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Links With Your Coffee - Thursday


  • TIME GOES BY | Retro Talk or Dumbing Down
    Wall Street disaster, I was met with blank stares when I said that trying to find an honest man in lower Manhattan these days made one feel like Diogenes.

    At another dinner a couple of decades ago, a friend who is a well-known cartoonist, told me he'd had a cartoon rejected by the humor editor of a major magazine because, said the editor, these days no one knows who Sisyphus was.

    I'm hardly a scholar of ancient Greece and I've been known to confuse Roman writers with Greek ones, but shorthand references to Diogenes and Sisyphus are common enough – and have been for about 3,000 years – that they should be recognizable in general conversation or a joke.

  • Our President Can Read
    Barack Obama reads Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things are to a group of kids on Easter. Unlike that other guy, buddywhatshisfacewarcriminal, whose favourite book was the monosyllabic Hop on Pop and who could barely follow a script, Obama can not only choose a decent kids book, he can read it upside down.

  • Fan cries foul over Yankee Stadium ejection - (tip to Josh)
    A baseball fan who says he was ejected from Yankee Stadium by police after he left his seat to use the bathroom during the playing of “God Bless America” sued the New York Yankees and the city on Wednesday.

    Bradford Campeau-Laurion says in his federal lawsuit his rights were violated at an Aug. 26 game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox when he tried to pass a police officer.

    The lawsuit said the officer did not let him take a step before grabbing his right arm and twisting it behind him. It said two officers marched him down several ramps to the stadium’s exit, where he was pushed out as one officer told him to leave the country if he didn’t like it.

  • Great American Detox / Which is better: To be rich 'n' slothful, or lean 'n' panicky?

  • The Satirical Political Report - An Offbeat Look at the Hot-Button Issues of the Day » Even Some ‘Broken Goldbergs’ Are Right Twice a Lifetime

  • Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Megachurch Uses Police to Out Critical Blogger's Identity

  • Rationally Speaking: Faith and Reason
    One of the constantly bewildering aspects of living on planet Earth is the assumption that most human beings seem to make that faith (usually, but not necessarily, the religious variety) is a virtue. This bizarre attitude — just to add insult to injury — often comes coupled with the equally strange idea that somehow too much reason is bad for you. Why?

  • Religious Right Censors’ Worst Nightmare: Why We’ll Miss Judith Krug | The Wall of Separation

  • Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog: More Strangeness about Philosophy in the NY TimesThis time from Kristof, who is certainly not the most intellectually feeble of their columnists, and he usually seems a humane and well-intentioned person. So perhaps professional philosophers need to think a bit about why stuff like this constitutes the public perception of the field. Writing about the movement in recent decades towards more humane treatment of animals, Kristof notes:

    [T]he movement is also the product of a deep intellectual ferment pioneered by the Princeton scholar Peter Singer.

    Professor Singer wrote a landmark article in 1973 for The New York Review of Books and later expanded it into a 1975 book, “Animal Liberation.” That book helped yank academic philosophy back from a dreary foray into linguistics and pushed it to confront such fascinating questions of applied ethics as: What are our moral obligations to pigs?



On "Fan Cries Foul Over Yankee Stadium Ejection" - wow!

Is this North Korea? If this story is true, I think we have some serious questions to ask ourselves as a nation. We place an inordinate amount of pride in the "freedom" the U.S. affords us, but if we read this story as happening in another country, our reaction might be "what authoritarians!!!"


Could it be that the police took the opportunity to snag a drunken jerk when he happened to walk by instead of in his seat where other fans could get hurt?

Perhaps. But I'd place my money more on this:

Only the Yankees continue to play “God Bless America” at every home game. They are also the only ones to use chains to prevent fans from moving during both songs, which concerns some civil liberties advocates.

Howard J. Rubenstein, the spokesman for the Yankees’ principal owner, George Steinbrenner, said the policy was an expression of patriotism.


“The fans were telling us it was a disgrace that when the song was being sung people were not observing it with a moment of silence,” Trost said.

Trost said Steinbrenner was presented with the fan complaints and agreed to a plan to restrict movement. By mid-October 2001, he said, the Yankees’ implemented a system using off-duty uniformed police officers, ushers, stadium security personnel and the aisle chains to restrict movement. The Yankees pay the city to use police officers as part of the security detail.

Thanks for that link, Erick. Further evidence that we are required to celebrate our freedom by doing what we're told.

The irony is that 'God Bless America' was written by an Atheist.

I've heard this from a few people who have been to the Stadium. Of course, they obeyed and waited for that infernal voice to stop shrieking and then were let out. It's happened at Shea too.

Of course, now, at $200 a ticket (for the cheaper seats!) in the new park, you'll need a juicy out-of-court settlement just to pay for a season ticket. I haven't been back to YS in some 5 years, just can't afford it. There's a AA team here in Brooklyn with a great new stadium at Coney Island and the prices are very easy to bear. But the big league situation will only get worse -- here in NYC, Steingrabber and Doublenight each have a billion or so to get back from their new parks. Maybe they can go to Geithner and say, "hey, we're too big to fail..."


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