I was in the lobby of the Parsons School of Design when I had the sudden urge to pee. So I located the restroom, and discovered THIS SIGN on the door. I pondered my predicament for a moment, when someone noticed my hesitation and said: “Go on in, it’s for everybody.”
I opened the door slowly. This was no single-occupancy restroom. This was a multi-stalled bathroom complex. Inside there were three girls, who all made awkward eye contact with me when I walked in. One of them shrugged her shoulders: “Yep,” she said, “we’re all in here together.” She didn’t seem too excited about the fact.
I chose a stall and shut the door behind me. Aiming for that sweet spot right above the water line, I tried to pee as quietly as possible. The toilet had an automatic flusher, so when I finished, I turned around and left the stall. I heard no flush behind me. Outside, ANOTHER girl was waiting to use my stall.
Before and after images of one of the former Berkeley College plates, bearing the residential college’s coat of arms. They used to put the “Y” on the waffles.
The era of gracious living at Yale began to perish, before my time, sometime I believe late in the 1950s or early in the 1960s, when Yale’s residential colleges removed the white linen tablecloths and ceased using waitresses in the dining halls, and switched over to cafeteria style dining.
The late 1960s delivered another blow, when the silver sugar bowls and water pitchers disappeared. Too many were being appropriated as souvenirs by representatives of the new, more democratic Yale admitted by Dean of Admissions R. Inslee Clark.
In 2009, even the humble modern style of Yale dining experienced a seismic shock, when the Yale administration, responding with Pavlovian obedience to the preposterous demands of environmentally-minded whackjobs, suddenly removed all the plastic trays used for conveying your food and drinks from the cafeteria serving line to your table in the University Commons dining hall, used by Yale’s freshman class. No trays to run through Yale’s dishwasher would save some infinitesimal percentage of the water making up more than 70% of the planet’s surface from temporary contact with detergent.
Gaia would have been so pleased, but those inconsiderate freshmen rebelled at being asked to juggle plates, glass, and silverware, and demanded that the offending trays be brought back into service.
Food waste measurements performed by STEP determined that people who dine trayless waste half as much food as tray users. That adds up pretty quickly. Trayless dining also looks classier. And the dining halls save a lot of water when they don’t need to wash as many trays. These are all awesome thing.
And as this new academic year opens, Yale students found that one more traditional distinctive feature of life in Yale’s residential colleges was gone. The twelve Yale residential colleges’ individual dining services had been removed, replaced by a new, generic service, specifically designed to promote the “voluntary” trayless dining movement.
Yale Dining has replaced the custom china sets in the residential colleges with a uniform set that will be used all across campus. The new china set features white plates with an outline and a “Y” on the bottom.
The new set also has considerably fewer pieces than the old set – it includes only a big plate, a saucer, a mug and a bowl.
The new plates are bigger, and allow students to take more food without having to take a tray.
Isn’t it typical of the left? If open coercion is ever effectively resisted and fails, you then get constant nagging, nibbling away and step-by-step subversion until choice is finally eliminated and the petty dictators get their way.
The old Yale plates were smaller than conventional dinner plates, being designed for ease of handling in cafeteria style dining. They were made by Syracuse China. Though they weren’t luxurious fine china, the old services were sturdy and durable, visually gratifying, and individual to each residential college.
I found the photograph of the plate from my own residential college here. The last six pictures feature the outside and the interior of the Berkeley Dining Hall.
The Hill reports that the US Marine Corps’ traditional popularity with Congress has gotten completely out hand and more than adequate support currently exists for the hideous innovation of modifying the name of the Department of the Navy to “the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps.”
That’s just about as bad as changing the name of the War Department to the Department of Defense.
If the politicians want to do something nice for the Marine Corps, why not do something useful like giving marines back their Model 1911s chambered in .45 ACP? If they want to do something nice and symbolic, how about giving the marines back their summer dress whites?
The Marine Corps is factually a branch of the Naval Service, and the Department of the Navy should stay the Department of the Navy.
The Pentagon is opposing a popular provision that would change the name of the Department of the Navy to the Department of the Navy and the Marine Corps.
The provision, which Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) has pushed for years, has a record 425 co-sponsors in the House and recently passed by unanimous consent as a standalone bill.
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), a former Marine, has introduced a similar provision in the Senate that has attracted 78 co-sponsors — more than enough to pass as a standalone bill or as part of the pending defense bills as an amendment.
In a letter released by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the Pentagon’s general counsel, Jeh Johnson, called the effort to rename the Department of the Navy “unnecessary.”
“A re-designation could be viewed as more than symbolic, and could easily be misinterpreted as a step away from the heritage and tradition of a strong Navy and Marine Corps team,” Johnson wrote to Levin. ...
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Navy pilot, has been one of the strongest opponents to the change of the department’s name.
Young men of Brockworth in Gloucestershire have from Time Immemorial, at least for a couple of centuries, possibly even from Roman or Phoenician Antiquity, been celebrating the arrival of Spring with the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, a peculiar local competition involving a hazardous madcap pursuit down a steep hill after a large round block of Double Gloucester cheese.
The London Times reports that safety, insurance, and traffic considerations, in other words bureaucracy and general poltroonery, have caused this year’s cheese-rolling to be cancelled.
A centuries-old cheese rolling contest has fallen victim to health and safety — but not because of the broken bones and dozens of other injuries sustained each year.
Organisers of Gloucestershire’s annual competition have cancelled the event due to be held on May 31 because of concerns raised by the police and local authority over traffic and crowd control.
Spook86 discusses the impact of egalitarianism-at-all-costs on the Navy presently. Just wait until Obama makes his move and abolishes Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell for even more unintended consequences.
As the Navy brass prepares for a “co-ed” submarine force, they might consider the impact of human biology on other elements of the service.
Navy Times reports that some shore commands in Norfolk, Virginia are heavily staffed by pregnant sailors, and some commanders are complaining about the lack of proper manning to carry out their missions.
The problem—and leadership complaints—resulted in an investigation by the Navy IG. According to the IG report, some of shore-based organizations in the Norfolk area have pregnant sailors in up to 34% of their billets. And due to restrictions associated with their medical condition, the sailors (in many cases) cannot perform all of their assigned duties, placing an added strain on shore commands. ...
Talk to Navy officers and senior NCOs and you’ll get a real earful on the effects of this problem. While acknowledging that many female sailors are simply trying to balance a naval career against their desire to start a family, others are gaming the system, they say. In some cases, they say female sailors become pregnant to avoid a projected deployment, or get out of an assignment they don’t like.
Years ago, sailors who became pregnant while on active duty were immediately dismissed from the service. By comparison, today’s family-friendly Navy goes to great lengths to accommodate pregnant sailors, and there’s not much a Captain or Master Chief can do except grit their teeth and suck it up.
You’d think the IG report would offer a cautionary tale for the submarine force and its plan for mixed-gender crews. Running an attack boat or a boomer takes an exceptionally well-trained, cohesive team of officers and enlisted members. Simply stated, the silent service can’t afford the kind of turnover caused by pregnancies in other Navy organizations.
But such concerns are being ignored in the rush to break down one last bastion of male service.
France is just a little further along the same path of progressive statism we ourselves are headed down.
Dominique Poirier (our European correspondent) forwards a recent item from the London Times demonstrating that the ambitions and the potential scope of a state regulatory regime are limitless, as well as humorless.
Country and western has become so big in France that the country’s bureaucrats have decided to bring the craze under state control.
The French administration has moved to create an official country dancing diploma as part of a drive to regulate the fad. Authorised instructors who have been on publicly funded training courses will be put in charge of line dancing lessons and balls.
The rules, which come into force next year, come after the rapid spread of country and western in France, where an estimated 100,000 people line dance several times a week. Jean Chauveau, the chairman of the country section of the French Dance Federation, said: “It’s growing at a crazy rate. There are thousands of clubs and more are springing up all the time.”
He said the French shunned the square dancing that is popular among country and western fans in the United States because it involved physical contact. “They don’t want to take anyone by the hand or anything like that,” he said. But they were passionate about line dancing, where participants follow the steps without touching anyone else. “I think this corresponds to the individualism of our times,” Mr Chauveau said.
Village associations boast dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of members; competitions are flourishing, and a country music festival is expected to draw 150,000 people this summer, he said. “Britain caught the line dancing bug a long time before us, but now we are really going for it,” Mr Chauveau said. “It’s complete madness here.” ...
In a peculiarly Gallic approach to the phenomenon, French civil servants say line dancing should be submitted to the same rules as sports such as football and rugby. This means imposing training courses for line dancing teachers and a state-approved diploma for anyone who wants to give lessons or run clubs.
Amateur instructors will have to take 200 hours of training under the new rules. Professionals will get 600 hours, including such subjects as line dancing techniques, “the mechanics of the human body” and the English (or at least Texan) language. They will also learn how to teach line dancing to the elderly.
The cost of the courses, about €2,000 (£1,570) for the professionals and €500 for the amateurs, will be largely met by taxpayers. Mr Chauveau said the regulations highlighted the French state’s obsessive desire to organise all public activity. “France is the only country in Europe apart from Greece where sport is controlled through the state,” he said. “Line dancing is now considered a sport, so it is being controlled, too.”
Former RN Officer Toby Harnden observes that the behavior of some British Naval personnel recently was a bit less that England traditionally expects.
In case you missed it, let me give you the highlights of what our brave sailors had to say. Leading Seaman Faye Turney opted for The Sun and ITN (“I chose The Sun because it is the Forces’ paper. You are always on our side. I trust you.” – Oh, nothing to do with the reported check for the sum of £100,000 then?)
Little Operator Maintainer Arthur Batchelor, 20, nicknamed “Mr Bean by his dastardly captors, was bought by The Mirror for an “undisclosed sum”. Good thing the Iranians didn’t think of offering them cash – who knows what they’d have done.
Readers, if you were brought up on tales of Horatio Nelson and Winston Churchill, if you believe Britain is still Great and should be feared in the world, then steel yourself.
Any city gets what it admires, will pay for, and, ultimately, deserves. Even when we had Penn Station, we couldn’t afford to keep it clean. We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tinhorn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.” – “Farewell to Penn Station,” New York Times editorial, October 30, 1963
There was a fervor for tearing down old buildings in urban American during the 1960s and early 70s. Many historic, but dilapidated, downtowns were bulldozed, as were countless wonderful “Union Stations” – and anything else that seemed “old”.
Today, we cherish towns like Savannah which were left untouched by the government scourge of “urban renewal.”
19th century housing was replaced by “modern” Soviet-style planned and government-subsidized housing projects (which finally are beginning to be dynamited themselves, for good reason). And the buildings were replaced with parking lots and sterile semi-high rises, and malls – that horrible concept which turns its back on the town in an effort to create an unreal, soul-less consumer paradise for the masses.
When you drive through downtown Bridgeport, CT, Hartford, or Nashville, you will be hard put to find an old building. Lucky towns escaped this frenzy of “modernization,” which I term “dehumanization.” Nobody wants to be in those sorts of downtowns.
Pennsylvania Station on the West Side of Manhattan – one of the masterpieces of the beaux-art movement – did not escape the epidemic of destruction. Grand Central Station escaped – but only barely. Just tell me – where would you rather wait 40 minutes for a train to meet your girlfriend or boyfriend – the new Penn Station, or Grand Central?..
Who would have the nerve to knock this thing down and replace it with the new (and truly terrible in every way) Madison Square Garden?
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country. France has usually been governed by prostitutes.”—Mark Twain
“I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.”—General George S. Patton
“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.”—Norman Schwartzkopf
“We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it.”—Marge Simpson
“As far as I’m concerned, war always means failure.”—Jacques Chirac, President of France
“As far as France is concerned, you’re right.”—Rush Limbaugh
“The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.”—Regis Philbin
“You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn’t have the face for it.”—John McCain, U.S. Senator (AZ)
“I don’t know why people are surprised that France won’t help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn’t help us get Hitler out of France either.”—Jay Leno
“The last time the French asked for “more proof’’ it came marching into Paris under a German flag.”—David Letterman
“War without France would be like … uh … World War II.”
“What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against Disney World and Big Macs than the Nazis?”—Dennis Miller
“It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.”—Alan Kent
“They’ve taken their own precautions against al-Quaida. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house.”—Argus Hamilton
“Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day—the description ‘Never shot. Dropped once.’”—Rep. Roy Blunt (MO)
“The French will only agree to go to war when we’ve proven we’ve found truffles in Iraq.”—Dennis Miller
“Raise your right hand if you like the French. Raise both hands if you are French.”
“Question: Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris?
Answer: It’s not known, it’s never been tried.”—Rep. Roy Blunt (MO)
“Do you know it only took Germany three days to conquer France in WWII? And that’s because it was raining.”—John Xereas, Manager, DC Improv.
“The AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced after the London bombings that it has raised its terror alert from ‘Run’ to ‘Hide.’ The only two higher levels in France are ‘Surrender’ and ‘Collaborate.’ The rise in the alert level was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively disabling their military.”
“French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney. ... The French government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at EuroDisney. The decision comes that day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.”—AP Paris
Ted Frank, at Overlawyered, reports the delightful case of Thomas Joseph Bentey, a first year student at St. Thomas University School of Law, who was dismissed (over his own objection) in May of 2006 for failing to maintain a 2.5 GPA.
The astute Mr. Bentey responded by bringing a federal class action lawsuit against St. Thomas Law School, the Catholic Archdiocese of Miami (owner & operator of the law school), and a variety of school officials and administrators for accepting large numbers of students only later to cull out nearly 30% of first- and second-year students for low GPAs, in order to improve the law school’s bar examination passing percentage. Mr. Bentey alleges that the school is “culling” students it should not have admitted in the first place, since they should not be accepting students who do not have a reasonable prospect of completing law school. So, in essence, he’s suing his law school for admitting as poor a student as himself in the first place.
Bentey is also suing the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and the United States Department of Education for failing to adequately oversee the school by not detecting the alleged scheme and by not taking the necessary action to enforce the ABA accreditation standard which requires that law schools admit only applicants who appear capable of completing their programs and being admitted to the bar.
He got 2 B’s in Torts. They should certainly upgrade those to A’s.
James Lileks has some sardonic reflections on the contemporary art scene in the Age of Islamic Terror. Read the whole thing.
Sign of the times: Type “naked woman cuddling dead pig” into Google, and your first result is not one of those horrid pervy sites whose pictures make you want to bleach your eyeballs.
No, you get a review of a British performance artist. For four hours she hugged a porker while spectators filed past and thought: “There’s something you don’t see every day, a fact that might be conclusive evidence of a benevolent God.”
Naturally, she got a grant for the project; public pounds paid for the dead pig, which she stabbed with a knife in order to bond with the corpse. Bring the kids! And the next time you’re in the grocery store holding some bacon, consider taking off your clothes and selling tickets. You might make enough money to make bail…
It’s hard to convince Britain’s radicalized immigrants to assimilate if it means they must pay for some naked lady getting jiggy with piggy. These are the values of the West? We must pay for this, and you call it freedom?
Good question. What is Western culture all about these days, anyway? Little but narcissism, lassitude, sneers and muted despair, it seems. No, correct that; it’s European/U.S. elite culture that seems unmoored. Standard lowbrow American culture is quite clear about what it likes: snakes on planes, loud cars going around in circles with the occasional airborne detour into the stands, high-quality TV shows, mediocre pop music, naked people without the whole arty pig thing.
It’s generally confident and not particularly self-reflective, which leaves the “elite” stratum of the arts worlds to face the true hard issues of our times. Like pig-hugging and the threat to democracy posed by Joe McCarthy.
R.R. Reno suggests that there are Western reasons for British-born Muslims becoming part of violent movements.
The British have arrested Muslim terrorists, and once again, soul-searching is very much in evidence. “Why,” I hear asked, “are those born among us turning against us?”
High unemployment, social isolation, anti-Muslim prejudice—the standard explanations are canvassed. They boil down to a general analysis of homegrown terrorism as stemming from isolation from Western culture and ideals.
But is that right? Is the Muslim terrorist really such a strange, marginal, and alien figure in our own cultural history and mythology? Or is he not a rather familiar figure, perhaps all-too-well socialized into certain aspects of the modern and postmodern West?
The philosopher Charles Taylor has observed that a “politics of recognition” plays a significant role in the political psychology of modern liberal culture. People do not just have a right to speak their minds—they have a right to be heard! Protest, burning draft cards, street violence, the Black Panthers: Public aggression and assertion have long been legitimated by our dominant, progressive mentality. “Silenced voices must be heard!”
Step back for a moment and think about it. We wonder why Muslims in Europe won’t contain their grievances and settle down to live within the ordinary routines of European society. I imagine that the tacit motto of most British politicians is “Just give assimilation a chance.” And yet that same society supports and idealizes an entire class of perpetual protestors (Greenpeace, anti-globalization groups, animal rights activists, and so on) whose waking lives are spent hurtling themselves against society. May I be forgiven for thinking that mode of modern European existence has been well assimilated by the arrested terrorists?
Moreover, the linkage of supposedly idealistic protest with violence and aggression is also very much a part our modern Western political aesthetic. The French Revolution sanctified mob violence and ritualized public executions as noble expressions of liberty. The revolutionary remains a heroic type with a gun slung across his shoulder. Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir wrote about gratuitous crimes as acts of existential purity. Norman Mailer romanticized murderers, and the Marquis de Sade ascends to canonical status in our universities.
the White House on Tuesday confirmed that Gordon England, deputy defence secretary, sent a memorandum to senior defence officials and military officers last week, telling them that Common article III of the Geneva Convention — which prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners and requires certain basic legal rights at trial — would apply to all detainees held in US military custody.
The Administration is knuckling under to the Supreme Court’s preposterous application of Geneva Convention status in Hamdan.
The sanctimonious do-gooder element is burbling with joy. Dave Hoffman aptly compared Hamdan with Brown, and he’s perfectly correct.
As in Brown, the Hamdan decision takes a leap of faith in the legitimacy of particular justices’ self-righteous moral intuitions as a basis for overruling objective law, counting on the sentimentality of the general public to affirm politically over time the Court’s decision.
There is a difference, though. The Brown decision was made at a time when state segregation represented a strange anachronism, when the laws under scrutiny were nearly universally despised, when the legal fruit was already overripe and ready to drop off the vine of its own accord.
The principle of reciprocity in the laws and usages of war has considerably greater vitality and reason behind it than Jim Crow ever did. The entire point of the Geneva Convention is to encourage humane treatment of prisoners of war on the basis of reciprocity. Signing the Convention is a promise that, if you do not abuse our soldiers who fall into your hands, we will also spare yours.
Justice Stevens’ generosity in the awarding of honorable status, rights, and protections to illegal combatants really represents a fraudulent check written at the expense of American fighting men.
When Justice Stevens effeminately promises that illegal combatants, terrorists, murderers, and brigands will all be treated as honorable adversaries, attempting to preclude the American fighting man, exposed to the hazard of falling alive into the hands of a merciless and barbarous enemy, from punishing violations of the customs and usages of war, he goes far beyond his own legitimate perogative. The decision to spare this enemy’s life, or that, belongs to the man who bested him, not to some theorist and scribbler sitting in a marble building in the District of Columbia.
In WWII, my father served in the USMC on Guadalcanal. He told me that the Japanese had people able to speak English, and in the long tropical nights, the Japanese forces would amuse themselves by imitating the pleas for assistance of a wounded American lying helpless between the fighting lines. Naive young Marines often had to be restrained physically from climbing out their foxholes and dashing off into the night to the rescue of their miserable and suffering fellow Marine. Every now and then, an individual hero would break free, and go out there. They always found him the next day, crucified with Japanese bayonets to a palm tree, his reproductive organs cut off and stuffed insultingly in his mouth. The Marines on Guadalcanal consequently took no Japanese prisoners, except for the purpose of short and forcible interrogation.
In today’s absurd world, bourgeois lawyers, safe in the United States and far from the fighting (who know nothing of war) would interpose their own opinions and emotions between the just revenge of American fighting men and a cowardly and dishonorable enemy.
The answer to Justice Stevens is simple. US forces will need to be certain to take no illegal combatants alive.
An attempt to end Israel’s long isolation from the Red Cross humanitarian movement hit a snag Tuesday as Muslim opponents used procedural moves to block progress at a decisive international conference, delegates said.
The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which opened Tuesday and is expected to conclude Wednesday, is being asked to approve changes to meet Israeli demands of almost six decades that it be granted full membership without using the cross or crescent to identify itself.
I’m not sure that I see any overpowering need for all this ecumenicism in the first place.