Gary Locke

Gary Locke

A prominent editor of speculative fiction (a term that encompasses both science fiction and fantasy) pinpointed 2012 as the year that the genre “moved away from the white male Anglo Saxon Mayberry of its youth and towards a more mature, diverse, and inclusive future.” His words were an encapsulation of trendy opinion among certain sorts of spec-fic fans. They were also flat-out wrong. If early science fiction and fantasy had an ideology (a doubtful proposition at best) it was techno-cultural utopianism—the opposite of the conservatism of The Andy Griffith Show. The giants of the field wrote in explicit support of civil rights, sexual liberation, and women’s equality. But ideologues must exaggerate past evils to justify their present excesses, and so down the memory hole go Heinlein’s 1961 A Stranger in Strange Land and LeGuin’s 1969 The Left Hand of Darkness.

Tom Brady Skips Meeting With Obama

Great form / AP

Super Bowl winning quarterback and UGG model Tom Brady skipped meeting with President Obama a the White House on Thursday. Brady had a prior family commitment that kept him from the ceremony.

With Obama Under Heat, New York Times Defends Drone Strikes

AP

Visitors of the New York Times website—a go-to for criticism of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and all enhanced interrogation techniques—on Friday will find that it has a far more nuanced take on President Barack Obama’s use of drone strikes in the Middle East that resulted in a dead American hostage.

University of Maryland Student Group Cancels Screenings of American Sniper

Chris Kyle / AP

A student group at the University of Maryland has canceled screenings of American Sniper after a petition against the movie was circulated by the school’s Muslim Student Association. Student Entertainment Events (SEE) announced the cancellation of all the May screenings of the movie on Wednesday. The group said they would try to schedule an alternative event in the future.

Comcast Abandons $45 Billion Time Warner Cable Merger

Wikimedia Commons

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp abandoned its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable Inc on Friday, saying the deal had been structured in a way that if the U.S. government didn’t agree, the companies could walk away.

Pentagon Says Evicted Russian Hackers, Global Cyber Threat Grows

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter addresses U.S. military personnel during a meeting near an F-16 fighter jet at Osan U.S. Air Base in Pyeongtaek

PALO ALTO, California (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday disclosed a cyber intrusion this year by Russian hackers who accessed an unclassified U.S. military network, in a episode Defense Secretary Ash Carter said showed the growing threat and the improving U.S. ability to respond.

U.S. Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General

Loretta Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to approve Loretta Lynch as President Barack Obama’s next attorney general, ending a five-month deadlock that made Lynch wait longer for confirmation than the last seven attorneys general combined.

Iranian Ships Moving Away from Yemen

AP

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian ships are moving northeast away from Yemen, a U.S. official said on Thursday after a convoy of Iranian cargo ships prompted U.S. concerns that Tehran was sending weapons into the region.

Tear Down These Tariffs

Ports of Los Angeles

Now she knows how I feel. In a statement posted to her campaign website, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts laments that the Obama administration has kept secret the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—TPP for short—the decade-in-the-making free trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries that will soon be put to a vote in Congress. “If the American people would be opposed to a trade agreement if they saw it,” she writes in bolded text, “then that agreement should not become law of the United States.”

Chamber Music

Chambers Encyclopedia

In 1800 and 1802, respectively, two boys were born in Peebles, a small town in the Scottish Borders, each with twelve fingers and twelve toes. The locals thought their extra digits lucky. They may have been right.

Shuffling around in their attic, the elder of the two found an ancient set of the Encyclopædia Britannica. “What the gift of a whole toy-shop would have been to most children,” William wrote in his memoirs of dipping into them for the first time, “this book was to me. I plunged into it. I roamed through it like a bee.”

General: China Space Threat Drives U.S. Space Warfare Buildup

A Long March 4B (CZ-4B) carrier rocket carrying the CBERS-4 satellite lifts off at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan city, north China's Shanxi province, Dec. 7, 2014

China’s growing space warfare capabilities are prompting the Air Force to develop military space weapons to protect U.S. satellites and shoot down enemy systems, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said in an interview that will air on Sunday.

“It’s a competition I wish wasn’t occurring, but it is,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the space commander, tells CBS News.

“And if we’re threatened in space, we have the right of self defense and we’ll make sure we can execute that right.”

In Defense of Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria

Just as some journalists have come to admire the Clinton family because, and not in spite, of the total lack of integrity apparent in their careers, so I have come to admire the writings of Fareed Zakaria because, and not in spite, of the total absence of shame manifest in their composition. His latest, slender effort, In Defense of a Liberal Education, made it to #6 on the New York Times bestseller list, and as I write, resides at #1 on Amazon in the categories of both “political science” and “education.”

Chamber Music

Chambers Encyclopedia

In 1800 and 1802, respectively, two boys were born in Peebles, a small town in the Scottish Borders, each with twelve fingers and twelve toes. The locals thought their extra digits lucky. They may have been right.

Shuffling around in their attic, the elder of the two found an ancient set of the Encyclopædia Britannica. “What the gift of a whole toy-shop would have been to most children,” William wrote in his memoirs of dipping into them for the first time, “this book was to me. I plunged into it. I roamed through it like a bee.”

General: China Space Threat Drives U.S. Space Warfare Buildup

A Long March 4B (CZ-4B) carrier rocket carrying the CBERS-4 satellite lifts off at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan city, north China's Shanxi province, Dec. 7, 2014

China’s growing space warfare capabilities are prompting the Air Force to develop military space weapons to protect U.S. satellites and shoot down enemy systems, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said in an interview that will air on Sunday.

“It’s a competition I wish wasn’t occurring, but it is,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the space commander, tells CBS News.

“And if we’re threatened in space, we have the right of self defense and we’ll make sure we can execute that right.”

Tom Brady Skips Meeting With Obama

Great form / AP

Super Bowl winning quarterback and UGG model Tom Brady skipped meeting with President Obama a the White House on Thursday. Brady had a prior family commitment that kept him from the ceremony.

With Obama Under Heat, New York Times Defends Drone Strikes

AP

Visitors of the New York Times website—a go-to for criticism of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and all enhanced interrogation techniques—on Friday will find that it has a far more nuanced take on President Barack Obama’s use of drone strikes in the Middle East that resulted in a dead American hostage.

University of Maryland Student Group Cancels Screenings of American Sniper

Chris Kyle / AP

A student group at the University of Maryland has canceled screenings of American Sniper after a petition against the movie was circulated by the school’s Muslim Student Association. Student Entertainment Events (SEE) announced the cancellation of all the May screenings of the movie on Wednesday. The group said they would try to schedule an alternative event in the future.

In Defense of Fareed Zakaria

Fareed Zakaria

Just as some journalists have come to admire the Clinton family because, and not in spite, of the total lack of integrity apparent in their careers, so I have come to admire the writings of Fareed Zakaria because, and not in spite, of the total absence of shame manifest in their composition. His latest, slender effort, In Defense of a Liberal Education, made it to #6 on the New York Times bestseller list, and as I write, resides at #1 on Amazon in the categories of both “political science” and “education.”

Tear Down These Tariffs

Ports of Los Angeles

Now she knows how I feel. In a statement posted to her campaign website, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts laments that the Obama administration has kept secret the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—TPP for short—the decade-in-the-making free trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries that will soon be put to a vote in Congress. “If the American people would be opposed to a trade agreement if they saw it,” she writes in bolded text, “then that agreement should not become law of the United States.”