PowerLine -> Harvey Time at the Oscars + Déjà Vu All Over Again at Cornell

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PowerLine -> Harvey Time at the Oscars + Déjà Vu All Over Again at Cornell

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Harvey Time at the Oscars
  • Disrupt this
  • Déjà Vu All Over Again at Cornell
  • Sunday morning coming down
  • Trump’s great call on UNESCO
Harvey Time at the Oscars

Posted: 15 Oct 2017 01:33 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

The good people at Quartz have put together this wonderful montage of Hollywood falling all over themselves to slobber over Harvey Weinstein at the Oscars over the years, though I do have to say that Holly Hunter’s curious remark about Weinstein’s “uncensored passion”—and the expression on her face—perhaps betray that she is among the people who knew, and perhaps is another of Weinstein’s victims. I doubt Hollywood can escape taking a major hit to its reputation from their tolerance for this man for so long. (And wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall of that Arizona rehab facility the first time Weinstein gets served a salad with too much ranch dressing on it?)


Disrupt this

Posted: 15 Oct 2017 08:07 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Tim Marshall is the provost of the university known as The New School. A friend forwards Marshall’s email on Curriculum Disruption Week with the assurance that “this is not a parody.” It’s not a parody, but it is almost funny! One might also say the descent to hell is easy.

It turns out that we are in the middle of Curriculum Disruption Week. Provost Marshall announces:

Leading up to the 400th anniversary of the first Africans arriving in Jamestown, Virginia, we are encouraging the New School community to engage in evaluating how this affects us.

From October 12-18, that effort, 400 Years Of Inequality, is propelled by a week of “curriculum disruption” in which classes throughout the university will be encouraged to “take a break from business as usual” and think of how the class’s subject area relates to 400 years of inequality, an effort led by Mindy Fullilove, William Morrish, Robert Sember, and Maya Wiley.

The diversity of perspectives and breath [sic] of the conversation will be transformative for us and we hope will launch a national engagement with this history and its implications.

Here are just two examples of planned disruptions:

● Margaret Samue, in her course “Masterpieces of Art in New York”, will look at famous works of art in New York City museums with her students and ask: What is a masterpiece? How has the idea of “masterpiece” changed over time? What factors contribute to a work of art being given “masterpiece” status, and who gets to decide?

● Kevin McQueen will be looking at the original redlining materials in his Community Development Finance Lab under Milano.

I encourage faculty and students to document their experiences over this week. A short video, photos of classes at work, tweets about you’re learning, all would help us document and understand this important undertaking.

You can follow the daily disruptions on the New School Twitter account, and for more information check out 400yearsofinequality.org.

Let your voice be heard and join the conversation with #400YearsofInequality.

Here are some suggestions from the linked page for disrupting the curriculum. Again, this is not a parody:

Some stories that might inspire the design of a class or group meeting are these:

‌● How the Freedom Riders broke the color bar on interstate buses

‌● How Woodstock contributed a sound track for a generation

‌● How queer people changed history at Stonewall

‌● How pink hats took over Washington on January 20, 2017

The stories of defeat and set-back are, sadly, also common. Here are some worth revisting:

‌● How the colonizers invented slavery and justified genocide of Native peoples

‌● How “whiteness” emerged from Bacon’s Rebellion

● How the 3/5’s compromise came to be law and all the consequences of that [Ed.: They clearly don’t know.]

● How serial forced displacement has been justified as “progress”

I love the Orwellian shout out for “diversity of perspectives.” As the man (if I may use that term) said, let your voice be heard, but it is probably best to whisper to yourself.


Déjà Vu All Over Again at Cornell

Posted: 15 Oct 2017 08:06 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

People versed in the campus upheavals of the 1960s will recall its nadir at Cornell University in 1969, when black students armed with shotguns occupied the president’s office and issued demands to which the university largely capitulated. (See Donald Alexander Downs’s copious account of this shameful episode in his book, Cornell ‘69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University.)

Something of a sequel (minus the shotguns—for now) seems to be taking place at Cornell in recent weeks. William A. Jacobson of Cornell Law School, proprietor of the invaluable Legal Insurrection, reports that the Black Students Union at Cornell has issued a six-page list of demands that includes some predictable items, especially Maoist-style re-education camps for everyone:

We demand that all students, undergraduate and graduate, to have appropriate, ongoing, and mandatory coursework that deals with issues of identity (such as race, class, religion, ability status, sexual/romantic orientation, gender, citizenship status, etc.). We want this coursework to be explicitly focused on systems of power and privilege in the United States and centering the voices of oppressed people, assembled by professional diversity consultants and student leaders. Every Dean of every college should implement this requirement, and hire faculty to teach this work who are well equipped to do so.

But there was also this passage, which suggests that not all “people of color” are created equal, or at least not equally oppressed:

We demand that Cornell Admissions to come up with a plan to actively increase the presence of underrepresented Black students on this campus. We define underrepresented Black students as Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.

The Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students. While these students have a right to flourish at Cornell, there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America. Cornell must work to actively support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.

Talk about a crash at the four-way intersectionality! Cornell admits too many Africans! The backlash has been amusing to take in, to say the least. One student wrote in the Cornell Sun:

While advocating for increases in admissions of African American students is pertinent and should be a priority for all universities, insinuating that Cornell is overrun with foreign and first generation black students and that they are taking away the spots of American black students suggests that there are only a set number of spots for folks with melanin, a quota that should only be filled by a certain kind of black person. The kind of black students who should be here, as per BSU’s definition, are “Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.” Limiting the definition of “black” to only American students is treading xenophobic waters and unwittingly bolsters the misconception that black students are only admitted into Cornell because they are black. It implies that those not “black enough” have no right to be here, even if they have the qualifications to earn their admission.

In a follow-up post, Jacobson notes in droll fashion: “I doubt the administration and the campus have the courage to seriously consider whether the quasi-religious obsession with diversity initiatives actually produces more harm than good.”

I’m sure this current Cornell job listing, posted just last week, will help a lot:

Tenure Track Assistant Professor Position

The Africana Studies & Research Center (ASRC) and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (FGSS) at Cornell University invite applicants for a joint tenure-track position for scholars working at the intersection of gender, race, and environmental studies at the rank of assistant professor. We seek a candidate whose research and teaching focuses on some configuration of the following areas of inquiry: cultural geography, social and political theory, environmental inequality, eco-feminism and queer ecologies, biotechnology, bioethics, environmental sustainability (broadly and creatively defined) and/or histories of science. We are seeking interdisciplinary scholars whose work highlights methodologies and themes associated with environmental humanities with a focus on race, gender, sexuality and/or inequality as categories of analysis in the African diaspora.

How long before “green” becomes a protected class category of human being?


Sunday morning coming down

Posted: 15 Oct 2017 03:53 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Paul Simon turned 76 this past Friday. Simon has taken his place in the roster of songwriters in the pantheon of the Cosmic American Music. I’ve been a fan for a long time.

Simon, of course, made up one-half of Simon & Garfunkel, the duo that became famous overnight when producer Tom Wilson grafted electric guitar, bass, and drums onto “The Sound of Silence” and rereleased it as a single. This is what it sounded like on their first album, which had gone roughly nowhere. This is also close to what it sounded like the first time I saw them perform live, in the auditorium of Dayton’s in downtown Minneapolis in August 1966.

“Something So Right” is a love song at the crowded summit of Simon’s art. It’s a classic deep in the American grain.

In the video below, Simon is joined by Stevie Wonder and the Dixie Hummingbirds for a moving rendition of Simon’s gospel rave-up, “Loves Me Like A Rock.” Pretty impressive for a Jewish kid from Queens. The clip is from the 2007 concert given in honor of Simon’s selection as the first recipient of The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The prize was given to Simon during an all-star gala concert on May 23 of that year at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C.

“Father and Daughter” is a latter-day song that is close to my heart. You can hear the lilting world-music touch he brings to bear on a personal statement: “There could never be a father loved his daughter more than I love you.”

I last saw Simon & Garfunkel perform at St. Paul’s Xcel Center when they came through town on one of those reunion tours for love or money in 2003. They brought out the Everly Brothers for a brief appearance to pay tribute to their roots. I memorialized the set list and reflected on what it was all about in “The deep meaning of Simon and Garfunkel.” One of the highlights of the show that night was their performance of “Scarborough Fair.” The video below gives the breathtaking 1966 original that Mike Nichols used on the soundtrack of The Graduate.

As Simon and Garfunkel studied up on the records of the Everly Brothers, duos since have studied up on Simon and Garfunkel. Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball certainly did when they teamed up as classmates at Amherst College. Jonatha contributed the Paul Simon tribute to the excellent out-of-print compilation Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village in the 60’s. She led off the compilation with a knockout version of Simon’s “Bleecker Street” (below), a song lifted from the first Simon & Garfunkel album. It’s a young man’s song; Simon was still finding his voice and perfecting his craft. “It’s a long road to Canaan on Bleecker Street…” A long road, indeed.


Trump’s great call on UNESCO

Posted: 14 Oct 2017 09:20 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

I don’t think we have commented on President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in protest of that outfit’s anti-Israel bias. My comment is: Great call.

President Trump is following in the footsteps of President Reagan. He took the U.S. out of UNESCO in 1984 because it was too susceptible to Soviet influence and overly critical of Israel. There was also the matter of UNESCO’s legendary corruption.

Under President George W. Bush, the U.S. rejoined in 2002, after UNESCO instituted some reforms. In 2011, we substantially cut funding to UNESCO after the organization granted the Palestinian Authority full membership. President Obama asked Congress to restore funding, but instead, we will now be pulling out.

The editors of National Review document UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias:

In 2012, UNESCO declared the Church of the Nativity to be a World Heritage Site in Danger, ignoring the objections of the U.S., Israel, and the three churches that preside over it. That was a victory for the Palestinians, who claim Bethlehem as their own and say that Israel endangers the site. The next year, the organization’s executive board issued six condemnations of Israel (and honored Che Guevara, the Communist mercenary). It announced in 2016 that the Temple Mount had no connection to Judaism, referring to it only as the “Al-Aqsa Mosque”: The Wailing Wall became the “Buraq Plaza,” and Israel the “occupying power” in Jerusalem.

UNESCO’s stated mission is to promote peace and security, but in practice it is just another international institution giving shelter to the world’s ugliest ideas.

At Power Line, we have called out UNESCO on similar grounds.

The State Department says it hopes UNESCO will reform itself so the U.S. can rejoin. Reform of its stance on Israel is highly unlikely, though. As the National Review editors say, opposing Israel seems to be in the organization’s genes.


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