Ted Rall: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, CORPORATE STYLE
The Supreme Court says that corporations have the same rights as individuals. When they misbehave, shouldn't they face consequences as serious as those imposed upon an individual?
Susan Estrich: Guns and Drugs (creators.com)
Reasonable people can disagree about whether Mexico's president should criticize the Arizona legislature in front of a joint session of Congress. What he said was nothing new. Whether it was good manners to say it (as if the Capitol is the home of good manners) is something else.
BOB HERBERT: A Very Bright Idea (nytimes.com)
Two New York City high schools are offering college degrees, addressing both the importance of academic achievement and the spiraling cost of higher education.
JACQUES STEINBERG: "Plan B: Skip College" (nytimes.com)
WHAT'S the key to success in the United States?
Jeff Brenzel: An Imaginary Commencement Speech at Yale (huffingtonpost.com)
This year, Bill Clinton is addressing the graduating senior class of Yale during its Class Day exercises on May 24. Though this class was the very first that I admitted as the Dean of Admissions here, I cannot blame the class leadership for choosing him rather than me to provide their sendoff.
Richard Roeper: Keep weighty issues out of beauty contests (suntimes.com)
Was Miss USA runner-up Miss Oklahoma robbed of the crown because she supports Arizona's immigration law?
How to survive workplace stress in the recession (guardian.co.uk)
Stress is on the rise, due to the recession. Emine Saner hears how to survive job insecurity, huge workloads and those very long hours.
Marilyn Preston: How to Fight WLP! The Last Battle of the Bulge (creators.com)
Connie - an old friend with a new perspective - lost 52 pounds over the last eight months, and she's got 38 wiggly ones to go. Until now, everything's been over-the-moon great. After a lifetime of stupid gimmicky starvation diets that never worked, Connie has seen the light, and it's not spelled l-i-t-e.
Sharon Salzberg: Stress Relief: How Silence Can Help Us Unplug (huffingtonpost.com)
When I did a CD kit called Unplug, a few of my friends chuckled. "You have to plug it in to get directions on how to unplug," one witty pal pointed out. True enough, and perhaps somewhat ironic, but also not a problem.
"The Cradle" by Patrick Somerville: A review by Jim Ruland
At first blush, Somerville's debut endeavors to explore territory that many writers have stumbled over (and stumbled badly), but Somerville doesn't miss a step. The Cradle is more than a high concept hook, it's a hugely engaging read with characters you'll fall in love with and a plot full of surprises. There be chaos in The Cradle, and plenty of it, but the end result of all Somerville's rule-breaking is something orderly, unusual, and oxymoronic: a tightly plotted road novel.
D.G. MYERS: In Praise of Prose (commentarymagazine.com)
In a literary age dominated by absurdists, genre benders, hysterical realists, and post-modern transgressives, Francine Prose quietly goes about her business within the great tradition of the novel, coming out every year or so with a new book that unravels human complexities by telling an interesting story about them.
Devo's lessons learned from a focus group: Don't give the kids a ballad (latimes.com)
New Wave survivor Devo wanted its comeback album to be decided by a committee of sorts.
The Weekly Poll
The 'Petitioning for Polanski' Edition
CANNES -- To sign or not to sign is the big question at this year's Festival de Cannes, and there's not a deal memo in sight. But then a petition in support of director Roman Polanski, who is under house arrest in Switzerland in connection with a 33-year-old sex scandal, is always going to set tongues wagging... The petition, posted on a website overseen by French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, asks for "justice" from the Swiss authorities...
Roman Polanski petition circulating at Cannes
What manner of "justice" do you think would be appropriate for Roman Polanski?
Send your response to
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
Link from RJ
Star Trek Art
Discover this great piece of art today! Hope you like it too!
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Sunny but cooler.
Jo the lucky lizard's luck seems to be running thin.
His eyesight is fading, and when a lizard can't see, he can't eat, starvation ensues, and then Mr. Death pays a visit.
He was already an adult when he entered pet-status 10 summers ago, so he's really old in Lizard-years.
Yesterday we bought some giant tweezers (technically tongs) to see if we could help him meet his cricket quota.
I'm happy to report he ate 2 yesterday, and 1 today, so the mood around here has improved. Dramatically.
US director Gregg Araki on Saturday scooped the first Queer Palm ever handed out at the Cannes film festival.
Awarded to a film for "its contribution to lesbian, gay, bi or trans" issues, the jury looked at a dozen movies before handing it to Araki for his university campus tale about a bi-sexual student convinced he is the witness of a gruesome murder.
The Berlin film festival pioneered LGBT prizes, creating the Teddy Awards in 1987. It was followed by the Venice festival in 2007 which hands out a Queer Lion.
"I thought that the world's biggest film festival could no longer ignore this sector," the founder of the award, Franck Finance-Madureira said.
What's 500 Years?
Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer whose findings were condemned by the Roman Catholic Church as heretical, was reburied by Polish priests as a hero on Saturday, nearly 500 years after he was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.
His burial in a tomb in the cathedral where he once served as a church canon and doctor indicates how far the church has come in making peace with the scientist whose revolutionary theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun helped usher in the modern scientific age.
Copernicus, who lived from 1473 to 1543, died as a little-known astronomer working in what is now Poland, far from Europe's centers of learning. He had spent years laboring in his free time developing his theory, which was later condemned as heretical by the church because it removed Earth and humanity from their central position in the universe.
After his death, his remains rested in an unmarked grave beneath the floor of the cathedral in Frombork, northern Poland, the exact location unknown.
Banned At Nevada Polling Places
Voters dressed in chicken costumes won't be allowed inside Nevada polling places this year.
State election officials on Friday added chicken suits to the list of banned items after weeks of ridicule directed at Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden.
The millionaire casino executive and former beauty queen recently suggested that people barter with doctors for medical care, like when "our grandparents would bring a chicken to the doctor."
Democrats responded by setting up a website, "Chickens for Checkups," and by sending volunteers in chicken suits to her campaign events.
Swedish Stamp Keeps World Record
The Swedish "Treskilling Yellow" retained its title as the world's most expensive stamp when it changed hands at a private sale shrouded in secrecy, the auctioneer claimed Saturday.
The one-of-a-kind 1855 misprint was sold to a group of buyers who asked that their identities and the winning bid be kept confidential, said auctioneer David Feldman.
He declined to reveal whether the sale matched the 2.875 million Swiss francs (then about $2.3 million) price it set a record for in 1996.
He added that both the price and identity of the buyers, who took part in the telephone auction against a single rival bidder, would likely become public knowledge eventually.
Ye Li & Yao Ming
China's star NBA center Yao Ming and wife Ye Li are the proud parents of a baby girl, a statement released by his US representatives on Friday said.
The baby was born in Houston on Friday and weighs 7 pounds, 9 ounces, according to the announcement from BDA Sports Management. Both mother and daughter are in good health.
The couple's decision to return to their home in Houston, where Yao plays for the NBA's Rockets, had sparked some debate among Yao's fans in China, some of whom were dismayed by the idea the child could have an American passport.
Ye Li & Yao Ming
Caught Releasing User Data
In a seemingly never-ending string of damaging disclosures about its users' privacy concerns, Facebook has reportedly been releasing user data to ad companies that hadn't even asked for the info.
Facebook isn't alone this time: rival social-media site MySpace has also been called out in Friday's Wall Street Journal report by Emily Steel and Jessica E. Vascellaro - together with the content-sharing sites Livejournal and Digg.
The report says that the companies have delivered user data to major online advertising companies such as Google's DoubleClick and Yahoo!'s Right Media, despite explicit pledges to protect such information. The released material includes user names and ID numbers, together with data that could be used to accumulate a host of additional information on individual users, such as where they live, their names, occupations, incomes and places of employment.
A jury acquitted a man Friday of killing up-and-coming Atlanta rapper Dolla during a shooting last year at a crowded, upscale Los Angeles mall.
Jurors rejected prosecutors' contentions that the killing of Dolla, whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, was a callous act of apparent revenge.
Burton and his accused shooter, Aubrey Louis Berry, had been involved in a fight at an Atlanta club less than two weeks before the shooting last May.
Berry's attorney had contended the shooting was an act of self-defense, emphasizing that Burton - a protege of hip-hop artist Akon - glorified a violent gangster lifestyle in his rap lyrics and online videos.
Righting A Wrong
Elouise Cobell sat behind her cluttered desk here in the windblown heart of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and peered at a visitor through dark glasses that couldn't quite hide the deep bruise that ran down her cheek to her jaw.
Her appearance made her a bit self-conscious, offering an unexpected glimpse of a woman who had built a reputation for fearlessness after 14 years standing toe-to-toe with the federal government in an attempt to recover billions of dollars of squandered Indian trust money.
Cobell, 64, fainted in Washington, D.C., during a trip in April to meet with congressional leaders. She hit the sidewalk hard and was rushed to the hospital to treat a fractured orbital bone. She hadn't slept the night before her collapse and spent that whole day rushing from meeting to meeting, she explained.
But with the end in sight to her long fight - a $3.4 billion settlement that could be approved by Congress this month - the bruises have not slowed her down. Neither has the buildup to the vote, which has meant countless meetings, phone calls and dusty road trips to remote parts of Indian country.
Cobell's class-action lawsuit represents at least 300,000 and maybe as many as 500,000 Indians who own property that the government holds in trust for them. The Department of Interior leases that land to others to farm or develop resources, and by agreement is supposed to pay the Indians the money generated by the land into Individual Indian Money trust accounts, or IIMs.
Law Triggers Concert Cancellations
The fear and anger stirred by Arizona's new immigration enforcement law are beginning to take a toll on concerts in the state, particularly on events featuring Mexican artists.
Hip-hop acts Pitbull and Cypress Hill have canceled upcoming shows in Arizona to protest the new law, which will take effect July 29. The legislation will require local authorities to determine a person's immigration status if he or she is suspected of being undocumented.
Banda star Jenni Rivera and reggaeton chart-toppers Wisin & Yandel are skipping the state on their AEG Live-promoted summer tours, while Mexican acts Conjunto Primavera and Espinoza Paz have canceled their previously announced concerts in Phoenix.
War Hero Bones
Mexico is dusting off urns containing skulls and bones of the country's Independence War heroes to try to confirm their identities decades after the remains were stored in a Mexico City monument.
Soldiers will remove the urns from a mausoleum within the monument on May 30 and carry them through the Mexican capital in a procession before handing the bones over to forensic anthropologists.
Historians have long questioned the listed identities of eight Independence War fighters whose remains were locked away along with those of the war's most famous hero, Miguel Hidalgo and three other decorated heroes.
As Mexico celebrates the bicentennial of its independence from Spain, the government has agreed to let anthropologists examine the bones so they can be properly labelled, briefly put on display to the public, and returned to the mausoleum.
A Nevada detective who serves as spokesman for a county sheriff's office was arrested and released, then sent media a release about it, accompanied by his booking photo.
David Boruchowitz turned himself in to Nye County jail on Friday. He was charged with burglary and assault to try to harass candidates for public office.
Boruchowitz says in his release that his duties include investigating and arresting people who commit crimes, "no matter who they may be."
Boruchowitz says he investigated his own case honestly and within state laws.
Captures Fame On Toast
British artist Lennie Payne says he first thought about working with bread after making shapes with toast to entertain his daughter at breakfast.
That was 14 years ago, now the 46 year-old Payne is selling his portraits of famous faces such as Kate Moss or Barack Obama branded onto slices of bread for at least 5,000 pounds ($7,734) a piece.
Payne's artwork, some 28 paintings, will be on display through May 25 at the Maverik gallery in East London's Shoreditch at a show named "Where Is The Love?."
Many of the works on display are portraits of rock musicians such as Ian Brown or Noel Gallagher but the show also features a Gandhi portrait as well as anonymous faces of starving people.