December 5, 2007 archive

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

The muses are ancient.  The inspirations for our stories were said to be born from them.  Muses of song and dance, or poetry and prose, of comedy and tragedy, of the inward and the outward.  In one version they are Calliope, Euterpe and Terpsichore, Erato and Clio, Thalia and Melpomene, Polyhymnia and Urania.

It has also been traditional to name a tenth muse.  Plato declared Sappho to be the tenth muse, the muse of women poets.  Others have been suggested throughout the centuries.  I don’t have a name for one, but I do think there should be a muse for the graphical arts.  And maybe there should be many more.

Please join us inside to celebrate our various muses…

Best Underappreciated Songs of 2007

It is that time of year when people start making their “Best of XXXX” lists, and to continue acting as if this was a personal blog, I felt I ought to be no exception.

Those of you who  know me at all know I am extremely passionate about music.  One of my greatest joys is “discovering” a great new band or song.  I spend a lamentable amount of my time indulging this passion – combing mp3 blogs, going to live shows, and so on.  So I thought I might compile a list of the ten songs that I felt most needed to be heard by a lot more people from 2007.  I’m happy to email any of these to anyone, or if anyone would be willing to host them, to upload them and provide the links.

And by all means, please share in my indulgence, and post your best of 2007 lists in the comments.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

1 Dollar slips, euro gains credibility as viable rival

By Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor

Tue Dec 4, 3:00 AM ET

Washington – For over half a century, the US dollar has been the preeminent form of legal tender in the world. Much of today’s global trade is priced in dollars, even if the item in question isn’t being sold or bought by a US firm. Most of the foreign exchange held by national central banks is dollars  not British pounds, Chinese renminbi, or Japanese yen.

But in recent months, the king of currencies has taken it on the chin. Since August the dollar has shrunk about 6 percent in value, measured against an assortment of its fellows. Perhaps more important, it may be losing cachet overseas: Tourists can no longer pay in dollars to enter the Taj Mahal and other Indian national landmarks, for instance.

Is the dollar set to lose its top status and the national financial advantages that entails? It has swooned and recovered before, most notably in the 1970s and late 1980s.

But there’s a difference this time. The dollar has a credible rival: the euro.

Press Conference: A Poem

All stanzas are continuous quotes from President Bush’s December 4, 2007 Press Conference.

I unfortunately practiced some punditry in the past

— A poem by George W. Bush

Iglesia ………………………………… Episode 15

Iglesia is a serialized novel, published on Tuesdays an Saturdays at midnight ET, you can read all the previous episodes by clicking on the tab.

Last Saturdays Episode


And that terrible thing was being dragged away from the nipple. While he was still hungry for Life. And not just that, but being dragged away from his mother completely, dragged away from the only world he had ever known, as a human. Her heart beat had been the soundtrack to his short ‘life.’ Her warmth his constant companion. And now added to all of the indignities and traumas he had experienced in the last small highly compressed period of time he was removed from her….separated, yet again. And helplessly and fearfully and terribly…there was not a damn thing he could do about it.  

Pony Party….another Republican creep…

The ex-chief of staff to former Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania was charged Tuesday with allegedly using his wife to accept kickbacks to help a consulting firm get federal funding.

….from the ABC News story

Dispatches From the Abyss…Travels with buhdy

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(h/t to Magnifico for the title!)

Warning!!! This piece is highly personal and overly philosophical! If such is not your cup of tea…..flee now!

Guantanamo Bay SOP manual From 2004 Leaked

Wikileaks has just released the Guantanamo Bay SOP manual from 2004 which highlights policies that have been changed and those which remain as they were in the previous version from 2003.  

Chanukah: first memory

This isn’t my earliest Chanukah memory, but it’s always the first that comes to mind.

In the house I grew up in, where my parents still live, the dining room was originally a narrow room barely larger than the rectangular table (seats eight, if you squish up). What saved us from growing up claustrophobic were the identically-sized kitchen, separated from the dining room by a narrow counter (not quite an island. An islet, perhaps. Or a sandbar) and a bay window.

crossposted over there

Profiles in Literature: Richard Bruce Nugent

Greetings, literature-loving Dharmenians!  Last time we met over the wreckage of the Civil War and acid humor of one of its most famous veterans.  This week we’ll stay in the United States, but jump ahead a few generations to an almost-forgotten writer who merits a closer look.

After World War I, black soldiers returning from the front were disgusted by the treatment they received from countrymen they’d fought and died defending.  At the same time, black intellectuals like W.E.B DuBois and Alain Locke began to envision a cultural project that would elevate the African American experience in the eyes of its otherwise cultural oppressors, while political activists like Marcus Garvey brought pan-Africanism to the streets of New York.  Throw in a sudden burst of artistic imagination and some seriously talented writers, and you’ve got all the ingredients for the Harlem Renaissance.  

Today we’re going to talk about one of its most fascinating personalities.  

Slate Trumps Time: Publishes Response To Saletan On Race And IQ

Unlike Time, which blocked all responses to Joe Klein’s factually challenged column on FISA, via Matt Yglesias, Slate has published a response by Stephen Metclaf to Will Saletan on race and IQ. The nuts:

Much of Saletan’s précis of the rest of the research surveyed in “Thirty Years of Research Into Race Differences on Cognitive Abilities” is highly questionable. His takeaway regarding the “admixture” studies is precisely the opposite of what an American Psychological Association task force concluded the studies show-that more “European” blood in a black American does not make him smarter. Saletan points up the problems with a favorite study of the environmentalists, into the IQ outcomes of children fathered by foreign soldiers and raised by (white) German mothers. This study showed that kids with African fathers scored the same as those with white fathers. But, Saletan says, it suffers from a fatal flaw: Blacks in the military had been screened for IQ. Saletan concludes, “Even environmentalists (scholars who advocate nongenetic explanations) concede that this filter radically distorted the numbers.” But this is flatly untrue. The two most prominent environmentalists, Richard Nisbett and James Flynn, have dismissed this very objection. Both have pointed out that white soldiers were also screened, and so had higher IQs than the general white population. James Flynn has argued extensively that the black-white gap in the military was the same as in the population at large.

In essence, Metcalf demonstrates that Saletan, like Joe Klein on FISA, simply did not know what he was writing about. It is to Slate’s credit that it was willing to publish such a demolition of one of its regular writers. Score another one for honesty for Washington Post Company, which allowed Krauthammer to be demolished today.

Kucinich: NIE Shows Bush Administration Tried Again to Lie Us into War, This Time with Iran w/poll

While others have bought into the Bush administration Meme on Iran, including not taking anything off the table for their supposed going going after nuclear weapons, Dennis Kucinich has been proven to be right the first time again!

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