Are MLA Norms Not for Everybody?

University of Notre Dame Press, you suck. If you believe that you should be exempt from quoting sources in a way that isn’t completely sloppy, then you doubly suck.

This is the first time I see an academic volume where quotes are only attributed to an author without any hint as to which particular work by this author is being referenced and what is the number of the page where the quote is located.

I now have to scour the universe for works by somebody with an extraordinarily unusual name of Richards. And given the sloppiness of the critic who quoted this Richards, it might not even be his last name.

The problem is that this mysterious Richards seems to have said something I find to be very important and I want to consider his ideas further. And the careless academic who doesn’t know how to quote is getting in my way.

Facebook Naivete

So when messages from hateful places like University of Phoenix appear in my Facebook news feed, why does that happen? I obviously didn’t subscribe to be their friend. Is Facebook sticking their messages in people’s news feeds for money?

Also, when a message appears in Facebook news feed saying that “Your friend (real name of a friend) used this product and wants you to try it out” and the friend in question says she has nothing to do with the message or the product, is Facebook sending out these obvious lies in exchange for payments? But why be so heavy-handed about it?

I must be naive but all this seems kind of shocking. There is so much ad content on my Facebook page that I can barely see any legitimate messages from actual people.

Obama and NSA

So Obama says that it’s time to end the War on Terror yet keeps expanding the NSA powers in the same breath?

Have you noticed how he always uses this neat little trick: says something that will melt every Liberal heart in matter of seconds and while everybody adores him for his brave words and swoons over his beautiful speeches, he does something that shows his actual intentions to be the exact opposite of the declared ones?

And here is what I really dig. When Bush Jr. did exactly what Obama is doing but to a lesser extent and defended this course of action publicly and openly, everybody hated him. We are not as quick to hate Obama, though, because he always says what we want to hear. So what does this mean? Do we hate Bush for. . . being honest? Politicians can do whatever they want as long as they are smart enough to put a pretty spin on their actions?

Just think about it. “Let’s start the War on Terror!” means expanded powers for the NSA. “Let’s stop the War on Terror!” means even more expanded powers for the NSA. The only real, tangible difference between the two is that the latter offers more powers to the NSA.  Still, some idiots are celebrating the end of the War on Terror. Only last night I saw an article in The Nation where a journalist was taking this declaration on Obama’s part seriously.

More Inmates, Less Professors

So did you know that the state of California spends more money per year to keep one prisoner incarcerated than it pays in salary to a college professor of my rank? Given the outrageous numbers of non-violent, non-dangerous people kept behind bars on drug possession charges, imagine how easily the dying system of higher education in California could be saved if all these inmates were asked to go home and pay their own upkeep.

I’ve seen many explanations of who profits from this massive incarceration of people who should not be taking up $52,000 per year in taxpayer money just to prevent them from smoking weed or sniffing heroin. I haven’t, however, found a reasonable one.

For now, the only explanation that sounds at least somewhat reasonable is that this is a result of law enforcement agencies and prosecutor offices trying to drum up numbers that would testify to high performance. They must also have performance reports to fill like all of us, and the only way of demonstrating that they are more effective with every passing year is by inventing “crimes” that are super easy to investigate and prosecute. As the bureaucratic obsession with showing good numbers on paper grows, more  people get incarcerated to get the reports padded.

I’m not seeing any other explanation behind the issue. Do you? Other than “evil members of the political party I do not support being their usual evil selves,” of course. That one I’ve heard, and it bores me to tears.