Saturday, August 07, 2010

7 August 2010

reuters: kids in Chile commemorate the 65th anniversary
of the bombing of Hiroshima.

Tony Judt (2 January 1948 – 6 August 2010)

(from December 2007, here is "The wrecking ball of innovation" his review of Robert Reich's book Supercapitalism. I haven't read Reich's book but I suspect Judt's observations apropos of reviewing it are more interesting than the subject per se.

100m Facebook users' data listed

Details of more than 100 million Facebook users have been harvested and published on the net by a security researcher.

BBC:Pampered pigs 'feel optimistic'

Dr Catherine Douglas describes the technique for determining the pigs' happiness level. Pigs feel optimistic or pessimistic about life depending on how pleasant their environment is, researchers at Newcastle University have found.

what Avedon Carol said recently:

It's time to stop quivering in our boots over the possibility that if we start fighting back for real we will elect someone slightly more right-wing than the current crop of right-wingers leading the Democratic Party. There is no substantive difference between Bush's policies, McCain's stated policies, and the Democratic leadership's actual policies, so you might as well step up and admit that, you know, just because you're on their side doesn't mean they're on your side.*

(The asterix over at the Sideshow resulted in Teresa Nielsen Hayden when you hovered over it, albeit without the hyperlink to Making Light where TNH is a co-blogger with her husband. I gather she's saying she said that first.)

"How CNN went from breaking records to yesterday's news"

the security state at the water park

Adam Serwer, "Oscar Grant, A Victim Of American Fear"

This aged fear is not the only thing preventing justice for Oscar Grant. We live in a time when Americans are also possessed by a fear of terrorism. In the thrall of that fear we've done more than just cede civil liberties; we've come to accept extraordinary government power over life and death in the name of Keeping Us Safe. Instead of believing that people who hold the power of life and death in their hands should be held to the highest standards of conduct, we remember our fear and just feel thankful for their presence. Instead of believing that great power comes with responsibility, we shrug at the collateral damage, because at least it isn't us.

But of course, unlike the distant deaths of Pakistanis on the front of a "secret" war, Oscar Grant is some of us, or at least he's someone we know or care about, someone we'd go out in the street in the dead of night to look for if he wasn't home on time. For others, he's the embodiment of what makes us glance over our shoulder as we fish around in our pockets for the keys to our front door.

What's worse is that we don't just fear; we fear talking about it. Our president tried once. He mentioned the fear his own grandmother felt for men who looked like he does, and we responded with the level of maturity we've come to expect from our political discourse. If you've ever had a relative of another race confess to you that they'd find you frightening if they ran into you in a dark alley, you know what he meant. But we fear what this fear says about us more than we fear letting it go.
America remains in the thrall of this ever-present fear, even in the aftermath of the Mehserle trial, as the media concerns itself not with the verdict or with justice but with the potential for more violence from the black community in Oakland. Fear is always the enemy of justice.



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