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  • Clowns, Fools, and Generally Unpleasant People of the Week

    Posted by David Foster on December 21st, 2014 (All posts by )

    1) If a report in The Chronicle of Higher Education (excerpted here)  is correct, then Rensselaer Polytechnic president Shirley Jackson seems a little…imperious…in her approach to her job.

    Having created the very model of an undemocratic, corporate university, President Jackson is appropriately imperious. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, she has a series of rules that are clear to everyone. These include: 1) Only she is authorized to set the temperature in conference rooms; 2) Cabinet members all rise when she enters the room; 3) If food is served at a meeting, vice presidents clear her plate; and 4) She is always to be publicly introduced as “The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson.” Falling into rages on occasion, she publicly abuses her staff and frequently remarks: “You know, I could fire you all.” In 2011, RPI’s Student Senate passed a resolution criticizing her “abrasive style,” “top-down leadership,” and the climate of “fear” she had instilled among administrators and staff. It even called upon RPI’s board of trustees to consider Jackson’s removal from office. But, once again, the board merely rallied in her defense.

    2) Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, blocked the nomination of Lt General Susan Helms to head the Air Force Space Command, leading to Helms’ subsequent retirement from the service. McCaskill assailed Helms’ 2012 decision to grant clemency to an officer serving at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., who had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault.

    Helms used her judgment and her command authority to prevent what she apparently viewed as an injustice, based on her review of evidence in the case.  McCaskill said that the clemency decision “sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice in the military justice system.”  Apparently, McCaskill cares much more about “sending messages” than about justice to individuals. The message that she has sent to all American military commanders is this:  Do not ever extend clemency in a matter where an individual has been accused of an offense which is of particular concern to the Democratic Party, or your career will be immediately destroyed.

    If a governor pardons someone accused of witchcraft, then the governor himself must be a witch.  That seems to be the level of McCaskill’s thinking here.

    Much more about the case at this link.

    3) Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a very courageous woman who was raised as a Muslim and has been attempting, in the face of many threats, to warn the western world about the danger of Islamic extremism.  At an event in Washington, Joe Biden informed her that “ISIS had nothing to do with Islam.”  Hirsi Ali disagreed.  To which Slow Joe responded “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”

    4) Speaking of  Muslims…Omar Mahmood, a Muslim conservative who is a student at the University of Michigan, wrote a satire on political correctness, mocking the current vogue for claiming “microaggressions.”  He was denounced by students of  the “progressive” persuasion…”people attacked his dorm room door, egging it and leaving copies of his satirical article with notes on the backs including “Shut the f— up!” and “You scum embarrass us” and “DO YOU EVEN GO HERE?! LEAVE!!” along with various others, including an image of a creature with horns and another one of him with his eyes crossed out.”  Mahmood was also fired from the student newspaper.  He says that “the political environment on campus is radically left-wing and intolerant,” noting that:

    “Almost all student clubs have ‘social justice’ wings… some use violent rhetoric, shameless rhetoric, to promote their ideology, and call it ‘liberation.’ They call it ‘tolerance’ and ‘equality’ and ‘creating a safe space’ — which is all very ironic.”

    The students who reacted to Mahmood’s satire in this way are not worthy of being university students, or for that matter American citizens, and the administrators of this university should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a climate to develop.  They won’t be, though.

     

    13 Responses to “Clowns, Fools, and Generally Unpleasant People of the Week”

    1. Mike K Says:

      The case of General Helms is particularly egregious. The incident at the origin of the whole case was a drunken encounter in the back seat of a car between two officers. No rank disparity, no isolation as they were witnessed by two other officers. The witnesses, one of whom is female, testified that the incident was consensual with no force and they believed the female had consented. In spite of this, she charged him with sexual assault.

      A politically correct court martial convicted him and recommended dishonorable discharge which carries all sorts of long term punishment, like loss of voting rights and gun ownership. I think there was also prison time. General Helms reviewed this and decided, given the disparity in witness accounts, that that was too harsh and she allowed administrative discharge. He was forced out of the Air Force.

      McCaskill is in the “rape culture-war on women” thing up to her ample hips. The failure of the administration to support General Helms, who has fantastic qualifications as a former astronaut with hours of EVA, is disgusting and an indication of how phony the whole women thing is. Her bill, which would aggravate the current campus rape culture hysteria and add to it a similar hysteria in the military, should never be supported by Republicans. She had two female GOP co-sponsors but they may have withdrawn. I hope so.

    2. Mike K Says:

      I should have read your link about the Helms case. The bill passed 97 to 0 in the Senate but, after the UVA case, maybe sanity will return in the Senate-House conference committee. Also I do not see the two GOP Senators names. They are on the other, even worse, bill. Ugh !

      In fact, the military is very PC at higher commend levels and prosecutors have been pressed to pursue cases they wanted to dismiss.

      NCB: In the ongoing trial of a high-ranking officer, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, a military prosecutor resigned—allegedly because members of senior command were pushing him to pursue serious sexual assault charges that he wanted to drop.

      The brass is even more PC than these Senators. God help us if we are ever seriously attacked. It is worse, if possible, than the pre-WWII army. At least we had General Marshal.

    3. grey eagle Says:

      1 out of 5 women are raped in university – probably more because rapes are under-reported. High school and grade school must be equally bad.

      Anyone with a Y chromosome should be banned from pre kindergarten, K-12, and college schools. If males want learning, its on the internet. All males should be banned from schools – this includes male teachers, male janitors, male administration, male cops, all males. As you know, schools for men-only are illegal because it is illegal to exclude women. Therefore, men can’t go to school.

      Men should be banned from the military. If they want to be warriors they can join well organized men-only militias – a constitutional right.

    4. David Foster Says:

      Even if one believed that command review should be eliminated for cases of this type, or cases in general, that would offer no excuse for what McCaskill did to Helms. General Helms was presented with the case to review under the system as it then existed, and had to employ her best judgment with integrity; I see no reason to believe she did not do this. I think Claire McCaskill is a despicable individual who was willing to destroy the career of an actual woman..who apparently had skills of considerable value to her employer, the American people…for the sake of promoting the Democratic Party’s political positioning.

    5. dearieme Says:

      ‘To which Slow Joe responded “Let me tell you one or two things about Islam.”’ My impression has been that Joe is just a figure of ridicule: is that too kind?

    6. Sgt. Mom Says:

      Too kind? No, alas, it is completely accurate.

    7. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      According to the left, Joe Biden represents ‘gravitas” within this administration. That should tell something about this administration, the state of the left, and the state of Democratic Party. Frightening.

    8. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >>once again, the board merely rallied in her defense

      Leftists love tyrants. It’s what many of them aspire to become themselves. Certainly the members of that board.

    9. dearieme Says:

      “Clowns, Fools, and Generally Unpleasant People”: tell me, does the present mayor of NYC fall into this category?

    10. David Foster Says:

      Most definitely

      The previous mayor, Bloomberg, also had some of these attributes: both the overweening arrogance of his regulatory policy, and his personal arrogance, as demonstrated by his policy of repeatedly landing his helicopter at a location with a noise curfew in force, as clearly identified in the Airport & Facilities Directory, and then claiming he didn’t know it wasn’t allowed.

      But at least he wasn’t actively engaged in behavior which was predictably likely to lead to murderous violence.

    11. Will Says:

      While many will forever link the sneering, imperious Bloomberg to the demise of the 32 oz. soft drink, I prefer to remember his statement, when asked what he thought might be the cause of the Times Square bombing, “Maybe it was someone who opposed healthcare!”

      And of course, his profligate spending to deny others their Constitutional rights and shift attention away from his city’s Wild West criminal culture.

    12. Mike K Says:

      ” his city’s Wild West criminal culture.”

      To Bloomberg’s meagre credit, he did maintain Giuliani’s police system which is now being dismantled by deBlasio, the communist.

      Nothing shows the stupidity of the credentialed elites of New York City and the political left than their votes for this ideologue and Sandanista.

    13. Will Says:

      I guess he probably did, as it was a winning strategy. Thing is, I can’t remember a time in my years there early-mid seventies and then mid-nineties to ’06 when the streets were not controlled by hustlers, thugs and “youths”. True enough, the years in the nineties aka “Giuliani Time” as it was known to the oppressed, were a dramatic departure from the seventies.

      But, one always had to step off the curb to avoid the phalanx, always avoid school zones after the bell and always, always have your game face on when you stepped out the door. Even for those who lived in Red Bill’s trendy, “soft” neighborhood as I did. I suspect that many will not be renewing their lease, and heading back to or “discovering emerging” communities in fly-over country in the near future.