links for 2011-01-24

  • "If you’ve paid attention to MIA from the start, you know her rebel tale has always had hairline cracks. But her intentions are true. And the fact is, in America, for a young, politically minded pop icon, MIA’s still the best we've got. MIA forever sounds like a playground double-dutch session in the middle of the Matrix, and the album’s content mirrored her main narratives — the sometimes-unlawful transparency of an information society, the subjectivity of security cameras, the shameless profiteering of corporate war culture, global racism and oppression toward immigrants (often of color), the idea that we’re all being monitored at all times."
  • "Mr. Jethwa was one of millions of Indians who had embraced the country’s five-year-old Right to Information Act, which allows citizens to demand almost any government information. People use the law to stop petty corruption and to solve their most basic problems, like getting access to subsidized food for the poor or a government pension without having to pay a bribe, or determining whether government doctors and teachers are actually showing up for work."
  • "Among the biggest, of course, is: What story will it tell? As part of the Smithsonian, the museum bears the burden of being the 'official' — that is, the government’s — version of black history, but it will also carry the hopes and aspirations of African-Americans. Will its tale be primarily one of pain, focused on America’s history of slavery and racial oppression, and memorializing black suffering? Or will it emphasize the uplifting part of the story, highlighting the richness of African-American culture, celebrating the bravery of civil rights heroes and documenting black 'firsts' in fields like music, art, science and sports? Will the story end with the country’s having overcome its shameful history and approaching a state of racial harmony and equality? Or will the museum argue that the legacy of racism is still dominant — and, if so, how will it make that case?"
  • "In the 2008-09 fiscal year, aboriginal convicts made up a whopping 71% of all admissions to provincial institutions. And while the statistics are particularly grim in Manitoba, they point to a larger national trend.

    From 1998 to 2008, the aboriginal population in federal prisons increased by nearly 20%, according to a Public Safety Canada report."

  • "Zead Ramadan, president of CAIR's New York board, said he raised the matter with police commissioner Ray Kelly when he saw him at a Gracie Mansion celebration of Eid, the Muslim holy day. 'I told him we'd had this report about a disturbing movie being shown to police officers. The commissioner seemed concerned, but said he knew nothing about it, that a consultant company handled that part of the training. I said, 'You should review who your consultants are because this is potentially damaging to the city.' He said he would take care of it.'

    "As it happens, Kelly is one of those seen interviewed in The Third Jihad, although he appears to be there just so movie makers can invoke his name and authority."