Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’
* An unnamed English teacher at Albany High School who wanted to “challenge” his/her students to “formulate a persuasive argument” tasked them with writing an essay about why “Jews are evil,” as if they were trying to convince a Nazi official of their loyalty.
* I’m afraid you’ll find the Daleks are already here.
* The actual rendezvous and lassoing of an asteroid, which NASA characterizes as the “most technically challenging aspect of the mission,” could begin as soon as 2019 and result in the asteroid arriving in the vicinity of the moon in 2021.
* Actually existing media bias: Al Gore is fat edition.
* The New Yorker remembers radical feminist Shulamith Firestone.
* Rortybomb with three ways of looking at the student debt crisis.
* Inhofe on climate change: “‘I Thought It Must Be True Until I Found Out What It Cost.” Sure, that’s how facts work.
* Rick Perlstein argues the problem isn’t that conservatives are crazier than they were fifty years ago; the problem is they’re exactly as crazy as they were fifty years ago. Via LGM.
* After less than three full days of deliberations, the five men and seven women of the jury found Dharun Ravi, 20 years old, guilty of invading the privacy of his 18-year-old roommate, Tyler Clementi, and his dorm-room date.
* So much intercepted information is now being collected from “enemies” at home and abroad that, in order to store it all, the agency last year began constructing the ultimate monument to eavesdropping. Rising in a remote corner of Utah, the agency’s gargantuan data storage center will be 1 million square feet, cost nearly $2 billion and likely be capable of eventually holding more than a yottabyte of data — equal to about a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) pages of text.
* I miss Linsanity. Those were simpler times.
* Americans used public transformation twice as much in 1940. That’s per capita. That’s nuts.
* Louis C.K. Withdraws as Host of Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner. Who invited him in the first place? What a terrible choice for the gig.
* Obama comes out against Amendment One. Hey, me too!
* Al Gore endorses filibuster reform. Hey, me too!
* And today in Settlers of Catan news: A Dutch public broadcasting network last month offered its viewers a board game featuring Israeli settlers who use “Jewish stinginess” and “the Anne Frank card” to colonize the West Bank. Hours of fun for the entire family!
* With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the gradual dismantlement of American and Russian arsenals, there would seem to be little use for real-life Dr. Strangeloves. Yet far from suffering obsolescence, the 62-year-old Dearborn and his colleagues in the nation’s nuclear weapons laboratories are still busy tinkering with and coming up with new uses for our atomic weaponry.
* The math checks out: The religious scholars are from Saudi Arabia’s top institution of religious study and worked with a university professor to draft a report on the potential impact of women drivers. The group said women drivers would lead to a “surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce,” and complained that, after ten years of women driving, there would be “no more virgins” in the kingdom.
* Traitor watch: In an e- mail obtained by Bloomberg News that he wrote to the former vice president, Gingrich thanked Gore “for the opportunity to participate in the Protect Climate ad campaign.” He signed the March 2008 note, “Your friend, Newt.”
* I wrote a short blog post for HASTAC compiling some recent thoughts and links on “openness” in the university system, which are likely no surprise to anyone who follows this blog but which I include here for the sake of completeness regardless.
* It’s cute that Josh Marshall thinks Bachmann just making sh!t up means her run at the GOP nomination is over. Of course, what this actually means is that it’s now an open question whether Gardasil causes mental retardation in young girls.
* Here comes Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project.
* The Trash|Track Project asks: Why do we know so much about the supply chain and so little about the removal chain? Via Melody.
The DSM work group assigned to gender identity disorder, a panel of specialized field experts, has already bowed to some external pressures. It has made clear that it intends to change the name of the diagnosis from “disorder” to “dysphoria”—which describes a passing mood rather than a fixed state. The work group has also made public its plans to not only preserve the core GID diagnosis, but to retain an even more controversial entry: GID in children.
… The second argument in favor of keeping GID in the diagnostic manual is where things get ethically murky. The removal of the diagnosis may also remove insurance coverage for transsexual adults who are being treated with hormonal or surgical reassignment. As of now, a diagnosis of mental illness is the only mechanism that transsexuals have for medical insurance to cover mastectomies, testosterone injections, and genital reconstruction surgeries (though very few insurance companies cover any sort of gender reassignment, because it is most often considered “cosmetic”).
Megan Smith, a Nebraska-based psychotherapist and an advocate for the removal of GID from the DSM, claims that the insurance argument is the one she most often encounters. Smith believes keeping the diagnosis for the sake of insurance coverage is “unethical and unscientific.” Smith argues, “I don’t believe it’s our obligation as mental health professionals to change psychiatric evaluations in order to play ball with insurance companies.”
BP: Now, whenever a natural disaster happens—say, a flood or a wildfire—you typically see scientists quoted in the press saying, “Well, it’s hard to attribute any single event to global warming, although this is the sort of event we should see more of as the planet warms.” As I understand it, this sort of extra-careful hedge is becoming outdated. Scientists actually are making tighter connections between current disasters and climate change, correct?
AG: Yes, that shift in the way scientists describe the linkage is one of the elements of this new slideshow. It’s a subtle but extremely important shift. They used to say that the climate crisis changes the odds of extreme weather events—this was the old metaphor of “loading the dice.” Now, they say there’s not only a greater likelihood of rolling 12s, but we’re actually loading 13s and could soon be rolling 15s and 16s. As scientists like James Hansen [of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies] and Kevin Trenberth [of the National Center for Atmospheric Research] point out, the changes brought about by man-made global-warming pollution have reached the stage that every event is now being affected by it in some way.
In the last 30 years, for instance, we’ve seen water vapor above the oceans increase by 4 percent, and many storms reach as far as 2,000 miles out to collect water vapor. So when you have a 4 percent increase over such a large area, the storms are now fueled with more water vapor than was the case 30 years ago. That means we’re getting larger downpours. And in drought-prone areas, we’re seeing increasing intervals between downpours, which is one of several reasons why we’re seeing extreme droughts.
Brad Plumer interviews Al Gore at the Washington Post.
* If my Internets are any guide, the most-linked article of the day by a mile: Jose Antonio Vargas’s “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant.”
* Also in Rolling Stone: Matt Taibbi voyages into the heart of darkness Michele Bachmann.
* Also in change we can believe in: Obama will reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan to the level they were at when he took office. Yes we can!
* More from the Mother Jones special report on work in America: Harrowing, Heartbreaking Tales of Overworked Americans.
* The headline reads, “Ocean Life on the Brink of Mass Extinctions.”
* Of course you had me at Muppet Game of Thrones.
* Life imitates the Onion: Sarah Palin has quit her bus tour halfway through.
I deeply admire Al Gore and I’m very sorry to hear about the dissolution of his marriage, but the fact remains Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 just got awesome.
* “Don’t talk to the cops” just got a little more complicated. One of the knocks against Sonia Sotomayor was that she’s be too prosecutor-friendly, so it’s good to see her on the right side on this:
Today’s decision turns Miranda upside down. Criminal suspects must now unambiguously invoke their right to remain silent—which, counterintuitively, requires them to speak. At the same time, suspects will be legally presumed to have waived their rights even if they have given no clear expression of their intent to do so. Those results, in my view, find no basis in Miranda or our subsequent cases and are inconsistent with the fair-trial principles on which those precedents are grounded.
* Justice department to launch criminal investigation of BP. More here. Could the oil spill end BP? If the government chose to prosecute BP under the Clean Water Act, it could fine the company $4,300 per barrel leaked into the Gulf — fines independent of the liability cap. If the government won those damages, BP would currently be on the hook for $116 billion — enough to bankrupt the company immediately. Related: Robert Reich says Obama should put the company in receivership. And it looks as if BP has given up trying to contain the spill before the relief wells are completed this August.
* Six astronauts begin simulating this week a 520-day mission to Mars.
* Behold, the Wikipedia game.
Just as the oil companies told us that deep-water drilling was safe, they tell us that it’s perfectly all right to dump 90 million tons of CO2 into the air of the world every 24 hours. Even as the oil spill continues to grow—even as BP warns that the flow could increase multi-fold, to 60,000 barrels per day, and that it may continue for months—the head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, says, “Nothing has changed. When we get back to the politics of energy, oil and natural gas are essential to the economy and our way of life.” His reaction reminds me of the day Elvis Presley died. Upon hearing the tragic news, Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, said, “This changes nothing.”
Al Gore writes about Deepwater Horizon and its relation to longer-term environmental crises in The New Republic.
* A federal judge has halted implementation of the ban on funding for ACORN on the grounds that the law is a bill of attainder.
* “Those scores on the prestigious test are in the same range as would be expected from children who never attended school and simply guessed at the answers,” said Robert Bobb, emergency financial manager of Detroit Public Schools, during a press conference Tuesday.
* David Rakoff’s oral history of the Gore presidency. A nice idea whose execution is marred by some badly forced jokes and a total inability to write like Jon Stewart, Josh Marshall, or anybody else.
* And the Morning News has your photos of abandoned shopping malls.
* Another headline that speaks for itself: “Flynt vs. Flynt: Larry sues nephews for producing ‘inferior’ porn with too much ‘boob element.'”
* Impeach Obama! Who knows why.
* Updates on tomorrow’s scheduled marriage equality vote from Blue Jersey and Pam’s House Blend. Sounds as though the Senate vote may be tabled rather than be allowed to fail. (UPDATE: The New York Times confirms this is what’s happening.)
* Democrats are finally clueing into the fact that health care reform that doesn’t kick in until 2013 may cause them some political problems in 2010 and 2012. How fast could this Medicare buy-in be activated?
* I think every single political blog I read linked to Rachel Maddow’s interview with Coming Out Straight author Richard Cohen last night. Glenn Greenwald has the most detailed take, focusing on why Maddow is so much better than every other cable host.
* Great clip from Jon Stewart on how Fox News calculatedly talks down to its viewers.