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posted by LaminatorX on Monday May 19 2014, @06:24AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Raw Story summarizes a New York Times report that Colleges across the country this spring have been wrestling with student requests for what are known as "trigger warnings," explicit alerts that the material they are about to read or see in a classroom might upset them or, as some students assert, cause symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in victims of rape or in war veterans.

The debate has left many academics fuming, saying that professors should be trusted to use common sense and that being provocative is part of their mandate. Trigger warnings, they say, suggest a certain fragility of mind that higher learning is meant to challenge, not embrace. "Any kind of blanket trigger policy is inimical to academic freedom," said Lisa Hajjar, a sociology professor, who often uses graphic depictions of torture in her courses about war. "Any student can request some sort of individual accommodation, but to say we need some kind of one-size-fits-all approach is totally wrong. The presumption there is that students should not be forced to deal with something that makes them uncomfortable is absurd or even dangerous."

Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said, "It is only going to get harder to teach people that there is a real important and serious value to being offended. Part of that is talking about deadly serious and uncomfortable subjects."

A summary of the College Literature, along with the appropriate trigger warnings, assumed or suggested in the article is as follows: Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" (anti-Semitism), Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" (suicide), "The Great Gatsby" (misogynistic violence), and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (racism).

Note: The Raw Story link was provided to provide an alternative to the article source, the New York Times, due to user complaints about the NYT website paywalling their articles.

Related Stories

Burger King and McDonald's Pay Fast Food Workers $20/Hour in Denmark 89 comments

AlterNet reports:

Imagine a world where fast food workers can pay their rent and utility bills plus buy their children food and clothes. Well, you don't have to imagine it because such a place exists. It's called Denmark.

A New York Times article on Tuesday (paywalled) chronicled the life of a Danish fast food worker named Hampus Elofsson, who works 40 hours a week at a Burger King in Copenhagen, and makes enough not only to pay his bills, but to save some money and enjoy a night out with friends. His wage: $20 per hour. Yep, you read that right. The base wage in Denmark is close to two and a half times what American fast food workers make.

Elofsson's pay is the kind of wage that Anthony Moore, a shift manager in Tampa, Florida can only dream about. [Moore] earns $9 an hour for his low-level management job, or about $300 per week, and like half of America's fast food workers, he relies on some form of public assistance to make up the difference between that wage and barely eking out a living.

[...] What Danish fast food workers have that their American counterparts do not is a powerful union and fast food franchise owners who are willing to make a little less of a profit...though they still do make a profit.

Economics professor Richard Wolff talked about Denmark in a webcast (20MB MP3) back in July.

I also found his discussion of the "recovery" of the USA economy (between the segment on the GM bailout and the one on "US" megacorps evading taxes) to be especially worthwhile. His weekly webcasts are also available for about half the bandwidth and storage space from KPFA's archive.

Tianjin Explosions Update: Over 100 Dead; Company Abused the Law 45 comments

Common Dreams reports:

The death toll from this week's fiery explosions at the Chinese port of Tianjin climbed above 100 on Saturday, while confusion spread over whether authorities had ordered the evacuation of everyone within two miles amid fears of chemical contamination.

[...] Anti-chemical warfare troops have entered the site, according to the BBC.

[...] Two Chinese news outlets, including the state-run The Paper, reported that the warehouse was storing 700 tons of sodium cyanide--70 times more than it should have been holding at one time--and that authorities were rushing to clean it up.

Sodium cyanide is a toxic chemical that can form a flammable gas upon contact with water.

[...] "The company that owned the warehouse where the blasts originated, Rui Hai International Logistics, appears to have violated Chinese law by operating close to apartment buildings and worker dormitories", journalist Andrew Jacobs reports for [NYTimes] (paywall). "Residents say they were unaware that the company was handling dangerous materials."

About 6,300 people have been displaced by the blasts, with around 721 injured and 33 in serious condition, Xinhua news agency said. At least 21 firefighters are reported dead.

Related: Large Warehouse Explosions Injure 300-400 in Tianjin, China

For the adulterated baby formula abuses of 2008 (4 infants dead; 12,892 hospitalized), 2 people were executed. One wonders what will come of this case.


Original Submission

Federal Judge Has Already Halted Implementation of Trump's "Muslim Ban" 122 comments

The Intercept reports

A Federal judge in New York issued a nationwide temporary injunction [1], halting the implementation of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration on Saturday night, blocking the deportation of travelers with valid visas detained at airports in the past 24 hours.

Judge Ann Donnelly, a United States District Court Judge in Brooklyn, issued the ruling at an emergency hearing on a lawsuit [2] filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups on Saturday, as Trump's executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven nations with Muslim majorities from entering the U.S. took immediate effect.

The judge ruled that the government must immediately stop deporting travelers from those nations, including refugees who already went through a rigorous vetting process, and provide a complete list of all those detained, immigrants rights lawyer Lee Gelernt told reporters in Brooklyn.

[Ed Note (martyb): Original text and links from The Intercept are reproduced here — to bypass indirections and Javascript use the following links.]

[1] Direct link to a PDF of the Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal (Case 1:17-cv-00480 Document 8 Filed 01/28/17).
[2] Direct link to a PDF of the Original ACLU Complaint (Case 1:17-cv-00480 Document 1 Filed 01/28/17).

Previously:
Breaking News: Immigration Ban Includes Green Card Holders


Original Submission

Politics: NRA Gives Award to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai while Facing Public Outcry after Parkland, Florida Attack 126 comments

We had submissions from three Soylentils with different takes on the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the public response in the wake of an attack at a Parkland, Florida high school.

Public Outcry Convinces National Companies to Cut Ties with NRA

Common Dreams reports:

In the latest sign that the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida tragedy may be playing out differently than the fallout from other mass shootings, several national companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

[Car rental companies] Alamo, Enterprise, and National--all owned by Enterprise Holdings--announced late on [February 22] that they would end discounts for the NRA's five million members. Symantec, the security software giant that owns Lifelock and Norton, ended its discount program on Friday as well.

The First National Bank of Omaha also said it would stop issuing its NRA-branded Visa credit cards, emblazoned with the group's logo and called "the Official Credit Card of the NRA". The institution is the largest privately-held bank in the U.S., with locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Additional coverage on TheHill, MarketWatch, Independent and Politico.

One Example of Why David Bowie Wanted the Notion of Copyright to Die 24 comments

TechDirt reports:

As lawyer Cathy Gellis points out, at least in the US, it's likely against copyright law for many radio stations [to play nothing but Bowie's stuff for 24 hours straight as comedian Eddie Izzard suggested.]

[...] It's written directly into US Copyright law (at the bottom of the page)[1]. At some point, years ago, Congress (or, more likely, a recording industry lobbyist), wrote up rules that said online radio couldn't play too many songs in a row by a single [artist], because of the ridiculous fear that if they could, no one would buy music any more.

[...] Once again, it seems that copyright law is getting in the way of what sounds like a perfectly lovely idea: creating a day-long tribute to David Bowie. No wonder he was so keen on having copyright go away entirely.

In 2002, he gave an interview to the NY Times in which he predicted the end of copyright altogether, [paywall] as well as record labels, as they would no longer serve a useful purpose.

[1] Page does not degrade gracefully; content is invisible (without stylesheets, apparently).


Original Submission

Hulk Hogan's Sex Tape and a Tech Billionaire's Revenge on Gawker 36 comments

Two Soylentils wrote in with an update on Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker. After these stories were submitted, it appears to have been confirmed by The New York Times that Thiel paid $10 million to fund the lawsuit.

Peter Thiel Funded Hulk Hogan's Lawsuit Against Gawker

Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist and libertarian who we have reported on several times, reportedly bankrolled former wrestler Hulk Hogan's (real name: Terry Bollea) lawsuit against Gawker. After Gawker published a sex tape featuring Bollea, Bollea sued and was eventually awarded $140 million by a jury. That decision is being appealed.

Thiel has had several run-ins with Gawker's reporting on his political and financial decisions, but the most prominent incident was in 2007, when the website's then-running gossip vertical Valleywag outed Thiel's sexual orientation in a post titled, "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people."

Thiel, who is now open about being gay, later called Valleywag "the Silicon Valley equivalent of Al Qaeda."

Although the exact details of the arrangement between Thiel and Bollea are unknown, if Thiel negotiated for a share of the lawsuit's proceeds, he may get to stick it to Gawker while earning millions of dollars.

[Continues...]

Oregon Begins Expunging Marijuana Convictions 41 comments

AlterNet reports

This week it was announced that Oregon will be expunging the old records of marijuana offenders, along with their new legalization plan. This measure is the farthest that a state has gone to date in regards to applying the new laws to old cases. However, for people who remain in jail for having a plant, the legalization plan does not go far enough.

According to the New York Times (paywall), people who have low-level felony or misdemeanor marijuana charges on their record that are at least ten years old will be eligible for expungement.

While the transition in Oregon is nowhere near what is needed for the hundreds of thousands who are still incarcerated, the aspect that allows for old cases to be expunged is at least a step in the right direction, and is helping people clear their records so they can avoid discrimination.

"Oregon is one of the first states to really grapple with the issue of what do you do with a record of something that used to be a crime and no longer is", law professor Jenny M. Roberts told the New York Times.


Original Submission

Tech Company Will Offer 18 Weeks Of Paid Family Leave to Both Parents 10 comments

The Center for American Progress reports:

Change.org, a website that allows users to create petitions, announced on Monday that it will be changing its family leave policy, increasing the paid time an employee can take for the arrival of a new child from six weeks to 18. Parents of both genders, as well as those who have a child through childbirth or adoption, will be eligible for the leave.

The company claims that it is the most generous paid family leave policy in the tech world, and that may be true. While as of last year Google offered 22 weeks [ NYT Paywall ] paid leave for biological mothers, fathers and parents who adopt only get seven. Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit offer both parents 17 paid weeks. Yahoo! offers mothers who give birth, adopt, use a surrogate, or foster 16 paid weeks, while fathers get eight.

Booby Trapped Daesh Drone Kills Kurdish Fighters; Wounds French Soldiers 11 comments

Drones have previously been used by extremists in southwest Asia to gather information, but this is the first time a weaponized drone was successful for them.

The independent news outlet Morning Ledger reports

The drone was seen and intercepted October 2 by Kurdish fighters in Northern Iraq. Kurdish fighters shot down the drone to prevent further spying from their enemies. They were also instructed by American commanders to shoot any small aircraft since there has been evidence of the ISIS trying to weaponize their drones.

They decided to take the drone apart back at their outpost[1] and as soon as they did, it exploded[paywall]. The explosion killed two Kurdish fighters, severely wounded two French soldiers, and lightly wounded the other French men on the scene.

[...] Prior to the drone attack that killed Kurdish fighters, ISIS had two unsuccessful tests in weaponizing their drones. The first two were witnessed by the Kurds and Americans, which led to the Americans' fire-at-will command for small aircraft.

"The explosive device inside was disguised as a battery--there was a very small amount of explosives in it, but it was enough to go off and kill them", said an American senior official.

[1] Reports conflict on this point.

Reuters reports

The drone blew up when Peshmerga fighters tried to lift it after it crashed to the ground, Jabbar al-Yawar, secretary general of the autonomous Kurdish region's defense ministry, told Reuters. "It seems it was booby-trapped."

The French newspaper Le Monde reported on [October 11] that the drone had been intercepted in flight on Oct. 2 and exploded near the Kurdish and French soldiers when it hit the ground. It was unclear, Le Monde said, whether the drone was remotely detonated or carried a timed bomb.

[...] French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll confirmed the injuries.

"Yes. They were injured by a drone that landed and then exploded", he told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting.


Original Submission

Study Finds That Brains With Autism Fail To Trim Synapses As They Develop 10 comments

Autism Support Network reports

As a baby's brain develops, there is an explosion of synapses, the connections that allow neurons to send and receive signals. But during childhood and adolescence, the brain needs to start pruning those synapses, limiting their number so different brain areas can develop specific functions and are not overloaded with stimuli.

Now a new study suggests that in children with autism, something in the process goes awry, leaving an oversupply of synapses in at least some parts of the brain.

[...]

The study, published [August 21] in the journal Neuron, involved tissue from the brains of children and adolescents who had died from ages 2 to 20. About half had autism; the others did not.

The researchers, from Columbia University Medical Center, looked closely at an area of the brain's temporal lobe involved in social behavior and communication. Analyzing tissue from 20 of the brains, they counted spines -- the tiny neuron protrusions that receive signals via synapses -- and found more spines in children with autism.

The scientists found that at younger ages, the number of spines did not differ tremendously between the two groups of children, but adolescents with autism had significantly more than those without autism. Typical 19-year-olds had 41 percent fewer synapses than toddlers, but those in their late teenage years with autism had only 16 percent fewer than young children with autism.

The original article is behind NYT's paywall.

25 Years Since the US Attack on Panama 54 comments

If you're tired of the Imperialist cheerleading of the USA corporate press, you will find this item interesting. If "Heartbreak Ridge" is the version of events you have, this is required reading. There's quite a different perspective when you're on the receiving end of aggression rather than the aggressor who gets to write the "history".

Matt Peppe has written under a Creative Commons License

Twenty five years ago, before dawn on December 20, 1989, U.S. forces descended on Panama City and unleashed one of the most violent, destructive terror attacks of the century. U.S. soldiers killed more people than were killed on 9/11. They systematically burned apartment buildings and shot people indiscriminately in the streets. Dead bodies were piled on top of each other; many were burned before identification. The aggression was condemned internationally, but the message was clear: the United States military was free to do whatever it wanted, whenever it wanted, and they would not be bound by ethics or laws.

[...]U.S. government officials needed to put the world on notice. At the same time, President George H.W. Bush's needed to shed his image as a "wimp"(PDF). So they did what any schoolyard bully would: pick out the smallest, weakest target you can find and beat him to a bloody pulp. The victim is irrelevant; the point is the impression you make on the people around you.

Panama was an easy target because the U.S. already had a large military force in 18 bases around the country. Until 1979, the occupied Panama Canal Zone had been sovereign territory of the United States. The Panama Canal was scheduled to be turned over to Panama partially in 1990 and fully in 2000. The U.S. military would be able to crush a hapless opponent and ensure control over a vital strategic asset.

[...]Washington began disseminating propaganda about "human rights abuses" (NYT paywall) and drug trafficking by President Manuel Noriega. Most of the allegations were true, and they had all been willingly supported by the U.S. government while Noriega was a CIA asset receiving more than $100,000 per year. But when Noriega was less than enthusiastic about helping the CIA and their terrorist Contra army wage war against the civilian population in Nicaragua, things changed.

"It's all quite predictable, as study after study shows," Noam Chomsky writes. "A brutal tyrant crosses the line from admirable friend to 'villain' and 'scum' when he commits the crime of independence."

[...]The documentary The Panama Deception demonstrates how the media uncritically adopted U.S. government propaganda, echoing accusations of human rights violations and drug trafficking while ignoring international law and the prohibition against the use of force in the UN Charter. The Academy Award-winning film exposed what the corporate media refused to: the lies and distortions, the hypocrisy, the dead bodies, the survivors' harrowing tales, and the complete impunity of the U.S. military to suppress the truth.

[...]the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution condemning the invasion. But the United States--joined by allies Great Britain and France--vetoed it. American and European officials argued the invasion was justified and should be praised for removing Noriega from power. Other countries saw a dangerous precedent.

[...]The stage was set for the even more horrific invasion of Iraq the following summer. Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia, the NATO bombing of Serbia, Iraq (again), and the Bush and Obama interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq (a third time), Pakistan, Libya, Somalia (again), Yemen, Iraq (a fourth time) and Syria would follow.

Researchers: "Secure Communities" Program Does Not Lower Crime Rate 24 comments

The Center for American Progress reports

A forthcoming report in the Journal of Law and Economics concluded what immigration advocates have charged for the past six years: the federal immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities, which seeks to flush out criminal immigrants, does not lower the crime rate. In fact, the study authors found that the program targeted Latino communities and that the program "did not cause a meaningful reduction" in the overall crime rate or in rates of violent crimes. Given that the program has "long been publicly justified primarily on grounds that they keep communities safer from violent crime," the finding counters the program as an effective crime control strategy.

Since Secure Communities' inception in 2008, about 97 percent of all the counties in the United States have mobilized local immigration enforcement to share all arrested immigrants' fingerprints with the Department of Homeland Security, regardless of the nature of the offense or whether that immigrant was ultimately convicted. DHS can then issue a detainer asking local enforcement officials to hold the immigrant until federal officials can take them into custody. Those immigrants could then be placed in deportation proceedings. The intention of the program is to prioritize individuals charged with serious crimes, but in practice, immigrants who have committed minor offenses are swept up in the deportation pipeline.

Analyzing data culled from more than 3,000 U.S. counties, study authors Professors Adam Cox and Thomas Miles found that there was no empirical evidence (paywalled) that Secure Communities reduced the rate of serious crimes. The authors found that that the only area in which there might be "suggestive evidence of a small reduction... were the less serious property crimes burglary and perhaps motor vehicle theft." Between 2008 and mid-2013, 29 percent of the immigrants deported had committed serious Level 1 offenses.

In "Targeted" US Drone Strikes, Vast Majority Killed are Not Those Targeted 48 comments

Common Dreams reports:

The U.S. government's so-called "pinpoint"(NYT paywall) drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen are, in fact, leaving wide perimeters of death, as people on the Kill List are targeted--and even reported dead--again and again, according to a report published Monday by the UK-based charity Reprieve.

While drone attacks and their victims are kept secret by the U.S. military and government, Reprieve compiled public information available, most of it from media reports and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, to determine who actually died when the U.S. went after individuals in Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014.

The study examines the cases of 41 people included on a Kill List--a classified U.S. assassination program personally approved by President Obama with no judicial or public oversight. According to the report's findings, up to 1,147 unnamed people were killed in pursuit of these 41 known individuals.

Furthermore, each of these 41 men was reported killed multiple times.

"This raises a stark question," states the study. "With each failed attempt to assassinate a man on the Kill List, who filled the body bag in his place?

City Passes Historic Retail Workers Bill of Rights 72 comments

The Center for American Progress reports:

On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, the country's first-ever legislation aimed at improving life for retail employees.

The new rules will require retail chains that have 11 or more locations across the country and employ 20 or more people in San Francisco to provide advance notice of schedules, improve the treatment of part-time employees, and give current workers the opportunity to take on more hours before hiring new people. Employers will have to give their workers at least two weeks' advance notice of their schedules, and if they fail to do so they will have to give those workers additional "predictability pay." Workers also get paid if they're required to be on call but their shifts are canceled. Employers will have to give part-time employees the same starting wage as those working full time in the same position and access to the same benefits.

The bill's passage comes at a time when erratic schedules are increasingly wrecking havoc on people's lives, particularly in retail. Nearly half of part-time workers and just under 40 percent of full-time ones only find out their schedules a week or less in advance.(NYT paywall) In a survey of more than 200 retail employees in New York City, nearly 40 percent said they don't get a set minimum of hours they'll work each week and a quarter are required to be on call for shifts, often finding out just hours ahead of time that they'll have to go to work. Many say schedules are posted on Saturdays for workweeks that start on Sunday.

Workers also show up just to be told to go home thanks to computer software that uses algorithms to determine if there are too many employees compared to sales volume. McDonald's employees have sued the company over its use of exactly this technology.

At the same time, workers often struggle to get enough hours to survive. [...] getting more hours or full-time status is treated like a reward and docking hours is used as a punishment.

[...]Bills similar to its Retail Workers Bill of Rights are being pushed in Milwaukee, New York, and Santa Clara, California. Federal lawmakers have taken notice as well. In July, Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Schedules that Work Act(PDF).

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @06:39AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @06:39AM (#45101)

    For crying out loud, if the fragile little 'snowflakes' can't even handle literary references to violence and racism how the hell are they going to handle real life? posting anon because my account is jacked and can't be retrieved.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Kell on Monday May 19 2014, @07:00AM

      by Kell (292) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:00AM (#45107)

      I agree. While PTSD is debilitating, this seems a hugely disproportionate response for a problem that does not have credible evidence for its existence. There has never been such a calling need for such warnings in a society that is awash with gun violence and warfare related material, even when there are many documented cases of veterans experiencing PTSD triggered by such things. Society did not deem that accounts of violence or warfare imagery should be so prefaced; why do we suddenly feel that college students who have never even been exposed to such things should be so sensitive?
       
      Putting on my fireproof underwear for a moment, I will hazard a guess that this initiative comes from the same cuckoo segment of the population who feel they are 'victims' for all manner of sundry things that the rest of us would consider no big deal, and who fall all over themselves to brand about half of the populace as deviant predatory abusers. You know who I'm talking about.

      --
      Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Maow on Monday May 19 2014, @07:32AM

        by Maow (8) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:32AM (#45119) Homepage

        I agree with your first paragraph.

        Putting on my fireproof underwear for a moment, I will hazard a guess that this initiative comes from the same cuckoo segment of the population who feel they are 'victims' for all manner of sundry things that the rest of us would consider no big deal, and who fall all over themselves to brand about half of the populace as deviant predatory abusers. You know who I'm talking about.

        Would that be the cuckoo segment that's in academia and feel slighted if everyone, everywhere, doesn't go out of their way to accommodate everyone, all the time? i.e. lefties in academia?

        Or would that be the conservatives, always on the attack, always slagging others as professional victims, but once called out on their own bad behaviour, instantly embrace shrill victimhood? i.e. Rob Ford of Toronto, Stephan Harper (Ottawa), or innumerable other examples?

        I guess if we say the "cuckoo segment" are aka "the political fringes" then ... it's settled.

        If you disagree, then obviously YOU'RE REPRESSING ME LIKE A NAZI WOULD!!1!

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Oligonicella on Monday May 19 2014, @12:12PM

          by Oligonicella (4169) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:12PM (#45177)

          "Would that be the cuckoo segment that's in academia and feel slighted if everyone, everywhere, doesn't go out of their way to accommodate everyone, all the time? i.e. lefties in academia?"

          Yes, yes it would be. One simply need read the names and affiliations of those demanding these strictures to see this.

          • (Score: 2) by Maow on Tuesday May 20 2014, @10:38AM

            by Maow (8) on Tuesday May 20 2014, @10:38AM (#45551) Homepage

            "Would that be the cuckoo segment that's in academia and feel slighted if everyone, everywhere, doesn't go out of their way to accommodate everyone, all the time? i.e. lefties in academia?"

            Yes, yes it would be. One simply need read the names and affiliations of those demanding these strictures to see this.

            Yes, way to miss the point.

            There is more than one "cuckoo segment" of society that's perpetually offended / victimized. They exist on both sides of the political spectrum.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @04:44PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @04:44PM (#45282)

          Would that be the cuckoo segment that's in academia and feel slighted if everyone, everywhere, doesn't go out of their way to accommodate everyone, all the time? i.e. lefties in academia?

          Or would that be the conservatives, always on the attack, always slagging others as professional victims, but once called out on their own bad behaviour, instantly embrace shrill victimhood? i.e. Rob Ford of Toronto, Stephan Harper (Ottawa), or innumerable other examples?

          Yes.

      • (Score: 1) by VortexCortex on Monday May 19 2014, @01:15PM

        by VortexCortex (4067) on Monday May 19 2014, @01:15PM (#45198)

        Society did not deem that accounts of violence or warfare imagery should be so prefaced; why do we suddenly feel that college students who have never even been exposed to such things should be so sensitive?

        Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought-crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by eactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. ... The process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for commiting thought-crime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. ... Has it ever occcured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?

        - George Orwell, 1984

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by davester666 on Monday May 19 2014, @07:05AM

      by davester666 (155) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:05AM (#45108)

      Next up, better kill debate club, because the losing side will feel bad.

      Might as well just kill all debate on campus, because you never know when you might use an argument that will send the other person into a murderous rampage.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Horse With Stripes on Monday May 19 2014, @10:09AM

        by Horse With Stripes (577) on Monday May 19 2014, @10:09AM (#45148)

        Next up, better kill debate club, because the losing side will feel bad.

        Not if you give them "Everyone Who Participates is a Winner" ribbons or little trophies. Those make everyone feel better. BUT, you must provide a trigger warning "contains competition and inequitable distribution of accolades based on performance" to make sure everyone knows what they are getting in to.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @02:30PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @02:30PM (#45223)

        Might as well just kill all debate on campus, because you never know...

        Whoa, whoa! You didn't warn me that we were going to be talking about killing stuff. Now I'm traumatized.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 1) by GrumblyStuff on Monday May 19 2014, @06:05PM

          by GrumblyStuff (4351) on Monday May 19 2014, @06:05PM (#45313)

          Balls to the debate club, I say. As TV pundits and presidential candidates have shown, "winning" debates is a matter of firing a barrage of short arguments at your opponent, each of which would require an explanation longer than the whole debate.

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @06:50PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @06:50PM (#45327)

            My favorite instance was when we had a political debate on my college campus and someone stood up and asked, "Why does the Republican Party hate women?" Those were their exact words.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday May 19 2014, @02:43PM

        by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 19 2014, @02:43PM (#45232)

        Do you think the same thing about epilepsy? Do you think something known to send people into epileptic shock should have a warning?

        I doubt this warning was suggested to prevent sad feelings. It was probably suggested to warn someone sensitive to extreme images. Overkill outside of an extreme, obviously. But i really question how someone sensitive to torture images would take a class on torture and not expect to see it, lol. Which makes the whole warning pointless.

        --
        SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @04:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @04:57PM (#45288)

          I doubt this warning was suggested to prevent sad feelings. It was probably suggested to warn someone sensitive to extreme images. Overkill outside of an extreme, obviously. But i really question how someone sensitive to torture images would take a class on torture and not expect to see it, lol. Which makes the whole warning pointless.

          On the drive to work today I passed a van covered with graphic photos of a foetus which had been aborted at 26 weeks. Pretty graphic, actually. I was driving along and, without warning, there it was in traffic right in front of me. Shouldn't someone have given me a warning ahead of time? What do you think? Should I sue someone?

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by zafiro17 on Monday May 19 2014, @05:20PM

            by zafiro17 (234) on Monday May 19 2014, @05:20PM (#45298) Homepage

            Any snowflake taking a university level course on human rights violations/torture who is unable to handle actually seeing pictures of actual torture, has made a strategic life choice error. If you can handle the pictures, you shouldn't be studying the subject. Go change majors and enjoy your new lifestyle studying something else, fer crying out loud.

            --
            Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis - Jack Handey
          • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday May 19 2014, @08:00PM

            by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 19 2014, @08:00PM (#45351)

            Unfortunately, warnings are often done as a courtesy and not a legal requirement. They should probably remain that way as well. So even though you were grossed out and didn't want to see that image, it was their right to display it. Discourteous, for sure.

            The more common version of this is participating in an image board where shock images are not banned (free speech). You're going along and reading some comics then bam! goatse taking up a huge part of your display.. staring right back at you.

            --
            SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by umafuckitt on Monday May 19 2014, @07:48PM

        by umafuckitt (20) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:48PM (#45347)

        You joke, but I think you're on to something. Mockery is the best way of dealing with this stuff. We should all start petitioning for random crap, like your debate idea, to become part of higher education.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 19 2014, @07:09AM

    by c0lo (156) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:09AM (#45110) Journal

    Unfortunately it will happen.
    Because being conditioned to act so serves both:
    * the govt - create the need for more governance and lowers inclination to disobedience
    * the corporate interests - "consumers" not "customers" ('nough said)

    And it would seem to serve their interest, but it will be on a short term only (granted, it will take one or two generations, this is still short comparing with the time required to undo the effects). But who is thinking long term today? Not those in power anyway.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @07:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @07:17AM (#45112)

    In 21st century academia, disagreement of any kind IS violence. Violence shall not be tolerated. You WILL Obey.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by isaac on Monday May 19 2014, @07:20AM

    by isaac (500) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:20AM (#45114)

    While I respect the argument that there's no reason to be gratuitously insensitive to actual victims of trauma, I am deeply suspicious of this "trigger warning" movement's authenticity.

    This feels like an organized effort to discredit academia in general and whip up reactionary sentiment. "Look at those stupid PC ivory tower academics, they're idiots, you don't want to listen to them."

    I hate the political jargon "useful idiots" but it seems to apply here.

    -Isaac

    • (Score: 2) by BsAtHome on Monday May 19 2014, @12:04PM

      by BsAtHome (889) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:04PM (#45175)

      Not only does it, or intents to, discredit academia, it is a direct attack on education as a whole. I agree that there are groups of people that are "sensitive" to a certain subject, but the point of education is to make one think, regardless of subject. Especially higher education is supposed to be about confronting the status quo and look beyond it. How else do you expect "progress" to happen? The status quo is by definition stagnation.

      Any group holding on to the status quo is simply trying to consolidate their power. That in itself should be enough to question their motives and actively resist them.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @02:32PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @02:32PM (#45225)

        If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Monday May 19 2014, @07:38PM

        by tftp (806) on Monday May 19 2014, @07:38PM (#45343) Homepage

        Any group holding on to the status quo is simply trying to consolidate their power.

        Or it could be that the status quo correctly depicts the situation. For example, how would you move past the claim that all people have right for life? Should the society go past that obsolete concept and, for example, propose a theory of involuntary cannibalism? Would you like to read a book that describes this theory in detail and proposes some specific recipes? What would you do if the teacher tells you to read such a book?

    • (Score: 1) by Oligonicella on Monday May 19 2014, @12:19PM

      by Oligonicella (4169) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:19PM (#45178)

      I've been following this for a while. It's more of the professional victim organizers doing this. These people are always couching what they want in terms of how it will affects "others" rather than themselves. It's the logical offshoot of all the other sensitivity crap.

    • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Thursday May 22 2014, @11:29AM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 22 2014, @11:29AM (#46317) Journal

      Cultural Marxism [wikipedia.org].

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 2) by gringer on Monday May 19 2014, @08:02AM

    by gringer (962) on Monday May 19 2014, @08:02AM (#45127)

    We had this problem in our university sex course -- human reproduction, evolution and sexuality. A few people sent around a petition saying that they didn't like seeing pictures of STDs, and the students should be warned in advance about graphic content. They were particularly annoyed because the pictures were shown at a time in the course after which you couldn't get refunded if you decided to quit.

    • (Score: 1) by hoochiecoochieman on Monday May 19 2014, @12:48PM

      by hoochiecoochieman (4158) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:48PM (#45189)

      If the precious little flowers don't like pictures of that kind, they should have taken the "gardening" course, instead of something called "human reproduction, evolution and sexuality". I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

      Come on, let other people live. If one is so fucking sensitive, stay at home.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @02:35PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @02:35PM (#45229)

        I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

        I thought the purpose of showing the STD pictures was to encourage them NOT to do that ;-)

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42PM (#45362)

          No one gets herpes from intercourse with bug spray.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @05:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @05:04PM (#45291)

        I know what I would tell them, if I was the teacher: "Fuck off!"

        Strangely, given the context, this seems like an eminently reasonable response.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:03AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:03AM (#45128)

    RefControl [mozilla.org] has been mentioned here numerous times [google.com]--once, about this specific issue. [soylentnews.org]

    Just tell NYT that you're always coming from Google and it will shut up and behave.

    -- gewg_

  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42AM

    by Lagg (105) on Monday May 19 2014, @08:42AM (#45130) Homepage Journal

    "This biology chapter on digestion is a trigger for me because I'm a vampire and vampires don't have anuses. It's insensitive to people like me who identify as vampires."

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:50AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @08:50AM (#45134)

      Don't you mean "respiration" because "vampires don't breathe."

      • (Score: 2) by Jaruzel on Monday May 19 2014, @09:36AM

        by Jaruzel (812) on Monday May 19 2014, @09:36AM (#45140) Homepage Journal

        In Vampire lore (and I'm pretty sure in the later Anne Rice books as well), it's explained that Vampires drink blood to replenish their own blood and thus keep their bodies looking hipster and trim. They don't digest the blood as 'food' - it just gets inserted into their cells and bloodstream somehow. Ergo, they either have no anus or it's puckered up so tight that you couldn't even shit a needle through it.

        Wow, I don't know what's worse; that a) I know this much about Vampires, or b) I actually bothered to type the above.

        -Jar

        --
        This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @10:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @10:09AM (#45147)

          That must be awfully inconvenient for vamps who enjoyed anal in life and want to continue doing anal in their unlife.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @10:52AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @10:52AM (#45160)

          I assumed that vampire anuses were present, but non-functional.
          Like men's nipples.

      • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Monday May 19 2014, @10:12AM

        by Horse With Stripes (577) on Monday May 19 2014, @10:12AM (#45149)

        How about "Vampires don't breath through the anuses they don't have"?

      • (Score: 1) by Oligonicella on Monday May 19 2014, @12:23PM

        by Oligonicella (4169) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:23PM (#45180)

        Don't correct him, you bastard! He's sensitive!

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by nitehawk214 on Monday May 19 2014, @03:43PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday May 19 2014, @03:43PM (#45256)

        No, he is just the DM from the Anus Shade campaign. [bash.org]

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Tom on Monday May 19 2014, @10:14AM

    by Tom (4259) <{tom} {at} {lemuria.org}> on Monday May 19 2014, @10:14AM (#45151) Homepage

    I'm so sick and tired of the "oh, protect everyone from the big, bad world" attitude.

    There is one result from that mindset: If you ever do encounter the real world when it has a bad mood, you are completely unprepared.

    I wouldn't hire people that I know have been sheltered like that.

    --
    Might & Fealty [mightandfealty.com], my political sandbox game
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Monday May 19 2014, @11:19AM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 19 2014, @11:19AM (#45163)

      "If you ever do encounter the real world when it has a bad mood, you are completely unprepared."

      And that's the purpose of the whole project, now they'll depend on the corporation and government to "protect" them.

      There is an aspect not discussed in that its "mostly" sold for rape and soldier PTSD, with a quiet side dish of "this sure is intentionally a PITA, wouldn't it be much easier not to have a world full of raped women and PTSD damaged soldiers?" And especially with literature, it sure would be simpler just to pretend the Merchant of Venice and Huck Finn don't exist, that way people with "obsolete" values can run around unseen and undiscussed and unopposed, after all, the .gov and .com will have to work extra hard to protect us from them...

    • (Score: 2) by marcello_dl on Monday May 19 2014, @11:09PM

      by marcello_dl (2685) on Monday May 19 2014, @11:09PM (#45420)

      > If you ever do encounter the real world when it has a bad mood, you are completely unprepared.

      Yes, and the more you are unprepared the more you'll be shattered and become a cynic.

      Which is probably what education is all about: the system which rules using money and raw power needs people with the least possible amount of ideals and scruples.

      Ever wondered why a corrupt system churns out good sentiments and politically correct material? It's because "don't worry, it will all be fixed by the end of the episode" and "be good and let the bad ones escape unaffected, you'll win in the end" opens the road to being duped and become bitter more than "I send you out like sheep among wolves".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @11:49AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @11:49AM (#45170)

    No company wants to hire a professional victim, particularly after the firestorm Adria Richards brought about. Companies have an interest in not hiring people who are high-risk, and professional victims are exceedingly high-risk to a company, especially a startup. The only "career" that tolerates this horseshit is working for anti-male nonprofits. Everyone else wants nothing to do with it.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Monday May 19 2014, @12:59PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 19 2014, @12:59PM (#45191) Journal

      Must be this [venturebeat.com]. What a mess..
      Lesson: Work is business not friends and don't socialize with uptight people. It's doomed.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @12:26PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @12:26PM (#45181)

    That's what should be written on big red cards and handed to anyone who complains about needing "trigger warnings."

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VortexCortex on Monday May 19 2014, @01:57PM

      by VortexCortex (4067) on Monday May 19 2014, @01:57PM (#45208)

      I was watching the evening news with a friend of mine. A segment about a local murder came on. She shielded her eyes with her hands and looked away. I asked her if the content was upsetting her and if I should turn the channel to something else. She said, "No, just tell me when the flashing lights are over, I have epilepsy and flashing lights can trigger my photosensitive seisures."

      I thought about it and said, "Oh wow, I never noticed how often the news just shows blatant flashing lights like that, damn it must suck for you. I wonder if they shouldn't at least put up a warning or something so it doesn't trigger your seizures?" This was the first time I actually thought a 'trigger warning' wasn't a moronic idea... She told me, "No, it's OK. It sucks sometimes, but the whole world shouldn't have to suffer just because there's something wrong with me." ...and that was the last time I ever thought a trigger warning wasn't a moronic idea.

      These professionally offended Social Justice Warrior nutters make victims out to be some kind of permanently damaged social invalid, as if their trauma is so bad the world should try to save them from the reality of it. What kind of fucked up message does that send actual victims? You're so screwed up, you'll never be the same... If it was me I'd be thinking, "Well, I'm messed up forever. Being abused is worse than murder. I'll never be the same, I've lost myself. I might as well off myself so I'm not a burden to society." That's why people are NOT defined by their being a victim.

      Protip: Disabled folks just want to be treated as normal people. SJWs aren't helping anyone.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by kaszz on Monday May 19 2014, @01:01PM

    by kaszz (4211) on Monday May 19 2014, @01:01PM (#45192) Journal

    College may confront your ideas and concepts. It's not for the feeble mind.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @06:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19 2014, @06:23PM (#45323)

      College may confront your ideas and concepts. It's not for the feeble mind.

      B-b-but, I don't want my ideas and concepts challenged!!! I might have to rethink some of my precious beliefs if that were to happen! Soon, no institution of higher learning will be safe for those of us who would rather not have to re-examine our prejudices. Whatever hope is there for unreconstructed reactionaries like me?

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by gman003 on Monday May 19 2014, @01:35PM

    by gman003 (4155) on Monday May 19 2014, @01:35PM (#45205)

    The original intent of "trigger warnings" was for PTSD - and it was used only on extremely graphic violence or rape scenes, because those are the things people have PTSD about. And I have absolutely zero problem with that - even if you don't have PTSD, it's good to know to expect something like that.

    Now? I've seen Tumblr posts with trigger warnings for "carnivorism". Because some whiny vegans apparently can't even handle the thought that mos people eat meat. The trendy "social activism" that seems to permeate that certain subculture, the "social activism" that's more about words than deeds, and picking up any cause as long as it's a minority, seems to love the idea that you can "accomplish something" just by putting enough trigger warnings in front of stuff, because someone might get upset, and we can't have that.

    Guess what? I'm upset about this. I guess you need to start putting "Trigger warning: Contains trigger warnings" in front of things as well!

    You want to put a trigger warning in front of, say, "All Quiet on the Western Front", because it has a lot of violence in it? Fair enough, although when we read that book way back in middle school, they didn't need a formal list to explain "yeah, this is a book about war, it's gonna get kinda rough". But if you need to start putting "Trigger warning: racism" in front of "To Kill a Mockingbird", you're missing the whole point of both the books, the classes, and the entire purpose of trigger warnings.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Monday May 19 2014, @02:38PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Monday May 19 2014, @02:38PM (#45231)

      Just put a trigger warning in front of everything you say or post or anything. If they want to be butthurt about something I say, why should I make it easy for them to find? And if they read it anyway because you put the warning on everything, you can just point at it and laugh.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by tibman on Monday May 19 2014, @02:33PM

    by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 19 2014, @02:33PM (#45226)

    Since people with PTSD are the minority, we don't need trigger warnings for these kinds of things. I know a lot of people are offended by the thought of these warnings. But i'll bet you almost all of them feel strong emotions when they click an unlabeled NSFW link while at work. If someone has PTSD they will have to learn how to cope in a world of violence.

    I witnessed one of the most (might still be THE most) deadly car-bombing in history. Halloween props were not nearly as silly after that. Do i think warning labels should be put on anything that may trigger bad thoughts in myself? Heck no. But please, never forget the NSFW warning!

    --
    SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 2) by DrMag on Monday May 19 2014, @03:09PM

    by DrMag (1860) on Monday May 19 2014, @03:09PM (#45241)

    Really, both sides do have a point. The idea of warning people about racism in Huck Finn is ludicrous; when the point of a class is to discuss such topics, a warning is hardly necessary, and points to people being overly sensitive and wanting the world painted white for them. On the other hand, using graphic images of torture in a history class? Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions, and the class is specifically about the horrors of war and such, but I never saw such images in any history class I had, and yet I don't have a rosy-colored, glamorized view of what war is. I *know* war is terrible; I *know* about the kinds of things that have been done to people and the effect it has had on them (and on their captors, to be truthful). And I *know* it's wrong, and I'm offended at the thought of my country having ever done anything in that regard. You don't need to show the images to teach others the truth.

    The professor herself said it--"higher learning is meant to challenge". Challenge--not provoke.

    There's a middle ground here--let people learn for themselves the difference between right and wrong. That means not sheltering them, but it also means not throwing them into the fire.

  • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Monday May 19 2014, @03:46PM

    by nitehawk214 (1304) on Monday May 19 2014, @03:46PM (#45258)

    This sounds more like an excuse to round up certain "illegal texts" and put students caught reading these texts on a criminal watchlist.

    --
    "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
  • (Score: 1) by lcklspckl on Monday May 19 2014, @10:23PM

    by lcklspckl (830) on Monday May 19 2014, @10:23PM (#45401)

    Well done, Ethanol-fueled. Well done.