Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Mixed reports suggested the first lethal injection didn't go off without a hitch, but for the first time in years a state had two executions in the same day. Yay! This is a "clean case" (as far as we know) where innocence and other claims were not made, it coming down to the system itself. Beforehand: After three of the eight planned were stopped, the fourth went on with problems lingering. Which is a blatant problem: it's all so arbitrary. Meanwhile.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
The book is an interesting and well sourced take that in effect argues that the Quran provides a Jewish Christian take on Jesus. It even tosses in a take (without Joseph) of a virgin birth. Jesus gets rather top billing, down to the final days (if a bit more hazy there)! It ends with the author's liberal/reformist take, the "something for everyone" approach fitting rather well there. Some of the details might be open to debate (and weeds a bit tedious), but it's overall rather fascinating. More of all faiths need to know the details here. Well written.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.The weekend pushes things to Monday, but still a useful reminder from Justice Holmes. Rather so given the basis of the PPACA Cases. Then, there is the tyranny of Trump never releasing his tax returns. And, there continues to be the Emoluments Clause[s] issue. While they formulate means to screw us over tax-wise, perhaps the Republican Congress can help.
Friday, April 14, 2017
It involves a good amount of supposition to understand what might have "really happened," but is important to get a sense of the context of the times. This is so even if you are an atheist and don't accept the (rather hard to take seriously, if you think too much about it) supernatural components. There is also a way to accept a meaning to it all, like Christmas, it having certain somewhat universal aspects such as rebirth. Ditto Passover in some sense.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
I really enjoyed Isabelle Huppert in Things to Come, a leisurely film of sorts about a certain time in a woman's life. She has a commanding presence and style that impresses. This film is somewhat similar though is a tad more twisted, starting with the opening scene involving her being raped. We first see this from the perspective of her cat. The fact she is a businesswoman crafting a violent video game involving a woman being raped by a monster suggests a certain ongoing theme here. Some overlap in relations with family too. Very good.
Monday, April 10, 2017
2nd Monday in April: when every decision by SCOTUS is a bit tainted because of stolen seat being sworn in (cute baby justice stories time! reference to an article about Kagan helping the new junior "justice," who has certain jobs like messenger boy at Conference). No, after over FORTY YEARS, we don't finally have a 5-4 somewhat liberal leaning Court. I'm depressed and pissed on about equal levels. God he looks like one pleased sanctimonious asshole.
Sunday, April 09, 2017
Reading about the internment of Japanese after watching Allegiance came across this book about a son of immigrants who also went to Japan for a few years to be educated as a child. The book covers the first part of his life, through internment, renouncing citizenship, college, service in the military and further education in Japan. He returned and had a long career in academia. It is a well written philosophical account rich in detail about the triumph of human spirit. Bit of a cliffhanger -- is "Nancy" the woman he married? What happened to "Anne"?
Friday, April 07, 2017
Found out about this movie because Stephanie Miller (a lesbian) on her show joked about a scene involving Morgan Fairchild, involving dolls that look like her employees. The scene, along with one where she tells one of her escorts to "shut the fuck up" is amusing. The movie is a tad overwrought, especially some of the music and imagery. But, it has some charm on a serious level (see first link for plot) with some good acting etc. Good DVD extras. ETA: Special interest flicks, include religious ones here, are a mixed bag. I see the director here was involved in Claire of the Moon. Lol. Well, overwrought fits there. Director also was behind Elena Undone, also a tad overwrought.
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Best in cases like these to admit limitations in re factual allegations, but does just involve deeming a district judge's holding action decision reasonable. Of special note to me is the concurrence that eloquently discusses the "national conversation" regarding the death penalty, including how it affects obtaining drugs. The dissent opens with the facts of the crime. Remember, only the right sticks with the law as compared to empathy and policy. And Also: The "nuclear option" invoked to end cloture on Gorsuch (ultimately 52-48, strict party lines), an attempt to delay things to after the two week break rejected. If fake moderates cared instead just being Republican tools, they might have accepted at least that. Gorsuch final vote due Friday, in time for end of term. "Justice" Deplorable.
The title of this film is notable since it focuses on the person (Jessica Chastain makes the movie), others overshadowed, often just there to be amazed at her (good supporting cast; positive/negative). The ending also has a realistic edge to it, suggesting it isn't just some sort of fantasy (at issue, background checks) of "good guys winning." It has that people talking too much to preach to us quality of let's say West Wing, but overall, liked it more than I thought I might. Guess it a mixture of liking the actress, pace of movie and overall ideas.
It is hard, especially in these times, to be optimistic, but it helps to look long term. Now, in lopsided votes, appeals courts are starting to see discrimination against gays as "sex" discrimination. Others are using such laws to protect trans, though this is more in its infancy (if going on for a few years). Judge Posner's concurrence on how words gain meaning over time, including statutory terms, is also good stuff. Subtweet to Scalia? How about Gorsuch?! And Also: Really depressing how once on fence Rick Hasen has the passion of a convert (especially on Twitter, where he keeps on citing his case & minimizing the other side, including as "catharsis") on Gorsuch. Relying on Republicans to be moderate later? Meanwhile, he keeps on tweeting how horrible Gorsuch is. So, let's enable Republicans based on hopes and dreams of the future full with maybes! Moved from "respectfully disagree" to "oh shut up!"
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
“Which is that we’re here to help people, and if we’re not helping people, we should go the fuck home.” Sen. Kirstin GillibrandShe's passionate, for the right things and a crafty politician. She even has religion! Meanwhile, white child defends buying a black doll.
Saturday, April 01, 2017
As college basketball finishes, MLB baseball season begins tomorrow. The Mets team this year is basically the same as last except along the margins. Wheeler is due to start (Lugo/Matz on DL along with Lagares; please retire David!) and Big Sexy is no longer with us. NY Daily News (boo regarding their MLB preview not having a full team breakdown like past years) generally predict playoffs (split on route) but only one says World Series. Famalia out for 15 days. ETA: It's a bit hard to believe it's April already. Seems to be months of holding action. Gorsuch on edge of confirmation really bothersome in part since will be perhaps first major thing that happened nationally since 1/20 that really sticks. Pissed off about it generally.