The ‘scrounger’ myth is causing real suffering to many in society – New research reported by the LSE’s British Politics and Policy blog.
Let’s call it failure – If you haven’t yet seen John Lanchester’s LRB piece on austerity, here’s your chance.
Happy Christmas! Here is a flame war in a can – Charles Stross points out certain similarities between two historical figures.
A Bum’s Christmas – Traditionally borrowed from Blood and Treasure, HL Mencken’s short story.
The 5 Worst Ghosts of 2012 – A sceptical perspective on some of the ‘ghost’ stories that the media have pushed this year.

And as it’s the season, tips on how to avoid drunk drivers:

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Hitchcult – Jamie at Blood and Treasure on the proposal to build a statue of Christopher Hitchens.
Remember Who You Are – A report from a David Icke talk. At points, it sounds like Icke is stealing lines from Bill Hicks, though I don’t recall Bill ever having dance routines.
I’m not ashamed of being a man, but I ashamed of the things men do – I was considering writing a ‘why I follow Everyday Sexism‘ post, but this does the job perfectly.
10 days that shook my world – Tom Watson MP’s account of what he’s learned since asking about a paedophile ring at the heart of government.
The Long Con – How the right wing movement in the US is funded by what are basically long-running scams and shakedowns. (via)

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So what… [fill in blank here] – Fleet Street Fox compares the media coverage of two stories involving fifteen year old girls.
The Wormhole Water Wheel – I’m simultaneously amused and scared by the idea of Lawrence Miles inventing a perpetual motion machine.
Clegg’s Cornish pasty conference speech – Very good critique by Dan Falchikov. “Clegg’s view is still there are votes to be gained by being ‘a party of government’ – despite the idea being tested to destruction by the last two and half years of coalition.”
Village changes mind – Jamie Kenny is short but to the point on Ed Miliband’s speech.
Membership renewal, or not – Alex Marsh on why he’s decided to remain in the Liberal Democrats and fight against any rightward shift.

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Kurt Vonnegut to weasels in five easy steps.

‘I Was There’: On Kurt Vonnegut – A long piece in The Nation looks back over Vonnegut’s novels from Player Piano to Breakfast of Champions.
10 Pilots With Light Turbulence – The Fan Can looks at the very early stages of some TV classics.
The Unbearable Stasis of “Accelerating Change” – Dale Carrico looks at how little futurology has changed, despite the fact we’re now living in the future. (via)
Oh Happy Days: A Personal Recollection Of Working With Jeremy Hunt – Interesting background on the (at the time of writing) Culture Secretary.
Unpack the weaselometers – “Blair: a sort of black hole of distrust, where distrust flips over into its opposite in another part if the multiverse and you pay him to take your children away and carry the garden gnomes to the van for him while he lectures you about rights and responsibilities.”

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