URLs du Jour


  • "Show me where the free speech touched you, child," said the Vice President of Inclusive Excellence. Making the rounds:

    Don't show this to anyone at the University Near Here, it might give them ideas.

  • But making matters worse… Yes, CRT/Wokism is bad news. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes notice of a bad reaction to bad news: New wave of bills on race and sex stereotyping violate academic freedom.

    As legislatures across the country begin or resume legislative sessions in the new year, lawmakers are introducing new bills that would seek to regulate how race and sex are addressed in K-12 classrooms and in America’s colleges and universities. Problematically, most of this year’s crop of bills that apply to the collegiate setting present unconstitutional intrusions into what can and cannot be taught.

    When these bills first started appearing last year, FIRE was quick to point out that while legislators have broader (but not unlimited) authority to set K-12 curriculum, the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom prevent the government from banning ideas from collegiate classrooms.

    The 65-year-old case of Sweezy v. New Hampshire is quoted. Our state has an unproud history of litigation about how the citizenry is allowed to express its views. In addition to Sweezy, see: Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire; Cox v. New Hampshire; Wooley v. Maynard.

    And some would like to add to the list:

    While some 2021 bills with unconstitutional classroom restrictions, like Pennsylvania’s HB 1532 and Ohio’s HB 327, remain pending in 2022, FIRE hoped that lawmakers introducing new legislation would take notice that the curricular bans were a constitutional non-starter. We were wrong.

    In legislatures across the country, including in states like Alabama (HB 8, HB 9, HB 11, and SB 7), Florida (HB 57 and SB 242), Indiana (HB 1134 and SB 167), Iowa (HF 222), Kentucky (HB 18), Missouri (HB 1484, HB 1634, and HB 1654), New Hampshire (HB 1313), New York (A 8253), Oklahoma (HB 2988), and South Carolina (H 4799), the bills contain unconstitutional bans on what can be taught in college classrooms. They must not be enacted in their current form.

    You want to show people that Your Side is just as bad as Their Side? This is how you do that.

    In addition, shutting down CRT at UNH would deprive Pun Salad of a lot of opportunities to point and laugh.

  • I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it. Ronny Soave notes the growing rebellion out west: Hispanic Students Were Forced To Learn Critical Race Theory. They Hated It.

    During the 2020 fall semester, Kali Fontanilla—a high school English language teacher working in the Salinas, California, school district—noticed that many of her students were failing one of their other classes: ethnic studies. This was at the height of the pandemic, and instruction was entirely online, leaving many students in the lurch. Still, Fontanilla thought it was odd to see so many Fs.

    Salinas has a majority Mexican population; all of Fontanilla's students were Hispanic and were learning English as a second language. Education officials who propose adding ethnic studies to various curriculums—and making it mandatory, as the Salinas school district did—typically intend for privileged white students to learn about other cultures. There's a certain irony in requiring members of an ethnic minority to study this, and an even greater irony in the fact that such students were struggling intensely with the course.

    "My students are failing ethnic studies," says Fontanilla, who is of Jamaican ancestry. "I would say half of them are failing this ethnic studies class."

    This made Fontanilla curious about what the course was teaching. All of the high school's teachers used the same online platform to post lesson plans and course materials, so Fontanilla decided to take a look. She was shocked by what she saw.

    "This was like extreme left brainwashing of these kids," says Fontanilla. "Critical race theory all throughout the lessons, from start to finish. The whole thing."

    Robby has screenshots. Ms. Fontanilla is pretty brave to risk getting blackballed for her "uncongenial" truth-exposing. Just imagine all the school districts lacking people with such bravery.

    [Headline reference explained here, if necessary.]

  • Without them, we wouldn't have any standards at all. Bari Weiss writes On Decency and Double Standards at Georgetown. And she, bless her heart, has a long memory:

    I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days about a tweet by a Georgetown professor.

    Look at this chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement.

    All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.

    That tweet was written in 2018 by Georgetown professor Carol Christine Fair about Republican senators who supported Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

    Fair also writes a blog called Tenacious Hellpussy, which she describes as “a nasty woman posting from the frontlines of fuckery.” There she notes: “Cunty women get shit done.” 

    I fully agree, though I might call it chutzpah. For evidence, we need look no further than Fair herself.

    Well, that's gonna wreck Pun Salad's PG-13 rating.

    Nevertheless, at the time, Georgetown stood behind Fair's free expression rights.

    Now consider how different the treatment Georgetown has afforded Ilya Shapiro, who has now been placed on Administrative Leave for a tweet that everyone (including Shapiro) agrees was poorly worded, and for which he's apologized. The "standards" used are obvious, and as Bari concludes:

    But the tragic reality here—what the cases [of] Fair and Shapiro show—is that there is no reward for being decent or admitting regret or apologizing. In our increasingly graceless culture, decency can be a one-way ticket to exile.

    We'll see what happens, I guess.

  • Mister, we could use a man like Milton Friedman again. Andrew Stuttaford asks and answers: What Is a Company For?

    The rise of stakeholder capitalism has focused attention on the question of what a company is for. In the U.S., at least, that question was thought to have been answered decades ago. The primary purpose of a business was that it should be run for the benefit of its owners — the shareholders — a view discussed and defended at length by Milton Friedman in an article for the New York Times (those were the days) back in 1970.

    The notion of shareholder primacy has, however, been under attack for some years, especially since a large number of CEOs co-signed a Business Roundtable redefinition of “the purpose of a corporation” in a way designed to fashion “an economy that serves all Americans,” language not too far removed from the “common prosperity” that is now (allegedly) the goal of the Chinese Communist Party, as the CCP reins in China’s private sector. That both the Business Roundtable (with its promotion of the idea that a company should meet “the needs of all stakeholders”) and Beijing have both embraced concepts that owe not a little to corporatism is striking. That stakeholder capitalism has found a generally warm welcome across the Atlantic is rather less so: Christian Democracy and other infinitely less savory European takes on corporatism (stakeholder capitalism is essentially an expression of corporatism) have roots on the continent that stretch back to the premodern era. Finally (adjust your tinfoil hats please), I’d add that stakeholder capitalism has long been a preoccupation of Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (“Davos”).

    It's been over fifty years since I read Atlas Shrugged (skipping over the 60-page John Galt speech). But I can still notice corporate heads trying out their James Taggart impressions.