A clipping file.

All the hassle of the last fortnight comes to a head tomorrow, so short shrift tonight, but hey — I have some good links.

Neil Steinberg is often one of my first stops in my morning rounds, in part because of his unflinching eye in obits of public figures, but for many other reasons, as well. He’s just a good writer. But I really liked this frank appreciation of a public atheist who died unexpectedly early this week.

I want to post the final paragraphs, but it would give away the best part of the piece. Just read it.

On a far grimmer note, but a good read, is this tick-tock about the fire in Oakland. Kate’s band sometimes plays places like this, and I never stop worrying when she does.

Another great piece by Ta’Nehisi Coates, about the departing president. Too much wonderful stuff to quote. read it over lunch.

Posted at 12:01 am in Current events |

35 responses to “A clipping file.”

  1. Dexter said on December 14, 2016 at 1:59 am

    My old friend Bert, who was in his 80s when Lloyd Thoren began his atheist museum in Petersburg, Indiana in the 70s, had a correspondence with Thoren…Bert was a lifelong atheist and he always gave me copies of American Atheist Magazine and all sorts of text books about atheism. My brother was so interested he drove to the museum in Petersburg, and found Lloyd Thoren to be stand-offish and cynical. Rob Sherman indeed did raise hell and was always fun to read about as he challenged everyone and every principle of Christian and every other religion. I didn’t even know he had died. He surely did leave us with something to think about. I sometimes wondered how he was funded to devote his life to atheism…and now we read he had his own airplane? Sherman was “big” before I had a pc so I never researched his roots and money supply, so maybe he was a trust fund baby or had captured the imagination of a visionary atheist who bankrolled him.

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  2. Dexter said on December 14, 2016 at 2:25 am


    The Ghost Ship was basically just left alone, too many, hundreds even, of structures like it to monitor and bring up to code. It was not one of a kind at all. Artists, Social Security folks, regular working folks , can’t live in The City or up in Marin, so they live in Oaktown.

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  3. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 2:58 am

    A piece with another view on Obama the black President, also moving and interesting in its own right: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/obamas-faith-in-white-america/510503/

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  4. basset said on December 14, 2016 at 6:34 am

    I’m surprised that an atheist museum was allowed to exist in Petersburg, Indiana.

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  5. Suzanne said on December 14, 2016 at 6:35 am

    After reading (OK, skimming) that piece on the Ghost Ship, I can’t help but think that this is exactly the world someone like Paul Ryan envisions. No regulations, no govmint interference. Freedom! If people die because of it, meh. They made poor decisions.

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  6. alex said on December 14, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Madalyn Murray O’Hair was another grating asshole who gave atheism a bad name. The cause of defending liberty of conscience seems to attract the wrong people, the sort who want to proselytize and ram their nonbelief down others’ throats just like the most strident sectarians. Even the Soviets rejected O’Hair when she tried to defect to Russia from the U.S. in one of her efforts to grandstand. She just had bad juju, and you don’t have to believe in the supernatural to see bad juju. Just turn on the tube and look at Donald Trump.

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  7. Alan Stamm said on December 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Thanks for the latest Neil link with that irresistible nudge to do as suggested.

    Never disappointed (by him or you).

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  8. brian stouder said on December 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

    She just had bad juju, and you don’t have to believe in the supernatural to see bad juju. Just turn on the tube and look at Donald Trump.

    ‘Bad juju’, indeed!

    You know, here’s something that hit me yesterday. Watching our national DT construct his anti-cabinet (naming people who specifically oppose the departments they head-up, as at Education, HUD, EPA, and Energy)….when the Constitutional crisis comes, and DT gets impeached – and when the question becomes “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” – he gets acquitted!!

    Ol’ DT doesn’t know anything about anything – and he exults in his invincible ignorance!

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  9. Icarus said on December 14, 2016 at 11:34 am

    for levity, why you shouldn’t put a TV over a fireplace


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  10. Suzanne said on December 14, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Link tweeted by Conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes. Interesting.

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  11. Dexter said on December 14, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    #5, Suzanne. I share your worldview. Nero, Ryan…Trump. And Suzanne for the thread win, also.

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  12. Dexter said on December 14, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Any of you see “Catholics vs. Convicts”, the cable show about the 1988 Notre Dame vs. Miami Hurricanes rivalry, which focussed on a couple of ND students who designed and had printed the infamous tee shirts. The whole episode dealing with the shirt sales left a bitter taste for all involved, and benefited no one in the aftermath. One of the student entrepreneurs was named Walsh. Walsh did get a ND degree which he parlayed into a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade…after a few years, this guy cashed out to the tune of $300,000,000. At least, 25 years ago…a college degree paid off.

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  13. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Another deplorable for the White House, as a senior policy advisor, no confirmation necessary: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/12/stephen-miller-will-be-trumps-senior-policy-adviser.html

    Drain the swamp; the vilest critters live at the bottom.

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  14. Deborah said on December 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I’m back from Abiquiu for a day or two. I noticed yesterday Nancy mentioned “My Struggle” by Knausgaard. I read all 5 volumes and there’s a 6th coming out next year. It’s out in Norwegian but it being translated into English now. I loved all of the ones I’ve read so far.

    It’s really refreshing to be away from the news while I’m in Abiquiu, I can almost forget who the POETUS is. Hey, who knows there may be a miracle on Monday when the Electoral College votes. I can hope, can’t I?

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  15. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Masha Gessen on the similarities between Trump and Putin: http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/12/13/putin-paradigm-how-trump-will-rule/

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  16. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Kim Kardashian for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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  17. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    You haven’t quite got the pattern, Jeff(tmmo). You need someone who has called for the elimination of the NEH. Maybe the reanimated corpse of Jesse Helms, though if you don’t want to go the Frankenstein route, Rep Jim Jordan, the head of the Republican Study Committee, which is always calling to eliminate the NEH and the NEA, or someone from Heritage, which wants the same.

    The other path to an appointment is to be a big donor, or if rumors are true, to promise to sing at the inauguration. Kardashian didn’t support Trump. Step-parent Caitlyn Jenner did, but I don’t think Trump wants to highlight that.

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  18. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    You go, Governor Moonbeam!


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  19. Judybusy said on December 14, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    The Russians also hacked into the Democratic Congressional Committee and shared info with Republicans and newspapers. It affected various races as the info was leaked.

    Dahlia Lithwick had a NYT op ed wondering why the Democratic establishment isn’t fighting tooth and nail to install Clinton. She invites us to imagine if the candidates were switched and briefly recounts that dirty fighting worked in 2000. Is it just me or is the Democratic leadership eerily quiet. Or are they taking action, speaking out, and it’s not being covered?

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  20. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Now US intelligence believe Putin was personally involved in disrupting our elections: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

    Judybusy, I’ve seen nothing from anybody in Democratic leadership, other than a few random statements calling for investigations and opposing various Trump nominees. It’s inconceivable that Republicans would let an election stand where their candidate won the popular vote by 2.8 million and a foreign country interfered with the process. They’d be inventing new constitutional arguments right and left until they found one that stuck, like they did with Bush v. Gore.

    Of course, with the Court the way it is, it would be difficult to succeed. Maybe Obama should just say the Senate has defaulted on its duty to advise and consent and just put Garland on the Court.

    How broken do things have to get before the Dems decide that they have to break some norms too? Unfortunately, with Obama, I’m guessing the answer is he will never do anything that smacks of pure partisanship.

    As much as I admire and respect Obama, the fact that the party apparatus is weak is on him. He didn’t care that much about party politics, and did little to build the party. Wasserman Schulz was his pick, not Clinton’s.

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  21. LAMary said on December 14, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I have to say I’ve never felt let down by our California governor. Jerry Brown is a good guy.

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  22. Sherri said on December 14, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    What will Republicans do when they lose? Look at what’s happening in North Carolina: https://sherrivotes.org/2016/12/14/north-carolina/

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  23. MichaelG said on December 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Thanks for the idea to call ATT, Mary. I should have thought of that myself. Today was chemo day and I was out all day. I’ll call them tomorrow.

    I too like Jerry Brown a whole lot. I remember when he was Gov. the first time. I had occasion to meet him a couple of times back then. Now he’s 78, will be Gov. for two more years and has (according to the Field Poll) a 60% approval rating. So he has no planned political future when his term is up, he’s a feisty bastard and can afford to take on the feds. I’m happy to live in California.

    Also, as of yesterday evening, Kevin Johnson is officially history and Darrell Steinberg is now our mayor. He’s another good guy with a big agenda of stuff to grow Sacramento and to help the needy. At least there’s light here.

    With the horror show in D.C, it must be double depressing to live in Ohio, Michigan, NC, Wisconsin or another one of those states and their awful Govs. and legislatures.

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  24. brian stouder said on December 14, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    A non sequitur/everyday-2016 anecdote that Pam passed along, regarding our 18 year old high school senior. Pam emailed to me that she was completely confused when she got the following text from her, earlier today:

    “Johnny Carson salad tonight show I have to one season though they realize he acted like he’s not taking on Johnny Carson and it was canceled and that was happening”

    Later, Pam learned Shelby had been getting ready to voice-text her, and then got busy (driving, presumably) – so that whatever was on the radio basically got garbled into her text.

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  25. Jolene said on December 14, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    FYI: There’s an episode of FRONTLINE about Vladimir Putin available online. Also available through the PBS app on Roku and, presumably, other streaming services. Lots of interesting–and horrifying–details about.how he came to power and how he operates. I saw it a while back and am planning to watch it again soon. Summary: He is a bad dude and should not be a model for a US president.


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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 14, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    He’s Guccifer 2.0.1.

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  27. Sherri said on December 15, 2016 at 1:05 am

    “We don’t need no stinking permits to test our self-driving cars because there are human drivers in the car!”

    Cars run red lights.

    “It’s the human’s fault! That’s why we need self-driving cars!”

    (For Jeff(tmmo), imagine the dialogue in a Ferengi voice. Hu-mahn.)


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  28. Dexter said on December 15, 2016 at 3:19 am

    It was Mike Royko, who likely was writing his column for the Sun-Times then, who started the “Governor Moonbeam” nonsense. I loved most of Royko’s work, but that one was bullshit. When Royko became angry when Murdoch bought the Sun-Times, Royko moved on to The Trib and a Page Three column. After fifteen years of seeing how his throw-away “moonbeam” comment had attached itself to Jerry Brown, Royko pleaded to a general audience to just stop it. Six years later Royko had an early death but the moonbeam nonsense grew like The Blob. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/weekinreview/07mckinley.html

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  29. Julie Robinson said on December 15, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Oh how I want self-driving cars to work. I’m taxi service for Mom but now I’m having vision problems of my own and have already had to stop driving at night. But to put the cars out when they’re not ready makes me splutter with anger. Didn’t someone die in an accident caused by one of these already? Work the problems out on a test track first please.

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  30. Kim said on December 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Late again, but great links. It is stunning that it took the media three days to realize the pilot was Rob Sherman. The guy just ran for Congress, for God’s sake. The tick tock on the fire has some very nice, simple writing. And Coates – read it.

    Speaking of Guccifer, I can’t recommend enough this NYT article on “How Russian cyberpower invaded the U.S.” It is a great companion piece to the Eric Garland tweets, on storify here for those who missed it. I hate Twitter, but make an exception for this one.

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  31. Kim said on December 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Hmmm, storify link didn’t work. Here it is.

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  32. Deborah said on December 15, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Jolene, I’m halfway through the Putin Frontline piece. Holy cow.

    Now I’m at the Santa Fe PO waiting for it to open. After this I’m done with my Christmas shopping and mailing.

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  33. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 15, 2016 at 11:05 am

    You just have to go home and put together 1,000 farolitos. Don’t you?

    This is for all of you who don’t look forward to going to Christmas Eve services, which some of us are busily preparing for, knowing almost all the things in their piece will happen despite our best efforts . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiuYmM0lG6o

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  34. Julie Robinson ch said on December 15, 2016 at 11:16 am

    We had some good laughs at that last night. Fortunately out current pastor doesn’t even try to chant. He leaves that to the professionals. (Like myself!)

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  35. Deborah said on December 15, 2016 at 11:36 am

    No farolitos here, afraid we’d burn down the cabin. I am looking forward to the luminarias at the church in Abiquiu village.

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