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Elsewhere (202)

Thomas Sowell on dubious graduation messages: 

Two themes seem to dominate Commencement speeches. One is shameless self-advertising by people in government, or in related organisations supported by the taxpayers or donors, saying how much nobler it is to be in “public service” than working in business or other “selfish” activities. In other words, the message is that it is morally superior to be in organisations consuming output produced by others than to be in organisations which produce that output. Moreover, being morally one-up is where it’s at. The second theme of many Commencement speakers, besides flattering themselves that they are in morally superior careers, is to flatter the graduates that they are now equipped to go out into the world as “leaders” who can prescribe how other people should live. In other words, young people, who in most cases have never had the sobering responsibility and experience of being self-supporting adults, are to tell other people -- who have had that responsibility and that experience for years -- how they should live their lives.

Michael Strickland learns that interracial smiling can be a sign of “white fragility” and therefore proof of racism, at least when people of pallor do it: 

They continue to ponder if they are racist for crossing the street the wrong way, or when they smile at people of colour. “Am I doing the ‘white guy smile’?” asks one of the students.

Robert Tracinski on the vanity and incompetence of Mrs Bernie Sanders: 

While her husband has been out promising everyone free college, [Mrs Sanders] used to run a $25,000-per-year private college — which just announced it will be closing down due to the crushing weight of debt it incurred under her leadership. The debt was backed by fraudulent claims about millions of dollars in pledged donations. The case of Burlington College is a nice little microcosm of what we can expect from her husband’s economic agenda: grandiose schemes for expansion and improvement and lavish benefits offered to everyone — based on lies and financed by reckless, unsustainable borrowing, resulting in eventual collapse. It’s a microcosm of socialism in one other respect, too, which is that Jane Sanders and her friends and family did pretty well skimming the gravy off the top of the system while she ran it into the ground.

And Katherine Timpf on what that student debt is getting you: 

A professor at Santa Monica College took a group of students on an “EcoSexual Sextravaganza” trip earlier this month, during which they “married the ocean”… The students were specifically instructed to think of this marriage as one involving sex, and encouraged to “consummate” the marriage and “make love to the water” by sticking parts of their bodies into it.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

The complete, scrollable Star Wars. By all means spend your lunch hour checking for errors and omissions. // Mitsubishi bees. // At last, a 3” turntable for all those 3” records you’ve kept. // Cat watches Psycho. // Why snow and confetti ruin YouTube video quality. // Can you tell what it is yet? // A pumpkin’s life. // Supaidāman, 1978. // Twerk it, sister. // Where to test your satellite antenna. // Low pass, Budapest. // Chart of note. // Air raid sirens of the Los Angeles area. (h/t, Coudal) // Cooking with dog. (h/t, Elephants Gerald) // Can you spell “grade inflation”? // Cosplay triumph. // Boys and girls. // British diet data. We’re drinking less tea, apparently. // Travel snaps of note. // Fire from the sky. // And finally, this chap plays the piano better than you do and he has no fingers.

I’m Sensing Tension In The Room

There’s a nasty institutionalised habit of letting leftwing activists get away with the worst of offences. After all, despite forking out nearly a grand in security costs, they wouldn’t even stop the activists from storming the stage.

While visiting DePaul University, Chicago, Milo Yiannopoulos has been having a spot of bother with some of the natives.

The gentleman muttering threats of violence is Edward Ward, a political science alumnus, and apparently the protest’s ringleader. The agitated young lady, the one screeching hysterically and jabbing her fists in Milo’s face, claims to have been silenced “for 200 years.”

Full video of the event can be viewed here.

She Leans

Laurie Penny tells us that her politics,

lean towards anarchism/anarcho-communism.

And so, intrigued, we turn to Wikipedia:

The abolition of wage labour is central to anarchist communism. With distribution of wealth being based on self-determined needs, people would be free to engage in whatever activities they found most fulfilling and would no longer have to engage in work for which they have neither the temperament nor the aptitude.

How terribly precious. Imagine all of our delicate hand-wash-only radicals, all those little Lauries, self-determining how much wealth should be distributed their way, and how much, or little, they could be arsed to do in return. Temperament permitting. 

See also, parasite

Elsewhere (201)

Robert Tracinski on socialist Venezuela and the imaginings of John Lennon: 

Before you judge Venezuela’s looters, consider what you would do if your children were starving. So much for “no hunger.” What about the “brotherhood of man”? Not only is looting soaring in Venezuela, but so are all forms of crime. It has gotten so far out of control that mobs of vigilantes are burning people alive in the streets over petty thefts. It turns out then when people are starving, there’s not a lot of brotherhood. Instead, they fight like dogs over a bone.

Mick Hartley quotes Nick Cohen on Venezuela’s leftist cheerleaders: 

Venezuela, cried Seumas Milne in the Guardian, has “redistributed wealth and power, rejected western neoliberal orthodoxy, and challenged imperial domination.” What more could a breathless Western punter ask for? Never underestimate the power worship of those who claim to speak for the powerless, or the credulity of the supposedly wised-up critical theorist. […] The show is over now. Their fantasies fulfilled, the western tourists have left a ruined country behind without a guilty glance over their shoulder. Venezuela looks as if it has been pillaged by a hostile army, though there has been no war.

Theodore Dalrymple on charity and welfare: 

Charity given as of right, for that is what the welfare state does, favours the undeserving more than the deserving, in so far as the undeserving have a capacity and even talent for generating more neediness than the deserving. (They also tend to be more vocal in their demands.) The welfare state in fact dissolves the very notion of desert, because there is no requirement that a beneficiary prove he deserves what he is legally entitled to. And where what is given is given as of right, not only will a recipient feel no gratitude for it, but it must be given without compassion — that is, without regard to any individual’s actual situation. In the welfare state, the notion of a specially deserving case is prohibited, for it implies a distinction between the deserving and the undeserving.

And Katherine Timpf on sartorial innovation in the name of “social justice”:

The New Hanover County School System in North Carolina has proposed a ban on wearing tight pants in its schools because apparently “bigger girls” are getting bullied for the way that they look when they wear them.

Snug jeans and leggings would only be permissible if a looser secondary garment, say, a long shirt or dress, “covers the posterior in its entirety.” Freddie Mercury and Sir Mix-A-Lot could not be reached for comment.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

Friday Ephemera

Hubris meets nemesis. (h/t, Damian) // There’s a GoBoat with your name on it. // 12 hours of air conditioner hum. Use it wisely. // Darth by Darthwest. // Bath time. // Behold. // Do not swallow your phone. // For all your subtitled Soviet movie needs. (h/t, Tom) // “History’s most dangerous piece of intellectual malware.” // Suspiciously quiet on Mars. // Miniature nineteenth century photo studio. // Man’s besties. // The making of you. // Hardcore ivy. // Stiff breeze. // Headline of note. // Because Korean hip-hop exists. I denounce the cultural appropriation. // Corgi orgy. // And happily it’s washable. (h/t, Paul) // For the wee ones, a cuddlesome cephalopod. // Sculptural fish tanks. // And finally, thrillingly, the Great Crepitation Contest of 1946. It’s all in the knees, apparently.

Elsewhere (200)

Rachelle Peterson on the ugly racial dogma of Black Lives Matter: 

A major claim shared by most of the participants at Black Lives Matter 101 is that the black “lived experience” is impenetrable to non-blacks. The “narrative” is closed off and inaccessible to any who has not lived it, which means, by definition, all “whites.” According to these pronouncements, [non-black people] are inadvertent racists if they attempt to affirm black culture because they will inevitably present it as one-dimensional. And they are racists pure and simple if they do not affirm black culture in exactly the ways the Black Lives Matter activists prescribe. It is racism either way, and racism all the way down. […]

The spokesmen at Black Lives Matter 101 gave voice to what would quickly be recognised in any other context as claims of racial exclusivity. They were not shy about this or worried that it would undermine their larger claims. But, in fact, this view does undermine their larger claims. Their eagerness to take racial categorizations as fundamental, unalterable, and essentially “true,” contradicts their sense that racism is unjust and wrong. Replacing one form of racism with another takes us no closer to a fair and just society… What is the use of protesting racism by affirming an intrinsic all-powerful racial identity? 

And yes, there’s video of the gathering in question. Though to get through it, you may need a handy canister of nitrous oxide. 

Heather Mac Donald on the Great Mao-ling Psychodrama: 

My personal favourite in this tsunami of self-pity comes from Princeton’s put-upon minority students, who proclaimed that they were “sick and tired of being sick and tired,” a phrase first used by Fannie Lou Hamer, a civil rights activist who had picked cotton as a child on a Mississippi plantation and who was beaten for trying to vote. Can we have a reality check here? Every American college student today, no matter his race or gender, is among the most privileged individuals in human history. Millions of Chinese students are at this very moment studying their butts off in the hope of gaining access to the intellectual resources that American students take for granted. And being a Princeton or Yale student bears no resemblance - need I really say this? - to being a sharecropper in the Jim Crow South. 

Meanwhile, at Dartmouth College, merely suggesting that the lives of police officers matter too can result in indignation, vandalism and organised efforts to intimidate. Note which party college administrators are frightened of upsetting and willing to indulge with double standards, and note the somewhat creepy tactics of those who feel entitled to dictate the range of opinions and facts that may be expressed. Apparently, remembering police officers killed in the line of duty is nothing more than “white supremacist bullshit” and an act of “violence.”

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.

She Brought So Much Laughter To Our Lives

Sad news, readers. The Telegraph reports that Ms Natalie Bennett will shortly be standing down as Green Party leader. Says the Great Green Articulator

I’m not a smooth, spin-trained, lifelong politician… It’s both my strength and my weakness that I answer the question.

Those wishing to relive Ms Bennett’s attempts to answer questions, and to recall facts and grapple with basic arithmetic, can do so here and here. And given Ms Bennett’s belief that “the world is sodden with stuff” and that therefore the people in it “cannot have more stuff,” and given her party’s commitment to economic recession and “realigning the [public’s] mind” until it embraces an overbearing state and a “new economic order,” also known as ruin, perhaps we should be thankful for her entertaining inadequacies.

Friday Ephemera

Doctor’s note of note. // Little Mercury, big Sun. // 200 years of U.S. immigration. // Antimatter yield calculator. // Notice of note. // At last, your very own garden igloo. // It’s a good-news-bad-news thing. // KFC edible nail polish. // For dining or ping pong, only $8,200. // Peak Waitrose. (h/t, Damian) // Honey on tap. // Hardcore icing. // For sufferers of phone battery neurosis. // Honest Trailers: Deadpool. // Juggle drumming. // The dead and deadening world of contemporary art. // Annoy your pets with the cat soundboard. // 90 episodes of Suspense (1942-1962). // 2,000 metres of fabric. // Middle-aged break-dancers. // Meanwhile, in China. // “Children make toys out of it.” // And finally, quite splendidly, the 2016 Mylapore Kapaleeswarar Temple Car Festival.

See How Their Agonies Catch The Light

I’m an artist first. But I decided long ago that my art would be in the service of fighting oppression.

Oh dear. I think you can probably guess where this is going. The creative juggernaut in question is Hari Ziyad, “a black non-binary artist and writer whose work centres on creating through the arts alternative ways of living outside of systems of oppression.” And hence being published in Everyday Feminism, where readers and contributors are so varied and diverse, so daringly different.  

Since then, I’ve waded more deeply into social justice spaces, and I find myself surrounded more and more by people professing these same aspirations... It’s comforting not to have to constantly explain yourself and your work. It’s beautiful to learn from and be around folks who understand ideas like microaggressions, gaslighting, white fragility, and all the other odd terms that describe the myriad, important, and insidious ways oppression operates.

And being around other, eerily similar people with similar educations, all begging eerily similar questions, saves so much time and potential aggravation. Instead, the group can bask in its mutual gloriousness as it hovers high above the herd and any unsophisticated objections.

But wait, even paradise has its vipers:

Being in these spaces for a while now, I’ve noticed that I’ve been increasingly receiving feedback that my writing is inaccessible. I dismissed a lot of this critique on the basis that I am, at my core, a big idea and theory girl. My way of communicating isn’t supposed to be meant for everyone.

Well, obviously. After all, “social justice spaces” are for beings who are lofty and deluxe, and who, like our Everyday Feminist author, a theory girl with a beard, find “academic jargon comforting.” Which is to say, people who are enlightened, piously fretful, ostentatiously egalitarian, and therefore superior. The kinds of people who, unironically, write things like this:

I’d been frustrated by the workings of neoliberalism for the longest,


When I wrote one of my first pieces on my gender journey, I naturally used a quote from Judith Butler about gender realities. Regarded as one of the foremost queer theorists, it made sense to use her words to explore my queer complexities.

Rise up, ye proletariat! Judith Butler will set you free!

Continue reading "See How Their Agonies Catch The Light" »

Elsewhere (199)

Jonathan Haidt and Lee Jussim on the fundamental defects of “diversity” ideology: 

As practised in most of the top American universities, affirmative action involves using different admissions standards for applicants of different races, which automatically creates differences in academic readiness and achievement… These differences are large, and they matter… As a result of these disparate admissions standards, many students spend four years in a social environment where race conveys useful information about the academic capacity of their peers. People notice useful social cues, and one of the strongest causes of stereotypes is exposure to real group differences. If a school commits to doubling the number of black students, it will have to reach deeper into its pool of black applicants, admitting those with weaker qualifications, particularly if most other schools are doing the same thing. This is likely to make racial gaps larger, which would strengthen the negative stereotypes that students of colour find when they arrive on campus.

Do read the whole thing. See also this by Heather Mac Donald.

Gad Saad chats with Janice Fiamengo about the dishonesties and conspiracy theories of campus feminists: 

[Among campus feminists,] men are expected to constantly apologise for their maleness… I’ve seen that at the talks I’ve given, where men will stand up and before they even speak they have to “check their privilege” and talk about how they’re white and they’re male, and how that means that therefore they can’t really understand the experience of victimisation, and they have to apologise for that, and erase themselves in some way, and acknowledge how terrible they are, and then they might be allowed to speak… as long as it’s in favour of feminism.

See, for instance, these pious confessions of default male wrongness

And Theodore Dalrymple ponders the strange, changing fortunes of the Pacific island of Nauru: 

The diet that the Nauruans favoured was not refined from the gastronomic point of view. They ate huge mounds of rice and drank vast quantities of Fanta. For those who preferred something stronger, there was Château d’Yquem in the island’s one supermarket. At the time, Nauru must have had the highest per-capita consumption of Château d’Yquem in the world.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets, on any subject, in the comments.