April 19, 2014

Lady keeping chickens in the backyard in her posh NYC neighborhood seems to think the rules don't apply to her...

... because: 1. She bought the chickens from a place recommended by Martha Stewart, 2. These aren't ordinary chickens but a bantam Easter egger (with blue eggs), black copper marans, (supposedly loved by French chefs), silkies, and a Belgian bearded d’uccle, 3. The coop cost $2,500 and was built by some Amish people, 4. She feeds the chickens "organic soy-free feed and... fresh vegetables," 5. She believes (and is telling the world) that her daughter Scarlett is "developing faster than her peers" and thus needs a "hormone-free diet" (and the NYT conveys this concern to us without mentioning that that "all eggs in commercial egg production in the United States" come from hens that "are not given hormones").

The New York Times, for all it's leftish sentimentalism, panders absurdly to the elite class. The linked article could be a humor piece, but it's not. It's a human (and chicken) interest story for aging, soft-(boiled)-headed female readers.

BONUS: The NYT fawns over extremely wealthy young people.


Flying tentacles of Drudge.

The imagery at Drudge right now:

The parallelism of hair and hands, the hair of Michelle Obama (for this story) and Johnny Depp (for news of the flop of his new movie) and the waggling fingers of Scalia (for "TSA GROPING UNDERSTANDABLE; NSA SPYING ON CITIZENS COULD BE GOOD...").

I'm enjoying the abstract coherence of the tentacles...

The Clinton White House "conspiracy commerce memo" warned, in 1995, that "THE INTERNET... allows an extraordinary amount of unregulated data and information to be located in one area and available to all."

And: "The right wing has seized upon the internet as a means of communicating its ideas to people. Moreover, evidence exists that Republican staffers surf the internet...."

Here's the whole PDF for your amusement/disgust/horror. Here's the Politico article with the background about this document: It was long understood to exist and to have been the underlying analysis to Hillary Clinton's old "vast right-wing conspiracy" remark, and it was dumped yesterday — Good (day to dump documents) Friday — along with thousands of other things from the Clinton Presidential Library.

I love that direct admission that they were afraid of the internet. They could see that they couldn't control the media anymore.

The memo pushes the theory that there is an illicit "food chain" that brings material into the mainstream press, as if the mainstream press ought to be disciplined to reject news stories that are noticed and promoted this way.

At the Surrealism Exhibition...

... you're on your own.

How to be as unheterosexual as possible.

Have a sexual partner who looks exactly like you.

Photos of examples of such couples here, where the examples are all male.

Via Metafilter, where the first comment calls attention to the way this can also happen with a male-female couple.

What's the basis for the belief that partners should be different from each other? You could say it's needed for sexual reproduction, and we could look at how sexual dimorphism evolved, but there's no reason why faces need to look different for reproductive purposes.

Perhaps it has something to do with the old-fashioned notion that you shouldn't be in love with yourself. (I say "old-fashioned" because it contradicts the modern "self-esteem" movement.)

Related topics: 1. Whether a couple starts out looking alike or just ends up that way, 2. The fear/love of twins ("geminiphobia"/"geminiphilia"), 3. The way people get dogs that look like them (or end up looking like their dogs), 4. The way women are getting little dogs instead of having babies.

"A group of MIT scientists want to revive the nuclear industry in the post-Fukushima era by moving it offshore."


"A History of the Letter W."

There are, I think, 2 main questions people have if they stop and think about the letter W: 1. Why is it called double-U when it looks like double-V? and 2. Since we can spell words with double letters, why did this one instance of a double letter become a letter of its own? It was the second question — I think the first is silly — that got me looking for an answer. The history of W is explained in detail at Wikipedia, and quickly and amusingly in this video:

Men in shorts, lawyer version.

Above the Law is coming down hard on a judge who excluded a lawyer who arrived at court wearing shorts.

The lawyer is claiming a special medical need:
He got knee surgery two weeks ago and as he told KDFW, “I have tubes that come out of my leg that make it prohibitive to wear (pants). This connects to my ice machine that is a way of taking down the swelling in my leg. I’m also incapable of putting on long pants by myself.” [James Lee] Bright says that Judge [Etta] Mullin refused to hear him out and now he’s crying foul.
Would you have listened to a lawyer explaining that one might be capable of putting on shorts but not pants and using the word "prohibitive" to discuss the logistics of ice machine tubes? The courtroom has a "no shorts" rule.

Above the Law says: "And it’s not like shorts can’t be respectful courtroom attire. In Bermuda the lawyers wear shorts to court." And then declares that the Bermuda courtroom style looks "stupid" and the disability argument is better.

But the Bermuda lawyers in shorts are following the rules of the place where they practice, not claiming the shorts are appropriate when the rule is against them. And in fact, the shorts are no more "stupid" than lawyers in wigs look stupid. It's an issue of rules and tradition. You don't get to write your own rules, even if your shorts are fabulous, although, as you may know, the Althouse rule against shorts does have a fabulousness exception. But Althouse does not exercise the power of the state enforcing any dress codes. I am a state actor as a state law school professor, but I've never articulated or enforced any classroom dress code. My "men in shorts" comments are solely blog-based, offered up in an effort to help men look like men and not like children.

On this topic of medical devices and tubing... I assume there are a lot of people who have things like this under their clothing and do not want it to show and that tubing is routinely covered up. Does anyone with medical experience have a fact-based opinion on the lawyer's argument that it was "prohibitive to wear" pants?

"Chelsea Clinton is pregnant. Do you ponder how this will impact Hillary’s 2016 plans?"

"Then you’re stupid or sexist or both."

IN THE COMMENTS: Meade writes:
I notice, when I go to the link, that the next item down is about sexually harassing interns.
Oh! Indeed:
* Sexually harassing unpaid interns with the full protection of the law was fun while it lasted in New York. [Slate]
My original link goes to an Above the Law feature titled "Non-Sequiturs"... which suggests the sequence means nothing. I guess it's a bit like saying "no pun intended" to nudge people to see you've made a pun or "Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental" to get a laugh, as The 3 Stooges did in "You Nazty Spy" ("Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle") and "I'll Never Heil Again" ("The characters in this picture are fictitious. Anyone resembling them is better off dead").

"It’s time the states in the West come of age."

"We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado."

"Many tribal courts cannot afford their own public defender and have only 'advocates' without law degrees to defend the accused."

"The Yaquis wouldn’t have been given the green light from the Justice Department to launch the pilot project without Acosta, a longtime public defender...."
Acosta’s office recently filed motions with the tribal court to dismiss the first three tribal arrests of non-Indian men, arguing that the tribe did not properly implement the new law, including notifying the public of its new jurisdiction over domestic violence cases.
The "new law" is an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act, which you can read here. It seems to have been adopted to pick up the slack for U.S. attorneys who are said to have declined to prosecute too many of the cases arising out of domestic violence by non-tribe members on Indian tribal lands.

From that second link, we see the requirements that the tribal court protect "defendants' rights under federal law," including due process, effective assistance of counsel, "Free, appointed, licensed attorneys for indigent defendants," and "a fair cross-section of the community in jury pools and not systematically exclude non-Indians."

"We like to think of the men and women whose struggle led to Brown v. Board of Education as democratic idealists..."

"... but their motivations were more complex: if the efforts to upend Jim Crow reflected idealism, it was a cynical idealism," writes Jelani Cobb in a New Yorker article titled "The Failure of Desegregation."

"People under 35 have especially spurned the game..."

"... saying it takes too long to play, is too difficult to learn and has too many tiresome rules."

What game are we talking about? Think and take the poll before going here for the source of the quote.

What is this game that young folks spurn because it takes too long, is hard to learn, and has too many rules?
pollcode.com free polls 

Kicking, hitting, knocking, mocking...

"Remember, there's always a theme. It's just a matter of you pulling it all together."

"I told my mom that if I get kicked off sometime, I’m gonna get a teepee and just live in the woods for a few days and get out of the city..."

"... ’cause I’m all about the outdoors and stuff. But I’m going to keep my singing career and hopefully have a hunting show one day. That’s my dream, my big dream. I want to try to get, like, turkeys and ducks and whitetails, stuff like that. I’m gonna hit up Nashville...."

It's interesting — the specificity of a young person's vision of modest success and how to deal with it.

Knocking the cover off the baseball, literally.

Not a metaphor.

Obama treats Keystone as the political football he apparently thinks it is.

I like the football metaphor in the Time headline: "Obama Punts On Keystone Pipeline."

ADDED: Wikipedia has an article on "Political football." It quotes William Safire's "Political Dictionary" definition — "To thrust a social, national security, or otherwise ostensibly non-political matter into partisan politics" — and displays this 1889 cartoon satirizing the doings of the Benjamin Harrison administration:

The caption is: "What can I do when both parties insist on kicking?"

AND: The (unlinkable) OED traces the term back to 1833 (and I assume it's not what Americans call "football")
1833   Essex Standard (Colchester) 9 Nov.,   Out-generalled by every petty state that choses [sic] to make it worth its while to deceive us—the political football of Europe—England.
The second example has a mixed metaphor:
1841   Congressional Globe 30 Jan. 119/1   These lands were nothing but a bone of contention—a political football, bandied about first by one party and than the other.
That example makes me wonder not only about the origin of "bone of contention" but also "bandy."  "Bone of contention" is (obviously) something that people fight over the way dogs fight over a bone. But does "bandy" inject a third metaphor into the mix?

"To those who see an inconsistency in this column's criticizing Obama for using a gag we've employed in the past..."

"... let us clarify things with a Shermanesque answer to a question nobody is asking: We promise that we will never run for, or serve as, president."

Says James Taranto, addressing my mockery of Obama for using the "stages of grief" meme to mock Republicans, a meme Taranto has himself employed to mock Obama.