Patterico's Pontifications


Rapprochement with Iran Continues to Advance Peace (Not Really)

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:10 pm

[guest post by JVW]

We’ve slayed a lot of electrons on this site lamenting President Obama’s ridiculous and self-serving overtures to the Islamic Republic of Iran despite the provocations, prevarications, agitations, and humiliations that Iran has treated us to since the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” was signed last year. Meanwhile, we have been subject to lie after lie from the Administration as they desperately try to convince us that on balance Iran’s nebulous and insincere promises to curtail their nuclear weapons program justifies our lifting of sanctions and paying them ransoms.

So now comes further proof that Obama’s capitulation has only emboldened Iran to take a more assertive and aggressive posture in the Middle East. On Tuesday, Iranian patrol boats near the Strait of Hormuz (in recognizable international waters, according to American officials) performed aggressive intercept maneuvers against the USS Nitze, coming within 300 yards of the American destroyer despite repeated warnings to keep a safe distance (footage can be found here). Earlier today, the USS Squall fired three warning shots from its .50 caliber gun in the direction of an Iranian vessel which ventured within 200 yards of the American patrol ship. As with the Tuesday incident, the Iranian boats ignored repeated warnings via radio, flare, and airhorn. For their part, the Iranians claim that the American boats are entering Iranian maritime region without authorization.

State Department Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau, last seen ’round these parts lying about the Administrations lies concerning Ben Rhodes, the Iran deal, and skillful video editing, channeled the full fury of her boss, Secretary of State (and Navy man!) John Forbes Kerry, in declaring that Iran is “unnecessarily escalating tensions.” I wonder if she and her boss have been briefed that the number of naval provocations by Iran against American ships is on track to be up 50% over last year. Perhaps they have, since their own department earlier this week advised Americans traveling to Iran that they are under increased danger of being detained or arrested in that country.

Yeah, this is the cherry atop President Obama’s foreign policy sundae, isn’t it?


That’s What She Didn’t Say

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:16 am

University of Chicago Gets Real (ADDED: In Contrast, Pathetic Northwestern State University Offers Students Two Hours Per Week Free Speech… With Prior Notice )

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:49 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a letter sent to incoming freshmen, the University of Chicago informed students that the institution is run by actual grown-ups. Grown-ups who are disinclined to indulge and coddle the delicate fragility of this generation’s hyper-sensitive cupcakes:

Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the college at the University of Chicago. Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.

Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. … Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort….

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

Here are some student and alumni reactions to the letter:


The glory of the free market. There are plenty excellent schools that have embraced the hugbox model of education. If you want a hugbox friendly school, go to a hugbox friendly school.


Admin taking another big, condescending shit on safe spaces in the guise of “commitment to academic freedom.”


I’m honestly just intrigued by the University’s branding strategy. They reach out to incoming students and parents jittery about activism and/or minorities by scribbling out an anti-safe space letter that checks all the right anti-activist boxes even as they reach out to minority students and activists with diversity and inclusion initiatives and by literally running something called the “Safe Space Program”.


This letter is not really an offense compared to the gross squashing of intellectual and spiritual freedom that is the common American discourse and what’s present even in the most basic of corporate jobs in America.

It will be interesting to see if this move back toward sanity and reasonableness will lead the way for other universities to follow.

ADDED: This from a public university in Louisiana:

The Northwestern State University policy requires students to apply 24-48 hours in advance before holding a public demonstration or assembly, and limits such activities to “one, 2-hour time period every 7 days, commencing on Monday.”

Public demonstrations are limited to three locations on campus: the Student Union Plaza, Prather Coliseum East Parking Lot and a so-called “Green Space between CAPA and Varnado Hall.”


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