Go to Mobile Site


August 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

The following paragraph appeared on the front page of Saturday's Times, in an article headlined, "Blood Industry Shrinks as Transfusions Decline":

Blood bank revenue is falling, and the decline may reach $1.5 billion a year this year from a high of $5 billion in 2008.

It's not clear, to this reader, at least, what the sentence means. Is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue has declined to $1.5 billion this year from $5 billion in 2008? Or is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue declined $5 billion in 2008 from 2007, and will decline $1.5 billion this year from the year before? Or is the Times trying to tell us that blood bank revenue this year will be $3.5 billion, down from $5 billion in 2008?

Continue Reading


Inflation Adjustment

August 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

A dispatch from Illinois about the Olmsted Locks and Dam on the Ohio River reports that it was "first authorized by Congress in 1988 at a cost of $775 million" and is "now scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost approaching $3 billion."

The U.S. government's consumer price index inflation calculator indicates that $775 million in 1988 dollars are about $1.56 billion in 2014 dollars. The calculator doesn't run to 2020, but by then even more of the story won't be typically scandalous government cost overruns, but the erosion of the value of the dollar.

Continue Reading


Forgetting New York

August 19, 2014 at 9:27 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

A front-page news article in today's New York Times appears under the headline "Cities Rocked by Past Unrest Offer Lessons." It offers lessons for Ferguson, Mo. from "other cities that endured similar violence." It names "Cincinnati, Oakland, Los Angeles" and Miami and talks about responding to riots and restoring calm. Strangely — bizarrely, actually, the Times omits any mention of New York.

There was a race riot — a pogrom, actually — in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991, which you'd think a newspaper based in New York City might, you know, think about maybe mentioning in a news article about how to respond to an urban riot. The efforts since then to improve relations between the black and Jewish communities in Crown Heights might actually have some lessons for Ferguson.

Continue Reading


Times Sells Marilyn Monroe Nude Photos

August 15, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

The "New York Times Store" is featuring "rarely seen" and "truly historic" photographs of a naked Marilyn Monroe for $3,000 and $1,500 (more if you want it framed). It's not clear how this fits with the Times Company's stated core mission of "creating, collecting, and distributing high-quality news and information." A front-of-the business section Times news article — "Risque Promotion Prompts Outcry From Land's End Customers" — this week went after Land's End for a marketing deal with GQ, which was featuring photographs of scantily clad women, but Land's End wasn't trying to sell the pictures for $3,000 or billing them as "truly historic."


Jeffrey Goldberg, "A Hawk"

August 13, 2014 at 9:51 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

Maureen Dowd's column today refers to Hillary Clinton's interview with "Jeffrey Goldberg, a hawk, of The Atlantic."

I guess by Ms. Dowd's standards a "hawk" is someone like Jeff, who wants to dismantle many of Israel's West Bank settlements and to ease U.S. sanctions on Castro's Cuba.


Auto Thefts

August 13, 2014 at 9:45 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

Reader-participant-watchdog-community member-content co-creator Colin G. writes:

Josh Barro has a piece on auto thefts in which he says the "most important factor" in explaining the decline is the introduction of technology in the late 90s/early 2000s that makes it "essentially impossible to start a car without the ignition key."

That's fine, but how does that comport with the second chart included in the piece, which shows the most dramatic declines taking place from around 1990-97 before such technology became available?


Inflation Adjustment

August 13, 2014 at 9:31 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

In the midst of the front-page New York Times news article about the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams comes this:

At an age when most actors are slowing down, Mr. Williams was engaged with a half-dozen recent and planned projects. They ranged from stage work and low-budget films to an anticipated — though still distant — big-budget sequel to his biggest hit, "Mrs. Doubtfire," which took in about $728 million worldwide in 1993, after accounting for inflation.

Continue Reading


Hijab Fashion

August 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

From the you-can't-make-it-up department: A post in the Fashion and Style section reports:

For many Muslim women around the world, the hijab — the scarf covering their hair — is not just a religious accouterment but also a symbol of their identity....As part of a planned article, we invite readers to share Instagram photographs of their hijab with us. Tag the photos with #nytfashion, and selected ones will be highlighted onnytimes.com/fashion this week.

I guess the Times figures that if it's losing Jewish readers over its Middle East coverage it might as well pick up some Muslims to make up for them. We're waiting for the equivalent feature on yarmulkes.


Dave Barry on Pamela Druckerman

August 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

Dave Barry has a deft takedown of a New York Times essay about Miami.


That Explains It

August 5, 2014 at 7:09 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

From today's New York Times editorial, the latest in a series calling for the legalization of marijuana:

One important way to curb use is to tax marijuana heavily, following the post-Prohibition template of replacing criminalization with regulation and taxes....tax the drug based on its potency — which can be measured in various ways, including by the amount of the component THC in a batch — and increase the rate over time to keep up with inflation.

No wonder the Times favors marijuana legalization. It creates the opportunity to raise taxes, an opportunity that for the Times editorial writers trumps any other policy objective. To the sixteen other tax increases previously supported by the Times editorial column (one of the services we provide here is keeping track of them), now add a seventeenth: an inflation-indexed tax on marijuana potency.


Inheritance and Climate Change

August 3, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

In the business section of Saturday's Times was a "wealth matters" column on the topic of parents talking (or not talking) to children about an inheritance. It included this passage:

Like other areas of life in which there is strong data that should be dictating our behavior — like cigarette smoking, global warming and baseball statistics — people know what they should do but still struggle mightily to do it.

It's the second time in less than a month that a Times business section columnist, reporter, or editor has injected a global warming reference into a story that has nothing to do with the topic.


Religious Conservatives and Pollution

July 31, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

Obama for America 2012 campaign speechwriter turned New York Times Washington bureau reporting intern Theodore Schleifer has an article in the Times that runs under the headline "Religious Conservatives Embrace Pollution Fight." It includes this sentence:

Although many of the faith leaders came from traditionally progressive congregations, like black churches, synagogues and mainstream Protestant denominations, others were more conservative Christians who reflect a growing embrace of environmentalism by parts of the religious right.

Continue Reading


The Conflict in Gaza

July 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

A Times dispatch from Kansas City, Mo., about an appearance there by President Obama reports:

The president was informal and relaxed, interacting with a crowd that was quick to respond, cheering and booing — a bit of a foil to a number of signs outside the theater before his speech protesting his policies on immigration, the conflict in Gaza and other issues.

Continue Reading


Alcohol and Minors

July 31, 2014 at 10:56 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

A full-column length Times editorial by Philip Boffey presses the case the Times has been making in favor of legalizing marijuana. It includes this passage:

Marijuana's negative health effects are arguments for the same strong regulation that has been effective in curbing abuse of legal substances. Science and government have learned a great deal, for example, about how to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors. Mandatory underage drinking laws and effective marketing campaigns have reduced underage alcohol use to 24.8 percent in 2011, compared with 33.4 percent in 1991.

Click through the link to the CDC data provided by the Times, and you will see the following disclaimer, which the Times doesn't pass along to its print readers: "Due to survey design modifications, comparison of results from before 1999 to 1999–2001 and 2002–2011 need to be made with caution."

Continue Reading


Israeli Propaganda

July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am

Send Share: Facebook Twitter

A front-page dispatch from "Near the Israel-Gaza Border" reports:

Israeli political and military leaders mention the tunnel threat nearly every time they speak, and have gained widespread international support for eliminating them. The military in recent days has distributed photographs of tunnels that troops uncovered, and videos of them placing explosives inside and blowing some up. As part of the propaganda push, the military has also invited a few journalists underground for a tour.

My Webster's Second unabridged has as a definition of propaganda, "any systematic, widespread, deliberate indoctrination or plan for such indoctrination: now often used in a derogatory sense, connoting deception or distortion."

Continue Reading


<- Prev 15 items   |   Next 15 items ->

Subscribe to the Mailing List

Follow Smartertimes.com

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

© 2014 FutureOfCapitalism LLC

home  |  archives  |  about  |  mailing list  |  ST @ facebook  |  ST @ twitter  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy

news transparency  |  FutureOfCapitalism.com