Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday NYT Round-up

Here's what I found interesting in the paper today:

1. Ground meat. Okay, Devotay restaurant in Iowa City gets a shout-out for its lamb albondigas in the article, so that makes it fun. (Haven't had them yet, but might have to.) But the article gives some sound advice. Don't waste, and use good, appropriately raised product. Yea, yum. I luv Iowa Guru's delicious lamb burgers from the grill, and brats--oh, yea.

2. Gary Taubes on the "carbs make us fat" hypothesis. Taubes is a first-rate science writer, and this piece, in his modest way consistent with his respect for the discipline of science, furthers his argument that all calories are not created equal and that carbs (simple, mostly white), cause us to get fat.

3. The 'Busy Trap'. Point well-taken. I especially like the Arthur C. Clarke quote. However, to most Americans, this would seem immoral.

4. Tom Friedman on John Roberts's majority opinion. I remain agnostic about Roberts's motives. Perhaps civic virtue, perhaps a desire to preserve the standing of the Court, perhaps he responded to compelling legal arguments--or all (or none) of the above. It was good to see a decision that did not split along strictly ideological lines, that did not privilege the position of Justice Kennedy, and that did uphold Obama's health care plan. And while, I, too, oppose "hyper partisanship", compromise strictly for the sake of compromise or to "meet in the middle" isn't good enough. Sometimes you do have to stand your ground and fight (and risk losing). The Republican Party's main agenda seems to be to defeat Obama, not to move the country in a sensible direction. That's bad, very bad. Democrats, even with Bush, whom no real Democrat could have regarded well, didn't spend all of their time trying to undermine for electoral advantage, I don't think. I hope that voters this fall recognize that.

5. Jim Holt, "Is Philosophy Literature?" . Fun piece that attempts to show some literary merit by the analytic camp. A tough sell, I think, but he makes a case.

6. This review of America the Philosophical by Carlin Romano intrigues me, despite a luke warm review. America, this big, sprawling land of many cultures and traditions, does think, sometimes deeply, sometime quite shallowly, but if we spread our net widely, we find some thinkers worth considering. It seems that Mr. Romano tries to capture this great enterprise, and for this reason alone it seems a worthwhile endeavor.

7. One bummer: is Texas real?  Or to put it more accurately, and fairly to the (I hope) non-crazy majority there, are Texas Republicans crazy? Well, yes, but . . . My goodness, this is mind-bogglingly stupid and more than a bit alarming. Read this & think about it (I don't think that Texas Republicans did).