Patterico's Pontifications


Oh Good Lord: Columbia Law Students Get to Delay Taking Exams Because of Grand Jury Decisions

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 pm


Columbia University has allowed law school students who feel they suffered trauma from two high-profile grand jury decisions to postpone taking their final exams, the school’s interim dean Robert Scott wrote in a message to students this weekend.

“The law school has a policy and set of procedures for students who experience trauma during exam period,” reads Scott’s message, according to the blog PowerLine.

“In accordance with these procedures and policy, students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled,” Scott continued, citing a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown in August as well as a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo for using a chokehold which killed 43-year-old Eric Garner in July.

If I ever found out that someone did this, I would never hire them. If you didn’t snicker when you read this, I would never hire you.

The school will be holding special sessions next week with trauma specialist Dr. Shirley Matthews, Scott announced. Several faculty members have also agreed to hold special office hours to discuss the implications of the grand juries’ decisions.

The school will set up a reading group, speaker series and teach-ins next semester to “formulate a response to the implications, including racial meanings, of these non-indictments.”

What if you’re traumatized by the idiocy of your faculty?

The Power Line guys swear this is not a parody. I’m depressed enough about the state of our society to believe it.

Net Neutrality: The NYT Is Oppressing Me By Not Giving Me Free Op-Ed Space!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:42 am

I have spent part of the morning arguing about Net Neutrality on Twitter with some chucklehead and might as well get a post out of it.

He thinks Comcast is somehow suppressing Netflix’s free speech rights because Comcast wants the right to charge Netflix to prioritize its traffic. I told him that the New York Times is suppressing my free speech rights, because I have demanded that they provide me a free daily column on their op-ed page, and they have denied me that basic human right.

The chucklehead’s response is that I can start my own op-ed page — and he provides me a link to Blogger’s start page.

There are several problems with this. First, my experience with Google’s free blogs is that they did not always withstand a Drudge link. I demand a free way to get out my speech that will withstand a Drudge link, and thus Google owes me a free service that fits the bill. Second, even if they technically meet these requirements, Matt Drudge typically does not link blogs. I demand a free platform that Drudge considers worthy of linkage. Finally, I want my message to reach older people who subscribe to the NYT but do not have Internet access. Only free op-ed space in the NYT will do.

This fellow seems to think that a technical ability to deliver my message is all that is required. Well, Netflix has the ability to deliver a movie to your house. They used to do it all the time. It’s called the U.S. mail. If that’s not quick enough, they can hire people to stand outside every customer’s home with their full catalogue of DVDs.

If these options sound less than optimal (and they are) then, well, so is a free Blogger blog as opposed to the New York Times. So if our rule is that every suboptimal choice must be replaced by the optimal choice, free of charge — even if we must force a private company to provide access to their private property — then why are we not forcing the NYT to give me that free op-ed space?

It would be better than having to read Krugman, no?

P.S. That reminds me: Tom Woods and Bob Murphy are going to start a podcast next year that will refute each and every Paul Krugman column. Every one! Here is an example of Murphy taking on Krugman; the podcast will not be as technical, I suspect, but should be a lot of fun.

The NYT is oppressing Woods and Murphy by not hosting their podcast for free, by the way. Someone needs to pass a law or file a lawsuit or something.

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