In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the personal is political. No more so than in the issue of personal appearance.
The imposition of headscarves is deeply resented by more liberal-minded women. Now the government is tightening up on men's hair as well.
The Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has published a guide to men's hairstyles. Short, neat hair is approved; ponytails are definitely not.
The styles are to be showcased in a "modesty and veil" conference later this month.
On the streets of Tehran, you often see young men with the most extravagant, outrageous, hairstyles.
Huge bouffant quiffs that must take hours of loving care.
They are clearly intended as an unspoken act of rebellion against a government that bans many of the pleasures young people enjoy, including public displays of affection
or Western pop music.
06 July 2010
A San Diego resident awoke to a shocking discovery: a naked stranger passed out
on his downstairs sofa.
San Diego police Lt. Jim Filley says the Pacific Beach homeowner called police after wandering downstairs Sunday morning and finding the snoring man.
Filley says the naked man was drunk and thought he was in his own home in Mission Valley, some 20 miles away.
The man, whose name wasn't released, had taken off his clothes outside the house and walked in through the unlocked front door.
Story reported here. You can tell this wasn't in Texas. In Texas there definitely would have been gunplay.
01 July 2010
Remember the fuss Barack Obama generated when he first raised the prospect of creating a national healthcare system in the US? Remember how, as the healthcare bill was debated, American eyes looked towards Europe and recoiled in horror and disgust at the massive and overwhelming burden Britain faces with its National Health Service? At the prospect of having their standards of service reduced to such a level?
It may surprise you, then, to learn that the US Government now spends more on provision of healthcare than does Britain’s. That’s right, the idea that by contrast with the UK, America’s healthcare system is largely reliant on private provision and payment is simply incorrect.
The costs of running various US health programmes – Medicare and Medicaid most significantly – is, at 7.4pc of gross domestic product, greater than the 7.2pc of GDP the UK Government spends on the NHS. By my reckoning, the US must just have overtaken Britain this year on this basis (the latest figures date from 2008), having risen worryingly fast in recent years.
So the obvious question is: is this disproportionate amount of healthcare spending justified? Is it backed up by results? Here, the evidence is even more disturbing, for based on two key measures of healthcare effectiveness – infant mortality and life expectancy, the US actually has worse outcomes than Britain.
Quite how the US manages to spend more public money than Britain, to spend more than the same amount on top of that in private cash, and still to have worse healthcare outcomes than the UK is a question best left to others. But the evidence on this is quite stark.
If you want some kind of limit on the Commerce Clause, then Kagan probably isn't your best choice. But I'm betting you already suspected that.
Via theblogprof: Video of Sen. Coburn to Elena Kagan: "Can the government tell you what to eat?"
Politico: Oil spill visits get partisan
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) wanted to fly 10 lawmakers down to the Gulf of Mexico to see the damage caused by BP’s gigantic oil spill first hand.
House Democrats said no.
Scalise’s trip was rejected for a variety of bureaucratic and logistical reasons, but it has also opened a new vein of partisan squabbling over who should be allowed to arrange a trip to view the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The squabbling over who gets to travel to the Gulf on whose dime is the latest sign that congressional oversight of the oil spill oversight from Capitol Hill has been bogged down by partisanship. Congress has held upwards of 20 hearings on the disaster, often duplicative ones each week, as lawmakers struggle to grasp and fully realize the scope of BP’s giant oil spill.
The national debt will reach 62 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday.
The budget office said the debt will reach its highest percentage of GDP since the end of World War II. The jump is driven by lower tax revenues and higher federal spending in the recent recession.
And while the national debt would stabilize at 67 percent of GDP over the next decade if current law were maintained, extending tax cuts enacted during the administration of President George W. Bush and keeping growth in appropriations in line with inflation would mean that the debt would reach almost 90 percent of GDP by 2020.