Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 24th, 2008

GOP vote suppression continues

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On April 28, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, which guards against supposed fraud by requiring voters to show identification. The decision came despite the fact that “the record contains no evidence of any such fraud actually occurring in Indiana at any time in its history” — and despite the fact the law tends to suppress voter turnout by minorities and poor people.

Commenting on the decision on last night’s “Bill Moyers Journal,” legal scholar Jeffery Toobin explained that the “real agenda” behind voter ID laws is “to help Republicans”:

I thought it was a bad decision, but a predictable one because it was a very clear attempt by Republicans to stop Democrats from voting. I don’t think there’s any doubt about what the motivation was of that law. … The real agenda was to help Republicans.

Watch it:

Though the Court’s majority claimed the impact was nothing more than a “minor inconvenience” to voters, in fact there are as many as 21 million voting-age Americans without driver’s licenses. Thirteen percent of registered Indiana voters lack the documents needed to obtain state identification.

During the recent Indiana primary, a group of 12 nuns were turned away from the polls because they lacked a valid photo ID. One nun in Missouri said, “This is going to keep a lot of our loved ones from being able to vote.”

Moreover, the new law disenfranchised many out-of-state students attending private Indiana colleges, such as Notre Dame and DePauw, because “ID cards issued by private colleges don’t qualify under the state law.”

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 11:52 am

Co-chair of Clinton Hispanic council endorses Obama

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The way the wind is blowing. Michael Doyle reports for McClatchy Washington Bureau:

A co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s National Hispanic Leadership Council has defected and pledged his support to Barack Obama, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was joined by another California superdelegate.

The defections came as a new poll showed that Obama would handily defeat John McCain in California in November — and do so by a larger margin than Clinton would.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, whom Clinton named to his Hispanic leadership postl in December, shortly after Cardoza announced he would support her for the nomination, announced he was switching sides on Friday. “I believe that Senator Obama will inevitably be our party’s nominee for president,” Cardoza, a Democrat from Merced, in the San Joaquin Valley, said.

He was joined by another California superdelegate, U.S. Rep. Jim Costa, a Democrat from Fresno.

Cardoza’s endorsement of Clinton occurred when she appeared to be the odds-on favorite to win the nomination, with more than twice as many superdelegate supporters as Obama. That was before Obama won the Iowa caucuses and began his drive toward front-runner status.

More at the link.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:52 am

Posted in Democrats, Election

McCain’s Jesus complex

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Interesting article, although early on there’s a terrible dangling participle:

Having suffered, been imprisoned, and then raised again on behalf of America, who are ordinary mortals such as Senator Obama, to question McCain’s judgments?

It’s McCain the introductory phrase refers to, not ordinary mortals such as Senator Obama, though the way it’s written states the opposite. Still, it’s a fascinating article. Take a look.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:48 am

Posted in Election, GOP

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Sports and exercises statistics

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It’s interesting to see which states have the most active populations. Take a look—and look also at the correlation between educational level and exercise. Very interesting.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:41 am

Posted in Daily life, Health

Foreign policy talk with Condi Rice

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United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband visit Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters for a conversation with Google Senior VP David Drummond. This event took place on May 22, 2008, as part of the @Google series.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:34 am

Cool idea: virtual (trial) dating

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Instead of filling out a lengthy check-box questionnaire, on-line matchmakers could have you go on a virtual date. Like this:

Online daters have become disillusioned with standard profile-based sites that are now the internet dating norm. Trolling through endless profiles and reading near-identical bios often seems more like work than pleasure.

Research published in the Journal Of Interactive Marketing suggests this is because online dating interfaces tend to treat people like commodities – daters search profiles for matches using check-box categories, just as if they were shopping for a TV. Consequently the big online dating sites have seen a reduction in their growth.

A new experiment, though, suggests that online dating could be improved with virtual dates in which people can experience each other in something closer to a real encounter. Welcome to Internet Dating 2.0.

The research, conducted by Jeana H. Frost and colleagues, first wanted to establish exactly how people use currently well-established online dating systems (Frost, Chance, Norton & Ariely, 2008).

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:29 am

Posted in Daily life

Money as drug

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Very interesting notion, which explains something I’ve often wondered about: why people who have plenty of money will go to extreme lengths to get more money. The post begins:

It’s no surprise that people want money – we’ve all got bills to pay. It’s also no surprise that money is useful – it would be irritating to pay the electricity bill in corn, goats or some other non-monetary quid pro quo. Originally economists argued that the fact that money is so useful explains why we’re interested in it. But when you think about it, the fact that money is so useful doesn’t fully explain people’s behaviour.

Think about how obsessed people can become with money, beyond its instrumental use, beyond rationality, beyond any easy explanation. Why does a person who is already rolling in money want more? Indeed, why do people whose lives are already comfortable make sacrifices in other areas of their lives – family, friendships and their own sanity – just to get more cash? Especially when, objectively, they appear to be dollars that they don’t need.

Professors Stephen Lea and Paul Webley from the University of Exeter argue that people’s actual behaviour towards money can’t be explained solely by the fact that it is useful – what they refer to as ‘tool theory’ (Lea & Webley, 2006). There seems to be something more going on. Money provokes people into all sorts of bizarre behaviour that can’t easily be explained in terms of its function purely as a tool. Here are five examples Lea and Webley provide: …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 May 2008 at 10:24 am

Posted in Daily life, Mental Health, Science

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