July 24th, 2008

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[links] Link salad, in which I apparently have a lot to say

Article serie: Building Jay Lake’s Colon — More from the indomitable Mary Robinette Kowal.

stacia_kane on how to be a sex-writing strumpet — Some pretty good stuff on writing sex and erotica. (Thanks to calendula_witch.)

Newspaper Misspells Own Name on Front Page — (Thanks to danjite.)

World’s Oldest Bible Pieced Together — Interesting story, but the story-behind-the-story looks even more interesting.

Portuguese team makes first paper based transistor — Whoa. Serious cool potential here. (Thanks to lt260.)

Fish pedicures — Um, right. (Thanks to lillypond.)

A disease called “previous cesarean” — Another triumph of market-based healthcare finance. Speaking as someone with the mother of all pre-existing conditions, my interest in, and anger with, the distorted system of healthcare finance in this country only mounts. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I have compassion and sympathy for the 40 million uninsured, and the 40 million more underinsured. What I don’t understand is why the Republican Party, the AMA, and so many conservative voters do not. HSA’s (a long time Republican panacea) are meaningless to the unemployed, the underemployed and those on or near minimum wage. I had one in a previous insurance plan, and it was damned near meaningless to me. There’s an underlying unspoken social assumption that the poor somehow have earned their lot (residual Calvinism perpetuated by the GOP and other social forces, I think), combined with a spoken social assumption that if they’d only work a little harder they’d be fine. That’s an opinion which speaks very poorly of Americans’ human nature. Is it good social policy to force people into $1,000 ER visits because they don’t have the insurance coverage or the cash for a $120 doctor visit? It’s not like the market-based system has produced a viable outcome, not when you look at American life expectancy (42nd worldwide) and infant mortality rates (34th worldwide) — two very basic measures of healthcare success. (Thanks to dinogrl.)

Amanda Peet apologizes for calling vaccination protestors “parasites” — She goes on to explain her position. Very long time readers of this blog will recall I am passionate on this subject. the_child has a disease-specific immune disorder which means she is a lifetime carrier (asymptomatic and healthy) of a rather nasty viral disease which part of the ordinary childhood vaccination course. Almost half her kindergarten class were unvaccinated due to a high prevalence of vaccination protestors among the Waldorf population. Several parents suggested my daughter not be included in the class because of the health risk she presented to their children. My child, who was completely unresponsive to a widely-available vaccine, was considered a health risk by parents who were one clinic visit away from medical safety. You can imagine my response to this at the time. It’s an iteration of the free-rider problem, but basically, anti-vaccination parents are banking on all the parents around their child doing something they would not do to their own child in order to protect their child from communicable diseases. I’m sorry, “parasite” might have been a poor word choice, but Amanda Peet was right in the first place.

Exposing Bush’s historic abuse of power — An investigative report from Salon on domestic spying. Nothing to see here, citizen. Move along smartly, now. (Thanks to my Aunt M.)

Maryland State Police spying on peace activists — Because, you know, all the great American terrorists of recent years have been leftie peaceniks. Like Eric Rudolph! And Timothy McVeigh!

Why you should vote for McCain — Straight from the Great Orange Satan, whom I don’t usually bother to link. (I rather imagine that most of you already read Daily Kos, or you don’t care.) But this is very funny, because it has the benefit of being objectively true, as opposed to editorial opinion.


7/24/08
Time in saddle: n/a (airport walking today)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: n/a
Currently reading: Green by Jay Lake

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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[travel] In transit gloria Thursday

In DFW, loitering near Gate C17. Flight down was uneventful. I did find some lunatic fringe Christian spam in comments on jlake.com, which I deleted. Not sure that was quite the right move, because it wasn’t technically spam so much as rant, but I don’t have time right now for pointless rhetorical combat with someone who confuses faith with facts.

Given my recent adaptation to a toilet-based lifestyle, I’m spending a lot more time in airport men’s room stalls. (Yes, this is almost over — the antibiotic course is working well. But it’s not over yet.) I’ve been ranting about the lack of outlets in airport lounges for a long time. Here’s a thought: why are stalls designed as if no one ever carries luggage? Have you tried maneuvering a roller bag and a computer satchel into one of those things. Rant, rant, rant. It’s like the good old days on this blog! I must have woken up feisty.

Just now loaned my cell phone to a Marine sergeant passing through on his mid-tour home leave from Iraq. He needed to call some of his family and was messing with some nearby payphones. I have a very strong negative view of the war, but I don’t for a moment confuse corrupt and venal Republican policymaking with the dedicated service of the men and women in uniform. (That was one of the great errors of the Left during Vietnam — inhumane, inhuman, and simply mistaken.)

Off to forage for food shortly.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.