Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’
The image of 4- and 5-year-olds struggling to figure out how to take a multiple-choice test is heartbreaking enough, but the image that stuck with me was that of the children trying to help one another with the test and being told that they’re not allowed to do so.
* The Handmaid’s Tale debuts as ballet in Winnipeg. Judging from the picture attached to the article I have some questions about the accuracy of this adaptation.
* How can anyone say this is anything but an utter debacle? Delaware health officials celebrate first health exchange enrollee.
* And a new study claims the Iraq war claimed half a million lives. Down the memory hole, you!
* You could save a lot of money abolishing the SAT and just testing directly for parents’ wealth. And in these tough times…
* Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” is Coming to the Big Screen! Parents, better start your boundless weeping now just to get ahead of it.
* This Man of Steel nonsense is the craziest casting rumor I’ve ever heard. I don’t care if it’s obviously made up!
* Belligerent stupidity perfected: County board bans Invisible Man from school libraries. Invisible Man!
* Hansen Study: Climate Sensitivity Is High, Burning All Fossil Fuels Would Make Most Of Planet ‘Uninhabitable.’ I’m certainly not going to let some egghead tell me whether or not I’m making most of my own planet “uninhabitable.”
* This is the most Poe’s Law-sy thing I’ve ever read: Give Back? Yes, It’s Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%. I honestly can’t tell if the author is using “modest proposal” correctly or not.
* Bargaining unit faculty members have no expectation of privacy in emails, files, documents, or other information created or stored on university information assets. The university may monitor the use of, and review documents and other information stored on university information assets. Emails sent on a bargaining unit faculty member’s non-university email account and information created or stored on non-university computer systems belong to the bargaining unit member except to the extent that they address work-related subjects.
* Sorry, it’s Buzzfeed, but: 19 Fascinating Examples Of Soviet Space Propaganda Posters.
* AMC is developing a Walking Dead spinoff for 2015. Working title The Walking Money Grab.
* And a new study of twins shows that kids who acquire language early may tend to become heavier drinkers who start drinking earlier. Don’t talk to your kids! For their own good! For their own good!
Science finally proves sleepiness, drunkenness, and brain damage are good for creativity.
* The latest Detroit atrocity: Detroit mayor shoots down idea for Robocop statue. When will that poor city finally get a leader with some vision?
* How “The Fridge” lost his way: Elegy for William “The Refrigerator” Perry.
* Football vs. labor: Will the NFL play next year?
* Dystopia watch: Disney Now Marketing To Newborns In The Delivery Room.
* David Cole plays “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?”—almost by name!—in the New York Review of Books.
As Judge Hudson sees it, the health care reform law poses an unprecedented question: Can Congress, under its power to regulate “commerce among the states,” regulate “inactivity” by compelling citizens who are not engaged in commerce to purchase insurance? If it is indeed a novel question, there may be plenty of room for political preconceptions to color legal analysis. And given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, that worries the law’s supporters.
But the concerns are overstated. In fact, defenders of the law have both the better argument and the force of history on their side. Judge Hudson’s decision reads as if it were written at the beginning of the twentieth rather than the twenty-first century. It rests on formalistic distinctions—between “activity” and “inactivity,” and between “taxing” and “regulating”—that recall jurisprudence the Supreme Court has long since abandoned, and abandoned for good reason. To uphold Judge Hudson’s decision would require the rewriting of several major and well-established tenets of constitutional law. Even this Supreme Court, as conservative a court as we have had in living memory, is unlikely to do that.
The objections to health care reform are ultimately founded not on a genuine concern about preserving state prerogative, but on a libertarian opposition to compelling individuals to act for the collective good, no matter who imposes the obligation. The Constitution recognizes no such right, however, so the opponents have opportunistically invoked “states’ rights.” But their arguments fail under either heading. With the help of the filibuster, the opponents of health care reform came close to defeating it politically. The legal case should not be a close call.
* Did Bush cancel a trip to Switzerland out of fear of criminal prosecution? Probably not—but isn’t it pretty to think so?
* The lunatic fringe of the Republican Party finds another RINO: godfather of neoconservatism Bill Kristol.
* Star Wars, with all those pointless words and images taken out. Note: falsely implies Chewbacca received a medal at the end of the film.
* Charles Simic: Where is Poetry Going?
“Poetry dwells in a perpetual utopia of its own,” William Hazlitt wrote. One hopes that a poem will eventually arise out of all that hemming and hawing, then go out into the world and convince a complete stranger that what it describes truly happened. If one is fortunate, it may even get into bed with them or be taken on a vacation to a tropical island. A poem is like a girl at a party who gets to kiss everybody. No, a poem is a secret shared by people who have never met each other. Compared to the other arts, poets spend most of their time scratching their heads in the dark. That’s why the travel they prefer is going to the kitchen to see if there is any baked ham and cold beer left in the fridge.
* An evening with J.D. Salinger. It ends pretty much exactly as you’d expect:
The three of us got into the cab. Joe gave the driver my address and when the cab began to move Salinger began walking, then running, alongside, still asking us to change our minds. He hit the cab—with his fist, I supposed—and the driver braked.
Joe said, “Drive on!” Salinger was looking in through the window beside me. “Stop. Please come back!” He was shouting now in the quiet street.
The cab moved and got through the intersection. Joe said angrily, “He’s absolutely crazy.”
* And the headline reads: Global food crisis driven by extreme weather fueled by climate change. Enjoy the century.
* Between the tax compromise and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal, I think Obama did a tremendous amount to help his chances for reelection this week. Rachel Maddow rightly calls the DADT repeal the president’s victory:
Politically, the thing to not lose touch with here is that this is the President’s victory. This is something about which the President took a lot of criticism, a lot of abuse, a lot of skepticism from his otherwise most loyal supporters. He continually insisted that this was possible that it would get done.
Guilty as charged. I confess I also love the sweet sound of right-wing screams, especially when their own caucus collapsed in the face of this “generational change.” Even Richard Burr voted the right way!
* It looks like Harvard and Yale will return ROTC to their campuses in light of the repeal. Frankly I’d prefer to see the trend going the other way—we need tighter restrictions on military recruiting, not loosening of the few restrictions that already exist—but I suppose this was unavoidable.
* Seen on Facebook: Obama wants to let gays vote. That’s why I’m voting Tea Party.
* Watch out Texas: bad news coming.
* Aside from the matter of actual violence, drugs, and squalor, there was the fact that in the 1970s New York City was not a part of the United States at all. It was an offshore interzone with no shopping malls, few major chains, very few born-again Christians who had not been sent there on a mission, no golf courses, no subdivisions…
* The message to Nicky Wishart and his generation is very clear: don’t get any fancy ideas about being an engaged citizen. Go back to your X-Box and X-Factor, and leave politics to the millionaires in charge. Via MeFi.
* And still more trouble for Britain: There are a growing number of grassroots organisations campaigning about the over-professionalisation of childhood football. Give Us Back Our Game launched four years ago. “The game has been taken away from children by over-competitive coaches and parents,” says founder Paul Cooper. It has several offshoots, including Football Football, an initiative to revive inner-city football. Then there’s the Children’s Football Alliance, which champions “mixed ability” football, and the Don’t X The Line campaign against over-the-top parental behaviour at children’s football matches. Also via MeFi.
* Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs is evolutionarily novel, so the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to consume these substances.
* And Fringe announces its move to the Friday night death slot with style.
* The headline reads, “Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers.”
* Chris Currey at FrumForum: “How the GOP purged me.”
I do not recognize myself in the Republican Party anymore. As someone said it before, I did not leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. I have the same ideological positions on most of the issues that I had when I voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush in 2000. However, I just cannot trust the reins of our government and nation, of this formidably complicated and complex gigantic machine that is the USA, to the amateurish leadership of the Republican Party.
We are living through tough times. We are being challenged like I have never seen America being challenged before. China is a formidable foe, and it is out there competing against us on every field and beating us on several fronts. While our education budgets are being slashed in every state across the nation, China is doubling and tripling theirs. These are the challenges and challengers that we are facing. And we need our best and brightest to lead us, not a half-term governor or radio/TV talking heads.
Maybe I am too old and too cynical, but I think the Republican party is in the last stages of agony. If nothing happens, we might win an election or even two, but in the long run we will lose America.
* Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast “Shadow Network” of online espionage based in China that used seemingly harmless means such as e-mail and Twitter to extract highly sensitive data from computers around the world.
Frustrated that people continued to consume so much alcohol even after it was banned, federal officials had decided to try a different kind of enforcement. They ordered the poisoning of industrial alcohols manufactured in the United States, products regularly stolen by bootleggers and resold as drinkable spirits. The idea was to scare people into giving up illicit drinking. Instead, by the time Prohibition ended in 1933, the federal poisoning program, by some estimates, had killed at least 10,000 people. Via MeFi.
* Even odder than Durham being the 7th “least drunk” city in the country is Boston as #1. My stereotypes are completely out of whack.
* Think Progress has been doing good work on this winter’s entirely predictable snow-disproves-climate-change malarky. Not only was this last January the warmest on record, but more severe weather systems are a predicted consequence of climate change. Meanwhile, conservatives in California are trying to employ the state’s obscenely dysfunctional public referendum system to overturn its climate change law.
* Have reports of Obama for America’s death been greatly exaggerated? Let’s hope so.
* I suspect I will watch the upcoming DC Comics documentary. I feel very confident in this prediction.
* The Seychelles has one. So does Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Mali, Algeria, Malaysia and Hungary. And New Zealand has two. The United States? None. Zero. Zip. FIFA has named the World Cup referees.