Showing posts from June, 2009

Gay marriage argument chart

This is pretty good:
HT: Mad Latinist

Iran's government: "We'll quell them with hobbits!"

The Lord of the Rings movie adaptations are pretty good (I could discourse at length about their flaws, of course), but somehow I don't think the Iranians will accept this in lieu of the changes they're demanding:
In Tehran, state television's Channel Two is putting on a "Lord of the Rings" marathon, part of a bigger push to keep us busy. Movie mad and immunized from international copyright laws, Iranians are normally treated to one or two Hollywood or European movie nights a week. Now it's two or three films a day. The message is "Don't Worry, Be Happy." Let's watch, forget about what's happened, never mind. Stop dwelling in the past. Look ahead.Frodo: "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish that none of this had happened."Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."The author of this piece wonders:
Who pic…

Kudos to Mark Sanford...

...for not making his wife stand next to him when he delivered his mea culpa.

I could use a week-long solo vacation to Argentina, too...

Update: Sanford confesses to an affair. Sullivan:
Dog Bites ManAnother far-right Republican confesses to an extra-marital affair. Not the most effective way to keep it under wraps: disappearing for days with no notice. But it's important to remember at these moments that we're all human. I just wish the GOP leadership would apply that lesson to everyone else. [end update]

...But I'd at least tell my wife and co-workers where I went. Apparently, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, decided that was unnecessary:
We didn't know the Appalachian Trail went all the way down to Buenos Aires!AWOL South Carolina guv Mark Sanford resurfaced at the Atlanta airport this morning, and toldThe State newspaper he hadn't been hiking the trail, as his staff said. Instead, he'd taken a jaunt down to Argentina...OK, there's gotta be a good story behind this: a Republican Governor disappears for a week, leaving his clueless staff to spout bullshit stories to the media. H…

Upside-down thinking

The Green Revolution in Iran is provoking some odd reactions among some of the neocon hawks. One would think a peaceful, popular uprising against a regime that the neocons have demonized would be a welcome development to them. But instead, we're getting a lot of stuff like this:
I had a conversation at lunch yesterday with a friend, a neocon Jewish American, that fascinated me. We were getting ready to get up from the table when he said, "Hey, wait a minute, do you want to talk politics for a minute?" We proceeded to discuss the events in Iran and at one point I brought up my amazement at the protesters' embrace of non-violence and their courage in the face of aggression. I said, "I wonder if this will be a lesson to the Palestinians. That perhaps if they renounce violence and embrace peaceful resistance they too could garner more international support for their cause, a la Gandhi." His reaction fascinated me. He got this very serious, dour look on his…

Internal Monologue supports a strong public health care option

I should be more active on this issue. There are all sorts of signs that
Democrats are caving. No. I want real health care reform. I think that
has to include an optional government administered plan.

Back to English

The right-aligned text and strange formatting was too weird. I'm shifting back to the English language setting. I'm still keeping the green and the Tehran location and time zone.

You want me to go back where? For what?

A former slave responds to his ex-master's request to come back and work for him:
Sir: I got your letter and was glad to find you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Col. Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again and see Miss mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville hospital, but one of the…

Violent muppets sell coffee in the late 50's

This is pretty stupid, but funny:

Yes, those are real muppets by Jim Henson.

Dangers of Pornography

xkcd warns us of one of the dangers of internet porn.

The Persian Version of Internal Monologue

Internal Monologue is temporarily publishing as a Persian blog with a Tehran timezone.
This is going to make the formatting and timestamps pretty weird for a bit.
Why am I doing this?
See this article in Wired.

Going Green for Iran

Following Sullivan and Instapundit, I've changed Internal Monologue's background color to a shade of green as a show of support to the Iranian protesters. This is until I figure out something more constructive to do.

And yes, I am aware that the US has a horrible history of meddling for the worse in other countries' affairs, particularly in Iran in the 50's with the Shah. And I'm aware that the Iranian opposition is not a bunch of sinless Persian Unitarian Universalists ready to make nice with every single US policy aim. They have their own set of vested interests. They'll be messy and difficult and maybe even awful and catastrophic. But they would be more legitimate than the current rulers, who have exposed themselves as contemptuous thugs. There's a lot of cynicism out there in the blogosphere about what's going on in Iran. But it seems to me that if that hardline theocracy were to fall, it would have to be because of a movement like the one happening …

Iranian upheaval

I wish there were something the United States could do. But I'm afraid any statements or actions of support by the United States will be used by the oppressive government to justify oppression in the name of keeping "foreign meddlers" out of Iranian politics. We really shouldn't have helped that coup in 1953. Anyway, if I figure out some decent way to help I'll let Internal Monologue readers know. Sullivan's blog continues to offer extensive coverage.

Update: Digby's blog mentions wearing green tomorrow as a show of support for the protesters.

Potential revolution in Iran

Sullivan's blog is covering it. I hope the Iranian people can choose
the government they want.[I sent this from my iPhone, so please excuse any excessive brevity or
typographical errors.]
--Zachary Drake

Facebook user ID

I'm zdrake314, just like my email addresses. takes you to my Facebook page.

First Tiller, now this

More right-wing domestic terrorism, this time at the Holocaust Museum. I hope this stops. But unless someone reaches out to these folks and calms them down, I don't see that happening. I'm starting to get scared, though there are so many other things that are more likely to hurt me.

New media & old media

From Ben Joseph via Sullivan.

My scores on the big 5

(This and other quizzes here.) Hmm, interesting. My scores in green, average in purple.

Openness to experience: not too surprised here, as this dimension is all about thinking of cool new things andbeing curious about different ways of looking at things. Not surprising that I almost maxed
Conscientiousness: not surprised that I'm higher than average here. I've always been a good student, concerned about getting things right, etc.Extraversion: thought I'd score lower on this. I've always thought of myself as pretty introverted. Maybe all the Facebook chatter is making me more of a people person.
Agreeableness: I would have thought I was nicer than the average person, but I guess I'm not. Maybe there are times when I can't be bothered. Neuroticism: Ouch. I used to think of myself as cool under pressure and emotionally stable, but recent life events have kind of upended that. I do worry, I'm anxious about things, and I've always been sensitive and cried easil…

Moral foundations of liberals and conservatives

On, (registration required) you can take a bunch of quizzes about your personality and how you think about morality. The first tests involve assessing how important harm, fairness, loyalty, authority, and purity are to your moral decision-making. The above graph shows my results in green along with average liberal results (blue) and conservative results (red).

So, I'm slightly less concerned with harm than the average liberal. I'm actually closer to conservatives than to liberals in my opinions about fairness: I think fairness is more important than conservatives do, but only by a little bit. On authority I'm pretty much an average liberal. And I'm less concerned with loyalty and purity than everybody. Overall, I'm not too surprised.

(HT: Mad Latinist via email)

Side note: From the numbers at the top of the graph, it appears that liberals are much more interested in taking Web-based quizzes about their morality than conservatives are. Or it could be tha…

Women dominating higher education

Wow, I didn't realize the numbers were so dramatic:
Of the more than 3 million college degrees for the Class of 2009, women will earn close to 60% of those degrees (1,849,200), or almost 149 degrees for every 100 degrees earned by men.
And it's now official: Women dominate men at every level of higher education, in terms of degrees conferred.This has dramatic implications for the distribution of power in our society. 30 years from now, things like legislatures and corporate board rooms and the upper echelons of academia are going to look very different than they do today. I fear backlash.