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The almost terminal stupidity in contemporary American culture is the sub-topic of four items today. The first from Washington Examiner posts on reviews of the movie Dunkirk.
… At USA Today, Brian Truitt laments “the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color.” This, Truitt explains, “may rub some the wrong way.” …
… The Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold beat me to it, explaining why Truitt’s review is so silly. But let me add one point. What measure of honor would there be to inject “actors of color” into a historical event in which no persons of color served? It would be like making the civil rights movie, Selma, but hiring all white actors to play the parts that black demonstrators played in real life.
In a similarly silly take, at Slate.com, Dana Stevens suggests the British Army at Dunkirk was the “last bulwark against Nazi invasion of the British mainland.”
No, this is just wrong. Even if the British Army had been captured, there were two further bulwarks against invasion. First, the British Royal Air Force (RAF). As history records, the RAF was crucial in holding off swarms of German bombers that aimed to destroy the British will to resist and means of doing so. Unless and until the RAF was defeated, the Nazis would have not been able to protect ground forces on the landing grounds and approaches to London. (Incidentally, Hitler’s idiocy in diverting German bombers away from RAF airfields and towards British cities helped the RAF win the day.)
Second, the Royal Navy. …
Walter Williams attempts to deal with left propaganda that tries to portray slavery as an American institution.
… Large numbers of Christians were enslaved during the Ottoman wars in Europe.
White slaves were common in Europe from the Dark Ages to the Middle Ages. It was only after the year 1600 that Europeans joined with Arabs and Africans and started the Atlantic slave trade.
As David P. Forsythe wrote in his book, “The Globalist,” “The fact remained that at the beginning of the nineteenth century an estimated three-quarters of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.”
While slavery constitutes one of the grossest encroachments on human liberty, it is by no means unique or restricted to the Western world or United States, as many liberal academics would have us believe. Much of their indoctrination of our young people, at all levels of education, paints our nation’s founders as racist adherents to slavery, but the story is not so simple. …
… The most unique aspect of slavery in the Western world was the moral outrage against it, which began to emerge in the 18th century and led to massive elimination efforts. It was Britain’s military sea power that put an end to the slave trade. And our country fought a costly war that brought an end to slavery. Unfortunately, these facts about slavery are not in the lessons taught in our schools and colleges. Instead, there is gross misrepresentation and suggestion that slavery was a uniquely American practice.
A Johns Hopkins instructor told a joke and the university decided there would be hell to pay.
For the past six years, I have taught an undergraduate course on international economics at JohnsHopkinsUniversity. Most of my students thought it was a very good course. So I was shocked when, on December 6, 2016, I was met at the door of my classroom by Johns Hopkins security personnel and barred from entering.
The next day, I received a letter from my dean suspending me from my teaching duties—just three classes before the end of the semester.
What had I done to cause such a reaction by the administration? I had told a joke when discussing off-shoring, the practice of firms shifting work abroad, often in search of lower wages. Here it is:
‘An American loses his job due to his work being off-shored. He is very depressed and calls a mental health hot line. He gets a call center in Pakistan where the call center employee asks, “What seems to be the problem?” The American responds that he has lost his job due to the work being sent overseas and states, “I am really depressed and actually suicidal.” The call center employee says, “Great. Can you drive a truck?” ‘
The lecture on off-shoring took place several weeks earlier. The stated reason for my suspension was that three students (out of 68) complained that my joke had created a “hostile learning environment” in the class. That’s a charge most college administrators now take with the utmost seriousness. …
The old saw, “They don’t make them like they used to” is right, because usually things are made better. Unless, of course, the idiots in government get involved. American Lens with a post on what went wrong with gas cans. If you’re driving through an old neighborhood and see a garage sale, a good piece of advice is stop and see if they have old gas cans. Because they don’t make them like they used to.
… Soap doesn’t work. Toilets don’t flush. Clothes washers don’t clean. Light bulbs don’t illuminate. Refrigerators break too soon. Paint discolors. Lawnmowers have to be hacked. It’s all caused by idiotic government regulations that are wrecking our lives one consumer product at a time, all in ways we hardly notice. …
… The whole trend began in (wait for it) California. Regulations began in 2000, with the idea of preventing spillage. The notion spread and was picked up by the EPA, which is always looking for new and innovative ways to spread as much human misery as possible.
An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”
The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do. …