This Week in WTF, May 29, 2015

– I think of all the education that I missed…: A teacher in Texas is facing criminal charges in connection with allegedly giving a 15-year-old student a “full contact lap dance” in class. For his birthday, authorities claim:

The teen told investigators that he sat in a chair next to Smith’s desk as she moved back and forth on his crotch and touched him all over his body. Near the end of the dance, the student said Smith sank to her knees and put her head between his legs. The incident reportedly happened in front of the other students during class.

The student admitted that he spanked Smith’s buttocks a couple of times, according to KHOU.

Because of course he did.

– Just tell me this—is there a Klondike Bar in it for me?: What would you do to achieve “internet fame”? Would you light yourself on fire while being recorded, and post the video online? No? Well, the you’re smarter than these kids (h/t Jack).

– It’s just a drink. It’s just a drink. It’s just…: It took a jury in Florida fifteen minutes to convict two people of having sex on the beach. Not the drink, the sex (h/t Amy): Continue reading


What I’m Reading, March 17, 2014

How did Irish-Americans get so disgusting? Andrew O’Hehir, Salon, March 15, 2014

Irish-Americans rapidly absorbed the lesson that the way to succeed in their new country was to reject the politics of class and shared economic interests and embrace the politics of race. One disgraceful result was the New York draft riots of 1863, the low point of Irish-black relations in American history, when Irish immigrants by the thousands turned on their black neighbors in a thinly disguised race riot. Irish-Americans were under no delusions that the ruling class of Anglo Protestants liked or trusted them, and anti-Irish and/or anti-Catholic bigotry endured in diluted form well into the 20th century. But by allying themselves with a system of white supremacy, the Irish in America were granted a share of power and privilege — most notably in urban machine politics, and the police and fire departments of every major city.

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Cutting Off the TLD to Spite the Face

Azadi_MonumentThe group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) has, by all appearances, a worthwhile goal, which is to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. To accomplish this, it often puts pressure on private companies to divest from Iran, both directly and through any subsidiaries or affiliated business that might do business there. By and large, this is clearly the free exercise of economic power to try to bring about social change, something I generally support. I could say a few things about the long-term wisdom of tarring an entire nation of people with a history and culture spanning millennia based on the oft-psychotic behavior of a 33-year-old regime, but let’s focus on UANI’s latest campaign instead.

According to a UANI press release dated September 18, 2012:

On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its World Wide Web campaign, and called on both the Internet Corporate for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE) to disconnect the Internet access of sanction-designated Iranian entities such as its Central Bank and its military’s engineering arm.

ICANN is the nonprofit corporation that has the authority to designate and assign domain names on the World Wide Web. RIPE performs a similar service in Europe. UANI sent letters to both agencies on September 7, demanding that they cease providing services to “sanction-designated Iranian entities.” This may work as a public relations move, but it has multiple problems, not least of which is the fact that ICANN and RIPE can’t just turn off a spigot and cut Iran off. UANI seems to be suggesting cutting off specific Iranian entities included on the sanctions list, but it could never work that way. John Levine, a writer for the internet technology journal CircleID, calls the idea that ICANN or RIPE could just cut Iran off “ridiculous”: Continue reading