Phi Beta Cons

Quick Thoughts

First: Do you wonder why college students can’t write? Over at Minding the Campus, Mary Grabar posits an answer:

After spending four depressing days this month at a meeting of 3,000 writing teachers in Atlanta, I can tell you that their parent group, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, is not really interested  in teaching students to write and communicate clearly.  The group’s agenda, clear to me after sampling as many of the meeting’s 500 panels as I could, is devoted to disparaging grammar, logic, reason, evidence and fairness as instruments of white oppression. They believe rules of grammar discriminate against “marginalized” groups and restrict self-expression.

Read the whole thing.

Next: This week, a New Jersey grand jury handed down a 15-count indictment against Tyler Clementi’s roommate for crimes ranging from invasion of privacy to attempting to mislead investigators. I’m glad to see the wheels of justice moving in this indescribably sad case, but here’s my question: If 15 separate felonies and/or misdemeanors weren’t enough to deter bullying, why do advocates of new anti-bullying policies think additional, non-criminal provisions of a student handbook would do the trick?

Finally: Turns out that in at least one experiment, college students who believe God punishes sin were less likely to cheat than those who believe God is their celestial buddy. Imagine that. If you believe sinful actions have negative consequences, you’re less likely to sin. By decreasing the amount of suffering caused by our vices, can punishment actually be compassionate?

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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