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Who goes Nazi, University of Florida edition

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I’m sorry to report that the first clause of Silke-Maria Weineck’s essay regarding the goings-on at the University of Florida made me laugh:


It’s rarely a good sign if you find yourself wondering how to translate certain German words.

That could be the epitaph for this whole goddamned country.

Gleichschaltung is the process by which institutions are brought under the control of totalitarian ideology. It is frequently rendered as “coordination” or “synchronization,” but those terms lack the terrifying connotation of switches flipped, one by one, until the same ideological current flows through every previously independent institution.

Vorauseilender Gehorsam means “obedience ahead of the command.” The Yale historian Timothy Snyder translates it as “anticipatory obedience,” and that is close enough, but it doesn’t quite capture the scurrying servility implied in “vorauseilen,” to hurry ahead.

You will be surprised to learn that the administration of the state’s flagship university is full of functionaries who are, to coin a phrase, working toward DeSantis:

The most deeply troubling aspect of this episode is the explicit conflation of the interest of a state government with the interest of a state university. A public university is beholden to truth-seeking and truth-speaking, and neither can possibly be subject to direct political control. A university that bars its faculty from criticizing the government in court has abandoned its core mission and tossed what should be its most fundamental values to a foul-smelling wind.

The implications of the assertion that the faculty must not act in a manner adverse to the regime’s interest — “activities that may pose a conflict of interest to the executive branch of the state of Florida create a conflict for the University of Florida” — are staggering. If you are not allowed to bear witness against voter suppression in court, why would you be allowed to study the effects of voter suppression in the first place, or to teach your students about them? Such research and such teaching are not in Ron DeSantis’s interest, either, and by the logic of Richardson’s denial, any activity that is not in Ron DeSantis’s interest is not in the interest of the University of Florida. Neither, one assumes, is research into the environmental toll of his climate policies, the human toll of his welfare policies, or the death toll of his Covid policies. A university declared an arm not simply of the state but of its partisan government ceases to be a university.

On the 80th anniversary of its publication, Dorothy Thompson’s analysis of who goes Nazi is once again more relevant than it’s been at any time in the last 79 years or so.

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ReadLots
35 days ago
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Gleichschaltung is the process by which institutions are brought under the control of totalitarian ideology.
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Google's 'Be Evil' transformation is complete: Time for the end game

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ReadLots
36 days ago
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School removes "Lord Of The Flies" from curriculum for lack of diversity

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A recent article in Canada's Cambridge Today talked about the efforts by some Canadian school boards to "identify and remove any texts deemed harmful to staff and students." While the brief reported piece focuses specifically on the Waterloo Region District School Board's ongoing efforts to look back at their library, the article does mention the completed actions of several other Canadian school districts:

Earlier this year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board removed William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies from its curriculum after its advisory committee on equity agreed with a student who said the book's themes were outdated and too focused on white, male power structures.

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ReadLots
37 days ago
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Is there an irony about removing "Handmaid's Tail" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" because they contain racist, homophobic, or misogynistic language and themes when that it the point of the books? It's not "To Kill a Mockingbird" is pro-racism or "Handmaid's Tail" is strongly in favour of misogyny.
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Pope Worried Punishing French Bishops Will Only Make Them Hornier

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VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis admitted to being concerned that punishing the French clergy responsible for decades of sexual abuse of minors may only make them hornier, according to sources within the Vatican.

“Those who are guilty must live with the shame of the pain they have caused to these young people, and the dishonor they have brought upon the Church; but if we were to punish them with legal action or exposure, it may serve to only titillate those naughty priests further,” His Holiness Pope Francis decreed to the Roman Curia. “Surely, the greater punishment would be to relocate these evildoers somewhere in the French countryside, where, unknown to those communities, they would have to brood in their secret guilt among the world-class wineries and quaint patisseries.”

Gerard Roussel, a leading member of the commission that generated the bombshell report documenting decades of abuse by French clergy, agreed with the Pope’s assessment.

“Our findings of more than 200,000 victims of Catholic priests in France is absolutely horrific, but swift action to combat these wrongs would fly in the face of Catholic dogma,” Roussel argued. “The French bishops’ response to these allegations for years has been to cover them up, to protect the Church at all costs. To change that strategy now and disrupt the time-honored traditions of victim blaming and deceit would be to go against everything the Church stands for. Plus, these guys are total pervs. They probably want to be yelled at or whipped. Maybe even tied up and told they are going to Hell like the sick, sad, dirty boys that they are.”

Samir Donovan, a journalist who has covered the Church’s abuse scandal extensively, said that the link between shame and arousal within the clergy may go back centuries.

“Catholic priests are basically experts in shame-related kink, particularly in Europe. Many have extensive knowledge of medieval torture, a pathological disdain for their own corporeal urges, and profound shame around expressing any sexuality,” Donovan explained. “It’s impossible to know if predators are drawn to the Church, or if the Church’s policies draw out predatory behavior — probably both — but the guilty parties need to be punished, no matter how much it turns them on.”

At press time, a collection of Cardinals were hard at work selecting ceremonial ball gags for the priests to wear for the remainder of the investigation.

The post Pope Worried Punishing French Bishops Will Only Make Them Hornier appeared first on The Hard Times.

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ReadLots
60 days ago
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Facebook Banned Me for Life Because I Help People Use It Less

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Facebook’s behavior isn’t just anti-competitive; it’s anti-consumer.

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61 days ago
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“I quit”: Cory Doctorow on smoking, indifference, and denialism

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76 days ago
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"Its how members of the Paltrow-Industrial Complex played the BBC and other sober-sided media outlets, demanding that they be given airtime to rebut scientists’ careful, empirical claims with junk they made up on the spot."
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