Friday, July 10, 2020

Inspired by Putin?

Trump thinks he gets to decide what universities can and can't think, how they can and can't teach:


This guy's reelection campaign is really floundering....

56 comments:

Balázs said...

Hi David, this "Putining" is a very bad direction in your (otherwise high quality) blog. Please don't join the crowd. Unfortunately, most Westerners knowledge about Russia is very shallow. Natural sciences are way _less_ disputed in the mainstream in Russia (and in the old Eastern Bloc where I live) as in the West. As for social sciences, government meddling is less or similar but with quite different emphasis (and with a still quite different understanding of what "Left" is). Anyway I admit this is tangential to your original take about Trump (but the topic is interesting, with a personal anecdote from the early 90s: I was shocked to discover that in the West journos and the public dispute sometimes even elementary natural scientific facts and this comes without the cost of being labelled as ignorant).

David in Cal said...

Trump wants universities to stop indoctrinating students into Communism, and David compares this to Putin. I think it’s the exact opposite. :)

David Appell said...

Balázs - Fair point. Actually I felt awkward about the title myself, which was first "Instructed by Putin?" Then I changed it. Both were dumb. Thanks for letting me know.

David Appell said...

David, no universities are "indoctrinating" students in communism. (If you know of any, please let us know.)

In an AP history class in high school we read part of Das Capital. Nobody blinked an eye. I didn't become a communist. I can only imagine the uproar that would cause today.

David in Cal said...

David, I'm afraid your imagination is inaccurate. See

Karl Marx is the most assigned economist in U.S. college classes
Published: Jan. 31, 2016 at 10:03 a.m. ET

’Communist Manifesto’ appears in more than 3,000 college course syllabi, researchers find


https://www.marketwatch.com/story/communist-manifesto-among-top-three-books-assigned-in-college-2016-01-27

Cheers

nowadaysclancycantevensing said...

Discussing Marx in a college course is not indoctrination, indoctrination is accepting a set of beliefs uncritically. Discussion in college is not that.

Of course Trump is clueless about what indoctrination means in that sense, he does not understand that colleges discussing Marx in any Literature Humanities course or a Contemporary Civilization course is the discussion of many many authors, it's not 'indoctrination'. it's fucking college courses for cripes sake!

DinC seems clueless on what college courses teach also.

Entropic man said...

Does President Trump want to replace perceived indoctrination by the Left with indoctrination by the Right?

Nowadays indoctrination is anyone teaching beliefs which differ from one's own.

David Appell said...

"Nowadays indoctrination is anyone teaching beliefs which differ from one's own."

Yes.

Anyway I think Trump is desperate and is just throwing out anything and everything to see what sticks. Bullies likes to threaten.

David Appell said...

David in Cal,

Assigning a reading is not "indoctrination." It's education. Are Republicans now afraid even of education?

(I think they are, actually.)

Besides, Americans are free to be communists if they wish, and universities are free to teach it as much as they wish and as much as there is a demand for. This is America, where there is freedom of thought and action.

David Appell said...

That's also a pretty iffy study. From the article:

"The database is assembled using computer algorithms that scrape the data from publicly available sites. It is still very much a work in progress, according to its website and project leader Joe Karaganis."

"For instance, a search for “economics” shows Paul Krugman at the top of the list with his iconic “Economics,”...However, Gregory Mankiw’s “Macroeconomics” doesn’t appear at all under the same search...."

"Karl Marx’s classic receives a count of 3,189 and a score of 99.7. It doesn’t actually show up under economics texts, either, as it is generally taught along with philosophy texts...."

"’The Communist Manifesto’” is widely taught as a work of social theory,” rather than as an economics text, Karaganis said."



David Appell said...

PS: I was wrong when I wrote that we read parts of "Das Kapital" in high school. We read "The Communist Manifesto."

Entropic man said...

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Edmund Burke

Of course, President Trump might prefer ignorance. An electorate taught to critique past political philosophies might do the same to him.

Entropic man said...

Perhaps this is why President Trump is so pissed off with China?

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/visualizing-the-composition-of-the-world-economy-by-gdp-ppp/

He hates it when anyone else does better than him.

David Appell said...

EM, it's hard to see that reversing anytime soon, China <--> US. But of course the US still does much, much better per capita (by a factor of about 6).

David in Cal said...

I agree that merely covering Marx on the syllabus is not the same as indoctrination. IMHO the indoctrination comes in the form of values that are alien to traditional liberal American values. Today's conservatives hew more closely to the liberal values with which I was raised. Today's so-called liberals (especially many of them on campus) have values like

1. Support antisemitism and anti-semites. E.g. Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan

2. Support racial discrimination. E.g., the CA Legislature just put Prop. 16 on the ballot to permit racial discrimination

3. Oppose freedom of speech. See "A majority of them say certain offensive language should be restricted" https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/05/05/gallupknight-foundation-survey-shows-students-conflicted-about-free-speech

4. Oppose equal justice under the law. E.g.,"Criminal charges against dozens of Portland protesters dropped, including several people arrested on felony charges."

5. Oppose due process for those accused. Amazingly, even the ACLU came out against the recent Dept. of Education letter requiring due process for those accused of sexual infractions on campus.

6. Look down on capitalism. E.g., students can get forgiveness for part of their student loans by working for non-profit organizations.

7. Hierarchy based on race, sex, etc. Blacks rank higher than whites and Asians. Muslims are higher than Christians and Jews. Gays and trans rank higher than straights.

8 Support mob rule. Many obvious recent examples.

9. Belief in a powerful government and subservient citizens. E.g., opposition to gun ownership.

10. Oppose Freedom of Religion. E.g. liberal favor laws forcing various vendors to behave contrary to their religious beliefs.

These beliefs add up to support of tyranny.

Cheers

David in Cal said...

I left out:

11. Support of McCarthyism. E.g, the spurious accusation that Trump is subservient to Russia

Cheers

David in Cal said...

An illustration of #3, #7, and #8 is today's headline

Nursing dean fired after telling students ‘everyone’s life matters’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/nursing-dean-fired-after-telling-students-everyones-life-matters/

Cheers

Layzej said...

Is all this orchestrated by the universities? Do you support the government coming in to "right-think" the curriculum?

David in Cal said...

Layzej - of course it's not just the universities. It's the media and the politicians also. As a believer in traditional liberal values, I want to see Democrats defeated at the polls.

It's nothing new for the Dept of Education to try to control university behavior. See Betsy DeVos Reverses Obama-era Policy on Campus Sexual Assault Investigations
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/22/us/devos-colleges-sex-assault.html

As long as the federal government funds universities, they have the obligation to ensure that their funding is used for beneficial purposes.
He who pays the piper calls the tune

BTW Trump threatened the universities over what he called “radical indoctrination.” He didn't explain what he meant by that phrase. He did NOT say anything about the curriculum.

David Appell said...

David, I'm sorry, I don't understand you at all. What are you reading that you get these ideas? You seem to read an article and vastly generalize it.

Anti-semitism?

CA Prop 16 has nothing to do with universities.

I agree that some efforts to limit free speech on campus are worrisome. On the other hand, some who come to speak on campus, the Ann Coulter types, are just there to say outrageous things to rile people up in order to sell books.

Protester charges have been dropped in many many cities. Have is occurred to you that perhaps they were arrested without cause and the police can't support those charges, so the prosecutors realize they can't make a case?

I don't know anything about #5

What's wrong with #6? And what's *right* about the entire structure of student loans these days -- it puts them in debt for life. You or I didn't have to go through that. Why should the govt be making a profit off educational loans??

You're imagining #7

Also #8

LOTS of people are opposed to widespread gun ownership of any and all types. If you look around at the carnage caused by guns, can you begin to understand why? 60% of Americans say gun laws should be tougher: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/10/16/share-of-americans-who-favor-stricter-gun-laws-has-increased-since-2017/

There are many powerful governments around the world where guns are controlled and the citizenry aren't subservient or living in Orwell's Oceania.

I don't know what you're talking about with #10

Nurse dean fired: Saying "everyone's life matters" is a racist thing to say in response to "Black lives matter." It trivializes the BLM message and mocks it.

"Support of McCarthyism. E.g, the spurious accusation that Trump is subservient to Russia"

Funny. Everyone can see that Trump is subservient to Russia. Many examples. He's not even interested in Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops. He's not interested! Why???

--

I'm not interested, and don't have to time, to debate all these today. Pick one or two if you want.

Cheers.

Layzej said...

It's nothing new for the Dept of Education to try to control university behavior. See Betsy DeVos Reverses Obama-era Policy on Campus Sexual Assault Investigations

That's rather weak even as far as "Tu Quoque" defences go. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with controlling the curriculum. More importantly, it completely avoids the question.

The question was whether you support a government working to limit university discourse to politically approved ideas.

BTW Trump threatened the universities over what he called “radical indoctrination.” He didn't explain what he meant by that phrase. He did NOT say anything about the curriculum.

??? Really?

David in Cal said...

David - I appreciate your honest response. Here are some quick reactions:

Anti-semitism - There are some ultra-conservative anti-semites. They are shunned by Republicans. OTOH, liberal anti-semites, like Al Sharpton, are respected by Democrats

CA Prop 16 repeals Prop 209. The biggest impact of Prop 209 was to ban affirmative action in university admissions.

Yes, Ann Coulter is provocative. So are many far-left speakers. Only the conservative speakers get banned

Yes, it's possible that some were arrested without cause and the police can't support those charges. However, it's obvious that Democratic cities all over the country made little effort to punish BLM rioters and looters. In your city of Portland, a fascist group, ironically called ANTIFA, has been violating law with impunity for a long time,

What's wrong with #6 is the implicit assumption that non-profit organizations are more valuable then profit-making organizations.

#7 could be illustrated by any number of examples. The Human Rights Campaign focuses on protecting and expanding rights for LGBTQ individuals. Nevertheless they support that Palestinians over Israel, even though LGBTQ individuals have full rights in Israel, whereas they're killed by the Palestinians.

Many liberals have spoken out in favor of the violent demonstrators.

As a generality, liberals support fewer guns. The logic of banning guns ignores all the good they do, which is seldom reported. According to various studies the number of annual defensive gun incidents has been estimated from "55,000 to 80,000 incidents per year, while high end estimates reach 4.7 million per year".

Yes, there are many powerful governments around the world where guns are controlled and the citizenry aren't subservient or living in Orwell's Oceania. OTOH countries that become tyrannies ALL ban guns, e.g., Venezuela, China, Cuba

Saying "everyone's life matters" trivializes the BLM message and mocks it -- and deservedly so. BLM is a revolutionary, anti-police organization that cares nothing about black lives. Their anti-police efforts have led to the murders of huge numbers of blacks.

"Everyone can see that" is one of those phrases used when one doesn't have an good argument. As you know the story about Russian bounties to Afghans has not even been verified. Trump's many actions against Russia show that he is in no say subservient.

Cheers

Layzej said...

The answer to all this is that the government should clamp down on freedom of expression in universities? Make sure only proper conservative ideas can be shared? I'm not sure how your irony meter has failed you here.

David Appell said...

David, you should read this article. It's about a study that finds that

a) banned speeches are actually rare on campuses
b) banned conservative speakers are the same small group of, basically, trolls
c) more speech from the left is banned than speech from the right.

"Data shows a surprising campus free speech problem: left-wingers being fired for their opinions - Does “political correctness” really crush conservative speech on campus? The data suggests no," Zack Beauchamp, Vox 8/3/18.
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/3/17644180/political-correctness-free-speech-liberal-data-georgetown

David Appell said...

"Many liberals have spoken out in favor of the violent demonstrators."

America was founded by violent demonstrators.

Layzej said...

banned speeches are actually rare on campuses

Trumps plan to defund campuses that don't tow the party line should fix that.

DiC's list of banned ideas includes: suggesting black lives matter, opposition to gun ownership, affirmative action, supporting undesirables like Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan, or valuing non-profit organizations over profit-making organizations.

The treasury department will be watching closely for these "Acts Against Public Policy".

David in Cal said...

David, the American colonists did not succeed by burning down commercial establishments and looting retail stores. They raised an army that fought for freedom.

P.S. Is your comment meant to be ab example of a liberal speaking out in favor of violent demonstrations?

Cheers

David Appell said...

David, in the Boston Tea Party revolutionists destroyed a commercial establishment.

Besides, an army is just a controlled riot. Nothing about it is more noble than an uncontrolled riot.

PS: I don't understand your PS.

PPS: MLK Jr said “A riot is the language of the unheard.”

David Appell said...

And the Boston Tea Party inspired other acts of destruction, including burning a ship and the destruction of more tea:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party#Reaction

It's interesting that it's remembered as a "party."

David in Cal said...

David - good point about the Boston Tea Party. It did involve destruction and arson. Another similarity is that both aimed their destruction against their enemies: The BTP against the British; BLM and ANTIFA against the USA.

Cheers

David Appell said...

BLM was founded to stop police violence against blacks.
Antifa (which isn't a group, it's a movement) to stop what they see as American fascism.

David Appell said...

Layzej said...
"DiC's list of banned ideas includes: suggesting black lives matter, opposition to gun ownership, affirmative action, supporting undesirables like Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan, or valuing non-profit organizations over profit-making organizations."

Yeah. What's wrong with any of these, David, other than that you don't like them?

Isn't the answer to speech you don't like supposed to more speech?

David in Cal said...

David - I don't know who founded BLM or what her/his purpose was. Do you really know this, or were you just making an assumption?

I do know that, BLM's actions show that they have no interest in black lives. They use the example of a few bad things done by police to attack all law enforcement people and to attack the USA. I suspect that BLM's anti-police campaign contributed to the assassination of two policemen in Texas a couple of days ago.

ANTIFA is a revolutionary, anarchist movement. They claim to oppose fascism, but there hardly is any fascism in the US today. Instead, they violently attack conservatives or anyone who gets in their way. E.g., since you live in Portland, you may recall that ANTIFA beat up journalist Andy Ngo and put him in the hospital.

Cheers

Layzej said...

ANTIFA beat up journalist Andy Ngo

No one has been convicted, or even charged. Don't you believe in due process? This kind of talk could get you defunded if you were a professor.

David Appell said...

"...according to a second narrative, offered primarily by less well-known left-liberal writers and social media accounts, the mainstream media is getting it all wrong. Ngo is not an innocent victim but a far-right sympathizer who has doxxed antifa members in the past, potentially facilitating their harassment, and provokes them so that he can broadcast the result. The outpouring of sympathy for Ngo, in this account, is actually evidence that the mainstream media is falling for Ngo’s grift — funneling money to his Patreon and legitimizing a right-wing smear campaign against a group that’s working to protect people from the threat of violence from groups like the Proud Boys."

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/7/3/20677645/antifa-portland-andy-ngo-proud-boys

David Appell said...

David, you have a very one-sided view of things, despite what you say is an effort to read all sides:

"Proud Boys members sentenced to four years in prison for violent clash with antifa - Maxwell Hare, 27, and John Kinsman, 40, had been convicted of attempted gang assault, attempted assault and riot in August," NBC News, 10/22/19.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/proud-boys-members-sentenced-four-years-prison-violent-clash-antifa-n1070166

David Appell said...

And someone was convicted for the attack on Ngo:

"An Antifa activist has been sentenced to nearly 6 years in jail for a violent attack on a conservative demonstrator in Portland. Journalist Andy Ngo, who was also targeted during the rally, reacts," Fox News, 11/4/19.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT42k4BrM20

David Appell said...

"Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys Continue Violence Even As Legal Consequences Mount," OPB 11/14/19.
https://www.opb.org/news/article/patriot-prayer-proud-boys-political-violence-law-enforcement/

David Appell said...

>> I don't know who founded BLM or what her/his purpose was. Do you really know this, or were you just making an assumption? <<

This is easy to look up.

>> I do know that, BLM's actions show that they have no interest in black lives. They use the example of a few bad things done by police to attack all law enforcement people and to attack the USA. <<

How has BLM attacked the US?

>> I suspect that BLM's anti-police campaign contributed to the assassination of two policemen in Texas a couple of days ago. <<

There you go again.... Those police were shot RESPONDING TO A DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE CALL. The suspect then killed himself -- he had a criminal past; here's a picture of him: https://www.theepochtimes.com/suspect-who-killed-two-texas-police-officers-had-criminal-past-chief_3421683.html.

That hardly looks or sounds like Antifa, and it certainly wasn't an "assassination."

David, I wish you would do a little more research before you take off on your flights of imagination and start making wild accusations. You tend to believe only what the right tells you.


Layzej said...

And someone was convicted for the attack on Ngo

I don't think so. His attacker hasn't been identified. Disregard for due process is on the list of left wing indoctrination examples.

David in Cal said...

Two police officers who were responding to a disturbance call were killed Saturday in a South Texas town after a suspect met the officers at the door and shot them, police say.

The shooting happened so quickly that "our officers did not draw their weapons, did not fire, never stood a chance – never had a chance," McAllen, Texas, Police Chief Victor Rodriguez said in a statement to the media.


Yes, David, the two policemen were responding to a domestic disturbance call, but they were immediately shot at the door. Who knows what was in the mind of the shooter? There has been a spate of random attacks on policemen recently. E.g., last night, Bothell officer killed, second officer shot during traffic stop, pursuit. Last week, 26-year-old Toledo police officer fatally shot

Also, when a criminal is being arrested in a demonstration, it's common for the peaceful demonstrators near him to try to hinder the policeman making the arrest and help him escape. Those actions are crimes, of course. They reflect a lack of respect for police in general.

I think the BLM anti-police campaign is contributing to an attitude that police are the enemy.

Cheers

David Appell said...

Layzej, you're right, that was someone else. My bad.

David Appell said...

David wrote:
>> Who knows what was in the mind of the shooter? <<

Do you have any evidence whatsoever that he was a member of Antifa?? Anything?

David in Cal said...

David - I have no reason to believe any of the three shooters I mentioned were members of ANTIFA or BLM. However, those two groups (aided by some liberals) have helped to create a narrative that all law enforcement people are evil. That's why a number of Democratic politicians are cutting police at time when rising crime argues for increased law enforcement. That's why there's a move to rename the Texas Rangers baseball team.

These police killer are probably not sane. However, people like that can be influenced in how they're aggression is channeled.

Cheers

Layzej said...

Moral of the story: Speak up against police violence and you will be implicated in any violence against the police.

But are you sure that defunding universities that discuss these issues is really the right way to go?

David Appell said...

David, what about the violence perpetrated by the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer?

David Appell said...

David in Cal wrote:
>> I have no reason to believe any of the three shooters I mentioned were members of ANTIFA or BLM. <<

Then why in the hell did you imply the people who killed these two Texas policeman were from Antifa or influenced by Antifa? Let's recall what you wrote:

"I suspect that BLM's anti-police campaign contributed to the assassination of two policemen in Texas a couple of days ago."

David, that's just inexcusable. There was no "campaign." There was no "assassination." You can't go around making wild-assed accusations about whoever you like.

And what "three shooters?"

Why are you doing this? What do you think this gains you??

Frankly, it just ruins your credibility. I"d like your contribution here, but not such as this.

David Appell said...

I mean, I’m not saying I’m perfect, but just do a little bit research first, please. Thanks.

David in Cal said...

David - In my recent comment at 8:58 I provided examples of three recent shootings of police. Please re-read it.

The two policemen in Texas were shot and killed point blank as they reached the door of the house. They didn't have a chance. You're quibbling over semantics when you dispute the word "assassination".

I do think all these shooters were influenced by the current anti-police feelings. It's not a coincidence that so many policemen have been attacked or murdered since the George Floyd demonstrations began. I mentioned three above, but there were quite a few others as well. Here are 4 more.

May 30 - "Two Federal Protective Service officers shot in Oakland, one killed"
June -- Officer killed in Santa Cruz, CA
July 14 -- 2 Seattle officers shot, 1 fatally"
July 13 -- Idaho "Sheriff: Eagle Police officer in surgery, expected to recover after being shot twice

You can try to claim that each of these 7 examples had extenuating circumstances. But, you cannot ignore the huge jump in such attacks on law enforcement people.

For you to say that there's no BLM anti-police campaign simply ignores reality IMHO. It's too late at night for me to find dozens of anti-police statements and actions by BLM demonstrators, but I'm sure I could.

Cheers

Layzej said...

I do think all these shooters were influenced by the current anti-police feelings. It's not a coincidence that so many policemen have been attacked or murdered since the George Floyd demonstrations began.

The George Floyd killing may have something to do with anti-police feelings. The demonstrations are an expression of those feelings, not the cause.

David in Cal said...

Layzej - Conservative sources assert that the current demonstrations and violent riots are promoted on social media by a loosely organized group that's part of ANTIFA or affiliated with ANTIFA. I can't confirm that allegation, but there it is FWIW.

Cheers

Layzej said...

"Anti-fascists are organizing against police brutality" is probably not controversial. No need to look for sources. I'm happy to take your word for it.

But so what? Don't you think that the murder (would you quibble if I said "assassination"? You should. It's the wrong word and it misrepresents the situation.) of George Floyd is what has stirred anti-police sentiment?

Don't you think that organizing to promote positive change is the right thing to do if you love America?

I need to be frank. You seem so far off the deep end here. To you, redressing the impacts of racism is evidence of racism? Speaking up against police brutality is an attack on the USA? Somehow this is all a result of (or evidence of?) university indoctrination and that's why it's OK for the government threaten university funding to clamp down on free speech?

You are in a different reality. There are policy differences worth discussing here, but you are way beyond any reasonable discussion.

David in Cal said...

Layzej - It's vital to distinguish between what ANTIFA and BLM claim to be doing vs. what they're actually doing. If ANTIFA and BLM were just organizing against police brutality, that would be fine. But, they are organizing against all police and law enforcement people, not just those few who misbehave. This is leading to big negative consequences.

Most law enforcement people are honest and capable. They risk their lives to keep us safe. Undermining all law enforcement is unfair to the officers, and it's deadly to those who need their protection. Because of reduced police protection, murder rates are soaring. Most of these new victims are poor blacks.

Lasyzej - Is it reasonable that a single, dramatic unjustified police killing should lead to the undermining of all law enforcement? Of course not. According to the liberal Washington Post, the number of unjustified police killings is pretty small.

Cheers

Layzej said...

Is it reasonable that a single, dramatic unjustified police killing should lead to the undermining of all law enforcement?

Single? Really? Is that what you think?

There is far more than one dramatic unjustified police killing. There are police actions that fall short of killing people that are still criminal and should be stopped. There are police actions that fall short of criminality that are still unjust and should be stopped. None of this is equivalent to undermining all law enforcement.

Police are not above the law. Policing services should be reformed where there are opportunities to address systemic issues. People who believe that the state and their their law enforcement apparatus should be spared any criticism are the problem.

David in Cal said...

Layzej - You are right. There are other incidents. In particular, there are far more stops of black drivers. However, I don't think that rioting and violence are a useful response. However, rioting and violence are useful as revolutionary acts.

Cheers

Layzej said...

I don't think that rioting and violence are a useful response

We can agree on that. The useful response was by the > 500,000 people who protested in nearly 550 places across the United States, and those protests that took place throughout Canada and around the world.