Next month the great Willie Nelson turns 80, so I sure hope somebody warns him that marijuana is the gateway to heroin before it’s too late. Some people say Willie has a marijuana problem; I prefer to say he has a marijuana practice. But…
(The New York Times) - The scientists who were recruited to appear at a conference called Entomology-2013 thought they had been selected to make a presentation to the leading professional association of scientists who study insects.
But they found out the hard way that they were wrong. The…
On Thursday, an Augusta, Ga., judgeissued the latest rebuke against a private probation firm that is holding poor individuals criminally responsible for their failure to pay fees. This time, Sentinel Offender Services had held open an arrest warrant on an individual whose probation term for reckless driving had expired two years earlier. When William Stephen Carter was pulled over for speeding, he was arrested and put in jail for allegedly owing court fines and probation fees. Carter says he already paid all his fees, but he could not get out of jail until he paid the $655 Sentinel said he owed.
The case is one of many challenging this perverse jailing of the poor after they fail to keep up with mounting fees on offenses like rolling through stop signs and public drunkenness. In Georgia, a law passed in part through bribes and corruption that later landed a public official in jail authorizes every county to hire its own private probationers. Georgia is also the only state in which traffic violations are criminal infractions. The result is a dangerous system in which private probation firms are using every means they have to extract funds from low-level offenders, including jail time.
Man Georgia is just awful - and this is coming from someone living in Florida. (we’re pretty bad too.)
“Swedish, adding to all the awesomeness, has proven especially adept at coining new words for the new circumstances occasioned by new technologies. Below, some of the best Swedologisms I could find, via the Swedish news site The Local. We should, obviously, incorporate them into English as soon as possible.
1.Bloggbävning, n. Definition: Literally translating to “blogquake,” the word describes the process by which a topic explodes in the blogosphere and is then picked up by more mainstream media outlets. Used in an English sentence: “Man, that ‘ogooglebar’ thing really caused a bloggbävning today.”
2. Livslogga, v. Definition: Literally translating to “life log,” the word refers to continually documenting one’s life in pictures. Used in an English sentence: “I know my Instagram is full of retro-looking pictures of salads, but what can I say? It’s fun to livslogga.”
3. Ogooglebar, adj. Definition: Literally meaning “ungoogleable,” the term is used to describe someone or something that doesn’t show up in Google results. Used in an English sentence: “I’m going on a date tonight, but he’s totally ogooglebar! What are the odds he’s an axe murderer?”
4. Nomofob, n. Definition: A person who feels anxious at the very thought of being separated from his or her mobile phone. (Adapted from the clunky English “no mobile phone phobia.”) Used in an English sentence: “I’d love to go swimming, but I can’t be in the water for very long — I’m sort of a nomofob.”
1. Never trust a cop in a raincoat. 2. Beware of enthusiasm and of love, both are temporary and quick to sway. 3. If asked if you care about the world’s problems, look deep into the eyes of he who asks, he will never ask you again. 4. Never give your real name. 5. If ever asked to look at…
The fundamentally conservative nature of the marriage contract is why, I think, younger conservatives are growing more supportive of same sex marriage. Extending marriage rights to LGBT people does little or nothing to address the structure of oppressive family laws and values in society. It also does very little to change the core of the conservative agenda which is, fundamentally, about power and control. This is evidenced by the fact that young conservatives are increasingly supportive of same-sex marriage at the same time that they continue to be champions of austerity who are deeply opposed to public funding of critical safety net programs. And many are terrible on issues of race, equating black and brown people with destructively out-of-control sexuality, crime, and government debt. So their attitudes about LGBT people may have changed, but their worldviews remain pretty much the same. They’ve just let monogamous same sex couples off the hook for certain societal problems, which is essentially what they’ve been doing all along for heterosexuals who marry.
What appears to be leading to this “success” with young conservatives points to another of my concerns. By presenting LGB (I’ll leave off the “t” here) people as basically conservative in our demands, the most mainstream faction within the LGB movement is subtly positioning us as a model minority. And it’s working. Where once attacks against LGB people relied heavily on messaging that mirrored prejudices historically used against people of color (morally debased sexual predators and criminals seeking anti-American special rights), LGB people are increasingly understood to be all-American and fundamentally non-threatening. The sales job basically seems to revolve around the idea that if you let us in, nothing really changes. And, based on the demands at the center of this agenda, this is, to a degree, true.
Also troubling is my sense that the current strategies ignore something about marriage rights that ought to be obvious to anyone excluded from them, especially when that group is arguing that being excluded has real, material consequences. That is, that we are arguing to be able to use marriage as a shield against wrongs that no one, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status, should suffer. No loved one should be excluded from survivors benefits and pensions, end of life decision-making, hospital visitation, and the many other family rights reserved for married couples. And when we argue that being able to wield this shield is a right we deserve because we conform with the values of good people, that shield can become a weapon against those who are still excluded.