Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘obstructionism

Christmas and/or Fascism Megapost Forever and Ever Links – Part Two!

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(here’s part one)

* The story behind the Christmas Truce of 1914, simultaneously the most and least utopian thing that’s ever happened.

* Now that’s running it like a sandwich: College Can’t Prove It Taught 16,000 Online Students.

* Shockwave: A Syllabus for the End Times.

* Addressing the myths of academic job market.

* Arrival and the end of the academy.

* This was not called execution. It was called retirement.

* Colleges should invest in career services.

The Oakland Fire Tragedy and Higher Education.

* Inside the Bob Dylan Archive.

* Afrofuturism: The Next Generation.

* Rewriting Rogue One. And more.

* Rogue One: An Engineering Ethics Story. The Death Star and poor design.

* Rogue One: The Jacobin seal of approval.

* High praise: The Man in the High Castle season 2 is the worst TV show of the year.

* Buck Up, Democrats, and Fight Like Republicans. Team Bernie: Hillary ‘F*cking Ignored’ Us in Swing States. Building a Mass Socialist Party.

* Cabinet of Deplorables: Rex Tillerson. Rick Perry. An Intellectual History. Trump and the Late Deciders. Yes, Pence is preferable to Trump. The supermanagerial reich. The Age of Anger. Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it. What do you do when your reporter is personally attacked by the President of the United States? Twitter, Trump’s Ring of Power. This is fine.

* tfw your research collapses and it’s too late to rewrite the book

Politics got weird because neoliberalism failed to deliver.

* Their fake news, and ours.

The trail of painkillers leads to West Virginia’s southern coalfields, to places like Kermit, population 392. There, out-of-state drug companies shipped nearly 9 million highly addictive — and potentially lethal — hydrocodone pills over two years to a single pharmacy in the Mingo County town.

* Scientists are frantically copying U.S. climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump.

A sense of ennui and overdetermination binds the audience of NPR podcasts together in a bloc of obnoxious explainerism.

* The End Is Always Near: The New Inquiry reviews Peter Frase’s Four Futures.

* The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

What Was James Comey Thinking? James Comey never should have been FBI director in the first place.

* Horrors in Aleppo. What Is Aleppo?

* The Business of Institutionalization.

* Michigan search for welfare fraud has a mere 93% failure rate.

* Cover Letter to the Search Committee from My Shadow Self. Eight Excuses I Have Told My Son to Use for His Failure to Hand in English Homework, Excuses I Have Learned Are Acceptable During a Thirty-Year Career in Journalism, Books, and Film.

* Climate change, meet your apocalyptic twin: oceans poisoned by plastic. Real-time interactive map shows the pollution engulfing Earth. The Greater New York City Region Must Plan for “Permanent Flooding.”

* Google and the death of knowledge.

* There’s no safe space for kids anywhere: 368 gymnasts allege sexual exploitation.

* Hey, let’s all fight about Shakespeare again.

Living with Exploding Head Syndrome: This is what it feels like to hear gunshots in your mind.

* United Nations to Wonder Woman: Drop Dead.

We Want To See All the Scifi Movies on the 2016 Black List.

* Sold in the room: New Star Trek Comic Imagines a World Where the Romulans Made First Contact With Earth.

* Norm Macdonald: A Raw and Uncensored Interview.

* Anne Frank may not have been betrayed to Nazis, study finds: Raid that led to her arrest could have been part of investigation into illegal labor or falsified ration coupons.

* Talk to your kids about quantum mechanics — before someone else does.

* By the numbers: the technosphere now weights 30 trillion tons.

The CIA Is Celebrating Its Cartography Division’s 75th Anniversary by Sharing Declassified Maps.

Mr. Thompson confronted the officer in command of the rampaging platoon, Lt. William L. Calley, but was rebuffed. He then positioned the helicopter between the troops and the surviving villagers and faced off against another lieutenant. Mr. Thompson ordered Mr. Colburn to fire his M-60 machine gun at any soldiers who tried to inflict further harm. RIP.

My Life With the Thrill-Clit Cult.

* Billy Joel is really leaving money on the table.

* And dystopian film is never going to be able to keep up with the present.

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Written by gerrycanavan

December 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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London Calling to the Faraway Links

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Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 1.20.29 AM* accessiblesyllabus.tulane.edu.

* Global Markets in Chaos After UK Votes to Leave EU. Five terrifying immediate reactions to Brexit from the markets. Results Map. All this and the vote wasn’t even legally binding. (Though the EU is saying no-takebacks.) David Cameron will go down in history now as one of the legendarily bad prime ministers. And just because you might be feeling down: “The Socialist Case for Leave.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign announced Thursday that he has forgiven more than $50 million in loans he made to finance his presidential bid, converting them into contributions in an effort to reassure GOP donors that he is personally invested in the effort.

* How Obama can break the SCOTUS logjam on his own.

Here’s how that would work. The president has nominated Garland and submitted his nomination to the Senate. The president should advise the Senate that he will deem its failure to act by a specified reasonable date in the future to constitute a deliberate waiver of its right to give advice and consent. What date? The historical average between nomination and confirmation is 25 days; the longest wait has been 125 days. That suggests that 90 days is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for the Senate to consider Garland’s nomination. If the Senate fails to act by the assigned date, Obama could conclude that it has waived its right to participate in the process, and he could exercise his appointment power by naming Garland to the Supreme Court.

Presumably the Senate would then bring suit challenging the appointment. This should not be viewed as a constitutional crisis but rather as a healthy dispute between the president and the Senate about the meaning of the Constitution. This kind of thing has happened before. In 1932, the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate did not have the power to rescind a confirmation vote after the nominee had already taken office. More recently, the court determined that recess appointments by the president were no longer proper because the Senate no longer took recesses.

* News you can use: The Game of Thrones Character That Embodies Each State.

New Jersey: Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. Lurks on the outskirts of and envious of great power, and always gives off the vibe that he’s about to do something unseemly.

Got our number there.

* Actually existing media bias: CNN’s Newest Paid Commentator Legally Prohibited From Criticizing Donald Trump. Worth every penny!

“You’re not buying news when you buy The New York Times. You’re buying judgment.”

Experts says a ‘space base’ halfway between the Moon and Earth could be built in 10 years.

* Some for-profit colleges may be too big to fail.

* Emails today, emails tomorrow, emails forever.

The Crazy Plan to Clean Up a Giant Island of Trash Might Actually Happen.

* I never realized innumeracy was the major driver of economic growth.

* And Disney is still trying to figure out what Rogue One even is.

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Monday Links! Quite a Few!

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* I had a review of Cixin Liu’s The Dark Forest in The Los Angeles Review of Books last week. Can’t wait for Death’s End.

* “Star Trek style teleportation would take billions of years.” Not if you reverse the polarity of the inertial dampeners, you nitwits!

* The same website has a piece hyping cryonics, so you know it’s legit.

* Meanwhile: AI ‘could leave half of world unemployed.’

Trek at 50: The quest for a unifying theory of time travel in Star Trek.

* The Discovery of Gravitational Waves. Gravitational Waves and Neoliberalism.

* The Mount St. Mary’s situation is even more astounding than you’d think when you refocus attention back on the “culling” survey itself. A Violation of Trust. From embarrassing to appalling to surreal. Twenty-first-century legal paradoxes: You can’t re-hire me, I wasn’t legally fired.

Cleveland Files Claim Against Tamir Rice’s Family For Unpaid EMS Bill.

Fathers and Childless Women in Academia Are 3x More Likely to Get Tenure Than Women With Kids.

* The Crisis Facing America’s Working Daughters.

For gifted children, being intelligent can have dark implications.

* Antonin Scalia, in memoriam.

* The end of SCOTUS. Laying out the recent vote totals like that really does give credence, alas, to the idea that Democrats started it and now Republicans are going to finish it.

* Term Limit the Supreme Court. Don’t Term Limit the Supreme Court. No, I Mean It, Term Limit the Supreme Court.

* The end of Louisiana. Worth it for, what, fourteenth place in the GOP primary?

* The end of Berkeley.

* A Rallying Cry for A Second-Chance School: The Fight to Save Chicago State.

Antitrust Case Against Duke and UNC May Move Forward.

Schools Are Doing a Terrible Job Teaching Your Kids About Global Warming.

* Climate and Empire. (Sounds like a book Asimov would write today if he were still alive.)

* On Killing Dogs.

How this company tracked 16,000 Iowa caucus-goers via their phones.

* “Killing a million people was just the sort of thing a superpower had to do.”

* Bernie Sanders and Palestine. The Washington Post found a political scientists who thinks he wouldn’t get blown out. Could Superdelegates Really Stop Bernie Sanders? Clinton now managing exceptions in Nevada, and has shockingly few staffers in South Carolina. And it’s fine. It’s fine. 

* Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department. To be fair, though, those don’t seem super hard to get.

* The skills gap: still a fraud to lower labor costs.

* The Internet ruins everything, even Jeopardy!.

* From the nice-work-if-you-can-get-it files: Concordia executive gets $235,000 in severance after 90 days on the job. No public bidding on major University of Nebraska contracts. Michigan Coach’s jet travel valued at more than $10,000 a day.

* Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina: They found BoShek. Hyperspace Maps, Graphs, and Trees.

* Are you an academic superhero?

* Adjuncts and/as freelancers.

Why So Few American Indians Earn Ph.D.’s, and What Colleges Can Do About It.

When Is Campus Hate Speech No Longer Protected Speech?

The Coen Brothers and the defeat of the American left. I knew it was them.

Marvel’s The Vision Is Telling a Story Unlike Any Superhero Comic I’ve Ever Read.

* Day late, buck short: Suffragette valentines.

The EPA calls it the most severe exposure to a hazardous material in American history. The only people in Libby, Montana, who didn’t see it coming were the victims, who are dying to know if it’s really possible to poison an entire town and get away with it.

“I’m too old to do things I don’t enjoy”: An interview with Margaret Atwood.

* And SMBC catches on to my philosophical method.

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Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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All the Midweek Links There Are

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* My media empire: I have a piece on climate change and science fiction in the new New Inquiry issue on weather, which has gone out to subscribers but isn’t online yet. I’ll let you know when you can read it, though for a mere $2 you could read it this very minute.

* “It’s one of those situations where everybody says it’s an issue but the people who have the most influence and the most ability to do something about it are not acting on it,” said Gary Rhoades, professor of higher education at the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Center for the Future of Higher Education, a virtual think tank supported by faculty and labor groups. He called the adjunct issue a “widely acknowledged challenge” with deep, interwoven roots – many of which pit administrative prerogatives against labor concerns and educational outcomes.

IRS Says Colleges Must Be ‘Reasonable’ When Calculating Adjuncts’ Work Hours. What if the adjuncts shrugged?

* Yesterday marked the 202th anniversary of the largest slave revolt in US history.

* Game of the day: run from Michel Foucault. Do not become enamored of power.

* Another great rundown of science fiction in China. Via io9.

* zunguzungu is gathering notes towards a canon of post-9/11 literature. I contributed Wells Tower’s “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned,” as well as the inevitable science fictional treatments: Battlestar Galactica, District 9, Nolan’s Batman…

* Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage. It’s so hot in Australia they’ve had to add a new color to the weather map.

* This paper uses annual variation in temperature and precipitation over the past 50 years to examine the impact of climatic changes on economic activity throughout the world. We find three primary results. First, higher temperatures substantially reduce economic growth in poor countries but have little effect in rich countries. Second, higher temperatures appear to reduce growth rates in poor countries, rather than just the level of output. Third, higher temperatures have wide-ranging effects in poor nations, reducing agricultural output, industrial output, and aggregate investment, and increasing political instability. Analysis of decade or longer climate shifts also shows substantial negative effects on growth in poor countries. Should future impacts of climate change mirror these historical effects, the negative impact on poor countries may be substantial.

* The Seven Lady Godivas: Dr. Seuss’s Little-Known “Adult” Book of Nudes.

* io9 celebrates the classic tabletop role-playing game Paranoia.

* The American Prospect considers the legal hyperformalism the GOP has embraced in the face of longterm demographic crisis and declining real power.

What all these efforts have in common is that they are all perfectly legal,  and yet they all violate the norms of how American politics had been practiced for decades or even for centuries. All of them exploit some loophole in the law or the Constitution to give Republicans some immediate advantage in the basic ground rules of how political issues are contested.

* National Geographic’s photographs of 2012.

original

* The great moral question of our time: On heckling.

* The Superhero Delusion: How Superhero Movies created the Sad Perfect Badass Messiah, and what that says about America.

* Television as narcissism.

* Installing the blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History.

* Science catches up to what the poets always knew: Our perception of time changes with age, but it also depends on our emotional state. Research is steadily improving our understanding of the brain circuits that control this sense, opening the way for new forms of treatment, particularly for Parkinson’s disease.

* Debating that rape viral infrographic.

* Great moments in advertising: the UC spends $4.3 million to attract a single student.

* The forever war on women: Under Obama, a Skew Toward Male Appointees.

* And Mitch Hurwitz teases the new Arrested Development. I am…optimistic?

Four for Saturday

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* This is actually the lead story on Drudge right now: “Little Girl Standing Near Obama Looks Bored.” It’s times like this I almost feel bad for the right-wing.

* Big fat leftist that I am, I’d go much further than Obama in my claims for the need for government. But at least we finally have someone in charge who admits the need for someone to be in charge.

* Relatedly, because of GOP obstruction, unemployment benefits will run out for 200,000 people on Monday.

* And the indispensable Rachel Maddow on lying liars. More and more on this from the indispensable Steve Benen.

Politics Thursday

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* I’m shocked, shocked to find Mitt Romney caught being disingenuous about health care reform. Jonathan Chait has more lying liars on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, while Scott Lemieux explains another reason why even a radically activist Roberts court would be reluctant to declare the mandate unconstitutional:

But let’s say that Bush v. Gore vindicates the strongest form of legal realism and that we will soon see that Supreme Court justices are purely political actors. Would striking down the individual mandate ultimately advance conservative policy goals? Almost certainly not. On the one hand, it would be easy for Congress to get around the decision by simply structuring the tax differently and constitutionally, restoring the status quo. But what if Congress can’t? In some ways, this would be worse for conservatives — unless Congress was also willing to repeal very popular regulations (which even conservatives concede is a non-starter), the result will be the bankruptcy of insurance companies and a paved road to socialized insurance.

* Rachel Maddow had a pair of very striking pieces on right-wing incitements to violence last night.

* The health care reform reconciliation sidecar goes back to the House for technical reasons. It’s expected to be about a few hours delay. Incidentally, Steve Benen has issued marching orders on what we’re supposed to call the new program: ACA, the Affordable Care Act.

* The latest support for my theory that the GOP can’t hold its perma-No in the wake of Obama’s health care victory comes from Bob Corker (R-TN):

“This is so unlike the health care debate,” said Corker, noting that some of his Republican colleagues have made misjudgments on that point over the last month. “I don’t think people realize that this is an issue that almost every American wants to see passed. There’ll be a lot of pressure on every senator and every House member to pass financial regulation.”

* On the other hand, Republicans are apparently planning another Bunning-style freakout, this time starring Tom Coburn. In other Senate obstructionism news, the Republican objecting to any Senate committee business continuing past 2 PM was North Carolina’s own Richard Burr. Here’s still more on the breakdown of Senate procedure from Donkeylicious.

* How the Times‘ bias killed ACORN.

* And an amazing story from local alt-weekly Independent Weekly: N.C. eugenics survivors seek justice.

At 82 years old, Agnes is not sure she’ll live to see when or if the proposed compensation is paid. She appreciates the efforts being made in North Carolina to reconcile its eugenic past by acknowledging what she and thousands of others in our state went through. “It’s nice to know there are people out there that really care about your rights.”

Elaine, Agnes, Willis and Nial wonder why the American values of equal protection and individual liberty did not apply to them, and there are no simple answers to give them. They were caught within an ideological framework that said it’s acceptable to toss aside ethics and trample over the most basic of human rights if someone is perceived to not meet certain social expectations.

Now in her mid-50s, Elaine Riddick is one of the younger survivors of North Carolina’s eugenic sterilization program. From her apartment on the 32nd floor of an Atlanta skyrise, she has a beautiful view of the entire city. She says she has been able to obtain some measure of peace, which she attributes to her faith in God and finally letting go of the self-blame that she carried for years. Her adult son, Tony Riddick, whom she describes as “brilliant,” still lives in Winfall and owns his own computer electronics company.

Elaine has a loving boyfriend who, she says, takes good care of her and has a positive relationship with her son and siblings. Still, sometimes the cruelties from her past come back to haunt her. “Sometimes I think, what is happiness? Am I really happy? I don’t think I will ever be happy, because of what they took from me.”

Elaine was sterilized without her consent (or even knowledge) after giving birth to a child at age 14. She had been raped.

Links for Wednesday

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* Domestic terrorism watch: a gas line was cut at the home of Virginia Representative Tom Perriello’s brother one day after the address was posted on a Tea Party blog advising those angry about the health care decision to “drop by.” The FBI is investigating. Bart Stupak has also been receiving death threats. Ten members of Congress have received increased security protection in the wake of the health care passage.

* Of course, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are continuing to egg these nuts on.

* Fox News continues to devote its august attention to the real stories, like the possibility that terrorists could use breast implants to bring down airplanes.

* Insane GOP obstructionism brings Senate reform closer. Today they invoked the ridiculous “2 PM” rule to block a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Supporting the troops! Because, you know, country first.

* Leading GOP Congressmen are already seeking to take credit for the health care bill they spent the last 18 months demonizing—even while other factions in the party continue to demonize it:

What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic party must very soon be trained on the electorate.

If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.

But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America — including all that we have known and cared for — will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Oh, no! Not perverted science!

* Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?The paper reviews the relevant features of the legislation, Congress‟ rationale and record supporting the requirement (generally called the “individual mandate”), relevant constitutional provisions and judicial precedents, and reform opponents‟ arguments challenging the lawfulness of the mandate. The paper concludes that the mandate is lawful and clearly so – pursuant either to Congress‟ authority to “regulate commerce among the several states,” or to its authority to “lay and collect taxes to provide for the General Welfare.”1 With respect to Congress‟ interstate commerce authority, the goals that drive this legislation – including achieving universal coverage, eliminating adverse selection, eliminating pre-existing conditions as a prerequisite for coverage, facilitating broad-scale pooling of individuals not covered by group health plans, and radically reducing costly emergency room visits by uninsured individuals – are eminently lawful objects for the exercise of that power. In the context of current health insurance market circumstances and the framework of the legislation, the use of an individual mandate, structured as it is to ensure affordability for all who are subject to it, is likewise an eminently rational and well-supported (“necessary and proper” in the words of Article I, §8) means for achieving these goals. The same goals and choice of means fit the mandate snugly within precedents broadly defining Congress‟ authority to tax and spend. (via Ezra Klein)

* Why so many colleges (including Duke!) are teaching The Wire.

* 1,000 days of embargo in Gaza.

* Headlines I can believe in: “James Cameron: Glenn Beck Is A ‘Madman’ & ‘F**king A**hole.'”

* A brief history of whiteness.

* And Jim DeMint gets Waterlooed. Hasn’t happened to a nicer guy since Mr. Burns. (Sorry, German and Spanish only!)