Thursday, September 29, 2011
Forget bringing up some Herrnstein & Murray Bell Curve arguments about “racial differences in intelligence” or some such: A lot of the minority students simply did not have the cultural and educational background to cut it.
In my own case in the early ’90’s, I remember quite clearly talking to an African American student who had no idea who Napoleon III was. The first Napoleon—Napoleon Bonaparte? Sure, he’d seen the movie. But Napoleon III? President of the Second Republic, ruler of the Second Empire, the Revolution of 1848? Not a clue. In fact at first, I think he thought I was pulling his leg about there being a “Napoleon the Third”.
This young man was smart—smart enough to realize that he had been accepted to Dartmouth because he happened to be black. He struggled academically all the while—because he was simply unprepared for the exigencies of a place like Hanover. His high-school had not equipped him with the tools needed to succeed—
—which was of course the tragedy of Affirmative Action:
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Copper fell from $4.20 to $3.25—close to 25%—in about three weeks. Most of that tumble has happened in the last ten days, and what’s worrisome is that, as I write these words over the weekend, there is every indication that copper will continue its free fall come Monday.
From the numbers that I’m seeing—and from the historical fact that copper tends to fall roughly 40% from peak to trough during an American recession—there is every indication that copper could reach $2.67 in short order. And even bottom out below that—say at $2.20—before stabilizing around the $2.67 level.
But we’ll see. The price of copper is not the point of this discussion. The point of this discussion is what the price of copper means.
What it means for monetary policy.
We all know the old saying: “Copper is the only commodity with a Ph.D. in economics”, or words to the effect.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
“The more you understand, the less you forgive.”
In the Fall of 1991, shortly after the Clarence Thomas nomination and the Anita Hill hearings, the Class of ‘95 matriculated at Dartmouth College.
|Dartmouth Hall, by Stephanie Gagnon.|
The young woman making the claim against the freshman said that he had visited her in her dorm-room around lunchtime one day during Orientation Week, and had “forcibly tried to kiss” her. She had rebuffed him, told him he was being “selfish”, after which he had left, without further incident.
This was the sexual assault allegation.
The young woman also claimed that the freshman had then started to harass her via electronic mail, in the days and weeks after. She claimed he had sent her “obscene messages”, which she had purged from her e-mail account, as she hadn’t wanted any of that “filth” on her computer.
This was the sexual harassment allegation.
The young woman said she wanted to “protect” the Dartmouth campus—and the other women at Dartmouth College—from the danger that the freshman represented. This was why she was reporting this incident three weeks after it allegedly took place.
The accused freshman, being unsophisticated, went through the disciplinary channels of Dartmouth College without contacting attorneys or even his parents. He was confident that the allegations would be shown to be lies—because he knew they were lies.
More to the point, he could prove that they were lies.