1. Just another story about a UCLA Bruin Wayne Drehs, ESPN
  2. A history of black voting rights in the US Pippa Holloway, Origins
  3. What is origin of China’s success? Branko Milanovic, globalinequality
  4. One final look at the Heisei Era Alex Martin, Japan Times

Free speech and campus conservatives: good news

The Weekly Standard recently posted an open letter from a very brave sociology professor at UCLA that’s worth mentioning here. I have just three things to add.

First, the sociologist, a self-identified conservative, is doing the right thing by urging the Bruin Republicans to cancel its proposed speech by a shock jock. The subject? “10 Things I Hate About Mexico.”

Second, as alumni I’m embarrassed. I’ve never been a fan of Bruin Republicans, but aping the tactics of Republican groups at less selective schools is pathetic.

Third, back to the open letter: it’s amazing and you should read it (link, again). Apparently, it was so convincing that the Bruin Republicans cancelled the event. What Rossman does – subtly, clearly, and powerfully – is point out to not only Bruin Republicans but everybody else involved in this fiasco that being politically conservative is not the same thing as being a member of the Republican Party. More importantly, by defending the right to speak while vehemently opposing the subject matter, Rossman makes an excellent case for moving the Republican Party in a more classically liberal direction.

Sticking up for your beliefs is important. Always has been, always will be. The pen is still mightier than the sword.

Go Bruins!

That’s three in a row versus SC.

ucla logo

There’s a new dynasty is LA, and it’s coached by Jim Mora. Here is the LA Times on the new dynasty. And ESPN.

I had my pick of elite schools on the west coast to choose from. I chose UCLA because I grew up with college football and college hoops. It wasn’t even a contest (just like the game at the Rose Bowl last night!).

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming…

Kareem, UCLA and Time Travel

I can’t believe I’ll be done with school in another five weeks. Time really flies by. I recently came across an interview of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Esquire and thought I’d pass it along to readers here. It’s kind of a wimpy interview, actually (as an alumni, I have access to much higher quality interviews with famous Bruins). Abdul-Jabbar lists twenty things he would’ve done differently if he could step into a time machine and become a young man again.

Two of them were interesting, and one of them not so much. First, the two interesting choices:

11. Cook more. After I got divorced I missed home cooked meals and the only person I had to rely on was the guy in the mirror. Plus, I found it impressed women if you could cook a good meal. Once, very shortly after I started cooking for myself, I had a first date with a woman I really wanted to make a good impression on.

And this:

16. Don’t be so quick to judge. It’s human nature to instantly judge others. It goes back to our ancient life-or-death need to decide whether to fight or flee. But in their haste to size others up, people are often wrong—especially a thirty-year-old sports star with hordes of folks coming at him every day. We miss out on knowing some exceptional people by doing that, as I’m sure I did. I think the biggest irony of this advice is that it’s coming from someone who’s black, stratospherically tall, and an athlete: the trifecta of being pre-judged.

These are both things I’ll be working on as I figure out how to live a proper middle class life post-graduation. One thing I can’t help but to disagree with Him (pay attention to capitalization, and bow down) on:

10. Being right is not always the right thing to be. Kareem, my man, learn to step away. You think being honest immunizes you from the consequences of what you say. Remember Paul Simon’s lyrics, “There’s no tenderness beneath your honesty.” So maybe it’s not that important to win an argument, even if you “know” you’re right. Sometimes it’s more important to try a little tenderness.

Nonsense! Every libertarian knows that it’s far more important to be right than to be popular!

Read the whole thing.

Go Bruins!

That is all.

I’m originally from northern California, by way of Utah (long story: ask me about it sometime!), but I love Los Angeles! One of the world’s greatest cities.

In case you are wondering, UCLA’s football team just beat Southern Cal and won the division title in the nation’s toughest football conference. I don’t care what you say, but until I see some SEC teams come out West and play our boys, I’ll continue to argue that the West plays the best football in the country.

As for Southern Cal, well, there’s always basketball season…