URLs du Jour


[The Censorious Mind]

  • I stole took the liberty of scanning the Eye Candy du Jour from the current issue of Reason. It illustrates Matt Welch's prophetic article, now out from behind the paywall: The War on Free Speech Is About To Get a Lot Uglier.

    One week after being trapped inside the United States Capitol as thousands of pro–Donald Trump marauders attempted to forcibly "stop the steal" of the presidential election, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) suggested one possible federal government response: convening a national commission on media literacy.

    "We're going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can't just spew disinformation and misinformation," Ocasio-Cortez told her followers in a video message. "It's one thing to have differing opinions, but it's another thing entirely to just say things that are false."

    AOC worrying about people saying things that are false. Hm.

    Not that it matters, but even the left-leaning Politifact's scorecard for AOC has judged ten statements of hers. Out of those, five are ranked "False" and one is "Pants on Fire". (From 2018: "Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.")

    Alex, I recommend studying Matthew 7:5. For as long as it takes for you to get it.

    But Matt's correct of course. Even since I got the mag in the mail on March 3, things have gotten a lot uglier.

  • At the James G. Martin Center, Jay Schalin looks at our Orwellian reality: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Movement: Tyranny Through Subverting Language

    One of the left’s most successful tactics is the manipulation of language. The meaning of words is gradually but deliberately changed to alter perceptions and to enable large policy and cultural changes to occur without much notice.

    Academia is especially vulnerable to such linguistic subterfuge, and in the past year, many universities have greatly advanced the radical agenda through “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” (DEI) policies. To most people who still understand those three words according to their traditional meanings, such policies sound benign or enlightening; many would be open to basing guidelines on them.

    However, in the lexicon of today’s left-leaning academic bureaucracies, those words—taken individually or together—have new, specific meanings with a sinister bent.

    The traditional definition of “diversity” generally means some sort of variation within a population. But it has undergone several transitions in recent times. First, it has been given a normative spin with connotations of goodness—“diversity is our strength,” for example—that Americans have largely accepted. But more recently, a second twist has occurred: The word “diversity” is now used as a descriptor for preferred demographic groups. An all-black gathering is considered to be diverse, while an all-white gathering is not. “Diverse” can even be used to describe an individual if they belong to the right demographic, a meaning that is completely incongruous and seems to be a contradiction of the word’s original definition.

    The University Near Here is (of course) all in on the language corruption. The relevant Office is named Community, Equity and Diversity. ("We are committed to supporting and sustaining an educational community that is inclusive, diverse and equitable. The values of diversity, inclusion and equity are inextricably linked to our mission…")

    Schalin's point about the D word is also ably illustrated by NASDAQ President Nelson Grigg's LTE in a recent WSJ:

    We propose that [NASDAQ listed] companies have at least two diverse directors…

    … and he goes on to clarify that by "diverse", he means "not white guys".

  • I'm not a huge Conor Friedersdorf fan, but he didn't like what they're teachin' the kiddos. Illustrated in a tweet:

    That's part of a long thread. Conor's lengthy thoughts are in his recent Atlantic article: What Happens When a Slogan Becomes the Curriculum. He concentrates on said curriculum in Evanston, Illinois. He's far more sympathetic than I, but he can't ignore that what's happening isn't education, but indoctrination.

    More heavy-handed is a lesson called “Empathy, Loving Engagement, and Restorative Justice,” included in a slide deck from Evanston’s third-grade curriculum. The lesson begins with a “teaching point” that states, “Today I’m going to teach you about what the Black Lives Matter movement is and why it’s necessary.” Later slides show photographs of local Black Lives Matter protests. A leading question near the end of the lesson asks students, “Why is it important to learn about Black Lives Matter in school?” In most circumstances, public schools should help students understand significant protest movements that are shaping their world, and Black Lives Matter easily crosses that threshold. But flatly describing the movement as “necessary” is a value judgment.

    Americans pursue racial justice through a variety of political ideologies, policy agendas, and tactics. Kids should know that a “correct” approach cannot be identified objectively. One might agree that Black lives matter and that Black people have been unfairly harmed by historical racism without also endorsing, say, “Black villages” or other distinct ideas embraced by activists. The Evanston curriculum elides that distinction. The only critique of the Black Lives Matter approach to social-justice activism that students get is literally a caricature. In the first panel of a cartoon included in the lesson materials, a person says, “Well I think that all lives matter.” In panel two, while holding a fire hose, he says, “We should care exactly equally at all times about everything.” In panel three, he stands in front of two houses, one that’s burning, one that isn’t, and sprays water on the house that isn't on fire. “All houses matter,” he says.

    I'm most gobsmacked by the "Satan" thing. They aren't even trying to pretend that they're not evangelizing a religion.

  • And, oh yes, the "respectable" media deserves all the scorn it currently gets and more. John Sexton notes the latest. Washington Post: Hey, sorry these headline-grabbing quotes by President Trump were made up.

    Back in December President Trump made a call to Georgia’s chief elections investigator urging her to look into fraud in Fulton County. The Washington Post and other outlets reported on the call in early January, highlight two specific quotes from the call. One quote that appeared in several headlines claimed that President Trump had asked the investigator to “find the fraud.” In addition, some headline quoted Trump as saying the investigator would be a “national hero” if they did find it. For instance, a Jan 10 story at the Guardian headlined “‘Find the fraud’: details emerge of another Trump call to Georgia officials” opened with both claims:

    That example, and many others follow. And now it seems those words in quotes were not actually uttered.

    If "Democracy Dies in Darkness", WaPo, what dies when you publish anonymously sourced made-up quotes? I think it's your credibility.