Saturday, August 28, 2010


An alternative theory. But a new study by researchers at the University of Bristol in England and published in Biology Letters suggests "living space," not competition between species, is responsible for evolutionary patterns throughout history.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010


A good article from Stratfor on what is happening in southern Russia. The potential for instability is very high.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Ayaan Hirsi Ali on "How to Win the Clash of Civilizations."

The greatest advantage of Huntington's civilizational model of international relations is that it reflects the world as it is—not as we wish it to be. It allows us to distinguish friends from enemies. And it helps us to identify the internal conflicts within civilizations, particularly the historic rivalries between Arabs, Turks and Persians for leadership of the Islamic world.

But divide and rule cannot be our only policy. We need to recognize the extent to which the advance of radical Islam is the result of an active propaganda campaign. According to a CIA report written in 2003, the Saudis invested at least $2 billion a year over a 30-year period to spread their brand of fundamentalist Islam. The Western response in promoting our own civilization was negligible.

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Administration bloat: While enrollment at the nation's leading universities grew an average of 15 percent from 1993 to 2007, the number of full-time administrators per 100 students ballooned by 39 percent, said Jay P. Greene, a senior fellow with the conservative Goldwater Institute of Arizona.

"Inflation-adjusted spending on administration per student increased by 61 percent during the same period, while instructional spending per student rose 39 percent," wrote Greene, who also heads the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. They blame government for these trends, but somebody is making the decision to curtail faculty or student services.

From U.S. News & World Report, "Is a College Education Worth the Price?" Numerous studies show that tuition, which has far outpaced the cost of living, has been spent on things other than classroom teaching. Administrative staffs and lavish facilities top the list. After years of building palatial campuses, states faced with budget cuts now find that they are stuck with the fancy athletic center and have to slash faculty, resulting in packed classrooms detrimental to the learning experience. Doesn't seem like classroom teaching is much of a priority.

And in the Christian Science Monitor more indication of misplace focus of the use of money: We hope this will be a wake-up call that colleges are asking for lots of money and a major sacrifice by families, but in too many places they have really abdicated their responsibility to direct students to what they need to learn for success after graduation. It is not about learning for life.

The problem in Maryland. One might think that as enrollments increase, universities would need relatively fewer ‎administrators per student since they could spread those fixed costs over a larger base. ‎Instead, the opposite is occurring. As universities increase their enrollment and ‎receive more money, they expand the ranks of administrators even more rapidly.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Kathleen Parker's column, "Colleges Come Up Short on What Students Need to Know," makes a good case for a core curriculum.

Also a good article by William Deresiewicz on "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education."

And here is a comment by by Neal McClusky from the Cato Institute: The majority of people who are going to college today are really just getting a piece of paper," he said. "The bottom line is we always insist that everybody has to go to college without in any way discriminating or determining whether actually going to college is giving you the skills that makes you more employable. All that matters, especially to the politicians, is that everybody is getting a piece of paper -- a college degree.


A great article on "Solitude and Leadership" by Yale literary critic, William Deresiewicz. He was addressing a graduating class at West Point. I especially liked his comments on bureaucracies, General Petraeus, the need to think, his criticism of multi-tasking, the importance of morality, and the shallowness of Facebook.

Monday, August 09, 2010


From a column in the Ottawa Citizen written by two Muslims: New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.


College students study 10 hours less a week than they did in 1961.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


China is developing a missile that can take out US aircraft carriers. If it works, the US (and the navy) will face a major challenge politically and strategically. And billions of dollars spent on aircraft carriers suddenly goes down the drain.