Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #4: Imagine…If John Lennon Had Graduated From Harvard

If John Lennon had graduated from Harvard (and not been assassinated, of course) he might have written the ridiculous insufferable screed I just read in my anniversary report. I knew the author as a freshman, and did not enjoy the experience: the fact that he appears to be just as big a jerk today as he was when he was 18 confirms my long-held conclusion that maturity is a myth and most people don’t change as much as we would like to think.

Of course this guy is obsessed with climate change. He is downcast about the “prospects for the future of human civilization,” seeing “pending catastrophe” due to our “abuse of Mother Nature,” and there’s “very little time” to turn things around. No, Al Gore was not in my class.

Millions are going to die, “water wars” will rage, nuclear wars are inevitable, and hoards of climate-displaced refugees in the millions will roam the earth. Everyone must reduce their carbon footprint to zero–ZERO!—immediately, “not next year, not in five years, but now” or we are doomed. That means, this expert says (I can’t figure out what his real area of expertise is, but I don’t care, either), going cold turkey on fossil fuels and buying electric cars or, presumably, using bicycles and roller skates. Airplanes are right out, I guess.

He goes on to lecture on the need to abandon “tribalism,” self-interest, nations, success (“tribal dominance”) basic human aspirations and ambitions, all of it, because it is these maladies that have brought us to this perilous state. I’ll give him credit for one thing: at least he realizes that the kind of ascetic existence that he demands of humanity can’t possibly occur under the current governmental and societal structures, though he never has the guts to come right out and say what he’s advocating: world dictatorship by some body or individual who is wise and beneficent. For that would be the only way his formula for survival could ever be carried out, and that formula is exactly as absurd as Lennon’s lyrics in “Imagine.” It can’t happen, won’t happen, and most important of all, shouldn’t happen. Two and a half pages and 2,000 words of environmental, utopian virtue-signaling, all culminating in an urgent, indeed hysterical exhortation to not only do the impossible and impractical, but also do it without any reasonable assurance that such radical measures will work.

Good plan!

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Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #3

I have just a few general observations this time.

  • I know I have mentioned this before, but I can’t get past it: it is remarkable to me, but maybe it shouldn’t be, how many of my classmates regard climate change as their greatest concern for the future.These are (mostly) smart, analytical people, yet climate change conventional wisdom has been successfully implanted in their brains by relentless media hammering and by cognitive dissonance (that is, what the “good” people believe must be good and true) so deeply that they are incapable of perceiving obvious logical fallacies. The people society trusts to devise substantive and practical solutions to our problems are stuck in the “Do something!” mode. Scary.
  • Trump Derangement rages.
  • So does wilful historical revisionism. One Democrat wrote that his wife was an “Eisenhower Republican” but had abandoned the current Republican Party because it had become too radically conservative. Eisenhower Republicans would make today’s GOP seem like the Antifa. Kennedy Democrats were more conservative than today’s Republican Party.
  • By far my favorite ethical weirdness, though, is the widespread obsession with exaggerating the significance of the January 6 Capitol rioting while referring to it as both an “insurrection” and a bleak portent of the decline of democracy. This opinion is coming from the class that overwhelmingly supported the student take-over of the Harvard administration building and cheered the students who battled riot police who tried to clear out the mob! That invasion of Harvard offices was just a microcosm of the Capitol riot, a foolish and doomed tantrum, except that the students were angry that their school was supporting a war over which they had no authority or control, while the Capitol rioters were protesting what they believed was a perversion of a Presidential election that had rendered their votes and rights effectively null and void. While the students were never held accountable for their civil disobedience, the Capitol rioters have been severely punished. After decades that should have made them wiser, the former students who never held any fantasies that their brief take-over of university offices would allow them to overthrow the Harvard administration now solemnly claim that a few hundred jacked-up idiots with bear spray and sticks thought they could take over the United States government.

Thoughts While Reading Classmate Entries In My Alma Mater’s Anniversary Report, #1

As I have noted, I deliberately missed my class’s big reunion intentionally, disgusted with what the school has become and the unethical values it now imposes on its students, alumni, applicants and other sho rely upon it to be a force for enlightenment in the nation. Interestingly, several classmates (none of whom I ever met) sent me their approval of my protest and the stated reasons for it in my class report, but none emailed. All arrived in handwritten letters. Either they think my views are so out-of-date that I communicate in quill and parchment only, or they do.

Anyway, I am slowly working my way through the hardbound tome, which is over a thousand pages long and in small print. Its statements by members of the class provide a fascinating and useful set of clues about the current state of mind the more pampered, “privileged” Boomers are in—for one thing, those who did write (a lot of them didn’t) are even more verbose than I am. Also notable is how many of the survivors of the original campus protests are just as vulnerable to facile conventional wisdom among their peer groups now as they were when they were praising Ho Chi Minh, promiscuous sex and the habit of being stoned much of the day.

I have always thought that maturity is a myth.

With this post, I’m launching what might be a continuing series, but who knows what horrors lie in those 1000 pages? I have already been horrified by the number of my classmates who feel that the Earth is endangered by global warming, which they view as the Most Important Thing Ever, though none of the people writing that appear to be in the scientific community.

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Autumn Afternoon Ethics Leaves, 10/25/2022: Hope, Harvard, Fakes, And Weenies.

So far, at least, Biden’s spectacularly incompetent and unethical Cabinet hasn’t seen anyone indicted, though there are good arguments that at least two of them should be impeached. This date in history, October 25, marks the day in 1929 when Albert B. Fall, Secretary of the Interior in President Warren G. Harding’s cabinet, was found guilty of accepting a bribe while in office. Fall was the first Presidential cabinet member to be so humiliated. There would be others.

Fall accepted a $100,000 interest-free “loan” from Edward Doheny of the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company in exchange for Interior granting him a valuable oil lease in the Elk Hills naval oil reserve, which together with the Teapot Dome naval oil reserve in Wyoming, had been transferred to the Department of the Interior as part of Fall’s scheme to profit by receiving bribes. The Senate Public Lands Committee launched an investigation that revealed not only the $100,000 bribe that Fall received from Doheny, but also a $300,000 bribe that Harry Sinclair, president of Mammoth Oil, had given to Fall for use of the Teapot Dome reserve in Wyoming.

Yet Fall was only sentenced to a year in prison. It’s comforting to know that laws were only for the “little people” 100 years ago too, don’t you think?

A Cabinet member who betrays the public trust like that belongs in prison for decades, if not life.

1. There is hope! At least one committed progressive activist of note has the integrity to be revolted at what her party of choice is doing. Susan Sarandon, a charter member of the Hollywood Left, posted this on Twitter:

Good for her.

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From The “Res Ipsa Loquitur” Files: Harvard’s Press Release Announcing The Proud Addition Of Brian Stelter

Well, I don’t know what else I can do to express my shame and revulsion at having a Harvard diploma. I’ve turned it to the wall, and lowered it to the floor. I boycotted my class reunion this year, and wrote why in my class notes. This latest despicable breach of ethics and academic integrity is still baffling to me. Stelter proved himself over and over again to be an unethical journalist, a fake expert on journalism ethics, a transparently biased hack and a liar incapable of admitting either his misconduct or that of his employer, CNN. Even the title of his weekly show, “Reliable Sources,” was a lie: Stelter’s reports were reliably unreliable. He did not, as his show promised, cover and critique news media conduct, misdeeds and controversies. Increasingly, he focused his criticism only on Fox News, while his own network was lapping the field in scandals.

What does it tell us, then, about Harvard, its Kennedy School (which Bill O’Reilly constantly boasted about attending for a few months) and its Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy that they would issue this press release? I hope the answer is obvious to all:

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Well Waddya Know! Harvard Undercuts A Core Progressive Big Lie!

I can’t let this pass. I’ve been bashing my embarrassing alma mater here for years, and it finally is responsible for something that almost makes me want to hang the ol framed diploma up again, with the back of it to the wall again.


The Harvard Crimson reports:

In the most comprehensive study to date of what motivated the Trump supporters to attack the Capitol, Shorenstein Center researchers found that 20.6 percent of the rioters, a plurality, were motivated to take part in the riot because they supported Trump. Another 20.6 percent of the rioters cited Trump’s fraudulent claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged as their primary reason for participating in the Jan. 6 riot.

The authors of the study — Joan Donovan, Kaylee Fagan, and Frances E. Lee — wrote that their analysis found that the largest proportion of defendants “were motivated, in part, to invade the US Capitol Building by Donald Trump.”

The third most common reason for attacking the Capitol: a desire to start a civil war or an armed revolution, according to the study. Almost 8 percent of defendants indicated it was their main motivation.

In an interview, Fagan said she was surprised by how frequently support for Trump and concerns about the election were cited as primary motivations for joining the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

“I don’t think I expected the result to be this stark,” Fagan said. “I also certainly didn’t expect those two motivations to come up nearly exactly as often as they both did.”

Though more than 800 have been federally prosecuted for their participation in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the study focused on 417 defendants charged with federal crimes in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Tuesday Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 7/19/2022: Harvard, Redheads, Uvalde, Bad House Guests And More

A lot of people find images like this, and the motto, offensive, presumably because of the association with Ronald Reagan, who brilliantly appropriated optimistic patriotism as a conservative value in response to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” vision of the nation. Being negatively triggered by one’s own flag and expressions of pride and enthusiasm regarding the nation it represents is not a healthy state of mind, and therefore it is unethical conduct to actively promote such an attitude…which we now see being done every day.

1. It may be unethical, but Harvard at least has gall…In April, Harvard University set out to exceed its previous record for virtue signaling, committing $100 million to “redress its ties to slavery” after a report concluded that slavery played an “integral” role in shaping the University. This is the Cambridge version of reparations, and the flagrant act of misusing donated non-profit funds wasn’t even controversial. The whole board signed on without dissent, which shows how Borg-like the Harvard leadership is. “Diversity” of thought when wokeness is at issue is not welcome. In this month’s alumni magazine, amusingly, Harvard begs for contributions to keep the magazine operating at a high level (it is an excellent alumni magazine), as if  tossing away 100 million dollars on non-educational matters didn’t make the appeal ridiculous. As one contrarian alum noted in a letter to the editor, if Harvard can give away all that money to assuage its conscience about supporting and benefiting long ago from a legal and predominant practice that had gone on for centuries, “it doesn’t need mine.”

In other damning news from Old Ivy, the Harvard  web site calls Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard,  currently pending before the Supreme Court, as a “politically motivated lawsuit.”  That’s the case in which Asian-American students allege that Harvard discriminates against them (like it discriminates against whites) in its admissions policies.  The web site states, “Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group in its admission processes.” This is pure “it isn’t what it is” gaslighting. One can argue that affirmative action, which is the real issue  in the case, should continue and that it passes ethical standards via utilitarian balancing, but it cannot be denied that  the practice isn’t discrimination. The statement is a lie. Continue reading

A Mother’s Day Ethics Bouquet, 5/8/2022: For You, Mom, Even Though Ethics Wasn’t Your Long Suit…

  • Don’t you think it’s odd that there isn’t a single really great song about mothers? There are lots of great father songs.
  • My mom, whom I think about every day and miss terribly, was wonderful in so many ways, but was almost as unethical as my father was ethical. It’s a tribute to his parenting that he communicated to my sister and me early on that this was just a quirk, and while mom had much to teach about love, loyalty and compassion, hers was not the ethical or moral compass to follow.
  • I just saw a man riding a real, honest-to-goodness velocipede in the church parking lot across from our house! I have never seen that in real life, only in photos and old movies.
  • The eighth of May, 1945, was  the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms, and World War II, the worst catastrophe the modern world has ever suffered through, featuring the most unethical and cruel aggressors imaginable, finally came to an end. Evil easily could have triumphed; that it did not was as much a function of luck as anything else. This is always a day on which to draw a collective breath. Whew! That was a close one…

1. Funny, but stupid. This meme is fascinating.

It could easily be intended to mock the kind of hysterical distortions from the Left’s Supreme Court leak freakout—on that basis, I laughed when I saw it. However, it almost certainly IS one of those hysterical distortions, which reduce debate to an infantile level. I’m sure many progressives think it’s profound. [Pointer: Arthur in Maine] Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/5/2022 (Cont.): Part 2, Rogan, Roker, “Reacher” And “More”

1. There is hope! The new Amazon Prime Jack Reacher series, “Reacher,” has no mixed race couples in it whatsoever. I was amazed, and wonder if this means the thing was made in 2019, before Hollywood decided that the accidental killing in Minnesota of a black perp by a brutal white cop in an incident having nothing to do with race meant that the world film and TV present to America must be one where nearly 100% of all married and unmarried relationships consist of two races. Isn’t it amazing that a casting feature that was once not only routine but accurate seems remarkable by its absence, and it was completely benign then and would still be accurate now?

2. Just for curiosity, I’m going to keep getting these Harvard alerts. The unethical though famous institution I graduated from once is marking this big reunion year with special online events for participants. The first one, not surprisingly, deals with…climate change! You would think that such a university, with all the subjects it covers and all of the departments available, could put together a schedule that didn’t consist of partisan obsessions, wouldn’t you?

But no. I fully expect subsequent programs to include, “Systemic Racism,” “Protecting the Right to Choose,” “The January 6 Insurrection” and “Mainstream Media Conservative Bias.”

I’m getting enough propaganda on climate change, thanks. Today I learned that “Once considered comic relief to anchors, television meteorologists are making it clear to viewers that they are covering a crisis in real time.” The “news story” headline begins, “As Storms Intensify…” Intensify based on what? There is no proof that storms are “intensifying” that justifies stating this as fact.

But you can’t deny that Al Roker is an “expert” on climate science though! After all, he attended the State University of New York at Oswego where he received a BA in communications in 1976….

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Oh, Fine: Now I Have To Revise My Harvard Reunion Boycott Letter…

MacBeth in Stride

…by adding yet another reason for my absence. Harvard is practicing straight-up segregation. It really is. But it’s OK, see, because only non-black people are being discriminated against. This is the quality of reasoning at Harvard in the 21st Century.

“Macbeth in Stride” is currently being performed by the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University’s Loeb Drama Center, near Harvard Square. This adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy includes modern music and a version of Lady Macbeth as an “ambitious black woman” to elevate “black female power, femininity, and desire.” <YAWN!> When I see Orson Welles in Hell, remind me to thank him for inflicting on the culture an endless parade of Shakespeare updates with lazy and facile political metaphors, all executed by adapters and directors less talented than he was.

But I digress. For the reason I will have to add to my report of protest is this: Harvard’s major theater on campus has decided that we white folk aren’t welcome to one performance. From the show’s webpage,

We have designated this performance to be an exclusive space for Black-identifying audience members. For our non-Black allies, we appreciate your support in making this a completely Black-identifying evening. We invite you to join us at another performance during the run.

The production is under the auspices of Harvard’s theater department, and the race-segregated performance is on campus, in a university building and held under the college’s banner. This astounding example of direct racial bias must have been approved by Harvard itself.

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