Saturday Link Encyclopedia 

A lot of unconvincing stuff at the link but this sounds true: “French elites have convinced themselves that their social supremacy rests not on their economic might but on their common decency. Doing so allows them to “present the losers of globalization as embittered people who have problems with diversity,” says Guilluy. It’s not our privilege that the French deplorables resent, the elites claim; it’s the color of some of our employees’ skin.”

Why Chelsea needs to go away: “God has decreed that American political dynasties decline sharply in suitability for office with each iteration. Call it the George H.W.-George W.-Jeb rule. Quit after the first iteration. Don’t trot out the second one. And, for the love of God, don’t trot out the third.”

You spend enough time with nutsos, you begin to speak like one: “She says men are the key. If men are on board, it can be solved. “Men need to feel comfortable, to say, ‘Yes, I am proud to marry a woman who is not mutilated,'” she says.” 

The dangerous inanity of the March for Science. I’ve been stunned to get emails that invite me to sign a statement that I “believe in science.” 
didn’t know this about the American Civil War

Will teacher tenure die? If there is a practice I’ll never understand, it’s this one. 

And once again, Bernie Sanders has failed a purity test and this needs to be nitpicked and worried to death. Nothing will teach them, nothing. 

 Russians are celebrating the firing of Bill O’Reilly


37 thoughts on “Saturday Link Encyclopedia ”

  1. I was annoyed with Bernie over that, but not because I’m against Mello (who appears to be the better candidate in the race.) It’s because he’s been applying purity tests all over, then he goes and supports an impure candidate and acts shocked when people are annoyed by the hypocrisy. Right before this he said that Ossoff “isn’t a progressive” and wouldn’t say anything nice about him or endorse him even though it’s him vs Handel at this point (he has endorsed Ossoff now after all the backlash), then he immediately turned around and enthusiastically campaigned for Mello (who has sponsored anti-choice legislation and as far as I can tell never claimed to be pro-choice until right after this controversy.) He hasn’t shown nearly as much willingness to compromise on say, single payer healthcare, which is definitely not a position winning votes in swing areas.

    It would be like I spent all my time whining about how anyone with a 95% NARAL rating or below isn’t a true progressive, then I endorsed someone who sponsored anti-union language, and then I went “whoa, purity police!” if anybody got angry


  2. I’m glad someone else thinks the “March for science” is dumb. There was one here, I didn’t even consider going.


    1. And hey, I’m completely pro-science. Science rules. But the rhetoric of “believing in science” sounds very bizarre to me. The foundational idea of science is that you know instead of having to believe. I have no idea who they are trying to appeal to.


  3. Well, after all you have written about how people have forgotten about class struggle and instead immerse themselves in unlimited support of consumerism, why support a consumerist attack on teachers? Not even consumerist, as we all know that “organizational priorities” are always the real reason and “pupils needs” are merely a justification.Which is invoked only when the leaders of he organization need to do what they wanted to do anyway.
    —“The employer has the right to change the shape, nature, and size of the organization, to redeploy human resources, to substitute capital for labor, to replace elbow grease and sitzfleisch with technology, and to hire and fire according to shifting pupil needs and organizational priorities.”


    1. At-will firing sound horrible. But the only existing alternative is the kind of economy we see in Spain where, during the best economic times, 20% of active adult population is out of work. That’s when the economy is in the best shape ever. And there’s a similar situation in France, a country which is about to elect Marine Le Pen.

      I don’t want the US to move in the direction of this kind of employment. I find the Spanish and the French employment systems to be disgraceful in a way that the system in the US simply is not.


      1. The problem of superfluous people exists everywhere and will only get worse. Different countries are dealing with it in different ways. I am afraid that “American way” will ultimately evolve into something like – “let’s hire young idealistic eager people, willing and able to do a lot of overtime, but whom we can pay the least, and then discard them after five years, and hire new ones”. Economically it may work for quite a long while. But the other costs on the society (e.g. psychological) will be enormous.
        Whether being deemed superfluous after five years of employment is better or worse than being deemed superfluous right from the start, like in Spain or France, is debatable, of course.

        And, actually, even in purely economic terms – one can only convince people to consume more (and thus create more jobs for people producing whatever it is that is being consumed) if people feel secure enough.


        1. The current trend in North America is different. Companies are trying hard to move on to employees, but employees prefer a more fluid lifestyle, especially the young ones. Employees can afford to have this mentality because they don’t have to clutch onto the job they have because nothing but rare part-time contracts awaits them if they abandon the job they got thanks to family connections and bribes, like in France and Spain.

          People in North America feel extraordinarily secure, given that the majority of population doesn’t even have $1,000 in savings.


          1. \ Employees can afford to have this mentality because they don’t have to clutch onto the job they have because nothing but rare part-time contracts awaits them if they abandon the job they got thanks to family connections and bribes, like in France and Spain.

            I do not understand your sentence. Did you mean that “it’s NOT like nothing but part-time contracts awaits them,” iow they have more possibilities, or that their current job is a temporary contract anyway regardless of employees’ wishes?


            1. In France and Spain, full time jobs are amazing and come with a boatload of benefits. But they are reserved for a minority that gets these jobs thanks to connections, bribes or sometimes luck. Once you lose such a job, you are probably not getting another ever. Whenever we hear about the amazing European job benefits, it’s all about this small minority of jobs.

              People who have these jobs might hate them, might feel totally unfulfilled and bored but they’ll never leave because it’s like a lottery ticket that you don’t relinquish.

              Companies refuse to hire anybody but the absolutely unavoidable minority for these jobs because they’ll never be able to fire. The laws make it next to impossible.

              The result is lack of social mobility compared to the US, lack of technological innovation, social resentment , sky-high unemployment, etc.

              It’s a horrible model with zero redeeming features. I want to repeat that for Spain 20%unemployment is a GOOD situation. Because it’s never less than that. During recessions, it’s a lot more. And it all began when the government made firing very hard. The goal seemed so good at that time. The result, though , is horrible.

              In France, this is the main reason for the tensions within the Muslim community. Muslim immigrants are excluded from the cushy jobs and feel resentful. The fortunate minority that clutches to these jobs goes out of the way to bequest them to their children. It’s horrible on every level.


              1. Why France Has So Many 49-Employee Companies

                Here’s a curious fact about the French economy: The country has 2.4 times as many companies with 49 employees as with 50. What difference does one employee make? Plenty, according to the French labor code. Once a company has at least 50 employees inside France, management must create three worker councils, introduce profit sharing, and submit restructuring plans to the councils if the company decides to fire workers for economic reasons.

                I have no idea if this is still true. When I read it I thought, “Well of course people structure their companies to skirt rules like they do anywhere else.”

                Faced with France’s stifling labor code, Haan probably will send any additional production of standard equipment to what he calls “Near France”—Tunisia, Bulgaria, or Romania. “The cost of labor isn’t the main problem, it’s the rigidities,” Haan says. “If you make a mistake in your hiring plans, you can’t correct it.”


          2. Where do you see this level of security and preference for “liquid lifestyle”? Are you talking about some specific fields? Or about graduates of Yale?
            It is not horrible, but I see a lot of young people who have to contend with the jobs that do not require their level of education and who do not drop these jobs very easily because they are confident that they can easily find another one. Unless one is trading one job in retail for another job in retail…


            1. I haven’t been in the company of Yale graduates for almost 10 years. 🙂 I’m more likely to be around our graduates, and I’m happy we are not releasing them into a situation where 48% of people their age are neither working nor studying, like in Spain, with its no-firing laws.


              1. We would love to find out but how can this be done practically? It’s been a big issue here because we have no idea what happens after graduation. Almost nobody even stays in the region. We tried putting out an alumni newsletter but it withered and died.


              2. So, basically, you do not know first-hand how secure or insecure with their jobs the graduates of an “average” university are and if they prefer fluidity to security.


              3. I do know because nobody’s life goal entails getting a job and staying in it. That’s seen as a failure. Everybody is planning to have a multitude of jobs and several careers. And what’s really stunning is how many kids from very modest backgrounds plan to take a gap year after college. That’s what I call security!

                Large-scale transformations are always driven by profound and massive need. If there were no demand for fluidity, there would be no fluidity.


          3. People in North America feel extraordinarily secure, given that the majority of population doesn’t even have $1,000 in savings.
            I’d like to see the stats by income level of who doesn’t have even $1000 in savings. I’m guessing a lot of people have fixed expenses they can’t wriggle out of.

            I had an artificial cushion of much more than that for a long time. That also meant, however, I didn’t do much of anything. At one point I bought a laptop for a family member just because I was tired of them borrowing mine and was terrified they’d take mine on vacation and lose it. :-p


  4. This evening Holocaust Remembrance Day begins in Israel. Two news pieces caught my eye:

    An 18-year-old Palestinian from Nablus in the West Bank stabbed and lightly wounded three men and a woman in Tel Aviv

    The wounded individuals included two men, a 50-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man.

    “This is another painful reminder to the difficult reality we’re living in, particularly on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day,” said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.


    Pope likens migrant holding centers to ‘concentration camps’
    Comments came during during a visit to a Rome basilica where he met with migrants, prompting the American Jewish Committee to urge the pope ‘to reconsider his regrettable choice of words.’,7340,L-4952603,00.html


  5. Arab Israeli children live in fear of gunfire

    Shootings are plaguing the Arab populace in Israel, endangering dozens of innocent bystanders; since the beginning of the year, there have been 18 Arab civilian deaths in shooting incidents, similar to last year’s January–April toll of 20; Arab child, after reporting a shooting: ‘No policeman came. Why is that? Do they think Arab blood is cheap?,7340,L-4950026,00.html


  6. the Official Dogma of Education (version 1.0)

    All students regardless of context have essentially the same prerequisite ability to meet arbitrary performance benchmarks in all educational tasks. The persistence of variation in academic outcomes is the result of pathology, whether systemic (bad schools, bad teachers) or individual (bad work ethic, lack of grit, refusal to delay gratification).


    As there is limited or no ability to affect parents and parenting through policy, parents and parenting are not to be discussed in consideration of academic outcomes.
    Academic outcomes are dominantly or exclusively the product of school-side variables or teacher-side variables, not student-side. That is, teachers and schools control most or all of the variation in quantitative educational metrics for any given student.

    9. Education is both a system for creating broad societal equality and for separating individuals into rigid tiers of relative performance. The tensions between these functions are to remain unexamined.

    Our educational policy succeeds when it improves the academic performance of all students, and when individual students rise above and leave their peers behind. The tensions between these goals are to remain unexamined.


      1. \ the Official Dogma of Education (version 1.0)

        It was one time when I fully agreed with SB. 🙂

        Even the tone of voice students use often copies that of their parent/s.


  7. Saw the following in one of your old posts and wondered whether you could clarify it further (the question discussed was the existence of God after Holocaust):

    \ I also want to remind everybody that in the Christian way of thinking death is not a tragedy and suffering isn’t punishment.

    What is suffering then? Isn’t it a tragedy?


    1. Suffering is a sign of God’s favor because God doesn’t send us more than we can bear. The greatest suffering is meted out to God’s favorite people.

      This is inherited from Judaism where Jews are the Chosen People who also suffer the most.

      The idea is to accept suffering gratefully as a sign of favor from God. Asking “Why me? Why do I have to suffer so?” is profoundly unchristian

      Leaving aside religion, looking at trauma and loss as a necessary part of life that can prompt personal growth is overall a good idea.

      It’s not the pain; it’s where the pain leads.


      1. \ The greatest suffering is meted out to God’s favorite people.

        I do not think Jews believe that. As far as I know, in Judaism the suffering is interpreted as punishment for various sins against God, not as a sign of favor.

        \ Suffering is a sign of God’s favor because God doesn’t send us more than we can bear. The greatest suffering is meted out to God’s favorite people.

        I do not see the logical connection between those two sentences. One could say “you sin and since you are stubborn, God has to punish you really badly to make you stop and obey Him.” Jews see various punishments as the opposite of favor.


        1. My goal is not to persuade anybody or proselytize, God forbid. Neither is it to prove whose religion is “better.” It is what it is, and people have a sea of other options in our consumerist world if this one doesn’t satisfy. 🙂


  8. Why Netanyahu is here to stay (and I will keep voting for him):

    Netanyahu’s potential successors have nothing to offer

    Op-ed: A significant part of the Israeli public is fed up with the prime minister’s ongoing presence in its life and is willing, at least according to the polls, to vote for a different candidate. The problem is that apart from personal criticism against Netanyahu, there is no real criticism against his moves and policy.,7340,L-4950331,00.html

    In other news:

    Israel announces intention to build 15,000 new homes in east Jerusalem ahead of President Donald Trump’s scheduled visit to the country in an effort to kick-start peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.

    Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, said Israel’s move was a systematic violation of international law and a “deliberate sabotage” of efforts to resume talks.

    This year marks the 50th anniversary since Israel reunified the city during the Six-Day War, with a large number of celebrations planned.

    During Barack Obama’s presidency, Netanyahu’s government came under repeated censure for construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, despite the fact that Israel long since declared sovereignty over it. Under Trump, Netanyahu expected more of a green light to ramp up settlement building, but it hasn’t been straightforward.,7340,L-4955184,00.html

    From comments: “Jews multiply and want a place to live in. Israel is the only country in the world in which the above leads to international debate.”


      1. \ At least, don’t tell me about it. I’d rather not know.

        About how I vote? Or why he will stay?

        People do judge us strictly, so I thought being open to new information before judging is the only fair situation.

        I do not view myself or other N-voters as fanatics or fools, like some think.

        \ And I’m not even going to mention other leaders who have managed to persuade people that it’s in their interest to do all kinds of bad and even self-defeating things.

        You know, taking into account Jewish history, having a country whose people won’t one day wake up and think a pogrom / Holocaust / etc. is a great idea is already an achievement to cherish and preserve.

        Following your logic, Ukrainians shouldn’t care for independence since their Ukrainian government is not ideal.

        \ Why after 2000 years? Human history is longer than that even in the literal religious view.

        Since Jewish people lived in the area 2000 years ago as independent nation / closely connected tribes.

        \ Everybody’s nation-state is failing to stop migratory flows or liquid capital. Everybody’s nation-state is growing more symbolic and less powerful every day.

        OK, but living in America or Europe is very different from living in my area. We still need the draft, migratory flows of non-Jews are almost not existent, and Israel still preserves a quite wide social safety net.


        1. I have a childhood friend who’s a Putinoid, a passionate one. She’s from a family of those Ukrainian Russians who think they are superior and all Ukrainians are dumb peasants. And I think her people are congenital losers who are proud of their ethnicity for lack of anything else to be proud of. But we’ve been friends for 30 years and we simply excised all political subjects from our discussions. That’s the only way for us to coexist and hey, it works.


  9. Turkey has blocked online encyclopedia Wikipedia, the telecommunications watchdog said on Saturday, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.


    ‘Apartheid’ furor on the rise against Israel

    The report describes a “regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole” in complex ways that it says include a calculated fragmentation. Divided into groups—citizens in Israel, permanent residents in east Jerusalem, stateless occupied subjects elsewhere—Palestinians are prevented from effectively resisting Israeli control, it says.

    Detailing the most controversial charge of apartheid in Israel itself, the report argues that voting rights of Arab citizens lose significance because Israel’s Basic Law bars any political parties that deny Israel’s identity as both Jewish and democratic. This prevents Arab citizens from “challenging laws that perpetuate inequality,” it said.,7340,L-4955338,00.html


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