Programs designed to aid inner city youths... are not pork.... "Pork!" scream the demagogues. "Give us the death penalty!" The next time you or a loved one find yourself trapped in the nightmare of a violent crime, ask yourself if it wouldn't have been better for the "perp" to have been off playing basketball somewhere. You may find yourself suddenly in favor of even an imperfect attempt at prevention.
An Inclusive Litany
"I conclude that [a Postal Service supervisor] became fearful of [an employee] and believed that [he] was mentally imbalanced and capable of" violence, the court said...
The court said it would have been permissible to fire the employee "for his irascibility alone." However, the Post Office tolerated his irascibility for some time and only fired him when his boss became afraid that he was capable of a shooting spree. This was discrimination based on a perceived handicap, the court said.
[Hillary's] role has been a success. She awakened the nation. She educated the nation. She enlightened the nation.... For when a nation gets two leaders for the price of one—a Franklin and Eleanor, a Bill and Hillary—it can tackle twice as many problems, find twice as many solutions, make twice as much progress.
- A white student punched a black student in an elevator.
- "Racist and sexist slurs" were yelled at a fraternity party when "African-American strippers" had been hired to entertain the members.
- A lecturer "continually referred to African-American students in his class as 'ex-slaves.' "
Physics professor Michael Cohen protested that, of the three incidents, an investigation had determined that the punching incident simply did not happen. Another investigation determined that the fraternity party involved no racial slurs; the strippers were both black and white. As for the third incident, an investigation had concluded that the lecturer in question had only referred to African-Americans as "ex-slaves" once in his twenty-two years of teaching, and then only to point out that he, too, was an "ex-slave" as part of the same sentence.
Freshmen at Penn are also expected to participate in an ongoing series of seminars held inside residence halls. Among them are Cultural Perspective and Discrimination; Race and Masculinity; The Roots and Manifestations of Racism; Fear of Difference: The Importance of Racial Identity for All Students; Latinos and Bicultural Stress; Preventing Harassment: Everyone's Responsibility; Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals in Protestantism; Gays and Lesbians in the Jewish Community; Who Is a Sexual Minority?—Everyone; Liberating Women Through Religion; Violence Against Women; Acquaintance Rape: A Workshop for Men; Lies I Use to Prove my Masculinity; and The Challenge for the White Male.
When journalist Richard Bernstein visited campus, he was handed a flyer calling on Community House to observe "Gay Jeans Day" as part of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Awareness Week. The flyer was issued by Liz Golden, the program assistant for diversity education, who explained that "I have taken it upon myself to ask all people to show their support for gay civil rights by wearing jeans on March 28." (The number of students who don't wear jeans is ordinarily quite low, of course.) Golden went on, "The purpose of having an In-House version of this campuswide event is to personalize it and make it more visible both to those who do and don't support the notions of Gay pride and personal freedom." Moreover, the week after Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Awareness Week, "there will be a program to deal with what came up for House members in response to the Day. The program will be required for RA's [resident advisers], Managers and the Diversity Board Members."
What actually came up one year was several student protesters who stood near the gay and lesbian participants, and who held out a placard declaring: "Heterosexual Footwear Day—Wear Shoes if You Are a Heterosexual" and "Don't Bend for a Friend." The Penn administration put this on the list of "incidents of harassment" to be read to freshmen in years to come.
Joanne Flynn, a former vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co., sued the company alleging that she was denied a promotion and then fired because of her gender. The person who got the promotion and who eventually booted Flynn was Doris Smith—another woman. A federal jury found the firm guilty of gender discrimination.
As part of the court order, Van Leuzen must post a billboard (six feet off the ground, 10 feet high, 20 feet across) announcing his crime, and must put $350 a month into a special account for eight years. At the end of this eight years the money will be used to move his house. During the intervening years Mr. Van Leuzen must also spend a significant portion of his life savings to "restore" the land to its "pre-adulterated" condition, when it was home to a muddy bait camp: a cross between a campground and a fishing bait store, complete with outdoor latrines and scattered beer cans. Most nearby residents considered the bait camp an eyesore; few, if any, regarded it as an ecologically valuable wetland.
[Ed.: How do you stop five black guys from robbing a store? Throw 'em a basketball. Ha, Ha, Ha! What previously was an objectionable joke is now law.]
Both companies say they serve the coffee at about 180 degrees—as opposed to the 140 degrees that is typical for home brewing—because it makes the coffee taste better. Ted Lingle, executive director of the Specialty Coffee Association, suggests that warning labels are in order—that consumers can no longer be assumed to know that hot things burn.
In Missouri, when corn farmer Rick McGown repaired a sunken levee on his property, he was accused of illegally filling a wetland after an Army Corps official found a "cattail" growing on the land. McGown pointed out that the plant is a strain of sorghum he planted. If the corps wins its suit, the farmer will have to give the government one-third of his farm and pay a $7,500 fine.
After a normal spring thaw, the Idaho transportation department wanted to get rid of the mud-and-gravel mixture that collects on the sides of snowplowed dirt roads. Farmer Bud Koster allowed the department to dump this muck onto a part of his pasture. The Corps later ruled that Koster had illegally filled a wetland and told him to convert other property to a wetland, remove the dirt, or pay a fine.
In Nevada, a rancher who repaired irrigation ditches dug 75 years ago has been accused of "redirecting streams."
Farmers in North Dakota have been charged with illegally destroying habitats for migratory birds when they drained potholes in their fields.
Bernard Goode, the Corps of Engineers' representative while the agency tightened wetlands regulations in 1989, counts the following as "wetlands": corn, wheat, and alfalfa fields in active production; abandoned or fallow farm fields and pastures; dry woods above the 100-year floodplain; weed-covered vacant lots; depressions in sanitary landfills; dredged material disposal areas; moist tundra; pine-palmetto flatlands, and dry desert swashes. The National Law Journal adds, "woody areas, dry desert furrows, corn fields that were once marshy ... prairie potholes ... pools of spring rain or melting snow ... [and] Arctic tundra are wetlands." Under federal wetlands regulations, as much as 60 percent of the total U.S. land area is "wet," as is 40 percent of the state of California and 90 percent of Alaska. An area as small as a coffee table and dry for all but one week out of the year can be declared a wetland.
An Army Corps of Engineers ruling warns property owners that if, in dragging a tree stump from their land, chunks of moist dirt should fall off, that might constitute filling a wetland.
In 1992 Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs made approximately $7,000,000. He played 158 games. An average Catholic-high-school teacher makes approximately $30,000 per years working eight hours a day over a 180-day school year.
- Calculate how much that teacher gets paid per day, and compare that with what Ryne Sandberg was paid per game in 1992.
- Assuming that a ballplayer's workday is six hours, compare the average teacher's pay per hour with that of Mr. Sandberg.
- How many years would it take a teacher to make as much money as Ryne did?
- Is it fair for Ryne Sandberg to make so much more than a teacher? When answering this question, be sure to take into consideration the good each person contributes to society, the amount of time and money each has to invest in order to prepare for work, and other factors that may be pertinent.
Though the public is not permitted to check books out of the Library of Congress, legislators may remove the library's books for as long as they want. As a result, many volumes have been missing for decades; an estimated 30,000 of the library's 16.4 million books are gone and considered stolen. Among the missing: two $7,500 collections of nineteenth-century Italian architectural drawings, a $6,000 nineteenth-century treatise on cactuses, two $1,500 volumes on Navajo rituals, and Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book.
In New Jersey, Rafael, a mentally retarded 5-year-old who cannot speak intelligibly and who must be taken to the bathroom every 15 minutes, has created havoc with frequent outbursts, tantrums, and assaults on teachers, aides, and other students.
Following the study's release, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force quickly announced that they represented a fifth of the population rather than approximately two percent. No word yet on how many of these homosexuals are "incidentally heterosexual."
This course attempts to sort out the significance and mobilization potential of a new jumble of cultural practices located in the terrain that calls for yet refuses boundaries. This terrain is situated in the borderzone between identity-as-essence and identity-as-conjecture, and its practices challenge the ludic play with essence and conjecture as yet another set of postmodernist binarisms.But before you can get into this class, you must pass the introductory anthopology course, and Mike Newman explained to fellow Stanford undergraduates David Sacks and Peter Thiel, authors of The Diversity Myth, just how to go about doing this. First of all, "I didn't bother attending class or reading any of the books. It was enough for me to flip through the lecture notes, so long as I told the [teaching assistants] what they wanted to hear." Newman even said that when he worked on a take-home midterm exam after returning drunk from a Halloween party, he found himself "even more creative than usual." The following excerpts are from his essay on the final exam, for which he admits he was not in much better shape:
Much work on resistance has been response-oriented, reacting to the Eurocenter by occupying either the essence pole or the hybrid pole. The course stakes out this new terrain, where opposition is not only responsive, but creative. It is a guerrilla warfare of the interstices, where minorities rupture categories of race, gender, sexuality, and class in the center as well as on the margins, and where such ruptures intersect with and challenge the late 20th century murky overlap between nationalism(s) and imperialism(s).
The course examines the strategies of theorizing this hodgepodge of everyday experience and its textual representations. It scrutinizes new limits of analysis that transcend and resist national boundaries through their creative articulations of practices which demonstrate possible modes of corroding the Eurocenter by actively Third-Worlding it. It explores the processes through which identity and place become multiple as they are actively forced into constantly shifting configurations of partial overlap.
Three hundred years ago, the San, or Bushmen, occupied all of southern Africa along with the Nama. However, incessant conquests by Bantu and Dutch imperialists have pushed the San further and further into the Kalahari desert, leaving them only the land which the imperialists consider uninhabitable or unexploitable [grader's check mark]...."I thought that I might have gone a little overboard with this answer, but I was wrong—the TAs just ate it all up," Newman commented. "It seemed as though they really liked it whenever I put negative-sounding phrases near the word 'Western.' "
As these resources were quickly depleted, more and more !Kung found themselves working for European farmers rather than attempting to maintain farms themselves. Of course, Europeans did not pay generously for this labor [check mark], providing a pittance that was hardly enough for a man to support himself, much less a family unit that was growing increasingly burdensome as the women no longer had anything to gather and the elderly no longer could pass on information that was rapidly becoming irrelevant [check mark]. Alienated from their traditional roles, many in the community began to lose the self-esteem that originated from the performance of these functions, a contributing factor to the alcoholism that ultimately gripped the community [check mark]....
Obviously, the !Kung and other San people have not benefited from their exposure to Western "progress" [check mark]. To return to their former culture is at this point a geographical impossibility, but the modern world has brought them only starvation and despair. That white people actually expected the San to drop overnight a way of life stretching back numerous melennia [sic] in return for Western agriculture and the Judeo-Christian ethic demonstrates the cultural arrogance behind their oppressive practices, but the sad reality is that the San have accepted Western notions of their own inferiority [check mark]....
Another question asked for a contrast between a neo-Marxist and a more moderate analysis of urban poverty, and Newman had learned exactly what to do:
Bourdieu and Lewis present two different paradigms for understanding the phenomenon of urban poverty world-wide. Bourdieu's analysis is far more radical, arguing as does Fanon that the Algerian peasants he studied, and by extension all oppressed peoples, can achieve revolutionary consciousness and fight back, even though in reality the peasants often depend on their oppressors even as they curse them [yes].... Lewis would have us believe that the poor don't mind their condition, thus assuring their inability to achieve revolutionary consciousness. Bourdieu's critique of the Algerian lumpenproletariat reaches a more sensible conclusion, that the oppressed resent their oppressors, but their dependency on them holds them back.Newman received an A in the course, but those who questioned orthodoxies did not do so well. Chris Aguas argued that referring to the !Kung as "Bushmen," with its primitive connotations, was not an act of cultural imperialism, despite the professor's declaration. Aguas instead argued, consistent with multicultural principles, that the belief that the "primitive" is undesirable itself constituted a cultural bias, since one would have to apply one's own cultural standards in order to evaluate the concept of primitivism. This refined point was greeted by the grader's comment, "But it's still wrong to call them 'Bushmen.' " Aguas got a B, which was considered an especially low grade in that course. Sacks and Thiel concluded that "although Chris Aguas may have understood anthropology better than Mike Newman, Mike Newman understood Antho 1 far better than Chris Aguas."