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Showing posts from November, 2012

other campuses' children

If you read Inside Higher Ed or other sources that cover "higher education," you learn that there are scandals low and high surrounding America's colleges and universities--high-level appointments without the degrees their resumes state, scandalously low adjunct pay, college degrees that lead to nothing but unpaid student loans, and much more. So Penn State's Jerry Sandusky problem is certainly news in terms of the extent of the egregiousness, but it is not the first university to invoke a "conspiracy of silence" as part of its long-term strategic plan.

(The newly indited Graham Spanier, like Sandusky now in a Pennsylvania prison with death-row inmates, continues to deny everything and vigorously defend himself as an expert sociologist who was an abused child himself and thus would never allow such crimes to occur under his watch. It very much should be understood that he, like everyone else, is innocent until proven guilty, and yet the facts that can be v…

Joseph A. Domino

I just stumbled upon this Joseph A. Domino piece, and was reminded that he was one of the early supporters of Fight for Your Long Day. Thanks, Joe. (I was searching for a recent reprint of his amazon review but couldn't find it.)

In a week where I've learned that another good friend lost a job, in this case, a so-called "good job," and that Governor Corbett has his steak knife out and is taking another look at Pennsylvania public-employee pensions, I'm still stumbling upon this kind of thing all over the web, and then I get caught up in how relatively good I have it and wonder when some more awful version of life will find me.

Okay, I'm going to crouch under the desk and hope they pass by.

And then in the middle of the night, when no one is looking, maybe I'll sneak back up here and watch Bill Black "Grand Bargain or Great Betrayal" videos at realnews.com. Black has it all--paranoia, tenure, facts, even a fair amount of his hair, and an office …

peace and trade

Last week in the Foucault seminar, I was reminded of a bit of Montesquieu from my undergraduate days--before all my big plans fell apart and I graduated in seven semesters with the only degree I could hustle up under such hurried constraints (an English major).

Anyway, the reading for this coming week, the first three lectures in Foucault's The Birth of Biopolitics include his summation of Kant's Perpetual Peace (1795), a short accessible text I read in the first few years after I graduated. Foucault writes: "The guarantee of perpetual peace is therefore actually commercial globalization" (58).

That was enough to get me scurrying around the web for the bit of Montesquieu I had only imperfectly remembered, and I found it at this University of Chicago joint: "Peace is the natural effect of trade. Two nations who traffic with each other become reciprocally dependent; for if one has an interest in buying, the other has an interest in selling; and thus their union …

never, not, or no longer a toss up?

Nate Silver's Political Calculus, aka Five Thirty Eight, accumulates the data from polls far and wide, but in battleground states most of all, and insists that President Obama has an eighty percent chance of winning the election.

We'll see when we get there, and one thing I know for sure is that we're getting there soon. It seems like roughly half the country, or at least its voting citizens, will be upset with the outcome, but I still suspect a majority of us will also be relieved it's over.