August 30th, 2012

  • paft

Rolling Down the Haystack

The “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, her autobiographical account of growing up in a 19th century pioneer family, are entertaining and educational classics of children’s literature. One especially memorable incident involves a childish bit of deceit Laura tries out on her father. As I recall it, young Laura solemnly promises him she won’t slide down a recently constructed haystack. Then, as soon as his back is turned, she climbs the haystack and has a wonderful time rolling down it. This, of course, does as much damage to the haystack as sliding would have done, but when confronted later by “Pa” she righteously insists that she kept her promise. She didn’t slide down the haystack, you see…

It’s a funny story because it portrays the innocent brashness of children and their fungible conception of truth.

When an adult approaches truth that way, it’s less amusing.

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A Bad Week for Republicans

Court Blocks Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Racial Impact
WASHINGTON — A federal court on Thursday blocked Texas from enforcing a strict new voter identification law, ruling that the state had failed to prove that the mandate would not disproportionately suppress turnout among eligible voters who are members of minority groups.
“The State of Texas enacted a voter ID law that — at least to our knowledge — is the most stringent in the country,” the court wrote. “That law will almost certainly have retrogressive effect: it imposes strict, unforgiving burdens on the poor, and racial minorities in Texas are disproportionately likely to live in poverty."
Court Throws Out Texas Congressional Map
The court ruled that, even though Texas gained four congressional seats in redistricting, it did not gain any Hispanic "ability districts," seats where Hispanic voters have the power in numbers to elect a preferred candidate. What's more, the court found "discriminatory purpose" in the plan, writing that the maps were crafted with the purpose of diluting minority voting power.
"The only explanation Texas offers for this pattern is 'coincidence,'" the court ruled. "But if this was coincidence, it was a striking one indeed. It is difficult to believe that pure chance would lead to such results." The judges also noted that they did not even need to consider the full body of evidence presented before them to conclude that Texas acted with discriminatory intent in crafting the maps... The court noted that it is the fourth time in as many decennial redistricting cycles that Texas has been taken to court over their new maps -- and they have lost in court each time.
Dang it, some days ya just feel like settin' afire to yur sheet and pointy hat. What makes it worse is two of them judges was appointed by Dubbya!
Seriously, It makes me wonder why Republicans express such dismay over accusations that they are mean to hispanics and blacks. Wherever did minorities get that impression? Could it have been when conservatives started bashing their own President for suggesting a modified amnesty program? Or was it when so many conservatives express the idea that children who were brought here as infants and grew up in this country should be thrown out?
Groovy Kol

Thought for food

Forgive me folks if this isn't quite the news, but I really don't get the whole idea of banning big cups of soda in NYC. I'd especially appreciate the Newyorkers' take on the matter. Is this measure meant to send a symbolic message, or maybe work at a subconscious level on people who'd suddenly poise and say to themselves, "Oh wait, I have to buy TWO cups now? That's too much!"?

And why is all that fast food still not on the ban list, if we're to start banning things that make people obese? After all, soda is supposed to wash it down the throat, isn't it? I haven't heard of anyone feeding themselves with soda...

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