Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Around the blogs

It's been too long since I did an 'Around The Blogs' summary of interesting articles I've run across recently. There's a bumper list of them tonight.

The inimitable Al Fin links to an article about the Journolist scandal, and provides the names of 151 of the journalists involved, as well as the media for which they write. It's a very worthwhile reminder of whose political reporting should not be trusted, and why.

Sean Linnane had me sputtering in my coffee with laughter as I read his article about the 'Latest in R.T. (Redneck Technology)'. Here's just one example from the many he provides.

There are many more at the link. Giggle-worthy!

The unique W. C. Varones (who describes himself, most intriguingly, as "a radical libertarian Jeffersonian vegan militant bicyclist populist capitalist pig in San Diego") links to an article at The Liberator Today, which seeks to find common ground between the 'Occupy Wall Street' protesters and the Tea Party. I've called for this myself in the past, and I'm encouraged to find others doing likewise. If we could harness the energy of both groups to mutually acceptable (and achievable) goals, who knows what we might accomplish?

Labrat of the Atomic Nerds amused me enormously for several evenings by linking to a list of "1975 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG" (Role Playing Game). The list is in four parts at present, at the following links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. A fifth part will likely be needed soon. I don't know whether its continued growth is a sign of healthy development, or a measure of how bureaucratic DM's (Dungeon Masters) and their equivalents are becoming in this day and age! Great fun. (Oh - Labrat, if you're reading this, I hope you've archived the list somewhere safe! Something this geekily spectacular should be preserved for posterity!)

Marc J. Randazza, who's just made bloggers very happy by winning a major legal fight with the execrable Righthaven (about which I've written before), made me even happier by linking to (and posting in full) a 2003 article by Naomi Wolf, which he calls 'An Intelligent Argument Against Porn'. Both the original article and his post about it are several years old, but I've only recently encountered them. Here's an excerpt from Ms. Wolf's article.

Here is what young women tell me on college campuses when the subject comes up: They can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real woman—with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own (let alone with speech that goes beyond “More, more, you big stud!”)—possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who comes, so to speak, utterly submissive and tailored to the consumer’s least specification?

For most of human history, erotic images have been reflections of, or celebrations of, or substitutes for, real naked women. For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.

There's more at the link.

I have very great moral reservations about pornography, because I've seen all too often what it does to people and relationships, but there's no point in advancing religious or ethical objections to it when so many others don't share those perspectives. Ms. Wolf's article offers a non-religious approach that (to me at any rate) makes sound common sense. I'm obliged to Mr. Randazza for linking to it, and for all the articles at his blog, The Legal Satyricon. It's interesting reading.

Alan Caruba points out that the 'good old days' were often not so good after all.

An interesting book—well, at least to me— is “The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century” by Ian Mortimer. Let me share some snippets from it and, when I am through, as awful as our present times may seem to you, you may thank a merciful God that you born into these, not former times.

You’re visiting Exeter in the southwest of England, one of seventeen cathedral cities. “Arriving in every one of these places involves an assault on your senses…your nostrils will be invaded by the stench from the sewage-polluted watercourses and town ditches.”

“A major town is an intimidating place. Already you have seen the desiccated remains of thieves hanging on gallows at windswept crossroads. At the principal gates of a regional capital you will find the heads and limbs of traitors on display. When you enter the city of York, the largest city of the north, you will see the blackened heads of criminals stuck on poles above the city gates, their eyes plucked out by birds. Legs and arms hang by ropes, each the relic of a treasonable plot, now riddled with maggots or covered with flies.”

There's more at the link. Makes me grateful for hot water and indoor plumbing, not to mention a modern legal system!

Yesterday I mentioned the sad and untimely death of fellow blogger William the Coroner. Now Breda links to an excellent post of his from 2009 titled 'How To Live: Principles and Precepts'. It contains many thoughts and maxims with which I entirely agree. I'm obliged to Breda for reminding us about it. It's a fitting memorial to our blog buddy.

Daddy Bear has put up two good articles over the past few days. The first is 'Rules For Dating Girlie Bear', which is his perspective on what potential suitors will have to do to satisfy him (and stay alive) if they want to date his daughter. The second is his disbelieving double-take at the latest news from California about that state's high-speed rail project. Here's an excerpt.

Are you kidding me? You've tripled your costs to almost $100 billion, don't expect this thing to be useful until my grandchildren are out of college, and you haven't even started digging yet?

I must say, I'm impressed. This is incompetence on a scale that boggles the mind. You're looking to spend billions upon billions of our dollars over the next two and a half decades so that someone can go from the Embarcadero to DisneyLand.

These 'planners' need to be either pilloried or put up for a medal. It must take a lifetime of "How can I screw the taxpayer today?" to come up with a scheme like this. My hat is off to them.

There's more at the link. Both articles are excellent reading.

Closing honors go to the Adaptive Curmudgeon, who embedded this wonderful short video clip from the BBC entitled simply 'The Duel'. It's irresistible - so much so I had to embed it here, too!



Tim D said...

The redneck technology pictures remind me of the 'There I Fixed it' site.

For duel videos prefer A Gentleman's Duel in spite of it being somewhat longer

Tim D

DaddyBear said...

I think I'll have to put that book about medieval England on my Christmas list. I always laugh at people who wish they could have been born centuries ago so they could be a noble knight or prince. I hate to tell them they would more likely have been cannon fodder or a subsistence farmer who died young and ugly.

ASM826 said...

The jack is sitting on an Inorganic Chemistry book. Somehow appropriate.