This popular post was originally published May 11.
Western journalists seem shocked—shocked!—by the apparently shabby day-to-day living conditions of master villain Osama bin Laden. After all, the multimillionaire occupied a villa in an elite region where Pakistan’s military elite lived. Had he grown long in the tooth, had Bin Laden “lost it”? How surprising that he lived shabbily, in one room, with an ancient television set.
If the journalists had done their homework, they would not have been surprised at all. Bin Laden chose to live in relatively primitive, ramshackle, sparsely furnished settings for a long time. While he still lived in Saudi Arabia, before he had to flee to Sudan and thereafter to Afghanistan, he condemned his wives and children to lives of physical, medical, and psychological hardship.
Originally published on August 14, 2010
Last week The American Prospect revealed an unsettling workplace trend. This discovery is completely unanticipated, so prepare to be shocked.
When female coworkers are out of earshot, men sometimes talk about them. Just awful, right? And guys aren’t just discussing the work habits of their female colleagues — occasionally they mention their looks!
This is the new “sexual harassment”: not the groping, fondling, and obscene comments of yesteryear, but “what’s said about [women] when their backs are turned.” According to the Prospect‘s Ann Friedman, “behind-their-back comments are also intimidation and bullying of a sexual nature.” And this indirect harassment is even worse than dealing with run-of-the-mill lewdness from male coworkers.
This popular post was first published on May 12 here.
One of my bad habits that I’m still working to overcome from my days on the Left is being too open-minded.
I still want to give people the benefit of the doubt when they express interest in participating in the publication. In the past this has bitten me from time to time as deviants and narcissistic self-promoters have wormed their way into publishing posts only to eventually reveal their true colors.
Still, I at least remain willing to listen to people who might not agree with all of our positions who still want to help out in the fights. If someone wants to write in defense of Israel but they hold socialist views on health care then I’m inclined to let them stand with us in defense of the Jewish state. I just won’t publish their writings promoting crackpot economics.
That’s kind of what I was hoping for when someone identifying as possessing “the viewpoint of the left” wanted to write for us. On April 26 my co-editors Jenn Q. Public and Michael van der Galien and I received this inquiry from NRB‘s contact form from “Allen James Burnham” (I’d wager probably his real name given his level of earnestness):
To whom it may concern,
I would like to blog about what I have put in the subject line of this message. I of course understand that this is a right wing blog, but it would be hardly a free and democratic blog in a free and democratic society if the viewpoint of the left were not incorporated. Or not even so much the left as the perspective of someone who was a Soldier for five years and has been an Official for forty two years. In any case the moment nobody engages with what the other side thinks, the country ceases to be a democracy.
I responded back and included an attachment with our standard application that we use to learn about the views and writing histories of those who want to write for us:
Originally published on May 11, 2011
If there are any certainties in life, among them is determining people’s character by examining the company they keep. Rachel Maddow considers it her mission to have as many nationally known “Republicans” on her show as possible. Of course, the only “Republican” she regularly chats with is Michael Steele. Steele is well-liked but clearly not very conservative and was unable to hang onto his position as the head of the RNC. Under his watch, they almost went bankrupt.
But guess who showed up last week to join the Twit for her Republican/Crazed Leftist love fest? None other than the legendary Meghan McCain. (And by “legendary,” I mean her legendary lack of conservative chops.) While Maddow patted herself on the back for deigning to rub elbows with a nasty Republican, I found myself remembering Meggie Mac’s infamous Sarah Palin bashing. Let’s see, McCain is pro-gay marriage, pro-feminist, pro-global warming alarmism, and pro-flash-your-boobies-on-the-internet (sorry Meg, you posted the photo). The most conservative thing about this girl is her father and he’s not exactly a shining star of conservatism, so you can understand my snickering when Maddow referred to her as a “nationally recognized Republican.”
However, I got to thinking I might have to take back all the ungenerous things I’ve ever thought or said about McCain when she took Maddow to the NRA convention.
This popular post was first published on May 10, 2011
When I first described the City University of New York as the Communist University of New York, I had no idea how right I was.
It seems that Dr. Michael Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, is one of two professors at John Jay College who nominated Tony Kushner for this honorary degree. Meeropol is a professor of economics.