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Guest Post - End to personal belief exemption in CA?

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.17.15

Minivet writes: Proposed bill would only allow medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements.

Surprisingly to me at least, it sailed through the Senate Health Committee 6-2 - I suppose because that committee was receptive to the medical profession's arguments. But it's now stalled in Education and may get a religious exemption added back in.

For some depression, glance at the comments on sponsor Richard Pan's Facebook page. He's been assigned extra security after threats.


 

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Education

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.15

This is all over the internet, and now it's here: sex researcher attends son's disastrous sex-ed class, live tweets it.

Her own summary here.


 

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Thousand Years Of Pow...No, Another Guy

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.15

Ok, face tat Neo-Nazi dude kills a gay man--who maybe was a molester, but probably wasn't--and that's bad, but I'm intrigued.

Stancil said proper planning had enabled him to quickly leave North Carolina and make his way to Florida. "I'm like a wizard," Stancil said. "Sometimes I can float, sometimes I can fly. Not literally speaking."

You probably think that final clarification is just an infelicitous pleonasm from an inbred swampdweller, but it's also possible that he added it because he knows some actual wizards. Here he is a again.

"He ain't physically touch him but he was in the proposal to try to"

See? He's coming to us from a tangential realm in which touching is something other than physical, and physical touching is so uncommon that it requires a proposal to do so. This is someone we need to talk to.


 

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As it happens, I do have a question!

Posted by Ben
on 04.16.15

Sources tell us that Harvey Levin, JD'75, founder of celebrity gossip website TMZ.com, will be honored at the 74th Alumni Awards Ceremony. Join the rest of the UChicago community in celebrating Levin and this year's other awardees.

Watch Levin's talk on privacy and media at the Law School.

In addition to his work with TMZ, Levin hosted The People's Court and served as creator and executive producer of Celebrity Justice from 2002 to 2005.

Learn about all of this year's alumni award recipients.

For questions or to request assistance, contact alumniawards@uchicago.edu.

My question, in brief, is this: since (plainly) the alumni association isn't honoring Levin for his having founded TMZ but rather for some worthy deed or accomplishment or what-have-you of his, what is that thing, and why was it not mentioned?


 

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The Death

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.16.15

Elsewhere, Helpy-chalk writes:

Skepticism about the existence of an enduring self leads to increased altruism and decreased desire to punish, but does *not* lead to decreased anxiety about death. In fact, a group of Tibetan monks studied have the highest levels of death anxiety, despite having rigorous beliefs about no-self.

and links to this.

Oh god, death anxiety. I like to think of myself as a fairly relaxed, easy-going person EXCEPT FOR DEATH ANXIETY. Sometimes I think this is par for the course, other times it seems other people are not so obsessed with death. Helpy-chalk's quote above now just makes me realize it's because I'm so damn enlightened.


 

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Guest Post - Bill Withers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.16.15

Nick S writes: Lovely feature story about an unlikely and unusual star.

[His debut album]'s cover photo was taken during Withers' lunch break at the factory; you can see him holding his lunch pail. "My co-workers were making fun of me," he says. "They thought it was a joke." Still unconvinced that music would pay off, he held on to his day job until he was laid off in the months before the album's release. Then, one day, "two letters came in the mail. One was asking me to come back to my job. The other was inviting me on to Johnny Carson." The Tonight Show appearance, in November 1971, helped propel "Ain't No Sunshine" into the Top 10, and the follow-up, "Grandma's Hands," reached Number 42.
By then, Withers was 32; he still marvels at the fact that he was able to come out of nowhere at that relatively advanced age. "Imagine 40,000 people at a stadium watching a football game," he says. "About 10,000 of them think they can play quarterback. Three of them probably could. I guess I was one of those three."
...
He's turned down more offers for comeback tours than he can count. "What else do I need to buy?" he says. "I'm just so fortunate. I've got a nice wife, man, who treats me like gold. I don't deserve her. My wife dotes on me. I'm very pleased with my life how it is. This business came to me in my thirties. I was socialized as a regular guy. I never felt like I owned it or it owned me."

Heebie's take: That is refreshing!


 

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I Pulled It Out Of My Ass

Posted by Ogged
on 04.16.15

In the mortification sweepstakes, this has to be top five all time.

On March 31, [Lisa] McElroy sent an email to her pupils at Drexel's Thomas R. Kline School of Law under the header "great article on writing briefs." The text of the email mostly delivered on the innocuous promise of the subject line, except that the link directed [them to a porn clip called "She Loves her Anal Beads"]....


 

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Sandworms, Ho!

Posted by LizardBreath
on 04.15.15

Valedictory meetup for Barry Freed as he leaves NYC for Arrakis. Wednesday, April 8 at Fresh Salt looks good to me now, but I can be talked into almost anything (barring this Thursday and Friday, which are occupied by baking for and attending seder, respectively.)

(Have I ever told you about my father's friend, Frankie? Back in the fifties, he had family in Italy he'd visit for a month every summer. And every summer, the gang back in Queens would throw two parties in his honor: the "Too bad you left already" party, and the "What a shame you're not back yet" party. My father's friends back in the fifties really weren't decent people.)

Update: Meetup is on for Wednesday, April 15, at the Campbell Apartment, at any time after 6:30. I will attempt to reserve a table in the name of Barry Freed. Lurkers, as always, welcome, and any further details to be arranged below.


 

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A Melange Of Links And Opinions

Posted by Ogged
on 04.15.15

--Tracey K. Smith is a fine, fine poet, and the New York Times is, sometimes, a fine paper, but what is up with this product placement/advertisement for KitchenAid mixers?

--Small-company CEO raises his company's minimum wage to $70k. Tempting to be cynical, but as one executive's gesture, this is solid.

--Cop runs suspect over. This is a case where I side with the cop. If you're walking down the street firing into the air (not clear if the cops knew then that he'd been robbing people) then I think it's job #1 for the cops to make sure you stop doing that--it's actually a nifty maneuver where he doesn't hit him square, but definitely incapacitates him. And I say this despite the fact that this is the cop's crossfit profile.

--Consumer Reports has a great report about which fruits and vegetables should and needn't be organic. Now if someone would come up with a more friendly interface for the data.


 

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Ostriches

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.14.15

Russia bans celebrity memes, Florida and Wisconsin ban uttering the word "climate change" in mixed company...It's one thing to disagree with the other side, but these tactics are the kind of thing that make me wonder what planet the other side is from.


 

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Aptly titled

Posted by Ben
on 04.13.15

It's good to see David Graeber keeping up his practice of talking about things he doesn't know much about. It is really full of baffling misstatements and omissions and ignorance.

I always remember this bit from State and Main:

DOC WILSON
It's the truth that you should never trust anybody, wears a bowtie. Cravat's sposed to point down to accentuate the genitals, why'd you wanna trust somebody, s'tie points out to accentuate his ears...?

As being, in fact, from a Woody Allen movie, and as involving the projection of energy. The energy projected from a tie should go genitalward; that projected from a bow tie is dissipated outward uselessly, Max. Something like that. But apparently I was wrong.


 

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A Theory

Posted by Ogged
on 04.13.15

Gangsta rap is as it is not because being gangsta is the truest depiction of the life of urban youth, but because if you're going to sell poetry to somewhat educated young men, you have to seem murderous so as not to be thought a pansy.


 

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Same Free-Range Kids Taken Into Custody Again

Posted by LizardBreath
on 04.13.15

The same family that was investigated by CPS for letting their ten and six year old walk home together just had another incident: the kids were playing in a park around 5:30, a stranger reported them, the police took them in, and their parents didn't find out where they were until 8:30, and couldn't get them back for another couple of hours.

Doesn't this look like deliberate harassment? Again, there's no suggestion in the story that there was anything frightening going on that got the police involved -- just the presence of unsupervised children in a park -- at which point the five hour lag between taking the kids and releasing them to their parents seems insane.

My strongest reaction here is that the local authorities are being abusive by not setting clear rules. The "unsubstantiated" finding from the last incident is a real problem. Unless the reporting is completely off-base, there's no dispute over the facts of the last incident: the parents and the authorities are in agreement that the kids were allowed to walk home alone unsupervised. The only doubt that makes a finding of neglect on that basis "unsubstantiated" is doubt as to whether that conduct is neglect in the eyes of the Maryland authorities, and the Maryland authorities are responsible for making a decision on that point and communicating it to the people they're dealing with. If the rules are that in Maryland, a six and ten year old may not be outdoors out of sight of a responsible adult, that should be made clear, and the original finding of neglect should have been indicated, not unsubstantiated. If that's not the law, then they should stop harassing unaccompanied children when there's no other indication of a problem.

But this hide-the-ball routine, where the authorities won't say what the rules are unambiguously? Is grotesque.


 

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The Future

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 04.12.15

At the (recently renovated and aspirationally-upscale) hotel for the conference on Friday, the coffee shop downstairs (recently renovated and aspirationally-upscale) had all manner of automated machines for coffee, lattes, cappucinos, and so on, with little touch screens. I've also recently seen touch-screen ordering at a sandwich shop at the airport, and touch-screen paying at a Chili's restaurant.

I'm enjoying this Return To the Future! movement. It's so quaintly kitchsy - even though the little paper cup didn't drop down automatically and it was a touch-screen instead of manual buttons, all this automation still signals the return of the Better Living Through Technology attitude. And I find it charming. Fuck your artisanally hand-stretched lattes!


 

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