Friday, September 04, 2015

Green Energy: Subsidies for Affluent Liberal Yuppies

A new paper from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, on the “The Distributional Effects of U.S. Clean Energy Tax Credits.” “Distributional effects” is just a way of saying “from whom is government taking money, and to whom is it giving it.” The bottom line:
Since 2006, U.S. households have received more than $18 billion in federal income tax credits for weatherizing their homes, installing solar panels, buying hybrid and electric vehicles, and other “clean energy” investments. We use tax return data to examine the socioeconomic characteristics of program recipients. We find that these tax expenditures have gone predominantly to higher-income Americans. The bottom three income quintiles have received about 10% of all credits, while the top quintile has received about 60%. The most extreme is the program aimed at electric vehicles, where we find that the top income quintile has received about 90% of all credits. By comparing to previous work on the distributional consequences of pricing greenhouse gas emissions, we conclude that tax credits are likely to be much less attractive on distributional grounds than market mechanisms to reduce GHGs.
One example, the Chevy Volt: According to autoblog (writing in 2011):
In order for the Chevy Volt to really be a success, the car needs to be affordable for the masses.

But for now, the car is mostly the province of the wealthy. General Motors, which makes the Volt, said Monday that the average income of Volt buyers is a whopping $175,000 a year. That rarefied space is usually reserved for buyers of German luxury cars.

“The Volt appeals to an affluent, progressive demographic,” says Bill Visnic, senior editor for Edmunds.com “It’s rare. It’s hard to get one. ... It’s the same reason that people buy the really rare exotic cars: Because other people can’t have one.”
Median family income in 2011 was $50,502.

So the liberal Yuppies have it really good. They get to feel very self-righteous, and do so largely with the money of people at whom they look down their noses.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Racial Double Standards

From Frontpage Magazine:
In the past week, two television reporters in Roanoke, Va. — Alison Parker and Adam Ward — were murdered by a black man who hated whites, and a white police officer in Houston — Darren Goforth — was murdered by a black man. Neither crime has been labeled a hate crime. And no mainstream media reporting of the murders attributes either to race-based hate.

For the mainstream media, the Roanoke murders were committed by “a disgruntled former employee,” and regarding the Houston policeman, the media report that, in the words of The New York Times, “a motive for the shooting remained unclear.”

The disregard of anti-white hatred as the motive for blacks who murder whites even when the murder is obviously racially motivated comes from the same people who denied that the Islamist Nidal Hasan’s murder of 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood was religiously motivated. These people — all on the left — have an agenda: to deny black racism and Islamist-based violence whenever possible. Only white police and other white violence against non-whites is clearly racist — even when not.

Thus, President Barack Obama convened a “White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism” rather than a “White House Summit on Countering Islamist Violence.” Though the summit was convened the month following the Islamist massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris, the words “Islam,” “Muslim” and “Islamist” did not once appear in the White House’s 1,668-word fact sheet on the summit. The Obama administration went so far as to label Hasan’s murders of his fellow soldiers “workplace violence.”

So, too, the mainstream media depicted the black murderer of eight white people at a Connecticut beer warehouse in 2010 as a man who had been angered by white racism, not as the white-hater he was. Under the headline “Troubles Preceded Connecticut Workplace Killing,” a New York Times article reported: “He might also have had cause to be angry: He had complained to his girlfriend of being racially harassed at work, the woman’s mother said, and lamented that his grievances had gone unaddressed.”

And a Washington Post headline read: “Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism.”

The fact was that the man was fired for stealing beer from his workplace, and there was a video of him doing so.
Back in the heyday of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King proclaimed:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
He was calling for a single standard to apply to blacks and whites, in an era when a double standard often disadvantaged blacks. And decent people accepted the idea, consistent as it was with the individualism of the American political culture.

But soon enough came demands for a double standard, with affirmative action, racial quotas and incessant excuses for bad behavior from the black community.  That continues today, and it poisons the culture and generates fully justified resentment from whites.  That liberals label that resentment “racist” silences some voices, but does nothing to reduce the resentment.  In fact it amplifies it, since whites not only resent the double standard, but also resent being attacked for believing in racial equality rather than the black race privilege that the liberals want.

Blacks who marched with King were not demanding a double standard.  And they did not need a double standard, since their behavior did not need a bevy of excuses made for it.  They were far different from the rioters in Ferguson and Baltimore, and from the black racist killers.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Leftists: Frail, Fragile Black Sensibilities

From Frontpage Magazine:
You can never be equal if you’re always angry and afraid.

There is a war on black people.

You hear about it from powerless black men like Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Al Sharpton. Black people can hardly leave the house without being shot by a cop for no reason at all. That’s what you hear from the activists of #BlackLivesMatter who illustrate the point by blocking traffic, harassing white people in restaurants and shoving elderly Democratic presidential candidates… without getting shot.

Black racist activists and their white leftist allies like to talk up “White Fragility” which means that white people are used to sitting down for brunch without having fat black women yell in their faces about genocide. Or as the official definition would have it, white people are so insulated from critical dialogues about race that they get upset when those women, who are actually working on their PhDs in critical race theory, loudly accuse them of white supremacy.

Or as the official definition goes, “call them out” for their white privilege.

That’s what Eric Holder meant when he accused Americans of being a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race. The former Attorney General and future drug cartel lobbyist was referencing “White Fragility.” White Americans were just fragile cowards unwilling to admit their guilty white privilege.

But if any group is fragile when it comes to racial dialogues, it isn’t white people. It certainly isn’t your average melanin-challenged cisgender heterosexual who has to dive into a safe space or demand censorship the moment that he encounters a dissenting view.

Political correctness is a culture of fragility for minority groups. Every member of a political identity group is a fragile survivor who veers from outraged protests to panic attacks. And any minority who doesn’t act like a manic-depressive twit is a traitor who is no longer a part of his “community.”

To be a true member of the political identity community is to be both angry and fragile.

The hysteria of #BlackLivesMatter embodies angry and fragile. Its members shriek that they’re being murdered on every corner while behaving in ways that would get anyone else murdered. Their racist tantrums are justified by their racial fragility. Their victimhood entitles them to victimize others.

That is black privilege which is based on false claims of black fragility.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose latest memoir sits on every good liberal’s bookshelf, takes black fragility to new lows. In his world, “black bodies” are constantly being victimized by “white supremacy.” Even the 9/11 firefighters are “not human to him” because they could “with no justification — shatter my body.”

Why would the FDNY set out to shatter Ta-Nehisi Coates’ body? The black fragility of Coates or #BlackLivesMatter isn’t rational, it’s racist. Its exaggerated sense of peril is really prejudice. When a white man suspects any random black man of being out to get him, he’s a racist. When a black man suspects any random white man of being out to get him, he’s just being #BlackLivesMatter.

White criminals go to jail. Black criminals are victims of “mass incarceration.” White criminals just get shot. But when black criminals are killed, it’s genocide.

A white man who knocks over a convenience store and then dies after getting in a fight with a cop, is a statistic. A black man inspires protests, t-shirts, riots, an Obama investigation and bad hashtags.

There’s a reason #BlackLivesMatter activists hate the rival hashtag #AllLivesMatter. If all lives matter equally, then the rationale for turning random black criminals like Michael Brown into causes comes apart. It’s only by elevating black lives above white lives that the facts of the case stop mattering and it’s only the cult of black fragility that turns the tribal emotions of its activists into a political cause.

Black fragility says that real black people are victims who are afraid all the time. Its protests are exercises in hysterical black fragility in which to be black is to constantly live on the edge of death. America is a white supremacist country out to kill black people, before electing some of them president.

And you are either a fragile angry black activist yelling in panic about the police being out to shoot you while blocking traffic on the interstate or you are one of the race traitors trying to get to work and wishing the activists would get out of the way and get a real job.

If you’re Latino, you’re supposed to spend all your time fearing that the Republicans will deport you, even if you’re not an illegal alien, but have been living in this country for generations. If you’re a female college student, you’re expected to retweet inflated campus rape statistics and treat all men as rapists. If you’re gay, you’re supposed to believe that if Ted Cruz is elected, he’ll send you to a gay labor camp.

Forget hope. Fragility is all about fear and hate. All black people are victims. All white people are oppressors. All women are victims and all men are oppressors. An oppressor can ally with the oppressed only if he recognizes his privileged role. Any space that doesn’t recognize this dynamic is a space of privilege.

And fragile minorities need a safe space to go back to after protesting those privileged spaces.

Social justice warrior activists define a space. Then they campaign to take it over while treating any criticism or opposition as a threat to their collective identities and their fragile politicized “bodies.”

The term “social justice warriors” is ironic because SJWs make a fetish of their fragility. Challenge an SJW and it immediately runs to a safe space to play victim. The SJW cyberbullies opponents when it has a numerical advantage on social media and whines about being terrorized to the press when it doesn’t.

Assertions of fragility end every discussion about SJW causes because fragility has become the cause. Every campaign is really about the fragility of the activist. The facts don’t matter and don’t even exist. Debate doesn’t happen. Criticism is something that activists “endure” on their way to achieving their goals. The focus is never on the ideas, but on the suffering of the activists as they struggle to be heard… despite enjoying a total monopoly on the news and editorial side of every mainstream media outlet.

Fragility isn’t a cause, it’s a cult. Like most cults, it fills true believers with the conviction that the outside world is evil and that they are vulnerable because of their unique sensitivity. Its safe spaces are cult spaces in which believers reinforce their programming and their fear of the outside world.

Like most cults, fragility doesn’t teach love. It programs hate and fear.

Black fragility is a racist cult that disrespects both white and black people. It tells black people that to be authentic they must be afraid. It tells white people that they are evil because of their skin color. It offers a blatantly racist narrative in which all black problems can be reduced to white people which is why it disregards the killing fields of gang violence to focus on black criminals who are shot by white cops.

Black fragility denies black equality. It says that black people can’t compete with white people for jobs or college admissions. That they can’t be expected to live by the same laws as white people. That minorities can’t even participate in dialogues on the same terms as everyone else without invoking fragility terms like “White Privilege” or demanding politically correct censorship so comprehensive that it’s indistinguishable from political repression.

We can have equality or fragility, racial progress or racial fragility, but we can’t have both.

Black people are not as fragile as #BlackLivesMatter, Eric Holder or Ta-Nehisi Coates would like white liberals to believe. It’s the cause of the leftist radical activists that is fragile because it depends on infantilizing black people and all political identity group minorities as victims who endure rather than achieve, who struggle rather than thrive, who need safe spaces even when they’re in the White House.

Black fragility is the real war on black people. It’s a war on their dignity and their self-sufficiency. It’s a war waged against their equality. You can never be equal if you’re always angry and afraid.
This mentality is very much present at Marquette, where leftist activists deemed “racist” a bunch of Tweets from Marquette students who failed to be impressed by a bunch of demonstrators who blocked traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. How dare they say things like “stop using history as an excuse and start taking responsibility for your lives and your future!” How could any black person possibly not faint hearing things like that?

Likewise, the same leftist activists complained about “discriminatory violence in the classroom.” Since nobody has been beaten up or physically attacked in a Marquette classroom recently (or even in the distant past, so far as we can remember) “violence” must mean merely racial grievance mongers hearing things with which they disagree.

Are they such wimps?

No, this is just another ploy for claiming victim status, and demanding the privileges that go with victim status on a college campus.

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Political Corretness in Europe: Don’t Reveal Ethnicity of Criminals

With a hat tip to a former student out ours: news from Zurich.
Zurich communal authorities have instructed city police to stop releasing the nationality of criminals to the media to avoid stigmatization.

An exception can only be made if the information is “pertinent” to the case, authorities decided on Wednesday, as reported by newspaper 20 Minutes on Friday.

The move was suggested by the political left as a way to prevent the racial prejudice that can arise from releasing the origins of those involved in criminal activity.

But right-wingers counter that releasing such information is a matter of transparency.

Opinions on the issue differ throughout the country.

Police in Neuchâtel and Fribourg only release nationality “if that adds value,” Fribourg police spokesman Gallus Risse told 20 Minutes.

“It’s about using common sense and avoiding stigmatizing a specific nationality,” he said.

However police in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud take the opposite stance.

There, a suspect’s nationality would only be kept secret if it could identify him.

“We wouldn’t say that he’s Chinese if he lives in a small village and he’s the only Chinese person living there,” Pierre-Olivier Gaudard of Vaud police told the paper.

“It’s also a question of transparency,” he added.
You can’t solve any social problem unless you are willing to face the facts, and politically correct people chronically refuse to face facts. And the reason is simple: the facts refute their biases and show that their “solutions” don’t at all address the real problem.

If you believe, for example, that the large number of blacks in prison is the result of racist cops, you’ll do nothing to address crime in the black community.

But the left wants the facts suppressed. Thus a bunch of leftist students at Marquette, back in April, staged a sit-in on Wisconsin Avenue demanding (among other things) that Marquette “Remove race from DPS [Department of Public Safety] reports.”

Whom do they think that would fool?

As we reported at the time:
We analyzed all Public Safety Alerts issued between May 2014 and April 2015 (inclusive), and found that of 44 offenders whose race was reported, 37 were black. (Four were white and three Hispanic.)
Indeed Marquette did, for a while, conceal the race of people committing crimes near campus. But we outed the policy right here. Marquette got chewed out by Charlie Sykes, and perhaps because of that (or perhaps because the Clery Act might leave a school open to a suit if key information is not reported) it changed the policy.

People who try to promote their political agenda by concealing information should be assumed to be on the wrong side of any issue. People who are willing to face the facts, and see the truth come out, are those with whom we should instinctively side.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Greenpeace: Workers on Strike

From the very left wing San Diego Free Press:
On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively. Senior workers bring in six or seven times their salary in recurring donations, yet are routinely fired. Morale is understandably very low. But choosing to resist, they have mobilized in defense of their jobs and dignity. Non-profits beware: the persuasive skills developed by your employees can be used against you. Instead of selling Greenpeace, organizers now sell the strike against it.

Tara Dawn, a strike member from the Sacramento field office, said “As a single mother, I work hard week in and week out not knowing if I’ll have a dependable paycheck to keep a roof over our heads. That is a very difficult reality to face. I love my job and the organization I work for, but myself and the all of the other canvassers deserve to see reform.”

Resistance to reform, both in senior and mid-level Greenpeace administration, emphasizes the presence of “the worker elite”. Despite being former fundraisers themselves, low-level managers have decided not to stand in solidarity with their former co-workers, their interests now aligning with their superiors. In the absence of help from those potential allies, the street-level workers have banded together, using democratic methods and a sophisticated media campaign to damage Greenpeace’s most valuable asset: its image and reputation.

Canvassers have great labor power for two main reasons. First, because they gather monthly donations, each $20 donation that is not gathered is multiplied, since most people donate for 9 or 10 months before canceling. Second, attempts to bring in strikebreaking replacements are frustrated because good canvassers emerge from training, not raw talent. The trainers are on strike, thus nobody can truly be their replacement.

Socialists everywhere should stand in the new areas of labor struggle. Thousands of vulnerable canvassers for all sorts of non-profits can learn from a strong victory.

Their Facebook page is: facebook.com/GreenpeaceOnStrike
Their strike fund page is: crowdrise.com/GreenpeaceOnStrike
We generally take a dim view of strikers. They are usually what economists call “rent seekers.” “Rent,” in the technical jargon of economists, means “rip off.”

Our view is that if somebody doesn’t believe they are being paid decently by their employer, they should go find another job. If the employer can fill their position with a qualified worker at the same wage (and benefits package) they were being paid decently. If the employer can’t, then the market is telling the employer “you are going to have to up the compensation for this job.” That’s fair enough.

But that’s free market logic, and it’s nice to see the hoity–toity leftists who run Greenpeace faced with the same sort of demands that they endorse when directed at profit-making capitalist enterprises.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jorge Ramos: Sense of Racial Entitlement Trumped

It’s typical of race hustlers: they feel entitled. As members of a politically correct victim group, they think that claims of historic oppression free them from obeying the rules that apply to everybody else.

They get away with way too much.

But not always, as a confrontation between race hustler Jorge Ramos and Donald Trump showed. From The American Spectator:
Jorge Ramos played the race card in an Iowa press conference.

Donald Trump would have none of it. Bravo.

So as the scene unfolded on CNN, there is Donald Trump in Iowa, holding a press conference.

And from off screen comes this insistent voice — barely heard as there was no microphone for the unidentified speaker. But even barely heard it was clear whoever it was had a cause to promote — an agenda. Trump, the anti-Hillary who repeatedly talks to reporters of all stripes, all networks, all publications, was clearly in the process of calling on another reporter. The speaker was having none of this. He demanded attention from Trump — right NOW!

As it came clear that Trump — no Bernie Sanders he — was not going to be bullied by whomever and would actually run his own press conference — the cameras pulled back to reveal the rude guy.

It was Jorge Ramos of Univision. Ahhhh. The agenda comes clear. Univision — the company that broke its contract with Trump and dumped the Trump-owned Miss Universe when Trump noted that yes, in fact, there were illegals coming across the U.S. border and committing crimes. Trump promptly answered Univision back with a $500 million lawsuit. So Ramos was there in Iowa to score a blow for race card playing. And as he continued his rant — Trump promptly had him removed. Eventually, he gave the OK for Ramos to return, welcomed him back, and had a completely civil exchange on immigration. The incident was perfect metaphor for the illegal immigration issue. Ramos jumped the press conference rules and was sent back — only welcomed back inside when he agreed to live by the same rules as the rest of the press corps in the room.
Trump, whom we don’t much like, deserves kudos for this.

Minorities (or more properly, hustlers who claim to represent them) have been pampered and coddled way too much. Just a few examples:

Marquette Students Push Back

This latter case, however, created a lot of push back from Marquette students. A student (apparently a leftist) named Zoe Del Colle produced an album on Facebook of what she called “The Racist Comments of Marquette Students.” In fact, the vast majority of comments are not racist at all, they just take exception to the claims of the race hustlers.

The album is a fine view into the minds of the politically correct. They see racism everywhere, and then when people don’t buy their overwrought claims, that’s more evidence of racism. In fact, these folks can’t admit that anybody could disagree with their politics and not be racist.

Kudos to the Marquette students who left those Tweets (most of them, anyway). The campus leftists have been coddled too long. They deserve the treatment Trump gave Ramos: you obey the rules and we will listen to you, but we may disagree with what you say. And if you call us a racist, we will dismiss you as a politically correct yahoo.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Black People Prefer “All Lives Matter” to “Black Lives Matter”

The “Black Lives Matter” movement has arisen to protest supposed unjustified police shootings of black suspects. Never mind that in the majority (and probably a lopsided majority) of cases the shootings have been justified. The narrative of racial oppression demands that the activists insist that cops undervalue black lives.

Bizarrely, when well-intentioned but muddle-headed liberals have said that “all lives matter,” the activists have gone ballistic.

First case, the president of Smith College:
The president of prestigious Smith College is red-faced and apologetic Tuesday for telling students on the Northampton, Mass., campus that “all lives matter.”

Kathleen McCartney wrote the phrase in the subject line of an e-mail to students at the school, whose alumni include feminists Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and celebrity chef Julia Child. McCartney was attempting to show support for students protesting racially charged grand jury decisions in which police in Missouri and New York were not charged in the deaths of unarmed black men.

Protesters have adopted several slogans in connection with the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, including “Black Lives Matter.” McCartney’s more inclusive version of the refrain was seen as an affront that diminished the focus on black lives and racism, according to emails obtained by FoxNews.com.

“We are united in our insistence that all lives matter,” read the e-mail,in which she made clear she was strongly behind the protests, writing that the grand jury decisions had “led to a shared fury… We gather in vigil, we raise our voices in protest.”

But she soon received backlash from students for her phrasing. They were offended that she did not stick with the slogan “black lives matter.”

The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which first covered the story, quoted one Smith sophomore, Cecelia Lim, as saying, “it felt like she was invalidating the experience of black lives.”

In response to student backlash, McCartney apologized in another campus-wide email Friday, saying she had made a mistake “despite my best intentions.”

She wrote that the problem with the phrase lay in how others had used it.

“I regret that I was unaware the phrase/hashtag ‘all lives matter’ has been used by some to draw attention away from the focus on institutional violence against Black people,” she wrote.
Next case, Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley. We won’t go into the details, which are equally bizarre.

But now comes a Rasmussen Poll which asks likely voters (including black Americans) whether “black lives matter” or “all lives matter” is closest to their view.

Among blacks, 31% say “black lives matter” is closest to their view, but 64% say that “all lives matter” is closest to their view.

Thus, by more that two to one, black people in America side with the humane notion that all lives matter, and not with the activists’ race hustling.

Thus McCartney and O’Malley look like typical muddle-headed liberals. They cave to the radical activists, and take a position at odds with the majority of black people.

Liberal campus bureaucrats like McCartney talk a lot about “inclusion.” But in fact “inclusion” is just an Orwellian term for an exclusive concern for politically correct victim groups.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Congress Moves to Protect Free Expression on College Campuses

A press release from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:
House Judiciary Chairman Wants Answers about First Amendment from Public Colleges

WASHINGTON, August 14, 2015—The Chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee sent letters today to the presidents of 161 public colleges and universities across the country to ask them why their policies fail to protect the First Amendment rights of students and faculty.

The letters were sent by Representative Bob Goodlatte to leaders of institutions that received the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE’s) lowest, “red light” rating in our annual report on campus speech codes. Colleges that receive this rating maintain at least one policy that clearly and substantially restricts protected speech.

The letters follow FIRE President and CEO Greg Lukianoff’s testimony before Congress earlier this summer. On June 2, Lukianoff testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice about the state of free speech on America’s public college campuses.

“During my testimony, I shared FIRE’s deep concern that highly restrictive speech codes are the rule rather than the exception on public college campuses nationwide,” said Lukianoff. “A congressional hearing on campus censorship was an important first step. It is even more encouraging that Chairman Goodlatte is taking action to address the problem.”

In the letters, Chairman Goodlatte writes, “In FIRE’s Spotlight on Speech Codes 2015, your institution received a ‘red light’ rating. … We write to ask what steps your institution plans to take to promote free and open expression on its campus(es), including any steps toward bringing your speech policies in accordance with the First Amendment.”

No public college or university may legally maintain speech codes that violate the First Amendment rights of students or faculty.

“Students’ education suffers when colleges and universities infringe on free speech,” said Azhar Majeed, director of FIRE’s Individual Rights Education Program. “FIRE is eager to help these institutions bring their policies in line with the First Amendment and welcomes opportunities to work with administrators to do so.”

FIRE is a nonprofit educational foundation that unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals from across the political and ideological spectrum on behalf of individual rights, due process, freedom of expression, academic freedom, and rights of conscience at our nation’s colleges and universities. FIRE’s efforts to preserve liberty on campuses across America can be viewed at thefire.org.

CONTACT:
Katie Barrows, Communications Coordinator, FIRE: 215-717-3473; katie@thefire.org
Robert Shibley, Executive Director, FIRE: 215-717-3473; robert@thefire.org
Marquette, being a private school, is not affected by this, in spite of having a speech code with a “red light” rating. Of course, private schools should be free to restrict speech if they choose to, although in virtually every case this is a bad idea. And private universities are acting immorally if they promise free expression and then stifle speech. Indeed, in most cases their proclaimed policies protecting speech constitute a contractual obligation.

Campus leftists and campus bureaucrats are likely to whine about “Congressional interference” in higher education. But of course, they have accepted (with enthusiasm on the part of the leftists, and supinely on the part of the bureaucrats) massive intervention on the part of the Federal government, especially the Obama Justice and Education departments. Obama administration bureaucrats have aggressively moved to vitiate due process rights of males accused of sexual assault, and to broaden the doctrine of “harassment” to outlaw speech to which any intolerant and overwrought black, gay or feminist objects.

So it’s good that there is some push back here. Unfortunately, the authoritarianism of campus leftist faculty and staff, and the vested interests of campus bureaucrats are firmly aligned behind the suppression of politically incorrect speech.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Incarceration Prevents Crime

Liberals have never liked punishing criminals. Oh, they have made exceptions, wanting harsh punishments for “hate crimes” against groups such as blacks and gays, and they really want rapists punished. But garden variety criminals doing garden variety crimes have been the object of a huge solicitude from liberals.

Of course, this attitude reflects the class interests of the sort of people who are liberals. Instead of punishment, liberals’ preferred anti-crime strategy has been a vast expansion of social programs (if we just spend enough money on social programs, crime will go away) and rehabilitation for criminals (administered, of course, by liberal professionals).

But in the real world, failure to keep criminals locked up has nasty consequences. One historic example is from Philadelphia, where a liberal judge imposed a “prison cap,” forcing the release of thousands of offenders based on the claim of prison overcrowding:
Mayor Edward Rendell, a former district attorney, has been battling for years to get the city out from under a devastating eight-year-old prison cap imposed by U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro. . .

Judge Shapiro is one of the worst offenders among that influential cadre of federal judges who have substituted the ACL’U’s prisoners’ rights wish list for the Bill of Rights and have trifled with public safety concerns. She has used complaints filed by individual inmates to gain control over the prison system and empowered a group of court-appointed prisoners’ rights lawyers to micromanage the jails.

In effect, Judge Shapiro has single-handedly decriminalized property and drug crimes in the City of Brotherly Love. Some 67 percent of all defendants released because of her prison cap simply fail to appear in court. The number of outstanding bench warrants for misdemeanor and felony cases has soared to 46,637 in March from 16,595 in 1987. And in the past 18 months alone, 9,732 arrestees, out on the streets on pre-trial release because of her prison cap, were arrested on second charges, including 79 murders, 90 rapes, 701 burglaries, 959 robberies, 1,113 assaults, 2,215 drug offenses and 2,748 thefts.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Marquette Axes College of Professional Studies

A message from the Provost:
As we approach the beginning of the academic year, we are writing to share a few academic updates. Over the past two years, nine university committees have conducted great work in collaboration with our partners from Huron Consulting to actively review and analyze our enrollment strategies. These efforts, combined with ongoing academic Program Reviews, have put us in a strong position to determine how we best move forward.

Our extensive analysis of the College of Professional Studies revealed that while we have a high quality product, the college is not financially viable in its current model. We cannot continue to compete without a major influx of resources in a market where competition has increased dramatically in recent years. Our strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries, calls for all of us to ensure our valuable resources are sustainable and to be responsible stewards of these resources. Therefore, we will now work with the University Leadership Council, the University Academic Senate and faculty leaders across campus to review a proposed plan to phase out the college’s operations.

For this current academic year, the College of Professional Studies will continue to deliver all four of its degree programs as planned through 2016 Commencement. Beginning fall 2016, the College of Professional Studies Leadership and Organizations degree will be housed administratively in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. This move will continue to provide wonderful opportunities for adults seeking an accessible undergraduate degree at Marquette.
The College of Professional Studies is one of the great bad ideas the Marquette administration has ever had.

Lured, apparently, by the hope of making a lot of money, Marquette decided to jump into a burgeoning market: Degrees ‘R Us operations catering to “non-traditional” (read, older) students who want a Bachelor’s degree.

For many years at Marquette, departments were under pressure to offer a certain number of evening courses, in order to accommodate such students. We taught our share, and the vast majority of students were always the traditional collage-age undergraduates. But there was an integrity to the process. The non-traditional students paid the same tuition, took equally demanding courses, and met the same requirements as traditional students. When they got a degree, it was a bona fide Marquette degree.

But the sight of institutions offering cut-rate degrees at lower cost with much laxer requirements lured Marquette into trying to compete in a market in which it was not well-prepared to compete, offering an education inferior to its traditional one, doing something sharply removed from its distinctive competence.

We heard accounts, from the few regular Marquette faculty teaching in the College of Professional Studies, of being pressured to reduce course demands far below the level required of traditional Marquette students. Thus the College of Arts and Science refused to accept credits from Professional Studies toward graduation requirements (except in a few rare special cases).

Political Science was particularly unhappy that Professional Studies offered a section of POSC 2201 (American Politics). Our view what that we “owned” POSC 2201. If that sounds like bureaucratic turf protection remember this: Political Science had a strong vested interest in maintaining the quality of 2201, just as (say) Nikon has a vested interest in maintaining the quality of cameras that bear its brand name. The Professional Studies version of 2201 was taught by faculty that could not possibly have gotten a tenure track job in Political Science, nor even an adjunct position.

Political Science complained to various Deans of Arts and Sciences, but none took up the cudgel for us on that issue. OK, Deans have a lot of battles to fight.

But this whole business is an example of how institutions like Marquette should not go running after the latest fad in higher education. Admittedly, the bloated ranks of administrators at Marquette (as at other institutions) creates a huge incentive to find “initiatives” to justify a small army of assistant deans and associate provosts and all the other staff that the “initiatives” require.

Admittedly, Marquette’s whoring after a huge raft of politically correct “diversity” initiatives has been more damaging than the millions of dollars the College of Professional Studies lost, since the former has involved trashing Catholic teaching on a variety of issues. But broadly considered the issue is the same: when you sell a lower quality education (as when you offer a secular education while calling yourself “Catholic”) you squander the value of the brand.

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The Many Things Wrong With Donald Trump

From Rick Esenberg, a thorough thrashing administered to the fellow who has eclipsed, in terms of media attention, all the Republican candidates who might have a chance to be president, and might actually make things better:
There’s really no question that Donald Trump’s performance in the GOP debate was childish and boorish. Often he simply blustered and stumbled to barely coherent responses. He bragged about buying politicians and stiffing his creditors. He whined about being treated unfairly and confused common standards of decency with political correctness. He asked us to believe that he can bend foreign governments to his will. Yet he can’t even handle Megyn Kelly.

In the days since then, he’s only made it worse. I understand that Twitter is not exactly a forum for the expression of any thought that is much more than a sentiment, but his feed reads like that of an over fresh high school kid. The man is an embarrassment.
And later:
Some on the left want to say that Trump offers some kind of unveiled conservatism, but that’s preposterous. He is not conservative. He is a big government crony capitalist who has fed at the subsidy trough and advocated for eminent domain abuse. He is a pro-choice (or was, until yesterday afternoon) and a supporter of Obamacare. He has contributed to Hillary Clinton. If anyone in the current GOP field would share Obama’s ambitious view of what a President can and ought to do who would use his pen and phone rather than the tools the Constitution provides it is Trump.
Read the whole thing.

Full disclosure: Esenberg is representing us against Marquette’s administration and its attempt to fire us.

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Palestinian TV: Teaching Kids to Kill Jews

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Texas “Christian” University: Punishing a Student for Politically Incorrect Speech

There is something like this almost every day: a student says unkind things on social media about black rioters in Baltimore and about Islam and he is punished by his college.

From The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:
FORT WORTH, Texas, July 29, 2015—Texas Christian University (TCU) has abandoned its stated commitments to free speech and due process after a group of Internet commenters were offended by one student’s social media posts and complained to university administrators.

TCU suspended student Harry Vincent for commentary posted to his personal Facebook and Twitter profiles related to current events, including the protests in Baltimore, the threat of terrorism, and the spread of the “Islamic State.” The suspension comes after a non-student, using the name “Kelsey” and apparently living in Maryland, created a post on her Tumblr page containing screenshots of a selection of Vincent’s posts. Kelsey labeled Vincent’s commentary “racist” and “disgusting” and asked readers to contact TCU to report his speech.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) wrote to TCU today to urge the university to reverse the charges and sanctions applied to Vincent for his protected extracurricular expression. FIRE also expressed dismay with TCU’s violation of Vincent’s due process rights, which included coercing an apology from him prior to any determination of guilt.

“If TCU no longer believes student rights are important, it should just come out and say so,” said Ari Cohn, an attorney and Senior Program Officer for Legal and Public Advocacy at FIRE. “Tricking students into attending TCU by making glowing promises of free speech and due process rights—only to go back on those promises following unreasonable demands from someone who doesn’t even attend the school—is shocking and itself offensive to the most basic sense of fairness. TCU should reverse its action against Harry Vincent immediately.”

TCU is a private university and thus not legally bound by the First Amendment. Nevertheless, it is both morally and contractually bound to honor the explicit and repeated promises of freedom of expression that it makes to its students. Among these is TCU’s “Demonstration Guidelines” policy, which states that “TCU firmly supports the rights of all members of the University community to express their views.”

From approximately December 2014 through April 2015, Vincent occasionally posted commentary on his Facebook and Twitter profiles related to current events. Vincent’s viewpoints on these events apparently inspired Kelsey’s Tumblr post on or about April 28, 2015. Shortly after publishing her post, Kelsey and some of her readers reported that they received a response from TCU Associate Dean of Campus Life Glory Z. Robinson that said “the Campus Life Office will address this situation.”

On April 29, Vincent received a letter from Robinson charging him with violating two student conduct code provisions, those relating to “Infliction of Bodily or Emotional Harm” and “Disorderly Conduct.” At the conclusion of a May 1 ”investigative” meeting at which Vincent was first informed of the basis for the charges, Robinson directed him to write a letter of apology for his posts and detail the punishment that he felt would be appropriate for his speech.

On May 8, Robinson informed Vincent that she had found him in violation of the two conduct code provisions and that he would receive a “Suspension in Abeyance” through August 15, 2016, and be placed on “Disciplinary Probation” through his graduation from TCU. Under the terms of his suspension, Vincent can only attend his classes and cannot reside on campus, participate in any co-curricular activities, or utilize any non-academic facilities on campus. He is also required to complete a course on “Issues in Diversity,” complete 60 hours of community service, and meet with Robinson on a regular basis.

On July 16, an appeals panel of TCU faculty members and administrators denied Vincent’s appeal and upheld all aspects of Robinson’s decision. In a July 24 letter formalizing the panel’s decision, Student Conduct and Grievance Committee Chair Lynn K. Flahive summarily dispensed with Vincent’s appeal arguments and declared, “The choices you made caused harm to other individuals. These types of comments are not acceptable at TCU … .”

In addition to betraying its promises of free speech, TCU has also betrayed its due process promises. Robinson coerced Vincent into writing an apology and proposed sanction prior to any determination of his guilt, and then used those statements as evidence of his guilt. In doing so, Robinson violated TCU’s “Fair Play Rights for Students” policy, which states that students have the right “[t]o remain silent about any incident in which s/he is a suspect. No form of harassment shall be used by a university representative to coerce admissions of guilt.” TCU also did not inform Vincent about any details of the specific complaints against him, despite his having requested the incident reports and complaints against him.

“If the TCU administration is willing to punish its students every time they offend someone on the Internet, TCU students should be very afraid,” said Cohn. “That TCU would sacrifice its students’ free speech and due process rights to appease a social media mob betrays where its priorities lie—with its public relations department, not its students’ fundamental rights.”
If one looks at Vincent’s actual posts, it should be obvious that they express strong opinions, but are not racist.

For example, he says that Baltimore rioters (“hoodrat criminals” he calls them) should be “shipped off and exiled to the sahara desert.” Apparently, any criticism of any black people (even criminals who are rioting) is considered racist. Or, put another way, in the minds of leftists, the rioters are the authentic representatives of the black community, so criticizing them is criticizing all blacks.

Likewise, Vincent adds that “maybe then they’ll realize how much we provide for them (welfare, college tuition, obama phone’s [sic] medicare, etc.)”

Associating black people with welfare dependency is something that the left does not like. But of course, if somebody wants to cut back welfare programs, the same leftists will loudly call such initiatives racist!

In reality, in 2009, 25.1% of persons living in black households were receiving food stamps, while only 6.9% of persons in white (non-Hispanic) households got food stamps. Indeed, a bit over half of all blacks (50.9% to be exact) lived in a household getting some means-tested assistance, as opposed to only 20.5% of non-Hispanic whites.(See Table 543 here.)

The fact of black welfare dependency should not be used to taunt black people generally, but it’s a perfectly fine response to race hustlers who are constantly claiming that a racist America oppresses black people.

In another post Vincent says that Islam is “clearly not a religion of peace” and that Obama “needs to step up and take action.” Certainly an arguable position, no matter how it offends the politically correct.

Of course, at TCU as in academia generally, blacks are protected from hearing anything at odds with the supposed black political agenda, but calling whites racist and berating them for supposed “white privilege” is condoned and even encouraged. Attacks on Islam are frowned on (and punished) but nasty attacks on Christianity are perfectly OK.

This case should make it clear to any Christian parents who want to send their children to a Christian university that TCU is not such a place.

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Outlaw the Redskins Name? Just the Beginning

From an anonymous e-mail. We don’t know who first wrote this, but it’s all over the ‘net. It was written in response to an oh-so-politically correct column by Clarence Page.
Dear Mr. Page:

I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward. Let’s also ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians.

If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns. The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Gone. It’s offensive to us white folk.

The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men’s lives.

I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.

Then, there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children.

The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message to our children. The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Wrong message to our children.

The Milwaukee Brewers. Well that goes without saying. Wrong message to our children.

So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should. Just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress loves.

As a die hard Oregon State fan, my wife and I, with all of this in mind, suggest it might also make some sense to change the name of the Oregon State women’s athletic teams to something other than “the Beavers” (especially when they play Southern California) . Do we really want the Trojans sticking it to the Beavers???

I always love your articles and I generally agree with them.

As for the Redskins name I would suggest they change the name to the Do Nothings to better represent their community, paying tribute to the idiots in Congress.
Once one starts looking for grievances, the possibilities never end. The U.S. Army, for examples, has attack helicopters named Sioux, Iroquois, Apache, Black Hawk, Kiowa, Comanche, Cayuse and Cheyenne.

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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Global Warming/Climate Change: Extended Discussion

Talking to legendary Chicago talk show host Milt Rosenberg, two global warming skeptics (James M. Taylor and Steve Goreham) discuss the issues in depth.

Interestingly, proponents of man-made global warming refused to appear on the show, leaving Rosenberg to play the role of devil’s advocate. This, Rosenberg explains, is almost invariably the case as warming advocates imperiously insist that warming is “settled science” about which there is no legitimate doubt.

But public opinion polls shot there most certainly is doubt among the citizenry.

So if their case is so strong, why won’t the advocates avail themselves of the opportunity to convince doubters with their (supposedly) superior arguments? It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the issue is way more complex than the warmists want the public knowing, and that they fear they would be on the defensive.

Instinctively, we should distrust people who refuse to argue their case. Their refusal implies that they live in a little bubble where everybody shares their assumptions, and they fear stepping out into the world where their assumptions will be challenged.

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Bye, Bye First Amendment