Thursday, September 02, 2010

Links to Drink By... Our Modern Culture Edition

1. Where I defend Sarah Palin.... (sort of): Michael Joseph Gross, in the latest Vanity Fair, all over the TeeVee today, explores the world of the Wasilla warrior, with all the gratuitous, off-the-record angst that we've come to expect from the Literate Class. To wit: "Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private: this is the pattern of Palin’s behavior toward the people who make her life possible." No shit. That sounds like me on some of my better days. Gross effuses that Palin sees evil everywhere, she's not well-read, she makes a lot of money, her fans love her, others hate her. Eight pages? It's dramatic, I get it, now tell me something new, dude. And for Democrats still flabbergasted that such a sociopath could make it to a national ticket, I have two words: Ambulance Chaser, and one more while we're at it: Joementum. (Of course, nobody has killed more soldiers and civilians, or wasted more money than the King of VP sociopaths.)

2. Mike Posner, the whole disc (shown at right) is very good.

3. PZ opines on the "Mosque." Again, I wish I had written this: "...we lose our democratic soul if we lose our tolerance for stupid ideas." And, "Naturally, I dislike the idea of constructing religious buildings anywhere, since they are a colossal waste of community resources, typically represent unproductive holes in the tax base, and promote stupid thinking — but guess what? Those aren't legal cause to interfere with people's right to waste their time and money. Also, if we accept the privilege of individual autonomy and personal freedom, we don't have moral cause to interfere." If there is such a thing as a soul, mine is modeled after PZ's.

4. The Iraq war ledger: Was it worth it? This CAP assessment is a necessary adjunct to mine.

5. Has it really been over 2 years since I reviewed Nassim Taleb's Black Swan? Well, I'm re-reading it now and enjoying it even more. BTW, it's good to see that Taleb is his usual cranky self these days.

6. If you haven't read Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone, do it. I laughed, I cried-- I almost cried--no, I did cry... Good book, well-written, epic story of missionaries, medicine, Catholicism, clash of cultures, family, Africa, war, immigration. You'll be entertained and learn a lot, I did. I'll provide a more thorough review at some point.

7. Should women be ordained as Roman Catholic priests? Okay, I admit that since reading Christopher's blog I've spent an inordinate amount of time re-connecting with my Roman Catholic roots. Part of it might be to see if they are still as whack as I remember--it's been a good 25 years since I stopped calling myself Catholic-- but I have to say that I appreciate the consistency in the dogma. Here's is an excellent list of the reasons why women will never be priests, and it's well-written (ah, the benefits of a parochial school education.) BTW, I also picked up Last Catholic in America at the library, written by an alum from my high school, but I haven't shown it to the wife-- she's getting a little worried about my newfound interest in the Church.

Enough for now, I've got work to do!

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