Your Week in Review (Feb. 27- Mar. 6)

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe definitively proves that global warming is a hoax

Well guys, I was wrong. Here I was this time last week, soapboxing on about how undeniable the science behind climate change is undeniable, when unbeknownst to me, over on Capitol Hill, James Mountain Inhofe had actually proved me wrong a day earlier. That modern-day Copernicus, one foot planted firmly on the shoulders of giants and the other on Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair for good measure, used the simplest of observations to revolutionize how the world sees cilmate science. Indeed, the nation’s scientists ought to be ashamed of themselves, being humiliated so handily by a mere snowball. Who needs fancy graphs, all those hard-to-read numbers, or Al Gore standing in front of heartbroken polar wildlife when the grand hoax that is climate change falls apart on the mere mention that it’s pretty cold outside.

Clint Eastwood’s empty chair would be proud. Highly-publicized lunacy is always a good time, and Inhofe is no exception, as the entire media’s reaction (save one eternal exception) can show you. Slightly less amusing is that Inhofe is the chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works as of this January, meaning that the leading voice in Senate environmental science only believes in things that he can directly observe, like some terrifying hybrid of a small child lacking object permanence and a tinfoil-donning trailer dweller who thinks that everything “official” is a lie, with the bonus of having a say in deciding national legislation. Way to go, Jimmy.

Vladimir “totally not an autocrat” Putin strikes

Sad news from Moscow this week, where prominent liberal figure Boris Nemstov was gunned down by an unknown assassin close to Red Square. The former deputy prime minister and longtime critic of president Vladimir Putin had been preparing a march against the economic crisis and the war in Ukraine, alongside ongoing research into Putin’s involvement in Ukraine and his attempts to set up a puppet state in East Ukraine. Now, while there are no leading suspects (and, if anyone familiar with Russia is to be believed, there likely won’t ever be any), Nemstov’s death screams foul play no matter which way you look at it. First, his history of opposition to Putin places him along all the other human rights activists, whistleblowers, and journalists who have mysteriously been found shot, poisoned, or who have simply died in official custody. Second, Nemstov said only three weeks before his death that he feared for his life, specifically that Putin would kill him for his research into the Ukraine conflict. In addition, the CCTV footage from the scene was conveniently inconclusive, being either missing or too blurry to use. Lastly, police immediately seized Nemstov’s computer and all of his research from his apartment following his death. I don’t think that you need me to tell you that this all reeks of an official cover-up, and marks Putin’s most recent dictatorial folly, a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

Alabama slow to adopt modernity, again

While it should hardly count as surprising, the Alabama Supreme Court’s order to stop same-sex marriages across the state in spite of a federal ruling overturning the ban on such marriage is still disheartening. The national trend in favor of same-sex marriage and in opposition to discriminatory state laws is pretty overwhelming, with big decision after big decision going in the direction of marriage equality. And yet, just as with slavery and civil rights, Alabama is fighting to remain on the wrong side of history, ignoring federal jurisdiction in favor of their own deluded, nonsensical ideology. With the US Supreme Court set to rule on same-sex marriage in April, let’s hope that we can finally hear the end of Alabama’s current reactionary obsession.

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