TG’s Political Wire: Are Republicans Losing Big Business?
Sigh of relief. Republicans, when in power, can’t resist going after social issues. Noone will remember any detail of Benghazi; everyone will remember the folks who support Indiana - and negatively.
Al Jazeera: Why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Converted to Islam.
“... the more I studied history, the more disillusioned I became with the role of Christianity in subjugating my people. I knew, of course, that the Second Vatican Council in 1965 declared slavery an ‘infamy’ that dishonored God and was a poison to society. But for me, it was too little, too late. The failure of the church to use its might and influence to stop slavery and instead to justify it as somehow connected to original sin made me angry.” A really fascinating look at Kareem’s choices; context to history. Via Dan Hartung on FB.
The Art Newspaper: Vienna museum director calls for time limit on Nazi-loot restitution claims.
This doesn’t help Austria in the eyes of the world. Many don’t agree: “We have an immense obligation towards the Holocaust era. The discussion should not be about time limits but rather on how provenance research can be carried out as efficiently and rapidly as possible.” If someone has clear provenance 500 years hence, should a museum be able to deny it? I don’t believe so. Especially given the nature of how these artworks were ripped away from their rightful owners. You can set a statute of limitations on theft of consumer goods, perhaps. That is a petty crime. Consumer goods have a useful lifespan. Not so artworks, burgled with governmental organization and premeditation .... artworks appreciate in value.
And why say this now, when methods of detection and unearthing provenance have become so much better? We’re seeing new revelations in the news every day. No, this was a very unwise statement.
The Atlantic: U.S. Supreme Court - GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure.
“If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Supreme Court clarified and affirmed that law on Monday ...” Good.
NakedCap: Fracking’s New Nemesis - Earthquake Lawsuits.
“Indeed, some of the bigger players appear to have decided it’s best to keep these cases out of the press if possible. BHP Billiton and Chesapeake Energy settled a 2013 case lodged by five homeowners for a confidential amount.” Industries prefer to minimize case law on the books. Swift gag settlements are the first line of defense.
NY Times: Islamic State Destruction Renews Debate Over Repatriation of Antiquities.
I used to be pro-repatriation. I suppose Zahi Hawass made such a strong case for Egyptian artifacts to be best appreciated in their country of origin, I was convinced. The Bamiyan Buddhas, Arab Spring, etc. have convinced me otherwise now. Spread cultural treasures widely throughout the world - with liberal travel/touring displays. Humanity’s art and history belong to no individual nation, region or political system.
PS Mag: ‘You Wouldn’t Drill for Oil in the Sistine Chapel’.
I’m afraid that argument doesn’t work. You’ve got to load your oppositional scattergun with every bit of counterargument you’ve got and shoot like you mean it to stop these bandits.
Mashable: ISIS is keeping tourists from ‘Tatooine’
In the midst of Yazidi women being kidnapped and raped, innocents having their throats cut, more ... this matters?
BBC: Will the Dalai Lama reincarnate?
“His holiness has said that the 15th would be born outside of Tibet, outside of China, because this 15th Dalai Lama would have to continue the work of the present Dalai Lama.” Lots of Tibetans around Santa Fe. Apparently the climate is similar.
AP: Police find no evidence of gang rape at U of V.
“In interviews with The Associated Press, however, the same friends said the opposite was true: They said they insisted Jackie contact police, but she refused. The friends said the article didn’t match what Jackie had told them that night, and that she didn’t appear physically injured at the time.”
Collectors Weekly: Sex and Suffering: The Tragic Life of the Courtesan in Japan’s Floating Wor
Surprising, how much of this I already knew just from reading James Clavell’s Shogun.
The Week: Why South by Southwest is a huge, exploitative scam.
NY Times: Obama Administration Unveils Federal Fracking Regulations.
I’ll certainly want to read these, after skimming by this ... “The Interior Department has spent more than three years developing the rules, in close consultation with oil and gas companies, states and environmental groups. The agency also said it has reviewed more than 1.5 million public comments.”
Guardian.UK: Laughing at Isis - Syrian video artists go beyond fear to ridicule jihadis.
Guardian.UK: ‘Kidnapped’ victims of Chicago police detail ordeal in federal civil-rights suit.
Keep a weather eye open on this one.
The Atlantic: Manual Labor, All Night Long - The Reality of Paying for College.
$10/hour. A travesty. I was making $8.00 an hour helping build prestressed concrete components to try to pay for school in 1979. Up at 3AM to be at work by 4 (the work was out in the open, these hours prevented heatstroke). Work until 1 PM. I was injured - all of my fingers were broken in an accident. Ended up having to take two semesters off (two trimesters) for them to heal. ‘Manual labor’ can help pay your way, sure. But the intangibles ...
Re/code: Monica Lewinsky Gives Poignant TED Talk on Cyberbullying.
“A marketplace has emerged. [snip] Shame is an industry. [snip] The more shame, the more clicks. The more clicks the more advertising dollars.” And she’s right. No link, Re/code? Shame.
JeremyGreenwood: Economic model of the Rise in Premarital Sex and De-Stigmatization.
PDF. Parts are startling.
OpenCulture: “Wife of the Master Mural Painter Gleefully Dabbles in Works of Art”.
Frida Kahlo. She certainly got the last laugh over this, I think.
New Yorker: Nuns and Nuclear Security.
Tres long. If you don’t have a subscription, I was able to peruse it via RSS in its entirety.
Paris Review: The Gruesome Case That Made Voltaire a Crusader for the Innocent.
A more entertaining read than you might think, given the title. “Waterboarding has not gone away. What has changed is the euphemism, from question extraordinaire to enhanced interrogation.”
Youtube: Robin Hood in Reverse.
Bernie Sanders. Worth your time. “The economy’s doing so well!” Yah, sure.
Vox: No, Tom Cotton did not commit treason.
I suppose we’re not talking even Lindbergh or the Duke of Windsor. But we are talking of an attempt to cut our President’s foreign policy off at the knees. A Senatorial censure should at least come up for a vote, symbolically. This behavior cannot be allowed to stand without a single response. Ignoring the ‘slippery slope’ is how we got here in the first place [the ‘94 reframing of opposition as ‘traitorous’, etc.]. We out in the wider US despair of Washington ever being able to control its own wilful tendencies.
SF New Mexican: House approves bill limiting local control of oil and gas development.
Kill it. The NM Senate is still Dem majority. Fingers crossed.
The Atlantic: The Forgotten 1980s Rule That’s Hurting Poor Families’ Savings.
The deck is stacked. I can’t help but contrast this with the ‘work hard’ charity some tout so strongly. They want the poor to prove themselves by ‘working hard’ to pull themselves up. Oftentimes the bar is inhumane. A rich person has never in their lives worked as hard - or put up with as much red tape and flat-out bullshit - as some of the folks I know who have to rely on welfare to make ends meet.