Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘contraception

Liars and Fools

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Think Progress: While it’s difficult to believe that he doesn’t by know what Fluke actually said (her entire testimony is on video), Limbaugh and other conservatives like bloggers Erick Erickson and Michelle Malkin are fabricating the claim that Fluke wants taxpayers to pay for contraception. That is blatantly flase. Fluke’s testimony, and the entire contraception debate, is about insurance companies paying for contraception as part of their health coverage, they way they pay for any other medication, such as Viagra. Morevoer, Fluke’s testimony was not about herself, but about a friend who need contraception to fight cancer and other fellow law students.

Meanwhile, Limbaugh apparently doesn’t understand how birth control works. His entire stance is premised on the notion that women need more birth control the more sex they have. Of course, as anyone who has taken an 8th grade sex ed class could inform him, that’s not how it works.

How is it possible to be this ignorant, or this dishonest, much less both at the same time?

Lots of Thursday Links

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* The unpredictable Republican presidential race has taken another surprising turn as recent numbers show Mongol warlord Genghis Khan seizing the lead in national polls of likely GOP primary voters.

* Santorum leading in Ohio. Obama leading everywhere.

* You had me at hello: Soviet Space Propaganda Posters.

* Part two of Boston Review‘s interview with David Graeber is up.

DJ: In my most cynical days as an academic, I thought of a professorship as the carrot that the establishment offers to make sure that smart people don’t run amok. “Give them a nice little office and a job that’s very stable, and put them in the ivory tower, and they won’t cause any trouble.”

DG: Did you ever read C.B. Macpherson’s theory of the university? It’s similar to that, and it’s actually quite clever. He makes the argument that universities have traditionally fulfilled a kind of court jester role. What is the problem you have if you’re the guy in charge, if you’re a king? It’s that you’re surrounded by yes-men. So there’s nobody there who’s going to tell you if you have a really bad idea. They’ll agree with anything you say. So you need someone who will actually point out when you’re going off the tracks. You’ll also need to make sure that person isn’t taken seriously. So you get a hunchbacked dwarf to tell you a silly rhyme, telling you why your plan is idiotic. And you get to know that your plan is idiotic and think about it, and everybody else says, “OK, hunchbacked dwarf, you talk to the king, that’s fine.” Universities are pretty much the same thing. They’re there to come up with all the reasons why current policies are misguided, why, you know, the current economic systems might not be ideal. They come up with all the alternate perspectives, but they frame it in a way that nobody takes it particularly seriously or can even understand it.

* Life Lessons from The Lion King.

2) The rest of us should be happy to be ruled over by a group of predatory overlords who will devour us whole should we become sick or weak. Someday, eventually, in a vague and symbolic manner, karma will even things up.

3) Physical strength and charm are the defining characteristics for a leader; someone smart is probably just evil anyway. Don’t listen to them.

* The Angel Problem. Via MeFi.

* Ever since I taught The Sheep Look Up last week I see something Brunner predicted in the news nearly every day. Today’s depressing entry: Air Pollution Linked to Cognitive Decline in Women. Now, the dataset was all women, so it’s probably really “air pollution linked to cognitive decline in everyone.” Enjoy your weekend!

…over the past year, the Obama administration has quietly unleashed a multi­agency crackdown on medical cannabis that goes far beyond anything undertaken by George W. Bush. The feds are busting growers who operate in full compliance with state laws, vowing to seize the property of anyone who dares to even rent to legal pot dispensaries, and threatening to imprison state employees responsible for regulating medical marijuana. With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush’s record for medical-marijuana busts. “There’s no question that Obama’s the worst president on medical marijuana,” says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “He’s gone from first to worst.”

* New Jersey expected to approve gay marriage; Christie vows veto.

* “All-male House GOP leadership gets all-male witness panel to agree that all-male Catholic hierarchy should set contraceptives policy.”  More here, here, here…

* The Wisconsin Uprising, One Year Later.

* And the Telegraph profiles the Boss.

He does, however, see cause for optimism. “The Occupy Wall Street movement has been powerful about changing the national conversation. The Tea Party set the conversation for a while but now people are talking about economic equality. That’s a conversation America hasn’t had for 20 years.”

There is also a religious dimension to Springsteen’s latest songs. The album shifts towards the spiritual uplift of gospel music in its rousing finale, evoking Jesus and the risen dead. “I got brainwashed as a child with Catholicism,” joked Springsteen, who says biblical imagery increasingly creeps into his songs almost unbidden. “Its like Al Pacino in The Godfather: I try to get out but they pull you back in! Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.”

The Hitler of Ice Cream

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More Friday

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* The headline reads, “Belgian firefighters soak police in protest.”

* Dana Gould IS Dr. Zaius AS Hal Holbrook AS Mark Twain.  Thanks, John Hodgman.

* Breaking: Corporation exploits tax loophole to avoid paying taxes, receive bogus tax refund. MUST CREDIT GERRYCANAVAN.WORDPRESS.COM.

* Greg Sargent explains Obama’s contraception win today.

* More good news for Obama: the unemployment rate is dropping faster in swing states.

* And on the pop-culture beat: When Buffy had an abortion.

Friday Links

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* Credit where it’s due: despite my fears, Obama’s contraception judo turned out to be a genuinely inspired solution that gives everyone what they want. As I and others have been saying on Twitter, this whole thing is a good reminder that for all his other faults there’s almost no one better than Obama at campaigning. I don’t know if the trap was planned or if he just played a bad hand well, but either way this now looks a rare case of actually existing eleven-dimensional chess.

* Esquire has some new maps of the United States in 2012. The tour-de-force is #4: “The Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion.” Via MeFi.

* Police composite sketches of literary characters. Via Kottke. Below: Humbert Humbert.

* Disappointing Springsteen song to accompany disappointing president on the campaign trail.

* Judge rules penniless Ghost Rider creator owes Marvel Comics $17K.

* Obligatory Republican primary links: Even At CPAC, Conservatives Seem Despondent About 2012 Choices.

* And Nate Silver invades your dreams: The Bettor’s Case for Santorum.

Late Tuesday Night

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Wednesday Links

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* Tomorrow’s crimes today: man arrested for attempting to steal five tons of glacial ice in Chile.

* Parlor game of the day: French Toast. Via Alex, via MetaFilter.

* Major birth control pill recall. Bring on the lawsuits! Wow.

* Worst idea in comics history confirmed.

* Cary Nelson on fighting for the humanities.

We take it for granted that scientific knowledge must advance, that there is much we do not know and much that we will live out our lives without knowing. Knowledge of the physical universe beyond the solar system and the galaxy remains so limited that it is hard even to calculate its partiality. The nature of life elsewhere in the universe remains beyond our grasp, as does knowledge of the human body that would enable us to control diseases like cancer.

And yet we often—unreflectively, uncritically, and in a learned form of self-deception—assume that we largely know ourselves and our history. Through its institutions and the norms of social life, human culture immerses us in collective understanding that is often deceptive or false.

The task of the humanities is not only to show us the ways that artists and others have penetrated our illusions by creative acts both modest and grand but also to try to discover when human cultures as a whole have seen through a glass darkly.

* Somebody in Stockholm finally noticed that the commander-in-chief of the biggest military on the planet is an odd choice for a peace prize.

* A Kinseyan gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.

* Abolish the dollar bill! For freedom!

* The headline reads, “India Factory Workers Revolt, Kill Company President.”

* Science uncovers the high cost of bad handwriting.

* Freddie deBoer on divorce rate hokum.

* And why do you have two nostrils instead of one giant hole in the middle of your face? io9 reports.

Credit Where It’s Due

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Breathable Air Is For Closers

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Written by gerrycanavan

June 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Friday Night Links

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* Adam Smith, union thug.

We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate.

* Dems Closed Much Larger Budget Shortfall In Wisconsin Without Destroying Worker Rights. But of course this isn’t really about the budget.

* Time lapse video of yesterday’s protests, 10 am to 1 pm.

* Amanda Marcotte on the war on contraception.

* Monster watch: A former juvenile court judge was convicted Friday of racketeering in a case that accused him of sending youth offenders to for-profit detention centers in exchange for millions of dollars in illicit payments from the builder and owner of the lockups. The sentence will likely be more than 12 years in prison, almost but not quite a life sentence for a 61-year-old man.

* And the Seattle Times editorial board says legalize it. It’s past time.

Saturday Links

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Saturday links.

* Fox News caught stage-managing 9/12 protestors.

* Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, speaking to fellow members of his Conservative Party: “Fifty years from today, Americans will revere the name, ‘Obama.’ Because like his Canadian predecessors, he chose the tough responsibilities of national leadership over the meaningless nostrums of sterile partisanship that we see too much of in Canada and around the world.”

* Also at TPM: new polling data suggests that resistance to health care reform peaked at the emergence of the town hall disruptions, suggesting this strategy may have backfired for the Republicans.

* Also backfiring on the Republicans: everything. More here and here.

* Game of the weekend: MagnetiZR.

* Cynical-C catches Kids in the Hall parodying Glenn Beck over a decade in advance.

* Collapse IV, “Concept Horror,” is a free download.

* Between 2010 and 2050 each $7 spent on basic family planning can reduce emissions more than a ton; to achieve that same level of reduction using low-carbon tech would on average cost $32 per ton. Via Donkeylicious.

* Great find: Virginia Woolf’s fan letter to Olaf Stapledon. Via Kim Stanley Robinson’s New Scientist piece on British SF.