August 31, 2006

Famed First Amendment scholar Leonard W. Levy dies

By Ronald K.L. Collins
First Amendment Center scholar
Leonard Williams Levy, noted educator and American constitutional historian, died last week. His death, previously unreported, was confirmed by his friend and co-author, UCLA Law emeritus professor Kenneth L. Karst. Levy died at his home in Ashland, Ore.

. . .[His] Legacy of Suppression was commissioned by Robert Maynard Hutchins and the Fund for the Republic as a pamphlet; it was a revisionist interpretation of the speech and press clauses of the First Amendment. Levy argued, among other things, that freedom of the press as understood by the Framers meant merely the absence of prior restraints. Objecting to Levy's findings, Hutchins refused to print the work.

Years later, Levy noted that he published Legacy "to spite Hutchins and the Fund."

August 23, 2006

"Most [business or technology majors] are conservative, not in any intellectual sense, but in the sense (which they admit) of fearfully conforming to the political and economic status quo, to the attitudes that will be expected of them as compliant employees, and to the necessity of looking out for number one in the "Survivor" sweepstakes of the global economy. Such students are not likely to welcome the cognitive dissonance forced on them by humanities courses demanding Socratic self-questioning of their sociopolitical or religious dogmas."

Rethinking the Culture Wars — I
By Donald Lazere
Inside Higher Ed, Aug. 22 '06

August 22, 2006

"What happened to the precision, discrimination and critical humanism that we celebrate as the hallmarks of liberal education and the Western heritage?" asked the late Edward Said in the June '86 issue of The Nation. This in the context of terrorism, American foreign policy, consensus, and dissent.
"Universities may be churning out capable earners and consumers, says THOMAS HIBBS*, but they are failing to equip students for meaningful lives." (Dallas Morning News, 8/20/06)

* Philosopher and dean of the Honors College at Baylor University


-Harry Lewis' Excellence Without a Soul: How a Great University Forgot Education -Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons
-Animal House!
-Happy Days!
-Madeleine Levine's The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material -Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
-Newman's The Idea of the University

. . .and more!
Appreciated seeing this editorial in the Seattle Times on the value of a liberal education.

Some of my recent iPod listening

Dallas Morning News piece in which former deep-sea diver recalls enrolling at Thomas Aquinas College* as "middle age was rapidly closing in."
* Catholic "great books" college in Santa Paula, CA modeled on the secular program at St. John's College.  Check out their reading lists:
Aspen Times article on the recent controversy surrounding the proposed renaming of the Paepcke Auditorium at the Aspen Institute to Resnick Auditorium, in recognition of a $4 million donation to upgrade the facility from Stewart and Lynda Resnick.
And some letters to the editor regarding same.