links for 2009-02-22

  • "One surefire way to panic the heck out of people is to mention nuclear bombs and radical Islam in the same sentence. I dunno about you, but I kinda had a mini-freakout when I read about the amount of enriched uranium the United Nations says that Iran has at its disposal for bomb making. It was hard not to, with the alarming headlines: the LA Times said "IRAN HAS ENOUGH FUEL FOR A NUCLEAR BOMB, REPORT SAYS"; the New York Times was a little more low-key: "IRAN HAS MORE ENRICHED URANIUM THAN THOUGHT." Coupled with our mostly ignorant, media-induced fear of all things Muslim, this was a briefly heart-stopping revelation. But as is true of any story told by any human being, it's the framing that counts. Both reports, in their xenophobia, downplayed the fact that the enriched uranium Iran possesses has only been enriched by 4% (reactor grade), while bomb-worthy uranium must be at least 85% enriched."
  • "The Bearcats finally have what DeFleur and Thirer have yearned for since ignoring a faculty senate vote and pushing the athletic program to Division I in 2001: a team talented enough to possibly reach the N.C.A.A. tournament.

    But how they got here, and whether it is all worth seeing Binghamtonâs name pop up on CBS on Selection Sunday, has led many on campus to wonder at what cost the university has pursued big-time menâs basketball."

  • "Eric Holderâs confrontational speech to members of the Justice Department on Wednesday spoke plainly and bluntly about the level of racial discourse in America. âThough this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot,â he said, âin things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.â However equivocal his windup, Holderâs line was a punch in the face to America. As top cop of the United States, itâs his job to play the disciplinarianâbut the lengthy admonition, given in honor of Black History Month, by the first African American attorney general, was the verbal equivalent to shock and awe."
  • "Do I think young people in college have sex and hook up? Of course.

    But I don't think that this means that there's some nefarious culture of wanton sexuality rampant across college campuses - at least, not any more than there ever was - and I don't think that the fact that young people have sex or are otherwise physically intimate with each other is necessarily a cause for concern.

    What I do think is cause for worry is the way that conservative and anti-women organizations, writers, and media makers are using this myth of a hook up culture to promote regressive values surrounding gender and to roll back women's rights."

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