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What Yale has become | MercatorNet | April 4, 2017

What Yale has become

| MercatorNet  | April 4, 2017

What Yale has become

What Yale has become

A home for emotionally disturbed adolescents?
Carolyn Moynihan | Apr 4 2017 | comment 

In an indignant op-ed in today’s New York Times the rector and president of the Central European University, a private American-Hungarian graduate institution  located in Budapest, denounces a move by Hungarian President Victor Orban to impose new rules on the university. The writer, Michael Ignatieff, thinks the American government and the EU authorities should rebuke and somehow counteract what he sees as an attack on academic freedom.
But America has trouble with academic freedom on a front much closer to home -- if the term includes freedom for anyone to voice an opinion in the academy. Yesterday we featured We the Internet film-maker Rob Montz’s account of the collapse of free speech at Brown University (and linked back to an incredible debacle at Middlebury a month ago). Today Montz takes us to Yale and shows us what has become of one of the world’s leading academic institutions –starting with an uproar, unbelievably, about Halloween costumes.
In 2015, a video of Yale's "shrieking girl" screaming at Professor Nicholas Christakis exploded across the internet. The cause was a letter his wife, professor Erika Christakis, had written questioning the university’s Halloween costume guidelines. The guidelines were designed to protect racial and cultural sensitivities on campus.
A year after the blow-up, Erika and Nicholas Christakis had both left their administrative positions and Erika (who is by no means conservative) had also ceased teaching her class on “The Problem Child” (though it was evidently more necessary than ever!). Montz takes up the story:

Even though Yale created more administrative posts to placate students, says Montz, nobody in the administration explicitly backed Yale's supposed core values of academic freedom and open dialogue outlined in its own Woodward Report of 1974, a gold standard of academic principle.
A former Yale professor tells Montz, “students by and large are not there to learn.” Professor Amy Wax of the University of Pennsylvania – a Yale alumna – backs his view. The university even promotes itself as a good-time place. Last decade, while the Yale professor pool shrunk by 4 percent, the administration, providing more and more services to “look after” students, grew by 25 percent. The president himself has capitulated to the customer service mentality, says Montz.
“It is not about creating an intellectual space!” the screaming girl told Nicholas Christakis in November 2015. “It’s about creating a home here!” The Dean of Yale serenading newbies with a song and, “All you need is love. Welcome to Yale. Welcome home,” evidently agrees. 
Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet. 
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April 4, 2017

Remember The Sixth Sense, that 1999 film about ghosts? “I see dead people,” says the little boy, “walking around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're dead.”
I feel a bit like him. Except I see dumb people and they don’t know they’re dumb. Sad, really.
I’m thinking of the US Vice-President, Mike Pence, who is being pilloried in the media for loving and respecting his wife. I trawled through the comments on the Washington Post about this bit of fake news and discovered gems of dumbness like: “Pence would be so at home in Saudi Arabia or as a member of some Taliban ... There's only one word to describe Pence -- 'Neanderthal.' ... His religion is incompatible with American values and democracy. Deport him!” And so on.
Mr Pence’s rules of engagement (no dinners alone with women) make a lot of sense, which only very dumb people cannot appreciate. And they’re supported by one of America’s most talented journalists, Ta-Nehisi Coates, in this terrific passage:
“I've been with my spouse for almost 15 years. In those years, I've never been with anyone but the mother of my son. But that's not because I am an especially good and true person. In fact, I am wholly in possession of an unimaginably filthy and mongrel mind. But I am also a dude who believes in guard-rails, as a buddy of mine once put it. I don't believe in getting ‘in the moment’ and then exercising will-power. I believe in avoiding ‘the moment’. I believe in being absolutely clear with myself about why I am having a second drink, and why I am not; why I am going to a party, and why I am not. I believe that the battle is lost at Happy Hour, not at the hotel. I am not a ‘good man’. But I am prepared to be an honorable one.”
But read for yourself what Barbara Kay has to say about a seriously dumb critic of Mr Pence’s determination to be a faithful husband. 

Michael Cook 

Mike Pence’s dining preference is ‘rape culture’?
By Barbara Kay
By that flimsy standard, what isn’t?
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Judge Neil Gorsuch deserves confirmation
By Sheila Liaugminas
And virtually everyone in Congress knows it.
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What Yale has become
By Carolyn Moynihan
A home for emotionally disturbed adolescents?
Read the full article
Turning psychopaths into nice guys
By Michael Cook
Bioethicists have a novel solution: compulsory moral bioenhancement
Read the full article
‘The Benedict Option’—terrific for monks, but not for ordinary Christians
By Michael Kirke
Confronting secularism does not require flight from the hurly-burly of society
Read the full article
Weaponising victimhood on the American campus
By Carolyn Moynihan
An Ivy League university leads the way in repudiating reasoned debate.
Read the full article
Mobile phones are not always a cure for poverty in remote regions
By Petr Matous
Information technology is no substitute for a lack of transport or sanitation in marginalised communities
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Whom should you love more: your spouse or your kids?
By Tamara El-Rahi
This is less controversial than it sounds!
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What Yale has become

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