Friday Link Encyclopedia

If the paper were a frozen tundra and your life depended on finding a “the” to ingest, you’d be dead by page two.” I love how this scholar writes. And I can commiserate because English speakers who write in Spanish always forget that abstract concepts need a definite article. (It’s “the love, the justice and the peace” in Spanish.)

Neoliberal destruction of politics is illustrated perfectly in one short post. It’s like people have been completely emptied of all content. 

People have the weirdest sexual fantasies
can’t avoid being touched by this passionate dedication to Hillary. The whole thing is almost poetic. 

Finally, a good, non-hysterical post on Columbus Day

tragic death of a young mother is caused by outlandish ignorance.

Wine-infused coffee exists. And isn’t that sad. 

A great post on the Democrats’ strategy

Yes, self-driving cars are totally about to happen. Any day now. 

I don’t need to look at the author’s name to know this was written by a man: “My theory is that airport travel takes years off of people’s lives.  Our U.S. airline system is so overloaded, so overcapacity, and so brittle that airplane travel is by now normatively terrible.  Take a flight in the U.S. and you can almost count on being delayed and stressed out.  Who needs it?  A better plan may be just to stay home.” 


32 thoughts on “Friday Link Encyclopedia”

  1. “A great post on the Democrats’ strategy.”

    Huh?? “FIGHT THE FIGHTS YOU’RE GONNA LOSE… for the sake of your immortal soul, fighting them and losing hard. At a certain point you have to be able to get up in the morning.”

    This article had to be written by a Republican mole! Seriously, the Democrats should waste valuable money and other resources trying to defeat a popular Republican Senate candidate in ALABAMA?

    Put the guy who wrote that article in charge of the DNC!


      1. The Democrats should be HAPPY to have a totally crazy loon like Roy Moore taking up a seat on the Republican side, anyway. Nobody — including his fellow Republican Senators — is going to take anything that he says or does seriously.


        1. “ going to take anything that he says or does seriously.”

          What does this even mean? Will he not have a vote in the Senate on account of being a ‘loon’?

          I think the good people of Alabama have the right to decide who they like more: a candidate supported by the KKK or a candidate who prosecuted the KKK.


          1. “What does this even mean? Will he not have a vote in the Senate…?”

            Yes, he’ll have one (obviously Republican) vote in the Senate, but so would ANY Republican Senator from Alabama — and you don’t seriously think that the State of Alabama is going to elect a Democratic Senator in this day and age, do you? The good people of that state have the right to choose whomever they want — and they’re going to choose Moore, no matter how much the Democrats oppose him. So the Dems can find more realistic battles to fight.

            What Senator Moore won’t do — and a more sane Republican might — is propose any legislation or advance any ideology that will help the Republican agenda. The ship has already sailed on his nutty ideas of posting the Ten Commandments on public property, outlawing all abortions, and outlawing gay marriage. He’ll be a single vote for other Senators’ legislative proposals, and otherwise useless.


            1. “The ship has already sailed on his nutty ideas ..”

              Republican voters in alabama clearly don’t think so. And speaking of nutty, you’d be shocked to know who the president is!


  2. “Finally, a good, non-hysterical post on Columbus Day.”

    Great article about the inevitability of technologically superior cultures conquering others that are vastly more primitive and helpless. If it hadn’t been the famous Italian from Spain, another heartless European would have taken his place:


  3. Uri column on BDS and the right to return:

    SB, if you read, it’ll be interesting to hear your take.

    Personally, I do not see Israel accepting “Another – say – quarter million” Arabs. Even Left wing parties would never agree to it.

    And Uri’s idea of taking money for “generous compensation” from Israel “reducing its huge military budget”sounds insane both since I do not believe Palestinian terror would stop and since we have many very violent non-Palestinians around, with ISIS being only a tip of an iceberg.

    Also, Palestinians being able to “emigrate to places like Australia and Canada, which would gladly receive them (with their money)” is a pipe-dream. Let Uri try to emigrate there with his money – I will watch how easy it will be. 🙂


    1. @el :
      Your post is addressed to Stringer Boy, but I’m going to give you my opinion about Uri Avnery’s columns. Uri is a “wise old man” whose long and noble efforts to build and advise the State of Israel ever since its conception are commendable. But he is very naive to put any faith in the benevolence of the rabidly anti-Semitic BDS movement, whose goal is clearly to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. The “right of return” of millions of so-called “Palestinians” — most of whom have never even lived in Israel in their entire lives — would swamp the state with a demographic nightmare that would end Israel’s “Jewish” character forever. It would also destroy Israel’s Western parliamentary democratic form of free government.

      Uri seems to think that Israel could bribe most of these “returning” (for the first time!) “Palestinians” to pack up and move to faraway lands like Canada and Australia ( where they would be total “strangers in a strange land”), and pacify others to live contentedly in the despised occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. With views like these, it isn’t surprising that he has failed repeatedly over the years to win elected positions in various Israeli governments.

      I notice that you never quote the ardent Zionist Carolyn Glick, whose columns appear regularly in the Jerusalem Post. Some of her columns ( the ones complaining that all Jews are eternal victims that the whole world has always hated, and always will forever, are a bit overwrought. But she’s right when she recognizes the duplicitous malignancy of the “Palestinian” leadership, whose only goal is the total destruction of the Jewish State, and the amazing stupidity of Western academic BDS supporters, who don’t even know the heinous goals that they’re supporting.


      1. “Some of her columns ( the ones complaining that all Jews are eternal victims that the whole world has always hated, and always will forever, are a bit overwrought. But”

        It’s kind of hard to take anything that columnist says about anything seriously after that. I’m not sure I’d trust her to know what day of the week it is.


  4. Thanks for the shout-out, Clarissa!

    If I can self-promote a little. A longer flash of mine, “Curriculum Cupidinis” just came out in The Fiction Pool.

    Also, I have gone to the dark side — I now have a Twitter account now for fiction-related pursuits, @MauraYzmore, and a related website,, with links to all the stories.


    1. @xykademiqz:

      Congratulations, a very good short story except for the tame ending. In the final scene, Max should have blown his top at the totally unexpected rejection by Nina, and should have angrily shoved her back against the kitchen counter, where the steak knifes were kept in a clearly visible wooden block knife holder. Nina should have been terrified by Max’s utterly uncharacteristic violent behavior and panicked, grabbing the sharpest steak knife on the counter and stabbing him repeatedly… Then after Nina calmed down, she realized that neighbors in the adjoining apartments might have heard the ruckus, so she had to get rid of the body quickly. She hastily chopped Max’s body up and shoved the remains down the kitchen garbage disposal, but the tiny disposal unit isn’t designed to handle such large chunks of garbage…When the police came hours later to inquire about the noise, one of the cops turned on the faucet to get himself a drink — and all of Max’s blood and guts came gushing back up into the sink!

      At any rate, endings like that sell for me!


      1. 🙂 Thanks for reading, Dreidel! I’m glad you liked the story. I have to admit I am not much for gore, so it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me to ever end it a bloodshed… Although such ending does have its charms. I have several others currently in review that I think are better and am excited at the prospect of their publication.


        1. “I have several others currently in review that I think are better.”

          Well, the first time I sold a short story back in 2001, I sent the editor two stories: one that I thought was actually well-written, and a knock-off that I thought was garbage. Guess which one the magazine bought? (I sold the “better” story several years later.)

          Editors — at least one ones working for for-profit periodicals/websites — aren’t interested in quality. They’re rightly interested in what sells.


          1. I hear you; editors like what they like, so beyond some level of writing quality (decent plot, language, character development), it seems to be a more of a question of editorial taste and market fit than objective merit. For instance, Curriculum Cupidinis was sent along with two other stories to the place that published it; it was
            picked over another piece that I thought was better written and is still searching for a home.


  5. BERLIN (Reuters) – The German military, buoyed by 45 million views of its previous social media reality show “The Recruits”, is to launch a new show on Monday that shows the lives of eight soldiers serving in U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali.

    It will be shown Mondays through Thursdays on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, with a chatbot sending messages several times a day about the soldiers’ activities.

    The show cost 6.5 million euros to produce and market, Neumann said, describing it as part of the military’s drive to make the military a more attractive career option.

    The last show, which showed how new recruits were trained, sparked a 40-percent increase in traffic at the ministry’s career website and a 25-percent boost in calls to a recruitment hotline, he said.


      1. cliff, doesn’t it go against your view that “twitter or facebook and anything written there” are unimportant, if the German military has to use media to recruit anybody at all?


        1. “doesn’t it go against your view”

          No. I’m glad that Germany is leaving behind the view that it can/should outsource its defense to the US and NATO. The US armed forces used to have ads on TV so advertising is a normal part of recruitment, you go where the recruits are which used to be TV and now its dumb social apps.


          1. “I’m glad that Germany is leaving behind the view that it can/should outsource its defense to the US and NATO.”

            EVERY country in NATO remains under the protection of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. This matters a great deal to the Eastern European countries sharing borders with Russia, because that reality is the only thing keeping Putin from crossing their boundary lines. Still, those countries are conducting major conventional war exercises with the U.S. to get Putin’s attention.

            The democratic socialist welfare states of Western Europe, by contrast, have considered war unthinkable since well before the end of the Cold War, and have let those forces wither in order to free tax funds for their generous welfare s programs.


  6. I really love Adam Johnson at

    You’ve seen or heard or read the personal interest story a thousand times: An enterprising seven-year-old collects cans to save for college (ABC7, 2/8/17), a man with unmatched moxie walks 15 miles to his job (Today, 2/20/17), a low-wage worker buys shoes for a kid whose mother can’t afford them (Fox5, 12/14/16), an “inspiring teen” goes right back to work after being injured in a car accident (CBS News, 12/16/16). All heartwarming tales of perseverance in the face of impossible odds—and all ideological agitprop meant to obscure and decontextualize the harsh reality of dog-eat-dog capitalism.

    These stories are typically shared for the purposes of poor-shaming, typically under the guise of inspirational life advice. “This man is proof we all just need to keep walking, no matter what life throws at us,” insisted Denver ABC7 anchor Anne Trujillo, after sharing one of those stories of a poor person forced to walk thousands of miles a year to survive.

    A healthy press would take these anecdotes of “can do” spirit and ask bigger questions, like why are these people forced into such absurd hardship? Who benefits from skyrocketing college costs? Why does the public transit in this person’s city not have subsidies for the poor? Why aren’t employers forced to offer time off for catastrophic accidents? But time and again, the media mindlessly tells the bootstrap human interest story, never questioning the underlying system at work.


    1. I had a very severe case of this psychological issue (the one where you feel like a liar when telling the truth and fearing nobody will believe anything you say). I got treated and now I’m fine. Of course, I could have avoided treatment, attached some coocoo pseudo-feminist explanation to it, and inflicted the whole sad concoction onto my students. And the students – who are not stupid about these things – would have hated the Humanities forever.


      1. the one where you feel like a liar when telling the truth and fearing nobody will believe anything you say

        This rings true, feeling like a bad lying liar without hiding anything or lying. gulp
        What is it called? Do you know what it stems from?


        1. I had these persistent terrors that my department Chair wouldn’t believe I was in class during class time and kept trying to come up with proof that I was actually showing up to teach. I felt guilty whenever I saw her even though I was, in fact, always showing up for class.

          This comes from the childhood environment where your inner truth isn’t valued and you have to falsify who you are and what you feel to be accepted.


  7. The airline complainer is most definitely a man who can easily opt out of airline travel. Of course, someone like me cannot opt out of airline travel unless I wished to cut myself off from most of my friends and all my family save my immediate family members. Please spare me the “but we have telephones and Skype and Facebook now” argument.


  8. Israelis await Netanyahu’s reaction to Austria’s far-right surge

    President Rivlin expresses unease with members of the Israeli Right seeking to forge alliances with far-right parties in Europe, particularly Heinz-Christian Strache, whose support soared in Austrian election; MK Yehuda Glick urges Strache to implement pledge to move embassy to Jerusalem; Rivlin: ‘Political leaders who support racist notions, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites, aren’t welcome in Israel.’

    Despite fears surrounding Strache’s views on Jews and Austria’s recent past as a collaborator with Adolf Hitler’s NaziGermany, Israelis on the political Right insist that he is pro-Israel, much like other strands of the Right in Europe, which they argue have shifted their support toward Israel and been elected primarily on an anti-immigration platform.,7340,L-5029131,00.html


    1. First you stoke fear and suspicion of Arabs and then you “express unease” that this bears fruit. Makes tons of sense.

      Remember, anti-semitism includes all semitic peoples. There is no arab-hatred that doesn’t turn against Jews sooner or later. And vice versa.


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