Patterico's Pontifications

3/4/2009

Evening Links

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:43 pm



  • A bridge for a city of 223: it’s not waste. It’s stimulus!
  • Congressman apologizes pre-emptively for affair. The Onion.
  • How media sucks up to the White House: Politico. From yesterday but worth reading.

24 Responses to “Evening Links”

  1. Media gripe-three words;
    Obama adulation society.

    ‘nuf said.

    Chris (f65a53)

  2. Patterico, I have failed a fair number of students over the years. I have never had a parent threaten me. Offer to bribe me, yes. Complain about me to sundry officials, sure. But my records were always clean (as are SEK’s, I’m sure).

    Knowing UCI the way I do, I would gently suggest that the author was not actually seeing entitled rich parents on parade as a common phenomenon. At least compared to liberal arts colleges.

    My favorite experience was counseling a freshman woman who simply would not study. After she left my office, I went to the campus coffeeshop to reflect on why I couldn’t reach her. Her parents were in line in front of me, and had in fact donated funds to build the coffee shop itself.

    And they certainly knew me. Ouch.

    I’m glad that the student snapped to and earned a “B” in my class.

    Anyway, to be very serious, if a parent genuinely threatened SEK, that needed to be reported. ASAP.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  3. As for the human cloning comment, Patterico, I kind of doubt it (especially given the Italian doctor’s history of claims). Cloning in mammals usually requires many, many dozens of attempts per success.

    It’s not impossible. But I am considering the source here.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  4. That situation had a far more….earthly…explanation, Bradley.

    Eric Blair (8d54e0)

  5. Apparently the Mexican man who sewed his lips together was looking to draw media attention over his lack of job advancement.

    When the media arrived, he had no comment.

    Apogee (f4320c)

  6. As a reporter who covers water issues, I found Boxall’s woefully ill-informed drought story extremely disturbing for its lack of context, in addition to its bias.

    Bias: Boxall carefully identifies Republicans and business interests, useful for discrediting their claims as being shams to advance their self-interest. But the agendas of those Boxall quotes to advance her story’s claims holds are not identified. Boxall carefully identifies Dave Cogdill as a Republican representing ag-dependent Modesto. But the agenda of the Pacific Institute, headed by Peter Gleick, whom Boxall identifies as a world expert on water, is not mentioned. Hint: Anne Ehrlich, wife of Paul and sharer of his population-bomb views, is on the Pacific Institute’s board. Boxall should have characterized the Pacific Institute’s agenda with the same care she took to label Republicans and business interests.

    Context: Boxall’s story is stunningly blinkered by what it downplays and leaves out. Yes, California has had worse droughts, such as in 1977-78. But the state’s population and economy have grown tremendously since then, and our water supply infrastructure has been only marginally improved. Our supply from the Sacramento Delta has been newly curbed because of environmental restrictions. And supply from California’s other main source, the Colorado River, is also constrained. The Colorado River Basin is suffering severe drought. Boxall doesn’t even mention this in the story!

    Boxall does briefly allude to some of the facts that contradict her story’s point of view — in the second to the last graf.

    Another shallow, agenda-driven story in an allegedly great newspaper.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  7. The SEK story sounds odd to me. Paranoia can do funny things. When I was an undergraduate, a long time ago in a place far away, I had a little Indian calculus instructor who promised me a B in his class if I got a B on the final exam. It meant a lot to me as I needed a B to keep my scholarship. Yes, I should not have put myself in that situation but I was 18. Anyway, I got a B on the final and a C in his class.

    I made an appointment at the math office to talk to him about it and remind him of his assurance. I also had a sob story in mind. Anyway, he didn’t show up and also missed a second appointment. One day a couple of weeks later (Too late to do anything about it) I saw him on campus. I called to him and started to cross the street. He looked at me and took off running.

    I didn’t think it would help my grade to chase him.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. From the Politico link:

    Time says reporters admire White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (“The President’s Warrior”) because he “has the president’s ear and can get to the commander in chief when an answer is needed.”

    I’m sure everyone in the press felt that way about Tony Snow.

    Steverino (69d941)

  9. On the SEK story. “Fucking loser” sounds about right to me. The only response to that remark is a thumb to the eye. Not “I have office hours to attend to.” Whom the f__k are we entrusting our children’s education to, and paying up the nose for it as well, these days?

    SEK, ain’t no way my daughter is going to wherever youse is.

    nk (502275)

  10. Ok, I guess criticizing SEK puts you in moderation here. That’s what happened to my erlier comment. Whatever.

    nk (502275)

  11. I thought that Obama was going to be soooo much better at diplomacy than Bush?

    So much for that rather brazen lie during the campaign.

    Obama is not up to the job – he’s an empty suit.

    SPQR (72771e)

  12. It wasn’t so much a brazen lie, SPQR, as it was willful ignorance and wishful thinking.

    Bush really wasn’t all that bad at diplomacy, but that doesn’t fit the narrative. And Obama never showed any signs of statesmanship, if we recall his statement about sending an expeditionary force into Paksitan without permission.

    Steverino (69d941)

  13. Steverino, actually the Bush administration was quite good at diplomacy when you look at their actual accomplishments. But as you say, the narrative trumps all.

    SPQR (72771e)

  14. Anyway, to be very serious, if a parent genuinely threatened SEK, that needed to be reported. ASAP.

    There was no need. I de-escalated by bravely running away. As I said in a comment at my place, I think he might not’ve been reacting to my backwards cap per se but the fact that it was a Mets cap. I think I might be dealing with a phucking Phillies phan. (Though why he didn’t call me a “choker,” I can’t explain.)

    The SEK story sounds odd to me.

    You should living them. How I’ve come to have a collection of these, well, I don’t know.

    On the SEK story. “Fucking loser” sounds about right to me. The only response to that remark is a thumb to the eye. Not “I have office hours to attend to.” Whom the f__k are we entrusting our children’s education to, and paying up the nose for it as well, these days?

    That’s right, nk. The proper response to an irrational person’s insult is violence. If you’d rather send your kid to an institution where the instructors value teaching over brawling with anonymous idiots, then yes, I think you’re better served not sending your kid here. But if you like the idea of a professor who spends the five days before the final paper conferencing individually with students multiple times — looking over draft after improving draft — then let me recommend to you my fine institution.

    SEK (072055)

  15. “Should try living them.” (I do that all the time. Carry on.)

    SEK (072055)

  16. SEK #15,

    First, I apologize. Second, I understand why a professor will not get in a drag-down, all-out fight with some asshole, blue-stripe suit or not.

    It’s my problem. My sin was that I was “good at letters”. But school was the worst part of my life.

    The proper response to an irrational person’s insult is violence.

    It depends. Predators take your measure. Sometimes it’s an insult, sometimes it’s as seemingly innoccuous as asking you for directions, or a dollar, or a light. Your response, from as little as tone of voice and body language to a gouge to the eye, can make the difference between being a victim and a survivor.

    nk (502275)

  17. P.S. And in Chicago, wearing your baseball cap other than squarely on your head, brim to the front baseball card style, is considered a challenge and, depending on the neighborhood and cap position, gang affiliation.

    nk (502275)

  18. Wearing a Cubs hat, anywhere and in any style, is a sign of mental instability.

    JD (771d22)

  19. But JD, they try soooo hard.
    Or, is that, they are sooooo trying?

    AD - RtR/OS (756934)

  20. AD – Obviously they do. The law of averages says that they would have won the World Series, on accident, at least once in the last 100 years. That they have not suggests a concerted effort to thwart the hopes and dreams of their fans for centuries.

    JD (771d22)

  21. We can only assume that the level of effort expended reflects the perceived sincerity of the hopes and dreams of those same fans.

    AD - RtR/OS (756934)

  22. We are going to kick butt this year. Count on it. I love baseball. The world’s greatest pastime. Go Cubbies!

    nk (502275)


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