[links] Link salad wakes up, still on the far side of the world

Nick Gevers discusses steampunk on BBC’s World Service

Adjectives from country names? — Another fun post from Language Log. Be sure to check out the comments.

Retirement Haven Hunts Youthful Violators — A weird twist on the ongoing economic crisis in America.

Olbermann on religious intolerance in the US — Attention Islamaphobes: We have this little thing called the First Amendment. May I recommend it to you? I am certain conservatives of all stripes are with me on this, being the strict Constitutionalists that they are.

The D’Oh of Xenophobia — Must be hard to be a wing nut in America and keep up properly with the hate list…

?otD: Have you seen the Southern Cross?


8/30/2010
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (convention time)
Body movement: urban walking to come
Hours slept: 10.25 (interrupted)
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Yesterday’s chemo stress index: 5/10 (fatigue, peripheral neuropathy)
Currently (re)reading: Deliverer by C.J. Cherryh

5 thoughts on “[links] Link salad wakes up, still on the far side of the world

  1. Jay:

    There’s also religious intolerance going on from the Left against conservative Christians. It’s something I don’t hearing anyone pointing out but it’s equally wrong.

    1. Jay says:

      Mm, don’t confuse political opposition with religious intolerance. I think you’ll find a significant majority of the left is indifferent to what goes on behind church doors or within the space of private life with respect to religious belief. I’ve noted from reading commentary that a lot of conservative Christians view opposition to their politicized religious goals (ie, school prayer, public display of the Ten Commandments, abortion opposition, etc.) as religious intolerance, when in fact it is political and cultural inclusiveness — that is, seeking to make sure that one group’s private issues don’t limit other groups’ public freedoms.

      Let me put it another way. Would you as a Christian see banning pork sales to suit Jewish and Moslem dietary laws as a religious issue or a political/regulatory issue? Would opposing a pork ban be religious intolerance?

  2. Cora says:

    The intolerance of those retirement communities and their residents infuriates me. I bet a lot of those people are tea partyers, they have exactly the right mindset. I also wonder how these establishment can even be legal in the US. Most democratic countries have freedom of settlement. Of course, developers can try to keep “undesirable people” out of communities via refusing to rent or sell property to them or refusing them credit. But those tactics are discrimination and illegal.

    Nice Language Log post on the trouble with adjectives derived from country and place names. German is relatively regular with respect to that, though there are oddities, e.g. an inhabitant of Halle is called a Hallenser. But new countries can be a problem. Just this week, I wondered what the correct term was for people from Kosovo. Back when the Kosovo war was in the news, the term used was Kosovo-Albanian, because the people of Kosovo were ethnic Albanians. But now that Kosovo is an independent country (officially in the eyes of my government), it seems rude to use a term that designates the inhabitants of a completely different country.

  3. Mark Sheftick says:

    I always wondered at the legality of Age-Restricted communities. Why is it legal as a government to deny U.S. citizens residency based on something they cannot control, such as age. We would most definitely disallow it on racial grounds and would most likely decry it on religious grounds.

    Why do we allow age-based discrimination to exist?

    1. Cora says:

      That’s also something I wonder about. Racial discrimination in housing in the US was struck down thirty years ago or so and Manhattan mosque flap aside, religious housing discrimination against muslims, jews or the wrong kind of christians is not legal either. So how can blatant age discrimination be legal?

      I think part of the problem that furthers the development of “old people only” towns is that Americans move more often and are much less attached to their homes than people in other countries. If Germans buy a house, they typically pay off their mortgage and stay there for the rest of their lives. Quite often, their children will eventually inherit the house and live there. They may sell the house and move, if they get a job in another part of the country (and quite often, they don’t move even then, but rent a room in the other city and commute on the weekends). And sometimes, old people are forced to sell their house and move into a smaller flat, if they fall ill and cannot handle the big house anymore. Usually, those elderly people are devastated when they have to sell their house. There is such a case coming up in my extended family – an elderly couple will likely have to sell a big house, because the wife is disabled and the house not at all suited for disabled living – and it’s a horrifying prospect for everyone, because the house has belonged to the family since 1929.
      If people earn more money, they won’t necessarily move to a bigger house in a better neighbourhood. Hence, you can easily find e.g. the manager of a large company still living in the same lower middle class suburb where they bought their first house thirty years before. And if people stay in the same house in the same neighbourhood – even if the neighbourhood is changing – fewer of them feel the need to move to an old people community.

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