Category Archives: Academia

Language and Thought, by Walter E. Williams

Corrupt the language and you corrupt the mind. From Walter E. Williams at theburningplatform.com:

Language and Thought

Seventeenth-century poet and intellect John Milton predicted, “When language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their ruin and degradation.” Gore Vidal, his 20th-century intellectual successor, elaborated saying: “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate.” Sloppy language permits people to get away with speaking and doing all manner of destructive nonsense without being challenged.

Let’s look at the concept of “white privilege,” the notion that white people have benefited in American history relative to, and at the expense of, “people of color.” It appears to be utter nonsense to suggest that poor and destitute Appalachian whites have white privilege. How can one tell if a person has white privilege? One imagines that the academic elite, who coined the term, refer to whites of a certain socioeconomic status such as living in the suburbs with the privilege of high-income amenities.

But here is a question: Do Nigerians in the U.S. have white privilege? As reported by the New York Post this summer, 17% of all Nigerians in this country hold master’s degrees, 4% hold a doctorate and 37% hold a bachelor’s degree, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey. By contrast, 19% of whites have a bachelor’s degree, 8% have master’s degrees and 1% have doctorates.

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Stephen Cohen Has Died. Remember His Urgent Warnings Against The New Cold War. By Caitlin Johnstone

Stephen Cohen fought an often lonely but always honorable battle to bring the US and the USSR, and then Russia, to a closer understanding. Considering they have been the two leading nuclear powers, that’s not a bad thing. From Caitlin Johnstone at medium.com:

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Stephen F Cohen, the renowned American scholar on Russia and leading authority on US-Russian relations, has died of lung cancer at the age of 81.

As one of the precious few western voices of sanity on the subject of Russia while everyone else has been frantically flushing their brains down the toilet, this is a real loss. I myself have cited Cohen’s expert analysis many times in my own work, and his perspective has played a formative role in my understanding of what’s really going on with the monolithic cross-partisan manufacturing of consent for increased western aggressions against Moscow.

In a world that is increasingly confusing and awash with propaganda, Cohen’s death is a blow to humanity’s desperate quest for clarity and understanding.

I don’t know how long Cohen had cancer. I don’t know how long he was aware that he might not have much time left on this earth. What I do know is he spent much of his energy in his final years urgently trying to warn the world about the rapidly escalating danger of nuclear war, which in our strange new reality he saw as in many ways completely unprecedented.

The last of the many books Cohen authored was 2019’s War with Russia?, detailing his ideas on how the complex multi-front nature of the post-2016 cold war escalations against Moscow combines with Russiagate and other factors to make it in some ways more dangerous even than the most dangerous point of the previous cold war.

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Bringing a Bazooka to a Knife Fight, James Howard Kunstler

Read what happened to Princeton and its president. It’s hilarious. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

You heard it here first: Joe Biden will call in “sick” to the presidential candidates’ debate on Tuesday, September 29, and within days the Democratic Party will be obliged to replace him. Enough said for now. Wait for it….

Onto the election issue du jour: putting out ideological fires set by political arsonists: namely, the “systemic racism” hustle cooked up by “progressive” anarcho-terrorists to provoke hatred and division in a nation sore beset by propaganda, psy-ops, and seditious subterfuge — not to mention Covid-19 and economic collapse, as if those were not enough. This week, President Trump released an executive order halting all federal agency in-service training programs purporting to address “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “unconscious bias,” and other hobgoblins of Wokesterism, a scam that has become a multimillion-dollar consulting racket funded by taxpayers.

Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, sent a memo to executive branch agency heads directing them to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any “propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.” When the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attempted to defy the order and go forward with training to “examine the mechanisms of “systemic racism, white supremacist ideology, and systems of structured inequality,” Mr. Vought had to remind the agency to cancel it. So it goes with “the Resistance.”

One consulting outfit, CAST (the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) has received $16-million from the Department of Education. At its August 2020 conference, attendees (including DOE staff) were told the United States has a “racial contract” that “says it’s okay for white people to kill blacks with immunity [sic]” (Did they mean impunity?). They also advocated abolishing prisons. The DOE press secretary says it’s investigating.

God knows what kind of swamp creatures lie embedded in the lower mudbanks of that agency, but at the top, at least, the department is cleaning up its act. DOE Secretary Betsy DeVos took aggressive action days ago after Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber sent out an open letter to “the Princeton community” stating that “racism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton” and that “racist assumptions” are “embedded in structures of the University itself.”

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Back to School…D’ya Think? by James Howard Kunstler

Education is not going to be the same after coronavirus panic passes. That’s probably not a bad thing. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

After the spring from hell, and two months of summer staycation, families across the land anxiously await the very dubious reopening of the school year. The Covid-19 virus has revealed structural cracks in the mighty fortress of public education. Some districts remain closed, or only tentatively and partially open. It’s easy to see where this is going.

I got a letter this week from a high school physics teacher in New England — who wants to remain anonymous. He writes:

“…Covid has initiated the death of public ed in America…. The state cannot decide whether we should start full remote or whether we should try some weird hybrid schedule. Nobody can make a decision. The union is pissed. They know most of the classrooms are poorly ventilated and too small and they see nothing but a ‘cruise ship’ scenario unfolding. Remote is terrible, but it is better than nothing….”

Before we go further, remember the first principle of the long emergency: anything organized at the giant scale is liable to fail. During the post-war growth spurt, we consolidated all the nation’s schools into giant districts serviced by the yellow bus fleets bringing thousands of kids together in buildings designed to look like insecticide factories. And when that project was complete, what did we get? Two decades of mass shootings in schools. I don’t think we got the correct message from this — which is that this manner of schooling produces so much ennui and anomie that some kids turn homicidal by the time they hit their teens.

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“Sentenced To Isolation Prisons!” – College Students Across America Are Being Subjected To A Horrid Psychological Experiment, by Tyler Durden

Covid-19 panic has turned higher education into a horrible experience. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

College, long a fun and liberating experience for many young adults, has, as The Ron Paul Insitute’s Adam Dick details below, become a dreary and oppressive experience for many students living under the weight of a multitude of restrictions imposed at American college campuses in the name of countering coronavirus.

These restrictions are absurd from the perspective of protecting people’s health given that coronavirus is not particularly dangerous. This is especially the case for the teen and twenty-something students. For these relatively young college students, coronavirus generally poses very little risk of death. Further, most such young adults experience zero symptoms to minor sickness from coronavirus infection.

I have written about the draconian restrictions imposed at college campuses in the name of countering coronavirus, with some focus on Duke UniversitySyracuse University, and the University of Texas and Texas A&M. These are not handpicked examples of campuses whose college administrators have imposed uniquely harsh rules in the name of countering coronavirus. The problem is present at many college campuses across America, and it is devastating for many students.

Over at The Mass Illusion, Jordan Schachtel has collected testimonials of students who are living in depressing prison-like conditions at college campuses across America

University of Alabama

“The whole thing is a bait and switch. We’re being forced to pay to attend Zoom classes in our rooms all semester. A few of my friends didn’t even come back to town, and I don’t blame them. Why would they when they can get the same education at home?

I only have two in person classes. Both meet one day a week. One is optional to go on Zoom if you prefer. The other allows five students in class at once. We’re going on shifts so Week 1 the first five go, then Week 2 the second five go, etc.”

I love this university but if I knew when I was in high school that I’d be staying in my room all day, I would’ve never gone to any college.”

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Cloward-Piven Strategy To Destroy America Resurgent Amid BLM/Antifa-Led Riots, by Zero Hedge

Meet the intellectual firepower behind the drive to install a Marxist order. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Richard Andrew Cloward and Francis Fox Piven are two names that are largely unfamiliar to the average American, but, as Jason Brown notes, their historical relevance is being seen all over the country today as we watch civil unrest in the form of riots ensue.

As Brandon Smith detailed previously, in the mid-sixties at the height of the “social revolution” the line between democratic benevolence and outright communism became rather blurry. The Democratic Party, which controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress, was used as the springboard by social engineers to introduce a new era of welfare initiatives enacted in the name of “defending the poor”, also known as the “Great Society Programs”. These initiatives, however, were driven by far more subversive and extreme motivations, and have been expanded on by every presidency since, Republican and Democrat alike.

At Columbia University, sociologist professors Richard Cloward and Francis Fox Piven introduced a political strategy in 1966 in an article entitled ‘The Weight Of The Poor: A Strategy To End Poverty’.

This article outlined a plan that they believed would eventually lead to the total transmutation of America into a full-fledged centralized welfare state (in other words, a collectivist enclave). The spearpoint of the Cloward-Piven strategy involved nothing less than economic sabotage against the U.S.

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Institutional Racism By Walter E. Williams

A lot of people talk about institutional and systemic racism, but the most relevant current example is academia, which routinely discriminates against Asian-Americans and whites. From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

Institutional racism and systemic racism are terms bandied about these days without much clarity. Being 84 years of age, I have seen and lived through what might be called institutional racism or systemic racism. Both operate under the assumption that one race is superior to another. It involves the practice of treating a person or group of people differently based on their race. Negroes, as we proudly called ourselves back then, were denied entry to hotels, restaurants and other establishments all over the nation, including the north. Certain jobs were entirely off-limits to Negroes. What school a child attended was determined by his race. In motion pictures, Negroes were portrayed as being unintelligent, such as the roles played by Stepin Fetchit and Mantan Moreland in the Charlie Chan movies. Fortunately, those aspects of racism are a part of our history. By the way, Fetchit, whose real name was Lincoln Perry, was the first black actor to become a millionaire, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in 1976, the Hollywood chapter of the NAACP awarded Perry a Special NAACP Image Award.

Despite the nation’s great achievements in race relations, there remains institutional racism, namely the widespread practice of treating a person or group of people differently based on their race. Most institutional racism is practiced by the nation’s institutions of higher learning. Eric Dreiband, an assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, recently wrote that Yale University “grants substantial, and often determinative, preferences based on race.” The four-page letter said, “Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants.”

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Yale Prof: Hydroxychloroquine Haters Spewing ‘Misleading And Toxic Disinformation’, by Tyler Durden

Hydroxychloroquine would save lives and take a lot of the steam out of the vaccine movement. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Yale epidemiology professor Harvey Risch has hit back against critics who say he’s been the subject of personal attacks over his insistence that hydroxychloroquine is highly effective in treating COVID-19 if administered early in the disease’s progression.

In a Washington Examiner Op-Ed, Risch writes that the pushback against his advocacy for the drug has been “furious.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci has implied that I am incompetent, notwithstanding my hundreds of highly regarded, methodologically relevant publications in peer-reviewed scientific literature. A group of my Yale colleagues has publicly intimated that I am a zealot who is perpetrating a dangerous hoax and conspiracy theory. I have been attacked in news articles by journalists who, ignorant of the full picture, have spun hit pieces from cherry-picked sources. -Harvey Risch

Risch says the personal attacks are a “dangerous distraction from the real issue of hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness, which is solidly grounded in both substantial evidence and appropriate medical decision-making logic.”

He adds that there a no studies – published or in pre-print – which disprove his theory that HCQ should be used on high-risk outpatients, and that “assertions to the contrary, whether by Faucci, the FDA, or anyone else, are without foundation. They constitute misleading and toxic disinformation.

Covid-19 has ‘two main stages’ according to Risch, and HCQ works well in the first, but not the second, later stage of the disease:

At the first stage, it is a flu-like illness. That illness will not kill you. If you are a high-risk patient and begin treatment immediately, you will almost certainly be done with it in a few days. When not treated, high-risk patients may progress. The virus then causes severe pneumonia and attacks many organs, including the heart. In this second stage, hydroxychloroquine is not effective.

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Jubilee, by Robert Gore

The debt dam is crumbling as central bankers and government officials frantically refill the escaping lake with eye droppers.

As background to this article, it would be helpful to read an article I wrote in 2015, “Real Money.”

The foundation of the world financial system is debt. Every currency in the world is debt whose value is not tethered to any real value. In a rare display of official truth-in-packaging, right there on the instrument itself a US dollar bill tells you it’s debt: Federal Reserve Note. A note is a debt. What do holders of Federal Reserve Notes, officially creditors of the Federal Reserve, get for repayment of the debt they hold?

Federal Reserve Notes have no maturity date, pay no interest, and can never be redeemed. If you go to a Federal Reserve branch and try to redeem one, they will either not accept it or they will exchange it for an identical Federal Reserve Note. Why would anyone accept this peculiar instrument? Because you cannot refuse it. Also right there on the dollar bill it says: THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. For American transactions, it’s reject the dollar, go to jail. The American government even levies punitive measures on foreign governments that just say no.

Because central banks and governments can repay their debt with more of their own debt, they have been unconstrained in the amounts they produce. You and I would do the same thing if we were so empowered. Governments, central banks, and debt are a ménage à trois from hell. The US ménage has debased the currency’s value against real goods and services at least 95 percent since the establishment of the central bank in 1913. The ménage’s ill-gotten gains are someone else’s loss—gullible savers and creditors who believe promises by politicians and central bankers that they will not engage in the debasement they have every incentive to promote.

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Things Going By, by James Howard Kunstler

Think smaller as the present way of life fails. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

If this (first?) summer of Covid-19 has revealed anything about the current version of civilization, it’s the profound exhaustion of a culture reduced to going through the motions of its once-vital activities. A lot of things that we hope will come back are probably gone forever in the form we knew them, though they will eventually return in another configuration, reduced in scale, but perhaps finer in quality.

I miss baseball horribly, and its sad, half-assed attempt to present a rump season with no live bodies in the seats only amplifies the loss. But then, I haven’t gone to a stadium in twenty years, and I certainly won’t pay a hundred bucks or more to sit in Fenway Park. I used to go to night games there all the time when I was a starving bohemian writing for the Boston hippie newspapers back in 1972. You could get a decent field-level seat behind first base for five bucks. When I was a kid in Manhattan in 1960, a bleacher seat in the old Yankee Stadium was a quarter (plus 30 cents round-trip on the IRT subway).

They weren’t writing $100-million-plus player contracts until fairly recently, either, and of course that’s been a symptom of pro sports’ slide into fatal decadence. If baseball does try to stage a full season in 2021 or 2022, they will not be selling many hundred-dollar seats to an economically demolished middle-class. The teams will be functionally bankrupt by then and if they survive restructuring, there won’t be many million-dollar players. Maybe none. Carl Furillo, the veteran right-fielder for the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers, used to work construction in the off-season. He was on the crew that built New York’s Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Imagine Mike Trout hanging sheet-rock (if sheet-rock even exists as a product a few years from now).

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