Monday Link Encyclopedia

I normally don’t like this fellow, but in this post he’s absolutely right: Liberals confirmed every nasty stereotype of themselves in the Kim Davis debacle. And this was written before the disgraceful “Has the Pope met her?” hullabaloo.

This author is not my cup of tea either but this article of his is surprisingly insightful: “In the febrile environment of social media, this cult of sentimental humanitarianism frequently manifests in virtue-signalling and policing and in immense waves of collective emotion. Declaring definitively, yet thoughtlessly, upon issues of labyrinthine complexity, it regularly appears to involve a narcissistic preoccupation with our own caring, not least relative to the supposedly inadequate caring of others. The simplistic vision that would cast fiendishly knotty social and political problems as if they were parable scenes for us to re-enact for our moral self-validation is bankrupt.

What a happy, sheltered reality is that where people can fight over how to name their baby.

One of my colleagues told me the other day that s/he has switched to multiple choice exams in most of his/her lit courses and has students do only minimal writing, most of which s/he doesn’t respond to or grade.” I will do the same thing. It isn’t teaching, it’s bullshit. But if my health insurance is taken away  (which represents an enormous and entirely undeserved pay cut), I will be cutting down the services that I provide.

A refugee riot in Germany. Once again, I have to repeat: refugees are human beings. Not puppies, not dolls. They are people.

My anxiety is way better than your anxiety! Do people even notice how insane an anxiety contest sounds?

I can even understand some of Carson’s unease about electing Muslims to the Presidency. But then, I’m uneasy whenever a man (or maybe someday a woman) of God is elected to the Presidency, regardless of their faith.” Hear, hear! I prefer politicians to keep their religious beliefs as far out of my life as possible. I don’t get why job interviews for some state jobs prevent the prospective employers from asking about the candidate’s religion why other state jobs allow a candidate to persecute the employers with his or her boring religious convictions.

A young woman is being prosecuted for manslaughter just because.  .  . she sent some text messages.

Poly, schmoly. In my country, we call it “Wake up, honey, your husband found himself a mistress and doesn’t know how better to kick you to the curb.”

Americans are Powerful & Safe; So why do they feel Like Victims?” Answer: precisely because they are so safe. It titillates the jaded palates.

And hey, doomsterism and despair are wildly profitable.

A novelist quits a teaching job over a loyalty oath.

So ironically the Russian Federation and its ex-Communist president is taking a conservative position here, of trying to prop up the status quo, which the US views itself as a radical democratizer a ala Thomas Paine.” I hate it when people use words without ascertaining their meaning. What can possibly be “ironic” about this state of affairs? Is anyone still unaware of the deeply conservative nature of Soviet Communism since the early times of Stalin?

Of all the weird things to do, pumping a 14-year-old full of hormones is one of the more extreme. With a mommy like that, who needs enemies?

I had no idea people still needed persuading that the Rosenbergs were guilty.

Jewish Studies are dying.

32 thoughts on “Monday Link Encyclopedia

  1. “A novelist quits a teaching job over a loyalty oath.”

    I don’t see the big deal about taking unenforceable oaths. When I graduated from medical school, I and all of my classmates were required to take the Hippocratic Oath swearing to Apollo the Healer, and we all knew that that particular god was dead as a door nail, anyway.

    About the only oath in America that’s legally enforceable is the one to tell the truth when you’re sworn in as a witness in court.

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  2. What can possibly be “ironic” about this state of affairs? Is anyone still unaware of the deeply conservative nature of Soviet Communism since the early times of Stalin?

    Sadly, I’m afraid that many are still unaware–or worse, they do know, but reject it because they find democracy lacking. Some of Putin’s apologists over here swoon over him because they cling to the idea of Russia going back to the strong Soviet state that it was (of course, that’s inaccurate) and being a bulwark against Western capitalism and values. It’s their dislike of the West–the US, Western Europe–that make them prefer to jump into bed with Vlad.

    That’s just how I see it. I could very well be wrong, and if I am, I stand corrected.

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    1. No, you are absolutely right. Stalin punished abortion with death, both for the doctor and for the woman. If people choose not to notice something like that, nothing will convince them.

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  3. “…the Rosenbergs were guilty.”

    Ethel and Julius Rosenberg went to the electric chair because they were too stupidly idealistic — or whatever — to confess after it was obvious that they’d be found guilty of treason.

    Their fellow spies in that trial gleefully turned state’s evidence against them, and most of them — including Ethel’s brother, who later admitted to lying about his sister’s role to save his wife from being prosecuted, ultimately served very short sentences.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. \ In the oath, people must pledge to “support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

    What about citizens of other countries teaching in Arizona? Don’t they exist?

    May be, somebody is an Israeli citizen and is ready to defend Israel against all enemies, not a country which isn’t one’s own.

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  5. \ “In the febrile environment of social media, this cult of sentimental humanitarianism

    I tried to google for more material on the subject, but only found this article. I am not sure the article good, but the opening quote is.

    On Sentimentality: A Critique of Humans of New York
    http://www.warscapes.com/opinion/sentimentality-critique-humans-new-york

    QUOTE

    \ The idea that certain populations or individuals can be “humanized” carries, of course, the implication that they were previously less than or somehow other than human. Additionally, it maintains the godlike ability of those controlling discourse and representation to administer this transition from nonhuman to human. Whether the “humanizing” happens in New York City or in Vietnam, the activity of placing people in boxes to prove their humanity does more to reinforce their variance from the normative idea of humanity projected upon them.

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  6. \ A refugee riot in Germany. Once again, I have to repeat: refugees are human beings. Not puppies, not dolls. They are people.

    (In Russian) A view on German news:

    http://avva.livejournal.com/2903620.html?thread=119130948#t119130948

    Also, somebody told me his friends – Russian Jews in Germany – say that there us a huge difference between the message in the news “we’re glad to help” and Germans on the street who are definitely unhappy with the situation.

    I probably got the wrong impression of the cult of sentimental humanitarianism being much more widespread than it really is. Some small groups are overrepresented on Internet, and liberal sentimentalists are among them.

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    1. This is how this works. Most people are not given to practicing self-awareness. They guide themselves by whatever they happen to feel at any given moment.

      So they see a pitiful picture of refugees and feel vague compassion. Then they take a couple of bottles of water to a refugee center (or, what is much more likely, post something on Facebook.) That makes them feel vaguely good and self-righteous. Then a refugee does something unexpected (like demonstrate he’s a person and not a puppy.) Then the folks in question feel vaguely disappointed and resentful.

      None of this is accompanied by any analysis. It’s all just a sea of vague, inexplicable emotions. The danger is that when the burden of varied and incomprehensible emotions becomes too heavy, there are eruptions of violence.

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  7. Saw in Hebrew and tried to find in English:

    On August 18, a coalition of four social work organizations and women’s rights groups sent a two-page letter to the leaders of the political parties in the regional parliament in Hesse, a state in west-central Germany, warning them of the worsening situation for women and children in the refugee shelters.

    After several blogs (here, here and here) drew attention to the letter, the LandesFrauenRat (LFR) Hessen, a women’s lobbying group that originally uploaded the politically incorrect document to its website, abruptly removed it on September 14, without explanation.
    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6527/migrants-rape-germany

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  8. Interesting news: “A geologist for the U.S. energy company Genie Energy told Israel’s Channel 2 television late on Tuesday that the company had found a major oil reservoir on the Golan Heights, but the publicly traded Genie had yet to report any finding itself.”

    Wanted to update about the situation in Israel: a huge terror wave suddenly (to me) began and is going on.

    “The recent wave of terrorism ramped up this week with three stabbing attacks on Wednesday and another three Thursday.”

    Too many stabbings, attacks, etc. to report individually, but what most impressed me was:

    “Five people were lightly wounded in a stabbing” in the area in Tel Aviv which I know. Also, during the same hour – two terror attacks (in Tel Aviv and in a different place.)
    Jaffa is “is the southern, oldest part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.” It’s not the West Bank, not settlements, but the heart of Israel, immediately next to Tel Aviv. Arabs there are Israeli citizens, study at Tel Aviv university, etc. “Jaffa currently has 46,000 residents, of whom 30,000 are Jews and 16,000 are Arabs.” If we talk about the possibility of peaceful co-existence, Jaffa (not Jerusalem, in which not all Arabs are citizens) is often held as an example. That’s why I was shocked by reading how a bus there was pelt with stones. The driver was forced to stop, open the doors and let passagers take their chances when they fled. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any report in English, only in Hebrew. Afterwards, more buses in various places were pelt with stones. (I lost count already. Every hour – more news…) In English I found:

    “Six Israeli Policemen Wounded in Israeli Arab Protests in Jaffa. Police say protesters assaulted officers, pelted vehicles with stones and blocked traffic with tires and garbage cans; officers lightly wounded, six protesters arrested.”

    A woman’s husband was murdered in Jerusalem. The attacker fled. She was begging for help from surrounding Arabs, but they only laughed and, I think, spit on her or something. I can’t easily find info since it was a few days ago and so much happened since then. There was something in the news about bringing them to court too.
    And take into account that no Gaza op is going on. It’s not the situation of “Israel bombs children in Gaza and Israeli Arabs can’t see that.” The rhetoric is about f.e. the Temple Mount:

    // The Prime Minister’s Office clarified on Thursday that Binyamin Netanyahu’s directive to ban ministers and MKs from the Temple Mount until further notice applies to Jewish and Arab Knesset members alike.

    The saddest thing is that I don’t think a Palestinian state would prevent all this from going on.

    Btw, I am 100% sure Arabs in Israel would see this Palestinian state as their “real mother country,” while fighting against any Israeli suggestion to move there because of Israeli higher standard of living and better democraticy. In any conflicts between Israel and Palestinian state, they’ll always suport the latter. Naturally, they won’t serve in IDF. The same way they don’t serve now. If a minority population identifies with another nation state, why should Lieberman be vilified for offering exchange of territories and populations as a necessary part of the process of Palestinian state’s creation?

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    1. “Wanted to update about the situation in Israel: a huge terror wave suddenly (to me) began and is going on.”

      • Yes, I heard. Absolutely horrible. It is as if things were simmering, like water in a kettle, and then reached the boiling point and started to boil over without any single event to provoke them. This is very tragic, especially since there is no end in sight.

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      1. \ It is as if things were simmering, like water in a kettle, and then reached the boiling point and started to boil over without any single event to provoke them.

        That’s how it seems to me too. I heard on Israeli TV something about people urging each other to commit terror on social networks, not being led by Abbas or some other central figure. Of course, Abbas also tries to “help” in his small way. He tells in one breath “We are not attacking anyone, we are a people of peace” and then uses rhetoric of incitement :

        “We hold the hands of our brothers who are protecting Al Aqsa. But we are suffering in order to defend it, We call upon the Israeli government- Stay away from our holy places. Our hands our still extended in peace in light of our suffering.”
        http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4708752,00.html

        Nation building seems to be based on the view of the self as an eternal victim, even in cases of “protecting Al Aqsa” by killing Jewish civilians, including children. Of course, in Jewish nation building being a victim also plays an important part. Is it a usual component in creating a nation, or has the “victim component” gained in importance in the modern era for all peoples? It didn’t seem to play such a huge part for Americans or French, but may be it’s my bad knowledge of history.

        Regarding water in a kettle, do you think it would be very different with an existing Palestinian state? What if / when our two states have a conflict (let alone a war)?

        It started seeming to me that talk of peaceful co-existence in one state (nobody uses the term multiculturalism here) is dishonest. Like trying to ease the symptoms of a disease instead of curing it. Real solution (not easy one) may only lie in total separation – each people in own state. May be, I am currently imagining simple solutions to compex problems, but even with a Palestinian state distrust and hatred between Israeli Arabs and Jews would remain. And, of course, there will be conflicts between the two states and Israeli Arabs will take part of Palestinians, attacking Jews in our own state. OK, it’s my desire for a simple solution talking, but here we do have “fifth column” minority seeing itself as a part of the enemy people (we are in reality, why not admit that?) and many members of this minority are and will be in the future ready to kill me for being a Jew in my own country.

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        1. My greatest hope here is that the liquid society of mobile, hedonistic consumers will start stepping away from the game of borders, states, and nationalist slogans. There is a lot that is negative about the post-national world but the erosion of nationalism itself is definitely positive.

          So the question to ask here is not where the borders of a state will be drawn but, rather, how fast can I shake off any attachment to the state in order to enhance my personal success and enjoyment of existence?

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  9. Forgot to mention something that reminded me of US:

    Jerusalem mayor urges residents: ‘Carry your weapons’
    Nir Barkat says that civilians with ‘operational combat experience’ can help foil terror attacks and increase residents’ confidence.

    ” If we look at the statistics in Jerusalem and elsewhere, we see that aside from the police, civilians carrying weapons have foiled terror attacks. They will increase the likelihood of fast intervention.”
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4708381,00.html

    I read somewhere that Jerusalem schools weren’t working today because of violence.

    Btw, while I am typing this comment – a new stabbing report at 19:14 on Hebrew website. In a minute it should be (already is, published at 19:16) on the English version of the site too. Here are short updates in English:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3089,00.html

    Not to bring too much negativity, but after every new attack of Israeli Arabs I am reminded of people judging me for not being eager to use Arab taxi drivers. Don’t people see the difference between racism in USA and situation in Israel? There isn’t a national conflict / war going between blacks and whites in America. Here – our Arab citizens feel free to stone buses, stab, etc.

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  10. This article “Fear, Trauma and Healing: a Scientific Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Relationship” doesn’t give something new, except scientific support for education. I always had the feeling real education may improve people, but haven’t heard of any evidence:

    // process termed “extinction of fear”. Research has shown that in extinction, neural projections from the prefrontal cortex inhibit fear-related activity in the amygdala. Human research shows that the functional capacity of the prefrontal cortex is strengthened by education.
    VS
    traumatized war veterans exhibit changes in the brain where the amygdala becomes primed and the prefrontal cortex is compromised, rendering them prone to find fear in everything.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/28/fear-trauma-and-healing-a-scientific-analysis-of-the-israeli-palestinian-relationship/

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  11. [AUG. 31, 2015] Employers do not need to provide insurance coverage for contraception even if their objections are moral rather than religious, a federal judge here ruled on Monday.

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    1. I find it very hard to feel any investment in this issue given that my employer refuses to provide any coverage for anything and nobody is writing about that.

      It’s like if it’s just boring diabetes or cancer nobody cares because it’s not about sex.

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    1. The problem is that Russian weaponry is ineffective and the troops are careless and unprofessional. Now the missiles will be falling all over the place, causing endless, unpredictable trouble.

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    1. I’ve only been warning about this forever. This is one reason why you can’t just turn away from Eastern Europe and pretend that it doesn’t exist like the Americans have been doing since 1991.

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  12. You connected this with the weakening of the nation state, but I disagree. It may be true in Europe, but in Israeli case, I see it as defining Us vs. Them even stronger – “our state belongs to Us, not Those Terrorists”:

    Interior Minister instructs Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority to begin the process of revoking the residency status of two terrorists who conducted attacks in the last week …
    Shalom emphasized that he would act to revoke the citizenship or residency status of anyone who attempted to carry out an attack against Israelis, or for involvement in terrorist acts. We must expel these bloodthirsty killers from among ourselves.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4709033,00.html

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    1. And Trump suggested building a wall on the border and deporting 11 million people. Of course, the reaction to the weakening of the nation-state will cause flareups of nationalistic sentiment. People will blame “them” for the troubles they will experience because that’s the easiest thing to do.

      Sadly, though, this will hasten the collapse. For instance, once citizenship becomes easily revokable, that’s one more mortal blow to the nation-state. If the nation-state can easily quit you and you can easily quit the nation-state, it loses all its power. The strength of the nation-state, its greatest myth lies in the eternal nature of one’s belonging to it. But if this is just a casual, temporary relationship, who’ll want to make any sacrifices for it?

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  13. Short update:

    Yesterday: 4 terror attacks in Jerusalem on same day

    Today: Three murdered, dozens wounded in 5 attacks (2 of them in Jerusalem, 3 in other cities)

    It is only 12:42 p.m. in Israel, so the number of terror attacks may increase till evening.

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      1. \ Is this all about the mosque?

        I think this article (google translated quote) may be right about something:

        Palestinian terror wave affecting us – inevitable

        what is the trigger that sparked the current round of disorders? Is this the ignition at the village of Duma? Or the rise on the Temple Mount of Knesset members? Apparently they both had a part, but the main factor is actually not a concrete event or timing, but time. The first intifada broke out in 1987 and the second one in 2000, some 13 years later. The current wave of violence, the most significant since, happened after the same number of years.

        13 years are exactly the time needed for 6-year-old child, who is unable to “fight the occupation,” to turn into a youth of 19 – the ideal age both physically and psychologically to carry out terrorism, without taking too much responsibility on yourself and your family. 13 years is just the time in which a former youth of 22, who in the previous round threw stones, becomes a 35 years old man with children to support. 13 years are exactly the time needed to finish licking wounds, forget the dead, invent heroic stories which young people dream to recreate. 13 years or so – are the “generation” in terms of terrorism.

        As long as the conflict can not be resolved, and at the present time it is that way, we should expect outbreaks of violence every few years

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        1. This is very interesting analysis. I’m wondering what the people are saying, though. How are they explaining their specific concerns at this particular moment?

          The reporting on the issue is deeply defective in the US, so it’s truly impossible to find anything out if one is interested.

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