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m (16 Feb 2005 10:59): Kyoto's carbon credit trading thing (I guess derived from the US model during sulfur cutback times) is pretty clever:
Paul (16 Feb 2005 16:57): Emissions trading is indeed better than simple pollution limits...

But I'm afraid I have to diss emissions trading, on the basis that a pigovian carbon tax would be much better. A pigovian tax offers the very same economic incentives to polluters, with the added advantages of
*ensuring that only society as a whole owns the 'rights' over pollution,
*keeping it easy to lower the limits later (just raise the tax),
*generating some revenue,

When compared with a pigovian tax, emissions trading looks like a convoluted way to give polluters the "right" to pollute as a free gift from society, which the polluter can sell for their own profit, and which society can only rescind by buying it back.
zong (16 Feb 2005 20:23): except that a pigovian tax would be lobbied out of existence before it even gets debated.

heck. even pollution credits have been lobbied out of existence (at least in this country).

it's next to impossible to get people to adjust their utilities based on some future event that they have not had a couple of experiences to train for.
Paul (17 Feb 2005 16:50): True, laws that help society but hurt corporations stand no chance here.
My point is just, when the establishment tells the public "tradable permits are the best cure for pollution," it's bullshit.
m (17 Feb 2005 17:21): That's not what the establishment is telling the public. They're saying that a pollution credit system isn't necessary because global warming isn't even a problem.
zong (17 Feb 2005 17:49): The bullshit article reminds me of something someone said about Karen Hughes, one of the Bush strategists (or some such). It was something to this effect:

I interview her and ask her Q. She answers A. I know she is lying. She knows I know that she is lying, but she continues this way knowing I know that she knows that I know that she is lying. This is beyond abstract. Maybe it's a post-modern political performance art.
Grant (18 Feb 2005 0:24): That's a very interesting book you linked to. People talking about the nature of truth is just one of my buttons, I guess.
Also, read some translated-into-english manga!
Death Note is actually kinda cool... But, uh, I'm known to make some odd picks, from time to time.
Grant (18 Feb 2005 2:20): Also, to continue with the post-hijacking -
Hey, Mike, did you know there's a manga prequel to R.O.D. called Read Or Dream?
It looks terrible! As in completely awful!
Grant (15 May 2005 21:23): Any good places to find news online? I sometimes check Google news as well as the NY Times (as well as more specialized pages, of course). The biggest problem for me with these 'real news' pages is that there's a lot of news, and it tends to be replaced very quickly. I usually don't check them every day, so... Any tips on where to get news if you're ridiculously lazy?
Paul (16 May 2005 6:16): If you just want the very biggest stories of the past week, you could try in the news featured on Wikipedia's main page.
For niche market news, I sometimes visit /. infoshop indymedia...
m (16 May 2005 22:25): If it hasn't been apparent from my links, I get my news damn near exclusively from npr
m (11 Nov 2005 20:28): Some of this is funny. But mostly just depressing.
m (13 Nov 2005 13:49): from the news (re france) today, on depressing metrics: "...and the count of burned cars overnight, which seems to be the official way to measure the violence, was slightly up"
Paul (28 Jan 2006 18:35): I don't know what to think of Hamas's win in Palestine. This article is very interesting, though, telling of serene Israeli opinions...
I suppose if they can be hopeful, and Hamas-voting Palestinians can be hopeful, then perhaps the rest of us can be hopeful as well.
Paul (30 Jan 2006 13:16): In case you're not aware (I wasn't) there's a growing controversy about Danish cartoons of Muhammad.
Grant (31 Jan 2006 6:24): Wow. That does seem like quite a bit of an over-reaction to me. Or maybe I'm just being insensitive, but I don't really see how. I guess it probably looks a lot worse if you come from somewhere where even depicting Muhammad is illegal, but still.
Paul (31 Jan 2006 12:40): I'm getting tired of finding this mostly on conservative blogs, so I'll say it here:
The campaign against Scandinavia by large parts of the Muslim world is ridiculous.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." --Beatrice Hall
Grant (31 Jan 2006 18:34): "What!? What happened to Voltaire?" is what I wanted to say until I did the same web search you probably did. And now I'm going to delete my Google cache again.
Paul (31 Jan 2006 20:51): Yes, perhaps someone famous should re-say that quote (they have plenty of appropriate chances...) so we can cite it to someone people know.
Grant (1 Feb 2006 18:51): Yeah, I'd be A-OK with people mis-attributing that kind of stuff in, say, congressional hearings. Just so long as they get the important part.
Grant (1 Feb 2006 19:00): But to get back to some 'news...'

Here's a post by Cindy Sheehan. Pretty awful stuff. Is this all over the news, over there? Or is it just superbowl commentary (seahawks, wtf?)?
Paul (1 Feb 2006 20:37): What is the world coming to, when Blair submits a bill to "prohibit the right to ridicule religion"?! Thank God the House of Commons defeated it. And when Bill Clinton takes it upon himself to condemn Danish cartoons?! Shall we lose our right to satire? Are they days of Fafblog numbered?
And just to be clear I'm not trying to pick on any one religion in particular, here are the best satirical images I could find of Quakers (the religion I practice):
Grant (4 Feb 2006 1:33): It just keeps on coming.
Paul (4 Feb 2006 22:01): Something's wrong with this picture. It seems less like plausible reality, and more reminiscent of when undercover cops start fights at leftist protests, to make the protesters look bad. I can hardly believe these folks represent common British Muslim opinion...
Grant (9 Feb 2006 21:16): So what's up with the 'patriot' act? I just heard there was a deal to renew some of the parts that had expired, but I haven't heard what that deal actually is.
Then again, you know, if the executive branch is above the law, it doesn't really matter, huh?
Paul (10 Feb 2006 17:36): I think in December they (the Republicans) saw they couldn't get the votes for any long-term plan, so they settled for a 6-month extension (everyone supports a 6-month extension of something awful, right...I mean, why not), meaning it'll come back up again, urgent as ever, in June.
Paul (15 Feb 2006 18:22): Finally someone in the Islamic world is responding to the Muhammad cartoon controversy not with violence, but by hosting a controversial cartoon contest of their own! With a theme they have correctly identified as fairly sacred in the West: the Holocaust. One Jyllands-Posten person said JP would also publish these, before JP officially said they wouldn't. Wow, JP, way to blur your stance on free speech. Me, I'm sticking to the "disapprove but defend" line in all these cases.
m (16 Feb 2006 5:48): hedging your bets: Disapprove but Defend -- that's the US Government's stance!
m (16 Feb 2006 11:50): that's like Reagan's Trust but Verify.
(16 Feb 2006 17:44): What about Don't-Have-Any-Credible-Evidence-of-WMDs but Lie-to-the-American-People-and-then-Invade-Anyway?
Hahaha. I jest.
Paul (17 Feb 2006 8:48): IMO, the US government's stance is "disapprove but figure it's Europe's problem". A proper defense of satirical and insulting speech is sorely lacking...probably because the US government doesn't like free speech anyway.
Paul (22 Feb 2006 10:09): Wonder why more Muslims aren't speaking out in favor of free press? Those who do go to jail.
Paul (23 May 2006 17:25): More Iranian cartoon craziness. BTW, I can't find the promised Holocaust cartoons at (I should learn Arabic, except it's probably Farsi...) but here some of them are mirrored, with commentary.
Paul (23 May 2006 18:00): Here's a newer mirror with more cartoons (including some that are more biting wrt Israel-Palestine), complete with a lengthy article on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism today that conveniently doesn't mention Palestine.
Paul (4 Aug 2006 2:21): Liberia's Blackboard Headlines
Grant (4 Sep 2006 3:11): "Prize-winning Japanese novelist Masako Bando, who lives on the island, has sparked uproar by admitting in a newspaper that she throws newborn kittens off a cliff near her house. In an essay in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Bando argues that killing the kittens is a morally superior option to having adult pet cats sterilised. "Humans have no right to perform sterilisation on other living things," she writes. "They have no right to kill offspring."
m (7 Sep 2006 1:39): I don't get it -- so she's saying what she does is bad too, right? Right?
Grant (7 Sep 2006 16:27): Well - you read the rest of it, too, right?
"That said, she thinks that having sex and giving birth are such important parts of a female cat's life that it is better to let them do it - and then kill the kittens that result.

'I chose enrichment of 'life' for the cats that I have raised and opted to kill their kittens out of a sense of my social responsibility. Of course, I must bear the pain and grief that come from killing (the kittens).'
Grant (7 Sep 2006 16:27): Also - wouldn't this extend to human life, too? That's pretty scary.
m (21 Sep 2006 0:27): odd bit of copy on the npr front page:
'Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez launches a verbal salvo against U.S. world influence and President Bush, whom he described as "the devil." At left, Chavez recommends a book by Noam Chomsky to the U.N. General Assembly.'

I hear the man serves a mean homemade scone at book club meetings.
Grant (21 Sep 2006 23:05): Bwahhh.
Grant (21 Sep 2006 23:38): Bonus points for the user icon.
R (25 Sep 2006 17:39): GOPer Says Amputee Vet Dem Would "Cut and Run" From Iraq

That's really pretty much the whole story. :(
m (8 Oct 2006 13:30): Chris Wallace: bit of a jackass
G (15 Oct 2006 22:55): More cartoon outrage.
Also, is searching broken, now?
G (15 Oct 2006 23:47): Nevermind. My search was malformed.
G (17 Oct 2006 0:18): Woman gives birth to own grand-daughter.
Scientists report that timespace in Japan has become dangerously warped; warn of "pod men" from dimension X.
G (17 Oct 2006 0:21): So-called "monster cane" yields more sugar and ethanol; eats dogs
Grant (23 Oct 2006 1:03): So I guess 50,000 dogs were beaten to death in China.
m (23 Oct 2006 9:29): learning not to steal shit
m (23 Oct 2006 10:33): riots. don't love 'em.
m (29 Oct 2006 23:58): not great
m (30 Oct 2006 0:40): A number of points in favor.
Paul (18 Nov 2006 15:37): NYTimes says a pigovian carbon tax is getting approved in Boulder, CO. This is something I favor. Looks like for now it only applies to electricity, not other CO2 sources.
m (19 Nov 2006 9:06): This guy is at CNN??
Paul (19 Nov 2006 15:26): Given that many people think stupid/prejudiced/rude thoughts, is it better if they say them (with disclaimers like his), or if they keep quiet but still act according to prejudice? I mean, at least overt prejudice can be confronted... In any case it's alarming how many stupid/prejudiced/rude thoughts people have.
m (6 Feb 2007 13:39): no same-sex marriage in our state, but...
m (3 Mar 2007 2:22): Good luck at the math contest, Bartram High School.
Paul (4 Mar 2007 15:58): Swiss Accidentally Invade Liechtenstein
"Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers."
m (17 Mar 2007 19:44): just interviewed to teach high school here in Philly. Which is crazy.
Paul is right now repeating "work on the warmup" x 10. and "come on in, have a seat" x 5. In sign language + saying out loud.
This has something to do with being an effective teacher.
But it just looks like he's a crazy man.
G (18 Mar 2007 17:56): I just read this article about teaching in middle school. How're things over in Philly? Besides all the crazy people, I mean.
m (23 Mar 2007 14:12): maybe ETS is being more transparent now? I'm registering for another one of their phoney standardized things online, and I see
test: $75
registration fee: $40

What the fuck? They just tack on an extra $40 because they feel like being dicks? Even ticketmaster doesn't gouge that hard.

Then down at the end it says "I'm just gonna put this money in my pocket: $20"
Paul (24 Mar 2007 18:44): I think I know why they break it down: because you can take n≤3 tests on the same day, in which case you'd pay 75n+40. But I don't know why it's so friggin expensive for a multiple choice test...
m (3 Apr 2007 9:33): Sam, your women's basketball team is something something?
Grant (16 May 2007 5:34): Drinky Crow had a pilot episode, but I thought it was not very funny.
m (16 May 2007 21:19): You guys ever see any of The Prisoner? It's got this sort of balloon. Scariest balloon ever.
G (17 May 2007 8:25): I've always kinda meant to, but no. I heard it's pretty cool.
And then sometimes there were jokes about it in The Simpsons.
G (28 Jun 2007 2:38): Happy birthday!
m (28 Jun 2007 9:26): to whom?
R (29 Jun 2007 17:02): Happy birthday to Szam!
Paul (10 Mar 2008 3:33): Weird like The Onion.
m (31 Jul 2008 21:03): [mosquitoes] Reason three to like them: amazing.
Paul (8 Oct 2008 13:38): Is comment #11 from you? It sounds plausibly like your viewpoint...
G (8 Oct 2008 17:54): Sadly, I just don't bother commenting on news sites.
G (13 Dec 2008 13:58): I guess there's a new product on the market in Japan.
You can use it to apply... hair... to your figurines...

Paul (8 Jan 2009 14:47): A 6-year old boy "told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto."
"He was very intent on getting to school," said Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins. "When he got out of the car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."
m (9 Jan 2009 14:40): '"This really is a story of miracles."'
G (9 Jan 2009 15:59): Welcome to Virginia.
Paul (28 Jan 2009 3:22): Endow the News(!)
m (28 Jan 2009 13:25): Pair of Yalies probably trying to insidiously take over the newsprint world. Assuming newspapers aren't an obsolete medium, I like the endowment idea. I'm not sure I grant that premise, though.
Paul (29 Jan 2009 3:09): I think _printed_ newspapers are obsolete. But I'd be lost without
G (2 Feb 2009 14:38): Wow! WOW!
Billy Herrington will be making an appearance in Japan! Live broadcast on Nico Video!
G (2 Feb 2009 14:41): From wikipedia: "Herrington has also become an internet meme among the Japanese community after a clip from one of his videos 'Workout' was posted on Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video sharing website. Over 3000 parody videos of him have been made, many of which utilizes deliberate mishearings (soramimi) of his lines in the porn flick.[14] He is affectionately called "Big Brother" (兄貴 aniki) among the Nico Nico Douga community, and most of his videos are deliberately tagged with "Forest Fairy" (森の妖精 mori no yousei), "Philosophy", or both.[15]"
Paul (9 Jun 2009 13:55): apparently one of my students was killed last night
R (12 Jun 2009 12:50): That is just terrible. I don't know what else to say. Hope you are doing ok.
G (12 Jun 2009 16:10): Yeah. That's terrible.
What is wrong with Philly.
Paul (12 Jun 2009 18:10): Yeah, I am okay. There's nothing else to say, except he was a nice kid. (Also, Philly is really broken.)
G (20 Jun 2009 12:12): I also have jury duty starting next Wednesday.
Still on the same schedule, Mike? WE should HANG OUT.
Also, be honest - you trying to hold onto the DS until Love Plus comes out? (I like the comment for this video)
m (21 Jun 2009 18:46): Knights in the Nightmare.
m (21 Jun 2009 18:48): Scribblenauts?
R (22 Jun 2009 2:25): At first, I thought I would need to know Japanese to play the game, but upon reflection, it is perfect as is. I can flail my way through conversations, painfully aware that I'm not making any sense. Mistakes accumulate, feelings are hurt inadvertently, and I am wasting both my time and theirs. Finally, I am rejected by all, and there was never any real communication, or connection made. I turn off my DS, and am alone, having spent weeks indoors.

It also simulates exclusively trying to date Japanese girls.
(22 Jun 2009 2:25): :)
Paul (3 Jul 2009 19:55): Dex Resigning Teaching Job; Future Unclear
Well, actually I have another job lined up now (programming not teaching). But the headline reminded me of my recent situation.
m (4 Jul 2009 6:20): Making up headlines to describe the things around me is one of my favorite games.
Internet Found to Be Leading Cause of Tardy Arrival at Work
Paul (23 Jul 2009 20:52): wondering when it became illegal to be angry at a policeman? I'm bitter about this, because I think if the Philly police would act so black people could trust them, then we'd have a lot less murders and serious crime in Philly. In a class discussion it came up that many of my students (maybe even half) have been detained, most for no good reason.
m (24 Jul 2009 11:27): Wait, I parsed this as "police would act so black [that] people could trust them", which I thought was an odd thing to say, but now I see the likelier interpretation: "police would [not demonstrate racism directed against black people] so black people could trust them"
Paul (24 Jul 2009 14:59): language mangling is crazy
m (26 Jul 2009 13:26): I think I misparse/misread things with much greater frequency since hitting my head. And if this is the only lasting damage/bonus, I mean, it is kind of a bonus, really.
Paul (24 Sep 2009 15:16): G-20 Pittsburgh protests: Shaking his head at the police officers standing in front of him, Mr. Kassa added, “That’s why we came here from Ethiopia, because our rights were repressed there.”
G (12 Jan 2010 19:51): Google to shut down operations in China? Finally, right?
G (12 Jan 2010 20:21): Okay, so "shut down" is way too sensationalist. But they will stop censoring results, probably!
m (21 Jan 2010 16:15): Read Justice Stevens's dissenting footnotes.
m (8 Feb 2010 9:12): Can anyone explain to me what's happening to Greece and the Euro?
m (10 Feb 2010 11:35): what's the snow report out east?
Paul (8 Mar 2010 20:03): "The Icelandic people, if they took that decision [not to accept the bill], would effectively be saying that Iceland doesn't want to be part of the international financial system."

No wonder they don't want to be part of the financial's like trying to play a derivatives-enhanced Monopoly game until suddenly you realize you accidentally mortgaged the whole country.
G (10 Mar 2010 13:58): Nation Shudders at Large Block of Uninterrupted Text
m (25 Jun 2010 12:39): "I suddenly realized that free speech for big business is to the Left what due process for alleged terrorists is to the Right: an unbearable burden that threatens freedom itself."
G (25 Jun 2010 14:12): Yeah, but how can you vote against a bill called "Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections"?
R (28 Mar 2011 16:07): Ugh. Arizona has a campaign finance law that provides funding for candidates who raise a large number of small donations and do not use other funds for their campaign. It also increases the amount of funding if their opponent is self-financed and spends more than the publicly financed candidate. Of course, some would argue that this is somehow a burden for the folks who can self-finance, and it's going to the US Supreme Court.
m (23 Jan 2015 9:41): So I don't see an Explain-Like-I'm-Five for what's going on in Yemen. Here are two articles that sort of explain what's going on. I'll summarize as best I can.

** The president, prime minister, and cabinet, in place since 2012 (Arab Spring), all resigned on Thursday in the face of a months-long coup(?) by The Houthi, a rebel Shiite group who has held the capital since September (how was I not aware of this?).
** After lengthy negotiations they managed to sign some sort of shared-power deal on Wednesday, but (maybe?) the rebels weren't sticking to it (I imagine part of the deal was the government getting their capital back) or (maybe?) the Pres/PM/etc felt they'd been stripped of their power and were grumpy and were like "you see how you like governing this mess" to the rebels hoping they'll be like "no, wait, we just wanted some concessions, not the actual hard part" (that's a paraphrase, but I think the NYTimes article actually suggests this). Anyway I can't figure out what's going on there.
** So the country is majority Sunni (there's something else confusing about a Sunni separatist movement in the south of Yemen) and the Shiite Houthi are probably backed by Iran (though both Iran and rebels deny it) and also supported by the guy who was ousted in 2012 (Ali Abdullah Saleh - he denies it too. Or he denied it back in November at least, when the UN sanctioned him for trying to destabilize the regime).
** Everyone's saying what a headache for Saudi Arabia this is, which seems weird since isn't it a bigger headache for Yemen? Anyway, I guess the Saudis are Sunni and Iran (Shiite) is their geopolitical neighborhood rival, and this swings the regional power balance in Iran's direction and Yemen borders Saudia Arabia in the south. Also their leader, 90 y/o King Abdullah, just died. So extra instability, I guess.
** Also it was a Yemen branch of Al-Qaeda (AQAP) who took credit for the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, so Westerners are extra tense about that. AQAP is Sunni, and NYTimes says that if the Houthi start governing Yemen, AQAP will gain supporters (I guess disaffected Sunnis).