I spent six of the first 12 days of this month at two different conferences. While I enjoyed them, it inevitably disrupts the daily rhythm. For instance, I miss news stories, or else, I hear them piecemeal.
One example: the death of Floyd Patterson. He was the first boxer I could identify by name. Additionally, this resonated for me because he was living in my old college town of New Paltz for years and because, like my father, he died from prostate cancer.
Someone asked me one day last week what I thought of the NSA domestic spying. Ever eloquent, I said, "Huh?" Then it was explained to me. Truth is, it didn't surprise me all that much. Nor did it surprise me that 2/3s of the American people, according to some poll, thought domestic spying was a good idea. I figure they just didn't understand the implications, that the spying could be on them.
But then, there was a follow-up question in which 2/3s of Americans wouldn't mind if their own phone calls were intercepted.
ARE THEY CRAZY?
Do they really want other people to know about that a cyst they had that was found to be malignant, or the bill they didn't pay because they were a little short? (I was going to write something about a married couple having bicoastal phone "relations", but didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities.)
Someone at one of the conferences told me that Americans were sheep. The context was Iraq. I was willing to play devil's advocate about people being fooled by misleading/false information from their government. But this one? Bah! Or Baa.
Or am I missing some nuance of this story, besides the "don't leak our secrets" argument?
Albany County district attorney David Soares made headlines when he described the failed U.S. drug policy at a conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was criticized locally by the mayor and the police union for suggesting that the police were overpaid. But Soares, who took on the Democratic machine and won what many thought was a surprising victory in 2004 had his supporters as well. He apologized for parts of his remarks, but stands by his main point, opposition to the arcane enforcement such as theRockefeller drug laws. (I suppose I should note here that I made a few phone calls on his behalf during the primary campaign, which, in Albany, is generally tantamount to election.)
I'm troubled. At least some of what the President of Iran said, that 18-page letter generally described as "rambling", as though that were a bad thing - look at the name of this blog - made some sense to me.
Katie Couric, anchor of the CBS Evening News - seems like a lot of money that won't translate into better ratings. In fact, the ratings went up when Bob Schieffer "temporarily" replaced Dan Rather for 14 months
Meredith Viera, new co-host of the Today show - good for her. I liked her going back to her 60 Minutes days.
Rosie O'Donnell, new co-host of The View - don't care. Saw some AOL thing about whether the couch will be big enough for her and Star Jones.
Spanish language national anthem - don't care. Don't think it is a substantive issue. Besides, as Greg points out, almost nobody knows the lyrics in English anyway.
Rush Limbaugh - the fact that he turned himself in to be arrested means he was arrested; that's not liberal press bias. His sentence seemed reasonable to me - hope others with his problem but without Roy Black as their lawyer get similar treatment.
G is for Dick Gregory: activist, comedian, writer
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