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David Horowitz: Battlefield Notes from a War Gone Unnoticed A new book unveils how the Left has despoiled American higher education. Peter Wood

Reprinted from Mindingthecampus.org.

Below is Peter Wood’s review of David Horowitz’s new book, “The Left in the Universities” which is volume 8 of The Black Book of the American Left, a multi-volume collection of David Horowitz’s conservative writings.

I have been reading essays by David Horowitz for nearly fifty years, starting when he became an editor of the radical new-left magazine, Ramparts, in 1968, and I was a high school student prepping for debates about the Vietnam war. David famously moved beyond his red diaper origins, his Marxist enthusiasms, and his admiration of Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party. In time he became a self-professed conservative. The “Second Thoughts” conference he co-hosted in Washington, DC in 1987 came at a crucial moment for me.

Though I had long since lost any respect for the academic left, and I was strongly anti-communist, I had trouble recognizing the deeper character of my own political views. The forthright stand that David took alongside other formerly radical intellectuals opened my eyes. They made conservative thought thinkable for me: a plausible way to ground my sympathies in a living tradition.

Related: The Roots of Our New Civil War

My debt to David Horowitz came home vividly to me in reading his new volume of collected essays—volume eight in a series collectively titled “The Black Book of the American Left.” This volume, The Left in the University, bears the hefty burden of gathering his significant writings on American higher education, 1993 to 2010. A fair number of the 53 essays collected here, I’d read before. Reading them afresh and as part of a whole, however, is to see them in a more valedictory light.

Horowitz—I’ll retreat to the patronym from this point on—has plainly failed at that part of his intellectual project represented by this book. He has not arrested the radical left’s takeover of the university, let alone restored the ideal of a university that teaches “how to think, not what to think.” The diversity of ideas and outlooks that he has tirelessly promoted as the sine qua non of higher education is less in evidence today than it was when he started. Repression of conservative ideas and highhanded treatment of the people who voice those ideas has grown steadily worse. The dismal situation brought by the triumph of the progressive left on college campuses has darkened still further as a new generation of even more radicalized identitarian groups has emerged.

Related: The Long Plight of the Right on Campus

It is not that Horowitz is unaware that he has fought a losing battle. He understands that keenly, and a fair number of his essays ponder that fact. The reader may wonder why, with this failure so evident, Horowitz continues to fight. Surely, he has the motive to collect these essays other than simply documenting twenty-some years of futile campaigning on behalf of a lost cause? Horowitz has seldom lacked for constructive ideas to reform the university. Much of the book consists of his efforts to advance “The Academic Bill of Rights” and other measures that would have improved the situation. The book even ends with a “Plan for University Reform,” accompanied by the plaintiff note, “Written in 2010, before the AAUP eviscerated Penn State’s academic freedom policy.”

Horowitz never holds out hope that his proposals will at some later point leap back to life, as a smoldering coal might with a fresh breeze return to flame. To the contrary, his introduction includes a disavowal of the possibility: I publish it [that last essay] now because I have given up any hope that universities can institute such a reform. The faculty opposition is too devious and too strong, and even more importantly there is no conservative will to see such reforms enacted.”

Why No Greater Success?

What then? Why read this record of failure? One answer is that we can reject the author’s own judgment. Yes, his specific proposals failed, but Horowitz has done heroic work in building a conservative movement that will, I expect, one day prevail in re-establishing a form of higher education centered on the disinterested pursuit of knowledge. There are those of us who look to his work not just with admiration but for practical help in building this movement. The recent Pew poll that found 58 percent of Republicans saying that contemporary higher education has a negative effect on the country is testimony to the existence of this movement and to Horowitz’s actual legacy.

The Age of Trump: View From a Supporter Never Trumpers’ myopia blinds them from seeing the greater danger that a Clinton presidency would have created. Bruce Thornton

Reprinted from BadgerInstitute.org.

The Never Trump Republicans have been adamantly opposed to Donald Trump since the day in June 2015 that he announced his candidacy.

They argue that the New York mogul is singularly unfit for the presidency, that he has no experience in government, coming from the somewhat unseemly world of N.Y. construction, casino development and reality TV. They say his character and temperament are decidedly unpresidential –– vulgar, bombastic, prone to outbursts and loose with the truth. And, they argue, he besmirches the dignity of the office, tweeting promiscuously over trivial slights and announcing policy changes not discussed with his cabinet.

Most important, the Never Trumpers claim, he is not a true conservative — seemingly indifferent to the problems caused by the federal leviathan, especially runaway entitlement spending, debt and deficits. Rather, they say, he is a populist chameleon, championing those positions and policies that please his disgruntled base of working- and middle-class whites left behind by globalization and the tech revolution. More darkly, they claim, he shows authoritarian and nativist inclinations that could tar legitimate conservatism with a sinister brush.

To them, last November’s election was not a binary choice between a bad Donald Trump and a worse Hillary Clinton. It was opportunistic populism and exclusionary nationalism vs. traditional conservatism and its defining principles of small government and free markets; personal responsibility, character and virtue; and public dignity, decorum and decency. If true conservatism is to survive, they believe, conservatives must resist Trumpism and all its works.

These arguments, however, rest on questionable assumptions: that Trump is a politician unprecedented in his lack of experience, ignorance of policy and bad character and that, for all her flaws, Clinton would not have done as much damage to the conservative cause as Trump is likely to do as president.

This contrast is tendentious and blind both to the historical reality of a democratic polity that empowers the masses and to the greater dangers that eight more years of progressive policies a Clinton presidency would have created.

Presidential dignity

The complaints about Trump’s vulgarity and character flaws raise the question: compared to whom?

Presidential dignity left the White House during the presidency of Bill Clinton. HIs sordid affair with intern Monica Lewinsky, with its stained blue dress and abused cigars, marked a radical decline in what the American people expected of their presidents. Clinton’s bold lie under oath that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” led to articles of impeachment and disbarment. That lie was more consequential for the debasement of presidential dignity than all of Trump’s exaggerations and casual relationships with the truth put together.

As for vulgarity, how about when President Barack Obama called tea party activists “tea baggers,” a vulgar reference to a sexual act? And how much more undignified can the nation’s leader get than hanging out at the White House with rappers whose songs are filled with misogynistic sexual vulgarity and casual violence?

For many Trump supporters, the Never Trumpers’ talk of decorum smells of the anti-democratic elitism that politicians of both parties have always indulged in about the masses. Thus, the Never Trumpers don’t realize that their criticisms of Trump are criticisms of his supporters and that they reinforce the perception of a snooty elite looking down their noses at the common man.

Trump’s appeal rests in large part on the perception that the Republican establishment has more in common with Democrats than with the people — sharing the same ZIP codes, the same top 20 university educations, the same tastes in consumption and entertainment, the same amenities of celebrity and wealth, the same obeisance to political correctness and, ultimately, the same interests: keeping themselves in charge of a bloated federal government from which both sides get their power and wealth.

It’s no wonder that enough voters picked Trump, a vulgar, plain-talking outsider who gave voice to their discontent with Republicans.

A Visit to Tivoli By Bruce Bawer

Smack dab in the center of Copenhagen is an amusement park called Tivoli. First opened in 1843, it’s a special place. I always found Disneyland agitating, garish, and strangely disturbing – big and sprawling and fake and always insanely crowded, not just an amusement park but something more like a would-be alternate reality where you’re condemned to the hell of spending eternity queued up for some two-minute diversion surrounded by shrieking, ill-mannered children. (I’ve so far managed to avoid visiting Disney World.)

Tivoli’s not like that. It’s like a Japanese garden, modest and charming and meticulously put together. There’s a perfect mix of outdoor bars and cafes and fine eateries – a steak place here, a seafood place there, and charming restaurants with different architectures and atmospheres offering, variously, Spanish and Italian and German and Danish cuisine. There are rides for kids and rides for adults. There’s an arcade where you can throw a ball and knock things over and win outsized teddy bears and giant chocolate bars. There’s the smell of cotton candy and popcorn.

There’s a tree-shaded pond that’s lit up at night by multicolored bulbs You can have a world-class Wienerschnitzel with horseradish and baked carrots at a sumptuous restaurant overlooking the pond, then walk a few steps down a path and see a mother duck, on the small strip of grass between the path and pond, sleeping peacefully with her ducklings. You can put a five-kroner piece in a little machine by the pond and buy food to feed the fish in the pond. It’s sweet, not spectacular – compact and low-key, like Denmark itself. I’m exceedingly fond of it, and so are the Danes, for whom it’s nothing less than a national symbol not unlike the Eiffel Tower in France, the Colosseum in Italy, and Big Ben in Britain.

The travel writer Jan Morris doesn’t approve of Tivoli’s key role in the Danish psyche, saying that she finds it “childishly demeaning” that such a frivolous place “should stand at the very center of Denmark’s life and reputation.” That opinion appears in Morris’s 1997 book Fifty Years of Europe, and I remembered it when I first visited Tivoli many years ago. After experiencing the park for myself, I thought her criticism was unfair: for me, Tivoli seemed the perfect national symbol for a small, flat, pretty country inhabited by quiet, decent, pretty people who ride bicycles to work, whose most famous invention is Lego toys, and whose great author was a teller of children’s tales.

To be sure, even when I first visited Tivoli I knew there was a dark cloud over Hans Christian Andersen’s sunny little land. I had wandered through Nørrebro, the once-hip, Greenwich Village-type neighborhood of Copenhagen that was already becoming Islamized – this was in 2004 – and that will soon, I suspect, be a full-fledged no-go zone. (Copenhagen’s annual gay pride march used to go through Nørrebro; this year the organizers opted to re-route it, and insisted their decision had nothing to do with aggressive Muslim demands that the sodomites stay off “their” turf.)It was also in 2004 that a Danish journalist said to me over dinner that her countrymen, in the wake of 9/11, still didn’t see Islam as a danger to themselves, and she feared that that wouldn’t change “until the terrorists blow up Tivoli.” In fact, when it comes to these matters Denmark has turned out to be more sensible than many other countries, at least in terms of its immigration and integration policies and the openness with which Islam can be discussed in the media. To drive across the Øresund Bridge from Copenhagen to Malmö, Sweden, is to travel from a country that may still have a fighting chance to one that is obviously teetering on the edge of self-destruction.

Edward Cranswick: Mass Immigration Suffocating Europe

In The Strange Death of Europe Douglas Murray notes among other dispiriting statistics that 130,000 women in Britain have suffered from female genital mutilation. That barbarity has been illegal for three decades, yet no one has been successfully prosecuted.

Amidst the near-daily accounts of suicide bombings, shootings, stabbings and foiled terror plots—from the streets of Paris to the Borough Market—the spectre of Islamic terrorism in Europe has taken on a wearying familiarity. That the response of many to these obscene incursions upon the values and liberties of the European peoples should be a sigh of resignation at the inevitability of it all, is itself a remarkable phenomenon. Oddly, few among the media class deem it fit to remark upon. Yet the sense of resignation is almost as palpable as the terrorism itself.

With this in mind Douglas Murray has written a stylish and tightly argued volume, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, that addresses the concatenation of events that has put Europe on the verge of “committing suicide”. Far from a boisterous call-to-arms in defence of Western civilisation, Murray’s book speaks with a deep regret that “by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home”.

The proximate cause of this suicide is the decades-long current of mass immigration. Unplanned by those who originally set it in motion, it increasingly pushes Europe in the cultural direction of the very places from which many immigrants seek refuge. But another object of Murray’s critique is the cultural condition of Europe itself. Mired in a chronic state of torpor and self-abnegation, the media and political class of Europe lacks the courage of its convictions necessary to make a stand against developments it would once have found unthinkable.

murray bookDouglas Murray is an indefatigable debater and verbal jouster, ever on the offensive against thuggish Islamists and the cretinous Western apologists who give them cover. Yet his book draws much of its power from the sombre realisation that even the most basic and decent of European values—rule of law, equality of treatment, protection of minorities, freedom of expression and the artistic creativity it engenders—may perish with scarcely a word of protest from the culture that gave birth to them.

A unique virtue of the European peoples has been their ability to assimilate ethnicities and cultural currents initially strange to them. But successful integration can only occur if there is a stable core of values that can be successfully inculcated in the arriving population. Human beings are tribal creatures, and the virtues of a multi-ethnic and sexually equalitarian outlook in Europe have taken centuries to achieve. For this to occur the meaning of “European” identity has evolved to become above all a question of the ideas in someone’s head—communicable and amenable to debate—rather than being based on ethnic origins or skin colour. As Murray writes: “If being ‘European’ is not about race—as we hope it is not—then it is even more imperative that it is about ‘values’.” Murray wishes this condition of development to be maintained. But the future of such healthy pluralism is in doubt.

Murray cites the results of the 2011 census as showing that only 44.9 per cent of London residents now identified themselves as “white British” and that “nearly three million people in England and Wales were living in households where not one adult spoke English as their main language”. He quotes the Oxford demographer David Coleman as saying that, on current trends, within our lifetime “Britain would become ‘unrecognisable to its present inhabitants’”. Obviously, changes in ethnic identification would not matter if the values remained much the same—or improved—but it is here that we witness a disturbing trend; and where the question of mass Islamic migration becomes of particular concern. The 2011 census showed the Muslim population in England and Wales had risen from 1.5 million to 2.7 million in the previous decade. In a country as small as Britain, population expansion and integration are burdensome enough, but even more so if a foreign religious group is simultaneously the most culturally dissimilar minority and the fastest growing.

Those of us in secular societies are used to thinking of religion as something primarily cultural and private—something that spiritually sustains people in their personal capacity, but that is largely separate from their broader political convictions. But this conception of religious belief is anomalous in the long run of human history, and remains unusual in large parts of the non-Western world. In our own tradition, one need only consult the Old Testament or recall the Crusades to be reminded of a time when religious convictions were one and the same with political convictions—and to be reminded that religion is not only something people may die for, but often kill for.

Peter O’Brien Meet ‘Climate Girl’ and Abandon Hope

As the Coalition attempts to soften the economy-wrecking absurdities of the renewables it has assiduously promoted it faces a problem of its own making. Once you’ve fired up a generation that finds it easier to care than think, how to cool that activist ardour?

My wife listens to ABC Illawarra radio in the mornings (much to my irritation) but sometimes it pays a perverse dividend. Without a recent broadcast broadcast I would not have known that we, in the Illawarra, are blessed with our own superhero. Let me introduce you to – drumroll please – Climate Girl, aka Parrys (pronounced Paris) Raines. A law student (environmental law, naturally) at Wollongong University. Her ambition, she tells us, is:

…to become a world leader in Environmental Law and an environmental entrepreneur. I plan to use my law degree and environment knowledge to develop Climate Girl into world class sustainable business. The primary focus is to educate young people, to inspire and motivate them to take action locally on sustainable issues that ultimately benefits the communities they live in. Benefits gained from these sustainable actions will ensure a healthy planet, healthy people and a sustainable future.

As very few Quadrant Online readers will have caught this young woman’s insights at the time, let me refer you to the video clip below, which amounts to a neat self-portrait.

I caught only the tail end of Climate Girl’s ABC feting of its guest, in which she lamented with all the certainty of her 22 years that her Third World counterparts are hard hit by climate change because it is foiling their educations, but that was enough to pique a degree. I discovered she has impeccable credentials for a life in her chosen field, having boarded the UN gravy train earlier than most.

In Climate Girl’s own words, she has been a three-time keynote speaker for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in Norway, South Korea and Java. A little research determines that these were children’s conference she attended at ages 13, 14 and 16. She’s also the recipient of a grant from the Layne Beachley Foundation. When she was 14 she launched her website Climate Girl, with the aim of educating fellow youngsters in the articles of her green faith.

She certainly has accomplished a lot in her short life:

I have travelled extensively through my environmental work. I have seen the planets natural capital being misused and not replaced. I have seen shrinking glaciers, I have seen vast amounts of precious rainforest cut down, I have seen animals that are on the brink of extinction, and I have seen extreme poverty. I have heard firsthand from children I have met from around the world about issues they are facing everyday due to environmental impacts.

Just what we need, I hear you say, another earnest young undergrad educating us about climate change. But fear not. Her climate change credentials are built on very solid foundations. Here she is explaining when she started:

I have had two defining moments where I have learnt how humans are having a negative impact on our planet. The first was when I was about six years old, I was at the beach and questioned why I had to wear sunscreen. I was told that the planet was changing and we needed to protect our skin.

The second moment was when I was ice climbing in New Zealand when I was 11. I noticed a red line in the ice and I was told it was red dust from central Australia that had blown across the South Pacific. I learnt about impact and how our actions impact on people and places elsewhere but because we don’t see what our actions have contributed to, we are unaware of the problems we have caused.

Who knew that CO2 causes ultra violet radiation?

Rupert Darwall The World Bank’s Green Betrayal

When Barack Obama appointed Jim Yong Kim as the institution’s president, the emphasis switched from lifting the world’s poor out of poverty to prioritising ‘environmental sustainability’, not least by banning Third World investment in cheap, reliable power sources

For evidence that wind and solar energy wind and solar push up energy costs, wreak havoc on the investment needed to keep the lights on and compromise grid security, look no further than South Australia. The state has faced crippling black-outs, spiralling energy bills and fleeing businesses. Rich countries that have already built their grids can throw money at the problems created by weather dependent wind and solar. Poor countries that are still building out their grids don’t have that luxury. Why, then, would anyone think it sensible to push these expensive, flawed technologies down the throats of vulnerable developing countries?

Cheap, universal access to reliable grid power is the single most powerful boost to economic development and improving the lives of the world’s poor. The World Bank’s mission is to free the world of poverty. Yet under its current president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, appointed by President Obama in 2012, the World Bank abandoned its core development mission and now prioritises environmental sustainability over poverty reduction. In 2013, it adopted anti-coal funding policies, effectively blocking investment in what, for many developing nations, is likely to be the cheapest and most reliable generating capacity. The World Bank’s near categoric refusal to finance coal-fired capacity is worsened by it favouring high-cost, unreliable wind and solar technologies.

The World Bank justifies doing this in order to cut global emissions of greenhouse gases. But poor people in developing countries consume very little power. Their per capita consumption of coal can be measured in kilograms and pounds (in the case of Bangladesh, in ounces). The World Bank admits that the incremental greenhouse gas emissions from extending access to the grid to the world’s poor “will not make a material difference.” That being the case, the World Bank’s anti-coal/pro-renewable policy is morally and economically indefensible. For those genuinely worried by the prospect of anthropogenic global warming, enabling the energy-starved in the world’s developing nations is genuinely not a problem.

The World Bank’s own analysis also highlights the extra costs caused by the variability of wind and solar output and the extra grid infrastructure they need. In spite of this analysis, the World Bank decided to from a “unique partnership” with the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the 2011 Sustainable Energy For All initiative (SE4ALL). This set an arbitrary target of doubling renewables’ contribution to the global energy mix by 2030. Mr. Ban’s own numbers show why the World Bank made a colossal blunder: According to Mr. Ban, universal energy access has a price tag of $50bn a year. Renewable energy costs $500bn a year and a further $500bn a year for energy efficiency. To any objective analyst, these numbers should have settled the matter.

In giving its support to Mr. Ban’s aim of doubling renewables’ share in the energy mix, the World Bank went much further than the UN General Assembly, which in a March 2013 resolution noted that renewable technologies had yet to achieve economic viability. The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, agreed in September 2015, also watered down SE4ALL’s renewable energy target. When the governments of the world finalised the text of the December 2015 Paris Agreement, they removed references to renewable energy from the draft circulated by the French conference president.

Leaders in the developing world blast the West’s apparent hypocrisy in denying them the energy that made them rich. The West’s industrialisation was built on coal, notes Nigeria’s finance minster, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. Yet when Africa wants to use coal, the developed world says, “you have to use solar and the wind which are the most expensive.” There’s a similar story in Asia. At last month’s ASEAN+3 meeting in Manila, energy ministers affirmed the need to achieve energy security with economic efficiency and environmental sustainability before going on to recognise that “coal continues to be a major fuel source in the region.” The communiqué calls for continued public financial support for new coal-fired power stations and promoting of the newest clean coal technologies, including high efficiency coal-fired generation.

The World Bank’s self-imposed embargo on coal financing has opened up the field to rivals like China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Australia is also an investor in the AIIB. Responding to pressure from the Turnbull government, its lending guidelines allow it to support the latest generation of highly efficient, low emission coal fired power stations. As the world’s largest coal exporter, Australian mining jobs are on the line. So is the welfare of the world’s poor. It is irresponsible for a multilateral development bank to push high-cost, operationally defective technologies onto nations which will retard development and make electrification vastly more expensive.

How Corrupt Are American Institutions? By Stephen McGhee

Blame Sean Hannity. Or give him all the credit. The intrepid talk show host has been claiming for months that there is nothing to the Trump-Russia allegations, that the real tale of Russian collusion is linked to Hillary Clinton. The fact that very few people have taken this seriously has only caused the firebrand conservative to dig in deeper and repeat his talking points both more often and more fervently.

His insistence the Russian story would “boomerang” against the Democrats has been largely based on his communications (both on- and off-air) with Julian Assange and investigative reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter.

It seems like only yesterday justice was closing in on the Travel Office, Whitewater, the Clinton-era transfer of missile technology to the Chinese government, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, IRS harassment of conservative groups, the Clinton emails, Benghazi and a dozen others.

We might have believed Sean Hannity’s predictions, but we’d seen this movie before. Then came Tuesday. John Solomon and Alison Spann of the Hill and Sara Carter of Circa News had a story that may have broken open the largest national security scandal since the Rosenbergs.

In 2009, the Obama Justice Department began investigating a Russian plan to expand Russia’s atomic energy business by acquiring uranium in the United States. Through bribery, kickbacks, money laundering and extortion, the Russians were able to acquire 20% of the uranium mining rights in the United States. Shareholders in the Russian firm Rosatom funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation in the months leading up to the Obama administration’s approval of the transaction.

The sale was officially approved in 2010 by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), whose members included both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder. Apparently neither Holder nor Clinton informed the other members of the committee just what an historic act of corruption they were participants to. Not only did the DOJ and FBI let the sale proceed, they sat on the information they had gathered and let the investigation drag on until 2015, when Rosatom executive Vadim Mikerin and other defendants reached plea deals to little fanfare.

Current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversaw the FBI’s investigation, as did Andrew McCabe, the current deputy FBI director. And the man in charge of the FBI during most of the Rosatom investigation was none other than Robert Mueller, the special counsel now investigating Russian influence in the 2016 election.

The government informant at the heart of the case was (and remains) forbidden to speak to Congress by an Obama Justice Department gag order (that gag order has yet to be lifted by the Trump Justice Department).

If this story is true, then all our worst fears have been confirmed, and we are indeed living in a banana republic, with one set of rules for the rich and powerful, and another set of rules for everybody else.

The question going forward: what kind of country will we live in tomorrow? Now that we know that Russian collusion is real and that the Obama administration engaged in it, what will be done about it? Will the laws against government corruption finally be enforced, or will the guilty walk again as we’re treated to another round of Congressional committee show hearings?

This scandal will be a true test — perhaps the final test — of whether American government can still work for the people. If Republicans walk away from this story for fear of ruffling Democrat feathers, we will know that the fix is in.

A lot of reputations are on the line, beginning with that of Donald Trump. Will he demand of his administration that it faithfully execute the law, without fear or favor.

Then there’s Jeff Sessions. Our attorney general will have to determine if the Trump DOJ has the stomach to investigate the Obama DOJ. Sessions has a chance to end this affair with a reputation as a true champion of law and order. Then again, he may cement his image as a chivalrous knight of old, merciless to peasants who cross borders and deal drugs, but always ready to give his social and political peers the benefit of the doubt.

Congress’ reputation is on the line, too. Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP will have a lot to answer for if they fail to demand answers to hard questions. This isn’t a game of pin-the-tail-on-the-Trump anymore. The implications of the Clinton/Rosatom story can’t be overstated, and Congress must lead the charge in determining whether Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, and Robert Mueller should now have any role in an investigation dealing with Russian influence, and more importantly, whether they should have any role in government at all.

Cambridge students receive ‘trigger warnings’ for Shakespeare plays By Rick Moran

English literature undergrads at Cambridge University were warned about a lecture on two plays by William Shakespeare that would include references to sexual violence and sexual assault. The warnings were intended to give students who may be upset about those topics an excuse to miss the lecture.

Mary Beard, a professor of classics, called that approach “fundamentally dishonest.”

Independent:

Beard said previously: “We have to encourage students to be able to face that, even when they find they’re awkward and difficult for all kinds of good reasons.”

David Crilly, artistic director at The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival, said: “If a student of English Literature doesn’t know that Titus Andronicus containts [sic] scenes of violence they shouldn’t be on the course.

“This degree of sensitivity will inevitably curtail academic freedom. If the academic staff are concerned they imght [sic] say something students find uncomfortable they will avoid doing it.”

Another Cambridge lecturer told Newsnight that trigger warnings had been added to the timetable “without discussion”, while another admitted they “self-censored” texts on their course to avoid causing offence to some students.

A Cambridge University spokesman said that the English Faculty did not have a policy on trigger warnings but “some lecturers indicate that some sensitive material will be covered in a lecture by informing the English Faculty Admin staff”.

“This is entirely at the lecturer’s own discretion and is in no way indicative of a Faculty wide policy,” they added.

Anyone who is “triggered” by fictional violence will not be able to function in the real world. But it hardly matters. Trigger warnings are not meant to protect students as much as they are used to protect faculty members. They are terrified of speaking about controversial subjects lest the school administration penalize them for it.

But really, now – Shakespeare? Perhaps someone might explain how anyone can get a degree in English literature without completely absorbing the Bard’s plays and sonnets. The plays themselves are retellings of legends and myths that most of Shakespeare’s contemporaries were familiar with. But from our perspective and the distance of time, the lessons and values that Shakespeare was highlighting represent the best that Western civilization has to offer.

And that’s the real problem, isn’t it? Trigger warnings aside, this is just another episode in the assault on our shared civilization. To destroy Western civilization means destroying the culture that nurtured it. Making Shakespeare unavailable is another nail in the coffin by those whose job should be to protect him.

There Can Be No Compromise on Immigration Reform By Spencer P. Morrison

On October 8, the White House released a list of “Immigration Principles and Policies” that President Trump says “must be included” in any legislation legitimizing President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order (DACA). Trump is cutting a deal: Congress gets DACA if Trump gets immigration reform.

The million-dollar question: is it a good deal? No, unfortunately.

Before getting into the details, it is worth briefly reviewing DACA and highlighting Trump’s key demands.

Summing up DACA: President Obama signed an executive order in June 2012 that let all illegal aliens who arrived in America before they were age 16 apply for legal work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver’s licenses and made them eligible for earned income tax credits. The order gives recipients most of the privileges associated with citizenship. Enrollment must be renewed every two years. Since 2012, nearly 800,000 illegal aliens have taken advantage of the program – most of them adults. Basically, DACA is renewable amnesty.

Depending upon how broadly Congress legislates on DACA, somewhere between 800,000 and 3.5 million people could be granted de facto amnesty and given a pathway to citizenship. Remember: not everyone who can enroll in DACA is enrolled. This is an enormous number of people, comparable in scale to the Reagan-era amnesty.

On the other side of the equation are President Trump’s demands. In exchange for DACA, Trump wants funding for the wall (the House Homeland Security Committee has already allocated $10 billion toward the wall); an extra 10,000 ICE officers, 1,000 immigration lawyers, and 370 judges to help clear the deportation backlog; legislative penalties for “sanctuary cities”; an E-Verify system to bar illegals from the job market; passage of the RAISE Act; and a number of other minor concessions.

Of these reforms, the RAISE Act is the most significant. Very briefly, the RAISE Act is an immigration reform bill sponsored by Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.). The act would not only cut legal immigration into the U.S. by roughly 50 percent, but break the cycle of chain migration by giving priority to economically valuable immigrants rather than those with family connections. If passed, the RAISE Act would be the most significant piece of immigration legislation since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ushered in the era of mass migration.

It is difficult to overstate the economic benefits of the RAISE Act, which are twofold. First, the legislation would reduce overall immigration levels significantly. Second, it would better calibrate the type of immigrants arriving in the U.S.

Reducing the overall level of immigration is important because America’s economy does not need additional labor. The labor market is over-saturated as is. Real unemployment remains high, and there is no sense exacerbating the problem. Furthermore, fewer immigrants would help improve working conditions and wages for U.S. citizens. This has already begun in a few locations – the logic is sound and empirically valid. And fewer low-skilled immigrants means fewer people on welfare.

The act also ensures that America gets high-quality, skilled immigrants by prioritizing people with valuable skills. This is the type of immigrants most likely to help expand the economy in the long run – immigrants whom U.S. policy should have been targeting for decades.

Twilight of the Idols and the Idolaters By Esther Goldberg|

Most of us spend our lives navigating an uneven path between the altar and the mall, neither irreproachable saints nor irredeemable sinners, neither Mother Teresa nor Adolf Hitler. We spend the greater part of our lives in the marketplace, hustling, making compromises with our better selves to close a deal. But we also light the occasional candle, say the occasional prayer, and find delight in our beloved’s smile.https://amgreatness.com/2017/10/19/twilight-of-the-idols-and-the-idolaters/

In his poems, Leonard Cohen referred to the marketplace as “Boogie Street,” a scene not of prostitution necessarily, but of mutual sexual availability certainly. He identified Singapore as one such place, but he also might have tagged Hollywood, where young men and women parade their wares in hopes of being “discovered” by a big-shot producer.
If one is a young woman trying to make it in Hollywood, a meeting with Harvey Weinstein is a consummation devoutly to be wished. It’s not yet the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but it’s the express train she needs to catch to get there. She is not unique, has no special talent. In fact, she’s interchangeable with the hundreds of other pretty young things prowling Hollywood. But Harvey can make her a star.

By the time a young woman lands a meeting with Harvey, she’s likely to have acquired a shocking degree of sophistication for someone her age. Zoë Brock, who was a 23-year-old-model when she met Harvey in 1998, is a good example. She describes a particularly wild time she’d had eight years earlier in the south of France. “I had watched helplessly as [Danish supermodel] Helena Christensen vomited all over the bathroom at Jimmy’s after doing too much blow with [dead rock superstar] Michael Hutchence and Jacques Chirac, who was in between his various Presidencies of France.” She was 15 at the time.

Zoë admits to having led Harvey on, telling him about her sexual exploits with famous people and how it was that she acquired a nickname associated with a popular sex toy. And that’s how she came to get what appears to be the standard Harvey Weinstein treatment. Harvey took her to his hotel room, got naked and asked for a massage. She refused. He started to cry. “You don’t like me because I’m fat.” The following day, he sent her his apologies and flowers. This is the routine. Other women have described it in similar terms.

Zoë felt “betrayed and used” and then “amused” though her amusement apparently disappeared once the other women Harvey had hit on in this way came out of the Hollywood mire and started to feed on his corpulent, carbuncled carcass with stories of their victimization. Then she signed on as well. “Me too” is the current Facebook meme.

Zoë’s story tells us something important about Hollywood’s Harvey Weinsteins. They are Robert B. Millman’s “acquired situational narcissists,” men whose latent tendencies might have worked themselves out as they matured, formed lasting relationships, focused on their families. But for the trigger and support of a celebrity worshipping culture, Harvey Weinstein might have turned out to be a fairly decent human being. His former company, Miramax, is a compound of his parents’ names.

Harvey’s “victims” come from a variety of backgrounds. Some, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, are the offspring of Hollywood royalty or, like Katherine Kendall, the children of Washington socialites. Others were anonymous and unpedigreed, like Zoë. What all of them wanted from Harvey—with a want that bordered on obsession–was celebrity.