October 13th, 2007

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[links] Link salad wakes up and asks if it's the weekend yet

Politics

Matthew Shepard's mother speaks out — His death was another triumph of the ongoing conservative rhetoric of marginalization and exclusion.

Another "phony soldier" speaks out — Apparently the liberals are corrupting America's military at all levels. The GOP had better get those re-education camps open, stat!

chriswjohnson is very funny about Gore's Nobel prize

Culture

UFOs baffle O.C. earthlings — 3-foot-wide foam saucer stops traffic, empties bars and is said to 'drip fire.'

The High Line — A peculiar piece of New Yorkiana.

Writing

jeffvandermeer talks about writing process, with a certain irony with respect to your proprietor

Kate Elliott has advice to first time SFF novelists — We could all stand to pay some attention to her.

And in case you missed it, kenscholes just sold a science fantasy series to Tor — And I'm here to tell you, the first book is pretty amazing. Go give him some love. Me, I'm off to have a celebratory breakfast with the boy shortly.
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[politics] Semirandom observations from the progressive perspective

Thinking politics this morning, which probably means I'm not so sick any more. A few observations which have crossed my mind:

The conservative reaction to Al Gore's winning the Nobel Peace Prize is both predictable and telling. Rather than considering that such a substantial endorsement of Gore's work on global warming might merit revisiting both the topic itself and their perception of Gore's credibility, my friends on the right have simply widened their condemnation to include the entire rest of the world.

That's the kind of fixated thinking that lands individuals in the mental health care system. In politics it's called "consistency." What doesn't seem to occur to people who fetishize consistency in their political and moral philosophies is that new evidence can merit re-evaluation. I suppose this comes from the fundamentally prophetic basis of modern conservative thinking. Revelation doesn't admit of revision, at least not openly.

I can see the appeal of conservatism. It must be very comforting to wrap one's soul in the cloak of Truth and not have to worry about the fact that the real world doesn't have bright lines and sharp edges. "I don't do nuance" may as well be the primary plank of the Republican Party.

My other thought is about the oft-repeated complaint that the media has a liberal bias. This probably falls into the category of noticing the sky is blue, but I think when conservatives complain that the media has a liberal bias, what they're reacting to is a lack of sufficient congruency with the things they know to be true. I.e., the media isn't conservative enough. When liberals complain that media has a conservative bias, what they're reacting to is a well-documented overabundance of conservative viewpoints in the anchor chairs, on the mastheads, on the op-ed pages and in column inches. In other the words, the media is too conservative.

That's a nuance, of course.
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[cheese] lillypond's Birthday Party

We had another cheesefest today for lillypond's birthday party. the_child, lasirenadolce and I went over to the home of AH and tillyjane, where lillypond and the Niece had already gathered. Table d'hôte was homemade chicken and noodles, a special favorite of my sister's. We brought cheese, naturally, from Pastaworks on Hawthorne, including Collapse )

All photos by lasirenadolce. As usual, more at the Flickr set.