James Fallows: “If the TSA Were Running New York . . .

James Fallows at The Atlantic writes: The point of terrorism is not to “destroy.” It is to terrify. And for eight and a half years now, the dominant federal government response to terrorist threats and attacks has been to magnify their harm by increasing a mood of fear and intimidation….

EFF on FaceBook’s Eroding Privacy—And Rights Grab

The EFF has published two important discussions of recent changes regarding who controls your data on Facebook; first, a timeline of the changes to the Facebook privacy statements: Facebook originally earned its core base of users by offering them simple and powerful controls over their personal information. As Facebook grew…

Spin that Story!

Blatant examples of media agenda and spin as seen in the coverage regarding the GM Payback . . . Wow. Just wow. MSNBC Fallen giant General Motors Co. accelerated toward recovery Wednesday, announcing the repayment of $8.1 billion in U.S. and Canadian government loans five years ahead of schedule. The…

Slacktivist on Tim LeHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ Tribulation Force

Fred Clark has been doing a close analysis of the Tim LeHaye “Left Behind” books about on life after the Apocalypse for those “left behind” by the Rapture. MacAllister calls the books “post-rapture revenge fantasy,” and that’s the best description I’ve seen yet. Currently, Clark, aka Slacktivist, is up to…

Veteran Marine, Mainer to Meet Obama

Leroy Peasey, an 87 year old resident of Rockland, Maine who served in the Pacific theater during WWII, was wounded in action on Guam, and waited on reserve during the invasion of Iwo Jima, has been invited to lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the President’s visit to Portland, Maine,…

Tor has a Blog!

Long ago, around 1983, and before 1984, when I was an already devout fan of F and SF, I discovered that Tor books were a reasonable gamble; even if I didn’t know the author’s work, I had a 90% or better chance of finding anything this small publisher called Tor…

Julie and Julia: A Meditation on Film, Julia Child, and Cooking Blogs

Even though the film Julie and Julia came out in 2009, I’ve only just now seen it. Written and directed by Nora Ephron, and based in part on the blog Julie Powell started in 2002 at Salon. I liked Julie and Julia very much. Meryl Streep is fabulous, (as usual),…

Scientists Discover Brain’s Moral Compass . . . and It Responds to Magnets

In a study led by Dr. Liane Young of MIT, researchers have discovered that the moral compass lies in the right temporo-parietal junction of the human brain, near the surface and just behind the right ear. This region becomes excited and actively engaged when we think about other people’s errors…

“The Rage Is Not About Health Care”: Teabaggers and Racism

In Frank Rich’s New York Times op-ed “The Rage Is Not About Health Care ” he notes: The week before the health care vote, The Times reported that births to Asian, black and Hispanic women accounted for 48 percent of all births in America in the 12 months ending in…

Byron and Shelley Excoriated from the Grave

Author Daisy Hay while researching her book Young Romantics, about the Shelleys, Byron and their “tangled lives” found a fragment of a memoir by Claire Clairmont (1798-1879), Mary Shelley’s young, head-strong step-sister. Clairmont, perhaps most famous for describing Byron as “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know” was in her teens…

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