- At Rolling Stone, Jesse Myerson has five big reforms that millennials should be fighting for right now. My favorite?
You know what else really blows? Wall Street. The whole point of a finance sector is supposed to be collecting the surplus that the whole economy has worked to produce, and channeling that surplus wealth toward its most socially valuable uses. It is difficult to overstate how completely awful our finance sector has been at accomplishing that basic goal. Let's try to change that by allowing state governments into the banking game.Absolutely. There needs to be a push for state infrastructure banks whose goal is to provide capital to the public sector, rather than loot it using interest rate swaps and the like.
- Dave Weigel's takedown of the insufferable opinions of Ruth Marcus and David Brooks on marijuana use is exquisite.
There's already a first-order danger of wasting time or embarrassing yourself from experimenting with any drug, legal or otherwise. The prohibitionists are defending the enforcement of a second-order danger, the complete elimination of a person as a productive member of society. Marcus worries "that the number who perceive great risk from regular use has been plummeting, from 58 percent to 40 percent among 12th-graders." Why wouldn't it plummet? The greatest risk is from arrest, not from use—and anytime you use something that's supposed to ruin your life, but doesn't, won't you naturally mistrust the nannies who warned you against it?Bingo. Personally, I think there's much more danger from the recreational consumption of tired Beltway pundits like David Brooks.
- So, I'm sitting here in Los Angeles enjoying 80-degree weather right now, but for many people across the country, this is really going to suck next week:
For days, it’s appeared on computer model maps in the form of deep blue and purple shades. Now it’s about to get real and up close and personal. Some of the coldest air in years, if not decades, is poised to pour into the U.S., with mind-boggling low temperatures.How bad will it get? Well...for all those watching NFL playoff games tomorrow, we just might see the coldest game ever on record. So, that bad.
Basically a large whirlpool in the atmosphere originating at the north pole – in geek speak known as the polar vortex – is diving into the Lower 48.
- You can't make up headlines like this. Well, I guess you can if you're Gawker:
Sea Lion Shit is California's New SrirachaThe point is, a bunch of rich people in the wealthy San Diego suburb of La Jolla are suing the city to take down a fence that prevents the cleanup of an accumulation of sea lion waste. Clearly, Mitt Romney's adopted home community and its fellow car elevator owners have nothing better to do with their time.
- You can purchase and smoke pot legally in Colorado. But that doesn't mean your employer has to keep you on the job if you do:
On New Year’s Day, Colorado became the first state in which it’s legal to recreationally smoke pot. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a fireable offense. Under U.S. law, private companies can fire employees for almost anything they do at home or at work. And while Colorado has bucked the trend by banning firings for “lawful” outside-work activities, that protection doesn’t extend to pot.Along with new expansions of personal rights comes the need for new protections for employees who engage in now-legal activities.
“I’m not going to get better any time soon,” paraplegic plaintiff Brandon Coats told reporters after his 2010 firing by Dish Network was upheld in a precedent-setting Colorado Court of Appeals case last April. “I need the marijuana, and I don’t want to go the rest of my life without holding a job.” As the Denver Post reported, Coats alleged he was illegally fired by the cable company Dish Network for using medical marijuana to mitigate muscle spasms. (Coats was fired three years before Colorado voters legalized recreational marijuana use; his case rested on the state’s Medical Marijuana Amendment, which went into effect in 2009.) Dish did not respond to Salon’s Thursday morning inquiry.
“If Mr. Coats can’t win this case, then nobody can,” Coats’ attorney Michael Evans told Salon. “He’s about as bad as you can get in terms of physical disability … He was a great employee, and they admit that he was never impaired [at work] … He was following all of the laws.”
- Just for fun: a couple of optical illusions that prove that your brain is basically lying to you.
The year's thread begins anew.
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Bill in Portland Maine, eeff, Eyesbright, kaliope, gpoutney, JeffW, Livvy5, cocinero, annieli, wintergreen8694, a2nite, Mr Robert, lunachickie, aresea, OregonWetDog
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