MLK@UNH 2018: Going Into Stealth Mode

The Dream of Martin Luther King,

[Update: This article turned out to be premature. More on what's going on at UNH for MLK here]

For many years, the University Near Here has conducted a "celebration" of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. It was kind of a big deal: invited speakers, book signings, candlelight marches, church services (aka "spiritual celebrations").

This coming year, things will be different. The announcement of the "16th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Summit" is remarkable in its reticence about what will actually happen.

There's a "theme": "Race, Sexuality and Romantic Identity, Ability". (OK, so that's maybe three themes.)

The description, in its entirety:

Named in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the MLK Summit is a two and a half day social justice development institute that allows students to build identity competencies and to expand their understanding of community activism.

This retreat is FREE and open to all** full-time undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in gaining a better understanding of diversity and working toward social justice on the UNH campus and beyond!

The MLK Summit is an excellent opportunity for students to create a greater sense of community and explore critical issues related to social inequity in a challenging environment that promotes growth, reflection, community building, and honest dialogue.

The usual activist windbaggery and jargon, of course. But no specifics, no lists of speakers or events, not even locations. Why, it's almost as if they don't want people to know what's going on!

And, unlike previous years, the public ain't invited to anything. Just full-time students, thanks very much. And it's not as if they can just show up either.

Because, this year, you have to fill out an application if you want your identity competencies built or your understanding of community activism expanded. It's a "competitive[!] and formal process", kid. Even though we said it's "open to all full-time undergraduates and graduate students", that may not include you, sorry.

I just got to the first page. In order to get beyond that, I would have had to lie. Chuckled at this, though:

They, Them, Theirs
She, Her, Hers
He, Him, His
Ze, Hir, Hirs
I use my name as my pronoun
My pronouns are not listed

… but they don't ask you to pigeonhole yourself otherwise. Except sneakily:

Please Attach a Photo of Yourself (Preferably a larger file)

Even though they say "please", the picture appears to be required. Leading one to suspect that they may not be judging applicants by the content of their character.

So, an awful lot of hoops the kiddos must jump through in order to attend. Couple this with the shying-away about what's actually gonna happen at the summit, and… it's almost as if they don't want people to show up.

Past Pun Salad MLK@UNH coverage: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017. We skipped reporting the 2008 and 2016 events, because they were boring.

Finally, I can't help but notice that most, if not all, records of UNH's previous MLK celebrations are now 404-memory-holed. Out of embarrassment? But if you really want to check out the differences between this year's non-event and previous years, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine is your friend. For example, here's 2009, the year of Angela Davis.

Last Modified 2018-12-28 5:43 AM EST

URLs du Jour


Proverbs 17:3 is a pretty good metaphor, the kind of thing we tune in to Proverbs to hear:

3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

That doesn't sound like a lot of fun, but … point taken.

■ Who can Republicans blame for Senator-elect Doug Jones? Jordan Gehrke at the Federalist has a plausible answer: Mitch McConnell Is The Reason Doug Jones Is A Senator. Because, to start, McConnell backed Luther Strange. But…

Strange was a flawed candidate from the jump. The circumstances around his appointment by scandal-ridden Governor Robert Bentley were sketchy at best, and rightly or wrongly, voters just never trusted him.

Looking back, an establishment candidate like Strange, beset by issues surrounding his appointment was never going to win a runoff in an anti-establishment state like Alabama–certainly not in the year after Donald Trump was elected.

Judge Roy Moore soon entered the race, followed by Mo Brooks, a conservative congressman from northern Alabama with a very solid voting record. A member of the House Freedom Caucus in the mold of Jeff Sessions, Brooks resonated with conservative grassroots. […]

Determined to keep a Freedom Caucus member out of the Senate, McConnell and [his PAC] swung into action with a little over a month to go, spending over four million dollars carpet-bombing Mo Brooks.  They told everyone who would listen that they were going to destroy Brooks. They even hired consultants for a potential primary challenger in his house seat, just to intimidate him.

… and Brooks came in third in the primary, leaving Strange and Moore to compete in a runoff, which Moore won handily. And then…

@kevinNR tells us about The Politics of Humiliation. Long and insightful, and here's the bottom line:

There is a better way to go about organizing the country than bonk-you-on-the-head tribalism, but it requires a measure of maturity and forbearance that we do not seem to be able to muster just now. The founding generation had Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Adams. We have Trump, Moore, Schumer, Pelosi. If the Almighty had wanted to teach us not to put our trust in princes, He could hardly have done any better. But this is our doing. We have this situation because we choose to have it, because we put our faith in naked political power and therefore choose to elevate the worst and ugliest among us. This is all on us.

Agreed, as long as the "us" is understood to mean "not me".

■ Two ex-profs involved in the Evergreen College insanity earlier this year, Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, look at how leftist intolerance is killing higher education. Again, the bottom line:

For today’s social justice warriors, only one narrative shall be allowed. It is unquestionable. Those who dissent are guilty. The “equity and inclusion” movement, cloaked in words that sound benevolent and honorable, is a bludgeon. To the outside world, Evergreen’s implosion looked like a student-motivated response to conditions on the inside. But the terrible conditions don’t really exist, and the real power dynamics, between administrators and faculty, were obscured by a narrative constructed to make resistance impossible.

The script [followed by the SJWs] showed up at our public, liberal arts college, and we, the evolutionary biologists, are now gone. It showed up at Duke Divinity School, and Paul Griffiths, a Catholic theologian, has resigned after being vilified for questioning training in racial equity. His words are to the point: “Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual. (Re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history; I hope you’ll keep that history in mind as you think about this instance.”

Coming to a University Near Here? I guess we'll see.

■ Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback is no fan of NFL Commissioner Roger "Five-Year, $200 Million Contract" Goodell.

The big implication of the new contract is that Goodell’s mega-payday should draw attention to the very subsidies the owners don’t want talked about. Stadium construction and operating subsidies, plus tax exemptions—most NFL teams don’t pay property taxes on their stadia or practice facilities, or pay trivial amounts compared to similar businesses—represent around $2 billion per year diverted from typical taxpayers to the mega-rich pashas of the NFL. That means about 15 percent of the NFL’s current roughly $14 billion a year in revenue is public subsidy.

The true number may be far larger. U.S. law allows images taken in public stadia to be copyrighted. All but a few of the NFL’s stadia are either mostly paid for by the public—the next Super Bowl, in Minneapolis, will occur on a field mostly financed by Minnesota taxpayers—or are entirely publicly owned. Yet the NFL copyrights the images from these fields; television licensing of the copyrights brings in far more revenue than ticket sales. If the ability to copyright games played in publicly financed facilities were viewed as a subsidy to the NFL’s landed-aristocracy class—and it should be—as much as 90 percent of the league’s revenues would be seen as gifts from the working class to the aristocratic class.

But if we stick with the most-conservative view of 15 percent of NFL revenue coming from average people, that suggests Roger Goodell’s new deal will allow him to stuff about $30 million in taxpayer funds into his pockets. American households with a current median income of $59,000 will be taxed so that Goodell receives $30 million for his Park Avenue luxury suite, his Versailles-sized vacation home in Scarborough, Maine, his personal private jet, and other perks.

Ouch. Here's what I didn't know: Roger is the son of onetime NY Senator Charles "Chuck" Goodell. Easterbrook liked Chuck a lot more than Roger. I remember mainly that Chuck came in third place in the 1970 NY Senate election, losing to James L. Buckley, WFB's brother.

■ Via Cato, the Daily Caller's Richard Pollock describes How The Republican Senate Saved The ‘Death Tax’.

The Senate tax reform bill does not repeal the “death” estate tax conservatives have long opposed, apparently because of at least three Republican senators. The three are among many who have received donations from insurance companies benefiting from the tax.

The House fully repealed the “death tax,” but Senate Republicans did not include a repeal in their version of the bill. Republican Sens. John McCain, Susan Collins and Mike Rounds, who are the only three Republican senators on-record opposing repeal, could be held responsible if the estate tax is not repealed in the final bill. The two chambers are now in the process of reconciling for final passage.

The article notes that it's not the rich plutocrats that are most active in lobbying against death tax repeal. It's the companies most involved in helping the rich plutocrats avoid the death tax. If the death tax goes away, so does a lot of the money they make off it.

Strangely, Democrats, usually insurance-company-bashers, are silent on this.