Fighting Words: A smart correspondent just wrote on a posting of mine:
Attributed to Henry Kissinger, I believe; but which is just so much arrant nonsense and patent bullshit in any case.You know why the battles in academia are so vicious? It's because the stakes are so low.
Battles in academia are not irrelevant or trivial, and the stakes couldn't be higher!
Academia is STILL where the underlying assumptions of culture and society are developed and tested.
The battles among scholars over fine, seemingly trivial points are about the fundamental meanings of the lexicons, and the discourses, and the data, and the books we use to describe and understand the world, and keep creating it.
Gun Crazies: Mental health is kind of a cop-out in the debate over firearms, because it's a continuum, not a categorical phenomenon. There is no way of EVER knowing in advance who is gonna go off the rails, or when, or to what effect.
And one must submit oneself to it. It's not part of the normal array of diagnoses.
So if a crazy person doesn't admit to being crazy, there's pretty much no way to get 'em in 'treatment.'
Breed Laws: The degree to which certain breeds of dogs are demonized and marginalized is directly and positively correlated with the number of demonized or marginalized people or identifiable groups who have them as pets.