August 20, 2014
I keep checking with Mrs. Prof, and she keeps telling me we’re still married even though Illinois has legalized gay marriage … so I guess I’m doing okay. Or Mrs. Prof is very tolerant. (It’s probably the latter.)
ht: affably-evil

I keep checking with Mrs. Prof, and she keeps telling me we’re still married even though Illinois has legalized gay marriage … so I guess I’m doing okay. Or Mrs. Prof is very tolerant. (It’s probably the latter.)

ht: affably-evil

August 19, 2014
yep.

yep.

August 19, 2014
This is pretty much right …

Ht: affably-evil

This is pretty much right …

Ht: affably-evil

August 18, 2014
This seems disturbingly the case. 

Ht: affably-evil

This seems disturbingly the case.

Ht: affably-evil

August 18, 2014
"A professor at Miami Dade College and co-author of the textbook The Freedom to Communicate is accusing a colleague and fellow author of plagiarizing portions of the book, the Miami Herald reports. What makes this plagiarism spat distinctive amid the recent spate of high-profile cases is the allegation that Adam Vellone, a communications professor, plagiarized the definition of plagiarism in the textbook, lifting it nearly word for word from Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection website."

Well, if you’re going to plagiarize something, the definition of plagiarize is a good place to start.

For that matter, if you want to teach people how NOT to plagiarize something, the definition of plagiarism is a good place to start.

ht: Chronicle of Higher Education

August 17, 2014
Find myself — impressed? is that the word — at the number of people who think it’s okay to kill people for being armed robbers standing 35 feet away while unarmed …

I’m just sayin’

August 17, 2014
re: poor choices And not a word about any “poor choices” made by citizens? It’s all on the cops, right? Well, at least one cop in particular, yeah. But let’s get real here, prof. Riots are the result of multiple variables - on both sides of the fracas.

So there are root causes AND proximate causes for social and political events. Huh. Including the shooting of an unarmed for no good reason? Which then inflamed deeply formed root causes that were latent until the shooting?

Who’d a thunk it?

August 16, 2014
Ahhh …

Ahhh …

August 16, 2014
Alas, true. 

Ht: George Takei

Alas, true.

Ht: George Takei

August 15, 2014

andimthedad said: I've been following the situation in Ferguson as closely as possible. It is shocking. I've been wondering: where are all the anti-government pro-gun-rights people? For years, they've been predicting oppression of citizens through police militarization, and now that it's actually happening, they seem silent. Is this straight-up racism? Is this because it's not the federal government (e.g. Obama) being oppressive? Is this because the police aren't coming after them personally?

kohenari:

I’ve been thinking about what I want to say on this topic all day; it’s been discussed to comedic effect on Facebook and Twitter, amongst the people with whom I share similar feelings about the gun rights insurrectionists.

Obviously, we’ve seen a whole lot of hypocrisy in the silence of those who have seemingly been warning us about the police or the feds or plain old unspecified tyranny. What happened earlier this week in Ferguson should be catnip for these people, but they’ve been oddly subdued. None of the open-carry activists were talking about grabbing their guns and heading to Missouri … not even the ones who live in Missouri.

Of course, open-carry activists are almost exclusively white people because black people know that carrying guns around in public will get them shot to death.

Clearly I don’t want to suggest that the insurrectionists or the open-carry activists are right, that the amassing of private handgun arsenals in order to scare off the police or walking around with guns to show everyone you’ve got ‘em are things that make any kind of sense. It’s not hard to imagine that the situation in Ferguson this week would have been about a million times worse if the protesters had been armed. Considering that this whole thing began with the shooting of an unarmed black kid, a whole bunch of armed black people facing the militarized St. Louis area police would have been a disaster of epic proportions.

A whole bunch of armed white people? Well, my friend Kim Yi Dionne happens to have a piece up at the Monkey Cage that addresses precisely this question using political science research:

Political scientists Christian Davenport and David Armstrong along with colleague Sarah Soule studied how the race of protesters affect how police respond to protest events in their paper, “Protesting While Black? The Differential Policing of American Activism, 1960 to 1990” (see ungated version here). In their research of more than 15,000 protest events that took place in the United States between 1960 and 1990, they find that:

… when compared with other groups, African American protesters are more likely to draw police presence and that once police are present they are more likely to make arrests, use force and violence, and use force and violence in combination with arrests at African American protest events.

So maybe those armed insurrectionists would have been just fine if they’d turned up in Ferguson this week. The police might have spoken with them and attempted to calm the whole situation down rather than escalating things by attempting to intimidate and silence them. And that would have thrown a whole wrench in their theory about government tyranny.

Which, by the way, if you’ve been following this story for the past few days, you’ll have recognized that mostly this is a story about racism and bad policing (as in incompetent) rather than a story about bad policing (as in tyranny over all Americans).

Politicalprof: Ari’s last point is extremely important. Ferguson (like Waco and the Branch Davidians, and Randy Weaver in Idaho, and countless other examples) was an example of quite terrible police responses to social crises. The subsequent state highway patrol response, like countless other examples, stands as an example of quite good police responses to social crises.

Leadership and choices matter. It’s not all because of any one thing.