Archive for June, 2016
30 Jun 2016

Snowflake Intern Petitions for More Informal Dress Code

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Snowflake1

Alison Green provides for general amusement the story of a millennial who was fired from her internship for writing a proposal for a more flexible dress code.

I spoke with my manager about being allowed some leeway under the dress code and was told this was not possible, despite the other person being allowed to do it. I soon found out that many of the other interns felt the same way, and the ones who asked their managers about it were told the same thing as me. We decided to write a proposal stating why we should be allowed someone leeway under the dress code. We accompanied the proposal with a petition, signed by all of the interns (except for one who declined to sign it) and gave it to our managers to consider. Our proposal requested that we also be allowed to wear running shoes and non leather flats, as well as sandals (not flip-flops though) and other non-dress shoes that would fit under a more business casual dress code. It was mostly about the footwear, but we also incorporated a request that we not have to wear suits and/or blazers in favor of a more casual, but still professional dress code.

The next day, all of us who signed the petition were called into a meeting where we thought our proposal would be discussed. Instead, we were informed that due to our “unprofessional” behavior, we were being let go from our internships. We were told to hand in our ID badges and to gather our things and leave the property ASAP.

We were shocked. The proposal was written professionally like examples I have learned about in school, and our arguments were thought out and well-reasoned. We weren’t even given a chance to discuss it.

Read the Whole Thing.

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Ace is among the older people chuckling over this.

Now as foolish as the girl was this is really a failure of her educators and parents. She was only repeating what she had been trained to do and rewarded for all during her snowflake education. She truly did not see that she had no standing to complain and that her narcissistic activism would be disapproved of so strongly. And from her letter in the article it doesn’t appear that she has learned very much from the experience either.

But of course young people have always been a bit self-focused and prone to do all the stupid, foolish things that young people are wont to do though the exact menu of which stupid, idiotic things are chosen from varies from generation to generation. So I’m not surprised that there was a person like the letter-writer making a fuss over the dress code the way she did. Usually people like this just get severely embarrassed or let go and all the other newbies have a smirk at their foolishness and also learn a lesson from the example.

But what stands out here to me is that all but one of the interns signed the petition. Which means that all the signers ran the petition-signing scenario through their future-world consequence prediction machine and decided that yes – this will work out great! This common high level of unfounded self-esteem mixed with a complete unfamiliarity with how the real world actually works may be a unique trait of young millennials that is over and beyond all the traditional youthful stupidities.

30 Jun 2016

From the Rust Bucket to Yale

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HillbillyElegy

I grew up in a different portion of Appalachia and am of a different (Roman Catholic – Lithuanian) ethnic background, but I shared J.D. Vance’s experience, a generation earlier, of attending an elite Ivy League school as a blue-collar background outsider. Our town’s last coal mine closed in 1954, and my father had to bribe his way into the Steamfitters’ union, so that he could work all week four hours from home, and then return on weekends. The summer after my high school graduation, before entering Yale, I was working on the same kind of construction projects, installing new bathrooms in Scarsdale’s Taj Mahal High School. I can recall sitting on a box, during lunch, reading the Scarsdale High School Yearbook, and counting twelve graduates of that year who would be my classmates. Nobody in the entire history of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, before me, had ever gone to Yale.

I am currently reading J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, with which I have strong, natural sympathies.

Yale planted a seed of doubt in my mind about whether I belonged. This place was so beyond the pale for what I expected of myself. I knew zero Ivy League graduates back home; I was the first person in my nuclear family to go to college and the first person in my extended family to attend a professional school. When I arrived in August 2010, Yale had educated two of the three most recent Supreme Court justices and two of the most six recent presidents, not to mention the sitting secretary of state (Hillary Clinton). There was some- thing bizarre about Yale’s social rituals: the cocktail receptions and banquets that served as both professional networking and personal matchmaking events. I lived among newly christened members of what folks back home pejoratively call the “elites,” and by every outward appearance, I was one of them: I am a tall, white, straight male. I have never felt out of place in my entire life. But I did at Yale.

Part of it has to do with social class. A student survey found that over 95 percent of Yale Law’s students qualified as upper-middle-class or higher, and most of them qualified as outright wealthy. Obviously, I was neither upper-middle-class nor wealthy. Very few people at Yale Law School are like me. They may look like me, but for all of the Ivy League’s obsession with diversity, virtually everyone—black, white, Jewish, Muslim, whatever— comes from intact families who never worry about money. Early during my first year, after a late night of drinking with my classmates, we all decided to stop at a New Haven chicken joint. Our large group left an awful mess: dirty plates, chicken bones, ranch dressing and soda splattered on the tables, and so on. I couldn’t imagine leaving it all for some poor guy to clean up, so I stayed behind. Of a dozen classmates, only one person helped me: my buddy Jamil, who also came from a poorer background. Afterward, I told Jamil that we were probably the only people in the school who’d ever had to clean up someone else’s mess. He just nodded his head in silent agreement.

30 Jun 2016

He’s Met My Yale Classmates

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Tweet158

29 Jun 2016

Trump and Hobbs

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TrumpCartoon

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

29 Jun 2016

Civil War Hardtack

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Steve1989 makes YouTube videos in which he tries eating military rations from by-gone days. This time he tries a 153-year-old hardtack cracker made for the Union troops during the Civil War.

29 Jun 2016

Vichy France Propaganda Postcard, 1942

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VichyPostcard
The French hen shelters all the national chicks of Europe (including the German one bearing the swastika), while confused Switzerland and Sweden (neutral nations) think about it. Disgruntled Great Britain is entering an American trap with a Jewish star-of-David on its door.

Hat tip to Kaj Małachowski.

29 Jun 2016

Queen Elizabeth Must Have Been Sitting on the Iron Throne That Day

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28 Jun 2016

Wolf Takes Bighorn Sheep

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(“Oh, My God! says wife in car. A lot.)

28 Jun 2016

Impeach Judge Posner

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Richard-Posner

In a recent editorial in Slate, 7th Circuit Appeals Court Judge Richard A. Posner contended explicitly that the opinions of the framers, the history of their arguments, the bases of their decisions, and the actual textual language of the Constitution itself are irrelevant to today’s reality.

I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today. David Strauss is right: The Supreme Court treats the Constitution like it is authorizing the court to create a common law of constitutional law, based on current concerns, not what those 18th-century guys were worrying about.

In short, let’s not let the dead bury the living.

Judge Posner went to Yale (Saybrook College) and graduated Summa in 1959, but it is obvious that Yale only thought him to be a smartass and a proficient sophist. He did not learn wisdom or humility there, and he obviously never studied Cicero, who wrote of Natural Law (De Re Publica, book 3):

True law is right reason in agreement with Nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrong-doing by its prohibitions. And it does not lay its commands or prohibitions upon good men in vain, though neither have any effect on the wicked. It is a sin to try to alter this law, nor is it allowable to attempt to repeal any part of it, and it is impossible to abolish it entirely. We cannot be freed from its obligations by senate or people, and we need not look outside ourselves for an expounder or interpreter of it. And there will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and all times, and there will be one master and ruler, that is, God, over us all, for he is the author of this law, its promulgator, and its enforcing judge.

The framers of the US Constitution tried in their imperfect human way to embody as much of Natural Law (those truths which Jefferson held to be self-evident) in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as they could. No genuinely intelligent person would believe that Human Nature, Justice, and the fundamental realities of life have changed over the course of a bit more than two centuries simply because men travel with automobiles instead of on horseback or because we write electronically on keyboards and computers instead of with ink and quill pens.

Judges appointed to Federal Courts of Appeal take two oaths. The second of these is precisely the same oath taken by members of Congress.

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Judge Posner took that oath, and he is now telling us, openly and in public, that he does not believe that he has a genuine duty to “bear truth faith and allegiance” to that Constitution. He believes instead that federal judges are Platonic guardians, a class of rulers, independent of the (out-dated and irrelevant 18th century Constitution) free to apply their own superior wisdom and to make up the law any way they see fit.

He ought to be impeached and thrown out of office on the basis of that editorial.

28 Jun 2016

Government Interventions For Equality

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EveryoneCollege

28 Jun 2016

George Will Responds to Trump

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28 Jun 2016

“Would Say Would Fall”

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The title of this short documentary film is the two verbs deciphered using a new particle accelerator x-ray technique from the Herculaneum papyri scrolls.


(Watch it full screen, or the subtitles won’t be visible.)

27 Jun 2016

Hunting From the Other Side

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CharlesFoster

Charles Foster is a modern incarnation of the madly eccentric British naturalist, traveller and explorer. He teaches Medical Law & Ethics at Oxford, is a Barrister, and is a qualified veterinary surgeon.

In his latest book, Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide, Foster has a go at living as a badger, an otter, an urban fox, a red deer and a swift. Frank Buckland would be proud.

Outside Magazine excerpts Foster’s account of being hunted, like a red deer, by one of Britain’s bloodhound packs.

I was behaving very much like a hunted deer. My adrenals were pumping out cortisol and adrenaline. The cortisol made me taut. (The next day its immunosuppressive effect threw open the drawbridge of my throat to an invading virus.) Blood was diverted from my gut to my legs. Though I was slumping from the effort, I’d stop from time to time, hold my head up high, and reflexively sniff. If I’d had mobile ears they’d have pricked and swiveled. Though I looked for water, as deer do, to cool me and to send my scent spiraling away, I ran on the driest ground I could find. I knew (from well before birth, rather than because I’d read books and watched hounds) that dry earth doesn’t hold scent well, or, if it holds it, hugs the particles close, leaving few for snuffling noses.

Unlike a deer, though, I longed to be out of the wood. It’s often very difficult for staghounds to push deer into the open. Sometimes it takes hours. The deer double back, lie flat in deep cover, and saber-rattlingly confront hounds rather than breaking out.

It would have made sense for me to stay in the wood. Scent bounces off trees like balls in a pinball machine and eddies like the dark, curd-coated corners of the East Lyn River. It’s hard for even the most educated nose to read it there. Out in the open, there’s a slime trail of scent through the grass. It points in the direction of the prey.

My preference for the open was therefore strange. I suppose we want to die where we’ve evolved, just as an overwhelming majority of people say that they’d prefer to die at home.

Read the whole thing.

What can I say other than: “Lieu in, hounds! Hunt him up! Tear him and eat him!”?

27 Jun 2016

McArdle Explains Britain’s Decision to the Elites

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GlobalCitizen

Megan McArdle tries to explain to the elites why Brexit won.

When asked “Where are you from?” almost no one would answer “Europe,” because after 50 years of assiduous labor by the eurocrats, Europe remains a continent, not an identity. As Matthew Yglesias points out, an EU-wide soccer team would be invincible — but who would root for it? These sorts of tribal affiliations cause problems, obviously, which is why elites were so eager to tamp them down. Unfortunately, they are also what glues polities together, and makes people willing to sacrifice for them. Trying to build the state without the nation has led to the mess that is the current EU. And to Thursday’s election results.

Elites missed this because they’re the exception — the one group that has a transnational identity. And in fact the arguments for the EU look a lot like the old arguments for national states: a project that will empower people like us against the scary people who aren’t.

Unhappily for the elites, there is no “Transnationalprofessionalistan” to which they can move. (And who would trim the hedges, make the widgets, and staff the nursing homes if there were?) They have to live in physical places, filled with other people whose loyalties are to a particular place and way of life, not an abstract ideal, or the joys of rootless cosmopolitanism.

Even simple self-interest suggests that it may be time for the elites in Britain and beyond to sue for peace, rather than letting their newborn transnational identity drive them into a war they can’t win.

Read the whole thing.

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