Must read 06/16/13

Gail Collins’ column, The Other Side of the Story, in Saturday’s New York Times is on the essential reading list. If you’re not concerned about the possible effects of data mining, just read about Brandon Mayfield. It’s a chilling story, and worth remembering. Bookmark this one and reread it every now and then.

An AP story on has a Methodist minister opposing license plates that feature an “iconic image of a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward [that is] depicted in Allen Houser’s “Sacred Rain Arrow” statue [and] was a clear choice of a public that looked at more than 40 designs that featured Native American art, cowboy images and western and wildlife themes.”

Tourism officials hailed the license plate as a traveling billboard for Oklahoma, and the image was deemed the best license plate in the nation in 2009 by the American License Plate Collectors Association.

But a Methodist minister claims the plate is an affront to his Christian beliefs, and a federal appeals court ruled last week that the minister’s case can proceed.

“I think it’s important to understand that whether it was a Native American symbol or a symbol of any other faith, the issue would be the same,” said Keith Cressman, pastor at the St. Marks United Methodist Church in Bethany.

It pains me to say this, but the minister is right. If the image depicts a prayer, it does not belong on a license plate.

And finally, Mo Elleithee offers this on Salon: To my daughter on Father’s Day: Sorry I used to be a sexist. 

I never had a daughter, but I like to think I’d be writing this to her if I had.

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