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.

Remember the  HuffPo article asking that men be denied the right to vote? Not all men, only white men, and not forever, just for twenty years?

Yeah, the article supposedly written by the female philosophy student?

That article.

Well, the writer was not a female named Shelly Garland but a guy named Marius Roodt, who succeeded in outing the HuffPo’s political bias. I certainly was outraged at the proposal, but thought that sort of asininity is almost in keeping with the HuffPo daily fare.

As it turns out,

The CEO of Media24, which operates HuffPost in South Africa, issued a statement calling the article’s publication “hugely damaging” to their reputation.

Back at the farm they call that “closing the barn door after the horse ran away,” especially since it took some doing from an outside ombudsman:

South African press ombudsman Johan Retief found that the controversial blog post was both discriminatory and constituted hate speech.

Verashni Pillay, the editor who first approved the article,  resigned but (oh yes, but) in a post where she bemoaned “our lack of racial healing,” she declared,

Despite the pressure for me to recant my thoughts in my initial response I cannot, authentically, do that.

I still believe that despite the gains for equality and universal human rights in the last century, the fact is that white men still enjoy disproportionate power. And yes, I believe that a loss of oppressive power is necessary to create a truly level playing field.

This will come about through

more honest, inclusive conversations, fewer accusations and growing suspicion of each other and eventual, authentic healing.

Because nothing leads to “honest, inclusive conversations” that reduce suspicion which bring about “authentic healing” like denying men of any race their unalienable rights to vote, to own property, to legal representation and to anything that Marxists don’t agree with.

In other words, standard feminist theory’s idea of “authentic healing.”

$5 says Ms Pillay lands a better-paying job at a liberal entity before the month is over.

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

A gunman shot at policemen on Paris’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées on Thursday night. Here is what is known so far:

1. France has become a prime target of the Islamic State guerrilla war on Europe. AP lists the November 13, 2015 attacks of the nightclub and vicinity os Saint Denis, and the June 13, June 14, and July 26 terrorist attacks. AP also noted the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 7, 2015.

These terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 230 people.

2. On Thursday evening, April 20, a man shot and killed a Paris police officer and injured two other officers and a tourist on the Champs Elysées:

France’s National Police union said on Twitter that a gunman fired at a police car stopped at a red light, killing an officer.

The man got out his car to fire on the officers, according to CNN.

Pierre-Henry Brandet, the Interior Ministry spokesman, said the gunman “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen.”

3. The shooter was identified as French national Karim Cheurfi. Sixteen years ago Cheurfi had

shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.

L’Express (link in French) reports that Cheurfi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, his term was reduced to 15 years in 2005 following appeal, and was released early in 2016.

Police said he had been detained in February [2017] after threatening police but freed soon after.

Cheurfi, also known as Abu Yusuf al-Baljik (“the Belgian“), was shot dead on the scene by other policemen.

4. ISIS claimed credit: The U.K.’s Daily Mirror reports

A note backing Islamic State terrorism has been found near the body of the Champs-Elysees gunman who killed a police officer before dying in a hail of bullets.

The hardline militant group claimed the attack, which also wounded two other police officers.

5. The attack took place during a prime time TV “debate” between all 11 official presidential candidates.

The leading candidates had different reactions:

Emmanuel Macron warned that France would have to live with the terror threat “for years to come”.

François Fillon called for all campaigning to be suspended.

Marine Le Pen cancelled one campaign stop, and called for France to “immediately” take back control of its own borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist.

Phillipe Poutou blamed French politics and discrimination against people living in the banlieues.

France is holding presidential elections on Sunday, April 23rd.

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

I came across this on Memeorandum,
She wanted her ex-husband to die with a happy thought; she told him Trump had been impeached

When Michael Elliott died, the last voice he heard was that of his ex-wife, his best friend.

In a short phone conversation moments before Elliott took his last breath, she told him what he wanted to hear.

“I told him that everything’s going to be all right,” Teresa Elliott told The Washington Post. “And Donald Trump has been impeached.”

What saddens me about this item is not that someone lied to a person in the last moments of his life, or the political nature of the story.

I know exiles who told a dying relative good news about their country, and the news were totally invented. The person on their deathbed had suffered horribly in their native country at the hands of a cruel dictatorship which for decades denied them their most basic rights, unlike Mr. Elliott, who reportedly collected Porches and founded a golf club in Oregon.

God knows what we would say while trying to ease a loved one’s last moments.

What saddens me is that this is news.

Back in the olden days there was a word of Latin origin people used: Decorum. There were notions of what was considered proper or improper behavior: If you demeaned yourself by lying to the dying in what would be regarded as a most private moment, you certainly didn’t brag about it, much less in public.

Nowadays those old notions have been pushed away in favor of political correctness and scoring political points.

After lying to the deceased, apparently the liar picked up the phone and alerted the media, which brings to mind this John Gielgud scene from Arthur (language NSFW)

In this age of social media and “reality” TV, losing our notions of what belongs in the public domain is more than just a character flaw. It is a self-inflicted wound on our right to privacy.

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

The Huffington Post has a piece by philosophy student Shelley Garland, who asks, Could It Be Time To Deny White Men The Franchise?

My immediate reaction was, “Could it be time to deny white female philosophy students the right to opine?,” a rather uncharitable thought to be having on a Good Friday.

Garland argues that denying white males around the world the right to vote for twenty years (“less than a generation”) would strengthen the progressive cause, which may or may not be correct, and would

allow legislation to be passed which could see the world’s wealth far more equitably shared.

Garland’s search for “equality” would end the rule of law by purposely denying men their unalienable rights to own property, legal representation and anything other that Marxists don’t agree with.

The thesis is, enact global legislation to deny rights in order to pass legislation that gives free stuff to her and her friends.

Drastic as her racist misandry proposal is, she’s not even sure about her numbers, though,

Although statistics by race are difficult to find from other parts of the world, it is very likely that the majority of the world’s assets are in the hands of white males, despite them making up less than 10 percent of the world’s population.

It’s ironic that the article is at the Huffington Post, which has close ties with rich white male George Soros,, but I’d like to ask how Garland will decide who qualifies as a “white male.”

Would Mexican open-borders activist Jorge Ramos have the US$75million he made in 2014 seized because he’s Caucasian? How about the post-gender confirmation surgery Jenner? How about the ruling families of the Middle East? The Chinese oligarchs? Or anyone with anything other than Caucasian ancestry? Would the mothers of male children not stand up for their sons? Would she revive the “one drop rule”?

More to the point, what gives Garland and her ilk the right to decide any such matter?

Someone ought to tell Garland that in Venezuela, where the hungry broke into the zoo and butchered a horse as a consequence of real-life progressive causes, the richest person in the country is the daughter of the late dictator Hugo Chávez.

How’s that for equality?

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

Mexico has blamed the United States for everything since before the “Last Spike” went into the ground. It continues to do so to this day.

Just this week, Mexico’s foremost living historian Enrique Krauze posited in the New York Times that the U.S. has three original sins: Slavery, racism, and “the aggression against Mexico and the plundering of its territory.” Because of that, Krauze says, all Mexicans should be free to live in the U.S., without restrictions.

Popular culture supports this blame game. The Netflix series Ingobernable (Ungovernable) has the CIA kill the president of Mexico when he was about to declare the end of the “war on drugs” after blaming the U.S. for every Mexican death it caused. Ingobernable (starring real-life drug lord El Chapo’s friend Kate del Castillo) ought to be named Unwatchable.

The country’s foreign policy reflects its blame game: The Diplomad writes from experience,

I also have long considered Mexico a major threat to America. I have dealt with Mexican diplomats at the UN, the OAS, and in Central and South America. They are first rate. They are patriotic, well-trained, dedicated, and hard working. They, almost to a man and a woman, are also possessed with a deep, deep animus towards the United States. At the UN and the OAS, for example, Mexico, in my experience, played the role of opponent to whatever we sought to do. They not only consistently voted against us, they collaborated with our opponents on resolutions and projects antithetical to our interests, and, for example, refused to oppose Cuban and Venezuelan human rights violations. They rarely passed on an opportunity to stick it in our eye.

Mexico had a major role in fostering guerrilla groups in Central America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, backing off only when it became a hindrance to the NAFTA deal with the United States, and when some of the groups began operating in Mexico.

It is with some amusement, then, that I find this in my newsfeed: Fears grow that Russia could meddle in Mexican election (emphasis added)

“If [Russia] intervened in the United States, there’s every reason to think that Mexico is a target for attack,” said [Sen. Armando] Ríos Piter [of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD)], who recently launched an independent presidential bid.
. . .
Ríos Piter said Mexico is a natural target for Russia, as the country is expected to become a top-five economy over the next half century.

Mexico may well become a top-five economy, yet Ríos Piter conveniently forgets that remittances from the U.S. generate more than Mexico’s oil or tourism industries. No blame there.

Call me a cynic, but to my jaundiced eye, Ríos Piter may be laying the groundwork for his third-ranked party losing the presidency again – after all, some still refer to their candidate who lost the 1997 election as the “legitimate president of Mexico.”

The fact remains, as Tara McCormack said,

this revamped Red Scare speaks to a profound and seriously anti-democratic shift among disoriented, struggling elites.

In Mexico as in elsewhere, to use McCrmack’s words, “The Russia blame game is really an abdication of political responsibility,” and Mexico has been playing blame games for a very long time.

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

If you turn on the TV, the radio or any internet news source, all you hear is Syria. The ratio of information to commentary is at best 1:1,500, and I include major news outlets in that number.

So far, it appears that Trump acted with decisive force to achieve a limited objective.

Beyond that, very little of the commentary asks questions such as, Is Anti-Trump Left Media Culture Willing to Fight in Syria to Win?, where Pete enumerated,

So while the gas attacks in Syria are horrific before we consider going to war in Syria we as a country need to answer these questions.

  1. Are we willing to go to war and pay the price in blood and treasure to topple Assad risking American lives in Syria?

  2. Are we willing to fight that war until it’s actually won rather than fight a limited war for the sake of saving face?

  3. Are we willing once Assad is toppled to stay in Syria for the 30 to fifty years to make sure Syria doesn’t become Iraq or Libya and leave it for Islamist to take over?

  4. Are we willing to take responsibility for not only the military but the civilian casualties that will inevitably take place in Syria in such a war?

  5. Are we willing to risk a military confrontation(s) with Russia and Iran in order to do this?

To these one may add questions on effects on the larger world – notice how the attack was reported while Pres. Trump dined with China’s Xi, or how North Korea and others (such as Iran and especially Russia) view this, for instance. Many of the comments focus on refugees and immigration-related agenda.

Instead, thousands of tweets, blog posts, and Facebook comments are criticism or praise of something the commenter knows little or nothing about, least of which is information on Syria itself.

Years ago I went to a lecture by Tim Berners-Lee, the guy who actually invented the world wide web (Al Gore sure as heck didn’t invent it). He was glad people could express their opinions on the web, but his intent is to disseminate knowledge.

In a search for knowledge it’s up to us to search for the facts and ask questions, if we are also interested in acquiring wisdom. The rest of it is just opinions, which are like navels: everybody has one.

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

First the WaPo looked for dirt on Mike Pence, and all they could come up with was that fifteen years ago – in 2002 – he said he won’t have dinner alone with any woman other than his wife.

Now BuzzFeed and Politico both are accusing SCOTUS nominee judge Neil Gorsuch of plagiarism.

Politico says,

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to POLITICO.

Provided by whom?, you may ask, since they clearly state “POLITICO did not conduct a full examination of the federal judge’s writings.”

Jay Caruso notices that, in the passage that Politico posted with rainbow-colored highlights,

Politico is criticizing Gorsuch for using source material — the same source material Kuzma used — and not attributing it to Kuzma. Do you know who found the plagiarism accusation unpersuasive? Abigail Kuzma

Kuzma spells it out,

“I have reviewed both passages and do not see an issue here, even though the language is similar. These passages are factual, not analytical in nature, framing both the technical legal and medical circumstances of the “Baby/Infant Doe” case that occurred in 1982. Given that these passages both describe the basic facts of the case, it would have been awkward and difficult for Judge Gorsuch to have used different language.”

And why is that? Because Gorsuch went to Kuzma’s source – which defined,

Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula means that the esophageal passage from the mouth to the stomach ends in a pouch, with an abnormal connection between the trachea and the esophagus.

Try changing that language without changing the definition of a medical condition.

BuzzFeed headlines, A Short Section In Neil Gorsuch’s 2006 Book Appears To Be Copied From A Law Review Article, with the following lede (emphasis added)

The section is just two paragraphs and accompanying footnotes, but it repeats language and sourcing from another work, a 1984 law review article.

The citations in question are from material published twenty years ago, and from Gorsuch’s 2006 book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, based on his Oxford dissertation.

Ed Whelan quotes,

Georgetown professor John Keown, one of the outside examiners of Gorsuch’s Oxford dissertation on which the book was based, calls the allegations of plagiarism “unsubstantiated” and praises the book as “meticulous in its citation of primary sources.” Further: “The allegation that the book is guilty of plagiarism because it does not cite secondary sources which draw on those same primary sources is very wide of the mark.”

Gorsuch was approved to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by a voice vote in 2006. Now the Dems are ginning up a plagiarism smear to justify filibustering his nomination.

They would be pathetic if they were not so dishonorable.

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

Prof. Stephen Cohen is one of the preeminent Russian scholars in the world. He is a frequent guest in the John Batchelor Show, most recently last Tuesday, when he discussed Dissent and the New Cold War.

I invite you to listen to that podcast (which I can not embed in this version of WordPress), where he explains why the Russia hacking story is a false narrative.

In the podcast Cohen describes the parallels between the Soviet-style omission of dissenting views and the lack of opposing views for the Russian hacking story on the editorial pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post and in the panels at CNN, in spite of

“no shred of evidence, actual forensic evidence, wiretap, a surveillance of any kind, a witness, an inside informer, a fingerprint, a careless statement in the Russian media, nothing, not a single fact is supporting this” (25 mins into the audio).

Cohen knows from experience what the Soviets were like, since they threw him out of the country back in the day.

Last night Cohen was in the Tucker Carlson show, also talking about the so-called Russian hacking false narrative,

The Duran transcribed part of the interview,

“This figure 17 [intelligence agencies] is bogus.”

“The one agency that could conceivably have done a forensic examination on the Democratic computers is the National Security Agency. We learned from Snowden, they’re in your computer, mine, our e-phones.”

“Everybody else who signed that report, said they were highly confident. The NSA said it was only moderately confident.”

“You don’t get married based on moderate confidence. You don’t go to war with Russia. You don’t stage this theater that’s going on in Washington, that could destroy a Presidency.”

Having stressed the lack of evidence, Cohen cuts to the chase (my transcription):

“When they admit they have no evidence, they fall back on something else. which I think is very important. They say Putin directed Russian propaganda at us and helped elect Trump.

“I don’t know about you, Tucker, but I find that insulting, because the premise they’re putting out in Washington in this hearing, is that the American people are zombies . . . anywhere Putin leads them.

“It’s the premise of democracy that we are democratic citizens, we have a BS detector and we know how to use it. But they’re telling us in Washington . . . every politician who loses in America is going to say was hacked by Putin.”

My kudos to Carlson for having Prof. Cohen on his show.

You can safely bet CNN won’t be having Cohen as a guest anytime soon.

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

For quite a while, the Democrats have repeatedly engaged in the following:

Maoist-type censorship of speech and free expression through political correctness mores:

What, exactly, does “political correctness” mean? In the 1980s and ‘90s, the term was a sarcastic reference to Maoist or Stalinist thought police, popularized largely by conservatives in order to deride the liberal-led orthodoxy. Detractors claimed that P.C. campaigns often went to absurd lengths, turning P.C. accusations into one more feature of the roiling culture wars waged among politicians and activists. These ideological debates continue today—and are still the first thing most Americans over age 40 associate with the term.

A foreign policy that can be summarized as supporting America’s enemies, ignoring America’s friends. The Dems are all-in for easing the so-called embargo on Cuba, sponsoring a Cuba-hosted deal between the Colombian government and the FARC (the world’s largest Marxist narco-terrorist organization), sending Iran pallets of money . . . in exchange for what?

Surprise at the rise of ISIS:

“The ability of ISL to initiate major land offense, that was not on my intelligence radar screen,” Obama admitted.

A hollowing out of all seemingly reliable institutions – what Juliette brilliantly calls the Coconut Treatment. Not only the military and educational institutions, and weaponizing the IRS, but also the legislative process; The presidential pen and a phone, the Reid Rule a.k.a. Nuclear Option

The nuclear or constitutional option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the U.S. Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes.

It is not unreasonable to notice that these behaviors are both motivated and enforced by the thirst for power. They assumed that once in office, they would remain in office: Total control.

This lead to their favored candidate: Hillary made bountiful deals through the Clinton Foundation, spent thousands of dollars at the Javitz Center in the hope of breaking an actual glass ceiling, but did not visit once the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin during her campaign. She was sure to win there.

And then Trump happened. The candidate who is not politically correct, puts America First in every speech, made several careers (real estate, TV, politics) on the art of the deal, and will not demur to use his phone, his pen, to win.

As Ace said,

the Trump Terrorist Event — the fact of Trump’s victory — hit them much more deeply than 9/11 did.

So now the Dems are doing their outmost to discredit and illegitimize not only Pres. Trump but his entire administration in every way, most obviously through this alleged Russia connection.

Never mind that during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State a deal gave Russia control of nearly 20 percent of U.S. uranium extraction capacity while Bill Clinton received US$500,000 for a speech in Moscow. The goal is to actually illegitimize an entire administration. Trump, Pence, all the cabinet and staff. If all of them are illegitimate, all must go.

Which would lead to what?

The Dems hope they’ll get back on top after the dust settles. But the thing is, they actually do not know. Nobody knows what that would bring, but I’ll leave you with a word: Entropy,

With the European Union weakening, the Middle East perceptibly falling apart  and African and Latin America their same old selves the danger is less that some rival empire will conquer the world than that power vacuums will spread entropy all over the planet.

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