The Locker Room

August 14, 2006

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy

Posted by Jon Ham at 6:37 PM

Turns out America-hating, Soviet Union-loving anti-capitalist Guenter Grass, Germany's moralizing Nobel laureate, was a member of the Waffen-SS. You remember them. They're the ones with the lightning bolts on their collars and the death's head on their caps. That SS. The Schutzstaffel. Heinrich Himmler's black-clad killers. Grass, who for decades has preached to Germans that they must face up to their Nazi past, always said he was in the Wehrmacht, the regular army. He tries to downplay his SS membership, saying he didn't even know at first that he was in it:

Asked when he had first realised that he was in the SS, Grass replied: "I'm not sure how it was. Did the draft order give it away, or on the letterhead? The rank of the signatory? Or did I first notice it when I arrived in Dresden?" He said at the time that there was nothing "repulsive" about the SS to him.

He did not give any details as to whether he knew whether his division, the 10th Tank Division Fundsberg was involved in any atrocities, but claimed that he never fired a single shot.

This explanation sounds a lot like "the dog ate my homework." I think there is a lot more that will be revealed about this. This has the earmarks of a pre-emptive strike in advance of huge revelations yet to come. Just a feeling. It didn't work for Kurt Waldheim, and he wasn't even SS.

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Re: Higher Education Report

Posted by Daren Bakst at 5:34 PM


I don't think any substantive changes would be made to the published report that is delivered to the Department in September, especially since the Commission took their final vote on the report last week.

The Department of Education certainly is making it seem like this will serve as the final report, as least on its web site.  Also, higher education associations, like NAICU and ACE, are making it sound like this is the final work product.  This ACE press release also makes it seem like the 28-page draft is the final product.

Regardless, I don't think any changes to the report would affect my point regarding the increased federal role in higher education that would occur if many of the recommendations are adopted.

I certainly could be wrong though--it would be nice if changes were included that aren't reflected in the August 9th report.

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Re: Cartoon for Freedom Lovers

Posted by Jon Sanders at 5:14 PM

Roy, I haven't finished viewing your cartoon yet, but I was struck by their depiction of "freedom of speech." It's one that's almost entirely lost today, especially on college campuses:


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A Cartoon for Freedom Lovers

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 4:52 PM


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Smart Start to lose leader

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:05 PM

The head of the group that oversees North Carolina's Smart Start program is resigning

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Re: Higher Education Report

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 2:50 PM


Are you sure you're not quoting from a draft report? The Commission has approved the language in the final report, but to my knowledge the final report will not be released until September once final edits and changes have been made.

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Higher Education Report

Posted by Daren Bakst at 12:05 AM

The federal Commission on the Future of Higher Education released its final report.  While the increasing (and ridiculous) regulatory burden on colleges is discussed, the recommendations, especially as they relate to transparency and accountability, are a clear indication that an even larger federal role in higher education could be on its way.

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Grandma Wears Army Boots — Really

Posted by John Hood at 10:16 AM

After the U.S. Army raised its upper age bound for enlistment to near 42, a story like this was bound to crop up. Army Private Margie Black, 41, has enlisted along with her daughter, Ashley, 21. Margie really is a grandmother. A “Maury Povich” appearance is no doubt forthcoming.

Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute defends the army’s change in age requirements, by the way. “For front-line combat troops, it’s a bad idea,” Thompson says. “But nobody is proposing putting 42-year-olds next to 18-year-olds on combat patrols. If it is correctly run, it could be a real boon. You don't chase away people ... just because they’ve reached some arbitrary age.”

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WNC land is Best in the Eastern United States....

Posted by Michael Moore at 10:15 AM

According to this article in the Knoxville, TN newspaper this morning, in the Great Smokies in Western North Carolina, the Ravens Fork basin may be the most rugged and least explored area in the Eastern United States.   

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Milton Friedman's Video Calvacade

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:12 AM

Greg Mankiw has started a great blog and provides some good viewing in this post

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Public officials and cars

Posted by Jon Ham at 10:06 AM

The Howard Lee story isn't surprising. Public officials are seldom content to use low-end vehicles at taxpayers' expense. They always seem to gravitate toward luxury. I've seen this in four states and have covered similar stories myself. One of my favorites was when I was editing a weekly paper in Virginia. Our county manager didn't like driving a car (a low-end but very serviceable Ford) with a county government license plate, so he got the county to lease him a vehicle that had a private plate (in Virigina at that time only undercover cops and industry recruiters could use a "blind" private plate on a government vehicle). Of course, instead of a low-end Ford he opted for a Lincoln with a car phone, and this was in 1985 when car phones were exotic — and expensive. That Lincoln cost more than three times what the comparable Ford would have cost taxpayers to lease. There must be some kind of upgrade gene in bureaucrats.

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Lee Rides in Style

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:25 AM

Howard Lee, chairman of the State Board of Education, has a state-funded rental car, a Chrysler 300C*, that, according to the N&O article, "averaged about $1,700 to $1,900 a month in 2005 -- more than three times what Lee would have been reimbursed had he been driving his own car."

His explanation is classic. "We looked at every option, and [renting] appeared to be the most workable of options," Lee said. "Is the value of my ability to get out worth the investment being made? I think it is ... I try to be a good steward with the state's money."


*The 300C is one step below the top of the line Chrysler 300. It includes, a 340 horsepower 5.7-Liter HEMI® Engine, Lux Leather Trimmed Bucket Seats, and power seats, windows, mirrors, and locks. The retail price (base) for the 300C model is $34,730.

Hat tip: Coletti.

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Headline says it all

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:14 AM

Washington Post headline

Cease-Fire Takes Effect; More Fighting Expected

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Donating Land For Schools

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:59 AM

A developer in New Hanover County plans to donate 25 acres of land for an elementary school. This arrangement is a win-win for the school system and the developer. Obviously, the school system gets free land in an area where land is expensive and hard to come by. The developer, TF Holdings, gets an amenity attractive to parents, a school within walking distance to their home. TF Holdings plans to build a 2,000 home subdivision on land adjacent to the school. The location of the school will increase the value and desirability of the homes in the subdivision, which will increase the developer's profit.

With the current bussing and assignment policy in place, developers in Wake County are less likely to donate land for schools or even propose public-private partnerships with Wake County Schools. There is no guarantee that students in a subdivision will be assigned to the closest school - even one adjacent to their subdivision. That is a raw deal for developers and a risk proposition for parents.

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Future JLF speaker covers Nutmeg state race

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:19 AM

Matthew Continetti pens The Weekly Standard's latest cover story on the Lamont-Lieberman primary in Connecticut.

The John Locke Foundation will bring Continetti to Raleigh October 23 to discuss his book, The K Street Gang: The Rise and Fall of the Republican Machine

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Something we already knew

Posted by Jon Ham at 08:15 AM

That diversity trumps nearly everything in higher education.

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