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Ed Driscoll

God And Man At Dupont University

God and Tania at Yale

April 15th, 2014 - 8:16 pm

Cults In Our Midst: Patty Hearst And The Brainwashing Of America,” examined by Stella Morabito at the Federalist:

The Fundamental Transformation of Patty Hearst

So that’s what it looked like to an impressionable, politically unseasoned contemporary. But what was going on in the background?

Hearst’s 1983 book Every Secret Thing describes the kidnapping and the aftermath in meticulous, ghastly detail. Hearst also granted a fascinating interview with Larry King in 2002.

For several weeks, she was blindfolded, confined to a smelly closet, tormented, periodically raped, and subjected to a coarse Maoist style program of indoctrination and re-education. Her life depended on anticipating and meeting the demands of her captors. The leader Donald “Cinque” DeFreeze and the others propagandized and interrogated her constantly, explaining that “Amerikkka” was a racist and evil society, repeatedly calling her a privileged “bourgeoise bitch” and her father a “pig” of the “corporate fascist state.” But then her captors would let up a bit, offering food or tea—then continue more intensely with cruelty and degradation.

This cycle—isolation, threats, and humiliation, punctuated by a little peace (reward) for compliance—broke down Hearst’s sense of self. As she later told Larry King, “Most of the time I was with them, my mind was going through doing exactly what I was supposed to do… I had no freewill.”

So pretty much like life at the average elite university, minus the increasingly swanky dorms — which if you read on, is sort of Morabito’s point. No wonder they morphed into Occupy gangs so easily.

occupy_wall_street_and_mom_10-2-11

Update: Once successfully brainwashed, it is necessary to re-educate the victim about the basics of society — and reality in general — at an extremely slow pace, lest potentially debilitating shock and trauma occur.

The War on Dangerous Men

April 12th, 2014 - 10:30 pm

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did.

—T.E. Lawrence, (a.k.a. “Lawrence of Arabia”), The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, 1922.

NEW WAR ON CHILDHOOD: Medicate Kids Who Daydream.

—Headline, Instapundit.com, today. The juxtapositions in this earlier Insta-post

HOW DOUCHEBAGS are created.

Related: More Young Women Choosing Dogs Over Motherhood.

…also seem rather related.

A Degree Too Far

April 9th, 2014 - 10:52 am

Brandeis disinvites Ayaan Hirsi Ali from receiving an honorary doctorate; Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard is not amused. In “A Note to Supporters of Brandeis,” Kristol writes:

As Lori Lowenthal Marcus notes, Brandeis University has in recent years bestowed an honorary degree on Tony Kushner, who called the creation of Israel as a Jewish state “a mistake” and who attacked Israel for ethnic cleansing and for causing “terrible peril in the world.” Brandeis has also honored Desmond Tutu, who compared Israel to Hitler, attacked the “Jewish lobby” as too “powerful” and “scary,” and complained of the “Jewish monopoly of the Holocaust.”

Unfortunately, that’s business as usual in the modern academy, including at an academic institution founded out of a special concern for the well-being of Jews in America and elsewhere.

But when it comes to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a courageous woman who has fought for human rights around the world—and who may actually like the state Israel—well, that’s a bridge too far. In recent weeks, Brandeis president Fred Lawrence came under “pressure”—i.e., received complaints from some students and whining from some faculty—and promptly caved. He has disinvited Ayaan Hirsi Ali from receiving an honorary doctorate this year.

His justification for caving was pathetic. Lawrence announced that “we cannot overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.  For all concerned, we regret that we were not aware of these statements earlier.”

“Did no one at Brandeis bother to Google Ali before offering her the degree?”, Ed Morrissey asks:

Her speeches don’t pull punches about her perspectives on Islam and its practices. It’s a little late in 2014 for President Lawrence to be shocked, shocked at “certain of her past statements” in relation to the work that they apparently wanted to honor.

To answer the second question — because so far, questions one and three don’t lend themselves to answers other than incompetence – what changed is that the faculty erupted in outrage when it saw Ali on the list. Out of 350 faculty, “more than 85″ signed a petition demanding her removal from the honors list. The petition was started by the Muslim Students Association, which should have been easily foreseen by Brandeis in the first place. If popular opposition was enough to cancel the offer, then Brandeis shouldn’t have made it in the first place. Now, they look both incompetent and pusillanimous.

I wonder what the University’s namesake would have thought about the school that bears his name surrendering to the will of the Muslim Students Association?

Judaism, Christianity, Environmentalism

April 1st, 2014 - 3:09 pm

As Dennis Prager writes in his new column, “In chronological order, these are the three main religions of the West.” Which often dangerous results, which may only accelerate:

With the demise of the biblical religions that have provided the American people with their core values since the country’s inception, we are reverting to the pagan worldview. Trees and animals are venerated, while man is simply one more animal in the ecosystem. And he is largely a hindrance, not an asset.

On February 20, a pit bull attacked a four-year-old boy, Kevin Vicente, leaving the boy with a broken eye socket and a broken jaw. Kevin will have to undergo months, perhaps years, of reconstructive surgeries. A Facebook page was set up to raise funds. But it wasn’t set up for Kevin. It was set up for the dog. The “Save Mickey” page garnered more than 70,000 “likes” and raised more than enough money to provide legal help to prevent the dog from being euthanized. There were even candlelight vigils and a YouTube plea for the dog.

The nonprofit legal group defending Mickey is the Lexus Project. According to CBS News, “the same group fought earlier this year for the life of a dog that fatally mauled a toddler in Nevada.”

This is the trend: Nature over man.

Read the whole thing.

Though radical environmentalism is still a young religion — a successor to the fascism of the first half of the 20th century and the romanticism of the 19th century, it bears another trait with other religions in their early days: a desire to shout death and imprisonment to the non-believers, Jonah Goldberg adds today in USA Today.

And a desire to burn heretical literature, as these professors at the San Jose State University Meteorology Department illustrated last year:

Life Continues to Imitate Redneck Nation

March 26th, 2014 - 2:53 pm

“New York state has the most segregated public schools in the nation, with many black and Latino students attending schools with virtually no white classmates, according to a report released Wednesday,” says the Associated Press, in an article titled, “Report: NY schools are most racially segregated.”

“Unexpectedly” — except for anyone who read Boston talk radio host Michael Graham’s remarkably prescient 2002 book Redneck Nation. As Graham told NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez back then:

I was a self-loathing southerner for many years — in fact, that’s the premise of the book: I left the South looking for some place in America that was significantly different. I wanted to live in that mythical meritocracy called “The North.” It took me 20 years to figure out that the only difference between Brooklyn, New York and Birmingham, Alabama is that you can’t get a gun rack in a Trans-Am.

For once, perhaps tremendously fickle New York is simply trying to keep up with national trends, as blue state educators continue to obsess upon returning “Separate but Equal” education to both classrooms and dorms — at least until, one day, perhaps, when the information age saves American education from itself, to coin an Insta-phrase. 

Related: Roger L. Simon, on “The Democratic Party’s War on Black People and How to Counter It.” Our Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus pulls no punches.

As spotted by Mark Finkelstein of Newsbusters:

On today’s Daily Rundown, in a conversation about charter schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel repeatedly insulted host Chuck Todd, suggesting he was ignorant about charter schools, was “backward” looking, and that being in Washington had affected “your brain.” Todd generally took it in stride, but after one insult couldn’t suppress a “wow” of amazement at Rahm’s rudeness.

Finkelstein adds, “as a matter of substance though not style, I side with Emanuel. Todd seemed to be hitting Rahm with teachers-union talking points.”

At least based on Rahm’s responses to former Tom Harkin (D-IA) staffer Chuck Todd, the Obama advisor turned Chicago Mayor certainly seems a notch up on fellow big city leftist Bill de Blasio on the topic of charter schools.

Related: Roger Kimball on “The Meaning of Mireille Miller-Young, or Free Speech for Me, Theft, Battery, and Vandalism for Thee.”


Rand Paul takes the fight behind enemy lines, as Roger L. Simon writes:

Whatever you think of Rand Paul, he’s actually doing something that politicians rarely do — talking at length to audiences who don’t usually agree with him.  And winning over new friends in the process. His recent speech at UC Berkeley, where he apparently got a standing ovation for excoriating runaway government spying on Americans, is only the latest example.

Historically, the Republican Party has been just what the public thinks it is, largely a bunch of risk-averse white men who are totally clueless at public relations, even though they are on the right (correct) side of almost every issue.  Meanwhile, the liberal Democrats haven’t had a decent rational argument about anything for years, if they ever did. They ream young people, blacks and virtually every other “interest group”that supports them with their policies and they still win most national elections.  What a disgraceful group of losers that makes the Republicans. There are literally thousands of chips on the table and they’re leaving them all behind.

Rand Paul is smart enough to realize this and actually goes out and does things about it. Other Republicans should get out their little red book of quotations and Learn from Chairman Rand.  The country is changing.  Whole new groups are ripe for the picking, most obviously the young who are being so completely raked over by the Obama administration via Obamacare and the rest of the entitlements so many of them know they will never see. They were ready to applaud at Berkeley.

And African Americans — when, since the end of Jim Crow, have they done worse than under the Obama administration with its record black unemployment numbers and horrifying statistics on out-of-wedlock births in their community?   Consciously or unconsciously, Democrats have been waging a “War on Blacks” since the days of the Great Society.  It’s been a disaster for African  Americans, a nightmare, in truth.

“Rand Paul told cheering Berkeley students the same thing Gene McCarthy did in 1968: Government is the enemy and I won’t tread on you,” journalist Joel Engel  tweets, adding in a follow-up, “If you were at Berkeley in ’68 and are surprised Rand Paul was cheered the way Gene McCarthy was, you’ve become a reactionary.”

Could Paul derail Hillary’s chances in the same way that McCarthy effectively brought an end to Lyndon Johnson’s bid for reelection in ’68? (Astonishingly, Mark Steyn’s 2006 obit for McCarthy is still online at the Atlantic as a remembrance of better journalistic times at that formerly august institution.) That Paul is willing to take the fight to new territory is certainly a promising sign. Faster, please — to borrow from another fellow PJM columnist.


“Appalling,” the Washington Post’s Eugene Volokh writes, linking to the University of California, Santa Barbara campus police report report of, as Volokh summarizes in his headline, “UC Santa Barbara professor [who] steals young anti-abortion protester’s sign, apparently assaults protesters, says she ‘set a good example for her students.’” Here’s how the police report concludes:

I asked [Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor with UCSB’s Feminist Studies Department] if she could have behaved differently in this instance. There was a long pause. “I’ve said that I think I did the right thing. But I acknowledge that I probably should not have taken their poster.” Miller-Young also said that she wished that the anti-abortion group had taken down the images when they demanded them to.

Miller-Young also suggested that the group had violated her rights. I asked Miller-Young what right the group had violated. Miller-Young responded, “My personal right to go to work and not be in harm.”

Miller-Young elaborated that one of the reasons she had felt so alarmed by this imagery is because she is about to have the test for Down Syndrome. Miller-Young said. “I work here, why do they get to intervene in that?”

I explained to Miller-Young that vandalism, battery and robbery had occurred. I also told Miller-Young that individuals involved in this case desired prosecution.

I later booked the torn sign into evidence at UCPD. I also uploaded the audio files of my interviews into digital evidence.

I request that a copy of my report, along with all related supplemental reports, be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Fox News adds, “Two California sisters told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Thursday they are fighting back against a college professor who they say assaulted them and stole their pro-life signs because ‘no one has the right to take someone else’s property:’”

Thrin Short, 16, and her sister Joan, 21, were part of an anti-abortion protest at the University of California, Santa Barbara when they were approached by Associate Professor Mireille Miller-Young. They say Miller-Young, who teachers feminist studies, grabbed the sign from them, and when they attempted to get it back, kicked and pushed them.

Thrin Short said on “The Kelly File” she feels Miller Young’s claim she had a “moral right” to take the signs are untrue, claiming that Miller-Young has herself shown graphic content in class.

“I’m sorry if these signs offended her in any way but, after all, she does teach, or show porn to her students so she’s not really the one to talk about offending images,” she said.

Earlier in the above quoted police report, Ace posits, Miller-Young’s “proposed legal defense” was launched in a trial balloon:

At about 1500 hours, I spoke to Miller-Young by telephone. I recorded my conversation with Miller-Young on my digital voice recorder.

In essence, Miller-Young told me that she felt “triggered” by the images on the posters. Miller-Young stated that she had been walking through the Arbor to get back to South Hall. Miller-Young said she was approached by people who gave her literature about abortion. Miller-Young said that she found this literature and pictures disturbing. Miller-Young said that she found this material offensive because she teaches about women’s “reproductive rights” and is pregnant. She said an argument ensued about the graphic nature of these images.

Miller-Young said that she situation became “passionate” and that other students in the area were “triggered” in a negative way by the imagery. Miller-Young said that she and others began demanding that the images be taken down. Miller-Young said that the demonstrators refused.

As Ace adds, “Apparently it has become de rigeur among the academic left to include big WARNING SIGNS on all articles or images which may “trigger” an emotional response in the highly emotional. For example, an article about the practice of cutting may “trigger” a response from someone with a history of cutting; an article about rape may ‘trigger’ a response from a rape victim.

Read the whole thing. And as one of Glenn Reynolds’ commenters notes, “Before Jeff Bezos, the Washington Post would never have run a story on this event.” The rest of the comments at Glenn’s post on the story are also well worth your time.

‘Scratch a Socialist Far Enough…’

March 20th, 2014 - 2:09 pm

myerson_rolling_stone_anti-semitic_tweet_3-20-14

“Scratch a socialist far enough, and this comes out,” Dan McLaughlin, aka “Baseball Crank” tweets, linking to a far uglier example of crankery. Jesse A. Myerson of Rolling Stone magazine, last seen in February, defending Hugo Chavez’s “basically terrific” communism and claiming, “of course I support nationalizing industry!” today goes — well, where nearly every socialist has gone before, as can be seen in the above tweet, part of a series rounded up by Twitchy.

As Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon tweets in response, “I hate it when Jews act like victims. I mean, c’mon. Can you imagine a more historically well-received group?!” But as NathanWurtzel adds, The irony is Myerson isn’t mad Jews ‘act like victims.’ He’s mad because we aren’t. Jews are strong and Israel is strong.

By the way, if Myerson really does “support nationalizing industry!”, presumably he’s also for nationalizing the media, as Salon actually called for in January. As I wrote back then, after a previous Communist rant by Myerson:

To borrow from Glenn Reynolds’ refrain whenever a warmist goes into “ban everything, but leave me my mansion and Gulfstream Jet” mode, I’ll believe Rolling Stone’s writers and editors are serious about their rhetoric when they form Occupy Jann Wenner’s Mansion and go full Bane on his estimated $700 million net worth. Otherwise they’re simply an updated version of the same fashionable poseurs an earlier generation of Rolling Stone railed against.

What say you, Jann?

Related: At Commentary, Seth Mandal writes, “Liberals Must Learn to Compartmentalize,” when it comes to pop culture, spotting a far left and anti-Israel London Guardian writer getting a case of the vapors after interviewing (fellow leftist) Scarlett Johansson and discovering — how dare she! — Johansson defends Israel during interviews while promoting the (Israeli-made) SodaStream product she endorses.

Golden Slumbers

March 19th, 2014 - 2:58 pm

“Beaten Obama turns his back on the world,” Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post:

The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I feel sorry for Obama,” I said. As my wife looked at me in disbelief, I quickly added a correction. “Well, almost.”

Beset by failures at home and abroad, the president cuts a lonely and sad figure these days. His aura of grief reflects his profound loss.

His worldview crashed headlong into reality, and reality won. Obamaism is dead, may it rest in peace.

That’s sad for him, but hold the tears — his loss is mankind’s hope. If Obama wakes from his utopian visions and faces the truth, there is a fighting chance to reverse America’s slide and keep the peace.

Can Mr. Obama awaken from his moral slumber? This headline from Wayne Allyn Root, who was a classmate of the ‘Bam Who Would be King thirty years ago doesn’t sound promising: “Obama Hasn’t Changed Since Columbia University.”

Why should we hope for change from the president at this late date?

(Via JWF.)

Bill de Blasio: The Anti-Choice Mayor

March 18th, 2014 - 10:03 am

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“Bill de Blasio’s War for Poverty” is  outlined by Bobby Jindal in the New York Post:

The mayor’s open warfare against Eva Moskowitz, who founded a network of 22 charter schools, has all the markings of a petulant tyrant holding low-income students hostage. De Blasio has said, “There’s no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent” — as if the 6,700 students in the charter schools she runs were a mere afterthought in his personal vendetta against a fellow Democrat.

Last May, he told a teachers-union forum that Moskowitz “has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” Yes, by all means, let’s not “tolerate” someone behind a movement to empower parents and students with more — and better — education choices. This woman who is making it possible for low-income kids to have an equal opportunity for a quality education must be stopped.

In Louisiana, we know a thing or two about government authorities meddling in parents’ right to choose the schools that are best for their children. President Obama’s Justice Department filed a lawsuit trying to impede our program that gives parents of low-income students in failing schools an opportunity to attend a better school. Fully nine in 10 students participating in the program are minorities, yet the Justice Department seeks to block the program on the grounds that it would lead to racial segregation. The lawsuit would be funny if it weren’t so sad — and if the lives of so many young African-American children weren’t at stake.

Lost in all the outrage manufactured by Mayor de Blasio is one simple fact: School choice works.

In New York, four in five charters outperformed comparable public schools in recent state tests; Moskowitz’s schools scored in the top 1 percent in math, and top 7 percent in English. In the president’s hometown of Chicago, one network of charter schools boasts a college graduation rate three times the average of Chicago public schools.

Yet these achievements are no matter to the left, which still clings to the shibboleths of a one-size-fits-all, Industrial Revolution-era education agenda dictated by government and teachers unions.

Read the whole thing. How do we drag the left out of the 1930s and the Cargo Cult of the New Deal and its Texas-sized successor, the Great Society?

Update: Deroy Murdock of NRO on “Bill de Blasio: George Wallace on the Hudson.”

‘Many Teenagers are Self-Trolling’

March 3rd, 2014 - 1:05 pm

There’s an interesting passage in an article titled “The Truth About Trolls,” by Vicky Allan of the Herald Scotland, as quoted yesterday by Kathy Shaidle:

Burchill’s column points to something we should pay attention to. It is the question of security: of what makes us strong enough to deal with the hate, to resist the need to constantly find validation online. It seems to me that if we focus solely on the cyber-bullies, we miss something rather important: that what happens on social media may be more of a symptom than a source of the problem.

Cyber-bullying, after all, isn’t a simple phenomenon. Last week, it was revealed that many teenagers are self-trolling – sending abusive messages to their own accounts.

Research in the United States found that out of 600 students, 9% had posted toxic remarks about themselves. When, last year, Hannah Smith, 14, hanged herself after messages were posted on Ask FM telling her to “go die”, “get cancer” and “drink bleach”, at first cyber-bullies were blamed. But later her father revealed that detectives believed she had been sending the messages to herself.

On Thursday, the London Daily Mail ran a story on Smith and other teenagers with the following headline and opening bullet points highlighting the article below:

The teens who troll themselves: In a shocking new form of self-harming, some young people have become their own vile online bullies

  • Cyber-bullies were blamed when Hannah Smith, 14, hanged herself
  • But detectives believe she had been sending vicious messages to herself
  • Growing number of British teens indulging in sinister habit of self-trolling
  • Find strange comfort in being own harshest critic
  • Often it’s a desperate cry for attention
  • Fears it could lead to physical self-harm

As Michelle Malkin has illustrated over the years, an enormous amount of “hate crimes” reported on college campuses have been attention and victimhood-seaking hoaxes. But is at all surprising? This is the era in which a network such as CNN obsesses over “bullying,” ranging from Saturday’s headline asking “Putin Bullying Obama?” to Anderson Cooper running show after show devoted to “bullies” on the high school level.

From the left’s point of view, we’re all victims now — to the point where millionaire pop culture superstars wallow in their victimhood, as well. In March of 2008, Billy Joel inducted John Cougar Mellencamp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During his induction speech for Mellencamp, Joel said:

“Don’t let this club membership change you, John. Stay ornery, stay mean. We need you to be pissed off, and restless, because no matter what they tell us – we know, this country is going to hell in a handcart. This country’s been hijacked. You know it and I know it. People are worried. People are scared, and people are angry. People need to hear a voice like yours that’s out there to echo the discontent that’s out there in the heartland. They need to hear stories about it. [Audience applauds] They need to hear stories about frustration, alienation and desperation. They need to know that somewhere out there somebody feels the way that they do, in the small towns and in the big cities. They need to hear it. And it doesn’t matter if they hear it on a jukebox, in the local gin mill, or in a goddamn truck commercial, because they ain’t gonna hear it on the radio anymore. They don’t care how they hear it, as long as they hear it good and loud and clear the way you’ve always been saying it all along. You’re right, John, this is still our country and we’ll always be victims of powerful people.”

If being “bullied” makes one special and unique, why wouldn’t teenagers want to experience the “joys” of victimhood firsthand as well?

Kirsten Powers Meets Krauthammer’s Law

February 20th, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Borrowing from Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” format, RealClearPolitics bolts a couple of miniature video cameras to one of their cars, and sends their pundits out on a drive while interviewing other media figures. And the format is already paying dividends — they caught former Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein to vacillating wildly on whether or not he maintains the JournoList, which, if he can’t answer with a straight yes or no, raises questions as to why someone should trust his writing on other topics.

In their latest video, as Noah Rothman writes at Mediaite, RCP’s Carl Cannon takes Kirsten Powers of Fox News out for a spin, which produces this interesting moment:

Cannon began by asking Powers how she is treated by her Fox colleagues. He recalled that New York Times’ conservative columnist David Brooks was not well-received when he first started writing for the Times and asked if Powers had encountered a similar experience.

“People are really nice at Fox,” Powers revealed. “It’s been good for because I – before that, I lived in a real liberal bubble.”

“All my friends were liberals and I grew up in a really liberal family,” she continued. “I had a lot of ideas about conservatives and then I got to Fox and just, I was like, ‘Oh, they’re not all evil and stupid.’”

I realize she’s speaking glibly and off-the-cuff, but the inference is that on some level, Powers actually did believe that all conservatives are evil, thus butting up against fellow Fox News pundit Charles Krauthammer’s law of politics from over a decade ago. “To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil,” Krauthammer wrote in 2002.

Apologies for constantly referring to Fred Siegel’s The Revolt of the Masses in every other post as of late, but it really does highlight how this worldview has been a staple point of “Progressivism” for just about a century now, as Michael Barone recently noted:

These 1920s liberals idealized the “noble aspiration” and “fine aristocratic pride” in an imaginary Europe and considered Americans, in the words of a Lewis character, “a savorless people, gulping tasteless food,” and “listening to mechanical music, saying mechanical things about the excellence of Ford automobiles and viewing themselves as the greatest race in the world.”

This contempt for ordinary Americans mostly persisted in changing political environments. During the Great Depression, many liberals became Communists, proclaiming themselves tribunes of a virtuous oppressed proletariat that would have an enlightened rule.

For a moment, idealization of the working man, but not the middle-class striver, came into vogue. But in the postwar years, what Siegel calls “the political and cultural snobbery” of liberals returned.

He recounts the derision of historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and economist John Kenneth Galbraith — Cambridge neighbors after the war — for Harry Truman, the onetime haberdasher and member of veterans’ groups and service clubs.

They failed to note that Truman was a serious reader of history and had, in supposedly backward Independence, Mo., studied piano under a teacher who had studied under Ignacy Paderewski.

The supposedly mindless 1950s, Siegel recalls, were actually a time of elevated culture, with thousands of Great Books discussion groups across the nation and high TV ratings for programs like Shakespeare’s Richard III, staring Laurence Olivier.

Liberals since the 1920s have claimed to be guided by the laws of science. But often it was crackpot science, like the eugenics movement that sought forced sterilizations.

Other social science theories proved unreliable in practice. Keynesian economics crashed and burned in the stagflation of the 1980s.

Predictions that the world would run out of food and resources turned out to be wrong. In the 1970s people were told global cooling was inevitable. Now it’s global warming.

As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an artist among social scientists, pointed out, social scientists didn’t really know how to eliminate poverty or crime. Policies based on middle-class instincts often worked better than those of elite liberals.

Which also applies to much that’s taught in academia, as well, as we’ll be spewing up, right after the page break.

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Do Art History Majors Hate America?

February 18th, 2014 - 3:08 pm

“Obama Apologizes for Smearing Art History Majors,” Jonathan Chait of New York magazine writes today, quoting the president’s letter to University of Texas art history professor Ann Collins Johns:

Ann —

Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed.

So please pass on my apology for the glib remark to the entire department, and understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

First of all, it seems strange to see the president begin a letter on official White House stationary with “Ann,” rather than Ms., Mrs., or Professor, but perhaps that’s simply a sign of the new informality* of modern times (ushered in during the 1970s, as David Frum wrote in his book on that endless lost weekend of a decade). But what’s even stranger is former BDS sufferer Chait’s postscript to the president’s letter. At the conclusion of his post, he writes:

The Obama apology tour continues! Basically, any group of people that hates America and gets worked up about it — Europeans, Muslims, art history majors — Obama will apologize to you.

So his core voting block, in other words. Nice of New York magazine, which put the phrase “Radical Chic” into wide circulation almost 45 years ago, to clarify.

But do the bulk of art history majors hate America? Or perhaps we should ask the flip-side of the equation: which college majors aren’t being taught to hate the nation?

(Via Virginia Postrel.)

* Oh to be a fly on the wall of the Oval Office if Johns wrote back a letter that began with “Barack” or “Barry” rather than “Dear Mr. President.”

Update: “Leave it to this guy to finally uncork a mea culpa on the very least of his sins as president, in a matter where he actually had half a point” regarding the exploding costs of higher-education, Allahpundit adds.

Raaaaaacism Straight Up!

February 17th, 2014 - 7:57 pm

Or the lack thereof, as “Liberals Can’t Name Single Example Of Tea Party Racism” in the above video:

Know why? Because there isn’t one.

In the video [above], liberals are asked if the Tea Party is racist. All of them say yes.

When they’re asked a follow up question to name a specific example, none of them can do it.

Seems rather odd that a protest movement that has supported Herman Cain, Mia Love, Allen West, and Tim Scott, and who are extremely conversant in the works of black pundits such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and PJTV’s own Alfonzo Rachel would be racist, but the media will never ask anyone a specific question to quantify their vague claims. (My favorite is the woman who when pressed sputters that the tea party is racist towards women because of the pro-life stance of many Tea Party members.)

Somewhere, the late Andrew Breitbart, who loved to ask protestors to get specific in their charges, is enjoying the above video, which is reminiscent of his 2010 pushback against the Purple People Beaters of the SEIU:

Presumably, Andrew is also enjoying the expansion of his sprawling namesake Website with yesterday’s editions of “Breitbart Texas” and “Breitbart London.” I wish they’d also launch some version of “Big Education,” which Andrew talked about bringing to fruition in the months before he passed away. Attacking media bias is one thing, but to truly change the culture, the source of the elites’ dominant ideology should be targeted for criticism and pushback as well.

Related: “WHITE SUPREMACIST BACKFIRE – SPLC Needs to Apologize for Anti-O’Keefe Smear,” from Hating Breitbart director (and PJM alumnus) Andrew Marcus today at Gateway Pundit.

A PETA protest at Texas Tech goes horribly wrong when actual farmers push back against the agitprop:

Emily: “Look, we know we are never going to change your mind. We will respect your decision to be vegan, as long as you respect us: the four farmers you met that treat their animals right.”
Dave: “I will never respect you. I know you beat your animals.”
Oh yeah Dave, I forgot, thanks for your help on the dairy last week.
Then, Dave revealed his true colors:
Dianne: “Look, my family and I live 30 minutes from here, come out with me to my farm, and see that we do not mistreat our animals.”
Dave: “I would, except I am going to Austin in a couple days, I don’t have time.”
Emily: “Oh you’ll be going right through my hometown, you’re more than welcome to stop in and see our dairy, and how we do not mistreat our animals.”
Dave: “I don’t want to see your farms, I don’t have time.”
The truth is: Dave probably did have time. Students don’t stay on campus 24 hours of the day, I’m certain he had more than enough time to tour Dianne’s family dairy, or our family dairy. Dave turned down two offers to tour a farm (thus, doubling his on-farm experience), because he doesn’t want to see the truth – that farmers ARE good to their animals. For Dave, it’s much more fun to take an isolated incidence and falsely publicize cases of neglect as common practice.
So Dave, the offer still stands: you are welcome to tour our dairy anytime. You’re wrong now, and you’ll be wrong then, we don’t mistreat our animals. Just like the majority of farmers and ranchers in America. Dave, I know you’ll keep telling lies the rest of your life, so I guess that means it’s up to me to balance it out. I’ll keep exposing the truth behind the “glass walls of production agriculture”, come on out, and I’ll give you the tour.

Read the whole thing.

(Via SDA.)

Quote of the Day

February 11th, 2014 - 9:21 pm

Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day, “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.

—Thomas Sowell, “The Highway to Serfdom,” today.

Related: Speaking of academia, Walter Russell Mead explains “how to ruin your life:”

Enroll in a college you can’t afford. Take really easy, fun courses [e.g., Politicizing Beyoncé, or The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Theodicy of Jay-Z]. Don’t worry about marketable skills. Blame society for the consequences (unemployment) of your attitude problem. Then demand the government (or your parents) bail you out. We guarantee you all the misery you could ever want.

Well, yes.

Of Campus Utopians and Leftwing Fruitopians

February 8th, 2014 - 6:13 pm

“Today’s liberals have a utopian impulse but it only comes out in hints and nods. If you look for it, you won’t find it. But if you relax your eyes, like with one of those posters showing hidden spaceships, it will emerge in plain sight,” Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest G-File. “I think the current model for liberal utopianism is the college campus,” a “Potemkin existence” that’s “only possible because of a vast network of wealth-generating forces off campus and under-appreciated hard-working people on campus:”

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.”

But even as this sensitivity is being cultivated, the student is stuffed to the gills with cant about the corruption of “the system,” i.e., the real world just outside the gates of his educational Shangri-La. He is taught that it is brave to be “subversive” and cowardly to be “conformist.” Administrators encourage kitschy reenactments of 1960s radicalism by celebrating protest as part of a well-rounded education — so long as the students are protesting approved targets, those being the iniquities of “the system.” There is much Orwellian muchness to it all, since these play-acting protests and purportedly rebellious denunciations of the status quo are in fact the height of conformity.

“The elite college kids I have in mind are the most dependent people in the world, the beneficiaries of every kind of affluence, financial, social, even civilizational and yet they think they are independent free-agents,” Jonah adds. Read the whole thing, including the passage before the above-quoted material, on the origins of JFK and RFK’s signature phrase, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why . . . I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”

No wonder the Illinois-based Evanston Now news site reports that “Neighbors said to fear ‘transient academics”:

Plans for an extended stay hotel in downtown Evanston are drawing fears from some that it will attract the wrong kind of academics as guests.

The Southeast Evanston Association, in an email message to its members, says neighbors need to assure that the establishment will carry “a hotel brand that will maintain a high quality of business, and not devolve into cheap housing for transient academics.”

Eschaton immanentizing utopian hobos armed with slide-rules are the scariest of all. (Perhaps seven years of the Big Bang Theory also put local Evanston residents off of the idea of transient academics huddling in their midst.)

Of course, any ideology that seeks to immanentize the eschaton and build the impossible — heaven on earth — has a huge religious component to it, and we’ll explore some of the zany sub-religions of leftism, right after the page break.

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Interview: P.J. O’Rourke on The Baby Boom

February 5th, 2014 - 10:52 pm

pj_orourke_baby_boom_cover_2-5-14-1

If anybody deserves an interview with PJ Media, it’s certainly P.J. O’Rourke — although as I explained to him before we began rolling, while many of us have been inspired by his writing, our Website’s name of course derives from a scandal involving a very different journalist.

O’Rourke has made a career of puncturing the excesses and pretensions of tyrants both domestic and abroad, and anyone who wishes to impose big government statism on others. And since that’s been the goal of the Baby Boom since Tom Hayden wrote the Port Huron Statement in 1962, it’s no surprise that O’Rourke would eventually devote a book to his own generation’s myriad excesses.

During our interview, he’ll discuss:

● Did an AARP membership card lead to Osama bin Laden’s death?

● Were the radical shifts in culture in the 1960s foreshadowed by any previous decades?

● How do the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes of the boomers differ from each other?

● Did the younger boomers learn anything from their older classmates?

● How did growing up as a boomer make P.J., in his college days, a man of the left, and how did he eventually join the vast right-wing conspiracy?

● The secret Hillary Clinton, Cheech & Chong connection, revealed at last!

● Does hashish and dynamite mix?

And much more. Click here to listen:

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(22 minutes and 42 seconds long; 20.7 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 3.89 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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Today’s Update to the Newspeak Dictionary

February 4th, 2014 - 10:37 am

“Sotomayor: Labeling Illegal Immigrants Criminals Is Insulting,” the CBS branch in -Oceana DC reports:

Sotomayor was asked at a talk at Yale Law School later in the day about her use of the term “undocumented immigrants” rather than the traditional illegal alien. Sotomayor characterized the issue as a regulatory problem and said labeling immigrants criminals seemed insulting to her.

“I think people then paint those individuals as something less than worthy human beings and it changes the conversation,” Sotomayor said.

But it’s Sotomayor who wishes to change the conversation — or better yet, not have it all, by declaring someone committing an illegal act is not a criminal, and committing a microagression on reality. As George Orwell wrote in “Politics and the English language,” the goal is “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” — the latter half of that equation presciently summing up the Obama administration quite nicely:

Oh, and CBS adds, “Sotomayor was interviewed by Judith Resnik, a Yale law professor, in front of a large audience and later by Linda Greenhouse, a journalist-in residence and lecturer at the law school.”

As John Podhoretz wrote at the Corner in 2006, “Holy jamoley:”

Holy jamoley. Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times — the paper of record’s beat reporter on the Supreme Court — just gave a talk at Harvard in which she basically said, “Hello. My name is Linda, and I make The Nation look like the John Birch Society.” Every single time anyone tells you the New York Times isn’t a left-wing organ from its news columns to its wedding pages, just send him this link.

Related: From Tom Blumer at Newsbusters: “Mind-Boggling Stats on Illegal Immigrants With Criminal Records the Press Rarely If Ever Publishes.”

That wouldn’t be fit to print, to coin a phrase.