Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘defense spending

In a Democracy You Get the Empire You Deserve

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The U.S. defense budget is greater than the combined defense budgets of the next seventeen largest spenders….

$1 of every $5 the federal government spent in 2011 went to defense, and about 20 cents of that $1 was spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just some of the facts available in Salon’s big think piece on the national budget. Meanwhile, in the polls: A new poll shows deep support among liberals for the very Bush/Cheney policies they once pretended to despise.

Wednesday Night

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* Those communists at the ACLU are at it again; they say the president can’t just have people murdered any time he wants. Check your Constitution, hippie!

* Only the cameraman didn’t volunteer: Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

* Some refreshing honesty: Cheney, 71, said defense spending is “not a spigot you can turn on and turn off, that you need to keep money flowing in a predictable way so you can plan for the next war,” Graham said after the Senate Republicans’ weekly luncheon.

* Okay, points there: Director Christopher Nolan says he has a simple explanation for why he refused to shoot The Dark Knight Rises in 3D: He doesn’t know anyone who actually enjoys it.

* It’s just as good as real learningEven as traditional universities have embraced massive free courses, those institutions have drawn a line on the matter of offering credit. Some professors send a letter of recognition to students who succeed in the free, online versions of their courses, but the universities have refrained from offering those students course credits that count toward the completion of a traditional degree. So far the only way students might redeem their success in MOOCs for formal college credit is by seeking validation through prior-learning assessment apparatuses.

* When David Brin met Orson Scott Card at Comic-Con.

Bryan Fuller’s mystery Pushing Daisies project may be a musical.

* And will UNESCO protect Tranquility Base from nonexistent space tourists? Tune in tomorrow, Moon Rangers, for the exciting conclusion!

Thursday Links

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The State Department is infested with vegetarians. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being vegetarians and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.

The Committee on Climate Change report, with the hairy-sounding title “Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping,” says that in 2050, the UK’s emissions reductions across the whole economy will cost 1-2 percent of the total GDP. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH LET THE PLANET BURN

* It’s come to this: raising taxes and cutting defense spending are so unthinkable that they literally don’t even count as policy proposals.

In reality, there is nothing in any U.S. statute, federal or state, that requires corporations to maximize their profits.

* This op-ed on the difficulty of a career in academia honestly only scratches the surface of how bad it can get. In the U.S. academy, for instance, the heteronormative perspective that is usually taken up as exemplary deeply obscures the costs of the job search on gay and lesbian academics, for whom movement between states and between institutions can mean radical shifts in their basic rights.

Kathleen Lynch, professor of equality studies at University College Dublin, has argued that the idealised academic has no ties or responsibilities to limit their capacity to work. “To be a successful academic is to be unencumbered by caring,” she says.

It’s a terrible way to force people to live.

* Lukas Neville, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, reports in the latest issue of Psychological Science that there’s more evidence of academic dishonesty in U.S. states with bigger gaps between the rich and the poor. Those gaps, he speculates, erode trust among people—something that’s been found by other researchers—and less trust means more cheating.

* Some lovely anti-education agitprop in the Atlantic that, as is typical, bears absolutely no relationship to how the academic job market actually works:

After finishing their dissertations, PhDs are hired by a college, based on publication records, the reputations of their references, and the name of their graduate programs. If they happen to have picked up a little classroom experience through a temporary position, it is rarely considered by hiring committees.

Right, that’s totally how it goes.

* Detroit photography beyond ruin porn: Dennis Maitland.

* From the archives: Vice Visits the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Via Longform.org.

* 15 writers’ bedrooms. They’re just like us!

* And 45 to go: Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penalty.

Three More

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 6, 2011 at 12:31 am

Traitor Watch

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Roger McShan and Kevin Drum argue we should SLASH the defense budget all the way down to… 2007 levels. America will be defenseless!

Written by gerrycanavan

December 2, 2011 at 10:54 am

No One Could Have Predicted

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Written by gerrycanavan

November 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm

No One Could Have Predicted

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