Monday, June 07, 2010

Pre-Departure Links Deluge

These should keep you off the streets:

Richard Kahlenberg believes that most distance learning is, at the least, problematic. He's fundamentally right, of course. Although this review focuses mostly on secondary education, the reality is that institutions look at online education, see a cash cow and justify it not for pedagogical reasons (anyone care to tell me how to give a test to an online class?) but rather out of self interest couched in the language of giving the consumers what they want (rather than what they need).

The C's and Lakers are tied at one game apiece as the NBA Finals head to Boston in the ridiculous 2-3-2 format that the league uses for the finals, and only the finals. Going into the series the great Charles Pierce wondered why the C's were underdogs. This will mark the first time one of my teams will have a chance to win a championship while I am away, pretty remarkable given the extent of my travels. Suffice it to say, I am ambivalent. Not that I expect much pity given what I'm going to be doing.

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter, the smartest man I've ever been in a room with, recently put the smack down on conservative "originalism" saying it "has only a tenuous connection to reality." He's right, of course.

Former federal prosecutor-turned-conservative commentator Andy McCarthy's book is apparently riddled with errors, all of which just happen to bolster his anti-Obama screed.

In the wake of the Rand Paul idiocy about the 1964 Civil Rights Act comes a reminder that in places like Paul's Kentucky not only racism, but active discrimination, are alive and well.

There are a million things you can read about soccer (or football if you prefer -- I tend to use them interchangeably) right now, given our proximity to the World Cup, but I would recommend taking a few minutes to read this, from The Chronicle Review. (Of course I hope you'll also regularly check in at the Foreign Policy Association's Africa Blog where I hope to have daily coverage of things on the ground, not only from a football perspective, but more significantly in looking at how South Africa -- and Botswana -- experience the Cup.)

Texas is looking at a budget crunch right now. My adopted state is looking at cutting back on vital services. And the Lone Star State loved to look at the rest of the world and point fingers when things remained ok here while the economy tanked elsewhere. (Oh, you should have heard the smugness about California's meltdown two years ago. Admittedly, California is rightfully as source of mockery for all given its absurd political-economic system. Still -- many of us knew Texas was just putting off its own reckoning.) Well, Texas is giving $25 million dollars to Formula One, apparently just because.

I have not had the time nor the inclination to weigh in on the fiasco that was Israel's inept handling of the ship of fools heading toward Gaza last week. But Leon Wieseltier hits it pretty squarely on the head when he writes that whatever the justification, Israel may as well just have called its invasion of the ship "Operation Make the World Hate Us." Bibi Netanyahu is a bigot and a fool and has set back the cause of Israel by decades.

Apparently this is what follows "Generation X." I have no idea what it all means.

Have I mentioned that I'm going to the World Cup?

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