Dream of the Dragon

Tag: accountability

Maximum Accountability

by Justin

The post title is misleading – what I’m talking about is misdirected cruelty masquerading as extreme accountability.

In the thick of the financial crisis many people demanded the sacking of Goldman Sachs executives that oversaw the exploitation of its investors. Again, throughout the Gulf spill disaster concerned citizens called for the firings of BP and Transocean leaders as a show that things would change. In giant corporations this may very well have amounted to just that: a show. But sometimes that’s all anyone wants – a little drama in place of substantial reform. Well, North Korea went to the extreme of misguided theatrics, hoping that an execution would overshadow the endemic flaws in its system.

This ran in the Guardian yesterday, a brief account of the execution by firing squad of former North Korean cabinet official Kwon Ho Ung. Read the rest of this entry »

Time to grow up.

by Justin

Anyone hoping the recent tidal wave of bad press and flagrantly sinful abuse within the Catholic Church might dismount the Pope from his high horse is, unfortunately, wrong. Condemnation still rests comfortably on the tip of his holy tongue.

I’ve kept my distance writing about the revelation of scandal in Europe that runs deep enough to warrant the resignation of Bishops. Our man Benedict XVI, in his less holy days, has even been implicated for turning a blind eye and by negligence being complicit in several specific cases. Specifically in a German archdiocese with a younger Benedict as its Archbishop (read about that wonder here and here among other places). This is all obviously terrible. The abuse of a priest, of a trusted representative of congregation member’s god, is about as egregious as it gets. It’s a spectacular betrayal of trust. A violation of “God’s law” and plain ol’ secular law. Also, really disgusting. The caliber of this crime can’t be overstated, I don’t think. But it’s pretty well covered territory and I don’t have anything to contribute to the discourse.

Except that I hoped this was an opportunity for an extremely influential and archaic institution to grow up a little.  Read the rest of this entry »

Newsweak.

by Justin

It should come as no surprise that declining readership for newsweeklies has driven one of the principle three to put itself up for auction. Many news sites and a number of bloggers I read paid special attention to what it portents for the field of journalism that Newsweek may become no more. The newsweekly launched in 1933, in what was a remarkable era for news in general. In the midst of Depression and in the wake of a world war the United States could boast a more concerned citizenship than many chapters in history. Local newspapers covered what they could, and the giants like the New York Times hadn’t begun to circulate nationally. Radio was rising in popularity but not yet a significant source of international news, and broadcast television didn’t find any momentum until after World War II. Someone had to cover national and international stories and spread the word throughout the country. Read the rest of this entry »