Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Read and Discuss

I need to step entirely away from the blogosphere today and get some backlogged work done. A pity since so much is happening. Before I go, some suggested reading for the day.

If you have an insatiable need for blogosphere reaction to the Paul Hackett/Bob Bennett flap, Buckeye Senate Blog has a rundown. An insight into the blogging life: I finished my post around 1130, then worked on posts about Intelligent Design and Rod Parsley (neither of which is done yet, dammit) and packed it in around 12:20. Before turning in, I checked around and found out that BSB already had my comment linked. There is Something Very Wrong with us.

Bill Callahan has a post about what the coal industry could do to make deep coal mining safer. Meticulously researched, intelligently argued, passionately written, it's the very best post-Sago Mine essay I have seen in any medium. One measure of a great post is the IWIWT Factor -- "I Wish I Wrote That." (Could also be called the Oscar Wilde Factor.) Callahan routinely averages an IWIWT of around 8, but this is a ten.

Buried in today's Washington Post (via Slate's Today's Papers) is a tragic story about an Ohio soldier who apparently was killed by friendly fire from Polish troops in 2004. The Bush Administration and the military were less than diligent in pursuing the truth:

Family members say they were not told Jesse was killed by "friendly fire," though the Army later said they were. They did not know that Polish soldiers with Jesse's unit may have fired the fatal shot and that his death had the potential to cause a rift with a coalition partner right before the 2004 presidential election.

The New York Times published a long, disturbing piece about how East Asians are highly susceptible to developing Type 2 Diabetes when exposed to the American diet. Perhaps not disturbing to most of you, but as a father of an Asian child with a ferocious sweet tooth, let me tell you Prof. W and I have talked about little else.

I've been meaning to do a follow-up to my previous posts on the telecom industry lobbying against local government wi-fi networks springboarding off a piece in The Washington Monthly about the US lagging behind Asia in access to broadband internet. At first I was skeptical about the fears expressed of losing competitiveness as a result of not having broadband -- in every office I've worked in, access to the internet hasn't exactly enhanced productivity. But then the Columbus Dispatch ran a story a week ago Sunday about farmers missing business opportunities for want of access to broadband. And today's Beacon Journal runs a story about hosptals setting up wi-fi networks. And no, I'm not much impressed by a Heartland Institute study finding that public sector investment is "unwarranted." Heartland Institute research "discovering" something like that is Dog Bites Man territory.

Speaking of this month's Washington Monthly, don't miss the profile of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga -- the Kos in DailyKos.

I've been meaning to veer off-topic and write on the James "Million Little Lies" Frey saga. I may still enter the frey to tease out some Big Ideas, but in the meantime, Seth Mnookin -- who knows from hardcore drug addiction himself -- has a good piece on why it all matters.

Finally, a ZD Net piece on the Department of Homeland Security's grant program to harden open-source software leads to yet another discussion of the government and the internet.

The comments field is yours. See you all tonight.