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Visit the BatesLine Op-Ed Page for today's batch of columns from TownHall, National Review, American Spectator, and the Wall Street Journal.
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In the spotlight
"Francisco Marroquin -- named after the first Bishop of Guatemala, who translated several of the indigenous languages -- is one of the best universities in Latin America. Its fees are at the upper end of the range, and it sets stiff entrance criteria, including a required fluency in English. All its undergraduates, whether they are studying law, medicine or architecture, are given a basic grounding in the principles of personal liberty and limited government.
"Does that sound like indoctrination? Perhaps it is. But only in the sense that all universities indoctrinate their students. We expect our places of learning to uphold certain standards: Respect for truth, decency towards others, self-restraint.
"What makes Francisco Marroquin unusual is not that it seeks to inculcate values. Rather, it's that those values are not the leftist ones prevalent in almost every other institution of higher education. Instead of promoting anti-racism as the supreme political value, Francisco Marroquin promotes freedom. Safe spaces, micro-aggressions and trigger warnings have no place in these handsome buildings. Students are constantly exhorted to think for themselves.
"To leftists, the place must seem like a Bond villain's lair. Although it's surrounded by Guatemala City, you wouldn't think so when you're there. The campus is in a ravine, overshadowed by the viridian spray of its arboretum -- the university governors take pride in the fact that, unlike some ecologists, they are engaging in practical conservation work rather than demanding that politicians do it for them. A socialist who stumbled upon the place would surely conclude that he had uncovered some "Boys From Brazil" type plot.
"The free-market liberalism taught here has a samizdat feel. Most undergraduates are as opposed to the big-government paternalism that passes for conservatism in Latin America as they are to the Left."
"A Nolli Map is a two-dimensional plan drawing used to understand and document the accessibility and flow of space within a city. The first Nolli ever was drawn by the Italian architect from where the map derives its name from, Giovanni Battista Nolli. For purposes of dividing the city into wards and planning future public works, in 1736 Pope Benedict XIV commissioned Nolli to create the most accurate plan drawing of Rome ever made. Giovanni documented every building within the city and consequently every space. Unique to the Nolli Drawing is the representation of public space inside buildings, as part of the urban realm. There is no distinction between inside and out; only space and mass. The Nolli Map of Rome presented the Eternal City in a way that deepened the comprehension of its neighborhood fabric....
"As I enter into the realm of small scale incremental development myself, I can't help but recall the time I spent documenting Seaside. The level of comprehension I gained about this place, from walking and drawing every inch of it, was almost intimate. A key factor distinguishing small developers from the large developer is a deep and authentic understanding of a neighborhood. This is where the Nolli Map has its advantages and offers tremendous value to small scale developer."
The January 30, 2017, edition of Studio Tulsa was an interview with Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams, author of BodyWise: Discovering Your Body's Intelligence for Lifelong Health and Healing. Dr. Abrams discussed chronic pain and fatigue and the challenges of tracing those systemic and diffuse conditions back to a cause, which can sometimes involve food sensitivity (e.g. gluten) and hypothyroidism. Dr. Abrams emphasized the importance of journaling to keep a careful daily account of nutrition, hydration, sleep, and stress so as to correlate them accurately with their effect on pain and energy levels.
A lot of useful information that was once only available to dealers and factory-authorized repair centers is now available to the general public. Use this page to find technical service bulletins that may help you maintain and repair your car -- or help you figure out what's wrong, so you can have someone else do the repair you need.
BBB Industries, manufacturers of starters, alternators, power steering pumps, and other automotive equipment, allows you not only to search for TSBs and wiring diagrams for your car, but you can actually view and download them! Free registration required.
I tried vegemite on buttered bread, lamington, and meat pies, all of which I enjoyed, but missed out on the rest. Thinking I should have tried TimTams and cheesymite rolls.
Things U.K., the White Lion pub, Scotfest, and cricket and rugby clubs are on the list.
Small-town Oklahoma has some good coffee houses, too.
When two components of the same nation have starkly different ideas about what is good, true, and beautiful, maybe it's time to split up. Czechia and Slovakia had a "velvet divorce" in 1993; could the US manage a similarly peaceful split? A California departure would make it harder for the Left to reassert control over the rest of the US. Any secession policy would have to consider how to deal with military bases and other federal property (a status-of-forces agreement?), the seceding state's share of the Social Security "trust fund" and its share of the national debt (maybe we'll call it a wash), water rights (who gets how much water from the Colorado River), and trade and immigration policy. The remaining states would need to worry about access to the Pacific Ocean, particularly if Washington and Oregon left along with California. What if a section of the state prefers to remain, like West Virginia did in 1863? The newly-birthed nation would have to set up defenses, establish a currency, create a postal service (or leave it to the private sector?). California is supposed to be a donor state, so it would have plenty of money to fund its own infrastructure and social spending when it stops paying federal taxes.
If all 50 states seceded, we might be able to move back to the original idea of the USA -- sovereign, autonomous states that share little more than a common defense, a common currency, and free trade and movement.
Remember when standardized tests asked only questions that had an objective, unambigious answer? Test companies got bored with that, so now you get multiple-choice questions on subjective interpretations of texts, rather than objective questions that are answered by the text's content, and poet Sara Holbrook, whose work was used in this way, is unhappy about it.
"Oh, goody. I'm a benchmark. Only guess what? The test prep materials neglected to insert the stanza break. I texted him an image of how the poem appeared in the original publication. Problem one solved. But guess what else? I just put that stanza break in there because when I read it aloud (I'm a performance poet), I pause there. Note: that is not an option among the answers because no one ever asked me why I did it.
"These test questions were just made up, and tragically, incomprehensibly, kids' futures and the evaluations of their teachers will be based on their ability to guess the so-called correct answer to made up questions....
"The only way to stop this nonsense is for parents to stand up and say, no more. No more will I let my kid be judged by random questions scored by slackers from Craigslist while I pay increased taxes for results that could just as easily have been predicted by an algorithm. That's not education, that's idiotic....
"My final reflection is this: any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich. Mostly test makers do this to dead people who can't protest. But I'm not dead.
Dan McLaughlin writes: "At the opposite end of the scale, however, it is perilous and maybe more harm than good to reduce depression strictly to a question of chemistry.... It's actively dangerous to tell people their problems are just a matter of chemicals, then give them drugs and tell them it will all be OK, when it actually won't and they may feel like they have just lost the only hope there was. It's dangerous to tell people they have no free will in the face of depression, when they do - when the thing they need most is to have it pressed into their brains that no matter how dark things get, there is always help, always hope. Depression is a sickness of the soul, and the fact that we can diagnose its physical manifestations doesn't change that.... The mind and the soul are complex things. But while depression is a disease, it's not just a disease, and combating it is a matter of treating a person, not treating a disease alone."
McLaughlin quotes Ben Stein: "In my own life, I have found that prayer, intense rest, fresh air, and above all, 12-step programs for helping persons who want to get off the suicide express before it reaches its final destination in hell, work miracles. I have never known a person injured by prayer. I have never known a person driven to suicide by going to 90 meetings in 90 days and maybe 180 meetings in 90 days....I carry with me a gift from a friend who said it had saved his life many a time. It is a simple piece of paper that reads, "NOT TODAY." It has brought me peace and salvation many a time. Anyone can get through just one more day and by tomorrow you might feel completely different."
BatesLine Linkblog archives
- Global News
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- Akkadian dictionary published, available free online
- 2017 Oklahoma school election day
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- Perspective on Trump's refugee executive order
- Nat Hentoff and how Jesse Jackson sold his soul
- Tommy Allsup, RIP
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