Monday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

All I ever wanted to say about Facebook activists but somebody has already said it for me.

A Dutch wedding versus an American wedding.

Together, my partner and I have a median household income in the top 8% of US earners. Yet, like many people, even now we could not truly afford to buy a decent place in most major North American (or global) cities.” Hear, hear! The real estate in this country is unbelievably overpriced, and things won’t change until there are folks willing to saddle themselves with ridiculous 30-year mortgages.

A lot of words just to say that people who send unsolicited naked photos of themselves should be avoided. I once had a colleague who regaled everybody in the office with photos of his penis. I kid you not, he sent out an email to everybody who had the misfortune of sharing an office with him. On the next day, he pestered everybody to share our impressions of the penis with him. The guy turned out to be a sociopath and a criminal who had to flee the country.

Jeb Bush confirms that immigration policies exist to relieve the tension of “we are not breeding fast enough” panic. We have already seen Western Europe succumb to it. Now, it seems, it’s the turn of the US.

If you’re talking about Snowden — whether he’s a hero or a traitor, why he did it, what should happen to him, etc. — then you’re not talking about the NSA, what it’s doing, and what should be done to corral it. The NSA loves that.” Exactly.

A very good post to read for Father’s Day. It reminded me of this old joke where a little boy says, “Mommy, if Santa brings gifts and the Tooth Fairy brings money, then why do we need Daddy?”

I will never understand the bizarre brain processes of people who see Great Gatsby as “a movie about men.” This person probably thinks Anna Karenina is a “book about women.” Not even my students are capable of such pseudo-insights.

On how Rupert Murdoch valiantly upholds family values.

Greg Mankiw is being criticized for saying “I was raised in a middle-class family; neither of my parents were college graduates. My own children are being raised by parents with both more money and more education. Yet I do not see my children as having significantly better opportunities than I had at their age.” He is absolutely right, though. His children’s success or lack thereof in every area of life is in no way dependent on their parents’ money or education. It is dependent on how psychologically healthy their upbringing was. Please only argue about this with me if you’ve had an opportunity to observe the same number of children of very rich people as I have.

I need to show this to my students who persecute me with the endless (and endlessly stupid) “Historically, men always worked while women stayed home and waited on them.” (I’m not sure if my students know the difference between “on” and “for.” Their understanding of English prepositions is horrendously poor. They also love to stick “off of” between random clusters of words.)

WordPress Update?

OK, why did my WordPress Dashboard suddenly acquire this funereal look?


I didn’t do anything to cause this. Has there been an update?

Updates to apps and websites bug me to no end. Just as one gets used to a certain look, some stupid update kills the experience. For instance, the Apple WordPress app got 2 major updates since Friday night.

On Syria

Obama says he is justified in meddling with Syria because there is a rumor chemical weapons were used there and there is also a bad, mean dictator in the country. I’m starting to believe that Obama’s real name is Bush. Haven’t we heard this exact same story about WMDs and evil dictators in the exact same context a few years ago?

Also, does anybody see any reason for the US meddling in Syria other than the country’s bizarre need to restore the Cold War-like tensions with Russia? Of course, Putin is delighted because this is a dream come true for him.

Or is this simply an attempt to jump-start the US economy? (I know it won’t work but the White House seems wedded to this strategy.)

Talks With My Mother

I know how much everybody loves these posts, so here is one more memorable discussion with my mother.

Mother: You should stop watching all these crime dramas on TV. They will stress you out, and that’s no good for the baby.

Me: No, I talked to a psychologist and he says that the harmful stuff is the kind that causes me negative emotions: stress, anger, fear, etc. And crime dramas don’t cause me any negative feelings.

Mother: I don’t know. I think you should be watching nice, happy movies. Like Cinderella or romantic comedies.

Me: Mama, I told you, the psychologist says I should avoid watching things that make me feel stress, anger, fear, etc.