The horrific rampage of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has captured the world’s attention. Many Western commentators have characterized ISIL’s crimes as unique, no longer practiced anywhere else in the civilized world. They argue that the group’s barbarism is intrinsically Islamic, a product of the aggressive and archaic worldview that dominates the Muslim world. The ignorance of these claims is stunning.
While there are other organized groups whose depravity and threat to the United States far surpasses that of ISIL, none has engendered the same kind of collective indignation and hysteria. This raises a question: Are Americans primarily concerned with ISIL’s atrocities or with the fact that Muslims are committing these crimes?
For example, even as the U.S. media and policymakers radically inflate ISIL’s threat to the Middle East and United States, most Americans appear to be unaware of the scale of the atrocities committed by Mexican drug cartels and the threat they pose to the United States.
He reviews the various threats by the numbers, but he ignores one blunt truth.
On the day that Mexican drug cartel members inspire celebratory dancing in the streets of Mexico by mass murdering 3000 innocent people on American soil, Americans will become obsessed, hysterical and indignant over the threat posed to them by Mexican drug cartels.
Some real estate agents thought the brick two-flat at 7244 South Prairie Ave. in Chicago's Park Manor neighborhood would be a quick sell. After all, it was the place crime boss Al Capone and his family once called home.
But in 831 days on the market, there hasn't been a nibble — despite a price drop from $300,000 to $225,000.
That raised concern from Hinsdale real estate broker Christine Moscinski, who is a history buff on the side. So she sent out a tweet and started an online petition to "save" the six-bedroom structure that now houses two apartments.
"I need an investor or person experienced and interested in making it a historical landmark and museum before it's torn down," said Moscinski, who happened to stumble upon the listing last week. "It just fell into my lap, and I felt I needed to get involved. So I sent out a tweet and it just propelled. I think Al is behind all this."
Whatever. The house isn't in any danger of being torn down, but so what? The home isn't architecturally worthy of preservation, and its association with a brutal mass murderer is no reason to celebrate it.
As The Times’ readership goes mobile, the publication will phase out display ads in favor of native advertising. “Display has real value, but it feels transitional, specifically when you’re talking about a smartphone-centric world. Advertisements are going to have to be in-stream and intrinsically attractive enough to engage readers,” New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said.
More about Alaska Representative Don Young, who made some foolish remarks about suicide at a Wasilla High School a assembly:
An Alaska high school student said he and his classmates were stunned by Rep. Don Young's (R-Alaska) insensitive comments during a school assembly Tuesday and thinks the congressman’s apology was insincere. Zachary Grier, 17, a senior at Wasilla High School, asked Young during the assembly why he still opposed same-sex marriage, even after a court struck down Alaska's ban on same-sex unions. Young responded by asking Grier, “What do you get when you have two bulls having sex?” When Grier answered that he didn’t know, Young told him: “A whole lot of bull.” Grier said his principal cut the assembly short after his question. Many teachers later thanked him for pressing Young.
I wasn't planning to post this one here, but the reception today at flickr was so positive, I changed my mind. I do like the reflection, which is why I took the shot, but I like humans more than cars. For example, I much prefer this one posted earlier today. It has a shiny train, a human reflection and a human.
So far, flickr prefers the Bug by 10,000 views and 80 more favorites. Those numbers lie, however, because the Beetle was featured in flickr Explore, so it automatically got much more exposure. I hope they level the playing field on Saturday and feature the human.
The passenger waiting at the Fullerton station was featured in Explore yesterday and ended up roaming the top 3 positions on flickr throughout most of the day. Position is determined by algorithmic secret sauce with a dash of human moderation. It isn't in any sense an assessment of photo quality. It's a crude popularity measure that detects and eliminates those who make obvious efforts to game the system.
I've noticed that the crowd is biased toward shiny and colorful photos, which isn't so good because there's a lot of exquisitely understated work out there from people who really know what they're doing. Democracy is a great leveler but not a great friend of art or thought.