Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘debt jubilee

Monday Links

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* There were some Sunday Super Sunshine Hit Links late last night, in case you missed them.

* The challenge is to see the killings as reasonable and normal. Notes on Understanding the UCSB Killings.

The Black Fantastic: Highlights of Pre-World War II African and African-American Speculative Fiction. Via MetaFilter.

* “We have a financial and moral obligation to be good stewards of these dollars”: Obama’s Department of Education continues to pretend the government is hurt by the student loan regime.

* For a whole year, a Chilean artist using the name Fried Potatoes (Papas Fritas) planned his revenge. Saying he was collecting material for an art project, the 31-year-old visual artist sneaked into a vault at a notorious private, run-for-profit university and quietly removed tuition contracts. Fried Potatoes – whose real name is Francisco Tapia – then burned the documents, rendering it nearly impossible for the Universidad del Mar to call in its debt – which he claimed was worth as much as $500m (£297m). “It’s over. You are all free of debt,” he said in a five-minute video released earlier this month. Speaking to former students, he added: “You don’t have to pay a penny.”

What good is “explainer journalism” if one fortieth of one piece requires 1,068 words of third-party explanation to correct just a few of its errors, without yet rendering it legible?

* The U.S. military currently has troops in these African countries.

* And your suspended animation tube is finally ready. Please, form an orderly queue…

Friday Friday

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This is the fourth installment of a continuing series in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries: America’s Annual Pilgrimage Begins.

Massasoit was an adroit politician, but the dilemma he faced would have tested Machiavelli. About five years before, most of his subjects had fallen before a terrible calamity. Whole villages had been depopulated. It was all Massasoit could do to hold together the remnants of his people. Adding to his problems, the disaster had not touched the Wampanoag’s longtime enemies, the Narragansett alliance to the west. Soon, Massasoit feared, they would take advantage of the Wampanoag’s weakness and overrun them. And the only solution he could see was fraught with perils of its own, because it involved the foreigners—people from across the sea. The Indians who first feasted with the English colonists were far more sophisticated than you were taught in school. But that wasn’t enough to save them.

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document.

SeaTac $15 Minimum Wage Barely Passes In Final Vote Tally, Recount May Follow.

* Marissa Alexander has been released from jail.

* Self-censorship and repressive regimes.

* The horror of scale: What scared H. P. Lovecraft.

* And okay, I’ll check it out: As presidents leave office, they also leave a letter for their successors. In Oni Press’ new comic Letter 44, the newest president is taken aback when he reads the letter from the man who preceded him — a man who seemed to tank the economy and embroil the nation in needless wars — but was actually secretly preparing America for an imminent alien invasion.

A British Teacher’s Archive of Confiscated Toys.

* K Punk watches Catching Fire.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about  the Hunger Games is the way it simply presupposes that revolution is necessary. The problems are logistical, not ethical, and the issue is simply how and when revolution can be made to happen, not if it should happen at all. Remember who the enemy is – a message, a hailing, an ethical demand that calls out through the screen to us …. that calls out to a collectivity that can only be built through class consciousness ….

* Judith Butler defends the humanities.

* And the New Yorker profiles David Graeber, “Robin Hood for the Debt Crisis.”

Thank God It’s Thanksgiving Week Links – 3

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* After years of leaning on tuition increases to make up for declining state support, about four in 10 public universities now report tuition revenue is not keeping pace with inflation, according to a new report by Moody’s Investors Service. Probably should cut funding some more and see if that helps.

“MOOCs are over,” she said. “Administrators haven’t figured it out yet, but everyone else knows.”

Initially, the university’s consultants claimed that AST would render a savings of $17 million. Over time that figure shrunk to $5 million, and by some accounts now is reputed to be as low as $2 million. Yet the university has already reportedly spent at least $3 million on this effort with even more spending on the horizon.

What should be happening is the immediate cancellation of all “Third World” debt, just as the US government forgave far larger sums and bailed out its own banks after the 2008 financial crash. Moreover, developed nations actually have to add money for climate change induced “loss and damage” to the balance sheets of developing countries, rather than subtract it. Understanding Warsaw: Capitalism, Climate Change and Neocolonialism.

The impact of recession is clear in countries with the most severe economic problems. In Greece, for example, suicides rose by 17 per cent and murder rates more than doubled between 2007 and 2011. Half of new HIV infections between 2009 and 2011 are estimated to have been self-inflicted to secure monthly benefits of €700. That second stat seems very hard for me to accept.

Superintendent and three school employees indicted in Steubenville rape case.

Teen Jailed At Rikers For 3 Years Without Conviction Or Trial.

Techbros for Bronarchy: Rise of the Neobroactionaries.

Silicon Valley Isn’t a Meritocracy — And It’s Dangerous to Hero-Worship Entrepreneurs.

* And Democrats say sanctions forever. Forever, damnit!

Friday Night Links

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Income inequality, as seen from space.

* Maxim’s oral history of The Wire.

* Robert Ebert reviews Moonrise Kingdom.

Wes Anderson’s mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born. It immediately becomes more than a series of events and is transformed into a world with its own rules, in which everything is driven by emotions and desires as convincing as they are magical.

* The Cup of Coffee Club: Major league baseball players with just one start. The president, surely, is Larry Yount:

Yount holds the unique distinction of being the only pitcher in MLB history to appear in the official record books without ever actually having faced a batter. In his only major league appearance on September 15, 1971, he had to leave the game during his warm-up pitches due to injury.

* Doug Henwood: The New York Fed is out with its credit report for the first quarter of 2012. It shows student debt bucking the trend (“Student Loan Debt Continues to Grow”), rising while all other kinds of debt fell from the end of last year. Student debt, at $904 billion (not yet the much-advertised trillion), is now considerably larger than credit card and auto debt. A decade ago, student debt was a less than half credit cards and autos.

ThinkProgress looks at the Catholic Church’s case against the contraception mandate.

* And the U.S.’s crack cyberterrorism division gets caught with its pants down.

‘Like Many Faculty, I See a Lot of Suffering and Humiliation among Students in Taking on This Debt’

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Via @jacremes: Protesters Plan a National ‘Student-Debt Refusal’ Campaign.

On Wednesday night, Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, said members of an Occupy Wall Street working group were finalizing drafts of three “pledges” related to student debt, including a debtors’ pledge, whose signers would refuse to make payments on their loans after one million signatures have been collected.

The other pledges are one for faculty members who support those who refuse to pay, and another for nondebtors, including parents and sympathizers, who also want to show their support.

The pledges, Mr. Ross said, are to be based on four beliefs: that student loans should be interest-free; that tuition at all public institutions should be federally funded; that private and for-profit colleges should open their financial records to the public; and that students’ “debt burden” should be written off.