Some clippings.

Boy, did Proposal 1 ever go down hard. They may have to invent a new word for it; how can you call a ballot prop that went down in two counties by 90 percent merely “defeated?” It was loathed across the spectrum, and that doesn’t happen often. Historic!

But now it’s in the rearview, I think I’m finally done writing about it, and it’s time to look at some excellent bloggage I stumbled across. First, a heartbreaker about the HIV outbreak in southern Indiana, the one that prompted the right-wing governor to allow an experimental, 30-day needle exchange program. The 30 days is up and some would like to allow exchanges in other communities, but they best get schooled, because not only are the prosecutors against it, it’s not working so well:

Officials here say the need for education is urgent and deep; even local health workers are learning as they go. Brittany Combs, the public health nurse for Scott County, said she was stunned to discover from talking to addicts that many were using the same needle up to 300 times, until it broke off in their arms. Some were in the habit of using nail polish to mark syringes as their own, but with needles scarce and houses full of people frequently shooting up together, efforts to avoid sharing often failed.

Ms. Combs also learned that many addicts were uncomfortable visiting a needle distribution center that opened April 4 on the outskirts of town. So she started taking needles directly to users in their neighborhoods.

At the same time, H.I.V. specialists from Indianapolis — who have evaluated about 50 people with the virus here so far and started about 20 of them on antiretroviral drugs — are fighting a barrage of misinformation about the virus in Scott County, where almost all residents are white, few go to college and one in five live in poverty, according to the census.

As I said on social media earlier today, what the hell are we going to do with these people, living in these hollowed-out parts of rural America? What is there to do in Scott County, Ind., if you can’t get a job and you’ve got a bad back and a doctor willing to write scripts for painkillers? What are we going to do with these people?

Sigh. Moving on:

I wasn’t paying full attention to the news this weekend, and missed that the shooting in Texas was wrapped around the loathsome Pamela Geller. I’m glad Neil Steinberg did, and wrote this blog about it.

“This incident shows how much needed our event really was,” she told the New York Times. “Freedom of speech is under violent assault here in our nation. The question now before us is: Will we stand and defend it, or bow to violence, thuggery, and savagery?”

And how do we defend free speech? Oh right, by insulting Islam. An oddly selective defense. If Geller’s show was a general collection of sacrilegious art, I might be tempted to buy her ruse. But it isn’t, it’s a stiletto designed to stab at Muslims. To prove how free we are.

Actually, Muhammad shows up in the “Inferno,” receiving a particularly gruesome punishment, split from chin to anus, his entrails hanging out, as contrapasso for his splitting of his world by forming a new religion. Muslims do not, to my knowledge, attack those reading the 700-year-old work of literature because, unlike Geller’s stunts, the “Inferno” isn’t a hate carnival designed to stigmatize and marginalize a certain group (Well, it is, but that group is Florentines, and they’ve adjusted themselves to it by now).

The comments are pretty good, too.

Finally, circling back to the NYT, a look at the differences between Baltimore and Muskogee, Okla. It turns out they have a lot more in common than you might think!

In Muskogee County and in Baltimore, the percentage of households composed of married couples with children dropped from 2000 to 2010 for both whites and blacks.

The violent crime rate in both cities has fallen over the past decade, just as it has nationwide, although the 22.3 percent drop in Baltimore is four times as large as the 5.6 percent decline in Muskogee.

Over time, Lesthaeghe foresees a convergence in the marital and reproductive behavior of whites and blacks — and of red and blue states — with low marriage rates, dipping fertility, and rising cohabitation rates for both races.

It’s a sad story. I’m not gloating.

Tomorrow there’s a radio interview for me, lap swimming and, whaddaya know –the downslope of the week.

Posted at 12:36 am in Current events |

32 responses to “Some clippings.”

  1. MarkH said on May 7, 2015 at 2:04 am

    So, where do you do these radio interviews, Nancy? A public or commercial radio station? Most of them are online, would be great to tune in.

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  2. Linda said on May 7, 2015 at 6:45 am

    Oy. Mr. Indiana prosecutor quoted in the needle exchange program? The problem isn’t exasperated. It’s exacerbated.

    Re:the convergence of white/black fertility and marriage patterns. It ‘s not about lifestyle choices as Edsall seems to think. It’s about life getting shittier for the poor and working class entirely. Consider this for a minute:the life expectancy of poor white women has gone down 5 years since the early 90s. It’s like what Russian life expectancy when the USSR went down the tubes:

    People are.deciding to use dope and have kids out of wedlock because there are not any good reasons.not to. When I was young, a girl would be a fool to have a baby on her own, rather than wait for a factory boy with a good.job to marry her. Now she will probably be working all the time anyway, so why wait? What boy now can hope to support a family?

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  3. alex said on May 7, 2015 at 7:07 am

    The difference between white trash and the black underclass? The former feel validated by Fox News vilifying the latter. And Muslims.

    As for Pamela Geller… if, theoretically, one can be prosecuted for yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater, then by rights why isn’t she being hauled in front of a firing squad? The fawning coverage on Fox is to be expected, but the rest of the media seem to be falling down on the job, indulging her in her “free speech” schtick more than calling bullshit on it.

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  4. beb said on May 7, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Interesting sub-story about the Texas shooting is that some (Sen McCain?) are using it to prove that we need more internet surveillance. Others point out that the FBI all along knew about the guy because of his frequent posting on social media. They just didn’t take him seriously. We don’t need more spying on Americans, we need more analysts to review the data that’s publicly available.

    There’s also some question whether the Koran really prohibits picture of the Prophet. I think it’s considered a form of idolatry.

    My brother lives in Scott County. From the couple times I’ve visited him I’d dispute the notion that the county is “hollowed-out” sine that implies there was once something there to be hollowed out.

    Proposal One was “crushed”, “Defeated with extreme prejudice” or perhaps (my favorite) “scorned.”

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  5. Connie said on May 7, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I lived one county over from Scott County for many years, in a county that wasn’t much better, and I am not surprised.

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  6. Tim said on May 7, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Sooner or later, people will have to pay for better roads with higher taxes or hollowed-out government services. Hope it’s not the latter. Indiana sold its toll road instead of raising taxes, but that was only a temporary fix.

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  7. Bitter Scribe said on May 7, 2015 at 11:05 am

    I’m starting to think Michael Kinsley had it right when he called Americans “big babies” (the title of one of his books) who want all kinds of services but get indignant when they’re asked to pay for them.

    If Christianity was as hysterical about visual representations of Jesus as Muslims are about Mohammed, we’d have lost a lot of good art but been spared a lot of bad movies and TV shows.

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  8. brian stouder said on May 7, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I walked into a colleagues office a bit ago, to drop some paperwork off, just as Oxy-Rush was intoning that “At some point, we have to be realistic”…at which point I guffawed, and then proceeded on my way

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  9. Dexter said on May 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    And now the Cleveland Cavaliers are running JumboTron ads advocating serious-harm domestic violence. This is shocking…and probably unprecedented.

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  10. Jolene said on May 7, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Some weeks back, we looked at articles about how employers make life difficult for their staffs through scheduling. Now, the NYT has a long investigative piece re another form of exploitation–one that occurs, specifically, in nail salons staffed by immigrants in New York City and its environs. Pretty awful. Made me think of nineteenth century sweatshops. This is the first of two reports.

    Apart from the awfulness, I was interested to read about the various ethnic communities involved in this work and the hierarchies among them. In the DC suburbs and, based on another article I read recently, the nail salon market has been dominated by Vietnamese immigrants. Not sure if that’s holding up as that community moves further from being newly settled here.

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  11. Jolene said on May 7, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Here’s the story re how Vietnamese immigrants came to be nail technicians. Pretty interesting.

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  12. Jolene said on May 7, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Sorry about the screwed-up link to the NYT piece. Here’s the correct version.

    Take a look. Not only an important story for its own sake, but an impressive example of what good journalists can do when they have the time and the resources. Also, an example of why we need them.

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  13. adrianne said on May 7, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    That NYT story on nail salons definitely hit a nerve. In NYC and Hudson Valley, the market is dominated by Koreans.

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  14. Deborah said on May 7, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Can I ask you writers out there a question? Is it Groundbreaking (one word), Ground Breaking (two words) or Ground-breaking (hyphenated)? I tried to google it but it’s confusing. I’m working on the artwork for a give-away for the playground project.

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  15. alex said on May 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    A ground breaking (noun meaning silver shovel hits dirt in celebration of a new edifice or monument or park) is two words. As an adjective meaning unprecedented, it’s hyphenated, although these days there are probably lots of people making one word out of it.

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  16. Deborah said on May 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Thanks Alex, this is definitely for a ground breaking, silver shovel hits dirt in celebration of the beginning of the building of the playground.

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  17. Sherri said on May 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    I wonder if it changes any minds about whether Edward Snowden is a traitor or a whistleblower now that the 2nd Circuit has found that the NSA bulk collection of metadata is illegal. That lawsuit filed by the ACLU is a direct result of the Snowden leaks.

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  18. Jolene said on May 7, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    The American Heritage Dictionary disagrees with Alex. It thinks the one-word form is appropriate for both nouns and adjectives. Probably, it’s something where there’s no hard rule. If you use the dictionary version, you have a defense against people who disagree with you.

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  19. jcburns said on May 7, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    AP Stylebook:

    groundbreaking, ground-breaking
    One word when used as a noun; two words when used as an adjective.

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  20. BigHank53 said on May 7, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    I would use groundbreaking as an adjective (as in research, or ceremony) and ground breaking for the event itself. On the other hand, I don’t get paid to line words up on a page.

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  21. BigHank53 said on May 7, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    And there’s the AP stylebook to tell me I’m full of it. No surprise.

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  22. brian stouder said on May 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Paging NN.c’s United Kingdom correspondents: how’s your election going to come out?

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  23. alex said on May 7, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Well I’ll be damned. Guess I wouldn’t pass a copy editing test anymore. Probably the result of reading too much poorly edited shit on the internet and virtually no exposure to first-rate hard-copy publications in the last dozen years.

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  24. beb said on May 7, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    alex I like your distinction between ground breaking and ground-breaking. AP Stylebook be damned.

    Kind of tangential to the Scott County AIDS outbreak is the outbreak of chlamydia in Texas brought about by a sex ed program that only talked about abstinence and specifically advised against condoms as being unreliable. Some times I think intelligence is entirely over-rated since so many people seem to never use it.

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  25. beb said on May 7, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    From nomoremisterniceblog
    Stephen Colbert helped fund $800,000 is teacher requests in South Carolina. We’re talking a couple hundred for library books, or for recess equipment, blackboard supplies… It is indeed shameful that a state like South Carolina can’t produce these essentials to their public schools.

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  26. Jolene said on May 7, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Same with every other state, beb. I’m sure there are projects from every state on the Donors Choose web site.

    At the start of the school year last fall, Bill Gates matched contributions up to $1.5 million so that teachers would have what they needed to start the school year.

    And, yeah, it’s embarrassing.

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  27. adrianne said on May 7, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    As the Veep would say, the 2nd Circ. decision on NSA wiretaps is a big f-ing deal. My joint’s take on it:

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  28. Sherri said on May 7, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    Are there schools anywhere that are funding this kind of stuff? You should see the lists sent home at the beginning of the school year for students to bring in – for the schools my daughter attended, it usually included things like a ream of copy paper and a box of Kleenex.

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  29. Deborah said on May 7, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks you guys for the input on Groundbreaking. So now it sounds like I should use one word not two.

    I have a rant that’s building up about this playground project that I’m trying to suppress that has to do with the call out culture we discussed a week or so ago, I might just have to vent here soon. You have been warned.

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  30. Suzanne said on May 7, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Yeah, I was surprised when my kids were in school the big bag of stuff we were expected to supply every year–crayons, markers, pencils, paper towels, Kleenex, notebooks, you name it. It was always a huge source of frustration because there was always something on the list that was impossible to find or the list didn’t specify the brand or type (like calculators). And I am a mom who gave a darn! I can’t imagine the kids who didn’t have anyone to drive them from store to store or couldn’t afford all that stuff. There has got to be a better way.

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  31. MichaelG said on May 8, 2015 at 12:13 am

    At the beginning of the current school year I gave my daughter $500 for her classroom. She teaches junior high math. Her mom gave her I don’t know how much but probably about the same. Her mom also helped her clean and set up her classroom. Under these conditions and with the lousy wage she receives I wouldn’t be a teacher for all the dim sum in China. Well, maybe if – nah I couldn’t. But if my they bought me some siu mai . . .

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  32. Jerry said on May 9, 2015 at 2:22 am

    Brian asked about the UK election yesterday and I was too busy to reply, and now Sue.

    First off: why are we all surprised? All the polls ahead of time suggested that neither Labour nor Conservative would gain an overall majority and would need to form a coalition with one or other of the smaller parties. I think everybody was gobsmacked when the Conservatives got a majority of the seats – even Cameron.

    Three parties did so badly that their leaders resigned yesterday. The Liberal-Democrtas went down from 40 plus seats to just eight. Farage, leader of UKIP, didn’t get elected. And Labour did disastrously.

    SNP, Scottish National Party, won every seat in Scotland except for three; one each for Conservatives, Labour and Lib-Dems. The SNP are eager for independence from the UK and will be pushing for further referendum but their big hope was to work in some informal fashion with A minority Labour government. As the Cons don’t need their support it will make things more difficult for the SNP.

    And the disparity between votes cast and seats gained is so immense that the form of voting system may be called into question again. UKIP had more votes cast than the SNP but need with one seat compared to fifty six!

    Personally I feel depressed about another five years of Tory rule. I disapprove of the economic policy and fear that there will be massive cuts to benefits for the poor and unemployed; more tax concessions for the already wealthy and more privatisation of the National Health Service. Join this with increased pressure by many conservatives for us to leave the EU and by Scotland to leave the UK and the future looks gloomy fro my point of view.

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