Links 5/4/13

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Bartender’s Dog Makes Full Recovery After Customer Left $1,000 Tip For Pet’s Surgery Consumerist

Bill Cunningham | Seasoned New York Times (lambert). I’m much more taken with the narrator and the shots of the parks than with the fashion.

Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry Gizmag. Despite the how impressive an accomplishment this is, it still gives me the creeps. It will induce some people to get DNA tests, and I’m not at all keen about having that in a private database, since we all know there is no such thing as privacy any more.

Crunching the Numbers to Find the Best Airfare New York Times

Terminal neglect? How some hospices decline to treat the dying Washington Post :-(

A New Take On Sustainable Aquaculture Resilient Communities (Chuck L)

MH370: IGP rubbishes Daily Mirror report, says alleged militants not probed over plane’s disappearance The Star

Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: 11 terrorists with links to Al Qaeda being questioned over vanished jet Mirror

Brazil police accused of ‘cleansing’ favelas before World Cup football carnival rolls into town Daily Mail

The Eurozone: out of the ashes? Simon Wren-Lewis

Palestine: U.S. Negotiator Asks For Third Intifada Moon of Alabama

Ukraine

Chomsky: US Leaders’ Panic Over Crimea Is About Fear of Losing Global Dominance Alternet

East Ukraine braced for more unrest BBC

Europe’s Precarious New Normal Project Syndicate. Propaganda warning.

Ukraine as turning point for Europe? DW

NATO’s soft war on Russia Asia Times

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Word of the Day: Capitulation CounterPunch

Germany not satisfied with US assurances over NSA spying RT

Obamacare

Why Silver Health Insurance Plans Are the Most Popular Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Latinos not signing up for Obamacare CNN

America’s “Immaculate Conception” Theory of War Crimes George Washington

Condi Rice cancels Rutgers speech after Iraq War protest Christian Science Monitor

Analysis of the FBI’s Failure to Stop the Boston Marathon Bombings Bruce Schneier

Technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email Guardian

May Day PAC wants to end all super PACs Aljazeera. Chuck L: “Larry Lessig is behind this; here’s the site: https://mayone.us/

Anti-gay NC GOP candidate outed as former female impersonator ‘Miss Mona Sinclair’ Raw Story

Harvard and Princeton among 55 schools facing Title IX investigation Guardian. My take was this investigation was not serious if Harvard was not included; there have been previous complaints by women about Harvard refusing to investigate sexual assault cases.

Guillotine Revival Movement Gains Momentum American Prospect

Requester’s Voice: Amy Bennett discusses FOIA delays, snail mail and reigning in exemptions MuckRock

The 9 Basics Of American Commerce That Everyone Should Know Business Insider

Why America’s Essentials Are Getting More Expensive While Its Toys Are Getting Cheap Atlantic

Recent improvements in US trade deficit are unlikely to last Walter Kurtz

Shocking US jobs data impugns recovery, Fed tapering Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

At Bank of America, a $4 Billion Wet Blanket on the Party New York Times

Student-loan collection Consumer Law & Policy

I am Approved for a Payday Loan Peter Foohey, Credit Slips

Loans That Avoid Banks? Maybe Not New York Times

Capitalism and its discontents David Kaiser

The mainstream economics curriculum needs an overhaul VoxEU. How about “mainstream economics needs an overhaul”?

The New American System Jim Manzi, National Affairs

Antidote du jour:

Screen shot 2014-05-04 at 2.21.46 AM

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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89 comments

  1. Ruben

    Reg. your comment alongside link to “Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry”.
    Iceland is an great case study in human genetics for commercial exploitation due to very long genealogical records, relatively small population, geographical isolation, and excellent medical records. So a US-based company set out to exploit the genetic information of all Icelanders to discover links between diseases and genes, and got the Icelandic Parliament to pass a law allowing this to happen. Lots of controversy in scientific circles and among Icelanders, which ended in the Supreme Court of Iceland killing the project for all practical purposes. The main concern in the court’s decision was that data protection leading to anonymity could not be guaranteed due to the use of genetic profiling, medical records, and genealogical data, all three things at the same time. Eventually the company that got the go ahead from the Althing filed for bankruptcy in the USA.

    1. Benedict@Large

      Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry …

      This reminds me of Paul Wolfowitz’s 1990 PNAC-style plan to keep us all safe. In it, he suggested the development of “genotype-specific bioweapons”. A sort of liquid genocide, if you will.

      Good to see we are still working on it.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      When we say to corn (or wheat), ‘we are going to study you,’ corn (or wheat) should be very scared.

      Indeed, we have GM corn and GM wheat today.

      Now, they want to study your DNA.

      And study everything you do…and how the brain works.

      Good luck.

      As I have said before, it’s an act of aggression o to study, in general, but especially when the thrust is being directed and funded by Big Money, Big State and Big Military.

      When someone wants to study you, know how you think, what you do, you should seek police protection (in a democratic country, that is), whether you are a member of Homo Not So Sapiens Not So Sapiens, or a lab rat.

      Basically, when you hear the word, ‘study,’ run away as fast as possible.

  2. dearieme

    “Researchers develop DNA GPS tool to accurately trace geographical ancestry Gizmag.”

    Hurray; that’ll let the Law Squaw prove that she really is Cherokee, eh? That’ll prove that she didn’t illicitly advance her career by false claims to race privilege.

    1. craazyman

      It means we’ll get traced back to a single cell in a petri dish from an Andromeda Galaxy High School science class experiment. But nobody will believe it, so it doesn’t matter. If you know how to phone home you might even get somebody on line. That would freak most people out completely — you’d look just like the antidote! hahahaha

      Speaking of a freaking out, just this past week I was listening to my radio show about weird sH*t like flying humanoids, crop circles, bigfoot, nature spirits, space and time travelers, ghosts, demons, crop circles, interdimensional vortices, levitation, strange dissapearances and stuff that makes you pull the sheets up over your head and look out with one eye just to make sure there aren’t any space aliens in your room ready to f*ck with you by pulllng on your foot then disappearing before you can see them — and they had somebody on who said that Malaysian plane that disappeared landed someplace where they strapped a nuclear bomb to it and they were gonna fly it to new yawk and blow it up — LAST WEEK!

      Well, fortunately, nothing happened. I’ve decided not to worry about it. it’s bad enough keeping the aliens out of the bedroom with the radio on. Science is not help at all when your face to face with reality,

      1. F. Beard

        Ain’t no space aliens but there are demonic impersonators of them.

        When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything. GK Chesterton (He be’d Roman Catholic but he was on the mark with this saying.)

        1. craazyman

          I think you could be right

          But if not, a distressing thought just occurred to me. What if there planets with people llike us everywhere and wherever there are, there are banks? What if there billions and billions of banks, throughout the universe.

          Oh man. The night sky will never be the same. :)

        2. Laurens M. Dorsey

          (Heh. GKC always had a way with the arresting half-truth.) As if belief in God were not itself proof positive of humankind’s propensity to believe any damned thing. A tragic lust, the lust for idols. But funny.

      2. F. Beard

        Adding: If one fears God properly, he need fear NOTHING else.

        If non-believers had a decent sense of imagination they would go insane from worry.

        1. Johann Sebastian Schminson

          Offered the choice of going crazy from worry or going crazy due to believing in a sky ‘thing’ (who ostensibly loves us, but treats like piss mops), I’ll happily take the former. In my perception, demons are real — just look around (and worry).

          1. allcoppedout

            Beard offers much of the right critique. The problem is faith solution. Science is rather Russian doll on same. We save planet from ourselves, then fly to another one. Sooner or later universal expansion means we must floop to another universe. The hope is we develop super-civilisation by avoidance of retreats to earlier evolution. What leaves the earth is moot. We don’t do zero-gravity well. This is all tougher to think than blind faith in revealed wisdom that has led us to current disaster.

  3. scott

    Letter from Medicare to a new recipient c2025

    “Congratulations on reaching your 70th birthday. When we changed the coverage age from 65 years to 70, we hoped you wouldn’t make it, but you did. You must have been taking care of yourself.
    Now that Medicare no longer covers cancer treatment, we have included these 2 pills. If you get to the point where you can’t feed yourself or can’t stand the pain, take these two pills and call 1-800-REC-YCLE and leave your address for our cart, I mean van.

    Thank you (and your parents thanked you) for your lifelong contributions to Medicare.”

  4. Brindle

    re: “New American System”

    This piece was basically a third way/silicon valley screed for “less guvmint–more markets”. Dripping with hubris.

    1. Laurens M. Dorsey

      These guys are always so energetic, too. More than willing to grind out some 1000s of words in which to bury the weeny. So that just when I’m sure I’m staring into the beak of the vampire squid, I realize I just can’t keep my eyes open another minute…

  5. Dino Reno

    Condi Rice cancels Rutgers speech after Iraq War protest

    Thank you student council of Rutgers. Very encouraging to see this brave and ethical stand against an establishment war criminal among those almost too young to remember the Iraq war.

    Thank you, as well, to those protesting Eric Holders’s appearance in Oklahoma. He should be held accountable for all those things he did and didn’t do while in office.

    1. Oregoncharles

      Makes you wonder: WTF was the president of U, who chose her, THINKING? “We’ll just have a famous war criminal give the graduation speech – what could go wrong?”

      That would be another useful acronym: WCGW?

      1. kgilmour

        Why ask a rhetorical question that we all know the answer to. If you are a member of a group/race/ethnicity or sexual orientation – which enjoys popular societal need to advance at any cost by reason of past crimes against said group –

        Any monster can be catapulted to an undeserving position of power and authority because of their genetic heritage. Scary no?

        For those who recognize that a vote for O was date rape at best – a teensy light bulb should be flickering in the back of their brains….. OMG – The nomination of Condie as an unimpeachable power broker by reason of past sins of white people.

        Or the Black presidency that made Wisconsin housewives swoon and tear up over “how far we’ve come” — should be a wake up call to the disastrous consequences of racial/ethnic identity politics.

        Then there is the ongoing Oligarchy of families who run the Fed and international monetary policy — otherwise known as the dreaded 1% [actually they have always been known as the icky 2%] But the 2% designation has so much emotional baggage attached that political expediency dictates the moniker be changed to !% – to advance dog whistle politics against Wall St – without actually naming the perps.

        Janet Napolitano and her buzz cuts were/are free to grope and finger grandmas at the airport… with nary a whisper that it could be improper for potential sexual partners to be frisking, strip searching, and otherwise committing sexual crimes against hapless citizens. Napolitano and her gals are just another PROTECTED CLASS…. waiting for a sexual harassment class action lawsuit as it happens.

        So when I shout — and I do SHOUT – no lesbians! when I’m singled out for an ‘innocent’ pat down…. they all look at each other and rethink whether this white, educated, professional senior citizen could make more trouble than it’s worth.

        I”ve won every contest so far – and I do NOT go through back scatter machines.\]

        But that’s another story… and another battle in the identity politics war.

        1. kgilmour

          I forgot. I am an equal opportunity hater.

          I think George Bush and Dick Cheney are the worst examples – and the most lethal, violent and evil representatives of past identity politics.

          Make no mistake. I do not yearn for the days of Good Ole Boy selection of white power brokers between demons like Bill Clinton – the classic southern pol and George the Younger]

          But we don’t purge the system of evil by changing the color or sexual orientation of it’s demons.

  6. Eeyores enigma

    “A New Take On Sustainable Aquaculture”

    There is nothing new about it. Many companies and individuals have been trying this for 50 years or more and it was touted as the silver bullit for feeding a GROWING population 6 or 8 years ago.

    Trouble is either the fish die off for “unknown reasons” or in one of the biggest operations they had a swarm of jellyfish easily pass through the mesh and kill all fish.

    This piece is nothing more than wishful thinking, religious mumbojumbo, hopium selling, technocopian claptrap designed as a pr campaign to allow us to continue to ignore reality.

    We must give up all hope if we want to have any hope for the future. (trademark)

    1. Skeptic

      ” O’Hanlon says he chose Panama because there was much less red tape; an important consideration for such an experimental idea. ”

      To me, the most worrisome item here is the lack of regulation. Anyone who has read Bill Joy, WHY THE FUTURE DOESN’T NEED US, will realize that the unfettered exploitation of bio and nano tech may be the end of the Biosphere. 1% Crazies will set up their bio and nano experiments in those pockets of the World where there will be no regulation and a desperate need for $$$ to fund the ruling political infrastructure. Unfettered Science is not going to be any more beneficial than Unfettered Finance.

    2. Oregoncharles

      Actually, what bothered me most, because it always does, was the complacent reference to feeding 9 billion in 2050. Yes, I know it comes from the UN, but it’s a blind projection. Not only is it not going to happen, but the effort to do it would be hugely destructive. This example, for instance, would be (at best) hugely expensive – and what are they feeding the fish? Wild-caught fish meal?

      Yes, I know Lambert addressed this with his post about garden productivity a while back. But that’s a best-case scenario; how often does THAT happen? And how would we make it happen? The planet’s life-support systems are ALREADY collapsing, one after another; we ain’t getting to 9 B., and we’re most likely not-getting there the hard way.

      A plan of attack against the anti-woman, anti-contraception religions would be much more to the point.

      1. allcoppedout

        These religions often practice against poor men through polygami, leaving many ‘warriors’.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      yes, this is not new at all, just some repackaged PR crap. Note that the author is “not a biologist” and mentions “You might think O’Hanlon decided to grow a conventional species like salmon; a fish that currently represents a $10 billion per year industry.

      Rather than follow the crowd, Open Blue is attempting to create a new market for a fish that until recently, I had never heard of myself. ”

      Maybe if the author were a biologist and not a know-nothing PR flack, he might realize that this has been tried with salmon all over Canada and the penned salmon develop sea lice which kill off vulnerable young wild salmon, decimating their populations, which has led to widespread protest. No wonder the owners chose Panama for their lack of “red tape”.

      1. evodevo

        Yes. The article sounded like it was written by some newbie from the 90’s or something. One thing he didn’t cover at all was what they are feeding these trapped fish? They obviously aren’t free to find their own food. In the case of tilapia and catfish you can feed them ground cornmeal-based feed. The problem with salmon and shrimp is that they have to be fed high-protein feed that is usually made up of ground-up “trash fish” – the euphemism for “bycatch” – i.e. fish that are caught up in fishing trawler nets that aren’t of the current best-selling species, and are valueless to fishing fleets. So you are depleting the oceans of fish, to feed those held captive in fish farms. Hmmmm …. doesn’t sound sustainable to me!

    4. KFritz

      “….red tape.” Real meaning: Panama was the only county that would allow him to muck around with large areas of its adjacent oceans. Changing the ecology of the oceans is what we’re already doing with overfishing. His farming is another and probably more intrusive disruption.
      OF COURSE, California won’t let him alter its offshore waters.

      Trout, catfish, and tilapia farming in isolated bodies of water with plant based feed and sound practices produce good protein to input results. No it doesn’t taste like wild fish, but then farm raised meet isn’t as gamey tasting…as game (with the exception of mutton from old ewes and rams). All open water fish farming is a disaster, differing only in degree of severity.

      1. kgilmour

        Yet all who jump ahead to a future that includes ‘culling’ of human populations – is mocked, vilified, and otherwise told they and theirs should be the first to go.

        The next step in the race to save the planet and its more innocent membership – must be a hard hearted discussion of who and how many can/should survive.

        Why is it so hard for “economists” around here to understand that the first law of economics will prevail in that conversation as well…. the more you have of anything – air, water, lottery money for statewide education – the less value is attached to same.

        That law does not exclude homo sapiens. So – the larger the population pool – ie East Indians, Chinese, and other easily identifiable and growing populations – the less value will be attached to their survival.

        Hamilton’s Rule… it ain’t goin anywhere… all the goody two shoes on this board are not going to change that simple piece of hardwiring… Those who look and act like me and mine…. are more “VALUABLE” than those who do not look and act like me and mine.

        We are at a tipping point wherein Political Correctness dictates that these conversations must happen in private – between like minded, homogenous groups. Multi culturalism will continue to unwind – with teens like my grandson – telling us over Easter brunch that Cambodian kitchen practices [keeping caged monkeys, dogs, puppies, cats and birds for supper] – is enough to reduce the VALUE of Cambodians to less than that of aforementioned puppies, monkeys and cats.

        He thinks 20 million Dead Cambodians was not enough to save the hapless species who are victims of that culture – [if you can call it that] Says he.

        A few more decades of Whale Wars, Outside Magazine lamenting the needs of African families over Elephant grazing patterns… and Adolph Hitler’s final solution will sound pretty tame compared to what the Bambi generation wants for Africans, Asians and even Japanese.

        Hamilton’s Rule – now everybody – All together now… BUT AMERICANS HAVE A LARGER CARBON FOOTPRINT>.. yada yada yada… NOBODY CARES – but for THEIR OWN.

        We don’t torture goats in a bathtub. We don’t eat puppies. We don’t chain baby monkeys to the kitchen sink til supper. And THAT is the subject that will resurrect “solutions” we thought were buried with Goebbels and company.

        1. kgilmour

          and, um, not a moment too soon.

          OMG …thank goodness I don’t own a basketball team.

  7. Eureka Springs

    Larry Lessig must be stoned or working for the entrenched interests. Start a mini pac in order to end super pacs. Even if it worked (which it won’t) all the rich would have to do is start a couple thousand mini pacs or some other ponzi scheme.

    Whether he admits it or nay he’s preying on the little people here. Ten million might buy one senator from a small state… or a a few reps around the country… which will accomplish nothing.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Does anybody know what Lessig wants the money for? We looked. The effort reminds me of “a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.” Frankly, I’d like for once to be too cynical. Readers?

      1. Eureka Springs

        Read about it earlier this week somewhere out on the internets… here’s a vimeo vid which looks to be Lessig himself. Sorry my 60.00 hillbilly hiwifi doesn’t allow me to view vids anymore.
        http://vimeo.com/93299391

        1. allcoppedout

          It’s pretty obvious what he is talking about – one always has to worry when someone talks as though he’s addressing the village idiot convention. So he’s right and his answer is to reform by playing the existing game in order to get into power to close it down. Simples! My wallet has just leapt from my pocket.

          In the UK we have this kind of thing in terms of ‘a government of men in white suits’ who will change the constitution and then resign. Of course, these men in white suits would have included Jimmy Saville and other child abusers. We ain’t good at spotting good people. The problem is one needs such action across the globe, because eventual policy needs to be global, even if we make most government more local. Currently, all governments break their word using the global competition excuse. So without more on what is intended Larry looks just like another promiser. Curse and distraction, I agree with Lambert!

      2. Doug Terpstra

        Sigh… No, not cynical enough, Lambert. Another rope-a-hope-dope “reform activist” from Harvard wants to raise $15 million in bribes to end campaign bribery? You’re effing kidding me! Post-Obama, you couldn’t pay me enough to swallow such snake oil. Harvard-credentialed shysters and neoconomists make carnies look like Franciscan monks. Like Lily Tomlin said, no matter how cynical you get, you can’t possibly keep up with the new breed of charlatans.

        On that note, the Counterpunch article, “Word of the Day: Capitulation” nails the mortally-diseased culture of DC. Jason Hirthler explains that gut-wrenching retch reflex that now persists in your stomach. It’s because the decomp stench emanating from Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the capitol has become unbearably noxious, and only the walking dead seem impervious to its rank putridity.

    2. Brindle

      Looking at the MayOne website, found connection to the No Labels group. Cynicism is healthy, IMO.

      1. petal

        Cynicism is definitely healthy. LL gave a talk at Dartmouth in early January about reforming campaign financing. It was a …very polished, very practiced talk-not a bad thing, right, but there was something about it that just didn’t sit well with me. It was more like a used car salesman trying to sell something w/o telling the whole story-hard to describe it adequately, sorry. I swung between thinking he was really that naive and thinking he was willfully, conveniently ignoring reality and known facts for some ulterior motive. Ultimately, I came down on the side of the latter. He spoke about his relationship with Aaron Swartz and was all choked up and crying. Again, something just didn’t feel right. I didn’t buy it. Something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

        http://thedartmouth.com/2014/01/13/news/lessig-to-lead-new-hampshire-rebellion

    3. Trinity River

      Personally, I hate to see Larry Lessig trashed since he did a good job of the Lester analogy on TED TALKS. He sometimes has ineffective ideas as we all do, but he is not a Democratic shill. My understanding is that he would use the money to spread the ideas in his “We the People” 2013 TED Talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim (I do not know how to add a link here.)
      Lessig surely did the legwork needed on corruption of copyright law as seen in his 2007 TED Talk.

  8. savedbyirony

    55 schools facing title ix investigation – The same can be said about Notre Dame not appearing on the list as Harvard.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Long over due.

      Should be done it concurrent with the Catholic investigation.

  9. diptherio

    That VoxEU article, and Yves’ jibe, got my creative juices flowing this morning. Must be that mountain air…

    Rebuilding Economics from the Ground Up ~GEO blog

    The short version goes like this:

    A new economics, if anyone is interested in such, must start from the premise that our economic system exists to promote the fulfilment of human potential–to ensure each has the opportunity to develop to their highest possibilities, however they happen to define them. Numbers and money are means to an end–possible tools that we can use to better accomplish our goal of human development–but once they become seen as the ends in themselves, our thinking veers wildly off track.

    1. craazyman

      what if we don’t have any potential to fulfill? I don’t have any potential, and I don’t want to fulfill anything. I just want to lay around, but you need money for that. This could be the year to get rich quick, but I said that last year too, and the year before. I heard today that silver is “a coiled spring”. It may be, I just hope it doesn’t project itself into my face while I watch it

      Nice pics by Mr Cunningham BTW. 80+ years young and he rides a bike around New Yawk and takes pictures of women on the street in addition to trees and flowers. That’ could get you smacked or arrested, but I guess if youre 80+ they give you a free pass. Gary Winogrand, they’d lock him up if he was around today. Ever see those pics he took? holy moly.

      sorry I’m in a good mood since I just printed out oon my fine art Epson printer a pic I took of some chicken legs roasting on a grill in Queens through window in the sun. Whoa! It’s art. it’s fine art. hahahah I’m not kidding

      1. Oregoncharles

        At $19/t. oz., silver is $15 below its high. On the other hand, it’s been where it is for quite a while, so it’s looking pretty stable.
        Unless everything goes to hell in a hand basket, always a pretty good bet.

    2. allcoppedout

      The proposed changes don’t even admit what economics teaching mostly is – teaching a few sums and terms.

      1. allcoppedout

        Don’t be silly Lambert. Both in the picture are primate. Greg is pond life.

  10. spooz

    Louis CK has stirred up discussion of Common Core after his appearance on David Letterman. With most agree that our kids aren’t performing well in math, with many of them needing remedial math when they reach college, we certainly can use a new approach. After looking at the real examples of common core teaching, the approach looks like a big improvement to me.
    I don’t think the fact that some parents don’t get it to be more an issue with the parents than the kids. Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post is one of the biggest critics of CC. She claims that kids are pushed to learn things like counting to 100 and knowing a few words in Kindergarten, when they should be focusing on active, play based learning. My kids knew how to count to a hundred BEFORE they went to kindergarten

      1. spooz

        I don’t know how I managed to post that before I was finished. I edited that to say “critics”, since the Strauss post I got the information from was one of many posts on Common Core where she merely presents opinions others, this time by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/01/29/a-tough-critique-of-common-core-on-early-childhood-education/

        While I understand that school readiness varies from child to child, I think holding kids back a year, if necessary, is a better solution than expecting everybody to be ready at the same time.

        1. Oregoncharles

          Our whole educational system is based on the assumption that kids all learn and develop at the same rate. Literally everybody knows that isn’t true.

          In short, it’s a recipe for disaster. The wonder is that so many come out functional – apparently children can’t be prevented from learning SOMETHING.

          Messing around with the details is mostly a waste of time.

          1. allcoppedout

            Right on Oregon. And when we test what was really learned of formal content, we find little retained. Most education takes place while physical brain changes are more important than classroom incarceration. Why would any decent person want to educate children into our dumb world?

      1. spooz

        Here is a part of my post that I didn’t get in on the first try:

        The thing that impresses me about CC, at least for math, is that it starts very early teaching kids that there are more than one way to solve a problem. This is something only the gifted kids were being taught at my kids school system ten years ago, and only beginning in junior high school. The criticism regarding too much testing may be accurate; one standardized test per year is probably enough to determine if the new teaching strategies are effective.

        Here is one website I found that explains the CC math concept of “number bonds”, which I find intuitively appealing (unlike so many others who moan about the “new math” online) and would have a very easy time helping my kids to understand:

        http://mathcoachscorner.blogspot.com/2013/07/teaching-number-bonds.html

        Regarding the Huffpo problem, I like commenter Ken Hernandez’ answer:

        “Evidently this Dad has reading problems: the point of the question was to explain correct use of an algorithm (and how it is connected to a number line — a quite traditional pedagogic method in elementary math), not simply to arrive at a correct answer for a given arithmetic problem. It’s the difference between knowing how to construct one particular grammatical sentence and knowing how to diagram sentences.”

      2. different clue

        At what level of state or regionalocal jurisdiction would people be able to reject Federal
        Money and seccede from Common Core? This is exactly what Common Core is designed to foster on purpose.

      3. Johann Sebastian Schminson

        Jeez. One look at that, and my eyes glazed over.

        I’m sure that problem frustrates the crap out of 50% of the kids who try to solve it. The remainder simply don’t give a damn.

        Which brings us down to the real problem with 12-year, universal schooling:

        We don’t account for the dumbasses on either side of our system. All kids are apparently assumed to be exceptional, and expected to perform at an above average level. Those designing the teaching method(s) and curricula are too ignorant to go with what got us here, in the first place (on the human scale) — teaching to the child’s strengths and society’s needs.

        Jefferson’s concept of ‘Hundreds’ (at least, I believe it was Jefferson’s — if not, he was an outspoken proponent of it), taught the basics (the 3 Rs: Readin’, Ritin’, and Cipherin’), and only advanced the cream of each strata of education. Too bad the industrial and tech revolutions crushed agrarianism.

        Germany seems to have a good grip on prepping kids for realistic careers, beneficial to the student and to society, based on aptitudes demonstrated (or not), from early childhood.

        1. spooz

          A couple of the lead writers of the Common Core math standards, Jason Zimba and William McCallum blame a poorly written curriculum for the problem’s difficulty.

          I was surprised to find out that Common Core will not mandate any particular curriculum. Teachers will still develop their own lesson plans and choose test materials. The assumption is that the new resources will eventually develop around the shared standards.

          “So far, there has been little quality control. Some of the new curricula labeled Common Core include high quality materials that match well with the standards, but many don’t, supporters of the standards say.

          “Like it or not, the standards allow a lot of freedom. People think the Common Core is a curriculum, and it’s not. The curriculum authors are going to interpret the standards in different ways,” Zimba said.”

          http://hechingerreport.org/content/common-core-math-problem-hard-supporters-common-core-respond-problematic-math-quiz-went-viral_15361/

        2. spooz

          Also, its pretty clear to me, if you just look at the typed information on that math problem and ignore the markup done by the person trying to answer it, Jack forgot to subtract 10 before subtracting 6 from the number line (he went from 127 to 121 instead of going from 127 to 117 to 111). Not exactly rocket science.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            “….not exactly rocket science…”

            Maybe not for a rocket scientist. But I’d imagine it LOOKS like rocket science to a 2nd grader. I have no idea what kind of language/writing skills a 2ND GRADER is expected to have in order to satisfactorily complete the “composition portion” of this SUBTRACTION problem, since I’ve yet to see an acceptable response to this “problem.” But I’ve got the feeling that “I do not like green eggs and ham” wouldn’t cut it.

            This idiocy is “multi-tasking” run amok. In a schizophrenic, jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none kind of way And no one should forget how unproductive “multi-tasking” has proven to be. (Just take a look at those people texting and WALKING at the same time.)

            Math is a skill that is mastered through repetition and practice, one operation at a time. And I’m still trying to figure out how that incorrectly used number line facilitates subtracting NEGATIVE numbers.

            As for Ken Hernandez’s comment above, if you can actually CONSTRUCT a “grammatically correct” sentence, you can diagram it. If you can’t diagram it, you “constructed” it by accident.

            1. spooz

              From the Hechinger Report link, CC lead writer Zimba points out that the standards don’t require essay writing in mathematics, so this is a choice in the particular school’s curricula. Here is what the kid’s father wrote to explain the confusion of the viral letter I think he felt a little embarrassed in hindsight:

              https://www.facebook.com/jeff.severt1/posts/10201895304210800

              As for the correct answer in essay form, I’ll take a stab:

              Dear Jack,
              316 is 200 + 10 + 6. You subtracted the 200 and the 6 from 427 on the number line, but you forgot to subtract the 10.

              I’m pretty sure I would be able to explain it to a second grader. It might take a lesson and some examples to get there, but I see it as pretty elementary. Its simple subtraction, not “subtracting negative numbers”.

              1. spooz

                Oops, sloppy editing strikes again. Answer to problem should be:

                Dear Jack,
                316 is 300 + 10 + 6. You subtracted the 300 and the 6 from 427 on the number line, but you forgot to subtract the 10.

        3. Katniss Everdeen

          “All kids are apparently assumed to be exceptional, and expected to perform at an above average level.”

          Since that makes absolutely no sense, I’m almost certain you are right.

    1. tongorad

      The Common Core is the tip of the spear of Corporate Education Reform. Their goal is to loot, as always. Another big aim is to blame and distract workers with false narratives about “broken” public institutions and a lazy, know-nothing labor force. You see, the economic crisis and declining living standards are all our fault. Market forces/discipline to the rescue!

      Bill Gates dictates how it’s going to work in this speech from 2009:
      “When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well—and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching. For the first time, there will be a large base of customers eager to buy products that can help every kid learn and every teacher get better. …”
      http://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2014/03/20/bill-gates-sobering-2009-speech-to-legislators/

      Market forces to the rescue! And here’s an example of how that’s going to work:
      Pearson Wins Major Contract From Common-Core Testing Consortium
      The global education company Pearson has landed a major contract to administer tests aligned to the common-core standards, a project described as being of “unprecedented scale” in the U.S. testing arena by one official who helped negotiate it.

      The decision to award the contract, announced Friday, was made by a group of states developing tests linked to the common core for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two main consortia of states creating exams to match the standards.
      Pearson is expected to perform a broad range of duties under the contract, including development of test items, delivery of paper-and-pencil and computerized test forms, reporting of results, analysis of scores, and working with states to develop “cut scores,” or performance standards for the exams.

      *and here’s the money shot*
      While a number of companies inquired in response to PARCC’s request for proposals for the project, ultimately Pearson was the only bidder, said James Mason, who helped negotiate the contract as part of a team of PARCC state leaders.
      http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2014/05/pearson_wins_major_contract_from_common-core_testing_consortium.html

      1. David Lentini

        Thanks, Tongorad. CCSS stinks to high heaven. This is nothing by a play by the Gates Foundation and Obama to privatize corporatize American education. Mercedes Schneider has done yeoman’s work in exposing the lies spread by the CCSS PR machine. Another great source is Diane Ravitch’s ‘blog.

        In short, as I explained in an op-ed in the Portland (Maine) Press Herald several weeks ago, what we call the CCSS is really the tip of an iceberg. Back in 2009–2010, the Obama Administration launched Race to the Top and refused to repeal No Child Left Behind, telling the states that the only way they could have an opportunity to get funding under RttT and get waivers of the 100% proficiency requirement under NCLB was to agree to: (1) adopt CCSS, (2) implement high-stakes testing under either the SMARTER Balanced (SBAC) or PARCC, and (3) use the testing results in teacher and school performance evaluations. Also included were large scale data collection of student and family data.

        So, while the effect of CCSSS may not by itself constitute a “curriculum”, the combination of CCSS and high-stakes testing, and the heavy marketing by third party materials providers, will in effect produce a national curriculum. And in fact, this is just what Bill Gates wants, as told the National Conference of State Legislators in 2009: “We’ll know we’ve succeeded when the curriculum and the tests are aligned to these standards.”

        Even the standards themselves have come under heavy criticism. Supporters of the standards have admitted that some states, e.g., Massachusetts, have better standards. Many professional educators have argued that the standards are poorly conceived and not developmentally appropriate. Even Jason Zimba, the co-creator of CCSS with David Coleman, admitted that the standards would produce high school graduates ready for a community college. Not surprisingly, it’s come to light recently that the vast majority of the writers and validators of the standards were from testing companies like Pearson or from colleges and universities. Only about five of 125 had any public school teaching experience.

        And do you think the private schools that the Obamas and Gateses send their kids to will use CCSS? Think again.

        The biggest problem our public schools is poverty. If you correct for poverty, our international PISA scores are among the best in world in all categories. Just think what even a fraction of the estimated $2billion Gates has spent promoting CCSS would do if spent on child poverty in the US?

  11. Mel

    I wonder to what extent “Jim Manzi” is a personal face put onto a committee-generated article. His personal account about development of information technology is interesting, and I’ve recommended it, but then, right into fracking. They can use Jim as a sort of human shield to make it seem impolite to attack the article.

    Fracking. “… as it scales up …” it scales right back down again. Nearly simultaneously. We’re looking at that happen right now. And then, government services, education and medicine — “more like markets.” Just go back to http://historyunfolding.blogspot.ca/ and read the second article, titled “Dramaitc change”. (Yes, [sic].) Should be enough.

    1. Lambert Strether

      I’ve been spotting “innovation” in the zeitgeist awhile, but that Manzi piece is like peak innovation. The whole ideological package is there, and boy, are the “folks” at the National Journal pleased with themselves. Never mind that real wage have been flat for forty years.

      A raise. Now that would be an innovation.

  12. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Toys getting cheaper.

    Our children. We must think of our children.

    Either that or it is a subsidy to get them started on the Road to Consumer-dom.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pritchard…shocking US jobs data.

    I think the problem is that, by 6th grade, at the latest, a student is expected to master the basic math skill of addition.

    The two ‘contradictory’ reports on jobs in April simply mean that we are not graduating competent sixth graders.

    ‘But, but, but, this is very complicated…’

    Yes, and we can’t hope to colonize Mars if we can’t even count how many jobs we have.

    1. rjs

      odd that he picked the household survey to focus on…it has a margin of error of +/- 300,000 in the count of the unemployed and has tended to be so volatile that discouraging results in one month are typically reversed the next,…also calling the CPS “Non-Farm Payrolls data” indicates that he’s unfamiliar with US reports…

      1. rjs

        he says “Non-Farm Payrolls data released on Friday shows that the workforce shed 806,000 jobs in April”, which is just completely wrong…

    2. allcoppedout

      Let’s teach the kids what machines can do better. A formula, perhaps, for a human future with oil cans to ease the machines’ discomfort?

  14. Mel

    “Toys getting cheaper. Our children. We must think of our children.”

    It’s also related to the way the market for Medical Care fails. If somebody really has a treatment that prevents you dying today, they can charge you pretty much everything you have for it.
    Similarly you will pay what you have for the things you must have to live. Cheap toys are there to soak up what’s left over.

  15. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Just read it at LA Times, young blood reverse effects of aging.

    Maybe vampires have been right all along.

    If you are happy with your $1 billion, now this will finally motivate you to get the second $ billion. There is a purpose to life and accumulating money after all.

      1. allcoppedout

        So far only in mice and on Dr No Island, as you know from out trips there, young Lambert.

  16. Synopticist

    http://www.gizmag.com/dna-gps-trace-geographical-ancestry/31874/

    “25 percent of residents of 10 villages in Sardinia to their specific villages and the remainder to with 50 km (31 miles). Additionally, residents of 20 islands in Oceania were tested, with 90 percent being traced back to their exact island.”

    I’m a bit sceptical about how accurate this might be, because of these specific examples. Both Sardinia and islands in Oceania have extremely distinct genetic signatures- they’re both famously defined and clear cut. Being able to accurately place someone from a particular place in Sardinia doesn’t mean the same technique would work anywhere else.

  17. allcoppedout

    The Vox thing on syllabus change needs serious thought. It’s total crap – was that serious enough?

    1. If we take a body of work around Piketty and Wilkinson on inequality seriously other than in some definitional problems, universal education has arisen in a time of no change on inequality except through bloody war (give or take). So deep questions on what education does and is for …
    2. What really goes on in economics classrooms, case studies, sum ability tests?
    3. Why is economics being taught to a few university classes and not teachable in wider practice and earlier?
    4. Why is nearly all teaching child-minding, functionalist and based in classrooms? This before the trained classroom bums-on-seats get into economic lessons.

    This list goes on. Somewhere in it there would have to be something like ‘and teaching by functionalist teachers who hate learning and operate by control of knowing the textbook and setting only questions it answers’.

  18. allcoppedout

    Does anyone else here remember the ‘Magic Boomerang’? It was an Aussie kids’ series and basically a young kid stopped time by throwing the boomerang. He was unaffected and then ran about putting things right. Skippy was probably in it until he went seriously into animal interpretations as a police snitch in deep cover. Many was the time I looked over my shoulder hoping for help from a kangaroo in uniform, only for less intelligent patrol car crews to turn up and scare off the witnesses.

    Today’s Magic Boomerang would be a means to feed, water shelter and clothe people, while we get on fixing the economy on a sensible, green plan aimed at reasonable equality that won’t lead to our current screaming monkey condition. Didn’t see any mention of this on Vox as a viable thing to set young brains, often smarter than the teacher’s, to do as part of an economics degree.

  19. Redneck darts

    http://humanrightsdoctorate.blogspot.de/2014/05/obama-calls-for-review-of-death-penalty.html

    Yet another issue driven by the human rights review process, with media coverage making absolutely no mention of the Human Rights Committee’s crucial role. The HRC was working with US civil society, grilling the shit out of odious cracker executioner Jim Hood. The Committee came back again and again, picking apart Hood’s bullshit and lies and dramatizing the case of the black convict he tortured to death with a bunch of random drugs. Now execution horror stories are all the rage.

    If this were to induce the US to adopt the 2nd optional protocol to the ICCPR, that would be pretty good. DoJ doesn’t care, as long as FBI and CIA can continue to kill anybody they want extrajudicially. Not killing helpless prisoners would be one thing you could do to make US society just a little less nasty and vindictive.

  20. Ruben

    Probably a link to an exciting recent discovery of rejuvenation of brains and muscle is in order:

    http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/05/young-blood-renews-old-mice?rss=1

    Imagine the exciting new commercial applications. Older members of the 1% may significantly extend their lifetimes of leadership and wisdom for the benefit of humankind, just by directly injecting the blood coming from youngsters from the bottom of the economic hierarchy. A 120 years old O. may still be leading the greatest nation of all times into the brave new world of blood suckers. Welcome to GDF11 paradise.

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