Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Last Call For An Education In Fascism

If you want to know what fascism in America looks like, visit a red state public university's purge of faculty over thought crimes.
Joy Alonzo, a respected opioid expert, was in a panic.

The Texas A&M University professor had just returned home from giving a routine lecture on the opioid crisis at the University of Texas Medical Branch when she learned a student had accused her of disparaging Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during the talk.

In the few hours it took to drive from Galveston, the complaint had made its way to her supervisors, and Alonzo’s job was suddenly at risk.

“I am in a ton of trouble. Please call me!” she wrote to Chandler Self, the UTMB professor who invited her to speak.

Alonzo was right to be afraid. Not only were her supervisors involved, but so was Chancellor John Sharp, a former state comptroller who now holds the highest-ranking position in the Texas A&M University System, which includes 11 public universities and 153,000 students. And Sharp was communicating directly with the lieutenant governor’s office about the incident, promising swift action.

Less than two hours after the lecture ended, Patrick’s chief of staff had sent Sharp a link to Alonzo’s professional bio.

Shortly after, Sharp sent a text directly to the lieutenant governor: “Joy Alonzo has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation re firing her. shud [sic] be finished by end of week.”

The text message was signed “jsharp.”
Now, Joy Alonzo got to keep her job after the school's investigation found that she did nothing wrong, but the bigger issue is that what college students are being taught is that learning something that they don't agree with is wrong, being exposed to those ideas is actually making them victims, and that they have the power to remove that thought from the school so that they never have to deal with it.
They will expect to be able to do that going forward in life. The removal of people unlike them, not the thinking part, that is.
In the America that Republicans are setting up, where everything is a culture war battle and fighting that battle so that your side is the only one left standing in the battle of "ideas", that will be the new norm. 

Welcome to the GOP "education initiative".

Where On Earth Is Qin Gang?

Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang has been AWOL for the last month or so, and now he's officially been replaced in the post by his predecessor, Wang Yi.
China’s foreign minister Qin Gang was dramatically ousted on Tuesday after a prolonged absence from public view and replaced by his predecessor in a surprising and highly unusual shake-up of the country’s foreign policy leadership.

The sudden move, approved by the top decision-making body of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, comes as mystery has swirled around the fate of Qin, who has not been seen in public for a month.

Qin, 57, a career diplomat and trusted aide of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, had only been appointed foreign minister in December after serving as China’s ambassador to Washington.

No reason has yet been given for Qin’s departure but his predecessor Wang Yi will now step back into the role, authorities confirmed.

Wang, who was foreign minister from 2013 to 2022, now serves as director of the foreign affairs arm of the ruling Communist Party, a position which makes him China’s top diplomat.

The appointment of the new foreign minister occurred during a meeting of the China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was abruptly announced on Monday in a deviation from usual precedent.

The sudden move comes in the middle of a busy and important diplomatic period for China following its emergence from its pandemic isolation earlier this year and as Beijing tries to mend strained relationships with international partners.

The high-profile diplomat has not been seen in public since June 25, after he met with officials from Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Russia in Beijing.

In his last public appearance, a smiling Qin was seen walking side by side with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko, who flew to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials after a short-lived insurrection by the Wagner mercenary group in Russia
That last paragraph is the real story, "Chinese Foreign Minister Goes Missing After Meeting With Russians." Whatever Qin's fate actually was, the Chinese aren't saying and neither are the Russians.

Just another reminder that for all the fiction about BRICS taking over as the new economic and military supergroup, the reality is that both China and Russia are in economic tatters right now, and the rest of BRICS is in even worse shape.

That of course includes their diplomatic corps.

The House GOP Circus Of The Damned, Con't

House GOP Speaker Kevin McCarthy has to get the Village from Trump's growing list of criminal indictments by impeaching Joe Biden, no matter what it takes.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said that he expects the House GOP’s investigations into the foreign business activities of President Biden’s family to rise to the level of an impeachment inquiry

“When Biden was running for office, he told the public he has never talked about business. He said his family has never received a dollar from China, which we prove is not true,” McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night, referencing Biden’s previous statements that he did not talk to his son Hunter Biden about his foreign business activities.

McCarthy also mentioned two IRS whistleblowers who alleged that prosecutors slow-walked an investigation into Hunter Biden tax crimes, and House GOP investigations finding that millions of foreign funds traveled through shell companies to Biden family members and associates.

“We’ve only followed where the information has taken us. But Hannity, this is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Monday night.

“Because this president has also used something we have not seen since Richard Nixon: Use the weaponization of government to benefit his family and deny Congress the ability to have the oversight,” McCarthy said.

There's enough projection, gaslighting, and historical revanchism there to make me wonder if McCarthy is writing terrible steampunk-era America fiction the way Newt Gingrich has. Seriously, has anyone actually heard of Donald Trump? Does McCarthy carry a grounded lightning rod with him at all times to prevent getting struck by a bolt every time he says crap like this?

Christ on a triscuit.
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