Monday, February 29, 2016

Lucky the students don’t understand this gobblygook

Lucky the students don’t understand this gobblygook – But they will be tested on it.
SAMPLE SENTENCE:  “Self-delusion and self-discipline inhibits the reflective self, the postmodern membrane, the ecclesiastical impulse forbidden by truth-seeking and sun worship, problematizing the inchoate structures of both reason and darkness, allowing knowledge, half-knowledge, and knowledgelessness to undermine and yet simultaneously overcome the self-loathing that overwhelms the Gnostic challenge facing Biblical scribes, folksingers, and hip-hop rappers alike.”

It’s not just right-wing populists who are worried that some academic humanities and social science fields are veering into irrelevance. The latest issue of the left-of-center magazine American Prospect has a depressing report by the leftist Occidental professor Peter Dreier on his experience submitting a bogus paper to a humanities conference and getting it accepted. . . .
 He also includes examples of the type of real humanities work that led him to undertake this experiment (he saw sentences elsewhere like: “Given the attitudes generated by our sense of a place, critical perspectives that only target overt structures within city systems are incomplete” and “Theoretical, conceptual and methodological choices must be framed in relation to concrete explanatory and interpretive dilemmas, not ontological foundations.”)

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE: “Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis…there is an opportunity for STEM courses to reduce the perception of courses as difficult and unfriendly through language use in the syllabi, and also as a guide for how to use less competitive teaching methods and grading profiles that could improve the experience of female students.”
As Steve Hayward of Power Line adds, “In other words, dumb it down and practice grade inflation for the girls in the class, who are no different from boys, don’t you ever forget.”

Close all the schools; kill all the lawyers. The ways and whys are innumerable;  hope for salvaging any of them still lies locked in Pandora’s box.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

“Politicians are Inveterate Liars”

“Politicians are Inveterate Liars”
So, what possible intelligence can voters exercise in casting their ballots? They can vote in accordance with the appeal a particular candidate’s promises hold for them, but relying on candidates to carry out their promises would be childishly foolish. Anyone who pays the slightest attention to politics knows that politicians are inveterate liars; many would sooner lie than speak truthfully even if the truth did not thwart their purposes, because lying would be more congenial to their true, dishonest character. Thus, voters can do nothing more than throw ideological darts, casting their ballots for the candidate who makes the most appealing noises, has the handsomest face, or displays peacock-like the most fabulous partisan posturing.

To perceive any fixed and reliable link between what the candidates promise and what they deliver in office would be wildly counterfactual. Politicians have no more backbone than an earthworm. Even if they could not be bought—and most obviously can be—they are constantly at auction for rent, and the bidding never ceases. Thus, we can count on them with complete confidence in only one regard: their mendacious shilly-shallying.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What about you?

   A winning combination?

When you think of a trifecta, isn’t a winning combination desired? Not so, with our educated class today. Affluence, arrogance and ignorance – a losing combination characterizes the world of elites absorbing the political, wealthy, philosophical and academic. I’m excluded.  What about you? 

Friday, February 12, 2016



A Deal Is a Deal
”A new shift is scrambling an already complex diplomatic landscape. World powers agreed early today to reach a cease-fire in Syria in one week, allowing aid in but giving Russia and the Assad regime time to press an offensive that has expanded the Kremlin’s clout in the region. Russia’s stepped-up military operations in Syriaare also splitting Washington’s Middle East allies, with some countries beginning to see a need to work with the Kremlin as it fortifies President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, according to Arab, Israeli and U.S. officials. Rebels fighting the regime say their survival depends on changing tactics and shifting to guerrilla warfare, as their territorial losses to the regime and its Russian and Iranian allies mount.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

“I see people voting on which power-mad person will crack the whip over those same people”

“I see people voting on which power-mad person will crack the whip over those same people”
Ms. Erica C_____
Dear Ms. C_____:
Thanks for your e-mail.  First, I am not conservative.  I am liberal in the original and correct sense of that term.
Second, I’m afraid that I don’t share your enthusiasm for politics, be they democratic or not.  Where you “see citizens [at the polls] selecting our leaders,” I see people voting on which power-mad person will crack the whip over those same people and brand and herd them like cattle.  Where you are “inspired by candidates campaigning openly to win the election,” I am frightened to realize that one of those hubris-slathered men or women will actually come to possess such power that no man or woman is, or ever will be, fit to possess.  Where you are “charged” by the “vigorous debates” among candidates, my stomach is sickened and my intelligence is insulted by the economics-free, fact-strained, and too-often-vacuous talking (and shouting) points that pass for a serious discussion of issues.
And where you say that you “trust voters” more than I trust them, that depends.  You’re correct that I distrust people as voters, for in that capacity they largely express opinions on how other people’s (their fellow citizens’) money should be spent and on how other people’s lives should be led.  But I trust – perhaps more than you do, and certainly more than do any of the candidates – those same voters as individuals each to spend his or her own money wisely and to lead his or her life well, each according to his or her own lights, without interference or direction from any of the officious, arrogant, and venal candidates seeking power over the lives of other people.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason U