Happy Halloween, everyone! If you don't mind, describe some of the costumes you have worn while trick-or-treating. My favorite was an Indian outfit. My mother owned a fringed buckskin jacket. A little face paint and I was fit for frightening!
As this story makes clear, Democrats think that if you don't support their agenda, you're either (1) stupid, (2) ignorant, (3) bigoted, or (4) irrational. It never occurs to these insufferable elitists that one can have different values than Democrats. The American people are tired of the condescension, as the elitists will discover (to their chagrin) on Tuesday.
Here is the latest Associated Press ranking. My beloved Arizona Wildcats (7-1), who beat UCLA yesterday, have moved up to 13th (from 15th). It may not last long, however, since the Cats play 10th-ranked Stanford next week in Palo Alto.
It seems a century since November 2008, when we debated if we had become a “center-left” country; we believed that Sarah Palin would fade from the headlines; we had not heard of Glenn Beck, Obamacare, death panels, birthers and the Tea Party; and all the talk was Obama, Obama, Obama.
Was it the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” of which Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke during President Clinton’s second term?
Or was it President Obama?
Faced with three urgent issues—the economy, Iraq and Afghanistan—he chose to squander critical time and political capital in a catastrophic battle over health care—whose town hall meetings may have helped bring about the Tea Party.
Bill Clinton’s campaign advisers stressed, “It’s the economy, stupid,” but in a far worse crisis President Obama failed to focus on the economy. He has shown a lack of experience, toughness and leadership.
Experts say that revolutions take place when “rising expectations” fail to materialize. And so from a country that was probably not center-left but center-right has come the Tea Party revolt.
James Adler Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 28, 2010
Note from KBJ: Barack Obama has overreached. It's that simple.
This morning, in my hometown of Fort Worth, I did a four-mile footrace along the Trinity River. The weather was perfect: clear, cool, and calm. Though my right hip ached with every step, I placed eighth overall of 227 finishers. I placed second of 10 in my age group (men 50-54). My mile pace was 7:17.59. (Elapsed time = 29:10.4.) My average heart rate was 142 and my maximum 155. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend, as I am.
"Putting a Price on Professors" (Review, Oct. 23) is an interesting idea that certainly appeals to popular sentiment but which, like most overly simplistic remedies, isn't enough to make things better.
I am not an academic, but I do understand that the power of the American university system is precisely that it doesn't require a well-defined quid pro quo. It is the only space where new ideas and knowledge can be encouraged, explored, debated and developed without the requirement that a predictable profit be generated. Where else can truly revolutionary ideas come from? The struggle to find balance between pure and applied research isn't new and no simple idea, such as a spreadsheet, is likely to ease that struggle. It will simply push the balance more toward the applied. How could demanding predictable productivity and revenue from university professors not stifle scholarly research?
As a parent with two daughters in college and a third preparing to go, I, too, am dismayed by the cost of an American university education. I believe the cost has increased at such a high rate over the last 30 years because of landscaping, food courts and lavish building programs. As a society, we've simply acquiesced to the kids' desire to go to school at luxury resorts. "Putting a price on professors" won't fix that problem.
Bowling Green, Ky.
Using the stated criteria for faculty members, it would be enlightening to learn how the football coach at Texas A&M would stack up if his annual salary was weighted against the number of students taught, tuition generated and research grants obtained.
Like business owners, the taxpayer owners of public university systems have a right to know what their funds are buying and the extent to which the money contributes to the government's goals for higher education. The Texas A&M project should be closely watched and possibly imitated.
Jane S. Shaw
John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
Professors do make some original contributions to our store of knowledge, usually in the sciences, but all too often all we hear about are expensive investigations of the already known.
Faculty bristle at any suggestion that they are employees in a business enterprise, workers with a product to sell, customers to please and a bottom line to consider. But maybe they should relent and accept their corporate destiny, which would include a public-relations department to get their story out. As your story illustrates, however, it's hard to know what the story might be.
Australian law professor Mirko Bagaric, a utilitarian, wonders why progressives are so vile. I've wondered that myself, having been smeared by them repeatedly since coming out as a conservative. I think it's because progressives haven't grown up. Like children, they live in fantasy land. When they don't get their way, they resort to name-calling, bullying, lying, hooliganism, and other forms of juvenile misconduct. As for the direction of causation, I think it's clear: Progressivism doesn't cause vile behavior; rather, those suffering from arrested emotional development gravitate to progressivism, which rewards, enables, and encourages it.
The Texas Rangers have run into a buzzsaw. San Francisco's starting pitching has been outstanding. The Rangers come home to Arlington for (up to) three games, starting tomorrow night. We must win two of three at home to have any chance of winning the World Series. A sweep would be wonderful. Here is a Wall Street Journal story about two Ranger-loving nuns.
Boole is one of the most misunderstood of the major philosophers of logic. He gets criticised for things he did not do, or did not do wrong. He never confused logic with psychology. He gets off without blame for errors and omissions he should have corrected himself. He gets credit for things he did not do, or did not do right. He did not write the first book on pure mathematics, he did not present a decision procedure, and he did not devise ‘Boolean algebra’. And perhaps worst of all he fails to get credit for subtle logical insights and for discoveries that must have been difficult. Even where there is no question of blame or praise, his ideas are often misdescribed or, worse, ignored. As will be seen below, he never used the plus sign for exclusive-or, contrary to many logicians and historians. . . . Boole’s three ‘signs of operation’ . . . do not denote what are known today as Boolean operations. He never subscribed to the so-called Boolean interpretation; for example he never expressed the slightest doubt that ‘‘Every triangle is a polygon’’ implies ‘‘Some triangle is a polygon’’. If he had he would never have been tempted by the Solutions Fallacy. The syllogisms rejected by the misnamed Boolean interpretation, precisely those that cannot be derived without the Solutions Fallacy, are fully accepted by Boole. . . . And he fails to receive credit for many significant contributions that he did make.
(John Corcoran, "Aristotle's Prior Analytics and Boole's Laws of Thought," History and Philosophy of Logic 24 [December 2003]: 261-88, at 282-3 [parenthetical references omitted; ellipses added])