Saturday Link Encyclopedia

(In Ukrainian). Even students (who in Ukraine are traditionally even more apathetic than in North America) are being inspired by what is happening in the country to bring democracy to their school.

Rape in the CIA torture report.

The “feminist” research center that exploits people’s labor is defending itself by saying that it’s perfectly OK not to pay feminist scholars for their work as long as said scholars are immigrants. Are they trying to make themselves as offensive as possible to everybody in sight?

The blogosphere is exploding with rage over this post on charter schools. I have no idea what is so significant about the post – I find it boring and poorly written. But if people find it relevant, here it is.

(In Swedish). Russians keep provoking the silly impotent Europeans.

(In Spanish). And only the brave Poles are trying to stand up to the Russians’ egregious violations of the flight space of neighboring countries.

Do you have a vulva puppet? If not, go here to discover why you urgently need one.

(In Russian). Russian propaganda at its most hilarious.

Greece: a place where Japanese go to be weird.

There are brain-dead losers who are defending online medicine and online education as something positive.

Women of the world are fighting bravely for their rights.

In the meanwhile, American pseudo-feminists keep listing their trivial little grievances. And here is another example. The first link is from somebody who has been writing weepy garbage for years but the second one is from somebody who used to have some promise. This is just sad.

And here is an excessively verbose old-school feminist feeling a vague discomfort with something vaguely named and going on at length trying to express her vague feelings.

Higher Ed is as stupid as ever. Now it has published an article whose only point is for a highly imarticulate, painfully stupid person to make fun of autistics. Why can’t these stupid bureaucrats just be bumped off campuses already?

The report examined data from the bureau’s National Crime Victimization Survey collected between 1995 to 2013 about women aged 18 to 24 — the demographic that is most at risk for sexual assault. The researchers found that the rate of rape and sexual assault among nonstudents in that age group was 1.2 times higher than that of students.” OK then. Can we stop presenting college campuses as horribly dangerous places where people are more likely to get raped than outside of them?

Horrifying corruption at Cornell: “Leadership of the board that oversees Cornell University’s medical college is passing from father to daughter, an unusual transition of power for a higher education board.” Shame on you, Cornell!

Highly ridiculous: “U.S. health regulators estimate that consumers will suffer up to $5.27 billion in “lost pleasure” over 20 years when calorie counts on restaurant menus discourage people from ordering french fries, brownies and other high-calorie favorites.

As many humanities programs struggle to avoid cuts or face tough questions about job prospects for graduates, Washington University in St. Louis will launch a doctoral degree program this fall to cater to aspiring academics with interests in specific components of classical studies.” Good job, Wash U!

(In Russian). Estonians have the most gangsta Lenin ever. There’s just a photo, though, so the language doesn’t really matter.

The argumentative Jew.

(In Russian). An interview with a blogger from the Donetsk Region. She has a much kinder view of the region but don’t listen to me, listen to her. She’s been there, she knows.

The best placemats in the universe.

In her speech to the dinner guests in Washington, Hirsi Ali recalled meeting Vice President Joe Biden. He informed her that “ISIS had nothing to do with Islam.” When she disagreed with him, Biden actually responded: “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.” “I politely left the conversation at that,” Hirsi Ali said, to laughter.”

(In Spanish). Spain’s Mariano Rajoy declared this week that Spain’s crisis is over. I guess, my book has become irrelevant now. (Hint: Rajoy is being serious and I’m not.)

Even more of the funny developments at Harvard. Let’s debate this. Who supports the prof? Who doesn’t? Can you guess whether I do?

53 thoughts on “Saturday Link Encyclopedia

  1. “On the other hand, if you were black, poor, uneducated—and those parts of your identity were most pressing—you most likely did not see yourself reflected in the movement’s rhetoric and shied away. ”

    This is a great sentence as it explains almost all of my behavior. I do not see my identity reflected in any movement’s rhetoric and so I shy away.

    Like

  2. As my life diverges from everyone else’s, I find less and less to identify with in movements I once identified with or tried to.

    As for the last link, I neither support the Harvard prof nor do I support the restaurant. The prof comes across like a man with far too much time on his hands that he spends on petty grievances in the name of righteousness (write a demand letter for $12 like you’re taking a first year law exam!). and the restaurant seems careless to the point of disingenuousness. As for the students, it’s funny that they’re worried about their school’s reputation which is not affected by the professor’s actions.

    Like

  3. “Den 3 mars i år var ett SAS-plan på väg från Kastrup till Rom bara 90 meter från att kollidera med ett ryskt signalspaningsplan söder om Malmö.”

    “On 3 March of this year an SAS flight from Copenhagen Kastrup airport to Rome came within 90 metres of colliding with a Russian ELINT/SIGINT plane south of Malmö.”

    So why is this coming out now? (Also, don’t trust auto-translation — apparently the Google Hive Mind believes Kastrup is the long-awaited extension of Heathrow. [snicker])

    “Militärflyget hade stängt av sin transponder, vilket betyder att det var ”osynligt” för den civila flygledningen.”

    “The military flight flew without a transponder, which meant that it flew ‘invisibly’ according to civil aviation traffic control.”

    I doubt it was invisible to people on the ground.

    Perhaps the Swedish military could pass out half-watt green laser “pointers” to reliable people who have been trained on Russian planespotting. 🙂

    “Välkommen till Sverige!” 🙂

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      1. Southern Sweden probably has more guns and more rednecks than Wisconsin …

        I mention this because perhaps Wisconsin could pitch in for its Nordic brethren by sending them a few thousand half-watt green laser pointers. 🙂

        “We shall light up the ‘invisible’ planes of the Russians much in the same way that the Finns gave the Russians strong drink to go with their ‘Molotov bread baskets’.”

        Yes, and while we’re at it on the subject of Ukraine, what about Russia handing back that “little oblast” that Russia acquired from Finland?

        “Molotov torches” = those little half-watt green laser pointers I mentioned … 🙂

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  4. The “nothing to do with Islam” idea presupposes there is an “Islam” that is independent of what people who claim to follow it do.

    Islam is what people who call themselves muslims do and any other definition is spurious, so obviously ISIL has a lot to do with Islam. and as the tendency in the muslim world is for existing status quos to gain in strength the longer ISIS last the more legitimacy is will have with more muslims.

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    1. Talented, well-written but ideologically light years away from me. This is precisely what I mean when I talk about a litany of excuses. Jews experienced a true horror in Nazi Germany. And they resisted and ultimately survived. Their real tragedy is used in this article to excuse a banal passivity and dishonesty. And I don’t like that.

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  5. She wrote:

    \\ Так появляются вожди, так появляются особая групповая красота, таланты, нордическая арийская мощь, таинственная русская душа, мужская сила и мужество, набор фетишей – волшебных качеств, которых стигматизированная группа лишена, но которыми очарована

    Это о стигматизированной группе, but could practically the same thing be true for the majority group? Feeling powerless and thus holding tight to таинственная русская душа and нордическая арийская мощь.

    Btw, tareeva does seem to feel something similar about таинственная русская душа, but I never heard about pre-WW2 German Jews believing in нордическая арийская мощь.

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    1. Everybody has their own mythology of national character. Russians are neither exceptional nor very inventive with their mysterious soul. The mechanism of the creation of the mysterious Russian soul myth is exactly the same as the myth of what women or men “are like.”

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  6. \\ Even more of the funny developments at Harvard. Let’s debate this. Who supports the prof? Who doesn’t? Can you guess whether I do?

    Do you support the prof? My guess is yes.

    I read the letters and think that, as a consumer, he had a right to better treatment. The owners weren’t ready to return 4$, instead talking about 3$. If you run a business, it’s your responsibility to be professional and honest, f.e. reveal true price before purchase. Only fear of law keeps many businesses from ripping you off.

    However, the prof lost me when he demanded $12 instead of $4. May be, he had this lawful right, but on emotional level he lost me there. I do agree 100% with his demand to see the prices updated to true ones or the website being taken down.

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    1. I come from a place where it’s still impossible to buy anything without being insulted, humiliated or cheated. So I applaud this guy and everybody who came before him and ensured that customer service is not an empty concept on this continent.

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  7. The worst thing about that second pseudo-feminist post is that she is completely wrong about there being no Plus size department for men. There might not be one on the Target website, but most traditional department stores have a Big and Tall section that segregates “regular” sizes from the very large sizes. There are also entirely separate “Big and Tall” stores that cater to very tall and very heavy men.

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    1. “There are also entirely separate “Big and Tall” stores that cater to very tall and very heavy men.”

      – I’ve seen them. I have no idea wherein people have found a problem or a cause for offence here.

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  8. Why do you see the student evaluation bias towards males as trivial? It is quite clear to me the bias exists. It’s not impossible for women to get good evaluations of course (mine are quite strong) but in my experience, students are far more forgiving of male professors than they are of female professors. In fact, some people on my campus did some unofficial comparisons and the male professors have (on average) _significantly_ higher evals scores; simultaneously, it’s also quite clear to me that the men aren’t significantly better teachers than the women on my campus.

    Since evals tend to be an important part of a candidates tenure dossier, gender (and racial) bias on student evals strike me as an important concern. It’s not the most pressing concern in global politics of course. But I would never call something that can affect someone’s livelihood “trivial.” So I would be interested to know why you are so dismissive of eval bias.

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  9. I like using calories as a unit of measurement for pleasure. This could possibly be useful in the bedroom:

    “Hey Honey, feeling frisky tonight?”
    “Well why not? But we have to stay below 1000 calories, or I won’t be able to get up early tomorrow.”
    “Oh, I had hoped that we could at least go above 850 calories!”
    “Okay then, let’s make a listicle!”

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  10. Re: the Harvard professor, it looks bad, PR-wise to see an entitled asshole fighting for $12, but he had every right to do so. More importantly, by him raising a stink about it, his actions probably helped out other people who aren’t so aggressive about pursuing their rights as consumers.The restaurant will have to overhaul their system if this was a mistake that happens often, or think twice about charging people more in the future if it was intentional. In both cases it’s a win-win for the customer.

    Like

    1. “More importantly, by him raising a stink about it, his actions probably helped out other people who aren’t so aggressive about pursuing their rights as consumers.The restaurant will have to overhaul their system if this was a mistake that happens often, or think twice about charging people more in the future if it was intentional. In both cases it’s a win-win for the customer.”

      – Exactly.

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  11. With countries around the world facing a Jihadi threat that sprung up on their territory, they are looking to the UN Security Council’s anti-terror body (CTED). In a special interview, CTED’s senior official, Israeli counter-terror expert Dr. David Scharia, talks to Ronen Bergman about the day when the Western recruits to the Islamic State decide to return home.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4603420,00.html

    I was especially interested in the latter part of his interview from the subtitle “Deliberate genocide.”

    Like

      1. \ Европейцы съебались до мышей. Sorry for the language but what else can I say?

        I am bad at Russian curses, but guess you meant they have gone insane, right?

        The question is why. In Israel one hears the explanation “the entire world is against us because of old European anti-semitism AND their fear of Muslims in their midst.” I would hate to accept that, don’t want to, it sounds like propaganda of extreme Right. But most Israelis believe in that. Do you have other explanations?

        Regarding videos, “Bayit Yehudi [RELIGIOUS RIGHT PARTY] leader Naftali Bennett launched a viral election video on Wednesday in which he mocked the left for being too apologetic when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israeli foreign relations.”

        Here is a video (can you now access the site?):
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4604931,00.html

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        1. No, this expression is not about insanity. In polite language it means “They ate so pathetic. ”

          My explanation is that the EU wants to preserve some identity of its own and the only way to do that they can think of is to spite Americans. ” We are we because we are not they ” is the oldest identity building mechanism.

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  12. I would like to vote for a smart, responsible leader of a Center or even Center-Left party in the coming Israeli elections. Netanyahu’s Likud is against two countries for two people and, even more importantly for me, has some scary extreme Right elements. However, how can I vote for the Left when, for instance:

    \ On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also tried to poke fun at the recently formed union between Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog and Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni.
    “The elections are clear elections between the right and the left. Between the Likud headed by me and Labor headed by…headed by…now this is the choice,” said Netanyahu, trying to make fun of the fact that the two leaders would take turns in serving as prime minister if they were to be elected.

    Uri wrote many good things about Isaac Herzog here:
    http://www.avnery-news.co.il/english/

    But I don’t know the man, and definitely don’t trust Livni as a PM. “take turns” sounds insane, I don’t understand what it means at all. Never heard of the concept.

    Netanyahu seems the best PM out of the people offered, so if I want him to be a PM, I should vote for his party. (In Israel a PM is from a party with the max number of votes.)

    What would you have done?

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    1. ““take turns” sounds insane, I don’t understand what it means at all. Never heard of the concept.”

      • Actually, it’s been done, historically. In Spain, for instance, there was quite a long tradition of the “peaceful turn” where the Liberals and the Conservatives agreed to switch power. This wenton for quite a while and managed to stabilize the country somewhat. This was back in the late XIXth early XXth century. In hindsight, it was a disastrous decision but in the moment it definitely worked.

      Why don’t you like Livni?

      Like

      1. \ Actually, it’s been done, historically. In Spain, for instance, there was quite a long tradition of the “peaceful turn” where the Liberals and the Conservatives agreed to switch power.

        But here we have two center-Left parties, not Liberals and Conservatives. The latter had different ideologies, here – two people with a similar ideology can’t “divide the skin of the unkilled bear.”

        Most importantly, I suppose. in Spain one party ruled for X years and then, instead of elections, gave place to another. Here, both of them can (but won’t since Bibi will win) be in power only till next Israeli elections, which often happen every ~ 2 years.

        What about the negotiations with Palestinians? What about the next approaching operation (*) against Hamas? Which country wants two scrabbling leaders during war? In the last operation, Bibi had influence over other ministers and stopped the operation despite Bennett and Lieberman being for Israel taking hold of (and ruling again, as I understood) the entire Gaza strip. Those two don’t have influence.

        They will not get enough votes to be a PM in the 1st place.

        (*) In Gaza, Hamas shows off weapons and girds for fresh fight
        With no rehabilitation in sight and promised money not forthcoming, Gaza’s militant rulers are testing rockets and boasting of their tunnels, even as the Strip’s residents pay the price.
        […]
        According to an Egyptian report, Hamas is investing $140 million a year in digging tunnels. There are 12 thousand people employed in the digging; they work only with their hands, for fear that the noise of drilling would expose the excavation. The cost of a tunnel in the Rafah border area, for example, is estimated at some $100 thousand, and the work takes months, sometimes even years.

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  13. According to a new poll released Tuesday by The Washington Post and ABC News […] A majority of nearly every group — non-whites, women, young adults, the elderly, Midwesterners, suburbanites, Catholics, moderates, the wealthy — said that torture of suspected terrorists can be often or sometimes justified.

    A majority of only one other group beyond liberals and Democrats disagreed: people with no religion.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/12/16/from-moderate-democrats-to-white-evangelicals-nearly-every-demographic-group-believes-torture-can-be-justified/

    Interesting, what is the explanation regarding the people with no religion.

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  14. Here is the latest about Livni (since you can’t access the blog I put the article here):

    \ I am an undecided voter. I will not vote for a clear left-wing party or for a clear right-wing party. I will vote for a party that will promise the State of Israel a slightly more prosperous future, as a Jewish and democratic state. Both Jewish and democratic.

    I must admit that the Labor Party, together with Hatnua Chairwoman Tzipi Livni, is definitely an option. In the press conference she held with Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog, the two of them conveyed a clear national message.

    One of my friends complained that they did not talk about peace. “They are so identified with peace, to the point of obsession,” I replied, “that I doubt that’s what they’re missing.”

    But something went wrong. Livni appeared on Channel 2’s satire television show “Matzav Hauma” (State of the Nation) and lashed out at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a humiliating manner. It wasn’t Netanyahu that she humiliated; it was herself.

    I have quite a lot to say against Netanyahu. I have written and I will write against him. But he is not trash.

    Livni knows very well that she had Netanyahu’s full backing throughout the negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry. That’s why she didn’t resign from the government at the time. She wouldn’t dare say the opposite, because it’s all documented. Those days, Netanyahu demonstrated amazing moderation.

    But when Livni refers to the prime minister as “trash,” she isn’t just using foul language. She is also dangerously moving closer to the anti-Israel left’s rhetoric.

    I spent the past few weeks in Europe. I visited research institutes, universities and newsrooms. I heard horrible comments. I defended Netanyahu although I have no intention of voting for his party. But it’s clear that Livni’s statement will become a significant part of the anti-Israel propaganda.

    Criticism is legitimate, but Livni’s comments are not criticism. Why she sat in Netanyahu’s governments for years. So how did he suddenly turn into “garbage”?

    The centrist parties have the most important job. They are the ones which can steer Israel on a course of sanity, which protects national interests on the one hand, while willing to take steps towards separation and improving Israel’s international status on the other hand.

    The center, allow me to reiterate, is the most important place in Israeli politics. It’s neither the bi-nationalistic right nor the blind left, part of which is becoming a partner in the anti-Israel campaign.

    The Herzog-Livni combination, and the things they said in the press conference, created a new momentum. The center got a shot in the arm.

    There is a need for an alternative government. There is a need for hope. There is a need to prevent the bi-nationalistic disaster. But the left has a tendency of making it clear that it’s not an alternative. The left has a tendency of proving that it suffers from blindness.

    People are allowed to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. Livni’s comment that “in order to solve the Islamic State problem we have to solve the Palestinian problem” was an unfortunate remark. A person is not judged for every mistake, however.

    But Livni, who actually comes from the right, might still become a sort of convert. And the converts are the worst. They have to prove that they are loyal to the new religion. So instead of being in the center-left, Livni’s comments are dragging her to the far left.

    “I am fighting for a Jewish state,” she said excitedly at the joint press conference. I believe her. So why the hell is she insisting on adopting the Bil’in protestors’ rhetoric?

    I have no idea which party I am going to vote for. All I know is that Livni will have to work very hard to gain my vote.

    Like

    1. I’m sorry, but all I’m hearing here is an outrage that she used strong language. Given that I used much stronger language on this blog earlier today, I can’t judge Livni. 🙂

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      1. \ I’m sorry, but all I’m hearing here is an outrage that she used strong language.

        She is a politician, not a blogger. And a former member of Likud, btw.

        Like

  15. Is it a good attempt at education or the opposite, treating criminals as if they are need therapy or being educated by force?

    On August 6, the five youths terrorized a bus in Sydney carrying Jewish students, some as young as 6, with threats of slitting their throats and chants of “Kill the Jews” and “Heil Hitler.”
    Police, however, said they did not believe the children were targeted because they were Jews.
    […]
    Sydney teen who yelled ‘Kill the Jews’ sentenced to Shabbat dinner
    Australian youth who terrorized kids will also visit a Jewish museum, read Elie Wiesel, Primo Levi as per judgment
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/sydney-teen-who-yelled-kill-the-jews-sentenced-to-shabbat-dinner/

    Like

  16. I wanted to ask you one question: you previously said that mysterious Russian soul or special Aryan power are constructed, meaningless, like the difference between men and women. However, you also talked about special Jewish culture, love of learning and “being against” accepted ideas. If Russian soul doesn’t exist, then Jewish one doesn’t either and “being against” can’t be described as a Jewish trait. How do you explain the contradiction?

    As an aside, it may start again. 😦 From today’s news:

    “IAF struck Hamas training facility near Khan Younis in retaliation to rocket fire at Israeli south; Hamas official: The resistance has the right to respond to the Israeli aggression at the time and place it chooses. […]
    This is the third time a Gaza rocket has landed on the Israeli side of the border since the end of Israel and Hamas’ 50-day summer war.”

    Like

  17. // Report: IS executed 100 foreigner ‘deserters’
    Jihadist group reportedly cracks down on disillusioned volunteers who wish to return to home countries.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4605764,00.html

    Will it prevent more fools from joining though? It may not, for instance:

    // France: Man attacks police, yells ‘Allahu Akbar’ before being killed
    Suspect entered police station near Tours, stabbed policewoman in face, and was shot to death while attempting to harm two other officers. […] The man was known to police for common crimes but was not on any watch list of the French intelligence services, Cazeneuve said, adding: “The probe is only starting.”

    I can not understand – had he simply wanted to commit suicide and chose this way?

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  18. I was horrified to read about the latter two sources of ISIS’s organ trade:

    “Mosuli said that the organs come from fallen fighters who were quickly transported to the hospital, injured people who were abandoned or individuals who were kidnapped.”

    In addition, European drug users should be ‘thanked’ for helping ISIS:
    “The Russian Federal Drug Control Service said ISIS was gaining significant revenues by smuggling and marketing Afghan heroin, which is sent from Iraq to Europe.”

    From :
    ISIS Harvesting Human Organs, Trafficking Heroin
    http://instigatornews.com/isis-harvesting-human-organs-trafficking-heroin/

    Like

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