Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Links (That I actually got up on a Saturday!)

Ah, winter in Minneapolis. The peaceful serenity of gentle flakes floating lightly to the ground. The picturesque branches of lonely November trees being weighted down by pretty white glistening jackets of snow. The crazy guy at the end of my block screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs in 30-90 second intervals at eight in the morning.

Yes, the snowy season is here, and as a result, I've made it my goal to not step foot outside of my house today. Which means, I have Saturday links! On a Saturday!

Kind of blogged myself into a corner with the last post. Had a lot of people tell me that post made them feel a little better about the election. So it's kind of hard to follow up a message of "Hey dudes, it will be okay" with a message of FUCK YOU WISCONSIN I WANT MY GODDAMMED HIGH SPEED RAIL TO CHICAGO I HOPE YOU DIE IN A FUCKING FIRE the following day. So I ate that anger, people. For the sake of your feelings. You're welcome.

Want some links?

Tough love: LaHood tells states attempting to opt out of high-speed rail projects that they must return the money and cannot use it on other transportation projects. Wisconsin is already pulling a "What? You mean if we don't build that rail line, those jobs you promised us won't exist? How does that work?" on this. New Jersey gets it the worst, as they are being billed for the work that already went into a rail tunnel that was scrapped by the Governor. More of this, please.

Why I don't cook at home. Seriously, if it weren't for my husband, I'd starve (or have a heart attack by age 30).

So apparently now it's not enough to save the jobs of the asshole failures on Wall Street that brought the country to it's knees (because god forbid we give other, more competent people a chance at those jobs), we are now allowing them to run over people with their cars and drive away. Because they are the best and brightest we have, people. (via Hullabaloo)

Ta-Nehisi Coates riffs off of Radley Balko and puts together a post regarding the violated social contract between the police and its citizens. Go. Read.

Celestina has some useful and humorous suggestions for alternatives to the "like" button that is so prevalent on social media these days. I do really need a "I know I'm an asshole" button.

I've been bugging off of this article for a few days now. It's a pretty thorough explanation of what exactly went wrong in the United States that set the course for the clusterfuck that we are in now. I'm sure the people that need to read and understand these lessons will pass it off as European garbage. But I think it's about time we started being honest with ourselves about the path this country is on. What's at the end does not look promising for us. (via Balloon Juice)

And finally, for those that haven't seen it yet, the uncut interview of Jon Stewart by Rachel Maddow is up on Maddow's MSNBC site. It's long, but it's worth a viewing if you have an hour to kill. I won't get too much into it, as everyone else is talking about it and probably has better insights then I do. So I'll just point out a couple of things I took away from it, one, Stewart's explanation of why he doesn't "get on the field". I've never been one to desire Stewart to be a hard-core partisan; I felt his strength was always in skewering the news cycle. But I have to admit that I was frustrated about the Rally to Restore Sanity, in the sense that, really dude? Three days before an election and you couldn't even encourage people to vote? Is it partisan to urge participation in the political process? But I do understand what he's saying, in the sense that once he does get into that game, he loses what he calls his liberties that come with being a satirist. So I take the point.

However, the other thing I take away is that I don't think he really understands what liberals are upset about when it comes to his equivalency in political rhetoric, or why we see it as false. I wish Maddow would have pressed him on this a bit more, because I felt her complaint that the left is often held to a tougher standard on rhetoric because it is often accepted as institutionalized on the right was a valid point, and one which Stewart didn't provide a decent answer for. It's as if he wants to frame the critique as "people on the right are crazy, people on the left are sane, why won't you point this out?", and that's not really the argument. Most people won't dispute the fact that the left and right both contain ass-loads of crazy. The issue is that the right tends to mainstream their crazy, while the left disowns anything that could be seen as remotely crazy. Michael Moore and Al Gore are still pariahs. But Newt Gingrich is seen as a major player in the Republican party. You cannot grab an anonymous comment on Daily Kos and compare it to a comment made by Congresswoman Bachmann and say "See? Both sides are nuts, what we need is rationality from them". In regards to the larger media, I think the example regarding the Tea Party disruptions of Town Halls during the Health Care debates and Code Pink also illustrate this: Code Pink is, rightfully or no, dismissed as radicals by the mainstream media, while what is, in actuality, nothing more than a re-branding of Bircherism is seen as the greatest political revolution this country has seen in the past twenty years. So when someone like Maddow seizes on this, and is then dismissed as a partisan hack, people understandably become upset. I think the idea that pointing out this phenomenon within our current political discourse is somehow hackery or a barrier to honest debate shows that yes, there are different standards here.

Well, I suppose I should probably go walk the dog. Hopefully crazy profanity screaming guy has worked out all his anger issues by now.

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