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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sat. 10/22/05 07:59:54 AM

Readworthies XVIII

A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.

News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.

Academic strife: the American University in the slough of despond; By preaching the virtues of "cultural competence", the academy betrays its lack of confidence. by Norman Levitt @ Spiked (ht):

A new buzzword has entered the lexicon of academic fashion in the USA, threatening to drown poor professors like me in yet another wave of coy euphemism. The term is 'cultural competence'.
Like its predecessors 'affirmative action,' 'diversity,' and 'multiculturalism', it attempts to cloak problematical and even disturbing policy initiatives in linguistic vestments that suggest that no right-minded person could possibly demur. A 'culturally competent' academic, one might naively surmise, would be one who has absorbed and is able to propound some of the deep values — ethical, aesthetic or epistemological — that embody the stellar achievements of Western culture, one who could explain, for instance, why Dante or Kant or Ingres is present, at least subtly, in the assumptions under which we all live. Or something like that.
This, alas, would be a comical error. 'Cultural competence' is, in essence, a bureaucratic weapon. 'Cultural competence', or rather, your presumed lack thereof, is what you will be clobbered with if you are imprudent enough to challenge or merely to have qualms about 'affirmative action', 'diversity' and 'multiculturalism', as those principles are now espoused by their most fervent academic advocates. Cultural competence, like the UK's proposed new identity card, is something a professor is supposed to keep handy at all times, and to display with a straight face whenever confronted with a socially or ethnically charged situation, in order to dispel any suspicion of racism, sexism or Eurocentrism that might arise in the minds of the professionally suspicious....

The Abortion Debate No One Wants to Have: Prenatal testing is making your right to abort a disabled child more like "your duty" to abort a disabled child. by Patricia E. Bauer @ The Washington Post (ht):

If it's unacceptable for William Bennett to link abortion even conversationally with a whole class of people (and, of course, it is), why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities?
I have struggled with this question almost since our daughter Margaret was born, since she opened her big blue eyes and we got our first inkling that there was a full-fledged person behind them....

Farrakhan's Take on the Breaching of the New Orleans Levees on The Big Story w/John Gibson @ Fox News (ht):

.... FARRAKHAN: Well, I was in a tiny village in Mexico on the 17th of September, 1985. And I had a vision-like experience climbing a mountain there, on the top of which is a temple to the Mexo-American Christ figure, Ketso Quato [sic]. And one of these little UFOs came over that mountain and I was signaled from a group of persons to come. And I was beamed up into that small vehicle and carried to a larger vehicle, where I heard the voice of my leader and teacher, the Honorable Elijah Mohamed, saying these words to me, in early September, the president met with his joint chiefs of staff to plan a war. He didn't tell me who the war was against or what not. But early in the next year, it came to me while I was in Ghana that this war was against Libya and Libya's leader Muammar Qaddafi. So I went there and warned him of what was about to take place. And it did take place. And the following year, sir, I was sitting on an airplane, I happened to pick up the The New York Times magazine section, and it said America planned war against Libya, and down in the writing it said ...
ASMAN: So you think the vision came true?
FARRAKHAN: Oh, yeah, it definitely did come true....

FBI puts stop to spam king: Agents close up shop by seizing equipment from bulk e-mailer's W. Bloomfield home in recent raid. by Joel Kurth and David Shepardson @ The Detroit News (ht):

Michigan's unapologetic king of bulk e-mail is in trouble again. This time, an FBI raid has closed what some consider one of the world's largest houses of spam.
Warrants unsealed last week revealed that agents in September seized computers, laptops, financial records and disks from the 8,000-square-foot home of Alan M. Ralsky. The $750,000 West Bloomfield mini-mansion was built off profits from the 100 million electronic offers for everything from Botox to mortgages that Ralsky sends every day....

The White House, the CIA, and the Wilsons: The chain of events that gave rise to a grand jury investigation. by Stephen F. Hayes @ The Weekly Standard (ht):

For two years, the political class in Washington has followed with intense interest the story of Joseph Wilson and the events that led to the compromising of his wife's identity and undercover status as a CIA operative. The rest of the country seems to have responded with a collective yawn. That will soon change if special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald issues indictments of senior White House aides in his investigation of the alleged leaking of Mrs. Wilson's name.
The narrative constructed to date by the mainstream media is uncomplicated: The White House exaggerated claims of Iraq's efforts to obtain uranium from Niger despite objections from the CIA and the broader U.S. intelligence community. In the late spring of 2003, Joseph Wilson laid bare this White House deception with firsthand accounts of his involvement in the intelligence-gathering. Bush administration officials quickly became obsessed with Wilson, and their anger drove them to retaliate, exposing Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, by leaking her identity to reporters....

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sat. 10/22/05 07:59:54 AM
Categorized as Readworthies.


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