7 @ 9: Croatoan

7 @ 9: Croatoan December 12, 2013

1. You know who else used to shake hands? Apparently John McCain believes that Cuba has just annexed the Sudetenland. But McCain’s hyperbole and hyperventilating shouldn’t cause us to overlook the significance of the human rights violations still going on in Cuba. Hundreds of political prisoners have been detained there indefinitely, without charges and without trial, for more than a decade now. Oh, wait …

Where “Please” really is a magic word. (Click for story.)

2. Speaking of American colonies, John Fea highlights Tanya Basu’s National Geographic article, “Have We Found the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island?” It’s a fun bit of speculation based on a symbol discovered hidden on an early map — could that be where the lost colony will be found? I’ll just note that “Croatoan” is an anagram for “A cat or no,” which suggests, a la Schrödinger, that the colony is both there and not there until we observe it as being either one or the other.

3. Brave Colorado gun-owner stands his ground against disabled children hogging handicapped space in Walmart parking lot.

4. I’ve mentioned this before, but the United States — one of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced countries in the history of the world — still has zero offshore wind farms. That’s inexcusable. We need the energy and this clean, renewable energy is there for the taking.

The UK has offshore wind. So do Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea and Belgium. But despite being blessed with more than 12,000 miles of coastline, the U.S. still has no offshore wind farms.

Grist’s John Upton reports on another reason this is inexcusable:

Stanford University researchers used computer simulations to calculate that a protective wall of 70,000 offshore wind turbines built 60 miles offshore from New Orleans would have reduced Hurricane Katrina’s wind speeds by 50 percent by the time it reached land. The storm surges that toppled levees would have been reduced by nearly three-quarters. And a lot of electricity would have been produced, to boot, with the spinning of the wind turbines absorbing much of the storm’s power.

A similar array off the coast of New York or New Jersey could have reduced Hurricane Sandy’s wind speeds by 65 miles per hours, the scientists found.

5. Kids who are home-schooled with the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum get really good grades. Is this because: A) Quentin Tarentino; B) a gerbil; C) Prince Albert in a can; D) The multiple choice tests supplied by ACE are absurd and absurdly easy. Jonny Scaramanga of Leaving Fundamentalism provides 33 actual examples of “jaw-droppingly bad multiple-choice questions” used by the fundamentalist curriculum, noting that this “this academically third-rate and theologically fourth-rate” system is being used in 6,000 schools worldwide.

6. American Family Association radio host and AIDS-denying racist Bryan Fischer does, at least, serve the useful function of clarifying right-wing arguments by stating them more explicitly than his more pragmatic co-belligerents:

You can ban a monument to Satan because that’s not Christianity. … You can say “No, we’re not going to let you do it. Our Constitution protects the free exercise of the Christian religion; yours is not a Christian expression, we’re not going to have that monument.” If we don’t understand the word “religion” to mean Christianity as the founders intended it, then we have no way to stop Islam, we have no way to stop Satanism, we have no way to stop any other sort of sinister religion practice that might creep onto the fruited plains.

One reason the Manhattan Declaration was so horribly written was that its authors had to twist themselves into knots trying to say exactly that without coming right out and admitting it like Fischer does.

7. Here’s Amos Lee singing John Prine’s “Christmas in Prison.” With a chorus that starts “Wait a while eternity,” this might kind of also qualify as an advent song:

"Washington's Farewell Address was a joint effort of Madison and Hamilton. A Religious Liberty oriented ..."

It outlives me when I’m gone
"TV news in general is a migraine trigger for me. It often includes side-scrolling pain-text. ..."

It outlives me when I’m gone
"It also includes the family name of the multiple-award-winning director of Parasite."

It outlives me when I’m gone
"I remember hearing something that in a lot of shots where you didn't see her ..."

It outlives me when I’m gone

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  • LoneWolf343

    Huh, smart choice. Didn’t think she had that level of self-awareness in her.

    I’m not going to have kids either. Apparently I hit the jackpot when it comes to brains in my family, and looking at my bloodline, I see no reason why it should continue. Of course, I have three brothers, two of which are fucking dumbasses, so my abstaining is probably going to go unrewarded.

  • Guest

    Of course, the tests can’t be any easier than the tests kids get in the public … no, wait, they don’t even test pubic school kids now, that would reveal too much….

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The two weeks of state-mandated testing I had to subject my students to over the last 15 years, in 5 school districts, in three states, determined that that is a lie.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The study the article is talking about also modeled a wind farm of 10,000 turbines. The largest offshore wind farm has less than 200 turbines. An array 50x bigger isn’t impossible, but it’s not currently feasible. It
    s the kind of thing that’ll happen eventually, but on a scale of several decades, no matter what. Fred’s phrasing indicates a feeling that such an array should have been in place before Katrina, which is misguided and unhelpful.

  • P J Evans

    10K turbines is a heck of a lot. I’ve seen some of the big land-based fields, and the spacing required for the large turbines means even a few hundred covers a lot of area.

  • Daniel

    No, you need the year long intensive course for that. And trust me, those verbs conjugate. Sometimes in really intricate ways. Then there’s the inevitable declination. Even the greatest languages only last so long.
    I’m only good for cheap knob gags.

  • Derrick

    I’m guessing that you haven’t seen this documentary, then? http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=2.09_Croatoan

  • Derrick

    Don’t feed the troll, Doc. ;-)

  • Guest

    Re #5: That takes me back to my radically misinformed youth. Though, I have to say that either the curriculum is worse than I remembered or it’s gotten worse since my time (admittedly, that was nearly two decades ago, so I could be misremembering things). Regardless, a significant chunk of the other stuff on Scaramanga’s site is disturbingly familiar.

  • Guest

    This community piles on people who suggest that maybe it’s not awesome to lump everyone who doesn’t share the exact same position on abortion politics in with the hysterical guardians against satanic baby-killing. If you say that we on the left shouldn’t engage in the same behaviour as those we deplore on the right–demonization, defining those outside our tribe and then seeking out the worst and refusing to acknowledge anything of value in them–if you try to hold your own “side” to the same standard we demand of others, you get stomped on.
    That’s the context you’re arguing in.

  • $7768756

    I don’t think it’s universal to this community, that’s going a bit too far. I think there are a number of people in this community who use “cached thoughts”- IE, simple, route phrases that apply generally to a number of situations that aren’t actually negative, but can be used to shut down debate- “tone policing”, “rape apology”, “privilege”

    This has become endemic to the left recently. All those things are important concepts- refusing to acknowledge a point, or saying “bitch deserved it because she didn’t say no” or not acknowledging that, as a white man, i’ve got it notably better than others are all bad things.

    The difference between saying “You said ‘fuck’ what are you a teenager? I don’t care what you say’ and raising the concept that someones constant aggression towards someone that argues politely and in good faith is dickish is that one is simply a shutdown, and the other is an honestly raised point, to which there are counterarguments. If someone had said “no, actually Annursa is a huge racist” (or even kinda racist) I’d be fine with that explanation- or homophobe, or sexist. But no one is even willing to CLAIM that they are. The best thing is “well, he said he didn’t like Obamacare, and then someone posted that they were getting benefits from Obamacare, so he wants that person to die.” (Actually, she wasn’t going to die without Obamacare.)

    The problem is that cached phrases like that are just used as a way to shut down disagreement without engaging with their point. And it only works on someone who accepts the same fundamental concept- which is why shakesville or slacktiverse or a number of other RadFem/SJW blogs are so miserable- everyone agrees that “tone policing” is the Worst Thing in the World” so accusations of it get people shut down immediately.

  • dpolicar

    (shrug) Nobody here, or on shakesville, or on redstate, is obligated to politely listen to and engage with ideas they oppose, even if you (or I) might prefer them to.

  • $7768756

    No, they aren’t. But neither, when I and others express dismay at their approach, can they simply go “that’s tone policing, you aren’t allowed to tell me what to do” as they tell other people what to do.

    I wouldn’t change the unmoderated, uncontrolled nature of this forum for the world. But part of that is when someone acts like a snotty little twerp, agree with them or not, I’ll call it out.