The Locker Room

September 30, 2003

Wes for Prez

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:44 PM

Yes, and I'm sure John is further comforted now that Wesley Clark's chief political consultant has been revealed.

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A new Democratic presidential fave

Posted by John Hood at 11:12 AM

I guess now is the time to admit it. I am really struggling with my previous choice of a favorite Democratic candidate for president. Obviously I've been in the tank for John Edwards for months now, smitten by his demonstrable leadership skills and his encyclopedic knowledge of public policy.

But now, thanks to Summer, I have discovered that new entrant Wesley Clark believes time travel is possible and is otherwise a SciFi geek, including being a fan of Star Trek. Though the idea that Clark is somewhat disconnected to reality and seems to enjoy living in the past (think 1950s) can't properly be greeted with shock, I can't get past the idea of a president who knows the difference between Imperial Race and half-breed Klingons (as with Ruffles, it's the ridges) and who can appreciate the power-consumption challenges of running at high warp with full shields and photo torpedoes charged.

Plus, I happen to agree with him that the speed of light can and will be surpassed.

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Announcing the "Guess the Blather" contest!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:40 AM

Tomorrow, Oct. 1, University of North Carolina at Cuts Hurt chancellor James Moeser will present his third annual 'State of the University' address.

In light of this momentous occasion, we are announcing our first annual "Guess the Blather" contest. Contest details:

Contestants should try to predict what rhetorical smoke Moeser will blow and in which direction; that is to say, they should try to guess which issues Moeser will address and what he will say about them. Light-hearted, less-than-serious predictions are also welcome if they are humorous.

All entries should be emailed to jsanders@popecenter.org.

All entries received before the speech is given will be considered.

Winning entries will be blogged here in the Locker Room and perhaps given some other form of notoriety (bear with us here; we're still hashing this one out).

Winning entries will be either (a) close to the actual text of Moeser's address or (b) too funny not to post.

This contest is open to all readers, including JLF staff members and Chancellor Moeser.

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diversity and college admissions again

Posted by George Leef at 10:24 AM

Remember the flurry of activity during the summer over the University of Michigan "diversity" case? The writing and commentary on it had died down, but now it's back. This issue just ain't gonna go 'way.

Peter Wood, author of a lovely book entitled Diversity: The Invention of a Concept, posts his thoughts about the use of "diversity essays" by applicants in order for universities to get just the right "critical mass" of "underrepresented" students. It occurs to me that these exercises can also be used to reward doltish non-minority students who want to affect a high degree of multicultural awareness to compensate for the fact that they have combined SAT scores down in the three digits. And will even the sharpest students risk not getting admitted to their top choice school because they refused to play the game? Will phony diversity essays become a big internet industry, just like phony term papers?

And Peter Kirsanow, a lawyer who sits on the US Civil Rights Commission contributes a thought-provoking article in which he contends that the University of Michigan is still not in compliance with the Supreme Court's decision.

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Very silly Duke protest getting sillier

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:40 AM

Updating last week's Clarion Call:
Duke University is seeing another round of We're-Offended-So-Gimme activism in the wake of a fraternity party:

quote
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Concerned students, faculty, staff and administrators who took "direct and personal offense" to the Sept. 13 party call for a major push by the University to bring its commitment to supporting Latino, Asian-American and Native-American students and faculty up to the same level as that for their black counterparts. ...

Foremost among the demands are the creation of programs in Native American studies and Asian American studies, as well as a strengthening of the Latino and Sexual Studies programs.
--------------

Naturally, the phrase "hate crime" has been invoked. Surprisingly (I use the term rhetorically), no one seemed to notice that the fraternity's president is Hispanic nor pay any attention to his explanation of the event as "themed 'Viva Mexico' mainly because 'X' appears in the name Mexico [and] designed to be a light-hearted celebration of the Mexican tourism scene."

In short, this is a very thin basis for demanding major curriculum restructuring, Orwellian speech crackdowns and the like. But campus activists apparently love transparent justifications for significant demands.

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