18 posts
Furiouslyred holds the distinction of being the only Crasstalk commenter with a model railroad layout named in her honor.

Are Watermelon Oreos Racist?: A Thought Piece

Today seems like a good day to talk about race in America. (Every day is a good day to talk about race in America.) I saw Watermelon Oreos in the checkout line at Target yesterday. They made me feel weird. Is it the idea of the taste? The possible hydrogenated oil-mealy watermelon mouthfeel? Or…

Are Watermelon Oreos racist? I evaluate the evidence below. Continue reading

Montana, Meth Labs, and Citizens United

Frontline on PBS recently covered a bizarre story out of the West that might help answer a burning question: Does Citizens United matter?

The Supreme Court handed down the decision in Citizens United in January 2010, which declared that corporations — as associations of individuals — have constitutionally-protected free speech rights under the First Amendment. Political speech is the kind of speech that the courts have most explicitly protected in the past century, and so campaign finance laws that would limit the amount of spending by corporations on political ads (in which they express their political opinions) are therefore unconstitutional. Continue reading

Busting the Myths about Teachers

It has recently come to my attention that not everyone has been thoroughly educated on how lazy and overpaid teachers are. After all, those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. And those who can teach, teach teachers! That second one doesn’t make any sense, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

The next time that someone tries to tell you that teaching is an incredibly difficult job that only someone who was dedicated to his or her students would do because it’s really fucking hard, please direct them to this handy list so that I can set them straight. Continue reading

Mitt Romney Wants to Take Books from Poor Kids

In a speech to the United States Chamber of Commerce last month, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney laid out his grand vision for the reform of American education. At the core of his speech was “school choice”– a term that is usually refers to state-sponsored vouchers that can be used toward private school tuition. Romney’s plan, however, goes beyond just the privatization of the American education system. He wants students to be able to enroll in any school of their choice, public or private, with the aid of 25 billion dollars in federal funds. Continue reading

A Brief History of Contraception

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Eisenstadt v. Baird, a decision that barred states from denying birth control to unmarried persons. Unlike its predecessor, Griswold v. Connecticut, Eisenstadt is a relatively uncelebrated decision, though with it, the Court validated what is now a thoroughly modern mindset about sex: that sex can be fun, and it isn’t necessarily all about baby-making. The decision extended the right to privacy to include single persons– using an equal protection argument that claimed that states cannot discriminate against unmarried people when it comes to laws restricting access to birth control. It was a victory for single men and women. Continue reading

A Moveable Olive Garden Contest: Hemingway or Hagerty?

Below, you will find ten quotes from the works of two great authors: Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Hagerty. Both have captivated the world with their sparse, pithy writing. And so I present to you, Crasstalk readers, lurkers and passers-by, the great Moveable Olive Garden Contest. Can you identify who wrote which quote without the assistance of Google or your  dog-eared copy of In Our Time? Put your guesses in the comments. Continue reading

In Defense of Affirmative Action

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear a case on affirmative action in university admissions. This case, like the landmark 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision, involves a white student who applied to a public university and was denied– and, according to the plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, minority students with lower scores than hers were admitted. In Grutter, the Supreme Court ruled that the use of quota systems for racial minorities in public university admissions was unconstitutional, but it also held that admissions committees may use race as one of a myriad factors that go into the admissions process– not unlike the way admissions committees favor students who are legacies or those who hail from Barrow, Alaska (so that they can claim in brochures that they attract students from all fifty states–and Guam!)In other words, race might be a factor that gives your application a little nudge toward the top of the pile, but it can’t be the sole determining factor in an admission decision. Continue reading

How to Properly Pick Up Chicks

Today is the day of womanly things, and if there’s one thing we chicks like to talk about, it’s MEN! Amirite, ladies? Since this day that is about us is really all about you menfolk, I have created a handy how-to guide for picking up women. Now, I’m no Mystery, but I do know a thing or two about the ladies, since I am one. Now, you could just walk up and introduce yourself, but that would be way too easy and straightforward for modern dating. Instead, I have created for you a primer on how men can successfully approach women while avoiding the skeeviest moves. Continue reading