World Cup update #10: South Africa hammers West Indies

Yesterday’s game was the most lop-sided one of the tournament so far, with South Africa defeating West Indies by the huge margin of 267 runs. While the result was not unexpected, since SA has been one of the favored nations to win the tournament and WI has been in a slump generally, recent performances had suggested a close game and nothing like the blowout that happened.
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The odious Rahm Emanuel runs into trouble in Chicago

Rahm Emanuel, the former congressman and chief of staff to president Obama and now mayor of Chicago, represents the worst elements of the Democratic party, someone who is authoritarian and slavish in his devotion to the oligarchy. He had been a leader in the effort to destroy the Chicago public schools and hand them over to private interests and has been brazen in his favoring of cronies using the funds of the city.
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NYC mayor caves in to Orthodox Jews and risks children’s lives

In some Orthodox Jewish circles, it is the practice for infant boys to be circumcised, not by a doctor in sanitary conditions, but by a religious person known as a mohel who then sucks out some blood from the penis with his mouth. This extremely unhygienic practice can lead, and has led, to serious infections, and “City health officials linked 17 cases of neonatal herpes to direct oral suction in the last 15 years. Of those, two have died and two more suffered brain damage.”
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World Cup update #9: Afghanistan registers historic and thrilling win

Afghanistan beat Scotland in a low-scoring but thrilling game yesterday to register its first World Cup win. Scotland batted first and once again its batsmen failed to put up a decent score. They scored 210 all out in their 50 overs, better than their previous outings of 142 and 184 but nowhere near the score that would give their bowlers some room. Afghanistan got off to a decent start with 42/0 but a middle order collapse saw them reeling at 97/7 before Samiullah Shenwari stabilized the innings and almost single-handedly took them to 192 before getting out for 96 and leaving them tantalizingly close at 192/9. So they still needed 19 runs to win off 19 balls with only one wicket left. But Shapoor Zadran, who had earlier shone as a bowler, saw them safely through with just three balls to spare
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Black sites in Chicago

The disgraceful and criminal torture practices of the US government have not aroused as much anger and disgust here as they should have. People seem to find reasons to excuse them, using various arguments depending on their political views. The excuses range from the ‘ticking time bomb’ scenario that actually justifies torture to regretful expressions that because the people being tortured were ‘captured on the battlefield’ there exists the possibility that they may be guilty. These are arguments whose absurdity I will not even bother to refute. All these excuses have at their root the feeling that torture is being used only on other people, foreigners, and Muslims, people who are ‘not like us’. The rest of us are safe.
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Doc Martin and English country life

I lived in England as a young boy a long time ago and my memories are faint. But I lived entirely in London so my knowledge of what life is like in a small English village is non-existent. So I was interested in what the British TV show Doc Martin showed about life there. I have watched the complete six seasons of the series so far and quite enjoyed it, as my earlier review indicated.
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The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics

Those who have read about quantum mechanics have heard about the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) proposed by Hugh Everett in 1957. It is an idea seems unbelievable when one first hears of it because it implies the existence of many, a huge number in fact, of unobservable worlds that exist in parallel to our own but of which we are unaware. One needs to get over the initial feeling of incredulity before one can judge it properly on its merits.
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On electing judges

One of the things that shocked me when I first came to the US was the practice of electing judges. While I can understand that appointing judges can lead to insider cronyism, it should be possible to find a way to ensure that competent and reasonably impartial people can be found to serve as judges without putting them through the inherently corrupting process of raising money for elections and then pandering to low-information voters.
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