Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
"Joseph Finder, who writes frequently on intelligence issues" -- particularly works of fiction -- wrote a piece (comments) bashing Holder's plans to investigate the CIA. Unsure why I should care about this guy. The sentiment that it would "delegitimize our government itself" to reject fraudulent "legal decisions" of past administrations is particularly not worthy of that.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Over in the comments at Balkinization, I have said some stuff about Kennedy. I will not repeat them here. One concern of some, which is true, is that his family gave his cause a bad name. As to filling the vacancy, see here, but I reject the constitutional criticism aspect.
A lot of good stuff here: the need to say "enough" in Afghanistan, the interests winning out in the political arena, and that health care is a moral issue. On the last, for instance, so is the idea that illegals should be left to die or something? No money, no care for little Pedro. ["I'm hurt!" Papers please.] He could have been an OT prophet.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
And Also: As with the number of walks (including numerous to the opposing pitcher and those while the bases were loaded), the number of injuries and their length on the Mets was not just bad luck. As with things like infield play and the inability to advance runners, these things happen to professional baseball players for a reason. Ditto bad off season choices.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
And Also: A possible come from six behind victory ends with a 9-7 loss, closed by an unassisted triple play. Of course, it is against the Phillies, Pedro starting. What else can happen? Oh well, Santana is hurt now. The road to the 'B' Spring Training team (starters: Pelfry and scrubs) is about complete now. Perez also might be gone for the year, but that's not exactly a bad thing.
Here's a good set of myth busters. Myth promotes a higher "truth." What we "know" (fs), even if not reality. Death panels over sound end of life counseling. Illegals? Jesus didn't mean them. Abortion? Selective morality and ignoring clear health reasons. Vets? Who truly cared for their interests? Seniors? Who wanted their retirement to rest on the market? Rationing? Nope. etc.
Monday, August 24, 2009
I recently re-read my comments on Kayla Williams' book on her experience as an Arab linguist. Her diverse subjects can be seen in her Huffington Post entries (military service, gender, torture, vet injuries, etc.). See also here. Again, very good book. Nice verve.
There are demonstrations this week to promote an equal right to be topless. This is to oppose puritanical values and inequality while promoting healthful pleasure and basic freedom/protest. One court case involved a "fishnet pullover through the openings of which the areola portions of her breasts were visible." Non-lewd exposure in public is protected here as is breastfeeding in public. More on here.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
And Also: To add to the recent Meg Tilly book review, it is notable for how showing certain horrible things are taken for granted when you are living them. As the author herself noted, a great thing for her now is having the ability to freely buy groceries. Many cannot do this.
The sad death of a young journalist, Akilah Amapindi, was in the news about four years back. My brief discussion of her life and death can be found here with a few more links (one providing audio) since some are defunct. A recent comment there underlines it is one of the few posts here that has received repeated hits. It is nice to know she is still in the hearts and minds of many.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Singing Songs is a collection of vignettes spanning about eight years during the life a girl growing up in an abusive childhood during the '60s that we later learn is based in various ways on the author's own childhood. MT has the voice of "Anna" down, providing a window into childhood among it all. Very good, if hard to read at times.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
And Also: Two years seems a bit much, but J. wants community service for someone whose illegally possessed gun went off in a crowded public place. After all, it's unlikely such reckless sports stars will mess up again.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Telling part of this summary of last night's Mets addition to the record books (10 hits in one inning, first time in its career) is that an important part of the inning is left out -- at least one or two key non-plays that could have got the Braves out of the inning. This happens too much in news accounts. Luckily, Perez got out of the next inning, and the Braves actually didn't score any more runs. 8-4 in the fourth really is not a gimmee with this team.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Obama Administration provides a less offensive brief in support of DOMA. But, disagreement on a "policy" ground is not enough. If it is "discriminatory" it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The "rule of law" (selectively upheld, see torture) includes the "supreme" law of the land. Its limited defense also provides thin "rational basis," particularly since DOMA did more than uphold the status quo. OTOH, this might not be the strongest lawsuit in the pipe. See, e.g., the one pending in Massachusetts and the Boies/Olson lawsuit.
And Also: Though it got the ending reversed at first, here is the exciting finish to the Giants/Carolina game, not quite as important as the exciting finish last December (or the upcoming match-up). Officially tired of BF.
Michele Bachmann is being ridiculed for saying she will run for higher office if God told her to do so. People are guided in what they do in various ways, including some higher calling, be it God or something more secular sounding. This includes various sorts with no chance campaign runs. Meanwhile, Bob Dylan is assumed to be casing a house or something. Papers please!
Monday, August 17, 2009
A family history -- centering on the first generation -- with shades of historical fiction ... "captures the essence of the reality," according to its author. Manischewitz: The Matzo Family — The Making of an American Icon was an enjoyable read with some knowing nods, one or two a bit naughty. More about the company.
Bowing to Republican pressure and an uneasy public, President Barack Obama's administration signaled Sunday it is ready to abandon the idea of giving Americans the option of government-run insurance as part of a new health care system.
Can't have this as the message. It would be insane. BTW, "must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" means what exactly? If we can't take his words at face value ...
And Also: As to the last entry, in the comments of the original referenced post, the author there suggests that he is wary about the public option as likely to be passed anyway. But, this is not the tenor of the entry itself, and even there, "Ben Alpers" has it right. Maybe, I should just read about this thing: a "wait and see" path seems best.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This suggests that this is particularly stupid, even if this suggests he realizes his kneejerk need to start worry about caving to Republican and Blue Dog pressure was unnecessary. Dems have to play from a stance of strength here, especially when the opposition is looking like total asses right now. If Obama actually was dropping feelers here, the right path would be to up the pressure. Not act like a weenie.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Not too long ago, I read an article about the CEO of Whole Foods suggesting he was an animal friendly sane sort. Now, we have this though see this and this (inside view). Reference made to Trader Joe's ... uh, what's their policy? Heck if I know. Good wine shop though. Talk about expense; but WF has a reasonable store brand. Bit knee-jerk reactions. At some point, sorry, I say "enough!"
As Feministing notes points out: to investigate human trafficking, an issue of fundamental importance. But, as is often the case, other things dominate the coverage. How often I read an article and important things are left out or underreported.
And Also: You take what you can these days, so Bobby Parnell's second start last night was in particular a gem. Not quite so much his first -- shorter than his previous long relief outing. As to football, the first Jets game fell to some late game back-ups. The coach du jour apparently is having a baby ... about due from the looks of it. Cubs, who have slipped, also had a good day.
Friday, August 14, 2009
There are some good ideas here about addressing racial inequality in health care. I do think various groups still need some special concern: neutral concern for need deals with the person too, right? I also counter someone a bit too hung up on smoking. I bash b.s. judicial supremacy ranting. Also, as to immigration policy.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Athletes involved in heinous crimes against persons get second chances, so it is okay that Michael Vick will. I'm a bit surprised the Eagles, even with an injury to a back-up, signed the guy. You got a second chance ... don't waste/abuse it. More here.
Item: According to a recent Gallup report, only 13.3 percent of Americans with health insurance purchase their policies on the open market. The remaining individuals are enrolled in either state-sponsored plans or in employer plans that are heavily subsidized by state and federal tax policy. The notion of a free market in health insurance is a myth for the vast majority of Americans.
Fiction is fiction, be it myth or stressed out ranting (of citizens or those who exploit them). Too the idea illegals can just be denied health care, except I guess, cute kids and those contagious or whatnot. Jesus will be proud! More here.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Interesting account of Justice O'Connor's continual judicial service pursuant to this law. Justice Sotomayor has her White House reception (Stevens and Ginsburg in attendance). Melissa Rogers goes back on hiatus. BTW, just re-read Active Liberty (analyzed here) by Justice Breyer ... goes to show it is not just about applying the law.
As tempting as it may be for progressive media to focus on conservative insanity, and as rewarding as it might be in terms of audience size, to win the health care reform debate we need to focus on more than what wingnuts are saying. The narrative of the average American versus a for profit health care reform industry needs to be cultivated to a much greater degree.
And, more on the details of the proposals and the people they would help. Remember: all publicity on some level is good publicity.
In the wake of Monday’s lackadaisical loss, Manuel said he wanted the Mets to “at least look the part” of major leaguers. So they did, carrying bats to the plate and wearing gloves in the field, and at times even doing the appropriate and intended things with the equipment. Manuel did not specify that he wanted them to win, too, so they also looked the part of the Mets, losing for the 10th time in 13 games, this one by 6-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
No, MLs actually win games against mediocrity. When Ron Darling is calling the team out on air, things have been taken to a new level.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Fifty Afghans believed to be drug traffickers with ties to the Taliban have been placed on a Pentagon target list to be captured or killed, reflecting a major shift in American counternarcotics strategy in Afghanistan, according to a Congressional study to be released this week.
The whole article only underlines the "this sounds messy" nature here though some find it a great idea. More here and here.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
And Also: I respond to a LAT article that suggests some in the Administration wants to stack the deck against even a woefully limited torture investigation. The media and administration both come off badly. BTW, this article underlines how science is also key to national security. Sounds like an old West Wing episode.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Putting aside the annoying comments system, sadly not atypical, this is an unfair (and selective) look at one effort of a "science cheerleader" with quite serious bona fides. She's a former cheerleader and uses cheerleaders in one campaign. How horrible! Not that post-Buffy cheerleaders are just eye candy any more. I also found the descriptions clear enough. Annoying PC-ism.
Friday, August 07, 2009
Now, I have read/enjoyed both Helen Oxenbury illustrated Alice stories. Good stuff. Now I can truly enjoy all those allusions. Sen. Gillibrand, who I like more than some but who still is clearly green, again has no real primary opponent. This is probably not that ideal, even if Obama thinks so. I liked Uncle Buck myself.
I sometimes find the regs off base, but this guy is starting to make being wrong and an asshole a point of pride. Still, the comments have some good stuff, including this recommend. Apropos to one of her subjects, this is wickedly clever. My favorite is "Lucy" (Lucifer).
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
A few years ago, I noted: "Recommendation: Washington's General: Nathaniel Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution by Terry Golway, an interesting and smooth bio of a flawed but quite appealing (and largely forgotten) man." OTOH, Caty: A Biography of Catharine Littlefield Greene was a trudge, if one concerning an interesting historical character who lived thru some interesting times.
And Also: I add my .02 to a discussion on the use of "bitch." It pays to recall that even if one sees something as obvious, others might not do so. Consider this failure to admit birthers are not totally (only 95%) nuts. Give a centimeter, be taken for a mile? But, then you give needless fuel to the other side, for what end? I see this "in too far" a lot online, btw.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
And Also: Bob Herbert discusses (if a bit late) past racial profiling at Harvard. And, a bit too much contrariness. Just to take three: the "sexual activity" admitted to is hugging, Walter as a holdout juror is ignored (guess he is not simply racist) and the "bad case" apparently involves a phony sounding scripted victim, a defendant known to have good standing in the community (noting this is somehow wrong?), and so forth. Oh, why is not bringing in Boo (remember, Atticus wanted to) a problem? Creative, so "C" for you.
I find it easier at times to read hard copies. Thus, online printing options, for low prices at Staples (seems cheaper than Kinkos) and elsewhere, are quite helpful. For instance, I had Staples print an online New Republic article that was thirty seven printed pages for $2. In another case, an online book of 170 or so pages cost me about $14, this time for double sided bound with a clear plastic cover and black back. In person printing is charming too.
Monday, August 03, 2009
And Also: Rep. Weiner might not have the stature to be a credible opponent of Mayor Bloomberg, but his comments on health care suggest his voice is a powerful one for those who want good government.