Tag: academia

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In modern America, much evil may be committed in the name of “justice” or “equality” or, ironically, “freedom.”   All of us believe in some version of those precepts.  Thus, to oppose a strain of totalitarianism that gallops into town under a banner bearing the name of so noble an ideal would make one a monstrous bigot. […]

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Vampires: They are real. And they are oppressed!

 

1014-vampire-teeth-illo_rgbouxFrom the Washington Post (via Drudge), I present you with this lovely article about vampires. Vampires, after all, are real. And, not only are they real, but they are just like you and me!

More importantly, the vampires are being subjected to hateful stereotypes!

To be clear, these aren’t people who possess the supernatural powers that we associate with the likes of Count Dracula, but rather individuals who claim to have a medical condition that requires them to drink blood (human or animal) in order to sustain themselves.

The Ivy League Makes Excuses for a Progressive Racist

 

wilson

Portrait of a racist, obscured for purposes of mystery (and emotional safety).

The murder of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, over the summer led to demands that public and private institutions stop displaying (or selling) the confederate battle flag and other symbols of the Confederacy.

At my alma mater, Yale, the debate took the form of a campaign to remove the name of John Calhoun from one of its residential colleges, as I posted here a few weeks ago. The connection between Calhoun and Charleston was somewhat attenuated: Calhoun died ten years before the outbreak of the civil war, and — unlike the stars-and-bars — Calhoun is not exactly an iconic symbol for white supremacists. Nonetheless, the Yale community has been eager to denounce Calhoun as an irredeemable racist.

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That’s how I reacted when I read this article, though I expressed that thought with a rather less-polite acronym when I posted it to my Facebook page.  What’s all the fuss about?  From the story: An economics professor emeritus from the University of Texas in Austin has resigned. His reason expressed in a resignation letter, […]

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Less than an hour-and-a-half ago, I received some disturbing news.  A friend of mine up in Lubbock e-mailed to inform me that a former professor and colleague of ours named Ethan Schmidt, an Assistant Professor of History at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, was shot and killed in his office earlier this morning.  He leaves behind a […]

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   I make my college debut at West Chester College in eastern Pennsylvania on September 19, in what I anticipate will seem less like a gig than a reality show to see if I can say politically correct things while half-plausibly seeming to mean them. In that spirit, I have decided to re-write my stand-up for West […]

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Do American Universities Still Teach Your Favorite Subjects?

 

booksWe all have favorite subjects.  or example, I know beyond doubt that anonymous loves science in all its aspects. Casey loves the Greek classics. Lance loves music.

One of the problems with American (and other) universities that many subjects are either beyond the pale or have been so distorted as to be meaningless.

For example, my favorite subjects are:

Seduced by Leftism

 

shutterstock_99949916I have a childhood friend — now an MD and the director of medicine at a prominent hospital — who is obviously very bright, but he is also a fully invested, over the top, leftist. My nephew, a gifted child, is now arguably one of the top applied mathematicians in the world. He works for a non-profit think tank at MIT which in turn works for the federal government. I’m not sure what he does. He, too, is a Prius-driving, vegan Leftist. These two men have active, fertile minds and yet they swing hard left.

My friend the MD had a difficult childhood. His father was a paranoid racist kook and an alcoholic; perhaps a schizophrenic as well. His self-inflicted problems were always the result of conspiracy. The old man abandoned his family, disappeared and was later discovered in rural Maine with a second family. My friend’s mother was so devastated she committed suicide, leaving my gifted friend in the care of his aged grandparents. His developed leftism has something of his father’s kooky paranoia to it.

My nephew had an idyllic childhood until high school, when he learned that his successful father — a master of the universe in the Detroit auto industry — was a serial adulterer. His parents divorce, messy and rancorous, took its toll on the boy. His gifts led him to Harvard, MIT, Doctorates and accolades, but also left him in Cambridge. He’s been marinating in Leftism for much of his young life and seems downright surprised when he hears humans expound opposing views. Conservatives without tobacco juice stains in their wife beater T-shirts? Who knew?

De-sensitivity Training Is Needed on College Campuses

 

shutterstock_141765202The NYT ran an op-ed over the weekend called “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.”  In essence, it details all the ways that colleges and college students have been contorting their intellectual environments to make their campuses “safe” for people who find offensive ideas to be “dangerous.”  To me, it appears painfully obvious that a movement toward letting the most offended members obtain a heckler’s veto on speech is a terrible idea. As the author puts it:

Still, it’s disconcerting to see students clamor for a kind of intrusive supervision that would have outraged students a few generations ago. But those were hardier souls. Now students’ needs are anticipated by a small army of service professionals … This new bureaucracy may be exacerbating students’ “self-infantilization[.]”

From my view, you are an adult once you go to college. You may not have the full complement of responsibilities that attend adulthood, but you are a man or a woman, and should start to be integrated into the world as such. This means that you cannot bend the world to your will, and that you accept that some people have ideas that you find offensive. But to equate “offensive” with being “unsafe” — on the grounds that they both make one feel bad — is a dangerous false equivalence.

Ricochet Friday Essay Assignment

 

shutterstock_148152845In a column in yesterday’s New York Times titled “Bring Back the Party of Lincoln,” Boston College professor of history — history, mind you! — Heather Cox Richardson offers this as her very first sentence:

For all the differences between establishment Republicans and Tea Party insurgents, their various efforts to rebrand the Grand Old Party tend to start from a common premise:  the belief that Ronald Reagan was the quintessential Republican, and that his principle of defending wealth and the wealthy should remain the party’s guiding vision.

Your assignment:

A Straw in the Wind

 

This past weekend, the American Political Science Association (ASPA) held its annual meeting in Washington, DC. It was a huge affair, involving 53 “divisions” and 60 “related groups,” and featuring more than one thousand separate panels. Here is the kicker: this year, there were no sessions at all devoted to an assessment of the foreign policy of Barack Obama, and not one panel was dedicated to an examination of Obama’s domestic policy.

There was, to be sure, a session entitled Author Meets Critics: Lebovic’s “Flawed Logics: Strategic Nuclear Arms Control from Truman to Obama, and there was another entitled Obama, Bush, and Grand Strategy.” But Obama was mentioned by name in the title of only one of the papers delivered at the latter panel: “Grand Strategy Constraints and Feedback During the GW Bush and Obama Administrations.” And its focus was a technical question. There was also a panel entitled Authors Meet Critics: “The Obama Effect: How the 2008 Campaign Changed White Racial Attitudes.” From a left-liberal perspective, those were the days!

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Leftism has become a secular religion that is increasingly dominant and intolerant. Dennis Prager recently posed the question-“Which religion has been the most dynamic over the last century?” His answer was Leftism- i.e., left-wing politics treated as religion, because it now dominates our most powerful and influential institutions- the universities, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the media, […]

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In light of recent attempts to delegitimize conservative speech — from the firing of Brandon Eich to the string of attacks on conservative commencement speakers and their subsequent withdrawals, did you ever fantasize about what you would like to say to those college grads if you got the chance? No need to do so any […]

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Bask in the Crazy: Radical Feminism

 

The bulk of a conservative’s time engaging liberal arguments is best spent addressing their most pointed and nuanced positions. But we should occasionally revel in liberals’ worst arguments and fringe elements. Today we smash the patriarchy in manly fashion.

There is trouble in the locker rooms of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team. You might assume this stems from their inability to win a national championship in more than half a century, but you’d be wrong. No, the trouble is the color of the visiting team’s locker room. 

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In a medical school tutorial about post-pregnancy urinary incontinence, Tom was assigned to research an unusual-sounding treatment, Weighted Vaginal Cones, which physically strengthen pelvic muscles that control the bladder. When Tom shared his research on the efficacy of these cones with his tutorial group, a female medical student scoffed, saying “that’s easy for you to […]

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