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Roundup: Fantasy History Edition

August 23rd, 2007 · 1 Comment · Apple, Blogs, Books, Business, Climate Change, Comics, Culture, Energy, Food, Foreign Policy, Health, History, LGBT, Macintosh, Media, Nature, News, Peace, Pets, Politics, Racism, Roundup, Science, Tech, TV

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  • Bush has suddenly decided that the Iraq occupation is kinda like Vietnam after all, but of course he’s careful to draw the wrong conclusions from the comparison. The article quotes American University historian Allan Lichtman as saying that Bush’s spin on the situation “is not revisionist history. It is fantasy history.”
  • On a related note, Mahablog uses an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation to decode the war supporters’ weird obsession with Winston Churchill and Neville Chamberlain, and why they always get that history so very wrong.
  • If by any chance you missed the op-ed from the NY Times this past weekend, written by seven infantrymen and officers about to return home from Iraq, it’s a must-read. It’s not only impressively well written, but as Paul Rieckhoff at the HuffPo says, “Consider the tremendous amount of moral courage that it takes to put oneself on the line like this. Whether you agree or disagree with the stance these soldiers take, hats off to them for having the guts to write this piece.”
  • Via Eli, the Village Voice analyzes Rudy G’s five big lies about 9/11.
  • Sadly, No wonders what’s wrong with the brains of certain white conservatives who are obsessed with the idea that white people just aren’t breeding enough, and seem convinced that “dark-skinned people are involved in a broad conspiracy to have thousands of children who will be used soldiers in the coming Global War to Steal Whitey’s Flatscreens and iPods.”
  • Diebold changes the name of its voting machine division to Premier Election Systems. They plan to keep on making the same lousy, unsecure voting machines — they’re just hoping that by changing the name people will no longer connect their shoddy past with their shoddy future.
  • Netflix chooses human voices over email-based customer service, and Portland over outsourcing to an overseas call center.
  • THE PINK SECTION: Hollywood Reporter writer Ray Richmond writes about the uproar that followed his column about Merv Griffin’s closeted gay life, and how and why the column got pulled and then restored by the Hollywood Reporter’s Web site (while Reuters totally caved and yanked the column for good).
  • Popular and Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy has a new show in the pipeline called 4 oz., about the journey of a married man who realizes he’s transgendered. Brad Pitt is one of the executive producers and the pilot has been greenlit by FX.
  • New documentary in the works about the historic 1965 raid on California Hall in San Francisco, an important turning point in the gay liberation movement. Click through for the whole fascinating story.
  • And via Towleroad, we at long last have proof of the connection between male bondage and Barbra Streisand.
  • THE GREEN SECTION: An editorial in the Boston Globe today looks at our nation’s addiction to coal, pointing out the lethal accidents and health hazards it causes, while noting that “coal-burning power plants are also the principal man-made source of the nerve-system poison mercury,” and that “of all the fossil fuels, coal emits the most carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas. Forty percent of the US total of carbon dioxide comes from coal burning, mostly to produce electricity.” The piece concludes that “No other energy solution … takes a toll in lives and environmental destruction that is at all comparable to coal’s.”
  • Greenpeace blows the whistle on the Brazilian government for selling off precious rainforest as part of a housing scam.
  • Household flame retardants may be causing a rash of thyroid disease in cats.
  • Offshore wind farms are dangerous to whales and dolphins, according to a new report from the Whale and Dolphin Society.
  • BOOKS: It’s official — liberals tend to read more books than conservatives do. Pat Schoeder, now of the American Association of Publishers, expounds on those results a little here. The study doesn’t actually say that reading a lot makes you more liberal, but I will. Reading books makes you better at seeing things from more than one perspective, and the ability to understand different perspectives is one of the most essential elements of the liberal mindset. (Disclaimer: Reading “books” by Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly won’t help you.)
  • HEALTH: Children’s resistance to new foods — called neophobia — may be genetic, providing an evolutionary advantage for both early humans and other animals by reducing their exposure to potentially toxic foods. It seems logical to infer that neophobia fades as people get older because they’re better able to consciously evaluate whether food is safe to eat or not. But then again, how do you explain that mouthful of pushpins I just swallowed? (They were so pretty!)
  • TECH: Doesn’t this sound like the perfect setup for a monster movie? Complete with this quote from an executive involved in creating the “artificial life”: “”When these things are created, they’re going to be so weak, it’ll be a huge achievement if you can keep them alive for an hour in the lab,” he said. “But them getting out and taking over, never in our imagination could this happen.” (You know that scientist is doomed in the movie version … )
  • I knew it. I just knew it.
  • Windows user tempted by new iMac. Meanwhile, it’s RIP, AppleWorks.
  • COMICS: This Modern World has Karl Rove’s secret plan to destroy the GOP.
  • Tom Toles looks at the difference between Iraq and Iran.
  • Bob Geiger’s Saturday cartoon roundup.
  • Candorville reveals the ultimate pre-existing condition.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Aaron

    Actually, if the Tom Tomorrow scenario were true, I’d feel much more kindly toward the Three Stooges of Washington.

    Well, that is, if they hadn’t bankrupted our country and sent all those kids into harm’s way for no good reason. Yeah…forgot that li’l part…