Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Newtown

Thursday

leave a comment »

National Louis, a private, nonprofit institution based in the greater Chicago metropolitan region, served about 10,000 students before the restructuring process in 2012. In addition to terminating 63 faculty members, among them 16 tenured professors, the institution eliminated four departments in its College of Arts and Sciences: English, fine arts, mathematics and natural sciences. Today, about 8,300 students attend the university — 9 in 10 on a part-time basis. What does this school teach if not English or math or arts or science? What’s left?

The fertilizer plant that exploded in West, Texas on Wednesday night was fined by the Environmental Protection agency in 2006 for failing to have a risk management plan that met federal standards, an EPA report shows. 

Yesterday’s Senate Gun Control Vote Was Even More Undemocratic Than It Appeared. Angus crunches the numbers.

In twenty-one of the nation’s 50 states, both Senators yesterday voted in favor of the Manchin-Toomey background check amendment. Although those 42 Senators represent less than half the body, they represent more than half the country — 157 million people out of 313 million. The 16 states whose Senators both voted against the amendment, in contrast, represent less than a quarter of the nation, but nearly a third of the senate. That’s the equivalent of dividing the country up into states of equal population, but giving the no-vote states three senators each, and the yes-vote states just two.

And what of the other states, the ones who split their votes yesterday? Well, if you allocate half of their population to each senator, and add up the totals, you find that senators representing 62.7% of the nation’s population voted for Manchin-Toomey yesterday.

Gun Violence Victims Detained, Put Through Background Check For Yelling ‘Shame On You’ At Senators. Conservative radio host: Families of Newtown shooting victims can ‘go to hell.’

Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss.

They lost their kids. What would Bob Davis have lost even if the bill passed?

What Happened to Working-Class New York?

And Bill to Create ‘New University of California’ Dies. Here’s the current state of proposed flexible online education in California. Amended Steinberg is still privatization.

Their Entire Lives Ahead of Them

leave a comment »

The violence and rights abridgments of the Bush and Obama administrations have been applied almost exclusively to Muslims. It is, therefore, Muslims who have been systematically dehumanized. Americans virtually never hear about the Muslims killed by their government’s violence. They’re never profiled. The New York Times doesn’t put powerful graphics showing their names and ages on its front page. Their funerals are never covered. President Obama never deliversteary sermons about how these Muslim children “had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” That’s what dehumanization is: their humanity is disappeared so that we don’t have to face it.

Midweek Links

leave a comment »

* Erik Loomis is being targeted by prominent figures on the right in what has to be the most ludicriously unfair, bad-faith attack I have ever seen.

Walker declares state of emergency in Wisconsin due to snowstorm.

Guide to Answering Academic Job Interview Questions.

Argument Over Sandy Hook Shooting Ends in Gunfire. Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America? Gun Violence In American Schools Is Nothing New. Top Conservative Publication: Shooting Occurred Because Women Ran The School. Weaponize the husky twelve-year-olds. Virginia Republican Legislator Actually Wants To Require Concealed Weapons In Schools. The Arms Race of Stupid.

I can’t help wondering if the bullets of Sandy Hook Elementary will be for Obama what the snarling dogs and high-pressure fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama, were for John F. Kennedy in 1963: the human tragedy that will force him to take a political risk, simply because it is right.

Conservative Historian Warns Obama and Democrats are ‘Much More Radical’ than Marxists. So much more radical. So much more.

Best Astronomy Images of 2012. (Keep scrolling past the image for more links.)

set-72157631408160534

Wayne State faculty gives OK to union leadership to call strike if necessary.

* Terrible person to teach terrible class at terrible university.

* News from Nerdistan: What Frodo would have looked like as Gollum. Joss Whedon wanted the Wasp and an extra villain in The Avengers. Tolkien vs. technology. Someone at Disney is already trying to lay the groundwork for a second sequel trilogy after Star Wars 7-9. Nearby Tau Ceti may host two planets suited to life. Netflix Instant Adds a Bunch of Fake ‘Arrested Development’ Shows and MoviesLEGOs run the world now.

It’s time to start asking serious questions about the safety of lube.

Here: an exercise in choice. Your choice. One of these tales is true.

* Petraeus Scandal 2.0. Nothing about sex, so no one will care.

* Matt Yglesias has the most logical incoherent “think piece” you’ll read on Society Security today. Money doesn’t magically become not-money when it’s spent by retirees.

* Plans to avoid the fiscal cliff cut government more than the fiscal cliff. Why, it’s almost as if this whole debate is total bullshit!

Shale Oil Might Be Less Awesome Than We Think. From a personal perspective, I doubt that’s possible.

Top 20 most valuable college football programs all made at least $24 million in profit last year, according to Forbes. $200K Average Salary for Asst. Football Coaches in Major Programs. Bill Introduced for IRS to Collect Student Loan Payments.

Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he supported the bill, arguing it could “nearly eliminate student loan default.”

But the reinvention conversation has not produced the panacea that people seem to yearn for. “The whole MOOC thing is mass psychosis,” a case of people “just throwing spaghetti against the wall” to see what sticks, says Peter J. Stokes, executive director for postsecondary innovation at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. His job is to study the effectiveness of ideas that are emerging or already in practice.

The Wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon is Emitting a Mysterious Substance Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Quentin Tarantino Says Drug War, Justice System Are Modern Day Slavery.

Apocalypse and Revelation Are the Same Word.

* And life’s not all an endless series of miserable atrocities: Found: Whale Thought Extinct for 2 Million Years.

Tuesday Mo(u)rning Links

leave a comment »

* Utopian for Beginners: An amateur linguist loses control of the language he invented.

* Uncomfortable metaphor watch:

The two spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, have been orbiting the Moon since their launch in September 2011 to create a gravity field map of its surface.

But, with not enough fuel to carry out further experiments, the American space agency opted for a “controlled descent” to avoid the risk of obliterating astronaut Neil Armstrong’s footsteps on the Moon.

Questions They Might Ask You at Your MLA Interview.

* Great moments in attendance policies.

* Fill-in-the-Blank Generic Gun Massacre Cartoon. Joe Scarborough, communist. Obama speaks at Sandy Hook Vigil. The formula is simple: The more batshit malevolent the gun cult gets, the more power they exert. Our Moloch. On politicizing tragedy:

What that means in practice is that in the aftermath of contemporary gun tragedies, we don’t see new gun legislation. What we do see is a spike in gun sales. After the shooting last summer in Aurora, Colorado, gun sales went up. After the Giffords shooting, there was a surge in purchases of the very Glock semiautomatic that wounded her. Certainly, the firearm industry and lobby will confront some bad P.R. in the coming weeks, but they can likely find succor in an uptick in business. Following the Newtown shooting, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners for America, suggested that these massacres might be avoided in the future, if only more teachers were armed.

As Pratt’s sentiment should make clear, the United States has slipped its moorings and drifted into a realm of profound national lunacy. Ponder, for a second, the fact that I cannot walk into a C.V.S. today and purchase half-a-dozen packages of Sudafed, but I can walk into a gun dealership and purchase a .50 caliber rifle of the sort that U.S. snipers use in Afghanistan. In fact, I can buy six or ten—there is no limit imposed by law. Should the gun dealer think it fishy that I might want to acquire a weapon capable of downing a small aircraft (much less six of those weapons) he may report the purchase to the A.T.F. But in most states, he’s not required to.

You are terrible: The tragedy in Newtown, Conn., is a price that is paid for protection of the Second Amendment. You are terrible: Huckabee Blames ‘Tax-Funded Abortion Pills’ For Newtown Massacre. You are terrible: Can you imagine being in the shoes of the one who feels his power slipping away? You are terrible: If we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once.

Unless I am missing a very subtle parody of libertarianism,  McArdle’s plan to teach children to launch banzai charges against mass murderers is the single worst solution to any problem I have ever seen offered in a major publication.

I mean really.

Support the creation of local organizations to act as “neighborhood watch” for schools. Had George Zimmerman been at the front door instead of some mechanical card reader those children would still be alive. Perhaps it’s time we start asking for volunteers to protect our children. It will require security checks, but isn’t that worth it? This dovetails with the union problem; the unions will fight this measure tooth-and-nail.

No, Really, Regulate the Bullets. Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege. What makes America’s gun culture totally unique in the world, in four charts. But maybe this chart is the only one you need.

preschoolers-guns

Dreams in Infrared: The Woes of an American Drone Operator.

Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal.

* I’m sorry to say I’ve followed Ricky Gervais pretty far down the “obnoxious asshat” rabbit hole, and even I can’t imagine how his staring in The Muppets 2 could possibly turn out good.

* When Stoker wrote Whitman.

Popular Mechanics makes 110 predictions for the next 110 years.

2012 to 2022

Drones will protect endangered species. Guarding at-risk animals from poachers with foot patrols is expensive and dangerous. This summer rangers in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park previewed a savvy solution: Hand-launched drones armed with cameras and GPS provided aerial surveillance of threatened Indian rhinos.

Digital “ants” will protect the U.S. power grid from cyber attacks.Programmed to wander networks in search of threats, the high-tech sleuths in this software, developed by Wake Forest University security expert Errin Fulp, leave behind a digital trail modeled after the scent streams of their real-life cousins. When a digital ant designed to perform a task spots a problem, others rush to the location to do their own analysis. If operators see a swarm, they know there’s trouble.

Vegetarians and carnivores will dine together on synthetic meats. We’re not talking about tofu. We’re talking about nutritious, low-cost substitutes that look and taste just like the real thing. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has already invested in Beyond Meat, which makes plant-based chicken strips so convincing they almost fooled New York Times food writer Mark Bittman.

Bridges will repair themselves with self-healing concrete. Invented by University of Michigan engineer Victor Li, the new composite is laced with microfibers that bend without breaking. Hairline fractures mend themselves within days when calcium ions in the mix react with rainwater and carbon dioxide to create a calcium carbonate patch.

* The east coast of 2057.

* Catfood forever! Catfood for everyone!

* And Republicans are still planning on rigging the Electoral College. Or you could just try being popular. You could, just once, try that…

Weekend Links – 2

leave a comment »

Newtown – 2

leave a comment »

10108_459964520730062_231269014_n* The victims of the Dunblane massacre would have turned 21 this year. The United Kingdom responded to this tragedy by banning private ownership of handguns; they had 39 gun homicides this year. We are radically free; we can choose to live in any type of world we like. Tax bullets. Ban bullets. Mandate insurance for gun ownership. Institute onerous licensing requirements and registration fees. Figure out some way to stop people from being murdered in movie theaters and schools. There’s no reason this should go on.

*  In 2008, the U.S. had over 12 thousand firearm-related homicides. All of Japan experienced only 11, fewer than were killed at the Aurora shooting alone. And that was a big year: 2006 saw an astounding two, and when that number jumped to 22 in 2007, it became a national scandal. By comparison, also in 2008, 587 Americans were killed just by guns that had discharged accidentally.

* Nine kids dead from guns in 24 hours. From 2007.

Fuck Everything, Nation Reports.

* How to talk to your kids about tragedy, from St. Rogers.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.

Newtown

with 2 comments

Written by gerrycanavan

December 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm