Sunday Link Encyclopedia

A touching story about Westminster oak and cultural continuity.

Portavoza” – a new word in Spanish. I need to go barf.

Another barf-worthy thing is this ridiculous article title.

The best way to undermine public education is to make it part of a secular pseudo-religion.

Productivity and the Internet. Superficial but cute.

A good explanation of why a military parade is not a bad idea under the circumstances. It’s part of nation-building. Dumbly opposing it is simply childish.

New developments in the white-collar wars for resources: “NSF is now requiring awardee institutions to report findings of sexual harassment by personnel on NSF grants, and to report when individuals are placed on leave related to an investigation.” In 100% of such investigations I personally know of, there was no harassment whatsoever but a lot of conflict about things like tenure, teaching assignments, etc. Of course, it’s just the cases known to me but it’s a clear trend.

Transformational learning goes belly up. And that’s great.

My number is 18. And this is consistent for years. I sincerely have no idea what I could do to make it over 3 times that. It’s like I inhabit a different universe.

Over the past decade, out-of-state drug companies shipped 20.8 million prescription painkillers to two pharmacies four blocks apart in a Southern West Virginia town with 2,900 people, according to a congressional committee investigating the opioid crisis.

I don’t care about these freaks’ ridiculous sex lives, but I do care that they are torturing their children with this insane crap.

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Soviet Parenting

There are some really great parenting practices that were common among Soviet parents: a lot of outside play irrespective of weather, taking kids to the beach for at least 3-4 weeks a year irrespective of the cost and difficulty, giving them a lot of garlic in winter as a prophylaxis for colds, giving these – I have no idea how to translate it, curd snacks? – instead of candy, an avoidance of antibiotics unless they are really really needed, fostering a love of soups (which are a great vehicle unobtrusively to introduce the garlic in winter), serving fresh fruit at every meal, etc.

If all of this weren’t accompanied with outlandish degrees of mental and physical abuse, it would be really fantastic.

The Cost of Self-promotion

Oh God, Jill Messick killed herself. I only just heard.

What a tragedy. And the horrible Rose McGowan has not an ounce of compunction.

And yes, Messick was mentally ill. But she was human and she didn’t deserve the bullying of the #rosearmy, or whatever tagline the self-promoting starlet uses.

Maddow Fans Needed

Does anybody here watch Maddow? Has she reported on the oligarch and prostitute story yet? She’s into the Russian meddling stuff so I wonder. I’d watch the episode where she talks about it because this is, at least, a good, juicy, funny part of the whole crazy thing.

A Scandal in Russia

Since I mentioned Russia anyway, there is a huge scandal going on there right now. So you know how Russian oligarchs (who very often, truth be told, are not ethnically Russian) ship in airplanes and boats full of prostitutes and go through them like Kleenex, right?

So in the past couple of days, one such prostitute made allegations that one of the most important oligarchs got together with one of the most powerful politicians and gang-raped her. After which, she says, they proceeded to discuss how they were going to meddle in the US elections with the help of Paul Manafort (this all happened while Manafort was managing the campaign.)

The funny part is that she’s got recordings of all this.

The scandalous part in Russia – ’cause it’s Russia, you know? – is not that an oligarch and a state official together decide the country’s policy without even trying to be discrete. And it’s definitely not that the US election was meddled with. The real outrage that people are experiencing is over a prostitute saying she was raped.

What is interesting to me is that it’s very clear that in the relationship between the oligarch and the state official, the latter is clearly the boss and the former is very eager to please and quite subservient.

What’s also interesting is that there should be such obvious and even desperate efforts to get the Mueller melodrama out of a ditch it’s currently in.

Three-dollar Passions

Another drama in the local FB group. People are warning each other about “a scammer” who stopped a couple of folks in front of the grocery store to ask for 3 dollars. They are suspecting she doesn’t really need the 3 dollars and is trying to scam passersby of their hard-earned 3 dollars. A heated discussion of the gall of asking for the 3 dollars you don’t even really need or deserve ensued.

I’ve had times in my life when I was poor, drowning in debt, literally down to my last 3 dollars. And even then I can’t imagine mustering so much righteous indignation over somebody trying to get an “undeserved” 3 dollars. I’m not saying I’m a paragon of morality. I’m just too lazy or too preoccupied with other things to care so passionately about 3 dollars.

It’s a pity Rauner isn’t asking for 3 dollars in front of the grocery store because that would be all we’d need to unseat him.

What Will Russians Do?

Everybody seems to agree that nothing has been done to prevent or diminish the magnitude of the Russian meddling in the US elections. What’s really interesting is, if Russians decide to give it another try and not just abandon the whole endeavor because of it’s clear uselessness, who will they support this time?

The kind of chaos that Russians were hoping for didn’t even remotely occur. The changes between the Obama and the Trump administrations are those of rhetoric. In practical terms, both serve the fluid elites and contribute to the same international order with the same passionate dedication.

Since there is no real attempt even to look at an alternative to the neoliberal embrace of fluidity, there isn’t anybody that Russia can support who’d bring the desired (by them, I mean) results.