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Sunday Morning Reading Material Third Sunday in February 2012- Canadian Astronaut Edition


It’s Sunday… sometime. Sundays are for crockpots. Sundays are for road trips to Grandma’s. Sundays are for Sleeping. Sundays are for working, and visiting one’s partner’s family. And of course, Sundays are for dressing you up like a little gnome and have you, like, live in my garden.

This week: Iran moved a pair of Warships into the mediterranian, a show of force intended to push Israel into ceasing their attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists. This week the US Presidential primary showed a massive swing towards the candidate who’s name is so vile that googling it cannot be done from most work places. Also this week: scientists discovered that goats can form accents.

I’m almost positive that the Virginia State legislature didn’t intend to write a law that would demand doctors rape roughly 1/3 of Virginian women. But they did. Perhaps the most awful part of the bill is suspicion that it was written in the most-inflammatory way possible– specifically to overturn one of the most important legal decisions in American history.

Speaking of treating women very badly: the congressional panel about contraceptives and insurance that didn’t include a single woman. That’s not what Darrell Issa wanted the panel to be about, of course. He wanted a congressional inquiry about how Religion would no longer be as free to discriminate against women. So he invited a bunch of religious people to talk about it would curtail their freedom. Naturally he didn’t want to learn about how curtailing religious freedom enhanced the freedom of women. Also, for the record: when women get free contraceptives, men are much happier.

The practice of buying and selling sex is, of course, unsavory. I honestly can’t imagine what would cause someone to, say, get a lap dance. The idea of paying for penetration is utterly foreign to me. Maybe it’s just that desire is my own personal kink. Who knows. But just because I don’t like something, and just because I don’t understand why someone would buy something, doesn’t mean that it ought to be illegal. Nor does it mean that the police should incentivize unsafe workplaces. By doing so, they’re not only directly harming workers and clients, they’re also causing a danger to the public at large.

I had no idea that post birth was this uncomfortable for women. American society really ought to get on making this better.

Also this week? The world was OUTRAGED by the case of the government forcing a child to take free milk she didn’t know she had access to. I understand how parental embarrassment/fear at being unable to provide for their child can masquerade as outrage that someone else would do so. The fact that she was encouraged to feel that outrage is sickening. What sorts of moral monsters object to the richest country on Earth collectively offering to feed 4 year olds?

I do love me some West Wing. It’s got great dialog, fun characters, and a real sense of the pacing that government officials operate under. The problem is that the fictional president they portray isn’t very good. The problem is that not only did the writers on that show not know what liberalism should be, they didn’t understand why liberals believe what we do. As a result, Barlet was a sort of feckless weather vane: constantly reacting to crises, never setting the agenda. That was before the last half of the series. At that point, the writers started making a Democratic president make all the same decisions that the real Republican president was making.

Sometimes you just need a shitstorm.

There was a great line in Pump up the Volume: “all the great themes have been used up and turned into theme parks“. I won’t actually throw a party the day the last Baby Boomer dies- my father is part of that generation. It is, however, certainly the case that the Baby Boomers cashed out the promise and equity of America, and left behind only a burned husk of what might have been. As a generation they are loathsome.

Fun fact: we had ever increasing wages until the Boomers began voting in large numbers. Labor rights were rolled back, and we find ourselves in the mess we are today.

I’m sorry if my anti-Boomer musings have brought you down alot.

I earned just over $13,000 in 2011. As a result, I owed the US government roughly $300. Facebook earned roughly $1 billion. As a result, they will owe no taxes at all. This seems fair to me. Wait. Wait. No.

I hadn’t realized that Portugal decriminalized drugs a decade ago. One never hears about drug tourists flocking to the country hoping for a high. This may say some very negative things about the rest of what Portugal has to offer. Interesting thing about drug use after that decade: It’s gone down.

I played Angry Birds once. It led me to joining Al Queada.

Despite the headline, this is first paining ever made by humans. Rather, it is the oldest one we have record of. Either way: fucking cool.

When content owners won’t let their audience get product, it increases the likelihood that people will turn to other means to get their goods. I think if IP owners understood their problem with piracy, they’d have a better handle on fighting it. Instead, they flail like children, reacting against change.

The point of copyright law is to provide a (monetary) incentive for people to produce art and science. It’s hard to see how Whitney Huston could be induced to create more music by a posthumous price hike. Instead, the profit goes to the immortal corporation. Make your own vampire joke.

If I were suddenly making $200,000 a year, I’d like to think that my basic personality wouldn’t change much. After all, the things I enjoy doing wouldn’t change. And I’d guess that my free time to engage in those things would actually diminish. I can’t say that I’m actually all that different from this group of whiners, though.

So yeah. I think I’m going to play this game about slavery. Why don’t you?

If you click just one link:

Labor is discontent..

Crowdsourcing a celebrity.