Today’s Links: January 11, 2012


DAHLIA LITHWICK: “Ifs, Ands, or Butts: The Supreme Court Gets the Full Monty Treatment
“Waxman patiently explains to the rapt justices that ABC was never sanctioned for over a dozen NYPD Blue episodes over nine seasons that included bare buttocks. Not until the last one. Arbitrary, bad FCC. Then, he raises his arms, Moses-like, to the glorious friezes that surround the interior of the ceremonial courtroom. And then Waxman points to one sculpted classical stone lawgiver after another as he guides the justices through the fleeting bottoms that pervade their lofty spaces: “There’s a bare buttock there, and there’s a bare buttock here,” he marvels. “And there may be more that I hadn’t seen. But frankly, I had never focused on it before.” To which Justice Antonin Scalia grits out, “Me neither,” while all of the justices gape up at the walls above them, like bemused Muppets on Veterinarian Hospital.”

IRWIN M. STELZER: “Bankers vs. Capitalism
“America’s more or less free-market capitalism is not under threat from Marxist-Leninism: That system’s demonstrated failures have consigned it to the ash-heap of history. Nor is it under threat from China’s system of managed economy plus political repression: We can’t even abide police breaking up a disease-infested occupy-something-or-other encampment. It is not even under threat from socialism, the hysterical charges of some anti-Obama extremists notwithstanding. No, it faces a far more subtle enemy—the gradual loss of acceptance of the idea that markets more efficiently allocate resources than governments, of the parallel idea that properly but not excessively regulated markets produce unparalleled levels of material wellbeing (something Marx conceded), and, finally, of the conviction that material prosperity is fairly shared among all who participate in its creation, with enough left over to care for those too ill, old, or otherwise impaired to participate in productive activity.”

TIMOTHY B. LEE: “Boston PD Admit Arrest for Cell Phone Recording Was a Mistake
“The Boston Police Department has at last concluded that two of its officers made a mistake when they arrested a Boston man for recording the arrest of another man with his cell phone. In a letter to cell phone cinematographer Simon Glik, superintendent Kenneth Fong of the Boston PD’s Bureau of Professional Standards said that the officers had shown ‘unreasonable judgment’ by taking Glik into custody. Glik’s battle with the Boston PD began in 2007, when he saw another man being arrested on Boston Common. After hearing a witness say, ‘You are hurting him, stop,’ Glik pulled out his cell phone to document the encounter. The police then arrested Glik for allegedly violating the state’s wiretapping statute.”


INTERNET – Google Street View Takes a Look Inside Businesses
“Google’s new business street view has gone live, according to BBC. Whether people think Google’s new business street view is creepy or cool, some businesses are showing off the inside of their properties on their Google Places business pages.”

MARKET – Company Announces Low-Cost DNA Decoding Machine
“A biotechnology company announced it has developed a machine to decode a person’s DNA in a day for $1,000, a long-sought price goal for making a person’s genome useful for medical care.”

DRUG PROHIBITION – Is Smoking Marijuana Bad for Your Lungs?
“Is smoking marijuana bad for your health? The question is often debated when it comes to medical marijuana, but a new study suggests if smoking pot is bad for your body, your lungs aren’t bearing the brunt of the damage. The study found occasional marijuana smoking did not negatively impact a person’s lung function.”