Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoes that state's version of the "Turn Away the Gays" bill. Good for her, and good for everyone who agitated against it -- and bad for all the other states contemplating turning discrimination into "conscience."
Austin, TX police defend their arrest of a black man for drunken driving who scored an astounding 0.0 on their breathalyzer test. "Err on the side of caution" my ass -- the legal limit is 0.8; this looks exactly like a driving-while-black arrest to me. Turns out Travis County (where Austin sits) dismisses a lot of of its drunken driving cases, but an innocent still has to pay thousands of dollars to fight the charges. It's almost like that's the idea.
PR Watch instructs us that the "highest-paid public workers" aren't the teachers and inspectors and bus drivers working double-shifts so reviled by the right, but the corporate executives who privatize public services and then pay themselves exorbitant amounts of money -- the top six of them made over $100 million in taxpayer money between them over the last eight years. It's enough to make you think that the right wing hasn't been out to shrink the size of government so much as they've been out to steal taxpayer money for themselves.
Actor Alan Alda tells the New York Times that scientists need to "communicate better" -- that they "often don’t speak to the rest of us the way they would if we were standing there full of curiosity," and that "(i)f (scientists) can’t make clear what their work involves, the public will resist advances." Of course the public also resists advances because corporations swamp the media with anti-science propaganda, but Mr. Alda's still absolutely right. If scientists "communicated better," they'd certainly help ameliorate the problems caused by all the David Kochs and Jim Inhofes of the world.
Finally, in a peripherally-related note, scientists detect water on a planet some 51 light years from Earth, meaning that it could possibly support life. I'm not sure what kind of life it could support -- the planet is a gas giant, much less dense than Earth and some eight times larger than Jupiter, and it's much closer to its parent star than even Mercury is to our sun, such that its "year" lasts only three days. Still, something could live there, which is an exciting possibility.