This will be growing by about two or three links per day as I get my bookmark data gradually transcribed here.
Most Recent Edit: Moon's Day, the 23rd Day of May, 2011 C.E., 4:31 p.m., C.D.T.
Amygdala; Animation World Magazine; Apostropher; Ariel Gore; "Arts Beat Weblog", the New York Times; Australian SF Bullsheet
Bad Astronomy; Bear's Battlestar Galactica Blog; Big Head Press; Black Gate; Blag Hag; BlastR; Bob Mitchell in the 21st Century; Brendan Calling; Bullshytitis; By Ken Levine
Chaos Manor Musings; Chaos Manor Reviews; Cheryl's Mewsings; Classically Liberal; Comics Ought to Be Fun!; Consumerist; Crooks And Liars; The Crotchety Old Fan; Cult News from Rick Ross
The Daily Dish; The Daily WTF; Dandelion Salad; Darth Mojo; Deadline|Hollywood; Disloyal Opposition; Drex Files
Eavesdropping with Johnny; Egyptology News; Escape From Terra; Eschaton
The Faculty Lounge; Fafblog; Famous Mark Verheidens of Filmland; Felicia Day; File 770; For What It's Worth
Generation Y; Goodbye, Microsoft; Grits for Breakfast
Have Phaser, Will Travel; Hero Complex; The Hill; Hullabaloo; Human Rights Now
Ideas; iFeminists.net; Instapinch
J. Neil Schulman @ RationalReview.com; Johnny Dollar's Place; JustOneMinute
L. Neil Smith At Random; Lance Mannion; Larry Nemecek's Trekland; Lifeboat Foundation
Mad Rantings of a Midwest Chick; Maddow Blog; Mightygodking; Mises.org Weblog; My Favorite Books
Neil Gaiman; Neptunus Lex; News From Me; Norman Spinrad at Large; Notes from a Final Frontiersman; notmymayor
Okuda Log; The One Ring; Operation Yellow Elephant; Orcinus
Pangloss; Papers, Please!; Peter Watts "Crawl"; PeterDavid.Net; Physorg.com; The Planetary Society blog; Popehat; Pro Libertate
Que Sera Sara
Real Live Preacher
Schneier On Security; Science in My Fiction; SFScope; The Sideshow; Skippy's List; Slacktivist; Something Positive; Soul of Star Trek; The Space Review, Space Solar Power; Spaceflight Now; Spaceflight Now News; Spider Robinson; Starship Dimensions; Startrekdom; Sunni and the Conspirators; Susie Bright's Journal; Swingers' Chatter
Tailspin's Tales; This Modern World; Thomas Jefferson Center; Threat Level; Tom Wilson USA...Large Man, Good Blog; Toonopedia; Topless Robot; Trek Movie Report; Trek Today
Uncle Jay Explains the News; An Unfortunate Set of Events; Universe Today
View from Above; Views from the Cyberhenge
Waiter Rant; We'll Know When We Get There; Wendy McElroy.com; The Wild Hunt; Witchvox.com; WWdN: in Exile
There has been a lot of hooraw and foofoorah about big box stores opening on today, Thanksgiving Day.
And rightly so -- I don't think it fair to the employees to be denied their holidays, either. If nobody was willing to shop on the holidays, the stores wouldn't be open, as they require a minimum amount of sales per hour to justify it. I know this because in the late '70s I worked at a Peaches Records, and we had to move $900 of product out the door every hour -- on nights when we weren't, the store closed early.
But as you celebrate your holiday, remember that other people, doing essential jobs, are working today: hospitality employees -- both hotel and restaurant -- firefighters and paramedics; bus drivers and transit conductors; ward resident and emergency physicians, nurses, hospital food service, laundry, sanitation, and miscellaneous support people (I was one and worked Christmas Day and Easter Sunday because I was needed), pharmacists (my late father opened his pharmacy a half-day every Sunday and holiday, so those who had gotten prescriptions the day before could get them filled); police officers (the good ones, we hope), electric power plant workers, water treatment workers, telephone support people for all kinds of industries, not just computers and consumer electronics, regular landline operators; pilots, flight attendants and counter people, air traffic controllers; radio and television station engineers; and oh, so many others, all so that we who are non-essential can enjoy our holiday.
So thank, too, the people you meet along your way who are at work -- hardly anyone ever does -- so you can celebrate at ease. They're doing it for you.
I first read about Colonel Nick Fury, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, in Strange Tales #135 just before my tenth birthday in 1965. I know why the flying De Lorean in Back to the Future is an imitation of Lola, not the other way around, and I know why Agent Phil Coulson in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. thinks he went to Tahiti after the Battle of New York and why he actually did not, and why he lost his muscle memory of how to work the slide of a semi-automatic pistol.
I don't know what showrunner Joss Whedon has told actor Clark Gregg about what happened to his character after he was stabbed through the heart by Loki in The Avengers movie, but I know that in-universe Phil Coulson is going to have a short, violent conversation with Director Fury when he figures it out for himself.
(I wish my deceased friend Richard Rosenberg, who would have filled Quentin Tarantino's Hollywood ecological niche before Tarantino existed if he were still alive. He and I would have had this "Aha!" moment virtually simultaneously, as we did with so many aspects of fannish popular culture.)
I may not always say anything, especially if the person wasn't someone I knew personally and could actually say something helpful about, but I mourn every time I see a death notice for one of "us". Fandom is a tribe, an extended family, even if we don't always get along with each other,
I never knew this man, but I mourn for him, a man who did no wrong and did lots of good.
On Tue., 9/10/13, Andrew Porter wrote:
Subject: Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime [NYT]
Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 8:18 PM
This guy was one of "us" -- he just didn't know it.... -- AP
"Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime"
by Michael Schwirtz and Nate Schweber
Published: September 9, 2013
For more than a decade, Jeffrey Babbitt traveled two or three times a week from his home in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to a comic book store called Forbidden Planet just below Union Square in Manhattan. There, he bought the latest copies of X-Men or Doctor Who, or sometimes just chatted up the employees, who over the years had become good friends.
For Mr. Babbitt, 62, who friends said was a retired train conductor, the store offered an escape into fantasy and a bit of a respite from home, where he cared for his 94-year-old mother, Lucille Babbitt. "He was just a really, really, really sweet guy," said Jeff Ayers, a manager at the store who has known Mr. Babbit for years. "One of our staff just had a baby and he was dying to see pictures."
Mr. Babbitt was walking through Union Square near Forbidden Planet last Wednesday when he was punched in the face seemingly at random by an assailant who, the police said, declared his intention to "punch the first white man I see." After he was hit, Mr. Babbitt fell to the ground, striking his head on the pavement, the police said. The attacker, whom the police identified as Lashawn Marten, then struck two men who came to Mr. Babbitt’s aid, they said. Mr. Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where, the police said, he was eventually declared brain dead and died on Monday morning.
In a neighborhood that had long ago moved past its rough-and-tumble days, the seemingly random act of violence at 3 p.m. in a bustling park came as a shock. The police said that Mr. Marten, 40, had a long history of arrests, some for assault and drug offenses in New York City and in Newburgh, N. Y. He was arrested shortly after the attack and charged with three counts of assault. With Mr. Babbitt’s death, those charges will most likely be upgraded by a grand jury that is to hear the case on Tuesday, according to the police.
Mr. Marten, who is black, has also gone by the alias Martin Redrick and listed a different birth date, the police said. He was living in supported housing for formerly homeless people and those with psychiatric disabilities provided by the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, said Shelley Ruchti, the group’s chief communications officer. She declined to describe the reason for his living there. On Monday evening, many residents at Mr. Babbitt’s modest brick apartment building on Ocean Avenue in Sheepshead Bay had something nice to say about him, and could only shake their heads at the senselessness of his death. “He was as good as good can be,” said Audrey Feifer, 75. “This should never have happened, no matter what color this person is.” Ms. Feifer said Mr. Babbitt, who she said moved to the neighborhood from Florida about twenty years ago, used to insist on giving her rides to bus stops or to buy doughnuts. Inside the apartment that Mr. Babbitt shared with his mother, Ms. Feifer said, he kept model steam locomotives, stacks of magazines about trains, and many comic books. He often wore shirts showing pictures of fairies and once drove Ms. Feifer out of state to join him at a Fairy-Con gathering, a festival for people who celebrate fairies. A sister, his only sibling, helped Mr. Babbitt care for their mother, but she died from cancer about two years ago, Ms. Feifer said, and Mr. Babbitt took over all the caretaking responsibilities.
He did not seem to mind, neighbors said. "He'd say, 'Hi, Mom!' so loud everybody could hear it," said Igor Sapozhnikov, 56. "He loved his mother, and his mother loved him very well."
Mr. Babbitt’s mother was at his bedside at least part of the time he was in the hospital, said Mr. Ayers, who visited him there. Many neighbors wonder who will care for her now. Mr. Babbitt’s death came as the police said they were looking for a suspect in another bizarre and possibly racially motivated attack on the M60 bus in Harlem on Friday, Aug. 30. In that unrelated attack, a man hurled a racial epithet at a 31-year-old Queens man, calling him a "cracker," before knocking him to the ground and punching him. The victim, whose name was not released, sustained a broken nose and a fractured eye socket. The suspect, described by the police as a black man in his late 30s, fled on foot and had not been located.
At Forbidden Planet, employees were left bereft by Mr. Babbitt’s death, said Mr. Ayers, who broke into tears several times during a short interview. Mr. Ayers had spoken to Mr. Babbitt the day before the attack when he came to the store looking to pick up a copy of a comic art book called The Art of Grimm Fairy Tales that he had ordered. The order had not yet arrived, and Mr. Babbitt was slightly annoyed, Mr. Ayers said. "He’s been hounding me for weeks and weeks for this book," he said. Mr. Ayers said employees were also concerned about Mr. Babbitt’s mother. He said they planned to set up a fund to help continue her care. "We’re a community here," he said. "These are people whose lives we’re tied to."
Jack Begg and J. David Goodman contributed reporting.
A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2013, on page A16 of the New York edition with the headline: "Friends Mourn Man Fatally Assaulted in Possible Random Hate Crime".
Kevin woke me up. "Dad, Dad, there's a bird in the house!" I looked up, and there was one flitting around my overhead light fixture.
I said "Calm down. Get a broom and gently try to chivvy it to a window." He did and it landed where yugioh_boy could throw a towel over it, take it to the door and release it. It flew away, undamaged, leaving only one spot of bird poop on the carpet to clean up.
I said, "Knowing that all criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot, my disguise must be able to strike terror into their heart. I must be a creature of the night. I know...I'll be Birdman, Attorney-at-Law!"
yugioh_boy was so gentle and straightforward, without panic, that I suggested he rethink that idea he had about becoming a veterinarian. Then I started singing "You know the bird bird bird, the bird is the word!"
They almost threw a pillow at me.
Steve Chapman: 'Moderate Muslim' is not an oxymoron | WashingtonExaminer.com
I've been saying this for years. I live in a neighborhood full of displaced Bosnian Muslims. They bought a failed Savings & Loan stand-alone building and made it a mosque, rehabbing the building and increasing its property value. They've opened businesses to serve their community in which non-Bosnian, non-Muslims are welcome to trade. They adopted the American custom of Hallowe'en and give out candy like any other adults in this neighborhood do.
Number of potentially violent incidents ascribable to Muslims against their Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Pagan neighbors? One, and it was a case of teen-age punks being teen-age punks, with no religious basis whatsoever. No violence actually occurred.
I normally don't think very well of Dr. Rand Paul. But today he is a hero. Today he is my hero. Today he is the Dutch boy blocking the leak in the dike with his finger. Today he stands with the Spartans at Thermopylae. Today he is standing in the path of the tanks in Tiananmen Square.
Senator Paul is today holding an old-fashioned filibuster -- standing on the floor of the Senate, blocking all other business, to demand information of how the President of the United States is or isn't exceeding his authority in ordering the murder of American citizens with near-Cylon flying robots. He is standing on belief, standing on principle, standing for the Constitution of the United States of America.
I could kiss him. Mr. Smith has gone to Washington, and he stands athwart the steamroller of politics and says "NO!"
This is a day of miracles and wonder. Goddess bless Rand Paul.
I woke up this morning from a dream within a dream -- I dreamed I woke up in the house a block east of here in which I spent my young boyhood, with a television going in the middle room where we didn't have one. I walked through the hallway to the living room, entered, and my mother was standing to my left.
"You're dead," I said.
Mother laughed. "You don't have to be rude about it."
And I awoke for real.
Oddly, I felt cheerful. That was Mom's humor exactly as it always had been. She's been gone over seven years now, and I don't even have a grave to visit.
I cried today.
There are not one, but two statues of him outside the current Busch Stadium -- which is appropriate as he played his entire career two Busch Stadiums ago.
I met Stan Musial by accident -- our paths crossed in a hallway. My jaw dropped when I recognized him, and I stammered. He was friendly and gracious. I was 45 years old, yet he jokingly called me "Kid", and I felt privileged for it. My hero, now gone to Valhalla, baseball's Most Perfect Knight.
"He didn't hit a homer in his last at-bat; he hit a single. He didn't hit in 56 straight games. He married his high school sweetheart and stayed married to her, never married a Marilyn Monroe. He didn't play with the sheer joy and style that goes alongside Willie Mays' name. None of those easy things are there to associate with Stan Musial. All Musial represents is more than two decades of sustained excellence and complete decency as a human being. -- Bob Costas
"And, between the slugging and the greeting,
To the bank for a directors' meeting.
"Yet no one grudges success to Stan,
Good citizen and family man,
"Though I would love to have his job
One half tycoon, one half Ty Cobb.'' -- Ogden Nash
This is another example of the Law of Conservation of Strange People.[TM]
I was not quite 8-1/2 when this was released, and when it showed up at our neighborhood movie house (the late, lamented Avalon in south St. Louis), my mother -- who had a thing for Joan Crawford -- couldn't get a sitter for me, and insisted I come along because she didn't want to miss it. I didn't want to go, since I had seen the poster outside as I walked by the theater. With all the sophistication that an eight-year-old can have, I thought it would be simply a Bad Movie.
She dragged me to it anyway -- I sat on the aisle and she sat next to me. At the first bloody axe murder, I said "This isn't good for people to watch, I'll be waiting for you outside," and jumped up and walked out.
For the next ten minutes or so, I stood at the box office, chatting with the ticket seller and the ushers, probably all teen-agers, who were bemused by this little movie critic who had left his mother inside. Then Mom came out, smiled sheepishly, and said "David, you were right." We walked home, and she said she wouldn't try to take me to this sort of movie again.
The big irony? Eleven-and-a half years later, I had discovered fandom, and was attending a convention in Kansas City at which the late Robert Bloch (or "RobertBlochauthorofPsycho" as he had come to be known to the general public by then) was a featured guest -- as a joke, I even got him to autograph the blood stains I had somehow unknowingly gotten on my shirt (I think I had accidentally scratched my side against a parked car or some such, as the seam was torn).
I had no idea he'd written this movie until just a short while ago.
I think he'd forgive me, given the circumstances.
Okay, we know that John Kennedy beat Richard Nixon in 1960 due to Kennedy getting Illinois through the vote from the Cook County Morgue. (There were also accusations of vote fraud in Texas.) Nixon chose to swallow the defeat ostensibly in order for the U. S. to not look weak in the cold war. I suspect that loss combined with the 300,000 vote loss to Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, Sr. for Governor of California combined led to the "you won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more" press debacle.
We know Nixon was a brooder. Those losses had to eat at him, especially as the Camelot Mythos grew. It's been recorded that Nixon normally went to bed at midnight and got up at five a.m. in the White House, so he was sleep-deficient, which probably made it worse. Were it not for the stolen election in 1960 and the spiral downward it caused, Watergate and its attendant crimes likely would never have happened.
Republicans, I've noticed, have never gotten over their anger at the losses Watergate caused in the 1976 election, even with the two Reagan electoral victories, and there's been a lot of behavioral projection. "The other side's *must* be doing it, so I'm going to do it first." Most of this projection appears (to me, from my own p.o.v. -- YMMV and all that) to be on the Conservative Statist side.
That there were purges of properly registered voters in Florida in 2000 is a fact, and it's a fact that there was a deliberate mob action to stop a fair recount. It's generally accepted now that Al Gore won the popular vote, but with Florida *given* to George W. Bush by a partisan Supreme Court, Mr. Gore had no further appeal.
This year has seen projection allegations of Democratic voter fraud used to justify Republican vote suppression efforts in key states, voting machines which act like Homer Simpson's, voter purges, sample ballots with the wrong election dates on them, previously unheard-of amounts of money spent by SuperPACs (again a gift from a partisan Supreme Court), allegations that a Democratic senator funneled money into the coffers of her weakest opponent during the Republican primary, Mitt Romney telling employers to tell their employees that if they don't vote for him their jobs will end, a murderous coal mine owner forcing employees to appear at a Romney rally on pain of firing if they didn't and having them lose a day off to make up that day's production, the debate commission's quadrennial shutting out of minor parties, and much more. When everything's over, this election will go down in history as one of the most crooked ever held.
Also on last New Year's Eve, President Obama signed unconstitutional legislation giving the federal government the authorization to arrest anyone in the world (including here in the United States) without formal booking and charging, and hold them incommunicado indefinitely with not even access to lawyers and no right of habeas corpus. The Bill of Rights is casually ignored ("Just a Goddamned piece of paper." -- George W. Bush), with the Third Amendment the only one not violated by what libertarian s.f. writer L. Neil Smith calls "the Mommy and Daddy wings of the combined Boot On Your Neck Party."
I'm voting for the Libertarian Party ticket of Gary Johnson and James P. Gray, but have no illusions about what it means to do so. It's just a small voicing of a wish for a better nation that what this country has been forced into.
It took me a while to be able to write about this. On several news programs last night, each with only part of the horror, it was said that a young woman from Staten Island, struggling in the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, was trying to save herself and her two children, but they were torn from her arms into the water.
Yesterday, searchers found the bodies of the children, ages two and four.
I cannot begin to comprehend the grief and guilt that woman must be feeling. It impels one to scream at the sky, yelling "What did I do that was so evil that You had to do this to my children? What did I do that was so evil that You had to do this to me? What did I do, You Gormless Bastard? What? WHAT?!?"
Calling it a "severe mercy" as C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken did isn't enough for me. In a universe in which the laws of physics provide for chemistry, biology, and the evolution of life which is self-aware, which can think intelligently and feel emotionally, the need to anthropomorphize an external Deity and displace the blame onto It is overwhelming.
There is no good side to this, despite what religious people might say. Gods and Goddesses are the internal creations of men and women, not the other way around. How can we deal with such tragedy as mortal men and women? What is the solution to the problem of pain?
I don't think there is one. I have never been able to put aside the things which cause me this kind of pain and grief, and I don't think I ever will. In turn, my contempt increases for those with so little empathy for their brothers and sisters they cannot comprehend their pain, even more so for those who deliberately cause it.
In the meantime, Rachel continues to weep for her lost children, a weeping which will not stop.
Long before the creation of Geordi LaForge, LeVar Burton was the host of the PBS program Reading Rainbow, which encourages children to read in a playful, library setting.
Mr. Burton is very angry about Mr. Romney's plan to gut PBS, and is speaking out in public, in anger, repeatedly.
If past history is a guide, Mr. Burton will get the support of many of his colleagues, even those not themselves connected with PBS as he was. Some with whom he's worked for many years.
I think Mitt Romney has made an enemy out of the United Federation of Planets.
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