Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘places to invade next

Wednesday Links: Part 2: The Return

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* Someone needs to check their Save the Cat: Video shows CEO kicking puppy in elevator.

Elites spent months arguing we should attack Syria to dislodge Assad. Now these same elites want to intervene in the war on his behalf. “What’s the harm of bombing them at least for a few weeks and seeing what happens?”

* Poverty Capitalism. Campus Safety Capitalism.

* The 14 Best National Universities According To Washington Monthly has Case at #9 and UC Riverside at #2. Arbitrary college ranking systems forever!

* How to Game the College Rankings.

* Brian Leiter on the Salaita case: 1, 2, 3.

In addition to his constitutional claims, Salaita has an almost textbook version of a contract law claim under the doctrine of “promissory estoppel” (the classic case on the subject is Red Owl).  The basic idea is simple:  even if there is no formal contract between two parties (my expectation, as noted, is the court will find no contract between Salaita and Illinois), if one party reasonably relies on the promises and representations of the other, and then the other reneges, the injured party is entitled to compensation to the extent of his reasonable reliance.  It was clearly reasonable for Salaita to rely on an offer letter from the Dean–an offer letter that specifically mentioned the academic freedom protections the University of Illinois affords faculty!–even with a clause saying the appointment was subject to approval by the Board of Trustees (after all, there does not appear to be a case in the last half-century in which the Board failed to approve a tenured appointment that went through the normal university channels, as Salaita’s did).  Indeed, the reasonableness of Salaita’s reliance is enhanced by the fact that the University scheduled his classes this fall and even referred to him in public as a faculty member.

The harder question will be Salaita’s damages.  At a minimum, he should recover for the costs of relocation, his housing costs this year (since he rented his prior home), the cost of insurance and related expenses, and his salary for this academic year; but he has a strong claim for asking for compensation for having relinquished tenure and his job and salary at Virginia Tech, i.e., for several decades worth of salary and benefits.  In other words, I would expect Salaita’s lawyers to ask for several million dollars in lost wages and benefits extending over a career.  Now there is always a duty in contract cases to “mitigate” damages–to take steps to prevent the unnecessary growth of damages–which here would mean seeking other academic employment.  If Salaita can not secure such appointment–and given the smear campaign against him, aided and abetted now by the University of Illinois, it is hard to see a public university, vulnerable to the same political pressures, being able to hire him–then he has a claim for his lost wages and benefits as a professor for the next (roughly) thirty-plus years.

* I was on the front lines of the violence in Ferguson. Militarized police caused the chaos.

* The Parable of the Unjust Judge.

That respectability politics is the narrative of the oppressor digested and regurgitated by the oppressed is obvious. But we shouldn’t dismiss it without understanding its allure and durability: it reframes the terms of power, restoring agency into black hands. For the black upper class, it is the parable that allows them to rationalize their privilege as a sign of their own worthiness, while simultaneously giving them cover to righteously withdraw concern from the plight of the less fortunate of their race. It’s no coincidence that the black people advocating for blacks to somehow be cleansed of their blackness by bathing in the waters of post-racial healing are many of the same complaining that “we” don’t pay attention to “black on black crime”. For the black middle class, respectability becomes an aspirational fable, a promise that they, too can be free of racism if they become successful enough to transcend their race. For the black underclass, it becomes a morality tale that explains their own destruction. Respectability politics is a false narrative, but it maintains its power because, like so many powerful lies, it sits adjacent to the truth and set slightly askew: they are looking for a way to turn you into a nigger, and if necessary, they will find one. You will never leave a body pure enough to not be judged complicit in its own destruction.

MA Police Apologize After Accusing Man Of Faking Photo Of Trooper’s Racist Bumper Sticker. Police trampled the makeshift memorial built by Michael Brown’s mom. That is to say: Police Drove Over Michael Brown Memorial, Let Dog Piss on It.

* Meanwhile: Ben Stein has awful opinions and should be ashamed.

* Bring down Big Sugar.

* There is no way this is true: Milwaukee, Madison drivers among the nation’s safest. Real talk: Milwaukee drivers are some of the absolute worst drivers I have ever encountered.

* More scenes from the struggle between Uber and Lyft.

* Obscure Words and Phrases Everyone Suddenly Becomes Very Familiar With, 1995-2040.

* Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos? Yes, and David Chase knows it.

* Elsewhere on the front lines of culture: Is Hello Kitty a cat? How dare you. How dare you.

* LEGO really, really letting down its fans. I knew I should have loaded up on the female scientist sets when I had the chance.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Americans strongly agree: You shouldn’t stop people from reclining on planes.

* New Discovery Cuts Brainwashing Time in Half.

Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process.

* When J.J. Abrams set out to make the absolute worst Superman movie possible. It would have been amazing.

* And/but/so Warner Brothers simply does not understand the superhero business at all.

Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: Imaginaries of the Future. The Futures Industry.

* The Center for 21st Century Studies calendar for the fall looks amazing; I’m especially excited for the visits from Paul Jay, Wendy Brown, and the MLA Subconference organizing committee. Tom Gunning’s talk on “Title Forthcoming” should also be really illuminating.

Who’s Getting Tenure-Track Jobs? It’s Time to Find Out.

* The Right Things to Do vs. the State of Florida.

* The most and least under-employed majors.

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Occupations of College Humanities Majors Who Earned an Advanced Degree.

* Ferguson: The Syllabus. Eighty Years Of Fergusons. The economics of Ferguson. Two Ferguson Cops Accused of Hitting, Hog-Tying Children. “The City of Ferguson has more warrants than residents.”

Here is the NYT description of Michael Brown compared with NYT description of Unabomber. With the Boston Marathon bomber. “No Angel.”

* Police often provoke protest violence, UC researchers find.

* As soon as Prosecutors saw this video, they dismissed all of the charges against Jeter. Interesting to note, an investigation by Bloomfield PD’s scandal plagued internal affairs division had found no wrongdoing by officers.

* Perhaps it will always be a mystery: According to a coroner’s report obtained by NBC News, Victor White, a 22-year-old black man, committed suicide in the back of a police car by shooting himself in the chest while his hands were cuffed behind his back. The report contradicts the official police account, which said White shot himself in the back.

* Tenth Circle Added To Rapidly Growing Hell.

* Attack on Kiska: Untouched Relics from a Baffling WWII Battle.

* Animal personhood watch: Oregon Supreme Court Rules Animals Can Be Considered Victims.

Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town.

* Can’t we, as a society, come together and finally end seat reclining on planes?

* “He thought David Sedaris was just okay.”

* Selfcare as warfare.

The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism.

American teenagers, rejoice! The American Academy of Pediatrics wants all US schools attended by children aged 10 to 18 to delay their opening times to 8.30 am or later. It’s crazy that more school districts won’t make this switch.

* Christian Parenti in Jacobin proposes we rethink Alexander Hamilton.

* The Washington Post says war today, war tomorrow, war forever. The Fun of Empire: Fighting on All Sides of a War in Syria.

* Wisconsin’s nightmare spiders could be coming to your town.

* Gasp! Faulty red light cameras produced thousands of bogus traffic tickets.

* “The Cold War mode of knowledge production was so pervasive that, for a short while, it was literally invisible.”

* Prepare yourself for a dark, gritty Full House sequel. Only the literal end of the entire damn world can save us.

* Such a sad story: Plane Crash Claims Lives of 4 Students at Case Western Reserve U.

* And there’s never been anything that showed what the inside of my brain is like as closely as this xkcd. My blessing; my curse…

Special Bonus Monday Links – Do Not Read – Full of Bees

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* It takes special gumption to argue not all US interventions are horrors in support of intervening in a horrorshow caused by US intervention.

ISIS Post PR Photos They Took With John McCain.

* Jacobin breaks kayfabe: The story of pro wrestling in the twentieth century is the story of American capitalism.

The swelling of the federal government’s communications bureaucracy to more than 3,000 workers reflects a “public relations state” designed to keep pace with the news cycle and politicize government messaging, experts say.

* Salon says once a cheater, always a cheater.

* The Systemic Implications of the Salaita Case.

* Hillary Clinton 2016: Because the Forever War Won’t Forever Itself.

We Have a Rape Gif Problem and Gawker Media Won’t Do Anything About It.

* As @jbouie says, “with the critical exception of the situation of African-Americans” is the ultimate “to be sure” of all time.

* Probably the first time I’ve ever linked to anything at National Review approvingly: It’s Time for Conservatives to Stop Defending Police.

* #IfTheyGunnedMeDown.

* Afrofurism: Katherine G. Johnson is a pioneer in American space history. A NASA mathematician, Johnson’s computations have influenced every major space program from Mercury through the Shuttle. She even calculated the flight path for the first American mission to space.

* The kids are all right: Mo’Ne Davis, 12, Leads Philly Team To Little League World Series.

* Just how deep does the rabbit hole go? 12 Insane Facts About He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe.

* Guerilla anti-sequelism.

* The Saved by the Bell renaissance has claimed Arya Stark.

* The Marvel-Fox rights fight as autoimmune disorder.

* Can colleges do anything about parties and “tradition”?

* And this may not be the future we wanted, but it’s the one we have: Civilians in Abandoned McDonald’s Seize Control of Wandering Space Satellite.

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Thursday Morning Links!

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In Landmark Decision, U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team. So the Redskins will be forced by lost revenue and unrestrained anti-Redskins bootlegs to change their name — at which time bitter Redskins dead-enders will be able to sell each other Redskins-branded merchandise in protest…

* In praise of Diplomacy.

* We Have No Idea If Online Ads Work.

That plan goes something like this: maximize constrained educational choices that are a function of labor market changes; commodify inequality by organizing for the highest need students; extract guaranteed funds from public coffers; call it access; wash and repeat.

* Guernica‘s special issue on class, including a report on adjuncts.

* BREAKING: The U.S. Has the Most Expensive, Least Effective Health Care System. BREAKING: Guns kill children. BREAKING: The American prison system is a nightmare. BREAKING: Capitalism is insanely corrupt. BREAKING: Uber is a scam.

* Schools and/as prisons.

* Self-plagiarism is a really weird concept to pin down.

When innocent people are exonerated after wrongfully spending time in prison, some states pay money to the accused for their trouble. As data from NPR and the Innocence Project show, those payouts are often despicably low. 

* This Is How Much More States Spend On Prisoners Than On Students.

* Does the alternatives-to-incarceration industry profit from injustice?

* The economics of nuclear war.

* When Presidents Get Bored.

* Things instructional staff aren’t paid enough to do.

The logic on display here shows the toxic self-justifying nature of American military adventures. If a war accomplishes its stated objectives, that goes to show that war is great. If a war fails to accomplish its stated objectives — as the Bush-era surge miserably failed to produce a durable political settlement in Iraq — then that simply proves that more war was called for.

* And they say America’s best years are behind it.

* How the West was stolen.

* How ISIS Games Twitter.

Münchausen syndrome by proxy, mommy blog edition.

* The horror of postpartum psychosis.

* Against the GRE.

* Against the simplicity of “born this way.”

It seems that when you want to make a woman into a hero, you hurt her first. When you want to make a man into a hero, you hurt… also a woman first.

* Louie. Louie. Lou-eeeee. Louie. Louie. Lou-iiiiiii.

* You can kill anyone with your car, as long as you don’t really mean it.

* Walker said it was important to have a smooth-running highway system to avoid gridlock “that would choke off the ability of businesses to come in and out of Milwaukee.” “I think the last thing you want to do is have employers look to go bypass the city of Milwaukee when they’re talking about jobs and commerce here,” he said. “So you’ve got to make sure there’s a good transportation system.” And just wait until he finds out human beings use roads too!

* My brilliant wife has a poem in TAB.

* How to Catch a Chess Cheater.

Elon Musk “Hopeful” First People Can Be Taken To Mars in 10-12 Years.

* And even Colbert Report writers have to form tech startups now.

Wednesday Links!

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* After long neglect I’ve updated the “online articles” page on my Professional Website, if you’re interested.

* Studies show kindergarteners do better on standardized tests when chained to their desks in windowless white rooms for fifteen hours at a time, so.

* Jacobin‘s brief history of neoliberalism is quite good, though the claim that the Tea Party is irrelevant or that the GOP is on the ropes seems especially odd after last night’s wonderfully improbable defeat of Eric Cantor.

* You’d think at the “legacy project” point of his presidency Obama might want to avoid phrases like “misspent years” and “talking your way  through” things.

* Pizzeria Boss Fined $334K Because You Can’t Pay Workers In Pizza And Soda. Why not let the free market decide if pizza is currency?

* The Mental-Health Consequences of Unemployment. The jobs with the highest incidence of depression. Both cases seem like prime candidates for the left critique of the medicalization of depression, which is that sometimes you’re depressed because your circumstances are bad, not because your brain is misfiring.

* Headlines you don’t want to read about your new city: “Getting Milwaukee’s rivers to meet state water quality standards won’t be easy.”

* Peru Approves Genocide for Uncontacted Tribes.

* Why I’m sending 200 copies of Little Brother to a high-school in Pensacola, FL.

Temp Nation: How Corporations Are Evading Accountability, at Workers’ Expense.

* Why a California judge just ruled that teacher tenure is bad for students.

* Another study confirms Fox News viewers are unusually misinformed even by American standards.

* Feedly and Evernote Go Down As Attackers Demand Ransom.

* Climate Change: SVU.

* Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack. I have to believe this is a significant undercount.

* My “but it could actually be good” fantasy script for Batman vs. Superman get less and less likely by the day. Alas.

* And could we finally see another Star Trek TV series courtesy of Netflix? Only if you promise it’s not Captain Worf.

Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: World Science Fiction Studies.

* We apply because it is absurd: The academic job market: A Kierkegaardian perspective. Also good from Adam: Some reservations about non-violent resistance. To what are “contrarians” contrary?

* 100 Years of Sun Ra.

* Can a Pope Help Sustain Humanity and Ecology?

* How The “Trigger Warning” Took Over The Internet.

There’s an old joke about economists: A mathematician, a statistician and an economist apply for a job. The interviewer asks, “What’s two plus two?” The mathematician says, “Four.” The statistician thinks for a second and says, “On average, four.” And the economist gets up, closes the door, turns to the interviewer and says, “What do you want it to be?”

* BREAKING: The U.S. Constitution Is Impossible to Amend. This is why we need to start over.

* BREAKING: New Report Finds Climate Change Already Having Broad Impact. This is why we need to start over.

* The end of Florida.

* “Check your privilege!” is a speech-act that intends the maintenance of anti-racist, anti-misogynist, anti-capitalist groups against the persistent threat of auto-corruption. One only says “Check your privilege!” to comrades, to those with whom you co-incline. It’s a locution that keeps political lines of communication clear from all of the fucked-up shit we bring, and can’t not bring, to our collectivities. … A simple way of putting this: One checks the privileges of one’s friends. One destroys those of one’s enemies. One does the former in the service of the latter.

Charter Schools Gone Wild: Study Finds Widespread Fraud, Mismanagement and Waste.

Los Angeles now spending more on Wall Street fees than on maintaining roads.

The Silencing Of Cecily McMillan.

Advocates Respond to White House Report on College Sexual Assault.

Universities and researchers all over the world have a problem with Microsoft. It’s not just that the company forces expensive and dated software on customers. Using products like Microsoft’s email service Outlook is potentially in breach of the ethical contracts researchers sign when they promise to safeguard the privacy of their subjects.

The nursery and the sitting room are part of a Mehrgenerationenhaus, literally a “multigeneration house”, which is a kindergarten, a social centre for the elderly and somewhere young families can drop in for coffee and advice. In theory, the sitting room is reserved for the over-60s, but in the practice the door to the kids’ area rarely stays closed for long.

* “With Porn Studies, there is no such ambiguity about the sheer world-making power of pornography.”

* Re-headlining the news.

* I just can’t accept that a movie starring a 72-year-old Harrison Ford is going to be called “The Ancient Fear.”

If the Center for Teaching and Learning were supported by a Center for Teaching and Learning, then all stakeholders could join the circle of excellence.

* Obama’s pretending he cares about climate again. Vox is straight-up advocating that America invade Iran I guess.

* W. Kamau Bell and Tressie McMillan Cottom discuss Leslie Jones, blackness, and Saturday Night Live.

* Great moments in poorly thought-out pedagogy.

* Amherst College Officially Bans All Fraternities And Sororities — though friends of Facebook familiar with the place tell me that it’s not as big a deal as it sounds.

* Gasp! Conservative Money Front Is Behind Princeton’s “White Privilege” Guy.

Teen Pregnancies Are Plunging Because Young People Are Making Responsible Sexual Decisions.

* Science reporting is abysmal, sexual difference edition.

* Disruptive innovation, Soylent Green edition.

* Abolish prom.

A college degree is worth $831,000.

* And the future is finally here: Grilled Cheese Delivered By Parachute, Coming Soon to NYC.

All Your Weekend Links at No Cost to You

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* The great Gabriel García Márquez has died. The Paris Review interview. Autumn of the Patriarch, Forgetting to Live.

In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.

* Earthseed as New-Age transreligion.

* I asked William Pannapacker how to responsibly advise students who want to go to graduate school in the humanities. He said you can’t.

UNC’s New Grading System Could Show What That ‘A’ Is Really Worth. Tentatively, this seems like a good improvement on the existing system, though I’m not in love with the administration’s “now we can finally catch unscrupulous faculty!” line.

* Supposedly we’re supposed to be outraged by Snowden not infiltrating the Putin government and leaking details about his massive surveillance state apparatus. Or something. I can’t make heads or tails of it to be honest.

* In defense of edited collections.

Harvard Accused Of Retaliating Against Professor Who Defended Sexual Assault Survivors.

* Rape culture and athletics at FSU.

The #AskEmmert Q&A Is Going Poorly.

* The theology of ethical consumerism.

After comparing the average achievement of children whose parents regularly engage in each form of parental involvement to that of their counterparts whose parents do not, we found that most forms of parental involvement yielded no benefit to children’s test scores or grades, regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic standing. The zero point of most liberal (as opposed to leftist) interventions in poverty is that “merit” broadly defined is structured (a little) by genetic lottery and (a lot) by class position, which means that strategies for equality that are filtered through education and achievement will always just wind up replicating existing structures of power and existing privileges rather than disrupting them. I don’t see any answer for this problem beyond deliberate redistribution of wealth.

* The failure of desegregation.

Study: People of color breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted than white people’s.

* The Nation reviews The Years of Living Dangerously.

New York Times Admits It Agreed to ‘Gag Orders’ in Israel.

* A huge part of the function of Western media is producing and distributing state propaganda. Freddie has just a short recent list.

* American politics is a cesspool, New Jersey politics doubly so.

* Q will visit the Abramsverse.

Here’s How Long That Teen Would Have to Pee in the Portland Reservoir to Make It Unsafe to Drink. But what’s 38 million gallons between friends?

* On writing disabilities in SF and fantasy. Doctor Who and the Women.

In the moments that follow, both the Doctor and his companion ask River why she didn’t just say her wrist was broken, and she explains – in this horrible, horrible moment – that the Doctor must be protected from knowing how much it hurts people to be around him; that humans must hide their weakness from him so that he will not feel upset.

* China and postcapitalism.

* Third child as status symbol.

* Grad students unionize at UConn.

* Monsters walk among us: People who think they’re attractive tend to be more comfortable with economic inequality.

The Last Golden Days of Marijuana Smuggling.

* They have come to the conclusion that God, / Requiring a heaven and a hell, didn’t need to / Plan two establishments: ‘X-Men’ Director Bryan Singer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Underage Boy. More details on the case at Boing Boing.

* I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

* The arc of history is long, but it bends towards grandfather clauses that allow obscenities to continue for decades after they are banned.

Inmates to strike in Alabama, declare prison is “running a slave empire.”

* The New York Times profiles the great Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black.

* Actors laughing between takes.

* And let’s go ahead and put Krypton at the top of the list of places to invade next.

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