Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Blackwater

Four-Day-Weekend-Sized Links!

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CFP: Edited Collection on Ecohorror.

* Join English dept faculty, students, and alumni as we debate the question of our age: “Is GAME OF THRONES still good?”

* A lovely tribute to the career of the Huntington’s Sue Hodson, who (among other things) acquired the Octavia E. Butler papers.

* The five basic narrative conflicts: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self, man vs. society, and New York vs. New Jersey.

We are not as often reminded that homes and lives may have been saved if officials and policymakers had incorporated the recommendations of sound science in their outlook and preparedness plans. Which is why we need to add a third response to our evolving national post-catastrophic storm mourning ritual: Identifying and investigating the negligent officials who put the public in harm’s way by repeatedly ignoring crucial data and scientific evidence that can help prevent disaster.

Harvey Is What Climate Change Looks Like. We’re Nowhere Near Prepared for the Ecological Disaster That Harvey Is Becoming. How Washington Made Harvey Worse. In the wake of one of the worst disasters in American history. Texans to be hit with new insurance law making it harder to win contested claims, just one week after Harvey. Why Ordinary Citizens Are Acting as First Responders in Houston. From June. Stop snitchin’. The Looming Consequences of Breathing Mold: Flooding means health issues that unfold for years. What the Harvey flooding would will look like where you live. How Humans Make Disasters Worse. Within and against capitalism.

Hundreds dead in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, while millions have been forced from their homes and 18,000 schools shut down across the region. More Than 1,000 Died in South Asia Floods This Summer.

Time to Decriminalize Pot in Wisconsin.

* Distracted-Boyfriend-Meme Photographer Tells All.

* New Gilded Age Watch: Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant. Read the thread.

* I try not to be a Pollyanna about these things but I seriously thought we were done with Erik Prince forever.

* Avengers assemble: Mueller taps the IRS and the State of New York to find crimes he can charge Trump and associates with that Trump can’t just pardon. Fascinating stuff: Legal Challenge to Arpaio Pardon Begins. And this one, wow: Mueller Has Early Draft of Trump Letter Giving Reasons for Firing Comey.

Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering. But Mr. Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets.

ICE Is Abusing the ACLU’s Clients Because They are Fighting Trump’s Deportation Machine. ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody. Decorated Marine vet may be deported, despite likely U.S. citizenship. GOP lawmaker aims to force vote to protect Dreamers. Everyone can do their part: UK Government’s attempt to deport Afghan asylum seeker fails after pilot refuses to take off.

* Incredible video of a cop abusing a Utah nurse without justification.

* Never off-brand: Mnuchin Doesn’t Endorse Placing Harriet Tubman on the New $20 Bill.

Teaching White Students Showed Me The Difference Between Power and Privilege.

The Looming Decline of the Public Research University.

* AAUP: University of Tampa Should Immediately Reinstate Lecturer Fired Over Tweet. Online Harassment of Faculty Continues; Administrators Capitulate.

The Strategy of Appeasement on Right-Wing Harassment. And from the archives: Everything But The Burden: Publics, Public Scholarship, And Institutions.

* On reparations.

* If White supremacy has no place on an American college campus, then we cannot continue to provide safe harbor to its symbolism. If universities are going to be agents of change, then we must think about our role beyond promoting dialogue. Promoting dialogue is important. But if our primary response is to provide a space to have difficult conversations on sensitive topics, we are little more than pay-to-play community centers. In this moment, in this context, we need our universities to show ethical leadership, to promote the highest of human values through direct, affirming action. Ethical leadership means that Nazis and other White supremacists are not welcome on our college campuses because our universities recognize our right to dignity and personhood as more important than any poorly argued right to free speech.

* So you’ve just gotten tenure.

* When IRB goes bad.

* Ideology at its purest: All the “wellness” products Americans love to buy are sold on both Infowars and Goop.

Bucking FDA, Peter Thiel funds “patently unethical” herpes vaccine trial.

* Rare instance of the heirs doing what I said in Luminescent Threads they never do: destroying the author’s unfinished works. It’s a pleasing spectacle, but still, who wouldn’t be happy to know it was all an act and the work was still out there somewhere.

* It’s shocking, but somehow not at all shocking, that the pundit classnot to mention the FBI — has already convinced itself antifa is just as bad as these guys.

* What Heather Heyer Knew.

The New Front in the Gerrymandering Wars: Democracy vs. Math.

* Now let us proclaim the mystery of free speech.

We’re Failing Our Test Run for the Age of CRISPR.

* A people’s history of the White Walkers.

* The enduring legacy of Zork.

* Your SF short of the week: Echo//Back.

* I bet this does really well: Drew Barrymore Will Produce a Female-Centric Horror Anthology Show for the CW.

* Facebook has been making people feel so bad lately they’ve even stopped using Facebook.

* Global warming everywhere but in my cold, cold heart.

* [screams into pillow]

Trump is toxically unpopular. He still might win in 2020.

* No amount of Trump White House speculation is going to keep me from feeling happy Sheriff Clarke is out.

* Tired: Subprime mortgages. Wired: Nonprime mortgages.

Collocations of ‘cock’: What corpus linguistics tells us about porn writing.

* SF in Italy.

* I like my coffee like I like my ceaseless inner monologue.

* And where is your god now?

Written by gerrycanavan

September 2, 2017 at 9:18 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Midweek Links!

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* Another scene from the death of the university.

* A postscript for Fun Home.

* Someone Calculated How Many Adjunct Professors Are on Public Assistance, and the Number Is Startling.

Transforming White People Is Not the Job of Minority Students.

* Poor and at Harvard.

By substituting class relations for an arbitrary list of “privileges,” Voxis attempting to paint a picture of an immiserated America with no villain. It’s an America without a ruling class that directly and materially benefits from everyone else’s hard times. And this omission isn’t just incorrect — it robs us of any meaningful oppositional politics that could change it all.

For the Humanities, Some Good News Is Mixed With the Bad.

Hillary Clinton’s Announcement Paves Way for Progressives to Abandon Principles Very Early in 2016 Election. Hillary Clinton isn’t a champion of women’s rights. She’s the embodiment of corporate feminism. How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World. The typeface.

Why did it take the federal government so long to prosecute the Blackwater contractors who shot up a Baghdad square in 2007, killing and maiming scores of Iraqis? Because investigators were trying to wait out the Bush administration, which wanted to go easy on the killers, recently unearthed documents show.

* Gasp! New Research Shows Free Online Courses Didn’t Grow As Expected. Once-celebrated online courses still haven’t lived up to the hype.

* ‘Fuck Your Breath’ — Video Shows Cop Mocking Unarmed Man As He Dies From Police Bullet. This story is even more bizarre than you’d think. Black Men Being Killed Is The New Girls Gone Wild. Police have been setting up suspects with false testimony for decades. Is anyone going to believe them now when they tell the truth? Thousands dead, few prosecuted.

* A brief history of Marvel’s teen heroines.

* Victims of Chicago gun violence memorialized in lifelike statues.

City to Acknowledge it Operated a Slave Market for More Than 50 Years.

The New Somali Studies.

* Huge if true: Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand.’

* How Game of Thrones is diverging more and more from the books. More on that.

The “zone of sacrifice” that is Oxnard, California, where low-income workers are paying the price for pesticide use and chemical dumping.

California and the literature of water.

Turkish mayor sued over giant robot statue.

17 Years After a Spill Into the Ocean, LEGO Pieces Still Wash Ashore.

* Hate to judge it from a trailer, but Ant-Man sure seems pretty specifically not great.

* As Sinclair Lewis said, when fascism comes to America it will be wearing a Fitbit and offering you a discount on insurance.

St. Cthulu in the Anthroposcene.

Maryland ‘Free Range’ Kids Taken Into Custody Again.

* BREAKING: Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions.

Saga Was One Of The Most Challenged Books In US Libraries Last Year. #2? Persepolis.

* Weird children’s books from the 1970s, by way of Jonathan Lethem.

Tech bubble about to burst again.

* And The Left Hand of Darkness has been adapted for BBC Radio.

All the July 4th Links You Wanted — And More!

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* The Declaration of Independence has a typo; America is abolished. Happy Fourth of July.

* America at 238, by the numbers.

* Hobby Lobby as Pandora’s Box. The icing on the cake.

* Like the Founders intended, an investigation into Blackwater was squashed after a top manager threatened to murder a State department official. Checks and balances. The system works.

Remarks of Thurgood Marshall at the Annual Seminar of the San Francisco Patent and Trademark Law Association in Maui, Hawaii, May 6, 1987.

I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite “The Constitution,” they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

As a Canadian I rather like the idea of the American Revolution being aborted and our Yankee cousins staying within the Empire. Among other things it would have meant that slavery would have ended in America a generation earlier and without violence (the British outlawed the slave trade in 1807 and abolished slavery in 1834).

* Meanwhile, a great moment in American democracy.

* Great new web comic from Jason Shiga, whose Fleep and Meanwhile I’ve praised here before.

* Some Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequels.

* A new China Miéville short story.

* Zoo Animals Are Depressed.

* Gynofuturism: Zoe Saldana says the best roles for women are in space.

* Here’s a List of What Junot Díaz Wants You to Read.

* Judy Clarke defends the indefensible.

* Maria Bamford’s new web series wants to put you in The Program.

* Philosophy Job Placement 2011-2014: Departments with Relatively High Placement Rates.

* “Neuroeconomics.”

* “The Princess Effect: How women’s magazines demean powerful women—even when they’re trying to celebrate them.”

Lionel Messi Is Impossible. More.

* How Belgium built one of the top contenders for the 2014 World Cup, and what the team means to this fractious nation. How Tourette’s-afflicted Tim Howard went from international ridicule to World Cup history. Really, All Hail Tim Howard. How Spain Succumbed to the Innovator’s Dilemma. Why the last group stage game is played simultaneously. Who Won the World Cup of Arm-Folding?

* Zwarte Piets were once openly characterized as Santa’s slaves. Man, Santa’s legacy is complicated.

Cop Keeps Job After Violently Shoving Paraplegic Man From Wheelchair. The search continues for something a cop can do that will actually cost them their job.

* At time of austerity, 8 universities spent top dollar on Hillary Rodham Clinton speeches.

* The European Court of Human Rights has upheld the basic human right we all know about to see other people’s faces in public.

* A radical reply to Hobby Lobby: Take Away the Entire Welfare State From Employers. And another: Hobby Lobby, Student Loans, and Sincere Belief.

* The rules underpinning Porky Pig’s stutter.

* Shirley Jackson reads “The Lottery.”

Have We Been Interpreting Quantum Mechanics Wrong This Whole Time?

* Lies Your Doctor Told You.

* Oklahoma is now the earthquake capital of the country, thanks to tracking.

* Membership has its privileges: African leaders vote to give themselves immunity from war crimes.

* A Brief History of the Smithsonian.

* A People’s History of the Peeing Calvin Decal.

* In 1990 this nation faced a horrifying outbreak of Richard Nixon rap parodies. This is that story. (via @sarahkendzior)

Facebook Could Decide an Election Without Anyone Ever Finding Out.

* The arc of history is long &c: Oakland Raiders Will Pay Cheerleaders Minimum Wage This Season.

* American Gods is alive! It’s on Starz, but it’s alive!

* “Exclamation points have played a distinguished role in the history of Marxism.” Why We’re Marxists.

* SMBC on fire: If God is omniscient and omnipotent, how could he let this happen? Telepathy machines were created. Check Your Bat-Privilege. I’m the superfluous female protagonist.

* Scenes from the next Paolo Bacigalupi novel: An abandoned mall in Bangkok has been overtaken by fish.

* The UNC fake-classes scandal has gotten so outrageous even the NCAA has been forced to pay attention.

* Should “free college” be framed as a right or a privilege?

When two good guys with guns confront one another.

* The Hard Data on UFO Sightings: It’s Mostly Drunk People in the West.

* Let’s colonize ourselves by 3D printing ourselves on other planets.

* Catfish and American Loneliness.

* The Hooded Utilitarian has been running an Octavia Butler Roundtable.

* Another Pixar conspiracy theory: the truth about Andy’s Dad.

* All about the miraculous Community revival. And more. Yay!

* Introducing the Critical Inquiry Review of Books.

* And some more good news! Bear rescued after head gets stuck in cookie jar. Happy Fourth of July!

Written by gerrycanavan

July 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Just Another Friday Night in Jersey

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Since we got back I’ve been pretty busy playing catchup, and the blog as usual has suffered—but here are a few links for Friday night.

* Missives from Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results.

* Possible Futures #2: When David Lynch Turned Down Return of the Jedi.

* “Higher education is an interest group like any other, and what it wants is a lot of money from the taxpayer and no oversight of how that money is spent,” said Kevin Carey of the think tank Education Sector. “And they’ve been very successful getting it for a long time.”

* An Open Letter to New Graduate Students.

* Howard Dean wants to explain why he backs a mosque “compromise.” When you’re in a hole…

* Superpatriotic Blackwater founder Erik Prince “needs a break from America”—in a nonextradition country.

* Ten Questions Nobody Ever Asked About George W. Bush.

* Sarah Silverman on her life as a chronic bedwetter.

* Jason Sanford thinks the next trend in science fiction is SciFi Strange. Via io9.

* io9 celebrates the postal stamps of progress.

His heartbroken parents were told he would only live six weeks. But Liam Derbyshire has defied all the odds to make it to 11—despite stopping breathing every time he falls asleep.

* “Jazz” is the best word to use in Hangman. Or it was. Via MetaFilter.

* And you had me at “the CIA’s obsession with LSD in the water supply.”

Tuesday Night

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* Today in science: Australian scientists are describing “fat” as a taste. Those more sensitive to fat consume less and have a lower BMI.

* Today in science 2: Doctors are gross, not washing hands.

* Support for health-care reform growing as Obama gets more publicly involved? Quick, somebody please tell Congressional Democrats.

* Urban farming in Detroit and mall farming in Cleveland.

* Ana Marie Cox explains Washington as the Venn intersection of science fiction geeks, politicians, indie rock fans, and gay people.

* In short, this entire genre of political coverage is useless. If/when the economy picks up, Obama’s speeches will start “connecting” and everyone will marvel at how effective the White House political team has become. Via Matt Yglesias.

* South Park Reenacts Actual Thing Blackwater Did.

* Winning fifteen-year-old arguments: Clintons cleared in FBI Filegate.

While this Court seriously entertained the plaintiffs’ allegations that their privacy had been violated–and indeed it was, even if not in the sense contemplated by the Privacy Act–after ample opportunity, they have not produced any evidence of the far-reaching conspiracy that sought to use intimate details from FBI files for political assassinations that they alleged. The only thing that they have demonstrated is that this unfortunate episode–about which they do have cause to complain–was exactly what the defendants claimed: a bureaucratic snafu.

* Continental Will Cancel Flights To Avoid Fines For Late Takeoffs. I’m sure their customers will understand.

* The 10,000th Glenn-Beck-related outrage of the day: The Census Is The Government’s Attempt To ‘Increase Slavery.’

BECK: Why were they asking the race question, you said when, in 1790? … Right, they want to know, do you count as three-fifths? Do you count at all? So, you have to know how many slaves did you have? People find that offensive today because the idea was, if we’re going to count, we want to know how many are here for services etc. etc. and slaves would get less. Well that’s not right. One. One. ‘I’m not three-fifths, I’m one. Whites are not worth than me.’ Now reverse it, why are they asking this question today?

CO-HOST: Because minorities are worth more than whites.

BECK: Exactly right. So you will get more dollars if you are a minority. So you are worth more as a monitory. Well there is no difference. The reason you don’t answer the race question is because one, everyone counts as one. All men are created equal. If you were offended back in 1790 about slavery and that everyone should count the same, do not answer the race question. How dare you. How dare you. At least in 1790, they were doing it to slow the South down on slavery. To try to stop it as much as they can. Today they are asking the race question to try to increase slavery. Your dependence on the master in Washington. No way, don’t answer that question.

* How America tortures.

* Wash. Post accuses White House of demonizing insurance industry by accurately portraying industry’s actions.”

* “I Tickled Aide, but That Was All, Massa Says.”

* And Jim Halpert is and is not your Captain America.

Nisour Square

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A judge has dismissed all charges against Blackwater/Xe employees with regard to the 2007 Nisour Square massacre.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Friday Links

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* Good job numbers suggest the recession could be bottoming out. Of course, you can’t please everyone.

* BREAKING: Ben Bernanke is kind of a douche.

* Ted Kennedy may be gone, but John Kerry still won’t support the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.

* In a new piece in Vanity Fair, Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater/Xe, turns out to have been CIA. Via MeFi. What’s next for this real-life Bond villain?

For the time being, however, Prince contends that his plans are far more modest. “I’m going to teach high school,” he says, straight-faced. “History and economics. I may even coach wrestling. Hey, Indiana Jones taught school, too.”

* New Jersey to pave million-year-old dinosaur footprints to put up parking lot. Okay, actually condos.

* Can humans reproduce in zero gravity?

This finding casts into doubt the science fictional notion that human beings can survive in zero gravity or in the microgravity environment of large asteroids.

* Could a super-advanced civilization live inside the acretion disk, the super-dense area around the black hole at the center of a galaxy?

* The headline reads, “Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex.”

Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings.

* Sarah Palin goes birther.

The other thing that struck me about her interview was her contention that she didn’t go after Obama enough during the election, and namely, that avoiding the birther thing was a mistake. I suppose she could have gone completely off the deep end during the campaign, and certainly it seems she wanted to but was held back by McCain, but good god, who in their right mind thinks she wasn’t enough on the attack? She accused Obama, through implication, of being a terrorist. She did so in a way that maximized the anti-Muslim insinuation, even though neither Barack Obama nor Bill Ayers (who is the excuse for this rumor-mongering) is Muslim, making the whole thing not only racist but incoherent. She went out of her way to imply that anyone who was not white or lived in a city was not a Real American. She red-baited Obama. She did everything but tell jokes about his mom. Her entire campaign strategy was to attack Obama. I fail to see how she could have done more, honestly. There aren’t enough hours in the day.

* And science proves Rousseau was right: God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favor.