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Galactic train wreck

by Susie
I love this stuff.


by Susie
This is pretty depressing if not exactly news to the rest of us. The Times’ Thomas Edsall on how college is now working to keep the upper classes on top:

Instead of serving as a springboard to social mobility as it did for the first decades after World War II, college education today is reinforcing class stratification, with a huge majority of the 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 29 currently holding a bachelor’s degree coming from families with earnings above the median income.

Seventy-four percent of those now attending colleges that are classified as “most competitive,” a group that includes schools like Harvard, Emory, Stanford and Notre Dame, come from families with earnings in the top income quartile, while only three percent come from families in the bottom quartile.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and co-author of “How Increasing College Access Is Increasing Inequality, and What to Do about It,” puts it succinctly: “The education system is an increasingly powerful mechanism for the intergenerational reproduction of privilege.”

These anti-democratic trends are driven in part by a supposedly meritocratic selection process with high school students from the upper strata of the middle class performing better on SAT and ACT tests than those from poor and working class families.

Krugman comments.

When kids are the center

by Susie
Rather than part of the family team, they tend to stay dependent.

Get used to it

by Susie
It’s likely to be the new normal:

“It really is unusually early for patients to be this miserable,” says Derek Johnson, medical director of the Fairfax Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Clinic. “The mild winter has resulted in very high pollen levels in February and early March, when they’re typically very low or negligible.” In fact, he points out that tree pollen counts on Feb. 23 were 365 grains per cubic meter, compared with a mere 2.88 a year before. He also notes that because it has been so sunny and warm in the past few months, people have spent more time outside, increasing their exposure to such allergens.

The weather from here on out can change things, but all of the experts I spoke with say they expect the untimely effects to linger. “In past years, we’ve had a very compact, heavy-hitting allergy season, but this is shaping up to be a long slog,” says Gaithersburg allergist Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, who explains that while evergreen trees, such as cedar, cypress and juniper, have budded prematurely, other species will likely bloom at their regular pace, leading to “more of a slow, grand parade” between now and late April to early May, when pollen counts typically peak. “It’s not like because it started early it’s going to end early.”

You win some, you lose some

A Wisconsin county judge has issued a permanent injunction against the state’s new photo ID law:

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess has issued a permanent injunction against Wisconsin’s new photo ID law. In doing so, Niess became the second judge in less than a week to strike the new law, but the first one did so on a temporary basis.

Four lawsuits have been filed against the law requiring people to present a valid government-issued photo identification card in order to receive a ballot. Monday’s ruling was in response to the suit the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin filed. It contends the provision violates Wisconsin’s constitutional protections for voters.

[…] Voters had to follow the law during February’s primary and no major problems were reported. Election officials were making preparations for Wisconsin’s April 3 presidential primary when a much bigger turnout is expected.

The Supreme Court turned away a challenge to the Indiana voter ID law:

The 65 page PDF file, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the main opinion said ” Valid neutral justifications for a nondiscriminatory law, such as SEA 483, should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators.

JUSTICE SCALIA, joined by JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO, was of the view that petitioners’ premise that the voter-identification law might have imposed a special burden on some voters is irrelevant. The law should be upheld because its overall burden is minimal and justified.

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Red meat will kill you

I have to say, I don’t especially care. Between climate change and GMO grains, nothing like a good steak to cheer me up!


I love this frickin’ song. Ben Folds Five:

Smell the Freedom!


by Boohunney
This morning, I could not cruise through the internet as I usually do. So I decided to do a “fly by” to Len Hart’s site The Existentialist Cowboy.  I hadn’t visited in a while as he is my favorite “Truther.” But, he keeps his eye on other things as well. He’s a Texan on a mission.

This little screed titled “Eff the New York Times” (intentional misspell on my part)  was linked one of the posts regarding civil liberties. There was no date on this post, but, it had a link to the “Stranger” site out of Seattle. From the links on this, I guess it was originally posted in 2004 (?), maybe? Take a look down “Memory Lane.”

The links were similar a “greatest hits” list of eroding freedoms and civil liberties right after 9/11. Remember all the concerns about Diebold? Warrantless wiretaps? FISA? (Oh. He voted for it as a Senator, didn’t he.) The disregard for the Geneva Convention was done in such a cavalier fashion.

Our local police forces are being militarized. Gratuitously equipped for what? Tasers are used instead of common sense and interaction. ” To serve and protect” has a new meaning, now.

I drove through Forsyth, Jawja; the home of GPSTA (Georgia Police State Training Academy) in I-75. This is where police people go to train to pull people over for driving violations,  shoot a gun and all that police stuff. One can witness an educational police exercise in how to search a car almost anytime one drives through there. A lot of the time it looks like someone being pulled over for “driving while brown.” No joke.

Now, we have drone surveillance.


I just don’t think that so many of us are so interesting that we need to be watched so much.

Incident on 57th St.

Bruce live at the Main Point:

Shut up and drive

Chely Wright:

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