URLs du Jour


■ Proverbs 27:10 provides disaster-planning advice:

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.

I can only imagine that this is based on some specific disaster that befell the Proverbalist. Once, years ago, a camel stampede wiped out his hut. He went to live with his brother a few towns over while repairs ensued. But things didn't go well with his sister-in-law, a lousy cook, who didn't appreciate his recipe suggestions. His nieces and nephews were resentful brats, just because they were displaced from their own beds temporarily. And his wife kept making snide remarks about how much more successful his brother was.

Yeah, better that you impose on a nearby neighbor. Nothing could go wrong there.

■ Everybody's talking about it, so here it is. The "staff editorial" in the Wellesley College student newspaper, reassuringly titled Free Speech is not Violated at Wellesley. Its fascinating logic emanates (remember) from the future Hillary Clintons of our country, and I recommend you read the whole chilling thing. Here's the bit that everyone has highlighted:

We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way. It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control. While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance.

Could any Red Guard cheerleader have said it better? Well, yes. They probably would have written "We have all made problematic claims." But otherwise: "We are grateful for our indoctrination, correcting our Thoughtcrimes. We must extend the same to our peers as necessary, even though it's an unpleasant struggle."

Ah, but what if those Thoughtcrimes persist?

This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn. Rather, we are not referring to those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so. Paid professional lecturers and politicians are among those who should know better.

Or: You had your chance, Winston. Now things are gonna get ugly.

As I've pointed out (tiresomely) in the past: this is Marcuse 101, aka "repressive tolerance". The academics weaned on this ideology in the 60s and 70s are now "mentoring" their replacements.

■ As some wag said back in the day: "a fish, a barrel, a smoking gun". So if you'd like more comment on the Welleslian illiberality, here's Patterico who notes another confused sentence in the editorial: "Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech."

Do they mean to say that shutting down speech is hate speech? I think they meant to say: “Rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not free speech; it is hate speech.” That would still be a nonsensical statement, but at least it would convey the message the authors intended to convey — even if that message is a vapid parroting of leftist cant.

If you can't get your left cant right…

■ And there's good old Allahpundit:

You would think the Committee of Public Safety would give all citizens an opportunity to recant their thoughtcrimes and accept reeducation before “appropriate measures” are taken. But no, they’re quite explicit that if you’ve resisted previous efforts at deprogramming, “beration” is the only correct course. You can confess moral error or you can be flogged for it. Rarely do these screeds reveal their essence as religious manifestos as clearly as this one does.

Tuition, Fees, Room and Board at Wellesley is $66,984 for the upcoming academic year. Parents, if you want your kids to be either (a) successfully indoctrinated or (b) berated, you can probably get that a lot cheaper elsewhere.

■ One more commentary, from Heat Street's prolific Joe Simonson (who cites an incorrect tuition figure, but never mind).

Metaphysical implications about the inability to “exist in the real world” aside, the author argues free speech isn’t threatened at the all-female liberal art’s [sic] college (alumnae include two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, dowager news siren Diane Sawyer, and professional wrestling manager and pornographic actress Tamara Lynn Sytch), but only that the “Wellesley community will not stand for hate speech, and will call it out when possible.” Such a pronouncement might be reasonable if anyone with half a brain had faith in college students or professors to honestly and accurately identify supposed “hate speech.”

I have half a brain (approximately), and I have faith in college students and professors to honestly and accurately identify "hate speech" as "anything I don't happen to agree with."

■ Oh well, off with college follies, and onto Jonah Goldberg's G-File. There's an announcement: The Post-Trumpism Presidency Begins. And he makes a point you've seen here numerous times (mostly because I've stolen it from him, and expressed it less well):

Trump isn’t an ideological or philosophical conservative. He has no ideology or philosophy, rightly understood. This was obvious from the beginning and, contra Mike Allen, some of us saw it from day one. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a good president or have a politically successful presidency. But it will be difficult for an array of reasons both psychological and political. There’s lots of talk in Washington about how to fix the White House staff in order to properly constrain, channel, or direct Trump to victory. Good luck with that. I have zero confidence that Trump will reliably and consistently trade opportunities for political success — “wins” — for conservative victories over time. I also never bought that he was a particularly good manager. His presidency so far gives me no reason to rethink that.

Also a plague of bits about the NYT (correcting itself at Jonah's request), NPR's obudsman, and the dogs.

■ If you feel like irking an advocate of mandatory "paid leave" for moms, you can point them to this Cato blurb: Paid Leave Means Women Pay

Importantly, if the U.S. did move toward paid leave or job entitlements for women, the loss of wages and/or opportunities during childbearing-aged years would not be one-time penalties. Being passed over for a job, involuntarily mommy-tracked, or having wages slashed to pay for prospective benefits can have impacts that last a professional lifetime.

And don't forget: mandatory paid family leave also kills people.

■ At Reason, Glenn Garvin notes two worthwhile documentaries: Documentaries Put Spotlight on War Propaganda, one about each world war. The first (PBS's "The Great War"), notes

What The Great War does do, in truly spectacular fashion[,] is limn the voracious expansion of the American government midwifed by World War I. When Woodrow Wilson's uncertain attempts at neutrality floundered and he called for a declaration of war in 1917 because "the world must be made safe for democracy," it made the United States unique among the combatants, notes a historian in The Great War: "It was not fighting for survival. It was fighting for an ideal."

But as The Great War documents in horrifying detail, that ideal was the creation of a Leviathan state with unprecedented power: to draft young men and send them to a foreign war. To set price controls on food and impose dietary restrictions. To arrest and even deport political dissidents. To create a powerful government propaganda organ aimed not at enemy nations but the American people. (It expanded from one employee to about 100,000 in a couple of months.) To send goon squads known as Liberty Loan Committees roaming neighborhoods offering deals on war bonds that couldn't be refused.

When asked about America's worst Presidents, most historians point to Pierce or Buchanan. I'm not a historian, and I'd put Wilson pretty high on the list, if not at the top.