The Why and Wherefore

What, you don’t think the New Yorker is performing responsible journalism by portraying the Obamas as terrorist-fist-jabbing, Osama-loving Muslims?

On one hand, studies show that even mentioning rumors long enough to debunk them only feeds the flames; readers may or may not remember the refutation, but every mention of the rumor, even to refute it, will keep it in their heads. So there’s a legit argument to be made that JimBob in Mississippi is going to show this cover to his buddies and go, “See? Even a liberal publication like the New Yorker thinks Obama is a terrorist.” As Slate puts it,

The source of all of this injury is not daring exposé or cutting criticism by a New Yorker writer but one of “them damned pictures”—to quote Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall, who bled pints every time he was poked by Thomas Nast‘s pen. “I don’t care so much what the papers say about me,” Tweed said of Nast’s work. “My constituents can’t read. But, damn it, they can see pictures!”

On the other hand, since when does JimBob even see the New Yorker, much less read it? Or even know what it is, except as a member of Bill O’Reilly’s Enemies List? Read the rest of this entry »

No, this is not a lame LiveJournal meme. Not that I didn’t do my fair share of those before I abandoned LJ (I love you all but I don’t care what you had for breakfast).

A while back, I read a post about this article on Broadsheet. It’s about the personality of cities, and the people in them. I continue to fail at the #1 successful blog requirement of being timely, but when it comes time to care about how this blog performs, I’m moving it to a server where I can host AdSense anyways. Read the rest of this entry »

My mom got another one of those fact-free email forwards about ANWR drilling and why the Evil Socialist Liberals are conspiring to keep gas prices high because, you know, they hate freedom. She asked me to put something together to send back.

So naturally, as the champion of truth, justice and long-windedness, I was compelled to respond.

First off: drilling in ANWR isn’t going to help a damn thing. Any new drilling project, whether in ANWR or offshore, will take at least a decade to start actually producing oil. So anyone looking for short-term gas price relief: ANWR isn’t going to help you. According to a May 2008 report from the Energy Information Administration (emphases mine): Read the rest of this entry »

Once again, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

In an election year when Republicans are bracing to lose seats in Congress and major issues from Iraq to the economy appear to favor the Democrats, the GOP is betting that an aggressive push to drill for new domestic energy will be their ticket to success in November.

“Energy is actually a huge opportunity for Republicans,” said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who chairs the Senate Republicans’ re-election campaign. “Energy has the opportunity to change the climate if it’s done right.”

Oh, it’ll change the climate all right. I’m about ready to pull a Lex Luthor and buy waterfront property. In Nevada.

I finally understand what that No Doubt album title means!

So I was at a party with my 42-year-old boyfriend a few weeks ago, keeping my mouth shut while 30-something women complained about younger women stealing all the older men, and one of them brought up a new concept to me: the Saturn return.

Apparently this is a concept in astrology pointing out that Saturn takes about 29ish years to orbit the sun, and so every 29ish years, it returns to the place in your birth chart where it was when you were born, and causes all sorts of upheaval in your life.

Now let me state upfront that I am an equal-opportunity skeptic. Read the rest of this entry »

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

FEMA, which administers the National Flood Insurance Program, has spent almost $1 billion since 2003 so far to modernize its maps, which Buckley said are for insurance purposes, not to indicate people are safe.

Of course. Because really, which one is more important?

What an incredible speech.

I am all asniffle.

Good and bad day, today.

I suppose “bad” may be too strong a word; I do admire Obama and I think he’ll make an excellent candidate, as he has so far, in the general election. I continue to believe that Clinton would have made a better president; I have an ingrained fondness for policy wonks. It frustrates me to see that ‘change’ trumped ‘experience’ in this election, just exactly as it did in 2000. I was sort of hoping that we’d want a change from an administration with zero experience to one with some pretty damn good experience (rather than to one with just some experience).

I am also, of course, sad to see the presidency remain a boys’ club, although happy to see the prospect of it no longer being an old white man’s club. I also think Michelle Obama will be the best thing to happen to the First Lady position since… well, Hillary Clinton. Read the rest of this entry »