Something that's going wrong in your life. Feel free to go presidential.
Let's play Tell Me Something Good.
I'll start, with the easy one: It's finally Friday, thank fucking god.
JP Stormcrow writes: Probably already in circulation at the other place:
As working parents, she and her husband, Dan Yashiv, 42, a music producer, do not have time to prepare such fare. And their nanny, from Wisconsin, does not always know the difference between quinoa and couscous.
Time Style Section for the eternal win.
Heebie's take: sorry about the pacing. Today and this week and this month are mad.
Sifu writes: So whatever, who cares, but I admit I am waiting for Loomis and Yves Smith to take it back now that Rolling Jubilee has (belatedly to my taste, but again, whatever) disclosed that they spent their money on discharging a whole shitload of debt and making what would be a really solid rhetorical point (that incidentally helped a lot of people) if anybody paid nearly as much attention as they did to the unverifiable hit pieces a couple of months ago that implied that they had not, in fact, spent that money discharging a shitload of debt. Which is what they said they would do. And also what they did. In addition to which I told you so.
VW sends along photos of kids with their most prized possessions. It manages not to be preachy about American excess, and also not to be particularly poverty-tourist about the children in developing countries. Well done, photo shoot.
I've never really paid much attention to the JFK assassination and Warren Commission and all of that. What's the Unfogged consensus on what happened, anyway?
Yndew writes: The woman in question is 58, retired/on disability, has a home and an income, and doesn't have any standard characteristics of someone the city would normally consider a public nuisance.
This story ran in the Post on Sunday, and it seems to be getting increased attention. The Post named the woman and included her picture. To summarize, DC emergency response has a few "frequent fliers" who generate a high number of calls. The city's responders are required to respond to every call. This woman was responsible for 226 calls last year and 117 ER visits (she signs waivers and refuses care for the other calls). She is the single most frequent 911 user in DC over the past thirty years. Her symptoms include lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, and other symptoms which are taken pretty seriously at ERs (she says she has seizures or narcolepsy). She places about 40% of the calls herself; the rest are concerned citizens who call when she faints while out walking. DC is trying to have her placed under guardianship to limit the strain on the emergency services. The city would like to have her treated for what they believe is a psychological problem (anxiety?), while she is fighting to retain autonomy, saying that she is in fact ill and is not improperly using services. After a nonstandard call from this woman where she threatened self-harm, resulting in involuntary hospitalization and evaluation, the relevant city officials decided they had sufficient evidence to go to court. Apparently, the approach of filing conservatorships has successfully been used in San Francisco to try to stop frequent 911 callers.
Heebie's take: This stands in interesting contrast to the post from a month ago, on nuisance citations and legal (or mandatory) evictions of tenants that call 911 more than three times in four months.
Clearly you should not limit someone's 911 calls. But I'm also okay with DC placing her under guardianship, or bringing in extra support services to keep her out of crisis mode. In fact, any time someone is calling 911 very often, go ahead and spend some extra support and manpower to get them to a more stable situation.Seems the responsible thing to do.
Chopper has generously offered to take Unfogged persons on a tour of 2–4 wineries in Sonoma on the 16th of November. This came up in a different thread which is now vanished from the front page, so let us all discuss our willingness or unwillingness to take part in this thread. I'll start!
Bump! Chopper wants final information and contact infos and such. Please email him per instructions here.
Bump again! Ch. wishes to have all this settled by the 12th.
It was a surprise to many voters when Dave Wilson, an anti-gay activist and white Republican candidate for public office, was elected to a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees in a heavily African-American district. Most surprised were the voters who actually elected Wilson, who had led them to believe that he was black.
Wilson managed to beat out Bruce Austin, the African-American incumbent for the last 24 years, by willfully deceiving his voters. While making sure that photos of himself were kept from the public eye, Wilson instead filled his campaign materials with "smiling African-American faces" cribbed from the internet.
The materials also proclaimed that Wilson was "Endorsed By Ron Wilson," the name of a black former state representative...and, as the fine print on the campaign mailer explained, is also the name of his cousin.
I know you think you know horror and calamity, but I submit Katy Perry's pronunciation of the word "unconditionally" for your atrocity du jour. Hint: internal rhyme. (It's all cued up to the line. You don't have to suffer through the song.)
I've really come to hate Barack Obama.
From killing American citizens without (real) due process, to saying he wouldn't scramble jets to get a 29-year-old hacker, unless, of course, he had an opportunity to scramble jets to get a 29-year-old hacker...while also interfering with a sovereign nation's president...on a hunch, he's put on the flight suit of imperial evil and swaggering bullshittery that so endeared his predecessor to us.
And he's just so bad at some of the basics of being president. When I lamented to a friend that public education about Obamacare had been horribly neglected, my friend noted that publicity for ARRA had been similarly bad: "Stand in front of a fucking bridge, why don't you."
Before healthcare.gov went live, I thought if this site isn't ready for every last person on earth to access it the moment it goes live, they should just impeach the man. You'd think he would have cared enough about his signal legislative accomplishment to make his way down to whatever sub-basement these folks were hidden in, take someone aside, and note that he is "really good at killing people," "shrug tilt smile."
But any indictment of Obama is an indictment of myself. I might not have gone all the way to Obamabot, but I was definitely a fan. I thought that American politics is American politics, but at least he "gets it."
And if you've been around here a very long time, you'll remember that I also thought that, sure, we should let George Bush invade Iraq.
So, as I prepare to settle into my dotage, when I should have some wisdom to impart to the Youth, I'm confronted with overwhelming evidence that when it comes to politics, I should shut the fuck up, because my judgment is atrocious.
I can't help but wonder what it is that makes me so prone to error, and the best I've come up with is that I'm given to a kind of imaginative enthusiasm, getting caught up in a "wouldn't it be so great?!" reverie that takes me away from the sober reckoning that judgment is supposed to be. I get caught up in the romance of grand gestures and transformative moments. I think I must be very ordinary in this regard, as this is precisely the weakness that politicians exploit when they talk about the things that we now call "their vision," but it's a childish and somewhat pathetic character flaw.
As with all character flaws, it's difficult to know when one is successfully fighting it, fighting it in a rote, counterproductive way, or indulging it in more subtle ways. Maybe I'm wrong about how horrible Obama is! Guess what? I doubt it.
The Supreme Court is about to hear oral argument on Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall. The case is going to interpret 29 USC § 186, aka § 302 of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibits an employer from:
agree[ing] to pay, lend, or deliver, any money or other thing of value--
(1) to any representative of any of his employees who are employed in an industry affecting commerce; or
(2) to any labor organization, or any officer or employee thereof, which represents, seeks to represent, or would admit to membership, any of the employees of such employer who are employed in an industry affecting commerce; or
(3) to any employee or group or committee of employees of such employer employed in an industry affecting commerce in excess of their normal compensation for the purpose of causing such employee or group or committee directly or indirectly to influence any other employees in the exercise of the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing; or
(4) to any officer or employee of a labor organization engaged in an industry affecting commerce with intent to influence him in respect to any of his actions, decisions, or duties as a representative of employees or as such officer or employee of such labor organization.
The issue in Unite Here is whether a "neutrality agreement" where an employer agrees to not to oppose an organizing drive counts as a 'thing of value' prohibited by § 302. If the Supreme Court finds that it is, it will be devastating to union efforts to organize new workplaces. A substantive post on this would be useful and interesting, but this is not that post.
This post is because when I saw an article on Unite Here in the Times this morning, I realized that it was about the same § 302 I'd spent months writing a paper (not much by real grad-school standards, but probably the most serious piece of academic work I've ever done) on, trying to analyze the caselaw in terms of the legislative history. And I don't remember a thing about it, and I can't recover the paper: it was on the hard drive of a Mac Classic that stopped working years ago, and that I think I gave to someone to make art out of, and my hard copy was literally eaten by mice when we had an infestation a few years back. I do recall that I turned it in with a really horrifying typo -- deep in a footnote, in ten point type, Buck must have been talking to me about the newly acquired PuppyBreath, and instead of "the sole purpose of this amendment" I had "the sole puppies of this amendment." The professor, who red-penciled all sorts of other minor typos, missed that one.
It's odd being in a position where I really knew quite a lot about this specific subject not all that insanely long ago, but there's no way for me to get it back now without doing the work again. (Oh, the punch-line of my paper was that Congress's intent was, when you looked at the debates, very clear: all they meant to ban was solely union-managed health and welfare plans to which the employer made any contribution, and to incidentally ban literal bribery while they were at it, but they drafted it so broadly and badly that they accidentally banned all sorts of other ordinary labor practices. But I couldn't back that up without recreating all my old research.)