Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘John Roberts

Thursday Links

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* America, I just want you to know there’s still time to stop this.

* Really got our number here: All Possible Humanities Dissertations, Considered as Single Tweets.

RT @gerrycanavan: This short text, seen rightly, reveals the contradictions of a whole culture.

Scholarly Associations Defend Tenure and Academic Freedom in Wisconsin.

* Now Cooper Union’s president is out, too.

Since starting to write this story about Champion, so many people have warned me away, expressed concern and shock, or (helpful but alarming) encouraged me to call the police if ever I felt threatened. I sort of knew what I was getting into when I began, and I believe I have as good an understanding now as I can have now that I’ve finished, but this fear is palpable. I know Champion will read this and I cannot imagine how it will feel for him. I would not want such a piece to be written about me, but I also hope never do to the kinds of things Champion has done. And I think that if I ever do them, I will deserve a story like this. Fascinating, frightening read.

* Unhappy career advice from the Chronicle: “You might not be ready for promotion.”

* UNC gets put on one-year probation for its recent student-athlete scandals. In other news, accreditation is a joke.

11-Year-Old Boy Played in His Yard. CPS Took Him, Felony Charge for Parents.

The Post-Ownership Society: How the “sharing economy” allows Millennials to cope with downward mobility, and also makes them poorer.

* History is a nightmare from which we are trying to wake George R.R. Martin.

This Artist Is Taking The Condemned Homes Of Detroit And Turning Them Into Gorgeous Fuddruckers Franchises.

* Clever girl: Reviewer From The Guardian Says Jurassic World Passes Bechdel Test Because of Female Dinosaurs. See also.

* Teach all girls self-defense.

* Bold new horizons in student debt moralism.

* The history of America, as seen through the Census.

* Twilight of “you guys.”

Quentin Tarantino is ‘retrofitting 50 theaters in the world’ with special projectors so they can show his new film properly.

* John Roberts, liberal hero?

* Being Kumail Nanjiani.

Doogie Howser, M.D. gets the gritty reboot you never knew it needed.

* Harriet Potter and the Very Dedicated Parent. There really should be an app for this.

* Male film critics are apparently unable to understand the explicit, surface text of Goodfellas.

* Alanis Morissette, before Jagged Little Pill.

* The arc of history is long, but.

* This is close, but I for one believe the hottest take is still out there.

* And I guess some people just see farther.

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Thursday Links!

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Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito Suddenly Realize They Will Be Villains In Oscar-Winning Movie One Day.

Is it too late? The long view offers reason to hope. From Kim Stanley Robinson.

Mourning and Melancholia in the Anthropocene.

U.S. to Retire Most Chimps From Research.

The long road to marriage equality. Adam Kotsko: Marriage and Meritocracy.

In a previous post on this site I announced a plan for the creation of MOOA, or massive, open, online administrations that would supplant the thousands of separate administrations currently managing the affairs of America’s colleges. The MOOA idea was, of course, satire. However, I must report that two educational consultants contacted me to offer their services in bringing my MOOA to the market. Additionally, three separate reporters called to discuss the MOOA concept. When I explained that MOOA was a satire, one asked, “Are you sure?”

What we need instead, I think, is a study of neoliberal bias in the university, particularly since the rhetoric of neoliberalism has now become ubiquitous, the lingua franca of administrators and even many faculty. In the 1990s Bill Readings observed that the new rationale of the university was the amorphous, technocratic one of “excellence,” rather than the traditional ones of disciplinary reason or national culture. The incantation of “excellence” no longer has quite the same currency; the new neoliberal mantra includes the buzzwords “disruption,” “innovation,” and “choice.” Part of their force is that they seem self-evident goods: who would be against innovation or choice? But I think that they sidestep some of the crucial problems of higher education, especially regarding equality. According to all the statistical markers, college is subject to a steeper class divide than it was 40 years ago, and academic jobs show a sharper stratification. This violates the best hope of the American university. What good is innovation if it brings us a more inequitable world? 

* The latest update on Capturing the Friedmans.

* …given what we know from the big picture, I think it’s safe to say that ostensible reason for the long-term collapse in humanities enrollment has to do with the increasing choice of women to enter more pre-professional majors like business, communications, and social work in the aftermath of a) the opening of the workplace and b) universal coeducation suddenly making those degrees relevant. You’d have to be pretty tone-deaf to point to their ability to make that choice as a sign of cultural malaise.

* I used to maniacally play Solitaire Tic-Tac-Toe to keep myself sane in high school. If I’d known about Tic-Tac-Toe2, I might never have graduated.

* And good news everyone! The housing bubble is back!

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A Few Sunday Night Links

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* Another great Muppet thing that never was: Douglas Adams and Jim Henson tried to develop a TV special about the Muppet Institute of Technology.

* Given Politco’s track record, I think we can expect Mitt to make a comeback in the next few days.

* I’ve been fascinated all week by the stories about Sean Smith, one of the U.S. foreign service workers killed in the consulate attacks this week, and his virtual life in EVE Online as “Vile Rat.”

* The Boy Scouts have a pedophile blacklist dating back to 1919. Of course, they never actually involved the cops, or, you know, did anything about it. Heavens no.

* Will Self, “The Trouble with My Blood.”

* Eugenics at Yale.

* When Roberts flipped.

* Unpaid internships in the New York Times.

* And just for laughs: A spokesman for Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) is facing criticism after advocating violence against female Democratic senators in a Facebook post.

My question today… when is Tommy boy going to weigh in on all the Lilly Ledbetter hypocrites who claim to be fighting the War on Women? Let’s hurl some acid at those female democratic Senators who won’t abide the mandates they want to impose on the private sector.

“Acid in Female Senators’ Faces: Opinions Differ.”

One Man in His Time Plays Many Parts

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Not only did John Roberts apparently switch votes, he apparently wrote the bulk of both decisions.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

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.

Calling Balls and Strikes

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So, as the Chief Justice chose how broadly to change the law in this area, the real question for him, it seems, was how much he wanted to help the Republican Party. Roberts’s choice was: a lot.

The New Yorker on John Roberts and how we got Citizen’s United.

A Political Objection in Legal Garb

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Laurence Tribe takes “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” for a ride.

But the predictions of a partisan 5-4 split rest on a misunderstanding of the court and the Constitution. The constitutionality of the health care law is not one of those novel, one-off issues, like the outcome of the 2000 presidential election, that have at times created the impression of Supreme Court justices as political actors rather than legal analysts.

Since the New Deal, the court has consistently held that Congress has broad constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. This includes authority over not just goods moving across state lines, but also the economic choices of individuals within states that have significant effects on interstate markets. By that standard, this law’s constitutionality is open and shut. Does anyone doubt that the multitrillion-dollar health insurance industry is an interstate market that Congress has the power to regulate?

With respect to the mandate, he takes on the sophistry that asserts a constitutionally relevant difference between “activity” and “inactivity” as well:

The justices aren’t likely to be misled by the reasoning that prompted two of the four federal courts that have ruled on this legislation to invalidate it on the theory that Congress is entitled to regulate only economic “activity,” not “inactivity,” like the decision not to purchase insurance. This distinction is illusory. Individuals who don’t purchase insurance they can afford have made a choice to take a free ride on the health care system. They know that if they need emergency-room care that they can’t pay for, the public will pick up the tab. This conscious choice carries serious economic consequences for the national health care market, which makes it a proper subject for federal regulation.

Even if the interstate commerce clause did not suffice to uphold mandatory insurance, the even broader power of Congress to impose taxes would surely do so. After all, the individual mandate is enforced through taxation, even if supporters have been reluctant to point that out.

He seems to go so far as to predict an 8-1 decision in favor of the ACA, with only Thomas as the lone dissenter:

To imagine Justice Scalia would abandon that fundamental understanding of the Constitution’s necessary and proper clause because he was appointed by a Republican president is to insult both his intellect and his integrity. […] Only a crude prediction that justices will vote based on politics rather than principle would lead anybody to imagine that Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Samuel Alito would agree with the judges in Florida and Virginia who have ruled against the health care law. 

I think Scalia’s intellect and integrity are highly overrated, and think Roberts and Alito will almost certainly vote on politics rather than principle—so I’m still predicting a 4-5 verdict in favor of the ACA, Justice Kennedy for the save. Prove me wrong, kids! Prove me wrong.