Thursday, May 28, 2020

My Letter Re Repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and Mairi's Concerns for the Future

 Twelve years ago I met Mairi, who then used the nom de guerre ContrairiMairi, during the 2008 presidential campaign. Mairi forwarded the second letter at the same time I wrote the first letter. 

Dear Mr President:
I am in favor of repeal of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. It is time to repeal the privileging of communication on social media over more traditional platforms.
As well, there needs to be a congressional investigation of monopolistic practices in the social media field. Four firms--Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube--control 98.99% of the social media market. In addition to concentration, the four firms conspire in restraint of trade, violating the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Besides the end to Section 230 and initiation of an antitrust investigation, it is time to end tax subsidies and federal grants to technology firms.
Finally, tech firms have lobbied for privileged exemption to immigration law, known as the H1B exemption. Part of the reason that US graduates are ill prepared for technology jobs is that they are taught in universities that do a poor job. Coupled with repeal of the H1B exemption, Congress should require that universities do a better job of preparation for STEM jobs by limiting grants and tax subsidies to universities that educate and place STEM workers in good jobs.
Mitchell Langbert
From: Mairi
Subject: Fwd: NEVER, EVER FORGET!!! Memorial Day THIS IS ONE EMAIL THAT DESERVES TO "TRAVEL" ALONE - Make sure you honor our veterans by opening it.

      I received this from one of my dear friends...I am so Blessed, I have so many here!
      I am a daughter of the GREATEST Generation. Nearly everyday of my time with my folks, I heard, "Waste not, want not."
      It pained me to hear those words when I was little, it usually meant eating green beans or something, or getting some 'hand-me-downs' that no longer fit someone else, but as I grew, I started realizing a much deeper understanding of how important that admonition was.
     Americans, so Blessed with abundance, are forgetting and wasting, but the bigger point of that maxim is our children.
     Our children are being wasted from real knowledge by instead being indoctrinated to political agendas and mores.
     If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is the progressive's deep seated HATRED for Joe Biden's, " know...that...thing...."
     No Ten Commandments (that never hurt anyone) or Prayer, or even a widely held view of Churches, Temples, Synagogues, as "essential".
     Our schools were intended to fill our children's heads with knowledge, not acceptance of 'alternate life styles' or other politically expedient social 'agendas'.
     Look on facebook...(if you have it, I DON'T)...and see how many young people no longer "believe". Our children are being taught that it's "all about ME", and" I MUST feel good" at any or all cost. There's little to no respect for life, care or concern for others, or even a sense that there is "Something Much Bigger" than these young people's personal pleasure.
     Will we ever get it back...can we ever get it back....? I am so proud of the young ones who choose to place themselves in harm's way anywhere in the world, to defend us, and to show others that we care so much about liberty, that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, if necessary, to demonstrate to those who do not enjoy what we have here, that our young people "believe" that every mortal deserves it.
     Our work here is nearly done...I believe there are many young people willing and able to scoop up the banner and charge. But, as each day passes, and our children's minds are filled with more and more rubbish instead of knowledge, we draw closer and closer to Ronald Reagan's famous statement that our liberty is just one generation away from being lost.
     This could all disappear in the blink of an eye if our schools are not soon returned to centers of learning and knowledge, instead of petrie dishes for indoctrination and immorality. We must end the "waste" of our children. Our hopes and dreams, and our continued liberties, rest in them.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Comments from Students

I had been scheduled to teach all online classes this semester, so I only had a few changes to make to my classes because of the coronavirus lock down.  First, I switched to an essay, take-home exam. I don't think I have ever previously used an essay, take-home exam; my usual exam format is true/false or multiple choice.  As well, I cancelled a guest speaker.  Otherwise, I did not update my traditional, asynchronous online format to include Zoom, although I am going to do that in the future.  

I received several lovely thank you notes from my students this semester:

Hello Professor, 

I just wanted to say thank you for a great semester (under the current circumstances of course). I'm immensely grateful for the lessons you taught this semester and look forward to using them throughout my career. Hope you stay safe and healthy through these difficult times. 

All the best, JR


Thank you so much professor! It was a pleasure having you. Your achievement and your resume inspired me everyday. Take care and God Bless you. 

Class of 2020

Professor Langbert,
How are you? I hope you are doing well. It was a pleasure to be a part of your BUSN 3200 class. Thank you for teaching us during this spring 2020 semester.

Professor Langbert,

I appreciate your commitment to teaching. Not many professors go to the extent to read every discussion board, and go into details for students to understand not only the correct answers, but the reasoning for them. Not many provide feedback on writing down to grammar, and to be able to do all of that in an online lecture is all the more impressive. Many might find these things titillating, but you are making us better writers, better thinkers, better professionals overall! I just wanted to let you know that some of us appreciate this, there aren’t many professors who go to those extents anymore and who actually want students to learn real business-world issues!

Thanks again, and have a wonderful and healthy summer!

Best Regards,

I respond to CL as follows: 

Thank you very much, and you have a great summer too, CL--despite the difficulties this year.  Notice your comma-splice sentence:

I just wanted to let you know that some of us appreciate this, there aren’t many professors who go to those extents anymore and who actually want students to learn real business-world issues!

It should be this:

I just wanted to let you know that some of us appreciate this. There aren’t many professors who go to those extents anymore and who actually want students to learn real business-world issues!

Monday, May 25, 2020

The Partisan Professoriate

Peter Wood of the National Association of Scholars interviewed me in February about a host of issues relevant to my studies of faculty political affiliation.  The title is "Episode 50: The Partisan Professoriate." The podcast appears here.

The podcast led to a second podcast for The Mammal Institute website, hosted by Loretta Graziano Breuning. I just completed the interview with Dr. Breuning, and the podcast should appear in three to six months because of the institute's backlog.  The subject is the relationship between corporate fiduciary duty and employees' mental health.  Are firms responsible for employees' mental health? The first question to ask is whether psychologists hold a fiduciary duty to maintain their patients' mental health. Such a duty would end the entire field of psychology, much as it would amount to an attack on firms' abilities to function in a competitive economy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Financial Relationships Between Federal Health Officials and Pharma Should Be Disclosed

Dear President Trump:

There needs to be public, publicized information about the financial relationships among Anthony Fauci; all other staff members and researchers at the federal health agencies, especially the CDC and the NIAID; and commercial vaccine manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies and any foundations that own related patents.

As well, there should be a mandate that any health policy recommendations be accompanied by a statement as to the specific, empirical evidence (double blind study, experiment, other kinds of studies) that supports such recommendations.

For example, I am unaware of any empirical evidence that supports lockdowns or many of the policies that Dr. Fauci advocates. An executive order should mandate that any public statements by federal employees about public health rules be accompanied by a statement about the specific scientific support for such rules and any financial relationships among federal employees and firms and foundations that will profit from the rules. That will help to make the nature of current policy making transparent. This can be done with respect to federal agencies and with respect to states that accept federal money.


Mitchell Langbert