RIP The American Manly Man (1776-2014) (Volume I)

Tom Brady Justin Bieber

The American Manly Man, known the world over for centuries of soaring bravado and gritty do-it-yourself ingenuity, passed away during the season finale of HBO’s Girls. He was 237.

His death was confirmed by American pop culture. The cause of death is still under investigation, as the U.S. Department of Health has not yet received the results of his toxicology testing. But (i) The Selfie, (ii) Michelob ULTRA’s Fruit Infused Pomegranate Raspberry, and (iii) eerily fatalistic intimations of the American Empire’s mortality are believed to be preliminary suspects.

The Selfie

’Twas the smartphone that killed the American Manly Man.

Necessity may well be the mother of invention, but modern inconvenience is the father of the app. The American Manly Man still did not stop to ask for directions. But only because he did not have to. Siri, his iPhone’s female-voiced assistant narrated the entire way. Masculinity: there was an app for that.

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Legal Pot In The US Is Choking Out Mexican Cartels

The Article: Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels by Mary O’Hara in Vice.

The Text: Marijuana has accounted for nearly half of all total drug arrests in the US for the past 20 years, according to the FBI’s crime statistics. And according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a large portion of the US illegal drug market is controlled directly by Mexican cartels. The DOJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center, which has since been shut down, found in 2011 that the top cartels controlled the majority of drug trade in marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in over 1,000 US cities.

Now, those cartels and their farmers complain that marijuana legalization is hurting their business. And some reports could suggest that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is more interested in helping to protect the Mexican cartels’ hold on the pot trade than in letting it dissipate.

Seven Mexican cartels have long battled for dominance of the US illegal drug market: Sinaloa, Los Zetas, Gulf, Juarez, Knights Templar, La Familia, and Tijuana. While some smaller cartels operate only along border regions in the Southwest and Southeast, giant cartels like Sinaloa have a presence on the streets of every single region.

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Will Banning Frats Actually Cut Down On Assault?


The Article: Will Banning Frats Cut Down on Assault and Destructive Partying? by Rebecca Schuman in Slate.

The Text: Last week, Amherst College announced an official crackdown on unofficial fraternities, whose presence the prestigious liberal-arts school had tolerated in the past. However, in the wake of Greek-related sexual assault scandals that landed Amherst in the 55-school Hall of Title IX Shame, any student now caught engaging in even “fraternity-like” behavior after July 1 could be suspended or expelled.

Presumably, the crackdown will prevent not just assaults, but other unacceptable behavior (such as distributing t-shirts depicting a woman roasting on a spit). As a bonus, the ban might also sideline a few of the other trappings of #GreekLife: destruction of property; alcohol poisoning; falling out of things; impromptu homemade sex-toy fundraisers in the midst of escalating prank wars with the reluctantly uptight Gen-X neighbors. (OK, I’m not sure if that last thing happens outside of hugely popular new movies.)

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Arresting Children: Happening Now In The United States

Cops In School

The Article: Arresting Children is Now Commonplace in America by Lucy Steigerwald in Vice.

The Text: A week ago, the Oregonian reported on how, last year, Portlander Layota Harris’s nine-year-old daughter was arrested a week after she got into a fight with another little girl outside a Boys & Girls Club. The kid was sent home and suspended from the club for a week, which seems appropriate—but then a mom called the cops after she saw a bruise on her daughter’s cheek. That led to officers David McCarthy and Matthew Huspek interrogating the Harrises’ daughter, whom they clearly had no business interacting with.

According to McCarthy’s official report, the girl “gave vague answers” and her account of the incident was “inconsistent” with those of witnesses. Anyone who has dealt with a nine-year-old will recognize this stuff as totally normal, but the officers decided it was enough to put the little girl—who was still wearing her swimsuit—in handcuffs and take her downtown for booking on charges of fourth-degree assault. Adding insult to injury, her mother was not permitted to accompany her in the car and had to take a bus to the police station.

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Uruguay President To Obama: Stop Smoking, Learn Spanish


The Article: Uruguay President Tells Obama U.S. Needs to Stop Smoking and Learn Spanish by Seke in Time.

The Text: President Barack Obama hosted Uruguayan President José Mujica in the Oval Office Monday to highlight the United States’ “close partnership” with South American country, but Obama may have gotten more than he bargained for.

In brief remarks before their meeting, a tie-less Mujica, a one-time guerrilla fighter, lectured Obama about the dangers of smoking and the need for the United States to become bilingual.

“You will have to become a bilingual country…” he told Obama. “Because the strength of Latin women is admirable and they will fill this country with people who speak Spanish and Portuguese, too.”

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