Links for 02/23/15

by Michael Sean Winters

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From the "really good news" category, this story in Haaretz about 1,000 Muslims in Oslo who formed a human defensive perimeter around that city's synagogue for Sabbath services. Part of the secret of charting a new path is to be able to imagine one. Blessings on the Muslim and Jewish communities of Oslo. 

The next time someone dabbles in climate change denial, point them to this very disturbing article in the NYTimes about the "Harvard astrophysicist" who is not an astrophysicist and  who has never been employed by Harvard, but who has received large sums of money from extraction industries. And, a heads up to any conservative RC who thinks they will be able to cite people like this when the pope's encyclical comes out: We are watching!!

If it is Oscar night, it means the rest of the country is forced to listen to people who pretend for a living offer their judgment on profound issues. Ugh. But, strangely, the worst political speech of last night came from the one category that is not supposed to pretend, best documentary. The winner was "Citizenfour" a documentary about Edward Snowden and in her acceptance speech, Laura Poitras praised Mr. Snowden in fulsome encomiums and dark warnings about the power of the state. I hope some day she has the opportunity to appear as a character witness at Mr. Snowden's trial. The speech did provoke the best line of the night from Neil Patrick Harris, who said, "The subject of 'Citizenfour' couldn't be here for some treason." Now, that is funny. 


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