Tuesday, May 01, 2007

'Round the Town


Danielle Brian at POGO Blog takes issue with an anti-oversight op-ed by Harvard Kennedy School of Government Professor Steve Kelman :

Ironically, Mr. Kelman is himself an example of the revolving door. As he disclosed in his op-ed, he is a registered lobbyist for government contractors. What he did not note is that he also serves on the board of GTSI, a billion-dollar-a-year government contractor. Just a year ago, the Small Business Administration IG recommended that GTSI be debarred from receiving federal contracts (pdf). Small wonder he has it in for IGs.
Robert M. Jeffers anatomizes the moral economy of political journalism:
The bottom line is: if you want to change the world, you have to do the hard work of changing yourself. And just reading a blog, or writing a blog, or watching TV, won't make you do that. The world is just slightly beyond your grasp. And what is within your grasp, is notoriously hard to get hold of.
Echidne very patiently dismantles Lord Saletan's latest diktat on abortion:
Today Saletan has written about the idea that women contemplating getting an abortion should be made to watch an ultrasound of the fetus. This is something pro-lifers advocate because it is intended to make the women suddenly realize that it is a fetus they have in their wombs, not an aquarium fish! Wow. Saletan likes the idea, because it opens up the aquarium to the general public.
Cervantes hints at the odd tension between the twin imperatives of "personal responsibility" and consumer-driven medicine:
[D]id you know that pathological gambling can be a side effect of drugs called dopamine agonists, which are prescribed for Parkinson's disease? It's true, and it's actually astonishingly common. According to Sui Wong and Malcolm Steiger in BMJ (April 21, subscription only), citing a study by Voon, et al in Neurology, in the UK 7.2% of people taking dompamine agonists develop gambling problems. The pervasive availability of gambling opportunities on the Internet, and at the corner grocery store and the newsstand, as well as in the enticing fantasy world of the casino, no doubt interacts with the bad chemicals to make the problem all the more common.
Olvlzl insists on saying something that a lot of people don't want to hear:
[P]retending that occasions when you are subjected to nothing more than an affront to your aesthetic sensibilities and mislabeling those as “discrimination” will make your legitimate complaints in matters that require action less effective. They have the potential to lose you allies you will need for those serious fights. I can tell you this from going on forty years of being a witness to and participant in the struggles for gay rights. You have to be realistic and you have to be smart. You also have to be mature and ready for a lot of work. And you will fail unless you have strong alliances within the wider population. If, as atheists seem never to stop pointing out, you are that few in number and that hated, insulting potential friends is the stupidest thing you can do.
Subtopia discusses "the architecture of long struggle," and notes that:
Iraq is literally becoming a cumulative representation of all that has gone wrong in imperial conflict before it.
And Thers reveals himself as a horrid old Scrooge who has forgotten the meaning of Loyalty Day:
The problem we have in Iraq is not that Al Qaeda, or more accurately its local franchise, operates there. Realistically, AQ may be prevented from running entire cities, but in a nation as awash in explosives as Iraq, even a dramatically reduced AQ will be able to cause significant devastation for decades, if they so wish. Look at what a small group of nuts did to us in 2001. AQ will have no shortage of Iraqi suicide martyrs perpetrating spectacular mass killings from Iraq for generations. That's just a given....

How we are going to be more secure by indefinitely administering a remote equivalent of the Palestinian Territories where we will never really be liked, nor able to ever really provide security, completely escapes me. Of course, I'm told that such a result would be "victory." Right.
All of which tends to confirm me in my estimation that I have the bestest blogroll ever.

(The photo at top is a still from Bela Tarr's Werckmeister Harmonies.)

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