Daily Links for October 7th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Gore Vidal’s United States of fury – Americas, World – The Independent – When did this happen to Gore Vidal? When did he go from righteous – and right – opposition to atrocities carried out by his own government, to justifying any atrocity against it, no matter how extreme? When I ask him, his scowl turns to a sneer, and he says I am ignorant and clearly haven't read anything. I decide to try a different approach. I ask him – if there were more people like McVeigh, would that be a good thing? There is a crack in his hauteur, and he says: "It strikes me as a perfect nightmare. Of course I don't want more people like McVeigh. Since Americans refuse to think about anything, being incapable I suspect of thought, then they're not going to come to any conclusions except mistaken ones."
  • OkTrends: Your Race Affects Whether People Write You Back – When I first started looking at first-contact attempts and who was writing who back, it was immediately obvious that the sender’s race was a huge factor. Here are just a handful of the numbers that illustrate that:

    The takeaway here is that although race shouldn’t matter in messaging, it does. A lot.

  • Michael Salmonowicz – The Report Card – The Simpsons takes on education – True/Slant – I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just say that the entire episode is focused on an event (and its aftermath) that occurs in Bart’s classroom. The show’s underlying political/social commentary is spot-on, including jabs at new teachers, veteran teachers, education reform, technology in the classroom, the debate over core knowledge v. critical thinking skills, and more. I was laughing out loud, even though I had to read all the dialogue on closed captioning. Anyone who has spent time in a public school as a student, teacher, or parent will appreciate this, so if you have 22 minutes to spare, visit Fox’s The Simpsons site and watch the episode!
  • Transparency: The Rise of Atheism in America | GOOD – America has always been a religious country. But a recent study finds that might be changing; The percent of the country who considers themselves atheists is rising rapidly. While they still make up a small minority in comparison to the major religions, the current trends indicate that we may not be one nation, under God, forever. Our latest Transparency is a look at what we believe.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s Communist Business Ties – Is Rupert Murdoch a Communist? – Esquire – However, there is still one powerful American who has extensive connections with communists — not just some communists, but some of the most powerful communists in the world. According to an extensive report in the New York Times, this man has "flattered Communist Party leaders and done business with their children," met repeatedly with senior members of the communist Politburo, "cooperates closely" with communist censors and propaganda networks, and "cultivates political ties" with communists in the hope that they will "insulate his business ventures." Not only that, but he "often supports the policies" of communist leaders and "attacks their critics."

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