1-31-15 Hodgepodge

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Not-Even-Wrong Reporting

Via the Harry Binswanger Letter, I have learned about a speech by Matti Friedman, a former journalist who covered the Middle East. Friedman discusses the outrageous perversions of journalism that are standard practice there. Here is a sample:

Vandalism of Palestinian property is a story. Neo-Nazi rallies at Palestinian universities or in Palestinian cities are not -- I saw images of such rallies suppressed on more than one occasion. Jewish hatred of Arabs is a story. Arab hatred of Jews is not. Our policy, for example, was not to mention the assertion in the Hamas founding charter that Jews were responsible for engineering both world wars and the Russian and French revolutions, despite the obvious insight this provides into the thinking of one of the most influential actors in the conflict.
Friedman's analysis is thought-provoking and, in my opinion, is on the right track in many respects, but I don't agree with all of it. This a long, but eye-opening piece.

Weekend Reading

"Laws that respect [patients'] right to die, also ultimately respect their right to live -- on their own terms." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Does Your Right to Life Include the Right to Die?" at Forbes

"What if somebody tried to decide for you if you should marry?" -- Michael Hurd, in "The Second Time Around: Widows Who Remarry" at The Delaware Wave

"Refusing to think can turn existence into one continuous mistake, putting us squarely in the path of chance events." -- Michael Hurd, in "It's Not 'Karma' You Need ... It's Thinking!" at The Delaware Coast Press

My Two Cents

The Hsieh column does a good job of considering some of the often-missed ramifications of physician-assisted suicide. Among the points I appreciated: It would be just as wrong to go from preventing willing physicians from doing this (with proper legal safeguards) to requiring physicians to offer it.

How He Does It

I enjoyed learning how Patriots Coach Bill Bellichick builds such good teams each year. I especially liked the following:
[R]ather than claim [LeGarrette] Blount [off waivers], and be responsible for the remainder of his current contract, Belichick took the educated gamble the running back would clear waivers and be an unrestricted free agent. And he was. So they signed him to a very team-friendly two-year deal on Nov. 20 -- the extent of [Stevan] Ridley's injuries put his 2015 productivity in doubt -- giving New England insurance next season as well. Others teams would be scared off by his past transgressions, the Patriots bought low again, and Blount destroyed the Colts in the AFC Championship Game with 30 carried for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the 45-7 blowout. Not bad for a guy who any of the 32 teams in the league could have snagged on waivers.
Not having a strong preference for either team in the Super Bowl, perhaps I'll root for the shrewd, hard-working coach.

-- CAV

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