Monthly Archives: September 2007

Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud

I don't have a “feminism” category, as I usually leave that to Ann Bartow, who does feminism better than I can. But in this case, Amanda Marcotte has already done all the work.

QuestionAuthority.gifAnd, strangely, I did't have an “activism” category either until now. Via Pandagon we learn of a high school rebellion against a very stupid “no bags” policy.

As any woman reading this is immediately thinking, the problem with not letting students carry even small bags to school is that female students have a very real need to carry pads and tampons. The danger of bleeding through your pants is statistically much higher than the danger that you’re going to turn out to be a school shooter, but that fact didn’t give the assholes who passed this policy pause.

Realizing that it’s a bit problematic to leave female students bleeding from between their legs with no way to plug it up, the school has tried to compensate by allowing students who are currently on their period to bring small bags to school during their period, but no other time. Anyone who was ever a teenage girl and remembers the high percentages of creepy men—many who work in schools—who enjoy humiliating you by prying into your privacy can see the immediate problems with this policy.

And, in fact, kids were being humiliated by the guards.

The students organized a protest reminiscent of Saul Alinsky's chewing gum rebellion, described in Rules for Radicals. (The students at a strict school complained they weren't allowed to do anything except chew gum. He suggested that they chew lots of it, and leave it around until the administration agreed to their demands.)

The small Sullivan County school has been in an uproar for the last week. Girls have worn tampons on their clothes in protest, and purses made out of tampon boxes. Some boys wore maxi-pads stuck to their shirts in support.

After hearing that someone might have been suspended for the protest, freshman Hannah Lindquist, 14, went to talk to Worden. She wore her protest necklace, an OB tampon box on a piece of yarn. She said Worden confiscated it, talked to her about the code of conduct and the backpack rule — and told her she was now “part of the problem.”

Which shows that we have another school where the kids are smarter than the administration.

Question authority!

Posted in Question Authority | 4 Comments

Sunk Costs

Should I change from Scrapbook to Zotero?

Posted in Software | Comments Off on Sunk Costs

Washington Post’s Hirohito Moment

Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell materially distorted reality in his testimony to Congress.

The milquetoast headline in The Washington Pravda Post is — brace yourself — Iraq Wiretap Delay Not Quite as Presented.

Not quite as presented!

Where have I heard something like that before? Hmmm….

Despite the best that has been done by everyone … the war situation has developed not necessarily to our advantage.”

– Emperor Hirohito, Radio Broadcast Announcing Japan’s Surrender, August 15, 1945

I'm actually starting to think Brad DeLong s right—surely the Post can't survive if it continues like this? If people want this sort of work, they might as well buy the Washington Times.

Posted in The Media | 1 Comment

Down We Go

Glenn Greenwald, who seems from his writing to be both shrewd and decent, argues that at present there is no alternative to the politics of the lowest common denominator:

as the MoveOn vote demonstrated, we have the opposite of a healthy political system, and it is thus far preferable — for reasons I I set forth here — to ensure that a corrupt standard is applied equally rather than allow it to be applied by one political faction against another. Taking the corrupt political tactics wielded by the war-hungry Right and applying those same tactics to them (rather than ineffectively protesting the unfairness of the tactics) is the only way to ensure they cease.

Please persuade me he's not right.

Posted in Politics: US | Comments Off on Down We Go

Farmers and Cowmen in Space

Nate Combs at Terra Nova has written a really interesting post about economic and other relationships in Eve Online. It's at at My friend's keeper, and it reinforces my suspicion that while World of Warcraft is the bigger social phenom, with the largest bleed-over into art and ordinary life, Eve Online is the most interesting major game, both legally and structurally.

I'm not even going to try to quote from this one — if you're interested in Virtual Worlds (or political economy or political sociology) you should just go read it.

Update (12/8/07): And see the follow-up.

Posted in Virtual Worlds | Comments Off on Farmers and Cowmen in Space

Is the Palestinian Authority Sovereign Enough for Immunity?

Interesting post at Opinio Juris asking Does the Palestinian Authority Enjoy Sovereign Immunity? which points to Biton v. Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority where the District Court had to address that very issue.

At what point is a governing authority of a territory sufficiently recognized as a state for it to enjoy immunity? If the Palestinian Authority is not a state why not? And if it is not a state what is it? The more comical (but nonetheless interesting) variation to this question is if the Palestinian Authority is not a state, is it an instrumentality of the state of Israel?

I'm not sure I'd say “comical” was the exact word, but these are interesting questions.

The court, incidentally, said the answer to the question, at this moment anyway, is “no sovereign immunity.” Which means in some cases the PA can be sued in US courts….

Posted in Law: International Law | 2 Comments