Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

Editor: Jewish people should quit paying for anti-Semitic Universities

From Liel Leibowitz at at Tablet:

American universities are openly breaking their bonds with the Jewish community by embracing active discrimination against Jewish students and rejecting their intellectual, emotional, and moral attachments to the values of equal human dignity, universal rights, critical inquiry, and rational thought. Last month, the student-run College Council at Williams, one of the nation’s top-rated liberal arts colleges, denied the request of a new student-run group to be recognized as a Registered Student Organization. The group, Williams Initiative for Israel, is dedicated to promoting Israeli culture and the Jewish state’s right to exist. The council provided no reason for its refusal, and, breaking with protocol, allowed anonymous voting, scrubbed names of participants from the protocol, and disabled the livestream of the council’s meeting, deeply compromising the transparency of the voting process. The decision violates Williams’ own Code of Conduct, which states that the school shall be “committed to being a community in which all ranges of opinion and belief can be expressed and debated. … The College seeks to assure the right of all to express themselves in words and actions, so long as they can do so without infringing upon the rights of others or violating standards of good conduct or public law.”

Jewish students should take note. What the undergraduate Jacobins at Williams hate isn’t Bibi Netanyahu, or “the occupation,” or even Zionism. What they hate are the values that used to make American universities great, and that made Jews such a great fit for American universities. More.

Reality check: Exactly. Hold that thought. The raging Woke, whose position in life is determined by their victimhood and fragility, hate anyone whose position was earned by hard work and competence.

See also: Tech philosopher says, just wipe out student debt Too many are not learning anything worth paying for.


Tech philosopher says, just wipe out student debt

Recently, Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, interviewed George Gilder, noting “Few men or women in modern times have been so consistently farsighted in fathoming the future of high technology as George Gilder has been. Over a quarter-of-a-century ago, for instance, he foretold in stunningly accurate detail the characteristics of today’s smartphones.”

Everyone thought Gilder was a kook except Steve Jobs. Gilder, meanwhile, thinks that universities are preparing students to resent, not join, the new decentralized economy

Gilder: The government guaranteed loans to all the students. That means they aren’t loans. They’re just subsidies and a kind of bank benefits, and it’s really destroyed the universities. The universities didn’t have to be inventive, they didn’t have to compete, there was always more money, so why not build another gym and hire another fifty diversity officers and a transgender center…

Forbes: Why their hostility to real science, to manufacturing, to technology, portraying it as oppressing us rather than…

Gilder: They’re teaching everybody how to stop things rather than to start ‘em. This is because it produces wealth beyond their reach, beyond their capabilities. Each of them gets assigned to some sort of narrow niche of research that yields some utilitarian PhD that’s useless in the world. And they want to discredit the world. More.

Reality check: The raging Woke are serious too because they have none of the alternatives people with better training would have.

See also: Does Big Tech simply cater to tribalism or make it worse?


Hollywood continues eating its own

From Mark Tapson at Front Page Mag:

Hollywood is floundering. This past Easter weekend at the box office was the worst in more than a decade. The big studios with their mega-budget franchises (where would Hollywood be today without Marvel Comics?) increasingly have to resort to overseas profits to keep afloat. Showbiz awards shows, which have degenerated into self-congratulatory displays of anti-Trump virtue-signaling, have been failing spectacularly, posting record low ratings year after year. Trump Derangement Syndrome has caused celebs to publicly double down on their contempt for all those unwoke Americans in the flyover states, pushing audiences farther away than ever before. Meanwhile, independent flicks like Gosnell and Unplanned aimed at underserved conservative audiences are succeeding despite media blackouts and social media subversion. More.

The list of current victims is grim. It includes Woody Allen: “Social justice is never about justice. It is about power and payback. ”

Reality check: If Hollywood were thriving, it would seek to expand its boundaries. The ingroup cannibalism is a symptom of the decline.

See also: Why make films people must be tricked into watching?


Mark Steyn: One day Pete Seeger decided that Joe Stalin wasn’t so nice after all…

At his blog:

The invention of the faux-childlike faux–folk song was one of the greatest forces in the infantilization of American culture. Seeger’s hymn to the “senselessness” of all war, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” combined passivity with condescension — “When will they ever learn?” — and established the default mode of contemporary artistic “dissent.” Mr. Seeger’s ongoing veneration is indestructible. But at least we now know the answer to the question “When will he ever learn?”

At least half a century too late. More.

Reality check: One wonders if it will turn out that most leftist icons in the schools were worse than the people they replaced.

See also: Why is it now possible to admit that pedophilia is big in Hollywood?


The Woke go broke: Salon edition

From Keith J. Kelly at New York Post:

Salon Media Group, a one-time digital darling, has fallen on hard times. It lost its CEO of the past three years last week and appears to be on the brink of a deal to sell itself for a fire sale price of $5 million. …

The left-leaning Web site was launched in San Francisco in 1995, staffed largely by refugees from a newspaper strike at the San Francisco Examiner. It went public in June 1999 valued at $107 million, but has lost money ever since.More.

Reality check: Is it possible that there just aren’t that many Woke out there?

See also: Newspaper decline accelerates But who cares?


Disney writes off 400 million on Vice Media

From Peter Kafka at Vox:

Just a few years ago, big media companies were falling over themselves to bet on Vice Media. Disney made the biggest bet, by putting more than $400 million into the swashbuckling digital publisher.

Now, Disney says all of the money it put into Vice has been incinerated: In investor filings Wednesday, Disney said it no longer thinks it will ever get any return on the investment it made in Vice — a company that at one point was supposedly worth $5.7 billion.

Vice is still worth something, in some investors’ eyes. Last week, a group of lenders said they put a fresh round of $250 million into the company.More.

Reality check: Apparently, a righteous female CEO has been hired to clean up the swashbuckling ethos. which will doubtless make the product more interesting than ever.

See also: Newspaper decline accelerates


Mark Steyn on the post-free speech world

At his blog:

Every day the Big Shut-Up advances: Last week Facebook eighty-sixed Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson and for good measure Twitter suspended the Hollywood contrarian James Woods. It’s a bit unfair on poor old calypso conspiracist Louis Farrakhan, who found himself de-platformed with all the right-wing haters just because Speech Commissar Zuckerberg needed a bipartisan figleaf. He won’t require that much longer, and indeed Big Social is growing ever more brazen in its preference for monitored speech over free speech. (See, for example, Google’s thuggish and moronic censorship of the Claremont Institute.) More.

Reality check: The reason is simpler than we often realize. As tech philosopher George Gilder likes to say, if the medium is free, it is because you are the product. We can’t expect that and respect for our opinion too.

See also: Will AI teach us to love Big Brother? Western societies accept total surveillance if it controls crime and addiction?


Theologian raises the question in mainstream faithmag: Is Pope Francis a heretic?

From Thomas Weinandy at First Things:

Nineteen theologians and academics recently released a letter to all Catholic bishops throughout the world, accusing Pope Francis of being a heretic and urging the bishops to take action, even canonical, in order to rectify this dire state of affairs.

There is no need to repeat the concerns expressed within that letter. They are well known, and have already been critiqued by many theologians, academics, priests, bishops, and even cardinals. What makes this open letter unique is its formal charge of heresy. This is an extreme position to take, as the authors themselves admit, but they believe that, given the critical situation that has developed in the Church, such a position is merited.

Undoubtedly, many of the statements Pope Francis has made are ambiguous, and therefore troubling—for they can be interpreted in both an orthodox and a heterodox manner. What is most disconcerting is that erroneous interpretations, those contrary to the Church’s doctrinal and moral tradition, are often propounded by bishops and cardinals—those who want to implement misguided teaching within their dioceses and urge that they become the norm within their national jurisdictions. More.

Reality check: So does that mean he is a heretic for those who need him to be? But otherwise, everything is deniable? Things do seem to be shaping up that way.

See also: For the first time, “No Religion” is the most popular choice for Americans


Newspaper decline accelerates

From #futureofmedia at LinkedIn:

Local publications have seen steeper drops in revenues from circulation and advertising — even outlets that have digitized struggle to turn readers into paying customers. Some 1,800 newspapers have shuttered across the U.S. since 2004. More.

Reality check: Once a progressive government puts all these media on welfare, Americans will be paying them to produce stuff no one wants to pay to read or take the time to read. That’s not where we’d find the real story anyway. Or what am I missing?

See also: Beware, beware of vaporware, especially where self-driving cars are concerned.  Prediction: Cool, unworkable ideas will be puffed by such media fact-free into the stratosphere. It’ll make up for the helium shortage.


MercatorNet asks some hard questions about transgender claims for kids

From Michael Cook at MercatorNet:

Interest in transgender medicine is growing rapidly – “at an incredible rate”, according to Karen Parker, director of the US National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Sexual and Gender Minority Research Office.

Gender clinics are springing up in many countries to offer counselling and therapy for transgender youth as well as adults. Numbers are hard to come by but an article in The Atlantic last year reported that “Anecdotally… clinicians are reporting large upticks in new referrals, and waiting lists can stretch to five months or longer.”

However, there seems to be a wide gap between clinical practice and research, at least as far as child and adolescent transgender health is concerned. Astonishingly, despite the enormous media interest in transgender issues, little research has been done on the effects of transgender treatment on children and teenagers. On adults, yes. But not on children and teenagers, who are precisely the focus of controversy. More.

and, about puberty blockers,

From John Greenall at MercatorNet: A recent review by Oxford Professor Michael Biggs critiques the study instigated by the GIDS to administer experimental drugs to children suffering from gender dysphoria. He concludes that ‘it showed no evidence for the effectiveness of GnRHa…in addition, there is unpublished evidence that…puberty blockers exacerbated gender dysphoria.’ And of further concern, he found that follow up of over-18s has not been possible because ‘transgender activists successfully lobbied the NHS to provide new numbers to patients as well as to change the ‘gender’ on their medical records.’

A recent evidence review in the BMJ found ten studies that analysed the effects of puberty blockers. All lacked either significant blinding or controls, and one included controls that ‘were inadequate as relatives and friends of the participants were asked to participate, serving as age-matched controls’.

A group of paediatricians recently wrote in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, warning that GnRHa treatment is a momentous step in the dark.  More.

Also, rushing by:

From Michael Van Der Galien at PJ Media:

It doesn’t get much crazier than this. According to KPTV-TV, an Oregon elementary school teacher tried to convince an 8-year-old student that he was transgender. The schoolteacher did this without involving the parents. The result? The boy is now aggressive, depressed, and confused. More.

How long before a judge rules that it’s the kid’s right to have this happen?

Reality check: While we are here anyway, recently, this story buzzed through here at BCF: Torstar Gets $18 Million Boost From Ontario Tax Credit In Q1, Reducing Loss What’s the matter with me that I do not see the people at TorStar being any use in helping understand what is really happening with this transgender kids thing?

See also: Why make films people must be tricked into watching?


Your new “diversity” word: Sologamy – marrying oneself

From Melissa Denton at the Telegraph:

My ex used to say to me: “You can get married, darling, but it won’t be to me.” It suddenly struck me that he was right. I could get married – to myself.More.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Reality check: If you want to tell jokes about it, do so before it becomes a protected status, engulfed in That’s-NOT-funny sanctimony.

See also: Does Big Tech simply cater to tribalism or make it worse? Another new phrase for you: Racial capitalism


A light(er)-hearted look at anti-Semitism on the left

From Rachel Alexander at Townhall:

It’s become so bad that Sean Spicier, the parody Twitter account of former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, tweeted, “Luckily in this day and age it’s virtually impossible for anti-Semites to stay anonymous, almost all of them have a (D) next to their name.” …

And some good news:

Brandon Straka, the leader of the #WalkAway movement fleeing the Democrats, is now starting a #WalkAway plan for Jews. Since the influence of the radical Islamists appears to be increasing in the U.S. thanks to the Democrats, it is very likely he will have some success. More.

Reality check: Think of #WalkAway movements as somewhat like reaching out to battered spouses. “They say they love you and you can just feel the heat? And you’ve got the scars to show it? Um… Uh… can we talk?”

See also: The “You’re a hater” slander’s true purpose


At First Things: The campaign to suppress Unplanned is failing

From George Weigel at First Things:

Thus far, the campaign against Unplanned hasn’t worked. The film has been a box office success, despite efforts to black out advertising for, or coverage of, its first weeks on the silver screen. And we may hope that the campaign against Unplanned will eventually boomerang, as it becomes ever more clear that what Big Abortion, its ideological allies, and its political facilitators fear most of all is the truth—the truth that strips away the rhetorical façade behind which the campaign for “liberalized” abortion laws has been conducted since the late 1960s.

In his informal memoir, At Ease, Dwight D. Eisenhower lamented the loss in World War II of millions of “lives that might have been creatively lived,” and noted that the memory of that slaughter “scars the mind of the modern world.” It cannot be doubted that the tens of millions of lives lost to the abortion license in America since Roe v. Wade—lives that might have been creatively lived—scar the national conscience, whatever the euphemisms that put band-aids over the scars. There are also the scars borne by women who have chosen abortion; their healing, and effective service to women in crisis pregnancies, must always be the complement to argument and witness in pro-life activism. More.

Reality check: Well, it’s not a film you have to trick people to see.

See also: Charlotte Allen’s thoughtful assessment of the Unplanned film


Why make films people must be tricked into watching?


Why make films people must be tricked into watching?

From Christian Toto at Townhall:

Remember “Miss Sloane”? The 2016 flop starred Jessica Chastain as a hard-charging lobbyist who takes on pro-gun interests. The film is an unabashed attack on the NRA, and yet the film’s key talent suggested the film didn’t choose sides.

Here’s “Miss Sloane” director John Madden:

“It was never our intention that the film be a polemic on this issue,” Madden says of the movie’s gun control theme. “It’s the context of the story, but it’s not the subject of the story. We had no intention of coming in and pointing a long finger at the situation and saying, ‘Why can’t you guys get this right?’” More.

Reality check: We can assume, I think, that if they made films people wanted to see, they could dispense with the trickery and make more money more easily. But they really care about their message so they trick people and make films that bomb.

I worry that if they regularly find themselves in that position, they will—if they can—deal with it by restricting the films we can see — for our own good of course. Then, anything they do can be portrayed as a hit.

See also: Collision course: Free speech vs big tech


PBS airs documentary on the beginning of an abortion of twins

It’s a chemical abortion so they were poisoned rather than dismembered. From Katie Yoder at Townhall:

To her unborn twins, she said: “Thank you for choosing me. And I’m honored to be given this gift of life. And also, I can’t do it right now. I can’t accept that mantle in terms of the other lives that I’m taking care of and I’m responsible for.”

With that, Taryn popped the pill into her mouth before picking up a styrofoam cup of water to swallow. More.

Reality check: Probably PBS and ideologically similar outfits hope that, via exposure, most people will come to accept aborting children identified as such casually. That, of course, softens us up for euthanasia of various types.

It’s worth remembering that, prior to Judaism and Christianity, it was taken for granted that parents had the right to kill their children. Mainly, it was fathers who exercised the right — but not only fathers. As our society sheds the Jewish and Christian beliefs that prohibited killing others at will, either parents or (in the case of progressive societies)  the government will attempt more and more to reclaim that right. Think Alfie Evans and we get the picture in the latter case.

See also: Infanticide bills trigger backlash against abortion in the US