Archive

  • Perspective, People

    T.A Frank on the recent shooting of Suge Knight, and his associate's plea to not make a big deal out of such an ordinary event: Anytime you get a lot of people together, there's going to be the odd shooting or two. If the papers wrote about me every time I hosted a large event and the stray bullet or two went flying, there'd scarcely be room for anything else. Word.
  • States Matter

    The last year has not been a good one for choice : This year's state legislative season draws to a close having produced a near-record number of laws imposing new restrictions on a woman's access to abortion or contraception. Since January, governors have signed several dozen antiabortion measures ranging from parental consent requirements to an outright ban looming in South Dakota. Not since 1999, when a wave of laws banning late-term abortions swept the legislatures, have states imposed so many and so varied a menu of regulations on reproductive health care. Three states have passed bills requiring that women seeking an abortion be warned that the fetus will feel pain, despite inconclusive scientific data on the question. West Virginia and Florida approved legislation recognizing a pre-viable fetus, or embryo, as an independent victim of homicide. And in Missouri, Gov. Matt Blunt (R) has summoned lawmakers into special session Sept. 6 to consider three antiabortion proposals. A...
  • Politics of Terrorism, Comparative Edition

    Tony Blair's unending cycle of Bush-related problems gained a new twist this week with a leaked document from the head of the Foreign Service warning Blair that British policy in Iraq and the Middle East was feeding Islamic radicalism and doing wonders for recruitment. That's not necessarily surprising, one needs only the barest flicker of sentience to intuit that every time we blow up an Iraqi wedding or refuse to disavow permanent bases we give some Islamic extremist that last push towards violence. What is interesting, though, is the cultural difference between the politics of terrorism across the Atlantic and the way it plays out here. To wit: Blair has consistently denied a link between Britain's participation in the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the July 7 bombings, which killed 52 people, along with the four presumed bombers, and injured 700 others on three London subways and a bus. Blair has said the accused bombers -- all young Muslim men, several of them British citizens -- were...
  • SPR

    I'm with Kevin -- Katrina has really made it a necessity that we dip into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Last week, the economy was already beginning to feel the effects of the accelerating price of oil, a shock like Katrina needs to be smoothed out lest the economy really feel the increase.
  • Could've Been Worse

    Looks like New Orleans got spared the worst of it. Katrina spun through in such a way that her deadlier fronts didn't slam into the city's most total vulnerabilities, so bully for that! Nevertheless, it's going to be a bad day for Louisiana, for Mississippi, and a couple of others besides. In two days, when the refugees trudge back into their drowned metropolis, they'd better mix thoughts of reconstruction with serious attention to Chris Mooney's article on prevention. Not to mention that, as Chris notes at his site , global warming (and its expected rise in sea levels) is not going to make for a prettier picture over the next few decades. Maybe Katrina could be a wake-up call? Nah...this bed is just so comfy...
  • Help -- They Need Somebody...

    Want to help those affected by Katrina? Here are some options: • Red Cross • Catholic Charities • Kimarsh in comments notes that MSNBC has a much more complete list . I'll update this as I get more. Leave suggestions in commentd.
  • Before the Storm

    By Ezra A few months back, Chris Mooney, a New Orleans native, penned a scary and, I hope, totally wrong article on what'd happen if a category 4 or 5 hurricane engulfed New Orleans. To say the picture isn't pretty is an understatement. This'd give Hieronymus Bosch nightmares: A direct hit from a powerful hurricane on New Orleans could furnish perhaps the largest natural catastrophe ever experienced on U.S. soil. Some estimates suggest that well over 25,000 non-evacuees could die. Many more would be stranded, and successful evacuees would have nowhere to return to. Damages could run as high as $100 billion. In the wake of such a tragedy, some may even question the wisdom of trying to rebuild the city at all. The rest of his article was dedicated to what needed to be done in preparation. The recommendations, so far as I know, were not followed. Let's hope New Orleans gets a second chance.
  • Noblesse You First

    by Ezra I'm going to have to disagree with Amanda's post that Shakes references below. Amanda says : War is not possible unless you have internal class warfare. War is not possible unless the rich and powerful feel free to demand the lives of the common people be sacrificed with the same ease you lose a pawn in a game of chess. It wasn't always this way. JFK volunteered for service in World War II, was rejected due to his bad back, spent months strengthening it, and successfully reenlisted. His two brothers also served and Joe Kennedy, the oldest, was killed. George W. Bush's father fought to get his fighter's wings at age 18, succeeded, and became the youngest fighter pilot in the Navy. His son, of course, wasn't even the youngest fight pilot in the Texas/Alabama Air National Guard. Hell, he didn't even have the best attendance record in the Guard. There was a time when the children of the rich were expected to do more than others. Noblesse oblige , we called it. And it meant that...
  • Fortunate Sons Don’t Like Grieving Mothers

    Shakes here... Amanda Marcotte, commenting on the coincidence of listening to Sleater Kinney’s cover of “Fortunate Son” as she read Atrios’ post about Gov. Mitt Romney’s agitated discomfort with being asked if his sons were planning to enlist, notes that: Cindy Sheehan standing in the Texas heat outside of Bush's gorgeous, expensive and oh-so-comfortable ranch is a perfect symbol of [the class issues that allow war to happen]. War is not possible unless you have internal class warfare. War is not possible unless the rich and powerful feel free to demand the lives of the common people be sacrificed with the same ease you lose a pawn in a game of chess… I think that the reason that Bush won't come out of hiding and tell Cindy Sheehan the truth about why her son died in Iraq is because the honest answer is so fucking evil. Casey Sheehan died because he's not a fortunate son… [B]ut for a simple random accident of fate, he is the man cowering inside the mansion instead of the bereaved...
  • ID, UC, And U

    PZ on UC disallowing creationist science classes from counting towards admission requirements: This is something we have to deal with at universities all the time. We get transfer students, too, and we have to evaluate how their prior classwork corresponds to our requirements—after all, if they transfer to this university, and are planning to get a degree from this university, we're not going to give the degree to them because they met the standards of some other random university. Every year we get several students who want transfer credit from a community college or some other institution, and we review their class syllabus, look at the textbook used, ask whether it was a lab course or not, etc., and make decisions about whether it's good enough for UMM. Looking at those excerpts , there's no way we'd accept a course taught with that book here. If this lawsuit isn't laughed out of court, I know what I'm going to have to do: set up a mail-order university in my basement, offer...

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