whackanarwhal

news you should know about

Hello, world. + inaugural newsmongering!

with 4 comments

So I do this thing where I read a lot of news. Like, a lot of news. At first I was just a mideast news junkie. And then I was an international news junkie. And then the midterm elections happened here in the US, and now I’m  a bit of a national news junkie, too, but that’s usually on the back burner. My ideal Saturday morning involves sitting down at the computer around eight and reading through the newsfeeds until around noon (the level of ideal in my Saturday morning tends to be inversely related to the level of ideal of my Friday night).

And I used to just spam people on Facebook a lot; if I had a link about gay rights or Catholicism, it went to one guy, and if it was about theater and bullying it went to someone else, and this girl over there got any links about gaming. Except that then people started to tell me that they got their news from me. Or mostly just from me. Or from me, Jon Stewart, and Yahoo News (I am gratified to be lumped in with…well, one of those).

So now I have a blog, where hopefully at least a few of you lot will be able to continue to use me as a news source * but without me clogging up your walls like I was before (Joel: “I start deleting your stuff when you put more than five things in a row.” Me: “What’s my average?” Joel: “Eleven.”).

Things you should know: I get a lot wrong; I’m a college kid, a newbie, and my interpretation is obviously limited by my perspective. I try to avoid claimsmaking (ie, “Now what Israel really ought to be doing is…”), but I’m not perfect, and I do tend to jump on the crazypants train like anyone else (ie, “What the freaky Moses does Netanyahu think he’s doing?”). Also, being a college kid, I will occasionally go radio silent when real life (or as real as life gets in college) intervenes.  I will occasionally use Language (but it’ll usually be behind a cut tag. Once I figure out how to do cut tags. Can you do cut tags here?). I speak for me and nobody else.

And as long as I’m confessing things, I have pretended to be Canadian in Istanbul in order to more easily procure kebab. You would have, too.

* If I’m your primary news source…please, in the name of all that is holy and smells nice, find something else. Make the Christian Science Monitor your home page. Or the BBC. Or Al Jazeera. I promise it won’t make you a terrorist. Find a nice newspaper for a region you’re affiliated with/fond of and check it out once in a while. Ideally I’d say try to find something from outside your time zone, but let’s start small, shall we?

Anyway…

> Yemen’s Saleh announced on Saturday that he would step down under certain cheerfully vague conditions. Note that it is early on Monday in Yemen right now and he’s still there. Aaaand talks have stalled.

> Salon’s Glenn Greenwald on the Koch brothers and billionaire self-pity. I am oddly reminded of that moment when Bush said that being slighted by Kanye West was the lowest point of his presidency. That came out right after the 2010 midterm elections, didn’t it? …that was a bad time.

> Through handwaving and a certain lack of cause and effect, some social conservatives have announced that their issues are directly linked to fiscal conservatism. They are fuzzy on the details (oddly enough!), but Michelle Bachmann thinks higher taxes on single parents is a great idea. Allow me to reiterate: handwaving and a certain lack of cause and effect.

> 6.5 earthquake off the coast of Japan; officials warn of another tsunami.

> Amnesty International finds that, disregarding China (figures unavailable), executions worldwide have fallen. NB: “But that figure does not include China, whose executions are thought to be more than all other countries put together”  (2,000 – 8,000). Also, Gabon just became one of 139 countries to outlaw executions (want to know who does still execute people? Belarus, China, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Tonga, and the United States. Good company!)

> Relatedly: people area afraid of China’s economic power and the World Bank just worked out that China can continue at 8% growth for another twenty years. Kenya and Nigeria are apparently very down with China’s economy, quelle surprise.

> The Arabist is awesome and you should read it. An editorial on ‘consensus vs. clarity’ in the Obama administration’s decision to intervene in Libya (bear in mind that this addresses what is best for Libya, in the author’s opinion, not what is best for the US or the rest of the world) (Foreign Policy has some of that here) and Bassem Youssef – ostensibly Egypt’s Jon Stewart.

> Foreign Policy would like to remind you that the last week wasn’t all revolutions and earthquakes: there’s civil war in the Ivory Coast, Stephen Harper’s government has (temporarily? say my Canadian sources) fallen, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma has been charged in connection with the murder of a journalist, and much much more.

> Apparently Kate & William are going to have a “ridiculously British” wedding cake. I am unsure of what makes something ridiculously British but apparently it involves lots of fruit and free-range eggs. Also, who brings mood boards to a meeting about cake? What would a mood board about cake even look like? Inquiring minds want to know! (Inquiring bloggers want cake!)

> And I believe I have an exam tomorrow…I’m out. ‘night, folks.

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Written by whackanarwhal

March 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. But all of your posts on my wall about sciencey things made me look like a professional! And now I have to make a conscious effort to look at news!

    Your blog is already on my tab bar.

    Brad

    March 28, 2011 at 10:41 am

    • I’m not sure how I’ll be moderating Facebook vs. WordPress links – I may just post a link to the WordPress entry periodically and tag people of relevance; either way, it’ll be trial/error for a bit. And I’ll probably still be spamming…just…a bit less.

      Probably.

      whackanarwhal

      March 28, 2011 at 11:25 am

  2. Do you have a condensed version for those of us already residing in the real world (or as real as the world of being a campus minister gets)?

    Nancy Eggen

    March 31, 2011 at 11:22 am


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