Category Archives: All The News That Fits

September 21, 2014, 10:43 am

Becuz the Marketplace? Obama Administration Persists In Higher Ed Fumble

reality is overratedIn today’s New York Times, Susan Dynarski politely explains why the latest Obama administration plan to address the high cost of college without any public finding is a neoliberal farce. Because affording higher ed is all about having the information to make responsible choices! Once you know that, is there anything else the federal government could do?

Well, one strategy would be to not misrepresent the origins of the tuition problem: shrinking public dollars for higher education. Dynarski frames this about as clearly as an education writer could without saying outright that  covering up cost-shifting to students and their parents is a scandal of epic proportions, and the Obama administration is now complicit in that scandal by offering up a version of Consumer Reports and hoping that no one notices for at least two years that it is not a plan. It is not a policy either, except …

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September 8, 2013, 11:18 am

Your Weekly Radical Reader: Shorts From Around The Web


My current favorite shorts are being worn by Rafa out in Queens.

There’s a lot sitting on our desk at Tenured Radical, each item of which deserves its own post.  But since we will be away much of the week doing research at Cornell and hanging with the History Department (Thursday, September 12, Guerlac Room in the Andrew White House, at 4:30), there may not be much attention to bloggy biz. So, without further ado, our news shorts include:

The University Without Students!  If you read this week’s New Yorker puff piece on John Sexton, the president of New York University, you will realize that the future is now. The role of universities is to provide real estate for executives and law school faculty, conduct high-level negotiations with dictatorships, and move as many students abroad as possible where they can …

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August 6, 2013, 2:44 pm

Why *Not* Jeff Bezos? The Fall and Rise of Newspapers

337843ef-5a30-48aa-a8f7-ee569952eaddBy chance, I was checking Twitter only a few minutes after Donald Graham announced that his family had sold The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. I spent the next 45 minutes or so glued to my iPhone5, following the ensuing Tweets. Some were from nervous WaPo journalists clearly eager to show that they were on board with the new boss.  What a graphic example of how much the dissemination, and nature, of news has changed since the Post broke the Watergate story forty years ago.

Can you imagine how differently Nixon’s demise might have played out in a Twitterized environment? How low the mighty have fallen — but is it, as so many observers assume, the advent of the Internet that destroyed newspapers? I don’t think so. Nevertheless, multiple stories have popped up overnight, asking some version of the question: can Jeff Bezos save journalism? Some folks, like

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July 31, 2013, 12:20 pm

If You Can’t Take the Heat, Get Out of the Slutbag


Naughty vacation roasting sticks (made in Minnesota!) for your favorite New York mayoral candidate: available on Amazon.

Here at Radical Summer Camp we are too busy reading, resting and eating to pay much attention to blogging. Nevertheless, when checking Twitter last night (yes, we do get cell service in the North Woods), the word “slutbag” kept appearing (HT Jason Cherkis) and it got our Internet juices flowing.

Further investigations revealed the latest news out of the crumbling Anthony Weiner mayoral campaign: a top Weiner aide loses her feminism card by referring to an intern leaker as a “fucking slutbag” and a c*nt; and the aforementioned intern leaker reveals that the Creepy Candidate in Chief called all female interns “Monica,” suggesting that he has really been obsessed with The Big Dog all along. …

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March 10, 2013, 7:09 pm

Prikipedia? Or, Looking for the Women on Wikipedia

50s-housewifeTo celebrate women’s history month, I have decided to tweet an historical fact about a woman, or women, every day in March. Silly? Perhaps. Fun? Why yes: I’m enjoying it enormously. Women’s history rocks.

So far, women as different as abolitionist Harriet Tubman, the Empress Josephine Bonaparte, and Svetlana Alliluyeva have appeared in the Twitter feed to the right of this post. I find these women by simply entering the date in Wikipedia’s search box: a list of events, births and deaths show up in an entry devoted to that day. Presto!

Well, not so fast.

You might be surprised to learn how very few items in these lists name women as historically significant figures.  Sometimes there are three or four women named; sometimes it is only one.  One day there were absolutely no women listed and I had to get creative: I picked a major civil rights event and did some newspaper research…

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January 30, 2013, 10:17 pm

News Flash: Sandy Hook Massacre A Left Wing Hoax

Were Americans ever this off the rails? I mean ever, in the history of this country?

In case you thought the right wing could get no stranger, a TEA Party dude, gunnie, birther, and blogger named Nathan M. Bickel is forwarding the theory that the Sandy Hook Massacre was an elaborate deception perpetrated by the media and their shadowy liberal allies.  Bickel, who calls Bay City, MI, home. has a second page on a blog devoted to the Lutheran faith. On a third blog, he identifies himself as a former pastor.

Among other feature of this grand hoax which has been an excuse to persecute people who need to defend themselves by firing multiple rounds every second, Bickel argues that:

  • Adam Lanza could not have committed the murders at Sandy Hook because he had died the day before; 
  • Dylan Hockley, one of the murdered children, is still alive;
  • supposedly grieving parents were…

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January 7, 2013, 11:48 am

#AHA2013 Wrap-Up: Things You Won’t Read Anywhere Else

Oysters, please. And then deep fried oysters for the main course.

I can think of a number of good reasons to have a conference in New Orleans. At the top of the list is the excellent, moderately priced food, served at relatively uncrowded restaurants a stone’s throw from the hotel. For the three full days I was at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting I did not have one bad meal (although I was with someone who did.) Furthermore, there are a couple of landmark places that seem to draw the tourist trade (such as the famous Acme Oyster House), leaving equally great places like Desire and Felix’s open to the rest of us. At Felix’s (where I had gone for a little alone time Saturday night because I felt conferenced out) they open the oysters and smack ‘em right down on the bar in front of you. And they…

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November 16, 2012, 12:30 am

From The Mail Box: Reader Questions Whole Concept Of Academic Conferences

#2012ASA agreed to wait until after the election to deconstruct empire. Subsidize with tax dollars hasta pronto. Hillz

It’s very rare that I get a response to a post on academic conferences like this one. In the comment thread to yesterday’s post, archie_kelvin asks:

A long, long time ago, on the dear departed “Brainstorm” site, there was a long, long thread (in response to a post somewhat like TR’s) about attending an academic conference in a sunny clime, far away from the campuses of most attendees.

archie followed up with a bunch of questions, which I will attempt to answer (and yes, archie, my panel went very well today — thanks for asking.)

Aren’t these things just boondoggles, mini-vacations wholly or partly on somebody else’s tab?

All conferences, in all professions, are at least partly…

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October 20, 2011, 3:32 pm

When A Student Newspaper Stumbles, Who Is To Blame?

Long-time readers of the Radical know that I rarely write about my own institution.  There are good reasons for this, other than getting raked over the coals by the National Review Online, which can really bump readership big time.  But today I want to stand up for a student who did kind of a dumb thing. Since this was an entirely public thing, is all over the interwebz, and the student is not my student, it falls well within the boundaries of Good Taste to comment on This Bad Thing.

Yesterday a friend posted this piece about single-sex education published at Jezebel to my Face Book page.  With a zinger headline you couldn’t resist, “Women’s Colleges Promote Sweatpants & Poor Tampon Hygiene, Says Wesleyan Student,” (October 18 2011), blogger Margaret Hartmann, a Wellesley grad, takes on Zenith soph Vicky Chu. A Zenith transfer student, Chu trashes the single-sex school where she …

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May 6, 2011, 11:44 am

Have Radical, Will Travel: Or, Some People Do Go Both Ways

Tenured Radical is over at Cliopatria today, with an original about a conservative history flack, Texan David Barton, that will not be cross posted here.  In an attempt to remain a legitimate member of the Cliopatria team over at History News Network, I’m going to try to post original material in each place from here on out. We’ll see how that works: going rogue seems to be more my strength.

In other Radical news, you can go here for an interview with moi written by Zenith cub reporter Abbey Francis, who made serious effort to make me sound less ungrammatical than I usually do.  Go here for a list of summer reading on Africa compiled by Swarthmore’s Tim Burke (dude, the only book that you cannot leave off this list is Jonny Steinberg’s Sizwe’s Test:  A Young Man’s Journey Through the South African AIDS Epidemic.)