Political correctness

Is It the New York Times, or the Onion?

Featured image A friend sent me a link to this New York Times article, published on Monday, that is headlined “A College Built for Canadian Settlers Envisions an Indigenous Future.” It reads like a parody, but I have verified that the Times actually did publish it. It is about how universities across Canada are “indigenizing.” I will turn the floor over to my friend; the comments on the Times piece are his. »

A cultural appropriator passes

Featured image Comedian Bill Dana died last week. Dana, a Jew of Hungarian descent, rose to fame in the early 1960s by portraying a bumbling Latino immigrant called Jose Jimenez. His trademark line — “My name Jose Jiminez,” uttered with a thick accent — was enough to produce gales of laughter from live television audiences. I was never sure why. Before he “culturally appropriated” Jimenez, Bill Dana appropriated Dana. His real name »

Supreme Court: There’s no “hate speech” exception to 1st Amendment

Featured image The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the government cannot deny full trademark protection to allegedly racially offensive trademarks. The opinions are here. The case involved an Asian-American band called “The Slants.” It sought federal registration of that mark. The Patent and Trademark Office denied the application under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting trademarks that may “disparage. . .or bring. . .into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.” »

No Ubermench at Uber

Featured image I’m a big Uber user and fan, partly because it works rwell, and also partly because the company defies regulators, starting up in many cities without asking permission and then mobilizing their happy (and typically elite) customer base when the taxi cartels try to use the power of government to stifle this innovative competition. The left hates Uber, precisely because it is impossible to unionize and regulate in the customary »

Two edgy comedians; two very different offenses

Featured image Last week, two left-wing entertainers found themselves in trouble for their expression. In one case, the offense was slight; in the other, it was serious. Bill Maher committed the slight offense. During an exchange on his show with Sen. Ben Sasse, Maher indicted his aversion to hard labor by calling himself a “house n****r.” Maher quickly added that this was “a joke,” as it obviously was. Sasse seemed neither amused »

At women’s college, a student strike for more money and free therapy succeeds

Featured image Here’s a student protest that makes some sense to me. Resident advisers (RAs) at Scripps College went on strike seeking more dough (and I don’t mean play-doh). Sophie Mann, a junior at Scripps, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reports: In a new twist on student protests, a group of resident advisers at Scripps College went on “strike” last week after issuing a list of demands—mostly for more money. Other »

Does This Drink Make Me Look Racist?

Featured image Last summer Philadelphia decided to turn itself into Bloombergistan by imposing a 1.5 cents per ounce tax in sugary soft drinks. [CLARIFICATION/update: The Philadelphia tax also includes diet drink and fruit drinks.] And the tax is working: sales of soft drinks in the city are down by as much as 50 percent. But as with cigarettes, it isn’t clear whether people are actually consuming less pop, or whether they’re buying »

The Meaning of Murray at Middlebury

Featured image The shameful episode involving Charles Murray at Middlebury sends me back to several things. First, The Bell Curve itself, which virtually none of Murray’s critics have bothered to read—certainly not the six-figure-salary hacks at the direct-mail-hysteria-dependent Southern Poverty Law Center who call Charles a “white nationalist,” ignorant that he is the father of mixed-race children, which rather disqualifies him for the white supremacy club I should think. Charles answered the »

DOJ tells Baltimore cops what pronouns they must use

Featured image Jim Scanlan describes the compliance nightmare that looms for the Baltimore Police Department as a result of the consent decree the City reached with the Justice Department. The events that led to the decree are well known. It stemmed from the death of Freddy Gray through injuries sustained in police custody. There was no convincing evidence that the police did much wrong, and prosecutors were unable to convict any of »

An all-star weekend worth missing

Featured image This is the NBA’s all-star weekend. The NBA is holding it in New Orleans. Originally, Charlotte was to be the host city. However, the league moved it because it disagrees with North Carolina’s law regarding bathroom usage. The law in question nullified a Charlotte ordinance that required businesses to allow transgender individuals who have not taken surgical and legal steps to change the gender noted on their birth certificate to »

HP pressures law firms to engage in discrimination

Featured image Kim Rivera, the chief legal officer and general counsel of HP Inc., has sent a letter to law firms that represent that company. The letter “mandates” (HP’s word) that these firms meet racial, ethnic, and gender quotas she has set for them. Rivera states that HP will withhold up to 10 percent of any amount invoiced by the law firms if they “do not meet or exceed our minimal diverse »

The trouble with Calhoun

Featured image Having previously declared that the name of Calhoun College was to survive the grand renaming project undertaken by the university, President Peter Salovey was at pains to explain why the university had changed its mind. What was once Calhoun College is now to be Hopper College. What happened? Roger Kimball explores the question in the Wall Street Journal column “Yale’s inconsistent name-dropping” (accessible here via Google). In the column Roger »

What was once Calhoun College is now…

Featured image Yale’s Calhoun College is one of the university’s venerable residential colleges. It’s named after the prominent alumnus John C. Calhoun. Calhoun served as Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, and United States Senator. He was the also the leading Southern proponent of slavery until his death in 1850. Calhoun is most famous for his advocacy of slavery as a “positive good.” The man did a lot of damage. »

Berkeley then and now

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald must recently have visited the Berkeley campus of the University of California. In her Winter 2017 City Journal essay “From culture to cupcakes,” Heather takes note of two long quotations in Bauhaus-era typography that adorn the facade of Berkeley Law, as the law school now calls itself. On the left is a passage by Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo, from a 1925 speech at »

The Next Social Science Firestorm

Featured image You might not take much notice—in fact you’d be at risk of falling asleep—if you stumbled across this abstract of a recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research by three highly regarded labor economists: Not Working at Work: Loafing, Unemployment and Labor Productivity Michael Burda, Katie R. Genadek, Daniel S. Hamermesh We use the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2003-12 to estimate time spent by workers in non-work while »

Bottom Story of the Week

Featured image Since James Taranto has given up his daily “Best of the Web” column for the Wall Street Journal, others need to fill in the gap, especially his “Bottom Story of the Week” category. And here is another story out of Canada showing that we’re losing our minds: Moby Dick’s Restaurant Barred as an Offensive Name VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A business in Vancouver, B.C., has sued its building council for »

The persistence of “locker room talk”

Featured image I don’t think of my time at the University of Minnesota Law School from 1976 to 1979 as ancient history. My teachers and classes remain vivid in my mind. It seems like yesterday. Yet Paul’s comments on “locker room talk” among athletes at elite colleges reminds me “that was in another country, and besides, the wench is dead,” so to speak. In a sense, the seventies partake of the modern »