They say its my birthday—

So I’m lying around and clearing up bookmarks instead of working.
•In light of yesterday’s discussion of the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, this report on tactics intelligence agencies consider useful online is eerily familiar. To discredit hackers, leakers and activists (as noted in the article, not necessarily anyone convicted or even charged), for example, they can lure them into compromising situations, send fake emails or set up fake blogs by their supposed victims.
•Corporations are also quite willing to launch smear campaigns against scientists whose work is inconvenient.
•Maine legislator Lawrence Lockman claimed some years ago that if it’s legal for women to abort, then it should be legal to rape them. Because after all, rape doesn’t kill anyone, unlike abortion. This, of course, makes no sense even if you believe abortion is murder unless you think rape is something uppity women have coming to them (he also describes rape as the perpetrator’s pursuit of “sexual freedom.”
•A basic guide to bitcoins. Here’s a critique of Newsweek’s Best Guess story on the identity of bitcoin’s creator.
•Bigotry based on religion is still bigotry.
•It’s legal in Massachusetts to take photos up a woman’s skirt.
•Why the Comcast/Time-Warner merger makes sense for them, but not for us.
•Bryan Caplan, who thinks women were better off before they got the vote or any other rights, also thinks poor people are by definition undeserving. And any senior who hasn’t made enough money to retire comfortably likewise deserves the consequences of becoming sick or old with no safety net. I find this personally objectionable, and also irrational: As Helaine Olen points out, most people simply can’t pull that off. Even people who do prepare and save can find themselves facing worse trouble than they can cope with (medical bills, loss of job, etc.). But as someone pointed out to me recently, a lot of libertarians desperately want to believe that capitalism is a moral system that spreads its rewards to the deserving. Even though it’s not true.
•A Nigerian writer/activist recommends women forget about the baggage and stereotypes associated with “feminist” and support the idea of feminism.
•Some rightbloggers gush over Putin’s manly ways in contrast to wimpy Obama.
•A teenager rapes a five-year-old and gets community service. The girl’s mother says the DA told her that’s because Boys Will Be Boys.
•Ohio doctors say a state anti-abortion law prevents them advising patients who need an abortion for medical reasons.
•Gay people? Terrorists? Same thing according to some anti-gay activists.
•Pat Robertson claims some Planned Parenthood clinics have a billion dollars in assets. It’s a lie. Funny, and I thought God had this thing about bearing false witness … Likewise a church manipulates sales of pastor Mark Driscoll’s book to get it on the bestseller list.
•The International Monetary Fund admits that inequality is bad for growth.
•Some papers aren’t giving up on print.
•A judge says some prosecutors are bending the law. Prosecutors denounce him as biased.
•A good discussion of cultural appropriation.
•LGM argues that no, Nixon did not give the left more than Obama has.
•A Tweeter asks women to recount what they were wearing when they were raped. Unsurprisingly, it’s not usually sexy clothes.
•No, the Texas economy is not a model for America to follow. For most people it’s actually worse than many less publicized, more liberal states, such as Vermont.
•This Ruthless World on making a public apology.
•An in-depth analysis of the workers who rejected unionizing at the new VW plant. It’s complex and the writer does a good job breaking it down.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

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