Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘WTFRepublicans?

Santorum Pulling Back the Mask

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“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” Santorum said as the crowd howled with laughter and applause. “There are good, decent men and women who work hard every day and put their skills to the test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor.”

Gaming the System

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 3, 2011 at 9:03 am

Monday’s Child Has Learned to Tie His Bootlace

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* First Pluto, now this. They can have my triceratops when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

* In a “historic crossover,” the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a paper published this month.

* Charlie Stross: …I postulate that the organization required for such exploration is utterly anathema to the ideology of the space cadets, because the political roots of the space colonization movement in the United States rise from taproots of nostalgia for the open frontier that give rise to a false consciousness of the problem of space colonization. In particular, the fetishization of autonomy, self-reliance, and progress through mechanical engineering — echoing the desire to escape the suffocating social conditions back east by simply running away — utterly undermine the program itself and are incompatible with life in a space colony (which is likely to be at a minimum somewhat more constrained than life in one of the more bureaucratically obsessive-compulsive European social democracies, and at worst will tend towards the state of North Korea in Space).

In other words: space colonization is implicitly incompatible with both libertarian ideology and the myth of the American frontier. Worth noting, as some of Stross’s commenters do, that there was a fairly large organized state apparatus supporting westward expansion too, including the railroads and military-backed “Indian removal”…

* The free market! What can’t it do?

“The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” [Rand] Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia…“You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”

* Robert Reich: Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy. I can’t believe this is even being argued about. Weren’t we at Debt Con 1 just a few days ago?

* And North Carolina in the news! Former federal prosecutor practiced on suspended law license.

SOS

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Orly Taitz could actually win the Republican primary for Secretary of State in California tomorrow.

Written by gerrycanavan

June 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Late Sunday Links

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Late Sunday links.

* Rachel Maddow kicks ass on another visit to Meet the Press. They should just give Rachel Meet the Press; I hope eventually they do. It’s the only version of the show I could imagine actually watching.

* The networks are apparently afraid of SF; Day One has apparently been downgraded to a miniseries and the V remake is rumored to be forbidden to use the world “alien.”

* Octavia Butler’s papers will go to the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, joining Christopher Isherwood’s, Charles Bukowski’s, and Jack London’s.

* Playgrounds of the 1970s. A version of the Officer Big Mac at right was active in Ledgewood, NJ, well into the 2000s. (Is it still there?)

* Judith Butler: Save California’s universities. My only quibble is that she appears to be writing in the wrong country’s newspaper.

* More Nate Silver: That the conservative intelligentsia reacted giddily to news of the Americans losing is telling. It’s telling of a movement that was long ago knocked off its intellectual moorings and has lost the capacity to think about what people outside the room think about. Flagged by Bitter Laughter. More thoughts along the same lines from Cogitamus and Contrary Brin.

* My happiest time was after Mao came into power. Our social status improved. People were allowed to express their views. Before, people had no right to speak out. After the founding of new China, the first parade, I was on the front row during the first parade. Foreign journalists from America and the Soviet Union took lots pictures of me. I was carrying a flower basket, walking down Huaihai road, it was very festive, and there was much excitement. I went out during the parade every year for many years, rain or shine. Why the Chinese support the Communist party.

Rosa Parks

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If I’m understanding all this correctly, the late Rosa Parks was head of the death panel that voted to kill Sarah Palin’s baby. But no one in the MSM will touch the story!

Written by gerrycanavan

August 13, 2009 at 1:48 am

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The KKK Used To Kill People

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The KKK murdered people, you ass.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 29, 2009 at 5:08 am

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If Ever a Civil Rights Movement Was Needed in America

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If ever a civil rights movement was needed in America, it is for the Republican Party. If ever we needed to start marching for freedom and constitutional rights, it’s for the Republican Party. The Republican Party is today’s oppressed minority, and it know [sic] how to behave as one. (via)

Written by gerrycanavan

May 28, 2009 at 12:17 am

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Racist!

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The casual viciousness with which the leading lights of the Republican Party (Limbaugh, Gingrich, Beck, Buchanan and Coulter, even second-stringers like Tom Tancredo) have declared Sonia Sotomayor a “racist” is startling and deeply disturbing, even putting aside the irony that these individuals of all people would wave this particular bloody shirt. I’m not really sure what their long-term goal is. Do they think this is a remotely plausible strategy for Senatorial opposition? Are they trying to make “racism” itself a toxic, he-said-she-said subject that is outside the bounds of reasoned discourse? Are they so narrow-minded and short-sighted as to somehow believe she really is a racist? I don’t get it.

This is all predicated on a single out-of-context quote from a 2001 speech she made to Berkeley law students:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Taken out-of-context this is a statement about which reasonable people might disagree, though it surely doesn’t rise to the level of racism outside right wing histrionics. She’s not, after all, making some empirical claim about the relative intrinsic qualities of various races; she’s claiming that her life experiences inform the decisions she makes and may sometimes lead to better judgments that “a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” That’s controversial, maybe, but it’s not racist. It doesn’t speak to race; it speaks to life experience, to empathy.

But when Ta-Nehisi Coates and Spencer Ackerman direct us to the full context, the controversy vanishes for anyone with reading comprehension and a basic understanding of rhetorical irony.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure Justice O’Connor is the author of that line since Professor Resnik attributes that line to Supreme Court Justice Coyle. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown.

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.

(1) She’s responding (quite humbly) to a quote attributed to Justice O’Connor that suggests that judicial reasoning is somehow universal and objective, “that a wise old man and wise old woman” will tend to reach the same conclusion on any given subject. There’s very good reason to think that isn’t so — precisely because there is no universal, objective definition of wise, however much we might wish there were — and I tend to agree with her.

In context, in any event, the correct hysterical accusation is plainly “She’s a sexist!”, not “She’s a racist!”

2) Even more importantly, in context her introduction of “a wise Latina woman” is plainly a sly, self-mocking reference to herself. It’s an ironic wink to her own position as exactly the sort of judge about which she is speaking—it’s not a truth claim about race, and no one listening to her that day would have thought it was.

Your Modern GOP

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“We are cooling. We are not warming. The warming you see out there, the supposed warming, and I am using my finger quotation marks here, is part of the cooling process. Greenland, which is now covered in ice, it was once called Greenland for a reason, right? Iceland, which is now green. Oh I love this. Like we know what this planet is all about. How long have we been here? How long? No very long.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the head of the Republican Party.

Wednesday, Wednesday

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Wednesday, Wednesday.

* Why is Boing Boing giving valuable blog real estate to global warming denialism? I see Cory has admirably tried to push back against the guest blogger, but still. What a sad day for Boing Boing.

* Michael Bérubé just took the GRE Literature in English subject test again. And lived to tell about it.

* Rethinking plagiarism? Sorry, but this isn’t that hard. Students know exactly what they’re doing when they plagiarize. Turn them over to Judicial Affairs and don’t think twice.

* Ten privacy settings every Facebook user should know.

* Joe the Plumber is now advising the GOP. WTFRepublicans?

* Fimoculous has found Wikipedia’s list of lists of fictional things.

* The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertberg was not impressed with Obama’s first inaugural. More shocking still is the unabashed anti-Hindu prejudice expressed in a demand that they be listed last in the litany of religious belief, even after hated atheists. Via Edge of the American West.