“Sprinkle some junk science onto a faulty identification, and it’s the perfect recipe for a wrongful conviction,” Hammond said.
It appears that Alice Seybold was honestly mistaken in her identification of the defendant. I’m surprised, though, that the conviction was overturned decades later without DNA evidence.
Collapse of the West
Who would believe that the whole Western world, in whose image, for better or for worse, all nations seemed to hurry to refashion themselves, would collapse, not battered from without, but sagging into lethargy and indifference and stupor from within?
Anthony M. Esolen, Out of the Ashes.
Inventing existential foes
Because Trumpians live in a state of perpetual war, they need to continually invent existential foes ….
David Brooks, who gives what I consider the best explanation to date on how American conservatism produced President Donald Trump. (The explanation is not hopeful for the GOP.)
Ignoring the Classics
Of course, the classics are neither progressive nor conservative—to argue that they are one or the other is to superimpose a useless framework on them, though Featherstone is right that conservative students are the ones usually defending them. This makes sense because conservatism has a coherent theory for why the past is valuable; progressivism less so, which is why contemporary progressivism has so thoroughly abandoned the classics, even if your old-school Marxist knew his Euripides as well as anyone.
But conservatives have turned from the classics, too. Your average attender of the Conservative Political Action Conference likely couldn’t hold a candle to a mid-century Burkean in terms of reading. Policy has become king on both sides of the aisle. A few notable exceptions aside, most conservative donors are more likely to give money to political campaigns, think tanks, and partisan publications than to programs in classical education or the humanities.
Kamala “Mindless Ramble” Harris
I trace [Vice President Kamala Harris’s] decline to when she went to Guatemala and Mexico in June for meetings on immigration. Near the end in what should have been a highly prepared meeting with the press, she launched into a sort of mindless ramble in which she kept saying we have to find out the “root causes” of illegal immigration. She said it over and over. “My trip . . . was about addressing the root causes. The stories that I heard and the interactions we had today reinforce the nature of these root causes. . . . So the work that we have to do is the work of addressing the cause—the root causes.”
There is no one in America, including immigrants, who doesn’t know the root causes of illegal immigration. They’re coming for a better life. America has jobs, a social safety net, public sympathy for the underdog. Something good might happen to you here. Nothing good was going to happen at home.
That’s why immigrants have always come. Studying “root causes” is a way of saying you want to look busy while you do nothing.
She seemed unprepared, unfocused—unserious.
Peggy Noonan, Kamala Harris Needs to Get Serious.
The paradox of diversity
It can be hard to know where to go on that if diversity is a key component of a well-rounded education but an indefensible burden on the very people representing the diversity.
The idea, again, is that there’s something offensive about a Black person being asked to arbitrate the Black view on a given issue — but what if white writers don’t ask? Isn’t their asking what we were hoping for?
John McWhorter, How Can Something Be Racist but Not Racist at the Same Time?
I was enthused by the announcement of the University of Austin, with President Pano Kanelos coming from St. Johns. But I’m also a bit burnt out on downright enthusiasm for universities and liberal arts colleges.
I had very high regard for Hillsdale College, for instance, only to watch it go Trumpist (Michael “Flight 93 Election” Anton on faculty) and now demagogic in its fundraising letters (most recently, surveying recipients on the socialist menace).
I think I’ll watch carefully before I dig into my wallet for UofA.
Loudon County Culture War
Since Trump came on the scene, Democrats have dominated the most affluent communities in America, winning all 13 of the richest congressional districts (mostly by wide margins) in 2018 and 41 of the top 50. Republicans as recently as 1992 regularly won over half of these districts. Lately, though, in places where voters have money and college educations, Republicanism has become a stigma on the order of bestiality or syphilis …
The Loudoun mess had a lot to do with race, but it was no simple sequel to old civil rights battles. This was a brand-new tale about multidimensional racial tensions, beginning perhaps with the impatience of affluent intellectuals toward a quiet immigrant community whose chief crime, as ham-handed as this sounds, was believing the American dream. For that offense, they were sentenced to the rudest of awakenings. Loudoun doubled as the ultimate media malpractice story, in which the public across years of salacious controversies was told everything but the most important bits.
Normally, an internet-connected feeding machine dispenses kibble for them at noon, but the felines’ bowls were empty and clean. The gadget hadn’t worked because of an outage at Amazon’s … cloud-computing unit.
“We had to manually give them food like in ancient times,” said Mr. Lerner, a 29-year-old small-business owner who lives in Marina del Rey, Calif.
So obvious (now that he points it out)
[H]ypocrisy is too universal to be interesting …
Liel Leibovitz, Treason of the Intellectuals