a blog full of magic

Poitras profile

Here is a long profile of Laura Poitras, the journalist and documentarian whose film on the Snowden saga, CITIZENFOUR, was recently released to select theaters.

Dan Cohen on his experience in Gaza

Palestine-based Journalist Dan Cohen writes this report on Gaza for the progressive Jewish site Mondoweiss. The piece includes an importance observation, understood by many Palestinians but, it sometimes seems, not understood by many Americans:

As I spoke to al Qasas, a 43-year-old man named Ayman Rajab recognized me as an American. He interrupted with a message directed at the country he and so many I met across the Gaza Strip consider the ultimate culprit in their destruction. “We want to live in dignity with humanity,” he pleaded. “No troops, no guns, no tanks! The American people have responsibility in this. This is a message for American people: Stop this madness immediately!”

Snowden emails

Sometimes the real world is an exciting place.

Cognitive dissonance

I spend a lot of time making fun of TED talks. I spend a lot of time praising Glenn Greenwald. So you can imagine my discomfort as I enjoyed watching this:

Open secrets

This article on the official secret of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is entertaining. I liked this line:

Now, one has to read between the lines to determine that Doyle was fired for stating that Israel possessed nuclear weapons. Doyle is fighting back, but can’t acknowledge the article, which is now classified. And by “now classified” I mean in a purely administrative sense. You can download it from Survival if you feel like pushing all the buttons in the elevator isn’t edgy enough.

“Worth the cost” and willingness to pay

Dean Baker, perhaps my second-favorite economist after Ha-Joon Chang, takes a very popular style of economic argument to its conclusion.

Charitable giving after the recession

The first and last paragraphs of this piece are striking.

Between 2006 and 2012, the wealthiest Americans became less generous with charitable donations, as a share of their total income, while lower- and middle-income Americans reached farther into their pockets as they witnessed the need for charity in their communities, a study says.


Religion appeared to play a role in promoting higher giving rates. Residents of Utah, where the Mormon Church encourages members to give significantly to charity, gave the highest share of their income to charity, 6.6 percent. Nine of the 10 cities where the giving rate was highest are in the so-called Bible Belt. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire had the lowest rates.

Scahill on the new Iraq War

Here is a particularly good instance of Jeremy Scahill talking.

Nobel in headline construction

I award it to Glenn Greenwald. See here.


It’s been a long time since I deleted everything in my blog and started over.


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