Travel Update #1
Delta can go piss up a rope. As per usual, they made a solid attempt to bollocks everyone’s evening. A late departure gave one dude near us negative minutes to get to his gate. Luckily we had about 45 minutes to get to ours, albeit, the international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson.
The situation immediately improved when we boarded the KLM flight to Amsterdam. Honestly one of the best (significant) flights I can remember. That being in row 42 of 45. Not like stateside travel where a good flight is one that doesn’t make you miss a flight, is delayed, or doesn’t make you completely miserable for any number of reasons, no, this flight was actually enjoyable. And the attendants… Yes.
Waiting with my USD $4 cup of instant machine coffee for our hopper to Edinburgh. Beer and food and sleep await. Only here a few moments; sadly not enough time for a legal spliff.
Till the next free WWW hotspot…
Priorities one whilst visiting Edinburgh.
- Find Iron Maiden ‘Trooper’ Beer
- Drink said beer
- Plan export of said beer to USA
All other priorities rescinded. In the event Robinson’s is not shipping within my walking radius, non Iron Maiden affiliated beer will suffice, perhaps.
Depending on [free] World Wide Web availability, there may be limited blogging/twittering for the next week or so.
Fugazi @ Sapphire Ballroom in Hobart, TAS. 11/13/1996.
Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature • IOP Science
Researching climate research. Interesting findings. Full text .pdf here.
We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.
Flag • 2/7 • Depression, I’ve Had It, No Values, My War @ GROEZROCK 2013
[It] is remarkable how media reactions to civil liberties assaults are shaped almost entirely by who the victims are. For years, the Obama administration has been engaged in pervasive spying on American Muslim communities and dissident groups. It demanded a reform-free renewal of the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, both of which codify immense powers of warrantless eavesdropping, including ones that can be used against journalists. It has prosecuted double the number of whistleblowers under espionage statutes as all previous administrations combined, threatened to criminalize WikiLeaks, and abused Bradley Manning to the point that a formal UN investigation denounced his treatment as “cruel and inhuman”.
But, with a few noble exceptions, most major media outlets said little about any of this, except in those cases when they supported it. It took a direct and blatant attack on them for them to really get worked up, denounce these assaults, and acknowledge this administration’s true character. That is redolent of how the general public reacted with rage over privacy invasions only when new TSA airport searches targeted not just Muslims but themselves: what they perceive as “regular Americans”. Or how former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman - once the most vocal defender of Bush’s vast warrantless eavesdropping programs - suddenly began sounding like a shrill and outraged privacy advocate once it was revealed that her own conversations with Aipac representatives were recorded by the government.
Leave to the side how morally grotesque it is to oppose rights assaults only when they affect you. The pragmatic point is that it is vital to oppose such assaults in the first instance no matter who is targeted because such assaults, when unopposed, become institutionalized. Once that happens, they are impossible to stop when - as inevitably occurs - they expand beyond the group originally targeted. We should have been seeing this type of media outrage over the last four years as the Obama administration targeted non-media groups with these kinds of abuses (to say nothing of the conduct of the Bush administration before that). It shouldn’t take an attack on media outlets for them to start caring this much.
[…] During the Bush years, it was conservatives who supported the Bush DOJ and Alberto Gonzales’ threats against the press on national security grounds; now, defenders of such threats to press freedoms are found almost exclusively from progressive circles (similarly, many of the most vicious and vocal attacks on WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning have come from progressives).
This is such an under-appreciated but crucial aspect of the Obama legacy. Recall back in 2008 that the CIA prepared a secret report (subsequently leaked to WikiLeaks) that presciently noted that the election of Barack Obama would be the most effective way to stem the tide of antiwar sentiment in western Europe, because it would put a pleasant, happy, progressive face on those wars and thus convert large numbers of Obama supporters from war opponents into war supporters. That, of course, is exactly what happened: not just in the realm of militarism but civil liberties and a whole variety of other issues. That has had the effect of transforming what were, just a few years ago, symbols of highly contentious right-wing radicalism into harmonious bipartisan consensus. That the most vocal defenders of this unprecedented government acquisition of journalists’ phone records comes from government-loyal progressives - reciting the standard slogans of National Security and Keeping Us Safe and The Terrorists - is a potent symbol indeed of this transformation. [++]
Glenn Greenwald doing work.
Legitimate questions I’d say.
USASpending.gov is supposed to be a hub for citizens to find information about government spending, but it comes up short when trying to answer some key questions.