Free Dartmouth
10/25/2003 08:40:00 PM | Nic

Go Dartmouth Kegs!

10/25/2003 04:14:00 PM | Kate

the village voice reads my mind.

why lieberman should drop out of the race

10/24/2003 05:48:00 PM | Brad Plumer

So who's the real anti-Semite? Over at Armavirumque Stefan Beck is digging up all sorts of attacks on Paul Krugman's supposed anti-Semitism. Stefan, of course, claims Krugman's article was worse than Mel Gibson's "The Passion." But it looks like God himself sees things a little differently:

Actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of Christ" was struck by lightning during shooting. Caviezel was uninjured, but a producer described how he saw smoke coming from the actor's ear.

An assistant director on the film, Jan Michelini, was also hit -- for the second time in a few months. The first time, a lightning fork struck his umbrella during filming on top of a hill near Matera in Italy, causing light burns to the tips of his fingers.

The film, which is spoken in Latin and Aramaic, has come in for criticism from some religious leaders. It portrays the last hours of Jesus, but some Jewish and Roman Catholic groups are concerned the film will fuel anti-Semitism.
Point: Waligore.

10/24/2003 02:45:00 PM | T. Wood

The Ironic Curtain
From next May, though, there will be a new hard line across the land. When ten countries enter the European Union—Latvia, the last to hold a referendum, gave its nod on September 20th—the people in Ukrainian trans-Carpathia, along with those in the westernmost bits of Belarus and Russia, will find themselves once more on the wrong side of a border. And this time it will be one designed not to hold them in the grip of a regime, but to keep them out of the promised land that has welcomed erstwhile brother-nations. If these countries ever join the EU, it will not be for decades. Meanwhile, as if through a crystal curtain, they will see all too clearly how Europe sparkles compared with their own drab surroundings.

What is to become of the current CIS states (of the former Soviet Union) now that a pax Europa has conditionally embraced western and central Europe? It seems likely that Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia will become Europe's Mexico--a better position, certainly, than their current one but yet undesirable. Most troublesome is the much longer time periods required for European CIS countries to conform with EU membership stipulations; even cullionly Turkey has a better shot than they do.

10/24/2003 12:17:00 PM | Clint

One Year Ago
Senator Paul Wellstone died in a plane crash one year ago today. That Friday afternoon I was making calls to town clerks throughout Maine, clarifying their town's same day voter registration procedures for college students. The candidate whom I hoped would be getting these college votes favored single payer health care, like Wellstone. He was running a fully publicly financed campaign--the campaign finance system that Wellstone advocated. The work had to be done by five that afternoon, when the clerk's offices would be closing for the weekend just days before the election.

The Greens fielded a candidate against Wellstone, whose campaign imploded under his own shady qualifications. But before he was out of the race, I remember a conversation at a June Nader rally in Portland where a group of Greens, including the national party's chief fundraiser, tried to convince ourselves that Wellstone deserved a challenge. I hope none of us believed the lies we were telling each other to convince us of our righteousness. If the job in Maine hadn't panned out, I had probably planned going to Minnesota to work for Wellstone in anyway that I could.

One year ago, on the other side of the office the campaign receptionist was checking on his lunch break, and I glanced at his computer screen, and saw a picture of Wellstone. I was excited at first... something big must have happened on his campaign to merit such a placement. The caption read something like "Wellstone Missing" a little later it changed to to "Wellstone Missing in Plane Crash" to "Wellstone, 56, dead in Plane Crash."

I went into the parking lot, sat on a rock, and started to cry.

And then I pulled myself together, because the work had to be done by five. My voice was raw, and my eyes blurry, but I kept calling. And, as treacly as it may sound, it was the best thing I could do to honor Wellstone.

10/23/2003 07:47:00 PM | Timothy

Atrios on the Saudis
If the Moonie Times (and drudge) is to be believed, Pakistan is going to give Saudi some nukes. If you were SA what would you do? The only deterrence to preemption is having the thing it's trying to preempt.
There is a problem of incentives here....

10/23/2003 06:51:00 PM | Timothy

Susan Estrich, Rape, and Arnold
Slate has an article about 'mainstream feminist' law professor Susan Estrich:

Some found it surprising that one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's most outspoken defenders against charges of groping and harassing women was Susan Estrich, the feminist law professor, who has, by her own account, "spent much of my professional life fighting to reform the law regarding rape and protect women against sexual harassment."

The week before the election she attacked the Los Angles Times for running an exposé about the charges. She complained that the paper had cited outdated accusations, which is a little odd when she herself has argued so passionately against the need for "fresh complaints," saying it often takes women a long time to conquer their fears and report a sexual crime; she also took the newspaper to task for seeking out women who hadn't come forward, when she herself has written extensively on how hard it is to come forward in cases of sexual assault. It may or may not be relevant to all this that she was one of the Democrats later named to Schwarzenegger's transition team.

One could ask how Estrich went from condemning Clarence Thomas' whispered vulgarities to defending Arnold Schwarzenegger's whispered vulgarities in a single decade. Is Estrich a hypocrite, a political opportunist? Or have her views really changed? And if so, what does that tell us about her and the kind of feminism she practices?
Interesting, important and provocative questions. I remember questioning Estrich when she came to Dartmouth for right after Juanita Broderick. I couldn't understand why she defended Clinton on the basis that she knew him and knew he wouldn't need to do that. Overall I liked the Slate article, but I know how stories of this type work, so let me pick at one of the claims a bit.

But on a recent fact-checking gig about rape, I came across some of Estrich's old law review articles and realized that Estrich legal thought has long been more complicated than Slate suggests, so charges of rank opportunism can be overhyped. She had more intellectual resources than I had realized, and has long been willing to consider more than one side of the issue. This law review article of hers was published in 1992 describing her methods of teaching rape (so it is hard to say this was an adjusted position because later cases about Monica or Paula Jones):
The biases I bring to the teaching of rape sit at the surface, the hard edges of survival. It is not just that I think rape is important; I also think about it from a certain perspective. You survive rape, but you never leave it behind.

That's no excuse to stack the deck, and I don't think I do. I do my politics, albeit with limited success, outside the classroom, not in it. Besides, I have too much respect for the intelligence of my students to think that a day with me, or even a semester, will really alter their fundamental views. Sometimes students change their minds, but they do that on their own. I just try to make them think.

If I err, it is in the direction of making it harder to accept the simplistic solutions some feminists have put on the table. I don't believe all heterosexual sex is rape. n10 I don't believe mens rea should be irrelevant. n11 What I have been fighting for, over these years, is not to give rape special treatment because it happened to me and to so many others, but rather to stop treating it specially; to get rid of both the rules and the prejudices that have narrowed the scope of the crime far more than the words of the statutes, and have uniquely increased the burdens and obstacles to prosecution. n12
Many of the traditional rules of rape liability were premised on the notion that women lie; Wigmore went so far as to view rape complainants as fundamentally deranged. n27 I don't buy that for a moment nor, I expect, do most of my students. Yet even if only one of a hundred men, or one of a thousand, is falsely accused, the question is still how we can protect that man's right to disprove his guilt. Assume for a moment, I tell my students, that it was you, or your brother, or your boyfriend or your son, who was accused of rape by a casual date with a history of psychiatric problems, or by a woman he met in a bar who had a history of one-night stands. Would you exclude that evidence? What else can the man do to avoid a felony conviction and a ruined life? Where do you draw the line? But if you don't exclude the evidence, will some women as a result become unrapable, at least as a matter of law? That is, will women [*519] who have histories of mental instability or of "promiscuity" ever be able to convince juries who know those histories that they really were raped? n28
Ok, compare those last few sentences written in 1992 with how Slate says Estrich has radically changed her views:
She argued vehemently against using the victim's mental history or sexual past in court, but now she writes, "Imagine if it were your husband or brother. … Would you want to know if the woman making the accusation had been hospitalized for mental illness? Is there anything you wouldn't want to know about her?" She nakedly states the political motivations behind some of her shifts of position, explaining, "[T]he core of the dispute is not about what's welcome and what's unwelcome in terms of sexual harassment, but whose ox is being gored." Estrich has the grace to be honest about her reversals and the ambiguities they raise.
The other quotes may be damning, but the bold part is wrong or dishonest on Slate's part. Maybe it was also reprinted, but Estrich also said it first (?) in the 1992 law review article quoted above. Of course, if you see the context, it also does not appear as radically 'unfeminist', because it is a Professor challenging her students with a question (followed by an opposite one). Anyway, all this is to say that Estrich has some interesting, layered thought to draw upon in any public shift of her positions and tone. I am most definitely not saying I approve of her shifting support and public defenses which I do not understand.

Update: Here's from an article by Estrich in 1986:
In short, I am arguing that "consent" should be defined so that "no means no." And the "force" or "coercion" that negates consent ought be defined to include extortionate threats and deceptions of material fact. As for mens rea, unreasonableness as to consent, understood to mean ignoring [*1183] a woman's words, should be sufficient for liability: Reasonable men should be held to know that no means no, and unreasonable mistakes, no matter how honestly claimed, should not exculpate. Thus, the threshold of liability -- whether phrased in terms of "consent," "force" or "coercion," or some combination of the three, should be understood to include at least those non-traditional rapes where the woman says no or submits only in response to lies or threats which would be prohibited were money sought instead. n335 The crime I have described would be a lesser offense than the aggravated rape in which life is threatened or bodily injury inflicted, but it is, in my judgment, "rape."...
Conduct is labeled as criminal "to announce to society that these actions are not to be done and to secure that fewer of them are done." n336 As a matter of principle, we should be ready to announce to society our condemnation of coerced and nonconsensual sex and to secure that we have less of it. The message of the substantive law to men, and to women, should be made clear.

That does not mean that this crime will, or should, be easy to prove. The constitutional requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt may [*1184] well be difficult to meet in case where guilt turns on whose account is credited as to what was said. If the jury is in doubt, it should acquit. If the judge is uncertain, he should dismiss.

The message of the substantive law must be distinguished from the constitutional standards of proof. In this as in every criminal case, a jury must be told to acquit if it is in doubt. The requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt rests on the premise that it is better that ten guilty should go free than that one innocent man should be punished. But if we should acquit ten, let us be clear that the we are acquitting them not because they have an entitlement to ignore a woman's words, not because what they allegedly did was right or macho or manly, but because we live in a system that errs on the side of freeing the guilty.

10/22/2003 04:19:00 PM | Graham

Elliott Smith is dead.
The AP obit via

10/22/2003 03:44:00 PM | Graham

Hitchens takes on Mother Teresa
Of course this is a must-read.
This returns us to the medieval corruption of the church, which sold indulgences to the rich while preaching hellfire and continence to the poor. MT was not a friend of the poor. She was a friend of poverty. She said that suffering was a gift from God. She spent her life opposing the only known cure for poverty, which is the empowerment of women and the emancipation of them from a livestock version of compulsory reproduction. And she was a friend to the worst of the rich, taking misappropriated money from the atrocious Duvalier family in Haiti (whose rule she praised in return) and from Charles Keating of the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Where did that money, and all the other donations, go? The primitive hospice in Calcutta was as run down when she died as it always had been—she preferred California clinics when she got sick herself—and her order always refused to publish any audit. But we have her own claim that she opened 500 convents in more than a hundred countries, all bearing the name of her own order. Excuse me, but this is modesty and humility?
Harsh words indeed. But not as tough as his closing damnation "Many more people are poor and sick because of the life of MT: Even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed. She was a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud, and a church that officially protects those who violate the innocent has given us another clear sign of where it truly stands on moral and ethical questions."

10/22/2003 03:29:00 PM | Graham

Another missed opportunity?
Over at the Center for American Progress Matthew Miller wonders about the debate that never happened in the Senate over the $87 million for Iraq.
He dares to dream:
Now imagine the national drama that would have ensued if instead John Kerry or Joe Lieberman or John Edwards filibustered and forced a high-profile debate over how we pay for Iraq. It would have been risky, yes – because it would have meant being smeared as "unpatriotic" by the White House. But Democrats could have united behind a message that said, "of course we support the troops -- it’s how we pay for this that matters, and I’m sorry, Mr. President, but your plan to make our kids pay for Iraq because you want to keep trillions in tax cuts mostly for the wealthiest is just plain wrong."

And his criticism is pointed:
I never heard the word "filibuster" mentioned in relation to the $87 billion. Yet we know top Democrats are threatening the "F" word to stop a tiny voucher plan in Washington D.C., and a small increase in monthly Medicare premiums for the highest-earning two percent of senior citizens.

To fight to the end for those causes, while rolling over when it comes to funding post-war Iraq more sanely, seems about as wrongheaded as a party can get.

So what do people think? The vote was 87-12. Lieberman skipped it. (tell me if any of that is incorrect and I'll update it. I couldn't find the roll call on thomas).
Was this a battle worth waging? Was it winnable? Is this a missed opportunity or just a case of political realism?

10/22/2003 01:58:00 PM | Laura

For a Little Balance:

Apparently, this guy is involved with the rodeo. I wonder what Jessica Simpson would think of him?

10/22/2003 02:35:00 AM | Brad Plumer

Christ... This report is more than a little terrifying:

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have concluded a secret agreement on "nuclear cooperation" that will provide the Saudis with nuclear-weapons technology in exchange for cheap oil, according to a ranking Pakistani insider.
Scary shit. No, make that really scary shit. Okay, so assuming this might be true, what happens next? How does this affect the Middle East? How does it affect our relationship with Saudi Arabia? Why exactly does Saudi Arabia want nukes in the first place? There's no way we can just ignore this situation and hope it goes away. So what then?

10/22/2003 01:50:00 AM | Karsten Barde

$2.5mil Gift Endows Professorship

Big news for the College here.

10/22/2003 01:27:00 AM | Jonathan

Hat-tip, Debo

My sister sends this Jessica Simpson page of wit and wisdom.

Yes, Laura, this will persist for a day or two.

10/22/2003 12:32:00 AM | Karsten Barde


Come hear the man himself--source of all this commotion--at Rollins Chapel at 7:30pm.

Robinson will speak briefly about his own ministry as a priest, the experience of coming out while working in the church, his vision of his future role as a bishop, and some of his views on the controversy. More than anything he would like to engage the audience in conversation and answer their questions. --From DRA blitz

10/21/2003 08:21:00 PM | Kate

I can't believe more people aren't talking about this...

Apparently there's a media circus going on down the street from where I live in Virginia Beach, Virginia. That's where the DC Sniper case is being tried. I don't know how many of you are from the DC area or were around there at the time, but I remember scared out of my mind for relatives and friends who were there.

Anyway, the trial bring up an interesting issue that I've always thought was a problem with our legal system: defending yourself in trial. Okay, granted you should be able to speak for yourself and be in control of your own defense. But I think there's a serious problem when witnesses, in particular, are questioned by defendants, especially in cases of this sort of extreme nature. As a defendant, you should be able to confront accusers. But I see a major problem in getting to the truth in trials and getting people to come forward and/or testify when the person doing a good bit of the questioning is the person that might be accusing of committing a crime. That brings to the table factors of intimidation, stress, etc. How can you expect completely accurate testimony under those conditions? I'm not sure what the solution might be, because like I said, I do understand the importance of being able to represent yourself. Still, it's something I wonder about.

Hope that made some sense. If not, here's kind of what I mean in the report:

In a dramatic encounter that will be echoed throughout his trial, John Allen Muhammad cross-examined a restaurant owner Tuesday who was wounded and robbed in a shooting linked to last year's sniper spree, telling him "I understand how you feel when your life is on the line." Paul J. LaRuffa's testimony came a day after Muhammad was allowed to represent himself on murder charges related to the killing of Dean Harold Meyers outside a Virginia gas station on Oct. 9, 2002. LaRuffa testified about the shooting a month earlier in which he was wounded in the chest and arm and robbed of about $3,600 and a laptop computer that was found with Muhammad when he was arrested. Prosecutors told the jury during opening statements that the sniper suspects robbed LaRuffa to help finance the spree. Muhammad was courteous when questioning LaRuffa, who initially looked away from the sniper suspect but proceeded to answer his questions politely."I'm not asking these questions to be disrespectful. I understand how you feel when your life is on the line," Muhammad told LaRuffa before the questioning. Muhammad asked a few quick questions about whether LaRuffa had seen the person who shot him. Circuit Judge LeRoy F. Millette Jr. admonished Muhammad at the prosecution's request for his introductory comments to LaRuffa, which Millette deemed gratuitous. LaRuffa, who choked back tears during part of his testimony, said he could not identify the man who shot him. He realized shortly afterward that he was bleeding from both the chest and the back. One bullet fragment lodged next to his spinal cord. After court, LaRuffa described the cross-examination with Muhammad as surreal. "It's from the twilight zone. Defendants aren't supposed to question you, and that's what happened," he said.

10/21/2003 05:13:00 PM | Brad Plumer

For those quieter hours... Alright, I'm getting a bit sick of dusting off every last nook and cranny of the presidential race: partly because it gets boring, and partly because I don't want any more Dean henchmen flooding my inbox with angry mail (especially those two anonymous Deaniacs this morning... who the hell are you folks?). So anyways, here are two longer discussion length topics, both a little old, but still interesting:

The first is a series of thoughtful posts by Ampersand about the wage gap between men and women. In order:

1. Ways to measure the wage gap accurately (or at least semi-accurately).
2. Historical trends in the wage gap.
3. Possible causes of the wage gap.
4. Explaining the gap in working hours (why men work more than women, and why that fact doesn't quite account for the gap.
5. The effects of motherhood (and they're broader than just 9 months of maternal leave).
6. Some myths that have been used to explain the wage gap: One, two and of course, three
7. Evidence of gender discrimination in the workplace.

Anyways, it's well worth checking out, even if it's a bit time-consuming. Actually, come to think of it, I'll save the other topic for another time, since it's longer and much more strenuous. No doubt much bated breath, anticipation &c.

10/21/2003 03:34:00 PM | Jonathan

Fox News Hypocrisy Update

On Dartlog, Emmett blogged about this story, to correctly point out the absurdity of what happened to the young man it's superficially about. Summary: girl leaves ID in copier. Boy finds ID. Boy looks up girl's info in college's online directory. Boy emails girl, telling her he found her ID and letting her know when/where he will be on campus if it is convenient for her to retrieve it from him there. Boy receives no response. Boy sends girl another email informing her that he has surrendered her ID to college police so they can return it to her. Boy receives knock on door from police, notifying him that the owner of the ID has accused him of stalking her. After being harassed, boy receives apology from the police, case is dropped.

That's not what I blogged this about. I wanted to point out a little tidbit here. The author of the piece uses the anecdote I've just outlined in making this assertion:
With no religious implication, I say: a devil is at large. He tells us that acts of kindness and common decency do not exist; the worst possible interpretation should be placed on acts that appear to embody those values. Individuals do not exist; only categories.

In real PC terms, this means that all men should be objects of suspicion. A man, such as Michael, should be subject to a criminal investigation that could damage the rest of his life for trying to return a lost ID card.

Perhaps someone should point out that this woman, editor of, has just made a generalization rather similar to the one she's decrying...

10/21/2003 02:00:00 PM | Graham

In case you didn't think abortion was on the legislative table...
I know a couple moderate pro-choice Republicans who explain their voting logic by stating that they don't think any serious attack on choice could ever be mounted.
They should read this NYTimes article about what's about to go down in the Senate. And then they should embrace Rick Santorum as a major figure in their party (as the DC Republicans already have).

The bill will ban what anti-choice advocates refer to as "partial birth abortion." Trouble is, that term is meaningless in the medical community.
Another problem with the legislation is that it takes no account of ensuring the safety of women.
Clinton vetoed this type of bill twice during his term. Now, the house already passed the bill by a wide margin.
This is serious and it will likely bring reproductive rights back to the forefront in the 2004 election, though this bill stands a good chance of being deemed unconstitutional by the courts.

For those purists out there who still claim that there is no difference between the Republicans and Democrats, now is gut check time.

10/21/2003 01:48:00 PM | Graham

Must read early primary state polling analysis

The article covers the latest info from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

10/21/2003 01:00:00 PM | Laura

Conservative Covert Ops in State Government?
While the battles between conservatives and liberals rage on the federal level, it's easy to forget that a lot of significant legislation happens in the state legislatures. Smart, well-financed conservatives are catching on to the potential to influence state politics. ALEC is one of the better funded ones. Self-described as a "very, very conservative" organization, ALEC counts a third of state legislators as members and has a $6 million annual budget. I'm interning at one of their progressive counterparts, the Center for Policy Alternatives, and the lack of rich corporate backers has a huge impact on the quality and quantity of work we're capable of doing.

10/21/2003 01:25:00 AM | Graham

Campaign Trail Round-up
Didn't we just hear yesterday that Lieberman was pulling out of Iowa so that he could focus on places like Arizona? This poll makes that seem like a bad plan.

And if you still don't get what makes Howard Dean an amazing presidential candidate, this article from The American Prospect is one of the best I've seen.
Here's a good bit:
This quality in Dean's rhetoric -- that he is appealing not just to people's partisan leanings, nor to their particular ethnic or gender identities but to their history and identity as Americans -- is what has made him compelling to so many liberal voters who feel America is no longer even trying to be a "City upon a Hill." Instead of fearing the legacy of northeastern liberalism, he has embraced it as the philosophy that founded contemporary democracy, created America, kept it whole during the 19th century and fought to expand the franchise so that African Americans and women could participate as full citizens. When the other presidential contenders have tried to reach back past the Great Society, it has often been to connect with the last northern Democratic president, John F. Kennedy. And Dean? In the Boston speech, he quickly mentioned the 1960s and the New Deal -- but he built his address around the Sons of Liberty, who had carried out the Boston Tea Party.

And if you're one of those who thinks that 'grassroots' is just a catch phrase, this portion only scratches the surface:
As Dean reflects traditions of Yankee independence in governance, he also reflects it in the organization of his campaign, in which local directors have an almost unprecedented autonomy. In New Hampshire, the field operation is using a theory of "relationships-based organizing" that tries to turn every committed supporter into a field operative, says former Seacoast coordinator Myles Duffy. "The rhetoric matches the structure of the campaign," notes Mathew Gross, Dean's blogger in chief and speechwriter. "It goes back to the fundamental unit of democracy, which is the town-hall meeting." (Or, in the case of the Dean campaign, the Meetup.)

10/21/2003 12:00:00 AM | Jonathan

The Beautiful Concordance of Dartlog

Over on Dartlog, Ben Flickinger blogs about Jessica Simpson possibly doing a tour of the Ivies in the upcoming year. In the Inner Office, Andrew Grossman blogs about "hot girls" at Sierra College. Anyone who's ever watched Simpson's show will tell you that the guy that wrote the offensive column at Sierra College was probably writing with Mrs. Simpson-Lachey in mind. If you want to see how a marriage premised entirely on sex works, watch the show. God only knows, after some of their "conversations," it becomes apparent there's no other reason for hubby to stay with her.

10/20/2003 10:53:00 PM | Dan

New Liberal Think Tank in DC

The newly created Center for American Progress has gotten a smattering of press, but now have officially launched their new website. Check out Podesta's opening shot regarding the CIA leak here. It will be interesting to see what, if any, damage they can do to Heritage and the like.

10/20/2003 10:18:00 AM | Ben

Jonathan Chait speaks the truth!

A Dislike Unlike Any Other?
Writer Jonathan Chait Brings Bush-Hating Out of the Closet
By Howard Kurtz

The words tumble out, the hands gesture urgently, as Jonathan Chait explains why he hates George W. Bush.

It's Bush's radical policies, says the 31-year-old New Republic writer, and his unfair tax cuts, and his cowboy phoniness, and his favors for corporate cronies, and his heist in Florida, and his dishonesty about his silver-spoon upbringing, and, oh yes, the way he walks and talks.

For some of his friends, Chait says at a corner table...

read the rest here.

10/20/2003 04:25:00 AM | Jonathan

Put the seat down!
Fox News:
The statement comes in the case of a NYC landlord who forced an AIDS clinic to move out of his building because other tenants complained that transgendered people visiting the clinic were using the “wrong” restrooms.
Garg and I once had a discussion (there were others involved) that went something like this:

Garg: There are campuses on which liberals are pushing the envelope even further.
Me: How so?
Garg: For instance, single-sex restrooms
Me: That is not a liberal/conservative dichotomy, that is people arguing about something stupid.

My rationale, of course, is that many men and women are not comfortable showering in the same room at the same time, etc. (this does not cover single-bathroom arrangements). Further, I've noticed that given arrangements like those in McCulloch Hall, groups sometimes divvy up the restroom/shower areas by gender on their own accord. People are comfortable with it, and really, is there anything harmful or discriminatory about it?

But what happens when someone with male genitals identifies as a female and pees on the seat? Fox News will report, no doubt. This issue has broader relevance, of course. For instance, I am in favor of allowing gays to be openly in the military, but if showering with a homosexual makes a heterosexual uncomfortable, one wonders whether or not one is being homophobic in asserting that there should be separate-but-equal shower facilities. Yet, this question does not seem to persist in any serious manner if the question were whether or not men and women should shower together in one giant facility. If Starship Troopers is indicative of the future, Doogie Howser will be top brass in the intelligence community, and men and women of impeccable build will shower together happily. Until then, friends, the question is with you.

10/20/2003 01:16:00 AM | Graham

Baby Steps
The NYTimes reports that the UN is getting one foot in the door on the reconstruction of Iraq. This seems like a good thing to me. Sounds like there'll still be a US body, and then another governed by the World Bank and the UN.
Keep your eyes peeled for action at the Madrid conference of donor nations next week. This could be big.

10/20/2003 12:49:00 AM | Graham

Memo from Lieberman, Clark to the other 7: We're taking our balls and going home!
The NYTimes reports that the General and the Conservative are bailing out of the Iowa Caucuses. Both candidates predicted tough times ahead in Iowa, but is this decision wise? They plan to diminish the importance of a contest neither could win, but how will this effect the chances that either would have of winning over the corn belt vote in the General Election against Bush. Iowa was a close contest in 2000 between Bush and Gore. I don't think a serious candidate can snub that state during primary season and expect forgiveness down the road.
Bad call for Wes and Joe. This shouldn't inspire confidence in those two guys elsewhere. How can we expect one of them to beat Bush in a national campaign if they're afraid of the Iowa Primary? This has to be a let-down for supporters.

10/20/2003 12:28:00 AM | Anthony

A Civil Union?!?

Oh, you've got to take a look at this. Who'd have thought that the expression "civil union" would be used in such a context. Funny stuff, my friends. Glad we can make these kinds of distinctions!

10/19/2003 06:51:00 PM | janos

Social Norms - truly a miserable failure

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) -- Harvard University will convene a panel to investigate alcohol abuse on campus after a sharp increase in students seeking medical help for alcohol poisoning.

The panel will examine the school's approach to alcohol and look for ways to lessen peer pressure. It will issue a report by the end of the school year, said Dean of Undergraduate Education Benedict H. Gross.

The number of undergraduates admitted to university health services for alcohol poisoning has increased steadily over the last five years -- from 18 during the 1997-1998 school year to 123 in 2002-2003.

10/19/2003 05:29:00 PM | Graham

Has Budweiser adopted a social norms campaign, a la Dartmouth?

The fact that Bud, a brand with an obvious interest in selling beer is giving lip service to the same tactics employed by our school to get students to stop drinking speaks volumes about the effectiveness of these programs.
What a waste of money. To me, the whole social norms campaign at Dartmouth is just another example of an administration that is largely out of touch and continues to take an 'us against them' stance with the students. It's quite obvious that the majority of students--of age or under, Greek or independent--drink. Is it in the school's interest to treat them like criminals? (Keep in mind that I'm talking about the administration here, not the sometimes friendly S and S officers who have undoubtedly let many of us off the hook easy on a number of occasions.)
And if they want to stop students from drinking, why use something as absurd as the social norms campaign? These policies are a miserable failure.

10/19/2003 03:58:00 PM | Greg Klein

Is Lierberman Still Standing?

I came across this quick article at CNN today in which Liebo is reported to have called Dean and Clark "rookies" when it comes to politics -- and that "it's not a time for rookies."

This struck me as amazingly weak. Regardless of his state, I wouldn't say any governor is a rookie when it comes to politics -- and certainly a former NATO Commander has "some experience in the world" -- the other trait that Liebo seems to claim he alone brings to the table.

The article alludes to Liebo being in 5th place for the nomination -- which to me is why Joe has felt the need to make such statements the first place, hoping that folks will come running scared back to him. But does anyone think he has a chance at this point? Are we in reality down to the Final Four?

10/19/2003 02:43:00 PM | Graham

Getting it right on Civil Liberties and Small Business:
Yesterday, Howard Dean spoke to an audience at the Arab American Institute. The Washington Post reports that "Dean got by far the warmest response of any of the seven presidential hopefuls who addressed the 300 people attending the national leadership conference of the Arab American Institute."
Here's the Reuters report on Dean's standing ovations at the conference.

And for those of you who have been asking, "Yeah, but what does it really mean to support small business?" This is what it means.

10/19/2003 03:33:00 AM | Jonathan

Dems for Arnold
From the NYT:
"He [Schwarzenegger] said, `Bill, you listen to my heart, not my party,' " Mr. Lockyer recalled. "Now how can you not love somebody that feels that way about it? I hope I am not being conned. I think the voters hope they are not being conned, because we really want and deserve people who genuinely want to see that little Diego should live safely and should go to good schools and have health care if he needs it."
This excerpt is from an article detailing how Mr. Lockyer, "a top California Democrat," decided to vote for Arnold in the recall election.

But what's really interesting here is poor little Diego. Ah, Diego. I wonder if he's lovin' it.

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