Free Markets, Free People

Stray Voltage

Is the panic and uproar concerning the “college rape crisis” similar to the McMartin preschool travesty?   Christina Hoff Sommers sees some similarities.

It appears that we are in the throes of one of those panics where paranoia, censorship, and false accusations flourish—and otherwise sensible people abandon their critical facilities. We are not facing anything as extreme as the Salem Witch Trials or the McCarthy inquisitions. But today’s rape culture movement bears some striking similarities to a panic that gripped daycare centers in the 1980s.


Today’s college rape panic is an eerie recapitulation of the daycare abuse panic. Just as the mythical “50,000 abducted children” fueled paranoia about child safety in the 1980s, so today’s hysteria is incited by the constantly repeated, equally fictitious “one-in-five women on campus is a victim of rape”—which even President Obama has embraced.

The one-in-five number is derived from surveys where biased samples of respondents are asked an artful combination of straightforward and leading questions, reminiscent of the conclusory interviews behind the daycare agitation. A much-cited CDC study, for example, first tells respondents: “Please remember that even if someone uses alcohol or drugs, what happens to them is not their fault.” Then it asks: “When you were drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent, how many people ever had vaginal sex with you.” (Emphasis mine.) The CDC counted all such sexual encounters as rapes.

Reputable studies suggest that approximately one-in-forty college women are victims of rape or sexual assault (assault includes verbal threats as well as unwanted sexual grabbing and fondling). One-in-forty is still too many women. But it hardly constitutes a “rape culture” requiring White House intervention.

She makes it clear that any sort of sexual abuse should be taken seriously and pursued legally.  However, she cautions that allowing a panic to take hold simply isn’t in the best interest of anyone.  My question remains, why are colleges left to investigate and sort this out anyway?  Considering that rape is a major violent crime, seems to me law enforcement should be involved immediately.  My guess is that doing so will cut down on both false reports and the crime itself.  But hey, what do I know.

Well here’s a milestone that one could go without seeing:

In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their own household.

Obviously part of the problem has to do with the dismal economy.  But there’s also something to be said about an education system that doesn’t prepare kids for the real world, participation trophies and helicopter parents.  There’s a popular meme that shows the 19 year olds of D-Day storming the beaches of Normandy set off against the special snowflakes at just about any university you can name, huddled up in their “safe spaces” and sharing whatever they’ve identified as their “pain” (you know, like chalk political slogans on the university sidewalk) with counselors.  There’s a good reason why there are more adults of 18-34 years of age living in Mom’s basement.

They’ve never been properly prepared to leave the place.  Pew Research thinks it is mostly about the economy.  Yes, but it is also a lot about the failure of both parents and government (via schools) to prepare these young adults to assume their role in society.  Or, perhaps, it is where government is quite happy to see them … in a dependent and pliable status where it can better control them.  Who know?

So, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official unemployment rate dropped by 0.3% to bring it under 5% at 4.7%.  How, you might wonder, could the rate drop so drastically when only 38,000 jobs were added last month?  Easy.  500,000 Americans were dropped from the calculation, assumed to be no longer looking for work.

Other than that, the government and its apologists are trying to blame the weak numbers on the Verizon strike.  But, Reuters doesn’t seem to be buying the spin:

The U.S. economy created the fewest number of jobs in more than five years in May, hurt by a strike by Verizon workers and a fall in goods producing employment, pointing to labor market weakness that could make it difficult for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by only 38,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain since September 2010, the Labor Department said on Friday. Employers hired 59,000 fewer workers in March and April. The government said the month-long Verizon strike had depressed employment growth by 34,000 jobs. …

Even without the Verizon strike, payrolls would have increased by a mere 72,000.

The Verizon workers, who were considered unemployed because they did not receive a salary during the payrolls survey week, returned to their jobs on Wednesday. They are expected to boost June employment.

So with weak numbers both March and April, it’s … Verizon.  Right.  Another in a long line of disingenuous nonsense from your government to fool you in believing everything is on the upswing.  Welcome to Recovery Summer #7!

Gee, if only someone had warned them about this:

Wendy’s has placed an increasing emphasis on tech as wages have begun rising in regions across the country. Last year, the company opened a technology and innovation center called 90° Labs in Ohio, which it said would be used to “develop differentiating, interactive digital experiences for our customers, employees and franchise system.”

Other restaurants are making similar moves to combat rising wages. McDonald’s is testing self-serve kiosks in some of its stores, which CEO Steve Easterbrook called “progress” in the company’s most recent earnings call. Some have speculated that the greater use of tablets — and even robots — could also be on the horizon. Other restaurants, like Shake Shack, are choosing instead to offset higher-wages the old-fashioned way: by raising prices.

Any guesses how long the “Shake Shack” will be able to afford the loss in business to “offset” higher wages?

Meanwhile at the day care center:

Students at Yale University recently sent a petition asking the English department to drop two required classes covering “Major English Poets” because reading those poets “creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color.”

You see, they want to “decolonize” the course.  Note the title – “Major ENGLISH poets”.  Included among these poets are Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot.  Hmm … everyone of them an ENGLISH poet.  Question to the snowflakes – who would you replace them with and still be within the course title?  Back when these folks wrote ENGLISH poetry, there were few LGBTQ poets who identified as such.  In fact, there weren’t any that I’m aware of who self-identified and focused on that.  Same with poets of color. Or feminist poets (note I didn’t say female, but I do leave it to those more expert in this field to identify any major female poet of the time that should be included). All of that my not be particularly agreeable with the SJWs, but it is both reality and history.

“A year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms students, regardless of their identity.”

Well, here’s an idea, don’t take the course!  If it does such “active harm” to the students you identify (and who must have the lowest self-esteem on the planet), then find something else to study.  Because like it or not, when you attempt to take your place in society outside of your safe space, they’re not going to excuse the fact that you are ignorant of the major players in ENGLISH poetry.

Here are students who are the most privileged in not only America but likely the world, whining because the object of their study isn’t the right color or sex for them.  Apparently the utility of these dead white males is all wrapped up in their skin color and sex.  I can imagine what they’d call anyone else who based their approval on such trivialities, can’t you?

Have a good weekend!


19 Responses to Stray Voltage

  • 18-34 year olds – never been properly prepared to leave the place…
    See the “Just as the mythical “50,000 abducted children” fueled paranoia about child safety in the 1980s” cited above for one of the causes of that problem.
    And they’re ‘children’ until they’re 26 so they can be covered by your health insurance.
    No ‘tag’, no ‘dodgeball’, etc, etc, etc.

    Good (theoretical universal simulation designer) Lord.
    As pointed out our parents at that age were off in foreign places, not so merrily shooting at, and being shot at by people who seriously intended to kill them.

    Butterfly effect hell, this was a sensationalist media fueled government sanctioned and operated industrial supersonic wind tunnel.

  • “…students of color.” Why are art students required to take two classes covering “Major English Poets”?

  • That unemployment rate (U-3) that is 4.7% should now be considered the employment optimism index (i.e. those unemployed people who believe it is possible that they can get a job).

    • Ref your “Employment Optimism Index” :

      Bravo!!!!! That’s a good one.

      • Everybody knows that if there ever were more jobs out there that a lot (but not all) of the 97 million Americans who are even trying, would try. The U-3 would skyrocket up then go down as we get to full employment.
        A couple of months ago it went up a bit, but the employment participation rate went down so it was really just more bad news.

  • “When students are made to feel so alienated that they get up and leave the room, or get up and leave the major, something is wrong.”

    Indeed. They have been taught that it’s OK for them to be intolerant, hypersensitive bigots of the first order, and all it will get them is more pow-wah when they express that.

    Instead of being taught about the common links that tie all of humanity together, they’ve been taught to think in terms of their own tribe, sub-tribe, and micro-tribe.

    “Rape Culture”

    This is another of those tribal things, complete with its own mythology. It’s all about “hate men” PLUS “another avenue for victimhood”. Colleges are run by people with very strong totalitarian urges, who ALSO believe they are much better equipped to deal with crime than police.

    MANY of them SHOULD be unemployed. Alas, that trend is heading in the wrong direction still…

    • ” Alas, that trend is heading in the wrong direction still…”
      Than can only continue if they get the government to pay for college educations.
      Because when the “Employment Optimism Index” is as low as it is, the well for private funds to send more kids to college is going to run dry sooner rather than later.

      Going to be interesting no matter who moves into the White Building that slaves built come next January.
      Very interesting, actually.

  • “Meanwhile at the day care center”

    Love that line.

  • Considering that rape is a major violent crime, seems to me law enforcement should be involved immediately. My guess is that doing so will cut down on both false reports and the crime itself. But hey, what do I know.

    You answered your own question. They want these done in quasi-court or civil court where the standard of proof and the consequences are not as severe. Just destroying a person’s reputation, harm their employment now and future, and damage their family. This will help get the ‘correct’ convictions aka validations that support the narratives. And although they lack prison time they harm is sufficient to instill constant fear of the progressive machine. Step out of line, next thing you know you’re in kangaroo court by someone you barely know or met. The kangaroo courts may not be 100% under control of the progressives, if they become the norm, they will be. With no consequences to false accusations, not even public humiliation which pretty much already silenced by the media, there will be and endless supply of false accusations to be had against anyone.

  • Those Verizon employees are Communications Workers of America (CWA) union members.
    My father used to be a CWA shop steward who hated the CWA because they were prone to calling strikes where the final agreement at the end looked the same as before the strike, thus more likely than not, Verizon got to not pay 1000’s of employees while most of the automated systems just kept on running.
    The “rank-and-file” get to vote for the local officials, but it’s the local officials who elect the national union management … sort of the way most organized crime organizations work.

    • It was a little of both for both sides in the end – my connections got redeployed back east and crossed the line every day.
      But the union had to cave on the health plan, that is, they have to pay for some of it themselves, like the rest of us do.
      Scuttlebutt is that the guv got involved because having 30,000+ extra people being counted as unemployed was going to be bad news for the awesome unemployment numbers.

      What we don’t know is what, if any, concessions the company might have gotten from the administration in exchange.
      Course THAT would never happen, right?

  • Now this is interesting …

    28.6% of donations to Bernie Sanders come from the unemployed

    • Unemployed people panic and want a handout. Unemployed people disproportionately support Democrats. Republicans used to be able to promote jobs as a solution but that was back when they would actually try to peal back taxes and regulations. They don’t say much because all they support is H1-B’s, TPP, illegal immigration, and unfree trade where we accept the short end of the stick and call that free trade. Things the Democrats, who thrive on unemployment, also want which should tell you how good they are for jobs.

      • The GOPe should bear in mind that the hired infantry of the French nobility continued to be paid, right up to the time they were overrun by the mobs at the gates.
        Clearly some of the current crop of hired men don’t see yet they’re likely to lose, at least, their cushy Washington jobs once their owners think it’s time to flee.
        They should understand they’re expected to hold the gates long enough for the treasury to be loaded up and hauled off, and after that it’s TLFYOYO for them.

      • Most folks I know don’t have any spare bucks. Even more so when they are unemployed.

  • Christina Hoff Sommers is quoted:

    “We are not facing anything as extreme as…the McCarthy inquisitions.”

    That’s a stupid analogy. The only thing extreme about McCarthy’s investigations was that he was almost always right.

    • The postmodern narrative on this is clear. McCarthy was mean and icky. He treated innocent people so badly he might as well have tortured them.

      But my side is winning. Obama (PBUH) thinks like me. Your obsolete way of thinking is being swept away.

      I so much like coming here and hearing your doom and gloom. You must be miserable, while I’m cavorting with nubile coeds on foreign trips and then coming home to savor vistas of pine trees and moose. And heal up some abrasions because I forgot to pack lotion and those European hotels don’t have any. And, of course, occasionally dropping by to irritate you dense righties. Which isn’t either sick. Stop saying that. The other leftist pragmatic moderate members of the faculty has assured me that it isn’t. They all see magenta caterpillars too.

      • I am duly chastened, Ott.

        How can I get you to allow me to forgive myself?