Universities & the Smell of Dead FishStephen Paul Foster
“A fish rots from the head down.”
Perhaps an old Turkish proverb; it has also been attributed to Erasmus, written in a Greek text.
A literal translation of it would be an encouragement to point the long, boney finger of accusation at the leadership of an organization or society when it begins to stink of incompetence, corruption, and degeneracy.
If one were to take a deep breath, it would be difficult in this post-George Floyd era of mandatory black-people worship not to inhale the pungent odors of institutional rot and decomposition. So, then, where to look to find the head of the rotting fish? Possibilities abound: the political leadership, the so-called fourth estate, corporate leaders, church leaders, the professoriate and administrators of the universities.
Primus inter pares would have to be the universities. Think about it: The American university is where, under the watch of craven administrators, the credentialed grievance-mongers and puffed-up moralists assemble and fine-tune the metapolitical machinery. It is a bedlam of “safe spaces,” pronoun options, and psychotic weirdos elevated as savants. It is where the noxious vocabularies that carry raging pestilences such as “critical race theory,” “transgenderism,” “diversity-inclusion-equity” (DIE), “systemic racism,” “cultural appropriation,” et al. are conjured up and customized at the universities before being carried off to infect the outside world. To experience close-up the fumes of the fish’s rotting head, the best placed to be now is at a university; universities are the fons et origio of much of our current misery.
Where do you look for a flicker of hope that things will improve? Public education? Here is the “mission statement” of Teachers College at Columbia University, the oldest teacher education program in the country. “The Fight against Racism and Inequity Isn’t Part of Our Mission — It Is Our Mission.” In case you wonder how the mission gets operationalized: “Responding to brutal murders [George Floyd, et al.] and centuries of unhealed wounds, TC voices sound a call for action.” And what kind of education do you think your children are going to take away from mandatory exposure to the “action” of programmed zealots revved up to stamp out the “racism” the kids — your kids — have inherited from Mom and Dad? Think of it as 13 years of making them “university prepared” — prepared, that is, for more advanced brainwashing that will plunge many of them into debt.
Journalism and the mass media? Meet the new Dean of Journalism at Columbia University, Jalani Cobb. In case you can’t guess from looking at Jalani where his animus lies, have a whiff:
Against the backdrop of a pandemic that disproportionately affects Black people, and a renewed push for racial justice, historian and Peabody Award-winning journalist JELANI COBB emerges as a clear voice in the fight for a better America. A PBS Frontline correspondent for two critically acclaimed documentaries — Policing the Police and Whose Vote Counts — Cobb explores the enormous complexities of race and inequality, while offering guidance and hope for the future.
Just what America needs: a renewed push for “racial justice” by a big guy with a “clear voice” and a hefty grudge. Not enough “racial justice” for your taste these days? That’s what the talking heads and various news people coming out of Columbia’s school of journalism will be about, with an abundance of “push.” “Guidance and hope for the future” — a future for “a better America” that will someday resemble Zimbabwe.
Unless there is an important American enterprise hasn’t been contaminated by the universities.
How about the legal profession? Have a look at how the “Great Replacement” at the Columbia University Law School is moving along, as in: “A Lawyer’s Responsibility: Class of 2022 Graduates Reflect on Law School and What’s Next.” Then look ahead at the school’s “Faces of the Class of 2025.”
Seeing these faces and watching the video bring to my memory a scene from the Clint Eastwood movie with Chief Dan George as Lone Watie, The Outlaw Josey Wales:
Lone Watie: Get ready, little lady.
Grandma Sarah: What?
Lone Watie: Hell is coming to breakfast.
“Breakfast” will be a buffet with these laddies and lassies putting their finishing touches on a legal system devoted to “social change,” a euphemism for using the law (“lawfare,” as it is now called) to eliminate what remains of the norm of impartial legality, putting their virtuous thumbs on the scale of “justice” to fix festering racial grievances and to further institutionalize discrimination against the targets of the aggrieved: white people.
If you think Columbia University might be an anomaly in the university world of what seems to be a singularly manic obsession with social justice and anti-racism, I can confidently affirm that these are pretty much mission-central throughout American higher education. Here’s how it looks in my home state at The Ohio State University’s (OSU) Center for Belonging and Social Change. “Belonging” — doesn’t that warm the cockles of your stony, white privileged heart? The Orwellian subtext operating here, however, is rather obvious: “Some folks belong more than others.”
As an OSU graduate looks over his student loan payment schedule, here is a sample of what he incautiously dived into debt for, a course called “Diversity and Social Justice in Leadership.” At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:
- Identify micro-aggressions within their daily lives and within society as a whole.
- Define power, privilege, value systems, and difference, and be able to identify their different forms.
- Recognize the commonalities and differences that exist among people and cultures, and how these factors influence their relationship with others.
There is more, but you get the point. Think of a generation of university graduates, unable to syllogize but highly sensitized to “micro-aggressions,” sniffing out forms of “power” and “privilege” with the appropriate identification markers. How productive will they be; where will that “power” and “privilege” end up; and how dangerous will it be to be around them?
However, let’s resume with Columbia University in the spotlight as a piece of the fish’s rotting head in light of this recent announcement from Columbia News: “Hillary Rodham Clinton to Join the Columbia Community.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former U.S. Secretary of State, will join Columbia University as professor of practice at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and presidential fellow at Columbia World Projects (CWP). The news was announced today in a message to the community from President Lee C. Bollinger.
If one were to hunt for a single individual who embodies the ruling class’ corruption, Hillary Clinton, a “dueling banjos” of ambition and avarice, would rise to the top of the list. Think of her as a classic dark triad personality:
- Narcissism: feeling superior and entitled, displaying grandiosity;
- Machiavellianism: highly manipulative, willing to deceive others to get what they want, and having a cynical view of the world;
- Psychopathy: lacking empathy, emotional coldness, impulsive, and risk-taking.
People with dark triad traits rate high in their willingness to exploit anyone to get ahead and experience little remorse when they cause harm to others. They can also be deceitful and aggressive.
The only thing resembling remorse ever evinced by Hillary is self-pity when her manipulations were exposed. When it comes to deceitful and aggressive, nobody does deceit and aggression like Our Lady of Chappaqua. For a generation, Hillary has sullied nearly everything and everyone she has touched. From 1974 to 2016, either Hillary or her co-conspirator, Arkansas Elvis, was on a ballot or in public office on every November Election Day with the exception of 2014 when she was scheming to run for President. Twenty-one elections, over 42 years. Pause and repeat that number to yourself: 42 years. Then, experience something like the onset of your worst migraine headache. This conniving, soulless harridan has ridden the top of a non-stop cavalcade of self-enrichment, scandal, and malfeasance on the world stage for what seems like an eternity. She is the perfect fit for a sinecure at an Ivy League university loaded up with her groupies and sycophants, and in the state where she carpet-bagged her way into the US Senate.
According to Columbia University President Lee Bollinger: “Hillary Clinton is unique, and, most importantly, exceptional in what she can bring to the University’s missions of research and teaching, along with public service and engagement for the public good.”
Hillary is certainly “unique” and “exceptional,” but “most importantly” as far as the “public good” goes — keep this in mind about Lee Bollinger’s moral instincts. As President of the University of Michigan before coming to Columbia, he was the named defendant in the Grutter v. Bollinger (2003) lawsuit that went to the US Supreme Court. It challenged the Michigan Law School’s affirmative action admission policy.
In an October 2022 article in The Atlantic commenting on current affirmative action challenges, Bollinger wrote: “Affirmative action must continue, potentially for generations to come — because the invidious discrimination experienced by Black Americans over a three-century span has not been undone.”
As always: the disparity between the elite’s altruistic proclamations and the opulence of their lifestyles throws their virtue-signaling into disrepute.
In February 2022, the Columbia Spectator reported that he [Bollinger] had purchased an Upper West Side apartment for $11.7 million. In 2008, his salary was $1.7 million. In 2013, Bollinger’s total compensation was $4.6 million, making him the highest paid private college president in the United States.
What mischief will Hillary be engaged in as this ginned-up “professor of practice”? The title is perfect for her. “Practice” of what? Who knows? That’s the point, and when things don’t work out: “What difference does it make now?”
At SIPA, which focuses on global politics and policy, Clinton will work closely with Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo and other senior faculty and administrators on a variety of major initiatives . . .
“She is a remarkable leader who has been on the frontlines of virtually every critical challenge facing our world today—from the global fight to save democracy, her advocacy for women’s rights, and her staunch defense of marginalized people everywhere,” Yarhi Milo said.
Here is the perfect amalgam of Edu-Speak banalities, globalist verbal smog, and identity politics lingo: “focuses on,” “work closely,” “variety of major initiatives,” “critical challenge,” “save democracy,” advocacy for “women’s rights,” “marginalized people everywhere.” The purpose of this language is not to inform or illuminate. Rather, the intent is to glaze over the eyes of the reader with predictable, comforting abstractions and buzzwords, reassuring him that it is business as usual at Columbia and that the “basket of deplorables” will continue to be regarded as “not part of America.”
Speaking of “not part of America”: Hillary’s colleague in the “global fight to save democracy,” Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo, hails from a country run by people who practice “democracy” with a punishingly exclusionary franchise. These Democrats have excelled at marginalizing certain people over many decades, as in stealing their land and herding them into zones that resemble concentration camps:
Earlier this month, the Gaza Strip was remorselessly pounded by Israeli forces for nearly three days. The Palestinian Health Ministry figures show that more than 300 Palestinians were injured and at least 44 were killed, 15 of whom were children. For Palestinians in Gaza, it was just another chapter of the torment and agony that has become a feature in their life.
From her Columbia University web page:
Yarhi-Milo grew up in Israel, where she served as an intelligence officer while completing mandatory military service. She lives on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, New York with her husband and two sons.
As a scholar and teacher, Yarhi-Milo bridges the academic and policy worlds, focusing predominantly on how leaders make foreign-policy decisions regarding the use of force. (italics added)
It would be safe to surmise from her days as an Israeli intelligence officer that Dean Yarhi-Milo has acquired a wealth of practical experience and expertise in achieving desired outcomes with “the use of force.” Perhaps she will offer some Krav Maga moves to her students to show how she handled the marginalized folks back home when they got too uppity.
Along with Hillary’s new gig, we therefore have this former intelligence officer on loan from Israel in cahoots with the Democrat Party high priestess and a former Secretary of State on the take from foreign governments and Wall Street. They will “work closely” on “World Projects,” “convene outstanding policy thinkers,” “renew democracy” (maybe in Saudi Arabia, where the Clinton Foundation picked up contributions in the millions), and “foster effective engagements with women and youth in this country and around the world.” (my italics) “Around the world” just to get the flavor of grandiosity, Hillary-style.
“Convening,” “renewing,” “fostering” (my favorite) — lots of busy-verbs pulled from the style sheets of the hacks on staff who write the press releases, along with anodyne verbiage (vague bullshit) that tells the reader nothing about what schemes these two gals — a young foreigner and an old, money-laundering grafter — will be hatching. Whatever they are, you can be sure they will involve screwing people “around the world” who don’t benefit the Clintons and who pose a problem for the state of Israel, including lots of American citizens.
Finally, in search of the fish’s head, there is a financial side to the American university’s horrendous corruption — student debt. Student loan debt in the United States totals $1.745 trillion. That’s $1,750,000,000,000. The transmogrification of the university from an educational institution to a sweeping enterprise for the kind of “social change” envisioned by the Frankfurt gang that unleased feminism, anti-racism, identity politics, and victimology required a vast expansion of its reach and composition. The universities, the government, and the banks colluded to off-load the cost of that expansion to the students (the marks), as we see now, in the form of a trillion-plus dollar debt.
That expansion is a large piece of post-war American history that could fill volumes. Suffice it to say here that to make social change happen, the universities went “full democracy” as credential factories — cha-ching, cha-ching. That meant many more of them, low to non-existent admission standards, and the creation of degree programs that served the dual purpose of ease of passage and a way to make the multiplying, academically unequipped grievance constituencies feel “included” by outfitting their grievances with faux sophisticated vocabularies and giving them diplomas. These pieces of paper were evidence of neither practical nor intellectual achievement. Nevertheless, they served the goals of revenue generation and upping ideological conformity and indoctrination.
With their payrolls bloated by diversity compliance officers, administrators, and identity-politics hucksters, today’s universities, captured by ideologues, are case studies in the failure of institutional accountability, their original purpose having been completely subverted. They are financed by debt passed on to their “customers,” many of whom have to wonder: Was it worth it? It’s true: Universities are sophisticated practitioners of customer fraud on a colossal scale:
Consumer fraud is commonly defined as deceptive business practices that cause consumers to suffer financial or other losses. The victims believe they are participating in a legal and valid business transaction when they are actually being defrauded. Fraud against consumers is often related to false promises or inaccurate claims made to consumers, as well as practices that directly cheat consumers out of their money.
Henry Kissinger is credited with saying, “The reason that university politics is so vicious is because the stakes are so small.” Funny and cynically clever, but I think he was wrong. University politics is a microcosm of the huge plague of political correctness that descended upon us with very high stakes, as in freedom of speech, the denial of reality, and the rule of law. The PC enforcers are predatory, vicious, and relentless. They make up the rules as they go along, they just keep coming, and the head of the fish rots its way toward the tail.
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Was it worth it? It’s true: Universities are sophisticated practitioners of customer fraud on a colossal scale:
Yes. I know. The old ones are the best ones – but I’m going to reiterate the gag anyway!
Q. What do you say to a Humanities graduate?
A. Big Mac and fries please!
Wonderful job as always Mr. Foster. Without question the best description of Hilary Clinton I’ve ever read.
HRC — malevolence, malice, mischief — she’s the gift that just keeps on giving.
One wonders whether Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo is a Le Carré-esque Jebedee figure, recruiting and running sayanim from the groves of academe?
Jelani Cobb, dean of the J-School? That is hilarious. Just a figurehead appointment, I am sure. He was the most inept, unintelligible writer The New Yorker ever ran. I sometimes had to read every paragraph five times to figure out what he was trying to say.
Excellent article. That Columbia Law School is one heck of a Gallery of Sad Sacks. My favorite bio there was:
“NYU: BA in Independent Study with a concentration in Legal Study and the Idea of Justice”
The only thing that makes these people formidable is the iron fist which will sit behind them. I suppose that Karan Yarhi-Milo is going to take care of that along with the ADL trained FBI, CIA and US Armed Forces whose faces will increasingly look like the CLS class of ’25. The North American Vassal State of Israel is comprised of the faces of inclusion, (excluding the straight white man), backed by the Massad and its vassal agents.
As for Allison now known as Allyn, notice that the Daily Mail commissar referred to her as they/their. A supplicant and compliant memory hole digger, perfectly placed.
America’s WASP elite got worked – good and hard. We have our work cut out for us.
Fantastic article, Mr. Foster.
A WN movement has to find some way to provide good educations, and to teach critical-thinking without sending the kids to Commie U., or at least not without help.
We should respect but not fetishize the working class, as well. We do need intellectuals.
I liked CODOH Founder Bradley Smith’s Campus Project back in the day, but (sadly) I don’t think that kind of free-speech is possible any longer.
I was pleased that Jared Taylor was able to make some short remarks at ASU last year ─ and the University President to my surprise did not try to countersignal him as a Hater, which might have opened up the basis for a lawsuit, and some good rhetorical oportunities for an organized Movement.
But from what I understand, Mr. Taylor’s visit cost a boat load of money to pay for security, and if true, I am not sure that some rather mild pro-White remarks were worth it.
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