Monthly Archives: January 2011

Don’t just stand there, buy something

Healthcare USA, after Anton Bruehl


The Florida judge who just shot down Obamacare, on the requirement to buy insurance:

If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain, Judge Vinson wrote.

It’s a you-buy-this-or-else proposition, a no-go.

Now if it were being ordered to buy a good dictionary, I could be more open-minded. On second thought, not even for such an important item as that.

A little racial segregation, please

Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh Internation...

"Finding Forrester" was the movie

Black and white together not working out, says this Lancaster PA principal.

Bill Jimenez said the school noticed that black students were not performing as well as other students, and that research had shown that same-race classes with strong same-race role models led to better academic results.

Mr Jimenez admitted that no other students were divided by race at the school, but he added that academic data dictated the school take a different approach with its black students.

This is old research too. Shelby Steele‘s identical-twin brother Claude at U. of Mich. had results years ago showing that being with whites in class, that is, competing with them, threw black students off their feed. It’s here, I think, in a 1992 Atlantic article.

Or so I understood it at the time. Claude Steele chalks it up to stereotypes that are internalized by black students. A fair translation of that is their fear of competing because they don’t think they can succeed. Better that they be by themselves, at least some of the time, so they can relax and gain confidence.

Same argument goes for same-sex schools, though it’s hotly debated, of course.

The Sean Connery movie about the reclusive white writer who goads a young black kid to write well applies here. The Connery character pushed the kid, stood for no nonsense, and in the end stood up for him vs. white teachers. Standard white teachers, I may add, but the point is still a good one. Everyone has his demons, why not black kids?

The Lancaster principal is calling for a mere six minutes a day, 20 minutes twice a month, by the way. It’s not a full-scale preferential-treatment program in which one thing after another is tried, frantically by school administrators, teachers etc.

The justice is a lady, so what?

Myra Bradwell

Myra Bradwell had a legitimate gripe.

Ouch and double ouch here, as Mrs. Burke plays the woman card:

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke today rejected the notion that she should recuse herself from deciding on the residency case involving mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel.

“Aren’t we beyond that? Women have minds of their own. We have spouses in every kind of business. Are we returning to the days of Myra Bradwell?” she said, referring to the Illinois suffragette who was initially denied the right to practice law because she was a woman. She went on to become the state’s first female lawyer.

She’s saying the husband would not be similarly advised if roles were reversed?

Making down time work for us

Young striker off sentry duty sleeping on asse...

On strike, dreaming

In the category of it-takes-all-kinds, in a Times Lit Supplement review of THE SECRET WORLD OF DOING NOTHING (280pp. University of California Press. $55, paperback, $21.95), 11/12/10, p. 33, subscription only:

A couple wages a “constant battle” about whether to keep the door to the kitchen open: the man, it transpires, comes from a working-class family which habitually congregated in the kitchen; for the woman, the area was reserved for cooking, and the smell of food seeping into the rest of the apartment was deemed a “vulgarity”.

More to the point of daily life as we know it:

Touched upon (but sadly then forgotten) [by authors Billy Ehn and Orvar Lofgren] is the notion that routines of “doing nothing” have evolved from productive to consumptive ones. In the past, we might have sat with the embroidery or in the woodshed; now we are more likely to be found semi-comatose in front of the television.

On the other hand, a word for the assembly line:

Industrial society has provided plenty of scope for “doing nothing”. As the authors note, Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division, enjoyed factory work because “I could daydream all day”.

To be perfectly frank, the mass does that for me, which is one reason I like it quiet and uneventful.  Not quite daydream, but a sort of lightly reminding myself of its being the sacrifice for the sins of the world, including mine.

Seven years and counting — reprobated?

Wow.  Have been noodling the way priests ad lib words of the mass, did some checking and found this:

The Holy See’s 2004 disciplinary document, Redemptionis Sacramentum, states very emphatically:

59. The reprobated practice by which priests, deacons or the faithful here and there alter or vary at will the texts of the Sacred Liturgy that they are charged to pronounce, must cease. For in doing thus, they render the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy unstable, and not infrequently distort the authentic meaning of the Liturgy. [italics added]

I like the reasoning, but I take special note of the date.  This issue is neither brand new nor dating back several decades and so no longer current in the eyes of Vatican detectives and judiciary.

Definitely more later on this, as instances pile up.  As I said before, for those who pay attention, it’s annoying, to say the least.

To riff or not to riff . . .

Bob Adams – Jazz Musician

Preparing to riff

“Opponents repeatedly riffed on the project for containing only people who earn less than $26,300, rather than a mix of wage earners,” Wed. Journal says, in coverage of a public hearing at OP village hall about proposed conversion of an office building for low-income housing.

The writer wants to say that many made the same argument, but this is “riff” as “comment,” which is many steps removed from what the musician does with a series of chords. He plays it again and again — which makes “repeatedly” redundant, by the way — to the presumed enjoyment of listeners.

On another point, the article gives a location as the 1100 block of Ridgeland. South or North?

Civility capers

Something about Wed. Journal’s Ken Trainor here.

Hang down your head, Mike Madigan

Jimmy John is out of here, and his company will apparently be not far behind.

Goodbye, Champaign. Hello, Somewhere-in-Indiana?

Somehow I blame Democrats. And you?

Modification alert! Modification alert!

Did some modifying of my “How keen is your crozier?” below.  Quod vide.  (Usually q.v., Latin for have a look.)

Life is a marathon

Duncan Kibet at the 2009 Rotterdam marathon

He persevered - Rotterdam, 2009

I’d say take four and half minutes off for a bit of inspiration. Right here. It’s the marathoner asking, What gives you the will to persevere?

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