May 27, 2018

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Having a Professional Drive to Your Home and Clean Your Guns Is More Practical Than You Might Think.

AT AMAZON, deals in Generators & Portable Power. Summer storms are coming.

AND YOU THOUGHT THE SCIENCE WAS SETTLED: Science still isn’t clear if yawns really are contagious.

PUBLIX ABANDONS FREE SPEECH AFTER PARKLAND RAGE-A-HOLIC DAVID HOGG THROWS IN-STORE TANTRUM: Don’t miss the photo at the end of the post of Publix shoppers selecting their fruit from a wall cooler after having stepped around Hogg’s staged “die-in” of kids lying on a supermarket floor.

IT’S CERTAINLY BEEN A BLESSING TO ME: If you’re attractive and therefore have ‘erotic capital’, do you possess an advantage to earn more money?

MEDIA MYTH ALERT: Hagiographic WaPo buys into ‘Cronkite Moment.’

ONCE AGAIN OBAMA CLAIMS ‘I DIDN’T HAVE SCANDALS:’ Why is the media still not challenging Obama’s absurd claims of being “scandal-free?”

Just think of the media as Democratic operatives with bylines, and it all makes sense.

ANNALS OF LEFTIST AUTOPHAGY: Google in deep doo-doo from environmental wackos over feeding stray cats. “As you might imagine, the leftists over at Google are cat people. And since they feed themselves, they feed nearby cats, too – tons of stray feral cats on their corporate headquarters grounds, known as the Googleplex. They call that not feeding strays, but more grandly: “colony care.” And according to this New York Times report, that’s a problem, because the cats are now doing what cats do, which is eat birds, specifically, the local owls, which has gotten the equally powerful local environmentalists up in arms.”

CLARICE FELDMAN: The Great Unmasking.

IN THE MAIL: From Senator Mike Lee, Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government.

Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals.

BRITAIN IN 2018: Was Tommy Robinson Arrested For Being Tommy Robinson?

More here.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, RACIAL DISCRIMINATION EDITION: Why does MIT have so few Asian Americans compared to Caltech? Study blames ‘holistic’ admissions.

Related: Asians Get The Ivy League’s Jewish Treatment.

UPDATE: From the comments: “Why the GOP doesn’t hold senate hearing[s] and put force these Ivy League presidents to defend racial discrimination on camera, is beyond me.”

CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Campaign contributor helped Obamas score Netflix deal.

Or as Byron York explains it:. “How it works: Netflix exec & wife bundle big donations to Obama in ’08. Wife is rewarded with ambassadorship. Now Netflix exec steers $50m contract to Obamas through ‘Higher Ground Productions.'”

Yet another argument for my revolving-door surtax.

YAWN, ANOTHER HOSTAGE FREED: Utah man incarcerated in Venezuela jail is on his way home, officials say.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, TRIBAL BIGOTRY EDITION: A survey conducted by the student newspaper at Dartmouth College reveals that Democrat students are much more likely than their Republican peers to let politics influence who they would date, befriend, or even trust.

MOLON LABE: ‘Surrender Your Firearms Within 24 Hours or Be Shot.’

THUNDERBOLTS OVER MIAMI: A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in formation over Miami Beach. The photo was taken May 26. The aircraft were participating in a Memorial Day weekend air show.

STANDING UP FOR FREEDOM: Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Trying to Stop Them.

PAUL BEDARD: Warning: 2018 political ‘civil war’ threatens, fueled by media.

More and more voices are raising concerns that the 2018 elections will ignite a terrible clash between supporters of President Trump and his increasingly agitated critics in a partisan battle that has been brewing for years.

Stanley Greenberg, former President Bill Clinton’s pollster, is warning of a “civil war.”

Purdue University President Mitchell E. Daniels, former President Ronald Reagan’s political director and a two-term Indiana Republican governor, sees the nation dividing into feuding “tribes” that gravitate to tyrants who “bludgeon” opponents.

In two separate reports, the two opposites come to a similar conclusion that the nation and even families are terribly divided and that the media has played a big role in creating the split.

When do you think the press will start asking itself, “are we the baddies?” Just kidding, we all know it’s not capable of such reflection.

STOP THE PRESSES! CNN Host Has Good Idea.

A SHOCKING CALL FOR diversity at Harvard. “Shocking because it comes from the editors of the Harvard Crimson, and because the diversity they call for is ideological.”

Plus: “Many public high schools–most, I fear–are now dominated by the wacky left. Thus, a student may easily arrive at an institution like Harvard without ever having encountered conservative ideas. If Harvard really wants to stand out from the crowd, it should give Western civilization, classical liberalism, social conservatism, and the free markets that have done more for humanity than anything else in history a fair shake.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, LEGAL EDUCATION EDITION: Brooklyn Law School Parts Ways With Dean.

Allard’s abrupt departure is unusual in legal education, where law deans typically announce their intention to step down months or even a year in advance. Even when law school leaders clash with university officials or faculty, they are typically allowed to plan graceful exits out of the dean’s office. …

Allard’s deanship coincided with the national downturn in law school applications, and the school struggled with financial issues during that time. It has sold a number of its residential properties in the highly sought-after Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, and in 2016 sold off an office building across the street from its downtown Brooklyn campus for $76.5 million.

But those sales don’t appear to have been enough to keep the school in a strong financial position.

Last month, Moody’s Investors Service lowered the law school’s outlook from stable to negative, citing, “ongoing tuition pricing challenges and operating deficits that are deeper than previously projected and will continue for a period longer than anticipated, leading to a likely deterioration of spendable cash and investments.” But Moody’s also noted that the school’s unrestricted reserves give it time to “move to operating equilibrium.” Moody’s reported that the school generates $43 million annually.

More at the link.

MEN WITHOUT CHESTS: Deadbeat son is a sign of America’s failure to raise boys.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, CULTURE OF BIGOTRY EDITION: What’s Wrong With Being From the South? Just Ask an Academic in the North.

That kind of crass regionalism creates well-earned suspicion of ivory-tower elites. The stereotyping works in both directions. Each sustains the other, leading to electoral results that help neither the professors up north nor the pig farmers where I grew up. Regionalism creates openings for populists to exploit and worsen these divides. These attitudes pit rural against urban, college-educated against non-college-educated. If those of us in academe are truly so smart, we ought to be the ones taking the first step toward bridging this divide.

Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring. In the age of Trump, anti-Southern attitudes seem to have crystallized and worsened throughout higher education. Any Trump-voting area, in fact, seems to be fair game for ridicule. These attitudes undercut the efforts of those seeking to advance the rights of marginalized groups in regions of the country where evidence-based scholarship might be needed the most. . . .

It is strange to me that so many academics cannot see when they show prejudice against the rural, the religious, and the less formally educated. We are trained to recognize systematic bias in terms of race and gender — but we remain too often unaware of our geographic prejudices. . . .

Intellectual laziness is on the rise with disturbing results. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, I spoke with a student who was bothered that she felt no sympathy at first for the victims. As we talked, she began to realize the rash of assumptions she had made about them: If they were attending a country-music concert, they must have voted for Trump, which meant they loved guns and thus deserved death. It’s an extreme example of our discourse of dehumanization — a vivid one in my memory. But it isn’t rare for me to hear similar assumptions expressed by students or faculty members, often without the critical self-reflection.

Looking down on the flyover people, and the unearned feeling of moral superiority it brings, is the coin with which the left pays its foot soldiers. Without that, many of them would be gone.

UPDATE: From the comments: “What’s most laughable is that the fans believe they are part of the team.”

May 26, 2018

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MICHAEL WALSH: Germany’s German Problem — And Ours.

WHY THE HECK do so many Koalas have chlamydia?

I dunno, but Bill Clinton visited Australia in 1996.

OPEN THREAD: Hey, it’s Saturday night, everybody’s havin’ fun. I’m in the comment thread, trying to get some comments done. Watching the comments go round, watching the comments go round. . . .

ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANT ISSUES: Every Durango Kid Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best, With No Further Explanation. I confess, I am not enough of a Durango Kid fanboy to dispute these. Is anyone?

CNN IS STRUGGLING IN THE AGE OF TRUMP. REALLY STRUGGLING.

CNN struggles to break 1 million viewers on a nightly basis.

There are plenty of reasons for this. CNN has to compete with MSNBC for a liberal audience and, unlike MSNBC, its liberal anchors pretend to be unbiased. MSNBC’s primetime anchors are more similar to Fox News’s talent, which embraces its distinctive ideological voice.

But so far, it seems, America is turned off by CNN’s panels of pundits yelling at each other about an aggrieved porn star.

How much crazier could CNN get if its anchors stopped pretending to be “unbiased?”

AN ALLY IN TRUMP’S ANTI-IRAN CAMPAIGN: Saudis Cut Trade With Germany.

ENDORSED.

THE BOOK HARVEY WEINSTEIN CARRIED TO HIS ARRAIGNMENT MAY HAVE BEEN A WARNING.

As Harry Shearer tweets, “Just Asking: Is the message Harvey Weinstein was sending by holding a copy of the bio of Elia Kazan at his arraignment, ‘I can name names, too’?”

CHANGE: Ireland Votes to Liberalize Abortion Law.

JOE PAPPALARDO: 10 of America’s Hidden Battlefields.

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Plus, save on Game Downloads. Why be bored?

CHRISTIAN TOTO: Seven Funny, Fawning Reviews of HBO’s ‘The Final Year.’

The Guardian tries oh, so hard to rally to Team Obama’s side in its review. But the film, as the critic begrudgingly admits, can’t ignore reality.

The Final Year uneasily concedes the possibility that Obama was on the back foot on Syria and may have been outsmarted by Putin: a constant, shrill complaint from the right.

Spoiler alert: The Right was right.

And there’s the other unintentional comedy coming from the film. The movie trumpets Obama’s trio of foreign relationship coups – the Paris Climate Accord, the Iran Deal and warmer relations with Cuba.

President Trump torpedoed the first two, and the third is fading. A sharper documentary might have dug deeper into Obama’s unwillingness to work with Congress rather than flexing his executive power pen.

Two can play at that game, apparently.

Meanwhile, film critics mourned the end of the Obama era via their “Final Year” reviews. The New York Times summons our lust for superhero movies in its closing comments about the film.

“The Final Year” may make viewers miss President Obama’s people. Unlike Marvel or DC superheroes in the movies, they won’t be back any time soon.

Read the whole thing — Christian is milking the soft power dividend of schadenfreude for all it’s worth here.

A “BIONIC VEST” that helps assembly-line workers work over their heads with less fatigue. “What also sets the vest apart is that it’s completely mechanical. There’s no cord, no battery, no electricity; it’s powered by springs. They kick in gradually once the wearer raises their arms to about chest-height and beyond.”

I’ve always found working over my head one of the most fatiguing jobs there is. It’s gotten modestly better as my shoulders have gotten stronger — as I discovered when taking down some blinds for my daughter recently — but I can’t imagine doing this for 10 hours a day without feeling like crap and eventually messing up my shoulders. Which is exactly what happens, and what this vest is in response to. Result with the vest: “Aw, I feel fine. My neck — instead of having to Icy Hot it down three or four times like I told you earlier, I feel fine at the end of the day.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Colleges Bend the Rules for More Students, Give Them Extra Help: With an influx of students classified as disabled, schools move to accommodate their needs.

As many as one in four students at some elite U.S. colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental-health issues such as depression or anxiety, entitling them to a widening array of special accommodations like longer time to take exams.

Under federal law, students can be considered disabled if they have a note from a doctor. That label requires schools to offer accommodations depending on the student’s needs. A blind student, for example, would have access to specialized software or a reader for an exam.

The rise in disability notes for mental-health issues has led to a surge in the number of students who take their exams in low-distraction testing centers, are allowed to get up and walk around during class or bring a comfort animal to school, among other measures. . . .

At Pomona, 22% of students were considered disabled this year, up from 5% in 2014. Other elite schools have also seen a startling jump in disabilities, according to data from the federal government and from the schools. At Hampshire, Amherst and Smith colleges in Massachusetts and Yeshiva University in New York, one in five students are classified as disabled. At Oberlin College in Ohio, it is one in four. At Marlboro College in Vermont, it is one in three.

Small, private schools have the greatest concentration of students with disabilities. Among the 100 four-year, not-for-profit colleges with the highest percentage of disabled students, 93 are private, according to a WSJ analysis of federal data.

Public schools have also seen a significant uptick in test accommodations. From 2011 to 2016, the number of students with special accommodations increased by an average of 71% among 22 flagship state schools, according to data obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The most common accommodations come during testing. Students who receive extended time may get twice as long as their classmates to take an exam.

Some professors question how this affects the fairness of exams.

With reason.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, GUEST CLAIM FOX NEWS WANTS AMERICANS TO ‘HATE EACH OTHER’; NFL POLICY IS LIKE ‘APARTHEID.’

“Apartheid” is a strong word that requires immediate action. Why aren’t Chris and the rest of his fellow MSNBC anchors heading to the Comcast boardroom to demand a blackout of NBC’s Sunday Night Football?

And the NBA as well, since the NFL is simply implementing their rules for the national anthem?

10 REMINDERS OF AMERICAN BRAVERY AND COURAGE: Here is a fascinating Memorial Day weekend selection of illustrations, beginning with George Washington’s Revolutionary War camp kit to Hanoi Hilton pajamas from the Vietnam era and Texas hero Sam Houston’s Bowie Knife.

There’s also a sequence of videos that should stir the heart of every patriot. As LifeZette’s Kyle Becker explains: “They invite us to understand what went into the creation — and the defense — of our country over the years.” And much more.

 

MEDIA BLACKOUT AFTER ANTI-ISLAMIST ACTIVIST JAILED IN ENGLAND FOR REPORTING ON MUSLIM RAPE GANG TRIAL:

Tommy Robinson, a British activist and journalist, has been arrested outside a Leeds courtroom for livestreaming information about a Muslim gang on trial for raping and grooming hundreds of victims, some as young as eleven. Robinson was taken immediately to prison.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a warning, not a how-to guide for British government. Read the whole thing.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Frustrated Profs Shut Down A Chancellor Search, Leaving President ‘Mortified.’ “The search for a new chancellor of the University of Massachusetts at Boston was shut down on Monday after the three finalists for the job dropped out. The candidates made their decision following faculty criticism of both the finalists and the search process. That’s an unusual outcome to a very common controversy. The widespread use of search consultants, the decline in shared governance, and the politicization of higher education have all contributed to the marginalization of faculty input in searches.”

Outside search firms are all the rage, but they don’t seem especially good at what they’re hired for. In fact, at my own institution, I think it’s fair to say that the quality of our administration has dropped since we started using them as opposed to promoting internally.

RIP: Alan Bean, 4th man to walk on the moon, dies at 86.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO LIE ABOUT RAPE: “WYFF News 4 Investigates has obtained new records in the case of the Clemson University student who said she was sexually assaulted. Sarah Campbell is now charged with a felony for filing a false report.”

THIS IS WHERE BANS ON “HATE SPEECH” LEAD: UK Arrests Islam Critic For Reporting On Grooming Gang Trial.

Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson was arrested Friday outside of a British court hearing on a gang accused of forcing women into sex, prompting protests Saturday.

Robinson was livestreaming on Facebook outside of a Leeds court when police arrested him for allegedly breaching the peace, according to The Independent. The Independent attempted to downplay Robinson’s claim of reporting on the grooming gang trial by putting “reporting” in quotes.

Video shows Robinson being whisked off by police as he demands to know the reason for his arrest. “This is ridiculous, I haven’t said a word…I’ve done nothing,” he said.

Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in jail for the crime, while the judge prohibited reporting of the verdict within the United Kingdom. No major British outlet reported on the sentence, and Breitbart redacted Robinson’s name from its report on the case.

According to The Independent, a contempt of court offense can be used to silence reporting on criminal procedures. Robinson was arrested while on a suspended sentence for a similar offense. In 2017, he was arrested and convicted of filming accused rapists as they headed into court.

Just by existing, he’s a threat.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: CPAP machines may help your sex life.

In a semi-related note, one of my friends recently remarked that being single in your 40s nowadays means taking a CPAP along to a booty-call.

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Plus, summer deals in Storage and Organization.

FASTER, PLEASE: Every 3-5 years SpaceX is adding a decade lead on competitors.

FYI: Jordan Peterson’s Reddit Ask Me Anything.

IN MY CASE, I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT: Could eating more fish boost fertility?

CINEMA TECH HISTORY: Joe Pappalardo: There Are Secrets In The Texas Theatre. Being a projectionist was once dangerous work.

DISPATCHES FROM THE FINAL FRONTIER. How Star Trek Became A Tribal Battleground Of PC Art: Why is it ‘weird’ for Ted Cruz to be a Star Trek fan? Because the left is using PC didacticism to mark off parts of the culture as their tribal territory.

It has become commonplace to lament that we don’t have a common culture any more—a repertoire of art that we can all enjoy regardless of our political loyalties. Well, maybe it’s because we have a lot of people trying to mark off parts of the culture as their tribal territory, off-limits to partisan enemies.

I thought of this when someone sent me a link to a recent podcast for science-fiction fans, in which political commenter Ana Marie Cox puzzles over the fact that Ted Cruz is a big Star Trek fan. (To save you some trouble, it’s about 28 minutes in.) Why is this such a mystery? “The original Star Trek universe, for its time even, was pretty social justice warrior-y.”

Try not to spit out your coffee. To paraphrase Dr. Carol Marcus, Jim Kirk was many things, but he was never a social justice warrior.

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away, Ace of Spades is dunking on the new Solo spinoff’s box office misfire as only he can: Soylo: A Soy Wars Soyry Will Be Disney’s Lowest-Earning Soy Wars Entry Yet.”

NOBODY SAW THIS COMING: Berkeley, others parts of California see rise in sexually transmitted infections.

I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU GOOD LUCK — WE’RE ALL COUNTING ON YOU. Starbucks Prepares to End Racism with ‘5/29’ Racial Bias Training.

(Classical reference in headline.)

CRAZED SEX POODLE GETS SALTY: Al Gore uses eliminationist rhetoric in address to U. Maryland graduates. Urging that a presidency be “terminated early” is worse than any of the stuff Sarah Palin was pilloried for. To be fair, Sarah Palin is a former candidate people actually listen to.

MARK LEVIN: What if the press is ‘contributing to the deterioration of liberty’?

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: UNH prof gloats about disrupting conservative speaker. “One of the protesters who temporarily disrupted a speech by Dave Rubin at the University of New Hampshire on May 1 turns out to be a Women’s Studies professor at the school. Shortly after the event, Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan gleefully tweeted that ‘we were able to disrupt this man’s hate speech as much as possible,’ declaring that ‘”civil discourse” with him is impossible.’ Ryan will be teaching a course called ‘Trans/forming gender’ next fall, which is reserved exclusively for incoming freshmen and will ‘explore the multiple ways in which gender is constructed.'”

At least some of it seems to be constructed out of shrieking harpies with no regard for the rights of others.

PRESSURE STARTS TO MOUNT ON IRAN: From the Wall Street Journal (scroll down for story).

Iran’s widening influence in the Middle East — already under pressure from the U.S. — also faces growing resistance from within its close regional allies, Syria and Iraq.

In Iraq, discontent among the country’s Shiite Muslim community with Iranian influence was reflected in cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s victory in this month’s election. Mr. Sadr, himself a Shiite, is a fierce nationalist whose supporters sometimes chant slogans criticizing Iran, the region’s top Shiite power.
Syrians in the largely secular capital, Damascus, have meanwhile accused Iran of stoking religious tensions. And Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s other main foreign partner, Russia, has showed impatience with Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, which Israel has moved to contain with airstrikes.

The pushback poses another challenge for Tehran as it tries to defend its gains in the region and avoid international isolation following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear accord.

Earlier this month the Israeli Air pushed back, unambiguously. Meanwhile, the Trump Administration starts to apply maximum pressure.

JUMPING ALL AMERICAN WEEK: Army paratroopers jump in the 82nd Airborne Division Airborne Review at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 24, 2018. A great photo.

MICHAEL BARONE: Obama officials’ spying on Trump a departure from norms.

“FBI used informant to investigate Russia ties to campaign, not to spy,” read the headline on a lengthy New York Times story May 18.

“The Justice Department used a suspected informant to probe whether Trump campaign aides were making improper contacts with Russia in 2016,” reads a story in the May 21 Wall Street Journal.

So much for those who dismissed charges of Obama administration infiltration of Donald Trump’s campaign as paranoid fantasy. Defenders of the Obama intelligence and law enforcement apparatus have had to fall back on the argument that this infiltration was for Trump’s — and the nation’s — own good.

It’s an argument that evidently didn’t occur to Richard Nixon’s defenders when it became clear that Nixon operatives burglarized and wiretapped the Democratic National Committee in June 1972.

Until 2016, just about everyone agreed that it was a bad thing for government intelligence or law enforcement agencies to spy (er, secretly collect information?) on a political campaign. Especially a campaign of the opposition party. Liberals were especially suspicious of the FBI and the CIA. Nowadays, they say that anyone questioning those agencies’ good faith is unpatriotic.

Well, they’ll say anything. But I think the matter was serious enough that it probably had to be authorized from the top.

MCCONNELL TO SENATE: Don’t Book Nonrefundable Travel for August Recess.

CHANGE: Trump Moves to Ease the Firing of Federal Workers.

President Trump on Friday signed a series of executive orders making it easier to fire federal government workers and to curb the workplace role of unions that represent them.

Andrew Bremberg, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said the president was “fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our Civil Service rules.”

But the push also reflects conservatives’ long-running suspicion of the federal bureaucracy, one reflected in pronouncements by the president’s advisers. Shortly after Mr. Trump took office, Stephen K. Bannon, then his chief strategist, called for “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Unions representing government workers were quick to denounce the actions, calling them an “assault on democracy,” in the words of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union, which represents 700,000 workers.

Making federal workers subject to elected officials isn’t an assault on Democracy, as even FDR knew.

And, once again, Trump is the most conservative, and most libertarian, president of my lifetime.

HORSE, MEET BARN DOOR: FBI issues formal warning on massive malware network linked to Russia. We’ve ignored cyber defense against Russia — and more significantly China — for a decade, and the result is a debacle.

I DUNNO, IT’S ALREADY KINDA OVERPRICED AND TOXIC: Should Higher Education Be More Like Chipotle?

WELL, IT DOESN’T ALLOW FOR APPROVED RACIAL POSITIONING: Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The anti-woman violence feminists are afraid to confront.

JOHN MCWHORTER: Atonement As Activism: Today’s consciousness-raising on race is less about helping black people than it is about white people seeking grace.

Coates is a symptom of a larger mood. Over the past several years, for instance, whites across the country have been taught that it isn’t enough to understand that racism exists. Rather, the good white person views themselves as the bearer of an unearned “privilege” because of their color. Not long ago, I attended an event where a black man spoke of him and his black colleagues dressing in suits at work even on Casual Fridays, out of a sense that whites would look down on black men dressed down. The mostly white audience laughed and applauded warmly—at a story accusing people precisely like them of being racists.

This brand of self-flagellation has become the new form of enlightenment on race issues. It qualifies as a kind of worship; the parallels with Christianity are almost uncannily rich. White privilege is the secular white person’s Original Sin, present at birth and ultimately ineradicable. One does one’s penance by endlessly attesting to this privilege in hope of some kind of forgiveness. After the black man I mentioned above spoke, the next speaker was a middle-aged white man who spoke of having a coach come to his office each week to talk to him about his white privilege. The audience, of course, applauded warmly at this man’s description of having what an anthropologist observer would recognize not as a “coach” but as a pastor.

I have seen whites owning up to their white privilege using the hand-in-the-air-palm-out gesture typically associated with testifying in church. After the event I have been describing, all concerned deemed it “wonderful” even though nothing new had been learned. The purpose of the event was to remind the parishioners of the prevalence of the racist sin and its reflection in themselves, and to offer a kind of forgiveness, this latter being essentially the function of the black people on the panel and in the audience. Amen.

Some might see all of this as a healthy sign of moral advance. And I suppose if I had to choose between this performativity and the utter contempt most whites had for any discussion of discrimination 50 years ago and before, I’d choose our current moment. But goodness, it piles high and deep, this—well, I’ll call it fakeness. . . .

The self-affirming part is the rub. This new cult of atonement is less about black people than white people. Fifty years ago, a white person learning about the race problem came away asking “How can I help?” Today the same person too often comes away asking, “How can I show that I’m a moral person?”

They want religion. But they don’t actually want to be told to do anything they don’t already want to do.

AND OF COURSE THEY DO:  Harvard Extension School Now Offers ‘Social Justice Certificate’ Program.

IOW, DO THEY USE ‘SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED?’:  Five Ways to Know if You Can Talk to Someone about Climate.

UH OH:  BREAKING: Explosion at Indian Restaurant Outside Toronto Appears to Be a Bombing.

AS ALWAYS:  Trump Says He and North Koreans are Talking Again; Leftists Hardest Hit.

TEACH WOMEN NOT TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT:  Cable customer forced oral sex on repairman: cops.

THAT ISN’T FAT, IT’S A PROACTIVE BARRIER:  Obese people twice as likely to survive infectious diseases.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GO THROUGH THE TSA CHECK!  FBI tells women how to protect themselves from sexual assaults on flights.

PEAK JAPAN? HOLD MY SAKE AND WATCH THIS!  Hello Kitty bullet train is peak Japan.

ALIENS, IT’S GOTTA BE ALIENS!  Mystery lasers spotted shooting out from nebula.

N.B. – THIS BLOG IS NOT DIGITAL HEROIN, IT’S MORE LIKE DIGITAL REEFER [VODKA? SINGLE MALT? FINE WINE?]:   Our digital addictions are killing our kids.

May 25, 2018

READER BOOK PLUG: From reader Clayton Barnett, The Fourth Law. I get a cameo, of sorts.

WELL, IT IS OKLAHOMA CITY, AFTER ALL: Turns out the OKC shooter wasn’t stopped by a good guy with a gun — he was stopped by TWO good guys with guns. Twice as nice. Sort of like my Sonny’s BBQ story. “I’m happy to have you carrying — if somebody tries to rob me, it’s two against one.”

OPEN THREAD: Please reserve your DogMan discussions for the earlier post.

WITH TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO BEARING DOWN, I’M REMINDED THAT I EXPERIENCED FIRST HAND THE FIERCE DEVASTATION that accompanied the 2006 Alberto. And not only survived, but prevailed.

THE DIRE WOLVES ARE COMING BACK: Mysterious wolf-like creature shot in northcentral Montana near Denton.

IT IS: The insane crackdown on pain medication.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: What Happened When I Let A Womanizer Take Over My Tinder Profile.

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WATCHING DIFFERENT MOVIES, AS SCOTT ADAMS SAYS: The Left And The Right Aren’t Hearing The Same Jordan Peterson.