Links: election candidates believing in the “big lie”; Koch on pandemic eviction bans
These are nightmares: in Politico, a look at some GOP state officials who believe the big lie that Trump really won the 2020 election and are now running for positions overseeing the election. Few people pay much attention to these competitions for positions like secretary of state, but imagine if, for example, in Georgia and Arizona state election officials had not done their constitutional duty?
In New York Magazine, David Wallace-Wells asks if the goal of limiting the increase in the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees, as set by the Paris agreements, is still possible? If not, is the 2 degree objective possible? Climate scientists are clear, but it is far from clear whether political actors understand that “short-term commitments are far more important than long-term commitments.” Wallace-Wells opens by noting that since the last time we saw cicadas – 17 years ago – 40% of all carbon emissions in the history of the human race have been emitted into the atmosphere. It is an amazing thought.
In the New York Times and almost at the right time, Basma Ghalayini’s essay is a prime example of reluctance to hold Hamas accountable for any of the recent violence. Ghalayini argues that the conflict is simple – it’s not about religion or politics, it’s about a sense of belonging. But to the extent that the conflict is also about a sense of belonging for many Jews, this framing makes resolution impossible. The article is designed to hope you miss that fact.
In the Washington Post, Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey examine the struggle within the Republican Party to define themselves, as Reagan Revolution vets struggle to get Trump Revolution vets to worry about things like excessive government spending . The writers – and those they quote – don’t put it that way, but I will: One wing of the GOP believes in things like economic fallout that are bogus but plausible, while the other believes that things like 2020 elections are stolen that are. false and crazy. Which choice?
At The Guardian, a report on Charles Koch’s fundraising efforts to overturn eviction bans during the pandemic, as his company invested heavily in real estate. Even though he had no financial interest in the matter, it was still a lousy thing to do. He is the man who was praised by the Catholic University Business School at a conference a few years ago.
Did I spot Bishop Thomas Paprocki and Gerard Bradley, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, during a pro-choice rally? It is difficult to be sure. The two co-signed a letter to the editor of The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, complaining about the school’s demands for its students, teachers and staff to be vaccinated. The reasoning boils down to “You can’t tell me what to do with my body,” which is an argument we’ve heard before.
Everything about this article – “When Scientific Orthodoxy Looks Like Religious Dogma” – at Scientific American makes me laugh. Avi Loeb argues that the skepticism of other scientists who have praised his most recent book Extraterrestrial is out of place and akin to religious dogma. I think his argument is an insult to dogma. For example, he asserts, “All these rivers of wrongdoing in the form of organized science or religion flow from the sea of authority – the interpretation of evidence or its absence to protect group thought from doubts.” by ridiculing the alternatives ”. I think when we CRs hold onto the deposit of faith, “group thinking” has nothing to do with it. But the kicker is the disclaimer at the end of the article: “This is an opinion and analysis article.” The article has some excellent points, but still someone should remind Loeb and the editors that epistemology is a separate discipline.
It’s never too early to start planning Christmas, and dedicated readers who would like to treat me to something special should be warned that the mansion once owned by Evelyn Waugh is for sale. I don’t know what I would do with 12 rooms, but the place looks fabulous and I would love to maintain these gardens!