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Penn Law Prof. Amy Wax on Her Controversial ‘Return to Cultural Norms’ Editorial

One professor expressed her opinion on what cultural norms have to do with societal problems. You can guess what happened next.

Samantha Harris writes:

University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax argued in an editorial that many of the problems plaguing American society—opioid abuse, unemployment, inner-city violence—can be traced to “the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.”

Wax and her co-author suggested the “re-embrace” of cultural norms such as education, marriage before children, and respect for authority by Americans would “significantly reduce society’s pathologies.”

The firestorm that followed the editorial’s publication culminated in 33 members of the Penn Law faculty publicly denouncing Wax in an open letter published in The Daily Pennsylvanian. The professors did not engage Wax’s arguments on the merits, but instead spoke of their concern for an ideal educational experience in which people “respect one another without bias or stereotype.”

The letter concluded with a thinly veiled invitation to students to report Wax or anyone else who doesn’t toe the company line when it comes to matters of diversity: “To our students, we say the following: If your experience at Penn Law falls substantially short of this ideal, something has gone wrong, and we want to know about it.”

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Penn Law Prof. Amy Wax on Her Controversial ‘Return to Cultural Norms’ Editorial

University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax argued in an editorial that many of the problems plaguing American society—opioid abuse, unemployment, inner-city violence—can be traced to “the breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture.”

Wax and her co-author suggested the “re-embrace” of cultural norms such as education, marriage before children, and respect for authority by Americans would “significantly reduce society’s pathologies.”

The firestorm that followed the editorial’s publication culminated in 33 members of the Penn Law faculty publicly denouncing Wax in an open letter published in The Daily Pennsylvanian. The professors did not engage Wax’s arguments on the merits, but instead spoke of their concern for an ideal educational experience in which people “respect one another without bias or stereotype.”

The letter concluded with a thinly veiled invitation to students to report Wax or anyone else who doesn’t toe the company line when it comes to matters of diversity: “To our students, we say the following: If your experience at Penn Law falls substantially short of this ideal, something has gone wrong, and we want to know about it.”

Wax told me she viewed the letter’s closing line as “an invitation to squeal and complain.” She said “the invitation feeds into and reinforces the current mode of shutting down controversial speech, which is to evoke hurt feelings or offense.” Wax also said that in the wake of the open letter, Penn Law students have been discussing “establishing their own complaint committee to which students can tattle when a professor or fellow student says something they don’t like”—an institution one student called the “Stasi Committee.”

Sadly, this kind of committee is par for the course on campus nowadays—while Penn does not currently have a formal bias reporting system, a recent report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE, where I work) found that hundreds of colleges and universities around the country maintain formal bias reporting systems, most of which actively solicit reports of offensive but protected speech from students and faculty.

In our conversation, Wax also lamented the effect this rat-out-your-neighbor atmosphere is having on campus, noting that “lately students have been complaining to me about peer pressure, name-calling and intimidation on the part of other students,” and about “the oppressive atmosphere of political correctness.” Although Penn has strong free-speech protections in place, “most students are fairly cynical about the readiness of the university to defend them from censure or sanction if they say ‘the wrong thing,'” she told me.

There has been one silver lining for Wax: support has poured in from people around the country. She has received quiet whispers of support at Penn, but the real show of support “has come from ordinary citizens, from the forgotten man, and many have been quite thoughtful and intelligent. I have learned—although I already knew—the progressive professoriat really is despised by a good part of the citizenry. People believe that the elite academy is destroying our country, and what’s good about it.”

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Houston’s Anarchic Zoning Laws are an Affront to Sim City

Recently Almighty God smote the city of Houston as punishment for its pathetic lack of zoning laws. I am an expert in zoning laws, having spent roughly 4,000 hours playing Sim City in high school instead of losing my virginity.

Going forward, Houston can either embrace zoning and place itself in the steady hands of technocrats who designate where bodegas, trailer parks and whatnot go, or it can stick with the present organic model, letting a bunch of mouth-breathing humans organize the city from the bottom up.

I know what Sim City would do.

In Sim City, as you will recall, you arrange your city with zones: industrial, commercial, residential, and (as of Sim City 4), agricultural. Zones helpfully organize the activity of their denizens until eventually you get bored and level the whole city by summoning a rampaging robot spider. Remember?

In the case of Houston, the city was not attacked by rampaging Kaiju, but rather by a hurricane. It also has the most lax zoning laws of any major city in America. Coincidence?

One school of thought proposes that raging torrents don’t really care whether or not your buildings have been zoned for stripmalls or duplexes. Our Nick Gillespie seems to think the federal government’s plan to encourage development in flood zones by offering cheap flood insurance somehow contributed to people living in flood zones.

Some folks are saying a lack of dedicated wetlands lead to overflow, which sounds plausible, although my colleague Christian Britschgi disputes it. I don’t know a lot about wetland permeability—wetlands did not factor into Sim City 2000.

What I do know is that Houston’s anarchic zoning laws are an affront to the universe.

Some of the images of Houston’s zoning abdication I’m about to show are graphic–particularly if you have a degree in Urban Planning. They represent the maniacal chaos Middle American wiles can unleash if not properly restrained by technocrats. You might want to grab a drink first.

Observe:

That’s right—a house next to a roller coaster! Why not just mix toothpaste and orange juice together in a big jug, Houston? You sicken me.

Or this:

Now that is just insane. A skyscraper next to a one-story house?! I have never seen a more flagrant disregard for shadow regulations. Without technocrats this is what you get: a bunch of shadows choking your daisies. Also worth pointing out here that the Tower of Babel was a zoning violation. Think about it.

Brace yourself for this next one:

A strip club next to a Dillard’s?! The whole point of Dillard’s is to act as a consumer trap from which captive husbands cannot escape. When properly zoned, Dillard’s is a place where dads patiently wander around holding their wives’ purses. In the city of Houston & Gomorrah, men get loose with those purses and spend their wives’ money on questionable lunch buffets and lap dances with Brandi.

A lack of rigorous zoning inevitably leads to new businesses popping up all over the place like spores. In a tightly-regulated city, you need to purchase property to start a coffee shop. Absent commercial zoning, you could sling coffee right out of your garage. In fact all sorts of people would concoct side hustles out of their homes if they could. You could conceivably buy cupcakes, fresh vegetables, coffee, or even foot massages without leaving the giant shadow encompassing your block.

Need I even bring up factories? Here you are in this nice suburban home, and all of a sudden a giant smokestack sprouts like a mushroom next door to you where your neighbor, Chuck, used to live before he ran off with Brandi. Factories, of course, don’t want to live way out on cheap land near industrial parks and highways, they want to live next door to you. You need zoning to protect you.

Let’s touch on some counter arguments the nutjobs are going to lob at me. Yes, occasionally zoning gets away from overeager technocrats and becomes an ominous tool to isolate minorities. Cities in California used to aggressively regulate the location of laundromats, because most laundromats were owned by Chinese people. During the White Flight of the ’60s, cities used zoning to intentionally drive up land prices to keep black people out of particular neighborhoods.

I can assure you that today we don’t use zoning to jerk around races. We use it to jerk around poor people. Many cities use minimum lot sizes to keep unwanted riff-raff out of rich neighborhoods. By requiring lots to be twice as big as you can afford, bureaucrats relegate the poor to their pre-planned, multi-dwelling, slummy part of town.

Again, not racist, merely classist.

In summation, if you loose the bonds of zoning, the result is pandemonium, disorganized coffee distribution, roller coasters, hurricanes, and shadows. It’s jumbled enough to scare off a rampaging spider robot.

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Disjointed Coughs Out Some Tired Dope Humor

Television critic Glenn Garvin views Netflix’s marijuana dispensary comedy Disjointed and did not find himself having a contact high:

Dopers so wrecked they can’t talk. Dopers so wrecked they can’t move. Dopers so wrecked they use the Heimlich maneuver to make each other exhale dope smoke rings. (Okay, that one’s new, at least for the first five seconds.) Basically, there’s not a gag in Disjointed that wouldn’t have fit into—or worn itself out as quickly as—a Cheech and Chong sketch or an early 1970s give-me-another-brownie flick like The Groove Tube.

But even back then, the driving force of cannabis comedy—hey, man, they’re smoking weed right there on the screen, my parents would be so freaked—lasted about as long as the pizza you ordered to counter the munchies. These days, with reefer madness reduced to reefer eccentricity (one in five Americans lives in states where it’s pretty easy to find a legal joint), the potency is even slighter. If Disjointed were actually dope, it would be growing-along-the-river skankweed.

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Disjointed Coughs Out Some Tired Dope Humor

Disjointed. Available now on Netflix.

Way back when, my college newspaper ran a review of a Cheech and Chong show under a headline that qualified as remarkably confessional for the time: “Dope Humor Has Its Limits.” I don’t know if we’ve got to make royalty payments to whatever youthful copy editor wrote that headline, but I can’t think of a single other thing to say about Netflix’s new sitcom Disjointed.

Dopers so wrecked they can’t talk. Dopers so wrecked they can’t move. Dopers so wrecked they use the Heimlich maneuver to make each other exhale dope smoke rings. (Okay, that one’s new, at least for the first five seconds.) Basically, there’s not a gag in Disjointed that wouldn’t have fit into—or worn itself out as quickly as—a Cheech and Chong sketch or an early 1970s give-me-another-brownie flick like The Groove Tube.

But even back then, the driving force of cannabis comedy—hey, man, they’re smoking weed right there on the screen, my parents would be so freaked—lasted about as long as the pizza you ordered to counter the munchies. These days, with reefer madness reduced to reefer eccentricity (one in five Americans lives in states where it’s pretty easy to find a legal joint), the potency is even slighter. If Disjointed were actually dope, it would be growing-along-the-river skankweed.

The wispy premise of Disjointed is that its dope-addled characters get wasted under the pretense of working in a Southern California medical-marijuana dispensary. Kathy Bates plays Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, the senescent hippie owner, who says she’s preaching “the gospel of marijuana: the miraculous plant that has the power to heal the sick, calm the afflicted, and usher in a golden age of people of people not being such dicks all the time.”

Mostly, she’s just oversampling her own product, with occasional timeouts to bicker with her son Travis (Aaron Moten, The Night Of), an MBA with more secular motives: “Petty soon, somebody is going to become the Walmart of cannabis. Why not us?”

Then there are employees: Jenny (Elizabeth Ho, Melissa & Joey), who introduces herself in one of the clinic’s Internet ads as “your tokin’ Asian,” whose tiger mom thinks she’s a surgeon; Olivia (Elizabeth Alderfer, Game Day), a refugee from a meth-blighted midwestern town who harbors secret doubts about the benignity of drugs; and Carter (Tone Bell, Truth Be Told), who has a secret of his own, one not usually associated with comedy.

If the substance of Disjointed seems straight out of 1972, so does its structure. It’s less a sitcom than a muddled series of stream-of-semi-consciousness sketches, punctuated by cut-ins of the clinic’s commercials, kind of a stoner version of Laugh-In. Though for you 1980s connoisseurs, there’s a running gag in which Jennie speaks Chinese to her mother—that’s it, no jokes, no punch lines, just the sound of Chinese—to the uproarious delight of the canned laugh track that’s been appended to the show. Not since John Hughes foreshadowed every appearance of a Chinese character named Long Duck Dong with the crashing sound of a gong in 1984’s Sixteen Candles has a producer or director deemed Asian ethnicity so innately amusing.

The producer in question is Chuck Lorre, the mastermind of The Big Bang Theory, Mom, and Two and a Half Men, whose association with Disjointed is as inexplicable as quantum physics after a bong full of Maui Wowie. “Back in the day, marijuana was a cause,” says Ruth. “Now it’s just a commodity.” Marijuana humor, too.

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Morgan Freeman Drops Truth Bomb On Race Hustlers Leaving CNN Embarrassed & Speechless

By: bannedinformation Who is better qualified to talk about how race has held him back than an eighty-year old black man from the Deep South, Memphis, Tennessee? On his way up there were no affirmative action programs to help him overcome the obstacle of “being born Black in America.” Morgan Freeman was 80 when he […]

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Nevada Jailers Beat Man to Death as he Cries for Help and they say, “We are the Help”

By: photographyisnotacrime A Video was released from a Nevada jail that shows the last minutes of a mentally ill Reno man’s life before he died during a struggle with deputies who pinned him to the floor with a spit hood covering his head during booking procedures. During the struggle, deputies can be seen taunting 35-year-old […]

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This Is What Happens To The Human Body Without Sex

By: themindunleashed This activity is potentially the most vital part of life. There are some who embrace it fully, letting go of inhibitions and enjoying every passionate moment they can find. Others fear it, feeling awkward and self conscious making their experiences less pleasurable. There are even some religions that require their followers to take […]

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Intriguing ‘Eclipse Like’ Crop Circle Shows Up In Essex. Reported Just Days Before Solar Eclipse

By: Joe Martino via collective-evolution.com It’s just days before an eclipse of a lifetime and as the world readies for the sight and some for the energetic shifts, a new crop circle has appeared in a field at Sutton Hall near London Southend Airport. The circle was discovered on August 17, 2017 but it’s meaning, […]

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Eye Witness Claims Antifa and Nazis Came to Charlottesville on the Same Group of Buses

Eyewitness account of BLM/ANTIFA kkk and so called Nazis with flags arriving together on same buses. Transcript excerpt: Why would buses line up in the same place and drop people off, so many people got on blacklivesmatter shirts and some people got on KKK shirts. Now when have you ever seen someone with the take […]

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Reporter Who Exposed BBC Pedophilia Cover Up Found Dead

Liz MacKean, the former British investigative reporter who exposed Jimmy Savile and the culture of pedophile protection at the BBC, has been found dead. She was 52. [ynw] MacKean worked at the BBC until she quit in 2013 after executives decided to ban her groundbreaking and brave investigation into predatory pedophile Jimmy Savile in order […]

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ANTIFA Website Planning Nationwide Anarchy On November 4th

ANTIFA are planning a nationwide day of riots on November 4th, which they say will force President Trump out of office. [ynw] According to two ANTIFA-based websites, plans are being made to end the “Trump/Pence regime” via acts of violence and terrorism across the United States. Don’t be caught flatfooted. Call your congressman, senator, sheriff, […]

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Bombshell New Evidence Suggests Charlottesville Was A Complete & Total Set-Up

By: bannedinformation By Monday enough evidence had surfaced for us to believe that the Charlottesville riots had been orchestrated by leftist politicians using George Soros’ money. Now there are reports surfacing that a Charlottesville, Virginia police officer who was on the scene when armed Antifa protesters violently engaged “Unite the Right” rally goers, has said the confrontation […]

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Russian Bans A Bible

By: prnewswire: Russian Court Bans Bible Translation Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses On August 17, 2017, the Vyborg City Court in Russia ruled to ban the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT), a Bible published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russia’s Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, signed by President Putin himself in November 2015, explicitly prohibits declaring […]

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