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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Local stage

Friday March 5 at 7 p.m., Stage One will be presenting "John Lennon and Me" at the The Kentucky Center, Bomhard Theater. Lots of local school children are attending the show through weekday performances that are not open to the general public.

The reviewer who attended the preview loved it.

The play is about a small group of teenagers who have complicated lives because some of them have serious illnesses. The two lead characters "quickly learn to see past stereotypes and sicknesses and are able to develop a special friendship, teaching one another about everything from boys, to Heart House [a children's hospital] code, to lessons of life and death."

The reviewer has posted a couple of photos from the show -- the linked one features my youngest daughter.


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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Climate blog updates

I finished teaching my climate class early last December and the Copenhagen summit concluded two months ago. Thus, I haven't been providing regular updates to my e-IR blog on "Climate Politics: IR and the Environment." However, after taking a break to complete some papers (including a chapter on climate change for a new edition of a textbook), I do plan to post there every week or two.

These are my most recent posts, encompassing everything since I last summarized my work there:

R20
February 13, 2010
The Copenhagen conference occurred during the final days of my fall semester. Then came the holiday break and several paper deadlines. Hence, I’ve been quiet here. Sorry about that.

This past week, however, I participated in a campus “Teach-In” on climate change. I offered an international perspective and covered many points familiar to readers of this blo…

The story of cap and trade
December 17, 2009
The ongoing negotiations in Copenhagen, which are slated to end Friday, are apparently at a “critical juncture” according to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The United States inched closer to the views of its European allies today by agreeing that it is “prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year to a…


The Danish Text
December 9, 2009
Should environmentalists and other progressives get worked up over the recently leaked “Danish text”? Todays Guardian summarized the key concerns raised by this alleged draft agreement among the rich states:
• Force developing countries to agree to specific emission cuts and measures that were not part of the original UN agreement;…
• Not allow poor count…

Climate “Reparations”
December 1, 2009
One of the critical issues facing Copenhagen negotiators is the amount of money (and technology) that will be transferred from wealthy states (who are responsible for the lion’s share of past and current greenhouse gas emissions) to developing countries so that the latter won’t burn fossil fuels and thereby create future emissions that could effectively cancel o…



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Friday, February 26, 2010

Ducks in a row

This has been a quiet week here, but I've posted several pieces at Duck of Minerva recently.

Today, I posted "Wilson's legacy," which compares the neoconservative argument about "democratic realism" to the pragmatic and limited version of liberalism Wilson advocated.

Wednesday, February 24, I posted "More ISA highlights," which constituted my second contribution to the post-conference reminiscing by the Duck bloggers.

Last Saturday, February 20, the first of those posts appeared: "ISA: Renewing my call for comedy." Yes, I presented another paper (or two?) for "the comedy project."

January 24, I posted "Hamiltonian Failure?" The posting explored whether the American state has perhaps gone too far in removing itself from global capitalism.

January 14, I blogged about the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Haiti. The post focuses on Pat Robertson's idiocy.


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Saturday, February 20, 2010

KY: 49 of 50

The latest Gallup "well-being" index was released about a week ago:
Hawaii's residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2009, pulling ahead of 2008 leader Utah, and coming in with a new high state Well-Being Index score of 70.2. Utah and Montana are also among the top well-being states in the country, sharing the same score of 68.3. Kentucky (62.3) and West Virginia (60.5) have the two lowest well-being scores, as they did in 2008.
The score reflects "an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities."

Since I've lived in Kentucky for 19 years, I suppose the appropriate thing to do here is to disparage West Virginia -- rip them for something people in my state care about. Hint: it wasn't the Gallup poll that caused Gov. Joe Manchin to say recently: "I was so ashamed and so embarrassed for our state..."

Still, Kentuckians will take it.


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Friday, February 12, 2010

Is Nuclear Deterrence Dead as the Dodo Bird?

The title of this post is also the title of one of my papers for next week's International Studies Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans. I've been a bad blogger for weeks because in the past 6 to 8 weeks, I've completed a draft chapter on the Iraq war (from a critical theory perspective), a coauthored chapter on the politics of climate change, another ISA paper on "Teaching Global Politics Through Film: The Role of Comedy" and this paper.

Here's the revised abstract:
Supporters and opponents of nuclear deterrence are clearly engaged in a renewed “contest” about the status of a long-standing normative idea in international relations. While the reality and logic of nuclear deterrence is often taken-for-granted, recurrent debates about the meaning and effectiveness of the norm arguably reflect an ongoing legitimacy crisis. Academic critics of nuclear strategy have for the most part simply revealed and explained the many contradictions in deterrence theorizing and practice. Most of these critics seek to correct, perfect, and reinforce the fundamental logic of deterrence. In contrast, the primary concern here is whether the growing recognition of the contradictions, irrationalities, and even absurdities of nuclear deterrence might usher in the strategy’s demise—and potentially create the conditions for, and/or provide the impetus to, a world free of nuclear weapons. Empirically, much attention is directed at the anti-nuclear activism of numerous prominent former and current public officials and military leaders who have condemned nuclear weapons and called for a world without them. Alternatively, the paper explores whether the death of deterrence might merely assure the long life of preventive war strategies (like the “Bush Doctrine”)? In terms of international relations theory, this paper serves as an immanent critique of nuclear deterrence.
Comments welcome.

I'll try to be a better blogger in the near future.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

The Moon

George W. Bush's plan to revive the moon landing program is apparently dead. The NYT today::
President Obama is calling on NASA to cancel the program that was to return humans to the Moon by 2020, and focus instead on radically new space technologies.

Mr. Obama’s 2010 budget proposal for NASA asks for $18 billion over five years for fueling spacecraft in orbit, new types of engines to accelerate spacecraft through space and robotic factories that could churn soil on the Moon — and eventually Mars — into rocket fuel.
This is not directly related, but it seems apt
:



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