Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Connecticut

Weekend Links

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* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Unreturned library books can mean jail time.

It’s intuitive but wrong to picture the public debt as private debt we’re all on the hook for. In reality, public debt isn’t really properly thought of as borrowing at all, according to Frank N. Newman, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury under President Clinton. Since the U.S. doesn’t need to borrow back the dollars it originally spent into existence in order to spend them again, the purpose of issuing Treasuries is really just for “providing an opportunity for investors to move funds from risky banks to safe and liquid treasuries,” he writes. Investors aren’t doing the U.S. a favor by buying treasury securities; the U.S. is doing investors a favor by selling them. Otherwise, without the option “to place their funds in the safest most liquid form of instrument there is for U.S. dollars,” would-be bondholders “are stuck keeping some of their funds in banks, with bank risk.”

We frack the places we’ve already abandoned.

Sherlock Holmes, First Published in 1893, Is Officially in the Public Domain in the US.

* Twitter account of the night: @ClickbaitSCOTUS.

* The problem with white allies.

* …added up, this is a picture of massive corruption and cowardice at the top levels of our law enforcement agencies.

An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the Wolf Himself. How the “Wolf of Wall Street” Is Still Screwing His Real-Life Victims.

Institutional Prestige and the Academic Caste System.

* “If we’re hyperanxious about college access, costs, and returns, it is because we’re hyperanxious about the fissures in our social contract that college is supposed to patch up.”

What happens to workers when jobs becomes gigs? The Fear Economy.

An administrative law judge in Florida this week upheld new rules by the State Department of Education that require significantly more of state college faculty members — particularly in the areas of student success — for them to earn continuing contracts (the equivalent of tenure).

* Slate covers the US’s insane hostility towards presymptomatic genetic testing.

* Connecticut just hands ESPN sacks of money every year.

Degenerate, Inc.: The Paranoid and Obsessive Life of a Mid-Level Bookie.

Reality Pawns: The New Money TV.

Why I voted for an academic boycott of Israel.

* Wisconsin finds another use for cheese.

* The kids are all right — they’re abandoning Facebook.

The 38 Most Haunting Abandoned Places On Earth. Some new ones in the mix here.

* And good news everyone! Your dystopian surveillance nightmare is legal again.

shipwreck

Newtown – 2

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10108_459964520730062_231269014_n* The victims of the Dunblane massacre would have turned 21 this year. The United Kingdom responded to this tragedy by banning private ownership of handguns; they had 39 gun homicides this year. We are radically free; we can choose to live in any type of world we like. Tax bullets. Ban bullets. Mandate insurance for gun ownership. Institute onerous licensing requirements and registration fees. Figure out some way to stop people from being murdered in movie theaters and schools. There’s no reason this should go on.

*  In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

* Nine kids dead from guns in 24 hours. From 2007.

Fuck Everything, Nation Reports.

* How to talk to your kids about tragedy, from St. Rogers.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.

Still Sandy

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More pictures of Sandy from The Big Picture and Naked Capitalism. The New York Metropolitan Area’s transportation infrastructure is overtaxed on a good day; I can’t fathom how things in the Northeast are going to function if this many of its chokepoints are jammed, much less for weeks.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 31, 2012 at 8:03 am

Tons of Weekend Links

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* “Austerity is not inevitable”: France falls to the Red Menace.

* Podcast of the weekend: Global science fiction on WorldCanvass, with Brooks Landon, Rob Latham, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, and others.

* Charlie Stross prophesies the death of science fiction.

But anyway, to summarize: my point is that our genre sits uneasily within boundaries delineated by the machinery of sales. And that creaking steam-age machinery is currently in the process of being swapped out for some kind of irridescent, gleaming post-modern intrusion from the planet internet. New marketing strategies become possible, indeed, become essential. And the utility of the old signifiers—the rocket ship logo on the spine of the paperback—diminish in the face of the new (tagging, reader recommendations, “if you liked X you’ll love Y” cross-product correlations by sales engines, custom genre-specific cover illustrations, and so on).

* Tom Hayden remembers the Port Huron Statement (or at least the compromise second draft).

* Joe Biden endorses marriage equality for about fifteen minutes.

Black Studies Hitpiece Leads to Chronicle of Higher Ed Twitter Trainwreck. Why Is the Chronicle of Higher Education Publishing A Racist Hack? Grad Students Respond to Riley Post on African-American Studies. The Inferiority of Blackness as a Subject. Anti-intellectualism, déjà vu.

When copyright term-extension meets infinite life-extension.

* A tribute to Disneyland’s secret restroom.

* Connecticut continues its recent spate of being decent its citizens, legalizes medical medicine.

* Stand for your ground: A Florida woman faces prison after firing a warning shot to scare off an abusive husband.

* Nerds assemble! Joss Whedon finally made something everybody likes. An interview. Another. Whedon on Batman. Whedon on Wonder Woman.

* The Avengers: Will superhero movies never end?

What I see in “The Avengers,” unfortunately, is a diminished film despite its huge scale, and kind of a bore. It’s a diminishment of Whedon’s talents, as he squeezes himself into an ill-fitting narrative straitjacket, and it’s a diminished form that has become formula, that depends entirely on minor technical innovations and leaves virtually no room for drama or tragedy or anything else that might make the story actually interesting. To praise the movie lavishly, as so many people have done and will continue to do, basically requires making endless allowances. It’s really good (for being a comic-book movie). It’s really good (for being almost exactly like dozens of other things). It’s really good (for being utterly inconsequential).

* Today’s single chart that explains everything.

* The football suicides. More players file concussion lawsuits against the NFL. Will the NFL still exist in 20 years?

* The internship scam.

How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone.

* Save the Holocene! Why “the Anthropocene” might not be a useful construct.

* Do you remember Frank Kunkel? How about Frank Nowarczyk? John Marsh or Robert Erdman? Johann Zazka? Martin Jankowiak? Not even Michael Ruchalski? Do you remember the call “Eight hours for labor, eight hours for rest, eight hours for recreation?” The names are those of the seven of the nine people killed in 1886 in Bay View, Wisconsin for demanding eight hour work days.

* On Colorado’s policy of sending kids to adult court.

* A report by the ABA shows that some law schools hire as many as 15% of new graduates in an effort to boost employment numbers.

* Consider the case of Toby Groves.

* New Police Strategy in New York: Sexual Assault Against Peaceful Protesters.

* North Carolina’s Ban on Gay Marriage Appears Likely to Pass.

* Since Mexico’s legislative body passed sweeping climate change legislation on April 19, Mexico joins the UK as the only two countries in the world with legally binding emissions goals to combat climate change.

http://thebiblein100days.tumblr.com/

* American Airlines channels Darth Vader: We are altering the deal. Pray we do not alter it further.

* And Stephen Colbert’s employment of the comedic stylings of German Ambassador Hans Beinholtz continues to be my absolute favorite thing of all time.

Wednesday

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* Doctor Who: 100% true. Fact.

* On the set of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. I would be very excited about this show if the protagonist weren’t yet another fantasyland Sorkin Republican.

* Connecticut has abolished the death penalty.

* Obama comes to Carolina, never mentions Amendment One.

* Most of what we think about Mexican immigration is wrong. (via)

* The end of the world and the impossibility of an alternative to financial capitalism are not just defining features of contemporary global imagination: they sustain one another. After all, if we might all be radioactive smudges on the tarmac come Tuesday, why not be out for as much as we can grab today? Why build a sustainable growth model if it might be underwater in thirty years? Unrestrained free-market capitalism requires that its vassals live in the moment, borrowing against their own futures, and for the past two generations of neoliberal policymaking, there have been logical reasons for us to do so.

* Obama v. Obama on the drug war.

* Vermont Continues Working Towards A Universal Health Care System.

* And some sad news: Rest in peace, Ernest Callenbach, father of Ecotopia.

Thursday Links

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The State Department is infested with vegetarians. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being vegetarians and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.

The Committee on Climate Change report, with the hairy-sounding title “Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping,” says that in 2050, the UK’s emissions reductions across the whole economy will cost 1-2 percent of the total GDP. THE PRICE IS TOO HIGH LET THE PLANET BURN

* It’s come to this: raising taxes and cutting defense spending are so unthinkable that they literally don’t even count as policy proposals.

In reality, there is nothing in any U.S. statute, federal or state, that requires corporations to maximize their profits.

* This op-ed on the difficulty of a career in academia honestly only scratches the surface of how bad it can get. In the U.S. academy, for instance, the heteronormative perspective that is usually taken up as exemplary deeply obscures the costs of the job search on gay and lesbian academics, for whom movement between states and between institutions can mean radical shifts in their basic rights.

Kathleen Lynch, professor of equality studies at University College Dublin, has argued that the idealised academic has no ties or responsibilities to limit their capacity to work. “To be a successful academic is to be unencumbered by caring,” she says.

It’s a terrible way to force people to live.

* Lukas Neville, a doctoral student at Queen’s University in Ontario, reports in the latest issue of Psychological Science that there’s more evidence of academic dishonesty in U.S. states with bigger gaps between the rich and the poor. Those gaps, he speculates, erode trust among people—something that’s been found by other researchers—and less trust means more cheating.

* Some lovely anti-education agitprop in the Atlantic that, as is typical, bears absolutely no relationship to how the academic job market actually works:

After finishing their dissertations, PhDs are hired by a college, based on publication records, the reputations of their references, and the name of their graduate programs. If they happen to have picked up a little classroom experience through a temporary position, it is rarely considered by hiring committees.

Right, that’s totally how it goes.

* Detroit photography beyond ruin porn: Dennis Maitland.

* From the archives: Vice Visits the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Via Longform.org.

* 15 writers’ bedrooms. They’re just like us!

* And 45 to go: Connecticut may be latest state to repeal death penalty.

All the Things That Happened Today

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* Sad news: Terrorist attack at Moscow’s busiest airport.

* Rumors are swirling that the Wachowskis may pull a Lucas.

* Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult.

* SOTU 2011: “How We Win the Future.” Warning: climate change may not exist in the future.

* No composting either.

* Will big-name Republicans sit out 2012?

* The problem with regarding the photography of suffering as ‘pornography.’

* Killjoys keep debunking the “twin suns in 2012″ Betelgeuse supernova story. Can’t I have just this one thing?

* Soccer science! As game theory predicts, legitimate falls far outnumber fake falls, Wilson reported at the meeting. Only 6% of the 2800 falls were highly deceptive dives. Players were two to three times as likely to dive when close to the goal, where the payoff was huge: Statistics show that there is an 80% chance of scoring from penalty kicks. Almost none of the highly deceptive dives resulted in free kicks against the diver. And referees were most likely to reward dives that occurred close to the goals—perhaps because the players were farther away and the deception harder to detect, he noted.

No. Just no.

* James Kochalka is Vermont’s first cartoonist laureate.

* Headline of the day: Man admits mailing hundreds of tarantulas.

* I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears the Bush administration may have broken the law.

* Genghis Khan: history’s greenest conqueror?

Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how exactly did Genghis Khan, one of history’s cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today’s environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire — with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world’s total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

For certain values of “green”… Via MetaFilter.

* And also via MetaFilter: Vermont vs. corporate personhood. Republicans vs. the Internet. Rahm Emanuel gets Chicago’d. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The United States of Shame. Teacher salary? Damn you North Carolina!

I Think This Is How Rome Collapsed

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Crazy Busy Today

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Seriously busy day today—hardly able to catch my breath. In lieu of that, some links.

* It was an unexpectedly good day for the Communofascist wing of the Democratic Party, with Joe Sestak beating Arlen Specter, Mark Critz winning in PA-12, and Bill Halter forcing Blanche Lincoln into a run-off in Arkansas. That Richard Blumenthal has managed to completely shit the bed in Connecticut can wait perhaps for another night.

* The video of our most recent Polygraph event—John Bellamy Foster and Brett Clark discussing “the consumer trap—is now on iTunesU. The download should be free to everyone.

* A from-bad-to-worse update on the story of a seven-year-old Detroit girl killed by police officers during a no-knock raid: they may have been filming a reality show.

* Extreme weather videos in hailstorm and tornado flavors. Both links via MeFi.

* It’s pretty scary to think that a person without basic qualifications could fraudulently pilot jets for 13 years without being caught, but at the same time it’s actually fairly comforting that in all that time nothing bad happened.

* This Dark Knight / Toy Story 2 mashup is an instant classic of the genre.

* Raising academic dishonesty to the level of art.

* Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 will be set in New York. I am intrigued.

* Lenin’s Tomb on why neoliberalism persists.

* And preparing now for next year’s job market. And the next year’s. And the next year’s…

Dodd Too?

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Apparently. This is widely understood as good news for Democrats, as Dodd is significantly less popular than other Democrats in his state, especially the person most likely to take a run at the seat, State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 6, 2010 at 12:03 am

Please, Just Go Away

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I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be there in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be there in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they built—I’ll be there, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Heel Turn

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Heel turn: Linda McMahon, CEO of what in better days was still called the WWF, will run as a Republican for the Senate.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Weekend Politics Catchup

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Lots of stuff happened this weekend, and I didn’t blog about any of it. Here’s some catch-up.

* Marriage equality has reached Connecticut. Three down, forty-seven to go.

* John McCain is finally trying to calm his crowds down and getting booed for his efforts.

* How big is “big”? However big “big” is, Obama’s still-unannounced fundraising total is it.

* Since polling began, only one candidate has ever closed a gap as the one now facing John McCain: Ronald Reagan. And since we already know Obama is the liberal Ronald Reagan, that leaves McCain pretty much high and dry. The RNC is even thinking of bailing on him to try and protect congressional seats.

* Though not everyone agrees McCain is toast. “My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them.” And the media backs up his unhealthy delusions by reporting ten-point Obama leads as “toss-ups” and 2% McCain leads as “Lean McCain.”

* Palin cleared in Troopergate probe—by herself. The real probe says she acted unlawfully, and so does the New York Times.

* And is this the end of American capitalism?

Written by gerrycanavan

October 13, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Im In Your Base Stealing Ur Voterz

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Right next door to New York: A shocking poll from Rasmussen tonight shows Clinton and Obama tied in Connecticut at 40% each. (Note that this is from Sunday, before the Kennedy endorsement.)

Written by gerrycanavan

January 30, 2008 at 12:09 am

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