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Current Topic: Current Events

Hostage Situation
Topic: Current Events 2:41 pm EDT, Sep  1, 2004

] More than 400 people, including many children, have been
] taken hostage by a group of armed militants in the
] southern Russian republic, North Ossetia.

]There are reports of shooting and that the attackers are wearing suicide bomb belts.

This is sad. Hopefully it won't end tragically.

Hostage Situation

An Advisory Board drawn from Homeland Security will limit university funding.
Topic: Current Events 12:46 pm EST, Nov 10, 2003

It was just a matter of time ...

Homeland security wants to decide which college classes get funded and they are thinking of excluding classes that teach that there even might be dissenting points of view.

And please note that the committee will be appointed NOT elected.

Just what America needs! Less education! Less democracy!

(I have chopped the name of the originator of this document to protect him - but I am not trying to take credit for writing it - just for strongly supporting the sentiment embodied therein)

As many of you who know me well will soon realize, I have become a political activist for the first time in my life. I am not here to rant, but to inform you on current legislation that is being debated in the House of Representatives. The legislation in question, H.R. 3077, will rewrite the Title VI legislation that has provided FLAS money to many of us and that also funds the various area-studies centers in our universities. In particular, the legislation proposes the creation of an "advisory board" that may severely impact universities by dictating the curricula taught, course materials assigned in class, and the faculty who are hired in institutions that accept Title VI funding. It gets worse. The U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Select Education Hearing on "International Programs in Higher Education and Questions about Bias" on June 19, 2003

begins with an opening statement by Representative Phil Gringrey that includes the following passage: "we are here today to learn more about a number of programs that are authorized and funded under Title VI, which are some of the oldest programs of support to higher education. These programs reflect the priority placed by the federal government on diplomacy, national security, and trade competitiveness. International studies and education have become an increasingly important and relevant topic of conversation and consideration in higher education... However, with mounting global tensions, some programs under the Higher Education Act that support foreign language and area studies centers have recently attracted national attention and concern due to the perception of their teachings and policies." Testimony provided by Dr. Stanley Kurtz (available from the link above) portrays areas studies centers as hotbeds of unpatriotic anti-Americanism. Dr. Kurtz focuses, in particular, on post-colonial theory and the work of Edward Said's Orientalism in which "Said equated professors who support American foreign policy with the 19th century European intellectuals who propped up racist colonial empires. The core premise of post-colonial theory is that it is immoral for a scholar to put his knowledge of foreign languages and cultures at the service of American power." (quoted from Kurtz's statement found at [ Read More (0.7k in body) ]

Army Lt. Col. takes credit for astroturf
Topic: Current Events 1:31 pm EDT, Oct 15, 2003

]] In an e-mail to ABCNEWS today, the commander of the
]] battalion, Lt. Col. Dominic Caraccilo, said the
]] "letter-writing initiative" was all his idea.

]Spin, spin, spin....

I dunno, I could see handing college freshmen models of what their letters should look like and rather than put any effort into it, they just sign them and send them ...

Army Lt. Col. takes credit for astroturf

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