The benefit of 18 hours on a plans

I really enjoy taking long flights. Of course, it’s nice to be headed somewhere, but hours of time without any interruption from the phone, Internet or other people is something that never happens in my life except when I am on a plane. I’m returning today from a few wonderful days in Belgium for business (and a little adventure on the side with Kira), and I am still blown away by the sheer volume of things I was able to get caught up on while on the plane. 

Not least of all has been working my way through my 46 article long “reading list” of saved items I meant to come back to. There’s one below, but I suspect what I post on Friday will be a lot of content from months ago now that I’ve finally gotten around to it.

Changing the facts on the ground
It really must feel to the rest of the world that Obama is just playing out the string. The New Yorker’s Moscow correspondent examines how Vladimir Putin is rapidly changing the reality of the strategic situation in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It’s clear he intends to use a period of time where Obama won’t act over any offense to great a situation that is the defined status quo for our next president, and forces them to negotiate for the world as it was, not as it should be.

Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is a failure
I guess if I have a license from a state, it’s home for now. So it was tough, if not surprising, to learn about Pennsylvania’s frequent miscarriages of justice, and how it has abandoned a most important maxim from its founding father: “Better 100 guilty men go free, than one innocent man be incarcerated.” The longer I live in Pennsylvania and learn about its long history, local nuances, and unique political structures, the more I understand how things have evolved to where they are today.

Which rock star will historians remember?
Obviously, Chuck Berry. It’s funny how caught up we can get in our own culture — reading this article in The New York Times promoted initial derision from me: in all of rock music, how could we pick a single person to represent it? But when you consider the last fifty years just a blip in time, and that all other musical periods are remember by only one or two musicians, it makes you realize that 200 years hence, there probably won’t be time to remember more than one.