Links for October 11th

  • CJR: The Shorter-Form Journal
    This clever analysis of Wall Street Journal article lengths over the years shows that, under Rupert Murdoch, articles have gotten quite a bit shorter.
  • The Washington Post: Five myths about voter fraud
    There are some important and interesting facts about voter fraud here. A member of the Commission on Federal Election Reform figures that requiring that voters show ID will prevent between 1,000–10,000 legitimate votes from being cast for every 1 illegitimate vote that is stopped. 25% of African Americans do not have valid photo IDs. In Wisconsin, 55% of black men do not have valid photo ID. Fraudulent voting is stunningly, stunningly rare.
  • mental_floss: 14 More Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent
    In Tagalog, "layogenic" describes somebody who is beautiful from a distance, but unattractive up close. In Thai, "greng-jai" is the feeling of not wanting to put somebody out by taking them up on an offer to do something for you. I love these.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

7 replies on “Links for October 11th”

  1. The WSJ trend is undoubtedly mirrored in the Fox News coverage. And honestly, from a market perspective, this is a perfectly sound trend. The American public is generally loathe to spend more than a few seconds thinking about anything. The thing is, it’s the job of good journalists to educate readers, even at the cost of having to write a lot of words. To this end I applaud all the newspapers (including the hometown WaPo and Hook) for their willingness to write not just lengthy investigative pieces but pieces that extend over several issues.

  2. A little disappointing that the article didn’t compare other high-profile newspapers to the WSJ in that regard.

  3. The voter fraud study has one glaring, instantly-obvious omission: the study’s authors don’t know about the fraud they didn’t catch. And that fraud is blindingly easy since there’s no photo id required. I need a photo id to buy a pop in Oregon with my credit card, I need to show a photo id to fly, to get into the United Club, etc, etc. There is no reason that we’re still in the dark ages of allowing anyone to vote in anyone’s name. And voter fraud happens. A lot. Word on the street from community organizers’ own mouths. But of course, that’s not empirical data. Basically this study looks at voter fraud that they caught, which is the whole point of requiring id! They’re not being caught! It’s totally a circular argument to say that because we’re not catching anybody, it’s not happening, thus we don’t need more verification.

  4. Hans makes very good points. I will add that the number of persons (black male or otherwise) who do not presently *have* photo IDs is irrelevant. The only thing that should matter is how reasonable is it to expect a voter to get one.

    This is not something about which reasonable minds can disagree. Voting is one of the most important civic duties in our country. Obtaining a photo ID is incredibly easy, and very low cost, if not free. I have absolutely zero sympathy for someone who is not allowed to vote because they don’t have an ID.

    Besides… how many of those people without an ID have actually made an attempt to vote?

  5. Re: Layogenic – we used to refer to that phenomenon as ‘low-resolution hotness’. Layogenic is easier to say.

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