March 31, 2015

"The contents of the suitcase, an extraordinary collection of found materials that chronicled the adulterous relationship..."

"... between a businessman and his secretary in the late 1960s and 70s, are now on display for all to see at an art gallery in New York."
What makes a man document his affair so meticulously? Did he want to preserve the relationship to relive it later? Was this industrial businessman searching for a creative platform to express his love? Or merely the confirmation of his control over the situation, as he mastered the art of adultery?

The ice regresses on Lake Mendota.

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Today, in Madison, where the temperature was 60°, the icy remnants of winter were locked in a struggle to the death with the puffy-clouded sky.

"Trevor Noah, From Progressive Icon to Villain in 24 Hours."

David Weigel looks at the uproar.

"It would be strange indeed to give a clause that makes federal law supreme a reading that limits Congress’s power to enforce that law..."

"... by imposing mandatory private enforcement — a limitation unheard — of with regard to state legislatures," wrote Justice Scalia in an opinion called Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Center, issued this morning.
To say that the Supremacy Clause does not confer a right of action is not to diminish the significant role that courts play in assuring the supremacy of federal law. For once a case or controversy properly comes before a court, judges are bound by federal law....

The dissent agrees with us that the Supremacy Clause does not provide an implied right of action, and that Congress may displace the equitable relief that is traditionally available to enforce federal law. It disagrees only with our conclusion that such displacement has occurred here.
The dissenting opinion is by Justice Sotomayor, who is joined by Justices Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Kagan.  The statute the 2 sides are interpreting is the Medicaid Act.

ADDED: In the comments, Smilin' Jack says: "WTF? Have they run out of those Easter-Bunny-Display-in-National-Park cases? At least those were funny."

Yes, let's get back to talking about cake. The important thing in America right now is cake. Why are we all hepped up to talk about RFRA (which had previously bored the bejeezus out of everyone)? Cake.

"Our city lost today because the mayor wouldn’t listen to the voices of moderation and pragmatism."

"This should be an issue of local control and, in the end, we are seeing Democrats and Republicans gang up on the city as we were unable to act over the course of months."

Said Madison mayoral candidate Scott Resnick, about a new and bipartisan bill in the Wisconsin legislature that would authorize companies like Uber to operate throughout the state and block local legislation imposing various limitations of the sort Resnick and his opponent Mayor Paul Soglin have been showing enthusiasm for in their campaigns. Soglin said:
"The point is, Uber has got a lot of muscle, they’ve got a lot of money, they have a lot of influence, they’ve done this around the rest of the country, and they have absolutely the best, most vulnerable legislature in the country in Wisconsin to use their campaign dollars to get the legislation they want which is not in the best interest of the riding public. The public needs essential cab service every day of the year, every hour of the day.”

"Auction houses, consignment stores and thrift shops are flooded with merchandise, much of it made of brown wood."

"Hardly a day goes by that we don’t get calls from people who want to sell a big dining room set or bedroom suite because nobody in the family wants it. Millennials don’t want brown furniture...."

"Millennials have stuff on discs and flash drives.... I don’t think my sons are going to want my walnut table, eight chairs and buffet."

The children of Baby Boomers don't want their shit.

"Jackie lied, Erdely lied, Rolling Stone lied, Teresa Sullivan — at best — went along with a lie. All should face more consequences than they have so far experienced."

Writes Instapundit in what might be the longest ever Instapundit post — with excerpts from Ashe Schow ("Why the Rolling Stone gang-rape story will never be labeled a hoax") and Cathy Young ("The UVA Case and Rape-Hoax Denial").

My question is: Why "more consequences" and not the usual and classic free-speech-loving remedy more speech? It seems as though more speech is working out well enough, or is the complaint that anti-rape activists are still going to use Rolling Stone story to maintain the feeling that something terrible is happening out there? That complaint is a concession of the weakness of your side of the debate. Improve your debate. Your more speech needs to be better. The grim call for consequences is chilling.

ALSO: This post was down for a short time, not because I intentionally took it down, but because I mishandled an open window.

AND: Instapundit responded to this, saying:
Yes, “more speech” is a remedy for opinions one doesn’t like. When speech falls into the category of actions — which false accusations certainly do — it calls for more than simple talk as a response. (But note that Jackie was smart enough not to file a police report, though that should have been a tip-off). And I should note that the fraternity in question was the victim of violent mob action that was ginned up in part by the University of Virginia itself. Is the only remedy for officially-inspired thuggery “more speech?” No. That’s one remedy, but it’s not the only remedy, nor should it be.
I strongly disagree with the proposition that if free-speech law permits negative consequences to be imposed that we ought to want these consequences. I am promoting the more speech approach where the First Amendment would permit negative consequences.

Instapundit quotes a commenter of mine who says "The proper remedy for slander is not 'more speech.' The proper remedy... are [sic]  'consequences.'"

Proper remedy? I'm not purporting to be the arbiter of propriety here. I'm saying what I think is the better policy and the better approach to this political discourse. I called for more and better speech and rejected the "grim call for consequences" as "chilling."

"Saying 'no' has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined."

"No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say 'no.' We are taught not to say 'no.' 'No”' is rude. 'No' is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. 'No' is for drugs and strangers with candy. Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say 'no?' A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? Twenty lines of code? The answer is always the same: 'yes' makes less."

From "Creative People Say No."

"People often ask me what to teach girls or what they themselves can do to challenge sexism when they see it."

"In general, I'm loath to take the approach that girls should be responsible for the world's responses to them," writes Soraya L. Chemaly, who has come up with a specific and very practical answer: "I say to them, practice these words, every day...."

The words are 3 phrases. Perhaps you can guess before looking. What 3 phrases would do a lot of good for girls if they had an ingrained reflex to say them forthrightly at the appropriate time?

"Justice Dept. sues a university for firing a professor who switched gender."

WaPo reports.

"I’m jealous of the fun Wisconsin is having."

"I love this Wisconsin team so much that I hate them. I hate that they got to go to the Final Four last year, that it was so much fun that all the players who didn’t graduate came back, and that now they get to do it all over again. I hate that they’re taking Final Four selfies, messing with stenographers, adorably embarrassing themselves in press conferences, adorably embarrassing themselves in postgame interviews, growing out their mustaches, and wearing GoPros on their chests. I hate that they (almost) make Bo Ryan likable. I hate that their three most famous fans are a Florida alum (Andy North), a Cal alum (Aaron Rodgers), and an Oklahoma alum (Olivia Munn) who just can’t resist cheering for a team this fun. I hate that this is not only the best player on their team — he’s also the best player in the country.... I hate that all of this is happening with Wisconsin just because it’s not also happening to me. If Wisconsin held an auction in which the highest bidder got to ride mopeds, play FIFA, eat cheese curds, drink Spotted Cows, and do whatever else happens when you hang with the Buzzcuts for a week, I’d bid somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 billion."

Writes Mark Titus.

March 30, 2015

Andrew Sullivan says blogging — 7 hours a day, day after day — "was killing me."

And that's why he quit.

Quit if you need to, and I appreciate what you gave us over the years, Andrew, but 7 hours of work a day is just not that grueling.
"And inevitably, for those seven hours or more, I was not spending time with any actual human being, with a face and a body and a mind and a soul."

Sullivan said the job resulted in lost friendships and minimal contact with his family. He said his husband, whom Sullivan married in 2007, called himself a "blog widow."
There are 24 hours in a day. Work 7 hours and sleep 7 hours, and there are still 10 hours left. The numbers just don't add up.

Now, I can see how a writer can burn out. The energy needs to come from somewhere to make those words. It's not the same as using manual skills to make something or fix something or doing routine clerical work, which you can bang out for 7 hours a day whether you mind is a blank or a fuzz. You need the spirit, and if the spirit dies and you labor on, maybe you do feel that it's killing you. There might be something about taking on a staff that you need to pay and accepting subscription money that makes it all too obligatory and not intrinsically valuable. But if it is intrinsically valuable, I don't think 7 hours a day, even 7 days a week, is all that hard, and I don't see why it would leave your husband aggrieved. I don't see why it would leave you feeling that you are not spending time with any actual human being.

"This video makes me nervous. The only reason that you can be sure that the monkey doesn't just snap a puppy's neck for the hell of it..."

"... is because it's been widely shared as a 'cute' video. The owner had no way of knowing it wouldn't."

That prompts somebody else share his "monkey story":
When I was vacationing in Thailand about 20 years ago, I was in a busy restaurant that had a small monkey chained to a perch in the corner. I felt sorry for it and went over to give it some attention. I fed it a treat of some sort from my table and allowed it to perch on my shoulder. Then it shoved its fingers into my eye sockets, driving my lids deep into the space between my eyeballs and eyebrows. It wrapped it's legs around my neck and started humping the back of my head, coming before I was able to tear it off.

I came to realize that having a monkey for a pet would be as much fun as taking care of an incontinent, criminally insane person.

In Governor Nelson State Park today, the weather was ideal.

... 55° and gently overcast...

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None of the burdens of excessive sun and warmth...

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Taps were stuck in maple trees...

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A fingertip gathers a drop. Taste it!

How Ted Cruz answers the no-executive-experience/aren't-you-just-like-Barack-Obama question.

"A Brooklyn city councilwoman wants to know why 'blocs' of Asians are living in two Fort Greene housing projects — and suggested it would be 'beneficial' to assign housing by ethnic group."

"'How is it that one specific ethnic group has had the opportunity to move into a development in large numbers?' Laurie Cumbo, who is black, said at a council hearing on public housing Thursday."
Cumbo issued an apology, saying she only wanted to know if the New York City Housing Authority “uses a cultural preference priority component” in picking tenants....

Still, Cumbo told The Post, “There could be some benefit to housing people by culture... I think it needs to be discussed.”
Yeesh. Reminds me of the trouble Jimmy Carter go into 40 years ago when he campaigned (in Indiana, of all places) saying that he wouldn't use the federal government to "circumvent the natural inclination of people to live in ethnically homogenous neighborhoods":
In making the point, he used unusually blunt language about social differences — about "black intrusion" into white neighborhoods, for example. He spoke of "alien groups" in communities, and of the bad effects of "injecting" a "diametrically opposite kind of person" into a neighborhood....

He said, "I have nothing against a community that's made up of people who are Polish or Czechoslovakian, or French-Canadian, or black, who are trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods."

At the Smart Pot Café...

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... you can grow anything you want.

(And if you want to buy a Smart Pot like the one Meade is planting, you can buy them at Amazon, here. And please, if you want to buy anything at Amazon, consider planting some love on theAlthouse blog by going in here. Meade and I will thank you over bowls of Sungold tomatoes.)

"Two men dressed as women attempted to 'penetrate' the entry point with their vehicle when a shootout occurred...."

ABC reports on the incident at Fort Meade.

Instead of picking on Indiana, why don't we figure out if we want RFRA laws or not?

Here's Jonathan Adler's explanation of "What will the Indiana religious freedom law really do?"
RFRA laws are common, as shown by this map. Whether or not such laws are good policy, they are about accommodating religious belief, not authorizing discrimination....

The Indiana RFRA is not identical to every other RFRA, but the textual differences are not particularly material....

Are there any scenarios in which a state-level RFRA might result in an individual business owner denying service to a same-sex couple? Perhaps. The most likely scenario would be something like a religious wedding planner refusing to help plan a wedding that violates his or her religious beliefs. But even if such laws eventually allow this sort of thing, it is a far cry from... a general license to discriminate against one’s neighbors....
Indiana has focused attention on RFRA laws, but it's stupid to focus on Indiana. These laws are all over the place. Understand them. Understand how they apply in many different scenarios and how they are limited by courts in their application. Understand that if we're going to relieve religious believers of the burdens of generally applicable laws, courts are going to have to avoid preferring one religion over another. You can't accommodate the religions you agree with or think are sweet and fuzzy and say no to the ones who seem mean or ugly. We need to figure that out. If, in the end, you think the Indiana RFRA is a bad idea, check that map and see if your state has RFRA (or a RFRA-like state constitutional provision) and push for repeal in your state. And get after Congress. Congress started it. Unless you're Hoosier, leave Indiana alone. Stop otherizing Indiana.

AND: I had to wonder What does Garrett Epps think about this? Because Garrett Epps wrote a whole book about how terrible it was for the U.S. Supreme Court to deny special exceptions to religious believers, especially in that case where Native Americans wanted the freedom to use peyote. As I predicted, Epps is otherizing Indiana.

"For hundreds of years, women in the South Korean island province of Jeju have made their living harvesting seafood by hand from the ocean floor."

"Known as haenyeo, or sea women, they use no breathing equipment, although a typical dive might last around two minutes and take them as deep as ten metres underwater. Wearing old-fashioned headlight-shaped scuba masks, most dive with lead weights strapped around their waists to help them sink faster...."

Great photos by Hyung S. Kim.