Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk - Interactive Graphic -

Amazing - this put me within 30 miles of my home town!

Legacy of a Crash, Unfinished Houses Haunt Ireland -

Sadly, County Cavan where my grandfather was born, is at the heart of this.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Protests Aim at One Man Who Moved North Carolina to the Right -

This is much more complicated than on first appearance, it seems to me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Tobacco Firms’ Tactics Limit Poorer Nations’ Smoking Laws -

To the shame of North Carolina.


BBC story on this today - 10,000 USD book caught my attention plus photographer's comments that the more primitive the place he visited, the better he was treated.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

NC Groups Sue State Over ‘Unconstitutional’ Private School Vouchers | WUNC

Anything that in any way detracts from public schools - using state support in any fashion - is a bad idea.

Gun Country - The New York Times

Mark me as "revile".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Case for Filth -

I suspect that this will start a conversation or two!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Senator HAGAN

I listened to her speak today in Raleigh. Among other things, she said her four favorite words are "Made in North Carolina". Well, that may be, but I have a lot of problems with that at least as the idea is presented today. What a hodgepodge of stuff we produce! Look around any store selling anything and point out the NC products. Try it; it's depressing. Are we really proud of all this? I think we are the second biggest growers of turkeys, but I've never noticed an NC label on any bird for sale. Why? But what really got me upset was her saying that in negotiations on a Pacific Rim trade zone, she is fighting to be sure that North Carolina tobacco farmers are not injured by any agreement. How can we possibly square helping the rest of the world when we are sending them a product "Made in North Carolina" that makes people addicts and stands a pretty good chance of killing them?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Inequality of Climate Change -

Another reason why the critics very much speak for themselves.

Unlearning Gun Violence -

We have too many guns, period.

The Extra Legroom Society -

We all ought to look at this more closely.

The Extra Legroom Society -

We all ought to look at this more closely.

NC Congress Members Lobby USDA To Not Sequester Tobacco Buyout Money | WUNC

There is no moral basis for supporting the growing of tobacco. Period.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Where the Money Goes: By County

What would this amount have been if all of the money spent on lottery tickets had been distributed?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

In Massachusetts, Health Care Prices Remain Hard To Get : Shots - Health News : NPR

I think making us better consumers or medical care, and health insurance, is nowhere near as important as I think it should be.

Era Fades for Helping Hand at the Washroom Sink -

It is interesting to think of so many services and civilities that have gone into history for better or worse.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Culture Cavan

Protests Halt Kelly’s Speech at Brown University -

I share the embarrassment of the Brown President. Protest is a good thing, but it crosses the line when it prevents voices from being heard. Only when we hear from all sides can we ever hope to get close to the truth on any and every matter.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Factions in the House of Representatives - Interactive Map -

I am going to make a conscious effort to avoid visiting or purchasing anything that comes from either of the two NC districts where the US Representative voted against ending the shutdown in the final tally.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Police: NBA legend Bill Russell arrested with gun at airport -

He is going to have to work very hard to make up the damage he has caused. What a very bad example to set for those many people who admire him.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate -

The Irish story is such a complicated one, yet so simple.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Company You Keep (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I was struck by how this film showed some very distinguishing characteristics of newspapers and dogged reporting. If you see or have seen this film, imagine the reporter in the story cast as a part time blogger. It is hard to imagine it happening.

Night Train to Lisbon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Great story, all driven by a book.

Dans le futur | HSBC

Great promotion.

Experience as It Once Was -

Roger COHEN, once again, hits a point right on its head.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

That’s Not Amore -

It looks, he looks even more ridiculous from France.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Guns Allowed at Bars and on Campuses -

How to explain to someone overseas that NC is a civilized place and not a playground for macho minds?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Children and Guns - The Hidden Toll -

If you feel you have to "shoot" at something, for heaven's sake, so buy a set of golf clubs or a baseball bat!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mumbai is world`s second most honest city

What an interesting experiment. It would be nice for someone else to do the same thing and see if they get similar results.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Honoring Navy Yard Victims, Obama Asks - ‘Do We Care Enough’ to Change? -

I think we start street-by-street in America. I want to know - I demand to know - who has a gun on the street where we live, and I want to discuss with that neighbor why. If we all do this, calmly and compassionately, perhaps we can convince the ignorant and the forlorn that the right thing to do is to get rid of those weapons, safely and securely.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Obama urges people to push stalled gun legislation

The lack of action brings great shame to the US and to all US citizens. If that shame is not felt, I can only assume that it is borne of ignorance.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sunday, September 08, 2013

With the World Watching, Syria Amassed Nerve Gas -

Why have not the media of the Mediterranean already reported this?

With the World Watching, Syria Amassed Nerve Gas -

What good newspaper reporting is supposed to be.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Obama Willing to Pursue Solo Syria Strikes, Aides Say -

Frankly, he's been drinking out of too many old George BUSH mugs at the White House. Get him a clean glass, please!

White House announces new gun restrictions - CBS News

Keep going, Mr. President. We have far, far too many guns in America.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

InciWeb the Incident Information System: Rim Fire

Looks like an important reference now and in the future.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Seized Guns Offer Look at Pipeline From South -

I am apoplectic over this news and the excitement of our Governor to see a new gun factory open near Greensboro.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

RALEIGH: NSA establishes $60 million data analytics lab at NC State | Education |

NC is really stepping out - a new gun factory in Greensboro and this big spy initiative in Raleigh. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

North Carolinians Fear the End of a Middle Way -

I'd like to see a much more detailed analysis of what has changed, is changing, and will change here. So far, the changes have not had many discernible effects, and that may simply be a question of delayed impact. In any case, I think we all need to understand this from our heads and not our knees.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Monday, August 05, 2013

Born Again in a Second Language -

I want to think more about how switching back and forth between English and French affects me. It is surely positive, but I want to try to articulate in what ways.

Friday, August 02, 2013

New York Times Rebrands International Herald Tribune | Global News - Advertising Age

Like so many, I hold the IHT very close to my sentimental newspaper heart!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Getting it wrong

My wife and I have had three experiences in recent days where reporters covering stories have simply gotten far too much wrong in what they wrote. It's a cause for journalistic concern.
One was an article in the Triangle Business Journal that identified my wife's organization as based in Durham when it is located, and always has been, in Chapel Hill.
A second, also concerning that organization, was in the Chapel Hill News. This time, very important issues of geography and statistics simply were wrong in the story.
Finally, a story in the Herald-Sun referring to the Obey Creek property in Chapel Hill made factual errors of considerable importance.
None of these three had been corrected at last check.

Like Father, Like Son: Creating Art In A Time Of Troubles : The Picture Show : NPR

Suspected commander of Nazi SS-led unit found living in Minnesota | World news |

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Poll Finds Disapproval of Record Collection, but Little Personal Concern -

"Suspects" and "people living in foreign countries", eh? They don't count as much as non-suspects and people living in the US?

 "However, three-quarters said they approved of the government’s tracking phone records of Americans suspected of terrorist activity. Nearly the same number approved of the United States’ monitoring the Internet activities of people living in foreign countries."

Measure to Curb Sexual Assault in Military to Be Cut From Bill -

It's time for Sen. LEVIN to be cut free from the Senate; I hope Michigan voters will oblige. This is a very bad decision he has made, and it undermines my previous support for him. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (9780465031467): Sherry Turkle: Books

How many "foreigners" does it take to make an "American" or US citizen?

The frequent assurances to us US citizens that none of the surveillance is really aimed at us, or at least the most intrusive elements, bothers me for a special reason. I cannot abide by the notion that somehow "we" "Americans" (is that citizens of the US or citizens of any American country which extends all the way to the southern tips of Argentina and Chile?) are deserving of greater legal protection than are the "lesser washed" who do do not enjoy US citizenship.
Why should we view the world as having two classes of people in it - US citizens and all the rest? We get protected and, for the rest, they just wind up in holding cells, jails and prisons - or worse - with few of the safeguards that "we" enjoy.
How can anyone who believes in equality buy that argument? I cannot.
And then consider my situation. I am a US citizen, resident in the US, but am also an Irish citizen with part-time residency in France. I am not just one or the other - "foreigner" or "American"; I am both. 

Northern Ireland Town Freshens Up Before Group of 8 Meeting -

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Essayification of Everything -

When Hoarding Morphs Into a Safety Hazard -

Nonprofit Applicants Chafing at I.R.S. Tested Political Limits -

I am very glad to see reporters finally digging into more aspects of this story; my sense is that many, if not most, got blinded by the glare of "scandal" and could not see clearly what other questions needed to be answered both with respect to procedure and legal substance. In a world that demands instant answers, most important ones take some time to develop and those impatient ought to chill out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Senate Fails Americans on Gun Bills -

We need to solve this problem one Senate seat at a time.What would it take to convince the voters of North Carolina to elect a Senator prepared to vote for measures such as background checks? Sen HAGAN voted fro it so we know we can elect a good person. Sen BURR did not; how do we either 1) convince him to change his view (a huge, uncertain task), or 2) convince a majority of North Carolinians to elect a replacement? It seems to me it has to be far more sophisticated than simply "dump BURR". It has to be genuine advocacy that leads the people of North Carolina to want a different vote in the Senate. If we can do that, finding just the right person becomes a lot easier. Fail at convincing a majority of people, and no candidate alone is likely to get the job done even if elected. I am sure Sen HAGAN thought long and hard before voting in the best interests of everyone. That costs her support and votes, but we should measure all of this in lives saved.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Albany Teacher Gives Pro-Nazi Writing Assignment -

Here in France it's illegal to question the Holocaust. We do great damage to human thought and reasoning by denying students, especially, the chance to think forbidden thoughts, to express them if they wish to do so, advocate if they choose or are assigned to do so. It is all part of an obnoxious politically correct approach to controversial subjects. For me, it's bravo to the teacher who made the assignment in Albany. I'd be happy if the next assignment were to defend the idea that the Irish are inferior beings and not worthy even of rotten British potatoes. Why is that ok with me, but doing the same for Jews is somehow not? I don't understand. Well, maybe I do.....

Thursday, April 11, 2013

At Cardozo Law School, Outrage Over Choice to Honor President Carter -

Bravo to Cardozo!

Religious Remark Confirmed in Irish Abortion Case -

This is one death too many in Ireland, following on too many already. Stiffen up and do the right thing, Ireland -- quickly, before any more mothers die.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Biden slams GOP over gun filibuster threat - Washington Times

If we can be told to register every motor vehicle we operate, why should we not be obliged to do the same with every firearm? That is no discernible infringement on anyone's right to "bear arms" if their inner macho child tells them they have to have a gun.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

AP Drops Term 'Illegal Immigrant' From Style Guide (UPDATED)

The issue for me is whether the people in question violated a law of the US in coming here. If they allegedly did, then the correct way to handle this is to refer to them in just this way - alleged immigration law violator. What's the difference between that and "alleged securities law violator", for example?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Dark Side of the Expat Life -

Ireland Recovers, and Recovers, and Recovers -

Mary Robinson Doesn’t Need to Be Popular -

Joe Biden challenges Irish Americans to help undocumented Hispanics become legal - Says discrimination against Irish generations ago same as against Hispanics today | Periscope Niall O'Dowd | IrishCentral

As much as I love Joe BIDEN, I still cannot accept this argument. My grandfather came to the US legally and became a US citizen by following the rules, i.e., the law. He was never here covertly; his identity was never hidden. I cannot accept that others - who come here in violation of the law - should receive special dispensation that somehow rewards their acts with a preferred place in line for citizenship. And I cannot accept that the first violations of US law committed on US soil can somehow be excused. We have lost the link between laws, enforcement and citizenship; it is possible to make them work together but only if violations of law are treated as such - even if a token penalty, and no preference is given toward citizenship as a result.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Senate Gun Bill Will Exclude Assault Weapons Ban -

Why can't we have a Senator from NC with this kind of determination and commitment. Ours seem to wave weakly in whatever direction the political winds are blowing. Such a disappointment.

Battle over guns makes N.C. dangerous political ground for Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan | McClatchy

I hope we will find a new Senator - preferably a Democrat, but I will settle for a Republican if she or he takes the right position on issues such as this one. If I have to vote for Sen. HAGAN as the only choice - given her voting record - I will be at great pains to do so. Her views on guns do not represent me in any way, and I yearn for a Senator who feels as I do that we have too many guns in NC and the US; we need to focus sharply on reducing them. If I hear her say that, I may change my mind, but I view that as well beyond highly unlikely.

Trove of Irish Historical Artifacts in County Mayo -

Monday, March 18, 2013

My Well-Being Powered by Humana

On my first visit to the Grand Ole Opry last Friday night, I was flabbergasted by the amount of advertising and promotion that greeted me. This site turned out to be one of the few items that resonated some. Other advertisers included Southwest Airlines, Dollar General, and Cracker Barrel. The RCC Root Barn "family" probably was the most memorable, with their 20 dolllar savings on boots at 149.99! The best song of the evening was "If I Knew My Nose Was Runnin' Money, Honey, I'd Blow it All on You", seconded only by "You Know You Can't Hurt Ham"! I think SCRUGGS sang the latter.

The Asheville Citizen-Times | Asheville news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Asheville, North Carolina |

I'd like to use newspaper websites to see more of NC. This is one, for sure, that I will try to use. Will it work?

Thursday, March 07, 2013


The current dust-up over use of drones in the US to target US citizens bothers me a lot. Why? Because I cannot in good conscience agree that one standard is acceptable for treating US citizens while another applies to "ferenners". How can anyone look her/himself in the mirror and say, "well, if someone is about to attack the US Capitol in an act of terrorism, it's ok to kill that person if he/she is a non-US citizen, but you must hold your fire if that person is a US citizen"? It is not only ridiculous; it violates my fundamental sense of equal treatment under the law. 

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Anglo Celt

Perhaps I will look more like him in future years!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Thai Rice Subsidy Program Short of Money -

Another great subject to address at the World Newspaper Congress in Bangkok this June.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Too many of them....

I continue to be surprised that so few are saying that we have too many guns in the US. The picture of President OBAMA today firing a rifle in skeet shooting surely does not help. What does help are comments from people like New York City Police Commissioner Ray KELLY on Face the Nation 27 Jan 2013 when he said simply that there are "too many of them" when referring to handguns. That's a good start, but nothing more.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Etats-Unis : un sénateur républicain justifie les armes semi-automatiques pour les mères de famille

It is impossible to reason with this mentality, or lack thereof. Of course, it makes no sense. The risks are too high that someone will steal the gun, use it against others or that even in defense, a homeowner will either misfire and injure a family member or that the gun will be seized by the intruder and used against the homeowner. This is not Hollywood.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

At gun violence hearing, Giffords calls for action; NRA stands firm - CBS News

While I have huge respect for Ms. GIFFORDS and her husband, I find this argument ludicrous. We have too many guns and the only sane response to all of this misery is to reduce their number through legislation, persuasion and compensation, if needed.

"He stressed that both he and Giffords are gun owners, and that they support the "right to own a firearm for protection, collection and recreation."

"Gabby and I are pro-gun ownership. But we are also anti-gun violence," he said. "When dangerous people get dangerous guns, we are all the more vulnerable."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Brewing Terror Threat in Thailand -

The World Newspaper Congress this June in Bangkok is going to have a lot of Thai news to discuss.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Friday, December 21 - msnbc - The Ed Show | NBC News

"We have too many guns in this country. There is no question about
that. You know, 5 percent of the world`s population, 50 percent of the
world`s guns."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Please Take Away My Right to a Gun -

It must have taken a lot of guts to write this. I have to commend her and chastise politicians and their constituencies that stand in the way of more aggressive measures to reduce the number of guns in America. She concludes with the core reason we need to do this: "I have a better chance of surviving if I never have the option of being able to pull the trigger."

Journal News Takes Down Gun Permit Map -

I continue to contend that all of this should be public. We should know the name and address of everyone who chooses to have a firearm. The arguments against are simply not a match for knowing with some certainty which people and households around you have firearms. I think this is even more important than knowing the criminal records of everyone near you, including, of course, those who are convicted sexual predators. It is disheartening that the paper took this down and even more discouraging that the legislation has apparently enacted the provisions of the law noted in the story.

New Northern Ireland Violence May Be About More Than the British Flag -

If there ever were a "it's complicated" situation, this is surely a prime candidate.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Guns, Abortion and Mistrust -

A cogent argument, but I disagree with many of its premises. For example, I start from the position of not banning guns but simply recognizing we have too many of them. Some might argue the same for abortions.