Category Archive 'Official Idiocy'
19 Jan 2023
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued an order banning the use of Times New Roman font in all State Department communications.
Why is Times New Roman, which was created in 1932, suddenly so problematic? If you guessed it was because the Biden administration determined the font was racist, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking so. Given recent developments, it seemed inevitable that someone would declare that all serif fonts are tools of white supremacy.
TimesBut, believe it or not, for once, the decision actually had to do with something entirely different.
The State Department is ditching Times New Roman out of a desire to be more “inclusive” to “employees who are visually impaired or have other difficulties reading,” according to the Washington Post. The paper received a copy of the department-wide memo, which was cringingly titled “The Times (New Roman) are a-Changin.”
The State Department’s domestic and overseas offices have until Feb. 6 to transition from Times New Roman to the sans serif font, Calibri — which is now the new standard font for the department’s communications.
“Blinken’s cable said the shift to Calibri will make it easier for people with disabilities who use certain assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to read department communication,” explains the Washington Post. “The change was recommended by the secretary’s office of diversity and inclusion, but the decision has already ruffled feathers among aesthetic-conscious employees who have been typing in Times New Roman for years in cables and memos from far-flung embassies and consulates around the world.”
20 Dec 2022
The Wall Street Journal marvels, like the rest of us, at how the most elite educational institutions have fallen into the hands of utter nincompoops and morons deranged by contemptible, crack-brained ideology.
Stanford University administrators in May published an index of forbidden words to be eliminated from the school’s websites and computer code, and provided inclusive replacements to help re-educate the benighted.
Call yourself an “American”? Please don’t. Better to say “U.S. citizen,” per the bias hunters, lest you slight the rest of the Americas. “Immigrant” is also out, with “person who has immigrated” as the approved alternative. It’s the iron law of academic writing: Why use one word when four will do?
You can’t “master” your subject at Stanford any longer; in case you hadn’t heard, the school instructs that “historically, masters enslaved people.” And don’t dare design a “blind study,” which “unintentionally perpetuates that disability is somehow abnormal or negative, furthering an ableist culture.” Blind studies are good and useful, but never mind; “masked study” is to be preferred. Follow the science.
“Gangbusters” is banned because the index says it “invokes the notion of police action against ‘gangs’ in a positive light, which may have racial undertones.” Not to beat a dead horse (a phrase that the index says “normalizes violence against animals”), but you used to have to get a graduate degree in the humanities to write something that stupid.
The Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative is a “multi-phase” project of Stanford’s IT leaders. The list took “18 months of collaboration with stakeholder groups” to produce, the university tells us. We can’t imagine what’s next, except that it will surely involve more make-work for more administrators, whose proliferation has driven much of the rise in college tuition and student debt. For 16,937 students, Stanford lists 2,288 faculty and 15,750 administrative staff.
The list was prefaced with (to use another forbidden word) a trigger warning: “This website contains language that is offensive or harmful. Please engage with this website at your own pace.”
01 Jun 2022
Law & Crime:
[A] three-judge panel of a state appellate court found that certain invertebrate animal species, including bees, are legally contained under the same umbrella definition as “fish” under the terms of the Golden State’s homegrown Endangered Species Act.
Four different bumblebee species are facing dire odds in the country’s most populous state. That danger mostly comes from the activities of huge agricultural interests. In 2019, the California Fish and Game Commission moved to protect those bees, the Crotch, Franklin’s, Western, and Suckley’s cuckoo, by designating them as endangered, threatened, and candidate species under three sections of the CESA.
Almond growers, citrus farmers, cotton ginners, and other agricultural groups sued. They argued that the CESA does not allow the Commission to designate any insects as endangered, threatened, or candidate species because insects are not included in the statute’s enumerated categories of wildlife entitled to such legal protections.
The Commission countered, saying that the definition of fish can and should encapsulate bees and other similarly situated invertebrates because, in part, it already does in practice. At least one species of shrimp, snail and crayfish are listed under the CESA. The listing of the Trinity bristle snail is particularly instructive, the Commission argued.
That’s because the snail, the commissioners note, does not even live in the water and was categorized as “threatened” in 1980. The way the snail got on the list was by being classified as a “fish.” Since the bristle snail is a terrestrial species, the Commission argues, “fish” cannot be limited to animals that inhabit a marine environment.
Read it and weep:
Almond Alliance of California et. al. v. fish and Game Commission et. al.
We conclude a liberal interpretation of the Act, supported by the legislative history and the express language in section 2067 that a terrestrial mollusk and invertebrate is a threatened species (express language we cannot ignore), is that fish defined in section 45, as a term of art, is not limited solely to aquatic species. Accordingly, a terrestrial invertebrate, like each of the four bumble bee species, may be listed as an endangered or threatened species under the Act. . . .
If we were to apply the noscitur a sociis canon to the term invertebrate in section 45 to limit and restrict the term to aquatic species, as petitioners suggest, we would have to apply that limitation to all items in the list. In other words, we would have to conclude the Commission may list only aquatic mollusks, crustaceans, and amphibians as well. Such a conclusion is directly at odds with the Legislature’s approval of the Commission’s listing of a terrestrial mollusk and invertebrate as a threatened species. Furthermore, limiting the term to aquatic would require a restrictive rather than liberal interpretation of the Act, which is also directly at odds with our duty to liberally construe the remedial statutes contained therein. We thus decline to apply the statutory interpretation canon here.
Ilya Somin, writing at (T)Reason magazine, says: “The ruling is not as ridiculous as it sounds.”
Which explains, of course, just how driveway puddles get to be “Navigable Waterways,” and growing wheat to feed animals on your own farm (Wickard v. Filburn) can be “Interstate Commerce.”
Clearly you don’t really have to be a full-fledged liberal statist to become this intellectually addled. This kind of extreme casuistical thinking can apparently be transmitted to soi disant Libertarian professors by mere contagion resulting from their hanging around the sort of intellectual pestholes known as law schools.
03 Mar 2022
Apparently, it’s not only in the US of A that idiots and nincompoops wind up running universities.
Wanted in Milan:
Fëdor Dostoevsky has become the unlikely source of a controversy at a Milan university over its decision to drop a course on the 19th-century Russian novelist.
The University of Milano-Bicocca informed the Italian writer Paolo Nori on Tuesday night that his course on the author of Crime and Punishment had been cancelled “to avoid any controversy, in a moment of high tension.”
An incredulous, emotional Nori read the contents of the email during an Instagram live video in which he slammed the university’s decision as “ridiculous”, saying “even dead Russians” are now the target of censorship in Italy.
News of his cancelled course spread rapidly on social media, with criticism directed at the university which soon found itself embroiled in the very thing it had sought to avoid: controversy.
On Wednesday morning the university issued a statement underlining that it is “open to dialogue and listening even in this very difficult period that sees us dismayed by the escalation of the conflict.”
It confirmed that the course on Dostoevsky would in fact go ahead as originally planned and announced that the rector would be meeting Nori next week “for a moment of reflection.”
It is not the first time in recent days that the war in Ukraine has impacted the arts in Milan.
Earlier this week the city’s mayor Beppe Sala “ruled out” the return of Valery Gergiev to the podium at La Scala over the Russian conductor’s refusal to condemn the invasion of Ukraine by his friend Vladimir Putin.
07 Jul 2021
A Soviet labor camp.
The NY Post has the latest appalling news out of New Haven.
Yale University is offering a course this fall that likens the US prison system to the Soviet Gulag, with one of the professors leading the course describing America as home to “one of the most brutal prison societies in human history” on social media Monday.
The course, titled “Mass Incarceration in the Soviet Union and the United States” is billed by the Ivy League school as “[a]n investigation of the experience and purposes of mass incarceration in the Soviet Union and the United States in the twentieth century.”
“Incarceration is central to the understanding, if not usually to the self-understanding, of a society. It is thus a crucial aperture into basic questions of values and practices,” reads the online course description. “This course proposes a frontal approach to the subject, by investigating two of the major carceral systems of the twentieth century, the Soviet and the American.”
The description adds that the course will touch on “important comparative cases, such as Nazi Germany and communist China.”
The word “Gulag” is commonly used to refer to the system of Soviet labor camps where common criminals and political prisoners alike were held during the first four decades after the Russian Revolution. Scholars relying on recently opened Soviet archives estimate that approximately 1.6 million prisoners died in the camps between 1930 and 1953; however, some historians believe the true number of deaths to be between three and four times greater.
“Gulag” entered the English lexicon with the 1974 publication of “The Gulag Archipelago,” a searing account of life in the camps written by dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
The course will be led by Yale history professor Timothy Snyder and philosophy professor Jason Stanley. On Monday, Stanley explained the background of the course on Twitter.
“The United States is the nation with the highest incarceration rate in the world, and has been for many decades. Almost 10 [percent] of the WORLD’s prison population comes from the US’s traditionally oppressed minority, the 38 million Black Americans. US prisons are famous for brutality,” he tweeted.
“A small handful of ethnic groups in human history have faced such extraordinary rates of incarceration. But few for so many decades. Why perpetuate this cycle? Is this how the US wants history to remember it? As one of the most brutal prison societies in human history?”
Some people obviously need to get mugged before they come to their senses.
07 Oct 2020
NYPD 60th Precinct — 60 Field Intelligence Officers apprehend an individual with this illegal firearm!
The comments are great. Examples:
I actually feel less safe knowing it took 60 police officers to wrestle one old cowboy to ground on his way to show-and-tell at the retirement home.
That gun is so old, you have to make the sounds for it when/if it shoots.
You recovered the Lost Pistol of Indiana Jones!
The antique gun is a .38 S&W Hopkins and Allen XL double action center fire, which would be unsafe if used to fire smokeless ammunition.
22 Nov 2019
The Crimson reports on the latest vital and totally relevant administrative initiative up there at the little commuter school of the Charles.
University President Lawrence S. Bacow announced the creation of a University-wide initiative to address and further research the schoolâ€™s ties to slavery in an email sent to Harvard affiliates Thursday.
Bacow selected Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin to be the head of a new University-wide faculty committee that will lead the initiative. The University has designated $5 million for the program, according to Bacowâ€™s email.
â€œIt is my hope that the work of this new initiative will help the university gain important insights about our past and the enduring legacy of slavery â€” while also providing an ongoing platform for our conversations about our present and our future as a university community committed to having our minds opened and improved by learning,â€ Bacow wrote.
Bacow wrote that the Radcliffe Institute will work closely with library and museum staff to host both programs and academic opportunities related to the issue.
â€œBy engaging a wide array of interests and expertise, as Radcliffe is uniquely suited to do, this initiative will reflect the remarkable power of bringing together individuals from across Harvard in pursuit of a common purpose,â€ he wrote.
Other faculty on the 12-person committee include former Law School Dean Martha L. Minow and former Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds.
Bacowâ€™s announcement comes as the University continues to grapple with its ties to slavery. In March, Connecticut resident Tamara K. Lanier filed a lawsuit against Harvard alleging the University unlawfully owns and profits off photos of enslaved people who she says are her ancestors.
Earlier this month, the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda penned a letter to Bacow demanding reparations from Harvard for its historical ties to slavery.
In his letter, Bacow also wrote about efforts that former University President Drew G. Faust spearheaded several years ago like installing memorials commemorating enslaved individuals at Wadsworth House and Harvard Law School, and creating a faculty committee to study the Universityâ€™s ties to slavery.
In February 2016, former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith announced that faculty leaders of the 12 undergraduate houses would be renamed â€œFaculty Deansâ€ â€” a shift away from the former term â€œHouse Master,â€ which some students associated with slavery.
A month later, the Harvard Corporation â€” the Universityâ€™s highest governing body â€” agreed to remove the Law Schoolâ€™s controversial seal, which featured the crest of a slaveholding family. The decision came after pieces of black tape were found over the portraits of black Law School professors in November 2015 and months of student protests.
The initiative announced Thursday will focus on researching further the connections Harvard has to the slave trade and to abolition movements, Bacow said in his email.
â€œHarvard has a unique role in the history of our country, and we have a distinct obligation to understand how our traditions and our culture here are shaped by our past and by our surroundings â€” from the ways the university benefitted from the Atlantic slave trade to the debates and advocacy for abolition on camp,â€ Bacow wrote.
After all, hey! it’s only been a mere 236 years since Massachusetts abolished Slavery in 1783!
The great discovery of our Enlightened Age is the principle that the Universe revolves around left-wing sob stories.
13 Oct 2019
Don Surber alerts us to the human tragedy:
Last month, American missionaries went to clean up a village in a Third World nation. The volunteers picked up 50 tons of garbage in this backward land. Nowhere is the gap between the rich and the poor greater. The poor live in tents, while the rich reside in the most expensive houses in the world.
The poor face typhoid and other debilitating diseases that were eliminated in civilized nations. People poop in the street for lack of indoor plumbing.
Instead of meeting the basic sanitation needs of its cities, the corrupt, one-party government squanders billions on an unneeded high-speed train. It will never be built but contracts are awarded to political insiders for work that will never be done. Because of this corruption, President Donald John Trump wants to curtail U.S. aid to the land.
Elsewhere in this nation state, electricity is a luxury as the power has been cut off to hundreds of thousands of citizens in preparation for a natural disaster.
What is maddening is this land has the world’s fifth largest economy. It could easily take care of its needs without outsiders coming in to save them out of pity.
And sadly, the 50 tons of trash are small compared to the 22 million pounds of trash in one pile alone.
Something must be done to save this land from itself. Taking over this backward Third World nation would be easy. We already have troops stationed there. Its army consists of a national guard and police.
But that would mean spending trillions on another foray into nation building.
California sadly has very little hope.
04 Sep 2019
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
When the liberal American establishment sets a new record in craziness, it’s usually in California.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution on Tuesday declaring that the National Rifle Association is a domestic terrorist organization. The officials also urged other cities, states and the federal government to follow suit.
District 2 Supervisor Catherine Stefani wrote the resolution and shared her thoughts on the NRA with KTVU. “The NRA has it coming to them,” she said. “And I will do everything I possibly can to call them out on what they are, which is a domestic terrorist organization.”
After citing some statistics about gun violence in the United States â€“ like that there’s been more than one mass shooting per day in the country in 2019 â€“ Stefani got local with how gun violence has impact the Bay Area.
She cited the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on July 28, referencing Stephen Romero, Keyla Salazar and Trevor Irby, who were killed by gunman Santino William Legan in what she called a “senseless act of gun violence that day.”
Later in the resolution, which the board passed unanimously, the NRA is blamed for causing gun violence. “The National Rifle Association musters its considerable wealth and organizational strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence,” the resolution reads.
The resolution also claims that the NRA “spreads propaganda,” “promotes extremist positions,” and has “through its advocacy has armed those individuals who would and have committed acts of terrorism.”
In addition to calling the NRA a domestic terrorist organization, the Board of Supervisors called on the city and county of San Francisco to “take every reasonable step to limit … entities who do business with the City and County of San Francisco from doing business” with the NRA.
How about that, boys and girls? We’ve got around five million (the NRA’s membership) terrorists at large in America these days. Me, I’m a Life Terrorist. And we can boast of nine US President terrorists: Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Donald Trump.
Well, if the NRA was a real terrorist organization, we know that SF Board of Supervisors would be out there defending it and kissing its ass.
My father used to shake his head and say, when he read this kind of news of major left-wing lunacy emanating from the Left Coast: “The continent slants, and all the fruits and nuts roll out to California.”
11 May 2019
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Orestes Pursued by the Furies, 1862, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.
Robert Stacy McCain reports on just how out of control Title IX/”Dear Colleague” witch-hunting at Yale has become.
Is heterosexuality even legal at Yale University anymore?
An accused student is suing Yale University for concluding that the brief absence of a condom â€œduring an otherwise consensual encounterâ€ was sexual assault.
â€œJohn Doeâ€ alleges that â€œgender bias was a motivating factorâ€ in the decision against him by Dean of the College Marvin Chun, which resulted in his suspension. . . .
Doe met â€œAnn Roeâ€ through the dating app Tinder. Shortly after, the two agreed to meet face-to-face in the early hours of December 9, according to the suit. After a fraternity party, they went back to Doeâ€™s place and had consensual sex.
In the 90-minute encounter, the condom failed no later than 45 minutes in and â€œa new one had to be applied,â€ according to Doe. They had â€œunprotected sex for a few secondsâ€ before he put on the new condom. . . .
Roe provided â€œundisputed testimonyâ€ that she gave Doe consent for the entire period both condoms were on. . . .
Roe stayed the night at Doeâ€™s place, leaving on a positive note mid-morning. Throughout the rest of the month, the two exchanged an array of online messages that maintained a friendly dynamic, he said.
Roe changed her tone in January, when she told Doe that she was uncomfortable with the brief absence of protection during their intercourse.
Hold up here. More than a month after the encounter, she â€œchanged her tone.â€ Like, everything was OK for five weeks, but then for unexplained reasons it wasnâ€™t OK? And then . . .
Two weeks later, Roe filed a formal complaint of nonconsensual â€œunprotected sexual intercourseâ€ against Doe with Mark Solomon, chair of Yaleâ€™s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.
Doe believes that university employees cajoled Roe into filing a complaint â€œthat she otherwise did not contemplate filing,â€ and that the UWC adopted the Title IX coordinatorâ€™s â€œmission of increasing reportingâ€ of sexual misconduct, though the suit doesnâ€™t provide evidence.
You can read the rest. Bottom line is, he got suspended just a few weeks before he was scheduled to graduate because this girl decides retroactively that this brief moment when the condom came off during a 90-minute sexual encounter constituted â€œassault,â€ and Yaleâ€™s administration just goes along with this? If youâ€™ll read the entire 66-page complaint youâ€™ll find a lot of other reasons not to believe the accuser, including the fact that she claims to have been sexually assaulted more than once before she hooked up with John Doe, suggesting perhaps she has a victimhood mentality. But the larger point is, how can any guy at Yale know he wonâ€™t be the next â€œJohn Doe,â€ denied due process and expelled on the basis of a flimsy accusation?
The only safe course is NEVER HAVE SEX WITH A YALE GIRL.
Why is Yale charging $72,800 next year? So they can maintain bureaucracies in charge of “Diversity” and responsible for ruining the lives of any young men who are unwise enough as to incur the wrath of women scorned.
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