Interesting Items for 6/9/2009

  • Cocaine for the eyes of firemen []
  • Chicago Tribune, June 24, 1897. That is the single greatest headline in the history of journalism. I’m going to start writing poetry just so I can use that as a title for my first collection.
  • An Ivy-Covered Path to the Supreme Court []
  • On talking to conservatives []
  • Have you ever noticed that dogmatic conservatives always act like it must be the first time you’ve ever heard their ideas? It’s as though they believe that they’re so inherently convincing that the only reason anyone wouldn’t believe them is that they simply haven’t heard the good news yet.
  • Jay-Z “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)” CDQ + Sample Source + Summer Jam Video THAT’S IT []
  • Is the Cajun Primary the Answer? []
  • The comments to my Anarchy in the UK post on Thursday spawned an interesting discussion surrounding the cause of polarized politics in the CA state legislature.  While I agree the damning variable that impedes compromise is the 2/3 rule for budgetary measures, I still maintain that closed primaries tend to produce candidates to the left or right of the party support writ large.…
  • What’s Wrong with “Dixie” []
  • One day back when I was living in Minneapolis, an ice-cream truck came trolling down our tree-lined street. Despite the dearth of children in the neighborhood, the squat beige van came not infrequently, usually tooting something innocuous like “Pop Goes the Weasel” to rally a small crowd. One blistering afternoon it started whistling a different song, no less bouncy but with a tad darker history. Without my wanting it to, the whose first verse played…
  • Caperton and The Supreme Court’s Boundary-Enforcing Role []
  • In a pathbreaking decision, the Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 that Due Process requires an elected judge to recuse himself when a party with a vested stake in a case spends so much campaign money to get that judge elected (apparently, either through contributions or expenditures) as to raise an objective probability that the judge will be too biased to serve. Momentous as the decision is for the future of judicial elections and disputes over…
  • Paid Parental Leave []
  • It’s standard for countries to offer a certain amount of mandatory paid parental leave as a recognition of the special role parents play in our society (in effect, this measure lowers everyone’s wages slightly and then provides a benefit only to parents, thus enacting a small transfer of resources from non-parents to parents). In the United States, everything must surrender beneath the all-powerful God of flexible labor markets, and “pro-family” conservatives seem fine with that.
  • History Through The Veil []
  • Post offices used to be awesome. []
  • Most postmasters were also storekeepers selling liquor by the drink on the premises. The federal government mandated that post offices open every day, and this overrode whatever state and local laws might require Sunday closings. The post office thus became a conspicuous exception to general Sabbath observance in small-town America. On Sundays many men would flock to the local post office after church to pick up their mail and have a drink.

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