if you frustrate their good faith effort to reach you in such a gentle way by e-mail.

We both lose when this happens!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

"Citizen Journalism And The Need To Verify" - WUNC

It does not sound as though they are verifying anything other than that the video has not been doctored. That hardly constitutes verification, and the assertion of the need to allow anonymous posting of these things is ludicrous except in rare exceptional situations. Put your name on it if you want anyone to believe you, and even that is only a starting point, or at least should be!

"His Libraries, 12,000 So Far, Change Lives" -

Sounds pretty exciting, and I don't recall reading much about this project. Need to read more, so to speak!

Times Wire - Sunday morning photos

This is what the photo section of Times Wire looks like right now at about 2:30 AM EST. Lots of happy couples, no? Look closely.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Can Politicians Really Create Jobs?" -

Finally, something on this subject makes sense however discouraging this is.

KARDASHIAN v. What's His Name?

I just saw a headline about something to do with the KARDASHIANs which I take it are reality television stars of some sort who hold a mysterious fascination for millions of people. So far, at least, I am not one of them, and can honeslty say I have never watched them in anything anywhere to my knowledge.
But here is my point. I remember the name and how, I think, to spell it.
The other day, I was writing something about the Greek crisis and for a moment I could not remember Prime Minister PAPANDREOU's name. Yes, I recalled it and miraculously seem to have spelled it one of the accepted ways.
What does it say that someone with no interest in the former and huge interest in the latter, remembers the first but not the second?
It says embarrassing to me, but what about everyone else?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

"Dismal Tale of Arrest for Tiniest of Crimes" -

What an awful message this send to the rest of the world. This should not happen anywhere in the US, or anywhere else!

"Is the Web Amplifying Consumers' Voices?" -

What an important question!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"Israel and the Apartheid Slander" -

This eminent writer misses the point, I believe. If Israel were not determined to be a Jewish state, everyone would be equal and problems might even become manageable. But this Jewish state mentality means that you are either one of us, or not, and if you are not, then you will be treated differently at least in our minds if not in our laws and acts. That's the problem, and until Israel decides that it just wants to be another fully democratic country and let the chips fall where they may in terms of who governs and the role that religion plays, claims, slanderous or not, about Israel's treatment of Arabs will persist.

"Trial of Officers in Haitian Prison Massacre Is Test of System" -

Why can't we come to the point where we treat our neighbors as ourselves in terms of news coverage. This story is super as far as it goes. But I have trouble remembering the last Haiti story I saw on the NYT home page. Not to mention the rest of the Caribbean and Canada. Yes, Mexico appears more often, but usually only on one subject, as incredibly important as violence there is -- it is not the whole story of Mexico. Nor is this trial the whole story of Haiti.

Monday, October 31, 2011

"Unesco Approves Full Membership for Palestinians" -

I am delighted to be writing this from one of the countries that voted in favor of this, France. The US no vote is reflection mostly of special interests and a warped sense of fairness.

"As News Animations Go Mainstream, Taiwanese Pioneers Try Playing It Straight" -

I sure think animation is going to be a more critical part of news reporting in the future. Which newspaper uses animation most often? Think hard!

"Far From a New Dawn in Europe" -

Alas, he is right, I believe.

"Beyond Occupy" -

Yet one more example of that "learn from other countries" idea noted below.

"Deutsche Post Reinvents Services in a Digital World" -

What a great example of how we can learn from what others do.

Frustrations - Singapore Media Development event

I tried to see a list of all events for the next year and only get the first one to display.

Frustrations - and FB

So I click the button that says "Log In With Facebook" and I get "error".

"Flat Taxes and Angry Voters" -

I think we would make the debate so much better informed if we enabled people to better understand how different ideas play out in other countries. Consider taxes and France, for example. How about a profile of a manager in a retail business in France compared to one in the US. How much does each earn, but then how does it all work out in the family in terms of taxes and spending? With all of the time I have spent in France and with French people, I am still a little confused. In order to work, I think, this needs to be a year in the life sort of thing. But, of course, it has to be condensed into something that is animated, illustrated and clear.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

"New Show Steps Up Product Placement" -

Will we ever see this in the "entertainment" pages of newspapers? If it arrives there, can news be far behind for many publications? Don't think The New York Times; rather, imagine a small, struggling local or regional newspaper that has lost its classifieds and other advertisers.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The future of newspapers?

I signed up for a bunch of "deals" offers by various newspapers in a couple of countries and some number of cities. It's not something that I open regularly, but when I do I usually find something like this and wonder if this is the future of newspapers?

Monday, October 24, 2011

"Bonuses Worthy of Protest for Gannett and Tribune Executives" -

These people are no longer worth a small fraction of what they are paid. There are brighter and better peopel who could do these jobs for 10% of the salaries and bonuses and maybe even achieve better results. Why don't they get the offers?

"Seven Billion" -

How do we get our collective arms around 7,000,000,000 people?

"Economists See More Jobs for Machines, Not People" -

This sure looks like it is worth a scary read.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"New online Lowe's service is all about customer loyalty" - Local/State -

Why aren't newspapers offering this for much more of our lives?

"For Rhode Island, the Pension Crisis Is Now" -

So, Rhode Island's population is a little over 1 million. How do we calculate - or where do we find its GDP? Why? Because it would be interesting to compare it with Greece with a population of nearly 11.5 million and a GDP of about (changing target for sure) 300 billion USD. How do they compare, being at the small and suffering end of their respective communities - the US and EU?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Where Islam and democracy meet, uneasily" - David Rohde

A useful view of Turkey.

Catalogue du 26 au 31 Octobre 2011

What's the difference between this and a newspaper? It's not a trick question.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I posted this on Facebook earlier in response to a post from an old friend:
"Well, the crisis here in Europe may or may not be the result of Wall Street or other US actions, or even banks in both places. What it has become is more clear ant it is a Europe-wide self-analysis of all of the elements of the European Union. Everything about Europe is coming into question as the differences between north and south, for example or between west and the new members in the east become more important than ever. European versions of real estate crises, and market deflations combined with inflation, and the shock of sudden change forced by someone in Brussels or in some combination of France and Germany is just overwhelming millions of people in ways that are only suggested by what we see in the US. The Financial Times calculated that the Greek austerity plan – on average – is costing each household in Greece 14% of its income, double what the Irish are losing. Meanwhile there are dramatic differences between the French and German positions, and one hopes they get resolved before the G20 meeting near here in coming weeks. I think the chances of the EU staying together as it now is constituted are 50-50 at best. Leaders here are going to fall fast, I think, and what follows is anybody’s guess. President SARKOZY now (as of yesterday) polls 23% of the votes in next March’s presidential election, only 4% more than the extreme right candidate of the National Front. BERLUSCONI hangs on by a thin spaghetti strand, Ireland has already dumped its government, others are in flux, too. The only happy news here in a week has been the birth of a daughter – Julia - to SARKOZY and his wife, Carla BRUNI while he was trying to work out an agreement with MERKEL in Germany."

"Google+ va autoriser l'utilisation des pseudonymes" - Le Monde

If I understsand correctly what Google has said, it is one of the worst decisions that I think the company has ever made.

"Bus Segregation of Jewish Women Prompts Review" -

This should not happen on public transportation in the US no matter what religion is involved. Period.

"Euro, Meant to Unite Europe, Seems to Be Dividing It" -

Alas, if anything, I think this understates the crisis. It is so fundamental as to be possibly insurmountable. And if not resolvable, then what? I have no clear idea.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Murdochs’ Infighting Clouds Future of News Corp" -

This may be a good time to reflect a little on "modern management" v. "family control". That reflection ought to start with the realization that neither is better than the other, but that the media "family controled" firms are few and far between and so the future is likely to be much more of the former and little or none of the latter. That is to say - this is a story we may never see again.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Five Point Snacks Takes a Stand" -

I am surprised that more products did not start doing this sort of thing a long time ago for all sorts of causes.

"Limbaugh Defends Lord's Resistance Army" -

To label Rush LIMBAUGH an ass is to lavish too much praise upon him.

"A Hostage-Taker Calls, and a French News Blog Begins Tweeting" -

Most reporters are running huge risks in acting on anything that comes to them over a social network.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

"Bahraini Medics Seek Probe Of Prison Sentences" - NPR

I expect our President to speak out against this punishment. Where is his statement? What are his actions? If this is not a no-brainer - i.e., speak out - I don't know what is. Please, show us what we thought you were, Mr. President!

"With Deaths of Forests, a Loss of Crucial Climate Protectors" -

I'd sure like to understand this from a North Carolina perspective, and then take that understanding more global. The world looks different depending on where you look at it.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Central Falls, R.I., Library Fights to Stay Open" -

I wonder why newspapers have not succeeded in creating similar loyalty. Think about it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Killing the Recovery" -

I still don't understand why spending by everyone is not important. Is government the only entity that should spend more? Should everyone else only save or spend just what's necessary? I don't see how a yes to that question advances any economic ball very much. What are the workers expected to do who might be hired by government anywhere - spend the money they earn or save it? Why does no one address this? I fear it is because there is no good answer.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Print and apps

It sure is tough and overwhelming. See this.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"For University of Wisconsin, New Facebook Fans Pay Off" -

I saw a local grocery story today that seems to have no website but has a Facebook "like" option. And then this.

Who has time to look at all this stuff? There must be a lot of people out there - really? - who have gobs of time on their hands and an intense need to read this kind of material that I find most often of no interest or value whatsoever.

"Palestinian Statehood: Mixed Views, Low Visibility" - Pew Research Center

The 42% who favor US support for a Palestinian state are right.

Monday, September 19, 2011

"U.S. Judge Considers Making Jurors....." -

I stil find myself valuing the way juries worked when we started the Ameircan experiment. Peers meant people you knew and people who knew the accused. There was not an effort to erase knowledge or to prevent exposure to other sources of information and viewpoints. I still think that's a better system than what we have today.

"Citizens United Case Yields an Unexpected Result" -

I firmly believe that disclosure is the best response to Citizens United.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Do they sell overseas?

"The American Jobs Act — President Barack Obama's Jobs Plan"

Where is the opportunity to measure the "impact on you" here? I do not see it. Or "impact on my community" or "my state"? As supportive as I am of the President, I want to understand something before supporting it, and part of that understanding involves me, my community and my state.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"At St. Mark’s Bookshop, Killer Rent and a Petition" -

What if we could somehow introduce a preferential rent scheme for shops like this? I don't know if that's possible, but it is surely worth considering. Maybe in public buildings?

"Borderline Ridiculous" -

Sorry, but I still cannot get over the core point that people who are here illegally are just that - here illegally, in violation of the law. If we are to re-emerge as a country of laws and not of men (and women), we need either to enforce the law, change it in a way that would make someone from Libya who comes here as illegally stand in the same spot as someone here illegally from Mexico, or suffer through the unimaginable future of the status quo.

Get teh law right and fair and enforce it. The rest will largely solve itself. But we cannot wave wands and make law violations go away unless we treat everyone the same, those who have respected the law and those who have not.

The only way out that I continue to see is to do a better job of insuring that everyone in the US is here legally, and if they are not, then they should be subject to what the current law requires, including deportation.

"For Jobs, It’s War" -

This makes a lot of sense.

That said, I worry that we wind up losing a sense of the Globe in the process - if someone in the US gets a job and someone in India does not, I am not sure that's a "win" I'd like to record. A good job in India and a good job in the US is much better, and we ought not lose sight of it being better.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Raleigh Denim

They said on the State of Things that they sell overseas in fact, "sold across the world". Where and with what success?

Statesville Brick Company

I wonder if a company like this sells its bricks overseas and if not, why not? If they do, how good a business is this for them?
It would be helpful to know all of the products and services from NC that are available for sale overseas, and how they are doing. What is it that we make or offer here that people overseas don't get a chance to purchase?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"A Small-Business Owner Discusses the Merits of the Obama Jobs Proposal" -

We need to read more about what intended beneficiaries of various proposals think will happen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"The 9/11 Decade - Civil Liberties, Before and After" -

Read and weep. At least I do.

"The World Remembers 9/11, With a Touch of Weariness" -

Once again, we are reminded of how much more was lost in the years since the attacks. The US has become such a mixed bag in the eyes of far too many, and it so surely did not have to be this way.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Florida Forces Cities to Pull Local Laws Restricting Guns -

Get rid of the guns first, and worry about the legal niceties of the situation second. Where's the leadership?

Friday, September 09, 2011

In the Real World, Will the Jobs Plan Make a Difference? -

There really is a very small amount that government can do. But the President can be a better cheerleader all around than he has been.

Remember | StoryCorps

Construction takes toll on business | The Carrboro Citizen

It's really a shame that no newspaper or other news organzaiton - or individual - has come up with a way to make individual and largely isolated new stories like this one fit into a larger picture(s). The story of this construction project involves a huge number of people interested in it, and affected by it. It's not a one-off matter, but rather a story of evolution and some irritation and inconvenience and potentially loss along the way.

We have not yet developed a way of retelling the story from any selected perspective on an ongoing and real time manner.

I'd sure like to pursue the solution with anyone interested in working with me!

Monday, September 05, 2011

For a Town on a Flood Plain, Doubts About Rebuilding -

I think we do need to rethink the idea of the rest of us supporting transportation and other utilities - and general welfare - for people who choose to live or work in risky places. The burden of that risk should shift significantly in their direction, I believe. The rest of us should not be responsible for the risk takers. That's their responsibility.

All-American, Floor to Roof? Not So Simple -

Imagine how imposssible this would be, buy unnecessarily so, to do this with all "Made in North Carolina" materials?

"Two dead, homes burned in Texas wildfires" - Reuters

Why isn't Texas Governor Rick PERRY a) in Texas addressing this horrific problem in person, b) devoting so much time to something other that what he was elected to do there, and c) not diverting money he raises for his campaign to addressing, right now, the fires and drought of Texas?

He must have been listening, I might add! However, "monitor" was not what I had in mind.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rowboat Nostalgia - Rentals at Central Park and Clove Lakes -

Aix-en-Provence | Une société aixoise aurait équipé les espions de Kadhafi | La Provence

I hear some people say that newspapers can never hope to remain in the "news" business. Then I read something like the piece that sparked this one - from the Wall Street Journal to La Provence in the South of France. And I think to myself and write here - it's very hard - impossible, in face - to imagine that a volunteer "correspondent" is going to be able to do this kind of professional reporting. It just cannot happen regularly, day in, day out. There is no way. And yet by not supporting news organizations and paying for the work they do, we are moving inevitably toward that unsatisfactory future.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let's call it Hurricane Euro | Marketplace From American Public Media

Why couldn't we come up with a graphic that shows a euro fallout storm headed to the US and plot its progress across the Atlantic, at least?

Numbers in triangles on plastic

Am I the only one who has trouble reading the numbers in the triangles on most plastic containers we buy today? Why not make it easier to read so we can know how to dispose of them without doing a tombstone rubbing to read them?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Megan Ellison and Annapurna Pictures Tackle Hollywood -

On a continuum one end of which is entertainment and on the other end is hard news, there does not seem to be a lot of interest by new investors in the latter, does there?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Monday, August 22, 2011

Photos of Abandoned Housing Complexes in Ireland -

E.U. Elites Keep Power From the People -

The European Conundrum -

Homeowners Need Help -

I have an increasingly big problem accepting any idea that would aid homeowners who - for a variety of reasons, most often related to ego - bought a house they really did not need for much more money than they could afford. We should not have to bail out people in that situation. It should cost them for some time to accept the need to leave a more expensive home and move to where they really ought to have been in the first place.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Contact Us - Rasmussen Reports™

Another unsolicited survey call this morning, now from this outfit. I punched 3 for put us on your do not call list, and I called them as well asking for a confirming return call to insure we are on that list. It's offensive that they offer no electronic option to contact them. Must be a lot of people complaining as I am.
[Rasmussen called back to say that they would doublecheck that our number had been removed.]

"american survey foundation" - Bing

I just got an automated survey call from an outfit calling itself "American Survey Foundation" saying they wanted me to answer questions relating to the 2012 election. I hung up. It's curious to me that nothing pops in a web search for that name. I am not surprised not to find a listing for them; I am surprised that no one else has posted a comment or observation like this one.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Summer Camp to Lure Girls Into Manufacturing Careers -

What a great program!

Austerity Is the Wrong Idea -

I wonder why we don't hear - "Those who can, spend!"? No one should spend beyond their means (imagine!), but millions of Americans can spend without exceding their means. Why are we not encouraging them to do so? Why force it all through government? It ought to be a multipronged (at least two - private and government) to get more money into the job-supporting economy, I think.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Federal Policy Resulting in Wave of Deportations Draws Protests -

I continue to believe that the core of this entire issues is a quesiton of law and law violation. Obey the law coming into the US, and obey it here. If you break the law, you suffer the consequences. It rankles me to hear "illegals" used so often as though it was a description of someone's height.If people are here illegally, they have broken the law, and should suffere the consequences.

We ought to focus on what the law should be and what the consequences should be. But law "breakers"get prosecuted here, regardless of their background.

Raw Data on Economic Growth Paints Fuzzy Picture -

Surely, we can do better than this!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Recess Destination With Bipartisan Support - Israel and the West Bank -

It is embarrassing to see all of this attention paid to Israel when there are so many other countries in the world that deserve the time and attention of these our elected representatives. Israel is no more or less important than all of the others.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stop Coddling the Super-Rich -

So let's start this by having all of those rich people tell us how they are spenidng what they earn on spurring the economy. Perhaps we have already identifed someone who will start that process?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Alabama Law Criminalizes Samaritans, Bishops Say -

I have spent a career dedicated to human rights, but I cannot convince myself that we should treat people who violate some laws diferently than others. If people come to the US in violation of a law, they should be arrested and treated fairly under our laws. Why should some who break laws be treated differently than others? I have never seen a convincing answer to that question.

Ehsan Yarshater’s Encyclopedia of Iranian History -

Deal Would Bring Inspections of Overseas Drug Suppliers -

If I were the President, I'd be touting advances like this a lot more. Americans need to hear that the "government" is at work and doing good things.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where Will Economic Growth Come From? -

It seems to me as a non-economist that growth is going to come when people and organizations (i.e., mostly businesses and governments) spend more by way of purchasing and/or investing.

Governments everywhere claim to be out of resources for them to do this, and the will to borrow seems to have evaporated, for better or worse.

So put that group aside for the moment.

Then take organizations. Sure, there are non-profits and others who could spend more of their money either giving it away or buying stuff to give to others, or at least investing it in a way that adds to growth.

But it's the two remaining groups - businesses and individuals - that offer the greatest opportunity.

There is no point beating up businesses to hire people just to reduce unemployment if they do not need them. But businesses do have a fiduciary and moral obligation to support the economic health of the markets they serve.

So why shouldn't they start buying more things that they can give to people unable to afford them. The buying of the goods and services means that those vendors/providers wind up doing better, mayeb even hiring more people with enough of this. The company does better because the economy improves. And, lest anyone forget it, the people who really need help with basic necessities get some help beyond whatever governments provide.

That idea has not receive a lot of attention.

This one has received none.

Why not start asking rich people - people with more money than anyone with a conscious might say they need - to do the same. They could start simply buying things in their local markets that other people need and cannot afford. Local food. Local products. Local services.

Just give these things to the people who need them and don't expect a tax deduction.

So what if you wind up with a net worth of 3 million USD instead of 3.5 million as a result?

Imagine what the 500,000 could do for the economy and some wonderful fellow citizens.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

What a global food crisis looks like: Oxfam's food prices map | Oxfam International

Imagine connecting a newspaper - not just a link, but an institution - to each of these countries and their food stories.

The Global Food Crisis, Mapped -

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Off Media Radar, Famine Garners Few Donations -

What if we could all set up our start or home pages - whatever we look at first and most - to telll us of a pressing need in the world every day and the chance to simply program it so that entering an amount and one click would make it happen? In other words, something that would treat every charitable cause the same way?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Somali Tied to Militants Held on U.S. Ship for Months -

Imagine that you are overseas. Imagine that someone acting on behalf of the country's government where you are apprehends you. Imagine that they put you on a ship at sea. Imagine that they inerrogate you there for two months.

Imagine you are innocent of anything that might have justified your apprehension.

With the US doing the first paragraph, and not worrying about many legal protections for the second, how would you argue - and to whom - that this should not happen to you?

Think about it. It may be the scariest scenario that you could imagine, and the one that is increasingly a viable risk.

If we do not apply our innocence presumption and lawyer guaranteed rules to anyone we apprehend, we do far more than invite other countries to do the same with US citizens.

It's a cause not only of immense shame but huge danger to millions of Americans.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Local Laws Fighting Fat Under Siege -

That's fine if they want to do this. But require obese people in those communities to pay for their own health care entirely out of their own pockets - no insurance of any kind that operates on any notion of shared risk.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let’s Make a Deal, Amazon Tells Texas -

Why does the word bribery so quickly come to mind?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ads with no connections?

This ad appears now on the home page as I access it in Nice, France. I moused over it, and wanted to know more about the prize. No contact link here. Nothing comes up in Bing search, and the website for BNP is hopeless. Shouldn't the NYT better connect us customers with NYT advertisers, every one of them?

Come Meet the Author, but Be Prepared to Open Your Wallet -

I always thought this made a lot of sense. Now the independent bookstores have to offer e-book options at the same time on all of the possible readers. One ought not have to buy a printed book in this situation.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

It seems somehow quite astounding, as I sit here in France, that Current TV seems to have made no provision for how it can offer me the new Keith OLBERMANN show. When I say "offer", I mean on their terms. They have not figured out a way to give it to me with advertising for which they receive payment and the advertiser gets my eyes. Nor have they figured out a way to offer it to me such that I pay them directly for each show or a subscription.

What's the barrier?

This is all they say:

"If you missed the show, it'll be replayed at 11/10c and we’ll be posting video clip highlights on our webpage:"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Guide to the Greek crisis | Reuters

Which newspaper has set up the best wiki-style summary like this one, and is committed to keeping it up to date? If no newsppaer is doing so, then to what source that is are any newspapers making a link?

French newspapers and US newspapers - ever heard of one another?

It's bad enough that most US newspapers, and most French newspapers, would not dream of adding links (most of the time) to any other newspaper in their country for a different perspective, added depth or breadth on a story. In some ways, it's even worse when they refuse to do this across the sea.
The Dominique STRAUSS-KAHN case is a perfect example, and perhaps the best. Sure, the articles and the source materials in some cases appear in languages other than the first language of most of their cusotmers, but what's to be lost (and how much ot be gained!) by giving customers a chance - using various online translation tools if necessary - to see how the "other side" of the Atlantic is reporting the case. It's complicated for people in each country to understand the other's criminal justice system in all its aspects, and why not pull out all the stops - add all the links - in order to give readers their best shot at comprehending the full story? Isn't that what newspapers are supposed to do? If I have time, I will add some examples. This morning, here in France, I heard a report on French radio of the release of the prosecution's summary of events at the time of STRAUSS-KAHN's arrest. The announcer said that the full text was on the Europe1 website. English, French, links to anything else?

That same document as posted on the NYTimes site, and on Europe1.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

High-Tech Tools for Customer Service -

How many newspapers are doing this sort of thing?

Ron Johnson, Apple Stores Chief, to Lead J.C. Penney -

Imagine what he might do if hired to takeover Newspapers, Inc (i.e., the newspaper business)?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NPR reporter: ‘You know you cannot tape my speech’ | Poynter.

The growing arrogance of NPR people on and off air is getting really irritating. Many of them are very good, but none of them is that good.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

‘The Waste Land’ by App -

This is fascinating!

Imagine if every newspaper story did the same?

Why exactly can we not access the same thing - paying the same price - on the web?

Russian Fugitive Buys 20 Percent of Israeli Daily -

It's the ad , "stupid". This story is of interest, but as interesting as it is, the banner ad on the page caught my eye even more:

When Food Kills -

"Yet while the terrorist attacks of 2001 led us to transform the way we approach national security, the deaths of almost twice as many people annually have still not generated basic food-safety initiatives."
Think about that the next time you spend a half hour going through the ridiculous TSA inspections in order to get on an airplane.

Friday, June 03, 2011


In three separate reports today, I heard what very different things were worth in a marketplace where price is determined by the buyer. Not sure what to make of this....
+ $43,000 USD paid by an Asian person on the web for a bottle of 200 year old champagne found at the bottom of the sea (near Finland, I think)
+ $25 USD the new suggested admission fee to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
+ A kidney to get an iPad2 and a laptop for a Chinese teenager

E. coli: Treatments and drugs -

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Hands Off Our Houses -

This is such a crying need; we need to work harder at creative solutions to the core problem. I believe the answer lies in a little bit of several ideas, but remain bullish on the concept of modular building practices.

Casey B. Mulligan: Listing Gun Owners Might Help Criminals -

For me, transparency, and its importance in our society, trumps all of the arguments presented here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Bilingual Advantage -

Sure is nice to know that continuing a second language may have even more benefits than being able to communicate with other people in THEIR language!

The New York Times

We are 7 day/week print subscribers and have been for decades.
With all of the promotion of access to other digital platforms, I asked the Times if our subscription includes accessing the Times on Kindle. It does not, they replied, and did not even offer a reduced rate for the add-on Kindle service!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Online Pharmacy for Prescription Drugs - CVS Pharmacy Drug Store

I watched all of the cars lined up for prescriptions outside the CVS in Chapel Hill, NC today. Engines running, fumes pouring out of their exhausts. Passengers getting no exercise.
Wouldn't it be a whole lot healthier for everyone to make customers walk inside?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Force of the Deed -

I disagree at a fundamental level.
If Roger COHEN is ever stopped by a police officer alleging that COHEN has commited a crime, surely COHEN will not object. If it was clear to the police officer that COHEN had committed a crime, arrest him, put him in jail, and rid the street of his criminality.
Why, as I would, would you want the "deed" done in any other way?
Justice, right?
The mission was carried out with apparent superb skill.
We may yet learn that killing Bin Laden was the only reasonable option and if so I will join in the salute. But not until we know more.
For me, that's what justic is all about - knowing the facts and applying the rules.
It's not the satisfaction that may come to some from harm or death inflicted; it's in knowing that principles were applied well, principles that should guide the rest of our lives as well.
No exceptions.

Monday, May 09, 2011

CUNY Dusts Itself Off After Tony Kushner Stumble -

One thing for sure about this obnoxious episode: it never would have been an issue had it not been Israel that figured in the decision. It's not a sacred cow and should never be treated as one.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Valerie Lucznikowska says Bin Laden should have been brought in alive - Democratic Underground

The reactions to what she said are far more troubling than the point she made so articulately when I watched her on CNN midday today.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


My colleague, Geoffrey ROBERTSON, the UK lawyer, has voiced on the BBC my own sentiments about Bin LADEN. I am deeply troubled by the way this was handled and the failure, yet again, to respect a principle that is fundamentally American, I believe. That principle is that those accused of crimes are entitled to the same protection, regardless of how atrocious the crimes of which they are accused may be. That includes Osama Bin LADEN and and I am not at all proud of what we know so far about how the matter evolved in Pakistan. If the same sorts of efforts were made that would be made in the apprehension of a fugitive in the US by local or federal law enforcement were used in Pakistan, then I will change my view.
This report in the Guardian - later today - does not boost my confidence.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

‘Three Cups of Tea,’ Spilled -

If I were KRISTOF, I would not have written this column. Instead, I would spent my time researching and not mouthing off in emotional support of his friend, but rather helping us all get to the truth of the matter, if it lies beyond the CBS report. It's so much easier to lean back and pontificate than to do the heard research that CBS started and that others must finish. No cause is worth gross deception and waste, if that proves to be the case here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Greg Mortenson, ‘Three Cups of Tea’ Author, Disputes CBS Report -

I still don't see any investigative reporting yet on this other than by CBS. This story is just a he said, she said recount. Reporters ought to be able to do so much better than that.

‘60 Minutes’ Report Casts Doubt on ‘Three Cups of Tea’ -

With all of the reporters in the those countries, why has it taken this long for this research to be done, if accurate? If inaccurate, where are the reports by other news organizations correcting the 60 Minutes report? Either way, reporters seem asleep at the switch to me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Previewing the paper

Twenty years ago, I started giving speeches on how newspapers needed to come up with a summary of what's in today's paper and send it out by e-mail when the presses started. Few ever did this. Now the New York Times is doing precisely what I had in mind only by daily podcast. What's more, they are doing it very well!!

Friday, April 08, 2011

CNN Ratings Fall as Breaking News Fades -

My hunch is that if we graphed the CNN audience and we graphed the circulation of the Washington Post, for example, CNN would look at lot more volatile than would the Post, but that's a hunch.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Religion Does Its Worst -

For those of us who are "believers", it's sad to learn that Roger COHEN is not, but better words could not be written by anyone I know who is.

Cowardice Blocks the 9/11 Trial -

Saturday, April 02, 2011

On The Media: Transcript of "The Conclusion of the Blow the Whistle Project" (April 1, 2011)

We used a technique very similar to this to override President FORD's first veto in office - of a bill to amend the federal Freedom of Information Act in 1974, going on 40 years ago! We made a list of all the Representatives, added the announced intention to vote next to those we had and told the others we'd release the document BEFORE the vote. It worked.

An Argument for Travel During Turbulent Times -

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yahoo! France

I don't really know why computer-connected life turns out to be as frustrating as it too often does. Without success, I have just spent far too much time trying to figure out how to switch a Yahoo! search page to English from French. The French is fine but I sense the results I am getting are geared quite strongly to France and while that is helpful on some, it is not on others. But I can find no button to click or place to go that allows me to do this. What am I missing?

Google’s Book Deal -

So what's the difference between a universal library and a universal newsstand or universal news?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Radio Shack Gun Giveaway: Montana Store Offers Free Firearm With Dish Network Purchase

If this is true, I'm finished shopping at Radio Shack. But, as much as this offends me, the amateurish "reporting" of the story is pretty bad as well. Where is the attempt to contact Radio Shack? Too much work? Lazy people produce poor quality stuff. It's true everywhere.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

For Peter King, Lawmaker Examining Terror, a Pro-I.R.A. Past -

I favor a round of hearings on radical Republicans, or maybe one just focused on radical tea bags.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

NPR Executive Caught Calling Tea Partiers 'Racist' -

This seems like a story with many possible perspectives, only one of which is reflected in the NPR reaction.

Monday, March 07, 2011

CARE to Offer Virtual Packages -

Newspapers ought to be doing the same sort of thing!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Glamour's iPad Series to Let Viewers Buy Clothes From Gap -

And what's the newspaper version of this one?

'Today' Show Moves to and Stresses Video Clips -

What an interesting opportunity for newspapers to consider doing something similar to help the world understand all of the work that goes into producing everything we find under every newspaper "umbrella".

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Ivory Coast and Libya

Think about the amount of coverage we are seeing for events in Libya vs. those in the Ivory Coast. Why is that?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in the Margins -

The Lehigh Group

A great example of a "joke" of a website. This company produces a consumer product about which I had a question. It's web address appears on the packagaing but there is no information here nor any route to contact them. I searched on the Jarden Group and similarly, NO opportunity to ask a consumer question. One thing for sure....I would never invest in such a company. And I will explore all options to buying their products in the future, but it is one of those giant umbrella operations that seems to own a great many different brands and so you almost need a crib sheet to avoid them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Conference Preview | GSMA Mobile World Congress

The lack of diversity in this array of mug shots is both unsurprising and shocking.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why Innovation Doffs an Old Hat -

Shorter E-Books Show Promise for Mobile Devices -

How could newspapers help respond to this apparent demand?

Despite globalism, international news coverage is becoming a foreign concept |

I'll add two cents of comment: 1 - There is nothing to stop a Star-Tribune or any other newspaper swallowing its journalistic pride and identifying competent people living in other countries - perhaps several in each - and using those people as better than no one when the need and/or opportunity arises. That costs little and at least gives the paper feet on the ground, whether they be US citizens or foreign nationals. I know of no newspaper that has done this. 2 - The word "international" is not good in talking about this. "Overseas" news is better. The point is that almost any story reported in Minnesota or elsewhere has an international angle to it; but what this column addresses is the news, like that of Egypt and other countries in the region, that arises overseas. Yes, it raises international issues, but the need is for feet on the ground of those places overseas instead of relying on non-resident speculators.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Metropolitan Museum of Art Seeks New Audience Online -

I wonder if there are any virtual newspaper extensions today?

Friday, February 04, 2011

tunisia status - Google Search

It's discouraging that even today one cannot do this sort of search and find any news organization that seems to be keeping the situation in Tunisia updated in a wiki-type environment.

This is a great start at the New York Times, but stopped some a week or more ago?

Just where do things stand in Tunisia today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Innovations In News

Wow, the latest innovatoin at the Washington Post was last August? That sure does not come across as operating at digital speed, does it?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Saner Gun Laws -

It's depressing to see such modest proposals bite the unintelligent dust.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New York Times search

Why is the search engine on The New York Times website so bad? About 30% of the time, I simply cannot pull up something that I know for sure is there and know that it is online, but the search will not produce a link. That happened with two stories just today; saw them in passing on TimesWire, but then later when I tried to search for them, there was no sign of them. Finally found them on Google, but even there it was not on the first try, as it should be.

Tunisian spark

This morning, there was a touching tribute to this man who seems to have started much of what has happened in a short week in Tunisia . I think it was his mother, but it might have been his sister, who said that she hoped his death would bring about a new, representative and democratic government in Tunisia. That should not be so startling, but imagine the courage and appreciation required for her to do so. It would have been so much easier to rant and rave about Ben Ali or his family, or simply to do the normal thing and express tremendous grief over the loss of a son or brother, but, no, she rose above that somehow and said what so many Tunisians seem to be saying – in a rational and coherent, non-radical manner. I just hope they can keep that together. Already, yesterday, there is new Imam for Tunis and I have not seen a good report on the Friday prayers message. Separately, there is now a struggle for ownership of various enterprises in which the family had a stake, including the media where reporters are claiming that the shares owned by the family ought to be redistributed to the workers. These will be very touchy matters, and I think many of them have the potential to cause considerable unrest and consternation. So, it’s still very much doigts-crosses time, I think!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Journal Le Temps - Tunisia

One of several Tunisian newspapers online. Some are in Arabic and a few in French, like this one - the only one I have been able to access online. Having read them, and visited many of them, over the years, it really is astounding to see the stories they now carry and no apparent front page pictures of Ben Ali!

Facebook to a blog

Apparently, there is no way to link from a blog to a specific Facebook entry/posting. I wonder why this is.

Merci de patienter

This sure takes a long time to get a possible train schedule.

iTunes and iPod Shuffle

It sure takes a lot of effort to download podcasts into iTunes and then to transfer them to the iPad Shuffle (I think that is its name). And it's hard to organize what you've listened to and what you have not. Maybe it just makes sense for music that you want to download once and leave there, but for news and podcasts, life evolves and so do the news and other items. There ought to be a orderly way in which to manage this, and there does not appear to be one.

Vive la Différence -

When I try to print this, I get only part of it. Must be the graphic and there is no print option to help.

The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia

I can't get The New York Times pages to fully load.

What I Learned From Sargent Shriver -

This New York Times piece by Bono on the late Sargent SHRIVER simply won't reload and I have yet to get the whole piece to display on my screen.

Cloud storage

I use an online backup service with my laptop, and it has given me huge problems. The latest is that I have a very large Outlook file that it seems unable to swallow in one backup. So I must keep it running for days in the hope that the connection holds and it is able to swallow the whole thing. That means I cannot reboot my Lenovo and improve efficiency.


I tried to print this page and Internet Explorer said there was a problem and it had to close. Tried it twice.

"Vive la Différence" -

This looked like it might be an interesting graphic until I read it. While it may offer a valid characterization in a few cases, and one or two laughs, I have to wonder whether the Times would do one of these talking about Latin-Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans, etc. Probably not is the likely answer, so why pick on the - mostly - Europeans? Thick skins?

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I am especially interested in the evolving situation in Tunisia as are many people.

As I look online and on television (here in France) for coverage, I am struck by several things.

The ease of getting to quality coverage has really not improved very much in the last twenty years. I mean that literally.

It is still a matter of making some informed and uninformed guesses about where to go, and a matter of the places visited in the internet and on television deciding when and what to share.

Much of what I see is either older information (as in hours), or is just not relevant to my core questions about what is happening.

I know of no way that one can go to virtual real time, well-informed and researched coverage, either for free for a fee.

It's remarkable that we have come so far technologically traveling no distance at all in terms of what matters most....the content of what we consume.

Friday, January 14, 2011

All Tomorrow's Taxis -

New Gun Control Limits Are Improbable, Lawmakers Say -

I have sadly come to the view that there are basically two groups of people in the US. One group is intelligent and caring of all those living creatures around them. They support the intelligent policy that basically prohibits most people from owning or using firearms. Instead, this group believes that only people who have a proven need to have a gun ought to be allowed to have and use one (or more). These people should be strictly supervised, licensed, inventoried, examined, etc. I am a member of this group, whether or not I have the intelligence associated with most who believe this way.

The other group, largely unintelligent people, believe otherwise.

For me, it's a simple choice and if we choose not to change, the blame for future tragedies caused by the use of guns rests solidly with that second group and with those of us in the first group who fail to make our case successfully.

A friend told me long ago never to engage in a battle of the wits with the unarmed, and I am afraid her advice was good, is good, and is likely to result in leaving the intelligent gun policy on the shelf instead of on the streets.