Monthly Archives: July 2018
Not long ago the New Yorker had an article about free speech whose message, at least to me, was that we have to ratchet back on the First Amendment protections traditionally (and now consistently) construed by American courts. A few readers disagreed, but rereading the article I decided that while the magazine played lip service to free speech, the article had a weaselly way of pretending to be evenhanded while conveying its real message that it’s time to reassess the legal protections of speech in America. In the interest of social justice, it said, we should have a hard look at how the First Amendment is applied, and think about making changes. (See a similar sentiment in an earlier piece in the magazine.)
This same pretense of evenhandedness is on view in an article in the July 23 article of the magazine by Joshua Rothman, which you can read by…
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The picture which you have drawn, & the accts which are published, of the commotions & temper of numerous bodies in the Eastern States, are equally to be lamented and deprecated. They exhibit a melancholy proof of what our trans atlantic foe have predicted; and of another thing perhaps, which is still more to be regretted, and is yet more unaccountable; that mankind left to themselves are unfit for their own government. (George Washington letter to Henry Lee, 31 October 1786)
In his blurb on the back of American Revolutions, historian Eric Foner makes the Big Point that it was during the Cold War that a particular version of American history was defined and taught across the nation’s schools, a version which made the American revolution an exception, distinct and different from the later French and Russian revolutions, ‘good, orderly, restrained and successful’ (p.3), a squeaky clean Disney…
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This is just for grins: I don’t know whether the journal Qualitative Inquiry, where this travesty was published, is taken seriously (it is, however, a SAGE journal); but I am pretty sure this article is NOT a joke or a hoax. The article is free, and may not even require the legal unpaywall app; click on screenshot below to see itL:
Susan Naomi Nordstrom is a professor of educational psychology at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, and Amelie and Nordstrom are her cats; or rather Amelie, whose illness and euthanasia dominates the article, was her cat. It’s not clear why the cats are coauthors given that they didn’t actually write the article.
The article is simply the story of how Amelie got sick and, after some extensive medical interventions, Dr. Nordstrom decided to have the cat euthanized, which was of course devastating. That is all there is…
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Apparently Donald Trump has realized that he had to do some furious backpedaling after the fallout from his Helsinki remarks that he disagreed with the FBI about Russian meddling in the last Presidential election. An hour ago CNN posted this:
President Trump moments ago said he misspoke during his Monday news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump was talking about interference in the 2016 election when he said, “I don’t see any reason why it would be” the Russians.
Now, Trump says he meant to say why it “wouldn’t be” Russia.
“In a key sentence in my remarks I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t,'” Trump said today. “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.”
Does anybody really believe that, or is this a product of Trump’s “clean up the mess” team? Have a look at this (h/t: Grania):
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Can we hope that Iran, now in turmoil over many things, will try to stabilize itself by allowing its women simple human decency? In the last few weeks, two women have been arrested for removing their headscarves (20 years in jail!) or for posting pictures on social media of themselves dancing. These are religious offenses, and are deemed such because they inspire the lust of men. (Women, of course bear full responsibility for whatever men do when engorged with uncontrollable lust.)
The first detainee, Shaparak Shajarizadeh (click on screenshot below) was apparently sentenced to two decades in stir for removing the hijab in protest of its compulsory wearing, and for “waving a white flag of peace in the street.” (White Wednesdays, in which women wear clothing of that color, are part of women’s protest against Iranian oppression.) Note that the story was not verified by Iranian authorities.
And here’s a story…
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The other day I put up the podcast link to the hundredth episode of the BBC comedy/science show “The Infinite Monkey Cage”, starring Robin Ince and physicist Brian Cox. Now the video is available to everyone, not just UK residents, and you can see go to its site by clicking on the screenshot below.
Spot the geneticist! Matthew Cobb is a VIP guest sitting in the front row.