First off... we've all just returned from a high plains family odyssey -- from Denver (the World Science Fiction convention) to Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil's Monument and several cool caves (a family interest of ours.)
The Denver World Science Fiction Convention was a bit small (they are steadily getting smaller) but charming, friendly and one of the sweetest I ever attended. (My first worldcon ever was Denvention II in 1981.) Among the highlights:
SKY HORIZON received the Hal Clement Award for best science fiction novel for Young Adults.
2- I got a chance to do this fabulous panel with much-talented artists Frank Wu and Teddy Harvia, in which I essentially did stand-up storytelling improv with images or elements shouted from the audience while Frank and Teddy sketched. It got rather rollicking and manic, with Frank & I standing on the tables doing surfer moves, then leading the audience in chants and songs, then getting REALLY silly. There must be a dozen blog entries and youTube postings about that one event.
Now, on to important matters...
An important announcement: Russ Daggatt has finally started a blog. A truly insightful fellow, Russ is a great source of collated political data and common-sense "ostrich-bait." It’s about time that his compilations became available to a wider audience. (Thus saving me the chore of frequently re-posting them!)Catch his entries at: http://daggatt.blogspot.com/ and do spread the word.
Oh, and an (apolitical/philosophical) aside: John Brockman’s THE EDGE site has posted my appraisal of Mark Pesce’s latest speech, siddling toward elitist cynicism and renunciationism. I think you’ll find both sides interesting.
*** A GENERAL/POLITICAL POTPOURRI ***
Here’s a good “ostrich” article on Salon.
Fearing I would go crazy and shoot the TV.
Oh, the June-July Armageddon Buffet is online! http://signsandportentsofarmageddon.blogspot.com/
The Bush Administration has ignited a furor with a proposed definition of pregnancy that has the effect of classifying some of the most widely used methods of contraception as abortion.
One angry investment specialist and champion of transparency is Michael Lewitt of Hegemony Capital Management (http://www.hegcap.com/). Via John Mauldin, I’ve been reading Lewitt’s cogent comments on the continuing efforts by those in authority to bail out the system (especially their cronies), along with insights on the deal by Merrill and the woes at GM. Lewitt is scathing about how the rules have been tweaked and the civil servants distracted, allowing the development of... ”...beggar-the poor, boost-the-rich policies... or a capitalism-for-the-poor, socialism-for-the-rich economic model that American financial authorities have adopted over the past two decades.”
All of which reinforces my belief that our problem in recent years is not so much that we have had bad shifts in “law.”Rather, what we’ve seen is a near abandonment of law, with a civil service that has been crushed, cowed, suborned, distracted, or bullied into not doing the jobs that they were hired to do. Indeed, I’d be interested in a comparison of regulatory enforcement actions that were taken by New York State vs the SEC, on a yearly basis since 2001. My impression is that New York State engaged in far more supervision, auditing, accountability and law enforcement than the federal agencies that are supposedly our main line of defense.
This is pretty big. In May this year, the multibillion-dollar oil giant Exxon-Mobil acknowledged that it had been doing something similar [to the tobacco lobby]. It announced that it would cease funding nine groups that had fuelled a global campaign to deny climate change. Exxon's decision comes after a shareholder revolt by members of the Rockefeller family and big superannuation funds to get the oil giant to take climate change more seriously...
...and that's enough for now. Just keeping my hand in. Do look for a local tight race to help with. That's where the real action is.