TMT: Shoplifters beware - Stores have free rein to recoup theft.
“Among those complaining was Rob Brown of the HBO show ‘Treme,’ who said he was stopped after buying a $1,300 Movado watch for his mother this summer. Brown, 29, said he too was taken to Room 140. There, he said in a federal suit filed by attorney Doug Wigdor, others being held were all ‘individuals of color.’ He was released, he said, when people realized he was a celebrity.”
Humans of New York: HONY for the Holidays.
If you find yourself alone in NYC on Xmas, Brandon (of HONY) would like to match you up with folks who have space at their Christmas tables. Incredibly decent thing to do. Not just a +1 — a +10,000.
ProPublica: When Lenders Sue, Quick Cash Can Turn Into a Lifetime of Debt.
“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” The ethics of Ebenezer Scrooge are still alive and doing very well, apparently. I’d like to see the Federal ‘guillotine’ of law take these institutions off at the head.
Rolling Stone: Apocalypse, New Jersey.
The Economist: The politics of low pay - Raising the floor.
“Had the federal minimum wage kept up with productivity gains since 1968 it would have reached $21.72 last year …” Hard to believe the $2.75/hour I received in ‘78 would buy more than the $9.60 today. Then I look at the price of a simple cup of coffee, and realize I’ve been hoodwinked.
ArtDaily: Masks sold in Paris to be returned to tribes by The Annenberg Foundation.
“… these are not trophies to have on one’s mantel, they are truly sacred works for the Native Americans. They do not belong in auction houses or private collections. It gives me immense satisfaction to know that they will be returned home to their rightful owners …” Clued into this by frequent commenter Emmett.
Guardian.UK: Taxpayers to pay for fracking pollution if companies go bust.
“Minister rejects proposal to amend regulations to make companies sign a bond to pay for potential pollution incidents.” MISTAKE. Don’t know if the UK is the same as here, but larger outfits set up smaller corporations, in order to shield themselves. They take the smaller corporations bankrupt before cleanup is necessary.
Daily Kos: New bipartisan plan to ‘only’ cut food stamp benefits for 1.7 million.
Would that the ghost of Jacob Marley pay a visit. To voluntarily impose more hunger at this time of year, in the midst of such weather … terrible.
Slate: What it was like to read literature’s ‘midcentury misogynists.’
“Young women are often barred from feeling the easy pleasure that comes with reading and identifying with the classics. But we also benefit from a critical perspective on these books that many of our male peers don’t have. We don’t see ourselves in them, so we grow up challenging them.” When you realize the language of misogyny is even being perpetuated in ‘young adult’ literature, you begin to realize the magnitude of the problem.
I just realized it’s been decades since I’ve heard “male chauvinist pig” used in casual conversation ...
Guardian.UK: Native American artefacts sold for £1m in France.
Wrong. Many tribes are still in the process of reconstructing their past, after the failed ‘Americanizing’ policies of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Any and all relics help them in this process. The Hopi have a particularly hard row to hoe; their small reservation was surrounded by the US Government’s various grants to the Navajo (one of the Hopi’s traditional enemies). I wish this sale had not occurred. It may be right in law, but not in ethics.
Metafilter: Is the Affordable Care Act a ‘Republican’ Health Plan?
Apparently hyperbole. The individual mandate is shared by the Heritage Foundation concept, little else. Perhaps that explains the Roberts/Supreme Court opinion. The comment thread on this one is less helpful than usual.
The Observer.UK: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’.
A worthy read. I believe the only way to cure this is on the micro-level. Almost to the point of having local community ‘debates’ about politics, where everyone can listen, shout, gesticulate, foam at the mouth … and perhaps a more reasonable future can be realized. The question is, how to arrange such a device.
Death and Taxes: Google is now funding numerous Tea Party groups.
The New Yorker/Postscript: Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013.
Design You Trust: 83-Year-old Man Lives in Makeshift VW Beetle.
Makes me feel ashamed for believing I’ve got a rough life at times.
Youtube: NMELC/NM Copper Rule Video.
Hey, I know a lot o’ these people. Some backstory here, courtesy of the SF New Mexican. Debate the ‘logic’ of allowing groundwater pollution in a state that is still experiencing record-setting drought … if you can. Lined pits should be the law, at the very least. As we’ve seen with industries in the past, it’s too easy to set up a shell corporation and then bankrupt it before the expensive cleanup is required, dumping it on taxpayers. It’s a very common ‘rerun’ we’ve lived through many times before. It would be nice if our politicians would get on our side, for once. At this rate, ‘slippery slope’ is very likely. Donate if you can. NMELC does a fantastic job opposing these kinds of things, but they need $$ to do so.
Appropriate Disclosure: NMELC is a client of mine; however I get no compensation for agreeing with their actions. Only for occasional codesmithing.
Guardian.UK: Black women should have the right to wear an afro.
Crazy people. Afros are great, perfectly acceptable anywhere.
WSJ: When Superstition Works.
“People who have both a high need for control and a sense of helplessness in a given situation — such as the straight-A perfectionist who didn’t have time to study for an exam — are the most likely to succumb to conditioned superstition.” One to read and remember. No wonder economically challenged folks are such easy marks.
NPR/code switch: Trove Of Artifacts Trumpets African-American Triumphs.
CNN Opinion: Young men, get a ‘yes’ text before sex.
Hmmm. Reading this, I wondered about the admissability of texts. Here. It seems they are, in combination with voicemails, geotagged metadata and browsing histories, becoming commonplace in the courtroom.
I suppose I fear that in all too many situations a pre-event ‘yes’ could very well end up a ‘no’ in person.
Guardian.UK: How can we end the male domination of philosophy?
On board until that last paragraph.
The Dish: Charity Can’t Replace Government.
Sad that anyone even needs to express this obvious fact.
NY Times: Albuquerque Rejects 20-Week Abortion Ban.
CNN: Lawmaker takes sledgehammer to Hawaii homeless’ cart.
And a Democrat, no less. Curing a disease by treating individual symptoms. Like that works … ri-ight.