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29 Aug 2011 10:34


U.S.: Post-Katrina general: Changing attitudes at play with Hurricane Irene

  • Before Katrina, it was a longstanding tradition in our country for political officials to wait until the last minute to warn, to take action, to evacuate. No more. With Irene, you had mass evacuations — mandatory ones — issued days ahead of time. That was the right thing to do.
  • Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore • Regarding the changing approach to hurricanes since Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana six years ago today. Honore was one of the officials whose work on the recovery from that storm was widely respected. To put his point another way: “I’ve been in the storm business for years and I’ve never seen officials be prudent enough to cancel commercial and sporting events before a storm. Folks in the Northeast did that. The day before Katrina, we had a football game in Baton Rouge. That’s how far the community has come.” So there you have it: The guy who coordinated much of the the Katrina response says they did the right thing on Irene. source

16 Feb 2011 23:39


Politics: On Nir Rosen’s sudden rise to Public Enemy No. 1

  • It’s crazy how fast things move sometimes. Within a day, Nir Rosen went from some relatively low-profile journalist tweeting controversially about Lara Logan to Twitter trending topic who’s on Anderson Cooper. That’s right, he’s become the story as much as Logan has. (Which, considering the nature of the Logan story, is sad.) Nir Rosen has surpassed Kenneth Cole as the worst social media user of the Egypt crisis. But some have suggested that this is a situation where actually-harmless gallows humor met its worst enemy: The internet mob mentality. We disagree, but we’d like to offer our feelings first:
  • Two mobs, two targets Foster Kamer, a journalist we like but don’t always agree with, had a pretty interesting take: “Lara Logan and Nir Rosen were attacked by the same thing. Or more precisely, the same sociological profile.” His correlation? A large online mob ganged up on Rosen, just as a large real-life mob did the same to Logan. While we can see where he’s going, Rosen largely encouraged the attacks by continuing to paint himself in a corner after the comments spiked out of control. He didn’t see the red flags.
  • Tweet at your own peril The thing about Rosen that makes him effective as a journalist is that he’s brash and in-your-face. Problem is, he’s one of those guys with strong views who doesn’t see when he’s gone too far. It’s something he admits to himself: “I’ve often been warned by friends that someone as rash and careless as me should not be on twitter, and clearly they were right.” Rosen didn’t take Twitter seriously. The problem is Twitter takes Twitter seriously, and it’s at a public figure’s peril to ignore that. source

12 Dec 2009 09:42


Politics: The Wall Street Journal on Tiger Woods: Gossip can be useful

  • The Tiger gossip is replete with moral messages and motivations that are compelling, instructive and powerful. Moral guidance can often sound like a collection of tired bromides when expressed in the abstract. But when told as part of a compelling drama—as gossip—it can appear as an eloquent demarcation of good behavior.
  • Wall Street Journal columnist Nicholas DiFonzo • In an article defending gossip’s usefulness in the media. He’s says that why much gossip can be ugly, sometimes it can teach lessons to outsiders. Woods’ situation is especially messy – the cheater passed off as the wholesome family man, the do-no-wrong sports figure doing lots of wrong – but it makes the lessons stronger. source

15 Nov 2009 12:22


U.S.: Recession lesson: Teachers can make bank selling coursework online

Erica Bohrer has turned a lesson of hers into $650 in cold, hard cash, which has gone to both the classroom and her mortgage. Some see an ethical crisis in this. source