I began writing this post on Friday with the phrase "Finally, after weeks of being behind, I posted links on Friday!" Of course, my life intervened almost immediately after typing that sentence and here I am on Monday posting days late, again. I have put time on my calendar Friday - I swear, I'll eventually get back to posting these on time.
So instead of a bridge to the weekend, here's five links to help you avoid any work on (what in Philadelphia is) a hot, humid Monday:
What has happened to our government?
The domestic militarization of the government through police action of more frequent deploying of armed forces since 9/11 should be something that bothers people way more than it appears to. Slate covers the Jade Helm exercises currently happening in Texas, and its yet another example of the far left acknowledging its common ground with the far right in regards to government behavior.
The future of the music business
CD sales are kaput, and even paid digital downloads are tanking as well. We're now at a point where all three legs of the music industry: labels, publishers and artists, are being squeezed at a level that's untenable. How must the industry change to ensure that artists keep creating, and are compensated justly in a world where more and more music is being streamed on demand?
Goodbye, Bill Simmons
I've been a reader of Bill Simmons since the early Page 2 days, and while I've drifted away from his own writing in recent years, I've continued to love Grantland, 30 for 30, and his basketball coverage (especially the preseason previews with Jalen Rose). The dissolution of his relationship with ESPN was expected, but certainly not in the public way its unfolded. Vanity Fair had two insider stories on what happened (this is the first), and I can't say it brings my sadness to know that the hill Simmons died on was defended by my least-favorite sports figure:
Roger Goodell, per usual, is the worst
Can someone explain how this guy is still the commissioner of the NFL? It's impossible for me to separate my Patriots homerism from the Brady suspension, I get that. But it strikes me that his actions are yet another example of him being woefully out of touch, power-hungry, and capricious. Even if the balls were doctored in the most malevolent way possible, the rule book provides a penalty: $25,000 per ball. Roger is yet again handing out whatever penalties suit his fancy, and my hope is that he's made an enemy now in Kraft who can finally reign him in.
The business of being born American
Among affluent Chinese families, traveling to America for the birth of a child has become a way of ensuring great medical care and American citizenship. Bloomberg (who has been killing it on their feature articles lately) examines the business of coming to America for childbirth, the efforts of the government to crack down, and what it means for the Sino-American relationship.