Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘eliminationism

A Few Sunday Night Links

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* Another great Muppet thing that never was: Douglas Adams and Jim Henson tried to develop a TV special about the Muppet Institute of Technology.

* Given Politco’s track record, I think we can expect Mitt to make a comeback in the next few days.

* I’ve been fascinated all week by the stories about Sean Smith, one of the U.S. foreign service workers killed in the consulate attacks this week, and his virtual life in EVE Online as “Vile Rat.”

* The Boy Scouts have a pedophile blacklist dating back to 1919. Of course, they never actually involved the cops, or, you know, did anything about it. Heavens no.

* Will Self, “The Trouble with My Blood.”

* Eugenics at Yale.

* When Roberts flipped.

* Unpaid internships in the New York Times.

* And just for laughs: A spokesman for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) is facing criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post.

My question today… when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.

“Acid in Female Senators’ Faces: Opinions Differ.”

Thursday Links

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* Today is our last day discussing John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, and conveniently the headline at io9 right now reads “Gonorrhea is becoming untreatable.” The prophecy was true!

 In an 8-1 vote, the City Council of Greensboro, North Carolina approved a resolution opposing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban any legal recognition of same-sex couples. Greensboro joins Raleigh and Chapel Hill all in opposition to Amendment 1, which comes to a vote on May 8. The Durham City Council opposes the measure too.

* 16 Things Super Bowl Ads Would Like You to Know About Women in 2012.

* Steve Jobs’s FBI file. Academic pro-tip: when beginning research on anyone who is deceased you should immediately request their FBI file.

* Bad news folks: Obama Has Put America On ‘The Path’ Of Executing Religious People By Decapitation.

* In an interesting piece at An und für sich, Adam Kotsko tries to dive beneath the politics and explain just why it is the Catholic hierarchy is so interested in birth control.

I propose that the answer can be found in a historic compromise set forth by one of the most influential thinkers you’ve never heard of: namely, Clement of Alexandria, a second-century Christian philosopher.

* From David Graeber—Concerning the Violent Peace-Police: An Open Letter to Chris Hedges.

Surely you must recognize, when it’s laid out in this fashion, that this is precisely the sort of language and argument that, historically, has been invoked by those encouraging one group of people to physically attack, ethnically cleanse, or exterminate another—in fact, the sort of language and argument that is almost never invoked in any other circumstance. After all, if a group is made up exclusively of violent fanatics who cannot be reasoned with, intent on our destruction, what else can we really do? This is the language of violence in its purest form. Far more than “fuck the police.” To see this kind of language employed by someone who claims to be speaking in the name of non-violence is genuinely extraordinary.

Facebook has found a way to make money from its new Timeline feature less than five months after launching it, repackaging what people “listen” to, “watch,” and “read” into ads and delivering them to their friends.

* Tomorrow’s TV Tropes today: my friend @drbluman finds another example of Sitcom Entropy, the inexorable law of nature that shows how sitcoms degrade in quality over time.

* Arizona Law SB 1467 Would Make It Illegal to Teach Law, History, or Literature, or for Teachers to Have Sex, or Pee.

* And James Fallows attempts to explain Obama.

This is the central mystery of his performance as a candidate and a president. Has Obama in office been anything like the chess master he seemed in the campaign, whose placid veneer masked an ability to think 10 moves ahead, at which point his adversaries would belatedly recognize that they had lost long ago? Or has he been revealed as just a pawn—a guy who got lucky as a campaigner but is now pushed around by political opponents who outwit him and economic trends that overwhelm him?

Just Another Sunday Links

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* I hate to condemn poor Aaron to a life spent gathering links for me, but his Sunday Reading series has rapidly become a core part of my Internet experience. I’d never lie to you; some of the links below I stole from him. We just need to get him that intern and we’ll be all set.

* David Foster Wallace on 9/11 (from 2007): “Just Asking.”

* Read Catherine Liu: Disaster capitalism keeps creating a wealth of opportunities for entrepreneurial education reformers. David Sirota just wrote a powerful piece on public education: The Shock Doctrine Comes to Your Classroom . Sirota’s thesis is that the financial crisis has been a golden opportunity for rapacious for-profit companies in the education industry to divert public education funds into their own swollen pockets. Instead of paying teachers and building school infrastructure, administrators are spending more and more of their budgets on standardized tests and other instruments that produce big profit margins, but little pedagogy. The New York Times has recently taken note of what critics of education reform have been repeating over and over again: radical reforms and gadget fetishism do not produce measurable improvements in classroom learning. Sirota focuses on the darker side of the technophile narrative in public education: even as public education budgets are shrinking, the share that goes to high tech and for profit testing companies keeps growing.

* Profiles of the Jobless: The ‘Mad As Hell’ Millennial Generation.

* Matt Taibbi on the coming civil war.

I’ve always been queasy about piling on against the Republicans because it’s intellectually too easy; I also worry a lot that the habit pundits have of choosing sides and simply beating on the other party contributes to the extremist tone of the culture war.

But the time is coming when we are all going to be forced to literally take sides in a political conflict far more serious and extreme than we’re used to imagining. The situation is such a tinderbox now that all it will take is some prominent politician to openly acknowledge the fact of a cultural/civil war for the real craziness to begin.

Most people aren’t thinking about this because we’re so accustomed to thinking of America as a stable, conservative place where politics is not a life-or-death affair but more something that people like to argue about over dinner, as entertainment almost. But it’s headed in another, more twisted direction. I’m beginning to wonder if this election season is going to be one none of us ever forget – a 1968 on crack.

* According to this report, NPR has no idea who is right. It cannot provide listeners with any help in sorting through such a dramatic conflict in truth claims. It knows of no way to adjudicate these clashing views. It is simply confused and helpless and the best it can do is pass on that helplessness to listeners of “Morning Edition.” Because there is just no way to know whether these new rules try to make life as difficult as possible for abortion providers, or put common sense public policy goals into practice in Kansas. There is no standard by which to judge. There is no comparison that would help. There is no act of reporting that can tell us who has more of the truth on their side. In a word, there is nothing NPR can do! And so a good professional simply passes the conflict along. Excellent: Now the listeners can be as confused as the journalists.

* North Carolina as swing state. That’s a good electoral map for the Democrats, but somewhat unexpected; you’d expect Obama to be doing significantly worse here than he is.

* The Darker Side of Blogging.

I lost some friends because of these difficulties, especially when I could not convince some whom I trusted and who knew this person that a problem existed that was worth being concerned about. It now seems self-dramatizing to write all of this down, mainly because nothing “real” came of the threats other than unwanted contact. Yet when someone is sending email that involves your family, that makes it clear he has researched property records and knows the acreage your house was built upon, you tend to worry about the crossing of lines. I also wonder if in now revisiting these episodes from the past, I will trigger another outbreak. I realize that if my objective is to ensure that something so unpleasant never unfolds again, silence is my best strategy. Yet I have always felt that remaining taciturn makes it seem as if the events never happened. It also leaves me alone with them. The stalking occurred, and it changed my relation to the internet.

Having gone through something quite similar (twice) in my own blogging past—both times much less frightening than Jeffrey’s experience—I really related to this.

* And is Exit Through the Gift Shop “real”? Ron English says it is. Problem solved.

Politics Friday!

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* Secession watch: now Tucson wants to secede from Arizona.

* American politics increasingly resembles a kind of total war in which each party mobilizes every conceivable asset at its disposal against the other. Most governors were once conscientious objectors in that struggle. No more. Ezra’s post rightly points to the courts as well:

The individual mandate has now been upheld by three district judges appointed by Democrats and overturned by two district judges appointed by Republicans. It’s a perfect partisan record — which is not what most legal scholars and analysts predicted. Dahlia Lithwick went back to the initial coverage of the GOP’s lawsuits. “It was an article of faith among court watchers that President Obama’s health care reform plan would be upheld at the Supreme Court by a margin of 7-2 or 8-1,” she concluded. Lee Epstein, a law professor at Northwestern University, told me the same thing. “Even my very, very conservative colleagues last year said that if the Court follows existing precedent, this is a no-brainer.”

* When a congressman at a town hall is asked “Who’s going to shoot Obama?”, of course the most appropriate reply is “I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president.”

* What could possibly go wrong? Newt says Republicans should impeach the president over DOMA, then immediately gets cold feet.

This is what it’s like to spend nearly thirty years in prison for something you didn’t do. (via)

* And which Americans have passports, state by state.

Where It’s Going

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A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon. Thanks Julie.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Why Hasn’t CNN Fired Erik Erickson?

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Worse, why did they hire him in the first place?

CNN’s Erick Erickson is also Editor-in-Chief and “Dear Leader” of the conservative blog Red State, sothis charming passage posted by “The Directors” is presumably his doing: 

Here at RedState, we too have drawn a line. We will not endorse any candidate who will not reject the judicial usurpation of Roe v. Wade and affirm that the unborn are no less entitled to a right to live simply because of their size or their physical location. Those who wish to write on the front page of RedState must make the same pledge. The reason for this is simple: once before, our nation was forced to repudiate the Supreme Court with mass bloodshed. We remain steadfast in our belief that this will not be necessary again, but only if those committed to justice do not waiver or compromise, and send a clear and unmistakable signal to their elected officials of what must be necessary to earn our support.

That “only if” construct means that — according to Erick Erickson’s Red State — “mass bloodshed” will be “necessary” if elected officials don’t overturn Roe v. Wade. Again: Red State doesn’t say “mass bloodshed” may occur if elected officials don’t do what is “necessary to earn our support” — it says such bloodshed will be “necessary.” Erickson and his Red State colleagues didn’t indicate how much time elected officials have to earn their support before mass bloodshed becomes necessary.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 24, 2011 at 10:46 am

Saturday Afternoon Fever

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* The Mayans Jawas predicted it: Two Suns? Twin Stars Could Be Visible From Earth By 2012.

* The Republican Study Committee wants to defund the arts. Entirely.

A group of conservative Republicans, called the Republican Study Committee, revealed a new plan on Thursday to cut federal funding for arts down to zero. This means the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities would be left in the cold. Not to mention the potential hit at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

* David Neiwart gets literary with Glenn Beck’s favorite poem.

But it’s really quite revealing that Beck NEVER gets Niemoller’s poem right. There are a number of different versions with slight variations, but the most common is this one:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists ,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist…

* Also in Glenn Beck news: his latest target is receiving threats. She is 78.

The sole American manufacturer of an anesthetic widely used in lethal injections said Friday that it would no longer produce the drug, a move likely to delay more executions and force states to adopt new drug combinations. Obligatory Colbert flashback.

* Standing on Zanzibar: If the world’s population lived in one city.