Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interesting essay (as always with WRM & Co.) saying that Humanities professors should be generalists and that narrowness is killing our disciplines.  To be frank, if you teach in core or frosh programs, you are a generalist already.  But the point is well taken.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Jargon at Jefferson's Place

Here is President Sullivan's Rotunda speech at UVA.  Problem is, sympathetic as I want to be, she's making it difficult.  She says she's against the corporatization of universities (huzzah for that -- it's why schools are awash in various layers of bureaucracy, aka the "administrative bloat" that is helping drive up tuition) -- but stoops to using terms like "opportunity costs" and phrases like "Sustained change with buy-in does work."

A Management Professor could have said that.
All the Washington Post's Men

Can you imagine this type of article being written in the 1970s, never mind as recent as twenty years ago?  The creditable and intriguing push-back against all the shibboleths of Watergate warms this historian's heart.
Follow the Bouncing Ball

How apropos at Euro 2012 this week -- Germany versus Greece.
It's not just students and Joe Biden

From the Providence (RI) Daily Post, 8 May 1858

Plagiarism by a Governor

Lot M. Morrill, Governor of Maine, recently issued a fast day proclamation, a good portion of which was copied, nearly word for word, from a sermon preached several months ago by Dr. Chapin, and recently published by Dewitt & Davenport of New York.  Governor Morrill must have had a very diminutive idea of the "reading propensities"of the people of Maine, if he supposed this larceny would not be detected.  We can only excuse his conduct by supposing he found his subject too big for him, but he could not condescend to ask assistance.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Where the problem lies

This article in the WSJ points in a direction too many conservatives aren't happy to admit: tuition cost increases are linked to the rise of the for-profit education industry.

What I don't understand is why this should be shocking to anyone.  We already know that pro-profit grads are burdened with higher average debt and are often in jobs (and situations) insufficient to pay back what they've borrowed -- borrowed after persuasive and aggressive promises by the schools that prove illusory.  I've longed believed that higher education cost increases have little to do with faculty salaries or even extravagant building programs of new dorms or student centers.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We have returned

After a forgetful and thoughtless hiatus of three years (shame on me), I have returned and reclaimed the old blog.  I will endeavor to be more consistent in posting this time.  Really.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

An interesting item: historians think they have located a mass grave at the Bunker Hill battlefield in Charlestown, Mass. They'd like to use sophisticated radar equipment to make sure of their conclusions, but there is a problem -- it's underneath some lovely private gardens. "No wonder our plants grow so well," said one homeowner.

Friday, March 06, 2009

It's your bear now

Finally, we see that the economy is called the president's own -- The Obama Market -- rather than the same "we inherited this mess" trope his spokesmen have used since inauguration. Although at last look, MSNBCers were still cawing about the nastiness of the previous president, as if to distract themselves as the walls fall around them. According to Bloomberg, the market has lost 20% of its value since BO took office, the worst opening administration performance in 90 years.

And an excellent if wonkish overview of BO economic policy, if you can call it that, at the WSJ today.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sons of Nixon

Drudge's headline says "New Enemies List" regarding the White House campaign against Rush Limbaugh.

Funny, but I thought the exact same thing this morning, but in another context. Is it me, or is the Obama White House exceptionally prickly when it comes to criticism? The media has been swooning over them for so long that when any doubts are aired by the Fourth Estate, they can't help but reply. Witness Press Secretary Robert Gibbs the other week answering criticism from CNBC's Rick Santelli, and then again this week from another CNBCer Jim Cramer. My first thought was "don't you have anything better to do with your time than whine about all this ... say fixing banks?"

Now the calculated Rush campaign is revealed as having been hatched months ago, even before election day. Taken together, these people seem to have a Nixonian paranoia that somewhere, sometime, someone is saying something bad about them. And that these people should be duly noted and not allowed to make their assertions unanswered.

I picture Gibbs and Emmanuel sitting in the WH, with an LBJ-style bank of tv sets, clicking furiously between cable stations, their thumbs numb from hitting the volume and mute buttons. "Aha! Santelli just criticized us! Make a note. We'll blast him tomorrow." "Aha! Cramer just said nasty things! What is it with CNBC! They're in cahoots with evil bankers! Make a note. We'll get them tomorrow too."

Pretty soon we'll start comparing Gibbs to Ron Zeigler, Emmanuel to HR Haldeman, and Axelrod to Ehrlichman ... somewhere, an enemies list is being drawn up.