Loose Ends (31)

The Financial Times has an interesting article on Chinese universities, and especially how the authoritarian regime would like to exert better control over foreign-funded universities and branch campuses. The government is going to place trusted Communist Party members on the board of trustees on all these joint-venture universities, and make them vice chancellors as well.

This passage in particular stands out:

“This changes the nature of the game and has ominous potential [consequences] for academic freedom,” one of the people said. “The first line of control is self censorship. The next line is [more] overt.”

In other words, the Chinese are modeling themselves after American universities!

Germany sub-alles? Angela Merkel is unable to form a government, and may call for new elections. The sticking points between her and her potential coalition partners sound familiar: immigration, and energy policy. Her potential right of center partners want to restrict immigration and back away from green energy nonsense, while her potential left of center partners demand open immigration and a pledge to abandon coal-fired power as well as Germany’s remaining nuclear power. Good luck with that. Apparently a coalition with the new Alternative for Germany Party, which went from zero to 95 seats in the Bundestag in the last election, is not even being remotely considered. Merkel’s survival as chancellor is in doubt, like Theresa May in Britain. (Though ironically Merkel’s sudden weakness may help bail out May, as May’s government can now demand a better Brexit deal. Merkel was clearly intent on punishing Britain for its temerity in rejecting the EU.)

Great. Just what we need. Parliamentary instability in Germany in a time of populism. Maybe the supposedly “gridlocked” American system isn’t so bad after all. At least we get an administration that can function.

Finally, about the brewing Capitol Hill sexual harassment scandal, in which millions of dollars have been quietly paid out to settle harassment claims. Anyone care to make book on whether Joe Biden was one of the figures involved? Rumors are starting to circulate. . .

I’ve been thinking about coming up with a 1 to 10 Weinstein Grossness Scale to calibrate the problem of male predation. Here’s a first draft:

  1. Flirtatious emails/texts.
  2. Lame pick up lines at a bar.
  3. Wolf whistle on the street. (Hard-hat optional.)
  4. The Joe Biden (uninvited hugs and general grabbiness).
  5. The George H.W. Bush (pinching/patting derriere).
  6. The Full Franken (uninvited kiss).
  7. The Roy Moore (stalking teenagers).
  8. The Ted Kennedy-Charlie Rose maneuver (turning up without pants).
  9. The Louis C.K. (ick).
  10. The Clinton-Weinstein maneuver (aka rape).

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