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[ 42 ] January 16, 2015 |

2014, the hottest year in world history. I’m sure the conservatives will find some way to say 1998 was still the hottest and thus global climate change is a hoax. Meanwhile, oil prices are collapsing so I am sure we will deal with these problems very very soon.

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How Do You Talk to a 7-Year-Old Girl about Comic Books?

[ 138 ] January 16, 2015 |

A man grapples with that question in this terrific read.

What would you say?

What comics would you recommend for young girls?

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Islam at Duke

[ 62 ] January 16, 2015 |

While I appreciate Duke University’s initial agreement to broadcast the Muslim call to prayer once a week, its quickly succumbing to the racist blatherings of Franklin Graham and the anti-Islam fanatics that dominate the American right show both that the acceptance of Islam anywhere in American society is tenuous at best and that college and university administrations will always cave in the face of the first conservative protest over anything that goes on at their campus.

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Everything in the Oceans Is Dying

[ 13 ] January 16, 2015 |

Today’s installment of this continuing series:

A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.

But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.

Yes, it’s climate change and changing those behaviors, well, that ain’t going to happen. But it’s also the industrialization of the oceans:

Fragile ecosystems like mangroves are being replaced by fish farms, which are projected to provide most of the fish we consume within 20 years. Bottom trawlers scraping large nets across the sea floor have already affected 20 million square miles of ocean, turning parts of the continental shelf to rubble. Whales may no longer be widely hunted, the analysis noted, but they are now colliding more often as the number of container ships rises.

Mining operations, too, are poised to transform the ocean. Contracts for seabed mining now cover 460,000 square miles underwater, the researchers found, up from zero in 2000. Seabed mining has the potential to tear up unique ecosystems and introduce pollution into the deep sea.

The oceans are so vast that their ecosystems may seem impervious to change. But Dr. McClenachan warned that the fossil record shows that global disasters have wrecked the seas before. “Marine species are not immune to extinction on a large scale,” she said.

The oceans are the ultimate in out of sight industrial production because the only people who can get down to see them are those with special equipment. Even those who live on the shore can’t see more than a few inches below the surface. But the companies know what’s down there and they will extract it all, leaving the oceans a giant jellyfish desert.

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“The arc of justice may be long, but Chief Justice Roberts is bending it towards Rand Paul.”

[ 17 ] January 16, 2015 |

And, alas, it’s the real Rand Paul, not the civil libertarian ones some people have invented.  And, yes, if King v. Burwell is reversed, we’re in a second age of of Lochner.   (Ian did leave out my favorite example of the utter incoherence of reactionary jurisprudence of the early 20th century: Hammer v. Dagenhart. Sure, Congress might have limited itself to what the Court itself had repeatedly said was regulating interstate commerce, but Congress could still not do so because…I’m not going to lie to you Marge. Well, goodbye! And using transparently erroneous legal arguments to deny health insurance to 10 million people would fit it nicely next to the use of transparently erroneous legal arguments to help businesses exploit child labor.

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“It’s Treason, Then”

[ 23 ] January 16, 2015 |

An Air Force general goes all Palpatine over the A-10:

At the same time reported on a local source in Nineveh province who said that “the ‘Wild Boar’ aircraft which belongs to the U.S. Air Force has carried out four air strikes that killed and wounded dozens of ISIS elements, adding that the aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS, USAF officers were being told by [Major General James] Post “if anyone accuses me of saying this, I will deny it… anyone who is passing information to Congress about A-10 capabilities is committing treason.”

Who knew that an independent air force might pursue its own parochial vision of the national interest, without reference to either the needs of its sister organizations or the political process of American national security policy?

Also, I love the idea that the A-10 Warthog is known in some circles as the “Wild Boar” aircraft.

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Notes on the Ongoing Death of Freedom

[ 77 ] January 16, 2015 |

Here’s one of the horrible outcomes the Halbig troofers are trying to eliminate:

For the first time in a decade, the number of people struggling to pay their medical bills has started to decline, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund. The researchers attributed the historic drop to the number of people gaining insurance under the health care reform law.

Between 2012 and 2014 — as Obamacare’s main coverage expansion took effect — the Commonwealth researchers found that the number of people who had issues paying for health treatment dropped from 41 percent to 35 percent. Over the same time period, the people who skipped out on health services because they couldn’t afford them declined from 43 percent to 36 percent.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will act quickly to free people from the tyranny of more affordable medical insurance and restore the most precious liberties of all, the freedoms to declare bankruptcy and forgo medical care.

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Bowl Mania

[ 13 ] January 15, 2015 |

My therapist says that if I want to come to terms with Monday’s tragedy, I have to name the winner of the LGM Bowl Mania Challenge:

1 561 99.6
2 549 99.3
3 534 98.6
4* 518 97.2
4* 518 97.2
6 516 97.0
7 510 96.2
8 507 95.8
9 497 93.9
10 496 93.7

Thank you all for your participation, etc. cabotgk should contact me at the address on the right sidebar regarding prize info.

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[ 11 ] January 15, 2015 |

My thoughts on last week’s aircraft carrier debate:

Last Friday, Commander Bryan McGrath (USN, ret.) and Captain Jerry Hendrix (USN, ret.) debated the future cost-effectiveness of the nuclear supercarrier. The United States Naval Academy provided the venue, the midshipmen the audience.  The debate shed some light on how the USN thinks about its aircraft carriers, and potentially portended the future of the aircraft carrier debate across the Indo-Pacific.

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Annotating Christopher Caldwell

[ 112 ] January 15, 2015 |

For my Gawker debut, I show that there hasn’t been an argument made in such detail or with such care since Liberal Fascism

Perhaps Caldwell’s essay was an homage to the late Straussians Walter Berns and Harry Jaffa.  Presumably the esoteric meaning of the essay is that Obama’s legacy is unassailable…

UPDATE: Link fixed! Although let Target’s experience be a lesson that Canadians are a hard, unforgiving people.

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Thursday Linkage

[ 25 ] January 15, 2015 |

From around the inter-tubes:

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[ 79 ] January 15, 2015 |

Shorter Roger L. Simon: “Everything changed for me on 9/11.  I used to be a Democrat, but then I figured out that only Mitt Romney bully pulpiting the Overton Window stood between the United States and SHARI’AH LAW.  I am not a crackpot.”

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