Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Odious Miscellany

Ugh. Sigh.

  • We should resist regarding it as normal that an organization with a substantial financial endowment is prepared to pay gigantic sums of money annually to someone who writes this exact insipid twaddle:
    I contend that both – scientists denying religion and believers rejecting science – are wrong. Science and religious beliefs need not be in contradiction. If they are properly understood, they cannot be in contradiction because science and religion concern different matters.
    They need not contradict, and they concern different matters, right up until the part where they contradict one another in substantive truth claims. If the religion immediately to your left has not issued an assertion of material fact in the next five minutes, give it five more. Or read five more pages. It won't take long.

  • As the ever-essential Rachel Maddow demonstrated in tonight's show, there is a definite pattern attached to a definite rationale for BP's consistent low-balling of the ongoing, burgeoning catastrophe:
    The threat of hefty fines underscores the importance of quantifying how much oil is pouring into the Gulf. As BP seeks to staunch the leak that has now been gushing for at least 33 days, it has estimated a spill rate of 5,000 barrels per day. But some experts say the volume -- and hence the fines -- could be more than 10 times higher.

    The little-known, seldom applied clause in the Clean Water Act was added in 1990 after the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska, and was intended to beef up the arsenal of penalties the government can apply to oil spillers to deter future disasters.

    "These civil penalties could be staggeringly high, possibly running into the billions," said Professor David Uhlmann, director of the Environmental Law program at University of Michigan.
    Fine, baby, fine.

  • Try, if you can spare the energy, to pretend to care that Al Gore and Tipper Gore are divorcing. Yawn. For myself, I am as sad about their divorce as I was glad about their marriage last week.

  • There can be little doubt that soon, very soon, we shall have a clear, unambiguous, impartial assessment of exactly what happened with that flotilla in Gaza, precisely what went wrong, and who deserves blame. Such is the way of controversies that periodically erupt between Israelis and Palestinians: there is discord, followed by a clear accounting of facts, followed by an earnest, productive, promising resumption of The Peace Process.
"Flotilla"? Who speaks of flotillas these days? What next, talk of people who sup on sweetmeats and ply falconry?

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If you're quick in monitoring the comments to this post, you might catch the latest from a vaguely threatening semi-literate who can't quite break free of the box formed by his favorite god, his crush on me, and a fruitless search for a respectable way to while away his empty hours. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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