November 30, 2009

Overheard in front of Baker

'13 girl yelling loudly and looking at a bill: 608 dollars? 608 dollars?! I don't have 608 dollars. Fuck "Hanover ambulance service," I coulda walked there!

'13 girl's friend: The irony is, if you could have walked, you wouldn't have needed the ambulance.

In defense of "too-fat-to-graduate"

Controversy has been stewing around a policy at the historically-black Lincoln University requiring obese students (with a large waist and a BMI of 30+) to complete a physical education class before they graduate.

A number of students -- all obese, it seems -- have voiced outrage at this sensible policy because they see it as discriminatory and would rather see the requirement applied to everyone. However at Dartmouth, just as those who have poor proficiency at English have to enroll in Writing 2 and 3 (while others do not), and those without second language competency have to finish through the third level of a foreign language, and those who do not score highly on the math portion of standardized tests have to enroll in the lower-level Math 3 class, so too should obese students have to complete a P.E. class while their peers do not.

It's entirely appropriate to call this policy discrimination, but it's good discrimination. Obese students are clearly in need of this curriculum more than their thinner counterparts. In a perfect world, at a perfect Lincoln University, there would be ample funding to require physical education for all students. But when money's tight, it makes sense to target efforts; one group clearly seems to be in more need than others.

Writing in the school paper, 21-year-old Tiana Lawson complained "I didn't come to Lincoln to be told that my weight is not in an acceptable range. I came here to get an education which, as a three-time honor student, is something I have been doing quite well, despite the fact that I have a slightly high Body Mass Index." Well, Tiana, you may be getting good grades in your other classes, but if you're obese, you're failing in health and obviously could use some extra tutoring. That's like a Dartmouth student complaining about distributive requirements by saying he only came to college to study economics. Or an English major saying that she should graduate summa cum laude despite the fact that she keeps failing chemistry.

David Kairys, professor of law at Temple University Law School in Philadelphia, decried the policy as "paternalistic". Three words for you Dave: "in loco parentis." Colleges have a duty to their students to promote their safety and well-being. Unchallenged obesity at places like Lincoln undoubtedly robs more healthy years of life from students over the long-run than binge drinking ever could. Some think that the decision to enroll in these P.E. classes should be left up to the student. But, if the students are obese, they are clearly not making good decisions as it is. Can the college, acting in place of the parent, simply watch as the evidence of unhealthy behavior is paraded before its very eyes? It doesn't with alcohol. Should we as Americans be content to allow the gigantic externality costs -- in medical care alone -- caused by obesity to go without corrective action?

Lincoln University should be commended for this practical policy -- one that has the great potential for doing wonders in these kids' lives. Obesity is a major problem in Black America -- 4 out of 5 black women are overweight -- and it is inspiring to see a leading black university step up and set an example that all Americans should live by.

Happy Holidays!

It's that time again... Songs about jolly old men and red-nosed reindeers are beginning to pour from every stereo. Actually, they were beginning a few days ago (okay, so it's commercial frontloading, but we won't mention that) but now that it's past Thanksgiving more and more people are getting into the holiday spirit. Perhaps the thought of a white Christmas or holiday is helping to motivate the hanging of some lights and decorations (and the dancing of some snow dances, which I suppose can count as decorative). Perhaps it's the thought of finals and the manic energy they inspire.

But there's one tree that is not decorated- and that's the beautiful 30-foot tree sitting out on our Green. Donated by Sandy Allen of Hanover, the fir is just waiting to light up the campus and light up our exam-stressed lives. Rumor has it that Thomas Kim, the much-beloved son of our great President Kim, will light the tree, and that the Glee Club will sing some glee into the holiday air. I've heard that there will even be hot chocolate.

So this Thursday, at 5:15 pm, you know where you should be! Get into the swing of the holiday spirit and join all us other jolly people on the Green. It's the first day after classes end so you know you won't be doing that much work anyway- come help us celebrate the season!

Happy (and Green) holidays to all!

Law School is Useless

I’ve come to think that law school is a huge rip-off. You go to school for three years, accumulate a pile of debt, all to earn the right to take the bar exam. So I have an alternative...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 29, 2009

Review: Blink

Blink takes an interesting idea -- that the unconscious mind is both lightening fast and surprisingly efficient at making particular kinds of judgments -- and expounds upon it using numerous decently well-known examples from recent history. The unconscious cognition idea at the heart of Blink is actually rather straight-forward and easy to understand, but most of the book is deliberately repetitive and simplified to make it accessible to an even broader audience. While a number of the examples discussed show surprising applications to this counter-intuitive idea, the educated reader will find that his understanding of the subject is not marginally enhanced by any significant measure after the first chapter. In short: a breezy read that, unfortunately, didn't teach me as much as I'd hoped. Nice Thanksgiving-break reading, though. Easily finishable on two airplane flights.

Read it
Skim it
Toss it

November 23, 2009

Dartmouth loses one of its own

[In light of recent news concerning the death of a Dartmouth graduate student, I have removed my previous post from today. It will be reposted at a more appropriate time.]

From The Dartmouth:

"Henry Masters, a student in the master's of public health program at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, passed away this weekend after testing positive for the H1N1 virus. Masters had a chronic autoimmune disorder that College President Jim Yong Kim said in a campus-wide e-mail Monday afternoon was the "underlying cause" of his death." [FULL STORY]

Our thoughts go out to Henry's family and friends in this difficult time.

November 22, 2009

Review: Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra

"Da da da dum..." Who hasn't heard that famous motif? It has echoed through concert halls, practice rooms, and auditoriums more times than anyone could count. And Saturday at 8 p.m., it echoed through Spaulding Auditorium. It was resonant. Radiant. Beethoven's Fifth.

Call me a child of cliche if you like but I was struck by those chords. The powerful C minor can be abused and it can be raised to its potential; but Ludwig van Beethoven would have been proud last night because with Conductor Anthony Princiotti and a few key soloists (including Matthew Boyas '13) leading the way, the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra took the Fifth beyond its potential into greatness.

It was an amazing night for classical music, that's for sure; in a brave leap of juxtaposition, the great Fifth was preceded by Bonnie Thron's stellar guest performance in Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major. Shostakovich and Beethoven are neither of them for the faint of heart, and neither of them easy to perform. One key mistake could ruin either. It was a courageous DSO that took on the dual challenge. The two epic pieces were accompanied on either side by Tchaikovsky: "Waltz from Serenade for Strings in C Major" to begin, and a surprise encore to follow.

Ms. Thron was superb and passionate in the Shostakovich; her solo cadenza stole my breath away. The french horn solo reminded me of a true "Vox Clamantis In Deserto," a beautiful voice crying out in the wilderness. And Shannon Draucker '13 performed an exquisite clarinet solo- the best I have ever heard.

All in all, it was a good night for DSO, Beethoven, Shostakovich, and every member of the audience. I don't think there was a soul there that night not touched by the might of the fiery sound emanating from the stage. The audience certainly showed its appreciation, rising to its feet after the Fifth and clapping enough to bring on the second Tchaikovsky.

The standing ovation was certainly well deserved.

The Daily Dartmouth is getting a make-over?

This is what The Dartmouth's website currently looks like. Perhaps they took a page from LGB and decided to get a make-over. I'm looking forward to seeing what it looks like in full. The last upgrade was plagued with issues that even now have yet to be resolved.

November 20, 2009

The girl who cried racist

For those minorities having a difficult time understanding why the average suburban white family has problems empathizing with perceived racism: look no further than this article from The article outlines two versions of events that led to the arrest of Heather Ellis outside a Walmart. The first, shared by all five police officers and four people within the store, has Heather acting belligerently, cutting into a cashier line, pushing away the merchandise of a patron being checked out, screaming obscenities, threatening customers, disrupting store displays, resisting attest, threatening officers, kicking one officer in the shin, and kicking another in the face. The other version, professed only by Healther Ellis it seems, holds that she "was treated differently" and was called a number of racial epithets. Regarding her reason for arrest, it seems she pleads no contest.

Because the police force is largely white and Ms. Ellis is black, she instantly dropped the race-card and CNN ate that shit up so fast it got smeared all over its cheeks.

But what about the initial incident? What about the fact that this woman is a psycho and was a danger to everyone in that store? What about the crimes she committed? This is just another Skip Gates, Duke Lacrosse, Tawana Brawley, Jena 6-style mound of bullshit. In all these cases, minorities behaved badly or otherwise tried to blame whites for racism that simply is not there in order to distract the public.

Now, I recognize that racism exist. I believe that bigotry is a deep as it is wide-spread. I believe that no matter what, EVERYONE has prejudice. But to point to these examples as verification of that fact cheapens the real examples and turns whites off to very real cases of injustice whenever they happen. Heather Ellis, the cops who arrested you aren't keeping minorities down, YOU ARE.

November 19, 2009

What Do Women Want (in the workplace)?

I just ran across an interesting post from the New York Times about gender and level of satisfaction with one’s job. A study found that women need to make far less money than men do in order to find their jobs fulfilling...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 18, 2009

Palin Palavers

Last night, while walking home from Canoe Club with a friend, I predicted that humanity will have destroyed itself long before Frank Sinatra goes out of style. If we accept that to be true, I’d like to propound another prognostication: that Frank Sinatra will go out of style long before Sarah Palin is ever elected to national office.

In fact, despite how much her willing warriors may wish it, I’m not even sure she wants the Oval Office. If she does, she’s certainly not acting like it. Since “going rogue” on John McCain, she’s tripped over her own feet running to the far right wing of the Republican Party. And that pales in comparison to her decision to stamp “quitter” across the top of her resume this past July. Yes, she is enjoying widespread celebrity and secured one of the largest book deals in history; but it takes more than that to win an election. Sarah Palin is, then, either an epically good self-promoter or an epically bad politician. Or both.

For a moment, we’ll entertain the possibility that it’s the last option. The case for a Palin run on the presidency is not without merit. Her book tour, conducted in a conveyance vaguely reminiscent of those seen so often in the corn fields of Iowa and frozen mountain passes of New Hampshire, guarantees Palin more time in the national spotlight. And even after resigning the keys to the governor’s mansion, Sarah has not shied away from politics, opting instead to attempt a remolding of her party in her own image (see special election, New York 23rd).

Where Palin has increased her level of support among the conservative base, she has lost the trust of independents who were once willing to give her a shot. For every conservative she wins over, she’ll lose three independents in Ohio and every Democrat from the not-so-real areas of America. Public opinion research already shows the diva of conservative dogma with a negative net approval rating at -14 percent. And for a practical application of her doctrinaire powers, see how effective she was at electing a Democrat for the first time since the Civil War in upstate New York.

Politics and popularity are almost always very different games to play, and in the harshest terms, Sarah is a political loser. While both she and John McCain were victims of a larger trend in the American mood, Palin rallied the base whilst driving independents to the unpatriotic camp of Barack Obama, that friend of terrorism and all things Socialist. Take note of who won last November.

It’s fitting that Palin subtitled her book, “An American Life,” for only in America could a small town mayor who cannot name a single major American newspaper come within one hundred yards and one heartbeat from the presidency. And that level of social mobility is not a negative; it’s part of what makes the American story as singular as it is shared by all.

But the buck must stop somewhere, and for Sarah, it will stop shy of the oval office. The glitz and glamour of her celebrity might distract from her declining national brand, but come next fall when she ramps up her political machine for a run on Washington (or more appropriately, a run on Cedar Rapids and Nashua), she will realize that the American people would rather see her as a personality, not a president.

But don’t worry, Sarah: Frank Sinatra was never president, either.

The Hooverville under the stars and in the fairway

Two nights ago, I found myself unable to sleep and so with a friend of mine, who was drunk with the pride of getting a high-paying job offer (as well as alcohol), misadventured out to the Dartmouth Golf Course at 4 a.m. to see the Leonid Meteor Shower. This particular astrological spectacle occurs every every 33 years, and while the best viewing of it this year was in China (at ~300 meteors per hour), Hanover at 4a.m. with its ~30 meterors/hour wasn't too bad either.

We made it out to the golf course, stopping once to answer a mountain biker's question of where it was. Wading through the freezing mud, which is inconveniently invisible in the oily dark of the night, a number of rather brilliant streaks of light briefly scarred the cloudless sky and alerted us, by the resulting shrieks of pleasure, to the astounding number of students hidden around us. We climbed the large hill, and if you've been out there you'll know which one I mean. Atop, we found hoovervilles of students, pitched in blankets and sleeping bags, sharing in each other's company and the brilliance of atmospheric phenomena. While the identities of each person up there were indistinguishable, the smell of marijuana was not.

The overall shower was interesting, if not spectacular. Meteors were few, but cool to see, and more appreciable given their brevity and small number.

The point that I want to make in this story, other than to draw attention to late-night gallivanting that does not involve a masked graduate student with a light saber, is to point out that these happenstance moments -- where students are naturally drawn together by the spontaneity of an event -- are what we will remember when we look back on college decades after graduation. Appreciate them when you find them, and actively seek them out.

Got a story from that night? Share it in the comments.

Sarah Palin Goes Rogue

Sarah Palin is out with her new book, and touring to promote it. She even made a stop on the Oprah show—this would of course be the same Oprah who supported Obama for President last year. So now is as good a time as any to consider her chances for 2012...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 17, 2009

On January 1, 2010, it will become illegal for people in Illinois to text while driving.

Wait - why do you care about Illinois? Maybe because 18 other states, including New York, have already instated a similar ban.

It's true that texting while driving raises your chances of doing something stupid with your vehicle. But so do applying makeup, eating, fiddling with the radio, talking (even if you're on a headset), sneezing, and just about anything else that doesn't involve your complete concentration on the road. Maybe we can blame it on the multitasking generation, but I doubt it -- most of the distractions cited in this article have been around almost as long as cars have.

A teacher at my high school died a couple of years ago because he was changing the song on his iPod and crashed his car into another. His widow had to explain to his 4-year old daughters that Daddy was dead because he didn't like the song that was playing. It's not texting that is the problem; that's just another piece of the puzzle. The problem, perhaps, is that we can't unplug anymore -- not even to protect our own lives.

Equally irritating (and potentially dangerous) are people who text while walking. Look around you. Chances are, if you walk from Mass Row to Collis, you'll pass at least 5 people scurrying along hunched over their iPhones, madly texting away or checking blitz. This evening I walked from the Alumni Gym to Phi Tau and was physically run into not once, but twice, by people barreling along with their eyes glued to a tiny screen.

And they don't change that behavior in crosswalks, either. Drivers usually get all the heat when a pedestrian is hit in the road. But if the pedestrian is anything like the typical Dartmouth student -- that is, a jaywalker, a blitz addict, and secure in the belief that they are immune to disaster -- you've got to question whether the driver is wholly to blame.

I'm just waiting for the day that a driver collides with a pedestrian because both of them were texting. Maybe to each other. I will probably laugh at the irony.

I'm a terrible human being, aren't I?

Government Needs to Create Jobs

Despite the hundreds of billions in stimulus and the massive bank bailouts, the employment numbers are getting steadily worse. Some have urged that the government should explore more direct methods of job creation, such as simply hiring more people to work in government agencies. I think there is merit to the idea...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 16, 2009

Reason #67 I'm glad to be in a co-ed

Overheard by a friend:

guy on phone: we had to do this thing at meetings and it really messed up my
guy on phone:...
guy on phone: yeah. yeah i probably can't say
guy on phone: yeah, it involved a lot of throwing up."

Mmmmm... vomit in your sinuses. Nice.

Crime Alert

--- Forwarded Message from "Keiselim A. Montas, Interim Director of Safety and Security" ---

>From: "Keiselim A. Montas, Interim Director of Safety and Security"
>Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 15:55:13 EST
>Subject: Safety and Security Crime Alert
>To: Undergraduates in Residence:;, Tuck Students:;, Thayer Students:;, DMS Students:;, Arts and Sciences Graduate Students:;, All Faculty:;, All Staff:;

The Department of Safety and Security issues Crime Alerts to inform the
Dartmouth College Community of any incident which may potentially pose a threat
to the safety and security of Campus community members.
We encourage all community members to take an active role in crime prevention
by staying informed and taking personal safety precautions.

A female student living in an off campus apartment near campus reported that on
November 14, 2009 at approximately 3:20 AM she awoke in her bedroom to find an
unknown male standing near her masturbating. The woman yelled and the suspect
fled. Hanover Police and Dartmouth Safety and Security responded.

The suspect is described as a male, six feet tall wearing a baseball hat.

This incident is under investigation by Hanover Police.

The following safety tips are designed to help you take charge of your own
* Always be alert and aware of your surroundings.
* Lock your door when you are at home, lock your door when you are away, always
lock your door!
* Pull the shades to your room at night and lock your windows.
*When someone knocks on your door always ask "Who is it?" to ascertain it is
safe to open the door.
* Be wary of strangers, on foot or in cars, asking directions: It's better to
be rude than to be in trouble.
* If someone follows you, go to a place where there are other people, and call
the Department of Safety and Security immediately.
* Report any suspicious activity immediately, including anyone that makes you
feel uncomfortable.
* The Department of Safety and Security is available 24 hours a day, every day!

Department of Safety and Security:
Emergencies 603-646-3333 (6-3333 from Campus phones)
Non-Emergencies 603-646-4000 (6-4000)

Terrorist Mastermind To be Tried in Civilian Court

Khaleid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried in civilian court. Is it a good idea? I think so...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

Review: The Rocky Horror Show

"Let's do the Time Warp again..." The refrain echoed through Moore Auditorium to applause, unabashed singing from audience members, and quite a few pelvic thrusts (including, some students were stunned to see, a few from the eminent Professor James Rice, the narrator of the performance). It was Saturday, November 14, 2009- or was it? Perhaps we'd travelled through time and space to a different universe. A strange universe, certainly...

Talene Monahon '13 and Jay Ben Markson '10 shone as Janet and Brad, a recently engaged, rather nice couple. Their chemistry and wide-eyed innocence were perfectly acted (and, later, perfectly corrupted). By unfortunate circumstance, as the Rocky tradition goes, the two were left alone on a rainy night near a convenient strange-looking castle. Who did the castle belong to? Why, Frank 'N Furter, of course, also known as David Mavricos '10, a self-described "sweet transvestite" from Transsexual, Transylvania- making his entrance from above wearing a rather sweet leather number.

There were a few crazy dance numbers right from the start, a couple of forays into the audience by Transylvanians, and introductions of some interesting characters. Among my favorites was Riff Raff, servant to Frank and played by Max Hunter '13 (do that Time Warp, Max!). Other rather appropriately (or, well, inappropriately) crazy performances were credited to Chiara Klein '10 as Magenta and the introductory Singer ("science fiction... double feature!"), Genevieve Adams '11 as Columbia (beautiful declarations of love and sacrifice are always welcome, especially from a Transylvanian version of Sandy from Grease), and Stephen Jangro '11 as the namesake of the show, Rocky Horror ("Are you sure you don't like guys with lots of muscles?"). Evan Ross '13 and Stewart Towle '12 made brief and hysterical performances as Eddie and Dr. Scott, respectively.

The ever-present crew of Transylvanians, of course, can't be forgotten: Neil Basu '11, Carol Brown '12, Amber Dewey '12, Anna Fagin '13, Samantha Knowles '12, Abby McCann '11, Max Moran '12, George Neptune '10, Nick Pulito '11, Cody Ruegger '10, Sidney Sands-Ramshaw '13, and Stephen Smith '13 sure made an impression on the audience. What would Rocky Horror be without a dedicated crew of dancing, singing Time-Warp-ers? And they fit the bill.

I certainly won't tell you that Rocky was appropriate for all ages, or any ages, for that matter- but I will say that it was pretty hysterical at times, complete with many additions from someone sitting up on the balcony ("Like weapons of mass destruction!"). It was incredibly fast-paced- intermission came very quickly and I don't remember being bored at any point in time. The set was obviously incredibly time-consuming to make and ended up very impressive; lighting and music were spot-on. All in all the production was masterful. The craziness, while certainly nothing short of all-out insanity, was choreographed perfectly. Kudos are due to Director Carol Dunne, Choreographer Gregory Daniels, and Music Director Louis Burkot.

Long story short, if you're up for being scandalized and whirling along for a crazy ride, give yourself up to the insanity and let the Time Warp take you over-- it's Rocky Horror time!

Performances are November 19, 20, and 21 at 8 pm as well as November 22 at 2 pm.

November 14, 2009

Birth Control and Islam

As our population slowly begins to grow in size, we have reason to be concerned. Considering the fact that we have limited space on our planet, I would say that our concern is a legitimate one. And apparently, many of the Islamic countries feel the same.

In Mazar-I-Sharif, Afghanistan, they are trying a new approach. What if Islamic leaders were educated in birth control methods, and encouraged their followers to do practice it?

The effort seems to be working. In 2009 itself, the sale of birth control pills has nearly doubled, from 6,000 to 11,000.

The sad truth? Many Islamic women have never been in contact with birth control. They have multiple children and are at the mercy of their husbands. The fact that Islamic women are afraid to take birth control pills, or to tell their husbands that they are taking them is shameful.

In this world that we live in, why are some societies old-fashioned? For future progress, acceptance of change is necessary; these classes are a change, but cultural beliefs must be altered as well.

For more information visit:

November 13, 2009

Obama's Options in Afghanistan

President Obama has yet to settle on a plan for Afghanistan. And little wonder. This is perhaps the toughest decision he’s had to make of his presidency. Most people agree that status quo isn’t working, so that leaves him with essentially two options...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 12, 2009

Bored @ Gridley

In addition to the calzones at Cuttings Northside Cafe, Matt Ritger's anti-frat manifesto, and Jim Kim being a total beast, one of the time-honored memes on the frat-tastic Bored@Baker is Linda Gridley, Dartmouth alumna and CEO of Gridley & Co: the "b-side" firm with the "a-side" sounding name and "a-shit-ton" of Dartmouth interns every term who do all her work. The running joke is that Gridley & Co, a "boutique" (e.g. ~10 employees) investment banking firm is better than MS, DB, and every other multibillion dollar finance company out there. Below are some of my favorite B@B gems.
i have a 3.99 gpa, AD president, President of squash and football, internship at gridley 3 times, and i had sex with linda gridley and i still didnt get a job at gridley
agree: [2]

i heard linda gridley actually poops sunshine
agree: [2]

I heard Gridley has 2 rejection letters: one to people who were varsity captains/AD presidents that says "Sorry" and one to normal applicants which says "Are you fucking kidding me" and Linda gridley will call them up to make fun of the[m]

The Linda Gridley Economics Scholars Program was initiated in 1768, one year before the founding of the College, and provides opportunities for juniors to research economics and financial issues on a regular basis. Applicants must have a 3.9 (or above) grade point average, social standing at or above Psi Upsilon Fraternity, membership in Dragon or Sphinx, and outstanding recommendations. One in ten scholars will be invited to apply for an interview at Gridley & Company LLC.
agree: [2] disagree: [1]

Fuck my life - my boyfriend & I were eating at Cuttings the other day and someone from Gridley, a very prestigious investment bank, called and gave him an offer for an internship. As soon as he heard that, he said "I'm dumpin your ass bitch, I'm too good for you now" and left me with the bill. At least the calzones were cheap
agree: [7] disagree: [1]

i heard snoop dogg, bruce springsteen, bob dylan, paul mccartney, radiohead, and linda gridley are playing on the green during winter carnival
agree: [1]

agree: [2]

I hear Gridley's pledge term is harder than psi u's
agree: [2]

i heard gridley pays $300 K base, $700 k sign on bonus, 5 bonuses a year each between$1000 and $10 million

REAL INTERVIEW QUESTION FROM GRIDLEY: perform a DCF on this cleveland steamer

cuttings: 3.7+ for interview, Gridley won't interview unless you are in Sphinx/son of Linda Gridley. She has 800 sons so being her son is still very hard to get into gridley

i heard gridley & Company requires 40 rounds of interviews to get an internship...and they are all with linda gridley

Introducing Dartmouth FML

Dartmouth now has its very own version of For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, FML is a collection of anecdotal stories illustrating the general hopelessness of the human condition through schadenfreude stories that could theoretically happen to anyone. Basically, any encounter you could rationally end by saying "f*** my life" to yourself.

The Dartmouth version is still in its infancy -- created, it appears, tonight -- but it has the promise of providing all the joy of FML through the uniquely green-tinted lens of Dartmouth Life. Below is my favorite of the current posts.

November 11, 2009

Your five o'clock Fail.

Exchange Fail:

Pleasing women fail:

Epic name fail:

Carrie Prejean- Idiot, Victim, Harlot

Carrie Prejean, the Glenn Beck of beauty pageants and former Miss California USA, has lost her crown and she knows exactly who's to blame: the Liberal Media and their conservative-women hating, free-speech destroying, smear campaigns. If one thing is for sure, it was definitely not Prejean's failure to meet contractual obligations nor was it her under-age sex tape that caused it. No, if anything, her liberal enemies invented that sex tape, the kind that is routinely used to prosecute youths as sex offenders, just to destroy her.

Ms. Prejean, pictured at right defending family values, came to prominence during the Q&A portion of Donald Trump's not-at-all-vapid Miss USA Pageant. Responding to a question from the quite out Perez Hilton, Ms. Prejean gave a resounding and articulate defense of "opposite marriage" to the displeasure of Hilton and a lot of the crowd.

In the ensuing controversy, Ms. Prejean became the Sarah-Palin-eque hero for thinly veiled conservative homophobia and the all-round paradoxical champion of family values. “Our bodies are temples of the Lord. We should earn respect and admiration for our hearts, not for showing skin to look sexy,” she said before she put on a skimpy bathing suit and paraded her cleavage on national television. How the hyporcacy doesn't suffocate her, I will never know.

Perhaps the best line in the article is this gem:
Donald Trump, the owner of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, saved Prejean’s Miss California crown. But she soon lost that, too, when pageant officials accused her of not meeting her contractual obligations. Prejean then sued, accusing pageant officials of libel, slander and religious discrimination, alleging that she was dismissed for her religious beliefs. The pageant countersued, demanding that she pay them back for the breast enhancement surgery they paid for.
Oh Snap!


A group of girls singing the Mulan theme in front of Hitchcock:
Girl 1 (singing): Let's get down to business-to defeat the hordes!

Rest of the group: Wait, isn't the song about huns?

November 10, 2009

Liveblogging Dr. Chu: The Happy Soldier

Today, PoliTALK and the Daniel Webster Legal Society hosted a special lunch for Dr. David S. C. Chu, the baritone-voiced CEO of the Institute for Defense Analyses and former Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness in the George W. Bush administration. First and foremost, Dr. Chu is a partisan, but not in the political way. If there is one flag he carries, it's the banner of the Department of Defense. Just about every problem that the DoD gets blame for is someone else's fault. And I believe him.

Exhibit one: The Constitution. The Senate declares war and the President fights it; the Army does not set its mission. Congress sets the statues and the DoD enforces it; "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was not our idea. The State Department requires guard forces and instead of bolstering its diplomatic security branches, it hires Blackwater. The DoD is just a tool-- like a gun on the table. Completely incapable of doing good or harm without the guidance of someone to pick it up and use it.

Dr. Chu is emphatic about the volunteer nature of the U.S. Military. If the soldiers don't want to be there, he doesn't want them. Under his leadership at DoD, a reassignment program was instituted to allow GIs to bid to change their deployment, thereby allowing each solider to serve according to their preferences. I asked him about the fate of those soldiers who joined to fight terrorism after 9/11 and instead found themselves in Iraq. He said that this new program was designed to counter disagreements in mission, as well as aligning preferences for location and duty. Incentive pay for difficult-to-fill missions is the kind of smart management that the DoD now embraces.

When asked about the roll of contractors, Dr. Chu thinks it's much ado about nothing. Why waste the time of a GI to be a cook when you can just contract out to catering companies? Efficiency, lower price, and freeing up GIs for soldiering are the benefits.
"But what about mercenaries like Blackwater?" I ask.
"I know people have their complaints but they keep writing to the wrong address. Personal security is not really a duty of the Armed Forces. Even outside military bases, the guard personnel are civilian. If the State Department wants to get off security contractors, they should increase their diplomatic security branch, not complain to me."

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell"? Well this is college so someone asked about it. "If Clinton -- a usually astute politician -- hadn't stepped in and made it an issue, Defense would have sorted it out ourselves. In the past, to get out of duty, people might say 'I'm a homosexual' and their superior would discharge them. Honorably, that is. Now, people might say 'I'm gay' and their superior says 'Alright... get back to work.' Only a couple hundred are discharged each year for a homosexual lifestyle out of tens of thousands for other reasons. We'll get there [allowing gays to serve openly], but it will be some time."

At his lecture, the Brooks Family Lecture, he reiterated these points and the general outline of his introduction: the Army is lean and mean, we operate in an uncertain world, our capabilities must be diverse to deal with the changing situations, and we must capitalize on our most valuable asset: human capital.

I'll leave my talking to Mr. Daniels

Great satire from The Onion:
Ah, pardon me, milady. May I have a word? I trust you're enjoying tonight's festivities? I should say I am. Nothing stirs the blood quite like an evening of dancing, conversing, and libations, wouldn't you say? My apologies for the confusion; while I'm aware that you have been speaking with the gentleman here, I should let you know that, as he has now imbibed a considerable proportion of my contents, the conversational duties will henceforth fall to yours truly.

I think we've heard quite enough from him by now, anyhow. Keep Reading

Not the best, just the most available.

"Oh", he said. He scrawled a quick note, and slid the sheet back into the folder. He put the f***ing sheet back into the folder. Right f***ing in front of me!

If there is one thing corporate recruiting has taught me, besides the value of adjectives like "a-side" and "b-side," it's that a lot of the firms in Dartmouth's corporate recruiting program, once the veneer of plush business cards and professional sounding corporate names are removed, are extremely JV. Far too "b-side" for the average Dartmouth man and definitely for the Ivy League. Let's take an example that happened to "a friend of mine."

After being accepted for a first-round interview via DartBoard, the Career Services's online corporate recruiting program, "my friend" was invited to the customary pre-interview meeting held at the Hanover Inn the night before the interviews. The firm, which describes its employee base as either "35" or "100" depending on how honest they feel like counting auxiliary staff of their parent corporation that only technically share the same offices and have no connection to their company, sent three representatives and conducted their meeting as a quasi-informal cocktail party.

"When will you host second-rounds?" one student asked.
"We'll have them on Friday, the day after your interview tomorrow." one said. The students all looked at each other.
"We weren't told about that and a lot of us have second rounds out of town that we have already made travel plans to attend. When will your alternative day be?" Career Services requires that employers have at least two options for second round interviews to ease the burden on students.
"Hmmm. We could fly you down to D.C. but I think we'll only consider special arrangements on a case-by-case basis." More looks.

The next day rolls around and "my friend" has one of the first interview slots. He finishes the case perfectly and with a chunk of time to spare. After the usual post-case Q&A, the interviewer pulls out a second-round interview form. On it are five questions.

"So to reach you tonight, your cell number on the resume is best?" the interviewer asks, to a nod, and writes a note after question 1.

"When will you be free tomorrow?" He asks next.
"I actually am leaving campus today, right after this interview and won't be back until Saturday."
"Oh", he said. He scrawled a quick note, and slid the sheet back into the folder.

"Ugh, don't you want to know my work status?" "my friend" asked, reading the unanswered 'question number 5' off the sheet?

"Mmmm... alright, are you authorized to work in the U.S.?"
"Yes I am."
"Great" he said, sliding the paper back in the folder without recording the answer.

"My friend" thanked him for his time and left. At 4:30 he got a voice mail beginning with "unfortunately...", the subtext of which was "we don't take the best, just the most available." The B-side of B-side.

November 9, 2009

One Wheelock and McLaughlinization

One Wheelock, née Lone Pine Tavern, is opening for business on the 12th and I'm rather excited to see how it will turn out. Particularly, I'm curious what kind of food offerings it will have that Lone Pine was not able to produce with reasonable cost efficiency. Just muffins and coffee? Reducing costs was the whole reason behind closing Lone Pine, after all. I also heard a rumour that the person who donated the funds for One Wheelock's operations did so on the condition that the new establishment not retain the Lone Pine name.

Taking a peek in the window, I was extremely disappointed to see everything that gave Lone Pine charm (the wood panels, banners, yearbooks) had all been McLauighlinized into the Dartmouth-dorm-standard white walls. Hopefully this is just the result of temporary refurbishing and some character will quickly return to this place billed as a comfortable hangout for the Collis crowd.

As a more general aside, the McLaughlinization of campus spaces -- e.g. the uniform design seen in Faye/McLane, New Hamp, Hitchcock, and the entire McLaughlin Cluster -- while producing nicer living arrangements than the East Wheelock era, is standardizing dorms to the point that there is little left, save location, which stand them apart. Intricate handrails, fireplaces, and dark-woods give dorms their own unique charm that make them fell more cozy. More like home. Even if the Mclaughlin design offers the best design, it might be good to alter it a bit in future refurbishments to prevent a laboratory feel to them all. I think I should, at the very least, be able to tell which dorm I'm in by looking at its interior.

Jim Kim: Cost-Cutter

Joe Asch at DartBlog has some interesting data analysis on the rise of Dartmouth's HR costs over the last decade.

The Sun God, Keggy, Swine, and... Football?

It's been an eventful week for the Big Green. More swine flu, of course, but also some pretty intriguing sideshows- Keggy fighting the Sun God on the Green yesterday courtesy of the Jack-o-Lantern, for one- the most dumbfoundingly amazing of which being we won a football game.

Seriously- I'm not kidding. The Dartmouth football team took on Cornell on Saturday and, in a suspenseful double overtime game, beat them by three, 20-17. Back when I saw the Homecoming game against Columbia, I realized that we weren't actually the worst team in the Ivy League. Now I'm starting to think that we're actually good- or at least not last.

And the '13s are representing. Greg Patton not only scored a touchdown but also broke the rushing record. Woo-hoo! And Garrett Waggoner and Garrett Wymore, both '13s, were two of the top three tacklers for the Dartmouth defense.

Long story short, even counting in the swine, it's been a decent weekend. And in case you're wondering who won the Keggy-Johnathan duel, well, it was S&S's timely interference that saved the day. Kenny Baclawski seemed for a few moments to have bitten the dust courtesy of Johnathan's lightsaber, but it turned out he was just joking around. Fancy that.

Perhaps the Sun God and Keggy should jump on a fan bus for Providence for the next football game. They can distract the Brownies while the 'shmen score some more for the Big Green. The footballers don't actually need the help, it seems, but it would be amusing to see the confused looks on the non-Dartmouth faces... Go Big Green!

The Public Option Just Might Happen

A healthcare reform bill made it out of the House last week. And things are looking up in the Senate, where a Daily beast article reports that Joe Lieberman will not join Republicans in filibustering a bill with a public option...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 8, 2009

REVIEW: A Serious Man

I came into this movie approximately two minutes late and while I had no freaking idea what was going on -- unlike the rest of the movie, the first scene is set in the distant past somewhere in Eastern Europe -- I was immediately struck with one unmistakable fact: this is definitely a Coen Brothers movie. A Serious Man is a what-happens-when-the-world-shits-all-over-you kind of story with absolutely no plot, no drive, no sense, and no ending. Perhaps this movie is meant to be a reflection on the Coen brothers' experiences as Jewish pot-smoking boys in suburbia, but aside from any such esoteric explanation, there is simply no meaning to be got from this film. It's almost as if the Coen brothers ran out of money half-way through and, left with nothing more than a series of unrelated scenes, tacked on a contrived ending and called it a day, hoping their names would carry them at the box office. For those expecting something like No Country for Old Man, it is a a disappointment. For those expecting something like Fargo, it is a disaster. That said, there are quite a number of scenes to find enjoyable, but this is a movie, not a cabaret.

See it
Rent it
Skip it

November 7, 2009

Budget Message from President Kim

--- Forwarded Message from "President Jim Yong Kim" ---

>From: "President Jim Yong Kim"
>Date: Sat, 07 Nov 2009 17:05:05 EST
>Subject: Budget Message from President Kim
>To: All:;

Dear Members of the Community,

The Board of Trustees just finished meeting to discuss strategic priorities, the scope of the financial challenges the College faces and our approach for investing in Dartmouth's future. I wanted to provide you with an update on these issues and the principles that will guide us as we move forward.

Dartmouth is a world-class institution with an unparalleled educational formula. During my four months at the College, I have heard many wonderful ideas from you on how we can enrich the Dartmouth experience even further. As we head toward Dartmouth's 250th Anniversary in 2019, we must continue to be bold and ambitious in our vision for the College.

At the same time, we face an immediate and pressing financial challenge. Like other institutions, we are not immune from the impact of the severe and prolonged economic downturn. For the fiscal year that ended in June 2009, the College had an operating budget deficit of $34 million caused primarily by financial losses on investments. Financial projections show that this annual budget gap could widen to more than $50 million in fiscal 2011 and by an additional $50 million in fiscal 2012 as growth of expenses continues to outpace revenues.

To achieve our current and future aspirations, and maintain our commitment to excellence, we need to take immediate action to address this structural deficit. The sooner and more effectively we act, the sooner we will be back on a sound footing and in a position to invest strategically in Dartmouth's future.

During the past five years, spending and investment decisions helped the College achieve critical priorities: enhancing financial aid to attract the best students; hiring more faculty in key areas; and starting construction on critical new facilities. The change in the worldwide economic outlook, however, has led us to alter our assumptions. We can no longer sustain our current level of endowment spending.

The Trustees have asked us to plan on an endowment distribution rate that is more sustainable in the current environment and closer to the College's historic rate of 5 to 5.5 percent, down from 6.3 percent in fiscal 2009. The lower endowment distribution rate will take effect in fiscal 2011.

To close the budget gap, we must look to reduce our expenses thoughtfully and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our administrative operations. I regret that this process will unavoidably result in a smaller workforce at Dartmouth. We will pursue every possible alternative and treat any affected employees with respect and dignity.

Our goal will be not just to cut costs, but to improve the way we operate the College in pursuit of its mission. We will protect the "Dartmouth Experience" and make necessary investments to continue to enhance it, and we will preserve the College's commitment to leadership in higher education.

We must continue to offer superb teaching and scholarship by world-class faculty, while achieving leadership positions in new and emerging fields that make the most of Dartmouth's unique strengths. We will also aim to increase philanthropic giving and strategically pursue initiatives that provide new sources of revenue.

While we look to reduce expenditures, the Board has also asked that we work on plans for new strategic investments that will ensure Dartmouth continues to advance its mission and maintains an educational experience that is the best in the world.

We are going to approach this process with a five-year time horizon, and we will be submitting a detailed fiscal 2011 budget plan as well as a five-year investment plan to the Trustees, in stages, for approval next spring.

I have asked Carol Folt and Steven Kadish to partner with me in leading the budget process. Carol, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, is also acting Provost. Steve is Senior Vice President and Strategic Advisor. The Committee on Priorities of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, the institution-wide Budget Steering Committee, and the Student Budget Advisory Committee, will be fully engaged in the process as well.

Throughout the process, we will seek input from across the College community, and we will be meeting with and reviewing all departments and divisions. Regular updates will also be posted to Dartmouth's budget website, at, where we invite you to submit questions and suggestions.

This undertaking will not be easy. It will involve difficult choices. I am confident that together we can overcome the financial challenges we face. With a sense of common purpose, guided by passion and practicality, I know that we will make the right decisions not only to sustain but to advance Dartmouth and its enduring mission.

Jim Yong Kim
Dartmouth College

Please visit the Dartmouth News website to view the press release on the Board's November meeting:


Two girls talking in a stairwell.

Girl 1: Yeah, I think I'd be really great in business-- you know, management or running a hedge fund or something.

Girl 2: Yeah I think you have the skills for that. I'd probably do better in finance. What classes do you think we should take for that?

Girl 1: Well first we should take Econ 01. I hear it teaches you everything you need for business and finance.
Anyone want to take a wild stab at what year they are?

November 5, 2009

When Home Becomes a Battlefield

When soldiers are no longer safe in their home country, something is terribly wrong.

Just today, twelve soldiers were killed while at Fort Hood, in Texas; killed by a fellow member of the army, Nidal Malik Hasan. All the soldiers involved were going to be deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan.

How unfortunate is it that those twelve soldiers were killed while at home; where they were supposed to be 'safe'?
How terrible is it that the apparent cause of the shooting was stress about being deployed?

President Obama said:
"These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk, and at times give, their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis. It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."

Perhaps more emphasis is needed on the well-being of soldiers here at home. Let's hope that from now on soldiers can feel safe at home-- like they should be.

For more information, check out:

November 4, 2009

Is Lieberman Just Bitter?

The fact that Joe Lieberman is set to block the public option has many liberals irate. In this post, I also took him to task, and questioned the logic behind his move. But I’m not sure there’s an ulterior motive here...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 3, 2009

McDonnell (R) Wins in VA, Christie (R) in NJ

We'll be keeping you updated on the election with up-to-the-minute posts here at The Little Green Blog. Stay tuned throughout the evening...


Not the night most polls were predicting. While Virginia held true to our expectations, with the Republican Bob McDonnell winning the race for governor, the loss of incumbent Governor Jon Corzine (D) in New Jersey by 5 points to Christopher Christie (R) was relatively surprising. More shocking, though, was the victory of Bill Owens (D) in the New York 23, who faced an uphill fight against the Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, who recently enjoyed the endorsement of national Republicans like Sarah Palin, Fred Thomson and Dick Armey.

Marriage equality took a hit in Maine, with Proposition 1 passing by roughly 6 points. In New York, Michael Bloomberg (I) won reelection, though in a closer race than most expected. And the Democrats won in the Boston and Detroit mayoral races, and picked up the California 10. Ultimately a mixed-bag of results, though arguably a composite that favors the Republicans.


With Dede Scozzafava (R), who recently dropped out of the race, picking up about 5 percent of the vote, Bill Owens (D) pulls out a victory in this highly publicized race. Owens saw strong numbers early in the evening, even in the Jefferson County battleground, and held onto his lead all night.

UPDATE: NBC calls the race for Bill Owens (D).

93 percent of precincts reporting:
  • (D) Bill Owens .......... 49 percent
  • (C) Doug Hoffman .......... 45 percent
  • (R) Dede Scozzafava .......... 5 percent


UPDATE: At 10:10 PM, NBC calls New Jersey for Chris Christie (R).

99 percent of precincts reporting:

  • (D) Jon Corzine .......... 44 percent
  • (R) Chris Christie .......... 49 percent
  • (I) Chris Daggett .......... 5 percent


UPDATE: At 7:55, NBC calls the race for Republican Bob McDonnell.

By what was predicted to be a wide margin, McDonnell is declared the winner of Virginia's Gubernatorial race.

99 percent of precincts reporting:

  • (D) Creigh Deeds .......... 41 percent
  • (R) Bob McDonnell .......... 59 percent


UPDATE: At 10:50 PM, NBC re-calls the NYC Mayoral race for Bloomberg (I).
  • (I) Michael Bloomberg .......... 51 percent
  • (D) Bill Thompson .......... 46 percent


In Maine, Proposition 1 passes, overturning a previously promulgated law legalizing same-sex marriage (53 percent to 47 percent).

In the California 10, Democrat John Garamendi defeats Republican David Harmer with 53 percent to 42 percent of the vote.

(As of 3:00 AM Eastern Standard.)

Super Tuesday 2009: Predictions

A year ago, Americans ended the longest Presidential campaign in our history; and in just a few hours, some go back to the polls in what many pundits call the first real electoral test of President Obama’s term. A few highlights and predictions…


This must be the most sensationalized race of the 2009 cycle. As we’ve all heard, the Republican Dede Scozzafava recently dropped out of the race seeing poor polling numbers after several national Republicans (Sarah Palin, Fred Thompson and Dick Armey amongst them) endorsed the Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. Since, she has endorsed and recorded robo-calls for the Democrat Bill Owens. As the moderate Scozzafava hemorrhaged support, both Hoffman and Owens benefitted. Ultimately, though, this is a Republican district and Hoffman seems poised to take the seat. The spoiler: if Republicans accidentally or in protest vote for Scozzafava, whose name will still appear on the ballot.

Hoffman (C) by 7.


In what is probably the most exciting race of the year, Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine is practically tied with Republican Christopher Christie, with the Independent candidate Chris Daggett lucky to be in double digits. If you look at the polling trends, though, Christie is falling as Corzine rises. Daggett also seems poised to be a conservative spoiler, drawing supporters from Christie in a close race. Corzine is my favorite for this one. The spoiler: if Daggett supporters see the Corzine-Christie race as too close to support an independent candidate.

Corzine (D) by 2.


Virginia will maintain an historical trend this year. In the past eight gubernatorial elections, since 1977, the party of the President has lost the keys to the Governor’s mansion, and it will do so again. The question isn’t who will win, but by how large of a margin the Republican Robert McDonnell will decimate Democrat Creigh Deeds. The spoiler: If Virginia counts votes like Afghanistan.

McDonnell (R) by 13.


Bloomberg (I, Incumbent) by 15.


The Democrats also look likely to pick up some other City Halls, as well as the California 10. Maine’s Proposition 1 to overturn a law legalizing same-sex marriage is really too close to call; undecideds seem to be breaking ‘yes’ but the ‘no’ supporters are arguably ahead. I’ll go shot-in-the-dark and say ‘No’ wins.

Does this mean anything for President Obama or the Democrats in 2010? Probably not. Unless the results overwhelmingly list conservative, which they probably won’t, these elections won’t mean much for either party. The only major shift might come from New York 23, where we’ve watched concrete evidence presented of centrists being pushed out of the Republican Party. Will it be a trend? We’ll see…

(Images courtesy of the AP)

Special Election in New York Reevaluated

The Republican nominee has now withdrawn, and in a twist, has decided to back the Democratic nominee. I’m not sure who will win on election day. But I have reevaluated the opinion I expressed in an earlier post about this race...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 2, 2009

Obama's Basketball Game

Obama is in hot water for something other than healthcare. And he is in trouble with someone other than conservatives for once. Some feminists are upset that a recent White House basketball game included no women...

To read the rest of this post, go here.

November 1, 2009

Review: As You Like It

On Halloween I attended a performance of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," courtesy of the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals, a Shakespeare company comprised of Dartmouth students. I went because it was Shakespeare; I stayed because it was among the best productions I've ever seen.

Willa Johann '10 was stellar as Rosalind, the witty and intelligent heroine of the Shakespearean comedy. She handled the task of disguising herself as Ganymede very well. It is difficult to act Shakespeare and more difficult still to act a Shakespearean female character acting like a Shakespearean male character- but was more than up to the challenge. She fully inhabited the character of Rosalind; even the more-than-complicated love quadrangles and disguises did not seem to present a problem for her. Bravo!

Performing opposite Willa as Orlando was a plucky and likeable young man who has a distinct affinity for comedy. He garnished his presentation of Orlando with humorous gestures and blushes reminiscent of '90s teenage romantic comedies (...or maybe that's just because he resembles John Cusack). He worked in his interpretation of the part amazingly well and still managed to honor Shakespeare with his performance.

Another beautiful Shakespearean player also graced the stage with her presence as Celia, cousin to Rosalind. Her pointed remarks and asides were beautifully mastered and much appreciated by the audience. The smaller characters also performed very nicely in a few parts, most notably that of Adam, servant to Orlando. The creaking joints were a nice touch.

And who could forget Touchstone? The actor did a remarkable job of emulating the classic and humorously not-very-classy yet ever wise fool. His growls and scowls were ever-convincing; his grins and laughs, contagious as they were meant to be.

Too, the dual roles, that of the Duke and that of his banished brother, the ex-Duke, were performed admirably. The contrast between the two brothers was made beautifully evident by the fact that they were performed by the same actor, and an eminent actor at that.

Characters with fewer appearances still made their time on stage very worthwhile: the actors who played Pheobe, Silvius, the shepherd, and Orlando's older brother all acted their parts fully and with true intention.

The scenery was minimal and mostly made up of one chalk drawing on the blackboard of Dartmouth Hall 105; a few boxes served as rocks and tables. It was not an extensive set by any means; but the characters inhabited the stage so well that it was easy to imagine the Forest of Arden or the Duke's grand home.

Overall, the performance was a great success, the actors well-versed, the humor well-expressed: in short, I would wholeheartedly recommend attending the Rude Mechanicals' next production.