April 16, 2005

The Week in Blog

Well, I've been saving up good links and stories all week, but haven't gotten around to sharing them. So, for your edification and reading pleasure, here goes:

A tip of the hat to information junkie extraordinaire Avedon Carol, on whose blog you can find a clear and well-presented discussion of the benefits of single-payer healthcare, and highlights the suspicious death of a man who knew alot about voting in Florida. As usual, there's plenty of other goodness, so do scroll around.

Iran's parliament has reprimanded broadcasters for insulting Jews, which news came about a day after news that Israel doesn't intend to bomb Iran.

Discussions over whether or not Japan will get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council have spawned massive protests in China where a crowd of 20,000 showed up to throw things at the Japanese embassy and destroyed several restaurants selling Japanese food. Lingering anger over Japan's actions in WWII and Japanese textbooks that seem to downplay the country's actions appear to be motivating protestors.

Several states are trying to protect consumers' privacy. Finance industry flacks suggest that this will be bad for us, the consumers, whose interests and concerns they hold uppermost in their thoughts.

The USDA is now considering easing restrictions on slaughtering downer cows for human consumption. A downer cow is one that's too sick or hurt to walk itself into the slaughterhouse, and the 195,000 animals classified that way represent only .65% of the 30 million cows slaughtered every year. But maybe it's just the precedent, stupid, because hog ranchers are now worried that such regulations will be extended to pigs. Finally, I couldn't resist sharing the story's little cherry on the sundae:

... The Food and Drug Administration is still considering whether to ban the use of cattle blood as a protein supplement for calves and the use of chicken litter as cattle feed.

A microbial gel may be available in under five years that would kill the AIDS virus on contact, offering women a way to better control their exposure. This South African study [pdf] highlights some of the possible problems with microbicides, including cultural preference and/or insistence on 'dry sex.' You can scroll down to Jesse Kornbluth's July 20th, 2004 blog entry (no permalinks) for a good survey of African social and sexual practices that make women especially vulnerable to AIDS transmission, and shows why Bush's prudish fantasy of an AIDS prevention program won't help.

Suburban Guerrilla brings us the cheery news that the inheritance tax will no longer oppress the lucky sperm club. Liberal Oasis probes the fairness aspect of the debate. The Medium Lobster is delighted.

Greg at the Talent Show explains Jesus' version of the commandments, starting with this: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."

For people who believe that it's a mortal sin for a judge to consider foreign law in forming an opinion, they might want to look into the history of our common law system that we inherited from Britain. The unifying concept of common law is is non-statutory law, which is based on tradition as well as evolving custom or understanding. I think the basic meaning of 'non-statutory' says it pretty well, and I would argue that opponents of so-called judicial activism simply want to see biblical opinion replace evolving custom and understanding as the grounds for making their rulings.

Meteor Blades, a Daily Kos favorite, recently suffered a family tragedy, and his post opens with a beautiful prayer that was read at his sister-in-law's funeral. Our condolences go out to the family.

Also on dKos: The Bush White House actually felt insulted by The West Wing, which is a television show portraying fictional events, and one of the best political statements I've heard in a long time. Hunter outlines Sen. Frist's jihad. Armando suggests cutting Democratic leaders some slack and being realistic about their position, one which suggests to him that they take a page out the 1860 election playbook. Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard who really stuck his foot in it by suggesting that women lacked the basic capacity for science, finally gets it. Kos reports back on his observations of an attempt to organize a half-vast conspiracy. Plutonium Page would like to point out that our government may very well be planning the covert development of a new generation of nuclear warheads.

The Angry White Kid shares the white privilege checklist.

Sojourners magazine has William McDonough talking about ethical manufacturing, and an action alert for small farms.

The Light of Reason talks about Rachel Corrie, her writings, her passions, and a work in progress to make a stage adaptation out of all of it.

Lean Left explains how Tennessee's Governor Phil Bredesen is killing people by cutting off their only access to treatments that keep them alive, and highlights his refusal to make cost-saving cuts in the administrative budget of the state healthcare system that could fund treatment for many of Tennessee's citizens. Of course, he did run his own healthcare management company, so maybe that explains why his loyalty goes first to corporate bureaucrats, and second to the people of Tennessee. He's a disgrace to the Democratic party.

Dave Pollard talks about death by procrastination. Damn.

Pandagon - Amanda defends the blue collar man from total assimilation by the Republican myth machine, the plan to turn students into snitches, sympathizes over the plight of privacy hater Antonin Scalia, and reminds the world at large that Asian fetishes aren't cute.

From the American Street: Emma is sick and tired of understanding, and she's not gonna take it anymore. Randy Paul notes that extraordinary rendition is more widespread than most accounts suggest, especially because the US government isn't the only 'civilized' offender. Randy also shares his thoughts on unemployment, the great leveler. Pharyngula talks about what reverence for those who have gone before means in light of our very long and complex history as a species. Also, CNN can't count.

Digby talks about the culture wars, and explains that a proper response should be firmly grounded in upholding the first amendment because, and I know this may be a stretch for some people, it's a pretty good all-American idea. And anyway, there are limits to politics, the limit in the culture war being that you can either advocate for government censorship or for free speech, but politically you're stuck with those two choices.

Go here for some responses to advice that Democrats emulate the worst Republican screw-ups.

Finally, if you haven't yet, go join the Unitarian Jihad. For your official nom de guerre, head here or here, though the chair stipulates our respect for your right to pick your own. I, Sister Glaive of Rational Reconciliation, temperately urge you to sign up at a safe and reasonable pace.

Posted by natasha at April 16, 2005 02:07 PM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

I love the blogarounds. Thanks!

Posted by: PSoTD at April 17, 2005 06:44 AM

Glad you enjoy it. Sometimes I get the impression that I'm putting them up solely for my own amusement (either that, or to make sure that my 'favorites' list gets pared down), so I appreciate the feedback.

Posted by: natasha at April 17, 2005 03:52 PM


that article via dailykos about how the bush white house feels insulted by the nbc west wing, the link doesn't go anywhere ... I'd really like to read the article if I could?

thanks :)

Posted by: Sarah at April 18, 2005 12:23 PM

Should be fixed now, I had it pointing to the hotlist link, which would work fine for me but apparently not anyone else. So go look, I thought it was hysterically funny.

Posted by: natasha at April 18, 2005 01:39 PM

thanks ever so much natasha, I missed that episode :)

Posted by: Sarah at April 18, 2005 06:58 PM