Taking a little time to myself the rest of this week, so The Amazing Stepwinder will make sure all necessary skirts stay sharpened. In the meantime, may this smattering of links get you through the night.

Michelle Collins is one of my most favoritest bloggers. Here's why.

The issue is not whether Britney's skank-o-rific husband is talking to tabloids; the issue is whether this is the greatest sentence ever written: "Britney Spears is left desperately clinging to the metaphorical stripper pole of her own sanity, as she watches what's left of her marriage tumble to the ground like ashes from so many half-smoked Philly Blunts."

"If you don’t use TV as a babysitter, you don’t have kids, or you are lying." — Deborah Linebarger. A fresh take on the eternal TV-and-your-kids debate.

Women Saved by Marriage

I tried to check my rage against my husband's reaction to NBC's Nightly News last night. With Tivo's fast forward button under his thumb, we somehow still decided to sit through the entire story about Newsweek's story from 20 years ago: The Marriage Crunch. While Newsweek's examination of this old story includes good news for modern marriages, this information was completely missing from NBC's presentation.

First, the good news from Stephanie Coontz:

But the payoffs of a good marriage are also higher than in the past. And many of the older marriages being contracted now are between people who have the skills to construct those good marriages—more egalitarian men, more savvy women and lovers who have deeper friendships.

NBC's Nightly News, however, seems to think the big news is that women who faced a bleak future of loneliness 20 years ago managed to get married despite the odds (i.e. being college educated, older than 35, and financially independent).

Read the rest of this entry »

That Boy Bono

Bono is re-making the world he entertains and challenging us to make poverty history. His humanitarian efforts aren't news. NBC Nightly News, however, profiled Bono's efforts last week. The biggest ego ever manufactured in Ireland taunts us to consider:

“We have written off the continent of Africa, and history will not be kind to us for that…God will not let us do that. These people — their lives — before God, are as valuable as yours and my children.”

Be ONE to make a difference and create a near future where "hope and history rhyme."

Privacy: Fundamental Right or Mere Technicality

The European Union's highest court has ruled illegal an agreement between airlines and the U.S. to share passenger data. In response to September 11, 2001, the U.S. passed legislation requiring electronic access to the Passenger Name Record system that provides 34 pieces of information about every passenger arriving in the U.S. Before you worry that they might know more about you than your mother does, the court provided for maintaining the agreement while both parties work around what they'd have you believe is a technicality.

The court's decision, however, is the result of the European Parliament's decision to challenge this agreement as an affront to the fundamental right of privacy. It's refreshing to know such an idea persists in Europe.

Americans continue to sacrifice such rights for the illusion of security.

Geeks Ahoy: It could be worse

PC World's list of the 25 Worst Tech Products, with AOL most deservedly at the top, is an entertaining read for your post-three-day-weekend morning. Console yourself with the knowledge that you don't work for one of these companies. Or if you do, at least you're not the CEO.

Or you could work at Symantec, whose renowned anti-virus software is not so anti-virus after all.

Or you could be receiving 10,000 annoying little pings from random acquaintances wanting to know which video camera to buy. "This is searching your friends' heads as reflected in what's on their computers." Am I the only one hearing John Malkovich? "It's my HEAD!!"

The Nation: Out damned spot

Frustrated at his inability to rid his hands of those darn bloodstains, (Not even Lava works!), Captain America memorialized soldiers yesterday… by vowing to kill more of them.

Sen. Harry Reid likes the fights. Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick could use a new bathroom. An American citizenry – at least those of us paying attention – gasps in horror at the idea that politicians can be bought.

Next time you help a little old lady cross the street and think you're generous, check out this guy.

The World: Repent repent!

Bad weekend around the globe. A car bomb in Baghdad killed two CBS News workers and injured their reporter. Riots erupted in Afghanistan after an American soldier's car crash killed five Afghans. But the worst was courtesy of Mother Nature, who delivered an earthquake to Indonesia – killing 5,500 so far – as a volcano simmered in the background. The lunatics are beginning to sound sane.