PowerLine – Is Trump a Democratic Party Agent?
- Is Trump a Democratic Party Agent? [with comment by Paul]
- Make Rome Great Again!
- This Week’s Cavalcade of Campus Crazy
- Put a little love in your heart
- Sunday morning coming down
|Is Trump a Democratic Party Agent? [with comment by Paul]
Posted: 28 Feb 2016 12:43 PM PST
It is hard to explain Donald Trump’s refusal, on CNN this morning, to disavow the Ku Klux Klan. Jake Tapper gave Trump multiple opportunities to do so, but Trump could only respond by saying he didn’t know anything about David Duke, who reportedly has endorsed him. Here is the video:
As Dan McLaughlin points out, Trump’s claim to be unaware of David Duke is demonstrably false. But then, who ever expected honesty from Trump?
But if we’ve given up on honesty, how about a minimal level of competence? Is Trump really such a fool that he can’t figure out it’s a bad idea to let the Democrats hang the Ku Klux Klan (formerly known as the militant arm of the Democratic Party) around his neck? He can’t possibly be that stupid. Can he? Or is he a Democrat, deliberately engaged in an effort to bring down the Republican Party and make Hillary Clinton, who is otherwise unelectable, our president? At this point, it is hard to tell. The alternatives are about equally plausible.
Elsewhere in the Republican Party, there are signs of intelligence. Earlier today, a heckler showed up at a Marco Rubio rally. Marco responded by identifying him as the valedictorian of Trump University:
Humor offers a momentary relief from the air of depression that has settled over the GOP race.
PAUL ADDS: If Trump is an agent of the Democrats (reportedly he talked about running for president with Bill Clinton shortly before entering the race), we should call him Agent Orange, in honor of his “spray tan.”
|Make Rome Great Again!
Posted: 28 Feb 2016 11:45 AM PST
Now this is some great satire:
In shocking news first reported a week ago, businessman Donald Trump has converted to Catholicism and has now declared his candidacy for Pope. Today’s announcement coincides with critical statements Pope Francis made about Mr. Trump not being a Christian. Mr. Trump just held a rally outside of New York City. Although video is not available, A-CNN has just acquired the audio transcript which we are providing below:
Thank you….thank you. You know, when I first started this campaign, people didn’t believe me. First they said, he’s not converting, he’ll never convert. Then I converted. Then they said, he’ll never get baptized, he won’t want the water to mess up his hair. But then I got baptized. Then they said he won’t get confirmed, and I got confirmed. And then they said he’d never run for pope. Well here I am, and I’m running for Pope; and I’m doing very well I must say.
I don’t have to do this, when you think about it. I really don’t. I’m rich. I’m really, really, rich. I built a great company; a tremendous company. I employ thousands and thousands of people. So my friends, they ask me, they say Donald, you have everything you can dream of. You’re rich, you have an amazing wife, an amazing family, you’re very successful, why run for Pope? And I say, you know what? I have to run. My Church needs me. The Catholics need me. I have to make the Catholic Church great again. I have to.
You know, it’s a sad thing to say, but the Church is in such bad shape; terrible shape under Francis. The Catholic Church doesn’t win anymore. We just don’t. When is the last time Catholics won anything? Lepanto? When was that, the 1500’s? We don’t win anymore. But, let me just say, Under a Trump papacy, we are going to win again. We are going to win so much. We are going to win so much you are all going to be sick of winning, ok? But right now, it’s terrible. Just the other day, I see the Pope is praising Martin Luther. Martin Luther! Can you believe it?
Our Pope is over there praising Martin Luther; meanwhile millions of Hispanics are converting to Protestantism in Latin America. It’s true. We are losing millions and millions of people to the Protestants and our Pope does nothing. He does nothing. And I have nothing against the Protestants. Many of them are good people. I employ thousands of Protestants. I used to be a Protestant. But their leaders are just too smart for our leaders. We have people in power in the Church today who have no idea what they are doing. They are incompetent. All our leaders do is “dialogue.” We don’t convert anymore, we “dialogue.” What the hell is dialogue? Excuse me, but shouldn’t we be converting these people? If we have the Truth, why aren’t we converting them? But we don’t convert, we “dialogue”, and we lose millions and millions of these people to Protestantism. They are saying if the head of the Catholic Church thinks it’s ok to be Protestant, why convert? Why do we need to convert? Let him convert. Let the Pope convert. That’s what they’re saying. They’re laughing at us. There is no respect there. No respect. When I’m Pope, they are going to respect us again, let me tell you.
There’s much more at the link. Let’s get out with this:
|This Week’s Cavalcade of Campus Crazy
Posted: 28 Feb 2016 09:15 AM PST
Some times one thing leads to another, and you end up going down a rabbit hole of campus crazy. Wait—isn’t “rabbit hole” a speciesist metaphor? I’m sure it is somewhere. Will Rogers used to say that it’s no trouble being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you; my paraphrase is that who needs joke writers when you have most of the professoriate working for you.
Have you ever wondered why there are fewer women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields in higher education? Obviously it’s because they’re gendered, you troglodyte! Or so says a new paper in a journal ironically called The Qualitative Report:
This study explored the gendered nature of STEM higher education institution through a feminist critical discourse analysis of STEM course syllabi from a Midwest research university. I explored STEM syllabi to understand how linguistic features such as stance and interdiscursivity are used in the syllabus and how language and discourses used in the syllabus replicate the masculine nature of STEM education. Findings suggest that the discourses identified in the syllabi reinforce traditional STEM academic roles, and that power and gender in the STEM syllabi are revealed through exploration of the themes of knowledge, learning, and the teaching and learning environment created by the language used in the syllabus. These findings inform and extend understanding of the STEM syllabus and the STEM higher education institution and lead to recommendations about how to make the STEM syllabus more inclusive for women. [Emphasis added.]
If you read to the end of the paper (ah, the things I do for Power Line readers!), you find this among the suggested remedies:
This suggests that there is an opportunity for STEM courses to reduce the perception of courses as difficult and unfriendly through language use in the syllabi, and also as a guide for how to use less competitive teaching methods and grading profiles that could improve the experience of female students. [Emphasis added.]
In other words, dumb it down and practice grade inflation for the girls in the class, who are no different from boys, don’t you ever forget.
Next up: Somehow I made my way over to Feminist Theory, a journal published by the supposedly serious Sage Journals, which has this on offer at the moment:
Macalester College, Saint Paul, USA
This article interrogates a psychoanalytically inflected strain of anti-social queer theory that in privileging refusal and negation, views as paradigmatic of ‘queerness’ the destructive, annihilative aspects in (queer) sex. In this view, sexuality is a product of the unconscious, thus irreducible to gender, such that gender is irrelevant to (and indeed hinders) understandings of desire. Informed by feminism, which views gender as crucial to any theory on sexuality, I expose that which ‘sexual negation’ masks through this very disavowal – that of gender and the body itself. I argue that subtending the figural representation of queer/ness is a deep-seated, albeit disguised, masculinism that, through negation, works to re-centre and re-virilise (gay) men’s sexual economies. I take up Butler’s lesbian phallus to de-idealise and thus challenge this privileging of the penis operating within this strain of queer – as only phallic sexual economies can, it seems, deliver the very annihilation we (all) seek.
Sage actually wants to charge you $36 for full access to the article if you’re not a subscriber to Feminist Theory. I’m sure they’re getting lots of takers.
I could go on and make this a daily—even hourly—feature, as there is no end to this kind of nonsense in higher ed. But the worst thing you can actually do to these folks is simply quote what they say.
This is all prelude to suggesting that higher education is now so ridiculous that even some people on the left are starting to notice. The story of the week is the article in the left-leaning American Prospect entitled “Academic Drivel Report,” where Occidental College professor Peter Dreier reports having pulled off another Alan Sokal-style hoax:
Six years ago I submitted a paper for a panel, “On the Absence of Absences” that was to be part of an academic conference later that year—in August 2010. Then, and now, I had no idea what the phrase “absence of absences” meant. The description provided by the panel organizers, printed below, did not help. The summary, or abstract of the proposed paper—was pure gibberish, as you can see below. I tried, as best I could within the limits of my own vocabulary, to write something that had many big words but which made no sense whatsoever. I not only wanted to see if I could fool the panel organizers and get my paper accepted, I also wanted to pull the curtain on the absurd pretentions of some segments of academic life. To my astonishment, the two panel organizers—both American sociologists—accepted my proposal and invited me to join them at the annual international conference of the Society for Social Studies of Science to be held that year in Tokyo.
There’s much more to the story, and it is worth reading the whole thing, but here’s one key judgment of Dreier’s article:
I also have little patience for the kind of embarrassingly obtuse writing style preferred by many postmodern and allegedly leftist academics that obscures more than it enlightens and is often a clever mask for being intellectually lightweight. Professor Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University made a similar point in an article published in the October 2005 issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology entitled, “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly.” The Atlantic in March 2006 summarized Oppenheimer’s point thusly: “Insecure writers tend to reach for the thesaurus.”
Actually most of the deliberately obscure or nonsensical terms in academic papers don’t even appear in a thesaurus.
|Put a little love in your heart
Posted: 28 Feb 2016 06:34 AM PST
Hillary Clinton clobbered Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina Democratic primary yesterday, capturing 73 percent of the vote. Paul comments on the outcome here. Clinton’s death march to the Democratic nomination has resumed in earnest.
I think it is worth noting that turnout in the primary was down over 2008, as it has been elsewhere in the Democratic contests to date. The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross takes a look here. In 2008, the South Carolina electorate set a record when 532,151 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary. Yesterday the turnout in the Democratic primary amounted to 369,526, down more than 30 percent from 2008.
By contrast, turnout is up substantially among Republicans so far this year. Total turnout in the Republican primary on February 20 was 739,917. The New York Times posts the 2016 South Carolina primary vote totals here.
Rancor among Republicans is also up, however; it must be the highest since 1912. I’m afraid that’s the salient fact at this point.
In 2008 Hillary Clinton professed not to feel “noways tahrd” (i.e., tired). The double negative derived from the gospel number she was quoting; the fake Southern accent was all her own. In 2016, Democratic voters are someways tahrd, or so it seems.
I identify. I’m someways tahrd of Hillary Clinton’s grating monotone, her transparent fakery, her obnoxious condescension, her rank dishonesty and her gross wrongdoing, Her inability to impersonate an authentic human being is almost beside the point. She gleefully anticipates running against Donald Trump as the Republican nominee in the general election and she is turning her attention to him.
Her victory speech last night ran some 17 minutes (video below). It feels more like 17 hours. RealClearPolitics has also posted the whole thing here. The Associated Press condenses the blather into a two-minute highlight reel accompanying the AP story on Clinton’s victory in the South Carolina primary. She now presents herself as the apostle of love and kindness.
|Sunday morning coming down
Posted: 28 Feb 2016 05:59 AM PST
I saw singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester perform on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota more than 25 years ago and he just bowled me over. There couldn’t have been more than a hundred people in the audience. Accompanying himself on guitar, he turned in a beautiful performance concluding with “Yankee Lady.” Although Winchester had famously evaded the draft by decamping to Canada in 1967, returning to perform only after the Carter amnesty, there was not a hint of politics in his performance.
Winchester died of cancer in April 2014. Having grown up in Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee, he spoke with an ingratiating Southern accent that seemed to me, in Winchester’s case, how American English should be spoken. You can hear all the crosscurrents of American popular music in his songwriting and in his singing. Country, blues, rock, soul, and gospel — they’re all there.
Winchester’s songwriting was appreciated by fellow artists including Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire, Emmylou Harris, Jimmy Buffett and many others, as one can infer from the 2012 tribute album Quiet About It. Wynonna recorded Winchester’s gospel-tinged declaration of faith — “Let’s Make A Baby King” — on her hit-filled disc Tell Me Why. Wynonna’s version of Winchester’s song reached number 61 on the country chart based on unsolicited airplay.
Winchester had a dry sense of humor and hard-won wisdom that he drew on for many of his songs. You can hear both in a song like “Evil Angel.” The song is off his his fine 1999 album Gentleman of Leisure, recorded in Memphis and produced by Jerry Douglas. I haven’t listened to the song in a long while, but it has been going around in my head this morning like a spirit summoned from the vasty deep. I thought some readers unfamiliar with Winchester’s work might enjoy it if the thinking behind his Canadian interlude can be put to one side. Listening can’t hurt. It might even be good for what ails you.