Monday, April 27, 2015

Class of 2015: Some Frank Talk

Of course, only a minority of the Class of 2015 are politically correct yahoos. But they have disproportionate power, because they are the pets of university administrations, and of the faculty.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

College Authoritarians Feeling “Unsafe”

Yes, the currently fashionable tactic for trying to shut up campus speech that leftists don’t like is to claim that it makes students feel “unsafe” as Charlie Sykes discussed in a recent show.

From National Review, a good roundup of the bizarro cases on campuses where the politically correct authoritarians tried (and often succeeded) in shutting up campus speech by claiming to feel “unsafe.”
The University of Michigan made headlines this week for initially canceling a screening of the blockbuster film American Sniper because some Muslim students said that it being shown would make them feel “unsafe.” The college has since reversed this decision, but it’s not the only time something like this has happened.
Why should Muslim students feel “unsafe” seeing the movie American Sniper?

Could it be that some are thinking about going to Afghanistan and joining the Taliban and trying to kill American soldiers? If so, we want them to feel unsafe. Indeed, we want them to be scared shitless. And if they actually go join the Taliban, we want them killed by people like Chris Kyle.

But no, the campus grievance mongers aren’t going to do any such thing. They lack the courage to do much more than pop off in the oh-so-indulgent campus environment.

But have they thought about the message they are sending? As between American soldiers and terrorists trying to kill American soldiers, they seem to be siding with the terrorists. People are going to question their patriotism — and with good cause.
Here are seven other things that a school or its students have declared hazards to campus safety:

1. Bill Maher

When the University of Berkeley announced that Bill Maher would be its graduation speaker last October, more than 6,000 students signed a petition demanding that he be banned because he “perpetuates a dangerous learning environment” and “they cannot stand for any action that makes our students feel unsafe.”
Maher is a vicious anti-Christian bigot. But that’s not what makes him unpopular on a university campus. Being an equal opportunity bigot, he’s also anti-Muslim. That’s what can’t be forgiven.
2. Face paint of any color at any event ever

Last October, Arizona State University’s athletics department banned facepaint — “whether the theme is black, maroon, gold or white” — because ASU is an “inclusive and forward-thinking university” and they must make sure that “everyone feels safe and accepted.” They did not explain whether or not any students had actually reported feeling threatened by the paint, and if so, how those students were handling their lives currently.
And face paint is bad how? Perhaps because American Indians used it? But how many other groups have used face paint? Lots, including U.S. Special Forces.

But wait, face paint is bad if an oppressed minority group uses it. But then it’s bad if American soldiers use it.

Any excuse to articulate a grievance, we suppose.
3. A petting-zoo camel (due to concerns over racial tensions)

Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota planned to bring a camel (one which had been trained for these kinds of events) to campus last spring as part of a fun “Hump Day” event celebrating the end of the year — only to be told that the idea was not fun, but actually so horribly racist against Middle Eastern students that it would be “possibly unsafe” for anyone to attend. It was canceled.
So apparently Eskimo students should be offended at a picture of a polar bear. And South American students at a llama. Given the variety of interesting animals from Africa, black students have dozens of ways to be offended. Student Government, don’t ever plan an outing to the zoo.
4. The word “bullet” (not to be confused with actual bullets, which are a perfect example of something that can actually be dangerous)

Last fall, the student newspaper staff at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia decided to change the publication’s name from The Bullet to The Blue and Gray Press on the grounds that the word “bullet” “propagated violence.”

5. Calling freshmen students “freshmen”

Last November, the administration at Elon University in North Carolina instructed student orientation leaders not to call the freshmen “freshmen” — because the word makes women sound “vulnerable” and therefore suggests that they “might be targets” for sexual violence, according to the school’s Inclusive Community Wellbeing Director. (Yes . . . “Inclusive Community Wellbeing Director.”)
In the insular little world of academia, there is no politically correct grievance so trivial or so silly that it can be dismissed.
6. Cinco de Mayo–themed parties

On May 19, 2013, Northwestern University’s Hispanic/Latino Alliance wrote a letter explaining why they were totally not ridiculous for having told students that they shouldn’t drink tequila or eat tacos at parties earlier that month: Sometimes people will be “drinking tequila shots while saying things like ‘cinco de drinko,’” and that contributes to a “campus climate” where Mexican students “feel unwelcome if not often unsafe.”
Of course, refusing to drink tequila or eat tacos would be deemed “racist,” showing an antipathy to Mexican culture. So if you embrace parts of the culture of a minority group you are racist, and if you reject them you are racist. Whichever is convenient for concocting a grievance.
7. Posters

Students at Boston College did something crazy last month: They put up posters advocating for free speech without officially registering as a campus group before doing so. School administrators called the cops, and Dean of Students Thomas Mogan explained that the posters were “a nuisance and in some cases a safety hazard.” What he thinks “safety hazard” means remains unclear. Maybe someone had to go into a Cinco de Mayo party to grab one.
Campus activists, and the campus bureaucrats who pet them and pander to them really don’t understand how silly all this looks. They exist in an insular, parochial environment where any claims made on behalf of a politically correct victim group must be instantly accepted.

Wimps and Wusses

But of course, the image conveyed here is that such groups are oversensitive wimps and wusses.

As for the guys, whether Muslim or Latino or American Indian: how about a little machismo, fellows. Are you such sissies that a camel, or face paint, or a taco, or a lame jibe like “cinco de drinko” turns you into a quivering bowl of jelly?

And ladies, how about living up to the feminist idea that women are tough, resilient, self-confident and assertive. You think women should be in combat? If hearing the word “freshmen” freaks you out, how are you going to react to incoming fire from the Taliban? Do infantry units need to be equipped with smelling salts?

You folks are making fools of yourselves.  But indulgent campus bureaucrats are encouraging you.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Academic “Safe Space:” Shutting up Ideas the Left Does Not Like

From Charlie Sykes’ show this morning: a discussion of “trigger warnings” and the supposed need for “safe space” on university campuses.

So what is a “safe space?” A place where politically correct leftists need not be exposed to ideas they don’t like.

But then, the campus leftists want to prevent other students from hearing ideas that the leftists don’t like. In other words, it’s another tactic of campus authoritarians wanting to shut up ideas. Add it to “harassment” and “micro-aggressions” and “incivility” and “offensiveness” and “hate speech.”

The campus left has many, many excuses for their censorship.  Some of the examples Sykes cites are bizarre, “beyond parody” as he puts it.

And of course, it ties the whole phenomenon to Marquette’s attack on this blogger.
Sources Syles cites:

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Affirmative Action Debate in Madison Tomorrow Night

These two fellows are heavyweights, and this debate should be excellent. We expect to be there.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Writer of Bizarre Anti-Police Tirade Was Mover of Femsex at Marquette

It created quite a stir:  a column in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel where one Claire Van Fossen demanded the abolition of police!

Titled “A just and free world means a world without police,” the lede paragraph sets the tone:
Whether we call them because of a dispute between neighbors or a robbery, a shooting or sexual violence, the police rarely meet our needs. They don’t help us heal. And they don’t prevent future harm. Rather than serve as advocates for true justice, they use their nearly limitless power to reinforce the oppressive status quo. They threaten us with violence and incarceration and target the most oppressed and vulnerable people in our society. By blaming “crime” and “criminals” instead of systemic oppression for society’s ills, the police exacerbate societal problems, harm citizens, and bar the people from liberation by maintaining the capitalist social order.
And further:
What’s perhaps worse is the fact that, because the police do not keep us safe, their predominant role in society is maintaining a social order that enables people in power to operate with the least amount of disruption possible and thus continue to exploit and oppress the already disenfranchised. By targeting low-income individuals and people of color, the police maintain a racial and economic system of social stratification that is profitable and beneficial only for the ruling class.
Yes, it’s a left-wing tirade.

Van Fossen, however, is not a stranger to Marquette. She was one of the organizers of the Femsex Workshop at Marquette in 2013. We exposed the event here, and Marquette eventually decided it was so over the top in terms of the way it dealt with female sexuality that the university ordered the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to cease its sponsorship.

Van Fossen responded with a deranged rant. She sent the Journal-Sentinel (which covered the story) an op-ed saying:
As a Marquette student, I demand punitive action on McAdams and am prepared to convene any and all students who have been hurt or slandered by him in order to ensure that he is held accountable.
And further:
McAdams and his blog . . . are regular sources of oppressive, hateful content and blatant misogyny, not to mention homophobia, racism, and slander of Marquette students.
All this is the standard politically correct denunciation of any politically incorrect ideas, showing the nasty authoritarianism of campus leftists.

But demanding the abolition of the police is extreme even by the standards of campus leftists.

[Note:]  As of right now, the Van Fossen column is online.  There is a report that the Journal-Sentinel has decided to withdraw it and take it offline.  If so, an archived copy can be found here.

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Politically Correct Intolerance in Schools of Social Work

From National Review, an account of narrow, bigoted liberal intolerance in schools of Social Work:
“I can’t have you participate in class anymore.”

I was on my way out of class when my social welfare and policy professor casually called me over to tell me this. The friendliness of her tone did not match her words, and I attempted a shocked, confused apology. It was my first semester at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and I was as yet unfamiliar with the consistent, underlying threat that characterized much of the school’s policy and atmosphere. This professor was simply more open and direct than most.

I asked if I had said or done anything inappropriate or disrespectful, and she was quick to assure me that it was not my behavior that was the problem. No: It was my opinions. Or, as she put it, “I have to give over this information as is.”

I spent the rest of that semester mostly quiet, frustrated, and missing my undergraduate days, when my professors encouraged intellectual diversity and give-and-take. I attempted to take my case to a higher-up at school, an extremely nice, fair professor who insisted that it was in my own best interest not to rock the boat. I was doing well in his class, and I believed him when he told me he wanted me to continue doing well. He explained to me that people who were viewed as too conservative had had problems graduating in the past, and he didn’t want that to happen to me. I thought he was joking .  .  . until I realized he wasn’t.
Read the entire account here.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

The Bogus Male/Female Wage Gap

Friday, April 03, 2015

Scott Walker Using Mitt Romney Mailing List

This blogger gets a lot of spam e-mail. That’s true of everybody, but we tend to get more political spam than other people.

Recently, we got two e-mail messages from Scott Walker. Since he’s clearly running for president, this is hardly surprising.

Here is one of the e-mails.

Here is the other.

What is interesting is that both come from the Mitt Romney campaign, apparently using a mailing list left over from 2012.

But clicking on the link sends one to “Friends of Scott Walker.”

Of course, it doesn’t say “Walker for President,” but everybody knows that’s what it is, de facto.

The e-mail says “This message reflects the opinions and representations of Friends of Scott Walker, and is not an endorsement by Mitt Romney.”

Sure. But we will see how many other candidates get to send out fundraising e-mails with the Romney list. At a minimum, this is “endorsement lite.”

This could be a minus for Walker among conservatives who think Romney was too soft a conservative, or a plus as a “semi,” “maybe,” “somewhat” endorsement by an important Republican figure. But it’s early in the election season, any anything one says at this point is little better than speculation.

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