Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘insurance

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.

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May 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

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All the Friday Night Links!

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* We are ruled by fools: The amount of airtime granted to climate change on both the Sunday shows and the nightly news was up, too — to a total of 27 minutes, and an hour and 42 minutes, respectively, for the entire year.

* So long and thanks for all the fish: Freedom Industries has declared bankruptcy.

“Why Is The Rest Of The Country Fixated On A New Jersey Traffic Jam And We Have No Clean Water?”

Fracking Chemicals In North Carolina Will Remain Secret, Industry-Funded Commission Rules.

Judge Rules Detroit Is Trying To Give Banks ‘Too Much Money.’

Remember that most of the “steps” any insurance company or pharmacy makes you go through are pretty much nothing but hoops, in the purest sense of the word. These are obstacles being placed in your path in hopes that you will become discouraged and give up—and they won’t have to pay for your medication or treatment. Show them that you are not going away.

* The headline reads, “Six Years After Chemical Ban, Fewer Female Snails Are Growing Penises.”

* TFA isn’t working.

Every Scary, Weird Thing We Know the NSA Can Do.

The Most Dangerous Sentence In U.S. History.

Total Disaster as Springsteen Tries to Sell Recordings of Live Shows.

* The rule of law still has a few bugs in it.

* Star Wars retcons we can get behind.

* Someone stop J.J. Abrams before he kills again.

* BREAKING MUST CREDIT CANAVAN’S RAZOR: The point of the STEM push is to lower STEM wages, not help people get jobs that don’t exist.

* BREAKING: Comedians are psychopaths psychotics. See comments.

* Johnson’s No More Formaldehyde Baby Shampoo.

Even half of Utah supports marriage equality.

* Turns out California wrote their don’t-use-Google-Glass-while-driving law in a way that’s seemingly impossible to enforce.

The Myth Of The Absent Black Father.

UNC Stops Professor Mary Willingham From Researching Athletes’ Low Reading Levels.

* Rob Nixon is giving a talk at UWM’s Century for 21st Century Studies next Friday.

* Wisconsin may eliminate ban on 7-day work weeks. Workers will be allowed to “volunteer” for extra work.

This medieval manuscript curses the cat who peed on it.

* This transphobic publication hounded a woman to suicide. You’ll never guess what happened next.

Pope Benedict Defrocked 400 Priests For Molesting Kids.

We Would Have Eliminated Poverty Entirely by Now if Inequality Hadn’t Skyrocketed.

They almost put Disney World in Saint Louis.

* And Lex Luthor: Hero!

Sunday Links

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* I left for Thanksgiving travel in a rush and wasn’t able to post a link to my traditional Thanksgiving post.

* What happens to turkeys that are pardoned?

“The birds are then, in proverbial fashion, said to live happily ever after. In reality, however, they are usually killed within a year and stand-in turkeys are supplied. This goes on year after year. The chosen birds are killed because they have been engineered and packed with hormones to the point that they are unfit for any other purpose than their own slaughter and consumption. They are fast-forward turkeys. Presidential turkey caretakers have explained that most succumb rather quickly to joint disease—their frail joints simply cannot bear the weight of their artificially enhanced bodies. The sturdiest survivors may live a little more than a year. But the birds are always finally put out of their growing misery. Then they are buried nearby in a presidential turkey cemetery—the ritualistic significance of which remains to be explored. (May the archaeologists of the future excavate it!)”

The reason that these turkeys are so ill suited for their lives of freedom is that they are supplied by the National Turkey Federation. They are products of industrial farms, bred to grow fat quick rather than live long. Much could be said about the fact that corporate lobby’s interests trumps even the symbolism of the ceremony, making even the pardon itself a lie within a lie.

To pardon, after all, is to forgive. And, if we’re talking about a turkey, it becomes difficult to discern what criminal or immoral behavior on the bird’s part may be said to establish the necessary preconditions for its forgiveness.

What we have here is a situation where a company offered a wage in the marketplace and couldn’t get any workers to accept it. Consequently, it went out of business.

* David Mitchell on how they filmed his unfilmmable novel.

* What Would Combat in Space Be Like?

* All about Münchausen syndrome.

Farmers Told To Buy Insurance If They Don’t Want To Get Sued By Monsanto.

If Walmart were a country, its GDP (US$443.9bn) would be greater than that of South Africa’s ($422bn). Visa would be bigger than Zimbabwe, Wells Fargo dwarfs Angola, and eBay, Amazon, Costco, Proctor & Gamble would swamp Madagascar, Kenya, Sudan and Libya respectively.

* A Roundtable Discussion featuring Jacqueline Dutton, Daniel Heath Justice, Kim Stanley Robinson and Lorenzo Veracini.

I am very reluctant to speak of “climate change adaptation” in this connection, because I feel that that phrase is a seized term, like “sustainable development,” and both are coded ways of saying “business as usual” or “capitalism must endure no matter the damages.” Because of that I think we should still be insisting on “climate change mitigation” as the appropriate task for our time. Ultimately, however, the entire biosphere will be adapting to the new physical conditions we are creating by our impacts, and we are going to have to get involved with that adaptation to make the best of it, meaning keeping the number of extinctions to a minimum, and trying to steer the biosphere toward best outcomes for all the species on the planet. This is necessary, because all the species together form one single supra-organism, and the health of all together determines the health of any individual species, including ourselves. Because of that reality, inhabiting the Earth successfully in the centuries to come will necessarily be a utopian project. It’s become a case of utopia or catastrophe.

* Year-to-date Temperature Anomalies for Contiguous US.

* Outstanding achievements in bullshitting: John Podhoretz.

Chevy Chase Is Leaving Community, Effective Immediately. Bring back Dan Harmon? It’s not too late!

Alicia Keys Sings the Gummi Bears Theme Song.

* Action Philosophers has a digital exclusive issue 13 at Comixology.

* And finally: Zissou vs. the whale.

‘Resolve to Make 1951 the Beginning of New Security for Your Family’

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Written by gerrycanavan

October 10, 2012 at 8:09 am

Monday Night Grief Bacon

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* Destroy your university the California way: In California, where public higher education has experienced cut after cut, the choices are particularly difficult. For the spring semester of 2013, the California State University has told campus leaders they may not admit any Californian students to graduate programs. Given that tuition covers only a fraction of the costs of these students’ education, the university said it couldn’t afford them.

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team. If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.

* More lists of words with no English translation: 1, 2, 3, more.

15. Kummerspeck (German) Excess weight gained from emotional overeating. Literally, grief bacon.

4 Decades on, U.S. Starts Cleanup of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

Terry Gilliam making 1st sci-fi movie in 18 years.

Living in an Orwellian corporate world where “mancams” serve as the eyes of a shadowy figure known only as Management, Leth (Waltz) works on a solution to the strange theorem while living as a virtual cloistered monk in his home–the shattered interior of a fire-damaged chapel. His isolation and work are interrupted now and then by surprise visits from Bainsley, a flamboyantly lusty love interest who tempts him with “tantric biotelemetric interfacing” (virtual sex) and Bob. Latter is the rebellious whiz-kid teenage son of Management who, with a combination of insult-comedy and an evolving true friendship, spurs on Qohen’s efforts at solving the theorem…Bob creates a virtual reality “inner-space” suit that will carry Qohen on an inward voyage, a close encounter with the hidden dimensions and truth of his own soul, wherein lie the answers both he and Management are seeking. The suit and supporting computer technology will perform an inventory of Qohen’s soul, either proving or disproving the Zero Theorem.

It’s a tale as old as time itself.

* Bookslut reviews the reissue of Samuel Delany’s Starboard Wine.

* Alan Moore apparently turned down $2 million to retain the right to complain about Before Watchmen.

The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.

Marijuana Legalization Could Generate Half a Billion a Year for Washington State.

The Flaming Lips’ Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots musical is coming this November.

* Moonrise Kingdom is now the #1 grossing movie of all time…at the Alamo Drafthouse.

* And our long national nightmare is (nearly) almost over: Keanu Reeves teases Bill & Ted 3.

Potpourri

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* Jacob Remes explains May Day.

* My Joss Whedon zombie essay from PopMatters is out in Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion today. Last night I submitted my abstract for the upcoming Politics of Adaptation conference on Cabin in the Woods, drawing me ever closer to total Joss Whedon scholarly completism.

* Roundtable on Non-Western SF, at Locus.

* A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that “liking” a Facebook post is not free speech. To repeat my own Twitter quips, yeah, because it doesn’t cost money.

* New polling shows Amendment One will likely pass after all.

* al Qaeda’s discovered our only weakness: our insatiable love of porn.

On May 16 last year, a 22-year-old Austrian named Maqsood Lodin was being questioned by police in Berlin. He had recently returned from Pakistan via Budapest, Hungary, and then traveled overland to Germany. His interrogators were surprised to find that hidden in his underpants were a digital storage device and memory cards.

Buried inside them was a pornographic video called “Kick Ass” — and a file marked “Sexy Tanja.”

Several weeks later, after laborious efforts to crack a password and software to make the file almost invisible, German investigators discovered encoded inside the actual video a treasure trove of intelligence — more than 100 al Qaeda documents that included an inside track on some of the terror group’s most audacious plots and a road map for future operations.

* Hungry for good nerd press, Netflix is teasing it might resurrect Jericho.

* Five anarchists arrested by FBI for trying to blow up Cleveland bridge with fake bombs given to them by FBI.

* Aetna, according to the report, cited exclusions and said it would not cover the claim because Scott developed breasts after she changed sexes. N.J. transgender woman wins battle with insurance company to have mammogram covered.

* …legal chicanery has reached such high levels that the SEC is toying with the idea of going after it directly.

* And somebody page Nick Bostrom: Entire Observable Universe Modeled Using French Supercomputer.

When Grad Students Get Sick

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Guha thought he was being proactive. After arriving at Arizona State University in 2009 as a doctoral student in the School of Sustainability, he enrolled in the university’s insurance plan through Aetna Insurance and paid more than $400 each month to add his wife to the plan.

The plan wasn’t known for its generosity – it didn’t cover prescription drugs – but Guha thought he’d at least be covered if tragedy struck.

And last January, tragedy did strike. Just after his 30th birthday, he received the cancer diagnosis and started an intensive chemotherapy regimen two hours away in Tucson. Back in Tempe, his Arizona State professors allowed him to Skype into class discussions when he wasn’t feeling well.

But late last month, the cost of his treatment eclipsed $300,000, the lifetime maximum benefit on Arizona State’s Aetna plan. Guha found himself uninsured.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Saturday Links!

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“A lifetime achievement award is a little alarming,” said Jameson, who came to Duke in 1985. “But on the other hand, it’s very nice to have the recognition.”

* Your democracy at work: Barack Obama Has, on Average, Attended a Fundraiser Every 5 Days in 2011.

* Matt Stoller: When a switch in the party in power does not result in policy changes, there’s little point in electoral politics.

* And just to counter that cynicism a bit: arguably one of the more important (and more progressive) components of the ACA took effect yesterday, the requirement that health insurance companies spend at least 80% of premiums on actual health care. UPDATE: Countering the counter-cynicism, Tim Worstall says this probably isn’t a big deal after all.

* Some North Carolina poverty facts.

* As is standard journalistic practice, the New York Times has allocated space for an accused child molester to tell his side of the story.

* If Duke is one of eleven campuses with “major Occupy movements,” I fear for the movement. Occupy Duke was genuinely tiny, and the #occupyduke hashtag is comprised almost exclusively of mockery and contempt.

* Occupy Commencement: UNC students are petitioning against Michael Bloomberg as commencement speaker.

* And Reuters selects the best 100 photos of 2011. Here’s #72:

Credit Where It’s Due

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Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome, Awful

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Some Links

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* There’s lots of chatter about the Affordable Care Act on my innertubes today, ranging from arguments towards its (obvious) constitutionality and against its supposed unprecedentedness to another at TPM that notes the end of an asserted national consensus about the desirability of universal health care as such to still another that rallies ’round the Affordable Care Act the Ezra Klein Way.

* Dissent tackles the education-industrial complex. Via Open Left.

Every day, dozens of reporters and bloggers cover the Big Three’s reform campaign, but critical in-depth investigations have been scarce (for reasons I’ll explain further on). Meanwhile, evidence is mounting that the reforms are not working. Stanford University’s 2009 study of charter schools—the most comprehensive ever done—concluded that 83 percent of them perform either worse or no better than traditional public schools; a 2010 Vanderbilt University study showed definitively that merit pay for teachers does not produce higher test scores for students; a National Research Council report confirmed multiple studies that show standardized test scores do not measure student learning adequately. Gates and Broad helped to shape and fund two of the nation’s most extensive and aggressive school reform programs—in Chicago and New York City—but neither has produced credible improvement in student performance after years of experimentation.

To justify their campaign, ed reformers repeat, mantra-like, that U.S. students are trailing far behind their peers in other nations, that U.S. public schools are failing. The claims are specious. Two of the three major international tests—the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study and the Trends in International Math and Science Study—break down student scores according to the poverty rate in each school. The tests are given every five years. The most recent results (2006) showed the following: students in U.S. schools where the poverty rate was less than 10 percent ranked first in reading, first in science, and third in math. When the poverty rate was 10 percent to 25 percent, U.S. students still ranked first in reading and science. But as the poverty rate rose still higher, students ranked lower and lower. Twenty percent of all U.S. schools have poverty rates over 75 percent. The average ranking of American students reflects this. The problem is not public schools; it is poverty. And as dozens of studies have shown, the gap in cognitive, physical, and social development between children in poverty and middle-class children is set by age three.

* The headline reads, “Scientists warn California could be struck by winter ‘superstorm.’”

* “It reaches into virtually every corner of our media and digital landscapes and will affect every citizen in the land,” he said. “It is new media as well as old; it is news and information as well as sports and entertainment; it is distribution as well as content. And it confers too much power in one company’s hands.” The FCC has approved the Comcast/NBC Universal merger.

* And a quick TAPPED post points out something commentators on the changing demographics of the United States frequently forget:

Hispanics — like Italians and Irish before them — are on the path to becoming “white,” and as intermarriage rates increase — and the racial divide moves from white/black to non-black/black — odds are good that the children of these unions will be perceived as white. In 2050, the United States won’t be majority-minority as much as it will be a place where a nice portion of the majority has Latino heritage…

The Exciting Return of Health Care Policy Tuesday

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It’s an exciting week for players of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?”: it isn’t! At least not according to U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson. This now places the tally at either 2-1 or 14-1, depending on how you count—though of course the real determinant of the constitutionality of health care reform will still be however Anthony Kennedy feels when he wakes up that morning, just like the Founders intended. Tim Jost from Washington and Lee University Law School says “This decision is very defective .. and will be reversed by the appellate court or the Supreme Court.” Orin Kerr (no liberal) agrees, claiming the decision is significantly flawed insofar as it misunderstands the relationship between the Necessary and Proper Clause and the Commerce Clause.

It’s at this point we might observe that it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. I’m surprised Hudson didn’t recuse himself in light of this.

In any event, the consequences of this decision if it is eventually upheld by SCOTUS remain unclear. Ezra Klein thinks the good news is that even a right-leaning judge like Hudson limited his decision to the mandate, despite plaintiff request; that’s a good sign for the constitutionality of the rest of ACA. Some progressives think the law is actually better without the mandate. And the health insurance lobby can’t be happy with this decision:

If you strike the individual mandate but leave the rest, you have a system that could easily be patched up with a better mechanism to avoid free-riding. The real loser here is the health insurance lobby. Health insurers would have preferred to avoid any health care reform at all. But the health insurance lobby’s second-highest priority would be a working system with an individual mandate. A world in which they cannot discriminate against sick people but in which healthy people can avoid buying insurance until they’re sick is a nightmare.

Thursday Night Linkdump

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* I hope someday my admirers are moved to unearth my terrible college fiction: Wes Anderson’s “The Ballad of Reading Milton” (1989).

* The true size of Africa. Also has the true side of Australia and the USA as a bonus.

* Liberal blogs are trotting out cell phone effect again. Looks like it’s time to call November for the GOP.

* “In these challenging economic times, it’s good to know you can get some financial protection for unexpected illness and injury to your pets,” the e-mail reads before listing the many benefits. Federal Employees Can Purchase Health Insurance For Their Pets, But Not Their Same-Sex Partners.

* Running it up the flagpole: Wheel of Fortune‘s Pat Sajak argues at National Review Online that public employees shouldn’t be allowed to vote in at last some state and local state elections.

* And in twenty years, we’ll need another Earth to sustain us. Time to get building.

Four More

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 23, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Satnight

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* We now have Howard Zinn’s FBI file.

When the FBI again took an interest in Zinn in the 1960s, documents show the bureau evidently tried to have the historian fired from his job as professor at Boston University.In a document from the Boston FBI office (see PDF file here), an FBI “source,” whose name was redacted from the publicly released documents, was quoted as being outraged over Zinn’s comment at a protest that the US had become a “police state” and that prosecutions of Black Panther Party members were creating “political prisoners.”

The bureau’s Boston office then indicated it wanted to help the source in his or her campaign to unseat Zinn. “[The] Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [name redacted] with public source data regarding Zinn’s numerous anti-war activities … in an effort to back [redacted] efforts for his removal.”

* Surprising no one, North Korea is doing the World Cup wrong.

* In the wake of strong U.S. government statements condemning WikiLeaks’ recent publishing of 77,000 Afghan War documents, the secret-spilling site has posted a mysterious encrypted file labeled “insurance.” The MetaFilter thread is rife with speculation about what might be in the file; about whether the government has been given the key, or indeed if Assange knows there really is an NSA-backdoor in AES256 after all; about who is and isn’t incentivized to murder Assange as a result of this upload; and about which classic cyberpunk writer this whole storyline was stolen from.

* The latest in the $45/$200,000,000 Ansel Adams negatives saga: the interesting copyright issues involved have been short-circuited by the revelation that the negatives are probably the work of someone’s Uncle Earl.

* Science—well, Nature—says we wouldn’t miss mosquitoes.

* And RSA Animate animates Slavoj Žižek on charity and consumerism. Charity degrades and demoralizes. It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property… Via MeFi.

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