Monday, December 31, 2012

No Tea Party Connection = No National MSM Coverage

New York City trustafarian and Occutard boyfriend busted for arsenal in Greenwich Village apartment. “You don’t understand the class structure of American society,” said Smetana, “or you would not ask such a question. In the United States, the working class are Democrats. The middle class are Republicans. The upper class are Communists.” — Whittaker Chambers, Witness, pg. 616

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day ADHD linklets

Bored on Christmas? Sorry to hear it--let me help you, even if it's only to help you be more bored.

Finally, something that LinkedIn is good for.

Social studies textbooks:  feeble but not harmless.

Spirits merry and bright... "Behind blast walls and with police nearby, 200 worshippers attended Christmas mass Monday at Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church, which officially reopened this month after a massacre in 2010."

Meanwhile... Syria rebels threaten to attack two Christian towns.

It's no surprise, then, that the current wave of Islamic persecution may be the one to finally do Middle Eastern Christianity in.

And what will happen, once the compassionate, civilizing effect of Christianity is removed from Islamic lands? Something very like this, maybe: "Abbas Reneges on Promise to Reform “Honor Killing” Laws" Yes--secular, Westernized Mahmoud Abbas wants to continue letting Arab men get away with murdering the wimminfolk, in order to preserve their honor.

Jingle bells, shotgun shells...

Oldest known Christmas recordings: Story here, recordings here.

Hasidic women to feminists: Buzz off!

Need a smartphone as big as a mini-tablet? Here y'go! This is trend is marketing genius--like whoever it was in the 90s who figured out that people would pay for extra-large minivans. Say that to yourself, slowly...Extra-large...minivans...

Things never to say to white colleagues. I hope I'm not as tender-eared as all that--I want people to be able to relax around me!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all best for a joyous holiday and big things for the New Year.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blame the NRA? Well....

I don't know that I would pin the totality of the blame for what is obviously a pervasive societal sickness solely on the NRA. But definitely something has curdled in our national life, in just the past few decades. Compare & contrast:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday night ADHD linklets

Silent film of 1927 Bolivian execution found, is being restored. And according to the story, the execution was a mistake.

Old photos of previously unknown Russian crown jewels found in rare book, in U.S. Geological Survey library.

"The Orleans Parish School Board "OK'd policies that prohibit the teaching of creationism or so-called 'intelligent design' in its half-dozen direct-run schools, or the purchasing of textbooks that promulgate those perspectives," according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune." Take that, Bobby Jindal!

Our ally Uzbekistan arrests Christians for meeting in "unregistered" place of worship.

Syrian Violence Becoming 'Overly Sectarian', Report Finds. Stop the presses. You only have to be aware of the Sunni-Alawi divide, and listen to the YouTube videos of the rebels Allah Akbaring, to realize that.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Stolen Child

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world`s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.
-- William Butler Yeats, The Stolen Child, 1889

News coverage of mass shootings should change

I'd be happy if the Newtown atrocity gets the news media to rethink the whole marketing model of the 24-hour news cycle. Going out in a sunburst of notoriety, thanks to an ever-on news machine waiting for fodder, must have attractions for some of these shooters. Remember how NBC obliged the Virginia Tech killer by airing his videotaped rant for him? The graph I posted previously tracks with the rise of 24 hours news programming.

How to prevent future mass shootings? I don't know. Simply wishing away guns and mental illness won't do it. But ceasing to make these killers international celebrities seems to be a good, achievable start.

Friday, December 14, 2012

School shooting at Newtown CT elementary school

No, I don't have any news, sorry. At this writing, the reports are coming in fast and conflicting, as is sadly familiar in these sadly familiar atrocities. This is the latest so far. God...

Still here? Then let me share with you this marker of societal necrosis, that I discovered with Google's Ngram Viewer. It tabulates the occurrences of words, in this case "school shooting" in books and magazines over a given period of time, in this case 200 years. (I haven't figured out what "smoothing" means yet).

In brief, in 100 years we've gone from this:

The War Department has taken an interest in a form of training which certain public schools have adopted. Acting Secretary of War Oliver has written to the governor of every Educational state asking that action be taken to put rifle practice in the public schools directly in charge of the National Guards, and urges that every boy over twelve years of age be put under instruction in the handling of firearms. Furthermore, Secretary Oliver announces that the Department will offer a trophy to be awarded to that school which shows the highest degree of efficiency in marksmanship. This trophy is to be competed for by clubs of ten boys from each school.
Shooting is recommended by the Secretary on a variety of grounds. In the first place, it is a form of exercise which gives training in accuracy. In the second place, it teaches the dangers of abuse of firearms as well as the value of their use. Finally, it is a form of training which can be taken up by each individual, rather than a form of training which can be participated in only by the few boys who are members of a limited team.

To this:

What evil spirit is abroad in our land, to impel people to these horrors?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tuesday Afternoon ADHD Linklets

As of today, there are nearly 56,000 results on Google for the phrase "Google-proof trivia".

"As management experts such as Peter Drucker have observed, the goal of a successful business must be to find and serve customers. Do that, and the numbers take care of themselves. The Hostess approach was entirely backward — meeting the numbers became Job One, and figuring out how to grow the business became Job None."

A union-built tablet? Yes...

If I was any good at song parodies, I would write a biting critique of the fiscal cliff negotiations, based on this Beatles song, and I'd call it "You Can't Do Math".

Because of tribalism, Bashir Assad has nowhere to run.

Michael Totten is off into harm's way again.

David Thompson rounds up some pithy quotes on current woes.

The war on Christians in northern Nigeria continues...and the new Syria...and flippin' Bulgaria!...