September 8th, 2008

knowledge is power

I'm not saying I want you to vote for Palin, I just want you to have your facts straight.

via InstaPundit:
CHARLIE MARTIN ROUNDS UP PALIN RUMORS, and debunks the bogus ones. PJM seems to be doing that for both candidates.
Certainly one can quarrel with Martin's interpretations (and even representations -- heck, even from just a cursory glance I was annoyed at the lack of citations for some of the stuff, incl. stuff I've cited previously) of some of the evidence -- and again, I'm not trying to convince people to vote for Palin, I'm just a big advocate of information sharing.

Excerpts from the PJM piece on Palin: Collapse )
hermione by oatmilk

[politics] inhabiting the in-between spaces

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CNN's This American Morning had John Avlon (Independent Nation) and Patricia Murphy ( on via satellite. The former commented that undecided/swing voters are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I was like, "Repruhsent!"

STEVE CHAPMAN LOOKS AT THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN CONVENTIONS, and doesn't like what he sees. "You will scour the presidential nominees' acceptance speeches in vain for any hint that your life is rightfully your own, to be lived in accordance with your beliefs and desires and no one else's." They're giving people what they want.
Reading the article, I felt kind of like, "Okay, I am kind of a socialist," but by the end I was like, "Oh yeah, still a libertarian."

Relatedly, I finally got around to doing my voter registration (since I moved towns).


At CWM last night, Tallessyn lifted up as a prayer concern the "misconception" that Sarah Palin is a feminist. I winced. We had joked last week about feminism being "my way or the highway," and she explicitly said when lifting up the prayer concern that she wasn't saying that Palin herself was bad, just that it was a dangerous misconception. But still... I didn't approach her afterward, in part because I didn't know how to begin articulating what I saw as the (broader, more inclusive) definition of "feminism," but in reflecting later I kept coming back to: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people." [Goggling to confirm gives me: Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings. --Cheris Kramerae, author of A Feminist Dictionary, 1996]

This morning, InstaPundit linked to:
* "A feminist's argument for McCain's VP" by Tammy Bruce
* "Sarah Palin Feminism" (WSJ) -- which discusses popular mis(?)perception of evangelicals vis a vis women having careers and families, etc.


Orin Kerr:
There are many acceptable criteria for evaluating candidates and no real agreement as to which criteria are more important than the others. As a result, it's easy for commentary to focus on what many will perceive as minor points while ignoring what many perceive as bigger ones, and it's easy for commentary to speak to a very small slice of the ideological pie while ignoring or even alienating the rest. The result is that a lot of blogging about candidates ends up just running in circles.

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Is there a way out of this dynamic? Maybe, maybe not. But I tend to think that it would improve the level of commentary for bloggers and commenters to explicitly acknowledge how limited their claims really are. Given how many criteria exist, narrow commentary about just one criteria is necessarily only a very small piece of the puzzle about the merits of voting for a particular candidate. I think it would help us if we all acknowledged that, and didn't pretend that any one point was determinative. Perhaps it won't make any difference. But possibly, just possibly, it will be a fairer way of discussing the candidates and won't send us running in circles quite as much.

"we are all made of stars"

I keep meaning to look into giving blood and never actually doing so, but recently I finally poked around the Red Cross website (Eastern Massachusetts).

So after work today I took the #71 to the Watertown Public Library (well, to the Watertown Square terminus, which is like 2 minutes away).  Wow!  I mean, I was spoiled by MML [ugh, I disapprove of this new embedded website] even pre-renovations, but this is all light wood and glass and sliding doors and big open rooms and really nice.  (It also has a freaking cafe and bookstore.  I honestly have mixed feelings about this.)  [Edit: And really, I was spoiled more for the size of the collection than for the building itself -- though yes, even pre-renovations I liked MML's space a lot.]

Also, the route to/through Watertown is quite lovely.  Some of it reminds me of the Arborway/Jamaicaway, and a lot of it is just that classic New England.  (Though some of it is weird, like "Bell Tower Place," which is condos formerly a church.  And at Keenan St. on the way back was a gas station with a sign saying "Last Gas til Cambridge," which amused me -- bah, why can't I find online maps that give me dotted lines indicating town boundaries?)

Actually giving blood... I tried to give blood twice while I was at Smith, and once they were like "Maybe if you were better hydrated we could actually get blood out of you," and once they were like, "Well you're not anemic, but..."  (This time, I heard them tell a woman this time that her iron was 12.3, which was fine, but they require a minimum of 12.5 -- I wanna say mine was an 11-something that time at Smith, but I honestly don't remember.)  I was fine this time, though.  They didn't tell me my iron number, just said I was fine.  They took my temperature (98.5), pulse (60), and blood pressure (110/82) and found a vein (left arm) and it was a little slow at times but fine.  And I had juice and (lots of) cookies afterward.  (Oh, and I got a $5 Panera coupon just for showing up to give blood.  And entered a raffle for Red Sox tickets.)

And I read some of the Boston Globe.  JoeF's human interest stories (in the Herald) often don't grab me, but I liked this piece.  And this piece started off seeming to me very sympathetic to conservative mindsets but ended very critical of John McCain, which was a transition that didn't entirely work -- 'cause I wasn't clear along the way what the ultimate arc was.

I took the #96 home from Harvard Sq. to get home in time for the S2 premiere of The Sarah Connor Chronicles -- which I would not have known was tonight had musesfool not mentioned it, so thank you!

In other fannish news, penknife summarizes "The judge's decision in the HP Lexicon case (barring Vander Ark from publishing a print encyclopedia version of the HP Lexicon website, and awarding minimum statutory damages."

Addendum: My replacement store credit cards all came today [it occurs to me that I really need to buy a new wallet], along with a thank you gift from the Handel and Hayden Society -- and a facsimile of the 1843 wordbook for Messiah (with introduction by Christopher Hogwood) and "a sampler CD of some favorite concert moments from recent seasons."