Monday, September 17, 2007

News Bits, In Brief

The Age of Turbulence finds Alan Greenspan writing erotic nonfiction about his lifelong love of money. It's page after page of hot, lusty prose, most of which involves Greenspan rolling around naked on a bed covered with money -- by himself. The New York Times chooses to ignore all of this in their review, though, focusing solely on the parts where Greenspan takes Bush to task for destroying the U.S. economy.

A Christian and a Jew walk into a prison library...
Two inmates at an upstate New York federal prison have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that their rights to the free exercise of religion (as guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) have been violated by the Bureau of Prisons' systematic purging of religious books and materials from prison chapel libraries. This purging was prompted by (surprise, surprise) the terrorist attacks on 9-11, in hopes of curtailing any would-be recruiting for militant Islamic groups. The Sunday New York Times tells the whole damn story, possibly provoking an anti-Bureau of Prisons recruitment surge.

Diamond Comics (still basically the only distributor for most comic books/graphic novels/trade paperbacks/Batman bobbing head dolls) has just unveiled Comics Suite, a new computer program that Publishers Weekly is describing as "the biggest revolution in comics retailing since Marvel editor Carol Kalish helped subsidize comics shops buying cash registers back in the early ‘90s." And just as mind bogglingly well-it-was-about-god-damned-time as that high water mark in comics' history is Comics Suite's intended purpose: it "allows comics shops—many of which do not use computerized inventory systems and rely on paper and pencil cycle sheets—to use barcode scanning to automate inventory control, sales and reorder activity." Wow! What's next? The horseless carriage? Electric candles?