In Need of Humanities

So Linda Fairstein is now being mobbed because of a TV series?

People definitely need more Humanities education because the incapacity to distinguish between fact and fiction is scary. It was already obvious when viewers started taking the series Making a Murderer dead in earnest.

High Drama

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s openness to a foreign government offering damaging information about a political rival is “a very sad thing” and “appalling,” pointing to legislation from Democrats calling on campaigns to report foreign offers of assistance.

Oooh, the drama, the drama! Of course, when Hillary actually hires a foreign intelligence to gather oppo research on an opponent, that is perfectly fine. Because saying is more important than doing.

I’ve never seen a more ridiculous bunch of people than the current crop of congressional Democrats. Back in Ukraine, members of parliament spit, claw and hit each other but at least it’s over issues that matter. They are clowns, of course, but at least they are not vapid clowns.

Meanwhile in Sweden

An interesting article in Quillette about the rise of explosions in Sweden:

Sweden has experienced a sharp rise in explosions in recent years, predominantly related to conflicts between warring criminal gangs. The use of explosives in the Nordic country is now at a level that is unique in the world for a state not at war, according to police.

Very scary stuff.

Any Time You Want

“[I] suspect that a lot of people in the country would be delighted to pay more in taxes if they had comprehensive health care as a human right. I live 50 miles away from the Canadian border. You go to the doctor any time you want. You don’t take out your wallet.”

This is from Bernie Sanders, of course. And here is a real story that he fails to see from 50 miles away.

A skin cancer patient gets a procedure done in January. There’s no follow-up appointment available until July. If he can’t make it to the appointment on July 16, the next one is only available in December. It’s all happening in a huge city, so try to imagine what things are like in remote areas.

I have enough of these stories to entertain is until that appointment in December, so Bernie’s “any time you want” is quite a fantasy. Forget want. I’m talking about real need here.

Good and Evil

I know somebody who goes to every pro-immigrant protest and posts endless pro-immigration screeds.

Then recently I saw her tear into and accuse of racism an immigrant who took an idiomatic expression in English literally and misinterpreted it. The immigrant is from far away and has no reason to be aware of the complex speech codes in the US where every watermelon can be perceived as a racial slur. Both participants in the situation were very befuddled by the other person’s assumptions.

I recently had a weird moment when a very young and clearly recent immigrant loudly and aggressively confronted me at a store for buying Klara a second lollipop after she unwrapped the first one and was disappointed by its color. The immigrant comes from a culture where child-rearing is approached from the “it takes a village” standpoint. Since I’m an immigrant myself, I found the situation cute. But knowing my acquaintance from the first story, I’m well-aware that she’d be traumatized by such an experience. And I wouldn’t criticize her for that because it’s genuinely difficult to be confronted with cultural difference.

The folks who chant “diversity is our strength” tend to believe that diversity means being surrounded by people who look different but are identical to you in everything else. They don’t realize that physical appearance or clothing are not what diversity is about. Not only are they not willing to adapt to the differences in thinking, being and speaking that diversity brings, they can’t even accept that these differences exist. Our chief ideology apparatchik on campus, for instance, threw a veritable tantrum when I gently informed him that many people around the world react with contempt and not gratitude to the US campus speech codes. He’s a great champion of diversity but only of the kind that has to do with physical appearance.

This is why these folks inevitably assume that anybody who finds it taxing to coexist with actual diversity must be reacting to the physical appearance of diversity. This narrowness of mind seems impossible until you remember that such people are convinced that theirs is the only correct, good and virtuous way of thinking and being. In such a worldview, cultural differences simply don’t exist. Every deviation from The Only Right Way To Be is a manifestation of evil. This is a deeply religious approach where the role of God is claimed by oneself.