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Showing posts from December 24, 2007

Time's "Thing" of the Year: Like who cares?

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There was a time – many years ago – when Time magazine was an “institution” (Henry Luce, etc.) and I used to read it from cover to cover. I even received an award from ex-editor Henry Grunwald when I graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism and was offered a job in their “Discover” magazine (didn’t take it). In any case, since those days Time was gradually transformed into the older and serious brother of People magazine, and now it has basically become the Lenin Mausoleum of American journalism. Which begs the question: who really cares which person or thing (remember “You”?) Time chooses at the end of the year? Time has decided to put Vladimir Putin on the cover this year. Wow! I don’t plan on reading the reasons for their choice. I guess that it’s something along the lines of Russia turning into a renewed “threat” to the West? Putin=Peter the Great=Stalin? Cold War II? My “thing” of 2007 is the move by Government of Singapore Investment Corp. and an “identified Middle East…

Charlie Wilson's Wonderful War

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A few years ago I had assigned the late 60 Minutes producer George Crile’s Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times for one of my political science classes. It’s a great read. But I was also hoping that the book about the alcoholic, (druggie?), womanizing and corrupt Democrat who represented Texas’s Second Congressional District, a Bill Clinton-type minus Yale/Oxford, and the “adventures” he and a loud-mouth and fat CIA operator and a Born-Again Reaganite and over-sexed socialite from Texas had shared during the twilight years of the Cold War supporting Osama bin Ladin and his gang would help demonstrate to my students one of the arguments that classical liberals/libertarians make that “war is the health of the state,” and in the case of Charlie and his pals, that wars help you raise election campaign money, get re-elected, get laid and party until it’s the end of the Soviet Union. Inde…