23 December 2009

Today's reading list

  • C-SPAN helps MSNBC show and prove hypocrisy by McCain - Sen. Franken denies Sen. Lieberman an additional moment to speak, McCain denounces that action as unprecedented, Maddow dutifully hunts down a clip (with considerable help from C-SPAN) of McCain, in 2002, denying an additional 30 seconds from Sen. Mark Dayton as Dayton rails against the Iraq war.
  • How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room - Excellent, clearly written piece on how China emasculated the treaty and how the world press laid down on the job and put the blame on Obama.
  • Holy Baboon! A 'Mystical' Moment In Africa - Back in 2004, I commented on the continuum of consciousness across the animal kindom. This event with baboons appears part of that continuum as--although exaggerated in the NPR story--an example of group contemplation. Myth is our collective memory of events in our pre-writing past; here was the origin of a myth in baboon society.
  • THE END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION - Mocking Palin (easy though it is) for her tweet that shall be known in the archives of literature as: "Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions". I'm loathe to defend Palin, but Gin and Tacos' railings reminded me of an article I remember reading in Language Log (closest I could find was Shattering the illusions of texting). Their defense was, simply, that Twitter and IM abbreviations are akin to those used in early printed novels, newspapers, and broadsheets. Ink, paper, and typesetting were expensive, and so brevity became the soul of profit. To anyone who complains about Twitter but then uses "etc" or "1/4" or "&": get over yourselves.
  • THE DIZZYING HEIGHTS - The G&T blog is more interesting when he avoid linguistics and sticks to politics. His mocking of conservative solutions are spot on: There is not a single thing the government can do - from fighting a war to creating a last-resort insurance option - that can't be done better by a consortium of gigantic private interests with their eternal guiding light of the profit motive.
  • THE COOLER - The Senate and a weak majority: One of my favorite quotes from the founding era - which, like any tale of the Founders' wit and wisdom, may be apocryphal - is Washington's explanation to a skeptical Thomas Jefferson about the advantages of a bicameral legislature and specifically of a House designed for rapid action paired with a slow-moving Senate. GW is said to have asked Jefferson, "Why did you set your tea on the table before drinking it?" to which Jefferson said, "To cool it; my throat is not made of brass." Having made the point, Washington told his friend, "So it is with the legislature. The House is where we make our tea and the Senate is where we let it cool so we might drink it."
[ posted by sstrader on 23 December 2009 at 9:51:03 AM in Today's reading list ]