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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Sunday Link Encyclopedia 

There is a school district that teaches moral relativism and makes students justify the Holocaust. I hope this is an exception, not a rule.

Three popes and a patriarch.  A unique event gets no coverage. 

[Russian] Fear and hatred in America’s most famous Russian ghetto. I’ve never been but I’ve been to others, and they are all pretty much the same. 

 A long and detailed article on the horrors of FGM. I’m glad that FGM is beginning to receive some attention. Not everybody wants to waste their lives on the inane discussions if Ivanka is worse than Chelsea. 

I wish people could just report on interesting stories without having to spoil them by attaching a dumb, chirpy moral to them. 

Professors give the same idiotic excuses as students. It’s the end of the academic year, so I’m really over excuses. 

This is how everybody will occupy their time after robotization does away with work

Infantile idiots grieve graduation. I detest this kind of people. 

Thank you, Quebec, for sparing us a Canadian Trump

Ridiculous at Yale

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27 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia 

  1. Wanted to share a poem by Denise Levertov:

    Illustrious Ancestors

    The Rav
    of Northern White Russia declined,
    in his youth, to learn the
    language of birds, because
    the extraneous did not interest him; nevertheless
    when he grew old it was found
    he understood them anyway, having
    listened well, and as it is said, ‘prayed
    with the bench and the floor.’ He used
    what was at hand–as did
    Angel Jones of Mold, whose meditations
    were sewn into coats and britches.
    Well, I would like to make,
    thinking some line still taut between me and them,
    poems direct as what the birds said,
    hard as a floor, sound as a bench,
    mysterious as the silence when the tailor
    would pause with his needle in the air.

    Like

  2. JProf on said:

    Reza Aslan is one of the most annoying public intellectuals who tries to claim that FGM has nothing to do with Islam–and if you think it does, he’ll say you’re a bigot.

    Like

  3. This evening begins the Memorial Day:

    The one-minute siren for Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism was sounded at 8pm and was followed by the main ceremony at the Western Wall Plaza, during which the president and the IDF chief lit candles in memory of the fallen.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4955940,00.html

    Tomorrow evening Independence Day’s celebrations will begin. The two days always come one after the other in Israel.

    Like

  4. Stringer Bell on said:

    On a climate change denying, racist troll being hired by the NY Times.

    https://thenewinquiry.com/blog/novel-news/

    “..it might be better to ask: why does a newspaper employ opinion columnists at all? What has “journalism,” with its scrupulous attention to accuracy, verifiability, and the checking of facts, to do with “opinion” writers whose apparent lifetime tenure rests on representing an ideology?


    The question, then, is why it has; why are opinion columnists not edited? There is no intrinsic reason for opinion column writing to be indifferent to the facts; I’ve written guest opinion columns for newspapers before, but thought the LA Times, for instance, gave me broad latitude to make the argument that I wanted to make, I was held to very clear standards of accuracy and verifiable fact. Everything that I wrote was checked and documented; if I couldn’t provide a paper trail for the claims that I made, those statements were not allowed to stand. I was, in short, “edited.” Why isn’t Stephens?”

    Like

  5. Anonymous on said:

    Clarissa, what do you think of students skipping out on class to attend a May 1st immigrant/laborer rally? I got the message below today from a student. I don’t care what she does with her time but — as an immigrant and as an educator — I am deeply offended by the suggestion that it is somehow cool for me to cancel classes.
    As you may already know, May 1st is International Workers Day and also A Day Without an Immigrant. The movement calls on people not to attend school, go to work, or make any purchases on May 1st to send a strong message that workers, immigrants, and their allies will not stand for oppressive conditions any longer.
    Because these issues are important to me, I will stand with workers and immigrants by attending the marches instead of class on Monday, May 1st. I will be responsible for any material covered in class that day, but I wanted to let you know why I will not be in class. Below is more information about the march and a request for action from you, if these issues are important to you, too.
    I’ll see you in class on Wednesday!
    I strongly urge you to participate in this movement by cancelling classes and not showing up to work on Monday (May 1st). You can also attend the rally and march on campus from 1-2pm, after which you can take the free transportation provided by SEIU to the march in San Jose. The buses will return to campus by 6:00 PM.
    If you decide this is impractical, I respectfully ask you to consider either rescheduling class or encouraging students to attend office hours to cover any missed material.
    Workers here on campus and around the globe are exploited every day, and we ask that for one day, May 1st, we recognize their struggles, affirm their dignified work, and stand united with them in their struggle for living wages, benefits, and union representation. The sacrifice we make on May Day is small in comparison to the challenges workers and immigrants face every day.
    Immigrants of all nationalities and backgrounds have been targeted and attacked, not just during the current presidential administration, but throughout the history of this country. In order to combat the oppression of immigrants, we must stand united regardless of citizenship status, race, ethnicity, gender, age, and class. We have to send a message that immigrants are the backbone of all of the institutions that seek to oppress them, and it is our job to ensure that our/their humanity is recognized.
    I implore you to seriously consider cancelling classes, joining the marches, refraining from penalizing students that miss class, and not making any purchases on May 1st. It is a small way for us all to express our solidarity with workers and immigrants.

    https://polldaddy.com/js/rating/rating.js

    Like

  6. Nicholas on said:

    I’ve enjoyed every trip I’ve made to Brighton, but almost more as a voyeur than an insider. It’s so much more interesting to pretend I don’t speak Russian because they will treat me much more nicely than they would someone noticeably ex-Soviet, and I get to observe Homo Sovieticus Capitalistus in his natural habitat :). What is also interesting is how many people there are ex-repatriates to Israel and support the most right-wing policies in the country.

    Like

  7. el on said:

    Enjoyed two posts at AndrewHammel’s blog.

    The first is about “Christopher Caldwell’s 2009 book, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, is the best book on the European experience with Muslim immigration out there. ”

    I liked Caldwell’s explanation regarding America’s success in integrating immigrants: “I think the first reason is the ruthlessness of the American economy. You either become a part of it or you go home. There are more foreigners in the workplace, and that’s where a lot of integration happens. […] welfare states are a bad fit for large-scale immigration.”

    http://www.germanjoys.eu/2017/04/christopher-caldwell-on-the-american-view-of-europe.html

    The second post is “Paul Hockenos on German Arrogance” and hypocrisity. I especially liked the bits about German approach to clean energy and the following:

    ” in the 2000s, when the German economy was in the dumps, and again during the financial crisis, Berlin consistently ran budget deficits in excess of eurozone rules — and avoided penalties for it. The deficits were critical for Germany to get its economy going again.”

    http://www.germanjoys.eu/2017/05/paul-hockenos-on-german-arrogance.html

    Like

  8. el on said:

    Today was Israel’s Independence Day and we received a present:

    UNESCO resolution passes calling to reject Israeli sovereignty over all Jerusalem

    Despite the Foreign Ministry’s best attempts to thwart a UNESCO proposal to revoke Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, the resolution passed—on Israel’s Independence Day—with the support of seven Arab states; PM Netanyahu calls decision ‘absurd,’ while Pres. Rivlin calls to transfer all embassies to Jerusalem.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4956465,00.html

    AND

    Successful Israeli firm helps African development by exporting the kibbutz model

    A successful architectural and engineering Israeli company is exporting the renowned kibbutz model throughout the world; now, in African countries like Angola and Nigeria, one can see the Israeli model prosper, developing the region and creating hundreds of jobs.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4956457,00.html

    Like

    • Stringer Bell on said:

      Like

      • el on said:

        Regarding “Your headline is hasbarah, not journalism,” I do not understand why calling Israel “the occupying Power” and calling upon “the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem” is more objective than celebrating the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem which fell on May 24, 2017.

        Here is something objective (in reporting what was said, not in the word choice of the resolution), hopefully:

        Full text of May 2017 UNESCO resolution on ‘Occupied Palestine’
        http://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text-of-may-2017-unesco-resolution-on-occupied-palestine/

        I was especially interested in points 7-9.

        Like

        • Stringer Bell on said:

          Are you really denying the occupation now? Is that where you’re at?

          I seriously hope you get paid to spam here. If not, you seriously have brainworms. 😦

          Like

          • el on said:

            \ Are you really denying the occupation now? Is that where you’re at?

            No, if you mean the fact of ruling over Palestinians against their wishes.

            However, I was talking about something different. Both ‘occupied (East) Jerusalem’ and ‘liberated / united Jerusalem’ are not neutral terms. A bit like ‘our hero’ vs. ‘their spy’ OR ‘freedom fighter’ vs. ‘terrorist.’

            Speaking honestly, in practice, creating a Jewish nation state had to involve a conflict with Arabs. Many Zionist leaders recognized this reality too, even though some talk/ed about the missed possibility of Jewish-Arab brotherhood against the British colonialists. I prefer having both this conflict and the Jewish nation state to the pre-WW2 situation of not having the second.

            The more I read about the conflict the less I believe Palestinians will ever have a nation state at all. However, if they do, the status of East Jerusalem will be subject to negotiations. Most Jews are against dividing our capital for national-religious reasons. I do not care about religion after being raised in the atheistic FSU, but still cannot imagine handing over the Wailing Wall to Arabs. I can imagine our knesset and civilians in their flats being under fire from the Arab part of the city, the way it was before the unification of the city, and I cannot say I like it.

            Like

          • el on said:

            \ I seriously hope you get paid to spam here.

            It reminded me of the rhetoric in Russian Internet.

            Both sides (pro and against Putin) accuse the other of being paid for blogging.

            Sometimes it is so in Russia, but not always.

            Like

  9. el on said:

    Israeli Arabs view country more positively than Jews, survey finds

    Among Jewish respondents, 43.9 percent said they see Israel’s situation as “good” or “very good” while among Arabs the figure was nearly two-thirds at 66%. As for personal circumstances, nearly three-quarters of Jews (74%) said their situation is “good” or “very good” compared to 57% of Arabs who felt the same way.

    Similarly, according to the survey, 73% of Jews and 61 % of Arabs felt optimistic about Israel’s future

    some 80% of respondents saying they felt proud to be Israeli (51.1% among Arab respondents, 86.1% among Jewish respondents.)

    The country’s economic stability also ranked well with most Jews (62%) and Arabs (75%), who said Israel’s economic situation was “moderately good” or “good.”

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-arabs-view-country-more-positively-than-jews-survey-finds/

    Like

  10. el on said:

    I read this and wondered what those Ukrainian Jews were thinking and feeling during the meeting. He was the first not white person they have ever seen probably. Before immigration I had no idea not white Jews existed:

    Son of Ethiopian immigrants travels to Ukraine to advocate Jews there move to Israel

    The 31-year-old city councilor is flying to Kiev to persuade Jews to immigrate to Israel and choose to reside in Nazareth Illit; ‘I’m an example of successful absorption in Israel,’ he says.
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4957690,00.html

    Like

    • I think it’s deranged that a person who has no knowledge of this particular community would go lecture them and push them towards such a momentous decision.

      It’s sad that the contempt that Israel has for post-Soviet Jews has not diminished since the 1990s.

      Like

      • el on said:

        Contempt, rage, “lecture them and push them”?

        I have a feeling that you are strongly against practically any FSU Jews immigrating to Israel. Honestly, would you feel the same if he were from America or Canada?

        Push them? Those Jews chose to attend a conference in Kiev and listen to what Israel has to offer. Thinking this talk would “push them towards such a momentous decision” shows more contempt than anything else. As if those Ukrainian Jews are child-like fools, unable to use their own brains and make decisions.

        Also, I am unsure “knowledge of this particular community” is all-important here. Those Jews know about their lives in Ukraine, but lack knowledge about Israel, which he tried to provide.

        There already are plenty of Sochnut workers in Kiev with more than enough knowledge about Ukrainian Jews, and most Ukrainian Jews at the conference probably have relatives and friends in Israel. He came to provide something additional, something different. Why not?

        Like

        • “I have a feeling that you are strongly against practically any FSU Jews immigrating to Israel. Honestly, would you feel the same if he were from America or Canada?”

          • I’m against post-Soviet people emigrating anywhere because the result is almost uniformly negative. I have said many times that the Russian-speaking immigrant community in Montreal, for instance, is extremely unhappy. I know wonderful happy people who emigrated to the US and have become miserable, angry rejects. There are cultures that make for happy immigrants and cultures that don’t. Our culture is the one that doesn’t. I just met a Russian-speaking immigrant who came here back in the 1990s and guess what? She’s planning to move back. After all this time.

          “There already are plenty of Sochnut workers in Kiev with more than enough knowledge about Ukrainian Jews”

          • The use of Sochhnut and knowledge in one sentence sounds strange.

          Like

    • “I read this and wondered what those Ukrainian Jews were thinking and feeling during the meeting. ”

      • If they have an ounce of grey matter, they should feel rage.

      Like

  11. el on said:

    I do not know whether you read the article, but he met FSU immigrants before travelling to Kiev:

    \A few days before the flight to Kiev, Biv met with new immigrants from the former Soviet Union who were studying at the absorption center in the city and received a few tips from them. Alexander Smolensky, 23, who immigrated to Israel from Ukraine three months ago, said, “I never encountered an emissary of Ethiopian origin. It could be very successful.”

    Ronen Plot, the mayor of Nazareth Illit, said, “I chose Uri Biv to go on the mission and to encourage immigrants from Ukraine to come to Nazareth Illit because he is a successful example of absorption.”

    Like

    • ““I chose Uri Biv to go on the mission and to encourage immigrants from Ukraine to come to Nazareth Illit because he is a successful example of absorption.””

      • He’s a successful example of absorption from Ethiopia, not FSU. Imagine me going to Ethiopia and encouraging people to move to Southern Illinois because I’m successfully absorbed here. Would that not be beyond the pale?

      Like

      • el on said:

        \ Imagine me going to Ethiopia and encouraging people to move to Southern Illinois because I’m successfully absorbed here.

        Jews from Ethiopia tend to find integrating into Israeli society harder than FSU Jews, so your comparison does not work.

        I do know many FSU Jews who are happy in Israel and feel at home. I think we find what we look for sometimes.

        Also, immigrating to Israel is probably very different from coming to America, and somewhat different kinds of Jews may be choosing those countries.

        Your family chose to immigrate, my family is happy we did too. Most Jews do not return neither from America nor from Israel, and I believe choices show the true preferences, not declarations. 🙂

        Like

        • “Your family chose to immigrate, my family is happy we did too. Most Jews do not return neither from America nor from Israel, and I believe choices show the true preferences, not declarations.”

          • Because they have nowhere to go any longer and compounding the trauma by yet another move is too hard. My ex-husband was so miserable after emigration, he almost killed himself. My parents are begging everybody they know back home not to emigrate. So this was not a good example.

          “I do know many FSU Jews who are happy in Israel and feel at home.”

          • They might say they are happy but their evince so much misery that it’s hard to believe.

          Like

          • As for how well people have really integrated into a new country, I have just a few questions.

            How many of your close friends were born and raised in the new country? If something really bad or really amazing happens to you, you’ll pick up the phone and tell your story to the most important people in your life (aside from family members) in what language? If you were to plan a huge birthday party for yourself, what language would most of the guests speak? And in your Facebook feed, what percentage of people don’t know a word of Russian?

            This is what the truth about integration really looks like.

            Like

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