Current Events Archive

December 14, 2012

The Experiment That Has Failed

Of all I’ve read about the shootings Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting I think Phil Plait said it best, Online and in the media I see a similar urge with those talking about this. And it’s a natural reaction to...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 3:39 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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December 5, 2012

“On The Road To Greece”

When some of our politicians talk about the US being on the road to Greece, do they mean this? Greece’s economic troubles are often blamed on a public sector packed full of redundant workers, a lavish pension system and uncompetitive...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 8:01 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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December 3, 2012

A Naive Suggestion

Next time, why don’t candidates for public office tell us, in terms of policy and style, how they will govern and let us decide if we want to be governed that way? At a recent Harvard University Institute of Politics...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 8:08 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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October 20, 2012

Cheerleaders, Bible Quotations and Free Speech

I’ve been meaning to comment of this for a few days but politicking has drained much of my time. Here’s the issue in a nut shell, A judge stopped an East Texas school district on Thursday from barring cheerleaders from...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 6:31 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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October 14, 2012

Jonathan Turley On Free Speech

This post is a little dated, two days late, but still relevant even at the speed of the internet. Here are a few snippets from Jonathan Turley’s Washington Post essay, “Shut up and play nice: How the Western world is...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 8:19 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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September 24, 2012

Quotation Strange Remark Of The Day

When Mitt Romney has an original observation its always worth repeating. When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 2:16 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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September 4, 2012

Libraries Are Fragile Things

They can be burnt, bombed and abandoned. They can also be defunded. Such is the case with my local Pomona Public Library. In the end it wasn’t completely defunded. Its budget was cut from the neighborhood of $1.5M a year...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 3:19 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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August 10, 2012

Now Fareed Zakaria?

Fareed Zakaria is smart. He is smart enough to avoid plagiarizing the work of someone else. But apparently he did it anyway. In his Time Magazine opinion piece, “The Case of Gun Control,” he rather clearly recycled the words of...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 12:47 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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July 12, 2012

Today’s Post Is Really Abnormal

I’ve spent a large part of the last few days going over and meeting about my City’s General Fund Budget. At over 180 pages, it is a rather intimidating document. The several other related budget documents don’t make it any...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 7:54 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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July 3, 2012

What Ancient Scribal Training May Tell Us About UVa’s Crisis

Charles Halton explains it all at Awilum.com. Head over there to understand how knowledge of ancient scribal training may help us through one of several crises in higher education. Yes, Charles and I do agree on more than the importance...

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June 28, 2012

On The Inefficiencies Of Higher Education

Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, has an abnormally interesting (and insightful) article in Slate. He reflects on his father coming to the US, the forced resignation and rehiring of University of Virginia...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 10:16 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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June 27, 2012

Update On Our Local Public Library

I wrote about this the other day. The current situation is confusing. I think our Pomona City Council voted to fund the library for about three additional months and pray for a miracle. But I’m not even sure of the...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 12:33 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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June 17, 2012

On The Obscurity of Classics

There’s an instructive if depressing article on the termination of the Teresa Sullivan, until very recently the President of University of Virginia, in the Washington Post. Here are couple of snippets: Leaders of the University of Virginia’s governing board ousted...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:58 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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June 14, 2012

Our Local Public Library May Close

I’ve written about it before. The Pomona Public Library public library is one of the treasures of our area. Over the years it has become an integral part of our lives. Shirley uses it regularly; I use it occasionally. But...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 4:25 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day Earth

There are more abnormally interesting Earth Day cards at Someecards Via Climate Progress...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 1:33 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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March 27, 2012

The War Words

There’s crazy stuff and there’s crazy stuff, but nothing much matches the suggestion from The New York City Department of Education that the following words be removed from standardized tests. Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological) Alcohol (beer and liquor),...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 3:12 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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March 21, 2012

No Cynicism Here

A Romney campaign spokesman on CNN: CNN HOST: Is there a concern that Santorum and Gingrich might force the governor to tack so far to the right it would hurt him with moderate voters in the general election. ERIC FEHRNSTROM...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:21 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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February 25, 2012

Judicial Distemperament

Guest Blogger Lawrence Rafferty writes a very disturbing post on Jonathan Turley: Res ipsa loquitur ("The thing itself speaks"). Here’s the first paragraph. There is a surprising story out of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania that seems the perfect storm of religious tensions....

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Posted by Duane Smith at 4:05 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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February 3, 2012

Quotation Of The Day

On Planned Parenthood and the Komen Foundation: A multi-year concerted effort to shut down a nonprofit for ideological reasons, one even pursued in the halls of Congress: not just fine, but applauded. A pushback against said partisan efforts? Tyranny! Villainy!...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 4:38 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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February 2, 2012

Now The President

Stop it. Just Stop it. Stop citing the Bible and/or Jesus in favor of (or against) anything. It says exactly nothing that might directly inform our modern world about anything and that includes tax policy. Truthfully, it says very little...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 5:46 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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February 1, 2012

A Biblical Principle, You Say

"It's a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher's pay scale, you'll attract people who aren't called to teach,” so said Alabama State Sen. Shadrack McGill. But as far as I can tell he didn’t vouchsafe to us exactly what...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 2:33 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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January 31, 2012

Claremont McKenna College Caught

Claremont McKenna College, a liberal arts school near Los Angeles, said a college official had reported inaccurate SAT entrance exam statistics since 2005. The SAT scores for critical reading and/or math were generally inflated by an average of 10 to...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 7:14 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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January 17, 2012

No New Post For Wednesday, January 18, 2012

While I am not exactly blackingout today, Abnormal Interests is otherwise on strike to protest the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and “Protect IP” or “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:58 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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December 10, 2011

Quotation Of The Day

Ed Brayton wrote, Rod Blagojevich was sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in prison after being found guilty of 18 charges of corruption, including trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat after he was elected president. That’ll teach him. We don’t...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 8:44 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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November 17, 2011

Going After Women Voters

“Newt Gingrich said a Gingrich-Hermain Cain ticket would be ‘a real possibility’ if he won the Republican presidential nomination.” - The Hill...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:26 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day

It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions, but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:37 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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August 18, 2011

Why Jon Huntsman Will Not Get The Republican Nomination

“To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” - Jon Huntsman Tweet Despite his snarky final words, Jon Huntsman is either just not crazy enough or is unwilling to pretend that he...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 4:28 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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August 5, 2011

From The Guys Who Gave AAA Ratings To Dealers Of Worthless CDOs

Standard & Poor's downgrades US debt rating to AA+. This is the same Standard & Poor's who, along with other credit rating services, didn't see the risk in most Collateralized Loan Obligations and other “financial products” with almost no value...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 7:34 PM | Read more on Current Events |
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August 2, 2011

Varnishing A Turd

Perhaps I’m being way too cynical and I was indeed thrilled to see Gabby Giffords’ return to the House floor but the timing of her return reminded me of the common marketing procedure of varnishing a turd. If something is...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 9:20 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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July 31, 2011

A Prophecy That Is Coming True

“We will make it so that a Democrat cannot govern as a Democrat.” Grover Norquest, President of the United States Dictator of the Republican Party and apparently of the Democratic Party as well, uttered this prophecy at a college reunion...

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Posted by Duane Smith at 11:45 AM | Read more on Current Events |
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Titles Only From Here On

July 29, 2011

A Simple, Clean, Solution

July 24, 2011

Truism Of The Day

July 15, 2011

Quotation Of The Day

July 9, 2011

When To Have A $350 Bottle Of Wine

July 7, 2011

Memory, History And Policy

July 2, 2011

It’s A Win Win

“She Didn’t Want To Get In That Green Stuff”

June 30, 2011

Oh Foolish Me

June 19, 2011

Someone Loves Government

June 17, 2011

On Genre Identification

June 8, 2011

But Then He Doesn't Need To Look At It

June 4, 2011

Prayer In Public Schools – What's So Hard To Understand?

May 17, 2011

The Press And The Crazy

May 6, 2011

Among The Problems With Anti- Sharia Legislation: Halachah

May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden’s Death

April 1, 2011

This Is Not An April Fools Joke

March 25, 2011

Taking Our Country Back

March 21, 2011

Paul Krugman on Elizabeth Warren,

March 16, 2011

Some “Communist” On Collective Bargaining

March 11, 2011

Earthquake in Japan

March 9, 2011

The End Of Philosophy At The University Of Nevada, Las Vegas?

February 15, 2011

The ACLU, The First Amendment and A Muslim Charter School

February 13, 2011

On The CEO President And Why It Won’t Work

February 12, 2011

Juan Cole On Egypt

February 2, 2011

A “Fool’s” Perspective On The Deficient

January 29, 2011

The “Philosophical” Basis For Not Taking Government Assistance

January 23, 2011

Headline Of The Day

January 20, 2011

Governor Bentley’s Unbrotherly Remarks In Larger Context

January 11, 2011

Assault Rifles On The Defensive

January 10, 2011

Anonymous Reason

December 22, 2010

Good News For The Humanities

December 8, 2010

Things To Remember

November 3, 2010

Making California Harder Govern, Again

November 1, 2010

Things Could Get Worse

October 31, 2010

How Much Math Do We Really Need?

October 24, 2010

Negative Campaigning Works

October 4, 2010

Here We Go Again

September 23, 2010

On The Constraint Of Free Expression

September 3, 2010

Quotation of the Day

September 2, 2010

An Academic Balance Sheet

August 28, 2010

Is There Anything That Will Keep A “Family Values” Candidate Off The Ballot?

August 14, 2010

Give Jay Valentine A Job

August 13, 2010

Amazing

August 11, 2010

The Left Thinks This Is All About Them

August 8, 2010

Calling All Eunuch Judges

July 31, 2010

Recent Comments From Ed Brayton

June 5, 2010

They Want Their Country Back

June 4, 2010

You Knew This Was Coming

May 30, 2010

Another Mission From God Aimed At Additional Harm To California

May 29, 2010

The Amazing Mind Of Glen Beck

May 21, 2010

How Convenient

May 8, 2010

“Philosophers Hold Their Seats”

April 10, 2010

Stop It! Just Stop It!

March 23, 2010

In Which I Support Ann Coulter (Sort Of)

March 14, 2010

The American People Think, The American People Believe, The American People Want

March 9, 2010

Another Reason For Health Care Reform

January 13, 2010

Don't Pray For Haiti

December 6, 2009

It's The Stupid Voters Stupid

November 13, 2009

The "Impact" On The Humanities In Britain

October 9, 2009

Omama's Nobel Peace Price

September 28, 2009

Oh, The Inconvenience Of It All

September 11, 2009

Social Security’s Evolution

September 10, 2009

With A Little Practice Mike Duvall Could Become A Liar

August 29, 2009

The Joy and Nobility of Politics

August 26, 2009

Edward Kennedy February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009

August 11, 2009

Say What?

July 18, 2009

Did You See The News Last Night?

July 13, 2009

Ed Brayton Is Correct

July 8, 2009

I'm Not Sure What I Think About This

May 27, 2009

Never Give Weapons To People Who Are Crazier Than You

May 26, 2009

Quotation Of The Day

May 9, 2009

A Sign Of The Times

May 4, 2009

Entitlements

April 10, 2009

Quotation of the Day

March 31, 2009

The Lobbyists' Lobbyists