Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘yes we can

Friday Morning Links!

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The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, for research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.

* Candyland and the nature of the absurd. #academicjobmarket

Why some studies make campus rape look like an epidemic while others say it’s rare. ‘1 in 5’: how a study of 2 colleges became the most cited campus sexual assault statistic. Study Challenges Notion That Risk of Sexual Assault Is Greater at College. Justice Dept.: 20% of Campus Rapes Reported to Police.

University Of Missouri-St. Louis Says Ferguson Shooting Caused Enrollment Drop.

* Greenpeace sorry for Nazca lines stunt in Peru. Oh, okay then.

* Yes we can! The measure, championed by Senate Democrats, would cut Pell Grants in order to free up money to pay companies that collect student loans on behalf of the Department of Education.

* Down and Out: The Democratic Party’s losses at the state level are almost unprecedented, and could cripple it for a long time to come.

* 21st-Century Postdocs: (Still) Underpaid and Overworked.

* We asked a legal evidence expert if Serial’s Adnan Syed has a chance to get out of prison. Meanwhile, allow Matt Thompson to tell you how Serial is going to end a week in advance.

* Good news from Rome: “All Animals Go to Heaven.” I’m really glad we settled this.

* My new sabbatical plan: NASA Will Pay You $170 Per Day To Lie In Bed.

* UC Berkeley Lecturer Threatened For Offering Injured Student Protesters Extra Time On Papers. On university administrations and the surveillance state.

CIA defenders are out in force now that a historic report has exposed a decade of horrific American shame. Torture didn’t work, but why aren’t the architects of torture in jail? Every discussion of this question begins from the false premise that the torturers were well-intentioned truth-seekers who “went too far.” The CIA knew, like everybody knows, that the point of torture is to extract confessions regardless of their truth. That’s why they did it.

* First, do no harm: Medical profession aided CIA torture.

* The Supreme Court Just Rejected A Wage Theft Suit Against Amazon. What Does It Mean For Other Workers?

* Capitalism’s gravediggers.

* “Late in life, Michel Foucault developed a curious sympathy for neoliberalism.” A response from Peter Frase: Beyond the Welfare State.

* Also at Jacobin: Interstellar and reactionaries in space.

* Behold the nightmare Manhattan would become if everyone commuted by car.

* Why James Cameron’s Aliens is the best movie about technology.

* Why we can’t have nice things: Marvel Wanted Spider-Man For Captain America 3, But Sony Said No. But the next 21 Jump Street movie can cross over with Men in Black because life is suffering.

* 7 Terrible Lightsaber Designs From the Star Wars Expanded Universe. I love the guy who is just covered in lightsabers from head to toe.

* Elderly man nailed for clever identity theft scheme: prosecutors say he changed victim’s name to his own.

* Censorship (Pasadena, California).

* The nation’s millionaires are #Ready4Hillary.

Student athletes at public universities in Michigan would be prohibited from joining labor unions to negotiate for compensation and benefits under legislation the state House approved Tuesday.

* Meet The Oldest Living Things in the World.

* And this used to be a free country: One of two concealed gun permit holders involved in a rolling shootout down Milwaukee streets and freeways last year was turned down Thursday when he asked a judge to order the return of the gun seized after the incident.

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Weekend Links!

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* CFP: ASAP, Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present.

* Real-life trolley problem: programming a self-driving car to decide what to aim at in the event of a crash.

As one of the first full-time faculty members at Southern New Hampshire’s online college, Ms. Caldwell taught 20 online courses last year: four at a time for five terms, each eight weeks long. The textbooks and syllabi were provided by the university; Ms. Caldwell’s job was to teach. She was told to grade and give feedback on all student work in 72 hours or less.

* The digital humanities bubble has popped. Climb on board the science fiction studies bubble before it’s too late!

* March Madness: The University of Oregon and the local district attorney’s office appear to have colluded to prevent a rape accusation from interfering with basketball. What a mess. “I thought, maybe this is just what happens in college,” she told police, “… just college fun.”

How to Combat Sexual Assault: Three universities are addressing sexual assault the right way.

The Worst of All Possible Universes and the Best of All Possible Earths: Three Body and Chinese Science Fiction.

* Go ahead, make your jokes: Harvard Faculty Members Approve College’s First Honor Code.

* “The Day I Started Lying to Ruth”: A cancer doctor on losing his wife to cancer.

The CPB also usefully charts the changing funding fortunes of higher education and corrections.  As they remind us (4), there has been an effective reversal in the priorities placed on higher education and corrections since the early 1980s.  In 1980-81 2.9% of the General Fund was spent on corrections; in 2014-2015 the Governor proposes 9%.  In 1980-81, 9.6% of the General Fund was spent on higher education; in 2014-2015 the Governor proposes 5.1%. Actually the reversal is worse than the CPB indicates since Brown’s General Fund budget does not include the spending being sent to counties for realignment.  This has allowed him to appear as if he is cutting back on correctional spending when he is not.

* Money, Politics, and Pollution in North Carolina.

Portland Committee Reviews Arrest of Nine-Year-Old Girl. Give them time! They really need to think through if arresting kids is really a good idea!

* Snapchat goes on twenty-year probation with the FTC.

* Atrocious: The Globe and Mail wants its management to the have the right to assign editorial employees to write and edit advertorial copy as part of their regular duties, according to this union bulletin. 

* ‘Can You Make Sure There’s Nothing Un-Islamic In Our Oriental Shlock-Fest?’ – G. Willow Wilson In The Bleeding Cool Interview.

The point is that after years of studies about charter schools, there is not really any definitive proof of any “charter magic” they bring to the field.

* Meanwhile, standardized testing in Chicago asks immigrant students to choose the best argument for their own exclusion from society.

* Yes we can! Interest Rates on New Federal Student Loans Will Rise for 2014-15.

* Professors’ non-existent privacy rights.

* Economists: Still the Worst.

* Scenes from the adjunct struggle in San Francisco.

* Pope Demands ‘Legitimate Redistribution’ Of Wealth. Sold!

* North Dakota Is the Deadliest State to Work In.

* RIP, Community. For now!

* I’m a little surprised we don’t already have a few trillionaires lying around. Get to work, capital! You’re slacking.

* Iowa Secretary of State makes voter fraud his signature issue, pours a ton of money into finding it, comes up with 117 illegally cast votes and gets six convictions. Typical voter turnout in Iowa is around one million people.

* Scientists create truly alien lifeforms.

The Recommendation Letter Ralph Waldo Emerson Wrote For A Job-Hunting Walt Whitman.

* The tragic case of Monica Lewinsky.

Four Ways You Can Seek Back Pay for an Unpaid Internship.

Stress Gives You Daughters, Sons Make You Liberal. Well, that about solves all the big questions forever.

* The Secret Origins of Benghazi Fever.

* And bell hooks vs. Beyoncé: whoever wins, we… Well, look, Beyoncé’s going to win. Let me start over.

Wednesday (Nothin’ But) Links

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Obama Contrarianism Contrarianism

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Jaimee says this article about Green Recovery provisions hidden in the stimulus bill made her feel better about Obama (and about the future) than she’s felt in months, and though it’s setting the bar even lower I tend to agree.

For starters, the Recovery Act is the most ambitious energy legislation in history, converting the Energy Department into the world’s largest venture-capital fund. It’s pouring $90 billion into clean energy, including unprecedented investments in a smart grid; energy efficiency; electric cars; renewable power from the sun, wind and earth; cleaner coal; advanced biofuels; and factories to manufacture green stuff in the U.S. The act will also triple the number of smart electric meters in our homes, quadruple the number of hybrids in the federal auto fleet and finance far-out energy research through a new government incubator modeled after the Pentagon agency that fathered the Internet.

The green industrial revolution begins with gee-whiz companies like A123 Systems of Watertown, Mass. Founded in 2001 by MIT nanotechnology geeks who landed a $100,000 federal grant, A123 grew into a global player in the lithium-ion battery market, with 1,800 employees and five factories in China. It has won $249 million to build two plants in Michigan, where it will help supply the first generation of mass-market electric cars. At least four of A123’s suppliers received stimulus money too. The Administration is also financing three of the world’s first electric-car plants, including a $529 million loan to help Fisker Automotive reopen a shuttered General Motors factory in Delaware (Biden’s home state) to build sedans powered by A123 batteries. Another A123 customer, Navistar, got cash to build electric trucks in Indiana. And since electric vehicles need juice, the stimulus will also boost the number of U.S. battery-charging stations by 3,200%. (See how Americans are spending now.)

“Without government, there’s no way we would’ve done this in the U.S.,” A123 chief technology officer Bart Riley told TIME. “But now you’re going to see the industry reach critical mass here.”

The Recovery Act’s clean-energy push is designed not only to reduce our old economy dependence on fossil fuels that broil the planet, blacken the Gulf and strengthen foreign petro-thugs but also to avoid replacing it with a new economy that is just as dependent on foreign countries for technology and manufacturing. Last year, exactly two U.S. factories made advanced batteries for electric vehicles. The stimulus will create 30 new ones, expanding U.S. production capacity from 1% of the global market to 20%, supporting half a million plug-ins and hybrids. The idea is as old as land-grant colleges: to use tax dollars as an engine of innovation. It rejects free-market purism but also the old industrial-policy approach of dumping cash into a few favored firms. Instead, the Recovery Act floods the zone, targeting a variety of energy problems and providing seed money for firms with a variety of potential solutions. The winners must attract private capital to match public dollars — A123 held an IPO to raise the required cash — and after competing for grants, they still must compete in the marketplace. “They won’t all succeed,” Rogers says. “But some will, and they’ll change the world.”

The investments extend all along the food chain. A brave new world of electric cars powered by coal plants could be dirtier than the oil-soaked status quo, so the stimulus includes an unheard-of $3.4 billion for clean-coal projects aiming to sequester or reuse carbon. There are also lucrative loan guarantees for constructing the first American nuclear plants in three decades. And after the credit crunch froze financing for green energy, stimulus cash has fueled a comeback, putting the U.S. on track to exceed Obama’s goal of doubling renewable power by 2012. The wind industry added a record 10,000 megawatts in 2009. The stimulus is also supporting the nation’s largest photovoltaic solar plant, in Florida, and what will be the world’s two largest solar thermal plants, in Arizona and California, plus thousands of solar installations on homes and buildings.

Obama made headlines today (and garnered some well-deserved praise) with a call for an additional $50 billion in stimulus money for infrastructure spending. This is a strategy for November that could stem the bleeding, especially as the Republicans double-down on their strategy of deliberately tanking the economy. I just don’t know why we’re only reading about it now, in Time, two years after the fact. Why isn’t he touting this aspect of the stimulus? It’s the best and most important part.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 6, 2010 at 10:01 pm

On Giving Up the Dream

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Chris Hedges talks neoliberalism and neofeudalism, the civil rights movement, Camden, Obama, Clinton, Tea Parties, moral nihilism, inverted totalitarianism and corpocracy, NAFTA, welfare reform, health care, labor, poverty, Yugoslavia, post-industrial capitalism, economic crisis, imperial collapse, socialism, and democracy, among other things. The speech itself is only 27 minutes. (Via Elsie.)

It is not our role to take power. It is our role to make the powerful frightened of us. And that’s what we’ve forgotten. Give up that dream!

Select Links While I’m Away (Part 1)

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Monday Night

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* Health care update: With only 219 “no” votes on health reform, maximum, momentum shifts toward passage. Pro-Life Dems Start Breaking In Pelosi’s Direction. InTrade Betting on ‘Obamacare.’ “I believe we have the votes.”

* Virginia’s Attorney General flirts with birtherism.

* With his celebrity fueled by a Time cover story, best-selling books, cheerleading role at protest rallies and steady stream of divisive remarks, Beck is drawing big ratings. But there is a deep split within Fox between those — led by Chairman Roger Ailes — who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network. More here on the more than 200 companies that won’t advertise on Fox due to Beck.

* ‘Man Arrested for Tattooing 1-Year-Old.’

* Florida Vampire to Run for President. The best part:

He recently switched his party affiliation from Independent to Republican so he can run with the G.O.P.

* Attention citizens: Gay Marriage Could Lead To Men Marrying Horses.

* There is literally no way to make money selling news.

* And sitting is bad for you. Don’t do it!