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The State Demands to Know Your Innermost Thoughts and Your Intimate Details

Clemson University is demanding that students and faculty provide their sexual histories including the most salacious details. (Or they were, until Campus Reform raised an outcry.)

Clemson University is requiring students to reveal how many times they’ve had sex in the past month and with how many partners.

In screenshots obtained exclusively by Campus Reform, the South Carolina university is asking students invasive and personal questions about their drinking habits and sex life as part of what they’ve billed as an online Title IX training course.

“How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?” asks one question.

“With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months?” asks another.

This is a result of the Campus SaVE Act of 2013, a Democrat-driven law that mandates colleges and universities to “do something” about sexual violence, and by do something, they meant collect lots and lots of personal data and, oh yeah, strip males accused of sexual assault of all Constitutional rights and protections.

Liberals used to freak out about this level of Government intrusiveness. But now, Obama is in power, and it’s all right for the state to collect very personal intimate data, for the Common Good, don’tcha know.

Duke U. Application Includes Essay Question on Sexual Identity

Posted by V the K at 12:14 pm - September 4, 2014.
Filed under: Academia

Once again, catering to the deviants.

Duke University has joined a small group of colleges that include optional questions about sexual orientation and gender identity on admissions applications. But Duke is doing so in a different way from others, with a short essay, rather than boxes to check. And applicants can use the essay to write about identities beyond sexual orientation and gender identity that they want to share with Duke.

Stupid essay question aside, why is this even Duke University’s business.

In fact, that is precisely how I would answer that question, “My sexuality is none of your damn business.”

Moonbat Professor Hates Pink Locker Rooms

A professor at the University of Iowa has a sad because the visiting team’s locker room is painted pink; which somehow encourages homophobia, I guess.

It’s as if the university has sided with the jocks who used to beat up the ‘queers’ in high school,” the march’s website states. “Does a pink locker room directly lead to violence against women and gay people? No. But it does reinforce the repeated narratives about being a man that kids are exposed to from a very young age—which creates subtle and harmful ripple effect.”

You know what else has a harmful ripple effect? Moonbat libs making big deals out of nothin’ to get attention for themselves.

Left-Wing Professor Does Not Express Politically Incorrect Opinion on Gay Marriage

Posted by V the K at 12:18 pm - August 4, 2014.
Filed under: Academia

Kent State Associate Professor of History Julio Cesar Pino calls Israel “the heirs of Nazism” and has penned a long, anti-Semitic diatribe against any professors sympathetic with the Jewish people and their quaint desire not to be exterminated.

“I curse you more than the Israelis, for while The Chosen drain the blood of innocents without apologies you hide behind the mask of academic objectivity, nobility of research and the reward of teaching to foreign youth—-in a segregated university, of course,” he wrote, before signing off with “jihad until victory!”

But he did not… did not... express opposition to gay marriage, so his academic sinecure is perfectly safe.

Because that kind of talk would be, you know, totally out of line with the standards of academia.

It’s kind of sad for Kent State that this (if you’re a conservative, he’s a whack-job, if you’re a progressive, he is a champion of social justice, both mean the same thing) draws employment there. There’s a fine little cafe not far from campus — the Wild Goats cafe — that make wonderful breakfasts. And there are other reasons to like Kent State, but I’m leavin’ it there.

Do economists actually like war? Yes.

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 12:27 pm - June 17, 2014.
Filed under: Academia,Economy,Liberalism Run Amok

A key fallacy of mainstream economics today is its belief that all economic activity is good activity. Quality doesn’t matter. We must “stimulate” the economy to get those GDP numbers up, and all will be better. It doesn’t matter if we rack up endless debt, only to pay people to dig holes and re-fill them or to re-build cities destroyed in war.

It sounds like I’m exaggerating, doesn’t it? Many economists would scoff that I am. Except I’m not.

For example, Paul Krugman and other neo-Keynesian economists claim often (and wrongly) that the destroy-and-spend of World War II is what pulled the world out of the Great Depression. Krugman has called for housing bubbles and fake alien invasions on more than one occasion, and only half-jokingly at best.

Or we have the recent movement to count illegal activities (drugs and prostitutes) as part of GDP. It got another little boost when Spain signed on. (By counting illegal drugs and prostitution as part of its GDP, Spain can reduce its official debt-to-GDP ratio, making its finances appear sounder than they are.)

I believe that all of this speaks to both the deep Statism and the deep nihilism that have infected modern culture. The implication – that economists never state outright because they know it would sound too crazy, but the implication remains – “Gee, if only the government would spend on destruction, the economy would boom. If only people would buy more meaningless sex and drugs, the financial system would be sound.” As if those are productive activities.

Again, put like that, it sounds like I’m drawing a caricature; but I’m not. A recent example is from the New York Times, a serious opinion pieced titled The Lack of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth. It begins: (more…)

This and That

Posted by V the K at 11:14 am - April 11, 2014.
Filed under: Academia,Media Bias,Science

One longerish post to take the place of three shorterish posts.

1. Snotty leftist Stephen Colbert is replacing bitter leftist David Letterman at the Late Show on CBS.  It’s amazing how far a one-joke comedy routine can take you in the left-wing media establishment. (See also, Tina Fay).

2. Leftist academics think MLK and convicted murderer Mumia Abu Jamal are pretty much equivalent, and a California teacher has decided to indoctrinate his 11th graders to that effect.  What is with the left and making heroes out of murderers?

3. Scientists have developed an artificial vajayjay.  The Sandy Fluke jokes write themselves.

Another Day, Another Taxpayer-Funded Social Left Grievance Symposium

Posted by V the K at 8:16 am - April 2, 2014.
Filed under: Academia

The University of South Carolina is hosting a seminar on Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transatlantic Quinoa-eaters (or something). Topics will include a serious acamic discussion of the role of the Western Judeo-Christian tradition, and how its focus on the rights of the individual has created the free society that allows gays, lesbians, and the rest of the alphabet soup of marginal sexual identities to seek their own paths to fulfillment and meaning.

Just kidding. Actually, it features a piece of (oh joy) performance art called “How to Be a Lesbian in Ten Days or Less.”

The show is a one-hour performance that follows Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian, as she “deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song.”

Hendrix encourages her audience to shout “I’m a big ‘ol dyke!” in a show that is “one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one party wacky performance art.”

Naturally, University (i.e. taxpayer) funds are supporting the event, but when asked how much money was being received, the professor organzing the event essentially answered “None of your business, breeder.”

“Until you call and ask how much money has been spent on heterosexual literature, I’m not going to answer that question,”Dr. Lisa Johnson told Campus Reform.

This Dr. Lisa Johnson is a rather interesting character. In addition to being diagnosed with a serious mental illness, Dr. Johnson also apparently had at least one affair with a student. For a heterosexual male, that would probably be a career-ender. But, in the Progressive Utopia of American Academia, some animals are more equal than others.

Teachers Unions/Bureaucrats Team Up to Punish Dissident Students

Posted by V the K at 10:46 pm - April 1, 2014.
Filed under: Academia,Union Thuggery

Unionized Teachers in Pennsylvania are refusing to write college recommendation letters for students on account of a contract dispute with the District’s School Board.

And in New York, kids who opt out of Common Core testing are being forced to sit at their desks and do nothing for hours on end while other students, more obedient to the edicts of the great and bountiful state, take their mandated tests in “friendly numbers” math and “rewrite the Bill of Rights” civics.

Funny, isn’t it? How public schools will bend over backwards to accommodate Mohammedans and Transgendereds; but a few kids opting out of Common Core? Forget about it.

(more…)

Progressive Left Race Conference Encourages White People to Hate Themselves

Last weekend, while most of us were going on about our business, something called the “White Privilege Conference” was taking place in Madison, Wisconsin.

Built on the premise that “the U.S. was started by white people, for white people”, the conference boasts a long list of radical partner organizations, including Code Pink, The Social Justice Training Institute, and Hip Hop Congress, whose co-founder, Shamako Noble, has collaborated on projects with Public Allies, an organization whose Chicago branch was first led by Michelle Obama.

But what exactly is ‘white privilege’?

According to some of the speakers and conference goers in this video, ‘white privilege’ is a “transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society,” and if you are white, it means “there is a whole part of you that you are not naming and you’re not understanding because whiteness is just normalized and it’s just there…”.

Long story short: It was an opportunity for white people who already hate themselves to be lectured that they deserve to hate themselves, and need to teach other white people to hate themselves.

One “educator” was moved to denounce herself, for not hating her own whiteness enough. (But also mostly, to claim, she was still morally superior to white people who don’t hate their whiteness yet).

“I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”

She argued that until white people admit they have a problem, they will not be able to fight against white privilege.

“We’ve been raised to be good. ‘I’m a good white person,’ and yet to realize I carry within me these dark, horrible thoughts and perceptions is hard to admit. And yet like the alcoholic, what’s the first step? Admitting you have a problem,”

This exercise in progressive left vanity and self-flagellation was supported by taxpayer dollars.

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Posted by V the K at 11:12 am - March 29, 2014.
Filed under: Academia

If you were a college football player in an African-American Studies Class; this paper would earn you an A-.

ROSA PARKS: MY STORY: THE FULL 146-WORD TEXT OF THE TERM PAPER

On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. ‘Let me have those front seats’ said the driver.

She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people.

‘I’m going to have you arrested,’ said the driver. ‘You may do that,’ Rosa Parks responded.

Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them ‘why do you all push us around?’

The police officer replied and said ‘I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.

And that was the entirety of the Term Paper.

The Professor that exposed this fraud was stripped of her Supervisory Title and subsequently left the University of North Carolina where the fraud occurred. And the UNC pinky swears that this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore.

No wonder the Obama Regime has targeted college athletes for unionization.

University Issues “Mel Gibson-Style” Apology to Women Assaulted by Feminist Professor

In a follow-up to the incident in which a University of California Feminist Professor assaulted a teenage girl who was advocating an anti-abortion position in the university’s “Free Speech Zone,” the University has issued a fauxpology.

In a long-winded 1,000-word letter that reads more like a diatribe than a mea culpa, University of California at Santa Barbara Vice Chancellor Michael Young eventually conceded that women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young should not have snatched a pro-life sign from 16-year-old Thrin Short, giving backhanded praise to the framers of the Constitution.

“Our Founding Fathers – all white men of privilege, some even slave owners – got it right when designing the First Amendment of the Constitution,” Young wrote in an open memo to the student body.

The price of freedom of speech, Young was enlightened enough to acknowledge, is that students, staff and faculty must tolerate “outside groups and individuals coming here to promote an ideology, to promulgate particular beliefs (at times extreme beliefs), or simply to create discord that furthers a certain personal agenda.””Some passionately believe in their causes, while others peddle hate and intolerance with less-than-noble aims,” Young added, mentioning “evangelical types.”

Translation: “We’re sorry we violated the free speech rights of you racist, bigoted, stupid, invisible-magical-sky-god-worshipping hatemongers; rights that were granted to you by dirty, rotten white slaveowners.”

It is reminiscent of the apology Mel Gibson gave after making anti-semitic comments.

(more…)

Left-wing economists: They’re that stupid

Zero Hedge remembers how the Great Housing Bubble of 2003-7 was something Paul Krugman had called for:

Before you say “But that was in 2002!”, consider more recent examples of Krugman stupidity, like his calling in 2012 for the government to boost (supposedly) the economy by faking an invasion of space aliens. The Krugtron quote from Time’s account:

“If we discovered that space aliens were planning to attack, and we needed a massive build-up to counter the space alien threat, and inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months,” Krugman says…

A second instance, from PuffHo’s account:

“So if we could get something that could cause the government to say, ‘Oh, never mind those budget things; let’s just spend and do a bunch of stuff.’ So my fake threat from space aliens is the other route,” Krugman said before a laughing crowd. “I’ve been proposing that.”

So he said it more than once; only half-joking at best. The man loves his malinvestment.*

(*Borrow-and-spend that creates market bubbles, overbuilding, leaf-raking, wars or other activity that is economically inefficient, or useless, or even destructive.)

Related: It struck me that one way you can tell a left-liberal is: government spending always sounds like a good idea, to them. Should government spend, to stimulate the economy? Check. Spend more on education, so people will (supposedly) be more educated? You betcha. It never occurs to the left-liberal that government just might be incompetent at most things. So that the proposed spending would do nothing at all – or would even make things worse, as it only subsidizes incompetence. For example: Subsidizing an incompetent system of educators. The possibility just doesn’t cross a liberal’s mind.

Krugtron the Laughable

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:12 am - October 23, 2013.
Filed under: Academia,Debt Crisis,Economy,Liberals,Unhinged Liberals

In the last two weeks, Huffington Post (to its credit) has published a 3-part takedown of the noxious New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, by the fetching economic historian, Niall Ferguson:

It’s long, but I found it a pleasure on several levels. Ferguson is a civil human being (see the video at the bottom of part I) and always an engaging and thoughtful writer. And Krugman merits the takedown, as a writer who habitually over-states his own rightness and denies his past mistakes (such as his 2002 call in favor of having a housing bubble). Krugman recently called himself “Krugtron the Invincible”, which Ferguson adopted as the title for his series.

Via Cyniconomics. Victory dance (and summary) from Ralph Benko at Forbes.

For fun, here’s Dilbert from June 3:

Dilbert cartoon about Paul Krugman

Humanities in the 21st century

As many have observed, the humanities (and allied disciplines) at U.S. universities have gotten rather silly, these last few decades. Now they’re also falling from favor among job-conscious students:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The humanities division at Harvard University…is attracting fewer undergraduates…

Universities’ humanities divisions and liberal-arts colleges across the nation are facing similar challenges in the wake of stepped-up global economic competition, a job market that is disproportionately rewarding graduates in the hard sciences, rising tuition and sky-high student-debt levels.

Among recent college graduates who majored in English, the unemployment rate was 9.8%; for philosophy and religious-studies majors, it was 9.5%; and for history majors, it was also 9.5%…By comparison, recent chemistry graduates were unemployed at a rate of just 5.8%; and elementary-education graduates were at 5%.

Coincidence?

But, not to worry: Harvard’s Humanities department is prepared to sneer at anyone who doesn’t see how tremendously valuable they are:

This “is an anti-intellectual moment, and what matters to me is that we, the people in arts and humanities, find creative and affirmative ways of engaging the moment,” said Diana Sorensen, Harvard’s dean of Arts and Humanities…

Homi Bhabha, director of the Humanities Center at Harvard….said he didn’t give much weight to criticism from some elected officials who carp that young people need to go into fields that are supposedly more useful. “I think that’s because they have a very primitive and reductive view of what is essential in society,” he said.

Get it? If the Humanities are in decline – despite this being an age of left-wing triumph, and with university revenues/budgets near all-time highs – it’s not the fault of Humanities professors for too often failing to teach kids how to reason, usefully, about life’s problems. No, no, no. It’s everyone else’s fault for being primitive, reductionist and anti-intellectual.

All I can say is: I have an idea of what’s genuinely intellectual, and Sorensen/Bhabha are not it.

Via Zero Hedge.

UPDATE (from Dan): Jeff addresses a topic near and dear to my heart. There are many reasons the humanities are in decline and a good number of them trace back to the humanities professors themselves who focus on esoterica and offer, in the words of Homi Bhabha (whom Jeff quoted above) a “reductive view of what is essential in society”.

Perhaps were more humanities professors to show a genuine passion for the ideals which had defined their professor until scholars (thinking they were really quite clever) started “deconstructing” it in the 1970s, they would find greater interest among students.  But, professors would then have to make the case why the study of philosophy and great works of literature mattered to those who pursued careers in law, medicine, banking and commerce.

I highly recommend Bruce Bawer’s The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind which explores one aspect of the humanities’ decline in contemporary academia.

Filtered History vs. the Political Wheel of Fortune

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.”  I thought of that recently in seeing some of the media pushback against the publicity generated by the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas this week.  Thoreau’s quote is as true as ever about the state of contemporary philosophy, but it is also true about the state of historical inquiry:  these days we have professors of history more than historians.

The professoriate is a class with its own interests and its own agenda, an agenda that largely overlaps with that pursued by the majority of our lamestream media.  That agenda does not include the practice of history in the abstract, insofar as that involves presenting the evidence, weighing the options, employing reason, and drawing conclusions.  To most professors of history and folks in the media these days, history is only useful insofar as it serves their left-wing agenda.  Hence their resistance to the displays in the Bush library.

Consider this article from Yahoo! News:

DALLAS—As former President George W. Bush prepares to officially open his presidential library on Thursday, a question arises as it has for his predecessors: How objective will it be about his time in the White House?
Bush left office five years ago as one of the most unpopular presidents in history, his poll numbers weighed down by public discontent over his handling of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and worries about the economy.
But the former president wanted to take the controversies about his presidency head-on, say several former aides who worked closely with him on the library. One way of addressing the challenge is an interactive exhibit allowing visitors to see what it was like for him to make decisions as leader of the free world. People will hear information Bush was given by aides, then be asked to make their own choices. Afterward, the former president’s image will appear on a screen to explain what decision he ultimately made and why.
“He really wants people to go in there and get a sense of what it was like to be president during that time and to use that to make an informed decision about his presidency,” said Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush adviser.

In some respects,  the article strives to be slightly more balanced than I’m giving it credit for being, since it does point out controversies over the presentation of material in both the Clinton library and the LBJ library, as well, but I think it is materially different, too, in that Bush is trying to present the information that influenced his decisions and both the media and some so-called historians are crying foul over the fact that he is doing so.

One reason they don’t want Bush to tell his version of the story is that as the nightmare that is the Obama administration continues to develop, Bush is regaining popularity.  While I don’t often share Dan’s enthusiasm for Peggy Noonan’s writings, I was intrigued to see her recognizing the depth of the differences between the two men in her column this week where she wrote:

But to the point. Mr. Obama was elected because he wasn’t Bush.

Mr. Bush is popular now because he’s not Obama.

The wheel turns, doesn’t it?

Here’s a hunch: The day of the opening of the Bush library was the day Obama fatigue became apparent as a fact of America’s political life.

And she isn’t the only one.  Writing for Politico this week, Keith Koffler complained  about “Obama’s hubris problem,” prompting Neo-Neocon to ask the question that is on many of our minds: “And he thinks it’s only a second-term phenomenon? Where has he been, on planet Xenon?”

It seems like the media is unhappy this week because Bush is getting a fresh chance to tell his story independent of their filter, whereas the public is increasingly growing tired of the combination of arrogance, divisiveness, imperiousness, incompetence, and the need to politicize everything for which President Obama is increasingly known.

Perhaps, to modify Noonan a bit, the opening of the Bush library was uncomfortable for many of his admirers because, in seeing all five living presidents together again, the public got a chance to see them and to size them up, and as Joseph Curl wrote in the Washington Times W. easily outclassed Obama.

 

 

Misadventures in Multicultural Studies Indoctrination

Jeff’s post the other day about the questionable workshop at Brown University came to mind recently when I saw a very far-left Facebook friend link to this article by a professor named Warren Blumenfeld who had just retired from a position as a professor of education at Iowa State University.  The article contains the professor’s reflections and gives voice to both his lamentations and his indignity about those students who took his class who were not won over to his worldview and who had the temerity to announce that fact in their final papers.

The course was entitled “Multicultural Foundations in Schools and Society,” and Blumenfeld describes it in the following terms:

I base the course on a number of key concepts and assumptions, including how issues of power, privilege, and domination within the United States center on inequitable social divisions regarding race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, religion, nationality, linguistic background, physical and mental ability/disability, and age. I address how issues around social identities impact generally on life outcomes, and specifically on educational outcomes. Virtually all students registered for this course, which is mandatory for students registered in the Teacher Education program, are pre-service teachers.

In other words, this is a required course in “multicultural studies” indoctrination.  If the course were voluntary, it would be a slightly different situation, but as a required course, it amounts to an example of the sort of thing that conservatives can easily point to as illustrating the left-wing biases of academia.

Professor Blumenfeld is particularly alarmed by the case of two female students who tell him quite boldly that the course has not changed their socially conservative Christian worldview:

On a final course paper, one student wrote that, while she enjoyed the course, and she felt that both myself and my graduate assistant — who had come out to the class earlier as lesbian — were very knowledgeable and good professors with great senses of humor, nonetheless, she felt obliged to inform us that we are still going to Hell for being so-called “practicing homosexuals.” Another student two years later wrote on her course paper that homosexuality and transgenderism are sins in the same category as stealing and murder. This student not only reiterated that I will travel to Hell if I continued to act on my same-sex desires, but she went further in amplifying the first student’s proclamations by self-righteously insisting that I will not receive an invitation to enter Heaven if I do not accept Jesus as my personal savior since I am a Jew, regardless of my sexual behavior. Anyone who doubts this, she concluded, “Only death will tell!”

Now while we might question the wisdom of both students in advertising the heresy represented by their beliefs so boldly in a graded assignment,  I think we might also be heartened by their courage in being true to their faith, even if we do not agree with all of the particulars of their worldview.

The professor, however, is shocked and appalled, and the rest of the essay is his attempt to reconcile–through reference to one leftist theory and tract after another–what he calls “our campus environment, one that emboldens some students to notify their professor and graduate assistant that their final destination will be the depths of Hell.”  Notice his word choice, there.  The problem is with the “campus environment” which “emboldens some students.”  It seems like a foreign idea to this professor to think that a university could be a place for the free and open exchange of ideas, especially those ideas that are unpopular.  I trust we will not find him quoting Voltaire or Jefferson anytime soon.

No, instead what we get is a description of and a reflection on a course that sounds like it could have been lifted straight from  the pages of Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, albeit with a more contemporary reading list.  While the professor uses the (more…)

Obamacare Schadenfreude

Back in 2004, James Piereson coined the phrase “Punitive Liberalism” to describe a particular malady common in the days of severe Bush Derangement Syndrome.  James Taranto introduced many of us to the idea when he wrote:

Writing in The Weekly Standard, James Piereson offers a useful addition to the American political glossary: “punitive liberalism.” This “bizarre doctrine,” which found its fullest expression in the presidency of Jimmy Carter, holds that “America had been responsible for numerous crimes and misdeeds through its history for which it deserved punishment and chastisement.” Those who disagree “were written off as ignorant patriots who could not face up to the sins of the past.”  (Hat Tip: Ace; the original version of Taranto’s piece is only available currently at the Wayback Machine)

It is with some trepidation, therefore, that I describe some symptoms I have been experienced with increasing frequency over the last few months.

I first noticed the condition when I read, a few weeks after the election, that the Community College of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania was cutting “the hours of 400 adjunct instructors, support staff, and part-time instructors to dodge paying for Obamacare.”

“It’s kind of a double whammy for us because we are facing a legal requirement [under the new law] to get health care and if the college is reducing our hours, we don’t have the money to pay for it,” said adjunct biology professor Adam Davis.

My reaction?  When I read that, I could hear (to borrow a phrase from Taranto) one of the world’s tiniest violins playing in the background. I actually laughed and felt relieved about something in the political world for what may have been the first time since the disaster known as the 2012 Presidential Election.  Yes, I thought, even the leftists in academia will not manage to avoid paying for the mess that is Obamacare, and it will cost some of them far more than they imagined.

Then just a few days ago, I had an even stronger reaction when I heard that some unions were petitioning the  administration for special subsidies to defray the high cost of insurance under Obamacare.  Rick Ungar writes in Forbes:

Unhappy that important improvements in insurance benefits resulting from the healthcare reform law will now cost employers with union workers a bit more—improvements such as no longer permitting insurance policies to place the yearly and lifetime caps on benefits that leave beneficiaries high, dry and broke should they suffer a serious and expensive illness—some labor unions are now asking the government to change the rules to allow low-earning union workers access to the government subsidies so that their employers will not be disadvantaged when competing with companies who have non-union employees.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Becket Adams at the Blaze elaborates further:

No, really, union heads are acting like no one warned them that costs would go up.

“We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters.

“I heard him say, ‘If you like your health plan, you can keep it,’” said John Wilhelm, chairman of Unite Here Health, the insurance plan for 260,000 union workers. “If I’m wrong, and the president does not intend to keep his word, I would have severe second thoughts about the law.”

Why? Why? Why didn’t anyone tell these leaders about the costs associated with “Obamacare”? (more…)

Humiliating the Opposition, it’s the Obama Way

“Perhaps”, wrote Michael Barone Tuesday in the Washington Examiner, President Obama’s inability to “stomach listening to views he does not share” . . .

is to be expected of one who has chosen all his adult life to live in university communities and who made his way upward in the one-party politics of Chicago. Thus on the “fiscal cliff” he left the unpleasant business of listening to others’ views and reaching agreement to Joe Biden.

A sad commentary on higher education in America today that university communities are seen not as places open to diverse points of view, but as akin to the one-party politics of Chicago.  (Read the whole thing.  It’s Barone.)

If the university today were to be the kind of place it should be, then instead of it producing a man like the incumbent president unwilling to negotiate, it would produce a man nearly identical to the one the Obama campaign (with the active assistance of the media) created in 2008, a post-partisan healer able to consider both sides of an issue, able (as well) to offer respectful rebuttals to opposing points of view.

Such a leader would work with his partisan adversaries to compromise and arrive at a consensus, much as Bill Clinton did in working with then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congresses of the mid-1990s.

Instead of working with Republicans, however, Obama, Barone observes,

To judge from his surly demeanor and defiant words at his press conference Monday, Barack Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern.

That sage pundit and demographer finds that administration supporters have adopted this Obama strategy in “defending” a controversial nominee for the president’s second term cabinet. Chuck Hagel’s “vocal defenders tend to concentrate on attacking his detractors rather than make the affirmative case for his qualifications.”
Does seem to be the way Obama Democrats argue these days, by attacking their critics instead of arguing their positions.  And this from a man who promised to end the divisive politics of the past.

Why intelligent liberals often fail to make strong arguments

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:26 am - November 28, 2012.
Filed under: Academia,Liberal Intolerance,Liberals

In the thread yesterday to a college classmate’s Facebook post on supposed GOP voter suppression in Florida*, I made the case for voter identification laws.  When I provided evidence of voter fraud, including linking articles, he dismissed such notions as “claptrap,” with another classmate chiming in to tell me to ” Learn to actually think”.  Fascinating how educated liberals oftentimes refuse to acknowledge the facts conservatives present or to address the arguments we make.

And when we don’t agree with their arguments, they accuse us being narrow-minded — or not thinking.  Gee, wonder if he faults former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for not thinking, given that that liberal jurist defended the constitutionality of voter ID laws in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.

Almost at the same time that I was reading my classmates’ attempt to dismiss my arguments with quips, I caught an explanation for the behavior of this very bright men who attended a very good college on Instapundit:

I’ve always believed that academia’s liberal bias uniquely advantages conservatives and libertarians because it guarantees that such students do not grow up in an intellectual echo-chamber. Instead, they are challenged every day to communicate clearly, order their thoughts with care and sharpen their arguments.

What is sad is that so many of our liberal peers think they are making the better argument when they’re not making arguments at all.

They’re just so used to their liberal opinion being validated.

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Small book, big box

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:42 pm - June 23, 2012.
Filed under: Academia,Bibliophilia / Good Books,Blogging

Just got Glenn Reynolds’s latest book, The Higher Education Bubble, from Amazon. They used quite a big box for such a little book.

Looking forward to reading it!