Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Samuel Alito

An Especially Worthy Entry in Our Ongoing Series of Wednesday Links

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‘Well, Here’s What Won’t Pass,’ Obama Says Before Listing 35 Proposals.

* Aaron Bady’s amazing “African Writers in a New World” interview series at Post 45 continues with Teju Cole.

Daniel Maguire on the McAdams Case at Marquette. Really hard to believe they’ve somehow managed to create a situation where McAdams has the better side of the argument.

* Ashon Crawley on Ferguson and utopia.

* Cruel optimism and the NFL (or, Life in the Factory of Sadness).

* Meanwhile: Patriots Black Ops Division Kills Opposing Team Leaders In Three States; “All in the Game,” Says Belichick.

* The NCAA, Last Seen Claiming It Has No Jurisdiction Over Decades-Long Academic Fraud at UNC, Says It’s Investigating Academic Fraud at 20 Colleges.

* …or live long enough to become the villain: The Vagina Monologues is now reactionary.

Read the letter the FBI sent MLK to try to convince him to kill himself. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Stint as an Advice Columnist for Ebony Magazine. Happy Robert E. Lee Day! …anytime the same state and culture invites you to worship a human being they tried to kill, we should be suspicious of the ways they want us to remember.

* I think I rediscover this fact with the same surprise every couple of years: In 1991, a Boston University investigatory committee concluded that King had indeed plagiarized parts of his dissertation, but found that it was “impractical to reach, on the available evidence, any conclusions about Dr. King’s reasons for failing to attribute some, but not all, of his sources.” That is, it could have been anything from malicious intent to simple forgetfulness—no one can determine for sure today. They did not recommend a posthumous revocation of his degree, but instead suggested that a letter be attached to the dissertation in the university library noting the passages lacked quotations and citations.

* Neoliberalism and the Degradation of Education (Alternative Routes, Vol. 26). A ton of good links here.

* Teach or perish. Teach and perish.

80 rich people now have as much as 50% of the rest of humanity combined. Let’s meet our overlords!

Science Fiction Under Totalitarian Regimes, Part 2: Tsarist and Soviet Russia. Here was Part 1: Germany.

* Coming soon: Keywords for Radicals.

* On the failure to reclaim the word “slut.”

When the trains stopped coming down the track, Tryon, NC began to crumble, and since then something disappears each day.

Groundbreaking Artwork Reimagines Disney Princesses As Office Supplies.

‘Cultural Marxism’: a uniting theory for rightwingers who love to play the victim. This is a term you see in the comment threads no one is supposed to be reading more and more.

‘Overworked’ drone pilots are baling out. Chomsky: Obama’s Drone Program ‘The Most Extreme Terrorist Campaign of Modern Times.’

Lonesome Alito Declares Marriage Only Between A Man And The Sea.

* True crime watch: Milwaukee man says stabbing sister, father was ‘right thing to do.’ Spoiler alert: no.

* I want to believe! Russia Orders Obama: Tell World About Aliens, Or We Will.

* It’s already working! U.S. Air Force Releases Thousands of Pages Of Declassified UFO Files.

10 Rules For Making Better Fantasy Maps.

Trustees Refuse to Reconsider Salaita’s Firing: “That Decision Is Final.”

* Scenes from the class struggle at the University of California.

* How Did We Get Here? The AAUP’s evolving emphasis on collective bargaining.

The twilight of a particular organizational form should not be confused with the end of worker organization itself. Institutions are not permanent, but workers’ interest in organization is. And besides, the current model is disappearing whether we like it or not.

Can you name these cities just by looking at their subway maps?

* Broken clock watch: Cuomo wants a train to La Guardia.

* Star Wars considering casting Tatiana Maslany for every role, one assumes.

* Pay Attention, 007! On the Usability of James Bond’s Gadgets.

Majestic Animals That Could Go Extinct This Century.

* A lifetime of being paranoid about this confirmed.

* The trouble with Harley Quinn. Via io9.

* Sid Meier’s next: Starships.

* And doctors, who have already taken everything from us, want our pizza too. The line must be drawn here!

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Written by gerrycanavan

January 21, 2015 at 7:52 am

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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Midweek Links!

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‘A Judicial Officer or Employee Shall Not Accept a Gift from Anyone Who Is Seeking Official Action From or Doing Business with the Court’

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Written by gerrycanavan

September 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

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.

IOKIYAR

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Of course it’s not important that Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas attend secret right-wing fundraisers. Honest question: is there anything remotely comparable going on with the Court’s left wing?

Written by gerrycanavan

November 10, 2010 at 12:59 pm