Odds, ends and links

The New Yorker looks at Ithquil, an invented language that’s become wildly popular with some conlangers. The article references Arika Okrent, whose book on invented languages I read a while back.
•LGM looks at the Senate’s rejection some months back of the UN Treaty on the rights of the disabled. Unfortunately, the Boston Globe article it links to follows the usual Both Sides Do It cliches, even though the collapse of the treaty was the result of political paranoia on the part of the right wing (The UN Will Take Our Children!). To compensate the article asserts that Obama passed the Affordable Care Act with almost no Repub support, so that proves Democrats are pretty extreme, right (no, it just proves the Repubs of today don’t compromise)
•An excellent article from Dissent magazine looks at efforts by immigrant workers to fight back against oppressive contractors and the firms that use the contractors. The article notes that as more and more companies work through temp agencies to staff their stores or offices or warehouses, what effects immigrants now will affect the rest of us down the road. As witness Walmart employees fighting against unpredictable schedules. Or strawberry pickers fired for fleeing a wildfire.
•National Geographic reaffirms that no matter what creationists say, evolution works.
•Homeland Security has spent more than $1 billion creating fusion centers to pool state, local and federal resources to fight terrorism. A Senate report finds they haven’t done much on that front, but may be branching into other areas to compensate.
•A list of 10 things more likely to kill you than terrorism, including hospital-generated germs and do-it-yourself accidents. And here’s a list of 10 things that make white terrorists different from the rest.
•According to one purity-culture advocate, either you’re actively working to avoid arousing men or you’re the equivalent of chocolate cake, and not in a good way. Another writer claims that as men prefer to see women in skirts, any woman who wears pants must hate men.
•Just because someone doesn’t hate Muslims doesn’t make anti-Muslim acts any less hateful (substitute “gay” for Muslim and you get the same effect). Here’s one example of anti-Muslim paranoia.
•A comedian says she thinks rape jokes are bad. Men freak out. Another blogger points out that while comics have the right to make rape jokes, the women in the audience have just as much right to object.
•Lower sales taxes on food? Social engineering encouraging citizens to buy food instead of other goods!
•The Cold War ended 20 years ago, but for some aging politicians it never ends (McCain proclaimed the Georgia/Russia battle of a few years ago the greatest foreign policy crisis of the century—and this after the Iraq insurgency and 9/11).
•Virginia “crisis pregnancy” centers lie through their teeth about abortion and contraception.
•CSM looks at the collapses of the Islamic government in Egypt.
•A law school cries oppression because the bar association requires the school’s website divulge the number of grads who pass the bar exam. Hint: Zero for 2012, 7 percent average the rest of the time.


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

2 responses to “Odds, ends and links

  1. Good compilation as always. I particularly liked the article on constructed languages and immigrant workers

  2. frasersherman

    The Okrent book on languages is really good.

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