• No offense, please. That’s the hyper-sensitive approach to that nameless holiday in late December

    I am happy–I repeat–happy to wish people a Merry Christmas.

    Perhaps that’s because I actually hope they have a Merry Christmas.

    I say that even though I celebrate Hanukkah. True, I am never quite sure how to spell it. Its English spelling seems to meander, at least for me.

    Back to Christmas . . . as a kid, I was always delighted to see friends riding around on their new bicycles and going to church with their families to celebrate the day.

    I had my holiday. They had their’s. No harm, no foul.

    All was well between us, even if no one had ever heard of multiculturalism.

    I remembered these warm sentiments the other day, as I walked past DePaul’s building in the Chicago Loop.  (It’s a satellite campus. Their main one is farther north.)

    There, taking up the side of a building, was a big sign wishing everyone, “Happy Holidays.”

    DePaul, mind you, is a private school, so they can wish you anything they want.

    It’s also a Catholic school, which would seem to give it some connection to . . . well, Christmas.

    But, nooooooo.

    I wanted to see if DePaul’s website was more forthright. Nope.

    I assume DePaul’s administrators have only the most benign sentiments. They are probably thinking, “If we said, ‘Merry Christmas,’ it might not be inclusive enough. It might offend. There are lots of other faiths and lots of agnostics and atheists out there, and we want to wish them a happy time, too.” That’s a fine thought, but it assumes we wouldn’t respect their integrity as a Catholic institution for saying what they really believe. The only people it will hurt, IMO, is people who are rigid and intolerant, either because of their own religious beliefs or because they hate all religions. Why give them a veto?

    When people wish me a Merry Christmas, I take it with the good cheer with which it is extended.  Why not?

    The University of Minnesota goes much further in stamping out these greetings. Granted, it is a public university, which places some limits on what they can and cannot do legally. But I don’t see why that should prevent the employees from wishing each other all kinds of holiday greetings and putting up Christmas decorations or Hanukkah decorations if they wish.

    Not so, they say.

    Employees of the University of Minnesota received a document this week saying:

    In general, the following are not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year since they typically represent specific religious iconography:

    Santa Claus, Angels, Christmas trees, Star of Bethlehem, Dreidels, Nativity scene, Bows/wrapped gifts, Menorah, Bells, Doves, Red and Green or Blue and White/Silver decoration themes (red and green are representative of the Christian tradition as blue and white/silver are for Jewish Hanukkah that is also celebrated at this time of year).” University of Minnesota memo to employees, reported at Intellectual Takeout

     

    Documents that authoritarian tend to come from offices named “Diversity” and “Inclusion.” And those are the Orwellian Scrooges behind this gem.

    Got that? RED and GREEN are forbidden as “religious iconography.” So are BLUE and White (because they are Jewish religious iconography, I guess).

    Santa Claus? Oh, the horror.

    And why, pray tell, is Festivus excluded? Are they not worthy enough to be prohibited?

    Somewhere, I fear, the University of Minnesota’s librarians are burning “A Christmas Carol” to keep the administrators warm for the season.

  • Today in University Snowflakes, figuratively and literally: “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” is Now Deemed Racist

    It happened in London, but it could just as easily have happened at any American university.

    The outrage, which is either feigned or hypersensitive, illustrates the usual combo that work together to suppress independent thinking on campus after campus:

    1. Group A, progressive students (“I am offended by everything”) and
    2. Group B, spineless university administrators (“I apologize completely, abjectly, and with total humility. You are my moral superior. I will go and work in the rice fields with the peasants and learn from their wisdom.”)

    Today’s example comes from London’s large, distinguished university: UCL (University College London)

    Here is the tweet and the abject apology. I will spare you the “outraged” tweets from SJWs.

    What saddens me most is how singing groups like the Drifters buy into this invidious White Supremacist Ideology.

    Btw, their version is wonderful!

  • California NAACP knows how to stop the controversy over the National Anthem: Abolish it

    The Sacramento Bee reports

    When California lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, the state chapter of the NAACP will be seeking their support for a campaign to remove “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.  –Sacramento Bee

    Besides a resolution supporting Colin Kaepernick, the organization urged Congress to rescind what the NAACP called

    one of the most racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon –NAACP of California

    Comment: Given Congress’ busy agenda, it will be hard to squeeze in this fine legislation.

  • ZipDialog Roundup for Saturday, September 30

    Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
    Linked articles in bold purple

    ◆ Why Trump fired Tom Price and what it means, going forward

    Comment: He was only appointed because he was the most knowledgeable Republican Congressman on healthcare.

    So, he was a good choice as point man to repeal and replace Obamacare with a new bill. When that didn’t succeed, he was expendable.

    We’ll never know if he would have survived another year or two if he had simply behaved himself. But he didn’t.

    Flying private jets on the public dime is justifiable if and only if the trips are vital to the senior official’s time and the private plane saves a lot of otherwise wasted time.

    Flying them in other cases and asking the public to pay is simply an unjustified perk and a perfect example of the Washington Swamp. Trump was right to fire Price for that reason alone. 

    Comment #2: Trump’s cabinet is not the first to misuse these privileges. I’m impressed that Chief of Staff John Kelly learned from this mess and immediately set up new procedures, requiring Cabinet officials to go through his office whenever they want to fly private jets at government expense.

    Mike Pence protégé, Seema Verma, seen as frontrunner to replace Price: She has deep experience running government health care programs (New York Post)

    Verma currently heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the Affordable Care Act.

    Verma led Indiana’s expansion of Medicaid when Pence was governor.

    Comment: Experience is essential. HHS has 80,000 employees and a $1 trillion budget.

    Indiana has been one of the three or four best-run state governments for two decades or more. Running programs there is high praise. Running them in Illinois normally leads to indictment.

    Victor Davis Hanson on “A Lying Quartet”: The Obama Officials who Surveilled their Political Opponents (American Greatness)

    The names are familiar:

    Susan Rice
    James Clapper
    John Brennan
    James Comey

    With a lot of details about their publicly-stated falsehoods, plus plenty on Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes, and others.

    Rarely has an intelligence apparatus engaged in systematic lying—and chronic deceit about its lying—both during and even after its tenure. Yet the Obama Administration’s four top security and intelligence officials time and again engaged in untruth, as if peddling lies was part of their job descriptions.

    So far none have been held accountable. –Victor Davis Hanson

    Colin Kaepernick: Imperfect Messenger. Donated $25,000 to group named after convicted cop killer who broke out of jail and fled to Cuba (Daily Mail)

    Comment: Kaepernick started something big politically when he knelt. That brings scrutiny–and he has not fared well under that microscope.

    Comment #2Cuba really needed American recognition when Obama handed it to them. As usual, he got nothing in return, not even the return of convicted US criminals who were given asylum by Castro’s government.

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    Hat Tip to

    ◆ Tom Elia for the Kaepernick story 

    ◆ Clarice Feldman for the Victor Davis Hanson op-ed

  • ZipDialog Roundup for Friday, September 22

    Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
    Linked articles in bold purple

    ◆ North Korea was sufficiently flummoxed by Trump’s speech that it postponed its own UN speech til Saturday

    The official NK media called Trump names normally heard only at Antifa rallies: “Mentally Deranged U.S. Dotard” (New York Times).

    The word itself is sufficiently odd that the Washington Post had to run an article explaining it. (Link here) Short definition: A person in his dotage.

    His latest threat is an H-Bomb test over the Pacific (Wall Street Journal, subscription)

    Comment: Expect fire and brimstone from the North Koreans at the UN on Saturday.

    This is not going to end well.

    The really big news is that China’s Central Bank has told all the country’s banks to stop all dealings with North Korea. That’s a major step, one Trump himself called unexpected (Reuters)

    It does not mean all banks will comply, but the penalty (from the US and perhaps China) will be severe for cheating.

    North Korea will undoubtedly try to utilize other currency streams: British Pounds, Euros, Gold, Bitcoins, whatever, but I expect London and Frankfurt will follow Washington’s lead on this.

    Comments:

    1. North Korea is very canny in finding and hiding new sources of financing. The US and others will have to monitor transactions very carefully and punish violators harshly.
    2. It is quite likely that Pres. Trump’s very strong speech to the UN and the credibility of US military threats moved China to take measures against North Korea it clearly did not wish to take and has avoided for two decades.

    Raging Bull Jake LaMotta dead at 95. Champion fighter in the early post-war years was subject of Scorsese movie(New York Times)

    Obama Presidential Library getting lots of pushback from black neighborhood (Chicago Tribune)

    Now that Obama is about to build his presidential center in Woodlawn’s Jackson Park, some residents are wary of his ability to transform neighborhoods without doing harm to longtime residents who could end up displaced by gentrification.

    A nasty fight over a community benefits agreement with the Obama Foundation has exposed an unexpected rift between the former president and some of the South Side residents who helped lift him to prominence. –Chicago Tribune

    Comment: Part of the issue is “rent seeking.” Locals want a cut of the action, and Obama won’t sign an agreement with them.

    Another part is that the whole complex, including a fancy golf course, is an upscale project on the lakefront. Pres. Obama had a chance to build it two miles away, in an area with much better transportation and a neighborhood that really needed it.  He preferred the more prestigious site instead. Finally, a lot of the pushback is that activists claim his presidency “didn’t do enough for black people.”

    According to the Tribune:

    At a community forum Wednesday night, a discussion about the proposed agreement morphed into a shouting match over whether Obama actually loves black people. One man in the audience yelled, “No,” while others said he wasn’t necessarily “their brother.” –Chicago Tribune

    ◆ Paging Alex Haley

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