History repeating, volume ∞

Right now I’m reading Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen. It’s about Buck v. Bell, the 1927 Supreme Court decision on forced sterilization, and the shocking breadth of the surrounding eugenics movement. It’s leaving me frequently speechless and the writing is great. I recommend it.

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Thoughts on the NLRB grad student unionization ruling

The National Labor Relations Board today issued a long-awaited ruling that graduate students working as teaching and research assistants at private universities are allowed to unionize. The issue at hand has long been one of semantics: are graduates on paid assistantships more like students, or more like employees? Are the assistantships more like a fundamental training component of a program of study, or more like jobs done by the students to support themselves financially?

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