Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

Another Goldman Sachs idiot“. A brilliant post.

My kids don’t come first. My FAMILY comes first. Kids who come first end up being entitled little pricks with helicopter parents who are PITA in the classroom and in life until they get beaten down when they’re finally away from their parents. Our family is a team with all members equally important.” It gladdens my heart to read posts from such wonderful, intelligent, reasonable parents. If I do have children, I will print this out in huge letters and hang it on my wall.

And another great post from the same great blogging tandem. It brightened up a very gray and busy morning I was having, so I’m sharing it in hopes you will feel the same.

God save us all from profs who hate their profession and their life so much and then advise young people about what to do while being blinded by their own misery.

An inventive prof who came up with an admirable plot to have fun in a dead classroom. I so wish I’d thought of this last semester when I had a dead classroom of my own!

The difference, like a lot of the differences between the Sciences and the Humanities, is political. As I have noted in the past, science (if done correctly) is inherently apolitical (with, of course, some exceptions for fields such as ‘evolutionary psychology,’ which are entangled with messy assumptions about Human nature). The Humanities, which deal appropriately enough with activities and phenomena that Humans are actually likely to experience on a day-to-day basis, are inherently politicized. And being politicized, everyone feels entitled to an opinion, no matter how ill-informed they are in practice.” There is a lot more in this brilliant brilliant brilliant post by a talented young physicist.

An egregiously sexist ad.

Does ADHD exist or is it a tool of social engineering?

An article that bashes women who work even though it agrees with the obvious and well-known fact that “Stay-at-home moms had more depression symptoms than the working moms in the study – a conclusion other studies have also found.”

Gender-Neutral Pronouns and One-Letter Words.

I haven’t written anything about Trayvon Martin but this brilliant blogger did and, after this post, I have nothing left to add.

20 to 40 percent of all immigrants to the United States ultimately return to their native lands.”

Three issues that divide China’s Communist elite.

This blogger must be a mind reader: “I have grand dreams of millions of job interviewees telling HR to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine so that employers might start changing their tune.” I have the same dream, people.

I love these posts by a Dutchman who is discovering the US because many of the things that he finds strange and unexpected are the same phenomena that have baffled me when I first arrived in the country. Here is a very interesting post from this blogger.

As if the 2009 nomination of the extremely stupid and corrupt Larry Summers for a key position in the economy had not been enough, President Obama puts in place a completely unqualified leader for the World Bank: “Next, the President may nominate  a ballet dancer or a basketball player, or whoever else takes his personal fancy,  to key roles in the global economy. Now surely such nominees might perform better than Summers or Romer ever could.” Hear, hear! I only want to add that the nomination of Summers in 2009 was the moment when I lost faith in Obama very early into his presidency. I felt personally betrayed, in a way, by that nomination.

And this is the kind of professor of economics that makes me happy I never had the misfortune of encountering such a prof in college: “And while he’s quite willing to argue that “slavery was appalling because it treated human beings as a commodity, to be bought and sold at auction,” he never raises a question about the buying and selling of labor power. In other words, he presumes we all know that human chattel, the buying and selling of human beings, is morally wrong but he doesn’t touch on a key ingredient of market society: the fact that large numbers of human beings are forced to have the freedom to sell their ability to work for a wage.” As a descendant of slaves, I find any comparison of slavery with working for a wage to be absolutely appalling.

And the title of the post of the week goes to: “A Disabled Feminist Goes to the Movies: The Business of Being Born.” I wanted to cull a quote out of the post but then I realized that it is too good not to be read in its entirety.

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40 comments on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Ooh, getting ready to read these with my coffee. As for writing, I’ve been:

    – Commenting to a recent study on fatness, fitness, and health — specifically the quote used to wrap up one article about it.

    – Posting endometriosis facts: on the problem with visual diagnosis and missed and underdiagnosed endo.

    – Thinking about my aversion to letting things happen, even when, in the context of my own body, that would be good.

    – Sharing one teacher secret involving Justin Bieber.

  2. Thanks for the shout out.

    I just wanted to add something to the “An egregiously sexist ad.” you put up. Along with the obvious implication that a women smoking a cigarette is like giving a blow job to an exec I have a bit of a problem with the seeming link between a form of male sexual pleasure (something that is not inherently bad) and smoking (something that is inherently bad).

    A short film that asks, “what if homosexual was the norm and heterosexual was treated like a deviation?”

    Daisy Deadhead at a rally for Trayvon Martin.

    • I agree and would like to add that I don’t like slaver or smoking being linked to giving blowjobs – which is certainly not inherently bad either!

      • Yeah. An ad that tells women, “Do you smoke? That’s like sucking some guy’s dick.” I’m pretty sure that if sucking dick were as harmful as smoking nowhere near as many women would be doing it.

  3. “It garnishes the President’s reputation for pandering to Asia; and it signals a lack of any interest in having the United States chart the future for the Bank in a rapidly changing world.”

    Love the racism here, but it’s charlie boy so I’m not surprised. So an american who has lived in america all his life and who is the president of an Ivy League college (as pro-establishment as you can get, basically) will not further america’s interests in the world because he’s of asian descent, therefore….not a real american or something?

    Clarissa, you know I love you, but it boggles my mind why you continue to follow and promote this idiot’s blog.

    • I don’t think there’s anything racist in the comment. If the appointee were Russian, I’d be the first one to say that Obama is pandering to Russia for the simple reason that this is precisely how it would be perceived in Russia.

      I like Charles Rowley because he hates Goldman Sachs almost as much as I do, he is almost the only professor of economics who writes well, clearly and understandably, I like many of the things he says about the economy, he has published some posts that were decidedly feminist, and he is a good, kind person.

      There are many things he says that I disagree with completely but, as I said before, I can respect difference of opinion when it’s part of a consistent, thought out worldview.

      • I’ll say it again: this guy is american, not south korean.

        How would an american appointment appease ‘asians’, by the way? I wasn’t aware that asia is such a cultural and economic monolith. So appointing an american of south korean descent will make China happy? Why? Japan then? Why?

  4. Odd. I was trying to post a comment earlier that doesn’t sow up but when I I try to post again I get the duplicate comment warning. Stuck in moderation?

  5. “Nobody is saying that this appointment will work at any level.”

    That may be true, but I was questioning the racist undertones of his post.

    Only a racist would think that appointing an american as the head of the world bank means he would pander to ‘asians’ and not pursue american interests. If the guy’s name were Bob Schmidt would charlie boy be concerned about him pandering to the Germans?

    • From what I understand, the suggestion is not that this new director of the World Bank would pander to Asia (that statement would, indeed, be offensive) but that Obama is. I remember when the president of China came to Yale with a lot of pomp and all of the people who suffered horrible persecution and torture in China and came to protest were just swept away. G.W. Bush was in power then and, I believe, he obviously pandered to the Chinese government because he’s terrified of China’s economic power. In the meanwhile, the violation of human rights in China is not even mentioned.

  6. In “Another Goldman Sachs idiot“ – do you agree that people aren’t buying stocks since US is “a country that is seemingly hell-bent on becoming a socialist state”? That bit stood out as a jarring note in a song.

  7. “the suggestion is not that this new director of the World Bank would pander to Asia (that statement would, indeed, be offensive) but that Obama is.”

    Rowling suggests, and you agree, that Obama is “pandering to Asia” by appointing to the World Bank an American of Korean descent. Like he’d be “pandering to Europe” by appointing me.

    • As I said at the very beginning, if he appointed somebody called “Vladimir Petrov” who had zero qualifications for the job, I’d definitely see that as a nod towards Russia.

      I’m not sure what it is we are arguing about. That Obama’s economic appointments have been atrocious? After Summers, how can anybody disagree?

    • Neophytes are always very cute. :-) If this guy had published all this 100 years ago, it would be extremely useful. Today, he is speaking to a world that does not exist any more. And this makes the entire article look very quaint and antiquated. :-)

  8. Ms. Clarissa, your comment about the comparison between wage laborers and slavery is reactionary. There are many commonalities between the two.

    Instead of getting upset at the comparison, perhaps you should see if the comparison is true or not and then decide who to get upset with.

    I’ve studied this to the best of my abilities and because wage labor and slavery are so similar economically, I now find myself an anti-capitalist.

    • It’s like a disease or something. yet another stranger arrives here to offer completely unsolicited and egregiously rude advice as to what I “should” do. Say, buddy, do you normally initiate contact with people in this way?

      “Ms. Clarissa, your comment about the comparison between wage laborers and slavery is reactionary. There are many commonalities between the two.”

      - And you are a drama queen. You are probably one of those folks who feels “raped” by being asked to work overtime and compares a lineup at MacDonald’s to the Holocaust.

      • Wow! I didn’t think I was being rude. Certainly no more than your response.

        Do I normally initiate contact with people this way. Well, yes when they have a blog that has comments turned on. That’s kind of what it’s for.

        Drama queen? You don’t know enough about me to make such accusations about how I feel do you? As I said, reactionary.

        Best wishes.

      • “Wow! I didn’t think I was being rude. Certainly no more than your response.”

        - What kind of a response do you expect from somebody who is sitting quietly on her blog when a complete stranger starts to condescend to her by offering completely unsolicited advice?

        “Do I normally initiate contact with people this way. Well, yes when they have a blog that has comments turned on. That’s kind of what it’s for.”

        - Please show me a definition of a blog as a space where people want to receive unsolicited advice from idiots.

        “Drama queen? You don’t know enough about me to make such accusations about how I feel do you? As I said, reactionary.”

        - Oh, so you don’t like to be labeled in return, do you? Double standard much?

      • What fun!….

        Reverse order – Drama queen lablel, doesn’t bother me in the least.

        Blog definitions – eh, don’t feel like trying to prove this minor point. It seems self evident.

        Unsolicited advice – what is wrong with that. In your ABOUT CLARISSA section you said people should point out spelling mistakes, etc. I merely suggested you might be wrong about something. Rather than asking for clarification or explaining your position more fully, it seems you assumed you were being attacked. You weren’t. My apologies if you felt that way.

        Now that we have that out of the way, why do you feel any comparison of slavery with working for a wage to be absolutely appalling? I’m actually interested in this if you have to the time to form a response.

        Best wishes.

      • “it seems you assumed you were being attacked. You weren’t. My apologies if you felt that way.”

        - Can you read a simple text or is that too taxing an effort for you? I did not “feel” attacked or assume anything. I resent it when people tell me what I “should” do. Which part of this simple statement is unclear? Addressing strangers in the format of “you should” is extremely rude. Still unclear?

        “Now that we have that out of the way, why do you feel any comparison of slavery with working for a wage to be absolutely appalling”

        - Are you even normal? Have you lived your life in a forest, away from any human interactions? Are you trying to antagonize the interlocutor on purpose with this extremely condescending “”Now that we have that out of the way”? Jeez. Do tell, do you have any friends? People who are willing to interact with somebody so rude?

        As for your hugely inane question, my ancestors who were slaves were bought and sold, children were torn away from their parents who never got to see them again, people had to beg the owner’s permission to get married, an owner could torture, rape and maim the slaves, and did that very often. So yes, I think you are insulting the memory of my ancestors when your whiny and overfed American ass dares to compare a job you can leave at any point and that in no way exposes you to rape, beatings and torture with their tragic reality. Don’t like working for a wage? Start your own business, make millions of dollars, and retire at 30. But just stop whining already.

      • Am I even normal? Well, according to the Asperger’s test I took I’m pretty normal or high level functioning at least. But still, not a lot of friends but certainly get along pretty well with a number of people.

        Forgive the “rude” question but were your ancestors really bought and sold as slaves? I thought your bio said you emigrated here from, I’m sorry I don’t remember precisely, somewhere in the Ukraine or Russia? I’m doing my best but didn’t think serfdom worked this way. Perhaps I’m wrong.

        And while I’d never want to compare the ownership of a person as in slavery with the ability to quit a job, there are similarities in the economic aspects.

        For example, the slaves and wage workers, both produce the goods that are appropriated by the owner for the benefit of the owner and not the worker. Certainly some of that surplus has to be used by the owner to ensure the worker has enough bread, etc. in order to come to work the next day. In that sense, the capitalist gives as little back to the worker/slave as possible because that eats into profits. In this sense, wage workers are very much like slaves.

      • “Forgive the “rude” question but were your ancestors really bought and sold as slaves? I thought your bio said you emigrated here from, I’m sorry I don’t remember precisely, somewhere in the Ukraine or Russia? I’m doing my best but didn’t think serfdom worked this way. Perhaps I’m wrong.”

        - Yes, you are wrong.

        “And while I’d never want to compare the ownership of a person as in slavery with the ability to quit a job, there are similarities in the economic aspects.

        For example, the slaves and wage workers, both produce the goods that are appropriated by the owner for the benefit of the owner and not the worker. ”

        - A Neo-nazi and you both have heads. Ergo, you are a Neo-nazi. Right? Because that seems to be your line of reasoning.

        ” In that sense, the capitalist gives as little back to the worker/slave as possible because that eats into profits. In this sense, wage workers are very much like slaves.”

        - Yes, and like slaves, they had a heart and lungs. You take some completely minor little thing and on its basis create a huge (and a massively offensive) generalization. It’s teh same as saying, “I’m sure that a Holocaust victim stubbed her toe once. So have I. This makes me the same as a Holocaust victim.”

        The main characteristic of a slave is not what happens with the product of his or her labor. The main characteristic is that s/he is bought and sold, raped and tortured, considered property. Slaves who produce no labor (newborn children) are still bought and sold. As for the appropriation of their labor, the slaves do not willingly enter into any contract with the owner. They cannot willingly leave the employment. Workers can.

        Are you really not getting the difference? What would you personally prefer, be an actual slave, or have a job at MacDonald’s?

      • Ms. Clarissa, for those of us new to your blog, please explain how the serfdom thing worked then. I am actually interested.

        -A Neo-nazi and you both have heads. Ergo, you are a Neo-nazi. Right? Because that seems to be your line of reasoning.

        Nope. Using your analogy, I’m saying we both have heads. I’m saying, having heads is something we both have in common. But back to wage slavery vs. human chattel slavery. I’m saying they have in common the fact the slaves do the work and the owners get the profits. In the same sense owners didn’t care about their chattel, capitalists don’t care about their employees. I’m NOT making the claim a modern employer can willfully rape their employees although sometimes it feels that way.

        -As for the appropriation of their labor, the slaves do not willingly enter into any contract with the owner. They cannot willingly leave the employment. Workers can.

        Now this is an interesting point, because while I can leave my employer, I am choosing to starve. Or I can go to work for another employer to be again treated as a wage slave. While it’s true a chattel slave couldn’t voluntarily leave the Master, they could be traded away to a different one which is the same relationship of leaving one employer for another. They both end up making the products and doing the labor that the Master then owns.

        -Are you really not getting the difference? What would you personally prefer, be an actual slave, or have a job at MacDonald’s?

        I’m fortunate. I have a good paying job (and am starting my own business to avoid the employer/employee relationship) so I don’t have to work someplace like MacDonalds. But, when I was younger and just entering the work force, I didn’t have a choice of employment (or capital to start my own business) in the sense that the employer chose me and not the other way around. While I would have taken any employment, the owners didn’t have to take any applicants. If I were back in that situation again, I don’t know which I would choose. One would hope to leave both situations to improve their lives.

      • “Ms. Clarissa, for those of us new to your blog, please explain how the serfdom thing worked then.”

        - I already did. It worked like slavery. People were bought and sold, etc.

        ” In the same sense owners didn’t care about their chattel, capitalists don’t care about their employees.”

        - In the same sense as slave owners don’t blow their slaves’ noses, capitalists don’t do either. So?

        “I’m NOT making the claim a modern employer can willfully rape their employees although sometimes it feels that way.”

        - I hope you are not trying to base an argument on your extremely weird feelings. You have already insulted descendants of slaves, now you are insulting rape victims. This is getting worse and worse.

        “Now this is an interesting point, because while I can leave my employer, I am choosing to starve. Or I can go to work for another employer to be again treated as a wage slave.”

        - Oh, quit the drama queen garbage already. Nobody starves in this country, except anorexics who do that of their own free will. You need to be a lot more careful with your words. There are people in this world who actually do starve and do experience rape. One has to be very clueless to compare one’s comfortable overfed American reality with the tragic existences of those who do suffer from starvation.

        “While it’s true a chattel slave couldn’t voluntarily leave the Master, they could be traded away to a different one which is the same relationship of leaving one employer for another. T”

        - Are you really incapable of imagining how the reality of somebody WHO IS BOUGHT AND SOLD, RAPED AND MAIMED AT WILL, SEPARATED FROM HIS OR HER FAMILY is different from that of a Walmart employee? I just want a yes or no answer, please.

        “I’m fortunate. I have a good paying job (and am starting my own business to avoid the employer/employee relationship) so I don’t have to work someplace like MacDonalds. But, when I was younger and just entering the work force, I didn’t have a choice of employment (or capital to start my own business) in the sense that the employer chose me and not the other way around. While I would have taken any employment, the owners didn’t have to take any applicants. If I were back in that situation again, I don’t know which I would choose. One would hope to leave both situations to improve their lives.”

        - Please concentrate and stop offering these vapid inanities. I asked you a question. Faced with a choice, would you choose to be sold into slavery or to apply for a job at KFC? It’s a very simple question. Try to be honest about the topic you chose to discuss of your own free will.

        If you are so traumatized that employers aren’t forced to hire anybody, go become an employer yourself, what’s the problem?

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