Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4 Link Log

Hopeless load of e-mail today, and I have more off-blog things to do, but I'll put up as many links as I can open and read. Categories: Animals, Book, Cars, Censorship, Citizens Fight Crime, Islam, Nice, Picture, Women's Issues, Writing


My comment on this petition, in English: "This is crazy. A dog is what humans make it, good or bad. Why kill good dogs when you could sell them? That's just stupid!" Because Le Maire de Montreal just ordered that any dog that has the look of a pit bull, even if it's a lovable mutt, can't be adopted and has to be gassed.


Here's a believe-it-or-not photo story: a retriever who's actually learned to avoid water. (Btw, there is an actual book of Barkley.)


Cute picture of a wild animal, the pine marten:



Posthumous collection of Merlin Stone's other articles:


Books and music...no points for guessing how this web site got a referral from this web site. Somebody was searching for books and reviews by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This blog updates frequently, but as of today the Solzhenitsyn book link (showing a Russian-language edition naturally) was on the top page. If you're interested in Russian literature and/or music...


Science fiction from the folks who (continue to) give us the Making Light blog, and are currently involved with one of those sf conventions:





Will you join the boycott of Leonardo DiCaprio following this public display of ignorance? (For me it's like joining the boycott of Target. Nobody will notice because I never routed much money their way before, either.)



Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing this post--the author admits it's a long post or a short book--about energy and Tesla battery-powered cars in particular. Two points on which I might challenge the blogger: (1) Horses do not instinctively like having things on their backs (the vulnerable point where predators are most likely to do them damage), but once they learn to like and trust humans, they do instinctively realize that carrying us around is harmless and may even provide some protection, and they will "kneel" to make it easier for humans to climb onto their backs. (2) Electric-powered cars are semi-reliable; self-driving cars are not. I know people who have a Prius in which the electronic gimmicks are only starting to foul up after four years. That's awesome for an elaborately electronic car, but it's not enough to make self-driving cars a realistic option for anyone who can't afford to buy a new one every year, and I for one do not want a self-driving car to be able to get within a mile of my home--I don't trust Google to stop the car if the driver happens to be a Fakhraldin-type jerk (see below). I don't think Tesla is going to change our society unless it's built to be fully human-controlled.



Some idiot had the gall to try to censor Scott Adams on Twitter. Scott Adams? ??? Give it up, fool, I don't always agree with (or like) what he says either, but SA is bigger and better than you'll ever be.


Citizens Fight Crime 

This Yougov poll result does not appeal to me at all.


1. Have you ever been a victim of a violent property crime, such as house burglary or a street robbery?

Yes: Total 27%, Male 32%, Female 22%

No: Total 71%, Male 65%, Female 77%

Not sure: Total 2%, Male 3%, Female 1%
2. If someone does rob you on the street, what do you think is the best course of action?

People should do what the robber tells them and give them all their money and property: 50%

People should fight back and refuse to hand over money and property: 25%

Not sure: 25%

I have...Jodie Foster might say "refused to be a victim" of violent crimes. Twice in my life. I say I've been a victim if I've been forced to react to an attacker, or harasser, at all...even though one of the attackers was a pathetic drugged-out neighborhood loser-type, neither as big nor as strong as I was, and the outcome of the attempted street robbery was that I relieved him of a knife he didn't need. Violent property crime thrives on the expectation that people will do what the robber tells them. Guys whose original goal might have been to get a little drug money feel emboldened to ride the adrenalin high and beat up the victim. Violent property crime is best defeated by a combination of individual Guardian Angels, Daughters of Jael, etc., who feel good about inflicting pain on an attacker who really needs it, plus involved neighbors who don't want or need to get within sight of an attacker in order to summon police, plus good cops who respond fast if summoned to the scene of a crime.

So where's the link? The actual number of people who took this Yougov poll didn't paste because I took it using my "old version" of Explorer, but it was too low for this version of the poll really to count for much. Here's a link you can use to weigh in on this and other topics, and also get free stuff. (Both you and I get more free stuff if you use this specific link...)



Muslim readers, if we have any, I keep saying--youall need to denounce lunatics like this one, the way Christians used to have to denounce the "Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan" and the way proud heirs of Confederate veterans have to denounce that half-grown fool in Charleston. The phrase is "Not In Our Name." On Twitter, it's #NotInOurName , a hashtag. Use it liberally.



Lloyd Marcus on gratitude...(Should this go under "Baltimore"? No, because Pumphrey is not technically Baltimore. Mars Hill, where a friend and I witnessed danger to a sick patient ignored for most of 24 hours because we couldn't describe the (Indian-American, dark-skinned) patient as White, is Baltimore. I'm glad people of any color can share good memories of Pumphrey, or Dundalk or Woodlawn. I'll be even gladder to read more good memories of Baltimore proper. The day I see photos of residents reclaiming the Shameful Mile along Route 1, I'll...throw my hat up in the air and catch it.) Gratitude for nice people in Maryland, of whom there are many, anyway. That this web site can fully share.



Even rarer than a chance to agree with President Obama is a chance to agree with Bill Clinton...and even then, here as in the case of how much his own administration owed to Alan Greenspan, I have to agree with his words while pointing out that he's saying them for the wrong reasons. Greenspan boosted the economy in the Clinton Administration, but with short-term quick-fixes, not with a solid push in the right direction. And trying to defend or save Obamacare is truly "crazy," in the sense of willfully stupid, but Hillarycare would have been as bad or worse. We need to focus clearly on getting the insurance mess out of the medical care system; that done, we might stand a chance of setting up a viable cash-based system.



It would of course be prettier if it had an outdoor cat in it, which is what we really follow this Tumblr for, but here's a particularly appealing desert image:


Can you believe this is a daylily? (Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing this link, too.) Context for those who don't already know: your basic daylily is yellow, orange, or white, and has unruffled petals. "Butch" is slang for un-frilly, no-pink-or-purple styles that are the opposite of "girly." So you can see why the people who managed to breed this daylily named it "Here Lies Butch"--if you plant this girly-looking variety, you've killed any "butch" look your garden might have had. (Actually, when I think about it, what would a "butch" garden be? Probably the Astroturf look,'cos the "butch" approach to gardening is just to throw out a lot of Bermuda grass, throw out a lot of fertilizer, drive a lawn tractor over it every weekend and growl because that much gardening cuts into valuable TV-watching time. Even normal daylilies aren't really "butch"...)


Politics (General) 

This web site doesn't do foreign policy; we have no inside information, and thus no opinion, on the necessity of any ongoing war. We just generally don't like war. So, although I have no idea why my blog feed didn't post all of these Making Light links as they appeared but spat them all out in a lump this morning, here's a short Making Light post about war and war reenactors. Comment from C.S. Lewis on his old schoolmates: "Ypres and the Somme ate up most of them."


(Find the quote in his mostly non-political memoir.)

Science News 

Bing wanted youall to see this one. (Though "a overhead projector"? Once upon a time I told a student that the Washington Post was generally a good example of correct spelling and grammar, and he said, "Oh no, I find an error in the Post almost every week." The Post really should've hired that guy.)


Women's Issues 

Maureen Dowd said it; I didn't. I would've said that feminism and women's issues dropped out of publishers' lists in 2001 when war and international affairs surged to the tops of said lists, and that interest in actually reading books, overall, took a hit at the same time.



Since Google has systematically down-rated blog posts from search results, you knew somebody was going to set up a search engine that searches specifically for blog posts...Meh. I think it would be more useful if Twingly sorted for posts that contain all of the search terms typed into the search box, rather than up-ranking more popular posts that contain only some of them. (She said, noting with bemusement that Twingly directs you straight to this blog if you search for "link log" or "cat sanctuary," but gives you page after page of posts about Elvis Presley's widow if you search for "Priscilla King.")