Links 8/30/15

Links for you. Science:

Meet Shrek – The Renegade Sheep That Avoided Shearing For Six Years By Hiding In A Cave
10 Years After Katrina, Will Sacramento Be The Next New Orleans?
The Bacteria That Turn Amoebas Into Farmers
MERS Cases Increasing in Saudi Arabia, And The Hajj Is Coming
From the Suitcase: Avery Discovers Genes Are Made of DNA


Police Chief Declares: ‘The War On Drugs Is Over, and We Lost’
The Reality Television Paradigm of All-Charter School Systems (excellent)
Why the Internet of Things will be worse than a zombie apocalypse
Republicans’ deep hatred for teachers can’t be denied and they’re not trying
A Crime and Policing Expert Critiques Black Lives Matter’s Police-Reform Plan
The Epic Fails of the Librarian of Congress
Sun setting over #Brooklyn
Challenging Mayor de Blasio Over Times Square Plazas
In defense of single-payer: How it would reduce administrative waste
Why Liberals Separate Race from Class
Explainer: On Transit “Integration” or “Seamlessness”
The Real Downtown ‘Parking Problem’: There’s Too Much of It
Loving Bernie, But Getting Real
American Airlines workers say they face racial taunts, discrimination

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Observed on S Street, between 13th and 14th, Shaw, D.C.:

Pillars of S street

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Trump Is the Republicans’ Own Fault

I don’t just mean that he’s embracing the politics of the blood (fascist historian XXX’s phrase to describe Mussolini), but also that Republicans had a chance to kill off the issue of immigration entirely–and flubbed it (boldface mine):

So here’s a friendly reminder: this whole Trump mess probably could have been avoided. If Republicans had simply held votes on immigration reform in 2013 or in early 2014, it probably would have passed. That likely would have made it harder for Trump-ism to take hold to the degree it has so far.

Before you ridicule me for suggesting that Republicans would be better off today if they had simply done what I wanted them to do — pass immigration reform — please recall that GOP leaders themselves said at the time that they wanted to pass immigration reform. Even reform that included a path to legalization for the 11 million….

But conservatives revolted, Boehner shelved plans to pursue reform, and Republican leaders and aides quietly assured reporters that the party could always pass reform in 2015, to fix the Latino problem in time for 2016.

But some Republicans explicitly warned at the time that if the party failed to pass reform in 2014, it would only get harder to do so in 2015, because the GOP primaries would start up. GOP pollster Whit Ayres warned:

“If Republicans wait until 2015 to tackle this issue, that puts a very emotional and controversial issue right in the middle of the Republican presidential selection process. The opportunity for demagoguery will be exceedingly prevalent if we wait that long. It could drag the entire field to the right on immigration.”

Veteran GOP operative Rob Jesmer similarly warned that if Republicans didn’t embrace reform, “presidential politics will consume our party, which will make it more difficult to get it passed. ” Jesmer added: “We will severely diminish our chances of winning the presidential election in 2016 if this isn’t solved.” And as Jonathan Chait details, some conservative pundits, operating from the same rationale, also called for Republicans to pass “immigration reform as quickly as possible” and take the short term hit from the right, “allowing the base to vent its spleen and make up in time for the presidential campaign.”

In other words, some Republicans warned at the time that the party needed to embrace reform precisely to avoid the epic slow-motion disaster that might unfold if immigration got tied up in primary politics, creating fertile conditions for a talented demagogue to pull the party further to the right. Which is exactly what is happening now.

Given Trump’s support among the Palinist contingent, it’s unclear how demotivated they would have been if there had been immigration reform. But if someone is willing to demagogue on this issue, that creates a feedback loop wherein the bigoted base becomes more worked up over this issue, making it that much harder to resolve (or even ignore).

Were it not for the potential of massive suffering and cruelty, I would be laughing my ass off. This is what happens when a party becomes a regional white nationalist party.

Consider this exhibit #3,982,397 in the devolution of TR’s Bull Moose into Glenn Beck’s Prion-Infested Cow.

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Links 8/29/15

Links for you. Science:

No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day
Holocaust trauma: is it epigenetically inherited?
Yet another land mine for GMO Golden Rice
Want to take flibanserin (Addyi) for low sex drive? You can’t drink alcohol. Ever.
Obama’s Climate Change Disclaimer Is Getting Old


Poll: Most Americans oppose key tenets of modern school reform
The Short, Hard Life Of Freddie Gray (excellent)
“Sorry, I’m not taking this test”
Rhode Island Church Taking Unusual Step to Illuminate Its Slavery Role
Class Notes: What’s really at stake when a school closes?
Copyright Chronicles: A Viral Encounter With Landon Dowlatsingh
The American Public Understands: Our Schools Are Underfunded
U.S. schools are too focused on standardized tests, poll says
Against Park and Rides
The New Face of Jewish Terror
My College Is Being Blackmailed
Virginia’s Public Schools Need More Money For Teachers, Say Education Advocates
Donald Trump Is Not a Populist. He’s the Voice of Aggrieved Privilege.
Authorities Foil Plot To Deliver Drugs And Porn To Md. Prison Via Drone
An Intelligent Discussion on “Gun Violence in Columbia Heights” between a Resident and the MPD Chief
Trump Change: Is Donald Trump Broke?
David Simon on What Drives White People ‘Batsh*t Crazy’
It’s Too Dangerous to Elect Prosecutors
Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters
The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit

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With Mambo Sauce

Observed in the Martin Luther King Library, D.C.:


More about Chuck Brown here.

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D.C. Still Has No Idea How to Clear Sidewalks

I realize it’s August, so most people aren’t thinking about shoveling snow, but D.C. has recently passed a snow removal bill (boldface mine):

For the first time since 1922, D.C. is moving to put teeth into its law requiring that residents and businesses clear their sidewalks after snowstorms. On Friday, the D.C. Department of Public Works published proposed regulations laying out a schedule of fines for residents and businesses who fail to shovel away snow and ice after a storm.

Under the proposed rules — which are open to public comment for 30 days — residents could be fined $25 and businesses $150 for not clearing up to 36 inches of sidewalk in front of their property within 24 hours of the end of a storm. The rules offer exemptions for any resident who is either over the age of 65 or can prove that they suffer from a disability.

The rules follow a bill approved by the D.C. Council last November that updates the city’s 93-year-old shoveling law. Some residents and legislators had long complained that the law was too difficult to enforce; under its provisions, an untouched sidewalk had to be cleared by the city, and the home or business owner had to be sued to cover that cost. No lawsuits were ever filed for failure to clear away snow or ice.

I’ve noted how weak this proposal is before, but the dumbest part is the 24-window. What that means if the snow stops, let’s say Wednesday afternoon, you don’t have to clear sidewalks for anyone trying to get to work on Thursday morning. Essentially, this is useless. Just take Boston’s legislation and copy it.

Aside: Supposedly, there are published proposed regulations, but I can’t seem to find them online. Shocking.

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Links 8/28/15

Links for you. Science:

US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, Says He Has No Regrets About Saying Gun Violence Is Public Health Issue
An angry (?) koala (anyone know anything about koala behavior?)
Following criticism, PLOS removes blog defending scrutiny of science (I’ve said this before, but science journalists and scientists do not always have the same objectives or concerns)
21 Peer Reviewers Who Should Really Examine Their Own Lives
The politics of sociological consciousness (no, this isn’t misplaced; yes, I subtweet hard)


Donald Trump’s surge is all about less-educated Americans
Why A 20-Week Abortion Ban Is Scary For All Women
The end of walking
How America’s Most Useless Crop Also Became Its Most Commonly Grown One
Bernie Sanders Would Tax The Income Of The Wealthiest Americans At 90 Percent
RIP Julian Bond, A Personal Hero
Here’s What Actually Gets Terrorists To Tell The Truth — And It’s Not Torture
Class and Race
Race and Class Part 2
Judges Nixing Keystone XL South Cases Had Tar Sands-Related Oil Investments
aerophone-telephon Frontispiece to Hugo Gernsback’s Radio for All (1922)
Edward Thomas, Policing Pioneer Who Wore a Burden Stoically, Dies at 95
College Affordability: Comparing the Clinton and Sanders Plans
Why Is Stolen Art So Hard to Find?
How We Live

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