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OCTOBER 20,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

ONE SMALL STEP – FROM COLLEGE FIX:   The University of Michigan said it will not formally investigate Professor Bright Sheng for showing a 1965 movie that contained a white actor wearing makeup to have a darker skin tone.  University officials were “considering opening a formal investigation into Professor Sheng for his classroom showing of Othello,” but they have “determined that it will not do so after reviewing the complaints against him,” according to a free-speech group.  “While it remains discouraging that Sheng has ‘stepped away’ from teaching this semester, Michigan’s decision not to launch a formal investigation into a professor’s course content was the right one to make,” the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education said in an October 19 update.  It spoke to Sheng’s attorney who confirmed there would not be a formal investigation.  “Such investigations produce profound chilling effects inimical to a university’s role as a marketplace of ideas,” the civil liberties nonprofit said. “FIRE hopes that this controversy over Sheng’s protected expression will signal to Michigan faculty and administrators that it’s time for the university to make a serious effort to protect and defend faculty members’ First Amendment rights and academic freedom.”  See post below.  We hope this action, by the prestigious University of Michigan, will be another step toward destroying woke-ism in the academy.  But the fight will be long and hard.

October 20, 2021       Permalink

 

IS IT ACTUALLY HAPPENING? – OVERNIGHT:  It's a question we've been raising regularly here.  Has WOKE culture reached its peak?  We see signs of rational elements in American society fighting back against the juvenile madness of the last few years.  Can the good guys win?  From well-known political observer Joel Kotkin at SPIKED: 

Over the past decade, the woke agenda has crested like a giant tsunami, covering virtually the entirety of academia, the media, the corporate world and even the military. The Gramscian concept of ‘the long march through the institutions’, embraced by 1960s radicals like Germany’s Rudi Dutschke, has achieved overwhelming success.

Yet there are signs that the woke progressive model may be losing its appeal, even among some liberals. The bulk of public opinion is not in progressives’ favour. In the US, activist progressives, notes a recent study, represent eight per cent of the electorate – barely half the size of moderates and barely a third of the size of conservatives. What they lack in numbers, however, they make up for with single-minded determination; progressive whites, notes the Atlantic, are the most intolerant of all Americans, led by those in the Boston area, while people in smaller towns and cities seem far more open.

The scalps of those targeted by the woke are strewn across the landscape. There’s the cancellation of ideologically unacceptable speakers, the delisting of books and the increasingly selective media coverage, evident particularly in the 2020 election and its aftermath. Yet the very vehemence of progressives, their lack of humour or grace, may prove to be their undoing.

Among Republicans, wokeness drives them further away from the mainstream media, as many of them now regard certain outlets as little more than vehicles for proselytising progressivism. But it’s not just the nutjobs of the far right. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 58 per cent of likely voters ‘at least somewhat agree that the media are the enemy of the people, including 34 per cent who strongly agree’.

‘Cancel culture’ is no more popular than the rest of the woke agenda. More millennials oppose than support cancel culture, notes a recent Morning Consult poll. The older generations are much more firmly against it. But most heartening is that those in the younger generation, the so-called Zs, are the most hostile to cancel culture, with 55 per cent disapproving of it and only eight per cent supporting it.

Simply put, what progressives are offering the populace does not much like, particularly on social issues. There’s been a record-breaking surge of violent crime, but some progressive politicians and media enablers have refused to combat disorder. Some have even embraced riots, particularly the looting, and backed defunding or even abolishing the police. This has not worked out well for the progressives. In the New York City mayoral elections, a black ex-cop won the Democratic nomination against candidates sympathetic to the ‘defund the police’ approach. Even left-leaning constituencies are horrified by crime, disorder and massive homelessness, as demonstrated when Austin voted overwhelmingly to end camping on the street.

Perhaps most important of all, the far-left agenda pushed by Bernie Sanders and the progressives in Congress – who are essentially setting up a new green, politically correct system financed by taxpayers – is failing with the public, particularly independents. Public support for big government has decreased, notes Gallup, and is now the minority position. In Ohio, a Bernie Sanders-style candidate for Congress was soundly defeated. The Biden administration continues to struggle with low poll ratings as it continues to identify with the progressives.

Race has been a particular problem for Biden. The administration has embraced the racialist agenda of the progressives built around critical race theory. Remarkably, parents opposing CRT in schools have been singled out as potential ‘terrorist threats’ that should be monitored by the FBI. Yet this parents movement seems to be gaining strength – including in upper-middle-class suburbs in places like Loudoun County, Virginia, the Philadelphia ‘ring’ counties and north Dallas, where the Democrats had made gains previously but now stand to lose ground. In 2021, the number of school-board recalls has more than doubled from previous years, according to Ballotpedia, and there are numerous legal challenges to CRT across the country.

COMMENT:  Please read the whole thing.  Is a righteous counterattack underway, or are we dreaming – turning minor events into major acts of defiance?  A good part of the answer will come at the polls.  The 2022 midterms will be the most important elections of our time.  We can stop woke culture, or let it continue to devour the United States of America.

October 20, 2021       Permalink   

 

 

 

OCTOBER 19,  2021

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – OVERNIGHT:

THE FIGHT FOR NEW YORK – OVERNIGHT:  A critical battleground that will affect who runs the Democratic Party.  From the New York Post:  Gov. Kathy Hochul would handily win a five-way hypothetical Democratic primary for governor that includes her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo, state Attorney General Letitia James, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to a new poll released Tuesday.  Hochul would lead former three-term Gov. Cuomo who resigned in a sexual harassment scandal in August — 31 percent to 17 percent in the Siena College survey of 419 registered Dems.  Cuomo left Albany under the threat of impeachment after an investigative report by AG James’ office concluded he sexually harassed or mistreated multiple women.  James collected just 14 percent in the five way contest.  Williams followed with seven percent support and de Blasio was in the back of the pack with 6 percent.  With Cuomo excluded from the mix, Hochul gets 39 percent of the vote of registered Democratic voters. James 20 percent, de Blasio 10 percent, and Williams eight percent.  In a head-to-head match-up, Hochul leads James with 47 percent backing to 31 percent with the rest undecided.  Public Advocate Jumaane Williams filed to form an exploratory committee to run for governor.  Why is this important?  The hard left  may well make its most dramatic stand in New York, historically a powerful Democratic stronghold and the home of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, leader of the militant left in the House of Representatives.  Next year, New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer is up for re-election.  He is the majority leader of the U. S. Senate, the most powerful senator, with the kind of seniority that gives New York extra influence.  The political gossips here suggest that Ocasio-Cortez may challenge Schumer in a primary, setting up the kind of clash that can fatally split the Democratic Party.  Having a strong, moderate Democratic governor in office is key to preventing the insane ones from moving forward.  True, Hochul has done some things recently to pacify the nuts, but she is at base a member of the moderate majority in her party.  We are going to see, here in New York, serious political bloodshed.

October 19, 2021       Permalink 

AH COURAGE!  HOW RARE IT IS – OVERNIGHT:  One college president is fighting back against the WOKE machine.   It is, naturally, Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University, former governor of Indiana, Reagan administration official, outstanding public servant.  We are starting to see other figures in education finally trying to stand up to the mob.  It isn't easy.  From College Fix: 

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has no plans to cancel a New York University engineering professor’s lecture.

Professor Steven Koonin is set to speak tonight at the Indiana public university “for an hour-long conversation on the proper role of science in advancing knowledge and informing public opinion.” He accepts that climate change is primarily driven by human activity, but is more skeptical of what will happen in the next century with climate change. He also urges more debate on the subject.

“Steven E. Koonin is a genuine example of someone daring to challenge a prevailing orthodoxy,” Daniels wrote in a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post. “Impeccably credentialed both scientifically (New York University physics professor; National Academy of Sciences member; chief scientist for BP, focusing on alternative energy) and politically (undersecretary for science in the Obama Energy Department), Koonin has written probably the year’s most important book,” Daniels said.

“Koonin stipulates firmly that Earth’s climate is changing and becoming warmer, and that human influence is playing a role,” Daniels said. “He is eager to identify and advocate actions that will address these changes effectively.”

“But he is deeply troubled — ‘appalled’ is one of his terms — by the misuse of science, his life’s work, to persuade rather than inform, and by the near-hysterical pressure to stifle and vilify any deviation from the dogma of the day,” the Purdue president and former Republican governor of the Hoosier State said.

But Koonin’s comments and writings should not be heard at Purdue, according to some.

“In his book, ‘Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What it Doesn’t and Why it Matters,’ Koonin argues the consensus on climate change is less clear than commonly thought,” the campus paper said. Koonin’s invitation has been “has been criticized by climate scientists and university students,” the Purdue Exponent reported.

“Purdue choosing this speaker is dangerous misinformation,” one student, Daphne Hulse said. “When an institution of higher education that’s known for the leadership on STEM is inviting a debate on climate science, it sends a message of uncertainty to the public.”

Her and Nathan Miller lead the Citizens Climate Lobby chapter at Purdue and plan to circulate an open letter against Koonin. The College Fix messaged Hulse on Facebook on Tuesday morning to ask for a copy of the letter but did not receive a response. She has not posted it on her Twitter page either.

Koonin’s skepticism of the scientific consensus and the community’s approach to publishing is backed up by fact, Daniels said.

“Scientific research has already suffered serious self-inflicted wounds over recent decades. The discovery that as many as half of all published papers cannot pass the basic test of replication has yet to be meaningfully addressed,” Daniels wrote. “Researchers’ deep financial ties to foreign funding sources raise the specter of compromised security and integrity of results.”

“An ethical and responsible scientific community, including those who strongly disagree with Koonin’s findings or conclusions, would welcome his book as the latest contribution to an important debate,” Daniels said.

COMMENT:  Wonderful action, wonderful words, by Mitch Daniels.  This is a man mentioned in the past as a possible presidential candidate.  I wish he had run.

October 19, 2021       Permalink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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