Posts Tagged ‘justice

22
Apr
14

4.22.14 … On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” – Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, Animated in Motion Graphics,  Brain Pickings:  Happy Earth Day!

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

via Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, Animated in Motion Graphics | Brain Pickings.

 ‘Artisanal’ Toast, The Salt : NPR: 

The TIY Verdict

If you’re looking for a delicious treat — and a few extra calories — try pan-fried toast. To impress your friends, pull out the blowtorch. And when you’re stuck in a motel room and get a hankering for toast, the coffee maker should do the trick.

Or just wait for a toastery to open up in your neighborhood.

via We Didn’t Believe In ‘Artisanal’ Toast, Until We Made Our Own : The Salt : NPR.

Worth sticking with one airline?, Atlanta Forward, frequent flyer miles: 

Maybe, just maybe, more customers will make a rational decision about their next flight itinerary — not one distorted by a pathological obsession with miles, but based on ticket price and convenience. A veil is slowly being lifted from the traveling public, and at last, they’re seeing loyalty programs for what they really are: habit-forming schemes that impair your ability to make a clear-headed decision about travel and that almost always benefit the travel company more than you.

via Worth sticking with one airline? | Atlanta Forward.

Cloud Photo Storage, Family Pictures, WSJ.com: 

In my hunt for the best cloud photo option, five services stood out: Dropbox, Flickr, Shutterfly, SmugMug and the powerful yet clumsy combination of Google GOOGL +1.14% Drive and Google+. In the end, only Flickr managed to satisfy all my requirements, though SmugMug was a close second

via Cloud Photo Storage: The Best Ways to Bank Family Pictures – WSJ.com.

Survivalist Seder, Passover, go bags: Loved this!

That all changed Monday night, when he decided to use the first night of Passover to talk openly about emergencies and evacuation and disaster “without delving into paranoia and fear.”

Aaron had been thinking for a while now that for Passover, which comes with its own stash of basement boxes—foods and dishes to be used only for eight days a year—we’re all forced to create what he calls “a mini household in a closet.” And the Passover story, at least as he thinks about it, is really all about leaving home quickly in an emergency, with only the stuff you can carry.

So Aaron sent out an email to our Seder guests simply asking “for everyone (kids included) to take some time this week packing a ‘bag’ of your necessities if you had to pack up and leave your home as our ancestors did. The only requirement is that it should be something that you could reasonably carry without having to ask someone else to do it for you.” It was our first ever Emergency Preparedness Seder. We will probably do it again next year (if we make it to next year).

via Survivalist Seder: This Passover, we packed go bags..

 George F. Kennan’s Diaries, Reviewed, New Republic: Worth your time …

He is a relic of the nineteenth century, a misfit in modern times. The achievements of science, medicine, and technology leave him cold; he sees only the defilement of nature wrought by the automobile, and the corruption of the spirit brought on by consumer society, whose blight he laments with numbing frequency. (“With all due effort to avoid exaggerated pessimism and over-dramatization,” he writes, in a typical passage, from 1978, “I can see no salvation for the U.S. either in its external relations nor in the development of its life internally.”) From urban decay to the decline of the schools, from the media’s crass commercialism to sexual libertinism, he sees all about him a decadent society—late Rome—offering grounds only for hopelessness.

via George F. Kennan’s Diaries, Reviewed | New Republic.

Indy churches,  share spirit — and their space: 

Nesting, where a congregation welcomes another flock to share its home, isn’t new, but it’s a growing trend as churches face challenging demographic and financial changes. The sharing is sometimes between an established church with a dwindling membership and a newer church that can’t afford a building, although some established and healthy churches do it as an outreach, a Christian helping hand.

via Indy churches share spirit — and their space.

 Ender’s Game Movie, Roger Ebert: I actually liked it.  Worth a Redbox rental.

The movie version of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” is way too kind, and the drama suffers greatly for it. The movie packs too much plot into 114 minutes and has serious pacing issues, and because its makers don’t have a eye for spectacular set pieces, it never looks as grand as it should. But the film’s biggest problem is a matter of tone and characterization: the characters constantly talk about how mean they can be, but their actions suggest otherwise.

via Ender’s Game Movie Review & Film Summary (2013) | Roger Ebert.

Veriditas, labyrinths, history:

The labyrinth design used by Lauren Artress is a replica of the Eleven-circuit Medieval Labyrinth from Chartres Cathedral in France. This pattern, made of Beauce quarry stone and an unnamed black stone to delineate the path, was inlaid into the stone floor in 1201. For the last 250 years, however, it has been forgotten and covered with chairs until Artress led a small group of people into Chartres cathedral to remove the chairs to experience the meditative walk first hand.

After her experience in Chartres, she returned home to Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, painted the design on canvas and opened it to the public. In 1994 the indoor tapestry labyrinth — open during cathedral hours — was installed and in 1995 the outdoor terrazzo labyrinth — open 24 hours a day — was installed in the Melvin E. Swig Interfaith Meditation Garden. Literally millions of people have walked these labyrinths. In the summer of 2007, Grace Cathedral replaced the tapestry labyrinth with a beautiful new limestone and marble labyrinth in the floor of the cathedral.

After introducing the labyrinth through the International Transpersonal Association in Ireland in 1994 and to Switzerland, Germany in 1995, her work began to focus intensely in both Grace Cathedral and Chartres Cathedral. She has led workshops around the United States, Canada, the UK and Europe. In 1997 she began to train facilitators to present the labyrinth in their communities. Now, over 4000 people have been trained in this transformational work.

Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, and encourage meditation, insight, self-reflection, stress reduction, and to discover innovation and celebration. They are open to all people as a non-denominational, cross-cultural blueprint for well-being. The practice of labyrinth walking integrates the body with the mind and the mind with the spirit. They can be found in medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, memorial parks, spas, cathedrals and retreat centers as well as in people’s backyards.

Go to our world wide labyrinth locator to find a labyrinth near you!

via Veriditas – About the Labyrinth.

South Africa’s Pistorius trial, Justice, The Economist:  So is this a trial of a society.

Campaigners highlight what they see as South Africa’s dangerous proliferation of firearms. The trial has brought to light several incidents when Mr Pistorius carelessly fired a gun in public, once in a crowded restaurant, another time out of his car’s sunroof after an argument with a policeman.

Some thus see him as a product of the country’s malignly macho gun culture. A string of South African men have recently shot family members after apparently mistaking them for intruders. But others point out that the number of guns in South Africa has fallen sharply since the end of apartheid in 1994 to 12.7 per 100 people, not least because stricter laws were enacted in 2000. In comparison, Americans on average own one gun per head of population. Britain has 6.7 per 100.

When Mr Pistorius declared in his testimony, “I shot out of fear,” he became the voice of many white South Africans. They tend to see themselves as living in the shadow of violent crime, retreating behind high walls, electric fences and steel doors. From there they can summon private security guards, who are twice as numerous as policemen, by pressing a panic button.

The trial has revived a long-running debate about other aspects of crime. South Africa’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world: 30.9 for every 100,000 people, compared with 4.7 in the United States. Yet the rate has fallen by half in the past 15 years. Rich whites, the most fearful among South Africans, are actually the least endangered. Most victims are poor and black.

via South Africa’s trial: Justice, after all, is being done | The Economist.

Bubba Watson,  $148 Tip at Waffle House, Bleacher Report: You rock, Bubba!

But that’s just “Bubba being Bubba,” according to USA Today. So it was hardly a surprise when Watson celebrated this year’s Masters victory win with a trip to Waffle House. He tweeted a selfie with his wife and some friends on that evening.

And it was even less surprising when Meg Mirshak of The Augusta Chronicle reported he was more than generous with the tip he left:

A waitress told a customer Tuesday morning that Watson left a $148 tip on the bill. When asked to confirm the amount, Knotts declined to say how big the tip was but said three employees split the money.

‘It was above and beyond what would have normally been shared,’ [manager Ken] Knotts said. ‘Bubba was just so gracious about everything.’

Steak n’ Shake franchise owner Preston Moss said Watson left a $24 tip on his milkshake bill.

Watson has become one of the most likable players in the game, and his dominance at Augusta means he’s one of the better players, too. Big things will be expected of Watson, and the golf world eagerly awaits to see if he can win another major outside of the Masters.

We are still awaiting a dynamic personality in golf in the post-Tiger-Woods-dominance era, and Watson is a colorful figure who is easy to root for. But we also partly cheer for him because, let’s be honest, we’re all a bit curious to see where Bubba might celebrate next.

via Bubba Watson Reportedly Leaves $148 Tip at Waffle House | Bleacher ReportA.

 

 Mt Everest Avalanche:

The avalanche struck around 06:45 local time (01:00GMT) in an area known as the “popcorn field”, just above Everest base camp at an elevation of 5,800m (19,000ft), an official told the BBC.

via Everest avalanche: Ten climbers missing (Video/Photos) – Newsfirst.

 Miniversion of Wrigley, Freeport,  chicagotribune.com: Love this one, too!

ct-little-cubs-field-talk-20140419-001

Little Cubs Field is a miniversion of Wrigley Field, including everything from the green scoreboard to the WGN press box and even a Harry Caray statue.

The park, about one-quarter the size of Wrigley, is used for youth baseball and other Freeport functions. Wrigley’s been around for a century. Little Cubs Field is starting its seventh season.

Little Cubs Field was Garkey’s brainchild. In 2002 he pitched to the local park district his dream as a place where kids could play ball, but it took a village to build it and continue improving on it, he said.

via Miniversion of Wrigley a hit in Freeport – chicagotribune.com.

Shakespeare, Davidson College, Radio Play Live on WDAV, Davidson College:

“Performing Shakespeare,” a seminar regularly taught at Davidson College by Dana Professor of English Cynthia Lewis, has been reimagined for the airwaves.

The title of the course was changed to “Radio Shakespeare,” indicating that the class will be presenting the playwright’s work on the radio rather than on the stage.

Lewis’s students will perform a broadcast of The Merchant of Venice for a live audience at the college’s radio station, 89.9 FM WDAV, at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday, April 26. This production of the Elizabethan classic harkens back to the heyday of radio drama, and occurs on the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s baptism.

Bracketing the live broadcast on April 26, Lewis’s radio Shakespeareans also will present performances before studio audiences at WDAV on Friday, April 25 and Monday, April 28. WDAV engineers will record the three performances in the studio and compile the strongest elements from each into a single podcast, which will be available for download.

The “Radio Shakespeare” students also will present another, non-recorded staged reading of The Merchant of Venice at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 27, at “Pian del Pino,” the Italian Renaissance-style villa of Margaret Zimmermann and Price Zimmermann, a former academic dean at Davidson.

The public is invited to all four performances, but space is limited. Contact Radio Shakespeare with reservation or information requests.

via Shakespeare Students Will Perform Radio Play Live on WDAV – Davidson College.

 Chicken Thigh Recipes,  Bon Appétit:  Favorite piece of chicken …

Chicken Thigh Recipes Slideshow

via Chicken Thigh Recipes Slideshow – Bon Appétit.

21
Jan
13

1.21.13 2013 Inauguration and MLK Day … Interesting combination …

2013 Inauguration, Edward Lindsey:  Thoughtful words from my brother …

Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition. But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy. One President. One Congress. One Country. United today by more than what divides us. Congratulations, President Barrack Obama. May God bless you and our nation.

via Edward Lindsey.

Photo: Tomorrow, a victorious Democratic president and his party will have the burden of leadership, and my defeated Republican party  will take up the difficult duty to provide the loyal opposition.   But for today, all Americans celebrate the continuation of the great American Experiment in republican democracy.  One President.  One Congress.  One Country.  United today by more than what divides us.  Congratulations, President Barrack Obama.  May God bless you and our nation.

Martin Luther King Jr., quotes, holiday:  Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you dont see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. #martinlutherkingjr

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Photo: Celebrating the life and wisdom of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

 

Martin Luther King Jr.,  Brene Brown:  I loved this post by Brene Brown “light, love and martin luther king, jr.” so I am sharing it in full …

 

I used to turn to this quote in the midst of crisis or tragedy (or whenever I was in personal struggle). Now I realize that what started as shared wisdom has become my central prayer and a daily practice for me.

Anger, judgment and blame are go-to emotions for me. This is especially true when I’m tired, anxious, or feeling vulnerable. When I’m not being mindful, I can try to overcome hate with hate. I can drop quickly into resentment and judgment.

When there is darkness in the world, I can slip into the dark place. I can start rehearsing tragedy and let my fear take over. I can turn to blame even though I know that blaming is simply a way to discharge pain and discomfort and has nothing to do with holding people accountable.

This incredible wisdom from Martin Luther King has become a prayer to me because it is everything I believe about my faith. I want to stay in love when fear drives me to hate and judgement. I want to practice gratitude and cultivate joy in the darkness. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be afraid or sad or vulnerable, it simply means that reacting to tragedy by living in fear doesn’t create empathy, it breeds more fear.

Here’s to love and light. As an imperfect practice. As a daring prayer. Thank you, Dr. King.

via light, love and martin luther king, jr..

Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday, anthropology,  13.7: Cosmos And Culture, NPR, bookshelf:  Another to add to the list …

In his new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies, Diamond questions the practice of psychologists who base their claims about human nature entirely on people from WEIRD — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic — societies. In fact, Diamond writes, people in small-scale societies, people who gather and hunt, herd animals or farm, may have figured out better ways than WEIRD ways to treat people, solve social problems and stay healthy.

So far, this sounds pretty much like an embrace of the cross-cultural diversity that we anthropologists work to understand, even to celebrate. So what’s the backlash all about?

via Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad? : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.

Mark Twain, A Biography, quotes, profanity: Interesting … I think I’ll send this to the person in my life who actively uses profanity. 🙂

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” Mark Twain, A Biography

via Did Twain use the F-word?.

Downton Abbey, Speakeasy – WSJ:  In case I missed something I love these recaps.:)

What was Branson thinking? What do you think of Robert’s handling of financial matters up to this point? Did Ethel make the right decision?

via ‘Downton Abbey,’ Season 3, Episode 3: TV Recap – Speakeasy – WSJ.

21+ Students,  drinking preferences, culture, college life, Davidson College:

Though 21-year-old students may drink more nights per week, they rarely feel like they “black-out” or get as drunk as they did when they were younger. It seems that as Davidson students get older, they develop more responsible drinking habits. When students turn 21, alcohol becomes much more accessible at court parties, Martin Court Apartments, and bars, and they thus feel less inclined to pre-game or aggressively drink.

via 21+ Students share drinking preferences – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

sustainability, money, justice, environment, Davidson College:  This is much bigger than I realized …

 

Now leading the sustainability charge at Davidson is Jeff Mittelstadt ’99, who returns to alma mater as the college’s first, full-time director of sustainability. A triple threat with masters’ degrees in environmental management (Duke), in business administration (UNC Chapel Hill) and in journalism and mass communications (UNC Chapel Hill), Mittelstadt likewise takes a three-pronged view of sustainability circa 2013.

 

“It’s a triple bottom line,” he says, “of economic prosperity, social justice, environmental integrity. It’s about not just how they conflict but how they can drive each other.”

 

via Sustainability 3.0: Money, Justice, Environment.

Carl Sandburg, unpublished, guns, poetry, “Revolver”: Very timely …

With the debate over gun control heating up, a retired volunteer at a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign made a timely find.

Ernie Gullerud, a former professor of social work at the university, came upon a previously unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg titled “A Revolver,” which addresses the issue of guns and violence.

“I’m no judge of what makes a great poem, but this one said so much and so succinctly and to the point. I thought ‘Golly, someone could have written this today,'” said Gullerud, 83.

It’s not clear when Sandburg typed the poem:

Here is a revolver.
It has an amazing language all its own.
It delivers unmistakable ultimatums.
It is the last word.
A simple, little human forefinger can tell a terrible story with it.
Hunger, fear, revenge, robbery hide behind it.
It is the claw of the jungle made quick and powerful.
It is the club of the savage turned to magnificent precision.
It is more rapid than any judge or court of law.
It is less subtle and treacherous than any one lawyer or ten.
When it has spoken, the case can not be appealed to the supreme court, nor any mandamus nor any injunction nor any stay of execution in and interfere with the original purpose.
And nothing in human philosophy persists more strangely than the old belief that God is always on the side of those who have the most revolvers.
 

via Unpublished Carl Sandburg poem about power of guns uncovered at U. of I. library – chicagotribune.com.

19
Jul
11

‎7.19.2011 … hot … everywhere …

The Constitution, politics, conflict: Loved this article …

Here are a few things the framers did not know about: World War II. DNA. Sexting. Airplanes. The atom. Television. Medicare. Collateralized debt obligations. The germ theory of disease. Miniskirts. The internal combustion engine. Computers. Antibiotics. Lady Gaga.

People on the right and left constantly ask what the framers would say about some event that is happening today. What would the framers say about whether the drones over Libya constitute a violation of Article I, Section 8, which gives Congress the power to declare war? Well, since George Washington didn’t even dream that man could fly, much less use a global-positioning satellite to aim a missile, it’s hard to say what he would think. What would the framers say about whether a tax on people who did not buy health insurance is an abuse of Congress’s authority under the commerce clause? Well, since James Madison did not know what health insurance was and doctors back then still used leeches, it’s difficult to know what he would say. And what would Thomas Jefferson, a man who owned slaves and is believed to have fathered children with at least one of them, think about a half-white, half-black American President born in Hawaii (a state that did not exist)? Again, hard to say.

Today’s debates represent conflict, not crisis. Conflict is at the core of our politics, and the Constitution is designed to manage it. There have been few conflicts in American history greater than the internal debates the framers had about the Constitution. For better or for worse — and I would argue that it is for better — the Constitution allows and even encourages deep arguments about the most basic democratic issues. A crisis is when the Constitution breaks down. We’re not in danger of that.

If the Constitution was intended to limit the federal government, it sure doesn’t say so. Article I, Section 8, the longest section of the longest article of the Constitution, is a drumroll of congressional power. And it ends with the “necessary and proper” clause, which delegates to Congress the power “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” Limited government indeed.

via U.S. Constitution Under Siege over Libya, Taxes, Health Care – TIME.

Space Shuttle, End of an Era, NASA:  End of an era or “error”?

The space shuttle Atlantis will be in space for one more day than originally planned, NASA announced Monday.

The shuttle, which was scheduled to land July 20, will now make what NASA called a night landing at Kennedy Space Center at 5:56 a.m. July 21.

Atlantis lifted off Friday on NASA’s final space shuttle mission.

On board is a four-person team: mission commander Christopher Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. The crew of veteran astronauts docked Sunday at the International Space Station to deliver a load of supplies.

via NASA extends shuttle mission one day – CNN.com.

But there’s the other side of the shuttle too. The $500 million price tag every time one took off, the months of maintenance and prep work needed between flights, the temperamental electronic and hydraulic systems that scrubbed launches time and time again, the thermal tiles the ships would shed like dry leaves. And, finally, there are the 14 astronauts who lost their lives when first Challenger and later Columbia soared aloft but never returned home.

It’s easy both to hate and love a ship like that. Conservative pundit Charles Krauthammer, who yields to no man when it comes to finely crafted crankiness, distilled that kind of cognitive dissonance splendidly once when he wrote that the space shuttle belongs in “the Museum of Things Too Beautiful and Complicated to Survive.”

The fact is, the shuttles almost didn’t exist at all. A reusable, low-orbit space truck was hardly the initial direction NASA was planning to go in the triumphant afterglow of the Apollo program. It wasn’t even the initial direction the Nixon administration advocated. Not long after taking office, Nixon appointed a space task force to determine the future of cosmic exploration, chaired by Vice President Spiro Agnew. The group came back with an ambitious long-term plan that included the establishment of a near-Earth space station, further explorations of the lunar surface and a manned landing on Mars by 1986.

But Nixon wanted none of it — nor of much of the remainder of the existing lunar program either, which was supposed to continue through Apollo 20 but was canceled before its final three missions could be flown. There has always been speculation in space circles that Nixon’s antipathy for the lunar program was based on the fact that it was an idea initiated by President John F. Kennedy — whom Nixon never quite quit resenting. Maybe that’s true; the man who gave us a White House enemies list was clearly not above pettiness. But it’s also true that it was Nixon who was in office when Apollo 11 landed, and thus Nixon who got to perform the presidential touchdown dance — phoning the astronauts on the lunar surface, appearing on the deck of the aircraft carrier Hornet to welcome them home. Apollo had effectively become Nixon’s program and any future Mars initiative would have been his baby as surely as the early space push was Kennedy’s.

The more prosaic explanation for Nixon’s wariness was money. The Vietnam War was still consuming an outsize portion of the federal budget and inflation was roaring — at 6% in 1970 — prompting Nixon to take the now unthinkable measure of imposing wage and price controls in the summer of 1971. Throwing money at Mars at a time like that might simply not have seemed tenable. Instead, we’d go the practical route, and a space shuttle would provide the way.

via NASA’s Final Shuttle: The End of an Error? – TIME.

Casey Anthony, trials, media trials, murder trials, justice: OK, I did not watch one day of the trial … but the prosecution did not prove its case … bottom line.

Anthony, who was sentenced to four years with time served for lying to police, will be released from jail July 17. The 25-year-old was acquitted of charges she abused and murdered her toddler daughter Caylee. Anthony’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony, have received death threats since the trial ended, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Mason made some strong remarks about the media’s role in the case, scolding those “who have indulged in media assassination for three years.”

“She was not only tried, but convicted and sentenced by the news media, and that conviction was overturned by the jury,” he told Guthrie.

via Casey Anthony lawyer worried about her safety after release; speculation continues about Caylee’s death – The Washington Post.

Casey Anthony is guilty of many things. She is an enthusiastic liar. She was an indifferent mother. She mooched off her overindulgent parents for years. Even after her daughter went missing, Anthony partied and got a tattoo. But the state of Florida did not make a good case that Anthony murdered her daughter. In acquitting Anthony, the jury made the right call.

… The Casey Anthony trial offered few answers. It provided neither justice nor clarity.

Murder cases occupy a unique place in the American judicial arena: they require inflexible scientific evidence even as they elicit primal emotions. In the unsolved death of Caylee, the dearth of evidence means that all that unresolved emotions will continue to haunt an audience that had grown obsessed with the trial of her mother since jury selection began on May 9, almost two months ago.

via The Casey Anthony Verdict: The Jury Did the Right Thing – TIME.

Google, e-readers, competition:  I still prefer my iPad, but there is something nice about a designated e-reader … and the more competition the better!

Google has teamed up with device manufacturer iriver to release a Google branded eReader. The iriver Story HD will be the first eReader integrated with the Google eBooks platform. The Wi-Fi enabled device has a 6″ eInk screen and a QWERTY keyboard. It goes on sale this coming Sunday at Target for $139.99, the same price as the Kindle.

Do you think the eReader will be competitive? It is good news for independent bookstores who can sell eBooks using the Google eBookstore platform.

via Google eReader Takes on Kindle – GalleyCat.

Google+, social networking: I want an invite!

If you’re desperate to get on to Google+ but are still awaiting your invite, stay calm: Google’s new social network is growing incredibly fast, according to one unofficial study. So your chance to join in the Circle-dancing fun on G+ can’t be far off.

According to G+ user Paul Allen (not the Paul Allen that co-founded Microsoft, though), Google+ is “growing like crazy”. In a post published over the weekend, he estimated it had 4.5 million users, and had grown nearly three times in a single week. Allen said he’s post a more detailed report, with up-to-date figures, later today.

(MORE:: Five Failed Social Networks Even Worse Than MySpace)

Plus is getting a lot of attention because – finally – Google seems to have done a social network right. All right, I know Orkut was big in Brazil. I’m talking about a social network for everyone who isn’t in Brazil.

via Google+ Is ‘Growing Like Crazy’ – Techland – TIME.com.

It’s too early to declare Google+ a success. For one thing, it’s still not fully open to the public. (Google has been admitting newcomers in small, sporadic batches; you can get on the waitlist at plus.google.com.) For another, it’s an unapologetic work in progress. But it has enormous potential — both to be a cool online destination and to redefine the dynamics of the ongoing battle between the Web’s biggest companies. Already, it’s having an impact. Facebook unveiled a new person-to-person video-calling service in partnership with Skype this week, but the fact that Google+’s Hangout feature permits up to 10 people to chat via Webcam made Facebook’s news less of a big whoop.

Google calls Google+ a “project,” which is about right. It’s not one thing but several of them loosely stitched together and with existing Google services like the Picasa photo-sharing service. Some of it is cribbed directly from Facebook. The Stream is Facebook’s News Feed, Posts are the Wall, and the +1 button is a shameless imitation of the Facebook Like button that’s been pressed billions of times all over the Web.

Google+ replicates only a fraction of Facebook, though, and it offers several things that Facebook doesn’t — like Sparks, a special-interest search engine that helps you find stuff on the Web to share with your pals, with topics ranging from recipes to robotics. It also borrows a fundamental principle from Twitter rather than Facebook: you can follow other members without seeking their permission, and it’s a unidirectional action that doesn’t require them to follow you back.

via Google+ Reverses Social-Network Curse, Challenges Facebook – TIME.

 

careers, banking, farming:  I think this is good for American society … we need more farmers.

If you want to become rich, Jim Rogers, investment whiz, best-selling author and one of Wall Street’s towering personalities, has this advice: Become a farmer. Food prices have been high recently. Some have questioned how long that can continue. Not Rogers. He predicts that farming incomes will rise dramatically in the next few decades, faster than those in most other industries — even Wall Street. The essence of his argument is this: We don’t need more bankers. What we need are more farmers. The invisible hand will do its magic. “The world has got a serious food problem,” says Rogers. “The only real way to solve it is to draw more people back to agriculture.”

But some experts believe agriculture can do more to fuel job growth. Chuck Fluharty of the Rural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri sees a possible renaissance in farm towns. As money flows back into those areas, he predicts, farmers will need somewhere to invest. As they did with ethanol, he says, farmers will put their money in new industries that will create uses for their crops, like biodegradable plastics or other kinds of biofuels. The result will be more jobs. “Agriculture is the most critical story in our economy today,” says Fluharty. “It will affect the future of the world.”

via Best U.S. Job: Become a Farmer to Make More than a Banker – TIME.

websites, apps, Historypin:  Looks pretty cool …

Today, the unveiling of an ambitious new site called Historypin takes the concept several steps further.

In a partnership with Google, from which it leverages maps and Street View imagery, Historypin allows users to upload vintage photographs to geographically “pinned” locations on a map. Those images are then laid on top of Google’s Street View and organized on a navigable timeline, dating all the way back to 1840 (when the first recorded photograph took place). Landmarks, street corners, or wherever else you can imagine can be given unimaginable layers of depth via their own past and present communities.

via Technology and History Collide in Historypin: A Progressive Time Capsule for Vintage Photos – Techland – TIME.com.

Jaycee Dugard, media: I wish this woman peace.

A statement from Dugard, read by her mother at the sentencing hearing, called the Garridos “evil” and described her kidnapping by them as a “sexual perversion.”

During the ABC interview, she stressed she is moving on with her life. Dugard said she wants to study writing, the network reported.

She spoke out just days before her memoir, “A Stolen Life,” is scheduled to be released. The book is due in stores Tuesday.

“Why not look at it? Stare it down until it can’t scare you anymore,” Dugard said about her nearly two decades in captivity. “I didn’t want there to be any more secrets.”

via Kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard talks about her 18 years of terror – CNN.com.

Harry Potter, movies, music, lists:  🙂 Music Monday: To Celebrate Harry Potter, the Top 5 Songs About Magic – TIME NewsFeed.

 

 

10
Jul
11

7.10.2011 Every Car on I-85 today is silver, champagne or white. Mine is of couse navy … Hot, hot, hot …

music:  Thanks, Liz … Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues.

books, media, changes:  People have thought that radio would be dead … movies theaters would no longer exist … clearly newspapers and magazines are struggling … now, books, too.

Now that the Great Panic of 2000-2010, the world of print’s freak-out at the threat of digital, is subsiding, at least in the world of books, we can begin to discern the shape of the future and enumerate the potentially positive aspects of this historic paradigm shift.

Make no mistake: as in every previous IT revolution, there will be (already is) a creative dividend. For instance, the print boom of 1590-1610 liberated Shakespeare and his successors, from Jonson to Donne, and sponsored an explosion of ephemeral publications, the inky compost that would nurture the best of the Jacobeans. Similarly, in Edwardian London, new media shaped the careers of Joseph Conrad, Arthur Conan Doyle, Henry James, and countless others. Heart of Darkness was first published as a magazine serial.

….

Actually, there’s hardly a mainstream genre (fiction, history, children’s books, poetry) that’s not undergoing significant change, attributable to the liberation of the new technology, from ebook to Kindle: poets developing apps, JK Rowling linking Harry Potter to cyberspace, would-be novelists launching their work as ebooks.

As omnivores, contemporary readers have become adept at switching from high to low culture at the click of a mouse, moving from codex to ebook to audio. This is the shape of the future: a bonanza of print on many platforms. All that remains to be settled – the $64,000 question – is: what should be the economic terms of trade? How do we reconcile the gospel of “free” with an obligation to reward the artist?

It’s too soon to evaluate the significance of all this. Sailors on the high seas are the last people to give a reliable forecast, even when they have the most intimate experience of the weather. The book world has been through a perfect storm of economic, technological and cultural change. It will be the creative community that enjoys the benefits. How that happens is probably the most fascinating question facing writers, booksellers and publishers today.

via The book is not dead, it’s just shape-shifting | Books | The Observer.

Casey Anthony Trial, justice, American legal system, Bob Trobich, Davidson, kith/kin:  From my good friend, fellow Davidsonian, criminal lawyer, Bob Trobich … makes you think.

None of you were in the courtroom or heard the evidence (or lack thereof), or took part in deliberations. Therefore, none of you are qualified to say whether a jury’s decision was “wrong”, “right”, or in-between. Stop attempting to be arm-chair experts and accept (and celebrate) in a system that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt before someone loses their freedom.

July 5 at 7:44pm

via Bob Trobich

feminism, millennials, kith/kin, TED videos:  When one of my children (whether kith/kin) recommends a book, article, video, etc., I make a real effort to go to it … this TED video is worth a listen.  Courtney Martin: Reinventing feminism | Video on TED.com.

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

 

Civil War, history, perspective, evangelical Christianity: Might have to research this one … how evangelical Christianity played a role in the political process leading up to the war.

Was the Civil War Necessary? (Rebroadcast)

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. There are thousands of books on the topic, but Charlottean and historian Dr. David Goldfield has written another – America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation. It delves into the war’s origins, including how evangelical Christianity played a role in the political process leading up to the war. We’ll talk about the Civil War, the role religion played in it and why Dr. Goldfield says the war could have been avoided altogether.

via WFAE 90.7 FM.

Health Care Reform:  I’ll believe it when I see it.

THE latest episode in the battle over health-care reform was overshadowed today by Barack Obama’s press conference, where it was revealed that we live in a Bizzaro America in which Republicans and Democrats broadly agree on enormous cuts to the budget, but fail to reach a deal owing to disagreements over comparatively piddling tax breaks for the well-off, and America careens toward default, while the Democrats pine for a president more like Howard Dean. Setting that aside (because, really, what more is there to say?), let’s briefly look at today’s ruling by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Michigan, which deemed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutional.

The three-judge panel  rejected, by a vote of two to one, the argument that the ACA’s mandate is unconstitutional because it strives to regulate inactivity, as opposed to activity, under the commerce clause of the constitution. From the decision:

Virtually everyone will need health care services at some point, including, in the aggregate, those without health insurance.  Even dramatic attempts to protect one’s health and minimize the need for health care will not always be successful, and the  health care market is characterized by unpredictable and unavoidable needs for care. The ubiquity and unpredictability of the need for medical care is born out by the statistics.  More than eighty percent of adults nationwide visited a doctor or other health care professional one or more times in 2009.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics, Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009, table 35 (2010).  Additionally, individuals receive health care services regardless of whether they can afford the treatment.  The obligation to provide treatment regardless of ability to pay is imposed by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1395dd, state laws, and many institutions’ charitable missions.  The unavoidable need for health care coupled with the obligation to provide treatment make it virtually certain that all individuals will require and receive health care at some point.  Thus, although there is no firm, constitutional bar that prohibits Congress from placing regulations on what could be described as inactivity, even if there were it would not impact this case due to the unique aspects of health care that make all individuals active in this market.

Because we all get sick and the overwhelming majority of us eventually visit a doctor or hospital, we’re all active in the health-care market. At present, one man’s inactivity is another man’s higher premium. That type of simple reasoning is why the idea of a mandate once had bipartisan support. Speaking of which, today’s decision marked the first time a Republican-appointed judge ruled in favour of the ACA’s constitutionality.

Still, two other appeals courts are expected to rule on the ACA this summer, and they are merely markers on the road to the Supreme Court. There it will be interesting to see how Antonin Scalia rules, considering his previous affirmation of Congress’s “authority to enact a regulation of interstate commerce” and its possession of “every power needed to make that regulation effective” in a case about medical marijuana in California. As Adam Serwer notes, in another ruling on the ACA in Virginia, Judge Henry Hudson gave Justice Scalia an out by ruling that Congress could not “compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce”. But today the court ruled that we’re already in the stream when it comes to health care, whether we like it or not. Justice Scalia would likely have to reach a different conclusion if he is to remain consistent.

via Health-care reform: One step closer to the Supremes | The Economist.

2012 Presidential Race, Bill Clinton, politics:  Could Clinton’s favorable opinion be the kiss of death?

Bill Clinton thinks Mitt Romney is much improved from his last presidential run, admits he kind of likes Jon Huntsman, and says Michele Bachmann is looking like “a better candidate” than he thought.

The former president went on to say that he believes President Barack Obama will win in 2012, and outlined what he believes would be a winning argument.

Clinton, looking trim and sounding vital, gave his meandering critique of the presidential field in a last-minute, hour-long appearance in a huge white tent at the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday evening, in response to the final question by moderator Ron Brownstein.

“I’m always reluctant to say the strongest candidates, because I’m afraid I’ll kill ’em, and I don’t have the right to do that,” the former president said, to chuckles from the audience of 800.

“But, y’know, I like the governors: I like Huntsman and Romney. Romney’s a MUCH better candidate than he was last time, because he’s not apologizing for signing the health-care bill. He’s got another creative way of saying we oughta repeal Obamacare, but that’s prob’ly the price of gettin’ the nomination.

via What Bill Clinton thinks of GOP 2012ers – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

zombie liberalism, politics:  Another use of the zombie metaphor … 🙂

The American left is exultant: Expanding civil rights and the retreat of discrimination on race, gender and now sexual orientation mark major milestones for the traditional liberal worldview.

The American left is in mourning: Income inequality has soared to levels not seen since the Gilded Age and the Roaring Twenties, anti-tax orthodoxy is ascendant on the right, the safety net is under attack, and labor unions are barely hanging on.

If the country is becoming more liberal on accepting minority rights, why is the left having such a hard time making progress on its bread-and-butter issues of class and economics, which were once its central, animating concerns? Why is liberalism half-dead, half-alive?

via The rise of zombie liberalism: Half-dead, half-alive – The Washington Post.

05
Jul
11

7.5.2011 … travel to Boston … then dinner in Chinatown … at a Vietnamese restaurant.

Boston, travel, Pho Hoa, restaurants, Chinatown, Zagat Review, InterContinental Boston, hotels, history, architecture:  John and I ventured into Chinatown to have Vietnamese comfort foodfood at his  favorite dive … Pho Hoa.  (Maxwell:  “I believe I saw a drag queen use that name one time- Faux Ho.”)  John had sweet and sour soup and spring rolls, and I had rice in a clay pot with chicken and shrimp. … Both very good.  One of the more intriqguing parts of the meal was the Bubble Tea. The bubbles were very soft gummi like black candies at the bottom. Weird. The peach infused green tea was excellent. The ambiance was a little lacking … piped in radio music … SoundHound – F**k You by Cee Lo Green. (Eleanor : “Couldn’t ask for finah music…”; Liz: “charming”).  Zagat gave it a good review … I think they have reviewed every restaurant in Boston!

However our hotel, the InterContinental made up for it … beautiful from the outside … The historic tall ships were the inspiration for the hotel and once I was told, I could see it. 🙂 And the site of the hotel was 1/2 block from the real tea party.

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I do have one question: Boston InterContinental … Why do I need a pass thru to the bath?

Al Capone, Atlanta:  Al Capone served part of his sentence in the Atlanta Penitentiary.  I learned recently that his family rented a very nice home in Druid Hills during this period, around the corner from my great grandparents.  Anyone else heard that?

“To be 27 years of age and own Chicago, and run that whole empire, that’s one helluva mind, and one helluva desire, do you know what I mean?” said Graham. “And a passion to achieve.”

Capone achieved all of it with a splash of style. The best clothes, the biggest cars, and more.

“The big difference is that Capone talked to the media and really welcomed the spotlight, so that people heard more about him,” said Eig.

But away from the spotlight …

“If you had a butcher shop and you weren’t paying your contribution to the local protection association, the first thing is you’d get a broke window,” said Eig. “The next thing is you might get a pineapple – a homemade bomb, hand grenade equivalent which would cause not only a broken window, but some fire damage.”

“So a brick, a hand grenade …” said Reynolds.

“Maybe a baseball bat to the head, to the knee,” said Eig. “And then finally, you know, if you still didn’t get the message, somebody might get killed.”

While that sort of thing went on, Capone would likely be out on the town. The Green Mill cocktail lounge was a favorite haunt. “I’m guessing he didn’t have to pay for his own drinks

Owner Dave Jemilo tends bar nowadays at the Green Mill – right above a subterranean escape route used by gangsters. He showed us the tunnels: “You went this way, you’re under the street. And then it was boarded up. Then you go down this way and there’s a whole other set of tunnels.”

“So this was pretty elaborate,” said Reynolds. “I mean they were serious about escaping.”

via In search of the real Al Capone – CBS News.

slime bags, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, prosecution of sex crimes, justice:  Makes you think real hard about how to serve justice in these situations …

SO what’s the moral of this Manhattan immorality tale?

That the French are always right, even when their hauteur is irritating?

They were right about Iraq and America’s rush to war. And they may be right about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and America’s rush to judgment.

In both cases, French credibility was undermined, so we resisted seeing things from their point of view.

They say it is roughly analogous — not in terms of the maid’s sexual history but her record of veracity — to a case in which a prostitute is raped. It’s hard to prosecute, and the perp can often get away with it.

The upright-looking Vance is not like the scoundrel prosecutor in the Duke lacrosse case. He did not ignore evidence that was contrary to the case prosecutors were trying to build. It just took several weeks, after they tried to deny DSK bail and after they indicted him, to do a thorough investigation.

via When a Predator Collides With a Fabricator – NYTimes.com.

Great Recession, executive compensation:  23%???

Brace yourself.

The final figures show that the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009. The earlier study had put the median pay at a none-too-shabby $9.6 million, up 12 percent.

Total C.E.O. pay hasn’t quite returned to its heady, prerecession levels — but it certainly seems headed there. Despite the soft economy, weak home prices and persistently high unemployment, some top executives are already making more than they were before the economy soured.

via Executive Pay at Big Companies Rose 23% Last Year – NYTimes.com.

twitter, TweetScan:  But what will I do with my 140 character tweets?  I don’t think I will win any awards or even a favorite of the day!

Using the amazing tool TweetScan, you can actually generate an archive of all your tweets that goes back to the olden days of December 2007. Follow this link to create your own archive–a fascinating look at your microblogging evolution.

AllTwitter explained the service: “You can choose whether to view just your old tweets, or include and one or more of the following: @replies, your friends’ tweets, your followers’ tweets, direct messages, or favorite tweets. Your tweets are presented in a “TiddlyWiki” format, which means you can make notes and edit the pages. This service is great for an at-a-glance view of your older tweets, or if you want to review your tweet strategy in more detail.”

via How To Read Your Old Tweets – GalleyCat.

politics:  🙂

Bill Clinton says he called Vice President Joe Biden after last month’s “golf summit” and said he must have thrown the game to lose to President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Obama and Boehner each won $2 from Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

“I called Joe Biden, who’s the best golfer in the foursome, and carded an 89,” Clinton told the Aspen Ideas Festival on Saturday evening.

“I said, ‘Joe, I don’t mind if you go to funerals. I don’t mind if have to do go to budget [talks]. But, you know, no vice president should have to throw a golf game to make America a better place.’ [laughter] And he proceeded to swear to me he didn’t throw it.”

via Bill Clinton teases Joe Biden on golf summit – Mike Allen – POLITICO.com.

Great Recession, foreclosure, loan restructuring:  Wow, I’ll be happy to give BofA my number.

As millions of Americans struggle in foreclosure with little hope of relief, big banks are going to borrowers who are not even in default and cutting their debt or easing the mortgage terms, sometimes with no questions asked.

Last year, JPMorgan Chase cut in half what Rula Giosmas owed on her condominium in Miami.

Two of the nation’s biggest lenders, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are quietly modifying loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who have not asked for help but whom the banks deem to be at special risk.

Rula Giosmas is one of the beneficiaries. Last year she received a letter from Chase saying it was cutting in half the amount she owed on her condominium.

Ms. Giosmas, who lives in Miami, was not in default on her $300,000 loan. She did not understand why she would receive this gift — although she wasted no time in taking it.

Banks are proactively overhauling loans for borrowers like Ms. Giosmas who have so-called pay option adjustable rate mortgages, which were popular in the wild late stages of the housing boom but which banks now view as potentially troublesome.

Before Chase shaved $150,000 off her mortgage, Ms. Giosmas owed much more on her place than it was worth. It was a fate she shared with a quarter of all homeowners with mortgages across the nation. Being underwater, as it is called, can prevent these owners from moving and taking new jobs, and places the households at greater risk of foreclosure.

via Banks Easing Terms or Debt on Some Option ARM Loans – NYTimes.com.

sex crimes, prosecution, slime bags: Thorny issue …

Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was arrested hours after the allegation and resigned from the IMF, was ordered released from home confinement in Manhattan on Friday. But the district attorney’s office has not moved to dismiss the rape case.

“She said it happened, and he’s sort of a pompous guy with a reputation . . . for grabbing women, so they thought, well, of course, it must have happened,” Greenspun said. He said police generally spend too little time investigating such cases before making arrests, especially when the suspects are prominent men.

A housekeeper at a Manhattan hotel accused the former managing director of the International Monetary Fund of attacking her. In a July 1 court hearing, the sexual-assault case appeared to shift in his favor.

Prosecutors have serious questions about the credibility of a hotel housekeeper who has accused former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her, a person familiar with the case said Thursday. (July 1)

Even if Strauss-Kahn’s attorneys have information about his accuser that they could use in court to cast doubt on her veracity, prosecutors have a “moral obligation” to proceed with the case if they believe that the woman is being truthful, said lawyer Mai Fernandez, director of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

“You could have Attila the Hun come to you and say he’s a victim, and the truth of the matter is, in this particular case, he may be,” Fernandez said.

“You have to look first at the evidence that’s directly related to the case at hand,” she added. “The victim? Well, everybody has a past. None of us is without sin. There’s always something that a defense lawyer can use to tarnish your reputation.”

via In sex-crime cases, credibility a thorny issue – The Washington Post.

tweet of the day, misleading headlines:  Why is this misleading … look who is modeling the sexy mommy jeans … not your average mom …

InStyle (@InStyle)7/3/11 5:00 AMSexy mom jeans…they do exist!http://ht.ly/5vmLW

http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20190744_20360203,00.html?xid=twitter-momjeans.

Nicole Kidman


tweet of the day:  Actually, this is a few days ago …

Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien)
6/30/11 12:13 PM Is it me, or do people on Segway scooters look pre-wedgied?




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