Stalin Comes to Lugansk


This is a gift that Russian comrades brought to Lugansk, the Ukrainian city where I was born. It’s a statue of Stalin, in case you are not sure.

The whole region where Lugansk is located has been devastated by the war, and for what? To bring a stupid, ugly ass statue of Stalin and plop it in the middle of the city?

Stupid fuckers.

Book Notes: Elvira Navarro’s La trabajadora

This is yet another novel of the crisis, and it’s a strong one but, by God, is it bleak or what. La trabajadora is a novel about the effects of precarious labor on people. Navarro belongs to my generation, and we are the people who grew up with the definition of “work” based on a life-long career that helps one achieve fulfillment. So when we see that concept shattered, it messes with our heads.

Navarro’s novel depicts the ways in which precariousness drives people crazy very well. What’s interesting, though, is that younger novelists write about precarious labor in a very different way. Their characters still hate it and find it humiliating but they recognize that it’s also quite exhilarating to live a precarious life.

Friday Link Encyclopedia

Opening Cuba to American tourists may deliver the final blow to its inhuman and vicious regime.

Radicalization and European social policy.

Michael Moore’s letter to Trump.

Do you know Rebecca Solnit? The person who made a name for herself based on the “men explain shit to me meme”? Here is her latest silly rant. I can’t read anything by her without wondering if men keep trying to explain things to her because she’s not too bright. Maybe it’s just a pose but everything she writes is just dumb.

The crisis of the Humanities is a myth.

Finally, a really good article on the freedom of speech.

Do people realize how incredibly stupid they sound when they write shit like that: “The Republican debate last night was truly frightening, and not because the candidates kept telling me that I needed to be afraid of ISIS“? Nobody tells you anything, idiot. Nobody knows you exist.

The most hilarious parody on the academic quit lit genre. I laughed until I wept.

I don’t understand why all of these fake, showy Christians can’t find it in themselves to feel compassion towards an obviously broken, miserable human being.

The worst products of 2015.

Overburdening children with caregiving responsibilities can have negative affects in adulthood.” Tell me about it.

Tenure is not a guarantee that one will not be fired. It exists to protect the scholarship of people like these, distasteful as we might find them.

Huge companies have the worst hiring strategies. See this list of idiotic questions Amazon asks at interviews.

Typically American  (but not in a good way): an author promises to tell you about Syria and then starts every sentence with “the West” or “the US.” Because Syria doesn’t really exist as anything but a pretext for American navel-gazing.

Why is the Dem Debate Schedule So Stupid?

The idea that the DNC rigged the debate schedule to favor Hillary is idiotic. Debate appearances help Hillary and hurt Sanders. After all of her debates with Obama, she is a seasoned debater. She looks charming, poised, in control and knowledgeable during the debates, and her approval ratings are always strengthened afterwards.

Bernie looks grumpy, irritable and bored with everything that is not his stump speech. Debates have not been good for him. This obviously doesn’t mean that the DNC is manipulating the schedule to benefit him. From all I know about the inner workings of the DNC, I have to conclude that it’s a very disorganized, chaotic organization filled with inept, stupid people. And today’s scandal with Bernie’s campaign improperly accessing information is about the same thing: lack of basic competence at the DNC. And the scandal will strengthen Bernie’s fading campaign.

I actually would prefer to believe that the DNC is capable of plotting but, from everything I hear, they are dunces, pure and simple.

Rauner Adopts Putinoid Strategies

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is so dirty that it’s hard to believe that somebody like this can exist in a civilized country.

As you know, Illinois doesn’t have a budget because Rauner throws tantrums and refuses to do his job. In order to put pressure on the state Congress, Rauner started spreading rumors that would make people hate their elected representatives. For instance, he got the local TV station to air a lying report that because of evil “legislators” our university is about to close. 

First of all, it’s an egregious lie because we are not planning to close. Second of all, “legislators” have nothing to do with the lack of budget in Illinois. It’s the executive branch that is failing us. Rauner refused to use the line-item veto process that would have allowed him to debate just the parts of the budget he dislikes. Instead, he decided to hold the entire state hostage because that’s easier than going through the budget line by line and funding 911-lines, firefighters, teachers, and colleges. 

Of course, students don’t know any of this. After reporters crawled around campus asking them if they know that the university is about to close (which it isn’t!), students started freaking out and cursing “legislators.” It’s finals time, so everybody is stressed out already.

This is disgusting, vicious and exploitative. The whole story is straight put of Putinoid media playbook. If you know somebody in Illinois, please make sure they know this story. Voters simply don’t know what’s going on and are buying Rauner’s lies.

Scary Calligraphy?

A Virginia school district closed all of its schools and offices after an outcry over a high school geography lesson that included an example of Arabic religious calligraphy.

All schools were closed over this? Are people insane or completely insane? Please tell me it’s a joke and an entire school district didn’t freak out because of a calligraphy assignment. “There is no God but God” scares them? Monotheism is suddenly intolerable?


Intellectual Inequality

High levels

of education-based assortative mating are likely both a cause and consequence of economic inequality. It’s a cause because children born to two highly educated parents have more resources at their disposal than two children born to less-educated parents, and it’s a consequence because a wide social distance between groups may make them less likely to intermingle.

Most importantly, children born to parents with very disparate levels of educational achievement or from different social classes will carry the emotional burden of that and it will hamper their own progress.