Wednesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

There was a weirdo on this blog recently trying to convince me that tenured professors cannot be fired. Here is one of a long line of examples that yes, they can:Syracuse University has dismissed a male professor who had a consensual relationship with a female undergraduate student. The faculty member, who SU has not identified, taught, advised and supervised the student during the relationship. . . The panel recommended the associate professor be dismissed and that his tenure be revoked.In this case, the firing was, of course, justified. However, there are also dozens of cases when tenured profs are fired because of “budget cuts.”

The ideological implications of the Oxford comma.

Somehow, the free-market utopia that all the primary voters believe in never arrives, no matter how many privatizations and tax cuts the Republicans try. And so they seek out someone even purer, someone even more fanatical. They drag the country into another debt-ceiling fight, and this time, they say, they really mean it! But what never occurs to them is that maybe it’s their ideals themselves that are the problem.

The US has a responsibility to do something. I don’t know what that is. I am fairly confident, however, whatever we decide to do will be the wrong thing.This is a fairly wide-spread approach to foreign policy, and ain’t that scary? God, people are stupid.

Examples of blind allegiance to tribal truths, keeping us weak & ignorant.A very good, important post.

A funny article by a Conservative who is in a tizzy that so many people believe in progress:This happy history shapes our thinking about the world more than most of us know. Whether conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, Americans tend to think that history doesn’t matter much, that win-win solutions are easily found and that world history is moving inexorably toward a better and more peaceful place.

I feel exactly like this blogger: “Why is it that so of the pictures that I see online are disgusting or horrifying? Even a lot of the art is decidedly un-beautiful. Ugly. I wonder — where is the beauty these days? When was the last time I saw something and thought, “Wow! That’s beautiful”? It’s so rare.

And this is why everybody should read Clarissa (not the blogger but the novel. Although the blogger is a must-read, too.

An important post on why the recent publicity stunt by Starbucks is worthless and stupid.

This is a book I will definitely be reading: “My book begins by noting a struggle going in the culture between the efforts of growing numbers of professors and students to unplug the American university, and the so far much more powerful efforts of many universities and corporations to maintain and indeed expand wired and distance learning. I ponder the strange fact that the very people who want greater freedom and power for women are often the same people excited about technologies which – despite the good things they might do – have the effect of making it easier for women to stay home rather than venture onto open campuses and enter with their full self, as it were, culture’s unscripted public conversation, the ongoing real-world understanding and contestation of values and meanings that is the liberal arts university.” The article was deleted shortly after being posted but I promise it’s great.

What has the world come to! Republicans now have to be the sole champions of higher ed: “Senator Lamar Alexander said Thursday that he plans to attach an amendment to the labor, health, and education appropriations bill that would stop the Obama administration from moving ahead with its college ratings system. Alexander, the top Republican on the Senate’s education committee, said in a speech on the Senate floor Thursday that the amendment would prohibit the U.S. Department of Education from “using any federal funding to develop, refine, publish or implement a college ratings system.”

A very insightful post on why destroying teacher tenure will not help students.

Congress destroys the possibility of cheap flights to Europe. That makes sense because why wouldn’t our politicians want Americans to stay home and remain ignorant and easy to bamboozle?

A brilliant response to Reihan Salam’s stupid, higher ed-bashing article.

The writer explains that her partner was quite active before they lived together, but as soon as they lived together he began to whine about how to do things and to feign not understanding, which resulted of course, in her doing them for him while he sat back and watched T.V.” A very common problem that can only be solved if the woman in question asks herself why she needs the partner to be this way.

It is very eerie to see such a completely “Soviet male” rant coming from an American.

It seems to me and from the people I’ve talked to, is that the women who’ve had the biggest success in their careers have done so because they have a partner who carries a lot of the load in terms of having a family. And so it’s going to be either men who are going to have to share the load or take on more of it.” Of course. People who are psychologically healthy find it easy to be successful in all areas of their existence. I can’t wait for the time when “my husband doesn’t love me” stops being discussed as some sort of a feminist issue.

President Petro Poroshenko, whose rise to power in Ukraine coincided with an aggressive crackdown on separatist militants, is calling for a temporary ceasefire by government forces. The break in action would allow the armed opposition to lay down their weapons, Poroshenko says. . . Poroshenko announced his plan for a ceasefire one day after speaking with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin by phone.Oh God, what’s wrong with him? On what planet is a “unilateral ceasefire a good idea? 

In the comment section of this post, I explained a cultural baggage behind a joke. This just goes to show why humor is often untranslatable.

29 thoughts on “Wednesday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion

  1. Thanks for the link love, Clarissa!

    About that FiveThirtyEight piece on the….comma. As a University of Chicago grad and former copy editor, I strenuously object to the way that Oxford get naming rights to what should more descriptively be called, “the serial comma.” After all, it is the Chicago Manual of Style that urges comma-rich style in general and has codified the use of the comma before the last item in a series. Oxford comma, indeed.


    1. “As a University of Chicago grad and former copy editor, I strenuously object to the way that Oxford get naming rights to what should more descriptively be called, “the serial comma.””

      – Agreed! 🙂


      1. “Eats, shoots and leaves” simply looks ridiculous …

        I suppose much of the resistance to the serial comma comes from people who don’t seem to know what commas are for, why they should be used, and how they serve as partial stops for people who like writing rather long sentences simply because they can manage to keep all of the grammatical elements in the right places over a significant length of text, notwithstanding interruptions to the sobriquet of silliness that can result from piling on a lengthy number of words on the basis that you can get away with it.

        You may now catch your breath if you read that “out loud” … 🙂


  2. \\ a consensual relationship … has not identified, taught, advised and supervised the student during the relationship. . .

    Why is the firing justified? I understand how it can be problematic, if there is a prof – his/her student relationship, but here? To prevent more problematic cases?


      1. Although, if it were up to me, I’d fire him even if he hadn’t taught this particular student. If you come to a campus to do your job, then do your job instead of fucking around.


  3. // The freak “taught, advised and supervised the student during the relationship.”

    Ah! I read it as “not taught…”

    Btw, have you seen in the comments to a post about teachers a link to this important article?


    “On the other hand, given that David Welch has a lot of money and seems to be really excited by this fight, it looks like we might have no choice but to blame the teachers, get rid of their tenure, see a bunch of them leave, have a surprise teacher shortage, respond either by paying way more or reinstating tenure, and then only then finally gather the data that none of this has helped and very possibly made things worse.”

    Sorry, This is not what is going to happen. Whats going to happen is we’ll traffic teachers from poor countries or create a specific Visa to allow them to come to work in the US but structure it in such a way it keeps wages depressed.

    The Teacher trafficking story was big news recently I’m surprised you missed it.

    And see H1-B visa program abuses.

    After this ‘free market’ experiment plays out with the poor districts doing worse these same groups will circle back to their biases and it will be “the students and the parents fault for not trying hard enough” or the “poors are not like us, they are the failures and deserve their lot in life” . The people living in the poor school districts will have the message society has been telling them for centuries drilled home yet again, “You are not like us, we don’t want you here, you have no value to us”


    1. Irresponsible, sensationalizing reporting, that’s what it is. There is no human trafficking here. The person who organized all this is charged with deceptive business practices, and that is absolutely right.

      Immigrants have to run to big expenses and put up with a lot of aggravation. That’s “the entrance fee.” Every immigrant knows it. There are tons of sleazy firms that sell “easier” routes to immigration.


      1. I do think the possible future of destroying teachers’ unions and then bringing teachers from abroad at lower wages is worth noticing (and fighting against).


        1. This is how this entire country was built. Immigrants come, join or build a union, life improves for everyone. It would be strange to expect me, of all people, to be anti-immigrant. Note that the immigrants in the article have already fit in beautifully, in just a short period of time.


  4. I like realistic novels, including, for instance, George Eliot’s “The mill on the floss” and Thomes Hardy’s “Tess…”. However, don’t think I’ll read “Clarissa.” The book has 1534 pages and would take me several months to finish (lack of free time, in which I would be not mentally tired to concentrate, as the novel would require). Is this novel worth that much investment? I thought it was extremely moralistic, drawn out story of a failed seduction and subsequent marriage, written in a style which I wouldn’t enjoy.

    I do understand it’s important and can’t be dismissed since so many academics talk highly of it. It may be important as another stage in development of the novel genre and a good novel of a certain kind (which not everybody has to like). What makes it special to you?

    Did the author write a very long novel partly since it was published in journals, like Dickens’ long novels published in installments?

    I do think it would be a horror to read as an English lit student, since I wouldn’t have enough time to read it and all other courses’ materials, let alone read it in a leasury fashion, which could allow to enjoy the novel. Not everybody reads fast.


    1. First of all, Clarissa is not a story of seduction. It’s a story of rape and, after Jane Eyre, the most powerful feminist work of art English lit has produced. And there is no marriage. This isn’t Jane Austen.

      I read the entire thing and it did take forever but it was so worth it. In terms of the artistic quality, plot, character development it is vastly superior to the stupid anti-women War and Peace. Plus, it’s part of the epistolary genre. To me that’s always an added bonus.


  5. Why is that a “Soviet male rant”? Not disagreeing (I have no basis to know what that even is). Just curious.


    1. Nothing ever works out, he’s such a victim, the woman needs to save him, he can never get employed, everything is an endless drama. This is what happened to the majority of our men in the 1990s, they just stopped working and started ranting at the unfairness of existence.

      When I was a teenager and I’d say, “My father works,” people would stare and say, “Really??” A working man is still a bit of a wonder to me.


        1. The thing is, this was me and my ex-husband to a T. And I can now honestly confess that he was exactly what I needed him to be to feel superior and good about myself. Our relationship ended 2 weeks after he found a well-paying full-time job.


  6. The “Oxford Comma” is a necessity unless the writer wants to convey the appearance that he or she cannot afford the time to proofread, or else wants to appear illiterate.


  7. France Turns Against Jews, Roma

    Anti-Semitism, Jewish activists fear, is becoming more socially acceptable. In May, for instance, the far-right National Front — a party long rooted in anti-Semitism but that sought to portray itself as reformed — came in first in elections here for the European Parliament, winning a whopping 25 percent of the national vote. Yet last week, its patriarch, Jean-Marie Le Pen, suggested just how unreformed a segment of the party remains. In a video posted on the party’s website, he suggested a Jewish folk singer should be thrown “in an oven”

    Jewish citizens aren’t the only ones under threat in France. A sixteen year old Roma was recently kidnapped by a group of youths, beaten, and left bloody and unconscious in a grocery store parking lot. France, like much of Europe, is getting more violent and dangerous as its social fabric breaks down. It’s a scary time to be a minority ethnic group in Europe.


    1. Not to make light of the beating of the Gypsy boy, but it was almost certainly by muslim and/or african immigrants (judging by the neighborhood) and the motive was less ethnic than economic/criminal (one theory is that thefts by gypsies were attracting too much attention by the hated police which could interfere with daily business).

      Similarly the main driver of anti-semitism is not any Le Pen but rather muslim immigrants (and their French born children).


  8. Only five years ago, millions of Iranians protesters swarmed the streets, denouncing Ahmadinejad’s government—and the demonstrations were brutally put down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Now, as sectarian war threatens to erupt in the Middle East, Iranians are expressing a newfound support for the Revolutionary Guard and Shia hardliners.
    The shift in attitude appears to be due in no small part to the recent mass-killing of some 1,700 captured Iraqi soldiers by ISIS, which was documented by the group on social media. As fear convulses the Middle East, ISIS may be on its way to accomplishing its goal of provoking an all-out religious war.


  9. Don’t remember if you read this text of his already:

    The New Republic. Ставки битвы в Украине огромны. Фашизм возвращается в страну, которую он когда-то разрушил
    27 мая 2014 г., 12:25

    Тимоти Снайдер … Данное эccе было создано для The New Republic. на основе статьи Снайдера, опубликованной в немецком издании Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.


  10. Have you heard of this writer? Sounds interesting, but haven’t seen it yet. (You love long books and this one has 512 pages.)

    Independent People – by Halldor Laxness

    This magnificent novel—which secured for its author the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature—is at least available to contemporary American readers. Although it is set in the early twentieth century, it recalls both Iceland’s medieval epics and such classics as Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter. And if Bjartur of Summerhouses, the book’s protagonist, is an ordinary sheep farmer, his flinty determination to achieve independence is genuinely heroic and, at the same time, terrifying and bleakly comic.

    Having spent eighteen years in humiliating servitude, Bjartur wants nothing more than to raise his flocks unbeholden to any man. But Bjartur’s spirited daughter wants to live unbeholden to him. What ensues is a battle of wills that is by turns harsh and touching, elemental in its emotional intensity and intimate in its homely detail. Vast in scope and deeply rewarding, Independent People is a masterpiece.


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