Morning Links

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
  • State Department issues report giving Mexican government passing grade on human rights in its drug war, clearing the way for more funding. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) says, “Uh, hold on a sec.” Good for Leahy.
  • I don’t see either “wolf shirt” or “runs a moderately well-trafficked blog” on this list. So I’m declaring it a fraud.
  • I’m a “cheers” guy.
  • Malcolm Gladwell takes aim at . . . Atticus Finch. I think he makes a pretty convincing case, too. Or at least a provocative one.
  • Ladies, this sounds like a bargain! I think he left out the part about, “must spend non-supervised hours in a hand-dug pit.”
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  • 41 Responses to “Morning Links”

    1. #1 |  Michael Pack | 

      Would the state department be fine with the Mexican tactics if used here in the U.S.? to me that is the stanard that should be used for aid9though I’m against most such aid)What would be the reaction in this country if drug enforcement was turned over to the military inside our boarders? Maybe that’s exactly what needs to happen to stop this madness.

    2. #2 |  Ben | 

      That’s a “Three Wolf Moon” to you, sir.

    3. #3 |  Adam | 

      Craigslist must be filled with those. There’s a particularly detailed one near me. I wonder if any woman can’t see the crazy in it.

    4. #4 |  Euler | 

      #1 Unfortunately, the answers to your questions are probably yes and nothing at all.

    5. #5 |  Hamburglar007 | 

      God help us if the neo conservatives ever get a hold of the three wolf moon tshirt.

    6. #6 |  ktc2 | 

      So we’re “certifying” other countries as not violating human rights in the drug war while we do so daily all over the world?

      I have to laugh to keep my head from exploding.

    7. #7 |  Joe | 

      Radley, how in the hell did you get Patterico’s to do list?

    8. #8 |  Joe | 

      Wolf t-shirt anyone?

    9. #9 |  flukebucket | 

      I’m a “w00t!” guy

    10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

      Interesting article about Atticus Finch, but it seems to suppose that Atticus fell short of what he should have been. A character in a book is just a vehicle to deliver a certain perspective to the target audience. That he wasn’t portrayed as being more heroic makes me want to ask, “So what?” If his character and been more actively opposed to racism, the book might have alienated the very audience the author wanted to connect with, relegating the book to obscurity.

    11. #11 |  Bronwyn | 

      I’m a “cheers” girl.

    12. #12 |  wunder | 

      I’m “Kind Regards” myself.

      And regarding Atticus Finch, it is an interesting article – and I had no idea about the AL governor – but as usual, Dave K. has said what I was thinking in a much better way than I could have articulated.

    13. #13 |  Daniel | 

      I use Best Regards. I saw it once on someone else’s email and liked it.

    14. #14 |  Nando | 

      I just use



      in my emails. It’s simple and straight forward.


    15. #15 |  TomMil | 

      I use “I’m outtie muthafuckas!!” because I am a white, middle class, middle aged professional and that is how I roll.

      PEACE, aight!

    16. #16 |  expat | 

      Also missing is the promise to dig up the lucky lady’s grave and build a cage with her bones…

    17. #17 |  Mary | 

      @ Dave #10,
      Well said. Had Atticus Finch been a little more ‘heroic’ I’d have found him a little less compelling. He’s a wonderfully layered character that makes this my favorite novel of all time.

    18. #18 |  JG | 

      @3 (Adam) – there’s so much crazy, and awesome, and crazy awesome to that post (not to mention just so freaking much of it), that I’m surprised it didn’t melt the Craigslist servers!

      But, his picture clearly shows a winner, and a completely sane and trustworthy fellow.

    19. #19 |  Reggie Hubbard | 

      “Stay High,”


      “peace, love, and bowls,”

      But I write about weed.

    20. #20 |  Chance | 

      “Atticus Finch. I think he makes a pretty convincing case, too. Or at least a provocative one. ”

      Provocative perhaps, but not very convincing.

    21. #21 |  billy-jay | 

      So Leahy did something right?

      He’s still a douche bag.

    22. #22 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

      We’re “certifying” other countries
      while at the same time consuming about 40% of the world’s cocaine exports?
      Now that’s funny.

    23. #23 |  Marty | 

      Hunter Thompson signed his letters ‘OK’. I always kinda liked that…

    24. #24 |  Cynical in CA | 

      I want to be cool too, so I am going to learn to speak European. And get a mowhawk.

    25. #25 |  Greg N. | 

      I go with “best.” If it’s an email request of some kind I’ll add a “thanks!” on the line right above.

    26. #26 |  Spleen | 

      From the Leahy article:

      At stake is more than $100 million in U.S. aid under the Merida Initiative, a three-year, $1.4 billion counternarcotics package begun by President George W. Bush in 2007. The law requires Congress to withhold 15 percent of most of the funds until the secretary of state reports that Mexico has made progress on human rights.

      They’re withholding 15% of “most” of the funds? I guess this could be considered a “small” victory…

    27. #27 |  Mojopin | 

      From the article, one guy said he signs his emails “Love and Bacon”.

      Maybe I’m the only one, but 1) I found the article terribly fascinating and 2) that is an AWESOME way to close an email.

      I only wish I would have thought of it myself. I’ll have to think of my own closing now — but I am sure it will way contrived. Love and Bacon is just magic.

      For the time being, I’ll stick with “Best,” or “Best regards,”

    28. #28 |  anarch | 

      it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

      …nullifies the rest of his offering.

    29. #29 |  Tim C | 

      “Hang out with Steve.” I guess “acquire self-esteem” is behind one of the cross-outs.

    30. #30 |  JS | 

      So the US government desperately wants to give millions of dollars in aid to Mexico. Wow what a surprise, the biggest bribery scam in history continues unabated. The US government “gives” away billions to most countries on the planet not to actually “aid” anything but rather to lay claim to dictate their policies and thus the threat to withhold foreign aid becomes the instrument to control other governments and make them do whatever Washington (the de facto ruler of the world) wants them to. They do the same thing to the states-follow this policy or we’ll withhold federal funds for roads etc. None of this is constitutional of course but then, who cares about that anyway?

    31. #31 |  BamBam |

      Let it rock, let it rule, I wear this shirt because I’m such a tool …

    32. #32 |  BamBam | 

      #3, maybe that guy has a Corn Maze that he shall take his betrothed to and offer her to The Children.

    33. #33 |  Joe | 

      I am not sure why Atticus Finch needs defending or not defending, given he is a fictional character (even if he was roughly based on Lee’s father). Shouldn’t any criticism (not that I think any is deserved at all) be directed to Harper Lee? Isn’t this at this point really a non issue and just an attempt to bootstrap off a fictional character a lot of people like?

    34. #34 |  Chris Grieb | 

      I have noted the class-ism in To Kill a Mockingbird. I still have tears in my eyes during the “your father’s passing” scene.

    35. #35 |  johnl | 

      Why put anything at the end of an email when the text obviously stops? I suppose if you want to be fancy you could use one of the following
      > banner “DONE”
      endsas ;

    36. #36 |  Aresen | 

      Depending on the situation, I go with

      1) “Thanks”, when I make a request.

      2) Nothing, if it’s just professional communication.

      3) “See you soon”, if it’s friends or family.

      and the ever-popular

      4) “Fuck off and die”, for spammers and bill collectors.

    37. #37 |  Ben (the other one) | 

      Re: Atticus Finch–

      Gladwell’s central criticism (citing Steven Lubet) of Finch’s character is that he doesn’t hesitate to stoop to stereotyping the alleged victim, Mayella Ewell, because she is “trash,” although she is white.

      This criticism depends entirely upon one assuming that Tom Robinson lied on the stand when he testified that Mayella tried to seduce him. That assumption, in turn, is based on two prejudices: 1) that white women in the early 20th century could not have (or would not express) sexual desire for a black man; and 2) that women claiming to be victims of rape are necessarily truthful (even when, as in the novel, there are substantial social/familial pressures on them to lie). Gladwell doesn’t seem to consider the possibility that Tom testified truthfully.

      Similarly, Gladwell’s indictment of the South for anti-semitism (and his criticism of To Kill A Mockingbird for Finch’s reference to a southern Jew standing up to a Klan mob) is based on the single incident of the Leo Frank lynching. I’ve no doubt that there was, and is, antisemitism in the South (and the North, and the East, and the West), but it seems silly to cite one anecdotal piece of evidence to rebut another (fictional) reference.

      Gladwell also says that Finch fails in his final “moral test”: when Boo Radley, coming to the defense of Finch’s children, kills Bob Ewell (the alleged victim’s father), Finch concurs in the decision to say that Ewell fell on his knife. Gladwell describes this as “obstructing justice.” What, in Gladwell’s mind, would have been justice in such a case? Charging Boo Radley with murder? Manslaughter? That’s ridiculous (although it happens all the time). The only justice that was obstructed was through a possibly incorrect entry in the coroner’s report and a misleading story in the town newspaper. I’m not endorsing a cover-up, but it’s clear that what Finch and the Sheriff were covering for was their town’s immature justice system, which might have railroaded a man for murder who was merely defending the lives of the children of an unpopular defense lawyer.

      (I’m also disappointed that the New Yorker’s fact-checking desk has so fallen in quality that they let “ya’ll” be published instead of “y’all”.)

    38. #38 |  CK | 

      Atticus Finch? It’s not as if one were dissecting an important fictional character such as John Galt or Gail Wynand.

    39. #39 |  Andrew Williams | 

      OK, I like Gladwell’s stuff, but WHY THE FUCK is he taking aim at fictional characters? Aren’t there enough prevaricators in the real world for him to tangle with?

    40. #40 |  Toastrider | 

      Andrew: Maybe because they’re less likely to shoot back? :)

    41. #41 |  Deoxy | 

      Atticus Finch…

      I can see the points that were made in the article, but, seeing where the SCOTUS ruling has landed us today, I’m not sure that uch a method was the better choice. Indeed, the state in question RE-elected a man who very much treated blacks as yes, separate but really EQUAL. That’s a big step… and, given some more time, perhaps society would have followed, and then the separate part might have fallen away. Granted, that’s only a MIGHT have, but what we got was pretty predictable (backlash as ruling from on high), and resulted in, essentially, a permanent under-class black culture.

      There are two ways to end social/cultural conflict: complete annihilation of one side with violence or assimilation/”melting pot”. A ruling from on high makes the second option much more difficult.

      So, I see the complaint about the “hearts and minds” method Atticus was using, and I say in return, “Yes, and it was a good idea.” I think equality would have arrived sooner that way.

      (Oh, and the whole “she was asking for it, and imply incest” bit was not falsely implied on the stand in the book, it was clearly what the author very very strongly implied was actually happening, so that’s a load of crap.)