I came across some interesting items at the local drugstore. It was a hard choice, but these are the top three items on my wish list:
(and yes, the can really said that. I hate to imagine what “fake clam juice” might be…)
According to Wikipedia:
PACER (acronym for Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is an electronic public access service of United States federal court documents. The system is managed by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. It allows users to obtain case and docket information from the United States district courts, United States courts of appeals, and United States bankruptcy courts.
According to Jeremy (via Facebook), this is the video tutorial showing you how to use PACER:
[Sorry, no way to embed. It's worth watching though.]
To quote the Emmy-award winner himself:
This is an official US government website for looking up all national cases, mind you. I am speechless.
Our tax dollars at work, people! (And yes, I know that’s a cheap, reductive, and overplayed punch line, but how do you think it got that way?)
Trevor asks in comments why I bothered to make this post. I reply as follows, in case it wasn’t obvious to you, either.
See, that’s the trouble. Tom Friedman is always eminently “reasonable,” but his ideas are always the same stupid tripe. “We need a credible Third Party!” Friedman says, and that party just so happens to have the exact same political orientation as Tom Friedman. And then there are a few quotes from some random dickhead in another country who also seems to endorse Friedman’s view.
He never substantively argues his points. Look at this paragraph:
“Looking at America from here, makes me feel as though we have the worst of all worlds right now. The days when there were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, who nudged the two parties together, appear over. We don’t have compulsory voting. Special interest money is out of control, and we lack any credible Third Party that could capture enough of the center to force both Democrats and Republicans to compete for votes there. So we’ve lost our ability to do big, hard things together. Yet everything we have to do — tax reform, fiscal reform, health care reform, energy policy — is big and hard and can only be done together.”
What are the implicit solutions to our political problems in this graph? 1) Compulsory voting (stupid), 2) control special interest money (common sense), and 3) create a credible Third Party (impossible, given the way the American political system is designed). Aside from (2), which would be great, what the hell is there to like about this column? It’s standard Tom Friedman “I’m going nowhere special with this but I’m almost at my word count” fare. Oh wow, the right in New Zealand is different from the right in America. HOLY FUCKING MOLY PEOPLE, THIS STORY HAS LEGS!
The column isn’t offensive; it’s banal, inapplicable to American political realities, and strident in pretending otherwise. It’s milquetoast. It’s classic Tom Friedman, and I wish he’d just shut the fuck up already.
Hope that helps.
Some mornings I am just fucking INSPIRED!
Go watch this. Then go to Stop&Shop, or Safeway, or wherever the fuck. Rich white people need to stop pretending that ethical consumerism is a real thing. It’s not. It’s just a salve to make us (Haha, yes I’m going to pretend that I’m rich for a moment, if you don’t mind) feel better for being the capitalist swine we’ve all been bred to be.
COM C THE BIOLENSE INHERIT IN THA SISSTEM!
I can still tell you, without a doubt, that this is the stupidest review of the movie that you will read.
I stole that title from Tyler Cowen, who usually uses it to link to something asinine from one of his deranged right wing economist pals. Here, then, is the sentence I’ve selected:
Protestors were out in force this morning in front of the Supreme Court asking the court to overturn the Affordable Care Act because, if the founders had wanted poor children to receive treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, they would have mentioned it in the Federalist Papers, BUT THEY DIDN’T NOW, DID THEY MARXISTS!
I have it on good authority that Madison (or was it Hamilton? Or Jay? THE CONSPIRYSEEE DEEPENS!) intended to mention the ACA in Federalist 10, but was busy doing stuff, or getting gout, or fathering illegitimate children, or whatever. Okay, it’s 6:30 in the morning and I don’t have any jokes about this. I already gave you a joke, people! THAT’S THE SENTENCE TO PONDER!!!1!SQUEE!1
You know what’s not a very enlightened way to get your point across? Acting like bizarro versions of the same proponents of inflexible belief structures that you claim to oppose.
According to USA Today,
About 20,000 atheists gathered within shouting distance of the Washington Monument on Saturday for a Reason Rally hell-bent on damning religion and mocking beliefs.
Dawkins didn’t appear until five hours into the event, but few seemed discouraged by the near-constant rain or drizzle. They whistled and cheered for his familiar lines such as:
I don’t despise religious people. I despise what they stand for …
Evolution is not just true, it’s beautiful …
Then Dawkins got to the part where he calls on the crowd not only to challenge religious people but to “ridicule and show contempt” for their doctrines and sacraments, including the Eucharist, which Catholics believe becomes the body of Christ during Mass.
Now I’m a fan of Dawkins the scientist and Dawkins the author, especially when he uses his substantial intellect and public platform to inform rather than (ironically) preach. He can be at his rhetorical best when offering level-headed admonishment such as that contained on page 25 of his provocative (and shiny covered!) polemic, The God Delusion, where he asserts that
I want everybody to flinch whenever we hear a phrase such as ‘Catholic child’ or ‘Muslim child’. [...] That is not a Muslim child, but a child of Muslim parents. That child is too young to know whether it is a Muslim or not. There is no such thing as a Muslim child. There is no such thing as a Christian child.
But as an occasional atheist myself (with ever-fluctuating trips into agnosticism, deism, and Einstein-ism*, depending on the day), I also want everyone to flinch whenever the not uncommon specter of Asshole Atheism tries to stand in for non believers as a whole. Ridiculing and showing contempt for acts of faith is no more progressive or productive than when the other side does the same to you. By all means, stand up and defend your convictions when necessary and engage in reasoned, fruitful , and civil arguments whenever possible, but don’t stoop to adopting the same inflamed rhetoric that ultimately led to the likes of the Spanish Inquisition and our current Republican presidential clusterfuck, to name but two arbitrary examples of religion gone awry.
* ”If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” Dukas, Helen (1981). Albert Einstein the Human Side. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 43.
Okay, so I’ve only got one, cause I only got around to watching it last night because I didn’t want any spoilers (and stayed up way too late in the process — curses to pub trivia+Mad Men combo), but here’s SEK’s take, in which he argues that ten years from now, Sally will be seen as the character around which the whole drama unfolds.