April 10th, 2014

Brandeis, the death of Cornell, and the death of the university

The behavior of Brandeis’ administration in withdrawing its honorary degree invitation from Hirsi Ali has drawn a great many accusations of cowardice. The word “craven” (which I used yesterday) comes to mind, and not just to my mind. Witness Bill Kristol, who has called the action a “craven capitulation” and pointed out that, in the recent past, Brandeis has had no trouble awarding honorary degrees to people such as Tony Kushner who’ve accused Israel of being guilty of ethnic cleansing and of causing “terrible peril in the world.”

Then there’s John Podhoretz, who in his Commentary piece eschews “craven” as a description of Brandeis’ president Fred Lawrence, preferring “gutless, spineless, simpering coward.”

But academic cowardice is nothing new in the face of threats from special interest groups the university either wants to placate or is afraid of, or both. Profiles in courage in academia have been few and far between, and principles? They’re malleable, mutable, and flexible enough to fit the practical necessities of pandering to the favored interest group du jour.

Which brings us to a little history lesson from the 60s, the epicenter of much that’s bad in academia, when trends that had been building for decades came to unfortunate fruition.

In previous posts of mine about Allan Bloom’s highly-recommended book The Closing of the American Mind, I’ve mentioned that one of the most riveting parts of the book is when Bloom describes the moral collapse of the faculty and administration of so many universities during the 60s, their abject and craven failure to defend their own principles, and their eager willingness to cave to threats and intimidation. I decided to publish a longish excerpt illustrating all of this, to whet your appetite for the book if you haven’t yet read it.

In the following excerpt Bloom is describing an incident that occurred when he was a faculty member at Cornell during the late 60s, when black militants with guns occupied a campus building and made demands. Bloom had gone to the university provost to speak up for a black student of his (unnamed in the book, but actually Alan Keyes—who happens, in a strange twist of fate, to have been the person Barack Obama soundly defeated in his 2004 US Senate race, when Keyes was put on the Republican ballot as a hasty substitute for Jack Ryan). Keyes had earlier been threatened by a black professor at Cornell for refusing to take part in a demonstration. Here’s what Bloom says transpired [emphasis mine]:

The provost was a former natural scientist, and he greeted me with a mournful countenance. He, of course, fully sympathized with the young man’s [Keyes'] plight. However, things were bad, and there was nothing he could do to stop such behavior in the black student association…He added that no university in the country could expel radical black students, or dismiss the faculty members who incited them, presumably because the students at large would not permit it.

…The provost had a mixture of cowardice and moralism not uncommon at the time. He did not want trouble. His president had frequently cited Clark Kerr’s dismissal at the University of California as the great danger…At the same time the provost thought he was engaged in a great moral work, righting the historic injustice done to blacks. He could justify to himself the humiliation he was undergoing as a necessary sacrifice. The case of this particular black student clearly bothered him. But he was both more frightened of the violence-threatening extremists and also more admiring of them. Obvious questions were no longer obvious. Why could not a black student be expelled as a white student would be if he failed his courses or disobeyed the rules that make university community possible? Why could the president not call the police if order was threatened? Any man of weight would have fired the professor who threatened the life of the student. The issue was not complicated. Only the casuistry of weakness and ideology made it so…No one who knew or cared about what a university is would have acquiesced in this travesty. It was no surprise that a few weeks later—immediately after the faculty had voted overwhelmingly under the gun to capitulate to outrageous demands that it had a few days earlier rejected—the leading members of the administration and many well-known faculty members rushed over to congratulate the gathered students and tried to win their approval. I saw exposed before all the world what had long been known, and it was at last possible without impropriety to tell these pseudo-universitarians precisely what one thought of them.

It was also no surprise that many of those professors who had been most eloquent in their sermons about the sanctity of the university, and who had presented themselves as its consciences, were among those who reacted, if not favorably, at least weakly to what was happening. They had made careers out of saying how badly the German professors [during the Nazi era] had reacted to violations of academic freedom. This was all light talk and mock heroics, because they had not measured the potential threats to the university nor assessed the doubtful grounds of academic freedom. Above all, they did not think that it could be assaulted from the Left or from within the university…These American professors were utterly disarmed, as were many German professors, when the constituency they took for granted, of which they honestly believed they were independent, deserted or turned against them…To fulminate against Bible Belt preachers was one thing. In the world that counted for these professors, this could only bring approval. But to be isolated in the university, to be called foul names by their students or their colleagues, all for the sake of an abstract idea, was too much for them. They were not in general strong men, although their easy rhetoric had persuaded them that they were—that they alone manned the walls protecting civilization. Their collapse was merely pitiful, although their feeble attempts at self-justification frequently turned vicious. In Germany the professors who kept quiet had the very good excuse that they could not do otherwise. Speaking up would have meant imprisonment or death. The law not only did not protect them but was their deadly enemy. At Cornell there was no such danger…There was essentially no risk in defending the integrity of the university, because the danger was entirely within it. All that was lacking was a professorial corps aware of the university’s purpose, and dedicated to it. That is what made the surrender so contemptible.

I’ll stop there, somewhat arbitrarily, because I could go on and on. Bloom himself goes on to discuss the curriculum “reforms” that gutted the universities; we all know where they have led.

Bloom resigned from Cornell and went on to teach at various other illustrious universities, ending his career with a lengthy stint at the University of Chicago. We know what happened to Keyes, who also left Cornell at about the same time (and went on to study at Harvard, becoming Bill Kristol’s roommate). And another professor at Cornell at the time, the brilliant Thomas Sowell (who apparently was the only black professor there when he was hired in 1965), has written his own account of the 1969 demonstration, entitled “The Day Cornell Died.”

33 Responses to “Brandeis, the death of Cornell, and the death of the university”

  1. Eric Says:

    Yep, activism. It works. And anyone can use it.

    People of the Right can keep inveighing against Marxist-method activism with self-imposed helplessness and superstitious dread, or the people of the Right can man up as competitors and adapt the proven pathways for social change established by the Left.

    What you’re describing, Neo, are conditions where the essential mission of culturally reforming the Academy is realistically doable – but only if the Right utilizes the correct method of doing so.

    The correct social-cultural normative method – activism – has already been amply demonstrated by the Left. As the successful student-veterans and ROTC advocates recently demonstrated at Columbia University, the effectiveness of the activist method is not exclusive to the Left.

  2. T Says:

    I think the unspoken message in Eric’s comment above is that the non-left must begin to realize that inaction not only gives the field to the left, but is also a tacit agreement to play by the rules that the leftists have set. Why would anyone of sane mind agree to that?

    The most recent boondoggle is the left’s drumming of “inequality.” Inequality of wages, inequality of opportunity (actually meaning inequality results), etc. The real argument is not to show that that inequality is explained away by certain details (longer working hours, more dangerous work circumstances, etc.) The real issue is that inequality is not evil or bad in the first place; it is a fact of life.

  3. Paul in Boston Says:

    I arrived at the University of Chicago for grad school in 1969 right at the end of the era of major activism. Nothing of signifcance happened there because the one attempt was met by promptly expelling all the students involved. Worked like a charm, except for The Students For Violent Non-Action who threw fabulous parties featuring Purple Lightning. One of my fellow teaching assistants had a terrible time going to or teaching class for several days after one of them. Bloom wound up in the right place.

  4. sdferr Says:

    Bloom began at the right place, so it is little wonder he was still there at the end.

  5. Eric Says:

    T,

    You’re referring to the frame or framing. Frame goes to premise, which in turn shape the narrative and zeitgeist that form the cultural/political parameters of the social environment. Think of it as malleable physics.

    Yes: a fundamental component of activism is imposing your preferred normative frame rather than restricting yourself to the normative frame imposed by your competitor.

    To add to my prior comment in reference to Neo’s point about the “cowardice and moralism” of university professors, the civil-military reform movement at Columbia included Columbia professors who played critical roles.

    However, it’s important to note that the professors were not involved in founding the campus movement. As they made clear, the professors could not have started the civil-military movement on campus. The Columbia faculty advocates joined the movement after it was established on campus by Columbia student activists. After they joined, the professors then played critical roles in advancing the movement into the administrative and faculty spaces.

    As is true for any complex method, activism is a process and the sequence of steps matters.

    The people of the Right will be able to enlist faculty in a normative campus movement, but the campus activist movement must be constructed correctly in order to do so.

  6. Ymarsakar Says:

    One of the black thugs that terrorized the campus Bloom was on, is now an investment banker on Wall Street making money.

    See how the Left works?

  7. Ann Says:

    Michael Rubin over at Commentary talks about a new book, Unlearning Liberty, which seems to be a sort of update of Bloom’s work:

    [The author] describes—with ample evidence and numerous anecdotes—the implication of the 1990s political correctness movement; the rise of campus speech codes; bureaucracies and lack of due process; the transformation of identity politics into a religion and the sacrifice of respect for individual religious choices at the altar of identity politics; the lack of due process in campus judiciaries and their prosecution of ideological crimes; and much, much more. Alas, it’s not just students who suffer: Few professors say they feel free expressing their opinion openly, and administrators who have many opinions but shallow academic background often seek to censor what can be taught so as to insulate students from offense.

    So many fronts to fight on!

  8. Ray Says:

    I was a college student in the early 1960s and we used to joke there was nothing so cowardly as a college president. There was a book about senators written by JFK (supposedly) titled “profiles in courage”. We thought there should be a book about college presidents titled profiles in cowardice.

  9. southpaw Says:

    A sad commentary on the academic community which prides itself in open minded thinkinp. It’s always been an interesting dilemma to me that rejecting an idea or embracing one that you have carefully contemplated, can get you branded a neanderthal by those who value only the idea that there are no right or wrong answers.
    Since my philosophical commentary is not exactly a news flash, I would like to pick up on the cowardice theme, particularly in the Eric Holder comments. The coffee shot out of my nostrils this morning when hearing his comments about being the victim of racism- this from a man who smugly and self righteously labeled us all as a ” nation if cowards”
    Cowardice doesn’t end at the University campus- it’s apparently a main export.

  10. T Says:

    Ann,

    “. . . administrators who have many opinions but shallow academic background often seek to censor what can be taught so as to insulate students from offense.”

    In other words, university administrators are no different than elementary assistant school principals who punish students for chewing a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun (or making a gun shape with their hand).

    And we wonder why the education system is as broken as it is. It brings a literal meaning to the phrase “petty bureaucrat.”

  11. T Says:

    Southpaw,

    “A sad commentary on the academic community which prides itself in open minded thinkinp.”

    Groups can pride themselves on anything, it doesn’t avoid the fact that as any group matures it tends toward naval gazing and a closed economic/intellectual/fiscal (etc.) posture to stave off the competition (think the guilds, the unions, the landed gentry aristocracy, the Marxists/Bolsheviks, etc.).

    Groups become status symbols to distinguish themselves from others who are not members of that group. They reveal the profound irony (and wisdom) of Hugo Hackenbush’s (?) pronouncement that “I would never join any group that would have me as a member.”

  12. Matthew Says:

    That a lot of the professors who caved in were quick to condemn German professors does not surprise me. It’s easy to hold others to a higher standard than yourself. This is particularly true of the left who don’t have principals as much as feelings.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    We are watching yesterday’s generation of inmates, turning over the ‘asylum’ to the next generation. It will end… badly.

  14. Steve57 Says:

    Eric said:

    “Yep, activism. It works. And anyone can use it.

    People of the Right can keep inveighing against Marxist-method activism with self-imposed helplessness and superstitious dread, or the people of the Right can man up as competitors and adapt the proven pathways for social change established by the Left.”

    I don’t know. I don’t know if people of the right even know what it is they’re inveighing against. They think they’re dealing with fair minded and well intentioned people. In fact, people on the right keep conceding the point how those on the left “have their hearts in the right place.”

    No they don’t. They’re nasty, vicious pieces of work who don the mantle of unparalleled virtue in order to indulge in their unbridled hatred guilt-free. It’s why gulag guards from Pyongyang to Moscow can/could be so gleefully and murderously brutal. Weren’t they the vanguard of he revolution and defenders of socialist morality dealing with worthless non-humans, wreckers and hoarders, who held all the wrong opinions. Those people had no right to live. Or, in today’s America, no right to a job. We’re not quite their yet. But the those on the right need to understand there are people who want to take us there.

    I think what needs to happen is first the left needs to be exposed for who they are. In addition to understanding that their hearts are not in the right place, people need to understand the issue is never the issue. They don’t care about what or whom they claim to care about. The only thing they care about is always power, pure and simple. So the right should never engage the left on their terms. Instead, people on the right need to analyze the left will use whatever is handy as a weapon to accrue power. And then only engage the left in a way to expose their bad faith.

    Think the Wellstone memorial. Remember how the leftists used the occasion of Paul Wellstone’s death to ambush the Republicans who showed up to pay their respects, and demanded that they demonstrate their respect by advancing Wellstone’s socialist agenda. That event was not nor was it intended to be a memorial service.

    One of the classic lessons in this is the black racist shakedowns of corporations. Whenever there’s any incident that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, etc., can frame as racist they demand “justice.” Usually what happens is the cowards running the corporation make some sort of settlement where they refuse to admit to any wrongdoing, but agree to send their people to some sort of reeducation camp and a hefty cash payoff.

    This is of course acceptable to the Jacksons et al because it was what they were after all along. Because why did they settle if they weren’t racist? And they use that to go back to the base and say, “See, we told you they were racist.” This maintains the siege mentality among blacks, particularly black voters. The kind that delivers a percentage of the black vote to the Democrats that you don’t see outside of Middle Eastern dictatorships. The kind that makes the most heinous racist attacks against black conservatives as Uncle Toms or in Condosleaza Rice’s (Barack Obama’s Pastor’s nickname for her) case an Aunt Jemimah.

    And those on the right who are daily accused of speaking in “dog whistles” when engaged in normal speech look at the over-the-top vitriol and wring their hands and say, “Oh my, look at the double standard.”

    Get over it. The left doesn’t want a set of standards that apply equally to everyone. They want power, pure and simple.

    A few courageous business owners have refused to concede a thing because they knew exactly what was going on. You can’t meet the left halfway, you can’t concede a thing. Ever.

    First you have to understand the game.

    Sorry for going on.

  15. Mike Says:

    “All that was lacking was a professorial corps aware of the university’s purpose, and dedicated to it. That is what made the surrender so contemptible.”

    All that was lacking…. Bloom was not joking, but he should have been. Poor guy. Brilliant guy. I read that book when it first came out and it blew me away.

    But that Bloom was shocked is what is shocking. He was naive.

    Higher education? That went out with Medieval Universities. What was taken for cultured learning was only “Science” (for the actual technological advances) and then only living off the great capital the Rockefellers of the Medieval System had built up.

    What began to happen around the time of the French Revolution was a run on the bank and various panics up until about 1968. At that point the total bankruptcy was clear. Poor Bloom was just waking up as the whole thing was winding down and he thought it had happened just recently.

    It is as it ever was. You want a real renaissance? Go back to the classics. Go medieval. Go Paris and Bologna and Seats of Wisdom.

    Brandies. A serious place> Only to suckers and sociopaths and culture vampires.

  16. George Pal Says:

    Socrates:
    “If virtue is knowledge, will it be taught?”

    Not, apparently, if you hand over the teaching to those who’ve redefined virtue as various dissociative Marxist and neo-Marxist tactics meant to demolish what had taken centuries to build. All that will destroy every vestige of the old order is permissible, is a virtue. That Bloom was so excoriated by these very people, the professoriate, and their administrators makes all the case that needs be made against them. The university is indeed dead and dead so long the stench is unbearable. That they still exist in the form they do, unviable to the purpose of their charters, indicts the ‘civilization’ that puts up with it. The world has always had demolishers but it also had those who would defend it from them. No more. Now the world – the West – is made of demolishers, collaborators, and the otherwise engaged.

  17. Ymarsakar Says:

    Steve57, have you heard that the science fiction writers of America have become a Leftist bastion and base to launch gulag like suppression of novelists and authors?

    Another front in the war the Left wages against humanity, specifically the humans in America. Which meaning a lot of people we know.

    http://voxday.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/sfwa-petition.html

    This all came about because they allowed people like David Brin and John Scalzi to recruit a bunch of Leftist authors (that never wrote much of anything) into the organization, giving them the power to “exert” leverage.

    As happened with the feminist first wave organizations, hijacked. As happened with the planes on 9/11, we built it and they hijacked it. As happened with civil rights built by Malcom X and MLK (who they both killed) hijacked by weaklings and trash boys.

    The Greeks fought the decadence and weakness of relying merely on the intellect with rhetoric, emotion, and battle prowess. Their philosophers were also citizens and soldiers.

    The intellectual lacks the backbone to effect his words into reality. The soldier and warrior merely uses violence and brute force, obeying authority or instinct. The combination of the two resolves a lot of the weaknesses and moral corruption of humans.

    No wonder the Left banned dodge ball and physical exercise for males. They were planning to circumcise the human race.

  18. Ymarsakar Says:

    People in the West never did quite understand what Socrates is about. But the people here, those increasingly 3% of the minority humans, now have a good chance to see these words for what he meant them as.

    I would rather die having spoken in my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet in law ought any man use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death, if a man is willing to say or do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs deeper than death.

    -Socrates before the Athenian death panel

  19. Steve57 Says:

    Ymarsakar, I’m not much of a Sci-Fi fan. History is more my thing. I know that the SFWA have taken it upon themselves to become propagandists for leftist causes. They have seen the future, and it doesn’t include me.

    But then being a history buff I also know that Socrates fought bravely at Delium. He was not a rhipsaspis, a “shield tosser.” I think I understand a little bit of what he was about.

    I’m sure Vaclav Havel did.

    http://history.hanover.edu/courses/excerpts/165havel.html

    “The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble.

    …Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient;’ he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome this complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with the workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.”

    It’s amusing that college administrators in the ’60s went through the same rationalization process as Czech grocers. And with less cause.

    There was a German bureaucrat from Hamburg who escaped the Nazis and later became a University professor in the US. At Columbia, I believe. Anyway, he had a term for the sign the Czech greengrocer was expected to put up. A “symbol of compliance.”

    I “grew up” so to speak mostly in the post Tailhook scandal Navy. I wish I had kept the training materials we were given in the fallout of that. We were told to document all unprovent allegations against an individual on the theory that where there’s smoke there’s fire. The clear implication was that if an individual racked up enough unproven allegations, that should be packaged together into one big “assumed to be true” allegation. Or something. And I decided I wasn’t going to go along with that.

    I would say things like, in the immediate aftermath when everybody else who like me wasn’t even at the convention but were deploring the bad behavior, that some of those guys were friends of mine and they weren’t rapists and I wasn’t going to say they were. Sure enough every single one who demanded a court martial was cleared.

    My final act before leaving active duty but remaining in the reserves was at a GMT session about sexual harrassment. A female JAG officer and supervisor from the Naval Supply Center Sandy Eggo presiding. They wanted to impress on us just how seriously the Navy took sexual harrassment. They told the story of some low level supervisor who tried to counsel about some lady about the way she was dressing because her co-workers were complaining to him. She accused him of sexual harassment and the upshot was, among other things, he was forbidden to be alone with her in the same room.

    One day he volunteered to work the customer service desk during lunch hour. Some guy came in with some request he didn’t know how to handle, so he went to see if there was anyone who knew how to deal with it. He stepped into one office, saw “her” with her back turned to him and immediately left without saying a word. In any case somehow the command found out that he had been alone in the same office as the woman he had been forbidden to be alone with so they fired him. That, they told us, was how seriously the Navy took sexual harassment.

    I want to emphasize that for the most part the women I worked with were great. Like the men. There’s always a few, but for the most part, great. And it was clear to all of us that the Navy had just crushed some guy who, by their own account, was really just trying to do the right thing just to make a point. Everybody gasped. So I raised my hand and asked a question that made clear my displeasure and this JAG officer’s jaw dropped. She asked me, “Don’t you think sexual harassment is a danger you need to protect your Sailors against?”

    I said, “LT, I think you’re a danger I need to protect my Sailors against.” Then my CO shut everyone up saying that was enough.

    Given what’s happened in the past 13 years this hardly counts as an act of courage. Really, what was the risk? I hadn’t read Vaclav Havel’s story about the greengrocer but if I sat there and didn’t say a word it would have meant I was afraid. Certain minimum standards must be maintained. I’d rather speak in my own manner than someone else’s. If I can be compromised in that, what else can I be compromised in?

  20. gpc31 Says:

    I repeat, Eric Holder was one of the student thugs in the Columbia student revolt.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    Those fleas are always growing up to be big bad Leftists.

    If one had gotten rid of it with DDT in the beginning….

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    Steve, back when I still thought the US military had a competent or semi competent H2H training system, I was surprised to hear from a source that the Army’s anti rape training consisted solely of a power point lecture, perhaps every week or month, with no physical training, mat time, or simulation work. No classes on how to shoot green comrade rapists with a sidearm at less than 21 feet. No ability to determine when rape is occurring and the permission to fire is given for women on FOBs in Iraq, since it is hard line conditioned for US soldiers not to shoot unless commanded to and definitely not to shoot fellow soldiers in the face.

    So I was sitting there and I’m like, hey, why doesn’t the Army just use the civilian instructors I know about and teach their women how to actually counter rape? And the justification or excuse I got back was something along the lines that if women could kill based on individual judgment, that would be a problem, sort of like diversity at Ft. Hood requiring everyone to be disarmed and the armory to be locked down.

    There was something rotten in Denmark and it wasn’t just Eric Holder’s zombie corpse and teeth. This was during the Bush II admin, so I can only imagine how it has progressed under the Obama Regime.

    Sliding off into a different topic.

    The Japanese, even though they are considered a pacifist nation and is self considered as a pacifist nation that relies upon foreigners for protection, have a social and cultural training tool that would be very powerful if they could break through the military (centralized) authoritarian tradition.

    Now time to dig up Tom Kratman’s training article.

    http://www.baen.com/WarTraining-Part5.asp

    I liked Kratman’s individual focus in his novels, concerning training cadre for war. It felt somewhat more unconventional like insurgency, rather like conventional army training. This article explores that background of his in more depth.

    So basically, the chain of command is not merely the top JAG or officer micromanaging what everybody below him does, sexually or militarily. Kratman’s concept of individual roles and initiative requires that people know how to give orders and know how to receive orders, but at every rank and level, not merely for officers.

    Japan has something called kouhai and senpai titles, which means even a high school freshmen-sophmore is expected to obey and heed the directives of their seniors. And the seniors are expected to teach and guide their juniors, kouhai. This constructs a society based around a chain of command, but not a top down hierarchy so much as a bottom up hierarchy where a person’s individual loyalty to their family and friends may actually trump the Authority of the Regime. Thus it’s often in direct conflict with traditional military training.

    Even though it is a naturally better form of war training.

    Older brothers are expected to protect and mentor their younger siblings. Older sisters are expected to do the same for their younger brothers. When you are new in high school, you are expected to take orders. When you grow older, you become the leader since there’s no seniority clause keeping the Old Guard around until the next aeon. Things like this is why Japan doesn’t fall into looting when things like tsunami hit, at least compared to Katrina. When the org at the top wants relief supplies to be given to a disaster region, the Japanese filters these commands and supplies down through natural home grown unorthodox chains of commands. That ensures any problems that crop up at the bottom are fixed.

    The Leftist alliance is a totalitarian slave system that is based around Top Down obedience, often times more strict than the NKVD did shooting the Russian fodder for retreating in WWII.

  23. Ymarsakar Says:

    As for the Left’s sexualization and orgy enforced dogma, we’ve deconstructed some of it here at Bookworm Room.

    http://www.bookwormroom.com/2014/04/10/alcohol-rape-and-man-hating-sharia-on-college-campuses/

    The Left and the Demoncrats in their alliance, don’t really want to protect or help women against rape. That’s not the goal for them.

    The same is true for sexual harassment in the US military.

  24. Beverly Says:

    All this foofaraw inspired me to look at my alma mater’s course list. I recommend this exercise to all of you:

    “Western Civilization”: No results
    “Milton”: No results
    “Shakespeare”: “Selected readings” only
    “18th Century Literature”: No results

    But they had Brazilian Civ, you betchya, and other such peripheral stuff.

    My “alma mater” is no longer worthy of the name. It is a — WAS a fine private Southern university. Hell, we didn’t even have protests in the 1960s. Now it is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of Leftism.

  25. T Says:

    Yamrsaker (4/10 @ 3:51):

    “One of the black thugs that terrorized the campus Bloom was on, is now an investment banker on Wall Street making money.”

    gpc31(4/11@12:22):

    “. . . Eric Holder was one of the student thugs in the Columbia student revolt.”

    To quote Ymarsaker: “See how the Left works?”

  26. sdferr Says:

    There is yet a still small voice crying in the higher education wilderness Beverly: St. John’s College. Seekers of wisdom might even look to make this a model of fundamental education. If memory serves, this “new” program was instituted in 1937, and so far as I can say from afar is going strong today.

  27. Amy Says:

    Today the Wall Street Journal published Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis

    “When there is injustice, we need to speak out, not simply with condemnation, but with concrete actions.

    One of the best places to do that is in our institutions of higher learning. We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged. I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today. I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.

    I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.

    The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.

    So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.

    Is such an argument inadmissible? It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.

    The motto of Brandeis University is “Truth even unto its innermost parts.” That is my motto too. For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes.”

    Instead of hearing and thinking about those important words, the women of Brandeis are invited to try on “Scarves for Solidarity” during Islam Awareness Week. From the Facebook event page…

    “Have you ever wondered about the headscarves Muslim women wear? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to wear one? For Scarves For Solidarity, wear a head scarf for a day and experience it for yourself! There will be a discussion held at the end of the day in the MSA suite from 8-9pm with refreshments! :) **Any rectangular scarf will work!!! We will have couple of scarves to provide but only a limited amount! We will be in Lower Usdan from 12-2 pm on the day of the event, if you would like help with wearing the scarf! :)”

    I am beyond disgusted.

  28. T Says:

    Amy,

    I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s in a neighborhood replete with older immigrant European women who commonly wore babushkas (as we knew them). Perhaps because of this I have less concern about head scarves than shadors or burkas, but I do recognize the attempt to associate them with Islam as a sort of trademark. Perhaps because they are rarely worn now except by Islamic women I should re-evaluate that apathy. In either case, they do seem to be an artifact of times past.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    Amy, one way to infiltrate that is to wear scarves with the Tea Party logo attached to it or some facsimile. Then video tape their reactions and fanaticism when they see it on you. Covertly record them, ala O’Keefe, then use their suppression as merely another tool in the propaganda box when they try damage control and making excuses about equal rights and privacy.

    The intent of insurgency operations in the beginning is to force the hand of the occupation, so that the occupation over reacts and convinces people that the insurgents are correct. In that sense, casualties are desired. The more friction, the more fanatic their reaction to “scarf solidarity” when it isn’t on their terms, the better the grist for the propaganda mill.

    While this won’t be available to anyone, for those that are in the middle of the battle, they have options to do something rather than just sit down and shut up as their friends go into “Solidarity” mode. You can twist their mental conditioning into a weapon to destroy their self righteous fury, and make it your own emotional armor.

    T, some of the scarfs (scarves?) are worn the Arafat way, to make a political point. So slightly different from a cultural procedure.

    Btw, if the long form of name is inconvenient, try the shortened version like Y, Ym, or Ymar. It took me awhile to learn how to type Ymarsakar on my own.

  30. T Says:

    Y,

    Sorry about that. Just sloppy fingers on my part — didn’t even notice.

  31. DNW Says:

    I’m going to take you up on this, and read Bloom’s book. In fact I just bought it in hardcover for 3.98, new but “slightly shelf worn”

    Whether you will get a dime’s worth of credit for my following the link you provided, I don’t know.

    Reading the free introduction which was offered after purchase, I cannot believe that I never have read it, despite having heard it mentioned a great deal.

    What I have read so far of the introduction is very much better than I would have imagined it would be.

    If commenting were merely a matter of finding your way to perfectly formed formulations, I would stop wasting my time writing my own stuff and just start quoting him.

  32. neo-neocon Says:

    DNW:

    Yes, the guy sure could write, and he could pack a lot of thought into what he wrote. Nor did he pull his punches, ever.

  33. Ymarsakar Says:

    T, you may be surprised at how many people have done something similar with that sequence of letters.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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