Banquet of Consequences
Robert Louis Stevenson penned,
“Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.”
This week Europe’s leaders and America’s academics are being served theirs -- a banquet set in motion by self-destructive governance and even more stupid supporters of these policies and their architects.
Early on Friday President Obama said in an interview ISIS is not getting stronger, insisting we have contained them.
About the same time, former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore was at the base of the Eiffel Tower at what was billed as a twenty-four hour live streaming broadcast touting the need for more action against Climate Change, which Obama has said is the biggest danger we face. (My friend Rick Ballard calls Climate Change “The Sky Dragon”, an apt description of an unproven danger on which the West has tossed away billions of dollars of public wealth which landed largely in the pockets of political cronies and which in any event would have been unlikely to make a dent in the purported danger had it been a genuine problem as, for example, Islamic terrorism surely is.)
That very night Paris was the scene of multiple attacks for which ISIS has claimed responsibility. With gunfire and explosions in six locations around two sectors of the city the terrorists killed -- at most recent count -- at least 128 innocent people.
ISIS’s murderous rampage caused the Gore show to close after just a few hours. The Eiffel Tower lights were turned off along with Gore’s blathering as French workers struggled to treat the wounded, remove the dead bodies and clean up the carnage.
French President Francois Hollande, in a classic instance of closing the barn door too late, decided this carnage was an act of war and, in conflict with EU directives, closed France’s borders. At about the same time we have taken in the first of the Syrians, of which Obama has promised he'll admit 10,000*, even as he continues to refuse to deport millions of illegal immigrants and leaves our borders wide open.
Later this month the leaders of the European Union are scheduled to join with us and others in a Climate Change Conference, unless security concerns about the “contained” ISIS force a postponement or outraged citizens pull the plug on both the EU and the conference.
At the heart of the European tragedy are Europe’s feckless welfare state policies. To keep the Ponzi scheme going in the face of changed demographics -- fewer and fewer young people to pick up the tab -- Europe has welcomed in refugees from the Third World who for the most part cannot and have not been assimilated into the cultures of the host countries. These immigrants may be counted on to support left-wing governments even as it becomes clearer they contribute less to the tax rolls and more to the welfare rolls than leaders had hoped for when they opened their borders and their treasuries to them. As we have with so many horrible ideas from Europe, we’ve been following on their silly immigration patch policy to keep the unsustainable welfare expansion game going a bit longer.
While Europe was dealing with real open aggression, we were treated to the sorry spectacle of campus revolution by privileged, pampered youth based on largely specious claims against gelded college administrators and trustees.
It began at the University of Missouri and is rapidly spreading. While the stated impetus was racism, of which there was little if any proof, the graduate students clearly fanned the flames because the university had cut off their health insurance. Unnoticed by these geniuses, all of whom probably cheered the passage of ObamaCare, is that ObamaCare regulations forbid universities from paying health insurance for graduate students. Support an ill-conceived law administered by an out-of-control administration and then wreck the institution which had no direct relationship to your grievance. No wonder employers aren’t hiring them.
In any event, led by a black kid from a very rich family based on dubious evidence and fanned by false charges, aided by angry graduate students and a couple of people who stirred up the riots in Ferguson, the Missouri thugs forced the resignation of the university’s president, leaving the campus of 35,000 rudderless. An interim president was selected. He, it turns out, was himself very active in the protests.
Mike Middleton, the man just named as the interim president of the University of Missouri, worked as a political activist with the protestors who forced out his predecessor…
…Middleton retired in August after teaching at the law school for 17 years. But he subsequently worked with the black protestors who created racial tensions by staging a series of direct actions designed to antagonize other students.
Middleton is featured prominently in a video released three weeks ago called “Response To Skeptics,” which was produced by a video team at the university’s Academic Support Center.
The video opens with Jonathan Butler -- the lead activist -- leveling political charge at people who don’t accept the black activists’ claim of “racial problems” at the campus, which is located only 120 miles from Ferguson, where the current protests and political campaign began in August 2014.
On the Yale campus, students had a hissy fit over an email that suggested they should just ignore any Halloween costumes that they might find offensive. Apparently there weren’t any such costumes, but the mere thought they might have to endure them was sufficient to cause them vapors and to demand removal of the residence’s master and his wife who’d made the suggestion.
You might just see this in many ways -- certainly these brats are interfering with free speech on campuses and many just want the universities to replace the coddling care they’d received at home, but you’d miss the picture if you settled on that without recognizing, as Bill Kristol has, that government programs and spineless university administrations have fostered this nonsense.
Let’s be clear about what is happening at Yale and Missouri, and at colleges and universities all across the nation: Freedom is under assault.
It’s actually been under assault for quite a while. But the attack has intensified in recent years, aided and abetted by the Obama Department of Education and its 2011 re-interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The assault has been, in the manner of today’s liberalism, somewhat erratic and intermittent, enveloped in gauzy clouds of grievance and pious protestations of victimhood. The assault has been primarily on academic freedom -- but not just academic freedom. For what is the limiting principle that would constrain the assault to the university campuses?
What is to be done? We could begin from the observation that the Education Amendments of 1972 were passed by the United States Congress. The University of Missouri is a public institution, funded by taxpayers and operated under the authority of the legislature of that state. Yale is governed by a corporate body whose membership is a matter of public record. The responsibility for acting to defend freedom on campus falls to our elected officials and to those with a responsibility for these institutions. Academic freedom, it is now clear, is too important to be left to academics.
Interestingly; the very students who believe (without evidence) that schools are rape factories and racist conclaves of bigotry also think we should pay for them to go there. Here’s Neil Cavuto’s interview with Keely Mullen, organizer of the Million Students March (for free college) who demonstrates her ignorance of math and economics when she claimed that taxing the top one percent much more would cover the tab.
Interestingly, she revealed her belief that the very rich were “hoarding” their wealth. Actually, that would be great if true. Besides the millions tax free foundations have been handing out to anti-Western outfits to fund their destructive actions, some very rich men have been funding them directly and are considering an appeal to up their contributions.
These students follow a pattern described by Daniel Greenfield of students as foot soldiers for power seekers:
Cultural revolutions use angry student activists as foot soldiers, but behind them are adults angling for power. The Red Guard or Hitler Youth member who beat teachers or smashed store windows was a puppet in the hands of cruel and cynical men and women. Some of them would eventually regret what they had done, the people whose lives they had ruined for the cause, but by then it was often too late.
But true resistance to oppression is in fighting oppressors. Fighting oppression by destroying free speech and silencing dissent is just oppression no matter how much hypocritical self-righteous makeup it wears to the dance.
The left is taking off its masks. It has given up pretending that it believes in rights and freedoms. Now, in its final stage, it imposes oppression in the name of tolerance and sensitivity. It claims that eliminating the opposition is the only way to make its oppressed oppressors feel safe and welcomed.
These students clearly are tools of the adults (many of whom are super rich) angling for power. Yalies go nuts over the possibility of anyone wearing a sombrero on Halloween but some of their leaders are certain to take pots of money from Taco Bell’s heir Rob McKay when he offers it. McKay, who with George Soros founded the Democracy Alliance, which has committed $500 million to leftist causes since 2005, is considering funding more unrest through Black Lives Matter and its offshoots. That’ll be one way to heat up the climate.