Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 7:28 pm

Odds and ends for Feb. 10

Terrorists are winning the war on terror, primarily because, more than a decade after 9/11 and despite all the costly lessons we’ve learned since then, the U.S. persists in playing the terrorists’ game instead of its own.

Dean Smith‘s public memorial will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, in the Smith Center. Which leads me to wonder: Where will they hold Billy Graham‘s, once he passes on? Bank of America Stadium? Charlotte Motor Speedway? The National Mall?

There’s just one teeny-weeny little problem with the four plaintiffs in King v. Burwell, the case now before the Supreme Court that could, perhaps, lead to the Affordable Care Act’s being struck down: None of the four appears to have standing to be suing in the first place.

Could the hammer at long last be coming down on rogue Swiss(-ish) bank HSBC? I’ll believe it when/if it happens, but the Honorable Senator Professor Warren is on this like white on rice. (And just how rogue? Check this out.)

Jim Crow lynchings: significantly more common than previously reported.

I’m not the brightest bulb in the fixture, but I could tell in 11th grade U.S. history that “right-to-work” was Orwellian doublespeak. Unfortunately, that ain’t all it is.

Debtors’ jail, ostensibly illegal in the U.S., apparently is alive and well in Ferguson, Missouri. A lawsuit seeks to change that.

“Trials” at Guantanamo: No, Casey, nobody here can play this game.

If you’ve never worked in newspapers, you probably thought newspaper executive editors couldn’t get any stupider, and that if they did, it wasn’t your fault as a reader. You were wrong, as Robert Price of the Bakersfield Californian is pleased to demonstrate:

Several weeks ago, [director of audience development] Louis [Amestoy] and I introduced a set of new expectations for reporters and editors. Chief among them was that reporters and editors shall write publishable content every single day. Not blow-out, eight-source 30-inchers (although they have their place), but quick-hit 4-inchers based on as few as a one source or even personal observation — “what I saw driving in to work” stories. So far I have seen almost none of these.

These are required and will be measured on your annual reviews (which are coming up). Please think about how you might start creating these. If you’re like me, you may think some stories (weather related, seen on a business marquee, etc) just don’t clear the bar of importance. Not true, in most cases. Readers gobble this stuff up. [emphasis added; along with the unmistakable sound of Our Lord and Savior weeping bitterly]

#StealAlltheGrammys According to Google, Annie Lennox, Kristen Wiig, Prince (“almost”), Kanye West, Sam Smith, Frank Ocean, and Pharrell Williams’s funky park ranger hat, among others, “stole the Grammys.” Thought you’d want to know.

 

 

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Monday, September 29, 2014 8:19 pm

Why English majors are the hot new hires. (And, no, that not an Onion headline.)

Hey, take it from the American Express website.

I never had a lot of patience with people who asked me why I was majoring in English.

For one thing, I enjoyed it. Duh.

But for another, the skills you develop as an English major are the skills American business always says it needs more of: critical thinking, analytical ability, and the ability to communicate clearly. That was true 32 years ago and it remains true today. Those skills will prepare you for jobs that don’t even exist yet. I know that’s true because they did for me.

In fact, American business’s global competitors are finding they need the same skills, and that their job-focused college educations aren’t providing the people they need who have those skills. So they’re retooling their higher education along the U.S.’s traditional liberal-arts model.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t major in STEM if that’s what sings to you and/or you’re really serious about getting a particular job in that field straight out of school.

But it does mean that an English degree has a world of applications in a broad variety of business contexts. So does practically any liberal-arts degree, because they all teach the same skills, just in different contexts. And that, Pat McCrory, is why English majors (and Art History majors and Women’s Studies majors and on and on) are the hot new hires.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 8:04 pm

How one man ran into discrimination against women.

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 8:04 pm
Tags: ,

This is an anecdote, not data. But it’ll make you wonder.

Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:02 am

American suffering as morality play for our so-called journalists

Sir Charles on the great American sport of granny-starving, as applauded by The Village:

Someday someone is going to do a study on the psychological attitudes of the worthless media elite of our time and their obsession with making life more miserable for large swaths of their fellow Americans. The degree to which Saletan, Dancin’ Dave Gregory, David Brooks, and virtually the entirety of Fred Hiatt’s funny pages (save Eugene Robinson, Harold Meyerson, and E.J. Dionne), get tumescent over granny having to move in with the kids because she can’t afford to live on her own is really like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s gratuitous cruelty at the hands of people who have far more than they deserve and confuse this status with wisdom

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:52 pm

Rigged game, part MMXII; or, Too much is never enough

If you want proof that America’s economics and finances are in the hands of people who couldn’t give less of a shit about the common good, look no further than Caterpillar, the maker of bulldozers and other heavy equipment.

The company made $4.9 billion in profits last year — about $39,000 per employee — and projects an even better 2012.  So how is it rewarding its workers? By insisting that they agree to a six-year wage freeze and a freeze on pensions as well, and demanding that they contribute up to $1,900 per year more for health care than they already are. This move comes, the Times reports, as the company netted almost $1.6 billion in the first quarter of this year and “has significantly raised its executives’ compensation because of its strong profits.”

The workers said, in effect, “[Bleep] this noise,” and went on strike. Good for them.

The company argues that its wages make it less competitive in the marketplace, but the boost in compensation for its executives gives that game away. Its top six executives alone got cash and stock worth almost $40 million last year. Sure, you can make a case that Caterpillar is a well-managed company and they should be properly compensated. But the U.S. wage market has been artificially distorted in the past few decades to overcompensate a few at the top for outcomes that, when favorable, are as much the work of their much-lower-paid minions as of themselves. There’s a strong argument that reversing that trend would benefit the economy as a whole, which, other than plain selfishness, might well be part of the reason why these sociopaths oppose it.

Rose Bain, a striker, grows impatient with such arguments [that Caterpillar’s demands are fair]. Earning $15 an hour after two years, she said she could not afford a six-year freeze and did not trust Caterpillar to follow through with [a] hinted raise for lower-paid workers.

“We’re the people who busted our butts to help them make record profits,” she said. “We shouldn’t be treated like this.”

Exactly. And the fact that we’re even having to have this conversation shows how incredibly out of touch with reality our Galtian overlords have gotten. Worse, some of the same kinds of people who run Caterpillar want us to run the country the same way. I think Charlie Pierce speaks for anyone who has a lick of sense:

Jesus God, is there anyone — A-N-Y-O-N-E — out there beyond the Beltway who still believes that the CEO’s of American corporations have any inclination to act in the general national interest? Is there anyone — A-N-Y-O-N-E — out there beyond the Beltway who’d still trust [J.P. Morgan Chase CEO] Jamie Dimon to park his car? … I never thought I’d see the living definition of bleeding a country with leeches, but this comes awfully close.

UPDATE: Missing words restored 7/25.

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