Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:57 pm

Odds and ends for April 7

First, congratulations to Duke!

Sure, a ban on medical schools teaching abortion wouldn’t survive constitutional scrutiny. But suppose it did: Legislators would be sentencing a nontrivial number of women to death. How about we ban your fucking heart valves, you goddamned sociopaths? I’m sorry, but in what universe am I supposed to treat this as just another policy proposal to be dispassionately debated?

The DEA secretly recorded billions of Americans’ international calls years before 9/11. And not one damn person will go to jail behind it.

My online friend Chris Dashiell went on a bit of a rant Monday on Twitter about what the backlash against the Rolling Stone UVa/rape story says about our toxic media environment. I’ve Storified it so that you can enjoy it, too.

Here are five Texas firefighters who I think will really enjoy prison.

In Chicago, Mayor (and all-around jackass) Rahm Emanuel could be out on his ass. As Al Capone is reputed to have said after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, I’ll send flowers.

Rand Paul formally declared for the presidency today. If his batshit insanity, leavened with enough isolated sane positions to attract some low-info voters, isn’t enough to turn you off, consider this: His campaign website is selling an “NSA spy-cam blocker.” Grifters gonna grift.

While I have argued that voter fraud — real voter fraud — is vanishingly rare, I’ve never argued that it doesn’t exist. Now, some N.C. cases have led to criminal charges. The cases involve two felons who hadn’t had their rights restored, a guy who voted in both North Carolina and Florida, and one person who wasn’t a citizen of the United States. It is unclear at best whether the state’s voter-ID law would have prevented the latter case, and clear that it wouldn’t have prevented the other three. (h/t: Fred)

And U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is running for re-election, presumably because we kids still haven’t gotten off his lawn.

Aluminum batteries could replace our lithium ones, extending battery life. But probably not anytime soon.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott initially said he couldn’t “in good conscience” reject Medicaid expansion. So much for conscience.

The New York Times takes a look at the redistricting dispute in Greensboro and other cases in North Carolina. Oddly, the article doesn’t present any larger context or perspective on the fact that this is a national, ALEC-driven effort.

Speaking of the Times, perhaps I should ask it for a million bucks just to see what would happen.

A day or two ago I mentioned a Long Island high-school student who had been accepted into all eight Ivy League schools. Well, turns out, North Carolina has one of them, too.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010 11:31 am

Reflections on privacy in the Internet age, Karen Owen edition

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 11:31 am
Tags: , ,

Lesson to my kids from this: Nothing involving PowerPoint ever ends well.

Monday, April 19, 2010 8:54 pm

Duke College Republicans oust chairman. Why?

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 8:54 pm
Tags: , ,

Was the chairman of Duke’s College Republicans ousted because he had mismanaged the group and embezzled funds, or because he’s gay? The link includes both student-newspaper article and the articles of impeachment. The comments add some perspective and context, although they’re all pseudonymous so I don’t know how much credibility to give them.

There’s a lack of hard information, a lot of he-said/she-said, and a whole bunch of ethical questions to be derived from this situation.

One disturbing element is that, at least according to commenters, the chairman sent an e-mail to other group members attempting to address the issue and asking that they keep it in confidence, and at least one member chose not to. Without smearing the whole group, I’m going to say that that was an incredibly ill-advised decision … but I also think that no one in this kid’s position should have thought for a minute that anything he put into an e-mail would remain confidential.

If the guy mismanaged and stole, then he should have been impeached, obviously. That said, it’s disturbing that some sort of meeting to change the impeachment rules apparently took place just beforehand.

Beyond the merits of the decision to impeach, it’s not clear to me just how “out” this guy was — perhaps not even to his own parents. If he wasn’t out before, he sure is now, what with the publication of the news in both the Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill student papers. I’d be interested to know what sort of ethical discussions, if any, took place around the respective papers’ decisions to publish their stories. Involuntarily outing someone can have all kinds of unforeseen negative consequences, and the bulk of the comments seem to indicate that the kid was told the papers were going to publish with or without him, although at least one commenter disputes that and says the kid himself asked for coverage. Again, we need more facts. 

Finally, I’m amused that the Duke College Republicans site’s header includes rotating photos of the Manhattan skyline.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:30 am

Nine tonight

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:30 am
Tags: , ,

Deep blue winter, Carolina blue sky. Duke. Carolina. 9 tonight. Let’s do this.

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