For my loyal readers

Some of my loyal readers have chastised me for not posting enough recently. To those that wish I wrote more, I applogize. I offer them this entry, and some advice: get a news aggregator. It makes reading weblogs much less frustrating. RSS readers keep you reading sites, even if they don't update every day. It's worth it. I use AmphetaDesk myself.

Duane J. Gajewski, Northland Gay Men's Center: End homophobia at the altar: "The state has no compelling interest in continuing to deny lesbian and gay citizens the right to marry. The only rationale offered to maintain this institutionalized discrimination is shrouded in religious beliefs to which many citizens do not subscribe. Giving credence to religious doctrine to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians is tantamount to the state recognizing one particular religion over another, and that is unconstitutional."

David S. Broder: This time around, where's the shared sacrifice? "Almost everywhere you look, the element of shared sacrifice that should be expected in a nation at war is missing. A few people are being asked to give up a lot -- measured in time or money -- while others are being indulged in ways no can claim are fair."

Matthew Miller: Democrats need a fourth way. Everyone (even Republicans) has their own theory about how the Democrats should change to win the next election. My own personal theory is that Democrats need to retake the center by showing just how conserative Bush really is underneath his fascade of "compassionate conservatism". Miller presents a "fourth way" that would accomplish that: "The substantive virtue of a Fourth Way is that it could solve big problems, even as its reliance on conservative-sounding approaches (like tax subsidies for health coverage and market-based compensation for teachers) appeals to moderate Republicans and independents. But its chief political virtue would be a vision of America that can't be 'me too-ed' by the GOP." I'm not sure if I agree with this "fourth way", but Miller's point that the Democrats need a vision that can't be co-opted is right on.

Danny O'Brien: Software in the Public Transport Interest. Danny makes a good point about public transport. When its coverage is spotty and irregular, it's hard to take, which descreases its popularity. Incidentally, this is why people like trains instead of buses. Trains are fixed in position and destination and extremely regular. Busses are often rerouted and, dependant on roads, often late. Software can help bridge this gap by letting you know when the next bus is coming. In Suburban Nation, the authors talk about a great way to increase transit ridership: notification systems inside shops near transit stops. Riders can sit and read the news paper, buy a snack, or drink a cup of coffee while waiting. When their bus is near, a sign lights up so they don't miss it. This is used in Japan and Europe.

Katherine Kersten Redux

I've talked about Kersten's op-ed piece on the liberal bias of academia before (Lazy Friday Links, Nick Mark on Katherine Kersten). Now, the Strib has some good rebutals.

Rob Levin: Radical conservatives find a willing mouthpiece in Kersten. Levin attacks the source of Kersten's data...which turns out to be from that paragon of diversity, David Horowitz and his Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

Dan Malotky: Indoctrination or relativism? You can't have it both ways. Malotky cuts to the fundamental logical flaw of Kersten's argument. Conservatives often claim that the problem with liberalism is moral relativism. Yet moral relativism cannot indoctronate, because it treats all ideas equally. He writes: "But [conservatives] cannot have it both ways. Liberals either are ramming their own ideology down the students' throats, or are being too fair to the various points of view available. Conservatives might claim that it is precisely the belief in relativism that is the cornerstone of the liberal ideology."