Thursday, March 07, 2019

Inspiring Men Poets To Read BC

"May I write words more naked than flesh, stronger than bone, more resilient than sinew, sensitive than nerve." 
- Sappho ( c. 630 – c. 570 BC)

Kartka means Card in Slavic
Happy Birthday BC

“No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition?

How much have I put
on the line for freedom? ”
— Marge Piercy, The Birthday Of The World

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

— Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Today, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) unveiled an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee into the alleged obstruction of justice, public corruption, and other abuses of power by President Trump, his associates, and members of his Administration.  As a first step, the Committee has served document requests to 81 agencies, entities, and individuals believed to have information relevant to the investigation [A list of individuals served with document requests today can be found here with links to their respective letters…”]. “Over the last several years, President Trump has evaded accountability for his near-daily attacks on our basic legal, ethical, and constitutional rules and norms,” said Chairman Jerrold Nadler.  “Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House Judiciary Committee.  We have seen the damage done to our democratic institutions in the two years that the Congress refused to conduct responsible oversight.  Congress must provide a check on abuses of power.  Equally, we must protect and respect the work of Special Counsel Mueller, but we cannot rely on others to do the investigative work for us.  Our work is even more urgent after senior Justice Department officials have suggested that they may conceal the work of the Special Counsel’s investigation from the public. “We have sent these document requests in order to begin building the public record.  The Special Counsel’s office and the Southern District of New York are aware that we are taking these steps.  We will act quickly to gather this information, assess the evidence, and follow the facts where they lead with full transparency with the American people.  This is a critical time for our nation, and we have a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts.  That is exactly what we intend to do.”
The Committee’s investigation will cover three main areas:

  • Obstruction of Justice, including the possibility of interference by the President and others in a number of criminal investigations and other official proceedings, as well as the alleged cover-up of violations of the law;
  • Public Corruption, including potential violations of the emoluments clauses of the U.S. Constitution, conspiracy to violate federal campaign and financial reporting laws, and other criminal misuses of official positions for personal gain; and
  • Abuses of Power, including attacks on the press, the judiciary, and law enforcement agencies; misuse of the pardon power and other presidential authorities; and attempts to misuse the power of the Office of the Presidency…”

Why Conspiracy Theories Work so Well on Facebook

The state of Oregon is considering dropping the legal drinking
limit from .08 to .05. Four Oregonian reporters drank beer in the office
a story to show the different levels of impairment

Fun piece of the day: The Ringer’s Victor Luckerson lists
the happiest days on the Internet
this decade.
The Sacramento Bee says
one of its reporters was arrested,
and reports that two journalists from
other outlets were detained as well. 

Rolling Stone’s Andy Kroll on
why CNN gave airtime to a conspiracy theorist
. Poynter’s Kelly McBride was
called to provide some insight.

Last Friday, the Washington Post published
an editor’s note
about its story on the confrontation between the Native
American elder and Covington Catholic High School student in Washington, D.C.,
in January. This week, the law firm representing the family of the student
suing the Post
with a statement

SO WE HAVE A BLACKFACE SCANDAL at the University of Tennessee, and it rang a bell. And sure enough, here’s a post.
And here’s Eugene Volokh’s take from the then-new Volokh blog:
Uh, administrators, sorry to distress you even further, but the First Amendment gives people the right to be uncivil, unharmonious, and not terribly respectful of racial harmony. What’s more, it means that when you sanction people, you are violating the Constitution, and can be and should be sued and held financially liable.
The funny thing is that this very issue — people’s right to wear blackface — has come up before, and has actually led to a U.S. Court of Appeals decision, Iota Xi v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993) that made perfectly clear that public universities may not punish students for wearing blackface. But even without the Iota Xi decision, the right First Amendment result would be obvious.
In this video, Wired’s Robbie Gonzalez talks to world record stone skipper Kurt Steiner, who achieved 88 skips with a stone in 2013. Steiner shares some of his techniques with Gonzalez and quickly gets him throwing better.
COLLUSION: The Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control

Randall Munroe, proprietor of the excellent XKCD and author of What If? andThing Explainer, is coming out with a new book in a few months called How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems.

Bestselling author and cartoonist Randall Munroe explains how to predict the weather by analyzing the pixels of your Facebook photos. He teaches you how to tell if you’re a baby boomer or a 90’s kid by measuring the radioactivity of your teeth. He offers tips for taking a selfie with a telescope, crossing a river by boiling it, and getting to your appointments on time by destroying the Moon. And if you want to get rid of the book once you’re done with it, he walks you through your options for proper disposal, including dissolving it in the ocean, converting it to a vapor, using tectonic plates to subduct it into the Earth’s mantle, or launching it into the Sun.