It’s true, I got our fearless leader to spend 2 days in Vermont at a fishing lodge with no cell service and no internet access. Confession: after 12 hours, I tried to hack the lodge’s router.
Chicago’s Field Museum has a great exhibit, Women of Vision, with pictures by the women photographers of National Geographic. It’s possible that I would have to raise my photography game to match their efforts.
These two heartbreaking pictures by Stephanie Sinclair show girls forced into marriage.
We sometimes hear the argument: Who are you outsiders to criticize someone else’s culture? One answer can be seen in the picture below. The women most intimately affected often object.
The crying bride in the picture, Surita Shreshta Balami, is only sixteen. She is howling in protest at what she is being made to do.
The picture below of two married couples speaks for itself.
The last global trade deal was the Uruguay round, finally agreed in 1994 after seven years of negotiations. The deal included the setting up of the WTO, a stronger organization than GATT, which it replaced. But no further global trade deal has been agreed. The WTO launched the Doha round in 2001, but it has fittingly run into the sand.
Trade negotiators are nothing if not obstinate, and tried a new tack. If a global deal is too difficult, why not try regional ones? So TTIP, the transatlantic deal, and TPP, the Pacific one, were born. Well, conceived.
Both are moribund. Hollande has declared France’s opposition to TTIP in its current form, which is also under sustained attack in the European Parliament, especially over ISDS. TPP is opposed by both Clinton and Trump. Obama still officially hopes to get TPP through the Senate in the lame duck session. (See supportive comment from Harold Pollack.) Do you credit this? McConnell has not shifted from his policy of Adullamite obstruction of every Obama proposal. Even if he allowed a vote, would senators really vote against the platforms of their parties, which accurately reflect a hostile public opinion?
This widespread failure of the trade liberalisation agenda is usually put down to a widespread turn in public opinion against free trade, now seen by many on both left and the populist right as a callous neoliberal plot to enrich capitalists at the expense of workers. (It is true that the compensatory support for workers who lost their jobs as a result of past agreements like NAFTA somehow failed to materialise.) Some trade advocates resort to the absurd argument that the failure of TTIP and TPP would put existing trade at risk. But there is very little support for proposals to roll back existing trade agreements, from NAFTA to Uruguay to the European single market. There is something in the trade negotiation process of these new deals that gets voters’ goat.
Let me nail up a thesis to the trade church door. Modern trade negotiations are illegitimate. In their current form they cannot possibly lead to a democratically acceptable result. That is why they are doomed to fail.
The argument has two parts. Continue Reading…
Google not and try your hand at this quiz, in which you must name the mythical places that each of the directions given will take you. Answers after the jump, please post your score.
1. Follow the Yellow Brick Road.
2. Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.
3. Pass through the tool booth and then decide something without having a good reason.
4. Go down the rabbit hole.
5. Find the wardrobe in the spare room, and push your way through the old clothes hanging therein.
6. Speak friend and enter.
7. Pick up the train at platform 9 and three-quarters.
8. Go to Mist County and look for the place where all the children are above average.
9. Search by the shores of Lake Parime.
10. Go down the volcanic tubes at Snæfellsjökull.
My little corner of Chicago–two wards, with a tiny boost from Evanston–has more than 100 people signed up to go to Wisconsin to knock on doors for Hillary this Saturday. With less than 10 days’ notice, we’ve turned out enough people to spill over the boundaries of our original target (Kenosha) and conquer Racine as well.
To put that in perspective, that’s a bigger group of volunteers than we sent to Wisconsin at this time during the Obama campaign. After Labor Day, we’re going to flood the zone in Iowa.
So don’t let anyone tell you there’s no enthusiasm for Hillary.
As school resumes for many of us this week, I’m re-posting my review of The Paper Chase. It’s a wonderfully poignant reminder of how best—and how best not—to approach one’s studies. Enjoy!
While the opening credits roll, we watch the latest batch of first-year law students find their seats in the classroom at Harvard Law School. Rather than beginning the first lecture with some cliché about how only one person is ‘cut out’ to graduate from law school among the one in your seat and the two on either side of you, Professor Kingsfield, played by John Houseman, dives straight into Hawkins v. McGee—the infamous ‘hairy hand’ case. In Kingsfield’s contracts classroom, there are no prefatory remarks, no congenial introductions, and no easy questions. There is just the law. Those who can keep up are welcome to James Bridges’ The Paper Chase (1973). Continue Reading…
I am the new social media editor of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law (JHPPL). (I was previously point-counterpoint editor, allowing me to plug these two exchanges here and here.) I am blessed that the very first issue I am called upon to plug is a special one to me personally and to the field: The entire August 2016 issue is an appreciation of the grand medical sociologist David Mechanic, edited by Carol Boyer and Brad Gray.
I don’t believe in ranking people. I’ll just say that David is an obvious giant of the field. For almost sixty years, he has powerfully brought medical sociology to bear on some of health policy’s greatest challenges: behavioral health, social determinants, the organizational challenges of HMOs and rural health organizations, trust in the doctor-patient relationship, and more. His appreciation for organizational and historical factors is especially valuable in a field dominated, sometimes unduly so, by economic frameworks. David is also noteworthy as a gentleman and as a gracious mentor.
The lineup of major scholars writing in this weighty JHPPL special issue is terrific….
Mike O’Hare already skewered the silly idea that private industries don’t profit from publicly-owned prisons (who after all makes the bricks, mortar, cameras etc?). At the justifiable risk of piling on, my piece in Washington Post’s Wonkblog today lays out further what a distraction the private prison issue is in debates about mass incarceration.
Here’s a taster:
The governors of 20 states are surely not going to heed calls to close private prisons, because to do so they’d have to open one first. Among those states that do house inmates in private facilities, many do so sparingly. For example, at the end of 2014, Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and South Dakota each held no more than 30 prisoners in private facilities. (That’s a number, not a percent.)
For the rest click here