UK Readers to the Rescue

Is it true that there is something called “postal voting” in the UK that deprives large groups of people of the right to vote?

Magazine Digest: The New Yorker

Of all the magazines I have explored, the one I will never again read is The New Yorker. It had so little substance that even Marie Claire magazine would be more profound.

For instance,  in the September issue,  there was a long article on the subversive collective Anonymous that has spread to many countries of the world (including Russia where the Russian Anonymouses have done some really cool stuff). One would think this is a subject even a very bad journalist can’t spoil. The New Yorker magazine,  however,  reduced the whole global movement to the boring story of some aging gentleman who is not even known to the movement’s activists worldwide. In fact, the global dimension of Anonymous hardly receives any attention in the article.

I did derive some value from the article on slavery in Mauritania that appeared in the same issue of The New Yorker but it has the same problem as the rest of the pieces: every phenomenon under discussion is reduced to the tear-jerking life story of an individual. There are never any conclusions. It’s all “here is a person with a story. Make what you will of it.”

Bye bye, New Yorker.

Saturday Link Encyclopedia

Even more proof that human beings value nothing as highly as stability and familiarity. Unfortunately, this is true even when the familiar is horrifying and tragic.

Key democrats, led by Hillary Clinton, leave no doubt that endless war is official U.S. doctrine,” wrote some very stupid journalist, sounding very proud of having said something so profoundly unintelligent. This strange person probably hasn’t noticed that “endless war” is the condition of every state since it came into existence.

In a very real sense, there is no teacher shortage in this country at all. What there is is an unwillingness to make teaching an appealing profession that people will actively pursue and stay with for a lifetime.” I agree completely that there is no “labor shortage” of teachers. The idea is preposterous.

I always buy these mushrooms at the store but the idea of picking them myself sounds dangerous. This is weird because I was an avid mushroom-picker back in Ukraine where mushrooms are, for obvious reasons, more dangerous than anywhere else.

Yet another obnoxious and preachy post from Professor Is In.

Sometimes, one can find little gems of brilliance even in the eminently stupid Inside Higher Ed: “But the most interesting and controversial case for the liberal arts came from Rob Goodman, a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at Columbia University. “At this cultural moment the idea of ‘uselessness’ is inspiring a lot of anger in a lot of people, and it’s important to explore why,” he said.” This is very interesting to me.

The wonder and the beauty of selective breeding.

And another hilarious quote from a very weird person who keeps dispensing strange advice on sexuality: “And loving what’s true might be even harder for many people, since what’s true about your body is almost certainly NOT what you’ve been taught is “supposed” to be true. You’re SUPPOSED to have spontaneous desire and genitals that respond to the slightest touch and interest in sex that isn’t damped by stress or exhaustion and a body that is a particular shape and size… in short: we’ve all been lied to, consistently and repeatedly, for decades, about how very unlovable our bodies are.” Just imagine what this sex counselor can teach her poor, deluded clients. They will leave her convinced that dysfunction is healthy and sexual health is wrong.

It’s like some people live in a completely different world. And I like my world so much better than theirs.

Good news: “A Florida judge Friday sentenced Michael Dunn to life in prison without parole for the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The sentence, imposed nearly two years after Dunn shot and killed Davis during an argument over loud music, also carries an additional 90 years for three convictions of attempted murder and firing a weapon into a vehicle.” Finally, Florida managed to squeeze out a verdict that would actually punish a murderer.

Tallinn through the eyes of a Kharkovite blogger. In Russian but it’s mostly just photos anyway.

Insanity continues in Canada: “Seniors and the disabled are taking on Canada Post over their unilateral decision to remove door to door delivery. The scam was introduced based on the lie that the company is struggling financially. They have consistently made a profit year after year and pay dividends to the Canadian government which has considerably added to the tax revenue.

In case you missed the priceless story of the green butt plug in Paris, I’m bringing you a link to the newest developments in the story.

Russians are screaming and yelling that protests in Hong Kong somehow prove that the Ukrainian Maidan was organized and paid for by the CIA.

Leskov, Etnographer of the Jews.”

People wouldn’t need to waste so much energy and time on discussing whether the borders should or shouldn’t be closed to stop the spread of ebola if they read Clarissa’s Blog and informed themselves about the erosion of the nation-state and the meaning of this process.

There is at least the ghost of a strategy still available to the West: make Putin pay an ongoing price so that it will be clear that he has overstepped. That strategy doesn’t require Ukraine to be transformed into a well-functioning paradise; as we’ve noted over and over in these pages, that is the worst kind of wishful thinking and is just not likely to happen any time soon. But it would involve getting Ukraine through a couple of winters while Putin twists in the wind as the sanctions slowly do their thing.” This is obviously not going to happen. I’m starting to suspect that Obama has the same secret crush on Putin as every Liberal on the planet. And please don’t annoy me by asking where I have seen such Liberals. I see them every day on my blog, defending Snowden and his passionate ass-kissing of Putin.

Really inventive wedding invites.

Why bicycling is not thriving in the US.

Everybody knows that David Brooks is an idiot but the linked article demonstrates that well-known truth beautifully and exhaustively.

Why do preachy, self-righteous idiots who understand nothing about politics are so dedicated to chirping about it?

“When I last visited Bombay, I explained to my then four-year-old about that we couldn’t buy too many things because of weight restrictions in the flight, etc. My relatives were genuinely wondering why I didn’t just stop at “no.”” The answer is: for the exact same reason why this person can’t just say “no” to nosy and condescending relatives.

A group of St. Louis Cardinals fans is selling shirts with “Darren Wilson” on the back, in support of the police officer who killed Michael Brown on 9 August in Ferguson, Missouri.” I’m glad I never joined the cultish support of this local team.

A new book by Francis Fukuyama: “In some ways Political Order and Political Decay may be Fukuyama’s most impressive work to date. The upshot of his argument is that functioning democracy is impossible wherever an effective modern state is lacking. Since fractured and failed states are embedded in many parts of the world, the unavoidable implication is that hundreds of millions or billions of people will live without democracy for the foreseeable future. It’s a conclusion that anyone who thinks realistically is bound to accept. It’s also a view that runs counter to nearly all currents of prevailing opinion.” Of course, I will be reading it.

There are also many great links here.