Young & Hungry was amusing last night and I recognized the guy with the fake accent from various shows. But, the new love interest actually is a familiar face too -- listened to her sing decades ago. On something called a "record." Time flies. Those perogies looked good too.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
The last day of oral arguments included one involving use of midazolam, which has been flagged as inappropriate by certain experts. The USSC (5-4) allowed one execution to go forward before taking a case. The risk here also is just that -- a risk; so (if it was okay) a successful execution doesn't prove much. Five justices seemed to see this as just a delay mechanism. Or, it just might be the system is flawed and they are blaming the messenger.
Supreme Court opinions are rarely surprising, but Roberts joining the four liberals (though two did not fully agree with his opinion) to uphold a regulation of judicial elections is. The limit might be modest, but as with cases striking down such laws, the ripples might be interesting. Agree judges aren't legislators, so there is more concern for avoiding of corruption or appearance thereof. Roberts also might have seen it as protecting his role.
This article on the changing nature of marriage is fine overall but has a tedious approach of simplifying that I see from time to time in comments. So, marriage was "not above love" until recently or something. Simplistic at best as seen by various ideal couples in ancient myths etc. I also (after a fashion) used this amusing imagined reply to a question about the Greeks to provide my own thoughts on the history there.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The arguments were rather unrewarding, especially the recognition questions that might be a more limited approach/issue, if they seemed to care much. They didn't. The couples' lawyer in the main argument was a bit hesitant sounding; the best was the S.G. The states relied on the risible argument that it would be bad for children if people thought marriage was about love and commitment. First part of audio release while the arguments were still ongoing.
Monday, April 27, 2015
I'm not on the ledge or something, but winning eleven in a row was not quite "real life" either. The Yanks weekend series, including last night's game, was in effect their first big test. Sorta failed, last night kinda embarrassing (four errors didn't help). The winning streak gave the Mets a cushion. Great. Nothing won yet. That series was a bit pathetic.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
I have discussed gnosticism in the past and this basically provides a decent summary of the standard material. A lot of the scriptures remain to me rather esoteric and hard to slough thru though some of the ideas are attractive (especially focus on wisdom and self-knowledge, not Jesus as a sort of animal sacrifice). Book does helpfully touch upon how some of the basic concepts here went back to the days before Jesus including Plato and different myths.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
Back in the day, found op-eds a useful way to think about issues and respond to certain claims. In a way, never stopped, now doing so online. The "red pen" here is impressive though it missed one time when the op-ed spoke about "Christians" being threatened. This open favoritism was to me one of the more blatant douche moves of the writer.
A documentary provides a great human interest story that also shows how much has changed but also staid the same in regard to same sex marriage. The idea of SSM was not crazy to everyone back in the 1970s, including to some governmental officials. But, there still was a ways to go, especially to degree of overturning an immigration judgment (which DOMA later made obligatory) that the law didn't protect them. Ironically, Judge Kennedy (yes that one) was involved, but the issues were somewhat different, as well as the state of the law.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism was more comprehensive than this examination is as biography. It provides some biographical information (basically all supportive) but mostly is a summary of his ideas, which go beyond secularism to anti-vivisection, women's rights and support of the arts. Makes me to want to know more. Jacoby is most impressed by his ability to promote his ideas to the masses. An important matter -- many think, fewer are able to promote and make others think.
Troubling summary of "the raisin case" return for oral argument at SCOTUSBlog where the SG "tried repeatedly to emphasize the actual workings of the program, but there was no receptive audience for that." Justices seemed more concerned about the specter of some overbearing law, at least one in their minds. Meanwhile, interesting discussion of how the Endangered Species Act (here applied to prairie dogs) is a valid exercise of the Commerce Clause given the interstate economic effects involved. Also, back is an armed criminal case.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
This is stock photo so is not a picture of "Floyd," the dog in question. The USSC reasonably (and briefly) decided 6-3 (Scalia/Thomas split) that a traffic stop should not be extended merely to provide time to use a drug sniffing dog. Using the dog itself is dubious, but the matter was upheld in a past case. Garbled oral argument did not hurt defendant. As to being "unnecessary," flagged by dissents, major point of USSC review is to clarify legal points.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Could use a bit of editing, but overall, well written book (has a co-author) about a mixed race girl with not the most ideal family situation that finds a talent and love for the ballet. And, though there are a few photos of her with one, the word "bunhead" is not mentioned once! A review argues she praises herself too much, but she openly notes her gift and the responsibility (along with the joys) she feels it brings. An honest and appropriate mentality.
Player after player is falling by the wayside. TWO major players (including a key leftie reliever) are now out for some time because they were hit. The erstwhile closer is out 80 days (and no post-season) for violating the steroid policy. Another closer is thriving early on and there is already talk that a slot is not guaranteed when the cheater ("me? no idea!") returns. Might be best, especially if you can get something for him, to trade him. Send a message. Steroids can be dangerous and the rules are there for a reason. LGM!!!
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The final part of the "Ape Woman" trilogy was on last night via Svengoolie and it actually was pretty good on average with no excessive use of past footage including somewhat unpleasant animal acts. The plot did get a bit ridiculous as it went along and the Ape Woman was rather boring here especially with a new actress. But, basically fits into the decent if no longer novel third trilogy rule. Meanwhile, Good Witch season finale okay; not worth two hours.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Timely book covering reactions from various sides. Overall, well written, though some chapters seems to go on a bit too long. But, appreciate the multifaceted approach.
Friday, April 17, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
John Oliver in effect channels Holmes et. al. to defend tax collectors. St. Matthew blessed the affair. He noted even granting wrongdoing in the Tea Party matter (dubious) that defunding isn't the answer. If we are going to trust the government with social programs, including PPACA, some respect of the IRS will be important. The bill is due!
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Four justices would grant a stay but are silent on why. I am sick of this shit -- if you don't think the guy should die, TELL US WHY. Explain yourself. The murder was a guy going off the deep end about his ex-wife. This is not "worse of the worst" material anyway. It looks like there are other problems but this alone is bothersome.
Interesting book by Cuomo challenger Zephyr Teachout on the history of corruption as a basic threat to republican values. We see how paid lobbying was once upon a time seen as against public policy, but it mainly covers campaign donations and gifts. Balancing pure speech (Citizens United was about a film) not really covered. Would like a bit more on that issue.
It is a shame that this is the only original Star Trek film left to borrow from NYPL. Focused on showing off special effects, the story itself is a bit thin and drags. It is in effect a mix of a failed pilot with padding. And, as a philosophical exercise, it isn't much. Still watchable.
Monday, April 13, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Saturday, April 11, 2015
There is a certain shall we say somewhat unhealthy draw to this story though we should not forget she was convicted of rape of a thirteen year old and most probably has mental issues of some sort. After she served her time, we would probably have the idea that the guy would have moved on. No, they are still together, with their two teenage girls (she has other children lest we forget). May/December romance with a twist. smh.
A "Christian" (meaning certain sort) film is getting some attention. There are good films motivated by such themes; it is a matter of telling a good story. Got into it in comments with a couple who don't really think Jesus actually existed. Go there to see some apparent "evidence." If you want to feel superior to Christians, going way the other way seems a tad ironic -- skeptics should figure it more likely Jesus existed as a human, just like any number of people we generally accept without more existed based on our limited source materials.
Friday, April 10, 2015
This is a sort of cerebral time travel film -- it is more about family drama and contemplation than actual time traveling. Overall, helped by a cast filled with faces familiar to sci fi (basically every main role), it is pretty good. Nice DVD find.
Thursday, April 09, 2015
150 years ago is often deemed the "end" of the Civil War and the surrender of Lee's army is basically a sort of de facto conclusion. There were other armies in the field, at least one Confederate victory (minor skirmish in Texas) and trouble with a Confederate raider to come. The surrender of Johnston's army itself was an interesting process, including the general refusing to follow Davis' orders to not surrender. An act of treason?
This is a great story that deserves to be told. But, darn, if this book was a trudge -- it was like a high school student padding an essay with a ton of background and commentary. She also recently wrote an article summarizing same sex marriage in the U.S. over our history (interesting; article behind academic wall) much less tedious. Book still worth a look.
Two states now have banned a common second trimester abortion procedure as well as after miscarriages (a cruel tack-on). The citation of banning "a procedure" is somewhat confusing; this article helps explain that this only leaves in place antiquated methods. There is a "serious health" exception that doesn't cover various things including (reading OK law) suicidal tendencies. Not rape. And, it's not a matter of the alternative abortion procedure itself being dangerous to her health. Seems unconstitutional, but who knows these days?
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
A few celebrities died recently but two have special significance for me -- James Best (who I just saw on The Twilight Zone) was Roscoe P. (emphasis) Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard. And, Geoffrey Lewis, father of the actress, popped up on loads of shows and movies.
Abortion rights are often argued thru a sex/gender equality lens, so this short and sweet (seven pages) argument as to birth control makes perfect sense. It is also an example of using available material in different ways, potential often there, if it is seized. Overall, it shows the multifaceted nature of the subject at hand, which particularly interests me.
Two things. As suggested at the blog linked, my annoyance was a continuance of some past comments, particularly involving Judge Moore's actions regarding the SSM litigation there. Two, as usual, this isn't meant to be overly personal -- I'm citing it as an example of a general concern. Other people rubbed me the wrong way and when I eventually bluntly commented that their style came off as annoying, a few were also babyish about it.
How? Well, a student was suspended for usage of a racial slur on a dry erase board in a study hall. I don't think suspension appropriate, but am tired of this rhetoric. And, I think the professor is being a bit of a jerk. If the 1A compels not allowing public universities to set up minimum politeness rules even in study halls, fine. It still is not a "mob" action "silencing" debate. And, note not only can't the "n" word politely be cited there, nor is it simply treated the same as the general idea in 1A law, but being honest leads to him sounding like a baby.
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Monday, April 06, 2015
True, "it’s hard to see how we could sustain current American meat consumption," but didn't take that as the question. The resources it takes to raise animals is fairly inefficient if the concern is merely to "feed a crowded world." There is no "juvenile romanticism" here unless we pretend raising animals factory style for food will stop soon. Who does that?