Just look at this and you will know what I mean..
This is another of the reasons why Trump has appeal as well..
Just look at this and you will know what I mean..
This is another of the reasons why Trump has appeal as well..
At least some in the media are still pointing out how big of despicable entity Hilary Clinton is, but the majority of the DNC sycophants seem to be doing their best to ignore this umpteenth indication of how morally bankrupt, psychologically corrupt, and just down right despicable this woman is. Hillary, in an propaganda piece staged with her top media disciple, emphatically denied that she lied:
Liar, liar, pantsuit on fire: Hillary Clinton still insists she didn’t tell the grieving families of the Benghazi victims that an anti-Islam video was to blame.
Yet family members say she said just that, three days after the attack, at the Sept. 14, 2012, ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base.
George Stephanopoulos asked her Sunday if she’d told the victims it was about the film. Clinton gave a flat “no.”
She added: “I said very clearly there had been a terrorist group, uh, that had taken responsibility on Facebook, um . . .”
At least four family members disagree.
Tyrone Woods’ father said he hugged Clinton and shook her hand. Then “she said we are going to have the filmmaker arrested who was responsible for the death of my son . . . She said ‘the filmmaker who was responsible for the death of your son.’ ”
Sean Smith’s mother said Hillary is “absolutely lying . . . She said it was because of the video.” Smith’s uncle backs her up.
This woman, like practically every fucking leftist, is a fucking ghoul. Just like Obama , whom can’t wait to dance on the corpses of victims of insane killers or terrorists – including the corpses of children – and use those left grieving after every tragedy to push the left’s agenda to shit all over the second amendment and to disarm the populous so the left can do evil the shit it really wants to do without fear of serious reprisal, Hillary has no problem lying to victims of tragedy either. And then she also has the balls to compound on the lies by publically calling these people liars for pointing out she lied.
Glen Doherty’s sister agreed: “When I think back now to that day and what she knew, it shows me a lot about her character that she would choose in that moment to basically perpetuate what she knew was untrue.”
“What she knew” refers to Clinton’s words to daughter Chelsea the night of the assault and the next day to Egypt’s prime minister, which made it plain the secretary of state knew full well that a terror group had long planned the attack.
The lie’s even in her words at the Sept. 14 ceremony: “We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with.”
Just why the administration united around this lie is another editorial. The disgrace here is Clinton’s refusal to admit her role — even pushing the fib to “comfort” the bereaved.
This administration, and the then Secretary of State, Clinton, lie. That’s what they do best. They won the election in 2008 telling lies. They then proceeded to fuck us all over to the tune of over $1 trillion for a proculous package that helped nobody but the connected few, big democrat donors, and the campaign coffers of democrats. That was followed by government bailouts of entities too-big to fail to the tune of another $1 trillion dollars, which included amongst so many insane things screwing over everyone to pay back their union buddies or doubling down on the tax payer money pissed away keeping too-big-to-fail special interests that donate to democrats alive, all while acting though and blaming the previous guy for a crisis of their making.
But they didn’t stop there, oh no. They then straddled the American people with the most horrible piece of legislation ever passed – Obamacare – which required so much favor buying from party members, since they could only pass this horrendous “we must pass it first so you can see what is in it “ bill by any other means but a straight party line vote, that will cost us trillions as it destroys the most competent and effective healthcare system on this planet in record time (fuck you leftists that pretend the measure of a good healthcare system depends on it being peddled as being free, because only idiots ever thing government mismanaged bullshit passes as anything close to free).
And the list of other lies goes on and on. They have failed at everything. Fucking over the economy and lying about it, while pretending the recovery is just around the corner or has happened? Check. Pretending they were the superior statesmen and would fix everything that cowboy Boosh had done, only to then piss away victories, piss on and piss off our friends and allies, and then suck the cock of our enemies? Double check! Making a mockery of our laws and government by enforcing only the laws they like while committing crime after crime (IRS scandal, out of control DOJ, abuses of power on a scale that would make tyrants feel envy, and much more) to cover up their failures and nefarious activities? Triple check!
Benghazi was just one in the many chain of acts of incompetence and downright stupidity, practically every one of them done to line the pocket of a select few on the left, so we shouldn’t be surprised how bad it was handled. Shit, Obama had an election to win – at all costs –and he had just told the American people not 2 weeks before that he had al-Qaida on the run, so there was no way these hyenas were going to admit they were lying about al-Qaida and got caught with their pants down. Another lie, especially one that would allow them to justify a move to control and censor the alternative media that was constantly undermining the job so well done by their DNC agents in the LSM that were protecting these scumbags from themselves, seemed like the logical course of action. After all, you never let a crisis go by without using it to push something otherwise unpalatable and vile if you are a collectivist.
If we lived in a country of laws and had real leaders in power, this shit wouldn’t be allowed. Instead we have criminals running the show and their lackeys in the media covering for them. So the left now has staked their claim to the WH on another Obama: an immoral narcissist liar that feels they are owed the seat and that the ungrateful and unwashed masses should feel lucky to get the chance to vote for her.
Fuck the lot of you leftists. Especially those of you pretending that the people that are real problematic are the lightweights running from the opposite party. When it comes to being crooked, vile, and evil, you leftists make the fucking devil feel like he should be taking notes. A Clinton administration would be a continuation of the same abuses, lies, and despicable and conniving behaviors that have been the hallmark of the Obama administration, so I can see why the left thinks she is owed this job.
As sure as the sun sets in the West, no tragedy can ever pass without the left knee jerking, and more times than not this knee jerking involves limiting or regulating your Constitutional right to free speech.
In the other recent post we had our resident leftest declare that no person of power or influence (whatever the hell that means) can ever report, discuss or opine anything unless it is done in a responsible manner (whatever the hell that means) because these words/opinions just might catalyst some nutjob into horrible acts of violence. What is left out of these ridiculous goofy pulled out of ass declaratives is who determines/defines all these subjective elements, and who decides what punishment is meted out once the elements (however weak or thinly proven) are met. Do we jail these free speakers, fine them, or just pillory them in the public square?
Proving that idiocy is not just reserved for the blogosphere, our current AG has decided to double down on the hysteria;
The day after a horrific shooting spree by a “radicalized” Muslim man and his partner in San Bernardino, California, Attorney General Loretta Lynch pledged to a group of Muslim activists that she would take aggressive action against anyone who used “anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “edges toward violence.”
Here we go again. Drawing an ambiguous line between A and Z, without anything in between, she will throw the First Amendment out the window. Of course, we don’t know what “aggressive actions” means (again, jail, fine or pillory, her choice), what “anti Muslim rhetoric” means (does even identifying jihadist killers as jihadists qualify?) and what on earth does “edges towards violence” even mean? When Trump says he saw Muslims celebrating on rooftops after 9-11, can this observation spur some unstable person to violence against Muslims, and should Trump then be prosecuted for this participation/instigation in the violent act?
Speaking to the audience at the Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner Thursday, Lynch said her “greatest fear” is the “incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric” in America and vowed to prosecute any guilty of what she deemed violence-inspiring speech
That is her greatest fear? Gee, mine is another 9-11 style attack on the homeland, and along with that is the fear that PC and this head in the sand administration will tie the hands of those tasked with protecting us to the point where protecting the folks is hindered.
For all the talk that this AG was going to be different from Holder, better than Holder, I just don’t see it. She is an Obama stooge just like Holder, who will protect her boss and his dumb polices to the detriment of her oath as protector of the folks.
I get the intent here, supplicating themselves to the Muslim community is pretty much status quo, but she just crossed the line. The downright refusal to label radical Islam as such, the masquerading of a jihadist attack as workplace violence, these are their shortcomings, blind as they may be, but when they monkey around with my protected Constitutional Rights, there will be push back, count on it.
For eight years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly make me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.
We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:
2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez
2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden
2009: Mike Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.
2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.
2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone.
2012: The Culture Warriors, Unions, The Poll Unskewers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, MSNBC
2013: Healthcare.gov, the Platinum Coin, the Shutdown Caucus, the National Park Service, Fiscal Cliff Panic Mongers.
2014: Jonathan Gruber, Lamenting Democrats, Barack Obama, Jim Ardis, Paul Krugman
For This Year:
The Presidential Field: Here are your candidates for 2016:
On the Democratic side, a 68-year old political insider with a 30-year track record of deception, vindictiveness and blame evasion, running on her record of having unleashed chaos in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Then there’s the 74-year-old socialist, rejected because his views on gun control are insufficiently pure. Then there’s the “young” guy running on his horrible track record as mayor of a failed city and governor of a failed state. And, because things weren’t surreal enough, there was the former senator who looked like he’d gotten baked on his yacht and accidentally wandered into a Presidential debate.
On the Republican side, you have the reality TV show star with narcissistic personality disorder who has an iffy relationship with the truth and seems determined to insult every demographic he can. You have the brilliant brain surgeon who is clueless on policy and has crackpot ideas about history. You have the asshole Texas senator. You have the President of a nearly collapsed company running on her record as a businesswoman. You have the worst Bush yet, somehow managing to piss away the complete support of the establishment. And then you have a bunch of little guys vying to get 3% support so they can stay in the big debate.
Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Coolidge, Reagan, Bush I … and one of these guys. Ay, caramba.
So far, the only ones who impressed me are Webb and Rubio (see below). One is out and the other is still in fourth place.
College Students: Have you guys seen Life of Brian? In that movie, the anti-Roman guerrillas spend way more time fighting each other than fighting the Romans. This was modeled on 1970’s left-wing radical who hated the government but hated each other more for “splitting” the movement and being insufficiently ideologically pure. This process is happening with political correctness as they slowly turn on each other.
Think of what we’ve been seeing. Who are college students forcing out of positions of power? Who are they screaming at in public squares? Who are they banning from bringing cameras into their “safe spaces”? This ire is directed against people who agree with them on 95% of the issues. Occasionally, there are real issues. But all too much of the anger is because lectures on European history are too European, because there aren’t enough tenured professors of women’s studies, because someone suggested, maybe, that it wasn’t the university’s job to tell grown men and women what Halloween costumes to wear.
Previous generations of college students protested against wars, against vicious racism and against in loco parentis. This generation is protesting against offenses so trivial they are literally called “microgggressions”.
The Election Media: It’s a little under a year until the election and I’m already exhausted. They’ve pronounced Trump dead at least eight times. They’re bending over backward to not criticize Clinton. And they’re doing nothing to illuminate the issues with their focus on the horse race.
Rolling Stone: Last year, they published a horrifying tale of a campus rape that turned out to be a fiction. The blame laid squarely on them. They didn’t bother to call the fraternity in question. They didn’t bother to talk to the supposed victim’s friends. They didn’t bother to read the rather famous (in Charlottesville) book about a rape that the victim took her story from. That’s horrible. What moves them into mockery land is their refusal to take responsibility. No one was fired. They blamed it on the victim for being a good liar. And now they’re being sued for millions.
(And it would seem the lesson has not been learned. The Hunting Ground, a new and much-praised, documentary about campus rape, has an equally problematic relationship with the truth.)
Barack Obama: He pronounced ISIS contained days before they attacked Paris. His Obamacare is seeing double-digit rate increases and companies leaving because they’re hemorrhaging money. His Iran deal is … dubious. The Democratic nominees are trying to pretend that Republicans have secretly been President for the last eight years. His attempts to gin up support for Syrian refugees infuriated half the country.
Maybe he needs to appear between two ferns again.
Dishonorable Mention: Kim Davis, Jeremy Corbyn, Vox, Everytown USA, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Vox, Bill deBlasio, the NFL, the anti-vaxxers, Sepp Blatter, Greece, Volkswagen, Putin.
Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with the world. Here are the past awards, the first round from West Virginia Rebel.
2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks
2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama
2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush
2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers
2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring, the Technicians at Fukushima
2012: Down Ballots, The Sandy Responders, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, Mathew Inman
2013: Francis I, Edward Snowden, Rand Paul, The American Military, The Institute for Justice
2014: Ebola Responders, Francis I, Rand Paul, David Brat, The Supreme Court
New Horizons and Dawn: It was another banner year for science, headlined by New Horizons stunning visit to Pluto and Dawn‘s visit to Ceres. The Philae lander also revived and began providing more data from a sublimating comet. In other science news, rubella has been rendered extinct in North America and polio is on the run.
Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler: These are the three men who stopped a would-be terrorist on a French train. Stone came home … where he got stabbed protecting a friend. As Charles Cooke said, we’re a few news cycles away from finding out this guy is Batman.
Amnesty International: In the face of withering criticism and a rising intense moral panic about sex trafficking, they did the right thing: called for the complete decriminalization of sex work for both providers and clients.
Video and Body Cameras: There are legitimate civil liberties concerns when it comes to cops always carrying cameras on them, especially with our culture’s tendency to exploit and shame people doing things on tape. But they are making a huge difference. They not only show when cops do bad things (such as recent horrific shootings in Chicago and Marksville), they exonerate cops who’ve been falsely accused of brutality or sexual harassment. For cities that have implemented them, complaints about police brutality and abuse are way down, both because cops are acting better and because people find it harder to make false claims. There are still issue to work out about when and how footage becomes public. But I think this is a big help on the way to criminal justice reform.
The Non-Crazy Presidential Candidates: Marco Rubio may not get the nomination and Rand Paul definitely won’t. But they’ve injected some much-needed sanity and real debate into the Republican primary. Jim Webb gets a shout-out here too for trying (and failing) to find a moderate stream of Democrat.
Honorable Mention: USA women’s soccer team, the American military, France, Francis I.
Put your nominees in the comments. And have a great Thanksgiving.
Bring up Syria, anywhere, and some predictable responses take place. If its a millennial, Syria is either that commune outside of Newfoundland, or a heavy metal band from Oslo, then a quick subject change as to why they are not going to pay back their student loans, so there. Some on the right want the B-1’s called in, while some on the left want open borders, a flower in one hand and a welfare check in the other. But most all folks will admit one thing, it’s complicated.
I found a short video over on Vox that sums up the whole mess quite nicely;
As if things were not bad enough, Turkey downs a Russian jet who it accuses of violating it’s sovereign air space (I thought borders and border enforcement was passe). Then the Syrian rebels down a rescue Russian helicopter with an American made TOW missile.
As much as I despise the bleeding heart leftest, those unwilling to even label Radical Islam as such, thinking either a big hug is what unhappy Muslims need, or attacking the real root cause-global warming, those bomb happy send in the Marines from the right are also annoying.
Although not be design, the chicken hearted world citizen of a president we have and his penchant for inaction down to a fine science is probably just what was needed in an area of the world where no one has the moral high ground. No, not the part about total retreat out of Iraq against the advise of ALL of his military advisers, or the phony bologna red line over chemical weapons, or even his watered down bombing campaign , but if the ME has taught us anything over the years, it is that rushing in before the dust settles in never a good idea.
Sunnis vs. Shia, Muslims vs. everyone else, then throwing in oil money to put the conflict on a world stage, not to mention a major player just getting permission to expand and export it’s nuclear technology, holy smokes, what a mess.
Maybe because I see no really good solutions I have little patience for those that project supreme confidence in solving the problem over night. Where before I had Pat Buchanan whispering in my ear ,”It’s their problem, stay away and don’t get sucked in”, now we have some major players involved and taking sides. So much for American leadership in the world projecting an image of justice for other nations too small to stand up for themselves.
Here is where I stand now. I am tired of reading stories about $50 million dollars spent to train 5 freedom fighters. I am tired of Russia telling us to stand down because they want to bomb some of our allies that particular day. I am tired of my president being so detached that 6 hours before the Paris attack he was patting himself on the back with statements of ISIS is contained. If somehow a coalition of the willing can be brought together (maybe the next president, this guy couldn’t organize a two-car parade) where many nations are 1) supplying troops and 2) fitting the bill, I am certainly interested. Holland, a side from being a socialist, seems like a stand up guy with stones enough to get it going. We know Obama will never lead, but maybe he can be persuaded to follow with others.
Then you are not alone. Personally, as someone that has lived in many different countries and cultures, what I am seeing is America adapting the very things that I saw were so fucked up in these other countries and cultures that held them back. This country once was the place where success, hard work, character, and especially a dream that everyone, if they applied these things to themselves had a chance, defined us as a people. People in charge, even the people in politics, which tended to never really be the cream of the crop, accomplished things. Progress was not just a word, but the way of things.
Now the country is run by an unholy alliance of a bunch of credentialed scumbags – our new American aristocracy, with all the trappings and frailties of that very system our forefathers, now abhorred because they were white men, tried to hard to make sure could never come about here and fuck things up like they had in Europe – that feel we serfs don’t deserve them because we dare to resist their massive stupidity and idiotic ideas, and the select few ultra-rich people or giant corporate entities that these credentialed scumbags have decided to favor with monopolistic powers over others. That’s how we get them pissing away tax payer dollars enriching the special interests that push ludicrous and counter productive agendas like “green whateverthecuck” or trying to sell us serves on giving up our freedoms to save Gaia from a wholly manufactured global crisis. These select ultra-rich people and corporate entities have become richer than ever, while the rest of us are barely hanging on or even heading in the other direction. And that’s by design. These people want a 2 class society with them on top and the rest of us controlled by them, like the people they admired did back in the good ole USSR, China, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and other such hotbeds of collectivist delusion.
Things have gotten so bad since the collectivists took over the executive and legislative branches of government in the major campaign of delusion that happened in 2008, that we now have lived in a perpetual depression that the left pretends really is just about to end or ended, while those of us that work for a living see nothing of the sort. Through a long implemented indoctrination system that took over control of the education system, they have managed to brainwash way too many into tapping into envy and greed, allowing them to produce a class of people that feel empowered to suck at the government’s teat, allowing them to use the electoral process to buy votes with the very money they steal from the productive, and giving themselves a patina of legitimacy. And they despise the productive for not just going along .
Our government is now in the business of choosing winners & losers, and they make a pretty lucrative living doing that. It is time to go back to smaller, less intrusive, and definitely less of an elitist crowd that actually understands their job is to serve the people, not to fleece them like this criminal bunch does.
So, Bloomberg has an article titled “Obamacare Insurers Are Suffering. That Won’t End Well.” which basically points out that the dire predictions by everyone that was not a collectivist Obama cock-sucking bitch are not only panning out, but panning out much faster than expected, and wondering how this could have happened. After all, with a name like “Affordable Healthcare Act”, how can this boondogle be sucking up money down a black hole while delivering no measurable improvements of any kind other than the usual debunked donkey talking points?
It now looks pretty clear that insurers are having a very bad experience in these markets. The sizeable premium increases would have been even higher if insurers had not stepped up the deductibles and clamped down on provider networks. The future of Obamacare now looks like more money for less generous coverage than its architects had hoped in the first few years.
But of course, that doesn’t mean insurers need to leave the market. Insurance is priced based on expectations; if you expect to pay out more, you just raise the price. After all, people are required to buy the stuff, on pain of a hefty penalty. How hard can it be to make money in this market?
Let me answer that: Impossible. And that’s by design. This thing, from the very start, was design and put together by people that had to pass it in secrecy, so they could have avoided any scrutiny that would have shed light that what they had obviously was intended to destroy the existing US health insurance market. And as the title of my post points out, they did it by design, because the end goal for these crooks has always been a government controlled single-payer system that would allow government to control the lives of its citizens with even more impunity.
They will keep coming after the serfs, and they will get us to bow down to their will. We peasants should be glad our masters are throwing us these table scraps.
Another GOP debate in the books, did we learn anything new, not really. We already knew that; leftest leaning networks should not moderate GOP debates, that both Kasich and Paul are dead men walking (but still don’t know it), and that Trump is still full of shit (and still too lazy to bone up on areas that he is weak) when it comes to things outside his business wheel house. His China tirade when asked about the TPP agreement, and Paul’s smack down about what is actually in the TPP was priceless. Equally priceless is Trump’s feud with the WSJ. They dared to critique his foreign policy acumen revealed so far, it was not flattering. So Trump, being Trump, goes all half cocked and petty, demanding apologies and resignations, from the most respected conservative periodical in the world. I mentioned this before, do we really want another petulant thin skinned crybaby in the WH? Not me.
But there is one crisis (yes, crisis) that has swallowed up Europe (they are lost, give them up for dead and be done with it), and threatens our shores. Obama would cut his own throat (OK, our throats) if given the chance, Trump would not. Reason enough to rally behind the issue challenged egomaniac? Probably.
This is a must watch video, weep for Europe but don’t emulate Europe;
I kinda get Germany rolling over in submission, but where the sentiment is laudatory, the execution is disastrous. The progressive politicians just gave their countries away, and put the lives of every ethnic European as risk, not to mention the women, who should all be packing some type of firearm.
You can bet the the only reason Obama has not done what Merkel did is that physical barriers commonly known as the oceans. But he is not going to let a little thing like geography hamper his desire to weaken this nation. Some form of refugee relocation is coming down the pike, NIMN.
Immigration/border enforcement was third on my list of urgent issues needing timely remedy, close behind fiscal resuscitation of the economy and reducing the size (and cost) of government. Given what I am seeing across the pond, it is now tops on my list.
Jihad is coming, ranging from violent attacks to even a more milder form, from population control, which would bring us Sharia and ultimately, the Caliphate. We must not follow them off the cliff.
What metaphor best describes the insanity going on at the University of Missouri? Some come readily to mind; “The tail wagging the dog”, “The inmates are running the asylum”, “The chickens have come home to roost” (given that the pointy headed academicians and their vile progressiveness created this environment of identity politics/ intolerance/victim-hood), or my personal favorite ,”Diversity is code for fascism to the perpetually aggrieved”
It matters not that the fake hate crimes either did not exist or were created by the so called victims themselves in order to perpetuate an agenda. It also does not matter that no one can verify or corroborate the “poop swastika“, the impetus for a certain minorities to toot their “racist” horn, the mere discussion regardless of the facts, can cause a mediocre football team to go on strike resulting in the resignation of the college president. Classes are hard (or should be) so when studying get you down, let’s all go out and dance around a bonfire chanting declarations of indignation over the racist country and it’s racist universities.
For those that have been out of school for awhile, this is what I’m talking about;
Another video from the same guy nails the “equality” nonsense.
It’s hard to feel sorry for these campus officials that are finally having to deal with the monsters they have themselves created, polluting the minds of the students, breeding a corrosive culture of left-wing self-victimization that will not serve their students well once they get out into the real world. I think most of the students know this as well, the special snowflakes that get their way (or stomp their feet when they don’t) knowing that school admins (like their parents before) will always expose their bellies when pushed. How easy life must be when everyone thinks and acts just like you, now that’s is real diversity.
As I mentioned last week, there has been growing pressure on college campuses for universities to hand down guidelines on “offensive” Halloween costumes. This debate exploded recently at Yale. A letter was sent out on the subject of appropriate Halloween attire (composed by 13 administrators … and people wonder why college is so expensive). Erika Christakis, associate headmaster of a residence college, responded in a manner was that totally inappropriate for college professor. By which, I mean, she addressed the students like they were adults:
Even if we could agree on how to avoid offense – and I’ll note that no one around campus seems overly concerned about the offense taken by religiously conservative folks to skin-revealing costumes – I wonder, and I am not trying to be provocative: Is there no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious… a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive? American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition. And the censure and prohibition come from above, not from yourselves! Are we all okay with this transfer of power? Have we lost faith in young people’s capacity – in your capacity – to exercise self-censure, through social norming, and also in your capacity to ignore or reject things that trouble you? We tend to view this shift from individual to institutional agency as a tradeoff between libertarian vs. liberal values (“liberal” in the American, not European sense of the word).
Nicholas says, if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are the hallmarks of a free and open society.
But – again, speaking as a child development specialist – I think there might be something missing in our discourse about the exercise of free speech (including how we dress ourselves) on campus, and it is this: What does this debate about Halloween costumes say about our view of young adults, of their strength and judgment?
In other words: Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It’s not mine, I know that.
The students at Yale did not respond well to this eminently reasonable dialogue, culminating in an incident this weekend where students confronted Nicholas Christakis (Erika’s husband and Silliman headmaster) to demand an apology, a confrontation that ended with one student screaming in his face about how he is supposed to be creating a “safe space” for students rather than an intellectual space (notice that Christakis doesn’t raise his voice at all, even when she’s screaming in his face).1
Something important to remember: what the students are objecting to is not offensive Halloween costumes. It’s not even Yale’s refusal to ban said costumes. What they’re angry about is that a professor had the temerity to engage them on this issue. What they’re furious about is that someone didn’t immediately agree with them. That’s their definition of a “safe space”. Not a space where someone is physically safe. Not a space where someone is safe from racism. No, they want a safe space where they are protected from ideas they don’t like and from challenges to ideas they do like. And, as Ken at Popehat points out, they want that safe space forcefully extended everywhere:
[the safe space] is not a self-selected community or an exercise of freedom of association, because it lacks the element of voluntary entry. It’s the safe space of an occupier: students demand that everyone in the dorm, or college, or university conform to their private-club rules. Your right to swing your fist may end at my nose, but their asserted right to safety surrounds you.
Conor, in a really great and thorough piece, makes other great points:
In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt argued that too many college students engage in “catastrophizing,” which is to say, turning common events into nightmarish trials or claiming that easily bearable events are too awful to bear. After citing examples, they concluded, “smart people do, in fact, overreact to innocuous speech, make mountains out of molehills, and seek punishment for anyone whose words make anyone else feel uncomfortable.”
What Yale students did next vividly illustrates that phenomenon.
According to the Washington Post, “several students in Silliman said they cannot bear to live in the college anymore.” These are young people who live in safe, heated buildings with two Steinway grand pianos, an indoor basketball court, a courtyard with hammocks and picnic tables, a computer lab, a dance studio, a gym, a movie theater, a film editing lab, billiard tables, an art gallery, and four music practice rooms. But they can’t bear this setting that millions of people would risk their lives to inhabit because one woman wrote an email that hurt their feelings?
This weekend, the Yale Herald published an op-ed (since withdrawn because it drew some actual harsh criticism) exploring these points, claiming that students couldn’t eat or function … because of the e-mail. Not because someone burned a cross on their lawn (as happened to my synagogue when I was kid). Not because someone used racial epithets (which happened in my high school). Not because someone wore an offensive Halloween costume (which itself seems relatively trivial). No, they’re unable to function because of a respectful e-mail that made the mistake of trying to engage them on a subject rather than simply saying, “Oh, your feelings are hurt. Well, that’s all that matters.”
To me, this trivializes … everything. One of the points being made is that minority students at Yale (of which there are very few) often feel like outsiders. They often feel like there is very real racism within the Ivy League — racial epithets, exclusion and prejudice. That is an issue that’s worth exploring. Getting angry because a professor, while acknowledging your point, respectfully disagrees with the idea of subjecting Halloween costumes to some kind of cultural vetting process is a waste of life.
But … as I’ve said before, we are raising a generation of people who have been coddled from the crib. They have helicopter parents who don’t let them do anything risky. Their schools are more focused on their self-esteem than their education. They play soccer without a score so no one’s feelings get hurt. And, for those who go to elite colleges like Yale, they’ve been told all their lives how brilliant they are. And this is the result: they can’t tell the difference between racial discrimination and a minor political disagreement. As Gregg Easterbrook once said, they can’t tell the difference between a crushed bicycle and the end of the world. And they think they have a right to be protected from all of it.2
It bears repeating: these are not children. These are grown men and women. This business blew up because the Christakis’s treated them like grown men and women. Neither Yale nor the Christakis’s have anything to apologize for. At least, not when it comes to e-mails about Halloween. How much culpability they bear for molding students that think like this … well, that’s another question.
1. Side note: I’m really hoping, not optimistically, that the screaming student doesn’t become the target of an internet shaming campaign. No one should be judged by a two-minute video clip. She acted like an idiot. Let’s not compound that by acting like assholes in response. She’s probably 19 years old. No one should be nationally judged by dumb things they say and do when they’re 19. Drezner makes a good point on this, pointing out that “One of the purposes of college is to articulate stupid arguments in stupid ways and then learn, through interactions with fellow students and professors, exactly how stupid they are. Anyone who thinks that the current generation of college students is uniquely stupid is either an amnesiac or willfully ignorant. As a professor with 20 years of experience, I can assure you that college students have been saying stupid things since the invention of college students.” I was an even bigger idiot in college than I am now. I was fortunate that nothing I said “went viral”.↩
2. In the meantime, back on planet Earth, we have a President who is about to get into his second illegal undeclared war, has launched hundreds of drone attacks that kill ten bystanders for every supposed terrorist, has declared the right to track our phones without a warrant and is piling up debt that these kids are going to have to pay off. It’s not like there’s a dearth of big issues they could be protesting over. ↩