Justine Larbalestier reminds us that our protagonists should have family and friends. This is something that I struggle with. Having moved around as a kid and living in several parts of the state over the years, I only have a handful of long time friends that I keep in touch. Also, my family ties aren't as strong as I've seen others. So it's difficult for me to write about these things from a deeply personal perspective and instead live vicariously through others to build my templates for these things.
A little on the history of the chapter.
Diane Peterfreund on countering the bad advice for writers that is out there. At the risk of making new writers more paranoid than they already are (and let's be honest, there is paranoia to spare as you start submissions), but not everyone out there has your best interests at heart.
"Should you find yourself near an atomic blast and run short of potable water, you can chug a Coke or a beer, but don't expect it to taste great." And some people think ant tunnels are wasting money on research. Beer!
When being personal is important. Amy Sundberg on the cost of putting oneself out there. If I told you I had never had those thoughts, the cost of sharing so much in such a public way, I would be lying. Just some things to think about if and when you meet in the real world people you know online. The best advice I can give is to be real, honest, and think of other people behind the blinking curser as real people as well. Personal note, see that green blob in the background, that's me. I'm famous, baby! (Grokked from Jay Lake)
What I expect will be an often linked to page (not as much as Poor, but my guess is it'll be right behind Bacon Taped to a Cat), John Scalzi explains how to be a good commenter. Oh how I wish I could tell you that I have never transgressed any of those rules. Although I try now to not read the comments on John's political posts and instead go for the jester role whenever I comment (depends on the post itself). But it is because I've transgressed that I avoid the political comments on the Whatever. It's too easy for me to slip into the Troll-Slayer/Asshat role.
Not only is the future exciting to explore, so is the past. That's about archeologist excavating a huge (149 square meters) poolside mosaic. "The floor is in 'pristine' condition, (Michael Hoff, a University of Nebraska, Lincoln art historian and director of the mosaic excavation) said in a university video about the dig." You know, except for the bits plowed up by the farmer. I hope he got a nice sum for his land. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
When I hear "Take our country back" these days, I now hear it as a whine about the end of WASP dominated politics and culture.
Three more graphics showing who is in that 47%. Please note the breakdown by income levels graphic which is interesting.
"Here is video of Mitt Romney's mother, Lenore LaFount Romney, talking about how his father George was on welfare relief after he was a refugee from Mexico." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)
"So when they hear that half of Americans aren’t paying federal income taxes, they’re outraged — even if they’re among the folks who have a net negative tax burden! After all, they know they’re paying taxes, and there’s no reason for normal human beings to assume that the taxes getting taken out of their paycheck every week and some of the taxes they pay at the end of the year aren’t classified as 'federal income taxes.'" I think I've made that point before (on other people's blogs, sorry), but it's why when my progressive friends talk about Mitt Romney shooting his campaign in the foot with his "47%" comment, I tell them to halt the celebrations. See, all those old people on Social Security and Medicare, they don't think of themselves as belonging to that group because, by God, they paid in and now they're getting their just reward. They aren't a parasite who thinks the government owes them something. Also, please read the whole article, especially getting to the chart at the end, which is the whole point of the piece. "That’s really what the American tax system looks like: Not 47 percent paying nothing, but everybody paying something, and most Americans paying between 25 percent and 30 percent of their income — which is, by the way, a lot more the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney paid in 2011." And there you have a perfect Democratic attack ad. (Grokked from thc1972)
And Jon Stewart frames the Fox News response (and hence the Romney Campaign response) to the Romney Tapes. If you think conservatives and Fox News in particular, have any intellectual capability, you need to watch that. It'll quickly disabuse you of your notions that they have any other function than to be tools of the machine. This is what I meant by throwing sand in the bull's eyes. And as you should probably be noticing by now, it's a machine that the rest of us will be feeding or be fed to, not one that works for the 99% of us.
And then you have what Romney wanted, the release of the full tape. "The final irony is that Romney called for the release of the full video, because somehow that was going to exonerate him… How'd that work out for him?" Turns out Romney (with some help) was also caught saying that he was hoping for a hostage situation like the Carter/Reagan election. And you may recall how the Libyan riots were initially portrayed in that light (former president Carter has been having his name tossed around a lot lately). So, how's it working out for Romney? Not very well so far. Except that his comment about the "full tape" wasn't made about actually reviewing the full tape (is it still okay we talk about "tape" when it was obviously a digital device? It's like "dialing" a phone). The comment was a bluff to his supporters. It was a "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" kind of statement meant to reassure them and attack his detractors with the "they took me out of context" thrust. All predicated that the full tape wouldn't be released, so no one could prove them wrong, and to put enough people asleep about the issue ("It's solved already, those bastard liberals just did careful editing, like we do to their tapes") that if the full tape is released, nobody is paying attention to the story anymore. (Grokked from Jay Lake)
And in case you need more disabusing form the mindset in the Romney video, Ezra Klein takes on that "personal responsibility" thing. (Grokked from Joe Hill)
Tweet of my heart: @MattFnWallace: My increasing suspicion is we're going to get to November and find out @MittRomney doesn't exist. He's been one sustained bit by @TheOnion.
Alligator Quotient: They must all be on planes today, or something. I expect thrashing frenzy later in day.