Monday, October 16, 2006

Weekend update: More research links from the week

I guess this isn't a weekend update any more since I never seem to get online on weekends, too much else going on.

Here's one thing that I wanted to post about on Friday but didn't have time. This subject really gets me going. I can't understand why the cable/satellite companies get to have it both ways. Not only do they get huge subscription fees from us, but they sell more commercials than ever. If I have to pay this much for TV, shouldn't it be commercial free?
The report, from Common Cause: Why are cable television prices so high?, press release with link to report. "Big cable has spent more than $92 million lobbying in Washington since 1998. The industry's spending and giving has increased dramatically in the past two years as it marshaled its forces to block congressional or regulatory interference with mega mergers, to halt any effort to curb cable rates, and to quash any attempts to permit families to pay for only the cable stations they watch - not only a cost-saving effort but a way to protect children from the more salacious channels."

The links:

  • Bush Judges Confirm Opponents' Fears, report from People for the American Way: "federal appeals court judges nominated by President Bush are threatening and undermining Americans’ rights and liberties, and working to reduce congressional authority to protect those rights and liberties".
  • Report on 2004 election problems from Common Cause, along with The Century Foundation and The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Press release with links to copies of the report on the websites. "...shows that most problems exposed in the 2004 election remain unresolved, and some have been exacerbated and threaten to mar the mid-term elections in just four weeks."

    Governments, Politics:
  • Country Profile: North Korea, from Nuclear Threat Initiative.
  •, from OMB Watch, has 5 years of federal spending data (2000-2004, plus partial 2005 data). Free searching of the database under Grants or Contracts.

  • Woodward and Bernstein, site for Alicia Shepard's book on the pair.

  • Times Topics. I've run across search references to this but never really looked at it before. Did you know the NY Times puts its stories online by topic, where you can easily get a look at their coverage going back several years? The description: "In the tradition of the printed Times Index, Times Topics seeks to provide simple access to the contents of Each topic page collects all the news, reference and archival information, photos, graphics, audio and video files published on the topic on"

    North Carolina:
  • NCSecondary Roads Database. Put in a road name or number and get the reverse.
  • Craft Revival from Western NC University: search a library of images of crafts and crafters in Western North Carolina.

    Some interesting stories/blogs:
  • The Nieman Watchdog Blog

  • Folkstreams, streaming films on folk culture. Featured, among many others: Alan Lomax's Appalachian Journey.


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