Better reading?

I added a new link to the blogroll earlier today. Dan Froomkin’s White House Watch, from makes for good reading if political news is your thing.

Of course, I managed to get the link up as Mr. Froomkin heads off for a short break. He’ll be back on June 2.

Yeah. That’s my bad. Anyway, check out recent columns on Karl Rove, Bush’s recent dust-up with NBC, or the president’s wartime sacrifice. Or just drop the feed into your favorite viewer.

Or don’t. Not my business, I guess.

Pig what? (Basketball and the decline of empires)

The decline of an empire is something that, in history, seems very apparent. Few if any omens have been persuasive enough to shake the people awake. Rome still fell. And life goes on.

    Argument One: The Seattle SuperSonics are preparing to leave town and it is only, really, after it is too late to do anything substantive and dignified about it that people are starting to panic. 

    Argument Two: People are starting to panic.

    Argument Three: The lawsuit attempting to keep the team in Seattle through the end of its lease is already a disaster, involving accusations of bad faith and suspicions of Machiavellian cabals.

    Argument Four: The current owners of the basketball team have filed a motion asking that two witnesses—radio host Mitch Levy and author Sherman Alexie—be barred from testifying.

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Psychologist needed: Ownership culture run amok

There is nothing like the perversity of prudish sexual obsession to shake off the doldrums after a couple of unproductive weeks. When you make the mistake of laughing so hard that your daughter asks you what’s up, and, well, she’s five years old, it’s not like you really want to explain the joke at this point. So you end up saying something mitigating. I came up with, “Silly people. Silly people.”

Let us hop back a few years to Le’a Kent’s examination of homophobia and politics, called “‘Abnormal, Wrong, Unnatural and Perverse:’ Taking the Measure (9) of the Closet“, written in the wake of the Oregon Citizens’ Alliance failed 1992 effort to institutionalize Christian bigotry in that state. Ms. Kent quoted Judith Butler:

Elsewhere in her discussion of Helms’s legislation, Butler delineates the same slide from homosexuality to pedophilia to sadomasochism that informs Measure 9:

Courtney McAlpin, 14, of Minneapolis, listens as her father, Steve, reads a pledge in which he vows to protect her sexual and moral purity.  (Photo by Kevin Moloney for The New York Times)“The exploitation of children” comes [immediately after sadomasochism in the text of Helms’s legislation], at which point I begin to wonder: what reasons are there for grouping these three categories together? Do they lead to each other, as if the breaking of one taboo necessitates a virtual riot of perversion? Or is there, implicit in the sequencing and syntax of this legal text, a figure of the homosexual, apparently male, who practices sadomasochism and preys on young boys, or who practices sadomasochism with young boys, a homosexuality which is perhaps defined as sadomasochism and the exploitation of children? Perhaps this is an effort to define restrictively the sexual exploiter of children as the sadomasochistic male homosexual in order, quite conveniently, to locate the source of child sexual abuse outside the home, safeguarding the family as the unregulated sexual property of the father?

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