Phi Beta Cons

Re: Mushrooming Syllabi

What George says of Bertonneau’s article — “Students are less and less accustomed to academic work, more inclined to complain if things aren’t spelled out for them in minute detail” — is what I was suggesting went wrong in the Casey Anthony case. The jurors simply seemed unwilling and unable to do the work of examining the evidence piece by piece, working out the links, deciding if the doubts they had were reasonable or simply red herrings that the defense had thrown out. From their comments afterward, they seemed to have expected to have the whole scenario spelled out for them in detail, with incontrovertible proof for every step, with no burden on them to piece things together or figure something out, such as how the body might have got into Casey Anthony’s car. The idea that this kind of expectation might be the result of excessive hand-holding in college teaching nowadays is intriguing.

Most Popular

PC Culture

Warren Is a Fraud

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has been telling a story for years. It’s a deeply romantic story about her parents and their young love, fraught with the familial bigotry of an earlier time. Here’s how she told it this week in a video she released in preparation for her 2020 run: My daddy always said he ... Read More
Elections

How Will the Senate Races Break?

How will the Senate races break? We have less public polling to go on than in recent years, so answering that question is harder than ever. But the news is more optimistic for Republicans than it was a month ago.   Waves and Breakers Four years ago, I projected in mid September that if “historical ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Origins of Progressive Agony

What has transformed the Democratic party into an anguished progressive movement that incorporates the tactics of the street, embraces maenadism, reverts to Sixties carnival barking, and is radicalized by a new young socialist movement? Even party chairman Tom Perez concedes that there are “no moderate ... Read More
U.S.

Two Minnesota Republican Candidates Assaulted

Two Republican candidates for state office in Minnesota have been physically assaulted in recent days, leading prominent Republican lawmakers to caution their Democratic colleagues against employing inflammatory rhetoric. Republican state representative Sarah Anderson was punched in the arm last week after ... Read More
Law & the Courts

A Christian Man Receives Justice

A good man’s legal ordeal is at an end. Yesterday, my friends and former colleagues at the Alliance Defending Freedom announced that former Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran had reached a $1.2 million settlement, ending a case he brought after the city fired him for writing -- and distributing to a select few ... Read More