Sunday Links

Sunday, August 28th, 2011
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40 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  Aresen | 

    The college sex article has some good points, but it seems that the author is still caught up by another panic-of-the-moment:

    “Other administrators warn that even with the guidelines, campus hearing boards are ill-equipped to investigate assaults and rapes—all in the midst of another epidemic, binge drinking.

    Students getting drunk has been around since the first year after the founding of the University of Bologna in 1088.

  2. #2 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I wonder what various college alumni associations think of their colleges positioning themselves to pay out millions for civil rights violations?

  3. #3 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Come on, you guys. You’re totally ruining my “brave weatherman in the hurricane” shot!

    That video reminds me of Anderson Cooper who is spending a lot of time this morning explaining the miraculous turn of events that resulted in Irene not being the murderous disaster he was reporting it to be yesterday.

  4. #4 |  JLT | 

    Updated w/ new graphs and much more Fannie Mae corruption:

    The Cause of the 2008 Mortgage Crash, Revised 8/21/2011. Now with new charts and 80% more Fannie corruption.

  5. #5 |  Lori Wilson | 

    OT – check out the LA Times article on the police (twice) questioning an artist who had the gall (terroristic intent?) to paint banks on fire. Also nice quote from the head of a Chase bank branch.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-bank-painting-20110828,0,4395501.story

  6. #6 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    Off topic; The page of the LA Times that Lori Wilson linked to has a link to a page (http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-can-i-recycle-photos,0,7031146.photogallery) that is evidently a regular feature, and which I find interesting; each week they take on the recycling status of some common kind of trash (like corks). Wish my local paper would do this. I’m not a huge fan of broad based recycling, but they also note industry re-use programs.

  7. #7 |  BSK | 

    From Lori’s link:
    “”They said they had to find out my intention. They asked if I was a terrorist and was I going to follow through and do what I was painting.””

    If people have to answer for whether or not they do what they are painting, I hope whoever made this responds in the affirmative: http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/chewy-nazi-squirrel1-e1280266068995.jpeg

  8. #8 |  Aaron | 

    Oy. Yes, the standard should be “get consent before touching another human sexually”. But it doesn’t have to be verbal consent. Both “yes” and “no” are regularly communicated non-verbally. If you slowly come in for a kiss and they don’t open up to it, that means they don’t want it. If they do, they do.

    Yeah, alcohol complicates consent, but there’s a difference between blacked-out (where consent doesn’t really exist), and “had a couple shots with the intent of lowering my inhibitions”.

  9. #9 |  BSK | 

    CSP-

    From one of those pages: “Pur does not have a take-back program, but Brita has a partnership with the eco-product company Preserve to recycle its water pitcher filters. Preserve recommends that the filters be dried by shaking off the excess water and setting them in a dry location for a minimum of three days, then wrapping the filters in a plastic grocery bag, placing the bag in a box and mailing the filters to the company in New York. It also recommends that several filters be shipped at once.”

    Oh, really, Brita? You’ll let me mail back my old filters to you, at my own expense, so you can re-sell them to be at what I’m sure will be a non-reduced price? Thanks!

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #4 Lori Wilson

    OT – check out the LA Times article on the police (twice) questioning an artist who had the gall (terroristic intent?) to paint banks on fire.

    I’m pretty sure the public is largely ok with artists being forced to explain their intent to the state. You can’t be too careful, you know. In today’s world, everyone is a potential terrorist. This is only temporary, though. Eventually, the world will be divided between those who are on terrorist watch lists and those who are on state sponsored white lists. After that we will look back on these days of uncertainty and laugh.

    There are naturally going to be some growing pains as we acknowledge that the answer doesn’t lie in eliminating our fears, but permitting the state to manage them for us. Once it’s determined that pictures of burning bank buildings serve no purpose, they can be summarily eliminated. After all, there are limits to free speech. For example, painting a fire in a crowded theater is not protected speech.

  11. #11 |  BSK | 

    Aaron-

    The situation is incredibly complex. I also feel like there is an implicit assumption made about women with such a one-sided policy. I can’t quite put it into words, but it is there.

    At the same time, despite real instances of false accusations, I think the likelihood of a blatantly false accusation are low. Accusing someone else of rape or sexual assault is a traumatic experience for the victim. They are often revictimized by the system, sometimes over and over again. And with the burden of evidence difficult to meet (though obviously the attempts to lower that burden further complicate things), their attempts at seeking justice are often fruitless. My hunch is that most women who make accusations generally feel that they have been violated or assaulted. That does not necessarily mean that they have been, but my hunch is that they feel they have been. I find it hard to belief that the notion that women get drunk, sleep with someone, regret it the next day, and flippantly accuse the guy of rape is a rampant phenomenon. I know you are not saying that is the issue. I’m just speaking to the general complexity.

    Ideally, we would all make better decisions, male or female, both in terms of how drunk we get, how we handle ourselves when drunk, and how we conduct ourselves during sexual encounters (drunk or otherwise). In the event that someone, male or female, feels uncomfortable with what has happened, they should have options before immediately going to the campus or criminal justice system. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

    Something I do wonder about is how do the colleges handle instances between same sex partners? If two dudes are drunkenly going at it, does the “top” have to treat the “bottom” like a woman? What if they both go both ways? What if it is two women? Are they both guilty of sexually assaulting the other if they shared a bottle of wine?

  12. #12 |  Marty | 

    the weather clip is fabulous, because I hate weathermen. The only weather forecasters I like are hot chicks.

  13. #13 |  Anthony | 

    So, when a child with no training shoots someone charges are pressed. But when an adult, with training, and who is a “professional”, and who is a member of the group who are the only ones to be trusted with guns does, not so much.
    Got it.

  14. #14 |  Just Plain Brian | 

    I’m pretty sure the public is largely ok with artists being forced to explain their intent to the state.

    If it’ll stop Michael Bay, I’d even be willing to call him an “artist”. If fictional explosions are a threat, that guy should be locked up first.

  15. #15 |  Mattocracy | 

    The war on sex, a truly bipartisan effort.

  16. #16 |  Highway | 

    BSK

    Oh, really, Brita? You’ll let me mail back my old filters to you, at my own expense, so you can re-sell them to be at what I’m sure will be a non-reduced price? Thanks!

    This is the cynical position, but there are a couple of considerations. One, if someone gets value out of knowing they’re reusing and recycling, the shipping is probably not too much of a cost to them (considering you can send it ‘slow boat’ and even a bunch of dry Brita filters aren’t very heavy). Two, if Brita gets enough of a response from this, perhaps it can absorb cost increases in the future, so that when they might have had to raise prices to cover increased costs from more expensive plastics if there was no recycling, maybe they can put that cost off another 6 months or a year, which, whether it’s known to you or not, saves you money.

    Many people find quite a lot of value in not wasting physical resources.

  17. #17 |  rapscallion | 

    i) On the reporter being undermined by revelers: what really gets me is that he thinks what he’s doing is so important that it’s OK for him be out there, but commoners shouldn’t feel like they can flaunt danger for their own reasons.

    ii) If I were ever under investigation in a he-said-she-said case, I’d just accuse the accuser of whatever it was she was accusing me of (e.g. “she said I groped her breast without permission? No, actually she groped mine! She said she was too drunk? No, I was the drunk one!”), so they’d have to at least be nakedly inconsistent if they wanted to convict me of anything.

  18. #18 |  BSK | 

    Highway-

    I certainly was being cynical. And, to be fair to Brita, that was the explanation offered by that particular publication, not necessarily Brita itself. Still, you’d think if they offered something, ANYTHING, in exchange for the effort of mailing back the filters, they might have a drastically more effective program on their hands. Yes, some might do it for the warm fuzzies, but a hell of a lot more would do it if it got them a discount on their future filter purchases. Look at how printer cartridge recycling works. Not only is it easier (no mailing required), but most stores offer a credit.

  19. #19 |  MountainTiger | 

    11: As a recent grad, I can say that my freshman orientation left me and many of my friends with the impression that the admins didn’t believe that women could make their own choices. This was particularly true when it came to drinking, where the unspoken assumption was that men were capable of controlling their intake and therefore responsible for their actions while intoxicated and while women were not and therefore could not be responsible for theirs. The bigger problem to my mind is that policies tend to mean that students can be punished for routine sexual activity. If students routinely hook up while drunk, a policy that defines a drunken hookup as sexual assault is not going to breed confidence in the eyes of the student body regarding the administration’s fairness and transparency. In my experience, a lack of faith in the administration was the problem more than a belief that accusers were malicious: the feeling was that if you were accused, you were going down hard because the college’s policies defined consent so narrowly that hardly any sex qualified.

  20. #20 |  BSK | 

    Highway-

    It does look like Brita and their recycling partners have “drop boxes” at Whole Foods at other locations that don’t involve using the mail. Smart idea. I temper my criticism.

  21. #21 |  EH | 

    OT – check out the LA Times article on the police (twice) questioning an artist who had the gall (terroristic intent?) to paint banks on fire.

    The depiction in the story of the plainclothes detectives coming to his house was an awesome opportunity for the artist to turn the tables. “Do you hate your country, detective? Do you hate the Constitution? Did you tell the complainer that they were being a pussy?” yadda yadda.

  22. #22 |  Aresen | 

    I imagine the person who complained about the painting of the burning bank must have wet their pants in panic when Bill Watterson had Calvin bombing the school.

  23. #23 |  Mrs. C | 

    #13 | Anthony | August 28th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    So, when a child with no training shoots someone charges are pressed. But when an adult, with training, and who is a “professional”, and who is a member of the group who are the only ones to be trusted with guns does, not so much.
    Got it.

    Unfortunately…you do get it…as I well know. Commonwealth Attorneys don’t always have a “WEALTH of COMMON” sense in their decision making…I know that too.

    “Speaking from the other side of the fence, I would believe that young man and his family would be able to get counseling in other ways to deal with their grief,” said Deborah Caldwell-Bono, a Roanoke defense attorney and a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s criminal law section. “Sending that young man through the criminal justice system, I’m not sure that is the best way.”

    She is correct, sending that young man through the “justice system”…is NOT the best way…the family…should be the ones…to make the decisions regarding counseling…and what would be in their son’s best interest…as well as theirs…since they are all dealing with grief…and will be forever changed…by this tragedy.

    My condolences and prayers go out to this family.

    http://www.justiceforsal.com

  24. #24 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @11 – Sharing a bottle of wine? The man’s charged. Every time. No man? Well, depends how Christian they are…

    And yes, I see routine cases of the police prosecuting malicious allegations (not just false, actively malicious) of rape in the papers. It should be a sex crime, afaik…

    @19 – Right. Just ban sex and all alcohol on the campus. Tell the students to direct complaints to the Government.

  25. #25 |  BSK | 

    Leon-

    I’m sure there are instances of malicious allegations being prosecuted. But my hunch is that the pale in comparison to A) real rapes/sexual assaults that cannot meet the burden of proof, B) real rapes/sexual assaults that never get reported, C) false accusations that grow out of ambiguity surrounding the situation in question. The problem is that the presence of any of these situations is not enough to justify changing the rules of evidence. What should be done? Hell if I know. But if the argument is that it should be HARDER for women (or men) to seek justice in sexual assault cases because some folks have abused the system is silly, even acknowledging that the harm of abuse in this case is greater than in most other cases (being falsely accused of rape has a way of sticking to a man unlike any other demonstrably false accusation).

  26. #26 |  JOR | 

    “At the same time, despite real instances of false accusations, I think the likelihood of a blatantly false accusation are low. Accusing someone else of rape or sexual assault is a traumatic experience for the victim. They are often revictimized by the system, sometimes over and over again.”

    All that is certainly true and it’s a good reason to think that actual rapes are underreported (even more so than other kinds of crime). And male rape victims face, if anything, face even worse kinds and degrees of shaming, blaming, and revictimization; general society’s attitudes towards violence and sex are fucked up in their own special ways, so of course their attitudes towards sexual violence is fucked up squared.

    I’m not sure this should inform us in any way about the rate of false accusations, though. A false accuser would be a woman (or man) who hasn’t actually been traumatized by the original rape (which never happened), so I don’t think the way rape victims are treated would deter them all that much. (Which is, of course, another good reason to treat rape accusers with dignity: because treating them like shit only deters actual victims from reporting, not cynical liars).

  27. #27 |  C. S. P. Schofield | 

    I’m of two minds about the painter. On the one hand, yes, how silly. On the other hand, though, artists have talked for a long time about wanting to disturb and/or jolt the public, but somehow I doubt that they have thought through the consequences of doing so. I doubt that they are ready to deal with the consequences, for that matter. They imagine that they will be heroes of some sort, standing for Truth, but I don’t think they imagine what it would be like if, say, their disturbing portrait of a young woman recently found butchered in a park convinced people that they were a serial killer.

    This guy could have worked from a photograph, in the privacy of his studio, and exposed the public to his ‘disturbing’ vision only in the socially acceptable confines of an art show. He chose to paint from life. Fine. He was painting a disturbing image in a public space. He disturbed somebody. In this day and age when the web is full of people spewing violent rhetoric about banks and fatcats and who knows what all, if I were a bank manager and somebody was painting a picture of my bank branch in flames, I think I’d feel I had to do SOMETHING. I also think I’d feel like a fool, but let’s face it; the popular culture is full of stories (fiction, but ubiquitous) about serial killers, bombers, and similar monsters who make complicated arty collages or paintings about their intentions. Half the suspense films made since 1980 must have that slow pan across the killer’s bedroom wall..

    I’d feel like a fool, but I would also call the cops. And when the painter turned out to be just a politically correct avant-guard twit, I’d breathe a big sigh of relief, and feel like an even bigger fool. And be very very happy that I’d called.

    Actions have consequences. If you go out of your way to freak out the neighbors, my sympathy for your treatment at their freaked-out hands is limited. If you are legally in the right, I will back you. But you are still a goddamned fool.

  28. #28 |  BSK | 

    JOR-

    Good point. I was conflating two different issues there. The trauma of a victim pressing forward with rape accusations is likely to deter people from doing it haphazardly, the “morning after regret” cases that people fret about but I’ve never really heard of actually happening.

    The maliciously false ones are likely being perpetrated by people disturbed enough to not care about the process, especially if they are not victims themselves. I’m still not sure even those cases are that frequent.

    My hunch is that most “false allegations” arise from misunderstandings. Someone blacks out and wakes up with a stranger in the bed… someone who did legitimately have their ability to consent inhibited… neither party really remembering what happened… etc.

  29. #29 |  Scream of the Evening | Man Are We Screwed | 

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  30. #30 |  twency | 

    @ #10 Dave Krueger

    “After all, there are limits to free speech. For example, painting a fire in a crowded theater is not protected speech.”

    I think you mean falsely painting a fire in a crowded theater. ;)

  31. #31 |  the innominate one | 

    You know who else was an artist who painted, don’t you?

  32. #32 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Yeah, you definitely don’t want to discourage someone’s artistic endeavors because you never know what they might become instead. :-)

  33. #33 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Something odd that I’ve noticed about college hook-up culture is that consent seems to be a turnoff. Aggression is sexy; being sensitive to a prospective fuck buddy is a turnoff because it is considered almost creepy, especially coming from a man. The really bizarre manifestation is women, oftentimes outwardly normal ones, who put across the unmistakable vibe that they want to be raped by thugs. These women don’t want to be treated kindly, or gently, or sensuously, or tentatively by guys who want to make sure that they’re interested; they want to be manhandled from behind without warning by the roughest thug in the bar. Because anything else is apparently creepy.

    This weird dynamic is the seamy underbelly of the puritanical official culture surrounding matters of consent, sex and intoxicants on campus. I imagine fewer students, male or female, would have such kinky proclivities if they weren’t berated by administrators who are boorish, sanctimonious twits. What are kids supposed to think when barraged by personal stories from administrators about how after twenty years of marriage they still ask their spouses for explicit consent for every step in every sex act? That waiting for consent is the province of fools, I imagine; that’s certainly what I’d think if I didn’t have sane reference points to triangulate the mad ravings of administrators.

    When college administrators say idiotic things like that, they unwittingly (I presume) turn fairly staid advances into edgy, sexually stimulating transgressions of official norms. E.g., “ooh, I just brushed a hand over her ass, and I’m not supposed to do that–HOT!” As Spitzer, Weiner, Craig et al. have shown us, for some people there’s nothing like the adrenaline charge of doing something naughty. It gives them the invigorating rush of staying just a step ahead of the college disciplinary system, their wives, gossip bloggers, Sgt. Karsnia, whatever–or not.

    American colleges have been doing the same fucking thing to alcohol for decades. College students in Europe who want a drink can go out to a pub and order one. They can take a joyride on the Stockholm-Mariehamn ferry, get absolutely plastered, dump a shopping cart full of liquor down a spiral staircase and bear-hug strangers (I’ve been on the receiving end), as long as they don’t turn into ugly drunks (dude was a teddy bear–a huge, overly friendly teddy bear). American students, admonished not to drink a drop before they turn 21, get their jollies from Natty Ice keggers and fake IDs. Sane people can see that that’s twisted.

  34. #34 |  Andrew Roth | 

    Don’t give pretentious artists ideas, Dave. We don’t need untalented, derivative extortionists yelling, “Flatter me! Give me a grant or I’ll become Adolf Hitler!”

    On the other hand, Adolf Schittler, mildly grandiose Viennese hack painter, makes for a pleasant counterfactual history set in 1942. Provided, that is, that the counterfactual corollary isn’t a batshit crazy Stalin rampaging unchallenged across Central Europe. Sometimes there’s something to be said for being able to choose one’s poison.

  35. #35 |  Elliot | 

    OT: Any thoughts on Al Gore likening skeptics of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming to racists?

  36. #36 |  Mike T | 

    This weird dynamic is the seamy underbelly of the puritanical official culture surrounding matters of consent, sex and intoxicants on campus. I imagine fewer students, male or female, would have such kinky proclivities if they weren’t berated by administrators who are boorish, sanctimonious twits. What are kids supposed to think when barraged by personal stories from administrators about how after twenty years of marriage they still ask their spouses for explicit consent for every step in every sex act? That waiting for consent is the province of fools, I imagine; that’s certainly what I’d think if I didn’t have sane reference points to triangulate the mad ravings of administrators.

    Nonsense. The reason why women like “thugs” is because they behave like strong, dominant, masculine men unlike the “nice, sensitive” guys that most people think they should want. Ever notice that most nice guys are about as a milquetoast as a typical government bureaucrat? Expecting a typical woman to be strongly attracted to that is like expecting the average man to be attracted to shot, chubby, small-breasted plain lookin woman instead of a thin, busty beautiful woman.

  37. #37 |  Bad Medicine | 

    Re: The Missouri law…

    Any bill that is so bad it requires a “clean-up” bill should just be chucked so they can start from scratch. It saddens me that our legal landscape is such a patchwork of good and bad and loopholes in both…

  38. #38 |  Jim Collins | 

    That college sex thing cracked me up. A few weeks ago my nephew (21) was showing me a website where they pay $10,000 for XXX movies shot by college students in their dorms. The majority of the movies were made by women.

  39. #39 |  croaker | 

    There’s a legal term for what this cop did: deprivation of a fundamental civil right under color of law. Hang his pig ass.

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