[...] "If you walk through life needing everybody to love you, you will never do anything." [...]
There has to be something, an agency or collective or collaborative effort to replace the Voter News Service if it should go under. The absence of information about population segments comes too close to an anti-initiative, an inadvertent privacy, a blindness that risks serving the status quo. I mean, I like these black voter turnout projections; don't get me wrong. I don't want to be entirely dependent on mainstream media. I want as much information about these things as possible.
New York Times, Gwen Kinkead, "To Study Disease, Britain Plans a Genetic Census"
[...] If the $120 million project, called U.K. Biobank, goes forward, and enough people volunteer for pilot studies, 1.2 million healthy Britons from 45 to 69 will give blood samples to the Biobank. From their blood, DNA will be purified and frozen. Ninety percent of the donors will be white. The rest will roughly reflect Britain's demographics.
From these, 500,000 will be chosen for the project by 2008.
When they sign up, volunteers will get brief health examinations and will answer 10-page questionnaires about their socioeconomic and psychological status, reproductive history, exercise, cellphone use and beverage preferences. They will note their diets for a week.
For 10 years, they will be followed through their national health care records, which will be copied into the Biobank. The data will be anonymous, but not completely, to allow for updates by doctors or new questionnaires. By 2014, 40,175 are expected to fall ill with diabetes, heart disease, stroke or cancer. Another 6,200 are expected to have Parkinson's, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis or hip fractures.
The DNA of these people will be read and compared, and any normal gene variants, the one-nucleotide differences in DNA that make one person's biology different from another's, will be tagged for study.
"Then you will be able to see patterns: X number have this sort of genetic makeup and this kind of lifestyle, and Y has that, and you can start analyzing, if you like, the nature-nurture, environment-genes secret," said Sir George Radda, the molecular cardiologist who heads the Medical Research Council, a sponsor of the Biobank. [...]
New York Times, Larry Rohter, "A Government Gig for Brazilian Pop Star"
[...] "We have to free ourselves a bit from the idea that the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture is to produce culture [...] I don't think so. I think the role of the ministry is to create the conditions in which culture can be made and improved and to act as a bridge between those who make culture and those who consume it."
He's a Green Party member. His hair's starting to lock. The country's left has more issues with him than the country's right. What's not to love about Gilberto Gil? We've got "Quanta" in our CD collection. I may have to dust it off and, uh, inspect it for public-policy ideas. Through headphones. Think the neighbors will mind if I sing along? At top volume?
The National Cancer Institute, which used to say on its Web site that the best studies showed "no association between abortion and breast cancer," now says the evidence is inconclusive.
A Web page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used to say studies showed that education about condom use did not lead to earlier or increased sexual activity. That statement, which contradicts the view of "abstinence only" advocates, is omitted from a revised version of the page.
Critics say those changes, far below the political radar screen, illustrate how the Bush administration can satisfy conservative constituents with relatively little exposure to the kind of attack that a legislative proposal or a White House statement would invite. [...]
I like to say that donkeys have four legs, and that calling a donkey's tail a leg doesn't mean donkeys have five legs. I like to say it, but sometimes the things I read make me want to bellow it. Atonally. Over and over. At the top of my lungs. But then I remember that I have a Web site, nu?
[...] "I still live in the same neighbourhood and I still get the 'china' (the Spanish word for Chinese woman -- she's Filipino) call on my way home," she says. "And -- what is that -- (she sing-songs:) "Ching-chong-ching"? I don't know what the hell they're doing. But I still get that. And it's amazing...what, it's 2002? And there are still people who do that." [...]
[...] SUAREZ: You might say they have nowhere to go but up. A poll taken Sunday by the Gallup organization says six percent of blacks in the United States say the Republican Party best reflects their views. But a lot of Republicans, Professor Berlin, are trying -- say they're trying to get American politics to a post-race, issue-based footing. Is that possible now?
IRA BERLIN: That's interesting. Issue-based -- what exactly is that going to mean? My feeling is that voters, both white and black, generally read their understanding of politics is fairly shrewd and fairly correct. That is there's a reason only six percent of black people consider themselves Republican. What exactly are the issues that are involved here? We know in some ways we are a more segregated society than we were in 1956. We know that changes in terms of the distribution of wealth have not changed greatly; that a disproportionate number of people of African descent are at the bottom, that affirmative action is a policy, in its various forms, that is something that black people are very interested in.
There are a whole variety of other issues that also draw black people to the Democratic Party, even with all of the baggage that the Democratic Party itself, you know, itself carries. Now it seems to me, if you want to move black people out of the Democratic Party, you've got to address those issues. Is the Republican Party prepared to do that? [...]
Santa at Stonecrest has an identity crisis.
Sometimes he's white; sometimes he's black. And mall managers aren't sure what to call him.
Last year, when the newly opened Mall at Stonecrest celebrated its first Christmas, a white- bearded, rosy-cheeked Santa greeted shoppers and their children.
But metro Atlanta's newest mall, on the border between DeKalb County and Rockdale County, draws customers from both areas -- heavily black south DeKalb and predominantly white Rockdale.
"We had a lot of requests from the community to fulfill both markets that we have here at Stonecrest," said marketing coordinator Kimberly Handberry.
So mall managers hired a local African-American actor, Charles Black, to work weekends and dubbed him "Cultural Santa," leaving the daily duty to what they called "Traditional Santa." When word of the two Santas broke out, irate people contacted Stonecrest's marketing director, Donald Bieler. [...]
You scored 33 out of a possible 50
More alert than most. Check the answers page to see which areas you need to work on for next year but otherwise give yourself a pat on the back.
It began as no more than a gesture of protest, when a group of California Democrats, led by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, put on the November 2004 ballot the California Dignity Initiative, a measure calling on the state's congressional delegation to renegotiate California's relationship to the Union. [...]
[...] Although most do not identify themselves as black, they are seen that way as soon as they set foot in North America.
Their reluctance to embrace this definition has left them feeling particularly isolated -- shunned by African Americans who believe they are denying their blackness; by white Americans who profile them in stores or on highways; and by lighter-skinned Latinos whose images dominate Spanish-language television all over the world, even though a majority of Latin people have some African or Indian ancestry. [...]
Me, too. From my mother's sleep I fell into the State, and so on.
For later perusal: The Atlantic, Maggie Scarf, "Intimate Partners" (after vague curiosity with Barbara Dafoe Whitehead's latest work on single women) and Esquire, Jonathan Nolan, "Memento Mori" (after curling up with A. to watch rented copies of "Afterlife" and "Memento," which sandwiched a sojourn to the Piedmont for Almod�var's "Talk To Her").
[...] Do you ever feel like you're in competition with your past?
Not really, because it's so long ago. The past is past. I always feel to live in the present. Blank piece of paper is always the same. You've got to fill the blank piece of paper. It's crazy.
You've got to face up to your past. It can feel like a millstone in that situation, but mainly, I feel proud about it. It's a good spur to try and top that. I don't really dwell upon it. You can't throw yourself off too much. It's great to live in the moment and not think too much about the past. It can really drag you down. I would say the past is like treacle. It can get stuck on your feet if you go back. Can't get in and out that easy. Dylan said, "Don't look back."
Washington Post, Desson Howe, "The Prefect Who Rocked My World"
[...] I suddenly remember that he once wore a T-shirt with a heart on it. It said: "In case of emergency, tear out." I never imagined how much it would hurt to think of that now." [...]
There is no greater solitude than the samurai's...unless perhaps it be that of the tiger in the jungle.
--The Book of Bushido
Jane Lagrange: I like it when you come round, because you need me.
Jef Costello: I never lose. Not ever.
Martey: Who are you?
Jef Costello: It doesn't matter.
Martey: What do you want?
Jef: To kill you.
Olivier Rey's associate: He's a lone wolf.
Olivier Rey: He's a wounded wolf; now there will be a trail. He must be disposed of quickly.
Police Superintendent: I don't like forcing the pace to extract confessions or get information. I'm very liberal, a great believer in the liberty of the individual ... in people's right to live as they choose. Provided that the way of life they choose harms no one else ... and is contrary to neither law and order nor public decency.
Police Superintendent: Don't you love him [Jef Costello]?
Jane Lagrange: No.
Superintendent: Really? I'd have said you did. Laying yourself on the line for him like that, I thought you must love him.
Jane: You're not the psychologist you imagined.
Police Superintendent: Have you ever thought how close girls like you are to being prostitutes?
Jane Lagrange: If I understand you right, I'll have no problems if I perjure myself. If I insist on telling the truth, then I can expect trouble. Am I right?
Police Superintendent: Not quite. Because the truth isn't what you say, it's what I say ... despite the methods I am obliged to employ to get at it.
Gunman: Nothing to say?
Jef Costello: Not with a gun on me.
Gunman: Is that a principle?
Jef: A habit.
Jef Costello: Who sent you?
Gunman: I can't tell you that.
Jef: Yet you could try to kill me. Look at me. I'll ask you just once more. Who? Name and address.
Gunman: You don't know him; he's not in our league.
Jef: Don't keep me waiting.
Gunman: Olivier Rey ... 73, Boulevard de Montmorency.
Jef: That's how you became unemployed.
Jef Costello: Trouble? ... Because of me
Jane Lagrange: No, you've never meant trouble for me.
[Jef pulls a gun on the Piano Player]
Piano Player: Why, Jef?
Jef Costello: Because I've been paid to.
Of course, by now you are arguing with my answers. Here, then, question by question, is the logic of each answer.
Question 1 gets to the motive of the character. Good characters are always looking to make the world a better place; therefore, answer B, rescuing the weak and helping the helpless, is the good answer. Lawfuls see the world as necessarily being structured, and the unstructured elements as breaking that down. A quest into the unknown has the primary purpose of taming it; therefore, answer A, putting things right, is a lawful response. Answer D, acquiring wealth and power, is definitive of the evil alignment; evils believe that such is theirs by right. As to the chaotic, there can be little reason for such an adventure except the adventure itself, and so answer C, enjoying the thrill of the dangers, is the best choice.
Question 2 looks at character, belief, and personality by considering an alternative career path. The good character will want to do something to help others, especially the poor, so an herbalist, answer C, is the best choice. Evil characters will still want to claim what is theirs, and so answer B, bandit, comes closest. A man-at-arms is clearly involved in a defined position in an authority structure; he knows whence his orders come, what is expected of him, and who he commands. All this, answer A, will appeal to the lawful character. As to the chaotic character, he has no need of any of those things, but wants to live his own life. Being a hermit, answer D, is the easiest way to escape from the structures of society.
Question 3 is the first of the corner alignment questions. Each of the four heroes defines (at least in the popular conception) one of the four combinations. Robin Hood is definitively the chaotic good hero, opposing all that is law and structure because it oppresses the people, and taking the profit he gains for his opposition and giving it to them. Answer A thus credits chaos and good. King Arthur, on the other hand, built one of the finest orderly systems, complete with law and enforcement, command and authority, to bring down the notion that might makes right and establish a good society. He, answer B, combines good with law. Attilla the Hun is most noted for tearing down structures in Europe and Asia. Although he maintained a highly disciplined army for the purpose, he is seen as a raider who destroys entire countries to line his own pocket. This is very close to the heart of chaotic evil, and falls as answer C. When it comes to moving within the dark side, Darth Vader shows us clearly how one can be entirely out for one's self while being completely obedient to a master and strictly part of a chain of command. His entire aspect combines the disciplines of law with the values of evil, and so answer D is the lawful evil choice.
Question 4 restates question one, using names instead of descriptions, to reach the motive of the character in a more poetic way. The soldier, answer A, is the one in the authority structure, the lawful. Heroes are those who rescue others for the sake of the rescued; answer B thus is the good answer. Answer D, the rogue, describes those trying to better themselves at the expense of others, frequently by deception, and is the evil selection. The adventurer is the one who does this because it is there to be done; he is the chaotic, having no better reason to explore than that he may.
Question 5 asks what should happen when the adventure is over. The first answer, wipe out the party and abscond with the money, is clearly the evil answer; many an evil party has passed out of existence because one of them understood answer A as the correct choice. Answer B places the planning of another venture in the hands of those in charge, the lawful decision. Answer C points up that good characters are always seeking to do good; adventuring is generally a way of gaining the means to do so, and the doing good continues between the adventures. Answer D breaks the party up. To the chaotic, the party is a necessary evil which exists for the purpose of the adventure; when the adventure is over, the party no longer really exists except as a group of friends who might adventure again someday. While the lawful thinks of the party as ongoing, an authority structure which continues, the chaotic rejects this notion, and opposes any idea that party rules apply to party members when the necessity of a present danger does not exist.
The issue in question 6 is structure and planning. This is a law/chaos issue, of no real interest to good and evil. The lawful character will choose answer A, because he believes in planning as the best means to achieve goals. The chaotic character will reject answer A, preferring answer B, maintaining flexibility as a way to seize opportunities. The good character would be less interested in these aspects, but would tend toward a balance in which there is enough flexibility to help others, however strictly the plan is formed, thus choosing answer C. Finally, when it comes to planning, the evil character will always keep in mind his maxim, look out for yourself first, answer D.
In question 7, the other corner alignment question, the issue is the nature of government. Answer A describes a belief in which government is ultimately minimized, making it possible for people to be freed from the oppressions of law to just be good to each other the way they would be were it not for the pressures on them to conform. This is a chaotic good belief, and so credits both chaos and good. The lawful good opposes this view, maintaining answer B, that crime must be controlled (by law) in order for everyone to prosper. The lawful evil character does not care about the rest of society, but recognizes in a strong government the opportunity for him to move into the position he deserves, and so chooses answer C, expecting that he is one of those best people. Answer D is the song of the chaotic evil, that the government is trying to keep us in our place, refusing to allow us to do what we want.
Question 8 is the slavery issue. This is difficult to understand in our society. Slavery itself is not a good/evil issue, but a law/chaos issue. It is possible to perceive slavery as a force for good, providing a home for those who would not otherwise have it by employing their services to produce for society at large. In a society in which slavery is legal, lawfuls will not oppose it on lawful grounds, because on lawful grounds it is, as answer C suggests, a reasonable solution to certain economic problems. Conversely, chaotic characters will always oppose enslavement of any creature in principle, whether or not it's legal, and will thus choose answer A. To the good character, the issue is not slavery itself but the treatment of slaves by masters; if slaves are generally well treated, there is not much about which to complain. However, answer B suggests that to the good the inherent flaw in slavery is its openness to abuse by the strong against the weak. As to the evil character, he believes that society should permit him to have what he wants. Although slavery is not a good/evil issue, he sees himself as worthy of being a master if slavery is to exist, and to be treated with deference even where it does not, answer D.
The relationship of the individual to the civil law is the next issue, in question 9. Of course, the lawful believes that law is essential to society, answer C. The chaotic follows that great American maxim that less is more, answer A, rejecting the need for law. To the good character, it is a non-issue. If you are good, says answer B, the law will ignore you. As to answer D, the evil character also sees it as a non-issue. Law or no law, you can make whatever is there work for you. It is your advantage that counts.
Finally question 10 asks us about our unwritten duty. The good character sees, with answer A, that we are all connected, and have a duty to help everyone else. The lawful character, taking answer B, thinks of duty more in terms of the authority which must be obeyed. A duty to himself, answer C, is the evil character's way of thinking: put yourself first. As to the chaotic, perhaps there are some duties to freedom and liberty, or perhaps some have duties to masters they have chosen to obey, or duties to philanthropies and charities to which they are pledged, but in the final analysis you cannot tell anyone that everyone has any specific single duty. It depends on who you are. Thus answer D expresses the chaotic view.
[...] African Americans in the South are among the best-known victims of states' rights claims, but they were not alone in having to turn to the federal government to seek vindication for their rights. It also took federal power to advance the rights of workers (through the Wagner Act and wages and hours laws), to protect consumers and to guarantee the rights of small investors. Federal law protects the rights of women, the disabled and members of religious minorities.
Yes, it's good that many Republicans have come out against what Lott said. But it's significant that many of his earliest and most forceful critics were neoconservative former Democrats (Charles Krauthammer and William Kristol come to mind) who never shared the old states' rights faith. The first Republican senator to issue an outright call on Lott to quit was Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee, who, as his first name suggests, speaks from his party's oldest tradition of support for federal power. [...]
[...] They are the most radical and outrageous expression of the frustration some men's groups feel with the Family Court, and what they see as its pro-women bias.
But theirs is not just a crusade to turn back the clock. By demanding adultery be treated like murder by the courts, the Blackshirts are seeking the creation of a law that does not currently exist in Western society.
"Adultery must be met with the greatest severity," Abbott says. "I'm very angry, but I don't yell. I just make a list of men and women to die." [...]
[....] In his opening remarks at the magazine's launch, the American ambassador to Indonesia, Ralph Boyce, said the publication was aimed at promoting mutual understanding and correcting misperceptions about America.
"I hope you will remember that the images you see [on film and television] are filtered through the need to entertain and stimulate and make a profit," he said. "The world they depict is often as unrealistic as the special effects used to create it."
Fair enough, but "Muslim life in America" also seems to do its fair share of filtering in order to present the desired image of Muslims' life being predominantly wholesome family fare. For example there is no mention or photos of arguably four of America's most famous Muslims, namely Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan - the leader of the Nation of Islam - Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. Its credibility certainly suffers as a result of such omissions and suspicions mount as to the true intentions of the book. [...]
Too problematic, probably. Why educate, when it's simpler just to filter?
[...] "I understand that I've never had a film that made $100 million [...] I'm not complaining, Oh, Hollywood won't let me make these movies. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, I'll bide my time. Marvin Worth bought the rights to Malcolm X and waited 25 years before it got made. I'll get the money to make these great films."
[...] Democracies expand individual rights past the barriers of race, class and gender precisely by encouraging imaginative identification with difference--by asking men to put themselves in the shoes of women, whites in the shoes of blacks, and so on. And minorities are always asking others to put themselves in their place because they know this is how equality will be experienced and become undeniable. Minorities also know that racism and bigotry are always a failure of this kind of imagination. In the face of difference, imagination is the only way to common humanity. Thus minorities also know that racism and bigotry are the perfect collapse of imagination. [...]
[...] When Ward Connerly started rallying to get rid of affirmative action, his tack was Proposition 209 -- the so-called Civil Rights Initiative. That bit of rhetorical dishonesty characterizes the contemporary onslaught against race equity. And it's been a winning strategy: Proposition 209 passed, and affirmative action no longer exists in education or public contracting in California.
The tactic has spread to other states, and as long as conservatives whistle the same tune, all has been well.
But now Lott has exposed the true subtext, and the conservative tactic seems like an ugly charade.
So Lott has embarked on his "apology tour," saying things like, "We need strict enforcement of civil rights laws on the books and all laws on the books to guarantee equality and punish racism."
The man's seen the light.
No wonder conservatives are leading the charge to get rid of him. He even bothers professional minority conservatives such as Hispanic American Linda Chavez and African American Armstrong Williams. They've chimed in with others from the right to drum up a "Lott Out" campaign. Of course they have. With Lott being so honest, they have no credibility on race issues now. Instead of looking like opportunistic mouthpieces for the right, they start coming off as true hypocrites, guilty by association.
That's what Lott's honesty did. He's brought all the memories of racism forward, and he's letting America see the ugliness for what it's become. Hard to fight, hard to define -- until, in some unguarded moment, the truth blurts out. When that happens, suddenly we realize the fight for racial equity is far from over. [...]
Quod vide: New York Times, Lynette Clemetson, "Black Republicans Speak of Their Outrage at Lott"
I do, but only to the extent that I am willing to work for it.
My identity is a form, visible when struck by radiation at certain wavelengths.
My identity is also a void, a vacuum that nature abhors.
Form is emptiness; emptiness, form.
Not to creep up on any Buddhism 101, or anything.
When you put "all about George" into Google, you don't get what's-his-name or who's-the-fellow. Not Bush, Washington, Jefferson or a cartoon character strong as he can be.
[...] You could have heard a pin drop on the floor of the Missouri House during a recent mock debate to train freshman legislators after newcomer Rep.-elect Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, committed the first gaffe. Davis cited the House rule book to prevent current Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, from continuing to speak. Davis said members "cannot be recognized on the floor to debate unless they are standing, and I don't believe he (Graham) is standing." Graham, a six-year vet of the House, has been in a wheelchair since a car accident 21 years ago. Rep. Tim Green, D-Spanish Lake, waited merely seconds before he told Graham to proceed. [...]
[...] Of course we are reborn many times. We fill our bodies like air in bubbles, and when the bubbles pop we puff away into the bardo, wandering until we are blown into some new life, somewhere back in the world. [...]
[...] And in the middle of all this noise, here is the only question that matters: Do blacks, Latinos, Asians and other minorities really feel that anyone is looking out for their interests in this, or just covering their own behinds?
Houston Chronicle, R.G. Ratcliffe, "GOP struggling to reach minorities, adviser says"
[...] "In the (2000) election, one of the greatest failures of our campaign was to get 9 percent of the African-American vote," Republican strategist Karl Rove said. "No party can be a great party if it does so poorly in such an important part of our great culture." [...]
[...] "People are not going to change their attitudes overnight. They want to hear from us time and time again," Rove said. "Even where we share common values and common outcomes, common desired outcomes, they're still suspicious of us -- and they have good reason to be." [...]
[...] According to Phrase Finder, "weapons of mass destruction" comes not from some Defense Department monograph, but from a pacifist essay credited to Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell called -- deliciously -- the Pugwash Manifesto. It's named after the Nova Scotia burg of Pugwash, where Einstein and Russell drafted the document in 1955. [...]