Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. He also teaches classes regularly at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan.
Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne).
He does voices, somewhat annoyingly. Don’t let it ruin the lecture for you though.
Especially terrifying is his answer to a question about China, especially especially at about the 1:43:00 mark, especially especially especially when you listen to it while looking at pictures like this one.
Lecture’s from March of last year. Here’s something more recent (haven’t watched it yet, but I will. Let’s watch it together):
Sometimes office workers fart behind closed doors, but then they realize that they’re just going to be stewing in their own stink, so they crack their office door open, hoping the odious smell will seep out into the hallway, and then someone in a nearby cubicle will get blamed.
Speaking of cubicles, they are a breeding ground for anonymous air biscuits, aren’t they? All that open space with all those people crammed together? When someone drops a bomb, it’s impossible to tell from whence the stench came.
You just sit there looking around, trying to catch the eye of as many people as you can, so you can give them the “it wasn’t me” look.
At work, I fart on cigarette breaks, and at no other time.
MSNBC has suspended one of its senior political analysts indefinitely after he said he thought President Obama acted like “a dick” at recent press conference.
The NBC statement:
Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.
I completely agree with everything in MSNBC’s statement about my remark. I believe that the step they are taking in response is totally appropriate. Again, I want to offer a heartfelt and profound apology to the President, to my MSNBC colleagues, and to the viewers. My remark was unacceptable, and I deeply regret it.
And the original quote that started it all: “”I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday,” Halperin said, referring to Obama’s press conference at the White House.
Mr. Halperin– Mark (may I call you “Mark”? Thanks). Mark, though I can’t promise you anywhere near the exposure you receive working for MSNBC, and though I can’t offer you a salary of any sorts beyond what our newly installed PayPal donation button might bring in (hint: that and a cup of coffee will get you a cup of coffee), I can tell you that, since day one, our Inflammatory Writ has clearly stated that
decency is a moral attribute, while civility is a social protocol that is often exploited to steer a discussion away from its core (the kernel that actually means something for how we do — and should — live our lives), and therefore:
ASSERTS that it is more important for human beings to be decent than civil;
WILL, ON A RELATED NOTE, CONSIDER ITSELF at liberty to swear at you and call you names if you are being an asshole, because Brutish&Short:
BELIEVES that calling it like you see it is generally preferable to pretending an asshole’s non-argument merits either serious scrutiny or the ambiguity of being ignored
So if the President is being a dick and you want to call him a dick without other people calling you a dick for calling him a dick, then consider this an open invitation to saunter on over to our little corner of the blogospheroid and dick away. I mean, it sounds like you’ve got the time now, right?
And if it makes you feel any better, I thought he was kinda being a dick, too — though IMHO, it was about damn time.
UPDATE: Apparently, I’m about one hour behind Greg Sargent’s excellently argued editorial over at The Plum Line — though, granted, Sargent isn’t exactly extending an open hand to Halperin. (It’s more like a middle finger.)
UPDATE BY TOM: Even if Mark Halperin were willing to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for the privilege of writing here, I would tell him to go fuck himself. That, or I would cash his check, and then change his password to “ImAFuckingDouchebag” without telling him.
ANOTHER UPDATE BY TREVOR: You idiot. Now he’s gonna know the password! Also, you’re a fucking liar — at least in letter, if not in spirit.
UPDATE BY BEN: In a perfect world, Mark Halperin would give us money (lots of money) to call him names. Every so often he would toe the ground, shake his head, and guiltily admit that his career has been little more than a stain on the discourse.
As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma: so write ‘a, b and c’ not ‘a, b, and c’. But when a comma would assist in the meaning of the sentence or helps to resolve ambiguity, it can be used – especially where one of the items in the list is already joined by ‘and.’
This is a horrible development, and it is one that I shall disregard for the rest of my living days.
Via Ben, last night in a Gchat. Also, via Reddit.
UPDATED BY TREVOR: Another way you can tell that a “rule” is bullshit is if it does nothing to confuse matters when used “incorrectly” and only clarifies matters when used “correctly.” Armchair logic and William of Ockham would thus dictate that the serial comma should apply in all cases, since that requires no more than a single exception-free rule to remember.
I’ve been a vague — if inert — supporter of assisted suicide in narrowly constrained circumstances for some time, but have never had a need to foment or justify my intuitions beyond the fact of their existence.
Fortunately, like the solutions to many a lazy philosopher’s argumentative deficiencies, someone else has now done it for me. In his latest blog post, Roger Ebert presents — in a mere two paragraphs — as concise and elegant a justification for assisted suicide as I’ve ever read:
The principal argument against it [assisted suicide] is religious: God gives life to men, who do not have the right to end it without his will. In a nation which separates church and state, this should not be a valid position. Why should it apply to someone who does not agree with it? If I am in agony, what difference do your beliefs about God make to me? What if I don’t believe in God? What if I believe in a more merciful God, who gave me intelligence, free will and responsibility for my life? Why must I suffer because of your more narrow theology?
I believe we have free will, and the intelligence to use it. We should also have the freedom. When he was asked if he wasn’t playing God, Dr. Jack [Kevorkian] replied with perfect logic: “Every doctor plays God.” This is the simple truth. When doctor cut us open, stitch and mend, medicate us, drug us, radiate us and prolong our lives, they are playing God. In a more direct sense, if we choose to abuse tobacco, drugs, alcohol and wise nutrition, we are playing God. We have decided we should not live the lifespan our bodies were programmed for. And if we do not believe in God, we can hardly welcome someone else, or the law, playing God on our behalf.
Matt came over to help, which was nice, so I bought the beer.
Matt was also the one who discovered The Rock. The Rock was (is!) of unknown dimensions, but it is a behemoth. We dug 2 feet square and couldn’t find an edge, at which point we decided to just pour a giant slab of concrete in to anchor the fence post. There are 160 pounds of concrete down there. I think it should be fine. (It’s only down 16 inches, rather than the recommended 24, but I’ve got a life to live, you know?)
Also, concrete. Which I mentioned already. But still. Do it. Don’t skimp: it’s cheap.
One thing I should point out so that this post isn’t entirely navel-gazing is that I’m incredibly thankful for the five years I spent doing manual labor for a living. You get a sense for how things are put together when you destroy them, and I’ve had the luxury of destroying (and re-building) a number of different things in my day. “Effete” is a word that’s thrown around a bit too liberally, but I feel like at least half of my peers (27 year old white, male college graduates) wouldn’t have a clue about how to build a fence. Which might make them effete? I don’t know, I honestly don’t give a fuck. I’m not trying to accuse you of some sort of character deficiency. But there’s something about having spent a lot of time simply making shit up for a living (as all contract work, contra your contractor’s assurances, is just a game of make believe, prayer, and a dollop of skill) — and seeing other people wing it on a day to day basis — that’s emboldening. “Yes of course I can build a fence. No I most certainly have not done it before.” You just do shit. And later on, when Bob the professional contractor comes in and you point out your mistakes to him, somewhat red-facedly, somewhat abashedly, he just nods and says:
On the one hand, Google > Facebook any day (Sergey and Larry I just trust more than Zuckerberg; and not just because of The Social Network; I felt that way before, mostly based on the seemingly genuine ambition to serve enlightenment ideals that saw them create Google Earth and Google Books and etc.). BUT! In a world of powerful interests with guns, an online information environment tantalizingly dominated by one company < one where information is split messily between two. On the other hand, I’d be extremely curious to see what Google could do with that kind of data.
Sooo…what: this is the church’s idea of being progressive now? By all means, let’s continue to marginalize women, oppress gays, and ignore institutionalized patterns of child abuse, but don’t tell us we can’t save your soul in 140 characters or less! I mean, WWJD, am I right?
Next thing you know, there’ll be an app for confession.