Ohio State University Higher Education and Student Affairs Professor Matthew Mayhew has issued an abject apology after penning a column entitled “Why America Needs College Football.” Mayhew argued that the return of college football could get the country through “uncharacteristically difficult times of great isolation, division and uncertainty.” That did not sit well with some at the university and Mayhew published Why America Needs College Football – Part 2 to seek forgiveness for the harm that he caused. The column and its confessional follow-up are unnerving for many in academia in the current debate over free speech on campuses. It is entirely appropriate and commendable for an academic to reconsider his views and retract any statements which he now considers racist or insensitive. However, the retraction of such views as inherently harmful raises questions about the range of acceptable speech today. There are clearly good-faith reasons to favor the return of college football as well as good-faith reasons to oppose it. The question is whether expressing the former is now unacceptable at universities for a professor or student. Despite being a sports fan, I am uneasy about the return of college football during the pandemic. I welcomed the publication of the first column as the start of a possible (and needed) debate on the question and the underlying economic, social, racial and academic issues.
The Internet is raging with conspiracy theories this weekend on how President Donald Trump may be faking his illness or using his Covid-19 treatment for some hidden dark purpose. MSNBC host Joy Reid drew criticism for passing along postings on how Trump may be lying about his illness to “get out of the debates.” On CNN, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed with host Erin Burnett that even Vice President Pence may be lying in simply saying that morning that the President and First Lady were doing well while convalescing in the White House. Michael Moore warned the public that this all may be a massive lie orchestrated by Trump. Continue reading “Trump Critics Fuel Internet Conspiracy Theories Surrounding The President’s Illness”
Years ago, American politics left all notion of decency behind in our age of rage. That was evident when the media and liberals celebrated the disgraceful conduct of Maryanne Trump betraying her aunt’s confidence in secretly recording her talking about her brother. The same people reveled in the unethical conduct of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen who not only secretly recorded his client, President Donald Trump, but has been violating any notion of confidentiality in pushing his own tell all book. Now, CNN’s Anderson Cooper has been reduced to shilling for Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the former assistant and friend of Melania Trump who secretly recorded their confidential chats and is now selling a book by playing embarrassing snip bits. Continue reading ““Talk About A War On Christmas!”: CNN Thrills With Airing Of Secret Taping of First Lady”
I recently wrote about law professors who embraced Chinese censorship on the Internet as a mind-blowing contradiction for intellectuals. However, China has done one better. A school textbook changes a critical story in the Bible to support the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party. In the Chinese version of the story from The Gospel of John, Jesus still stops people from stoning a woman to death but when they leave, he then stones her to death because . . . well . . . she deserved it and that is the law. Fortunately, Jesus did not appear to make any direct reference to rendering Hong Kong unto Beijing.
A tape has surfaced of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden bizarrely claiming that he “started” at a historically black college in speaking to supporters in South Carolina during the primary. Biden has never made any mention of going to Delaware State University and it is not clear why the many reporters in attendance at the event did not ask when he attended a HBCU. Indeed, he would be the first president to claim such a distinction. He might also have been inartfully referencing his start as a politician. Alternatively, this would seem like an academic version of cultural appropriation. It would seem a valid point of clarification for the media.
We recently discussed the absurd case of a school sending police to the home of a 12-year-old boy in Colorado because he showed a toy gun inside his own home. Despite teaching such children virtually, the school treated the toy gun as a violation of “in school” policies. Now Ka Mauri Harrison, 9, who attends Woodmere Elementary in Harvey, has been suspended because a teacher spotted a BB gun in his room. As with the Colorado case, Louisiana school officials defended this new case of virtual insanity. Continue reading “Virtually Insane: 12-Year-Old Louisiana Boy Suspended After BB Gun Spotted In His Room By Teacher”
Many of us criticized statements attributed to Attorney General Bill Barr this week calling for the use of sedition laws against rioters. However, instead of raising constitutional or statutory objections, Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe instead raised Barr’s Catholic faith in a completely unwarranted and unfounded tweet. The response to the reference was total silence. Not a single professor at Harvard or elsewhere chastised the use of a person’s religion in such commentary. This is not the first profane or prejudiced statement by Tribe.
We recently discussed the attack on an elderly man in an elevator over social distancing in Florida. Now, another Florida man, Rovester Ingram, has been charged with a vicious attack on a 70-year-old man at a convenience store after he was asked to social distance. The charge caught my attention. Continue reading “Florida Man Arrested After Attacking Elderly Man Who Asked For Social Distancing”
Please forgive a departure from our usual discussions but I wanted to share an interesting controversy in the area of fashion and apparel. A new campaign to “unveil historical erasure and resist capitalism” is under fire. Such campaigns are now commonplace on campuses but this is a campaign to end capitalism by Lululemon, a publicly traded brand worth billions and in the business of selling such things as leggings for $120 apiece. The campaign brought to mind the quote attributed to Lenin that “When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract.” In this case, Lululemon will sell you the rope in various colors plus some “hotty hot” styles for $60.
I have previously written (here and here) about the need to break the duopoly of power in this country by creating greater opportunity for other parties and candidates. Every presidential election, the voters are told that they have to chose between two candidates who garner little support in their own right. It is the continual replay of “choosing between evils” option for voters. Now we have a new disgrace: a majority of polled voters in swing states view both Donald Trump and Joe Biden as mentally unfit but are told that they must chose between them.
There is story out of Orange County this week that is an astonishing allegations of police corruption. Deputy Sheriff Angelina Cortez, 41, is accused of stealing the credit card of an arrested person and then giving the debit card to her son to use to buy things. There are a couple aspects of this case which are intriguing.
I had to share this story. Jimmy MacDonald is a former addict who has been sober for seven years. He found himself floating away without a paddle in an overturned kayak. He prayed to God for rescue and suddenly saw in disbelief a floating Tiki bar with Catholic priests coming to his aid. If that does not prove the existence of God, I cannot imagine what you are waiting for.