■ Every so often the Proverbialist drops little hints that his home
life isn't all he hoped it would be. We get another one of those in
13 A foolish child is a father’s ruin,
and a quarrelsome wife is like
the constant dripping of a leaky roof.
"When are you going to fix the roof, Elihu? What are you waiting
for, the Messiah?"
"Hah! You tell him, Mom!"
■ At Reason, Robby Soave tells the tale: Philosophy
Professor Tells Bisexual Student Who Criticized Islam 'We're Not
Going to Let You Damage the Program'. Can't have that!
A bisexual male student at the University of Texas–San Antonio said
during an informal conversation outside class that he was
uncomfortable with Islam because people still receive the death
penalty for being gay in 10 Muslim-majority countries.
For expressing this thought, the student—Alfred MacDonald, who no longer attends the school—was instructed to meet with the chair of the philosophy department, Eve Browning. Prof. Browning told MacDonald in no uncertain terms that he had committed the crime of "offending" someone, and she warned him that his habit of saying what he thinks could bring down the entire program. She threatened to call the Behavior Intervention Team and refer MacDonald to counseling. She did everything but send him to Room 101.
MacDonald (wisely) brought a recorder to the encounter, so
there is a cringe-inducing transcript of the Browning-MacDonald
interrogation at the link. It must be read to be believed.
Kid, you're probably better off learning philosophy on your own.
Otherwise, it's only a matter of time before the faculty
spike your punch with hemlock at the departmental Christmas party.
■ With everyone else concentrating on likely legal repercussions of
the Paul Manafort indictment, @kevinNR has some larger
The usual Trump apologists spent yesterday afternoon eating up a
great deal of AM-radio and cable-news airtime emphasizing that
the crimes with which Manafort is charged do not relate to his
work for the Trump campaign, but preceded it. Tighten in and
focus on that word: preceded. It may be the case that
Manafort did nothing wrong during his time as Trump’s campaign
manager, but that does not mean that the indictment against him
tells us nothing about the president or his campaign. It tells
us a great deal: about his judgment, about his character, about
the sort of people with whom he is comfortable doing
Drain the swamp? Trump & Co. are the Swamp Things.
I know: "better than Hillary". But that's increasingly a deflective
argument, about to become a defective argument.
■ Tom Nichols points out something that I would have thought to be
Donald Trump To Ronald Reagan Is An Insult To Reagan.
Now that we’ve had nearly a year of the dingy, vulgar carnival that
is the Trump presidency, conservatives and Republicans (who are not
always the same people)
have settled into various camps. Some, like me, remain committed
Never Trumpers; whether inside or outside of the GOP, we feel
that our worst predictions have been vindicated.
Others have thrown what few principles they once had onto the
Trump bonfire, abandoning
any pretense of conservatism in the name of tribal victory. They
dance around the flames while chanting “But Gorsuch” and whooping
about the anger they have elicited from their hated enemies in the
media, the academy, and the people who shower before going to
But a third group has opted for denial. Having eschewed the dread of the Never Trumpers, but too respectable and thoughtful to join the Steve Bannonite ritual political theater of kilt-lifting and buttock-slapping in the face of the royal archery, they instead have chosen to see Trump as firmly in the tradition of modern conservative heroes like Ronald Reagan. No, really.
I don't like the "Never Trump" label, it lost meaning after the
election. It might be relevant again in a couple years, though.
Understanding it as a shorthand for "Trump continues to be a lying narcissistic
slimeball" might make more sense.
■ Allison Schrager writes at Quartz: A
new American revolution is starting in New England—against Daylight
“Why do we keep doing this to ourselves?” Donna Bailey, a Democratic
state representative in Maine and crusader against anachronistic and
dangerous institutions, asked
the Wall Street Journal (paywall). It’s an excellent
Earlier this year, Bailey sponsored a bill that would move Maine to
the Atlantic Time Zone, an hour ahead of its current position in the
Eastern Time Zone, and no longer observe Daylight Saving Time. The
bill passed both chambers of the Maine state legislature. But the Senate
added a provision that Maine voters must approve the change in a
referendum, and the referendum could only be triggered by
neighboring Massachusetts and New Hampshire changing their time,
too. Since neither of those states had immediate plans to change
their time zones, the move seemed doomed.
But now some people in Massachusetts are thinking about it too!
advocated that the US move to just two time zones back in 2013.
At the time, Pun Salad advocated something even more radically
crackpot (but also brilliant):
Right Number of Time Zones is Zero. It continues to make more
sense to me than any of this other twiddling.
■ Woo, it's Halloween. I hate Halloween. But I like James Lileks,
and he asks and suggests: Think
you're scare-savvy? Try this Halloween quiz. Sample:
3. In “Dracula,” which line did not occur?
A) “Ah, the cheeldren uf the night, vhat sveet mooosic they
B) “I don’t drink” — dramatic pause, eyebrows arching — “wine.”
C) “It’s a naive Type O without any breeding, but I think you’ll be
amused by its presumption.”
See how many you get right!
■ And the Google LFOD alert bell rang for a Union Leader
Kamen urges Granite State businesses to support tech education.
I don't need to tell you who Dean Kamen is; his message to a recent
conference was to advocate New Hampshire as a high-tech Silicon
Valley of New England via education and entrepreneurship.
The former New Yorker said the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die,”
minted on its license plates convinced him to move here more than
three decades ago. He urged the business people not to disappoint
Otherwise, Kamen said: “I’ll look at more license plates.”
What would (say) Maine need to put on its license plates to entice Kamen
away? Switch from "Vacationland" to "TANSTAAFL", maybe? I don't see