Thursday, April 07, 2005

Blogroll, Please

I'VE DECIDED TO TAKE A RUN down my blogroll and see what others have been writing about.

ACSBlog: Liz Aloi writes about Terri Schiavo's Law. She includes a very interesting link to a statement by Judge Stanley Birch, one of the many judges who ruled against reinserting Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube. Birch was appointed by the first Bush. And he skewers Congress.

A popular epithet directed by some members of society, including some members of Congress, toward the judiciary involves the denunciation of “activist judges.” Generally, the definition of an “activist judge” is one who decides the outcome of a controversy before him according to personal conviction, even one sincerely held, as opposed to the dictates of the law as constrained by legal precedent and, ultimately, our Constitution. In resolving the Schiavo controversy it is my judgment that, despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for the governance of a free people – our Constitution.

Archy: John McKay muses on the long, fascinating, or maybe sordid, history of naming popes.

The list of Popes is an official history (in the worst sense of the phrase) and must be carefully scrubbed of anti-Popes and ambiguity. Of course, all that means to me is that some pretty cool names have been knocked out of consideration.

Avedon Carol: Oh my gosh! Avedon Carol quoted me! She also quotes an anonymous commenter on a different thread:

Since the New Deal, Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue of concern to ordinary Americans; Social Security, the war in Vietnam, equal rights, civil liberties, church- state separation, consumer issues, public education, reproductive freedom, national health care, labor issues, gun policy, campaign-finance reform, the environment and tax fairness. No political party could remain so consistently wrong by accident. The only rational conclusion is that, despite their cynical "family values" propaganda, the Republican Party is a criminal conspiracy to betray the interests of the American people in favor of plutocratic and corporate interests, and absolutist religious groups.

Riverbend turned on her tv one morning to find it had been taken over by American news programming, game shows, and reality tv.

At Daily Kos, John Conyers flat-out calls the Department of Justice liars for their frequent assertions that the Bush administration has never abused its powers under the Patriot Act.

Echidne reports that her dogs have spring fever.

Ezra Klein has a post on oil production, but that's not the subject of interest to me right now. I want to talk about one of the words in this sentence:

This is scary -- oil production in most on the non-OPEC nations is already in accelerating decline, and OPEC looks to be nearing it's maximum.

It's it's. That's the word I want to talk about. I don't mean to single out Ezra, because I've seen this on literally dozens of blogs, and it's been building up and building up, and now I just have to let it out: There should not be an apostrophe in "nearing it's maximum." It's is a contraction. It means "it is." Ezra does not mean to say, "OPEC looks to be nearing it is maximum." He means to say, "OPEC looks to be nearing its maximum. Its. Pronoun. No apostrophe. PLEASE.

The Left Coaster: G.R. Duckman writes about Tom DeLay's generosity toward others:

tom delay seems to be in a bit of a spot, and it couldn't happen to a more miserable denizen of the primordial ooze, but we can't let it stop there. As Steve and many others say, keep the toxic texan around, it's like hanging a dead skunk around an enemy, you'll smell them miles away, and never be surprised.

But, if he has to go, and shackled in chains like they did to Susan McDougal would be my favored method, lets not neglect his legacy.

Let's hang it around all those that his slime is smeared on, those that reek of his stench.

Matthew Yglesias thinks that Josh Marshall's new mega-group blog is going to further concentrate blogosphere power in the hands of a few stars. It's refreshing to know that a blogger who is himself on the A-list is concerned about a handful of blogs crowding out less influential competition.

Preposterous Universe: Sean has an interesting analysis on Paul Krugman's observation that academics tend to be liberal because conservatives are becoming increasingly anti-intellectual. I think that's always been true, but here is part of what Sean has to say:

The tendency of academics to be liberal runs much deeper than a reaction against the current wave of know-nothingism in the Republican party.

If we try to put[it] in terms that are as value-neutral as possible, I think that it comes down to idealism and universalism. Conservatives tend to take pride in their tough-mindedness, a realistic and hard-nosed approach to the dog-eat-dog world we find ourselves in. Looking out for number one is not only a life strategy, but a moral good. Academics, meanwhile, tend to have a different set of values; not only do they value learning for its own sake (above more straightforward values of material success), but they develop an ability to understand and sympathize with people in different groups and circumstances. In the truest sense of the word, to be "conservative" is to cherish certain established verities, while a good academic is always questioning accepted ideas, and approaching alternatives in a spirit of open-mindedness.

Shakespeare's Sister: This one is truly special, and one of the reasons why I love this blog so much. The lady who writes this blog can share discoveries that are poignantly personal as well as political. She does that here, telling us about a blogger who has invited readers to share their deepest secret on a postcard, and then posts the cards on his site.

Talk Left: The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography was awarded to the photo staff at the Associated Press; and a veteran staffer at the San Francisco Chronicle won the Feature Photography Pulitzer for a photo essay on the efforts by medical staff at an Oakland, CA, hospital to treat a 9-year-old Iraqi boy who was very badly injured in an explosion in Iraq.

This would be wonderful news for most people, but right-wing bloggers like Michelle Malkin and Powerline are not most people.

War and Piece: Think it would not be an insurmountable task for the world's mightiest military machine (aka the Pentagon) to put together a program to teach foreign languages to U.S. soldiers? Think again.

Kevin Drum: I apparently missed this piece on Jeanne's blog about the Los Angeles Times comparing pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives to soldiers who refuse to torture prisoners. I'm glad Kevin read it and posted about it here.

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