Thought of the day

Remind me again: What are the Republican ideas for getting the economy going? Give money to people who don’t need and who aren’t going to spend it? Anything else? Bueller?

Fighting obesity

Laziness and greed are cloaked in “liberty” and “freedom” by fundamentally stupid and effectively bad people like Sarah Palin and many of her fellow Republicans, but sometimes pragmatic, common-sense ideas are still able to break through the bullshit.

US lawmakers on Thursday passed a 4.5-billion-dollar bill that will give more US kids school meals and let the government set child nutrition guidelines.

The bill pledges 4.5 billion dollars over 10 years to child nutrition programs, increases the reimbursement paid to schools by the federal government for free meals provided to children, and expands access to school lunches and after-school meals.

It also allows the US Department of Agriculture to set nutrition guidelines for foods sold in schools, including in coin-operated vending machines, and provides money for school gardens and farm-to-school programs.

The most common legitimate objection to this bill is that it might not help in the fight to keep kids from getting fat and disgusting. But a quick look at the facts ought to remove such an objection: Most kids are going to eat between 160-180 lunches a year at school. They’re going to eat a total of about 1100 meals a year. That’s (conservatively) about 15% of a kid’s meals every year. I would say that making those 160-180 meals healthy is a good and it will make a notable difference. And if that wasn’t enough goodness, this bill also provides for kids who otherwise go without or, at best, with something even less healthy than the shitty Lunchables every other kid gets for lunch.

Or we could just be polemic assholes and feed them plates of cookies, a la Palin.

Thoughts on WikiLeaks

I have two primary thoughts on Wikileaks. First, I find it cute how so many people immediately started throwing around the word “cables”, as if they’re totally, like, in the in! Pfft. Second, you know Julian Assange is doing something right if he’s getting governments to freak out this much.

WikiLeaks had become an Internet vagabond Friday, forced to move from one website to another as governments and hackers hounded the organization, trying to deprive it of a direct line to the public.

EveryDNS — a company based in Manchester, New Hampshire, stopped directing traffic to the website wikileaks.org late Thursday after it said cyber attacks threatened the rest of its network.

But while wikileaks.org remained unreachable Saturday, the organization has found new homes. Its German website wikileaks.de was reachable Saturday, and so was its Swiss domain.

The Swiss address directs traffic to servers in France, where political pressure quickly mounted with Industry Minister Eric Besson on Friday saying it was unacceptable to host a site that “violates the secret of diplomatic relations.”

The web hosting company OVH confirmed that it had been hosting WikiLeaks since early Thursday, after a client asked for a “dedicated server with … protection against attacks,” adding it was now up to the courts to decide on the legality of hosting the site on French soil.

Probably the worst thing in all this is that with all these government attacks and arrest warrants, the sexual assault and rape charges Assange faces in Sweden are only being undermined. Honestly. Who actually believes those charges are at all legit? I certainly don’t. And, unfortunately, I’m sure many other people hold the same doubts. That isn’t to say it’s unfortunate that people doubt what are probably bogus charges meant to make Assange look like a bad guy; that doubt a good thing. The bad thing is that those charges only serves to undermine all the real charges of sexual assault and rape that go doubted all the time.

Catalog of the skies

via Wikipedia and, as per request on the picture page, source.

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