Why Monarchy Sucked

The children of Paul Emery Washington think of their father as an unpretentious, generous guy who climbed the corporate ladder to become regional manager at CertainTeed manufacturing, a building-supply company. Now 82, he takes care of his wife, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, while spending time on the San Antonio, Texas, property that he shares with his children. “I think he would’ve been a great king,” says son Bill Washington—a statement, we admit, that might seem a little odd. Except that Paul Emery Washington is a direct descendant of George Washington, our nation’s first president and perhaps the only man in history who turned down the position of monarch.

via America’s ‘Lost Monarchy’: The Man Who Would Be King | Newsweek Culture | Newsweek.com

Look, I know you get a big bonus in your capital when there is a monarchy, and you can declare war on whomever you like whenever you like, but the simple fact is that the downsides of recessive genes overweigh the acts of our fathers nearly every single time.

The Net Reigns Supreme (For Better or Worse)

Alter: All Umbrage All the Time | Newsweek Voices – Jonathan Alter | Newsweek.com

After a decade of waiting for the first “Internet election,” its finally here, and were adrift from all the old-media moorings. “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one,” the great critic A. J. Liebling wrote more than half a century ago. Today, of course, were all press lords, or can be. But the “crowd-sourcing” of news cuts both ways. Like democracy itself, it can cleanse, correct and ennoble. Or it can coarsen, spread lies and degrade the national conversation.

Everything about the Web is double-edged. Its hard to believe, but YouTube wasnt even around in 2004. Now it or other streamed video is a godsend for anyone who wants to follow politics closely. But YouTube is also a pixilated guillotine for any public figures inclined to show a little humanity that is, fallibility or a penchant for inconvenient truth-telling when they step out of their house. Colin Powell told me recently that hes even had to put up with picture takers in the mens room.

Alter makes a number of good points in this mini-rant/whine about the interwebs and the reality of a democratized media.  As one actually educated in how the media works and how much works it takes to make much of it look effortless on the consumer end, he makes some good points.

Read more to see my take on it.

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