According to PolicyMic,
Ladies of New York , you are free to walk bare-breasted through the city! New York City’s 34,000 police officers have been instructed that, should they encounter a woman in public who is shirtless but obeying the law, they should not arrest her. This is a good step towards gender parity in public spaces.
So, a woman’s bare breast should be treated no differently than a man’s breast under the law. Nonetheless, the fact that this NY law is so contentious (or at least newsworthy), means that a breast is not the same as an arm or a leg, especially a woman’s breast. I explore the existential connotations of breasts here.
Bill Nye dared to suggest that the moon is not a source of light, but only a reflector. That made some people angry.
There are many limits to human cognition. One of those is limits to levels of intentionality. Mark Kohn explains at Aeon, referring to the work of Robin Dunbar:
As Dunbar has pointed out, Shakespeare’s Othello requires audiences to believe ‘that Iago intends that Othello imagines that Desdemona is in love with Cassio’. That takes them to four levels of ‘intentionality’, or mental representation, but not to an especially compelling story. To bind the narrative spell, Shakespeare has Iago persuade Othello that Cassio reciprocates Desdemona’s feelings. This raises audiences to a fifth level, which is about the natural limit for most people. (In order to tell the tale, Shakespeare himself would have been operating at the sixth level, which is beyond most of us.)
What is the Fed good at? Not much, according to Jessie Eisenger of ProPublica:
Investors . . . have almost no confidence in the Federal Reserve or the economics profession. And for good reason. It’s impressive that the Fed and many economists have successfully predicted the path of interest rates and inflation in the wake of the worst financial crisis in a generation. But neither the central bank nor academicians managed to predict or prevent the crisis in the first place. The failure dwarfs the accomplishment.
The Fed’s track record is out-and-out abysmal.The Fed began its lender-of-last-resort role in 2007, but did little to avoid or minimize the financial crisis. Once it hit, it did the right thing to flood the markets with money, but — along with the Treasury and a passive Justice Department — let banks and top executives off the hook. And now, asset prices are going wild. Junk bonds are up. Stocks are up. Housing in Phoenix and Brooklyn is going mad.
This prebubble euphoria only undermines the Federal Reserve’s fragile credibility. It reinforces the notion that it seems to know only two things: how to inflate bubbles and how to studiously not recognize them.
On May 8, 2013, the Wall Street Journal trotted out former astronaut Harrison Schmitt and physics professor William Happer to proclaim that 400 ppm of CO2 is no big deal. In fact, they exclaim that this extra CO2 is good for us because it is good for plants.
Media Matters harpooned the WSJ article, citing scientific research indicating:
- That the increased CO2 puts 20-30% of plant and animal species at increased risk.
- That climate change is leading to more floods and droughts, hurting agriculture and severe crop reduction.
- That climate change is “driving a multitude of related and interacting changes in the Earth system, including decreases in the amounts of ice stored in mountain glaciers and polar regions, increases in sea level, changes in ocean chemistry, and changes in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, precipitation events, and droughts.”
- That the WSJ article is wrong to claim that current CO2 levels are historically low, because they’ve only been higher during periods of mass extinction. For the past 800,000 years prior to the industrial revolution, the rate of CO2 never exceeded 300 ppm. Further, the problem is not simply the rate, but the rate of increase of the rate.
- That most species alive today have “never existed in a world with CO2 levels substantially higher than today’s”.
- That the WSJ article is factually incorrect to claim that carbon dioxide levels have “little correlation” with temperatures.
Media Matters also points out that neither of the two authors of the WSJ article has ever written a peer-reviewed article on climate change. Happer is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the George C. Marshall Institute, which accepts funding from the Exxon Education Foundation and the Koch brothers. Schmitt was a director at the industry-funded Heartland Institute. Schmitt has been a member of the Heartland Institute’s board of directors, which received more than $600,000 from ExxonMobil between 1998 and 2006 and still receives funding from the Charles Koch Foundation.
Media Matters also points out that the WSJ has made a habit of publishing misleading and outright false information regarding climate change (see citations). In fact the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that 81% of the information regarding climate change published by the WSJ during 2011-2012 is misleading.
Ten people per day lose their fingers in table saw accidents. It this invention goes into production, that number will decrease. Check out this vivid demonstration.
At the tail of this 10 minute video, Glenn Greenwald discusses violence and religion with Bill Maher. This is well worth watching. I admire both Bill Maher and Glenn Greenwald, but Greenwald has the more accurate view in this lively exchange.
I’m convinced that if Ronald Reagan ran for president today, he would not have any chance of being the Republican Party nominee. Further proof of how far the Republican party has drifted comes from David Stockman, who served as Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director. During a recent interview, Stockman was asked about today’s Republican party:
I think the Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn’t stand for anything except reelecting itself. It’s a coalition of gangs….
The Neo Cons which I have no use for are only oriented to an aggressive imperialistic foreign policy, a big defense establishment, and suppression of our civil liberties. That’s a bad. I am against that.
The Tax Cons want to just cut taxes anytime any day regardless of the fiscal situation. That has gone to absurd lengths. I oppose that.
The Social Cons, social policy people, the right to life issue, gay marriage and all that, that’s irrelevant to governing a democracy in a free society.
That is basically the heart of the Republican Party. In that mix how can you find anything that is going to stand for conservative economics, fiscal rectitude, free markets, sound money; it’s not there. The Republican Party is basically irrelevant to the economic crisis that faces the country.