Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

What if Catholics espoused what radical Islamists do?

Australia – Peaceful Islamists Protest

From our American friend John Gilmore at alphanews, reporting from India:

The Regressive Left immediately paints any criticism of Islam as racist (it is a religion, not a race but liberals only have that one, worn out card to play) and call any critic a bigot. Mind you, if Catholicism taught what Mohammed and the Koran teach, they’d condemn it in a flash. This is the hypocrisy with which we are faced and to which, fortunately, we are increasingly impervious when called bigoted. Honesty is not bigotry. More.

Reality check: True, but the “Regressive Left” are not afraid of Catholics. Catholics usually just stumble, crumble, apologize, stop going to Mass and vote for oppression.

See also: Left-wing evangelicals still stupefied over Trump win. They didn’t hesitate to support a president who was “pro-choice” on third-trimester abortions.

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Will a robot take your job? Better look out…

From John Mauldin at Mauldin Economics:

The problem is less about jobs disappearing than about the automation of particular tasks that are part of our jobs. In most cases, employers can’t simply fire a human, plug in a robot, and accomplish all the same things at the same or better performance level but lower cost. You have to zoom in closer and look at the tasks that each job entails, and ask which of them can be automated. The roughneck jobs in the oilfield are a good example: The Iron Roughneck doesn’t replace all workers on the rig, just some of them.

So when McKinsey says that 23% of US “current work activity hours” will be automated by 2030, that’s not the same as saying 23% of jobs. The shift will affect almost all jobs to some degree. That 23% figure is their “midpoint” scenario, too. In the “rapid” scenario it’s 44% of US current work activity hours that will be handed over to machines.

In other words, whatever your job is, some part of it will likely get automated in the next decade or so. That might be good news if the machines can take on the repetitive drudgery that you don’t enjoy. Automation could free you to do things that are more interesting to you and more valuable to your employer. But outcomes are going to vary widely… More.

Reality check: The single biggest problem isn’t that people won’t have jobs. Mom’s basement may not be a bad place to live rent-free, with food, beer, and pot vouchers, also free internet and health care. No, the problem is that ambitious surplus people will become local PC enforcers — raising hell with the people that machines can’t just replace, on any pretext they have all the time in the world to dream up…

See also: Leftworld: WLU’s Lindsay Shepherd’s stand against bullying just “white women’s tears”

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Profs see criticism of their far out views as “violence”

From Toni Airaksinen at Campus Reform:

A group of education professors recently claimed that Campus Reform “attacks” and commits “violence” against “faculty who represent historically marginalized groups.”

In the most recent issue of the Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 11 professors signed onto a joint statement condemning the “violence” perpetrated by news outlets that report on higher education, including The College Fix and Campus Reform.

“The attack on critical scholars within US universities has greatly accelerated with the election, statements, and actions of Donald Trump,” the professors write, later adding that “We know these attacks are only going to grow, and we know we cannot just be in a defensive mode.”More.

Reality check: Of course, to them it must seem like violence. They are not used to people who can defend themselves by reasonable argument, evidence, and moral suasion.

Let’s just hope they don’t plan to attack fellow profs or institute a reign of terror, such as happened at Evergreen State. On the other hand, if they do…

See also: Biology prof Bret Weinstein’s persecutors face sanctions from Evergreen State College

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Left-wing evangelicals still stupefied over Trump win

From Susan Stamper Brown at Townhall:

Donald Trump has been president for a year, yet my social media newsfeed and email inbox still overflow with stupefied leftwing evangelicals who hate Trump (literally) and loathe the conservative Christians that voted for him.

They didn’t hesitate to support a president who was “pro-choice” on third-trimester abortions, but they have zero grace for our current president — who has already fulfilled promises on key conservative issues like judicial nominations, abortion and religious freedom.

It’s sad to say and quite telling, but Trump’s political positions are more Christian than theirs. More.

Reality check: It may be sad but it is not very surprising. Decades ago, I knew many Christians who were members of the NDP here in Canada but one by one they dropped out. Fanatical NDP hatred of so many values that could honestly be endorsed by Christians wore them down. One wonders who’s left.

See also: Why so many lefties are sex harassers

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Leftworld: WLU’s Lindsay Shepherd’s stand against bullying just “white women’s tears”

From Uri Harris at Quillette:

It seems incredible that someone could listen to the recording of the meeting between Shepherd and the three faculty members and come away thinking that she was using ‘her white woman tears’ to bully Rambukkana. It seems far more plausible to me that she’s crying because she’s upset and intimidated by three superiors accusing her of transphobia and gender violence. Presumably, she would have responded similarly if Pimlott, a white man, had done most of the talking. Or for that matter, if she herself had been of colour.

Here are the relevant quotes in an article shared widely on social media that made these claims:

“Shepherd seems almost willfully blind to the ways by which speech acts, including the loaded history of white women tears, can indeed, incite physical and verbal violence. […] Others, myself included, who reached out to her to highlight the way in which historically rooted theatrics of white tears were mobilized to ultimately dismiss an untenured professor of colour, she dismissed and lampooned these allegations, questioning the basis of claims that she might be transphobic or racist. […] It’s true that Laurier did a rather poor job of handling all of this, but I do think they threw an untenured professor of colour under the bus to avoid media scrutiny. His only mistake was comparing Jordan Peterson to someone who committed genocide, when in reality, he is better compared to someone who denies genocide ever happened.”

Karl Marx based much of his work around a historical narrative, known as historical materialism. Critical Theory seems to rely on the same type of approach, explaining societal phenomena through historical narratives, in this case race and gender. And as with Marx’s narrative, they are far too simplistic to provide a good account.More.

Reality check: If history matters and the WLU Gestapo types remain unchecked, they will be in all of our lives.

Lots of useless people would go fulltime into snooping and bullying today if only more openings were created.

By the way, re the WLU-style “apologies”: Who wants their disgusting apologies? How about just being left alone to do a job?

Added, in response to a comment below suggesting that only violence would dislodge self-appointed Gestapos: No. Either the public is with them or against them. If with them, killing them would only make their opponents murderers in a lost cause. If the public is against them, let’s use the system to flush them all out.

I bet things aren’t going so well just now for WLU’s Gestapo Trio. That was the point of “White Women’s Tears” Girl’s awful whine above: “Others, myself included, who reached out to her to highlight the way in which historically rooted theatrics of white tears were mobilized to ultimately dismiss an untenured professor of colour, she dismissed and lampooned these allegations, questioning the basis of claims that she might be transphobic or racist.”

I hope Shepherd told WWTG to go straight to hell. Shepherd has grounds for a constructive dismissal lawsuit (think Bret Weinstein at Evergreen) if not worse. If white women are really the only ones to realize that fact, the obvious solution is for the others to smarten up. And if Gestapo One loses his job, well, either 1) he could smarten up too or else 2) he could look around and notice that other thug forces are still hiring. For now.

I’d advise him to smarten up.

See also: Lindsay Shepherd case commonplace; she was just the one who complained loudly The real problem is that our neighbours are sleepwalking toward the free thought clampdown throughout society once the U thugs graduate and need government jobs. If no opposition arises, Canada will soon be swedens all the way down.

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Free Speech Activist Lindsay Shepherd Does Not Teach At The Same WLU That I Attended 1967-1971

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Affirmative action: Asian Americans affirm hiding their heritage

From Aaron Mak at Slate:

Looking over my admissions file that day last year, I was reminded of just how much I’d internalized warnings about the “Asian penalty.” Like many other high school seniors, I carefully manicured my identity to cater to the admissions committee. But that effort also involved erasing it in order to appear white, or at least less Asian. I chose to leave the optional race and ethnicity section of the form blank, a practice common among Asian applicants. I assumed “Mak” isn’t a popularly known Chinese surname in the U.S.; my dad used to jokingly point out that it’s one letter off from the Gaelic surname “Mack.” Maybe an oblivious admissions officer would mistake me for Scottish. (I didn’t tell my father how much I’d hoped our family name would be misread.) I marked my intended major as philosophy, thinking this was one of those impractical fields that most sensible Asian parents would not allow their children to pursue. I had no intention of actually following through. The response boxes under the questions inquiring what postgraduate degree and career I desired were left blank. I wanted a J.D. and planned to become a lawyer, but I felt that admitting such a goal would conform to the stereotype that Asians are particularly obsessed with a narrow range of prestigious professional careers.

In my Ivy League essays, I made sure not to mention anything about my heritage. The personal statement I submitted for the University of California applications about my immigrant grandfather was the most emotionally honest one I wrote that year—I knew the UC system had discontinued race-conscious affirmative action, so the essay wouldn’t hurt me.More.

Reality check: Thug U costs more than we realize.

See also: An elegant whine against taxing endowments

Survivor of communism wants millennials to know that communism sucks. But he doesn’t seem to understand that the millennials’ children in college will be the ones with the boots, not the faces: = Orwell: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

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Free speech activist Lindsay Shepherd does not teach at the same WLU that I attended 1967-1971

The difference religion makes is not what you might expect. My response to “How a ‘pronoun’ class got a young Canadian academic censured ” by Harley J. Sim at MercatorNet:

Readers may wish to supplement Harley Sims’s informative article with Mark Steyn’s commentary on the tape Shepherd dared to make (http://bit.ly/2j4yOnk) and the tape/transcript itself (http://bit.ly/2mMPvok).

On the tape, she is heard sobbing as she is not permitted to know who her accuser(s) are or what the accusation is. Her communications profs imply that she is like a Nazi for showing her class a video excerpt from an Ontario public TV program (think NPR) in which a professor protests made-up pronouns. These inquisitors imply that she is in big legal trouble, which she isn’t – though they may really believe that the current “human rights” system is even now as harsh as it is going to become, if not checked. Throughout, they fling around gobbledygook, even though two of them are communications profs.

Flashback: From 1967 through 1971, I attended WLU, then called Waterloo Lutheran University. When, seeking government aid, the university changed its name to Wilfrid Laurier University in 1973, the initials remained the same. You want the cash, lose the “Lutheran”, sneered the local paper in retrospect in 2011. But what else did the university lose in order to get from my life back then to Lindsay Shepherd’s? As several incidents from my day show, it was a comparatively free place then:

1. Late in my undergrad career, I was asked to write a paper for a seminar that included reading Victorian pornography. My prof probably expected it was safe to ask me because I wouldn’t be interested in the stuff privately. Her reasoning for undertaking the project was that the class would not understand the decline of Victorian romanticism into the Decadent movement without making some irregularly scheduled stops along the way… But no one thought I should have gone screaming to the authorities, citing harm to my toxic snowflake-hood. That would signal that I was not suited to a career in English Language and Literature. Along those lines, I think that anyone upset by Shepherd’s video clip does not belong in Communications at a university.

2. Women’s groups came to the campus in the early 1970s, putting up posters everywhere for Free Abortion on Demand. In those days, that was a radical idea. Some students, including myself, set up a pro-life table and, predictably, budding progressives trooped up to the dean’s office to protest. He told them it was a free country.

Just like that. He told them it was a free country.

Today, there are organized harassment campaigns at many Canadian universities against students who think that unborn children should have legal protection. And the administration is Cool with that.

3. Ominously, some of the students I attended WLU with were budding progressives. One boasted that he wanted to shoot all the members of Parliament and breed humans in test tubes, raised free of the violence of typical middle-class Canadian homes. Another said he wished that he could throw one particular dean onto the road to be crushed by passing cars. Many less violent progressive opinions that tended in the same direction were offered (and tolerated) in those days. My guess is that such people now wield considerable influence in Canada in late mid-life. Not because they were allowed to speak but because “nicer” people have backed down.

So yes, the cash won out over the Lutherans and Lindsay Shepherd is living the outcome.

As Steyn notes, he and some colleagues in media secured minor victories against the system a decade ago. But the forces underlying thought control today are not defeated by only one victory. For one thing, few young academics are anywhere near as courageous as Shepherd.

It is poignant to hear Shepherd defend herself as simply helping students understand what communications issues they will encounter in society. My long-deceased profs would have said that!

Many students today do not hope to encounter any such issues; they hope to help legislate against them and stamp them out. They have been raised to believe in thought control as the key to a progressive society. They have little desire to think for themselves, possibly cannot do so, and do not understand those who can. Otherwise,

– the firestorm would be much larger

– WLU’s insincere “apologies” would be called out for what they are and real change would be demanded of all universities that hope to keep their charters

and

– the WLU campus inquisition, heard in all its hideous glory, would be looking for new jobs, preferably collaring wildlife in venues where they need not interact with a thinking public. (No coyote cares much if you call him a Nazi.)

But “WLU mugs Lindsay Shepherd” is a sobering tale for the Western world generally: Leaving behind the modern Christian tradition means leaving behind a much sounder basis for intellectual freedom than naturalist progressivism ever was, is, or will be.

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An elegant whine against taxing university endowments

From Harvard law profs Jack Goldsmith and Adrian Vermeule at the Washington Post:

Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, has been lobbying in Washington against a Republican proposal to tax large university endowments and make other tax and spending changes that might adversely affect universities. Faust says the endowment tax would be a “blow at the strength of American higher education” and that the suite of proposals lacks “policy logic.” Perhaps so, but they have a political logic. We hope that Harvard and other elite universities will reflect on their part in these developments.

The proposed tax and spending policies aimed at universities are surely related to the sharp recent drop in support by conservatives for colleges and universities. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 58 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the way things are going in the country, a figure that has grown significantly in the past two years. This development likely reflects four related trends.

First is the obvious progressive tilt in universities, especially elite universities. More.

Reality check: It’s really difficult for many of today’s profs to understand, isn’t it? Much of the American public opposes special tax breaks for training camps for baby fascists. And in a remarkable bid for freedom, they have started to act on that conviction. It would be nice if the mood spread to Canada.

See also: Survivor of communism wants millennials to know that communism sucks. But he doesn’t seem to understand that the millennials’ children in college will be the ones with the boots, not the faces:

Orwell: If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.

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Media freedom at lowest level in a decade

From Graham Ruddick at the Guardian:

The report’s authors measured freedom of expression in 172 countries between 2006 and 2016 through a metric they have described as the Expression Agenda. This is based on 32 social and political indicators such as media bias and corruption, internet censorship, access to justice, harassment of journalists, and equality for social classes and genders.

Hughes said journalists were threatened by intimidation, prosecution and even murder in some parts of the world; there were 426 attacks against journalists and media outlets in Mexico in 2016 alone. He believes the UK was responsible for one of the most draconian surveillance legislation in the form of the Investigatory Powers Act, which “offers a template for authoritarian regimes and seriously undermining the rights of its citizens to privacy and freedom of expression”.

BBC World Service journalists face particular pressure in Iran over the London-based Persian service. Iranian authorities have frozen the assets of at least 152 BBC Persian journalists and former contributors – preventing them from conducting financial transactions or selling properties in their homeland – and summoned family members of BBC staff who live in the country for questioning. The BBC has appealed to the United Nations about the conduct of the Iranian government.More.

Reality check: A number of causes are listed but surely the collapse of mainstream media in North America into mere mouthpieces for politicians has meant that media in less free countries have nothing to aspire to any more. One wonders, will the day come when most of the real news is secret or clandestine, as was the case centuries ago?

See also: Diversity Gestapo sent for Minnesota legislator

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Lindsay Shepherd case commonplace; she was just the one who complained loudly

From Lorne Gunter at Toronto Sun:

The big problem with the now-infamous Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) assault on free expression is not how heinous it is, but how commonplace.

I’m not going to claim universities were freer in my student days.

It was easy back then to find instructors – and even chairmen and deans – who were apologists for the killing fields of Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. And it was tough to get high marks without “agreeing” in class or on assignments.

But there was nowhere near the level of official antagonism for true free speech that there is on today’s campuses.

For instance, in October, Students for Life (SFL) at the University of Ottawa had its certification as a student club revoked “due to the ways in which your mandate is in contention with the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa’s (SFUO) principles of anti-misogyny, sexism, etc.” Without certification, SFL cannot use university facilities for meetings or access funds paid by students’ union dues. More.

Reality check: The real problem is that our neighbours are sleepwalking toward the free thought clampdown throughout society once the U thugs graduate and need government jobs.

If no opposition arises, Canada will soon be swedens all the way down.

See also: The care and raising of baby fascists is best done by fascist profs

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Why Nancy Pelosi defends Dems accused of sexual harassment

From Ben Shapiro at Townhall:

Why would Pelosi defend Clinton? Because she also has to defend Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., both of whom have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault. And why would she have to defend either of them?

That’s the $64,000 question. She really doesn’t — just as the Democrats never had to defend Clinton. If they’d kept their mouths shut and let Clinton resign, then-Vice President Al Gore would have been president. There’s a high likelihood he would have been re-elected in 2000. If the Democrats were to let Franken fall today, his replacement would be appointed by a Democratic governor of Minnesota. If they were to let Conyers go down, he’d be replaced in a special election in what The Cook Political Report deems a D+32 district, meaning it performed an average of 32 points more Democratic than the nation did as a whole in 2016. Democrats wouldn’t miss a beat, and they’d have a shot at taking out Moore to boot. By defending Franken and Conyers, Democrats give Republicans ample opportunity to back Moore and point at Democratic hypocrisy all the while. While Republicans can at least point at the potential loss of a Senate seat to justify backing Moore, Democrats wouldn’t suffer any loss by dumping Franken and Conyers.

There’s only one real reason Pelosi would stand by accused Democrats: She doesn’t care. Her logic with regard to Clinton is the only one that matters. He was a Democrat, and his sexual improprieties had nothing to do with his capacity for voting for her agenda. More.

Reality check: Doubtless true. But women disproportionately vote for Democrats no matter what, and that’s the underlying reason Pelosi does not need to care. Women disenfranchise themselves and call it freedom.

See also: Why so many lefties are sex harassers

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It’s not clear that ABC News’ dud “Mike Flynn” bombshell is a mistake, exactly

From Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge:

Having caused chaos in financial markets briefly, set the liberal media on fire with ‘I told you so’s, and sparked a renewed round of #ImpeachTrump demands, ABC News issued a ‘clarification’ to their bombshell Flynn report that not only negates the entire story but provides President Trump with another round of ammunition to fire against the ‘fake news’ media.

Critically, ABC News reports, correcting their earlier report, that Michael Flynn is prepared to testify that Donald Trump directed him to contact the Russians as president-elect, not as a candidate. More.

Reality check: Media that have long since stopped trying to report the news as if they or their readers care much about facts will simply sacrifice the current goat (Brian Ross) and fetch up another one. Eventually, they must hope, one of these stories will click, bring down Trump, and pave the way for a post-media paradise where facts won’t matter and they can all be celebs and opinion leaders again.

It’s simple math, really. The one story that clicks for them obliterates hundreds of duds. Provided, of course, anyone is still listening.

See also: Historic Maclean’s Magazine is now a purveyor of childish ridicule. Talk about legacy media that should have died a natural death.

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Stanford lied for years to MBAs

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

A reader sends this: From EditorFrancis at Slashdot:

14 terabytes of “highly confidential” data about 5,120 financial aid applications over seven years were exposed in a breach at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business — proving that the school “misled thousands of applicants and donors about the way it distributes fellowship aid and financial assistance to its MBA students,” reports Poets&Quants.

Half the school’s students are awarded financial aid, and though Stanford always insisted it was awarded based only on need, the report concluded the school had been “lying to their faces” for more than a decade, also identifying evidece of “systemic biases against international students.” More.

So the people who insist that there are systemic biases, like these, are not wrong. But those people sometimes have the issues all wrong. Requiring students to be proficient in algebra, for example, is not racist and objectivity is not sexist. These are just ways of thinking needed for science and the bias that needs to be addressed is that some students get a way better education out of the public system than others.

Data breaches are bad but sometimes it’s the only way we ever find out what is going wrong.

See also: More news from the decline: Revealing responses to creationist’s wrongful dismissal over soft dinosaur tissue discovery

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Who controls Whom in science and what it means for new thinking and new discoveries Within any particular field, a certain amount of criticism is allowed from PhD critics in that same field, because otherwise, there could be no progress at all. But the nature of the criticism has narrow de facto limits, such that nothing discrediting is said of the intellect of any of the elders, only modifications based (supposedly) on newly-discovered evidence, enabled by better experimental instruments than the elders had had available to them.

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Our American friend: How Trump transfigured American politics

From our American friend at Conservative Minnesotans:

Donald Trump is president. That short, four-word sentence belies the enormity of what it represents for American politics. Last year’s primary and then general election was unlike anything we’d seen before and for good reason. The political rot of both parties had set in so deeply that a singular candidate like Trump could sweep them both away. Remember, the man hadn’t run for anything before, fatally putting the lie to the need for parasitic consultants and career politicians of stunning mediocrity.

Republicans were aghast to learn that the “base” didn’t care to eat the dog food it arrayed before them last year. “The deepest bench” of candidates turned out to be simply a large number of political apparatchiks, eager to continue to do the bidding of their donors, only this time from the Oval Office.

Democrats were horrified to see–even in the primary–Trump steal what used to be considered their issues and were then flattened when they realized he had stolen their voters in order to beat the deeply corrupt Hillary Clinton. Like Republicans, Democrats had long abandoned their traditional base while paying only the most disingenuous lip service to them. People aren’t stupid.More.

Reality check: No, people aren’t stupid in principle but we are often willing to act stupid in order to not be seen as stupid (or bad) and maybe punishable. To break the logjam, we tend to need an actual political choice. Odds on whether it could happen in Canada?

See also: Could the cultural left be facing bankruptcy? (John Gilmore)  No! The cultural left can’t go bankrupt until a number of trans harassment scandals surface too! Equality in diversity. Grab a beverage and read the rest.

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Retraction world: If this is science, yes we do hate it

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What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

From Stephanie M. Lee at Buzzfeed:

… It’s not the first time Cornell has looked into Wansink: In April, after critics publicly questioned four of Wansink’s papers related to pizza consumption, the university said it had found no scientific misconduct related to those papers.

Wansink did not immediately return a request for comment about the investigation.

Overall, critics have raised red flags about at least 50 of Wansink’s studies. The high-profile professor has retracted four articles — most recently one last week — and has at least eight corrections published or forthcoming. (That total doesn’t include yet another problematic paper about vegetable-naming that stands to be corrected or withdrawn.)

In a November 2016 blog post, Wansink praised a visiting graduate student for doing repeated data analyses — a behavior that, to critics, sounded like she was cherry-picking data to fit a hypothesis.More.

By now, we’re all familiar with rants about how Americans “hate science.” But why do we still hear them in the face of high retraction rates and low replication rates (when replication is even attempted) in the very areas where we’re most likely to notice (nutrition, cancer research, and social science)?

Do the ranteurs recycle the rhetoric because, in the face of more and more public awareness, they don’t have promising solutions for a public that is expecting them?

See also: Would this proposal for peer review reform work? Just think, if the founders of modern sciences had had conventional peer reviewers: Scientists would be evaluated today on their support for phlogiston, ether, and spontaneous generation.

Blinkers Award goes to… Tom Nichols at Scientific American! On why Americans “hate science” Health science is the way most people interact with science and in many areas, it is running neck and neck with the office rumor mill for credibility.

The skinny on salt, veggie oil, skim milk, whole foods. Nutrition science is nearly baseless but it rules.
Sitting does not increase overall mortality risk.

Also: Fake journals: Even a machine can get a degree if no one reads any more Or, as one tech mag put it, “Essay generator can spew out BS, still get you an ‘A’”. And it’s still B.S. And that’s a problem.

Even science journals can be fooled into publishing gibberish. Find out how

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