Time’s Person of the Year 2018 – JOURNALISTS

Great decision in an era where dictators and toddler-dictator-wannabes call all criticism FAKE NEWS.

Time magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year title goes to the “guardians and the war on truth.”

The honour has been given to four journalists and a newspaper that Time says “are representatives of a broader fight by countless others around the world. …

The “guardians” are:

  • Jamal Khashoggi, the prominent Saudi journalist who was killed in that country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
  • The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., where five people were shot and killed at the newspaper’s offices in June.
  • Maria Ressa, a detained Philippine journalist who is head of independent news website Rappler​.
  • Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who have been jailed in Myanmar for nearly a year.​

CBC – Time names killed, jailed journalists as 2018 Person of the Year

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Amal Hussain | dies of starvation age-7

Most Canadians know very little about Yemen.

I’ve been there and left very discouraged. The Houthi rebels are terrible. The vastly stronger Saudi military brutal.

Little Amal Hussain was born into this disaster. She died a few days after this photo was taken.

She’s only one of about nearly two million children suffering from severe malnutrition in Yemen.

The only upside – U.N. sponsored peace talks.

Certainly Saudi Arabia and Yemen need to work this out. The USA should QUIT Saudi Arabia. All Americans are complicit in the role their government has in this war.

Listen to an interview with the photographer:

In the three years that Saudi Arabia, supported by the United States, has been at war with the Houthis in Yemen, very few journalists have been allowed into the country to document what’s happening there. The New York Times journalist Tyler Hicks is one. This is the story of how he came to take a photograph of Amal Hussain that drew international attention to the country’s plight.

The Daily podcast

mockumentary – I, Tonya

I finally saw the 2017 film I, Tonya.

… Watched it on my phone via the WestJet entertainment app. 

It follows the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The film states that it is based on “contradictory” and “true” interviews with Tonya Harding and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, suggesting they are unreliable narrators. …

Allison Janney is fantastic as Harding’s foul mouthed, tough love mother LaVona Golden.  She won Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards.

Margot Robbie  is possibly even better as Tonya Harding. Though she trained to skate for 4 months, Heidi Munger and Anna Malkova served as skating doubles. 

The true story is so weird and unbelievable that it made a terrific film. A poor white trash girl rose to become the best skater in the world (at one point) in an elitist culture that hated everything about her aside from triple Axels.

Shawn Eckardt (who claims he’s Tonya’s “bodyguard”) was better than any fictional character.

The real life abusive husband Gillooly refused to take any money from the film’s producers … trying to take responsibility for the attack.

It sounds like Nancy Kerrigan has never watched the mockumentary.

 

 

the BUSINESS of American Politics

I’ve followed politics in the USA since G.W. Bush was elected a second time in 2004. I had one question:

Why are so many Americans so stupid?

And why are Americans so close to a 50/50 split in so many elections.

Here’s one possible explanation. Many, MANY make a lot of money when American elections are close: lobbyists, consultants, media, broadcasters. They have incentive to try to keep it close.

In the most recent two-year election cycle, the political industry generated roughly $16 billion in revenue. Meanwhile, customer satisfaction — that is, from voters — is at a historic low. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty)

Freakonomics audiocast:

Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart.

America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356)

Ben Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson is a bit of a genius himself.

Recently he’s written biographies. I enjoyed his biography of Leonardo da Vinci (2017). And loved his biography of Steve Jobs (2011).

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life is good too. But not as good.

Ben’s life story was simply not as controversial as either Jobs or Leonardo da Vinci. As a result I found Isaacson repetitive regarding his few faults.

Ben Franklin regarded himself as a working class man. A printer. Yet became one of the most glamorous and famous people of his time. (1706-1790)

I admire him as an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. 

He founded many civic organizations, including the Library CompanyPhiladelphia‘s first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Like Gandhi, his real goal was to make life better for as many as possible.

Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism  …

He’d be horrified by the GOP and their toddler President in 2018.

Re-emergence of American Anti-Semitism

One of my favourite podcasts is The Daily.

This is one of their best. Listen here:

Re-emergence of American Anti-Semitism

American Anti-Semitism is a much more complicated issue than I thought.

The racist President clearly encourages anti-Semites. Recall how Trump defended these A-holes.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Yet he consistently defends Israel. Why is that?

I finally learned that white extremists want Israel to survive so American Jews will flee there.