Monday, December 16, 2013

Stuff...And Some Serious Nonsense

Before we go on to new business, let me just say however overwhelmed I was by the quantity of email this week. Seems few wanted to come out as a comment on last week's episode, but holy moly, people! This really resonated with a whole lotta readers...thereby giving credence to my original thought that this is totally normal stuff. 

More adventures in health care this weekend...a trip to St. Elsewhere's emergency room, admission 5 hours later during which time we were "shadowed by a women collecting data on documentation and redundancy and we were give the same questionnaire about where we live by 4 different people. When the fourth one started, I mentioned she was the fourth. She replied, "well, we just have to keep asking the questions." And I replied, "What? You think I moved in the last two hours?" Another nurse came in...and asked my why I was angry. And then she yelled at me in front of Sieg. I suggested we take this outside the room, and she stormed out through the NO ADMITTANCE door letting it close in my face. And she thought I was angry? They put Sieg in an orthopedic unit since there was no room at the gastro-inn, which turned out to be not so bad. The nursing staff was really nice. Dr. Skopee put in an appearance; I wasn't there, so he called, and I still didn't understand him.  Thankfully, he got sprung after two days and is back home..

And while we on the subject of the highly ridiculous, I cannot get past the American Studies Association call for a boycott of Israeli academics and universities. From Ha'aretz
When the President of the American Studies Association, Curtis Marez, an associate professor of ethnic studies at The University of California, was advised that many nations, including all of Israel’s neighbors, behave far worse than Israel, he responded, “One has to start somewhere.”
I don't seem them boycotting China or Chechnya or Sudan or Egypt or any other country with human rights issues. They're not calling for Palestinians to stop bombing Israeli schools and busses. They've not asked anyone to boycott Cornell University because of its relationship with Technion. 

So here's the thing: if they want to boycott Israel's educational institutions, go for it; it's your right to do just that. But you must be complete in your boycott of stuff that comes as a result of Israeli educational institutions. In order to be fully compliant with the boycott, those who choose to participate must also complete the following steps:
  • Remove Microsoft Office from your MACs. You may not have ever noticed, but for years, the Mac logos for the OFFICE apps happen to also be Hebrew letters. There was a reason for that.
  • Remove all instant messaging apps. Those apps exist because Israelis developed ICQ, the mother of that movement.
  • No endoscopies or pill-cams. Those teeny-tiny cameras were developed in Israel.
  • No USB flash drives. Sorry folks, another Israeli invention.
  • No drip irrigation for your tomatoes. 
Want me to go on? 

Folks this isn't about a protest of Israeli policies; this is badly disguised anti-Semitism. It's about boycotting Jews in academia because the morons at ASA think they'll be an easy target. If the ASA wants people to take their political radicalism seriously, they're going to have to do better than this. They're going to have to expand that boycott list to include every nation that they believe occupies land...including this one. I don't see anyone organizing a boycott of Guantanamo and that's a pretty big abomination on its own. 

The ASA voted the boycott into place with a counted vote of less than 17% of their membership. I can only hope that the other 83% get busy telling their board of directors that this is not an acceptable course of action. In fact, it's ridiculous. 

If you want to help Palestinians reach a statehood, demonstrate to encourage them to reach a peach CO-EXISTENCE with Israel. Sign petitions asking them to remove the destruction of Israel and its people from it's charter, specifically Articles 19-21 which were never removed nor amended despite repeated promises to do so. Stand up for the right of all people to live in peace and security. Put away the partisan spectacles and look at this an all human issue, not Palestinian, not Israeli, just human.

Yeah, it's a stretch. But when I read garbage like that, I just don't understand how thinking, thoughtful people can come up with stuff this hateful. Really. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Making plain shortbread cookies? 
Add a scant quarter teaspoon of cardamom for every cup of butter you use. 
You won't taste the cardamom per se, but it makes a huge difference 


  1. I have contacted ASA to advise them I was cancelling my membership effective immediately, Unfortunately, they have advised me I would not be able to do that unless I joined first. What do you recommend?

    1. Easy! Get a job in academia, join the ASA, and _then_ resign in protest. Of course, that would mean coming out of retirement.......

  2. Welcome to my world!

    Penn State - Harrisburg is dropping its membership in the ASA, as is Brandeis University.

    Here is statement from Dr. Simon Bronner, the chair of American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg.

    "As a prominent program in American Studies concerned for the welfare of its students and faculty, Penn State Harrisburg is worried that the recent actions by the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) do not reflect the longstanding scholarly enterprise American Studies stands for. The withdrawal of institutional membership by our program and others allows us to be independent of the political and ideological resolutions issued by the ASA and concentrate on building American Studies scholarship with our faculty, students, and staff. There might be alternative organizations forming in the future that better represent the field of American Studies. When and if that occurs, we will re-examine our independent position. In the meantime we view this move as one intended to protect students and faculty from opprobrium as a result of the ASA’s claim to represent scholars of American studies."

    This article from Legal Insurrection lists other universities that have memberships in the ASA, including University of Minnesota.


    1. You're faster on the trigger than me, Perdie! I just posted the link to the TABLET article on the WP Facebook page and was in the process of drafting a little update note for this.

      Here's the TABLET link:

      So thank you. I love when it happens like this!