Photo by Sam Howzit
The Baffler,  October 22, 2014

Daily Bafflements

Photo by Sam Howzit
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• Yesterday brought two intriguing developments in the future availability of indigent legal defense. From Capital came the news that “New York State has settled a lawsuit with the New York Civil Liberties Union, and agreed to ensure new standards for legal representation of indigent defendants in five upstate counties.” From the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers came the news that it “has been selected by Koch Industries, Inc. to receive a major grant in support of NACDL’s efforts to address the nation’s profound indigent defense crisis.” Hm.

• Uber drivers in Santa Monica are planning a walkout today, to protest “an unfair and arbitrary deactivation and firing process” and other grievances, reports Fast Company. In this case, “walkout” means that the drivers will turn off their apps for several hours. (Via Anjali Mullany.)

• The SEIU has employed a deadpan parody ad in its campaign to shame the non-union real estate developer AvalonBay, which is building a new high-rise in Manhattan and marketing it to the youngs of New York. The video is actually funny, and it’s only a very slight exaggeration of the ridiculous real thing. “One-bedroom apartments start at just eleven iPads per month!”

• Today in Billionaires: Forbesreports that Wei Yin-chun, the billionaire behind the Ting Hsin International Group food processing empire, has apologized for any role his suppliers may have played in “mass shipments of cooking oil tainted with animal feed or industrial products” into Taiwan. Yum!

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Further Reading

 February 12

The NYPD’s secret M.A.R.C.H. operation has been closing the city’s venues for years—should it be abolished?

 February 7

If Jordan Peterson really is the “most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now,” as David Brooks writes, we have reason to worry.