links for 2011-01-19

  • "The map’s detail is astounding. Every single county in half the country is shown in various shades of light and dark depending on the number of slaves. The darker the county, the more slaves it had. Each jurisdiction is named and the exact percentage of the enslaved population within it is given. At first, I thought that this relic from before the world I knew had nothing to do with me. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the distance between me and the map was far less than expected."
  • "Those numbers aren’t exactly breaking news in the black community. Over the years there have been useless attempts to blame the epidemic’s spread on the so-called 'down low' — men who have sex with both men and women, but don’t identify as gay. Last summer Kai Wright wrote about how researchers have consistently disproved the theory, but that hasn’t stopped influential folks in the black community like comedian D.L Hughley from continuing to trumpet. Meanwhile, issues like a woman’s access to preventative health care, the staggering cost of medication, and skyrocketing infection rates among black men who do identify as gay or bisexual have gotten comparatively less attention. Also, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control show that HIV in poor neighborhoods in the U.S. are of similar intensity as those in poor nations globally."
  • "The majority opinion, written by Judge Patrick E. Higgenbotham, attacked the state's admission guarantee based on class rank, known as the 'Top 10 Percent Law,' as 'a blunt tool' of arguably questionable constitutionality. But a second judge, Carolyn Dineen King, refused in a concurring opinion to endorse Judge Higgenbotham's critique of the admissions guarantee, arguing that its wisdom and validity were not even considered by the court. And a third judge, Emilio M. Garza, issued a concurring opinion that heavily criticized the chief Supreme Court precedent the panel felt bound by in ruling in favor of Texas: the high court's 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision upholding the use of race-conscious admissions by the University of Michigan's law school.

    "In the short term, at least, the three judges' ruling has the effect of leaving intact a 2009 U.S. District Court decision dismissing the lawsuit, which had been brought by two white applicants that the university had rejected."

  • "The whole setup is incredibly paternalistic. Even though Off the Map is about 'ugly Americans' learning to be better human beings, it handles the subject in an ugly fashion. The great white doctor has all the answers; the people of color serve him as flunkies or patients.

    "The show's worldview is rooted in the early 20th century, when white missionaries and doctors were the only ones who could save the 'dark' regions of the world. It's an insult to all the Latino and Indian people in South America who are taking charge of their lives. Who don't need Americans to help them."

  • The Wall Street Journal strikes again…. –AP

    "Science, though, disputes Mr. Mak’s claims.

    “'Asian feet tend to be slightly broader in the forefoot and they have a lower arch profile,' says Hong Kong podiatrist Alexandra Duff, who has been practicing for 15 years. In fact, she says, about 80% of Asians are flat-footed — more than any other ethnic group.

    "Mr. Mak admits that he did not consult a podiatrist in making the mold. Instead, his research consisted of speaking with friends and customers. 'I have no interest in going into the technical aspects of making a shoe,' he says. The mold was also created from the casting of a single foot: that of business partner Teresa Wong, who he says has very high arches."