The thought police strike again – Amanda S. Green

The thought police strike again – Amanda S. Green

Recently, a story hit the media in the DFW area about a local high school student being disciplined by his high school for “racially insensitive” comments made in a group tweet. The comments are alluded to but the context in which they were made remains a mystery. (At least I have been unable to determine what they might be.) I have seen nothing describing who might have been taking part in this group text, whether the student in question sent the tweet while on school grounds, while taking part in a sanctioned school activity or while representing himself to be a member of or representative of an organization associated with the school.

Then there was an earlier incident that took place in the same school district – but at a different high school. In that case, students at a pep rally held up a large sign which said “colleyville is going to TRUMP trinity tonight.” It also said, “paid for by Trinity” and had been designed to look like a wall. Few looking at the sign could mistake the message. The more affluent Colleyville Heritage High School students were throwing down on the more racially mixed, lower income Trinity High School, a major football rival, from the neighboring Hurst-Euless-Bedford School District.

Then there was the situation that arose when a 19-year-old student from TCU in Fort Worth was initially suspended from the university and who later had his suspension lifted but was still placed on disciplinary probation. Why? The student had tweeted comments about Islam that the university deemed offensive.

On the surface, each of the cases appear to be similar and, in some ways, they are. They each involved students, whether they be high school or college students. They each took place in the DFW metroplex. (This isn’t something that is exclusive to DFW. If you do a google search, you can find similar situations occurring not only throughout the country but around the world.) They each have led to either new rules or to disciplining of the students involved or both.

So what are the differences and why am I up in arms?

Let’s start with the TCU case first. For those of you not familiar with the university, Texas Christian University is a private, religious-based university. That means it can set rules about how its students behave that publicly funded institutions might not be able to get away with. It also means there is a student code of conduct which will be much more restrictive that you will find with most public universities. A code of conduct that is enforced. So, while I applaud the university for backing off of the suspension, I can’t argue too much about it keeping the 19-year-old student on probation. He had violated the school’s code of conduct.

Now, that doesn’t mean I agree with the code of conduct but the student chose to go to TCU. That means he agreed to the code of conduct and either didn’t read it or didn’t think the university would enforce it.

My issue comes with public schools, especially junior and senior high schools, that become thought police. I’ll admit that schools have the right to enforce rules of conduct when students are on school district property, when they are taking part in officially sanctioned activities or when they are representing the school in some “official” capacity. By that, I mean I have no problem with school districts disciplining band members on a trip to a competition who trash their hotel rooms or cheerleaders in uniform caught drinking alcohol or football players hazing new members, etc.

My issue comes when school districts start trying to police what students say or think when they are NOT representing the schools. In the latest case, yes, the student was foolish for posting a tweet that contained racially “insensitive” language. But, if he wasn’t representing the school or wasn’t on school grounds at that time he sent the tweet, does the school have any right to discipline him?

In my mind, no.

Let me give another scenario. When my son was in elementary school, there was another kid who kept picking on one of my son’s friends. His friend was a great kid, lots of fun, but he was smaller than some of the others in their class. This other kid took to picking on the friend, trying to get him to throw the first punch. But, my son’s friend was smart and remembered the zero-tolerance rule.

However, the day finally came when my son’s friend had enough. This time, however, the bully wasn’t smart enough to pick the fight on school grounds. They boys were almost a block away from the school. He pushed and picked at the friend one too many time and the friend wound up wiping the floor with him.

That should have been the end of it but nope. The school had to get involved. Why? Because an assistant principal had seen the fight happen. It didn’t matter it was well off the school grounds. It didn’t matter that the friend didn’t throw the first punch or that he – and his parents, as well as other students – had reported the bully time and again. Nor did it matter that the school had done absolutely nothing to stop the bully. Oh no. Punches were thrown and the bully’s feelings got hurt and his nose bloodied.  So the friend was even more at fault than the bully was.

And remember, this took place off school grounds.

The administration immediately took action against both boys, giving them in-school suspension. For an action that took place off school grounds and under absolutely no conditions that could tie what happened to the school or the administration. It took the friends’ parents threatening to sue not only the district but the administrators involved to have the kid’s suspension lifted. Even then, they were told it would be best if they moved their son to another school.

That’s right. The kid who had been the victim and who only stood up to protect himself, was being told to leave the school. For something that took place off school grounds. And for something that could have been avoided if action had been taken before blows were thrown.

The only reason the admin wasn’t able to get away with it was because the action took place off district property and at a time when the students weren’t taking part in anything associated with the school or the district.

So, getting back to the policing of thoughts and words by schools, I also have no problem with Colleyville Heritage disciplining those students who put up the “wall” sign at the pep rally. Why? It was an officially sanctioned school activity. It took place on school property. Except, well, there is one little problem. At that time, there were few, if any, rules in place in the school or the district governing what signs could say. There was no official committee with guidelines that had to approve signs before they could be shown at school activities. Therefore, if the students received anything more than unofficial counseling, the school and the district overstepped.

What about the tweet?

This is where things get a bit more difficult to come up with a firm response. There have been few details about the context given. We know it came after a basketball game. But I haven’t seen how long after the game or, as noted earlier, where the student was when he made the tweet. We don’t know if there is anything about his Twitter handle that associates him with the school, etc.

Where do we draw the line? If schools are going to start disciplining students over what they post on Twitter, etc., are they also going to patrol their parking lots and make sure students aren’t listening to “offensive” music? Can you imagine the uproar if there were monitors going around, telling students they can’t listen to rap music because it has the reputation of using “offensive” language and for denigrating women? The uproar won’t come from the students, although they will be sure to let you know how they feel about it. Nope, the uproar will come from adults who will be screaming racism because most rappers are not white, Anglo males. Yet, if you are disciplining students for tweeting racially insensitive comments, why are you allowing them to sit in the parking lot, blaring out music that does basically the same thing? (Not all of it but enough that the genre has that reputation.)

Are schools going to start policing what is said or done in the privacy of a home? (Remember, there has already been at least one school/district that had the laptops sent home with students set so video ran and teachers could check to see what was happening in the home.)

What I’m seeing is an attempt to police what our kids are thinking and saying. It isn’t teaching them anything but how to resent authority. It is an attempt to quell free speech. Does this mean I think students, or anyone, should go around spouting racist comments? Hell no. But I also don’t believe it is something school should be trying to combat when students AREN’T AT SCHOOL.

One of the strengths of this country is that we have the freedom to say or think pretty much whatever we want. However, that is quickly eroding and that scares the hell out of me. I may not like what someone says but I have the option of either walking away from them, ignoring them or trying to have a discourse with them. That was easier back in the days before social media. Maybe that’s why we see more and more about schools and employers, etc., taking steps to make sure people associated with them don’t do bad think.

However, where do we draw the line? Sure, an employer has the right to protect its brand. But does that give them the right to punish an employee who says something offensive even if the statement cannot be associated with the employer? For example, say a person is at a football game and gets caught up in what was going on and shouts something about a player that comments on race, religion or sexual orientation and that comment is shown on the jumbotron. That person is dressed in team colors for the home team. There is nothing about them that identifies them as working for Company X. They aren’t high enough in the organization that no one outside of those they work directly with know who they are and who they work for. Does the company have the right to punish the worker for what they said, especially if there is no company code of conduct in place?

I say no. Again, if the company is really worried about it, an unofficial counseling might be called for. But even then, it isn’t any of the company’s concern – as long as the person involved doesn’t act that way when doing their job and doesn’t act that way in such a manner that it calls attention to the company.

The same thing applies to students, in my opinion. In fact, there is something else we need to consider here. Do we really want to stop our younger generation from speaking its mind? Sure, some of the stuff coming out of their mouths will be objectionable. But how do they learn if they don’t make mistakes. Believe me, they will remember the lesson a great deal better if they are told by their peers why what they said crossed the line than they will if an administrator lands on them with both feet. It’s called peer pressure and it goes to what matters most to a teen.

Schools need to remember that their role is to educate and not indoctrinate. Parents need to remember that their role is to parent and guide. Somewhere along the way, too many parents forgot that and schools, with approval from the local, state and federal governments have become more indoctrination camps than institutions of learning. It’s time we either turn that clock back or we find alternatives. Otherwise, we are going to find ourselves having to wonder what new unwritten rule our kids – or ourselves – have violated and how that will impact the student’s ability to get into college, etc.

I may not agree with what someone says but, as long as they aren’t yelling “fire!” in a crowded theater, I’ll fight for their right to say it. Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves and to learn from it.

261 responses to “The thought police strike again – Amanda S. Green

  1. Here’s a question: Is it okay to fire someone if you find out that they are a Nazi? (I have my thoughts on this, but I’m curious to see someone else’s.

    • Oh Susannah…You have the right to fire somebody if they are not in a legally protected group. You have the right to be a damned fool if you come right down to it.
      The police departments have won the legal right to exclude people from becoming officers who are too SMART. I can see a real life event happening in which an officer is accused of throwing the test to score low enough to be hired and then through discovery of his college transcripts or just real life demonstration deemed to smart and fired.
      You can fire somebody for being left handed or too short. Probably being redheaded is fair game unless it can be shown to have a strong ethnic basis.

      • Do you have an article on the police thing? I’d be interested in reading it?

        • From a main stream news source:

          Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops
          By ABC NEWS
          N E W L O N D O N, Conn., Sept. 8, 2000

          A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

          The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.

          “This kind of puts an official face on discrimination in America against people of a certain class,” Jordan said today from his Waterford home. “I maintain you have no more control over your basic intelligence than your eye color or your gender or anything else.”

          He said he does not plan to take any further legal action.

          Jordan, a 49-year-old college graduate, took the exam in 1996 and scored 33 points, the equivalent of an IQ of 125. But New London police interviewed only candidates who scored 20 to 27, on the theory that those who scored too high could get bored with police work and leave soon after undergoing costly training.

          Most Cops Just Above Normal The average score nationally for police officers is 21 to 22, the equivalent of an IQ of 104, or just a little above average.

          Jordan alleged his rejection from the police force was discrimination. He sued the city, saying his civil rights were violated because he was denied equal protection under the law.

          But the U.S. District Court found that New London had “shown a rational basis for the policy.” In a ruling dated Aug. 23, the 2nd Circuit agreed. The court said the policy might be unwise but was a rational way to reduce job turnover.

          Jordan has worked as a prison guard since he took the test.

          • Hmm. Seems to me that if “Guy is too smart and will get bored and leave” is viewed as a “rational” belief, so should be the theory that women will likely decide to have children and leave or request reduced hours.

            • I was once rejected for a job because “college graduates want too much money.” At the time, I was unemployed and rapidly moving from “broke” to “poor.” I wanted *A* job, and was willing to work retail if that’s what it took.

              Not happy with that particular company, no. It took another couple of months to get a job, and I got hungry. I don’t like being hungry.

              • I was not a college graduate and not presently in school, but I was once told that I had too much education and was ‘too smart’ for a job as a breakfast waitress at a hotel. I told the restaurant manager that all my brains and all my education never taught me how to live without eating.

                He told me to be there the next morning before 5 AM. I was, but none of his other staff had arrived. The night manager of the hotel let me into the restaurant and I started cleaning … I kept that job until I quit.

              • Dear CEO:

                In light of your HR department’s refusal to hire me because “college graduates want too much money”, I submit that actual salary negotiations were never conducted.

                Since I need a job, to make money, to afford to have clothes to wear, a shelter of some kind to live in, and food to eat, and I don’t like being hungry; I think we can come to a reasonable accommodation. The facts stand that you need someone to do this job, I’m fully capable of doing the job, and the median salary for that type of job, in this area, at this time, is acceptable to me.

                So here are your choices:
                (1) Hire me.
                (2) Don’t hire me, but pay my necessities. This is commonly called welfare.
                (3) Don’t hire me, don’t pay my necessities. I’ll just steal what I need from you instead. If I don’t get caught, I will have taken care of my needs preying on you and your company. If I do get caught, then I go to jail, and you end up playing for my needs anyway, and get nothing in return for it.

                Signed
                Willing to Work

              • This is pretty normal – not necessarily the “college graduate” thing, per se, but anything that leads someone to believe that you might be overqualified for the job. And with certain jobs, being a college graduate would certainly qualify.

            • I went through a long stretch in my early forties when I could not land full-time regular employment; reasonably intelligent, hard-working college graduate, single woman with teenage child who required minimal supervision, military veteran … and all I could get were a bunch of part-time gigs. Data processing, delivering a weekly newsletter, a couple of hours retail, and a couple of hours weekly at the local classical station. The pension paid the mortgage, but everything else … I swear, I have always wondered what those employers who binned my resumes were really looking for. A recent college grad willing to work for pennies, I guess. Heck, I was willing to work for pennies, but I suppose they assumed I would leave as soon as something better presented itself.

              • Been job-hunting four times. The second time was much longer than the first, and the third much longer than the second — but fortunately, the fourth was much shorter. (Than the third and second. The first time I was technically working at my old job for a week while actually working at my new one.)

          • In light of recent statements and positions taken by Connecticut’s elected representatives I doubt the state has enough “over-intelligent” people to warrant concern. Simply being a resident of the state would seem proof of lower intellectual capacity.

            It seems a stupid policy, but I know of no government in History that eschewed policies simply because they were stupid.

            • I have only very rarely had dreams in which I was aware that it was the case that I was in a dream. One of them I woke up from because I realized the situation was one I would not be in (not merely absurd – that’s often quite real indeed). I woke up as dream-self realized and muttered, “I’m not stupid enough to really be doing this.” Evidently I am not qualified to hold office…

              • I was actually very relieved once when, upon being called to account for myself, I realized I literally couldn’t believe what I was supposedly doing, and thus that I was dreaming.

            • It is possible that there’s a secondary reason for the policy– very intelligent people, as we’ve noticed, can be really freaking dumb, and I’d bet that they’re over-represented in the false flag “I’m going to join and expose all their corruption !11!!1” stuff.

            • As a resident of New London County (we had kids so we’d never, ever have moved to New London – the schools have more than a few issues, and then there’s the whole Fort Trumbull mess, see the Kelo supreme court case, problems with their fire department hiring, a pretty serious drug problem, etc., etc., etc.) I have to agree with you. The residents of this state sit and moan about all the stupid stuff that Hartford does, and then insist on sending the same people back election after election, and can’t figure out why nothing changes. Now that both girls are hitting college I’m job hunting pretty much anywhere. If you know someone looking for an entry level accountant…..

            • I live in Connecticut.

          • I’ve been told that during the Vietnam War, the draft board did the opposite. If you scored too low on the test, you’d be drafted anyway, despite the fact that you’d technically failed. This was because a lot of people who wanted to avoid the draft would intentionally try to get as low of a score as possible. So they’d incorrectly answer as many test questions as they could.

            Of course, as we all know, getting every single question wrong on a multiple choice test is statistically unlikely. If worst comes to worst, then just flat out guessing on a test with four multiple choice answers to each question will generate a statistical average of roughly 25%. So if someone takes the test and only gets 10% of the questions right, then they’re probably trying to intentionally fail.

          • The phrase “rational basis” should be translated as “the courts feel it is perfectly OK to infringe on citizens’ rights, so long as the government comes up with some sort of halfway plausible sounding excuse”.
            And the variation “strict scrutiny” amounts to the same thing, omitting the word “halfway”. The correct answer is “what part of ‘shall not be infringed’ did you not understand, you perjuring crappy excuse for a judge?”

          • Wow. I understand their reasoning, but it’s still stupid. If someone applies for a job, especially a job like policing, they probably won’t want to leave immediately.

    • Depends on federal and state law covering employee rights — ie, protected group, etc. However, the very general rule where many companies are concerned that no, you can’t fire for being a Nazi unless the employee has done something that brings ridicule to the company and damages the brand or does something to disrupt the office. If the only reason you are firing someone is because you believe them to be a Nazi and you have no other “offense”, expect to find yourself in court.

      • In addition to the first question, would it be considered moral to fire a Nazi?

        • Is it moral to fire a Communist? Or a Creationist? As a business owner, why would you care what they believe in as long as they do their job and don’t do anything to publicly harm your company’s reputation or to disrupt the workplace?

          • Naturally, we’re assuming for the purpose of this question that your business isn’t the promotion of free-market capitalism, or of evolutionary theory. It would be perfectly right for the Marx Was Right Society to fire a capitalist, or for the Heritage Foundation to fire a communist — because their political beliefs have a direct bearing on their job duties. (Or, say, for a Christian college to fire a professor who publicly renounced Christianity, because their expliticly stated mission is provide college education from a Christian point of view, and a non-Christian professor would not be able to do an adequate job of that particular aspect, even if he was an excellent prof in many other regards.)

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Thanks Amanda, that’s generally how I’d answer Susannah.

          • Sometimes, it might depend on your business. If you’re producing items that are vital to military hardware, for example, hiring pacifists might be unwise. Subtle hard to detect changes could make your product unable to function as designed. If you’re engaged in intelligence gathering, hiring communists or anyone else devoted to a “higher ideal” might be unwise. And, of course, if you’re a parochial school, you should be able to fire open atheists, or anyone who espouses or lives a lifestyle antithetical to the ideals you wish to teach. There is no absolute on the decision.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Is it moral to fire a good worker who is a Democrat for something that, as an adult, they really should have considered, that happened a hundred years ago?

          Discrimination is sorting between entities based on criteria. If the criteria relate to getting the job done, it is appropriate. If they do not, they shrink the pool of able prospects and permit them to charge a higher price. Our society has improved the public welfare due to business seeking to improve quality and lower cost. It is immoral to discriminate on the basis of criteria unrelated to the work because it hurts quality and increases costs.

          There are advantages to a society that is not heavily politicized. In such a society, politics is less relevant to every transaction and decision. The fewer criteria that need to be considered, the more efficiently transactions and decisions can be made. In a depoliticized society, discriminating based on politics will politicize it. Unless politicization has advanced to the point that further political discrimination has no effect, political discrimination is immoral because it tends to politicize.

        • [W]ould it be considered moral to fire a Nazi?

          Not by Nazis. Whose morality will be applied is always the rule, eh?

          I suspect it would depend on type of cannon and whether the people downrange were properly notified.

        • My grandparents’ generation considered it quite moral to fire at Nazis. But that might be a little different.

        • Considering that the ‘Antifa’ have been waging campaigns to have whoever disagreed with them or they find offensive declared to be Nazis, socially, in order to find it morally ‘acceptable’ to do violence on them, deprive them of livelihood, employ and peace, even places to live and socialize…

          That should be answer enough for the question, ‘would it be moral to fire a Nazi?’ The route of ‘yes’ we’re already seeing. We’ve been seeing, as Nazi seems to be taking on the same place where ‘racist’ used to be, since ‘racist’ as a dismissive shutdown has ceased to be ‘powerful’ enough. Sad Puppies, Gamergate, the Trump election, and others, have exposed what the real fascists, the real Nazis, have been trying to do. Social Justice Zealots, of course, only double down.

          In reality, the answer is ‘no, you cannot fire a Nazi simply for his own personal beliefs, especially if he has not displayed them in the workplace, has not represented the company with them as the fore, and done nothing outside of talk. If we punished people simply because of talk, and he isn’t inducing others or encouraging others to do violence on someone else, then there is no reason to punish him.’

          As others have already pointed out, if we start down the road, it is easy to expand the punishment to other groups who are NOT Nazis, simply by declaring them to be in allegiance with them, or conflating them, or any number of social tricks and handwave.

          • The National Socialist German Workers’ Party pretty much came to flaming halt in 1945.

            There was an American Nazi Party once, but it fell apart by the 1980s. There are several ANPs now, which might collectively have as many as dozens of members…

            I guess Nazis are safe to hate on, since they’re basically nonexistent.

            • I don’t think any of those who call themselves ‘Nazi’ these days remotely resemble the Nazis of old. I have vague recollections of seeing at some point recently (within the last 5 years?) protest signs with a swatzika over a pair of crossed penises. I’m not sure I want to look that up, with the children around and awake.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                The Germans of old had reason to think the Russians were going to chop them up and boil them in pots, like happened to the Ukrainians. In my lifetime in America, Nazi wannabes were transgressive poseurs and prison gangsters.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I should be clear that I am not saying that the Democrats are necessarily an illegitimate target.

            I am committed to the idea that certain principles of stability, minimization of political violence, and not creating a one party state do sometimes outweigh pursuing justice completely. The United States has two major parties, and has for a very long time. Even if there are grounds to consider the Democratic Party a criminal conspiracy, prosecution is a can of worms that should stay closed, barring only the direst of emergencies. I thought Clinton was criminal, and should be still be left alone. (I did not anticipate that her ambition was so great that she would still halfway pull the trigger on a civil war. Hillary no Yabou is no fun.) This extends to voters, who are much more minor figures.

            Furthermore, many of the Democrats I know in person are not particularly enthusiastic about murdering adults. There are many positions that they could hold without endangering others. So some combination of “at least I probably don’t know very many of the internet crazies”, and “not all positions are partisan, political and elected ones of the sort I do not endorse Democrats for”.

          • Call someone a Nazi and I wonder what he has right that is pissing people off. Today it seems that they have gone so far as to rehabilitate the term by being so abusive with it.

        • Freedom of Association also includes the freedom to NOT associate.

          If you are trading money and other benefits for someone else’s labor, you are perfectly justified in stopping the exchange whensoever you no longer desire to make the exchange.
          Regardless of why you no longer wish to make the exchange.
          And this covers pretty much all philosophies about morality from Aristotle to Utilitarianism.

          Now, some religions might place a few more strictures upon it, but those generally lack a “thou must financially support murderous thugs” commandment. (OK, Islam may very well be an exception to that rule. So don’t try to fire Nazis if you’re living under Sharia.)

      • Brandon Eich begs to disagree….. and so do I. In the real world, you can fire any white male at any time.

        • If only he’d been fired for creating Javascript – that would have been justice.

          • Javascript is an elegant functional language hiding under a HUGE pile of ugly syntax, but there are libraries like Lodash to help bring it out of hiding.

            • See also http://www.crockford.com/javascript/javascript.html for another angle on this argument.

            • Java is a widespread application that’s used by a large number of programs… right up until another Java update gets pushed through fixing the latest security loopholes, and, incidentally, also rendering all of your critical programs that relied on Java completely inoperative.

              • Although their names are similar, Java actually has nothing to do with Javascript at all. That doesn’t invalidate your complaint about Java in any way, of course (though technically the right term would be to call it a language runtime, rather than an application). But I thought I’d point that out in case anyone didn’t realize that when I talk about Javascript and you talk about Java, you’re actually changing the subject to a completely different language. (Despite appearances).

    • I posted a comment below that was meant to be a reply to your “can you fire someone if they’re a Nazi?” question, but I typed it into the wrong comment box. But my long comment below (the one timestamped 9:58 AM) was meant to be here, as a response to this question.

    • There is no law against being a National Socialist. A presidential candidate who polled rather well in last year’s Democratic party primaries publicly stated that he was a National Socialist.

    • I worked once with an actual (former) Nazi. As in someone who had been a German soldier during WWII on the Russian front, and a POW with same later.

      Now, the “former” is fairly important in this context, as this particular job had a code of conduct not only there, but anywhere where it could be reasonably be seen to be representative of the job. (Uniforms were involved.)

      I think the answer is, how does the person’s actions reflect on the employer? If the person is an unrepentant Nazi and vocal about it, it would be silly to hire them in the first place. If you found out after hiring, and they were public about it, you’d probably want to let them go before they came to be at the center of an internet firestorm. But if you found out after hiring, and they were quiet about it, I wouldn’t jump straight to firing—I would do an evaluation with the person first, to find out what exactly was going on. (The person would still likely be let go—you don’t want that in your company—but it might be more subtle.) There’s always the chance that someone is misrepresenting them. (I once got in trouble for remarks made on the back of my homework—which were not in my handwriting, so I got that reversed.)

      • Was he definitely a Nazi (a member of the NSDAP), or only a Wehrmacht soldier? They weren’t synonymous. Just curious.

      • So what happened to your former Nazi?

      • I once had a German coworker who was drafted into the Wehrmacht in WWII, fought commies on the Russian front, somehow managed to both survive and in the German collapse to make it to the American zone, managed in the postwar years to immigrate to the US, and got his US citizenship just in time to get drafted and be sent to fight more commies in the US Army in Korea.

        After that, he decided he needed to gain sufficient utility to the US to avoid any more government funded scenic but cold locations, so he used his GI Bill benefits to become a nuclear power engineer, and lived in California where it does not get ever that cold.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I think under narrow circumstances it might be appropriate to discriminate against people who support the violent overthrow of the US government. Which might include Nazis during WWII, Communists during the Cold War, and some group which has some overlap with Muslims right now.

      But what does Nazi mean? I might break it down to technocratic big government (ambitious about forcing societal change) socialists with insane racial theories and ties to an organization with a history of murdering along ethnic lines for political gain. I could say the same thing about the Democratic Party.

      I have not entirely abandoned any hope of finding work in an environment where it would be appropriate to endorse discriminating against Democrats when it comes to employment. Furthermore, there are many Democrats that I can’t convince myself should be disqualified from many positions. (One of the reasons I did not vote for Trump was that I did not think any recent Democrat could be qualified for that office.)

      That said, someone with a Swastika tattoo on their face might not be desirable for customer facing positions. (No intention to hurt Manjimaru’s feelings.)

    • Are you talking “Nazi” as in German National Socialists running around gassing Jews and other minorities while trying to conquer neighboring countries, or are we talking the more modern “Anyone who doesn’t agree with me 100% is literally Hitler” type of Nazi? I’m not an expert on the laws surrounding firing someone, but I suspect you probably could fire someone is he started gassing people and breaking into the neighbor’s houses.

    • Yes and no; can’t mind-read or know their hearts, but the stuff that they do because they’re a Nazi that’s fireable, heck yeah.

      • In that case you are not so much firing a person for being a Nazi, are you? You’re firing them for acting like a Nazi, which arguably ought be fireable whether or not the person actually is a Nazi.

        Protected categories tend to be those which are immutable and not a factor of the individual’s choosing. This was much more obvious back in the days before a person could choose to be a woman or a man. Of course, back then it was believed a person chose whether or not to be homosexual … With choice comes the responsibilities attendant to that choice, e.g. you cannot be fired for being “gay” but can be fired for being “flaming” gay.

        It occurred to me that being a Nazi certainly ought be a firing criteria for the National Holocaust Museum, then I realized it might be useful to their mission to have actual real life Nazis on display … Certainly the folks at Disney should be able to require applicants be Nazis for their new “Auschwitzland” theme park …

    • Because I think it applies to your question.

      Susannah, would you PUNCH a Nazi?

      https://chrishernandezauthor.com/2017/02/12/about-that-punching-nazis-thing/

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    One thing that bothers me is when we don’t know what the person actually said.

    What did the person say that was “racially insensitive”?

    Was it (for example) “Affirmative Action Hurts Blacks” or was it (for example) “The US would be better off if Blacks were still slaves”?

    I definitely could see legitimate reasons (depending on time-and-place) for actions taken against somebody who made the second comment but the first comment is IMO a defendable statement.

    • Thinking of all the twitter storms of “sexism” or “death threats” or “rape threats”?
      (for folks saying ‘f off and die’ or ‘go screw yourself’)

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        That and the “habit” of certain groups of throwing terms like racist at anybody who “doesn’t support their dogma”.

  3. I’m actually going to argue a different angle than Amanda did. I’d say that companies should have the right to fire employees for being Nazis, or being Republicans, or being women, or being born on February 29th. In other words, for any darn reason at all, because of freedom of association. The only employer that should NOT be allowed to act in this way is the government, because then they would be violating the employee’s First Amendment rights, and the government does NOT have the right to freely associate with anyone they choose.

    And, of course, the converse applies: the fired employee should have a perfect right to tell everyone, “Hey, Google (or whoever) fired me for being a Republican,” and then other Republicans can choose whether or not they want to patronize Google. And so the free marketplace of ideas will decide whether it’s a wise business strategy to fire people for being in category X, or whether the companies that happily hire category X end up doing better. (For example, if category X is “military veterans”, experience has shown that they tend, as a group, to be better employees than just about any other category. There are exceptions — I can think of one specific veteran* whom I would never ever in a MILLION years recommend for ANYONE to hire, for example — but veterans tend to make great employees).

    There’s a good argument against my position, which is the “tyranny of the majority” argument. E.g., universities are already doing this, discriminating against hiring professors who have Republican ideas. (They routinely deny that they are doing so, but the evidence is perfectly clear to anyone who doesn’t deliberately blind themselves). But I’d contend that the free market, if not interfered with, will work out a solution to the problem: look at how enrollment dropped at… I can’t remember the name of the school, but it was the one that employed Melissa Click… after Ms. Click made her now-infamous outburst. The marketplace spoke loudly saying “We don’t like that kind of behavior”, and the school eventually gave in to market pressure and fired Ms. Click. The market corrected against discrimination against a certain viewpoint, and for being respectful to all views, even the ones you very much disagree with.

    However, that doesn’t mean that the “tyranny of the majority” argument isn’t strong. I admit that it can be scary to look at an industry that leans HARD against your personal views (for example, I work in computer programming, which has a BIG left lean since so many companies come out of San Francisco). So I can understand the temptation to use the power of the government to pass laws saying “You can’t discriminate based on political position.” But I think that a truly consistent free-market position requires allowing everyone the freedom to associate, or not to associate, with anyone they please, even if those reasons are awful.

    The one exception, of course, is the use of force. Threatening someone with violence, or actually committing violence against them, because you don’t like their ideas… THAT should be completely illegal. (Of course, if their ideas are “My religion requires me to kill you” and you see them taking steps in that direction, then self-defense comes into play and that’s a different story). And since government ALWAYS has force available in the form of the police, the army, etc., the government should be completely restrained from viewpoint discrimination. But for anyone else, I maintain that viewpoint discrimination falls under the freedom of association, and is a constitutional right.

    * Whom I won’t name, so if anyone was going to ask, don’t bother.

    • * Whom I won’t name, so if anyone was going to ask, don’t bother.

      I can think of more than one. I expect that most of those who are regular in this forum can as well. No one need bother asking and we needn’t bother listing. 😉

      • I can think of at least two – who if a potential employer asked me about them, I would (anonymously) advise them to run screaming.

        Oh, wait. Someone did ask me about one of them. While I was still in; asked me how I thought a particular NCO I had worked with in a previous assignment would fit into the current unit. That luckless questioner still had their ears were ringing, ten minutes later.

      • I can think of one who lied about his service even when he was still in the service.

        He was SecState up until Jan 20.

    • I thought pretty much everyone in the country is familiar with John Kerry.

      • If anyone asked for details, I was planning to say “neither confirm nor deny”, but in this case I’ll go ahead and deny. While I agree that John Kerry is untrustworthy (to say the least), I was actually thinking about someone else. And I’ll just say that if forced at gunpoint to hire either Kerry or the unnamed individual I mentioned before, I would pick Kerry in a heartbeat.

    • * I just hope he’s not me. 🙂

    • I would have thought that discriminating against politics would have fallen under the same category as discriminating against religion, myself.

      But that’s me, idealism and all. I rather understand that the way people behave now is very different, and frankly, rather scary.

      • Discriminating against politics is one of those sometimes yes, sometimes no areas. For example, if an applicant is a Socialist union agitator you cannot discriminate against her, but if the applicant is a “right-to-work” nut he can still be forced to join the union or lose the job.

        • Come to think on it, that is</I the same category as discriminating against religion. If the applicant is one of those extremist Christianist nut jobs who doesn't want to bake cakes for same-sex wedding receptions the employer has every right too turn them down, but if the applicant is a moderate Muslim whose religious values would be offended by having to bake a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding then only an Islamophobic hatey-hate hater would refuse to hire her.

        • Background history has quite a bit to say about whether or not someone gets hired. “Is this guy going to cause trouble later?”

          Then again, they don’t really have a choice with the affirmative action hires – feminists and otherwise or both. Doesn’t matter if they HAVE a history of causing shitstorms, they scream racism, you don’t get a chance.

  4. Schools need to remember that their role is to educate and not indoctrinate.

    Well here is your problem.

    That schools are about education and not indoctrination is one of those many ideas more honored in the breach than the practice.

    • Actually, I would argue that one of the proper roles of public schools is to indoctrinate. I want educated citizens coming out of the schools who have read and understand the Constitution of the United States. Who’ve read the Articles of Confederation that preceded the Constitution and understand why the congress called to amend them instead wrote a replacement. Who have read the Declaration of Independence and understand why it was written the way it was. I want citizens who understand the Constitution grants NO RIGHTS but instead guarantees the government cannot interfere with preexisting rights, whether you want to define as God given or Natural Rights. And that teaches them a standard canon that explains our civilization and how it came about. And teaches and enforces on them a standard of behavior that’s universal for everyone. Schools used to do that.

      • Schools used to do that.

        Some did. We need to be careful when looking at times other than our own to make sure we are not gazing through rose colored lenses.

        • I was in first grade when the teacher took the Bible off the lectern and put it on the shelf, never again to be opened in class. That was the beginning of the end of teaching a standard canon and requiring proper behavior. Commandments 4-10 aren’t overtly religious, and are a pretty good way to live your life. Not teaching them at all because they go along with 1-3 is really quite stupid. (I used the 10 Commandments from the Catholic Catechism- there are other versions. Until just now, I though it was universal….) Along with learning to sing the Star Spangled Banner in grade school, I learned the Marine Hymn, Anchors Aweigh, the Caisson Song, and the Coast Guard Anthem. They still do teach the Star Spangled Banner. The rest are by the wayside- too militaristic I would guess. My kids heard them at home.

          • Explanation:
            https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/the-true-ten-commandments
            There’s sort of three lists, here’s the one Gospace means:
            1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.
            2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
            3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
            4. Honor your father and mother.
            5. You shall not kill.
            6. You shall not commit adultery.
            7. You shall not steal.
            8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
            9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
            10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

            • “5. You shall not kill murder.”

              Corrected. And it definitely must be corrected. There are times when killing is legitimate, and it is a thorough corruption to claim that commandment prevents self-defense, judicial execution, and wars of necessity.

              • Except that the same folks who equivocated that will turn around and equivocate “murder” into “killing I don’t like,” removing the killing of the very young, very old or disabled.

                The Catholic teaching always had a much more precise meaning than that, and basic teaching on it came with the understanding that “kill” is an inexact translation, just like “meat” didn’t include fish for Lent.

                And then the folks deliberately twisting it got going…. *annoyed*

            • 1. I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange Gods before me.

              I got the impression that you are not supposed to have any other gods at all — strange or otherwise.

          • I dunno. My experience with religion in school was Not Good.

            I went to a new school in the third grade. I learned all I needed about religion then.

            Any test score got one letter grade knocked off if you didn’t go to one of the approved churches. Even a 100% score only got a “B.” This was perfectly OK with the principal when my parents complained about it.

            And both the teacher and principal found it beyond belief that any child, no matter where he was from, would not know all the mandatory hymns, songs, and prayers by heart, no matter where he was from. Obviously I was being “belligerent”, their catch-all term for anything they didn’t like. I offered to learn them if they’d write them down. That was taken as further “belligerence” and got me expelled from school for the first, but definitely not the last, time.

            A long meeting with the principal and my parents concluded with the decision that I would learn their crap and return to class. But I refused to play that game. I’d made the offer in good faith, and they’d stomped it. It took action from the county School Board to return to class, where the teacher simply marked “F” on most of my work no matter what I turned in.

            Schools keep two sets of “permanent records.” The official ones, and the back-channel ones that get passed from teacher to teacher. I’d move to another grade or another school, and everything would go swimmingly until one day I’m sitting there with the teacher giving me the stink eye, or I’m called in for “counseling.” They’d wave a file folder at me and say, “We’ve heard about you, and we’re not going to tolerate that kind of behavior here.”

            What’s that old saying? “Dear Lord, please protect me from Your followers.”

      • I want citizens who understand the Constitution grants NO RIGHTS but instead guarantees the government cannot interfere with preexisting rights, whether you want to define as God given or Natural Rights.

        Which is why my thinking on Roe v. Wade has shifted over the years. I used to hold the, I guess I’ll call it “conventional”, conservative position that the Roe v. Wade invented a new right not found in the Constitution, the right to privacy, and was a bad decision for that reason. I’ve since moved to the position that the right to privacy IS found in the Constitution, in the Ninth Amendment — but that the Roe v. Wade decision was still terrible, for two reasons: a) it makes no sense to apply the right to privacy to laws restricting people’s behavior (in the specific case, laws against abortion), and b) even if it did make sense, the decision completely failed to consider another human right: the baby’s right to life. The right to privacy does not, and CANNOT, justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being; that is the very definition of murder, and “I want my privacy” is not a valid defense against a law that forbids you from murdering an innocent human being.

        But abortion aside, I do, now that I’ve thought more about it, accept that there is a right to privacy, and that the Ninth Amendment applies to it. (And other rights, too, that I haven’t mentioned here).

        • I’ve had that discussion about the right to privacy being an unenumerated right, and how it doesn’t apply to Roe v Wade. There are other unenumerated rights. The right to travel freely throughout the states or within a state. The right to own property, both real and personal. There are all kinds of rights we assume and presume, without them being mentioned. What’s really ignored is the 10th amendment. The federal government has certain enumerated powers. Requiring us to purchase health insurance isn’t one of them. The feds can’t require us to buy automobile liability insurance. The states can and do.

        • Rather, if un-listed right to privacy is stronger than the right to life, then it applies to all situations- so honor killings of cloistered family members is alright, killing children who aren’t in public life is alright, killing off dependent elders (not in public life) is alright….

          Yes, I think a “right to privacy” is sort of implied, because there’s no permission given to get all sorts of information. Sort of like I have a right to not have various other things violated for no good specific reason that lacks due process…..

  5. I strongly recommend the book “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate” by Greg Lukianoff. It gives many horrible examples where the free-speech rights of both students and faculty were trampled.

  6. And by the way, I DO agree that an employer SHOULD NOT fire people for their political opinions. I simply think that they have the right to do so. There are many things that I have the legal right to do, but that I believe would be morally wrong — such as to donate money to the organization that should be called Planned Murder if the truth-in-advertising laws were applied to organizational names. Or, to pick a different example that just about everyone would agree would be morally wrong, to see someone in lethal danger, whose live I could save by lifting a single finger, and to walk away and to do nothing to help them. I would have the legal right to do so — and it would be a BAD idea to pass any law forcing people to act in such a scenario, for reasons that would make this comment too long if I got into them — but it would be utterly wrong, from a moral standpoint, for me to walk away in such a situation.

    • Sheesh: SECOND time I typed a reply into the wrong comment box. This one should have been a follow-up reply to my long post up above.

      • It would be frustrating to me, but if this were the worst mistake I made on a given day I would sleep well at the end of it.

        • Since I’m a programmer, it hurts my professional pride just a smidgeon. But having one’s pride punctured is usually good for one in the long run, so… *shrug*

          • User interfaces are for users. Why should a programmer be expected to know them?

            A former employer’s IT management had trouble understanding that because all they ever saw of computers was 1-2-3 and WordPerfect, that such things were not necessarily part of a Unix sysadmin’s skill set…

            • My father had a job for several years that was essentially translation work. He translated between the programmers writing a certain piece of software and the geologists using said software. Also periodically he translated the laws of physics in to programmer when they tried to use things like gravity in inappropriate ways in the program.

    • I disagree. Leftists have a well earned reputation for favoring other leftists over competence until the entire organization goes into a hard left death spiral, so I would be very cautious about hiring a leftist. I would also assume that any Democrat was a leftist.

      • Leftists have a well earned reputation for favoring other leftists over competence until the entire organization goes into a hard left death spiral, so I would be very cautious about hiring a leftist.

        But, see, the parts of your response that I highlighted show that although politics is your discriminating factor, it’s ultimately not politics that’s driving your firing (or not-hiring) decision. Rather, it’s because you believe that person would end up harming the organization in the long run by favoring politics over competence, so it’s the good of the organization that’s driving your decision. And so I would agree with you on that one, and would NOT say that that’s an immoral decision. The decision I called immoral is firing someone ONLY over politics — such as my one colleague I can think of who’s a firm leftist, but who’s a very competent programmer and a benefit to the organization. (And who values competence in turn, so he’s not going to end up doing what you describe. Many leftists do that, probably even most leftists, but not ALL leftists, as my colleague can illustrate.) If I were in a hire/fire position (currently I’m not) and chose to fire him, that would be wrong of me. Whereas a different leftist, who even though he was competent was also someone who would favor politics over competence — yeah, if it were up to me I would also choose not to hire him.

    • Had that discussion about lifting a single finger to help while taking a CPR class at my finalrequired to administer CPR to anyone on base or anyone off base we recognized as being military if the situation warranted CPR. The question came up as “Do we have to perform CPR on the town drunk?” (Mentioned by name in the question….) The answer was- On base, should he ever get in, yes, in town, no. We weren’t medical professionals. The answer is different for them.

      • I hate my touch pad…. Had that discussion about lifting a single finger to help while taking a CPR class at my final duty station. Once trained, we were required to administer CPR to anyone on base or anyone off base we recognized as being military if the situation warranted CPR. The question came up as “Do we have to perform CPR on the town drunk?” (Mentioned by name in the question….) The answer was- On base, should he ever get in, yes, in town, no. We weren’t medical professionals. The answer is different for them.

        • It’s only different in iirc two states or if one is on duty. Otherwise HCP generally will not have duty to act. Actually less duty than your students tbh. Only grey area is volunteer departments where no set shifts. It’s been argued both way in court. (I believe only after initiating response to scene/station vs any dispatch or injury.

  7. Two word solution for this situation: Home. Schooling.

    That said, the arrival of the smartphone has created an interesting cultural phenomenon in schools these days. Cyberbullying is most definitely a thing. Kids can get away with verbal torture on the web. They can say things that would get them stomped at school if said out loud. They can in fact say things that no ‘zero tolerance’ policy could protect them from if said out loud. They can say it at school on their phone, or if the teacher has a brain and confiscates the bad actors phones, they can say it -after- school.

    I am aware of a local case in which the school official -begged- the parent not to show them the comment feed in question. The point was if the parent showed them, they would be forced by law to call the cops. Kids would get arrested and taken off in cuffs. (Including the victim! Because kids say stuff back, right?) Parents would get dragged to the cop shop. It would be very, very, ugly. And expensive. Because lawyers.

    In a small town, that becomes a pretty big thing that will get talked about forever more. Nobody wants that. Therefore, all the actions taken were “under the table.” The aggressors got the Riot Act read to them in a non-official conversation, their parents got a quiet phone call, and so forth.

    Net result? No change. Obviously. They’re not going to let it go. Why would they? Nothing is going to happen to them.

    But, in the case of the kid posting the politically incorrect Trump Wall thing, well now, That’s Different. Now the school official will feel entitled to use every iota of official power to punish the little Nazi and his Nazi parents. Drag the bastiges through the mud, face first. Politics are Important you know. There are Greater Issues at stake than some peasant kid and his lackluster future.

    Just remember, schools are not there to protect your kid, nor to teach your kid. They are bureaucratic institutions. Dedicated to preserving their own existence and protecting themselves FROM you and your children. They will act in their own best interests, not yours. You just pay for them.

    -Your- best interests are served by home schooling. Welcome to 2017.

  8. I’m going to point out that while I ideologically believe in the rights to free association, and that you should be able to hire and fire whomever you please, there are edge cases where such is not at all acceptable. And, there are others where allowing such to go on is against the better interests of society.

    We’ve got a case here in Washington State where the government is going after a florist for not selling wedding flowers to a gay couple. Now, I’m fine with her not doing that, because of several issues: One, she was not the only florist available to that couple, and the need for flowers at a wedding isn’t exactly a life-safety issue. Were she the only florist in a reasonable range of that couple, then… Maybe. Were her products things that couldn’t be obtained easily, elsewhere, and necessary to survival for that couple? Absolutely not.

    Similarly, let’s take a look at a growing effective monopoly: Amazon. Right now, Amazon is a private company, and can do what it likes. However, at the rate they are going, they’re going to have a truly ginormous market share of retail, and may well wind up with an effective monopoly in the e-book industry. Should Jeff Bezos, or whoever succeeds him at the helm of that company be allowed to use that market share and the attendant power that comes with it to try and effect change in the political sphere? I would submit that such monopoly powers as Amazon and Microsoft should be constrained from doing things like using their power in the marketplace to weigh in on political matters outside the strict purview of their business–As in, Amazon should have a right to lobby and work for issues directly relating to internet and retail sales, but should be enjoined from sticking their noses into things like immigration policies as a business. Sure, individuals working for Amazon should still have a right to say what they will and vote however they want to, but once you take your business past a certain point in terms of market share and monopoly, that fact should enjoin you as a business from making political statements by way of doing business. Should Amazon take it into its head to start censoring or refusing to sell things written by people espousing particular political points of view, then we have a problem. Jeff Bezos has effectively created a public utility, with Amazon, and should be required to behave accordingly, remaining apolitical. So long as Amazon is effectively a monopoly, that’s a thing that should be enforced with draconian vigor.

    Same thing with a lot of the non-governmental entities we have out there, like the Ford Foundation and others that are used to channel political monies to various causes like Black Bloc anarchists. If they’re not funding everyone, then they shouldn’t be funding anyone, when it comes to politics. You want to be a public foundation, exempt from taxes? You should have an obligation to be apolitical, or pay taxes. Not to mention, if you’re going to fund these groups that go out and break things at protests, then you ought to be liable for paying for them after they get done. I really wish the various insurance companies would go after the funders for these things, and make them pay for the crap they get up to, because if you think those ne’erdowells from Eugene, Oregon got together the money to travel to Washington, DC on their own, you would be entirely delusional.

    Private citizens or small corporations should have the right to free association. Big companies, with effective near-monopolies…? Not so much.

    • Mostly agree, but … you don’t think there should be such a thing as a foundation created to support political and/or ideological causes? That seems a bridge too far; it’s not hard, once enacted, for a law forbidding such to be used to forbid any group from supporting a cause (by “minor” re-definitions of what a foundation is, etc.).

      I do agree, though, that if a foundation wants the freedom normally associated with individuals to speak its mind, it should have the responsibility normally associated with individuals for damage caused by so speaking (or funding, etc.) — incitement to riot, accessory before the fact, whatever legal theory is appropriate.

      • You spend a few years in a state dominated by Microsoft Money (TM), and then let me know how you feel about the 8,000lb gorillas like Paul Allen weighing in on things like replacing the King Dome.

        There’s a point in scale past which these entities should either be forced to refrain from politics, or they should be opened up such that the public has the right to control what the hell they’re doing. It’s not representative democracy when some clown like Bloomberg can come into your community, spend a few million dollars on lies, and drown out the rest of the arguments. The number of people who look all shocked at me when I tell them what I-594 actually accomplished, in terms of law, is amazing–They all thought that they were voting to make all gun sales go through a NICS check, when what they were actually voting on was an initiative to make it a misdemeanor for me to hand you one of my pistols on a range to try shooting, and a felony for you to hand it back to me.

        I don’t think any of these big foundations, whether you’re talking the Ford Foundation or any of the others, are good things for the nation–What they are becoming are loci for the leftists to capture, and then misdirect the resources thereof towards initiatives and activities that are actually inimical to the nation, and against the original intent of the men and women who earned the money used to fund them. Henry Ford may have been an anti-Semitic asshole, but I seriously doubt he’d have anything good to say about what the foundation his fortune went to fund is up to, these days. And, I’m afraid I’d have to agree with him, distasteful as that might be.

        • I’ve spent about 65 years in the state you’re talking about; it was all Boeing money in the earlier years. And I’m disappointed and ashamed before the world of what it’s becoming, politically.

          But I’m not at all sure that making a bad (i.e. easily corrupted) law aimed at foundations per se is the solution; something more uniform, more applicable to all individuals and all organizations that want the privileges of individuals, might be.

          • Well, you know whereof I speak, then.

            My thinking is that if you’re going to be a foundation of that kind of scope, then you need to be beholden to someone. Like with the NRA, where the members vote on who runs the thing, and that’s where most of the money and influence come from–The members. You’re a vast, impersonal entity with no clear democratic mechanisms of control…? You don’t get to weigh in on political matters. If the Ford Foundation were a true grass-roots sort of thing, where anyone could join in and vote on who is running the place, and what they’re going to be funding? Not so bad; not perfect, but not so bad. And, once you reach Bloomberg, Allen, Gates, or Bezos level of spending money, you kinda-sorta become an entity that can effectively erase the general will of the public through your spending on political matters. This is antiethical to long-term buy-in for everyone else, and if the oligarchs don’t pay attention to that stuff…? They’re not going to remain oligarchs much past the first day of the revolution they’re inevitably going to spark.

            Jeff Bezos has performed a vast public service by creating Amazon. That’s a good thing, and so long as it isn’t being bent to support or suppress a particular political point of view, I support his right to do so. However, with this bullshit he’s helping fund, in terms of challenging the intent of the President to enforce existing immigration laws…? That’s going over the line; he wants to do that, then he’d better be more honorable than Caesar’s wife, because the end state where he and his company are seen to be partisan by the general public…? Amazon and its stockholders won’t like that, at all.

            • Sounds like a good idea: that foundations need to have simple declared purpose, and a public membership to be accountable to.
              If you’re rich and want to roll your wealth into a foundation, do that; else keep the money, control it yourself, pay your taxes, and be at least somewhat accountable to the public.

              I’m not a tax accountant, so may be off – but I thought the main reason for foundations was for the founder to avoid death taxes and set the mission to guide administrators in how to disburse income over time. If so, the major difference under the new idea is getting a degree of free auditing (from the membership) – and setting up different mechanisms to manage mission drift from members vs. board rollover.

              • (Might be good for foundations to be time-limited, too, since drift is inevitable).

                • IIRC the John M. Olin Foundation was one that the founder put a time cap on it. All the funds had to be spent by X date on causes the founder supported. The trustees kept the faith, spent the funds, and then closed shop. (It might be another one, favored libertarian-type charities. I’m too tired to look it up.)

    • Admittedly this is one of the ideas I wrestle with. I do not mind a company fighting against outside interference on their internal practices but when you have the Giants screaming and twisting the media (FB) to match politics and doing so to impose their vision outside their doors I find it much darker.

      The whole argument for the EO crap was that companies and state would lose money from foreigners. I do think you should have some way to break that but it’ll never happen until they do get cut up. Tech is the robber barons of the time. And they seem to be doing better pushing their costs on the populace than did Rockefeller.

      As for foundations, one and done. First we have to break stuff like CGI Or Ford where it is a money laundering scheme for the family. You get a $50 salary but everything is in non-profit name so minimal taxes. Second, lobbying. The general welfare nons are the worst because getting the .Gov to take 25% of my check and give it to someone else qualifies to a govt drone that can skim off 5% of everyone. Should be usable only for hard research, construction such as libraries or zoos and upkeep etc.

      • It is worth reviewing A Gift Of Freedom How The John M Olin Foundation Changed America, by John J. Miller. He explains how Olin and several other philanthropists established foundations with “Use By” dates, set up to liquidate after a reasonable period rather than becoming self-perpetuating money laundries. Per Amazon,

        In the 1970s, John M. Olin, one of the country’s leading industrialists, decided to devote his fortune to saving American free enterprise. Over the next three decades, the John M. Olin Foundation funded the conservative movement as it emerged from the intellectual ghetto and occupied the halls of power. The foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars fostering what its longtime president William E. Simon called the “counterintelligentsia” to offset liberal dominance of university faculties and the mainstream media and to make conservatism a significant cultural force. Among the counterintellectuals the foundation identified and supported at key stages of their careers were Charles Murray during his early work on welfare reform, Allan Bloom as he wrote THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND, and Francis Fukuyama as he was developing his “End of History” thesis. Using exclusive access to the John M. Olin Foundation’s leading personalities as well as its extensive archives, John J. Miller tells the story of an intriguing man and his unique philanthropic vision. He gives fascinating insights into the foundation’s role in helping the CIA fund anti-Communist organizations during the Cold War and its extensive help to Irving Kristol and others as they moved from left to right to found the neoconservative movement. He tells of the foundation’s early and critical role in building institutions such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, which served to transform conservative ideas into national policies. A GIFT OF FREEDOM shows how John M. Olin’s “venture capital fund for the conservative movement” helped develop one of the leading forces in American politics and culture.

        A change in the tax laws covering foundations, requiring they liquidate over a fifty or seventy-five year period might address the issues raised above, although I am sure there would be workarounds developed (such as giving the endowment to a son/daughter foundation.) As we have seen with such groups as the Tides Foundation and the Ford Foundation these groups can be readily taken over by administrators, becoming a source of “dark money” funding political agendas.

        https://www.c-span.org/video/?187290-1/gift-freedom
        Miller recorded by CSPAN at a presentation of his book lasting just under one hour,

  9. Just have to say – He was smart enough to take the test and get a good score. But not smart enough to sandbag and get an acceptable score. I would have just asked when I could take the test again rather than sue. I mean…I doubt he even asked. It never hurts to ask.

    • Depends on what his goal was; above I theorized they could be selecting against activists, in which case the “I scored really well and that is why they won’t hire me” thing is exactly the desired result.

      • I remember details about that incident from when it was happening. Guy was not an activist–He was someone who aced the exam, knew it, and then knew that people who did worse on the exam got hired before he did. That led to “Hey, WTF is going on here… I thought this was merit-based…?”. Turns out, not so much.

        Similar crap has been going on with regards to testing and hiring practices in fire departments back east, as well. Mostly involving race and ethnicity, because, donchaknow, it’s really, really important that the color of the face coming to put your housefire out is vitally important to them being able to save your stupid ass. Friend of mine was a firefighter from one of the communities that the Justice Department came in and “saved” from the horrors of non-diversity, and the stories he had to tell about how all that worked out on the ground… Epic. Truly ‘effing epic–There was a major industrial fire you’d probably recognize from the the details if I were to mention them whose primary cause of “getting bad” goes back to piss-poor decisions made by ethnically-selected firefighters who were put in charge of things. It’s all good, though–The pictures of the fire department have the right number of melanin-enhanced faces, now. Competent firefighters? Not a concern…

        • On enlisting, my hubby apparently scored really well. The recruiter was a smart one; who told him flat out that someone with his brains and capability would be bored out of his mind in Infantry. Gave him a list of other things he thought Rhys would be better interested in, and when he passes the training would suit him in the civilian world as well, should the day come he ever wanted to leave the army.

          Rhys has been rather grateful to that recruiter. Sure, there’s long parts of boring makework and such, but he can’t deny that he learned a lot that if nothing else, would make sure he has lucrative employment options in the civilian workforce (there were a few already trying to woo him with just under six figure salaries when he was almost done with training)

          While I understand selecting against ‘smart person gets bored’; that seems to be counter-intuitive when you want more intelligent detectives – who have to cut their teeth working the beat first.

          • I’ve heard that line of thought more than a few times, and I have to admit, I often found myself wanting to strangle a lot of my fellow Category IA types when I was on active duty.

            There is a bit of an issue with that whole area, though–It’s not really “intelligence-based”, it’s more a question of being the right kind of intelligent. Some people think they are smart, can actually hum a few bars and fake that they are, but… They’re really not all that bright, in terms of “being able to do the job”. Which entails being a good follower before becoming a good leader or the guy running things.

            I doubt that the guy your husband really had the best interests of the Infantry branch, or your husband at heart–They just wanted to fill the slots in the support arms with qualified people, first. Which is all well and good, but when you start tracking intelligent people away from the combat arms, you’re going to start having minor little problems with winning your fights, because the enemy sure as hell won’t be so kind as to put their mentally deficient on the front lines. In fact, particularly when dealing with certain third-world countries, what you’re going to find in the opposition is actually going to be the cream of the crop, at the pointy end of things. Which is one reason why the Vietnamese did so well against the US line units, in some fights.

            I’m of the opinion that you need a solid mix of backgrounds and intelligence levels in most military units, especially in the combat arms. You can’t quite cut the mustard when you fill those units out with the dregs of society, which is what we here in the US found out running up to the Battle of the Bulge–When they dumped out all the ASTP classes into the infantry replacement pool around the time that battle was being fought, the Army was chagrined to discover that the general combat capability went up to a noticeable degree. Tracking those young men after the war, they found that they had a higher survival rate, and that they made rank more quickly than their less-endowed peers. Also, the units they were fed into became noticeably more effective.

            So, the idea that the intelligent don’t belong in the combat arms? I wholeheartedly disagree. There needs to be at least a few, because where the hell else are we going to find the intelligent combat leaders for the future, if we don’t start growing them from the get-go?

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              On paper, I’m some kind of intelligent. There’s even a case that I’m wise. But if we sat down and discussed my life, and level of effectiveness, there would be evidence against.

            • To be fair, the other reason that the recruitment officer gave was ‘you’re a new father.’ He also noted that there is more than one way into the particular field that Rhys was interested in; and if Rhys was still interested when the kiddlywink was older, he could still transfer. I gather that Aussie military isn’t very fond of sending new parents into combat zones.

              One of the things he did do was be sent into Afghani bases to help teach. Since spontaneous ‘friendly fire from behind’ was a not uncommon tactic… he was very wary.

              Now, mind, I agree that the intelligent should also wield arms. The thing is, if they had an infantryman who also knew how to REPAIR the weapon later, that was a bonus (and, well, he’s now qualified in more arms than the average infantryman gets to shoot with.)

              Rhys told me once that he was held up by a range master to shame the infantry he was training into shooting better. Most of them -like, I imagine, most infantry do – look down on the ‘Pogue’ sitting there to fix their weapon if they fuck it up, but the range master tore into them that day, since Rhys had one of the highest scores in the exams he took with the same range master the week prior. The range master told them to ‘find out what he’s doing right, to fix what you’re doing wrong, even if you have to fellate him and absorb the info from his sperm!”

              (“Any of them ask you anything?” “I think you scared them away from me, Sir.”)

              Australian soldiers were, as I’ve been told, feared by the Vietnamese. Because the Australians went after them in their tunnels, ‘they thought like us,’ …and, well, Long Tan. 108 ANZAC soldiers versus 1500-2500 Viet Cong. ANZAC came out of that winning.

            • My husband is one of the up-there types in score and in practical brains and he went infantry. Deliberately. No, he wasn’t bored out of his mind. It’s a pretty common misnomer.

        • I have heard similar scuttle around re the current affirmative trend. Ask how the non politically interesting are doing and it’s full of details. Ask about the politically interesting and it’s “fine” or “great”. No details. At least IMO it seems to be more detrimental when folks that do have their shit together do it.

  10. Depends on federal and state law covering employee rights — ie, protected group, etc.

    This is what really bothers me. Not the issue of who you can hire or fire or what is done on or off a school.

    Do we have equality before the law or do we not?

    It is apparent that we do not.

    There should be no protected groups per the law. No discrimination in favor or against any group or individual. Because one group was discriminated in the past doesn’t mean its now that group turn to discriminate against others. Discrimination to redress past discriminations is still discrimination.

    Should we allow discrimination or not?

    It is apparent that we do.

  11. So, you’re about a quarter-century late on the policing music in the parking lot thing. It was going on my junior and senior years of high school at our school.

    The uproar was that every guy who had an overpowered stereo system would park on the side street off school property for 5 minutes or so blasting just about everything you could find that was offensive. Of course, back then it was more heavy metal than it was rap, but same deal. Judas Priest was a favorite.

  12. We went through a similar argument back in the Sixties, except then the suppressors were conservative. It is interesting to see the Dems’ desperate efforts to prove themselves correct in their claim that the two parties “switched” sometime around the Nixon presidency, but I am surprised they choose this arena to demonstrate it.

    • The 1960s? I believed in free speech then and I still do. It was a rather screwy time. I suspect we will look back on the present with similar thoughts.

      I was one of those who worked for the right to hand out student published papers which expressed opinions political and otherwise that were not necessarily in line with the status quo. We won the right to do so before and after school hours, and so long as we did not block other’s access to the school building.

      A public school wishing to restrict speech within official school activities, as the students are minors, probably has the legal standing to do so.

  13. The kid who had been the victim and who only stood up to protect himself, was being told to leave the school. For something that took place off school grounds. And for something that could have been avoided if action had been taken before blows were thrown.

    While I’m not a huge fan of escalation, that’s when you file a police report.

    Not only is the school not handling things, they’re setting things up to favor the wrong-doer– who will have his life destroyed when he tries this stuff in adult life.

  14. David French, former president of F.I.R.E. made a relevant point at National Review gangblog The Corner last night:

    Nondiscrimination Policies Represent the Secular Creed of the Progressive Church

    Over on the homepage I wrote today about the Washington Supreme Court’s dreadful decision imposing personal liability on a florist for refusing to help celebrate a gay wedding. As I wrote, it struck me that the way you think about the case likely depends on how you answer a simple question: Who should control your business?

    If you think that a business fundamentally belongs to a person — and not the state — then you’re more likely to believe that the state can and should restrict your right to operate your business as you see fit only when it has demonstrated concrete, urgent need. Take, for example, the government’s response to the systematic denial of services to black citizens in the South. Confronted with a social, economic, and political system that in a real way re-created the “badges and incidents of slavery,” the government took the serious step of overriding the business-owner’s right to run his store or restaurant to try to rectify the century-old failure of Reconstruction and the imposition of white supremacist rule in the old Confederacy.

    If you think, however, that businesses either ultimately belong to the state — or exist mainly at the pleasure of the state — then government can conscript private businesses in its preferred political crusades, even in the absence of real need or widespread social harm. This is exactly what’s happening with most modern nondiscrimination laws. Rather than argue, for example, that states had to enact sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws because gay people couldn’t find places to eat, drink, or sleep, sexual revolutionaries demand that government take action against “social evil” because businesses must not be permitted to do “wrong” things.

    That, friends, is what you call, “legislating morality.”

    The bottom line is that expansive nondiscrimination policies represent something akin to the secular creed of the progressive church. The state is overriding individual liberty to implement a specific world view — without any meaningful evidence that reforms are necessary to address a particular cultural problem. There is no lack of florists, bakers, and photographers eager to help celebrate gay weddings, but it becomes intolerable to the Left that there exists even a single commercially-viable dissenting voice. Churches, after all, won’t let their pulpits be used for heresy. To the modern administrative state every business is a pulpit, and those pulpits must preach the progressive social gospel.

    • Example Argumentum:
      “So, do you think Prohibition was a good thing?”
      “No”
      “Why?”
      “Because it was white religious elites, forcing their morality on everyone else.”
      “And legislating morality is a bad thing, and besides it never works, right?”
      “Yeah!”
      “And that’s different from legislating the morality of elevating gay ‘rights’ over personal religious rights, how?”
      “[spluttering] THAT’S DIFFERENT!!!!”
      “How?”
      “HATER!!!!!!!!!”

    • “If you think, however, that businesses either ultimately belong to the state — or exist mainly at the pleasure of the state — then government can conscript private businesses in its preferred political crusades, even in the absence of real need or widespread social harm.”

      This is the textbook definition of Fascism, leaving a thin veneer of private enterprise over state control.

  15. Any time you start saying that private parties must or cannot do this or that you quickly make the group writing the edicts a very desirable target to control. Right now we have a patchwork of ‘you can do this to these groups, not that one’ and it serves to both cause division and encourage the abuse of rules.

    Outside of life services (general hotel, restaurant and health care) there is no reason any person should be required to service another, as employee, employer or other. And peer pressure based items are also troublesome. I remember a review of the drop rush campaign previously. It had thousands of “customer contacts” but only from a dozen or so people. Today you can have huge influx of comments against a business intended to harm them from individuals that have never set foot there. So people in a community are hurt by people highly emotional from elsewhere.

    • I will disagree even on life services if there are competing services in the area. I would note that the public accommodation laws were passed when their might be only one inn in a village so it was sleep there or sleep outside for travelers. When there are ten or twenty motels within a few miles it is not so urgent. Please note that much of the discrimination against Negroes in the South was required by law and that when those laws were passed businesses fought against them because they were expensive and unprofitable to obey.

      • Ya. I get you. Sadly I don’t trust that doing it logically is politically feasible. You start defining what a reasonable competitor is and it goes back down to ‘thou shalt’

      • “Separate but equal” was accepted Constitutional law until 1954. That was nationwide, not just in the South. Bits of it still hung on for another ten years.

  16. The idea of proportionate response has been lost. I.e.- discretionary for discretionary (I & my group can choose to boycott you because you choose not to serve us), vs. force of law for life/property safety (you MUST serve all because you’re the only source of that service, within range to preserve life of your clients.)

    Wish I knew how to re-establish a cultural meme that says that line – between discretionary and mandatory – is important and must not be crossed.

    • “Wish I knew how to re-establish a cultural meme that says that line – between discretionary and mandatory – is important and must not be crossed.”

      Oh, there’s a way to establish it. This group, for example, has practiced it with great success. Of course, if concerns over “being better than them” outweigh your love of actual freedom, you won’t employ it, and wonder why the oven doors are closing.

  17. Okay, this may be a bit off the examples, but it is a thought police/free speech thing, though subtle.

    I am taking a Master’s Level class on “Social Research Methods”, and in the text book, when discussing how to properly conduct surveys, their uses, effectiveness, etc., there is this paragraph:

    “Currently, there are no quality-control standards to regulate the U.S. media’s reporting of opinion polls or surveys. For nearly 50 years the professional survey research community has sought, without success, to have media only report studies with adequate scientific samples, rigorous interviewer training and supervision, satisfactory questionnaire design, public availability of data, and controls on the integrity of survey organizations. Unfortunately, the mass media report both biased, misleading survey results and results from rigorous, professional surveys without distinction. It is not surprising that public confusion regarding and a distrust of all surveys occur.”

    How many of you found this paragraph troubling (so sounding so reasonable) as I did, and if so, why?

    • Appealing to authority is the thing that startles me there. Much like the current kerfuffle of how the journalist profession is the first amendment, not the ability to publish without government censorship. And how their title means they get reference.

      The information within a survey can still be meaningful if the data about its collection is known but having ghost data that is hidden because it does not match a credential is dangerous. I’d bet the 97% concurrence warming survey would pass easily even with the innate issues.

      Plus it doesn’t matter what they try to do. The press will just spin and ‘make mistakes’ anyway.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Freakin’ journalists by and large do not have the background to know good statistics from bad. You can’t just graft that onto someone. Absent them knowing and caring (which would have to be audience driven), it won’t be fixed. Censorship is easy in comparison.

      • I looked at the phrase

        … the mass media report both biased, misleading survey results and results from rigorous, professional surveys without distinction.

        and thought, “That;s journalists’ SOP for all complex* stories.

        I suspect most of us would be amazed at the standard J-school curriculum. The actual mechanics of the trade would seem to require little more than 12 semester hours (college students presumably are already capable of writing coherent sentences and paragraphs) which leaves one to wonder what the remaining 24 semester hours of a typical major entail. While I am sure we could all offer sensible suggestions — such as 3 semester hours of statistics for journalists, another 3 hours of scientific methodology, 3 hours on the history of the First Amendment — I dare say none of our suggestions would be found at your typical Journalism School.

        And I suspect we would be appalled at what is required of them.

        *Complex meaning “may involve math,” “may involve analysis” or “simple narratives may not apply.”

        • What is required of journalism students…?

          Dunno, but I somehow suspect that it likely involves a lobotomy, or time spent in a pod, somewhere, having the intelligence sucked out of them.

          • When in doubt, searchengine, right?

            “The number of things Journalism is asking its journalism schools to teach could fill three degrees plus a couple of minors. Business, law, economics, entrepreneurship, computer science, data science, and also all the journalism fundamentals. We have no idea what The Future is, other than that it’s wildly different from the past, so we’re tossing everything into What Journalism Schools Should Be Teaching and the list is starting to look a little silly. Especially when you consider we have 40 credit hours to work with. I view this as a challenge, not a lament.”
            Steve Myers

            Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans. Before working at Poynter Online, Steve spent about six years in Mobile, Ala., as a reporter for the Press-Register, focusing on local government accountability. He was a 2006 Ohio State University Kiplinger Fellow and an Open Society Institute Katrina Media Fellow.

            Columbia Journalism School is perhaps the preeminent J-School in the nation. You can go to their website but you won’t learn much there about the curriculum, much less what they actually teach.

            • And, yet… Every journalist I’ve ever met has been a complete and utter moron. I can count the number of them I’ve met who could pour piss out of a boot without written instruction and clear, careful guidance–And, signally, all those were ones who had not been “trained and accredited” by any institution.

              • Journalists I can think of in the “not idiots” category: Michael Totten, and Robert Stacy McCain. That’s it. No, wait, Lee Stranahan, from all reports, though since I’ve never read his articles myself (unlike with Totten and McCain) I can’t say for sure.

                Oh, I can also think of plenty of “citizen journalists” a.k.a. bloggers, too, who aren’t idiots. But in the “conventional” journalist category? I can think of only three myself. (Maybe if others mention a few more names I’ll say “Oh yeah, him too,” though.)

                • Thing is, I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot of journalists who aren’t idiots.
                  Unfortunately, none of them are nationally known. I think there’s some kind of filtering process, particularly in TV news networks.

                  • I think you’re right about the filtering process, and I think scott2harrison described it pretty well in his 1:21 PM comment up above:

                    Leftists have a well earned reputation for favoring other leftists over competence until the entire organization goes into a hard left death spiral …

                    Small local station? Can’t afford to turn away halfway decent journalists, and would JUMP at a competent one, even if he/she is a Republican. Large statewide channel? Probably has several competent journalists available to hire, and will pick the leftmost-leaning among them, but will probably still value competence, and would therefore pick a competent center-left journalist over an incompetent far-leftist. But the national channels? They get every journalist in the world applying to them, so they think they can afford to ignore competence and pick purely per* partisan political perspective.

                    There’s probably a bit more to it, but that does seem to be the gist.

                    * This word really should be “based on”, but I couldn’t turn down the alliteration.

                    • Other relevant factors:

                      Ease of stimulating maudlin emotions favors Leftists. A “journalist” can always find an injured party to illustrate a story, while showing a general benefit is often difficultly abstract. It is simple to do a 2-minute news item about a cute little girl suffering from an adverse reaction to a vaccination than it is to depict the overall benefit of not having every third child dead or crippled by polio. In this context, John Stossel merits particular notice and praise.

                      Access to news sources tends to drive the MSM leftward. This was most notable prior to the “Gingrich Revolution,” the aftermath of which left Washington reporters scrambling because nearly none of their sources were in the GOP. Forty years of Democrat control of the House and near control of the Senate (filibuster rules kept Democrats relevant even in the few intervals of minority status), coupled with the general inclination of the bureaucracy meant that a journalist could survive quite nicely on Left-wing sources, press releases and leaks without ever having to listen to a Republican viewpoint.

                      Just as the Hugos bestow credibility on SF writers, the various journalism awards bestow credibility on journalists — and their employers. That the awards committees tend to be consistently tilted to the Left is barely discernible (certainly few journalists will report on it) means that news outlets seeking such confirmation will tilt increasingly toward the hand that feeds them.

              • A guy I went to high school with spent a couple of years at a local paper, then went off to DC as Washington correspondent for a sizeable newspaper chain.

                It would be hard to imagine someone more clueless about what he was supposed to be reporting on. He essentially wrote what he was told to, by senior reporters who used him for scutwork. But he saw himself as a paladin of Truth, and certainly not biased or influenced in any way.

                [googles] Looks like he drank all the Kool-Aid; he’s still in DC playing the journalist game.

          • I went to a broadcasting major after realizing that I would not enjoy engineering. (Long story short: neat equipment to play with.) It was rather appalling to go from a room of intelligent, hardworking students to a room full of people who cringed at the inverse-square law. (Lighting brightness works according to 1/x^2.)

            There were intelligent people in that major, and almost all of them were interested in the behind-the-scenes work. The only major exception that I saw was a young lady from Dubai for whom English was her third language.

            Note that we had one really good professor teaching in this field. He was an immensely sarcastic man, and a lot of students claimed he was drunk a lot. I didn’t see that at all, but I very much understand the sarcasm. He was teaching students how advertising and framing manipulate how people feel about things and maybe one student in fifty understood the other message, about how that means *you* are being manipulated and how to spot it.

            I went into that major with very little trust in news. I came out with almost none.

            • Same thing with my major in fiolm… i came out with a four year degree and a complete distaste for the industry, the people in it and the place i have to live to work therein.

            • I have 100% trust in the news.

              I trust that they’re trying to push someone’s agenda 100% of the time.

        • “(college students presumably are already capable of writing coherent sentences and paragraphs)”
          RES, if this is not your trademark sarcasm, I regret to be the one who informs you that no, the typical college student is most definitely NOT capable of writing coherent sentences and paragraphs, at least if coherent includes such things as using the same person and tense and subject/verb agreement throughout the sentence.

    • The cited paragraph makes the professional statisticians into gatekeepers and judges of polls – technocrats if you will – and thus put into a position to manipulate things in ways far less obvious than when the various media outlets do it. At least that’s what jumps out at me.

    • I’ve seen what they did to education with the whole “training” and such junk– result being that my great grandmother had better luck taking Indians and two different flavors of Spanish speakers where the RICH people lived in conditions that would get kids taken away in a flash, as a lady who spoke Scots English, and turning them into literate, numerate, and frankly rather sharp adults than the modern TRAINED PROFESSIONALS.

      Oh, and most of the folks were in married but only mom was at home most of the year families, because “work” involved a lot of traveling and staying with the animals….

      ARGH.

  18. First point, sending your child to a public school nowadays is essentially child abuse. A thoroughly screened private school or even better home schooling is always a better option. Of course poor single mothers and their children get royally screwed in this situation.

    Second point, most kids have no business going to college unless they are going for an engineering or hard science degree. Pretty much all the other degrees are bs propaganda and useless money pits. Even if your deluded kid really, really wanted to get, lets say a political science degree, it could easily be learned via the internet. The only real reason to go to a brick and mortar university is for lab work.

    Most kids go to college to ‘socialize’ anyway with actual learning being way down on the list. They and their parents would be much better served going to some vocational school and learn something they can actually use to earn a living.

    Our current ‘higher’ education system is already in a death spiral. As budgets get tighter and tighter, colleges will have less and less funding. Many have already unsustainable debt levels and with the current political hijinks going on at many campuses fewer parents are willing to cough up the money to send their kids to such hellholes. I predict in a generation or so only some ‘elite’ universities will have traditional campuses with most going bankrupt. Gonna really suck for college football. 😛

  19. “Gonna really suck for college football.” Minor peeve as I’m not a fan – why are my tax dollars going to support college football teams/stadia/etc. that are essentially NFL farm teams? Likewise for basketball/NBA. Shouldn’t those be profit-making for the universities, if they continue to exist?

    By the way, Melissa Click was at University of Missouri Columbia (the main campus of our state system) and their enrollment and tax allocations both dropped the following year. Many of us were not happy about seeing the inmates running the asylum.

    • Shouldn’t those be profit-making for the universities, if they continue to exist?

      In fact, I seem to remember that they are.

      I have no idea what paper indicates.

      • Lots and lots of TV money for college football and mens basketball. That money pays for all the other sports programs that colleges run. Not really sure how the accounting for college sports pans out. I imagine it varies considerably from college to college and obviously nobody is eager to show the specifics to the public.

      • Depends on the college. Last stats I saw, college football’s a profit-making enterprise for Division I schools, mostly.

        • It seems unfair and inappropriate, but many college sports (primarily football and basketball, although I do not doubt in some areas the swimming, soccer, hockey, gymnastics programs are preeminent) teams serve a significant purpose in raising the public profile of the school. For example, take away the football team and most the country doesn’t know anything about Notre Dame, or eliminate basketball at Duke and it is just one more anonymous Southern university.

          The athletic entertainment provided likely helps assuage the local community to the inconveniences attendant on the presence of ill-behaved drunken louts university students in their midst. The popularity of such endeavors also increases the sales of merchandise and other incidentals (increased traffic at local dining and drinking establishments) of benefit to the community.

          There is also a belief (how well founded I have no idea) that the existence of such programs provides a “bonding” for students while at school and increases the largess of alumni donations.

          Whether any of this is a good and or desirable thing is a different matter.

          • Gonzaga is a good example– fairly old, well establishedd, but that suddenly-everyone-knows-the-Zags thing made for a lot of advertisement.

            Reminds me of an old joke sheet, Catholic Definition….

            “Jesuits- Catholics with the charism of founding universities with good ball teams.”

            • I was a senior the year they made that crazy NCAA run to the Elite Eight. I can attest as to how much good the program has done the school—every single dorm that had been converted to offices got converted back to student space, and they actually had to rent a wing of a local hotel to use for the incoming frosh class. Within five years, the footprint of the campus had expanded*, while admissions were kept within a carefully raised amount so as to not kill the feel of the small university. Almost every building has gotten a major upgrade, and the money is flowing in like crazy.

              The nice part is that the head coach, Mark Few, is very invested in the “student” part of student-athlete, and wants them to be held to a higher standard than students not in the public eye. So no passes for bad behavior, and no easy classes for them either.

              *Technically, GU owned most of the land already, and rented out the houses on there to students. But it was pretty shocking to go back and see huge swaths of what had looked to be a normal neighborhood suddenly turned to residence halls. And the Bing Crosby house (the alumni association’s office) is sitting lonely in a big parking lot now…

    • In many schools, your tax dollars or donations not only go to support feetball, but also the fraternity/sorority system.

      I understand that various types of ball are practically a religion, but I never could understand why I had to support frats too.

      • Social fraternities are a weird thing. I understand merit fraternities (like the engineering one) and service fraternities (we had a couple that were sophomore-year-only; the male half did things like provide free walking escorts for people nervous walking alone at night.) But “we’re here because we’re here”? Oh-kay…

        • Lol, there is good networking and then there is bad networking.

        • Made a whole lot of sense in the days when long distance travel and communication was a serious pain, and you could provide the reference of “I am a member of X fraternity, they find me acceptable”

  20. Speaking of the thought police, here they are trying to hasten the sinking of the publishing industry with “sensitivity readers.”

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/books/ct-publishers-hiring-book-readers-to-flag-sensitivity-20170215-story.html#

    • So, who wants to take bets on whether there are any Christians, gun owners, or people who actually like small towns in this pool of sensitivity readers?
      Also, that article had its head so far up its own digestive system that if you pushed it up just a little further it would see daylight again.

      • So, who wants to take bets on whether there are any Christians, gun owners, or people who actually like small towns in this pool of sensitivity readers?

        Even ox not that dumb.

      • I actually enjoyed the pearl-clutching over someone doing some “real damage” because they got their interpretation ‘wrong. Of course “wrong” simply means ‘out of sync with the approved narrative.’

        “Damage.” Riiiight.

        Words, how DO they work?

        Come on, you have to admit that the article is begging for a good Correia fisk.

      • Speaking of that kinda stuff, my roomate deliberately didn’t play the latest episode of Arrow last night while i was in the room because he knew it was a particularly anti-gun episode….

        Twenty minutes later, i heard HIM yelling at the TV… they musta REALLY ratcheted up the anti-gun BS…

        • I’m gonna guess there were no messages on the hazards posed by masked vigilantes running about shooting pointy sticks at people.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Why would they do that?

            Oliver is the HERO! [Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

            Seriously, when I heard about that “episode” I also thought about the aspect that “Arrow” is about a vigilante armed with bow & arrow. 😉

            • From what I have seen of the series (an admittedly limited sample) he also uses that bow as a staff to severely beat people. We need not discuss his policies on respecting citizens’ rights to privacy, due process, presumption of innocence and other trivialities.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                But but… He only does that to the BAD GUYS!!!! 😈

                Seriously, most “Super Heroes” would be in trouble because of actions that most people won’t want the Police to do.

                That’s one reason that I enjoy the “Wearing The Cape” series.

                The Heroes’s actions are under (IMO) reasonable regulations/laws and there was only one vigilante featured in the series.

                On the other hand, this vigilante was careful to keep a low profile so that the police didn’t have to “take notice” of the vigilante’s actions.

                Oh, this vigilante was known to “pass info” to the police.

              • No wonder he wouldn’t like guns…..

                *grin*

              • “We need not discuss his policies on respecting citizens’ rights to privacy, due process, presumption of innocence and other trivialities.”

                Citizens? Or people with the general morals and methods of say, the Clintons? There is a difference.

          • Once upon a time, when I worked at a post office (I am feeling better now, yes) they gave out free t-shirts… to all the full-timers (not to the ‘casual clerks’ as they term them). The text was “Whatever it takes.” I asked about that, the shirts, and was told of the limitation. It was understandable yet annoying.

            I will not say that I was not the origin of the twisted take on it: “Whatever it takes: knives, guns, bombs.”

            Somehow a few nights later the casual clerks were offered these shirts. Cause and effect or just curious coincidence? Ox now know.

            I no long have that one, long ago having ripped it up for rags to wipe off the (previous) car’s dipstick. Yeah, I was happy to be elsewhere.

            • I am always curious when businesses give out “Free” stuff. Were those shirts provided by the unions (e.g., paid for by enforced mandatory dues) or by the employer (e.g., increased overhead passed along to the consumer/underwriter)?

              I am also needlessly* suspicious about whether the contract for producing such “free” stuff was put to competitive bidding or was handled by a friend/relative of the purchasing agent who could “get you a great deal” on the freebies.

              *Needlessly because I think we all know the answer as soon as the question is raised.

              • Current mundane (not ACME Delivery) employer does the the free shirt thing once a year… but it’s two, and they have a week of ‘must wear’ for the alleged theme and offer more for sale. Or else one can (or should!) launder frequently. I’ve the good fortune more than once that by chance (yes, really) my vacation just happens to be partly in that time. “Holy not-arguing, Batman!”

              • One of my previous jobs (where I was at for a very long time) would occasionally offer free shirts to the employees. The company had them made for promotional purposes (conventions and the like), and would occasionally feel a need to get rid of remaining stock.

              • My husband worked for an IT place that gave out carharts jackets with the company logo to the employees. Apparently it was cheaper and more reliable that the employees would have them when they needed to dispatch the help desk guys to de-ice the wireless towers than if they expected employees to buy their own cold weather gear. (Yes, they actually did send the help desk out when it got really bad.)

        • To be fair, Green Arrow has always been SJWish. That’s actually being true to the comics.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            IIRC He wasn’t very liberal when he first took up the Green Arrow bow but later he did become very liberal.

            Of course, when comics started, they didn’t get that much into “Politics”.

            • As introduced in 1941, Oliver Queen was a bargain basement Batman knockoff.


              It was when Dennis O’Neill and Neal Adams took on the character in 1969 and especially when they set him contra Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern that Queen became progressive.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Yep.

                • BTW, this may be the first demonstration of the Rule of Failing Comics. This is the principle that essentially says, “WTF, the book isn’t selling worth a damn and will probably be cancelled in a few issues, let’s throw [insert name] in and give him his head.”

                  This principle later gave us Frank Miller’s Daredevil, Jim Starlin’s Captain Marvel, Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol (eventually pitting them against archenemies “The Brotherhood of Dada,” one of the most bizarre twists in a very twisted comic) and made history.


                  “Enemies of the Doom Patrol, the Brotherhood is devoted to all things absurd and bizarre, taking their name from the Dada art movement. Though they would be considered villains by most definitions, the group does not recognize concepts of good and evil (hence the decision to rename themselves from the Brotherhood of Evil), but simply aloof; they are perhaps best described as anarchic rogues.”
                  Wiki

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        If anyone wants an independent sensitivity reader, or sensitivity editor, I’m available.

        I am a very good fit for such a position because I understand how great Kratman’s multi-layered trolling is, I’m not going to try and turn you into Kratman, I have the necessary real abilities, and I would charge the nothing the service deserves. Pretty much all y’all sound like you write real interesting stuff, and I’d be interested in reading however I can.

        “That guy was your sensitivity editor? He’s a callous, obnoxious jerk! He wouldn’t know or care how to walk on eggshells around my tender sensibilities to save his life.” “He also has a severe social disability, o hate filled bigot.”

        Robert Stultus
        Sensitivity Editing/Sensitivity Reading/General Odiousness

        • It would be highly useful for books processed through such sensitivity filters to be labeled as such — perhaps “Sanitized For Your Protection” on the cover. That would be almost as useful as a “Hugo Winner!” banner for warning discerning readers away from such texts.

          They might even go so far as to advise about which groups of “sensitive” readers for whom they had filtered the material. Perhaps a handy box list indicating the various privileges that had been checked?

        • So.. an Insensitivity Reader? Now THAT be something worthwhile.

      • Don’t be foolish. They wouldn’t waste sensitivity on scum like Christians, gun owners, or people who live in small towns.

  21. Cencorship and PC is about control. It about people thinking that if you can control what people say you can control what people think.

    All we do is teach people to filter what they think and feel behind a madk of what they think others will aprove of.

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

    Have we gotten to the point where we actually equate emtional discomfort with actual physical harm requiring the same level of respince?

    • Yes, SJWs have. Because that way they can use the legal system, both civil and criminal, to shut down speech.

    • Have we gotten to the point where we actually equate emotional discomfort with actual physical harm requiring the same level of response?

      See the essays in the Daily Californian published together under the heading “Violence as self-defense”. In those essays, and elsewhere in private threads, I have seen speech such as Milo’s redefined as violence, and mob violence and riot redefined as speech.

      • Humpty-dumpty ism at its best.

        Hope they paid those words well.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Dude, don’t be such a square. Right wing death squads are totally a legitimate form of political expression. Making leftists disappear is performance art that only philistines and boors can object to.

        But seriously, I have a really obnoxious comment about the Milo pedophilia endorsement thing. I’m going to take the night to reconsider sharing it.

          • I’m not the least bit surprised that someone cut and trimmed anything he said. I’m not a fan of his style, but good on him for having the guts and wit to be the lightening rod that gets the idiots to show their real intentions and goals.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            I’m not inclined to buy it.

            • So when it confirms your prejudices, the same folks who brought you the Zimmerman audio, Puppy Kicking, etc. are totally believeable. Got it.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Is what I linked not something exactly as Milo posted on Facebook?

                Has CPAC invited the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud in the past?

                The recent potential scandal is CPAC’s choice.

                Milo’s apparent personal position is one I’d seen evidence of on his twitter feed over a year ago.

                My interest is that one of the alleged lines of argument happened to catalyze something I’ve been picking over for some time. My hesitation has nothing to do with fear of offending you and your support for Milo. If there are any concerns about offending anyone, it is Hoyt’s sensibilities and some of the Huns.

                • I’m more interested in not letting the UniParty dishonestly decide who our friends are.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    That’s your choice. I’ll make mine.

                    This is an issue where I’ve refused to take anyone else’s feelings and opinions into consideration since before the age of ten.

                    Knowing where you stand does help me refine my calculations a little.

                    • So at the age of Ten you felt you could decide for yourself what was right and wrong? Did this include the choices to hsve sex or not? If so then you just made the same argument as Milo that for some the ability to concent is based on mental maturaty not phisical age [this my wording on what I feel and understand milos argument to be..

                    • No, he didn’t– any more than those saying that something is so obvious a five year old can figure it out does.

                      He pointed to the same thing that Pratchett alluded to, here:
                      Mightily Oats (regarding his Church): “There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example.”
                      Granny: “And what do they think ? Against it, are they ?”
                      Mightily Oats: “It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of grey.”
                      Granny: “Nope.”
                      Mightily Oats: “Pardon.”
                      Granny: “There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”
                      Mightily Oats: “It’s a lot more complicated than that—”
                      Granny: “No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they mean they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”
                      Mightily Oats: “Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”
                      Granny: “But they start with thinking about people as things.”

                    • Foxfier,

                      Test I responded but I think my post was eaten.

                      Try again latter.

                    • Ugh! Hate it when that happens… there must be something going on, because all my bank related stuff has been “helpfully” put in spam, too.

  22. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Perhaps this Benson guy is just a homophobe.

    • Bob, I couldn’t find the “longer unedited video” on YouTube, so all I can go on is what I could find: he hasn’t defended pedophilia, and has gotten 3 prosecuted, which is more than I’ve done. What about you?

    • Or simply wishing away the fact that sex from age 13 was the norm for 99% of human history because lifespans were too short and childbirth mortality was too high.

      We are thinking that biology which advantaged early reproduction can be overridden by laws and social constructs. Just like feminists are up for putting women in the infantry because feelz overrides the biology of upper body strength.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        LeBlanc’s Constant Battles suggests that the normal, through out history and pre-history, breaking even or coming out ahead death rate for males to violence is 1 in 3 or 1 in 4.

        If I thought law and custom had no effect on society, I might have no political opinions.

        ‘Most of human history’ doesn’t mean it was free of cost, doesn’t mean we haven’t managed to develop a culture that somehow makes it extremely harmful*, or really sway my own convictions, which perhaps might simply be crazed fanaticism informed by being a freak.

        *I’m not certain this model is correct, but I’m also not certain it is incorrect.

      • Steve, these people need this quote:

        CAESAR (recovering his self-possession).
        Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”

  23. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Basically, I’m so systemically distrustful on the issue that I don’t take anyone’s word as entirely reliable. So I’m not committed to, in particular, any one explanation of homosexuality, and have considered most models. There need not be only one correct explanation, there may be several.

    Milo is alleged to have said something like ‘such relationships are how they find out what they truly are’. Suppose that this is his honest best effort to describe a real phenomena. Combine with something I heard from Ringo, something I heard from Kirk, and the stuff surrounding the word neurodiversity, and you get a model that, if it is one of the correct explanations for what we call homosexuality, is too un-PC to be tolerated.

    • You’re also confusing pedophilia (pre-pubescent) with post pubescent, which has ranged from 9 on up. It’s still possible to get married at 14 in AL, and there’s been enough of an issue that states have been forced to pass laws so uptight parents can’t get the two years older boyfriend arrested for kissing.

      Of course, if your major motive is to throw someone under the bus, nuance goes out the window.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        I am?

        So you have compelling evidence that makes you certain I do not subscribe to a theory of harm to minors caused by sexual contact that does not differentiate between before and after puberty? Because human development is not uniform, and mine was probably an extreme outlier. This may inform my guess that the important point is some time after puberty. It is perhaps paranoid for me to dismiss the counter arguments as either the result of harm caused by early sexual contact or propaganda in support of sexual predation.

        Even if Milo outright said the bit that inspired me, it would be of trivial importance to my main motive. My main motive would only need a quote to prove or sell the idea, and nothing Milo could say could do that. Probably nobody makes a quote weighty enough to prove or sell this idea. This idea being one we’ve discussed before here, been asked to back off on by Sarah, and is the sort of thing that gets one called homophobic.

        Milo’s a foreigner, and what he gets away with in foreign realms is no more relevant to my agenda than mid-eastern Islamic pedophilia.

        I’m unhappy about policy based on assumptions about the mechanisms of sexuality, for that reason am somewhat disenchanted with Republicans and conservatives, and think I’m becoming opposed to schools. The ancient Greeks thought pederasty was normal, and a fair price to pay for an education. Personally I do not think any education could be worth that. Again, I don’t think puberty changes that. But then I had a major dislike of being touched period.

        • “The ancient Greeks thought pederasty was normal, and a fair price to pay for an education. ”

          This claim is greatly overstated. For political reasons, nowadays.

          • Isn’t the fairness of a price largely to be determined by the payer?

            Both those asking the price and uninvolved observers may have cause to underestimate the price’s dearness, just as those who’ve previously paid it have heightened cause to deem that which they bought to have been worth its cost.

            • The Greeks would not have agreed with you about free market prices.

              More to the point, they banned men from holding political offices when their favors had been used to buy anything, on the grounds that if he would sell his body, he’s devoid of scruples and would sell anything.

      • What is often overlooked, of course, is that there is no necessity to agree with everything a person says or does. The fact that Hitler advocated for a sound fisc does not mean I must endorse inflation, and the fact that the Pope believes in AGW does not require I join that belief.

        This is a major distinction between the American Left and the Right — one demands adherence in all aspects and the other recognises areas of disagreement may yet exist even in a joint effort

        • Which works just fine in a political process. In the cold and warming civil war we’re actually in it will get us killed.

          • Nonsense. It simply requires grasping the difference between those with whom you stand shoulder-to-shoulder and those whom you send out to draw enemy fire.

            • Except that the purpose of that isn’t to get them killed, it’s to kill the enemy as he exposes himself. We seem to forget that second part.

      • The age of consent in Portugal is 14. And Milo’s unedited video didn’t stay anything supporting pedophilia OR ephebophillia.

  24. “- that people turn to crime when they’re poor (an insult to every poor but honest person ever.)”

    But they DO think every poor person is a criminal. Hell, our own conservative thinkers agree with them; look at the crap National Review put out before the election. That’s why Democrats coddle criminals and dole grifters; they don’t believe anything else exists and get hostile when you suggest anything different, on the assumption you’re simply another lower class criminal trying to hustle them.

    • look at the crap National Review put out before the election.

      Examples?

      I know that the Kevin Williamson guy did ONE article that some people interpreted as being horrifically insulting to “working class whites” by pointing out that the sub-group that was “white trash” when I was a kid weren’t helpless victims thrust into that position by Great Forces beyond their ability to counter, but “working class” isn’t poor, and pointing out that bad lifestyle choices are bad isn’t saying “everybody poor is a criminal,” and Williamson is not much of a conservative thinker. He’s a rather good writer who is not very good about research.

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