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I love the First Family so God damn much!!

I'm in shock. Never in my lifetime did I imagine that my president would install an organic garden in the White House. Obamas Prepare to Plant White House Vegetable Garden - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON — On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. There will be no beets (the president doesn’t like them) but arugula will make the cut. While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals and formal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children about healthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at time when obesity has become a national concern. In an interview in her office, Mrs. Obama said, “My hope is that through children, they will begin to educate their families and that will, in turn, begin to educate our communities.”

Teens, faced with cognative dissonance, say, "What the fuck?!", then have sex, smoke pot

It's simple. Teens see things in black-and-white. Confronted with two groups of adults screaming that they know the "truth," they reject both, as both can't be correct. We could think of our children's health and well-being and agree on a consistent, useful message, but what fun is that? The rise in teen moms | csmonitor.com
And in fact, teens may not take any type of sex education seriously if adults fight over it. One specialist, Dr. Douglas Kirby, writes in a report on sex-education programs for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy: "Communities need to send clear, consistent messages about appropriate sexual behavior. Not every organization in a community needs to advocate every method of reducing the risk of teen pregnancy and [sexually transmitted diseases], but it is important that organizations avoid sending conflicting messages to young people." He adds that a focus on one particular method doesn't in itself send conflicting messages – "unless organizations denigrate each other's approaches."

March 18, 2009

Attorneys afraid of jurors using the internet

As Jurors Turn to Web, Mistrials Are Popping Up - NYTimes.com

The most famous film ever about juries, "12 Angry Men," clearly violates these same rules. In that film, Henry Fonda's character investigates the neighborhood and a pawn shop after hours, to disprove the plaintiff's case.

I fundamentally disagree with many of the base assumptions in this article. I think jurors come into the case with many preconceived ideas of how things work and who people are. Those preconceptions are not examined and challenged in court. Doing a little outside research to familiarize yourself with the facts seems like exactly what a jury *should* be doing.

Jurors are not supposed to seek information outside of the courtroom. They are required to reach a verdict based on only the facts the judge has decided are admissible, and they are not supposed to see evidence that has been excluded as prejudicial. But now, using their cellphones, they can look up the name of a defendant on the Web or examine an intersection using Google Maps, violating the legal system’s complex rules of evidence. They can also tell their friends what is happening in the jury room, though they are supposed to keep their opinions and deliberations secret.

A juror on a lunch or bathroom break can find out many details about a case. Wikipedia can help explain the technology underlying a patent claim or medical condition, Google Maps can show how long it might take to drive from Point A to Point B, and news sites can write about a criminal defendant, his lawyers or expert witnesses.

. . .

Mr. Keene said jurors might think they were helping, not hurting, by digging deeper. “There are people who feel they can’t serve justice if they don’t find the answers to certain questions,” he said.

But the rules of evidence, developed over hundreds of years of jurisprudence, are there to ensure that the facts that go before a jury have been subjected to scrutiny and challenge from both sides, said Olin Guy Wellborn III, a law professor at the University of Texas.