- Who is this Malcolm Harris kid? Shows potential.The Hand That Feeds: “Any intellectual project that begins with the premise of the power elite’s positive contribution to American social progress will be necessarily deaf, blind, and tasteless.”
- The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center
- Birth Control McCarthyism
- Pussies vs. Dicks in Putin’s Russia
- Greece on the breadline: cashless currency takes off
- The Irish Begin to Wake Up to the Fact That They are Repaying Money That is Then Burned
- Jadaliyya’s Syria Media Roundup (March 15)
- When Americans Made Toys By Hand: Inside a 1915 Teddy Bear Factory
- On South African Desis
- Three Crises in Higher Ed Affordability
- Oakland didn’t make the news quite as much, but, you know, still there.Two Parks Were Occupied Today. In One, People Were Beaten. In the Other, Ice Cream.
- For U.S. universities, a failing grade in economics
- Dysfunctional and Codependent
- “The book reader of the future”, 1935
- No Exit? Imagining Radical RefusalHow do we refuse capitalism? Should we? This is Simon During’s central question in his temporally vast and historically deep book Exit Capitalism: Literary Culture, Theory, and Post-Secular Modernity.
- Taibbi on that Goldman executive
I liked this movie. Had a half blog post about the way the movie has to invent a pseudo-technologized amulet to replace the even weirder way that Carter gets to Mars in the book. iTeleport; a sufficiently technologized culture will make magic indistinguishable from technology, etc. THen I ran out of steam.“the most problematic part of John Carter, and possibly why it was doomed to underperform no matter what happened”:
Because the Barsoom books were so influential to cinema’s greatest sci-fi auteurs, just about everything in it had already been plundered and reused by other hits. And as a result, the more that was revealed of John Carter, the more derivative it looked, even if its source had originated these ideas. Look at what George Lucas took from Burroughs for his Star Wars movies alone: In his movies, the Sith are evil Jedis; in the world of John Carter, the Sith are evil insects. Star Wars had Princess Leia; John Carter has Princess Dejah. Leia’s infamous bikini in Return of the Jedi? Worn by Princess Dejah first. That flying skiff she’s standing on next to Jabba the Hutt? Carter again. Even those banthas in the Star Wars were culled from the John Carter books, which are populated with similar-looking beasts of burden called banths. Looking beyond Lucas, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry famously pillaged the books, as did James Cameron, who in numerous interviews called Avatar“almost an Edgar Rice Burroughs kind of adventure.”
I’m pretty tired of StopKony. Not even fun to critique. Useful reads on Kony 2012, from EZ:
- The Kony campaign was really, really big. Not only did the video reach 100 million views on YouTube faster than any other video in history, it thoroughly dwarfed traffic on #sxsw hashtags, which generally dominate Twitter during the interactive week of that conference.
- A core of highly connected users seem to have been key in launching the social media campaign. Gilad sees evidence that these users were clustered in a couple of communities, notably in Birmingham, Alabama, and sees evidence that many of these users identify strongly with their Christian faith. This aligns with explanations of the viral spread of the video, which point out that Invisible Children has done great work organizing a core of supporters who they were able to mobilize to support this campaign.
- The Invisible Children strategy of influencing celebrities appears to have worked, both in involving actressKristen Bell(who has half a million Twitter followers) in the early campaign, and in influencing other celebrities like Ryan Seacrest and Ellen DeGeneres.
- No Kony Is an Island: Death and Profit in Central Africa
- Not a Click Away: Joseph Kony in the Real World
“They folded like a cheap tent,” Miller said. “By including the sales tax, it leaves the door wide open to anti-tax types who will say the unions are coming to pick your pocket. It throws away the incredible rhetoric of the 99% versus the 1%, it blurs the issue of progressive taxation, and centrally, it’s still temporary.”
- Meanwhile Kevin Drum trusts the president to do what’s best.Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen? Glenn Greenwald glosses.
- Politicized ‘Hate Crimes’, the OPD and District Attorney O’Malley
- Technological Grotesques
- A theory on Iran
- Thomas Frank and The American Aftershock
- Cube Housing in Montreal
- There is No Alternative, Restaurant Work Edition
An analysis of January’s campaign-disclosure filings reveals that 25 percent of all the money raised for the presidential race that month came from just five donors. That select group gave $19 million to various super PACs, often in support of more than one Republican candidate. Those numbers come from both The Washington Post and USA Today, though neither gives a complete list of those five top donors of 2012.
Ari Berman has us covered. The list includes Harold Simmons, who has given to Perry, Romney and Gingrich this year; Sheldon Adelson and his wife, who are keeping Gingrich on life support; and Santorum pals Foster Freiss and William Dore. Also in the mix is billionaire investor Peter Thiel, a Romney angel.
If you want to extend the circle out to, say, 200 people, a report from Demos shows that about that many have contributed 80% of all SuperPAC money. These are the SuperPACs that have been a major determining factor in the GOP primary, and which swung many Congressional elections in 2010. This equals .000063 of the electorate.
- How The 1934 Recovery Benefited The 99 Percent, While 2010′s Benefited The Rich
- Massacres are the Inevitable Result of Foreign Occupation
- 25 Arab Authors Who Tweet
- Deporting Homophobia
- If you’re even vaguely interested in that whole CATO thing, you should read this (though if you are, you probably already have).Historicizing Conservative Think Tanks
- The Financial Crisis and the Systemic Failure of Academic Economics
- The Misunderstood Consequences of the Student Debt Crisis
- Paper Con Man Ravages the Internet
- First-Person Corporate
- The Prison House of Labor
- Mike Check!Cambridge student gets seven-term ban for poetic protest at Willetts speech
- HEARTS AND MINDS AND WHATNOT
- Women and Children First: It’s how liberals govern through crime
- How We Cured “The Culture of Poverty,” Not Poverty Itself
- Architecture and Colonization in Libya
This has been going on for months now; OPD is out of control.OPD spies on and beats protesters:
Oakland Police Department’s internal communications about the Occupy Oakland movement — which the Guardian obtained through the California Public Records Act — confirm what many protesters already know: plainclothes officers frequent meetings, police monitor Occupy Oakland’s online communications, anarchists are feared, and police use of force that injures protesters, often brutally, is common practice.
- I’m a sucker for a story that makes nothing into something,Two ways to think about nothing
- Africa Blog Roundup: Mormons in Mali, Senegal Elections, Boko Haram and the Nigerian Police, Somaliland, and More
- What if democracy is just an illusion?
- Husband-Hunting Tips from New Romance, 1950s
- U.S. Intellectual History: Historicizing the Conservative Think Tank
- Caleb Crain has thoughts about the NY Public LibraryBuild More Deliberately
- The Lyrical Essay
- Solidarity, not Superiority: Coming to terms with the legacy of “saving” Arab women
- Africa Speaks, America Answers
- “Geo-Engineering” As Right-Wing War and Revolution
- Now let’s put these notes in the MEN‘s room.Notes found in the girls bathroom
- The Strange, Fascinating History of the Vibrator
- Geology of Images: Finding Pre-biotic, Neo-Dadaist Images in Antique Astronomy Prints
- Learning Hurts
Wall Street is betting on higher oil prices in the future — and that betting is causing prices to rise. The Street is laying odds that unrest in Syria will spill over into other countries or that tensions with Iran will affect the Persian Gulf, and that global demand will pick up as American consumers bounce back to life.
These bets are pushing up oil prices because Wall Street firms and other big financial players now dominate oil trading.
Financial speculators historically accounted for about 30 percent of oil contracts, producers and end users for about 70 percent. But today speculators account for 64 percent of all contracts.
Bart Chilton, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission — the federal agency that regulates trading in oil futures, among other commodities — warns that too few financial players control too much of the oil market. This allows them to push oil prices higher and higher — not only on the basis of their expectations about the future but also expectations about how high other speculators will drive the price.
In other words, a relatively few players with very deep pockets are placing huge bets on oil — and you’re paying.