reg rats
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
Chief Wiggles, a soldier in Iraq has started a massive toy drive for Iraqi children.

Some no no toys:

Any guns of any kind
No violent action hereos
No violent toys
No barbie dolls or dolls skantily dressed
No toys that shoot something, no projectiles
No water guns
Lets just keep it simple, simple toys, just the basics, these kids have
Crayons might melt, so probably not the best thing to send. It was 107 degrees in Baghdad today.
Quick update from the first comment, Colored pencils would be wonderful!

Send toys to:

Chief Wiggles
c/o CPA Chaplain
CPA-C2, Debriefer
APO AE 09335

A good idea is to go to the Toys R Us website and have them shipped directly there.
Monday, September 29, 2003
Jacob Levy writes on not encountering viewpoint discrimination in academia. Prof. Levy mentions in his blog that his experience is based on his time at Brown, Princeton, and The University of Chicago. Today marks my fourth day into the foray of graduate education at The Ohio State University School of Public Health and I can tell you that I definitely miss my dear alma mater and especially Prof. Levy's vibrant, intellectually honest, and thoughtful class. In all of my four years at the U of C, I can't recall a single instance in which a professor used his position to advance a particular political position or in which I ever felt the integrity of scholarly argument threatened. However, the blissful days of rigorous questioning in class seem to have ended for me when I began this program. In just four days, I have encountered an extreme left bias that I will demonstrate with the following example. Today in class, the instructor posted the following quote in his powerpoint presentation for the sole purpose of ridiculing it:

"As far as I am concerned, any restaurants should be able to operate without a license if they are willing to post a sign that states that this establishment is not inspected by the health department." -Chairman of House Committee to selected local health department representatives when discussing new food safety legislation.

After posting the quote, he laughed mockingly, derided "our stupid legislators" and the class responded with giggles of agreement. I really can't see what's so obviously wrong with the statement to dismiss it with such scorn. As a lover of the free market, I support elimination of licensure in many cases and would like to consider this case further but was heavily dissuaded from doing so in class. (Might I add that this class is required for the degree). To add insult to injury, the instructor concluded his regulatory rant with this quote:

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." -Thomas Jefferson

For the instructor to be consistent, Thomas Jefferson must have also added to the end of that one "...except for in the case of choosing restaurants. Dining out cannot be entrusted to the people and therefore restaurants must be lisenced by the government."

My point in this example is not just to bitch, (although it feels good to get that out) but to suggest that perhaps Prof. Levy's experience with integrity in academia has to do with the quality of his institutions. Brown, Princeton, and the University of Chicago are top-tier universities because of a devotion to academic integrity and therefore won't tolerate discrimination for political biases. It's been a big blow for me to learn that every university department isn't as committed to scholarly integrity as is the University of Chicago.

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