Southern District of New York federal court rules that a moron writing obscenities on a speeding ticket is still exercising his First Amendment free speech rights in doing so. Question: how could anyone call that "harassment"? Unless it's repeatedly targeted at a specific town official, it looks like an occupational irritant to me. Unless, I suppose, you believe your government must never, ever be questioned, and that anyone who ever does so must hate all government, and therefore all civilization. (And some folks who think they're not like that should replace the word "government" with the word "police" in the previous sentence and see how they feel about it.)
Ho hum, Rand "I'm such a freethinker" Paul says that 20 percent of British Muslims were "okay" with the British subway bombings of 2005 -- except that a study found that less than one percent were "okay" with it, and the 20 percent number represents the number of Muslims who sympathized with the "feelings and motives" of the bombers. This is a fairly important distinction that far too few of our politicians and pundits make; I wonder why that could be. And I don't just think Ron Paul would never have said that, I know Ron Paul would never have said that.
Gregg Gonsalves, writing at The Nation, reminds us that "Martin Shkreli is Just a Tiny Part of a Huge Problem," that being the fact that Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world, and the big pharmaceutical corporations kill any drug pricing reforms that would keep their CEOs from gilding the plumbing in their 19th vacation homes. When even Hillary Clinton takes flak from big pharma, you know it's bad. But you know, single-payer/Medicare-for-all health insurance would cure this problem.
Ashlee Kieler, writing at The Consumerist, tells us how higher-than-expected medical bills still plague Americans. The problem is with the "in-network/out-of-network" issue: you might use an in-network hospital to get surgery, but that hospital might use an out-of-network doctor, anesthesiologist, or lab, all without your knowing, and any of those would drive up your prices. Again: single-payer, Medicare-for-all health insurance would end this madness. (In the meantime, Consumer Reports offers tips that could help you avoid "sticker shock" from your medical bills.)
Lizzie Wade, writing at Wired, tells us "That Arctic Seed Vault Isn't Just There for Doomsday" (i.e., a nuclear catastrophe), but also to restore native plants to war-torn areas. It's also for research and development, of course -- one might better adapt to the ravages of climate change if one can study and procure seeds that grow well in warmer climes, for example.
Finally, in a loss Democrats across America must be ruing, Kentucky county clerk/non-job doer Kim Davis has switched to the Republican Party. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the numerous famous Republicans who've sucked up to her over the last few weeks. (But I'd caution against suggesting she's one of those ancestrally-Democratic Southerners who just never got around to changing her registration -- though their fortunes there are clearly on the wane in Kentucky these days, the Democrats have only had a strong presence there since the days of Wendell Ford.)