Some stuff Ampersand is reading today

  • First and foremost, go read Nathan Newman on the Minimum Wage: Why the Minimum Wage Beats EITC, the Popularity of Raising the Minimum Wage to $8 an Hour, How the Minimum Wage Increases Employment, Who Pays for the Minimum Wage?, Why Job Losses from the Minimum Wage Don’t Matter, and Politics of the Minimum Wage. Nathan’s one of the best bloggers in the lefty half of blogtopia; reading all these posts will take only a few minutes, and leave you feeling well-armed and ready for your next lunchtable debate about minimum wage laws.

  • In an earlier post, I wondered if George Bush has to consciously restrain himself from sneering and spitting every time he’s introduced to a soldier. Reading this snippet from Greg Palast made me wonder that again: the Bush administration is changing the laws for who is considered a “professional” for purposes of calculating eligibility for overtime. One change: if you learned your job skill in the military, you’re now a “professional.” In practice, what that means is that thousands of veterans will suddenly no longer be paid overtime, no matter how many hours their bosses make them work. Way to support the troops, Republicans!
  • Whiskey Bar has a good – albeit depressing – series of links and posts about the growing oppression of women in Iraq. Here’s one quote, from Iraqi blogger Riverbend:
    Females can no longer leave their homes alone. Each time I go out, E. and either a father, uncle or cousin has to accompany me. It feels like we?ve gone back 50 years ever since the beginning of the occupation …

    We are seeing an increase of fundamentalism in Iraq which is terrifying.

  • Speaking of Riverbend, she’s (or rather her “girl blog from Iraq,” Baghdad Burning) is the newest addition to my blogroll. Go read her blog; she’s a wonderful writer and paints a vivid picture of life in occupied Iraq. For a sample of how good she is, go read Road Trip.
  • And speaking of women’s rights in Iraq, check out this interesting Boston Globe article about Iraqi women’s rights activists. (Via Diotima).
  • An article on “The Dubious Rewards of Consumption” yields this quote (via Rebecca’s Pocket):
    For decades Lewis Lapham, born into an oil fortune, has been asking people how much money they would need to be happy. “No matter what their income,” he reports, “a depressing number of Americans believe that if only they had twice as much, they would inherit the estate of happiness promised them in the Declaration of Independence. The man who receives $15,000 a year is sure that he could relieve his sorrow if he had only $30,000 a year; the man with $1 million a year knows that all would be well if he had $2 million a year….Nobody,” he concludes, “ever has enough.”
  • Mac Diva does a wonderful job attacking neo-Confederate arguments: check out this post defending Lincoln, and then scroll up to this post arguing that the Civil War was too about slavery.
  • I love people who resign in protest, don’t you? Seriously – somehow I’ve always found that sort of thing heroic. Anyhow, Susanna at Cut on the Bias has a story of a small-town restaurant reviewer who wouldn’t compromise journalistic ethics. Cool.
  • The definitive posts on Bustamante and MEChA have been written. Check out this post on Orcinus, which is valuable not just for the discussion of the at-hand issue but for the discussion of racism generally. And then check out this post, by Ted Barlow at Crooked Timber. Excellent, excellent work, folks. (Via Long Story; Short Pier). But you might also want to read this Volokh Conspiracy post, which begs to differ.
  • A couple of months ago, I did a post about my drawing process. Now that post seems embarrassingly primitive, because Jenn Manley Lee has posted a description of her drawing process, which is frankly scary. Jenn’s one of the best cartoonists on the web, and this post makes it clear that a ton of very hard work goes into making her stuff look so good.
  • Body and Soul discusses the latest pro-life efforts to make sure that no one who is working in China to reform China’s forced abortion policy will ever receive funding. I’ve blogged about this before, too: the fact is that UNFPA, the organization that some pro-lifers target, has actually reduced forced abortion in China – something that the hypocrites who attack UNFPA have not done. Apparently the idea of Chinese women having choice so infuriates some pro-lifers, they’d rather see them suffer from forced abortions. I’d really like to know how reasonable pro-life bloggers justify these pro-life attacks on UNFPA’s funding. Any comments, Eve? Or Sara?
  • I suspect that only a former (or current) comic book geek would enjoy this biography of Ant-Man (probably the lamest superhero ever, although I think Skateman comes a close second) as much as I did. But I enjoyed it a hell of a lot (I never realized just how many new costumes – not to mention nervous breakdowns – the poor guy had over the years). (Via Eve Tushnet).
  • Kieran Healy of Crooked Timber writes a terrific post regarding the economics of children and sex. He also discusses what I call the “Father Knows Best” economy – workplaces that assume that employees have a wife at home who will take care of all the necessary family tasks. Even if they don’t discriminate directly against women, workplaces that make this assumption are implicitly designing their jobs around outdated and sexist assumptions. Reforming the “Father Knows Best” workplace – so that all jobs assume that all workers have family responsibilities that must be accommodated – may be the single most important economic issue in the USA, from a feminist point of view.
  • The discussion of the study of rape at Air Force Academy continues at Feministe, with many useful (and distressing) links about rape on campus.
  • Do you desperately need a cigarette lighter, but all you have on-hand is some disposable silverware and some paper clips? Check out this page of prisoners’ inventions. (Via Boing Boing.)
  • An interesting post by an opponent of affirmative action, over at All Facts and Opinions. There’s also a longish post by me in the comments.
  • Eugene Volokh has an excellent post comparing anti-gay laws to hypothetical anti-Hindu laws; why is it that (some folks versions of) Christianity requires the former, but not the latter? It’s a mystery.
  • Mark Klieman has a good post discussing the economic realities that whoever eventually emerges as governor of California will have to address (even if they’re now desperately avoiding doing just that). And while you’re at Mark’s site, also check out this post on prosecutors who resist DNA evidence showing that innocent people have been imprisoned.
  • Playwright Brian Flemming, best known for the musical Bat Boy, has written a new one-act comedy called Fair & Balanced. There are sample pages available to read. Importantly, one of the play’s four characters is named “Ampersand”; it is therefore my opinion that this is the greatest work to hit the American stage since Death of a Salesman had its premiere. (Via Boing Boing.)
This entry posted in Economics and the like, Gender and the Economy, Link farms, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, UNFPA. Bookmark the permalink. 

5 Responses to Some stuff Ampersand is reading today

  1. 1
    --k. says:

    A) You need to put in your link to the Orcinus piece on MEChA, which coincidentally does a good enough job of addressing the points the Volokh (rightly enough) tags Barlow for flubbing–most notably, the Por La Raza slogan, which has been the occasion of some truly impressive dextral pretzel logic of late.

    B) My wife rocks with the cartooning, doesn’t she.

  2. 2
    John Isbell says:

    NB: Mark Kleiman. That’s right, it’s the dreaded quibble police!
    Ampersand: “In an earlier post, I wondered if George Bush has to consciously restrain himself from sneering and spitting every time he’s introduced to a soldier.”
    GWB’s grandfather financed Auschwitz, not just the 20-year financing of Hitler folks generally mention (google). GWB visited Auschwitz, like his dad. They nodded about how awful it was. These are men utterly at peace with their place in the universe. I don’t think he’d have a problem in a homeless shelter, nor strutting as a deserter in front of GIs returning from Iraq (the carrier stunt).

  3. 3
    Kevin Moore says:

    You should sue Brian Flemming for using your trademarked name. He’s obviously unstable and a C-list playwright.

  4. 4
    PinkDreamPoppies says:

    Some more stuff for Ampersand to read today:

    A collection of Dr. Seuss’s political cartoons from the 40’s. Find them here.

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