Brunch Links


Wisconsin soon to become the 38th state with a “shield law” for journalists. A few decades too late. Here’s a question: How do you define a journalist? Who is covered under a shield law? Are independent bloggers going to begin claiming such legal privileges?

Andrew Carpenter argues in favor of lowering the drinking age.

Dane County employees asked to take 5 percent pay cut.

Eric Schmidt comments on the UW chapter of Young Americans for Liberty. I agree with most of what he says except this part: “And people were indeed stopping at [the YAL booth], most as antagonists, but some perhaps turned on by the message of fiscal conservatism to counteract what can only be described — even by honest proponents like myself — as the socialization of the American banking and health care systems.”

I think what he means to say is the perceived socialization. Really nothing has changed, and there is little proof that it will anytime soon.

Herald editorial board gives its most reactionary and poorly reasoned editorial of the year. “It is bad enough that a conservative student could easily get the impression that our university administration has formally endorsed the full gamut of same-sex rights proposed by activists, and that they are expected to follow suit.”

No, we probably shouldn’t fund an enormous trip to D.C., but the Herald gave the wrong reasons why.

And they also printed the 1988 editorial endorsement of Michael Dukakis! A very good reason for anybody interested in the history of the paper.

Domestic partner benefits continues to provoke lawsuits.

One man who doesn’t think Biddy Martin made a good choice in selecting Michael Pollan as the campus-wide read.


4 Responses to “Brunch Links”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I liked how the editorial went after Wrigley-Field and ISO–sconz, what exactly didn’t you like about it?

  2. The Sconz Says:

    Disregarding the antics of those seeking the funding, the editorial was disturbingly reactionary. It read much the way many-a-campus paper would have treated the issue of civil rights back in the 60’s. “Look, we need to respect the views of those who believe in segregation.”

    The board insists that the issue is “very complex.” How? They don’t provide any reasoning except that it invokes certain “religious and moral” questions. Why are we talking about religion?

    All government entities express their support for policies from time to time. Sometimes they’re a waste of time, but sometimes they’re an important expression of an important cause, such as civil rights.

  3. Jason Smathers Says:

    …And I don’t have a problem with a government entity making strides for gay rights. At least, not one who has a responsibility to deal with it — state or federal, hell, even local governments with respect to the domestic partnership registry.

    But to me, a university telling it’s students that they support a full range of political goals puts them on a footing that not only has the potential to repel conservative students, but actually place some sort of judgment on their viewpoint.

    As for the “complexity” issue, (I preface this by saying these are MY views, not that of the Ed. Board) I understand how that comes off. If that had said “gay rights” was a complex issue, I would have said that was wrong. It’s not complex — they should have the same rights as any other citizen.

    But the issue of gay marriage, while normatively simple, is legally and practically complex due to the clusterfuck of court challenges and state/federal lines crossed by the Defense of Marriage Act and individual state approaches to it.

    You know my viewpoint, because we’ve had fierce arguments over it before: I think that marriage, as a concept, is co-opted by churches as a religious institution and they have a specific conception in mind when they hear the word. Because of that, I feel the state should not endorse such a view and just give civil unions across the board — whether you’re gay or straight. After all, if it’s the language and their specific definition they’re opposed to, leave it whatever they call “marriage” out of it and wait for them, over time, to see how patently ridiculous their objections are. Of course, that’s never going to happen and I understand that. Since that’s the case, in a pragmatic, realistic scenario, yes, gay marriage should be the goal, not half-measures.

    But as to your objection — yes, the minority are entitled to their opinion but the government (and specifically, the Supreme Court) has the right and judgment to override their decision that such a viewpoint become law. But to take a non-political institution and politicize it neglects the role of the University of Wisconsin — it’s education, not activism. That’s up to the students.

  4. Jason Smathers Says:

    One more note: Political statements of support or opposition obviously work for a university if it directly impacts the message. That’s why we’ve always supported the work UW has done to obtain domestic partnership benefits — they wanted to dole them out, state law prevented that. They have every reason and right to push for that and opine. But when it falls out of their purview, it’s not their place.

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