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Saturday, May 03, 2014

[OTP - May 2014] House stadium funding package advances with Cuban baseball player provision

A bill that would enable professional sports franchises to compete for sales tax subsidies cleared a major hurdle Friday, winning overwhelming support in the Florida House.

The tax breaks would be available to professional football, basketball, hockey and soccer teams, as well as professional rodeos and NASCAR-sponsored events.

But baseball teams would have to stay on the bench — unless Major League Baseball changes its rules about Cuban baseball players.

Lawmakers added the stipulation in response to media reports that Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig had been held hostage by human traffickers while trying to establish residency in Mexico in 2012.

Under Major League Baseball rules, players from Cuba must live in another country before they can become free agents. Cuban players who come directly to the United States are forced into the amateur draft, which limits their salaries.

“Major League Baseball [has] inadvertently created a market for human smuggling and the unequal treatment of Cuban baseball players,” said Rep. José Félix Díaz, R-Miami, who introduced the provision with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach. “We’re not going to give away our taxpayer dollars until this ill is corrected.”

In response, the MLB issued the following statement: “While the sponsors of the bill in Florida blame MLB policies for the role of human smugglers, they do not provide any support for their premise that Cuban players must rely on traffickers to defect to countries other than the U.S. such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic, but would not need the assistance of traffickers to reach U.S. soil.”

 

Tripon Posted: May 03, 2014 at 09:38 AM | 4455 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: otp, politics

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   2101. BDC Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4707567)
Did you read the essay in Time?

Yup. More nonsense. Both the science and the history in these essays is hilariously weak.


What do you think the science (the clustering of the genes) means?

As the favorable review I cited up in #2048 indicates, the broad genetic groupings in the human species account for the distribution of things like skin color, epicanthial folds, hair type, and some other features. You're correct that there have never been any disputes about that from researchers of any political persuasion.

The idiocy of these theories of Clark's and Wade's, as I read through the reviews, is to build several assumptions on top of that factual basis, like increasingly shaky chairs, and then to climb up & float above the top chair with some bizarro stuff about the rapid evolution of a class of superior economic beings in England in the early modern period: which happens to replicate perfectly a strain of Anglo-Saxon rhetoric about the specialness not just of their "race" but of a small uppercrust of that race. As the reviews of Clark in that EREH volume (#2078) note, Clark doesn't even begin to suggest a quantifiable hypothesis about the distribution of these industrial-revolution genes that he has no idea about whether they could have existed in the first place. And the whole hypothesis depends on the assumption that the English upper classes of the early-modern period were bearers of a special genetic inheritance that had "made them rich" to begin with.

Cripes sake, Holy Blood Holy Grail makes about as much historical and biological sense.
   2102. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4707577)
Again, AFAIC the real scandal of commencements is the insanely exorbitant fees that universities pay for their pathetic attempts at "branding". Obviously it's a scandal that pales in comparison to some of those multi-million dollar contracts they hand out to football and basketball coaches, not to mention the university presidents themselves, but it's still rather symbolic of a certain degradation of higher education that's a lot worse than the choice of this or that particular commencement speaker.

"Degradation of higher education," huh???

[strokes chin]

Decline?


Sure, in some ways I do think that the university model has declined, while in other ways it's improved. I detest the way that big money's taken over. I loathe the very concept of "marketing" in the quest of a top 10 US News and World Report rating. I hate the way that in many cases a college degree has become the functional equivalent of an expensive high school diploma. There's plenty to complain about in the campuses of the 21st century, much of which is a reflection of not-so-great trends in our larger winner-take-all society.

But having attended an allegedly "elite" school BITD, I'm also not having any illusions that that was any sort of a golden age of learning. The Duke of the early and mid 60's had more than its share of dumb jocks** (and smart jocks), impossibly bad profs (and a handful of great ones), legacy students who had no business being there, an administration that was straight out of Animal House, and a student body that was impossibly whitebread in more ways than just race. I suppose that taken as a whole, it might possibly be worse today, but I fail to see how. The truth is that universities in all time periods are bound to reflect the shortcomings and contradictions of the outside world, and outside world isn't often all that swell in many ways.

**Including one All-American basketball player and SI cover boy who would regularly get into brawls on and off the court and be handled with kid gloves due to his athletic talent.

--------------------------------------------------------------

And yet other than the recent protests against pro-choice speakers at a few Catholic universities, I don't recall many of those conservative students demanding that liberal speakers' invitations be revoked.

Why are you making this a left-right thing? The former Berkley chancellor's a lefty by all accounts-- but a lefty whose campus police beat student protesters.


I wasn't addressing any particular case, but the overall pattern of whom protests and non-protests get directed against.
   2103. Morty Causa Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4707579)
First, Brock said it was a put up job. And the Jones suit was dismissed by the trial judge. She all but said it was meritless.

Second, exactly what was a fellow lawyer supposed to report had the Court found for Clinton?

If this is the rule, we never get to actually having an effective government, which, of course....
   2104. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4707580)
And the whole hypothesis depends on the assumption that the English upper classes of the early-modern period were bearers of a special genetic inheritance that had "made them rich" to begin with.

Were those superior genes from the Norman side, or the Plantagenet side?
   2105. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4707581)
Public institutions in Texas are not allowed to give honorary degrees, oddly enough.


One good thing about Texas.
   2106. Publius Publicola Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4707584)
The Plantagenets were French too, Bear. Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine.

It's the Saxons you are looking for.
   2107. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4707585)
I just saw, via Wikipedia, that Paula Jones has the same birthday as me (except for being 9 years younger). I am not pleased.
   2108. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4707586)
But having attended an allegedly "elite" school BITD, I'm also not having any illusions that that was any sort of a golden age of learning. The Duke of the early and mid 60's had more than its share of dumb jocks** (and smart jocks), impossibly bad profs (and a handful of great ones), legacy students who had no business being there, an administration that was straight out of Animal House, and a student body that was impossibly whitebread in more ways than just race. I suppose that taken as a whole, it might possibly be worse today, but I fail to see how. The truth is that universities in all time periods are bound to reflect the shortcomings and contradictions of the outside world, and outside world isn't often all that swell in many ways.

While not disagreeing with this analysis, I feel duty-bound to again remind viewers of the roughly five decades between Duke in the '60s and today. A lot of cultural ebbs and flows can take place in 50 years. For example, things could have improved steadily for 20 years, and declined back to roughly where they started.
   2109. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4707589)
**Including one All-American basketball player and SI cover boy who would regularly get into brawls on and off the court and be handled with kid gloves due to his athletic talent.


Knowing when you went to school, I'm going to go out on a limb & ask whether you're referring to Art Heyman (who I know was an SI cover boy because I had that issue, albeit several years after it came out), who was not only a pretty darned good player but also an ... interesting person, judging from Connie Hawkins' account of their days with the ABA's Pittsburgh Pipers.
   2110. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:52 PM (#4707605)
Yeah, that was Artie Heyman, All-American, #1 draft choice, SI cover subject, and a colossal flop in the pros. Too slow to play guard, too small and not enough vertical leap to play forward on a higher level, and a ball hog supreme. Very few people at Duke who ever had the misfortune to run into him were mourning his decline after college.

In his partial defense, he was going from an all-white conference with an average of at most one semi-notable player per team outside of Duke,** to a league that even then was increasingly defined by its black stars, the likes of which he'd never previously encountered, and the rise in the competition level must have rattled him.

**I'm sure there must have been others, but from the ACC of 1962-67 I can only remember Billy Cunningham of UNC, Jeff Mullins and Jack Marin of Duke and Lee Shaffer of Wake Forest having any sort of distinguished NBA careers. Several others did okay in the ABA, but only after being dropped by the NBA.
   2111. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4707608)

Were those superior genes from the Norman side, or the Plantagenet side?


Well, the Normans were descended from the Norse, who had the 'make yourself rich by plundering your neighbors' genes.
   2112. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4707611)
While not disagreeing with this analysis, I feel duty-bound to again remind viewers of the roughly five decades between Duke in the '60s and today. A lot of cultural ebbs and flows can take place in 50 years. For example, things could have improved steadily for 20 years, and declined back to roughly where they started.

The problem with all these grand theories is the overreaching of the word "things", as if it's not likely that some "things" got better (and then sometimes got worse) while other "things" declined (and then sometimes improved), leaving any overall assessment of "progress" (or "decline") like the parts of an elephant's body, subject to many misinterpretations when blind people like us start feeling around it and assuming that the trunk can tell us anything about the tusks.
   2113. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4707615)
I would love it if commencement speeches were about hearing the speaker say earth-shattering things, but they're not. They have generic conventions that speakers are expected to adhere to. If Dawkins spoke with his trademark pugilism, it'd be entertaining and engaging, but also offensive to a fair amount of the audience, and it would likely be the last commencement speech he was ever invited to give.


Actually, at my commencement back in 1991 (UCLA), Stephen J. Gould was the speaker. Not only did he not talk about evolution, but he did not adhere to "generic conventions". In fact, he gave an excruciatingly boring discourse on paradox. So boring, in fact, that the assembled crowed of a few thousand (guessing, ca. 300 physical sciences graduates in the Tennis Center) ignored him and began chatting amongst themselves. Some guy in my major made a sign that said "help" out of his program and the ensuing ripple of laughter caused the Speaker to abrubtly stop his speach and say.

"You know, I guess you aren't listening" and WALKED OFF. We were then chided for about 5 minutes by the Dean.
   2114. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4707619)

**I'm sure there must have been others, but from the ACC of 1962-67 I can only remember Billy Cunningham of UNC, Jeff Mullins and Jack Marin of Duke and Lee Shaffer of Wake Forest having any sort of distinguished NBA careers. Several others did okay in the ABA, but only after being dropped by the NBA.


I just did some research & found that Len Chappell of Wake Forest was the ACC Player of the Year for the two seasons before Heyman took the honor. I remember reading a Sport (I believe) article on Chappell that portrayed him as pretty much the consummate NBA benchwarming journeyman. I think he played a bit in the ABA as well.
   2115. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4707622)
I met Heyman when a friend and I completely randomly found our way to a bar to watch football in September 2004 and it turned out to be his bar. Not big. (Listed at 6-5, that's a stretch.) The idea that he could have been an elite rebounder in college basketball was kind of comical. As is the idea of him being drafted ahead of Nate Thurmond and Gus Johnson -- near 7-foot beast HOFers.

But then I once played basketball against a fast white guy from Howell, Michigan who was picked 9th in the MLB baseball draft out of high school as a SS ... ahead of Ozzie Smith.
   2116. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4707624)
The problem with all these grand theories is the overreaching of the word "things", as if it's not likely that some "things" got better (and then sometimes got worse) while other "things" declined (and then sometimes improved), leaving any overall assessment of "progress" (or "decline") like the parts of an elephant's body, subject to many misinterpretations when blind people like us start feeling around it and assuming that the trunk can tell us anything about the tusks.

You can net out the pluses and minuses and come up with a total, at least in theory.
   2117. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4707625)
Actual evolutionary biologists are extremely wary of attributing any trait or structure or process in an organism to selection, with very good reason. To say that a gene has been under selection pressure is a very difficult claim to substantiate: so to say that it's been under such pressure but we have no very good idea what it does, is nonsense. And the supposed genes that cause these behavioral differences between Koreans and Chinese or whatever are even more speculative than that.


+1. There are accepted ways of demonstrating selection, positive, negative, selective sweeps. They require pretty intensive DNA analysis of a large number of samples. Once you get beyond single-gene phenotypes (which are both pretty easy and pretty rare), you generally only have a statistical association of genetic variant and behavior (phenotype). Not to mention that the penatrance and heritability are no where near 100%.

The bottom line is that it's easy to generate hypotheses, much harder to prove them. And coming up with controversial hypotheses in order to sell books... well, it's good capitalism I suppose. Bad science though.
   2118. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4707629)
Wade observes: ‘African populations have not gone through the same Malthusian wringer that shaped the behavior of the European and East Asian populations. Between 1200 and 1800, the English, adapting to the harsh pressures of an intense agrarian economy, became less violent, more literate and more willing to save for the future. In Africa, population pressure has long been much lower than in Europe and Asia….’ European cultures tried to keep population below the famine level by inculcating the sexual restraint and romantic choosiness conducive to relatively late marriages, while East Asian cultures cultivated grinding work ethics. In most of tropical Africa, however, the infectious disease burden was so lethal that dense populations could not be achieved due to epidemics. So the population could not form cities, nor even fully farm the countryside. The big danger in Africa was not Malthusian overpopulation, but underpopulation, which may account for how sexualized their cultures are. Not surprisingly, each continent’s culture seems to have bred people befitting its environment, and their traits live on in their descendants in modern America.”


If this was true - and I am not saying it is or it isn't - it would be observable in the DNA (and no "Euros and Africans have different DNA" does not count. You have to show specific selection at specific sites being associated with specific phenotypes).

I don't think anyone has ever shown that... but I haven't read the articles.
   2119. BDC Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4707633)
Andy, when did Duke become fully co-ed, 1972 or something? Isn't it possible that two generations of intensive mating between Duke men and Duke women have produced a new race of Duke undergraduates under the selection pressures at work in Durham? That seems to be the explanation for everything nowadays :)
   2120. BDC Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4707635)
I don't think anyone has ever shown that... but I haven't read the articles

Me neither. I'm just guessing we'd have heard about it if geneticists had confidently isolated the "African-American Like-a-Sex-Machine Gene."
   2121. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4707640)
It has a sulfuric odor of race and inheritance, an air of immutability.


I am taking this out of context, but it's hilarious.
Wade here is quoting David Lande ostensibly in support of his thesis... but the whole point of Wade's thesis is that INHERITANCE IS NOT IMMUTABLE.

BTW - I had a biochem book back in UCLA which claimed that the Enlightenment was due to Adenylate Cyclase (the enzyme that is inhibited by caffeine... newly imported from India)

   2122. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4707645)
BTW - I have heard of the "Jew Cluster" in actual scientific talks when they show principle component analysis of GWAS studies. I have never heard of it being associated with cognition though.
   2123. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:38 PM (#4707650)
Paula Jones was a 9-0 ruling, wasn't it?

It was a unanimous decision upholding the 8th Circuit decision in favor of Jones. You have to be the ultimate Clinton fan boy to think there was anything unusual about the decision.
   2124. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4707665)
#2113: At least it was memorable...
   2125. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 15, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4707674)
Andy, when did Duke become fully co-ed, 1972 or something? Isn't it possible that two generations of intensive mating between Duke men and Duke women have produced a new race of Duke undergraduates under the selection pressures at work in Durham?

Coach K doesn't stand for Krzyzewski, it stands for khromosome.
   2126. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4707720)
European cultures tried to keep population below the famine level by inculcating the sexual restraint and romantic choosiness conducive to relatively late marriages


The average age at marriage fluctuated quite a bit in Europe across different era and different cultures

y inculcating the sexual restraint

The big danger in Africa was not Malthusian overpopulation, but underpopulation, which may account for how sexualized their cultures are.


This is just generalized stereotyped bullshit-
are European Cultures more sexually restrained and African ones more "Sexualized"????
Yes, no, maybe? These are just stereotypes the author assumes to be true without actually you know, knowing it, and then he looks for genetic differences and mechanisms that could explain such differences (without showing that there are such differences)

In fact there are vast cultural differences between the different African groups he lumps together, and as for European Culture? Sure I'd buy that 19th century European Culture was more sexually restrained than, oh, the old Greco/Roman cultures or today's European cultures.
while East Asian cultures cultivated grinding work ethics

but radically different view concerning sexual [removed]china being damn near like Victorian England at times and Japan like debauched Ancient Rome- but according to this guy's theory Japan should have been like England having to deal with the "harsh pressures of an intense agrarian economy" for several centuries.
   2127. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:42 PM (#4707729)
European cultures tried to keep population below the famine level by inculcating the sexual restraint and romantic choosiness conducive to relatively late marriages, while East Asian cultures cultivated grinding work ethics. In most of tropical Africa, however, the infectious disease burden was so lethal that dense populations could not be achieved due to epidemics.


European cultures experienced a very dramatic epidemic induced demographic collapse in the 14 century, which was then followed by a significant increase in "sexual restraint" and "relatively late marriages" a century or two alter- before the European population had recovered to pre-plague levels. Te driver of the increase in "sexual restraint" was not the Malthusian pressures Europe was feeling, it was the Reformation, which in its wake yielded more actively religious/observant cultures (in both Protestant and Catholic countries), and actively religious cultures tend to more strongly enforce what those culture's religions see as proper behavior.
   2128. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4707732)
I met Heyman when a friend and I completely randomly found our way to a bar to watch football in September 2004 and it turned out to be his bar. Not big. (Listed at 6-5, that's a stretch.) The idea that he could have been an elite rebounder in college basketball was kind of comical. As is the idea of him being drafted ahead of Nate Thurmond and Gus Johnson -- near 7-foot beast HOFers.

He was a Long Island boy and the Knicks thought he could rejuvenate their franchise. Nice try, poor results. He was a complete stiff as a pro after his rookie year, and even then he was nothing special. IIRC his temper and sense of entitlement usually got the best of him, just as it often did in college.

----------------------------------------------------

The problem with all these grand theories is the overreaching of the word "things", as if it's not likely that some "things" got better (and then sometimes got worse) while other "things" declined (and then sometimes improved), leaving any overall assessment of "progress" (or "decline") like the parts of an elephant's body, subject to many misinterpretations when blind people like us start feeling around it and assuming that the trunk can tell us anything about the tusks.

You can net out the pluses and minuses and come up with a total, at least in theory.


That's been one of my favorite thought exercises since ever I can remember, but I've never been able to quantify it and come up with any definitive answer. The breaking down of racial and gender barriers leans me to say it's been a positive direction, but I'm certainly not imagining that there haven't been plenty of losses along the way. I suppose if I somehow could graft the racial and gender attitudes of today onto the marriage/divorce rates and sense of community I remember from the 50's, I'd be squaring the circle. If only it were that simple.

----------------------------------------------------

Andy, when did Duke become fully co-ed, 1972 or something? Isn't it possible that two generations of intensive mating between Duke men and Duke women have produced a new race of Duke undergraduates under the selection pressures at work in Durham? That seems to be the explanation for everything nowadays :)

AFAIK Duke's always been co-ed, though BITD there were separate campuses for men and women. But other than gym, freshman English lectures, all the classes were mixed. OTOH it wasn't racially integrated until 1963.
   2129. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:45 PM (#4707733)
I don't recall many of those conservative students demanding that liberal speakers' invitations be revoked.

No offense, but what you recall is not really the issue. I think the best comp in some respects is the Catholic one, and Epstein's link mostly deals with Smith and Brandeis. Here is Harvard over time:

http://www.harvard.edu/class-day-speakers

Here is 2013 at various unis:

http://www.graduationwisdom.com/speeches/2013-commencement-speakers-graduation-list-announced.htm


   2130. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4707738)
In fact there are vast cultural differences between the different African groups he lumps together
Too bad there's not a name for people who assign essential characteristics to groups of people based on their place of origin.
==
I would have protested against at least one person on that list if they were going to commencement speak at my university...Cal Ripken can die and go to hell, ####### Blue Sox stealer...
   2131. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4707745)
I don't recall many of those conservative students demanding that liberal speakers' invitations be revoked.

No offense, but what you recall is not really the issue. I think the best comp in some respects is the Catholic one, and Epstein's link mostly deals with Smith and Brandeis. Here is Harvard over time:

http://www.harvard.edu/class-day-speakers

Here is 2013 at various unis:

http://www.graduationwisdom.com/speeches/2013-commencement-speakers-graduation-list-announced.htm


Not sure what you're getting at, robin. How do those links (and I looked carefully at both of them) speak to the point I made that you just quoted?

That comment I made was in response to this:

The argument in favor of such protests is that commencement is a celebration and time to honor people, and the speaker is a person you are, indirectly at least, honoring, and you should only honor people that you feel comfortable honoring.

If some liberals don't feel "comfortable" at the thought of certain conservative speakers being honored, why should some conservatives feel any more "comfortable" at the thought of "honoring" speakers like Lani Guinier or The Great Satan from Kenya? And given that the majority of commencement speakers are clearly identified with liberal causes, why do the protests against speakers seem to come almost always from liberals?

Honest question: If administrators should bow to the demands of those students who are "uncomfortable" with Condi Rice or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, what about those other students who are equally "uncomfortable" with inviting The Great Satanic Kenyan? At what point do you begin to realize that allowing a student / faculty veto over commencement speakers is a two way sword?
   2132. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4707753)
If administrators should bow to the demands of those students who are "uncomfortable" with Condi Rice
IIRC, with Rice it was faculty who expressed dissatisfaction.

If people don't like the commencement speaker, it is absolutely their right to speak out, and to have those objections heard. The selection processes vary, and so too do the processes for addressing controversial ones. I don't think a one-size-fits-all standard of moral outrage on rescinded invitations makes sense at all, particularly given, as you agree, that speakers function as fundraising instruments above all else.
   2133. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4707762)
#2130: Well done, dp, well done.
   2134. zenbitz Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4707768)
I don't see how you can write a book and countless pimp articles on human genetic variation and not mention the fact that African populations are more diverse than other groups.


Also, two random people have _4 MILLION_ genetic differences on average. There are 10M known SNPs in humans ("single nucleotide polymorphism")... not sure if that includes small structural variants (insertions and deletions). but I believe it does. Two unrelated Europeans might share 7.5 Million SNPS but differ in another 2.5 million.

Because those numbers are so large, making generalizations about "Races" is a fool's game. Scientifically. I mean, obviously if have some political axe to grind, or want to right a best seller, have at.



   2135. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4707769)
This is being described as the Greatest Get-Out-The-Vote Video Ever, but isn't that really like the tallest midget ever? NSFW, possibly, and it has already been pulled for being "insensitive" to women, but it probably meets BBTF standards, such as they are.
   2136. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4707771)
#2130: Well done, dp, well done.
It's you, me, and like six other people against the world on this one.
   2137. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4707773)
I don't see how you can write a book and countless pimp articles on human genetic variation and not mention the fact that African populations are more diverse than other groups.
Clearly you do:
And coming up with controversial hypotheses in order to sell books... well, it's good capitalism I suppose.
   2138. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4707786)
Michael Sam's reality show with Oprah is a really bad idea. He's nowhere near talented enough to put his organization through a circus, and is in danger of quickly Tebowing himself.

"The Kiss" is starting to look quite staged indeed.
   2139. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4707792)
This is being described as the Greatest Get-Out-The-Vote Video Ever,


Back when I lived in Buffalo I got to watch a lot of Canadian TV, and back when they were having a vote on some amendment to (or actual replacement for) their Constitution... one ad started out by showing a random suburban house at night, and as the camera panned in you could hear the sounds of a woman moaning "yes... yes... oh yes..." louder and louder as the camera panned in closer and closer, the camera reached the bedroom window, and the picture and sound faded out and a deep male voice spoke:
"This Monday, vote yes for your country"

the referendum later failed to pass btw.
   2140. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4707794)
Michael Sam's reality show with Oprah is a really bad idea. He's nowhere near talented enough to put his organization through a circus, and is in danger of quickly Tebowing himself.


I'm pretty sure that Tebow has made more money on the evangelical circuit than he has from his NFL paychecks, so if Sam, is just another fungible marginal NFLer (As would appear), cashing in through other media may not be a bad idea.

   2141. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4707795)
Not sure what you're getting at, robin. How do those links (and I looked carefully at both of them) speak to the point I made that you just quoted?

--

Just providing some context. Many speakers these days seem to be entertainers.

As to the rest, your questions seem pretty loaded, and Guinier is not a great example for a number of reasons. Based on a quick internet search, Guinier has spoken at Harvard, Hunter, Smith, Rhode Island, Bard, Penn State's Ed School, and Illinois. Probably others.

The Rice thing picked up some steam in part because it had faculty support and I think started with faculty--big difference.

And, finally, as noted last time this came up, the faculty and students probably don't have "veto" power over this. At most schools, the Pres and the GB would have final say over commencement, based on committee recs. So, if you want to kvetch about weak admins, go for it. But big-time power brokers like Rice should be able to deal with a few academics saying that they don't want the school paying her 35K to be at their end-of-year party.
   2142. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4707802)
If administrators should bow to the demands of those students who are "uncomfortable" with Condi Rice

IIRC, with Rice it was faculty who expressed dissatisfaction.


I'm sure you're right, but I'm not sure what difference that should make, unless there's some sort of campus protocol I'm not aware of that makes faculty disapproval more critical than disapproval by students.

If people don't like the commencement speaker, it is absolutely their right to speak out, and to have those objections heard. The selection processes vary, and so too do the processes for addressing controversial ones. I don't think a one-size-fits-all standard of moral outrage on rescinded invitations makes sense at all, particularly given, as you agree, that speakers function as fundraising instruments above all else.

If people merely object to the speakers' fee, then I'm in complete agreement with them. I think an honorary degree and travel expenses should be all that's necessary to lure a speaker who actually has something substantive to say. Personally I liked the idea of Hillary Clinton giving a commencement speech much better back when she was delivering it as the valedictorian of her own graduating class at Wellesley.

But if one set of people can effectively veto a speaker in whose presence they're "uncomfortable", then any set of uncomfortable people can attempt to do the same thing---as they have on some Catholic campuses. At this point it simply becomes a question of counting of troops and hoping that controversy fatigue will achieve the goal.

I guess as long as you're also okay with a group of right-to-life fanatics being able to veto a pro-choice commencement speaker at a Catholic college, then at least then there's a quid pro quo type of consistency.

And if you frankly admit that only one type of discomfort-inducing speaker should be subject to a veto, then I'll respect that as the view of an honest partisan.

But I guess I don't see what either of those two POVs has to do with the idea of a university, a concept which even though it's been diluted by all sorts of forces such as megabucks and phony magazine rankings, is nevertheless worth honoring. I'm sure I'm missing something, but I still can't see is why it's okay to veto a Condi Rice while having no problem with inviting an Obama. Partisan political considerations aside, what is the difference between those two? They're both role models to some people, and they're both evil incarnate to others.
   2143. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4707806)
As to the rest, your questions seem pretty loaded, and Guinier is not a great example for a number of reasons. Based on a quick internet search, Guinier has spoken at Harvard, Hunter, Smith, Rhode Island, Bard, Penn State's Ed School, and Illinois. Probably others.

In fact that list is all the more reason why she's a good example, since she's a well-known liberal whose name is poison to conservatives.** And yet how many organized protests have there been against her appearances, or about her $10,001 - $20,000 speaker's fees?

And, finally, as noted last time this came up, the faculty and students probably don't have "veto" power over this. At most schools, the Pres and the GB would have final say over commencement, based on committee recs. So, if you want to kvetch about weak admins, go for it. But big-time power brokers like Rice should be able to deal with a few academics saying that they don't want the school paying her 35K to be at their end-of-year party.

Whether they do have a veto power or not is an empirical question, to be answered on a case-by-case basis. The question, however, is "Should they?"

**Just to make sure you're not misunderstanding me, I think that the conservative campaign against her amounts to little more than one of their typical smear campaigns based on misrepresentation and views stripped of context. But that has nothing to do with the the issue at hand.
   2144. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:03 PM (#4707810)
As to the rest, your questions seem pretty loaded, and Guinier is not a great example for a number of reasons. Based on a quick internet search, Guinier has spoken at Harvard, Hunter, Smith, Rhode Island, Bard, Penn State's Ed School, and Illinois. Probably others.

In fact that list is all the more reason why she's a good example, as she's a well-known liberal whose name is poison to conservatives.** And yet how many organized protests have there been against either her appearances, or against her $10,001 to $20,000 speaker's fee?

The Rice thing picked up some steam in part because it had faculty support and I think started with faculty--big difference.
Other than the question of campus protocol and pecking orders, why should it make a difference if the protests come from students or faculty?

And, finally, as noted last time this came up, the faculty and students probably don't have "veto" power over this. At most schools, the Pres and the GB would have final say over commencement, based on committee recs. So, if you want to kvetch about weak admins, go for it. But big-time power brokers like Rice should be able to deal with a few academics saying that they don't want the school paying her 35K to be at their end-of-year party

Whether or not they have a veto power over speakers is an empirical question, answered on a case-by-case basis. The more relevant question, though, is----should they?

**Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, IMO the conservative case against Guinier is little more than one of their typical hatchet jobs based on misrepresentation and decontextualization of her writings. But that's got nothing to do with the issue at hand here.
   2145. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4707812)
But if one set of people can effectively veto a speaker in whose presence they're "uncomfortable", then any set of uncomfortable people can attempt to do the same thing---as they have on some Catholic campuses


--

So what? Look at it this way: if your favorite pool hall were headed for the proverbial wrecking ball, would you want the speaker at the last night send-off party for the place to be some local neighborhood pol that you thought was dishonest, nasty, and responsible for really bad things happening to local people? Maybe you wouldn't care, I suppose, but spare me the "universities are different" thing. What institution are you more attached to--Duke, or your favorite local pool hall?

And you are putting way too much weight on the word "uncomfortable." The Rutgers people didn't want Rice around because they didn't like her role in the war; the one from the previous page involved people not liking someone's statements about religion. Righties are free to do the same thing about Obama or Guinier if they don't want them around, and the admins actually in charge are free to go along with them or to tell them to stick it. So, you seem to be power-ignorant about institutions of higher ed--as your repeated use of the word "veto" demonstrates.
   2146. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4707815)
The more relevant question, though, is----should they?


--

That may be more relevant in some philosophical sense, but while there may be exceptions, depending on by-laws and policies, I think that at most colleges and unis, at least the ones with which I have some familiarity (and I have asked a few friends about it and looked a little on-line), the fact is that they don't.

So, you seem to be mildly pissed off that some lefty profs and some lefty students at Rutgers didn't want Condoleeza Rice speaking at their graduation, and mildly pissed off that they got their way about it. That's fine--we can all get mildly pissed off about whatever we want to--but I don't see some grand principle in play here.
   2147. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:36 PM (#4707828)
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Some residents of a predominantly white New Hampshire town are upset with racist remarks a police commissioner made about President Barack Obama.

Resident Jane O'Toole said she overheard Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland use a racial slur in describing Obama. And in an email to her, Copeland, who is white, acknowledged using the N-word in referring to the president and said he will not apologize.

"I believe I did use the 'N' word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse," Copeland said in an excerpt from an email he sent to his fellow police commissioners acknowledging his remark and then forwarded to O'Toole. "For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."


link

If this guy gets invited to speak at UNH's Commencement, Andy has his back. (Heh--just a joke, Andy).
   2148. SteveF Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:43 PM (#4707832)
but I don't see some grand principle in play here

The potential 'grand principle' involved is the increasing tendency/desire of people for insulating themselves from the opinions of those they don't agree with, and the negative impacts that could have going forward.

You see it in people's choice of news outlets. You see it in online reading habits and social media features. Arguably we're seeing it in government.

My sense is that it has always been thus, but social media has lowered the cost/effort of these kinds of protests. One consequence of the lowered cost is that you have more and more people 'protesting' things that in the past they wouldn't have deemed worth the effort required to protest.
   2149. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:44 PM (#4707833)
In fact that list is all the more reason why she's a good example, as she's a well-known liberal whose name is poison to conservatives.**


Nah. Her name may be "poison to conservatives", but she was not involved directly in planning a war, she is not as well-known as Rice, and hasn't been in the public eye much for awhile that I am aware of. Also, I don't see a lot of schools in solid red states on that list.

   2150. rr Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:52 PM (#4707836)
The potential 'grand principle' involved is the increasing tendency/desire of people for insulating themselves from the opinions of those they don't agree with, and the negative impacts that could have going forward.


Again: commencement is not a graduate Poli Sci seminar; it's a big party/ceremony to honor the grads. So, you actually have it backwards in some sense. The argument against the Rutgers people is that they politicized something that isn't really political, and are, in fact, bringing ideology into a context where it shouldn't be. Rice wasn't going to stand up there and talk about WMDs and water-boarding and Saddam; she was probably just going to talk about the value of knowledge, her university experiences, etc. The argument for the Rutgers people is that they have the right to try to dis-invite someone from their party if they find that person's politics (or whatever) objectionable.

As to your larger point, there is probably some truth in that, and I suppose you can argue that the Rice thing is symptomatic. But it's a stretch. Rice wasn't coming to Rutgers to exchange ideas.

   2151. Morty Causa Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4707838)
   2152. GregD Posted: May 15, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4707839)
Probably you are right about Rice but I wouldn't be certain. James Baker gave the address at my graduation when I finished my Ph.D. and spoke at length about Bush II's courage in going to war in Iraq. His address was "three case studies in courage" in fact. One was FDR, one Bush 1, and one Bush 2. Meanwhile the other honorees who weren't invited to speak--including Ruth B G--just sat there. Though Ruth B G did have the best hat I've ever seen; I don't know if it's something reserved for justices or what.
   2153. zonk Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4707846)
I honestly do not remember my HS or college commencement speaker...

At my HS graduation, I was mostly wondering if I'd be able to take advantage of a final chance to score with a long-term crush before the summer was out and at my college graduation I was mostly concerned that thugs from the dean's office would be escorting me out because I hadn't actually passed my last final after all.

   2154. Lassus Posted: May 15, 2014 at 08:30 PM (#4707849)
I don't remember my commencement speaker either, but there was a convocation speech sophomore/junior year or so by one of my music professors when I was there that just blew me away. It was simply a long meandering anecdote - or so it seemed - regarding Aaron Copland and that eventual revealed how he spurned an invite to some events at Copland's house in his 20's due to discomfort with rumors of his (Copland's) homosexuality. It wasn't even that, THE MESSAGE - it was such a short reveal at the end - but simply the construction. It was a great, great slow build full of dry wit that built just perfectly while seeming to go utterly nowhere until it came to a wonderfully touching and logical point of how he shorted himself the opportunity to interact with not just one of the great composers, but one of the great men in his chosen field, and telling us not be be quite so limiting in our own lives.

I think by commencement everyone is just tired and relieved to be done, I think only a very small percentage really are remembered or good at all.
   2155. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:04 PM (#4707861)
But if one set of people can effectively veto a speaker in whose presence they're "uncomfortable", then any set of uncomfortable people can attempt to do the same thing---as they have on some Catholic campuses--

So what? Look at it this way: if your favorite pool hall were headed for the proverbial wrecking ball, would you want the speaker at the last night send-off party for the place to be some local neighborhood pol that you thought was dishonest, nasty, and responsible for really bad things happening to local people? Maybe you wouldn't care, I suppose, but spare me the "universities are different" thing. What institution are you more attached to--Duke, or your favorite local pool hall?


I think you know the answer to that one, but here's a hint: My favorite basketball team is Carolina. And IIRC I was playing pool in Washington on the day my Summer School graduating class was awarded its diplomas.

And you are putting way too much weight on the word "uncomfortable."

Robin, that was the original word you used to describe the effect of certain speakers on the psyches of certain people. It seemed an apt way of putting it.

The Rutgers people didn't want Rice around because they didn't like her role in the war; the one from the previous page involved people not liking someone's statements about religion. Righties are free to do the same thing about Obama or Guinier if they don't want them around, and the admins actually in charge are free to go along with them or to tell them to stick it. So, you seem to be power-ignorant about institutions of higher ed--as your repeated use of the word "veto" demonstrates.

So I guess it boils down to everyone's got a right to complain, but liberal complainers more often pack a bigger punch, for whatever reasons.

And the "veto" only becomes that when the protest voices are numerous enough, loud enough, and persistent enough to make either the university or the speaker figure it's just not worth all the agra. At that point, but only at that point, would the "veto" description be applicable.
   2156. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:14 PM (#4707865)
In fact that list is all the more reason why she's a good example, as she's a well-known liberal whose name is poison to conservatives.**

Nah. Her name may be "poison to conservatives", but she was not involved directly in planning a war, she is not as well-known as Rice, and hasn't been in the public eye much for awhile that I am aware of. Also, I don't see a lot of schools in solid red states on that list.


How much has Rice really been in the public eye herself since 2009? She's probably spoken at a fair number of conferences and graduations, but then so has Lanier. And anyway, I'm not talking about any sort of objective comparison between these two women; I'm talking about the way that their names are instant red flags to the fired up bases of their opposing parties, and the fact that liberals seem far more willing than conservatives to try to block speakers whom they find abhorrent.
   2157. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 09:35 PM (#4707871)
The argument for the Rutgers people is that they have the right to try to dis-invite someone from their party if they find that person's politics (or whatever) objectionable.

And they should be regarded as a bunch of bigoted Know Nothings. I doubt the Rutgers decision-makers would have given much weight to anyone objecting to a Hillary Clinton commencement speech, and they should have done the same for those objecting to Condi Rice. The left thinks it should be able to veto speakers it objects to, while others have no similar "right". Shameful.
   2158. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:08 PM (#4707884)
And they should be regarded as a bunch of bigoted Know Nothings. I doubt the Rutgers decision-makers would have given much weight to anyone objecting to a Hillary Clinton commencement speech, and they should have done the same for those objecting to Condi Rice. The left thinks it should be able to veto speakers it objects to, while others have no similar "right". Shameful.
Members of a campus community should have a say in who the institution honors-- that's the point Andy seemed to be missing, and it's escaping you as well.

This is what one Rutgers prof, who opposed allowing Rice to speak at commencement, had to say on the subject:
"She's welcome to come to campus tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, any day she wants. Anything but commencement, I welcome her," Bell said.

"We welcome academic freedom. She is welcome to give a talk and we should then in response ask her questions. That's what academic freedom is about. Not being a commencement speaker."
You can continue indulging your right-wing persecution complex, but that's misreading the situation.

But if you want to talk shameful, maybe we can talk about Rice's role in leading the country into an unnecessary war that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocents?
   2159. RollingWave Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:29 PM (#4707895)
The risks of globalizing your economy without bothering to construct a military/diplomatic infrastructure to protect it:

China Targeted by Vietnamese in Fiery Riots

BINH DUONG PROVINCE, Vietnam — Dozens of foreign-owned factories near Ho Chi Minh City lay in charred ruins early Thursday after thousands of Vietnamese workers rampaged over China’s latest efforts to control the South China Sea, this time off Vietnam’s coast.

The riots marked a rare outpouring of popular outrage over China’s increasingly insistent claims to strategically important, resource-rich seas. But in their rage, the Vietnamese workers appeared to misdirect their anger, attacking businesses from countries that took the risk of investing in their nation.

The explosion of violence reflected growing animosity in the region as China works to solidify its claims over vast parts of two seas that other nations have long considered their own.


So, remind me again why we needed to militarily intervene in Vietnam again to stop the Red Peril?

[2008]

I should note the irony in that the Vietnamese are probably going to re lend Cam Ranh Bay to the US navy again.

The South China sea thing is unlikely to settle nicely, China is the big boogy man here but pretty much everyone is zoning islands way out of their EEZ in this dispute, and the islands particularly in question for this latest spat, the Paracels, are virtually equal in terms of distance between the two coast.

Vietnam is totally shooting themself in the foot though, not only because most of the factories they torched aren't even owned by the PRC citizens. It seems to me that Vietnam's government is actually losing control of it's power more so than most of us realize. as it seems that while they approved of the protest, that it turning into a full blown looting spree was out of their original intention. We may be witnessing something similar to Indonesia 1997 here.
   2160. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 15, 2014 at 10:31 PM (#4707897)
Experts say NBA likely to win in Sterling legal fight


(AP) -- A cadre of attorneys and a flurry of lawsuits could certainly slow down the NBA's plan to force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers over his recent racist comments, but legal experts say the league would likely prevail in the end....

"Sterling's own signature will come back to haunt him," said Michael McCann, founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire. "You agree to certain basic understandings. That's what makes a sports league different from other businesses."

The key to the NBA's authority, attorneys say, is Article 13(d) of the league's constitution. That section says that, whether Sterling intended to or not, an owner cannot "fail or refuse to fulfill" contractual obligations to the NBA "in such a way to affect the Association or its members adversely."

There's plenty of evidence Sterling's comments, revealed in a recorded conversation with a female companion, affected the league adversely. They provoked threats of a player boycott, led sponsors to withdraw support and created a racially charged image problem in the midst of the NBA playoffs that even President Barack Obama remarked upon.

If Article 13(d) was violated, the legal experts say the Board of Governors has solid grounds to force Sterling to sell the team along with any other owners, in this case his wife.

As long as the NBA meticulously follows its own constitution and rules regarding the Clippers sale, it will be difficult for Sterling to find a legal theory that would stand up in court, said Daniel Lazaroff, director of the Sports Law Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

"This is not an antitrust issue. This is not a First Amendment issue," Lazaroff said. "It's a question limited to the interpretation of the NBA constitution and bylaws, and whether those terms are met."

Another question involves California family law. It's a community property state, meaning spouses jointly own property they acquired while married. The Sterlings were already married when he bought the Clippers in 1981.

Although a potential divorce could complicate the Clippers' sale, McCann said the couple's joint ownership actually works to the NBA's favor because - legally speaking - they are a single entity. So if the NBA forced Donald Sterling to sell, even under a divorce scenario, Shelly Sterling would have to sell, too. They have been married since 1955....
   2161. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:09 PM (#4707910)
Members of a campus community should have a say in who the institution honors-- that's the point Andy seemed to be missing, and it's escaping you as well.

Just another way of saying the left should get to veto commencement speakers, since they are the ones politicizing the process. No one should, and despite the fact that some here and at Rutgers don't like her or the Administration in which she served, Dr. Rice has had a distinguished career, and was a more than worthy choice. The idea that someone should not have to "endure" a speaker that they disagree with is unworthy of serious consideration.
   2162. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4707915)
The key to the NBA's authority, attorneys say, is Article 13(d) of the league's constitution. That section says that, whether Sterling intended to or not, an owner cannot "fail or refuse to fulfill" contractual obligations to the NBA "in such a way to affect the Association or its members adversely."

I wouldn't be so sure that language can be construed to encompass saying something stupid in a private, potentially illegally-recorded conversation. I suspect the league's constitution lists various contractual obligations without mentioning "not saying something stupid" or anything very similar, so it might be a little early to declare the NBA victorious, despite the obvious reason's for Sterling's unpopularity.
   2163. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:27 PM (#4707919)
The idea that someone should not have to "endure" a speaker that they disagree with is unworthy of serious consideration.
You're assuming that the initial decision to invite Rice wasn't political-- why is the Rutgers Board of Governors allowed their politics in the decision, without consulting the students and faculty who Rice will be speaking in front of? There's no "right to receive $35K for giving a commencement speech" that's being violated here. This is about members of a community deciding who they want their campus to honor, but with the role of commencement speaker and with the honorary degree Rice was set to receive.
   2164. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:34 PM (#4707925)
You're assuming that the initial decision to invite Rice wasn't political-- why is the Rutgers Board of Governors allowed their politics in the decision, without consulting the students and faculty who Rice will be speaking in front of? And it wasn't just about the speech-- she was also set to receive an honorary degree.

I don't believe Rutgers developed a special ad hoc procedure for selecting this year's commencement speaker. Dr. Rice was validly selected by the established process. The leftist brownshirts tried to prevent her from speaking, which reflects poorly on them and those who support imposing an ideological litmus test on commencement speakers.
   2165. formerly dp Posted: May 15, 2014 at 11:45 PM (#4707928)
Dr. Rice was validly selected by the established process.
A process that excludes both faculty and student voices-- when there's an objection to the selection, faculty and students have a right to voice their disapproval-- you only seem interested in protecting Rice's ability to cash a $35K check, rather than in the free and open exchange of ideas. Many people consider Rice to be a controversial speaker-- she's a borderline war criminal-- and this issue has come up when she's been invited to give commencement speeches in the past. Not about free speech, about publicly honoring and endorsing someone in a campus ceremony who *members of the campus community* don't feel should be honored. The Board of Governors opted to ignore this history in going after a high-profile speaker, and it turned out to be a poor decision on their part, one that alienated large portions of students and faculty.
   2166. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:13 AM (#4707937)
Many people consider Rice to be a controversial speaker-- she's a borderline war criminal--

No, she isn't, because we don't authorize dp and those of his ilk to decide who is a criminal. Dp and his allies wish to impose an ideological litmus test on commencement speakers. It's a simple as that, everything else is pure spin. A similar effort to push Hillary Clinton out of a commencement speech would, and should, be met with contempt. The only thing different about the Clinton hypothetical and the Rutgers situation is the ideology of the speaker. Worth remembering, you don't really support free speech unless you support the speech of those you disagree with.
   2167. rr Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:14 AM (#4707938)
I'm talking about the way that their names are instant red flags to the fired up bases of their opposing parties, and the fact that liberals seem far more willing than conservatives to try to block speakers whom they find abhorrent.


Like I said: some people see Rice as being pretty close to, or actually, a war criminal. And, if not that, then a key figure behind an unjust or at least questionable war. And she was SoS within the last ten years. Guinier is a failed Assistant Attorney General nominee from the first Clinton Administration. Big differences.

You can disagree with that assessment of Rice if you like, but she is a different type of figure than Lani Guinier, whom many college kids have probably never heard of at this point. And, again, look at the schools Guinier has worked with. From Wiki:
She has received ten honorary degrees,[1] from schools including Smith College, Spelman College, Swarthmore College, and the University of the District of Columbia.


Finally, if you want to say that you think uni liberals are more closed-minded than uni conservatives based on this Rice thing, IMO you should just say it. But fdp's quote from the Rutgers prof addresses that issue very cleanly.

   2168. Lassus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:27 AM (#4707942)
The leftist brownshirts

No, you guys aren't shrill and overdramatic at all.
   2169. rr Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:50 AM (#4707958)
Robin, that was the original word you used to describe the effect of certain speakers on the psyches of certain people.


I know. And I think you're giving it too much rhetorical weight in the argument.
   2170. rr Posted: May 16, 2014 at 01:52 AM (#4707960)
Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling isn't going away without a fight.

Sterling's lawyer has informed the NBA that Sterling will not be paying the $2.5 million fine levied on him last month by commissioner Adam Silver, sources confirmed to ESPN.com on Thursday night.

That fine was due this week, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

In a letter sent on Sterling's behalf, antitrust litigator Max Blecher also threatened to sue the league if Sterling is not afforded due process.


link
   2171. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:30 AM (#4707976)
In re "Dr. Rice has had a distinguished career."

See, here's the problem -- that pays no heed to the substance of her career. Her acts. What she did. What she went along with. It's just another way of perpetuating the "Once you're in the Establishment, you're in the Establishment" ethic that mostly explains why none of the people who violated the various treaties on war crimes, as well as the nation's traditions, have been called to account, and why Establishment media such as the NYT still haven't found their way to calling torture, "torture."

You don't just get to collect a bunch of degrees, participate on "distinguished" panels, and get lifetime tenure in "distinguished" fora. That can't be the standard. She didn't just "serve the public" or "serve the nation." She exercised power. For ill. There has to be costs for that and those costs should include loss of social stature.
   2172. JE (Jason) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:58 AM (#4707977)
"Why Is the GOP’s Civil War So Civil?" by Slate's Dickerson:
Democrats hoping for primary fireworks are still holding out hopes for Iowa and Georgia, where a close race could lead to a runoff, though in Georgia the fringe candidates are at the back of the pack. Democratic strategists also argue the lack of public intraparty spats means that the most conservative viewpoints have been thoroughly internalized, making the winning candidates vulnerable on issues from the minimum wage to Medicare, where they say Republican orthodoxy is out of step with general-election voters. Maybe, but in these coming fights, Democrats will be debating GOP candidates who can build a winning coalition, raise money, and have political experience. That’s an improvement.

The Republican Party has not banished its pressing internal debates. Immigration, Common Core education standards, and the role of U.S. foreign policy overseas can still stir a rousing argument. But these arguments are not controlling the Republican primary process. Yes, GOP elites and grassroots conservatives are claiming victory in their struggle against each other. Ideological warriors are always claiming victory, and they believe the stakes are real. Plus, claiming resounding victory is good for fundraising. But for those who were rooting for both sides to lose in a fit of chaos, there hasn’t been much to cheer about yet.


" Scientists 'suppressed' paper over climate sceptic argument," by The Week:
Bengtsson's paper challenged findings from the UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.

The paper suggested that the climate might be much less sensitive to greenhouse gases and recommended more work be carried out "to reduce the underlying uncertainty".

Following the rejection, Bengtsson said: "The problem we now have in the climate community is that some scientists are mixing up their scientific role with that of a climate activist."

Bengtsson said he was also forced to step down from the advisory board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic think-tank, after he was subjected to "McCarthy" style pressure from other scientists.

The claims are a stark reminder of events at the University of East Anglia in 2009, dubbed 'Climategate', when scientists were accused of suppressing inconvenient data that did not support global warming predictions, says The Times. They were later cleared, but the IPCC was found to have misrepresented part of their research.

A spokesman for IOP Publishing, which publishes Environmental Research Letters, said that two independent peer-reviews had reported that the paper contained "errors" and "did not provide a significant advancement in the field", therefore failing to meet the journal's required acceptance criteria.
   2173. formerly dp Posted: May 16, 2014 at 07:03 AM (#4707979)
Dp and his allies wish to impose an ideological litmus test on commencement speakers.
Not at all. I would like the campus community to be part of the selection process. Rice is too high-profile for my school, but if the admin decided she'd be the speaker, I doubt there'd be much objection from the faculty or the students (the reaction would along the lines of "how'd we manage that?). Our speaker this year was a prominent Republican politician with strong ties to the area-- not that I get a say, but I thought it was an appropriate selection.
The only thing different about the Clinton hypothetical and the Rutgers situation is the ideology of the speaker.
And, you know, the whole dead Iraqis, conspiring to torturing Muslims, lying to the American public in an attempt to drum up support for what ended up being one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in US history. Other than that, they're basically the same person.

But this isn't about Rice-- it's about shared governance on college campuses, and the free speech rights of all, not just elites who regularly get invited to give $35K commencement speeches. I commend students for being active and expressing their opinions on the subject, for not being apathetic and asserting their agency in the community. The event belongs to them more than it does to the Rutgers Board of Governors.

If there are significant portions of the community upset with the choice of commencement speaker, there absolutely should be a dialogue about it, and a push for openness and transparency in the selection process. This is what shared governance is about.
Worth remembering, you don't really support free speech unless you support the speech of those you disagree with.
Giving someone an honorary degree and allowing them the privilege of addressing students, families, and faculty at commencement is not the same as free speech. And since you apparently missed it, from above:
"She's welcome to come to campus tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, any day she wants. Anything but commencement, I welcome her," Bell said.

"We welcome academic freedom. She is welcome to give a talk and we should then in response ask her questions. That's what academic freedom is about. Not being a commencement speaker."
No one has said Rice shouldn't be allowed to speak on campus. The exchange of ideas is a valuable process. The community objected to the university honoring someone they found disagreeable. You're only making this about free speech because it indulges your right-wing persecution complex (and maybe you've got a little thing going for Rice, just a tiny bit?).
   2174. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 07:17 AM (#4707981)
I think it's in th best interests of academic freedom and the open exchange of ideas that Rutgers amends for it's transgressions against Rice by inviting Ward Churchill to speak as her replacement.
   2175. JE (Jason) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 07:26 AM (#4707983)
So Ward Churchill, who's even reviled by most liberals, is your idea of Condi's left-wing doppelganger? Go back to sleep, YR.
   2176. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4707984)
The only thing different about the Clinton hypothetical and the Rutgers situation is the ideology of the speaker.


And, you know, the whole dead Iraqis, conspiring to torturing Muslims, lying to the American public in an attempt to drum up support for what ended up being one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in US history. Other than that, they're basically the same person.

But we know that for the past 20+ years the right wing has framed Hillary's career in language every bit as inflammatory as that. And Rice is hardly the only conservative who's run into the "veto" problem lately. There are always going to be reasons cited for trying to block or retract invitations to any particular speaker, but what's striking is the overall pattern of the protests outside of a few Catholic colleges being directed overwhelmingly against conservatives.

I suppose that you might reply, "Fine, then let the right wing organize itself and try to keep the Clintons and the Naders out of the commencement ceremonies, too."** Which I guess would at least have the virtue of consistency, but if that sort of a movement ever picked up any steam, I doubt if we'd be getting the same impassioned defenses of student/faculty activism from too many liberals. I suspect, instead, we'd be hearing cries of censorship and Joe McCarthy.

** Someone may have advanced that argument already, but I don't feel like re-reading the last 300 posts just to quote the exact words.
   2177. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4707988)
So Ward Churchill, who's even reviled by most liberals, is your idea of Condi's left-wing doppelganger? Go back to sleep, YR.


I just want to promote the free exchange of intellectually-challenging ideas. I don't think that having an opinion not endorsed by the American media and political leadership should disqualify a person's participation in our commencement discourse. So Churchill isn't in the good graces of the extremely wealthy and politically powerful oligarchs of the country, he's just as entitled to participate in this process. Until Dr. Rice learns what it is like to be widely criticized for endorsing an unpopular opinion she needs to check her privilege.
   2178. formerly dp Posted: May 16, 2014 at 08:46 AM (#4707992)
what's striking is the overall pattern of the protests outside of a few Catholic colleges being directed overwhelmingly against conservatives.
"Overall pattern"? You've got a few examples cherrypicked by a right-wing columnist without any attention to the specifics of each case. I know you've decided to plant a flag and die on this hill, but I'm not sure what's so objectionable about asking for shared governance in the selection of commencement speakers. I'll say it again in case I wasn't clear before: I have no problem with conservative commencement speakers (duh). I wouldn't object to Rice if she was selected to speak at my school. But no one has a right to be honored by a college-- and that's what a commencement speech (and the awarding of an *honorary* degree) is about. People invest a lot of their identities in their institutions, and their free speech rights, and rights to self-governance, matter more than the feelings of an elite who has no shortage of podiums to speak from.

You want this to be about left/right, and it's not. If the Rutgers Board of Governors decides Nader's going to speak, and there's a significant outcry against it from the populations who have to live with that decision, why should they be silent about it? Why should the wishes of a select group of elites trump the expressed will of the faculty and students?
   2179. rr Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:03 AM (#4707998)
Here is what Rice herself said when she dropped out:

“Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time," Rice said.

"I am honored to have served my country. I have defended America's belief in free speech and the exchange of ideas. These values are essential to the health of our democracy. But that is not what is at issue here," she said. "As a Professor for thirty years at Stanford University and as (its) former Provost and Chief academic officer, I understand and embrace the purpose of the commencement ceremony and I am simply unwilling to detract from it in any way."


Obviously, this is a just a public statement, and a gracious big-time pol-helps-small-time pol move to try to take the heat off the Rutgers Pres and those connected thereof. At the same time, however, Rice has spent much of her adult life around unis, so I would suggest that the quote indicates that she actually understands this better than YC and Andy do.

I suppose that you might reply, "Fine, then let the right wing organize itself and try to keep the Clintons and the Naders out of the commencement ceremonies, too."** Which I guess would at least have the virtue of consistency, but if that sort of a movement ever picked up any steam, I doubt if we'd be getting the same impassioned defenses of student/faculty activism from too many liberals. I suspect, instead, we'd be hearing cries of censorship and Joe McCarthy.


Can't speak for any other liberals, but I would have no problem with righty groups protesting any commencement speakers that they found objectionable. Shared governance means that you sometimes have to listen to people who bug the crap out of you and that you don't always get your way. If, say, local/campus righty groups protested against a poet who was a pro-choice activist and was asked to speak at graduation, my ideological sympathies would of course be with the poet/activist, but it wouldn't be a censorship or free speech issue.
   2180. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4708008)
Can't speak for any other liberals, but I would have no problem with righty groups protesting any commencement speakers that they found objectionable. Shared governance means that you sometimes have to listen to people who bug the crap out of you and that you don't always get your way. If, say, local/campus righty groups protested against a poet who was a pro-choice activist and was asked to speak at graduation, my ideological sympathies would of course be with the poet/activist, but it wouldn't be a censorship or free speech issue.

I'll let the notorious right wing columnist Timothy Egan give you my take on that. Whatever the symbolic differences between a commencement address and every other venue, the underlying spirit of wanting to silence opposing views is unmistakable:

This season, the left is better than the right at pressure tactics designed to kill opposing views. But who wants to claim that title?

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. recently canceled an address at the graduation ceremony of the Oklahoma City police academy after he was harassed by gun nuts and Republican elected officials — often a redundancy, I realize. Organizers called for officers in attendance to “place Holder in handcuffs.” Good lesson for the grads — arrest the nation’s highest law enforcement officer because you don’t share his politics. One Republican, an Oklahoma state senator, Paul Wesselhoft, cheered the strong-arm tactics. “This is a significant lesson in political activism,” he said....


It's not a "censorship" or "free speech" issue, since as you both have correctly pointed out, Rice (and Holder) have an infinite number of other forums where they can speak all they want. It's an issue of being willing to hear people you don't like, or even abhor, without making a metaphorical federal case out of it.
   2181. formerly dp Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:55 AM (#4708026)
It's an issue of being willing to hear people you don't like, or even abhor, without making a metaphorical federal case out of it.
This isn't about "being willing to hear people you don't like"-- it's about who's being honored in the name of the college. In Birgeneau's case, you have a liberal who *backed out* because he took offense to being asked, not by the school but by a group of concerned students and professors, to answer questions about his role in the student beatings at Berkley under his watch. You seem unwilling to grant that the commencement address isn't like a standard lecture that an invited speaker would give. The institution is deciding who it's going to confer an honor on without consulting the community-- and you're less bothered by that sort of undemocratic authoritarianism than you are members of the community who speak out in response. I don't get it.

And the students protesting Michelle Obama's invitation to speak at their high school commencement: is that OK? I think so.
   2182. GregD Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4708032)
Hillary spoke at my school's commencement when I was on faculty. There weren't protests. I didn't go but thought it was just star ####### as the condi invite was. And I would have been fine with students protesting though I am sure our admin would not have risked angering the clintons
   2183. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4708080)
It's an issue of being willing to hear people you don't like, or even abhor, without making a metaphorical federal case out of it.

This isn't about "being willing to hear people you don't like"-- it's about who's being honored in the name of the college. In Birgeneau's case, you have a liberal who *backed out* because he took offense to being asked, not by the school but by a group of concerned students and professors, to answer questions about his role in the student beatings at Berkley under his watch. You seem unwilling to grant that the commencement address isn't like a standard lecture that an invited speaker would give. The institution is deciding who it's going to confer an honor on without consulting the community-- and you're less bothered by that sort of undemocratic authoritarianism than you are members of the community who speak out in response. I don't get it.


So should Hillary be obliged to respond to a series of questions about her role in Benghazi before being allowed to speak at a college commencement? Should Bill Gates have to respond to questions about Microsoft's role in squashing competition? Should Ralph Nader have to answer questions about his role in electing George W. Bush? Should Nicholas Wade have to be subject to prior cross-examination before any being allowed to speak?**

The point is that practically every potential speaker you can think of has a history that can raise "concerns" from one segment of the population or another.

And the students protesting Michelle Obama's invitation to speak at their high school commencement: is that OK? I think so.

That was about the fact that Michelle's presence would have displaced seating capacity from the students' parents and family members, at a joint commencement for all five high schools in Topeka. It was a purely logistical protest, and it was handled by simply re-scheduling her appearance for "Senior Recognition Day" the day before, which allowed the commencement exercises to be held without any seating restrictions. There was no indication that ideology played any role in any of this, unlike any of the other incidents we've been discussing.

**Again, the point isn't about my sympathy or agreement with any or all of these examples. The point is a willingness to listen to views one may even find offensive---and yes, even during the sacred ritual of college commencement exercises.
   2184. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4708094)
lying to the American public in an attempt to drum up support for what ended up being one of the biggest foreign policy blunders in US history

As opposed to lying to the American public in an attempt to cover up the reasons for a planned military attack against an outpost in a foreign country where some shady black operation was going.
   2185. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4708103)

So should Hillary be obliged to respond to a series of questions about her role in Benghazi before being allowed to speak at a college commencement?


For the record, as a liberal and a Democrat, I would oppose Hillary speaking at my college commencement.
   2186. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4708106)
As opposed to lying to the American public in an attempt to cover up the reasons for a planned military attack against an outpost in a foreign country where some shady black operation was going.
Are we STILL talking about Iran-Contra and Lebanon? C'mon, people. It's the 21st century!
   2187. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4708108)
So should Hillary be obliged to respond to a series of questions about her role in Benghazi before being allowed to speak at a college commencement?

For the record, as a liberal and a Democrat, I would oppose Hillary speaking at my college commencement.


But for the right reasons, I'm sure.
   2188. formerly dp Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4708115)
So should Hillary be obliged to respond to a series of questions about her role in Benghazi before being allowed to speak at a college commencement? Should Bill Gates have to respond to questions about Microsoft's role in squashing competition? Should Ralph Nader have to answer questions about his role in electing George W. Bush? Should Nicholas Wade have to be subject to prior cross-examination before any being allowed to speak?**
I would be delighted to have students who are politically/socially aware enough to raise those questions around a speaker. And again, in Birgeneau's case, he was offended enough by the audacity of those asking the questions to withdraw on his own. As far as I can call, the school placed no formal conditions on his visit.

The point is that practically every potential speaker you can think of has a history that can raise "concerns" from one segment of the population or another.
So? Do members of the campus community have a duty to keep their mouths shut when the institution decides to publicly honor someone they find objectionable? Why do students and faculty have to listen to views they find objectionable while potential commencement speakers have no reciprocal obligation?
The point is a willingness to listen to views one may even find offensive---and yes, even during the sacred ritual of college commencement exercises.
The people who are voicing these complaints are going to lengths to explain that it's not about listening to views, it's about the public conferral of honor. You're claiming that they have a problem listening to views they find offensive, which suggests you don't take them at their word on their stated reasons for objecting to the commencement speakers (perhaps your objection would fade if we referred to them as "commencement honorees"?).

I think we're going around in circles on this, so I want to go back to the point Robin made above: *if* they selected commencement speakers by ballot* where staff, faculty, students, and admins each got a vote, then the selection would embody the will of the campus community. Some would be unhappy, and if they wanted to use the speaker's visit to air the grievances on a related issue, I don't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do so. But at least in that case, the process would ensure that there's participation from all impacted parties in the selection process. The reason you're seeing these protests is that pertinent constituencies don't feel they have a voice in the process. The speaker choices are being imposed from above. That's the principle of shared governance missing from the examples that you're drawing on.

*Finding a commencement speaker's a fairly arduous process, as I understand it-- lots of rejected invitations before you find someone whose schedule and interests line up....but grant me the hypothetical...
   2189. Lassus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4708121)
If someone was showing up to speak at my commencement I hated THAT much, I wouldn't bother with the protesting, I'd move straight to heckling. Well, no, I wouldn't, because it would have embarrassed my mom, which I wouldn't want.

I dunno, going to Vassar is really going to lessen the chance they are going to get someone I'd be that upset about. It wasn't like they were inviting D'Amato or Ed Meese.
   2190. Rob_Wood Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4708127)

My college commencement speaker was Betty Williams, Nobel peace prize recipient for her work in Northern Ireland. She was not a politician but an everyday mother who founded and led a group of mothers (and others) to rally against the violence rampant in Northern Ireland at the time. Very good speech.
   2191. Morty Causa Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4708145)
I would be delighted to have students who are politically/socially aware enough to raise those questions around a speaker. And again, in Birgeneau's case, he was offended enough by the audacity of those asking the questions to withdraw on his own. As far as I can call, the school placed no formal conditions on his visit.

Didn't you begin your participation here on this subject by maintaining only vanilla commencement addresses and proceedings were in order? Dawkins can't say anything that would upset anyone, but now you say the speaker can be cross-examined on his beliefs and actions by graduates?
   2192. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM (#4708146)
Last week, I wasn't in the "Michael Sam's carefully managed media event" camp. Given yesterday's news that he has an upcoming reality show on OWN, I'm pretty close to moving to that camp.
   2193. Lassus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:14 PM (#4708152)
Hey Dan - Do you have any new sources for classical music given Demonoid's demise that you can pass along? Some things I've been looking for lately that I'm having some trouble finding....
   2194. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4708156)
Hey Dan - Do you have any new sources for classical music given Demonoid's demise that you can pass along? Some things I've been looking for lately that I'm having some trouble finding....

What are you looking for? May already may be something I've bought. I spend on classical music like it's a crack habit.
   2195. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4708158)
Hey Dan - Do you have any new sources for classical music given Demonoid's demise that you can pass along?


The demise has been cancelled.

The community isn't where it was before the outage of course, not sure if it will ever get that good again.
   2196. Lassus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4708160)
What are you looking for? May already may be something I've bought. I spend on classical music like it's a crack habit.

Who knows? I'll email you. But if you have a recording of Alkan's Funeral March on the Accidental Death of a Parrot, I'll never say anything bad online about libertarians again.


The demise has been cancelled.

Interesting. I had given up months and months ago.
   2197. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4708161)
Your old account should still work.
   2198. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:22 PM (#4708162)
So should Hillary be obliged to respond to a series of questions about her role in Benghazi before being allowed to speak at a college commencement? Should Bill Gates have to respond to questions about Microsoft's role in squashing competition? Should Ralph Nader have to answer questions about his role in electing George W. Bush? Should Nicholas Wade have to be subject to prior cross-examination before any being allowed to speak?**

I would be delighted to have students who are politically/socially aware enough to raise those questions around a speaker.


You and me both. You're way too young to remember the era, but in the Spring of 1965 students and faculties all over the country invited State Department officials to give countering viewpoints during a series of what were known as "teach-ins". Sometimes the State Department declined to send anyone, but often they accepted---they did send a spokesman to Duke---and the result was a model of aggressive but not nasty give and take. I think we'd both agree that regardless of our differences on the issue under discussion here, student apathy rather than student engagement in politics is a far more serious ongoing problem.

And again, in Birgeneau's case, he was offended enough by the audacity of those asking the questions to withdraw on his own. As far as I can call, the school placed no formal conditions on his visit.

Which IMO then puts the onus back on him. He should have gone through with the speech.

The point is that practically every potential speaker you can think of has a history that can raise "concerns" from one segment of the population or another.

So? Do members of the campus community have a duty to keep their mouths shut when the institution decides to publicly honor someone they find objectionable? Why do students and faculty have to listen to views they find objectionable while potential commencement speakers have no reciprocal obligation?


Of course they shouldn't be required to keep their mouths shut. They've got the right to protest the choice of speaker(s), and if the administration holds its ground and the speech goes on, they've got a right to protest in non-disruptive ways during the ceremony.

The point is a willingness to listen to views one may even find offensive---and yes, even during the sacred ritual of college commencement exercises.

The people who are voicing these complaints are going to lengths to explain that it's not about listening to views, it's about the public conferral of honor. You're claiming that they have a problem listening to views they find offensive, which suggests you don't take them at their word on their stated reasons for objecting to the commencement speakers (perhaps your objection would fade if we referred to them as "commencement honorees"?).


This sounds like the distinction some of us have made between the Hall of Merit (statistical recognition) and the Hall of Fame (conferring an honor), with both of us (and robin, and many others) reversing our roles. You can choose to address this irony if you wish. (smile)

But again, I understand the distinction you're making; I just don't happen to find it persuasive.

I think we're going around in circles on this, so I want to go back to the point Robin made above: *if* they selected commencement speakers by ballot* where staff, faculty, students, and admins each got a vote, then the selection would embody the will of the campus community.

I can see the dangers of a potential ideological overload in that sort of an arrangement, but I wouldn't object to it, if voting were to be made mandatory for all members of the university community, and the voting process weren't patterned on the All-Star game model.
   2199. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4708164)
I dunno, going to Vassar is really going to lessen the chance they are going to get someone I'd be that upset about. It wasn't like they were inviting D'Amato or Ed Meese.

If I were choosing the Vassar speaker, I'd search for any living alumna who played in this historic game. She'd be an inspiration to anyone.
   2200. zenbitz Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4708174)
Bengtsson's paper challenged findings from the UN's Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that the global average temperature would rise by up to 4.5C if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were allowed to double.


This is a little weak. He submitted his paper to A SINGLE journal. It was rejected. That's not "suppressed". Now, I agree it's totally possible -- even likely -- that persons reviewing his paper rejected it because it challenged their own work or the field's consensus. Scientists can be petty like that.

But I find it hard to believe he cannot get it published (assuming the work is even mediocre). In fact, usually you can list people that you request NOT review your paper. Probably you can't list "everyone who disagrees with me".

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