Archive for February, 2018
28 Feb 2018

Now That’s What We Need: “A Kinder And More Generative Masculinity”

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The old Yale.

Back in 1920, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Princeton ’17, in This Side of Paradise described “The Idea of the Yale Man” this way:

    I want to go to Princeton,” said Amory. “I don’t know why, but I think of all Harvard men as sissies, like I used to be, and all Yale men as wearing big blue sweaters and smoking pipes.”

    Monsignor chuckled.

    “I’m one, you know.”

    “Oh, you’re different—I think of Princeton as being lazy and good-looking and aristocratic—you know, like a spring day. Harvard seems sort of indoors—”

    “And Yale is November, crisp and energetic,” finished Monsignor.

    “That’s it.”

    They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.

The Yale man in fiction was traditionally portrayed as the All-American, square-shooting man-of-action. Fictional exemplars included Frank Merriwell, Dink Stover, Flash Gordon, and even Bruce Wayne.

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At least one millenial undergraduate these days has lots of problems with that tradition.

Jun Yan Chua (a senior in Saybrook), in the OCD, writes:

Today, the idea of the “Yale Man” inspires disdain. Memes that denigrate Yale men proliferate on Facebook… Some of this outrage is well-deserved: At its worst, Yale masculinity can be sinister — indeed, criminal — as evidenced by recent allegations about sexual assault at Delta Kappa Epsilon and other fraternities. …

As scholars of gender studies have understood for years, the “patriarchy” harms men as well as women. By setting an impossibly high standard for the elusive, ideal Yale Man, the dominant culture condemns the vast majority of men to fall short, prompting them to act out and hurt others — primarily women. …

To be a “successful” Yale Man is to check off a daunting list of boxes. One must be tall, fit and subtly dressed. Outgoing and social, but not loud or crass. Not just funny and intelligent, but effortlessly so. In reality, few live up to the demands of the normative Yale Man, yet his specter lives on as a figment of our cultural imagination, haunting we who fall short.

While women face similar pressures, men probably have fewer ways of conforming to this aesthetic of Yale cool. You can be the idealized boy next door — the frat bro or student-athlete, who also happens to be in Phi Beta Kappa. Or you might become a Yale politico — Yale Political Union extraordinaire in the streets, policy wonk in the sheets. Or you could be a man of arts and letters — think theater, a cappella or The New Journal. Fall outside these tropes, and goodbye social capital. The intense pressure leads Yale men to seek out sites of male bonding, only to find that these, too, disappoint, with their petty cruelties and oversized egos.

I exaggerate, but only slightly. In fact, the vision of the idealized Yale Man has a long cultural history. In 1912, Owen Johnson published his best-selling novel, “Stover at Yale,” which documents the titular character’s attempts at navigating Yale’s social hierarchies. Driven by its ladder of fraternities and societies and its emphasis on football, brutal competition characterized Yale at the turn of the 20th century.

That atmosphere took a toll on real-life as well as fictitious Yalies. …

We urgently need to reimagine Yale masculinity. … So how might we create a kinder and more generative masculinity? Instead of focusing on Yale cool as an aesthetic, let’s transform it into an ethic. Rather than fixate on who we are, let’s think about what we can do — for ourselves as for others. And let’s tell more varied stories about “real men” at Yale — stories of redemption as well as perfection, of struggle as well as triumph, of vulnerability as well as strength.

I expect the reader can easily imagine what I think of people who take courses in “Gender Studies,” who take that kind of contemptible nonsense seriously, and my response to the idea of a “Kinder and More Generative Masculinity.” The latter phrase provokes in my mind the image of a frail, sissified young man sitting on an egg.

28 Feb 2018

Justin Trudeau Needs Your Help

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27 Feb 2018

William McKinley: Controversial Again!

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Up in marijuana-smoke-shrouded Humboldt County, California, Jeffrey Lebowski’s peers have decided that a statue of William McKinley, a president most Americans have basically forgotten, has got to go. The charges against McKinley evidently pertain to the United States’ acquisition of certain Spanish colonies, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, after the war with Spain.

SFGate:

A bronze statue of President William McKinley has held court over the picturesque town square of Arcata, Calif. for more than a century. It will soon be torn down.

The 8 1/2-foot monument and a nearby plaque have long been a point of contention among Arcata residents, some of whom say McKinley’s expansionist policies were racist toward indigenous people. During his presidential tenure at the turn of the 20th century, McKinley annexed tribal lands in the western U.S. and Hawaii in the name of Manifest Destiny.

In a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, Arcata City Council decided to tear down the McKinley statue and place it into storage. The only dissenting vote came from councilmember Michael Winkler, who proposed letting the public decide via ballot measure.

A 1963 plaque that denotes the historic status of a town square structure, the Jacoby Building, will also be removed. The plaque includes offensive wording referring to a “time of Indian troubles.” It will be replaced with a new marker designating the historical significance of the building – known locally as the Jacoby Storehouse – and the region’s indigenous history.

Many of those in attendance spoke during the public comment portion of the gathering or sent letters to City Council voicing their thoughts on the issue. Some applauded the push to remove the statue, citing McKinley’s imperialist legacy and lack of ties to the city.

“The statue doesn’t symbolize what we want in our living room, the center of our plaza, to symbolize,” said councilmember Susan Ornelas, per the North Coast Journal.

RTWT

27 Feb 2018

Contradictions of Progressive Statism

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26 Feb 2018

Vlad Hempes

26 Feb 2018

Talking to a 16-Year-Old About Guns

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Anna Erishkigal (on FB):

My 16-year-old told me some of the kids at school are organizing a ‘protest’ against the shootings, to advocate for the removal of all firearms from this country because ‘who needs guns to kill.’

So first I informed her that there are over 400,000,000 guns in this country, not all owned by nice people who will give their guns up if asked, and that the law already prohibits murder or guns on school property, and that automatic weapons are already illegal, and that the average mass-shooting lasts 3.5 minutes, and then I led her through the FACTS of this case the way I would a witness if I was cross-examining them on the witness stand:

1. The school expelled this kid because he was violent. They did not refer him for mental health counseling or a mandatory 90-day psych evaluation. They continued not to do that when the kid kept showing up at the school 30+ times to cause trouble, but called the police.

…..School = FAIL

2. The police responded to the school the aforementioned 30+ times, plus an ADDITIONAL bunch of times, bringing the total number of calls the local police had to deal with this kid to be 39 times. During at least two of these calls, people reported he’d allegedly ‘waved a gun around’ and ‘threatened to shoot people.’ The kid was not arrested. The kid was not referred for a mandatory 90-day psych evaluation as was within the police’s right.

….. Local police = FAIL

3. Three weeks before the shooting, somebody close to the kid calls the FBI and warns them the kid is nuts, has been amassing ammunition, and threatening to shoot people. The FBI do nothing.

…..Federal police = FAIL

4. Even though this kid was ‘known’ to the school to be mentally unsable, no longer a student, and violent, the kid somehow gained access to the building through their lax security, which in most schools comprises of one of those little grey ‘buzz in’ boxes and then you walk right in to sign in.

….. School building entrance security = FAIL

5. The kid started shooting people. There was a $75,000 per year ARMED security guard who was on-site at that building, but he hunkered down even though he could hear gunshots and kids screaming and did not go in.

…..On-site security guard = FAIL

6. Somebody calls 9-1-1. The police are 8 minutes away.

…..Police response = FACT OF LIFE

7. Three more Broward County deputy sherriff’s arrive. The kid is shooting, other kids are screaming and dying. Rather than storm the building, they hunker down with the first cowardly security guard and wait the full 8 minutes until the local police arrive and storm the building.

….. Police = FAIL

So, I lead my kid through those facts, and then I ask her if she trusts the government to protect her?

She says, ‘Mom? Could you teach me how to use a gun?’ “

25 Feb 2018

The Snobbish Revolutionary Left

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Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoi, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, 1883, Tretyakov Gallery.

Jeffrey Folks has got the Social Justice Warriors, the Reformers and Improvers, the Holier-than-thous pegged.

For liberals, the distinction between the “dumb masses” and their enlightened selves renders life meaningful. Disdain for ordinary folks is not just an ancillary trait of liberalism. It is fundamental to the its nature.

At its heart, liberalism is a gnostic religion, and the essence of that religion is the believer’s faith that he possesses the means of changing the world for the better. The belief that the world must be changed requires there to be a mass of individuals whose lives are in need of change. Following this logic, it is the liberal, not those deplorables in need of change, who knows what must be changed. For liberals, there must be a mass of people in need of this knowledge for life to make sense.

Above all, liberalism is a hubristic faith. Its followers share the fatal flaw of pride in their own intellectual capacity. This is why liberalism appeals so strongly to those in the knowledge trades: teachers, journalists, writers, psychologists, and social workers. The sense of “knowing more than others” is its strongest attraction – particularly to the young, who otherwise know so little. Liberalism confers, or seems to confer, almost immediate power and authority to those who embrace it.

The left’s obsession with superior knowledge runs through its entire history. As Woodrow Wilson remarked, the “instrument” of political science “is insight. A nice understanding of subtle, unformulated conditions.” Lyndon B. Johnson thought “a president’s hardest task” is “to know what is right.” And the most hubristic of all is Obama’s “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” Yes, we are wonderfully bright, and we’ve been waiting eons for ourselves to appear.

The problem for the liberal is that most people do not want to be transformed.

RTWT

25 Feb 2018

These Companies Are Boycotting NRA Members

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Don Surber thinks the NRA can take all of them to court.

So, First National Bank of Omaha thinks it can blacklist the National Rifle Association and refuse to do business with

Uh-uh.

Not in 21st century America.

The courts have ruled that a business has no discretion in whom it will do business with.

If a Christian baker must bake a wedding cake for gay weddings, then you had better believe a bank must do business with the NRA.

“The battle over gun control has spread to credit cards, rental cars, airlines, hotels, software security, and insurance,” CNN gleefully reported.

“On Thursday, a major bank and the largest rental car company in the U.S. announced they were ending business partnerships with the National Rifle Association, citing pressure from customers in the wake of the Florida school shooting that left 17 dead. Major hotel companies also have eliminated affiliations with the NRA in the aftermath of previous school shootings.

“On Thursday afternoon, the First National Bank of Omaha tweeted that “customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” and that it would not be renewing its contract to produce NRA-branded Visa cards.”

That is discrimination. If I ran the NRA, I would unleash the lawyers and wind up owning the bank.

The New York Times, through a column by John Corvino, a professor of philosophy at Wayne State University on November 27, said businesses cannot act on personal beliefs.

    “At first glance, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case — for which the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on Dec. 5 — looks easy. In 2012 Charlie Craig and David Mullins attempted to buy a wedding cake at Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo. The owner, an evangelical Christian named Jack Phillips, refused to sell them one. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found Phillips liable for sexual-orientation discrimination, which is prohibited by the state’s public accommodations law. State courts have upheld the commission’s decision,” the column began.

(I do not link to pay walls.)

But Corvino reached the conclusion that Christians must break their moral beliefs.

    “It’s a mistake to treat sexual-orientation discrimination as exactly like racial discrimination — just as it’s a mistake to treat it as entirely dissimilar. But the underlying principle from Piggie Park holds in the case at hand: Freedom of speech and freedom of religion do not exempt business owners from public accommodations laws, which require them to serve customers equally. The Court should uphold the commission’s decision and rule against Phillips,” Corvino concluded.

If a religious belief is not sacrosanct in the eyes of the court, why should a political one be protected?

Liberals baked this cake.

I don’t want them to eat it too.

No, I want to shove it down their throats.

24 Feb 2018

Teachers Were Armed in My Day

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They had rulers.

24 Feb 2018

Harvard Gets a New President

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Minding the Campus explains that Harvard is following the example of most elite colleges these days by putting in charge the sort of guy who will reliably cave in to the demands of crazy leftist radicals every time.

Lawrence Bacow has been named the president of Harvard, succeeding Drew Gilpin Faust, who held the office for 11 years.

Mysteriously missing from the news coverage was the fact that Bacow was a 2007 finalist for the “Sheldon,” our coveted award for worst college president of the year. The award is a statuette that looks something like the Oscar, except the Oscar features a man with no face looking straight ahead, whereas the Sheldon shows a man with no spine looking the other way.

The award is named for the late Sheldon Hackney, the former president of the University of Pennsylvania and the Babe Ruth of modern Sheldonism.

As president of Tufts University, Lawrence Bacow looked the other way when a student-faculty committee put a conservative Tufts publication on trial and found it guilty for publishing two parodies. One was a mock Christmas carol making fun of affirmative action and the other was a satire of Tuft’s Islamic Awareness Week.

The committee accused the journal of causing “embarrassment, which we had thought was the entire purpose of satire. The committee ordered the publication not to run any unsigned articles in the future, a rule not applied to other campus publications. The committee also hinted that funding would be cut if other controversial articles were published.

FIRE wrote Tufts University President Lawrence Bacow to ask why a verdict declaring The Primary Source (TPS) guilty of “harassment” and “creating a hostile environment” still stands―despite the fact that Bacow himself has openly admitted that such a punishment could not stand under the First Amendment.

“We explained to President Bacow (again) that the only way for Tufts University to shed the dishonor of being one of three schools named to FIRE’s Red Alert list―reserved for schools FIRE deems ‘the worst of the worst’ when it comes to protecting rights on campus―was by immediately dropping the guilty finding against TPS. As we wrote:

“As long as the harassment finding against The Primary Source remains, students at Tufts are in danger of being censored and sanctioned merely for expressing unpopular opinions on campus.”

Eventually, Bacow acknowledged freedom of speech by eliminating punishment for the student journalists and praised free expression but refused to overrule the guilty verdict, leading the Sheldon committee to conclude that Bacow’s commitment to free speech ‘’shuttles between tepid and imaginary.”.

A mutual friend invited Bacow and me to lunch, where Bacow once again reiterated his innocent but guilty position, a stance opposed by the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and several newspapers. It was, however, the only time a Sheldon candidate argued his case before the whole Sheldon committee (me).

Bacow lost the worst-president title that year to a superlative effort by Richard Brodhead, president of Duke.

RTWT

Bacow resembles Yale’s own Peter Salovey very closely. He did not attend Harvard College as an undergraduate, but does possess the tenuous connection of a Harvard graduate degree (in his case from the Law School). Salovey’s Social Science (Psychology) background is bad enough, but Bacow spent decades specializing in “Environmental Studies,” i.e. trendy superstition based on an updated version of the Manichaean heresy.

23 Feb 2018

Trump Against Fake News

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HT: Dave Roth.

22 Feb 2018

Space Travel = Colonialism & Male Entitlement

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Marcie Bianco, appropriately enough, has “Feminist Killjoy” tattooed on her forearm.

NBC recently published a particularly impressive example of left-think by Marcie Bianco, a graduate of Harvard and Oxford, currently managing editor at the “Clayman Institute for Gender Research” at Stanford.

Musk isn’t the only billionaire looking to enter the space race. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has his private aerospace company, Blue Origin, while Virgin’s Richard Branson, a prominent adventurer, created Virgin Galactic back in 2004.

These men, particularly Musk, are not only heavily invested in who can get their rocket into space first, but in colonizing Mars. The desire to colonize — to have unquestioned, unchallenged and automatic access to something, to any type of body, and to use it at will — is a patriarchal one. Indeed, there is no ethical consideration among these billionaires about whether this should be done; rather, the conversation is when it will be done. Because, in the eyes of these intrepid explorers, this is the only way to save humanity.

It is the same instinctual and cultural force that teaches men that everything — and everyone — in their line of vision is theirs for the taking. You know, just like walking up to a woman and grabbing her by the pussy.

It’s there, so just grab it because you can. …

[T]he impulse to colonize — to colonize lands, to colonize peoples, and, now that we may soon be technologically capable of doing so, colonizing space — has its origins in gendered power structures. Entitlement to power, control, domination and ownership. The presumed right to use and abuse something and then walk away to conquer and colonize something new.
Members of Crew 125 EuroMoonMars B mission return after collecting geologic samples for study at

The Friday before SpaceX’s launch, legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin reiterated to me over lunch that it is imperative that we talk about space exploration in terms of “migration,” rather than using words like “colonize” or “settle” when talking about going to Mars.

Through a feminist lens, Aldrin’s deliberate word choice revealed an important reality of the space race: This 21st century form of imperialism is the direct result of men giving up on the planet they have all but destroyed.

As if history hasn’t proven that men go from one land to the next, drunk on megalomania and the privilege of indifference.

The raping and pillaging of the Earth, and the environmental chaos that doing so has unleashed, are integral to the process of colonization. And the connection of the treatment of Mother Earth to women is more than symbolic: Study after study has shown that climate change globally affects women more than men.

RTWT

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Marcie Bianco was quite pleased with herself yesterday.

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She is entitled to be, I suppose. Her editorial is really a classic, landmark example of the inversion of values by Leftism.

Enterprise, technological achievement, courage, initiative, the opening of new possibilities for mankind, the extension of the reach of human civilization, the willingness to take risk, the drive to explore and the passion to build are all bad things, impertinent, hubristic expressions of intrinsically wicked patriarchy.

Human travel to Mars and potential future settlement would be a form of Colonialism, a violation of the rights presumably of Martian rocks and Martian dust to be left exactly as they are.

The absence of actual Martians makes Dr. Bianco’s implied lack of some sort legitimate right of access problematic, so –in classic Leftist form– she plays the Environmentalist card: We are only going to Mars, you see, because we have completely exhaustively exploited, ruined, plundered, and rendered unlivable the Earth, obliging us to “walk away… conquer, and colonize something new.”

Except, Marcie, old thing, when Europeans colonized places in the New World, in Asia, and in Africa, I’m afraid they obviously had not “abused” Europe to anything resembling unliveability or even lower real estate values. Europe is still doing just fine and people are still living there.

It is politically incorrect of me to say so, and today’s Academic world would howl, but it seems obvious, too, that the European patriarchy decidedly improved all of the more primitive regions of the world it colonized, rescuing the locals from primitive and despotic governments; delivering the rule of law; building roads and railways and finally airports; providing sanitation, education, and modern medicine; putting down the slave trade; even elevating the status of women; in India, ending suttee. The European patriarchy built cities and created civilized nations of millions upon millions of people living lives of comparative abundance and unprecedented intellectual accomplishment with much greater longevity, where previously tribes of Stone Age savages pursued incessant warfare and little bands of hunter-gatherers searched desperately for their next grub.

Frankly, Dr. Bianco, all your grievances are either wholly specious or preposterously trivial when set against the accomplishments of the European patriarchy.

The worst thing I can think of to accuse that patriarchy of is the admission of deviants, neurotics, malcontents, and crackpots like yourself to prestigious positions from which they can dispense your kind of malicious, mean-spirited, and perverse lunacy.

22 Feb 2018

Niccolò Paganini: Caprice No. 9 In E Major “The Hunt”

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22 Feb 2018

Bertrand Russell on Ludwig Wittgenstein

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