Link farm and open thread: Noseface edition

  1. Above: A drawing from my sketchbook. Click to see it bigger.
  2. I highly recommend this long article on corruption in US politics by Ezra Klein, reviewing a book by Larry Lessig and talking about the problem with money, lobbyists and politics (and it’s not bribery).
  3. And after that, you might want to read this response by Lessig.
  4. 1902′s Women of the Future Trading Cards
  5. Obama, Black Voters, and Same-Sex Marriage
  6. Icelandic Anger Led To The Government Helping People, Not Banks
  7. I really admire this political cartoon by David Horsey — but it would be twice as good if he’d left the second word balloon out entirely.
  8. Why the prison system has become The New Jim Crow.
  9. What U.S. Politicos Can Learn from Denmark: Shorter campaigns, ban TV campaign ads. Of course, that would probably require a constitutional amendment.
  10. Home Care Workers: Underpaid, Uncared For
  11. Being in Congress Sucks These Days: Why we should bring earmarks back
  12. Birtherism Is the Least of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Sins – Conor Friedersdorf – Politics – The Atlantic
  13. Homophobic Neighbors can be Bad for Home Values | Dollars and Sex | Big Think
  14. In 2008, Fox News Explained—Accurately!—That Presidents Can’t Lower The Price of Gasoline. Of course, Democrats blamed the President back then.
  15. Imminent Iran nuclear threat? A timeline of warnings since 1979. – CSMonitor.com
  16. How to Grow the Economy in One Easy Step
  17. “Any writer will admire a good sentence. Sentences can lilt, and drift, and settle lightly down. Sentences punch. Sentences thrust, and parry. Sentences can extend out past the point at which they might reasonably have been expected to end, bending under the weight of first one dependent clause, then another, tiring the reader out, making her wonder when the line will end, but not, perhaps, without hope that the exercise will deliver some point, however small — some perception or image that will arrive, at the very end, like, say, a caramel apple. Who would argue that the form of the sentence should not help deliver the sentence’s meaning?” – Tom Piazza, via the blog Attempts

  18. And finally, some cool videos about spiders and pigs (but oddly, not about Charlotte and Wilber):

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9 Responses to Link farm and open thread: Noseface edition

  1. 1
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Another book about corruption: Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer. Subtitle: How politicians and their friends get rich off insider stock tips, land deals, and cronyism that would send the rest of us to prison.

    I haven’t read it yet, so no further comments.

    The Lessig book reminds me of a bit I remember approximately from Ayn Rand: There’s no objective way to decide what (for example) a sugar subsidy should be, so politicians make their decisions by what “friends” suggest to them.

  2. 2
    Robert says:

    There’s an objective way to determine the proper subsidy, if you think that amount is “zero”.

    “Nothing for anyone! Starve, you lazy fucks!” may be harsh, but at least it doesn’t single anybody out.

  3. 3
    Jake Squid says:

    I don’t think you understand the difference between subjective and objective. Objective is not, “what Robert thinks is correct.” Or, perhaps, I have no idea what those words mean.

  4. 4
    Robert says:

    If you think that all subsidies should be zero, then you have an objective formula for applying subsidies:

    1) Write a zero in the box.

    To have varying subsidies for different things, requires subjective judgment. If I love X and hate Y, subjectively I may want to subsidize X heavily and give Y nothing. If, however, I am precommitted to a no-subsidy policy, then I do not need to subjectively evaluate the various causes coming a-begging; it’s zero for everybody. I love X and I hate Y and I treat them exactly the same: no dollars for you.

    That doesn’t mean “Bob is correct”. Bob might be totally wrong. It might turn out that government subsidies are the thin margin keeping life going, and if we do it Bob’s way everyone will die in a fire.

  5. 5
    B. Adu says:

    Making no distinction between the value of things is only objective if they all have exactly the same qualities and effects.

    There’s no objective way to decide what (for example) a sugar subsidy should be, so politicians make their decisions by what “friends” suggest to them.

    This doesn’t scan either.

  6. 6
    Stephen Frug says:

    I swear that I was already thinking this a cool link farm before I saw that reprinting of the Piazza quote. :)

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    Apparently consent, once given, cannot be revoked even by dissolution of a partnership.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/07/us/massachusetts-husband-childcare/index.html?iref=obnetwork

    Are they crazy?

  8. 8
    Eytan Zweig says:

    Robert – assuming the article is correct, that’s not a fair assessment of the situation. The man gave his consent a full year *after* the dissolution of the relationship, and did not revoke it before the conception happened. He wasn’t contesting the child support on the grounds of the consent having been revoked, but on the grounds of it being given under duress. Since the article does not give any further information on that claim, it’s impossible to assess whether he was given a fair treatment or not.

  9. 9
    Robert says:

    Yeah, I misread that pretty badly. I smart, I goed kolege.

    Looking further, it does seem to be a weird case all around. Here’s a much better report.
    http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/20220307court_rules_man_must_support_kids_despite_pact_with_ex-wife/