Weekly Must-Reads {01.09.11}


Last week I experimented with a little feature on my new favorite bookmarking service, Diigo, where it would automatically write up a weekly blog post containing all my bookmarks for the week and the comments I posted and quotes I highlighted.  Well, I went in blind and the post last week was a little messy.  So, this week, I took some time to clean it up a bit.  This week’s articles range the gamut from abortion to blogging.  If you click the links, they will take you to a special annotated version of the page where you can even see the little sticky notes I left.  Please read any of these articles that interest you and please–if you could–let me know what you think down in the comments.  Thanks.

U.S. teenager tortured in Kuwait and barred re-entry into the U.S. – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

I really don’t think the Founders wanted us to be terrified of our government.  Just think of it: you as an American citizen–with no legal record of any kind–could be studying abroad and have this happen to you.  This guy had NO indication that he could end up here.  This is like some crazy movie.  I’m actually scared of my country.

Ten Trends of the 2000s < Andy Crouch’s Articles | Culture Making

I’ll write more on this later, but this is a GREAT summary of our culture.

Wow.  This is a powerful and succinct article; as most of Douthat’s stuff is.It is a response to MTV’s recent special on abortion, and this article talks about abortion vs. adoption. It is sober and measured, not angry, triumphalist, or demeaning–it is from the broken heart of a man who wants desperately for things to change but can’t seem to see how they might. Some quotes:

“If you think of it like [a person], you’re going to make yourself depressed.” Instead, “think of it as what it is: nothing but a little ball of cells.”

WTF?

Sitting with her boyfriend afterward, she begins to cry when he calls the embryo a “thing.” Gesturing to their infant daughter, she says, “A ‘thing’ can turn out like that. That’s what I remember … ‘Nothing but a bunch of cells’ can be her.”

This is the paradox of America’s unborn. No life is so desperately sought after, so hungrily desired, so carefully nurtured. And yet no life is so legally unprotected, and so frequently destroyed.

Dang, this is one of the most powerful paragraphs I’ve ever read on this issue.

DOJ subpoenas Twitter records of several WikiLeaks volunteers – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

This really is getting terrifying.  Does NO ONE else see how we are changing as a nation? See my Wikileaks article for more discussion.

God and Sex | Storied Theology

Yes!  Amen!  This is so good.  Kirk here shows us the Gospel reasons behind abstaining from sexual sin; reasons beyond “the Bible says so”.  As long abstinence and purity are matters of the law, it will only condemn us; when it is out of freedom, joy, and Gospel-motives, then we shall experience the true goodness and proper place of this gift.

Having received life from the true and living God, we do not feed on the life-giving stuff marked out by and for other gods. We do not drink the life of animals and so become unnaturally one with them. We do not join ourselves to anyone other than a spouse because we are joined to them by physical union, and to the church by our union with Christ.

22 very simple ways for a new blogger to improve. | 22 Words

A GREAT article for ANY blogger.  A lot of these things were VERY helpful for me to read.  I will consult this article often in my blogging days to come.  Also added highlights and notes to points I feel I need to work on.  So check them out and let me know what you think!

1. Keep paragraphs 5 lines or shorter. (If this post were a list of one, this would be it.) [Ouch.  This one stung.]
2. Don’t get hung up on whether posts should be long or short. Just make each sentence motivate your audience to read the next one. [This one was encouraging, though.  I love this point.]
5. Put either your main point or a story in the first paragraph of posts. [I almost never do this.  I take the more dramatic approach, where I try and build up to a main point.  But this is helpful for me to hear, as a blog is a fundamentally different type of writing and should be treated differently than a traditional article.]
7. Connect links to meaningful words so people know what they’ll find at the other end (unlike linking “this” or “here”) [I've gotten better about this, right?]
9. Redirect your blogspot or wordpress URL to your own domain. (OK, that’s not as simple as some of these others, but it’s worth figuring out how to do.) [Is this really that important?  If so, why do you think it is?  Just having your own URL, does that seem more professional and/or authoritative?]
17. Comment on other people’s blogs. [I'm trying, okay!]
18. Offer to write posts for other blogs. Offer them your best stuff. [What do you think would be other appropriate sites to offer to write on?]
20. Don’t clutter your sidebar with stuff no one’s going to use, even if it is important info. [anything in my sidebar you all find unnecessary or annoying?]

This is an interesting quote by John Piper about Baptism.  It doesn’t imply that Piper believes in Infant Baptism, but he lays out a strong logic that with only a couple more steps sounds a lot like one of the ways one could articulate support of infant baptism.

It is expected that baptism happens early in the Christian walk when you do not know very much… Rather, rejoice that you expressed your simple faith in obedience to Jesus and now are learning more and more of what it all meant.

The Other Side of Immigration, a film by Roy Germano

This seems like a fascinating documentary on Immigration.  The trailer made me wonder: could it be that the best way to combat immigration is to make corn the cash crop it used to be in Mexico?  The easiest way to do this for them (and for countless other poor countries in the world to whom corn would be a great crop for them to export) is to get rid of our stupid corn subsidies.  They are killing our health in America and keeping the rest of the world in poverty.

TED Talk, by Simon Sned on why Apple Marketing Works | WSI – Web Sales Now

AMAZING talk about how innovative companies really resonate with their customers.  Fascinating!

Italy rules YouTube and other video sites are like TV stations, are liable for content — Engadget

B. freaking. S.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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One thought on “Weekly Must-Reads {01.09.11}

  1. Pingback: The Atlantic gets it right on Obama’s civil liberties abuses & the value of your vote | the long way home

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