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Harshing my mellow

Juan Cole:

About 55 million years ago, in the Eocene, volcanic activity spewed enormous amounts of carbon dioxide into the air. The earth warmed by 4-5 degrees Centigrade. All surface ice melted, and every place on earth became tropical, even Antarctica. Sea levels rose a great deal and a significant amount of land was lost to the sea. It is estimated that sea levels rise some 10 to 20 meters (yards) for every 1 degree C increase in the average surface temperature, over the long term.

But along with all that dramatic change came something else. The seas absorbed a lot of the new carbon dioxide, creating carbonic acid. About 50% of some sorts of sea creatures did not survive the change.

The earth is repeating the experiment today, with human beings spewing out enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. And faster. Much faster indeed than in the Eocene.

Because of acidification and over-fishing, the world could lose a large number of ocean species just in the next 40 years or so.

History of a hitmaker

Carol Kaye, member of the Wrecking Crew and legendary L.A. session bass player. (She came up with the bass line on “The Beat Goes On” and played on numerous hits.)

Not me

“Please, Jesus, take this away from us!” I wonder who Jesus killed instead:

Tennessee stud

Today is Doc Watson’s birthday. Happy birthday, Doc! He’s 89:

High-rape culture

Hmm. Sounds uncomfortably close to the U.S.

The girl with faraway eyes


If you can’t say anything nice

There’s an ongoing argument among bloggers about Andrew Breitbart, and whether we’re “stooping to their level” by saying what we actually think about him. Well, here’s what I think.

Wars split families. Benjamin Franklin refused to let his own son out of prison to see his wife while she was dying. What a terrible, unfeeling man. Or not.

This is also a war – of ideologies, class and culture.

Are those who say mean things terrible people for declining to whitewash Breitbart out of respect for his family? The real question is, why is his family more worthy of concern than the families once helped by ACORN? (Hint: It’s the same reason I joke that Apple-loving progressives would be a lot more concerned about Foxcomm workers if we described them as factory-farmed chickens.)

The very problem with the Village – the moneyed, connected, inbred establishment – is that that they value their personal relationships above all else, and use those personal relationships to justify and excuse all kinds of political and economic horrors visited upon the rest of the world, things that have serious ripple effects.

This is why we ridicule them. Isn’t that the point? Their emotional relationships render them incapable of connecting those dots between what they do and the results out in the real world. They live in the bubble.

For example, the top management at the Times loved Judy Miller and, I’m sure, they would have cried at her death. How many Iraqis are dead because of that relationship? Am I a monster if I don’t especially care, or if, even worse, I snicker? I don’t think so. I just use a much broader, more external measure of her worth.
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Country comfort

I loved this album. Yes, she’s one of “those” Taylors. Kate Taylor covers Elton:

Sunny side of the street

The Pogues:

Cheeseheads battle billionaires

I hope it’s clear to most Americans what the recall battle in Wisconsin is about, and that it’s really being fought on a national scale. More here.

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