NY Times: Revisiting the ‘Crack Babies’ Epidemic That Was Not.
This makes me want to spit nails. It wasn’t an epidemic. But it existed — don’t try to wash it away. Until you’ve taken infant CPR, walked the floors with a newborn who won’t stop crying from suffering detox, having to remain calm when their heart monitor goes off (again), and more … I’d certainly like to give these folks a piece of my mind. Not a one of these ‘investigative reports’ ever talks with foster parents of the era.
Later: Perhaps I wasn’t clear. Many of the victims are dead from heart defects. If they made a year, they were lucky. Who speaks for them?
You thought Ryanair’s attendants had it bad? Wait ‘til you hear about their pilots - Home News - UK
“The RPG [‘Ryanair Pilot Group’] organised the letter amid concerns that the airline was making the majority of its pilots self-employed. Under the scheme, pilots sign a contract binding them to fly exclusively for Ryanair – but not as employees. The pilots are then paid for the work they do but have to pay for all their own expenses, including uniforms, identity cards, transport and hotel accommodation. The contracted pilots have no pension scheme or medical insurance unless they set it up themselves.” The golden days of richly paid and overqualified former WWII aviators is long, long gone.
The Economist: Microcredit—Put to the test.
Economist: Barack Obama and the presidency — W’s apprentice.
“Increasingly, however, the exigencies of office seem to be trumping the legal qualms of the campaign trail—something Mr Obama’s supporters will regret when a future Republican president perfects the dodges he is pioneering.”
MSNBC: Charges dropped against Florida teen over amateur science experiment.
“The Florida teenager who was arrested two weeks ago for causing a small explosion on the campus of her high school will not be charged with a crime. Kiera Wilmot, 16, was arrested by police in Bartow, Florida, after conducting an unauthorized science experiment which lightly damaged an eight ounce plastic water bottle.” My emphasis.
Guardian.UK: Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury accused of rape in two new lawsuits.
Tibet Post: China destroys the ancient Buddhist symbols of Lhasa City in Tibet.
“Ignoring both religious freedom and the outcry of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have begun demolishing the ancient capital of Lhasa, including one of the most important Buddhist sites of the city, Tibet’s holiest Jokhang Temple.”
The Nation: Congressman Seek Constitutional Guarantee of the Right to Vote.
BillMoyers.com: Gun Violence Since Newtown.
“Number of people killed by guns in the first 98 days post-Newtown: 2,244.”
Guardian.UK: No Patriot Act II—Americans choose civil liberties over security laws.
“The latest CNN/Time/ORC poll finds that 49% of Americans are not willing to give up civil liberties in order curb terrorism, while only 40% are. In fact, 61% of Americans are more fearful that the government will overreact to the Boston bombing, compared to 31% who are worried that the government won’t act strongly enough.” Avoid the terrible recrudescence of fear & panic. The first time did enough damage.
SciAm: Alleviating Poverty with a Washing Machine Powered by Your Feet.
Atlantic: Can This Graph Change Your Opinion About Income Inequality and Taxes?
Do parse the last paragraphs. Even with incontrovertible proof, people remain fact-averse. The best narrative, the most attractive story — repeated 24/7 and framed as ‘given’ hardens into social myth, and wins.
Guardian.UK/Greenwald: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s repeated requests for a lawyer were ignored.
The Nation: The Case for Ethical Fashion.
“I am an impassioned advocate for small-scale, locally produced fashion. But where are the large fashion companies willing to take a risk and to reinvent their brands around ethical fashion production? It’s time to trust that the consumer, all things being equal, will buy an ethically made product.”
NY Times: C.I.A. Delivers Cash to Afghan Leader’s Office.
We’ve known this is a terrible idea for almost a decade now. And yet it continues.
The New Yorker: What if the Tsarnaevs Had Been the “Boston Shooters”?
Our responses to extreme violence are skewed.
Guardian.UK: US schools weigh bulletproof uniforms: ‘It’s no different than a seatbelt in a car’.
I understand the desire to protect kids. But … to think we actually need to go this far. Stats show % of households with guns is actually lower than the ‘70’s. Perhaps a more immediately effective preventative would be to mandate a certain level of psychological care in insurance coverage (a pittance in most health care policies today). That way, hurting people can get something more than a generic Prozac script from a GP.
Aeon: On post-democracy.
“We have become squatters in the ruins of the great democratic societies of the past.” Post-Democracy is now on my reading list.
The Nation: Liberal Support Allowed Obama to Expand Bush’s Interrogation Program.
Video. Comparing Obama to Reagan.
CJR: The Chained CPI in people terms.
Dissent: Low-Wage Workers Walk out in Chicago.
“The work stoppage follows similar strikes by New York City fast food workers and by Wal-Mart retail employees across the country, and marks the latest escalation in the struggle between an embattled labor movement and two industries that increasingly dominate and define the new economy.”
Anyone else feel deep injustice ...
… over the fact so many of the victims of the Boston Marathon event have to rely on charity to defray their medical costs? As a taxpayer, I’d prefer to see my hard-earned cash go to help victims of terrorism. Beats paying most Congressional salaries.
Guardian.UK: Why the Boston terrorist plot is the least successful in living memory.
“A week ago I might have scanned that tumult of charity runners and rolled my eyes at someone in a comedy ostrich costume. Thanks to the Boston bombers’ moronic masterplan, I will now see something else entirely. I will look at those seas of bobbing heads and imagine thousands of vicarious brushes or head-on collisions with tragedy or pain or deprivation, and thousands of people knackering their arses to do something about it.”
Mashable: FBI Criticizes Internet Vigilantes in Boston Case.
“This is vigilantism, and it’s only the illusion that what we do online is not as significant as what we do offline that allows this to go on.” It’s the equivalent of an old West hanging party, or simply mob mentality [2:13].
NY Times: News Media Weigh Use of Photos of Carnage.
I suppose the fact I remember My Lai colors my opinion here.