A third of Texas residents admit to littering in the past month.
Millennials (age 16-34) have a much higher incidence of littering compared to older adults.
Fast food, cigarette butts, beer cans, water bottles and soda cans are the items most frequently found on Texas highways.
I'm shocked and disturbed by the second of these. Why would young people, after years of being bombarded with information about the damage being done to the environment, be so cavalier about littering? Maybe this is a Texas thing. I grew up in Michigan and was taught to revere nature. From kindergarten on, we were taught that we have a beautiful state (with five Great Lakes, lush forests, and clean rivers) and that we must take pride in it and never sully it.
Once again, the Republicans have failed in their attempt to sink President Obama. Their main focus since 2009 has been to defeat Obama, even if they took the country down with him. Regarding the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA (Obamacare), the Republicans have tried every trick in the book to defeat the ACA, just like they did Medicare in the 1960s, and Social Security in the 1930s. And as before, they failed in their deception. Their main reason for the fight against the ACA: the desire to defeat Obama, no matter what it took.
My prediction: The resistance to the ACA will diminish as time goes on. A few years from now, likely by the election of 2020, the ACA will be in force, it will be a good thing to have, people will like it, and the Republicans will claim it was their idea.
Allan Miller, Springfield
Note from KBJ: Thanks, Allan, for telling us the "main reason" for opposition to ObamaCare. How charitable of you. It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that ObamaCare will bankrupt the country, reduce the quality of medical care, and deprive individuals of choice. By the way, what was the "main reason" for opposition to the war in Iraq? Was it by any chance "the desire to defeat Bush"? Progressives are masters of projection.
Just as religion must bear the cross of its hard-liners, I have some scientific colleagues, including a few prominent enough to wield influence by their writings, who view this rapprochement of the separate magisteria [of science and religion] with dismay. To colleagues like me—agnostic scientists who welcome and celebrate the rapprochement, especially the pope's latest statement—they say: "C'mon, be honest; you know that religion is addle-pated, superstitious, old-fashioned b.s.; you're only making those welcoming noises because religion is so powerful, and we need to be diplomatic in order to assure public support and funding for science." I do not think that this attitude is common among scientists, but such a position fills me with dismay—and I therefore end this essay with a personal statement about religion, as a testimony to what I regard as a virtual consensus among thoughtful scientists (who support the NOMA principle as firmly as the pope does).
I am not, personally, a believer or a religious man in any sense of institutional commitment or practice. But I have enormous respect for religion, and the subject has always fascinated me, beyond almost all others (with a few exceptions, like evolution, paleontology, and baseball). Much of this fascination lies in the historical paradox that throughout Western history organized religion has fostered both the most unspeakable horrors and the most heart-rending examples of human goodness in the face of personal danger. (The evil, I believe, lies in the occasional confluence of religion with secular power. The Catholic Church has sponsored its share of horrors, from Inquisitions to liquidations—but only because this institution held such secular power during so much of Western history. When my folks held similar power more briefly in Old Testament times, they committed just as many atrocities with many of the same rationales.)
There was a horrific crash during today's stage of the Tour de France (in Belgium), which I watched live starting at six o'clock this morning. Here is video. Here are images. Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang said after the race that the riders were going 80 kilometers per hour at the time of the crash, which is 49.7 miles per hour. The race was stopped for about 20 minutes to allow doctors to tend to the injured. Race leader Fabian Cancellara broke two vertebrae in the crash. Though he finished the stage, he dropped out afterward. The winner of today's stage, Joaquin Rodriguez, averaged 28.7 miles per hour for 99.1 miles.
As a nurse practitioner and a professor of nursing at Pace University, I am baffled by those who are so eager to overturn a law that provides health care to millions of people, the Affordable Care Act. Do they think it’s just fine that Americans die routinely of preventable and treatable illnesses because they have no insurance?
Have they ever come face to face with a terrified person who discovered a lump in her breast, started coughing up blood or endured any of an array of frightening symptoms, but who did not have insurance and could only hope and pray that everything would be O.K.? I have, and it is heartbreaking.
The educator in me wonders why the same people who decry public funding for medical care have no problem with publicly funded education. Is health care a privilege, rather than a right, like education, deserved only by those who can afford it?
Common sense dictates that they both are rights. I just don’t get it.
The writer is the author of “A Woman’s Right to Know: How Women’s Health Became a Political Pawn
Note from KBJ: Something can be good in one respect and bad in another respect, or even in many respects. ObamaCare hasn't kicked in yet. I want to hear from Carol Roye five years from now.
Here are scenes from today's stage (held in Holland) of the Tour de France. Andre Greipel of Germany won the stage. He averaged 29.60 miles per hour for 103.1 miles. The stage was flat, but the riders had to contend with rain and strong winds, which made it treacherous.
Addendum: Mark Cavendish is a great sprinter, but not much of a human being. Today, realizing that he would not win the stage, he stopped pedaling. This allowed Fabian Cancellara to take third place, which catapulted Cancellara into the yellow jersey. Had Cavendish kept pedaling and finished third, his teammate, Tony Martin, who worked his ass off for Cavendish all day, would have worn the yellow jersey for the first time in his career. I don't know why anyone would want to ride for Cavendish. If you look up "jerk" in a dictionary, you find a picture of Cavendish next to it.
In his famous (some would say infamous) 2002 essay, "Teach the Controversy," Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen C. Meyer advocated "teaching the controversy." One thing this might mean is teaching all theories on the matter at hand, and while some people advocate this, Meyer means something different. He means teaching the "scientific controversy about Darwinian evolution." Specifically, he means that "Teachers should teach students about the main scientific arguments for and against Darwinian theory."
According to Meyer, there are "over 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles that raise significant challenges to key tenets of Darwinian evolution." These articles, or some subset of them, can (and in his opinion should) provide the basis of classroom discussion. Meyer quotes Darwin himself as saying that, "A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question."
How wrong I was! Honey has no doubts about the truth of Darwinism. As she puts it, "I won't discuss [in the classroom] the validity of evolutionary theory. . . . That matter is settled, from a scientific perspective if not from the perspective of popular opinion." She adds: "Evolution is a robust and well-supported theory that has undergone rigorous testing, and is a unifying theory in science." And later: "[T]here is no question about the validity of evolution as an explanatory model."
This is all very strange. If Darwinism is so obviously correct, then it should be able to withstand criticism. Shouldn't that criticism be discussed, if only to show students how inadequate it is? Honey seems worried that if doubts are raised about Darwinism, her students will be persuaded by them. God forbid! She doesn't really want to "teach the controversy," as her title suggests. She wants to suppress the controversy. The name for this is "indoctrination."
How did science go from disinterested inquiry to suppression of inquiry? Why are so many scientists (such as Honey) so insecure in what they believe? The losers, of course, are students. Instead of seeing robust defenses of Darwinism by their professors (by which I mean replies to objections), they see evasion, misrepresentation, personal attack, and obfuscation. Darwin would be appalled by the dogmatism of his followers. As Meyer puts it, "The issue is whether students will learn both sides of the real and growing scientific controversy about Darwinism, and whether a 19th century theory will be taught dogmatically to 21st century students."
Teach the controversy! If Darwinism can't survive criticism, it's worthless.
Yesterday evening, with fireworks going off in the neighborhood (which scared our three dogs mightily), Katherine and I watched The Watch (2012), which I picked up on DVD in Kroger for five dollars (maybe it was 10). The movie features Ben Stiller (a personal favorite), Vince Vaughn (meh), Jonah Hill (yuck), and Richard Ayoade (whom I had never heard of or seen). The movie was silly, goofy, vulgar, and fun. I love it when Ben Stiller says, "What?!"
Judith Shulevitz misstates the affirmative consent standard at issue. No one disputes that “yes means yes” (barring universally agreed upon exceptions, such as the use of force, incapacitation through drugs or alcohol, failure to reach the age of consent). The affirmative consent standard properly stated is that “only yes means yes.” The point is that the absence of “no” does not constitute “yes”; there must be some positive affirmation to confer consent.
We derive no benefit from a discussion of the criminal law’s implementation of the platitude “yes means yes”; that’s already uncontroversially in effect. We need to decide whether the absence of “no” means “yes” (the old implied consent standard—a green light until someone says “stop”), or whether consent must be actively conferred (the newer affirmative consent standard—a red light until someone says “go”).
Cedar Falls, Iowa
The writer is a professor of sociology and humanities at the University of Northern Iowa. A DVD of his lecture “Asking for It: The Ethics and Erotics of Sexual Consent” is used by colleges and government agencies.