Monday, August 22, 2011

Linkstorm 8/22/11: The Most Fascinating News in the World

I stopped doing this awhile back, but a zillion interesting articles have accumulated on my computer in the past couple days and I feel like sharing them with everybody.

The most interesting thing has to be Warren Buffett's New York Times 8/15 op-ed (1) calling for-huh?-the unbelievably rich citizens of the U.S. to pay more in taxes. Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris had an interesting follow-up on his site (2), and linked back to a lengthier, more thoughtful piece on the inequality of wealth in the U.S. at present (3). Meanwhile, comedian Jon Stewart mounted his own defense of Buffett's claims (4).

Elsewhere on the New York Times site lurks a movie column containing the best description of Keanu Reeves I've ever seen (5), a rather astounding study showing that black scientists are less likely than white scientists to get funding from the National Institutes of Health (6) and the single best project ever, a $500,000 grant from DARPA to study the implications of sending humans to Alpha Centurai (7). Finally, The Fifth Down is a snooty but knowledgeable and thought-provoking football blog that I've only just come across (8).

Speaking of football, if you haven't perused the Yahoo! Sports investigation into Miami University's NCAA-illegal benefits, you absolutely should (9).

What else have we got? Vogue magazine has about the dozenth profile story I've seen on Jon Huntsman (photos by Annie Liebovitz of Washington Semester Program fame) (10), Charles Krauthammer has a damning but accurate column on Obama's leadership ability in the Washington Post (11) and the Post has a quick roundup of the idiotic things Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum have said lately (12). Bachmann gets a pass for hers; anybody can make a verbal slip, but is there a better way to scare independent voters like myself than to pooh-pooh evolution (Perry, 13) or link homosexuality with the failing economy (Santorum)? And in the most disquieting story of them all, the Washington Monthly reveals how an ex-Marine who pushed the deployment of armored personnel carriers in Iraq paid for it with his professional career (14). (If you're as outraged by that as I am, checking out The Pentagon Labyrinth (15) will really get your blood boiling.)

Coincidentally enough, one of the opinion pieces got its own blog post on Tisdel's Tirades, my mouthiness outlet to the Internet, the other day. The POLITICO op-ed, about the storage of nuclear waste, is here (16) and my take on it is here (17).

A few .pdfs for the road: The Progressive Policy Institute has published a study illustrating that it's easier to be an ideological nutcase than a moderate if you're running for office. It actually cost moderate House Democrats about twice as much as liberal Democrats to run their respective campaigns in 2010, as just one rather shocking example (18). In the "I'm Glad To Know Somebody Out There Is Thinking About This" department, a serious scenario analysis has been published on possible contact scenarios with extraterrestrial life (I haven't read all this yet, but by God I'm gonna) (19). And the 192-page snoozefest sure to interest only me, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future's draft report to the Department of Energy, is also something I'm working my way through (20).

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