15 April 2014

TOO BAD THEY’RE PEEL AND STICK

1036 by Jeff Hess

harvey milkI have a new favorite Forever Stamp.

15 April 2014

PULITZER AWARDED FOR SNOWDEN REPORTING…

0602 by Jeff Hess

From this morning’s The Guardian:

The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden.

The award, announced in New York on Monday, comes 10 months after the Guardian published the first report based on the leaks from Snowden, revealing the agency’s bulk collection of US citizens’ phone records.

In the series of articles that ensued, teams of journalists at the Guardian and the Washington Post published the most substantial disclosures of US government secrets since the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war in 1971.

The Pulitzer committee praised the Guardian for its “revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy”.

Snowden, in a statement, said: “Today’s decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance.”

First, congratulations to both The Guardian and the Washington Post. The Guardian has been my daily newspaper for a few years now. Second, while Glenn Greenwald is mentioned in the story–

At the Guardian, the NSA reporting was led by Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and film-maker Laura Poitras, and at the Washington Post by Barton Gellman, who also co-operated with Poitras. All four journalists were honoured with a George Polk journalism award last week for their work on the NSA story.

–I find it odd that only Snowden is quoted.

Curiouser and curiouser.

15 April 2014

MANY HAPPY RETURNS…!

0500 by Jeff Hess

non sequitur 140415

15 April 2014

IS THE//INTERCEPT IN A DEATH SPIRAL…?

0434 by Jeff Hess

[Update at 0732: So, this story is beginning to spin off into Never Never land. I was working on an unrelated bit just now and had call to reference Eric Blair's Bugaboo and that gave me pause as I remembered John Cook's odd choice of art to illustrate his letter yesterday. I think I need more coffee.]

Glenn Greenwald last posted to The//Intercept on 4 April. After that, nothing. From no one.

Then yesterday John Cook posted a Passover Greeting From The Editor with a very odd and un-Passover graphic (Beta? Really?). What is going on here?

Cook wrote:

Hello. My name is John Cook, and as of three weeks ago I became the editor-in-chief of The Intercept. Since then, we haven’t published much material on the site, and that’s been on purpose. I’d like to take a moment to catch interested readers up on where we are and what you can expect from us over the coming weeks and months.

The site launched in February with an announcement from co-founders Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill that The Intercept was coming online with an initial short-term focus on stories about the operations of the National Security Agency, based in large part on an archive of documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The decision to begin publishing at that point was based on a commitment to continue the work of reporting on, publishing, and explicating those documents. It was not based on an assessment that everything that one needs for the successful launch of a news web site–staff, editorial capacity, and answers to questions about the site’s broader focus, operational strategy, structure, and design–had been worked out.

Those things still have not been worked out, and over the past three weeks I have begun the process of resolving them in collaboration with the remarkably talented team that has already been assembled here. Until we have completed the work of getting staffed up and conceptually prepared for the launch of a full-bore news operation that will be producing a steady stream of shit-kicking stories, The Intercept will be narrowly focusing on one thing and one thing only: Reporting out stories from the NSA archive as quickly and responsibly as is practicable. We will do so at a tempo that suits the material. When we are prepared to publish those stories, we will publish them. When we are not, we will be silent for a time, unless Glenn Greenwald has some blogging he wants to do, because no one can stop Glenn Greenwald from blogging.

As someone who has been the editor of national magazines, I’m gobsmacked. In particular, I find the language in the final sentences of both the second and third paragraphs odd, to say the least.

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, Abbie Hoffman once told me to never trust a conspiracy theorist because they were all in it together, but I have to agree with a lot of the comments on Cook’s missive, and Glen Greenwald’s most recent post. We all know that Greenwald managed to accept his award without getting arrested.

What has happened since?

15 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Historic barns
Sixth District primary
Cell vs. landline
Wood Co. board to vote on calendar
What’s happening for Easter?

Top Headlines Poll: What do you plan to do on Easter Sunday?

Previously

14 April 2014

I ENDORSE (& SUPPORT) JILL MILLER ZIMON…

0841 by Jeff Hess

zimon 140414

Jill is the woman in the arena

14 April 2014

IN PRAISE OF MEATBALL JOURNALISM…

0707 by Jeff Hess

Phyllis Rose writes:

It sometimes seems that the more people want to write, the more they tie themselves up in knots. As a college professor observing smart students in writing classes of both fiction and nonfiction, I know that people who take such courses respect writing. You don’t need to convince them of its worth, only of its possibility. So I set them exercises—on plot, dialogue, setting—of no particular value except to get them writing. Then the longer piece comes, and if they stall, I tell them, “When in doubt, begin your piece with ‘when.’ This will push you into narrative.” That advice has helped many. The other advice I often have to give is “Bash it out.” I urge people to get something on paper and then work it. I tell them “Writers need words on a page to edit the way sculptors need stone, clay, or wood to carve or mold. You have to spew out your own material before you can shape it. So bash it out.”

14 April 2014

SENTENCED TO THE STOCKS IN 2014…

0648 by Jeff Hess

south euclid bully

Bullying, it’s not just for the play ground…

14 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Winter unkind to River Trail
The death penalty: Time for a change?
Community service is ‘key’
Crazy Daisy Boutique
Egg hunt held for visually impaired

Top Headlines Poll: How interested are you in seeing so-called faith-based movies?

Previously

13 April 2014

WHAT WOULD BRANSON SHOULD CARSON DO…?

1642 by Jeff Hess

keef 140414

Then, there is this earlier permutation

13 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Since the Marietta Times does not publish a Sunday edition, what was your favorite story this week? What story did the Marietta Times not report or under-report this week?

Previously

12 April 2014

IS THIS WHAT WE ALL REALLY, REALLY WANT…?

0717 by Jeff Hess

non sequitur 140412a

12 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Preservation
Heroin addicts face barriers to treatment
Heartbleed virus: Local officials urge caution online
Vet’s ‘smart home’ almost ready
Spotlight on Belpre Church: Pioneer Presbyterian

Do you think enough is being done to preserve our historic places?

Previously

11 April 2014

FREE WILL AND HOMICIDE…

1651 by Jeff Hess

Chris Mooney writes:

If you’ve read your Friedrich Nietzsche, you know that the consummate anti-philosopher had a pretty cynical take on this question. Nietzsche didn’t simply call free will itself “the foulest of all theological fictions.” In his work Twilight of the Idols he went further, psychoanalyzing the ubiquitous belief in free will and concluding that deep down, we want to believe that people have control over their own choices so that we can justify and feel good about punishing them. “Whenever responsibility is assigned,” wrote Nietzsche, “it is usually so that judgment and punishment may follow.”

Modern psychological research suggests that Nietzsche was on to something. In fact, in a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a team of authors from several universities (the University of California-Irvine, Yale University, and two others) have put Nietzsche’s thesis to the experimental test. “We propose that the pervasive belief in free will partially flows from a desire for moral responsibility in order to justify punishing others for their anti-social behaviors,” state the authors. “Therefore, when there is a desire to punish, people should be motivated to believe in free will.”

For 10 years I took part in the Socrates Café of Cleveland, a once-a-month meeting of people who enjoyed intelligent conversation. We visited the subject of Free Will more than once, but the one I remember the most was when we discussed the question, If Free Will, as research indicates, does not exist, how ought that fact inform our legal system? If criminals are not actually responsible for their actions, if we do live in a Skinnerian world, what do we do about those who injure others in our society?

As was usual, we came to no conclusions, but I remember suggesting that perhaps one solution might be a two strikes and your out system where law breakers would be given a second chance to make good their crime and rejoin society. If they transgressed a second time then they would be euthanized like a mad dog.

I was intentionally extreme because I thought a world without free will naturally lead to that conclusion. Personally, I continue to cling to the idea of free will, but my purchase seems to be getting more and more tenuous as the evidence rolls in.

11 April 2014

CREATIVE SLEEP AND WAKEFUL DREAMING…

0947 by Jeff Hess

From Famous Writers’ Sleep Habits vs. Literary Productivity, Visualized:

writers sleep small

I’m somewhere between Haruki and Toni…

11 April 2014

BABY KILLERS AND BUG SPLATS…

0626 by Jeff Hess

I left this comment on Mano Singham’s blog this morning concerning his post: They are not ‘bug splats’ which focuses on a project to put human faces on those killed by U.S. drone strikes.

Good morning Mano,

I am much less concerned about the lack of compassion in the drone operators than I am in the remove of those civilians in Washington who directly or indirectly order those operators to kill and the populace of the United States who, by virtue of their citizenship, are ultimately responsible for any deaths.

Bug splat is mild compared to what I heard during my 11 years in service.

Rather than get upset the psychological tricks those ordered by their government to kill use to be able to sleep at night, I wish those not in the arena would get directly involved in ensuring that those in service do not receive the orders in the first place.

If anyone doesn’t like what our service members do in our name, then they need to get off their ass and do all they can to first, remove the politicians responsible from office, and then work just as hard to prevent their like from ever gaining office in the future.

Do all you can to make today a good day,

Jeff Hess
Have Coffee Will Write

Years ago, when I first read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, the single most important memory I took away is that those not in the arena are quite prepared to throw those who fight and die in their name under the bus the moment the threat is past.

11 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Heroin scourge
Heroin scourge: The local view
Missed court date is worth a ticket to jail
Health care reforms debated at Economic Roundtable
Career Center skills on display

This early in the road project season what’s your stress level driving around town?

Previously

10 April 2014

SCHOOL STABBINGS AT FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL…

1702 by Jeff Hess

I wrote in a comment to today’s Not The Marietta Times:

Now, I find this interesting…

While I was doing a search for general hits on the Marietta Times a few minutes ago, I found that the No. 1 News Story was Teen stabs 22 at Pittsburgh-area high school. Because I expected that the pro-gun commenters would be all over the story, I went to Times‘ front-page to see what was going on and, surprise, surprise, I couldn’t find the headline.

The story is near the bottom of the second page of links for today, 10 April.

As a journalist I understand that a national story such as this must be low priority for a newspaper that cannot hope to compete for news that will be all over the television and radio stations, but I’m betting that the if-teachers-had-guns-this-wouldn’t-have-happened crowd are really upset that they couldn’t beat their chests and wave their little guns in the air.

For the record, I joined the National Rifle Association at 16 as a junior member (and took the NRA Gun Safety course as a Boy Scout), but let my membership lapse five or six years later, not out of protest, because I just wasn’t getting what I thought was any real value from the membership.

I support the 2nd Amendment with the same fervor as I do the 1st, 4th, 5th and 10th amendments, indeed as I do the whole Constitution.

My expectation is that the topic will show up in the forums very soon. Sadly, now that I’m banned from commenting on the Marietta Times, I won’t be adding my voice to that particular discussion.

10 April 2014

A BINARY VIEW OF CULTURE…

0907 by Jeff Hess

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:

People who take a strict binary view of culture (“culture of privilege = awesome; culture of poverty = fail”) are afflicted by the provincialism of privilege and thus vastly underestimate the dynamism of the greater world. They extoll “middle-class values” to the ignorance and exclusion of all others. To understand, you must imagine what it means to confront algebra in the morning and “Shorty, can I see your bike?” in the afternoon. It’s very nice to talk about “middle-class values” when that describes your small, limited world. But when your grandmother lives in one hood and your coworkers live another, you generally need something more than “middle-class values.” You need to be bilingual.

10 April 2014

NOT THE MARIETTA TIMES

0400 by Jeff Hess

What’s going on here

Today’s headlines include:

Local News

Bikes vs. cars
Robber’s accomplice sentenced
Grand jury will hear unlawful sex case
Seismic testing discussed in Beverly
Interactive sing-along show

Do you think coyotes pose a serious danger in Washington County?

Previously

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