~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I O 93 93/93 I O ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFB has died

William F. Buckley Jr., author, speaker, intellectual, and founder of National Review died today. In many ways, I owe my political education (such as it is, a work in progress still) to this one man. A shame I never got to meet him.

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Kadnine reviews Indoctrinate U

"Somewhere along the way, the Campus Free Speech Movement got killed by University regulations, and policies that are supposed to be ensuring tolerance and diversity are instead, being used to silence people with alternative views." - From Indoctrinate U

The other night I watched Evan Coyne Maloney’s documentary film, Indoctrinate U. It's quite good, I'm happy to report, and well worth your consideration. It's in limited distribution right now with screenings only in locations that demonstrate sufficient interest to make it commercially viable. But where there's demand, direct marketing technology manages a supply! It's available here for download, and well worth the $9.99. In fact, every paid download adds to its chances for a wider release.

Indoctrinate U highlights some of the more egregious examples of leftist academic orthodoxy enslaved to a fixed notion of "diversity." That is, diversity in everything but where it counts most, diversity of thought. Student Republicans are harassed, closet Republican faculty members dismissed, dissenting voices are shouted down, and all of it compared with wry irony to the heady days of the sixties and seventies and the Campus Free Speech Movement. The same student radicals fighting for a place in academic circles then, make up the intolerant, tenured "old guard" of today.

David Thompson makes an important point in his review of the film last week:

Despite Maloney’s own right-of-centre leanings, Indoctrinate U is surprisingly non-party political and, as FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff explains, many mainstream Democrats could well be shocked by how a supposed marketplace of ideas has become so intolerant and congealed.

True. (In honesty, his review is better than mine, and you should read it all.)

But I'll supplement his excellent piece with something Thompson doesn't touch upon. This is my first internet video download not paid for by corporate advertising sponsors, something I find remarkable. In that respect, Indoctrinate U is as much an experimental new financial model in film making as it is an indictment of academic misbehavior. And though it's an amateur film, it's not amateurishly produced. I've seen much worse produced with far higher budgets. In a podcast interview with Glenn and Helen Reynolds last year, Maloney detailed how digital cameras and high quality editing software is finally inexpensive enough to allow just about anyone to try a career in self-produced film. ("Ten years ago it would have been prohibitively expensive... It probably wouldn't have even crossed my mind to do it if the barriers had been that high.") Well, the results are impressive.

If you have the means and desire to do so, you can support his work by downloading from the Indoctrinate U store.

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Three observations

... and all of them rather bleak, I'm afraid.

The NYT reported yesterday that Congressional auditors are are a teensy bit unsettled over what they perceive as inadequate security precautions at nuclear research facilities on college campuses:

An unclassified version of the audit found uncertainty “about whether N.R.C.’s [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] assessment reflects the full range of security risks and potential consequences of an attack on a research reactor.” The audit said that the rules “may need immediate strengthening” and that more parts of research reactors were probably vulnerable to damage than the commission assumed.


But while power reactors are surrounded by fences and guard towers, the research reactors are often in buildings on densely populated campuses. Some have added concrete Jersey barriers to protect against truck bombs, and better doors. But the “first responders” who would arrive if intruders set off an alarm are most likely to be the unarmed campus police officers, the audit said.

Observation #1: Sleep tight, America!

But beyond the obvious, um... unnerving effect learning this has on me, it carries ramifications that go well beyond possible terrorist attacks.

I was talking second amendment rights with a friend a while back. I think I shocked him by saying that government should designate no weapon technologies as "too dangerous" for law-abiding citizens to possess, up to and including nuclear technology. As his eyes went wide I assured him that, just as I think police record checks are constitutional for pistol sales, civilians who could likewise prove responsibility (and a big, BIG part of that would be demonstrating secure facilities) should likewise be granted nuclear research licenses. I specifically had in mind academic research for medical tech and energy independence.

This new development weakens my argument, does it not? And by extension, threatens to close facilities devoted to medical and energy research?

Research reactors are a threatened species. With a long drought in the construction of power reactors, many universities have shrunk or closed their nuclear engineering departments.

And finally, in light of the recent high-profile school shootings, these security revelations should signal the death of "gun free zones" on school campuses. They won't, of course. Plenty of people will continue believing that gun control controls crime, rather than our ability to deter and stop criminals. And terrorists. And that saddens me.

(Via: Candace de Russy @ Phi Beta Cons)

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Semicolons rule, Bush drools

I agree with John. Is there some sorta rule whereby NYT writers are required to inject political drama?

The politics of punctuation. Who knew!?

UPDATE: Semicolon Celebration! Yeah. I'm a long-time grammar nerd. Not that I'm good at it, I just like talking about it.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Obama worship is reaching dizzying heights

Like a car wreck, I just can't pull my eyes away from the spectacle.

Mark Steyn:

[If] you’re running for president not as an unexceptional first-term senator with a thin resume but as the new Messiah, the new Kennedy, the new Gandhi, the new Martin Luther King, you can’t blame folks for leaping ahead to the next stage in the mythic narrative... [The Ottowa Sun's Earl MacRae writes:] “Barack Obama is waving his arms. The crowd is cheering. I see the image I don’t want to see. I see the image that is the terrible sickness in the great republic. I see Barack Obama one minute smiling, the people crying his name. I see Barack Obama grab his chest and his eyes widen and his mouth opens and the crowd screams as Barack Obama, black candidate for the presidency of the United States of America, falls to the ground dead, an assassin’s bullet inside him.”

Jesus. Assassination porn so early? He's not even been elected yet!

James Taranto:

Obama has a talent for eliciting intense emotion--an ability that can be dangerous in a politician. What more does he have to offer? That's a hard question to answer, and it makes the prospect of an Obama presidency quite worrisome.

More Taranto:

What are we to make of Obama himself in the midst of all this adulation? A cynic would say that he is a manipulator if not a demagogue, exploiting the gullible to further his own ambitions. A more charitable view is that his intentions are all to the good, that he has simply figured out how to tap into a genuine desire for inspiration in politics, and that if elected he will use his political powers to do good for the country.

Each view seems plausible, but which is correct? Does anyone know Barack Obama well enough to say? And if not, isn't he the candidate who has a problem with authenticity?

Joel "I don't support the troops" Stein:

Obamaphilia has gotten creepy. I couldn't figure out if the two canvassers who came to my door Sunday had taken Ecstasy or were just fantasizing about an Obama presidency, but I feared they were going to hug me.

Joel. Frickin'. Stein. Even he's creeped out.

And check out Lee's video free-association exercise. It's spot on.

UPDATE: “It wasn’t very presidential, but it was really effective.

Holy cow.

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Not from Kentucky

... for once. Stupid people identified. France yuks it up (France!)

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