Wednesday, April 30

In trying to promote such ideal worlds, censors on the right and left often end up demanding texts that are not realistic, as any child, exposed to television, pop music and the daily hubbub of real life can plainly see. When it comes to the teaching of literature, it can reduce the ambiguities and complexities of art into simplistic social and political messages; it can result in the rejection of classic texts and good writing in favor of boring works, calculated to offend and stimulate no one; and it can result in the selection of works deemed "relevant" to students, instead of works that might broaden their outlook and introduce them to new worlds. Diane Ravitch paints a picture of "The Language Police" in her book of the same name. (NYT: user name: opensewer; password: iswatching.)

Thursday, April 24

Rose: She got her reply. And she deserves it, too, for inflicting her boring self on all of us.

Monday, April 21

I pledge allegiance to the United States, the most important country in the world; and to the unilateralism with which it acts, one nation that believes in God, with tough luck, sucka, to alla yous who don't agree wit us...

Wednesday, April 16

While it may be the 60th birthday of LSD, this new technology of turning animal, human and consumer waste into oils, minerals and water is what blew my mind today.

Monday, April 14

Update: the RAVE Act (new name, same bill) is now law....

Thursday, April 10

In case you forgot that the war on terror isn't the only war being waged IN (not just by) America: The dreaded RAVE Act has been re-introduced (with a new name) in Congress, this time attached to the "Child Abduction Prevention Act," which is one of the most effective ways Congress gets unpopular bills passed - they attach them to popular bills, usually bills that have nothing to do with the unpopular bill. Among other things, the RAVE Act treats club owners who own clubs where a few kids manage to sneak in drugs as someone running a crackhouse, punishes club owners for using harm-reduction methods in their clubs, saying it encourages drug use, and generally takes away property rights, something you'd expect Congress would like to be protecting. I guess club owners and event promoters don't donate eough to congressional campaigns. Learn more and take action with these links: Electronic Music Defense Fund - Drug Policy Action Center - Dance Safe. Perhaps you really do need to fight for your right to party...

Tuesday, April 8

In case you missed this news, "A facility near Baghdad that a US officer had claimed might finally be "smoking gun" evidence of Iraqi chemical weapons production turned out to contain pesticide, not sarin gas as originally thought." The world is still waiting for some evidence.
"What was promised to Afghans with the collapse of the Taliban was a new life of hope and change. But what was delivered? Nothing. Everyone is back in business." - Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghanistan's president.
Iraq next year? Oh wait, Iraq has oil, so the wells will need our armed protection.
"People who eat hemp food tend to be liberal," he continues. "They tend to be Democrats and Green Party. It's a drug war out of control." "Advocates say the DEA's new attack on hemp has more to do with politics than with miniscule amounts of THC. 'It's funny [that] only after the industry started growing [the DEA] stepped in,' says Adam Eidinger, spokesman for the Washington D.C.-based 'They hadn't stepped in 30 years. They don't want the industry to prosper because they see it as a counterculture thing. I think it's a cultural war.' "

Thursday, April 3