Links, glorious links

•You may have heard about colony collapse disorder, the disease killing off bees. It’s getting worse.
Microsoft locks a man out of all his cloud, email and other services, and won’t explain.
•Dan Froomkin looks at the latest reports on U.S. torture and worries that with no effort to prosecute or prevent it, it’ll happen again. On the plus side, Gen. McChrystal talks about realizing torture is a dead-end street.
•Just how long does Apple’s Siri digital assistant keep data? And what can Apple (or the NSA or the FBI) do with it?
•Minnesota right-to-lifers object to putting a bust of the late Supreme Court Justice and Minnesotan Harry Blackmun in the capitol building because he was one of the justices in Roe vs. Wade.
•Housing prices are up, but is it just another bubble? In Florida, for instance, as many as 70 percent of home sales may be investors looking to resell at a profit.
•Now here’s a bizarre argument. The proper, manly way to deal with events like the Boston bombing is violently—sure, maybe we get a few more people killed that way, but it’s manly! I’m not even sure how this applies to a non-hostage situation like Boston, but alicublog gives this the mockery it deserves.
•America deserves the criticism it gets for supporting Guatemalan genocide. But we’re not alone—Israel helped train the Guatemalan forces too.
•You may remember reading about the collapse of a factory in Bangladesh earlier this year. In response to arguments that Bangladeshis are making a rational choice—they compromise on safety in return for jobs—Hullabaloo rips into the “rational actor” assumption that everyone has the knowledge, options and time to make optimal choices: “the biggest problem with this worldview is the failure to recognize that human life and dignity are drearily cheap on the open market. Absent laws to prevent such exploitation, the open market looks like Dickensian England: abundant child labor, eighty hour work weeks, mass immiseration, horrific discrimination, and a host of other evils.
•The Supreme Court is supposed to decide this month on a case asking whether it’s possible to patent a naturally occurring human gene. Bloomberg looks at the potential fallout if the Supremes say no.
•Speaking of genes, Peru is now the first country in this hemisphere to ban GMOs.
•In the Bronx, court delays can run as much as five years before the accused sees his or her “speedy trial.”
•I’m not surprised to find a conservative pundit arguing that instead of teaching kids to analyze and criticize arguments, we need to work harder teaching them to take things on faith.
•Digby ponders the dangers of our government believing dangerous people should be imprisoned even if we can’t convict them.
•I like The Americans, FX’s new TV show. According to Jonah Goldberg, I obviously haven’t realized how a show about Communist spies working against America and infiltrating the civil rights movement undercuts all my beliefs.
To which I would say a)it’s fiction. b)the fact Communists spied on us and that there were Communists active in the civil rights movement is not new to me, and as I’m not a dedicated Stalinist, it doesn’t bother me in the least. Hell, one of the best things you can say about Communists is that they supported civil rights when nobody else did. In contrast to which, the right wing loathed Martin Luther King until he died and then they could start saying nice things about him. Some would still rather cuss him out.

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5 Comments

Filed under economics, Politics

5 responses to “Links, glorious links

  1. The idea of companies owning the human genome just sounds like a bad idea. But suddenly I have the urge to write a short story where consumers have the legal right to sue the company that owns the patents to cancer genes for free healthcare for providing a “defective product with known, life-threatening hazards” …

  2. frasersherman

    :)
    And the word is out: Patents on natural genes are invalid (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/13/supreme-court-dna-ruling_n_3435274.html).

  3. A win for common sense! Yay!

    • frasersherman

      Yes. Given patent rules specifically reject patenting natural projects, patenting a natural gene has always been a stretch.

  4. Pingback: And more links (gotta clear out those bookmarks!) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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