Month: April 2009

Recent links

I have to close a few tabs on my browser, so:

How the Government Dealt With Past Recessions, NYT, 1/26/09 (nice infographic)

The Daily Me, Nicholas Kristof, NYT, 3/18/09 (“[T]he public is increasingly seeking its news not from mainstream television networks or ink-on-dead-trees but from grazing online.”)

What LinkedIn’s Reorganization and OFA 2.0 Means for Politech Online, Fred Gooltz, hat tip to Matt Lockshin

Grist: Toward a less efficient and more robust food system

Thomas Friedman’s Latest Column Is an Outright Disaster, David Roberts of Grist. Topic: climate change legislation. Hilarious, angry, and yet right on.

Eight Characteristics of Leadership

EPIC 2014 – a future history thing about the death of the print media from a few years ago, by Robin Sloan currently of Current TV

“Honesty breeds interest”, about designer Stefan Sagmeister — from a Belfast designer who seems really talented, David Airey.

I haven’t necessarily read this stuff, or if I have I haven’t formulated many thoughts about it, but I’d like to.

Maybe this is why everything is so screwed up.

Our society’s elite opinionmakers are humongous hypocrites.

As the always-brilliant Glenn Greenwald writes in Three key rules of media behavior shape their discussions of “the ‘torture’ debate” at Salon.com:

[R]oughly 40% of Americans favor criminal prosecutions for Bush officials — even before release of the OLC memos — and large majorities favor investigations generally. The premise of those who advocate prosecutions is the definitively non-ideological view that political elites should be treated exactly like ordinary Americans when they break the law and commit serious crimes. Individuals such as Gen. Antonio Taguba, Gen. Barry McCaffrey and former CIA officer Robert Baer advocate investigations and/or prosecutions of Bush officials. But no matter: the Beltway opposes the idea, and it is therefore dismissed by media stars as coming from the “Hard Left.” …

This remains the single most notable and revealing fact of American political life: that (with some very important exceptions) those most devoted to maintaining and advocating government secrecy is our journalist class, of all people. It would be as if the leading proponents of cigarette smoking were physicians, or those most vocally touting the virtues of illiteracy were school teachers. Nothing proves the true function of these media stars as government spokespeople more than their eagerness to shield government actions from examination and demand that government criminality not be punished.

Read more.

Baseball is supposed to be fun

Today was truly the most depressing day (and night) of being a baseball fan I have ever experienced.

When I made my customary lazy, relaxed visit to MLB.com to check out the game stories this morning, I was shocked and saddened to find out that a 22-year-old guy (whose last significant public experience was to shut out my favorite AL team for 6 innings last night) died in a car accident, from which the driver at fault tried to run away. Then I learned some dude in Anaheim got killed in a fight at Angel Stadium opening day after getting punched in the back of the head and falling onto concrete steps. And tonight, after a Giant pitched a ball to the Brewers’ Mike Cameron, Cameron hit it directly back at the pitcher’s head, striking it and making it bleed profusely. Apparently, the Giants’ player is okay.

All this during the first week of the season.

Baseball is supposed to be fun — an escape from everyday life. But once in a while, like anything else we humans do (whether pointlessly or not), it reminds us that we shouldn’t take life for granted. We shouldn’t assume the next week, the next day, or even the next moment are going to come. It didn’t for Nick Adenhart. It won’t for Brian Powers. Joe Martinez, thankfully, gets another shot.

And now I will go to the A’s home opener at the Oakland/Alameda County Coliseum on Friday with far different emotions than I would have expected just 24 hours ago.

Sure, I’ll get caught up in the game, and I’ll enjoy myself. But I won’t be able to avoid heavy thoughts before that first pitch.

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