DoD’s New Marching Orders: Fail Fast

By Walter Pincus (Y’54)

Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist at The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on national security-related topics from nuclear weapons to politics.  In 2002, he and a team of Post reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. He also won an Emmy in 1981 and the 2010 Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy.

OPINION — Speedy U.S. development of hypersonic missiles, a new space-based, lower orbit, sensor layer to defend against Russian or Chinese hypersonic weapons, and inclusion of nuclear hypersonic weapons in any extension with Russia of the New START [Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty]  were priorities for 2020 and 2021 as laid out by the new Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. John Hyten, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on January 17.

Hyten called for taking risks in developing new weapons and defensive systems, while complaining that at the Pentagon “We try to study the heck out of it to get to the perfect answer before we start something.”

A week later, on January 24, also at CSIS, Defense Secretary Mark Esper echoed the same theme, saying “The department nearly doubled its long-term investment, almost $5 billion more in fiscal year 2020, for hypersonic weapons alone over the next five years. And our FY 2021 budget will be even stronger.”

Esper said a four-month, defense-wide review had led to reforms saving $5 billion in part by “divesting from legacy systems and lower-priority activities…We will use these savings to drive progress on critical technologies like artificial intelligence and hypersonic missiles.”

Hyten used North Korea’s missile program as an example of going fast in developing weapons. He pointed out that as one of the poorest countries in the world (115th economy out of 192) North Korea “developed a ballistic missile program that can threaten its neighbors and threaten the United States, and a nuclear program that can threaten its neighbors and the United States.”

“You look at Kim Jong-un,” Hyten said, “but then you look at his father and his grandfather, there are some significant differences…His grandfather launched, I think, nine; his father, I think, launched 22 during their entire tenure. Kim Jong-un has launched 67. He’s launched over a dozen in 2016, 2017, and 2019; didn’t launch anything in 2018.

“If you want to go fast in the missile business,” Hyten said, “you need to test fast, fly fast, learn fast.”

Again, Esper highlighted the same idea saying, “Across the force, we’re working to shed our risk-averse culture and establish an ecosystem where experimentation is incentivized, and innovation is rewarded.”

Hyten described the U.S. as “the leading software nation in the world,” but said Defense Department building software was “a nightmare.” America’s private software companies move fast, while Hyten said the statutory requirements that drive Pentagon acquisitions and contracting are for “an industrial-age model, not an information-age model.”

He said, “We have to allow people to take risk and delegate the responsibilities to people that are executing programs. We don’t train people how to buy things anymore. We train people how to get programs through the Pentagon and through the Congress.”

Esper again re-emphasized that point recalling while he was Army secretary, “the cycle we were trying to do in the Army, where you test, you fail; you test again, you succeed a little bit more; you test again, you succeed a lot; until you get it right. It has to be iterative. And so I think we have to work at the culture at the end of the day.”

Hyten used the cyber threat as his example saying, “As soon as you hit that day one, tomorrow you’re already out-of-date. Tomorrow you’re out-of-date. Not five years from now. Tomorrow you’re out-of-date. So how do I move fast in that structure? I think you have to, basically, go back to a threat-based view of the world, say here’s a threat.”

An engineer who has specialized in aircraft, missiles and space weaponry, Hyten said, “We were ahead in hypersonics a decade ago. We had two programs, two flights, the HTV-1

and HTV-2 [2011] under DARPA. They didn’t quite work. What did we do after they failed? We instituted multiyear studies into the failure process and then canceled the programs.”

Instead, Hyten said, “Why can’t the United States learn how to accept failure? We need to understand what failure is and learn from those failures, learn from the mistakes that we make, move quickly from those mistakes.”

When tragic accidents happen, like what happened to the U.S. space shuttles and human lives are involved, Hyten said, you have to take time, “because you can’t risk human life. But if you don’t have human life involved, you have to figure out how to go fast – how to adjust, how to – how to learn, how to launch quickly, how to move fast.”

Esper talked about the Trump National Defense Strategy “prioritizing China first and Russia second in this era of great-power competition…[and] trying to use emerging technologies to alter the landscape of power and reshape the world in their favor, and often at the expense of others.”

Hyten added another element, saying, “Everything that happens in China, every technology in China, is available for the military use. There’s not this separation like you see in the West, like the separation that you see in the United States. It’s very, very tied together.”

Both Esper and Hyten talked about the need for new cooperative efforts between the Pentagon and industry, with the Defense Secretary saying, “There are things we must do in order to work more closely with our nation’s innovators to become a better customer and to partner in more effective ways.”

Hyten discussed the new problem of defense against Russian hypersonic missiles saying, “If you can’t see it, you can’t defend against it. If you can’t see it, you can’t deter it either.” He ruled out ground-based radars saying too many would be needed on Pacific islands or along the U.S. east coast. The answer, he said, comes down to “medium-earth orbit or low-earth orbit” sensors, or what’s known as the Space Sensor Layer.”

Hyten claimed, “We’re studying the heck out of it, when actually what we need to say…Now there’s all kinds of sensors that are out there. Put the sensors on some satellites, fly them cheap, fly them fast, see what they can do, and then figure out what you need to actually go build.”

On arms control, Hyten said, “New START is a good thing…because it gives you a number [of deployed Russian warheads and delivery systems]…It also gives you insight into the Russian nuclear forces because of the verification regime that’s on the New START Treaty. Those are very, very important issues.”

But Hyten added his belief that an extension should include not just Russia’s new nuclear weapons like hypersonic cruise missiles and nuclear torpedoes, but also their tactical weapons. His reasoning, “Because [their] employment will not be tactical. That employment will be strategic. And it will be responded to in a strategic way.” He also said talks should begin with China, whose strategic nuclear arsenal although small is growing.

Discussions on extending START are underway “not just in the [Defense}] Department, but in the interagency and in the White House,” Hyten said, adding, “I won’t tell you exactly the discussions that are going on, but those are the pieces of the puzzle.”

Hyten also took time to complain about the privatized housing problem facing military families, suicide prevention, taking care of children with special needs, personnel with mental health issues and sexual assault, where he said the numbers “are going the wrong way.”

Hyten announced he was going to hire a special assistant to “look at our people and families…and we’re going to get after all these people and family programs to make sure that we are taking care of our most precious resource.”

Read more national security insights, perspectives and analysis in The Cipher Brief

Top Colleges in the Northeast for Student Outcomes

Harvard and Princeton top the regional list for this category in the WSJ/THE College Rankings

Harvard University was one of seven Ivy League schools in the top 10 colleges in the Northeast for student outcomes. Photo: Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Jan. 15, 2020 11:06 am ET

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The top 10 colleges in the Northeast for student outcomes include six that made the top 10 nationwide for the category in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings.

Harvard University and Princeton University tied for the top ranking in outcomes both in the Northeast and nationally, with Yale University placing third in the region and nationwide. They are followed in the Northeast ranking by the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and Dartmouth College, all of which are in the top 10 nationally for outcomes.

The WSJ/THE rankings emphasize how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation. The overall ranking is based on 15 factors across four main categories: Forty percent of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including measures of graduate salaries and debt burdens, 30% from the school’s academic resources, 20% from how well it engages its students and 10% from its diversity.

Explore the Full Rankings

You can filter the WSJ/THE full rankings or customize them to focus on your own priorities. JUSTIN METZ

Another Ivy League school, Brown University, also made the top 10 in the Northeast for outcomes, at No. 9. The only Ivy not to make the regional top 10 for the category, Columbia University, is No. 11 in the Northeast.

Non-Ivies in the Northeastern top 10 for outcomes are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amherst College and Williams College.

All 10 schools on the Northeastern list are private. The top public school for outcomes in the Northeast is the University of Pittsburgh, 32nd in the region, followed by SUNY Binghamton University at 33rd. They rank 80th and 87th, respectively, in the country for outcomes.

See the list of top 10 schools in the Northeast for outcomes below. You can also see our full rankings as well as sort the complete rankings by a variety of measures and reweight the main contributing factors to reflect what’s most important to you. And you can use our tool to help you compare any two colleges in detail side by side.

Top Colleges in the Northeast for Outcomes

Outcomes Rank: NortheastCollegeOutcomes Rank: NationalOverall Rank: National
1Harvard University11
1Princeton University15
3Yale University33
4University of Pennsylvania54
5Cornell University79
6Dartmouth College1012
7Massachusetts Institute of Technology122
8Amherst College1420
9Brown University157
10Williams College1721

Showing 1 to 10 of 10 entries

Regions are as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Ties are listed in order of the schools’ overall national ranking.

Source: WSJ/THE College Rankings

(See the top 10 list of Northeastern colleges, ranked by student outcomes.)

——Gerard Yates

Civilization Is History at Yale

Great art is too ‘white, straight, European and male,’ so it’ll have to give way to the latest agitprop.

By Roger Kimball Jan. 29, 2020 6:57 pm ET

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Illustration: Barbara Kelley

Yale announced last week that it will stop teaching its famous survey course, “Introduction to Art History: Renaissance to the Present.” Taught for decades by Vincent Scully one of Yale’s most celebrated professors, the course was a riveting introduction to pulse of humanism.

It is being cashiered for all the usual reasons. Its focus is too white, too European, too male, too “problematic,” as Tim Barringer, chairman of the art history department, puts it. Mr. Barringer will substitute a course that challenges such Eurocentrism and promises to be very up-to-date. Mr. Barrginer says he’ll introduce a “global” perspective. Naturally, he writes, the course will consider art in relation to “questions of gender, class and ‘race.’ ” (Why the scare quotes around “race”? Is today one of those days when race is only a social construct?) It will also ponder art’s “involvement with Western capitalism.”

Globalism, gender, class, race, capitalism. Has Mr. Barringer neglected any trendy concern? How about the Greta Thunberg gambit? On it! Art’s “relationship with climate change will be a ‘key theme,’ ” the Yale Daily News reports.

The Daily News adds that the removal of “Introduction to Art History” is “the latest response to student uneasiness over an idealized Western ‘canon’—a product of an overwhelmingly white, straight, European and male cadre of artists.”

It is also yet another sign that Yale has succumbed to a life-draining decadence. A decadent institution isn’t necessarily impoverished or licentious. Rather, it is desiccated because it has lost the life-giving pith of its purpose. To a casual observer, a decadent institution may look healthy. The buildings may be expensive, well-kept and plentiful. Tidy, well-heeled people may bustle about. But the animating élan has evaporated. A decadent institution is one that has repudiated itself.

Readers of these pages will recall many warning signs of self-repudiation from Yale. A few years ago, bowing to student pressure, it rebaptized a residential college named for John C. Calhoun. Calhoun was a congressman, senator, secretary of war and vice president, one of his generation’s most brilliant orators, and an effective defender of limited government and free trade. But he was also an avid supporter of slavery, so any other consideration had to be erased. Statues and other representations of Calhoun were removed from public view, as were stained-glass windows depicting slaves laboring in fields from the dining hall of the college formerly known for John.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, but many of Yale’s residential colleges are named for men who supported slavery. One whose position was very close to Calhoun’s was Samuel F.B. Morse. You probably know Morse as inventor of the telegraph and namesake of its code. He was also a staunch believer that slavery was a positive good. Apparently, Yale’s Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming—I’m not making that up—hasn’t gotten around to Samuel Morse.

Nor has it gotten around to Elihu Yale. A philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university, Yale was also an administrator in India, where he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I am still waiting for the Committee on Renaming to tackle Elihu Yale. My own suggestion is that they rename the university for a more important early benefactor, Jeremiah Dummer, who recruited Elihu Yale as a donor.

Yale’s habit of self-repudiation targets much more than impermissible attitudes toward slavery. In 2017, Yale’s Committee on Art in Public Spaces first covered and then removed a stone decoration from an entrance to Sterling Memorial Library that depicted an American Indian and a Puritan. The Puritan was holding a musket—a gun! Susan Gibbons, of Yale’s librarian-censors, sniffed that its “presence at a major entrance to Sterling was not appropriate.” Why not? She didn’t think it necessary to say.

The Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming and the Committee on Art in Public Spaces: Yale University has been impressed by Robespierre’s Committee on Public Safety, which had a similarly censorious and even more kinetic approach to heterodox opinions.

Also last week, Yale tapped Angela Davis as its Martin Luther King Day speaker. Ms. Davis, a two-time Communist Party USA nominee for vice president, is best known for fleeing justice after being charged with the 1970 kidnapping and murder of Judge Harry Haley. (Although she had bought the gun used in the crime, she was later acquitted.) Ms. Davis wanted to destroy America: She became a Communist, she wrote, because “the only true path to liberation . . . leads toward a complete and total overthrow of the capitalist class in this country and all its manifold institutional appendages.” Obviously she is a fitting speaker for Yale.

The political philosopher James Burnham once observed that “suicide is probably more frequent than murder as the end phase of a civilization.” As Yale has been demonstrating for some years now, elite institutions are eager to take the lead.

Mr. Kimball is president and publisher of Encounter Books and editor and publisher of the New Criterion.

An Antarctic Explorer’s Mental Journey

Weekend Confidential

Endurance athlete Colin O’Brady was the first person to cross the Antarctic continent alone and unaided—thanks to an epiphany with 77 miles to go

Fifty-three days into his solo trek across Antarctica and 77 miles from his goal, Colin O’Brady was exhausted and starving. Running out of food, he had stretched out his daily rations to keep himself alive. “My ribs were sticking out, my hips were sticking out,” he recalls. “I had frostbite on my hands and cheeks.” It was Christmas Day 2018, and he could barely summon the energy to pack his bags onto the sled he pulled behind him. But then he started and, step by step, something in him shifted: “My mind came alive. I said to myself, ‘What if I don’t stop? What if I just keep going?’”

From that point, Mr. O’Brady, an explorer and endurance athlete with multiple world records to his name, pushed on for 32 hours straight to the end of his 932-mile quest. He beat his rival, British Army Capt. Lou Rudd, by two days to become the first man to complete a crossing of Antarctica alone and unassisted. But the real journey, he says, was an internal one: “Being alone in this stark white landscape, without music, without podcasts, and figuring out where that would take my mind and my soul.”

Mr. O’Brady, 34, had come to Antarctica with the hope of finding and exploring the “flow state”—a psychological term for the immersive focus of athletes who are “in the zone”—that he had experienced in short spurts in earlier endeavors. In the euphoria of his final push, “It was like I was hyper-present every single minute, like those 32 hours lasted weeks in my mind,” he says. “My senses were super heightened. I felt connected to all of the people in my life, which is very bizarre when you’re completely alone, surrounded by nothing but ice.”

By contrast, he points out, tucking into breakfast at a restaurant in Manhattan, we can also be surrounded by millions of people and feel completely alone.

I love to explore the edges of the world.

In his just-published memoir, “The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice—Crossing Antarctica Alone,” Mr. O’Brady also revisits his unlikely route to his adventurous career. In 2007, after graduating from Yale University, where he had been recruited for the swim team, he set off on a yearlong backpacking trip. On a Thai island, a freak accident changed his life. Joining in a common, though perilous, activity on Thai beaches—skipping a flaming jump rope—he got caught in the rope and suffered severe burns on his legs. A doctor at the local hospital told him he’d never walk normally again.

“I was downward-spiraling,” says Mr. O’Brady. “I’d been a lifelong athlete. I thought, ‘Who am I without that?’” His mother urged him to set a goal, so he did—completing a triathlon. Back at his childhood home in Portland, Ore., she pushed him every day to walk a few steps farther. “I look at that as a sliding-doors moment in my life,” he says. “If I had leaned into the negativity, the fear, the diagnosis, it’s really hard to say where my life would have gone. But instead this other door was opened to me.”

His rehabilitation turned into training, and in 2009, he won the Chicago triathlon. Having completed one goal, he set another and another, winning a spot on Team USA at the 2010 World Triathlon Championships. In 2016, he completed the Explorers Grand Slam, a challenge to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and complete expeditions to the North and South Poles—and he did it in world-record time. The string of athletic highs happened “not in spite of the burn accident but actually because of it,” he says. “They’re a continuation of that curiosity—what more am I capable of?” He hopes that his records create a ripple effect, inspiring other people to “take on the seemingly impossible in their own lives.”

Mr. O’Brady about halfway through his trek across Antarctica, on Nov. 28, 2018. Photo: Courtesy Colin O’Brady

What drew Mr. O’Brady to Antarctica, he writes, was “the idea of the blank canvas, of life unfolding with its deep uncertainties and possibilities wrapped up together.” Growing up hiking the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, he was fascinated by stories of explorers and frustrated to be born when so much had already been explored. But trudging across the ice on his mohair-covered skis in Antarctica, he would remind himself that 99% of his steps were on ground that no one had touched before. “I love to explore the edges of the world,” he says.

His previous records were about speed, optimizing feats that others had already accomplished. There was no blueprint, though, for the Antarctic crossing. Those who had attempted it before him had given up or died. The continent posed a “giant math problem”—carry too much food and equipment and the sled would be too heavy; carry too little and he might die. His wife, Jenna Besaw, the organizer behind his exploits, packed and weighed and repacked his gear. On an early night in his trek, when his sled was too heavy and he was crying tears that froze on his face, she ran the numbers and talked him through how much more he could leave behind at a way station. They talked almost every night. “That’s my favorite part of this,” he says. “It’s not a single man’s effort. Not even close.”

If I had leaned into the negativity, the fear, it’s really hard to say where my life would have gone.

He trained with an ex-Navy SEAL, who contrived exercises such as doing planks with his hands in ice buckets and wall-sits with his feet in ice buckets while solving a Lego set. “It seemed crazy at the time,” Mr. O’Brady says, but the ability to concentrate on tying a knot properly, for instance, in the middle of a storm with frozen hands would be key to his survival.

Another crucial bit of preparation: 10-day silent meditation retreats. On the best days of his journey, the empty landscape would start to fill with vivid memories he didn’t know he had, like wandering through a lucid dream. “It was wild,” he says. “All of a sudden I could tap into these moments—for 12 hours pulling my sled, I’d go into these memory palaces. It was like, oh my god, it’s all in there. We all have that!”

On the darker days, though, he began to lose his grip on reality. Not having seen his rival, who started at the same time, since they crossed paths on the sixth day, he began to wonder if Capt. Rudd was a figment of his imagination. “Is Lou real?” he asked his wife on the satellite phone. He became obsessed, too, with the fate of Henry Worsley, an explorer who died attempting the crossing in 2016.

After Mr. O’Brady reached the finish line, a tiny post sticking out of the snow, he waited two days to congratulate Capt. Rudd.

This past Christmas, Mr. O’Brady set another world first—rowing a boat with five other people across Drake Passage, from Cape Horn to Antarctica. “Forty-foot swells, tiny little rowboat, no motor, no sails, never slept more than 60 minutes at a time,” he says, still riding the high of seeing the giant icebergs and jumping penguins as they reached the peninsula. “Anyway,” he shrugs, “that’s a whole other story.”

Write to Elizabeth Winkler at

Danger to our University

          The dangers to our university are non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism.  These are clear and present dangers to the original idea of a University.  Perhaps the first purpose of a university came from Socrates who said, “Never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy”. But he also disclaimed any involvement in politics and the struggle for power.

          Another problem is that our youth approaching the University lack discipline.  No one doubts the truism that after two years of military service the person was better for it.  High schools which have a universal job program for all for an hour in the morning produce more disciplined students.

          The non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism are pushing for dangerous developments in the university:

  1.  The ascension of narrow ideological fields of study, usually at the expense of study of the great events and ideas of world history.
  2.   The erosion of the due process of the rights of faculty and students.
  3.   Denying the special place America represents with its freedom and justice and the 1st choice of most immigrants.
  4.   Dangerous efforts to regulate permissible limits of classroom discussion.
  5.  Unwelcome ideas are condemned as is “hate speech” by some.

Every needy student activist asserts demands that require expansion of the bureaucracy. The new bureaucracy encourages and facilitates the student agitation.

Example:  The students demand that the name “Calhoun” be changed for one of Yale’s residential buildings because Mr. Calhoun owned slaves at one time. 

       Result:  Under President Salovey a board convinced a study group and agreed to change the name.

        Pres. Salovey announced the creation of a “Name Calling Committee” and a budget of $3 million dollars was included so that a proper consensus could be reached with student approval for their demands.

Opinion:  This spineless “give in” to student demands, produced new student life coordinates, more officers, more diversity deans, more sexual climate professionals, more non-faculty bureaucracy.

A weak leadership will create still another diversity and an inclusion study group to avoid elitism, to force diversity, to improve access to academic programs and alumni networks to outsiders not connected to Yale, to end legacy admission, to increase equal opportunity, and to increase economic and social mobility.

Note:  Most of the above are pet projects of the new head of Yale’s Board, C atherine Hill, who was “let go” from Vassar (President from 2006.  Debt was $172 million.  By 2015 the debt rose to $254 million).

Sometimes the new bureaucrats promote activist causes directly. At a well-known midwestern college the vice president and dean of student life (formerly the college’s special assistant to the president for diversity, equity, and inclusion) was found to have been directly involved in a student effort to libel and injure a local business on fabricated charges of racism!

Thus, this new non-faculty bureaucracy and student activism seek to change education as we knew it.  How did we get there?   Yale’s mission statement before 2016 was; “Yale has as tripartite mission:  to create, preserve, and disseminate knowledge”.  This statement is just about right.  But in 2016 President Salovey announced a new longer statement.  Here are two representative sentences:

          “Yale is committed to IMPROVING the world…. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society…”

The focus on knowledge is gone, replaced by leadership, practice and world-improvement.  The shift is from inquiry and deliberation to institution of assertiveness and action.

          Universities do not exist to implement the conclusion of our social, cultural, moral or economic debates.  Maintaining that distinction between inquiry and action has always been crucial to academic freedom.  It is the totalitarian who rejects this distinction, who insists that society may regulate opinion as it regulates action.  The Gestapo or Inquisition are good examples.

          Now the ambitions of our university staff are greater:  the achievement of diversity, inclusion and equity, avoid elitism, restore regulation of the for-profit sector, regulate economic and social mobility, get rid of legacy admissions.

The dreaded Title IX has metastasized into a vast bureaucracy that oversees orientations, investigations and mandatory bystander training, amounting to a re-education which is a new part of the University’s business.  The university is changing from the teaching of philosophy and inquiry to the service of social change.

This cancer begins with the new “professional admissions” departments.  These admissions professionals are not interested in traditional academic criteria but flashier virtues such as “the need for change, activism, leadership, or overcoming adversity”.  In the old days under President Kingman Brewster it was simpler. “Welcome to the privilege of Yale.”   vs.   Now.

                                               Inquiry vs. activism                                                             Speech vs. conduct

              Process of understanding the world vs. impose our will on it.

               Authority with the faculty vs. non-faculty bureaucracies

How do we change it back to where it was?

  1.  The faculty has to wake up.
  2.   Trustees should demand detailed outlines of jobs they offer.
  3.   Alumni should become wiser in their philanthropy and limit gifts  to a year, subject to direction and results.
  4.  Enforce restrictions on charitable gifts.
  5.  Clean up admission process (intellectual virtues over activism)
  6.  Clean out the mass of activism and bureaucracy.

Those who seek to politicize the University to collapse the distinction between educational inquiry and action claim that the old university is a “shield for the privileged” and “justice is paramount”.  These activists have a morose self-loathing of the past and seek to recast our constitution and academic principals into their enlightened power.  It will FAIL.

Our newest arrivals have already voted with their feet.  Immigrants by the hundred thousand at the border are eager to learn and embrace our national traditions. Our university’s purpose was and is to teach students in methods and habits of free inquiry – in deliberation assessment of evidence and the expansion of knowledge.  Universities did NOT exist to implement the conclusion of our social, cultural, moral, or economic debates. -1-

                                                                      John Allen Franciscus

1.  This whole article quotes much and leans heavily on the Remarks of Judge Jose A. Cabranes on the occasion of the 2019 Philip Menall Award by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.  Washington D.C.  

          Also we refer to –  Selection of Articles and Quotes 8 Oct 2019 from Catharine Hill in the Media:  Boilerplate Mag.  18 Jan 200.    New York Time 2016.  Poughkeepsie Journal. 20 July 16.

Yale Alumni Association – 2011 assembly Peter Salovey Leadership Advancing Yale’s Mission.  Belonging at Yale,  Supporting Diversity,  Equity, and inclusion on Campus.


Yale, Al Sharpton and the Attacks on New York’s Jews

Disdain for the ultra-Orthodox leads the elites to tolerate hatred, which turns into violence.

By Abigail Shrier

Jan. 3, 2020 6:18 pm ET

  • My entering class at Yale Law School in 2002 had one Jew who might be called “ultra-Orthodox.” He traveled some two hours to campus each Monday from Brooklyn, N.Y., and before the weekend, as far as I knew, he headed back. On Fridays when Sabbath came in early and he needed to get home, he could be seen racing white-faced for the exit, one hand pinning a velvet yarmulke to his head, the wheels of his tagalong briefcase crying out.

Yale Law School was about as secular a place as I had ever been—an institution where God seemed not only absent but strangely irrelevant. I sympathized with his need to chase spiritual renewal somewhere else. But the open snickers of our classmates surprised me. They imitated how he raised his hand in class (palm a little too rigid and tilted slightly forward). They joked that it looked like a Nazi salute. They rolled their eyes whenever someone mentioned his name.

In an institution pledged to champion the downtrodden, contempt coalesced happily on his head. Most surprising to me was how readily and wordlessly our classmates seemed to have agreed on their target. How did they know whom to kick around? Their defense of minorities stopped at his feet. So many unspoken rules of communication arranged themselves in a target on his back.

I thought of him this week, and the week before, and for many weeks before that, as the frequency of assaults in the New York area targeting ultra-Orthodox Jews rises from alarming to commonplace. The beatings in Brooklyn; threats hurled at ultra-Orthodox Jews on all manner of public transport; the brick bludgeoning in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood; the machete attack in Monsey, N.Y., north of the city; the shooting in a Jersey City, N.J., supermarket meant for the yeshiva upstairs filled with children.

Videos of the Brooklyn assaults seem borrowed from another time and place: of Jews attempting to mind their own business in black hats and dark suits, beaten by street thugs. The black hats and dark suits, provocation enough. The ghastly silence of the elites—or worse, intimations that the Jews themselves are responsible.

The AP tutted in a tweet that has since been removed: “The expansion of Hasidic communities around New York City has led to predictable civic sparring, but also flare-ups of what some call anti-Semitic rhetoric.” This came days after a madman charged the home of a Hasidic rabbi, hacking at Jewish heads with a machete. NBC New York tweeted from the same script: “With the expansion of Orthodox communities outside NYC has come civic sparring, and some fear the recent violence may be an outgrowth of that conflict.” Some fear . . . what exactly? That the Jews got what they deserved? That the attacks are a logical response to gentrification? Good people on both sides, is it?

This is Bill de Blasio’s New York, but it could just as easily be David Dinkins’s. And perhaps that is why we are seeing this again: the demon of hate, never exorcised, floats freely around. Our sin was to have whitewashed the Crown Heights pogrom of 1991 and lavished its instigator Al Sharpton with respectability.

After a car crash involving a Hasidic driver resulted in the death of Gavin Cato, the 7-year-old son of Guyanese immigrants, Mr. Sharpton led a three-day riot in Crown Heights. He blamed the accident on “diamond merchants,” and his followers chanted, “Kill the Jew.” They did. The Jew they killed was Yankel Rosenbaum, 29, a doctoral candidate from Australia. Nearly 200 more were injured in the melee.

The political and media elites forgave Mr. Sharpton. Democrats called no harm, no foul. The ultra-Orthodox vote Republican anyway. Mr. Sharpton rose to the Democratic debate stage in 2004 and now hosts a show on MSNBC. This year’s Democratic candidates for president have kissed his ring.

And so the ultra-Orthodox Jews find themselves sitting ducks again in a New York hostile or indifferent to their fate. Their values have never been so out of step with the city where they live. They have many children in a time when most Americans have few. Global warming doesn’t rate on their lists of top concerns. They lead traditional lives, directed toward God, and maintain traditional families. They don’t know the meaning of “genderqueer.”

They are, in other words, of increasingly little use to the Democrats in charge of the city, who now withhold law-enforcement protection. Perpetrators of anti-Semitic assaults have been quickly released on bail, or not arrested, or have had their verbal assaults deemed “not a hate crime.”

And this is what Martin Niemöller got wrong in his famous poem we can all recite from memory: “Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” Other people don’t worry that they are next when ultra-Orthodox Jews are beaten each week—because they aren’t. There is no practical, selfish impetus to protect these Jews.

But there is a moral imperative. Because an America that allows its religious minorities to be harassed, assaulted and murdered in the streets is not a free country at all. If religious liberty means anything today, then it must be something we afford those peaceful minorities whose political views have become unfashionable, whose customs appear to be throwbacks, who remind us more of another place and time, where they were hunted and killed in unspeakable numbers. At stake isn’t merely the lives of these Jews, but the soul of a nation that once welcomed and embraced them.

Ms. Shrier is author of “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” forthcoming in June.

Please look at this. Don’t hide your head in the sand!!

Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 7, 2020, at 12:16 AM, Trey Reynolds <> wrote:

This is what’s happening In your country!


Mohammad Arif is a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Read more about Arif here.


Kaisar Ahmed is a candidate for the 3rd District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in California. Read more about Ahmed here.

Shahid Buttar is a candidate for Congress in California, District 12. Read more about Buttar here

Ammar Campa-Najjar is a Democratic candidate for Congress in California’s 50th District. *Campa-Najjar claims he is not muslim but his grandfather was a muslim terrorist, therefore I thought he should be added to this list. Read more about Campa-Najjar here.


Imtiaz Ahmad Mohammad is a Democratic candidate for Congress in Florida District 22.

Altaf Ahmed is a Democratic candidate for Broward County Commission District 1.

Saad Khan, a 27-year-old muslim man, is running for Weston City Commission, Seat 2, in Florida. The Primary Election is on August 25th 2020. Read more here


Nabila Islam (Democrat) is a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia, District 7.


Raees Yawer is a Democratic candidate for Illinois State Senate, District 22.

Rush Darwish is a Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House.


Ihssane leckey, a muslim immigrant from Morocco, is a Democratic candidate for Congress in Massachusetts, District 4. The primary election is on September 15, 2020.

Nichole Mossalam is a Democratic candidate for Massachusetts State Representative of the 35th District.


Solomon Rajput, a 27-year-old muslim man, has announced plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell in Michigan’s 12th congressional district. Read more about Rajput here.


Amal Ibrahim is a Democratic candidate Minnesota House of Representatives, District 60A. The Democratic primary election will be held on January 21, 2020.

Mohamed Issa Barre is a Democratic candidate Minnesota House of Representatives, District 60A. The Democratic primary election will be held on January 21, 2020.

Saciido Shaieis a Democratic candidate Minnesota House of Representatives, District 60A. The Democratic primary election will be held on January 21, 2020.

New Jersey

Alp Basaran is a Democratic candidate for New Jersey’s 9th congressional district. Read more about Basaran here.

New York

Badrun Nahar Khan is a Democratic candidate running for Congress in New York, District 14. Read more about Khan here.

Mary Jobaida is a candidate for New York State Assembly in West Queens. 

North Carolina

Nasir Shaikh is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. The Republican primary is on March 3, 2020.


Mohamud Jama, a Somali immigrant, is running for Ohio House of Representatives in District 25. Read more here


Sri Preston Kulkarni is a Democratic candidate for Congress in Texas, District 22. *Kulkarni is not muslim but is associated with CAIR.

External Sender:

At 52, I was accepted to Yale as a freshman. The students I met there surprised me.

My Semester With the Snowflakes By James Hatch

At 52, I was accepted to Yale as a freshman. The students I met there surprised me.

In May of 2019, I was accepted to the Eli Whitney student program at Yale University. At 52, I am the oldest freshman in the class of 2023. Before I was accepted, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had seen the infamous YouTube video of students screaming at a faculty member. I had seen the news stories regarding the admissions scandal and that Yale was included in that unfortunate business. I had also heard the students at Yale referred to as “snowflakes” in various social media dumpsters and occasionally I’d seen references to Ivy League students as snowflakes in a few news sources.

I should give a bit of background information. I was an unimpressive and difficult student in public schools. I joined the military at 17 and spent close to 26 years in the US Navy. I was assigned for 22 of those years to Naval Special Warfare Commands. I went through SEAL training twice, quit the first time and barely made it the second time. I did multiple deployments and was wounded in combat in 2009 on a mission to rescue an American hostage.

Every single day I went to work with much better humans than myself. I was brought to a higher level of existence because the standards were high and one needed to earn their slot, their membership in the unit. This wasn’t a one-time deal. Every time you showed up for work, you needed to prove your worth.

The vetting process is difficult and the percentage of those who try out for special operations units and make it through the screening is very low.

In an odd parallel, I feel, in spite of my short time here, the same about Yale.

After receiving my acceptance email and returning to consciousness, I decided to move to Connecticut and do my best in this new environment. Many people have asked me why I want to attend college at 52, and why at an Ivy League institution like Yale? I could have easily stayed in Virginia and attended a community college close to my home. Well, based on my upbringing in the military, I associated a difficult vetting process with quality and opportunity. I was correct in that guess. More importantly, I simply want to be a better human being. I feel like getting a world-class education at an amazing institution like Yale will help me reach that goal. Are there other places to get a great education? Of course, but I chose Yale.

My first class of the semester was absolutely terrifying. I don’t know if it was for the kids in my class, but it damn sure was for me. It was a literature seminar with the amazing Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature, Professor David Quint. He is an amazing human in that he has dedicated his life to literature, and he knows what he is talking about. The discussion was centered around the Iliad. I had read a bit of the Iliad in the middle part of my military career and decidedly didn’t get it. Listening to Professor Quint demonstrated exactly how much I didn’t “get it.” The other students looked like children to me. Hell, they are children, but when they speak, and some of them speak English as their second language, they sound like very well-spoken adults. My Navy issued graduate degree in cussing wasn’t going to help me out here. These young students had a good grasp of the literature and although they lacked much experience to bounce it off of, they were certainly “all in” on trying to figure out its underlying meaning.

At one point I said, “Hey, I’m just an old guy sitting here with a bunch of smart people, but I think….” And they all smiled, some of them nervously because I was essentially an alien. I was an old dude with tattoos all over his arms and a Dutch Shepherd service dog, brandishing a subdued American flag patch on her harness, sitting next to me. Professor Quint later approached me and said, “Hey, don’t downplay your intelligence. You are smart as well.”

I thought, I’ve got him fooled! Turns out I didn’t fool him at all when I turned in my first paper, but that is another story for another time.

After a few classes, I started to get to know some of my classmates. Each of them is a compelling human who, in spite of their youth, are quite serious about getting things done.

One young woman made a very big impact on me. She approached me after class one day and said, “I am really glad I can be here at Yale and be in class with you. My grandfather came to Yale and when WWII started, he left for the Navy and flew planes in the Pacific theater. After he came home, he came back to Yale, but he couldn’t finish. He locked himself in his room and drank and eventually had to leave, so I feel like I am helping him finish here at Yale and I’m doing it with a veteran, you.”

I was surprised and quite emotional. Exceptionally emotional. She went on: “I can send you a photo of him!” and I told her I would love one. That evening she sent me this photo of her grandfather.

I used to read stories about men like him and they are heroes to me. Clearly her grandfather is a hero to her as well, and she is going to make him quite proud. This connection with a WWII vet through his amazing granddaughter is a gift. One of many I receive on an almost daily basis in this amazing institution. I think it’s worth taking a moment here and acknowledging that this thing we now call “PTSD” has always been around. Some of us veterans escape it while others, like me and likely this gent in the airplane, felt the sting of it.

One day in another lit class, I brought up a book I’d read a long time ago called “Taxi Driver Wisdom” by Risa Mickenberg, Joanne Dugan and Brian Lee Hughes.

After that class a couple of the students approached me and explained that their dads were cabbies when they first came to the United States, and that their fathers had told them that the things they sometimes heard from people in their cabs were amazing.

Think about that for a second. These students are first generation Americans. Their fathers immigrated to this country and started out by being taxi drivers. Now, their children are attending Yale University. I’m a patriotic man and those are the stories that help me understand how, in spite of the seemingly endless stream of negativity surrounding it, the American Dream is still alive and kicking. It makes my heart sing every time I see those kids.

Let me address this “snowflake” thing. According to the Urban Dictionary, a “snowflake” is a “term for someone that thinks they are unique and special, but really are not. It gained popularity after the movie Fight Club from the quote ‘You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.’ ”

I hear the term occasionally from buddies of mine who I love. They say things like, “How are things up there with the liberal snowflakes?”

Let me assure you, I have not met one kid who fits that description. None of the kids I’ve met seem to think that they are “special” any more than any other 18–22-year-old. These kids work their assess off. I have asked a couple of them to help me with my writing. One young woman volunteered to help me by proof-reading my “prose” and, for the record, I believe she will be the President someday. I recently listened while one of my closer pals, a kid from Portland, Oregon, talked to me about the beauty of this insane mathematics problem set he is working on. There is a young man in our group who grew up in Alaska working on fishing boats from a young age and who plays the cello. There is an exceptional young woman from Chicago who wrote a piece for the Yale Daily News expressing the importance of public demonstrations in light of a recent police shooting. She and I are polar opposites. I am the “patriarchy” at first glance, and she is a young black woman who is keen on public protests. Not the type of soul I generally find myself in conversation with. We come from different worlds and yet we both read classic works with open hearts and minds.

We recently met with a prominent writer from a think tank who is researching the state of the humanities in the university setting. There were four of us students: two young men, the young woman from Chicago, and me, the old guy. As the younger students started to express their thoughts, the young woman (truly a unicorn of a human) used the word “safe space” and it hit me forcefully. I come from a place where when I hear that term, I roll my eyes into the back of my vacant skull and laugh from the bottom of my potbelly. This time, I was literally in shock. It hit me that what I thought a “safe space” meant, was not accurate. This young woman, the one who used the phrase, isn’t scared of anything. She is a life-force of goodness and strength. She doesn’t need anyone to provide a comfortable environment for her. What she meant by “safe space” was that she was happy to be in an environment where difficult subjects can be discussed openly, without the risk of disrespect or harsh judgment. This works both ways. What I mean is, this young woman was comfortable, in this university setting, wrestling with things like the Aristotelian idea of some humans being born as “natural slaves.” She was quite comfortable in that space. The question was, how comfortable was the 52-year-old white guy in that discussion? Did it make me uncomfortable? Yes. I’m grateful for the discomfort. Thinking about things I don’t understand or have, for most of my life, written off, is a good thing.

Being uncomfortable is KEY in this world of ours. Not altogether different from the world of special operations, where the work needs to be done, regardless of weather or personal feelings. The climate in this educational institution is one where most students understand that there HAS to be a place where people can assault ideas openly and discuss them vigorously and respectfully in order to improve the state of humanity. I’ll call that a “safe space” and I’m glad those places exist.

Here in the “Directed Studies” program, instead of “tuning in” to our favorite self-confirming “news” source, we are given a timeless text with heavy ideas and then we throw them out on the floor and discuss them with people who have, as I mentioned earlier, made these works and their meaning, their vocation.

In my opinion, the real snowflakes are the people who are afraid of that situation. The poor souls who never take the opportunity to discuss ideas in a group of people who will very likely respectfully disagree with them. I challenge any of you hyper-opinionated zealots out there to actually sit down with a group of people who disagree with you and be open to having your mind changed. I’m not talking about submitting your deeply held beliefs to your twitter/facebook/instagram feeds for agreement from those who “follow” you. That unreal “safe space” where the accountability for one’s words is essentially null. I have sure had my mind changed here at Yale. To me there is no dishonor in being wrong and learning. There is dishonor in willful ignorance and there is dishonor in disrespect.

On Veteran’s Day, there was a great scene on Cross Campus. A bunch of American flags had been placed there and I stopped on my morning walk to class and took photos of my dog in front of them and sent them to my friends. Later at some point during the day, a young student placed a glove with red paint on it on one of the flags as she wanted to demonstrate her displeasure with something…I’m not quite sure what.

That same afternoon, some of my fellow students from “Directed Studies,” after a lecture, gave me this:

It is a card thanking me for my service to our nation. I was humbled and amazed.

These hardworking kids are very kind and thoughtful. A far cry from the picture that is often painted of them.

One of my professors, a Professor of Philosophy, told me once “a good leader is a bridge builder.” Professor David Charles is a man who has been teaching bright young people, and some slow and old ones like me, the most difficult subject for me, at Oxford and now Yale. He’s been doing this for over 30 years. He is extremely humble and very kind, in addition to being brilliant. I’m motivated by his words and I want to build bridges and lead, in some small way, a new conversation where we stop pointing out the perceived differences in each other, or this group vs that group, and start pointing out similarities. We don’t need more condescending friction in humanity. We need less. One step in the direction of less societal friction is to seek commonalities. Another step, and one that is sorely needed, is respect.

Now before you think I’m preaching, please know that I come from a place where I was distinctly the opposite of this ideal. I looked for reasons to disregard the opinions of those I didn’t respect. I discounted the ideas of people I felt like hadn’t earned the right to share what was in their mind. Particularly when it came to national security issues, I felt that if you hadn’t taken a gun into combat, I didn’t give a damn what your opinion was.

I’d like to count this as my first brick in attempting to build a bridge between the people here at Yale and those like me before I arrived here. We need everyone who gives a damn about this American experiment to contribute and make it succeed. We humans have much more in common than we have different. Thanks Yale, for helping me to become an aspiring bridge-builder at the age of 52.

In our welcome speech at the beginning of this semester, with all of us Freshman sitting in Woolsey Hall, me sitting next to another veteran, one who’d served in the 82nd Airborne, President Salovey said:

“There is so much we do not know. Let us embrace, together, our humility — our willingness to admit what we have yet to discover. After all, if you knew all the answers, you would not need Yale. And if humanity knew all the answers, the world would not need Yale.”

Now back to that bridge. I need to figure out how to actually build one. Good thing I’ve found a place where I can get help. If this place is peopled by “snowflakes” I’m proudly one of them. I’m a snowflake with a purple heart.


Yale faculty agree it has no real political diversity

‘Basically all that diversity means here is skin color’

What happens when a university prioritizes every kind of diversity except in thought?

You get Yale University, where it’s not just the exceedingly few right-of-center professors who are faulting the school for woefully underrepresenting non-leftist viewpoints in faculty hires.

The Yale Daily News has a feature on the perspectives of right-leaning faculty such as David Gelernter (above), but other professors also gave their two cents to The Wall Street Journal in response.

When Gelernter, a renowned computer scientist (in)famous for his skepticism of Darwinian evolutionary theory, estimated the rate of faculty political diversity was “0%,” another faculty member told the Journal “I agree with the calculation”:

A third Yale faculty member, a self-described liberal, says the faculty is “moving further to the left” and has become increasingly intolerant of conservative viewpoints. This faculty member, who also requests anonymity, says that some faculty bias is subconscious: “They think people who agree with them are smarter than people who disagree with them.” This professor adds: “Universities are moving away from the search for truth” in favor of a search for “social justice.”

The Journal compares the criticisms to the “conversation-killing” warnings issued by Anthony Kronman, the former dean of Yale Law School and recent guest author for The College Fix.

MORE: How the assault on American excellence threatens our democracy

“Yale talks a lot of diversity, but basically all that diversity means here is skin color,” history professor Carlos Eire, a Cuban emigre, told the News.  “The liberal point of view is taken to be objective — not an opinion, not a set of beliefs”:

Eire said his political beliefs are the source of faculty whispers, which he said can prevent open dialogue and contribute to a culture of silence. In turn, this leads to alienation that Eire said also weeds out conservative graduate students, resulting in a faculty hiring pool filled with liberal-leaning professors.

It was actually easier to be an open conservative at Yale in the 1990s, according to English professor Mark Oppenheimer, who was an undergraduate then. He thinks “the social cost that one would pay for having certain conservative views is very strong” on campus today, resulting in “a form of censorship” because people don’t want to be socially marginalized.

The News did a survey two years ago that has probably not changed much: three in four Yale faculty self-identified as liberal, 7 percent expressed “conservative leanings,” and “nearly” all opposed the Trump administration.

Yale leaders have not always used their words carefully in explaining the heavy political tilt on campus. The dean of its undergraduate college, Jonathan Holloway, said conservative students might feel unwelcome on campus because they say “stupid” things. (He’s now provost at Northwestern.)

MORE: Famed computer scientist quits believing Darwin’s theories

President Peter Salovey is intent on overcoming Yale’s reputation for ideological monoculture, telling the News the university is “actively seeking to recruit scholars from a range of backgrounds with different perspectives.”

But he’s not looking for right-leaning faculty per se:

According to Salovey, looking for faculty members from different geographical areas and “off the beaten path” universities are some examples of hiring strategies that result in more intellectual diversity. He added that while the Provost’s office oversees hiring ethics and legality, specific departments select candidates, conduct interviews and speak to references.

Salovey said looking for candidates with “unusual” or “iconoclastic” views is one general strategy that can be used in hiring without “relying on a political litmus test.”

He also suggests resurrecting an approach he tried five years ago with a “very hardcore libertarian”: professors with diametrically opposed views co-teaching seminars together. The benefit of the approach was that students “became increasingly comfortable disagreeing with each other” as they saw two opposites having civil disagreements.

Gelernter asks the News why instead of these indirect half-measures, Yale doesn’t just “hire them all” – the right-leaning academics who have “interesting things to say, at any rate.” It has the money to do so, and it would make Yale “the one intellectually serious elite university in the country.”

It would certainly embolden students from the center to the right to speak their views a little more freely. But that’s probably what Yale fears – more open disagreement that leads to more “shrieking girl” moments where petulant snowflakes have public meltdowns.

MORE: Conservative Yale students feel unwelcome for saying ‘stupid’ things?

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