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September 16, 2014
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AP photo / Mark Lennihan

Bad Days for Newsrooms—and Democracy

The decline of newspapers is not about the replacement of the antiquated technology of news print with the lightning speed of the Internet. It does not signal an inevitable and salutary change. It is not a form of progress.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008 READ MORE


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Illustration by Peter Scheer

Closing the Book on a Proud Tradition

For 33 years, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review has brought the literary world to the doorstep of the nation’s largest book-buying community. That era is about to end, a fact that disturbs the section’s former editors who have written this formal protest.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


5 Approved Obama Jokes

Saying he is “sympathetic to late night comedians’ struggle to find jokes to make about me,” Sen. Barack Obama today issued a list of official campaign-approved Barack Obama jokes.

Posted on Jul 20, 2008 READ MORE


Lebanon mourners
AP photo / Darko Bandic

Dramatic Return for the Living and the Dead

Yesterday [July 16] was the last day of the 2006 Lebanon war, the final chapter of Israel’s folly and Hizbollah’s hubris, a grisly day of corpse-swapping and refrigerated body parts and coffin after bleak wooden coffin on trucks crossing the Israeli border, which left old Ali Ahmed al-Sfeir and his wife, Wahde, stooped and broken with grief.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE


‘Centrists’ Running the Asylum

In the asylum that is American politics, beware a candidate like Barack Obama when he is lauded for moving to “the center”—because usually that means he is drifting away from it.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Visionary

On the issue of gasoline prices, Republicans think they have a winner in their call for new drilling and Democrats are playing defense. Democrats need—this is a technical term—a lot more oomph. Al Gore wants to help them.

Posted on Jul 17, 2008 READ MORE


They Must Be Joking

An expression of outrage is the highest compliment that politicians can bestow upon a satirist. So when spokesmen for Barack Obama and John McCain echo each other and many another stuffed shirt in complaining about the current cover of The New Yorker, the magazine’s editors and cartoonist Barry Blitt should accept such remarks in precisely that spirit.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid

While the presidential candidates trade barbs and accuse each other of flip-flopping, they agree with President Bush on their enthusiastic support for nuclear power.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


The Do-It-Yourself Economy

We are expected to interact with “labor-saving technology” without realizing that it’s labor-transferring technology. The job has not been “saved”; it’s been taken out of the paid sector, where employees have a nasty habit of expecting salaries, and put into the unpaid sector, where suckers ‘r’ us.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


‘Kafka Comes to America’

Steven Wax’s new book provides an insider’s view of some of the most hideous practices our country has allowed since the 9/11 attacks. And that’s without giving accounts of torture and abuse of detainees.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


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