Worthy of Admiration

Have you seen these commercials where elderly people talk with their family members about the arrangements they’ve made for their funeral expenses?

It’s great to imagine that there are people at such an advanced stage of spiritual development and of such robust psychological health, even though I never met them.

Idiocy Mushrooms

I just heard on CNN that there is a plan to ban the sale of cigarettes on military bases and ships.

First of all, this is gratuitous torture inflicted on people who have already given up a lot. Second, the hypocrisy of sending people to die in combat yet pretending to care about their health is offensive. And third, this is an obvious attempt to sabotage the Democratic election campaign and should be denounced as such.


I found a new magazine at the newsstand,  skimmed the first page and found a “this is the worst year in the recorded history, the news are too depressing,  apocalypse is looming” editorial.

“Ah, a Liberal magazine! ” I concluded and gladly bought it.

The magazine,  however, turned out to be as conservative as they come,  offering a painfully long and weird discussion on what makes one a real Jew, a disturbingly accurate analysis of Obama ‘ s foreign policy, an undeniably true assessment of the Democrat voters as having given up on the possibility that their politicians will ever give them anything but gay marriage, and a hilarious account of John Kerry ‘ s doomed efforts to negotiate between Israel and Palestine. There is even a timid joke about Sarah Palin. Of course, this is all peppered with a heavy dose of the boring Fox New-style rhetoric but if you look past that,  the journal is very enjoyable.

Saturday Link Encyclopedia

The Good:

A very good, thoughtful article on the differences between the expensive, prestigious schools and less famous, cheaper schools. 

Mainstream journalism is not dead yet: here is a very impressive article on white poverty.

Putin has one fatal flaw: he longs to be loved and can’t stand being disliked. Here is how Ukrainian and Byelorussian soccer fans are exploiting this issue of his.

A cutie-cute Windows ’95 backpack.

I won’t read Pollitt’s book on abortion (I don’t waste time reading books that tell me what I already agree with) but the review is great:In other words, trying to be compassionate, to give anti-choicers the benefit of the doubt, has only resulted in progressives failing to make their own case. We’re dealing, Pollitt says, with “40 years of apologetic rhetoric, 40 years of searching for arguments that will support legal abortion while never, ever implying that it is an easy decision or a good thing,” and this has only gotten us stuck “making the same limited, defensive arguments again and again.

The earnings penalty for overweight (and underweight!) men isn’t due to simple discrimination. Men who become overweight as adults face no special career penalty. It’s only a problem for men who become overweight as teenagers.Which means that there is no discrimination for overweight people on the job market. People who grow up in psychologically unhealthy, unstable environment are traumatized to the point where their job performance in adulthood suffers. Weight is nothing but a symptom here.

A hilarious list of idiotic things bosses often say. Which ones have you heard uttered aloud or implied?

I have never heard anti-Semitism being defined as “a form of collectivism, a subordination of the individual to the groupbut it’s a very interesting definition. There is a lot here to work with.

“In many fields and for many positions — insurance claims clerks, executive secretaries, many human resources roles, and the people who supervise mechanics and installers — employers are growing much more inclined to try to replace workers who do not have bachelor’s degrees with employees who do.” If you ever meet any high-school graduates, you will understand that employers are doing the only thing they can reasonably do.

Truly fantastic advice for beginning teachers. Highly recommended.

And a great post with teaching advice for more seasoned educators.

Some very valuable observations on trickle-down feminism.

A great post denouncing scabs and scabbiness.

A brilliant put-down of the infamous “Foodies are Eating Mommies” article. I was going to write about this but the linked blogger did it better than I ever could. My only gripe with the post is the repeated use of the word “help” in the penultimate paragraph. Here is why.

The Bad:

I like Martha Nussbaum but I think I’m too young to understand what this essay is about. Maybe my older readers will appreciate but I’m just puzzled by this strange collection of words.

If anything could cure one of an envy for models, look at the artwork Dalí created with models’ bodies.

The post is good but the news it delivers is disappointing: I was really looking forward to seeing that movie but after this review, there is no way I’m coming near this film.

An extremely stupid article on feminism. The author obviously has absolutely nothing to say on the subject, so she decided to go on and on at length about not having much to say. For somebody who accuses a movement of triviality, this journalist is too eager to throw stones from her own glass house.

You’ve really got to be a total loser to plagiarize somebody’s online course. How do people live with themselves, knowing that they are so useless and pathetic that they can’t even design a silly online course on their own?

Has Germany found a new way to wage war on Europe?

God, there are some stupid young people in the world. Articles like these make me very appreciative of my students because I can’t even begin to imagine them being so pompous, verbose, and dim.

Facebook will try to compete with PayPal. Like anybody is stupid enough to give their bank account details to Facebook. Why not just withdraw the money and flush it down the toilet instead?

The Ugly:

If people are still wondering why I say that the climate-change movement has been hijacked by psychos, they need to read this article on what we can do to address climate change. Every suggestion on the list is a gem, but the following rises to level of plain scary:After you’ve read about the crisis, let yourself feel grief. Don’t ignore your feelings, either through resignation or through forced optimism. Feel what you feel. Talk about your feelings with your family and friends.It’s because of these crazies that the climate-change movement is achieving nothing. They are scaring normal people away. Please read the whole list before you argue. Pay careful attention to point 1.

What are people even thinking when they concoct the followings sentences:Old privilege attacking new privilege, which does nothing to help the underprivileged.” The same article contains the phrase: “The shackles of our corporate masters have been cast off for a few precious hours, and we’re going to make the most of it”, and I didn’t get a feeling the author was being entirely facetious. I should have known that an article called “Brunch-Shaming” would be stupid.

Women’s life expectancy without men would rise to 130 years at least. PIV would be illegal too of course, as well as the initiation of any verbal or physical contact to women and girls or boy children, unless solicited by a woman for specific matters.” Yes, but 130 of life without PIV is complete torture for the absolute majority of women on this planet. Why should they be punished for the fantasies of a few strange folks?

Few things are creepier than the concept of “private prisons.” This is a practice that is so wrong it shames me we are tolerating it.

Among other things, majorities of Muslims – varying somewhat according to region – favor putting to death apostates and adulterers, condemn homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia as immoral, and believe that “a wife must obey her husband.”  Large minorities condone “honor killings.”  It should be noted that for practical reasons, the Pew Center could not survey Muslims in the repressive, highly conservative Gulf States (including Saudi Arabia, the homeland of Wahhabism).”