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Posts published in “From the Archives”

Nut Neutrality (2014)

Let’s say the final score in Tuesday’s 2014 baseball All-Star Game is National League 97, American League 3. It’s a tie, right? ADDED UPDATE: The All-Star Game ended in a tie, with a score of National League 3, American League 5. CONGRESSMAN BLACKBURN Despite the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists believe urgent action is needed to address the potentially catastrophic environmental changes caused by the burning of fossil fuels, “The science is inconclusive,” says Marsha Blackburn, the Congressman* from Tennessee’s 7th District. Similarly, Congressman Blackburn believes that the theory of evolution and the hypothesis of creationism deserve equal…

Dead Lines (2014)

ANDERSONVILLE GUARDS ENFORCING THE DEAD LINE Now that I’m not on deadline, this seems a good time to discuss dead lines. It’s also timely given the discussion of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American prisoner of war exchanged for five Taliban prisoners. Like deadbeat, deadline is a term that originated during the American Civil War. It is often associated with the Andersonville Prison in Georgia, an abominably foul and horrific stockade where some 13,000 Union war prisoners died. Most prisoners there succumbed to disease, thirst and starvation, but many of them were shot for going past the so-called dead line. The dead…

Gov’t Transparency (2014)

DAMMIT, WOODWARD, MY TYPEWRITER JUST WENT DOWN. Investigative journalism is crucial to a democracy. It uncovers lies, corruption, malfeasance, misfeasance, nonfeasance, and the breaking of rules of law and decency. It breaks news that would not be available to the public without the intervention of a journalist. Public records are crucial to investigative journalism. They reveal trends that are not readily apparent, like delays at Veterans Administration hospitals, or systemic abuse at homes for the elderly. So I was (unpleasantly) surprised, while investigating politics in my small town, to see the following message on my California county government web site: IN SILICON VALLEY, MICROFILM…