BOULDER, Colorado -- We have been off for two weeks, meaning we missed informing you about two new holidays - Talk Like Shakespeare Day and Chechnya Is Totally Safe Day. Be sure to save this post and put them on your calendar next year.
CNN: My close friend Shylock introduced me to the bagel. In 2003 while attending the College Music Journal festival in New York City, I had a nervous breakdown while spending five hours looking for a parking space. This caused me to spend the next three days talking like Shakespeare, at least how I imagined he would talk. Which was a lot like Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars, and he was fascinated with "new technologies" of the Elizabethan era, like the inclined plane and the fulcrum. Now his birthday is dedicated to talking like him, in Chicago, for some reason.
Newsru.com: Mission Accomplished! The Russian government officially ended counter-terrorist combat operations in Chechnya, and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov is ready to party! The thug-in-chief is declaring April 16 an official holiday so that he can have his very own "Mission Accomplished" moment every year. Meanwhile, the north Caucasus continues to be a pretty violent place.
Boston Globe: Peering across the border, and back in time. In the aftermath of the arrest and indictment of two American journalists for straying into North Korea, these photos help illustrate how one might accidentally wander into the Hermit Kingdom; in many places the border with China is a poorly-marked stretch of barbed wire, and in almost all places it is patrolled by what appear to be child soldiers.
Wall Street Journal: OCP comes to Oakland. Not really, but Omni Consumer Products (the evil corporation that built RoboCop and then took over Detroit) could probably do some good business in Oakland. The city has decided that real cops are too expensive to patrol their crime-ridden streets, so they will just hire private security guards to indiscriminately shoot people. At least when they get killed, no one will care enough to rent out the Coliseum. Maybe soon Oakland could hire some of these guys.
Subtopia: Muslims stand to the right, all other prisoners to the left. A little-known corner of America's new landscape of detention is the Communications Management Unit at the federal maximum security prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. Labeled "Little Guantanamo," the unit was designed to control the external and internal communications of supposed terrorists, but the overwhelming majority of prisoners are put here simply because they are Muslim. In addition to strictly limiting their mail and phone calls, prisoners are also prohibited from speaking their native languages to one another, if they happen to be one of them terrorist languages.
The Daily Show: You're living in a socialist nightmare! Conservative talking heads like to shout that Barack Obama wants to turn America into Sweden. Despite high taxes and everyone being annoyingly tan and attractive, I really don't see how this is a bad thing. They may not have Baconnaise, but they do sell salmon caviar in a toothpaste tube.
Gazeta.ru: Just hold that pose for a moment longer, Mayor Luzhkov. Public Art Terrorist #1 Zurab Tsereteli has just completed his 10-year cycle of sculptures that he calls "My Contemporaries." Included in the collection are Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, shirtless and attempting to play multiple sports at once; Vladimir Putin ready for some judo; Luciano Pavarotti; and the sculptor himself, chiseled with the physique of a Greek god.
New Blogroll: Cop in the Hood. In 2007 sociologist Peter Moskos released his book Cop in the Hood, about the year he spent patrolling the Eastern District as a Baltimore city police officer. The book provides some excellent insight into the nature of police work, the failure of the war on drugs, and the desperate poverty that grips America's inner cities. His work has inspired me in my own research, and his book has even made me contemplate becoming a cop, if just to do some awesome participatory research. He has a blog that covers issues related to policing and police studies; here he offers some analysis on the coverage of the tragic murder of four cops in Oakland mentioned earlier.
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