From the NYT (reg req.'d)
This is the saddest story I can imagine.
"It was only a week ago that the tiny body of Stephanie Ramos was found in a plastic bag in a garbage truck in the Bronx, discarded by a foster mother who told the police that she panicked when the severely disabled girl died.
It was an ugly ending by any measure, but particularly cruel in this case because the little girl's life began the same way: wrapped in a plastic bag and discarded on a New York City byway."
Has anyone ever been a foster parent? A foster child? Are things often this bad - and this good? (That'll make sense when you read the story.)
posted by Jos Bleau
on Jul 18, 2003 -
White House admits fudging
Niger documents. The administration today admitted
that forged evidence of Iraq's attempts to buy nuclear material should not have been presented as valid. This came about as a result of an atypically harsh period of questioning from the press following the publication of this editorial
over the weekend... [more inside]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on Jul 8, 2003 -
writes that the Bush administration will fight a "khaki election" next year, taking advantage of the general good feeling after the Iraq war. The original khaki election was the British election of 1900, contested during the Boer War. Our armed forces don't really wear khaki so much anymore and I think we need a new term. I suggest calling 2004 the "Camo Election." Any better suggestions?
posted by Mekon
on Jun 3, 2003 -
The Shallowing of American Taste
First tastebuds and palates fall to McDonalds, now the eyes, ears, and minds fall to Wal-Mart, according to this NY Times article (free registration required)...
"The growing clout of Wal-Mart and the other big discount chains ? they now often account for more than 50 percent of the sales of a best-selling album, more than 40 percent for a best-selling book, and more than 60 percent for a best-selling DVD -- has bent American popular culture toward the tastes of their relatively traditionalist customers...But with the chains' power has come criticism from authors, musicians and civil liberties groups who argue that the stores are in effect censoring and homogenizing popular culture. The discounters and price clubs typically carry an assortment of fewer than a thousand books, videos and albums, and they are far more ruthless than specialized stores about returning goods if they fail to meet a minimum threshold of weekly sales."
Add in Clear Channel Radio and sanitized text books, and all I can say is that the internet has come along at the time it's needed. With the fingers of big commerce all over our culture, the web can serve to reverse an old mega-trend to "high-touch, high-tech." With Wal-Mart, et al, touching our minds, we need to resort to tech to add some depth and breath to their narrow and shallow offerings.
posted by fpatrick
on May 17, 2003 -
Hey, It's Not Enough We Die Of Obesity
without having to go to Hell too? Some enlightened Frenchmen are bending the Pope's ear, trying to spring Gluttony from the Deadly Sins
blacklist. Well, even clever old Thomas Aquinas
did his damnedest to narrow the seven buggers down. So: which sins would you
excuse today's poor sufferers from and which ones would you insist
on keeping, if any? [Something tells me MetaFilter is ideally suited to put in a good word for Sloth. I wonder why? Speaking of which, NYT reg. is required but you can read about it here instead. Via Arts and Letters Daily.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Mar 12, 2003 -
Coming to America!
Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.
posted by Plunge
on Mar 10, 2003 -
Spinning the Environment One section of the memorandum, "Winning the Global Warming Debate," asserts that many voters believe there is a lack of consensus about global warming among scientists. "Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly," it says. "Therefore you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue."
Among the ways to "challenge the science," the memorandum says, is to "be even more active in recruiting experts who are sympathetic to your view and much more active in making them part of your message" because "people are more willing to trust scientists than politicians."
So much for science based decisions regarding the fouling of our nest. Sounds Green = Is Green in the bizarro world of spin.
posted by nofundy
on Mar 4, 2003 -
Twins Reunite After 20 Years
You need free registration to get this story but it is well worth the slight effort. Twins, adopted, born in Mexico, one becomes Catholic and the other Jewish. Both register at same college and meet up. A story that will warm your heart and, at the same time, perhaps tell us a bit about Nature and Nurture.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 3, 2003 -
We all must do our civic duty.
But how many of us can fill in President of the United States on the questionnaire when it asks for former jobs held? A bit of mirth for today. NY Times req. required.
posted by Plunge
on Mar 1, 2003 -
in today's NYTDirect/CIRCUITS: "Wouldn't it be great if you could look up a person and read the real scoop about what he or she is really like? Think how many weeks of dating you'd be able to avoid if you had capsule summaries available: "Comes across great on a first date, but beware — runs out of stories by Day 2." Or, "A bit unkempt, but you'll never meet a more loving, loyal mate." Or, "Sharp dresser, warped mind."
"Of course, a Web site where you could review friends and coworkers probably wouldn't work. I'm kind of kidding about this whole thing."
(Rate-A-Mate.biz still available.)
posted by azul
on Feb 20, 2003 -
Ambient Information (NYT reg. required)
Ambient information can be defined as material objects, such as computers, watches or furniture, which interact with digital information and react in certain ways such as sound, color, or light. Apple has filed an intriguing patent
for a computer that could change color when you get an e-mail, for example. So, is this concept the next “new thing” or the next pet rock?
posted by jeremias
on Jan 13, 2003 -
MeFiers have gotten into this before, in terms of forced sterilization.
Although it has been around in California for some time, the idea of optional, paid sterilization or long-term birth control is presenting itself in New York City.
(NYT reg.req) The founder of the organization
that sponsors this paid sterilization/LT birth control has her experience with drug-addicted children, seeing as she adopted four.
The FAQ is certainly interesting, but equally as compelling is the 'natural response'
to this organization. This
is a fact sheet presented by Communities Against Rape and Abuse (Acrobat), and more links here
, and here
posted by oflinkey
on Jan 6, 2003 -
Is Gavin Menzies
the Stephen Wolfram of history? That's the question today's New York Times
, pw: mabuse
) suggests in a Menzies profile. Menzies has a new book out, 1421
, which claims that the Chinese discovered America seven decades before Columbus did. Some people
have made similarly precise claims about this planet's developments. Others
have seen their amateur claims initially mocked and later proven to be correct. Is Menzies onto something or is he a crank? And how do we place the passionate amateur within the realm of scholarly pursuits?
posted by ed
on Jan 5, 2003 -
It's about Time
this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!
Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy
on Jan 3, 2003 -
Is the Washington Times perpetuating a fraud?
the Palestine Media Watch is reporting on a rumour that has been floating around for a while, that the Washington Times' "Sayed Anwar" is actually Paul Martin, a correspondent out of their London office. Now while this Times doesn't boast the circulation of the NYTimes or even the LA Times, it still lands on the doorstep of the President of the US every day. How's this for journalistic integrity?
posted by djspicerack
on Dec 27, 2002 -
Peace Activist Philip Berrigan Dead at 79
Yes, I know, obituaries are depressing. But this man was one of my very few heros. He fought a good fight, but in this age of corporate sponsored and government promoted dimunation of conscience can a single person "bearing witness" to the immoral actions that go on in this world really make a difference? Or is the idea of citizen protest just a quaint vestige of another era?
posted by ahimsakid
on Dec 7, 2002 -
Can Poetry Matter - Part 2
(nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..."
posted by Voyageman
on Nov 30, 2002 -
Yesterday's NYT magazine section (reg req'd) featured a profile of Jack Osbourne
---whose family's show
premieres its second season tomorrow---and discussed the unpleasant repercussions of his new fame: a prescription to Zoloft, a discontinued high school education and severe threats that warrant his own eye-patched bodyguard. Is this kind of exposure (especially in a reality TV context) too much for a 17 year old kid to handle?
posted by adrober
on Nov 25, 2002 -
Inside the JFK medical files.
Very interesting article from Sunday's NY Times (reg. req'd) about the long-term health of John F. Kennedy, from World War II to his death. Corresponding Yahoo News item here
also. [more inside...]
posted by PeteyStock
on Nov 19, 2002 -
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans
And this is justified because of National Security. We will lose much that is personal, private, but in turn we will be protefted against the bad guys. Or will we? When NASA and CIA claim they need to spy domestically, and computers gather all data on Americans, what is left that is not what Orwell had suggested might our future be like?Or, as Morth Sahl once labelled a comic record: TheFuture Lies Ahead."
posted by Postroad
on Nov 9, 2002 -
(.swf file) Via the NYT Review of Books. Felix Jung hijacks your cursor (briefly) for a poetry break.
posted by Skot
on Oct 14, 2002 -
Use P2P? You might be unknowingly stealing money from one of your favorite websites. Add-on software that come with the programs divert commission money from affiliate sales
on popular websites like Amazon.com to the creators of the file sharing programs. Follow the link for instructions on how to uninstall the software. Yet another reason I use KaZaa Lite
. I've got to get those MST3K episodes
posted by Pinwiz
on Sep 28, 2002 -
It seems that Pakistan is back in business
"Officials from three Pakistani militant groups said in interviews this week that the government of Pakistan has allowed Islamic guerrillas to resume small-scale infiltrations into Indian-controlled Kashmir. " (NYTimes - regd' required)
posted by nish01
on Sep 21, 2002 -
George Bush's Article in NYTIMES.
I was surprised to see an article by the prez on nytimes.com. We are used to presidents communicating through TV- but there the speech is picked up by all major channels in that case. It seems odd to see a sitting president use one
newspaper to put forward a viewpoint. Perhaps, Al Gore's articles in the same space spurred dubya. Oh, by the way, what did you think of the story? Is this the work of a speechwriter or do you think it is genuine? Did everyone notice the absence of the word Iraq in this article?
(The customary apology for the nytimes post applies. I believe you can still register as metafilter, metafilter.)
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Sep 11, 2002 -
What is going on at the New York Times?
More than 100 years ago, the New York Times, under owner Adolph Ochs, adopted the slogan: "All the news that's fit to print". But, critics are now asking if the New York Times only prints news it considers ideologically fit.
What has been happening at the Times is far more ominous than just veering to the support of one party or one ideology. There is a type of liberalism, pioneered in America, which tries to be fairer than fair. But trying to be better than fair is like trying to bend over backwards to be straighter than vertical or defining "objective" as being neutral between good and evil. That path leads straight to moral equivalence.
Perhaps the slogan should be re-written: "All the Newspeak fit to print".
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood
on Aug 26, 2002 -
"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."
Have we actually ever heard worse from this month's news-darling Ann Coulter? I don't think so, maybe other do. If this was from an Islamic Jihadist, we'd be at war with whatever country he came from (if Saudi Arabia, then we'd blame Iraq somehow.) How come the Bill Maher "we're the cowards" quotes get people fired, while something like this- and trust me, there's much more fun from Ann in this interview- makes Coulter a best-selling author?
posted by XQUZYPHYR
on Aug 22, 2002 -
The Axis of Medieval.
Claims of support for women and women's rights in the current regime are nothing more than hot air according to Mr. Kristof. He says their record and the facts tell a different story. The details are shocking. Kowtowing to religious fundamentalists in the US causes devastating results abroad.
Would programs like these qualify for using some of the wealthiest persons dollars instead of a tax cut?
posted by nofundy
on Aug 16, 2002 -
Another smoking gun.
Tobacco companies fought the marketing of anti-smoking products in the 1980s and '90s, by exerting financial pressure on companies that make nicotine gum and patches--like Dow Chemical. (NYT, reg req'd - CBS News version here
posted by gottabefunky
on Aug 14, 2002 -
"It is not an overstatement to describe the arrests in Tulia as an atrocity
. The entire operation was the work of a single police officer who claimed to have conducted an 18-month undercover operation. The arrests were made solely on the word of this officer, Tom Coleman, a white man with a wretched work history, who routinely referred to black people as "niggers" and who frequently found himself in trouble with the law."
posted by artifex
on Jul 29, 2002 -
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
I've been waiting for months to post about this. Since I don't remember anyone posting the NYT article about this and Toby Young amuses me to no end, I thought this article is an ideal introduction. (more inside)
posted by rodz
on Jul 17, 2002 -
gives divinity school students a peek at what his activism is really about. I can't say it any better than he does so I'll quote: "The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible."
Of course we knew Scalia detested democracy on 12/12/2000 with his decision that infamous day but now he admits favoritism to theocracy.
posted by nofundy
on Jul 10, 2002 -