Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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Every Tuesday Link! Every One!

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* Just a reminder that I’ll be in DC for a debate, Resolved: Technology Will Take All Our Jobs.

* The sad story of the São José.

* Against this backdrop, UW System leaders’ public statements in response to JFC’s omnibus bill—statements whose overriding tone is one of gratitude undergirded by obsequiousness—make perfect sense, even as they alternately disgust and infuriate the rest of us. Amid the general calamity for faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and students, there is an alignment of legislative priorities with administrative interests.

* It’s sad to say that when the administrators shut down any possibility for dialogue, when administrations withdraw into cocoon-like gated communities in which they’re always on the defensive, I think that it’s probably not unreasonable to say that this is not just about an assault, this looks like a war strategy. It looks like power is functioning in such a way as to both stamp out dissent and at the same time concentrate itself in ways in which it’s not held accountable.

* Bureaucracy: why won’t scholars break their paper chains?

* Recrimination in the language of the university is the image of a ruined hope that things would be different.

* Who’s getting Koch money today? University edition.

* Dispatches from dystopia. And one more from LARoB: Gender and the Apocalypse.

* Under these weird meritocratic dynamics, bourgeois characteristics make you more valuable not because they are good characteristics in themselves, but merely because they are bourgeois characteristics, and therefore relatable to the top of the economic hierarchy that directs the resources top spots in top firms are competing to get. This poses obvious problems for social mobility, which is the direction people usually take it, but it poses even deeper problems for the idea of “skills” more generally. Where “skills” refers, not to some freestanding objective ability to produce, but rather to your ability to be chummy and familiar to those with the money, they don’t actually seem to be “skills” in the sense most people imagine the term. Upper crust professionals no longer appear to be geniuses, but instead people who went to boarding school and whose manner of conducting themselves shows it.

* When a child goes to war. We talked about the Dumbledore issue a ton in my magic and literature class this semester. Stay tuned through the end for what is indeed surely the greatest editorial note of all time:

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* That Oxford decides its poetry chair by voting is just the craziest thing in the world to me.

* Mass Effect, Personal Identity, and Genocide.

* Ghostwriters and Children’s Literature.

* Shaviro: Discognition: Fictions and Fabulations of Sentience.

* Recent Marquette University grads staging Shakespeare in 13 state parks.

* The map is not the territory (from the archives): The Soviet Union’s chief cartographer acknowledged today that for the last 50 years the Soviet Union had deliberately falsified virtually all public maps of the country, misplacing rivers and streets, distorting boundaries and omitting geographical features, on orders of the secret police.

* When My Daughter Asks Me if She Looks Fat.

* Some discussion of the Hastert case that explains why his supposed “blackmailers” may not be facing any charges: it’s legal to ask for money in exchange for not suing somebody.

* Body Cameras Are Not Pointed at the Police; They’re Pointed at You.

* Of course FIFA knew.

* Wes Anderson’s The Grand Overlook Hotel.

* The poison is the cure: Amid the ruins of its casino economy, NJ looks to build more casinos. And that’s only the second-most-ridiculous debate currently rocking the state.

* “Do we really want to fuse our minds together?” No! Who wants that?

* The Time War was good, and the Doctor changing it was also good. Take my word for it, I’m an expert in these matters.

* Everything you want, in the worst possible way: Michael Dorn is still pitching Captain Worf.

* Uber, firmly committed to being the absolute worst, in every arena.

* The Learning Channel, horror show.

* And after a very uneven season the Community series (?) finale is really good. The end.

Monday Links!

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* Somebody thinks 2015 could be a doozy: Treasury Department Seeking Survival Kits For Bank Employees.

* Trends We Can Work With: Higher Ed in 2015.

* Remembering the reason for the season: During Holiday Season, City Erects Cages To Keep Homeless People Off Benches.

Christmas Eve Document Dump Reveals US Spy Agencies Broke The Law And Violated Privacy.

But, are they more likely to precipitate police violence?  No. The opposite is true. Police are more likely to kill black people regardless of what they are doing. In fact, “the less clear it is that force was necessary, the more likely the victim is to be black.”

Ending excessive police force starts with new rules of engagement.

What Does It Mean to Be Anti-Police?

How to Survive a Cop Coup: What Bill de Blasio Can Learn From Ecuador.

“It has been alleged that Officer Kattner has used his position as a peace officer to contact known female prostitutes and compel them to perform sexual acts while working an extra job.”

And whether or not people accept it, that new normal—public life and mass surveillance as a default—will become a component of the ever-widening socioeconomic divide. Privacy as we know it today will become a luxury commodity. Opting out will be for the rich.

“Enhanced interrogation” is torture, American style. Exceptional torture. Torture that insists it is not torture. Post-torture? This uniquely American kind of torture has six defining characteristics.

* “The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled”: In praise of The Usual Suspects.

* Decades of Bill Cosby’s shadow ops.

Justice Denied to Steven Salaita: A Critique of the University of Illinois Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure Report. This was my reaction as well.

* Anti-intellectualism is taking over the US.

* Are ideas to cool the planet realistic? Meanwhile: Pope Francis Could Be Climate’s Secret Weapon Next Year.

The architecture of dissent.

* The red state economic miracle that wasn’t.

* Airlines want you to suffer.

* Games are ancient, and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. But their stock is not rising at the rate that their fans’ Twitter streams and Web forums might suggest. Instead of a ludic age, perhaps we have entered an era of shredded media. Some forms persist more than others, but more than any one medium, we are surrounded by the rough-edged bits and pieces of too many media to enumerate. Writing, images, aphorisms, formal abstraction, collage, travesty. Photography, cinema, books, music, dance, games, tacos, cats, car services. If anything, there has never been a weirder, more disorienting, and more lively time to be a creator and a fanatic of media in all their varieties. Why ruin the moment by being the one trying to get everyone to play a game while we’re letting the flowers blossom? A ludic century need not be a century of games. Instead, it can just be a century. With games in it.

* Death toll among Qatar’s 2022 World Cup workers revealed. Migrant World Cup workers in Qatar are reportedly dying at alarming rates.

* Enterprise, TOS, and “the scent of death” on the Federation.

* How Kazuo Ishiguro wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

I am no fan of the North Korean regime. However I believe that calling out a foreign nation over a cybercrime of this magnitude should never have been undertaken on such weak evidence.

* Longreads best crime reporting 2014.

A Drone Flew Over A Pig Farm.

The black and African writer is expected to write about certain things, and if they don’t they are seen as irrelevant. This gives their literature weight, but dooms it with monotony. Who wants to constantly read a literature of suffering, of heaviness? Those living through it certainly don’t; the success of much lighter fare among the reading public in Africa proves this point. Maybe it is those in the west, whose lives are untouched by such suffering, who find occasional spice and flirtation with such a literature. But this tyranny of subject may well lead to distortion and limitation.

* I’m a pretty big fan of “Jean & Scott”: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

* A profile of David Letterman from 1981.

How Colonel Sanders Became Father Christmas in Japan.

* The Song of Saruman.

The filmmakers’ cartoonishly evil vision of Saruman is unfortunate, as it deprives a fascinating narrative of its complexity, while also being untrue to Tolkien’s own vision. Jackson and his team seem incapable of imagining that a person can be wrong without also being evil. For example, the Master of Lake-town in The Hobbit was greedy, but he was an elected official, generally well regarded by the community (at least until he absconds with the municipal funds, a fact revealed only on the last page of the book); in the film The Desolation of Smaug, he is a murderous tyrant who opposes even the idea of elections. An even worse example is the case of Denethor, Steward of Gondor, who in the books has been driven mad by grief and despair, partly owing to the cruel machinations of Sauron himself; in the film (The Return of the King), he is made so irredeemably evil that Gandalf actually attacks him, while we the viewers are expected to cheer. If this is what Jackson does to weak and pitiable characters, what must he do to Saruman, who is a legitimate “bad guy” in The Lord of the Rings?

Quiz: Find out how your salary stacks up against other American workers. You know, fun.

L.A. studio to restore venerable ‘King’s Quest’ to its gaming throne.

* Is the anti-vax movement finally dying?

* You can’t beat the media at its own game.

* America’s own 7 Up: Johns Hopkins’s Beginning School Study.

* Sober People against New Year’s Eve SuperPAC.

* And of course you had me at Grant Morrson’s All-New Miracleman Annual #1.

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Monday, Monday

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* The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

* The exciting return of “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional,” and friends, this one could be a doozy. Here Is What Will Happen If The Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare’s Subsidies. And from the archives: Halbig, King, and the Limits of Reasonable Legal Disagreement.

* George W. Bush, meritocrat.

* It’s baaaaack: A totally legal, totally shady way that Republicans could ensure Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

* The Quest for Restoration, or, Gone Girl and Interstellar Considered as the Same Film.

* As a society, we are somewhat obsessed with the risks of dying – from car crashes, cancer, terrorists, Ebola, or any of the thousands of mortal terrors that haunt our nightly newscasts. But we’re less accustomed to consider the risks of living long – of outliving our retirement savings.

* Is Serial problematic? Serial: listeners of podcast phenomenon turn detectives – with troubling results. What Is An Ending? ‘Serial’ And The Ongoing Story Of Wanting Too Much. Alas, I listened to this this weekend and got hooked despite all my critical detachment.

* Doritos-Flavored Mountain Dew Is Real, PepsiCo Confirms. This is unfathomable. There are some lines never meant to be crossed.

* Can anyone even remember postmodernism?

* World Cup Watch: North Koreans working as ‘state-sponsored slaves’ in Qatar.

* Against spoiler alerts, in the LARoB.

The rise of spoiler-free criticism seems like a move away from criticism as art — and a move toward criticism as an arm of fandom marketing. It’s fine to not want spoilers in your criticism. But there is something distasteful about the assumption that providing spoilers is some sort of lapse in ethics or etiquette. If you don’t treat art first as a consumer product, the spoiler-free doctrine seems to suggest, you’re being cruel and unfair. But critics really are not under any obligation to like what you like or to treat art with one particular kind of reverence. In the name of preserving suspense, the command to remain spoiler-free threatens to make criticism and art more blandly uniform, and less surprising.

* On artificial intelligence in board games.

* Wikipedia’s list of deleted articles with freaky or inappropriate titles.

* Tig Notaro, national treasure.

For example, research in economics has shown that the wage gap between lighter- and darker-skinned African Americans is nearly as large as the gap between African Americans and whites. In our analysis of data from theNational Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we found that the darkest-skinned African American girls were three times more likely to be suspended at school than their lighter-skinned counterparts — a disparity that is again roughly equal to the gap between blacks and whites. Alternatively put, while African American girls are three times more likely to be suspended than white girls, the darkest-skinned African American girls are several times more likely to experience suspension.

* A boy was accused of taking a backpack. The courts took the next three years of his life.

Frenzied Financialization: Shrinking the financial sector will make us all richer. Finance as a New Terrain for Progressive Urban Politics.

Former Football Player Sues UNC Over Fake Courses. A University President’s Comments on Rape. Brown University Student Tests Positive For Date-Rape Drug at Frat Party.

* Occasion #7 is all about debt.

* Cloud computing: the race to zero.

* Telepathy is now possible using current technology.

* White men as institution.

* Let me pause and say here: of course I love many literary dudes. They are not, all of them, smug and condescending. But let me say something else: I thought for a while that the really terrible ones were time limited — that they were products of the 1950s, of a particular time period, and that it really was a viable strategy to just talk about snacks until they all retired. But I have now realized this is not true; new terrible smug dudes are coming up through the ranks. Hydra-like, smug dude attitude keeps springing forth from itself.

* The corals that came back from the dead.

* Billboard ads are expensive to construct, maintain and rent, but they don’t serve any functional purposes — so Michal Polacek redesigned them to house the homeless. The next best thing to just abolishing homelessness.

In 2012, DiMaggio released the results of his own Safe Routes to School program. Child pedestrian injury rates had plummeted, falling to half their original numbers. “We showed that kids can still be kids,” says DiMaggio. “They can walk and bike to school and be safe.” The project’s federal funding expired last year, however, and no plans exist to extend the initiative to areas beyond the immediate vicinity of the selected schools.

You don’t have to be a monster or a madman to dehumanise others. You just have to be an ordinary human being.

* Obama endorses net neutrality.

* Incredibly misleading ad placement at Amazon inside the book description makes every book seem like it was an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year.

* “But a deep look at Mars One’s plan and its finances reveals that not only is the goal a longshot, it might be a scam.” No! No! I won’t believe it!

* How Much of a Difference Did New Voting Restrictions Make in 2014’s Close Races?

* And Jacobin remembers 1917.

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Some Links for the Weekend!

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* After compiling extensive data from over 600 LEGO sets, students found that most Lego sets were marketed almost exclusively to boys and included very few female mini-figures. And, as one student wrote, “if there is a lego girl, she is either covered in make up or a Damsel in Distress.”

* Marvel and the war machine. Dragonlance and loneliness. Star Trek continuity: Talmudic and fundamentalist paradigms.

* Meanwhile the he-wasn’t-really-Khan heresy extends its influence.

The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is establishing a major new center for the analysis of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the only such center based in a public research library, Schomburg officials said on Thursday.

Milwaukee Bar Celebrates World Cup In Most Tone Deaf Way Possible. Could the 2022 World Cup really move from Qatar to the USA? Losing Brazil. The World Cup and Utopia.

The tournament is sold to us as the story of a level playing field from which a few deserving souls might be elevated to something more spectacular than equal access to opportunity. As if the latter were a given in our lives, and not, in fact, the elusive aim of an ongoing struggle. The level playing field of a bright green square of uniform grass produces a world of losers. What keeps the World Cup in place? What keeps national associations under FIFA’s sway?Who on earth really wants yet another tournament that concludes with a cynical exchange of fouls by two teams we imagine as enemies but who are, really, two sides of the same coin? Where, the fan asks, do we turn for a glimpse of some other possibility?

* The headline reads, “Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown.”

* Like Edge of Tomorrow, but every time he wakes up he has to invade Iraq again.

12 Futuristic Forms of Government That Could One Day Rule the World.

* Only the young rich can save us now, Community ratings edition. Dan Harmon remains pessimistic about revival, but teases a potential sequel series.

* The violence of the system: A Pennsylvania mother of seven died in a jail cell where she was serving a two-day sentence for her children’s absence from school, drawing complaints from the judge that sent her there about a broken system that punishes impoverished parents.

Leaving Homeless Person On The Streets: $31,065. Giving Them Housing: $10,051.

* The Turing Test is complete nonsense, but this chatbot doesn’t even come close.

* How to design a warp drive.

* Ramona (at forty).

* Game of Thrones: Westeros High.

* Labor and/vs. the environment.

* Chris Hedges and plagiarism.

* Academic freedom watch 2014.

* And why didn’t anyone warn us! Baby No. 2 Is Harder on Mom Than Dad.

Tuesday, Tuesday

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poverty segregation index* The U.S. Cities Where the Poor Are Most Segregated From Everyone Else. Milwaukee, alas, is #1.

* “Dr. Kissinger’s visit to campus will not be publicized, so we appreciate your confidentiality…”

* Dronespeak.

* Yet the Senate House files show a university elite admitting that outsourcing has actually pushed up costs and made services worse. Despite that, the executives vow to press on with an even grander privatisation scheme.

* How to Talk to Prospective Grad Students.

* “The Ivory Ceiling of Service Work.”

* BREAKING: Raising the minimum wage doesn’t actually crash the economy.

* BREAKING: The TSA is useless.

* Vignettes from the Modern Workplace.

* Whispers and rumors of Shaka Smart.

* Race, privilege, and paying college athletes. Meet the Press’s Epic NCAA Fail.

* Everyone hates Nate Silver now, and/but/because his model says Republicans will take the Senate. More at Slate.

* There is a large body of evidence now looking at AA success rate, and the success rate of AA is between 5 and 10 percent.

* The Atlantic profiles Duke’s Own™ Zach Blas and his Facial Weaponization Suite.

* Pointless cruelty in the British prison system.

* The College Board and ACT are being sued for stealing student information.

* In a civilized country, it wouldn’t be possible: Detroit water department preparing mass utility shutoffs.

* Then again, apparently we can’t even recognize the equal humanity of our own future selves.

* The law, in its majestic equality… Arkansas Judge Ruled for Corporation Just Days After PAC Contributions.

* Annals of Star Trek continuity. That explains it!

* Sometimes muckraking is the worst: What the Heidelberg Project doesn’t want you to know.

* To whom is George Zimmerman a hero?

* Scott Walker endorses Obamacare.

* Yale Daily News, 1971: Educated Unemployables.

* Life after prison in Baltimore.

* All this happened, more or less.

* Great moments in checks and balances: Obama will ask Congress to put an end to the NSA bulk data collection program the executive branch personally, secretly, and extralegally inaugurated.

* Precrime watch: LAPD says every car in Los Angeles is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

* The Onion is founding a new comedy festival in Chicago.

* Polio eradicated in India.

* And BREAKING: The Qatar World Cup Is a Total Disaster.

All the Links, Half the Calories

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* Fake Blood and Blanks: Schools Stage Active Shooter Drills. This is utterly horrific. The country has lost its mind.

Mass shootings in America, 1999 through 2013.

Arkansas man guns down 15-year-old girl for egging son’s car as a prank.

Nowhere in all this information is there any mention of the fact that more than one in four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold, and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House.

Jefferson had a number of slaves who gained their freedom by various methods. He freed two slaves in his lifetime and five in his will. Three others ran away and were not pursued. (Still others successfully ran away despite pursuit.) All ten freed with Jefferson’s consent were members of the Hemings family; the seven he officially freed were all skilled tradesmen. About 200 slaves were sold at estate sales after Jefferson’s death.

* In a Mass Knife Fight to the Death Between Every American President, Who Would Win and Why?

* On the Killing of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn: I insist that the irrelevance of black life has been drilled into this country since its infancy, and shall not be extricated through the latest innovations in Negro Finishing School. I insist that racism is our heritage, that Thomas Jefferson’s genius is no more important than his plundering of the body of Sally Hemmings, that George Washington’s abdication is no more significant than his wild pursuit of Oney Judge, that the G.I Bill’s accolades are somehow inseparable from its racist heritage. I will not respect the lie. I insist that racism must be properly understood as an Intelligence, as a sentience, as a default setting which, likely to the end of our days, we shall unerringly return. I had never heard Oney Judge’s story before. What a life. More, more.

Justifiable Homicides Up 200 Percent in Florida Post-Stand Your Ground. Just make sure you don’t get more than one DUI a year or you could miss out in the horrible war of all against all.

* Terrible news, everyone: Change In Jet Stream Is the Likely Cause of Brutal Winter. Arctic getting darker, making Earth warmer. Rise in malaria forecast for tropical highlands.

* 401-not-okays.

On Friday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in Montana, alleging that it has found “substantial evidence” that prosecutors there systematically discriminate against female sexual-assault victims.

A Northwestern University student alleges in a federal lawsuit that the school mishandled her complaint that a professor sexually attacked her after getting her drunk in 2012.

But as journalist Kevin Cook details in his new book, “Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America” (W.W. Nor­ton), some of the real thoughtlessness came from a police commissioner who lazily passed a falsehood to a journalist, and a media that fell so deeply in love with a story that it couldn’t be bothered to determine whether it was true.

8 Book Historians, Curators, Specialists, And Librarians Who Are Killing It Online. #4 with a bullet: Duke’s Own Mitch Fraas.

California police use taser on deaf man trying to communicate with them via sign language.

Facets of Hope for Adjunct Faculty.

Look Who Nick Kristof’s Saving Now.

Loyola Marymount U. Is Accused of Interfering With Adjuncts’ Union Election. Strike at UIC.

Vitruvian Man Had a Hernia.

PBS: Bought and Paid For.

* National recruitment sources have become necessary because most Black youth from our city who attend college outside of Milwaukee decide never to return. And you can’t blame them given the fact that several studies have shown Milwaukee to be among the worst cities in the country for African Americans.

* And it gets worse for the Cream City.

* The NFL wanted him… until he was named a Rhodes Scholar.

After Historic UAW Defeat at Tennessee Volkswagen Plant, Theories Abound. A Titanic Defeat.

Snake-handling star of ‘Snake Salvation’ reality show dies from snake bite.

* The Duke Chronicle profiles a first-year student who also works in the porn industry.

Behind Frank Underwood’s Medieval Senate Maneuver In ‘House Of Cards.’ * Political Drama Without Politics: The Nihlism of House of Cards.

Where do you go after you leave the cast of The Real World?

* Hoverboards or I walk.

20 Practical Uses for Coca-Cola That Prove That It Should Not Be In The Human Body. So good though.

* Event in NYC: All the Women in Capital.

* BDS as psychological warfare.

Apple working on heart attack prediction device.

* Previewing the coming disaster at Qatar World Cup 2022.

​The 24 Most Embarrassing Dungeons & Dragons Character Classes.

New Zealand Prime Minister publicly denies being a lizard person.

* A Pushing Daisies Stage Musical?

* And The Cast of The Grand Budapest Hotel Says Wes Anderson Is a Genius Hardass. Hurry up and get here, March!

End of 2013 Mega Link Dump – All Links Must Go!

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This gentleman violently inserted his finger into dozens of victims’ anuses. Sometimes his friends held guns to the victims’ heads to force them to comply. Why was he sentenced to just two years in prison? Because he was an officer with the Milwaukee police department! Officer who forced dozens of anal cavity searches for fun gets only 2 years in prison.

* I wonder if it worked: The Soviet Union spent $1 billion on mind-control program.

* Utah solving homelessness problem by giving the homeless places to live. Madness!

* Once you insist that lives that are worth respecting are the lives that are most devoted to pecuniary gain, you have reached a road that has no ending, and a particularly strange one for humanists to walk.

* Against fraternities.

Rhetoric and Composition: Academic Capitalism and Cheap Teachers.

* The humanities are saved! Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel.’

Using detailed publication and citation data for over 50,000 articles from 30 major economics and finance journals, we investigate whether network proximity to an editor influences research productivity. During an editor’s tenure, his current university colleagues publish about 100% more papers in the editor’s journal, compared to years when he is not editor. In contrast to editorial nepotism, such “inside” articles have significantly higher ex post citation counts, even when same-journal and self-cites are excluded. Our results thus suggest that despite potential conflicts of interest faced by editors, personal associations are used to improve selection decisions.

* Woody Guthrie’s New Year’s Resolutions are the still the only ones you need. More links below!

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* Skeleton thought to be Etruscan prince is actually a princess. Prehistoric cave prints show most early artists were women.

* A Gender-Neutral Pronoun (Re)emerges in China.

* Academia is a war zone.

* Towards critical humility.

* We still don’t really know how bicycles work.

* But it’s a lie. Winning does not scale. We may be free beings, but we are constrained by an economic system rigged against us. What ladders we have are being yanked away. Some of us will succeed. The possibility of success is used to call the majority of people failures.

* In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.”

* Gasp! California Attorney General: Legalizing Marijuana Would Save Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars A Year.

* Gasp! Benghazi was a nonsense story cynically hyped up by a flailing presidential candidate for cheap heat the whole time!

* Gasp! Some highly specialized, technical, non-outsourceable work is still well paid, and the New York Times is ON IT.

* Huffington Post blogger argues just straight-up ripping off your babysitter because, I don’t know, freedom or something.

* And then we robbed all the pensions also because freedom I guess.

* Cancel all the unemployment insurance because freedom! North Carolina Shows How to Crush the Unemployed.

10 Reasons That Long-Term Unemployment Is a National Catastrophe.

* The life of a fast food striker.

If you thought Southern California mansions could hardly get more outlandish, consider the latest must-have feature: A moat encircling the property.

* One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy: My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl..

* It’s Kwanzaa everywhere but Paul Mulshine’s heart.

* Twee fascism. Cupcake fascism.

* I’m beginning to think some of these university presidents are not all that serious about defending academic freedom.

* Another scene from the war on education in Chicago. Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils: Math of Today’s Jammed Schools. Silicon Valley techno-wizards sending their kinds to a tech-free school.

* Worst people in the world watch: But over the past decade, the number of “hospice survivors” in the United States has risen dramatically, in part because hospice companies earn more by recruiting patients who aren’t actually dying, a Washington Post investigation has found. Healthier patients are more profitable because they require fewer visits and stay enrolled longer.

* Just kidding, the worst person in the world is Andrea Peyser.

*  How Doctor Who Betrayed Matt Smith.

* The death of the alt-weekly.

* lolmythesis.

* Are dolphins intelligent? Well, they get high.

* Previewing World Cup 2022: The Qatar Chronicles.

* Having already inaugurated full communism, radical De Blasio turns his pitiless mayoral gaze to horse-drawn carriages.

* Looking for a New Year’s Read? Magical realism/surreal books by women.

* And only Vermont-style communism can save us now.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 31, 2013 at 7:00 am

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