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Showing posts from May 21, 2006

fiction, fact, and seediness

Ah, the Bush administration, always in lockstep with the most villainous forces in America. Today’s NYT story relates a typical Bush caper, half Penguin from Batman, half Satan from Revelations. In the face of global warming, the Bushies are pushing to increase dramatically the amount of greenhouse gases Americans release into the atmosphere – by burning coal. The back to coal movement, and back to the dirtiest methods of mining it and using it, gives us some startling grafs: “While Peabody supports some coal gasification projects, it remains skeptical about departing from traditional coal-burning methods to produce electricity. The pulverized coal plants it wants to build, which grind coal into a dust before burning it to make electricity, currently cost about $2 billion each, or 15 percent to 20 percent less to build than the cleaner "integrated gasification combined cycle," or I.G.C.C., plants, which convert coal into a gas. The hope among scientists is that I.G.C.C. p

skepticism and science

- From the American Scientist. Click on image to zoom it. To continue with LI’s anti-military rant from yesterday – Harper’s this month has a fine article on nuclear testing in Nevada by David Samuels. Rumsfeld, who is a monster from outer space, wants to resume underground testing of nuclear bombs. Here are a few grafs from Samuels piece: “Over the life of the American nuclear-design program, the scientists at Los Alamos and Livermore designed 71 different warheads for 116 nuclear-weapons systems, at a total cost of nearly $800 billion. This year, the Department of Energy will spend $6.5 billion on nuclear weapons, and it plans to spend a total of $35 billion over the following four years, an amount that in real dollars equals what Ronald Reagan spent in eight years on nuclear weapons at the height of the Cold War. … "The last time we did a test there was nothing over fifteen stories in Las Vegas," he reflects. But with the revitalized plutonium-pit production scheduled f

those chains aren't dissolving fast enough

When I look into history and see the multitudes of men, otherwise virtuous, who have died, and their families been ruined, in the defence of knaves and fools, and which they would not have done, had they reasoned at all upon the system; I do not know a greater good that an individual can render to mankind, than to endeavour to break the chains of political superstition. Those chains are now dissolving fast, and proclamations and persecutions will serve but to hasten that dissolution. – Thomas Paine The AEI is a national treasure. As some will remember, it was the AEI who sent the eagle eyed Ken Zinsmeister to Iraq in April of 2005, and his results were summed up in the title of the article he wrote: The War is Over, and We Won. It is this uncanny ability to find the story that others miss, and to make the hard, hard proposals that makes AEI a factory of opeds for places like the Washington Post. As is well known, editor Fred Hiatt is fatally attracted to the movers and shakers of

turns 2

When the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out, a few years ago, I did not know that – as the man who raised me from a pup, David, told me when I was talking to him about this the other day – ‘everybody knew that movie was rank. Where were you – wanking off?’ Somehow I missed the supreme judgment of the masses. Somehow, I missed the whole movie. But, as I stumbled upon it in my innocence last week and saw an hour of it, which makes me an expert about the wretched thing. And … more than that … I have seen other action films. LI’s analysis of the hunter narrative in the Turns post is supposed to set this here post up, so I am going to pretend my reader has read it. Okay? Remember my brilliant and never to be forgotten point about the hunter as the hero of methodological individualism? Are you ready for an insight that will surely blow you out of your shoes? Methodological individualism is deader than a dodo. Or, rather, the myth marches on, but the country of individualism, thes

another hero

LI is desperately trying to make money this week -- if any LI readers know of anyone who wants editing, send them to us, please! so we might not be so garrulous on this site. ... Those who want to read something that gets to the heart of the heart of the court mindset in D.C. should really check out this Stuart Rothenberg post. Rothenberg is a professional political person -- it is his job, by analysing, consulting and advising, to help politicians sit on the collective face of America. But the Coonnecticut Democratic convention that allowed Lieberman to be challenged by Ned Lamont has disturbed him greatly. The people have a function, and that function, which defines them, is to overwhelmingly re-elect the Politburo. When the people violate their function, are they even people at all? It is the great cry of the rulers throughout the ages: Are there no workhouses, no prisons, in which to store these wretches? If this is what democracy is, perhaps we should have a system where the lo

turns

Because it seems to me that the things in Cooper that make one so savage, when one compares them with actuality, are perhaps, when one considers them as presentations of a deep subjective desire, real in their way, and almost prophetic. – D.H. Lawrence Lawrence was right to pick out the killer motif in his book on Classic American Literature right to find some deep subjective desire there. It is the hunter plot – hunting deer, hunting the great white whale, hunting bear, hunting, above all, Indians – that has such large and prophetic effects on the American imago that Americans are still enthralled by the elements of that primitive story. However, it is LI’s contention that the story is now in its decadence – and that its decadence is part of the larger debauching of the narrative intelligence in these here states – and that the site of its decadence is the action movie. All of these thoughts derive from a trivial and stupid occasion – as some long suffering readers know, LI is try