Eschaton: Shorter Reverse Frank Bruni
If only there was some way to attract smart, talented, and dedicated people to work in this profession which we think is the most important thing in the world because after all we love our children.
CCSS: Runaway Train
It's kind of amazing. Name one sweeping, nation-wide, institution transforming program that has ever been instituted in this country with nobody in charge of it. Common Core is a gigantic runaway train-- maybe not traveling very fast or true, but with a completely empty cab up front.No in charge. No one's responsible. Or, to use the language of the ed revolution, nobody is accountable for Common Core.
Wanted: A Slow Schools Movement | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.
Little in the teacher education research suggests that this has changed, and quite a lot of new education policies and changes to how young people seek and consume information has layered on top of Lortie’s observations rather than replaced them.  If teachers are being required to account for the impact on students’ learning in new (and statistically questionable) ways using standards and examinations with which they have little familiarity and inadequate training and no release time, if teachers are required to utilize new tools and accounting procedures without substantial in school support, and if the students they have are used to a constant stream of unfiltered information but have never been taught discernment in the use of that information, then there is little doubt that teachers today are feeling heavily pressured and constrained in their time.
2 days ago
Ebola: The Real Reason Everyone Should Panic — The Message — Medium
At that point, we end up with another endemic virus, similar to other ones that still survive like polio (so close to being wiped out but wars keep interfering), measles for which we have vaccines, and HIV and malaria (a parasite) for which we don’t have vaccines and which kill millions every year.

What I just summarized in fewer than 2,000 words or so isn’t even basic epidemiology. It is the basics of basics of basics of epidemiology, and this is something every policy maker on the planet should understand after talking for 10 minutes to an expert of their choice in their own country.
3 days ago
No, she is not a silly bimbo who didn't understand her situation and "upon reflection" will understand that Daddy Knew Best. She is a medical professional, an epidemiology specialist, who knows very well that Chris Christie is completely ignorant about protecting the public from this disease and had no business spending several days talking about her as if she was a spoiled child who needed to go to bed without her supper. He betrayed his ignorance by repeatedly saying she was "ill" and hoping that she "recovered" even tough she has tested negative and has no symptoms at all.  (It was assumed that he meant she had Ebola but looking more closely at his comments it's possible that he was saying she was having a mental breakdown. That's what gaslighting pigs like Christie commonly do...)
3 days ago
Author of TIME Article Had a Problematic Article Before | Diane Ravitch's blog
It particularly bashed College of Marin, a low-poverty community college in suburban Marin County. I’m pretty sure but haven’t confirmed that the bash was largely due to a high number of students like my parents, now 87 and 91, who have taken ceramics, welding and music classes at College of Marin and have, gasp, failed to graduate or transfer to four-year colleges.
3 days ago
Great. Let's treat the doctors and nurses caring for Ebola patients like criminals.
God we are a primitive country. We've got idiots on TV screaming about a religion of 1.6 billion people being the toxic cause of violence even as our All American, non-religious school-kids are taking the deadly weapons their parents give them as presents to shoot their schoolmates and themselves. And we have the most sophisticated city on earth acting like a bunch of authoritarian creeps toward people who are doing serious work to stop the spread of an outbreak of a deadly disease --- for PR purposes.
5 days ago
On Hillary | LBO News from Doug Henwood
But the most important objection is political: the last thing we need is another hawkish, Wall Street-friendly Democrat in the White House. Many people—including me, when I started researching the piece—don’t appreciate how deeply involved Hillary was with creating the New Democrat paradigm, tough and business-friendly, replacing the old New Deal/Great Society model. While governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton took a number of swipes at unions in the state as part of a campaign to shred the longstanding Democratic alliance with labor. He, with Hillary closely involved, launched an attack on the teachers union in Arkansas, a campaign with ugly racial undertones, that was a model for later edu-reform efforts.
6 days ago
Idiotic Math Questions
I was recently helping a student at Wilson SHS in Washington, DC with something called a ‘Paced Interim Assessment’, written and published by one of our major educational publishing monopolies. It was filled with questions that were pompous, absurd, and filled with errors. Here is one of them.
8 days ago
Eschaton: The Great Grift
And the problem is that there isn't enough money for the education vultures to steal because the same people who want to give all the education money to their pals also want to cut education money.

All of this was foretold by dirty hippies.
9 days ago
How Artists Do (and Don’t) Make a Living
Earlier this month the Boston Globe published a lengthy article highlighting the reality that postdoctoral researchers in biomedical fields, after nearly a decade of schooling, are becoming in some ways the equivalent of interns, with low paying menial jobs that offer little potential for promotion or even hiring. And biomedical sciences are hardly the only ones. There’s trouble for a scientists with PhDs across fields, and while the glut of lawyers seems to be slowing slightly, it hasn’t gone away, and salaries have dramatically decreased for those shouldering huge debt burdens from law school. Unfortunately in the arts, we seem to be still ramping up when it comes to higher degrees, rather than pulling back.
9 days ago
The Curse of Laundry - Charlie's Diary
I'm officially done with this shit. The Laundry Files explicitly exists in an alternate history to our own, okay? Word Of God speaking here. "The Rhesus Chart" is set in mid-2013, and "The Annihilation Score" in summer/autumn of 2013. I'm going to kick "The Nightmare Stacks" (or whatever book 7 is titled) down the road into a 2014 which will be well in our past and nailed down by the time the book is handed in, in autumn of 2015. Because I am sick and tired of reality refusing to conform to the requirements of my meticulously-researched near-future or proximate-present fictions. It's gotten to the point where if I write a book that is dead on target when it's handed in, at just the most inconvenient moment before publication reality will snicker and pull out its blue pencil. And I am too old for this shit. Do you hear me, reality? Do you hear me?
9 days ago
Back to writing...
y summer tech girls help me with this process, along with two district employees. That makes 11 people including myself that work most of the summer to put laptops back in the student's hands by the first day.
10 days ago
“Two Cheers for Anarchism” reviewed
There are lots of stories about follies arising from central planning. One such is that a factory was incentivized based on the number of shoes it manufactured. It ended up producing a lot of shoes — but only for left feet. Contracting out with performance measurement in ultra-modern capitalism can generate similar results, not least, God help us, in the public education of children. When you attach high stakes to a narrow measurement, hijinks ensue.
15 days ago
Fordham and CCSS and Reading and Writing
So Pondiscio has pulled up three highly debatable topics, but what is most debatable about them is whether or not they have anything at all to do with the Common Core. But that's turning out to be yet another reason that CCSS should just go away-- they are becoming an odd distraction in the midst of discussions of more worthwhile topics. They have nothing useful to add to the conversation, and if we're not careful we get sucked into arguing about what they say about instruction instead of, as we should be, arguing about what good instruction looks like.
16 days ago
Wonderful Property Rights Dispute In San Francisco | MattBruenig | Politics
As to which of the two groups you should side with, I think the answer is obviously the neighborhood kids. Not only are they more sympathetic people in all of this, but the pick-up system that they are insisting upon is egalitarian and totally effective. The tech people’s proposed permit system operates so as to evict the neighborhood kids from the field on the basis of who has the most money. The neighborhood kids’ pick-up system operates so as to include everybody, including the tech people, to play against one another on an established rotating basis. An egalitarian system that is totally inclusive and facilitates people from all backgrounds playing simultaneously with one another: who can be mad at that?
19 days ago
Kelpies « Senchus
In 2014, no discussion of the mythical kelpie can ignore the two magnificent examples of the species that now reside near Falkirk. These enormous steel sculptures soar into the sky, completely dominating the local landscape and dwarfing the human visitors who teem like tiny ants on the ground below. The giant Kelpies stand beside the Forth and Clyde Canal in the new Helix Park – an extensive recreation area with playgrounds, walking paths and a lagoon. Andy Scott, the sculptor who designed the Kelpies, drew inspiration not only from the water-spirits of legend but also from the powerful horses who once served heavy industry in the area. The two gigantic heads are 30 metres high and certainly exude an aura of strength and vigour, just like the Clydesdale horses on which they are modelled.
21 days ago
What’s wrong with the Vergara ruling | EdSource
This superintendent implicitly acknowledged what isn’t often known by the general public: Teachers at suburban school districts like the one in Palos Verdes have to do far less for their students to get high test scores than those at urban school districts like mine.
22 days ago
Gamasutra - 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.
These obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers -- they are not my audience. They don’t have to be yours. There is no ‘side’ to be on, there is no ‘debate’ to be had.
24 days ago
Why Is The Media Taking JPMorgan Chase's Word on their Massive Negligence? - Hullabaloo
If we had actual competition in the industry this breach would be a signal to all the other big banks to start snagging JP Morgan Chase customers.  But none of them want to risk breaking the code of silence.
27 days ago
What Lily Misses about the Common Core
The Test is not there to measure the outcome of the Standards. The Standards are there to facilitate preparation for the test. They are not designed to answer the question "What would a great education look like." They are designed to answer the question, "What will be on the test? What must your students do to prove to the People In Charge that you are doing a good job?" For the people who created, promote, and profit from the Core, it is inconceivable that it could be separated from testing.
4 weeks ago
Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away… — Medium
The fact that hardware and software is being professionally designed to distract was the first thing that made me willing to require rather than merely suggest that students not use devices in class. There are some counter-moves in the industry right now — software that takes over your screen to hide distractions, software that prevents you from logging into certain sites or using the internet at all, phones with Do Not Disturb options — but at the moment these are rear-guard actions. The industry has committed itself to an arms race for my students’ attention, and if it’s me against Facebook and Apple, I lose.
4 weeks ago
Germany’s major export: economic optimism - The Washington Post
In the United States, major shareholders and the top executives whose pay increasingly is linked to stock price control the corporate boards that approve these kinds of distributions of their companies’ earnings. In Germany, however, the profits that companies rack up are shared more broadly because shareholders don’t dominate corporate boards. By law, any sizable German company must divide the seats on its board equally between management- and worker-selected representatives. Any company with more than 50 employees must have managers meet regularly with workers’ councils to discuss and negotiate issues of working conditions (but not pay). These arrangements have largely ensured that the funding is there for the world’s best worker-training programs and that the most highly skilled and compensated jobs of such globalized German firms as Daimler and Siemens remain in Germany. They have ensured that prosperity is widely shared in Germany — not concentrated at the top, as it is in the United States.
4 weeks ago
Who profits from our new war? Inside NSA and private contractors’ secret plans -
Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world.
5 weeks ago
Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Sometimes your just a small fish in a very big ocean…
When I was down in LA this summer, there was a media panel that included Howard Blume of the LA Times, and an editor of a chain of papers that are in the San Gabriels that are the eastern flank of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Someone dressed down Howard/the Times about inaccuracy. The editor from the San Gabriel area was taken aback and said that she had lost him when she started using words like “lying” and advised to be taken seriously, she shouldn’t start the conversation that way. Mr. Blume who the comment was addressed to said he didn’t have an issue with it because he understood the context of what was going on at LAUSD and it’s relations with UTLA and the LA Times. The guy who was covering a lot of other districts that are essentially like a ring-suburb did not, and just focused on the message delivery. Since his papers don’t have much of LAUSD, and stick to local reporting, he perhaps felt he could avoid not understanding the context. Mr. Blume knew that to be a half-way decent reporter on his beat, he needed to understand where that teacher was coming from. Mr. Williams is clearly isolated.
5 weeks ago
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, Kindle HD, Kindle Voyage: It's becoming a gadget company.
It came about, Amazon vice president Peter Larsen explained, because Amazon saw that a lot of people were buying sub-$100 tablets on its website. But those tablets, by and large, haven’t gotten very good reviews. Among other problems, customers complain that their cheap tablets are poorly constructed, break easily, run slowly, and sound tinny. Amazon sought to address those issues with its Fire HDs, which offer crisp, high-definition displays, peppy processors, Gorilla Glass screens and sturdy frames that don’t break when you drop them.
5 weeks ago
Students Travel in Packs
In reformsterland, people are disconnected and no relationships exist. Teachers and students interact in a Strictly Business manner-- teachers deliver instruction and students respond to it by becoming capable enough to score well on standardized tests. But at least teachers and students interact in some manner; in reformsterland, students do not interact with other students at all. The relationships they form, the culture that they create in their schools-- none of this actually exists. In reformsterland, students travel in isolated bubbles, unaffected by any of the other bubbles around them.
5 weeks ago
But Uber isn't magic. They're just cab drivers who get summoned with an app. And if you're bragging about how cheap your cab ride was, it means that your driver isn't getting paid shit.
5 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: An Open Letter to My Alma Mater Re: TFA
Let me deliver a rough reminder of how that program worked, because I doubt that many folks there remember it. My major was actually English-- Allegheny believed that Step 1 in becoming a classroom teacher was being an "expert" in your subject area. When it was time for student teaching, I had taken only a few ed courses, but like my cohort, I lived in the college's block of rooms in downtown Cleveland, where the college maintained a field office. As we student taught, we took methods courses at that field office in the evenings (down a floor and up the hall), including a course that we took from the professor who supervised our field work. He saw us in the classroom for about one to three hours about once a week, while we student taught in urban districts that challenged our small town selves to the max.
5 weeks ago
The Solution to ISIS is the First Amendment — Medium
It clearly is. In other words, explicit government censorship combined with propaganda helped prevent the public from having a full discussion of what 9/11 meant, and what this event implied for our government’s policies. Explicit censorship, under the guise of national security, continues today. While there are people in the U.S. government who know which Saudis financed and organized 9/11, the public at large does not. No government official can say ‘this person funded Al Qaeda in 2001, he might be funding ISIS now’, because that would reveal classified information. He or she can’t even say that to the wrong Congressman or bureaucrat that has classified clearance, because that could annoy his or her superior and cause him to lose his job. Being thrown out of the national security state, a state of 5 million people with special clearances, is painful and can, as Edward Snowden recognized, lead to banishment or lifelong imprisonment.
5 weeks ago
Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites -
It is a crisis of the elites. Scotland’s push for independence is driven by a conviction — one not ungrounded in reality — that the British ruling class has blundered through the last couple of decades. The same discontent applies to varying degrees in the United States and, especially, the eurozone. It is, in many ways, a defining feature of our time.
5 weeks ago
The morning after - Charlie's Diary
One thing is sure: even a "no" victory won't kill the core issue of the delegitimization of the political elite. (It has become not simply a referendum on independence, but a vote of confidence on the way the UK is governed; anything short of a huge "no" victory amounts to a stinging rebuke to the ruling parties of the beige dictatorship.) With that level of voter engagement we're seeing, and turn-out—probably setting a new record for the highest turnout in a British election—the number of "yes" votes is likely to exceed the number that would normally secure a landslide victory for the winning party in a general election: this will have serious repercussions in the long term. In event of a "yes" vote, negotiations will open over the terms of separation, and in event of a "no" vote, well ... promises were made by the "no" campaign in the last week that amounted to a major concession on Devo Max: will the Westminster parties keep those promises in the wake of a "no" vote on independence?
6 weeks ago
'Hi, do you have water?' In a Central Calif. town, answer is often no. - LA Times
This scattered Tulare County community may be the hardest-hit place in California's punishing drought. Of its 7,300 people, almost 1,000 have no running water.

But few knew that until Donna Johnson, 72, started counting.
6 weeks ago
The real Olive Garden scandal: Why greedy hedge funders suddenly care so much about breadsticks -
Take the example of Mervyn’s Department Stores, which in 2004 had 30,000 employees. A private equity consortium bought it that year, and split off the company’s real estate holdings. Mervyn’s saw no money from the sale, and had to lease back its stores from the property company at high rents. The stores immediately cut 10-15 percent of payroll, shedding thousands of jobs. When the recession hit, the company suffered like its counterparts in retail, but its annual loss in 2007 – $64 million – was less than the $80 million in rent it had to pay. In 2008, the chain went into bankruptcy, eventually dissolving all its remaining stores and putting the last 18,000 employees out of work.
6 weeks ago
Here's Some Stupid For Lunch - Esquire
You know what appeasing the ayatollahs looks like?

Promising them if they hold the hostages, they'll get a better deal from another president. Unfreezing the assets almost as soon as you take the oath. Secretly selling them advanced weaponry because you had use for the profits of this illegal arms sale to fund an illegal war.
6 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: TPM & the Anti-Core Attack Problem
I learned something about running meeting and organizations years ago-- people want to be heard, and if they don't feel heard when they're talking, they will just keep raising their voices louder and louder until they think somebody is hearing them. The reformsters didn't think they had to listen to anybody. Result: a bunch of people screaming at them.
6 weeks ago
How the media shafted the people of Scotland | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
That so many Scots, lambasted from all quarters as fools, frauds and ingrates, have refused to be bullied is itself a political triumph. If they vote for independence, they will do so in defiance not only of the Westminster consensus but also of its enforcers: the detached, complacent people who claim to speak on their behalf.
6 weeks ago
Are we holding the leash or wearing the collar? - Hullabaloo
Whether it's turning your child's education from a shared public cost into a corporate profit center; or turning the principle of one-man, one-vote into one-dollar, one-vote; or carbon tax credits and accounting tricks for addressing rising sea levels; questioning the universal application of a business approach to any human need or problem prompts the challenge, "Do you have something against making a profit?" A more subtle form of red-baiting, this ploy is supposed to be a conversation stopper. Yes? You're a commie. Game over.
6 weeks ago
The High Cost of No Excuses | EduShyster
Professor Joan Goodman, the director of the Teach for America program at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about the philosophy behind *no excuses* charter schools, and the price paid by students who attend them.
7 weeks ago
The Meaning of Andrew Cuomo's Embarrassment - The New Yorker
The progressive movement that emerged from the financial crisis, giving birth to Occupy Wall Street and the de Blasio campaign, may still be inchoate and splintered. But it can’t be ignored.
7 weeks ago
Meet the new war, same as the old war |
The more important reason the executions are an insane pretext for war is because that was precisely their purpose. ISIS is saying, please attack us. They are smart enough to know the U.S. is dumb enough to oblige them.
7 weeks ago
Why the People in Charge of Transit Systems Should Be Required to Actually Ride Transit - CityLab
Metro cemented this new leadership culture by establishing a policy that required senior management to ride the system at least 40 times a month. Spieler believes all city agencies and transit boards and even design firms should self-impose similar mandates. That's not just to improve the system; it's also a credibility thing, both among lower-level staff and the public. Spieler recalls a time when he introduced himself to a bus rider and got the following response: "A board member on a bus? I thought you only did this for photo opps."
7 weeks ago
This Stopped Me In My Tracks
Now, I can see anyone who needs the work and still get paid (albeit less, but who cares?); and people in need can get the basic mental health care that can make a big difference in their lives. This includes students, artists, children from under-resourced families, the under-employed, the unemployed, workers with all kinds of jobs - especially people who would never have felt comfortable contacting a psychologist because they would have been too embarrassed to request services for which they couldn't pay. Oh, the heartwarming stories I could tell!
7 weeks ago
The College Bias
And job (and money) prospects aside, we are perfectly willing to tell students to pursue their dreams no matter what. We tell them to go for it-- unless their dream is working at a modest labor job and hunting and fishing and sitting on the front porch.
7 weeks ago
The Dangers of Stripping | Michael Ruhlman
Did you get that? Keeping fat from oxidizing by using ingredients that put our body out of whack was the key to building our current food industry.
7 weeks ago
The fast food strikes: A stunning success for organized labor.
And so the most interesting—and most successful—American labor push in recent memory rolls on. The strikes, which began in November of 2012, have been organized by the group Fast Food Forward and bankrolled by the Service Employees International Union, which according to the New York Times has spent more than $10 million on the cause. These walkouts haven’t led to any unionized McDonald’s or Taco Bell franchises yet. But at this early date, it’s more useful to think of them as the spearhead of a broader living wage movement that has also seen retail workers at stores such as Walmart protest for better pay. Framed that way, the effort has been startlingly effective. For the cost of a few Super Bowl ads, the SEIU and some dedicated fast food workers have managed to completely rewire how the public and politicians thinks about wages.
7 weeks ago
Your dystopian future has arrived. NPR's May series, Guilty and Charged, explored the spreading judicial practice of judging people guilty of misdemeanor offenses then imprisoning those unable to pay fines and an expanding menu of fees. (The poor.) But while practice of billing defendants for their punishment may be relatively new, the municipal courts in St. Louis County, MO, where the unarmed Michael Brown was shot by police last month, resemble something out of Dickens. Or else Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Radley Balko (Rise of the Warrior Cop) painted a detailed portrait of the county's legal culture -- if you can call it that -- in the Washington Post last week.
7 weeks ago
Big Internet | ROUGH TYPE
These trends, if they are actually trends, seem related. I sense that they both stem from a sense of exhaustion with what I’m calling Big Internet. By Big Internet, I mean the platform- and plantation-based internet, the one centered around giants like Google and Facebook and Twitter and Amazon and Apple. Maybe these companies were insurgents at one point, but now they’re fat and bland and obsessed with expanding or defending their empires. They’ve become the Henry VIIIs of the web. And it’s starting to feel a little gross to be in their presence.
7 weeks ago
John Ogozolek Tells the Democratic Party to Buzz Off
“Why, why on Earth would I send a donation to politicians who seem intent on harming my family and our kids’ school?
7 weeks ago
Shoot first, ask later: Why the concept of “reasonable fear” is anything but reasonable -
Every step, however, is overshadowed by a single imperative: If an officer believes he or someone else is in imminent danger of grievous injury or death, he is allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. The same is true, the courts have ruled, in cases where a suspect believed to have killed or gravely injured someone is fleeing and can only be halted with deadly force.
7 weeks ago
Real Change News | Saints and Winners
Novels set in Britain before the Norman Conquest tend to be fantasies. They often take off from the Arthurian legends and sometimes are not very grounded in historical reality. By contrast, “Hild” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), by Seattle writer Nicola Griffith, is a realistic portrayal of life in Northern England in the seventh century. At the same time, it’s as exciting as any fantasy novel. In fact, “Hild” was nominated for the 2013 Nebula Award for best science fiction and fantasy novel. That’s not surprising, as Griffith, originally from England, is a well-known science fiction and mystery writer.
7 weeks ago
The Memphis Conversation - Strong Towns Blog - Strong Towns
When we abandon our exurbs and distant suburbs – something I see as inevitable -- if we leave behind the poorest and most disadvantaged, we won’t be leaving them in functioning neighborhoods. We’ll be leaving them in total isolation. Places without grocery stores that can be walked to. Places without transportation. If the 1960’s inner city was inhumane, this will be far, far worse.
7 weeks ago
The Cost of Auto Orientation - Strong Towns
At its nastiest and most decrepit, fighting the negative auto traffic speeding by and the absence of pedestrian connectivity, lacking all natural advantage from the neighboring land uses that would ideally accompany a traditional neighborhood design, the old and blighted traditional commercial block still outperforms the new, auto-oriented development by 41%. 
7 weeks ago
Dunkin our Future - Strong Towns Blog - Strong Towns
For households where the highest wage earner is under 35 years old, the ideal age for someone who is not necessarily college material but nonetheless has the work ethic and the entrepreneurial spirit to step up and start a business, the median net worth (excluding home equity) in 2009 was $2,003. Let me say that again. Take over half the families where the primary breadwinner is 35 years old or less, add up their investments and savings and then subtract their debts, and they have less than $2k. In other words, they are only $498,000 short of being able to start a Dunkin Donuts.
7 weeks ago
A Compendium of Research on the Common Core State Standards, by Matthew Frizzell at the Center on Education Policy
This compendium includes over 60 research studies focused on the Common Core State Standards, and encompasses research from multiple sources, such as government entities, independent organizations, and peer-reviewed publications from academic journals and other outlets. For each study in the compendium, which have been categorized across nine topic areas, a short summary is provided as well as a URL link to the original research (when possible). The compendium is presented below both as a single document as well as individual PDFs of the nine topic areas. The compendium will be updated regularly as the body of CCSS-related research grows. Last up-dated on August 6, 2014.
7 weeks ago
Henry Lee McCollum cleared by DNA evidence in North Carolina after spending 30 years on death row.
It was once the case that McCollum was held out, to the collective members of the Supreme Court, as the very worst of the worst, deserving of death because of the heinousness of his crimes. Having shown that he never committed that crime, it seems high time to ask whether, in the view of some Supreme Court Justices, that would have even made a difference had we executed him.
8 weeks ago
Daring Fireball: Security Trade-Offs
This happened to thousands of people. It’s why Apple made cloud-based backups one of the fundamental pillars of iCloud. It still happens, today, to people who haven’t signed up for iCloud and enabled iCloud backups. It’s heartbreaking in most cases, and downright devastating in some. I’ve heard from Genius Bar staffers who eventually left the job because of the stress of dealing with customers suffering data loss. Once it is determined that the photos and videos are irretrievable from the device and have never been backed up, the job of the Genius staffer turns from technician to grief counselor. Bereavement is not too strong a word.
8 weeks ago
Ed-Tech's Monsters #ALTC
When we were planning our trip, I mentioned to my mum that I wanted to stop at Bletchley Park, and she said “Oh! Your grandfather did some work there” — a bit of family history I’d like to have known, as someone who writes about computers, but a bit of family history that I hadn’t considered until that moment. It makes sense, during the war my grandfather was the station commander at Chain Home Low, an early warning radar base, and later became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at Signals Command. Although he was knighted for his work on the development of radar, I’m not sure how much he really talked about that work with the family. My granny said that during the war she never actually knew what he did. She never asked. And he passed away before many of his stories were no longer classified.
8 weeks ago
Out-of-control judges’ new craze: Using electroshock and tasers on defendants! -
For unknown reasons, this defendant had been outfitted with an electronic device, presumably something having to do with the fact that he was representing himself and would be moving freely about the courtroom. When he asserted some dicey “sovereign citizen” legal doctrine, the judge told him to stop and when he didn’t, the judge ordered the deputy to shock him. He fell to the ground, screaming in pain, and after he was calm a medic was called to make sure his vital signs were OK. Then they went back to jury selection as if nothing had happened. The defendant, as you might imagine, was somewhat subdued after the electroshock treatment.
8 weeks ago
Digby on Tasers, Guns and the Next Wave of Police Militarization | Blog |
I have been very reluctant to say we should ban the Taser outright because there are times when it really could save a life, particularly of a mentally ill person like this guy was. Suicide by cop is one of the obvious situations where you’d want to use that alternative. So if they don’t want to use them in these situations because it’s not guaranteed to work, then Tasers should be banned, because the only other reason for police to have them is to torture noncompliant suspects. That’s un-American. Cops should not use torture devices to get their way with the public.
8 weeks ago
“Bloggy to the core” indeed — Wordyard
Are we really going to see the reconstitution of the blogging era of a decade ago? Of course I have some more thoughts about where all this is headed. But I’ll save them for the next post.
8 weeks ago
Barbara Madeloni Thinks Tests Are Failing Our Schools
All she wants,” Morales explains, “is the same thing all of us want—a conversation about, ‘What the hell are we doing?’”
8 weeks ago
Why white men hate unions: The South, the new workforce and the GOP war on your self-interest -
If Lewis wins, or even mounts a credible campaign, she will become the most prominent labor leader in America. In that role, she’ll be an appropriate successor to John L. Lewis, Jimmy Hoffa and Walter Reuther, those crusty avatars of mining, trucking and manufacturing. As an African-American, a woman and a professional (she has a sociology degree from Dartmouth), Lewis is the face of the 21st century unionism, which has been transformed from a movement devoted to protecting the safety and livelihoods of blue-collar workers to a stronghold of white-collar liberalism.
8 weeks ago
inessential: Waffle on Social Media
The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.
8 weeks ago
Cured Meats: Prosciutto Crudo
It’s truly a masterpiece. It’s, BY FAR, the single best piece of cured meat I’ve made.
8 weeks ago
Voucher School Tour | The Progressive
"Welcome to Middle School Science," says a sign on an upstairs classroom door. Eleven eighth-grade boys are sitting in the science class. Another poster at eye level on the door says: "In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth—Genesis 1:1"

The teacher, Mr. Mosconi, walks over and closes the door as we look in.

On the same hallway there is another large poster that says: "God can see your heart and he knows that it is wicked."

There are currently 270 students enrolled in the Academy of Excellence in kindergarten through eighth grade. Next fall, the school plans to double in size when it takes in 200 children of refugees from Myanmar whose native tongue is not English.
8 weeks ago
Eschaton: Zephyr Teachout Super Wuster
Really, New Yorkers, consider getting rid of Cuomo. He's like the the worst of 1993 era democrats, with extra evil added. Vote Teachout/Wu for the comedy if nothing else!

Also, too, we're looking at you Rahm...
9 weeks ago
Ask Nicola: My health
I laugh at pain in my elbow. It is nothing, nothing compared that flashing, shooting, drenching, lava-like agony of Tecfidera plus proximal nerve demyelination plus peripheral nerve excitation.
9 weeks ago
How the Supreme Court Protects Bad Cops -
IRVINE, Calif. — LAST week, a grand jury was convened in St. Louis County, Mo., to examine the evidence against the police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, and to determine if he should be indicted. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. even showed up to announce a separate federal investigation, and to promise that justice would be done. But if the conclusion is that the officer, Darren Wilson, acted improperly, the ability to hold him or Ferguson, Mo., accountable will be severely restricted by none other than the United States Supreme Court.
9 weeks ago
Cornel West: “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency” -
I think a post-Obama America is an America in post-traumatic depression. Because the levels of disillusionment are so deep. Thank God for the new wave of young and prophetic leadership, as with Rev. William Barber, Philip Agnew, and others. But look who’s around the presidential corner. Oh my God, here comes another neo-liberal opportunist par excellence. Hillary herself is coming around the corner. It’s much worse. And you say, “My God, we are an empire in decline.” A culture in decay with a political system that’s dysfunctional, youth who are yearning for something better but our system doesn’t provide them democratic venues, and so all we have are just voices in the wilderness and certain truth-tellers just trying to keep alive some memories of when we had some serious, serious movements and leaders.
9 weeks ago
Standing while black
The civil rights groups failed in similar fashion. So did local African-American politicians. How do I know this? It’s very simple. None of them at any point said, people, we have a right to assemble. I’m going to stand in the goddamn street and challenge the police to arrest me. If you can stand getting arrested, why not come along? Nobody did that. It was the key to promoting continuing mobilization. Nobody did it. We did hear them talk about voter registration, and bully for them. There are parallels in the latter respect to the dissolution of the actions in the Wisconsin state capital a few years ago (in response to which Obama was also mute).
9 weeks ago
The cupcake wars
The funny thing is that the silliest of these "nanny state" laws Will holds responsible for the mistrust in government come from the vaunted local governments so revered by conservatives as the most legitimate form of democratic representation. It turns out they can be very petty bureaucrats too. How odd. Why one might just think that it's not really a problem with government, big or small, but with flawed human beings, an insoluble problem that can only be mitigated by education and social/cultural influence, a much harder task and one that's ongoing. Devolving to the local governments will hardly make things better. It's likely to make it much worse for a whole lot of people. Think Salem and witches.
10 weeks ago
Tech Industry Believes it Invented San Francisco, Burning Man, and Sex | The Snitch | San Francisco | San Francisco News and Events | SF Weekly
According to reports, the Silicon Valley-based tech industry has convinced itself that it invented everything it enjoys, including Democracy, rule of law, San Francisco, Burning Man, and sex
10 weeks ago
Who rules America? | TheHill
A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States.
10 weeks ago
The adult skateboard
My goal has been a skateboard that fits into the world of the adult. Not a trick board. Something that get’s you there. It’s comfortable, handles great, and is light. It’s narrow for stowing, long for smooth rolling, and enough nose and tail to properly negotiate the environment.
10 weeks ago
The Teaching Life – They Grow Up
And this is more than just an ancillary piece of the teaching life. The perspective of seeing students become adults can powerfully inform the way we teach. Knowing that we can play a small role in helping students on the pathway to adulthood is something that teachers are taught to understand from early on in most pre-service teacher programs, but the reality of knowing the your students as adults is different somehow.
11 weeks ago
The Trucking Industry Needs More Drivers. Maybe It Needs to Pay More. -
But corporate America has become so parsimonious about paying workers outside the executive suite that meaningful wage increases may seem an unacceptable affront. In this environment, it may be easier to say “There is a shortage of skilled workers” than “We aren’t paying our workers enough,” even if, in economic terms, those come down to the same thing.
11 weeks ago
CURMUDGUCATION: Study Says Money and Family Cast Long Shadow
There are huge implications here for the whole "Your school shouldn't be determined by your zip code crowd." If there is a definite advantage in life to coming from a cohesive connected community, breaking apart communities by scattering the students is exactly the wrong thing to do. Closing neighborhood schools and dispersing the students to the four corners of Newark or New Orleans becomes just one more force weakening community cohesion and denying students the advantage that such cohesion provides.
12 weeks ago
Other People, Other Places
One problem we have is that people in this country don't travel to other countries, and even if they do they do the "resort/tourist bus" version of travel, which turns other countries into playgrounds or open air museums. No need to notice that other people actually, you know, live there.
12 weeks ago
The calculations of authenticity: a conversation with Jeff Pooley — Wordyard
The problem is that there is no market-free space, at least not for long. The Dionysian core of a market-driven culture — with its gleeful agnosticism — makes the dog-collar-and-safety-pin aesthetic attractive to the ad guys. In whatever new version it appears. That’s the bind: there’s nothing prude or restrained about them, as Thomas Frank has brilliantly shown. There’s no way to out-rebel them; they’ll party with you at Burning Man. And you’ll realize that they’re using you to sell stuff. Yet again.
12 weeks ago
It's About the Lying - The Intercept
But by all accounts, the report not only discloses abuse that was more brutal, systematic and widespread than generally recognized, but also chronicles how the people most intimately involved in the torture regime lied to others inside the CIA, lied to Justice Department lawyers, and lied to the public; how they lied about what they were doing, they lied to make it sound like it accomplished something, and afterwards, they lied some more.
12 weeks ago
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