Archive for April, 2005

2005 Campus Outrage Awards

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Campus Magazine Online has listed its top five outrages on college campuses this year. Among them is a LeMoyne College who was expelled for defending spanking as a form of punishment, an economics professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas who “received disciplinary sanctions for making an economically verifiable argument that homosexuals engage less in long-term financial planning than heterosexuals because they typically do not have children,” a student group who invited a rabid anti-Semite to campus at Carnegie Mellon University, a shock-jock at Occidental College who was fired for sexual harassment against his entire audience, and the ongoing controversy over Harvard’s Lawrence Summers.

Via Jeff Blogworthy.

Arthur Don’t Much Like Conservatives

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

Infamous far lefty Nate Arthur’s column yesterday generated an informed and reasoned response from my good friend Richard Hatcher:

It isn’t like we hate puppies and mug protesters in Humanities Plaza just for kicks. We certainly do not publish weekly manifestos calling everyone who disagrees with us “fascists” and “brutal rednecks.” We hold a spectrum of beliefs that generally lean to the political right. These didn’t drop out of thin air. We came to them over time by watching how world events have unfolded, both in history and within our lifetimes, probably in the same way that Arthur came to hold his own beliefs. Sure, we might poke fun at the left now and again, but we try to keep it fun.

Richard also had some nice things to say about me, for which I can only say thank you. The same goes for him!

Haints and Creepies

Friday, April 22nd, 2005

The Ghosts and Spirits of Tennessee blog has been updated.

Atlas Shrugged…. After Trying to Lift This Book

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

I just finished reading Ayn Rand’s greatest work, Atlas Shrugged. The story is consistent with Rand’s philosophy: all humans should be motivated by their rational self interest, laissez faire capitalism is the only just system, collectivism of all forms is to be rejected, and government should be extremely minimal.

There is much to enjoy about Atlas Shrugged. The story, in which the creative minds of the world go on strike, is fascinating. While her heroic characters (Dagny Taggart, Rearden, Galt, and others) may all seem the same, it must be remembered that Rand’s philosophy is fully integrated; it offers no contradictions whatsoever. Thus, in her view, the ideal human is a hard working, atheistic egoist. Such a philosophy may be shocking to those who have never read Rand (and I certainly would never agree with her atheism), there is much truth to her claims about rational self interest. As Adam Smith, father of modern economics wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” Atlas Shrugged, like most of Rand’s philosophy, repeatedly pounds this point home.

Overall, I would heartily recommend this book. Not because I agree with it all (I don’t), but because it shows a worldview that one is probably not going to get in a college classroom. Capitalism IS a far better system than socialism, and anyone who doubts this needs to read this book (or just about anything else Rand has written).

The Truth About the Canadian Healthcare System

Thursday, April 21st, 2005

MTSU chemistry professors offers an outstanding critique of the Canadian healthcare system.

Via Mark Rose

Frist Presidential Update

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist continues to position himself for a possible run at the presidency in 2008. If he decides to run (which I predict he will), he’s on his way to having plenty of funds. With no real front runner (yet), Frist might very well find himself being the Republican presidential nominee.

Oklahoma City: 10 Years Later

Tuesday, April 19th, 2005

It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. I remember where I was when I first heard about this tragedy… I had just gotten out of school, and the person who was picking me up informed me. I remember being shocked that such an attack could happen on American soil. I thought we were insulated, but I learned otherwise. My condolences to all the family members of those who died in the attack.

Teaching Vs. Research

Monday, April 18th, 2005

A recent controvery of the dismissal of Middle Tennessee State University professor Dennis Kramer has brought an old debate to the forefront: what is more important, teaching ability or research ability. Kramer is being let go because “his academic research was lagging too far behind.” Most seem to agree that he is a good teacher (though there may well be more to this story that we are not aware of).

My personal take on the matter is that if Kramer is a good teacher, he should be allowed to stay. Call me unrefined, but shouldn’t the primary purpose of a university be to educate students? I have seen some of what “research” produces, especially in liberal arts. To call much of it “pyschobabble” would be an understatement.

So let’s not worry too much about Kramer’s lackluster research and instead focus on his teaching ability. If it is up to par, and if he has no other blemishes, then let him keep his job. Given the number of lousy teachers, universities need all the good professors they can get.

Knox Dems Elect New Officers

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

The Knox County Democratic Party elected new officers recently. Jim Gray, who was criticized by some in his party, was easily reelected as Chairman. Other notables elected include Delainia Davis, who challenged Davis for the chairmanship, and UT professor Mark Harmon. These Democrats no doubt hope to capitalize on the recent troubles in the Republican Party.

Time to Pay Up!

Friday, April 15th, 2005

Today is tax day, as I’m sure most of you are aware. While doing your last second filings, consider the benefits of the Fair Tax.