MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/favicon http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Forty Percent of Colleges Haven't Investigated a Single Sexual Assault Case in Five Years http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/college-campus-sexual-assault <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>According to the <a href="http://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/download/campus-sexual-assault-survey-results" target="_blank">results of a national survey</a>&nbsp;commissioned by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, nearly half the country's four-year colleges haven't conducted&nbsp;a single sexual assault investigation&nbsp;in the past five years. The <a href="http://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/pdf/McCaskillSurveyCampusSexualAssaults.pdf" target="_blank">survey</a>&nbsp;was completed by 236 four year-institutions across the country&mdash;private and public, small and large<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px;">&mdash;but in order to encourage candid reporting,&nbsp;</span>the names of the schools surveyed were not released.</p> <p>Here's what scores of survivors of sexual assault in college have to deal with, according to the <a href="http://www.mccaskill.senate.gov/download/campus-sexual-assault-survey-results" style="line-height: 24px;" target="_blank">results</a>:</p> <ul><li><strong>Simply not receiving an investigation:</strong> Forty-one percent of schools hadn't investigated a single sexual assault in the past five years, despite the fact that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/29/fact-sheet-not-alone-protecting-students-sexual-assault" target="_blank">White House</a>, one in five undergraduate women experience sexual assault during college. Meanwhile, more than 20 percent of the country's largest private schools conducted fewer investigations than the number of sexual assault incidents that they reported to the Department of Education.</li> <li><strong>Having no clue what to do:</strong> One in three schools don't train students on what constitutes sexual assault or how to respond to it. Among private, for-profit schools, 72 percent don't provide students with any sexual assault training.</li> <li><strong>Untrained, uncoordinated law enforcement:</strong> Though in general colleges work with a number of parties to keep campuses safe&mdash;like campus police, security guards, and local law enforcement&mdash;30 percent don't actually train the school's law enforcement on how to handle reports of sexual assault, while a staggering 73 percent of institutions don't have protocols on how the school should work with local law enforcement to respond to sexual assault.</li> <li><strong>The athletic department deciding if you were raped:</strong> Yes, you read that correctly. Thirty percent of public colleges give the athletic department oversight of sexual violence&nbsp;cases involving athletes.</li> <li><strong>Your peers deciding if you were raped:</strong> Experts agree that students shouldn't be part of adjudication boards in sexual assault cases&mdash;friends or acquaintances of the survivor or alleged perpetrator face a conflict of interest, and those involved in a sexual assault likely don't want to divulge the details of the assault to, say, someone they recognize from chemistry class. Still, 27 percent of schools reported students participating in the adjudication of sexual assault claims.</li> <li><strong>Untrained faculty, staff, and medical professionals:</strong> Often, the first person to whom a student reports sexual assault is a member of the college's faculty or staff. But 20 percent of schools don't provide any sexual assault response training to faculty and staff, and only 15 percent of schools provide access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners&mdash;nurses who are trained to provide medical and other services to survivors of sexual assault.</li> <li><strong>Knowing that the perpetrator still plays sports and goes to frat parties:</strong>&nbsp;Only 51 percent of schools impose athletic team sanctions against student-athletes who have been deemed perpetrators of sexual assault, and 31 percent impose fraternity or sorority sanctions.</li> <li><strong>Seeing the perpetrator on campus, even if you don't want to:</strong> Nineteen percent of institutions don't impose orders that would require the perpetrator of the assault to avoid contact with the survivor.</li> </ul><p>McCaskill says that the results of the survey demonstrate failures at "nearly every stage of institutions' response" to sexual assault. Together with Sens. Richard Blumenthal&nbsp;(D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), she plans to unveil legislation addressing the campus assault later in the summer.</p></body></html> MoJo Education Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:46:38 +0000 Julia Lurie 255811 at http://www.motherjones.com Republicans Love Obamacare! http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/07/republicans-love-obamacare <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's an additional tidbit from that recent <a href="http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2014/jul/health-coverage-access-aca" target="_blank">Commonwealth Fund survey about Obamacare:</a></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_satisfied_obamacare.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 10px 110px;"></p> <p>That's a lot of Republicans who are satisfied with their Obamacare coverage. They might not realize it's Obamacare&mdash;perhaps they know it as Kynect or Covered California&mdash;but they like it. And if you take it away, they're going to be unhappy. That's several million potentially unhappy Republicans if the national GOP continues its anti-Obamacare jihad. Just saying.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Health Care Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:59:47 +0000 Kevin Drum 255856 at http://www.motherjones.com "Cosmos" Just Got Nominated for 12 Emmys http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/07/cosmos-neil-degrasse-tyson-emmys <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>It was a truly groundbreaking moment in television. Educationally driven science content was once anathema on primetime television, but earlier this year, Seth Macfarlane, Neil deGrasse Tyson and company set out to prove that wrong with <em><a href="http://www.cosmosontv.com/" target="_blank">Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey</a>, </em>a remake of the classic Carl Sagan-hosted show from 1980.</p> <p>And if today's <a href="http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/66th-nominations-list.pdf" target="_blank">Emmy nominations</a> mean anything, the result is a major triumph. <em>Cosmos </em>has received 12 of them.</p> <p>That's not quite as good as the 19 for <em>Game of Thrones, </em>or 16 for <em>Breaking Bad, </em>but it's a very significant number, and it includes nominations for "Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series," "Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming" (for writers Ann Druyan and Steven Soter), "Outstanding Direction for Nonfiction Programming" (for director Brannon Braga).</p> <p>In fact, that's actually a tie with HBO's <em>True Detective</em>, which also got 12 nominations.</p> <p>Recently, I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/06/neil-degrasse-tyson-final-cosmos-interview-republicans" target="_blank">interviewed</a> Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the face of the new show, who remarked on how to interpret its success. "You had entertainment writers putting <em>The Walking Dead</em> in the same sentence as <em>Cosmos</em>," said Tyson. "<em>Game of Thrones</em> in the same sentence of <em>Cosmos</em>. 'How's<em> Cosmos</em> doing against <em>Game of Thrones</em>?' That is an extraordinary fact, no matter what ratings it earned."</p> <p>The Emmy nominations will certainly give entertainment writers another such opportunity. In fact, it's <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/10/emmy-snubs-2014/" target="_blank">already happening</a>. And when a science television show is celebrated by the deacons of popular culture, that can only be good news for the place of science in American society. (Note: the Showtime climate change documentary <em>Years of Living Dangerously</em> also received 2 Emmy nominations.)</p> <p>The <em>Cosmos </em>nominations are for:</p> <blockquote> <p>Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series</p> <p>Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming</p> <p>Outstanding Direction for Nonfiction Programming</p> <p>Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Nonfiction, Reality or Reality Competition Program</p> <p>Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming</p> <p>Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming</p> <p>Outstanding Main Title Design</p> <p>Outstanding Musical Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)</p> <p>Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music</p> <p>Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera)</p> <p>Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming and</p> <p>Outstanding Special and Visual Effects.</p> </blockquote> <p>The full list of Emmy nominations can be found <a href="http://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/66th-nominations-list.pdf" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>To listen to our Inquiring Minds podcast interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson, you can stream below:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F139461810" width="100%"></iframe></p></body></html> Media Media Science Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:58:25 +0000 Chris Mooney 255841 at http://www.motherjones.com Who's Afraid of an Itsy Bitsy Bit of Inflation, Anyway? http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/07/whos-afraid-itsy-bitsy-bit-inflation-anyway <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Why are so many people obsessed with "hard money"? Why the endless hysterics about the prospect of inflation getting higher than 2 percent? Paul Krugman, like many others, thinks it's <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/images/blog_inflation_fear.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">basically a class issue. If you have a lot of debt, inflation is a good thing because it lowers the real value of your debt. But if you're rich and you have lots of assets, the opposite is true. Here's Krugman <a href="http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/08/class-and-monetary-policy/" target="_blank">using data from the Census Bureau's SIPP database:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Only the top end have more financial assets (as opposed to real assets like housing) than they have nominal debt; so they&rsquo;re much more likely to be hurt by mild inflation and be helped by deflation than the rest.</p> <p>Now, it&rsquo;s true that some of these financial assets are stocks, which are claims on real assets. <strong>If we only look at interest-bearing assets, even the top group has more liabilities than assets.</strong></p> <p>But the SIPP top isn&rsquo;t very high; in 2007 you needed a net worth of more than $8 million just to be in the top 1 percent. And since the ratio of interest-bearing assets to debt is clearly rising with wealth, <strong>we can be sure that the truly wealthy are indeed in the category where they have more to lose than to gain by a rise in the price level.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2014/07/i-think-paul-krugman-is-wrong-on-class-and-monetary-policy.html" target="_blank">Brad DeLong isn't buying it:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>It is true that the rich do have more nominal assets than liabilities....But it is also true that America's rich have a lot of real assets whose value depends on a strong and growing economy.</p> <p>I find it implausible to claim that the net gain is positive when we net out the (slight) real gain to the rich from lower inflation with the (large) real loss to rich from lower capital utilization. It's not a material interest in low inflation that we are dealing with here...</p> </blockquote> <p>I don't think I buy Krugman's claim either. He's basically saying that hard money hysteria is driven by the material interests of the top 0.1 percent, but even if you grant them the clout to get the entire country on their side, do the super rich really love low inflation in the first place? Do they own a lot of long-term, fixed-interest assets that decline in value when inflation increases? Fifty years ago, sure. But today? Not so much. This is precisely the group with the most sophisticated investment strategies, highly diversified and hedged against things like simple inflation risks.</p> <p>Plus there's DeLong's point: even if they do own a lot of assets that are sensitive to inflation, they own even more assets that are sensitive to lousy economic growth. If higher inflation also helped produce higher growth, they'd almost certainly come out ahead.</p> <p>So what's the deal? I'd guess that it's a few things. First, the sad truth is that virtually no one believes that high inflation helps economic growth when the economy is weak. I believe it. Krugman believes it. DeLong believes it. But among those who don't follow the minutiae of economic research&mdash;i.e., nearly everyone&mdash;it sounds crazy. That goes for the top 0.1 percent as well as it does for everyone else. If they truly believed that higher inflation would get the economy roaring again, they might support it. (Might!) But they don't.</p> <p>Second, there's the legitimate fear of accelerating inflation once you let your foot off the brake. This fear isn't <em>very</em> legitimate, since if there's one thing the Fed knows how to do, it's stomp on inflation if it gets out of control. Nonetheless, there are plenty of people with a defensible belief that a credible commitment to low inflation does more good than harm in the long run. After all, stomping on inflation is pretty painful.</p> <p>Third, there's the very sensible fear among the middle class that high inflation is just a sneaky way to erode real wages. This is sensible because it's true. There are several avenues by which higher inflation helps weak economies that are trapped at the zero bound, and one of them is by allowing wages to stealthily decline until employment reaches a new equilibrium. I think that lots of people understand this instinctively.</p> <p>Fourth, there's fear of the 70s, which apparently won't go away until everyone who was alive during the 70s is dead. Which is going to be a while.</p> <p>It's worth noting that hard money convictions are the norm virtually everywhere in the developed world, even in places that are a lot more egalitarian than the United States. Inflationary fears may be irrational, especially under our current economic conditions, but ancient fears are hard to deal with. As it happens, the erosion of assets during the 70s was unique to the conditions of the 70s, which included a lot more than just a few years of high inflation. But inflation is what people remember, so inflation is still what they fear.</p> <p>Bottom line: Even among non-hysterics, I'd say that hardly anyone really, truly believes in their hearts that high inflation would be good for economic growth. It's the kind of thing that you have to convince yourself of by sheer mental effort, and even at that you're probably still a little wobbly about the whole idea. It just seems so <em>crazy</em>. Until that changes, fear of inflation isn't going anywhere.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Economy Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:19:23 +0000 Kevin Drum 255851 at http://www.motherjones.com Pundits, Start Your Engines! http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/07/pundits-start-your-engines <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So what's the next step in the border crisis? President Obama has introduced an emergency proposal; he's traveled to Texas to discuss it with his political opponents; and in order to stem the tide of immigrants he's declined to engage in photo-ops at the border that might encourage the tide to continue.</p> <p>Republicans, for their part, appear at the moment to be completely unwilling to do anything at all.</p> <p>So here's the next step: a barrage of columns from our nation's pundits acknowledging Republican intransigence but then insisting that, ultimately, the lack of action is Obama's fault. Because leadership. Because LBJ. Because schmoozing. Because lecturing. Because relationships. Because political capital. Because great presidents somehow <em>figure out a way to get things done</em>. Rinse and repeat.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Immigration Media Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:16:28 +0000 Kevin Drum 255831 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for July 10, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/were-still-war-photo-day-july-10-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Navy sailors navigate the USS Kidd in the waters of the Indo-Asia Pacific Region. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_rc_1_1_1404999777430_1482">(US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Declan Barnes</span>.)</em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:48:19 +0000 255826 at http://www.motherjones.com Todd Akin Is Not Sorry for His Insane Rape Comments http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/07/todd-akin-book-legitimate-rape <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin is not sorry for saying that women don't usually get pregnant from rape.</p> <p>Akin tanked his 2012 Missouri Senate campaign by claiming that there is no need for rape exceptions to abortion bans because "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." In his <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1936488205/?tag=slatmaga-20" target="_blank">new book</a> due out next week, titled <em>Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom</em>, Akin says he regrets airing a campaign ad apologizing for the statement, <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/todd-akin-new-book-108745.html" target="_blank"><em>Politico</em> reported Thursday</a>.</p> <p>"By asking the public at large for forgiveness," Akin says in the book, "I was validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said."</p> <p>He adds that the media misconstrued his words and explains why he's still right about rape and pregnancy. "My comment about a woman's body shutting the pregnancy down was directed to the impact of stress of fertilization. This is something fertility doctors debate and discuss. Doubt me? Google 'stress and infertility,' and you will find a library of research" on the impact of stress on fertilization, he writes.</p> <p>And Akin doubles down on the term "legitimate," which he says refers to a rape claim that can be proved by "evidence," as opposed to one used "to avoid an unwanted pregnancy."</p> <p>Akin's comments two years ago perpetuated what Democrats have dubbed the GOP "war on women," which refers to Republican attempts to limit abortion coverage, contraception, and workplace rights for women.</p> <p>The release of Akin's book comes just weeks after the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/supreme-court-hobby-lobby-decision" target="_blank">Supreme Court ruled</a> that family-owned companies&mdash;which employ <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/30/a-lot-of-people-could-be-affected-by-the-supreme-courts-birth-control-decision/" target="_blank">more than half</a> of all American workers&mdash;do not have to provide contraception coverage for women as mandated by Obamacare if their owners have a religious objection to doing so. The decision is expected to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/supreme-court-scotus-hobby-lobby-all-forms-contraception" target="_blank">open the floodgates</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-bush-v-gore" target="_blank">to further assaults</a> on contraceptive access for women.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Top Stories Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:38:15 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 255821 at http://www.motherjones.com Study: Rich Republicans Are the Worst Climate Deniers http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/07/climate-denial-wealth-rich-republicans <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We've known for some time that as Republicans become more highly educated, or better at general science comprehension, they become <em>stronger</em> in their global warming denial. It's a phenomenon I've called the <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/02/24/the_ugly_delusions_of_the_educated_conservative/" target="_blank">"smart idiot" effect</a>: Apparently being highly informed or capable interacts with preexisting political biases to make those on the right <em>more likely to be wrong</em> than they would be if they had less education or knowledge.</p> <p>Now, a <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1198-9" target="_blank">new study</a> in the journal <em>Climatic Change</em> has identified a closely related phenomenon. Call it the "rich idiot" effect: The study finds that among Republicans, as levels of income increase, so does their likelihood of "dismissing the dangers associated with climate change." But among Democrats and independents, there is little or no change in climate views as levels of income increase or decrease.</p> <p>The study, by Jeremiah Bohr of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was based on an analysis of pre-existing data from the 2010 installment of the <a href="http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website/" target="_blank">General Social Survey</a>&mdash;a leading source of survey information about the US public. In addition to questions about levels of education, income, and political party affiliation, the survey asked the following: "In general, do you think that a rise in the world's temperature caused by climate change is extremely dangerous for the environment, very dangerous, somewhat dangerous, not very dangerous, or not dangerous at all for the environment?"</p> <p>Bohr looked specifically at those individuals who chose the "not very dangerous" or "not dangerous at all" options. And he found that at the lowest income level, the probability that a Republican would give one of these dismissive answers was only 17.7 percent. But at the highest income level, it was 51.2 percent. Here's a visualization of the chief finding, showing how the likelihood of a Republican giving one of these answers changes in relation to wealth:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" height="373" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-09%20at%2012.32.56%20PM.png" width="600"><div class="caption"><strong>Probability of dismissing climate change risks in relation to political party affiliation and level of income </strong><a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1198-9" target="_blank">J. Bohr, <em>Climatic Change</em>, July 2014</a></div> </div> <p>This therefore leads to a surprising conclusion: "At the bottom quintile of income, Republicans are not significantly different from either Independents or Democrats" with respect to their denial of climate risks, the study reports. It's only as income increases that Republicans become so much more likely to be deniers.</p> <p>So why does this occur? There are several possibilities discussed in the paper.</p> <p>The first is that income is actually a proxy for something else: Namely, being politically aware. It's possible that being wealthy is related to paying more attention to politics and your political party, and people who do so would be more aware of what those who agree with them on other issues actually think about global warming. (The study controlled for another possible influencing factor, education.)</p> <p>The other possibility, though, is that climate denial is a defense of economic interests. "Among individuals with conservative political orientations, there is a correlation between occupying advantageous positions within industrial economic systems and an unwillingness to acknowledge the risks associated with climate change," Bohr writes. "Perhaps to validate their economic interests, these individuals are more likely to process information on climate science through political filters that result in denying the risks produced by climate change."</p></body></html> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk Top Stories Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Chris Mooney 255756 at http://www.motherjones.com 10 Supreme Court Rulings—Before Hobby Lobby—That Turned Corporations Into People http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/how-supreme-court-turned-corporations-people-200-year-saga <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="clear-block" id="node-body-top"> <p style="clear:none;">Last week's&nbsp;<em>Hobby Lobby&nbsp;</em>ruling&nbsp;charted new legal territory by granting corporations the same religious rights as real people. <a href="http://www.omaha.com/money/court-rulings-trigger-renewed-debate-over-corporate-personhood/article_55f847ac-6d18-5c9b-acbe-c25de887a756.html" target="_blank">The rationale</a>&nbsp;behind the decision&mdash;that expanding constitutional rights to businesses is necessary to "protect the rights of people associated with the corporation"&mdash;is far from novel. A line of Supreme Court&nbsp;rulings stretching back 200 years has blurred the distinction between flesh-and-blood citizens and the&nbsp;businesses they own, laying the groundwork for&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-obamacare" target="_blank">Hobby Lobby</a>&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;the equally contentious&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/citizens-united-amendment-flowchart" target="_blank">Citizens United</a>&nbsp;</em>ruling. Here's a timeline of the corporation's&nbsp;human evolution:</p> <p style="clear:none;"><strong>1809 (<a href="http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a3_2_1s50.html" target="_blank"><em>Bank of the United States v.&nbsp;Deveaux</em>)</a>:</strong> In the early days of the republic, when state and federal courts were still working out their jurisdictions, the&nbsp;Bank of the United States&mdash;a precursor to the US Treasury&mdash;sued&nbsp;a Georgia tax collector named Peter&nbsp;Deveaux&nbsp;for property he had seized when the bank failed to pay state taxes.&nbsp;Deveaux&nbsp;argued that, because&nbsp;corporations weren't people, they&nbsp;couldn't sue in federal court. Chief Justice John Marshall agreed. This meant businesses could only sue or be sued in federal court if all the&nbsp;shareholders, and at least one member of the opposing party, lived in the same state. According to Burt Neuborne, a corporate law professor at New York University, Wall Street banks hated this decision because it restricted suits to state courts where judges were partial to the banks' local clients&mdash;typically Midwestern farmers.</p> <p style="clear:none;"><strong>1844</strong> <strong>(<em><a href="http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/43/497/case.html" target="_blank">Louisville, Cincinnati, and&nbsp;Charleston Railroad v.&nbsp;Letson</a></em>):</strong><em> </em>It soon became apparent that Marshall's&nbsp;decision in&nbsp;<em>Bank of the United States&nbsp;</em>was unworkable&nbsp;because it put corporations outside the reach of the federal courts. Thirty-five years later, after hearing the&nbsp;<em><a href="http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/43/497/case.html" target="_blank">Louisville, Cincinnati, and&nbsp;Charleston Railroad</a>&nbsp;</em>case,<em>&nbsp;</em>the Supreme Court shifted course, ruling&nbsp;that corporations were "citizens" of the states where they&nbsp;incorporated. Still, it was difficult for a corporation to sue or be sued in federal court unless all its shareholders lived in the same state.</p> </div></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/07/how-supreme-court-turned-corporations-people-200-year-saga"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Corporations Regulatory Affairs Supreme Court Top Stories Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Alex Park 255701 at http://www.motherjones.com Facebook Is Studying Your Mom, Your Makeout Buddy, and Your 9/11 Conspiracy Theories http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/07/facebook-studies <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Facebook users and privacy advocates <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/furor-erupts-over-facebook-experiment-on-users-1404085840" target="_blank">erupted in anger</a> recently after <em>New Scientist </em><a href="http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22229754.900-even-online-emotions-can-be-contagious.html#.U72-FaiKznu" target="_blank">drew attention</a> to a <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788" target="_blank">2012 study</a> in which Facebook researchers had attempted to manipulate users' moods. "The company purposefully messed with people's minds," one privacy group <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/04/privacy-watchdog-files-complaint-over-facebook-emotion-experiment" target="_blank">complained</a> to the Federal Trade Commission.</p> <p>But the mood study is far from the only example of Facebook scrutinizing its users&mdash;the company has been doing that for years, examining users' ethnicities, political views, romantic partners, and even how they talk to their children. (Unlike the mood study, the Facebook studies listed below are observational; they don't attempt to change users' behavior.) Although it's unlikely Facebook users have heard about most of these studies, they've consented to them; the social network's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/your-info" target="_blank">Data Use Policy</a> states: "We may use the information we receive about you&hellip;for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement."</p> <p>Below are five things Facebook researchers have been studying about Facebook users in recent years. (Note that in each of these studies, data was analyzed in aggregate and steps were taken to hide personally identifiable information.)</p> <p><strong>1. </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/publications/1407100412880465/" target="_blank"><strong>Your significant others (and whether the relationship will last)</strong></a><strong>:</strong> In October 2013, Facebook published a study in which researchers tried to guess who users were in a relationship with by looking at the users' Facebook friends. For the study, Facebook researchers randomly chose 1.3 million users who had between 50 and 2,000 friends, were older than 20, and described themselves as married, engaged, or in a relationship. To guess whom these users were dating, the researchers analyzed which of the users' friends knew each other&mdash;and which ones didn't. You might share a ton of college friends with your old college roommate on Facebook, for example. But your boyfriend might be Facebook friends with your college friends, your coworkers, <em>and</em> your mom&mdash;people who definitely don't know each other. Hence, he's special.</p> <p>Using this method, researchers were able to determine a person's romantic partner with "high accuracy"&mdash;they were able to guess married users' spouses 60 percent of the time by just looking at users' friend networks. The researchers also looked at a subset of same-sex couples, to see whether that changed the results. (It didn't.)</p> <p>Facebook then decided to see whether it could use this method to predict whether a relationship is likely to last. For this part of the experiment, researchers looked at about 400,000 users who said that they were "in a relationship" and watched to see whether those users said they were single 60 days later. The researchers concluded that relationships in which Facebook's model correctly identified the partner were less likely to break up, noting that the results were especially accurate when the two people had been together less than a year. (So basically, if you're only introducing your boyfriend to your friends, and not your mom, your relationship might be less likely to last.)</p> <p><strong>2. </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/publications/593599364008099/" target="_blank"><strong>How your mom talks to you</strong></a><strong>: </strong>For this study, Facebook looked at how parents and their kids talk to each other Facebook. (Fun fact: On average, parent-child pairs wait 371 days after joining Facebook before becoming "friends." Tell your little sister to stop ignoring your mom's friend request.) The researchers examined three months of communication data pulled from September 2012. This data included comments, posts, and links shared on other users' timelines, but not chat messages. According to the researchers, that wasn't a privacy decision&mdash;chats are simply "too short and noisy for substantive language analysis." Here are some of the top phrases that researchers noticed parents using in messages to their young children:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-07%20at%2011.32.19%20AM.png"></div> <p>And here's what parents are writing to their adult children, after they've developed filthy minds and drinking problems:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-07%20at%2011.39.45%20AM.png"></div> <p>Facebook also noted that "what parents say when they're not talking to their children is just as revealing; they use higher levels of ideology (<em>agree but, obama, our government, policies, people need to, ethics</em>), swearing and slang (<em>ctfu, lmao, fucker, idk</em>), and alcohol and sex terms (<em>tequila, glass of wine, that ass, sexy</em>). Ew.</p> <p><strong>3. </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/publications/374608075943988/" target="_blank"><strong>Your ethnicity</strong></a><strong>:</strong> In this older study, from 2010, researchers wrote that "the ethnicity of a user base is an important demographic indicator that can be used for marketing, compliance, and analytics as well as a scientific tool for understanding social behavior," but lamented that "unfortunately, ethnic information is often unavailable for practical, legal, or political reasons." So researchers came up with a solution: They determined the ethnic breakdown of US Facebook users by using people's names and data provided by the Census. Tested on Facebook, the researchers' proposed model "learned" that Latoya is more likely to be a black name and Barb is more likely to be white name. "Using both first and last names further improves estimates, largely by making better distinctions between White and Black," the researchers wrote.</p> <p>Once researchers had that data set, they started doing other studies. For example, the researchers examined pairs of people in romantic relationships on Facebook, as broken down by ethnicity. They also noted that their research suggested that "individuals' ethnicity can be predicted through their social ties" and tried to predict users' ethnicity based on the average ethnicity of their friends. (You should definitely not play this game at your next dinner party.) The researchers also compared users' self-identified political views with their ethnicities, noting that "whites are more frequent in the Libertarian, Conservative, and Very Conservative categories." The researchers did note that their research method comes with a caveat, "While ethnicity is an important factor in understanding user behavior, it is often only a proxy for other variables, such as socioeconomic status, or education. A complete analysis should control for all such factors."</p> <div class="page" title="Page 6"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><strong>4. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/publications/244240069095667/" target="_blank">How you respond to conspiracy theories</a>: </strong>In the spring of 2014, Facebook published a study on how rumors spread on the social network. The researchers looked at rumors identified by the rumor-debunking website <em>Snopes.com</em> that fall into a number of different categories, including politics, medicine, horror, "glurge" (i.e., sentimental stories that usually aren't true), and 9/11. Then, the researchers found rumors posted on Facebook as photos, and gathered 249,035 comments in which people commented on the rumor with a valid link to <em>Snopes</em>.<em> </em>Ultimately, the researchers found reshared posts that received a comment that linked to <em>Snopes</em> were more likely to be deleted. So, feel free to keep telling your friends that the <a href="http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/russiansleep.asp" target="_blank">Russian sleep experiment story</a> is BS.</p> <p><strong>5. </strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/publications/493601774027388/" target="_blank"><strong>If you're deleting posts before you publish them</strong></a><strong>:</strong> For this 2013 study, Facebook looked at how often users start typing a post or comment, and then at the last minute, decide not to publish it, which they called "self-censorship." The researchers collected data from 3.9 million users over 17 days. They noted when someone started typing more than five characters in status update or comment box. The researchers recorded only whether text was entered, not the keystrokes or content. (This is the same way Gmail automatically saves drafts of your email, except that Facebook <a href="http://www.orionweb.net/2013/12/16/is-facebook-tracking-the-status-updates-that-we-delete/" target="_blank">logs the presence of text, not actual content.</a>) If the user didn't share the post within 10 minutes, it was marked as self-censored. Researchers found that 71 percent of all users censored content at least once. The researchers also noted that women were less likely to self-censor, as were people with a more politically diverse set of friends.</p> </div> </div> </div></body></html> Media Corporations Tech Top Stories Thu, 10 Jul 2014 10:00:06 +0000 Dana Liebelson 255501 at http://www.motherjones.com