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"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." -- Greek proverb
I had heard of Charles Negy, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida (UCF). What I heard seemed like a particularly egregious example of cancel culture that is purging academia and imposing uniformity of opinion, particularly with regard to the Black Lives Matter movement. Having looked into it more, it’s worse than I realized.
Negy’s alleged crime that sparked the controversy was two tweets questioning the orthodoxy of systemic racism and white privilege.
One tweet, which no longer is available,said:
“If Afr. Americans as a group, had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?”
A second tweet, also no longer available, said:
“Black privilege is real: Besides affirm. action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback.”
What ensued was almost beyond comprehension, far worse than I experienced during the post-George Floyd cancel-culture mania that swept higher education as BLM riots and protests engulfed the nation. Read that post for more detail on the attacks on Prof. Negy, including from the senior administrators at UCF.
Bravo to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) for revealing just how much of a family business Biden, Inc. is.
Bank records newly obtained by his House Oversight Committee show that Hunter Biden associate Rob Walker transferred north of $1.3 million in 2017 not only to usual suspects Hunter and presidential little brother Jim but also to daughter-in-law Hallie (son Beau’s widow; Hunter’s brief fling) — plus an unknown simply tagged as “Biden.”
The family that gets paid together stays together, it seems.
Most of that big chunk of change came from a $3 million transfer from an affiliate of Chinese energy outfit CEFC to Walker. CEFC, now defunct, was one of China’s biggest private companies and a main target of Hunter Biden’s operations back in 2017, with the First Son angling for a ultra-high-paid board seat and equity stakes for him and Jim and an unnamed “big guy” widely thought to be Joe.
Eighteen years ago, I published an article in the Stanford Law Review which documented for the first time the enormous breadth and scale of race-based admissions preferences in law schools. At most law schools, the undergraduate grades (UGPA) and median LSAT scores of enrolled Black students were two standard deviations below those of white students at the same school. Outside of a handful of “Historically Black” institutions (where racial preferences were minimal), Blacks in law school were not faring well. They were failing out of school at more than twice the white rate; half of those who did graduate had grades in the bottom 10th of their class; and Blacks were six times as likely as whites to take the bar exam multiple times but never pass.
I argued that the preferences system was utterly perverse. What was meant as a helping hand was instead placing students in schools where they were not academically prepared to succeed. My article laid out considerable evidence that, when one controlled for the effect of preferences, Blacks and whites earned similar grades and graduated and passed the bar at the same rate. The use of massive preferences was depressing Black outcomes so much that eliminating preferences would actually increase the number of Black lawyers.
Most law-review articles languish in obscurity or are read by only a handful of specialists, but my Stanford piece was downloaded some 60,000 times in the two months after it appeared. Although other scholars had already published excellent work on “mismatch” effects at the undergraduate level, my article on “law-school” mismatch was the first to attract not only a wide readership but national media attention. It also spawned dozens of critiques, some by very prominent scholars. Many pointed out, correctly, that the evidence for law-school mismatch was circumstantial; the only large data source on law-school outcomes aggregated students across schools, so one could not directly measure an individual student’s “credentials” deficit, nor observe just what outcome he or she would have had at a less competitive school.
Several years back I asked what it would take to halt the diversity, inclusion, equity obsession in America.
What would it take to get back to excellence and competence as the only criteria for employment?
Perhaps it would require the bridges to start falling down.
Though I suspect that if they did then certain people would claim they’d only fallen because of “structural racism.”
Still, this week we had a good reminder of just how over-tolerant we have been of this insane, anti-excellence agenda.
Because although the bridges haven’t yet started to collapse, the banks have.
And one reason is that the banks in question prioritized equity over excellence.
Over the last five years, the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become a “central concern of higher education” in the United States. On its face, this “new trinity of American higher education” sounds like a virtuous (and long overdue) set of governing principles. Indeed, anyone researching DEI on college campuses would be hard-pressed to find any objectionable material on university websites. To take just one example, consider the definitions of DEI offered by the University of Michigan’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
Here, “diversity” is defined (partly) as a commitment to representing a variety of “political perspectives” and “inclusion” is defined as a commitment to making sure these “different perspectives are respectfully heard.” When defined in this way, DEI sounds like a bedrock institutional commitment and operational blueprint for protecting free speech on campus. It would not be unreasonable, therefore, to expect that the increasing size and significance of university DEI bureaucracies might significantly improve the speech climates on college campuses.
Yet, the rise of DEI bureaucracies has actually coincided with the beginning of a “Free-Speech Crisis on College Campuses.” Careful observers of American higher education saw the tension between DEI and free speech early on. Most notably, in a 2016 lecture, Jonathan Haidt pointed out that universities were now attempting to simultaneously pursue “two incompatible sacred values”: truth and social justice. Haidt argued for a schism in higher education, with universities explicitly adopting either a John Stuart Mill-style commitment to the pursuit of truth through unfettered speech or a Karl Marx-ian commitment to the pursuit of “social justice” (even if it occurred at the expense of free expression). Although Haidt did not mention them explicitly, DEI bureaucracies were clearly implicated in his discussion (as they had become the primary institutional vehicles for pursuing the “social justice” values of “diversity” and “equity”). In other words, it was clear from the start that, regardless of what was on their websites, DEI bureaucracies were more likely to suppress than encourage free expression on college campuses.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen finds herself in a very dubious position. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, the U.S. Treasury Secretary was given increased powers to oversee financial stability in the U.S. banking system. This increase in power came in response to the 2008 financial crisis – the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. The legislation made the Treasury Secretary the Chair of the newly created Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC), whose meetings include the heads of all of the federal agencies that supervise banks and trading on Wall Street. The legislation also required the Treasury Secretary’s authorization before the Federal Reserve could create any more of those $29 trillion emergency bailout programs for the mega banks – which had tethered themselves to casino trading on Wall Street since the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.
Yesterday, after the Swiss banking behemoth Credit Suisse had traded at an all-time low of less than two bucks; blown out its credit default swaps to unprecedented levels; and tanked the Dow Jones Industrial Average by more than 700 points intraday, Bloomberg News ran this headline at 12:54 p.m. – “US Treasury Reviewing US Banks’ Exposure to Credit Suisse.” By “exposure,” the Treasury really means how many billions of dollars of underwater derivatives are U.S. banks on the hook for as a counterparty to Credit Suisse. The Treasury also has to worry about U.S. banks’ exposure to Credit Suisse’s other major counterparties that U.S. banks do business with, even if the banks are not direct counterparties to Credit Suisse itself.
Apple temporarily removed former President Donald Trump’s debut single, “Justice For All,” from iTunes on Thursday after the hit single spent one week at number one on the iTunes chart, Kash Patel told Breitbart News.
Trump released “Justice For All,” less than two weeks ago. The song features the “J6 Prison Choir,” an ensemble of January 6 prisoners who can be heard singing the national anthem while Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance.
Notably, the song topped the iTunes chart, staying at the number-one spot for seven consecutive days. The song beat out Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers,” Tim McGraw’s “Standing Room Only,” and Morgan Wallen’s “Last Night” for the top spot on the iTunes chart.
The song was sold for $1.29, with all net proceeds going to “certain J6 families in need.” The song sold over 22,000 digital downloads from its release on March 3 through Monday, March 13.
However, the song was temporarily removed from iTunes for a period of hours on Thursday, consequently removing the song from its number one position on the charts, Patel told Breitbart News.
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene recently called for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to drop the criminal charges against Douglass Mackey, aka Ricky Vaughn, and for U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to resign.
Greene wrote a letter expressing her "profound dismay" over the DOJ's decision to press charges against Mackey for posting a meme on Twitter in 2016. The meme in question instructed voters on how to cast their ballots via text for the US presidential election, which Greene pointed out is not actually possible. Moreover, Greene argued that Mackey's charge is "a subset of the enforcement act of 1870, also known as the Ku Klux Klan Act."
According to Greene, the charge "is not only laughable but also a clear indication that the DOJ does not have a sound grasp on how to interpret the law." She further noted that this law is "intended to criminalize physical violence and intimidation used to prevent people from exercising their rights as outlined in the Constitution" and not for the sharing of memes on social media.
Scientists working on the most authoritative study on climate change were urged to cover up the fact that the world’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years, it is claimed.
A leaked copy of a United Nations report, compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany, Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft.
Published next week, it is expected to address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures have not yet exceeded it, which scientists have so far struggled to explain.
The report is the result of six years’ work by UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is seen as the world authority on the extent of climate change and what is causing it – on which governments including Britain’s base their green policies.
The debate around child sex change health care continues. The surgery involves the contentious issue of providing medical interventions, such as hormone therapy and gender-affirming surgeries, to transgender children and adolescents who experience gender dysphoria
Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan made noise earlier this week when she said, “let’s be clear: this is life-affirming and life-saving healthcare. When our children tell us who they are, it is our job as grown-ups to listen and to believe them. That’s what it means to be a good parent.” Flanagan is not the only politician who has voiced her opinion that children should be allowed to make such decisions.
Opponents of the idea, however, have continuously expressed concern about potential risks and the ability of minors to make informed decisions about permanent medical interventions, rightfully so. Elon Musk took to Twitter once again to own Flanagan and her ideology.
Musk responded, “Not when they’re fed propaganda by adults.”
The Arizona Freedom Caucus (AFC) released a statement Tuesday, allowing several members to speak out against Ranked Choice Voting (RVC) in Arizona and promote two bills that would prohibit it in the state.
“RCV may not always result in the candidate with the most first-choice votes winning the election,” said AFC Member State Senator Anthony Kern (R-Glendale). “I am aware that there are groups in Arizona advocating for RCV, but this will only lead to chaos, and we must ensure that our constituents have easy and fair access to the ballot box.”
Several passive surveillance systems reported increased risks of myocarditis or pericarditis, or both, after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination, especially in young men. We used active surveillance from large health-care databases to quantify and enable the direct comparison of the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis, or both, after mRNA-1273 (Moderna) and BNT162b2 (Pfizer–BioNTech) vaccinations.
An Arizona school District is helping put power back in the hands of parents with what is benign described as an anti-woke hotline.
This hotline is designed to let parents report inappropriate curriculum, such as lessons that teach Critical Race Theory. Superintendent Tom Horne calls it the Empower Hotline. He says parents should report lessons their children are being taught at school they are concerned about. Although topics like CRT and gender ideology are mentioned, the Empower Hotline is for any lesson that worries a parent.
Fox News reports, “‘We’ve asked parents to call in when they become aware of inappropriate teaching,’ Horne told ‘Fox & Friends First’ Wednesday. ‘As you mentioned, that would include lessons that focus on race or ethnicity rather than individuals on merit, gender ideology, social-emotional learning, or inappropriate sexual content.’”
The US is apparently blackmailing Switzerland to force the country to play a more active role in the Ukrainian conflict. The American embassy in Switzerland suggests that neutrality would no longer be a possible path for the European country, which sounds like a kind of threat if the Swiss government does not adopt an anti-Russian military policy.
In a recent interview, the American ambassador in Switzerland Scott Miller stated that Switzerland was going through a serious crisis, in which the country would need to decide on what “neutrality” means. Miller claims that the US supports Swiss neutrality but does not consider this principle to be “static”, believing in a Swiss obligation to help the West as much as possible to tighten sanctions against Moscow.
There is currently a huge debate among Swiss parliamentarians over whether to allow the shipment of Swiss-made weapons to the Kiev regime. NATO enthusiasts support the measure as a form of military aid to Ukraine against the Russians. On the other hand, more conservative politicians are against changes in legislation as they understand that this would affect the country’s historical neutrality. Under current law, there is a ban on all forms of re-export of Swiss-made weapons. This means that non-neutral countries are not able to buy Swiss weapons and ship them to Kiev. This law deeply irritates the member states of NATO, since, according to Scott Miller, it “benefits the aggressor, who violates all principles of international law.”
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is set to fly to Moscow on Monday to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This will be the first trip that the Chinese leader makes to Russia since Putin launched his war against Ukraine, and also comes at a time where tensions between the United States and Russia are an all-time high. This will mark Xi’s first trip since he had secured his third term as president of China on March 10th.
The meeting was announced on Friday by both Beijing and the Kremlin. China said that the visit will take place from Monday to Wednesday at the invitation of Putin. China’s foreign ministry also stated that the main purpose of the visit will be talks about the war in Ukraine.
Beijing had previously offered peace proposals to try and bring the war to an end. Late in February, China released a 12-point “peace plan” which called for a cease fire in Ukraine.
On the heels of Silicon Valley Bank's collapse, which marked the country's biggest bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis, depositors may have started second-guessing where they bank. In fact, Bloomberg reports that as the banking turmoil has continued to unfold, some of the biggest banks have seen an influx of deposits. JPMorgan Chase & Co. "received billions of dollars in recent days, and Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co. are also seeing higher-than-usual volume." Similarly, Fortune reported that Bank of America "brought in more than $15 billion in deposits as SVB sunk," which reportedly "came from fearful customers moving their money."
Why this dash to the big banks? Well, as Michael Imerman, an assistant professor at the University of California Irvine's business school, told Bloomberg, it seems that the "top six banks in the U.S. are and have been too big to fail," which leaves consumers believing that "it's safer to go with a name with higher degree of certainty."
But is banking big really better? As it turns out, there are benefits and drawbacks to both big banks and small banks. As MyBank Tracker contends, "when it comes to big banks vs. small banks the winner isn't always clear."
A week ago, traders were pricing in a Fed rate hike of 50 basis points at its March 22 meeting. Now, after all the bank failure fears, I have no idea what the Fed will do.
But whatever the Fed does, I bet it spews more chaos than calm.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen — government finance’s version of Anthony Fauci — loudly proclaimed on Saturday that the feds wouldn’t bail out Silicon Valley Bank.
On Sunday, however, they announced jointly with the Fed and FDIC that they were bailing out SVB’s depositors — although not the shareholders or creditors — while insisting it wasn’t a bailout at all.
Inconsistency instills fear.
North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday just hours before the leaders of South Korea and Japan were to meet at a Tokyo summit expected to be overshadowed by North Korean nuclear threats.
The North’s first ICBM test in a month and third weapons test this week also comes as South Korean and U.S. troops continue joint military exercises that Pyongyang considers a rehearsal to invade.
The missile flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) with a maximum altitude of 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) during the 70-minute flight, according to South Korean and Japanese assessments. That’s similar to the flight details from a February launch of another ICBM, which experts said demonstrated a potential range to reach deep into the U.S. mainland.
The legislation, first introduced in 2021 and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), imposed penalties on public university professors who teach about racial subjects in a way that encourages guilt, blame, or animosity towards another race, with such professors facing the possibility of being fired. The law soon faced backlash from left-wing organizations who accused the law of restricting First Amendment rights, and lawsuits were filed against the law by representatives of the University of South Florida (USF) and the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
In his initial decision, Walker described the law as “positively dystopian,” adding that “it should go without saying that if liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
The DeSantis Administration issued a statement defending the law, declaring that “the Stop W.O.K.E. Act protects the open exchange of ideas by prohibiting teachers or employers who hold agency over others from forcing discriminatory concepts on students as part of classroom instruction or on employees as a condition of maintaining employment.”
AChinese company based out of Hong Kong which paid at least $3 million to several members of the Biden family has since been revealed to have ties with the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Daily Caller, State Energy HK Limited sent $3 million via wire transfer to Robinson Walker LLC, a company run by an associate of the Biden family named John Robinson Walker. The wire transfer took place in March of 2017, shortly after Joe Biden’s term as Vice President came to an end, according to a report released on Thursday by the House Oversight Committee.
One of the direct subsidiaries of State Energy HK is State Energy Group International Assets Holdings Limited (SEIAH). At the time of the wire transfer, SEIAH’s chairman was Ren Qingxin, who previously worked for the CCP as a representative at a business organization.
Shortly after the $3 million transfer, Ren was succeeded in his leadership position by Lei Donghui, who had been a member of the CCP since 2002, where he served as Secretary General of the International Engineering Business Bureau of China State Construction (CSC). CSC has since been designated by the Department of Defense as a “Communist China military company.”
As Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was in the throes of a full-scale collapse, Jay Ersapah, a self-described “queer person of color from a working-class background” functioned as the company’s head of risk management for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
The reason why this is important is that Ersapah spent much of her time creating and promoting various LGBTQetc programs rather than doing her job on behalf of SVB’s clients. One such program that Ersapah co-chaired was called the “European LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group.”
When Ersapah was supposed to have been managing risks associated with SVB’s European, African, and Middle Eastern portfolios, she was instead organizing a monthlong Pride campaign for herself and her fellow LGBTQIAs.
Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert took a jab at Kamala Harris, jokingly asking if she viewed kissing up to President Biden as “part of the job” of Vice President after she repeatedly praised his “extraordinary” leadership.
The conversation began innocently enough as the pair joked about the life of a Vice President emulating that of the character Selina Meyer in the HBO comedy “Veep.”
Colbert noted that one of the themes of the show is that the main character, played by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is often frustrated by the “vague duties” in her role as Veep.