URLs du Jour


  • UNH makes the big time with a glowing article at Inside Higher Ed. It discusses Provost Bruce Mallory's "Democracy Imperative" project, which is:
    … a new community of practice and national network of multidisciplinary academics and civic leaders in the fields of public deliberation, democratic dialogue, and social change who are dedicated to the advancement of deliberative democracy through higher education.
    OK, so that sounds like a perfect storm of academic buzzwords, and you can read lots more at the links. However, I was favorably impressed with Provost Mallory's "Academic Freedom Forum" a few months back. So there's a decent chance that there's useful substance behind the verbal fog.

    And there's apparently no truth to the rumor that the Art Department is renaming one of its display spaces "The Mallory Gallery." Disappointing!

  • New Hampshire also makes an appearance at the Cato@Liberty blog, where Tom Firey looks at our state's recent near head-on collision with a mandatory seat belt law. The bill's sponsors trotted out the standard argument that since the state might incur additional expenses for some non-belted accident victims, that entitled them to force everyone to buckle up. Tom points out:
    The slippery slope problem of such thinking is obvious. Because government provides an education benefit to children, can it mandate certain behaviors for adults of child-bearing age? Because government provides some health benefits, can it regulate everyone's risk-taking behavior? Because government provides retirement benefits, can it dictate people's employment decisions?
    If you're on a slippery slope, it probably makes more sense than usual to buckle up, although I trust you to make your own decisions on the matter.

  • Twenty years ago today, President Reagan gave his "Tear Down This Wall" speech at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. Power Line has video and reminiscences from the speechwriter, Peter Robinson. Fun Fact:
    With three weeks to go before it was delivered, the speech was circulated to the State Department and the National Security Council. Both attempted to suppress it. The draft was naïve. It would raise false hopes. It was clumsy. It was needlessly provocative. State and the NSC submitted their own alternate drafts—my journal records that there were no fewer than seven. In each, the call to tear down the wall was missing.
    By being "needlessly provocative" etc., President Reagan helped make a safer and freer world for my kids. I'm grateful.

  • But it's not all serious world-saving stuff here at Pun Salad today. Out in darkest Minnesota, some person claiming to be "James Kirk" has started a sniglet blog. His initial entry:
    Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
    But down in the comments he's done one better:
    I think that Bozone layer may also be responsible for the Dopeler effect, which makes rapidly approaching stupid ideas seem smarter than they really are.
    Good for a couple "heh"s, appropriate since the link is via Instapundit.