From Prison Worker to Prisoner: Joyce Mitchell, the prison employee who helped two convicted murderers escape from an upstate New York facility last month, pled guilty to charges on Tuesday. “She got in over her head into something that she never should have started,” her lawyer told reporters outside the courtroom. “But she did, and she’s paying the price now.” Mitchell faces a maximum of seven years behind bars.
Bad News for Brady: It’s been a rough offseason for Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. The NFL handed the New England Patriots quarterback a four-game suspension earlier this year for his alleged involvement in “Deflategate.” On Tuesday, league commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the punishment, citing the destruction of Brady’s cellphone as possible destruction of evidence. Now that Brady’s internal appeals are exhausted, some speculate that he and the players’ union could challenge the NFL in court.
James Fallows: “You can be persuaded by Netanyahu, Huckabee, Cruz, Kristol, Adelson, et al, all of whom were wrong on the last high-stakes judgment call about U.S. interests in the Middle East [Iraq]. Or by an overwhelming majority of the people from both parties with operating experience in America’s war-fighting and peace-making enterprises in this part of the world. … Judge for yourself.”
David Graham: “Robert Gates has now integrated two of the great bastions of macho American traditional morality—first the U.S. armed forces, and now the Boy Scouts of America. In both cases, Gates pursued a careful, gradual strategy, one that wasn’t fast enough for activists.”
Conor Friedersdorf: “Possessing and viewing child pornography is morally wrong. The illegality of the industry is justified. But this particular reporting requirement [for therapists] doesn’t help protect kids.”
1. The Democratic Parties in three states—Connecticut, Georgia, and Missouri—have decided to no longer honor these two famous U.S. presidents during their annual fundraising dinners.
John Tyler Allen investigates how some medical schools are trying to instill more empathy among their students:
It was the end of a week-long orientation for [Joe] Thurman, a first-year medical student at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Seated at the table around him were the new classmates with whom he would share a cadaver during first-year Gross Anatomy lab. For most of the students at the table, the dissection, set to begin five weeks later, would be their first experience with the visceral textures of the human body. For example, tearing through fascia, the thin layers of tissue covering the muscles and internal organs, isn’t always easy. To tug off the top of someone’s skull (it’s supposed to sound like ripping Velcro), you’ll need a bone saw and a bit of force.
But before the students experienced any of this, they would have to share a meal with the three people who would soon occupy those empty chairs: the relatives of the woman they would disassemble.
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From Bryan Lutterbie:
Professor Melvin Rogers calls Ta-Nehisi Coates to task for a lack of hope, arguing, ‘Humility, borne of our ignorance of the future, justifies hope.’ Perhaps, but in this sense, hope is nothing more than the unknown and unknowable possibilities of the future, a notion that perhaps because we can’t read ahead to the end of the book it might have a happy ending. Coates sets aside hope, not out of despair, but out of deference for what is known, for what is now.
In The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus writes, ‘A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future.’ What Coates offers to his son instead is a lucid glimpse into what is and why, an attempt to lay bare the myths and stories that underpin our ‘post-racial’ America. Here is reality, Coates writes: ‘This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.’ It grounds this struggle in the here and now.
Rogers asks of this struggle, ‘to what end?’ If there is no hope, what is the point? Camus again responds best when describing his absurd hero: ‘The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.’