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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2009-09-11 04:07
Subject: [links] Link salad for a sombre day
Security: Public
Tags:cool, culture, links, personal, photos, politics, tech, weird
Postgendered athletes in sports: Should hermaphrodites be allowed to compete? — Wow. This one's a pretty boggling real life example of a classically SFnal problem. (Thanks to the_flea_king.)

x planes is on a roll with some ekranoplan madness — If you're a fan of weird lost technology, and Russian Big Engineering.

Anonymous Doc on one of the worst jobs in the world — "Fake patient" for pelvic exam training of med students.

Interrogators Ask for Torture InvestigationA group of three longtime interrogators sent a letter to the House and Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees asking them to appoint a commission with full subpoena power to investigate the torture of detainees during the Bush administration, including the legal memos that justified it. Clearly even our anti-terrorism interrogators are liberal traitors who want America to fail.

A Tale of Two Joe Wilsons, a Tale of Two Americas — Juan Cole draws an obvious but still meaningful parallel between two men named Joe Wilson who each called a sitting president a liar. The one who was lying himself has been treated graciously by the White House and is becoming a political hero, the other who was telling the truth had his life ruined by the White House. Remember kids, as our Republican friends like to remind us, character counts.

A Victim Of His Own Paranoia — An interesting analysis of Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst, and conservative discourse in general. If you start with the presumption that the president is trying to foist his socialist agenda on an unsuspecting nation, then his apparent moderation and civility is actually further evidence of his duplicity. When nonpartisan groups substantiate his claims, it's because they're swallowing his transparent lies instead of revealing his real, hidden agenda. Every bit of apparent evidence that the president is reasonable only makes the situation more desperate - how to break through the illusion and reveal him for what he is?

And finally, the impossible-to-post item from yesterday's Link Salad:

OC Assemblyman In Bed With Lobbyist . . . No, Literally In Bed — Rather NSFW story about a Republican State Assemblyman in California, bragging on his affairs where he cheated on his wife with his mistress, then on his mistress with another woman. I really like this part: Duvall observed in a press release that as long as he is in office, he would work to protect "California families" from "constant assault in Sacramento." Apparently the 'constant assault' on California families in Sacramento is from conservative politicians. Family values FTW! (And to belabor the obvious, I truly don't care who has consensual, responsible sex with whom. Party on, people. I do care when people advance their political careers and pillory their opponents via "family values" rhetoric, then live la vida loca anyway. If you're going to wield the sword of judgmental virtue against your enemies, your own armor had better damned well be spotless.) See also this post from Language Log. And yes, Duvall has since resigned.

?otD: Where were you on 9/11?

Body movement: 15 minutes of stretching and meditation, 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0
This morning's weigh-in: 229.4
Currently reading: The Real Wizard of Oz by Rebecca Loncraine; The Other Lands by David Anthony Durham

Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 10 Comments | | Link

User: etcet
Date: 2009-09-11 12:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
AotD: At a small office near Dulles Airport, slowly losing my job, and hoping a plane wouldn't land on my building.

I am still filled with rage at the incompetence of prevention, the innumerable indignities foisted on us by the administration in the wake of 9/11 (PATRIOT, unjustified wars, etc), and the ineptitude with which "recovery" efforts have been handled.

8 years later, there's still a big fucking hole in New York.
Four years after Katrina, New Orleans is still a disaster.

Heck of a job, Dubya.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2009-09-11 13:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think intersex athletes are a less complicated problem than it might seem. There's no such thing as perfect hermaphroditism in humans. There is always a male or female "base." If it is true that Semenya has testicles instead of ovaries, then it's pretty clear that even though she has grown up as a woman and identified as a woman, she should compete as a male. Unfortunately, just as she is advantaged as a woman, there's a good chance she will be disadvantaged as a male. But maybe not...
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User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2009-09-11 14:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
AotD: In my office here in London, Ontario... three floors above where I'm sitting now, on the southwest corner instead of my current southeast.

Alas, I learned of it via garbled rumours over the telephones of our sales team who were trying to follow up leads in Manhattan. For the first hour we kept on with business as usual, as the best information we'd had was that a twin-engine commuter turboprop had accidentally hit the WTC, like the B-25 crash into the Empire State Building some sixty years earlier, and that reports of a second crash were mistaken re-reports of the first or were recounting aircraft debris hitting the other tower.

Then we heard customers in Virginia talking about the Pentagon crash and realised something was very, very wrong... and I think I was the one who first found a Reuters report online about what was actually going on (CNN, CBC, and the major papers and TV networks were all slashdotted, which everyone recognised was a sign to keep looking) and forwarded it off to management. We shut down the phones a bit after 10, and sent everyone home around 11 after (finally) reaching the client in Seattle and getting the formal okay. I stayed over another hour to help wrap things up at the office and do some paperwork, then went home around noon.

I remember how eerily quiet everything was. No air traffic at all, not even helicopters. Extremely light ground traffic; no horns, no speeding, no ambulances or police as everyone seemed to be staying put and waiting things out. No one talking on the bus, and no one in my apartment's lobby. The quiet only ended when I finally turned on the TV around 1pm to see the day rerun over and over again in living colour. And that's when I started emailing like mad to make certain everyone was okay.

-- Steve hates these memories, truth be told.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2009-09-11 18:19 (UTC)
Subject: AotD

I dropped my 2nd grader and the rest of the car pool off at school and turned the radio on as I drove back home. Being three time zones west of actual events, I heard commentary and discussion, but very little in the way of facts. I couldn't figure out what they were talking about, only that it was something really horrible. I turned the radio off, got home, got the baby, told my telecommuting husband the world might be ending and to come watch CNN with me. Which we did, all that day and part of the next.

I grew up about three miles from the Pentagon, and my father still lives in that neighborhood. My father and stepmother had no more answers than we did. I also have a dear friend from high school, who was purportedly working at the Pentagon those days. It turns out that he was actually off at Langley, only he told people he worked at the Pentagon. But it took me a couple of days to get through to his wife, to be told all was well.
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User: sheelangig
Date: 2009-09-11 18:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

The previous anonymous comment was me. Dagnabit.
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willyumtx: Neutral Keroppi
User: willyumtx
Date: 2009-09-11 21:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Neutral Keroppi
I remember how I was in the first week of training for work. People were watching the telecast on small sets here and there. I thought it was some trailer or clip for a movie. Since it could not be for real. It just could not.

I was impressed that people were still working, still taking calls, still doing their best to protect children.
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2009-09-11 23:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
AotD: Yosemite National Park. Came out of my tent, heard a bunch of schoolkids going on about how "they bombed New York!", thought, what movie were they watching last night, went hiking all day, and came back to find out that it was all real. Watched the coverage in the bar at the Ahwahnee Hotel that evening (it was the only television I could find) with a couple hundred other people, then drove two days to get home on highways lined with American flags.

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User: leesmiley
Date: 2009-09-12 03:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
AotD: I was sitting in my mother's living room, watching Charlie Gibson struggle to describe what was going on.

This memory is a bittersweet one for me now, as my mother passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, three days after my final radiation treatment for testicular cancer. Despite my personal horrors of this year, my heart goes out to those who lost loved ones eight years ago.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-09-12 04:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's a lot to shoulder, sir. My condolences.
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User: leesmiley
Date: 2009-09-12 04:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks, Jay.
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