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Well, I’d thought the Chicago Sun-Times was a newspaper, if not a very good one at that. Now they are not, as they have fired their entire 20-person photography department saying they need to produce more video! (see story link below)

I love journalism, and was trained as a journalist, and have even taught it at the college le level. I also love the internet, and use it to stay in touch. While I can’t get direct delivery of a newspaper, I subscribe to the Chicago Tribune digitally, and see it in its print form on the screen, and can dive in and blow up stories and photos easily. Same with the New Yorker and the Economist and the Wall Street Journal.

The Sun-Times? Trash, even digitally.

http://soa.li/O3a8Qja

Chicago Sun-Times lays off its photo staff
The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers going forward, the newspaper said.

SeaBell

My trusty pocket trawler headed home to the barn from the sunny shores of Williams Bay on Geneva Lake, Wisconsin, just a few years ago.

The original McDonald's

Dick and Mac McDonald’s original drive-in, walk-up service restaurant in San Bernardino, CA, as it looked when they completed the renovation from their old bar-be-que, car hop restaurant, in 1948. Showing an autograph by “Richard J. McDonald, Founder.”

The Justice Department’s overly aggressive and intrusive invasion of the Associated Press, and their stomping on the First Amendment rights of a free press, is cause for all Americans to be outraged. The checks and balances built into our democracy require active oversight by the people and their representatives. The how and why of this apparently excessive use of investigative power should be made public, and if there are substantial reasons in the public interest of why AP was invaded by the feds, the American public and the professional journalism community deserves to know.

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Here’s a copy of a note to a friend who asked about my opinion of the recent Benghazi hearings:

Bottom line: I fear that our government structure and processes, including the current two-party system, is failing the republic, and us.

 I’m increasingly tired of our politics, and the lack of candor, and the dominance of spin, on both sides. So, I’m not responding as your liberal friend, but as your American friend.
 
When Benghazi first occurred, I felt we were being spun, by an administration determined to not allow the anniversary of 9/11 be seen as the occasion of a successful terrorist attack on our country. I’m pretty sure their analysis was that the electorate could not “handle” such a revelation, at a time when the President’s campaign was messaging that terrorism was down, and that the situation across the Middle East was under successful mitigation, as then emphasized by the US role in facilitating democratic restructuring and stability in Egypt.
 
But fast forward to now, six months later. Given all the pressure by the Presidential campaign, Congress and the ever present news media, why has it taken SIX months for Hicks and the others to come out saying they were suppressed by the State Department? I’ve never been a fan of Susan Rice — I see her as a political sycophant and loyalist of the Obama inner circle. She was simply the messenger, as you describe, if a willing one.
We have been spun by both sides of the current political spectrum, who have demonstrated a unhealthy disrespect for the intelligence and judgment of the American people. My support for our current system has thus been further eroded by this episode, despite whatever revelations may come next.
The French had a revolution against royalty and the church by the masses in 1788, partly due to the debt they incurred financing the American revolution, according to Jefferson. The French have thrown out the resulting government five times since then, not through elections but through more quiet revolutions. Now they are fairly stable, with a government in place for 70 years.
 
I think we are getting close to a point where we, after more than 200 years with one government, we may need to do what the French did 5 times before apparently getting it right. If the French monarchists and church had been willing to accommodate the masses, and reorganize their government to better meet everyone’s needs, they might have not had to go through so much. Can we take a lesson, restructure our election process, reorganize Congress and restore a balance of power and reflect the realities of our modern electorate, without the need of a quiet, or not so quiet, revolution?
 
I doubt it, and at our ages, I know we’d prefer some political stability and fairness. Maybe we should trade governments with the French. It’s that bad.

What is a gun? A means of killing game. A way to threaten, stop, and/or kill an antagonist.

A gun is a remote killing machine. It is a mechanical extension of the fist, or a club, or an arrow.

Point a gun in the direction of a living target, pull a trigger, and if everything works correctly, both mechanically and on the part of the operator, the target is engaged and terminated.

Yes, that’s right, a gun is the predecessor of the drones of today — it is a remote killing machine that dates to medieval times, and one that is still being perfected. Our fascination and horror of the flying drones of the 21st century is no greater than that felt about the rise of guns hundreds of years ago.

The wonder at the power of remote killing, with concomitant reduced risk to the killer, is a magnet for the predatory instincts of humankind.

As the world evolves its social institutions, bringing us closer and closer together through our common bonds as human beings, our predatory instincts and our arsenal of precision predatory tools remains, and even grows. It is one of the great dichotomies of the human condition.

Whether we are considering gun legislation or drawing the rules of military engagement, we must consider these critical, divergent, conflicting dimensions of our fundamental character.

 

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