Posts Tagged ‘UC Davis’
Morris County has experienced a sharp increase in motor vehicle burglaries throughout 2011, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi, who said the increase can be attributed to independent trends that have emerged in small geographic areas in the county at different times and committed by different individuals.
* MetaFilter has your Neil deGrasse Tyson Overdrive.
* Get me Val Kilmer: Christian Bale says he’s done playing Batman.
“I suppose when I was writing V for Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.”
* Also on the Occupy beat: “Pre-Occupied: The Origins and Future of Occupy Wall Street.” And also at the New Yorker: Was anti-Keystone activism the real political movement of 2011?
* Mary Roach: 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Orgasm.
* Robotic prison wardens to patrol South Korean prison. But the prototype looks so friendly!
* Jim Henson, 1969: How to Make a Muppet. Also on Muppetwatch: A 1979 profile of Henson in anticipation of The Muppet Movie.
* The secret history of “Mahna Mahna”: “How a ditty from a soft-core Italian movie became the Muppets’ catchiest tune.”
* Almost literally the least they could do: Davis Will Drop Charges Against, Pay Medical Bills of Pepper Spray Students.
* I’ve seen this movie: The Air Force “has asked industry to develop a new heat and motion sensor capable of detecting enemy gunfire from 25,000 feet over the battlefield — and then swiftly directing a bomb or missile onto the shooter.” I believe Terminator suggests the name HKs…
* The full congregation of Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church voted Sunday to prohibit the church pastor from legally marrying anyone until she can legally marry same-sex couples under North Carolina law.
* Michael Bailey and Forrest Maltzman say their poli-sci model shows the Affordable Care Act will be upheld. Scott Lemieux says there’s no reason to think they’ll confine themselves to precedent and that it still all comes down to what Anthony Kennedy has for breakfast.
* Google greets Thanksgiving (outside the US) with the mother of all interactive doodles.
* And speaking of obvious scams: Is a Law Degree a Good Investment Today?
What happened at UC Davis was the inevitable result of our failure to make sure our government stayed in the business of defending our principles. When we stopped insisting on that relationship with our government, they became something separate from us.
And we are stuck now with this fundamental conflict, whereby most of us are insisting that the law should apply equally to everyone, while the people running this country for years now have been operating according to the completely opposite principle that different people have different rights, and who deserves what protections is a completely subjective matter, determined by those in power, on a case-by-case basis.
* Turns out the optimal marginal tax rate is… 76%.
President Obama immediately threatened to veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts. That means that Republicans would have to get a 2/3rds majority to undo the first meaningful cutback in the Military budget in 60 years. In addition, if Obama also threatens to veto any attempt to restore the Bush Tax cuts in 2012 (they expire automatically on January 1, 2013), progressives will have totally changed the inequality dynamic, without having to pass a single piece of legislation.
If we had some ham, we could have ham and eggs, if we had eggs…
DAVIS, California – The thousands of students, faculty, and workers holding a General Assembly in the UC Davis quad passed by a call for a education wide General Strike for Monday by 99.5%. The vote was 199-1. Twitter indicates they’ve just called for the disbanding of the UC police as well. (UPDATE: I think that second bit was premature; looks like they’ve tabled the call to disband the police.)
Pepper spray use has been suspected of contributing to a number of deaths that occurred in police custody. In mid-1990s, the U.S. Department of Justice cited nearly 70 fatalities linked to pepper-spray use, following on a 1995 report compiled by the American Civil Liberties Union of California. The ACLU report cited 26 suspicious deaths; it’s important to note that most involved pre-existing conditions such as asthma. But it’s also important to note a troubling pattern.
In fact, in 1999, the ACLU asked the California appeals court to declare the use of pepper spray to be dangerous and cruel. That request followed an action by northern California police officers against environmental protestors – the police were accused of dipping Q-tips into OC spray and applying them directly to the eyes of men and women engaged in an anti-logging protest.
“The ACLU believes that the use of pepper spray as a kind of chemical cattle prod on nonviolent demonstrators resisting arrest constitutes excessive force and violates the Constitution,” wrote association attorneys some 13 years ago.
1. Tuition increases are the problem, not the solution.
2. Police brutality is an administrative tool to enforce tuition increases.
3. What we are struggling against is not the California legislature, but the upper administration of the UC system.
4. The university is the real world.
5. We are winning.
* Another UC Davis Manifesto: No Cops, No Bosses.
* The 1% and ecology: “Pollution begins not in the family bedroom, but in the corporate boardroom.”
In the last few days, Boston police have blocked the occupiers from bringing in a winterized tent intended as a safe space for women, and have searched a truck for “contraband” tents and insulation materials. In an exchange that resembles a vaudeville comedy routine, a Boston police officer explains to activist Clark Stoekley why he searched the truck for “items we don’t want in the camp”:
I came to the truck because uh, we were afraid you had contraband that we don’t want in the camp . . . items we don’t want in the camp . . . Winter tents and, um, any type of insulation materials for tents that are already presently there.
* “The fundamental issue is that law schools are producing people who are not capable of being counselors,” says Jeffrey W. Carr, the general counsel of FMC Technologies, a Houston company that makes oil drilling equipment. “They are lawyers in the sense that they have law degrees, but they aren’t ready to be a provider of services.” Another take on how to fix law schools from Slate. Via Pandagon and LGM.
* Pleasure in sex ed was a major topic last November at one of the largest sex-education conferences in the country, sponsored by the education arm of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey. “Porn is the model for today’s middle-school and high-school students,” Paul Joannides said in the keynote speech. “And none of us is offering an alternative that’s even remotely appealing.”
* And when it smells like it, feels like it, and looks like it you call it what it is: Perry Promises To End Civilian-Controlled Military.
Alexis Madrigal: Why I Feel Bad for the Pepper-Spraying Policeman, Lt. John Pike.
Instead, it’s a dozen scared kids and a police officer named John Pike spraying them in the face from three feet away. And while it’s his finger pulling the trigger, the police system is what put him in the position to be standing in front of those students. I am sure that he is a man like me, and he didn’t become a cop to shoot history majors with pepper spray. But the current policing paradigm requires that students get shot in the eyes with a chemical weapon if they resist, however peaceably. Someone has to do it.
And while the kids may cough up blood and writhe in pain, what happens to the man who does it is in some ways much, much worse.
Marc Bousquet: Sympathy for Eichmann?
The lesson of Lt. Pike is not that he’s the victim of a lousy policy (“just the end point” of a system of which he “is a casualty too,”as Madrigal says). The lesson is that even within a flawed system he could and should have chosen better. So can we all.
So no, you don’t pretend that the legion of Eichmanns are master villains. But you don’t make excuses for them, either. You try them for their crimes–and you hunt down the little Eichmann in your own soul.
At Student Activism: Ten Things You Should Know About Friday’s UC Davis Police Violence.
Another, longer video of Chancellor Katehi walking to her car before a huge crowd of absolutely silent UCD students, this time including at the beginning the student pledge to remain quiet.
Chancellor Katehi walk to her car before hundreds of silent UC Davis students. Details on how this came to pass from the MeFi thread here or at Boing Boing here.
Seems like a good day (via) to revisit Marc Bousquet’s essay on academic labor and super-exploitation. Via Facebook.
By comparison to the twenty-year probation leading to academic tenure, police officers, kindergarten teachers, and civil servants earn tenure or job security in a year or two, often less. During training, a high-school-educated police recruit in 2009 generally earns a salary of between thirty and forty thousand dollars, or about twice what a doctoral student earns during graduate school. Today’s starting salaries for 20- or 21-year-old metropolitan police officers and state troopers are generally in the forties. They receive bonuses for completing two- and four-year postsecondary degrees, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in supplemental pay for overtime and special duty. In Cincinnati, for example, a recruit will earn $31,000/year during a six-month training period, and then begin work at $46,000. Five years later—at age 26—they will expect to earn a base pay of $56,000, or about what junior faculty in many arts and sciences fields are being offered after their twenty-year apprenticeships, in their early forties.
The 26-year-old police officer earning about the same base pay as our 40-year-old assistant professor can expect to work as little as another fifteen or twenty years, keeping up with inflation whether or not promotions are awarded, collecting additional fair compensation in such forms as the Cincinnati metro police site promises, “overtime earnings, court pay, certification pay, training allowance, and night differential pay.” The Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund estimator estimates that in 2009 a 48-year-old retiree who had done nothing to save additionally and earned just under $70,000 in his final year as a 27-year veteran would receive a pension of about $42,000. That 48-year-old would then be free to work another job—a corporate security position, or a supervisory position overseeing poorly-paid retail guards, or real estate, or whatever, earning, say $60,000 a year, for a total annual income of six figures. Or the retired officer could work part time, twenty hours a week or so, and still pull in about $80,000 or $90,000—likely quite a bit more than our largely fictional time-serving 55-year-old associate prof is pulling in on the imaginary twenty-hour work week of just showing up to teach from old notes. Pension benefits for military service and certain civil service positions are similar: your average worker aged 48 to 55 without too many promotions but with a quarter-century or more of service will be eligible for pensions of between thirty and sixty thousand dollars, or the equivalent of between about $800,000 and $1,500,000 in your Fidelity or TIAA-CREF accounts…
What we have seen in the last two weeks around the country, and now at Davis, is a radical departure from the way police have handled protest in this country for half a century. Two days ago an 84 year old woman was sprayed with a chemical assault agent in Portland in the same manner our students at Davis were maced. A Hispanic New York City Councilman was brutally thrown to the ground, arrested, and held cuffed in a police van for two hours for no reason at all, and was never even told why he was arrested. And I am sure you all know about former Marine Lance Cpl. Scott Olsen, who suffered a fractured skull after police hit him with a tear gas canister, then rolled a flash bomb into the group of citizens trying to give him emergency medical care.
Last week, former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper published an essay arguing that the current epidemic of police brutality is a reflection of the militarization (his word, not mine) of our urban police forces, the result of years of the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror. Stamper was chief of police during the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, and is not a voice that can be easily dismissed.
Yesterday, the militarization of policing in the U.S. arrived on my own campus.
Bob Ostertag: “The Militarization of Campus Police.”