History ruins all the fun

I was prepared for an amusing story — let’s all laugh at the dumb rednecks! — in this tale of Americans getting outraged because someone in Puerto Rico won the powerball lottery (apparently, that money is supposed to go to real Americans.) I knew that Puerto Rico was a US territory and that the residents were US citizens, so I am clearly superior to those goofs, but then the author answered with a history lesson about Puerto Rico. I did not know most of this stuff.

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How to become a non-person

The behavior of the University of Minnesota keeps sinking to new lows. In the case of Dan Markingson, they recruited a mentally ill young man into an experimental pharmaceutical treatment, his condition worsened, and he committed suicide. He was a person who needed help, not to be roped into the position of a guinea pig, but you know there is big money behind clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies (but not enough, apparently, to cover adequate monitoring and care for test subjects).

My university has made a statement about another test patient.


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What’s right with Minneapolis?

The Atlantic takes a look at Minneapolis, which is an outlier in several ways: it’s doing relatively well economically (it’s no Detroit), but at the same time, it’s managed to avoid extreme disparities — there’s affordable housing without the overpriced real estate at the top (it’s no San Francisco, in a good way). How do they do it?

Among other factors, it’s all about…wealth redistribution.

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A hint for all politicians

OK, we all know you’re not a scientist. You might even be a college drop-out. You might have personal beliefs that are a little wacky. But when you’re running for office, any office, even the presidency, it is understood that you’re not going to micromanage every single detail, and one of the things we’re going to expect of you is that you’ll delegate responsibilities to qualified, intelligent underlings.

So when you’re asked a question like “Do you believe in evolution,” there is a good answer and a bad answer.

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Why Jon Stewart is the only news source worth listening to anymore

For all of his flaws, he’s one of those rare people in the media who is able to step back and provide an appropriate perspective. Here, he goes after the Brian Williams story, making the point that it is important for news sources to maintain their credibility…but then why are they going after this trivial Williams story and completely ignoring the major media lies that led to war?

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