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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Thu. 10/27/05 10:00:34 PM
A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
Academic Postmodernity & the SATs: Dark days in the academy. by Stanley Kurtz @ National Review Online (ht):
The deeper cultural costs of affirmative action are rarely recognized or debated. Liberals frame the issue as a choice between bloodless legal principle and the actual social harm of racial and sexual inequality. Thoughtful conservatives point to the toll affirmative action takes on its supposed beneficiaries, who must always doubt their dessert. But do we really understand how profoundly affirmative action has already undermined America's respect for excellence, or our faith in the framework of democracy? The fateful decision by the president of the University of California to press for the elimination of the SAT as a requirement for admissions compels us to face the frightening truth about affirmative action.
When "right thinking" liberals first introduced affirmative action to our universities, they knew very well that it violated fundamental principles of individual rights and academic excellence. No one at the time imagined that these cherished principles or the institutions that depend upon them could truly be threatened. It was simply thought that, for the sake of racial progress, a small and temporary exception to the ordinary rules and standards could be made. Oh what a tangled web they did weave when first they practiced to deceive... themselves. For at every turn, this small, supposedly temporary and exceptional program forced deeper and deeper changes in the fabric of university life....
U.N. Procurement Scandal: Ties to Saddam and Al Qaeda by Claudia Rosett and George Russell @ Fox News (ht):
The scandal engulfing the United Nations Procurement Department now appears to be bottomless. It also shows signs of growing more sinister, especially where it involves a mysterious private company called IHC Services, which did big business with the procurement department until it was removed from U.N. rosters in June.
New details of how dark the scandal could prove to be have emerged from the private sale of IHC on June 3, 2005, just as the procurement scandal was about to break. It now appears that while doing business with the U.N., IHC had links both to Saddam Hussein's old sanctions-busting networks, and to a Liechtenstein-based businessman, Engelbert Schreiber, Jr., known among other things for his ties to a figure designated by the U.N. itself as a financier of Al Qaeda....
.... Russia's export of ideology was the decisive factor in the history of the last century. It seems to me entirely possible that the implosion of Russia could be the decisive factor in this new century. As Iran's nuke programme suggests, in many of the geopolitical challenges to America there's usually a Russian component somewhere in the background.
In fairness to Putin, even if he was 'very straightforward and trustworthy', he's in a wretched position. Think of the feet of clay of Western European politicians unwilling to show leadership on the Continent's moribund economy and deathbed demography. Russia has all the EU's problems to the nth degree, and then some. 'Post-imperial decline' is manageable; a nation of psychotic lemmings isn't. As I've noted before in this space, Russia is literally dying. From a population peak in 1992 of 148 million, it will be down to below 130 million by 2015 and thereafter dropping to perhaps 50 or 60 million by the end of the century, a third of what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union. It needn't decline at a consistent rate, of course....
Russia is the bleakest example on the planet of how we worry about all the wrong things. For 40 years the environmentalists have warned us that the jig was up: there are too many people (see Paul Ehrlich's comic masterpiece of 1970 The Population Bomb) and too few resources as the Club of Rome warned in its 1972 landmark study The Limits To Growth, the world will run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993. Instead, poor old Russia is awash with resources but fatally short of Russians and, in the end, warm bodies are the one indispensable resource.....
I am in debt to liberal scholars across America. After I wrote about the leftward tilt on campus, they sent me treatises explaining that the shortage of conservatives on faculties is not a result of bias. Professors helpfully offered other theories why conservatives do not grace the halls of academe:
1 Conservatives do not value knowledge for its own sake.
2 Conservatives do not care about the social good.
3 Conservatives are too greedy to work for professors' wages.
4 Conservatives are too dumb to get tenure.
I've studied these theories as best I could (for a conservative), but somehow I can't shake the notion that there just might be some bias on campus....
The Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy: Attack on Bill Bennett Was Staged by Todd Manzi @ Human Events Online (ht):
Using the Press to Attack Political Opponents
Everyone is weighing in on what Bill Bennett said on his radio program. Everyone is eager to offer their opinion on his words and whether or not he should have said them. Everyone is missing the point.
The travesty is that we're even talking about this at all. The most abhorrent behavior that occurred regarding this issue came from the Associated Press (AP). Allowing news hit men like John Conyers, Bruce Gordon, Ralph Neas, Howard Dean and many elected Democrats to assault Bill Bennett is detestable and the AP should be held accountable. The only way liberal Democrats can win is by fighting without honor and by perpetrating hideous attacks on innocent citizens.
Dissecting exactly what happened to Bill Bennett helps unveil the insidious vast left-wing conspiracy and exposes the culpability of the AP. A Google search sorted by date creates a timeline that shows that the tail wagged the dog....
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
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