What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Linkee-poo chose a gun and threw away the sun

Still way, way behind in my reading. Sorry. Last night I had to tell myself to go to bed when it was almost 1am (I normally get up a little after 6am). Too much.

The value of tenacity (because I haven't had time to write my own squib about it)

Justine Larbalester with the moving goals posts of "I know I've made it as a writer when…".

Catherine Shaffer on the "boys won't read about girls" canard. Look, okay, some boys won't, but that's because they're mirroring the attitudes they see at home and in their idols. For the real book industry (or at least the geek based genres), that's not too large a population to really worry about, because those people don't buy icky genre books anyway.

The Council on Foreign Relations new report finds "(t)he United States' failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country's ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role…". Don't worry, I'm sure if we just let the kids pray, learn creations, dismiss that global warming pap and give greater local authority and control, it'll all sort itself out. Actually, they put a heavy emphasis on "competition and choice" even though that's been shown to not affect outcomes. (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

Calculating the refresh rate of the universe. (Pointed to by John)

Haven't done this yet, so before it gets too far away, in all the hullballu, I nearly missed the passing of Peter Bergman. A founding member (the founding member) of Firesign Theatre, his work has had a large influence on my sense of humor and the way I view the world. If you ever see me sitting by myself watching the crowds passing by and smiling, it's probably because in the back of my head there is a tape running giving all the background comedic noise that was de rigor on the Firesign Records. "Antelope Freeway, one sixty-fourth of a mile…" (that sketch runs through my head every time I use the GPS).

ZOMG, the new EPA rules will mean another coal fired power plant will never be built in the US. Well, the industry (power generation) doesn't seem all that concerned 'cause they're all huffing the natural gas these days. But I'm sure we'll get the various conservative propaganda engines fired up about it (they, BTW, do run on coal, the high sulfur kind). So, to head off any strikes, I've just got one question for ya, where the fuck are you on clean coal? It's been over a decade and you only have 1 pilot plant who's technology has proven to be too expensive and doesn't scale well. Time for that lie to die it's quiet death.

The myth of the independent voter. While there are some, it's not really the 40% that is often touted.

The smear campaign against Trayvon Martin. Why would conservatives want to smear a 17-year old murder victim? Because they know that this is exactly the case people have been making against the fringe positions and laws pushed by the NRA. And it's a big enough story that they can't bury it. So they need to create the narrative that Travyon was "asking for it", Zimmerman was "protecting" himself, and Travyon was the aggressor here. Because the opposite of those positions destroys their arguments. Again, as I stated here, their arguments hold no logical basis.

Good thing we didn't let the terrorists win, filling us with fear and hate and the desire to destroy our own cultural and moral foundations.

Tweet of my heart:
@vidensadastra: So as it turns out when you work at a library "I don't want to leave my book group" is a totally valid reason to get your schedule changed.

Alligator Quotient: When you stack enough of them together, they look like a big, squiggly leather wallet. From the inside.


vince said...

Call me unsurprised about the state of education and totally in agreement with you analysis.

Steve Buchheit said...

I wasn't surprised either, having contact with people in school these days. There are a few gems, but a large majority of other people. It's sad to say.

Eric said...

I feel like I coulda told 'em so about independent voters: I've been an independent since high school because the Democrats are generally too conservative, not because I shift allegiances every election cycle or can't make up my mind. I've never assumed I was alone--I've always taken it for granted that most other indies are more or less like me and just don't want to be formally affiliated with one party or the other but will consistently vote for the one that's closer to their values (Democratic in my case, natch).

The only races I'd expect to see indies swing at all would be ones in which a third-party candidate appears "viable" (in a very loose sense that makes those quotes necessary, not as scare quotes but as "so-called" quotes); e.g. leftie indies voting for Nader or conservative independents defecting to Perot in '92. Not something that's going to happen this time around; possibly something that's not going to happen in any foreseeable future, as I'd guess most independents felt burned by the way their (mis)calculations paid off. (Personally: after Bush, I will never say what I said in 2000 about the Democrats and Republicans being barely distinguishable from each other. Gore may have run as a center-right candidate in the Clintonian mold, but mea culpa, there would have been a difference; not that my vote for Nader in 2000 made one bit of difference in a winner-take-all electoral system in which my state was deeply in the GOP's pocket and all I could hope to do--unsuccessfully, as it turned out--is try to get the Greens some love on future ballots).

Steve Buchheit said...

Yeah, Eric. I think that your experience tracks to most of those who claim "independence." It's sort of the same stats that conservative like to tout about how "most of the country is against Obamacare" without mentioning that over half of those people object because Obamacare doesn't go far enough (ie. single payer).

I was surprised that there's more Democratic leaning independents than conservatives. My perception must be skewed by my previous work environments. But yeah, whenever I hear the talking heads saying, "Well, the independents could swing either way" I just laugh. There's really only a small percentage that could swing, most of the rest will either vote in a certain direction, or stay home.