Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘the CRU hack

Tuesday Night Links

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* Scenes from the class struggle in Hogwarts: it costs at least $42,752 a year to get a proper wizarding education. UPDATE: Want more about the cost of attending Hogwarts? Misopogon at Dog Eat Crow World charges bravely into the weeds.

* Scenes from the class struggle in Cambridge: Reddit co-founder arrested for what amounts to an attempt to steal JSTOR. Reddit thread. MetaFilter thread.

* Contrarian watch: Naked Capitalism says Elizabeth Warren is too good, and too important, for the Senate. This all may be so, but I want her to run anyway.

* One down: Wis. Dem State Senator Wins Recall In Landslide.

* I’ve been trying to steel myself to the idea of a Mitt Romney primary win, despite my worry that he alone could actually beat Obama in 2012. (And maybe if Romney won he’d do something on the environment. It’s possible, right? UPDATE: Ugh.) Nate Silver puts an Obama-Romney race down at even odds. But TPM says I don’t need to worry: Mitt has already maxed out his donors. Chait concurs.

* The knives come out for Bachmann. More here, here, and here.

* Was Rupert Murdoch behind the CRU hack? Grist speculates. I’d also really like to know if there’s any truth to these several-years-old reports of a “black ops” room at Fox News. Related: Parliament determines News Corp. deliberately obstructed the investigation into the hacks.

Ron Howard’s planned Dark Tower megaseries has collapsed.

* And a truly great find: An NPR adaptation of A Canticle for Leibowitz from 1960.

By Then It Will Be Too Late for the Rest of Us, Too

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I had a piece on climate change denialism in the local alt-weekly this week reviewing Orrin and Keith Pilkey’s Global Climate Change: A Primer. Here’s a taste:

Particularly crucial are chapters 3 and 4, which temporarily turn away from the science of climate change to what the Pilkeys call “the manufacture of dissent,” detailing the coordinated efforts by Fox News, Koch Industries and other right-wing outlets to generate false doubts about climate science. This, they write, is the true “hoax” involving climate change—a hoax that calls to mind the efforts of tobacco industry lobbyists to obscure the truth about cigarette smoking and which, indeed, is in many cases being perpetrated by exactly the same individuals. The ginning up of the so-called Climategate scandal is one of the best-known examples of this wide-ranging PR strategy; in truth, as the Pilkeys demonstrate, Climategate shows scientists behaving unprofessionally, but not inappropriately, and lends no credence whatsoever to paranoid claims that climate science is being manipulated by some left-wing conspiracy. In fact, the very opposite is true; the actual conspiracy is on the right, is incredibly sophisticated and well-financed, and is implacably dedicated to denialism…

Of course, there’s more at the link.

Closing All My Tabs Links

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* For all my brothers and sisters: “What did you do the summer before you went on the academic job market? What do you wish you had done?” Duke Lit’s Job Market Resources page has been ramped up considerably in the last year, which helps.

* To immerse yourself in literary theory as an impressionable young person is a little like squinting at a piece of toast until the face of Jesus materializes. It’s a slight perceptual shift (all you have to do is unfocus your eyes) but risky, because there’s no going back to plain toast after Jesus. Similarly, once you have engaged in enough feminist readings of “The Iliad” or performed close textual analyses of “Alf” or written papers limning the intertextual relationship between “Videodrome” and “Madame Bovary” — once, in other words, you’ve glimpsed the social, political, historical and ideological underpinnings of every text ever constructed — you’ll never again see stories the same way again. They’ll shed their innocence and expose their dirty secrets and reveal the world as a darker, more dangerous place than it once seemed. (Thanks, Lindsey Fiona!!)

* Recent college grads facing mal-employment, while incoming Duke students are rightly anxious about debt. Not anxious enough, frankly.

* Affirmative action for white kids: Asian-Americans and diversity today.

D.I.Y. Detroit: How the Alternative Press shaped the art of a city left for dead.

* At Mother Jones: The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science. Related: Kate Shepard explains the Climategate fraud. Also: Confessions of a Climate Change Convert.

* This CIA press release about their eco-friendly document destruction processes has got to be an Earth Day prank.

* Rule of law watch: Gov. Chris Christie Considers Defying Court Order.

* Debunking Trig Trutherism once and for all.

* A gaffe is when you accidentally say what you actually think: Minnesota state House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R), who is strongly pushing for passage of a voter ID law, has now backed away from comments he made in a radio appearance on Wednesday — when he said of the act of voting: “I think it’s a privilege, it’s not a right.”

* The great thing about neoliberalism is that it’s the answer to every question. The answer is the same regardless of whether your public institutions have too little money, or too much. More on how austerity works from Glenn Greenwald.

* Ideal and actual representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* Inside Obama ’12. John Judis explores one area in which this will be a tough sell.

Obama has tried to carve a liberal niche within this retrograde political framework by charging that the Republican plan to cut the deficit would get rid of Medicare and would keep the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. That’s all well and good, but Obama is still playing on Republican turf. And it might not work. The last Democratic presidential candidate who based his campaign on deficits was Walter Mondale in 1984. Mondale probably would have lost to Ronald Reagan in any case, but he would have won more than Minnesota and the District of Columbia. The other Democratic candidate who tried to make deficits an issue was Al Gore in 2000, and he lost to a candidate he should have defeated easily. And you can be sure that Bill Clinton in 1992 didn’t focus on deficits in running against George H.W. Bush.

Via digby.

* I’d never heard of either Kiki Kannibal or StickyDrama, but I read this Rolling Stone article on her weird, tragic adolescence from beginning to end (a rarity for anything they publish not written by Matt Taibbi).

* Parallel worlds are still the hottest trope in SF: Here’s a trailer for indie drama Another Earth, and a description of SyFy’s next new terrible show.

Portal 2 news! The story is much more complicated and interesting than I noticed while I was playing.

* And mission (creep) accomplished: Unmanned drones now flying missions in Libya.

Wingnut Watch: Sharia Law, The Man from C.L.I.M.A.T.E., and Actually Existing Media Bias

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Newt Gingrich has heroically called for a federal ban on the real menace: sharia law. The line on Twitter is that we should probably ban unicorn hunting next—but I want to call special attention to this comment from TPM at well:

But now they finally seem to be on the brink of having stupified their followers and coopted the MSM to the point where they can just make up their next mythic Enemy out of whole cloth, without any need for it to have even the most tenuous anchor in reality. So when this whole Islamophobia thing plays out, I really expect them to just invent some nonexistent entity, like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. or HYDRA or a deeply buried conspiracy of secret Satanists who have infiltrated every segment of society or something of the sort.

Indeed, an entirely nonexistent enemy would have manifold advantages for them. Any industrial accident that results in an explosion could be blamed on them and if accident investigators say, no, the problem was slipshod safety practices, that just proves the accident investigator is part of the plot. Any academic, politician or commentator who makes them look stupid is obviously a member who need to be investigated, and an investigation will always turn up something to prove the charges. And if it doesn’t, it just goes to show how fiendishly clever and how thoroughly penetrated we are as a society.

It’s not that this would work; it’s that it’s already worked. Or haven’t you heard about the sinister machinations of C.L.I.M.A.T.E. scientists? Here’s Steve Benen on the sad state of public discourse today:

In previous generations, the American Right still had to contend with some accurate information. That’s no longer the case — a Republican activist can listen to talk radio during the day, listen to Fox News after work, read right-wing blogs with breakfast, and hang out with Tea Partiers over the weekend. It’s possible, if not easy, for a conservative to come in contact with literally no accurate, objective journalism.

Meanwhile, Christine O’Donnell is following the Sarah Palin, Sharon Angle, and Rand Paul trajectory by canceling her lamestream media appearances altogether. Tragically, the Democrats have no candidate in the DE-SEN race, so Face the Nation has been forced to book Republican strategist Ed Rollins and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson instead.

Two Days Left Links

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The Taste of Thursday

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* 5 Ways Obama Can Redeem His Nobel.

* Fight Climate Change, Not Wars.

* Hard to believe a tip like this turned out to be unreliable. Via Vu.

* Scientists have apparently uncovered syntax in monkey language. And yes, I learned this from The Colbert Report.

* Matt Taibi is—act surprised—unhappy about the health care compromise.

* Let me get this straight. You have a commission proposing a package of highly unpopular legislative changes. And, in addition to having to surmount the 60-vote barrier in the Senate, which is nearly insurmountable for major legislation and which was avoided for both of the last two major deficit-reducing bills, it’s also going to impose a new supermajority requirement in the House and a 78% threshold in the commission itself?

To say that this procedure “is designed to get results” shows a very odd understanding of American political institutions. (via Steve Benen)

* “A band of no-hopers”: The American team that beat England in 1950.

* Science: “The most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often.” (Thanks, Steve!)

* The Disappearing Snows of Everest.

* David Foster Wallace, “All That,” and religion. At Infinite Zombies, still chugging along.

* John Malkovich is apparently your next Spider-Man villain. But why would they scrap the Black Cat for a made-up character called “The Vulturess”? That sounds impossibly stupid.

* James Cameron, you had me at “sci-fi samurai epic.”

* And today’s chilling vision of things to come: ‘Is 4chan the Future of Human Consciousness?’

Cheat Codes Won’t Save Your Soul and Other Tuesday Night Links

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* Via Vu, Buzzflash has the 50 best protest signs of 2009.

* When I first heard about Sketchy Santas, I too was skeptical. But I think you’ll agree the results speak for themselves.

* zunguzungu on the UC crisis.

…the scandal of the administration’s conduct is not the fact that they’re cutting services while raising fees, at least not in and of itself. In bad economic times, some kind of response is necessary. The scandal is that Mark Yudof and the regents are using the crisis of the moment to push forward a plan to privatize the UC system that has long been in the works and is geared to be permanent. And they are doing it by assuming “emergency powers” which allow them to arbitrarily overturn the precedents and policy that would otherwise explicitly prevent them from doing so, everything from caps on the amount that student fees can be raised to the contracts they’ve signed with university employees to the “Master Plan” for higher education that the state of California established fifty years ago. So if we want to talk about “Sacramento,” then let’s do so. But we need, then, to talk about two things: first, how the Republicans that run California through the governor’s mansion have been trying to privatize the state’s public education for a very long time, and, second, how the regents and Mark Yudof have been using the rhetoric of “crisis” to push that agenda through, bit by bit and step by step, replacing the UC’s traditional system of shared governance with a system of top-down corporate management.

* Yet another health care compromise shot down by Senate moderates. (UPDATE: Maybe not?)

* North Carolina’s constitution is clear: politicians who deny the existence of God are barred from holding office. Via MeFi.

* Harlan Ellison v. God.

* Ze v. The War in Afghanistan.

* Fox News v. basic math. More here.

* Over the past decade, oil giant Exxon Mobil has paid millions to organizations and “think tanks” in an attempt to deceive the public about the science behind global climate change. It’s no surprise that those very same organizations are now doing everything in their power to please their benefactor by drawing attention to the so-called “Climategate” scandal involving hacked emails from the University of East Anglia in England.

* Today at the Infrastructurist: How Can the U.S. End Its Oil Dependence for Good?

* Why Republicans Stopped Believing in Climate Change: “The growing skepticism among Republicans, with no matching shift among Democrats, suggests that the changes measured in this poll may be a reaction to having a Democrat in the White House rather than a shift in underlying attitudes toward global warming,” said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

* Ted Gayer’s testimony to Congress in favor of a carbon tax. Related: Cap and Trade Won’t Work for Climate, It’s a Scam.

* Nuclear explosions since 1945. Kind of related: Maps of Jurassic Park.