“…Because That Is According To My Principles”

I don’t think there was a single year in my academic experience where I was not significantly disciplined for some reason. Sometimes it was for playing elaborate pranks on people, sometimes it was for mocking the administration, and once it was for snap-kicking a fellow shop-class student in the chin after said fellow student tried to hit me with a home-made “bo staff”. (No, smart-asses of the Internet, I didn’t assume the “crane position” first. I wish I had, though!) Time after time, I was told that I would amount to nothing in this world unless I stopped being combative, argumentative, offensive, you name it. Maybe all those nuns, vice principals, and Residence Life administrators were right — but let the record show that they faded into obscurity while I rose to become the second most popular writer on my own website. (The first, of course, is Thomas Klockau.)

After fifteen and a half years of school (skipped two grades, took a leisurely 4.5 years to get my bachelor’s) I learned to sense in advance when I was about to be suspended or expelled, which is why my stomach churned in sympathetic anxiety when I read the above document. It tells a student that he will be subject to an uninterrupted harangue from his peers. In what world is that a reasonable way to treat a university student? And where would someone learn that kind of disciplinary tactic?

Meet Alison Downie. Normally I’m against judging a book by its covers, but can’t you pretty much tell everything you need to know about Alison by looking at her? This is a woman who sucks the joy out of everything and everyone around her. If I walked into class for the first day and saw this neo-Puritanical creature grimacing at me, I’d strongly consider dropping the course and spending some extra time on the BMX bike that semester. Do we have a bio? Yes we do.

Her academic interests include ecofeminist theologies, disability theologies, religious understandings of self and memoir, religious themes in literature and film, and interfaith dialogues…. Downie’s previous publications include “A Spirituality of Openness: Christian Ecofeminist Perspectives and Inter-religious Dialogue,” which appeared in Feminist Theology 2014… She is affiliated faculty for the Women’s and Gender Studies and the Sustainability Studies programs

I also believe I saw her in that Prohibition-era movie, The Unfuckables. (I can say that because I’m ugly, the same way that people of color can use racial epithets.) Professor Downie came up with the punishment plan you see above when one of her students made the fatal mistake of objecting to being forced to watch a TED talk about transgender identity. He then doubled down by “point(ing) out the official view of biologists who claim there are only two biological genders.” This was not acceptable, so Alison Downie prepared the punishment plan. When the student declined to participate in the punishment plan, he was barred from attending the class.

Two things bother me about this. The easier one to articulate is the absolute idiocy of “confessing” to sins against the group then being forced to submit to a group harangue from all your “triggered” fellow students plus the professor. Not all of you will recognize this method, particularly if you came of age in the past twenty years, but this is known as a “struggle session” and it is an essential part of Communist/Maoist/Viet Cong/Khmer Rouge ideology and practice. Whatever the American Way is, the struggle session is a product of the planet it’s farthest from, as Luke Skywalker might say.

This country is now distant enough from the horrors of Communism that we no longer instinctively recoil from Communist methods and principles. We treat it like some kind of de-fanged old zoo animal. We wear its symbols on T-shirts. Most disturbingly, we allow Marxist thinking a privileged place at the table of American discourse. It was an ideology that cost over one hundred million lives and started conflicts across the globe for seven decades — but so what? Let’s use their methods to discipline a student who has the nerve to claim that there are only two genders.

(Are there only two genders? How should I know? Long before “trans rights” were in vogue, I knew men who dressed and behaved as women in school and elsewhere. I treated them about the same way I would treat anyone else. I was the first editor in the automotive-journalism field to hire and promote a transgender writer; actually, I’m still the only editor to have done that. I did it because I thought that person could write something worth reading.)

The “gender question” shouldn’t be settled by feelings, and it should not be settled by vague consensus. It should be settled by adherence to scientific truth, whatever that is, and it should be settled via vigorous, unfettered discussion. This discussion is not diode-shaped; it doesn’t come to an end once your preferred group has managed to get its way. If you objected to the silencing of “trans activists” in the past, you should object to the silencing of “two genders” advocates in the present day. No great and worthwhile truth is ever discovered via the forcible silencing of opposition.

The purpose of the university is to instantiate, to encourage, and to promote that sort of discussion. That’s the difference between a Harvard or Yale and a DeVry or Arogosy or “University of Phoenix”. It is the difference between a college and a trade school. If you take that away from a university, then it becomes nothing more than a diploma mill with a side business of forceful indoctrination.

The civil rights movement of the Sixties was incubated in the free and open discussions permitted in the universities of the time. Gay and lesbian rights came from those discussions. Virtually every liberal accomplishment that we now view as part of the immutable landscape, like Roe v. Wade, started in some late-night college dorm-room argument. For hundreds of years now, the university has been the place where the un-say-able can be freely said.

The men who designed, built, and furnished those universities were advocates of free and open expression. They believed that the truth would arise naturally from the heat of intellectual disputation. They rarely censored even the most offensive, libelious, blasphemous, or seditious idea. Their approach to intellectual freedom raised “progressive” thought from a mere daydream diversion on the part of the idle rich to the ruling philosophy of the Western World — even though virtually all of them disagreed with it.

And now that the progressives run the Western universities… well, I think this image from Calvin and Dune, where quotes from Frank Herbert books are mashed-up with comics, says it best.

This method of operation is anti-intellectual, it is anti-human — but most of all, it destroys the moral authority of “free speech”, even in the university context. How many of you read The Handmaid’s Tale and shuddered at the idea of a world where people could be “disappeared” for breathing a word of criticism against the theocratic state? Where did you think Margaret Atwood got the idea for that? Not from the original Puritans — they may have burned witches but they didn’t put free-thinkers out in the woods to starve. I suspect that the book was Atwood’s projected fantasy about the kind of control she and her fellow-travelers would exercise once they took the reins of society. And that’s about where we are now. You can lose your job for objecting to the current orthodoxy. You can become a nonperson, lose your house, lose custody of your children.

The conservative management of this country adhered to the free-speech principle until it walked them out back and shot them in the back of the head. When the tide turns in American politics, not in a Trump-protest-vote way but in the genuine dynamic sway that occurs across generations and which brought us the Victorians a hundred and forty years ago, from whence will the new leaders take their inspiration? From the genial permissiveness of their Fifties-era predecessors, or from the mono-party groupthink enforcement of 2017? What if the next great sweep of power is not from progressive thought back to Christian theology, but to an Islamic state? When there is proof right there on the page that Alison Downie favored the most brutal and humiliating tactics known in the cause of enforcing her own cherished ideas, what possible objection could she offer to stay the swift and final justice of the mullah?

84 Replies to ““…Because That Is According To My Principles””

  1. CGHill

    And you were right about the trans woman in question; she’s the sort of textual stylist I can’t come close to approaching. (She writes some fierce fiction, too.)

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I agree. Furthermore, I think she has yet to find her real stride — it won’t be in cars, which is unfortunate for the readers.

      • James

        When looking back at the death of automotive journalism, the example of the automotive journalist that didn’t know how to drive–and had no interest in learning–proves enlightening.

    • Harry

      She was fantastic. It was the best curated, most interesting daily news feed in the autoblogging world, and a big reason I used to check the site and a daily basis. I felt informed and entertained.

      Since I don’t check bylines, I had no idea she was trans or didn’t have a drivers license until it became “controversial”

      When trans rights became a thing that penetrated by world bubble, it served as a good example of what does it matter? I am a very observant person when I wish to be, a gift and a curse as they say. Up until that point, I wasn’t making any attempt to observe who in my everyday life wasn’t cis gendered. Since then I have noticed at a surprisingly (to me) high number, all in service jobs of some sort as that is 99% of the new people I meet.

      This led me to two conclusions.

      The first is I and they might be worse off. Before they were just people who brought me my bagel or scanned my groceries. Now they are a curiosity of some sort that my mind must try to catalog.

      Second is that the worst parts of the trans debate, especially bathroom laws and the like miss the point. For the most part you have to look pretty close at secondary characteristics to try and tell at a glance what bathroom they “should” be using, and even then there is sufficient variation within biological gender that you can’t be 100%.

      My more traditional Trumpian friends picture a trans person as a drag queen or a dude in NYC with five o’clock shadow wearing only an undersize pink tutu. That’s who they want to discriminate against. It is the same way that they are not really homophobic, but don’t like people who are over the top fey. In their defense, they also don’t like people who act like a WWE hyper masculine stereotype at all times either. It is exhausting to be around.

      I think my point is that Cameron should be rehired so I can go back to having a reason for check a site I used to enjoy daily.

      Also, I should try and find her current writings because I will probably enjoy them as well.

      • stingray65

        The “don’t ask don’t tell policy” was what I assume had been the way of dealing with the bathroom problem in polite society for as long as transgenders have been around. But having “equal rights” apparently means being allowed to throw your sexuality around with no consideration of others, so now hard and fast rules need to be enacted that are certain to offend everyone – that is how social “progress” is made these days.

  2. T G Nelson

    This is a classic example of the results of over-funded, “higher” education. The people of Pennsylvania should be outraged at the entire waste of money.

    Also, it is another example where liberals are incapable of a debate on a subject and then relent to personal attacks on those that dare to speak differently. And, why millennials nearly universally struggle and often cannot deal with conflict.

      • Domestic Hearse

        I direct you then to Rational Emotive Therapy, a school of psychotherapy developed primarily by Albert Ellis. RET is considered a direct descendent or branch of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

        Or, as I call it, “Throwing your sandwich at the patient” therapy. (Full disclosure: Wife is a psychotherapist who often uses RET if the patient is stable.)

        RET says this: outside stimulus rarely, if ever, affects the inner life of modern man. It’s our inner emotions and thoughts ABOUT the outside world that cause us anxiety/depression. Change your perceptions, fix what ails you.

        The “sandwich” was a story one of her doctoral professors told about an actual session, where the client fell back again into irrational thought patterns, after having made some earlier progress. In illustrating to the patient that it is the thought, not the thing, that is the problem, the therapist hurled his sandwich at the patient, which was shocking, effective, and in my opinion, a waste of a perfectly good sandwich.

        Anyway, yes, there are coddling schools of psychology, but the most effective treatment modalities challenge patients to first think right, then they’ll feel right, followed by behaving right, finally they’ll see nothing’s really wrong that cannot be dealt with without all the internal sturm and drang.

        As for Doctor Downer above, she is exactly what is wrong with most university psychology departments. At an undergrad level, all that should be addressed are the building blocks – the basics. Carl Jung, Freud, Maslow, B.F. Skinner, etc. If a student wants to specialize in Multicultural Transgender Community as expressed in Zimbardian Heroic Imagination techniques, well go right ahead and look up Dr Downer. You’ll fit right in with her pet projects and biases. You won’t contribute fuckall to the world at large, but you can sit in a circle and emote while earning credits.

  3. Frank Galvin

    I’ve been on the receiving end of a trans lead activist campaign that sought to purge my department. Shortly thereafter the leaders of this group were invited to engage with some of us on various programming efforts. They couldn’t understand why some of us were standoffish, they literally could not fathom that after calling for someone’s head, that that person would not want to engage with them.

  4. Ronnie Schreiber

    Her academic interests include ecofeminist theologies, disability theologies, religious understandings of self and memoir, religious themes in literature and film, and interfaith dialogues…. Downie’s previous publications include “A Spirituality of Openness: Christian Ecofeminist Perspectives and Inter-religious Dialogue,” which appeared in Feminist Theology 2014… She is affiliated faculty for the Women’s and Gender Studies and the Sustainability Studies programs

    I majored in Studies In Religion at the University of Michigan. My honors thesis advisor was David Noel Freedman, general editor of the Anchor Bible series and one of Wm Foxwell Allbright’s closest students. I may not know much about Christian ecofeminism, and I never finished my degree (7 credits shy) but I’m pretty sure could do a better job teaching RLST 481 – Special Topic – Self, Sin, and Salvation than Alison Downie.

    Martin Anderson predicted much of this jargonized academic nonsense back in 1992 with Imposters in the Temple: The Decline of the American University.

    • rich

      and the kid is likely incurring six figures of non-dischargeable debt to participate in “struggle sessions”

  5. Ronnie Schreiber

    Trade schools and community colleges probably do a more honest job of truly educating their students than a lot of universities do. Instead of trying to indoctrinate their students, they teach them how to service HVAC or weld.

    Two thirds of the kids in college have no business being there. A third aren’t smart enough to do true college level academic work, such as write a properly sourced and footnoted paper of moderate length, or even write a coherent and persuasive, fact based three paragraph essay. A third are smart enough but aren’t really interested. They’re just going to college because it’s hard to get a decent job without a four year degree. They could go into the trades or business, or be entrepreneurs like many successful people (Gates, Jobs) without college degrees. The final third aren’t being educated as they could be because so many resources are devoted to the 66% that are just taking up space.

    • stingray65

      True University level learning requires an IQ of at least 110, which means about 25% of the general US public is “college material”, but almost 70% of high school graduates start at university. Those warm bodies mean money for the schools, however, so anyone with funding will find a place. At weak schools, all courses get watered down to accommodate the slow, but at better schools where STEM and other rigorous topics with real world application (i.e. finance, economics) don’t need to be watered down, the “diversity” students get channeled to low IQ majors such as education, gender and racial studies, and religion where the only requirement for high grades is complete adherence to leftist dogma, and extra credit is given for joining protests against conservative guest speakers, faculty, and students. Of course with so many sub-par students admitted, a substantial number of them still don’t get through and complete their degree within 5-6 years while ending up with a house mortgage sized amount of student debt, but they aren’t really much worse off than the graduates with a degree in queer studies who are serving over-priced coffee at Starbucks.

        • Ben Johnson

          I’m convinced that 100 pointer that knows of their own shortcomings will do better than a 120 that lacks self-awareness. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

  6. Steve Taylor

    Sometimes things need to be taken to a different court. The court of hardknocks seems to be needed here. When you show what is essentially a bully the other side of the hand things change. In other words the sillybitch needs that smirk ” I know, you don’t and I am in charge” smacked of that face.

  7. Kevin Jaeger

    There was a time when a University course on religious studies may have had some value, but in the current year you find it to be an indoctrination session led by an ecofeminist theocrat.

    Not all change is an improvement.

  8. Michael

    Circa 1989 I attended a class taught by the male black equivalent of the woman above. I enjoyed discussing Soviet foreign policy and drinking beer at 11:30 a.m. more than attending his class. Never fail, always withdraw.

  9. hank chinaski

    Perhaps they’ll be happier when female circs and burkas are mandatory and the ‘rule of thumb’ regains it’s literal meaning.

    The kid’s got balls, I’ll give him that. Most would fold like a cheap suit.
    Still, majoring in ‘religious studies’? I hope he likes ramen.

    What are the tax implications of cashing out the clones’ 529’s to buy them landscaping trucks instead of sending them off for indoctrination?

    • safe as milk

      there’s a twenty something in my family who dropped out of school and bought a landscaping truck. everybody in the family is still shaking their heads in shame. two years later, he has a few employees and is buying a second truck. i went up to his father at thanksgiving and said that jack had a good head on his shoulders, he smiled and said, “i know.”

      • stingray65

        What would happen if the government would allow “education money” to be used to start a business? It would be called a patriarch plan to keep women down, because it would be 95% men that would starting those landscaping, contracting, paving, plumbing, computer/auto repair businesses. Its already happening, and women are now almost 60% of undergraduate students, and also the most likely to major is crap degrees. Of the top 10 paying college majors, women are a majority in only 1 (nursing), and in 6 of the 10 lowest paying college majors, women are dominant.


        • Disinterested-Observer

          They certainly wouldn’t be starting any tech business or any that interact with any level of the government, those are all reserved for fresh off the Airbus SWMBs.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        Orthodox Jewish kid down the street started cutting grass right after he graduated from yeshiva high school. A good kid but no great scholar. He wasn’t going to go on to a seminary or college. He’s had employees and trucks and a year round landscaping and snow plowing business for a few years now. The other day I noticed that he replaced his personal vehicle with a brand new F-250.

        My first cousin and his sons are plumbers. His older son (he’s in his early 30s now) has a bunch of commercial accounts from Detroit to Toledo. I figure their avg IQ is north of 130 and all of them could easily have handled true collegiate work. When my son, the physics major, worked for them that avg went up. Quality Plumbing “A flush beats a full house” 248-967-DRIP

        When your toilet is overflowing with shit, you can’t export that job to China.

        • ScottS

          I agree with this and it’s hitting pretty close to the underlying issue. While you are correct that a plumbing job is non-exportable, it is replaceable with cheap undocumented dreamer labor.

          • manfromlox

            Not entirely. Every ditch digger needs someone qualified to tell them where to dig. Most states/counties have pretty stringent rules for licensing. Especially for the skilled trades.

  10. E. Bryant

    “Christian Ecofeminist Perspectives”

    Da fuq? At this point, I’ve got nothing to say, other than I’m glad to have attended a technological university two decades ago, and that I’m frightened that my sons will probably go off to college well before this insanity runs its course.

  11. John C.

    Where are the alumni of this university that freely hand over there money to this? The old rich guys forking over their ill gotten gain to support this mess should be ashamed.

  12. JustPassinThru

    This is how a genuinely inferior person – weak, low intellect, frightened by self-doubt – reacts when challenged or when he/she/it IMAGINES challenge.

    Good catch on the Maoist Struggle Session punishment. I was not aware of that term.

    This…professor…has the face of a dog; the brain of a wombat; the mentality of Stalin, and no soul at all. I ask, WTF is she even DOING In a university setting, but that’s a question I so often ask, it’s becoming rhetorical.

    This is what our tolerance of the modern “liberal” movement has come to. I don’t know any non-violent way of reversing it anymore – not when these butt-heads, in power, work to destroy their students, and when their power is threatened, crack students and others on the head with U-channel bicycle locks.

    • stingray65

      What is she doing at a university? Where else could she possibly get a job besides Starbucks? Starbucks isn’t nearly as much fun as lording over over 18-22 year old students that need her class to graduate, and writing an occasional paper on Christian Eco-Feminist perspective that doesn’t require that she actually be smart enough to understand Christian doctrine or the STEM stuff behind environmental science – its all about “feelings” – I feel like a woman today, and tomorrow who knows? If she has tenure she can do anything and not get fired, but if she spits in some fascist customer’s coffee at Starbucks she might be looking for work at Dunkin.

      • JustPassinThru

        Let me rephrase that.

        Why does the university OFFER…this person…a teaching position?

        I understand, agree, she’s unemployable. But a university is not an employment program or a jobs-training agency.

        This…person…is unfit for other work, true. AND THIS SORT OF WORK. This is THE most egregious violation of a position of trust, imaginable. Worst than an instructor soliciting a student for sex.

        Remember, Pink Floyd’s The Wall? The theme there was of the abuse of children in English schools…and it was, at least, distasteful to think about. This is that, tenfold.

        Small minds and psychosis. And then given tenure; and this is what you wind up with.

  13. Ronnie Schreiber

    Imagine what it’s like for Peterson, Fiamengo, Saad et al to have to treat these lunatics as professional equals.

  14. stingray65

    The most interesting thing about this case is that here is a religion professor who I expect would be totally ok, if not outright supportive of a student who said he was an atheist or member of ISIS and was in jihad with all infidels, but anyone who questions the cult of transgenderism is in big trouble with her. Thus we have a situation where this “professor” is disputing the biology of gender which is proven by looking at chromosomes, but would likely not question a student’s faith (or lack of it) in something that can never be proven scientifically.

  15. Ken

    Until I scrolled down to the words “Meet Alison Downie”, totally assumed the embedded picture was of the trans.

  16. dejal

    I was sure that she “taught” at Middlebury College in VT. At Middlebury the college newspaper apologized showing a photo of American Enterprise Institute’s Charles Murray.

    Last year he was invited to debate Professor Allison Stanger. All hell broke loose and Stanger was the victim of assault by attendees ON WHOSE SIDE SHE WAS ON.

    His photo is an expression of violence.

    I really enjoyed Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016. He might have been full of it on a bunch of issues, but he really knew how to rile them up.

    My nephew plays Div 1 college football, full scholarship. Top 25ish team some years. Not a star, not going to the NFL (though maybe over the past 3-4 years about 15-20 have been drafted). A few 1st and 2nd rounders.

    The crap he has to take in class from some professors about student athletics and how it isn’t fair they have scholarships is sickening. Nothing to do with the subject matter, just because he exists in their class.
    Garbage like “Male dominated, war-like, indoctrinated, dull, stupid, knuckle dragger…”
    You can’t complain, you can’t publicly get mad. The professors know it, so they do it.
    I think stuff like this is why college team sports (especially football) become very insular. The only ones who understand are your teammates going through the same stuff.

    This kid gets a free ride at a university.
    For that free ride, he gets up around 5 AM every day for a couple of hours working out.
    There is no off-season. Football season does NOT start end of August and end around the end of the year.
    He’s got bum knees.
    He was sick last year and didn’t play much. Lost too much weight. 280 pounds is too light. You get
    stomped on at that weight playing the line. He got stomped on . Hopefully he can get back to 300+.

    He’s ben concussed. MIssed playing Notre Dame and wasn’t allowed to even attend the game from the sidelines because of the lights and noise.

    Former head coach moved on to $30 million guaranteed somewhere else on the backs of the players.

    Free ride my butt. He knew what he was signing up for so he’s not complaining about that. He does complain about some clown professors who insinuate that he has done nothing to fulfill his end of the scholarship.

    He’s a 5 year Red Shirt. He has fulfilled his bachelors after 3.5 years.
    He’s sticking it out for the full 5 because he loves football and knows when school is done then that’s it for football. He’d love to say FU to the professors.

    • Hogie roll

      One of my probably too late to realize ingenious ideas was get in to a better school than I otherwise would have, but that had a bad football team, by committing to play football. I probably wouldn’t follow through with playing, but with the full education. Taking too many knocks on the head doesn’t really jive with going to a brainiac school and later a mentally challenging career.

      Hot tip for you dads out there.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        Talking about brainiacs and mental challenges, you don’t know how sports scholarships work, do you? You don’t get a scholarship just from committing. You don’t play, or at least make the scrub squad, they don’t pay. On the other hand, considering what you consider your ethics, you probably would have committed fraud by faking an injury.

        • Hogie roll

          Ronnie to be clear, you have said that I am unethical and that no woman would want to have my children because I think that Israel has outsized influence in US politics that it shouldn’t.

          Do you realize how hysterical you sound?

          • manfromlox

            You told me I was brainwashed by the media and couldn’t understand how awesome Trump was because of that.

            Do you realize how hysterical you sound?

      • dejal

        Actually not a bad plan and one that he considered, but you have to be good enough for a team to want you. And you are a high school kid. Football has been your life. A big school and small school want you. The big school even if not a top 15 but maybe top 40 gets on TV every week (one of the mainstream ESPNs, CBS, etc..) or a small school gets on may be the alternate – alternate -alternate channel sometimes (ESPN the Ocho) where dodgeball pre-empts them.

        The bigger the program the less chance of walk-ons getting a scholarship. But that does happen.
        The bigger programs are a business. The kid wears Under-Armor gear exclusively if he is wearing sports clothes or if he is anywhere where he represents the team. I’ve seen him on TV a few times, yup, got the gear on and so do the other players, all matching.

        The football staff includes a person who has the function making sure that Under-Armor is worn and it is the CORRECT UNDER-ARMOR for that particular day. There is hell to pay if that is not followed. My sister knows one guy who job was to do that and ultimately said “F this” and quit and moved on.
        Sort of like the guy at the circus who cleans up the elephant crap. Gets asked “Why do stick with this job and all you do is clean up elephand crap? Why don’t you quit” His answer was ‘And give up show business?”

        And, schools don’t have to give scholarships for 4 years. They can go year to year.
        So, you might get the 1st year. 2nd year they might drop you.
        Sort of like NFL contracts where $30 million / 5 years is really $18 million up front and the rest if the team decides to keep you after year 2.

        You set for continuing on at that school on your dime?

        Some conferences have guaranteed 4 years.

        I really got off the original subject with this football in college post.
        The main point was, there are professors who are bullies because they know they can’t be touched.
        They make no effort to hide their contempt of certain people or ideas.

      • Hogie roll

        To clarify. I was semi interested in attending a top ten graduate b-school. With a 690 gmat I was in the running, but I would have needed an age. At the same time I had become massively larger stronger and more athletic than during my high school football career. And was legitimately curious if I could play.

        I consulted my good friend who did play college ball and he didn’t think it was a good idea.

        After a couple of application processes I got tired of shelling out $500 per and putting in hours of work to go to school for two years and not necessarily make any more than I did already.

    • stingray65

      The professors should be praising him for showing up to class and passing courses in a single attempt, since most of the big-time student-athletes are 99% athlete and 1% student.

  17. rambo furum

    “They — the advocates of alternative, non-family and kin-centered lifestyles such as, for instance, individual hedonism, parasitism, nature-environment worship, homosexuality, or communism — will have to be physically removed from society too, if one is to maintain a libertarian order.” — Hans Hermann-Hoppe, “Democracy: The God That Failed”

    Libertarianism and libertinism do not co-exist for long.

  18. Opaddington

    Government giving loans to anyone with a pulse fosters this nonsense. Gender Studies is not a serious academic program and it has no place on a university campus. It’s the type of thing you discuss with your hippie friends while you’re stoned at Burning Man.

    If universities want to charge $40k/year for garbage degrees, let them provide the financing. You have confidence in the value provided by your Queer Theory degree program? That’s wonderful. You assume the risk of providing the loan for the program, Mr. Enlightened University Administrator. Oh, and you’re not protected from bankruptcy filings like the government is. When the loan defaults start rolling in (and they will because these dipshits have no skills plus they learned during their time at your esteemed university that the concept of personal responsibility was created by the patriarchy so screw it and I feel zero guilt), we’ll see how resolved you are to continue with the charade.

    • stingray65

      There has been occasional discussion about linking student aid to majors where they have a decent chance of getting a good job, but then the feminists and other leftists get all bent out of shape, because it would mean shutting down 75% of the social sciences and humanities, with the first to go being Gender studies, Black studies, Chicano studies, Queer studies, which were ALL developed as a way to diversify the faculty. The business and engineering schools and STEM departments that can actually teach useful topics can’t find qualified faculty that “look like America”, because few women, blacks, Chicanos, and queers choose/finish PhDs in those difficult areas (i.e. where there is real science and math and not just feelings), but they can find and hire “diverse” faculty with mail order degrees in various “studies” programs. Thus if the government would link financial aid to employable disciplines, women and faculty and students of color get decimated, and Universities would get way too white/Asian, male, and heterosexual.

    • Hogie roll

      One interesting outcome of the (formerly?) low interest rate era is that private loan companies saw people with good degrees as a low enough risk to refinance their loans at lower rates than the government backed loans.

      This has had the effect of removing the most credit worthy student loan holders from government pools and leaving the taxpayers on the hook for only the gender studies and basket weaving majors.

  19. Zaskarx

    This kook wasn’t born in a vaccuum, the institution that granted her PHD and the decision makers that granted tenure certainly deserve some of the blame for this insanity. The entire concept of tenure in public institutions needs to be revised or possibly eliminated. Pehaps the simplest question is what does the red hot issue of transgender rights have to do with religious studies? I’m having a hard time drawing any discernable link between the two and am left wondering how an accredited program of study can consider this worthwhile education? I have to think that during my not too distant time in college it would have been seriously frowned upon for my professors to have taught music theory during a calculus class.

    • Opaddington

      You can earn a PhD in Gender Studies? If I had a PhD in a legitimate academic discipline, I’d be highly irritated that my credentials were being dumbed down. “I’m a doctor. Got a PhD in Rectal Thumbing.”

  20. Jeff Zekas

    So, JacK, I assume you are aware of Jordan Peterson, and all the PC nonsense going on at the Canadian universities…

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      Peterson is almost sui generis. A guy who actually stops to think what he’s going to say before he says it. The network interviewers clearly don’t know how do deal with someone like that. He’s all Canadian nice until you get to one of his non-negotiables and then he’s, “Bloody hell no.”

      His sadness about the way young men are reaching out to him is palpable. He can’t talk about it without breaking up. I know he has his critics but in a word I think the man is wise.

      The indignation that some express when he says you should get your own house in order before start thinking you can improve society is comical.

      There are plenty of, dare I say archetypal stories that involve clergy who first set their sights on reaching the people of their city only to eventually realize that the first step should have been improving themselves. You may or may not be able to change the world, but you can certainly change yourself.

      Considering some of the nonsense that gets promoted at TED, it’d be intellectually productive to put together in one event all the lights of the intellectual dark web. Have Owen Benjamin MC.

    • Dirty Dingus McGee

      They are no longer institutes of higher learning, they are day care for adult size children.

      Even schools that are heavily focused on STEM programs aren’t immune from the idiocy. It’s not as prevalent at those schools as it is at say Hahvud, or all private liberal arts campus’s, but it’s getting there. In dealings with various large corporations where some of these folks end up, their learning is just getting started. It seems to take a couple years before they start to realize that the real world is vastly different than the campus. It’s not all pixie dust and unicorn farts, and words or actions have actual consequences that DO affect you. Consequences that can include sudden unemployment and probable homelessness.

  21. Shrug

    The transgender question is one that absolutely fascinates me, mostly because I cannot possibly know the answer. Do transgender people actually “exist” in the sense that they truly believe they were born as the wrong gender? I mean, probably right? But again I cannot know that, simply because I am physically incapable of feeling that way.

    It’s become more of an issue in modern times, if only because there has been more acceptance, but it’s certainly not only a modern phenomena. The Roman emperor (empress?) Elagabalus was most likely transgendered, and that was in the 3rd century AD.

    Is it a mental illness? By definition it has to be, yeah? And yet I feel weird classifying it as such, despite the DSM, so I’m not sure how to think of in that regard. I think part me doesn’t want to apply the stigma of mental illness to the transgender, and yet it certainly is not *not* a mental illness.

    I care very little how people present themselves. It’s their life to live and not mine, after all. I’m happy when other people are happy, and if presenting oneself as another gender makes one happy, then the world is better and more interesting for it.

    Also, I can think of few things worse or more tragic than being born with a body you can never accept. It sounds like an incredibly painful experience. I read punk singer Laura Jane Grace’s memoir “Tranny” that put some of it in perspective for me — what a terrible, terrible affliction!

    I know this was a bit of a ramble without much of a point, but it’s really a subject I struggle to wrap my head around. I truly sympathize with any trans people, and I really do hope they can all fine peace and happiness to some degree, but it’s one of those things where I simply am unable to empathize with them because I cannot know what such a thing feels like.

    • stingray65

      There is no question it is a mental illness. The psychosis is really no different than Body Dysmorphic Disorder and related Anorexia Nervosa, where thin people believe they are fat and stop eating. It is also similar to Body Integrity Identity Discorder, where people want to chop off perfectly functioning limbs.

  22. Shortest Circuit

    Eco-Feminist a muggle word for “Dementor”, evidently. “…they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them”

  23. ScottS

    The real issue here is “The War on Men”. This is just the latest skirmish in the protracted battle that is slowly but surely being won by the Progressive Left. One of the surest ways to disempower men is to remove any distinction between the sexes and then apply the big blurring filter of “trans-sex”. Comprehending the fact that men have been under assault in the United States and other Westernized countries for a long time, is central to understanding the drive to force the transgender ideology on the Military and the full frontal assault on police forces. The wrecking of U.S. manufacturing through lopsided trade deals has done a very impressive job of cutting the average American man down to size, leaving the military and police forces (and truck drivers) as the last great holdouts of “Male Privilege”. Autonomous vehicles will soon decimate the truck driving profession with the help of Big Tech and Insurance lobbying, and the Progressives have a strategy for the Military and Police. BLM is merely the latest battalion in the fight. Universities have been the recruiting and indoctrination ground in the fight for a very long time. What became shockingly apparent to the general public during the Obama administration is the nearly complete unmasking of the warriors in the fight including the mainstream media. The enemy is empowered and no longer needs a cloak to hide behind. We are now facing a full frontal assault, and this is why Donald Trump was elected. A lot of folks realized how bad the situation has gotten and took action.

    Tucker Carlson at Fox News has launched compelling series called “Men in America” focusing on the crisis facing the American male. There are some disturbing and compelling data presented in the series. And what about the “War on Women”? One of the most egregious examples of blame shifting ever perpetrated on the public.

  24. -Nate

    Wow ;

    This one went sailing into hate, envy, intolerance and general malaise pretty fast .

    My question : why is student debt ever dis chargeable ? .

    Why isn’t it coupled to minimum grade levels and attendance ? .

    Also why is it every approved for for profit schools, every one of which is a scam, not going to get anyone a job, ever ? .

    Educated Citizens are helpful to America but loafing for years then whining is bullshit .

    FWIW, I think higher education is good, wise and should be supported with my tax dollars even though I’m not overly educated .

    (still wondering about eco-feminist)

  25. DirtRoads

    Geez Jack I have you beat. It took me 14 years to get my four year degree 🙂
    Of course I went to technical school and through two wives before I got it done… But I done it!


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