Sunday, December 31, 2017
Saturday, December 30, 2017
George Will on Marquette Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court can soon right a flagrant wrong stemming from events set in motion in 2014 at Milwaukee’s Marquette University by Cheryl Abbate. Although just a graduate student, she already had a precocious aptitude for academic nastiness.
On Oct. 28, in an undergraduate course she was teaching on ethics, when the subject of same-sex marriage arose, there was no debate, because, a student said, Abbate insisted that there could be no defensible opposition to this. (Marquette is a Jesuit school.) After class, the student told her that he opposed same-sex marriage and her discouraging of debate about it. She replied (he recorded their interaction) that “there are some opinions that are not appropriate that are harmful. . . . Do you know whether anyone in the class is homosexual? . . . In this class homophobic comments . . . will not be tolerated.” The student’s appeals to Abbate’s superiors were unavailing (the chairman of her philosophy department referred to the student as an “insulin [sic] little twerp”), so he gave John C. McAdams his recording of Abbate rebuffing him.
McAdams, a tenured professor then in his 41st year at Marquette and a conservative who blogs about the school’s news, emailed Abbate seeking her version of the episode. Without responding to him, she immediately forwarded his email to some professors. She has called McAdams “the ringleader” of “extreme white [sic] wing, hateful people,” a “moron,” “a flaming bigot, sexist and homophobic idiot” and a “creepy homophobic person with bad argumentation skills.” This aspiring philosopher’s argumentation skills can be inferred from her reliance on epithets.
Before McAdams had written a syllable, she claimed for herself the coveted status of victim, branding as “harassment” his request for her side of the story. Striking a pose of bravery, she accused him of trying “to scare me into silence.” When, on Nov. 9, 2014, McAdams blogged, his post took no position on same-sex marriage but said this should be a debatable issue. The next day, Abbate drafted a letter asking that McAdams be disciplined. He was.
After this matter earned national media attention, she received some critical emails, some of them vile, and Marquette rightly branded them “hate mail.” However, for these, and for the unspecified “harm” they supposedly caused Abbate, McAdams was held to be somehow blameworthy. Marquette, however, offered no evidence that he had anything to do with the emails. After a committee drawn from the university’s monochrome culture recommended suspending McAdams without pay for two semesters, Marquette’s president insisted that McAdams also express in writing “deep regret” and confess that his blog post was “reckless and incompatible” with Marquette’s mission and values. McAdams refused and has been unemployed ever since.
Being a private institution, Marquette had a right to be as hostile as it obviously is to the First Amendment — except for this: Its contract with tenured faculty says no one shall be disciplined for exercising “legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action” and that the threat of dismissal shall not be used to “restrain” constitutional rights. A circuit court, ignoring Marquette’s ignoring of a Wisconsin contract, refused to adjudicate this dispute. Deferring to Marquette, the court essentially held that a professor’s academic freedom exists only until some other professors and university administrators say it does not. So, the deferential court allowed Marquette an unconstrained right to settle a contract dispute in which it was an interested party.
Because there is almost no Wisconsin case law concerning academic freedom that could have guided the circuit court, McAdams is asking the state supreme court to bypass the appeals court and perform its function as the state’s “law-developing court.” He is also asking the court to be cognizant of the cultural context: Nationwide, colleges and universities “are under pressure” — all of it from within the institutions — “to enact or implement speech codes or otherwise restrict speech in various ways.”
This episode, now in its fourth year, began because McAdams tried to assist a student who suffered unprofessional behavior by a bullying instructor. Abbate has moved on. Now at the University of Colorado, she is still a (perhaps career) graduate student, writing a doctoral dissertation on the importance of the rights of . . . animals.
The wreckage she left in her wake illustrates how rights are imperiled when judicial deference becomes dereliction of judicial duty. Prospective Marquette students, and Marquette alumni, must decide whether this school, awash with the current academic hysteria and corruption, merits their confidence and support. Wisconsin’s Supreme Court must lay down the law that can stop some of the rot this case illustrates.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Who Doesn’t Want a Tax Cut?
The Logical End of Identity Politics
An essay from Daniel Greenfield on Frontpage Magazine. It could easily be titled “The Left Eats Its Own.” But it’s actually titled “Identity Politics Works Until You Run Out of Other People.”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously observed that socialism works until you run out of other people’s money. Identity politics also works until you run out of other people.
And then #MeToo becomes #NotMeToo.
Other people’s money can be borrowed against. That’s why we have the national debt that we do. But identity politics has multiplied too abruptly and explosively to postpone the reckoning much longer. What were once simple categories of three races and two genders has mutated into an infinite alphabet of sexual identities, a Big Bang of ethnicities, national, cultural, racial and religious, each with its own microaggressions, that easily tops two hundred and shows no signs of slowing down its expansion.
Intersectionality, the Das Kapital of identity politics economics, tries to manage the complex network of interactions even as it purges Jews and white people. And now it’s even starting to purge men.
The left is running out of other people.
#MeToo, #BlackLivesMatter, the campus purges of ‘whiteness’ and ‘toxic masculinity’, the civil wars within the LGBT alphabet soup all point to the ‘other people’ crisis of the left. The latest social justice wave has made men, white people and even white gay men into hate objects. The resentment coalition of identity politics is fracturing into a tribal war of identity microgroups against everyone else.
The economics of socialism and the political economics of identity politics both come down to the core leftist creed of redistributing the wealth and privilege supposedly hoarded by a minority. Seize all the wealth from the rich and fund free health care. Take away white privilege and open up society. Open the borders of the United States to the Third World. Shut down factories and end all pollution. Destroy capitalism, the patriarchy, heteronormativity, whiteness and every other strawman raised up by the left.
That is the engine of the three radical R’s of the left: Resentment, Revolution and Redistribution.
It’s a scam. Like every scam, it relies on using the greed of the mark against him. Con artists are in the easy money business. They promise the men and women they scam that they can have easy money. But it’s only the con artist who ends up easily making money out of the deal. That’s the scam the left pulls.
It’s why leftist politics is the greatest and deadliest scam ever perpetrated in human history.
The Russian peasants who were promised their own land were instead chained to feudal collectivist farms. They were reduced to sharecroppers who were unable to leave the lands of their masters. The workers who were promised bread starved in the cities. The soldiers who were promised peace died in a more horrifying war. When Stalin told his mother that he was the new czar, the scam was complete.
It was the same story from the Soviet Union to Communist China, from Cuba to Cambodia, from the ghettoes of blue states to the rusting factories of union shops, from the decaying farmlands of Europe to the blighted working class of Britain. The scam ends with mass misery for everyone except the leftist scammers. The revolutionaries get rich and powerful while everyone else loses everything.
But every scam has a choke point. That’s where the bait turns out to be the hook. It’s where the revolution runs out of other people’s money and comes for your life savings. It’s when environmentalism doesn’t mean shutting someone else’s factory, but raising your energy bills, banning your plastic bags and shutting down the business that pays your wages.
It’s when the new horrible racist or sexist of the week isn’t that guy on the news. It’s you.
The choke point is when the revolution you supported runs out of all the other people who supposedly had it coming. And its machinery of smears, thievery and murder (for the people) reaches you.
The great scam of the left is convincing the majority that the solution to their problems lies with a small minority. Get rid of the 1 percent and the 99 percent will live like kings. Get rid of a few southern racists and we can all be brothers. Ban X, regulate Y and outlaw Z and we’ll all be better off for it.
The choke point is when the small minority expands to include you. And then it’s no longer a few billionaires. It’s the upper middle class. And then it’s the entire middle class. It’s all white people. It’s all men. And then it’s everyone. The minority turns out to be the majority. And that’s the scam.
Identity politics is approaching its own choke point. It’s running out of other people.
The theme of intersectionality is that everyone is privileged and everyone is oppressed. The choke point of identity politics is being hidden behind complex formulas that openly stigmatize all white people and all men, but that’s the bait that actually and ultimately lines up everyone for privilege redistribution.
The war on ‘whiteness’, a racist academic construct, is the identity politics equivalent of the denunciations of the middle class. The ‘white privilege’ slogan makes it clear that the left isn’t just coming for a small indefensible minority (which is where the left always starts its lynch mob), but for a narrow and envied majority. White people in identity politics, like the middle class in economics, are the choke point where the seductive 1 percent lie gives way to the lesser lie that splits society apart.
Intersectionality is the identity politics equivalent of Bolshevism. Inside its rhetoric and formulas is the final and fatal truth that it isn’t merely a narrow minority that must be dispossessed, but everyone. It’s not only a small minority or even a majority that is guilty. Everyone is oppressive. Everyone is guilty.
Universal guilt is the jagged hook waiting at the end of the shiny lure. The left educates its marks into resenting easy targets and then expands that resentment into circles that eventually encompass our entire society. No race, class or gender is truly exempt. Eventually the purges even reach the acolytes of the left. Just ask the old Bolsheviks of the USSR or the leftist media heads rolling under #MeToo.
It’s the final stop of leftist politics where all its rotten ideas sink into the muck. Everyone is guilty of polluting the environment. And everyone must pay the carbon tax. Everyone has privilege and must check their privilege. Everyone has too much money. Even if they hardly have anything at all.
The left is not in the business of partial revolutions. That too is part of the scam. Its revolutions are total. And totally fatal. The revolutions begin with the 1 percent, but they are meant to end with 100 percent.
Leftist revolutions run on resentment and greed. And when they have worked through the most obvious targets of that resentment and greed, they will turn on anyone who can be resented or envied.
And that’s everyone. Everyone is enviable to at least one other person. And that’s enough.
Intersectionality’s mantra of universal privilege and guilt is in the toxic DNA of leftist politics. Everyone is guilty. Everyone must pay. No race, gender or class provides any ultimate immunity from the reckoning. With so many identities, the next purge can come from anywhere. Even as the left rages against Trump, its own civil war is underway. Sandernistas are battling Clintonistas. Every group is asserting its own oppression. Leftists are readying a final purge of pro-life Dems. Campus culture denounces whiteness. Everyone is waiting for the next social justice hashtag to sweep through with its wave of political terror.
The revolution is here. And leftists are running out of other people to feed to the guillotine.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Nikki Haley: Laying It on the Line at the United Nations
People who actually believe that the UN has some sort of moral authority don’t like this, but it represents the good side of the Trump Administration: lack of deference to established elites, and a robust support for American values. Which means we have a right to move our embassy to Jerusalem, and the officious busy bodies will have to accept it.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017
Obama’s Political Rhetoric
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Saturday, December 09, 2017
Fake News About Donald Trump: A Compliation
First, from The Federalist:
13 More Major Fake News Stories In Just Five Months Of Trump’s PresidencyYou can read all the details here, but this is the list.
- January 22: The Trump-Comey Bromance
- February 1: Neil Gorsuch’s ‘Fascism Forever’ Club
- February 17: The Mobilization of the National Guard
- February 25: Kuwait’s Pay-to-Play at Trump Hotel
- April 11: The Jeff Sessions ‘Filth’ Scandal
- May 1: Ghosts of Billboards Past
- May 3: The DOJ Prosecutes a Woman for Laughing
- May 4: The Nonexistent Beer Party
- May 4: ‘Rape Is a Preexisting Condition’
- May 4: The Football Analogy Fiasco
- May 10: The Fake Rosenstein Resignation Scandal
- May 10: Comey’s Russian Probe Resource Request
- May 20: The ‘Ivanka Charity’ Insanity
Yet More Fake NewsOne might think that the above list of thirteen bogus stories (added to the earlier sixteen reported by The Federalist) would pretty much exhaust the universe of such blunders by major “mainstream” outlets. Alas, this is what fighter pilots call a “target rich environment,” and the Daily Caller had no trouble coming up with “7 Times CNN Botched The News In 2017.” That’s right: just CNN.
- Comey Testimony
- CNN Smears Scaramucci
- CNN Spreads Fake News…About Fake News!
- Republican Donor Did (Not) Fund The Dossier
- Fake (Fish) News
- Trump Is (Not) Ignorant Of Japanese Cars
- CNN Botches Another ‘Bombshell’
Perhaps the most jarring error in the CNN report is the date on which members of the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump and Trump Jr., were sent the email. The network reported that a person named Mike Erickson sent the email on Sept. 4, 2016, with a link to Wikileaks documents as well as a decryption key to access them.Yes! Collusion!
Except that the actual date on the e-mail was September 14, after WikiLeaks had publicly announced the availability of the documents, and published the decryption key. In short, somebody simply e-mailed Trump, Jr. with publicly available information. Some scandal.
CNN still has the story online, with a weaselly “correction.”
CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 — 10 days earlier — based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. The new details appear to show that the sender was relying on publicly available information. The new information indicates that the communication is less significant than CNN initially reported.No, not “less significant.” Utterly meaningless.
Three in One WeekYes, Axios reports three media screw-ups in one week, only one of which duplicates something above:
- Flynn’s testimony: Last Friday, ABC News reported that former national security advisor Michael Flynn was prepared to testify that President Trump, while still a candidate, directed him to contact Russian officials. But later in the day, the network issued a “clarification” that the direction came when Trump was president-elect. That changed the impact of the story entirely as it’s a common occurrence for presidential transition teams to reach out to foreign governments.
- Deutsche Bank subpoena: Reuters and Bloomberg both reported on Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on accounts relating to President Trump and his family members — seemingly confirming that Mueller had expanded his probe to investigate the president’s financial dealings. The WSJ defused that bombshell in a follow-up report stating that the subpoenas actually dealt with “people or entities close to Mr. Trump.”
- WikiLeaks emails: CNN reported this morning that senior Trump campaign officials, including Trump himself, received an email from an unknown sender on September 4, 2016 that linked them to what could have been unreleased WikiLeaks documents. WaPo issued their own report later in the afternoon that the email was actually sent on September 14 — and linked to a trove of documents that WikiLeaks had publicly released a day earlier.