Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Dragons: Free Digital Archive of Graphic Design: A Curated Collection of Design Treasures from Internet Archive

 “Wine [is]a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

Benjamin Franklin

Yet … Nothing prepared me for Obeid, Tripodi or Brown or Nicholls of this western taxing world … trust moi only the LEAs  knows the full story 

OUT ON A LIMB: Will universities clean house of antisemitic profs? Don’t bet on it.

Or consider elite Williams College, whose German department wants an assistant professor “committed to inclusive and anti-racist pedagogy,” especially in the areas of “migration, race and anti-racism, post- and decolonial approaches.”

These are just a few of the current university job ads in the humanities and social sciences; I have enough to fill a file cabinet.

The irony of the Williams German department seeking a plainly ideological hire is that these centers of virulent antisemitism would have been at home in the pro-Nazi German universities of the 1930s.

University presidents and especially provosts, who are supposed to be the quality-control officers of higher education, could put a stop to this by exercising their authority to veto such ads or disapprove tenure and advancement of politicized professors.

The invertebrates who serve as college presidents will do nothing meaningful beyond appointing a task force to look into the issue, as Harvard has done to cover its shame.

That is to say: Ward Churchill was a one-off.

Our universities are so far gone and the number of professors deserving of dismissal so large that every school will shrink in terror from the controversies any housecleaning will cause.

The inmates run the asylum.

Indeed: The Shame of Academe.

A great school has a strong leader who is willing to say no to the jackals. Ben Sasse of the University of Florida, for example. “Our educational mission here begins with the recognition and explicit acknowledgment of human dignity—the same human dignity that Hamas’s terrorists openly scorn,” Sasse wrote in a remarkable October 11 statement. “Every single human life matters. We are committed to that truth. We will tell that truth.”

Too many of Sasse’s colleagues are dedicated to truth’s opposite. The past two years have seen the world tumble back into the 1930s. America retreated from Afghanistan. Russia launched the largest ground war in Europe since World War II. Hamas, and its Iranian masters, invaded Israel and sparked another war in the Greater Middle East. World order is collapsing, and the consequence is death and misery.

Nor is it only geopolitics that resembles the interwar period. The intellectual climate does, too. As Allan Bloom observed in his 1987 classic The Closing of the American Mind, German universities in the 1920s and 1930s were seedbeds of fascism. The most prominent German philosopher of the age, Martin Heidegger, belonged to the Nazi Party. He never apologized for his affiliation or behavior. Heidegger’s abstruse thought laid the foundations for the postmodern “critical theory” that has dominated the academy since the early 1990s. The result: Two generations of students cannot tell right from wrong, good from evil, justice from terror.

Or if Berlin in 1933 is too strong a model, how about England in 1933? The Harvard Crimson’s antisemitism disturbingly echoes Oxford in the 1930s.

On a cold February evening in 1933, the students of the Oxford Union debated and passed the motion “That this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.” The debate, which took place a week or so after Hitler was named chancellor of Germany, became an international sensation.

The students’ pacifism and lack of patriotism was viewed as emblematic of the degeneracy of an ungrateful and self-indulgent young intellectual elite. Winston Churchill called the vote “abject, squalid, shameless,” and “nauseating.”

The Oxford Union debate was not simply an academic exercise. At the time, many observers claimed it reinforced the view in Germany that the English were soft.

Alfred Zimmern, professor of international relations at Oxford, wrote to the former Oxford Union president who organized the debate: “I hope you do penance every night and every morning for that ill starred Resolution. … If the Germans have to be knocked out a second time it will be partly your fault.” Churchill would later write that as a result of the “ever shameful” motion, “in Germany, in Russia, in Italy, in Japan, the idea of a decadent, degenerate Britain took deep root and swayed many calculations.”

In our own time, just 18 months ago, the academic aristocracy at the Harvard Crimson endorsed the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that targets Israel. The BDS movement arose in 2005 as a policy advocated by Palestinian civil society groups to delegitimize and isolate Israel, similar to the anti-apartheid fight against South Africa.

As was the case with the Oxford pledge, the publication of the Harvard Crimson’seditorial immediately attracted national media attention. The editorial argued that BDS could help the Palestinian cause in the same way that BDS helped win liberation for black South Africans.

The breathtaking scope of the proposed academic, cultural, and economic boycott of Israel would, for example, ban Israel from the Olympics, withdraw American and other foreign investments in Israel, and suspend Israel from the U.N. A few years ago, the German Parliament designated the BDS movement as antisemitic.

A principal objective of the boycott is to pressure Israel to agree to a right of return for approximately 7 million Palestinians. While the concept of such a right of “return” may have a superficial appeal to some, such a position, if now implemented, would be a demographic Trojan horse that would destroy Israel.

Which would make academia extremely happy: ‘Columbia Is Lost:’ President of Columbia U. Is ‘Grateful’ For The ‘Persistence’ of Pro-Hamas Students.

Free Digital Archive of Graphic Design: A Curated Collection of Design Treasures from Internet Archive

Open Cultures: “We’ve got a thing for creative problem solvers here at Open Culture. We also love a good community-spirited project. Graphic designer Valery Marier ticks both boxes with archives.design, a free graphic design archive that was born of her frustrations with online research at a time when Covid restrictions shuttered libraries and archives…

Graphic design nerds, rejoice! Marier determines which of the finds should make the cut by considering relevance and image quality. A quick peek suggests graphic designers are not the only ones who stand to benefit from this labor of love...”

highlight on cyber security issues, October 29, 2023 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness.
 Four highlights from this week: Victims of Deepfakes Are Fighting Back; Without a Trace: How to Take Your Phone Off the Grid; Microsoft Fixes Excel Feature That Forced Scientists to Rename Human Genes; and Flipper Zero can now spam Android, Windows users with Bluetooth alerts.

Gave Themselves Without Idle Words to Death'

Rudyard Kipling was barely twenty years old when he wrote his “Prelude” to Departmental Ditties (1886), which includes these lines: “The deaths ye died I have watched beside, / And the lives ye led were mine.” Eugene Sledge was nineteen when he enlisted in the Marine Corps a year after Pearl Harbor and twenty while serving as a mortarman during the battles of Peleliu and Okinawa. Sledge used the lines from Kipling’s poem as the epigraph to With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa (1981), which stands on the shelf beside those other essential American books, Ulysses Grant’s Personal Memoirs (1885) and Omar Bradley's A Soldier's Story (1951). 

“Combat is the acid test,” Sledge writes. A recurrent theme in his book is the impossibility of someone like myself, who never experienced combat, ever understanding it. He describes the savagery of the fighting with the Japanese and the esprit de corps among his fellow Marines. Sledge writes: 


“To the non-combatants and those on the periphery of action, the war meant only boredom or occasional excitement, but to those who entered the meat grinder itself the war was a netherworld of horror from which escape seemed less and less likely as casualties mounted and the fighting dragged on and on. Time had no meaning, life had no meaning. The fierce struggle for survival in the abyss of Peleliu had eroded the veneer of civilization and made savages of us all.”


Sledge is a thoughtful writer, never out to parade his machismo. When I think back on first reading the book, I remember the scene of Marines prying gold teeth from the mouths of dead (and sometimes living) Japanese soldiers. Sledge himself prepares to do the same until a Navy corpsman talks him out of it.


In 1934, nearly twenty years after his son John was killed in the Battle of Loos during the Great War, Kipling wrote “Ode: Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance,” commemorating the war memorial built to honor that war's dead from Victoria, Australia. Here is the third stanza: 


“Thus, suddenly, war took them -- seas and skies

   Joined with the earth for slaughter. In a breath

They, scoffing at all talk of sacrifice,

   Gave themselves without idle words to death.”


Sledge was born one-hundred years ago today, on November 4, 1923, and died in 2001 at age seventy-seven.