Academic left

Academic Absurdity of the Year: The Socially-Constructed Penis Hoax

Featured image Just about every time I post an Academic Absurdity here, commenters rightly think it has to be a hoax, and refer back to the ur-hoax of all time, the Alan Sokal Social Text article of 20 years ago that said even physics was “socially constructed.” A very sensible reaction, but in fact all of the ones I have posted are real. Now I have a real hoax to report in »

Middlebury Becomes Muddlebury

Featured image We noted here a week ago the tepid reaction of Claremont McKenna College to the violent disruption of Heather Mac Donald’s appearance there a few weeks ago, printing the entirety of Dean Peter Uvin’s lugubrious memo to the faculty that outlined how to let off the offending students. Now comes word out of Middlebury College about the punishment to be meted out to the students who violently assaulted Charles Murray »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Getting Squirrelly

Featured image How’s this for some really squirrelly scholarship, from Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography: When ‘Angelino’ squirrels don’t eat nuts: a feminist posthumanist politics of consumption across southern California Teresa Lloro-Bidart Abstract Eastern fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), reddish-brown tree squirrels native to the eastern and southeastern United States, were introduced to and now thrive in suburban/urban California. As a result, many residents in the greater Los Angeles »

The Disgrace at Duke [With Comment by John]

Featured image You would think that after the fiasco of the fake rape case against the Duke lacrosse team that Duke University would behave itself with more rectitude. But no. Rod Dreher reports over at The American Conservative of a brave professor at Duke Divinity School, Paul Griffiths, who is resisting a typically tendentious Maoist-style re-education camp. And naturally for this he is being branded a—wait for it!—racist, sexist, bigot. The entire »

Crash at the Four-Way Intersectionality

Featured image “Intersectionality” is supposed to be the intellectual/political clearing house for each branch of the leftist Victim-Grievance-Industrial-Complex (VGIC for short), the idea being that combining multiple perspectives on victimhood provides some kind of socio-political multiplier effect. Think of it as Keynesian victimology, except instead of ruining the economy with reckless deficit spending we ruin the lives of minorities with reckless deficit philosophy. But the various certified victim classes keep having minor »

What Is Going On at Claremont McKenna?

Featured image Claremont McKenna College, scene of the disgraceful disruption of Heather Mac Donald last month, says it is going to discipline students involved in the incident. At least they say they are. Here is the complete memo circulated to the faculty by CMC vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty Peter Uvin. I apologize about the length, but it is necessary to present the thing as an example of »

Just Another Thursday at Berkeley

Featured image A “normal” day at Berkeley (you really can’t ever use the word “normal” about Berkeley in the normal way), except for the hundreds of police officers present at Sproul Plaza, which included a large contingent of California Highway Patrol officers with riot gear and plastic handcuffs handy. The heavy CHP presence was the first sign that this time the city and University weren’t going to let things get out of »

Today’s University Epic Fail

Featured image Just when you think universities can’t sink any lower, they manage to find a way. This afternoon news was announced that UC Berkeley has cancelled Ann Coulter’s planned appearance next week, citing security concerns after last weekend’s riots along with the feeble excuse that the university couldn’t find a room to accommodate her, along with other made-up restrictions on her planned appearance. I had already heard from my own sources »

The NY Times Agrees with Power Line

Featured image No sooner do I repeat my theme here about how the left created the “post-truth” era, than the New York Times comes along to ratify my thesis. Writing in the Times today, Duke University student Casey Williams wonders, “Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools?” For decades, critical social scientists and humanists have chipped away at the idea of truth. We’ve deconstructed facts, insisted that knowledge is situated and denied the »

The Intolerant Left

Featured image Last week at Boulder’s Conference on World Affairs I was placed on a panel about the subject of “alternative facts”—that wonderful phrase of Kellyanne Conway’s that sent the media and the left (but I repeat. . .) into paroxysms of rage. As I mentioned before, the sound failed on the video of my opening remarks (I’m hoping a backup audio recording may come available), which is too bad, as I »

The Infantile Left

Featured image Say what you will about the “red-diaper babies” of the old left decades ago: at least they wore diapers. Today’s un-diapered left is dropping its s— everywhere. I missed the latest riot in Berkeley yesterday (I was out of town), but I may well get another chance when Ann Coulter is scheduled to come to campus later this month for a speech sponsored by the Berkeley College Republicans. This will »

Claremont Rioters To Be Punished?

Featured image We wrote here about the disgraceful shutting down of a speech by Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College last week. The Brownshirts who blocked access to the building where Heather was to speak included Claremont students as well as outsiders. The campus police did nothing to impede the mob; if anything, it appeared that they were there in order to protect the rioters. No doubt CMC has taken a »

Barbarians Rule at Claremont McKenna

Featured image I wrote yesterday about Heather Mac Donald’s West Coast tour. Night before last, she was at UCLA at the invitation of the college Republicans, and was subjected to the usual inane treatment by leftists. Last night she was at Claremont McKenna College, and it was even worse. Heather emails: The crowds started gathering around my speaking location and the guest suite where I had been hustled after arriving on campus »

Free Speech & Silly Speech on Campus

Featured image Two terrific articles to bring to your attention today, and then an event announcement/invitation for East Bay Power Line readers. First up is Robert Boyers, a professor of English at Skidmore College and editor of Salmagundi, a literary journal not widely known beyond the halls of academe, writing this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education about “The Academy’s Assault on Intellectual Diversity.” Very much worth reading the whole thing, »

My Daughter Made the Drudge Report

Featured image As everyone knows, things are very bad on college campuses these days. So bad that my youngest daughter has made the Drudge Report. The link is Conservative students say “violently threatened.” It is an outrageous situation that is being handled with remarkable grace by conservative students. »

Middlebury Agonistes

Featured image Princeton’s Robbie George and his lefty sparring partner Cornel West have put out a splendid statement unequivocally condemning the shameful events at Middlebury. Excerpt: All of us should seek respectfully to engage with people who challenge our views. And we should oppose efforts to silence those with whom we disagree—especially on college and university campuses. As John Stuart Mill taught, a recognition of the possibility that we may be in »

The Rich Are the Party of the Left

Featured image I’ve argued here now and then that the Democratic Party (and liberalism) is now the natural home for the left. Kevin Williamson writes about corporate leftism at National Review this week, though as far back as the Reagan years conservatives began to perceive that big business is not our friend. (It was blowback from several Fortune 500 CEOs that kept Reagan from reversing the JFK-LBJ era executive order that gave »