Les UDs are going to Chincoteague Island…

…for a few days. She will blog from there.

UD has bought a new pair of binoculars for the occasion (Chincoteague/Assateague is famous for birdwatching) and will try to do some birding/photography.

UNO is Choking Out There!

But it’s okay. It was during a timeout.

Double Arias at…

… the Vienna State Opera.

Allison Stanger in the New York Times

What alarmed me most … was what I saw in the eyes of the [Middlebury College] crowd. Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me. Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. They couldn’t look at me directly, because if they had, they would have seen another human being.


Intelligent members of the Middlebury community — including some of my own students and advisees — concluded that Charles Murray was an anti-gay white nationalist from what they were hearing from one another, and what they read on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. Never mind that Dr. Murray supports same-sex marriage and is a member of the courageous “never Trump” wing of the Republican Party.

Students are in college in part to learn how to evaluate sources and follow up on ideas with their own research. The Southern Poverty Law Center incorrectly labels Dr. Murray a “white nationalist,” but if we have learned nothing in this election, it is that such claims must be fact-checked, analyzed and assessed.


[W]hat the events at Middlebury made clear is that, regardless of political persuasion, Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them.

Pre-Snow, Chez UD.

UD‘s struggling-toward-spring front
garden is about to be hammered.

If you just cain’t get enough of good ol’…


The trailer.

As Penn State’s Curley and Schultz Plead Guilty and Thereby…

probably testify for the prosecution against Graham Spanier, UD links you to her first post (in 2011) about the Paterno/Sandusky story.

Cost of the scandal to Penn State as of January of this year: “a quarter-billion dollars and growing.”

If you can read this and tell me why Robert Barchi is still president of Rutgers…

you know more about the internal corruption of the place than I do.


UD thanks dmf for the link.


This blog’s Rutgers posts.

Jonathan Haidt on the Physical Violence at Middlebury College

“When something becomes a religion, we don’t choose the actions that are most likely to solve [any particular] problem,” said [Jonathan] Haidt, the author of the 2012 best seller “The Righteous Mind” and a professor at New York University. “We do the things that are the most ritually satisfying.”

He added that what he saw in footage of the confrontation at Middlebury “was a modern-day auto-da-fé: the celebration of a religious rite by burning the blasphemer.”

The protesters didn’t use [Charles] Murray’s presence as an occasion to hone the most eloquent, irrefutable retort to him. They swarmed and swore.

The claim here is that a segment of intelligent American college students was – at least for the duration of a gathering – a tribe, swarming and swearing with the righteous, violent, ritually satisfying, ways of its tribe. This is the villagers of The Lottery, assuring themselves of an orderly world and a good harvest by stoning a chosen villager.


If you’re going to go to college, and you have these tribal tendencies, they can fall roughly two ways – call them Football and Foliage. Foliage refers to private small landscaped tribal grounds, Football public large arena’d grounds. Here’s how one commentator describes and justifies the latter:

Look at the shirtless boys with faces and torsos painted in the school colors; look at the cheerleaders on the fields, the ‘waves’ surging through the stands.

American universities, those temples of reason (at their best), are tribes… If you want your students to become loyal, giving alumni, you must turn them into members of a tribe.

Paradoxically, the temple of reason, if it is to survive financially, must turn its students into a tribe. It must use all of its resources to do exactly the opposite of what universities are supposed to do — sustain and strengthen human reason. Tribal fraternities, tribal football teams, tribal fans — these are the often dangerous ritual actors some public campuses encourage.

Some private campuses offer the ritual satisfaction of enforced intellectual loyalties.


Andrew Sullivan on religious aspects of the event.

If you happen to see the world in a different way, if you’re a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative, if you believe that a university is a place where any idea, however loathsome, can be debated and refuted, you are not just wrong, you are immoral. If you think that arguments and ideas can have a life independent of “white supremacy,” you are complicit in evil. And you are not just complicit, your heresy is a direct threat to others, and therefore needs to be extinguished. You can’t reason with heresy. You have to ban it. It will contaminate others’ souls, and wound them irreparably.

… [At one point,] the students start clapping in unison, and you can feel the hysteria rising, as the chants grow louder. “Your message is hatred. We will not tolerate it!” The final climactic chant is “Shut it down! Shut it down!” It feels like something out of The Crucible. Most of the students have never read a word of Murray’s — and many professors who supported the shutdown admitted as much. But the intersectional zeal is so great he must be banished — even to the point of physical violence.

This matters, it seems to me, because reason and empirical debate are essential to the functioning of a liberal democracy. We need a common discourse to deliberate. We need facts independent of anyone’s ideology or political side, if we are to survive as a free and democratic society. Trump has surely shown us this. And if a university cannot allow these facts and arguments to be freely engaged, then nowhere is safe. Universities are the sanctuary cities of reason. If reason must be subordinate to ideology even there, our experiment in self-government is over.

Liberal democracy is suffering from a concussion as surely as Allison [Stanger] is.

‘Now there is no senate committee providing faculty oversight on athletic department decisions.’

UD‘s old buddies Nathan Tublitz and Bill Harbaugh, professors at humongous jock school University of Oregon, managed to get a committee up and running there which allowed faculty a teeny bit of say about athletics. But Nathan’s and Bill’s rough rhetorical ways made the sports guys cry, so UO’s president dried their tears and killed the committee.

A Christian Garland

David Garland, Baylor University’s president, speaks:

I don’t know any school that has been as transparent as we have and taken the extraordinary actions we have… We’ve also published, on our website, findings of fact which in many ways are findings of fault… From a Christian perspective, we’ve confessed our sins, tried to repent and tried to make restitution.

Deadspin’s Tom Ley responds:

I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen someone pack so many lies into so few sentences. [The] findings of fact report that Garland deems to have been such an extraordinary act of transparency was nothing more than a 13-page summary of the law firm Pepper Hamilton’s investigation into the school’s failure to handle sexual assault allegations. That summary contained almost no specifics, and there is no written record of Pepper Hamilton’s full investigation because the school asked the firm to deliver its report to the regents orally.

As for Garland’s appeal to look at his school’s actions from a Christian perspective, all he’s doing here is pulling the same sleight of hand that so many institutions that operate under the umbrella of Christianity have pulled so many times before: He’s taking the concept of redemption to mean that properly-identified Christians, like himself, always have a free pass waiting for them. This is how a hollow document, a few scapegoat firings, and engaging in legal battles with victims become repentance. Being a good Christian means whatever the good Christian wants it to mean, and David Garland fancies himself a good Christian.

This is why men make very poor media …


Yikes: The New York Times has just published a LONG piece on Baylor University.

UD‘s reading it now.


Well, ol’ UD will already take issue with the article’s sub headline, which has it that alumni and the “authorities” are really angry about Raping Football Players and the Men Who Love Them… But really, given the culture of Baylor (as amply represented by its departing sports ministry guy), are we supposed to buy that? Women are weak vessels and if they find themselves in an unpleasant spot with a man it’s because they forgot their burqa and their Bible. Boys will be boys.


[One of many lawsuits against the school makes] the startling claim that at least 52 rapes by at least 31 players had occurred from 2011 through 2014 — a period when the once-hapless Baylor football program became a dominant force in the highly competitive Big 12 Conference.

Hey. Price of doing business.

Who can blame Baylor for believing that Baptist Propriety for Women would mean the weak vessels would confess their shame to the sports minister and then shut up about it?

Who can blame Baylor for knowing that you want the most aggressive person you can find for your football team?


“Success in athletics means that all cocks rise,” Kenneth W. Starr, then the university’s president, told The Times in 2014.

Haha. I mean “boats.” He said success in athletics means that all boats rise.


Some women on campus will of course gladly sacrifice their virtue for the sake of the team. It is their sacred honor to pleasure recruits. One lawsuit claims

“attractive female students” in the Bruins [a “hostess” program] were expected to ensure that recruits had a good time on campus by, for example, engaging “in sexual acts with the recruits to help secure the recruits’ commitment to Baylor.”


So. Wait now for the academic scandal… Now that the door’s been opened on Baylor University, wait for details about what professors at Baylor were doing (are doing) to keep some players academically eligible.


… the University of Florida way.

Your Afternoon Giggle.

Baylor University’s director of sports ministry will leave the school this summer…

[Wes] Yeary testified in defense of former football player Sam Ukwuachu, who was later convicted of sexual assault. Yeary said he would be comfortable with Ukwuachu returning to his home and being around his children.

Yeary also testified that Ukwuachu’s victim told him about the assault. He said he told her that if she would have called him on the night of the rape, he would have given her a ride home.

Yeary was allegedly involved in a separate case involving former Baylor football player Devin Chafin, who was dismissed from the football team June 1.

In a Title IX lawsuit against the university, Dolores Lozano accuses Baylor officials of not adequately responding to her claims of domestic violence against Chafin.

Lozano reported an assault to Yeary, the suit alleges, and Yeary then gave her literature to assist her in spiritual self-worth and preservation.

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