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.

30 thoughts on “Sunday Link Encyclopedia

  1. The 60 hour thing is really ridiculous. My number is fairly consistently around 30 for the last few years, and closer to 20 in the summer. My theory is that a lot of those people count their quote of facebook and video games as “work” — that’s how they can get to such a high number.


    1. A have an app. Every couple of years or so I track the time I spend on everything for a couple of months. I don’t know why. It just feels like fun. It gives you pie charts and percentages. A lovely thing.


  2. “A good explanation of why a military parade is not a bad idea under the circumstances. It’s part of nation-building.”

    A great article on why I subscribe to The Atlantic magazine , even though many
    of each issue’s articles are mindless Trump-hating-doomsday garbage. About half of the other articles cut through the Trump hate and get the to the political point — which usually has nothing to do with the Trump regime itself.

    As a 26-year-Air Force Veteran, I personally don’t have strong feelings about a big military parade either way. (Absent a clear military victory since “Desert Storm,” I’d recommend holding it on a national holiday traditionally recognizing the military, such as Veteran’s or Memorial Day — but the exact day doesn’t matter.)

    Hysterical articles on liberal websites with titles like, “NAVY SEAL WHO SHOT BIN LADEN THINKS PARADE IS BULLSHIT!” and “VETERANS (presumably ALL??? — what’s the percentage) HATE THE IDEA” are garbage, representing only the rage of people who will hate Trump no matter what he proposes.


    1. God, I’m dying for somebody to offer an actual argument as to why Trump’s nation-building initiatives – the wall, the parade, immigration reform, etc – are bad. An ideology, a consistent worldview that is ruled by an internal logic of its own.

      I have zero interest in parades. But I have an interest in nation-building mechanisms. Until somebody demonstrates a better alternative to the nation-state, I believe it’s deranged to undermine it.


      1. // why Trump’s nation-building initiatives – the wall, the parade, immigration reform, etc – are bad

        What would be Hillary’s nation-building initiatives had she won?

        What were Obama’s except “yes, we can” message that got him elected?


        1. “Hillary’s nation-building initiatives had she won?”

          The idea of nation-building and Hillary in the same sentence is hilarious.

          Bernie might have had some ideas (and I’d probably disagree with them) but Hillary is market state at faster than light speed (why she spent so little time campaigning among actual voters… she couldn’t keep up the pretense that she thought they mattered).


          1. What Cliff said. Hillary and nation-building go together like Trump and profound philosophical discourse. She can’t promote it in practice because her Wall Street backers would be unhappy. And she can’t promote it rhetorically because her base will freak. I fully understand why the Wall Street backers would be unhappy. What I don’t get is why the base is so passionately against. A politician goes where the voters are, at least rhetorically. When we have a base that’s open to this, then we’ll get politicians who get in line with it.


        2. Hillary is all for fluidity, globalization, and serving the needs of capital by dismantling the nation-state. So obviously she wouldn’t engage in any strengthening of what she wants to dismantle. Obama was very much into that ideology, too.

          The tragedy is that the progressive forces have adopted a knee-jerk, unthinking rejection and hatred of the nation-state. I don’t know why but it’s an unreflective, virulent hatred. As a result, the people who are picking up the cause of the nation-state and are exploiting the desire to retain it are dirty rotten bastards like Putin, LePen, Trump, etc. And it drives me nuts. Why can’t this be our cause? Why can’t we take it on and use it for good?


  3. “Absent a clear military victory since “Desert Storm,””

    There was no clear military victory in Desert Storm. The US has not had a clear military victory since…. Grenada?

    As someone (you?) said, if you can’t hold a military parade in the capital then it wasn’t a victory.


    1. “There was no clear military victory in Desert Storm.”

      Actually, we achieved the limited goals of that war fairly quickly: We pushed Saddam out of Kuwait in a remarkably short time (after planning for a much longer war and unnecessarily mobilizing stateside Reserve units and prepping up stateside military hospitals like mine in Davis-Monthan, Arizona to expect an influx of casualties that never arrived). After the liberation of Kuwait, we kept Saddam nicely in a box by keeping his air force grounded for several years. (That’s why I got combat pay for two years after the war when I was transferred to Saudi Arabia, because the country was technically in range of his schud missiles.)

      The victory in Iraq achieved by George H.W. Bush lasted through the Clinton administration, but fell apart during George W.’ s reign, when he deposed Saddam without any plan to prevent the unnecessary war of insurgency that basically allowed Iraq to slip into Iranian control, where it largely remains today.

      I haven’t said exactly “that if you can’t hold a military parade in the capital then it wasn’t a victory” — but I concur that wherever you hold a military parade in America, it has to represent something positive: If not a decisive military victory, then an appropriate day of military remembrance like Memorial or Veteran’s Day.


      1. “We pushed Saddam out of Kuwait in a remarkably short time”

        Which was a terrible short term goal since it meant propping up the despicable Kuwaiti regime (widely loathed in the Arab world at the time) and it explicitly and openly tied the continuance of the equally loathsome and repellent Saudi regime to American protection which alienated the Arab world just as much.

        Technically getting the Iraqi military out of Kuwait was a military success but an economic and geo-political catastrophe that the people in the region are still paying for.


  4. It’s not that the idea of nation-building is a bad one, it’s that one needs to think of more modern ways to achieve that. Military parades are archaic. You want solidarity? How about free college or healthcare? That’ll make one proud to be an american.


    1. // one needs to think of more modern ways to achieve that. Military parades are archaic. You want solidarity? How about free college or healthcare? That’ll make one proud to be an american.

      Israel has practically free college and healthcare, yet I do not see how one may use them to nurture nationalistic feelings.

      Regarding the army, it plays a significant role in nation-building in Israel, yet the situation in America is so different that I doubt 1000 military parades will be a quater as effective as IDF is in Israel.

      Also, free college or healthcare seem to be partisan issues in America, dividing the nation instead of uniting it.


    2. “How about free college or healthcare?”

      As great as those are, they’re not nation-building (the UK made the NHS part of modern British identity but no one else has succeeded in doing that).

      Nation building at some level requires collective action and collective rituals. Without that (adding nationalist collective rituals to college or embedding nationalist symbols into healthcare) it’s just consumerism.


      1. College where people go for free to learn to see nation-building myths for what they are, myths, is going to be quite counterproductive in this sense. 🙂 And sadly, that’s what the absolute majority of college professors will be teaching in regards to the nation-state because of all the reasons I mentioned in the previous comment.


  5. God, I’m dying for somebody to offer an actual argument as to why Trump’s nation-building initiatives – the wall, the parade, immigration reform, etc – are bad.

    How do you think they actually build nations? Symbolism (mostly)?

    Apart from their normal effectiveness, Trump has a spectacular gift for pissing all over unity building exercises and making it about his ego, either by buffering it or attempting to settle scores or to enrich himself.

    A parade on Veteran’s Day would be smart. But he wouldn’t be able to resist the urge to turn it into the Donald Trump show.


    1. Nation-states are such fake entities that yes, it’s all about the power of the symbolic. And even the nation-states that are built on some ethnic, linguistic, or historical continuity, or better yet have natural borders (like Great Britain or Spain) are falling apart. If Great Britain, with its legends of 600-year oaks and being located on an island can’t keep it together, what to expect of nation-states that have none of these advantages?

      The US won’t fall apart administratively. This is not the danger. But what’s the use of that if the capacity to grant rights and welfare protections on the national level is gone?


  6. Well, how about the “our science is better than yours” game? Space programs help nation-building AND they could help restore our flagging scientific competitiveness. They will be popular with left-wingers too – most scientists are democrats.


  7. \ A have an app. Every couple of years or so I track the time I spend on everything for a couple of months.

    Did you include hours spent teaching or preparing for classes in those 18 hours or were those 18 hours of pure research?


  8. After the controversy created by the law banning people from accusing Poland of Holocaust atrocities committed by the Nazis, the country’s ruling party has submitted a new bill restricting kosher slaughter and threatening anyone who violates the restrictions with up to four years in prison.

    The restrictions include a ban on exporting kosher meat from Poland, which is expected to affect many of Europe’s Jewish communities, as well as meat exports to Israel.

    The Polish parliament banned kosher slaughter in 2013, but the decision was struck down by the constitutional court. The judges accepted an EJA petition and ruled that the Polish law contradicted the principle of freedom of religion.,7340,L-5108605,00.html



    “And then there’s the revelation that the supervisor of the [elite Gun Trace Task Force] instructed officers to carry a toy gun just in case they found themselves “in a jam” and needed to plant one. When one of the officers, Marcus Tayor, was arrested, officials couldn’t figure out why he had a toy gun in his glove compartment.”


    1. Also:
      The driver was surprisingly calm. He explained that he had both a card and a silver shield in the rear window identifying him as a family member of a law enforcement officer.

      To our astonishment, the stop was the shortest I’ve ever sat through before or since. The officer made some small talk with the driver, asked (without checking) whether his record was clean, then apologized for the delay before sending us on our way.

      As our friend explained on the way to the show, an ordinary paper card—the sort given to friends of police or folks who’ve made a donation to a PBA—would have been torn up after such an encounter, providing immunity for only a single minor infraction, while the family versions were permanent….
      Since I don’t own a car, I hadn’t thought about these in years, until a story in the New York Post —about officers livid that the union was cutting their allotment of cards to distribute—provoked a flurry of discussion on social media.
      ..Is there, after all, any conceivable non-corrupt reason for issuing wallet-sized cards identifying the bearer as a relative of police?…
      Getting out of a speeding ticket may not seem like a dire threat to the rule of law—though you do have to wonder how many cardholders feel emboldened to drive intoxicated—but I think one can reasonably draw a link between this sort of petty favoritism and the more serious abuses that leave so many minority communities regarding their local police less as public servants than an occupying force.


  10. Post Nation
    ‘Just shoot me,’ an armed man told a cop. The officer didn’t — and was fired, his lawsuit claimed.

    On this much, at least, everyone agreed: A brief standoff on May 6, 2016 — which left one police officer without a job and another man dead — unfolded with mere seconds to make the most crucial decisions.

    That night, Stephen Mader, then an officer with the Weirton Police Department in West Virginia, responded to a domestic-dispute call. Once at the scene, he encountered a “visibly distraught” man named Ronald J. Williams, court documents said.

    As Mader ordered the man to show his hands, Williams did, revealing a handgun. Mader ordered him to drop the weapon.

    “I can’t do that,” Williams responded, according to court documents. “Just shoot me.”

    Even as Mader attempted to de-escalate the situation, Williams pleaded repeatedly: “Just shoot me.”

    Mader, who is white, didn’t shoot, thinking deadly force wasn’t necessary. In those tense moments, he reasoned that Williams, who was black, was a threat to himself but not to others.

    But as Mader was attempting to talk Williams down, two more Weirton police officers arrived on the scene. As they did, Williams raised his gun — and was shot and killed by another officer.

    A month after the incident, Mader would be fired from the department for “failing to meet probationary standards of an officer” and “apparent difficulties in critical incident reasoning.” He would also be publicly accused of having frozen and privately called a “coward” by a colleague, court documents revealed.


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