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Monday, August 24, 2009

I have it on good authority that my friend Traxus was totally making fun of someone else in this post on blogging styles. That said, some unhappy Monday links.

* As you've probably already heard, Michael Jackson's death has now been ruled a homicide. Let the feeding frenzy resume.

* Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. named a veteran federal prosecutor on Monday to examine abuse of prisoners held by the Central Intelligence Agency, after the Justice Department released a long-secret report showing interrogators choked a prisoner repeatedly and threatened to kill another detainee’s children. A good day for America (and for the rule of law). Hopefully this is the beginning and not the end.

* NJ-Gov: Christie's lead has all but disappeared in the face of weeks of bad press. More from TPM.

* Elsewhere in New Jersey news UPDATE: from 1970: Foster parents denied right to adopt because the father is an atheist.

In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being."
People who love to tell New Atheists to sit down and shut up, take note.

* 'How to Kill a City': from an episode of Mad Men yesterday to the pages of the New York Times today. Via @mrtalbot.

* The Coin Flip: A Fundamentally Unfair Proposition.

* 12 Greenest Colleges and Universities, at Sustainablog. Vermont once again takes high honors.

* 'Runaway consumerism explains the Fermi Paradox.' (Via Ze.) This is actually an important plot point (with some nice twists) in a novel I've touted a few times here, Accelerando.

* And Fimoculous has your Curb Your Enthusiasm preview.