[links] Link salad goes back to the work week

Prom Time — A gay friend talks about proms then and now. Moving.

Politey-tighty-whities — The cutline on this photo cracked me up hard.

Islands in the stream: The extraordinary homemade dams holding back the Mississippi as desperate residents try to save their homes

Microsoft Wants to Rule the White Spaces — Not typography, networking.

Birds vs. planes — Darren Naish on the biology of bird strikes.

Serena Williams’ Patriarchal Bargain — Sigh.

Is Anti-White Bias a Problem?A new study says whites think discrimination against them is a bigger problem than anti-black bias. Is this surprising? Sadly, this is not surprising. Sigh.

Former Palin aide pens tell-all — I knew who Palin was before McCain ever nominated her, because her petty corruption and generally weird behavior was a fairly regular feature of the political news cycle, though never headlines. The initial, apparently reflexive rush of some progressive feminists to defend her staunchly baffled me; so does her continued popularity with the Republican base.

Presidential pronouns, one more timeLanguage Log on yet another weird conservative obsession with Obama. This reminds of the conservative outrage over the Obama ‘feet on the Oval Office desk’ photo a while back, which was in no wise tempered by the existence of a nearly identical Bush ‘feet on the Oval Office desk’ photo that had never bothered anyone. Not even liberals. Confidential to GOP in America: all the manufactured outrages make your genuine outrages a lot harder to take seriously.

Charlatans and Cranks — Paul Krugman on GOP policies and politics. As usual, he’s speaking from the reality-based wing of, erm, reality.

?otD: Do rainy days and Mondays always get you down?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (out of town lacrosse game)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (fitful)
Weight: 232.6
Currently (re)reading: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

5 thoughts on “[links] Link salad goes back to the work week

  1. Cora says:

    I guess it marks me as a European that I took one look at the Serena Williams photo and wondered, “Okay, so what’s all that fuss about? She’s not even nude.” Oh yes, and as a woman I don’t feel the least bit objectified by a photo of Serena Williams in lacy underwear behind a gauze curtain.

    This also reminds me of the time when Steffi Graf posed in fairly unremarkable swimwear for Sports Illustrated and Americans reacted as if she’d posed nude for Playboy, which baffled not just Steffi Graf but also pretty much every German commentator.

    Regarding the flood-protected homes near the Mississippi, I live in an area that historically suffered a lot of floods and many old farmhouses are built on top of an artificial hill, called “Warf”, to protect the house in case of flood.

    What also strikes me about the Mississippi photos is the absence of any sort of official aid workers. When one of the German rivers is experiencing a flood, the entire region is swarming with firefighters, helpers of the federal disaster relief organization THW, police officers, soldiers, volunteers, etc… repairing and reinforcing dykes. But there’s none of that on those photos. It’s great that people are helping themselves, but they shouldn’t have to.

    Never mind that the levees and dykes along the Mississippi are not in particularly good condition anyway, which is why floods keep happening. After Katrina, a flood help and pump unit of the German federal disaster relief organization THW was deployed to New Orleans and were horrified to discover that the pumps, which were supposed to keep the city dry, were museum pieces from 19th century. The levees were a joke, too.

    Low taxes are fine, but not investing in vital infrastructure such as dykes and levees is a spectacularly bad idea.

    1. Cora says:

      It’s also worth noting that in parts of Germany that are at risk of flooding, i.e. the entire coast and the shores of major rivers, home and property owners are legally required to pay a dyke fee to pay for the upkeep of dykes, levees, pumps, etc…

      1. Jay says:

        An American conservative would call that socialism and proclaim instead their self-reliance. We have two entire generations who have convinced themselves that they don’t need the government.

        1. Cora says:

          Well, if they prefer losing their homes and drowning, that’s their prerogative. Though it’s not just conservatives who are drowning, not even in Mississippi. I still find it sad that people would rather endanger lives and property, including their own, rather than pay taxes.

          Never mind that the US has enough money to sustain a seriously bloated military, expensive wars of questionable use and an extensive prison system. Wouldn’t that money do much more good maintaining the infrastructure, protecting lives and property from natural and manmade disasters (and how sad is it anyway that the US had to request a German disaster relief team to pump New Orleans dry?) as well as investing in education and healthcare?

          1. Jay says:

            You are absolutely preaching to the choir here…

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