Category Archives: Academia

Student Debt Forgiveness Won’t Cure Higher Ed’s Disease, by Bruce Abramson

Higher education is on an insane treadmill in which the product gets worse and worse while the cost, subsidized by the government, gets increasingly outrageous. From Bruce Abramson at

On February 28th, the Supreme Court heard arguments on President Biden’s plan to extinguish an estimated $400 billion in student debt. Biden deserves credit for highlighting a debilitating federal program in desperate need of reform. His proposal, however, would make the problem far worse, not better. Any serious reform would force academic institutions to take some responsibility for the education they provide—and to show some responsibility to the many young Americans they induce to go deeply into debt. 

The problems run deep. American higher education has become a hollow bubble of an industry coasting on brand equity and past glory. 

Notwithstanding pockets of world-class excellence, the industry does little well. Universities are top-heavy and inefficient. Their complex products bundle education, research, and campus life for many students who need—and can afford—only the first of the three. On campus, classrooms teach neither critical thinking nor employable skills. The return on research dollars is pitiful. Antisemitism and segregation thrive at levels unseen elsewhere in American society. Internal procedures fail to provide due process or equal protection. 

American academia is a sham suffering from disastrously flawed structures and incentive systems.

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The “Meritocracy” Was Created by and for the Progressive Ruling Class, by Ryan McMaken

The meritocracy has nothing to do with actual merit. From Ryan McMaken at

The American Left has decided that the so-called meritocracy is a bad thing. In a typical example from the Los Angeles Times this week, Nicholas Goldberg points to a number of issues exploring how merit is not actually the key to power and riches in America:

The United States is supposed to be a meritocracy. The story goes that if you work hard and play by the rules, especially with regard to education, you can compete, rise and succeed here. . . . But Americans are realizing that’s not always the case. The playing field just isn’t level.

Goldberg claims that the much-lauded meritocracy is less about merit and more about controlling access to elite institutions. It’s hard to argue with some of this. It’s easy to see the lie behind the claims of meritocracy when we look to the very top of the artificial hierarchy. It’s likely not a mere coincidence people like George W. Bush and Al Gore—a son of a US president and a son of a US senator, respectively—went to elite Ivy League schools. All of Al Gore’s four children, and one of Bush’s, went to Harvard. To think that these seven people got into these schools because they had more “merit” than all the rejected applicants requires gargantuan levels of credulousness.

Much of the Left’s rhetoric against the meritocracy has been in the service of justifying racial preferences and standardized testing in university admissions. Defenders of the status quo have subsequently fallen all over themselves to support the supposed meritocracy of the government-university complex. For example, Victor Davis Hansen, in a meandering and unconvincing article, recently attempted to blame the United States’ repeated foreign policy failures on an alleged decline of meritocracy. Meanwhile, Alan Dershowitz insists that today’s law schools are full of mediocrities—unlike when he and his friends filled elite universities with untrammeled brilliance.

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Not So “F**king Awesome”… Bill Maher Blasts “Insane Arrogance” Of Today’s ‘Woke Revolutionaries’, by Tyler Durden

A leftist comedian has some apt criticism of far left totems, include “woke.” From Tyler Durden at

In 2019, comedian Bill Maher warned Americans “we are going to have to learn to live with each other or there will be blood.”

Almost exactly three years ago, the HBO host reminded the world that he was the only liberal pundit on TV who will call “the tolerant” left on its BS, by daring to admit that the US media manufactures more “fake news” than Russia ever could (and ironically, in recent weeks, has been proven 100% correct on ‘Russia collusion’ hoax lies).

Then, two years ago, Maher first ratcheted up his honest-reality filter to ’11’ by refusing to follow fellow Democrats down the ‘woke’ abyss, exclaiming “you’re the fucking nuts, this is insane” at progressive officials’ relentless anti-white activism in New York schools, both public and private.

Since then he taken a shot at “social justice warriors”, mocked the left’s demands for reparations, made fun of progressives’ hypocritical claims of racism against the ‘Chinese virus’, and further shamed the left’s constant COVID fear porn, among many other topics including mask-wearing fanaticism, media burying the Hunter Biden laptop story, gender reassignment, and celebrating obesity.

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“Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism, by Jonathan Turley

There is very little journalism left that even purports to be objective. The profession has been bastardized. From Jonathan Turley at

We previously discussed the movement in journalism schools to get rid of principles of objectivity in journalism. Advocacy journalism is the new touchstone in the media even as polls show that trust in the media is plummeting. Now, former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward have released the results of their interviews with over 75 media leaders and concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.” 

Notably, while Bob Woodward and others have finally admitted that the Russian collusion coverage lacked objectivity and resulted in false reporting, media figures are pushing even harder against objectivity as a core value in journalism.

We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writerseditorscommentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy.

Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.”  Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

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Anarchy, American-Style, by Victor Davis Hanson

The left has become the establishment it once supposedly despised. From Victor Davis Hanson at

The Left runs Oceania, and we work for their various bureaus.

The 1960s revolution was both anarchic and nihilist. But it was waged against—not from—the establishment. Hippies and the Left either attacked institutions or, in Timothy Leary fashion, chose to “turn on, tune in, drop out” from them.

The current revolution is much different—and far more dangerous—for at least three reasons.

The Establishment Is the Revolution

The current Left has no intention of “dropping out.” Why would it?

It now controls the very institutions of America that it once mocked and attacked—corporate boardrooms, Wall Street, state and local prosecuting attorneys, most big-city governments, the media, the Pentagon, network and most of cable news, professional sports, Hollywood, music, television, K-12 education, and academia.

In other words, the greatest levers of influence and power—money, education, entertainment, government, the news, and popular culture—are in the hands of the Left. They have transformed legitimate debate over gay marriage into a hate crime. Transgenderism went from a modern manifestation of ancient transvestism or gender dysphoria to a veritable litmus test of whether one was good or evil.

Students have no need to jam administrators’ offices because the latter, themselves, are as radical as the protestors and often lead them on in a top-down fashion. Had they not long ago demonstrated they were perfectly willing to subvert meritocracy, free expression, and equality under the law, they would not be occupying their present positions.

Apple, Google, Facebook, and other tech companies are not 1980s and 1990s “alternative” media geeks and hipsters creating neat gadgets for the people. They are not Steve Jobs and his pugnacious Apple battling the evil Microsoft or IBM, or the Macintosh commercial of 1984 depicting a maverick throwing a hammer into Big Brother’s screen. They are the Orwellian screen.

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Letter to the Stanford Daily, by Margaret Anna Alice

Why are some universities persisting with vaccine mandates? From Margaret Anna Alice at

Below is the gargantuan version of an op-ed I drafted for Steve Kirsch a while back. He gave me some notes, his proposed strategy, and several studies he wanted to include. I then wrote the Mother-of-All-Anti-Mandate Letters, which turned out to be five times longer than he wanted 😆 I created a condensed version for him to submit (which he will be further cutting and rewriting), and Steve gave me the go-ahead to publish the long version here first.
I have written this in Steve’s voice, so the “I” refers to Steve. I will be creating a generic version in my voice (which turns out to be remarkably similar to Steve’s 😉 that you can use to fight mandates at colleges, universities, and other institutions as needed. It may take me a bit to finish that as I am working on multiple time-sensitive projects and I’ve collected a number of new compelling pieces of evidence I’d like to add, but I thought you’d enjoy reading the Stanford version in the meantime.

Optical Illusion Architectural Columns; Stanford Daily Op-Ed

“Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.”
—African proverb

I can’t figure out why Stanford is mandating the COVID vaccine for students.

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Bourgeois And Proud, by Paul Rosenberg

Bourgeois is one of those words people always misspell. It also conveys the speaker’s underlying content for honest labor, exchange, and middle class values. From Paul Rosenberg at

Even if you’re not exactly sure what bourgeois means, you’ve almost certainly noticed that it refers to something bad or embarrassing. In a moment I’ll explain its actual meaning, but first I want to turn the tables on it: I will maintain that bourgeois is good. For most of us, the bourgeois way of life is something to be sought, and hopefully to be attained.

Now, let’s get back to the proper meaning of the term.

Who Is Bourgeois?

The real meaning of bourgeois is “middle class;” it refers, especially, to people like shopkeepers. It began as a reference to people who were neither peasants (tenant farmers) and nobles (a legally privileged class). There are plenty of variations, but this is the core meaning of the word.

Bear in mind, however, that through 19th and 20th centuries, the term was seized by socialists, who turned it into a sort of insult. And the variants (petite bourgeois and so on), can be debated by socialist types at length.

Now, to support my characterization of intellectuals using the word as an insult, here’s a comment from a famous French writer named Gustave Flaubert:

Hatred of the bourgeois is the beginning of wisdom.

What really irked intellectuals about the bourgeois was that they were stealing their thunder. Over the 19th and early 20th centuries, intellectuals – people who wanted to sell their ideas – were rushing into socialism, because it would give them the same position the nobility used to hold: that of a legally privileged class.

This, however, was also the moment when the industrial revolution was hitting, and people chose commercial goods above socialist theories. In other words, the “masses” the socialists expected to lead lost their interest. Look at it this way:

Why would someone spend long hours with difficult authors promising a golden age, when all the components of that golden age were for sale, cheap, at the corner store?

And so people walked away from literary promises, and toward shopkeepers offering the goods of a golden era at reduced prices. Socialists have resented the bourgeois ever since.

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“97% Consensus” — What Consensus? By Gregory Wrightstone

The 97% consensus is a myth, but even if it wasn’t; science is not a matter of consensus, it’s a matter of seeking the truth. From Gregory Wrightstone at

PSYOP-CLIMATE-CHANGE is the most dangerous power play of the criminal One World Government to usher in their global Great Reset dystopia.

You have likely heard that 97% of scientists agree on human-driven climate change. You may also have heard that those who don’t buy into the climate-apocalypse mantra are science-deniers. The truth is that a whole lot more than 3% of scientists are skeptical of the party line on climate. A whole lot more.

The many scientists, engineers and energy experts that comprise the CO2 Coalition are often asked something along the lines of: “So you believe in climate change, then?” Our answer? “Yes, of course we do: it has been happening for hundreds of millions of years.” It is important to ask the right questions. The question is not, “Is climate change happening?” The real question of serious importance is, “Is climate change now driven primarily by human actions? That question should be followed up by “is our changing climate beneficial or harmful to ecosystems and humanity?”

There are some scientific truths that are quantifiable and easily proven, and with which, I am confident, at least 97% of scientists agree. Here are two:

  1. Carbon dioxide concentration has been increasing in recent years.
  2. Temperatures, as measured by thermometers and satellites, have been generally increasing in fits and starts for more than 150 years.

What is impossible to quantify is the actual percentage of warming that is attributable to increased anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2. There is no scientific evidence or method that can determine how much of the warming we’ve had since 1900 that was directly caused by us.

We know that temperature has varied greatly over the millennia. We also know that for virtually all of that time, global warming and cooling were driven entirely by natural forces, which did not cease to operate at the beginning of the 20th century.

The claim that most modern warming is attributable to human activities is scientifically insupportable. The truth is that we do not know. We need to be able to separate what we do know from that which is only conjecture.

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The GOP Is the Unlettered Party. And That’s a Good Thing. By Karl Zinsmeister

The great reservoir of common sense in this country is not within the credentialed elite. From Karl Zinsmeister at

Over the coming weeks, a new band of Republicans will announce themselves as candidates in the next presidential race. The frontrunners will be scrappy populists. Today’s most successful center-right politicians are not only champions of the common man but energetic opponents of the idea that our society needs reordering by credentialed authorities.

Ron DeSantis grew up in a blue-collar family, worked his way into Yale with his brains and baseball talent, then went home and built a political career on the idea that “people are able to make decisions on their own.” Florida’s navigation of the COVID crisis, says the governor, established “a blueprint for governance” that rebukes “the entrenched elites” who so often dominate modern society. “Florida is proof positive that we, the people, are not powerless in the face of these elites.”

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was raised in poverty, went to college on a football scholarship while his brother became a sergeant major in the U.S. Army, then entered politics to fend off the idea that ordinary people can only improve their station through the interventions of a federal patriciate.

Greg Abbott, who lost his father early in life and then was disabled and confined to a wheelchair, gained national prominence as Texas’ governor battling the notion that problems should be solved by mandates from erudite Feds.

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s chief executive, left a finance career and dove into politics to defend everyday parents from fouls and interference by officials claiming they know better what children need.

The most striking change in modern American politics is a flipping of the class loyalties of the two major parties. For decades, Democrats were seen as defenders of the little guy, and the GOP as home for pillars of the establishment. But country-club Republicans have been displaced by country-music Republicans, while our socio-economic gentry of lawyers, Wall Streeters, professors, Hollywood moguls, tech millionaires, media influencers, and others from the beau monde have flooded into the “D’s” column.

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The Collapse of The Enlightenment, by Paul Rosenberg

The Enlightenment propelled much of what we call civilization. From Paul Rosenberg at

We are watching the Enlightenment collapse before us in real time. I’ll be fairly brief in my explanation of why this is so and how it came about, but it strikes me as something we should understand.

Bear in mind that what remains of the Enlightenment is collapsing for structural reasons. I haven’t formed this discourse around political or academic theories, I’m basing it on facts and direct observations. Obviously I’m simplifying (one can’t write history any other way), but minus the inevitable exceptions and complications, this is what happened and what is happening.

How The Enlightenment Gained A Structure

The Enlightenment began with a collection of outsiders studying science. They had little backing and few credentials. In fact, the motto of the first group (that became The Royal Society) was Nullius in verba: “Take nobody’s word for it.” There was a lot to like in the early Enlightenment, and it led to a long string of crucial discoveries.

About halfway through its run, however, at about 1750 AD, the Enlightenment took a dark turn. Rather than working to discover what was right, it began to fixate on what was wrong. That is, the leading voices of the Enlightenment left off building and moved into tearing things down.

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