Although the global climate has continued to build up heat at an incredibly rapid rate, there has been a keen focus among climate contrarians and in the media on the slowdown of the warming at the Earth’s surface. The slowdown is in fact a double cherry pick - it focuses only on the 2% of global warming that heats the atmosphere (over 90% heats the oceans), and it only considers the past 10-15 years. Nevertheless, because there was so much attention paid to the surface warming slowdown, the latest IPCC report addressed it specifically, saying,
The long-term climate model simulations show a trend in global-mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2012 that agrees with the observed trend (very high confidence). There are, however, differences between simulated and observed trends over periods as short as 10 to 15 years (e.g., 1998 to 2012).
From 1998 through 2012, the Met Office estimated that global surface temperatures had warmed by about 0.06°C, whereas the average climate model projection put the value at closer to 0.3°C. This apparent discrepancy only represented a tiny fraction of overall global warming, and over a short enough period of time that the internal noise of the climate system could be having a significant influence, but it was nevertheless a challenge for climate scientists to explain the precise causes of the difference.
Brookings Fellow Richard Reeves explores inequality and opportunity in America with Legos, using them to explain the chances for economic success of Americans born at the bottom of the economic ladder. Reeves shows the chances that the poorest fifth of Americans have to rise to the top, based on their race, the marital status of their mothers, and their level of education.
Tweet Richard Reeves at @RichardvReeves
I woke to this problem, as did many others. In my case it wasn’t as frustrating as it used to be because Google Fiber is now coming to my neighborhood. Where I live there will soon be a choice between 3 broadband providers, and one ‘almost’ broadband provider so things will be getting interesting in less than a couple of years.
Time Warner Cable is recovering from a major Internet blackout after network problems led to a sudden disruption of service for all of its broadband subscribers nationwide, the company said Wednesday.
The outage occurred at 4:30 a.m. Eastern time, according to company spokesman Bobby Amirshahi, and knocked out access to the Web for TWC’s 11.4 million residential customers who buy Internet service. That’s nearly 80 percent of Time Warner Cable’s entire residential customer base of 14.4 million.
By 6 a.m. Eastern, the company said, the problems had been mostly fixed.
“During our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services,” TWC said in a statement.
In my ideal world, mass murderers would never be set free.
John Jairo Velasquez has been tied to the murders of at least 3,000 people. He has admitted to killing at least 250 as the head of drug lord Pablo Escobar’s terror squad. Among the people he had a hand in killing: His girlfriend, a presidential candidate and all of the passengers and crew on a commercial jetliner.
Now, the notorious Medellin cartel killer is essentially free — out on parole and under police protection.
“Popeye,” as Velasquez is widely known, walked out of a high-security prison in Colombia on Tuesday after serving 22 years of his 30-year sentence for his role in the 1989 assassination of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.
It was the only killing for which Velasquez was ever convicted.
Not making light of the assault, something happened there. But no charges were pressed. I just don’t trust truthrevolt.org and Ben “Friends of Hamas” Shapiro to tell me what went down and how, and 99% of the news stories I’ve read even in the Jewish press cite them. One of my friends jokingly asked me if the victim was actually David Horowitz in skinny jeans and a wig.
Here’s Temple News’ current take on the story that has become a current cause celebre for right wing bloggers. Tomorrow, an anti-SJP protest has been organized and the President of Temple will make a statement.
After Welcome Week assault, mixed stories
The university addresses an alleged assault at activities fair.
by Cindy Stansbury 26 August 2014
Rose Daraz, 21, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, said she wishes the whole affair never happened.
“We have Jewish members as well so it wouldn’t make sense,” she said. “We are anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.”
Last Wednesday afternoon, during the university’s student activities fair, “Temple Fest,” senior management information systems major Daniel Vessal was attacked and allegedly called an anti-Semitic slur.
Vessal, a Jewish student and member of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, told Truth Revolt that he approached the SJP table at Temple Fest to discuss about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The website, led by editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro, was the first website to address the confrontation later that day.
After some back and forth, Vessal said, a student from the SJP table punched him in the face.
“When the police came over and were filing the report, the kids at the table were screaming ‘You Zionist pig, you racist, that’s what you get,” Vessal told the site.
Temple News reporters who witnessed the incident said the shouting started as soon as Vessal hit the ground.
In a statement posted on its website, Jewish campus organization Temple Hillel stood with Vessal in agreement that “blatant anti-Semitic verbal abuse” did occur.
“We urge the University administration to reassure the Temple community that students may express themselves in peaceful and non-violent ways without fear of physical assault and that expressions of ethnic hatred will not be tolerated on Temple’s campus,” the statement read.
The statement also mentioned concern for the safety of Jewish and pro-Israel students on campus.
Daraz paints a very different picture of the attack.
An SJP statement countered that Vessal was slapped, not punched, after calling its members “terrorists” and that the assailant, who Daraz described as Palestinian-American, was not a member of the organization.
“We definitely did not say ‘baby killer,’” Daraz said. “We never condone physical action or racism.”
Daraz said she believes that the whole affair has been blown out of proportion and was shocked when a story appeared on Truth Revolt.
“We thought the issue had stayed between my friend and [Vessal] and then I see this article by this right-wing news place,” Daraz said. “And they said we said all these slurs and lies and we were just shocked.”
In response to the attack, a Facebook page has been started titled, “Demand the Removal of SJP from Temple University.” The group initially scheduled a rally to take place at 2:30 p.m. Monday on Polett Walk to demand “equal rights and privileges for all students, not just the Palestinian ones.” The group postponed the rally to Thursday after President Theobald agreed to speak about the attack.
Daraz told The Temple News that members of her organization will not counterprotest.
“We told all of our members and allies not to go,” Daraz said.
Theobald spoke about the attacks Monday at Temple Student Government’s meeting.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charles Leone said the investigation is moving forward but has encountered a few roadblocks.
“Unfortunately, some of the witnesses didn’t want to talk with us,” he said.
Leone said the student dropped off a statement with CSS on Monday. Leone said the offender and his attorney were preparing a statement for him, expected Monday.
“We are trying to figure out if - the kid who punched him - if he said [the anti-Semitic slur],” Leone explained.
Following the assault, Vice President of Student Affairs Theresa Powell emailed a letter to the Temple community condemning any “disparagement or assault of any person based on religion or nationality.”
Powell told The Temple News on Monday in an email that “there is no change in the status of SJP,” and the university will look to create “safe places for dialogue.”
“I wish it never happened,” Leone said. “It’s just really horrible. You can have debates, just not to the level where someone gets hurt.”
More at Temple News
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in several gay-marriage cases on 28 August 2014, including Wolf v. Walker and Baskin v. Bogan. The three judges—Richard Posner, David Hamilton, and Ann Claire Williams—were utterly without mercy as they tore apart argument after argument. The anti-gay-marriage defense lawyers were reduced to rhetorical flailing about, at which point the judges took turns beating them over the head with their own stupid words. The full audio can be found here.
Some choice quotes by Judge Posner:
Funny; you don’t like homosexual sex and you don’t like incest, but you’re willing to tolerate incest… all these incestuous cousins running around Wisconsin, I don’t get it… You don’t worry about that, you don’t worry about incest, but you’re terribly worried about homosexual marriage.
“We’ve been doing this stupid thing for 100 years, 1,000 years; we’ll keep doing it because it’s tradition”—You wouldn’t make that argument… Don’t you have to have some empirical or some practical or common-sense basis for barring these marriages? I don’t get anything out of you brief that sounded like a reason for doing this… What if men stopped shaking hands, it’d be the end of the nation, right?
Let me ask you about this positive-rights argument if I could… you’re asking us to contemplate a world in which a state might simply decide to repeal all of its marriage laws, and the federal constitution would not forbid that… it reminds me of the responses of several states to Brown v. Board of Education, who decided to abolish in particular areas public schools, on the theory that they didn’t have to [have them]. That ran into its own set of problems…
And see, I think Loving threw out this positive-negative distinction in the Fourteenth Amendment that you try to rest on… I just don’t see how you get around Loving, because I think that killed that argument you’re making.
You can listen to the full audio here. It’s totally worth it, nearly a full hour of epic beatdowns.
Last week, in an interview with Politico, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlined his plan to shut down President Obama’s legislative agenda by placing riders on appropriations bills. Should Republicans take control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, McConnell intends to pass spending bills that “have a lot of restrictions on the activities of the bureaucracy.”
What McConnell didn’t tell Politico was that two months ago, he made the same promise to a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers. The Nation and The Undercurrent obtained an audio recording of McConnell’s remarks to the gathering, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society.” In the question-and-answer period following his June 15 session entitled “Free Speech: Defending First Amendment Rights,” McConnell says:
So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board (inaudible). All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it…And we’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That’s all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage [sic]—cost the country 500,000 new jobs; extending unemployment—that’s a great message for retirees; uh, the student loan package the other day, that’s just going to make things worse, uh. These people believe in all the wrong things.
Someone should write a book about this asshole and his masters. How about None Dare Call it Treason for a working title?
CenturyLink has accused Comcast of trying to prevent competition in cities and towns by making it difficult for the company to obtain reasonable franchise agreements from local authorities.
CenturyLink made the claim yesterday in a filing that asks the Federal Communications Commission to block Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) or impose conditions that prevent Comcast from using its market power to harm competitors.
Comcast has a different view on the matter, saying that CenturyLink shouldn’t be able to enter Comcast cities unless CenturyLink promises to build out its network to all residents. Without such conditions, poor people might not be offered service, Comcast argues.
Through laws and regulations like a provision in defense budgets that authorizes the Pentagon to transfer surplus military gear to police forces, local law enforcement agencies are using weapons found on the battlefields of South Asia and the Middle East.
A recent New York Times article by Matt Apuzzo reported that in the Obama era, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.” The result is that police agencies around the nation possess military-grade equipment, turning officers who are supposed to fight crime and protect communities into what looks like an invading army. And military-style police raids have increased in recent years, with one count putting the number at 80,000 such raids last year.
In June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought more attention to police militarization when it issued a comprehensive, nearly 100-page report titled, War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing. Based on public records requests to more than 260 law enforcement agencies in 26 states, the ACLU concluded that this police militarization “unfairly impacts people of color and undermines individual liberties, and it has been allowed to happen in the absence of any meaningful public discussion.”
The PDF linked above from the ACLU has a section on RACE, SWAT & DRUGS —P. 35
Black Girl Makes History. FOX & Friend Asks Her Why She Doesn’t Do Something More ‘Female Friendly.’
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Many sites, including Media Matters and Mic, saw this clip as an example of sexism, pure and simple. Viewing it as only about gender misses a bigger problem: We have a human (on the left side of the screen) who is doing something extraordinary and another human (over in the middle) who doesn’t take that person seriously, for any number of reasons. Maybe it’s gender, right? He does imply that baseball isn’t for girls, after all.
But she’s also black, and he’s white. Her experience as a girl can’t be understood apart from her experience as a black girl. The fancy word for this is intersectionality — the way biases are so thoroughly intertwined you can’t separate them out. Here is a helpful cartoon that explains it well.