Category Archive 'Official Idiocy'
01 Jun 2022

CA Appellate Court Unanimously Rules That Bees Are Fish

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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.

RTWT

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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.

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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

Italian University Cancels Dostoyevsky Course, Then Recants

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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

Yale Course Likens US Prisons to Gulag and Nazi Germany

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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?”

RTWT

Some people obviously need to get mugged before they come to their senses.

04 May 2021

Headline: “Heads of Russian, Chinese, and Iranian Intelligence Services All Died Laughing Today.”

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07 Oct 2020

Maybe Some Police Should Be Defunded

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NYPD 60th Precinct — 60 Field Intelligence Officers apprehend an individual with this illegal firearm!

The comments are great. Examples:

Kara Wynona
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.

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Krissy Weber
That gun is so old, you have to make the sounds for it when/if it shoots.

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Mike Dunger
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

That’s Important!

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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 school’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 Bacow’s email.
“It 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 — 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,” 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.

“By 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,” 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.

Bacow’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 University’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 “Faculty Deans” — a shift away from the former term “House Master,” which some students associated with slavery.

A month later, the Harvard Corporation — the University’s highest governing body — agreed to remove the Law School’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.

“Harvard 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 — from the ways the university benefitted from the Atlantic slave trade to the debates and advocacy for abolition on camp,” 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

Third World Nation Needs American Assistance

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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.

RTWT

04 Sep 2019

SF Board of Supervisors Declares the NRA “a Terrorist Organization”

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The San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

When the liberal American establishment sets a new record in craziness, it’s usually in California.

SF Gate:

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 – like that there’s been more than one mass shooting per day in the country in 2019 – 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

Not The 21st Century I Was Hoping For

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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 “during an otherwise consensual encounter” was sexual assault.

    “John Doe” alleges that “gender bias was a motivating factor” in the decision against him by Dean of the College Marvin Chun, which resulted in his suspension. . . .

    Doe met “Ann Roe” 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 Doe’s place and had consensual sex.

    In the 90-minute encounter, the condom failed no later than 45 minutes in and “a new one had to be applied,” according to Doe. They had “unprotected sex for a few seconds” before he put on the new condom. . . .

    Roe provided “undisputed testimony” that she gave Doe consent for the entire period both condoms were on. . . .

    Roe stayed the night at Doe’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 “changed her tone.” Like, everything was OK for five weeks, but then for unexplained reasons it wasn’t OK? And then . . .

    Two weeks later, Roe filed a formal complaint of nonconsensual “unprotected sexual intercourse” against Doe with Mark Solomon, chair of Yale’s University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.

    Doe believes that university employees cajoled Roe into filing a complaint “that she otherwise did not contemplate filing,” and that the UWC adopted the Title IX coordinator’s “mission of increasing reporting” of sexual misconduct, though the suit doesn’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 “assault,” and Yale’s administration just goes along with this? If you’ll read the entire 66-page complaint you’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 won’t be the next “John Doe,” denied due process and expelled on the basis of a flimsy accusation?

The only safe course is NEVER HAVE SEX WITH A YALE GIRL.

Amazing stuff!

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.

25 Mar 2019

New Zealand Gun Ban

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23 Mar 2019

British Home Office Turns Away Christian Convert Asylum Seeker, Concluding That Christianity is Not a “Peaceful” Religion

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This kind of building would produce that kind of decision.

The Independent:

The Home Office has refused asylum to a Christian convert by quoting Bible passages which it says prove Christianity is not a peaceful religion.

The Iranian national, who claimed asylum in 2016, was told passages in the Bible were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith.

The refusal letter from the department states the book of Revelations – the final book of the Bible – is “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence”, and cites six excerpts from it.

It then states: “These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.”

When contacted by The Independent, the Home Office said the letter was “not in accordance” with its policy approach to claims based on religious persecution, and said it was working to improve the training provided to decision-makers on religious conversion.

06 Mar 2019

Harvard Checks “Climate” — Snowflakes Mustn’t Melt!

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Oh, me! Oh, my! Can Harvard students possibly bear up and survive in a climate in which their own House Master/Faculty Dean (and Law Professor) proposes to represent a cad like Harvey Weinstein accused of numberless cases of crude advances, sexual harrassment, and generally being a masher?

Harvard Crimson asks that important question, and apparently is asking it on behalf of the management of Harvard itself. Presumably in the case of unfavorable responses, Harvard’s Administration will lay in a copious supply of smelling salts, fainting couches, and gallon jugs of Lydia Pinkham’s. There will doubtless as well be long queues of desperate Harvard students lining up for counseling.

“Doctor, how could he? How could he represent that… that beast?”

Harvard College’s institutional research office sent an anonymous, online survey to Winthrop House residents Tuesday as part of a review process aimed at addressing students’ concerns about Faculty Dean Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr.’s decision to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as he faces charges of sexual assault.

The survey asks students a series of questions about whether they feel welcome in the House. It also asks them to score Winthrop on a five-point scale based on whether they believe the House is “hostile” or “friendly,” “contentious” or “collegial,” and “sexist” or “non-sexist,” among other metrics.

Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced that former Dean of Freshmen Thomas A. Dingman ’67 would lead a “climate review” in an email to Winthrop residents on Feb. 25. Khurana wrote that the College decided to launch the review after hearing concerns surrounding support structures for students in the House following Sullivan’s decision to defend Weinstein.

Harvard College Institutional Research wrote in its Tuesday email that in trying to examine the “climate” of Winthrop, the survey will use Pennsylvania State University professor Sue Rankin’s definition of climate: “the current attitudes, behaviors and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities and potential.”

In response to Sullivan’s decision to join Weinstein’s defense team, some students started protests and wrote open letters calling for his removal as faculty dean.

The survey sent Tuesday begins with a question about students’ level of satisfaction with the House’s climate. It continues by asking students to indicate their level of agreement — from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” — with a series of statements evaluating their experiences in the House.
Some of the statements read “I feel I belong in Winthrop House” and “Winthrop House has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Another question asks students to rank the House on 12 different characteristics including disrespectful or respectful, elitist or non-elitist, homophobic or non-homophobic, and racist or non-racist.

The survey closes with two demographic questions and a space for additional comments.
The College will use the results gathered from Winthrop affiliates to guide any further action, Khurana wrote in his original email.

RTWT

I try to imagine the Yale Daily News, back in 1966, inquiring if we “felt welcome” in our Yale freshman dorms or residential colleges, and I have to hold on to the arms of my chair not to fall out of it laughing.

Can you imagine not feeling welcome in one of the poshest, most luxurious undergraduate colleges in the country and the world?

I am reminded of the comedy film, in which the upper class mother points out to her unhappy adolescent daughter: “You know, you will never again, in the rest of your life, be this rich or this thin!”

A friend of mine used to remark ruefully that life after Yale amounted to constant struggle to try to live as well as you did as a Yale undergraduate.

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