Spineless Hawkeyes

Some law students at the University of Iowa are up in arms because a professor in a "negotiations class" assigned and read passages "containing racial slurs".

The passages were—and once again, I am not making this up—"from Robert Caro's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of former President Lyndon Johnson and … a 1964 speech by a black sharecropper named Fannie Lou Hamer." You can read Ms. Hamer's speech here.

It's ludicrous to think this is true outrage, of course. No sane person believes it's racist to quote a prizewinning book or a famous civil rights speech. It's just a handy lever opportunistically used by activists for pushing the UofI administration around. And (equally obviously) the UofI administration lacks the backbone to respond to these challenges with the short shrift they deserve. (Via Protein Wisdom.)

Liberal New Hampshire

Via the John Stark Review, there's an article in the Concord (NH) Monitor that reports New Hampshire rating as "one of the 10 most liberal states in the country."

But if you haven't fainted dead away at the shock of that, you can move on to read the fine print: the measure is based solely on the state's laws on gay rights and abortion. And one of the three groups involved in the ranking is the "SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective," which I am not making up, so take the whole thing with as big a grain of salt as you'd like.

The groups have a (Linux-hostile) website here where you can find out about their ranking criteria and where other states fall. They're pretty hostile to "Choose Life" license plates, although I don't think that impacts a state's ranking.