The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (No. 8)

May 7, 2021

The Good

Be silenced no more. Freedom of speech is freedom of thought and freedom of thought is the single most important right there is. It must be defended at all costs. My friends at the Academic Freedom Alliance are doing great work to defend the intellectual freedom of professors to profess (see here). I think they’ll be busy for a while.

We are not in a good place when state governments feel the need to pass laws protecting free speech on college campuses, but at least they’re trying to preserve some semblance of liberty. “Montana Becomes Latest State To Protect Free Speech With the FORUM Act.

Nor are we are in a good place when state governments feel the need to pass laws telling teachers that they may not compel students to adopt certain viewpoints (e.g., Critical Race Theory), but at least someone is standing up and saying “no mas.” “Controversial Idaho Bill that Bans Indoctrination of Students Passes Senate.”

The dam is breaking and that’s a very good thing. From elite private schools in New York City to government schools in the Dallas suburbs, parents are fighting back against indoctrination and systemic racism (see here).

Carroll’s 2018 “Cultural Competence Action Plan,” or CCAP, included teaching children in “each grade” to see each other in racial terms and be treated according to skin color. It included a “tip line” for students to complain about each other as part of “an equity and inclusion grievance process system through which students can report instances of discrimination and other events that inhibit progress toward cultural competence goals.”

Students reported by fellow students were to have their “microaggressions and discriminatory behaviors” logged in their permanent digital records. In an application for $382,000 in state crime victim grants, the district claimed microaggressions by minors are “crimes” that merit not only maintaining a lifelong digital record but also possibly interaction with the criminal justice system. That could, of course, create even more detailed records to publicize when students participate in the political process as adults.

In the application, the district claimed slurs and other mean comments from children cause “psychological and mental traumatic injuries” and that when they occur, “ALL students become traumatized and victims” (emphasis original). The state denied the grant.

What did YOU do in the Great Culture War, Daddy: The British public will not stay forever silent as their values and beliefs are attacked.” This essay needs to be revised for America.

Nature abhors a vacuum. In the absence of a proper party to provide a focus and a forum for their discontent, the increasingly unhappy people of this country, incensed at seeing their values attacked, their beliefs mocked, their jobs destroyed, their heroes traduced, and their freedoms curtailed are unlikely to stay passive and silent forever.

(See full essay here.)

Revolt of the fathers. You can push around the American dad just so far and for just so long before he defends his children. Read this story of a father who said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” 

Not sure if this is good, bad, or ugly. Upper middle class white liberals who voted for Joe Biden in November are now resisting some of his policies because said policies negatively impact their children. (Story here.)

How do you know when the dam is about to break? “Pastors Welcome Rise in Private and Homeschooling in Black Communities.”

Is the medium the message? The medium through which ideas are transmitted is changing rapidly, and it seems to be changing for the better despite what’s happening at Twitter and Facebook. For many centuries, the primary vehicle for transmitting ideas was the university. That is no longer the case. New and interesting ideas in the humanities and social sciences will not be found today on college campuses. Some of the best and most important ideas (as well as the worst and most dangerous) are to be found at new online venues. Check out these Capitalist Havens of Free Speech.

Economics is said to be a science and the science is settled: the ideal government-sponsored minimum wage is $0.00. So sayeth (a long time ago) the New York Times. It’s not cool to be anti-science. Per usual, a couple of Republican Senators (e.g., Tom Cotton and Mitt Romney) are anti-science. (Story here.)

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That is the question! Dr. Paul Hsieh has an answer: “Not Everyone Wants to Be Vaccinated. I’m Ok With That.

Brutal takedown by Robert Tracinski of the never interesting but always unhinged Sohrab Ahmari (see here).

The Bad

I’m calling for Monty Python to come out of retirement. We have a skit for you to perform. Please mock this mercilessly. This would be pure comedy gold if it weren’t so vile: “Isaac Newton latest historical figure swept up in 'decolonisation' drive.

More child abuse in America’s government schools. “Oregon track coach blasts mask rule after runner collapses from ‘complete oxygen debt’.

Ripping the mask off: “Roosevelt University Profs Caught Gloating on Zoom Call: ‘It’s All Social Justice, all Day’”: “said they were proud to advocate for so-called ‘social justice’ Marxist economic concepts.

Nurse “Ratchet It Up” is back: Biden Is Using the Pandemic as an Excuse for Permanent Expansions of Government.

We are so screwed!  The CIA goes intersectional. Defund the Deep State now! 

Whoops! The Deep State just figured out how to fund itself permanently. You can run but you can’t hide from The Deep State. It will find you and it will make you pay, pay, and pay more. According to Janet Yellen, the U.S. is now pushing to end a global “race to the bottom” on corporate taxes. Go to the bottom, I say! Seriously, these people are both remarkably stupid and remarkably immoral. Always a bad look!

Janet Yellen: “We are very actively engaged with other countries to end what has been a global corporate tax race to the bottom,” she said. “I fear this race to the bottom globally with respect to corporate taxes is depriving economies of the revenue they really need to invest in infrastructure, education, research and development and other things to spur growth and also impact corporate competitiveness.”

. . . Ultimately, she said companies will pay more taxes in the U.S., but she said the revenues are necessary to help fund the expansive spending programs on the administration’s agenda.

Read about how The Deep State feeds itself here:

There are other ways, however, in which the race to the bottom is a very bad thing, and that’s where we are headed with alarming speed. Our cultural elite is looking for the bottom and surely they are approaching it. To put perverse spin on a famous line from The Bible: “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

The attack on excellence and achievement is one side of the pincer movement. The other side is the injection of Marxist ideology, dressed up in a new rhetorical garb, into not only our schools but also the workplace and throughout the federal government.

We are asking, seeking, and knocking for all the wrong things. Depressing read of the week. Roger Kimball on “The Slow-Motion Suicide of the West.

The Ugly

“To a gas chamber, go!” This is not going to end well. “Barnard College Instructor Discusses Blowing up and Gassing Whites in Coming Race War”: 

More calls for genocide coming from higher ed. “Stanford Student Senator Says White People Need to be Eradicated.

I am not a Christian, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is a lie: “Yale sociology prof says Christian homeschooling is ‘vector of white Christian nationalism’.”

I am not a Christian, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that I would go to jail to defend this man’s right to speak.

. . . and the Beautiful

Icelandic pianist, Víkingur Ólafsson, offers a deft yet deeply moving performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for piano—Adagio. If you can manage it, listen to this piece of music alone, with the lights turned off, and with your eyes closed. Let the notes wash all over you.

Don’t forget to submit your aesthetic recommendations to: Please always use as your subject line: “The Beautiful.”

Have great week!