Links for February 17th through February 20th

  • raving_liberal: “Brave” has nothing to do with it – When hearing the news that I had my last baby at home and am planning to have this one at home as well, the first response from most people is, “You’re so brave.”This has to be one of the most irritating things that people say to homebirthers. The implication is that birth is dangerous and that we are willing to take on a tremendous risk to do it anywhere but a hospital. It negates the research and planning that we’ve done to come to this decision. It makes the choice about balls, not brains. After all, homebirth is “dangerous.” Hospital birth is “safe.” Therefor, it must be bravado alone that would lead a woman to choosing such an option. Right?
  • That Green Bar in Firefox – …a lot of people probably don’t know why the address bar changes colours or what the different colours mean. Here’s a hint: if it’s a financial-anything, and that bar’s not turning green, run away.
  • Why We Immunize – James D. Macdonald’s posts on medical issues at Making Light are never to be missed.
  • What is it with the zombies? – The conversation wandered from there into a discussion of Twitter, poetry, the interactions of young people and lawns and whether editors ever rode unicorns. But the question stuck with me. What is it with the zombie stories?
  • New health reform strategy would insure everyone, improve health and slow spending growth – A comprehensive set of insurance, payment, and system reforms could guarantee affordable health insurance coverage, improve health outcomes, and slow the growth of health spending by $3 trillion by the end of the next decade, according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System. The report, The Path to a High Performance U.S. Health System: A 2020 Vision and the Policies to Pave the Way, details the Commission’s recommendations for an integrated set of policies and assesses the impacts of specific policy actions from 2010 to 2020, compared to the status quo….Dammit, I hate it when I read an article and cannot understand a single word. The topic of health insurance always seems to make my eyes roll back in my head.
  • Women less likely to receive critical care after a stroke, MSU researchers find – “More than 60 percent of all stroke deaths are in women, and the functional outcomes and quality of life following stroke are poorer in women than in men,” said Bhatt, who presented the study at the San Diego conference. “Clearly, more research is needed to understand the barriers to acute stroke therapy in women so this critical health disparity can be eliminated.”
  • NASA’s Kepler Mission To Seek Other Earths – NASA’s Kepler spacecraft is ready to be moved to the launch pad today and will soon begin a journey to search for worlds that could potentially host life.
  • SyFy Portal: ‘Battlestar Galactica’ – No Exit – I broke up with BSG in early season 3, but I still would like to find out what the @#%$%@#$ is going on.
  • With budget stalemate over, next move is up to California voters – Los Angeles Times – State lawmakers Thursday finally ended the three-month stalemate that brought California to the brink of financial collapse — but now it is up to voters to keep the budget package from unraveling.The spending plan, which wipes out a nearly $42-billion projected deficit with tax hikes, deep program cuts and borrowing, hinges on $5.8 billion contained in several ballot measures that voters must approve in a special election May 19. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the package today….How about we have a special election to repeal the two-thirds majority rule that’s paralyzing this state?
  • TheHill.com – Wall Street fights against pay restrictions – In letters from trade associations and recent interviews, representatives for the financial industry are arguing that the restrictions need to be clarified and are preventing firms from filing accurate financial statements….because those poor widdle accountants just can’t be expected to tell the truth.
  • Warner Bros. Forced Watchmen’s Laurie To Go Cold Turkey [Watchmen] – The Watchmen movie pays insane attention to the graphic novel… except the main accessory in superheroine Laurie Juspeczyk’s life, her opium-pipe-looking smokes. Why do the movie’s supermen get to smoke, but not the superwomen?
  • Watchmen’s Comedian Almost Perished In Flames [Watchmen] – There was a flame thrower range in the warehouse, that was a trip… The day that I did the scene where I have to keep the flame on this guy for ten seconds, do a ten count in your head, which is an exceedingly long time to pointing a flame thrower at some guy who has a little gel on him. You’re just nailing him with these flames, and I kept pulling up early. I thought I’m going to really hurt this guy and I can’t deal with that. And Zack’s like, “Do it again man, and you’re enjoying this too.”
  • Global Warming Means More Dire Respiratory Problems [Dystopia] – As the Earth slowly warms and weather patterns start to go non-linear, the side-effects for human health aren’t always what you’d expect. In coming years, hospitals need to brace themselves for a spike in hospital visits due to respiratory problems, especially during summer. This finding comes out of a new study by a European task force called PHEWE devoted to researching the acute health problems associated with global warming.
  • Feminist Food For Thought: Catharine MacKinnon -
  • The Power of Naked – Male protesters had resorted to kidnapping, sabotage and violence in their ongoing struggle against worker abuse and environmental contamination, but a group of female protesters had an entirely different strategy: they took off their clothes. In Nigerian culture, it is an abomination for a man to see a mother or grandmother naked, a curse so feared and respected that it allowed hundreds of women to take over an oil-producing facility and force the company to the bargaining table…
  • My Way News – AP IMPACT: Jobless hit with bank fees on benefits – For hundreds of thousands of workers losing their jobs during the recession, there’s a new twist to their financial pain: Even when they’re collecting unemployment benefits, they’re paying the bank just to get the money – or even to call customer service to complain about it.Thirty states have struck such deals with banks that include Citigroup Inc. (C) (C), Bank of America Corp. (BAC) (BAC), JP Morgan Chase and US Bancorp (USB) (USB), an Associated Press review of the agreements found. All the programs carry fees, and in several states the unemployed have no choice but to use the debit cards.Via Shakesville.
  • Limbaugh Compares Democrats to Murderers and Rapists – This is the new figurehead of the GOP, rambling on about how the motivations of Democrats and/or liberals are as inexplicable as those of murderers and rapists, including “this Muslim guy [who] offed his wife’s head.” (Note his further claim that feminists are defending that murder on the basis that it’s an honor killing, which is patently false.) And of course the implication is that Democratic/liberal policies are akin to murdering and raping the country. All of this while he gravely intones, “They must be stopped.”
  • New York Post Apologizes for Racist Cartoon…Sort Of – After the Post ran a heinous editorial cartoon depicting the author of the stimulus bill as a rampaging chimpanzee, and after Post Editor-in-Chief Col Allan insisted that there was nothing for which to apologize and called Al Sharpton an “opportunist” for criticizing the cartoon, and after hundreds of people, including Sharpton, demonstrated outside the Post’s offices, the Post has finally issued an apology of sorts. To call it half-assed is to insult half-assery. This is the belligerent statement, titled “That Cartoon,” in its entirety…
  • Isn’t It Bromantic – This has the potential to be Deathbed Confession Cinema (Gays Are Funny…But They’re People, Too!), or to be legitimately subversive….Btw, I know plenty of straight guys who feel comfortable watching a “dude-on-dude romantic story.” Even ones where they’re not given permission to laugh at the zaniness of it all…
  • Just Call Me “Tennessee Brood Mare” – This bill opens the door to the State blaming women who miscarry for those miscarriages. Shoot, it doesn’t just open the door. It opens the door and escorts the State right in.They cannot make it illegal, still, thank god, for you to be pregnant in your own way. They cannot legally require you to go to the doctor. They cannot hold you legally responsible for the death of your fetus.But they want to. And so this is an end run around that. If you won’t do what they want you to do, they will drug test you and force you into treatment if they don’t like what they’ve found. In other words, you will be punished for, in the case of imbibing alcohol, something that is perfectly legal. Something most doctors will tell you is fine on occasion when you are pregnant.

    In other words, the precedent they’re setting is that, once you are pregnant, your body is not your own. You no longer know what’s best for you. Your doctor no longer knows what’s best for you. You are not allowed to not realize you’re pregnant. You’re not allowed to be afraid. You’re not allowed to be too poor to go to the doctor. You have to do what the State tells you to do while you’re pregnant, because, while you’re pregnant, your body is not your own.

  • Digby: Needs (Hullabaloo) – Matt Yglesias makes an excellent argument today for the necessity of government spending right now on things that only the government does.
  • Dday: Why California Lay Dying (Hullabaloo) -
  • The New York Post makes its case for a post-racial America -
  • Margaret Thatcher Will Join Doctor Who’s Time-Traveling Crew [Doctor Who] – She’ll be the most strong-willed and cleverest companion yet, according to the show’s producers. [Ohhhh my gawwwd, could they just quit with the promises and start learning how to write women already? –YRTB]
  • A Day In The Life Of A Feminist – 1:00 My real lunch: Tofurkey sandwich, wheatgrass juice, and curried lentils. I finish off my lunch by smoking a giant, stinky, super-masculine cigar and reminisce about the testicles I’ve removed.
  • A Plan For The Future – If I’m in charge of the non-Republican of the two major political parties, I think I have a way to completely short-circuit any Republican opposition to my plans: just mention the Fairness Doctrine.First, it proves that Rush Limbaugh actually is the effective head of the Republican Party, as any mention of it immediately sends conservatives into a tizzy as if you just told them that you’re buying out their church rec room and converting it to an abortionarium…What Democrats have never gotten is that this is a perfect way to deal with the GOP: give them a stupid thing to obsess over, and then watch them obsess over it endlessly, with no concern for their overall well-being.

    [Except that the Fairness Doctrine is not a stupid thing. –YRTB]

  • Huh, they’re all creationists – Because something is real […] doesn’t mean it’s genetic. Truth is, if the evidence showed that homosexuality and transgenderism were cultural constructs, I would defend them just as fiercely, because they are nonetheless real. If you weren’t born gay, that doesn’t mean you’re not gay or that it’s suddenly a choice. My attraction to opinionated guys who make me laugh is not a choice, and it’s very real, and passing laws against me because of it would be a human rights violation. Trying to use social intimidation to make me feel sexual attraction to wingnuts with masculinity issues who fetishize guns and pretend they don’t know where the dishwasher is will not make me not feel something that, no matter how obviously a social construct, is real to the marrow of my bones. I fail to see what else you need to know when it comes to the right of gay and transgendered people to be free and equal.
  • If Obama fails, it’s more too late than too little – Obama’s “convince America to back the economic stimulus bill” tour is turning out to be a classic argument for building infrastructure. Not national infrastructure, though he’s making that case well enough, but political infrastructure of the sort that Democrats have neglected building for the past 40 years or so… [W]hile a few foolhardy liberals have been out there trying like hell to remind people that the government belongs to us, and therefore helping us out is its most important duty, we haven’t really gotten enough support from mainstream Democrats, who have sacrificed a lot of rhetorical ground to stay ingratiated to voters whose brains have been fried on right wing propaganda.
  • Long live the Post Office! – Maybe the USPS has lost some business to these private entities, but unless you’re working in a business that can afford to have delivery and pick-up service from UPS or FedEx, the USPS still matters as much as it always did. And that’s true for most of us. After all, it might be more convenient if you work at a business to have the UPS guy come and pick it up for you, but if you’re a customer at home waiting for the package, finding out that they sent it UPS is usually a moment of doubt and pain. […]Ironically, Matt has a post a few up from this one where he talks about what it’ll take to make suburbs more walkable. The post office is still a critical part of the carless lifestyle. […]Privatizing a service means creating an adversarial relationship between the customer and the business, each of who are trying to maximize what they get out of the other just short of breaking the relationship completely. But public entities have a much more generous attitude towards the customer, who is the only reason they exist. (Profit is the only reason businesses exist, in comparison.)

    Libertarians hate the USPS because its existence proves that the government can easily outperform the private sector in some areas if it’s given full permission to do so, and isn’t cobbled by a bunch of obstacles thrown up by Republicans who are trying to force it to fail. All the more reason to support it, I’d say.

  • Glad to know their priorities are straight (pun intended) – We’re in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, so of course the Bible-thumping wingnut response is, “How can we work this to get some gay people fired?”
  • Rich people really are different – So we’ve learned that sex work is not recession-proof, unless you’re a man. Figures. But I do not like this pat answer about why those who pay for love differ so wildly in the recession reactions by gender. In fact, when you get out of the class of the super-rich, you see that dating is on the rise across the board, so apparently non-wealthy men do not shrug off the need for the erotic connection so easily. I’m forced to conclude that the men and women on this survey are so very different because their situations are dramatically different. Perhaps women have a harder time scaring up sex for money, and are therefore less willing to reduce the compensation to their “lovers”, because it’s too much work to get another one. But for the men, the women are more interchangeable because there’s just a bigger pool to draw on. Or perhaps it’s something I’m not seeing. After all, I have absolutely no experience with wealth or with paying someone to play at being your lover. So there’s a lot I don’t know about this.
  • Fighting Climate Change is Cheap – …top economists are gradually converging on a parallel consensus: that over the long term, it’s much, much cheaper to fight climate change than it is to let global warming continue unchecked.Obviously, transitioning to a cleaner energy system isn’t free. But according to the emerging consensus among economists, it could be a lot cheaper than people expect — and far, far cheaper than you think if you only read coal industry propaganda. On the flip side, paying for the consequences of climate change — dealing with droughts and floods, safeguarding homes and cities from rising sea levels, managing the flow of global climate refugees, and so forth — could be a lot more expensive over the long haul than a shift to cleaner energy.
  • LEED Platinum Prefab Home Now Available – The Unity Home, currently occupied by the president of environmentally focused Unity College and his wife, uses widely available green building strategies including passive heating, tight thermal insulation and concrete slab foundation (which allows the home to stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer). These low-energy techniques work so well that even in the cold Maine winter, the homeowners rarely need to rely on the rooftop solar panels for energy to heat their home.The home is also engineered for easy repair, adaptation and resilience. Interior walls can be detached and moved from place to place using simple tools, allowing residents to change the use of rooms as their own needs change. And Bensonwood’s patented Open-Built building system uses a modular structure that allows easy access for repair to the home’s mechanical systems…
  • Treating the Blues Could Save the Planet – Maybe that we should, as individuals and as a culture, consider working less if we want to be happier. Yeah, but how does this relate to our economy’s use of planetary resources and saving the planet, as I’ve implied?Well, since Americans are among the hardest workers in the world, we are among the highest earners in the world, which means we are among the biggest spenders in the world, and, therefore, we are among the largest users of planetary resources.We tend to think of using fewer resources for the sake of the environment as some sort of belt tightening, a sort of deprivation. But what if using fewer resources meant needing less money, meant having to work less hard, meant less depression and anxiety? What does such a possibility tell us about how we should live our lives?
  • Cities Greener Than Suburbs – There are at least two ways that urban living reduces CO2 emissions. First, living in a city reduces the consumption of transportation fuels: the closer jobs and stores are to your home, the less you have to drive. Second, if your urban home shares walls, ceilings, or floors with neighbors, you’ll wind up using less energy to heat and cool your home. […]…living in a place with temperate weather — not too hot, not too cold — or in a place with a clean electricity supply can do wonders for your carbon footprint. So focusing on new urban housing in temperate regions is an especially good strategy for keeping climate-warming emissions in check.
  • Potentially The Greatest Time Travel Movie Of All Time [FAQ About Time Travel] – The new British movie Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel bills itself as “Doctor Who meets Shaun Of The Dead.” But this trailer makes it look more like Primer meets The Goodies.In FAQ, three buddies are drinking at the pub when they meet Anna Faris (The House Bunny) who’s traveled back in time from the future. At first they think she’s joking, until one of them stumbles through a crack in time into the pub’s future, in which they’re all dead. Then they’re stuck trying to unravel all of the mysteries of time travel, including “Whose round is it?”
  • No More Mister Nice Blog: COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE LEFT-WING TACTICS NOW GIDDILY ADOPTED BY THE RIGHT -
  • Principles of the American Cargo Cult – I wrote these principles after reflecting on the content of contemporary newspapers and broadcast media and why that content disquieted me. I saw that I was not disturbed so much by what was written or said as I was by what is not. The tacit assumptions underlying most popular content reflect a worldview that is orthogonal to reality in many ways. By reflecting this skewed weltanschauung, the media reinforces and propagates it.
  • TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | How Theresa Hatt Caused The Financial Crisis – The former rep, who worked until quite recently at B of A’s Belfast, Maine-based collections unit, described for TPMmuckraker a system in which staffers responsible for making collections were routinely encouraged to mislead customers or those calling on their behalf, and were financially incentivized to do all they could to get payments. […]What’s the larger point here? Well, here’s one: When the automakers were asking Washington for a bailout recently, there was a lot of talk about insisting on conditions — like requiring that they build more fuel-efficient cars — that would be in the national interest. Bank of America and its competitors have already taken billions in taxpayer dollars. So it seems logical to insist on a similar set of public interest conditions — and the industry’s range of deceptive and rapacious lending practices would be a natural place to start.
  • Dday: We’re Making Them Filibuster (Hullabaloo) – Problem is, the whole country won’t be seeing it, the whole state won’t be seeing it, in fact almost nobody will be seeing it. This is the true failure of a lack of political awareness in California, and a lack of political media. The pressure points are nearly impossible to hit.
  • Digby: The Day In Torture (Hullabaloo) – Read the whole thing. This is looking more and more like “don’t ask don’t try” — except this is actually much worse than the don’t ask don’t tell policy. These people are being imprisoned indefinitely, which is the ultimate Kafkaesque nightmare.I just don’t get this. Is it really their feeling that these particular people are so much more dangerous than the many thousands of muslim extremists who are out there plotting as we speak? Are they so dangerous that it’s worth it to give those same crazies a rallying cry, further compromise what little moral authority the US has left and tie our foreign policy up in knots?
  • Police Assault Woman Who Called for Help; Sue News Station Who Exposes Them – Now the officers involved in the case, caught on video roughly removing Hope Sheffey’s clothes to the sound of her terrified screams, are suing the station who shone sunlight on their dirty deeds, claiming defamation and—get this—invasion of privacy.
  • Questions for ND -
  • Changing The Tone (And Not The Skin Tone, Dammit) – It seems to me that a popular Democratic president pushing through legislation after intensive good faith negotiations with the opposing party during which it is made absolutely clear they will not support the legislation in any form in which it is likely to be passed would, in fact, be a change in tone in Washington.
  • The partisan nature of bipartisanship – I want to add to some things Jesse said about this huge concern for consensus that’s sprung up in the media under the pretense that they’ve always been all about bipartisanship. Agreed with Jesse across the board—seeking consensus is a juvenile, naive tactic that just exposes you to obstructionism, as we’ve seen these past few weeks.The thing is that the cries for “bipartisanship” run on the same cycle as wingnut concern about government spending—it only comes up when Democrats are in power. Where was the hand-wringing concern over the rights of a minority party when Republicans were completely railroading Democrats in ways that only Matt Taibbi could be bothered to cover? Here’s a refresher…
  • North Dakota Sperm Performing Magic Tricks – Need further proof that the “pro-life” agenda is one predicated on the notion that a woman’s body is a mere vessel for the children (i.e. property) of men? The measure says a woman’s egg becomes a human being when it is fertilized by a man’s sperm. Sperm is magic, in the eyes of these sickos. Gestating a fetus isn’t work; splooging is the real reproductive effort!
  • The North Dakota House is on a Roll – How is North Dakota going to afford all the investigations? Countless “people” die every day before they’re flushed out of women’s bodies. Go ahead and appoint a Tampon Task Force, fuckers. I look forward to claiming my zygotes on my taxes once I move there.
  • Social Movements 2.0: Five Ways They’re Important and Eight Things We Don’t Know -
  • Lazy Eyes: How We Read Online -
  • How to Develop a Community Strategy -
  • The Networked Nonprofit -
  • Nonprofit Collaboration Prize Finalists Announced -
  • The Modern Nonprofit Web Site: Strategies, Patterns, and Tools, Now Available On Demand -
  • The Most Important Part of Your Strategic Plan -
  • The New Volunteer Workforce -
  • Gaming Against the Greater Good: The Social Norms of Wikipedia -
  • The eschatology of lost decades – lost decade does indeed provide one of the best road maps to the mess the world as a whole is now in. And Koo’s counterintuitive praise for Japan — while it had a bad decade, it did not have a depression — is a useful corrective to the constant claims that fiscal policy failed.But here’s my question: does Japan’s experience offer any guidance on how a balance-sheet slump ends?
  • Robots Must Study To Be Warriors, Claim US Navy [Mad Science] – The report, written by the Navy’s Office of Naval Research is, according to the London Times, “the first serious work of its kind on military robot ethics” – And if that sentence alone doesn’t ring alarm bells, I don’t know what will – and places an emphasis on teaching military robots an ethical code to make sure that they don’t rise up against us…
  • Crazy in Salt Lake City – …as Andrew Sullivan notes, it’s good to see the crazies show their hand and the world can get a clue as to what some people are capable of. Those of us in the gay community have known about this mindset all too well for all too long.
  • Welcome to Post-Racial America – But we should totally excuse this cartoonist for implying that the President is a chimp who ought to be put down, because he didn’t mean it that way. [/sarcasm]
  • But Roe!!!!!11!1eleventy! – It is precisely this sort of retrofuckery I was talking about when I kept saying during the election, like a broken record, that beating knowledgeable pro-choice women and men over the heads with the Democrats Will Protect Roe card was an outdated argument—because the abortion battlefield has been relocated to state governments. […]The paragon of virtue who sponsored this bill, Republican State Representative Dan Ruby, says the bill will withstand any challenge based on Roe’s precedent…I’d like to note that, since a fertilized egg is actually dependent on another human body for its survival, the ND House technically voted to confer upon a fertilized egg more rights than any person. Unless, that is, ND has also passed a law allowing its citizens to, say, demand a spare kidney from any compatible donor, irrespective of the donor’s consent.
  • Nine Scifi Books That Deserve To Be Films [Books] -
  • Pics And Clips From Watchmen, Battlestar, Street Fighter, Lost, Dollhouse & Torchwood! [Morning Spoilers] -
  • Five Brain-Manipulating Technologies That Prove Dollhouse Exists Right Now [Mad Science] -
  • Vatican buries the hatchet with Charles Darwin -Times Online – The Vatican has admitted that Charles Darwin was on the right track when he claimed that Man descended from apes.A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. “In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.
  • New Swarm Theory: The Weak Can Lead the Strong – A new computer model suggests animals don’t need to be fast or strong to lead their swarms, only willing—or desperate enough—to break from their neighbors and go their own way.
  • FiveThirtyEight.com: Politics Done Right: Give Geithner a Break – At the end of the day, a great deal of the debate between liberals and conservatives is about how to apportion wealth. It seems so banal to talk about it that way, and so we put all sorts of window dressing on it, but that’s really what it’s all about. But on this issue of the banking crisis — and to a lesser extent this was true of the stimulus — there is a much larger delta on the aggregate amount of wealth that the United States stands to gain (or lose) than on how that wealth is distributed. Over the next 6-18 months, the outcomes for everyone from the top of the economic ladder to the bottom rung are very strongly correlated.
  • Have I ever mentioned that I love Kelly Clarkson? – I adore that she said “it’s just healthier to get away from that kind of thinking,” not just about oneself but about other women, too. One of the most important bits of teaspooning women can do is simply to love and respect other women—and it’s not just important culturally, but also personally. We can’t love ourselves if we hate other women. We can’t be comfortable with our own bodies if we constantly judge the way other women look.
  • Prince Harry – Royal Gaffer – Remember, if you wear a Nazi costume to a party, tell a black person that he doesn’t sound like a black person and call people from Pakistan “Pakis” and “Ragheads,” then you’re a racist. If you’re third-in-line to the British throne and do these things, however, you are just guilty of being “gaffe-prone.”
  • I Write Letters – I don’t want to hear you denigrate your employees at all.In fact, there’s almost nothing that will ensure you never get my business again than treating your employee/s like shit in front of me.
  • Stimulating – If the government just outright paid the mortgage of every struggling family making less than $[insert dollar amount here], it would be the same amount of money but exponentially more valuable to all of us. The direct help would yield immediate results for the families at risk of losing their homes, which would in turn stop the freefall of home values affecting other homeowners and put cash back in the banks who will then be able to grant more credit to new homeowners and businesses seeking lending, more individual resources would be freed up to be spent in retail and service vendors, blah blah blah.And the reason it won’t happen? Because the federal government always insists on wasting enormous amounts of time, energy, and money trying to make sure that it doesn’t look like it’s giving anyone “an undeserved hand-out”…
  • A Terminator Cameo On Big Bang Theory [Nerd Crossovers] – Summer Glau herself is stopping by and blowing the minds of our fellow nerds on Big Bang Theory, on March 9, according to Entertainment Weekly’s Michael Ausiello. The set up is this: “A train trip to San Francisco takes a major detour when Leonard, Sheldon, Wolowitz, and Raj discover that their favorite scifi actress in all the land is on board. But the fanboy frenzy quickly gives way to a heated mass debate when they realize one of them will have to approach her – but who?”
  • C-SPAN’s Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership -
  • Update on Dymond Milburn – The various news stories about the Milburn case attract commentators claiming that no matter what, there must be some “other side” to the story. And of course there is. But it’s not the side that says the police were right to assault a 12-year-old and then harass her through the courts.It’s the one that says so what if she had been a prostitute like they said she was when they attacked her? They claimed it, they didn’t deny they claimed it, so it’s fair to assume they thought it. Which implies that their treatment of Milburn was the SOP when it came to prostitutes…
  • Reimagining the news – Something has to give, and Kamiya’s right—it’s time for the government to step in and subsidize journalism. It does this already, with PBS and NPR, but not nearly enough. NPR particularly should never have to beg for money, as they currently do, because they offer a valuable public service and we should be paying for that with government funds, no question. Hand-wringing over journalistic integrity shouldn’t even enter into this equation—the BBC model shows that it can be done with ease, and anyway, the corporate-funded journalism we have now has way more conflict of interest issues.
  • It was only a matter of time before we started calling M.I.A. a terrorist. – Would a white male folk singer be labeled the same if he were to show direct or indirect support for an international cause? Is M.I.A. only legible as an “other” because she is foreign and South Asian? Can she not have complicated political analysis without being implicated in supporting terrorists?