URLs du Jour


Your Eye Candy du Jour is a video from Reason: Citizen vs. Government (Vol. 2).

You might not be a libertarian if… your reaction is "Yeah, so?"

  • Max Eden at the NY Post writes on The ‘anti-racist’ drive to turn schools into woke propaganda mills.

    School will be a very different place next academic year. Classes will be less full; desks, rigorously sterilized. And if the education establishment has its way, teachers will be aggressively woke.

    “We are living at a time of obscene inequities, and merely trying to compensate is not enough,” the American Association of School Administrators recently announced. It called on members to “become actively anti-racist” and “ensure that cultural responsiveness permeates all levels.”

    Max's column concentrates on K-12 schools, but the indoctrination won't stop there! At least not if the Action Plan announced by the President of the University Near Here is any indication. We've linked to it before, but here's the relevant part from the "Take Action" section. (Warning: rated "E" for explicit educratese content.)

    In August, we will begin taking actions that will have the most impact based on what we have learned. We will engage external expertise to ensure that we are sufficiently bold and strategic in our actions. We will also monitor the impact of what we have done and take corrective action where necessary. We will share the work we have done and its impact with all of you.

    One specific area we will explore, and have already spoken about with the faculty senate leadership, is our undergraduate curriculum and the Discovery program. How can we ensure that our graduates are exposed to the elements of U.S. history most important to understanding our current situation with regard to race?

    Demonstrations of "understanding" will involve parroting back the clichés, slogans, and fetid scholarship of the racial hustlers. Any dissent may endanger your sheepskin.

    As long as we're here, let me quote the opening of today's lead WSJ editorial:

    Anger at the killing of George Floyd has spurred useful reflection about race and perhaps some important police reform. But the political and cultural forces have transformed in recent weeks into something far less healthy—a ferocious campaign of political conformity sweeping across American artistic, educational, business and entertainment institutions.

    This coercive cultural turn threatens to devour what remains of America’s civic comity and push durable social progress on race and politics out of reach.

    Last I checked, free copies of the WSJ were available to students wandering through UNH's Memorial Union Building, and the library had a subscription. Such is the state of things, I can only wonder at how long that can last?

  • Kevin D. Williamson (NRPLUS, sorry) notes some good news on the free speech front. Unfortunately, it's in a country that talks funny:

    In France, the Constitutional Council (something like our Supreme Court) has struck down a new set of regulations put forward by the government of President Emmanuel Macron that would have imposed heavy fines on technology companies if they were insufficiently energetic in taking down certain “hateful” content. Under the Macron rules, companies such as Facebook would have been legally responsible for doing that policing on their own initiative (as opposed to being directed to remove illegal content by a judge), and would have been given as little as one hour to act in some cases. It was an absurd proposal, though not quite as absurd as the German approach upon which it was based and which is standing law in that country.

    The French court cited the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen: “The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the rights the most precious of man: Any citizen can therefore speak, write, print freely, except to answer for the abuse of this freedom in cases determined by law.” The new rules would have inhibited speech in a way that was not “suitable, necessary, and proportionate,” (“adaptées, nécessaires et proportionnées”), the court said. The first two of those three criteria would, if properly evaluated, set a very high bar for limiting speech in any case, because there are so few cases in which doing so is genuinely necessary and suitable. But the French view of free speech, like the Western European view more generally, is much less liberal than the traditional (and rapidly being eviscerated) American consensus, with the French holding that censorship is appropriate in the case of speech that would “undermine public order and the rights of third parties,” as the Constitutional Council puts it. That is vague, and vague government powers are constant dangers.

    KDW's final comment: " Twenty years ago, it might have made sense to argue for pushing Western Europe in a more American direction. In 2020, we’d be lucky to push America in a more American direction. Vive la liberté."

  • Real Clear Politics provides an article by KC Johnson & Stuart Taylor Jr., rebutting a recent effort by the ACLU to, um, clarify its position on the undoing of the Obama-era "Dear Colleague" efforts to degrade due process for college kids charged with sexual wrongdoing: The ACLU's 'Death Star' Client in Its Title IX Lawsuit. The Death Star is the organization called "Know Your IX", which is kind of a piece of woke work:

    The Know Your IX website proclaims that “sexual and dating violence are manifestations of systemic gender oppression, which cannot be separated from all other forms of oppression, including but not limited to imperialism, racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism.” Its Twitter feed is similarly filled with paeans to the latest trends in intersectionality-based talking points.

    While linking Title IX tribunals to imperialism seems like a stretch, misogyny remains a powerful force in American society. But the data makes university undergraduate populations — the focus of Know Your IX’s efforts — an unusual example for demonstrating “systemic gender oppression.” Women comprise about 56% of student bodies. Many universities feature female-only scholarships, programs, student and faculty awards, STEM camps, gym hours, and other opportunities that are off-limits to males. (These might, or might not, be welcome programs, but their existence surely cuts against a “systemic gender oppression” interpretation of college life.) And while any amount of sexual violence on campus is deplorable, the most comprehensive data suggests that about one in 40 women is sexually assaulted in college, not the one in five suggested by various dubious surveys.

    As Ronald Reagan once said: facts are stupid things.

  • Could it be that America's dysfunctional zeitgeist results in queries like (at Reason) Lenore Skenazy's: Why Are Bad Jokes ‘Dad Jokes’?

    Now we're supposed to hear a joke like "I was addicted to soap but now I'm clean" and think first and foremost of fathers?

    "As a dad myself, the term 'dad joke' dawned on me during Halloween," recalls Eugene Romberg, a real estate investor at webuyhousesinbayarea. (I think you can guess where in California he lives.) "I told my wife, 'There's only one thing I'm afraid of during Halloween.' She replied, 'Which is?' And I said, 'Exactly.' It was a joke I saw on Reddit." Said wife glared at Mr. Romberg for a bit and then muttered that he had just made his first "dad joke." He had to go and look it up.

    Wikipedia says that dad jokes are a short joke or pun, sometimes deliberately unfunny or overly simplistic. But didn't dad used to be a font of fatherly wisdom? How did he morph into the designated doofus?

    Well, speaking as a Dad myself, "doofus" is part of the job description. Not the whole part, not the major part, but definitely there. Haven't we been told that by every sitcom in the past 50 years?

Last Modified 2020-06-24 7:04 AM EDT