Friday, April 02, 2010

Old School

Normally I only read newspapers on vacation: when they are dropped outside my hotel door, or left lying in an airport terminal. And I always relish the opportunity.

These days, between my new digs at Mrs F's grandmother, and my new job, there are multiple papers at my disposal...New York Times, WSJ, USA Today and the Detroit paper. In fact, I'm getting more of my news and information the old-fashioned way than I am online.

There's still something satisfying about reading an actual paper. And I definitely read more stories than I do online...they're sitting right there ready to be read, not off to the side requiring some incentive to click a link.

As usual, the Sunday New York Times has the most meat on its bones...

There was a good Frank Rich column on the fomenting of rage from the right... A very good Magazine article on what Obama's Wall Street regulatory plan should look like...(Krugman briefly weighs in on this today).

Even the generally annoying Mustache of Wisdom had a decent column—someone I would NEVER click a link to without being directed to—particularly one with a title as opaque as “Hobby or Necessity?

And some stories just wouldn't work onscreen as well as it does in print. Like this frightening illustration-based story hypothesizing about an Israeli attack on Iran and what might ensue in today's version of The Six-Day War.

Friedman’s column was certainly bolstered by having read the big graphic story first, and the combination reaffirmed my stance on U.S.-Israeli relations, which boils down to this: I generally fall on the side opposing whatever Israel is up to at any particular moment. I think the United States pays far too much deference to Israeli interests, and that the relationship is extremely one-sided in who benefits from it.

The ascension of hard-liners in Israeli politics has made much of this more obvious (or less thinly-veiled), and there is a lot to be added into the equation from Freidman's column about the attitudes at play, too. But even The Mustache is giving Israel too much leeway by implying that Israeli interest in Middle East peace has diminished primarily because of economics and a lack of focus. Those certainly factor in the politics of everyday citizens (in Israel and elsewhere), and I think explains how Israeli politicians that behave like a Dick Cheney fantasy team could come to dominate the government, but it leaves aside what I believe is a very deliberate process of dismantling any movement towards Arab-Israeli peace agreements.

I finished reading that timeline of an attack on Iran, and wondered “what does the Israeli regime have to lose by doing something like this?”

Then I refreshed myself on the Six Day War, the events leading to it, and the fact that so many of the same players—then young military leaders, now high government officials—are involved, and I wonder, “When will Israel go ahead with this crazy shit, and is there anything Obama can do to stop it or react differently?”

P.S. This really started as a light-hearted post on the nostalgia of reading newspapers...

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