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« Liberal Outrage: June 2014 | Main | Liberal Outrage: August 2014 »

Liberal Outrage

More Nerd Rage

Here, here (this one has some particularly good analysis), and here (this one might be a little hard to follow; this is what she originally posted to generate such outrage). (First via Atrios, second two via MightyGodKing).

It's not just nerd rage that's the problem, though. Min and i have plenty of nerd rage! The problem is that it's always expressed in sexist, racist, and violent attitudes. Delve into the comments on any of those posts and you'll see even the sympathetic commenters devolving into conversations about whether or not the original Village Voice review was any good, or if the ending to Mass Effect 3 was good, or if the historical research by the lady in the third link is accurate. And that's not the point! The point is you don't respond to someone you disagree with by calling them a whore and threatening to kill them.


By fnord12 | July 31, 2014, 12:49 PM | Comics & Liberal Outrage & Movies & Video Games | Comments (0)| Link



What's wrong with Mario Kart?

And what the hell is this guy talking about?


By fnord12 | July 30, 2014, 7:53 PM | Boooooks & Comics & D&D & Godzilla & Liberal Outrage & Movies & Science & Star Wars & TeeVee & Video Games | Comments (1)| Link



Grey water

Min's post below, especially the part about the 50 liter flush, reminds me that at this point in my life i had really hoped to be living in an Earthship somewhere out in the wild. For a variety of reasons (including, but not limited to, inertia and risk aversion), that never happened. But one of the interesting things about an Earthship is the grey water system design, wherein the water from your sinks and shower don't go straight out to the sewer (and/or septic tank), but instead feed your toilet. Because your toilet water really doesn't need to be pristine. So let's take the moderately dirty ("grey") water from washing your hands and showering and use it to make that 50 liter flush a little less wasteful. It's something that i could see being useful even in a "regular" house. The only challenge is figuring out where to store the excess grey water. In an Earthship it's filtered through an in-house plant feeder first. But in a regular house it could go into a tank next to your hot water heater, i suppose.

I imagine this would never actually happen since local planning boards would probably think that reusing the sink water is squiky. But it's something to think about as the water situation situation continues to get worse. Although if Peter Brabeck continues to go the full Eco Protectorate (unlike Min, Solarbabies instead of Tank Girl is my dystopian water scarcity sci fi film of choice), we may first want to consider the Earthship's rain water collection system.


By fnord12 | July 29, 2014, 1:02 PM | Liberal Outrage & My stupid life & Science | Comments (0)| Link



Malcolm McDowell Will Be Playing the Role of Peter Brabeck

Because Tank Girl.

This summer, however, myriad business forces are combining to remind us that fresh water isn't necessarily or automatically a free resource. It could all too easily end up becoming just another economic commodity.

At the forefront of this firestorm is Peter Brabeck, chairman and former CEO of Nestle.

In his view, citizens don't have an automatic right to more than the water they require for mere "survival", unless they can afford to pay for it. For context, the World Health Organization sets such "survival" consumption levels at a minimum of 20 liters a day for basic hygiene and food hygiene - higher, if you add laundry and bathing. If you're reading this in the United States, the odds are that flushing your toilet consumes 50 liters of water a day.

...

Nestle's Nestle Waters North Americas Inc division - the largest bottled water company in the country - has continued to pump water from an aquifer near Palm Springs, California, thanks to its partnership with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. Their joint venture, bottling water from a spring on land owned by the band in Millard Canyon, has another advantage: since the Morongo are considered a sovereign nation, no one needs to report exactly how much water is being drawn from the aquifer.

In the Canadian province of British Columbia, Nestle has been using another loophole.

Until this year, British Columbia didn't have rules that required the company to report how much it drew from the province's aquifers - or pay a penny to the government's coffers in exchange for the resource.

As of last year, therefore, Nestle was able to bottle 265m liters of fresh water and pay nothing for the resource that Brabeck believes should have an economic price attached to it - at least, when it is consumers that are paying that price.

Thanks for being an asshole, Nestle. The warm and fuzzy image you project of children baking Toll House cookies at home makes your assholery that much more offensive.

I've posted about water and land being snatched up by corporations in the past, so this is more of an update that it's still a thing that's happening. Also, i was enraged and needed an outlet. There is much gnashing of teeth occurring right now. I'm pretty sure Toll House cookies will trump outrage with most of the population.


By min | July 28, 2014, 2:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



People in the South are just angry about a lot of stuff

I was just reading up on New Coke and found this on Wikipedia:

Most Coke drinkers resumed buying the new drink at much the same level as they had the old one. Surveys indicated, in fact, that a majority liked the new flavoring.[23] Three-quarters of the respondents said they would buy New Coke again.[22] The big test, however, remained in the Southeast, where Coke was first bottled and tasted...

Despite New Coke's acceptance with a large number of Coca-Cola drinkers, a vocal minority of them resented the change in formula and were not shy about making that known -- just as had happened in the focus groups. Many of these drinkers were Southerners, some of whom considered the drink a fundamental part of regional identity. They viewed the company's decision to change the formula through the prism of the Civil War, as another surrender to the "Yankees".[24]

Company headquarters in Atlanta started receiving letters expressing anger or deep disappointment... The company hotline, 1-800-GET-COKE, received 1,500 calls a day compared to 400 before the change.[14] Coke hired a psychiatrist to listen in on calls and told executives some people sounded as if they were discussing the death of a family member.


By fnord12 | July 27, 2014, 12:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



The New York Times wants environmentalists to get off their TTIP

Dean Baker is on a tear about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership:

The article tells us that the TTIP appears to be facing troubles because of the opposition of environmental and consumer groups and the recent spying scandal in Germany. This opposition is presented as sort of tragic given the need for a deal...

You've got to love this one. Europe just got new data showing that industrial production was weak last month, therefore it needs to push ahead with a trade agreement, that in the most optimistic scenario will not be signed before the end of the year. It will then be phased in over the next decade. Yeah, that's a good way of addressing weak economic data from May.

But the piece goes on to tell us that the negotiators are interested in much more than eliminating trade barriers. According to the article, they want to take away Europeans' right to set their own health, safety, and pollution standards. The article tells readers that the working proposal is that if a product meets standards in either the U.S. or Europe then it can be sold in both places.

This means, for example, that Europeans would have to give up plans to impose energy efficiency requirements on cars or other products, if the U.S. Congress didn't agree to the same standards. Given that a large segment of the Congress claims not to believe in global warming, it is understandable that Europeans would not be inclined to accept this position. The same would apply to regulations of food, drugs, and other consumer products.

This is all a ploy by Pepsi to put brominated vegetable oil back in their Mountain Dew.


By fnord12 | July 15, 2014, 10:12 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



You Mad, Bro?

Link

Diplomatic relations between Germany and the US plunged to a new low after Angela Merkel's government asked the top representative of America's secret services in Germany to leave the country.

While not formally amounting to a full expulsion, the move nonetheless sends a dramatic signal: after a year-long dispute triggered by the revelations of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Merkel seems to have finally run out of patience with Washington's failure to explain itself.

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, the US embassy staffer who has been asked to leave is a CIA "chief of station" who coordinates secret service activity in Germany, and who emerged as the key contact for two German officials recently arrested for allegedly spying for the US.

According to German media reports, such drastic action had previously only been thinkable when dealing with "pariah states like North Korea or Iran".

The officials arrested for spying for the U.S. - they were gathering information on Germany's investigation into the NSA spying and wiretapping.

Now, how much of this is the U.S. infiltrating the intelligence agency (BND) and how much is it really the BND cooperating with a fellow spy agency?


By min | July 11, 2014, 8:29 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Well, look what you did

How Bill Clinton and the Democrats made the Hobby Lobby decision possible back in 1993.


By fnord12 | July 10, 2014, 7:36 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Please don't feed his paranoia

I don't know what's actually going on here, and it would be ironically funny if Tucker Carson turned out to be a Communist dupe, but my Senator is so crazily anti-Cuban that i can imagine him latching on to any stray comment and seeing a personal plot to destroy him (even if he actually did the things he's being investigated for).


By fnord12 | July 10, 2014, 7:33 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Context free reporting

As anyone can probably tell by the endless links to the site, i regularly read TalkingPointsMemo for my political "news". Unfortunately TPM produces a lot more content than in the early days and a lot of it is more just repeating what some politician said without adding any of the context or analysis that made it a regular site for me in the first place. And which is supposed to be the main distinction between a website like TPM and your basic network news or an AP wire article.

There are also things i disagree with founder Josh Marshall about, one of which being Edward Snowden. Which is fine; i'm happy to hear other perspectives.

But it gets weird when i suspect those two things meet. So for example, compare this TPM post about Hilary Clinton saying that "It's Up To Snowden If He Returns To U.S. For Trial" to the Guardian article that is the source of those quotes. What you'll notice is that the Guardian article has additional information like:

Snowden, who is currently in Russia where he has been afforded temporary asylum, has been charged with three separate violations of the US Espionage Act. These charges include stealing government property and sharing classified documents with the Guardian and the Washington Post.

The broadly worded law makes no distinction between a spy and a whistleblower and affords Snowden almost no recourse to a defence.

The former NSA employee is likely to face a number of additional charges should he return to the US.

When Clinton was asked if she believed the Espionage Act - passed in 1917 - should be reformed in order to allow Snowden a defence, she claimed not to know what the whistleblower had been charged with as they were "sealed indictments".

Whereas the TPM article just reports Clinton's statements as if they are the be all, end all of the matter. That may just be a matter of simplification reflecting that TPM is turning more into a wire service than an analysis site, but when combined with what i know to be Marshall's position on the matter it seems like they are quoting Clinton approvingly. Even best case scenario it seems like TPM is becoming a stenographer, just reporting what politicians say, and that's been one of the main criticisms of mainstream press that internet sites like TPM were supposed to be the cure for.

On a related note, here's a post from Kevin Drum about someone trying to declassify documents through "proper channels".


By fnord12 | July 5, 2014, 12:44 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



No one else is running!

Ezra Klein has a short interview with Noam Scheiber, and you can click through to Scheiber's longer article if you want to delve deeper. But the gist of the article is that Obama, by failing to live up to his campaign promises or get much done during his presidency, has ruined the chances of a liberal outsider like Elizabeth Warren from beating Hillary Clinton in the primary. At this point people just want someone who will get things done. I'd actually take major issue with the Obama/Warren comparison but i see what Scheiber is getting at and that's not the point i want to make now. The real issue is that Scheiber interviews a bunch of Obama precinct captains and is surprised to find that despite the fact that their politics line up with Warren, they're supporting Clinton. Well... Warren isn't running! She's repeatedly said so! And Clinton is out there campaigning right now and there's no one making a different case. So of course the precinct captains are going to say that they support Clinton. Who else is there?

If Warren or some other less hawkish, less Wall Street friendly Democrat had put their hat in the ring, i think Scheiber would have seen different results. And if the idea is that in 2014 it's too soon to see other candidates emerge, then i'd say it's also to soon for this article.


By fnord12 | July 3, 2014, 8:25 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Can't hide

A BBC editor got a notice from Google saying that his article about Stan O'Neal, one of the Merrill Lynch execs that share some of the responsibility for the 2008 financial crisis, has been removed from their search results thanks to the new European court ruling. So now these are the top Google search results for Stan O'Neal (after Wikipedia, which also mentions his culpability and also the Google action):

Google purges negative press coverage of former Wall Street CEO from search results

Google hides a Wall Street pariah

Google Alerts Press About Right To Be Forgotten Removals, Putting Those Stories Back In The News

Well, that didn't work!

Update: The original BBC editor now says Stan O'Neal may not be the person who requested the Google Memory Hole, but it's impossible to say. If so, that really sucks for O'Neal.


By fnord12 | July 2, 2014, 4:40 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1)| Link



You have to support the idea after you come up with it

I take some issue with Paul Krugman's claim that conservatives can't come up with new ideas (i agree with his larger point). Both the Cap and Trade and Affordable Care Act method of universal healthcare are conservative ideas. Granted, they were devised as ways to head off the liberal solutions to their respective problems (i.e. strict pollution regulation and expansion of Medicare) but that's sort of the point. If moderate Republicans wanted to be relevant again, i would welcome support for these ideas and more like them. But instead the Democrats pre-emptively compromise by advocating these solutions and the Republicans unanimously oppose them.


By fnord12 | July 2, 2014, 1:29 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



Demand

Dean Baker reminds us that now would be a great time, economically, to deal with global warming.


By fnord12 | July 2, 2014, 1:20 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0)| Link



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