Critical Readability

My critical readings of the best and worst of online media

Archive for the month “September, 2012”

‘Cover Your Eyes,’ Iranian Woman Tells Chastising Cleric Before Beating Him Up : The Two-Way : NPR

“Of course, when the same type of incident is reversed — a ‘badly veiled’ women beaten in public by police — it’s simply a necessary enforcement of the dress code.”

via ‘Cover Your Eyes,’ Iranian Woman Tells Chastising Cleric Before Beating Him Up : The Two-Way : NPR.

Media don’t get #MuslimRage –

“In Indonesia, a nation of over 200 million, several hundred people took part in protests. Just a few months ago, 50,000 Indonesians bought tickets to see a Lady Gaga concert before it was canceled. So, what does this say about Muslims in Indonesia?

In Egypt, a nation of over 80 million, about 2,000 people protested on Friday. Of those protesters, a few hundred were arrested by the police.

In Lebanon, no protests occurred until Monday. Why? Because the pope had been visiting the country, and the leader of Hezbollah, which the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist group, didn’t want to do anything to interfere with the pope’s historic three-day visit.

A small number of protesters should not define the entire Muslim population of over a billion. The media should know this and report the truth accordingly.”

via Media don’t get #MuslimRage –

13 Powerful Images of Muslim Rage


Awesome! I love this article and the photos.

“MUSLIM RAGE,” screams Newsweek’s new cover story about last week’s violent anti-American protests. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the well-known anti-Islam activist, is here to tell “us” (The_West) how to “end it.” And it’s true, isn’t it? All Muslims are constantly raging about everything. So to pay tribute to Ali’s article — which describes the protesters as “the mainstream of contemporary Islam” — and the subtle, smart cover that accompanies it, we’ve collected 13 striking, powerful images of MUSLIM RAGE.

via 13 Powerful Images of Muslim Rage.

Many Texans Bereaved Over ‘Dead’ Voter Purge : NPR

Is it a coincidence that many of the people receiving “death notices” explaining that their names were purged from voter registration lists are black or Hispanic? Absolutely not. I’m surprised they didn’t “kill off” all of the people registered as Democrats.

Texas, seriously, you need to be a little more subtle if you hope to throw the election.

“And then a quick check of some of the information on that database led us to believe that there was a big probability that even a majority of the names on the list were people that were still alive,” he says.

So Sumner announced that — in Houston at least — there would be no purge of voters until after the election. That did not please the secretary of state, who threatened Sumner with the loss of state funding unless Sumner purged his rolls. That threat went over poorly with the Houston registrar who made it publicly clear to the secretary of state that she could take her threats and …

“Well I can’t give you the exact words,” Sumner says. “But basically that they were escalating this fight and they were picking on the wrong guy because I was not going to back down and they were going to lose the battle.”

That’s where it stands now. Houston is not going to purge its voter rolls until after the election. But the rest of the state will do so. Democrats are thinking about suing Texas.

via Many Texans Bereaved Over ‘Dead’ Voter Purge : NPR.

Hate is not a Christian or Muslim Value


Wall Photos.

‘This Does Not Represent Us’: Moving Photos of Pro-American Rallies in Libya – Politics – The Atlantic Wire

Why is this so hard for us to believe? Not all Americans are fundamentalists, and not all Middle Easterners or Muslims are fundamentalists.

Just like not all Americans are like the people who made the weird anti-Islam movie that is sparking protests in Muslim nations, not all people in Libya are like the ones who killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens. Some of the people of Benghazi, where Stevens was killed, held a demonstration against terrorism and to show sympathy for the U.S. Libya Alhurra TV, an Internet TV channel founded at the start of the Arab Spring in 2011, posted Facebook photos of a rally there showing support for America and sympathy for Stevens. Here are some of those pictures: via ‘This Does Not Represent Us’: Moving Photos of Pro-American Rallies in Libya – Politics – The Atlantic Wire.

When You Learn They’re Not Ready | TPM Editors Blog

“Politics is hardball. Everything is, in some sense, fair. But campaigns are also a prism into the judgment and steadiness under pressure of a person who would be president. This was amateur hour for the opposition campaign last night, reminiscent of John McCain’s rash call four years ago to cancel the presidential debates and the campaign itself to deal with the unfolding economic crisis. There was nothing ignoble or dishonorable about McCain’s suggestion. It just showed a certain rashness that was widely viewed as unpresidential.

Romney’s moment was quite different — rash and shameful. Not worthy of a president. Crass, undignified and troubling on many levels.” via When You Learn They’re Not Ready | TPM Editors Blog.

Colorado State criticized for job posting favoring recent Ph.D.s | Inside Higher Ed

CSU English Department post a job ad that limits applications to those receiving their Ph.D. between 2010 and date of appointment. Unbelievable.  At least they’re being honest, but this is not the direction I would like to see the job market go in.

Particularly infuriating is the explanation by CSU:  “Louann Reid, chair of English at Colorado State, sees it differently. When asked if the ad discriminated against adjuncts, she said her department is seeking an entry-level professor with an entry-level salary and expectations, and added that the posting was approved by the university’s office of equal opportunity. ‘I think people are assuming things that we are not assuming,’ she said.”

My guess is that Louanne Reid was never contingent faculty. If she had been, she would not fail to realize that the vast majority of applications who might apply for her position with a PhD granted before 2010 are not tenure-track faculty, they’re contingent faculty. Secondly, she would realize the enormous increase in pay/benefits/job security/and work load contingent faculty have to gain from an “entry level” position.  Her statement is insulting to all contingent faculty.

My suggest to those on the English job market is to flood them with applications expressing just how qualified you are for the position, and just how much you hope to gain from an entry level position. Also, you might spend some time schooling them on the state of education in this country, treatment of contingent faculty, the economic recession of 2008, and all the many other reasons why you do not yet have a tenure-track position.

Equally frustrating is the reality that is being discussed by faculty on a  blog by Chad Black. Comments, while thoughtful and likely spot-on, explore the possibility that extensive publications prior to hire in a tenure-track position can be used by the successful applicant to negotiate for a shorter tenure clock, and thus higher salary sooner than CSU would like financially.

So last year the job wikis argued that monographs are necessary to even secure an interview, and this year people are positing that extensive publication records might actually hurt their chances at a tenure-track position. Seriously. I give up.

via Colorado State criticized for job posting favoring recent Ph.D.s | Inside Higher Ed. Mobile | News, weather, sports

“At the Legislature and in other states that have taken up the national GOP push for a photo ID requirement at the polls, the issue has taken on a highly partisan color. As a result, to many people, the voting amendment is about giving or denying an advantage to one party over another.

But this amendment has broader implications. It’s also about whether or not Minnesotans see those at the margins of life as their fellow citizens.

“We’d like to de-partisanize this, and make it about the people it affects,” Marx said. That won’t be easy. But when Lutherans and Catholics work together in Minnesota, miracles are possible.” via Mobile | News, weather, sports.

For Museum, Long-Lost Picasso Is Too Costly To Keep : NPR

So cool! Can you imagine discovering that a piece of art in storage is actually a Picasso? I love when these types of discoveries are brought to the surface. It reminds me of how much we do not yet know about the past, and as such, the enormity of future possibilities.

“Lo and behold, the piece in the museum’s storage area was a rare gemmail, one of only 50 Picasso made. It’s called Seated Woman with Red Hat, and it’s iconic Picasso, with thick black lines that mimic his brushstrokes.” via For Museum, Long-Lost Picasso Is Too Costly To Keep : NPR.

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