Unwanted

I know people hate long-quote posts with no text on my own, but what can anybody say after reading this? It’s all pretty clear.

Immigrant parents separated from their children by the Trump administration and returned to their homes are refusing to be reunited with their children because their countries are so dangerous, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union told a court on Friday. Gelernt said parents who refused to be reunited tended to have older children who could be recruited by violent gangs if they returned home. In addition, some children have relatives in the United States and are unlikely to end up in foster care. The ACLU contacted parents in Central America of 162 children and said 109 refused reunification, according to a court filing.

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Rejection

A paper in Science covering over 80 thousand articles in 923 scientific journals finds that rejected papers are ultimately cited more than first acceptances.

In my experience, this is true. One of my most read and cited articles was rejected by two crappy little journals before getting accepted by a really prestigious one. I was insecure and kept applying to crappy places because I didn’t think I deserved being published in a good journal.

Real Socialism

In Venezuela

the daily struggle to find food items and medicine, particularly in times of intense scarcity and hyperinflation, leaves very little time to organize anti-government mass protests and other activities.

Shortages of basic food staples and of consumer goods in socialist countries are not a bug but a feature. People who don’t understand how the whole system works keep asking naively why it’s so impossible to make enough food for everybody when it’s the whole point that people should be occupied by scavenging for something to eat and too busy to think about changing their situation.

The funny thing is that it always starts with the best of intentions. Always, every single time. And within a couple of years, it all degenerates into devising ways to keep people hungry so that they are too cowed and weak to protest.

This is why it annoys me to have to discuss socialism with people who have never experienced any shortage of anything and have no idea what it feels like to scavenge for toilet paper or deal with menstruation when absolutely no hygienic products are available. The dumb little Twitteroids who love to chirp about socialism wouldn’t last a week in the conditions those of us with actual experience in socialism had to face.

On the positive side, last week I had a very productive discussion with students about all this. In spite of all the media noise about the supposed beauty of socialism, it’s possible to reach people and talk to them about it, especially if they are very young.