During his 17-year tenure as chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr. has sought to project an image of the consummate institutionalist — a right-of-center beacon of integrity championing the Supreme Court’s role as an impartial arbiter of the law. It must be a painful irony, then, that the legacy of the Roberts court will surely be that of a diminished judicial branch : the court’s composition politically manipulated, its deliberations compromised by an unprecedented leak, its membership riven by the same unbridgeable partisan divisions as the country at large and its public reputation at a nadir. Laying all this at the feet of the presiding chief justice is not entirely fair. Despite common perception, the chief justice is merely a “first among equals” with scant power to bend the institution to his or her will. The chief does preside over the court’s post-argument conference where tentative votes are taken. When in the majority (but only then), the chief also gets to choose the author … [Read more...] about Op-Ed: How Chief Justice John Roberts laid the groundwork for the Trump court
I always took Matilda that bit too seriously when I was a kid. I had a spherical brown bob and book permanently welded under one arm, and I truly believed that if I concentrated enough, I could make my morning Weetabix somersault across the kitchen. The way I resonated with her the most, though, was with my love of reading. My wobbling Jenga tower of Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy, and Harry Potter books wasn’t the most secure of sanctuaries, but it’s where I felt most at home. To the surprise of precisely no one, English ended up being my favourite subject at school. Everyone would groan when the AQA poetry anthology was brought out, but secretly, there was nothing I loved more than unpacking the meaning behind every single word. I felt like I was pulling rainbow-coloured handkerchiefs from a magician’s sleeve. People say that the humanities isn’t scientific, but to me it was like a puzzle: piecing together every word, comma and fleck of intonation in order to uncover the … [Read more...] about I chose a more ‘employable’ degree – and it got me nowhere
Art is a weird industry. It’s one of the few disciplines where people become absolutely incensed at the implication that they might not know everything about it, even when they have no real interest in it. People will claim that a particular piece of art is pointless, or pretentious, or stupid, with all the confidence of somebody walking up to an orthopaedic surgeon and telling them that it’s idiotic that there are so many different names for bones. “Hand bones, leg bones, what’s the difference?” they cry. “Bones are just sticks that keep our meat from sloshing around. Why do you eggheads always have to make everything so complicated?” Nothing riles people up more than modern art, and nobody gets more riled up about modern art than conservatives. It feels like every few weeks some right-wing influencer will have a hot take about some piece of abstract expressionism or a readymade sculpture, declaring that they’ve figured it out, they’ve cracked the code. Modern art is a … [Read more...] about Why are right-wingers so afraid of modern art?
You can’t say anything these days!”, my mother says, with a knowing look, at the end of an anecdote. I smile and nod along politely while, inside, my brain chokes in a fog of cognitive dissonance. I come up with nothing of substance with which to reply to her and she continues unabated, “It’s sad when you think back to Monty Python , you know? And do you remember Matt Lucas , he used to do that sketch show? Now he can’t. He won’t even go on TV.” As I nod along, I wonder how deep this particular culture war untruth goes and how on earth one might go about changing her mind. I have plenty of combative things to say about the “ you can’t say anything these days ” narrative, but what do I say to her ? She is kind, so, so, kind. She’s intelligent, likeable, reliable, selfless, and well, I love her. She’s my mum. Do I nod my head and let it slide like always, or do I risk our relationship by trying to talk her around? Maybe all she needs to convince her is a sobering … [Read more...] about Dear Mum, I love you, but I hope you never read this
I t is not unusual for private schools to enforce the English-only rule on their students and teachers. I had to face this rule myself at one point, but my school was lenient for most of my years there. Hindi was mostly acceptable at my alma mater, and yet, my regional language was not. For the past many days, the reason for that has been plaguing my mind. Why was it that Haryanvi was forbidden in a school in Haryana? “To encourage the usage of English language among students in order to enhance the related skills” — that typical response obviously does not apply here. If that were the case, Hindi (and even Punjabi) would have been similarly discouraged. No, there is another explanation for it. This rejection of the language was not unique to my school. In truth, a good chunk of the State’s population considers its regional language to be “coarse” and “crude” — merely a twisted version of Hindi. I did not fully realise this while I was a school student, but as they say, hindsight … [Read more...] about Shunning a language
The second victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam must be juxtaposed with its failure to win power in West Bengal in the recent Assembly elections to understand the varying potency of Hindutva in States beyond its heartland in the north and the west of India. In Assam, the BJP managed to subsume all identity politics, including Bodo and other tribal variants, and Assamese nationalism, under a Hindutva umbrella; in West Bengal, a surge of Bengali nationalism countered Hindutva paratroopers, cornering them as invading aliens. Opportunistic engagement Hindutva’s engagement with regional politics has been opportunistic, historically. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s politics in Gujarat had a strong dose of provincialism, situated adversarial to what he used to call ‘Delhi Sultanate’. The administrative state at the Centre was portrayed as alien to the nation by Hindutva then; now, its control taken over by Hindutva, the same apparatus is venerated as the sole custodian of … [Read more...] about The varying power of Hindutva beyond the heartland
Malaysians share their thoughts on what beauty is to them. Jeremy Wong, 27, accountant Of course, there is the physical aspect of beauty but it’s more than that. It’s also your personality and character, how you carry yourself and how you treat people. All that is important too. Rina Mohd Jalil, 32, beauty consultant Speaking as someone in the industry, beauty is skin deep in the sense that you’ve to take care of your skin in order to be beautiful. Physical beauty can be achieved with proper diet, exercise, clothing, even surgery – it’s all about outer appearances. But it’s also the overall package and what’s inside is also important. Aspire to be your best – whether it’s physical appearances or improving yourself by learning new things. Photo: Pixabay Jonathan Pillai, 40, lawyer There is inner as well as outer beauty. Both are important and there needs to be balance. But some people swing to either extreme – they are obsessed with outer beauty but neglect … [Read more...] about What does beauty mean to you?
Senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat on Sunday targeted Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari after the Assembly Speaker’s election, saying they had been demanding the same since some time, but it seems ”the governor was sleeping for one-and-a-half years”. Rahul Narvekar of the BJP was on Sunday elected Speaker of the Maharashtra Assembly. He defeated Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena candidate Rajan Salvi. The Speaker’s post was lying vacant since February last year after Nana Patole of the Congress resigned. Earlier this year, leaders of the then ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress) had urged Koshyari to approve the schedule for the Assembly Speaker’s election during the budget session (in March). Prior to it, in a previous legislature session, the then MVA government had amended the existing rules to facilitate the Speaker’s election through a voice vote. The governor had described the decision as unconstitutional and … [Read more...] about After Maha Assembly Speaker’s Election, Cong Says it Seems Governor Was ‘Sleeping’ for 1.5 Years
1 Why is there a shortage of Sriracha hot sauce? A: Bad weather affecting chile crop B: Shipments stuck in Asia C: Company in bankruptcy 2 A proposed amendment to the California Constitution affirms: A: Right to bear arms B: Right to abortion and birth control C: Right to same-sex marriage 3 Is Chesa Boudin going to run again for S.F. district attorney? A: No B: Yes C: He hasn’t ruled it out 4 How many women have accused former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli of sexual assault or misconduct? A: 10 B: 14 C: 18 5 What is the inflation relief package in the state budget plan? A: Rebate payments to most Californians B: A temporary sales tax rate cut C: Temporary suspension of state gas taxes 6 Why did S.F. Pride’s festivities at Civic Center end early? A: Crowd got too big More Information Answers: 1-A, 2-B, 3-C, 4-B, 5-A, 6-C, 7-A, 8-C, 9-C, 10-A See More Collapse B: … [Read more...] about Chron Quiz: Why is Sriracha sauce in short supply?
But the announcement plainly exposed ongoing conflict between the incumbent president and his successor. Thirty minutes after the Blue House said the appointment was made after taking into account Yoon’s opinion, the transition committee refuted that. “We have never consulted with the Blue House or recommended Rhee for the position,” the committee said. Considering the statement coming from both sides, President Moon seems to have made the nomination in consideration of Yoon’s views and in a spirit of cooperation — but with no actual cooperation from his successor. The two sides have been feuding over the relocation of the presidential office to the Ministry of National Defense building. Now, they are brawling over the appointments of two members of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) and the appointment of a standing member of the National Election Commission. In the case of the BAI, if Moon appoints two of the body’s five members, it will be dominated by pro-Moon figures. Yoon … [Read more...] about Basic decency, gentlemen! (KOR)