- “If we take all this at face value, then compared to the cannabis of the 1960s, our modern weed is about 3 x 40 x 7 x 15 times stronger, which makes one modern joint equivalent to 12,600 joints of the 1960s variety!”
- The Trump Administration’s Onslaught Against Trans Rights Continues
“Trans rights don’t narrow the scope of acceptable gender expressions for cis people; they inevitably broaden them. The Trump administration’s filing confirms what transgender advocates have been warning us for years: When we try to set firm limits on who’s allowed to identify as a woman, or what women are allowed to look like, cisgender women invariably suffer too.”
- California Is Blaming Prison Reform for Incarcerated Fire Fighting Labor Shortage
- The Electoral College gives the GOP a huge advantage, in one chart – Vox
Any time the Republicans lose the popular vote in a close election, they have a 65% chance of winning the presidency. This, of course, means that the GOP is freer to pursue extremism (like choosing Trump as their presidential nominee), because they don’t need to care about what most voters want.
- Proposed 2020 Ballot Measure in Oregon Could Limit Self-Checkout Machines – Blogtown – Portland Mercury
A conservative think tank says the measure “would force retailers across Oregon to downsize their self-service checkout areas to no more than two kiosks per store.”
But that isn’t true, as far as I can tell. It just says there needs to be one employee to help per two kiosks – so there could be sixteen, as long as eight employees were assigned to helping with them. Which brings up the question, which serves more customers faster, a single cashier or an employee with two self-checkout kiosks?
- Young people: ‘Trans people should use whichever bathroom they want’
This bodes well! (I’m unclear on if the survey’s sampling methodology was good, however.)
- I am briefly interviewed at the “Living ~400lbs” blog.
As I understand it, this is the first of a planned series of interviews about being fat with various people. Occasional “Alas” comment-writer Charles took the photo!
- Opinion | We Deported Him to a Land He’d Never Seen, and Now He’s Dead – The New York Times(And an alternative link.)
This should be inexcusable. He died because he was deported to Iraq, where he doesn’t speak the language, and without the ability to communicate he was unable to get treatment for his diabetes.
- FAIR Act: House passes a bill to ban mandatory arbitration – Vox
If this bill became law, it would restore the rights of millions of workers to sue their employers. Also, I think this article deserves some sort of award for understatement when it says “the bill may face resistance from Republicans in the Senate.” Ya think?
- An AI learned to play hide-and-seek. The strategies it came up with were astounding. – Vox
- Is Quillette Right? Are Scientists Afraid to Discuss Race? (Spoiler: No) | Fardels Bear
“Why does Quillette claim that scientists are afraid to discuss race given the wealth of contrary evidence? Well, it is because much of this literature on race and science serves to debunk Quillette‘s warmed-over 19th century approaches to race.” Reminder: You’re not allowed to use “Alas” to argue for “race realism,” “scientific racism,” etc..
- Maine Poised To Be First State To Use Ranked Choice Voting In A Presidential Election | HuffPost
“… voters will rank their choices for president in the general election instead of choosing just one (if there are more than two candidates on the ballot). If no candidate gets a majority of the vote, the candidate with the least first-place votes gets eliminated. The second choice votes of everyone who voted for the eliminated candidate then get distributed to those remaining. The process continues until a candidate gets a majority of the vote.”
- A Grieving Father Is Standing Trial for Criticizing a Judge on Facebook – Reason.com
As far as I know, this is a one-off case, not a systemic problem of people being jailed for public criticism of judges. But it’s still appalling af.
- Yes, You Are On The Right – Matt Jameson at Arc Digital
If someone spends all their public time arguing for the right and sneering at the left, and never supports liberal causes in any significant way, it’s fair to say they’re on the right.
- Brett Kavanaugh’s impeachment won’t happen. But calling for it is still useful.
“As a bare five-member majority of the Court (80 percent of which have been appointed by presidents who first obtained office despite losing the popular vote) continues to aggrandize power to itself, Democrats will increasingly consider constitutionally permissible measures like expanding the size of the court. Revealing the raw power politics behind Kavanaugh’s appointment in particular and Republican indifference to his character (or his truthfulness when testifying before them) can be an important part of this case, if it turns out to be necessary.”
- Is this art? Your answer can reveal a surprising amount about your politics. – VoxDisliking Trump is more highly correlated with thinking the sketch “Coffee Thyme” is art, than it is with being a college graduate.
- Gender-neutral bathrooms can save women from waiting forever in line | News | The Guardian
- Missing woman “finds herself” after intense search – CBS News
The woman was actually in the search party, without realizing that the “lost” person being searched for was herself.
- Elizabeth Warren Wants a Wealth Tax. How Would That Even Work? – The New York Times and alternative link.
I like the idea of a wealth tax, but I’m not sure if it would work. OTOH, it could work less well than I’d like, and still be better than our status quo.
- The bus art illustrating this post is by Portuguese street artist Odeith. Thanks to occasional “Alas” comment-writer Ben for sending me the bus image.
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A Trip to Stillwater
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The Stolen Child — Page 22
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I Don't Mean to be Judgmental, But ...
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Citizen Scholar: new book under contract
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medical update 4.2.2021
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