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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.
"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
[...] The majority's decision in this regard also departs from another basic principle of the Fourth Amendment: that law enforcement officials can enforce with the same vigor all rules and regulations irrespective of the perceived importance of any of those rules. "In a long line of cases, we have said that when an officer has probable cause to believe a person committed even a minor crime in his presence, the balancing of private and public interests is not in doubt. The arrest is constitutionally reasonable." Virginia v. Moore, 553 U. S. ___, ___ (2008) (slip op., at 6).
The Fourth Amendment rule for searches is the same: Police officers are entitled to search regardless of the perceived triviality of the underlying law. As we have explained, requiring police to make "sensitive, case-by-case determinations of government need," Atwater v. Lago Vista, 532 U. S. 318, 347 (2001), for a particular prohibition before conducting a search would "place police in an almost impossible spot," id., at 350.
In determining whether the search's scope was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, it is therefore irrelevant whether officials suspected Redding of possessing prescription-strength Ibuprofen, nonprescription-strength Naproxen, or some harder street drug. Safford prohibited its possession on school property. Reasonable suspicion that Redding was in possession of drugs in violation of these policies, therefore, justified a search extending to any area where small pills could be concealed. The search did not violate the Fourth Amendment.
By declaring the search unreasonable in this case, the majority has "`surrender[ed] control of the American public school system to public school students'" by invalidating school policies that treat all drugs equally and by second-guessing swift disciplinary decisions made by school officials.
In the end, the task of implementing and amending public school policies is beyond this Court's function. Parents, teachers, school administrators, local politicians, and state officials are all better suited than judges to determine the appropriate limits on searches conducted by school officials. Preservation of order, discipline, and safety in public schools is simply not the domain of the Constitution.
Neither in the domain of the Constitution are the rights of individuals to be free of unreasonable searches or seizures, if you're a minor, or for any other good reason Justice Thomas can come up with.
Let's hear it for not applying "empathy" or concepts of "freedoms of individuals" over the "rights" of authorities, in constitutional decisions.
MY SECOND LIFETIME MICHAEL JACKSON POST is about my first Michael Jackson post.
Huh. I was just startled by checking SiteMeter for my blog for the first time all day, not expecting to see anything beyond the abysmally small number of hits I get these days absent a link from a major blog, and was staggered to see hundreds of hits per hour for the last few hours, hitting over 240 hits per hour a couple of hours ago.
How many people does it take to break the Internet? On June 25, we found out it's just one -- if that one is Michael Jackson.
The biggest showbiz story of the year saw the troubled star take a good slice of the Internet with him, as the ripples caused by the news of his death swept around the globe.
"Between approximately 2:40 p.m. PDT and 3:15 p.m. PDT today, some Google News users experienced difficulty accessing search results for queries related to Michael Jackson," a Google spokesman told CNET, which also reported that Google News users complained that the service was inaccessible for a time. At its peak, Google Trends rated the Jackson story as "volcanic."
As sites fell, users raced to other sites: TechCrunch reported that TMZ, which broke the story, had several outages; users then switched to Perez Hilton's blog, which also struggled to deal with the requests it received.
CNN reported a fivefold rise in traffic and visitors in just over an hour, receiving 20 million page views in the hour the story broke.
Twitter crashed as users saw multiple "fail whales" -- the illustrations the site uses as error messages -- user FoieGrasie posting, "Irony: The protesters in Iran using Twitter as com are unable to get online because of all the posts of 'Michael Jackson RIP.' Well done." The site's status blog said that Twitter had had to temporarily disable its search results, saved searches and trend topics.
Wikipedia saw a flurry of activity, with close to 500 edits made to Jackson's entry in less than 24 hours. CNET reported that by 3:15 p.m. PT, Wikipedia seemed to be "temporarily overloaded."
The Los Angeles Times, the first news organization to confirm Jackson's death, suffered outages. The site also reported that AOL's instant messenger service had been hit, quoting an AOL statement that said, "AIM was down for approximately 40 minutes this afternoon." The statement said, "Today was a seminal moment in Internet history. We've never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth."
Etc., etc. So my seeing a few hundred hits for an old photo and mention was just a ghost of all this.
NEW NIXON TAPES OUT TODAY! I'll be busy reading transcripts, and in some cases, listening to audio.
I'll get back to you on this.
Meanwhile, relatedly, who knew that Chris Crawford had a new sort-of version of Balance of Power out? I spent a lot of time with it last night, doing things like declining to make deals with China to ask North Korea to test a nuclear weapon. I think Nixon would have done the same!
1977! Or, an example of why I have a little trouble identifying with the state I presently live in:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina recalled a regrettable side of its history on Monday by unveiling a roadside marker remembering poor people, mental patients and prisoners who were sterilized against their will by state officials.
The cast aluminum sign in downtown Raleigh provides a permanent remembrance of the program intended to keep thousands of people considered mentally disabled or otherwise genetically inferior from having children.
More than 7,600 people were sterilized by ''choice or coercion'' under the state's so-called eugenics program between 1933 and 1973, according to the marker's text. North Carolina was one of more than two dozen states [SEE BELOW: THE NUMBER IS ACTUALLY 32 STATES] that ran such programs after social reformers began advocating for the approach a century ago.
North Carolina's program targeted the poor and people living in prisons and state institutions, among others. While officials obtained written consent from patients or their guardians, many didn't know what they were signing and were essentially coerced, state historians said.
Riddick, for example, was a rape victim who was sterilized soon after delivering a baby at age 14. She has said she couldn't have given consent because she was so young.
The state Eugenics Commission was abolished in 1977 after the Legislature transferred responsibility of the mentally ill to the court system.
There was a "Eugenics Commission" until 1977!
They're still just talking about compensation:
[...] A state House panel has recommended that the state give $20,000 to victims of the eugenics program, but the measure is unlikely to pass this year. The House bill that would begin payments now seeks $18.6 million -- a difficult amount to obtain in a year in which lawmakers are facing a $4.6 billion budget gap.
But, hey, a marker should make up for it all.
Read The Rest Scale: 3 out of 5. There's no coverage of this in the News & Observer, by the way, other than the same AP story. There's just that much caring.
ADDENDUM, June 23rd, 7:44 p.m.: Thanks to a pointer from reader Maven giving me the clue to go looking, here is the whole huge detailed series of articles that the Winston Salem Journal did in 2002, which shined a bright light on this awful program. Really, this is what you should go read!
Incidentally, although the article I initially quoted says "more than two dozen" states had such programs, it was thirty-two states.
JEWS IN SPACE. Okay, only in difficult-to-get-to rural Peru. Those wacky Jews turn up everywhere!
[...] The history of Jews in Iquitos, dating from the late-19th-century rubber boom that transformed this far-flung Amazonian outpost into a once thriving city of imported Italian marble and a theater designed by Gustave Eiffel, was almost forgotten.
But Mr. Reátegui Levy and a handful of others began organizing the descendants of dozens of Jews from places as varied as Morocco, Gibraltar, Malta, England and France who had settled here and deeper in the jungle, opening trading houses and following their star in search of riches and adventure.
The rubber trade collapsed, and fortunes here and upriver in the Brazilian city of Manaus vanished. Some Jewish immigrants perished young, succumbing to diseases like cholera. A few stayed, marrying local women and raising families. Others returned home, leaving behind descendants who clung to a belief that they were Jews.
“We were isolated for so many decades, living on the jungle’s edge in a Catholic society without rabbis or a synagogue, in which all we had were some vague notions of what it meant to be Jewish,” Mr. Reátegui Levy said.
“But when I was a child, my mother told me something that forever burned into my mind,” he said. “She told me, ‘You are a Jew, and you are never to forget that.’ ”
Iquitos lies four degrees south of the Equator, reachable only by boat or plane.
The one thing that makes me doubt their Jewishness is that the reporter makes no mention of constant arguing among them. Probably just a reportorial oversight, though.
Homosexual behavior seems pointedly un-Darwinian. An animal that doesn't pass along genes by mating with the opposite sex at every, well, conceivable opportunity, seems to be at an evolutionary disadvantage. So what’s in it for the 450-plus species that go for same-sex sex?
Two evolutionary biologists from University of California, Riverside, set out to answer that question in a paper published today in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.
After studying dozens of published articles on the topic, Bailey and his colleague Marlene Zuk concluded that, in addition to being an adaptational strategy, "these behaviors can be a force," Bailey said. "They create a context in which selection can occur [differently] within a population."
In the Laysan albatross, for example, previous research has shown that a third of all bonded pairs in a Hawaii colony are two females. This behavior helps the birds, whose colony has far more females than males, by allowing them to share parenting responsibilities. It also gives more stability to the offspring of males, already bonded to a female, who mate opportunistically with females in a same-sex couple. Such a dynamic, then may force gradual changes in behavior and even physical appearance of the birds, the authors note.
Next on the Nature Channel: Queer Eye For the Straight Albatross. On a stick.
[UPDATE, August 25, 2010, 9:29 p.m.: Drat; they've put this article and chart behind their paywall. How ironic. Most of the issue is still available, though, and still excellent. I have now replaced the formerly linked chart with a smaller copy of the image found elsewhere.]
Read The Rest Scale: 2 out of 5.
UPDATE, August 18th, 2009: new paper from Emmanuel Saez. Paul Krugman comments. The chart above is at this link updated to include 2007.
Read The Rest Scale: 1.5 out of 5. Really, I just told you the news.
All right, there's just no satisfying you people. More here.
[...] Comedy Central will begin showing the new installments beginning mid-2010. An interesting note in the press release states, "Twentieth Century Fox Television retains the option to license the original runs of the new episodes to a broadcast network," seemingly implying there is a chance a network (though come on, it would be FOX, right?) could potentially air the new episodes first, before Comedy Central.
Says co-creator Matt Groening, "We're thrilled Futurama is coming back. We now have only 25,766 episodes to make before we catch up with Bender and Fry in the year 3000." Added his fellow Futurama creator, David X. Cohen, "We're excited and amazed that the show is coming back, perhaps due to some sort of mysterious time loop. We look forward to working with Comedy Central and 20th Television to make this the best iteration of the loop yet!"
And "on your DVD player" is a pretty good time slot.
Incidentally, did you know that, like almost all Hollywood productions, Return of The Jedi has never gone into profit?
[...] Everyone says having your show cancelled is like a death but I've been dead before and at least when you're dead you don't get thrown off the Warner Bros. lot for haunting your old parking space. They probably mean it's like the death of a friend or a family member but that shit only hurts when it's YOUR friend or family member and even then it's mitigated by age, lifestyle and whether that person was a Hollywood friend or a real one and whether that family member left you money.
Losing your show is more like a surprise divorce where you get served papers in the morning and your (ex)wife is fucking Human Target by three in the afternoon using the same time slot your child was conceived in and also where she did that one thing that one time on your birthday.
People say the bright side to losing your show is gaining time to spend with your family but I'm pretty sure that waking up next to your ex-showrunner spouse whom you haven't seen for two and a half years is pretty close to waking up next to that special someone you met the night before at Carlos n' Charlie's in Cancun on Spring Break.
There's a bunch more. Because, y'know, now he has time to write on his blog.
I really liked Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; it was good sf, with fine acting by Lena Headey and Summer Glau, and its main problem was that it had too many words in its title, and really that's not a very big problem. Sorry you were cancelled, Josh!
There were foreshadowings:
[...] I guess there were signs that the show was in trouble (other than the 1.3 rating and the four share). First there was the day I was in my office and looked up to see Chuck Lorre and a Warner Bros. facilities manager standing in my doorway pointing to various features and using their hands to take "air measurements." (Chuck tried to play it off like waving to me God Bless him, but I know an air measurement when I see it.)
Read The Rest Scale: 4 out of 5 or killer robots will come kill us all.
M. Edward Whelan III is the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He directs EPPC’s program on The Constitution, the Courts, and the Culture. His areas of expertise include constitutional law and the judicial confirmation process.
Mr. Whelan, a lawyer and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, has served in positions of responsibility in all three branches of the federal government. From just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, until joining EPPC in 2004, Mr. Whelan was the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice. In that capacity, he advised the White House Counsel’s Office, the Attorney General and other senior DOJ officials, and Departments and agencies throughout the executive branch on difficult and sensitive legal questions. Mr. Whelan previously served on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In addition to clerking for Justice Scalia, he was a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Since you doubtless haven't figured this out, Mr. Whelan, outing a pseudonymous blogger for no better reason than that you don't like what the blogger is saying has long been established as the act of someone who has no better argument.
It's a revealingly pathetic act. It's the act of an angry child.
What I left unstated above is that the most moronically dense aspect of the-reply-by-outing is that it turns a post that would otherwise be paid little attention to by the blogosphere, and almost entirely forgotten within a few days, into a pointer to a post, the one that the outer is "defending," that becomes infamous to countless readers throughout the blogosphere, who wonder what on earth could have stung the outer into such desperate outrage, and said poster and poster become widely famous for their violation of blogospheric etiquette and blinding stupidity.
Someday, someone is going to make a million by writing a book on what so far is largely unwritten; the rules and etiquette of blogging.
When that happens, we won’t have internet ignorant philistines like Ed Whelan running around destroying the anonymity of bloggers who choose to remain unknown. Or maybe we will, if they prove as unable to control their anger as Mr. Whelan has demonstrated.
Responding point by point to Publius’s piquing of Whelan’s demonstrably thin skin, the President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center couldn’t leave it at that. Instead, he decided to act rather unethically and dig unto Publius’s personal life in order to discover who this mosquito nibbling on his backside might be.
Sounding for all the world as if he had solved the mystery of Area 51, Whelan wrote triumphantly [...]
I am very happy Ed has enjoyed his Captain Queeg moment and solved the mystery of the missing strawberries. Such sleuthing no doubt builds up an appetite to which Whelan might consider eating the plate of slightly overdone crow that is sitting in front of him.
If not, Whalen’s fit of personal pique looks low, tawdry, childish, and vengeful.
[...] Even so, I think "you a lawprof" is a pretty lame argument, normally wielded by opponents who don't want to bother making substantive points. It's about on the level of proclaiming you're a moron.
[...] There seem to be mixed feelings as to whether what Whelan did is “ethical” or not. In terms of ethics, we’re essentially talking about right and wrong. Is it right or wrong to reveal the name of an anonymous blogger?
And the answer?
Well, it depends. It depends on what action by the anonymous blogger might drive such a decision by another blogger. I’m sure if I thought long and hard enough I could come up with a few that I think would justify doing so. But one of them wouldn’t be because some blogger had been “biting at my ankles in recent months.”
I’m sorry but that comes with the territory of blogging.
Heat. Kitchen. Either grow a thick skin or quit blogging.
I find Whelan’s outing of Publius to be very bad form -unethical- especially for the reason given. If I had a nickel for every anonymous ankle biter I’ve endured for years, I’d be retired. The trick in dealing with them is not to do something as juvenile and “ethics challenged” as violating their privacy, but instead by making tight and considered arguments which leave them little room for rational criticism. At that point they usually do one of two things - go irrational and begin the inevitable descent into ad hominum attacks or go away.
What Whelan just did instead was create a martyr and become the bad guy. And his poor judgment in this case ends up hurting his own credibility while adding at least sympathetic weight to his antagonists arguments.
Too many people on the internet want anonymity for a variety of reasons. Certainly some abuse it. But the unspoken rule of netiquete is you don’t reveal another’s private information publicly over some silly disagreement - ever. Whelan did exactly that and for that act, deserves all the condemnation he’s now receiving.
[...] That a writer at a site like NRO would stoop to outing an anonymous liberal blogger is, hopefully, far more a discredit to Whelan and NRO, than it is trouble for said blogger. Were it up to me, Whelan would be gone as an NRO blogger. I think it somewhat revealing when so called professionals start looking like the children out here, as opposed to the more traditional amateur bloggers.
And so on and so forth.
And now the previously almost unknown Ed Whelan has achieved fame.
People who do it brand themselves.
Read The Rest Scale: as interested. What's really amusing are the supporters of Whalan who show up in the ObWi comments to denounce the "cowardice" of anyone who would attack someone else anonymously (setting aside the complete confusion of "pseudonymousness" with "anonymousness") and post with a pseudonym.
ADDENDUM, June 8th, 4:11 p.m.: Simon Owens adds more background by interviewing both publius and Ed Whelan about Whelan's actions.
ADDENDUM, June 8th, 4:45 p.m.: Also, Whelan offers yet more justification here. Another blogger at "Bench Memos" chimes in, and manages to point out a major historical error of Whelan's, while also declaring that "a blogging law professor who argues irresponsibly about legal matters doesn't have much of a claim on our attention when he wants to stay pseudonymous."
So that's the new NRO rule. "Irresponsible," of course, means "you disagree with me."
Wendy Long here calls publius "dishonorable," without bothering to state why. Disagreeing with Whelan, I guess.
ADDENDUM, June 8th, 2009: This is currently a front page story, top of the site, at the NY Times website: The Outing of Publius.