Monday Reads: If They Could Turn Back Time

soft-watchGood Morning!

Well, another Monday is here.  It’s my turn once again to offer up the reads for the day before starting my usual Monday “student time”.    Time sure stands still when you’re trying to come to terms with challenging stuff.

There’s an interview in Saturday’s NYT with the wonderful Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  I have no idea how this woman stays on at SCOTUS with all those nutty men, but she does and she says she is staying put. She doesn’t think its her time to retire.

In wide-ranging remarks in her chambers on Friday that touched on affirmative action, abortion and same-sex marriage, Justice Ginsburg said she had made a mistake in joining a 2009 opinion that laid the groundwork for the court’s decision in June effectively striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The recent decision, she said, was “stunning in terms of activism.”

Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Justice Ginsburg has given several this summer, perhaps in reaction to calls from some liberals that she step down in time for President Obama to name her successor.

On Friday, she said repeatedly that the identity of the president who would appoint her replacement did not figure in her retirement planning.

“There will be a president after this one, and I’m hopeful that that president will be a fine president,” she said.

Were Mr. Obama to name Justice Ginsburg’s successor, it would presumably be a one-for-one liberal swap that would not alter the court’s ideological balance. But if a Republican president is elected in 2016 and gets to name her successor, the court would be fundamentally reshaped.

Here’s some research on wormholes that is very weird and intriguing. It is all about spacetime.

Wormholes! I feel like we haven’t talked about them since the ’90s. Basically, wormholes are theoretical objects that connect two different points in space. They’re allowed as possible solutions to Einstein’s equations for general relativity—indeed, Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen first discovered wormholes, which is why they’re also called Einstein-Rosen bridges. Unfortunately, wormholes aren’t perfect—Einstein’s equations also imply that nothing with nonnegative energy (that is to say: nothing that we know of) can traverse a wormhole, so they’re not going to make for useful intergalactic portals anytime soon.

Maldacena and Susskind, following Van Raamsdonk, posit that any time two quantum particles are entangled, they’re connected by a wormhole. They then go on to say that the wormhole connection between particles inside a black hole (the infalling virtual particles) and the particles outside of a black hole (the Hawking radiation) soothes out the entanglement problems enough so that we can avoid the firewall at the event horizon.

Note that this requires a profound rethinking of the fundamental stuff of the universe. Entanglement, a deeply quantum phenomenon, is fundamentally wound into to the geometry of the universe. Or, to flip it around, quantum weirdness may be stuff that creates the substrate of spacetime.melting clock

The Sunday news programs continue to have discussions on what will happen to voting rights now that the Supreme Court decision has muddied the waters.  Cokie Roberts calls the changes “downright evil”. Can the Republicans turn back the clock on Civil Rights?

In a roundtable discussion on ‘This Week’, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts reflected on the progress in our country 50 years after the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I have a Dream’ speech.

“Growing up in the Deep South in the era of Jim Crow, the difference is dramatic… It’s a great testament to the fact that when you do something like pass a voting rights bill. That makes a difference.”

Still, Robert’s expressed concern over recent legislation on the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In June the Supreme Court invalidated key parts of this law, which spurred contentious debates on race and equal opportunity. Critics of the ruling call it a regression. Proponents argue that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is outdated.

Robert’s said, “What’s going on about voting rights is downright evil because it is something that really needs to keep going forward not backward.”

 Former SOS Colin Powell was also on air Sunday.  He continues to be one of the few reasonable Republicans left that finds his way to the airwaves even though his status has been greatly diminished by claims of WMDS in Iraq. Bet he wishes he coul go back in time and change that!!  Where’s the spacetime continuum when a General needs one?

“These kinds of procedures that are being put in place to slow the process down and make it likely that fewer Hispanics and African Americans might vote I think are going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to to vote, and I encourage that,” Powell said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Following the Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act, Republicans in states like Texas and North Carolina are advancing legislation that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls.

“They claim that there’s widespread abuse and voter fraud, but nothing substantiates that,” Powell said. “There isn’t widespread abuse.”

A Republican who has been increasingly critical of his party in recent years, Powell endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

He said the GOP’s moves on voting access would in particular damage the party’s effort to appeal to the growing minority populations it will need to win national elections in the future. “This is not the way to do it,” Powell said.

He said he disagreed with the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act.

“I would have preferred that they did not reach such a conclusion, but they did, and I can see why they reached such a conclusion,” Powell said.

Meanwhile, Bobby JIndal continues to write some of the weirdest, disjointed op-eds around.  This one is ironic given the current challenge to his prized Louisiana School voucher program that appears to be enabling re-segregation of schools. Remember, this is an op ed on racism as you read this weird, theocratic screed.  He seems to yearn for a more simpler time.  Simple, say, as his mind.

 When I look at America, I see a country that increasingly has lost its way in terms of morality. As a Christian, as I look at American culture over the past half century, I don’t like a lot of what I see. Divorce is through the roof, pornography is everywhere, sexual predators are on the loose and on the Internet, our abortion rate is higher than almost every First World country, vulgarity and profanity are mainstream and commonplace. In general, our culture has become coarser, and I regret that.

Which reminds me,  Jindal thinks all this fuss about the Keystone Pipeline is “alarmist” and “anti-scientific”.  Here’s a local op-ed that gives him the what-for.

It is time to stop being mad at Gov. Bobby Jindal. He’s just too funny.

He was out of state again last week, but we are long past feeling neglected while he pursues his White House dream. He can forget that for sure; a politician is heading for the exit when his most earnest speeches are greeted with laughter.

If Jindal did not bring the house down when he denounced Democrats as “extremist and unscientific,” it can only have been because he was far from home and his audience was unaware of his own efforts to spread ignorance and superstition. When his remarks were reported in this country, we were in stitches.

Jindal was in Canada, promising to “fight like heck” for the Keystone XL pipeline, which will carry oil all the way to Texas if President Barack Obama, who has been considering it for five years, gives his approval. This was not exactly Daniel in the lions’ den; Jindal was speaking at the Oilmen’s Business Forum Luncheon in Alberta.

If the oilmen had reason to welcome Jindal’s views on the pipeline, however, it is a safe bet that they have been exposed to enough geology to conclude the earth has been around for quite a long time. They wouldn’t have much use for Louisiana high school graduates who had been told tales of Adam and Eve in science class.

Sitting there while Jindal claimed to be on the side of science in the pipeline row, the oilmen would have been incredulous if you told them he promoted new-earth indoctrination. Why, they would have said, next you’ll be telling us he believes in demonic possession. Well …

Jindal has also termed global warming “conjecture” and “alarmism,” a comforting view that is much less common among scientists.

Jindal’s speech was otherwise the same, hackneyed fare; the “blind” ideologues of the “radical left” are blocking the pipeline because they want energy to “remain expensive.” They want the government to “tell Americans to live in smaller houses, drive smaller cars, set their thermostats higher in the summer and lower in the winter.” They want “negative growth,” while Republicans stand for prosperity and jobs..

This simple dichotomy leaves only one question answered. Why would anyone, anywhere, ever vote Democrat?

The analysis, in truth, is so shabby that Jindal is clearly not cut out for the intellectual rigor required of, say, a scientist. Jindal’s blithe assumption that the pipeline would reduce energy prices in America is highly debatable, while he is flat wrong to deny that companies plan to re-export pipeline oil for a quick profit.

Really, nothing is safe from Republicans these days.  Hide your wives and daughters!  HIde your groceries too!

Which 14 cities are running out of time due to Global Warming?  The number one endangered city is Miami, Florida. Boston is number 3.  You don’t get to New Orleans until number 7.  Read on.

There is really no way around it: Thanks to climate changesea levels are rising. A huge question on the minds of many is, what does this mean for America? Will sea walls and city planning protect major metropolises, or are we bound to lose some national gems? Unfortunately, the latter is a significant possibility. Read on for 14 U.S. cities that could be devastated over the next century due to rising tides.

So, what’s on your reading and blogging list this morning?  Because, now it’s your time.


20 Comments on “Monday Reads: If They Could Turn Back Time”

  1. My battery is going to die on my laptop, but this is disgusting!!!!!

    I, Pedophile – David Goldberg – The Atlantic

    I will come back later on today…

    • Beata says:

      JJ, you’re supposed to be taking a break!!!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Here’s his answer right here:

      I was the victim of an unhappy childhood and a psychologically disturbed father. I had all the symptoms of arrested development, which left me at the emotional level of a 10-year-old. But there was nothing remarkable or unspeakable about my childhood.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I would spend my days longing to get back onto my computer, the way a gourmand anticipates a scrumptious feast. Yet when the computer was turned off, I despised myself for being so aroused while looking at pictures of young children whose lives had been destroyed thanks to their unwilling participation.

        I don’t know what can be done to help these pedophiles, but I’m a lot more worried about the children who are being forced to participate in child porn. He says he never acted on his sexual feelings, but actually he did by spending money on the porn. Kids were hurt because of his addiction.

        I understand that these pedophiles are human beings, but there is probably help out there if they want to ask for it. There are therapists who specialize in sex addiction–even inpatient treatment centers. But very few of these people are going to come forward until they are caught. And it’s not clear that therapy will help.

        This guy seems to want to believe that pedophilia is inborn like homosexuality, but that makes no sense in terms of evolution. I can see evolutionary explanations for homosexuality. In any case, if the tendency is inborn, then it obviously can’t be cured any more than same-sex attraction can.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Here’s a good response to the piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Accidental Rapist

          Admitting to patronizing child rape in one sentence, and claiming that you’ve never “hurt a child” in another is not complexity, it’s obfuscation.

          Obfuscation is a popular tool among rapists and those who patronize rape. In the case of adult women the rapist claims that by their manner or dress their victims have forfeited consent. In the case of children, the rapist pretends that they do not exist. I understand that Goldberg’s piece is about pedophiles, but there is distinct strain of minimization running through—like the images on his screen were more figments than actual children. I don’t how one has “cross generational lifestyle” with a child. The word is rape. It does not appear in this essay.

          There’s a kind of callousness at work here which is masking itself as intellectual provocation. It’s very reminiscent of people who claim to want to start a “conversation” around racism, but really just wish you’d stop making them feel guilty. We’re all very sorry that Goldberg is overcome by feelings of self-loathing. This does not change the fact that he supported an industry which takes as its premise the permanent injury of children and rape for profit.

        • RalphB says:

          I agree with you. The rights of pedophiles don’t exist for me.

          • bostonboomer says:

            His fans are still buying everything he puts out there–even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

  2. dakinikat says:

    At least 52 abortion providers across 26 states have closed since 2010, according to @HuffingtonPost http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/abortion-clinic-closures_n_3804529.html?1377516620 ….

  3. RalphB says:

    horrible WaPo!

    Jon Chait: Tea Party Now Covering News for Washington Post

    The Washington Post’s lead Sunday news story is one of the weirdest, and most weirdly biased, news articles I’ve ever read in my life. The point of the story — headlined “After six budget showdowns, big government is mostly unchanged” — is that the federal government is too big, and we may think it’s getting smaller, but it’s not, really.

  4. RalphB says:

    The NSA conducts it’s core mission of foreign intelligence and some idiots are surprised, including Poitras.

    Dumb Spiegel: Codename ‘Apalachee’: How America Spies on Europe and the UN

    President Obama promised that NSA surveillance activities were aimed exclusively at preventing terrorist attacks. But secret documents from the intelligence agency show that the Americans spy on Europe, the UN and other countries.

    No one has ever said the NSA’s sole purpose was anti-terror. It’s been around over 50 years, for gawd’s sake.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Julian Assange Sang And Danced In A Parody Rap Video For Some Awful Reason

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/ellievhall/julian-assange-sang-and-danced-in-a-parody-rap-video-for-som

  6. RalphB says:

    Joshua Foust: The Proliferation of Edward Snowden

    It is increasingly clear that Snowden himself does not control access to the documents he pilfered from the NSA. I had floated the idea last week, when a new tranche of documents appeared in the Independent — a possibility both Greenwald and Snowden denied vehemently. …