Thursday, March 06, 2003 :::
THE INCREDIBLY SHRINKING ATTENTION SPAN: Bob Dole and Bill Clinton are going to regularly debate each other on CBS's Sixty Minutes, reviving the show's old Point-Counterpoint segment. According to the New York Times "Mr. Clinton and Mr. Dole said yesterday that they were looking forward to the opportunity to provide the kind of thoughtful commentary that has been missing from the superheated and often shrill discourse that dominates much of television news." Said Clinton: "I see this as an opportunity to try to have a really civil debate that enlightens people on the issues." The plan for debate is to allot either Dole or Clinton 45 seconds to make an opening statement, followed by 45 seconds for his opponent, and 15 second rebuttal for both. Back in 1979, when Sixty Minutes last ran Point/Counterpoint, the segments were a full minute longer. According to the producers, however, "attention spans [have] shortened since." I'm sure it won't be a problem for Messrs. Clinton and Dole to provide the "thoughtful, enlightening commentary" that's been missing on TV in the full two minutes provided.
Tuesday, March 04, 2003 :::
HOW DEADLY IS DIVERSITY? According to Michelle Malkin (daughter of Filipino immigrants to the United States), "money-grubbing, diversity-seeking college officials" are directly responsible for the death of thousands of innocent Americans, by educating such terrorists as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- no questions asked as long as the tuition is paid for.
EVERYONE SHALL HAVE PRIZES. Something deeply worrying is apparently happening in the world of high school girls basketball, reports the New York Times: there has been "an increasing number of lopsided games across the country this season." Of course, since "no one should be embarrassed in high school", sports administrators are cooking up a "solution." As one coach, by the name of Johnnie Walker (really), exclaims: "This is all about the have and have-nots". Indeed! Now, of course I can understand it's not much fun to lose a game of basketball by, say, 115-2, but such is the stuff of life. Anyone who works in a high school who thinks kids shouldn't be "embarassed" in high school clearly needs to find another job -- as causing embarassement is the very essence of high school. As for those lop-sided victories, of course teams should be balanced out against opponents of similar skill. Good teams should compete against each other, as far as possible, given travel times and such. But in the end, some will be better than others. It has always been so, and so it shall always be. Let the administrators of self-esteem grow up a little. A sound trashing now and then is probably good for the soul.
RALPH NADER SCAM: If you attend a public university, or your kids do, there is a good chance you're donating a couple of dollars each term to the local chapter of US PIRG- the US Public Interest Research Group. Most of the money ultimately ends up in the hands of Ralph Nader. There are estimates that this scam produces somewhere in the region of $10-20 million every year for Nader's "causes."