Siciliano's Market News, June 11 Edition

A list of this week's new and returning products follows a few thoughts on the important role a free press plays in a constitutional democracy

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

"Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell."

--Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black

There's been a lot of activity around the house lately but the new roof is on and the painters are gone and with my wife at the cottage it was pretty quiet around the old homestead this week. Normally when I’m batching it I tend to immediately revert back to being a slob. But this time I kept things relatively tidy, didn't let dishes pile up in the sink and even made the bed every morning. After twenty years of marriage Barb must finally be rubbing off on me.

In addition to putting some hours in at the store and getting some projects done around the house, I spent the time reading (A Fly Rod of Your Own by John Gierach and The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide by Tom Rosenbauer), working on blogs and watching a few movies ("Exodus", "Joker", "Charlie Wilson’s War" and "The Post").

I thought "Exodus" slogged a bit but any film with Paul Newman and Eva Marie Saint in the starring roles is worth watching. I think Joaquin Phoenix deserved his Best Actor Oscar award for his portrayal of the Joker but I agree with those who feel that the film is over the top disturbing. I thoroughly enjoyed the performances of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman in" Charlie Wilson’s War", but it was "The Post", also starring Hanks along with the incomparable Meryl Streep, that was the most thought provoking and, perhaps, even more disturbing than an imaginary tale about a crazed psychopath in a fictional Gotham City.

"The Post" relates the dramatic circumstances surrounding The Washington Post's and The New York Times' successful efforts to run news stories related to the infamous Pentagon Papers. In a 6-3 decision on June 30, 1971, the United States Supreme Court ruled that referencing the documents was within the publishers' First Amendment constitutional rights. It was a landmark victory for freedom of the press. I guess I found the movie so disturbing because it depicts a true story--real politicians hoodwinking a real citizenry about a real war in which close to sixty thousand real Americans lost their lives. And it was thought provoking because it made me ponder what harm might be done to a constitutional democracy if the ones in power ever succeed in blinding the eyes of a free press.

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