Note: Julia will return from the sickbed tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’m holding the fort.
There are a few people, notably Chuckles and haiku, feeding news stories and others more or less constantly, which one person couldn’t hope to find himself and frankly, the backlog often gets overwhelming, even though each is pertinent and germane. There are so many stories needing airing at this moment.
There was a criticism in Longrider’s comments section [one of the commenters] that somehow I was “taking over” OoL when the truth is that it’s more a case, as admin, of filling the vacuum at times when few were posting, such as now. It was perhaps a bit unfair to say I see OoL as an extension of my blog because if you look at LR’s posts here, they’re very much like his at home, if you look at Julia’s – the same, QM”s – the same. What all of us have been doing is trying to bring the topics relevant to the day and give them an airing.
As for religion being the stumbling block, I note an ongoing discussion between two commenters at this moment, long after I’ve moved on, so what are we to do? Cut that off because someone doesn’t like religion? If it’s relevant, why not air it? If you think something or someone is dominating, then write something of your own and put it up. Have your say – you’re most welcome.
Meanwhile, here is some of that political backlog. Enjoy:
A nail house is a Chinese neologism (a newly coined term) for homes belonging to people who refuse to make room for development. The term, a pun coined by developers, refers to nails that are stuck in wood, and cannot be pounded down with a hammer. Every couple years, these defiant ‘nail houses’ make the rounds online. They serve as a symbolic testament to the “little guy” standing up against the government and pushy developers.
2. Did you see Change in status of gold at the Slog?
Some of you may have noticed that in the last few weeks, Russia has started issuing gold ‘pieces’ that are legal tender in the RF, and must be accepted at face value in all kinds of payments without any restrictions. Other banks outside Russia are also looking at ‘stamp sheet’ squares of gold grams that can be used in the same way. Inside China, at the top of the financial system a measured debate is well under way about how to create a global ‘super-currency’ backed by gold.
A Campus-full of Contradictions
Almost everything about the modern university is a paradox. It has become a sort of industry gone rogue that embraces practices that a Wal-Mart or Halliburton would never get away with. It is exempt from scrutiny in the fashion that the Left ceased talking about renditions or Guantanamo Bay once Barack Obama was elected, or a Code Pink goes after a NRA official in the way it would never disrupt a hearing on Fast and Furious. In other words, the university is one of the great foundations of the Left, and so is immune from the sort of criticism that otherwise is daily leveled against other institutions.
Pass the tofu:
Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet have an excellent post up at Psychology Today, Violence: Are There Dietary Causes? They make a case that the massive increase in dietary omega-6 fatty acids could be connected to a rise in violence. Omega-6 fats, which have previously been associated with rates of violence over time and between countries, have also been associated with the obesity epidemic.
Last spring, the Justice Department sued five major publishers and Apple on e-book price-fixing charges. The case was a major victory for Amazon, and afterward there were widespread expectations — fueled by Amazon — that the price of e-books would plunge.
The most extreme outcome went like this: Digital versions of big books selling for $9.99 or less would give Amazon complete domination over the e-book market. As sales zoomed upward, even greater numbers of consumers would abandon physical books. The major publishers and traditional bookstores were contemplating a future that would pass them by.
But doomsday has not arrived, at least not yet.
But last year, perhaps banking on hints that the Obama administration was exploring ways around these laws, UNESCO’s members went ahead anyway. Cheering as they massively outvoted the U.S., they admitted the Palestinian Authority to full membership. That immediately cost them U.S. contributions of more than $78 million per year, or 22 percent of UNESCO’s core budget.
A proposed overhaul to the UK’s stringent libel law could have “a chilling effect on those publishing material online”, an influential human rights committee warned today.
The tabled amendments to the law of defamation could force website owners to take down defamatory material on request even if there is a valid legal defence to keep it online. That’s according to Parliament’s human rights joint-select committee, which criticised the draft legislation.