Monday: Hili dialogue

February 6, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Monday, February 6, 2023: National Chopsticks Day.  I have a big collection, including some made of jade (for special guests when I cook Chinese), but they are not a food!

From Wikipedia: “Silver chopsticks, spoon, and bowl from the Song dynasty“:

It’s also Lame Duck Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day (again??), the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, Sámi National Day, celebrated in Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and Waitangi Day, celebrating the founding of New Zealand in 1840 with the initial signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Sámi used to be known as Lapps or Laplanders, but those terms have been replaced. Here’s the Sámi flag and a group of Sámi outside two Lavvus, temporary dwellings similar to teepees; photo about 1910.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the February 6 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Yay, USA! We shot down a Chinese spy balloon (see the final tweet below for the hit, and now we’re gonna find the remnants and figure out what they did and embarrass the hell out of them. Seriously, it won’t amount to much, I think. It would be much worse if, say, China started military provocations around Taiwan. But here are the details of the Search for the Luftballon:

Navy divers were working to locate portions of the debris from the Chinese spy balloon that a U.S. fighter jet shot down six miles off the coast of South Carolina, defense officials said on Sunday.

The recovery effort, which is expected to take days, began not long after debris from the balloon hit the water, a defense official said. He added that a Navy ship arrived on the scene soon after the balloon was shot down, and that other Navy and Coast Guard ships, which had been put on alert, were also sent to the scene.

The shooting down of the balloon capped a remarkable week of high-stakes international drama, played out over the skies of the continental United States. While China has insisted that the balloon was not for surveillance, but rather a weather balloon that drifted off course, the Biden administration has stood firm that the balloon’s purpose was a somewhat hapless effort by China to spy on American military installations.

On Saturday, President Biden said that he had told Pentagon officials to shoot down the balloon, and that they “said to me, let’s wait until the safest place to do it.”

Pentagon officials said they took steps — without offering specifics — to make sure that the balloon did not yield much fruit as it hovered near Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana and other installations. They also said China could glean the same amount of intelligence from a spy satellite.

Now that intrigues me. How did they prevent it from collecting data? And did they use a missile to shoot it down, or smaller ammunition?

Pentagon officials have made clear that they plan to collect every piece of debris that Navy divers can retrieve, for America’s own intelligence purposes. Because the balloon was shot down in relatively shallow water, they believe that the recovery effort will not be difficult.

Still, Navy divers will have to contend with cold water temperatures during the recovery effort. The defense official said that once all the debris is collected, the Pentagon will hand it over to be studied by various federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

A photo from the Washington Post, with their caption:

In this photo provided by Chad Fish, the remnants of a large balloon drift above the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of South Carolina, with a fighter jet and its contrail seen below it, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. (Chad Fish via AP)

*Iran has admitted, almost inadvertently, how many people it arrested or detained during the recent series of protests set off by the beating death of Mahsa Amini for wearing her hijab improperly. The AP reports:

Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday reportedly ordered an amnesty or reduction in prison sentences for “tens of thousands” of people detained amid nationwide anti-government protests shaking the country, acknowledging for the first time the scale of the crackdown.

The decree by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, part of a yearly pardoning the supreme leader does before the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, comes as authorities have yet to say how many people they detained in the demonstrations. State media also published a list of caveats over the order that would disqualify those with ties abroad or facing spying charges — allegations which have been met with wide international criticism.

Khamenei “agreed to offer amnesty and reduce the sentences of tens of thousands accused and convicted in the recent incidents,” the state-run IRNA news agency said in a Farsi report. A later IRNA report carried by its English-language service said the pardons and commuted sentences were for “tens of thousands of convicts, including the arrestees of the recent riots in Iran.” Authorities did not immediately acknowledge the discrepancy in the reports.

The discrepancy leaves some doubt about whether “tens of thousands” were arrested in the protests, but I suspect it’s not far off given the estimate below:

Authorities also did not name any of those who had been pardoned or seen shorter sentences. Instead, state television continued to refer to the demonstrations as being a “foreign-backed riot,” rather than homegrown anger over the September death of Masha Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman detained by the country’s morality police. Anger also has been spreading over the collapse of the Iranian rial against the U.S. dollar, as well as Tehran arming Russia with bomb-carrying drones in its war on Ukraine.

More than 19,600 people have been arrested during the protests, according to Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group that’s been tracking the crackdown. At least 527 people have been killed as authorities violently suppressed demonstrations, the group said. Iran hasn’t offered a death toll for months. It already has executed at least four people detained amid the protests after internationally criticized trials.

The people of Iran are growing more restive, and their economy is collapsing. There are only two outcomes: the regime continues to crack down until the protesters give up, or the theocracy falls in favor of a democracy. I have no idea what will happen, but I’m rooting big time for the latter.

*Reader Leo wanted to provide a news item, and so here it is:

I am a reader of your blog [JAC: he means “website”] who is growing a bit jealous of Ken (whoever he may be) for all the hat tips he gets, so I thought I would send you this interesting story.

Ron DeSantis and nutty “national conservative” (read: theocrat) crusader Chris Rufo launched a takeover of one of Florida’s largest universities, firing the President and restructuring the college’s curriculum towards “family life and American principles”.  (An excellent piece by Cathy Young on the subject is here . It’s obvious they are trying to accomplish through stealth what FIRE stopped them from doing directly with the Stop WOKE Act: getting rid of any professors who are insufficiently conservative. When Steven Pinker tweeted a link to Young’s piece, Rufo threw an extended temper tantrum in response, essentially calling Pinker a wimp for caring about free speech and other liberal values.

In response Pinker recently tweeted a link to another story denouncing conservative cancel culture:

I am very concerned about this. Rufo had stated he wants Florida’s universities to become like Hillsdale college, a private fundie school (as you probably know). As for DeSantis, he may not be Trump but he is still extremely dangerous.

*Over at The Free Press, Montana-dweller Walter Kirn (author of “Up in the Air,” a lovely movie), gives his take on “The Chinese Spy Balloon Over My House.”

As the balloon peered down upon my state, its intentions uncertain and its presence a bit humiliating, the stereotypes about Montana flowed. Much mention was made of the hit TV show, Yellowstone, which lately has spun off a couple of other shows set deep in the state’s romantic, roaring past. In all of them, Montanans are portrayed as quick to anger, intensely self-sufficient, instinctively hostile to rich and fancy outsiders. In other words, not the sort of people to sink back into their Instagram accounts when confronted with giant airborne trespassers.

I’ll admit it, the comments—and the balloon itself, hovering so smugly out of range of the dusty hunting rifle I own—put me in a touchy mood. For though I was proud we’d spotted the damn thing and raised an alarm that sounded across the continent (neighboring Canada hadn’t made a peep during the craft’s stealthy transit through its time zones), I’d just about had it with all the public attention recently paid to Montana.

Just a few weeks back, I sat down with my morning coffee, opened up the paper and learned that I now live in a quasi-fascist state. It said so in the paper.

The paper wasn’t a local publication but one from a couple thousand miles away, the New York Times, whose glossy Sunday magazine included a lengthy, illustrated feature with the five-alarm headline How Montana Took a Hard Right Turn Toward Christian NationalismTo illustrate the state’s alleged swerve toward neo-fascist theocratic rule—a dire development I’d somehow missed—the story included a scary gothic photo, heavily filtered to bring out its dark tones, of a ghostly white cross on a bare hillside reflected in a passing rearview mirror. It also included, of course, a Yellowstone reference and Kevin Costner’s name—right up top, where the search engines would see them.

Since moving to small-town Montana from New York City over 30 years ago, I’d lived through at least a couple of cycles of ominous national coverage of my state. Without going into the details, let me assure you that this article was bunk, as exaggerated as the photo.

. . . Do I sound defensive? Perhaps I am.

I live in a state with zero big-league sports teams, not a single Fortune 500 corporation, and no national media influence to speak of—unless you count made-up shows about fake ranchers slugging it out in scripted brawls. I’m one of about a million residents, all of whom, no matter their circumstances, are up against the myth-making machines of cities and states of imperial wealth and numbers. And imperial attitudes, dare I say, which emerge in their basic, perennial story about us: those folks from the steppes and mountains are growing restless, including the ones who’ve just moved there to go skiing, who appear to be worse than the ones already living there, who we’ve always found unsettling enough.

But at least we proud Montanans kept our honor. We spied the lurking villain, we called the sheriff, we warned our neighbors, we did what we could do. I suspect we’ll continue in this role, watchful vigilantes of the skies. There’s trouble afoot – you can feel it everywhere, particularly if you dwell near nuclear missiles, particularly if you live where there’s no cover—and someone has to stand lookout on the hill.

*Matthew asked ChatGPT to write a poem about me. He gave it just the top bit and it produced the poem below it, with the green icon atoop. I’m amazed at what AI can do. I’m going to ask ChatGPT to write poems about my friends!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili shows her hatred of winter:

Hili: Not one more step.
A: It’s just the snow, silly.
In Polish:
Hili: Ani kroku dalej.
Ja: To tylko śnieg, głuptasie.

And a photo of a sad-looking Szaron:


From Irena.  And the price of eggs is unconscionable. Big Poultry is ripping us off, and it can’t all be fobbed off as the result of bird flu.

From America’s Cultural Decline Into Idiocy, a great FB page:

From Malcolm, the great Django Reinhardt. Note he uses only two fingers on the fretboard; his other digits were damaged in a fire. Stéphane Grappelli, of course, is on violin:. Who would have thought that a violinist and a guitarist with a maimed hand could swing so hard?

From the same site:


God has stopped issuing statements at Mastodon. I guess He didn’t get enough people following him over from Twitter.

From Masih. The Farsi translation is “This one video of child abuse and writing the ideology of a dictator on the body of 7-year-old girls is enough to force the international community not to enter into any negotiations with the corrupt and oppressive Islamic government. Find and answer each and every female western politician who has submitted to these ISIS laws.”

Poor propagandized girls!

From Barry: an Instagram of cats doing weird things. He can’t get over the moggy kicking itself in the chin with its back legs.

Luana sent this quote from Biden. If it’s accurate, it’s scary.

Also from Luana.  Those woodies are diligent!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a man who died exactly five years before I was born:

Tweets from Matthew. As he notes, this may not be the same Great Northern Diver, but they can live nine years.

Did you know that the Great Northern Diver is just another name for the loon? Here’s their normal appearance:

This one shows who really took down the Chinese spy balloon:

But, in the end, Malcolm shows us the truth:

42 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. Close, but the photo of the normal Diver/Loon is a Pacific Diver, not a Great Northern. The leucistic bird is stunning!

  2. The footage featuring Iran’s “Supreme”* leader waddling into a crowd of screaming youngsters is reminiscent of a turkey grow facility in northern Arkansas.
    * Supreme? More like “Your choice of one additional topping with a minimum purchase.”

  3. New College is my alma mater. During my tenure, all ideas landed on roomy refectory tables. Some slid off while others seemed to grip with rubber feet. Today’s squat and compartmentalized cubby tables feature sliding slot doors that prevent access to these same bins of ideas. The tables have changed which impedes access.

    Referring to DeSantis as “extremely dangerous” reveals the table of the author.

    My understanding is that the target for transformation is *one* Florida college. Rufo’s goal is to replace diversity, equity and inclusion with equality, merit and colorblindness.

      1. For a time the slogan of the Bulwark was “Conservatism Conserved.” It came into being after the folding of the conservative Weekly Standard. Many of its contributors are former Republicans that can’t abide Trump. It is anything but the left equivalent of Breitbart.

        1. That’s also my impression (and Breitbart is WAY far right – I’ve caught them several times simply lying about the Netherlands and the contents of Dutch newspaper articles). Writers for the Bulwark believe in supply-side economics but not that the election was somehow stolen, for example.

          Which is good – it’s been difficult in the past years to find what I’d consider to be rational conservative voices.

      2. The Bulwark is home to never-Trump conservatives (such as Bill Kristol, son of conservative stalwart Irving, and founder of the now-defunct right-wing publication The Weekly Standard). They are the bearers of the old-school conservative torch (the conservatives who supported — or at least espoused — traditional values such as limited government, balanced budgets, free trade, open markets, personal responsibility and rectitude, and maintaining the norms of US government), as opposed to the nativist, isolationist, America-first populism that has overtaken the GOP under Donald Trump.

        These Bulwark contributors have been willing to take on Trump openly, as opposed to the pusillanimous establishment Republicans who want to keep their heads below the foxhole line to avoid incurring the wrath of Trump’s dead-end base. Most establishment Republicans feel the same way about Trump as the The Bulwark contributors, but would rather wait the old man out, until he croaks from a lousy diet and an abhorrence of exercise, or until he simply fades away, or until he finally has an epiphany and begins to comport himself as a normal human being (as if that’s ever going to happen) — as set out in this recent piece in The Atlantic.

  4. Reader Leo’s summary of the New College of Florida saga is perhaps a tad one-sided.

    Chris Rufo launched a takeover of one of Florida’s largest universities,…

    It’s actually one of the smallest, only 700 students, not that this matters, but …

    An excellent piece by Cathy Young on the subject is here

    A worthwhile read in defence of the takeover is here.

    It’s obvious they are trying to [get] rid of any professors who are insufficiently conservative.

    Currently, arts/humanities departments in US liberal-arts colleges skew about 30 left/Democratic professors to 1 right/Republican. DeSantis’s actions are more aimed at bringing things just a bit more into balance.

    When Steven Pinker tweeted a link to Young’s piece, Rufo threw an extended temper tantrum in response, essentially calling Pinker a wimp for caring about free speech and other liberal values.

    Well no, the dispute was that Pinker thinks that overcoming the DEI apparatchiks overturning liberal principles to enforce equal outcomes, and DEI loyalty oaths in hiring, etc, can be done by non-woke liberals speaking up.

    DeSantis/Rufo, on the other hand, think it’s gone too far for that, and that overcoming it will also need action by courts and legislatures. Not being a fan of right-wing Christians I’d much prefer Pinker to be right, but reality suggests to me that DeSantis/Rufo have a point.

    1. Yes, I was wrong about the size of the university. Sorry. In fact, it is not only one of the smallest state universities in Florida, it is the smallest. But I think DeSantis is trying to send a message here so a large university might not be necessary. As for the censorship issue, it is worth remembering that DeSantis and Rufo already tried to outright ban “woke” speech (not just actual far-leftism but fairly moderate things like supporting affirmative action) at all state universities only to be blocked by the courts ( Had they not done that, I would have been much less suspicious. And just look at the things Rufo has tweeted or retweeted:

      “It’s amazing that liberal writers will say that ‘conservatives take over a progressive college and will harm institutional neutrality without realizing that, by saying progress college, they are betraying the fact that institutional neutrality is a myth. They don’t even see it.”
      “It is a fool’s errand to try and protect political freedom when it is used to destroy the polity within which it is exercised. That applies, for example, to academic freedom once academics stop believing in the ideas that motivate the existence of the university.”
      “The myth of neutrality is so strong that otherwise intelligent people mistake left-wing bureaucratic dominance over universities as a ‘free marketplace of ideas’. The first step for conservatives is to dispel this myth and reveal the true nature of the status quo. Then change it.”
      The list goes on and on.
      Rufo is right to end mandatory DEI statements and other coercive woke thought control efforts but he will soon impose an orthodoxy of his own. Wendy Kaminer put it best ( “Give right-wing republicans credit for being anti-woke but don’t imagine they care about liberty. They simply seek to replace the dogmatism and authoritarianism of the woke left with the dogmatism and authoritarianism of the Trumpist right…This isn’t a freedom fight. It’s a power grab.”

      1. Can you cite an actual law or rule promoted by DeSantis or Rufo that would prevent professors in state universities advocating for affirmative action, or similar left-wing policies?

        As for the Rufo Tweets that you quote, well he’s right, most universities are definitely not politically neutral at the moment, they (the administration and the professors) currently skew heavily left/Democrat.

        1. Yes, they did with the Stop Woke ACT which prohibited professors from expressing the following eight concepts in classrooms:
          1) Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex are
          morally superior to members of another race, color, national
          origin, or sex;
          2) A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin,
          or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether
          consciously or unconsciously;
          3) A person’s moral character or status as either privileged or
          oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color,
          national origin, or sex;
          4) Members of one race, color, national origin, or sex cannot
          and should not attempt to treat others without respect to
          race, color, national origin, or sex;
          5) A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin,
          or sex bears responsibility for, or should be discriminated
          against or receive adverse treatment because of, actions
          committed in the past by other members of the same race,
          color, national origin, or sex;
          6) A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, national origin,
          or sex should be discriminated against or receive adverse
          treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion;
          7) A person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national
          origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt,
          anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of
          actions, in which the person played no part, committed in
          the past by other members of the same race, color, national
          origin, or sex; or
          8) Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness,
          neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or
          sexist, or were created by members of a particular race,
          color, national origin, or sex to oppress members of another
          race, color, national origin, or sex.
          Fla. Stat. § 1000.05(4)(a)(1)-(8).
          Case 4:22-cv-00324-AW-MAF Document 1 Filed 09/06/22 Page 19 of 93

          To give just a few examples, Provisions 5 and 6 clearly bars a professor from expressing support for affirmative action (which the Supreme Court has ruled is constitutional, although that will probably be overturned soon). Provision 3 could prevent any discussion of systemic racism (of course, the far-left has exaggerated the scope of the problem; that does not mean there is no problem). Rufo’s tweets do not merely dispute institutional neutrality, but denounce academic freedom.


          1. Sorry about the extreme length of the second link. A complete copy of the bill’s text can be found on pages 18-19.

          2. *Teaching* should be neutral rather than activist, the above act would not stop classroom teaching of the arguments for and against affirmative action, it would only prevent the teacher promoting one view as the right answer.

            1. That is certainly true K-12, but in college and beyond, there are many circumstances in which it is appropriate for professors to take positions on issues. Moving beyond race and sex, is it inappropriate, for instance, for an economics professor to support Keynesianism or the Chicago School? And the law also restricts guest lectures (!) which should absolutely include people with strong opinions.

    2. Currently, arts/humanities departments in US liberal-arts colleges skew about 30 left/Democratic professors to 1 right/Republican.

      Perhaps this is due to enculturation and self-selection (as is frequently mentioned in comments here regarding the dearth of women and minorities in certain fields). Maybe rightwingers with the intellectual wherewithal to go into academia choose instead to pursue the big bucks on Wall Street or business entrepreneurship.

  5. Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday reportedly ordered an amnesty or reduction in prison sentences for “tens of thousands” of people detained amid nationwide anti-government protests shaking the country …

    Does the Ayatollah have plans to revivify those who have been executed or to make whole those who’ve been maimed?

    I’m glad for those who will be released from prison, but screw him, and may his theocracy be a short-lived as possible.

  6. It is pretty clear that the only GOP candidate that inspires fear in Democrats is DeSantis.

    Interestingly, the Dems have decided to double down on Biden. The reason the South Carolina primary was moved is to make sure Biden gets off to a good start.

    Also look for the Dems to take it easy on Trump for a while. Nothing would make the Dems happier than if Trump were to be the nominee.

    1. If Biden chooses to run again it is highly unlikely that anyone will challenge him in a primary election, so the move of SC to the start of the primary calendar would be irrelevant to his fortunes in 2020.

    2. I think you’re wrong here in every paragraph.

      DeSantis? Bring it on. You think Dems are afraid of another Trump-like demagogue without the name recognition, the charisma and the character of sleaze (which for whatever reason his supporters seem to like)? DeSantis has no chance in a general election. The young demographic will stop Trump or DeSantis- take your pick.

      South Carolina was chosen because if reflects better the diversity of the Democratic base…has nothing to do with helping Biden in a primary; Biden won’t be in a primary.

      Trump becoming the nominee has nothing to do with the Dems. And what does it look like “going soft” on Trump. It seems Merrick Garland is, but that’s because he is ineffectual, not because he wants Trump to be the nominee. But yeah, Dems should be happy if he gets the nomination; he’s even more of a loser now than he was in 2020, let alone 2022.

  7. I was quite interested in the Pinker, Rufo spat as described by Leo above, however when I tried to find a thread of interaction between Pinker and Rufo, I found it incomprehensible. How does one follow such a fragmented back and forth? I cannot stand Twitter. Gah!

    Reminds me of helpful advice I hear often about the web: “don’t read the comments”

    (As for WEIT site, at least PCCE as Da Roolz, which helps).

  8. Typical GPTChat verbiage…. “an insightful voice for all to see”. Must be referencing cartoon speech balloons!

    1. Led Zepp did the same in Stairway to Heaven:

      In my thoughts I have seen
      Rings of smoke through the trees
      And the voices of those who stand looking

      For some reason it really bugs me and I can’t help yelling “‘Heard the voices’, Robert!” whenever I hear it.

  9. “Now that intrigues me. How did they prevent it [the Chinese balloon] from collecting data? And did they use a missile to shoot it down, or smaller ammunition?”

    According to Reuters they used a single AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, launched from an F-22. See:

    I have no special knowledge on what they did to limit it collecting data, but I expect they would hide anything at nearby military installations they were particularly concerned about, as with spysats going overhead. Also, they could point a laser at it to overload or damage optics, and direct radio noise at it to jam it.

    1. How did they prevent it from collecting data?

      Shine various radiation at it ; look at the reflected spectrum. That which is not reflected is being absorbed. Bathe it in those wavelengths which it absorbs, with plenty of HF noise. That’ll make it harder to collect data. Probably more importantly, preventing it from transmitting data, you’d look at the frequency band’s it’s transmitting on and soak those bands in high power noise. A truck-mounted generator can probably out-power a few tens of square metres of solar panels.

      And did they use a missile to shoot it down, or smaller ammunition?

      AIUI, it was flying at very high altitude, which means mostly that it’s going to be above the range of ground-fired “dumb iron”. It’s moving that slowly that it’ll only appear in the targeting range of aircraft fire quite briefly, otherwise the plane aerodynamics resemble those of an expensive brick. Which pretty much leaves GTA or ATA missiles.
      None of which answers the fundamental question of why even try a surveillance balloon. Anyone who watched the various palavers around the efforts to fly a balloon across the Atlantic and later around the world knows well how difficult it is to steer such things with any degree of accuracy. Unless there was some magical power source (ultra-batteries, or mega 10sq.m solar cells?) for steering it across wind streams – which nobody has presented any evidence for. So, at best it could get whatever it happened to float near. My bet is, they’ll find a fairly standard suite of meteorological sensors on the seabed. Or sunk into the seabed – which happens to plenty of equipment dropped from oil rigs.
      I suspect the deliberate inflation of an eddy in a tea-cup into an attention-grabbing media storm. “All sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

      1. They used a Sidewinder missile fired from an F-22. The missile costs $300,000, but then it can destroy an aircraft costing 100-1000x that. Then there is the cost of jet fuel and per flight hour maintenance cost of a fighter jet, plus now the cost of the search and salvage operation. Let’s hope the payoff is juicier than weather instruments.

  10. … Ken (whoever he may be) …

    Yeah, who the hell is that guy, anyway? Sometimes he gets under my skin with his cocksure opinions and wisecracks. 🙂

    1. Yeah, and his sesquipedalian vocabulary is maddening. And what’s with all the foreign idioms? Mon Dieu can’t stand that dude! 😉

  11. I love that Sami flag. Looks like it could go in the Museum of Modern Art in NY.
    Designed by Ellsworth Kelly.
    I wonder how the Samis decided on that design?

  12. I am currently writing up a student for handing in an assignment that was not her own work. I suspect she used AI since all the other software tools came up with no matches to online sources, and it was clearly not written by this student [I got her to sit down for half an hour and write about her favourite move and past weekend activities.] I put her assignment writing into and the response back was that her writing was likely written entirely by AI. In a meeting, she denied getting help with the assignment except for looking on one website, which is a Level 1 violation for failing to cite her source. I am pushing for Level 2 which is when a student has someone (now something) else complete the assignment. We’ll see what admin will do with this one… It will be a first for me if it turns out the student used AI.

  13. The first interview with Salman Rushdie since the attack has been published in the New Yorker, for anyone who is interested.

  14. French guy here.
    Nothing to do with the Dialogue… I just saw an interview with Jerry Coyne on a french newspaper (l’Express). We don’t hear so much about him in continental europe. (Neither is Dawkins or Pinker, or even comedians like Maher)
    Just wanted to say. Whatever ;-D. Have a nice day everyone.

  15. No, that would be The Huffington Post, which is what Breitbart modeled itself after.

    Eager to call Cathy Young a communist while you’re at it?

  16. Edit: Intended as a reply to Leo in Thread #4.

    The Florida law nicely illustrates the game theory that Paul Viminitz describes (cited by me on 7 Feb: “Chronicle: DEI . . .”, Comment #4). Americans can and should argue about whether the law runs afoul of the First Amendment—a similar law in a Canadian province probably would not violate our weaker Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Whatever, it seems clear the Right has concluded that the Woke with its cancel culture has abrogated The Deal on academic freedom. It, the Right, need no longer consider itself bound by it, except as the Constitution says.

    The tack I would take would be to abstain from telling professors at a university what they can’t teach and instead compel them, through the threat of budget cuts, to rein in cancel culture itself.

    What you really want is to see students expelled for disrupting meetings and faculty associations emasculated under labour law for siding with the mob against their dues-paying members. You can’t legislate courage in university presidents but you can make cowardice financially costly instead of it being the path of least resistance every damn time.

  17. I absolutely agree that students who disrupt meetings and faculty members who help them should be punished. It could also be possible to make some version of the Chicago principles binding on state universities to ensure that school presidents and deans do not cower to mobs calling for the firing of professors or the punishment of students for wrongthink.

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