Monday, March 06, 2006

Boola Boola

The newest Yalie lifts a glass to his beloved Bulldogs.

MORE LINKS IN THE CHAIN. The continuing collapse of the Ivy League into self-hating dementia is chronicled in two good articles today.

John Fund describes the circumstances surrounding the matriculation of Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi at Yale. We'll only quote the beginning, but it's all worth reading.

Are there no limits to how arrogant and out-of-touch America's Ivy League schools can get? Last week it emerged that Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, former deputy foreign secretary of the Taliban, is now a student at Yale while at the same time the school continues to block ROTC training from its campus and argues for the right of its law school to exclude military recruiters. King George's troops played the music to "The World Turned Upside Down" as they surrendered at Yorktown. Perhaps the Ivy League should adopt that tune as they surrender all vestiges of common sense.

Yale's decision to admit Mr. Rahmatullah is particularly jarring given constant reminders of the Taliban's crimes--both past and present. Last week, as President Bush visited democratic Afghanistan, its TV news aired fresh footage of beheaded bodies being paraded through a street. The men had been murdered because they opposed local Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists.

Last week I described Mr. Rahmatullah's remarkable visit to The Wall Street Journal's offices in the spring of 2001. After a meeting in which he defended the Taliban's treatment of women and said he hadn't seen any evidence that their "guest" Osama bin Laden was a terrorist, I felt I had looked into the face of evil.

And Camille Paglia smacks Harvard around for the Summers debacle and related events.

WHAT went wrong at Harvard?

Tomorrow, Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences will meet for the first time since the resignation of the university's president, Lawrence H. Summers, two weeks ago. The dean of Arts and Sciences, William Kirby, resigned in late January, reportedly after clashing with Mr. Summers. When Mr. Summers leaves on July 1, there will be a serious leadership vacuum at Harvard, which has been torn by strife during his short five-year tenure.

Larry Summers, a former Treasury secretary, assumed the presidency with a high sense of mission. Determined to effect change, he took bold and confrontational positions. He endorsed proposals to expand the campus across the Charles River to Allston, attacked anti-Semitism and rampant grade inflation and laudably argued for the return of R.O.T.C. to Harvard.

But whatever his good intentions, Mr. Summers often inspired more heat than light. His stellar early career as an economics professor did not prepare him for dealing with an ingrown humanities faculty that has been sunk in political correctness for decades. As president, he had a duty to research the tribal creeds and customs of those he wished to convert. Foolishly thinking plain speech and common sense would suffice, he flunked Academic Anthropology 101.

While many issues are rumored to have played a role in Mr. Summers's resignation (including charges of favoritism in a messy legal case involving foreign investments), the controversy that will inevitably symbolize his presidency was the manufactured outcry early last year over his glancing reference at a conference to possible innate differences between the sexes in aptitude for science and math. The feminist pressure groups rose en masse from their lavishly feathered nests and set up a furious cackle that led to a 218-to-185 vote of no confidence by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last March.

Instead of welcoming this golden opportunity to introduce the forbidden subject of biology to academic gender studies (where a rigid dogma of social constructionism reigns), Mr. Summers collapsed like a rag doll. A few months later, after issuing one abject apology after another, he threw $50 million at a jerrybuilt program to expand the comfort zone of female scientists and others on campus. That one desperate act of profligate appeasement tells volumes about the climate of persecution and extortion around gender issues at too many American universities.

Again, the whole piece is worth reviewing as a reminder that Alan Dershowitz isn't the only American liberal who regards the state of the nation's most prestigious universities with alarm.

What's most interesting about the current hot topics is the absurd contradiction they highlight. Predatory feminists at Harvard drive their university's president into the weeds, while at the rival (and some would say mirror) institution Yale, the same academic mindset results in pandering to the single most concentrated community of woman-haters on the planet, the Taliban. The academics don't see any problem with this. They don't see any contradiction. But all the sneering they do at the rest of the country is rooted in their supposed intellectual and moral superiority over the common folk.

There is no explaining this mentality. There is only a disbelieving description of it. They are suffering from a disease of consciousness, similar to Alzheimer's but darker, which is advanced enough that it does not know what of its essential qualities have been destroyed. It operates in a shrunken, distorted and fragmentary world and beholds nothing but a reflection of its own fancied magnificence. The madness has become a separate universe.

The short term is brain damage. The minds of our universities are rotting and taking a once valuable asset away from us. John Fund is wrong about one thing: even mockery is useless. These mental cripples are too far gone.

Do you care?

You damn well should.

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