October 01, 2006

Weekend Roundup

The Oaxaca region of Mexico is in crisis due to a popular revolt, led by the local teachers' union, against oppressive government tactics. The Mexican Navy is flying reconnaissance over the area occupied by the protestors.

Gilberto Gil explains the need to balance intellectual property rights with the public interest.

Henry Farrell understands the effects of blogging as a social phenomenon and also notes that there's a way to go before realizing the full potential of the medium. Digby responds.

Did the Republican leadership give Tom Foley (R-FL) a pass on pedophilia in exchange for a crucial vote? If so, probably more votes than just the one mentioned, because GOP leaders like Dennis Hastert (R-IL) have known about Foley since 2001. Or maybe it was just Foley's payoff to the NRCC. Naturally, FOX News is subtly accusing Democrats of the coverup.

Donna Brazile wrote this past week at the Democratic National Committee blog, Kicking Ass, about the Confidence in Voting Act of 2006 that would address the many serious flaws in the nation's electronic voting systems. It's too late for this session, but I bet that if we help get a lot of Democrats elected in November, it'll pass next year.

A European Union high court has struck down the sharing of private passenger data for people traveling on flights from the E.U. to the U.S. with U.S. intelligence.

... Since 2003, US authorities have requested that airlines provide passengers' personal data to American security officials, including credit card information and telephone numbers.

A total of 34 pieces of data must be transferred to authorities within 15 minutes of a flight's departure for the US.

This article about the re-emergence of a large blue butterfly in an area from which it had gone locally extinct combines two of my favorite things: A harmonious blending of agriculture and conservation, and a picture of butterfly sex.

Batteries and fuel cells for laptops may make way to a future generation of this engine on a chip.

Sara Robinson at Orcinus, from firsthand experience in both, posts a point-by-point comparison of the American and Canadian health care systems. It's filled with useful factoids like this: "America's private-sector health care system spends two to three times more on administrative costs than the single-payer systems of Canada, France, Sweden, or any other nation with universal care. It's also considerably less efficient than the country's two largest state-funded systems, the VA and Medicare."

Northwest Progressive Institute: Veterans of Foreign Wars endorse incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell in Washington's Senate race. You can now pre-order The Inconvenient Truth on DVD.

Pinko Feminist Hellcat: Access to abortion, a procedure undertaken by a third of U.S. women, is a question of the civil rights and dignity of women whose 'choices' in life are often between bad and worse. The true colors of the 'pro-life' movement, their desire to control and punish women for their sexuality, come out in the criminalization of pregnant women as mentioned in the previous link as well as their willingness to sacrifice pregnant women to the outside chance that they might deliver a child.

Amanda at Pandagon talks about how Terror Management Theory explains the far right-wing fundamentalist impulse as an overwhelming fear of death and a desire to disidentify oneself from the body and suffering.

War and Piece: If you want to make sure your war looks like a new Vietnam, call in one of its architects for consultation like President Cheney did. Frank Rich says that "The facts of Iraq are not in dispute. But the truth is that facts donít matter anyway to this administration ..."

Lastly. Oh, consenting adult behavior, how I enjoy thee. Party of two, your table is ready. Alas, A Blog reposted an interesting graphic in a post last week about the continuum between rape and consensuality, and while it's a worthwhile discussion to have, the graphic worried me. It portrayed normal couple sex as being closer to the midpoint, as "mostly consensual but with some reservations." And I had to wonder, have I been doing it wrong? I didn't know I was supposed to make reservations. But I'm clearly not as confused about this issue as Tom Foley and the Republican House leaders. So I dedicate this very special soundtrack to the consensuality continuum and the people who don't get it at all.

1. The Bad Touch - The Bloodhound Gang
2. Father Figure - George Michael
3. Closer - Nine Inch Nails
4. Possession - Sarah McLachlan
5. Every Breath You Take - The Police
6. Like A Prayer - Madonna
7. Creep - Radiohead
8. Sick Man - Alice In Chains
9. Janie's Got A Gun - Aerosmith
10. Highway To Hell - ACDC

"Come quicker than FedEx never reach an apex just like Coca-Cola stock you are inclined to make me rise an hour early just like Daylight Savings Time" - The Bad Touch by The Bloodhound Gang

"This column should have to wear an ankle bracelet, and the authorities need to be alerted as it moves from county to county. This column has molested me. It is the quintessential "bad touch". It is the creepy drunken uncle of political commentary, and it smells like a combination of Thunderbird and axle grease." - Translating the Internets by Hunter

Posted by natasha at October 1, 2006 04:39 PM | Recommended Reading | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |