Wiretap: Finding meaning in a life

Photo of James Foley in 2011 at Tripoli, Libya airport by Jonathan Pednault


Max Fisher writes for Vox.com that many people will try to find meaning in James Foley’s unspeakable death at the hands of ISIS. Fisher says, instead, that we should take our meaning from his life. Foley risked his life – and eventually lost it — doing the kind of journalism that ennobles the news business, and all of us. He had been captured while reporting in Libya, and it was only a year after his release that he was reporting from Syria. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 66 journalists have died in Syria since 1992, the great majority of them Syrian.

The New York Times has a detailed account of what witnesses have told police about the Michael Brown shooting death and his altercation with Darren Wilson, the officer who shot him. You won’t be surprised to hear that accounts vary.

It’s the most tense racial moment of Barack Obama’s presidency, and yet, as Todd Purdum writes in Politico, America’s first black president can’t go there.

Michael Gerson writes that an American political party — for example, the Republican Party – can’t be morally or intellectually serious if it does not address the issue of race. But is Rand Paul the Republican to do it? Gerson says that he isn’t, noting the simple truth — that Rand Paul is no Jack Kemp. Via the Washington Post.

This may be the year when we finally learn whether there can be too much of a bad thing – namely, political TV ads. According to the Denver Post, there have already been nearly 15,000 spots booked in the Denver TV market for the final five weeks of the campaign. That’s at a cost of $19.6 million. And the booking isn’t done yet.

Sam Wang, Princeton neuroscientist and political junkie, crunches the numbers and sees no wave in November. Which isn’t to say that Republicans don’t have a very good chance of controlling both houses of Congress. Via the New Yorker.

A new poll shows near unanimous support among Latinos in Colorado and New Mexico for the government to preserve and protect public land. More than half of respondents say they’d like to see proof that oil and gas development won’t harm the environment or limit access to outdoor recreation. Via High Country News.

You’ve read that Google knows a lot about you. It actually knows you much better than you think. Via the Atlantic.

An anti-pot campaign by state and local government features human-sized rat cages on the streets of Colorado cities bearing a message for the youths: “Don’t be a lab rat.” Lab rats, meanwhile, don’t waste time before using the cage next to the Denver skatepark as a new smoke spot. Via CBS 4.

[Photo of James Foley in Tripoli, Libya, in 2011 by Jonathan Pednault via FreeJamesFoley.org.]

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