The president of the NCAA speaks about Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett:
[T]here is an appeals process. Players have regained eligibility in other sports after turning pro and signing with an agent. Typically, if the athletes are reinstated, they are first suspended for a number of games because they have accepted money from an agent. …
“We will look at each case separately,” NCAA president Myles Brand said. “We will not prejudge them in any way. The NCAA is working hard to be student-athlete friendly. In this case it means we will give full consideration in applying our rules in a timely way to each individual.”
Volokh thinks the current FCC crackdown on “indecency” will backfire in a big way:
The bottom line is that the governmentâ€™s new regulatory aggressiveness is likely to produce judicial review of such regulation â€“ which review will likely invalidate the regulation on First Amendment grounds.
Might some FCC Commissioners and Members of Congress have supported this new regulation regime because they secretly wanted to bring about the demise of broadcast indecency regulation? I donâ€™t know, but I believe that their actions â€“ prompted by the fleeting image of Janet Jackson’s breast â€“ will probably hasten that demise.
I sure hope so.
That’s right, the title of this post is a Metallica song reference. And I don’t even like the song that much. But after 2,625 entries, you start to get desperate. Hell, I already have not one, but two posts in my archives titled “The agony and the irony”… which is a Harvey Danger song reference. Like I said: desperate.
Anyway, a little end-of-the-day miscellany, before I run to catch the bus…
Jeff Jarvis proposes a bloggers’ union. Where can I sign up?
The entire Internet is vulnerable to a massive hack attack against the TCP protocol. Nobody’s tried it yet, but the researcher who discovered the security flaw plans to explain it in detail on Thursday. Hey, I’ve got a good idea, buddy…
The Supreme Court heard arguments today on the Guantanamo detainees.
From the “honestly, who cares?” department, a guy named John Thompson is griping to the FCC because “60 Minutes” aired a clip of Mary J. Blige saying “sh*t” under her breath. (All you Eminem fans out there can file this under the “FCC won’t let me be” sub-department.)
From the “other news involving guys named John Thompson” department, Georgetown today hired John Thompson III, son of the legendary John Thompson, Jr., as its new men’s basketball coach.
UPDATE: Okay, one more. From the “questions for Matt Drudge” department… when your top stories are all related to the Iraq war, and the top picture on your homepage is a photo of U.S. troops, it really appopriate to run a corporate business story with the headline, “MANAGEMENT SLAUGHTER AT ABC…”? Just a thought…
Here’s a pessimistic view of the situation in Iraq.
Here’s a somewhat more optimistic view. (You have to get to Page 2 to reach the optimistic part.)
That’s the question Boi From Troy is asking, and it’s a valid one.
I, personally, am rooting for him to somehow come back — not because I necessarily disagree with what Boi says, nor with Andrew’s statement that Mike Williams deserves to be in this predicament, but simply because dammit, I want the Trojans to win an undisputed national title… plus, it would be so damn cool to be able to say, “My girlfriend [or later: fiancÃ©e/wife] once tutored the guy who won the 2004 Heisman!”
On this fifth anniversary of the Columbine shootings, InstaPundit is linking to a truly fascinating article by Slate’s Dave Cullen on why the Columbine killers did what they did. Hint: it’s not why you think. Excerpt:
The first steps to understanding Columbine, [the FBI and its team of psychiatrists and psychologists] say, are to forget the popular narrative about the jocks, Goths, and Trenchcoat Mafia…and to abandon the core idea that Columbine was simply a school shooting. We can’t understand why they did it until we understand what they were doing.
School shooters tend to act impulsively and attack the targets of their rage: students and faculty. But Harris and Klebold planned for a year and dreamed much bigger. The school served as means to a grander end, to terrorize the entire nation by attacking a symbol of American life. Their slaughter was aimed at students and teachers, but it was not motivated by resentment of them in particular. Students and teachers were just convenient quarry, what Timothy McVeigh described as “collateral damage.”
The killers, in fact, laughed at petty school shooters. They bragged about dwarfing the carnage of the Oklahoma City bombing and originally scheduled their bloody performance for its anniversary. Klebold boasted on video about inflicting “the most deaths in U.S. history.” Columbine was intended not primarily as a shooting at all, but as a bombing on a massive scale. If they hadn’t been so bad at wiring the timers, the propane bombs they set in the cafeteria would have wiped out 600 people. After those bombs went off, they planned to gun down fleeing survivors. An explosive third act would follow, when their cars, packed with still more bombs, would rip through still more crowds, presumably of survivors, rescue workers, and reporters. The climax would be captured on live television. It wasn’t just “fame” they were after… they were gunning for devastating infamy on the historical scale of an Attila the Hun. Their vision was to create a nightmare so devastating and apocalyptic that the entire world would shudder at their power.
Read the whole thing. The article asserts that experts believe Eric Harris was a true, clinical “psychopath,” while Dylan Klebold was a more typical “depressive” who went along with Harris’s scheme. Had the shooting never happened, “Klebold…conceivably could have gone on to live a normal life.” But “Harris was not a wayward boy who could have been rescued. [He] was irretrievable. He was a brilliant killer without a conscience, searching for the most diabolical scheme imaginable. If he had lived to adulthood and developed his murderous skills for many more years, there is no telling what he could have done.”
Today is 4/20 … the marijuana smoker’s “holiday.” I did a Google News search and found articles from the Arizona Republic, the Globe and Mail, the Syracuse Daily Orange, and — oh, the humanity! — the UCLA Daily Bruin. And then, of course, there’s 420.com from High Times. Not that I endorse any of this illegal tomfoolery, of course. BrendanLoy.com says: Just say no to drugs! :)
Keep on looking up: Lyrid meteor shower tonight. (Hat tip: Dad.)
It’s not a loophole, it’s a freakin’ garage: Democrats skirt campaign-finance law, beat Dubya at his own game.
Speaking of “gotcha” politics: Directo, Mann penalized for placing campaign sign on tree. New, constructive tone of reformed Student Senate clearly catching on… [end sarcasm]
UCLA researchers want to analyze your brain to see your reaction to political ads. And then when they’re done, they’ll kill you and sell your body parts on the black market. Because, you know, it’s UCLA.
It seems I’ve found the answer to my question about when Macally’s awesome new Bluetooth mouse will be available. It’s expected in stock on April 30. (Thank you, Froogle!) It’s also available here. Woohoo!! Hello, pre-order!!
And finally, while Becky’s ex-tutee Mike Williams sits in football limbo, my ex-tutee Irene Cho is tied for fifth at the Pac-10 golf championships. C’mon, Irene!
UPDATE: Irene is now tied for third!!!
I was in Florida with the Newington High School music department, in the middle of our Disney World trip. I and few other guys had just come back from one of the theme parks, and were walking through the resort toward our hotel, when we noticed one of our classmates, Karyn Bacinskas, crying by the pool and being consoled by several female friends.
Karyn was known to be a bit weepy — that was something of a running joke in the music department — but this looked serious. We all knew right away that something bad had happened. (As it happened, I had a crush on Karyn at the time, so I was particularly concerned.)
Our town and our high school had been through a traumatic year-and-a-half: a classmate committed suicide in November 1997, a younger schoolmate was hit and killed by a car the very next day, and a workplace shooting had occurred virtually in the school’s backyard a few months later. So, naturally, my initial thought was, “Oh my God, what happened in Newington?” I’m not sure, but I suspect the guys standing around me may have thought something similar.
In any event, we all wanted to know what was going on, but we also didn’t want to bother Karyn, and consoling her seemed to something best left to the girls. So we hung back briefly and waited. Before long, Karyn headed back toward the hotel, and we walked toward the other girls at the pool, to ask what was going on. I believe it was Jaimie Kwassman who delivered the news: there had been a really bad school shooting in Colorado.
That was how I found out about the Columbine High School shootings, which took place five years ago today.
Truth be told, I was probably relieved rather than horrified in the instant that Jaimie gave me the news, since, as I said, I was initially afraid that something had gone awry in my hometown. But the horror definitely set in as I went back to my hotel room and watched CNN for the next several hours. The initial reports made it even worse than it was: a death toll of 25… could rise as high as 50… bombs going off… etc. It all seemed disconnected from reality somehow.
In the end, 15 people died that day — 14 students, including the two shooters, and one teacher.
On the Richter scale of American tragedies, the events of April 20, 1999 were right up there in the top tier — until, two-and-a-half years later, the events of September 11, 2001 broke the scale and set a whole new standard for horror and tragedy. But the 13 innocent victims of Columbine are just as dead as the 3,000 innocent victims of 9/11. Today we should remember them.