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  • As host of the third panel on timely, serious issues under the umbrella of Guild Hall’s Hamptons Institute on Monday, Alec Baldwin wore a number of his many hats comfortably. The topic, “The New Normal in News: Ideology vs. Fact,” was explored by Mr. Baldwin and a prestigious panel: Nicholas Lehmann, former dean of the Columbia University School of Journalism and a frequent essayist for The New Yorker, Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!,” the long­time muckraking radio program, and Bob Garfield, the author of five books and a podcast on journalism and advertising and a co-host of the radio and online program “On the Media.”
  • Until last weekend, I was in total denial about computer security. Sure, computers were being hacked, people were getting scammed, all the time — but not me.
  • The Ethiopian-American population of the United States is 2 million, with Ethiopians second only to Nigerians among people of African origin. The number is significant even given Ethiopia’s current population of an incredible 104,396,011, as estimated by the United Nations.
  • It was one of the hottest days so far this summer, but it was one of the best.
  • The East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan is an amazing 114-page document including tables, charts, and maps. It was adopted in May 2005 after about a year and a half of study by professional planners and of public debate. For the most part, we hear of it these days only when an official or activist points to something in it that is relevant to a current project.
  • Corn and tomatoes. What more could anyone want at the height of the season? Right?
  • An image of a grandmother with an apron tied around her waist showing someone young how to make a cake came to mind last week. I am not certain whether it was wishful thinking or guilt. The truth is, I never bake much of anything and don’t even remember making chocolate-chip cookies when my kids were kids.
  • Somewhere in cyberspace there’s an answer to this question: Why would someone buy four items on eBay, charge them to my personal credit card, and have them sent to my East Hampton Post Office box? It wasn’t me. I really don’t need a great big, cheap, water-resistant man’s watch, thank you very much.
  • It had been such a long time since I was on a chartered bus with a pack of friends, or travelers with common interests, that I was surprised when it turned out to be fun. The bus was taking some 40 of us back to the South Fork Saturday night after a concert at St. Peter’s Church in midtown Manhattan, where we joined the Greenwich Village Chamber Singers in a performance of the Brahms Requiem.
  • Because I am not much of a TV news viewer, my opinion about whether Megyn Kelly should have interviewed Alex Jones, the InfoWars conspiracy theorist, on NBC is neither here nor there. But the nonsense he sprouts is, to me, personally, not only outrageous but also obscene, and how to judge obscenity is something we have confronted from time to time even here on our letters-to-the-editor pages.

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