Blacknell.net

Politics, technology, and society. And the seasonal incursion of pro cycling.

Month: June 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

The Next Time You Fill Up

think of this:

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Batch Operation

Sometimes this place gets trapped in a bit of aspirational paralysis - I have so many things put aside to be noted and written about that I'm unable to get started on any one in particular.  So, forgive (and hopefully enjoy) some of the declutter: Matt Tabbai takes on Lara Logan's ridiculous attack on the journalism of Mike Hastings (author of the piece that sent McChrystal packing).
See, according to Logan, not only are reporters not supposed to disclose their agendas to sources at all times, but in the case of covering the military, one isn't even supposed to have an agenda that might upset the brass! Why? Because there is an "element of trust" that you're supposed to have when you hang around the likes of a McChrystal. You cover a war commander, he's got to be able to trust that you're not going to embarrass him. Otherwise, how can he possibly feel confident that the right message will get out?
If you click on nothing else in this post, click on the first link. ~ As ever, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is an embarrassment to decent people everywhere. ~ I didn't expect England to get near the finals, but I didn't expect them to go home so soon.  I much would have preferred they face Ghana than Germany.   James Fallows has a great roundup of the dark mood that befell most of the British press by the end of the ENG-GER match. ~ If the title of this doesn't take you there, I don't know what to say - Pablo Escobar, Guerillas, and My Dream Bike.  The world is filled with amazing stories. ~ Jon Shure attempts to answer the question - If You Tax Them, Will They Flee? It's not a bad analysis to pull out whenever you start hearing the "If we raise taxes here, we'll drive out all the rich!"  It's something I hear around here (DC/VA/MD) in cycles, and yet people pretty much stay put.  Shocking, no? ~ A perhaps surprising admission - I'm enjoying the Kagan confirmation hearings.  Some of it is being reminded of con law issues I'd long since forgotten, or getting a quick sketch of where current hot issues stand.  And part of it is just the mostly friendly approach of all involved.  Unfortunately, there's always Jeff Sessions (R-Unreconstructed South) to spoil things.  Christ is he dumber than a box of rocks. ~ I'm sure this only happens in academia. ~ The Airbus A380 continues to be a draw for some travelers.  The closest I've gotten to one was on the tarmac at LAX, unfortunately.  Someday.  Soon, I hope.

Too Many Cyclists?

A thoughtful piece from a Toronto-based cycling blog.  It gets to the question of culture, which I think is at the core of what makes it safe to get on a bike in a community.

All Those Silly Protesters In Toronto Have *Nothing* To Do With Me, Right?

Right.

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In re Dave Weigel

The Washington Post lost one of its best voices this weekend.  More later, perhaps.  But to get to the heart of the matter: (h/t to many)

A Better Immigration Policy

could help solve all sorts of things.  There are vast empty swaths of this country, in case anyone hasn't noticed.  We've got plenty of room.

Concerned About Censorship? Look in the Mirror, First

A lesson that should reach far beyond the Israel/Palestine context:
Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken warned Monday that self-censorship in the Israeli media poses the greatest threat to the freedom of the press. [ . . . ] “Let’s talk about a different kind of censorship,” he said. “Self-censorship that stems from the fact that the media does not want to upset its readership. I am referring to the responses that I get regarding Haaretz articles about the Palestinians’ situation. "During periods of calm there are no responses, but in turbulent times people send emails to the newspaper, copying in all of their friends, that they are halting their subscription because they are unable to read Gideon Levy or Amira Hass anymore. And the newspaper must ask itself if it wants to absorb this.
Freedom of the press is somewhat beside the point if you don't have a real press, no?

And Now Saturday Morning Music . . .

Just picked this up from Boing Boing.  Love it:

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Weekend Music: Simple Things Edition

Some music just endures:

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The Party of Small Government

Reason 3,024,654 I laugh every time I hear someone claim that the GOP is about getting government out of people's lives:
Via Matt Welch at Reason, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has proposed an amendment to the jobs bill requiring that recipients of unemployment insurance or welfare benefits get drug tested before they get their checks. From the Salt Lake Tribune:
People seeking unemployment benefits or welfare would have to first pass a drug test under a proposal Sen. Orrin Hatch will try to add to legislation extending the social safety net during this time of economic turmoil. Hatch … said his idea would help battle drug addiction and could reduce the nation’s debt. He will try to get the Senate to include his amendment to a $140 billion bill extending tax breaks and social programs this week. “This amendment is a way to help people get off of drugs to become productive and healthy members of society, while ensuring that valuable taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted,” he said after announcing his amendment. “Too many Americans are locked into a life of a dangerous dependency not only on drugs, but the federal assistance that serves to enable their addiction.”
I'd really like to find more constructive ways to engage, instead of mock, but transparent bullshit like this makes it hard.

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