Massive Multi-Thinker Online Reviews

by John Holbo on July 12, 2005

I’ve been on sabbatical from CT, working on the Valve and, by extension, pushing pet notions about academic publishing reform. These notions have now born fruit in the form of a book event, conducted more or less on the model of similar events pioneered at CT – massive, multi-thinker online reviews. The book is Theory’s Empire, an anthology of essays critical of Theory – the ofless stuff, mostly indigenous to English departments. Several posts up so far, and several bloggers – inside and outside the Valve – lined up to participate over the next several days. Please feel free to drop by and join the conversation if this sounds interesting. Next month we’ve got a different book lined up: The Literary Wittgenstein. I wrote a long review of it for NDPR about a month back. Under the fold, some general thoughts about academic e-publishing.

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Two thoughts

by Ted on July 12, 2005

1. Karl Rove’s defense lawyer has been pushing the story that his client identified Joseph Wilson’s wife as a covert CIA operative simply to discourage Time from printing that Joseph Wilson’s trip had been authorized by CIA Director George Tenet or Vice President Dick Cheney. (Wilson never claimed that it was.)

Rove did not mention her name to Cooper,” Luskin said. “This was not an effort to encourage Time to disclose her identity. What he was doing was discouraging Time from perpetuating some statements that had been made publicly and weren’t true.”

What I’d like to ask, if I were in a position to do so:

If Karl Rove believes that it was appropriate to mention that Joseph Wilson’s wife was a CIA agent in order to improve a journalist’s work product, will he continue to reveal the identities of other covert CIA agents if similar opportunities present themselves?

2. Holding an old-fashioned pity party about the media’s anti-Bush bias would be a lot more convincing if that same media hadn’t completely sat on this story, despite possession of all relevant facts about Rove, for two years through an election cycle.

Impersonating OSHA

by Henry on July 12, 2005

“Jordan Barab”:http://www.nathannewman.org/laborblog/archive/003203.shtml writes about a quite appalling story at Nathan Newman’s blog today.

bq. Last week federal immigration officials took into custody dozens of undocumented workers from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Ukraine at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, North Carolina. How did they lure them into the trap? None of your business, says the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We’re not going to discuss how we do our business,” Sue Brown, an immigration and customs spokeswoman in Atlanta, said last Thursday.

bq. However, Allen McNeely, head of the state Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health division, said the workers were lured into the arrest by a flier announcing a mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration meeting.

bq. McNeely said one of the contractors who employed the immigrants faxed him a copy of the flier. It is printed in English and Spanish. It tells all contract workers to attend an OSHA briefing at the base theater and promises free coffee and doughnuts. … “Federal immigration officials say they have the right to round up illegal immigrants in any manner they see fit — even if it means impersonating Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials.”

Jennifer Gordon wrote an “article”:http://bostonreview.net/BR30.3/gordon.html a few months ago which explains exactly how badly undocumented workers are screwed under the existing system of workplace safety regulation. They rarely know their rights, are reluctant to complain about abuses for fear of deportation, and as a result are killed or maimed far more frequently in workplace accidents than they should be. This utterly, utterly shameful operation will make undocumented workers even less likely to contact OSHA about workplace safety than in the past – and as a result will lead to more cripplings and deaths.

Update: See also this “NYT story”:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/national/13janitor.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5094&en=a5044eb5a15dd403&hp&ex=1121227200&partner=homepage

Untangle the dots

by Eszter Hargittai on July 12, 2005

I have accumulated quite a list of fun sites. So far I have protected CT readers by only posting these occasionally. But I have so many now that I think I am going to make it a weekly feature. As additional warning, I have created a little button to signal these posts. The point of the button is to note: you have been warned, I take no responsibility for the amount of time you end up wasting due to clicking on these links.

Planarity Flash Game

Your job is to reposition the nodes so the links do not overlap. After posting a link to this on the SOCNET mailing list yesterday, a friend of mine remarked: “LOL! That is why we have software Eszter!”. Afterward, a serious discussion about visualization software ensued. Who says games are just for wasting time?

After level 10 I decided it was time to get back to work. [UPDATE: I’ve now gone to level 13, see link to images in the comments section.] That amount of game time made me start seeing the dots and lines even when not at my computer. You have been warned.

Tuesday may not be the best time to post such links, I realize, maybe I will make it a weekend feature in the future.

Shameless self-promotion

by Chris Bertram on July 12, 2005

This morning’s post brought with it a package from Cambridge University Press containing a copy of “The Political Philosophy of Cosmopolitanism”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521609097/junius-20 , co-edited by Crooked Timberite Harry Brighouse (with Gillian Brock) and including papers by both me and Jon Mandle. With such a heavy contribution from this blog, I hardly need point out that it is the duty of all regular readers to buy themselves a copy (as well as supplementary copies for friends and family)!

The t-word and the BBC

by Chris Bertram on July 12, 2005

The usual suspects are getting exercised again about the fact that the “BBC’s guidelines”:http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/edguide/war/mandatoryreferr.shtml tell its reporters not to use the word “terrorist” as part of a factual report unless it is in the mouth of someone else. Melanie Phillips goes one better and “accuses them of censoring”:http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/001320.html Tony Blair’s use of the word:

bq. The BBC’s censorship of the ‘t’ word gets worse and worse. In his statement to the Commons today, the Prime Minister repeatedly referred to terrorism. BBC Online’s account of this speech excised those references almost entirely, with only one reference in a quote to ‘the moment of terror striking’.

Perhaps she should have checked whether Blair speech is “reproduced in full on the BBC website”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4673221.stm , as it is, before sounding off.

Comment would be superfluous

by Chris Bertram on July 12, 2005

From the (not at all anti-American) “Daily Telegraph”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/12/nusaf12.xml&sSheet=/portal/2005/07/12/ixportal.html :

bq. All 12,000 American airmen based in Britain have been banned from going near London because of the bombings.

bq. The directive, issued on Friday, indefinitely bans USAF personnel, most of them based at the huge airfields at Lakenheath and Mildenhall in Suffolk, from going inside the M25.

bq. Families of the servicemen and women are being “highly encouraged” to stay away, too.

bq. While Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, was boarding an Underground train yesterday and declaring that “we don’t let a small group of terrorists change the way we live”, a USAF spokesman said the ban was “a prudent measure”. Its aim was to ensure “the security and safety of our airmen, civilians, their families and our resources”.

bq. Westminster city council accused the Americans of playing into the terrorists’ hands.

UPDATE: The “ban has now been lifted”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4673987.stm .

Almost forgot

by Ted on July 12, 2005

Rove fired from Bush Sr’s ’92 campaign over leak to Novak. Karl Rove was fired from the 1992 re-election campaign of Bush Sr. for allegedly leaking a negative story about Bush loyalist/fundraiser Robert Mosbacher to Novak. Novak’s piece described a meeting organized by then-Senator Phil Gramm at which Mosbacher was relieved of his duties as state campaign manager because “the president’s re-election effort in Texas has been a bust.” Rove was fired after Mosbacher fingered him as Novak’s source.

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