Posts Tagged ‘College Fraternities’

Secular Talk: Son of Trump Defends Waterboarding as Frat Boy Lark

February 12, 2016

More evidence of the congenital, inbred stupidity and malignancy in the Trump genetic heritage. This is a piece from Secular Talk, in which Kyle Kulinski discusses the Spawn of Trump’s defence of waterboarding. Eric Trump has decided that it’s no worse than what students in the American college fraternities get up to, and that his father stands full square ready to defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Middle East.

Kulinski points out that waterboarding and other forms of ‘enhanced interrogation’ don’t work. They only work in movies, where the characters have perfect knowledge of the terrorists’ plans through these methods of torture. Furthermore, many of the people rounded up and placed in Gitmo were innocent. They weren’t seized by Special Ops units. Instead, the authorities asked America’s allies in places like Pakistan to arrest and send them their militants. But many of the people they arrested weren’t terrorists, and had no connection with either of those groups. They were just political dissidents the Pakistanis and like regimes didn’t like.

As for waterboarding itself, it was taken from a Chinese Communist torture manual. Kulinski points out that they talk about Justice being blind for a reason. It means that it something’s wrong for one party, it’s wrong for all. This was laid down in the 18th century by the great German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. He also points out that when the Japanese did it to Americans during the Second World War, they were hanged as war criminals. If it was a war crime when the forces of Hirohito did it, then it’s also wrong when America and her allies do it.

As for the weird comment about the activities of college fraternities, this should make no difference. Now I have to admit I don’t have any personal experience of frat boy antics. We don’t have fraternities and sororities at British colleges and universities. There’s a family system, of father, grandfather, or mother, grandmother, but when I was there this had basically degenerated in a system of stupid drinking competitions. When you went out on family nights, you were supposed to drink so much more than your college father, who was supposed to drink more than the college grandfather. The result was that the supposedly convivial drinking evenings tended to end fairly, with everyone drinking far too much, and then either running out of money, or being so blind drunk that they had to be taken home. This was thirty years ago in the 1980s, mind. It’s probably different now, not least because pressures of student loans means that you can’t go and get drunk. And students generally aren’t.

There was something similar with the antics of some of the sports societies. They were quite capable of behaving in stupid and asinine ways, usually after having a few pints in them. That doesn’t excuse them either. They were faced with action from the college authorities when they got out of hand. And if someone does something illegal, like some stupid hazing ritual, then they deserve to be prosecuted. Saying that college fraternities do something is not a defence for allowing it. All Trump junior has done with this is probably frighten some parents, who are worried about their children’s safety after hearing stories about wild frat boys. I remember the scandal on Oprah a few decades ago after there were a series of rapes of women, who had remained in college frat houses after parties. Winfrey had on her show women who were understandably afraid of what might happen to their daughters in such environments.

Trump junior is talking rubbish, like his dad. Waterboarding is wrong, and torture, regardless of who does it. Including frat boys.

The Young Turks on Snobbery and Sneering by Wall Street Secret Society

October 19, 2015

Here’s another video by The Young Turks from last year. Kevin Roose, a journalist with the New York Times, infiltrated the annual party by a secretive Wall Street society, the Phi Kappa Alpha. The society basically seems like a university frat/ sorority for elite bankers. Their party was marked by some truly outrageous behaviour. Many of them turned up in drag. One leading financier appeared in a Confederate hat, and at one point in the evening a group turned up on stage in dressed as Mormon missionaries to sing a version of ‘I Believe’. What was particularly shocking was the sheer contempt the Wall Street capitalists had for the government, that had bailed them out. The CEO in the Confederate hat used it to sing a song about how they had successfully ripped off the American authorities, who’d been forced to bail them out. The group dressed as Mormon missionaries did the same. This is particularly shocking in an American context. America is still a deeply religious country, with many politicians, especially Republicans stressing their personal religious faith. This incident would genuinely shock many Americans, who would associate such blasphemy only with the Left. It reveals the genuine contempt the rich 1% have for religion and people of faith, regardless of whether they’re Mormons or not. The assembled bankers and financiers also joked and laughed about how they’d wrecked the country’s economy. They also mocked Hilary Clinton, despite the fact that she has herself done much to aid the American financial sector and defend it from attack. When they discovered the reporter’s identity, they approached him in an attempt to do a little damage limitation. One of them said that they could be ‘very helpful’. In other words, they offered him a bribe, which he refused.

Here’s the video:

I’m posting this video because such attitudes aren’t confined to that side of the Atlantic, and the bankers and elite financiers over here have links with them.

About a decade or so ago the City of London was in the news because of the appalling attitude of the financiers and stockbrokers there. The City was accused of being viciously misogynistic with extremely chauvinistic attitudes towards women. The Daily Mail, very definitely not a feminist paper, quoted one former female financial executive as saying that she was miserable all the time she worked there, despite the fact that she was earning enough to afford closets of extremely expensive clothes. All the women she knew were also extremely unhappy.

The financiers also had absolute, complete contempt for their clients, laughing and boasting about how they had ‘shafted’ them.

These are the people, however, which the British government under New Labour, was forced to bail out, but, with the exception of the odd executive, have never been brought to book for their destruction of the economy, and who are continuing to demand concessions from the government. Despite scandals like Northern Rock and the Royal Bank of Scotland, these are the people, who are still awarding themselves eye-watering pay rises. Well, the video might be American, but I’ve no doubt the precise same culture of elitism and sneering exists over here.

One of the regular contributors to Lobster said that he had a friend, who attended a meeting of high level bankers and financiers in New York. Curious, he asked him what they were like. ‘Worse than you can possibly imagine’, was the answer.

American College Professor Quits After Legislature Allows Guns on Campus

October 16, 2015

It’s a cliché that America has a gun culture, and that the American right is absolutely determined to protect gun ownership and will go to extreme lengths to do so. This piece from The Young Turks shows how absurd the right’s determination to allow American citizens to carry firearms has become. A professor of economics at Texas University has decided to spend part of next year teaching in Australia, as he fears for his safety. The Texas legislature has just passed a law allowing people to carry concealed guns on university campuses. The lecturer, Daniel Hamermesh, teaches microeconomics and is afraid that under this law, a disgruntled student could shoot him with a gun he had legally brought to class.

I realise that after the recent horrendous school shootings in America, some people believe that students should have the right to carry guns for their self-defence. Universities are places of learning and culture. They are the very last places people should take firearms. It might be thought that Mamermesh’s reaction to the law is somewhat exaggerated in itself, but I think it’s quite reasonable. Over here in Britain there are a terrible number of assaults every year on school teachers by angry pupils or their parents. I haven’t heard of any university lecturers being assaulted, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some were. There’s the same pressure at Uni to get good grades, and this has increased with the massive increase in tuition fees. Like their fellows on this side of the pond, many American students are trapped in ‘generation rent’ because the expense of their university education and the immense debts they have accrued mean that they will never be able to afford to buy their own home. Some academics have also commented on the sense of entitlement of some of their students, and the ill grace and bitter resentment they feel when their expectations of a good mark are not fulfilled. Going back to the 1980s, there was a case where one doctoral student blew away his rival with a gun after the rival student won a particularly prestigious scientific award for which they had both been competing. So, I don’t think it at all unreasonable that the professor should feel worried for his safety. And even if the students don’t decide to take a pot shot at a particularly annoying lecturer, there’s always the danger of accidents. I realise that the NRA stress that guns aren’t toys and urge gun owners to treat them responsibly, but not everybody has that mentality. People have been injured or killed messing around with firearms, and unfortunately there have been a number of scandals already at some universities from the drunken antics of some of the boys in university fraternities. So, rather than the new law making campus more secure and safer, it’s made it a much more dangerous place.

Here’s the video about it by The Young Turks.

I know that this is very much an American issue, but Piers Morgan aside, there are people over here in the Conservatives, who share the Republicans’ love of guns and would want Brits also to have the same right to bear arms. The legal ability to carry guns also carries with it the dangers of death or severe injury through deliberate malice, stupidity or simply sheer bad luck. The threat of gun violence is simply too high a price to pay. Especially in a place of learning, which should be preparing young men and women for their lives, rather than endangering them.