Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

All the Sunday Links

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* Outrageous even by the bargain basement standards of the war on the terror: the United Kingdom held Glenn Greenwald’s partner for nine hours at Heathrow (and seized all his electronics) purely for the purposes of harassment. More from Greenwald himself.

* “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.”

* Speaking of which, ugh.

Domestic violence victims in Milwaukee faced eviction for calling police, study finds.

 “Since 1998, 92% of white males who were considered for tenure got it.  During the same period of time only 55% percent of women and minority candidates were granted tenure.  Looking at ethnicity alone, USC granted tenure to 81% of its white candidates but only to 48% of its minority candidates.”

* The New York Times runs what amounts to an unpaid* ad for Georgia Tech’s new all-MOOC master’s degree. * At least I assume it’s unpaid.

As many as 40% of university language departments are likely to close within a decade, the former government adviser charged with bolstering foreign language uptake in higher education has warned, delivering a huge blow to the UK’s diplomatic and economic hopes.

Poverty is therefore a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society…It is the source of wealth, since without poverty, there could be no labour; there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth.

* Are liberals finally ready to oppose neoliberal education reform?

Vietnam and Historical Forgetting.

In general, the right seems committed to some mixture of denying the atrocities in Vietnam, claiming that everyone did it or the misdeeds were somehow justified by what the North Vietnamese did, and blaming the hippies. Latterday liberals acknowledge that bad things happened, but mostly don’t want to open up the can of worms, for fear that they’d be accused of being unpatriotic and hating the troops or something. The result is a strange form of historical forgetting, where there’s a general sense that bad things happened, but no understanding of how general these bad things were, nor desire to hold people accountable for them.

Can America face up to the terrible reality of slavery in the way that Germany has faced up to the Holocaust?

By comparison: can you imagine a monument to the genocide of Native Americans or the Middle Passage at the heart of the Washington Mall? Suppose you could walk down the street and step on a reminder that this building was constructed with slave labour, or that the site was the home of a Native American tribe before it was ethnically cleansed? What we have, instead, are national museums of Native American and African American culture, the latter scheduled to open in 2015. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian boasts exhibits showing superbly crafted Pueblo dolls, the influence of the horse in Native American culture, and Native American athletes who made it to the Olympics. The website of the Smithsonian’s anticipated National Museum of African American History and Culture does show a shackle that was presumably used on a slave ship, but it is far more interested in collecting hats worn by Pullman porters or pews from the African Methodist Episcopal church. A fashion collection is in the making, as well as a collection of artefacts belonging to the African American abolitionist Harriet Tubman; 39 objects, including her lace shawl and her prayer book, are already available.

* The combination of drought and fracking are leaving Texas communities with no water.

* “Thornsbury is the county’s only judge.”

* Two from Buzzfeed (sorry): 25 Facts And Tidbits About The Muppets That Might Blow Your Mind. 21 “Breaking Bad” Easter Eggs That Will Blow Your Mind.

* At Reddit: What is a “dirty little (or big) secret” about an industry that you have worked in, that people outside the industry really ought to know?

* History becomes more sensible when you imagine its participants as any other mammal.

Two Timelines of Slang for Genitalia, from 1250 Through Today.

A Map of the Lands Actually Discovered by European Explorers.

* And a damn good science fiction pitch from Tumblr. I’d love to see this optioned as a film.

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