The Baffler,  February 10, 2015

Daily Bafflements

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• Hey, you’re a busy businessman or woman, right? And you want to give your clients and customers the personal touch, but who has the time? Luckily, there is a new, thoughtful service called Bond that lets you text a robot to write people hand-written notes for you. (Via Ian Bogost.)

• Today in Billionaires: For the past decade, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad has awarded the annual $1 million Broad Prize to an urban school district showing promise. But he is suspending the prize; no district will receive the award money this year. “Both the review board and the selection jury were disappointed with the overall progress in urban public schools,” Karen Denne, chief communications officer at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation told the New York Times. “They wanted to set a higher standard and a higher bar. They wanted the prize to mean something.”

• The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists has a huge report out on the ways in which HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) has served clients connected to arms trafficking, blood diamonds, and bribery. The bank helped them evade authorities while instructing them about how to evade taxes in their home countries. 

• Horrifying Headline of the Day, from Sentencing Law and Policy: “As SCOTUS considers Oklahoma lethal injections, Oklahoma considers a gas chamber.”

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Further Reading

 November 10

Yesterday’s twin reports on Roy Moore and Louis CK remind us that sexual assault and women’s inequality are still everyone’s problem.

 November 8

Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" finds moral complexity where it needed moral certitude.

 November 6

As the old refrain goes, at Gothamist and DNAinfo the union made us strong---not Joe Ricketts, not his money, not his decisions and certainly not his “direction.”