Sunday, August 1, 2010

links of the day

1. "On civil disobedience" at Yet Another Unitarian Universalist is a fine meditation on effective political action.

2. "Göran Lindberg and Sweden's dark side" at the Guardian begins by discussing a Swedish police chief praised for his feminism who has been charged with rape. My favorite bit:
What's arguably more significant is the hole his case exposes in the logic of political correctness. The theory behind the PC view of the world is that if you change the language, you change what the language describes, because perception alters reality: non-sexist expressions, for example, help to foster non-sexist thoughts. But what if the prescribed opinion is a false consensus? What if language is a disguise, a means of conformity that serves to conceal the underlying and more disturbing truth?
The writer has another bit that's insightful: He says the case is at "the intersection of two different, and often contrary, strands of liberalism – the dual thrusts towards benign state intervention and increased personal liberty."

3. Today on Greed Parade: Dr. Phil Buys $30 Million Recreation of the Alamo. I suspect he was inspired by Oprah's $50 million house.

4. I should study at the University of Pennsylvania: I admired Adolph Reed Jr.'s The limits of anti-racism and New Orleans - Undone by Neoliberalism, so I checked his bio and found he teaches at the U of P. Another professor there, Mary Frances Berry,  whose bio any anti-racist should admire, is equally clear-headed. Here's her comment at 'An iced tea party?':
Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.
5. Emma and I really dislike phones, so there's good news in Clive Thompson on the Death of the Phone Call: "This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging. And we don’t just have more options than we used to. We have better ones: These new forms of communication have exposed the fact that the voice call is badly designed. It deserves to die."