Language Liberalism Freethought Birds
Verbing Weirds Language only if you're expecting it to work in a simple way. This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.
Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.
The church says Earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence in a shadow than the church.
If we can't find Heaven, there are always bluejays.
Friday, September 04, 2015
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Because it seems appropriate. Again.
The Kurds Are in the Way Again
The Kurds are in the way again,
And so, to our dismay again,
If we begin a fray again,
As it appears we may again,
It seems we must betray again
The Kurds: They're in the way again.
(Calvin Trillin, published in The Nation's March 24, 2003 issue)
Sunday, August 09, 2015
The Week in Entertainment
DVD: 50 to 1, a good old-fashioned race-horse movie, with the added attraction of Christian Kane (considerably more photogenic than the real Mark Allen). A little heavy on the drinking-and-fighting cowboys, but I guess that's what Mine That Bird's owners were like. Calvin Borel, the Derby jockey, plays himself and very nicely, too. Excellent racing footage of Borel's rail-hugging run from last to 6 lengths ahead. (Is Bob Baffert really an asshole, or is he just the designated sneering super-villain of horse-racing movies?) And, finally, Inception, which I enjoyed a lot.
TV: The Manchurian Candidate, which is still a damned good movie. Tried to watch the remake of The Producers but just couldn't. It's not Matthew Broderick's fault that he's a pale imitation of Gene Wilder but I couldn't think of anything else, and Nathan Lane did a good job of making his Bialystock different from Zero Mostel's, but honestly, it was awful (I lasted till they hired the secretary).
Read: N.K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun, a two-book series as good as "The Inheritance Trilogy" though very different.
Monday, August 03, 2015
Nice job, there
So, there's a story in the Guardian about children who have severe, crippling aversion to new or indeed most food. Kids who actually vomit when made to taste something new. Kids who literally cannot eat more than a handful of things. These kids, of course, can grow up to have many severe psychological problems.
The researcher in the story is quoted as saying:
“What I don’t want to do with the reporting of the story is to create panic among the parents,” Zucker said. “To pathologize something that’s not pathological.”So what headline does the Guardian slap on it?
Picky eaters may grow into depressed and anxious kids, research suggests
New study claims tendencies, which pediatricians have long advised children will ‘grow out of’, are associated with more serious conditions
Sunday, August 02, 2015
The Weeks in Entertainment
Whoa. I missed a couple of weeks again (I've been distracted). Also pretty much just reading.
Read: I discovered N.K. Jemisin and was blown away. I read The Inheritance Trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, The Kingdom of Gods) and the novella The Awakened Kingdom and the "triptych" of short stories Shades in Shadows (which you really need to have read the trilogy before you read. Well, they need to be read in order, anyway). Simply splendid. So I have begun The Killing Moon, which is completely unconnected and (so far) very good if not as instantly captivating as The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms was. Also read the excellent "Five Gods" novels by Lois McMaster Bujold (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt, Penric's Demon)after the fifth or sixth time I saw Curse recommended on a blog. Heart of Tin, another Dorothy Must Die novella. Man, I wish she'd get the last book out there instead of all these prequels, even thought it's interesting to see how the Oz she's writing about came to be.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
The video of Samuel DuBose's killing illustrates one massive problem we have here in the US.
No, it's not that the cop murdered DuBose and then blatantly lied about it, despite having a body-cam on that showed he was, in the words of the prosecutor, "making an excuse for a purposeful killing of another person." (The prosecutor also said the killing was "murder" and "so senseless", and that "It was so unnecessary for this to occur. People want to believe that Mr DuBose had done something violent toward the officer. He did not. He did not at all." When a prosecutor says that, well.)
That is terrible, horrible, a huge problem, yes, absolutely.
But the fact is that at least one other cop backed up the killer's story 100%. He reported things that simply didn't happen. He lied to uphold the Thin Blue Line. And another one gave it a good shot, too.
So keep on saying "#NotAllCops". Keep on telling yourself and us that "most cops are good guys" and the "most cops don't kill people". Just realize that if 1 cop kills and 2 cops who wouldn't still lie to protect him, you've got 3 cops who conspired to cover up a murder. The whole barrel is becoming full of rotten apples.
If the Good Cops® cover up for the Bad Cops what is it exactly that makes them the Good Guys?
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
"A neighborhood dispute gets ugly. Why an off-duty police officer is accused of pulling his gun on his neighbor."
I so hate that style of teaser-writing. Why is he accused of it? Don't mean you'll tell the alleged reason he did it, not the alleged reason he's being accused of doing it?
You read what you expect
I vaguely noticed the "typo" in the headline "Oklahoma Guv's Daughter Living In Trailer Parked Outside Guv's Mansion" but really read right over it. To the extent that I was actually startled to realize she wasn't living in a "trailer park" (I figured the article was going to be about the governor's refusal to help her daughter or the daughter's crime-and/or-poverty-ridden life) but was in fact living in a trailer that was parked on the mansion's grounds. The story is about people complaining about taxpayers "footing her bills" - though, as the governor points out, if her daughter had moved into the mansion people would be paying for "her" utilities just the same.
By the way, I also was only vaguely aware that the daughter is in a band (which is why she's in a trailer). What can I say? Oklahoman politicians' families are not really on my radar.