Category Archives: Politics and Culture

Free Speech and Universities

A college or university is supposed to be a place where one is exposed to many ideas. Some contrary to one’s own beliefs. They should be examined and weighed against one’s own beliefs. A superior intellect is capable of abandoning held thoughts and adopting new ones.

Of course, in far too many schools this is not the case.  I believed that the term the term “politically correct” was born in these schools, but apparently it was born in the early years of the Communist Soviet Union.

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Not a bad idea

President Trump revived an idea of relocating detained immigrants to so-called sanctuary cities, signaling he is considering previously discarded options amid his growing frustration over the flow of Central American families seeking asylum at the southern U.S. border…

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A Good Question

With the facts of the widespread cheating scandal still unfolding, William McGurn makes a good point. For some years, most upper-tier universities have had an embarrassing problem in this era of affirmative action.

A higher percentage of Asian-Americans are qualified for entrance than other groups, far above their representative population  percentage.

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#MeToo

Renowned Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz makes a very good point:

If you are accused of a crime, you are entitled to the presumption of innocence. But in the age of #MeToo, people accused of sexual misconduct are subjected, at least in the court of public opinion, to a presumption of guilt. Worse, a claim of innocence—even a provable one—is itself treated as an offense, an assault on the accuser and on “survivors” in general.

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The College Cheating Scandal

What has surprised me is not the cheating – there have always been those who have cheated to gain an advantage – but the depth of this scandal. And it was in 2 forms. Someone would take the entrance exams for the applicant, and that person would bribe those who administered the tests to allow this fraud.

Singer arranged for a third-party — usually Mark Riddell — to take the test secretly in the students’ place or replace their responses with his own….

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Political Discourse in America

I treasure a time during the 1980s, when I worked as a programmer about 20 miles south of my home. I used to carpool – me and my boss, who was more to the left of me, and another worker, a woman from Belgium who I would describe as the younger European “Green” generation.

We had wonderful, respectful conversations as we meandered our way through the traffic. For me it was enjoyable hearing other viewpoints. To open my mind to them, and weigh my beliefs against these new viewpoints.

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Facebook and Privacy

Back in the 80s, I had a boss who, during the 1960s, worked at Aerojet-General while they were developing the rockets for the Apollo Lunar Module. I programmed their HP 3000, which was a mini computer – the kind of computer that enabled thousands of small and medium sized businesses who had no hope of having a mainframe to have a computer.

IBM had recently legitimized the microcomputer with their Personal Computer, and they were just startling to make inroads.

People were asking in the very early days what do they do with it? Many salesmen would reply that one could store recipes – to which the rejoinder was “you can also store them in a metal box”. 

Anyway, my boss would say that Lotus 1-2-3 (the predecessor to Excel) wasn’t really new  – they had a program on their mainframe at Aerojet that did essentially the same thing – on printouts, of course as there were no CRT terminals.

On the encroaching PCs in the business, he made the proclamation “toy computers – nothing will become of them”. 

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