Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘fascism

These Are Monday Links; There Are Many Like Them, But These Are Mine

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* If you’ve been following Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, there’s a new chapter out.

* A One-Item List For Tenure-Track Faculty: Do the job you were hired to do.

* The next wave of Afrofuturism.

* Kim Stanley Robinson: Science Fiction and the Realism of Our Time.

* Bring on the Snowpiercer thinkpieces! 1, 2, 3, 4.

* When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

* Even the liberal George Will: “We ought to say to these children, ‘Welcome to America, you’re going to go to school and get a job and become Americans,’” Will implored. “We have 3,141 counties in this country. That would be 20 per county. The idea that we can’t assimilate these eight-year-old criminals with their teddy bears is preposterous.”

* Identifying the bodies of those who tried to cross the border illegally.

* Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* There is a lizard sex satellite floating in space and Russia no longer has it under control. UPDATE: Russia Regains Control of Gecko Zero-G Sex Satellite.

* If you want to know how I do it. More links below the image!

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* Iron Man Should Move to Cleveland, Not San Francisco.

* A friend said it best: Ricky Gervais is scripting Congress now.

* Star Fleet uniforms: not OSHA-compliant.

* The mask slips: Tax agency says ‘preventing poverty’ not allowed as goal for charity.

* Slave Leia is a bummer.

* “Our bad!” It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All.

* Cupcake fascism.

* This is horrible: First case of ebola reported in Africa’s most populous city Lagos.

* When Tonga Was a Vast Empire.

* The Five Most Overrated Weapons of War.

* On “Bad Feminism.”

* Community colleges and the art of the hustle.

* A lawsuit may determine whether “Happy Birthday” is really still under copyright, which is a bananas notion to begin with.

* Scientists: Rich People, Poor People May Have Shared Common Ancestor.

* BuzzFeed Writer Resigns In Disgrace After Plagiarizing ‘10 Llamas Who Wish They Were Models.’

* Blastr teases Grant Morrison’s Multiversity.

* Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert.

* If I major in philosophy, what are the career prospects?

* Ascension sounds… pretty good?

The deadliest Ebola outbreak in recorded history is happening right now. And now the Liberian government has confirmed that a senior doctor working to fight the disease, Samuel Brisbane, has died, the Associated Press reports. That makes him the first Liberian doctor to die of Ebola in the current outbreak.

In addition, an American doctor has been infected. Keith Brantly, a 33-year-old working for American aid organization Samaritan’s Purse, has been treated and is in stable condition, according to USA Today.

This news comes just days after an announcement that the top Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone, Sheik Umar Khan, had been infected.

* And before there was The State, there was You Wrote It, You Watch It.

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Weekend Links!

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* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.

* So Paul Di Filippo really liked Green Planets.

* Receive this petition in nomination of three candidates for MLA Executive Council and one for 2nd Vice President.

* Explaining Tuition Hikes at the University of Michigan. Construction Not Instruction: Bonds and Buildings at the Public University. 5 Links Between Higher Education and the Prison Industry.

And this is the pattern with austerity. The measures introduced under the rubric of an emergency, the supposed need to consolidate debt and appease “the market,” ultimately do little for the debt, and only consolidate the market’s tyrannical reach.

* On trigger warnings and who gets to count.

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth.

* I was born too early.

The Lion King: A short history of Disney-fascism.

But the emotional trauma that Disney tries its damnedest to induce in young children is only the spadework for the ugly principles it feels it must implant in each new generation. Although the film takes place in an imaginary jungle, THE LION KING really expounds the Law of the Schoolyard: only the strong and the beautiful triumph, and the powerless survive only by serving the strong. As Disney sees it, children must not only acknowledge the supremacy of those born privileged and violent, the children must love them. The young must gaze in hushed veneration at the princely predators who stand ready to harvest the labor and flesh of their subjects. They must learn to giggle at the hopeless scampering of weak and stubby creatures as they dodge the jaws of their overlords. They must accept that true friendship means flattering those who would otherwise feast on their entrails.

DaysOver95-MJ* Climate denialism and the Outer Banks. These time-lapse maps show how much hotter the USA will be when you’re old.

Why Did Borges Hate Soccer?

Was the U.S. Robbed Against Portugal? It Depends on What Time Means.

* You got your class-based analysis in my intersectionality NO you got your intersectionality in my class-based analysis

* Another exciting week of Good SCOTUS, Bad SCOTUS.

* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.

* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.

Democrats are the worst, Daily Show edition.

Hillary Clinton 2016 and the Folly of the Left-Flank Push.

If you or any other speculator on my body and rights, wish to know how I regard my rights, they need but come here and lay their hands on me to enslave me. Did you think to terrify me by presenting the alternative to give my money to you, or give my body to Slavery? Then let me say to you, that I meet the proposition with unutterable scorn and contempt.

* The Star Wars museum is coming to Chicago.

* Konczal v. student debt.

* Obamaism v. teacher tenure.

* People aren’t worried about robots, they’re worried about who owns the robots.

* A New Bike Lane That Could Save Lives and Make Cycling More Popular.

*  “You express amazement at my statement that ‘civilized’ men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprise, amazes me in return.”

* What could go wrong? Missouri School Districts Start Training Teachers To Carry Concealed Weapons In Classroom.

Former College Basketball Player Sues NCAA Over Concussions.

* ‘Think They Got Killed?’ 1964, L.B.J. and Three Civil Rights Icons.

* When Rambo was going to fight werewolves.

* In praise of Janelle Monáe.

* On phone horror.

* Another Fermi Paradox post.

* Here comes Pacific Rim 2. Plus a cartoon! But we still live in a vale of tears.

* Humanity Surprised It Still Hasn’t Figured Out Better Alternative To Letting Power-Hungry Assholes Decide Everything.

​The 20 Most WTF Magical Items in Dungeons & Dragons.

* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.

* Kill Bill as an 8-bit video game.

* Episode 7 is already ruined.

* But the kids are all right.

Tuesday Links

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* My favorite website is having big financial problems. The New Internet Gods Have No Mercy.

The museum as classroom: Marquette professors use art for pilot project.

* Insuring the apocalypse.

* Commencement speakers, reaction, and the hatred of students. In Defense of Protesting Commencement Speakers. Remember: writing a letter to a public figure is wildly inappropriate, but personally attacking students from the podium at their own graduation is just fine.

* A Commencement Address from Jonathan Edwards.

* Online Education and The Erosion of Faculty Rights.

* Whole Foods Realism: US-China Relations, futurity, and On Such a Full Sea.

It makes a canny kind of sense, then, that a 2014 incarnation of the film that bears his name would reprise visual scenes of global environmental catastrophes and dare us to think of them in tragic terms.   is a film for the anthropocene — the age when human actions have caused irreversible ecological damage.  Tragedies, like feelings, happen at a human scale.  But ours is a time when human actions work off the human scale, causing events in our world that require much more strenuous interventions than sympathy and tears.  It’s hard to know what to feel, in the face of the catastrophe we have made, or what difference our feelings would make.

* Silicon Valley Dreams of Fascism.

* NYU Issues Apology for Mistreatment of Workers on Abu Dhabi Campus. Well, that settles that!

* Executive Compensation at Public Colleges, 2013 Fiscal Year. Former University Presidents and Their Pensions. A new report finds that student debt and low-wage faculty labor are rising faster at state universities with the highest-paid presidents.

* NLRB May Reconsider Unionization Rights For Graduate Students In College Football Case.

What are the humanities good for? The negative magisterium of the humanities.

* …or what’s an MLA for?

* Disruptive Innovation! The original theory comes from Clayton Christensen’s study of things like the hard drive and steel industries where he realized that disruptive products tend to combine new technologies, cheaper production, and — crucially — worse products.

* Pamela Anderson, survivor.

* Torture of a mentally ill prisoner in a Miami jail.

* Buzzfeed and Schizophrenia. And they said theory is useless!

Economics in Fantasy Literature, Or, Why Nerds Really Like Stuff.

* Clickbait dissertations.

* We’ve hit Peak Should I Go to Grad School.

* Exit Through the Gift Shop: 9/11 Museum Edition.

* Three months in jail for Cecily McMillan.

The United States has 710 prisoners per 100,000 people. Iceland has 150. Total.

White House Promises To Never Again Let The CIA Undermine Vaccinations. Oh, okay, then all is forgiven!

‘There Will Be No World Cup': Brazil on the Brink.

* Add “DUI” to the list of crimes rich people don’t have to worry about anymore.

* Duke Libraries is still running its Mad Men series of period advertising. Here’s the link for the latest episode.

* Presenting the Netflix Summary Glitch.

Washington Archdiocese takes to the heavens, with a drone. Can autonomous robot baptism be far behind?

* The water main breaks will continue until morale improves.

The actress who helped Lincoln defeat the Confederacy.

* Corey Robin: The Republican War on Workers’ Rights.

* David Harvey reviews Piketty.

* Law and Order: Westeros.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on your fond memories of Star Wars, forever. At least the maximally unnecessary Harry Potter prequels suddenly have a chance of being good.

* And the 90s are literally turning to dust.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

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Weekend Link Flood!

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* Average Salaries of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty at 4-Year Colleges, 2013-14.

How Endowment Hoarding Hurts Universities.

* On anxieties in the humanities.

* The bad old days in academia. University is No Place For Women, or, ‘What About the MEN?’

* Should I write for free? No. Maybe? No.

‘I got into sex work to afford to be a writer.’

Against “doing something” or Love Your Sadness.

* What we talk about when we talk about low-wage workers. On (not) getting by in the gig economy.

* Her and twee fascism.

* Neobracketology at Slate. Walk off the court. The NCAA-Killing Lawsuit Might Finally Be Here. There simply never has been a compelling moral or ethical argument that the NCAA and the university had an inalienable right to every last nickel they could squeeze out of the work done by their student-athletes. Don’t tell me the odds.

* U. of Wisconsin Is Fined $35,000 in Settlement of Animal-Welfare Inquiry.

* The Apartheid of Children’s Literature.

US foreign policy’s gender gap.

* Silver will either have to keep his project modest in its topical scope, rendering it boring, or expand it into normative subject areas, rendering it incompetent. Nate Silver’s new FiveThirtyEight is getting some high-profile bad reviews. By claiming the mantle of pure analysis, Silver is falling into a familiar journalistic trap. Nate Silver’s New Science Writer Ignores The Data On Climate Science.

* From way back in the archives: Gay Trek.

JRR Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published after 90-year wait.

* The West’s Coming Tragedy of the Commons. More at the New York Times.

A Forgotten Scandal in Baltimore’s High Society.

* BOSS: The Biannual Online-Journal of Springsteen Studies is now soliciting submissions for its second issues.

* Wes Anderson symmetry supercut.

* Blame-the-victim gender-police watch: School Bans Boy From Wearing ‘My Little Pony’ Backpack, Claims It’s A ‘Trigger For Bullying.’

* Former Coach Is Awarded $360,000 in Bias Case Against U. of Minnesota.

* If you want a vision of the future, imagine George R.R. Martin writing Game of Thrones tie-in films, forever. Is Game of Thrones unfinishable? Followup.

Martin surely was writing a conventional fantasy novel about an ancient evil and an exiled princess but somehow got distracted by what probably was summed up in some original one page outline in about one sentence (“Westeros monarchy weakened by infighting and succession problems”). Having fallen in love with what was supposed to be a bit of window dressing, he has continually expanded its role within the series even though it threatens to completely drown out what the series was supposed to be about in the first place. Is it any wonder that he has suffered from the contemporary genre’s most famous case of writer’s block? I’m sure that long ago he planned what would happen to Daenerys and the Night’s Watch, but now he feels obligated to give equal time to characters like Brienne who are likable yet serve little purpose to the central narrative and are instead dragged through increasingly arbitrary make-work scenes to keep them available for some later bit of relevance.

* Pixar sequels forever.

* Guys: Twitter says you’re using Twitter wrong.

Darwin’s Children Drew All Over the On The Origin of Species Manuscript.

* CNN teaches the controversy.

* Why do we let 80,000 Americans suffer a ‘slow-motion torture of burying alive’?

* BREAKING: The last decade was a historically awful time to enter the job market.

* BREAKING: The United States Needs to Guarantee Paid Maternity Leave.

* No one could have predicted: Google Under Fire for Data-Mining Student Email Messages.

2ºC Warming Is Enough To Seriously Hurt Crop Yields.

Florida Has Never Executed A White Person For Killing A Black Person.

* Mother Jones tries to argue marijuana is ecologically unsound for some reason.

The Third Narrative Advisory Council says it wants to counter the notion — in an era when the idea of academic boycotts of Israel has gained some momentum — “that one has to be either pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian.” The truth is probably somewhere win the middle, I always say. LARoB roundtable on academic activism and BDS.

* The coming Democratic majority: Democrats don’t manage to run anyone for Nevada governor.

* Gamification in The Baffler.

* Maps of the day: how Hollywood destroys America. No, literally, how it does it. No, you’re not understanding.

* Science we can use: Why Dark Chocolate Is So Damn Good For You.

* You had me at 600-Pound “Chicken From Hell.”

* And the Very Best Tumblr of All Time: Skeletor Is Love.

End of 2013 Mega Link Dump – All Links Must Go!

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This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department! Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison.

* I wonder if it worked: The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control program.

* Utah solving homelessness problem by giving the homeless places to live. Madness!

* Once you insist that lives that are worth respecting are the lives that are most devoted to pecuniary gain, you have reached a road that has no ending, and a particularly strange one for humanists to walk.

* Against fraternities.

Rhetoric and Composition: Academic Capitalism and Cheap Teachers.

* The humanities are saved! Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’

Using detailed publication and citation data for over 50,000 articles from 30 major economics and finance journals, we investigate whether network proximity to an editor influences research productivity. During an editor’s tenure, his current university colleagues publish about 100% more papers in the editor’s journal, compared to years when he is not editor. In contrast to editorial nepotism, such “inside” articles have significantly higher ex post citation counts, even when same-journal and self-cites are excluded. Our results thus suggest that despite potential conflicts of interest faced by editors, personal associations are used to improve selection decisions.

* Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions are the still the only ones you need. More links below!

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* Skeleton thought to be Etruscan prince is actually a princess. Prehistoric cave prints show most early artists were women.

* A Gender-Neutral Pronoun (Re)emerges in China.

* Academia is a war zone.

* Towards critical humility.

* We still don’t really know how bicycles work.

* But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.

* In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.”

* Gasp! California Attorney General: Legalizing Marijuana Would Save Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars A Year.

* Gasp! Benghazi was a nonsense story cynically hyped up by a flailing presidential candidate for cheap heat the whole time!

* Gasp! Some highly specialized, technical, non-outsourceable work is still well paid, and the New York Times is ON IT.

* Huffington Post blogger argues just straight-up ripping off your babysitter because, I don’t know, freedom or something.

* And then we robbed all the pensions also because freedom I guess.

* Cancel all the unemployment insurance because freedom! North Carolina Shows How to Crush the Unemployed.

10 Reasons That Long-Term Unemployment Is a National Catastrophe.

* The life of a fast food striker.

If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.

* One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy: My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl..

* It’s Kwanzaa everywhere but Paul Mulshine’s heart.

* Twee fascism. Cupcake fascism.

* I’m beginning to think some of these university presidents are not all that serious about defending academic freedom.

* Another scene from the war on education in Chicago. Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils: Math of Today’s Jammed Schools. Silicon Valley techno-wizards sending their kinds to a tech-free school.

* Worst people in the world watch: But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.

* Just kidding, the worst person in the world is Andrea Peyser.

*  How Doctor Who Betrayed Matt Smith.

* The death of the alt-weekly.

* lolmythesis.

* Are dolphins intelligent? Well, they get high.

* Previewing World Cup 2022: The Qatar Chronicles.

* Having already inaugurated full communism, radical De Blasio turns his pitiless mayoral gaze to horse-drawn carriages.

* Looking for a New Year’s Read? Magical realism/surreal books by women.

* And only Vermont-style communism can save us now.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Tuesday Night Links!

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* This won’t be the last time you hear about it, but Green Planets: Ecology and Science Fiction finally has a pre-order page.

* In a post-employment economy ridden with arbitrary credentialism, a résumé is often not a reflection of achievement but a document sanctioning its erasure. One is not judged on what one has accomplished, but on one’s ability to walk a path untouched by the incongruities of market forces.

* Want to teach your students about structural racism? Prepare for a formal reprimand. Lessons from the Collection IV: Teaching While Black (Part I). Part II.

Free as in speech. Free as in beer. Free as in Huey. Free as in lunch. Free as in bird. Free as in love. Free education for all.

* At Some Other Berkeley: Frederick Wiseman’s At Berkeley mistakes the enemies of public higher education for its defenders.

Has UC Berkeley mortgaged itself to football?

* “‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model.”

* American Students Fall Behind International Peers In Math, Science, And Reading. Countries With Higher Math Scores Have Unhappier Kids.

* Point: Superheroes are a bunch of fascists. Counterpoint: Stop Calling Superheroes ‘Fascist.’

* Democracy watch: Gov. Snyder has effectively absolute authority dismantling Detroit despite losing in the city 20-1. What’s next for Detroit?

* I Am Sitting in a Room, 2013.

Europe Could Be 9 Degrees Warmer By The End Of The Century.

Uruguayan President Asks for World to Support His Marijuana Legalization Plan.

British Think Tank Revives 40-year-old Plan to Build Space Colonies. How NASA might build its very first warp drive.

* And What’s Wrong With America’s Newspaper Opinion Columnists in One Chart.

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Fourth of July America Links USA USA

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milwaukee 2010How to Spot a Communist Using Literary Criticism: A 1955 Manual from the U.S. Military. And they say literary criticism is useless.

* DHS immediately begins implementing green cards to gay couples, without stalling or dragging its feet or needing to be sued. Amazing. I’d have never predicted it.

* Heat maps of poverty in US cities, 1980-2010. At right: Milwaukee in 2010. “Whites are in blue; blacks yellow; Hispanics green; and Asians red.”

* Today in NCAA insanity.

So far this offseason, around 450 Division I basketball players have announced they’re changing schools. This turnover has imperiled the sport, says Marshall University basketball coach Tom Herrion, who calls it a “transfer epidemic.” Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski says that “[k]ids don’t stick to the school that they pick and they want instant gratification.” South Carolina’s Frank Martin agrees: “Kids are not being taught to stay the course, be patient, to learn how to work and improve.” Adds Alabama’s Anthony Grant, “I don’t think it’s something any coach will tell you is good for the game.”

GREEDY NCAA PLAYERS DEMANDING RIGHT TO CHOOSE WHICH GROUP OF MILLIONAIRES WON’T PAY THEM FOR THEIR LABOR PLEASE CALL POLICE

India has officially recognized dolphins as non-human persons, whose rights to life and liberty must be respected. Dolphin parks that were being built across the country will instead be shut down. 

An Open Letter to New Teach for America Recruits.

Many of you no doubt believe you are joining a progressive education justice movement, that is the message TFA sells so well. But I want you to understand clearly, TFA is not progressive. The kind of limited data-driven pedagogy, the fast-track preparation, the union-busting, the forced exploitation of your labor, the deep-pocketed affiliation with corporate education reform are all very conservative, very anti-progressive ideas. Look no further than TFA’s list of supporters/donors. The largest donations are from groups like the Walton Foundation, of Walmart fortune, which has a vested interest in the status quo of inequality, breaking unions, and keeping wages low and workers oppressed. Or notice the many partnerships with JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America, the very institutions which caused the financial collapse and threw millions of Americans-including your future students’ families-into foreclosure, bankruptcy, and deeper poverty. These organizations choose to donate to TFA because TFA supports their agendas. If TFA was truly pushing back on the status quo of educational inequality, these types of donors would not only refuse financial support, they would be attacking a group which threatens their earning potential.

* Meanwhile, making the rounds again: Gates Foundation Funding Wrist Bracelets to Monitor Teaching Effectiveness. How to Write a Conservative Article about Education.

* The Humanities, Declining? Not According to the Numbers. Well, you know, you can prove anything using facts.

* “This is text from an actual email from an actual coursera professor to actual coursera students.”

* More than 260 colleges and universities in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have students who are more likely to default on their loans than full-time freshmen are to graduate, an analysis of federal data shows.

* Bummer Watch Lightning Round: Fox News adopts George Zimmerman. Kevin Clash’s (One) Day in Court. Gitmo Detainees to Be Force-Fed at Night Out of Respect for Ramadan. The street value of black market ivory in China — up to $1,300 a pound — rivals that of cocaine or gold. And, of course, North Carolina. Oh, North Carolina.

* In New York, Blasi said, his security personnel did not have the police’s powers of arrest and don’t have the power to arrest and shoot lawbreakers, and the city police did not believe they had the power to enter this private space. During the Zuccotti crisis, Blasi said he dreamed of turning on fire hydrants, letting loose German shepherds and deploying blow torches. Ralph Blasi is a director of security for a real estate company. Fire hydrants, German shepherds, blow torches.

The marshmallow test became an important part of psychology canon. But a study in 2012 suggests that the children in the experiment did not necessarily differ in their ability to resist temptation. Instead, it was their trust in the researcher to return with the promised marshmallow that differed. 

“Now, it seems that senior (well-paid) managers are giving explicit orders to senior editorial staff to deliberately take advantage of young job-seekers in order to cut costs.” Gasp!

* And the headline reads: Human head transplants? Neurosurgeon says ‘we have the technology.’ All right, damnit, I’m in.

Saturday Links

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* Pope Calls for Church Austerity, Wants to Focus on Poor.

Meeting with journalists this morning, Pope Francis laid out his vision for the Catholic church, which includes cutting spending on ornate ceremony and instead spending that money on the poor. He urged excited fellow-Argentines to skip the costly trip to Rome to visit the first non-European Pope in almost 1,300 years, and instead give that money to the poor.

“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor,” he told the gathered journalists. He explained the reason he took the name, Francis, after St. Francis of Assissi, was because of St. Francis’s devotion to the poor and love of animal life. On climate change, the Pope remarked, “Right now, we don’t have a very good relation with creation.”

* The rich are different from you and me.

The report, authored by David Callahan and J. Mijin Cha, found that “wealthy interests are keenly focused on concerns not shared by the rest of the American public, like keeping taxes low on capital gains, and often oppose policies that would foster upward mobility among low-income citizens, such as raising the minimum wage.”

* Chicago tried to ban Persepolis? Why? Why?

* The letters of Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee.

Your Own Private Google: The Quest for an Open Source Search Engine.

Ricky Gervais: The Office Revisited.

* Idiocracy watch: When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a Big Gulp.

Last Survivor of Plot to Kill Hitler Dies at 90.

Years later von Kleist remembered explaining the suicide plot to his father, who paused only briefly before telling his 22-year-old son: “Yes, you have to do this.”

“He got up from his chair,” von Kleist remembered, according to an account by The New York Times, “went to the window, looked out of the window for a moment, and then he turned and said: ‘Yes, you have to do that. A man who doesn’t take such a chance will never be happy again in his life.’”

* The dissertation is a nightmare from which we are trying to awake.

Why are working conditions for restaurant employees so bad?

Tuesday Links

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* In case you missed it last night: “Some Preliminary Theses on MOOCs.”

* New York Times editorial: The Trouble with Online College.

A five-year study, issued in 2011, tracked 51,000 students enrolled in Washington State community and technical colleges. It found that those who took higher proportions of online courses were less likely to earn degrees or transfer to four-year colleges. The reasons for such failures are well known. Many students, for example, show up at college (or junior college) unprepared to learn, unable to manage time and having failed to master basics like math and English.

* “Yale is Elitist in Its Basic Design.”

* The problem isn’t the idea of a postdoc, Stephan said, but the way that position has evolved as so many more people end up in the role. “Ostensibly the postdoctoral scholar is to train someone to be a researcher, and an independent researcher,” Stephan said. “Putting people into postdoctoral positions is great training if they are going to go on and use that training,” she said. But increasingly a postdoc doesn’t lead (certainly not quickly) to an independent, tenure-track position, Stephan said. And postdocs are being used, not trained, she said. “Postdocs have become cheap staff scientists,” she said.

* A people’s history of Pulp Fiction. Catching up with Marvin.

* Oxford blocks access to Google Docs over security concerns.

* Does childhood TV viewing lead to criminal behavior?

* How much would the sea level fall if every ship were removed all at once from the Earth’s waters?

* Los Angeles Review of Books considers the pope.

JT: The pope simply felt that he didn’t have the physical strength to carry out the duties of the papacy in the modern age. He has clearly grown frailer in recent months, but I think Benedict probably had this in mind from the beginning of his pontificate. He, along with others in the church, watched Pope John Paul II struggle with illness right up until the end, and I’m sure he felt that was a great witness to the value of suffering. But I’m also sure Pope Benedict saw the dangers of a moribund pope who might linger in office for years. He wanted to break the taboo against resignation, and I think it sets a precedent that will alter the way the church looks at the papacy. For one thing, the cardinals who come together to elect his successor may well look to someone younger, knowing that resignation is an option.

Is there another developed nation that has a standing monument to a dictator, built by the forced labor of the defeated? Letter from Madrid.

* And Mississippi bans slavery a mere 148 years late. At that point, my impulse really would have been to pretend I sent the email. Oh, you didn’t get our ratification of the 13th Amendment? Oh no! Let me send it again…

On Post-Fascism

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Post-fascism does not need stormtroopers and dictators. It is perfectly compatible with an anti-Enlightenment liberal democracy that rehabilitates citizenship as a grant from the sovereign instead of a universal human right.

On Post-Fascism: How citizenship is becoming an exclusive privilege. Via @traxus4420.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm

The Legend of Mussolini’s Gold

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…these office blocks in one of London’s most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican.

Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church’s international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

When It Smells Like It, Feels Like It, and Looks Like It You Call It What It Is

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“According to the complaint, [New Mexico police officer Chris] Webb shot his Taser at the child after he said he did not want to join fellow classmates in cleaning the officer’s patrol car. Courthouse News reported: Defendant Webb responded by pointing his Taser at R.D. and saying, ‘Let me show you what happens to people who do not listen to the police.’ … [H]e sent 50,000 volts of electricity into the child’s chest on the playground. The young boy blacked out and has, according to his legal representative, been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder ever since.”

Written by gerrycanavan

October 31, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Batman Is At Least Fascist-Curious

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In my humble opinion, this act — this decision to not end poverty because you might release a weapon into the public sphere — demonstrates the real driving force for the movie’s morality, sense of history, and its understanding of civic virtue: the violence within, which must be contained. On the one hand, to say that we could solve all problems of human need and want, but we won’t, because it might become a bomb, is to assert that inequality is not what creates the specter of violence (it’s also, oddly, a lot like the argument that “people don’t kill people; guns kill people!”). The threat of violence is prior and separate from complaints over inequality, however much they might claim to motivate it. And indeed, this was the lesson of the first movie, the lesson Bruce Wayne learned from the death of his parents: you can build an awesome Keynesian super-train and fix Gotham’s economy forever, but some random street criminal will still murder you, because. Better to invest in a secret police force.

Like the Batman himself, Aaron “zunguzungu” Bady returns from self-imposed exile for one last rip-roaring caper.

All the Tuesday Night Links, and It’s Really Tuesday This Time, or Maybe Wednesday, Who Can Say

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* I put up a MetaFilter post on the Daniel Tosh rape threat incident that got so much attention today, which is a relatively decent read as Internet comment threads go despite expectedly high rates of rape apologism and mansplaining. Two more good pieces on the subject: zunguzungu’s (…) and Student Activism’s “Goddamn it, Louis.” Here’s Aaron:

The phrase “rape culture” describes the way people don’t get too upset at the thought of a woman being raped. They might even laugh at it. It might seem funny, such a funny word. But nothing about this is just a joke. It’s about devaluing the sanctity of certain people’s security in their person, about refusing to feel bad about it, about taking a pride in it, even. Saying “wouldn’t it be funny if a violent act happened to this person” is almost the definition of how that works. If a terrible thing happened to a person, you say, I would not grieve. I would laugh. Their pain is not worth my empathy, or yours. Their pain makes me stronger, bigger, more important. Their pain is worth nothing.

* The important questions: Could the SHIELD helicarrier actually fly? Could Batman really fly? What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? The last one (the first post of Randall Monroe’s new What If? blog) is absolutely not to be missed.

* Call it Kotsko’s Law: Any political ideology putting itself forward as a brave new path beyond the stale opposition of left and right is always going to be either boring old liberalism or else a new variant on fascism.

* Teasing Wes Anderson’s next.

* Tomorrow’s headlines today: here’s the next set of challenges to Obamacare, and it’s even more weaselly and ridiculous than the last round.

* digby:  I think we may actually be coming to the point of debating whether or not to repeal the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act. And it will fail, of course. At first. The country isn’t there yet. But it will represent one more step in the disintigration of America’s moral fabric (which wasn’t that strong to begin with.) Like torture, it’s in the political ether now, no longer completely taboo. This is how this sort of thing is mainstreamed.

* You can’t believe they didn’t have it already: Obama Offers Health Insurance To Seasonal Firefighters.

Mitt Romney says he wants Sesame Street to start running advertisements.

Suppression vs. Turnout, the 2012 War. Relatedly: Ed Kilgore catches us up on Post-2008 Demographic Changes.

Yelping with Cormac McCarthy.

* U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months And Hottest Half Year On Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat A One-In-1.6-Million Event. Really astounding coincidence! But you know you can’t predict the weather.

* Confirmed: fracking can pollute.

* It’s the 21st century – why are we working so much? The Politics of Getting a Life. Both via MetaFilter.

* And the worst idea ever put forth by anyone, ever: Let’s Draft Our Kids. Thank you for your submissions. The contest is now closed.

If Only There Were Some Historical Analogy That Could Help Us Evaluate These Proposals

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