PS Mag: Just Kill All of the Comments Already.
“Our problem was a different one: We primarily deal with science and research, and know that comments can change the perception readers have of not just the stories themselves, but the facts and figures covered in the stories that often shouldn’t be open to interpretation.” If you don’t actively engage your commenters, I see how this can be true. I feel having a comment system requires active participation by the blog- or site-owner. It’s not a set-it-up-and-let-it-run device.
Collectors Weekly: What America Can Learn From Berlin’s Struggle to Face Its Violent Past.
“Imagine if a network of chains were embedded into the streets surrounding the White House and U.S. Capitol as a monument to the slaves that worked on these buildings, or if every major American city maintained one block of open space as tribute to the native people whose land we forcibly took from them. Could Americans finally come to terms with our forebears’ tragic mistakes by following Berlin’s lead?” Much food for thought here.
Dazed: Palestinians tweet tear gas tips to Ferguson residents.
SERoundtable: Google - Low Quality Guest Blogging Considered Content Spam.
Google as arbiter of ‘good blog posts.’ What’s the world coming to?
Slate: Ferguson, Missouri photos - Tear gas, rubber bullets, and a militarized police force.
Hmmm. Then there’s Tom Tomorrow, hitting it on the head as usual. Militarizing police forces *is* a slippery-slope situation. I went in search of guidelines, perhaps Federal ones ... but none seem to exist. With all the surplus weaponry ending up in nonmilitary hands, Federal guidelines are overdue. Mr Obama - Congress - can you do something about this, please?
Too many police today are responding with a video-game-like kill-reflex; the reflex that used to be the lone purvue of the trained soldier. Killing should not be the first response of a police officer. Training high-powered rifles on protestors by itself is a terrible act of aggression.
I’ll say it again: Have we forgotten the ‘60’s?
Later: See who the cops are targeting. It would be interesting to see where Homeland Security’s money’s gone ... more to areas with distinct segregation among the populations? One wonders. Probably only ProPublica would contemplate such a report. Via Dan Lyke (Flutterby) on FB.
The Rumpus: My Nixon Years.
“Even though he was an adult in the 1970s, when I was a child, he seemed just as confused as I was by the changing social structure. I wished, when I was 7, for things to be comprehensible, controllable; I wonder if he felt the same way.” I am more of his grandmother’s ilk - noone post-‘74 ever again expressed to a child, “if you study hard, you’ll grow up and be President someday!” That phrase died on Nixon’s resignation date, and I don’t think we’ll ever hear it again.
Paramilitary police are in the news today, but in the ‘60’s we had CIA and military with automatic weapons in our neighborhood thanks to the Institute for Defense Analysis protests [IDA contained the supercomputer that made the strategic decision to invade Cambodia] right after Kent State. I will not forgive Nixon posting such weapons less than 60’ from the backs of my friend’s houses, about a football field from my own. M-16’s have a lethal range of about what ... 5 football field lengths or so?
Nope, I will not forgive Nixon. History should not, either.
Cue CSNY, Ohio.
The Economist: Paramilitary police - Cops or soldiers?
“Peter Kraska, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies, estimates that SWAT teams were deployed about 3,000 times in 1980 but are now used around 50,000 times a year. Some cities use them for routine patrols in high-crime areas. Baltimore and Dallas have used them to break up poker games. In 2010 New Haven, Connecticut sent a SWAT team to a bar suspected of serving under-age drinkers.” I think we’d all prefer the neighborhood ‘flatfoot’.
ArtDaily: ‘Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People’ to premiere.
If I were in NYC, I would not miss it.
OddityMall: Pepper Spray That Takes A Picture And Alerts The Police.
Later: The above is where I found it. Here’s the direct link.
Reuters/Exclusive: U.S. to spend up to $550 million on African rapid response forces.
“The United States announced on Wednesday plans to spend $110 million a year over the next three to five years to help African nations develop peacekeeping forces that can be rapidly deployed to head off militant threats and other crises.” Question. How do you guarantee we’re not training up future opponents? Just asking. Too often in the past, this kind of move has seemed like a marketing ploy to keep the flow of American weaponry sales high (and the ‘military/industrial complex’ in profits).
AlJazeeraAmerica: Big Food uses mommy bloggers to shape public opinion.
Um ... isn’t it rather sexist to link BlogHer to ‘Mommy Blogs’ without offering any linkage of the two? BlogHer is certainly not just mothers who blog. Or am I reading this wrong?
Civil War Memory: The Problem of Southern Thinking From a Southerner.
TG’s Political Wire: GOP Lawmaker Says Migrant Children May Carry Ebola.
Seriously? Again, this kind of idiocy should trigger an ejection seat from the US Capitol.
NY Times: A Resurgence in Inequality and Its Effects on Culture.
“What makes the middlebrows so contemptible? Woolf’s tautological response is their very middleness, their inability to be either one thing or another, and their habit of ‘indistinguishably and rather nastily’ mixing up art and life (the pure, complementary pursuits of the high and the low) with things like ‘money, fame, power or prestige.’” Perhaps, but who wants to be a lowbrow ‘dancing monkey’ for the higbrows? The ‘affinity’ of the high and low could only be expressed in such terms by the highbrow urbanity of the NY Times; happy to look down upon their readership.
LA Times: Marina Abramovic Institute responds to critics of unpaid positions.
“But the come-work-for-free ad — I mean, ‘volunteer’ — strikes a dissonant note when the foundation’s namesake has her multimillion-dollar real estate transactions regularly covered on Curbed. And when the organization seeking the unpaid work is fund-raising for a $20-million headquarters in New York’s Hudson Valley designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas. Not to mention that the skills the institute is demanding for these positions is quite specialized.”
Hyperallergic: Marina Abramović Institute Seeks So Much Unpaid Work.
Mischiefs of Faction: Public Opinion on Israel-Hamas Conflict Has Little to Do with the Conflict.
“The American public’s endorsement of current Israeli policy largely isn’t a reaction to that policy because most people aren’t following the details at all.” The same can be said of most political issues, no? Most never venture further than their favorite pundit ... or parent.
The Hairpin: Go Read Alice - The History of the Diary Novel.
“The diary novel canon is composed first of diary novels which have received significant (male) literary praise. But within this genre, the diary novel for women is an important and under-recognized sub-genre. These novels are usually evaluated on their historical merits because aesthetically, they are terrible: written by religious conservatives and/or befuddled men, often intended (in the Victorian era) to instruct.” Ugh.
Colossal: 888,246 Ceramic Poppies Flow Like Blood from the Tower of London to Commemorate WWI.
Tasteful and raw, at the same time. I approve.
ArtDaily: Philbrook Museum of Art announces receipt of the Hyatt collection of Hopi art.
Instructive; I’ll have to look into a pictorial history of sacred clowns. I suspect more modern ones have been influenced by Disney. Even ancient cultures can’t exist in a vacuum.
MessyNessyChic: The Man who Documented the Last American Tribes.
Edward Curtis. Beautiful and evocative photos within.
ArtDaily: Ukraine rebels go to the museum ... to steal World War II tanks and two howitzers.
“When an AFP journalist visited the museum Friday there were still markings on the ground from where the separatist fighters had revved up their vintage loot and made off.” Old reliables. Whether they can find ammo in the right gauge, is a question.
Center for Public Integrity: How oil and gas firms gained influence and transformed North Dakota.
“All I wanted to do was farm and ranch, from the time I could stand up. And it’s stolen the future for a lot of people who wanted to retire here, who wanted to live out their days here. It’s stolen mine.” Scroll about a third of the way down, perhaps a little farther, to the Google map of drilling sites. Then use the Google widget to zoom out a bit. See if you have the same reaction I did (“Holy sh-t!”).
BBC: Possible Rodin and Degas works found at Gurlitt home.
“Two sculptures, possibly by Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas, have been discovered in the home of the late art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt.” Good grief, sounds like the man was sitting on his own personal Louvre, and never really bothered to enjoy any of it.
Pacific Standard: California’s Lax Policing of the Fracking Industry.
“The problem is that at least 100 of the state’s aquifers were presumed to be useless for drinking and farming because the water was either of poor quality, or too deep underground to easily access. Years ago, the state exempted them from environmental protection and allowed the oil and gas industry to intentionally pollute them.” !^$%$^@#^%!%$ [Holding my hand to my throat, practically strangling myself, so I don’t start shouting again.] There is no such thing as a useless resource.