September 21, 2006
Posted by Jon Ham at 10:34 PM
This morning I criticized Columbia President Lee Bollinger for his wimpy language in trying to justify his university inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
to speak at a world leaders conference. Well, it looks like he was
stricken with a bout of sanity and common sense rare among college
presidents these days. Eliana Johnson reports in the New York Sun
that Bollinger has overruled one of his senior deans and rescinded the
invitation for Ahmadinejad to speak at the university-wide event. The
bad news is that he will allow him to speak at a departmental event:
The dean of Columbia's
school of international and public affairs, Lisa Anderson, had
independently invited Mr. Ahmadinejad to speak at the World Leader's
Forum, a year-long program that aims to unite "renowned intellectuals
and cultural icons from many nations to examine global challenges and
explore cultural perspectives."
In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, Mr. Bollinger said he
canceled Mr. Ahmadinejad's invitation because he couldn't be certain it
would "reflect the academic values that are the hallmark of a
University event such as our World Leaders Forum."
Eliana Johnson, by the way, is the daughter of Power Line's Scott Johnson, from whom the link to the Sun story came. Johnson will be the keynote speaker at Carolina FreedomNet 2006, the John Locke Foundation's blogger conference that will be held in Greensboro on Oct. 7.
Buncombe County going hard core?
Posted by Matt Mittan at 9:25 PM
Excerpts From A Citizen Times Story Thursday:
'Buncombe County commissioners were presented with a stormwater ordinance Tuesday that officials said would help prevent damage from runoff but will increase the cost of building houses... According to the ordinance, proper management of stormwater runoff 'will protect property, control stream channel erosion, reduce flooding, protect floodplains, wetlands, water resources, riparian and aquatic ecosystems, and otherwise provide for environmentally sound use of the county’s natural resources'... 'The ordinance would apply to residential developments an acre or larger and commercial developments a half acre or larger. Developers would have to submit stormwater control plans designed to contain 3 inches of rain falling over a 24-hour period.'.... it probably would be about $300 per acre [for the permit]. Three additional staff members will have to be hired to administer the program'.... 'The draft document says violations of the ordinance would carry a penalty of up to $1,000 per day, but Commissioner Bill Stanley said he’d like to see that increased to $5,000 per day'... Commissioner David Young had considered the idea of a moratorium on new housing subdivisions while the measure was being crafted, but the board decided instead to put the ordinance on a fast track.'.....
Quote of the day, from Buncombe Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton: '“This is going to be an increase to the cost of development in Buncombe County. [But] I think it’s fair to put the cost of this on the developer, not the taxpayer.'
Again, symbolism over substance
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 6:52 PM
Article in the Washington Post sheds light on “course-label” inflation – courses that promise mastery in a subject but fail to follow through. Such courses are labeled “honors,” “advance,” “college prep” and “Advance Placement.”
Where have they been – this is nothing new!
Charter school advocates rip Wake board
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 5:24 PM
As Wake County voters prepare to decide the fate of a $970 million school bond, charter school advocates are raising a red flag.
Those advocates shared their concerns during an afternoon news conference at Raleigh Charter High School.
Francis DeLuca of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina says the Wake County school board has endorsed only a weak resolution seeking further study of charter schools. DeLuca says the school board should actively push state lawmakers to remove North Carolina's charter school cap.
The Wake County school board had a chance to lead on the issue of charter schools. Instead they decided to punt. If the board does not change direction immediately and consider the wishes of parents and voters, voters will choose to punt and refuse to support the bond for the board in November.
Entrepreneur and charter school operator Bob Luddy offered similar criticism:
This is an overwhelming vote that parents want community schools, charter schools, and opportunities for their students. So I think the Wake County school board needs to rethink their position, get rid of this $1 billion bond tax, and offer the type of schools that we need for the future both for our county and for America.
Like Sweden, Norway moves right
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 3:16 PM
My friend in Norway notes that the political climate there is also moving right. He is a local leader in the Progress Party which is pragmatic libertarian, if there is such a thing.
He reports: "A poll today indicates that the Progress Party is the biggest party in Norway right now. We have about 30% of the voters with Labour at about 25%. They won one year ago despite the fact that they had fewer votes than the center-right coalition.
Now the Beverly Hillbillies?
Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:26 PM
Cement Ponds have rules?
Posted by Michael Moore at 1:55 PM
The Beverly Hillbillies always had away with terms, even the ole
"Cement Pond" (Swimming Pool). This article
out of Salisbury is
just a case of an ole boy who wanted him a real pond, some city
folks have tried to turn their neighborhood homes into country homes
for years, Bless His
Y'All come Back Now, Ya Hear!
Geddings: Victim of bad timing
Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:39 PM
So says his lawyer, Thomas Manning.
Corruption has consequences, sometimes fatal
Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:10 PM
Marvin Olasky today has an "Enlightening" story about how dastardly decisions due to corruption can have severe consequences. God forbid that something like that should happen here, but chances are it already has.
Is Raleigh Trying to Become a Boutique City?
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 1:03 PM
Here is another thought provoking article by Joel Kotkin. He notes that cities used to be places that created a middle class. Now the disturbing trend is the boutique city, aka one that is redesigned to attract Richard Florida's "creative class." It seems that Raleigh's city fathers and mothers are trying their hardest to change Raleigh from a successful traditional city into a boutique city.
I guess it's better than wasting tax money
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:54 AM
Richard Branson buys into the global warming argument ... literally!
Good ideas from progressives?
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:44 AM
Yes. And they even quote the Marx Brothers.
Posted by Jon Ham at 10:41 AM
Nothing illustrates journalistic arrogance more than this. It reminded me again of something Gen. Robert E. Lee once said about journalists.
Only at UNC: conference to promote inclusion was "by invitation only"
Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:35 AMShannon Blosser has the story:
In a conference dubbed as “Politics of Inclusion: Higher Education at a Crossroads,” one thing was obvious – the event was highly scripted. Attendance at the conference was by invitation only and mostly included people who agreed with the premise of the conference, that the U.S. needs to improve access to college so as to include a wider cross-section of America’s youth. ...
Others who spoke at the conference included former North Carolina governor Jim Hunt, who favored a policy of allowing children of illegal immigrants to benefit from the low in-state tuition rate, Martin Krislov, general counsel for the University of Michigan, who argued that affirmative action programs need to be maintained to provide “access to women and socio-economically disadvantaged students,” and Gene Nichol, formerly Dean of the UNC Law School and now president of William and Mary who lamented that most student financial aid goes to the wealthy rather than the poor.
Who is really on your Campus?
Posted by Michael Moore at 10:26 AM
Here is something that caught my eye, In Jackson County there was a murder on Monday night, the suspect was teaching at WCU. So that leaves me with this question, who is really on your campus? Oh by the way are background checks that offensive to university staff?
Crisis of Abundance
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:23 AM
Sally Pipes reviews Arnold Kling's Crisis of Abundance for NRO. Fits well with John Hood's week of writing on health care.
RE: Center-Right Wins in Sweden
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:22 AM
Here's a great article on the state of Sweeden leading up to this election. It's a great recap of the problems of the welfare state and it's negative impact on trade and economic growth. A must read for those who found Michael's post interesting.
RE: Our new intern
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 10:10 AM
Cute idea, Mike. But if we invite her here to speak, she'll be truant as well as out of a job. Unless, of course, she's a home schooler.
"Big Jim" Folsom and lawyers
Posted by Jon Ham at 10:00 AM
A federal court says U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) cannot be a senator and also serve on a military court of appeals as a judge:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces said Graham violated the
Constitution's Incompatibility Clause by serving as an Air Force
Reserve colonel on the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. The clause
prohibits members of Congress from also holding "an office of the
United States," specifically in the executive branch. The framers
included the clause to avoid conflicts of interest.
Alabama Gov. "Big Jim" Folsom
would have taken that a step further. When he was governor (1947-51,
1955-59) he maintained that lawyers shouldn't be able to serve in the
legislature for the same reason: that they were officers of the
Googling around, I just found out that former governor Jim Folsom Jr.
(called "Little Jim" in Alabama, even though he's 6'5") is entering the Democratic primary
for lieutenant governor. Already in the Republican primary is Public
Service Commissioner George C. Wallace Jr. Their fathers had an epic
battle in 1962, which Wallace Sr. won. If these two guys make it into
the general, that will be fun to watch.
Googling further, I see that George Jr. lost in the GOP primary in July
to Luther Strange, a lawyer-lobbyist making his first bid for elective
office. So much for the Wallace name carrying weight in the Heart of
Dixie. A Folsom-Wallace match would have been a humdinger.
Rail and Economic Development Takings
Posted by Daren Bakst at 09:57 AM
As the TTA has shown, eminent domain abuse and the possibility of
economic development takings under the guise of rail development is
alive and well.
Unfortunately, the problem exists in Charlotte as well. As explained in this article
today, Charlotte bought property, not for rail, but to create
development that will be rail-friendly (in other words, development
that will actuallly get people to ride the train).
city spent $5.4 million on an adjacent 8-acre site in hopes of creating
a transit-friendly development. Charlotte packaged the two parcels and
asked developers for ideas."
Now three developers are jumping over each other to develop this land.
city didn't have to condemn the 8 acres (although it might have) to use
the power of eminent domain to seize the property. The mere
threat of eminent domain is enough to get anyone to sell the property.
Charlotte likely will argue that while the property will not be
used for the rail line itself, park and ride, or anything directly
related to the rail, by creating housing, shops, and other goodies, the
property (either seized directly or through a coerced sale) helps to
increase rail ridership. Therefore, the property is for the rail, not economic development.
government is using a valid public use (rail) and abusing it to take
additional property for development that indirectly helps the public
use. They can call it what they want--this clearly is an example of economic
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:43 AM
reminds us again that just because defined-benefit pensions from large
companies and government programs such as Social Security and Medicaid
hide risk, doesn't mean that they have no risk. The Iron Triangle of
big business, big government, and big labor has served its useful life.
The sooner we replace it, the better.
Our New JLF Intern
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 09:11 AM
Savanna Nelson, a 10-year old entrepreneur in Fayetteville, was forced to shut down her delivery service because the city bans scooters on downtown sidewalks. She is collecting signatures to fight the ban. I think we should help or at least have her as a Shaftesbury speaker.
Everything old is new again
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:59 AM
Given the debate over the importance of small class sizes in public schools, I thought you might enjoy reading this snippet from a Ronald Reagan commentary -- recorded 30 years ago today:
In what has been called the most thorough study of the [public] schools ever made Dr. James Coleman of Johns Hopkins U. says there is no relationship or ratio between the quality of [education] & class size or the number of pupils per teacher or cost or [teachers'] salary.
I've used the brackets to convey the sense of Reagan's shorthand. The original version -- with shorthand, insertions, deletions, and other changes -- is included in Reagan In His Own Hand (Touchstone, 2001).
The quote above is one element of a commentary in which the future president also asked, "May I suggest the possibility that educators tinkering with the system -- their eyes on a brave new world they were going to build right in the classroom just may have tossed out some pretty tried & true fundamentals."
Social Security's end game
Posted by George Leef at 08:46 AM
Gary North speculates here on how the politics of Social Security will eventually play out.
Too bad we have to face this. If the Supreme Court had done the right thing back in 1936 (as four justices wanted to) and declared Social Security unconstitutional (the case was the first of those to misread the general welfare clause to expand congressional power to include anything not specifically prohibited), we could have avoided many problems.
Center-Right Wins in Sweden
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:03 AM
The center-right Alliance wins in Sweden, ending 12 years of Social Democratic rule. The four-party Alliance promises market reforms.
This is what's wrong
Posted by Jon Ham at 07:45 AM
Columbia University has invited Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad to speak tomorrow at its world leaders conference. But it
was the spinless university president-speak by Columbia President Lee
Bollinger that really grated. According to the NY Sun:
"I happen to find many of
President Ahmadinejad's stated beliefs to be repugnant, a view that I'm
sure is widely shared within our university community," Mr. Bollinger
said. "So whether or not all of the special arrangements needed for
such a visit can be made in this unusually short period of time, I have
no doubt that Columbia students and faculty would use an open exchange
to challenge him sharply and are fully capable of reaching their own
What pap, straight from the
Moeser school of presidential declarations. When is an American
university president going to have the guts to say something like:
whatever idiot at this university invited this madman to speak here is
going to get my foot in his keester. There is no way a respected
university should be associated with such a dangerous man. There is no
circumstance in which our students could benefit from any encounter
with this maniac. Let him go to Harvard."
Rocky Mountain High
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 07:28 AM
Here is John Hood's chance to enjoy some Rocky Mounatain High and Ann Coulter all on one trip.
The Independence Institute is proud to unveil our 22nd Annual Founders' Night Dinner speaker!
To the shock of some and to the awe of others, the one and only Ann Coulter will be keynoting our November 29th dinner at the Donald R. Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Center for Performing Arts. We are pleased and excited to offer you the opportunity to experience the subtle, restrained, and delicate opinions of this best-selling author and talk show diva live and in person
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