24 November 2013

Link round-up for 24 November 2013

Which makes you more creative, beer or coffee? (Correct answer above.)

God will judge us!

NSFW fiction piece of the day:  Charles Stross's thrilling tale of a fundamentalist tyrannosaurus molester.

Can't afford a yacht?  Consider a mini-yacht.

Life would make more sense backwards.

Who needs oil and coal when we've got this honkin' huge fusion reactor?

Here's some good advice for a bad parent.

Some companies are standing up to the pearl-clutchers.

Craig Cobb, the white supremacist recently revealed to have some black ancestry, just can't get a break.

San Rafael CA takes a stand against stench.  But air travel is about to become much more horrible.

Rush Limbaugh indulges in the emerging Republican tradition of making skin-crawly remarks about rape.

Politicians must be held accountable for protecting the cruel practice of horse soring.  More here.

Many straight people speak out against homophobia.  Ryan Langenegger took action.

Authorities across the country are paying more attention to "knockout".

Republic of Gilead has more on the high ambitions and dismal methods of fundamentalist home-schooling.

Bloomberg explains why private charity can't replace government programs.

TPM looks at the latest health-insurance scam.

Andrew Sullivan has a round-up of reactions to filibuster reform.  Here's why it had to be done, largely in Republicans' own words.

The internet is a great research tool, but you have to know good sources from bad.

But Republicans are outraged about Benghazi.

Bitcoins bring modern crowdfunding to the murder-for-hire business.

The Iraqi and Afghan wars have passed an important milestone, but you won't be hearing much more about it (found via Uzza).

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, is a complete nutcase.  One of the country's leading doctors offers correction.

Rosa Rubicondior looks at the fanatical puritans of 17th-century England, who played an important role in the origin of American Christianity.  A former Archbishop of Canterbury whinges about the imminent extinction of Christianity in Britain.

Germany's imploding Catholic Church is so short of priests that it now imports them from the Third World.  But check out these colorful (if controversial) Christmas markets.

The real test of Pope Francis's "moderation" will be how he deals with the extreme-right Society of St. Pius X (found via Republic of Gilead).

A ghastly miscarriage of justice has occured in India.

Protesters in Bahrain challenge the continuing repression and torture there.

North Korea has executed 80 people for watching foreign movies.

The Central African Republic is sinking into horrific violence, but the rest of the world is paying little attention.


Blogger Green Eagle said...

I've been following the stories from the right about the so-called "knockout game" for some time. I just want to give you a heads up that, like so much on the right, there seems to be growing evidence that the whole thing is something between an urban legend and one more racist smear from the wingnuts. Many of the reported examples of this phenomenon turn out to have nothing to do with this supposed game, and are just garden-variety assaults.

24 November, 2013 12:36  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

That piece on the Central African Republic was both fascinating and highly disturbing. It reminded me of a lot of stuff I've read about other African countries such as Nigeria and the Democratic (ho ho) Republic of Congo, which have also been plagued by senseless violence over the years, and which could also be described as "phantom states" (as the linked article described the CAR). I remember reading a bit about the CAR under the leadership of its most notorious ruler, Jean-Bedel Bokassa (someone who must surely vie with Idi Amin for the title of worst African dictator), but don't know much else about the country or its history. Certainly, it's a place that seldom seems to make the news.

25 November, 2013 04:15  
Blogger Ahab said...

Zosimus -- American cable news is ignoring the crisis, as it largely has for years. Fortunately, online news sources have been covering it, as well as TV news such as Al Jazeera and BBC News.

For an introduction to the strife in central Africa, I recommend "Dancing in the Glory of Monsters" by Jason Stearns. It's unsettling just how old and how widespread the strife is, as well as how many factions are involved.

25 November, 2013 06:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Green: All the evidence I've seen suggests it's real (such as this), even if some reported assaults turn out not to be connected with it. Despicable criminal behavior does happen, unfortunately.

Zosimus/Ahab: Violence in Africa tends to get overlooked by the US media unless it affects Westerners. Al-Jazeera and the BBC are better sources for more comprehensive global coverage.

25 November, 2013 08:17  
Anonymous Zosimus the Heathen said...

Ahab - thanks for the book recommendation. A book about the Congo I found very useful (and readable) is "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz" by Michela Wrong, which deals with the reign of the Zairean dictator Mobutu Sese Seko (an individual whose (long overdue) downfall was largely responsible for the whole mess in that part of Africa).

And now for something totally OT, Infidel753 I was in your neck of the woods just a couple of months ago, having embarked upon an eight-week holiday in the States (I'm from Australia) that saw me visit nearly a dozen towns and cities. Portland was one of my destinations; while it wasn't on my original itinerary, some people back home persuaded me to check the place out, which I'm glad I did. It's a nice place: very green and laidback.

26 November, 2013 03:41  
Blogger Ahab said...

Zosimus -- Thanks! I'll look into that book.

28 November, 2013 08:18  

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