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Roundup: Still Life with Salmon Edition

June 28th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Apple, Comics, Culture, Education, Energy, Film, iTunes, LGBT, Macintosh, Music, Nature, New Wave, News, Peace, Pets, Politics, Roundup, Science, Tech

Still Life with Salmon

  • POLITICS: The Washington Post brings us the fascinating story of how Cheney’s quest to undermine environmental science for political purposes led to a humongous pile of rotting dead fish. “… Because of Cheney’s intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.” Via Atrios.
  • “Humpty-Dumpty world”: the same WaPo report goes on to reveal that Christine Todd Whitman actually resigned as administrator of the EPA because Cheney was trying to force her to sabotage the Clean Air Act, and she couldn’t do it.
  • Tom Tomorrow captures the jarring contrast between the grief that Iraqi children are experiencing, and Ann Coulter’s sociopathic one-liners about how little civilian casualties matter to her.
  • I’ve been a fan of James Carroll for ages now, and am really looking forward to seeing this documentary when I get the chance.
  • Obama puts the religious right on notice. If he keeps going like this he might actually start winning me back.
  • Shake hands with the clown, candidate boy: CP has the goods on Fred Thompson over at the Merguez Frites blog.
  • Mitt Romney thinks the way to take your dog along on vacation is to put him in a box strapped to the roof of the car. If he treates the country the same way he treats his dog, his presidency should be a memorable ride. As Ana Marie Cox puts it: “Who else thought this little story would end with the dog not crapping itself but, you know, dead? Also, if this really is some kind of trademark approach, I can’t wait to hear what he thinks the ‘roadmap to peace’ means. Israel calls shotgun!”
  • THE PINK SECTION: A new report documents how teachers in the UK fail to come to the rescue of gay students who are being bullied and persecuted. “Even in class, people would say: ‘Shut up, gay boy’, but the teachers wouldn’t do anything. When I lost my temper and flared up at them, I would be the one who got in trouble.”
  • John Edwards says he doesn’t feel any awkwardness about the fact that his wife Elizabeth has come out in favor of legalizing gay marriage, and he’s still in that civil unions kind of place. I suspect that there’s no awkwardness because there’s no real disagreement — just a sense that first ladies are allowed to be a little more progressive on gay issues (a tradition that goes back at least as far as Betty Ford).
  • In case you were wondering, Paolo Nutini won’t be making eye contact with you.
  • THE GREEN SECTION: The word’s first “floating wind farm” is slated to be built out in the middle of the North Sea, thanks to a partnership between a German engineering firm and a Norwegian energy group. “If successful, it could prove the perfect solution for environmental campaigners, confronted with a public that like the idea of wind power but think wind turbines are an eyesore.”
  • Mother hippo gives birth to “pygmy hippo” baby at the Paris zoo. “Aldo looks, eats and lazes like a hippopotamus — but he’s only about as big as a human baby, at 21 inches.”
  • The bald eagle is being taken off the endangered species list. That should be good news, but as Plutonium Page explains, the down side is that the bald eagle’s habitat will lose protection, and that could end up reversing all the progress that’s been made rebuilding the species over the last 40 years.
  • FILM/MUSIC: Elijah Wood has Iggy Pop’s backing to play him in an upcoming film. Quoth Mr. Osterberg: “I think Elijah [Wood]’s a very good actor though. If he can play a hobbit then he should be able to play me.” I’m trying to picture it, I really am—but somehow I keep seeing Andy Serkis in the role instead.
  • Nasty throat infection forces Morrissey to cut short and cancel gigs.
  • THE TECH SECTION: Are you ready for the “brain-machine interface”? Or maybe we could call it “machine-assisted telekinesis.”
  • The Mac’s market share continues to rise. And iTunes is now the third largest music retailer, behind only Wal-Mart and Best Buy.
  • THE COMICS SECTION: This Modern World presents the adventures of Conservative Jones, Boy Detective!
  • Tom Toles: Bush embraces alternative medicine, and how Uncle Sam gets milked.
  • Slow Poke: Robert Bork gets his day in court.
  • Does the werewolf have a castle? Louis ponders a series of important questions, courtesy of Tom the Dancing Bug.
  • Bob Geiger’s Saturday cartoon roundup is still fresh the following Thursday.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Malcolm

    Italian teachers don’t stand for gay-bashing, though, at least according to this.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Thanks for posting that, Malcolm. I’m glad the teacher got acquitted — and after reading down to the end of the story, I think the headline and the first sentence are misleading, because it seems pretty clear that the Italian word the teacher made the student write is not a direct translation of “retard” at all. “Retard” is offensive because it pretty much only means one thing, whereas the Italian word was more ambiguous, like saying “slow” or “simple” in English. But I’m glad justice prevailed in the courtroom if not in the headline. And it’s good to know that at least some Italian teachers are on the case.

  • Aaron

    “first ladies are allowed to be a little more progressive on gay issues…back at least as far as Betty Ford.”

    And reversing itself (with gears smoking and grinding) with Nancy Reagan and Bulldog Barbara! :-) I don’t know what Laura thinks (except for what color curtains to put in the Lincoln Bedroom).

    I’ll try to stifle my disappointment over Paolo Nutella (or whoever). I’m really shattered by the news, though. Just devastated.

  • Ocelopotamus

    Actually, I had Barbara in mind when I wrote that, because during Bush the Elder’s term, she was used to try to signal a softer-around-the-edges stance toward the gay community. One instance that particularly sticks in my memory is that there was an AIDS vigil outside the White House, and Barbara put a candle in her window, which was a huge deal at the time. And I was completely bamboozled by it then — I remember thinking “Wow, she must be a little cooler than George is, and she wants to let us know she’s on our side.” Of course these days we’ve all learned a lot more about what kind of steel Barbara Bush is made of, and it’s pretty obvious that that sort of thing was just political theater, intended to do what it did — soften the White House’s image with the gay community on a dog whistle level, without actually risking the ire of the religious right. So while I no longer think Barbara’s heart was in the right place, I do think she was used to play “good cop” on gay and AIDS issues to some extent.

    As for Paolo Nutella (love that), we’ll all just have to try to move on with our lives.