No more film cameras…. EVER!

First off, 10 points to whomever gets the reference in the headline. Second, it’s apparently not safe to take for film to Walgreen’s or anywhere else to be developed. A man’s bare chest got film trashed at Walgreen’s, and the Meijer chain is apparently calling the cops at the first sign of any nudity. Ratting customers out–now that’s the way to beat Wal-Mart.

And whom do we have to thank for this? The American Family Association. Grrrrr.

Jesus is my gardner

This is a weird article in Salon. Well, not so much the first two-thirds about a high-level EPA official deciding she just couldn’t take being a party to Bush’s rape and pillage approach to the environment, but the last page about organized Christianity’s disgust at just that.

Specifically, I was intrigued by the description of an Earth Day letter from a group of ministers claiming to represent 2 million Christians:

Citing the Bible’s directive to “defend the poor and the orphan; do justice to the afflicted and the needy (Psalms 82:3),” the letter sings the gospel of environmental justice, noting that clean-air policy changes have the greatest impact on “those least able to defend themselves” — namely, “[p]oor people, who have limited access to health care; senior citizens, who may have compromised immune systems; and children, who pound for pound breathe 50 percent more air pollution than adults.”

What’s notable about the effort is not just its attention to policy detail, but its direct assault on what Bush’s supporters (and Bush himself) frequently cite as his core strength: an unswerving moral rectitude derived from Christian faith.

NCC General Secretary Bob Edgar put it this way: “President Bush has said that moral values are the cornerstone of his administration. But as a person of faith, I question whether the president fully understands his moral commitment. I’m concerned that he is failing to protect God’s children.”

I was afraid maybe it was going to wind up being middle of the country Christians against pretty much everyone else, but maybe that’s still an audience that could be won. I’m hoping Kerry works this one well. It seems like it might be a good wedge.

Better off under Saddam?

The Iraqis in these Memory Hole.) What’s worse, “private military contractors” (read: mercenaries) are doing far worse things with impunity, because nobody on the ground in Iraq can decide who has jurisdiction. (We’ll know it is really here the day the government starts blocking the Guardian’s website.)

One thing you can be sure of… the Iraqi raped by a PMC isn’t making a big distinction between uniformed military and Pentagon contractor. In his terrified, dehumanized eyes it’s just another American. We’re creating terrorists wholesale in Iraq, making true the fatuous lies W told to get us there in the first place.

Geeks do it smarter

Larry and Sergey are about to be billionaires, and I think that’s great. Google is a great company with a service that has changed the way people think about and interact with information and knowledge. The founders also want to flipping,” by relying on a kind of reverse auction that will likely prevent a dramatic first-day rise.

Too many tech startups have foundered as the people who were so smart about the tech failed to understand business. It is Page and Brin’s wisdom about business that makes me optimistic about the company’s long-term success. As Google gets a stock-inflated wallet to match its big brains, Microsoft will have a real fight on its hands. And that will be good for everyone, including our friends in Redmond.

Mean Girls

OK, OK, I know this doesn’t really belong in this category… but. Everyone made fun of me Sunday at Paulette’s for wanting to see “Mean Girls.” Well, hello?! SNL’s peerless (and sexy) Tina Fey wrote the screenplay. If it’s half as good as her work on Weekend Update, it will be well worth the ticket price. She’s one of the smartest, sassiest comedians out there, with a very wise feminist slant… maybe if more people paid attention to the politics of high school women wouldn’t get to college thinking feminism is a dirty word. It’s based on a well-reviewed nonfiction book titled “Queen Bees & Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.”

What “it” looks like

Dahlia Lithwick’s coverage of yesterday’s SCOTUS hearings of the Hamdi and Padilla cases is nothing short of excellent. And Hamdi’s public defender, Frank Dunham, is my new hero. You need to read the article, listen to clips, and read Fred Korematsu’s amicus brief that references the experience of Japanese Americans interned in WWII.

Lithwick starts with the question that should be keeping us all up at night:

How you feel about the indefinite military detentions of Yaser Esam Hamdi and Jose Padilla will turn largely on what you think life will look like when it starts. By “it,” I mean the moment at which fundamental liberties are curtailed by well-meaning governments and the legal system becomes unable to offer relief. Never having seen “it” happen in my lifetime, I’m hardly an expert. German Jews who survived the Holocaust will tell you that it’s hard to know at exactly which instant you’ve crossed the line into “it.”

The endangered specied act sleeps with the fishes

One of these days, I’ll be driving to work and listening to Morning Edition and hear a story about how the administration made a policy change that is good for the country, good for the environment, good for humanity, or at least good for someone other than business interests.

Today was not that day.

I’d suggest we all send Bush boxes of salmon that he doesn’t believe are worth protecting, but I’m sure the paranoid machinations of the administration would take it the wrong way and send secret service agents after us for making a threat against him, like they did to some poor kid who drew antiwar pictures for a school project.

I now firmly believe that Bush and Cheney have a committee somewhere whose sole purpose is dreaming up new ways to fuck up what could be an otherwise ok world.