Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Ho-hum

Reading Lincoln Journal Star editorials is a useful mental exercise; assemble in your mind all of the unexamined premises, misguided conclusions and downright falsehoods, and then try to determine if they spring from malice or ignorance. An editorial like today's, whole-heartedly approving of a campaign for political correctness at UNL, is an especially meaty challenge. You just have to step back and admire the following
As often is the case, an effective response to those who use freedom of speech in an offensive way is a simply to exercise more freedom of speech. That's what UNL administrators are doing and what they are encouraging students to do.
Well, no. In fact, that's a complete inversion of the truth. The student senate is exploring the impeachment of the offending student. The administration has done nothing publicly to discourage that impeachment. In fact, Harvey Perlman has minimized free speech concerns. I am not aware of anything he or any other administrator has said that encourages speech to be met by more speech, invoking the marketplace of ideas, or emphasizing that universities are bastions of free expression. Quite the opposite, in fact. "Not Here, Not Now, Not Ever" is not a slogan that signals a campaign based on ideas.

The editorial, while it give the student's name in full (no doubt to secure plenty of unfavorable web hits when he goes looking for a job) never once mentions he faces sanctions for expressing a political opinion.

I'm going with ignorance on this one. I don't think they could be bothered to spend 5 minutes researching the case. And you just have to laugh at this.

A quick online search shows that in recent months racially charged incidents have occurred on campuses on the East Coast, West Coast and other parts of the country.
A quick online search will also get you UFO reports from the East Coast, West Coast and other parts of the country. It doesn't mean we face interplanetary invasion. There is no evidence of an epidemic or an increase in the number of 'racially charged' incidents. In fact, many of the most prominent cases, such as Oberlin, turned out to be mistakes or overt hoaxes.

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