Monday, April 28, 2008

Obese Inmate Sues Jail Because He's Lost 100 Pounds - Living on The Huffington Post

Obese Inmate Sues Jail Because He's Lost 100 Pounds - Living on The Huffington Post: "BENTONVILLE, Ark. — An inmate awaiting trial on a murder charge is suing the county, complaining he has lost more than 100 pounds because of the jailhouse menu.

Broderick Lloyd Laswell says he isn't happy that he's down to 308 pounds after eight months in the Benton County jail. He has filed a federal lawsuit complaining the jail doesn't provide inmates with enough food.

According to the suit, Laswell weighed 413 pounds when he was jailed in September. Police say he and a co-defendant fatally beat and stabbed a man, then set his home on fire."

Oops! Chinese factory unintentionally made 'Free Tibet' flags | FP Passport

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Clinton hypocrisy

Political Punch: "In The Nation, former 60s radical Tom Hayden -- in an essay called 'Why Hillary Makes My Wife Scream' -- hammers Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, for attacking Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, for his association with former Weather Underground member William Ayers. 'Hillary is blind to her own roots in the sixties,' Hayden writes. 'She was in Chicago for three nights during the 1968 street confrontations. She chaired the 1970 Yale law school meeting where students voted to join a national student strike again an 'unconscionable expansion of a war that should never have been waged.' She was involved in the New Haven defense of Bobby Seale during his murder trial in 1970, as the lead scheduler of student monitors. ... She wrote that abused children were citizens with the same rights as their parents.

'Most significantly in terms of her recent attacks on Barack, after Yale law school, Hillary went to work for the left-wing Bay Area law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, which specialized in Black Panthers and West Coast labor leaders prosecuted for being communists. Two of the firm's partners, according to Treuhaft, were communists and the two others 'tolerated communists'."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Life Expectancy Is Declining in Some Pockets of the Country - New York Times

Life Expectancy Is Declining in Some Pockets of the Country - New York Times: "The study, published Monday in the online journal PLoS, analyzed life expectancy in all 3,141 counties in the United States from 1961 to 1999, the latest year for which complete data have been released by the National Center for Health Statistics. Although life span has generally increased since 1961, the authors reported, it began to level off or even decline in the 1980s for 4 percent of men and 19 percent of women.

“It’s very troubling that there are parts of the wealthiest country in the world, with the highest health spending in the world, where health is getting worse,” said Majid Ezzati, the lead author and an associate professor of international health at Harvard. It is a phenomenon, he added, “unheard of in any other developed country.”"

Thursday, April 17, 2008

book notes

The Bush Tragedy by Jacob Weisberg

G.H.W. Bush had a closer relationship with Herbie Walker than Prescott Bush, despite the fact that GHW adopted Prescott's public-service ethos.

G.W. in particular is very much a Walker: rash, impulsive, aggressive, super-competitive, and overconfident/insecure.

G.H.W. pioneered to Texas to catch the 50's oil boom. G.W. stuck around after the easy money had already been made. Jeb kept more in the spirit of the original move by going to Florida real estate.

After GHW and Barb's daughter died, GHW retreated into non-stop "business trips," and Barb fell into depression, 8-year-old GW became a surrogate husband. I wonder if GW's rage at GHW's cut-and-run on the family was replicated in his disdain at GHW's cut-and-run on the Iraqi Shiites in 1991.

"A son who tried to vindicate his family by repudiating his father's policies ended up doing the opposite of what he intended. He showed the world his father's wisdom and brought shame on his name."

Rove's real agenda was a political realignment that went beyond Bush (Much as Cheney's real agenda was unfinished business in Iraq)

"The memo Dowd distributed in December suggested that Bush's centrist strategy had been flawed from the outset. Over the previous 20 years, the share of the electorate available to candiates on either side had dwindled from 24 percent to 6 percent."

Bush's concept of freedom -- in the form of democracy -- as a "gift from God" has no basis in the Bible or any other theology. The Old Testament favored monarchy; The New insisted on communism.

Six phases of the Bush Doctrine

- 1.0 Unipolar Realism (we make reality in our own image)
- 2.0 With us or Against Us
- 3.0 Preemptive attack
- 4.0 Democracy in the Middle East
- 5.0 Freedom Everywhere
- 6.0 No doctrine at all

Tells the great story of Bush with the Lt. Gov of Texas in which Bush says, "I don't fuck before kissing."

Who’s Bitter Now? - New York Times

Who’s Bitter Now? - New York Times: "Small-town people of modest means and limited education are not fixated on cultural issues. Rather, it is affluent, college-educated people living in cities and suburbs who are most exercised by guns and religion. In contemporary American politics, social issues are the opiate of the elites."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind - New York Times

Tighten Your Belt, Strengthen Your Mind - New York Times: "Other activities that deplete willpower include resisting food or drink, suppressing emotional responses, restraining aggressive or sexual impulses, taking exams and trying to impress someone. Task persistence is also reduced when people are stressed or tired from exertion or lack of sleep."