Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘crimes against the future

‘We Would Never Propose A Carbon Tax,’ Says White House Spokesman

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Friday Night Links, Special ‘Jesus Year’ Edition

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If You Want a Vision of the Future…

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…imagine Ian Welsh stamping on a human face—forever.

9) Americans have decided they want catastrophe. There is NO significant force in US society pushing against having a disaster.

10) The US is trying to become a petro-state through fracking. It won’t help most Americans, and it will do massive environmental damage. It will also accelerate global warming. Yes, Obama is better on global warming than Republicans, but he’s not enough better to matter, he is, in fact, making it worse. Your grandchildren will ritually curse your very names.

Let’s Do It, Let’s Destroy the World

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Wednesday Links

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* There’s an Earthlike planet in Alpha Centauri. This is the best news I’ve ever heard and I’m halfway to my space victory already I just have to research Fusion and Ecology.

* Compared to this the discovery of a planet with four suns and another all-diamond planet just seems boring.

* The other day they drove the Space Shuttle through Los Angeles.

* University of Phoenix to close 115 locations.

* Like Lee Bessette I’m pretty skeptical of this move towards a “teaching track.” Has establishing multiple tiers like this ever improved labor conditions?

* World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates’ UN rules. I’ve been fascinated for years that large-scale geoengineering projects are now within the reach not just of nations, but of individuals. Things are going to get interesting, in the “ancient Chinese curse” sense.

* Title suggestions for Future Die Hard Movies.

* The Problem with Presidential Precedent.

* Will California end the death penalty this year? They should.

* Firefly animated spinoff? I really think at this point I’d rather just be happy with what we got than ride a bad version of the thing I love into the ground. #geekheresy

* The Strange Death of Alfalfa.

* Debt Collector Illegally Seizes Disabled Vet’s Savings, Tells Him ‘You Should Have Died.’

* How Buffy Predicted Geek Misogyny. I’m not sure predicted is really the right tense here. What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez. Michael Brutsch, ViolentAcrez, and Online Pseudonyms. On Ruining Violentacrez’ Life. I’m told r/creepshots is already back, masquerading as a “fashion police” subreddit.

* Gallup and Josh Marshall teases crisis as a real divergence seems possible between the popular and the electoral vote.

* Some debate highlights: a brutal on-the-spot fact-check that will be part of presidential debate prep for years to come. How epistemic closure hurts a candidate. The binder story that launched a thousand memes wasn’t even true. Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards. And whoever is elected, the planet loses. What an embarrassing spectacle for the people of the future to witness. Not that it’s anything new.

* Trove of Kafka Documents Must Be Released, Israeli Judge Rules. You can pick them up at the Castle…

Wednesday Night Links

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* David Graeber in the Baffler: Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit.

* Brian Thill: “Drone-Strike the Jobless.”

It would be foolish indeed to have invested so much in these technologies only to watch them molder as mere weapons of war-force and terror. Like all modern technological artifacts, at rest they are value-neutral; it is only the uses to which they are put that defines them. In sum, to strike the jobless from the common ledger is, in its way, to aim for benevolence. The enormous costs to build, upgrade, and maintain ready fleets of drones of all manner and variety will be more than offset by the broad economic health benefits to be derived by purging the state of significant portions of its jobless population. In fact, if we might be permitted a moment of utopian thought, the likely growth in demand for these services (offered perhaps to interested parties along subsidized or graduated rate scales) will necessitate a process of vigorous hiring and training for remote-pilot operators, which may in appropriate instances be drawn from the ranks of the jobless themselves, thereby solving the problem of joblessness even more swiftly and decisively. Rather than a salaried position, however, these hires might best be negotiated as much needed ‘work experience’ and accordingly organized as internships of various types. This internment might even provide a stepping-stone toward their being struck themselves in turn more quickly. Remote piloting centers that will happen to have fallen victim to inflated overhead or health care costs, or the vagaries of local real estate crises, might themselves be recast as new targets for drones whose home bases are elsewhere.

* Wisconsin postmortems from Josh Eidelson, Doug Henwood, and LGM,

* Earth Is Headed for Disaster, Interdisciplinary Scientific Review Concludes. NB: That’s the actual headline. More climate apocalypticism via MetaFilter.

* Three Ways Climate Change Could Impact The Game Of Baseball. NB: Each of these will tend to increase people’s enjoyment of baseball. Forget I said anything!

* Voter Fraud Extremely Rare In Florida: ‘More Likely To Get Hit By A Bolt Of Lightning.’

* Florida Governor Rick Scott Officially Defies Justice Department, Vows to Continue Voter Purge. Someone should really tell him there’s actually no crisis!

* The last days of MF Global.

* Michael Hardt on WUNC’s The State of Things.

* Mom Locked Up For Cheering Too Loudly at High School Graduation.

* The trailer for Tarantino’s Django Unchained is out. The film itself looks fine, but that final tag—”Django is off the chain”—is simply unforgivable.

* And In Focus catches Transit-of-Venus mania (and there’s only one cure).

Crimes Against the Future

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Researchers from the University of New South Wales in Australia and Purdue University in the US said global warming will not stop after 2100, the point where most previous projections have ended.

In fact temperatures may rise by up to 12C (21.6F) within just three centuries making many countries into deserts.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm

They Can Do Anything, We Can Do Nothing

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…I’d call using a false identity to get inside a diabolical organization “journalism.” It might not be respectable and won’t get you invited to fun corporate-sponsored events. But Gleick has thrown the curtain back. And of course, he’s at fault here. Even if he broke the law, is that the real issue here? What is worse, using a false identity or advocating for policies that will destroy the entire nation of Tonga? Using a false identity or lobbying the U.S. government to halt changes in mileage standards for cars so that we don’t become a bunch of hippie Europeans or something and continue to change the climate with ever-greater rapidity? I think I know which side contains the moral monsters here. And it ain’t Peter Gleick.

Erik Loomis, in defense of Peter Gleick.

Good Thing Climate Change Is a Hoax

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

Midweek Midday

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* There’s really only one label for the pathetic exercise we’ve just witnessed in South Africa: deceit. The whole climate-change negotiation process and the larger political discourse surrounding this horrible problem is a drawn-out and elaborate exercise in lying – to each other, to ourselves, and especially to our children. And the lies are starting to corrupt our civilization from inside out.

* Aaron Bady: The case for making a storm in the ports. I feel certain 90% of the impetus for this piece was the desire to use that pun.

* Oh, UVM. You know better.

* Judge: Obama Administration May Have Politicized Morning After Pill Approval Process. May have?

* Plutocracy watch: More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.)

The exceptions are two public employee labor unions, whose massive donations match those of some of the largest moguls. The rest are individuals with vast fortunes at their disposal.

* Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Serkis: Official plot synopsis for The Hobbit. Rise of the Planet of the Apes director shares his sequel plans.

* Government shutdown, again? Really? Well, I guess it’s been a few weeks…

Saturday Links

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* Chris Newfield on the university in crisis.

The first is that this model has been shifting public university revenues to a specific kind of private source, for three decades. Voters are often told that the shift means that wealthy donors and research sponsors have picked up a big part of the educational bill, but this is simply not true. The AFM means shifting educational costs from the overall population to students and their families. The model also shifts costs from old to young, and in California from a 70 per cent white voting public to a 70 per cent student-of-colour secondary-school population. It destroys the mutualization principle of social development.

The second effect of the American funding model is that it has damaged American educational attainment. The USA has had a comparative educational advantage over the rest of the wealthy world for about 150 years – first at the high-school level and then in college degrees. Now, for the first time in US history, younger people are less educated than their baby-boomer parents. If you are wondering whether privatization caused this destruction, the answer is yes it did. The private investment process gives the least money to the colleges with the lowest graduation rates, which receive a disproportionately high percentage of low-income and first-generation students. The decades-old failure of the bottom three-quarters of the country’s students (measured by socio-economic status) to improve their educational outcomes has undermined overall advances in attainment. In about twenty years, the funding model has destroyed the USA’s educational advantage (it is now twelfth in BA attainment rates and falling).

The third effect of privatization is that it is wrecking the financial solvency of high-quality public universities. The funding model doesn’t produce stability because the net private revenues never make up for cuts to the public funding lost to cuts. This structural shortfall will result from the British government’s replacement of most of the teaching grant with a scheme of high fees and loans. It has been happening for a long time in California, and based on that state’s experience even a tripling of fees won’t make up for the teaching grant.

* Michael Tomasky crunches the numbers to prove bipartisanship truly is bunk.

* Meanwhile, it’s extremely unclear why Obama thinks his job is to do things “the people in his party won’t like”. Leave Medicare alone.

* Exxon Makes Billion-Dollar Bet Climate Change is Real, Here Now and Going to Get Worse But Keeps Funding Deniers. Bring on the carbon trials.

* For my Texas readers: please be advised that statistically, you have a better chance of being executed by Rick Perry than dying in an airplane crash. Of course, if Perry gets elected president he’ll do his deregulating best to even those odds.

* Muslim American terrorist plots have killed since 9/11 — since the 3,000 killed on 9/11 — have killed 33 individuals in the United States since that time. Over that same period of time, there have been more than 150,000 murders in the United States, or 14 or 15,000 murders every year. Muslim American terrorism, then, has been a very small, very low percentage of the overall violence in the United States.

* And I’ve seen more than a couple links to this diary on the legacy of Martin Luther King on Daily Kos this weekend.

He ended the terror of living as a black person, especially in the south.

I’m guessing that most of you, especially those having come fresh from seeing “The Help,” may not understand what this was all about. But living in the south (and in parts of the mid west and in many ghettos of the north) was living under terrorism.

It wasn’t that black people had to use a separate drinking fountain or couldn’t sit at lunch counters, or had to sit in the back of the bus.

You really must disabuse yourself of this idea. Lunch counters and buses were crucial symbolic planes of struggle that the civil rights movement decided to use to dramatize the issue, but the main suffering in the south did not come from our inability to drink from the same fountain, ride in the front of the bus or eat lunch at Woolworth’s.

It was that white people, mostly white men, occasionally went berserk, and grabbed random black people, usually men, and lynched them. You all know about lynching. But you may forget or not know that white people also randomly beat black people, and the black people could not fight back, for fear of even worse punishment.

This constant low level dread of atavistic violence is what kept the system running. It made life miserable, stressful and terrifying for black people.

White people also occasionally tried black people, especially black men, for crimes for which they could not conceivably be guilty. With the willing participation of white women, they often accused black men of “assault,” which could be anything from rape to not taking off one’s hat, to “reckless eyeballing”…

Tuesday!

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Links for Tuesday

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* Obligatory: So you want to get a Ph.D. in the humanities.

* Donald Brown at Penn State’s Climate Ethics blog is the latest person to suggest that corporate behavior in the face of climate change could constitute a new class of crime against humanity.

* Good Jersey, Bad Jersey: You can have new anti-bullying legislation, but Christie’s still not sure about the Hudson River Tunnel.

As the candidates arrived, a group of Paul supporters pulled a female MoveOn member to the ground and held her there as another Paul supporter stomped on the back of her head and neck.

* Outraging conservatives everywhere, the Texas Supreme Court has cited international interplanetary law.

* Durham: Proud to be one-half of America’s 4th smartest city. Duke doesn’t even make the list of most dangerous colleges, though nearby NCCU clocks in at #7.

* Confirmed: the Moon has water. Let’s go back and get it.

* Crooked Timber coins the term: zero-dimensional chess.

After two years of operating at loggerheads with Republicans, Mr. Obama and his aides are planning a post-election agenda for a very different political climate. They see potential for bipartisan cooperation on reducing the deficit, passing stalled free-trade pacts and revamping the education bill known as No Child Left Behind — work that Arne Duncan, Mr. Obama’s education secretary, says could go a long way toward repairing “the current state of anger and animosity.”

Translation: Mr Obama and his aides plan a series of pre-emptive capitulations, after which the Republicans will demand the repeal of the healthcare act (or maybe abolition of Social Security). When/if that is refused, the Repugs will shut down the government, and this time they will hold their nerve until Obama folds.

* And Paul the Psychic Octopus has died. Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

It Isn’t Over Just Because You’ve Stopped the Leak

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When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, BP was presented with a stark choice: Let the oil float to the surface, reach the shore, and allow the world to see the full scope of the damage; or hit as much of the oil as possible with toxic substances called dispersants to break it up into trillions of tiny droplets, keeping some of it from reaching the surface and making landfall—but also potentially killing more sea life than the oil might have destroyed by itself. The company chose the latter.

Mother Jones has a huge report this month focusing on both the long-term effects of the BP spill (including the overuse of dispersant primarily for PR reasons) as well as the company’s attempts to cover these unhappy facts up.

Oil Spills Grow Up So Fast

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