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Ed Driscoll

God And Man At Dupont University

The Survivor Class, Then and Now

March 26th, 2015 - 12:32 pm

“The average of soldiers in the Allied divisions poised to cross the Channel” and storm the beaches on D-Day “was 25,” according to this book.

Flash-forward 70 years — to what Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner ironically calls “The survivor class.” What happens when they graduate from the brutal front lines of college and enter the workforce?

In another recent example, New York Times opinion writer Judith Shulevitz described a special “safe space” at Brown University, a room with “cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma.”

Why is such infantilization of grown college students necessary? Because the students couldn’t handle hearing the opinions of writer Wendy McElroy, who was speaking on campus and criticizing the concept of “rape culture.” (McElroy’s views are not that far off from those of feminist former judge Nancy Gertner, I might add.)

The problem here is that these students are so unable to handle other views or adversity that they must be babied, whether that means mandatory hand-shaking or drawing with crayons.

* * * * * * *

This Survivor Class will be bringing their special brand of anxiety and demands into the workplace. One might joke that those likely outraged by things reasonable people would find mundane are also those most likely to major in Women’s Studies, but one cannot assume.

But first the Survivor Class will have prepare themselves for their job interviews. In 1953, British novelist L.P. Hartley wrote “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” But even he had no idea how radically a culture could transform itself in just a few decades. Trigger warning; James Lileks spots a highly problematic “Pathé doc on the means by which oily beatniks were scrubbed down and converted into civilized women again” from 1963. “Amusing comment on the YouTube page: ‘We’re the beatniks looked down upon?’ It’s as if people think that ‘counterculture’” was admired and revered in its time. No:”

This video would be considered a hate crime in today’s culture on both sides of the Atlantic. (Or perhaps not; after all, the Guardian is deeply concerned that “straight women who wear less-than-feminine clothing are ‘appropriating’ lesbian culture and making it too hard for lesbians to tell who the other lesbians are.”) Though given that in her formative state the girl in the video looks a bit like she’s auditing classes in the Chrissie Hynde school of grooming, it brings to mind this great headline found at Kathy Shaidle’s blog: ‘Punk Scientists Discover Fourth Chord.’

Serious question though: The TV series Mad Men gave us a look (albeit one that was flawed and often inaccurate) at what goes through the minds of 1960s Madison Avenue ad executives. American Sniper took us inside the mind of a crack 21st soldier. Between trigger warnings, privilege checking, jazz hands, uptwinkles, the Bletchley Park-level detections of racism, sexism, gender-ism, -ism, -ism, -ism everywhere, and a hundred other densely packed layers of carbonized horsesh*t, is there a book that takes us inside the worldview of contemporary college students and how they acquired their bizarre and often self-destructive worldview?

Update: And to bring this post full-circle:

Ride the Left-Wing ISIS Mobius Loop!

March 25th, 2015 - 6:20 pm

“My ISIS is the police,” Nebraska state Sen. Ernie Chambers said during a hearing on Friday, Ashe Schow reports at the Washington Examiner. Chambers “added that if he carried a weapon, he’d use it on a cop:”

“I wouldn’t go to Syria, I wouldn’t go to Iraq, I wouldn’t go to Afghanistan, I wouldn’t go to Yemen, I wouldn’t go to Tunisia, I wouldn’t go to Lebanon, I wouldn’t go to Jordan, I would do it right here,” he added. “Nobody from ISIS ever terrorized us as a people as the police do us daily.”

Nebraska Watchdog recorded the lawmaker’s statements and uploaded the audio to their website.

Chambers wasn’t done ranting at that point. He added that if he carried a firearm, he would shoot a cop.

“If I was going to carry a weapon, it wouldn’t be against you, it wouldn’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police,” Chambers said. “And if I carried a gun I’d want to shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do.”

But to the dean of Cornell, ISIS are lovable pussycats whom he’d welcome on campus, the New York Post reports:

This guy is either the dumbest Ivy League bigwig ever or politically correct to a fault — for welcoming offers to bring ISIS and Hamas to Cornell University.

A video sting operation shows Cornell’s assistant dean for students, Joseph Scaffido, agreeing to everything suggested by an undercover muckraker posing as a Moroccan student.

Scaffido casually endorses inviting an ISIS “freedom fighter’’ to conduct a “training camp” for students at the upstate Ithaca campus — bizarrely likening the activity to a sports camp.

Is it OK to bring a humanitarian pro-“Islamic State Iraq and Syria” group on campus, the undercover for conservative activist James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas asks.

Sure, Scaffido says in the recorded March 16 meeting.

Scaffido doesn’t even blink an eye when the undercover asks about providing material support for terrorists — “care packages, whether it be food, water, electronics.”

Click over for O’Keefe’s video, although the sadly at this point, the underlying story isn’t all surprising; to paraphrase William F. Buckley, recall the stories of God and Taliban man at Yale, summarized in 2006 by Linda Chavez at Townhall:

I thought I’d lost the ability to be shocked by anything that happened on an American university campus — that is until I read the New York Times magazine this weekend.

In an article entitled, simply, “The Freshman,” author Chip Brown describes a charming tale of a young man come to study at one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the country. He might more aptly have titled his piece “God, Country, and Yale.” Only in this telling, God is the vengeful Allah of Islamist fanatics, and the country to which this student once pledged his allegiance is the Taliban’s Afghanistan, for the first-year Yalie profiled is none other than the former “ambassador-at-large” of the Taliban regime, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi.

Yes, Yale has decided to welcome into its fold a man whose previous visit to the New Haven, Conn., campus in March 2001 was as an official apologist for the misogynistic government that had just blown up the famous Buddhas of Bamiyan, the giant 1,500-year-old statues long considered among the most important ancient sculptures in the world.

This might be just another tale of multiculturalism run amok on campus were it not for the 3,000 dead Americans buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and the more than 200 Americans who died fighting to liberate Afghanistan from Rahmatullah’s former paymasters. As it is, this story raises serious questions not just about what’s happening on America’s campuses but whether the student visa program that gave us Mohammed Atta and his murderous accomplices continues to pose threats to American security.

Mark Steyn ran into a spot of bother from the Australian equivalent of Media Matters in 2005 for writing that “With hindsight, the defining encounter of the age was not between Mohammed Atta’s jet and the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but that between Mohammed Atta and Johnelle Bryant a year earlier,” but Mark was certainly onto something. “Bryant is an official with the US Department of Agriculture in Florida, and the late Atta had gone to see her about getting a $US650,000 government loan to convert a plane into the world’s largest crop-duster. A novel idea:”

The meeting got off to a rocky start when Atta refused to deal with Bryant because she was but a woman. But, after this unpleasantness had been smoothed out, things went swimmingly. When it was explained to him that, alas, he wouldn’t get the 650 grand in cash that day, Atta threatened to cut Bryant’s throat. He then pointed to a picture behind her desk showing an aerial view of downtown Washington – the White House, the Pentagon et al – and asked: “How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it?”

Fortunately, Bryant’s been on the training course and knows an opportunity for multicultural outreach when she sees one. “I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from,” she recalled. “I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could.”

15 years later, as the clueless multiculti-meets-PC-meets-elitist-bureaucracy mindset that drives such encounters continues to roll on, Bryant is, alas, far from alone.

Elsewhere at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO, “On behalf of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to HBO,” Kevin D. Williamson quips at NRO on “Utopia’s Jailers:”

HBO has a series called Togetherness, a comedy about foundering middle-aged hipsters in Los Angeles, which has turned its attention to the issue of charter schools, and the writers have committed the unforgivable cultural sin of being not entirely hostile to the prospect. The ritual denunciations are under way.

Joshua Liebner, who lives in Eagle Rock, the Los Angeles neighborhood in which the show is set, is among those shouting “J’accuse!” in HBO’s direction, abominating the “white privilege and entitlement and, yes, racism and classism” that surely must be motivating charter-school families who have the audacity to go about “defining what constitutes ‘good’ for them,” and acting on it, as though they were in charge of their own lives and responsible for their own children. “Charter-school dogma has made it to the Big Time,” Liebner complains.

* * * * * *

“Let’s ban private schools,” Gawker cheerily suggests. Writing in that esteemed journal, John Cook argues that “there’s a simple solution to the public-schools crisis.” If people make choices that complicate the Left’s agenda, then ban those choices: “Make Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama’s children go to public schools,” Cook writes. “From a purely strategic and practical standpoint, it would be much easier to resolve the schools crisis if the futures of America’s wealthiest and most powerful children were at stake.”

The Left’s heart is still in East Berlin: If people want to leave your utopia and have the means to do so, then build a wall. If they climb over the wall — as millions of low-income parents with children in private schools (very commonly Catholic schools) do — then build a higher wall. If they keep climbing – and they will — then there are always alternatives.

Homeschooling? That’s basically a crime against humanity so far as our so-called liberal friends are concerned.

And while Gawker wants to ban private schools, Salon wants to ban both privately-owned news media and an independent film system, and the New Republic Christmas tree lights. (No, really.)

By the way, as Williamson writes, “The Democrats haven’t got that Pink Floyd song quite right — in their version, the chorus goes: ‘You don’t need no education.’”

Of course, like the president, it’s lyricist’s chief obsession is banning Israel.

Me? When it comes to education, I’d just like to ban serial liars.

Related: “I know how to get conservative students to question their beliefs and confront awful truths, and I know that, should one of these conservative students make a facebook page calling me a communist or else seek to formally protest my liberal lies, the university would have my back…The same cannot be said of liberal students. All it takes is one slip—not even an outright challenging of their beliefs, but even momentarily exposing them to any uncomfortable thought or imagery—and that’s it, your classroom is triggering, you are insensitive, kids are bringing mattresses to your office hours and there’s a twitter petition out demanding you chop off your hand in repentance.”

Chop off your hands, you say?


This request, is of course, highly problematic, not to mention likely racist:

Their Source was the New York Times

March 22nd, 2015 - 9:42 am

Shot:

The safe space, Ms. Byron explained, was intended to give people who might find comments “troubling” or “triggering,” a place to recuperate. The room was equipped with cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies, as well as students and staff members trained to deal with trauma. Emma Hall, a junior, rape survivor and “sexual assault peer educator” who helped set up the room and worked in it during the debate, estimates that a couple of dozen people used it. At one point she went to the lecture hall — it was packed — but after a while, she had to return to the safe space. “I was feeling bombarded by a lot of viewpoints that really go against my dearly and closely held beliefs,” Ms. Hall said.

* * * * * * *

The confusion is telling, though. It shows that while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

* * * * * * *

But why are students so eager to self-infantilize? Their parents should probably share the blame. Eric Posner, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, wrote on Slate last month that although universities cosset students more than they used to, that’s what they have to do, because today’s undergraduates are more puerile than their predecessors. “Perhaps overprogrammed children engineered to the specifications of college admissions offices no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity,” he wrote. But “if college students are children, then they should be protected like children.”

“In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas,” Judith Shulevitz, the New York Times, yesterday.

Chaser:

Today is a red-letter day for the New York Times. For the first time, the paper has reported in its news section that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright once uttered the phrase “God damn America.” Wright’s comments were widely reported and widely discussed beginning with an ABC News report six months ago. Barack Obama even had to give a much-publicized speech because of those words, and others. But the newspaper of record has never seen fit to publish Wright’s quote in its news pages. Until today.

If my search of the Nexis database is correct, Wright’s quote first appeared in the Times in a column by Bill Kristol on March 17.  It was mentioned again in a column by Maureen Dowd on March 23.  It appeared in an editorial on April 26.  It appeared in a column by the public editor on May 4, and also in an article in the Week in Review section on that same day.

But never in the front section of the paper. Until now. As with the April 26 editorial, today’s mention of “God damn America” is in the context of reporting on attack ads targeting Obama. But still, it’s there, on page one, for the first time.

Byron York, then with National Review, September 24th, 2008.

Related: News you can use:

More: And speaking of creating safe zones for their readers, at least until it’s too late:

man_holds_door_car_jet_3-11-15-1

Between feminists, environmentalists, and the Occupy Wall Street crowd, this photo is an endless hate crime to the left. (Shutterstock.com)

Gee, didn’t we resolve this one by the end of the 1970s? I thought even the most strident of feminists eventually came to the conclusion that they liked having doors held open for them by men. Are we going to refight this backwater skirmish in the culture war yet again?

I guess so. First up, the shot:

If you’re the sort of gentleman who holds the door open for a lady – or the sort of woman who expects him to – then be warned.

Such acts of chivalry may actually be ‘benevolent sexism’ in disguise, according to researchers.

Experts say this type of sexism is harder to spot than the ‘hostile sexism’ we are more familiar with – because it often masquerades as gallantry. It is typified by paternal and protective behaviour, from encouraging smiles to holding doors open.

US researchers argue that while women may enjoy being showered with attention, benevolent sexism is ‘insidious’ and men who are guilty of it see women as incompetent beings who require their ‘cherished protection’.

Professor Judith Hall, of Northeastern University in Boston, said: ‘Benevolent sexism is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing that perpetuates support for gender inequality among women.

‘These supposed gestures of good faith may entice women to accept the status quo in society because sexism literally looks welcoming, appealing and harmless.’ [So a variation on the false consciousness trope that socialists have been claiming only they can spot since the days of Friedrich Engels 120 years ago. Gotcha.--Ed]

“Why chivalry may not always be what it seems: Men who hold doors open and smile may actually be sexist, study claims,” the London Daily Mail yesterday, in their Science & Tech(!) department. (Shades of Ace’s recent “I Love Science Sexually” Twitter persona.)

And now the chaser:

Almost every time a pop-feminist critiques science or a scientific study, their argument is built on a strawman. In general, pop-feminists misrepresent published scientific work without providing links to primary sources. Pop-feminist articles (found here and here) are generally put-together wholly from second-hand material – stories about studies – not the studies themselves. Not only is this bad feminist critique; it is bad journalism.

It is ironic that in 2014, the women who confirm Thomas Gisborne’s eighteenth century sentiments are feminists who enjoy the most media privilege. (Academics in gender tucked away in universities all over the world, have used close application to develop nuanced ideas). Pop-feminists have not.

And it is sad that we have reached a point where to criticise anything labelled as “feminist” is to invite a slur on one’s character. Slurs of  “sexism” are ubiquitous. Any disagreement – no matter how sensible – is “trolling,” “abuse” a “backlash” or a “silencing”. Women like me, who simply call for feminism to rediscover Enlightenment principles, are labelled “female misogynists” on Twitter. But the slurs really must stop. Writers who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour are not models of empowerment. News outlets should not have to disrespect women’s intelligence to make their platforms viable.

“Bad Feminism,” Australian blogger Claire Lehmann, March 5th. Always nice to see a bogus study “prebutted” the week before it runs. But if some women want to go through life believing that every man who holds a door for them and/or smiles at them is “insidious” and secretly believes they’re “incompetent,” hey, have at it. Sounds like both a self-fulfilling prophesy and a recipe to go through life in a perpetually miserable mood.

Speaking of which, that last sentence we quoted from Lehmann dovetails well with two items making the rounds on the Blogosphere today, which we’ll explore right after the page break. I’d click the page break for you, but that would be highly problematic on so many, many, multifaceted levels.

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“Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts” is a topic explored by Justin P. McBrayer, who bio states that he’s an associate professor of philosophy at Colorado’s Fort Lewis College. Curiously though, his article is in the New York Times, a odd location given that it’s a newspaper run by children who don’t believe there are moral facts. But responding to the Common Core syllabus, McBrayer writes:

But second, and worse, students are taught that claims are either facts or opinions. They are given quizzes in which they must sort claims into one camp or the other but not both. But if a fact is something that is true and an opinion is something that is believed, then many claims will obviously be both. For example, I asked my son about this distinction after his open house. He confidently explained that facts were things that were true whereas opinions are things that are believed. We then had this conversation:

Me: “I believe that George Washington was the first president. Is that a fact or an opinion?”

Him: “It’s a fact.”

Me: “But I believe it, and you said that what someone believes is an opinion.”

Him: “Yeah, but it’s true.”

Me: “So it’s both a fact and an opinion?”

The blank stare on his face said it all.

How does the dichotomy between fact and opinion relate to morality? I learned the answer to this question only after I investigated my son’s homework (and other examples of assignments online). Kids are asked to sort facts from opinions and, without fail, every value claim is labeled as an opinion. Here’s a little test devised from questions available on fact vs. opinion worksheets online: are the following facts or opinions?

— Copying homework assignments is wrong.

— Cursing in school is inappropriate behavior.

— All men are created equal.

— It is worth sacrificing some personal liberties to protect our country from terrorism.

— It is wrong for people under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.

— Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat.

— Drug dealers belong in prison.

The answer? In each case, the worksheets categorize these claims as opinions. The explanation on offer is that each of these claims is a value claim and value claims are not facts. This is repeated ad nauseum: any claim with good, right, wrong, etc. is not a fact.

In summary, our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.

As Allan Bloom wrote 35 years ago at the beginning of The Closing of the American Mind:

There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending. That anyone should regard the proposition as not self-evident astonishes them, as though he were calling into question 2 + 2 = 4. These are things you don’t think about. The students backgrounds are as various as America can provide. Some are religious, some atheists; some are to the Left, some to the Right; some intend to be scientists, some humanists or professionals or businessmen; some are poor, some rich. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. They are unified only in their relativism and in their allegiance to equality. And the two are related in a moral intention. The relativity of truth is not a theoretical insight but a moral postulate, the condition of a free society, or so they see it. They have all been equipped with this framework early on, and it is the modern replacement for the inalienable natural rights that used to be the traditional American grounds for a free society. That it is a moral issue for students is revealed by the character of their response when challenged – a combination of disbelief and indignation: “Are you an absolutist?” the only alternative they know, uttered in the same tone as “Are you a monarchist?” or “Do you really believe in witches?” The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating. Openness—and the relativism that makes it the only plausible stance in the face of various claims to truth and the various ways of life and kinds of human beings—is the great insight of our times. The true believer is the real danger. The study of history and of culture teaches that all the world was mad in the past; men always thought they were right, and that led to wars, persecutions, slavery, xenophobia, racism and chauvinism. The point is not to correct the mistakes and really be right; rather it is not to think that you are right at all.

And as McBrayer’s essay today illustrates, that’s now a state-sanctioned policy. Because as Glenn Reynolds writes at Instapundit, “Our ruling class doesn’t like the idea of moral facts because that might limit their flexibility, which reduces opportunities for graft and self-aggrandizement.”

See also: Oceania’s existential struggle with Eastasia and/or Eurasia and the real-life turn-on-a-dime pivot by leftwing intellectuals that inspired it.

Earlier: ‘Let’s Destroy Liberal Academia’

‘Let’s Destroy Liberal Academia’

March 2nd, 2015 - 2:08 pm

As I’ve long argued, while attacking media bias is both vital and fun, the real ground zero of the left is academia. Before he passed away three years ago, Andrew Breitbart talked about adding “Big Education” to the roster of Big Hollywood, Big Government, Big Journalism and Big Peace at Breitbart.com, and I’m sorry to see that element of vision never came to pass. But at Townhall, Kurt Schlichter writes that if conservatives and libertarians really want to return to controlling the overculture, academia is where they should target their efforts:

Understand that the purpose of modern American “education” is not to educate students. It is primarily to provide cushy, subsidized sinecures for liberal administrators and faculty while, secondarily, providing a forum to indoctrinate soft young minds in the liberal fetishes du jour. Actually educating students is hard, and a meaningful education is anathema to liberalism. In the liberals’ ideal world, the universities would simply fester with leftist nonsense and not even bother with trying to teach their charges anything at all. And today, it’s pretty close to being the liberals’ ideal world.

You liberal readers are foaming at the mouth right about now, furious not because I’m wrong but because I’m undeniably, absolutely, incontrovertibly right. So your next move – see, I’ve done this before, my Marxist Ceramics-majoring friend – is now to attack me personally since you never learned from your goateed TA how to argue like an adult. Your first gambit will be to impugn my own academic career. Try again – I have the academic credentials you prize so highly and with so little reason. Been there, done that, built a company, married an ex-model, and no, I don’t want to see your resume.

So save the posturing for the other gender-indeterminate members of your interpretive dance collective – most of us conservatives have endured your schools, gotten our diplomas, and now reject the scam that is modern academia. I’d suggest you call us academic apostates, but you wouldn’t know what that means without Googling it. Now fetch me my latte and I’ll drop a nice, shiny quarter in your tip jar.

As I discuss in my book Conservative Insurgency, and as others like Glenn Reynolds have observed, with modern academia we normal Americans are paying to support a suppurating abscess in our culture that, left untreated, will kill its host. We need to lance this boil and drain the leftist pus.

Modern academia is a refuge and sanctuary for the left within our culture where the inhabitants can devote their full efforts to destroying the very society that subsidizes them without having to worry about actually producing anything of value. It’s an intellectual and moral cesspool. Just look at some of the nightmares that have slithered out of our universities and into mainstream society in just the last few decades – political correctness, hook-up culture, Barack Obama.

And if Schlichter’s words don’t fire you up, perhaps this image will:

Related: The American Mind Gets Closed a Little Further.

Would every non-anti-Semitic donor to UCLA please watch this video?” Moe Lane asks, and I’m happy to help it generate a little bit of additional distribution. As Moe writes, “It’d probably be a good thing if said donors knew what their money is paying for:”

As Powerline noted, according to the above video the only reason being given to oppose the young woman in question was that she was a Jew. If that isn’t clear from the video, here’s an admittedly partisan recounting of events from a friend of Ms. Beyda. All in all, everyone generally agrees that this incident reflects badly on UCLA, and well it should.

But that’s not why donors should reassess their charitable impulses. The reason why donors should reassess their charitable impulses is because nobody got fired for teaching these kids to be prejudiced against Jews.  What, did you think that they learned it on their own? Nope! They’ve been soaking up nonsense about divided loyalties* from their professors (and, possibly even more terrifyingly, from campus administrators); one can hardly be surprised that said nonsense is going to be, ah, expressed in stressful moments.

As William F. Buckley wrote in Up From Liberalism, “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.”

Meanwhile at LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM-friendly Wesleyan University, “With so many oppressed groups,” Glenn Reynolds quips, “who’s left to do the oppressing?”

Related: I suspect Stacy McCain has much more on the root causes of the madness at Wesleyan and other related topics in his new eBook, Sex Trouble, Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature.

“What’s wrong with American feminism today, and what can it do to improve?,” asks America: The National Catholic Review during their interview with Camille Paglia, whom they dub “The Catholic Pagan:”

After the great victory won by my insurgent, pro-sex, pro-fashion wing of feminism in the 1990s, American and British feminism has amazingly collapsed backward again into whining, narcissistic victimology. As in the hoary old days of Gloria Steinem and her Stalinist cohorts, we are endlessly subjected to the hackneyed scenario of history as a toxic wasteland of vicious male oppression and gruesome female suffering. College campuses are hysterically portrayed as rape extravaganzas where women are helpless fluffs with no control over their own choices and behavior. I am an equal opportunity feminist: that is, I call for the removal of all barriers to women’s advance in the professional and political realms. However, I oppose special protections for women, which I reject as demeaning and infantilizing. My principal demand (as I have been repeating for nearly 25 years) is for colleges to confine themselves to education and to cease their tyrannical surveillance of students’ social lives. If a real crime is committed, it must be reported to the police. College officials and committees have neither the expertise nor the legal right to be conducting investigations into he said/she said campus dating fiascos. Too many of today’s young feminists seem to want hovering, paternalistic authority figures to protect and soothe them, an attitude I regard as servile, reactionary and glaringly bourgeois. The world can never be made totally safe for anyone, male or female: there will always be sociopaths and psychotics impervious to social controls. I call my system “street-smart feminism”:  there is no substitute for wary vigilance and personal responsibility.

Gee, not even Google Chrome apps?

And note this quote from Paglia: “Post-structuralism is a system of literary and social analysis that flared up and vanished in France in the 1960s but that became anachronistically entrenched in British and American academe from the 1970s on.”

Martin Heidegger, the Nazi father of postmodernism could not be reached to comment.

Though he’d certainly approve of the current state of the American campus, where “54 percent of self-identified Jewish students in 55 college across the country experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism during the 2013-2014 school year,” Roger L. Simon writes in his latest post.

God and LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM at Wesleyan University

February 25th, 2015 - 1:54 pm

See if you can spot the angry three letter word in the middle of the above headline. There, that didn’t long, did it?

Slippery slope, anyone?

As Professor Steven Hayward cleverly points out in his “50 Shades of Gay” post at Power Line (great headline, by the way), Wesleyan University is now making sure every sexual fetish, whim, kink, orientation, impulse and desire – plus the kitchen sink – gets its own capital letter in the ever-growing acronym of the formerly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer community.

Wesleyan University’s residential life division’s “Open House” at 154 Church Street boasts, according to the university’s website: “a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderf**k, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.”

And no, the asterisks weren’t included in the original text, but who says college isn’t educational? And as Jim Treacher writes:

Note the placement of “flexual, asexual, genderf***,” in that order. This creates an acronym that is, to use the parlance of the day, problematic. I find myself triggered by this othering language, and I can only conclude that it’s intended as a microaggression.

Why doesn’t Wesleyan care about the PWDNTBMCIOTFADDR community?

*People Who Don’t Need To Be Micro-Categorized In Order To Find A Damn Dorm Room

Heh. I just abbreviate that down to the G.O.P. community. It’s much easier to spell.

Update: As with much of the gender insanity that can be found on today’s Kafkaesque college campuses, Stacy McCain was way out in front of this story, first linking to it on Saturday. He described Wesleyan as going “Maximum Acronym” — though like double-dog-daring Evel Knievel, I’m not sure if I’d want to goad the crazed university into topping itself.

Oh, That Return of the Primitive

February 20th, 2015 - 11:06 am

“They sought paradise in a Scottish field — and found hunger, boredom and mosquitoes,” Roger Lewis writes in the London Spectator, in a review of a book titled The Utopia Experiment by Dylan Evans:

Evans, the author of this book, was one of those oddballs who rather looked forward to the apocalypse, because it promised ‘challenging times ahead’. If, in the not too distant future, famines and droughts more or less wipe us out, that will be our own fault for allowing population levels to reach an unsustainable nine billion — the predicted figure for 2050. How much better the planet will be with a select handful living in their villages of yurts, log cabins, teepees and straw-bale huts, the children gambolling happily ‘amidst the bracken and the trees’. The air will be cleaner. Wildlife ‘will make a comeback’. Neighbours will help each other out. People will be fitter as a result of their manual labour.

Evans couldn’t wait to create his retrograde society, where waif-like girls ‘with long, tawny dreadlocks’ would be doling out ‘bowls of bean stew from a steaming cauldron’. He sold his house, gave up his academic career and moved to a field near Inverness. He looked at an adjacent waterfall and thought it could ‘generate electricity’. He gazed at an acre of scrubland and believed he could ‘keep a few pigs and chickens’. He spotted a deer and, though he had no butchery or tanning training, imagined turning its hide into shoes and gloves.

Fair play to Evans: by the time he came to write this book he realised he was delusional.

Why do people believe the world is coming to an end? Steve Hayward of Power Line had a simple and concise answer to that question, during the period when the late Harold Camping, the Al Gore of evangelism, was a media sensation in 2011 after his apocalyptic vision didn’t pan out:

At least the religious versions of the end of the world come with a promise of redemption for man and nature. The secular apocalypse is usually without hope. Yet they share one larger thing in common: the deep, passionate commitment that the end is near. And when the end doesn’t come, instead of relief, there is disappointment. Fundamentalist preachers and environmental prophets-of-doom react the same way every time: they d go back over their math, and offer new predictions for the end. The preachers end up with dwindling congregations and radio audiences; the green prophets get appointed science adviser to the president.

People often ask me why environmentalists tend always to incline to apocalyptic conclusions about the state of the planet. “Because it makes them happy,” is my standard response. This is not tongue-in-cheek. There is something about certain kinds of personality types that derives a frisson of delight from contemplating the end of the world. And if you point out that the end of the world is not at hand, it makes environmentalists very unhappy, in part because it deprives them of the opportunity to play savior to the world.

Which also sounds a lot like another group that seeks doomsday, as Peggy Noonan writes in her latest column, drawing heavily from Graeme Wood’s recent blockbuster Atlantic article, “What ISIS Really Wants:”

ISIS has allure: Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are believed to have joined. The organization is clear in its objectives: “We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change . . . that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world. . . . The Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people.”

The scale of the savagery is difficult to comprehend and not precisely known. Regional social media posts “suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks.” Most, not all, of the victims are Muslims.

The West, Mr. Wood argues, has been misled “by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. . . . The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers,” drawn largely from the disaffected. “But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.” Its actions reflect “a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bring about the apocalypse.”

Mr. Wood acknowledges that ISIS reflects only one, minority strain within Islam. “Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.”

* * * * * * * *

Mr. Wood’s piece is bracing because it is fearless—he is apparently not afraid of being called a bigot or an Islamophobe. It is important because it gives people, especially political leaders, information they need to understand a phenomenon that may urgently shape U.S. foreign policy for the next 10 years.

In sorry contrast, of course, are the Obama administration’s willful delusions and dodges. They reached their height this week when State Department spokesman Marie Harf talked on MSNBC of the “root causes” that drive jihadists, such as “lack of opportunity for jobs.” She later went on CNN to explain: “Where there’s a lack of governance, you’ve had young men attracted to this terrorist cause where there aren’t other opportunities. . . . So how do you get at that root causes?” She admitted her view “might be too nuanced of an argument for some.”

Yes, it might.

It isn’t about getting a job. They have a job: waging jihad.

Do Islamic terrorists and the doomsday fringe of the global warming cult have something in common? It’s not a coincidence that a few months before he died of a massive case of lead poisoning, the Washington Post ran the headline, “Osama bin Laden embraces his inner Al Gore.”

But to get back to The Utopia Experiment by Dylan Evans, who “sold his house, gave up his academic career and moved to a field near Inverness,” didn’t the London School of Economics-educated author realize that he was living out a 45 year old Monty Python sketch?

(Via Tim Blair.)

Quote of the Day

February 17th, 2015 - 8:10 pm

Anyone familiar with my foundation knows my position. I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning. And I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I’ve ever heard.

But of course, Howard Dean is not the real problem. He’s just one guy. And he’s absolutely right when he says that many others will judge Scott Walker for not finishing college. That’s the real problem.

However – when Howard Dean called the Governor “unknowledgeable,” he rolled out more than a stereotype. He rolled a pencil across the desk, and gave Scott Walker eight minutes to knock it out of the park.

It’ll be fun to see if he does.

—Mike Rowe, host of TV’s Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It. Read the whole thing.

“Scott Walker’s national education effect” is explored by Glenn Reynolds in his latest USA Today column:

Though Walker attended Marquette University, he left before graduating, which has caused some finger-wagging from the usual journalistic suspects. After all, they seem to believe, everyone they know has a college degree, so it must be essential to getting ahead. As the successful governor of an important state, you’d think that Walker’s subsequent career would make his college degree irrelevant, but you’d be wrong.

And that’s why a President Walker would accomplish something worthwhile the moment he took office. Over the past few years in America, a college degree has become something valued more as a class signifier than as a source of useful knowledge. When Democratic spokesman Howard Dean (who himself was born into wealth) suggested that Walker’s lack of a degree made him unsuitable for the White House, what he really meant was that Walker is “not our kind, dear” — lacking the credential that many elite Americans today regard as essential to respectable status.

Of course, some of our greatest presidents, from George Washington to Abraham Lincoln to Harry S. Truman, never graduated from college. But the college degree as class-signifier is, as I note in my book, The New School, a rather recent phenomenon. As late as the 1970s, it was perfectly respectable for middle-class, and even upper-middle-class, people to lack a college degree. And, of course, most non-elite Americans still do: 68% of Americans, like Scott Walker, lack a college diploma. But where 50 years or 100 years ago they might not have cared, many now feel inferior to those who possess a degree.

Or to put it another way:

Walker is certainly driving all of the right left people utterly insane; the Times has had to quietly correct both of their goofball hits on Walker this month:

Breitbart Is Here

February 9th, 2015 - 6:46 pm

breitbart_is_here_3-18-12
Past performance is no guarantee of future results:

Somewhere, Andrew is loving the role the Blogosphere has taken in exposing Williams’ Walter Mitty-meets Apocalypse Now helicopter flashbacks and Bush Derangement Syndrome-derived Katrina craziness, particularly given Williams’ own thoughts on new media, which dovetail rather well with Rosen’s massive case of Breitbart Derangement Syndrome:

 

“Accused Columbia rapist fights back,” Jazz Shaw writes at Hot Air:

I assume that most of you recall Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who gained national fame for carrying around a mattress to symbolize her burden and struggle after she claimed to have been raped by a fellow student who was later cleared of the charges. Like many such cases, the fact that the accused rapist – Paul Nungesser – was not found to be guilty didn’t make it into the news very much. Having already lost his reputation in the media feeding frenzy, Paul had been laying low for a while. But apparently seeing his accuser turned into a nationally celebrated figure was a bit too much for him and he has released a wealth of information regarding the case to The Daily Beast.

The young woman told every media outlet that would listen that she was left stunned and shattered by the incident and thereafter suffered in silence because she was too ashamed to talk about it. But that silence apparently didn’t include Paul. In the days following the alleged “rape” incident, his “victim” was acting pretty much like anything but a victim. In fact, Paul had saved most of the social media interactions between the two and they paint a very different picture than the horrific one told by Sulkowicz.

Read the whole thing, which concludes with Jazz noting that the Daily Beast “seems to have done their due diligence and contacted Sulkowicz about the social media exchanges. She responded saying that she “confirmed that these records were authentic and not redacted in any way.” She also claimed that she would be sending them ‘annotations’ explaining the context but then decided not to do so.” Additionally, as New York magazine noted yesterday, Sulkowicz pouted that it’s like totally unfair of the Daily Beast to interview both sides of the story, and send someone like Cathy Young (who’s also a frequent contributor to libertarian-themed Reason magazine) who’s like not totally super-serial about radical feminism and stuff:

“Normally I don’t respond to people who use my rapist as collateral in order to make me talk to them,” she told Mic. Then, last Tuesday night, Young emailed again, this time saying she had about six pages of Facebook conversations between Sulkowicz and Nungesser and wanted to confirm their accuracy before publishing.

“It’s an awful feeling where this reporter is digging through my personal life. At this point I didn’t realize that she’s extremely anti-feminist and would do this in order to shame me,” Sulkowicz said, noting that she feels Young has “written other articles supporting the rapists and making survivors look unreliable.”

As Jim Treacher quips, “Why are reporters digging into my personal life? Can’t they see I’m carrying a MATTRESS?”

Heh. Actually, Sulkowicz’s whine seems very reminiscent of the young protestors last month who blocked a major Boston thoroughfare, disrupting traffic and potential endangering lives, and were then suddenly angry and screamed invasion of privacy when a reporter shows up at their doorstep:

At Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds links to a response from blogger and journalist Kathleen McWilliams:

Sulkowicz says “Normally I don’t respond to people who use my rapist as collateral in order to make me talk to them…It’s an awful feeling where this reporter is digging through my personal life. At this point I didn’t realize that she’s extremely anti-feminist and would do this in order to shame me.”

In my opinion, Daily Beast reporter Cathy Young did the right thing by contacting Sulkowicz and giving her the opportunity to refute Nungesser’s claims.

In any case, Sulkowicz is absolutely wrong to be upset with Young. Young is a reporter tasked with a difficult story and in today’s journalistic climate one cannot afford to make mistakes, let alone on the subject of sexual assault. As Rolling Stone’s in-depth article on UVA’s alleged sexual assault culture proves, when you report on campus assaults you need to cover every base, check every fact and get every account of what happened. Young was not holding Sulkowicz’s rapist collateral, nor was she shaming Sulkowicz. If Sulkowicz felt ashamed and uncomfortable with the situation she should have simply told Young as much instead of attacking the character of a journalist who approached her for her side of the story.

Young was journalistically responsible and other reporters should follow her lead. Just because sexual assault is difficult to talk about, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. More importantly, just because stories about sexual assault can be painful for victims, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t report responsibly on the subject.

“Yeah, some responsible reporting would be nice,” Glenn Reynolds adds:

 It would also be nice if New York’s Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand hadn’t joined the lynch mob, embracing Sulkowicz and calling Nungesser a “rapist” even after he was cleared by two different proceedings (one of which required only a preponderance of the evidence to convict).

Last month at the Federalist, Robert Tracinski asked if America has reached “Peak leftism.” Stories such as the above appear to answer that query in the affirmative.

Related: “Former Columbia newspaper editor admits biased reporting on rape due to fear of backlash,” Ashe Schow writes at the Washington Examiner:

“Critical coverage isn’t only for the benefit of the accused, but for the public and the survivors themselves. Thorough and impartial reporting can only serve to validate a survivor’s claims, while biased or incomplete reporting can only serve to fuel doubt and mistrust,” [Daniel  Garisto, a former opinion editor for Columbia University’s student newspaper] wrote. “The media helps no one by remaining lax in its coverage.”

Garisto did try to alleviate some of the backlash he will receive by claiming he thinks Nungesser is “probably guilty” — breaking the media ethics he spent so much time addressing. But his overall point remains valid, it is not the media’s responsibility to provide only one side of the issue — that makes real reform that protects the accuser and the accused impossible.

Attention Rolling Stone — your next ace journalist has sent up a flare. Hire him ASAP!

More:UNC-Chapel Hill Admin Only Wants to Discuss Diversity with Students Who Share Its Liberal Biases.

Hey, you can’t reach Peak Leftism without simultaneously hitting peak Orwell.

The Left is Slowly Devouring Itself

January 31st, 2015 - 12:55 pm

If you’ve ever wondered “What the Hell Does ‘Politically Correct’ Mean?” and would like to hear the Marxist origins of the phrase, and how it mutated into one of the catchphrases of the 1990s until today, Jesse Walker has you covered at Reason. Everyone on the right knows what it’s like to argue with someone whose been infected by the PC virus, a “word fetish,” as novelist John C. Wright dubs it, in pungent terms. “What the Leftist does in debate is utter his idiot word fetishes and slogans with the sneering hauteur of a card player displaying his trump card, or a chessmaster a checkmate,” Wright notes. “And when his nonsense does not win the debate, or even address the debate, he realized you are the OTHER, and he blames you, and insults your character, your intelligence, your education, your moral stature, your maturity, et cetera”:

When you do not return the handshake, he knows you to be the dread and dreaded OTHER, those peoples of whom he has heard but dim rumor, the non-Leftists who use that horrible thing called reason, a lamp that he hates as dearly as Gollum hates the sun.

Leftists always resort to this shift because it is the only arrow in their quiver. They do not have any reasoning to give. If they could reason, they would not be Leftists.

The Leftist must attack you. Your very existence is an affront to him, proof positive that his worldview is wrong. He has nothing to say to support his position, and he cannot shut up.

Certainly we’re seeing that played out on a national scale this month, with the crude Vietnam-era attacks from Michael Moore, Seth Rogen, Howard Dean, Bill Maher and others on the far left on Chris Kyle’s legacy due to the blockbuster success of American Sniper. These double as thinly-veiled (often not-so-thinly veiled) slurs on the rest of Red State America as well, of course, with “soft America” seething at the resurgence of “hard America,” to use Michael Barone’s phraseology from his 2004 book. How angry is soft America these days? As John Nolte noted last night at Big Hollywood, the Onion’s otherwise often enjoyable A.V. Club film and TV Website took a nasty shot this week at the owner of a small restaurant chain in Michigan who symbolically “banned” Michael Moore and Seth Rogen after their submoronic anti-American remarks. “And how does the AV Club respond to this symbolic but righteous protest? By using no fewer than 7 paragraphs to relentlessly mock the Little Guy and his business,” Nolte writes, “the saddest piece of starf**king I’ve ever come across”:

Is anyone else old enough to remember when speaking truth to and defying power was the in-thing?

When the American Left reveals who they are really for and against, it is chilling.

Know your place and shut your mouth, little man.

In one post, The AV Club revealed itself to be nothing more than a bunch of elite snobbish frat boy starf**kers at the ready to protect the wealthy and powerful against … some guy in Michigan.

Palace Guarding: The New Edgy.

However, as the PC virus spreads and metastasizes, it’s begun to devour those who carry the disease within them as well. Or as Charles Cooke writes at NRO, “The Left Realizes Too Late that Political Correctness Is a Virus, and now it’s eating their movement from within”:

Once upon a time, “political correctness” was little more than a benign left-wing version of old-church-lady tut-tutting. Today, by contrast, the designation is used to describe what has become a sprawling, unhinged, and invariably unfalsifiable conspiracy theory that can be used to dismiss anybody who violates this morning’s edition of the progressive catechism. “Gosh,” one can almost hear DeBoer and Chait asking themselves, “have we unleashed a brigade of poorly educated, parodically self-indulgent, and chronically illiberal morons into our movement, the better to destroy it from within? And, if we have, will we ever be able to rid ourselves of them?”

The answer to the latter question, one suspects, may well be “No,” for as Hollywood has taught us repeatedly over the years, it does not pay to unleash unpredictable viruses into the ecosystem — even if one gains temporarily by doing so. And make no mistake, “political correctness” is a virus — a nasty, cynical, destructive sickness that is akin in both theory and in practice to the sort of irritating malware that pushes endless streams of nonsensical dialogue windows onto your grandmother’s computer and prevents her from e-mailing her friends.

This efforts by the left to remove all who are “not of the body” as they say on Star Trek have been going on for a while — recall the intramural struggles in 2006 when the Kos Kidz tossed earnest liberal Joe Lieberman from the Democrat Party, and the equally nasty scrum in 2007 and 2008 in which the Obama supporters accused everyone of racism — starting with Hillary and Bill Clinton and their supporters. But as John Madden used to say whenever a long-struggling NFL team temporarily thrilled its fan base and finally made it to the Super Bowl, “winning is the best deodorant.” Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 papered over a lot of the cracks in the century-old coalition of self-described “Progressives.”

But once Obama revealed himself to be the tyro politician that all of his critics from Bill and Hillary on the left to John McCain and Sarah Palin on the right warned that he was in 2008, and once it was obvious that Socialist Utopia wasn’t going to be immediately reached, the left resumed its slow crack-up. 2011 saw the rise of Occupy Wall Street, which was largely a far left versus center left battle. As Cooke notes in his article, this week saw Jonathan Chait of New York magazine finally noticing that the PC movement has gotten out of hand, when it began to devour him, and he’s been as loyal a foot soldier in the attack on the rest of America as can be imagined.

As James Antle of the Daily Caller writes regarding Chait’s dilemma, “Political correctness is to empathy, mutual respect and human decency as Marxism is to compassion. Both transform noble impulses into joyless acts of ideological coercion.”

And speaking of Marx, how crazy has today’s left gotten? Take it away Jonah Goldberg, whose latest G-File is titled “China Syndrome Liberalism”:

I am kind of excited, or at least entertained, by the spectacle of watching the Left eat itself. It’s like a terrible virus escaped from a lab at Brown University and is now spreading across the country, island hopping from campus to campus and beyond (I don’t merely mix metaphors, I put them in a salad spinner). My buddy James Lileks writes about how left-wing students at Berkeley (sort of redundant, I know) are starting to turn on Marx, not because of his potted theories of the dialectic, his crude reductionism of man to homo economicus, or even the fact that he set the foundation for turning the 20th century into an abattoir. No, Marx is bad because he’s just another dead white guy. The students write in the school paper:

We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

First let me interject by noting that the moment anyone says to you “We are calling for an occupation of syllabi,” you can put your headphones back on and finish watching the latest episode of Gotham, because nothing that follows will be worth your time.

Anyway, they go on to gripe that Marx worked from the assumption that there are — or were — differences between men and women. The madman! The professor’s statement in defense of Marx, that “women give birth while men do not,” was enough to make some students flee the room, no doubt in search of a gender-neutral fainting couch. (“Don’t look at me! I’m all man” — The Couch).

This is like watching Godzilla stomp across Tokyo and your only complaint is he’s not wearing pants.

This is followed in Jonah’s G-File by the story of Mount Holyoke College cancelling their showing of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues” because “it is demeaning to ‘women’ who have penises,” as National Review on Dead Tree (accurately) deadpans. Meanwhile Reason spots even more campus PC madness as, “CUNY Tells Profs Not to Say ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ Because That’s Offensive and Illegal-ish (It’s Not).”

Or as Jonah adds:

[W]hen you think about it, the really funny part is that we’re still hearing how we conservatives need to get control of our nutjobs and extremists before average Americans will take us seriously. I’ll tell you what: “What.” I’ll also tell you that the typical Joe on the street will find gun rights and the Tenth Amendment reasonable and mainstream long before he gets his head around the idea that The Vagina Monologues is sexist because it lacks wangs in the cast — and I don’t mean Asians.

Heh.

Recently, Robert Tracinski asked at the Federalist, “Have We Already Reached Peak Leftism?” Certainly its efforts to consume itself are one sign of that, as is the recent implosion of the New Republic and the Andrew Sullivan’s self-imposed timeout announcement this week. And somewhat related to all of the above, there’s an understandable level of exhaustion among several of the left’s key components after having to defend the Obama administration’s insanities over the past six years (seven or eight actually, counting the time that Democrat operatives with bylines like Sullivan began to actively cheerlead for him.)

As Tracinski concludes:

What I mean to suggest is not that reversion to the mean is inevitable, but that this is an opportunity. The Left’s very strength, its nearly exclusive control of key cultural institutions, is also a weakness. Holding the line on a 95 percent groupthink in academia and the arts might end up being a lot harder than disrupting the leftist orthodoxy.

That disruption can happen only if a lot of people put forth a lot of effort to make it happen. But we have a powerful factor on our side: reversion to the mean.

I hope he’s right, but I fear the left’s century-long efforts bunkering deep into the media, academia and (of course) bureaucracies from the federal down to local governments throughout America means that it will be quite sometime before it’s even temporarily morning in America again, to coin a phrase.

Life Has Become Super-Cereal

January 27th, 2015 - 12:47 pm

“Why A Fake Article Titled ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?’ Was Accepted By 17 Medical Journals,” Fast Company explains:

Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish an article. So he made one up. Like, he literally made one up. He did it using www.randomtextgenerator.com. The article is entitled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” and its authors are the venerable Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles. The subtitle reads: “The surgical and neoplastic role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals.” Shrime submitted it to 37 journals over two weeks and, so far, 17 of them have accepted it. (They have not “published” it, but say they will as soon as Shrime pays the $500. This is often referred to as a “processing fee.” Shrime has no plans to pay them.) Several have already typeset it and given him reviews, as you can see at the end of this article. One publication says his methods are “novel and innovative”!. But when Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

Shrime decided to see how easy it would be to publish an article. So he made one up. Like, he literally made one up. He did it using www.randomtextgenerator.com. The article is entitled “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs?” and its authors are the venerable Pinkerton A. LeBrain and Orson Welles. The subtitle reads: “The surgical and neoplastic role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals.” Shrime submitted it to 37 journals over two weeks and, so far, 17 of them have accepted it. (They have not “published” it, but say they will as soon as Shrime pays the $500. This is often referred to as a “processing fee.” Shrime has no plans to pay them.) Several have already typeset it and given him reviews, as you can see at the end of this article. One publication says his methods are “novel and innovative”!. But when Shrime looked up the physical locations of these publications, he discovered that many had very suspicious addresses; one was actually inside a strip club.

Shrime’s experiment, uncovering numerous bogus scientific publications that will publish anything for a buck is sort of the reverse of the experiment by an NYU physics professor named Alan D. Sokal, who in 1995, who drafted the most densely-written academic gobbledegook he could imagine, titled it “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” sent it off to a leading academic publication, who happily, cluelessly published it.

Ultimately, unless you’ve set out to publish a long form advertorial or quasi-direct response ad, if you have to pay to publishing something (beyond say, monthly badwidth charges if you host your own Website or blog, of course), you’re doing it wrong.

But two questions: Why shouldn’t Michael Crichton’s “Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect” apply exclusively to laymen?

And doesn’t this article call out for the expert commentary of one superstar political commentator in particular?

The Theory of Moral Relativity Defined

January 24th, 2015 - 12:15 pm

Shot:

Chaser:


Shot:

Chaser:

Hangover:


Paul Johnson, call your office.
Update: “You know, Robert Conquest once wrote, ‘The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies,’ but that statement is striking a little too close to home lately.”

Heh. At Patheos, Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry notes that “The chair of Germany’s Martin Heidegger Society resigned in genuine horror after some of Heidegger’s private papers were released and showed that, surprise, surprise, he was an anti-semite.”

Go figure. Or as the lunatic stage director hired by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel’s characters in Mel Brooks’ The Producers says after perusing the script for Springtime for Hitler, “Did you know, I never knew that the Third Reich meant Germany. I mean it’s just drenched with historical goodies like that!”

Here’s more from Gobry; read the whole thing:

The immense awkwardness that is Heidegger’s Nazi affiliation is always quite a thing to behold. The simple fact of the matter is that, in terms of influence and also perhaps quality, Heidegger is a giant of 20th century philosophy, and one whose influence was felt primarily on the “Left.” The fact that a man who exercised such a tremendous influence on postmodern and progressive philosophy was also a Hitler supporter obviously raises eyebrows.

Only to those who haven’t been paying attention, or who have deliberately looked away. As I said, read the whole thing. And don’t miss the quote on relativism near the end of Gobry’s article from “Benito.”

Update:Education: 2010: U. Topia: Liberals envision a perfect world, and it looks a lot like campus,” Jonah Goldberg wrote in a 2010 issue of National Review:

There’s a certain kind of elite student who takes himself very, very seriously. Raised on a suite of educational TV shows and books that insist he is the most special person in the world — studies confirm that Generation Y is the most egocentric and self-regarding generation in our history — he is away from home for the first time, enjoying his first experience of freedom from his parents. Those same parents are paying for his education, which he considers his birthright. Shelter is provided for him. Janitors and maids clean up after him. Security guards protect him. Cooks shop for him and prepare his food. The health center provides him medical care and condoms aplenty. Administrators slave away at finding new ways for him to have fun in his free time. He drinks with abandon when he wants to, and the consequences of his bacchanalia are usually somewhere between mild and nonexistent. Sex is as abundant as it is varied. If he does not espouse any noticeably conservative or Christian attitudes, his every utterance in the classroom is celebrated as a “valuable perspective.” All that is demanded of him is that he pursue his interests and, perhaps, “find himself” along the way. His ethical training amounts to a prohibition on bruising the overripe self-esteem of another person, particularly a person in good standing with the Coalition of the Oppressed (blacks, Latinos, Muslims, women, gays, lesbians, transsexuals, et al.). Such offenses are dubbed hate crimes and are punished in a style perfected in Lenin’s utopia: through the politicized psychiatry known as “sensitivity training.”

Heidegger would approve, of course. But then, he was the modern campus’s inspiration.

The Closing of the American Mind

January 20th, 2015 - 1:19 pm

“College celebrates MLK’s dream with white privilege event,” Campus Reform reports:

The all-women’s college in Massachusetts celebrated Martin Luther King Jr., Day on Monday with a two-hour interactive event on “white privilege” and what “being white means post Ferguson.”

According to an email sent out to the student body from Mount Holyoke’s Office of Student Programs and obtained by Campus Reform, the event was facilitated by Elizabeth Thompson, an area coordinator for the school’s residential life, and Jessica Avery, a Mount Holyoke student. Both Thompson and Avery are white.

Monday’s event had student attendees develop their own definition of “white privilege,” according to a student who attended the event and wished to remain anonymous.

Huh. I can remember decades ago, a prominent American stressing the vital importance of judging people by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.

Say, what was his name again?

Related: “MSNBC: Bobby Jindal is ‘trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin.’”

You stay classy, Jim Crow TV.