Posts Tagged ‘death penalty’
* Sing to me, Muse, of Fredric Jameson. I’ve never understood the “worst writer” slam against Fred; alongside all the other good things I’d have to say about his work I think he’s actually very clear and precise.
* Once upon a time in America this was called advocating for justice. But in today’s America, it’s deemed a miscarriage of justice.
* The “trigger warning” has spread from blogs to college classes. Can it be stopped? Content Warnings and College Classes. The Trigger Warned Syllabus. We’ve gone too far with ‘trigger warnings.’ I think this kind of “trigger warning” — and even offering alternative assignments when circumstances warrant — is very often good pedagogy on the level of the individual classroom; I did so this semester when teaching Lolita, somewhat reluctantly, but I’d come to feel it was necessary. I’m very skeptical it would ever be a good idea at the level of administration or policy.
* Tendrils of the invisible web: the undersea cables wiring the Earth.
* “Wearing Google Glass automatically means that all social interaction you have must be not just on yours, but Google’s terms,” Adrian Chen wrote at Gawker almost a year ago, when we all first cringed in fear.
* You know every cop is a criminal: David Cameron’s porn-filter advisor arrested for possession of images of sexual abuse of children.
* The Civ V files: Never Move Your Settler?
* Sea Level Rise Threatens The Statue Of Liberty And Hundreds Of Other Cultural Heritage Sites. Chipotle Warns It Might Stop Serving Guacamole If Climate Change Gets Worse. But don’t worry! President Obama’s New Budget Is Peppered With Efforts To Tackle Climate Change. Peppered!
* Milwaukee shuts down Little Caesars for day over rodent droppings. A whole day! That’ll show ‘em.
* Cheerleader Sues Parents for Refusing to Pay College Tuition. Gambler sues, says he lost $500,000 playing drunk. Having not heard any of the evidence or consulted any of the relevant laws, Canavan Court rules in favor of both plaintiffs!
* How did DC manage to cast anyone but Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor — much less Jesse Eisenberg? It’s a crime.
* Pretty mediocre hoax. Everyone knows Mattel has had working hoverboards since the 80s anyway.
* And I try not to get sucked into the wingnut-said-something-crazy! scene anymore, but every once in a while: my god.
* CFP: New Directions in Sherlock.
* Amazing moment: Northwestern University athletes have filed for union representation with the NRLB. Now, I don’t think they’ll get it — so the really interesting question is what happens when they don’t.
* Rabon, a veterinarian, said he believes House Bill 930 is too weak. He said its standards for humane treatment could too easily be interpreted by a judge to apply to livestock as well as pets. “It can’t spill over to the animal husbandry in this state, which is an $80 billion industry – larger than the other top five industries in the state,” he said. “There is a LOT of money involved.”
* Freddie deBoer has a nice demonstration of how statistics don’t always tell you as much as you think.
* Instead of guaranteeing that poor undergraduates can get through college debt-free, the University of Virginia decided it’s going to make low-income students borrow up to $28,000.
* BREAKING: The past isn’t done with you yet.
With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death-penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past: firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.
* Five years into his presidency, Obama has finally issued an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contracts. Can solving climate change be far behind?
* “Academic freedom” is a funny phrase: New York bill to punish ASA over Israel boycott picks up 48 supporters.
* The crisis is over! Colleges are rich again!
* BREAKING: Austerity politics don’t work. No one could have predicted!
* A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Birds Attack Peace Doves Freed From Pope’s Window.
* Let kids be kids: Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don’t cause bedlam, the principal says. The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.
* And some linkbait I can never resist: 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist.
* Go home, 2014, you’re drunk: Man Admits Eating Landlord’s Heart at End of Year-Long Chess Game.
* The richest nation in the history of the world: Three Children Died During The Polar Vortex After Their Heat Was Cut Off.
* In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. It shunts aside the labor of others and disguises our own labor to ourselves. It hides the fact that if we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time.
* In 1998, a 20-something guy named Jesse Reklaw was doing some Dumpster diving on the campus of an Ivy League university that he’d rather not name when he came across a bunch discarded of Ph.D. applicant files from the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s. Each file included a photo of the applicant, along with assorted paperwork, including feedback from university officials.
* If the system of justice in the United States were fair, and if the 38 million black Americans were as prone to crime as the average ethnic group in the world (where an ethnic group is, for example, the 61 million Italians, or the 45 million Hindu Gujarati), you would expect that black Americans would also be about 9 percent of the 2013 estimated world population of 7.135 billion people.
* Every cop is a criminal: Any arrest in New York City can trigger a civil forfeiture case if money or property is found on or near a defendant, regardless of the reasons surrounding the arrest or its final disposition. In the past ten years, the NYPD has escalated the amount of civil forfeiture actions it pursues as public defense offices have been stretched thin by the huge amount of criminal cases across the city.
All these jobs are dangerous and involve carrying a deadly weapon. They entail giving a human being the power to detain another human being, and the benefit of the doubt if they should shoot one. And all the positions are unpaid.
* From the “Military & Defense” desk at Business Insider: The DEA Struck A Deal With Mexico’s Most Notorious Drug Cartel.
* …when his salary depends upon his not understanding it: Speakers at MLA generally are skeptical of idea of shrinking Ph.D. programs.
* Eighteen months after the law took effect, over three-fourths of employers reported that they were very supportive or somewhat supportive of the paid sick days law.
* Begun the Canon Wars have: Disney To Rip Out Star Wars EU Continuity “Like A Tumor.”
* Life is suffering: HBO renews ‘The Newsroom’ for third and final season.
* If the Supreme Court upholds this decision (or refuses to hear an appeal), net neutrality is dead unless the FCC or Congress decide to reclassify broadband internet as a telecom service regulated as a common carrier.
* The federal judge overseeing the concussion lawsuit brought by 4,500 former players against the National Football League denied a preliminary motion to approve the proposed settlement to the case Tuesday, saying that the agreement may not include enough money to compensate all players properly.
* Friends, they may say it’s a movement: Judge Rules Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional.
* Breaking: It Is Expensive to Be Poor.
* Chloe as Edward Snowden is actually a pretty great premise for a 24 movie. It seems like it’d be better without any involvement from Kiefer at all.
* The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.
* And it’s even worse than we thought: TEHRAN (FNA)- Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden revealed documents providing incontrovertible proof that an alien/extraterrestrial intelligence agenda is driving US domestic and international policy, and has been doing so since at least 1945, some media reports said.
* And we’ll finally know what Bruce Wayne was like as a twelve-year-old. Because you demanded it!
* Program for the 2014 MLA Subconference, January 8-9 at Columbia College Chicago.
* CFP for “Joss Whedon: A Celebration” at DePaul University this May.
* The New Yorker considers Kim Stanley Robinson: Our Greatest Political Novelist?
Depending on your own politics, this may sound like millennia-overdue common sense or a bong-fuelled 3 A.M. wish list, but there’s no arguing that to implement it in the real world circa 2013 would be, literally, revolutionary. My own bet would be that either your grandchildren are going to be living by some of these precepts, or else they won’t be living at all.
* It is an open question as to whether academics today, in their heart of hearts, still realize that the choice between the employability agenda or the death of universities actually means the death of universities through the employability agenda.
* Our football team here at Purdue went 1-11, losing the final ten games in a row by an average of almost 25 points and going 0-8 in Big Ten play, including a 20 point blowout to arch-rival Indiana. The lone victory on the season came through a nail-biting 20-14 performance against Indiana State… an FCS school… who themselves went 1-11. If beating the doormat team of the Missouri Valley Conference is the highlight of your season, it’s perhaps time for a reevaluation of priorities. After ranking 122nd in points scored a game and 114th in points against a game, making a legitimate case for being the worst team in FBS football, the campus is buzzing about how long a rebuild will require and whether first-year coach Darrell Hazzell is the man to lead it. With the season’s “One Brick Higher” slogan now seeming like a sad joke, my message to the Purdue community is simple: don’t rebuild. Retreat. The best path forward for Purdue University is to dismantle its football program altogether.
* I also liked Freddie’s piece on how the permanent squabble between tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty plays directly into the hands of administrators.
* This Thousand-Year Institution Could Really Learn Something from These Fly-By-Night Scams: Forget Academia. Startups Are the Future of Knowledge.
* “If you haven’t been in a hen plant, you don’t know what hell is”: Animal rights activists vs. the agribusiness industry in Rolling Stone.
If you’re a president, it probably feels good to think about this, about how a revolutionary came to defend the stability of the society he once threatened to overturn. It probably also feels good to think of him as historical, as past: like Nkrumah or Lumumba, he is no longer our problem, no longer our responsibility. Instead of a defiant refusal to stop short of victory and a refusal to compromise or negotiate on principles, he can represent the passing away of that very thing.
* Belgium took a big step on Thursday to becoming the first country to allow euthanasia for incurably ill children, after the upper house of Parliament voted by a large majority to extend to minors a 2002 law legalizing the practice for adults.
* A national study being released today in book form found that those who are attractive in high school are more likely than those with just average or below average looks to go on to earn a four-year college degree.
* Take that, conventional wisdom! Study: Long Distance Relationships Can Work.
* Whether you agree with the ASA’s boycott of Israeli state institutions or not, I think we can all agree that to boycott Larry Summers.
* The U.S. government lobotomized roughly 2,000 mentally ill veterans—and likely hundreds more—during and after World War II, according to a cache of forgotten memos, letters and government reports unearthed by The Wall Street Journal.
* Your odds of winning the jackpot used to be 1 in 176 million. As of Oct. 22, those odds changed to 1 in 259 million. The Lottery Is a Predator and You Are Its Math-Illiterate Prey.
* Space Race back on! China lands on the Moon!
* And Physicists To Test If Universe Is A Computer Simulation. Overflow Error: Abort, Retry, Fail….
* Cooper Union Trustees Renege on Promise to Seat Student Trustee. Pretty amazing.
* Healthcare.gov Enrollments to Date a Pathetic < 50,000. That’s around 1% of existing uninsured, and almost certainly the sickest and most chronically ill from that pool. But if we just rationalize….
* Abolish Black Friday: Best Buy Joins Other Retailers In Denying Workers Their Thanksgiving Dinners.
* Despite claims by policymakers and some members of the news media indicating that public schools are by and large failing at the task of educating the nation’s children, the authors say that their analyses suggest that public schools are “actually providing a more effective education service relative to schools in the independent sector.”
* Slaves were allowed three day’s holiday at Christmas time, and so it was over Christmas that John Andrew Jackson decided to escape.
* And I didn’t link to this, but allons-y and all that: trailer for “The Day of the Doctor.”
* The Halloween candy to avoid if you don’t want orangutans to die. This is why consumerist approaches to struggle will never work. Horrors lurk everywhere.
That table reveals that in 1970-1971, 17.1% of students who received BAs in the United States majored in a humanities discipline. Three decades later, in the midst of the crisis in the humanities we hear so much about, that number had plummeted to 17%.
* There is little talk in this view of higher education about the history and value of shared governance between faculty and administrators, nor of educating students as critical citizens rather than potential employees of Walmart. There are few attempts to affirm faculty as scholars and public intellectuals who have both a measure of autonomy and power. Instead, faculty members are increasingly defined less as intellectuals than as technicians and grant writers. Students fare no better in this debased form of education and are treated as either clients or as restless children in need of high-energy entertainment – as was made clear in the 2012 Penn State scandal. Such modes of education do not foster a sense of organized responsibility fundamental to a democracy. Instead, they encourage what might be called a sense of organized irresponsibility – a practice that underlies the economic Darwinism and civic corruption at the heart of a debased politics.
* Man buys $27 of bitcoin, forgets about them, finds they’re now worth $886k. Exactly how currencies are supposed to work!
* The tragedy of Michelle Kosilek. A better treatment of the issue than the headline’s framing would suggest.
* Macy’s security has arrest quota, ‘race code system’ for nonwhite shoppers. An exemplary case, I think, of the phenomenon Adam Kotsko describes in “What if Zimmerman had been a cop?”
* And speaking of which: George Zimmerman’s Hometown Bans Guns For Neighborhood Watches.
* There’s something really revealing about how the Daily Show can’t process this story about an unaccountable shadow government running the national security apparatus, and so just punts to a random n-word joke instead. Liberalism, I think, characteristically flinches whenever the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken is inescapable.
* I’ve been so busy with the move I haven’t even had time to put up a James Gandolfini RIP post. I was really surprised, and bummed out, by this news. Goddamnit, I loved that show.
* I know a lot of die hard fans of the original are pissed off, but JJ’s managed to make a totally cool, totally new movie that’s totally true to the spirit of the original: J.J. Abrams reboots The Godfather (2019).
* I have to admit I was somewhat pleased to see myself quoted in this end-of-the-world piece in Jacobin. And as an optimist, no less!
* By the latter end of the 21st century, Miami became something else entirely: a popular snorkeling spot where people could swim with sharks and sea turtles and explore the wreckage of a great American city.
* Is Obama About to Get Serious on Climate Change? Oh, honey.
China has introduced “harsher punishments” for breaking the nation’s environmental protection laws: reckless violators of pollution standards in the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economy now face execution.
* “With regard to the student-athlete,” wrote a senior NCAA executive in an email, ”I think the focus on exploitation may be misplaced, and maybe it is not our duty to protect the student-athlete.” Preach! What have student-athletes ever done for the NCAA?
* All 185 Choose Your Own Adventure Books Ranked From Most to Least Awesome-Sounding. All-Time Gerry Canavan Maximum Nightmare Fodder Space Vampire clocks in at #4.
* A map showing the original meanings of place names in North America. More links below the image.
* The Government Files Espionage Charges Against Edward Snowden. Naomi Wolf has the conspiracy behind the conspiracy. And that’s exactly what they WANT us to think!
* TNI on Total Information Awareness.
* Jedediah Purdy: Seven Ways of Looking at a Charge Sheet: or, My First Arrest.
* How to Use Math to Dominate at Monopoly. I’m somewhat pleased with how much of this my brother and I generated on our own as kids.
* Deep anxiety about the ability to have children later in life plagues many women. But the decline in fertility over the course of a woman’s 30s has been oversold. Here’s what the statistics really tell us—and what they don’t.
* I’ve seen dumber things than a mayor offering to spend $173 million in tax money on a building for a private college that already has its pick of several arenas to play in—but not much dumber…. I can’t for the life of me imagine what Emanuel thinks Chicago is likely to get out of this deal, unless he really thinks that convention planners are just waiting for a 12,000-seat arena to hold their plenary sessions in, at which point they’ll start throwing wadded-up hundred-dollar bills at any Chicagoan they can find. At the very least it’s something to think about as the mayor’s appointees say they have no choice but to close the schools. Common sense on school closings.
* Good news for Gerrys: Pope Francis says even atheists go to heaven. That’s a load off.
* Precious bodily fluids: Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to drinking water.
* Best Cities for Working Women in the U.S. Congratulations, Durham!
* Just stealing it from LGM outright: ESPN is a great corporation. It is ungodly profitable. It creates a mere 43% of Disney’s total operating income. Think about that. All of Disney, including Disneyland and everything else it owns. 43%. But you see, ESPN has recently acquired some lucrative properties, like more SEC football games. In order to show us more Vanderbilt-Kentucky football and build a crazy expensive new set, ESPN has decided to lay off 300-400 employees. This a mere 2 weeks after Disney’s stock reached an all-time high.
* And Octavia Butler reminds us introspection is kind of a pain.
* This is quite incredible. Even if a college uses all of its extra tuition revenue to increase the financial aid it awards, that money is not, on average, being used for low-income students. Instead, it’s used to attract other students the college wants.
* A first-time narcotics offender, father to three, sold pain pills to a friend. His punishment: 25 years in prison. It’s just the latest evidence that U.S. drug policy is madness.
* In New York City, nearly 90 percent of the people arrested for marijuana possession are blacks and Latinos. In Chicago in recent years, only five percent of the people arrested for possession were whites. In many cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, police have arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites, and Latinos at three to four times the rate of whites. In Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn, where 90 percent of the residents are blacks and Latinos, the marijuana arrest rate is 150 times higher than on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Mayor Bloomberg lives where the 90 percent of residents are white.
* What could possibly go wrong? Nonprofit that ‘Empowers Neighborhoods’ By Handing Out Free Guns is Coming to Dallas.
* Good news everyone! The LAPD is researching precrime.
* And your historic grassroots insurgency successfully managed to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming president…for eight years. Mission accomplished.
Replying to the doubters, one Coursera “financier” told the Times that “monetization is not the most important objective for this business at this point.” What is important, he said, is that “Coursera is rapidly accumulating a body of high-quality content that could be very attractive to universities that want to license it for their own use.” Potential investors should therefore “invest with a very long mind-set.”
The MOOCs were invented by man. They evolved. They rebelled. There are many copies. And they have a plan…
* More than 40 of the world’s 100 most reputable universities and colleges are American, according to the Times Higher Education’s 2013 world reputation ranking of colleges and universities. Just because it’s the envy of the world doesn’t mean we shouldn’t melt it down and sell it for scrap.
* The anti-circumvention section of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act threatens to make archivists criminals if they try to preserve our society’s artifacts for future generations.
* My particular demographic: Study Finds Vegetarians Will Live Longer, Are Boring.
McCrory echoed a crack the radio show host made at gender studies courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, a top tier public university. “That’s a subsidized course,” McCrory said, picking up the argument. “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”
I’m certain that those classes more than pay for themselves, as the humanities always do.
* Damn you, President Romney! Office Working to Close Guantánamo Is Shuttered.
* A 15-year-old girl who performed at President Obama’s inauguration last week was shot dead Tuesday while hanging out with friends in bullet-scarred Chicago. Meet The 9 Year-Old Girl Who Likely Would Be Alive Today If High-Capacity Magazines Were Illegal. Gaby Giffords’s notes for her testimony before Congress; the video is amazing. There was a mass shooting during her testimony.
* This is what happens when you give people license to unleash their Inner Authoritarian, when you encourage them in thinking that the arbitrary enforcement of irrational codes of behavior designed to keep a labor force unpaid that is making you billions of dollars are somehow on an equal footing with actual criminal and civil law.
* A newly elected Ohio Supreme Court justice who achieved the unlikely feat of ousting an incumbent without accepting any campaign contributions is not wasting any time in asserting his opposition to the death penalty.
* Frank R. Paul art gallery. Yes please.
* A website for the US judicial system states that jurors are “not expected to speak perfect English”: Cat ordered to do jury service.
* It is often claimed that renewables are still too costly and not yet competitive with conventional energy sources. But what costs are incurred when renewable energies are not used? Every day during which potential renewable energy sources are not utilised but exhaustible fossil fuels burnt instead speeds up the depletion of these non-renewable fuels. Using burnt fossil fuels for nonenergy related purposes (e.g. in the petro-chemical industry) in the future is obviously impossible. Thus, their burning – whenever they could have been replaced by renewables – is costly capital destruction. This study concludes that, estimated conservatively, the future usage loss resulting from our current oil, gas and coal consumption is between 3.2 and 3.4 trillion US Dollars per year.
* You are living in a simulation: New $1.6 billion supercomputer project will attempt to simulate the human brain.
* A Russian family that disappeared into the Siberian wilderness in 1936 and had no contact with other people for more than 40 years.
* And an epic game of tag that has been going on for 23 years.
* “Professor Furedi, how do you get around learning outcomes?” a young lecturer asks me in a breakout session. I have just spent 10 minutes explaining the corrosive influence of learning outcomes on education to my audience at the recent Think Festival in The Hague. Nevertheless, I am caught off guard by my blunt questioner. That is probably why my reply is a bit more candid than I had intended it to be. “I just make them up and ignore them,” I say.
* The good folks on the most-excellent BBC Radio/Open University statistical literacy programme More or Less decided to answer a year-old Reddit argument about how many Lego bricks can be vertically stacked before the bottom one collapses.
* 49% of GOP voters nationally say they think that ACORN stole the election for President Obama. We found that 52% of Republicans thought that ACORN stole the 2008 election for Obama, so this is a modest decline, but perhaps smaller than might have been expected given that ACORN doesn’t exist anymore.
* And Bill O’Reilly explains how Christianity is not a religion. The War on Christmas is confusing, y’all.
* And with Moonrise Kingdom premiering earlier today at Cannes Wes is now rumored to be working on his “Euro movie.” 2015, come soon…