Michael Bloomberg is not going soft. He remains one of the flintiest, most independent-minded, most interesting people in American public life. As every conservative knows, he is a “nanny”: a monitor of “sugary drinks” and the like. He is also a “gun-grabber.” But he is a lot more than those things, as he showed in his commencement address at Harvard (not to mention his twelve years as New York mayor, and, before that, his business career).
For the whole speech, go here. But savor this excerpt:
There is an idea floating around college campuses — including here at Harvard — that scholars should be funded only if their work conforms to a particular view of justice. There’s a word for that idea: censorship. And it is just a modern-day form of McCarthyism.
Think about the irony: In the 1950s, the right wing was attempting to repress left-wing ideas. Today, on many college campuses, it is liberals trying to repress conservative ideas, even as conservative faculty members are at risk of becoming an endangered species. And perhaps nowhere is that more true than here in the Ivy League.
In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama.
Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors.
That statistic should give us pause — and I say that as someone who endorsed President Obama for reelection — because let me tell you, neither party has a monopoly on truth or God on its side.
When 96 percent of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer.
Diversity of gender, ethnicity, and orientation is important. But a university cannot be great if its faculty is politically homogenous.
Nice goin’, Mike. Really good. Right time, right place, right audience, etc.
Did you see this article in the Daily Caller? A teacher in my neck of the woods — Monroe, Michigan — was suspended. This was a much respected teacher who was a couple of weeks away from retirement. They suspended him because he showed his students long-ago white actors in blackface. He was giving a lesson in racism and Jim Crow.
I’m sorry, but this country can be flat crazy — especially when it comes to race. Also, our country can be — didn’t someone who lives in the White House say this? — downright mean.
Okay, I’m going to say something racial. The other day, I spotted the following headline: “Rice helping Obama juggle foreign policy crises.” I thought, “Has Condi crossed party lines to try to right our ship? And Obama has invited this?” Then I remembered Susan, the national-security adviser. This all took about three-quarters of a second.
Extraterrestrials would think that America had a special caste of attractive black women named Rice who existed to advise presidents on foreign policy.
Come and get me, coppers.
A reader in Venezuela pointed out this little article
— which talks of how chavista
leaders like to wear swank watches. I thought of an earlier chavista
, or Sandinista, Daniel Ortega — who would visit New York for the U.N. and go shopping. He had a weakness for designer glasses. This badly embarrassed his supporters or apologists in our Congress and media. More than his oppression in Nicaragua, this embarrassed them. In fact, it affected our national debate on Nicaragua. Funny how those little symbolic things matter so much.
The Gipper called Ortega a “dictator in designer glasses.” (See this 1985 article, for example.)
Well, this ticked me the hell off — an obit in the New York Times. It’s of Terry Robinson, “Chiropractor and Fitness Trainer to the Stars.” I have no problem with him. But the Times said, “Movie box-office receipts were declining steeply as television caught on. Cold War hysteria had spawned accusations of Communist influence in the film industry. The studio system was in its last days.”
Cold War “hysteria”? Mere accusations of Communist influence? Yeah, riiiight. (Are they still teaching that stuff? No doubt.)
A reader informed me that the University of Colorado gives a Dean Reed Peace Prize. Figures. Who was Dean Reed? A singer and actor who went to live in the Soviet bloc, and sang the praises of Erich Honecker and all the rest of those tyrants and killers. Peace, they say. That is, in fact, the title of my history of the Nobel Peace Prize: Peace, They Say.
I hate to end with a plug — and an expression of outrage — but I gotta go. Good week, y’all. See you.