Thursday, October 6, 2011

news stuff

News notes:

-- There won't be a birthday party Friday to mark the tenth year of the war in Afghanistan. Ten years ... just like the Russians who went home after their own ten years trying to subdue the Afghans.

-- In the on-going (it began Sept. 17) Wall Street protest that has caught on in other parts of the country, unions have begun to lend their support and politicians are getting nervous. While the goals remain elusive and inclusive, still the expression of discontent continues to mount. I find it interesting that to date there is no "leader" of this mass movement. I think that's good because that way no one who feels threatened can do the usual background check that could dig up discrediting dirt ... the more-of-the-same mud-slinging in a sound-bite world. Without a leader, any attack is like the Chinese opium smokers who were once described as "biting the clouds."

-- The U.S. Supreme Court is trying to define the boundaries of church and state in the case of a teacher who was fired at a religious-themed school. It makes me glad not to be a member of the Supreme Court.

-- And the BBC, one of my go-to guys in the world of news, has announced that it plans to cut some 2,000 jobs over the next five years. They are tightening their belts in the face of reduced funding. If there is one arena in which funding cuts are likely to reduce whatever intelligence viewers may possess, the news is one of the frightening targets. Fewer staff, more dumbing down due to lack of staff ... it's really a shame. And in the particular case, the 15% reduction in the sport budget is likely to bring yowls. Sports, obituaries, astrology and comics -- I once heard that those were the top vote-getters among those interested in the world around them. I used to be horrified at those areas of interest, given the world as a whole. But even a shallow interest can lead to a wider curiosity.
-- And here is an interesting, if belabored, rant from Conrad Black on the ill-conceived postures of the Financial Times.

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