The excellent Roger Kimball emailed this morning a link to his post, Annals of Academic Fatuousness, Yale Edition, Part 9876. Roger, who completed two Masters’ degrees there, knows Yale University well.

As it turns out, eight departments of Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences belong to Local 33, a subgroup of the international labor union UNITE HERE.

Welcome to the 21st Century.

I remember my days as a graduate student, when I completed my assignments while commuting from Convent Station, N.J. to New York City where I worked full-time. I remember the dreary lives of innumerable friends working towards Masters or Doctorates, or working as post-docs in the natural sciences under conditions best described as indentured servitude. Just the idea of any of us lowly beings unionizing would likely have resulted in expulsion.

That was the 20th Century for you.

Graduate students then, almost.

The unionized Yale students are going on a hunger strike because

Local 33 and Yale are currently engaged in multiple legal disputes and have not begun any official negotiations. The University’s request for review of an NLRB decision that allowed Local 33 to hold elections in nine separate departments remains pending in court.

Yale’s legal team is also attempting to file a request for review, which would challenge an August NLRB ruling that graduate students at private universities qualify as workers.

Rather than wait, the students are engaging on a virtual or symbolic hunger strike.

What the hey is that?

They. Eat. When. Hungry. While on “hunger strike.”

I could rant about how disrespectful this use of the term “hunger strike” is to human rights’ activists who endanger their lives in oppressive Communist regimes, but instead was struck by this from Roger’s article,

these aging snowflakes already get free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend.

Graduate students now.

Free tuition, free health care, and a $30,000 stipend? For that much money I’ll sacrifice myself and study “Political Science and East Asian Languages and Literatures.” Heck, I always wanted to learn Japanese.

Am I too old to apply?

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Oscar the Grouch is jealous. (Daily Mail)

by baldilocks

But it isn’t trash when they trash the place. From March:

[President Trump] signed an executive order to get the Dakota Access and Keystone pipeline projects moving—and the environmental left has been defeated. They caused much grief when they descended into North Dakota to make a stand for mother Earth. Now that the project is back on track, they left, among other things, mountains of garbage as they vacated the area. Additionally, they left their pets as well. Local animal rescue groups have been combing the protest camps searching for abandoned dogs. They also set their camp on fire. In an ironic twist, the amount of waste left at these sites presented a danger that it could pollute waterways if the spring melt washes this garbage and debris into the Missouri River system; this is one of the main reasons why green protesters staged a weeks-long campaign against the pipeline project.

Well, it’s all done now at the cost of $1.1 million and 835 dumpsters worth of trash.

Emphasis mine. Oh yes and much of the trash was frozen.

It’s difficult for a sane person to wrap her head around environmentalists protesting a project in the name of environmentalism while poisoning their protest space at the same time. It’s almost as if the protesters have been driven mad…or didn’t know what they were there for.

People like me have contended that almost all protests—especially those done in the name of Leftist causes—are funded. The nature of this one seems to make that theory more plausible.  Think of it. If you’re getting paid just to plant yourself in a place for a certain length of time and act up a bit, you don’t care about the alleged reason you’re there. As a matter of fact, squatting and acting up were the true purposes–not to mention funded recreation.

Personal speculation: the type of person who is a paid protester couldn’t care less about the explicit contradiction in protesting “poisoning” while poisoning. It’s just party time until the party is over. Then it’s time for someone else to pick up the pieces–anyone but themselves. And, this is a consistent aftermath of Leftist-generated protests.

About the abandoned pets: lucky dogs.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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April is National Frog Month, and frogs are awesome – unless you happen to be a hyper-sensitive SJW snowflake, of course, because then you need to get all offended and join your fellow travelers in online bullying campaigns to censor the appearance of the innocent amphibians from invading your precious safe spaces.

A clothing company offered up on its website a denim skirt featuring cute sunglasses wearing frogs on it, and leftist lunatics lost their darned minds over it because they thought the frogs reminded them of Pepe the Frog of internet meme fame, and, because some Trump supporters enjoy having fun with Pepe themed things, social justice warriors got themselves all triggered and so they harassed the company selling the skirt (whose frogs do not resemble Pepe at all, BTW), screaming about raaaacism, until the company buckled under the pressure and removed the “offending” item from it’s catalog.  So stupid.

This is Pepe:

This is the NOT Pepe frog skirt

As you can see, the skirt frogs ain’t Pepe, and even if they were (which they clearly are not), Pepe ain’t raaaaacist. Duh. But the vitriol directed at Zara (the skirt seller) was so thick that they evidently felt pressured to issue this statement:

“The skirt is part of the limited Oil-On-Denim collection which was created through collaborations with artists and is only available in selected markets,” the spokesperson said.

“The designer of the skirt is Mario de Santiago, known online as Yimeisgreat. Mario explores social interactions through his work and in his own words: ‘The idea came from a wall painting I drew with friends four years ago.’

“There is absolutely no link to the suggested theme.”

Ridiculous that they had to explain anything at all to those thin skinned harpies who can’t handle the appearance of a frog on a piece of cloth. What’s next? Is the tolerance mob gonna go after Jim Henson’s estate because the puppet named Kermit, a frog – OMG!,  sang about being green? Will Michigan J. Frog be next on the SJW hit list?

Stupid, bigoted, ranidaphobes! If they can’t discern Pepe from NOT PEPE, they probably can’t distinguish a frog from a toad either, but I think with his mind control abilities, Hypnotoad is probably safe – for now.

We all know that once the left gains an inch they want five hundred more miles, so I don’t see this madness ending anytime soon but I’ll tell you this, they can take my Frogger game only after they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. 

by baldilocks

In the last few days, it has been reported that the government of the Chechen Republic (Chechnya) is putting homosexuals in “concentration” camps.

“Concentration camps” for LGBT people have been allegedly opened up in Chechnya where men have been tortured and killed because of their sexuality, Novaya Gazeta reported. The allegations came after a few eyewitnesses and survivors said in interviews with the Russian publication that they were arrested and detained at one of the secret prisons in Argun, a town in the Chechen Republic, Russia.

Around 100 gay men have been reportedly detained and at least three killed in the past week in Chechnya by the police. The “concentration camps” are being used to force homosexuals to commit that they would leave the republic, according to Novaya Gazeta.

The officials in Chechnya started torturing the homosexuals after a Russia-based NGO for LGBT rights — GayRussia.ru — applied for a gay rights march in the capital of Grozny [the Chechen capital], reports said.

Meanwhile, Chechen’s President Ramzan Kadyrov, who is a key ally [sic] of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been accused of setting up the camps to torture gay people. He has denied the allegation saying, “It’s impossible to persecute those who are not in the republic.” The Chechen government suggested there are no gay people in their country.

And this is the key phrase in the report:

The Muslim-majority nation of Chechnya falls under Russian federal powers and follows traditional Muslim values.

A few pertinent facts:

  • Chechnya is 95% Muslim and is, basically, owned by Russia. The two entities have a bloody history that goes back centuries.
  • Muslims non-pitchers have been persecuting homosexuals for who knows how long.
  • Remember Beslan?

In the past couple of days, I’ve seen people act all surprised about this report and even wonder why President Trump doesn’t do something about it. Really? Perhaps they think that he should lob a few Tomahawks on what is, essentially, Russian soil. Yeah, that will fix everything.

Please, people. Is it too tough to do the barest bit of homework before you virtue signal?

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Chief Inspector: Now, I know what you’re going to say, but the fact is, you’ve been making us all look bad.
PC Nicholas Angel: I’m sorry, sir?
Chief Inspector: Of course we all appreciate your efforts, but you’ve been rather letting the side down. It’s all about being a team player, Nicholas. You can’t be the Sheriff of London. If we let you carry on running round town, you’ll continue to be exceptional and we can’t have that. You’ll put us all out of a job.

Hot Fuzz 2007

Yesterday I did my annual tax walk though, that is I did my taxes in pencil not finalizing anything and will now do my ritual of waiting about a week and then re-doing them in pen double checking everything with a fresh set of eyes to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  Then once I have the federal taxes done It’s time for my state taxes.

Of course that’s not been a bad thing.  One of the few plus sides over the last few years has been the Massachusetts online filing system, as a person who was once a computer programmer I was astounded at how well written it was, how easy it was to use.  As I wrote back in 2013

If you qualify (and odds are you will) you can e-file through the site for free and the e-file system is elegant and easy.

You can save easily, jump back easily, double-check easily and before you submit see a PDF version as if you had filed by paper.

I have a lot of words to say when the state does something wrong, so I’m obliged to say something when they do something right.

When it comes to online filing, Mass DOR does it right, take a bow.

So naturally Massachusetts, having developed a system that was elegant, easy to use and helpful to tax filers has decided to do away with it.

Massachusetts has joined a growing number of states that have ditched their free online tax-filing system, pushing residents to use software developed by private companies, and in some cases to pay for it.

Thousands of Massachusetts taxpayers who have been submitting their state tax returns through Webfile for Income, a system in use since 2009, will this year be directed to a coalition of tax-preparation software companies instead.

Massachusetts joined the Virginia-based Free File Alliance last fall, and this marks the first full tax season that the state’s tax filers will be using the new system. State officials anticipate that Free File Alliance will save the state money and improve the security of tax returns.

Are you kidding me?

You had  a system so good that even I, a big fan of paper filing was actually pleased to use your online system and you decide to ditch it?  Furthermore it’s one thing to have the government, who already has access to my tax into have access to it, now I’m expected to use other companies and perhaps their servers and give them access to my info?

Not this Sicilian.

So this year my state tax form will, like my federal form, be filed on paper, yes it will slow down my refund, but it’s a small price to pay for keeping my tax info between me and the state and if it means an additional expense for the state to process the form, well that’s just life.

I wish I could say I was surprised at this development but after all why should the tax filing system be user friendly and efficient when the rest of state government isn’t?

by baldilocks

The little guys have to follow the rules; the Big Guys and Girls, not so much.

The Army is booting out a 13-year public affairs sergeant for including in an unclassified government email the same information about a special operations unit and Osama bin Laden found on Army.mil web pages.

The irony in the narrative of Staff Sgt. Ricardo Branch is that his motive was to keep classified material away from public view.

His disclosure in a private Army email is also the same information as told by his commander in chief, Barack Obama, in May 2011 when the president visited Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to personally thank the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), or “Night Stalkers,” for its critical role in killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

And, the transgression of Sgt. Branch, 34, is, on its face, far less serious than that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who faced no punishment for keeping classified data on her personal unsecured server.

(Emphasis mine; commas added.)

Free Beacon:

The sergeant needs a jar of this.

The incident occurred in February 2014, when Branch, then a public affairs officer for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), reviewed a proposed article by Boeing for the company’s internal news service[.]

The article discussed SOAR personnel visiting a Boeing unit in Mesa, Arizona, and revealed the regiment’s role in transporting Navy SEAL Team 6 to Pakistan for the 2011 raid to kill Osama bin Laden. Branch reportedly recognized that the Pentagon had never officially acknowledged SOAR’s role in the bin Laden operation and emailed his superior saying Boeing should delete the sentence.

Branch also wrote the sentence in an official .mil email.

Because Branch forwarded the sentence, which contained sensitive information, in an unclassified email, an investigation was launched and he was ordered home.

A superior officer had seen the email and notified Army intelligence. About two months later, Branch agreed to a nonjudicial punishment known as an Article 15 hearing, during which he received an oral reprimand and thought the matter was done.

The Army transferred Branch to South Korea. But then the service in 2015, pressured by budget cuts, sought to reduce personnel and identified blemished soldiers through the Quantitative Management Program. Branch was identified as a blemished soldier because his Article 15 resulted in a one-time poor performance evaluation, and the investigation was relaunched.

Branch received high marks on all prior and subsequent performance reviews, according to the [Washington]Times.

This sort of travesty furthers my suspicions that a vast Coconut Treatment—a hollowing out of all seemingly reliable institutions—is nearing its conclusion. By the way, if the Army forces Sgt. Branch out, he will probably receive a discharge that is other than honorable. This will make it very difficult for him to find employment and he won’t be able to receive any VA benefits which would have, otherwise, been his due.

I’m hoping that there’s something more to this story, but I’ll bet that there isn’t. And if I were this guy, I’d do what he’s doing—making it public—and then get out anyway.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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A while back I was the training department head, called the “N7” in department head speak.  One of the divisions I owned was indoc, which has new people at our command before they go to their jobs.  Indoc gives new Sailors a place to work while they get their stuff moved in, find a place to live, and finish required paperwork they need for their new jobs.  This division included our junior officers, young ensigns that have recently graduated college and attended a few weeks of Navy training.  When I took over the job initially, I thought I would enjoy mentoring them upon arrival.

I was in for a rude awakening when one of my first check-ins told me “I’m really concerned about work/life balance.”  I told him “Uhm, you’ve had a lot of life and not a lot of work, so yes, you’re out of balance.”  It probably seemed like a dick-thing to say at the time, but it was true.

Seems doable…From Dilbert.com

Your first job out of college is a big challenge.  You have to prove yourself to your employer and your fellow employees, plus you have to learn about your industry.  This holds true for Naval Officers, who have to learn about the Navy, their specific job, and how to lead Sailors, all while getting qualified.  Oh, and occasionally contribute to the local community.  Until you get qualified, it’s an uphill battle that takes much more than 40 hours a week.

Increasingly people are graduating college with flawed ideas about work and a lack of critical thinking skills.  I’m shocked at the junior officers who can’t write a cohesive paper, can’t arrive on time for work, and think that the Navy’s rules about physical readiness are flexible.  Part of the point of college was to eradicate these bad habits, but college is increasingly becoming an extension of high school, rather than an adult incubator.  I used to think “adulting” memes were cute, but now I sadly realize they honestly reflect the internal thoughts of most graduates.

So if you’re a soon-to-be college graduate, and you’re looking forward to a graduation speech about taking on the world and how you’re going to solve world hunger, all within a 9 to 5, Monday to Thursday workweek…please stop yourself.  Get a job, and get a mentor or two that are successful.  Talk with someone successful about finances and how you build wealth in your twenties.  The “cool kids” that are drinking their pay checks and scamming out of paying student loans?  They aren’t going to be the cool kids in their thirties.  Trust me, it won’t mean working yourself to death, but it will involve a bit of sacrifice and thinking ahead.  The thing is, you’ll find real happiness and satisfaction when you do.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy or any other agency.

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The smartest man in America is not white, and, predictably, not a leftist.

by baldilocks

From the University of Washington at Tacoma Writing Center:

STATEMENT ON ANTIRACIST AND SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK IN THE WRITING CENTER

The writing center works from several important beliefs that are crucial to helping writers write and succeed in a racist society. The racist conditions of our society are not simply a matter of bias or prejudice that some people hold. In fact, most racism, for instance, is not accomplished through intent. Racism is the normal condition of things. Racism is pervasive. It is in the systems, structures, rules, languages, expectations, and guidelines that make up our classes, school, and society. For example, linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent “standard” of English. Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.

There’s more, but that’s the gist.

We non-whites are too genetically disadvantaged to toe the same standard offered to whites, you see. Our defects are hard-wired.

This is a declaration of war.

And who is their enemy? The non-white students who buy into this declaration of their allegedly innate inferiority are their enemies. This is an intentional effort to hobble any consumers of this garbage–for life if possible.

Hardcore white supremacists are more honest and less dangerous than these academics. At least the worshiper of white carcasses will tell you up front that he hates your black carcass and wants nothing to do with you. These credentialitarians are far worse. They insert their true opinions about the inferiority of non-whites into the guise of combatting racism. It’s a Trojan Horse.

“You darkies don’t have the capacity to learn proper English, so we won’t make you do it and we’ll give you a degree anyway.” That would be a more honest statement.

Leftists…

(Thanks to David Thompson and Ed Driscoll)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on February 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

We’re in the midst of crazy season:

James O’Keefe finds anarchists planning to commit felonies in order to disrupt the Trump inauguration on Friday, including

an actual plot to release acid at events, chain up DC subways, and assault people at the inauguration

Because that’s how anarchists show their respect for Americans.

There’s the Washington Post covering Marla Maples’s hairdresser, instead  of covering O’Keefe’s investigation. Because that’s how you show journalism worthy of a national newspaper.

Then there are the Code Pink women doing a flashmob dance at Union Station while wearing “pussy hats.” Because flashmobs and silly hats are how you show you are a serious woman of substantive standing on the issues.

And let’s not forget the Congresspeople saying they’ll boycott the inauguration. Because that’s how you show your standing on partisanship, an issue you decry only when you accuse Republicans.

In the midst of all this, at least we get some comic relief. Last night Tucker Carlson opened his show with this, which was actually funny, especially the Peyton Manning line:

A man using the alias “Dominic Tullipso” said Tuesday on Fox News Channel — well, it was hard to figure out what he was trying to say, but it was also clear that he wasn’t running a business that involved spending thousands on hiring activists.

“It’s pretty darn easy these days to just say whatever the heck you want on national TV and have it pass off as truth,” he told host Tucker Carlson. “I don’t know, it’s pretty incredible to me how easy it was to get the coverage we got.”

The unidentified prankster then added, “By the way, I’m not saying that anything of this a hoax and any of this isn’t true.”

At least the Washington Times realized they had been had.

With all this circus going on, is anyone surprised that Ringling Brothers is shutting down?

Why go to the circus when the circus comes to you?

UPDATE
This one promises to be a humdinger: Anthropologists and other scholars plan read-in of Michel Foucault to mark inauguration of Donald Trump

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz posts on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

Mr. Scott: There’s an old old saying on earth: “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”
Mr Checkov: I know this saying. It was invented in Russia

Star Trek Friday’s Child 1967

They say those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

So when I saw this story at Drudge:

Facebook is going to start fact-checking, labeling, and burying fake news and hoaxes in its News Feed, the company said Thursday.

I remembered this:

Just after the Islamic Terror attack on the gay nightclub Pulse, Facebook, you know those guys who insist they are not censoring conservatives, decided to take strong action…against one of the most prominent opponents and a onetime target of Islamic terror Pam Geller

and this

Facebook doesn’t acknowledge a bias problem, the only see a “Trust” problem, thus they will hold “dialogues” in the hope of showing “progress” in the hopes that these visuals will cause conservatives to believe they are doing something.

Alas for facebook, not only is the bias problem real but as reported at The Lid , the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) was able to prove it by setting up a pair of “hate” sites one anti-jewish & one anti Palestinians gradually ramping up the rhetoric on both until they both called for the death of their targets. Then they reported each site to facebook.

Jeff Tells us what happened:

and this

and of course this:

Speaking at Facebook’s annual conference F8 last week, Zuckerberg launched into an attack on Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s policies. It’s not surprising that Zuckerberg, who has been a big fan of H-1B visas that critics say hold wages down for programmers and software engineers hired by companies such as Facebook, doesn’t think much of Trump’s plan to limit immigration. But so what? Lots of people are for open borders, even people who, unlike Zuckerberg, don’t stand to make billions off of them.

Somewhat more troubling was that a bunch of Facebook employees asked Zuckerberg whether there was anything they could do to stop a Trump presidency: “What responsibility does Facebook have to help prevent President Trump in 2017?”

And then I think ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

After all of these recent examples of Facebook bias could any sane conservative seriously consider trusting facebook to not use “fact checking” as a weapon to censor conservatives while promoting a liberal agenda?

If you do then then shame on you, Cue Scotty:

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