Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Selected December posts, in case you missed them the first time during the holiday rush

Because I'm feeling sort of tired and a bit lazy, trying to catch up on my Christmas reading, and because things scroll by so fast, here are some links:

"Prediction is difficult, especially about the future." Who said it? Bohr leads Berra, but Yogi closing the gap. And what about Borat?

What's that breaking sound? Just more breakage for this guy: Santa Bush and the Christmas Barn Rules. He broke it. He'll fix it, sort of. Oh oh oh. (Photo)

Bush Iraq policy summarized by The Donald. He may be a litigious lunatic about Rosie, but he's right on about Bush.

Fighting the winter blues: Here in Madison we didn’t get London’s fog or Denver’s blizzard. No, just a steady December drizzle all day long on the shortest day of the year -- the Solstice, celebrated by making an ice lantern by the side of a dark and thawing lake and lighting the candles. With photos and a passing discussion about Robert Frost and the Solstice, including link to Library of Congress handwritten manuscript of “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

Rust Belt Blues: Partly an overview of the history and sociology of Kalamazoo, partly a personal meditation on the self-loathing malaise she sees running through her adopted Rust Belt city like a buried stream of toxic waste, Jaimy Gordon's essay, "Little Man in the Woods," is set in the town that once headquartered Gibson Guitar and other companies, now gone. Self-hating towns and their residents. With update on China connection in the comments.

The Unbearable Lightness of Listening to Bush. Not winning, not losing, gonna hang in there, more troops, wouldn't be there if we couldn't succeed. Nothing new and I drive off to work, scanning the radio stations for the news conference. Can't find it. That figures. Must not be important.

The magpie theory of book selection in the library: Of course I had to check out the book once I saw the bright yellow slip sticking out of it.

The Dr. Pangloss "Best of All Possible Worlds" Award goes to David Brooks. For actually writing “In general, poor people today live at about the same standard of living as middle-class people did in the 1960s.” Relying on American Enterprise institute research does that to people.

The calendar says three months, but in Wisconsin winter lasts six months. Seeing is believing: The meteorology of winter in Wisconsin. (And according to the calendar "winter" hadn't even started!)

The bloodless abstraction of a lot of the neoliberal discussion about Chile, rooted in the murderous abstractions of the Cold War, is so reminiscent of the arguments with similar historical origins (Jeane Kirkpatrick = mother of all neocons?) used to sell the Iraq war. in both cases, realpolitik over principle, with the result that real people -- not abstractions -- were killed and tortured. Nothing can justify that. When the pull of abstraction gets too strong, take a moment to read about Victor Jara.

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