Michael Rectenwald on Postmodernism, Social Justice, and Academic Conformity

Professor Michael Rectenwald of New York University used to describe himself as a “libertarian communist” and spent many years embedded in the leftist milieu of the academy.  He then underwent an awakening to the madness of political correctness, the social justice agenda, and the absurdity of postmodern intersectional critical studies of dozens of genders and began to speak out on Twitter, eventually publishing Springtime for Snowflakes, a book about his experiences and what he learned.

Here is an hour and a half interview of Prof. Rectenwald by Glenn Beck on the latter’s podcast.

This is long, but it provides an in-depth look at the history, intellectual roots, and fundamental errors of the disease which has infected the campuses and is spreading into the larger society.  Say what you want about Glenn Beck, he is a superb interviewer who gets out of the way and lets the guest speak directly to the audience.


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#WontBeErased

Leftists have a new reason for high dudgeon this week.   The New York Times reported on a draft memo allegedly leaked from HHS that Team Trump is working on to make changes to interpretations of sex law.   The NYT headline:  “Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.”

An internet search shows lots of fearmongering editorials about how Team Trump is going to redefine gender to eliminate all 57 (or 72) shades of confusion.

Team Trump needs to make this clear.   What is needed is to define the word “sex.”   There are only two sexes, male and female.   Everyone who is not either XX or XY has a serious birth defect.

The issue of gender confusion can be left alone.   That ship has sailed.   The Left has enshrined all sorts of gender confusion into popular culture.

But there is no good reason to let anything but science be the definition of, and limiting factor for, the word “sex,” especially in matters of sex law.

We should all be careful to delineate the difference between the two concepts.


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Two spaces.

Ha.  All you one-spacers can read the latest study in the Journal of Attention, Perception & Psychophysics.   The lead researcher was Rebecca L. Johnson of Skidmore College.   Here is the abstract:

The most recent edition of the American Psychological Association (APA) Manual states that two spaces should follow the punctuation at the end of a sentence. This is in contrast to the one-space requirement from previous editions. However, to date, there has been no empirical support for either convention. In the current study, participants performed (1) a typing task to assess spacing usage and (2) an eye-tracking experiment to assess the effect that punctuation spacing has on reading performance. Although comprehension was not affected by punctuation spacing, the eye movement record suggested that initial processing of the text was facilitated when periods were followed by two spaces, supporting the change made to the APA Manual. Individuals’ typing usage also influenced these effects such that those who use two spaces following a period showed the greatest overall facilitation from reading with two spaces.

The article is behind a paywall, but the article was summarized at The Atlantic.   They point out that the study is limited, with a small nonrepresentative sample size.   Nevertheless, I think we two-spacers stand vindicated by science.

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TOTD 2018-2-19: Credit and Responsibility

Why is it people run to the front of the line to take credit but duck responsibility? Is it human nature to think all the problems were made by others and all the good came from ME?

Historically, people were proud of the colossal disasters the day before. The day after they didn’t want “Enron” on the resume.

To use the polling technique from the last election, what type of person is your neighbor? A Credit Hog or a “It’s not MY fault.”?


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TOTD 2018/2/11: What’s ate-ing you?

This will be a word exercise of rhyming words of various verbs that get at the heart of people.

Do you create?

Do you debate?

Do you rebate?

Do you relate?

Do you ablate?

Do you prate?

Do you rate?

Do you hate?

Do you wait?

Do you placate?

Do you berate?

Do you castrate?

Do you sedate?

Do you fixate?

(I think you get the idea. )

Use one of my words or one of your own.

Right now, I feel I pixilate.


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TOTD:2018/2/6: Sines of the Times

I often wonder if there are gremlins that magically put mistakes in things when you hit print/publish. What is really bad is when a sign is made. Hundreds of dollars are spent to communicate how great your business is but someone forgot to proofread the foot high letters. I feel really bad for my non-English speaking neighbors because they don’t know how bad it looks.

There is a Beauty Salon near my house. But the signs says in big silver letters “Beaty Salon”.  It has been there for years.

I see this every week in Osaka. The Japanese is clear but the English is confusing. Do you Ratz get the meaning?


Please share your favorite typo story. You’re content will ad to hour sight.


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Free Expression

What do we mean by free expression? What are the limiting principles? Are there rules of the road like there are in driving?

Society limits speech in various ways. It has a list of forbidden words. Things that get bleeped on TV. In the modern age it seems this list has gotten larger.

Society limits expression by the situation. No talking loudly in the library. No comic routines at funerals. No snoring in class.

Society limits expression by the slight raising of the eyebrows. “That shouldn’t be said here” is unsaid but understood. A strange silence and stare occurs. I remember the famous writer Tom Wolfe relating saying at a party he was voting for George W Bush. People looked at him like he was a pedophile.   This forces people to whisper things for fear of being looked down on.

I am curious what you think. There are the high-minded thoughts on free expression and the way things really are in practice. Let me know in the comments.

 


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Burnished Fake News

I was listening to “public” radio in the car this morning, as I do keep abreast  (oh, and speaking of sexual politics, in the ‘Burgh, we call it National Pubic Radio) of the enemy. In only a few minutes, I was treated to two example of fakery – propagandistic, inaccurate reporting.

First, there was a discussion of the FBI’s mere “failure to save” text messages on official mobile phones. This was fatuously reported as an innocent “glitch” and the slight skepticism heard was only a product of “a few Republicans” in the House. Rather than counter this “reporting” with abundant emerging facts and context, I will simple suggest a thought experiment: imagine that there was the slightest hint that the FBI might have been used to thwart any Democrat anywhere. We would all likely have been deafened by the outcry and shaken by the stampede of highly skeptical investigative journalists on a crusade (pink ribbons in place of crucifixes).

Next, there was a completely typical MSM piece about “immigration.” We were treated to conciliatory remarks made by past Republicans including Ronald Reagan prior to the last amnesty (it was supposed to be the LAST amnesty!). Golly, these former Repubs were so wonderful and moderate compared to Donald Trump. Never once did the report distinguish between legal and illegal immigration. So-called “dreamers”(the true meaning of federal and statutory and administrative program names can be deciphered readily by looking up the antonym of the operant word in the title) were billed either as children (they are all adults now) or as well-educated and employed. The number cited is 800,000. If only those assertions were true.

Either of these two issues are sufficiently grave as to lead to our undoing as a decent nation. The FBI has been used abusively for many years, yet, thanks to MSM and Hollywood has, at least up until recently, enjoyed a favorable reputation. If you deleted one email from your business and were subsequently investigated by the FBI, you WOULD go to jail. Not Hillary who deleted 33,000. Her intent was clearly criminal: she perpetrated a fraud on the Freedom of Information Act by hiding her official correspondence. There was nothing careless about it; we shall see about the FBI’s own missing text messages. Any ordinary citizen following that kind of missing stuff…. think Richard Nixon’s tape gap.

Immigration is a privilege, not a right. One wouldn’t think so from the  reporting in the MSM. The unstated premise of all of it is that anyone from anywhere has a inalienable right to enter and that we, the present citizens, owe them. To think otherwise is, well…UN-American. One would think there is no such thing as legal immigration with rules about who may enter from where and under what circumstances.

These are but two of many critical issues facing this nation. They are both existential – critical to our continued functioning as a republic with the rule of law. A misinformed populace – which is our present status – spells disaster. Cloward and Piven have largely succeeded


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Humblebragging and Others Assaults

I was reading Instapundit.com and saw this link.

https://nypost.com/2018/01/15/humblebraggers-are-even-worse-than-full-on-braggers/

I agreed with the article. With the caveat that I do think there is the sincere person who does this unknowingly but more often than not people do this on purpose.There is just something about a person who proudly declares how humble they are. I put them in the same basket as the people who say/write “We regrettably inform you …” There is no regret but often glee and the true response would be “We got even with you, Peon, and took your money.”

Tact is being able to say the hard things in a nice way but there is nothing worse than lying to people. Especially if you lie badly.

Are you a humblebragger?

If you should so choose, start your comment with “I regret to inform you …”.

Anyone want to learn Hiragana?

Here is the chart from Wikipedia.

There are eleven rows in the chart and five columns. The columns are the vowel sounds. The first row has no consonant to go with the vowel. Each letter is a syllable. The vowels are pronounced like Spanish.

From top to bottom.

  1. a-i-u-e-0
  2. ka-ki-ku-ke-ko
  3. sa-shi-su-se-so
  4. ta-chi-tsu-te-to
  5. na-ni-nu-ne-no
  6. ha-hi-fu-he-ho
  7. ma-mi-mu-me-mo
  8. ya—–yu—–yo
  9. ra-re-ru-re-ro
  10. wa————wo(pronounced “o”)
  11. n (This has no vowel with it. It can end syllable but not start a word)

I will test you to see if you can figure out these words. Write the English in the comments.

Update: I forgot to tell you about the that goes with certain letters. This makes a T a D.  And a H a B.  You need this for No. 2 and No. 3.

Ex ば び ぶ べ ぼ is  ba bi bu be bo

だ ぢ づ で ど is  da ji zu de do

  1. すし
  2. たばこ
  3. ほんだ
  4. とよた
  5. からて
  6. あにめ
  7. にこん
  8. つなみ
  9. こい
  10. みつびし

Enough for a start. This is used over the Chinese characters to help Japanese read them.

Ex.