This Week’s Links

I think it’s been over a week since I wrote a link post.

Echidne’s sixth and last statistics post is finally up. The post begins by talking about sampling bias and explaining how polls can mislead, and then moves on to hypothesis testing. If you ever wanted to know how studies differentiate real distinctions, say between two treatments for a disease, from random variation, Echidne’s post will answer most of your questions.

Lindsay has an action alert:

I’m hearing credible rumors that the Village Voice is poised to axe Tom Tomorrow’s award-winning comic strip This Modern World.

Not only is TT an excellent cartoonist and a strong liberal voice, he’s one of the progressive blogosphere’s strongest allies in the established media. “Tom” even gave the keynote address at the first YearlyKos. He also came out to support the Ned Lamont insurgency in the primary.

Help prevent another power grab by the corporate media. In other words, help the Village Voice continue to lag behind the Village in gentrification.

Also on Majikthise, Lindsay recommends relaxing asylum rules to cover women who fear gender-based oppression. Unfortunately, the comment thread becomes a breeding ground for trolls about a third of the way through.

Gordo is explaining why it’s a good thing that Murtha won’t get to be the House Majority Leader:

Congressional watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) calls Murtha one of the 20 most corrupt congressmen in Washington:

“Future House Speaker Pelosi’s endorsement of Rep. Murtha, one of the most unethical members of Congress, shows that she may have prioritized ethics reform merely to win votes with no real commitment to changing the culture of corruption,” Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW said today. “How can Americans believe that the Democrats will return integrity to the House when future Speaker Pelosi has endorsed an ethically-challenged member for a leadership position? Rep. Murtha is the wrong choice for this job.”

CREW is a non-partisan organization, which has been criticized repeatedly by Republicans for a supposed “liberal bias.” Jason Rood, who’s also taken heat for an alleged liberal bias, found that Murtha doesn’t just engage in corrupt practices. Sure, Murtha allows family members to lobby his office, but he also helped Republicans scuttle anti-corruption legislation. Rood quotes Murtha as saying, “deal making is what Congress is all about.”

Hat-tip to Samhita: Pakistan’s sex laws are taking a great leap forward from 1400 to 1850.

Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament passed amendments to the country’s rape laws Wednesday, ditching the death penalty for extramarital sex and revising a clause on making victims produce four witnesses to prove rape cases.

Consensual sex outside marriage would remain a crime punishable by five years in prison or a $165 fine, said a parliamentary official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

DarkSyde wonders if Bush’s giving more power to the old realists who advised his father and Reagan will change anything. Besides the obvious snark about Bush’s father’s friends’ bailing him out yet again, DarkSyde also notes that it’s debatable whether Bush would even change anything on the ground based on Robert Gates’ advice.

Was Bush so sealed in fantasy bubble wrap, that he was unaware that everyone from Russ Feingold to Jack Murtha to Pat Buchannan to a slew of senior combat officers knew he’d gone off the cliff over two-thousand KIA’s ago?

Amanda is on the story of the UCLA student who the police tased because he refused to show ID at a library and didn’t exit quickly enough. Noting that this story didn’t break because of divine intervention, she says,

I’ve seen this story on a lot of blogs, and I want to add a thanks to the students at UCLA who witnessed the incident and insisted on arguing with the police, getting their badge numbers, and recording the event with their cell phones. I’m proud to see some sense in the young’uns.

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