Frontline Episode: “Top Secret America”

indexA good episode of Frontline entitled “Top Secret America” is now online at the PBS website linked below. It traces, through contributions by Post writer Dana Priest, the history of our intelligence gathering and usage from the 9/11 bombings to the Boston Marathon Bombings. The title “Top Secret America” is the name given by Priest to group together the huge public and private bureaucracies that have led American intelligence for the last 12 years through the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now domestic threats here in the homeland. Recommended watching.

Watch Here.

teen-pregnancy-rates-rise-425ds012810_284x213 People need to think about these 4 scenarios which will occur if Plan B is kept behind the counter where only a 17 year-old  or older can obtain them:

1) More teen teens will have unintended pregnancies.

2) More teens will have to carry “rape babies.”

3) More teens will have to carry babies that result from incest.

4) More teens will have dangerous, “back-alley” abortions.

These are just a few likely instances that people don’t think about when faced with this topic. PlanB is not a contraceptive and is only for emergencies. And, yes, somebody’s “Little Princess” out there is going to have sex without contraception. Don’t ruin a life in case you don’t live in a magical world where everyone is perfect.

Straight Media Members Left of Center: Is Their News Coverage?

It’s a fact that most people in what we consider the media are educated, white, and some would even say “elitist.” These 3 demographics point to one conclusion: reporters, their bosses, and news commentators/op-ed writers are mostly left of the average American in regards to their political beliefs. But is their straight news coverage biased? If you would ask a member of the media, they would reply with an emphatic “No!” But can they take their held convictions out of their news coverage even if they put forth an effort to do so?

Now I’m talking about straight media, not cable talk shows that are clearly and openly biased like those found on FOX news or MSNBC. So shouldn’t we take into account this left-of-center bias when reading even straight news? And what about the talented journalists efforts to maintain objectivity?

Just remember one thing not too many people know: In places like Europe, all media, for the most part, are openly biased and people shop for the media that caters to their previously held beliefs. There is no effort to maintain objectivity their amongst most media.

So shouldn’t we be able to be as discerning as the Europeans in such matters and take into account media bias when we consume it?

Here is a good op-ed in the Post by the Ombudsman regarding such matters and especially concerning those conservatives who perceive this leftist-bias even in straight media. He gives some good things to think about, even for us leftists.

Read Here. 

New Anti-Protest Law in Quebec

Are you a democratically elected government trying to cut funding for social programs?  Do those pesky things called the citizens of your country keep yelling about how they don’t want you to do what you are doing?  Are the protests of the people really getting in the way of your daily routine of pretending like you are helping the people you were elected to represent?  Well, the provincial government of Quebec has a solution for you!  Just pass laws that make it harder for people to express their feelings about the bad laws you are passing!  Not only will these new laws take away your headaches they will also ease all that guilt building up in your conscience about making life worse for the people not lucky enough to be you!

(A quick note on that last statement: Yes, I am assuming these folks actually have a conscience.  A theoretical leap, I concede, but I am trying to be perfectly objective as always.)

Joking aside, some Americans might be reasonably shocked to see so much anger and protesting in Canada over the proposed hikes in tuition.  The increase is $254 per year over the course of seven years.  For Canada’s southern neighbors, tuition increases like this have become so routine over the past two decades most of us wouldn’t even react other than to say, “That’s life.”  Canada’s young people must have seen the mountain of debt American students are being crushed by and said, “No, thanks.”  So they have taken to the streets for nearly 100 days now and clearly their government wants them to give up.

But they aren’t giving up.  And for this they should certainly be commended for showing a great deal of vitality in the face of such oppressive action on the part of their elected leaders.  This will be an interesting situation to continue watching to see how responsive the democratic government in Quebec decides to be with so much animosity from its citizens toward its policy.  The new law does not stop protesting altogether so this debate is far from over…