Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thoughts on Glenn Beck and "Restoring Honor"

Just got back to the house in DC from several hours on the Mall at the Glenn Beck camp revival known as "Restoring Honor." It was a bizarre experience. Quite aside from all else that's been said about it, the one thing that struck me was how amateurish and random the whole production was.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Take Ivy, Take Two

Back in this past year's Book Review issue I wrote about the phenomenon of Take Ivy, the Japanese campus style book from the 1960s.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an original from Japan but those who weren't are in for some good news. Brooklyn-based powerHouse Books [their styling, not mine] is re-releasing the book, now with English translations. You can pre-order it here. It might just come in time to take up to school for fall term.

In the meantime, keep yourself occupied with an interview of a Dartmouth '68 who graced the pages of the book twice and is full of Hanover memories.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Schwartzman on NY's Gubernatorial Race

Dartmouth Review week editor and prolific Dartlog contributor Adam Schwartzman has a post up over on the Village Voice's Running Scared blog about the Republican contenders for New York's governorship and the vitriolic words flying out of upstate challenger Carl Paladino's mouth towards Long Island's very own Rick Lazio.

Paladino has jumped on Lazio's employment at Wall Street mainstay J.P. Morgan and accused him of being "Joe Lobbyist". Wait, is Paladino really claiming that business experience is a bad thing? To be fair, If Lazio is proven to have engaged in corrupt behavior then there's not much to say in his defense. However, if his largest crime is having worked downtown (rather than upstate, where Paladino hails from), then it would seem that Paladino's populist pandering is far off base.

Not that it really matters - it seems as if Andy Cuomo is going to win handily.

I know, I know - the Village Voice is a lefty rag. But do the right thing and head over there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Administrators Cite Dubious Reasons for Improved Rankings

The newly released 2011 US News & World Report College and University Ratings bring an improved standing for Dartmouth: while the school maintains it's #1 ranking in "Best Undergraduate Teaching" for the second year in a row, it has jumped to #9 in "National Universities," up from #11 in 2010.

In an interview with the Daily D, Provost Carol Folt cited smaller class sizes as one of several reasons for Dartmouth's increased position. However, just a few short months ago the D offered plenty of coverage on what seemed like the college's likely response to the economic downturn: a permanently increased class size, beginning with the class of 2014. According to Dean of Admissions Maria Laskaris in a December interview with the Daily D, "I think it wouldn’t just be for one year, the decision would be to increase the size of the student body more long-term.”

With the new rankings out, all of this seems swept under the rug and the college is more than happy to extol the virtues of its dedication to a small class size. How is it that we were never informed of the final word regarding this "extensive discussion," as President Kim put it? More likely than not, a decision was made, as seems to be the modus operandi of the school these days, without consulting the student body in a meaningful way.

A call to the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students revealed no information on the size of the class of 2014; the office cited a constantly shifting number of newly matriculating students and no available estimates as to their total number. It can only be assumed that if the college has indeed increased class size, they have chosen to keep the final decision incredibly quiet and only the Review is left to cry foul at this unfortunate administrative contradiction.

Monday, August 16, 2010

McChrystal Heads to Yale

Yale University has recently announced that General Stanley McChrystal, who was recently dismissed by President Obama due to disparaging comments made in a Rolling Stone article, has joined the school's faculty as a the teacher of a graduate-level seminar on leadership.

McChystal, who tendered his resignation on June 23 and subsequently retired from the military, will teach at the newly-formed Jackson Institute of Global Affairs. According to the university, the four-star general's class will be available to both undergrads and graduate students.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know...

About Green Eggs & Ham by an alum of our prestigious institution, the legendary Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stay classy, Keith Halloran

Monday, August 09, 2010

B@B Back Online

Goodbye work ethic, hello procrastination.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Oh noes!!

Bureaucrat-in-chief Carol Folt writes:
We are pleased to announce the selection of Microsoft Online Services as Dartmouth's primary service for email, calendar, and collaboration tools... The new Microsoft service will replace Dartmouth's "BlitzMail" email system. Although once highly innovative and beloved by many, it is more than 20 years old and no longer meets our needs. We know that Google and its various applications have many supporters. Yet, after careful evaluation, we have decided that Microsoft offers the most secure and best integrated service on the market today. We are confident that it is a robust solution that will allow us to provide modern and protected service to our community.
"Careful evaluation": a euphemism for three years of administrative indecision, overfunded "research committees", and a big, big check from Microsoft to edge out student-preferred Gmail. And so at long last dies one of the most annoying, antiquated, and irrationally beloved parts of Dartmouth. Tour guides will no longer have to utter the moronic phrase "Yeah, blitz is so cool, it's like a mix of email and IM! I never call my friends to plan lunch after 10As, I just blitz them!" with false (or even more disturbingly, not false) enthusiasm to incredulous campus visitors. Sororities, including my own, may collectively freak out as a result of Folt's cautioning us that "Microsoft and Google calendar applications do not integrate with each other."

I for one look forward to being able to view emails with HTML, however.

Two Dartmouth Grads on The Today Show

So it happened yesterday, but Dartmouth graduates Jeff Deck '02 and Benjamin Herson '02 were interviewed on The Today Show. For what, you may ask? These two gentlemen are typo crusaders, men who gallivant about the country searching for typos to correct. They also have a book coming out on August 3rd, The Great Typo Hunt. Its, uh, "theatrical trailer" is posted below.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Man of the Hour: Michael Bloomberg

If you've had a chance to crack open today's New York Times, you'll see the latest in the controversy regarding plans to build a 13-story mosque just two blocks north of the World Trade Center site.

While the plans have garnered opposition from parties as varied as Sarah Palin, New York GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio, and the Anti-Defamation League, the planned mosque and Islamic community center has recently gained final approval from the city.

With the myriad different views and stances regarding the mosque, it's good to see New York City Mayor (and new buddy of President Kim!) Michael Bloomberg taking a strong position that cuts right to the core of the issue; from the Times:
"'To cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists- and we should not stand for that,' the mayor said.

Grappling with one of the more delicate aspects of the debate, Mr. Bloomberg said that the families of Sept. 11 victims- some of whom have vocally opposed the project- should welcome it.

'The attack was an act of war- and our first responders defended not only our city but also our country and out Constitution,' he said, becoming slightly choked up at one point in his speech, which he delivered on Governors Island. 'We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights- and the freedoms the terrorists attacked.'"
Say what you will about Mayor Bloomberg, a man who has unquestionably attracted his fair share of controversy, but I applaud the Mayor for sticking to his guns in such a delicate debate, particularly when his stance is one that will undoubtedly detract his support from some of the most Bloomberg-friendly demographics- namely religious Jews and conservative Republicans, both of whom have largely been vocal in their opposition to the mosque.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


Tax reduction thus sets off a process that can bring gains for everyone, gains won by marshalling resources that would otherwise stand idle—workers without jobs and farm and factory capacity without markets. Yet many taxpayers seemed prepared to deny the nation the fruits of tax reduction because they question the financial soundness of reducing taxes when the federal budget is already in deficit. Let me make clear why, in today's economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarged the federal deficit—why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.

Take a guess at who uttered these words. Would John F. Kennedy even be among your first ten guesses? And yet in his 1963 Economic Report, JFK said the above.

The message: think past party lines and support practical solutions.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Budget Gap Closing

Say what you want about President Kim, but, unlike his predecessor, he certainly knows how to handle a budget.