"Despite what some people might say you are more than just an accident of the universe – there is meaning to your existence."
I feel for Times op-ed contributor Ross Douthat—at times. He has to work extra-hard to communicate ideas about religion to atheists and Christians alike, and also to lock down his cases against hedonism and "pre-marital sex" and abortion, consulting as he does for a liberal paper in a liberal town. And as a religious person, he has to both obey and articulate his faith's professed principles of empathy, even while being a polemicist. This is a sticky situation! So it's reasonable that he sometimes succeeds at one but fails at the other.
This weekend, however, he's gone too far. He's mangled and misrepresented a major study to his own [...]
Here is a concise history of the Atlantic Yards and the development—or lack thereof!—of that side of downtown Brooklyn. Don't worry, you have plenty of time to read it, this garbage will be going on until 2037, at which time, one hopes, the seas will have risen enough that we'll have had to move on to making canals down on Wall Street.
"Required drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits ended up costing taxpayers more than it saved and failed to curb the number of prospective applicants." —Boom. Donezo. Florida's evil governor Rick Scott isn't even good at being evil.
Are you enjoying Bonus Day? (It's every New Yorker's favorite holiday, in this long stretch between Christmas and Passover.) The verdicts have been rolling in all day, as they are also rolling across the world between now and the end of the month. It's a funny thing! Remember how we used to hear about "talent retention"? That big compensation was mandatory to keep great talent at a firm (that was performing quite poorly)? That was already rich coming from a small industry that ditched of tens of thousands of staff, but it seems extra-hilarious now in the season of the wee bonus.
Science, you ungrateful, backstabbing sonofabitch! After everything I've done to get your name out there in front of the public, this is how you're going to treat me? I thought we were FRIENDS, Science! I have never felt so betrayed in my life. It's OVER.
Not just two white men are without jobs, though they're the nice anecdotal evidence for the cover of Newsweek, which announced "The Beached White Male." Oh, you do not say: "Through the first quarter of 2011, nearly 600,000 college-educated white men ages 35 to 64 were unemployed." Oh but wait, do not make fun: "It might be tempting to snark at these former fat cats suffering lean times. But when Beached White Males suffer, so do their wives and children." (There are about 52 million married white men in the U.S., by the way.) But it's still safe to say this thesis doesn't have anything to do with [...]
Are you pregnant now, and in your second trimester? Then you are obviously the most selfish human in the world, and your terribleness will bring forth a child of great evil, who will shower devastation upon the country and usher in a new dark era of rising tides and a catastrophe of the climate.
Oh, wait, that was happening anyway? Cause and effect is so COMPLICATED. Sorry, no, your baby is fine! As you were! I'll buy it a nice cashmere blanket that it can barf on.
But apparently people were traipsing up and down stairs with buckets of water, people were watching their kitty cats float away, [...]
"The more you practice a lie, the better you get at it, say the results of a new study. Published Nov. 12 in the journal Frontiers in Cognitive Science, the study found that, after 20 minutes of practicing their cover story, liars could respond just as quickly and easily to lies as to the truth. Moreover, they were no more likely to slip-up on falsehoods than on the truth."
"We have observed that when people are negative about past events in their life, they also have a pessimist or fatalistic attitude towards current events. This generates greater problems in their relationships and these people present worse quality of life indicators." —University of Granada researcher Cristián Oyanadel discusses a study showing that a negative outlook on life causes health problems and depression, which doesn't surprise me one bit, because when you think about life—that endless procession of sorrow and despair and false hope and wasted effort, the way we inexplicably raise ourselves up in the morning to put ourselves through another day of boredom at best, tragedy if [...]
Bloomberg News finally emerged victorious from an absolutely absurd legal battle with, essentially, bank lobbyists, and has published the summary of its review of documents from America' Big Secret Bank Bailout. It reveals just how much money they all borrowed when they were pretty much all about to go out of business. Here's the meat of the matter: "Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year."
Apart from the absolute madness of the big boys like JP Morgan and Bank of [...]
Why, you may have asked, do we keep telling you that there will be fireworks to see each weekend, and then, when you venture down to the river or up to the rooftop, you find no fireworks at all?
Malfeasance. Potentially mismanagement. Possibly even great evil. Perhaps even a deep-seated hatred of children?
According to (the recently dismembered) Time Out, Saturday, June 18th was to be "Children's Day NYC, at the South Street Seaport. (Not to be confused with Missing Children's Day, which is held on May 25th, and is totally different.) "More free family entertainment closes the day with the Target Fireworks Spectacular," they and many other [...]
It's worth taking a long, slow read of this morning's Times story on lack of prosecution in general and particularly the lack of Justice Department civil or criminal cases regarding the "financial crisis." For one thing, there are at least two instances of someone directly lying to the reporters in the story (although it is unknown to us which of the parties giving conflicting accounts is lying). Elsewhere, people put the blame on regulatory inaction: "In 1995, bank regulators referred 1,837 cases to the Justice Department. In 2006, that number had fallen to 75. In the four subsequent years, a period encompassing the worst of the crisis, an [...]
"The online stranger is the great boogeyman of the information age; in the mid-2000s, media reports might have had you believe that MySpace was essentially an easily-searchable catalogue of fresh victims for serial killers, rapists, cyberstalkers, and Tila Tequila…. [But] Internet friendship yields a connection that is selfconsciously pointless and pointed at the same time: Out of all of the millions of bullshitters on the World Wide Web, we somehow found each other, liked each other enough to bullshit together, and built our own Fortress of Bullshit. The majority of my interactions with online friends is perpetuating some injoke so arcane that nobody remembers how it started or what [...]
The lies of fashion were many and various today. And they were all aimed at the lesser, more worried sex.
1. PLEATS ARE BACK said the Murdoch St. Journal.
2. Perma-tied bow-ties are ALL THE RAGE, says the Gay Lady (that is the styles section of the New York Times).
Pleats are not back—the evidence was even sketchy in the "trend" piece, as they lumped in Prada with the four makers of pleated pants, with Prada's unpleated but darted pants. (There is a particular Prada pant infesting the stores right now that has 100% vertical pockets and is shaped pretty much like a jodhpur. It [...]
It was just last December when photographer Robert Stolarik was shoved around while on assignment for the Times, at an Occupy Wall Street protest. This weekend, the NYPD got him even harder, arresting him for shooting in the Bronx, and keeping him most of Saturday night, until he got to go to a hospital in the early morning for x-rays. It's always instructive when a journalist gets arrested, because we don't usually get to hear about how cops treat people on the street. In this case, we get a particularly huge pile-up of NYPD lies: he allegedly hit an officer in the face with his camera and [...]
Gene Russianoff, staff attorney of the Straphangers Campaign, noted that in a recent survey riders reported seeing rats on about 1 in 10 subway platforms. He compared seeing rats in the subway to seeing “an abandoned lot” or a broken window. “It doesn’t give you a sense of confidence that people in charge of the system are really in charge of it,” Mr. Russianoff said.
Really? We're going all broken windows on rats in the subway? That is some total baloney! As much as I'm not a fan of people eating kung pao chicken on the subway, banning subway eating has almost nothing to do with [...]
The August issue of Seventeen (don't ask) has a particularly juicy "LIES He Tells You Straight To Your Face" column! This is an interesting editorial component. Is it… service? Is it fear-mongering exploitation? Somewhere in the middle? Mostly I can't decide which of these two boys sound more evil. (Who am I kidding, THE CAT LIAR. SOMEONE THROW HIM OFF A BRIDGE IN A BURLAP SACK.) I am just so glad this kind of editorial didn't exist when I was a teen—if I'd know the truth about humans, I don't know if I would have ever left the house or spoken to anyone. (Though I guess it's reassuring that [...]
Welcome to the craziest moment in American politics. So, Republicans were going to force Democratic primaries in Wisconsin, alongside the six Republican state senator recall elections, by running fake Democrat candidates. So the Democrats had selected "placeholder" candidates for those primaries. Today, they announced that, since all the Republican-backed but Democrat-registered candidates have now filed to run, the Democrats won't deign to run candidates against them in the primaries, because it's a crazy waste of time and taxpayer money. Boom! Crazy right? Would you like to know more? Here is our helpful explanation of the whole Wisconsin mess. Related: this is a picture of suddenly-Democrat James Smith, [...]