Pantywaists At The University Of Michigan Boo Free Speech
Kathryn Blackhurst posts at The Blaze about a commencement speech former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave at my old alma mater, the University of Michigan:
Bloomberg continued, saying, "The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure groups, and shield students from these ideas through safe spaces, code words, and trigger warnings, is in my view a terrible mistake," as the crowd cheered. "The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations, not to run away from them."
But some of the students offered a different response to his words as Bloomberg continued addressing the topic.
"A microaggression is exactly that, micro. But in a macro sense, one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is the so-called safe space, because it creates a false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views," Bloomberg said. "We can't, and we shouldn't try. Not in politics, not in the workplace."
This time, Bloomberg's words were met with a mixture of boos and jeers.
I've joked about Ann Arbor (and U of M) that people used to protest everything but the grass in the cracks in the sidewalk.
And now -- yes, now they boo free speech and a world in which (horrors!) somebody might have a different opinion than the approved Social Justice Warrior credo.
University of Michigan: It's now a giant crib with pot and beer.
Mighty Morphin Power Jews
Kevin D. Williamson writes at NRO about what convenient scapegoats the Jews are for the left:
The Jews can be whatever their enemies need them to be. For Henry Ford and more than a few on the modern left, the Jews are the international bankers secretly pulling the strings of the global economy. As one widely circulated Occupy video put it: "The smallest group in America controls the money, media, and all other things. The fingerprints belong to the Jewish bankers who control Wall Street. I am against Jews who rob America. They are 1 percent who control America. President Obama is a Jewish puppet. The entire economy is Jewish. Every federal judge [on] the East Coast is Jewish."
For those who learned at the feet of that old fraud Edward Said, the Jews are the colonialists, the European modernists inflicting capitalism and technology upon the noble savages of their imaginations. The Israeli Jews commit the double crime of insisting upon being Jews and refusing to be sacrificial victims. They were okay, in the Left's estimate, for about five minutes, back when Israel's future was assumed to be one of low-impact kibbutz socialism. History went in a different direction, and today Israel has one of the world's most sophisticated economies.
For the Jew-hater, this is maddening: Throw the Jews out of Spain, and they thrive abroad. Send them to the poorest slums in New York, and those slums stop being slums. Keep them out of the Ivy League and watch NYU become a world-class institution inspired by men such as Jonas Salk, son of largely uneducated Polish immigrants. Put the Jewish state in a desert wasteland and watch it bloom, first with produce and then with technology. Israel today has more companies listed on NASDAQ than any other country except the United States and China. The economy under Palestinian management? Olives and handicrafts, and a GDP per capita that barely exceeds that of Sudan.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is a bitter and ugly one. My own view of it is that the Palestinian Arabs have some legitimate grievances, and that I stopped caring about them when they started blowing up children in pizza shops. You can thank the courageous heroes of the Battle of Sbarro for that. Israel isn't my country, but it is my country's ally, and it is impossible for a liberty-loving American to fail to admire what the Jewish state has done.
More on the Jew-hate-apalooza from Kale Privilege -- specifically on SJW Jew hatred:
I'm not one to see racism and anti-Semitism in everything, but I have to say, the only place where I've seen more blatant anti-Semitism than on Tumblr is Stormfront.
The hatred of Jews on Tumblr within the SJ community is usually thinly veiled hatred of white people (which we all know, is fine, and if you're white and you have a problem with people saying you need to be exterminated, you're just racist!) but in fact, when Tumblr SJWs get on the subject of Jews, their hatred seems to exceed their hatred for whites. I have even seen it said (not on Tumblr, but on another SJ-oriented site) that there is such a thing as "Jewish privilege" which extends beyond white privilege-and that Jews are being handed law and medical degrees for no reason at all other than being Jewish.
One wouldn't expect this kind of bigotry from SJWs, especially toward an ethnic group that has been systematically killed and persecuted for thousands of years. We are sympathetic to the effects of slavery (as we should be!) but already, the Holocaust is ancient history, and it's OK to joke about it, comparing victims of this horrible genocide with thin runway models-and even going as far as to compare being on a fucking diet to being in a concentration camp (looking at you, "fat acceptance" movement).
Of course, this stuff doesn't persist when the SJ blogger is Jewish- but if the SJ blogger is a "POC" or anyone who considers themselves less privileged than the Jews (including someone who is just fat and white, and who feels that having to eat healthy is akin to being in Auschwitz), get ready for a Jew-hating-palooza.
It's odd that the SJWs are so quick to brand Jews as whiter-than-white and more privileged than regular ol' whiteys, when they are so eager to claim POC status for the Sami people, the Romans, and other ethnic groups who (for all intents and purposes) usually look white. SJWs have claimed that Cleopatra was Black, Beethoven was Black, and even that George Washington was Black. But the Jews? White devils. Don't worry about "making sense", people. The Jews are so white that they're EVEN WORSE than white people.
While they're hating the Jews, they should be very glad about one thing -- that the people in the explosive vests are not a bunch of Ashkenazis.
Filthy minded! No, it's like Uber for links.
No stains on the couch, please.
Just Assume Everything Is Deeply Offensive
"Simple, but Cute Halloween Costumes" that will have you drummed out of college as a hater.
We're Creating A Nation Of Pretend Adults
Hanna Rosin has a worthwhile 2014 piece in The Atlantic -- a long read on the decline of childhood freedom, independence, and experimentation in favor of constant parental supervision:
The common concern of parents these days is that children grow up too fast. But sometimes it seems as if children don't get the space to grow up at all; they just become adept at mimicking the habits of adulthood. As Hart's research shows, children used to gradually take on responsibilities, year by year. They crossed the road, went to the store; eventually some of them got small neighborhood jobs. Their pride was wrapped up in competence and independence, which grew as they tried and mastered activities they hadn't known how to do the previous year. But these days, middle-class children, at least, skip these milestones. They spend a lot of time in the company of adults, so they can talk and think like them, but they never build up the confidence to be truly independent and self-reliant.
Rosin looks at her own parenting as well -- vis a vis how children were raised just a few decades prior:
I used to puzzle over a particular statistic that routinely comes up in articles about time use: even though women work vastly more hours now than they did in the 1970s, mothers--and fathers--of all income levels spend much more time with their children than they used to. This seemed impossible to me until recently, when I began to think about my own life. My mother didn't work all that much when I was younger, but she didn't spend vast amounts of time with me, either. She didn't arrange my playdates or drive me to swimming lessons or introduce me to cool music she liked. On weekdays after school she just expected me to show up for dinner; on weekends I barely saw her at all. I, on the other hand, might easily spend every waking Saturday hour with one if not all three of my children, taking one to a soccer game, the second to a theater program, the third to a friend's house, or just hanging out with them at home. When my daughter was about 10, my husband suddenly realized that in her whole life, she had probably not spent more than 10 minutes unsupervised by an adult. Not 10 minutes in 10 years.
It's hard to absorb how much childhood norms have shifted in just one generation. Actions that would have been considered paranoid in the '70s--walking third-graders to school, forbidding your kid to play ball in the street, going down the slide with your child in your lap--are now routine. In fact, they are the markers of good, responsible parenting. One very thorough study of "children's independent mobility," conducted in urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the U.K., shows that in 1971, 80 percent of third-graders walked to school alone. By 1990, that measure had dropped to 9 percent, and now it's even lower. When you ask parents why they are more protective than their parents were, they might answer that the world is more dangerous than it was when they were growing up. But this isn't true, or at least not in the way that we think. For example, parents now routinely tell their children never to talk to strangers, even though all available evidence suggests that children have about the same (very slim) chance of being abducted by a stranger as they did a generation ago. Maybe the real question is, how did these fears come to have such a hold over us? And what have our children lost--and gained--as we've succumbed to them?
Related: My podcast on how kids learn and grow through play, with one of the sources she mentions, Boston College psychologist Peter Gray.
Links that need a foot massage and a Band-Aid.
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Thought Police Manning The Police Force In SF
It's a CNN piece by Marc Randazza, the First Amendment lawyer who defended me when the TSA's Thedala Magee tried to squeeze $500K out of me for using my free speech rights to complain about how she violated me at LAX.
The story here: Racist texts, discovered as part of a federal corruption probe, were sent by a SF cop, Jason Lai -- in private conversations with his friends -- and the discovery of those texts led to his dismissal.
I think what this guy said is ugly and deplorable.
"I hate that beaner," one text reads, "but I think the nig is worse."
"Indian ppl are disgusting," proclaims another.
"Burn down walgreens and kill the bums," a third message states.
However, the question should be simply this: Is there evidence that racism played a part in how he did his job?
And there should be an investigation into that, not just a knee-jerk assumption.
Let's take out the pitchforks and torches. Grab the rope so we can lynch former San Francisco police officer Jason Lai. What was his sin? Is he on the growing list of police officers who have taken the life of a fellow citizen? No. Did he falsify evidence? No. What did he do? He used naughty words when talking about other people. He used racial and homophobic slurs.
Did he use them when he was speaking to suspects or victims? No.
He used them in private conversations via text message with his friends. Private conversations.
For his private thoughts, and with no evidence that he ever behaved in a racist manner, he is the latest victim of the Internet hate machine and he is being hung out to dry by his former superiors. Let's remember that when a cop kills someone, we usually hear "well, we don't know what really happened."
But this time, San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told reporters Tuesday, "Reading the text messages literally makes me sick to my stomach." He apologized to the public, adding that there is "no tolerance for officers who hold such reprehensible views."
No tolerance. Suhr is putting his foot down. Suhr isn't waiting for context. Suhr isn't interested in the whole story.
Meanwhile, in the separate instances when San Francisco police shot and killed Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, or when the police fired six rounds into Amilcar Perez Lopez, Suhr defended them and tried to tell us we didn't know the whole story and we didn't know the context.
Randazza rightfully puts this into perspective:
We have less and less regard for personal privacy, and thus I would like to make sure that every one of you out there who might be cheering this "exposure" of Lai for having bad thoughts had better be prepared to have your search history, your text messages, your emails, your most intimate private thoughts broadcast to the public so it can decide how it would like to judge you.
If you are not ready for that, then I would ask if you are really so pure of heart and mind. Are you so good at hiding your embarrassing or unorthodox thoughts? Are you so clean that your private thoughts can be put on the Internet for everyone to see?
...If a cop can put six bullets into an unarmed kid and find himself protected behind the "thin blue line," but he can't make a private comment to his personal friends, then we really have entered a bizarre world of political correctness and form triumphing over substance.
I write about privacy in "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" (and also quote Randazza a number of times -- but about traffic stops and airplane seats). Here's some of what I write:
Technology's impact on privacy isn't a new issue. "Numerous mechanical devices threaten to make good the prediction that 'what is whispered in the closet shall be proclaimed from the housetops,' " wrote Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis in the Harvard Law Review in the 90s--the 1890s. They were worried about the advent of affordable portable cameras and dismayed at the way newspapers had begun covering people's private lives.
Brandeis and Warren explained that a person has a right--a natural human right--to determine to what extent their thoughts, opinions, and emotions and the details of their "private life, habits, acts, and relations" will be communicated to others. They noted that this right to privacy comes out of our right to be left alone and that it applies whether an individual's personal information is "expressed in writing, or in conduct, in conversation, in attitudes, or in facial expression."
This has not changed because of what's now technically possible: how it takes just a few clicks to Facebook or Instagram an embar- rassing photo of a person or blog their medical history, sexual orientation, sex practices, financial failings, lunch conversation, or daily doings. No matter how fun and easy the technology makes immediately publishing everything about everyone and no matter how common it's become to violate everyone's right to privacy, each person's private life remains their own and not a free commodity to be turned into content by the rest of us.
Boobstarter: Crowdfunding For Breast Implants
"Markets in Everything," as economist @Mark_J_Perry tweeted.
Stacey Leigh Gonzalez writes at LatinosHealth that there's now a crowdfunding site for women, My Free Implants:
By encouraging random people to "Invest in Breasts,"' the crowdfunding site is drawing flak from a number of media sources and groups.
Since 2005, My Free Implants offers women a place to get funding for breast surgeries. In exchange for donations, contributors (often men) can receive tokens such as messages, photos or videos from the female beneficiaries.
Australian news site News.com.au says the website now has 5000 active donors with over 3500 listed projects. With 1,200 success stories, the founders maintain that the website has helped raise $13 million dollars for breast enlargement surgeries.
However, not everyone is pleased with the company's success. She Knows labels My Free Implants as sexist and degrading towards women.
Independent sees the website as exploitative towards the female gender, encouraging men to browse through the blogs and women's profiles like shopping in a mall.
Medical institutions from the U.S., U.K. and Australia have expressed their concern. President Hugh Bartholomeusz of the Australian Society Plastic Surgeons says the website propagates a "dangerous misconception" of cosmetic surgery.
What, that it's only affordable for rich women?
"Cosmetic surgery is serious, invasive surgery," Bartholomeusz said on the Australian publication. "This is not something that should be treated in the same way as the purchase of a new outfit or hairstyle."
That is, unless you have lots of money, in which case, step right up, washboards!
More from Slate's Mark Joseph Stern:
The women of MFI never get direct access to any money that is raised; rather, it goes to an escrow known, inevitably, as the Boob Bank. When a woman reaches her goal, usually around $5,500, the money is paid directly to an MFI-affiliated plastic surgeon who performs her surgery. If all goes well, her before-and-after pictures, along with a Q&A, enter the hallowed MFI Hall of Fame.
MFI's founders claim that about 1,100 women have received implants through the website, and a quick glance through its hall of fame seems to confirm that. But $5,500 is a lot of money, and each private message from a donor brings an "MFI girl" only $1.
"Some women go on and are like, I'll show you a video of me masturbating for $200," said the college student. "And that's actually really annoying. But I'm a dude. If girls want to send me a naked picture, I'm not going to say no."
Women are free to request any amount of money for any kind of image or video, and donors are often happy to oblige. The most ambitious women participate in the aforementioned donor-generated contents. When my friend signed up, one open contest promised $100 to the woman who could prove she had "the best ass on MFI." One offered $50 for the most delicious-looking picture of a hamburger (that's not some arcane slang term--really, just a hamburger). And one offered $2 for a photograph of a vagina.
Okay, not a very good deal. But...consenting adults.
And I've written about the risks -- and here's more from the Slate piece:
These disclaimers aside, the website's breezy tone masks a disturbing truth: Breast augmentation is one of the riskiest things a woman can do to her body. A sizable portion of breast augmentation patients experience chronic breast pain, nerve damage, and infection. Almost all implants leak at some point, many within about a decade of surgery. A broken saline implant can leak bacteria or mold into the body; a broken silicone implant can leak liquid silicone that is taken up by the patient's liver and lymph nodes. Compounding the danger, many women don't notice a break for months or even years.
Even though donors pay for the initial surgery, breast implants can raise a woman's health care costs for the rest of her life. According to FDA guidelines, women with silicone implants should receive a breast MRI three years after the initial surgery and every two years thereafter, to ensure they're free of leaks or other complications. These MRIs, which are rarely covered by insurance, can cost between $2,000 and $5,000, surely an impossible sum for a woman unable to afford the implants herself. Mammograms are a basic preventive health measure once women reach middle age, but implants render them less accurate at detecting tumors. Mammograms can rupture implants, dissuading many women with breast augmentation from seeking the tests.
My Free Implants pitches its services as a kind of charity to help women gain confidence and allow good-hearted men to have a little fun. But it has a darker side. Breast implants are high-cost, high-maintenance, and high-risk.
This is only a problem when government forces us to pay for everyone's healthcare.
Also, you can get an MRI for less if you negotiate and do it out of the insurance system -- then again, who's reading the thing.
But about those MRIS for asymptomatic women, Andrew Kaunitz, MD, writes at Medscape:
According to plastic surgeons at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY, the evidence to support such screening is lacking. These authors of a 2008 report go on to state that the evidence is not conclusive that MRI surveillance leads to a reduction in patient morbidity, or that the benefits of screening outweigh risks, which include unnecessary patient anxiety, false-positive results, and even unneeded surgery.
As the FDA report points out, silicone implants do not cause connective tissue disease, reproductive problems, or breast cancer. Accordingly, many plastic surgeons recommend MRI only when women with silicone implants present with a specific problem or concern.
The FDA's June 2011 report appropriately points out that 20%-40% of patients have reoperations to modify, remove, or replace their implants within 8-10 years of their initial surgery. Often, insurance does not cover these subsequent surgeries. Clearly, this is information that women need to understand prior to making decisions to proceed with implants.
I do think getting implants (or any unnecessary surgery) is a really bad idea, per the risks. I also think that many people don't understand or aren't helped to understand the risks.
But, still, I have to wonder -- how much of the protesting here is about the notion that women shouldn't be able to change themselves physically or, especially, to get themselves bigger boobs?
Johnnie Walker Redhead.
Crimes Against Sense And Being A Grownup About Things That Disturb Us
It is not a "hate crime" to burn 1. An American flag, 2. A rainbow flag, 3. A flag with my face on it.
It is speech.
This is a story from Canada, but the fact that they do not have the First Amendment, and the fact that they consider this a "hate crime" doesn't make it one.
Brett T. posts on Twitchy:
This February, students at the University of British Columbia raised the familiar rainbow-colored pride flag over campus as part of the school's week-long "celebration of gender and sexual diversity." Just days later, the flag was burned in what many called a hate crime.
Police soon announced they had identified a suspect, and on Tuesday, UBC student Brooklyn Marie Fink, 31, appeared in court for the first time. CBC News offered this update on the suspect:
Brooklyn Marie Fink, 31, who describes herself as transsexual, talked about the flag burning after her first court appearance in Richmond on Tuesday.
"As a media artist, I intended in burning the flag only to illustrate my displeasure at the university's failure to come to an agreement on the fact of the flag's offensiveness."
...Fink told CBC she does not feel included in the LGBT label -- an abbreviation used to cover a range of non-gender-conforming identities, which often stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Fink draws a distinction between identities based on what gender someone is attracted to -- versus what gender someone identifies as.
Okay, at 5 a.m.-ish, as I'm posting this, it's a little early for me to parse what the issue is, but perhaps at 6 a.m., after I've had some coffee, I'll understand it better.
Okay, there's more:
"The university's flag ... is the flag of inclusion of the whole university. And when you take it down and you put up an exclusive flag that only represents [a small proportion] of the population, then you are sharing your hegemony over the university," she said.
Fink said the rising awareness about transgender people has made life more difficult for her, something she finds "really emotional, really stressful" to talk about.
"Ten, 12 years ago I was just a tall woman and nobody thought anything of it," she said.
"But because these gender nonconformers are being so loud and proud ... now everybody looks and they can see oh, that tall woman with a deep voice, maybe she's a dude."
The thing is, though I still don't quite get the reason for flag burning, I defend Fink's right to do it. We all should.
Definition of a hate crime from the US:
A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a "criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity." Hate itself is not a crime--and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.
About that last part, that's the law here, yes, but hurt feelz are increasingly reported on campuses as "hate crimes" and may be seen as harassment. For example, about the pro-Trump chalkings:
The Student Centers Policy and Procedure Manual, last updated in February, gives DePaul wide latitude in how to interpret chalked messages.
Page 33 says chalking is allowed outside of the Student Center, but messages "may not contain profanity or may not abuse, assail, intimidate, demean, victimize, or have the effect of creating a hostile environment for any person based or group of people [sic] on any of the protected characteristics in the University's Anti-Discriminatory Harassment Policy."
I'm "biased" against KKK members and neo-nazis. If I burn their flag, am I guilty of something other than speech about what I -- yes -- hate, which is hate of other people based on their race or religion?
Hillary Clinton Pledges To Form Her Presidential Cabinet Around The Raggedy Ann And Andy Model
Dollwise, being a redhead is a bit like being a black girl -- or how it used to be -- which is to say that, when I was growing up, there were only two options for the wee ginger, Raggedy Ann and Raggedly Andy.
And yes, it's nice on some level to have a doll that has something in common with you -- like how Raggedy Ann had red twisted yarn for hair, just like mine.
However, we grow up -- or we should -- and then we change our standards. Like if we're running for the highest office in the land.
No, though, that does not include our Hillary.
Ashe Schow writes in the WashEx that she would try to make her hypothetical administration "look like America."
Clinton was asked by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow whether the former secretary of state would follow in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's footsteps and pledge to make her Cabinet 50 percent women.
...But anyway, Clinton responded by saying: "Well, I am going to have a Cabinet that looks like America, and 50 percent of America is women, right?"
What she's announcing is, basically, no, I don't want the best person for the job; I want to play matchy-matchy!
Well...not entirely matchy-matchy.
I highly doubt that she plans equal representation for the 41 percent of Americans identify as Republican or Republican-leaning. Thirteen percent of Americans are black. Will Clinton make sure 13 percent of her Cabinet is black?
One percent of Americans are American Indian or Alaska Native. Will Clinton make sure one percent of her Cabinet is American Indian or Native Alaskan? Is that even possible?
...Eight percent of Americans under 65 have a disability. Will Clinton make sure 8 percent of her Cabinet is disabled?
Twenty percent of Americans are Catholic. Will Clinton make sure 20 percent of her Cabinet is Catholic?
...I'm not sure where she's going to find a disabled transgender Native-American Buddhist, though.
Women are not acting like men's equals until they stop with the choices made from the woundy place and simply look for the best person for the job.
You were expecting a donkey?
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The Government Has No Business Policing Taste Via The Patent/Trademark Office
Ana Sofia Walsh posts at MimesisLaw about two cases. One of these is the DOJ's request for the Supremes to review a federal appeals court's judgment that the US Patent and Trademark Office violated the free speech rights of the Oregon-based band, "The Slants."
The law in question is Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which states that a trademark shall not be granted if it:"Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute [...]"
What fucking business is it of some bureaucrat to decide what is and isn't "immoral" or "scandalous," just for example -- and to tell people they can't have a certain name?
Taste is a subjective thing. I think it's in bad taste to show your hairy toe knuckles in flip-flops while I'm dining. You may think it's in bad taste for me to have "fuck" on a manners book cover. (Well, fuck you, and I mean that in the politest of ways.)
Also, as The Slants contend, and as the Supremes (not the ones with Gladys Knight) noted as the Supremes noted in Cohen v. California, 1971 -- the "Fuck the Draft" case -- sometimes offensive speech is just the right speech to get the message across.
As Walsh writes:
The Slants - an all Asian-American male band - maintain that they chose the name to challenge stereotypes and reclaim the derogatory term. The issue in the case is whether the denial of a trademark based on the subjective considerations of a Trademark Examiner that a mark is immoral/deceptive/disparaging etc is contrary to the free speech provisions in the First Amendment. Basically, should TM Examiners be able to make arbitrary decisions as to whether a trademark is offensive or not.
Here's where the Redskins come in - their trademark was revoked in 2015 after over 50 years of registration when a federal court ruled that their name was disparaging to Native Americans. Pro-Football Inc noted in its petition to the SCOTUS that their decades-long registration has only recently become disparaging, claiming that in at the time of registration in the 60s, "Redskins" was not necessarily considered offensive; thereby showcasing the arbitrary and potentially free speech-encumbering decisions that the USPTO undertakes. Moreover, they state that the denial of trademark after over 50 years violates their due process.
The USPTO's lawyers assert that denials of trademarks on this basis do not curb free speech as the term can still be used to promote and advertize products/services. The crucial difference is that without trademark protection, it is not possible to prevent others from using the term for commercial or other purposes.
See how government power is abused? Now it's to stop commerce -- but just that of people who use names the bureaucrats and others do not approve of.
So, These "Triggered" Students Never Watch TV? The Ruin Of A Piece Of Art At Pitzer College
One way to get attention is to earn it -- do something worthy of attention.
But that takes work.
The other way to get attention is to mewl about being "triggered" -- psychologically debilitated by some word or picture.
In previous decades, somebody would have said, "Oh, grow the fuck up," or something like that to somebody who said something like this.
Now, people all bend over backwards to accommodate these "victims" -- and really, those doing the mewling are anything but victims. In fact, through claiming to be victimized, they have power they would otherwise have to work to earn.
Take a recent situation at Claremont's Pitzer college.
Selena Spier (PZ '19), painted a mural there. It's a handgun with flowers coming out of the end, and it was approved by the "Pitzer College aesthetics committee." (Who knew there was such a thing?)
*larger photo below
Well, Steven Glick reports at at the Claremont Independent that "Early Monday morning, Gregory Ochiagha (PZ '18), a Student Senator at Pitzer College, sent out an email to the student body" criticizing the mural:
"It's truly in bad taste to have a large depiction of a gun in a dorm space--especially when students of color also reside there," states Ochiagha. "Now let's imagine there were countless videos of white teenagers, white teenagers that look like you, or your brother or your sister, get shot to death by police officers. Imagine scrolling down Facebook everyday and seeing a new video of the same thing, over and over again. Really put yourself in that headspace. Then ask yourself whether it's the brightest idea to have white teenagers, who have a very real fear of getting shot, see a large gun every time they want to get food from the dinning [sic] hall."
...Ochiagha continues, "My Black Mental and Emotional Health Matters. I shouldn't be reminded every time I leave my dorm room of how easy my life can be taken away, or how many Black lives have been taken away because of police brutality. This is emotionally triggering for very obvious reasons. And if you want to belittle or invalidate by [sic] black experience, I live in Atherton, come thru, let's have that idiotic conversation."
...Jessica Folsom (PZ '19) responded by providing additional background on the mural. "Just to preface this, I am not trying to dismiss how you feel or belittle your experience as a student of color," she states. "This mural is actually representative of a nonviolence movement to protest the Vietnam War in the 60s. There's a famous photo of a protester putting flowers in the barrel of a National Guardsman's rifle and everything." Folsom continues, "I thought it might be an important distinction to make between what the mural actually represents and perhaps the romanticized aesthetic of a gun which someone (maybe you?) could potentially mistake this for. I hope this helps."
Sadly -- sadly for free speech and the increasing chills on it that come when they are shown to work -- Spier said she "plans to modify" her mural -- and has (photo below). Glick continues, quoting Spier:
"I spoke with Gregory earlier and we agreed on a modification that preserves the integrity of the original piece while avoiding any potentially triggering content--it's a change I was absolutely happy to make in the interest of creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone in my community," Spier told the Claremont Independent. "I have absolutely no right to decide whether or not my artwork is offensive to marginalized communities--nor does anyone else in a position of privilege, racial or otherwise."
Like this Ochiagha guy never turns on TV -- even just "Law & Order" -- and never goes to the movies, or reads the newspaper, so as to avoid this supposedly debilitating experience of seeing a gun.
This is just such bullshit. As I keep noting, proclaiming yourself a victim over what would, at any other time, be seen as a triviality or just a normal part of life to deal with, is a way to have unearned power over others.
I have met people and known people who are Holocaust survivors -- who had babies ripped away from them and watched their entire families be marched into the gas chambers or be shot into mass graves. Knowing this and reading about this (and being kicked around by anti-Semites myself as a kid) doesn't make me feel fragile; it makes me realize I need to fight back.
And guess what: Art is sometimes about disturbing people. Well, that is when you aren't creating art for toddlers. Which, on campus, I suppose is what's being done.
Well, what disturbs me now -- deeply -- is what's been done to this art piece.
Once again, here's the original, in progress:
And now -- disgustingly denuded -- after newly-minted censor Ochiaga's power play (from a @HannahOh16 tweet):
And last but not least, that Hannah Oh tweet says it so perfectly:
This painting about peace triggered SJWs, who now decide what art is allowed. Kind of like Hitler & Mao but whiny.
Link tink. (Audrey Hepburn is nowhere to be seen, sorry.)
The Selective Feminism Of Tina Fey
On DeathAndTaxes, Jamie Peck notes that Fey complained all over the media that Colin Quinn had called her a "cunt" when she was head writer on SNL, but then rips into inappropriately sexual women. As Peck puts it:
Women who code as falling on the lower rungs of America's class society. Women who dare to use their sexuality to get by (or ahead) in a game that's doubly rigged against them.
Peck quotes Fey's rip on SNL's Weekend Update "into Michelle "Bombshell" McGee for "stealing" Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James. (Jesse James himself was not mentioned.)" (Bracketed bits are by Peck):
There is no Oscar curse. The curse is that there are women like Bombshell McGee walking around.
I know we shouldn't judge people on their appearance but when your body looks like a dirtbag's binder from 7th grade metal shop, it doesn't bode well for your character.
You know there's a term for women like Bombshell McGee, they're called Bombshell McGees. Seth, the world has always been full of whores. For every Sandra Bullock, there's the woman who got a tattoo on her forehead because she ran out of room on her labia. [Tattooed people are gross!]
For every Elin Nordegren, there's a Hooters waitress who spells "Jamie" with two e's and a star. [I'm sure she's working at Hooters because she loves it.]
You could be the woman who cures cancer and you'd still be up against some skank rocking giant, veiny fake boobs where the nipples point in different directions like the headlights on an old Buick. [She could at least have had the decency to be able to afford a better boob job.]
But wives, you are not the losers in these situations. You are the winners, because this has to be the loser.
Things are hard enough for women as it is...
It's not my goal to police the feminism of random celebrities. But when you publicly brand yourself as a feminist and reap huge rewards from that brand, you open yourself up to criticism and debate. Being a feminist is not just about standing up for people like you. It's about standing up for all women who are being oppressed for bullshit reasons, which include interlocking factors of race, class, gender identity, sexuality, et cetera. I find it disappointing (if unsurprising) that not a single interviewer has held Fey's feet to the fire about this essential hypocrisy as she promotes her latest movie to the masses. Consider this my attempt at doing just that.
Obama's Legacy: The Ginormous And Growing Failure That Is Obamacare
As I've written before, I still have the healthcare -- formerly pretty good and affordable. Now, thanks to "Affordable" Care -- jacking up the monthly price and socking me with a big deductible -- I just can't afford to use it.
Well, things are going to be getting worse. Major insurer UnitedHealth just announced that, in the wake of losses over $1 billion for 2015 and 2016, they're pulling out of most of the Obamacare exchanges. Other big insurers are as well.
Marc A. Thiessen writes at the WaPo:
The president promised these insurers taxpayer bailouts if they lost money, but Congress in its wisdom passed legislation barring the use of taxpayer dollars to prop up the insurers. Without the bailouts, commercial insurers are being forced to eat their losses -- while more than half of the Obamacare nonprofit insurance cooperatives created under the law failed.
So what happens now? Because commercial insurers are not going to keep bleeding cash to prop up Obamacare, they have three choices: 1) scale back coverage, 2) raise prices or 3) get out of the exchanges entirely. More and more are going to choose option 3.
Does this mean that Obamacare is finally entering its "death spiral"? Not exactly. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Scott Gottlieb explains, while commercial insurers are starting to leave Obamacare, they are being replaced by Medicaid health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offering skimpy plans that mirror what they offer in Medicaid -- our nation's emergency health insurance program for the poorest of the poor.
This is a catastrophe for people stuck in Obamacare. According to a 2014 McKinsey survey, about three-quarters of those in the exchanges were previously insured on commercial plans, either through their employers or the individual market. They were doing fine without taxpayer-subsidized insurance but were pushed into Obamacare. They now face rising premiums and smaller provider networks -- and as commercial insurers flee, they will increasingly be stuck in horrible, Medicaid-style plans.
This is not what the president promised when he sold Obamacare to the American people.
...The president promised "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." But commercial insurers who stay in Obamacare are responding to massive losses by narrowing provider networks, with fewer doctors and hospitals to choose from. And those that quit are being replaced by Medicaid HMOs with even less doctor choice.
We're going to end up with a health care system modeled on the VA -- you know, that system that has such contempt for the vets who served our country that it often doesn't get around to actually treating them.
(Give 'em) headline of the day: "Eugene Police Say Primate Used as Payment for Prostitute"
The Sound Of Awesome
Thank you to the person who bought this amazing deal of a speaker through my Amazon links, sending me to this. It's a $239.99 speaker -- only $39.99. You save...$200! Not sure how long this will last, but it was still good when I posted this link -- to the Yoyamo Portable Wireless BlueTooth Speaker with Super Bass Stereo sound for Smart Phones, Tablet, PC.
For a shorter subject -- today-only sale on Lee: 60% Off Lee Shorts & More -- for men and women.
And for the luxury kitchen: Today-only deal on Calphalon Accucore 10 Piece Cookware Set, $349.99, which is a good deal if you consider that the regular price is $1,150.00.
To buy things not seen in my links, Search Amy's Amazon.
Thanks so much to all who shop through them, helping support the work I do on this site.
College As A Place Of Free Inquiry Is Being Ruined By The Government
I talked to a professor friend last night, who told me about the most unimaginable ways students are going after (or are able to go after) basically much of what any professor says. Innocuous stuff is being turned into speech crimes.
And the problem is, professors can't fight back -- say to the student who criticizes some words they've used, "Come on, let's discuss this in class."
Not without jeopardizing their careers. The younger profs are particularly at risk.
This is college we're talking about -- or what used to be college: a place for the free exchange of ideas. A place where rabid assholes debated politics and other issues -- because that's often of what being in your early 20s means (when you're convinced of certain things).
Hans Bader blogs at libertyunyielding that the Justice Department is now demanding censorship at the University of New Mexico, ordering the university to adopt an unconstitutional speech code that labels even innocuous speech -- like a quip that has to do with sex -- "unwelcome" sexual conduct:
On April 22, the Justice Department ordered the University of New Mexico adopt an unconstitutional speech code. It is demanding that the University label as "sexual harassment" all "unwelcome" sexual conduct, including "verbal" conduct (that is, speech). The university must encourage students to report it as such; and investigate it when it is reported.
Thus, if a student is offended by a professor's comment in a lecture about how AIDS is transmitted through anal sex, or by another student's sexual joke, it would be deemed "sexual harassment." So would politely asking a student out on a date, if that offends her. This definition of "sexual harassment" as including any "unwelcome" sexual speech is vastly broader than the definitions struck down as unconstitutionally overbroad by the federal appeals court rulings in DeJohn v. Temple University (2008) and Saxe v. State College Area School District (2001). Those decisions ruled that even unwelcome, "hostile or offensive" speech about sexual issues is generally protected speech unless it "objectively denies a student equal access to a school's education resources."
The University won't necessarily have to expel people for a single unwanted remark, based on this definition, since the Justice Department is only demanding formal discipline for speech that is not only unwelcome, but also creates a "hostile environment" for the complainant. But it does have to encourage students to report such unwanted remarks for investigation by defining even a single instance as "harassment." And it has to investigate them to see if a "hostile environment" exists.
Mandating investigation of an "unwelcome" comment is alarming, because that will frequently trigger restrictions on the free speech rights and freedom of movement of the accused person, whose constitutionally protected speech is labeled as "harassment" under this definition, even if he is never subject to formal discipline.
And that's exactly what's happening with my friend -- a chill on his speech. I can't say more that that, because I don't want to expose him -- or expose him to the career issues that can come up for speaking freely these days.
Just consider the power that a person making a false accusation against a prof -- just for their speech -- has. And for speech we would formerly thought nothing of -- because it isn't offensive to any reasonable person, not schooled in the language that gives people unearned power over others through victimhood.
It's sick and dangerous, what's happening.
I've suggested that this professor write an op-ed with a few other professors, perhaps for The New York Times, explaining some of these utterly ridiculous speech dings they get and how it's transforming college into a giant witch hunt and a place little or no speech is actually free.
Oh, and how crazy is this? In this environment -- with the letter sent to UNM -- my book title, "Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck," would be a speech crime and sexual harassment if somebody said they were offended by it.
Sure, in a sane world, you could argue that it's not meant sexually, but this isn't a sane world, and logical arguments mean little in the face of accusations.
Since Being Poor Isn't Yet A Crime, Why Are We Caging People For It?
Great points in a Dahlia Lithwick piece at Slate -- a conversation with Lava Records CEO Jason Flom. He's a founding member of The Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.
Now Flom's got a new project -- getting rid of cash bail, which is to say, ending the practice of caging poor people arrested for misdemeanors and traffic violations unless they can come up with sums ranging from $300 to $500.
In any given year, city and county jails across this country lock up between 11 and 13 million people just because they aren't rich enough to write a check for a few hundred dollars. Flom is convinced that every city in the United States should follow the lead of Washington D.C., which has done away with cash bail.
You are absolutely right that cash bail is a tax on the poor. And it doesn't stop when they leave the jail because in many cases they are hit with court costs, processing fees, etc., which put them in a downward spiral of debt they can't pay and suddenly they find that there are warrants for their arrests, simply because they couldn't pay to be in jail for an alleged transgression. They cycle in and out of jail, and there are other hidden consequences--which may include loss of their drivers' licenses, their jobs, even custody of their children. This process also has a terrible impact on their future employment possibilities, which can thrust families further into poverty.
The short answer to your question is that some state legislatures are in fact trying to reform the cash bail system. Connecticut, for instance, where the right and the left are aligned against the bail-bond industrial complex. So this is something you may be able to get your legislators to act on by calling your state representatives.
Flom explains why it's so serious and imperiling to go to jail:
People need to understand that while the word jail may sound more benign than the word prison, jails are overcrowded and violent, and they are incubators of disease.
We need to look at whether somebody's a threat, not whether they've got money in the bank, and make determinations on those grounds.
Traffic ticket you can't pay for? It's sick that we'd jail a person for this -- but part and parcel of a system that now allows the legal theft of people's money, sans conviction for a crime, called "asset forfeiture."
Having illicit activities with dead links.
This makes cleaning fun (which I have to do to make myself clean)...
Today's Deal is: Ivation Electric Pressure Washer 2200 PSI 1.8 GPM with Power Hose Nozzle Gun and Turbo Wand, All Parts Included, W/ Built in Soap Dispenser.
It's regularly $329.95; today only, $149.95.
For a less expensive bit of cleaning fun -- and I do mean that -- try this $12.95 cleaning paste. I have some of this from France, but this sounds like the same stuff.
It's a kind of naturally found mineral -- maybe a talc -- that is just amazing and fun for cleaning stainless steel and countertops and shower tile. It's really fine, so it removes stuff you would otherwise not get off. Looks like the best maid in the world came -- or did, when I used it on my kitchen sink recently.
To buy things not seen in my links, Search Amy's Amazon. All your purchases, large and small, are much-appreciated!
Someone might have done Harriet the favor of not putting this particular quote in what appears to be Comic Sans.
If you need help understanding why, see here.
Twitter Panties Bunched By Charles Koch Supposedly Supporting Hillary
Of course, that's not what he actually said.
Kristen East reports at Politico that Koch spoke to ABC News' Jonathan Karl for an interview airing on ABC's This Week. Koch's words:
"As far as the growth of government, the increase in spending, it was two-and-a-half times under Bush that it was under Clinton," he said.
Karl followed up by asking about whether or not Koch could see himself supporting Hillary Clinton.
Koch hesitated before giving an answer that didn't rule out the possibility.
"We would have to believe her actions would have to be quite different than her rhetoric, let me put it that way," he said.
Here's some of what Koch stands for -- from a WaPo op-ed he wrote about -- drum roll...Bernie Sanders:
The senator is upset with a political and economic system that is often rigged to help the privileged few at the expense of everyone else, particularly the least advantaged. He believes that we have a two-tiered society that increasingly dooms millions of our fellow citizens to lives of poverty and hopelessness. He thinks many corporations seek and benefit from corporate welfare while ordinary citizens are denied opportunities and a level playing field.
I agree with him.
...Democrats and Republicans have too often favored policies and regulations that pick winners and losers. This helps perpetuate a cycle of control, dependency, cronyism and poverty in the United States. These are complicated issues, but it's not enough to say that government alone is to blame. Large portions of the business community have actively pushed for these policies.
When it comes to electing our next president, we should reward those candidates, Democrat or Republican, most committed to the principles of a free society. Those principles start with the right to live your life as you see fit as long as you don't infringe on the ability of others to do the same. They include equality before the law, free speech and free markets and treating people with dignity, respect and tolerance. In a society governed by such principles, people succeed by helping others improve their lives.
I don't expect to agree with every position a candidate holds, but all Americans deserve a president who, on balance, can demonstrate a commitment to a set of ideas and values that will lead to peace, civility and well-being rather than conflict, contempt and division. When such a candidate emerges, he or she will have my enthusiastic support.
And note that Koch said these things about Bernie despite Bernie vilifying him and his brother.
And here, from Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal, is Koch on welfare:
Koch: But here, let's go back through welfare. When LBJ started the war on poverty in 1965, his goal was to get rid of the dole as, these are his words, "I want to get rid of the dole and turn tax eaters into tax payers." OK, that's our goal, but now we've spent over 20 trillion since then on the war on poverty, and the poverty levels are the same, so this isn't working. So we need to reform it so it doesn't create these obstacles to the disadvantaged becoming productive, contributing citizens, and just sit there on the dole. And I don't believe for a minute people want that.
They say, "Oh, well people are lazy." Yeah, because you block all opportunities. They smoke a joint, and they go to prison, and they can't get a job, they're ruined. Whereas we have a president who smoked a joint, and he becomes president. We have a candidate who says he smoke a joint, he's running for president. Now what's the equity, what's the fairness in that? We need to get rid of those distinctions and those differences in opportunity, and then we need to teach these kids the values and skills required for success.
Now, there will still be some who can't make it. So there needs to be a safety net. Now the question is, what's the balance between force, which our current welfare system is based on, and voluntary cooperation and competition? I would argue we have too much force just like we have in the criminal justice system, and it needs to be a balance, and we need to use local knowledge. That is are all these so-called benefits, are they helping people or hurting them? They're probably helping some, and they're hurting others because they have a disincentive to work. And as I learned that unless you start working, if you're frozen out of work, you will never learn the habits, the discipline, the values of cooperation and improvement unless you get a job, and that's what statistic show. It's, unless you get a job and keep it, you will not get out of poverty. If you do, you have a very good chance of working out of poverty.
So that's, we want the emphasis more on education and opportunity than, than dole, just like Lyndon Johnson wanted. Now, exactly how to do it? We don't have all the answers, but we think directionally we know that what's been done, in a large part isn't working, but there still needs to be a safety net.
Not the quite the demonspawn he seems to be, per how people react whenever his name comes up, huh?
He and his brother are actually for small government, criminal justice reform (especially for the poor and minorities), and gave $25 million to the United Negro College Fund. They've given tens of millions to museums for dinosaur and human evolution exhibitions. They gave $10 million to the ACLU to fight the Bush admin on the PATRIOT Act. And he condemns big bank bailouts and government handouts for the rich.
I'm sure don't agree with him on everything and approve of everything he and his brother do, but, well, I think it's pretty childish to expect that of anyone.
The Latest In Neighbors Reporting Parents
It gets crazier and crazier. A woman in Winnipeg was just reported to child services there for the horrible, neglectful practice of letting her kids play outside unsupervised...in their own fenced-in backyard.
Was she out at the mall? In a drug den?
Um, no -- just inside the house, feet away.
After the neighbor snitched on her, child services showed up to question the mother, asking her how she was raised, where the kids slept, and how they were punished. The rep also looked in the refrigerator.
Granted, child services agencies can't just ignore a report.
More from Canada's National Post:
Jacqui Kendrick, a stay-at-home mom, says a CFS worker showed up unexpectedly in early April, saying they had received a complaint about her children being unsupervised.
Kendrick has three children ages two, five and 10, and says they often played in her fenced-in backyard after school.
Kendrick says she's either with them or watching them from her living room, though she says her oldest child also helps out by looking after her younger siblings.
...Kendrick says her children have been well trained in how to be safe.
"We've taught both the (older) kids so far that you look after each other. That's kind of the point. The older ones should be looking after the younger ones," Kendrick says.
"My 10-year-old is very responsible. We've taught the older ones already the whole stranger danger, and they know what to do. When my five-year-old's out there, she knows she's not supposed to go up to the fence."
As I've noted before, children, throughout human history, have been tasked with caring for younger siblings. It probably teaches responsibility.
As Lenore Skenazy puts it at Reason about this ridiculousness:
Barring actual abuse, parents must be allowed to raise their kids the way they think is best, even if a CPS worker would raise her kids some other way.
And barring, say, a backyard filled with heroin and alligators, kids must be allowed to be outside, unsupervised, even if a neighbor faints at the idea.
Love the "heroin and alligators" line.
Mini-links. Like those tiny doughnuts.
The Clean Water Act
Today's Deal -- what a cool thing: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, "Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005."
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Family size and other LifeStraw items here.
NYDJ pants and jeans for the ladies, 50 percent off, today only. All styles -- skinny, petites, plus, boot-cut, etc.
To buy things not seen in my links, Search Amy's Amazon. All your purchases, large and small, are much-appreciated!