Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘RFK

Monday Links!

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* “It’s an active shooter drill. We do this every now and then. If you warn too many people, then the simulation is not effective.”

* From Sherryl Vint, in LARoB: “Men Behaving Badly: White Masculinity in Science Fiction Television.”

The report reveals a sense of ideological, demographic and cultural siege, on the American right, from which there is no obvious escape. Unable to comprehend or process last year’s election defeat, they feel the nation has become unmoored from its founding principles and is on a full-scale, unrelenting descent into chaos.

* That’ll solve it! White House Orders “Tech Surge” to Fix Obamacare Website. Weeks to fix, just in time for the insurance to not take effect on January 1.

* Nothing beside remains: With U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, American military gear sold as scrap.

* Degrees of Debt: Student Borrowing and Loan Repayment of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients 1 Year After Graduating: 1994, 2001, and 2009.

* George Washington University “admitted publicly for the first time Friday that it puts hundreds of undergraduate applicants on its waitlist each year because they cannot pay GW’s tuition.” Many Colleges Bend Rules To Admit Rich Applicants. Harvard’s Committee on University Resources.

* Science isn’t exactly an exact science.

With this in mind, consider 1,000 hypotheses being tested of which just 100 are true (see chart). Studies with a power of 0.8 will find 80 of them, missing 20 because of false negatives. Of the 900 hypotheses that are wrong, 5%—that is, 45 of them—will look right because of type I errors. Add the false positives to the 80 true positives and you have 125 positive results, fully a third of which are specious. If you dropped the statistical power from 0.8 to 0.4, which would seem realistic for many fields, you would still have 45 false positives but only 40 true positives. More than half your positive results would be wrong.

* Fur­ther­more, even to its most prac­ti­cal and well-meaning crit­ics, the actual rela­tion­ship between gen­der and cap­i­tal­ist social rela­tions remains an enigma. This is not sim­ply because, as Marx­ists, we are reluc­tant to reproach the old man, but rather as a con­se­quence of the fact that repro­duc­tive work – still per­formed pri­mar­ily by those assigned the fate “woman” – is extremely dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend in the terms pro­vided by the cri­tique of polit­i­cal econ­omy. Of course, gen­der is fun­da­men­tally defined by cap­i­tal­ism, and it should not be con­cluded that Marx’s cri­tique was “wrong”; buthe left women out of the story, and we need to find where he is hid­ing them. The Gendered Circuit: Reading The Arcane of Reproduction.

* The conspiracy goes deeper than you ever imagined: Author claims Robert Kennedy stole John F. Kennedy’s brain from National Archives.

* Meanwhile, another longstanding conspiracy theory gets validation: Fox really was using paid shills to manipulate comment threads.

* Seven Things You Might Not Know about Calvin & Hobbes.

* The homeless population of New York City is higher than it’s been in decades. Nobody seems to notice.

Traumatic Life Events, Not Genetics or Chemical Imbalance Cause Depression and Anxiety.

To Fix Climate Change, Scientists Turn To Hacking The Earth.

How I Teach Game Design.

* City College closed the Guillermo Morales-Assata Shakur Community and Student Center, an educational and organizing space founded on 1989 by leftist student groups, on Sunday morning without alerting the students and activists who work inside.

* Gasp! Jeb Bush ed reform group accused of abusing non-profit status to help corporations.

* American Horror Story and Abjection.

* Thus it has happened that, in the name of preventing invaders, the NSA has itself invaded.

* It begins: 870,000 Toyotas Recalled Due to “Spider-Related Problem.”

* And five points for Slytherin: Christie withdraws challenge to same-sex marriage ruling in New Jersey, which means it’s the law for good.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Links

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* The new issue of Science Fiction Studies is dedicated to Chinese science fiction.

* Breaking: Liberal arts majors didn’t kill the economy.

Judith Butler’s Remarks to Brooklyn College on BDS.

* Mark Dery on futureshock.

In the beginning, God created the wealth and the jobs. Now the wealth was a formless void and darkness covered the sources of value, while the spirit of capitalism hovered over the depths. And then God said, “Let there be jobs,” and there were jobs. And God saw that the jobs were not very good; and God separated the jobs from the surplus-value. God called the surplus-value Wealth, and the jobs he called Generosity. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1: A Neoliberal Account.

* SMBC tackles the unholy nexus of predestination and time travel.

* Janet Stephens, amateur hairdressing historian. Fun story, despite the classist overtones.

* The real Cuban missile crisis. So, both JFK and RFK were insane, I guess? Perhaps we should give this quantum immortality theory some serious consideration.

* Fox News screws up every day, but this one is pretty classic.

* There’s obviously some sort of long-term plan here that I don’t yet understand, like the time-bombs hidden in No Child Left Behind: North Carolina to formalize two “tracks” of high school diplomas, “job-ready” and “college-ready.”

* The Talmudic solution to the drone crisis: invent (another) secret, unaccountable court system in lieu of actual due process.

* And George Bush, painter.

Primary Flashback

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During the primaries Hillary Clinton was pilloried (and I think rightly so) for a speech that seemed to suggest that part of the justification for her long candidacy was the possibility of an Obama assassination. But the fires that McCain/Palin are now stoking are a thousand times hotter and more dangerous. It is profoundly irresponsible for a presidential campaign, in the heat of an intense campaign, with frazzled and demoralized supporters bracing for a big loss, to use eliminationist rhetoric that provokes screams of “Kill him!” and “Terrorist!” from its audience. And it is, certainly, particularly disgusting in this instance, as the specter of assassination has haunted the Obama candidacy since its inception. For McCain/Palin to embark down this road, at this time, in this way, is a deep and fundamental betrayal of the democractic compact that keeps this country functional, a deliberate and calculated rhetoric of hate that in the best-case scenario won’t even help them win and in the worst could result in the unthinkable.

“Country first” used to mean something. This isn’t it.

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October 7, 2008 at 2:06 pm


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Photos from the RFK funeral train, June 8, 1968.

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June 7, 2008 at 1:15 am

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As everyone with a TV already knows, at long last Edwards has endorsed Obama, the latest signal that the Democratic primary is over. I don’t have much else to say about this, except to say that it’s a moment I’ve been expecting a long, long, long, while. I’m glad Edwards finally got off the pot, though if this wasn’t a deliberate post-W.V. strategy I’m amazed it took him this long to finally do it, and I have to say I’ve lost almost all of the respect I once had for Edwards in the meantime.

Still, there’s a definitely Kennedy vibe from the pictures in this MyDD thread, and I must admit, it fills me with something a little bit like hope…

I guess what I’m saying is, give him Attorney General, I won’t stand in the way.

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May 15, 2008 at 1:41 am

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The Last of the Great Primary Linkdumps

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With March 4 looking more and more like it could be the definite win for Obama—he’s now leading in Texas, per SurveyUSA, and a Rasmussen Ohio poll shows the race there tightening—it looks like a good time for the last of the great primary linkdumps for 2008.

* First up, naturally, is Frank Rich’s “The Audacity of Hopelessness,” perhaps the definitive pre-post-mortem of What Went Wrong for the once-inevitable candidate. From “Shame on you, Barack Obama” to outright mockery to this nonsense, all indications are that the so-called “moment” from last week’s speech did not indicate Clinton’s willingness to go out on a high note. Today the New York Times reports an internecine “‘kitchen sink’ fusillade” against the Democrats’ presumptive nominee. I can’t wait.

* Matt Yglesias says it never occurred to him that Obama could be assassinated until other people (I’m guilty) started talking about it. I like Matt Yglesias, but to me this indicates a shocking and almost incomprehensible lack of historical memory about the conditions that shaped the country into which we were both born. When I see a story about the Secret Service relaxing security at Obama events, a chill goes down my spine.

* Also via Matt Y., John B. Judis has a good and much-linked piece connecting Obama to a long tradition of American politicians promising us that we can start over.

* 20 minutes or so on why I am 4Barack, from Internet icon and Stanford prof Lawrence Lessig. I’ve gotten this in my email a few times and I wanted to put it up before it no longer mattered.

* And yes, I mean that, I think it’s over next week, barring a fumble on Obama’s part of Giuliani (Clintonesque?) proportions. Of course I said it was all over but the shouting after Super Tuesday, a prediction that I think has mostly been borne out. Chris Dodd has seen the writing on the wall. Even Marc Ambinder, who has been shilling for Clinton without any sense of self-respect for the last few months, has come around. Watch the debate tonight—I’ll be liveblogging as usual, if only to see which version of Clinton shows up tonight—but I think Obama closes the gap in both Texas (which I think he’ll win) and Ohio (not sure if he’ll win, but it’ll be close enough that he might as well have), which means he wins it next Tuesday.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 26, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Obama Endorsement Watch: Here Comes Ted?

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A whole lot of people got off the bench in the last few days and endorsed Obama: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Seattle Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The San Francisco Chronicle. The big one today is of course Caroline Kennedy’s in The New York Times, which is getting almost as much play as Obama’s thrashing of the Clintons in South Carolina last night:

‘A President Like My Father’

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

Last night this seemed like the closest we were going to get to Ted Kennedy saying “This man is the second coming of my two murdered brothers”—except I just heard George Stephanopoulos on The Week say that Ted Kennedy is going to endorse Obama after all, and Obama non-deny it, based on Mark Halprin’s report here.

Still, the question remains: Where is Al Gore? My gut instinct—based almost entirely on wishful thinking and my worshipful respect for the post-2000 Al—is that he will endorse Obama in the last news cycle before February 5. But I have no idea.

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January 27, 2008 at 3:20 pm

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Obamavermontdirtyhippieblogging (UPDATED)

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Hot on the heels of a successful bid to secure the dirty hippie vote, Barack Obama seals the deal today with an endorsement from Vermont warhorse Senator Patrick Leahy.

UPDATE: Text from the endorsement here.

“We need a president who can reintroduce America to the world, and reintroduce America to ourselves,” Leahy said, later adding, “Barack Obama represents the America we once were and want to be again.”

Leahy likened his support of Obama to the 1968 presidential campaign, when as a young prosecutor he endorsed Robert Kennedy over Hubert Humphrey. “He was bringing us a sense of hope, bringing us together,” Leahy said. “I know those are intangibles, but it encouraged me to go against the establishment in my own state, and go with Bobby Kennedy.”

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January 17, 2008 at 4:10 pm

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Primary Madness, Optimism, Pessimism, Bill O’Reilly, and the Audacity of Hope

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I’m going to try and watch the Democratic candidate debate tonight—I’ve avoided these things so far, because they’re almost always unwatchable, but there comes a time when you can no longer run—so if anything interesting happens I’ll be around to blog about it. In the meantime, though I have a few more primary links for those of you who aren’t totally sick of this topic yet:

* The new ARG poll, previously favorable to Clinton, now shows Obama clobbering her 38% to 26%.

* Inevitable “Worst Person in the World” Bill O’Reilly got accosted by the Secret Service today after making a scene at an Obama rally. If the party alignment were switched he probably would have been arrested, but for now I’m content just to see the guy continuing to make a complete ass out of himself.

* Pictures from an Obama rally this morning show the huge numbers of people who are turning out to see him speak. I believe this particular rally had over 2,500 people attend—they packed two gyms. Marc Ambinder, though apparently a Clinton supporter, has a nice post that recognizes the sheer magnitude of what is going on here, and what it means for the Clinton campaign going forward.

* This cartoon comparing the greatness of two Illinois politicians with limited “national experience” is very cute, but even it returns us inevitably to the current paroxysm of fear gripping many in both the African-American community and the progressive left, before and after Iowa, my endlessly pessimistic self included: What if the worst happens, again? I don’t fear violence after either an Obama victory or loss, as some on the right already claim to; all I fear is that at some point in the days and months and (hopefully) years ahead the country will once again be made to suffer its best and brightest hope being snatched away. I’ve felt this fear intensely since immediately following the news of Obama’s Iowa victory, and I suspect I’ll keep feeling it on some level or another until Jan. 20, 2017. I admire the hell out of the man just for risking that alone; talk about the audacity of hope.

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January 5, 2008 at 9:14 pm

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It was thirty-nine years ago today.

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June 6, 2007 at 6:02 am

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