Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Archie

All the Wednesday Links

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* The headline reads, “Student Loan Debt Delinquency Is Much Worse Than We Thought.”

We find that 27 percent of the borrowers have past due balances, while the adjusted proportion of outstanding student loan balances that is delinquent is 21 percent-much higher than the unadjusted rates of 14.4 percent and 10 percent, respectively

Meanwhile, college costs have sextupled since 1985.

* The Supreme Court looks prepared to rule that international law doesn’t apply internationally. Well done, sirs.

* Attorney General Eric Holder concludes no due process is a kind of due process. This whole “rule of law” thing is going great.

* Paul Pillar: We can live with a nuclear Iran. Of course we can.

The simple argument is that Iranian leaders supposedly don’t think like the rest of us: they are religious fanatics who value martyrdom more than life, cannot be counted on to act rationally, and therefore cannot be deterred. On the campaign trail Rick Santorum has been among the most vocal in propounding this notion, asserting that Iran is ruled by the “equivalent of al-Qaeda,” that its “theology teaches” that its objective is to “create a calamity,” that it believes “the afterlife is better than this life,” and that its “principal virtue” is martyrdom. Newt Gingrich speaks in a similar vein about how Iranian leaders are suicidal jihadists, and says “it’s impossible to deter them.”

The trouble with this image of Iran is that it does not reflect actual Iranian behavior. More than three decades of history demonstrate that the Islamic Republic’s rulers, like most rulers elsewhere, are overwhelmingly concerned with preserving their regime and their power—in this life, not some future one. They are no more likely to let theological imperatives lead them into self-destructive behavior than other leaders whose religious faiths envision an afterlife. Iranian rulers may have a history of valorizing martyrdom—as they did when sending young militiamen to their deaths in near-hopeless attacks during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s—but they have never given any indication of wanting to become martyrs themselves. In fact, the Islamic Republic’s conduct beyond its borders has been characterized by caution. Even the most seemingly ruthless Iranian behavior has been motivated by specific, immediate concerns of regime survival. The government assassinated exiled Iranian dissidents in Europe in the 1980s and ’90s, for example, because it saw them as a counterrevolutionary threat. The assassinations ended when they started inflicting too much damage on Iran’s relations with European governments. Iran’s rulers are constantly balancing a very worldly set of strategic interests. The principles of deterrence are not invalid just because the party to be deterred wears a turban and a beard.

On the other side, of course, we have the not-at-all-fascistic-sounding slogan “peace through strength.” Occupy Everywhere? What could possibly go wrong?

* Football: It’s worse than you think! Via MetaFilter, with more from Ta-Nehisi Coates.

* Matt Zoller Seitz on what makes Mad Men great.

When Gabriel García Márquez interviewed Akira Kurosawa.

Marquez: Thank you very much. All things considered, I think that if I were Japanese I would be as unyielding as you on [the subject of the bomb]. And at any rate I understand you. No war is good for anybody.

Kurosawa: That is so. The trouble is that when the shooting starts, even Christ and the angels turn into military chiefs of staff.

* How Goldman Sachs does it: they’re on every side of every deal.

* Archie Comics continues to insist on its own relevance: now they’re giving Cheryl Blossom breast cancer.

* I give Colbert the edge over Stewart re: Rush.

* And exactly how long ago was a long time ago in a galaxy far away? io9 is there.

Great Unknown, Han and Chewbacca are forced to make a jump to hyperspace to flee Imperial attackers. (OK yes, we know it’s non-canonical, but this is a thought experiment so just bear with us.) The Millennium Falcon crash lands on Earth, where Han and Chewbacca are attacked by Native Americans. Han receives several arrow wounds in the process, and Chewbacca holds his partner as the last bit of life flees from him. The second half of the story leaps 126 years into the future, with Indiana Jones and Short Round searching for Sasquatch in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, only to find Chewbacca and the bones of Han Solo.

Blaspheme!

Occupy Riverdale

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 21, 2012 at 6:40 pm

He’s a Good Boy, Damnit

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Tuesday!

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* Today David Simon is a certified genius.

* More Obama v. Palin in the pages of Archie. Related: When the Tea Party takes over the comics page.

* Surprising no one, Pew has found that atheists and agnostics know more about religion than religious people.

* The “Kill Whitey” trolley problem. Via MetaFilter.

* With Fox News fully embracing anti-vaccine paranoia, will UFOs be the next conspiracy theory to go mainstream? CNN reports, you decide.

* Ben and Jerry have been lying to us. Could it be that their delicious ice cream is hardly healthy at all?

* And Jim DeMint has triggered the Senate’s doomsday device. The greatest democracy in the history of the world! The system works!

Friday Night Links

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* “The worldwide triumph of capitalism … secures the priority of Marxism as the ultimate horizon of thought in our time”: Benjamin Kunkel reviews Fredric Jameson in LRB.

* Archie Comics will soon be introducing its first openly gay character, “strapping, blond Kevin.”

* If you were trying to persuade me to support the climate bill, you picked the absolute worst possible approach.

* The ACLU explains everything that’s wrong with Arizona’s brazenly unconstitutional documentation legislation.

* Julian Sanchez has been doing an influential series of posts about epistemic closure on the right.

* Meanwhile, Glenn Beck continues his slow-motion breakdown, GOP unanimity seems to have lost its mojo, and Chris Christie is the right wing’s crush of the month.

* Chicken-to-medical-procedure currency converter.

* And some breaking news: Jay Leno sucks.

Jughead’s Time Police and Several More

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Sunday!

* Great Archie comics experiments of 1989-1990.

* This ruling of Sotomayor’s, it must be said, was a little douchebaggy.

* “You almost get the sense guys like Thiessen are hoping for an attack so that they can blame Obama when it happens.” Almost?

* Republicans who happily sat through three-and-a-half years of Bush vacations are outraged! that Obama took a night off.

* Tough times at Harvard U.

* Non-Whedon directors for the Buffy reboot. Wes Anderson snubbed again, though I bet Tarantino could do a good job with it.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 31, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Veronica?

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2009 at 1:43 pm

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