this & that
- A revolution is happening in Madagascar. The president is trying to offer a compromise, but the opposition has the military on its side. It's unclear who actually has effective control of Antananarivo at the moment; the people are protesting in the streets.
- Here's a nice explanation of what socialism actually is - and why Barack Obama isn't a socialist.
- The evidence that the Bush administration authorized the use of torture in interrogations of terrorism detainees mounts. This time from the Red Cross.
- SXSW film is in full swing here in Austin. As per usual, every film I've seen is about political repression and/or travesties in the Texas criminal justice system. Sunday I saw three films, two of them for free. For the first time ever, being a political scientist had real-world benefits in that it got me on a director's guestlist for Letters to the President, an amazing documentary about Iranian president which is remarkable mostly because you spend the whole film wondering how the heck the filmmaker got permission to follow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad around with a camera. Then, Steve Not the Lawyer's friend charmed some ACLU-ers into giving us passes to American Violet, a narrative loosely based on the racist, trumped-up drug charges in Hearne, Texas that landed a bunch of innocent people in jail a few years back. Finally, I managed to snag the last seat at a screening of Burma VJ, an incredible film about the Burmese journalists who covered the monks' September 2007 uprising against the country's military regime. It's fantastic. I cried. (If you're in Austin, you should try to see it on Wednesday at 11:30 at the Ritz.)
- Americans are losing confidence in every societal institution.
- Oh, to hear what Jesse Helms would have to say about this nonsense.
- Every single SXSW music day party. I don't know about you, but I'm going to the NPR party, 'cause that's how we roll here at the TIA. (NPR also has an awesome free download of music for the festival.)