Odds and ends
This week brought us the best Romney quote yet: "I’m not familiar precisely with what I said, but I’ll stand by what I said, whatever it was." Like the etch-a-sketch thing, it fits the guy like a glove.
The National Review accused Elizabeth Warren of plagiarizing a book which, as it turns out, was published after her own book was. This is really kind of sad because the National Review, long ago, was actually a pretty respectable magazine. In the 1980s I subscribed to it.
The most barbarous regime on Earth has just banned the use of the English language in business. Well, we'll soon see how much the endorsement of some tinpot medieval theocracy matters to the global status of our language. Interestingly, the place where I read this was the English-language website of Russia TV. Apparently a strong, confident non-Western society does not feel slighted by using English to communicate internationally.
The Washington Post reported that, as of last year, slightly more than half of all the babies born in the US were non-white -- and so naturally everyone has to pick up on this claim and ruminate on it. Of course, as I've pointed out earlier, the claim itself -- like the claim that half the total US population will be "non-white" by 2050 -- is true only insofar as the person pictured at the top of this post is "non-white". (It's highly unlikely that the racial categories we use today will still be meaningful in 2050, anyway.) Such reports may be useful to the right wing for keeping their knuckle-dragging legions agitated and ready to rumble (and vote), but they don't reflect reality.
As Europe and (much of) the United States have become essentially de-Christianized over the last century or two, science has flourished and forged ahead there. Unfortunately the process also works in reverse. South Korea, unlike its neighbors Japan and China, has proven highly susceptible to Christian proselytizing -- about 30% of the population is now Christian -- and now we see the fruits of this: the Ministry of Education has agreed to remove evolution from school textbooks after a campaign by Christian groups. PZ Myers thinks this suggests a possible strategy for intellectual warfare.
David Frum critiques OWS:
.....hobo camps.....defined OWS as a movement of its own oddball 1% rather than the American mainstream. If instead OWS had staged daily 1-hour teach-ins—followed by trash pick-up in the parks where it convened—it might have proceeded to build on its first success.
Commenter "ItsTimeNow" responds:
We did. We had daily cleanups, sometimes more. We had multiple teach ins going on all the time. Is it our fault the media didn't report this and instead focused on the fringe elements? The homeless who will naturally wander in? There were incidents were the city drove up with vans, and released mentally insane people right there, across the street from Zuccotti! We accepted them instead of forcing them out on the street, and for that we got a bad reputation.
Don't believe every impression you get from the MSM. They're pushing a narrative.
The G8 summit just concluded in Washington ended with Obama endorsing the new pro-growth, pro-jobs, anti-austerity wave sweeping Europe, strengthening France's new President Hollande who is the most powerful representative of that movement. Let's hope that this will embolden the Greeks (who return to the polls next month) to give even more of their votes to Syriza, the far-left anti-austerity coalition, which is committed to defying the EU on this issue. The cut-spending austerity-mania pushed by the EU and by US Republicans has already inflicted horrific suffering and sent country after country into an economic death-spiral. The faster it is swept away by Hollande, Obama, and other enlightened leaders hopefully to be elected in other countries soon, the better.
As if bitter-end über-austeritard Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, weren't having a lousy enough day already, she had to stand next to British Prime Minister David Cameron and watch as a British team squashed Germany in some big-deal soccer game.
Finally, a couple of video tributes to Mitt Romney:
(found via Smartypants)
(found via Dogs against Romney)