"UK is knife crime capital"

Gun Registration Under Consideration in Albany, NY


An over reaction by academics?

Using the "N-word" was a stupid error in judgment, but this guy was a kid when it occurred and he admitted responsibility and apologized. The kid was a teenager when it happened. I have also heard stories of what this kid has had to endure. Apparently at a conference at Yale last year, the Yale Law School Dean lead a walkout when this kid merely showed up in the audience. Are these reactions in proportion to what this kid did given that he has apologized and there is no evidence that the apology wasn't sincere.

What the kid said was wrong, but compare it to other statements that could have been made. Suppose that he had said that Bush was the same as Hilter or that Republicans were Nazi. Would he have been condemed in academia? I can even concede that these later attacks would not be nearly as hurtful, but I doubt that it would have been given even a brief notice by many academics. Surely even if it had been an issue, his age would have been raised as a mitigating factor. I would like to believe that I would be wrong about all this, but I doubt it. Surely, law deans would not lead walkouts on this person if he showed up at a conference under those circumstances.

Finally, let me note that this kid is some type of genius. It is not surprising to me that people who have these book smarts lack certain, shall we say, people skills (understanding when some things are a mistake).

Camara, a native Filipino who grew up in Hawaii and enrolled at Harvard Law School at age 16, had been on track to become an assistant professor at GMU's law school. But his candidacy was derailed after the law school's dean, Daniel D. Polsby, publicized the possible appointment so he could hear what students had to say before making a final decision.

During Camara's first year at Harvard Law School in 2002, he fueled a controversy when he wrote racist remarks in a voluminous summary of a 1948 Supreme Court decision that barred restrictive covenants based on race. He then posted the writing on a Web site designed to help other law students. . . .

This kid is now just 22. Show some compassion towards this kid who made a mistake and move on. I am disappointed that George Mason turned the guy down for a position.



One prof who probably should have gotten tenure

Unfortunately, it is becoming rarer and rarer for professors that actually use economics to explain the world in interesting and useful ways. So many teachers find it easier to go through simple math models that students may remember for a month or two. My eldest son, Maxim, wrote an excellent article for his school newspaper about one such professor, Jeffrey Gerlach.

In the economics department, a professor who is widely regarded as a great teacher, Jeffrey Gerlach, was not retained. . . .

Several objective measures indicate student support for the professor. There were three sections of Economics 101 offered this semester, each with 150 slots and within half an hour of each other. While the class taught by Professor Gerlach was overbooked, with 167 registered, the two other course sections attracted just 89 and 78 students each.

On Ratemyprofessors.com, a widely-used website used by students to share their views on professors, Gerlach has a 3.9 “quality” rating, which is above the 3.6 average for tenured professors at the College. The quality rating is a combination of the “clarity” and “helpfulness” ratings.

“When I teach Econ 101, I include many examples from business, politics and everyday life. I believe economics is very useful for understanding the real world and I try to demonstrate that in class,” Gerlach said of his teaching methods. . . .

If you read the entire article, you will see that the department defends its decision not to give Jeffrey Gerlach tenure based on not the quantity, but the quality, of his work. My question is this: how many other faculty members at W&M have been offered a one year fellowship at MIT or an equivalent school? I could be wrong, but my guess is zero. Here is a guy who seems much better in terms of teaching and at least a solid researcher. What gives? I have a hypothesis, but I will keep it to myself.


Talks this week

Wednesday 1:30 to 3:00
Talk on Affirmative Action in Law Schools
University of Texas at Dallas, Business School

Thursday 3:30 to 5:00
Talk on Abortion and Crime
Baylor University Economics Department

Talk on Media Bias
University of Texas at Austin



ATF putting more gun dealers out of business

Shooting at the University of Washington: Another Gun Free Zone, Woman asking for Police Protection

There was a shooting at the University of Washington. A former boyfriend of the woman killed her, but according to Michael Medved, the woman had been asking for police protection for weeks to no avail. Possibly the police should have advised the woman to quickly get a concealed handgun permit.

While the media concentrated on the fact that it was illlegal for the killer to have a handgun on school property, it would have been nice if they had mentioned that ban applied to the victim as well.

Wittmier said campus police were not aware of the restraining order against Rowan. He also said he did not believe Rowan had permission to carry a handgun on campus, where firearms are generally banned.

Thanks to Ben Zycher for the link.

Here is a copy of the University of Washington code of conduct regulations (2)(e):

Conduct on campus code — Prohibited conduct.

(2) In order to assure those rights to all members of the university community and to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in which the university may continue to make its special contribution to society, the following types of conduct are hereby prohibited on or in property either owned, controlled or operated by the university which is used or set aside for university purposes, hereinafter referred to as the university campus:

(e) Possession or use of firearms, explosives, dangerous chemicals or other dangerous weapons or instrumentalities on the university campus, except for authorized university purposes, unless prior written approval has been obtained from the university chief of police, or any other person designated by the president of the university;

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Some of the many problems with Ethanol


Extreme political correctness in teaching

Apparently, teachers in the UK are dropping discussion of the Holocaust because of fear of offending Muslim students. It is not clear to me why Muslim's should be offended by this fact.

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed. It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. . . .

From Fox News:

Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to offend children from certain races or religions, a report claims. . . .

From Daily Telegraph:

Some teachers dropped the Holocaust completely from lessons because of fears that Muslim pupils might express anti-semitic reactions. One school avoided teaching the Crusades because its "balanced" handling of the topic would directly contradict what was taught in local mosques. . . .

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Is the fact that more women are living without men in the house increasing gun ownership?

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO - KIMBERLY SHRUM grips a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and aims at a target 25 yards away. Bang.

A hot shell casing hits the floor, joining hundreds of others littering the concrete at Jackson Arms Indoor Shooting Range in South San Francisco.

Shrum centers herself and aims again. Bang.

After two days using her new revolver, Shrum's hands are sore from the recoil of every shot.

"I get that rush and power from a Magnum," said the 36-year-old Millbrae resident. "I've taken archery and thrown darts, but shooting is another way to hurl something through the air. But this is just like shooting a paper ball into the trash can. TwoPoints. Air ball."

She is among a growing number of women who are showing up at shooting ranges across the country. Many women who visit the Jackson Arms shooting gallery do it because they love the power of guns and want to learn how to protect themselves.

While there are no hard figures on the number of women who own guns, it's estimated that nationwide 11 million to 17 million women wield firearms, said Laura Browder, author of "Her Best Shot: Women and Guns in America." The National Rifle Association doesn't keep figures by gender.

Browder said the gun industry is just as focused on females as it has been over the last 200 years, but the marketing strategy now taps into their fears.

"The gun industry is saying, 'Look, the state is not here to protect you, the cops are
not here, no one is looking out for you,'" said Browder, who is assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University. "There's a lot of single mothers, and there's a lot of suggestion there is no man in the house, and the woman has got to take care of herself." . . .

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