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[dreams|culture] My chemo-addled mind on pop culture

Weird have been my dreams of late. Ah medication and stress, those twinned servants of the entelechy of dreams.

Last night I didn’t just get a few postcards from my subconscious. I got a whole truckload 70mm CinemaScope reels shot on expired TechniColor film stock, complete with house posters and lobby standees. (Hmm, when I die, maybe I should continue going to conventions as a standee. Anyone want to take on carrying me around?)

At any rate, I enjoyed an hour long series of linked dream vignettes that was rather like watching Heavy Metalimdb ] by way of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion cycle. Sturm und drang, world-ending battles, dead peasants everywhere, myself in various guises, genders and ethnic modalities struggling to save the world over and over again, and mostly losing. All the way through, I always knew that I had lost or was going to lose. People implored me to stop.

On the plus side, my late uncle-by-marriage Big Jay McMinnis made an appearance as a Cherokee centaur. That would be Big Jay as I knew him in the early seventies, loose, wild and free, before he divorced my aunt and that bitter, judgmental form of churchiness ate his brain. The younger Big Jay would have approved. The later Big Jay would have been appalled. (And no, I was not named for him, my aunt did not even meet him until some years after I was born.)

So yeah, pop culture filter through the chemo-addled brain. Another funny bit popped up yesterday as well. Many years ago, I was a happy member of the Slug Tribe writing group in Austin, Texas. We met two Tuesdays a month in a community center conveniently located not far from my then-house. The room next door to ours was occupied by a Latin dance class. They would begin dancing to Santana’s version of “Oye Como Va”, and stop after the first few bars while (presumably) the teacher fussed at people. I have forever associated the opening of that song with delivering and receiving writing critique.

Funny, the things that come back to you.

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[links] Link salad has a (hopefully) quiet Monday at home before leaving town

Misheard Lyrics: Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Purple Haze’

Polish Move Posters — Cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

At first I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. Once I got it, I couldn’t believe it. — Trompel’oeil tattoos. Wow. (Via [info]goulo.)

Objects of Intrigue: Mickey Mouse Gas Mask — Uh. Words fail me. (Via [info]danjite.)

Flu viruses derive from a global selective sweep in the 1870sA single event seems to have set the stage for all pandemics since. Story idea?

Potentially Habitable Exoplanets — A handy spotter’s guide.

‘Super-Earths’ Problematic for Life

Climate Change Behind Trapped Heat in Oceanic Depths

Meet The American Pushing Homophobia in Uganda — Meet Scott Lively, the American Christian who’s globalizing the worst of conservative Bible-based hate in the name of a just and loving God, with great success. In case you’re wondering why straight people like me stand so angrily against anti-gay bigotry from American churches and politicians. This is its logical extension.

No, Arizona’s SB 1062 was not “egregiously misrepresented” by critics

Disney ends funding to Boy Scouts over gay policy — The world really is changing. Moralistic discrimination by conservatives used to be consequence-free, and even rewarded. It still mostly is those things, but these are welcome shifts in society that will lead to a more just and moral America that better lives up to its own Constitutional promises.

Arguments Against GodI say “there is no God” with the same confidence I say “there are no ghosts” or “there is no magic.” The main issue is supernaturalism — I deny that there are beings or phenomena outside the scope of natural law. That’s not to say that I think everything is within the scope of human knowledge. Surely there are things not dreamt of in our philosophy, not to mention in our science – but that fact is not a reason to believe in supernatural beings.

Will a Multi-Polar World be more Peaceful? The Failure of the Project for a New American Empire

Pork-laced bullets designed to send Muslims straight ‘to hell’ — Because sometimes, simply hating people is not enough. (Via [info]danjite.)

The fallout from flouting international lawIt’s very hard as an American to righteously defend the precepts on International Law with respect to national sovereignty after what we did just 11 years ago in Iraq. I feel like an idiot saying it out loud to anyone and am embarrassed to see John Kerry shaking his fist and proclaiming the illegality and illegitimacy of Russia’s actions when he personally voted for that illegitimate and illegal invasion. The Iraq War was never anything but a conservative project to launch a war of choice under knowingly false pretenses. And the Republicans really did abrogate America’s diplomatic legitimacy in pursuing that morally vile course. Sadly, neither the political establishment nor Your Liberal Media is likely to acknowledge this now, as it embarrasses many currently powerful people on both sides of the aisle.

Rush Limbaugh weighs inNo, not on Ukraine or even the Oscars. On Michelle Obama’s weight. Ah, the leading voice of conservative media, guiding light of millions of Republicans, with his usual thoughtful, nuanced approach to the critical issues of our era. Stay classy, conservative America. It’s what you do best.

?otD: How’s your life today?


3/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: 30 minutes
Weight: 232.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad is alive with the sound of music

Whoops — A perhaps NSFW and absolutely tasteless piece of hilarity from McSweeney’s. You were warned. (Via David Goldman.)

The Policeman’s Beard is Half-Constructed — Language and computers.

Last surviving member of Trapp Family Singers dies aged 99Family’s story of escaping Nazi-occupied Austria told in The Sound of Music

Clowns Aren’t Cool? Fewer Young People Don The Polka Dot Pants — (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Absurd Creature of the Week: This Fish Swims Up a Sea Cucumber’s Butt and Eats Its Gonads — Uh. (Via David Goldman.)

USPTO issues patent for fraudulent stem cell procedureRetracted papers, prison sentence apparently didn’t tip patent examiners off.

A Cockroach Tour of the Science Museum — (Via [info]threeoutside.)

World’s 10 weirdest medical museums — Oooh! Pick me! (Via Dad.)

Haunting Photos of the Abandoned 1984 Winter Olympics Facilities

What Happens to Olympics Infrastructure?

Alcoholics Anonymous, Without the ReligionThe boom in nonreligious A.A. represents another manifestation of a more visible and confident humanist movement in the United States, one that has featured public figures such as Bill Maher, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Yet this recent trend within A.A. also marks a departure from the organization’s traditional emphasis on religion.

More Americans Have Died From Domestic Gunfire Than All Wars In U.S. History — Because guns make us all safer.

Arizona State Senator Says He Opposes Common Core Because… It Promotes Algebra — The Republican Party has adopted Poe’s Law as its primary platform, apparently. (Via David Goldman.)

No Nugent is Good NugentThere’s been hand-wringing and eye-rolling among the Texas GOP this week over Ted Nugent calling President Obama a “subhuman mongrel.” The real question is, why now?

The Deep State is Vulnerable to People Power

?otD: Tell me you didn’t sing the same damned songs for a thousand years?


2/23/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.75 hours (solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes (recovering)
Weight: 234.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block unjustly vilifying Ted Nugent: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad didn’t know you were looking for more than it could ever be

“Hemingway” on Hemingway — Who the hell would use an app to evaluate their writing quality?

1966 Batman Valentines — Hahaha.

Compulsory Coupling: Fit In By Finding Someone — Yeah, this.

Snow Bird: 1922 — Some photographs defy explanation.

Austin’s Moon Towers, Beyond ‘Dazed and Confused’ — I lived in Austin 18 years, almost all of them in the old part of town where these towers still stand.

Frozen Venice – in pictures — (Via Lisa Costello.)

Bobsleds in ManhattanWhy NYC Should Host The Winter Olympics. Hahahah.
Global Geologic Map of Ganymede — In case you need one.

A little ass music: Hieronymus Bosch’s 500-year-old butt song from hell — This is so weird. (Via Lisa Costello.)

248-Million-Year-Old Fossil Shows Oldest Reptile Live Birth, Chaohusaurus Was Born ‘Head First’

The Rise of the Crazy Ants — Fire ants were bad enough. Now this? (Via David Goldman.)

The French way of cancer treatment[T]he French system is basically like an expanded Medicaid. Pretty much everyone has insurance, it explained, and the French get better primary care and more choice of doctors than we do. It also turns out, as has been much commented on, that despite all this great treatment, the French spend far less on healthcare than Americans. But Socialism is evil! No matter that people live longer, with better quality of life, for less cost. (Snurched from Alexander Unwyn Cherry.)

Cartoon: The truth about numbers: Bible Math! — Snerk. The dangers of literalism.

Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination — Wow. It’s very, very hard for me to read about something like this and not reach some very harsh negative conclusions about the intelligence, morality and basic human decency of American conservatives. (Via John Sapienza.)

Herpin: ‘A good thing’ that James Holmes had 100-round magazineRepublican state Sen. Bernie Herpin raised the ire of an Aurora theater shooting victim’s father when he claimed that it might have been “a good thing” that gunman James Holmes had a 100-round magazine when he opened fire and, ultimately, killed 12 people. I cannot even bring myself to snark about this.

Schofield man who advocated for open carry jailed, accused of making gun threats — Because guns make us all safer, and every American who carries deadly force can absolutely be relied upon to use that threat of deadly force wisely under all circumstances.

Doctors: Abortion laws carry riskEven those who oppose abortion say that before giving their best medical advice, they may need to call a lawyer. All in accordance with that bedrock conservative principle of not letting the government come between you and your doctor.

[Conservative activist] Brent Bozell urges liberal media to ‘tell the truth,’ while he fibs about writing a column — “Forced ghostwriting”?

Sen. Bob Corker can’t stand the United Auto Workers: An annotated interview — I wish more journalists would do this when interviewing politicians: annotate the lies and misrepresentations. (Snurched from John Sapienza.)

[New York Republican state legislator] Thomas Barraga: No one ‘should ever ride a bicycle’ in Suffolk County — Because freedom, I guess.

?otD: Do you have to stay?


2/14/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.5 hours (mostly solid)
Body movement: 20 minutes stationary bike (resuming exercise post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad evolves, descending from the trees to gaze across the savanna

Someone has made fake London Underground signs, and whoever did it is a ruddy genius — (Via [info]garyomaha.)

Bionic hand feels real, says amputee

The Terraced Night — A wonderful APOD image of the night sky in China.

Questions of preservation after ancient village found in downtown Miami

Why the Promise of Cheap Fuel from Super Bugs Fell ShortThe sell-off of synthetic biology pioneer LS9 goes to show that making biofuels from genetically engineered microbes has yet to deliver economically.

Is there a way to exploit the metabolic quirk of cancer? — (Via Philip Brewer.)

Scientists have likely found Charlemagne’s skeleton

Camel Bones and Jerusalem: Archeology Shows Bible written Late, Full of Errors — Speaking as an atheist, I wouldn’t describe the Bible as full of errors. It’s a faith text. The errors arise from trying to interpret a faith text as having empirical reality, taking it literally, but those are errors of interpretation, not of the book itself.

22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In EvolutionI asked 22 self-identifying creationists at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate to write a message/question/note to the other side. Here’s what they wrote. Interesting piece, misleading headline. Evolution isn’t a “belief” in the sense that creationism is a “belief”. It exists, demonstrably and provably, independently of whatever your or I might understand or hold faith in. Believing in evolution is like believing in gravity or weather.

The Creation of DebateThe people who are attacking evolution are doing so because they think evolution is attacking their beliefs. But unless they are the narrowest of fundamentalists, this simply is not true. There is no greater proof of this than Pope John Paul II—who, one must admit, was a deeply religious man—saying that evolution was an established fact. Clearly, not all religion has a problem with evolution.

Google Earth Shows You a Warming PlanetThe facts are in, and the science is clear: The planet is getting hotter. The Google Earth app will help make that even more obvious. I urge folks to get it and play with it. Facts don’t speak for themselves, but this app helps give them a voice.

The Inefficiency of Long Hours — Having worked in fields heavily dependent on punishing amounts of white collar overtime (advertising, software consulting), I understand why individual managers and executives ask this of their teams, but I have never understood why the industries as a whole, not to mention their clients, tolerate the resulting errors and inefficiencies.

The day a Special Olympian stood up to Ann Coulter for calling Obama a “retard”

Vatican ‘Regrets’ Damning UN Report On Sex Abuse — Note that the Vatican does not regret the content of the report, only that it was issued. The games continue.

A Rash of Deaths and a Missing Reporter – With Ties to Wall Street Investigations

‘America The Beautiful’ Author Is Rush Limbaugh’s Favorite Lesbian Socialist

Paul Ryan Fact-Checks Republicans On Obamacare Job ‘Costs’ — I never thought I’d say this about Paul Ryan, but good for him. Of course, the usual walkback from reality to conservative talking points will start in 3… 2… 1…

Why Jeb Bush Isn’t Going To Be the Next Republican Nominee — A conservative analysis of a question that hasn’t much yet vexed me.

?otD: Monkey around much?


2/6/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block who aren’t descended from monkeys: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad misses Philip Seymour Hoffman already

His Friends Know Him as Petroswickonicovick — On names and naming traditions in Brazil. (Via Dad.)

Ashes to Ashes, but First a Nice Pine Box — On building your own coffin. (Via Reynardo.)

Nine Treasures — Mongolian folk metal. Yo. (Thanks, I think, to [info]danjite.)

In China, ‘Once the Villages Are Gone, the Culture Is Gone’ — Changes in culture. (Via Dad.)

Lunar Time Lapse Panorama including Yutu Rover

How the Media Missed the Story of the Millennium: One Climate Blockbuster after AnotherThe fact that 97% of scientists who have weighed in on the issue believe that climate change is a human-caused phenomenon is not a story. That only one of 9,137 peer-reviewed papers on climate change published between November 2012 and December 2013 rejected human causation is not a story either, nor is the fact that only 24 out of 13,950 such articles did so over 21 years.

Hillary Clinton: ‘fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed’

The Cheapening of American Politics: Why did Obama reward O’Reilly with an Interview?Fox cheapens our lives by reducing respect for human rights. It pushes homophobia, the restriction of women’s choice, Islamophobia, xenophobia (irrational fear of “foreigners”) and white and Christian triumphalism. It is hypocritical, in that it slams Muslims and Arabs while being 6% owned by Saudi billionaire al-Walid Bin Talal.

4 Ways Tunisia Is Now More Progressive Than The United States — (Via [info]danjite.)

Go Ahead, Try it That Way”We’re in this mess for a reason, and it’s because GOP leaders either doesn’t understand the conservative ideal (which is why they can’t articulate it), or they do understand it and simply don’t like it.” If that’s true, it’s probably the only thing “GOP leaders” and the American people have in common.

?otD: Life is precious and short enough already. Why go too soon?


2/3/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: n/a (post-operative)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block inventing polar vortices: 0
Currently reading: n/a

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[links] Link salad has another one, just like the other one

Hawaiian shirts, indeed — Hahahaha. (Thanks to Scrivener’s Error.)

Why tropical forests have more tree species than US and Canada combined

The Brain, in Exquisite Detail

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That — Really? (Thanks to [info]martang.)

The Environmental Disaster You’ve Never Heard OfAlbuquerque’s Kirtland Air Force Base jet fuel spill. Wow… (Thanks to GD.)

Global-warming-truthers, Donald Trump, Fox use record cold to `disprove` climate change“I think these scientists are laughing from their lavish laboratories and their vacations up at the arctic, and their nice boats that are well-equipped.” How do you even have rational engagement with stupidity this deep? Or willful ignorance this vile? Either way, there is no middle ground to speak of. It’s like arguing orbital mechanics with Flat Earthers.

Yes, the pope is still Catholic, despite what you heard — What I hear is not a liberal or a reformer. What I hear is a man who is calling for the Catholic Church to be humane and loving, rather than judgmental and punitive. It’s probably too much to hope for, at least here in the US given the makeup of the American bishops, but it’s a nice return to something at least vaguely resembling actual Biblical values, which I even as an atheist strongly prefer over the gospel of smug Republican Jesus.

Tripoli Residents Protest as 80,000 Rare Books in Lebanon Torched by Salafis — Another very good reason for being an atheist, given that this is the kind of conduct faith drives people to.

I Corrected a Misinformed Conservative About Obamacare. What Happened Next Will Neither Surprise You Nor Restore Your Faith in Humanity — Being a conservative these days means explicitly rejecting an evidence-based worldview in favor of ideological conviction. So there is no surprise at all that presenting a conservative with evidence that they are wrong will have no effect. It merely feeds their self-valorizing sense of injustice.

About that Country you Destroyed: A Letter to George W. Bush — It ain’t My Pet Goat, so this will be over Dubya’s head, but even if he could read it, he wouldn’t. More’s the pity.

GOP Memo Coaches Members To Show Empathy Toward Unemployed — Ah, the inherent compassion of conservatism.

Would the ‘first conservative’ recognize today’s right?

America’s real problem: Too much bipartisanship — Not how I would have thought to put it, but this article makes some interesting points. Another way to phrase the headline would have been “America’s real problem: Too much conservative consensus, not enough progressive values”, as all the examples given fit that bill nicely.

How the NSA Threatens National Security Our choice isn’t between a digital world where the agency can eavesdrop and one where it cannot; our choice is between a digital world that is vulnerable to any attacker and one that is secure for all users.

?otD: Is it espresso love?


1/8/2014
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 7.0 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad has thunder in its heart

The Devil is Due in Dreary — An interesting project that Donnie Reynolds brought to my attention. Go pick one up for your gift giving list or your own reading pleasure.

The creepy art of Zdzisław-Beksiński

Artist Creates Elaborate Non-Photoshopped Scenes in Her Small Studio — This is pretty darned cool. (Via [info]willyumtx.)

Why We Sing “Fa La La” Instead of “Fra Spla Spla”

He’s a ‘God particle’ detective

Gibbous Europa — Oooh.

Is our Media Screwing us on Climate the Way it Did on Iraq? — Duh. Your Liberal Media constantly pretends that politically motivated transparent lies from well-funded conservatives constitute a legitimate challenge to overwhelming scientific consensus. Next question?

Why are Christian Militias never “Christian Extremists”? — Because of the absolute privileging of Christianity in American society. Despite the self-valorizing paranoias of many American Christianists, Your Liberal Media endlessly honors the overwhelming cultural dominance of their religion. Next question?

Pope: I knew good Marxists; label doesn’t hurt me — Come on, that’s a little hard on smug Republican Jesus, who stands for truth, justice and the American way. Just like it says in the Bible.

The real tragedy of America’s gun violenceIn the aftermath of its own Newtown-like massacre, Australia changed its gun laws. The result? Homicides and suicides plummeted in the decade that followed. Of course, like all real world problems, the link between guns and violence is a complex issue. But one rarely has so much evidence pointing in the same direction. Yup. And Australia’s undeniable success at protecting its citizens by disarming itself is something you will never, ever hear any conservative politician, media outlet or voter admit to. Here in America, 30,000 deaths a year are essential for the illusion of safety that gun owners enjoy. Ask any conservative: your risk of death is a small price for them to pay for their Second Amendment rights.

Kelly: Outrage Over ‘White’ Santa Comment Was ‘Race-Bait’Fox News host Megyn Kelly insisted Friday that her earlier comment that Santa Claus was “just white,” which invited significant backlash, had been a joke — and that her critics were just looking for an excuse to call her a racist. Ah, the old “I was just kidding” defense so beloved of racists and sexists everywhere.

Bipartisan HypocrisyEzra Klein wonders how Republicans can be such hypocrites about health care when Obamacare turns out to be exactly what they wanted all along. Um, hello? They are Republicans? Is anyone who isn’t a conservative true believer surprised by this? It’s part of the GOP’s absolute fixation with bearing false witness against liberal-progressives and all their works. Especially the Kenyan Muslim socialist usurper.

?otD: Got Kate Bush?


12/15/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 solid
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 240.6
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad knows the nose knows

Elevenses And Then Some: How To Prepare A Feast Fit For A Hobbit — Now that’s a lot of food… (Via Lisa Costello.)

Benedict Cumberbatch sees Smaug as sexy

Misheard for the holidays: When good song lyrics go bad — (Thanks to Dad.)

The Best of the Worst Logo Designs — Oh geeze. (I think I got this from Steve Buchheit, but I have lost the source.

Isle of Coll secures ‘dark isle’ status — Mmm. Dark Isle. (Via Daily Idioms, Annotated.)

First Lasing Nanofibres Open The Way For Cheap, Soft Laser TextilesBy adding laser dyes to organic fibres, researchers have demonstrated a technique that should lead to textiles that lase at all visible frequencies. All the world’s a rave, and we are merely stoners.

MetropolomeResearchers take advantage of rapid and cheap DNA sequencing technologies to map the bacterial microbiome of New York City.

Trust Me (I’m a kettle) — Charlie Stross on the virtues of tech paranoia.

Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum PhysicsThe amplituhedron looks like an intricate, multifaceted jewel in higher dimensions. Encoded in its volume are the most basic features of reality that can be calculated, “scattering amplitudes,” which represent the likelihood that a certain set of particles will turn into certain other particles upon colliding. Huh. (Via David Goldman.)

Vitamins’ Old, Old EdgeFrom the beginnings of life roughly four billion years ago, they have played a central, necessary role. In fact, early life forms used to be veritable vitamin factories.

Furthering the Conversation on the HPV Vaccine — Katie Couric sorta-kinda apologies, but not on the air!, for giving weight to vaccine denialists in a segment on the HPV vaccine. Which is the precise intellectual and moral equivalent to sorta-kinda apologizing for giving weight to evolution denialists, climate change denialists and proponents of supply-side economics: all destructive counterfactuals with no evidence-based support, crafted from knowing lies and deceptions for which real people pay a real price.

Melting Arctic sea ice could be altering jet streamMore studies look at links to extreme weather. Nothing to see here, kids. Just corrupt liberal scientists falsifying data to get a bigger share of that sweet government grant money. Thank God for Rush Limbaugh and the Republican party, or someone might have to take this shit seriously.

Australia Court Nixes Gay Marriage in CapitalA day after India’s Supreme Court recriminalized gay sex, Australia’s High Court has overturned the capital’s same-sex marriage legislation. This culture war really is over, but the forces of bigotry, clothed in the self-valorizing righteousness of their faith, will keep the battles going for years to come.

Brave Colorado gun-owner stands his ground against disabled children hogging handicapped space in Walmart parking lot. — See. This is why we need widely available firearms in the hands of everyday citizens. Because of this kind of safety-oriented crime prevention. Just ask any conservative about those thirty thousand gun deaths a year. Those are absolutely necessary losses so that this responsible Colorado gun owner can pursue his theoretical defense of essential liberties against the socialist threat of handicapped children whose parents need to use the disabled parking space. I feel so much safer now, and so should you. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Support for a $10 Minimum Wage Is Surprisingly High — Every time in my life there’s been an effort to raise the minimum wage, conservatives have raged about job losses and damage to the economy. Every time, they’ve been dead wrong. Every time, Your Liberal Media gives them full coverage and credibility, and never asks about their history of being dead wrong on the issue at every turn. So it went with integration. So it goes with gay rights. So it goes in America, where the conservative narrative is dominant even with almost no track record of accuracy.

Republican Senator Alexander Aide Arrested For Possession And Distribution Of Child Porn — This is why Sarah Palin’s “real Americans” always vote Republican: their upright moral standing. Want to imagine what the reporting would be like in Your Liberal Media if this had been a senior Democratic aide? We would never hear the end of it. Since this was a Republican aide, the story will die immediately.

Boehner Snaps At Conservative Groups For ‘Using’ House Republicans“These groups aren’t acting out of principle, and they’re not trying to enact conservative policies. They’re using you to raise money and expand their own organization,” Boehner said, according to the source’s paraphrase. “No one controls your voting card but you.” Hi, Speaker Boehner. Welcome to reality. Where the hell have you been through the past four decades of Movement Conservatism?

Mandela and the Question of ViolenceOne should never lose sight of why America preaches nonviolence to some people while urging other people to arms. Ta-Nehisi Coates is on fire.

?otD: Did you smell that cheese?


12/12/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.5 hours (solid)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: 239.4
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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[links] Link salad is the keeper of the keys, it will put your mind at ease

Nelson Mandela, hero of South Africa, dies at 95 — Sic transit gloria mundi.

United States, Israel opposed Mandela, supported ApartheidThe attempt to make Nelson Mandela respectable is an ongoing effort of Western government spokesmen and the Western media. He wasn’t respectable in the business circles of twentieth-century New York or Atlanta, or inside the Beltway of Washington, D.C. He wasn’t respectable for many of the allies of the United States in the Cold War, including Britain and Israel. And yet he prevailed anyway, and we were wrong.

‘Tis More Blessed – Week 1 — In which I am part of a holiday raffle. (Well, one of my books is.)

Typists who clear 70 wpm can’t even say where the keys areWe don’t have much explicit knowledge of our good friend, the QWERTY keyboard.

What the English alphabet used to look like — Cool.

The Coolest Music in the World: Listen to Siberian Ice Drummers Use Frozen Lake Baikal as an Incredible Musical Instrument — Wow. (Via David Goldman.)

China’s first lunar probe ‘Chang’e-3’ enters Moon’s orbit

23andMe Puts Health Reports on Hold Personal genetics company 23andMe will only sell ancestry reports and raw data as controversy with regulators continues.

10 Things Traditional Christians Got Terribly WrongAlthough progressive Christians have been at the forefront of social justice, conservative Christians are often on the wrong side of history. I’m pretty sure “often on the wrong side of history” is far too kind. Every one of these things was a cherished religious belief, a Biblical injunction which must be obeyed by all of society, not just the believers in question. Every one of these things was once the eternal and inviolate word of God. Every one of these things by happy coincidence sustained the prejudices of the Christians of the time. Every one of these things is now considered wrong. How do you suppose the current Christianist views on the prosperity gospel, evolution, climate change, homosexuality and abortion will hold up over time? (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

Of Myths and ModestyFeminist Mormon Housewives on whether or not to wear a bikini top. That intelligent adults of faith can be consumed by questions like this is one very good reason I am an atheist.

Confederates Look To Win ‘Second Battle Of Olustee’ In Florida — I will never understand the conservative need to support and defend their profoundly racist rebellion against their allegedly beloved Constitution.

Fox’s Latest Christmas Scare Deemed A “Vicious Dissemination Of Untrue Information” — That would pretty much describe everything that ever is said on FOX about any subject, insofar as I can tell. Your Liberal Media, hard at work sustaining the conservative narrative since forever.

How a Frustrated Blogger Made Expanding Social Security a Respectable Idea — Yup. (Via Slacktivist Fred Clark.)

What would the Union Jack look like if the Scottish bit were removed? — Huh. (Via my brother.)

California GOP defends its fake health insurance web site — When you can’t win on your ideas, lie. The GOP’s core mantra is proven over and over and over again.

?otD: When did Johnny strike up the band?


12/6/2013
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 9.0 hours (very fitful)
Body movement: n/a (traveling)
Weight: n/a (traveling)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forging presidential birth certificates: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)

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