Later On

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

Archive for August 6th, 2014

Some news about how the Israelis protect their troops

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They’re perfectly willing to kill them if they are captured. See this report. That seems to be what happened to the captured Israeli solder a few days ago.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 7:13 pm

Posted in Mideast Conflict

Expectations v. Experience: Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows

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Radley Balko has the report in the Washington PostFrom the story:

It seems to me that the best way to gauge the effect legalization has had on the roadways is to look at what has happened on the roads since legalization took effect. Here’s a month-by-month comparison of highway fatalities in Colorado through the first seven months of this year and last year. For a more thorough comparison, I’ve also included the highest fatality figures for each month since 2002, the lowest for each month since 2002 and the average for each month since 2002.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 6:05 pm

Posted in Daily life, Drug laws

A clear look at the Great War

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Very interesting review by Gabriel Winslow-Yost in the NY Review of Books:

“The only thing that interests me is man and his suffering,” declares French cartoonist Jacques Tardi in the foreword to his It Was the War of the Trenches, “and it fills me with rage.” The book that follows—a series of delicately drawn, thoroughly researched, thoroughly grim vignettes of life in the trenches during World War I—bears him out. Tardi’s war does not unfold linearly, nor, although it sticks to the French troops, does it give us a distinct set of characters to follow. Instead, it skips from soldier to soldier and year to year, starting with a series of artillery barrages (“The muzzles of the cannons turn red hot and their servants go deaf”) in late 1917, then turning back to the outbreak of war in 1914 (an old man is beaten to death in a cafe for refusing to sing La Marseillaise, “one of the first victims of the war”), then ahead again to a French infantry charge at an unspecified battle in 1916, and on, crabwise, from there.

It’s a war not of progression or strategy, but of madness and agony, told in fragments. The Germans advance using civilians as shields, and the French fire anyway. A company struggles back to the trenches after a charge has ended in devastating failure and is shelled by its own general—for “cowardice.” A cook’s attempt to deliver soup and wine to his trenchmates becomes . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 2:18 pm

Posted in Books

Tipped their hand: Climate-change deniers simply lie outright

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Read the article. But I can see their problem: it actually is happening, so to present it as not happening, you have to make shit up. And it’s hard to know where to draw the line once you start down that road.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Global warming, Science

The GOP Tea-Party wing in action: It doesn’t fly

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Elias Isquith writes in Salon:

In a fittingly tawdry and absurd turn to a campaign and post-campaign that’s been defined by nothing so much as its silliness, the man who previously made the bombshell accusation that Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign offered him $15 for every vote he could provide from the African-American community now says he was lying — and that he was paid $2,000 by a spokesperson for Cochran’s opponent to do so. . .

Continue reading.

Truly, the GOP is at work trying to destroy American democracy. Any tactic is accepted. The goal—the only goal—is to win. No interest in governance whatsoever, but very interested in feathering their nests and building a foundation for a good lobbying job.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Congress, Election, GOP, Law

Well stated: The larger picture on Ira Glass’s thoughtless comment on Shakespeare

with 2 comments

And well reasoned and clear sighted. Colin McEnroe writes in Salon:

Maybe it’s a watershed moment when the smartest guy in public radio lets slip the dogs of his inner Cartman. Where were you when Ira Glass tweeted that “I think I’m realizing: Shakespeare sucks?”

Shakespeare is having a hell of a summer. More Americans probably know “The Fault in Our Stars” than know the fault is not in our stars but in ourselves. And now this.

The backlash was swift. The New Republic called Glass a philistine, and the New Yorker’s Rebecca Mead – although mostly concerned with Glass’ repeated use of “relatability” as a criterion Shakespeare failed to meet — wrote that “the Bard of Public Radio expressed himself like a resentful millennial filling out a teacher evaluation.” Glass walked his anti-Shakespeare tweets back. The first of them is gone from his feed. For the record it was: “@JohnLithgow as Lear tonight: amazing. Shakespeare: not good. No stakes, not relatable. I think I’m realizing: Shakespeare sucks.”

John Waters once told David Letterman he had a friend in prison. “How long will your friend be incarcerated?” asked Dave. “Oh, life,” said Waters. Letterman: “So more than a traffic violation?” “Everybody has a bad night,” said Waters.

On that basis, we can dismiss most of the charges against Glass. In the last quarter-century, nobody has provided a better answer to the question, “What else can radio do?” From the 20-minute (swallow hard) “relatable” human dramedy to the full-hour “deep dive” (a phrase to which we will return), “This American Life” has earned its spot in the public radio penthouse. When it’s good, it’s as good as radio gets.

Which is why you want Glass to have a different reaction to Lear. You want him to say, “Hey, I didn’t really get that. Maybe we should do a whole show about King Lear. We could ask Sam Waterston to go up to people in the street and do the ‘Come, let’s away to prison’ speech. And the relationship between a king and his fool, that’s a segment! Hey, we already call them Act I, Act II, etc.”

Continue reading. In the original (at the link), the above has a myriad of links. Go there for links.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Books, Education, Media

Interesting hexagonal hurricane on Saturn

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Written by LeisureGuy

6 August 2014 at 12:48 pm

Posted in Science

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