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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2012-12-26 05:01
Subject: [links] Link salad rings in Boxing Day
Security: Public
Tags:amazon, books, christianists, documentary, healthcare, links, movies, nature, personal, politics, religion, weird
The trailer for Lakeside, the documentary about me and cancer, is up — Waterloo Productions has it.

Giving Mom’s Book Five Stars? Amazon May Cull Your Review — Hmmm. They need to do something about the review system, especially the one-star "punishment reviews" from the $9.99 ebook lunatics, but is this the way? Not that I care, it is Amazon after all. (Via my Dad.)

Crafty Peruvian spider builds its own decoy — (Via David Goldman.)

Termites act as tiny miners, lead humans to gold

Jack Klugman’s secret, lifesaving legacy — He once stormed the beaches of Normandy. He later stormed the beaches of the Senate. (Via [info]danjite, among others.)

The Moral AnimalReligion binds individuals into groups through habits of altruism, creating relationships of trust strong enough to defeat destructive emotions. Nice of the author to say that. Has he looked at the public face of religion in the United States? Public religion in the US is not about altruism and trust. It's about hating gays and liberals, punishing women and the poor, persecuting private sexual behavior, and promoting conservative in-group politics. Those positions have come to define religion in the public square in this country, everything from the Mormon church's disgraceful support for Proposition 8 to the Catholic bishops' pathetic but adamant lies about the ACA and birth control. Not altruism, persecution.

DUI Charge: Jan. 4 Court Date for Idaho Sen. Crapo — Hey, lookie here, a Mormon teetotalling Republican senator arrested for DUI. Good thing we have decades of moral leadership from conservative politicians and media to demonstrate the private lives and personal errors of politicians are off limits. I'm sure Senator Crapo will receive the respectful treatment he deserves, just like the Clintons and the Obamas and Kennedys always did. Meanwhile, yet another conservative public scold is revealed as a inevitable hypocrite, but no one on the Right will care. Social conservatives, my ass. Look, Clinton's penis!

?otD: Do you box?




12/26/2012
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.25 hours (8.0 hours solid, 0.25 hours napping)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on the stationary bike)
Weight: 210.8
Number of FEMA troops on my block confiscating firearms and shutting down the Internet: 0
Currently reading: The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks

Post A Comment | 12 Comments | | Link






jordan179
User: jordan179
Date: 2012-12-26 13:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Has he looked at the public face of religion in the United States? Public religion in the US is not about altruism and trust. It's about hating gays and liberals, punishing women and the poor, persecuting private sexual behavior, and promoting conservative in-group politics.

I'm amused that you added the clause "in the United States." As we well know, the public face of religion in the rest of the world is so much better. Oh, if only we lived in such enlightened places as Iran or Saudi Arabia! Or even Eire, for that matter.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-26 13:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, but I don't live there. I live here. :)
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jordan179
User: jordan179
Date: 2012-12-26 14:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
True.

I was thinking about this logical point, what could be called the "misleading conditional." This is when one someone says something which is technically true but implies a false conclusion due to the restriction on application in the statement.

For instance: "Modern America is a country where innocent men are wrongly convicted and sentenced to prison terms." This is true, but it is also true of every other country on Earth, and it is far from obvious that American justice is especially misguided (especially given that most countries have weaker legal protections for the accused than does America).

Or: "Nazi Germany was a country in which men and women loved each other, married and had children in loving families." Again true, and again also true for every other country on Earth, and many features of the Nazi regime (including both its fanatical murderousness and its catastrophic end) made it a far less friendly place to marry and raise a family than, say, anywhere in the modern West).

There's probably a formal Latin name for this, but I don't know it. And I feel that I should.
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scarlettina
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-12-26 15:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for that piece on Jack Klugman. I always thought he brought great humanity to his characters and now I understand the source of that effect.
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Keikaimalu
User: keikaimalu
Date: 2012-12-26 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I get an error when I try to watch the trailer:

Service Error: There was a problem getting the configuration information. Please try again later.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-26 16:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've reported it to Waterloo Productions. I'm sorry.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-12-26 17:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nice trailer. In a generally somber piece, some of your vitality still comes through, and certainly your caring.
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daveraines
User: daveraines
Date: 2012-12-26 17:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Re your comment: "Public religion in the US is not about altruism and trust." I'm not sure this conflicts with Jonathan Sacks' opinion piece. His point seems to be religion's evolutionary role to encourage an individual to choose the good of the group over the good of the individual. Public religion is all about the (perceived) good of the (in-)group. Putnam's research that "religiosity... is a better predictor of altruism than education, age, income, gender or race" may still stand, but to whom is the altruism directed? Jesus himself fought that battle long ago.
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ericjamesstone
User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2012-12-26 18:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
> Meanwhile, yet another conservative public scold is revealed
> as a inevitable hypocrite, but no one on the Right will care.

I care. I think Crapo should resign.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-26 18:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm curious. Assuming this question is even meaningful for you, is that an LDS perspective or a political perspective? (I'm not sure those things are reasonably separable, but obviously I have no way to know your mind.) Did you feel that either Craig or Vitter should have resigned?
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ericjamesstone
User: ericjamesstone
Date: 2012-12-26 20:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm probably more disappointed in Crapo than the others because he's LDS, but I don't think that makes much difference in my opinion. (Similarly, I am more annoyed by Harry Reid because he's LDS, but I don't really think a non-LDS Democratic Senate majority leader would be any better. [Just to be clear, I think it is possible for good Mormons to be good progressives/liberals/Democrats and vice versa, and I have relatives and friends who fit in that category. But I think it's fairly common to feel more annoyed by disagreement in one arena from someone you feel is part of your "tribe" in another arena. That's why people get more upset about the divergent politics of a relative than those of a complete stranger.])

That's a long way of saying that yes, I consider my LDS perspective and my conservative political perspective to be reasonably separable. Although I believe my political perspective to be compatible with my LDS religion, I have no illusions about it being the only political perspective that is compatible with the LDS religion.

I think Craig and Vitter both should have resigned. In general, I think politicians who are caught engaging in serious violations of public morality should resign. Drunk driving is one such violation, regardless of whether the driver claims to be a non-drinker due to being Mormon.

You may notice that I included the "are caught" phrasing in the above. I do think that there should probably be room for politicians to make mistakes in their personal lives and try to recover from them privately. Politicians are only human, after all. But when the mistake becomes public knowledge, then I think the politician should resign. In fact, I think we should praise resignation in such circumstances as being the honorable course of action, and disdain politicians who cling to their offices.

From an LDS perspective, I believe Crapo, Craig, and Vitter all should repent of their sins, and that if they do so, they should be forgiven. But that's a separate question from what the political consequences should be for a violation of the public trust.

In the long term, I think it's better for the Republican Party if we are represented by people of good character. (And I think it's better for the Democrats if they are represented by people of good character, and better for the country as a whole if both parties are represented by such people.) That means our political leaders should set a good example, and when they fail to do so, they should resign.

(By the way, I also think politicians who switch parties while in office should resign. I always admired Phil Gramm for doing that when switching from Democrat to Republican, but very few others in my lifetime have done so.)
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-12-26 20:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for the thoughtful response. And, well, I think I agree with almost everything you said, filtered slightly for our respective faith perspectives.

Perhaps we should alert the media?
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