Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘human rights

Saturday! Morning! Links!

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* CFP: Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturistic Visions: Reframing Identity, Culture, and History.

* CFP: “Playing Utopia – Futures in Digital Games,” Game Studies Summit, Cologne, Germany.

* Climate change is creating a new kind of grief, and we’re completely unprepared for it.

* ‘Prison-like’ migrant youth shelter is understaffed, unequipped for Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, insider says.

Colleagues at a government-contracted shelter in Arizona had a specific request for Antar Davidson when three Brazilian migrant children arrived: “Tell them they can’t hug.”

The kids will be expected to perform some kind of work, typically extreme self-maintenance. Spotless rooms, bathrooms, etc. Early morning inspections. Questions for journalists are, what happens to kids who don’t comply?

1,995 children separated from families at border under ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Doctors Concerned About ‘Irreparable Harm’ To Separated Migrant Children. A fmr top CIA interrogator is training ICE’s deportation agents in interrogation methods, documents show. Everything You Need To Know About Trump’s Immigration Changes But Were Too Afraid To Ask. The House GOP says their new bill bans separating families at the border. That’s a lie. Previously undisclosed statements from two consular officers raise questions about the legality of the Trump administration’s third travel ban. A Theory of Animals. Just Say It’s Racist. Here’s How You Can Help Fight Family Separation at the Border. Abolish DHS.

* Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes charged with fraud. A flashback: A Look Inside Theranos’s Dysfunctional Corporate Culture.

Maine’s experiment in ranked-choice voting is a rare cause for optimism about our democracy.

* The asteroid rush sending 21st-century prospectors into space.

* The strange case of the missing Joyce scholar.

The Politics of Incredibles 2 Are Incredibly Confusing.

* The Court’s Decision to Let AT&T and Time Warner Merge Is Ridiculously Bad.

* When the next plague hits.

* Trump’s environmental policies could lead to an extra 80,000 deaths per decade, say Harvard scientists.

* Celeste Kidd and Steven Piantadosi resign from the University of Rochester in protest over its botched handling of a sexual harassment case.

* What could explain this improbable result? High cost of housing drives up homeless rates, UCLA study indicates.

* Understanding politics.

* Understanding Uncle Phil.

* And for your new podcast watch: Game Studies Study Buddies.

Spriiiiiiiing Breaaaaaaaaak! Links

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* Don’t miss the CFP for my upcoming Paradoxa special issue on “Global Weirding”!

* Of course you haven’t read Canavan until you’ve read him in the original French.

Black Study, Black Struggle.

* Today in the end of our lives’ work. Delaware State cuts more than a quarter of its majors. But don’t worry, we’ve finally got the solution.

Chairing a humanities department at the end of the world.

* Trying to put a number on adjunct justice.

* In the chit-chat of the checkup, as I lay back in the chair with the suction tube in my mouth, he asked: “What are you majoring in at college?” When I replied that I was majoring in philosophy, he said: “What are you going to do with that?” “Think,” I replied.

* Course evaluation forms ‘not read properly by students’: Undergraduates endorsed patently false statements in US experiment.

* Can a Marxist Read Tolkien?

Cli-Fi Comes to YA.

* I think you’ll find every possible jaundiced, post-academic riff on this story has already been made: French woman aged 91 gets PhD after 30 years.

* Cuomo bares fangs at CUNY.

A new United Nations report on racism as a human rights issue speaks to challenges people are facing right here in Milwaukee.

* All about the SF sensation of SXSW, Dead Slow Ahead. And more!

* Great moments in unenforceable contracts.

* Ten Years after the Duke Lacrosse Scandal. A prison interview with the accuser.

* A previously unnoticed property of prime numbers seems to violate a longstanding assumption about how they behave.

Reminder: NCAA Amateurism Is a Corrupt Sham, We Are All Complicit. March Madness means money – it’s time to talk about who’s getting paid. And here’s how to gamble on it.

* The trouble with people who lived in the past.

Inside the Protest That Stopped the Trump Rally.

* How to steal a nomination from Donald Trump. The Pre-Convention. There is no point in even having a party apparatus, no point in all those chairmen and state conventions and delegate rosters, if they cannot be mobilized to prevent 35 percent of the Republican primary electorate from imposing a Trump nomination on the party. I can’t be contrarian about Donald Trump anymore: he’s terrifying.

* Inside a Trump rally.

Meet the Academics Who Want Donald Trump to Be President.

* I do agree that presidential term limits make little sense, though my solution would be to abolish the office entirely.

The oldest man in the world survived Auschwitz.

* What if Daylight Saving Time never ended?

* Twilight of the Metro.

* Twilight of Sea World.

* Teach the controversy: Richard Simmons May or May Not Be Currently Held Hostage by His Maid.

As temperatures soar, new doubts arise about holding warming to 2 degrees C.

* The Sadness and Beauty of Watching Google’s AI Play Go. Game Two. Game Three. Game Five. But we got one!

How The TV Show of Octavia Butler’s Dawn Will Stay True to Her Incredible Vision.

Surprise! NSA data will soon routinely be used for domestic policing that has nothing to do with terrorism.

* Take your Baby-Sitters’ Club cosplay / fanfic blog to the next level.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 8.55.03 PM* Photoshopping men out of political photos.

* Scenes from Iconic Films Hastily Rewritten So They Pass the Bechdel Test.

* Another ultimate TedX talk.

Identical twins Bridgette and Paula Powers think of themselves as a single person.

Paul Nungesser has lost his Title IX lawsuit against Columbia.

* The Really Last Crusade.

* Chris Claremont visits Jay and Miles X-plain the X-Men.

* Despair fatigue.

* Paging Lt. Barclay: Science proves the transporter is a suicide box.

The Untold Tragedy of Camden, NJ.

* At least he denied it!

J.K. Rowling’s History of Magic in North America Was a Travesty From Start to Finish.

Scientists discover ‘genderfluid’ lioness who looks, acts and roars like a male.

* Always a good sign: Star Trek Beyond Is Reshooting and Adding an Entirely New Cast Member. Meanwhile: Paramount lawyers call Star Trek fan film’s bluff in nerdiest lawsuit ever.

* Jacobin reviews Michael’s Moore Where to Invade Next. Jacob Brogan reviews Daniel Clowes’s Patience.

* From our family to yours, happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Bonobos Just Want Everyone to Get Along.

* And because you demanded it: What if James Bond Was a Chimpanzee?

Written by gerrycanavan

March 17, 2016 at 9:00 am

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All the Weekend Links!

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* A lengthy update from IHE on the outrageous attacks on Marquette University graduate student Cheryl Abbate.

* Ursula Le Guin gave a great speech at the National Book Awards this week.

I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality.

* It’s quite a bit better than the other thing that happened that night, though Handler is trying to making amends.

* Kirkus Reviews on the radical Joanna Russ.

* A Sokal hoax we can all believe in.

* Dialectics of Serial.

* Roofs are caving in in Buffalo after a week of truly insane November storms. The temperature is projected to be 60 degrees on Monday, which means this could all melt in one day and cause a whole new set of problems.

* CFP: Hostile Intelligences and The General Antagonism.

The purpose of this conference is to organize and proliferate the material heresies that are the basis for what Matteo Pasquinelli has called “hostile intelligences” and what Fred Moten and Stefano Harney have described as “the general antagonism.” Pasquinelli writes, in “The Labour of Abstraction,” “Marx’s tendency of the rate of profit to fall has to find eventually its epistemic twin.” For him, forms of knowledge and subjectivity play a prominent role in his theory of anti-capitalist revolution. Hostile intelligence is one imaginary in which the recently formed Accelerationists conceive such an epistemic twin. Moten and Harney’s category, “the general antagonism,” is no doubt the epistemic twin of “the general intellect”, and powerfully indicates a generalized disidentification with white-supremacist, capitalist culture that is an extant part of the fugitive practices of what they eloquently call “The Undercommons.”

* Program of the 2015 MLA Subconference.

While the Regents claim to negotiate on behalf of those who use the university–students, staff and faculty–their new gambit instead shows the difference between the Regents and higher Administration, on one hand, and “those who use” the university on the other. UCOP’s Failed Funding Model.

* A Communiqué from the UCSC Occupation of Humanities 2.

What the students were doing in 2010, and what they’re doing today, is defending art, science and philosophy against a regime that believes none of these things are of any value except as a means to wealth and power. They are quite literally defending the values of civilisation from those who have abandoned them.

* Jacobin: Higher education should be free. But we can’t just copy the flawed European model.

In Response to Pending Grad Strike at U. Oregon, Administration Urges Faculty to Make Exams Multiple Choice or Allow Students Not to Take Them.

Do you want to be responsible for something that’s gonna paint UVA in a bad light? Horrifying report in Rolling Stone about a young woman’s experience being attacked at a UVA fraternity and then reporting it. Please note that the description of what happened to her is quite graphic and very disturbing.

* Bill Cosby and the rape accusers: stop looking away and start believing women.

Inside Yucca Mountain, incomprehensibly long time scales clash with human ones—pairing the monumental and the mundane.

The repository would need some kind of physical marker that, foremost, could last 10,000 years, so the task force’s report considers the relative merits of different materials like metal, concrete, and plastic. Yet the marker would also need to repel rather than attract humans—setting it apart from Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, or any other monument that has remained standing for thousands of years. To do that, the marker would need warnings. But how do you warn future humans whose cultures and languages will have evolved in unknown ways?

Public officials once operated for profit. Now that system has returned with a vengeance. Mike Konczal reviews The Teacher Wars and Rise of the Warrior Cop.

* Academics sometimes seek to make the world a better place, and the Chronicle is ON IT.

* Seven years in, Twitter finally puts in what you’d think would be one of its most basic features.

* Bangkok cinema chain cancels Hunger Games screenings over salute protest.

* 400 Things Cops Know Is the New Bible for Crime Writers. By MU English Alum Plantinga!

* The Singularity Is Here: 5-foot-tall ‘Robocops’ start patrolling Silicon Valley.

* NYPD Officer ‘Accidentally’ Shoots and Kills Unarmed Man in Brooklyn. Why would police officers have their guns drawn as a matter of course? How can that be protocol?

What To Do About Uber?

* Late capitalism and the viral imagination.

* Surprise: Humanities Degrees Provide Great Return On Investment.

* Exhibit A? U. of Colorado Will Pay Philosophy Professor $185,000 to Resign.

* Mass hysteria at the Department of Education.

* Now we see the violence etc: In a blow to schoolchildren statewide, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Nov. 7 the State of Michigan has no legal obligation to provide a quality public education to students in the struggling Highland Park School District. The law, in its majestic equality…

First Grader Was Told ‘Guess What, You Can’t Have Lunch’ Because His Family Was In Debt.

* Being bullied physically changes kids’ brains.

The Horrific Sand Creek Massacre Will Be Forgotten No More.

* When My Mom Was an Astronaut.

Often they have rich back stories. A motivational mantra, a swipe at the boss, a hidden shrine to a lost love, an inside joke with ourselves, a defining emotional scar — these keepsake passwords, as I came to call them, are like tchotchkes of our inner lives. Passwords are the new poetry.

* Accrediting commission says UNC ‘not diligent’ in exposing academic scandal. Let the stern finger-wagging commence!

Lunatic: Keystone Pipeline Will Teach Men “What it Is to Be a Man.” Literally toxic masculinity.

It’s one reason we’re poorer than our parents. And Obama could fix it—without Congress. Whatever Happened to Overtime? I’m sure he’ll get right on it.

* ‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine.

A new analysis by PunditFact found that of every statement made by a Fox News host or guest, over half of them were flat-out false. What’s more, only a measly 8% could be considered completely “true.”

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat.

* No, Your Ancestors Didn’t Come Here Legally.

* Neuroscience Is Ruining the Humanities.

The enduring legacy of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer writers’ room.

* The Ghostbusters 3 we’ll never see.

* The Empire Strikes Back we’ll never see.

This One-Page Comic Explains Why Batman Never Seems To Die.

From this vantage, the efficient society that terrorizes and comforts Codemus, and enfolds him in the straitjacket of a diffused, technologized fascism, resembles the experience of many workers today. Increasing numbers of people receive their instructions from, and report back to, software and smartphones.

* Flatland, at last, is truly two-dimensional.

And this Deceptively Cute Animation Illustrates The Horrors Of My Addiction to Coca-Cola.Won’t you give what you can, please, today? The case for treating sugar like a drug.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 22, 2014 at 10:44 am

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All the Monday Links!

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* Look alive, Octavia Butler scholars! 2015-16 Fellowships at the Huntington.

* Exciting crowdfunding project on disability and science fiction: Accessing the Future.

* If what we were fighting against in World War II were not just enemy nations but fascism and militarism, then did the atomic bombs that massacred the defenseless populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — coming as a grand climax to our “strategic bombing” of European and Asian cities — help bring us victory? Or defeat?

The long-standing paradox of human rights is that the declaration to observe them is a hollow scream that follows their loss.

* Is Genocide Right For You?

* The Sheep Look Up7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water. Farming practices and climate change at root of Toledo water pollution.

* Newborns laugh in their sleep, say Japanese researchers.

* Common sense solutions to alt-pop song problems.

Problem: We all want something beautiful, man I wish I was beautiful.
Solution: Diet, exercise, and plastic surgery.

* Op-ed: Adjuncts should unionize.

* What colleges can learn from journalism schools. English departments seem particularly well-positioned to apply some of these lessons.

*  Meet The Sexual Assault Adviser Top U.S. Colleges Have On Speed Dial.

* Understanding college discounting.

The space vehicle is shoddily constructed, running dangerously low on fuel; its parachutes — though no one knows this — won’t work and the cosmonaut, Vladimir Komarov, is about to, literally, crash full speed into Earth, his body turning molten on impact. As he heads to his doom, U.S. listening posts in Turkey hear him crying in rage, “cursing the people who had put him inside a botched spaceship.”

* Emirates becomes first major international airline to suspend all flights to virus-affected region. Why you’re not going to get Ebola in the U.S.

* When Moral Panics Collide! GOP Congressman Who Warned About Unvaccinated Migrants Opposed Vaccination.

* The Golden Age of Comics Is Now.

* Just another weekend in Milwaukee.

IRS Agrees To Monitor Religious Groups For Political Campaigning.

* How an honors student became a hired killer.

A Thai surrogate mother said Sunday that she was not angry with the Australian biological parents who left behind a baby boy born with Down syndrome, and hoped that the family would take care of the boy’s twin sister they took with them. Honestly, I think I’m pretty mad at them.

* Is Howard the Duck Really Marvel’s Next Franchise? A Close Look at the Evidence.

* They say Western civilization’s best days are behind it, but Bill Murray will star as Baloo in Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book.

* Ever tried. Ever meowed. No matter. Try Again. Meow again. Meow better. Beckittens.

* Filming is apparently wrapping on Fantastic Four, but they didn’t even have a teaser trailer for Comic-Con. This film must be a complete disaster. Can’t wait!

* Why are we impeaching Obama today?

* The third Lev Grossman Magicians book ships tomorrow. Soon to be a TV show, maybe!

* Presenting the all-new, all-different Ghostbustrixes.

* Always remember: The best thesis defense is a good thesis offense.

* And it took its sweet time, but the Singularity is finally here.

Google Cardboard, virtual reality

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

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Weekend Links!

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* Malcolm Harris reviews Ivory Tower.

Speaking for the elite private liberal arts school is Wesleyan President Michael Roth, who argues for small classes, a balanced education and a lot of contact with professors. “Ivory Tower” gives Roth a fair hearing, but he can’t avoid coming off like a huckster of humanities when pitching the $60,000-plus annual price tag to the parents of potential students. (Hell, for 60 grand you could rent an apartment in Brooklyn and your own post-grad fellow.) The cost of this kind of education makes it both a model of learning for learning’s sake — yes, a high cost but a priceless reward — and totally inaccessible to most young people.

* Euclid: The Game!

* Massive data dump on academic employment.

* Vladimir Nabokov’s Unpublished Screenplay Notes For Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita.’

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra. Ian Bogost, when the walls fell.

Let’s pretend that we want to start an organization to defend the rights of people across the globe that has no affiliation to any government or corporate interest. No More Imperial Crusades.

* Prosecutors closing in on Chris Christie and Scott Walker. How the State of Wisconsin alleges Scott Walker aides violated the law, in 1 chart.

* Aren’t You A Little Short To Be A Stormtrooper? The Passing of the Armor to A Bullied Little Girl. Fighting bullies with stormtroopers.

* The golden age of girls’ running.

Higher Ed Pays a High Price for Mediocrity.

* James Madison University Punished Sexual Assault With ‘Expulsion After Graduation.’ Department of Education Offers Proposed Campus Sexual Assault Regulations. Rape Victims At Fundamentalist Christian College Say They Were Told To Repent For Their Sins.

* “Turn Detroit into Drone Valley.” Sigh.

* “The death of a great American city: why does anyone still live in Detroit?”

* “By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.”

* The death of the mall.

* What we Yo about when we Yo about Yo.

* In celebration of Juneteenth.

* I’m losing hope for Episode 7, but Episodes 8 and 9 have promise.

* One more on LouieThis isn’t a model for romance. It’s a blueprint for abuse.

Labor and the Locavore shows that our society’s tendency to idealize local food allows small farmers to pay workers substandard wages, house them in shoddy labor camps, and quash their ability to unionize to demand better working conditions.

* “It’s a much bigger, more powerful question to ask, If today we are using management techniques that were also used on slave plantations,” she says, “how much more careful do we need to be? How much more do we need to think about our responsibility to people?”

* The secret history of Chief Wahoo.

* When drones crash.

Pennsylvania Instructed Its Employees To Ignore Residents Sickened By Drilling. Duke Energy Was Warned About Potential For Dan River Spill Decades Ago, Documents Show.

* The Lost Generation.

* Marriage, kids, college, and class.

* Great moments in governance.

In Kansas, 9-year-old Spencer Collins has been told by authorities that he must stop sharing books with his neighbors, and close the little free library–honestly, it’s just a bookshelf–in his yard.

* The “good” Anthropocene?

* The sixth season of The Twilight Zone we almost had.

* And Better Call Saul already has a second season. We just have to wait to see if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…

#HaveWeekendLinksLandedYet

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New leaks show NSA spying on European regulators and charities. UNICEF, man.

NSA had secret deal on back-doored crypto with security firm RSA, Snowden docs reveal.

* Shock decision: Federal Judge Rules That Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal in Utah. I’m hoping this is finally the watershed. In Striking Down Utah’s Gay Marriage Ban, Judge Gives Scalia Big Bear Hug.

* #slatepitches we can believe in: There Are Two Americas, and One Is Better Than the Other.

* Aaron Bady deconstructs the Twitter “event” of the week, #HasJustineLandedYet.

* Another good post on education policy from Freddie de Boer: Is there such a thing as static teacher quality?

Now, these numbers are particularly stark, but this is not really a surprising result, if you been paying attention. Why did New York end its teacher performance pay program in the first place? In large part because of incoherent results: teachers would be rated as terrible in one class and excellent in another, within the same semester. Teachers that had been among the top performers one year would be among the worst performers the next. Teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to have serious performance issues would be rated highly; teachers that were believed by administrators and parents to be among a school’s best would be rated poorly. On and on.

* Six questions for Teach for America.

Conservative groups spend $1bn a year to fight action on climate change.

Oklahoma City cops charge Keystone XL protesters with “terrorism hoax” because their banner shed some glitter.

Fracking chemicals disrupt human hormone functions, study claims. FDA should be looking into this in about forty years.

* Gasp! Researchers Find Factors Tied To Voting Restriction Bills Are ‘Basically All Racial.’

Stop and Frisk Is Everywhere.

* Rogue death scene cut from Days of Future Past, it looks like.

“Where we’re losing them is at the full professor rank,” she continued. “Somehow we’re losing women.”

Pharmacists Frequently Misinform Teens About Whether They’re Allowed To Buy Plan B.

A 54-year old American woman was given increasingly invasive and fruitless cavity searches after a drug dog was instructed to “alert” in front of her by U.S. border guards. The victim, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, was then ordered to consume laxatives, endure x-rays and other scans, and subjected to further medical rectal and vaginal probes—all conducted by doctors at University Medical Center El Paso over over her protests and without any form of warrant.

Wealthy Tech Investor Backs Plan To Split California Into Six States.

A court in Canada has ruled Ecuadorean farmers and fishermen can try to seize the assets of oil giant Chevron based on a 2011 decision in an Ecuadorean court found it liable for nearly three decades of soil and water pollution near oil wells, and said it had ruined the health and livelihoods of people living in nearby areas of the Amazon rainforest.

What happens if you make a mistake with a planet?

* Great moments in neocolonialism: Is It Time to Make Knowledge of English a Human Right?

* Florida is sticking with legal murder: Florida Man Who Shot Acquaintance For Threatening To Beat Him Won’t Face Charges, Judge Rules.

* Finally, the story of Harry Potter’s years of neglect and staggering abuse can be told. BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT.

* Dibs on the screenplay: Under Seattle, a Big Object Blocks Bertha. What Is It?

* Peter Singer, maximum-utility troll: “How Many Kids Died Because of Batkid?”

* New York Times to murder its last lingering shred of journalistic integrity.

* And MetaFilter has a mega-post all about the great Alice Sheldon, a.k.a. James Tiptree, Jr.

Wednesday Deux

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screen-capture* CFP: Queerness and Games at UC Berkeley.

* AMC passed on Red Mars, but then greenlights this? Those idiots.

Minimum Wage Machine (Work in Progress).

The minimum wage machine allows anybody to work for minimum wage. Turning the crank will yield one penny every 4.97 seconds, for $7.25 an hour (NY state minimum wage). If the participant stops turning the crank, they stop receiving money.

* Gabrielle Giffords op-ed on the Senate’s minority-rules rejection of gun control.

What started out as a case about whether corporations could be held accountable in U.S. courts for human rights violations abroad now turned into a case about whether anyone can be held accountable. And on Wednesday, a five-justice majority of the U.S. Supreme Court held that the answer is, mostly, no.

Mellon Foundation awards grant to develop new careers for humanities Ph.D.s. At the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Disney Says New ‘Star Wars’ Films Will Open Every Summer Starting in 2015. The internet has spoken: put Patton Oswalt in charge.

Three More for Saturday Night

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Links from the Week

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* I definitely picked the wrong week to stay off the Internet: SCOTUS plays the best and biggest game of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional” of all time. It is! “The decision was 4-1-4.” Why Did Roberts Do It? How and Why Did Justice Roberts Do It? The right goes bonkers, claims Roberts is mentally ill. Did Roberts change his vote at the last minute? Did he? Did he? The long, sad twilight of Anthony Kennedy. Antonin Scalia, ranting old man. Did Scalia Scare Off Roberts? Ilya Shapiro: We Won Everything but the Case. And Ginsberg kills it. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, hero. More (oh, so much more) from SCOTUSblog.

Should we be surprised by the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the individual mandate and most of the Affordable Care Act? From the perspective of constitutional doctrine, the Supreme Court’s decision follows from 75 years of unbroken precedents.

* The Arizona SB-1070 decision was kind of a big deal, too.

* The important questions: Two-Thirds of Americans Think Barack Obama Is Better Suited to Handle an Alien Invasion Than Mitt Romney.

* The important questions: Did Nick Fury break the law when he refused to nuke New York?

* Jimmy Carter: The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights. Abandoning? Champion? Human rights? Let’s start over.

* Wes Anderson Explains How to Make a Wes Anderson Film.

* The National Labor Relations Board announced Friday that it will reconsider a 2004 ruling by the board that took away the right of graduate students at private universities to unionize.

* College students are facing a roughly $20 billion increase in the cost of their federal loans, despite a much-heralded deal in Washington to contain the expense of higher education.

Starting Sunday, students hoping to earn the graduate degrees that have become mandatory for many white-collar jobs will become responsible for paying the interest on their federal loans while they are in school and immediately after they graduate. That means they’ll have to pay an extra $18 billion out of pocket over the next decade.

Meanwhile, the government will no longer cover the interest on undergraduate loans during the six months after students finish school. That’s expected to cost them more than $2 billion.

* Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal. Chicago decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana.

* Watch out: here comes the Big Rip.

* How Many LEGOs Would It Take to Build Your House? Kiss goodbye to your productivity: Google just brought 8 trillion LEGO blocks to Chrome.

*  Jesus wept: “We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive,” the platform says, adding that it supports teaching “common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups.” In Arizona, where Republicans banned multicultural programs, students in those programs actually out-performed their peers. Texas Republicans also believe “controversial theories” such evolution and climate change — which aren’t controversial at all — “should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.” There’s more: the GOP also opposes the teaching of “critical thinking skills” because they “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

* When Roddenberry met Asimov.

* How 100-million year old geology affects modern presidential elections.

* And Smithsonian Magazine says it’s time to get your ass to Mars.

Occupy Wednesday

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* The Occupy Oakland general strike seems to have been really pretty amazingly successful.  The view from Twitter. Another. And here’s Matt’s picture again, having gone viral through me by way of @zunguzungu and @rortybomb. Half those pageviews are rightfully mine, Matt!

* General strikes in U.S. history.

* Arguments not taken seriously that should be: A federal court is being asked to grant constitutional rights to five killer whales who perform at marine parks — an unprecedented and perhaps quixotic legal action that is nonetheless likely to stoke an ongoing, intense debate at America’s law schools over expansion of animal rights.

* When advertising works too well: the strange case of Axe Body Spray.

Women hold slightly more than half (52.3 percent) of creative class jobs and their average level of education is almost the same as men. But the pay they receive is anything but equal. Creative class men earn an average of $82,009 versus $48,077 for creative class women. This $33,932 gap is a staggering 70 percent of the average female creative class salary. Even when we control for hours worked and education in a regression analysis, creative class men out-earn creative class women by a sizable $23,700, or 49.2 percent.

In a victory for the 99 Percent last night, the voters in Boulder, Colorado voted by a three-to-one margin to support Question 2H, which calls for a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

* Legal Pain Killers Killed 15,000 People In 2008, Marijuana Likely Killed Zero.

* New Report Finds Vermont Could Save As Much As $1.8 Billion By 2020 From Shifting To Single Payer.

* Legendary Glenn Beck sponsor Goldline charged with fraud.

* Jon Corzine’s new firm likely to soon be charged with fraud. My father reminded me today that one universe over Jon Corzine never got in a horrific car accident as a result of his state police driver texting on the highway—which means he’s still the governor of New Jersey, which means he’s cruising towards a run for the presidency in 2016. In this universe he’s probably going to go to jail. It’s hard to think of another public figure whose life has hinged so completely on such a fluke event.

* In thirty years, college tuition has tripled.

* The worst part of the catastrophic implosion of the Hermain Cain candidacy is that he was the only one with a chance of stopping China from getting the bomb. None of the other candidates are even talking about this issue.

* Run, Ron Paul, run.

* And J.K. reveals she wanted to kill off Hagrid, too. You fiend!

Scenes from the Class Struggle in Britain

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The two students, one at a sixth form and the other at a further education college, want the court to grant a judicial review of Business Secretary Vince Cable’s decision over tuition fees.

They claim that the scale of such an increase in the upper level of fees is in breach of part of human rights legislation, which sets out a right to education and a right to education without discrimination on any ground.

The students argue that such a fee increase, rising by almost threefold, is an unreasonable barrier to the right to education – and in particular it will discriminate against the poorest.

The other claim made by the students is that the government has failed to properly assess the equal opportunity impact of raising tuition fees.

They argue that there has been insufficient regard given to how higher fees will adversely affect university applications from specific groups, such as women, ethnic minorities and the disabled – as well as those from the most deprived backgrounds.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 1, 2011 at 11:57 am

Civil Death

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Americans haven’t always perceived prisoners and convicts as exceptional categories of human or even an exceptional category of citizen, undeserving of most or all rights. Both the Progressive Era’s prison reform movement and the prisoner rights movements of the 1950s and ’60s attracted considerable popular support—so much so, that many states actually embarked on “decarceration” programs in the 1960s and early 1970s (leading at least one prominent sociologist to predict in 1977 that prisons might soon be a thing of the past). The idea that most convicted offenders, provided that they are freeborn men, are endowed with certain inalienable rights—natural, Christian, customary, and positive—was deeply entrenched in early republican law and culture (c.1783 – c.1820). These fundamental rights included freedom from slavery, the right to control the product of one’s labor, and protection from the kind of ongoing isolation and sensory deprivation to which over 25,000 prisoners are subjected in some 40 states today.

When Felons Were Human.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 18, 2011 at 11:09 pm