Political correctness

Pinker Steps Up Against Harvard Anti-Israel BDS

Featured image Paul wrote yesterday about the mendacity of the Israel BDS (“Boycott, Divest, Sanctions”) movement at Harvard, where the presence of a water dispenser made by an Israeli-based company in Harvard dining halls was called a “microaggression” by the permanently aggrieved. Late yesterday the widely noted psychologist Steven Pinker stepped up, writing to Harvard’s president Drew Faust and provost Alan Garber to protest in the strongest possible terms against capitulating to »

Water machines as microaggression

Featured image Increasingly, we hear the term “microaggression” tossed around by the infantile left. But what does it mean? As far as I can tell, a microaggression is an affront — real or imagined for the sake of being affronted — so trivial that few stable adults would notice it and none would give it a second thought. When the term is used, the only aggression in sight is that committed by »

The Rape Hoax Epidemic

Featured image The Daily Caller performs the public service today of looking at eight other notorious campus rape cases that parallel the University of Virginia case that turned out to be hoaxes.  Gee—it really does seem more and more like we’re living in Salem, MA, in 1692. Meanwhile, Christina Hoff Sommers performs her usual public service in going over the witch-burning style ideological hysteria that drives this whole scene in her latest “Factual »

So Who Can You Still Joke About?

Featured image I’ve been trying to come up with a list of nationalities or ethnic groups—even subgroups—about whom it is still safe to make a joke publicly, since political correctness is shrinking the domain down to the vanishing point.  Before long you won’t be able to make jokes about “little green men” from Mars, for fear of offending illegal aliens “undocumented” immigrants.  I’m not even sure you can joke about white people any »

“Known wolf” syndrome

Featured image The hostage taking in Australia is over now, and the name of the hostage-taker has been released. He was an Iranian-born Islamic cleric named Man Monis, aka Shiekh Haron. If the past is any guide, Monis will be described as a “lone wolf” terrorist because, as far as we know, he acted on his own, not on orders from a terrorist organization. But Patrick Poole of PJ Media argues that »

Conservative Muslim’s opinions produce “existential worry” at University of Michigan

Featured image Omar Mahmood, a Muslim student at the University of Michigan, is a conservative. Worse, he expressed his conservative views as a columnist for a school publication. As a result, Mahmood was subjected to vandalism. Messages were left on his apartment door calling him obscene names and telling him to “shut the f*** up.” The vandals also left a picture taken from Mahmood’s Facebook profile with his eyes X’d out. This »

Wanted: One Viking. Must Furnish His Own Sword.

Featured image Today the Minnesota Vikings played the Washington Redskins here in Minnesota. Before the game, several thousand protesters turned out at the University of Minnesota to demand that Redskins owner Dan Snyder change the team’s name. Among them was old-timer Clyde Bellecourt: “We are standing up against this monster team that is here today and to this Jewish person who should know a little bit about genocide,” Bellecourt said in a »

Fordham prof investigated for “religious discrimination” based on opposing boycott of Israel

Featured image Doran Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, is an outspoken opponent of calls by the American Studies Association (ASA) for a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions. And wisely so. The boycott is an affront to the free exchange of ideas that should be at the heart of the academic mission. The affront is so obvious that the boycott has failed to gain much traction, for now at least, »

On Penn State, Ray Rice, Bruce Levenson, and sanctimony [UPDATED]

Featured image Sports may or may not breed discipline, but these days they certainly breed disciplinarians, too many of whom wear suits and sit behind desks. Three new developments remind us of this. The first development is a good one. The NCAA has announced that it will lift sanctions against Penn State. It imposed the sanctions in the aftermath of revelations that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky molested children »

Trademark Infringement

Featured image Apparently there is a statute that gives the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office the legal authority to revoke a trademark it deems to be “immoral” “scandalous” or “disparaging,” and the Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to regulate copyrights and patents (Article I, Section 8, clause 8), so the federal government’s revocation of the Washington Redskins name appears legal on the surface, though I can imagine a number of avenues for »

The NAS invites you

Featured image Our friends at the National Association of Scholars write to alert us that this is the last day of NAS’s write-your-own-trigger-warnings contest. Readers of the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, the Daily Caller, and College Insurrection have been submitting entries. The NAS would love to have Power Line readers get in on the fun. You are cordially invited: What do you wish you knew about a book before you were »

Scenes from the Front Lines: PC at Chicago

Featured image I’ve received a remarkable and detailed report from the front lines from an undergraduate student about how the culture of political correctness infects even the University of Chicago, which I had hitherto thought to have resisted much of this.  I’ve redacted the name of the student, and edited down the length:   The lack of economics literacy on campus is stunning, that too at a university with the rich tradition »

CRB: The Redskins and their offense

Featured image Last year we touched on the controversy over the Washington Redskins team name, as in Paul’s posts “What’s in a Name?” and “What’s in a Name, part two.” At that time we concluded that the attack on team owner Dan Snyder and the Redskins’ name appeared far more a power play than a matter of genuine concern. To absolutely no one’s surprise (except, I suppose, those who assumed Snyder would »

Liberalism and the NBA locker room

Featured image In a comment on my post about the punishment of the NFL player who was offended by Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on national television, and expressed his disapproval publicly, John says the NFL’s reaction shows that modern liberalism has nothing to do with protecting people from being offended. John’s contention finds support in the locker room of basketball’s Indiana Pacers. After a big Pacers win over the Washington Wizards, »

Criminalizing Speech in the UK?

Featured image In my post over the weekend about the arrest of Paul Weston over in the UK for reading Churchill’s infamous passage about Islam from The River War, I wondered whether Weston might have been arrested for violating some kind of hateful “hate speech” law or perhaps on the narrower charge of violating the UK equivalent of a “time, place, and manner” restriction.  It ominously appears it was the former, as »

Friday Night Videos: Gun Rights and Political Correctness Run Amok

Featured image Here are two completely different videos for Friday night (or Saturday morning) viewing. The only thing they have in common is that they are short. This one is from the National Rifle Association. It debuted this afternoon at the NRA’s convention in Indianapolis, and responds to Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he will spend $50 million to try to limit our Second Amendment rights. The people you see are contributors to »

The shame of Brandeis

Featured image I want to take the liberty of affirming John Podhoretz’s brief comments on the withdrawal of Brandeis University’s invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ayaan was to receive an honorary degree at its upcoming graduation ceremony. John writes: If you have not yet heard, Brandeis University has rescinded its offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born activist whose work has focused on the barbaric misogyny rampant in »