Hard to imagine a more demoralizing order for a soldier than to tell him to take off the uniform and hide after an enemy’s attack. And the powers that be know it: They’re stressing that the order’s temporary in order to blunt public indignation over their decision.
The twisted punchline here is that the victim yesterday wasn’t wearing a uniform. The two degenerates who murdered him apparently targeted him because they saw him entering or exiting a barracks. There’s the next move, presumably — evacuate the barracks nationwide until they’re safe. For soldiers.
Read the whole thing. Just as appeasement-oriented leftists created the perfect environment for Hitler to exploit in the 1930s, beginning in the 1980s, Jesse Jackson and other leftists began shouting “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Western Civ Has Got to Go.” And gone it just about has; multiculturalism and leftwing self-hatred and self-doubt has created the perfect opening for radical Islam to finish the job. And they’re well on their way.
In “Beyond the Pale,” Charlotte Allen of the Weekly Standard goes beyond the looking glass, into the “Fourteenth Annual White Privilege Conference,” at the DoubleTree Hotel near Seattle’s SeaTac Airport, attended by at least 1500 assorted members of academia who just know that The Man is sticking it to somebody:
The main premise of “The Color of Empire” seemed to be that white people had created the idea of race, “the sole purpose of which is to rationalize the white race,” Hackman said. Hackman, herself distinctly pale of complexion, maintained that her fellow whites some 400 years ago had created a skin-color-based category called “red” even though there are “500 different Native American nations, bands, and tribes.” They had also devised a category called “brown” for “Latinos,” “even though there’s no ‘Latino’ food and no ‘Latino’ language,” Hackman said.
This actually made some sense: If racial classifications are artificial (“socially constructed” was the way Hackman put it), lumping people together under a skin-color label who may have nothing linguistically or culturally in common, why not just get rid of the classifications altogether? Isn’t that exactly why conservatives like me oppose racial preferences and set-asides? But Hackman in fact focused obsessively on race, race, race, and color, color, color. She showed us a Southwest Airlines television commercial in which there apparently weren’t enough “people of color” among the actors playing crew and passengers. She had us divide ourselves into small groups to discuss “how old we were when we discovered what race we were.” (My answer: about age 30, when I realized that with a Hispanic mother, I could make my employers look attractively diverse on their Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports.) She drew a U-shaped tube with a plunger that had something to do with white people hogging all the resources that rightfully belonged to other races. When I asked Hackman about why race seemed to be the prime focus of her workshop even though it supposedly didn’t exist, she told me that I needed to read up on “critical race theory.” She added: “We’re talking about a reclamation of racial categories.” In other words, racial categories are an oppressive white fantasy—until they prove to be useful for promoting race-based identity politics.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
As President Obama, most Democrats, and most of the media proclaim it racist to enforce immigration laws, five students were sent home from school in Morgan Hill, California because they wore American flag bandannas and t-shirts, and refused to take them off or hide Old Glory. School officials considered the flag display provocative.
Northwestern University continued to stumble over diversity issues this week as Mexican students voiced disagreement with a campuswide letter that advised students not to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by engaging in racially-offensive activities, such as eating tacos and drinking tequila.
In The K-12 Implosion, and also in these pages, I’ve noted that government-run public schools are facing a problem: There are more and more alternatives. It’s not so much that the public schools are getting worse, I’ve argued, as that the alternatives are getting better and more attractive.
But now I’m starting to wonder. Maybe the public schools are getting worse. At least, to judge from recent news reports, they seem to be getting crazier.
Ace has written extensively about the “the new aristocracy,” who build much of their power on the arbitrary nature of political correctness. PC can trump both law and common sense, and creates a series of bureaucratic fiefdoms, particularly in, but not limited to, the field of higher education. What is acceptable behavior in one fiefdom is anathema in other. It keeps the commoners on their toes and gives the local PC burgomeister his power.
(It’s no coincidence, as several pundits have observed, that Barack Obama’s worldview was steeped in this milieu, and he wishes that the American government operated the same way as a college campus does. In other words, in his heart of hearts, he wishes he was America’s headmaster, not its president. See also: Wilson, Woodrow.)
As with many bad ideas, it’s been a staple of socialist Europe for a century or so. It took a while for it to arrive in the US, but back in 2010 Janet Daley of the London Telegraph wrote, “American politics has caught the British disease. Under Barack Obama, the phenomenon of class resentment is a live political issue:”
What is more startling is the growth in America of precisely the sort of political alignment which we have known for many years in Britain: an electoral alliance of the educated, self-consciously (or self-deceivingly, depending on your point of view) “enlightened” class with the poor and deprived. America, in other words, has discovered bourgeois guilt. A country without a hereditary nobility has embraced noblesse oblige. Now, there is nothing inherently strange or perverse about people who lead successful, secure lives feeling a sense of responsibility toward those who are disadvantaged. What is peculiar in American terms is that this sentiment is taking on precisely the pseudo-aristocratic tone of disdain for the aspiring, struggling middle class that is such a familiar part of the British scene.
Liberal politics is now – over there as much as here – a form of social snobbery. To express concern about mass immigration, or reservations about the Obama healthcare plan, is unacceptable in bien-pensant circles because this is simply not the way educated people are supposed to think. It follows that those who do think (and talk) this way are small-minded bigots, rednecks, oiks, or whatever your local code word is for “not the right sort”.
The petit bourgeois virtues of thrift, ambition and self-reliance – which are essential for anyone attempting to escape from poverty under his own steam – have long been derided in Britain as tokens of a downmarket upbringing. But not long ago in America they were considered, even among the highly educated, to be the quintessential national virtues, because even well-off professionals had probably had parents or grandparents who were once penniless immigrants. Nobody dismissed “ambition” as a form of gaucherie: the opposite of having ambition was being a bum, a good-for-nothing who would waste the opportunities that the new country offered for self-improvement.
But now the British Lefties who – like so many Jane Austen heroines looking down on those “in trade” – used to dismiss Margaret Thatcher as “a grocer’s daughter”, have their counterparts in the US, where virtually everybody’s family started poor. Our “white van man” is their Tea Party activist, and the insult war is getting very vicious. It is becoming commonplace now for liberals in the US to label the Tea Party movement as racist, the most damaging insult of all in respectable American life.
Both England and America may have gotten it from the initial same common carrier…
…Though not to go all Hillary on you, ultimately, what difference does it make how the mental illness of PC was initially transmitted, now that it’s gone pandemic? As William F. Buckley once said, “In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
“Feminist shenanigans or satire?” Take the test proffered by Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute last month. “Below are five stories about feminist antics. One is pure invention, the others are true. Can you tell which one is false?”, Sommers asked.
At the risk of spoiling someone’s fun before they take the test, this is one is true, according to Sommers:
2. Observation by a feminist musicologist concerning rape and sexual abuse themes in Beethoven’s last symphony:
The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling, murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release.
In the answers section, Sommers writes:
The quote about rape themes in Beethoven’s Ninth is real. It is from a 1987 article by feminist musicologist Susan McClary that appeared in the Minnesota Composers Forum Newsletter. McClary, formerly a provost at UCLA, is now professor of musicology and feminist music criticism at Case Western Reserve.
Clearly, Sexism is everywhere. But then, so is racism, as James Taranto noted in an item at the bottom of his Best of the Web column:
Have you seen that awesome video of Charles Ramsey, the hero neighbor who rescued three kidnapped Cleveland women? If you have, Slate’s Aisha Harris disapproves of you, you racist:
It’s difficult to watch these videos and not sense that their popularity has something to do with a persistent, if unconscious, desire to see black people perform. Even before the genuinely heroic Ramsey came along, some viewers had expressed concern that the laughter directed at people like Sweet Brown plays into the most basic stereotyping of blacks as simple-minded ramblers living in the “ghetto,” socially out of step with the rest of educated America. Black or white, seeing Clark and Dodson merely as funny instances of random poor people talking nonsense is disrespectful at best. And shushing away the question of race seems like wishful thinking.
Do you enjoy the comic stylings of Richard Pryor or Chris Rock? The acting of Denzel Washington or Halle Berry? The music of Thelonious Monk or Beyoncé? The athletic feats of Jackie Robinson or LeBron James? If so, you too may be a racist.
The president’s recently formed grass-roots campaign operation revealed Thursday that it plans to attack Republicans who question radical global warming hype, dubbing them “crazy” purveyors of “far-fetched conspiracy theories.”
In a fundraising memo from President Obama’s re-election campaign manager, Organizing for Action slammed “climate deniers” and their doubts, which Jim Messina compared to the nutty things a crazy uncle would say at Thanksgiving dinner.
Nonetheless, if the planet starts heating up rapidly, and droughts are causing mass death, it’s very possible that we’ll become desperate enough to try solar management. The planet would rapidly cool a few degrees and give crops a chance to thrive again. What would it be like to live through a geoengineering project like that? “People say we’ll have white skies—blue skies will be a thing of the past,” Cascio said. Plus, solar management is only “a tourniquet,” he warned. The greater injury would still need treating. We might cut the heat, but we’d still be coping with elevated levels of carbon in our atmosphere, interacting with sunlight to raise temperatures. When the reflective particles precipitated out of the stratosphere, the planet would once again undergo rapid, intense heating. “You could make things significantly worse if you’re not pulling carbon down at the same time,” Cascio said.
While this scheme received favorable lip-service in 2009 by John Holdren, Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “Science” “Czar,” even Al Gore says it’s crazy. And Al and crazy are on exceedingly good terms:
Wildfires are burning up thousands of acres in the western U.S., a fact the Obama administration points to as evidence that Washington needs to get serious about addressing global warming.
However, government data show that wildfires are at a 10-year low.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there were 13,115 fires between January 1st and May 3rd of this year, which burnt a total of 153,277 acres — about half as much as burned last year. This is lowest spring for wildfires since 2004, according to NIFC.
“Wildfire activity remains light throughout the US. Two new large fires were reported this week and one was contained,” according to the latest update from NFIC.
“People who claim that the climate is getting more severe simply have not studied the history of climate,” said Steven Goddard, a climate skeptic blogger who pointed out the data, in an email. “This year has been very cold, with record amounts of spring snow.”
Let’s just broaden the conversation out from Head Start a little bit because these cuts go all the way across everything that the federal government does. So people can have a particular problem maybe with Head Start. Maybe it doesn’t have the results they want. Anybody can find various problems with various government programs. But to take a machete to the federal budget this way is mindless.
Pretty much all of these agencies could close some programs, consolidate programs, save some money. Obama’s for that. Democrats are for that. But to just kind of say that arbitrarily everything has to be cut, what ends up happening is, look at these people on dialysis. They get rides to their kidney dialysis programs. If they don’t get there for their dialysis treatment, they can die. These rides have been dramatically cut back in some areas because of these cuts.
Multiply that by thousands of programs and different things the federal government is involved with – whether it’s small business, Head Start, or anything else – the only people spared are those who serve the powerful like airlines because Congressmen have to fly home. They don’t want the delays at the airport. So they fixed that and they left the poor and the sick to fend for themselves. And that’s immoral in the United States.
They say a species must adapt or die, and with the trend of the Internet replacing print journalism (you are reading this on the computer, after all), media folks who don’t adjust might not survive too much longer. In short, many reporters could be going the way of their typewriters soon.
Projected Decline: Reporter and correspondent positions are expected to decline by 8 percent from 51,900 jobs in 2010 to 48,000 in 2020, for a total of nearly 4,000 jobs lost, says the U.S. Department of Labor
Why It’s Dying: The Department of Labor says that because of the trend of consolidation of media companies and the decline in readership of newspapers, reporters will find there are fewer available jobs.
So, if you have a hankering for writing, you might look into…
Alternative Career: Public Relations Specialist
As Stephen Kruiser quips at the Tatler:
What amused me while reading this is that the real reason reporters are a dying breed is that they’ve already turned into public relations specialists, especially the current MSM types regarding this president. They long ago abandoned the inquisitive nature that real reporters need and now write nothing but fawning high school girl journal entries about how wonderful The Idiot King is.
When this job goes the way of the village blacksmith they’ll have no place but the mirror to look when it’s time to dole out the blame.
Just a reminder — 20 years ago, it was a Newsweek journalist who bragged on C-Span about the “Yeah, I’m In The Media, Screw You!” button she was wearing:
“My reaction to that button [`Rather Biased'] and others, in part, is a button I bought yesterday that says `Yeah, I’m In The Media, Screw You!’….I do understand why a lot of people are upset with us, why we rank somewhere between terrorists and bank robbers on the approval scale. We do criticize. That’s part of our role. Our role is not just to parrot what people say, it’s to make people think. I think that sometimes I want to say to the electorate `Grow up!’”
To understand how America — and much of the world — began to go off the rails in the 20th century, it’s worth flashing back to the tremendous opening shot of Paul Johnson’s opus Modern Times:
At the beginning of the 1920s the belief began to circulate, for the first time at a popular level, that there were no longer any absolutes: of time and space, of good and evil, of knowledge, above all of value. Mistakenly but perhaps inevitably, relativity became confused with relativism.
No one was more distressed than Einstein by this public misapprehension. He was bewildered by the relentless publicity and error which his work seemed to promote. He wrote to his colleague Max Born on 9 September 1920: ‘Like the man in the fairy-tale who turned everything he touched into gold, so with me everything turns into a fuss in the newspapers.’ Einstein was not a practicing Jew, but he acknowledged a God. He believed passionately in absolute standards of right and wrong.
He lived to see moral relativism, to him a disease, become a social pandemic, just as he lived to see his fatal equation bring into existence nuclear warfare. There were times, he said at the end of his life, when he wished he had been a simple watchmaker.
The public response to relativity was one of the principal formative influences on the course of twentieth-century history. It formed a knife, inadvertently wielded by its author, to help cut society adrift from its traditional moorings in the faith and morals of Judeo-Christian culture.
Flash-forward to today; many view Stephen Hawking at Einstein’s scientific heir; Hawking’s full embrace of moral relativity has led him to signing on to an academic boycott of Israel, as Ben Cohen writes at Commentary:
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has a track record of lying about its successes. Over the last few years, many of their claims about individuals and companies endorsing the boycott–including PGGM, the largest pension fund in the Netherlands, Hampshire College, Harvard University, the academic retirement fund TIAA-CREF, and telecoms giant Motorola–were quickly exposed as false. Additionally, the signal failure of the movement’s academic arm to enlist any prominent, respected scholar to its cause naturally sowed doubts about Hawking’s apparent endorsement. Finally, it seemed difficult to believe that Hawking, whose own achievements owe a great deal to the Israeli physicist Jacob Bekenstein, would approve something as crude and as ugly as a boycott.
* * * * * *
In plain speaking, then, the ultimate aim of the boycott movement is to dismantle the State of Israel in its entirety, not simply to secure its withdrawal from disputed territories. We are not talking here about, in the words of the Associated Press, a strategy “designed to bring pressure on the Israeli government,” but the wholesale rejection of anything or anyone associated with Israel. It is for this reason, and rightly, that the boycott movement can credibly be described as anti-Semitic, for it seeks to deny only the Jewish people the right of self-determination, and viciously caricatures the Jewish state as a carbon copy of the old apartheid regime in South Africa.
I make this point in anticipation of the coming tussle over whether Stephen Hawking is or isn’t anti-Semitic. His supporters will certainly portray him as a fearless opponent of colonialism, a man who nobly condemned the war that ousted Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq as a war crime, and who is now being “smeared”–the favored word of anti-Zionists everywhere–as a Jew-hater. Detractors will doubtless point out that Hawking’s thinking is riddled with moral idiocy (why pick on Israel while remaining silent on serial human rights violators like North Korea and Iran?) and hypocrisy (major advances in combating Lou Gehrig’s disease, which Hawking has suffered from for more than 40 years, have been made in Israel).
The overriding consideration is that, regardless of Hawking’s personal attitudes toward Jews–which no one bar his closest confidantes could credibly claim knowledge of–he has associated himself with a movement that seeks to eliminate, in the form of the State of Israel, the one guarantee Jews have against a repeat of the genocidal persecutions of the last century. That same consideration should govern any assessment of his decision to withdraw from the Jerusalem conference.
Or as Ben Shapiro tweets regarding Hawking’s decision: “Proof positive that high intelligence is no substitute for moral wisdom.”
Few people are as qualified to review Zev Chafets’ recent biography of Roger Ailes as former media mogul Conrad Black, who pens a lengthy review of Chafets’ book for the New Criterion. Great observation here:
One of the few disappointments in this book is that it didn’t go a little further in explaining how the alternate media to the uniform leftward slant of the Edward R. Murrow–Walter Cronkite–Chris Matthews–New York Times media developed. Ailes’s role in the launch and success of Fox News, the supreme and triumphant enemy of the old national liberal media machine, is thoroughly recounted, but the reason why the stale liberal monopoly became so vulnerable is not, other than the rather superficial treatment of Watergate. It is now clear that when cant and emotionalism had subsided after that rending controversy, vast segments of the American public had grave misgivings that a distinguished administration had been destroyed for insufficient reason. As a consequence, the entire American effort in Southeast Asia was squandered, with the resulting deaths of millions of non-Communist Vietnamese and Cambodians. And, to magnify the backlash, the authors of the bloodless assassination of the Nixon administration (though it must be said that Nixon’s own foibles greatly assisted the work of his enemies) have never ceased to shower themselves with professional awards and clubby commendations.
This is a topic worthy of a book in and of itself. There have been great histories of how the New Left devoured the elderly remnants of FDR through LBJ-era liberals in the 1960s, such as the first volume of Steve Hayward’s The Age of Reagan, James Piereson’s Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, and of course, Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. But it would be fascinating to read about the transformation from the point of view of the ’60s-era news media. Alan Brinkley’s 2010 biography of Henry Luce had an opportunity to explain how Time magazine began in the 1920s as a the product of the son of Christian missionaries and ended up here…
…But by the time this 1966 cover appeared, if I’m remembering the details of Brinkley’s biography correctly, Luce was largely removed from the day to day operation of his publishing empire and would die the following year. David Gelernter’s recent America-Lite also does a good of exploring what strange flavors of Kool-Aid (electric and otherwise) were poured into the left’s water during that period, but it’s largely focused on academia, not journalism. When David Halberstam died in a car accident in 2007, Roger Kimball (the publisher of the New Criterion and my fellow PJM columnist) wrote a fascinating obit focusing on how Halberstam’s worldview shifted nihilistically leftward in the mid-1960s; it would be great to read something extending that look to the rest of the MSM.
(If there’s any book out that there that fits the bill already, let me know in the comments.)
Oh and by the way, as Black notes the passage quoted, Americans had second thoughts about the left’s persecution of Richard Nixon — including growing members of the left, who now see him, correctly, as a fellow liberal. Orrin Judd adds a Salon contributor to the latest member of a growing group of leftists that includes the New York Times’Paul Krugman and Tom Wicker, Bill Clinton/Mike Bloomberg aide Douglas E. Schoen, and the late Roger Ebert.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results:
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
— President Barack Obama, in a commencement speech yesterday to the graduating class of Ohio State. (Something tells me that students don’t learn that government is a “sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems” in many courses at Ohio State, unless it’s followed by the words “when the Republicans are in charge of it.”)
“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.”
By the way, wasn’t the same sentiment that Obama expressed on Sunday said in a much more punchy fashion with multimedia and B-roll and folksy-sounding narrator at the 2012 Democrat National Convention?
For once, Newsweek was honest about its worldview.
Niall Ferguson hasn’t written for Tina Brown’s Daily Beastsince November of last year, back when it still published a dead tree edition called Newsweek. But perhaps seeing Brown’s very public fenestration of Howard Kurtz this past week over an error in his report on recently out of the closet NBA player Jason Collins has a way of focusing the mind. Ferguson had a very public backtrack yesterday of his comment that, as Jonah Goldberg paraphrases, “John Maynard Keynes was gay, effete, and childless he might have lacked concern for posterity:”
Now, I don’t know exctly what Ferguson said, and I don’t trust Kostigen’s version of events either. There are few full quotes and virtually nothing like proper context to anything (for instance, he seems to think “effete” and “gay” are synonyms). But Ferguson has offered an abject and total apology, which I take to be sincere.
Still, I am a little surprised that so many people have never heard this idea before or that the mere mention of it is now a potential career killer (Felix Salmon of Reuters tweeted in response to Ferguson’s apology, ”It’s conceivable that Niall Ferguson managed to rescue his career with this” (emphasis mine).
I don’t endorse the theory and completely understand why it offends people. But it’s hardly as if it’s unheard-of in academia to speculate that one’s sexual orientation (or race, or gender, etc.) can influence a person’s views on public policy. Is it really nuts now to think that having kids changes a person’s time horizons?
More relevant, this theory about Keynes is hardly new. Joseph Schumpeter, I thought famously, suggested that Keynes’s childlessness was a key issue. In his obituary of Keynes, Schumpeter wrote: “He was childless and his philosophy of life was essentially a short-run philosophy.”
Even a cursory look-see in Google Books or LexisNexis shows it’s been around for a long time.
And Jonah goes into numerous examples of journalists over the years referencing how Keynes’ sexuality may have influenced his economic worldview, ranging from veteran Nation and Rolling Stone contributor William Greider to pioneering neocon Gertrude Himmelfarb, before concluding:
What I find interesting about the Ferguson controversy is how disconnected it is from the past. Even academics I respect reacted to Ferguson’s comments as if they bordered on unimaginable, unheard-of madness. I understand that we live in a moment where any negative comment connected to homosexuality is not only wrong but “gay bashing.” But Ferguson was trafficking in an old theory that was perfectly within the bounds of intellectual discourse not very long ago. Now, because of a combination of indifference to intellectual history and politically correct piety he must don the dunce cap. Good to know.
I’ve come to realize after the Sandy Hook shooting that the reason we can’t have a rational gun debate is because the anti-gun side pre-supposes that their pro-gun opponents must first accept that guns are bad in order to have a discussion about guns in the first place. Before we even start the conversation, we’re the bad guys and we have to admit it. Without accepting that guns are bad and supplicating themselves to the anti-gunner, the pro-gunner can’t get a word in edgewise, and is quickly reduced to being called a murderer, or a low, immoral and horrible human being.
You might think that’s hyperbole too, but I’ve experienced it personally from people I considered friends until recently. And every day I see it on TV or in the newspapers, from Piers Morgan to the Des Moines Register’s own Donald Kaul, who among others have actually said people like me are stupid, crazy or should be killed ourselves. YouTube is full of examples, and any Google search will result in example after example of gun-owning Americans being lampooned, ridiculed and demonized by the media and citizens somewhere.
Hell, it’s even gotten so bad that a little kid was expelled from school recently for biting a Pop Tart into the vague shape of a handgun during lunch break (it looked more like Idaho to me).
Liberals always make the common plea, “We need to get some experts to solve this problem!” for any public policy issue that comes along, which is a good thing. But when it comes to the gun issue, gun expertise is completely irrelevant to the anti-gunner — people who probably have never fired a gun or even touched one in real life, and whose only experience with guns is what they’ve seen in movies or read about in bastions of (un)balanced, hyper-liberal journalism, like Mother Jones. That a pro-gun person might actually know a lot about their hobby or profession doesn’t stand up against the histrionic cries of the anti-gunner.
How can we “gun people” honestly be expected to come to the table with anti-gunners when anti-gunners are willfully stupid about guns, and openly hate, despise and ridicule those of us who own them? There must first be respect and trust — even just a little — before there can be even the beginnings of legitimate discussion of the issue.
From the Fahrenheit 451 department comes this indictment of California’s higher education’s “tolerance” for opposing views. When I first got the tip on this, I thought to myself “nobody can be this stupid to photograph themselves doing this” but, here they are, right from the San Jose State University Meteorology Department web page:
Here’s the photo of San Jose State’s book burners in action:
Click over to Watts’ blog for additional background and a much larger version of the photo, plus the screen cap of the San Jose State University Meteorology Department web page, before it was tossed down the Memory Hole, to mix dystopian science fiction metaphors, both of which were written as warnings, not how-to guides.
Some librarians, too, have taken alarm. Bradbury’s stories are disturbing! No disturbances can be permitted in this perfect American culture of ours. In error, a company which distributes educational books included among a consignment of books for children one copy of Fahrenheit 451. A female librarian detected this work of heresy, and fired off a letter of furious protest to the wholesaler. How dared they send such a dreadful book? “I took it right out in back and burned it.” Tomorrow is already here.
And it also brings to mind the late Michael Crichton’s observations on global warming as a religion:
As Crichton observed in 2003, “I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form.” But like radical Islam, radical environmentalism is a rather punitive religion. When does the enlightenment arrive, and the book burning, and related hellfire and brimstone-themed imagery stop?
Update: Dubbing SJSU the “Green Weenie of the Week,” Steve Hayward quips, “Curious: just what is the carbon footprint of burning a book they dislike? Did they get a permit from the local air pollution control district?”
Plus a great comment on SJSU found here: “If you lived in the 60′s, you might recall that the radical protests on campus were all about the ‘free speech movement.’” I guess we’ve come circle where now that the radicals control the campus, free speech is not to be tolerated.”
Update: Welcome readers clicking in from Mark Steyn’s post at the the Corner, with the brilliant headline of “Goebbel Warming.”
It’s a version of the “fake but accurate” argument that some used to defend Dan Rather’s flogging of forged documents in his attempt to slime President George W. Bush’s National Guard service. It’s the argument Newsweek‘s then assistant managing editor Evan Thomas made after the magazine essentially condemned Duke lacrosse players for a racist rape they did not commit: “The narrative was right, but the facts were wrong.”
In other words, in left-wing media world, if the facts don’t fit what you “know” to be true — i.e. if they don’t confirm your imagination — you have a right to make stuff up that does.
Or keep stuff silent, more to the point. Because most of the narrative-confirming lies told by the networks and the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times and other like-minded mokes are lies of omission. The “Fast and Furious” scandal, for instance. The nation’s chief law enforcement officer perjured himself before Congress and was then protected from investigation by an indefensible presidential invocation of executive privilege — but it was no big deal to the networks. The Benghazi killings barely existed in the New York Times when the news might have had an adverse effect on Barack Obama’s election campaign. And the story is still being downplayed to the point that the president feels he can plausibly tell the public he’s “unaware” of what’s going on.
The mainstream media’s coverage of stories that don’t fit the Narrative is less coverage than coverage-up.
Which brings me finally to the Kermit Gosnell trial. An abortionist is accused of slaughtering live babies (the jury is deliberating as I write). As with the Newtown massacre, it’s an appalling atrocity that highlights issues on which American opinion is sharply divided. Which is to say, it’s news. There’s simply no way it’s not big, national news. But take a look at the video up top from comedian Steven Crowder. People don’t know about Gosnell because the mainstream media have gone out of their way not to tell them. And no matter what excuse they make, the truth is editors and producers have hidden the story from America’s eyes for fear of its implications. They’re afraid it might dawn on people that there is essentially no difference between the murders this man is accused of and the “procedures” performed by Planned Parenthood every single hour of every single day.
This semester, thousands of college students around the country, including dozens at a Texas A&M University campus, won’t be able to hide their studying habits from the prying eyes of their professors.
With the new platform CourseSmart Analytics, professors are able to see the students’ level of engagement – how much of digital texts students have read, whether they highlight passages or took notes and how much time they spent on their readings.
A beta version of CourseSmart is being tested at several universities during the spring semester serving about 4,000 students, and officials hope to roll it out fully by the fall, said spokeswoman Cindy Clark. The goal is to move away from traditional textbooks and methods and help give faculty an insight into their students’ behaviors, she said.
“Only about 55 percent of college students graduate within six years,” Clark said. “This illustrates the demand within higher education for a tool that would help students be more successful in their studies and graduate on time.”
The system works through a dashboard that tracks the students’ progress in the texts. An “engagement index” aggregates data points and an instructor can evaluate the material and intervene early with students that appear to be struggling, she said.
The pilot programs are helping CourseSmart get feedback, so that they can improve upon the tools. For example, the company is considering allowing students to see their own metrics and not just the professor as originally planned. Clark said the pilot program will also help the company determine if any particular discipline benefits more from the technology than others.
CourseSmart carries more than 90 percent of core textbooks and works through the universities’ administration learning management systems, Clark said. Students have the option to opt out, but none in the trial period decided not to participate.
When exactly did 1984 become a how-guide for the left? (Probably as soon as it was published, come to think of it.)
Cary Grant if you are unfamiliar with was arguably the premier actor from the golden years of Hollywood. He played everything from his early years of romantic comedy fill-in to war hero in “Destination Tokyo.” But if there was anything you could glean from Cary Grant at the age of 14 it was his vocabulary and charm.
Charm and vocabulary are things that are hard to teach. They are endeavors that truthfully an individual must pursue and perfect. But if you start enough at an early age, or dedicate yourself at an older age, you can naturally embed these traits into your being, infuse them into yourself, and in the end come out a much more advantaged man than your peers. And this advantage is huge over your other alpha male contemporaries.
Understand that with all the TRUTHFUL and LEGITIMATE observations about confidence, dominance, leadership, etc. of the alpha male, not all of those traits are conveyed via physical posturing. Women do not solely interact with you on a physical basis, matter of fact the majority of their INITIAL interaction with you will be verbal. And therefore if you wish to improve your chances, having this “natural Cary Grantish charm” to bolster your “verbal game” will prove necessary.
I’m a fan of old movies, the black-and-whites from the 1930s and 1940s, in part because of what they reveal about how American culture has changed. The adults in these films carry themselves differently. They don’t walk and speak the way we do. It’s often hard to figure out how old the characters are supposed to be—as though they were portraying a phase of the human life-cycle that we don’t have any more.Take the 1934 film Imitation of Life. Here Claudette Colbert portrays a young widow who builds a successful business. (Selling pancakes, actually. Well, it’s more believable if you see the whole movie.) She’s poised and elegant, with the lustrous voice and magnificent cheekbones that made her a star. But how old is she supposed to be? In terms of the story, she can’t be much more than thirty, but she moves like a queen. Today even people much older don’t have that kind of presence—and Colbert was thirty-one when the movie came out.
How about Clark Gable and Jean Harlow, smoldering away in Red Dust? They projected the kind of sexiness that used to be called “knowing,” a quality that suggested experienced confidence. When the film came out Gable was thirty-one and Harlow ten years younger. Or picture the leads of The Philadelphia Story. When it was released in 1940, Katharine Hepburn was thirty-three, Cary Grant thirty-six, and Jimmy Stewart thirty-two. Yet don’t they all look more grownup than actors do nowadays?
In contrast to all of the above, take a look at the poor schlub in the post that preceded Aaron Clarey’s homage to Cary Grant: the “Beta of the Century,” as Aaron notes, for whom 25 is definitely the new 15.
At this point I perked up my ears, because . . . no, it couldn’t be, could it? Does someone on the BBT writing staff actually know the obscure book where this term originated? The answer, after a dramatic pause, turned out to be Yes. Sheldon explained:
The term was coined in 1976 by economist Fred Hirsch to replace the more colloquial, but less precise “neener-neener”.
No way! Wow. Who says TV is a vast wasteland, anyway? Aside from the great Fred Siegel, myself, and a small handful of other very nerdy fans, Hirsch’sSocial Limits to Growth is a forgotten classic because it was way ahead of its time, but it explains a lot about why affluent people particularly on the two coasts today are not just indifferent to economic growth, but positively opposed to it in many cases. (This book is so out of print that for some reason the Kindle version is quoted at $57. Though this could be an inside joke that only Hirsch fans will get. Talk about the ultimate positional good in bibliophilia.)
Sheldon’s summary that the argument is a better version of “neener-neener” is amazingly accurate; another way of summarizing Hirsch’s thesis is that our problem today is not that people want to “keep up with the Joneses,” but want to “keep ahead of the Joneses.” And the best way to do that is to keep the other Joneses down. Upper middle class people, Hirsch predicted, would come to see further economic growth as a threat to their well being, rather than something from which they and everyone else would benefit. This is one reason why contemporary liberalism, which as recently as John F. Kennedy prized growth, is today indifferent to the idea, when it is not actively opposed in practice. Cue Keystone, or just about everything California does.
And the Third World; All of which dovetails perfectly into the observation I made at the end of the previous post, on Ben Affleck posing at living on $1.50 for a day for the proverbial purpose of “raising awareness.” As I said, that’s not meant to imply however, that anyone involved actually wants to see those conditions improved.
“The unmatched ability of the human brain to process and make sense of large amounts of complex data has caught the attention of engineers working in the field of control systems,” the National Science Foundation reports, earning one of Hot Air’s patented “Dude?” headlines:
“The brain is one of the most robust computational platforms that exists,” says Ganesh Kumar Venayagamoorthy, Ph.D., director of the Real-Time Power and Intelligent Systems Laboratory at Clemson University. “As power-systems control becomes more and more complex, it makes sense to look to the brain as a model for how to deal with all of the complexity and the uncertainty that exists.”
Led by Venayagamoorthy, a team of neuroscientists and engineers is using neurons grown in a dish to control simulated power grids. The researchers hope that studying how neural networks integrate and respond to complex information will inspire new methods for managing the country’s ever-changing power supply and demand.
The Environmental Protection Agency late last month proposed strict new “clean fuel” standards on gasoline. The EPA said the so-called Tier 3 rule would cut emissions of smog-forming pollutants, as well as toxic emissions like benzene.
What the EPA didn’t say was that levels of these pollutants have been falling steadily for years, and would continue to fall even without the new rule, which the oil industry says will cost tens of billions of dollars.
Indeed, a fact that won’t get much attention on Earth Day — April 22 — is that pollution has been falling across the board for decades, even while the nation’s population and economy have expanded. Overall air pollution levels dropped 62% from 1990 to 2012, while GDP grew 69% and population climbed 26%.
Everything has seen declines: carbon monoxide, soot, sulfur dioxide, ozone, lead and others. Many are now below the EPA’s safety threshold.
“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”
There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.
One thing that worries me though. In earlier years, when Obama was attempting to sell is crony socialism under the guise that the planet is doomed, he always loved to take Air Force One up on Earth Day, if only to thumb his nose at the radical environmentalist true believers in his party:
The Washington Post’s editorial page yesterday featured a house editorial entitled, “Europe is becoming a green energy basket case.” This is pretty delicious:
FOR YEARS, European leaders have flaunted their unwavering commitment to fighting climate change — and chastised the United States for lagging behind. But last week brought yet more confirmation that the continent has become a green-energy basket case. Instead of a model for the world to emulate, Europe has become a model of what not to do.
So the ol’ “Eco-Anschluss,” as Conde-Nast described it isn’t working out? I’m shocked, shocked!