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Sunday, February 6, 2005
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Fan Logic (More SB Musings)

By Steven Taylor @ 1:55 pm

When I watch a sporting event, I like to have a rooting interest. Now, I am a big enough fan of football to watch any NFL game (and most college games) and at least find some interest in the game itself. Still, it is necessary to pick a side at some point.

As any diehard fan knows, practially any game can in some way or another help or hurt Your Team, and thus the trick often is to figure out what those factors are in a given game so that one can decide for whom to root. For example: in college football one normally roots for all the teams ranked ahead of yours to lose-unless, of course, your team is going to play a team ranked ahead of yours, so then you want the team ranked ahead of yours to stay there until your team beats them, thus helping your own team’s rankings.

This little bit of fan logic is easy to do in the NFL, especially if a team is in your team’s conference or, better yet, division, as every game each week has an impact on your squad’s playoff chances.

However, once you get to the Super Bowl, the issue of playoff chances are out the window, yet thirty teams are at home. So, how does one pick a team to root for?

Well, there are the old standards: pull for the underdog, pick the better uniform, or because you like this player or that. However, on balance, those are dissatisfying. Being a diehard Cowboys’ fan, I have to think in terms of how the winner of the game affects my team.

So, for example, because the Eagles are a rival of the ‘Boys, it is pretty obvious that I would want them to lose. Of course, on the other hand, if the Eagles win, that’s another in a long-line of NFC-East SB victories (5 for Dallas, 3 for the Redskins, 2 for the Giants, which is 26% of all SB victories-indeed, the NFC-E has appeared in 43.5% of all SBs). Plus, the more winning the Eagles do, the worst their draft pick will be in April.

There are reason to root against NE: if they win today they will tie Dallas for 3 SB victories in 4 years (meaning Dallas’ mark is less impressive) and Brady will have three Rings along with Aikman (same logic) and so one could argue that to help “protect” the Dallas “legacy” a true Silver-n-Blue fan should root against the Patriots. And, in terms of recent history, if Belichick wins a third one, the comparisons to Parcells will start, and the question will be asked as to whether Parcells has lost his stature to his former pupil, and there will be the requisite aspersions cast on Dallas’ recent performance.

However, as with all good fan logic, I am rooting for the Eagles to lose because their rivarly with Dallas is sufficient to squelch any reasons to root for them. Plus, the Eagles have been somewhat annoying the last two weeks and I am still annoyed at TO for spiking that ball on The Star (and I am sick of the TO talk for the last 2 weeks and ditto Freddie Mitchell’s mouth).

So: Go Pats!

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Academic Freedom

By Steven Taylor @ 1:18 pm

Eugene Volokh aks: “Who Benefits from Academic Freedom?” and, like many professors, answers his own questions (and correctly as well):

Well, if you like this blog-or InstaPundit or ProfessorBainbridge or various other often-right-leaning academic blogs-then you do. Most of us on this blog are academics, and one reason we feel free to express views that differ from our colleagues’ and administrators’ views (and may even seriously anger some of our colleagues, on questions such as affirmative action, sexual orientation, the war, and so on) is that we know we’re protected by academic freedom principles. (By academic freedom principles, I mean First Amendment protection for those of us at state-run schools, but also contractual protection and the protection provided by the profession’s social norms.)


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Rummy on MTP

By Steven Taylor @ 8:32 am

Shockingly, Rumsfeld got somewhat testy with Russert this morning. Perhaps some quotes later.

I will have to wait until after church to enjoy Teddy in his glory.

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Aide to President Fox Arrested

By Steven Taylor @ 8:31 am

Via the BBC: Mexican aide held on ‘drug links’

A senior aide to Mexican President Vicente Fox has been arrested on suspicion of leaking information to drug traffickers.

Attorney General Rafael Macedo said it was thought the aide, Nahum Acosta, may have divulged Mr Fox’s travel plans.

Mr Acosta was a senior member of the team that organises Mr Fox’s official trips, Mr Macedo said.

Not a surprise, although at least they caught him. As continues to be the case, the large sums of money involved in the drug trade mean that people with a price can be located and bought.

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Cutting Farm Subsidies?

By Steven Taylor @ 8:27 am

Via the NYT: Bush Is Said to Seek Sharp Cuts in Subsidy Payments to Farmers

President Bush will seek deep cuts in farm and commodity programs in his new budget and in a major policy shift will propose overall limits on subsidy payments to farmers, administration officials said Saturday.

Such limits would help reduce the federal budget deficit and would inject market forces into the farm economy, the officials said.

Both of which are worthy goals. I have to wonder, however, whether such cuts will survive the legislative process.

As far as I am concerned, the federal government should start a slow, yet long-term phase out of all farmer subsidies. There is no compelling reason to subsidze farming in the US except to fight against the tide of economic transformation in the area of agriculture that began decades ago. Aside from romance, there is no compelling need for the federal government to maintain the “small family farm.”

We face no crisis in terms of feeding ourselves, and won’t if many family farms close down. Indeed, large corporate farms are far better at feedin us in the 21st century than are small farms. Many may not like that fact, but a fact it is.

Now, I am wholly aware that immediate cessation of subsidies would be devastating to large numbers of persons who have designed their livelihoods around the existence of these payments. Hence, I favor a slow, long-term phase out. Further, I have not doubt that a large number of small farms would survive such a shift, as many of them would still be competitive in an open marketplace.

Indeed, I would phase out all subsidies to all inudstries in the United States.

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Picking Super Bowl XXXIX

By Steven Taylor @ 8:08 am

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, everyone!

(Today is, after all, our greatest secular holiday filled with gathering, family events and various rituals-my wife calls it her “favorite junk food holiday").

While the conventional wisdom has it that it will be a close game due to the defensive prowess of both teams, I am not so sure. I think that game will initially be close, but as time wears on the superior team (the New England Patriots) will pull ahead and when by at least 10. I am not looking for a total blow-out, but I think that Pats will end the day with a convincing win. I don’t see this game ending on a dramatic Adam Vinatieri kick.

The Patriots are simply the better team and they have taken the far harder road to get to this game-beating the Steelers and Colts (both convincingly) is far more impressive than beating the Vikes and Falcons. And as much as it pains me to say it, as a life-long NFC guy, the AFC is simply superior to the NFC this season-indeed, far superior. The Patriots have simply had to work through a harder schedule to get where they are at.

For Philly to win, McNabb will have to have The Game of His Career and the New England defense will have to have a bad game to boot.

Further, I have become a believer in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick (and I mean that in terms of an observer of football-I am not a “fan” of the Patriots, although I will admit that as a diehard Dallas fan I don’t like the Eagles).

So, I take the Patriots to cover (the last line I heard was Patriots +7). I expect a score of the 24-14, 27-17 range.

Feel free to link up with your own picks/leave them in the comments.

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Today’s Math Problem

By Steven Taylor @ 7:49 am

1 Transformer (you know, “more than meets the eye” and all that)


1 almost 5-year-old (two weeks from tomorrow)


Daddy doing a lot of “transforming”

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By Steven Taylor @ 7:39 am

I mean, aside from getting your face in NYT, I guess: The Munchies

This month, the Chelsea gallery LMAKprojects is offering a strangely literal twist on this idea: for the inaugural exhibition of its satellite location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the artist Emily Katrencik is eating the wall that separates the gallery’s exhibition space from the bedroom of its director, Louky Keijsers.

Five days a week, Ms. Katrencik consumes a section of wall 1.956 inches square and three sheets of drywall thick, for a total of about 8.5 cubic inches of drywall; she rests on Sundays and Mondays. Each meal takes about half an hour. She began on Jan. 1, to ensure that there would be a sizable hole before the opening on Jan. 28, and will keep it up until the exhibition closes on Feb. 27, at which time she calculates the hole will be large enough to stick your head through. She usually gnaws directly on the wall, working away at a sizable, eye-level hole, and avoids eating when the public is present. Video of her ingestion is included in the exhibition; she also removes some of the plaster and bakes it into loaves of bread, which are available for gallery visitors to sample. “Part of it is that I’m really broke,” she said, “so this is a way to get the gallery to cover my food costs.”


So how is this diet affecting her health? “I try not to think about it,” she said. “Instead, I look at the things in the wall that are good for me, like calcium and iron.” One of the main components of drywall is calcium sulfite, she noted, a mineral that can be found in tofu, canned potatoes and some baked goods. She said that she had not had any digestive problems, but was careful to eat a lot of vegetables to balance the binding effect of the plaster. And the taste? “This drywall tastes pretty chalky,” she said. “I prefer cast concrete because it has a more metallic flavor. You can taste the iron.”

Granted, I am no doubt an obtuse uncultured boob (hey, it is Super Bowl Sunday), but giveth me a break. Art? I think not.

This kind of stuff is no different than Fear Factor, The Bachelorette or any other humiliation-based reality show (which is largely a redundancy, I will allow) save the fact that (for reasons I cannot comprehend) eating drywall in a museum (and not even live!) is somehow glazed with a patina of Deep Thought and Artitistic Intent.

But let’s face facts: whether one is pretending to fall in love with a stranger on the The Bachelorette, eating spiders on Fear Factor or gnawing dywall in a museum, you are after the same thing: attention and hopefully a little coin.

h/t: Althouse.

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Saturday, February 5, 2005
On Ward Churchill, Tenure and the Nature of the Professoriate

By Steven Taylor @ 2:40 pm

Many in the Blogosphere (and elsewhere—for example) are simultaneously calling for Ward Churchill’s head on a platter (figuratively speaking, of course) and for the reform/abolishment of the tenure system.

Below are some additional thoughts on the subject.

(Note: In regards to tenure we should start with full disclosure: I am a tenured professor of political science (for those who may be unaware). Hence, I have a vested interest in the system of which I am writing, so one can take that as one wills.)

I. On Firing Churchill

In regards to Churchill, there can be no doubt that he is, to use a term of art, a nut job (just see my post on the subject and the interview that it links to). The very fact that he is a tenured is indicative of a failure, in my opinion, of the review process at the University of Colorado and a set of questionable standards for naming a person to a tenure-track position in the first place given that he does not hold a terminal degree (it may seem intellectual snobbery, but it is not an insignificant point: given the nature of the academic marketplace and the typical requirements for tenured positions at practically any level school these days there is no reason for an individual sans a Ph.D. to advance as far as Churchill did, unless one’s scholarship is so remarkable as to warrant such a consideration. In this case in particular such considerations are highly suspect).

Still, like all protections (and tenure is a protection) it is one that can be abused but it is one that is dangerous to tamper with. To fire a tenured professor because of what he says or writes is a very dangerous road to tread, because just because the utterance is something we find offensive doesn’t mean that the next firing won’t be for an utterance with which we agree. The very concept of firing a professor for saying something is generically speaking a pretty horrendous thing to do, as when it comes to the academy, where the free flow of ideas is vital-even bad ideas (as I have oft noted on this point, see J.S. Mill’s On Liberty especially Chapter II).

As Eugene Volokh (blogger and law professor) wrote in the Rocky Mountain News, Churchill’s view of the 911 attack is “morally depraved” and “deserves the harshest condemnation from all decent people” but he goes to note:

Churchill ought not be fired from his tenured professorship for this view. Justice Hugo Black was right to say that First Amendment rights “must be accorded to the ideas we hate or sooner or later they will be denied to the ideas we cherish.” And the same is true of broader academic freedom principles, which flow from not just from the First Amendment rights of public university employees, but also from their tenure contracts and from professional standards of academic freedom.

Put another way: often to protect the greater good, the bad must be protected as well. Such is the very nature, for example, of our legal system which is designed to make it more likley that a guilty man walks than an innocent man is wrongly imprisoned. Further, it is fundamental to the spirit of the First Amendment that neo-Nazis have the same rights as the Federalist Society and Satan Worshippers the same rights as Southern Baptists. To give the power to the government to expunge bad ideas is to give the government the power to expunge good ones as well. Similarly, to give Boards of Trustees the power to fire tenured professors over bad ideas is to give the power to fire tenured professors with good ones. It is worth letting Ward Churchill keep his job to stop that from taking place.

Volokh’s entire column is worth reading, it makes several valid points concerning the totality of this issue.

The problem here, I would argue, is not the tenure system, but a host of other things, including the bogus nature of “ethnic studies” and its non-rigorous, a-methodological, and intellectually incestuous nature. The problem started with having the program in the first place, and then, no doubt, populating it with people like Churchill who therefore helped Churchill obtain tenured status.

In this I agree with Evan Coyne Maloney of who wrote:

Shoddy scholarship-not a knack for generating controversy-is the primary reason Professor Churchill shouldn’t be holding his professor position. Still, the University of Colorado should have noticed that and acted when Churchill initially came up for tenure. Instead, low standards on the part of the university allowed him to gain tenure and even to chair a department. [emphasis mine] By giving Churchill tenure, the university made a tacit promise to stand behind him in the face of controversy. The university should respect that promise and protect his job.

I do agree that CU would have been within its rights to remove Churchill from his Chair position (had he not voluntarily resigned).

II. On Tenure

Yes there are flaws with the tenure system, and yes, there are professor who, once tenured, do as little as possible. And, yes, there are those who achieve tenured status who don’t deserve it (I have worked with some, and no doubt will encounter more as time passes). As a result, many (such as Amy Ridenour and Mike S. Adams-himself a professor, whose arguments I don’t find all that compelling such as citing that since he has a lot of friends who are lawyers means his job is safe or the fact that he can cite examples of abuse of the system) call for the end to the tenure system.

However, I would note a couple of things: it is often the case that the perception that professors “don’t do anything” is one we get while in school and because our professors was often hard to find and so seemed to be doing nothing. However, it is entirely likely that one’s absent professor was off writing, researching or engaging in any number of other scholarly activities that we didn’t see and that they didn’t talk about.

Certainly I have no problem with policies that would punish professors who literally did nothing once tenured (such as the examples Adams’ notes). If a tenured professor fails to have any office hours, and certainly if he or she doesn’t teach when they are scheduled to do so, then firing is fair. But such issues aren’t about academic freedom, they are about failure to fulfill one’s basic obligations. It isn’t as if one can never be fired or disciplined if one is tenured.

Further, while one may think that the incentive structure of tenure results in a system which, because there are less and less rewards to be given as times goes by (I am 36 and there is only one level left: Full Professor), means that at some point you say “screw it, there’s noting left for me to get” this is rarely the case. So while, again, there are no doubt counter-examples, consider the fact that the academic life is one that requires a great deal of self-discipline and self-motivation. One doesn’t get through 5, 6, 7 years of graduate school to obtain one’s Ph.D. unless one is especially driven and especially self-motivated (no one at the university is going to go out of their way to make sure you finish, I can assure you) and during that period of time the incentive structures are such that one is paying for the privilege to study (even if one has TAships or grants one is losing money as there is no doubt that if one is smart enough to get a Ph.D. in any field then one is sacrificing years of earning whilst one is progressing towards one’s degree).

If one is predisposed to such work habits, one is unlikely to simply quit working when a certain milestone is reached. Now, will I be less prone to do things I don’t like to do (i.e., committee work) once I am a Full Professor? Almost certainly—but I see that as a privilege of the level of attainment (i.e., being able to more completely pick and choose what I do with my time).

At least theoretically, people work their butts off to enter the professoriate because they love knowledge and wish to truly engage in a life in pursuit of it. As such, tenure helps free you up to do that, not the opposite.

It is also true that older scholars, like older people in general, do tend to slow down as they age (although I had a number of older professors over the years who were quite productive). For example: I did hear a story on NPR yesterday about a biology professor and researcher who recently died (he was in his 90s) and he was doing productive work up and until a few weeks ago.

I would conclude by noting that Churchill is an embarrassment to the academic community, but he is far from representative of it. He certainly isn’t indicative of any sort of widespread problem with tenure or the academy writ large.

And tenure is under attack for reasons other that escapades of people like Churchill. Trust me: a lot of university administrations would love to end the tenure system because it costs them money (and, indeed, as anyone vaguely familiar with higher education knows, there has been a growing diminution of tenure track positions as colleges and universities hire adjuncts and instructors to teach classes).

However, as incensed citizens call for the end of this system because it protects the likes of Ward Churchill consider it protects all the rest of us in the academy as well. Is “getting” Churchill worth damaging the rest of us and the academy as a whole?

III. The “Government” Employee Argument.

Another thing that rankles me (and that I blogged on in a slightly different context on Thursday) is the argument (rightly called by Bryan S. of Arguing with Signposts a “straw man”) that because professors are often employed at public universities that they are to be seen as civil servants. It is, I would note, an argument that is especially dear to conservatives.

However, that view utterly misses the point of what a professor’s job is and, as I noted in the posted mentioned above, it is radically simplistic to argue that university professors function wholly on the public dime—it simply doesn’t work that way. And, even if it did, the nature of the profession precludes treating professors like civil servants. For one thing, it must be considered what it is that professors are paid for, and it isn’t just teaching classes. Professors are paid to think and speak (there is a reason that they are called “professors").

As the aforementioned Eugene Volokh comments on his blog about the nature of being a university professor and why it is fundamentally different that practically any other profession:

university professors are supposed to do a good job by saying what they think is right, even when that’s offensive or alienating to people. Such an ability to express highly controversial views, even views that many people find deeply offensive, is critical for the effective functioning of universities as institutions. If university professors know that expressing controversial views about the war effort, about racial differences, about sex or sexual orientation, and so on will get them fired, then effective scholarship and public debate about these issues would be very much stifled. A “don’t offend the customers” or “if it’s controversial, don’t say it” approach may be perfectly sensible for many kinds of businesses or even government agencies. But it would be awful for universities.

Quite right.

As such, I think that Hindrocket at Powerline gets it wrong:

The taxpayers of Colorado are paying Professor Churchill’s salary, and they and others pay tuition so that their children can be competently educated. Churchill is obviously not a competent educator. There is no reason in the world why taxpayers and parents should be compelled to pay his salary in perpetuity, no matter how much of an idiot he is. If it requires a change in the tenure system to inject a modicum of common sense into our universities, let’s reform the tenure system.
Some will say: but that will leave our universities susceptible to currents of politics or fashion. To which I answer: Really? You think? As opposed to what-the situation we have now, in which any scholar who admits to conservative or Republican tendencies is less likely to be hired as a professor than I am to play in the NBA? Cry me a river.

Indeed, his position is self-contradictory in my mind, as if he truly thinks that conservatives already have a massively hard time getting hired, why would he want to take away their protections once they are. Surely if he thinks that conservatives are a rarity in the academy, then it follows that universities, if they did away with the tenure system, would disproportionately fire the conservatives which they accidentally hired.

And again: the whole idea that they are to likened to civil servants who “work for the taxpayers” is to miss quite a bit about the professoriate, as I have noted.

Further, and I would ask this especially of small government conservatives: would it really be better if government bureaucrats could fire university professors for what they say? For that matter, do we what an atmosphere in which public outrage can to the firing of a faculty member?

I would especially note that those who thought that Larry Summers was unduly pilloried for one of his utterances and who nonetheless want Churchill fired to consider the contradictory nature of that position.

IV. Others Blogging the Topic

*James Joyner (a former professor) rightly notes:

Of course, as the huge swarm over his remarks made clear, the likes of Churchill don’t dominate the faculty. Contrary to mythology, Churchill is not representative of the academy. While it’s true that college faculties almost everywhere are well to the left of the community, the vast majority are serious scholars and teachers who operate well within the bounds of civil discourse.

And he is also on target here:

one could argue that, in small doses, these types of remarks actually serve the interests of the academy. I’m guessing that CU students are debating the issues that Churchill raised much more vigorously than before, often with the guidance of their other professors. Most students are bright enough and sufficiently independent minded to dismiss Churchill’s arguments as the vile rantings they are.

*Bryan of Arguing with Signposts (a doctoral student and university instructor) has extensive comments as well that are worth reading.

*Henry Farrell (a professor) comments at Crooked Timber.

*PoliSci Prof Chris Lawrence comments here and here.

*Law Prof Stephen Bainbridge considers Churchill “an ass” but wouldn’t fire him .

*Says the ever-amusing writer/teacher/I am not 100% sure of his position Jeff Goldstein:

Ward Churchill is the intellectual equivalent of a streaker. His wannabe-provocative rhetoric “makes you think” in roughly the same way that a bouncing penis flashing across the stage during an awards ceremony or a graduation “makes you think.” That is, it makes you think, “Wow. There goes a bouncing penis."*

Having said that, the University of Colorado granted this lanky-haired mudflap tenure. And a public university threatening to fire a professor because it disapproves of his thoughts-and because it is being pressured by outraged conservatives and grandstanding politicos like Colorado congressman Bob Beauprez-is precisely the reason why tenure remains important, at least in theory.

*Ace of Ace of Spades HQ wonders that if Churchill has made statement from the loony right rather than the loony left, if the left would be defending him as it appears many right-leaning profs are defending Churchill’s job. Further, he would fire Churchill (or at least, that is how I interpret his post).

*The Baron looks into some of Churchill’s other “scholarship.”

*And, in case you missed it, Bob Hayes at Let’s Try Freedom has the internal CU e-mail that appears to spell doom for Churchill.

*Stephen Karlson at Cold Spring Shops has an extensive post on the topic (and my apologies for sending a trackback and failing to include this link, which was my intent).

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A Needed Additional to Elementary School Curricula

By Steven Taylor @ 1:51 pm

All elementary schools should add the course “Doors 101″ to their curricula. (And no, I don’t mean anything to do with Jim Morrison).

In this course students would:

  • Learn how to close the door without shaking the entire house.
  • Learn how to shut the door all the way (some shut it too much, others not enough-and even the same operator can suffer from both maladies).
  • Learn how to not stand in the doorway and let the cat out of the house.
  • Learn the relationship between bug, the out of doors and open doors.
  • Note the significance of climate control.
  • Learn to open the door quietly.
  • Learn that there is a reasonable limit to the number of times one expects the door to coming flying open in a given 15 minute period.

In the second semester students would learn such advanced door-relate activies as:

  • When to close your parent’s bedroom door (such as when one is playing Game Cube at 7:00 on a Saturday morning).
  • Why it is best not to shut your bedroom door when the cat is in your room, yet you are not.
  • The general meaning of closed and locked doors.

Do I have an “amen"?

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Is Turnabout Fair Play?

By Steven Taylor @ 9:13 am

Via the NYT: Iraqi Police Use Kidnappers’ Videos to Fight Crime

In the first week after the elections, the Iraqi Interior Ministry and the Mosul police chief are turning the tables on the insurgency here in the north by using a tactic - videotaped messages - that the insurgents have used time and again as they have terrorized the region with kidnappings and executions.

But this time the videos, which are being broadcast on a local station, carry an altogether different message, juxtaposing images of the masked killers with the cowed men they become once captured.

On the one hand, there is something creepy about emulating the methods of terrorists. On the other, this could be effective in at least showing the citizenry that thugs, like schoolyard bullies, are often cowards. Of course, the part of the whole affair that does raise red flags is: what was done to these guys before the camera ran? It also raised question about legal procedings insofar as if a confession is forced (or even not foreced) for television is there going to be any kind of due process in dealing with that individual? We just removed one tyranny from power in Iraq and don’t want to encourage the creation of another.

I will say that while the Geneva Conventions prevent showing prisoners of war on television that I can see no way in which that provision can be applied here: even if the person in question is Eygyptian or some other foreign national, it strikes me that to come into a country to perpetrate kidnapping in murder is nothing more than crime of the highest order, and hardly deserves to be given the respect accorded to an enemy soldier.

However, this is pretty clever:

The videos also try to divest the terrorists and criminals of their religious platform by challenging them with questions about Islam

Filed under: Iraq: Global Politics: War on Terror | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Patchwork OS

By Steven Taylor @ 8:51 am

Via PCWorld: Microsoft Plans Major Patch Day on February 8.

It is apparently the “biggest patch roundup in months".


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Friday, February 4, 2005
Hennessy on Dean

By Steven Taylor @ 9:01 pm

Bill Hennessy is skeptical about Dean being a boon to the GOP and he may well be correct insofar as I would not suggest that the Republican Party sing victory songs-for one thing that would signal gross over-confidence and for another they haven’t yet seen Dean in the role and he may yet surprise them.

Now, granted, I find that unlikley, and like the LAT column I cited in the post below, Dean does seem to me to be particularly ill-suited for the job and I am somewhat baffled that the field of candidates was such that Dean so easily emerged as the front runner (especially given the fact that he is hardly liked within the party itself either at the elite level or ther grassroots-contrary to conventional wisdom: Chait notes that in a recent poll of Democrats, Dean only scored 27% approval).

There is no doubt, however, that bloggers and the producers of tv talk shows are all salivating at the prospect of a Dean Chairmanship, as he is a character prone to say remark-worthy (often stunning) things.

And while it is best not to underestimate anybody in politics, there are times when it is pretty obvious when the wrong person is going to get a job to the likley detriment of a given party. In this moment, when the Democrats seem leaderless and rudderless, it would seem that they are about to make a serious mistake and appoint Howard Dean as not only Chairman of the DNC, but one of the main voices of the party (moreso than any Chair of either party for some time, if ever) and that could prove to exacerbate the party’s quite obvious problems.

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  • Hennessy\’s View linked with It Must Be a Slow News Day
  • Hennessy\’s View linked with It Must Be a Slow News Day

By Steven Taylor @ 8:13 pm

Source: Mike Shelton of the Orange County Register

(Which fits today’s LAT column by Jonathan Chait: A Suicidal Selection)

h/t for the toon: My Father-in-law.

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