links for 2010-02-16

  • "The impenetrable stupidity of Sarah Palin knows no boundaries. She wallows in mediocrity. Palin is the queen bee of a cult of personality where to be anti-intellectual is a trait to be rewarded. Ultimately, she presides over a confederacy of dunces."
  • Although Aboriginal people account for only about 4 percent of Canada's adult population, they represent 20 percent of the total federal offender population, according to the Office of the Correctional Investigator…That overrepresentation is even more dramatic among Aboriginal women.
    Complicated by a variety of factors, including poverty, social exclusion, substance abuse and discrimination, Aboriginal women account for 33 percent of federally-sentenced female offenders, the Office of the Correctional Investigator said.
  • [This National Guard] Ad is from a 1973 issue of Jet. Spend just one weekend a month with the Guard and earn about $40 "for clothes, good times, or anything you want." Like a fly pair of Adidas Superstars, luggage, or a "Monroe" album—which looks an awful lot like a certain Jimi Hendrix album.
  • After several racist killings in the civil rights era, a group of black psychiatrists sought to have extreme bigotry classified as a mental disorder. The association's officials rejected the recommendation, arguing that because so many Americans are racist, even extreme racism in this country is normative—a cultural problem rather than an indication of psychopathology…
    To continue perceiving extreme racism as normative and not pathologic is to lend it legitimacy. Clearly, anyone who scapegoats a whole group of people and seeks to eliminate them to resolve his or her internal conflicts meets criteria for a delusional disorder, a major psychiatric illness.
  • “My question is why do you not concentrate on this nation’s poor,” he asked. “Yes, Africa suffers, but you need to look in your own house first.”…But do we really need to say that we can’t address suffering in Congo or Haiti, or anywhere else, because we have our own needs?…
    Sometimes it’s said that women and children bear the brunt of the brutality in Congo. That’s not quite right; a United Nations official estimates that the population here in South Kivu Province is 55 percent female because so many men have been executed. Women are less likely to be killed but more likely to be tortured.
  • A college senior studying Arabic says he was wrongly detained for almost five hours last summer after an airport screener found his Arabic-English flash cards and a book critical of U.S. foreign policy…Nicholas George, 22, a senior at Pomona College in California…says he was handcuffed and "abusively interrogated" by authorities at Philadelphia International Airport.
  • Supporter Tom Iron says the group hopes to have at least 600 signatures by next Wednesday to present to the Tribal Council…Under a lawsuit settlement with the NCAA, the state Board of Higher Education and UND agreed to begin retiring the Fighting Sioux nickname on Nov. 30 if they could not obtain permission from the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes to continue using it.
  • "Katharine Darrow, then general counsel, talked of different discrimination complaints brought against the paper by minority and by female employees. Both cases were settled, but the dynamics were very different: "I always felt in the women's case that it was like a divorce or a custody proceeding. It was really a family being rent asunder … There wasn't any of that in the minorities' case. And I suppose it's for a simple reason. There were so few minorities, so few longstanding preexisting relationships …the gap was too wide." Boyd never quite bridged that gap. After he died, I went to two memorial services—one attended mostly by blacks, the other attended largely by whites, including most of the brass of the Times."
  • "Eleven minutes after Israel announced its independence in 1948, President Harry Truman recognized the new state, and American support has been crucial to -Israel's survival and a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy ever since. But as Washington's focus has shifted toward Iraq and Afghanistan, and as President Obama has begun new overtures toward moderate Arab states such as Egypt, some are questioning whether that policy still serves the national interest. Should the U.S. step back from its special relationship with Israel? That was the topic of last week's Intelligence Squared U.S. debate at New York University."
  • "Meghan McCain said Tancredo's statements represented "innate racism." "And I think it's why young people are turned off by this movement," she said. "And I'm sorry [but] revolutions start with young people. Not with 65-year-old people talking about literacy tests and people who can't say the word 'vote' in English. It's ridiculous."
  • "Since 1975, the share of Latino freshmen at four-year colleges who choose schools more than 50 miles from home has risen to nearly 59% from about 46%, and the share who attend such colleges within 10 miles of home dropped to 15% from 30%, according to a study by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute. At the same time, the proportion of white freshmen who went away to school stayed unchanged, at about 66%."