As usual, a list of some of the things I’ve been reading lately. Please feel free to post comments about that stuff, or about anything else you’d like to discuss. Also, if you have a blog post (by yourself or someone else) you’d like to point out, or any other interesting links, please do so.
Slavery In New York City
Prometheus 6 links to a fascinating New York Times article about the history of slavery in New York City. New York was a slave state until 1827 ; there may have been more slaves in New York City than in any other city in the country. New Yorkers were reminded of this history recently when a mass slave grave was unearthed.
Someone In The Guardian’s Corrections Department Is Getting Grumpy
“In a Comment piece headed, We must not forget how war was won, page 22, May 7, we wrote of “the genocidal destruction of the Jewish and gypsy (sic) populations”. Gypsy takes a capital G. The stylebook says so: Gypsies u[pper]c[ase], recognised as an ethnic group under the Race Relations Act, as are Irish Travellers. The point has been made in corrections on the following occasions: December 7 1999; March 3 2000; May 4 2000; March 3 2001; July 25 2001; August 1 2001; September 1 2001; December 14 2001; February 19 2003; September 29 2004; March 3 2005.”
For some reason that really cracks me up. For many more entertaining corrections, check out Regret The Error’s amazing Crunks ’05: The Year In Media Errors and Corrections. Hat tip: Sivacracy.
From The Willamette Week
WWeek reports: “Perhaps Gov. Ted Kulongoski has heard the critics who knock his appointments to boards and commissions for skewing heavily white, male and insider. Kulongoski this week appointed a longtime insider, former state Sen. Neil Bryant (R-Bend), to the OHSU board, but don’t judge too hastily. Bryant comes to the position with a handicap, according to the form he filled out: In the ‘disability’ section, he listed ‘white/male.’”
Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked
Henry Jenkins (author of one of my favorite books, Cultural Poachers) debunks claims that video games cause violence, are played only by boys, etc. Hat tip: Shrub.com.
Carnival of Bent Attractions
“The Carnival of Bent Attractions will be published monthly and is made up of submitted blog posts on articles of interest to the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, trans and queer communities.” (Hat tip: Happy Feminist.)
On Once Having Been A Cute Girl
Well-written, sensitive post at Happy Feminist discussing the pros and cons of being conventionally attractive.
Ethical Dilemmas for Newbie Prosecutors
Happy Feminist tells an interesting story from her first job as a prosecutor, when her boss ordered her to act unethically.
Happy Feminist’s Summary of Oral Arguments in the Ayotte Case
Gee, seems like y’all could just skip “Alas” and go read Happy Feminist, from the way I’m linking to her! In this post, she provides an interesting discussion of the Oral arguments in the Ayotte case (which is an abortion case before the Supreme Court this term).
“Insufficiently Traumatized” Case Could Encourage Prosecutors To Bring Weak Cases To Court
Mark Kleinman makes a point I hadn’t considered about the “Insufficiently Traumatized” false rape allegation case. “The case was brought, not by the District Attorney who declined to prosecute the three men, but by the City Attorney’s office. The DA reportedly decided, not that the report was false, but that a conviction was unobtainable. That’s what a good prosecutor does, even if he thinks a crime might have been committed.
“But if a declination paints a target on the complainant’s back, every prosecutor in a sexual assault unit will be under pressure from the complainant and her friends to go ahead with a weak case, just to protect the witness.”
Racism in the Porn Industry
Although it wasn’t Flea’s main point, I thought the discussion of racism and porn in this post was particularly interesting. Be sure to read the footnote, too.
Abortion and Mental Distress: Not Clear-Cut
Shakespeare’s Sister has a typically excellent post discussing a recent study which attempted to find evidence that abortion causes long-term mental distress.