Tuesday, October 05, 2010

News of the Weird/Pro Edition
You're Still Not Cynical Enough

Prime Cuts of Underreported News from Last Week (Part II), Hand-Picked and Lightly Seasoned by Chuck Shepherd
October 5, 2010
(datelines September 25-October 2) (links correct as of October 4)

Weird 2.0
"To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle"—George Orwell
"That's close enough for government work"—unknown
"Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns"—Rome Daily Inquirer, 7-18-64A.D.

You say you want to keep costs down but you also wouldn't mind it if Medicare spent $93,000 on a designer drug that would keep you (a cancer patient) alive for four more months? Associated Press via Google News

"[I]f 25 percent were slashed from arts funding," said British artist Mark Wallinger, "the loss would be immeasurable." [Well, literally true, but the benefit to UK society of any particular arts budget is equally "immeasurable."] Wallinger's taken to re-creating a famous work but with "25%" of it defaced. BBC News

The federal No Child Left Behind program requires progress in each school. The problem now in Massachusetts is that some of the schools already graded out at 98 or 99, and it's almost impossible to improve on that. Consequently: No progress, and they're on the caca list! Boston Globe

For everyone sick of taxes, look at it this way. If your income was $34,000, and you paid $5,400 in federal tax, you paid, for example, $11.20 for the FBI, $192 for the military payroll, $28 for NASA, and so forth. No, taxes don't come a la carte, but maybe this project of the Third Way think tank will enrich the discourse. NPR

In America, we complain about the banks, but in Westbourne, England . . action! Fed up that Barclays (and other banks) resolutely failed to come through in any of his attempts to borrow money, Cameron Hope and some pals bricked up the front door of a Barclays branch. Since no money is getting out, no customers should get in. Daily Mail

Busted! Atheists rudely outscored people of faith on a knowledge test of rudimentary religion. However, people of faith continue to have faith that there are more important things to know than facts about religion. New York Times

A couple hundred FBI agents are being investigated for cheating on a mandatory test on national security and foreign intelligence procedures. Open book? Yes, that was OK. During-test consulting with colleagues? Not OK. Instructors teaching students only the exact test questions and answers? Not OK. (Bonus: Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity Irresponsibility.) TPM Muckraker