Who's the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

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David Bernstein had a good reply to Elizabeth Spiers, who wrote condescendingly in the NYT to people in my age group: Dear Boomers, the Student Protesters Are Not Idiots.

First, let me say that we Boomers were looked upon as the Great Progressive Hope back in the 1960s/70s. I won't duplicate what I wrote last year about this, but I'll link to it.

Here's how Ms. Spiers set Bernstein off:

High-profile public figures of all ideological stripes have varyingly called for the students to be kicked out of their institutions, made unemployable or sent to prison. They’ve floated implausible scenarios in which the protests turn deadly. Students brave enough to risk their financial aid and scholarships are derided as childish rather than principled. And though they are educated to participate in civic life, as soon as these students exercise their First Amendment rights, they are told that protecting private property is a more pressing public concern. It’s as though some older adults simply can’t wrap their heads around the idea that college students, who are old enough to marry, have families and risk their lives for their country, are capable of having well thought-out principles.

Bernstein's rebuttal tweet:

Oh, the irony of this piece by Elizabeth Spiers is delicious. She argues that the student pro-Hamas protestors aren't the moral and political idiots they seem to be. But then she shows off her own ignorance by contrasting the exercise of First Amendment right of freedom of speech with property rights. In fact, there is no conflict between the two. Exercise your First Amendment rights all you want, just don't engage in criminal activity while doing so. Don't trespass, don't threaten, don't vandalize, don't imprison, and so on. That's all the students had to do. I exercise my First Amendment rights all the time, as a writer, a teacher, a scholar, on X... and I somehow manage not to do any of these things. The problem I've seen when the students are interviewed is that the seem to believe that if they feel really, really strongly about something, that gives them rights that other people don't have. This is not just incorrect, but extremely immature, it's like a two year- old throwing a tantrum insisting that because HE *wants* that toy, everyone else's life should be put on hold until he gets it. And he'll show you how strongly he feels about it by having a meltdown. Most of us get over that by the time we are 18.

It's not just the callow youth that make this mistake. I turn (once again) to the five civil-disobediencers who got arrested for sitting-in at the Dover (NH) office of their (and my) CongressCritter, Chris Pappas. Can you detect the tantrum in their self-congratulatory op-ed:

Since our first visit in November, Congressman Pappas has refused to answer our call and defiantly voted for billions of dollars of deadly aid—aid that wins approval from lobbyists in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) but little satisfaction from constituents in his own district.

He didn't do what we wanted him to do! He defied our earnest demands!

There's a picture of the group at the link, please note that none of the participants have the excuse of being wet behind the ears.

Which brings me to my snarky tweets from yesterday, aimed at my state's senior Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who is also an elder boomer, born in 1947. She's upset with the Senate's failure to pass the Democrat-preferred "bipartisan border deal."

I maybe could have made my sarcasm a little more obvious in my first response:

But a couple hours later, she was at it again… so I was too:

I didn't pluck the $600 million figure out of thin air; it was in some news story I read yesterday that (sorry) I can't find now. Yes, it's a lot of money. But it's just a sliver of the overall trillions Uncle Stupid has dropped on the War on Drugs over the past half century.

Senator Jeanne seems to think that cash would make all the difference in keeping "drugs off of our streets" and "stop the flow of illicit drugs".

I somehow linked this up with Elizabeth Spiers' claim that "Student Protesters Are Not Idiots". It appears that the elderly Senator is either (a) an idiot; or (b) thinks people reading her tweets are idiots.

Also of note:

  • Moving. Presented without further comment:

  • All must bow to the official ideology. John Sailer notes the latest loyalty oath requirement: Yale Tells Hopeful Scientists: You Must Commit to DEI.

    Want to be a molecular biologist at Yale? Well, make sure you have a ten-step plan for dismantling systemic racism. When making hires at Yale’s department of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, faculty are told to place “DEI at the center of every decision,” according to a document tucked away on its website.

    Meanwhile, every job advertised on the site links to a DEI “rubric” that tests candidates’ “knowledge of DEI and commitment to promoting DEI,” their “past DEI experiences and activities,” and their “future DEI goals and plans.”

    Congratulations to Yale on their honesty, I guess.

  • To be honest, I had no notion of the "Appeal to Heaven" flag until a few hours ago. But I'm with Charles C. W. Cooke: You Can't Have That Flag, It's Mine.

    While I’m on the topic, here’s another thing that’s irritated me about this flag nonsense: the idea that if someone terrible decides to use a symbol you like, they automatically get to keep it. Screw that. There is, in fact, nothing wrong with the “Appeal to Heaven” flag; the whole thing is a deranged fantasy. But suppose that some weirdos at the margins had started using it to convey an ugly message in a concerted manner. In that case, am I supposed to just throw up my hands and say, “oh well”? Is that the designated approach now? To sigh impotently and lament that, because a small number of the two-bit ruffians who perpetrated the riots of January 6 flew a flag that was commissioned by George Washington, that flag is now dead forever? And, if so, how far does that go? A few years ago, a professor made Klan hoods out of an American flag. Should I take down the flag I have flying over my mailbox? Hell, Charles Manson liked the Beatles. Should I give up listening to their music, lest I be sullied by association?

    Because if that is the expectation, you can shove it. The “Appeal to Heaven” flag is terrific. I wish I had one. Until recently, I hadn’t noticed that a few people flew it on January 6 — or, for that matter, that a few people flew it during the BLM riots — but now that I know that, I still don’t care, because I’m not a ridiculous coward. That flag preexisted January 6 by 246 years. It preexisted America! Even if they wanted to, the people with whom Justice Alito is being disgracefully conflated do not get to erase those years, and they ought not to be aided in that pursuit by people who have the temerity to call themselves “liberals.” The correct reaction to the suggestion that something historically important has been stolen by those who disdain this country’s history and institutions is not “Damn it!” but “No, it bloody well has not.”

    There are a whole bunch of different versions at Amazon, if you're interested.