Posts tagged ‘New York Times’

August 28, 2011

The Race Card Equals Sand in the Gears of Discourse

by Vince

I like John Lewis. A lot. His memoir was amazing. If you don’t know anything about him, he was part of the beginnings of the lunch sit-ins, the marches from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), and worked on plethora of other civil rights causes with Martin Luther King Jr., Bobby Kennedy, and so on.

Unfortunately, Lewis wrote an op-ed piece in the NY Times accusing new voting right laws that require unexpired identification to be shown at voting centers as racist and unfairly targeting minorities (whom vote for him and his Democratic base). His logic is quite weak. Anyone can go and get updated I.D.’s from your local DMV, right?

Doug Mataconis chimes in.

May 24, 2011

Long Overdue For The NYT?

by Vince

They just now brought on their first openly-gay op-ed writer. I would have thought this would have happened before now with the NYT. Anyway, good news for them!

December 10, 2010

North Pole Noir

by Vince

Lens has a neat collection of pictures.

December 6, 2010

Viewing Wikileaks

by Vince

The New York Times has a new feature for viewing the cables.

November 20, 2010

Republican Quote of the Weekend

by Vince

The NY Times’s Ross Douthat, an avowed conservative writer, is interviewed:

RS: If you could wave a wand and change one thing about the GOP, what would it be?

Douthat: I suppose I would just create a stronger interest in actual policymaking, among elites and the grassroots alike. American conservatives have a popular mission statement — limited government, low taxes, strong defense, strong families — but they tend to just coast on its popularity instead of doing the harder work of figuring out, okay, *how* do we keep government from growing? What are our policies on health care and energy and education and everything else? How much defense spending do we really need? How can we make sure our tax cuts don’t explode the deficit? What public policies lead to stronger families? And the G.O.P.’s base, whether it’s Christian conservatives or Tea Partiers or whomever, often doesn’t do a good enough job of holding the leadership’s feet to the fire and demanding that they get specific. At the moment, this a particular problem with the spending issue: The Republicans just won an election promising to cut government without having to tell people what they’d cut. But it tends to be a problem across every public policy issue: Republicans just don’t think as hard as they should about what the actual work of governing entails, and Republican voters too often reward politicians for mouthing slogans rather than substance. It’s great that Marco Rubio can give a stirring speech about American exceptionalism, for instance — but in the long run, actual American exceptionalism will stand or fall on whether Rubio and others like him can figure out a way to bring the budget back into balance. And that requires policy specifics, and hard work, and probably some messy compromises. Rhetoric is necessary, but insufficient.

November 15, 2010

Quote of the Week

by Vince

“Not too long ago, a priest told me that he cancelled his subscription to the New York Times because he felt that the endless stories about war, crime, power games, and political manipulation only disturbed his mind and heart and prevented him from meditation and prayer.

That is a very sad story because it suggests that only by denying the world can you live in it, that only by surrounding yourself by an artificial, self induced quietude can you live in a spiritual life. A real spiritual life does exactly the opposite: it makes us so alert of the world around us, that all that is and happens becomes part of our contemplation and meditation and invites us to a free and fearless response.”

-Henri J.M. Nouwen in Reaching Out

Think about this one as you enter your new week.

November 7, 2010

The Party of NO

by Vince

“I’m going to ensure that Republicans come out of the gate and seize this moment, we’ve really been given a second chance at a first impression and I’m going to tell them that we have to rise to the challenge with principle and conviction and not with this attitude that you saw coming from the White House yesterday and from some other quarters on the establishment left in Washington which was that somehow the message of the election was that they want Democrats and Republicans to work better together, to get along — good heavens,” – Mike Pence.

“The pre-election NYT poll found that 78 percent want the Republicans to compromise with Obama rather than stick to their positions in the next two years; 76 percent want the Dems to do the same; and a slightly lower percentage, but still overwhelming, wants Obama to compromise too: 69 percent.”

For the sake of the common good, I believe it is important for our politicians to work together. Unfortunately, the religious and non-religious right, both of which I have talked to regarding this, see the possibility of compromising as watering down their agendas, a sign of weakness, and giving in to the “enemy”. If that is the mindset, we will continue to be gridlocked and tap dance around issues with high voltage quotes as seen above.


October 11, 2010

Obama and Lethal Force Under Law

by Vince

The NYT applauds Obama’s assasination program all the while calling him to be transparent:

The Obama administration has sharply expanded the shadow waragainst terrorists, using both the military and the C.I.A. to track down and kill hundreds of them, in a dozen countries, on and off the battlefield.

The drone program has been effective, killing more than 400 Al Qaeda militants this year alone, according to American officials, but fewer than 10 noncombatants. But assassinations are a grave act and subject to abuse — and imitation by other countries. The government needs to do a better job of showing the world that it is acting in strict compliance with international law.

The fine details that separate a president being allowed to single out an extremist for kill and being covered by independent oversight seems minute. Is Obama commanding for these extremists to be killed or is he simply reporting to us what has been reported to him from the DOD or another group?

The Obama administration needs to go out of its way to demonstrate that it is keeping its promise to do things differently than the Bush administration did. It must explain how targets are chosen, demonstrate that attacks are limited and are a last resort, and allow independent authorities to oversee the process.

Obama responded to the above claim in a recent Rolling Stone interview, which I found extremely enlightening and fun to read:

I have been able to make sure that our intelligence agencies and our military operate under a core set of principles and rules that are true to our traditions of due process. People will say, “I don’t know — you’ve got your Justice Department out there that’s still using the state-secrets doctrine to defend against some of these previous actions.” Well, I gave very specific instructions to the Department of Justice. What I’ve said is that we are not going to use a shroud of secrecy to excuse illegal behavior on our part. On the other hand, there are occasions where I’ve got to protect operatives in the field, their sources and their methods, because if those were revealed in open court, they could be subject to very great danger. There are going to be circumstances in which, yes, I can’t have every operation that we’re engaged in to deal with a very real terrorist threat published in Rolling Stone.

These things don’t happen overnight. But we’re moving in the right direction, and that’s what people have to keep in mind.

I side with Obama on this, for the long term process and I applaud his patience.

September 30, 2010

Ross Douthat On Colbert

by Vince

Five good minutes.

September 12, 2010

Frustrated with Changes in Adolescence

by Vince

John J. Miller, who I usually somewhat appreciate reading, is frustrated with this new “emerging adulthood” class:

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned a factoid in a NYT article on “why so many people in their 20s are taking so long to grow up.” Now I’ve had a chance to read the whole thing. It’s a mix of interesting empirical data and psychological hooey. Let’s focus on the hooey. The article suggests that we must recognize a new “life stage” known as “emerging adulthood,” in which people who are adults but have not yet fully matured must engage in “identity exploration” and embrace their “sense of possibilities.” You know: Anything but finding a steady job, a good mate, and starting a family. It’s basically an excuse to put off adult responsibilities until after you’ve turned 30, gussied up by people with Ph.D.s.

It is sad that Miller comes off as caring more about money being spent via “programs” (oh lordie) than the lives of transitioning young adults. This is another more well guised version of nostalgia: let’s move back in time and have you get married before 25 and get on with your life. Miller is vague as to what a “fully matured adult” looks like let alone “growing up”. Does that mean holding a full time job? You can do that and get married and still hate your job, dislike your decisions, and be possibly more immature in some ways than those still finding their way.

We all fall to prejudicial “wide brush” myths but they are still not good. Not all young adults are lazy, striving to put off growing up till your 30’s. This is the change in our families coming out into the open. A study which I can’t locate at the moment documented families and their children over a 30 year span. In a nutshell, those who had divorced parents took longer to find a job or their way in life than their counterparts who had their parents stick together.

It may not be as simple as a short shrift assessment by some avowed fiscalists to conclude on young adults.

August 23, 2010

Coney Island Revisited

by Vince

Andy Levin revisits some old pictures of Coney Island, New York via the NYT Lens blog. These pictures remind me of Requiem for a Dream. Plus, I love black and white photography and carnivals.