K.C. Johnson on dogmatic faculty, the Duke rape hoax, and why due process matters:
It was, I think, unprecedented, the sort of behaviour we saw from the Duke faculty. Faculty members essentially chose to exploit their students’ distress to advance a campus pedagogical agenda, to push their own ideological vision and to abandon any pretence of supporting fairness, due process and the dispassionate evaluation of evidence… A complete abandonment of any pretence of objectivity, of any interest in the truth.
Ann Althouse parses Hillary Clinton and is taken aback by what she finds:
Read it again and see how shocking it is. Not only did Hillary completely turn her back on “balancing competing values” and “more thoughtful conversation,” she doesn’t want to allow people on one side of the conversation even to believe what they believe. Those who care about gun rights and reject new gun regulations should be stopped from holding their viewpoint. Now, it isn’t possible to forcibly prevent people from holding a viewpoint… but the question is Hillary Clinton’s fitness for the highest office, and her statement reveals a grandiose and profoundly repressive mindset.
Somewhat related, Jayson Veley on the joys of modern schooling:
Andrew Lampart, a student at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut, was assigned an in-class debate on gun control during his “Law & You” course. While preparing for the debate during study hall, Lampart logged onto the school-provided internet and found that students were forbidden from visiting The National Association for Gun Rights... “I used my study hall to research gun control facts and statistics. That is when I noticed that most of the pro-second amendment websites were blocked, while the sites that were in favour of gun control generally were not… I found it nearly impossible to get solid information to debate my side of the argument.”
For a long while I’ve been trying to interest my friends in the art world to get behind freedom of speech in a bigger way, to recognise that the very health of the marketplace of ideas depends on its openness to entry and its freedom of transaction... This usually doesn’t persuade anyone who isn’t already liberty-minded to begin with. So next I resort to self-interest. We creative types rely on that openness to function. If we don’t stand in defence of hate speech — not the content, just the right to express it — any mechanisms for cutting it off will eventually be used against us. If injured feelings take on the seriousness of injured bodies, we will become a society that pulls art off of walls, cancels performances, and strikes essays from public view. Sadly, this usually doesn’t work either, because the targets of accusations of hate speech typically lean right, and the art community leans left.
Franklin also links to this Pew survey of social media use, which suggests that self-described progressives are statistically much more likely to ban or block people with whom they disagree. A finding that may not be entirely shocking to regular readers.
And somewhat related, Greg Collins on the unremarked privileges of the self-appointed privilege police:
The paramount privilege at universities is not race, class, or gender, but intellectual soft despotism… A student whose worldview clings to that of university administrators and professors has the advantage of accessing university resources, money, and time to drive his cause. These instruments are far more powerful in granting benefits to politically preferred groups in higher education than subconscious biases in favour of particular races or classes. It is a privilege when your views conform with those of more than 90 percent of your professors. It is a privilege when your worldviews are blessed by a proliferation of like-minded commencement speakers and guest lecturers. And it is a privilege when you have university resources, money, and time within fingertips’ reach to wield to advance your political cause.
As an illustration of this leverage, Collins mentions one of many sabotaged speaking events - a talk by the conservative writer Don Feder at the University of Massachusetts in March 2009, the subject of which was, or would have been, free speech. Within 20 seconds of opening his mouth, Feder had been interrupted, shouted down and called a racist, before being screamed at repeatedly and assailed with epithets about his daughter. Despite his pleas for civility, Feder was unable to speak for more than three minutes without further, often deafening interruption by members of the International Socialist Organisation and Radical Student Union. Footage of the disruption can be seen here. Despite the students’ prolonged attempts to intimidate Feder and prevent the intended discussion taking place – a goal they accomplished - campus officials later claimed that Feder “chose to discontinue his speech.” An interesting, and revealing, choice of words.
I am fascinated by the growing science behind the energy of consciousness and its effects on matter. I have long had Dr Emoto’s coffee table book on how negativity changes the structure of water, how the molecules behave differently depending on the words or music being expressed around it.
Regarding these misbehaving molecules, Ms Paltrow’s Goop website informs us,
Emoto poured pure water into vials labelled with negative phrases like ‘I hate you’ or ‘fear’. After 24 hours the water was frozen and no longer crystallised under the microscope: it yielded grey, misshapen clumps instead of beautiful lace-like crystals. In contrast, Emoto placed labels that said things like ‘I love you’ or ‘peace’ on vials of polluted water, and after 24 hours they produced gleaming, perfectly hexagonal crystals. Emoto’s experiments proved that energy generated by positive or negative words can actually change the physical structure of an object.
Tim Worstall reads The Lancet, where socialism trumps reality:
Lifespans are still getting longer, communicable disease continues to reduce, age adjusted cancer rates are falling: there’s simply no evidence at all that the health of the population is declining. So, given that we’ve not got any sign whatsoever of declining health, it’s very difficult indeed to say that increasing inequality is causing something that isn’t happening.
And again here. When supposedly learned people talk unironically about “social justice,” a good mental response is “yellow alert.”
In Thomas Piketty’s highly-praised new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, he asserts that the top tax rate under President Herbert Hoover was 25 percent. But Internal Revenue Service records show that it was 63 percent in 1932. If Piketty can’t even get his facts straight, why should his grandiose plans for confiscatory global taxation be taken seriously?
Uh, man’s sole “jabringing” object disfigure religion trauma and nubs, uh, the, inside the trauma of representation that turns into the black child devouring and identifying with the stories and into the white culture brought up, uh, de de de de de, dink, and add subjectively like a white man, the black man!
Go Team Dada. Embrace the jive.
As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets below.
Some of you may remember Ms Lierre Keith, a former radical vegan activist turned radical advocate of a return to subsistence farming. Ms Keith has long been a vocal champion of vandalism, harassment and “militant action,” and taken at their own words, she and her colleagues would like to see those they deem “associated” with environmental accidents being killed by the state. They also like the idea of “sabotaging infrastructure” and cutting power lines, thereby leaving tens of thousands of people without light and heat, as this would somehow encourage “class consciousness.” Elderly people in remote locations would presumably embrace the finer points of revolutionary eco-socialism as they shivered in the dark and the feeling left their limbs.
In March 2010 Ms Keith was herself targeted for “militant action” by disgruntled vegans even more radical and pious than she, and who disrupted her lecture at an anarchist book fair by pelting Ms Keith with chili-flavoured cream pies. An experience our fearless titan found both bewildering and outrageous. “The whole thing was designed for social humiliation,” Ms Keith told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We’re supposed to be against sadism and cruelty and domination, and these people were willing to do this to me.” Unfortunately, the Chronicle didn’t ask Ms Keith whether this small taste of her own medicine, her own methods, had altered her position on changing the views of others by means of “militant action.”
Having since recovered from this traumatic encounter with slapstick protest, and armed only with an anatomical slideshow of male genitalia, Ms Keith has resumed her attempts to establish her own radical credentials in yet another sphere. And so, in the following video, recorded over the weekend at a public library in Portland, Oregon, Ms Keith – now a “radical feminist and gender abolitionist” – speaks truth to power, fearlessly, radically, and at enormous personal risk. Specifically, she shares the truth that, “Being a man requires a psychology based on entitlement, emotional numbness, and a dichotomy of self-knowledge.” Self-knowledge being a subject on which Ms Keith can speak with unassailable authority.
Naturally, Ms Keith’s latest area of expertise is not limited to maleness and its inherent wickedness; the entire world of manandwomanlyness™ is hers to describe, and of course correct. And so we learn that, “Gender is a political creation because patriarchy has to separate who counts as human and who counts as an appropriate target for violation. That’s what gender is.” Gender, it turns out, is merely a “caste system,” one “disguised as biology.” Therefore there must be “organised political resistance.” Which is to say, “The sex class ‘men’… needs to be abolished if women are ever to be free.” Because, “Liberty and a living planet will only be won when masculinity, its religion, its economics, its psychology and its sex is resisted and finally defeated.” These deep thoughts and more can be savoured more fully in the video below:
It saddens all that I believe is truly good so deeply to see such ignorant and violently senseless comments made out of selfishness and an inability to think beyond an immediate and primitive reaction... But how do you address a flood of ignorance, a torrent of hatred and insecurity? How do you speak to the angry voices with pitchforks and torches? You are the witch hunters and you project your own inadequacies onto others without any self-critical thought or capacity for ideas outside of your own selfishness. Good art causes us to ask questions of ourselves and the reason you hate this art is because you refuse to ask yourself any meaningful questions... Your soul will remain undeveloped and your life without meaning if you allow your ignorance to control you. In art, as in life, you must ask yourself the most important question: why? And ask it honestly. Give yourself some time. And for most of you, a lot of time.
In the run-up to the 2012 election, senior IRS executives including Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS branch that oversees the activities of tax-exempt non-profit groups, began singling out conservative-leaning organisations for extra attention, invasive investigations and legal harassment. The IRS did not target groups that they believed might be violating the rules governing tax-exempt organisations; rather, as e-mails from the agency document, the IRS targeted these conservative groups categorically, regardless of whether there was any evidence that they were not in compliance with the relevant regulations… Also targeted were groups dedicated to issues such as taxes, spending, debt, and, perhaps most worrisome, those that were simply “critical of the how the country is being run.”
In my day, the college campus was a place that celebrated the diversity of ideas. Pure argument was our guide. Staking out an unpopular position was admired - and the admiration, in turn, provided excellent training in the virtues of tolerance on the one hand and, on the other, integrity. Your generation, I am pleased to say, seems to be doing away with all that. There’s no need for the ritual give and take of serious argument when, in your early 20s, you already know the answers to all questions. How marvellous it must be to realise at so tender an age that you will never, ever change your mind.
And Luke James steers us to the following round-table discussion about the suppression of free speech by self-styled student ‘activists’. If you’ve 30 minutes to spare, the video below is well worth watching, though not exactly encouraging. The participants are Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, whose encounters with such ‘activists’ have been mentioned here previously, Justin Trottier of the Centre for Inquiry, Huffington Post blogger and “community organiser” Rachel Décoste, and Alice McLachlan, Professor of Philosophy at York University, Toronto. The views of Ms Décoste and Ms McLachlan may be of particular interest, though possibly for reasons the ladies didn’t intend.