Recent things read, watched or heard, and recommended:
• Digby, guest-blogging chez Rick Perlstein, reminds us of the racism that saturated the multiple responses to Katrina. (Update: Digby has another Katrina post chez Perlstein here.)
• There's been a lot of back-and-forth about the foreign policy community on the blogs recently. Two of the best pieces from it are Glenn Greenwald on the now-notorious Pollack-O'Hanlan op-ed, and on Gideon Rose's recent attack on the blogosphere (there's a follow-up to that post here). On a (somewhat) related topic, Hilzoy on pro-Iraq-war mea culpas is worth reading.
• Another good recent Greenwald post is this one on why the democratic congress is so unpopular. (Follow-up here.)
Bad 70s Outfits
• I remember singing this song in my childhood... but I'd never seen the original 70's video before. Man, those 70's style outfits and haircuts (watch through where the men start coming on) could strike you blind.
Comics & Cartoonists
• Fun site of drawings of literary characters and authors by comics artists, collected over the years by a fan (they're drawn for him specially, I think). There's some great stuff here. A few that caught my eye: Howard Cruse draws Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Neil Gaiman draws Chesterton's Sunday (from The Man Who Was Thursday); Y the Last Man artist Pia Guerra paints SF writer William Gibson; Mark Badger paints Samuel R. Delany; and Walt Simonson draws J. R. R. Tolkein and Michael Moorecock (a famous Tolkein critic) together. But really, the whole site's good, with indexes by artist & subject: just explore.
• Everything I know about diversity I learned from superhero comics. Ouch. (Via).
• In comments at Charlie's Diary, Cory Doctorow gives (in the name of Patrick Nielsen Hayden) a very concise and interesting summary of precisely what publishers do.
• Interesting blog post on the notion that religion is not disprovable.
• I read the first volume of historian Saul Friedländer's two-volume history, Nazi Germany and the Jews (which covered 1933 - 1939) for a class some years ago; it's an amazing book. At the time the second volume hadn't yet been published, but apparently it's now out. In connection with this, there's an interview with Friedländer in the most recent issue of Dissent that is well worth reading. The most interesting bit was his suggestion that the proximate cause of the shift in Nazi Germany's Jewish policy (in late 1941) from one of expulsion to one of extermination was Hitler's frustrations over his stalled invasion of the USSR. I don't know enough to evaluate the claim, but it's interesting.