Consumer note: The dog and I went for a walk in Vaughn Woods State Park yesterday. At $1 for a non-Maine senior, it was a bargain.
■ Proverbs Chapter 27 has been hit-or-miss. And mostly miss lately. Come on, 27:13:
Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger; hold it in pledge if it is done for an outsider.
If you're like me, your immediate reaction is: Huh?
But I think this is a continuation of 27:12, encouraging you to be prudent, especially when others are imprudent.
I note that other translations make that "outsider", variously, "an adultress", "a strange woman", "a wayward woman", "an immoral woman". I fear that our default translation (New International Version) may have been bowdlerized against sexism.
■ Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis has appeared here on occasion as a victim of campus moral panic. She self-identifies as a "left-wing feminist", but that doesn't mean she can't see the elephant in the room. An excerpt from her new book appears at Reason: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus
I'm all for feelings. I'm a standard-issue female, after all. But this cult of feeling has an authoritarian underbelly: Feelings can't be questioned or probed, even while furnishing the rationale for sweeping new policies, which can't be questioned or probed either. The result is that higher education has been so radically transformed that the place is almost unrecognizable.
■ By the way, a recent report at NPR's WBUR (Boston) affiliate covering Prof Kipnis's talk at Wellesley described her as a "provocateur". Implication: she's looking to stir up trouble!
Another reason to defund NPR.
■ The College Fix notes another sad story reflecting the prevailing Marcusian ideology on campus: Black students condemn ‘truth’ as invention of white people, want conservatives expelled. Their issue was with the president of Pomona College, David Oxtoby, who dared suggest the college's mission was "founded upon the discovery of truth". Nuh-uh, said the students:
The idea that there is a single truth--’the Truth’--is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.
As Orwell noted: "One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool." And the kiddos writing such foolishness didn't come up with it on their own; they had to be carefully taught.
■ The Daily Signal tries to be optimistic: Conservative Says Trump’s Export-Import Bank Nominations Could Bring in Era of Reforms. The nominations of two former GOP Congresscritters, one of whom was an ardent foe of Ex-Im, is the pony in the midst of all the horseshit for some:
“Having worked with both of these gentlemen so closely on the Financial Services Committee, I am hopeful they will safeguard taxpayer dollars and put an end to the bank’s well-documented management failures,” [Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb] Hensarling, R-Texas, said in a statement. “With Ex-Im so captured by special interests, the president was right to choose principled leaders like these to safeguard the agency against further mission creep, fraud, waste, and abuse.”
We'll see. But I fear…
■ … that the truth (sorry, Pomona undergrads!) might be more accurately reflected by KDW@NR, in his missive to Trump supporters: Ya Got Took.
No fighting China on currency, no wall, no NATO reform. Add a few more items to the list: Janet Yellen was definitely out before she wasn’t; our relationship with Russia was “great” during the campaign but today is a “horrible relationship” that is “at an all-time low” (he may not know about the Cuban missile crisis); the president could not make war on Syria without congressional approval (“big mistake if he does not!”) until he could. The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land. Steve Bannon of Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs, Steven Mnuchin of Goldman Sachs, and Dina Powell of Goldman Sachs are firmly ensconced in their various roles throughout the Trump administration. The alt-right basement-dwellers and sundry knuckleheads beamed that Trump was going to be a “nationalist,” and that he would give the boot to coastal elitists, moderates, and Ivy League snoots. In reality, Trump is a New York Democrat who is being advised by other New York Democrats — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner prominent among them — who are more or less the sort of people who brought you the Obama and Clinton administrations: business-friendly corporate Democrats, people who think of themselves as post-ideological pragmatists, consensus progressives who are much more interested in opening up backdoor channels to Planned Parenthood than they are in the priorities of people they consider nothing more than a bunch of snake-handling rustics and talk-radio listeners stockpiling gold coins and freeze-dried ice cream in their basements. Trump was a Clinton donor and a Chuck Schumer donor, and he is acting like one.
Whew! (Note: some of those Trump-reversals were actually good news.)