It's the most wonderful time of the year for
fans of collegiate (men's) sports. I'm not one, but I can appreciate the thrill
of a single-elimination tournament. I also enjoy the creative ways people use
March Madness to bring attention to other subjects.
By now, the no-longer-new food movement has provoked
files full of skeptical responses. Most follow familiar scripts: foodies are
elitist, or environmentally ignorant, or impractical about global hunger.
A blogger at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America points out that some lines of Paul-Gordon Chandler's article on events in Egypt are unusually close to lines in a February 19 article in the New York Times—and charges that Chandler lifted them from the Times.
A disturbing factor in the rash of police shootings of unarmed black people and of deaths in police custody is that many of the victims were apprehended for petty offenses. Sandra Bland was stopped for not signaling a lane change, Samuel DuBose for a missing license plate, and Walter Scott for a busted taillight. A trend among municipalities is to issue fines as a means of generating revenue, and this onerous strategy falls disproportionately on people of color, many of whom are poor themselves. Not having the means to pay the fines can land them in jail, resulting in job loss and perpetuation of poverty—and increased distrust of law enforcement (Mother Jones, September/October).