Tuesday September 23, 2014
September 11th, 2014
My heart broke for Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded in Syria, not only because of the barbarity the Islamic State group inflicted on him but also because he died trying to push back against the trend in news coverage.
Over the last couple of decades, we've all seen trivialization of news, a drift toward celebrity, scandal and salaciousness.
The horrifying footage of the second beheading of an American journalist by ISIS, this time freelancer Steven Joel Sotloff, a 31-year-old from Florida who loved journalism, has again placed the president, and world leaders, in a terrible position. To be clear, the White House is studying the video. To be clear, no one is holding out much hope.
I am trying to imagine how our national leaders would react if they got caught in a reclining airplane seat crisis. You know what I mean. If they were flying to some important meeting and the person in front flopped back into their personal space, crunching a laptop or bruising a knee.
Obviously, this doesn't happen to real national leaders. Their airplanes have rooms, for heaven's sake. But if it did.
Analysts at the OECD, the Paris-based research agency, have just shared a grim prediction: If current trends “prevail,” all developed nations will show by 2060 “the same level of inequality as currently experienced by the United States.”
Popular activities like hiking, camping, and backpacking come with all kinds of risks. You can get heat stroke or hypothermia, run out of water, fall off a cliff, and bump into cougars or grizzly bears. If you get close enough to an infected ground squirrel for one of their fleas to hop onto your skin, there’s a chance you’ll catch bubonic plague.
Almost the only heartening news out of Ferguson, Missouri, came in a Washington Post report headlined "Nearly 6 in 10 African-Americans say Michael Brown shooting was 'unjustified.'"
Americans need to get out more. We're not only divided into different political parties, polls show; we are becoming different Americas.
That's good for vigorous arguments, but it works against our ability to reach much agreement.
The word of the day is herky-jerky, which is a polite way of saying erratic.
And which, I regret to report, is a fitting description of President Obama's handling of immigration. And, I regret even more, a metaphor for his stumbling stewardship.
Burger King bills itself as “home of the Whopper,” a name intended to convey to burger eaters that this one is a whale of a deal. But “whopper” also means a prevarication, a crock, a tall tale — hogwash.
With elections looming in November, Republicans are counting on President Barack Obama's unpopularity to deliver them control of the Senate. They're not running on an agenda, refusing even in broad outline to say how they would reform the tax code or replace Obama's health-care law.