The Biden administration is quietly ramping up assistance to the Palestinians after former President Donald Trump cut off nearly all aid. Since taking office with a pledge to reverse many of Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian decisions, the administration has allocated nearly $100 million for the Palestinians, only a small portion of which has been publicized.
Now they’ve come for sheet music — “they” being the woke lunatics, and sheet music being just that, musical notation, now deemed a horrible racist transgression at Oxford University (of all places).
This weekend, The Daily Mail reported that Oxford University was considering “scrapping sheet music” because it’s “too colonial” — guilty of “complicity in white supremacy.”
Sheet music? Do they seriously mean they want to get rid of musical notation itself? Notes drawn on a five-line staff to indicate pitch and duration?
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music the universal language. Music alone, shorn of words, conveys something that can’t be paraphrased — and that is thus, by definition, incapable of political interpretation.
So how, one wonders, can it be complicit in white supremacy?
If we’re going to dispose of musical notation, then certainly we should also ban written language itself. Because if musical notation records sounds with no meaning beyond themselves, written language can be used to convey dangerous political ideas.
The United States has the 13th highest COVID-19 death rate relative to population. Many different factors shaped death rates in the pandemic. But there’s one uncomfortable reason that the U.S. likely experienced more COVID-19 deaths that has largely been ignored because it’s politically incorrect.
Out-of-control obesity rates and the “body positivity” movement predating the pandemic have left the U.S. population disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19 compared to other countries. The U.S. ranks No. 12 in obesity worldwide, one of the highest rates among developed countries. One study found that 90% of worldwide COVID-19 deaths occurred in countries with high obesity rates.
COVID-19 is much more deadly for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions that weaken the immune system. One of those conditions is obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Adults with excess weight are at even greater risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.” The CDC said that of the roughly 900,000 adult COVID-19 hospitalizations from the start of the outbreak to Nov. 18, 30% were attributed to obesity.
Meanwhile, a new study examining over 150,000 adults across 20 hospitals confirmed that obese people are much more likely to be hospitalized or to die from the virus. Severely obese COVID-19 patients were 61% more likely to die and 33% more likely to face hospitalization than their peers at healthy weights.
There is a new organization being heralded as a champion of free speech that instead is a potentially dangerous group that may help further entrench and defend academic negligence.
The Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA) is “dedicated to protecting the rights of faculty members at colleges and universities to speak, instruct, and publish without fear of sanction or punishment … to design courses and conduct classes using reasonable pedagogical judgment; and their right to be unburdened by ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths.”
Put another way, the goal is to ensure faculty are unaccountable.
Professors have arrogated for themselves a unique right that others do not have. “Academic freedom” was not ordained by god or enshrined in the Constitution (though the Supreme Court has said it is a “special concern of the First Amendment). The professorate invented it to pursue knowledge without interference from their government, colleagues, bosses, taxpayers or students.
While it once may have been a reasonable way to insulate scholars from interference in the free inquiry of ideas, it has been perverted and turned into a shield to defend academic malpractice. Practically, it has become a license to preach personal views, advance arguments unsupported by evidence and to use institutional prestige to gain credibility for ideas that may have no merit.
The AFA website says, “what we defend is our members’ right to state what they believe to be true.”
The newly arrived, wealthy residents of Austin are having a hard time adjusting to the local weekend car club meet-ups hosted in traditionally Black and Latino neighborhoods, a Tuesday report shows.
Regular Sunday afternoon assemblies of car enthusiasts that have been taking place since the nineties in East Austin’s “Chicano Park” have caused disturbance among the residents of the newly-constructed apartment building “The Weaver” located across the street, according to The Texas Monthly.
Federal Liberal cabinet ministers will instruct their staff not to appear if called to any parliamentary committees in an attempt to curb what they call an “abuse of power” by opposition parties.
Late Thursday, the House of Commons voted to back a Conservative move to summon political staff and civil servants to testify about the WE Charity affair and about how the government handled a sexual-misconduct allegation against the country’s top soldier.
All the parties except the Liberals supported the motion.
Earlier this month, several left-leaning senators and representatives signed various letters contending that “Israel has an obligation under international law” to provide free vaccines for all Palestinians in the Palestinian Authority (PA). The claims are baseless, and they call into question the credibility of the legal experts who have been peddling them.
Videoconferencing giant Zoom exploited a loophole to avoid paying a penny in federal income taxes in 2020 — even though the COVID-19 pandemic drove its profits to staggering heights last year, records show.
Zoom raked in nearly $664 million in US pre-tax profits in its last fiscal year as its platform became a ubiquitous tool for work, school and socializing during the nation’s coronavirus lockdowns, according to its latest annual report.
That’s roughly 40 times the domestic profit of about $16 million that it posted for the prior fiscal year, the Thursday filing shows.
But Zoom admitted that it didn’t pay any federal income tax on those profits even though the nation’s corporate tax rate was 21 percent.
The Silicon Valley firm appears to have achieved that feat largely thanks to its use of stock-based compensation for employees, which helped reduce its worldwide tax bill by more than $302 million for the year ending Jan. 31.
Corporations that pay their executives in stock often benefit from a provision in the federal tax code that lets them write off expenses that appear far larger than their actual cost, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
“This is a strategy that has been leveraged effectively by virtually every tech giant in the last decade, from Apple to Facebook to Microsoft,” Matthew Gardner, a senior fellow at the think tank, wrote in a blog post detailing Zoom’s tax discount. “Zoom’s success in using stock options to avoid taxes is neither surprising nor (currently) illegal.”
Is there anti-Asian racism in America? Of course. Ethnic bigotry is a tragic part of the human condition. There is no country in which members of different races live that is bereft of ethnic or racial bigotry.
Therefore, the only question decent, wise or honest people ask is: How much?