Read it and Weep

(Elodie Arbogast • The Student Life)
(Elodie Arbogast • The Student Life)

Comfort in a space is a privilege. Like many forms of privilege, it is left unobserved and overlooked by those who have it. People at the 5Cs feel comfortable in the spaces they can claim ownership over, and uncomfortable in spaces where they cannot.

But those comfortable in a space often remain ignorant of their privilege because, paradoxically, those who are uncomfortable in the space will rarely enter it.

The 5Cs are known for their prominent outdoor programs, such as Pitzer Outdoor Adventure (POA) and On the Loose (OTL), which are some of the most funded extracurricular activities on the Claremont Colleges. However, POA and OTL trips are predominantly white spaces.

Both clubs claim to be accessible: while trips are open to any student wanting to go, not everyone feels the same ease in entering the outdoors. This discomfort is unfortunately caused by existing racial boundaries.

Historically, white people in imperialist conquests have appropriated land as their own. North America rightfully belongs to indigenous communities, yet it has been taken away from them by force. Consequently, a false sense of ownership of nature permeates white America.

Similarly, the image of a modern outdoor enthusiasts is white, as is the historical image of a naturalist. The great icons of nature – John Muir, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau – are all white men. At present, most famous rock climbers are also disproportionately white.

This whiteness manifests in the term “outdoorsy” – a descriptor for those who spend a significant time in the outdoors, who are equipped with the necessary gear, and who feel connected to nature. The image of the “outdoorsy individual” is an exclusive classification that gives white people the authority to venture into the outdoors freely, leaving people of color behind.

In addition to racial barriers, financial barriers also prevent access to the outdoors. Many National Parks are hundreds of miles from large cities. Consequently, only those with access to a vehicle and money for gas will be able to enjoy them. Similarly, only students with economic privilege have the resources to attend summer programs that teach wilderness skills.

Thus, the emphasis on acquiring requisite skills and specific knowledge in order to access the outdoors excludes low-income individuals.

The exclusion is further perpetuated by the use of obscure outdoor lingo in descriptions of trips. No one who has never climbed before knows what a tri-cam, a grigri, or an ATC is. These terms are useful for ease of discussion among those who rock climb, yet remain obscure to those who have not.

Due to the predominance of whiteness in the outdoors, people of color have been denied access to the outdoors. The solutions, however, are numerous.

First, OTL and POA should continually affirm that nature exists as a collective space owned by all by virtue of being human, not by virtue of being white. POA should continue to hold discussions about race and inclusivity in their weekly meetings.

Second, the image of the outdoor enthusiast should not belong to white people. Conversely, people of color should feel comfortable identifying themselves as “outdoorsy”, and white individuals should exert caution as to not dominate ownership of the word.

Third, instead of declaring prerequisites, trips should proclaim their accessibility – their ability to accommodate everyone regardless of experience. POA and OTL should organize more accessible, entry-level workshops and trips that do not require advanced technical skills. Trips should advertise the skills you will learn, not the skills you will need.

Finally, OTL and POA should work with affinity groups to increase accessibility in the outdoors. These outdoor clubs should challenge their members to personally encourage those with no outdoors experience, and those who have been systematically excluded, to join a trip with them or attend a weekly meeting. Friendship can act as a portal to the wilderness for those who have historically been denied the privilege of comfort.

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Together Forever?

John Hawkins:

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” – The Declaration of Independence

Remember the woman who was fired for flipping off Trump’s motorcade? Well, she has been deluged with job offers from liberals and a Gofundme set up in her name has raised 117k dollars and counting. This seems like a small thing, but it’s indicative of where we are as a society.

There was a time when doing something trashy like flipping off a presidential motorcade would be frowned upon — not because everyone loves the President, but because no one with class would do anything like that. Those days are gone and they’ve been replaced by non-stop trolling, outright hatred of people with differing opinions and grotesque tribalism. Gridlock has become the rule of the day in Congress for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is that the Right and Left simply don’t agree on much anymore.

Just as an example, ask yourself this question:  how many of the fundamental questions about American life do you agree with Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi on? Think about the basic questions of American life.

The Constitution? Conservatives believe in it. Liberals believe in a “living Constitution” which is fundamentally no different than having no Constitution at all.

Religion? Conservatives tend to believe in Judeo-Christian values. Even atheists who are conservative tend to at least be friendly to those values. Liberals mock Judeo-Christian values.

What about patriotism? Conservatives tend to love their country. Liberals love this country like a wife-beater loves his spouse.

Conservatives tend to be capitalists. Liberals tend to be socialists. Conservatives believe people should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. Liberals believe your race defines you. Conservatives believe in equality of opportunity. Liberals believe in equality of results. Conservatives believe in freedom of speech. Liberals are fine with silencing people that disagree with them. Conservatives believe in small government. Liberals believe in a frighteningly powerful central government dictating your every move.

That last one is perhaps the most significant because if liberals could live the way they want in California, New York and Connecticut while conservatives could live as they please in Texas, South Carolina and Utah, we could shrug off our differences. As the government in Washington becomes ever more powerful, that is no longer allowed.

Getting back to that central question, what do you agree with Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama on? There are certainly some things. For example, Nancy Pelosi represents San Francisco and presumably likes the city. I’ve visited and certainly liked it as well. Barack Obama likes golf and basketball. Certainly there are plenty of conservatives who feel the same way. If we got right down to it, there are probably plenty of conservatives who like the same clothes, restaurants and TV shows that Obama and Pelosi do…but, is that enough to hold together a nation over the long haul?

America is going to be testing that proposition over the next few decades.

Recently, a Republican group in North Carolina asked me to come out and speak. After my speech, there was a Q&A session and someone there asked me, “Is it time for people who love their country to get their guns, head to D.C. and do something about what’s happening in our country?”

Just to be clear, he wasn’t advocating a terrorist attack or a random shooting; he was asking if it is time for patriots who love this country to attempt to overthrow the government to help bring our nation back to Constitutional governance.

What DIDN’T happen is worth noting. Nobody laughed. Nobody shouted, “Oh, come on!” Nobody said, “Oh, that’s just crazy, Dave. You’ll have to excuse him and his wild questions.” Instead, people sat quietly and listened for my response.

The short version of what I told him was “no.” It is not time to split the country apart and have a revolution. That’s a very extreme step and it should only be taken in the direst of circumstances

The longer version of what I told him is that he’s right to be concerned about the country and that, yes, it is entirely possible we won’t hold together long term. What happens when we – almost inevitably at this point – have a debt-driven economic crash which causes Social Security and Medicare to be gutted? Other than wanting to get those checks, what do we have holding us together anymore? Eating lunch at McDonald’s? Watching The Walking Dead? NFL games….oh wait, sorry. We don’t even have that anymore.

We have broken bonds as a nation before:  first, with the British, then during the Civil War. Regrettably, we may be headed toward another break down the road. That’s not something anyone should welcome, but when large percentages of the population are forced to live under grating rules they disagree with in the strongest of terms, paid for with increasingly large amounts of tax money they didn’t want to give up and implemented by people they don’t like, respect or feel bound to as a people, no wise person should assume that will continue indefinitely.

The Tyranny of Tenure

Mike Adams:

The problem with my leftist colleagues really isn’t their politics. It is their lack of courage. And it is getting worse. Granted, I have long heard reports of professors abusing students in the classroom. But those reports have drastically increased since the election of 2016. I would like to provide just a few examples before commenting on the effects such cowardly abuse are having on students and on the general campus climate:

*A professor was giving a pro Black Lives Matter lecture. A student countered the professor by making the rather obvious observation that “all lives matter.” Upon hearing it, the professor denounced his student as a racist three times in front of the entire class. Each time she tried to explain herself, the professor shouted “racist!”

*On the first day of class, a professor circulated her syllabus with a clause telling students they were banned from making “disrespectful” remarks during class discussion. Over the course of the next three and a half months, the professor repeatedly claimed that all white police officers are racists and that simply aspiring to be a police officer is evidence of racism. Students were prevented from rebutting the professor by the selectively enforced ban on “disrespectful speech.” She equated denial of racism with racism, which she classified as inherently disrespectful.

*A professor told his freshman students that anyone who voted for Trump is both a racist and a fascist. A teenaged student raised her hand to offer her non-racist and non-fascist reasons for supporting Trump, albeit reluctantly. The professor shook his fist at her and shouted, “shut up!” repeatedly until the student finally gave up.

*A professor hurled profanities about Trump and Pence in a classroom tirade. When a student countered that Pence is a “good man” he was told that he was mentally ill and needed to go to the counseling center to get “professional help” before returning to class. The accusation that the student suffered from mental illness was repeated in front of dozens of students.

It is unsurprising that students learn from their professors. Generally speaking, that is what they are there to do. So it comes as no surprise that the increase in uncivil classroom conduct by professors is being accompanied by an increase in uncivil conduct by students across our campus. Several members of the College Republicans (CR) group recently found that out when they decided to host a speech about free speech by the author of this column. Some of the more troubling incidents surrounding the event include the following:

*An Iraq War veteran and current UNCW student was posting club flyers for weeks when he noticed they were being torn down. After he went to replace them he started to monitor the bulletin board. In the process, he caught a feminist student in the act of tearing down his flyers. When confronted, she peppered him with an f-bomb-laced tirade. A few professors approached upon hearing all the commotion. They simply stood by and listened while the feminist verbally abused the veteran.

*After the female president of the CRs hung flyers advertising the free speech event they were torn down. She stapled the next bunch of flyers and left a note promising to hang two for every one torn down. A male student left a note calling the female student and her friends “c*nts.” Campus feminists were so outraged they marched on Washington, D.C. Just kidding. They didn’t care.

Days before the speech, the same student defaced more flyers. This time, instead of directing the c-word toward the women he attacked the speaker with defamatory statements. Specifically, he claimed the speaker was sued for divorce after his wife discovered he liked bestiality. The self-professed communist and Antifa supporter was reported to the administration for stealing and defacing flyers. Unlike communism itself, his fate is yet to be determined.

*Finally, the speech day arrived. After the speech itself, no leftists tried to ask questions during the Q&A session. This is despite the fact that the humble and awesome speaker assured those in attendance that the First Amendment equally protects both respectful and disrespectful questions.

The day after the speech, the students who waived their free speech rights in the Q&A started putting up signs on campus referring to the speaker as a “c*ck.” The ringleader previously interned for the Democratic Party. I know you’re shocked.

Readers should immediately discern the obvious parallel between the antics of these cowardly professors and their unhinged student followers. The professors shut down dialogue in the classroom and repeatedly insult students who disagree with them. Similarly, leftist students forego invitations to engage in dialogue with conservatives. Lacking the power to control their fellow students, they refrain from face-to-face attacks and instead attack their fellow students anonymously. This tactic is employed unless, of course, they are actually caught in the act of tearing down their opponents’ speech and must therefore resort to in-your-face hysteria.

My Marxist colleagues are not true revolutionaries. They are cowards in a civil war of their own creation. And they are poisoning the academic climate with their toxic and highly contagious intellectual cowardice. Each one of them should be dishonorably discharged for the crime of academic malpractice.

Regrettably, tenure prevents any prospect of justice. Thus, the freedom to perpetuate tyranny prevails.

The Terrible Generation

With all the awful things happening now – the discord, the anger, the stupidity – at least those of my generation can rest easy knowing that the Millennials are going to suffer after we’re gone. Sure, I’m going to die a lot sooner than them – unless someone invents some sort of expensive life extension potion that I can buy but they can’t because they will still be paying off their degrees in Oppression Studies and Virtue Signaling Arts until the year 2083. But at least I’ll know that we left them a suitably terrible world, since they are a terrible generation.

Millennials are the spawn we deserve – annoying, posturing, and frequently pierced. They are utterly convinced of their own moral superiority, and yet they don’t even believe in morals. Well, that’s not quite true – they just confuse morals with the increasingly bizarre patchwork of taboos and fetishes of the social justice weirdos they use as their moral compasses. When you ask people, “What’s the world’s biggest problem,” and they answer, “The structural paradigm imposed by cisgender Western males,” and you reply, “How about, I dunno, ISIS?” and they answer “Well, who are we to judge their culture?” it’s slappin’ time.

We warned them to stay off our figurative lawns, and now it’s time to figuratively tackle them like Kentucky libertarians.

I was born during the last week of the Baby Boom, making me…older than the Millennials. So I straddle that useless generation and the useless one that followed. It used to be called Generation X, but no one calls it that anymore because it made no lasting impression. Obama was in my generation. We’ll never live that down. In any case, I remember when calculators were newfangled, phones were attached to walls, and Showtime was the bomb.

OK, so we dug this country $20 trillion into debt, we have a world full of enemies and a military that’s collapsing, and we saddled Millennials with Obamacare, a magical system that makes healthcare worse, but at least it costs more. Yet they seem cool with it. Oh, and politically, the country is divided as never before, at least not since Lincoln, who you Millennials think owned slaves because … sheesh, you nitwits think Lincoln owned slaves.

There was a time when liberals and conservatives didn’t segregate themselves into different bubbles and hate at each other. Recently, Time magazine ran an article about some liberal chick who dumped a guy during a date because he voted for Trump. That never would have happened years ago. Instead, they would have finished their encounter, and he would have given her a fake number so he never had to deal with her pinko nagging again.

But we seem to be losing everything that made us great. Back in the day, we crushed uppity Russian empires, no thanks to commie-hugging liberals who told us that the Reds loved their children too. You Millennials know that awful Sting song – your mom used to listen to it in the Volvo while carting you to soccer or whatever other sick, soul-killing enrichment activities she forced you into instead of letting you run free in the streets and woods like we did. But now we cower at the same losers Reagan stripped of their Ural Mountain oysters in fear of them posting some super-persuasive Facebook ads targeted at making autoworkers in Michigan fall out of their deep and abiding love for Hillary.

Yeah, we messed up, but you Millennials reading this on your smartphones, which you can see without glasses or squinting, shouldn’t act so high and mighty. You had a chance to fix all of this and instead you’ve chosen to never move out of your parents’ houses and to just sit around and invent new pronouns for genders that don’t exist. A couple decades down the road, when I’m dead from chronic bitterness and drinking too much expensive cabernet that I buy with the Social Security money you’ll be toiling to pay me, you won’t have families or careers. You’ll be my age and still making coffee for the next generation of ingrates, the children of the immigrants and super-religious Christians who represent the only portion of America still making babies. You’ll come home to your used Mitsubishi love robot named Olive, reheat some Sara Lee avocado toast sticks, and watch Saturday Night Live as it tries to make fun of President Donald Trump, Jr.

But while we’re still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. There’s that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others’ throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we don’t fix it – bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.

But I guess that’s kind of up to you though, because as so many of you on Twitter like to point out, I’m going to die a lot sooner than you are. And that kind of makes the future your problem. (Kurt Schlichter)

Self-Sacrifice

We keep hearing about how angry Trump voters are destroying the Republican Party, but last week’s Schumer-show demonstrated that the people running it would rather run it into the ground than give up their grip on power. The Smart Set managed to get slaughtered on election night – let’s not sugarcoat it, we got creamed. And the dim bulbs in Congress seem determined to somehow turn tax cuts into something Republican voters hate. The GOPe makes everything worse, like pumpkin spice.

Oh, and then there’s Roy Freaking Moore, whose creepitude led to the inevitable lecture about conservative principles, which apparently now include accepting every accusation pushed by our media enemies at face value. We know the guy is guilty of being like Jerry Seinfeld, and he may be worse and actually criminal. If he is, Moore needs to drop and the Alabama legislature needs to redo the rules to get a viable Republican into the race. But we don’t know, and the voters have a right to wonder why the GOPe was so eager to embrace a shaky claim pushed by a media we have seen lie and lie again about Republicans to help their liberal masters. All this makes it hard to come to any conclusion but that the GOP establishment thinks that the only way to defeat the virus of conservatism is to set fire to the party and hope that a few elections from now their Boehner-based, crony trough-feeding paradigm will rise again from the ashes like a K Street phoenix. It’s as if they want to get wiped out in 2018, and that’s the one objective they actually seem capable of achieving.

Gillespie’s loss was no shock – Virginia is a blue state no matter what the hope-springs-eternal crowd keeps saying. What was a shock is that the GOP failed to anticipate the down ticket Democrat turn-out tsunami. A Frisco zillionaire targeted marginal GOP districts, pumped in money and support and caught the GOP napping. A bunch of Republican delegates lost their seats, and not by that much – but by enough. Yet, none of the GOP brain trust saw this coming, and the enemy stole a march on us. Who is getting fired for this screw-up? If the answer is “Nobody,” we might as well pack it in next year.

It’s never good to lose, but losing will teach you more important lessons than winning. We now know that not only are Dems motivated, but they’ll be playing – with money and data support – in every marginal race. We have a year to prepare – are we doing that? What’s our strategy? Who the hell is responsible for coordinating 2018 anyway?

Is the GOPe planning on throwing the mid-term election to teach us uppity rubes a lesson?

Crazy? Would you put it past them? According to some of the fanatic Never Trumpers – who overlap with much of the GOPe/Conservative Inc. crew – we have some sort of moral obligation to lose as penance for not adhering to their measured, sensible guidance. Make no mistake – some of them see a defeat in 2018 as the first step back to their former glory. Think of all the cruise cabins they can sell in 2019 to folks eager to hear from superstars like Vin Weber and Eric Cantor about the great stuff the GOP will do when it controls the House again!

One obvious answer to the 2018 problem, assuming the GOPe even feels that the fact we are on track to lose our House and maybe Senate majorities is a problem, is for our legislators to do the things they promised to do and thereby make us not hate them so much. But the big problem is that in election after election they promised us what they would do if given the chance, and then, when we gave them the chance, they revealed that they didn’t actually want to do what they promised. They are discovering that blatantly lying to your base’s collective face is a risky strategic choice.

The GOP congressjerks couldn’t manage to undo Obamacare, despite their unequivocal promises, and now they seem intent on passing some sort of tax reform that is worse than not passing any sort of tax reform. What is this insane “taxes on a postcard” fixation? What we care about is paying less – I want a fifty page return if it saves me money. You take away deductions and our tax bills go up – and this nonsense about lowering rates is not going to undo the damage to the kind of people who usually … wait for it… vote Republican. But hey, the corporate rate will drop. Let’s all chip in for that. I know I’m glad to lose key deductions so the big donors can keep more cash.

Now, we could always lower everyone’s rates, and “pay for it” by…brace yourself…cutting spending. Except apparently cutting the budget is off the table. Leave it to the GOPe to decide that the winning Republican message for 2018 is “Tax and Spend.”

But hey, who says Congress can’t deliver? They’ve already delivered a year of investigations into the Trump/Putin/Chet the Unicorn collusion conspiracy. I know investigating our president in line with a liberal election defeat excuse narrative was my second biggest GOP priority following the humiliation of Felonia von Pantsuit and her supporters in the conservative cruise industry.

My first priority, and yours, was always to give amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, and the GOP caucus is chomping at the bit to do that. Apparently Dreamers’ dreams of taking advantage of violating our laws and eventually become loyal Democrat voters are much more important than our own conservative voters’ dreams of their mandatory crummy health insurance rates not doubling.

And then there is Roy Moore, an outsider who I would prefer was not the nominee but I am not an Alabamian and I don’t get a say. I don’t know whether he did something 40 years ago, nor do you, but was it a smart move by the GOPe to immediately jump on-board the tumbrel taking him to the guillotine and give up on a Senate seat based upon a mere accusation? We know the case against him – he may well have done it, and there may be more shoes to drop – but why might GOP voters view this ultra-convenient revelation with suspicion? Here are some reasons:

  • A critical Senate seat is at stake, and this ancient news only dropped after it became impossible to replace him.
  • Moore denies it.
  • It is a uniquely deadly charge that cannot be refuted (or proven) except by believing one of the alleged participants.
  • We’ve seen many false sex crimes accusations.
  • We’ve seen Fusion GPS paid by Never Trumpers and/or the Democrats manufacture a fake dossier to falsely accuse the President of sex weirdness.
  • The Washington Post is a rabidly partisan liberal paper and part of a mainstream media whose members have, in the era of Trump, decreed that they are no longer to be objective put instead advocate for their partisan agenda.
  • We have not heard directly from the woman. Yes, the WaPo article contains alleged quotes, but those quotes are processed through the paper (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been misquoted – yep, that’s everyone). Her claims have not been subject to cross-examination. That makes her WaPo statements hearsay, which is traditionally viewed skeptically if admitted at all.
  • The WaPo did not reveal that one of the (legal age) girls worked for Hillary. That seems like a potentially relevant fact, right?
  • The WaPo found this woman when no one else – either in Alabama’s media or among opposition researchers over decades of Moore’s political life – did, no doubt via the extensive web of contacts that WaPo maintains in rural Alabama. Doesn’t that seem…odd? What’s the real story about how this all came out?

I don’t know if Moore is guilty – if he is, the hell with him and let’s replace him on the ballot a la Robert Torricelli – but I know that the facts around this claim should make any reasonable person want to know more before they judge. Except not among the GOPe. In 2017’s least surprising development, John McCain demanded Moore drop out simply because he was accused. Yet when the New York Times accused McCain – he says falsely – of an affair, well, the Blue Falcon didn’t drop out of anything. And Mitt Romney, who always reminds me of a talking weasel wearing a $5,000 suit, had to pipe up and do the same. This was the same Mitt who Harry Reid lied about regarding his taxes so effectively. You’d think they’d both be sensitive to the potential for left wing smears, but no. We have two Republicans who were both falsely accused demanding that we give up a Senate seat because of an accusation the accused says is false – an accusation made on the pages of one of our greatest enemies no less. Does that seem legit?

So what are GOP voters supposed to think when they note how these paragons of virtue signaling have not been demanding the resignation of Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, who is in the midst of a federal corruption trial – a case where there are hints their pal The Distinguished Gentleman from New Jersey cavorted with underage hookers? And the Adults In The Room wonder why their voters have nothing but contempt for them.

As for Moore, it is properly the people of Alabama who will pass judgment. My guess is the voters of Alabama will believe Moore and choose him over the guy who wants to kill babies. I suspect that part of the reason will be to tell the GOPe that Alabamians will decide for themselves who represents them.

What a mess. The Republican Party seems to have no interest in addressing its electile dysfunction. The Democrats are preparing for battle; the Professional Republicans are sulking because their voters won’t obey. They seem not just unable but unwilling to pass the agenda they promised the base. And whenever there’s a narrative damaging to the party to be hopped on, despite reasonable grounds for skepticism, hop on they do. If the GOP establishment wanted to lose, what would it do differently? (Kurt Schlichter)