“The douchebag is equally douchy (that’s the adjectival version of the term) in public as in private. He is a douchebag waiting in line for coffee as well as in the bedroom. This definition marks him, like the atavistic, dusty rubber douchebags of our grandmothers’ generation, as a useless, sexist tool. Armed with this refined definition, I believe the term “douchebag” is the white racial slur we have all been waiting for. We have only to realize this. White privilege itself has blinded us to the true nature of the douchebag’s identity. But it’s been there all along.
The douchebag is always a white guy. But he is more than that. The douchebag is the demanding 1%, and the far more numerically significant class of white, heterosexist men who ape and aspire to be them. Wall Street guys are douchebags to be sure, but so is anyone looking to cash in on his white male privilege.”—Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We’ve All Been Waiting For — Human Parts — Medium
we are planning to move in the not too distant future, so i made the mistake of adding a bunch of home design/decor blogs now. but i am still in the old space and do not want to do a damn thing to it, because i’m hoping to leave soon. so i have all these home decor and furniture refurbishment ideas floating around with nothing to attach them to! argh.
there is a lot going on here about turmoil in a local school district - the one with the AP US history curriculum changes, the one with the student walkouts and the teacher sickouts, the one with a lot going on. i talked in a previous post about how much of the changes were driven by 3 newly elected school board members, who took office in a election with less than 20% voter turnout and with lots and lots and lots of spending from the koch brothers.
now students are saying they want a recall election to get rid of these three new school board members:
Students, incensed over what they call disrespect from their elected officials, told their suburban community today they’re prepared to lead the charge in a recall election of three school board members.
Making their public debut at a park near Columbine High School, Jeffco Students for Change told a crowd they’re ready for a change on the Jefferson County Board of Education. Board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams, and John Newkirk can make the change themselves, they said, or the students will do it for them. (cite)
which, a) awesome that students are leading this movement for change, that they’ve identified the governmental levers that need to be pulled and the mechanism for pulling them, so awesome, and also and unfortunately b) students can’t vote.
which creates such an interesting and odd situation. these students are the most directly affected by this - they’re affected by the curriculum changes, they’re affected when their teachers sick out in protest, they’re affected when teachers leave the district or don’t come to the district because of new policies. but they have no direct power to do anything about it. they have to persuade voters to do something, they have to persuade people with money to give it, they have to hope that people will help them pursue their own direct interests.
there is a weird subset of anti common core people who are kind of kneejerk traditionalists i.e. “stop common core, ed reform is going too far, we need to focus on the basics” which is ridiculous but would not feel incongruous with Flags, Etc.
really? that feels kind of bonkers to me. like, i’m familiar with the critique that it asks too much of students (especially 3rd graders writing full essays incorporating reference texts, etc,) and am familiar with the critique that the standards don’t track fundamentals (like, why does my child have to do the math problem this wacky way to be marked right), but the idea that we need to go back to the solid american way of doing things just seems … weird. this was a latina advocating on behalf of low-income students, too.
i may be expecting coherence where there isn’t any, i recognize that.
at a meeting i was at this morning, there was a woman with the “stop common core!” tshirt, also wearing the “god bless america” brooch with a large enameled flag on it. i’ve seen her at meetings before, and these are her two consistent themes: common core and parcc are evil and must be stopped, and america and flags.
i do not understand how these things go together. i don’t understand what about american principles is inconsistent with common core. i am aware of a lot of reasons to oppose common core and parcc, but they usually center on state control and wanting to limit the cohesiveness and power of the federal government. “america” and flags seem to me to speak to the power of the federal government, the united nature of our nation as a whole.
i would love to hear an explanation of how this all fits together.
i am watching “million dollar arm” while i am cooking for lunches for the week. jon hamm is traveling in india so he’s talking to lake bell on skype and when i hear the skype call noise, i can feel my heart race faster. watching jon hamm give lake bell a tour of the view from his mumbai rooftop brought tears to my eyes.
up in the literal pitch dark on a saturday - earlier than my work alarm, even - to go give a conference presentation about work i did 2 years ago and barely remember. i’m certain it will be very sparsely attended.
the very first thought in my head after i woke up - after “ugh, fuck this,” was to calculate how soon i would be able to take a nap.
"yeah, we can definitely see something is wrong with you. it’s causing you pain, discomfort, and other associated negative symptoms. however, there’s nothing we can do to help you. maybe it will go away with time? dunno!"
It’s proof that superstar power is a necessary component of a Las Vegas hotel’s success story. In this case, it’s Britney Spears, who helped turn around the fortunes of Planet Hollywood despite critics. Wall Street gaming experts say the pop princess has revitalized the property and helped turn its one-time dismal financial picture into a real profit center.
Financial insiders are paying attention because she’s boosted the hotel-casino’s annual operating earnings by about $20 million.
There are more than forty thousand Chinese restaurants across the country—nearly three times the number of McDonald’s outlets. There is one in Pinedale, Wyoming (population 2,043), and one in Old Forge, New York (population 756); Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania (population 1,085), has three. Most are family operations, staffed by immigrants who pass through for a few months at a time, living in houses and apartments that have been converted into makeshift dormitories. The restaurants, connected by Chinese-run bus companies to New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, make up an underground network—supported by employment agencies, immigrant hostels, and expensive asylum lawyers—that reaches back to villages and cities in China, which are being abandoned for an ideal of American life that is not quite real.
a fascinating look at these chinese restaurants and the network of immigrants who work at them.
“We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with (its) wording and intent.”
South Carolina is one of more than 20 states that has passed an expansive Stand Your Ground law authorizing individuals to use deadly force in self-defense. The law has been used to protect a man who killed an innocent bystanderwhile pointing his gun at several teens he called “women thugs.” But prosecutors in Charleston are drawing the line at domestic violence.
In the cases of women who claim they feared for their lives when confronted with violent intimate abusers, prosecutors say the Stand Your Ground law shouldn’t apply.
“(The Legislature’s) intent … was to provide law-abiding citizens greater protections from external threats in the form of intruders and attackers,” prosecutor Culver Kidd told the Post and Courier. “We believe that applying the statute so that its reach into our homes and personal relationships is inconsistent with (its) wording and intent.”
“That same day white jurors giggled while Mrs. Mary Ruth Reed, a pregnant black sharecropper, testified that Lewis Medlin, a white mechanic, attempted to rape her in front of her five children. In an effort to get help, she scooped up her youngest child and ran across a field. Medlin knocked her down and pummeled her until a neighbor finally heard her screams and called the police. In court, Medlin’s attorney argued that he had been drinking and was “just having a little fun.” Then, turning to the white jurors, the attorney pointed to the woman sitting next to Medlin. “You see this pure white woman, this pure flower of life?” he said. “… This is Medlin’s wife … Do you think he would have left this pure flower, God’s greatest gift,” he asked, “for THAT?” Reed burst into tears as the jury broke for deliberation. Less than ten minutes later they returned a not guilty verdict.”—At the Dark End of the Street; Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Danielle L. McGuire, p. 42 (via inlovewiththepractice)
If you are a chief executive of a large company, you very likely have a noncompete clause in your contract, preventing you from jumping ship for a competitor until some period has elapsed. Likewise if you are a top engineer or product designer, holding your company’s most valuable intellectual property between your ears.
And you also probably have a noncompete agreement if you assemble sandwiches at Jimmy John’s sub sandwich chain for a living.
American businesses are paying out a historically low proportion of their income in the form of wages and salaries. But the Jimmy Johns employment agreement is one small piece of evidence that workers, especially those without advanced skills, are also facing various practices and procedures that leave them worse off, even apart from what their official hourly pay might be. Collectively they tilt the playing field toward the owners of businesses and away from the workers who staff them.
all websites that require a login should include, on the login page, information on the form of the username and the password requirements. is this a site where your username is your email address, or first initial last name, or what? does this password require 2 numbers of 17 capital letters and special characters? help me out here.
Good post by Philip Cohen on the absurd misdirection and dubious statistics surrounding the texting-while-driving panic. The parallel with making the famous crying Indian commercial about littering, rather than pollution/deforestation is apt. Driving, of course, is what’s deadly here, and texting-while-driving, like anything that takes your focus away from such a dangerous, high-stakes activity, is obviously a terrible idea, the effort to focus on this one distracting activity misdiagnoses the fundamental problem. A serious approach to reducing traffic fatalities would recognize that humans being what they are, there are real limits to the use of social norms and laws to make humans better driving machines (and for many reasons not immediately solvable via public policy, modern life isn’t really geared toward only driving cars when you’re well-rested, not distracted or angry, incommunicado with the outside world, etc). Getting drivers to take seriously the danger associated with the activity itself is key. Stigmatizing texting-while-driving is fine, but if we’re serious about continuing to push the fatality figures down, the most important thing we can do is make the kind of transit investments and change the regulatory environment to encourage the construction and development of neighborhoods and cities that facilitate low-car lifestyles.
i was just at a meeting at the jefferson county school district (you may have heard of them they have been having some protests lately) and the superintendent was there and the agenda allotted more time for me to talk than him. so that felt kind of fancy and important.
Overlooked in the debate about whether colleges are pursuing sexual-assault allegations seriously enough, however, is the fact that college police departments are often responsible for investigating crimes that occur on, and sometimes even off, the campus. No other American institution enjoys the power to create and maintain a police force. Not even Fortune 500 companies or your local public high schools have the legal authority to create their own standing police departments, with full arrest powers and a slew of weapons, even armored personnel carriers.
That is a problem, because campus police departments are under the immediate control or influence of college administrators. This relationship compromises the hallmark principles of American jurisprudence: objectivity, fairness, impartiality, due process, and, most important, freedom from political interference in matters of law enforcement.
In fact, some of the biggest changes in American policing have been those dislodging police departments from the corrupting influence of political control. Yet on American campuses, political control of campus police departments—control often extended to presidents, provosts, even deans—is normal and expected.
Florida State University officials and Tallahassee police took steps to both hide, and then hinder, the criminal investigation into a rape allegation against the school’s Heisman-trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston last fall, a FOX Sports investigation has found. The upshot: University administrators and Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, had a head start on the state attorney in Tallahassee responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious crimes. Florida State administrators, for instance, had all the police reports at least four days before State Attorney Willie Meggs was handed the case. Two critical witnesses — Florida State football players who said they were present the morning of the alleged assault — discussed the case with Winston’s lawyer and ultimately signed affidavits at his behest backing the quarterback’s version of the incident. That happened before law enforcement officers tried to talk to them about what they saw and remembered, a dramatic road block in the state attorney’s effort to determine whether Winston should be charged with rape.
We investigate whether the inclusion of social rights in political constitutions affects social performance. More specifically, we analyze whether including the right to education in the constitution has been related to better “educational outcomes.” We rely on data for 61 countries that participated in the 2012 PISA tests. Our results are strong and robust to the estimation technique: we find that there is no evidence that including the right to education in the constitution has been associated with higher test scores. The quality of education depends on socioeconomic, structural, and policy variables, such as expenditure per student, the teacher-pupil ratio, and families’ background. When these covariates are excluded, the relation between the strength of constitutional educational rights and the quality of education is negative and statistically significant. These results are important for emerging countries that are discussing the adoption of new constitutions, such as Thailand and Chile.