The sheer number of patents in the U.S. is fueling frivolous litigation and drastic action is needed to make patents more difficult to obtain and easier to invalidate, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit said Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
No one is above the outrage cycle. We have now, in our culture, synthesized the two worst elements of pre-9/11 and post-9/11 media: the pre-9/11 obsession with meaningless bullshit; and the post-9/11 obsession with filling every story with apocalyptic portent and over the top, tween-girl-at-a-Jonas-brothers-concert hysteria. We still care too much about J-Lo’s dress and the Summer of the Shark. Now, we get around the idea that we are shallow for giving a shit about such things by infusing them with pseudo-political importance and our current national drug of choice, outrage. Everything is an outrage. Everyone is outraged. Every turn of the news cycle gives us a new opportunity to pound the table.
I would say regardless of the circumstances, congratulations to President Obama for winning the Nobel Prize. I know there will be some people who are saying “Was it based on good intentions and thoughts or is it going to be based on good results?” But I think the appropriate response is when anybody wins a Nobel Prize that is a very noteworthy development and designation and I think the appropriate response is to say “Congratulations.”Low-key, classy and appropriate.
Giving it some more reflection, I am starting to gravitate toward Sully’s position on this:
Update: Here’s a bit of useful history on the prize:
I’ve had some coffee now. Reading through all the reactions, compiled by Chris and Patrick, there are two obvious points: this is premature and this is thoroughly deserved.
Both are right. I don’t think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country’s reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That’s understandable. And so they also haven’t fully absorbed the turn-around in the world’s view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere.
This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.I like Shimon Peres’ statement, reprinted in a useful compendium of world reaction at the Lede:
“Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.” Mr. Peres, who won the peace prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat in 1994 following the Oslo Accords, added: “Under your leadership, peace became a real and original agenda. And from Jerusalem, I am sure all the bells of engagement and understanding will ring again. You gave us a license to dream and act in a noble direction.”
Right now, we do not know where that direction will ultimately lead. We do know that we were facing a spiral of conflict that, unchecked, could have taken the world to the abyss. I see this prize as an endorsement of his extraordinary reorientation of world politics, and as an encouragement to see it through. In the midst of our domestic battles, and their ill-temper (from which I have not been immune lately), this is an attempt to tell us: look up for a moment, see how far we’ve come in pivoting away from global conflict, and give this man a break for his efforts and the massive burden he now bears.
And, in the darkness that still threatens, know hope.
The Nobel Peace Prize’s aims are expressly political. The Nobel committee seeks to change the world through the prize’s very conferral, and, unlike its fellow prizes, the peace prize goes well beyond recognizing past accomplishments. As Francis Sejersted, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the 1990s, once proudly admitted, “The prize … is not only for past achievement. … The committee also takes the possible positive effects of its choices into account [because] … Nobel wanted the prize to have political effects. Awarding a peace prize is, to put it bluntly, a political act.”Update 2: And John Cole highlights one of the other aspects to this:
Allahpundit sounds like he is about to stroke out, Breitbart probably won’t speak for two weeks, and this is yet another opportunity for Republicans to show the entire country what assholes they can be.
I’m really looking forward to it. There should be some pretty quality stuff coming from the wingnuts who just 24 hours ago were getting themselves worked into a froth over the art in the White House.
President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Friday for his work to improve international diplomacy and rid the world of nuclear weapons — a stunning decision to celebrate a figure virtually unknown in the world before he launched his campaign for the White House nearly three years ago…I have mixed feelings on this. My initial reaction is that this is pretty darn premature for a President who’s only been in office for nine months.
“He got the prize because he has been able to change the international climate,” Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said. “Some people say, and I understand it, isn’t it premature? Too early? Well, I’d say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now. It is now that we have the opportunity to respond — all of us.”
The selection to some extent reflects a trans-Atlantic divergence on Obama. In Europe and much of the world he is lionized for bringing the United States closer to mainstream global thinking on issues like climate change and multilateralism. At home, the picture is more complicated. As president, Obama is often criticized as he attempts to carry out his agenda — drawing fire over a host of issues from government spending to health care to the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.
On the flip side, I also think that this is a channel for the international community to show its gratitude to America for booting out former Premier Bush. E.g.,
The award appeared to be at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama’s predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.Here’s Steve Benen’s perspective:
The Nobel Peace Prize, as I understand it, is awarded to the person (or persons) who’ve shown great leadership in advancing the cause of international peace. President Obama has invested consider energy and political capital in doing just that — promoting counter-proliferation, reversing policies on torture, embracing a new approach to international engagement, and recommitting the U.S. to the Middle East peace process.I’ll probably have more as the day wears on but… wow, what a surprise. At least we’ll have delicious rightwing freakout to keep the day interesting.
Conservatives reacted with shock and dismay to the Nobel committee’s decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama. There are reports that some prominent conservatives exploded like Agent Smith at the end of Matrix. But FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly reacted with little surprise, telling viewers, “Look, Sweden is a socialist country, so of course they elected one of their own.” Rush Limbaugh blamed “reverse discrimination,” claiming that, “Qualified white candidates have been passed over once again for a black man who doesn’t deserve a peace prize.” Limbaugh also complained that liberals were “playing the race card again.” Glenn Beck wept aloud on his radio show and cried, “Run for your lives, America, the fascho-communist revolution is at hand!”And it looks like Rupert Murdoch is rolling out a new set of awards to counteract the Nobel “taint” that has now befallen Obama:
Literature: Sarah Palin, for her upcoming book, Going Rogue: An American Life. While the book has not been released, the committee expressed confidence that “its literary impact will be enormous.”
Economics: Rush Limbaugh, for his groundbreaking theory that Obama had purposefully created economic instability in order to increase unemployment that would make people more anxious about health care and help pass a universal health care plan.
Chemistry: Charles B. Thaxton, author of The Mystery of Life’s Origin, for his pioneering work in the field of Intelligent Design
Physiology or Medicine: Rush Limbaugh again, for his courageous resistance Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ swine flu vaccination drive on the grounds that “it’s not her role” to tell him what to do.
Physics: God, for making the universe. God’s award will be accepted by His representative, Dr. James Dobson, and the $1.5M award will be donated to Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization.
Peace: Joint winners George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, for ridding the world of Saddam Hussein, a “dangerous menace” who the committee said “might one day have developed Weapons of Mass Destruction.”
I agree with the London Times:
The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.Color me incredulous. Obama winning the prize is something I had looked forward to—after a few years, once he’d accomplished something, which I thought there was a fair chance of.
Rarely has an award had such an obvious political and partisan intent. It was clearly seen by the Norwegian Nobel committee as a way of expressing European gratitude for an end to the Bush Administration, approval for the election of America’s first black president and hope that Washington will honour its promise to re-engage with the world.
Instead, the prize risks looking preposterous in its claims, patronising in its intentions and demeaning in its attempt to build up a man who has barely begun his period in office, let alone achieved any tangible outcome for peace.
The pretext for the prize was Mr Obama’s decision to “strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples”. Many people will point out that, while the President has indeed promised to “reset” relations with Russia and offer a fresh start to relations with the Muslim world, there is little so far to show for his fine words.
There is a further irony in offering a peace prize to a president whose principal preoccupation at the moment is when and how to expand the war in Afghanistan.
The spectacle of Mr Obama mounting the podium in Oslo to accept a prize that once went to Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Mother Theresa would be all the more absurd if it follows a White House decision to send up to 40,000 more US troops to Afghanistan. However just such a war may be deemed in Western eyes, Muslims would not be the only group to complain that peace is hardly compatible with an escalation in hostilities.
[..] The committee said today that he had “captured the world’s attention”. It is certainly true that his energy and aspirations have dazzled many of his supporters. Sadly, it seems they have so bedazzled the Norwegians that they can no longer separate hopes from achievement. The achievements of all previous winners have been diminished.
But this is bullshit. Imagine if an Olympic committee assigned gold medals to favored athletes before the qualifying rounds were even over!
This committee has made a mockery of themselves, of Obama, of the prize, and of the accomplishments of past recipients.
All will be ridiculed for this absurdly premature award. Insofar as people look to something like the peace prize for inspiration, this has set back the cause of peace.
Omg, this is just too freaking hilarious:
I’m sure people have seen the parody site about how Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 by now. What you may not know though is that Beck filed a complaint before an international body, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), regarding the site’s content.
The attorney for the parody site, Marc Randazza, penned an absolute gut-buster of a response to Beck’s ludicrous lawsuit.
Hahahahahahahahaha. Epicly Pwned!
There is no indication that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to confuse anyone searching for Mr. Beck’s own website, nor that anyone was unintentionally confused – even initially. Only an abject imbecile could believe that the domain name would have any connection to the Complainant.
We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent’s website wondering “where did all the race baiting content go?” We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent’s website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent’s website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck’s very rhetorical style.
For more delicious pwnage, read it all here.
On the one hand, I really don’t have a problem with the conceptual/moral principle of putting someone to death who (beyond any shred of doubt) committed profoundly heinous acts like premeditated murder and even serial child rape.
On the other hand, our criminal justice system is so completely fucked up right now that I really don’t trust it (and especially juries of our “peers”) to administer the ultimate punishment fairly or dispassionately.
With that said, I think Ta-Nehisi Coates makes a pretty incisive point on the matter:
Texas justice is essentially sorcery, and there will be people who say that we can perfect it, that we can close the loop-holes. They’re wrong. The problem isn’t with loopholes–it’s with us. We are fallible. Conservatives, more than anyone, should know that–it undergirds their entire philosophy. They don’t think government can perfect much of anything. What makes them think we can perfect murder? I’d have a lot more respect if they just came out and said, “Yeah, it isn’t perfect, but it’s a price we should be willing to pay.If the fundamental driving principle behind modern conservatism is that most government is a horrible, doomed-to-fail albatross that needs to be fought and starved out of existence, how can they justify handing over the keys to the executioner’s room to the very government they loathe?
- Library Grape: More Hannibal, Please
- Library Grape: Let Them Eat Cat Food: Santorum Calls For Americans To Suffer More
- vegasjessie: Dangerous Fundamentalism: The Taliban and the American Tealiban
- Political Analytical – Insight and Analysis on Politics and Reason: Mike’s Blog Round Up
- Library Grape: What the Crippity-Crap?
- Republican Congressman Rips Limbaugh
- Governor Blagojevich Impeached
- My job is not to worry about those people.
- WaPo Offers to Hook Lobbyists Up With Politicos, For a Fee
- Best Paraphrase of the Week: Pandagon on Palin
- Lugar's In Trouble
- Umm...about that Afghanistan thing...
- As Republican Popularity Declines, Fox News Gets More Viewers
- America's Torture Ambivalence Summed Up In One Cartoon
- Interesting Timing On Snowe's Departure
- May 2013 (25)
- April 2013 (36)
- March 2013 (56)
- February 2013 (42)
- January 2013 (71)
- December 2012 (67)
- November 2012 (40)
- October 2012 (44)
- September 2012 (35)
- August 2012 (39)
- July 2012 (36)
- June 2012 (35)
- May 2012 (42)
- April 2012 (42)
- March 2012 (64)
- February 2012 (71)
- January 2012 (67)
- December 2011 (57)
- November 2011 (72)
- October 2011 (63)
- September 2011 (55)
- August 2011 (53)
- July 2011 (44)
- June 2011 (71)
- May 2011 (91)
- April 2011 (101)
- March 2011 (104)
- February 2011 (96)
- January 2011 (71)
- December 2010 (73)
- November 2010 (59)
- October 2010 (80)
- September 2010 (64)
- August 2010 (39)
- July 2010 (46)
- June 2010 (27)
- May 2010 (54)
- April 2010 (34)
- March 2010 (38)
- February 2010 (47)
- January 2010 (62)
- December 2009 (57)
- November 2009 (72)
- October 2009 (76)
- September 2009 (50)
- August 2009 (85)
- July 2009 (56)
- June 2009 (141)
- May 2009 (103)
- April 2009 (113)
- March 2009 (66)
- February 2009 (43)
- January 2009 (87)
- December 2008 (18)
Wine Labels2012 Election 2012 Elections Abortion Barack Obama Bullshit Bush Christianity Congress Conservatives Democrats Economy Fail Foreign Policy Fox News Gay Marriage Hatred Health Care Ignorance Insanity Iran Law LGBT Issues Libertarianism Lies Media Mitt Romney Music Paul Ryan Policy Polls Quotes Racism Rebuttals Recession Republicans Right Wing Sarah Palin Scandal Stupidity Teabaggers Torture Truth Video War Crimes War on Terror