Posts Tagged ‘true crime’
* Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him. But cops agree: cops haven’t used excessive force in Ferguson. 40 FBI agents are in Ferguson to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown, and they already know who did it. ‘Let’s Be Cops,’ cop movies, and the shooting in Ferguson. Reparations for Ferguson. John Oliver: Let’s take their fucking toys back. A movement grows in Ferguson. Ferguson and white unflight. Michael Brown’s autopsy suggests he had his hands up. An upside flag indicates distress. More links from Crooked Timber.
* Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit: The Neoconservative Origins of Our Police Problem. The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson. For blacks, the “war on terror” hasn’t come home. It’s always been here. Mapping the Spread of the Military’s Surplus Gear. A Militarized Police, a Less Violent Public. Even the liberal Kevin Drum agrees: We Created a Policing Monster By Mistake. “By mistake.” So close.
* Meanwhile: Detroit police chief James Craig – nicknamed “Hollywood” for his years spent in the LAPD and his seeming love of being in front of the camera – has repeatedly called on “good” and “law-abiding” Detroiters to arm themselves against criminals in the city.
* Law professor Robert A. Ferguson’s critique of the U.S. prison system misses the point that its purpose is not rehabilitation but civic death.
* A quarter century later, the median white wealth had jumped to $265,000, while median black wealth was just $28,500. The racial wealth gap among working-age families, in other words, is a stunning $236,500, and there is every reason to believe that figure has widened in the five years since
* Change we can believe in? CBS, Produce a new Star Trek Series Featuring Wil Wheaton as the Lead role/Captain of a federation Vessel. Any true fan would know that Wesley quit Starfleet to pursue his destiny with the Traveler, but perhaps I’ve said too much.
* Coming soon to the Smithsonian Galleries: Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910.
* Yahoo really wants you to think Donald Glover is in the next season of Community. That “I am serious. I am Yahoo Serious.” tag is pretty gold, though.
* And while I’m on the subject: I know it’s not for everyone, but if you ask me this may have been the most quintessential Harmontown of all time: melancholy, silly, ranty, with some great improv D&D. Give it a listen if you like Dan Harmon.
* The twenty-first century gold rush: debt collection.
* No Child Left Behind achieves its destiny: virtually every school in the state of Washington is a “failing school.”
* The problem with self-driving cars: they’re still cars.
* Students who graduated in 2008 earned more credits in the humanities than in STEM, the study found. Humanities credits accounted for 17 percent of total credits earned by the typical graduate. In contrast, STEM credits accounted for 13 percent.
* Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity. In English men are slightly (but not in a statistically significant way) more likely than women to earn tenure.
* Huge asteroid set to wipe out life on Earth – in 2880. 865 years, that’s all we’ve got…
* Mining Spill Near U.S. Border Closes 88 Schools, Leaves Thousands Of Mexicans Without Water. Meet The First Pacific Island Town To Relocate Thanks To Climate Change. The Longest River In The U.S. Is Being Altered By Climate Change.
* The venture capitalist are now weaponizing kids. Of course, when you find out how much raising a kid costs, child labor starts to make a lot of sense. Plainly parenting is a market ripe for disruption.
* Primary 2016 watch: Only Al Gore can save us now.
* And they’ve finally gone too far: Edible LEGO. Some lines man was just never meant to cross.
* The big story in academia yesterday was the eleventh-hour preemptive firing of Steven Salaita from UIUC (which according to reports may have cost him his tenure at Virginia Tech as well). Especially disturbing in all this is the participation of former AAUP president Cary Nelson, on the side of the firing. Some commentary from Corey Robin, Claire Potter, Philip Weiss, and Electronic Intifada. A statement for the Illinois AAUP. A petition.
* Delayed gratification watch: This week I finally cracked and read Chris Ware’s Building Stories after nearly two years of anticipation. So great. I can’t wait to teach it. I may write more about this later, but for now I can tell you that my arbitrary path through the book told a beautiful story that began with the couple’s fateful move to Englewood and drifted backwards in time, Ulysses-like, to the day the couple met, before culminating in a quietly nostalgic trip to the eponymous building as it stood about to be torn down. So great. My friend Jacob’s review. “I Hoped That the Book Would Just Be Fun”: A Brief Interview with Chris Ware.
* Call for applications: Wisconsin Poet Laureate.
* I was born too early: N.Y.U. to Add a Bachelor’s Degree in Video Game Design.
* I was born too late: MIT looking into paying professors by the word.
* College rankings, 1911. Class III! How dare they. #impeachTaft
* State’s rights we can believe in: New Jersey drivers may be able to ignore other states’ speed cameras.
* The Lost Projects of Dan Harmon. In addition to Building Stories, I also cracked this week and finally started watching Rick and Morty. Now, granted, it’s no Building Stories — but it’s pretty good!
* The New Inquiry‘s “Mourning” issue is out today and has some really nice essays I think I’ll be using in the second go of my Cultural Preservation course next spring.
* Now we see the violence inherent in the system: Insurance Company Pays Elderly Man’s Workman’s Comp Settlement With $21,000 in Coins.
* Department of diminishing returns: The British Office: The Movie.
* And the kind of headline where I really don’t want any details: NASA: New “impossible” engine works, could change space travel forever. Second star to the right, and straight on till morning…
* Look alive, Octavia Butler scholars! 2015-16 Fellowships at the Huntington.
* Exciting crowdfunding project on disability and science fiction: Accessing the Future.
* If what we were fighting against in World War II were not just enemy nations but fascism and militarism, then did the atomic bombs that massacred the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — coming as a grand climax to our “strategic bombing” of European and Asian cities — help bring us victory? Or defeat?
Problem: We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.
Solution: Diet, exercise, and plastic surgery.
* Op-ed: Adjuncts should unionize.
* What colleges can learn from journalism schools. English departments seem particularly well-positioned to apply some of these lessons.
* The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”
* When Moral Panics Collide! GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination.
* A Thai surrogate mother said Sunday that she was not angry with the Australian biological parents who left behind a baby boy born with Down syndrome, and hoped that the family would take care of the boy’s twin sister they took with them. Honestly, I think I’m pretty mad at them.
* They say Western civilization’s best days are behind it, but Bill Murray will star as Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.
* Ever tried. Ever meowed. No matter. Try Again. Meow again. Meow better. Beckittens.
* Filming is apparently wrapping on Fantastic Four, but they didn’t even have a teaser trailer for Comic-Con. This film must be a complete disaster. Can’t wait!
* The third Lev Grossman Magicians book ships tomorrow. Soon to be a TV show, maybe!
* Always remember: The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense.
* Ian Bogost on moralism and academic politics: The Opposite of Good Fortune is Bad Fortune.
* This week on Studio 360: Will Sci-Fi Save Us?
* They say there are no heroes anymore, but I’ve decided not to promote any of the truly horrible things people have been saying about Gaza. You’re welcome.
* Lazer-guided metaphors about America in 2014: FEMA Wants to House Migrant Children in Empty Big Box Stores.
* Or this one: Luxury Condo’s “Poor Door” Is Now City-Approved.
* The Globe and Mail has a powerful piece about Huntington’s disease and the right to die.
* In recent years, a handful of community colleges in that state have outsourced the recruitment and hiring of adjunct instructors – who make up the overwhelming majority of the community college teaching force – to an educational staffing company. Just last week, the faculty union at a sixth institution, Jackson College, signed a collective bargaining agreement allowing EDUStaff to take over adjunct hiring and payroll duties.
* A recent random spot check of hundreds of arraignments by the Police Reform Organizing Project showed that in many courts around the boroughs, 100% of those appearing for minor legal violations — things like taking two seats on a train or smoking in a train station — are people of color.
* The nation’s top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.
* Holy NDA, Batman! One of the nation’s largest government contractors requires employees seeking to report fraud to sign internal confidentiality statements barring them from speaking to anyone about their allegations, including government investigators and prosecutors, according to a complaint filed Wednesday and corporate documents obtained by The Washington Post.
* First a LEGO episode, now a Futurama crossover: The Simpsons really wants me back. It’s been fifteen years, dudes, just let me go…
* “So, what have you learned in your many years of toddler torture?” “They hate it.”
* Dan Harmon on Paul F. Tompkins’s Speakeasy, with beloved Milwaukee institutions like the Safe House and the Marquette University English Department warranting mentions. Now, for PFT to finally appear on Harmontown….
* Now, please hold all my calls: the next episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead comes out today…
* Call for applications: 2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship.
* 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.
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.
* Kunkel reviews Piketty. The circle is complete.
* Title Now Everybody Sue Everybody: expulsion and sexual assault at IHE.
* 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.
* “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.
* Free at last: Oakland to decriminalize pinball.
* 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…
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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!