16 Sep 2018

Would You Surrender to the Germans?

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16 Sep 2018

Movements as Background for Reading

15 Sep 2018

Pilot Restarting a Stalled Engine (1960s)

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15 Sep 2018

Urban Liberal With a Gun

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Urban beta-male Oliver Staley decides to dip a liberal toe in the cold, masculine, right-wing waters of the field sports, getting himself taken out as an “apprentice hunter” deer hunting with a shotgun in Northern New Jersey. His goal? Becoming a “liberal hunter.”

I wanted to become an all-American man. So I learned to hunt. …

I’m painfully aware of how much I conform to a stereotype of a Northeastern liberal. I’m a journalist. I drive a Subaru. I recycle assiduously. But I also bristle at being pigeon-holed and having my identity determined by my demographics.

There were other factors behind my desire to start hunting—my eagerness to find a new outdoors challenge; my desire to engage more physically with the world. And if I’m honest, there’s also an element of mid-life crisis, an urge to shake up what about I know about myself and what others think of me. But at least part of the impulse stems from a frustration with America’s polarized political climate, and how uncomfortable I am with the orthodoxies and Shibboleths of our warring tribes. …

I’m not so naive to think that taking up hunting would necessarily make me more convincing. But it would give me more confidence in my own convictions. It’s easy to argue for strict gun laws when you don’t own one; defending a position that imposes personal hardship is more difficult, and makes the stance that much more credible.

Of course, it’s possible to be a liberal hunter. I even know a few—mostly fellow journalists in western states who every fall disappear into the woods in search for deer or elk. Hunting doesn’t belong to conservatives anymore than hiking belongs to liberals. But demographic shifts over the last half-century have made cities liberal bastions, and left rural areas deep red. Hunting and gun culture have become synonymous with conservative politics, to the extent that the National Rifle Association, an organization once primarily devoted to hunting and shooting safety, has become a de facto wing of the Republican Party.

But perhaps the solution, or the beginning of the solution, to America’s gun problem will come not from further entrenchment into our positions, but more crossing over to the other side. Maybe the solution isn’t just more conservatives willing to consider gun control, but also more liberals learning how to hunt.

RTWT

15 Sep 2018

Jamie Kirchick : “Reflections on the Revolution at Yale”

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Jamie Kirchick, Pierson 2006, is running as an outsider candidate for a seat on the Yale Corporation. In Quillette, he describes the disgraceful events of 2015.

Three years ago this Fall, Yale University descended into what can only be described as a fit of mass psychosis.

On November 9, 2015, over 1,000 people—about one fifth of the undergraduate student body—walked out of classrooms and into the quad to participate in a ‘March of Resilience.’ An a cappella group led the crowd in a medley of “We Shall Overcome.” Native Indian performers formed a drum circle. “We are not victims,” a student organizer affiliated with the school’s Latino cultural center declared. “Today, we are on our way to being victors.”

Against what sinister forces did Yale’s students feel compelled to summon up their stocks of ‘resilience’ in righteous battle? The first grievance cited by the student protestors was an alleged ‘white girls only’ party thrown by one of the university’s fraternities. Word of this event had gone from a Facebook post to international headlines, tarnishing Yale’s good name in the process. Had such a party actually taken place, it indeed would have been cause for protest. But it’s hard not to be skeptical about this sort of thing, as many of them turn out to be hoaxes, often perpetrated by the very people claiming offense.

Which is exactly what an investigation by the Yale College Dean’s Office determined a month later, finding “no evidence of systematic discrimination against people of color” at said ‘white girls only’ party. The Dean did, however, fault the brothers of Sigma Alpha Epsilon for “creat[ing] a chaotic environment,” demonstrating “little regard to crowd control and overcrowding inside the house” and “behavior” that “fell short of the community standards and the kind of civic engagement that I have sought to promote.” He found them guilty, in other words, of being frat brothers.

The second supposed incident of racial injustice involved an email sent by a professor, Erika Christakis, questioning an administrative warning to students regarding Halloween costumes that perpetrate ‘cultural appropriation.’ Because Christakis had suggested that young adults should be able to make their own decisions about masks and capes, a mob of students, faculty, and deans demanded that Yale remove Christakis and her husband, fellow professor Nicholas, from their positions as residential advisors. During a two-hour, outdoor harangue of Nicholas, captured on a video that went viral, students yelled, cursed, and physically intimidated him as four Yale deans and administrators watched impassively.

While the university did not succumb to demands that the couple be sacked, the administration essentially sent the message that sided it with the students. Two weeks after the ‘March of Resilience,’ the administration announced a doubling of budgets for the various (African-American, Latino, Native American etc.) cultural centers, racial sensitivity training for faculty and administrators, and the creation of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration (which has since become the institutional home of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text, known primarily for its embarrassing role in the Sokal hoax). This diversity-budget bloat is part of a larger trend. And it has coincided, not coincidentally, with a doubling of tuition since the time I was a Yale freshman 15 years ago. As for the students who mobbed Nicholas Christakis, not only did the University (disregarding its own undergraduate regulations) conclude that their behavior fell short of grounds for disciplinary action, it rewarded two of them with prestigious class prizes upon graduation in 2017. …

It would be nice to have university leaders whose instinct, upon being confronted with baseless accusations that their school is suffused with racism, would be to defend the institution’s good name, not bow and capitulate. There are, no doubt, racist people at Yale, just as there are racist people everywhere. But there is no reason to believe—and, indeed, very much reason to doubt—that Yale is any more racist than the country at large (unless one takes into account its potential discrimination against Asians, which the university has implicitly acknowledged by signing onto an amicus brief defending Harvard’s allegedly anti-Asian undergraduate admissions policy).

That Yale does not, presently, have leaders willing to speak plainly to such attacks is one of the reasons I am now mounting a petition candidacy to join the university’s board of trustees (formally known as The Yale Corporation).

RTWT

15 Sep 2018

Antlers and Skull of Irish Elk Found in Lough Neagh

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Irish Times:

Fishermen Raymond McElroy and Charlie Coyle thought their nets had snagged on an old piece of dead tree at the bottom of Lough Neagh.

It had been a bad night’s fishing and when they ventured out to their nets on the lake at 4.30am, they found they had caught no fish, yet the net was straining.

It took two of them all their strength to lift the net from the lough floor. By the weight, they figured it might be a piece of a dead tree snagged at the bottom.

Instead, it was the perfectly preserved antlers of a giant Irish elk. Now extinct, this magnificent animal stood more than two metres tall and had antlers of up to four metres in diameter.

Though called the Irish elk because their skeletons have been found in the bogs of Ireland, they roamed across most of northern Europe, but died out 7,000 years ago in mysterious circumstances.

One of the largest collections of such deer is in the National History Museum in Dublin.

Mr Coyle said he got a fright when the two metre wide antlers came out of the water. “I thought it was the devil himself. I was going to throw it back in. I didn’t know what to do with it.”

Mr McElroy said he recognised straight away that it was the antlers of a giant Irish elk. The jawbone of possibly the same animal was recovered from the lake in 2014.

RTWT

14 Sep 2018

I Hope All Sociology Professors Will Do Likewise

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Disclose.TV:

An anti-Trump sociology professor at the College of Southern Nevada shot himself on campus last month as way to protest the president, police said.

Mark J. Bird, 69, was found bloodied outside a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building with a self-inflicted gunshot wound the morning of the second day of classes August 28.

He was treated for his wound and later charged with possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, discharging a gun within a prohibited structure and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Not to mention Google executives…

14 Sep 2018

“It’s Climate Change!”

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14 Sep 2018

Too Bloody Real

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13 Sep 2018

“Diversity is our Strength”

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Hussein Khavari, murderer of Maria Ladenburger.

Mark Steyn addresses the nonsense.

    This [via a commenter], from Breitbart London and dated 9/11/18, pretty much sums up where the West is at since 9/11: ‘Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Afghan national who claims to be fleeing persecution for being homosexual after not being able to find any gay pornography on his mobile phone.’ It sounds like the Babylon Bee, but isn’t.

Just so. When historians are poring through the rubble of our civilization, that one sentence will pretty much cover the entirety of the situation in 2018. In fact, denying asylum claims on the grounds of insufficient gay porn on applicants’ telephones may be the best shot Trump has at getting any meaningful immigration policy past the average District Court judge. Although maybe he should add trans porn, too.

Incidentally, for a Pushtun goatherd or whatever he is, the Afghan guy isn’t the least bit stupid: He’s smart enough to know that claiming to be LGBTQWERTY gets you into the express check-in, so why not give gay taqiyyah (tagayyah?) a whirl?

Yet there is also a tragic, suicidal and sacrificial quality to our diversity stupidity:

    ‘We took him in as if he were a son,’ the girl’s father said, according to the Bild tabloid newspaper. He has lost his only daughter. She was stabbed and killed by her former boyfriend, an unaccompanied refugee from Afghanistan.

And there is also a decadence to our stupidity. When Maria Ladenburger was raped and murdered by another fake “child migrant” from Afghanistan, her father, a senior official at the European Commission, asked for donations to be made in her memory to a “refugee charity“.

I hear echoes of poor Maria Ladenburger’s case in the reactions to other recent killings: we are tiptoeing very close to conscious child sacrifice in the cause of “diversity”. As I reminded Louise Arbour and Simon Schama in the Munk Debate, with regard to their own societies, the differences between Quebec francophones and Ontario anglophones or between Irish Catholics and Protestants are, in the scheme of things, peripheral and footling. Yet they have caused profound intractable divisions that echo down the centuries. But relax, the differences between, say, secular Swedes and Afghan Muslims are gonna be a breeze …because “diversity is our strength”.

RTWT

13 Sep 2018

Remembering Leonard Bernstein

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It’s Leonard Bernstein’s centenary this year, and Alex Ross, in the New Yorker, commemorates the great popularizing conductor with a tribute mixing praise, uncomplimentary gossip, and this regretful perspective on the passing of both Bernstein and his times.

His charisma was indeed potent, but as Bernstein recedes into history he seems more a product of his time than an agent of transformation. He came of age in the New Deal era, when the federal government sank hundreds of millions of dollars into the arts. He benefitted from the cultural politics of the Cold War, even as he suffered under McCarthyism. He launched music-appreciation projects on television at a time when network executives considered Stravinsky’s serialist score “The Flood,” with choreography by Balanchine, suitable for a mass public. The aspirational America of the mid-twentieth century was looking for a Bernstein—a native genius who could knock off Broadway tunes as fluently as he conducted Brahms—and one was duly found. There will not be another, not because talent is lacking but because the culture that fostered him is gone.

He was obviously talented, but he was, in my opinion, as a conductor, far too commonly heavily-handedly didactic, popularizing, and obvious in his approach. He usually seemed to be less conducting, than lecturing de haut en bas from his perch atop the American cultural establishment to a mass 1950s television audience. I thought his appointment to conduct the New York Symphony a terrible descent into vulgar American populism from the era of Bruno Walter. But every once it a while, he was very very good. I can recall hearing an excellent version of some Haydn Symphonies by Bernstein.

I remember, as the years went on, Bernstein became more political in an extremely obnoxious rich-fashionista-poseur-striking-revolutionary-poses manner. His obsequious dallying with Black Panthers brought down on him the gods’s wrath, delivered in the form of a scathing essay by Tom Wolfe which may become Bernstein’s best-remembered memorial:

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. These are nice. Little Roquefort cheese morsels rolled in crushed nuts. Very tasty. Very subtle. It’s the way the dry sackiness of the nuts tiptoes up against the dour savor of the cheese that is so nice, so subtle. Wonder what the Black Panthers eat here on the hors d’oeuvre trail? Do the Panthers like little Roquefort cheese morsels wrapped in crushed nuts this way, and asparagus tips in mayonnaise dabs, and meatballs petites au Coq Hardi, all of which are at this very moment being offered to them on gadrooned silver platters by maids in black uniforms with hand-ironed white aprons . . . The butler will bring them their drinks . . . Deny it if you wish to, but such are the pensées métaphysiques that rush through one’s head on these Radical Chic evenings just now in New York. For example, does that huge Black Panther there in the hallway, the one shaking hands with Felicia Bernstein herself, the one with the black leather coat and the dark glasses and the absolutely unbelievable Afro, Fuzzy Wuzzy-scale in fact—is he, a Black Panther, going on to pick up a Roquefort cheese morsel rolled in crushed nuts from off the tray, from a maid in uniform, and just pop it down the gullet without so much as missing a beat of Felicia’s perfect Mary Astor voice. . . .

RTWT

13 Sep 2018

Leaked Video: Top Google Execs Mourn 2016 Election Result

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It’s a long video, but definitely worth watching as it demonstrates clearly just how deeply embedded in the Progressive community of fashion world-view the people running this major communication company really are, and how much they look down on people with different views and hate and fear any position not their own.

I thought it was pretty striking to find that three out of four of the top panjandrums of Google are foreign-born immigrants to the United States. No wonder they neither identify with nor sympathize with the perspective of native-born Americans leading ordinary lives, who did not attend elite schools, who don’t fly around on private jets, and who don’t have $70 million hiring deals like Google’s CFO.

And just wait until you see some of the alternative lifestyle types from the mass Google employee audience bringing up their Identity politics issues. Can people this weird really code? My understanding was that you had to pass some very tricky intelligence test to get hired by Google, and I find it hard to believe that some of the fruitcake specimens that spoke up could successfully compose a sentence containing the words “hare,” hunter,” and “field.”

Google was embarrassed by this Breitbart leak, and issued a Twitter statement declaring: “Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products.” &c.

Sure. Right. That’s why, just for instance, we get an endless stream of special animated Google headers celebrating the natal anniversaries of every Diversity Group member they can think of, but Christian holidays like Easter are overlooked completely.

12 Sep 2018

Getting Into the Top Ivies These Days

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Harvard.

I once answered a question on Quora about Yale, so pretty much every day I receive a email asking to answer the question “How do I get into Yale?” from some exotic resident of the remote Third World.

Clearly, the mysteries of elite Ivy League admissions are an intriguing topic these days all over the world.

I ran into a Quora posting this morning from a U. Chicago guy named Hasnat, quoting an anonymous Harvard 2006 graduate who had worked in the Harvard Admissions Office.

I thought it pretty accurately captured a home truth applicable to Yale as well, that, beyond grades and test scores (which had better be high), they are looking for a certain kind of exceptionality and competitiveness. They want people out of the ordinary.

I think you need to join Quora and all that to open a link, so I cut-and-pasted the whole bloody thing to make life easier for NYM readers.

[A] little bit of advice.

“First of all, there are a number of small factors that can move the admissions needle in small amounts: location, economic background, race. You can just accept that these exist and don’t really count for much—a slight counterbalance to the general advantages that wealthier folks tend to enjoy as a rule. Or you can spend millions of dollars on lawyers and consultants, and hundreds of hours fighting in court in order to claw back this tiny little potential advantage from those in the lower half of the socioeconomic spectrum.

“Either way, these are things beyond your control, and I’d recommend not worrying about them. Frankly, it’s the cheaper and quicker option.

“Otherwise, the official party line, as taken verbatim from Harvard’s longtime Dean of Admissions, William Fitzsimmons (class of 1963, dean since 1986) is that Harvard selects for “academic excellence, extracurricular distinction, and personal qualities.” And that sounds good—who doesn’t love excellence?—until you think about it.

“What Dean Fitzsimmons really means is that he isn’t going to tell you anything substantial (that’s why he’s lasted for so long in his job). So I will tell you that in this context, measuring “academic excellence” really boils down to two things: Will this applicant graduate on time and happy?

“Pure intelligence is one part, hence the focus on scores and GPAs. Harvard is difficult, and someone who has never seen a differential equation will probably struggle in the basic required math courses; isomeone who has never read a Steinbeck novel or a Shakespeare play will probably feel excluded from general English Lit.

“But so is extracurricular activity. You might be smart, but do you have the discipline to keep going for four years? How do you respond to setbacks, challenges, opposition? Do you show signs of life in the wider world? In short: are you of sound mind?

“The 4.0 student who just works the ball-washing station at the country club does not necessarily demonstrate great time-management skills. On the other hand, we’ll take the person who has an A-minus GPA but spends most of her free time in a research lab breeding generations of flies for genetic tests, thank you very much. This is why admissions officers will say “well-rounded” until they’re blue in the face. There’s nothing wrong with plain old eggheads—but let’s try and get out there once in a while, too.

“And when the committee selects for the mysterious and ephemeral “personal qualities,” well, we want to know how much of a jerk the candidate is, and how well they’ll respond to a campus full of jerks.

“Let’s be honest: Harvard and its affiliates will inflict some kind of damage (academic, emotional, occasionally physical) on everyone who lingers there. It is a place where everyone is out to get everyone else. In a place where no one can be the best at everything, everyone takes any chance they can get to measure up to their peers. It is a mob of ruthless young overachievers with a taste for blood.

“Ayn Rand, eat your heart out. Your Objectivist paradise is alive and well, and its name is Harvard. Here, people believe that each of them is a “heroic being,” that their individual happiness is a moral absolute, that their own reason is ironclad and incorruptible. Just look at what four years of that does to a person. Never mind the outliers like Mark Zuckerberg and Ted Kaczynski. You just need to look at the offices of Wall Street investment banks (where half of the graduating class of Harvard ends up every year). Or the op-ed pages of New York newspapers. Or the halls of Congress (one shudders at the thought).
Read the rest of this entry »

12 Sep 2018

Democrats Finally Getting What’s Coming to Them

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Nemesis, statue dedicated by Ptollanubis. Marble, found in Egypt, 2nd century AD. Louvre Ma 4873.

Noemie Emery gleefully observes that the day of reckoning for democrats for what they did to Robert Bork has arrived.

Are you happy now, Teddy Kennedy? Are you happy, Joe Biden? Are you happy now, Harry Reid? It’s due to the things that you did and said that Donald J. Trump is now naming his second Supreme Court justice in under two years in office. It is your fault that the once courtly process of Supreme Court appointments turned into the blood-and-thunder-eye-gouging drama that we hate and we live through today.

It was 31 years ago, in 1987, that Edward M. Kennedy burst on the floor of the Senate to tell us all that with Robert Bork on the Supreme Court, “women would be forced Into back-alley abortions,” blacks would eat at segregated lunch counters, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the freedom of millions would hang by a thread.

Before it was over, liberals would raise and spend over $10 million in negative ads (quite a sum at the time) and in lobbying efforts. They would threaten black witnesses with career-ending reprisals and seize and search records of video rentals for signs of blue movies that were never found.

As Steve Hayward says, “The demagogic nature of the public campaign against him made it a watershed moment in American politics, permanently deforming the nomination process as for the judiciary, with ideological battles now extending to the lower federal courts as well.”

RTWT

Tell us, Chuck Schumer, where is that filibuster, now that you need it?

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