What’s happening on college campuses around the country today should frighten any parent about to send a kid off for the first time to further his or her education.
The University of Missouri and Yale made headlines this past week as students, including those on the Missouri football team, challenged their school administrators. Students should of course feel free to confront their university administrators — that is the essence of free speech. They have every right to voice their concerns and work to make their universities a more welcoming place for everybody. And the administrators should listen.
But from what I have been witnessing, a great many students and faculty don’t actually want a campus climate where their issues are up for debate. By their own admission, they want anyone who disagrees with them branded a threat and removed from the campus, by force if necessary. Reporters, conservative speakers, right leaning authors and politicians are disinvited, threatened, banned, even assaulted. I watched some of the more radical students and their professors during the University of Missouri campus protests and agree that many of them have every right to be in a state institution — although their actions and rants indicate a mental institution would be more appropriate than an educational one.
An example of this upside down atmosphere is the current college campus “rape issue.”
Heather MacDonald, the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal offers a simple solution to this particular issue saying: “Colleges could end what they insist on calling campus rape overnight, if they persuaded girls to exercise modesty and prudence and if they sent this simple message: Don’t get drunk, take off your clothes, and get in bed with a guy whom you barely know. The alleged rapes that have gone public nearly all involve seemingly drunken hook-ups that the female partner comes to regret — sometimes when she sees that her partner was emotionally untouched by their sexual involvement.”
In many cases the alleged rape is proven false but the guy is kicked out of school anyway.
As the editor of Internet’s Catholic World News (CWN) Phil Lawler provides regular analysis and commentary and also offers what I consider the best solution to the alleged “rape culture” issue that activist group Affirmative Consent Project (ACP) and other lefties are saying can be solved by both parties by signing a consent document, taking “selfies,” etc. to show both people are agreeable about entering into a sexual relationship.
Here’s what Lawler says:
“Rather than just a selfie, hire a professional photographer to take pictures as the consent is given.
And rather than relying exclusively on photographic evidence, have human witnesses. Invite family and friends.
We all make silly and spur-of-the-moment decisions at times. To be sure this isn’t one of them, plan the exchange of consent well in advance. Send out invitations. Since this is (we hope) a joyous occasion, throw a party.
To be very sure that the young woman is giving consent (the ACP notes that if she’s drunk, it doesn’t count), let’s involve someone who will be sure to watch out for her best interests. Her father, say. If she walks into the party on his arm, we’ll know that everything is as it should be.
Still, this shouldn’t be just a party, because this is serious business. So let’s have the exchange-of-consent ceremony in a venue that suggests a serious purpose. Can’t beat a church for that, can you?
You see where I’m headed. For centuries society has had a simple reliable way to ascertain whether a couple had exchanged mutual consent to engage in sexual relations. It was called a marriage.
How do you know really — I mean really — that full consent has been given, if it’s not given in public, before witnesses? How do you know that your partner will be faithful, if there isn’t a promise of fidelity? How can you be confident that things won’t go terribly wrong, unless your partner vows to stay with you through good times and bad? You don’t. You can’t.”
As Mr. Lawler points out sex requires some amount of planning. Regrets afterwards between two consenting people are a matter of conscience, not rape. After all, it involves two people deciding to take off all their clothes and jumping into bed together, and despite the fact that I am getting older, I know that much.
Mr. Lawler and Ms. MacDonald throw a bucket of cold water on the throes of young hormonal passion but also provide a wakeup call to the loony campus activists about a subject that should have every horny college fellow as nervous as an alligator in a purse factory and every coed aware of why she can’t snare a Friday night date.
Want To Get Away From It All? Then head to the Caribbean as only two percent of that sea’s more than 7,000 islands are inhabited says the AAA’s Living Magazine.
Where Are The Porch People? When I ride my bike to the McArthur YMCA on Citrona I enjoy pedaling through the Amelia Park subdivision, a cluster of homes that I think is one of the most attractive on the island due to the design that includes attractive landscaping and generous front porches. The area was created by its developers on what they said are urban design principles that include walkable neighborhoods, public gathering spaces, mixed housing and native plants. And they did a good job. It reminds me of a time many years ago in my hometown of St. Thomas, Ontario, where after dinner my father and I would go for a walk around the block and dad would stop many times to chat with folks relaxing on the front porches of their homes, many who had large floor model Atwater Kent radios turned to face an open porch window so they could listen to either the Cleveland Indians or Detroit Tigers, the closest major league baseball teams to Canada in those days. We’d sit on the porch steps, chat and listen to the game for a while before returning home. Front porches made good neighbors and I’m convinced that homes built in the 1960s and later, featuring
back decks, led to the elimination of sidewalks and neighborhood strolls, and created communities of strangers. So, getting back to Amelia Park, as I pedal up and down its tree-shaded streets lined with sidewalks, and observe the spacious covered front porches, many with ceiling fans, swings, tables and chairs with comfy looking cushions, gliders, small tables and so on I ask myself: “Where are the people?” No matter the weather — hot, warm, or mild — or the time of day, I have yet to see a single person sitting on one of those inviting front porches reading, listening to a radio, sipping a glass of lemonade, snoozing or chatting with a companion…not one. The only people I ever see are repair men coming and going, yard maintenance folks, painters or other contractors. Is there some kind of homeowner association rule that says you can’t use the front porch or that Amelia Park residents are only allowed out of their houses at specific times? Just wondering.
Pétanque Party: If you prefer a sport that doesn’t require much effort or skill and involves consuming vast quantities of wine and beer, then you’ll enjoy this weekend, November 14-15, as pétanque players from all over the world gather on the south end of downtown Front Street and overflow courts at Broome and 2nd Street for the largest international pétanque tournament in the United States. Some 400 competitors, representing 14 countries and 23 states will be playing and drinking, including a team that came all the way from New Zealand. Today the organization will hold pétanque clinics and demonstrations while Saturday’s and Sunday’s activities will include live music, bars, food trucks, crepes and merguez, a spicy North African sausage adopted by the French in their colonial days. Belgian expatriate and all-around good guy, Philippe Boets, owner of the island’s Petanque America, is the founder of the event, so when you see him this weekend shake his hand without the beer in it and tell him “merci.” For additional information about the game or the club go to: http://www.petanque-america-open.net/
Local Debate Winner: Listening to a barstool debate at a pub the other day as two folks argued over who’s the smartest, the winner in my opinion said: “Think of it this way: Obama could never be a neurosurgeon, but Ben Carson could easily be a community organizer.”
Minimum Wage Conundrum: As both right and left protestors demand higher wages, there appears to be consensus on one thing: The wheels have come off the economy and it needs fixing. While Obama is spinning that things on his watch have gotten better, voters, including many on the left, are saying they are getting worse. Many on the left protest that wages are stagnant and demand an increase in the minimum wage. However, only four percent of Americans earn the minimum wage and most of them are teenagers and young people who aren’t supporting a family. If there are heads of households working at Burger King, Krystal, McDonalds, etc. that says more about Obama’s economy that it does about the miserliness of fast food franchise owners. Anyway, the only thing a minimum wage hike would do for the 96 percent not flipping burgers is to make those burgers more expensive and force owners to thin their employment ranks.
Things I Don’t Get: How come this administration can’t grow the economy; can’t stop illegal immigration; can’t get folks off welfare; can’t balance the budget; can’t slow the rising crime rate; can’t stop ISIS; can’t get the Obamacare website to work properly, but can, it says, stop the rise of the oceans?
Old-Fashioned Graffiti: In a recent issue of American Legion Magazine, writer Alan W. Dowd recalls the 50th anniversary of the U.S. military’s successful attempt to stabilize the Dominican Republic and prevent it from falling into communist hands following a military coup. In 1965, as U.S. combat units went back and forth between taking out snipers and delivering food, a common scrawl of graffiti around the capital of Santo Domingo read: “Yankee go home — and take me with you.”
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Crescendo Amelia Big Band begins its fall appearances at Main Beach’s Sandy Bottoms this evening from 7-10 with a $10 cover and featuring “music through the decades” starting with swing from the Glen Miller era. The band will also perform music from The Eagles, Motown, KC & the Sunshine Band, Stevie Wonder, Queen, Lynard Skynard, Chicago, The B52’s, etc. Beginning today and running through Christmas Tony’s New York Style Brick Oven Pizza & Restaurant at 1425 Sadler Road next to Publix, will host a fund raiser for Nassau County schools and will donate $1.00 per pizza purchased beginning today for customers that put their receipts in a specially marked box after writing the name of their school on them. So, enjoy the best thin sliced pizza anywhere and help your favorite elementary, middle or high school raise money. Oh, Tony’s also has 16 ounce cans of PBR and Rolling Rock for only $1.00 during game days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. According to Fortune Magazine more people are buying sushi from grocery stores, with $705 million in sales in the past 12 months, an almost 30 percent increase over the past four years. Five percent of sushi shoppers say they bought theirs from a dollar store and 0.1 percent from a gas station or convenience store. I don’t know about any of you, but as for me, buying sushi from a gas station, dollar store or convenience store is just wrong– a grocery store maybe — but I think I’ll keep going back to my island favorites, Fancy Sushi at 1478 Sadler or the across the street’s Hana, at 1930 South 14th Street. Downtown got another eatery as The Picnic Basket at 503A Centre Street headed by Lisa Langshaw and Brenda Vijuk opened this week, featuring deli style salads, rustic breads, cheeses, desserts, charcuterie plates, catering and more. Call ’em at 904/277-9779. I ran into Flying Fish Adventures (jet ski fun stuff) owner George Morris earlier this week and he suggested that the local nickname for the new bar complex going in where Journey Church once sat and anchored by the country and western themed Sadler Ranch, should be the “Holy Honky Tonk.” I like that.