"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 -
Ah, the law in Florida. (NYT)
The rich princess pushed her maid down a flight of stairs, but will be allowed to plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery without having to appear in court, pay a $1,000 fine and give a judge a letter of regret about injuries to her Indonesian maid in the incident.
All this because the maid cannot be in court. After she went home to Jakarta in May for her mother's funeral, the United States Embassy there denied her a visa to return to Florida and testify on the grounds that she might try to stay in this country illegally. The maid is also the primary witness in a federal investigation of the princess for possibly employing Ms. Soryono under conditions of involuntary servitude, the Justice Department said. After the court hearing in Orlando, this federal investigation appears likely to end without charges.
posted by semmi
on Jul 2, 2002 -
Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.
"Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley
on Jun 30, 2002 -
Special Agent Crowley Speaks Up
(NYTimes link , normal rules apply)
Ladies like this are the real heroes in our country and she has something to say before Congress about the new Bush agency. Ms. Dowd agrees and said, "The shape of the government is not as important as the policy of the government."
posted by nofundy
on Jun 11, 2002 -
(NYT/reg. req) gets my vote for Stupidest Theory of the Day. Basically, he says that movies are more memorable and stay with us longer than TV shows. Huh?! He's kidding, right? (more inside).
posted by sassone
on Jun 3, 2002 -
Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.
(NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today.
Here's the Wash. Post's
take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb
on May 30, 2002 -
At large in the blogosphere
And yet another analysis of the world of blogging. Does this one, by a decent literary and cultural critic, present blogs and blogging in a better light than many earlier ones? note: NY Times free reg reqd.
posted by Postroad
on May 5, 2002 -
From a NYT piece
on the horrifying incompetence of NY mental homes:
On a Thursday in June 2000, Mr. Ridges returned from his job and went to his room. He encountered Mr. Chapman and the two apparently argued over rap music, the police said. Mr. Chapman pulled out a brown and gold folding knife. He lunged, stabbing Mr. Ridges more than 20 times in the neck, sternum and arm.
"Me and Greg Ridges didn't get along," Mr. Chapman told the detectives who arrested him.
When Mrs. Ridges did not receive her customary phone call from her son that day, she called the home. An employee told her everything was fine. Wary, Mrs. Ridges went to the home that night, and no one would let her in. Several hours later, police officers showed up at her apartment and told her what had happened.
I get sick of all the NYT pieces on here too, but, damn it, this is just haunting, a long visit in a demented underworld of society that most of us try to ignore. Well worth reading in its (extensive) entirety.
posted by gsteff
on Apr 30, 2002 -
defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey
of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi
on Apr 24, 2002 -
On flight simulators, Tetris, and the CIA
The Sunday Times Mag has a feature on Gilman Louie, popularizer of Tetris who was recruited by the CIA in 1998. " Louie's marching orders were to provide venture capital for data-mining technologies that would allow the C.I.A. to monitor and profile potential terrorists as closely and carefully as Amazon monitors and profiles potential customers."
posted by brookish
on Apr 12, 2002 -
2 Hollywood Titans Brawl Over A Gang Epic
-- (NYTimes link, I apologize but am unsure of the etiquette on that issue). Martin Scorcese's project Gangs Of New York
(about pre-Civil War NYC immigrant gangs) is quickly turning into something akin to Titanic
, and not just 'cuz it's got Leo in it. The budget's out of control (maybe someone cheaper than U2 should do the score), the release date's on a backwards spiral (yes, it was supposed to come out last Christmas), some of the content rankles after 9/11, and now Harvey Weinstein wants a new ending. The cherry on top? Its current release date has it pitted against Tom Hanks and Sam "American Beauty" Mendes' The Road To Perdition
, another gangster piece. For a relatively complete diary of the film's woes, try the film's page
at the always-useful Corona
. Think Miramax has its most spectacular dud on the way, or do you trust Scorcese to pull it off?
posted by logovisual
on Apr 6, 2002 -
Suicidal lies (NYT)
"The Palestinians are so blinded by their narcissistic rage that they have lost sight of the basic truth civilization is built on: the sacredness of every human life, starting with your own. All they can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build. Have you ever heard Mr. Arafat talk about what sort of education system or economy he would prefer, what sort of constitution he wants? No, because Mr. Arafat is not interested in the content of a Palestinian state, only the contours." (more inside)
posted by semmi
on Apr 1, 2002 -
A Grand Narrative
"When Hindus kill Muslims it's not a story, because there are a billion Hindus and they aren't part of the Muslim narrative. When Saddam murders his own people it's not a story, because it's in the Arab-Muslim family. But when a small band of Israeli Jews kills Muslims it sparks rage — a rage that must come from Muslims having to confront the gap between their self-perception as Muslims and the reality of the Muslim world." Thomas Friedman looks for an angle and finds a story! What role, if any, does narrative consciousness
and social psychology
play in the Middle East? (via blogdex
posted by kliuless
on Mar 8, 2002 -
Lord of the Hackers?
Sherri Turkle writes in the NYT:
Adolescents are wise in the psychology of computer games and Middle Earth. They live in a world they can't control, in a body that seems increasingly alien. To them the computer world is soothing, offering reassurance through mastery. Just as each episode of "The Lord of the Rings" presents a danger and each has its resolution, so many adolescent boys move from one block of intransigent code to another, from one screen to the next, declaring victory as they go.
But this distinction is about more than gender; it is about ways of looking at the world — real, imagined or computer-generated. Some pioneers of computing had a style of working that rewarded risk. They spoke of programming itself as though it were a dangerous quest. At M.I.T. computer hackers even had a name for it: "sport death." To pull back from the impending doom of a system crash required near magic, an almost empathetic knowledge of the intricacies of code. For this community, a certain bravado came to be seen as valuable, even necessary, beyond the world of programming.
Any programmer-hobbits care to comment on this? This doesn't exactly
describe my feelings when unsnarling html.
posted by mecran01
on Mar 8, 2002 -
The New York Times finally justified asking for my email address: you can specify a list of words and phrases and have the Times email you
whenever an article containing one of them appears. (My list: 'aphex, autechre, squarepusher, "warp records"')
posted by lbergstr
on Mar 7, 2002 -
Record Labels' Answer to Napster Still Has Artists Feeling Bypassed (NY Times).
Well, it seems the shoe's on the other foot now. Some artists are learning that the industry alternative (Pressplay, MusicNet) to free music downloading services isn't paying quite the dividends they'd expected.
"Last December, the major record labels responded with two Internet services of their own where fans pay monthly fees to download songs. Under this arrangement, however, the performers still don't get a dime: for each song downloaded, they stand to get only a fraction of a cent, according to the calculations of disgruntled managers and lawyers.
And, artists and their managers say, the labels, like Napster, aren't putting the music online with proper permission either.
Can't say I have a lot of sympathy for any
of the principals involved. What is especially amusing (but not surprising) is the apparent duplicity of the labels: "in comments not for attribution, several executives at labels and their subscription services did not dispute the accusations regarding the payment plan. They said their first priority was to make the services attractive to consumers and that the details of compensation could be worked out afterward."
posted by topolino
on Feb 18, 2002 -
Arab Experts Fault Saudi's Idea Based on Land-for-Peace Trade
Let's see if I have this right. Five arab nations attacked Israel a few times and Israel, winning, occupied land, waiting for a peace settlement. Now the very influential ruler of Saudi Arabia has a plan that will tgive back all occupied land to the Palestinians and give them a state and give them their place in Jerusalem. But other Arab "thinkers"--academics, so to speak, think this is unwsise because it would help Sharon. Instead, Israel, the victor in these wars, ought to give all back and them hope that the losers in the struggle will in turn recognize Israel's right to exist in peace.
Seems a rather odd way to win or lose in warfare and suggest to mea certain intransigence when this might be the beginning of a breakthrough that the world has waited for. What think?
posted by Postroad
on Feb 17, 2002 -
Another Prime Minister kisses ass.
Maggie tells us to git 'em, because "it is best that the United States, as the only global military superpower, deploy its energies militarily rather than on social work." (NYT)
posted by swift
on Feb 12, 2002 -
The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers.
What are they hiding? Executive order blocking Presidential papers, refusing to turn over Energy Taskforce member list, and now this! There must be something to hide. But what?!?!?
posted by bas67
on Feb 11, 2002 -
Bob Mould on wrestling, the internet, and mp3s.
With his first new album
in years coming out, Bob's got a new outlook that's different than the old open taping/bootleg philosophy. Since he's distributing his own work, and paying for it all, you're taking money out of his hands, so he's going with the honor system. Is the value of music really going down, or will Bob have no problem finding people to pay for it?
posted by mathowie
on Feb 10, 2002 -
(NYTimes link) is a slender black rectangle, that works as a PDA and a PC. Best part it's non-OS-centric. In desktop mode it uses Windows XP, in PDA mode it uses Palm OS, also should work with Linux. Not to be confused with Metapad
. [Via SVN]
posted by riffola
on Feb 9, 2002 -
Scientists in the USA have discovered
[NYTimes] a new cell in the eye responsible for resetting the biological clock. Its being called "heretical".. Not every day, Dr. Provencio said, do scientists find a new body function.
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 8, 2002 -
Fake profits are causing the stock market to descend. Could someone explain to me the meaningful difference between Enron and Amazon.com?
One company recently reported fake profits of $5 million, while having billions in debt. Enron, well...no profits either, and billions in debt. So why is Amazon.com considered "promising"? Enron had a revenue stream too.... Prediction: Amazon.com's stock will be "revalued" sharply lower as people get lucid about real profits and as the accounting/profit scandals spread.
posted by ParisParamus
on Feb 4, 2002 -
Whatever Next? Amazon Makes A Profit!
Having lost $3 billion so far, Amazon Books has just posted its first-ever profit of $5 million. Perhaps it was thanks to the new machines
they bought to replace more workers.(this last link req. NYT reg.
) How would you
spend it if you were Jeff Bezos? And what does it mean: has the tide turned or not?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Jan 22, 2002 -
man protests prison construction by burying buses
This is one of the more original methods of protest I've seen. The "artist", an excavator by trade who is trying to protest what he sees as an unlawful zoning change that will lower the value of his property, says his inspiration came from Cadillac Ranch
Will his protest be successful? Do you think this was an appropriate way to catch the attention of the local authorities? I, for one, think this was clever.
posted by purplecow
on Jan 17, 2002 -
Even Safire is getting sick of Bush
in today's NY Times op-ed piece writing about the bogus executive privilege order he signed re: FBI missteps in Boston: "Why is Bush, so early in his term and with little to hide, going down this road to upset our system of checks and balances?...It's another mistake that will come home to haunt the Bush presidency." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi) And with Lieberman and Levin opening up the Enron investigation
("Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., the full committee's chairman, promised Wednesday `a search for the truth, not a witch hunt.' But he did not rule out an examination of Enron's relationships with the Bush administration.") does anyone not think the Dems are getting fired up for the fall elections, war or no war?
posted by willrich
on Jan 3, 2002 -
Another excellent editorial by Thomas Friedman.
"I have no problem with nation- building in Afghanistan, but what I'm really interested in is nation- building in America — using the power of Sept. 11 to make our country stronger, safer and a better global citizen in the world of Sept. 12, beginning with how we use energy." (nytimes.com Member ID: metafi, password: metafi)
posted by homunculus
on Jan 2, 2002 -
at+t broadband cable units to be bought by comcast. this means chicago cable service will shift to its third owner in two years (at+t broadband having purchased prime cable just last year, and having just gotten cable modems back online from the excite@home failure two weeks ago). anyone have any clues about the ramifications of this purchase?
posted by patricking
on Dec 20, 2001 -
"Be accurate, be fair, be American"
is the Fox News mantra. Apparently, news with a moral slant is not only helping the Fox News ratings but many Americans report
wanting their news to be "Pro-American." When did it become unpatriotic to at least want news that attempts objectivity? Are "accuracy" and "fairness" always possible if Fox journalists must also subscribe to News Corporation's prescription as to what it means to "be American?"
posted by karlcleveland
on Dec 3, 2001 -