Posts Tagged ‘true crime’
* Turns out academic freedom isn’t free: Michigan State University could risk losing $500,000 if it does not stop offering courses that allegedly promote unionization.
* “They call us professors, but they’re paying us at poverty levels,” she said. “I just want to make a living from a skill I’ve spent 30 years developing.”
* In Silicon Valley there really is a class war going on, a wage-fixing cartel that’s pitting the one percent against everyone else.
* LAX Baggage Handlers Took Whatever They Wanted From Bags for Months. I’m actually pretty sure they stole our camera, which we haven’t seen since we left California.
* The typographical sublime: Switching from Times New Roman to Garamond could save the government almost half a billion dollars.
* End of an Internet Era: Television Without Pity Gets Shuttered. It’s Hard To Imagine The Internet Without Television Without Pity. Raised on Television without Pity. MetaFilter mourns. The real tragedy here is the absolutely unnecessary closing of the forums; there’s a valuable decade of Internet TV writing and fan commentary, lost overnight.
* Dialectics of Stephen Colbert: We Want To #CancelColbert. What We Can Learn From the Embarrassing #CancelColbert Shitstorm. A profile of Suey Park.
* Rebecca Schuman on The Most Important University in St Louis. More from the new, Serious™ Schuman: Save Fulbright!
* Free speech having a tough time tonight: Arrest Climate-Change Deniers.
* Unpaid Interns In New York City Are Now Protected From Sexual Harassment. Well, obviously, of course they would be, what could be more obvious — wait, now?
* Oh, America empire, you’re incorrigible! As our troops pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re abandoning fixers and translators to the dangerous countrymen who view them as traitors. Asylum in the U.S. could be their last hope. If only we’d let them in.
* Wisconsin also having a tough time tonight: BP Admits To Spilling Even More Oil In Lake Michigan.
* Come back here, we’re not done getting bummed out yet: The Pacific Ocean Is Turning Sour Much Faster Than Expected, Study Shows. Texas Oil Spill Is Killing Birds, Threatening Fishing Industry.
* How The Justice System Is Rigged Against These Cheerleaders Suing The Raiders For Wage Theft. Federal Judge Tells Women Lawyers Not To Dress Like ‘An Ignorant Slut.’ Virtually the entire judiciary is made up of former prosecutors and corporate lawyers.
* Tumblr of the weekend: Shit Settlers Said.
* The ASA is now asking for $100,000 in donations to defend itself from attacks resulting in its decision about how to spend a few hundred. Well done, everyone!
* So old I can remember when teaching was a career. Standing Up to Testing. New York Schools Are the Nation’s Most Racially Segregated. And if you only count the best-performing schools, charter schools are doing great!
* This is a land of peace, love, justice, and no mercy: Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Single Mom, Arrested After Leaving Kids In Car While On Job Interview.
* And at least it’s almost all over for humanity: Crazy Stone computer Go program defeats Ishida Yoshio 9 dan with 4 stones.
* The apparatus of free will in medieval theology allowed for a world not unlike our own. Free choice condemned the vast majority of human beings to a hopeless fate, while a privileged elite gained rewards — in both cases, despite the fact that God had predetermined everything, theologians were confident that everyone had gotten what they deserved. God’s justice was vindicated, and his glory assured. Our version is less grandiose. We want to vindicate something called “the market,” which always makes the right choices if only we allow it to, and in place of the glory of God we have the shifting numbers in various market indices and economic indicators. We are also content to let people waste the one life they have in this world, rather than imagine them suffering beyond death through all eternity. Another essential micro-essay from the great Adam Kotsko.
* “TFA recruits based on a social justice and community service message,” says Van Tol. “We think that’s deceptive and doesn’t get at what TFA is really about,” which is about dismantling democratic institutions of public education with market-driven education reform.
* Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, and the rise of “Actually…” Journalism. More Nate Silver bashing from CJR. From my perspective the fight between journalists and wonks is shaping up to be something of an Alien vs. Predator situation. Whoever wins, we lose…
* Tyler Cowen attacked during class. Unreal.
* Your yearly reminder that your taxes could be much simpler than they are.
* And this reasonably good list of 50 essential SF texts is making the rounds, with ten or so I’ve yet to get to. But a list like this without any Octavia Butler does the work of debunking itself, alas.
* The schedule for the final third of my Cultural Preservation course. This has been one of the best teaching experiences I’ve ever had; I’m hoping things go as well next spring when I do it all again.
* Starting out with two strikes with this guy and he hasn’t even found out where I work yet.
* Nietzsche was right: it turns out without forgetting it is quite impossible to live at all.
* Elsewhere in the American nihilism files: NASA study concludes it’s not just you, we really are doomed.
* Meanwhile, we can’t even agree on the incredible, undeniable, world-historical usefulness of vaccines. One map sums up the damage caused by the anti-vaccination movement.
* Surely we’ll start the school day later, when every bit of science backs this up… Oh.
* Don’t be evil: Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to devalue content.
* No one could have predicted a completely unregulated peer-to-peer hotel network would lead to bad outcomes. Next up: Hey, Uber, your unregulated taxi was just some random creep’s unsafe car!
* For the true believers: A Brief History of the Quidditch World Cup.
* If we make the world a paradise where everyone is immortal, will we still be able to have all these awesome jails? Aeon Magazine reports.
* As of 2010-2011, the most recent year with available data, recent humanities and liberal arts majors had 9 percent unemployment. That’s right about on par with students in computer and math fields (9.1 percent), psychology and social work (8.8 percent), and the social sciences (10.3 percent). And it’s just a bit above the average across all majors of 7.9 percent. The larger problem, as always, is that there’s still not enough work for young people post-recession.
* Promisingly specific: Projecting ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ in Theaters Requires Special Instructions.
* Game of the Weekend: 2048, an addictive simplification of Threes!, in your browser.
* The Department of Education’s scoring system for ranking the financial health of universities makes no sense.
* Graduate Students at Cornell Push for Workers’ Compensation. The only question is: why don’t they already have this?
* Jacob Remes introduces the CLASSE Manifesto.
* Patrick Iber on life as a long-term adjunct.
* There’s ideology at its purest, and then there’s Barack Obama being interviewed by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns.
* During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.
* Vulture profiles Benjamin Kunkel.
* What’s making you so fat today: antibiotics.
* Next year on SyFy: Man Calls 911 After “Hostile” 22-Pound Cat Traps Family in Bedroom.
* Study: Nuclear Reactors Are Toxic to Surrounding Areas, Especially With Age. No one could have predicted!
* Now human activity makes it rain on the weekends. God, we’re the worst.
* The Supreme Court: as always, why we can’t have nice things.
* And they say there’s never any good news, but Sbarro’s has filed for bankruptcy.
* This is not a glitch in the system. It is the system. Readers are gullible, the media is feckless, garbage is circulated around, and everyone goes to bed happy and fed. The Year We Broke the Internet.
* But who gets to write in The New York Times – and to whom is The New York Times accessible? If we’re talking about accessibility and insularity, it’s worth looking at The New York Times’s own content generation cycle and the relationship between press junkets and patronage.
* Lately, some people have suggested that doctoral programs should take somemodest steps in order to keep track of what happens to their Ph.D.s after graduation. It’s a good idea, and these suggestions are made with the best of intentions, even if they’re coming about 50 years too late. They are, unfortunately, looking in the wrong place as far as you are concerned. You can’t just count up how many of a program’s graduates end up as professors—otherwise, the best qualification you could get in grad school is marrying a professor of engineering or accountancy who can swing a spousal hire for you. Instead, there is just one thing you should be looking at: What percentage of a program’s graduates are hired for tenure-track jobs through competitive searches?
Rutgers University, already the most prolific subsidizer of sports of all Division I public institutions, gave its athletics department nearly $47 million in 2012-13, USA Today reported, a 67.9 percent increase over the 2011-12 subsidy of $27.9 million. Rutgers athletics is $79 million in the red, but officials say that the university’s move to the Big Ten Conference will generate close to $200 million over its first 12 years as a member. The most recent subsidies make up 59.9 percent of the athletics department’s total allocations, and total more than the entire operating revenues at all but 53 of Division I’s 228 public sports programs.
* State-by-state misery index. Wisconsin’s doing pretty all right, and that’s counting the existence of Wiscsonin winters…
* Down an unremarkable side street in Southwark, London, is a fenced lot filled with broken concrete slabs, patches of overgrown grass and the odd piece of abandoned construction equipment. Its dark history and iron gates separate this sad little patch from the outside world. Lengths of ribbon, handwritten messages and tokens weave a tight pattern through the bars of the rusty gates … all tributes to the 15,000 Outcast Dead of London. Thanks, Liz!
* Geronrockandrolltocracy: On average, the Rolling Stones are older than the Supreme Court.
* The financially strapped University of California system is losing about $6 million each year due to risky bets on interest rates under deals pushed by Wall Street banks.
* Department of Mixed Feelings: Marquette likely to get its own police force.
* Fake Blood and Blanks: Schools Stage Active Shooter Drills. This is utterly horrific. The country has lost its mind.
* Nowhere in all this information is there any mention of the fact that more than one in four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold, and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House.
* Jefferson had a number of slaves who gained their freedom by various methods. He freed two slaves in his lifetime and five in his will. Three others ran away and were not pursued. (Still others successfully ran away despite pursuit.) All ten freed with Jefferson’s consent were members of the Hemings family; the seven he officially freed were all skilled tradesmen. About 200 slaves were sold at estate sales after Jefferson’s death.
* On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn: I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson’s genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemmings, that George Washington’s abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge, that the G.I Bill’s accolades are somehow inseparable from its racist heritage. I will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting which, likely to the end of our days, we shall unerringly return. I had never heard Oney Judge’s story before. What a life. More, more.
* Justifiable Homicides Up 200 Percent in Florida Post-Stand Your Ground. Just make sure you don’t get more than one DUI a year or you could miss out in the horrible war of all against all.
* On Friday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in Montana, alleging that it has found “substantial evidence” that prosecutors there systematically discriminate against female sexual-assault victims.
* But as journalist Kevin Cook details in his new book, “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America” (W.W. Norton), some of the real thoughtlessness came from a police commissioner who lazily passed a falsehood to a journalist, and a media that fell so deeply in love with a story that it couldn’t be bothered to determine whether it was true.
* 8 Book Historians, Curators, Specialists, And Librarians Who Are Killing It Online. #4 with a bullet: Duke’s Own™ Mitch Fraas.
* National recruitment sources have become necessary because most Black youth from our city who attend college outside of Milwaukee decide never to return. And you can’t blame them given the fact that several studies have shown Milwaukee to be among the worst cities in the country for African Americans.
* The Duke Chronicle profiles a first-year student who also works in the porn industry.
* Event in NYC: All the Women in Capital.
* And The Cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel Says Wes Anderson Is a Genius Hardass. Hurry up and get here, March!
* FBI Checks Wrong Box, Places Student on No-Fly List. Just ten years and $4 million later, though, it’s all resolved.
* And a little something for the sports nerds: a new basketball stat.
* Ending the World the Human Way: Why can no one talk about climate change?
* You’ve seen it linked everywhere, but not here! Woody Allen’s Good Name. Don’t Listen to Woody Allen’s Biggest Defender. The Internet Digs Up Woody Allen’s Creepy Child-Loving Past. Woody Allen, My Pen Pal.
* Even the liberal Kevin Drum thinks former senator, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has no accomplishments to run of president on, unlike (say) Obama when he ran for president, or George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, or Mitt Romney, or….
* “The entire system is a joke. There is absolutely no living, breathing person with any kind of intellect who believes that a grand jury could consider and vote on 10 complex issues in the period of time that they use to deliberate on hundreds,” Joe Cheshire, a Raleigh attorney who handles criminal cases across North Carolina, told The Charlotte Observer.
* And all perfectly legal: Missouri Executes Man While His Appeal Was Still Pending Before Supreme Court.
* Broken clock watch: Antonin Scalia is… making sense?
* Cook, an Edinburg marksman, was target shooting toward the school from about a mile away when he struck the boys Dec. 12, 2011. The gunshots left Nicholas “Nicko” Tijerina, then 13, paralyzed and Edson Amaro, then 14, with serious internal organ damage.
* From the archives: In praise of Joanne Rowling’s Hermione Granger series. Harry Potter novels renamed.
* I think I’ve done this one before, too, but what the hell: Lynda Barry’s Course Syllabus.
* If It Happened There: The Super Bowl.
* CVS Will Stop Selling Tobacco Products by October. I can’t believe it’s taken this long; it’s shocked me that pharmacies sold cigarettes ever since I worked in one way back in high school.
* Gasp! Marx Was Right!
* Now hanging on the wall of my office: The Life of Thought.
* It’s very important to McDonald’s that you know McNuggets are acceptably gross.
* And the future truly is weird: Woman Gives Birth To Children, Discovers Her Twin Is Actually The Biological Mother, But She Is Technically Her Own Twin.
* What happened in Atlanta this week is not a matter of Southerners blindsided by unpredictable weather. More than any event I’ve witnessed in two decades of living in and writing about this city, this snowstorm underscores the horrible history of suburban sprawl in the United States and the bad political decisions that drive it.
* Accreditation Standards Should Include Treatment of Adjuncts, Report Says. This has been my revolutionary scheme for a while, glad to see it could actually be feasible…
* “I wouldn’t go so far,” writes Horton of Kincaid’s central thesis that short science fiction exhibits all the signs of exhaustion. “I don’t think that ‘all meaning has been drained from’ the tropes we use, but I do think they are becoming overfamiliar. And I do think that the field of science fiction has to a considerable extent become enamoured with explicitly backward-looking ideas.”
* “These findings suggest that potential harm to faculty-student relationships and academic freedom should not continue to serve as bases for the denial of collective bargaining rights to graduate student employees.”
* Boom: A Journal of California interviews Kim Stanley Robinson.
* My friend Jack Hamilton eulogizes Pete Seeger.
* Stradivarius violin stolen in armed robbery in Milwaukee. Said to be the biggest heist in city history.
* And The State reunites (for a segment anyway)…
* Slate has a memo from MLK following the desegregation of Montgomery’s bus lines.
* The problem, Berger concluded, was that “the Cubists imagined the world transformed but not the process of transformation.” It is that larger question – the process of actually getting to another world — that takes us beyond the artist and challenges the Left as a whole to cope with what can be done in this current moment of widespread disillusionment. Art in the Age of Fatalism.
* If we don’t greatly reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world, or completely eliminate them, a major city is going to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon. It’s remarkable—it’s incredible!—that a major city hasn’t been destroyed since Nagasaki. We can confront this problem or we can accept that hundreds of thousands or more will be killed.
* About 100 demonstrators rallied Friday outside the Safety Building to denounce Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm for his decision not to issue charges in the death of Corey Stingley.
* “The world does not understand the settlements,” Livni said in a Channel 2 TV news interview. “The peace negotiations are the wall stopping the wave [of international boycott pressure]. If there is a crisis [in the talks, that wave] will crash through.”
* Thinking about the future here and its bleak prospects is not much fun at all, so instead of too much black-minded introspection you have the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas-station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death: Life expectancies are short — the typical man here dies well over a decade earlier than does a man in Fairfax County, Va. — and they are getting shorter, women’s life expectancy having declined by nearly 1.1 percent from 1987 to 2007. If the people here weren’t 98.5 percent white, we’d call it a reservation. The National Review visits Appalachia, and somehow manages to blame welfare.
* Meanwhile: Heroin gains a deadly foothold in Vermont.
* The headline reads, “Thief drops urn containing Sigmund Freud’s ashes during break-in attempt.”
* Ultimate Slate Pitch? I Would Rather Lick a Toilet Seat Than a Cellphone.
* Isn’t it pretty to think so? As Presently Constructed, GOP Cannot Win White House. More here. They say the Democrats can’t lose. I say give them a chance.
* Adjuncts exist, and the New York Times is ON IT.
* During World War Two, conscientious objectors in the US and the UK were asked to volunteer for medical research. In one project in the US, young men were starved for six months to help experts decide how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe.
* The headline reads, “USFWS proposes dropping 1.3 tons of rat poison into National Wildlife Refuge.”
* In fact, none of this is true. UNC Chapel Hill is not a coherent undergraduate institution. It’s a holding company that provides shared marketing, finance, and physical plant services for a group of autonomous departments, which are in turn holding companies for autonomous scholars who teach as they please. This is the only possible explanation for the years-long, wholly undetected operation of the African and Afro-American Studies Department credit fraud scam. Or, rather, it’s the only possible explanation other than a huge, organization-wide conspiracy in which the university administration, department, and football team colluded to hand out fake grades to hundreds of athletes.
* Monsanto fails prey to billion-dollar “climate change” hoax. Don’t they know it’s COLD in New York and DC today?
* One they missed? Workers at Closing Goodyear Tire Plant Take Their Bosses Hostage.
* So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.
* 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.”
* Twitter account of the night: @ClickbaitSCOTUS.
* 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).
* 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.
* There’s always money in the banana stand: After closing 50 schools, Chicago Public Schools has proposals for 31 new Charter Schools. This is how much your kid’s school’s budget has been cut (state-by-state averages). “The United States is one of few advanced nations where schools serving better-off children usually have more educational resources than those serving poor students.”
* Incarceration rate per 100,000 Black males in South Africa under apartheid (1993) 610: 851. Incarceration rate per 100,000 African-American males in the United States under George W. Bush (2001) 611: 4,848. The Bush tag is such a redding herring there. This is a bipartisan consensus.
Almost two-thirds of court admissions to state prison are for property and drug offenses, including drug possession (16 percent), drug sales (15 percent), burglary (9 percent), and auto theft (6 percent).
Then, she says, the prosecutor began rattling off names and showing photographs of people, asking about their social contacts and political opinions. Olejnik guesses he asked “at least 50 questions” in that vein, compared to the four about May Day. That’s when she shut down, refused to answer, was found in contempt of court, and was sent to SeaTac FDC.
* A Tale of Two Cities: America’s Bipolar Climate Future. New York City and New Bern, North Carolina both face the same projected rise in sea levels, but while one is preparing for the worst, the other is doing nothing on principle.
* There’s always money in the banana stand, part two: Highest paid college presidents.
* Postscript on the Societies of Control, life insurance edition.
* I’ve been saying this for years: Online advertising has a fraud problem. Millions of ad impressions are being served to bots and non-human traffic, and ad tech companies are doing little to stop it.
* The Kellers are caught up in a little-known horror of the U.S. housing bust: the zombie title. Six years in, thousands of homeowners are finding themselves legally liable for houses they didn’t know they still owned after banks decided it wasn’t worth their while to complete foreclosures on them.
* The Walker miracle: The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 4,420 people in Wisconsin filed initial unemployment claims during the last week of November. That is more claims than the next two highest states combined: Ohio with 2,597 and Kentucky with 1,538.
* The Pope: Not a Marxist!