Quick hits

Sorry for the bad blogging of late.  Traveled out of town to my nephew’s HS graduation.  Here’s some overdue quick hits:

1) Great, Lawrence Lessig essay on campaign finance.  This is going right into my Campaigns & Elections syllabus.

2) Enjoyed this Slate blog post on the messages we send to young girls about how the dress with the fingertip rule, etc.

3) Paul Waldman on right-wing rhetoric and right-wing terrorism.  Good stuff, though, I suspect that crazy people will always find some larger ideology to cling to in order to self justify and self -aggrandize.  Right-wing nuttery is just particularly easy to grab onto now.

4) Think being an ER physician will get you good care in the ER?  Think again.

5) Really enjoyed this Grantland guide to watching the World Cup.

6) Delaware shows the way on how to get more smart, but poor, kids into college.

7) George Will wrote an extremely misguided column on sexual violence on campus.  One of the better responses I read.

8) It’s really just dumb to specialize your child in one particular sport at a young age.

9) Love this Dan Kois first-person account of trying to spend a month without sitting.

10) In NC, military leaders have taken to defending the Common Core.  Alas, our legislators would rather listen to the modern day know-nothings (i.e., the Tea Party).

11) The hidden genius of traffic lights.

12) Rob Christensen on how the libertarian strain of conservativism has taken over NC.

Tens of thousands of North Carolinians are being hurt by the actions of the legislature – whether being denied health insurance or unemployment insurance, or losing their jobs in the schools, or their earned income tax credits. They are being harmed by ideas put forth by economic thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises and Milton Friedman and sold by national groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and locally by the John Locke Foundation. The theory, of course, is that the changes will lead to a more productive economy that will float all boats.

The reality, as we and Christensen know, is that of course it will not.

13) There’s a proposed bill in Missouri to allow police to shoot people (supposedly justifiably) and keep it a secret!.  What could go wrong with that?

14) I read Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World way back when it was new.  Good stuff.  Brainpickings excerpts Sagan’s baloney detection kit.  It’s really, really good.

15) I’ve come across one female soccer coach  (and she was just a sub) in my years of coaching the Blasters.  That seems wrong, but heck, they are boys.  Alas, it does not appear things will change much when I start coaching Sarah’s team in a few years (yes, she damn well better play soccer).

16) I’m pretty sure I’ve linked before to this great Slate story and summary of the crazy, crazy, crazy modern-day Salem Witch Trials that overtook this country in the 80’s and 90’s.  I’m actually glad I was not more aware of these cases at the time as the absurdity and injustice would have driven me crazy.  Alas, here’s a sad case of a surely innocent man still languishing in prison 27 years later here in NC.

17) Speaking of injustice, while driving back from the aforementioned graduation, I listened to this terrific This American Life account (it’s a classic from 9 years ago) of a wrongfully-imprisoned man with my son.  He was shocked and incredulous that this could happen.  Alas, all too common.  Also a good occasion for me to give him some helpful advice, like, never, never submit to a police interview without a lawyer.

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