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Bwoglines: The Dust Has Settled Edition

Fall break is really over, isn't it

Columbia researchers find that the dust from car exhaust increases the chance for, among other things, brain damage, autism, depression, and Alzheimer’s. (WSJ)

Yesterday, voters soundly rejected an anti-abortion initiative in Mississippi and a law limiting union rights in Ohio. (NYT)

Though the initial flooding in Thailand may be over, the recovery is expected to cost in excess of $4 billion—and if you’re planning on buying a hard drive in the near future, you could end up paying upwards of 60% above sticker price due to shortages. (Reuters, CNet)

The deadline to apply for the city’s $100 million has passed, leaving universities waiting on Bloomberg himself to make a final decision, who is eager to use the science and engineering campus to shape his mayoral legacy. (NYT)

As protesters settle in for winter, Occupy Wall Street has added a permanent first-aid tent, fully staffed with ER physicians, general practitioners, and registered nurses. (Gothamist)

Columbia alum and Nobel laureate in physics Norman Ramsey has died at 96. (AP)

Nemesis via Wikimedia

Bwoglines: Criticism and Ugly Truths Edition

Fear of the ugly truth

Slovenian Philosopher Slavoj Žižek taught “Radicalism 101“, in Zuccotti Park yesterday. (He’ll be at Columbia this Wednesday). Meanwhile, the protest has spread to 25 cities. (The Observer/CBS News)

Barnard Political Science professor Sheri Berman writes a scathing review of a book about conservatism that claims the ideology is about subjugating society’s lowest. (NY Times)

Giuliani is set to champion the safety of a nuclear power plant close to the city in the company’s ads, beginning this week. (WSJ)

A Columbia University researcher has created revelatory a mathematical formula to show that everyone wants a rich and attractive partner. (NY Post)

It’s homecoming week! Will we finally win the biggest football game of the season, or repeat our performance against Penn two years ago? Here’s a roundup of the most memorable homecoming moments as you try not to think about that. Watch this space for news about homecoming week on campus. (HuffPo)

Terror via Wikimedia

QuickCPR: 1969 Is Jealous

woodstock

The October issue of the Columbia Political Review is out.

The tongues of former commies and renegade colonists are back in style,

Young idealists are still hopping on the bandwagon,

Barack Obama spreads hope and change,

 San Francisco finally puts its money where its (progressive) mouth is,

and Conservatives pretend its 1773.

 

Roundup: Old Debates Begun Anew

Mark Lilla debates whether conservative ideas are properly studied on college campuses, and adds that, at Columbia “not a single prominent conservative is to be found.” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

HHS Secretary says swine flu vaccines could start early next month, but will that really stop the hysteria? (AP)

The new (and even-more-Twitter-like) Facebook Lite debuts – another new version of Facebook for people to create Facebook groups hating it. (CNET)

Pulitzer-winner Tracy Kidder’s new book is about a “a young medical student who fled the genocidal civil war in Burundi in 1994″ and ended up at Columbia and later medical school and American citizenship. Jeez, we thought it was hard getting out of bed this morning. (Buffalo News)

Finally, our thoughts are with grad student Jonathan Widawsky, as New Haven police continue to look for his missing fiancee. (Daily News)

AltSpec: Potpourri

At the Double Discovery center, they confirm and reconfirm that dating abuse is just not okay.

Our pediatric neuroscience department was managed by a fraudster.  John Bzdil pleaded guilty on Tuesday for defrauding Columbia for $180,000 used for personal expenses.

Miller Theatre has a “new” director.  Granted, she was the acting director since October.

A Columbian is related to the host of the most listened-to radio show in America.  “Now please stop judging me by my last name.”

Senior Justin Floyd revealed his taste for conservative dress to Meredith Vieira.

Nick the Quick and the Weekly Standard, the Most Curious of Friends

Bwog received word today that the famed conservative periodical, the Weekly Standard has published in its most recent issue an adamant critique of Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion, on ideological grounds opposed to eminent domain.  Not only is fair alma featured in the piece as an unyielding slumlord, but another surprising character makes a curious appearance.

What Bwog found more peculiar than the Standard’s bashing of the expansion plan, was the flowery description of Columbia’s most notorious opponent, who is showered with praise throughout the article. Nick Sprayregen, of mini-storage empire fame makes a prominent appearance throughout journalist Jonathan Last’s (you might know him best for his famous eulogy of Captain America) piece, and it seems to focus almost exclusively on Sprayregen’s multifarious options if he refuses to sell his land to Columbia rather than offering any other serious arguments against the Manhattanville expansion. 

This left Bwog to wonder if Sprayregen and recently-troubled conservative intellectuals are the newest and strangest of bedfellows?  If so, what further twists lie ahead in Nick the Quick’s Columbian saga?  We’ll leave that one up to you to decide.

PHS

AltSpec: Finders Keepers Edition

In which we imitate Monday through Friday: CU, vaguely, is whispered about in the real world.

We found fuel cells.

(Ed.- wrong Columbia)


You found a corporate sponsor.


He found dirty money.


Mom found a “neo-con”.


They found a sweet quartet.

The other conservative male escort

gannonDavid Eisenbach has done it again–one more polarizing political figure to enlighten campus discourse. This Wednesday, December 5th, faux White House correspondent-cum-boy toy Jeff Gannon will speak at Faculty House  about his new book, The Great Media War, which promises to “take aim at liberal media bias.” 

You fight that media bias, Jeff (or should we say James?) 

If you can’t wait, click on over to his blog, where preview pearls of wisdom await!

More controversy?

Get ready for for this one: word has it that Columbia alumnus/right-wing writer David Horowitz plans to make an on-campus appearance sometime between October 22nd and 26th to spearhead “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,” an event put on through the Terrorism Awareness Project. As a special treat, Horowitz plans to bring conservative talk show host Sean Hannity (who did this this little number a year ago) along with him to give us a speech all about Islamofascism. Details have been floating around here for awhile now, where a long list of speakers during the nationwide event  include Rick Santorum (UPenn, Penn State, Temple) and Ann Coulter (Tulane, USC).

In a Monday blog post, Horowitz denounced the ISO’s Thursday evening event “Using Racism to Sell War: The West vs. Islam?” calling the event a message from “leftwing flak-catchers for America’s enemies.” In his next post, Horowitz refers to the Muslim Students Association as “a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas and is funded by the Saudis and is part of the Islamo-fascist jihad,” generally speaking.

Brace yourselves?

Blogging AIPAC: part two of two

Bwog correspondent Armin Rosen decided to spend part of his spring break hobnobbing with the stars at the America Israel Public Affairs Committee’s conference in Washington DC. His second dispatch follows.

After hearing Dick Cheney drone through a half-hour long exposition on the danger that a premature American pullout from Iraq poses to Israel, I realized that my disgust from the previous night was probably misdirected. A conference with 6,000 attendees and Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney on its schedule obviously isn’t that concerned with pleasing everyone, so a bombastic John Hagee can be understood as a means to a greater end: if he can share the stage with the top Democrats in Congress then there’s no reason for anybody in Congress not to show up.

kjhAnd show up they did. After another day’s discussion on the immediacy of Israel’s existential threats and the two countries’ mutual values and interests, over half of the House and most of the Senate made their way to the Washington Convention Center, whereupon they endeavored to score easy points with thousands of more or less like-minded people. Completely anonymous lawmakers like the one in this picture probably didn’t, as they are part of the amorphous mass of the House of Representatives.

But these guys sure did, because they’re running for president:

obama
brownback

 

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Blogging AIPAC: part one of two

DC on a Sunday is about as exciting as Butler on a Thursday. So with press pass in hand, Bwog contributor Armin Rosen attempted to stave off the ennui the only way Washingtonians know how: with a couple strong shots of special interest politics.
aipac

My first thought upon arriving at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference’s first plenary session: should I feel inspired at being in a football-field sized room with more Jews than I’ve ever seen in one place in my entire life, or disgusted that we were watching a panel moderated by a former higher-up in the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq? Failing to reconcile the two, I condemn them to a queasy coexistence, made worse when the panel, which included former CIA director James Woolsey expounded upon the existential threats posed to the Jewish state by various Islamist entities. Six humungous jumbotrons behind him shuffle through images of a maniacal-looking Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and an impotent-looking Syrian president Bashir al-Assad. Israel advocacy is a high-stakes business, they beam at me.

How sinister is this scaremongering? I’m willing to write off Woolsey’s claim that preventing Iran from getting nukes is a “job for American diplomacy and the American military” as a convenient (albeit wildly irresponsible) turn of phrase, since packaging trumps substance at any “policy” conference like this one. The AIPAC conference seeks to prove that the American-Israeli alliance is worth defending. Saber-rattling aside, beginning the conference on a bleak, pessimistic, existential note sells that idea brilliantly. Manipulative? Sure. Alarmist? Probably. On point? In this blogger’s opinion, you better believe it.  (more…)

Lecture Hopping: Manliness


Harvey Mansfield, government professor at Harvard, stopped by to speak about his latest book
Manliness. Virile Bwog correspondent Andrew Flynn was there to report from the frontlines of the War on Girly-men…

“Be yourself… but don’t expect to be as respected.”

This was the advice that Harvey Mansfield gave to those of us who don’t fit his definition of “manliness.” As an oboist and a vegetarian, I’m pretty sure that Mansfield would not call me “manly.” But I’m not sure that I would want him to.

Harvey Mansfield is, by all accounts, a formidable scholar of political philosophy, a professor at Harvard for nearly half a century who has published important work on Burke, Machiavelli, and Tocqueville. He is also, as one questioner ventured, “sexy.” (And another: “You’ve even got man in your name.”) A spry but austere seventysomething, Mansfield looks like a straight man pulled from a 1930s slapstick comedy, complete with hat and overcoat. As a conservative, a follower of Leo Strauss, Mansfield is the academic that conservatives grumble about there not being more of – someone with intellectual rigor who is not afraid to defend unpopular ideas against his mostly liberal colleagues.

More after the jump…

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