Potpourri - June 16, 2014

Conservatives often oppose health and safety policing, on grounds that it interferes with private business. The fallacy of that view was demonstrated when the dilapidated Freedom Industries Elk Valley tank farm tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians. Now another example has been spotlighted. The Seattle Times says a housing subdivision was opened on unstable terrain beside the Stillaguamish River without required state permits a half-century ago — and 43 residents died this year when a giant mountainside collapsed into homes.


Bearing arms in West Virginia: Federal agents say Antonio Michael Smith of Huntington used two guns to wound six people during a quarrel last September. Smith pleaded to selling heroin and being a felon in possession of firearms.


Brazil is renowned for lush carnivals with topless or almost-topless female dancers. Brazilian writer Vanessa Barbara says: “Each year, Brazil sells a hyper-sexualized Carnival to tourists, treating women’s bodies as a national attraction.” However, she says, in daily life most Brazilian women suffer frequent sexual harassment and even violent attacks. “There’s nothing like being afraid of your own husband,” she wrote.

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