Monday, April 26, 2010

Wal-Mart facing troubles?

Wal-Mart facing huge pay discrimination suit.

While the article points out that the court ruling was a "sharply divided" one (6-5), I take away from this:

-Wal-mart has lost on this issue three times already

-Their defense seems to rest on the fact that the problem is too big for them to defend.

It also seems to me, that if the 6 defendants are not representative enough to enjoy (or, in this case, initiate) class-action status, then that will make it that much harder for them to prove their point that Wal-mart has a pervasive and discriminatory policy with regard to the treatment of its female employees.

But there you go.

Can't let a thing like a law get in the way of raising funds...

RNC on anti-deceptive mailer law: "It doesn't apply to us."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Accidental Sex Offender

This piece by Wendy Kaminer deserves much more than a passing mention in my blog. And I've thought about it quite a bit and cannot disagree with a word she says. My response, then: Ditto.

Yup, that's right

Via Andrew Sullivan:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cincinnati pitcher "suspended" 50 games

50 game ban, BUT they let him serve it while he is rehabbing.

WTF! A SP pitcher only only has to sit out about 20% of the games anyway. What is the point of such a toothless penalty? This is like a school suspension that counts weekend days.

Of course they are, John

John McCain: "Illegal immigrants are intentionally causing accidents on the freeways."

[Insert snarky response here]

How the Right has re-defined "judicial restraint" to mean "judicial activism against law we don't like."

A great piece on how the Right has re-defined "judicial restraint" to mean "judicial activism against law we don't like."

[D]uring the Warren era, activism usually meant asking the Supreme Court to bring a few state outliers into line with a national consensus—on racial discrimination, for example. By contrast, Roberts Court-era conservatives are urging unelected judges to strike down landmark federal laws that passed over their objections, at least some of which command broad national support.

SCOTUS opening

The GOP has already come out against whoever it is that Obama will nominate to replace Stevens on the bench.

The White House response has been that the solid GOP opposition frees him to pick whoever he wants, without bothering to even talk with them.

Probably not the response they were hoping for...

Dead and dying languages...

A linguist friend of mine muses about being a terminal speaker.

Reminds me of the listverse post, 12 Last Known Speakers of a Language.

"Lost" IPhone or devious plant?

IPhone prototype found in California bar.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Coming out...

First Ricky Martin. Now one of my favorite Christian artists--Jennifer Knapp!

I know she shrugs off the "Christian artist" label, but anyone who openly struggles with their faith, coming from a Christian perspective, in acoustic guitar-oriented pop is squarely a "Christian artist" in my book.

Where are they flying to?

A public service, for those who want to fly to Europe right now. Good luck with that.

This might be taking it a little too far

Man jailed for intentionally vomiting on Phillies fans...

The closing of the conservative mind

Late to the debate, but an excellent post on the current conservative echo chamber

Daniel Larison at American Conservative Mag drills down a little more:

In movement-world, Iraq had little or nothing to do with what happened in the 2006 midterms–it was spending and earmarks! In movement-world, the financial crisis was caused pretty much entirely by the Community Reinvestment Act and the GSEs. You might have never known that the Federal Reserve, FASB 157, and Bush’s “ownership society” housing policy even existed if you relied on mainstream conservative media, because these things might implicate the “wrong side” in contributing to the disaster. Critical thinking, self-criticism and a willingness to revisit and abandon assumptions were all notably absent. As movement conservatives see things today, Obama either rejects American exceptionalism or simply loathes America (and in some circles the debate is simply over where he learned this loathing), and he is doing all he can to weaken America and hasten American decline. Their new political stars and leading pundits spout nonsense on foreign policy, and they make blustery proclamations of the uniqueness and superiority of American social mobility and economic dynamism that are flatly untrue. There is an impulse to self-congratulation and hubris in all of this that tends to hamper clear and critical thinking.

Peddling fake anti-Obama Italian!

“The best explanation I can find is that this obscure freelancer had hit upon a way of selling articles by attributing anti-Obama sentiments to famous American writers."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Right, and Race

Megan responds to some unwarranted criticism about her posts on race. While I think all the discussions, in the aggregate, are good, I think the Right still has clear problems with its dealings with race and rushing to define this as some sort of "post racial era" is so obviously self-serving as to be a problem itself.

The fact that they don't know what to do with the buffoon Michael Steele as the head of the RNC only crystallizes the problem. He got the job partially because of his race, and he holds it only because of it. A white guy would have been bounced long, long ago. For good reason.

Cameron & Brown and lost children

I was greatly moved by the quote from Wife in the North which Andrew Sullivan used regarding the fact that both men trying to be elected to be Britain's Prime Minister both lost children. Worth quoting in full, again:

My child (stillborn at term) would be 10 if I hadn't lost him. Lost him like a sock or glove or pair of spectacles for reading. Just like that. But worse. And what these pundits don't understand is Brown and Cameron don't have a choice to talk or not to talk, to weep or not to weep, because the life and death of their children runs right through them.

Tragedy defines them more than any manifesto ever could. Whatever power each man holds or chases, he would abandon it all, without hesitation, for just one more day with his lost child.

He would sell his own soul for his lovely political wife never to have had her heart broken up into ugly pieces that no policy or strategic thinking - however clever and well-meaning - could ever mend. These party leaders may day-dream of glory, but at night they dream of sons and daughters they can no longer hold.

They are not wrong to talk about it, they are right. Unspoken griefs twist and turn and do not grow smaller for darkness and a lack of air. They speak their children's names and they tell of their sorrows because to do otherwise would be to deny those children, it would be to say those children came and went, and that coming and that going did not matter in the scheme of things. Honesty in politicians - isn't that a good thing?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Economic cheerleading

Marc Ambinder with a smart piece on the cheerleaders. I've tried to make this point several times but not as well as Marc has.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lying to save face

No, not the Vatican (that would be another post entirely). The Bush Administration, who decided to hold and torture people they knew were innocent because it put them in a politically difficult position.

Imagine a current Tea Party member, railing about the possibility of Obama grabbing someone who was politically without power, holding and torturing them for years without charges. Then trying their hardest to erase the evidence from the American people. Crazy, eh? Now multiply that times hundreds and you'll get what was the standard operating procedure for the Bush Administration, one which the Tea Party members would love to have back in office (you know, the fiscally irresponsible one where individual rights were subject to veto power by the Political Officer...)

Friday, April 02, 2010

more time wasting

8 romantic songs that are really about rape.

New progress in portable desalination

Great news, particularly for those in future disaster areas. The ability not only to remove salt from seawater but 99% of contaminants could be the difference between widespread sickness (and death) and life.