Thursday, May 31, 2018

"Racism" Accusation Blown Out of the Water in Glorious Fashion


“A group of Santa Fe High School students were labelled racist after failing to hold hands with their black classmate Nicole Janice (right) during a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting that killed 10 earlier this month”

By A Friend

Tom Woods.

At The Daily Mail.

7 Raceless, Faceless, Men Arrested in California Water Park for Coordinated, Premeditated Attack, Sexually Touching Underaged Girls; Cops and MSM Tried to Cover Up Crime, but WEJB/NSU Has Suspects’ Respective Names and Races! (And No, You'll Never Guess!)

By Jerry PDX
Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 9:50:00 P.M. EDT

7 men are arrested in Golfland Sunsplash water park in Roseville, Calif. for sexually touching underaged girls in a coordinated attack. According to the article, the names and photos of the men were not released by police because the investigation is “ongoing.”

At Fox News.

Had to go the comments for some facts. Other media sources have uncovered the names of the suspects: Here they are: Gursharanpal Banga, 34; Manpreet Dhillon, 26; Lakhveer Gill, 30; Baljinder Khaira, 38; Balwinder Malhi, 32; Dharampal Singh, 21; and Harpreet Talwar, 18.

I along with many commenters predicted the perps would be Muslim but turned out we were wrong... as if it really makes any difference.

Sexually attacking females openly? Coordinated gang attacks? What three groups are always responsible for this behavior? Muslims, Pakis and negroes, but God forbid the media ever acknowledge that.

Makes you wonder how many covert Paki child sex grooming gangs are operating here in the US, as we speak. They've received some publicity in the UK but the politically correct forces that protect and cover up for those degenerates are, if anything, even more powerful here in the US.

According to this article,

Police have already released the suspects, due to “insufficient evidence.” A photo is attached that shows profiles of them being marched in a group by police.

This from the article:

"The People do not have sufficient evidence and reports, as well as recorded statements, in our possession to determine what evidence exists against each individual."

Are you kidding? Sexual assault on children and they're back on the streets? Imagine the outrage if it were white men they released. What I'm reading in this article is that the police haven't done the work of information gathering which begs the question: How hard is it to gather the girls who were touched, any witnesses and get their statements? If there is camera footage, then obtain and review it. Does somebody have to work overtime? Is there a judge (who isn't a pro diversity operative) you need to wake up and sign some kind of order? We're talking about child molesters here. Just how much priority do you give to those kind of scumbags? Of course, they are non-white and immigrants, which means they merit special consideration. According to the article, five of the men need Punjabi interpreters.

Exactly what does it take to get garbage like this deported back to their home country? If this isn't enough, then what is? I can hear the lib excuses now: 'They didn't know! It's OK back in their home country, and we need to respect their cultural practices!' This is beyond human reason.

N.S.: In New York, Hispanics are notorious for this. About ten years ago, I read of how every day when public pools are open in the Bronx (and surely other parts of town), groups of Spanish teenaged boys surround pretty, shapely, Hispanic girls, close in on them, and then the leader of the pack commits manual rape on the victim from behind.

And now, as the late, great Paul Harvey would have said, for the rest of the story: In one set of cases, the victim would scream, and maybe wheel on her attacker and smack him. But in other cases, she would squeal, and at closing time he would introduce himself to her, and they would go to a secluded part of the park the pool was in, and ... do it.

That's the split in Hispanic culture.

But I never hear of any of the rapists being arrested, let alone prosecuted. That's one matter on which Hispanic culture is unified.

In the instant case, I'm sure the gropers and manual rapists were not violating their own culture's girls.

And that's the rest of the story.

On Negro Nightly News, Savannah Guthrie Does an Impression of Lester Holt

By Grand Rapids Anonymous
Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:11:00 P.M. EDT

Tonight on Negro Nightly News, Savannah Guthrie did a fine Lesta impression, by sternly introducing a story about “the rise of white nationalist candidates-whose only reason for running is based on prejudice.”

Judgmental much, Savannah?

The reporter, Morgan Ratford, a half black/white female, talked with one Chicago man. She tried to make him look bad, but he was fairly quick and humorous with his responses.

“Do you think blacks are inferior?” she asked.

“Blacks, on average, have at least 20 points lower on their IQ scores than whites.”

“I went to Harvard,” Ratford replied pleasantly.

“That's because you're part white,” the man said. “You got that from your white side.”

She actually kind of smiled and said, “So I got that from my white side, huh... [chuckle].”

She talked to another candidate in California and then some citizens who remarked that they were “in favor of a white neighborhood.”

Then a talk with a Republican local chairman who said, “These people must be voted down.”

So as the previous blogger commented so accurately—anyone trying to fight the “Black Plague”—is a white supremacist. NBC proved your point, but that shouldn't stop anyone from organizing and attempting to fix things.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 7:40:00 P.M. EDT

Earlier, Guthrie led off with the Samantha Bee “controversy” that asked the question: “Is there a double standard in regards to what is a firable comment?”

Bee called Ivanka Trumpa “a feckless cu*t,” and then proceeded to suggest to her, “To wear a low cut dress and get your dad to change his immigration policy.”

The rules are: If you insult Trump, or anyone associated with Trump—in the foulest language imaginable—you can keep your show. If you insult whites—you keep your show—and get a raise.

Make fun of blacks—GONE.

N.S.: Based on that small sample, Morgan Ratford sounds pretty stupid to me.

First of all, she almost certainly got into Harvard through affirmative action. Secondly, like other “blacks” who delude themselves that they’re brilliant, and feel themselves to be superior to whites, she fails to grasp the distinction between the average and the individual case.

More on "Conservatives are Worse than Worthless, Chap. MMMMMCCCLXXXIV, on Reforming the Antiversity"

By Nicholas Stix

[Re: “Conservatives are Worse than Worthless, Chap. MMMMMCCCLXXXIV, on Reforming the Antiversity.”]
This would have been a perfectly good talk to give in… 1998.

Note that not only did Peter Berkowitz bring up rape (as I previously mentioned) in a pandering, cowardly fashion, but he even mentioned “sexual harassment,” as if this were a real problem facing coeds from men, rather than the wave of hoaxes that it really is, including floating definitions, whereby any baseless statement a coed or an off-campus feminist makes (e.g., a man makes them “uncomfortable,” as NPR feminists got away with, in getting on-air personalities Jonathan Schwartz and Leonard Lopate fired) against any man boss, colleague, or subordinate automatically gets the man fired.

You can never win, if you play under rules of engagement that your enemy sets for you.

Peter Berkowitz:

“Yes, words wound. Children learn that from experience. History teaches, however, that beyond certain narrow exceptions—such as true threats, direct and immediate incitement to violence, defamation, and sexual harassment—the costs of regulating speech greatly exceed the benefits. One cost is that regulating speech disposes majorities to ban opinions that differ from their own….

“Due Process Denigrated

“The curtailing of free speech on campus has not occurred in a vacuum. It is closely connected to the denial of due process in disciplinary proceedings dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Both suppose that little is to be gained from listening to the other side. Both rest on the conceit of infallibility.

“Campus practices, for example, can presume guilt by designating accusers as ‘victims’ and those accused as ‘perpetrators.’ Universities sometimes deprive the accused of full knowledge of the charges and evidence and of access to counsel. It is typical for them to use the lowest standard of proof—a preponderance of the evidence—despite the gravity of allegations. In many instances, universities withhold exculpatory evidence and prevent the accused from presenting what exculpatory evidence is available; they deny the accused the right to cross-examine witnesses, even indirectly; and they allow unsuccessful complainants to appeal, effectively exposing the accused to double jeopardy. To achieve their preferred outcomes in disciplinary hearings and grievance procedures, universities have even been known to flout their own published rules and regulations.

“There is, of course, no room for sexual harassment on campus or anywhere else. Predators must be stopped. Sexual assault is a heinous crime.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Farting as Form of Sexual Harassment?

By A Texas Reader

"Among other things, Bland claims Pratt 'reinforced dominance over his subordinates...'"

N.S.: Check out the reader comments; they're hilarious.

At KPRC/Click2Houston.

Authorities ID White Man Found Slain in Carrollton Home; Hispanic Suspect Remains at Large


Murder victim Randy Dugger and his wife, Ann

By A Texas Reader

Authorities ID man found slain in Carrollton home; neighbor remains at large

Carrollton police said they're investigating the killing of a man whose body was found Tuesday morning at a home with a strong odor of gasoline.

ATR: Another white male murdered by a minority.


2200 Crockett Dr, Carrollton, TX 75006

I lived a few blocks west of this neighborhood. This was in 1978. Back then the neighborhood was lily white and crime-free.

No longer.


Murder suspect Danny Aragon-Marquez


Moslem Attack on Train in Flensburg, Germany: Jihadi Wounded Policewoman and Civilian, before Cops Shot Him Dead

By Reader-Researcher R.C.

At Russia Today.

Conservatives are Worse than Worthless, Chap. MMMMMCCCLXXXIV, on Reforming the Antiversity


[Previously, by N.S.: “The Asphalt League of Public Higher Education”; and

“Up from CUNY.”]

Via An Old Friend

Fairly long. Starts with a neat tale about Justice Scalia ...


It fell apart. He tells that great story about Scalia, only to draw conclusions that Scalia had rejected.

Then he unmans himself. “Sexual assault is a heinous crime.”

No, it isn't. Patting a woman on the butt now counts as "sexual assault." If he means rape, he has to say “rape.”

When speaking about the antiversity, there is no good reason to bring up rapes at all, unless one emphasizes non-white rape culture, which this mook failed to do. However, there is great reason to emphasize that rape hoaxing is a heinous crime, since it not only can cost an innocent man his liberty, but for a white man can be tantamount to a death sentence.

Finally, he calls on communist re-education camp commissars to suddenly embrace liberty. This is just stupid. This guy is an impotent, hollow man, “conservative academic.” He surrendered long ago.

Means, ends.

You cannot reform an institution that is under the complete control of incorrigible criminals. That is why I called, in 2001, for mass arrests of antiversity academics. More recently, my colleague John Derbyshire called for “aerial bombardment” of college campuses.

You cannot reform higher ed, but you can limit the damage, say, by eliminating all federal aid, and shutting down as many schools as possible.

That this appeared in the weekly standard is no surprise. That neocon rag surrendered over 20 years ago.

Back in 1998, Editor William Kristol ran an essay of mine on the glory that had been his father, Irving’s alma mater, the City College of New York.

I then pitched, and Kristol greenlighted, through his deputy editor, Claudia Scheaffer, a major report on college remedial education. Because I’d been conned by IQ-denying communists and my own culturist tendencies, I didn’t even mention IQ. And yet, Kristol chickened out. Scheaffer said, “I don’t think Bill liked the tone.”

“Tone.” Translation: He was too cowardly to publish even a watered-down version of the truth.

Scheaffer did send me a kill fee… after I reminded her that she owed me it.

That was 1998, and conservatives are, if anything, worse today.

That’s just one of many reasons why you won’t hear me call myself a “conservative.”

Liberal Education and Liberal Democracy

the weekly standard

Colleges foster smugness on the left and resentment on the right.

John Stuart Mill, the outstanding liberal thinker of his age and perhaps of all ages, took up the topic of liberal education in February 1867 in a magnificent and all-but-forgotten inaugural address he delivered to the University of St Andrews as its honorary president. Liberal education, Mill stressed, differs from professional education. Professional education prepares for remunerative work. Liberal education develops “capable and cultivated human beings.” Capable and cultivated for what? For freedom. For flourishing as free individuals. For self-government—that is, for governing oneself and joining in the government of the country.

According to Mill, liberal education furnishes and refines the mind. It furnishes the mind with general knowledge of history and literature, science, economics and politics, morality, religion, and philosophy. It refines the mind by teaching students to grasp the complexities of critical issues and to appreciate the several sides of moral and political questions. In furnishing and refining the mind, liberal education tends to temper judgment, elevate character, and form richer and fuller human beings.

Though different from professional education, liberal education improves the ability of professionals to practice their professions wisely. As Mill observed, “Men may be competent lawyers without general education, but it depends on general education to make them philosophic lawyers who demand, and are capable of apprehending, principles, instead of merely cramming their memory with details.”

The idea of “philosophic lawyers” may not immediately evoke the life and legacy of Antonin Scalia. Some may suppose that the very notion would be anathema to Justice Scalia and the originalist jurisprudence he championed. To the contrary.

Scalia was a blistering critic of resorting to moral and political theory to resolve hard cases of constitutional law. But his criticism of the “living Constitution” and a “moral reading of the Constitution” stemmed from study of the history of Anglo-American jurisprudence and of theories about the proper role of courts in a liberal democracy. The quarrel between originalism and the living Constitution turns on the very sorts of learning and thinking—the thoughtfulness—at the heart of liberal education.

In the summer of 2015, I saw how the spirit of liberal education suffused Scalia’s judicial pedagogy. I accompanied 25 or so college students to a meeting with him at the Supreme Court. They had come to Washington as part of the Hertog Political Studies Program to study political philosophy, the American political tradition, and domestic and foreign policy. We had an hour with the justice, and at the beginning Scalia stood scowling next to a small lectern. His arms crossed and his brow furrowed, he did not seem pleased.

Scalia began in a gruff tone with a grim hypothetical. “If by some terrible misfortune I should be compelled to leave the United States of America,” he said, to the best of my recollection, “my first priority would be to find a country that protects freedom. I would not search for a bill of rights. As a former law professor who studied comparative constitutional law, I can tell you that the Soviet Union had a long and beautiful bill of rights. It abounded in inspiring promises. Those promises, as you doubtless realize from your study of history, were worthless.”

“Were I to be exiled from my beloved United States of America,” he continued, “I would search for a country with well-designed political institutions so that the powers of government are dispersed and blended among distinct branches that operate to check and balance one another. This, study of government teaches, is the best means to thwart the abuses of power and invasions of liberty to which those who hold political office have been forever prone.”

Scalia fell silent. He surveyed the students. He discerned that he had startled and even discomfited them by elevating the separation of powers above the Bill of Rights. The first hint of pleasure could be seen on his face.

He invited questions. As the students’ queries grew bolder, Scalia began to enjoy himself.

One student asked, “Justice Scalia, why do you write such harsh dissents? Can you really expect your rhetoric to convince your colleagues?”
Scalia chuckled. “No, I don’t expect my dissents to persuade my colleagues. If I am writing a dissent, it means that I have failed to convince a majority of them.”

Smiling now, he added, “I write my dissents the way I do—I try to be lively, hard-hitting, some might say acerbic—for the sake of students. For young men and women like you. I want to wake you up, grab your attention, provoke you to think.”

Rising to the provocation, a student brashly asked the justice to name a case in which his vaunted judicial philosophy yielded a result that conflicted with his political preferences.

Scalia loved it.

“Sure, that’s easy,” he said merrily. “I could name dozens. Among the most dramatic, I suppose, was a 1989 decision, Texas v. Johnson, the flag-burning case.”

Scalia pursed his lips, clasped his hands, thought for a moment, then continued with gusto, “Let me tell you something. In the Kingdom of Scalia, flag burning would be banned. But I don’t live in that land. I’m a citizen of the United States who has the privilege to serve as a Supreme Court justice. My job, my duty, is to determine what the Constitution requires, permits, and forbids. Study of the First Amendment’s original meaning reveals that the Constitution gives broad protection to speech, especially political speech, very much including opinions I detest. Constitutional protection extends to what my Court calls ‘expressive conduct.’ For example, burning the flag is conduct that expresses a political opinion—to my mind, a repulsive one, but a political opinion nonetheless.
Accordingly, I cast my Court’s fifth vote to uphold the right of United States citizens to desecrate the American flag.”

“Mind you,” Scalia added, grinning mischievously, “my vote in Texas v. Johnson came at considerable personal cost. You see, Mrs. Scalia stands watch over the right flank of the Scalia household. For several weeks following my Court’s decision, as she prepared breakfast, she hummed aggressively the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ ”

I recount these highlights from the justice’s conversation with students not only because they provide entertaining and instructive glimpses of the man. (And for the historical record, Mrs. Scalia says she did not aggressively hum the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” but, rather, vigorously waved the American flag at her husband as he sat at the breakfast table.) They also illustrate the importance to legal education of liberal education. To understand the Constitution, you must study not only cases and controversies, but also jurisprudence, history, political theory, competing political traditions, and much more.

Unfortunately, liberal education in America is in bad shape. Our colleges have exposed it to three major threats. They have attacked and curtailed free speech.
They have denigrated and diluted due process. And they have hollowed and politicized the curriculum. These threats are not isolated and independent. They are intertwined. All are rooted in the conceit of infallibility. To remedy one requires progress in remedying all.

Free Speech Curtailed

From speech codes, trigger warnings, microaggressions, and safe spaces to disinviting speakers and shouting down lecturers, free speech is under assault on college campuses. One reason is that, as polls by Gallup and others show, many students do not understand the First Amendment. And when they learn that it protects offensive and even hateful speech, they dislike it.

Why has free speech fallen out of favor? Many university students, faculty, and administrators suppose there is a fundamental conflict between free speech on one side and diversity and inclusion on the other. The freer the speech, the argument goes, the more pain and suffering for marginalized students. This way of thinking springs from a faulty understanding of free speech and of diversity and inclusion in education.

Yes, words wound. Children learn that from experience. History teaches, however, that beyond certain narrow exceptions—such as true threats, direct and immediate incitement to violence, defamation, and sexual harassment—the costs of regulating speech greatly exceed the benefits. One cost is that regulating speech disposes majorities to ban opinions that differ from their own.

Well-meaning people will say, “I hear you, I’m with you, I support free speech, too. But what does free speech offer to historically discriminated-against minorities and women?” The short answer is the same precious goods that it offers to everyone else: knowledge and truth. The long answer begins with three observations.

First, for many years women have formed the majority on campuses around the country. Approximately 56 percent of university students are female. On any given campus, women and historically discriminated-against minorities are together likely to represent a large majority. Thus, the curtailing of campus speech on behalf of these minorities and women reflects the will of a new campus majority. This new majority exhibits the same old antipathy to free speech. It plays the same old trick of repressing speech it labels offensive. And it succumbs to the same old tyrannical impulse to silence dissenting views that has always been a bane of democracy.

Second, as Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman argued last year in their book Free Speech on Campus, far from serving as an instrument of oppression and a tool of white male privilege, free speech has always been a weapon of those challenging the authorities—on the side of persecuted minorities, dissenters, iconoclasts, and reformers. In the United States, free speech has been essential to abolition, women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement, feminism, and gay rights. All took advantage of the room that free speech creates to criticize and correct the established order. Restricting speech—that is, censorship—has been from time immemorial a favorite weapon of authoritarians.

Third, a campus that upholds free speech and promotes its practice is by its very nature diverse and inclusive. Such a campus offers marvelous benefits to everyone regardless of race, class, or gender. These benefits include the opportunity to express one’s thoughts with the best evidence and arguments at one’s disposal; the opportunity to listen to and learn from a variety of voices, some bound to complement and some sure to conflict with one’s own convictions; and, not least, the opportunity to live in a special sort of community, one dedicated to intellectual exploration and the pursuit of truth.

Instead of touting free speech’s benefits, however, schools are encouraging students—especially but not only historically discriminated-against minorities and women—to see themselves as unfit for free speech, as weak and wounded, as fragile and vulnerable, as subjugated by invisible but pervasive social and political forces. Standing liberal education on its head, colleges and universities enlist students in cracking down on the lively exchange of opinion.

Liberal education ought to champion the virtues of freedom. It ought to cultivate curiosity and skepticism in inquiry, conscientiousness and boldness in argument, civility in speaking, attentiveness in listening, and coolness and clarity in responding to provocation. These virtues enable students—regardless of race, class, or gender—to take full advantage of free speech.

In On Liberty (1859), Mill provided a guide to the advantages deriving from the broadest possible protection of free speech. There are three possibilities, he observed. The first is that one’s opinion is false. In that event, we benefit from free speech because it provides access to true opinions.

A second possibility is that one’s opinion is true. But unless we are compelled to defend our true opinions, they grow stale. If they are untried and untested, if accepted on faith and affirmed reflexively by all around us, we lose sight of a true opinion’s foundations, implications, and limitations. If our opinion is true, we profit from free speech because the encounter with error invigorates our appreciation of our opinion’s roots and reach.

The third possibility is the common case. Typically, one’s opinions are a mixture of true and false, as are the opinions of those with whom we differ. Free speech fosters the give and take that enables us to sift out what’s false in our views and discover what’s true in others’ views.

Since free speech is essential to liberal education, we must devise reforms that will enable colleges and universities to reinvigorate it on their campuses. Last year, the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute developed “model state-level legislation designed to safeguard freedom of speech at America’s public university systems.” Consistent with its recommendations, universities could take several salutary steps:

• Abolish speech codes and all other forms of censorship.
• Publish a formal statement setting forth the purposes of free speech.
• Create freshman orientation programs on free speech.
• Punish those who attempt to disrupt free speech.
• Host an annual lecture on the theory and practice of free speech.
• Issue an annual report on the state of free speech on campus.
• Strive where possible for institutional neutrality on partisan controversies, the better to serve as an arena for vigorous debate of the enduring controversies.

Many colleges and universities won’t act on such principles. Public universities, however, are subject to the First Amendment, and state representatives can enact legislation to assist state schools in complying with their constitutional obligations.

Private universities are not subject to the First Amendment. But like public universities, they have a surpassing educational interest in safeguarding free speech. To help private universities discharge their educational responsibilities, states could follow California’s example. Through the 1992 Leonard Law, California prohibits private colleges and universities from restricting constitutionally protected speech. Congress, further, can tie federal funding to schools’ willingness to protect free speech.

Due Process Denigrated

The curtailing of free speech on campus has not occurred in a vacuum. It is closely connected to the denial of due process in disciplinary proceedings dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Both suppose that little is to be gained from listening to the other side. Both rest on the conceit of infallibility.

Campus practices, for example, can presume guilt by designating accusers as “victims” and those accused as “perpetrators.” Universities sometimes deprive the accused of full knowledge of the charges and evidence and of access to counsel. It is typical for them to use the lowest standard of proof—a preponderance of the evidence—despite the gravity of allegations. In many instances, universities withhold exculpatory evidence and prevent the accused from presenting what exculpatory evidence is available; they deny the accused the right to cross-examine witnesses, even indirectly; and they allow unsuccessful complainants to appeal, effectively exposing the accused to double jeopardy. To achieve their preferred outcomes in disciplinary hearings and grievance procedures, universities have even been known to flout their own published rules and regulations.

There is, of course, no room for sexual harassment on campus or anywhere else. Predators must be stopped. Sexual assault is a heinous crime. Allegations should be fully investigated. Universities should provide complainants immediate medical care and where appropriate psychological counseling and educational accommodations. Students found guilty should be punished to the full extent of the law.

At the same time, schools must honor due process, which rightly embodies the recognition that accusations and defenses are put forward by fallible human beings and implementing justice is always the work of fallible human beings. Some would nevertheless truncate due process on the grounds that a rape epidemic plagues higher education, but, fortunately, there is no such thing. The common claim that women who attend four-year colleges face a one in five chance of being sexually assaulted has been debunked. According to the most recent Department of Justice data, 6.1 in every 1,000 female students will be raped or sexually assaulted; the rate for non-student females in the same age group is 7.6 per 1,000. Yes, even one incident of sexual assault is too many. Yes, women’s safety must be a priority.

And yes, we can do more. But contrary to conventional campus wisdom, university women confront a lower incidence of sexual assault than do women outside of higher education.

Others would curb due process because all women should just be believed. Certainly they should be heard. But no one should just be believed, especially when another’s rights are at stake. And for a simple reason: Human beings are fallible. As Harvard professor of psychology Daniel Schacter amply demonstrated in The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (2001), we humans routinely forget, routinely remember things that never were, and routinely reconstruct the past in ways that serve our passions and interests.

Then there’s the question of why universities are involved at all in adjudicating allegations of nonconsensual sex. Nonconsensual sex is a common statutory definition of rape. Generally, universities leave violent crimes to the police and courts. If a student were accused of murdering a fellow student, who would dream of convening a committee of administrators, professors, and students to investigate, prosecute, judge, and punish? For that matter, if a student were accused of stealing or vandalizing a fellow student’s car, would we turn to a university committee for justice? If both murder, the gravest crime, and crimes much less grave than sexual assault—theft and vandalism—are matters for the criminal justice system, why isn’t the violent crime of sexual assault?

After all, administrators, faculty, and students generally lack training in collecting and analyzing evidence, questioning witnesses, and conducting hearings. Why then suppose that they ought to investigate, prosecute, judge, and punish alleged criminal conduct that carries sentences of many years in jail?

Partly because the government said so. In an April 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, the Department of Education reconceived universities’ Title IX obligations. Title IX prohibits institutions of higher education that receive federal funding from discriminating on the basis of sex. That’s good. But the Department of Education equated due process for men with discrimination against women. That’s bad. And it threatened universities with costly federal investigations and the loss of federal funding if they did not drastically reduce due process for those accused of sexual misconduct. That’s very bad.

When the Obama administration sent that letter, it was pushing on an open door. Administrators, professors, and students have internalized doctrines developed more than 30 years ago by the law professor Catharine Mac¬Kinnon. In Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), she argued that in a “male supremacist” society like ours, women may not be able to distinguish sex from sexual assault. In MacKinnon’s world, women are unable to give meaningful consent. Last December, Jessica Bennett, the New York Times’s “gender editor,” restated MacKinnon’s extraordinary claim. Bennett suggested in an essay that “cultural expectations” render some women “unable to consent.” That is, cultural expectations force women who are not subject to the slightest physical coercion to consent to sex contrary to their wills.

Emergency conditions justify emergency measures. The theory that women are a systematically subjugated class—subject to “structural misogyny,” as MacKinnon put it in a February op-ed in the New York Times—motivates the suspension of due process for men. It impels universities to impose on men the responsibility to obtain explicit and unambiguous consent at every step of sexual relations. Under this theory, though, even affirmative consent is not decisive. For campus authorities may always interpret a “yes” as wrongfully extracted by the oppressor’s “emotional coercion” or “emotional manipulation” of the oppressed.

The denial of female agency, which follows from the claim that women are incapable of truly consenting to sex, implies that a man who acknowledges having had sex with a woman has prima facie committed assault. This approach—common on campuses—may be illegal. Insofar as it presumes male guilt and denies men due process, it appears to violate Title IX by discriminating against men on the basis of sex. It is also profoundly illiberal and anti-woman. It turns out that the denial of due process for men rests on the rejection of the belief—central to liberal democracy—that women, as human beings, are free and equal, able to decide for themselves, and responsible for their actions.

The willingness of university officials to deny female agency, presume male guilt, and dispense with due process is on display in the more than 150 lawsuits filed since 2011 in state and federal courts challenging universities’ handlings of sexual-assault accusations. Lawsuits arising from allegations of deprivation of due process at Amherst, Berkeley, Colgate, Oberlin, Swarthmore, USC, Yale, and many more make chilling reading. Numerous plaintiff victories have already been recorded.

Serious as is the problem of sexual misconduct, there is no legitimate justification for abandoning due process, the cornerstone of legal justice in liberal democracies, in campus cases involving sex. The denial of due process, moreover, causes harms that go far beyond the life-altering injuries suffered by wrongly convicted students. It also undermines liberal education. By jettisoning the distilled wisdom about fundamental fairness in a free society, higher education accustoms students to the exercise of arbitrary power. It habituates them to regard established authority as infallible. And it encourages them to see more than half of the student population as unfit for the challenges of freedom.

What should be done? Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos took an important step last year by rescinding the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter. The federal government no longer mandates the denial of due process in campus cases concerning sexual misconduct. But the government doesn’t require due process on campus either.

To take advantage of their newfound freedom to provide due process for all their students, universities might consult the October 2014 statement published by 28 Harvard Law School professors in the Boston Globe. The statement offers guidance in reconciling the struggle against sexual misconduct with the imperatives of due process. It counsels universities to adopt several measures:

• Inform accused students in a timely fashion of the precise charges against them and of the facts alleged.
• Ensure that accused students have adequate representation. Adopt a standard of proof and other procedural protections commensurate with the gravity of the charge, which should include the right to cross-examine witnesses, even if indirectly, and the opportunity to present a full defense at an adversarial hearing.
• Adopt a standard of proof and other procedural protections commensurate with the gravity of the charge, which should include the right to cross-examine witnesses, even if indirectly, and the opportunity to present a full defense at an adversarial hearing.
• Avoid assigning any one office—particularly the Title IX office, which is an interested party because maximizing convictions justifies its presence—responsibility for fact-finding, prosecuting, adjudicating, and appeals.

In, addition, universities ought to make sessions on due process an essential part of freshman orientation.

It is unreasonable, however, to expect the restoration of due process on campuses anytime soon. For starters, it depends on reinvigoration of free speech. A culture of free speech presupposes and promotes a healthy sense of fallibility. That opens one to the justice of due process. For what is due process but formalization of the effort by fallible human beings to fairly evaluate other fallible human beings’ conflicting claims?

Free speech, however, is not enough on its own to rehabilitate due process. Commitment to both is rooted in an understanding of their indispensable role in vindicating liberal democracy’s promise of freedom and equality. To recover that understanding, it is necessary to renovate the curriculum so that liberal education prepares students for freedom.

The Curriculum Politicized

The college curriculum has been hollowed out and politicized. The conceit of infallibility is again at work—in the conviction that the past is either a well-known and reprehensible repository of cruel ideas and oppressive practices or not worth knowing because progress has refuted or otherwise rendered irrelevant the foolish old ways of comprehending the world and organizing human affairs.

The disdain for the serious study of the history of literature, philosophy, religion, politics, and war that our colleges and universities implicitly teach by neglecting them, denigrating them, or omitting them entirely from the curriculum, has devastating consequences for liberal education. Without a solid foundation of historical knowledge, students cannot understand the ideas and events that have shaped our culture, the practices and institutions that undergird liberal democracy in America, the advantages and weaknesses of constitutional self-government, and the social and political alternatives to regimes based on freedom and equality. Absent such an understanding, students’ reasoning lacks suppleness, perspective, and depth. Consequently, graduates of America’s colleges and universities, many of whom will go on to occupy positions of leadership in their communities and in the nation, are poorly equipped to form reasoned judgments about the complex challenges America faces and the purposes to which they might wish to devote their lives.

To say that the curriculum has been hollowed is not to say that it fails to deliver a message but that it lacks a core. Much of college education is a mishmash of unconnected courses. Most undergraduates are required to fulfill some form of distribution requirements. Typically, this involves a few classes in the humanities, a few in the social sciences, and a few in the natural sciences. Within those broad parameters, students generally pick and choose as they like. For fulfilling requirements in the humanities, schools tend to treat courses on the sociology of sports, American film and race, and queer literary theory as just as good as classical history, Shakespeare, or American political thought.

The most common objection to a coherent and substantive core curriculum is that it would impair students’ freedom. Each undergraduate is different, the argument goes, and each knows best the topics and courses that will advance his or her educational goals. What right do professors and administrators have to tell students what they must study?

The better question is why we put up with professors and administrators who lack the confidence and competence to fashion and implement a core curriculum that provides a solid foundation for a lifetime of learning. Every discipline recognizes that one must learn to walk before one learns to run. The star basketball player had to learn the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, and shooting to excel as a point guard, power forward, or center. The virtuoso jazz musician had to practice scales before performing masterpieces. The outstanding lawyer had to grasp the basics of contracts, torts, criminal justice, and civil procedure before effectively structuring complex transactions or ably defending a client’s interests in a court of law.

In every discipline, excellence depends on the acquisition of primary knowledge and necessary skills. Even the ability to improvise effectively—with a game-winning shot, a searing riff, or a devastating cross-examination—is acquired initially through submission to widely shared standards and training in established practices. It is peculiar, to put it mildly, that the authorities on college campuses are in the habit of insisting on their lack of qualifications to specify for novices the proper path to excellence.

But faculty and administrators only half mean what they say when they oppose a core curriculum on the grounds that it infringes on students’ freedom. Professors tend to adhere to a rigid view of what counts as legitimate knowledge and high-level accomplishment in their chosen fields of expertise. Scholars of critical race theory no less than analytic philosophers impose on students a fixed course of reading and seek to direct their thinking within rigorously constructed channels.
Professors across fields and departments understand that designing a core curriculum is unfeasible because they know that there is no shared understanding spanning the contemporary university concerning the general outlines of what an educated person should know.

For many professors, ideological opposition to a core curriculum on the grounds that it interferes with students’ freedom merges with self-interested opposition to it on the grounds that having to teach a common and required course of study would interfere with faculty members’ freedom. University hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions usually turn on scholarly achievement in rarefied areas of research. Powerful professional interests impel faculty to avoid teaching the sort of courses that provide students with general introductions, solid foundations, and broad overviews because those take time away from the specialized scholarly labors that confer prestige and status. Much better for professors, given the incentives for professional advancement entrenched by university administrations, to offer courses that focus on small aspects of arcane issues.

Learning to run before they learn to walk, students squander their college years advancing their professors’ interests in examining fine points of, say, textile production in Guatemala or the impact of the 1950s fashion industry on attitudes about gender and graduate with little appreciation of the operation of free markets and command economies, the lineaments of constitutional government and authoritarian government, and the central teachings of the varieties of biblical faith and the basic doctrines of the other great religions of the world. The absence of a core curriculum, thus, deprives students of the chance to comprehend their civilization and compare it constructively with others. It also leaves them bereft of a common fund of knowledge with which to converse with classmates and formulate their disagreements as well as their agreements.

The hollowed-out curriculum, moreover, is politicized as much by routine exclusion of conservative perspectives as by aggressive promulgation of progressive doctrines. Students who express conservative opinions—about romance, sex, and the family; abortion and affirmative action; and individual liberty, limited government, and capitalism—often encounter mockery, incredulity, or hostile silence. Few professors who teach moral and political philosophy recognize the obligation to ensure in their classroom the full and energetic representation of the conservative sides of questions. Courses featuring Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, and John Rawls abound; those featuring Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Friedrich Hayek are scant.

Worse still, higher education fails to teach the truly liberal principles that explain why study of bothconserv¬ative and progressive ideas nourishes the virtues of toleration and civility so vital to liberal democracy. Many faculty in the humanities and social sciences suppose they are champions of pluralism even as they inculcate progressive ideas. The cause of their delusion is that the rightward extreme of their intellectual universe extends no further than the center-left. Many were themselves so thoroughly cheated of a liberal education that, unaware of their loss, they blithely perpetuate the crime against education by cheating their students.

Small wonder that our politics is polarized. Both through their content and their omissions, college curricula teach students on the left that their outlook is self-evidently correct and that the purpose of intellectual inquiry is to determine how best to implement progressive ideas. At the same time, students on the right hear loud and clear that their opinions are ugly expressions of ignorance and bigotry and do not deserve serious consideration in pressing public-policy debates. By fostering smugness on the left and resentment on the right, our colleges and universities make a major contribution to polarizing young voters and future public officials.

What should be done?

First, freshman orientation must be restructured. Schools should not dwell on diversity, equality, and inclusion while excluding diversity of thought. In addition to providing sessions on the fundamentals of free speech and the essentials of due process, they ought to give pride of place in orientation to explaining the proper purposes of liberal education. This means, among other things, reining in the routine exhortations to students to change the world—as if there were no controversial issues wrapped up in determining which changes would be for the better and which for the worse. Instead, orientation programming should concentrate on helping students understand the distinctive role higher education plays in preserving civilization’s precious inheritance and the distinctive role such preservation plays in enriching students’ capacity for living free and worthy lives.

Second, curricula must be restructured to make room for a core. In our day and age, undergraduate specialization in the form of a major is inevitable. And students accustomed to a wealth of choice and to personalizing their music lists and news sources cannot be expected to abide a curriculum that does not provide a generous offering of electives. But even if a third of college were devoted to a major and a third to pure electives, that would leave a third—more than a year’s worth of study—to core knowledge.

A proper curriculum should not only introduce students to the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. It should also make mandatory a course on the tradition of freedom that underlies the American constitutional order and clarifies the benefits of a liberal education. In addition, the curriculum should require study of the great moral, political, and religious questions, and the seminal and conflicting answers, that define Western civilization. And it should require study of the seminal and conflicting answers to those great questions about our humanity and our place in the world given by non-Western civilizations.
Third, professors must bring the spirit of liberal education to their classrooms. The most carefully crafted and farsighted revisions of the curriculum will not succeed in revivifying liberal education unless professors teach in the spirit of Mill’s dictum from On Liberty, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” Indeed, unless professors recognize the wisdom of Mill’s dictum, they will fail to grasp the defects of the contemporary curriculum that make its revision urgent.

The Professor’s Vocation

To provide a properly liberal education, then, our colleges and universities must undertake three substantial reforms. They must institutionalize the unfettered exchange of ideas. They must govern campus life on the premise that students are endowed with equal rights and therefore equally deserving of due process without regard to race, class, or gender. And they must renovate the curriculum by introducing all students to the principles of freedom; to the continuities, cleavages, and controversies that constitute America and the West; and to the continuities, cleavages, and controversies that constitute at least one other civilization.
To accomplish these reforms, the conceit of infallibility must be tamed. Progress in one area of reform depends on progress in all. But to recall a matter Marx touched on and, long before him, Plato pursued: Who will educate the educators?

Thirty-five years ago, a brilliant young Harvard Law School professor named Roberto Unger published a remarkable essay in the school’s law review. A manifesto of sorts, “The Critical Legal Studies Movement” called for a radical remaking of the American legal and political order. Unger ruefully described the academy that he had recently entered. He likened his fellow professors to priests who had lost their faith but kept their jobs.

Times have changed. The academy has undergone a kind of religious awakening. These days many professors resemble priests who believe their job is to impose their faith. But the zealous priest is no more suited to the vocation of liberal education than is the cynical priest. Professors would do better to take the midwife—in the Socratic spirit that Mill embraced—as their model.

Liberal education’s task is to liberate students from ignorance and emancipate them from dogma so that they can live examined lives. It does this by furnishing and refining minds—transmitting knowledge and equipping students to think for themselves.

What about political responsibility? What about justice? What about saving the country and the world?

Through the discipline of liberal education, professors do what is in their limited power to cultivate citizens capable of self-government. And law professors do what is in their limited power to cultivate thoughtful lawyers. Those are lofty contributions since self-government and the rule of law are essential features of liberal democracy—the regime most compatible with our freedom, our equality, and our natural desire to understand the world and live rightly and well in it.

Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. This is a revised and expanded version of the 2018 Justice Antonin Scalia Lecture delivered on February 5 at Harvard Law School. It draws on previously published essays.

The Worst Years of Our Lives: How Police Conspired with a Vicious Neighbor to Ruin Memorial Day in Denver

By An Old Friend

Administrative State
Bureaucracy All the Way Down

By Steven Hayward
May 30, 2018
Power Line Blog

People tend to think that bureaucracy is a problem of centralization—of power concentrated in Washington, DC, or in state capitals. I think the problem of bureaucracy is more cultural than organizational or doctrinal.

The culture of bureaucracy has taken root in most local governments—the unit of government supposedly closest and most responsive to the people. Like the turtles in the probably apocryphal story of Bertrand Russell, it’s bureaucracy all the way down. In fact it may be even worse at the local level than in Washington some times.

A few years ago I came across a map of the local jurisdictions that imposed bureaucratic restrictions (and often prohibitions) on . . . little kids lemonade stands, such as the Coralville, Iowa, police shutting down 4-year-old Abigail Krstinger’s sidewalk lemonade stand because she lacked a $400 city permit—a feat duplicated in Midway, Georgia; Appleton, Wisconsin; McAllen, Texas, and more than three dozen other cities across the country that were reported in the media. Some parents were slapped with $500 fines for allowing their kids to sell lemonade without the proper (expensive) permits. Local bureaucracies have even restricted or stopped annual Girl Scout cookie sales drives. (See also this story.)

Public health bureaucrats might at least be able to make out a tendentious case of preventing an obscure lemon juice-borne bacteria, though none has yet been offered anywhere that anyone can find. Maybe kids will set up in a location that might cause traffic or is actually hazardous (like in the median of a busy boulevard or something). But in the absence of such rare circumstances the default position for any sensible person is that the number of kids lemonade stands that should be shut down is >zero.

And so naturally this story has me reaching for my pitchfork: Stapleton neighbor calls police on boys’ Memorial Day lemonade stand
DENVER — Being a mom can be a delicate balance—one that Jennifer Knowles knows all too well. She just earned her PhD while raising three rambunctious boys with her husband.

The balance Knowles and parents all over the world face is loving and supporting their kids while teaching them about things like responsibility to lay the foundation for their futures. That was exactly what Knowles was trying to do this Memorial Day in her Stapleton neighborhood.

“We have never had a lemonade stand and the boys thought Memorial Day weekend is going to be great weather, so why not have a lemonade stand across the street in the park,” Knowles said. . . All of the money from the stand was going to charity. The boys were planning on donating all of their proceeds to Compassion International. . .
Now you can guess what’s coming next.

But just a half-hour into their business venture, police arrived.
“The police officers came over and they said that because my boys and I did not have permits for a lemonade stand they shut us down and we had to stop immediately,” she said. “My boys were crushed. They were devastated. And I can’t believe that happened. I remember as a child I always had lemonade stands and never had to worry about being shut down by the police officers. I mean that’s unheard of.”

Turns out someone had complained to the police, which means the Knowles family has some truly crappy neighbors. But why should the police be so mindless as to jump to the complaints of neighbors about a kids lemonade stand?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Nine Murders in Detroit over Memorial Day Weekend

By Reader-Researcher R.C.

Craig vows response to bloody holiday weekend

Eight people were fatally shot during the holiday weekend in Detroit, while a ninth person died of blunt-force trauma.



What's the difference?

Detroit: Number 1 with a bullet.💀

Laughing Mob, Fueled by Racism and Religious Hatred, Beats Parkgoers with Sticks and Fists (Video)

By Reader-Researcher R.C.

SHOCK VIDEO: Muslim Mob Storms Maine Park - Beats Park Goers with Sticks and Fists While Laughing

A mob of Muslim youths beat park goers with sticks and fists last week in Kennedy Park in Lewiston, Maine. The mob of at least 20 youths laughed as they beat two men in the park. At least one man required medical attention. Maine First Media reported: It was an otherwise pleasant evening in Maine …



Maine First Media
Published on May 20, 2018
Parents in Lewiston say it's no longer safe to bring their children to Kennedy Park!

Illegal Alien on Drugs, Twice Previously Deported, Kills Teen and Wounds Father in Crash

By A Texas Reader

Investigators: Man on drugs kills teen, injures father in crash

A Houston family is in mourning after a teen was killed and her father was injured in a violent crash while going to the movies.


Monday, May 28, 2018

Saving Private Ryan: John Williams’ Original Score to the Movie, in 11 Movements, and John Williams on Scoring Saving Private Ryan (Videos)



[Of related interest, at WEJB/NSU:

“D-Day, Sixth of June: The 72nd Anniversary of the World's Largest Amphibious Invasion (The Ultimate Web Presentation, with Articles, and Scores of Photographs and Maps).”]

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

May 30, 2011, 5:30 a.m.
Saving Private Ryan Soundtrack composed by John Williams, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Somber music for a somber movie.

John Williams is God’s gift to the movies.

When Aaron Copland (1900-1990) composed music for a movie, he would not only write stunning music, but lots of it, so that a picture like The Red Pony might contain over a solid hour of music, very little of it repeat themes. He took twice as long writing a score as the typical composer, and he demanded and got a much higher fee—and he earned every bit of it. The opening theme alone to The Red Pony is so stunning that when my 10-year-old son and I saw the picture for the first time last summer, and the opening credits cited Copland, my son said, without prompting, “Thank you, Aaron.”

Although there is a fair amount of repetition in this score, it still blows me away how many great individual themes John Williams wrote for one picture, and how powerful they are, not just the requiem. We Stix men feel the same way about seeing John Williams’ name in the credits as we do about Aaron Copland.

With heartfelt thanks to Ellijah De Leon, who uploaded all of what follows.

01 Hymn to the Fallen


02 Revisiting Normandy


03 Omaha Beach


04 Finding Private Ryan


05 Approaching the Enemy


06 Defense Preparations


07 Wade's Death


08A High School Teacher


08B High School Teacher


09 The Last Battle


10 Hymn to the Fallen (Reprise)


John Williams on Scoring Saving Private Ryan


Uploaded on Aug 21, 2007 by Farma2006.


Captain “Barney O'Goodman,” USMC (1918-1944): Lest We Forget



Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

When I was a wee lad, a couple times a year my mom would call a taxi, and send me and my big sister down to Long Beach’s West End, to visit our Aunt Rose.

The West End was close to 100% Catholic, and overwhelmingly Irish, and yet Aunt Rose had lived there seemingly forever. When we were kids, she still had the sign out front that she was a realtor, though she probably hadn’t done any work for years.

Aunt Rose always served us home-made fish cakes—the world’s worst! They tasted as if she’d breaded them with sawdust.

In the back of the first floor—the only floor I ever saw—Aunt Rose had an old-fashioned sink with two faucets, on opposite sides. The left faucet got you scalding hot water, and the right one got you ice-cold water.

By then, Aunt Rose was severely stooped, stood something like 4’8,” and shuffled around the house unsteadily.

Aside from the TV, a big, old black & white set that was surely a Zenith (Aunt Rose was a fan of the show, Millionaire), the parlor was unofficially the Howard K. Goodman Memorial Museum.

Aunt Rose had given a photograph of Howard in his dress uniform to a painter, whose portrait dominated the room.

On the mantle below the portrait, were Howard’s medals in little boxes. There were at least two, of which I recall only the Purple Heart. The other one must have been his Silver Star.

What a terrible thing, to lose one’s only child in The War.

Nana had told me about how respected Gold Star Mothers were.

Nana, Aunt Rose’s kid sister, had three children, two of whom survived military service. Aunt Ruth (1921-2016), made it to lieutenant in the WACs, and Uncle Irwin (1924-1992) made it to sergeant in the Army and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and then went back for seconds in the Korean War.

Aunt Ruth became an elementary school teacher in Bellmore, New York, while Uncle Irwin worked largely as a college reference librarian in Atlanta.

During Aunt Rose’s latter years, when she and Nana were the last of 14 siblings, all born in Hungary, circa 1873-1893, they would speak on the phone every morning, and every conversation would end with the sisters shouting, “Oh, Rose!,” “Oh, Fan (Fanny)!,” and simultaneously slamming down the phone.

For one of Aunt Rose’s last birthdays, one of the relatives took us all to a fancy Jewish restaurant on the (Long) Island somewhere. All I remember is us sitting at a long row of tables that the staff had pushed together, and everyone starting off with matzo ball soup, which I hated.

Aunt Rose died around 1966, in her early eighties; around the time I turned eight.

Only in 2012 did I learn that Aunt Rose had in fact had three children. She just organized her home, as if Howard had been her only child!

My cousin Howard explained things to me in 2012, when we met at our cousin Philip’s funeral. (Philip was only 55, and while he’d been a skinny kid, he had long been morbidly obese.)

We traveled together afterwards on the LIRR. It seems that Aunt Rose had two daughters, Ruth and Alma, of whom Ruth was Howard’s mother. (Howard Passel was born a few months after the Jap sniper killed Howard Goodman, and Ruth thus named her child after her brother.)

But of course! I’d met Ruth and Alma and their respective husbands many times, when they came to visit Nana, but never made the connection.

If memory serves, Ruth and Alma both became schoolteachers, a common trade for smart Jewish girls, before they discovered that they could become rich as shysters through extortionary lawsuits.

Although I recall Ruth’s husband, I can’t recall his name (Ben?). I’ll rectify that omission later. Alma married Raymond Kaplow (1909-1983), who had made it to at least captain in the Army Medical Corps, and who would become a celebrated orthopedic surgeon.

The West End has always been full of Irish saloons, which is where Howard Goodman would have learned all those Irish songs. He was admitted to the New York Bar about a month before he shipped off, so I doubt that he ever worked as a lawyer.

Howard Kenneth Goodman (1918 - 1944)
By Howard Passel

Captain Howard Kenneth "Howie" Goodman
Born 7 Mar 1918 in Trenton, NJ, USA
Son of Samuel (Gutman) Goodman and Rosa (Frank) Goodman
Brother of Ruth (Goodman) Passel and Alma (Goodman) Kaplow
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died 7 Jan 1944 in Cape Gloucester, New Britain
Goodman-3008 created 1 Jul 2015 | Last modified 22 Apr 2017
This page has been accessed 90 times.


Then there was “Barney O'Goodman.” The records list him as “Captain Howard K. Goodman, a New York lawyer, but they called him Barney O'Goodman because he could sing more Irish songs than any man in the regiment. They called him ‘Bugle Boy,’ too, because he blew his company's calls in camp. It was the only company in the Marine Corps with a captain for a bugler. It was pretty much a company secret."++

Awarded a Silver Star for heroism on Guadalcanal. He was killed on Cape Gloucester because he exposed himself to spot the enemy rather than order one of his men to do it.++


+ My mother, Ruth Goodman Passel. ++ Asa Bordages, Technical Sergeant, U. S. Marine Corps, "From SUICIDE CREEK," Collier's magazine, June 2, 1945.


Howard at Columbia University


Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend 2018, by Viewing the Greatest Motion Picture Ever Made: The Best Years of Our Lives! (Photoessay with Sound Clip and Music Videos)


At Butch's Saloon, the bar that is practically a character in BYOL. From left to right: Harold Russell, Teresa Wright, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Freddie March and standing, bow-tied but cut off, behind Loy and March, Hoagy Carmichael.

Postscript, Memorial Day, 2018: Although I’d seen BYOL five times between circa 1994 and circa 2013, when I saw it this evening, I noticed things I’d earlier overlooked:

When the three protagonists are flying over their destination of Boone City, one (Fred Derry?) notes the military aircraft graveyard, which will be the site of the picture’s most powerful scene, near its end. While hackneyed scripts telegraph what is to come, the greatest scripts subtly intimate things to come;

When Peggy invites the Derries to double-date with her and an admirer, and the girls go to the ladies’ room, the Steve Cochran character, whom Marie Derry has been (unbeknownst to us and Fred) sleeping with, greets her from his table;

Gregg Toland made use of deep focus photography a second time, during the wedding scene;

Possible goof: The same actor who plays the desk clerk at the Air Transport Command at the beginning of the picture, appears to play the clerk at the Boone City office, 1,000 or so miles away, near the end.

The Greatest Picture Ever Made: The Best Years of Our Lives
By Nicholas Stix
May 22, 2011 (Revised for 2017 presentation)

One of the greatest lead performances by an actor ever (Fredric March)? Check.

What was then the greatest performance by a supporting actor ever (Dana Andrews)? Check.

Great supporting work by a brilliant ensemble cast (Myrna Loy, Harold Russell, Teresa Wright, et al.)? Check.

Cinematography by the greatest cameraman of his generation, who gave the world deep-focus photography, which played a pivotal role (Gregg Toland)? Check.

A screen adaptation of a powerful, 268-page poem, Glory for Me, by one of the America’s greatest writers (MacKinlay Kantor), adapted by another of America’s greatest writers, (Robert E. Sherwood)? Check.

One of the greatest original scores ever composed for a picture (Hugo Friedhofer)? Check.

Great dialogue, including one of the greatest speeches ever written for a movie? Check.

If I sound like a DVD salesman, I am, but I’m not working for a commission. If America hadn’t been infected by the toxin of racial socialism, there’d be no need for me to promote BYOL, because every school child in American would already have seen it in elementary school.

But you don’t even have to order BYOL, though I recommend that you buy both the DVD of the picture, and the CD of its score, both of which we purchased a few years ago for the Stix Family library. Turner Classic Movies is presenting the picture tonight, at 10:15 p.m., as part of its Memorial Day Marathon—34 pictures, spanning 72 hours.

Some movies seem like masterpieces the first time you see them—Woody Allen’s Zelig hit me that way—but their impact fades with repeated viewings. Others, however, become more powerful with time. That’s the way it is with masterpieces. True Grit has had that effect on me over the years, since seeing it during its first run.

I knew that BYOL was a masterpiece the first time I saw it, in an Upper West Side Manhattan revival house (which I’m sure is long gone). The last surviving cast member, Teresa Wright, spoke to the audience. (I can’t, for the life of me, recall the year; must’ve been the mid-to-late 1980s.)

Since then, I’ve seen it three or four more times, to where I can say the lines ahead of the players. And I’m not the only one in this house that can do that.

And so, BYOL has climbed the charts of my top movies. First, Kane ruled the roost alone. Then, it was Kane, the Godfather, and The Godfather, Part II. And now, it’s the Big Four. However, I give BYOL a slight edge, due to its emotional power. I suppose, from a rigorous arithmetical standpoint, BYOL should reign alone at number one, with the other three pictures tied for number two, but I’m not ready to do that. Thus, here is my current Top Ten:

1. (Tied) The Best Years of Our Lives
1. Citizen Kane
1. The Godfather
1. The Godfather, Part II
5. It’s a Wonderful Life
6. Shane
7. It Happened One Night
8. On the Waterfront
9. (Tied) The Bridge on the River Kwai
9. (Tied) Lawrence of Arabia

At Butch's Saloon, the bar that is practically a character in BYOL. From left to right: Harold Russell, Teresa Wright, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Freddie March and standing, bow-tied but cut off, behind Loy and March, Hoagy Carmichael.

Main Title to BYOL’s Score, by Hugo Friedhofer


The Greatest Picture Ever Made: The Best Years of Our Lives
By Nicholas Stix
May 22, 2011 (Revised)

If a more powerful picture than The Best Years of Our Lives has ever been made that doesn’t have The Godfather or Kane in its name, I haven’t seen it.

The idea for the picture came from producer Samuel Goldwyn’s wife, Frances, who had read an article in 1944 about the problems some veterans were having, returning to civilian life in the Midwest. Goldwyn commissioned Iowan Mac Kinlay Kantor (here and here), who had served in the Army Air Force to write a script, and Kantor duly headed to a cabin in the country with a few cases of scotch, only to return a few weeks later with a … poem!? It was published in 1945 with the subtitle “A Novel” on the cover, but it’s a 268-page, narrative poem entitled Glory for Me that opens,
Fred Derry, twenty-one, and killer of a hundred men….
And a powerful poem it is, but Sam Goldwyn was not amused. He had to hire a second screenwriter, the legendary Robert E. Sherwood, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes, to translate and shape Kantor’s poem into screen prose. Sherwood worked his magic, but Kantor must share the credit, if not the Oscar. The picture won eight Oscars in all, and deserved every one of them.

Because Goldwyn had engaged Freddie March to star, the focus of the story was shifted away from Fred to Al, while Homer’s affliction was changed from spasticity to having had his hands burned off in a battle. (And a good thing, too. Homer’s spasticity in the poem is just too heartbreaking to take.) And yet, running at two hours and 50 minutes, each character has enough screen time to merit Best Actor consideration.

“The Homecoming”


The After-Dinner Speech: Fredric March as Al Stephenson

March imbues banker Al Stephenson with his signature mix of tragedy and comedy. Nobody played a comical drunk better than March, and Al Stephenson is a drunk. A functioning, jovial drunk, but a drunk, nonetheless. He loves his family, but hates his boss at the bank, Mr. Milton (Ray Collins), “the old hypocrite.”

Ray Collins as Mr. Milton, “the old hypocrite”

I don’t know of any harder scripting task than writing a good speech. Can’t be too short or too long. Can’t be too melodramatic. Sherwood gives March’s drunken Al Stephenson an oft-times hilarious speech as the guest of honor at a dinner held by his boss, to celebrate his return and promotion, in which Al goes from the heights of his career to almost talking himself out of a job. It’s a real tightrope act, but March pulls it off, with subtle assistance from Loy.

Clip of the Speech


Fredric March as Al Stephenson, l, Ray Collins as Mr. Milton, and Myrna Loy as Millie Stephenson

March uses some stage business as subtle punctuation to the misery Al feels in his work life. Anytime he deals with Mr. Milton or some other intolerable situation, he must have a drink or a cigarette in his hands. His creeping problem is that he increasingly also needs a drink in his hand, even when he’s in a happy situation.

“Elevator / Boone City / Peggy”


Although Al is upper-middle-class, he served as a sergeant in the infantry, which permits March to embody the other characteristic that his best roles always exemplified: The aristocrat with the common touch, as he shows off particularly in his speech, and in a confrontation with Fred.

Speaking of Fred, Dana Andrews’ role as the poor kid who made it to bombardier captain in the Army Air Force, a tortured hero who saw his buddies die in front of his eyes on a burning bomber, permitted him to display his unique blend of easy masculinity and doubt-ridden vulnerability that he’d established in 1944’s Laura.

Andrews had a role big enough to qualify for a Best Actor nomination, along with March, and gave one of a handful of the greatest supporting actor performances ever, up there with Karl Malden in On the Waterfront, and Walter Brennan reading from the telephone book.

This was Andrews’ Oscar, but it was not to be.

“Fred & Peggy”


The Academy wanted to do something for veterans that year. Harold Russell was not only a veteran, but one who’d had both of his hands burned off in an accident. It would have all been fine, if the Academy had simply given Russell the honorary Oscar that it ultimately bestowed on him. But they couldn’t leave well enough alone, and the powers that be not only gave Harold Russell an honorary Oscar, but nominated him for the official Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, as well. And who was going to stand in his way? Not that year.

The citation for Russell’s honorary Oscar reads, “For bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives.”

Don’t get me wrong; Russell gave an excellent performance by professional standards; never mind that he was a “civilian.” He was particularly good in his scenes with Dana Andrews. But Andrews gave a performance for the ages.

And that was it for him.

“The Nightmare”


As Al’s daughter, Peggy, Teresa Wright’s insistent performance can be annoying at times, and yet, even it works, because she is paired with Myrna Loy, whose light touch is the perfect counterpoint as her mother, Millie.

“Neighbors / Wilma / Homer's Anger”


This was one of the last pictures that Gregg Toland photographed. His legendary “deep focus” technique of filming a scene on a sharp angle, in order to clearly show the action both in the foreground and background, was put to its best use in the saloon scene, where Al, Homer, and Uncle Butch are in the foreground, but the real action is in the background, as Fred makes a fateful call from the telephone booth at the other end of the bar, a call whose content only Al knows.


Gregg Toland's deep focus shot at Butch's Saloon

Director William Wyler wanted Aaron Copland* to score the picture, but Copland was busy with other projects for the foreseeable future, and so Wyler instead engaged Hugo Friedhofer.

“Fred Asleep”


Friedhofer wrote a bold, ambitious score, but also gave the picture a distinctly Coplandian flavor. (It is impossible to overstate Copland’s influence on American movie music. Even Spike Lee has used his work.) He took an uptempo theme on the speeded-up nature of town life from Copland’s score to the 1937 ballet, Billy the Kid, slowed it down, and made it lush with strings, as the leitmotif of Homer’s longsuffering girlfriend from next-door, Wilma, in expressing her romantic and domestic yearnings.

An earlier musical passage, “The Homecoming,” depicts the emotions felt by the three protagonists, Al Stephenson (Fredric March), Fred Derry (Dana Andrews), and Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) as they ride home in a supply plane. First, during the night while the other men asleep, Homer is filled with foreboding (this passage could be called “Homer’s Theme”). In the morning, the tempo and the men’s (even Homer’s) spirits pick up, as they see the old landscape of Boone City, and having once landed and sharing a taxi, they hit their old hometown, after four years off fighting the war. First comes the thrill of watching city life—their city, with pretty American girls walking down the street all dolled up—and yet, it’s like they’re seeing it for the first time. Then comes the foreboding each man feels as he nears his family home, after having been away for so long. Has the world back home passed them by?

“Homer Goes Upstairs” (Duet Between Homer’s Theme and Wilma’s Theme, Accompanying the Characters’ Debate)


Dana Andrews in the aircraft graveyard scene

Finally, comes the scene at the airplane graveyard, thanks to Friedhofer, Toland, and Andrews, the most powerful scene in the entire picture. That scene comes early in Glory for Me, but Sherwood wisely moved it towards the end, and juxtaposes it with Fred’s father finding the medals and citations for bravery, including the Distinguished Flying Cross—just short of the Medal of Honor—that the humble Fred had not so much as mentioned to him and his stepmother.

Aircraft graveyard scene: Capt. Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) in the cockpit of a B-17 Flying Fortress, on its way to be scrapped

“The Citation / Graveyard & Bomber”


Because the picture was made immediately after war’s end, Sherwood and Wyler were able to freshly capture the mood of the nation, and at the same time, certain ephemeral physical conditions, e.g., aircraft graveyards were available that would soon be gone. Note that at the time Hollywood, which had many performers in uniform, and more than a few who'd actually seen combat, was not the enemy of the people that it has since become.

“End Title & End Cast” (Wilma’s Theme)


The Best Years of Our Lives was nominated for eight competitive Academy Awards, of which it won seven, plus Harold Russell’s honorary Oscar. The title is ironic, and comes from a speech in which Fred’s floozy of a wife (Virginia Mayo) complains that she gave up “the best years of my life” for him while he was off fighting in the war. (Not that the slut gave up a thing!) The double irony is that the title became an iconic phrase, due to its connection to the picture, yet shorn of its ironic origins. Over the next 20-odd years, it became standard usage in the vernacular to speak of veterans as having sacrificed “the best years of their lives.”

[*It’s a blessing that Hugo Friedhofer scored the picture, rather than Aaron Copland. Wyler hated classical composers, and made their lives miserable. Three years later, he would hire Copland to score The Heiress.

Critics have lauded Copland for pioneering a new way in that movie to score women’s pictures, but Wyler would butcher Copland’s score, mashing it up with incompatible music he had a second composer write. Nevertheless, the Academy would award Copland his only Oscar for The Heiress.

Communists have since maintained that Copland, who was a communist (but not a Party member), was blacklisted by Hollywood, but that’s just another blacklisting myth. It was Willi Wyler who drove Aaron Copland out of Hollywood!

In 1958, Wyler did it again. He hired classical composer Jerome Moross to score his epic Western, The Big Country. Moross composed one of the greatest scores for any movie. The tin-eared Wyler hated it, and decided to scrap it. It was only the intervention of star and co-producer Gregory Peck that saved Moross’ masterpiece of a score.

**In the past, I have posted a video of the scene of Fred Derry at the airplane graveyard. Since then, the heirs of Samuel Goldwyn have foolishly and pettily sicced the Kopyright Kops on Youtube, and forced it to take down the video.

Samuel Goldwyn’s greedy heirs’ act will not earn them one penny more. If anything, it will cost them royalties, as thousands of people who would have seen the scene and heard the music, and thereby been inspired to buy the DVD, will now never buy it. Good job!]

“Exit Music”