Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger

Things I’ve Enjoyed on the Internet Today

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Things I’ve enjoyed on the Internet today.

* A Seth tribute to Charles Schulz.

* The ruins of Detroit’s abandoned Belle Island Zoo. Via MeFi.

* Spy Vibe, a blog devoted to the ’60s spy aesthetic. Also via MeFi.

* Three Jane Austen sci-fi films are apparently in the pipeline: Pride, Prejudice, amp; Zombies; Pride & Predators; and Lost in Austen.. What can account for Austenmania?

* I can’t believe putting a totally unqualified action-movie star in charge of the world’s fifth largest economy has turned out so badly for California. More on this from Ezra Klein, who actually points the finger not at Arnold but at systemic gridlock, i.e., the California state constitution and deluded Orange County Republicans.

* Why we love gambling: almost winning is almost as good as actually winning, as far as our neurochemistry is concerned.

* Grade inflation is a feedback loop: students now expect a B just for showing up.

* Life as a tie-in novelist.

* Braid, Game of the Year 2008 by all accounts, is finally coming to the PC.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 18, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Celebratory Links

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I had a nasty case of food poisoning or something last night—fever, chills, the whole bit. But now I’m back and quite literally better than ever. A few links to celebrate my recovery:

* Early reviews of Dollhouse remain mixed. We’ll know tomorrow….

* This YouTube clip (via MeFi) captures just the barest sliver of the greatness of the Conan DVD commentary. It is our civilization’s highest cultural achievement.

* The trailer for the new Tarantino is out.

* How to teach non-canonical material responsibly in a composition class: lesson plans from Scott Eric Kaufman on Dark Knight and Watchmen.

* Two satellites have collided in orbit. Apparently that’s never happened before. More from MeFi.

* Happy birthday, Charles Darwin. More from Satisfactory Comics.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Understanding the Legal Challenge to Prop 8

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The legal challenge to Proposition 8 rests on the distinction between a “revision” and an “amendment.”

“In passing Prop 8, the people of California basically put an asterisk next to the equal protection clause in the constitution,” said William Araiza, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Now, he said, “it fundamentally comes down to whether the court considers this a major change or not a major change.”

Specifically, opponents of Proposition 8 argue that this kind of change is a “revision,” not an “amendment.” The distinction is important, legal experts say, because revisions require two-thirds approval in the legislature and then a popular vote. Amendments can be approved by popular vote only.

If, as opponents say, the court finds that Proposition 8 qualifies as a revision, then the proposition would be found unconstitutional because its proponents would have, in effect, skipped the required legislative step. If the court strikes down the initiative on these grounds, it is not certain the lawmakers would take up the issue again.

If the court sides with Proposition 8 proponents and allows the amendment, the recourse for gay rights activists would be to put the matter to voters again through their own initiative or take the matter to federal court — something most activists are not ready to do, given the current composition of the Supreme Court.

Forty state legislators have signed a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of this argument that the proposition be voided. Via MyDD.

Meanwhile, slight credit where it is slightly due: the Governator speaks out against Prop 8 only one week too late.

“It’s unfortunate, obviously, but it’s not the end,” Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. “I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area.”…

Today, Schwarzenegger urged backers of gay marriage to follow the lesson he learned as a bodybuilder trying to lift weights that were too heavy for him at first. “I learned that you should never ever give up…. They should never give up. They should be on it and on it until they get it done.”

And in fairness to Michele’s earlier call of “bullshit” it must be admitted that I don’t think Obama’s said anything about Prop 8 at all.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 11, 2008 at 4:34 am

Equal Sign

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This epic Fark thread is my new favorite thing on the Internet.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 13, 2008 at 1:54 am

‘ Why Republicans Are Better At Conventions ‘

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Why Republicans are better at conventions.

But, to extend a point I raised last night, I don’t think the definition of McCain has been sharp enough. Each speaker seemed to approach the task his/her own separate way (and sometimes not at all), leaving viewers with a kind of mish-mash of objections: too many houses, too unilateralist, too long in Washington, too close to right-wingers, too resistant to energy reform. The one person who distilled the objections into a single, pithy critique was Kerry, with his inspired “Senator McCain” versus “candidate McCain” riff. But I worry it’ll get lost in the whirlwind.

Which brings me to my point: Had the Republicans stumbled onto such a worthy frame, their convention would have played it on a permanent loop. (I’m sure they’ll do that anyway, with less inspired material.) Every no-name speaker would have repeated it, so that, even if you’d barely been paying attention, you’d be mouthing it unconsciously by the end of the week.

I’m becoming very curious about just what form that “less inspired material” will actually take. What are the smears that the Republicans are going to run with at their convention?

They seem to really like the whole “The One” meme a lot, but that’s not going to take them very far, especially after a sizable chunk of Obama’s highly publicized speech is devoted to praising the hard work of his disciples volunteers and laying the groundwork for the biggest voter registration drive in history.

After Paris Hilton and Housegate, the celebrity line of attack seems pretty stalled, too, and doesn’t make a lick of sense at a shrine to Ronald Reagan attended by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. (UPDATE: Whoops. Looks like Arnold’s afraid he’ll get his skirt dirty.)

The Muslim thing seems pretty far past its sell-by date. Same with Rezko, despite the heroic efforts of my cousin to flog that dead horse.

So is it just going to be the infanticide smear? Is that the last bomb left to throw? Will they call him gay? Back again to Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers? The nation can’t be this stupid, can it?

Written by gerrycanavan

August 28, 2008 at 7:21 pm