The Locker Room

March 31, 2004

Hot Air America

Posted by Andrew Cline at 5:52 PM

Well, Air America, the liberal talk radio network, has launched -- on six stations. So, tell me again why this is such a big news story?

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Benificence and Seat Belts

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 4:43 PM

Two interesting items that I spotted, one on forced "charity," the other on seat belts in public school buses.

Adam Smith stated it so well, I just thought I'd post the link to his words on benificence.

The article appearing in the N&O failed to note a significant cost of installing school bus seat belts, namely the liability issues involved.
Added to installation and refitting costs, and current liability costs, will be the burden of lawsuits when drivers fail to maintain seat belt use while they are concentrating on the road. If an unbelted student is injured, litigation costs will quickly swamp installation and other up-front outlays.

Strict enforcement could mitigate that, but it will mean more supervision on every bus, or a driver whose attention is diverted even further from the task of driving. All in all, the visible and potential costs of ths plan look to be a bad idea.

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Update on the UNC-CH "hate speech" whiner

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:40 PM


A press conference just concluded concerning what is now a pending (and ridiculous) Office of Civil Rights investigation in Prof. Crystall's e-mail that accused a student by name of uttering hate speech that was a "perfect example" of something a "white, heterosexual, christain male" would say.

Apparently the argument from supporters of Crystall is that the government's message is you can criticize homosexuals but not heterosexuals. I say "supporters of Crystall" because she, as one would expect from someone so cowardly as to use e-mail to accuse one of her student of hate speech, didn't bother to show, citing concern for future hate attacks upon her.

This tack is in line with Crystall's remarks in The Chronicle of Higher Education online Monday, which reported she "noted that while the government could investigate her remarks as racist or sexist, it would not investigate the student's as homophobic."

This approach is so dumb it sorely tempts me to defend the government here, but I won't. There is no reason for the government to get involved. The university and Crystall's own department have already made it "crystal" clear that they won't tolerate Crystall's actions. Free speech won — or so we thought.

Chancellor James Moeser's statement on the matter crystallizes my view, so I'll just quote it:

"Some would argue that some ideas are so hurtful or so harmful that we should not permit them to be expressed. But any effort to declare a particular point of view off limits is, in my view, not consistent with our values as a totally free and open institution. The better approach is to encourage speech on all matters, with all points of view."

This isn't Crystall's approach. She wants the government to make the student "feel marked or threatened or vulnerable" for daring to address her classroom question, "Why do heterosexual men feel threatened by homosexuals?," with his opinion. It wasn't hate speech; she just didn't like it, so she'd like him to shut up, but she doesn't have the gumption to do it herself. Coward.

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RE: "living wage" in San Francisco

Posted by Donna Martinez at 2:50 PM

George, my experience on "At Issue" is that, when questioned about results of their policies, those on the left cleverly change the subject to what they term the "unmet needs" of the community. That gives them what they see as the moral high ground and the right to rebuff any evil meanies who question their good intentions.

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Does this sound familiar?

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:20 PM

"A newly formed group wants the Bush campaign to pull or change an ad it deems racially offensive. The group, 2004 Racism Watch, says the ad makes reference 'to terrorism and terrorists while highlighting a photograph of an anonymous man of Middle Eastern descent' ..."

Honestly, Bush campaigners — terrorists stereotyped as faceless Middle Eastern dudes? We all know that America is under attack from elderly Eskimo women.

Here's a hint for "2004 Racism Watch": If you really want to address this unfair stereotype, address your complaints also to:

al Qaeda Headquarters
Third Spiderhole on the Left
Craggy Hill, Pakistan-Aghanistan border
Middle East

CC: Hamas, "Iraqi Insurgents Who Aren't From Iraq," et al.

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Re: "living wage" law in SF

Posted by George Leef at 1:55 PM

Donna makes a good point here. Leftists are so wrapped up in their beloved idea that political activism is THE way to improve life for the "downtrodden" that they're perfectly indifferent to the adverse consequences for individuals. To them, the symbol of legislating higher pay is such enormous value that no amount of evidence of real world harm could ever get them to turn away from it.

Can anyone point to any instance of a government intervention in the market that leftists later revoked or even criticized because of its bad consequences? I can't.

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"Living Wage" May Be Nail in the Coffin for San Francisco Eateries

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:53 AM

Here's an excellent real world example from Fox News that illustrates how and why the so-called "living wage" concept hurts workers. In San Francisco, the "living wage" law, which increased the minimum wage from $6.75 to $8.50 per hour on businesses with 10 or more employees, went into effect at the end of February. Now restaurant owners are saying it's a job killer and could put some eateries completely out of business. That, of course, will push more people into the unemployment line.

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Apparently, yesterday was Kill the Children Day at NC State

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:50 AM

Two groups showed up to speak on campus:

NARAL Pro-Choice America1 and several abortion advocates

• A group of activists for Palestine that's opposed to the only two democracies in the Middle East


1. The group used to be called the "National Abortion Rights Action League," but its name, like that of Planned Parenthood, needed to be changed because it laid out the agenda too openly, frankly appalling the public. Euphemism was needed. For the National Abortion Rights Action League, that euphemism is "Pro-Choice." Obviously, "Planned Parenthood" was the euphemism chosen by the eugenicists behind it, who had been happy with the term "Birth Control" until the Nazis also used it and showed the world the true face of eugenicism.

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Horton on UNC chancellor searches

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:20 AM

The Daily Tar Heel's Cleve Wootson asked Sen. Ham Horton about expensive chancellor searches in the UNC system (e.g., $125,000 spent so far looking for a new chancellor for Appalachian State), and the senator took the opportunity to discuss the fact that so many UNC candidates are from outside the system. This is my favorite quote this week:

"We are somehow incapable of getting a chancellor from our own university system. The people who select the chancellor ought to sit down and say, 'Hey, have we got someone already here who can be elevated?' And if they conclude, 'Golly, we have nothing but a bunch of idiots and batbrains,' then we're going to go outside of the state.'"

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Re: chancellor searches

Posted by George Leef at 10:12 AM

I'm less concerned with the fact that UNC always seems to pick candidates who come from other states than the cost of the search. If App State needed a new chemistry professor, e.g., the school would just advertise the position and dozens of applications would pour in. Then, the candidates would be evaluated by the current members of the department and a choice made. No need for an outside consulting firm. So why spend $100K or more on having an outside firm screen candidates for chancellor? Maybe to keep alive the fiction that the administrators are just so darned busy that they can't take any time away from their crucial jobs to evaluate applicants?

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Kerry's big economic plan

Posted by George Leef at 09:45 AM

The always astute Bruce Bartlett explains here why the two biggest planks in Kerry's economic program are useless if not counterproductive.

If Kerryites say anything about criticism like this at all, they'll call it "divisive," "mean-spirited," "negative," and "bashing."

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Crown Him With Many Crowns

Posted by John Hood at 08:41 AM

From the “you can't make this stuff up” department, former Durham city council member Floyd McKissick is one of several Democrats who would like to be appointed to the NC Senate seat left vacant by Wib Gulley's decision to resign and join the staff of the Triangle Transit Authority.

The procedure is that local Democrats in the district will select someone to serve out the remainder of the term. They now have a six-person committee formed to make that determination — and McKissock is one of those six members.

How did he get on the panel? At a county party meeting, McKissock simply voted for himself, and his vote counted for a lot because he is the chairman of one of the largest Democratic precincts in the county and the outcome was based on proportional representation. And, yes, he says that he plans to vote for himself again, on the committee, to replace Gulley.

Here's the fun part: the name of the precinct he chairs is “The Crown of Righteousness.”

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