This Week’s Assault On Liberty: March 14, 2016


Some quick notes, questions, and random thoughts about the news from this past week.

Progressive college students are getting progressively loonier. The Student Assembly for Power and Liberation is collecting signatures in an on-line petition to present to the administration of Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham. After pointing out that WWU occupies land once belonging to the Nooksack and Lummi Indian tribes, creating a “legacy of colonialism” of which they should be mindful, the petition has three demands (not requests):

  1. The university must create a “College of Power and Liberation” with programs dedicated to social justice and giving resources and power to those impacted by “violent injustices”. All faculty hires must be approved by a student committee and a new building must be built on campus to house the college. In addition there must be funding to support “underrepresented students” who encounter financial emergencies and at least 20% of the students must be given work-study positions to compensate them for the “important work that students perform, which so often goes unpaid and unrecognized.” (like doing their homework?) And one more thing – $50,000 must be allocated to pay for a “symposium” (party?) to celebrate the opening of the college.
  2. “The College of Power and Liberation demands an annually dedicated revenue of $45,000 for compensation of students and faculty doing de-colonial work on campus.” This funding must be put in place immediately! What is de-colonial work? It includes “providing space and resources to learn alternate histories, supporting student’s non academic work, emotional and intellectual labor …” So basically this is $45,000 that will be spent on whatever these students want.
  3. “The creation and implementation of a 15 persxn” (“x” replaces the “o” to avoid sexism) “paid student committee, The Office for Social Transformation, to monitor, document, and archive all racist, anti-black, transphobic, cissexist, misogynistic, ablest, homophobic, islamophobic, xenophobic, anti-semitism, and otherwise oppressive behavior on campus.” The 15 persxn committee will be unaccountable to the university but ALL faculty will be subject to disciplinary action by the committee. In other words, if one of the precious snowflakes is upset about the C ze got in “The History of Cisgender Privilege” then Dr. Liberalhippie may find zir butt out on the street. Oh yeah, the university is supposed to implement this immediately.

The WWU administration knows the petition is coming and has already issued a statement that these changes must be approved by the state and that the students didn’t specify how this would be funded. Unsatisfied with the university’s stonewalling, the Student Assembly for Power and Liberation claims that the administration is responding with the same forms of oppression that they always have. It’s beautiful when the progressives start to cannibalize themselves.

The madness at WWU isn’t the only bit of silliness to emerge from academia this week. The University of Oregon’s Clark Honors College released a paper this week that is full of such wondrous prose as:

“Feminist glaciology has four aspects: (1) knowledge producers, to decipher how gender affects the individuals producing glacier-related knowledges; (2) gendered science and knowledge, to address how glacier science, perceptions, and claims to credibility are gendered; (3) systems of scientific domination, to analyze how power, domination, colonialism, and control – undergirded by and coincident with masculinist ideologies – have shaped glacier-related sciences and knowledges over time; and (4) alternative representations, to illustrate diverse methods and ways – beyond the natural sciences and including what we refer to as ‘folk glaciologies’ – to portray glaciers and integrate counter-narratives into broader conceptions of the cryosphere.”

Am I the only one who thinks that sentence was created by a random word generator?

What’s the paper about? It discusses the study of glaciers and how the contributions by female researchers provide a feminist understanding of them. That’s right, we need to understand the freezing and melting of water from a feminist perspective. The National Science Foundation – also known as American taxpayers – paid for this bit of cutting edge research.

I wish I knew the woman’s name because she is my hero of the week. A female San Francisco Public Works employee not only refused when the police told her to tear down a homeless man’s tiny house, but she wouldn’t permit anyone to use the equipment on her truck to complete their dastardly deed. Instead she videoed the incident and sent the video to the Coalition for the Homeless to show what pricks work for the most progressive city in the world. Apparently the city has directed the San Francisco police to hold periodic sweeps to destroy homeless communities but does little to provide alternative shelter. Our principled city worker is now on probation for embarrassing the city government. Why do progressives hate the poor?

Finally, the killing of Lavoy Finicim, one of the leaders of the Mahleur standoff in Oregon, has become less clearcut. The original story was that Oregon State Police didn’t shoot Finicum (in the back) until he reached for a gun in his coat pocket after exiting his truck at a police roadblock. But a new video, taken by others in the truck, now makes clear that someone was shooting at Finicum as soon as he got out of the truck, with his hands in the air, to surrender. Additionally, a bullet was found in the truck windshield at such an angle that it would have been impossible for the state troopers to have fired it.

Five FBI agents are now under investigation for lying after claiming they never fired a shot. It appears one of them is the one who started shooting at Finicum when he was trying to surrender. The Oregon State Police have already cleared their officers of any wrongdoing, expect the FBI to do the same once they have completed the investigation of themselves.

As the year progresses I will keep a running tally of the number of unarmed citizens and dogs killed by police. I will also keep tabs on the number of cops killed in the line of duty.

Here’s the count for the first 10 weeks of the year along with links to the most recent killings:

Unarmed Americans killed by police: 13

Dogs killed by police: 9

Family: Cop Shot Their Dog During Search at Miami-Dade Home

Police killed in the line of duty: 12

Wayne Middlesteadt is the author of Five Ways to Beat the Market and The Golden Age of Distance Running.

About Author

Wayne Middlesteadt is a 1986 graduate of Georgia Tech and has an MBA from Georgia State University. Currently working as a financial writer and track and field historian, his latest book is Five Ways To Beat The Market.