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MinM's Journal
MinM's Journal
October 19, 2012

This American Life had an excellent segment...

on a similar case. Can't vouch for the transitive properties of these types of cases, but here's a link:


October 18, 2012

The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: America and Cuba Still Frozen in 1962

Good read from Time:

Latin America
The Cuban Missile Crisis at 50: America and Cuba Still Frozen in 1962
Raúl Castro's decision this week to let Cubans travel freely outside their communist island is a reminder of the jaded cold-war policies Washington and Havana adopted after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet standoff

By Tim Padgett | @TimPadgett2 | October 17, 2012

Then again, if this is a season of 50th anniversaries, it’s also a U.S. election season—a reminder that Washington is still terrified of conservative Cuban-American voters in the swing state of Florida. A reminder that Havana still hasn’t grown beyond its anti-yanqui dogma and paranoia. A reminder that both the U.S. and Cuba are still frozen in 1962, to the detriment of the Americas.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/10/17/the-cuban-missile-crisis-at-50-america-and-cuba-still-frozen-in-1962/

October 18, 2012

This American Life: The Convert

Good Read/Listen

471: The Convert
Aug 10, 2012

In 2006, a new convert showed up at a mosque in Orange County, California, eager to study the Koran and make new friends. But when he started acting odd and saying strange things, those friends got suspicious. To them, he was Farouk al-Aziz. But his real name was Craig Monteilh, and he was working undercover for the FBI.

October 16, 2012

Samantha Smith on Nightline (1983)

Samantha Reed Smith (June 29, 1972 – August 25, 1985) was an American schoolgirl, peace activist and child actress from Manchester, Maine, who became famous in the Cold War-era United States and Soviet Union. In 1982, Smith wrote a letter to the newly appointed CPSU General Secretary Yuri Andropov, and received a personal reply which included a personal invitation to visit the Soviet Union, which she accepted.

Smith attracted extensive media attention in both countries as a "Goodwill Ambassador", and became known as "America's Youngest Ambassador" participating in peacemaking activities in Japan.[1] She wrote a book about her visit to the Soviet Union and co-starred in the television series Lime Street, before her death at the age of 13 in the Bar Harbor Airlines Flight 1808 plane crash...

...November 20, 1983 screening of ABC's post-nuclear war dramatization The Day After became one of the most anticipated media events of the decade.

The two superpowers had by this point abandoned their strategy of détente and in response to the Soviet deployment of SS-20s, Reagan moved to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles to Europe. The Soviet Union's involvement in a war in Afghanistan was in its third year, a matter which was also contributing to international tension. In this atmosphere, on November 22, 1982, Time magazine published an issue with Andropov on the cover. When Smith viewed the edition, she asked her mother, "If people are so afraid of him, why doesn't someone write a letter asking whether he wants to have a war or not?" Her mother replied, "Why don't you?" ...

Smith interviewed several candidates for the 1984 presidential election, including George McGovern and Jesse Jackson...


I recalled the Samantha Smith story thanks to the brave Pakistani girl...

Malala Yousafzai.
October 16, 2012

Interesting who Stephen King credits for their "useful source-materials" :

As a work of fiction it's probably harmless enough ...

Historically? Not so much. Given King's reliance on the likes of admitted plagiarist Gerald Posner. Along with James Jesus Angleton protégé Edward Jay Epstein.



Hat tip to IanEye @ RI for the review.

Read more @ The Education Forum

October 11, 2012

BTW were approaching the 35th anniversary of Carl Bernstein's great Rolling Stone piece...

After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.


How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up


In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations...


Also the Joseph Alsop that Carl refers to would have been 94 today.

CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein 10/20/77 Rolling Stone
October 9, 2012

The Appeal: It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi. ~ John Grisham

The Appeal was a book I published. It was always a novel. It’s completely fiction and it’s completely true. It's the story of the purchasing of a Supreme Court seat in Mississippi. ~ John Grisham

Judge Oliver Diaz from "Hot Coffee"

Here's more from Diane Roberts' must read piece...
America's independent and impartial judiciary is under threat from a rightwing attempt to pack courts with partisan placemen

Diane Roberts
guardian.co.uk, Monday 8 October 2012 17.11 EDT

...The Republicans' biggest target this year is the Florida supreme court – specifically, Justices Peggy Quince, R Fred Lewis and Barbara Pariente, who must win a majority of votes to keep their seats. Lewis and Pariente were appointed by Lawton Chiles, Florida's last Democratic governor; Quince, one of two African Americans on the seven-member court, was chosen jointly by Chiles and incoming Republican Governor Jeb Bush. She and Pariente are the court's only women.

For the first time ever, the Republican party of Florida (RPOF), aided by their Tea Party shock troops, is mounting a concerted campaign against specific justices. RPOF pretends this is some grassroots effort, an outburst of populist anger at a bunch of out-of-touch liberal judges. But the power (and the money) behind the effort comes from an outfit called Americans for Prosperity, funded by the Koch brothers.

The play here is to create three shiny new vacancies on Florida's highest court, which would be filled by Tea Party poster boy Governor Rick Scott. This is a rightwing wet dream: a forelock-tugging, corporation-loving, quiescent court, which would ignore inconveniences such as the Clean Water Act and the 14th Amendment, and never get in the way of the free market.

"Merit retention" of judges is supposed to be a mechanism for citizens to rid the courts of the incompetent and the unethical. No one accuses Quince, Lewis and Pariente of incompetence or unethical practices. The best Republicans can do is call them "judicial activists", a meaningless phrase they throw at any jurist who rules against them. The great Brown v Board of Education decision in 1954, the one which declared segregation unconstitutional – that's judicial activism. Handing the presidency to George W Bush on the dodgiest of legal theories in Bush v Gore is high-minded and statesman-like...

October 4, 2012

Was it the video tape?

Interesting theory at the link below as to why President Obama was so passive...


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