"Sadly we’re having a moment when it’s OK to suggest we don’t want certain people on “our side,” even if they want to be on “our side,” and that bewilders me. I just know I’m on Colbert’s side."
"All the same, while admiring the pedantry of the authors of the Harvard Guide to Using Sources, and acknowledging their gallant defence of the private ownership of knowledge, I failed in those 60-odd years to spot the influence of the obedience to technical procedural rules of quotations on the quality (reliability, effectiveness and above all social importance) of scholarship: the two issues that Mr Walsh obviously confuses"

Zygmunt Bauman responds to plagiarism charges.

I’m conflicted, but I’m falling down on Bauman’s side for this.

(Although, to be fair, don’t try this unless you’ve had a 60 year career of publishing because otherwise you’ll be kicked out of academia or fail a class.)

"

A Superior Court judge who sentenced an heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter wrote in her order that he “will not fare well” in prison and suggested that he needed treatment instead of time behind bars, according to Delaware Online.


Court records show that in Judge Jan Jurden’s sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards confused several criminal justice authorities in Delaware, who said that her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.

"

Judge gives rich heir probation for sexually assaulting a child because prison would be too hard on him

This is the man who didn’t get prison time:

Richards, who is unemployed and supported by a trust fund, owns a 5,800-square-foot mansion in Greenville , Delaware, and also owns a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach.

I literally have no words to describe this.

"

A study published last year by the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition documented the effects of this kind of mass surveillance. In targeted communities, a culture of enforced self-censorship takes hold and relationships of trust start to break down. As one interviewee said: “You look at your closest friends and ask: are they informants?”


So let’s reform the NSA and its countless collections. But let’s not forget the FBI’s reported 10,000 intelligence analysts working on counter-terrorism and the 15,000 paid informants helping them do it. Let’s not forget the New York Police Department’s intelligence and counter-terrorism division with its 1,000 officers, $100m budget and vast program of surveillance. Let’s not forget the especially subtle psychological terror of being Muslim in America, where, sure, maybe your phone calls won’t be stored for much longer, but there’s a multitude of other ways you’re always being watched.

"
"

Their findings with whites, on the other hand, were disturbing. Not only where whites immune to persuasion on the death penalty, but when researchers told them of the racial disparity—that blacks faced unfair treatment—many increased their support.

It sounds glib, but if you needed a one-word answer to why whites are so supportive of the death penalty, “racism” isn’t a bad choice.

"

The people invoking Jonathan Swift and Dave Chappelle to defend Stephen Colbert need to stop.

Swift was Irish and wrote A Modest Proposal to satirize British views of the Irish. Chappelle is an African-American who mocked the KKK (because almost everyone is using the Clayton Bigsby skit to defend Colbert.)

Colbert is neither Asian-American nor Native American. His skit was lazy and offensive. He tried to combat one offensive slur by invoking another. Ironic racism is still racism.

(Also, for everyone talking about how great satire is, one of the reasons Chappelle stopped his show was because he thought  white people like me were missing the point and it was letting us get away with our racism.)

Judge tells government to remove woman from no-fly list, citing her “Kafkaesque ███████ treatment”

Is there any better summary of the theater of absurd that is the national security state than redacting the word right after Kafkaesque in the opinion ordering Dr. Ibrahim removed from the no-fly list?

It took Dr. Ibrahim nearly 8 years to get off of the government no-fly list.

I can’t stand that awful Elizabeth Warren quote going around.

First, the Supreme Court hears about 70 cases a year; at its height, it heard about 150. That’s less than 10,000 since 1946.

Second, there have been 30ish justices since 1946 and that includes ones FDR appointed who were “anti-business” (whatever that means). So, the spread between being in the top 10 most “pro-business” and least “pro-business” is not huge. Also, in one of their analyses, Ginsburg is more pro-business than Scalia which is hysterical.

Finally, let’s not act as if things would be fine if SCOTUS was less pro-business.  The Supreme Court isn’t the problem, capitalism is the problem.

"I want the US government to stop killing people in countries around the world. I want it to stop terrorizing populations. I want it to stop incinerating children. I want it to stop using war to give corporations money and Americans a false sense of security. I want it to stop creating anti-American violence in the name of fighting it."

"Bloodless Liberals" by David Mizner

Every week or so, I return to this essay. It makes the point that the Deleuze quote I posted a few days ago was making: human rights are nothing in and of themselves; we must create the situation for them to have meaning and that’s much more difficult than waving around human rights law to stop violations.