Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Copenhagen

Monday Morning Links Are Visible from Space

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* The schedule for the next four weeks of my Cultural Preservation course is up at the course blog. Benjamin! Fight Club! Ani DiFranco! Oh my!

Half of Sexual Abuse Claims in American Prisons Involve Guards, Study Says. Nearly 10 percent of inmates suffer sexual abuse.

* Black Chicago Residents Are 10 Times More Likely To Be Shot By Police Than White Residents. What could explain it?

* The comeback of guaranteed basic income. Alive in the Sunshine.

* David Graeber: What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun?

* After Tyrone Hayes said that a chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him.

* On Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies.

* ICE/ISEE-3 to return to an Earth no longer capable of speaking to it.

That “distressed baby” who Tim Armstrong blamed for benefit cuts? She’s my daughter. Armstrong could have paid for the full “cost” of both the babies directly out of his own salary and still made ten million dollars that year (in base salary).

* Dylan Farrow Responds to Woody Allen: “I Have Never Wavered.” 10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation. Just the Facts
. Brainwashing Woody.

What would Middle Earth look like from space?

South Bronx Students May Have Found Site of Slave Burial Ground.

* Duke’s Own Julia Gaffield describes her finding the first known copy of the Haitian Declaration of Independence.

* I think about the ways to address people who think computers are magic, and there’s lots of them, the ways I mean although there are also lots of people sufficiently baffled by their own phones to presume that physical laws SHIT LIKE TIME AND SPACE don’t apply to digitization projects…

“The legislation is almost certainly unconstitutional, it’s a bad law, and it reinforces stereotypes about Jewish influence,” said one pro-Israel Democratic strategist familiar with the groups’ thinking. “It’s so bad that AIPAC and ADL oppose it.”

* At long last, the purges begin at Occupy Wall Street.

* No one likes Obama’s terrible college rankings.

Concerned with growing class sizes, teaching assistant union files complaint against UC.

Renowned science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the award-winning “Mars Trilogy,” will select the winners of a national flash-science fiction contest co-organized by Wisconsin Public Radio’s nationally syndicated show “To the Best of Our Knowledge” and the Center for the Humanities and Wisconsin Institute for Discovery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gates “Beverly Crusher” McFadden will produce the scripts for radio.

* The Truman Show as eldercare: ‘Dementia Village’ – as it has become known — is a place where residents can live a seemingly normal life, but in reality are being watched all the time. Caretakers staff the restaurant, grocery store, hair salon and theater — although the residents don’t always realize they are carers — and are also watching in the residents’ living quarters.

* The Squalid Grace of Flappy Bird.

* The prohibition and attempted eradication of drugs can be a nightmare for the climate and environment. Particularly in Latin America, the fight against drug production has led to deforestation, widespread contamination with toxic chemicals, and contributed to a warming climate. Meanwhile: Climate Change Comes for Your Cup of Tea.

* I used to be a good teacher.

* Ideology at its purest: Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched.

Scientists Think They Have Found The Mythical ‘Sunstone’ Vikings Used To Navigate Warships.

11 Alarming Weather Flukes That Happen When it Gets Really Cold.

The Way We Live Now, by David Brooks.

This Student Is On His Death Bed, But His Family Still Has To Prove He Can’t Take A Standardized Test.

* The worst people in the world: Four Long Island workers arrested for running ‘developmentally disabled fight club.’

* Sports Corner! How will news that Michael Sam is gay affect his NFL draft stock? 10 Points About College Hoops All-American Marcus Smart’s Pushing a ‘Fan.’ Why Superfan Jeff Orr Is A Much Bigger Problem For College Basketball Than Marcus Smart. More details on the Raiders’ cheerleaders wage theft suit. Olympic Committee Supports Russia’s Arrest of LGBT Activists. Why the Olympics Are a Lot Like ‘The Hunger Games.’ Detroit’s Unrealized Olympic Dreams. Only six of the previous 19 Winter Olympics host cities would be suitable to host the Games again by the end of this century due to warming temperatures, according to a new analysis. And The George Zimmerman-DMX Fight Has Been Cancelled, So At Least There’s That.

* How Crowdworkers Became the Ghosts in the Digital Machine.

New York State has roughly 15,000 zombie homes and leads the nation in the time required to foreclose on a home, at almost three years, according to data from RealtyTrac, a company that tracks troubled properties.

* If you’ve been wondering how Mockingjay will handle Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sudden death, here’s your answer.

Nabokov’s immigration card. (Nationality: “without.”)

* If You Thought You Couldn’t Go To Jail For Debt Anymore, You’re Wrong.

* And standardized testing? Just opt out.

* Werner Herzog casts Mike Tyson, Pamela Anderson, and Russell Brand in his next movie, because life is chaos.

* Justice Department to give married same-sex couples equal protection.

* Good news: FX will make Redshirts a limited series.

* And can The LEGO Movie really be that good? MetaFilter is on the scene.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

This World Is Still Possible, Maybe

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By request, now up at the Polygraph website: Michael Hardt’s “Two Faces of Apocalypse: A Letter from Copenhagen” from Polygraph 22.

This conceptual conflict between limits and limitlessness is reflected in the seemingly incompatible slogans of the movements that met in Copenhagen. A favorite rallying cry of anticapitalist social movements in recent years has been “We want everything for everyone.” For those with an ecological consciousness of limits, of course, this sounds like an absurd, reckless notion that will propel us further down the route of mutual destruction. In contrast, a prominent placard at the public demonstrations in Copenhagen warned “There is no Planet B.” For anticapitalist activists this too closely echoes the neoliberal matra popularized 30 years ago by the Margaret Thatcher government: “There is no alternative.” Indeed the struggles against neoliberalism of the past decades have been defined by their belief in the possibility of radical, seemingly limitless alternatives. In short, the World Social Forum motto, “Another world is possible,” might translate in the context of the climate changes movements into something like, “This world is still possible, maybe.”

Written by gerrycanavan

April 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Late Monday Night

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* The headline reads, “Cleverest women are the heaviest drinkers.”

* Chris Currey at FrumForum: “How the GOP purged me.”

I do not recognize myself in the Republican Party anymore. As someone said it before, I did not leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. I have the same ideological positions on most of the issues that I had when I voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush in 2000. However, I just cannot trust the reins of our government and nation, of this formidably complicated and complex gigantic machine that is the USA, to the amateurish leadership of the Republican Party.

We are living through tough times. We are being challenged like I have never seen America being challenged before. China is a formidable foe, and it is out there competing against us on every field and beating us on several fronts. While our education budgets are being slashed in every state across the nation, China is doubling and tripling theirs. These are the challenges and challengers that we are facing. And we need our best and brightest to lead us, not a half-term governor or radio/TV talking heads.

Maybe I am too old and too cynical, but I think the Republican party is in the last stages of agony. If nothing happens, we might win an election or even two, but in the long run we will lose America.

* Was Copenhagen not a failure? More from Plumer and Drum.

* Canadian researchers have uncovered a vast “Shadow Network” of online espionage based in China that used seemingly harmless means such as e-mail and Twitter to extract highly sensitive data from computers around the world.

* And another David Simon profile.

Second Batch

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* While we still come down on opposite sides of the particular questions involved, Traxus has a mostly good piece on Copenhagen, health care, and everything else.

But if the term ‘progressive’ is to be taken seriously, a different political reality has to be embraced. All the feel-good talk about ‘getting somewhere’ or ‘good starts’ is so much living in the past. Everyone who calls the shots now knows, or has to pretend they know, that environmental catastrophe and financial crisis are real, and that health reform is necessary. We can be pleased or terrified about that. But from a practical standpoint the most important immediate goal is to move the center left. … In the world we live in, where we are just extras whose consent is either manufactured or assumed, fighting back means refusing to take on ourselves the dreary weight of their responsibilities and the illusion of power that comes with them. Demanding at the same time that they live up to their professed responsibilities and killing their bills when they don’t may be irresponsible in this heavily leveraged political environment — a losing battle — but that’s asymmetric politics. Devoting our energies to help the political class make decisions as if we didn’t exist isn’t even a partial victory, it’s just martyrdom.

* Ezra Klein is all over the filibuster this weekend, with a cover story in the Outlook section of the Post as well as interviews with Jeff Merkley, Tom Harkin, SEIU’s Andy Stern, and UCLA’s Barbara Sinclair.

* More on America’s broken political institutions today from Matt Yglesias and Steve Benen.

* Yesterday’s thwarted terror attack over Detroit has already caused overboard security procedures to be implemented on transatlantic flights int the U.S. Via Kevin Drum.

According to a statement posted Saturday morning on Air Canada’s Web site, the Transportation Security Administration will severely limit the behavior of both passengers and crew during flights in United States airspace — restricting movement in the final hour of flight. Late Saturday morning, the T.S.A. had not yet included this new information on its own Web site.

“Among other things,” the statement in Air Canada’s Web site read, “during the final hour of flight customers must remain seated, will not be allowed to access carry-on baggage, or have personal belongings or other items on their laps.”

* If I’m reading this story correctly, insects are our masters now.

* And Glenn Beck is your misinformer of the year.

A Few More While I Have Time

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* Really interesting development: Pakistan’s Supreme Court says eunuchs must be allowed to identify themselves as a distinct gender in order to ensure their rights. Via Pam.

* Via Kottke: Jim Lehrer’s rules for journalism.

* Do nothing I cannot defend.
* Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me.
* Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
* Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am.
* Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
* Assume personal lives are a private matter, until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise.
* Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything.
* Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental occasions.
* No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
* And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business.

* ‘Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job’: Steve Benen evaluates Obama’s first year.

FDR had to address the Great Depression, but in the wake of Hoover, there were plenty of Republicans willing to work with the Roosevelt administration, and a discredited GOP didn’t put up much of a fight. Three decades later, LBJ had a bold, large-scale agenda, but there were still moderate Republicans on the Hill. Neither Roosevelt nor Johnson had to worry about mandatory supermajorities to pass legislation — Filibuster Mania was still decades away.

It’s why I tend to consider the demands on Obama to be almost comical. First, Obama was tasked with rescuing the economy, overseeing two costly wars, improving a deteriorating job market, addressing a crushing debt, and fixing health care, energy policy, immigration, a housing crisis, a collapsing U.S. auto industry, the Gitmo mess, and America’s reputation around the world.

Second, Obama is expected to do all of this without Republican support on anything. The GOP simply pretended that its spectacular failures didn’t discredit the party.

And third, Obama, for the first time in American history, is told that every one of his proposals has to get 60 votes in the Senate to proceed, making it impossible to do much of anything unless Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson approve.

* And Mark Lynas explains his take on Copenhagen.

Copenhagen was a disaster. That much is agreed. But the truth about what actually happened is in danger of being lost amid the spin and inevitable mutual recriminations. The truth is this: China wrecked the talks, intentionally humiliated Barack Obama, and insisted on an awful “deal” so western leaders would walk away carrying the blame. How do I know this? Because I was in the room and saw it happen.

Still More Copenhagen

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Grist’s David Roberts and Duke’s Own Michael Hardt™ have two more Copenhagen round-ups. Here’s Michael:

Outside the official summit in Copenhagen, in fact, at the second scene of struggle over the common, one of the most interesting strategies of the activists and social movements was to act on a division between the powers inside the meetings. The primary concept of the “Reclaim Power” coordinated actions on Wednesday 16 December was to link “walking in” with “walking out.” In other words, protesters, attempting to break the restricted perimeter, as they have at summit meetings for over a decade, were to be met by dissatisfied delegates and participants who would express their objections by walking out. Together these two groups would then hold a “people’s summit.” The Danish police, through mass arrests and other tactics, made sure that the two sides did not actually meet, of course, but they did get to within about 100 yards of each other, close enough to wave across the fences and police lines. The conceptual significance of the effort, however, was clear to all involved, since “walking in” / “walking out” not only opens up the decision-making process but also highlights the kinds of alliances that are possible within and outside the structures of global governance—alliances that have the potential to create real alternatives.

We should keep in mind that the basis of such alliances rests on some fundamental conceptions of the management and institution of the common. For example, the primary mechanisms to address climate change promoted by the dominant forces, such as “cap and trade,” involve transforming the common into private property and, specifically, transforming carbon emissions and pollution rights into commodities and establishing markets in which they can be traded. Such strategies are indeed consistent with neoliberal ideology and its belief that privatization always leads to efficiency. The various opposition groups that can potentially form alliances advocate a variety of different solutions, but they all agree in their hostility to the neoliberal strategy and the privatization of the common.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Saturday Afternoon!

with 4 comments

* I was going to offer this post from Matt Yglesias on Weber’s “Politics as Vocation” as a potential intervention in the argument Vu and I have been having over the last few comment threads. But upon reflection I don’t think “compromise vs. compromised” is quite what we disagree about after all; it’s really a much smaller dispute about the efficacy of adopting an aggressive negotiating posture when you’re playing Chicken with sociopathically indifferent ideologues. The bad actors will always win such a fight, because we care about outcomes and they don’t. What we we need to do, therefore, is direct our attention away from mere political affect toward structural reform, wherever possible, of the various political institutions that give these bad actors final say.

* The Wonk Room compares the original health care bill to the (presumably final) manager’s amendment, with more on the new CBO score from Steve, Ezra, and TPM. I have to say this post from mcjoan on making sure doctors don’t take away our precious guns made me smile, as did the follow-up on mandates from the comments. So did Benen’s Botax/Boeh-tax bit.

* Stupak launches another desperate bid to be thrown out of the Democratic caucus.

* More ‘Flopenhagen’ analysis from Mother Jones, MNN, Wonk Room, Kevin Drum, and immanance. One’s level of happiness/sadness and optimism/pessimism on Copenhagen continues to strongly correlate with the extent to which one thought a genuinely successful agreement was ever possible at Copenhagen in the first place.

* ‘In the Shadow of Goldman Sachs’: Trickle-down economics on Wall Street. Via PClem.

* Jack Bauer interrogates Santa Claus. Via Julia.

* Captain Picard to become Sir Captain Picard.

* And very sad news: Influential film theorist Robin Wood has died.