Phi Beta Cons

University Presidents Condemn UCU Boycott

It is not often that American academics step up in defense of Israel. So it was refreshing to see that nearly three hundred American University presidents signed the American Jewish Committee’s petition that appeared in a full page New York Times advertisement yesterday. The petition’s headline, written by Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, read “Boycott Israeli Universities? Boycott Ours, Too,” referring to a British University and College Union proposal to “cut off relations with Israeli academic institutions because of concerns about Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.” It is slightly comforting to see that there are academics in this world more radical than our own.

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White House

Politico Doubles Down on Fake Turnberry Scandal

It's tough to be an investigative reporter. Everybody who feeds you a tip has an axe to grind. Or, alternatively, you find yourself going, "I wonder if . . . ?" You put in your research, you talk to lots of people, you accumulate a huge pile of information, but you still haven't proved your hypothesis. A wise ... Read More
White House

Rachel Maddow’s Turnberry Tale

To a certain kind of Rachel Maddow viewer, there are few more titillating preludes to a news segment than the one she delivered Monday: “If you have not seen it yet, you are going to want to sit down.” Maddow’s story began, as many of her stories do, with President Trump, this time focused on his hotel ... Read More

Four Cheers for Incandescent Light Bulbs

It brought me much -- indeed, too much -- joy to hear of the Trump administration's rollback of restrictions on incandescent light bulbs, even if the ban will remain in place. The LED bulbs are terrible. They give off a pitiable, dim, and altogether underwhelming "glow," one that never matched the raw (if ... Read More