Saturday Night Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

While I’m sick with a severe cold, please enjoy this link encyclopedia:

A really REALLY really phenomenal idea on how to make the teaching of writing work. I say 1,000 yes to every word of this post.

One of my favorite bloggers is back with this amazing post on cheering death.

A student gets suspended for torturing cats. I’m guessing everybody else at the university is a vegan. If not, then these people’s hypocrisy is phenomenal.

I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school. I grew up hearing that treaties like the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which only the U.S. and Somolia, a country with no functioning government, have not signed) must be opposed at all costs because it would erode parents’ rights. This wasn’t some minimal thing. Michael Farris, the most well known homeschool leader in the country and the founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association, has been advocating for a parents’ rights amendment and fear mongering about UN treaties for decades now.”

Should Barack Obama’s Life Been Destroyed By A Drug Bust. Obama did drugs as a young guy, and not just pot. Fortunately for him, he managed to avoid arrest and imprisonment. I have no idea why any sensible person thinks the enforcement of federal marijuana laws against the will of certain states deserves one cent or one minute of time.” I agree that federal marijuana laws are stupid, but, sheesh, what a ridiculous argument. It reminds me of those idiotic “the world would have been a worse place had Beethoven’s mother aborted him, so let’s ban abortion.”

How much should you publish in graduate school.

How to succeed in a PhD program in the Humanities.

Religious fanatics can be defeated: “Belgium’s Constitutional Court has ruled that the so-called “Burqa Law” that bans the wearing of items of clothing that completely or partially cover the face is not unconstitutional. However, the ban may not be applied to places of worship. The court ruled the law does not contravene constitutional guarantees on religious freedom.” Yay!

An unexpected but welcome victory for gay rights in Israel. Here, too, the religious fanatics are being defeated.

Hugo Schwyzer was asked this question by a “feminist” website: “How can society improve while success and power are the foundations of male attractiveness?” I haven’t seen such a blatant insistence that all women are whores in a very long time. That’s some “feminism” right there.

“Cuba’s government is banning reggaeton music from radio and TV as Raul Castro’s administration cracks down on “vulgar” songs in the island nation, government newspaper Granma reported on its website.” Communist governments are notoriously prudish. Reread Orwell’s 1984 if you are wondering why that is.

“In Manchester, England, a four-week-old boy bled to death after a circumcision.” But will that convince unhinged parents who want to carve their right to dispose of their children onto their very bodies? Of course not.

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30 comments on “Saturday Night Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. The “feminist” one is really interesting, because USA feminism, is…uh “feminist” much of the time.

    Recently I’ve been running the gauntlet with the apes attacking skeptic Rebecca Watson on YouTube. Boy, those apes are retarded. Luckily, I’d seen all the weird projections before, the ones that patriarchal types make. They popped up one after the one, without a break. The earliest one told me I was nurturing but not aggressive, because of my gender; also asserting that aggression against me was normal and came from the male protective instinct.

    That was the beginning. And it got worse.

  2. I’m with you completely on the link about teaching writing. It’s kind of what I try to do within the limits set by outside forces. I realized a long time ago that students don’t learn how to write when a teacher hands back graded and corrected essays. They learn, as in internalize the process, when they have to interact with an editor.

    “A student gets suspended for torturing cats. I’m guessing everybody else at the university is a vegan. If not, then these people’s hypocrisy is phenomenal”

    How so? You perceive no difference between animal slaughter (made as quick and painless as possible) for the purpose of feeding human beings and the random, purposeless and prolonged cruelty of what this guy did? Or am I missing your point?

    • While eating meat is problematic (note: I eat meat), when someone who is a member of a culture tortures an animal that that culture considers pets, not a food source, it is an indication of severe psychological problems. I agree suspension is an inadequate response to this person’s crime. He should have been arrested. By the way, serial killers invariably started out torturing animals when they were kids. This doesn’t mean all kids who torture animals will grow up to be serial killers, of course. And this person isn’t a kid, but an adult already.

      By the way, I resent the idea that because I eat meat I should also think of my cat as a possible food source and not mind if someone tortures her. I mean, I feed my cat meat — she can’t live without it. So is my cat a hypocrite too?

      • “While eating meat is problematic (note: I eat meat), when someone who is a member of a culture tortures an animal that that culture considers pets, not a food source, it is an indication of severe psychological problems.”

        - I have a student who is a diagnosed schizophrenic and 3 students who are diagnosed bipolar. These are actual diagnoses by actual doctors, not guesses made by laypeople. Should these students be suspended, too? Should all people with “severe psychological problems” be banned from getting an education? If so, then do you suggest we limit ourselves to manning those who have been diagnosed or everybody who engages in behaviors you or I or somebody else might find icky?

        “By the way, I resent the idea that because I eat meat I should also think of my cat as a possible food source and not mind if someone tortures her.”

        - Your cat is your property, and nobody should touch her for that reason. A line between a pet and a food item is very thin, though. One person might keep a rabbit as a pet while another person grows them for food. And they are both entitled to their position.

      • +1, T.S. The student is torturing animals because he derives some pleasure from the animal’s pain and fear, not because there is some other gain (food, scientific research) to be had. Those who use animals have a moral obligation to minimize pain and fear. One famous autistic person, Dr. Temple Grandin, designed better ways to handle cattle on their way to the slaughterhouse. Yes, factory farms are vile, and so are some commercial pet breeding facilities and the locally common pit-bull breeding and “training” operations. Concerning demobilized soldiers as students, “We the People” sent these kids over there, “We the People” have an obligation to them. Soldiers learn to kill when they are put into the line of incoming fire. (Disclosure: My father fought in the European theater of WWII, was at the Battle of the Bulge, came back to the U.S. after the war was over, and took university classes on the G.I. Bill scholarships.)

        The school is undoubtedly covering itself legally by ousting this student. Administrators may be worrying about this guy coming back and shooting up the place, as has happened at a good many universities over the years. The uni. has no obligation to educate him, and I daresay Bloomington IN (aka “back of nowhere”, though very picturesque) may not be the best location to get the best psychiatric intervention. Ship the kid to Indianapolis – there are state and local public colleges, and more psychiatrists than you can count.

      • “Concerning demobilized soldiers as students, “We the People” sent these kids over there, “We the People” have an obligation to them.”

        - As far as I remember, there is no more draft in this country. People choose to make money by killing people. Nobody sends anybody anywhere against their will.

        “The school is undoubtedly covering itself legally by ousting this student. Administrators may be worrying about this guy coming back and shooting up the place, as has happened at a good many universities over the years. ”

        - Is that worry based on any evidence that there is a link between torturing animals and shooting up schools or is it an instance of random fear-mongering?

        “Yes, factory farms are vile, and so are some commercial pet breeding facilities and the locally common pit-bull breeding and “training” operations.”

        - I know people who claim to love animals yet they 1) castrate their poor “pets”, 2) pull out their claws, 3) keep them in cramped, horrible spaces, 4) feed them incredible garbage. And all because they want to protract the torture and get some good use out of the money they paid for the breathing toy. The entire pet-keeping industry is one disgusting, cruel way of treating animals. This is why I consider this fake outrage about a student to be beyond hypocritical.

      • // Should all people with “severe psychological problems” be banned from getting an education?

        If they are violent, deemed dangerous by professionals – yes. (Most people with psychological problems aren’t, I know.)

      • “If they are violent, deemed dangerous by professionals – yes. ”

        - How would anybody know what a person’s diagnosis is? The right to privacy is guaranteed by the constitution. Nobody can ask a doctor to reveal what a patient’s diagnosis is.

    • “You perceive no difference between animal slaughter (made as quick and painless as possible) for the purpose of feeding human beings and the random, purposeless and prolonged cruelty of what this guy did?”

      - Have you ever seen the conditions in which chickens, pigs and cows are bred and slaughtered for food? Let’s not kid ourselves here.

      • I regularly see students who are back from active duty in my classroom. They killed people. Actual people. Probably tortured and raped people, too. Yet nobody freaks out about them being on campus. But we are all super outraged about an animal. How very British of us. :-) :-)

  3. I wrote this piece for the upcoming Women in Literature feminist blog carnival. It looks at how my students paid attention to the different power dynamics in relationships as they were deciding how they felt about certain characters.

  4. I agree with the twisted spinster and wanted to say the same.

    Many abusers torture the partner’s pet before and together with hurting her. Many psychopaths and future (serial) killers begin with killing animals, before “upgrading” to people.

    I would be afraid to sit near a person with such psychological problems, or even live with him in the same building on campus. University should think about safety of its’ students. All students, not only abusers and future / present criminals.

    That’s why even if you care only about people, the university’s decision was right.

    • “Many psychopaths and future (serial) killers begin with killing animals, before “upgrading” to people.”

      - According to your logic, this student should be given the death penalty immediately.

      “University should think about safety of its’ students.”

      - This guy never harmed any students. Do you suggest punishing people for something they never did?

      “All students, not only abusers and future / present criminals.”

      - Who is a criminal in this situation? And what does the expression “a future criminal” even mean? One could label all of us “future criminal” based on some invented similarities between us and Ted Bundy.

      • // According to your logic, this student should be given the death penalty immediately.

        He should be sent to be checked by a professional and be watched. At least, for a while.

        // Who is a criminal in this situation?

        He is since there are animal cruelty laws, which he broke.

      • “He should be sent to be checked by a professional and be watched. ”

        - Sent by whom? Do you think that anybody should be subjected to psych evaluations against their will just because somebody decides this on a whim? What next? Forced medication?

  5. Communist governments are notoriously prudish. Reread Orwell’s 1984 if you are wondering why that is.

    The part about lex primæ noctis?

    I’ve taken you up on your suggestion of Google Images as vocabulary building aid. Do you know anything about this subject?

    I came across it here.

    • It’s part of Georgian cuisine (from the country of Georgia, of course.) The Russians have pelmeny instead, the Ukrainians equivalent is varenyky, the Tatar equivalent is manty. This is making me hungry. :-)

      • +1. I love the steamed pork dumplings in wonton wrappers, best served with some hot oil (cayenne pepper infusion).

  6. Hugo Schwyzer was asked this question by a “feminist” website: “How can society improve while success and power are the foundations of male attractiveness?” I haven’t seen such a blatant insistence that all women are whores in a very long time. That’s some “feminism” right there.
    Well the thing is despite all the progress made there is still some expectation that men need to have success and power in order to be attractive. Lift that expectation.

  7. // I know people who claim to love animals yet they 1) castrate their poor “pets”, 2) pull out their claws, 3) keep them in cramped, horrible spaces, 4) feed them incredible garbage.

    Agree about 3.
    RE 4 – may be they feed themselves garbage too, and think it’s great. How can they be expected to treat pets better than themselves?
    RE 2 – I am unsure. Depends on the curcumstances. F.e. whether the cat sometimes/ as a habit uses the claws on people.

    RE 1 – disagree. You completely anthropomorphize animals here. Unlike childless women and men, castrated cats don’t feel a need to reproduce or a desire for children. Without castration animals will suffer out of desire for sex, and if let to fulfill the desire – produce numerous unwanted kittens or puppies, who’ll suffer and be put to sleep.

    I read about cats in particular, and unlike people female cats don’t “enjoy” sex, the act is actually painful for them, but only it releaves the desire for sex, when a female is in heat.

    • “Unlike childless women and men, castrated cats don’t feel a need to reproduce or a desire for children. Without castration animals will suffer out of desire for sex, and if let to fulfill the desire – produce numerous unwanted kittens or puppies, who’ll suffer and be put to sleep.

      I read about cats in particular, and unlike people female cats don’t “enjoy” sex, the act is actually painful for them, but only it releaves the desire for sex, when a female is in heat.”

      - I’ll just wait for a cat to tell me all this by him or herself, OK? :-)

      • There is science too, till cats learn to talk. :)

        Anyway, even if it wasn’t true, cats & dogs don’t psychologically suffer from being castrated.

        Being maximalist is unrealistic. 99.99% of people don’t equate torturing and killing cats with castrating them (with painkillers). I am sure it’s better than killing kittens or cats as a species. And, here I am anthropomorphizing a bit, but imo it’s better for a beloved cat to be than not to be.

  8. \\ Do you think that anybody should be subjected to psych evaluations against their will just because somebody decides this on a whim?

    There is a limit somewhere. Criminals lose many rights. As an extreme example, nobody asks serial killer whether he wishes to have such or such evaluation. Wife batterers can be sent by court to one program, somebody who committed a crime while being drunk – to program helping to cope with alcohol, in addition to other punishments. Don’t want evaluations or even *gasp* go to jail, which is worse? Don’t commit crimes.

    Note that I am not discussing here the effectivity of those 12-step & so on programs, but only the right of society to protect itself.

    Not criminals or/and endangering *others* people shouldn’t be sent anywhere.

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