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Link Dumpage

December 18, 2008
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Some of these items are getting cobwebs, so allow me to dump them forthwith, and then I’ll try to become a responsible blogger again.

  • I’ve been admiring almost all of Obama’s various nominations so far.  Clever, creative, open-minded.  But where the hell did this come from?   Truly, madly, deeply disappointing.  Breath-takingly bad.   (For those of you who don’t know who Rick Warren is, scroll down this post for a painful reminder.) (Update: for an even better field guide to Rick Warren, take a look at this.)
  • I wanted to follow Cristina and Duff’s inspiring examples and write my own “vision statement” to submit to Obama’s transition team.  It would have been about the US Department of Agriculture, and it would have urged policies and leadership committed to humane and sustainable farming.  Basic reforms in USDA culture would go light-years toward reducing environmental destruction, worldwide hunger, and grotesque abuses of “food animals.”  But I can’t make the case any better than Michael Pollan or Nicholas Kristof.  (I can, however, urge you to sign this petition.)
  • Newsweek’s Lisa Miller makes a biblical case for gay marriage.  Not surprisingly, it caused enough of a freak-out that Newsweek had closed the online comments section when I first read the article.  But I loved it.  Loved it.  Wish I’d written it.
  • While we’re on the topic, the now-former head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Richard Cizik, “came out” in favor of same-sex civil unions.  (Hence the “former” title…)  Wow.
  • The median lifespan of African elephants in zoos is 16.9 years.  In the wild, the median lifespan is 56 years.  Not surprisingly, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums takes issue with the findings.  But others have been sounding the alarm for several years.
  • While other nations work to reduce the use of primates in biomedical research, the US is actually using more of them.
  • Jon Katz on what his steer taught him about faith.  (Hat tip to “Lee” of A Thinking Reed.  I don’t know “Lee” but judging from his prolific book synopses, we’re often reading the same books at the same time, and I’ve noticed that many of the same articles that grab my attention catch his also.  A crucial difference is that he actually updates his blog.  So when you find dead air over here, I encourage you to go check him out.)
  • Deep Snark:  See Josh Marshall’s “deep thought” for the day.   I guess I’m not the only one wondering if every single item covering the Great Shoe-Throwing Incident must include an explanation that “shoe throwing is the ultimate insult in the Arab world.”
  • I love this pictureF-stop Marin is one of my favorite weekly blog stops, and I always like at least one photo.  But this one deserved a “grab” as my desktop “wallpaper” (I hope she doesn’t mind).  Yes, doors leading to doors leading to doors threatens to be a bit of a photographic cliche.  But the colors and lights and textures in this one…  Just gorgeous.
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