This week was was so overflowing with teh stooopid I couldn’t even address it all. Some days I wake up and think I picked the wrong lifetime to stop sniffing glue. Suffice it to say, I think we could all use some good news.
• I didn’t even get a chance to write about Tennessee Republicans’ latest outrageous piece of hatemongering: a bill requiring transgendered people to use the bathroom of their birth gender. Which is so fucking bizarre. How will you enforce this, panty checks? Seriously? You want a transgendered woman fixing her makeup in the mirror of the men’s room? Really? I have one thing to say: What the fuck is wrong with you people!
Agggh. Calm down, Beale. This is a good news post. Right. Okay, the good news part of this story is that reaction to the bill was so negative and so swift that the Senate version was withdrawn less than 24 hours after it was filed. Morons.
• U.S. bankruptcy filings of all kinds declined almost 12% in 2011.
• For the first time in nearly 50 years, homicide is not among the top 15 causes of death in America:
Homicide was overtaken at No. 15 by pneumonitis, seen mainly in people 75 and older. It happens when food or vomit goes down the windpipe and causes deadly damage to the lungs.
So to recap: you are now more likely to die from choking on your own vomit than from being murdered. Huzzah. Think we can all stop being scared now?
• The State of Oklahoma has lost its appeal over its anti-Sharia Law Constitutional Amendment, a voter-approved measured which barred courts from considering legal precepts from other countries including sharia law:
The appellate court opinion pointed out that proponents of the law admitted to not knowing of a single instance in which an Oklahoma court applied sharia law or the legal precepts of other countries.
Smarter politicians, please.
• Remember that Ohio landlord who posted a “Whites Only” sign outside her apartment swimming pool? She then fought an Ohio Civil Rights Commission’s ruling that the sign violated the state’s Civil Rights Act — and lost again. The commission upheld its original ruling.
• A letter written by Ludwig von Beethoven in 1823 to fellow composer Frank Anton Stockhausen has been discovered in the estate of Stockhausen’s great-granddaughter. In the letter he “complains about being sick and short of money,” says der Spiegel.
• On a related note, an unknown Brahms piano work has been discovered among some papers at Princeton University. Called “Albumblatt,” it will be played for the first time next week on the BBC. How cool is that?
• Since I’m on a classical music jag, let me just say: New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert is my hero.
• American consumption of beef, pork and poultry continues to decline.
• The world’s tiniest frog has been discovered in Papua New Guinea. Okay, technically the frog was discovered in 2009, but this is the first we’ve all seen photos of it. Highly enlarged photos, let me add:
• If you haven’t seen the story of Barney The Miracle Dog, go now. The video is amazing.
• Perhaps consumer anger is starting to have an effect? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has backed off its attacks on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Have a great weekend, folks!