Links, 12/6/10

  • “Afghan Corruption Undercuts U.S.” (nytimes) – everyone knows about this, but the examples given here are still stunning. One thing I’ve never understood is who exactly gets rich off of corruption, but in Afghanistan that is all-too-visible. Ministers with mansions and hundreds of millions in bank accounts; the ability to pay Parliament to vote how you want. Oh, and “corruption” trials where people who actively fight corruption end up charged with it themselves and thrown in jail.
  • Megan McArdle, “Arrestees Recover Deleted Video” – from the article (Radley Balko quoted): But here’s what now is indisputable: Mueller took video of the traffic stop, and that video–evidence in both the county’s case against Mueller and Pete Eyre and in their lawsuit against the county–was deleted while Mueller’s camera was in the possession of the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. I’m no lawyer, but I’m fairly sure that’s destruction of evidence. And I’m fairly sure it’s a crime.
  • Jay Cost, “Thoughts on the Earmark Ban” – from the article: We’re only three weeks past one of the biggest midterm blowouts in American history — one that happened largely because of outrage over government spending — and 56 senators vote to keep earmarks. Including eight Republicans?  Yeesh.
  • “Like Monopoly in the Depression, Settlers of Catan is the board game of our time” (wapo; h/t aldaily.com) – not entirely sure about the article’s conclusion (must a board game become a moral tirade?), but also from the article: Settlers of Catan is the pinnacle of the German style. It is, like Monopoly, a multiplayer real-estate development game, in this case set on an island rich in natural resources to which players have limited access. You need ore to build a city, and if you can’t mine enough yourself, you can trade – but the wood you surrender in exchange may help your partner, or boost or thwart someone else. In Settlers, the trading – and the interconnected fates of the players – keeps everyone involved even when they aren’t rolling the dice; there are multiple ways to win; and players are often neck-and-neck until the very end. The game has been constructed to last an hour, 90 minutes tops. And each time you play, the board, which is made up of 19 hexagons, is assembled anew.

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