“I’m not anti-staff,” Professor Plum said, jutting one of his many chins, “but the campus should have social norms and special institutions strongly oriented in favor of the faculty.”

He read the mail. (More)

Anti-Them or Pro-Us? (Ask Ms. Crissie)

Professor Plum then winked and left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

The Professor of Astrology Janitor returned to pondering his Ace and King of Diamonds, which seemed promising until Chef bet when the Ace, Ten, and Eight of Clubs came on the flop. Did she have a suited Ace-Ten, a reasonable hand with which to call his opening raise, giving her two pair? A pair of Tens or Eights, for three of a kind? Perhaps the King and Queen of Clubs, for a made flush? Or was she bluffing? He sighed and folded, already starting his plaintive mewling. Chef politely flashed her pair of Eights and left for the kitchen to make Stuffed Hash Browns, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Around six in ten Americans now say both gay sex and unwed childbearing are morally acceptable. Both experienced large swings in the last decade. Correlation is not causation. In fact “cause” is probably the wrong word here; it’s more like an underlying cultural logic causing both trends. A society in which Dan Savage is a mainstream advice columnist (which he is) and it’s considered scandalous for ESPN reporters and pediatric neurosurgeons to hold Christian views of sex would sort of look like this. I personally still cherish the hope that we can as a society eliminate cruel homophobia without jettisoning heteronormativity – which is the need for social norms and institutions to be oriented strongly around the problem and the blessing that sex between men and women makes babies. Don’t you agree?

Maggie in NY

Dear Maggie,

We congratulate you on recognizing that correlation is not causality, as that was perhaps the only logical claim in your entire letter. You claim to cherish a hope that we can “eliminate cruel homophobia,” then turn around and call for “special norms and institutions to be oriented strongly” in favor of heterosexuals. We see this as being like “pro-white” groups who protest billboards that criticize racism, yet insist they don’t “hate” people of color. They don’t want lynchings or burning crosses in lawns. That would be racism, they say. They just want “special norms and institutions … oriented strongly” in favor of whites. But they’re not racists. Oh no. They’re just “pro-white.” Just like you want to “eliminate cruel homophobia” yet maintain social and institutional discrimination against LGBTs, because you’re not a homophobe. Oh no. You’re just “pro-heterosexual.”


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I want to respond to the substantive critiques of my doctoral dissertation claiming that Hispanics have lower IQs. The extent to which self-identified Hispanics share a common genetic heritage is not important to my argument. As I explain on pages 76 and 77, the average IQ difference between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites should be of concern because it is persistent over generations. Whether that persistence is due to genetics, environment, culture, or some other factor does not change the fact that the difference exists. It would be necessary to explore the biological basis for Hispanic identity only if my argument depended on a genetic transmission of IQ differences. It doesn’t. This supports my Heritage Foundation study on the fiscal cost of immigration reform.

Jason in WhoKnowsWhere

Dear Jason,

We find your entire argument irrelevant in light of Pew Research findings that second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans are almost indistinguishable from other Americans in education, occupation, and household income. While you have concocted a clever statistical rationale, your underlying premise does not match Realworldia. We suggest the deeper problem is that you spend much time looking for evidence to support your racist ideology and too little time listening to Hispanics.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Since it’s morning, can I be pro-breakfast now and pro-lunch later? If so, how do I make Chef’s Stuffed Hash Browns?

Pro-Recipes in Blogistan

Dear Pro-Recipes,

We think it’s entirely appropriate to be pro-breakfast in the morning and pro-lunch at midday. As for Chef’s Stuffed Hash Browns, first brown 3 cups of frozen shredded hash browns in a skillet with olive oil, on both sides. While the potatoes are browning, cook 6 strips of bacon in a separate skillet and, in a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup each of chopped onion, red bell pepper, fresh spinach, and cilantro. Season the hash browns with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low, then drain and chop the bacon and spread it and the vegetables over one half of the hash browns. Crack 4 eggs atop the bacon and vegetables, sprinkle with ¼ cup of shredded Cheddar Jack cheese, then fold the other half of the hash browns over and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Chef tops hers with sliced avocado and a dollop of sour cream. Bon appétit!



Maggie in NY; pro-white.

Jason in WhoKnowswhere; Pew Research findings on second- and third-generation Hispanic Americans; too little time listening to Hispanics.


Happy Sunday!