11/17/2003 04:03:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Lots of driving, weird hours and little time to connect and scan the web this week. Blogging at random wne when possible, but probably little of substance until next week. Sorry.|W|P|106910300334317031|W|P|Blog Report|W|P|11/14/2003 12:19:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Many of the Angry Left intelligentsia have guffawed over the notion that there is a coaltion at work in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Tell that to the family of Sergeant Major Iosif-Silviu Fogorasi, a Romanian who gave the ultimate of himself to make the lives of countless others more free - an espcially poignant sacrifice by a man from a country itself still rebuilding from the wreckage of having been ground under the iron heel of tyranny. It would be a nice gesture of Americans, on the heels of our own Veterans Day, took a moment to contact the Romanian embassy in Washington to offer sympathy and thanks.
At the same time, a similar note of condolence and thanks would be in order to another ally against terror, Italy, which remains steadfast despite a terrorist attack outside a police training barracks. The Italians, endeavoring to create an Iraqi police contingent that arrests thieves instead of political dissidents, deserve our support and thanks for their efforts. The Italian embassy can be contacted here.
And, of course, ThankYouTony.com - which gives well-earned props to English Prime Minister Tony Blair for reminding us that not all of western Europe's leaders have the backbones of chocolate eclairs.|W|P|106883039306968902|W|P|They'll Earn the Gratitude of Millions There. What About Here?|W|P|11/13/2003 06:24:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Having to endure the modern business trial of commerical aviation, not much blogging today, which worked out well, because Wendy McElroy really lays it down about McCampus - high prices, low quality.
Come to think of it, not all that different than commercial aviation.|W|P|106876589895608378|W|P|'Nuff Said|W|P|11/12/2003 01:04:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|This is a headline today from FoxNews.com:
Arafat Calls for End to Mideast Violence
If you're like me, you'd find this hilarious. Except that it isn't really funny. But neither is Hitler and Mel Brooks had a lot of fun with him. So, in that spirit, take a moment to use the comments link below and create your own witty similes. Here's a couple examples:
Yassir Arafat calling for an end to Mideast violence is like...
Dracula calling for an end to neck biting.
Jessica Simpson calling for an end to confusing tuna-fish can labeling.
You get the idea. Best simile wins...I dunno, something. I'm sure you'll be funnier than I am. Try a few out for yourself. It's the only thing funny about this jackass.
|W|P|106866028704649928|W|P|And Now for the Interactive Portion of Our Program|W|P|11/11/2003 10:07:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|That's the line from college presidents these days...and in more ways than one.
As blogged on 11/4, tuition at America's public colleges and universities is up, on average, more this year than at any time in the last 30 years. But we're talking about academia, right? Isn't everyone there a valued part of a diverse community? So higher "taxes" must be worth it, right?
Commencement speakers are about 15:1 liberal. Professors at elite instutions run about 10:1 Democrat to Republican. You'd think that for the people who ran these institutions, these were tough times.
You could. But you'd be wrong. College and university presidents are doing just fine, thank you. While students and parents have to dig deeper, the top 4 college presidential compensation packages are each worth more than $800,000.00 per year to the lucky recipients, all at private institutions. But don't think their cousins living off the taxpayers are hurting. Twelve public presidents are making over one-half of a million dollars this year, twice as many as last year. You see, on the modern PC campus, all members of the community are equal, its just that some are more equal than others.
|W|P|106860647391604117|W|P|Pay Us More, Now!|W|P|11/11/2003 08:25:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Many know that Veterans Day is the successor commenoration to Armistice Day, November 11, 1918. In a nod of histoical recognition, CNN.com has a (well earned) puff piece today on two veterans of The Great War ("That's what we called it, The Great War. That was before we knew enough to number them," Mr. Wabash, Three Days of the Condor). Intuitively I knew there couldn't have been many left, but I was nonetheless startled to learn that according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, fewer than 200 of the 4.7 million Americans who served in World War I still live.|W|P|106855712656196357|W|P|God Bless Them All|W|P|11/10/2003 07:29:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|"The Sixties...What a shrill and pointless decade." -- Kent Brockman|W|P|106851055626419728|W|P|Great Quotes in Simpsons History|W|P|11/09/2003 09:05:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Another "Affirmative Action Bakesale," but this one with a happy ending. The Committee for Freedom at Indiana University sold only three cookies, but managed to get two money quotes and a nice victory for liberty in the bargain. Without a trace of irony, the president of the Black Student Union told the Indianapolis Star, "It was a slap in the face, especially since there is no affirmative action policy for undergraduates...It was like they were saying we wouldn't be here without it." It looks like she agrees with Ward Connerly that affirmative action does stigmatize its purported beneficiaries.
But the real shocker was from Associate Dean of Students Damon Sims, commenting on the controversy:
"It is a freedom-of-speech issue. I know some schools have approached these events differently, but prior restraint is not something we would normally engage in...This is one of the more significant social and political issues of our time. . . . It is exactly the kind of dialogue that should be encouraged on college campuses [emphasis supplied]." Three cheers for Damon Sims, an administrator that understands that intellectual diversity and constitutional rights are part and parcel of higher education, not some pesky annoyances to be darted whenever possible (Link props to Michael Boland).
|W|P|106838671031562405|W|P|Leavening Campus Debate|W|P|11/07/2003 08:24:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|A disquieting tollbooth on the diversity highway today: The student government at Iowa State University has voted to give students funds to a sexual bondage fetish club, Cuffs. Now, mind you, it was only $94, so maybe I'm getting whipped up about nothing. Well, actually, I guess Cuffs is. But I digress. "Receiving the money is a triumph for diversity," says Duane Long, Jr., president of the student group Cuffs. At a time when the average public university tuition is shooting up almost 10% (not including fees), one is left to wonder whether tying up funds on such activities or the general domination of student fee disburbursements by the left is serving education well. (As an aside, I wonder what they'll learn for $94 that they couldn't pick up for free just by reading the spam that litters anyone's inbox each day.)
In the vein of "thank you, may I have another," you can be sure that Cuffs will be back for more at the trough later. Perhaps if they submit the proper forms and please the masters of the student fund accounts, they might someday end up with a situation such as at Wesleyan University in Connecticut where the official university residence life page states that Open House exists to be
a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. I make no additional commentary except to say that I love that acronym. |W|P|106821149531075790|W|P|Hell Bent for Leather (and Student Fees)|W|P|11/06/2003 03:41:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|The Harvard School of Public Health released a study last month purporting to show a relationship between higher levels of diversity on campuses and less binge drinking amongst "high risk" groups (blogged 10/31, 'Drunk and Diversity'). The presence of more diverse groups, they claim, has a moderating effect on the others and they suggest that the results might be applied to admissions and housing policies by colleges.
Meanwhile, a poll released today shows that 58% of Americans can't name one cabinet level department in the Federal government. Specific findings of the poll included that Hispanics (79%), African-Americans (75%) and women (68%) were the groups least likely to be able to name even one department.
If we were to apply the logic of the Harvard study to the civics poll, we would end up with the truly apalling notion that one way to improve knowledge of civics in America would be to decrease the numbers of Hispanics, African-Americans and/or women in the country (or, phrased "affirmatively," increase the number of white males). The increased exposure to more civicly aware folks, it follows, would have an ameliorating effect on the others.
Of course, most would see that assertion for the ludicrous suggestion it is. Besides its obvious logical flaws, legions would stand up and point out the preferable course of education instead of racist and sexist social engineering. Yet, oddly enough, when the failing group (binge drinkers in the Harvard study) are white males, there is little hue and cry when a proposed solution is to discriminate against them by pushing for higher levels of "diversity" on campus. A civics lesson to be learned, perhaps.|W|P|106810806780089172|W|P|Does Diversity Cause a Lack of Civic Knowledge?|W|P|11/04/2003 07:14:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|I blog a lot here about what happens to students after they show up on campus. Of course, that they're there means that someone has paid the freight - no small feat these days. Tuition at public colleges and universities is up 9.8%, the private set 5.7%. Each is the biggest jump in 30 years.
The list of America's 10 priciest colleges is also out today. You'll notice the remarkable similiarity between brethren institutions. The Ivies, who were busted for price-fixing not that long ago, are really only a few hundred bucks back of the top ten.
Think about it for a moment though. At $30K/year (not including room, board and fees), students are paying over $1 per minute of classroom time to be harangued, berated and denied basic rights. Even the airlines - notorious for treating customers like some kind of second-rate dog #*!@ - have to be somewhat price sensitive.|W|P|106799129701698908|W|P|What a Racket|W|P|11/03/2003 05:37:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Word about the crumbling of free speech and intellectual diversity in the Ivory Tower is starting to make the rounds of the mass media and, as Justice Louis Brandeis famously remarked, "sunlight is the best disinfectant." While the congressional hearings on the 'Acadmic Bill of Rights' introduced by a few members of the House of Representiatives are, perhaps, just the thinnest of rays coming through the PC clouds, they can't help but warm the seeds that have been sewed on campuses throughout the country.
USA Today picked up the story with a pretty long lead about the growing movement to promote intellectual diversity - in theory, what higher education should be about. Even our local paper, the Athens Banner-Herald ran a front page story above the fold, with a focus on the Georgia congressman who is one of the bill's sponsors.
Media types - always sensitive to issues of suppression and censorship - finally seem to have tuned in and realized that all the chatter about the sad state of campus affairs isn't just so much noise. Hopefully continued exposure will get taxpayers, alumni, parents and other stakeholders (don't count on the campusocracy to deign to consider the opinions of such unwashed undermenschen on their own) involved in grounding our institutions of higher education. At a time when donors are mad, contributions to colleges are down, and taxpayer subsidies are plunging due to austere state budgets, percolation of such issues to the surface for all to see is - hopefully - a harbinger of better times ahead.
I'm a relative newcomer to the blogosphere, so props to all the bloggers and activists who have been beating the drum on this for longer than I have. Good stuff. And thanks.|W|P|106789902732091974|W|P|Let the Sun Shine In|W|P|11/01/2003 09:56:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Arrrrrgh. We lost to Florida - again.
Being a Georgia football fan is like playing Monopoly and drawing the "You Win Second Prize in a Beauty Contest - Collect $10" card from the Community Chest pile. It's a pleasant enough surprise when it turns up and you never say to 'no' to it, but it'll never make you a big winner and you certainly shouldn't count on it to bring lasting happiness or close the big deal. Sigh.|W|P|106774178182329548|W|P|Dawg-gone-it|W|P|