From The Spectator, Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’ by Brendan O’Neill;
If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation. My showdown with the debate-banning Stepfords at Oxford and the pre-crime promoters at Cambridge echoed other recent run-ins I’ve had with the intolerant students of the 21st century. I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.
One day, these Stepford students, with their lust to ban, their war on offensive lingo, and their terrifying talk of pre-crime, will be running the country. And then it won’t only be those of us who occasionally have cause to visit a campus who have to suffer their dead dogmas.
Kevin Williamson writes in National Review, Who Boycotts Walmart
It is easy to scoff, but I am ready to start taking the social-justice warriors’ insipid rhetoric seriously — as soon as two things happen: First, I want to hear from the Wal-Mart-protesting riffraff a definition of “justice” that is something that does not boil down to “I Get What I Want, Irrespective of Other Concerns.”
Second, I want to turn on the radio and hear Jay-Z boasting about his new Timex.
It is remarkable that Wal-Mart, a company that makes a modest profit margin (typically between 3 percent and 3.5 percent) selling ordinary people ordinary goods at low prices, is the great hate totem for the well-heeled Left, whose best-known celebrity spokesclowns would not be caught so much as downwind from a Supercenter, while at the same time, nobody is out with placards and illiterate slogans and generally risible moral posturing in front of boutiques dealing in Rolex, Prada, Hermès, et al. It’s almost as if there is a motive at work here other than that which is stated by our big-box-bashing friends on the left and their A-list human bullhorns.
If economic “exploitation” means making “obscene profits” — an empty cliché if ever there were one — then Wal-Mart and the oil companies ought to be the good guys; not only do they have relatively low profit margins, but they also support millions of union workers and retirees through stock profits and the payment of dividends into pension funds. By way of comparison, consider that Hermès, the luxury-goods label that is a favorite of well-heeled social-justice warriors of all sorts, makes a profit margin that is typically seven or eight times what Wal-Mart makes, even though, as rapper Lloyd Banks discovered, its $1,300 sneakers may not always be up to the task. If Wal-Mart is the epitome of evil for selling you a Timex at a 3 percent markup, then shouldn’t Rolex be extra-super evil?
Kirsten Power writes in the USA Today, Liberals’ Dark Ages
Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show.
The self-serving capriciousness is crazy. In March, University of California-Santa Barbara women’s studies professor Mireille Miller-Young attacked a 16-year-old holding an anti-abortion sign in the campus’ “free speech zone” (formerly known as America). Though she was charged with theft, battery and vandalism, Miller-Young remains unrepentant and still has her job. But Mozilla’s Brendan Eich gave a private donation to an anti-gay marriage initiative six years ago and was ordered to recant his beliefs. When he wouldn’t, he was forced to resign from the company he helped found.
Got that? A college educator with the right opinions can attack a high school student and keep her job. A corporate executive with the wrong opinions loses his for making a campaign donation. Something is very wrong here.
The dangers of the politically correct gone amuck. It is a weak intellect that is so afraid of debate and dissent, that it must be silenced. It is medieval.
On a further note on this topic:
CLIMATE SCIENCE DEFECTOR FORCED TO RESIGN BY ALARMIST ‘FATWA’
I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen.
It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years. Under these situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.
From Daniel Greenfield’s excellent blog, Sultan Knish, The Inequality of Access:
Campaigns against income inequality invariably become mandates for corruption as aggrieved voters convinced that the system is rigged against them embrace the unfair advantage that they believe they are owed and politicians who pocket nine tenths of the take and leave the crumbs for their supporters escape accountability from their own corrupt voters because every crime they commit is officially for the benefit of the underclass.
The cycle of corruption follows its own inevitable momentum. The more people come to believe that a system is corrupt, the fewer will vote for honest politicians over the crooks who promise them special benefits. Everyone becomes cynical and complicit in the corruption. Politicians play divide and conquer, redistributing wealth from some groups to other groups. Trust vanishes from government and financial institutions. Everyone suspects everyone else… and everyone steals.
That is the formula for a failed nation, a failed city and a failed community. That is as true of the United States as it is of Russia, Cuba or Nigeria.
Corruption is the elephant in the room than neither party addresses. Undermining our institutions goes beyond the convicted felons in office.The concentration of wealth in the DC areas should give any true liberal pause.
More on this from Kevin Williamson A Deeper Naganism
Dr. Dre (stage name for Andre Young) has hit the jackpot. From very modest beginning in Compton, California to success as a rap star to entrepreneur in the development of Beats headphones, he has discovered a market niche- high end headphones for the lower end urban market- and is about to cash in big time in a sale to Apple making him a multi billionaire.
Kudos to a man who is living the American dream. He should be cheered, not envied, for his success.
But the statistics that measure the growth in income inequality will not show less inequality as a result of the rise of Dr. Dre, but more; because our measurements of inequality omits the most important measurement of inequality- mobility.
As an individual Dr. Dre displays the powerful effect of income mobility, but as a statistic he is just a number that widens the wealth gap.
Which leaves the question, ‘Is the widening gap such a terrible thing?’
It certainly isn’t for Andre Young.