Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 6, 2009



James Taranto, Wall Street Journal - [In 1970] liberal Democrats had mounted a strong campaign against Judge Carswell, a member of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Florida, contending that he was too "mediocre" to deserve a seat on the nation's highest court. When Senator [Romand] Hruska addressed the Senate in March 1970, speaking on Judge Carswell's behalf, he asked why mediocrity should be a disqualification for high office. "Even if he were mediocre," Mr. Hruska declared, "there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos."




CTV, Canada
- An injection for men appears to be just as effective at preventing pregnancy as the birth control pill, finds new research that could revolutionize contraception. In testing in China, only one man in 100 fathered a child while on the injections, the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports. The contraceptive is a form of testosterone that is injected into the buttocks once a month. It works by temporarily blocking sperm production. Chinese researchers injected 1,045 healthy Chinese men aged 20 to 45 years with a 500 mg of testosterone undecanoate in oil, once a month for 24 months. All of the study participants had had at least one child and all their female partners, aged 18 and 38 years, also had normal reproductive function. They found the contraceptive was almost 99 per cent effective, with a failure rate of only 1.1 per 100 men.


NBC Los Angeles
- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that California should study other nations' experiences in legalizing and taxing marijuana, although he is not supporting the idea. . . At a news conference about public safety funding, the governor was asked whether it's time to legalize marijuana in light of a new Field Poll that said 56 percent of registered voters support legalizing and taxing marijuana to raise revenues. "I think it's not time for that, but I think it's time for debate," Schwarzenegger said. "All those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. We ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana. What effect did it have on those countries? Are they happy with the decision?"


New Orleans Times Picayune - Jeremy Don Kerr has sued the New Orleans Police Department in U.S. District Court over a May 2008 incident in which he says a uniformed officer threatened to arrest him for wearing a black pinstriped skirt, hemmed two inches above the knee, instead of pants to Municipal Court. . . In a civil-rights lawsuit filed last month, Kerr describes himself as "a heterosexual male of Scottish ancestry" who was made a victim of discrimination by his choice of attire. . . Officer Glen Tate demanded that Kerr explain why he was in a skirt, Kerr says, asking at one point if he was a woman. "He said, 'Are you going to make me arrest you and find out?' " Kerr recalled. "He threatened to take me out of the courthouse and put me in Orleans Parish Prison over a simple choice of attire.". . . Kerr began wearing skirts in 2003 after a friend suggested he'd look as if he were in a kilt. He prefers a skirt when dancing at clubs along Frenchmen Street or strolling New Orleans neighborhoods. He finds skirts more comfortable than pants, and wears them with button-down oxfords or T-shirts. . . He has been kicked out of restaurants and barred from bars over his clothing choice, which he points out is a practice that began thousands of years ago. . . "I'm a straight man, " Kerr said. "A lot of people seem to believe if I'm in a skirt it must mean that I'm gay. It's a choice in clothing style. One hundred years ago women could only wear dresses and skirts, and men could only wear pants."

Times Leader - An Arkansas man who police said stole food and clothing from a family in Plains Township while secretly living in their attic pleaded guilty to several charges Tuesday. Stanley W. Carter, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary, two counts of criminal trespassing and two counts of receiving stolen property . . . Carter was arrested on Dec. 26 after police said he had been staying in the attic for about a week and entering the home, owned by Stacey Ferrance, by going through a hatch in the ceiling when she and her family were out. Police said once in the home, Carter stole food, clothing and Christmas presents, including a laptop computer he used to write his own "Stanley Christmas list."




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