Click on WORD or PDF for full content
Jennifer Rubin points to GOP snake oil salesmen.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to let gay marriage bans fall in another batch of states, there are two types of responses from conservatives. The first acknowledges reality; the second misleads voters that there is something tangible to be done to stop the wave of social change.
In the first category, some Republicans like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have simply said in effect the boat has sailed. Others like Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) gave eloquent critiques of the Supreme Court and expressed his sincere disappointment the court did not act differently. ..
… Then there are the pols who would have us believe there is something realistically that can stop this and that those who refuse are just weaklings. Gov. Mike Huckabee went so far as to threaten to leave the GOP if Republicans “raise the white flag” on gay marriage. …
… Unfortunately this reaction is emblematic of the politics of empty gestures and illogical crusades. It bonds with voters over a sense of agrievement, but offers no realistic political course to their desired end. And it vilifies their allies on a host of other issues who won’t play the look-how-heartfelt-I-am-unlike-those-squishy-politicians game. It is not behavior becoming of a national leader. …
Jennifer has more on GOP snake oil salesmen with a special emphasis on Mike Huckabee. Pickerhead would rather have a third term of the present clueless feckless hapless president then Huckabee.
As I noted last week, some Republicans are peddling snake oil in their pitch to social conservatives not to “surrender” on gay marriage. Among the worst offenders was former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who threatened to leave the party if the Republicans, well, if the Republicans don’t . . . what is it that he wants?
On his Fox show and online he struggled to explain what he meant. Mostly he just repeated the same empty phrases. (“Here’s my advice — grow a spine! Show a modicum of knowledge about the way we govern ourselves! And lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way!”) But what does that mean? Well, Huckabee really goes off the rails invoking a discredited far-right notion that we need not succumb to “judicial tyranny”:
“In recent years, the doctrine of Judicial Supremacy has trampled both the Constitution and common sense. The court can certainly rule on an issue, but unless the legislature passes enabling legislation and funds it, and unless the Executive branch signs it and enforces it, it certainly is not “the law of the land!” That’s often exclaimed with authority by voices that belong to people that I wonder — did they pass 9th grade civics? The law of the land requires agreement of all three branches.”
I am afraid it is Huckabee who skipped civics. …
Victor Davis Hanson says things in DC have gone from comedy to farce.
It was tragically comical that the commander in chief in just a few weeks could go from referring to ISIS as “jayvee” and a manageable problem to declaring it an existential threat, in the same manner he upgraded the Free Syrian Army from amateurs and a fantasy to our ground linchpin in the new air war. All that tragic comedy was a continuance of his previous untruths, such as the assurance that existing health plans and doctors would not change under the Affordable Care Act or that there was not a smidgeon of corruption at the IRS.
But lately the Obama confusion has descended into the territory not of tragedy or even tragic comedy, but rather of outright farce.
Last week we learned from the Washington Post that an investigator looking into the Secret Service prostitution scandal was ordered by the inspector general “to withhold and alter certain information in the report of investigation because it was potentially embarrassing to the administration.” The “embarrassing” information was the allegation that a member of the White House staff advance team had solicited a prostitute while prepping Obama’s Colombia visit — a fact denied by then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in April 2012, when he assured the press that no one from the White House was involved in the scandal that brought down lots of Secret Service and military personnel.
But here is where the farcical kicks in. The squelched investigation was focused on White House staffer Jonathan Dach. And who is Dach? He was at the time a young Yale law student and White House staffer, and is now a State Department activist working on — what else? — “Global Women’s Issues.” …
Slate tells us why decision making saps our strength and how it can be avoided.
After my first day of work in a new city, I found myself sprawled facedown on the carpet of my new apartment. I needed to buy a couch, to finish writing assignments from my last job, to walk the dog—but after deciding which route to take between home and work, choosing a health insurance plan, and setting up a dozen new account passwords, I was totally useless. My husband asked me what I wanted to eat for dinner, and I didn’t care, as long as I didn’t have to think up a menu. It turns out there’s a scientific explanation for what I was experiencing: decision fatigue.
The name is self-explanatory; constant decision-making can be overwhelming. Think about something as simple as grocery shopping after work. Do you get the organic berries at $7 or the nonorganic at $4? Which style of pasta? Which brand of juice? If you’re like me, you only manage to pick out a few things before you get cranky.
It may seem liberating to live in a land of infinite choices, but research in decision-making suggests otherwise. …
Heather Mac Donald on the neo-victorianism on the college campus.
… It is impossible to overstate the growing weirdness of the college sex scene. Campus feminists are reimporting selective portions of a traditional sexual code that they have long scorned, in the name of ending what they preposterously call an epidemic of campus rape. They are once again making males the guardians of female safety and are portraying females as fainting, helpless victims of the untrammeled male libido. They are demanding that college administrators write highly technical rules for sex and aggressively enforce them, 50 years after the proponents of sexual liberation insisted that college adults stop policing student sexual behavior. While the campus feminists are not yet calling for an assistant dean to be present at their drunken couplings, they have created the next best thing: the opportunity to replay every grope and caress before a tribunal of voyeuristic administrators.
The ultimate result of the feminists’ crusade may be the same as if they were explicitly calling for a return to sexual modesty: a sharp decrease in casual, drunken sex. There is no downside to this development.
Let us recall the norms which the sexual revolution contemptuously swept away in the 1960s. Males and females were assumed on average to have different needs regarding sex: The omnivorous male sex drive would leap at all available targets, whereas females were more selective, associating sex with love and commitment. The male was expected to channel his desire for sex through the rituals of courtship and a proposal of marriage. A high premium was placed on female chastity and great significance accorded its loss; males, by contrast, were given a virtual free pass to play the sexual field to the extent that they could find or purchase a willing partner. The default setting for premarital sex was “no,” at least for females. Girls could opt out of that default—and many did. But placing the default at “no” meant that a female didn’t have to justify her decision not to have sex with particular reasons each time a male importuned her; individual sexual restraint was backed up by collective values. On campuses, administrators enforced these norms through visitation rules designed to prevent student couplings.
The sexual revolution threw these arrangements aside. …
Public Radio International post on how the language of science became English.
Permafrost, oxygen, hydrogen — it all looks like science to me.
But these terms actually have origins in Russian, Greek and French.
Today though, if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it’s most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English.
Look no further than the Nobel prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English. This was not always so.
“If you look around the world in 1900, and someone told you, ‘Guess what the universal language of science will be in the year 2000?’ You would first of all laugh at them because it was obvious that no one language would be the language of science, but a mixture of French, German and English would be the right answer,” said Michael Gordin.
Gordin is a professor of the history of science at Princeton and his upcoming book, Scientific Babel, explores the history of language and science. …