links for 2011-02-19

  • If the woman can’t tell how it happened, than those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it. [snip] We last heard from Franklin two weeks ago when he said that repealing DADT was the same as allowing drug dealers to join the military. Franklin has also sponsored a bill requiring Georgia to transact all its business in gold and silver coins, as is stipulated by the Constitution.
    The bit I find amazing is that people like this are repeatedly elected in the US. He’s clearly nuts!!
  • Echofon, which I use to read tweets inside Firefox, is on this list, but is still working at the moment. Just as well, it’s a pain to have to read them via a webpage.
  • “I always assumed that, when properly designed studies were carried out, we would find ecstasy does not cause brain damage,” said Professor David Nutt, who was fired as chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs by Alan Johnson, then home secretary, for publicly stating alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than ecstasy.
    Ah but you see ecstasy producers don’t make large donations to political parties, David!
  • The politics of fear.
  • This is really starting to heat up… It’s strange that with a Democrat as president, the Republican and Tea Party thing is so strong in Wisconsin that liberals (as usual I add the caveat that “liberal” in the US means centre or centre-right in Europe) are protesting against the opposition. Also see this story on the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/20/us/politics/20wisconsin.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
  • The pro-government Al-Zahf al-Akhdar newspaper warned that the government would “violently and thunderously respond” to the protests, and said those opposing the regime risked “suicide”.
    You couldn’t make it up could you? Well, George Orwell could I suppose.
  • I find myself paralysed at the very thought. It’s no coincidence that Israel has planted settlements on most of the good water areas of Gaza and the West Bank… Water wars are not too many years away.
  • A motorcyclist has died in a collision with a car in Lackagh Co Galway. [snip] The collision occurred around 4.30pm 13 miles outside Galway city on the Galway to Tuam Rd.
    Anyone who was out that way, let the police know.
  • Several leading Hollywood actresses have come out in recent years, from Amber Heard, star of Pineapple Express, to Lindsay Lohan and Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon, but their decision still often coincides with a tacit acceptance they may no longer be leading-lady material. Meredith Baxter, the star of the sitcom Family Ties, announced she was gay live on television, while Kelly McGillis, the leading lady in Witness and Top Gun, came out on SheWired.com, one of the largest lesbian-oriented websites in America. “I am done with the man thing,” McGillis said. “I did that and need to move on in life.”
    Yes, but these are all women who have (in all fairness) been through the top of their career curve already. It would not so easy for a young actress to come out if it’s likely to cut her off from landing the straight 99.9% of female roles. And likewise for the men.
  • Emboldened by their 2010 midterm election victory and swelled by Tea Party-backed newcomers, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives signed off on federal spending cuts worth $61bn. The axe will fall on federal money for public broadcasting, environmental programmes, Obama’s healthcare reforms and the family planning organisation Planned Parenthood.
    Come on Obama , use that veto! The Repubes have demonstrated repeatedly that they are not interested in bipartisanship… if you proposed a free gun for every family in the US they’d vote against it!
  • Niall Ferguson is one of the world’s leading historians, but his pro-colonial views have been heavily criticised. Here, he explains why he’s now targeting a younger audience.
    Because the rest of us are mortally tired of him?  I read Colossus – in small doses; it’s far too dense to be read all in one go – and I enjoyed it. But are historians supposed to report history rather than use it to prop up their own political agendas?  I didn’t finish the second book, Empire, and I won’t be starting a third. I’d rather read Martin Gilbert any day.
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~ by Lynn Duffy on February 20, 2011.

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