“Daddy, I am quite concerned about your facial ticks and contortions, and I would like it very much if you stopped.”
I have always suspected that babies were too judgmental.
Élite universities will never be perfect meritocracies, and no one expects them to be. But neither do they wish to perpetuate America’s class system, which in some ways is becoming more ossified than ever. Yet, according to the Century Foundation, only three per cent of students at the hundred and forty-six most competitive colleges come from families whose levels of education, jobs, and income put them in the bottom socioeconomic quarter. Seventy-four per cent come from the top quarter. More startling, recruitment of minority and low-income students actually fell in recent years. In response, some colleges—including Harvard and Princeton and some of the most influential small liberal-arts colleges—now offer substantial subsidies to freshmen whose parents earn less than a middle-class income, and these schools are also working harder to seek out such candidates.
Nevertheless, the most selective colleges are still overly generous to applicants from the kinds of family least in need of a leg up in life. Legacies, the children of alumni and alumnae, have long had an easier time getting in. On top of that are the development cases—the term of art for the often less than academically stellar children of celebrities, wealthy executives, and influential politicians. As Daniel Golden, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, explains in his new book “The Price of Admission,” Ivy League college presidents, admissions deans, and trustees spend a great deal of time and effort soliciting these lucky students, many of whom are admitted with S.A.T. scores three or four hundred points below those of some rejected applicants.
America started out with high ideals. Here we are 200 years after the start of the great experiment and we’re not getting a big F in living up to those ideals. Hardly a coincidence that but we’re backsliding from the C- of the nineties to a big fat D as the country has shifted to the hard Right. Part of the problem may be the inability for people to differentiate between merit and perceptions of what is fair,
According to the Century Foundation, almost two-thirds of Americans support policies that reward academic achievement in the face of economic and social hardship.
In a free society we can only push concepts of what equality is outside of the arena of equal treatment under the law to a certain point, but a moral society is obligated to ask questions. If we all generally agree that we’d have a better society if more of the populace was brought up to a certain educational level aren’t there cultural benefits related to higher education, doesn’t that warrant making an extra effort and some small sacrifice to get poor and lower working class kids into some of the better colleges. If the result is that Tyler or Buffy has to go the University of Maryland instead of Princeton, since they are already part of the privileged class have they really been dealt a bad hand. Nothing of course would stop Buffy’s parents from making a nice fat donation to UM’s college of business administration. Or thinking of the situation in reverse, what if Yale or Brown keep admitting kids that are bright, but not exceptional because legacies take up the majority of open slots wouldn’t these schools by their tendency to favor the privileged class over the brightest or those that show great ambition and potential, the so called elite schools are actually lowering the overall academic climate of their schools. All in order to placate the haves at the expense of the those with genuine promise, a perverse manifestation of affirmative action.
It is odd that during the Clinton years more Americans murdered other Americans then were killed by foreign or domestic terrorists and for the most part the fringe right – now what passes for mainstream conservatism hasn’t said much about holding Clinton responsible for that. Possibily because it continues under Bush. It continues for a few complex sociological reasons but one of the biggest underlying causes is poverty and ignorance. The conservative movement gets boiling froth up about jihidists, but not poverty. Ironic and sad that both cause death, but the later is of little concern to the Right. Though this phenomenon is of little surprise, the Right has history of ignoring the common good and clinging to boogiemen. Where there isn’t one they’re glad to create one, and where there is one they’re all too happy to blow it out of proportion. In the case of islamic terrorists, even putting cynicism aside one can’t help but think they’re enjoying the whole ‘Islamofacists” scenario play out. Otherwise why would they continue to support policies that are like fuel on a fire, Bush Makes Public Parts of Report on Terrorism
The war in Iraq has become a “cause célèbre” for Islamic militants, “breeding a deep resentment” of the United States in the Muslim world, according to declassified excerpts from a major intelligence report that were released late this afternoon.
“The Iraqi jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere,” the excerpts said.
The excerpts — just over three pages from a document said to be 30 pages — were ordered declassified by President Bush. Mr. Bush said earlier today that he was loath to declassify any classified document, but that news reports about the intelligence assessment could have led to “confusion” about its findings. The New York Times disclosed some of the findings over the weekend, showing that the Iraq war had invigorated Islamic radicalism and worsened the global terrorist threat.
The excerpts from the intelligence report pointed to a spread of terrorist activity globally for at least the next five years and said terrorists were adapting to the tactics used against them. “If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide,” they said.
“Jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion,” said the excerpted document, representing the key judgments of a National Intelligence Estimate completed in April 2006 and reflecting the consensus of the nation’s 16 intelligence agencies.
The shorter document, drawn from the April assessment titled “Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,” was released by the office of the director of national security amid rising political pressure from Democrats for its declassification.
“The Iraq conflict has become the ‘cause célèbre’ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement,” the declassified document said. “Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”
The document asserted that American-led counterterrorism efforts had seriously damaged the leadership of Al Qaeda and disrupted its operations. “However, we judge that Al Qaeda will continue to pose the greatest threat to the homeland and U.S. interests abroad by a single terrorist organization,” it said.
Referring to jihadists around the world, it found that “the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the time frame of this Estimate.”
That time frame, according to Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House adviser on homeland security, is the five years from April. She also said the document declassified included perhaps 95 percent of the full “key judgments” section in the intelligence estimate, including all references to Iraq.
“Maybe two or three paragraphs were redacted in the interests of national security,” she said.
The report cites four factors fueling the spread of Islamic militancy: entrenched grievances and a sense of powerlessness; the Iraq “jihad”; the slow pace of reform in Muslim nations; and “pervasive anti-U.S. sentiment among most Muslims.”
Sounds like something anyone could have read on a liberal blog over the past five years, only its not, its the president’s own NIE
Representative Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, had called earlier today for declassifying the assessment. She said the Iraq war had “made the global jihadist threat more dangerous.”
“We created a failed state by removing Saddam Hussein and established a recruiting tool and training ground for global jihadists,” she said. .
The Right need not fear, Bush and his foreign policy gurus have set things in motion that will take half a century to untangle and at the end of the day that is just what the Right wanted. For the average citizen to feel a certain level of fear, a level that would continue to get the tough talking guys that are making things worse get re-elected.
Secreatary of State Rice is such a liar. and here
But mostly came up with nothin’
So the truth was never learned
And the human race just kept rollin’ on
Rollin’ through the fighting
Rollin’ through the religious wars
Rollin’ down the temple walls
And the church’s exposed sores
Rollin’ through the fighting
The religious wars
Mostly came up with nothin’
from the lyrics to Falling from Above by Neil Young