The Yale Problem
Begins in High School
JONATHAN HAIDT, HETERODOX ACADEMY
A month before the Yale Halloween meltdown, I had a bizarre and illuminating experience at an elite private high school on the West Coast. I'll call it Centerville High. I gave a version of a talk that you can see here, on Coddle U. vs. Strengthen U. (In an amazing coincidence, I first gave that talk at Yale a few weeks earlier). The entire student body - around 450 students, from grades 9-12 - were in the auditorium. There was plenty of laughter at all the right spots, and a lot of applause at the end, so I thought the talk was well received. But then the discussion began, and it was the most unremittingly hostile questioning I've ever had. I don't mind when people ask hard or critical questions, but I was surprised that I had misread the audience so thoroughly. My talk had little to do with gender, but the second question was "So you think rape is OK?" Like most of the questions, it was backed up by a sea of finger snaps - the sort you can hear in the infamous Yale video, where a student screams at Prof. Christakis to "be quiet" and tells him that he is "disgusting." I had never heard the snapping before. When it happens in a large auditorium it is disconcerting. It makes you feel that you are facing an angry and unified mob - a feeling I have never had in 25 years of teaching and public speaking. After the first dozen questions I noticed that not a single questioner was male. I began to search the sea of hands asking to be called on and I did find one boy, who asked a question that indicated that he too was critical of my talk. But other than him, the 200 or so boys in the audience sat silently. After the Q&A, I got a half-standing ovation: almost all of the boys in the room stood up to cheer. And after the crowd broke up, a line of boys came up to me to thank me and shake my hand. Not a single girl came up to me afterward.
The Real Lesson
of the Paris Attacks
DOUGLAS MURRAY, THE GATESTONE INSTITUTE
When the truth is revealed, it can be not merely unpleasant but often accidental. There have been several striking examples of this since the massacre in Paris earlier this month. In the days immediately after the attack, The Times of London interviewed residents of Paris. Referring to the latest attacks, one 46-year old resident also referred back to the attacks in January on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket. "Every Parisian has been touched by these attacks," she said, referring to the latest attacks. "Before it was just the Jews, the writers or cartoonists." If "just the Jews" was an unfortunate way of putting it, it was no less unfortunate than the reaction of America's top diplomat. Days after the latest Paris atrocity, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: "There's something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of - not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they're really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate." To the extent these comments have been noticed, they have been ridiculed. It is what lies revealed beneath the statement that deserves our attention. The true problem with the line that it used to be "just the Jews, the writers or cartoonists," is not that it is offensive or inelegant or any of the other words that are now used to shut down a discussion - though all these things it may be. The problem is that it suggests that people were not paying attention during those earlier attacks. It suggests a belief that the terrorism in January was a different order of terrorism because "Jews, writers or cartoonists" were missing.
How Political Correctness
Rules in America's Student 'Safe Spaces'
RUTH SHERLOCK, THE LONDON TELEGRAPH
As the law professor prepared for her class on sexual assault, she opened her emails to find a strange request: could she give assurances that the content of the class would not be included in the end-of-year exam, her students asked? They were concerned there might be victims of sexual assault among their classmates, they said. Anyone in that position could be traumatized at being confronted with such material in the exam hall. Across the United States, lecturers have received similar messages from students demanding that modules of academic study – ranging from legal topics to well-known works of literature – be scrubbed from exams, and sometimes from the syllabus altogether. Jeannie Suk, a professor at Harvard Law School, which numbers President Barack Obama among its many notable alumni, cited an example where a student had asked a colleague "not to use the word 'violate' - as in 'does this conduct violate the law' – because the term might trigger distress." Far from the bra-burning, devil-may-care attitudes at universities in the Sixties and Seventies, today's generation of American students increasingly appears to yearn for a campus ruled by dogmatic political correctness, in which faculty members assume the role of parents more than purveyors of academic rigor. The lexicon of college has changed.
Did O'Reilly Finally
Go Too Far?
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
Earlier this month, premier Fox newsman Bill O'Reilly became unhinged on live television. A red-faced O'Reilly loudly and repeatedly called his invited guest, Washington Post columnist and fellow conservative Fox News journalist George Will, a "hack" and accused him of lying. It was a surreal moment, with stunned viewers no doubt muttering to themselves, "Is the jig finally up?" Will had written a negative review of the fifth of O'Reilly's co-authored "Killing" books, Killing Reagan. So O'Reilly dared Will to appear on his "No Spin Zone" hot seat. Will did - and quietly punched some holes in O'Reilly's strange thesis that President Ronald Reagan had been metaphorically "killed" after a March 30, 1981, assassination attempt. According to Killing Reagan, even years later the president may not have recovered enough to meet the demands of the office. A number of outraged Reagan historians have questioned Killing Reagan's methods, sources, and conclusions. So did Will. But Will added the stinger that the conservative O'Reilly and his co-author had played right into the hands of left-wing Reagan detractors. That heresy made O'Reilly go ballistic - shouting, interrupting, and accusing. Of course, the embarrassing treatment of Will was not something new for the host of The O'Reilly Factor. But this time, O'Reilly bullied a fellow Fox News contributor who kept calm and professional. And the dispute was not just over history and politics - it also raised questions about O'Reilly's ethics and decorum.
The Controversy Over Syrian Refugees Misses the Question We Should Be Asking
ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE
The jihad waged by radical Islam rips at France from within. The two mass-murder attacks this year that finally induced President Francois Hollande to concede a state of war are only what we see. Unbound by any First Amendment, the French government exerts pressure on the media to suppress bad news. We do not hear much about the steady thrum of insurrection in the banlieues: the thousands of torched automobiles, the violence against police and other agents of the state, the pressure in Islamic enclaves to ignore the sovereignty of the Republic and conform to the rule of sharia. What happens in France happens in Belgium. It happens in Sweden where much of Malmo, the third largest city, is controlled by Muslim immigrant gangs — emergency medical personnel attacked routinely enough that they will not respond to calls without police protection, and the police in turn unwilling to enter without back-up. Not long ago in Britain, a soldier was killed and nearly beheaded in broad daylight by jihadists known to the intelligence services; dozens of sharia courts now operate throughout the country, even as Muslim activists demand more accommodations. And it was in Germany, which green-lighted Europe's ongoing influx of Muslim migrants, that Turkey's Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan proclaimed that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in their new Western countries is "a crime against humanity." So how many of us look across the ocean at Europe and say, "Yeah, let's bring some of that here"? None of us with any sense.
US Unfunded Liabilities
Top $100 Trillion Dollars
In a landmark event, the United States government unfunded liabilities topped $100 Trillion for the first time in the country's history. This amount breaks down to an individual per taxpayer of $839,771 as of this posting and rising. Unfunded liabilities are the total of debts outstanding and the debts due in the future, including both Social Security and Medicare payments. as well as federal debt held by the public. Federal employee and veterans' benefits are also included in this number.
This was exactly the danger of allowing the Executive Branch to bully a milquetoast Congress into removing any debt ceiling mandate, even if it was only until the spendthrift Obama was out of office. Mr. Obama and his Progressive cabal have tallied up over $8 Trillion in federal debt, more than all other presidential administrations in the total history of the United States. With a little over a year to go until the next president is sworn in, there is a great chance that Mr. Obama will add at least another trillion dollars to that tally. And with the debt to GDP ratio at 102.851% we are not moving in a financial direction to decrease the unfunded liabilities cost. Add to that the costs of Obamacare and the EPA regulatory regime and we are on a highway to ruin.
These Dead Shall
Not Have Died In Vain
Last evening, we shared a table with a young group of marines en route to SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) training in Maine. I woke up this morning feeling especially thankful to those who put themselves in harm's way to protect our nation and yet I kept thinking about the Gettysburg Address. This is because I worry whether our soldiers (and their families) deployed after 9/11, many injured or in coffins, sacrificed in vain. Did the soldiers who liberated our country from England, as well die in vain? Did the 620,000 casualties of the Civil War die in vain? At 10 years of age, I became aware of terrorism. I watched it play out during the television broadcast of the 1972 Olympics when a terrorist group, identifying itself as "Black September", killed 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team. Why were these athletes arbitrarily murdered on a world stage? I truly didn't understand the catalyst until I was much older. Black September was a movement to avenge Palestinians' losses in Jordan. This was one battle in a continuum of battles and part of a larger war...Like it or not, we are being called upon to fight a non-conventional war against a group of people who do not believe we have a right to exist. There is no co-existence in their world view. It is our freedom and our lives that are at stake. Civilians are targets and the population needs to prepare for this reality. Our leaders need to admit this truth and take all precautions to maximize freedom and limit casualties.
Exposing the Deep Marxism of Dem Pres. Candidate Bernie Sanders
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."
~ John F. Kennedy