July 16, 2014
Who gets shot in America: What I learned compiling records of carnage for the New York Times


An insightful look at who gets shot in America by the woman who has made it her work to catalog them, one at a time.

Politicalprof: A must read from the editor who compiled Joe Nocera’s gun violence blog. My favorite lines:

But while half of the shootings I featured were the result of a crime, the other half, I was most surprised to learn, resulted from arguments — often fueled by alcohol — among friends, neighbors, family members and romantic partners. More and more, people are solving their differences not with their fists but with guns. Husbands and wives are shooting each other, as are sisters and brothers. In many homes across America, loaded guns are easily accessible, and children find them, accidentally shooting themselves or each other. One hundred children died in unintentional shootings in the year after Newtown, which breaks down to two every week.

Because freedom.

(via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

July 16, 2014

Anonymous said: Since the late 1970s the cost of education has risen by over 1,000% whilst the mean family income has stagnated. As a result, graduating from a higher institution means for the typical college student to be burdened with debt, especially if desiring to pursue a masters or phd, when he/she is just starting their adult lives. Do you think it's always worth it to get an education? It would invariably seem like the answer is yes, but with the current job market, nothing seems guaranteed

Well, I’d say first of all that “always” is a pretty useless word in human life. Second, I’d say let’s not confound “education” and “higher education.” Thus, yes, it is ALWAYS worth it to get an “education.” It may or may not be worth it to get a higher education, depending on what one wants in life.

As for costs, there is no question that the increased cost of higher ed (to the student, where we’ve shifted costs over the last 30 years) makes it harder to understand why it might be “worth it.” (The reasons for these increased costs are a matter for another post.)

My sense is a lot of people think they have to go to an “elite” school to have a chance in life, and so will pay anything to achieve this end. And, to be fair, if you want to be President, you’re probably right: Harvard and/or Yale seem to have become prerequisites for that career. But for the rest of us, it’s pretty silly.

News flash: YOU CAN LIVE A FINE LIFE AND HAVE A FINE CAREER EVEN IF YOU ATTEND A LESS ELITE, LESS EXPENSIVE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY. Just pay attention and actually learn how to think and grow and develop … rather than seeking a stamp on a passport of “MAJOR MOFO UNIVERSITY.”

You probably won’t become POTUS. But then again, you probably won’t anyway …

July 15, 2014

Anonymous said: What do you think of Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century," and do you think it's possible for any sort of change in policy in America anytime soon?

I credit Piketty for reigniting the same conversation that the Occupy movement did: that inequality is not inevitable, but is instead the result of policy. I am not able to chime in on his data, about which there was critique (and lots of persuasive defense), but I can only hope that his book helps us move past the silly orthodoxy that the rich earned their money through hard work — especially working harder than everyone else. Some did — there are geniuses and innovators out there. But lots timed their working live well … and got lucky on the baby lottery.

We have chosen to transfer vast amounts of wealth from the working and middle classes to the rich, all while gutting social support programs and “get ahead” institutions like cheap, quality education. We did not have to do this. We can change it if we wish.

July 14, 2014

Politicalprof got his 70s on tonight. There was a time this was inescapable …

Peter Frampton, “Do You Feel Like We Do”

July 14, 2014

Politicalprof is on day care duty today …

July 13, 2014
News from the World Cup …

Rich white guys from rich country win international sports event!

It’s all so Chariots of Fire I could squee … and I have no idea what “squee” means …

July 13, 2014

Anonymous said: I'm an Undergraduate political science major, and I just wanted to let you know that seeing your posts on my dashboard helps me believe that there's still hope for my chosen discipline. You're an actual, real life inspiration, which has honestly been rare for me the past 3 years. So thanks.

aww, thanks!

July 12, 2014
"They’re better than us."

FOX’s Steve Doocy explaining why ordinary citizens in Chicago could understand the new “all gender” bathroom signs to go up on a very few number of bathrooms here at my university, Illinois State University, while the FOX News crew, desperate to construct a nightmare scenario, apparently finds them “too confusing.”

Ah. Decide for yourself …


ht: Justin’s political notebook

July 11, 2014
Not for nothing, Bibi, but by definition there is no quiet in Israel when you are yourself dropping bombs on it …

Not for nothing, Bibi, but by definition there is no quiet in Israel when you are yourself dropping bombs on it …

July 11, 2014
Editorial: Dallas open carry guitar protest hit the right note

Politicalprof: Because you don’t need to be a mind reader to know that IT’S TIME TO ROCK AND ROLL~!!!