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Ranting, Raving and Rationalizing

(11/20/07 6:27am)

Last weekend, my father visited me on one of his meandering journeys up to Dartmouth. These became an instant tradition a few years ago, when he realized that he could use the somewhat legitimate-sounding excuse of "visiting his son at college" to take a few days off, drink some wine and enjoy some good, old-fashioned quiet. In his day, noises were neither so loud nor so obnoxious as they are today. Indeed, loud noises tend to startle him unpleasantly, and I truly believe that he takes every honking car in Boston as a personal affront. But he enjoys the trips, as far as I can tell, not only for the superb lack of honking, but also because they give him the opportunity to hear the rantings and ravings of arrogant youth (the best and only kind) from a slightly bemused perspective, before genially dismissing them as ranting and raving, and relishing the following day's quiet all the more for the experience.

Daily Debriefing

(11/19/07 8:22am)

The Dartmouth Ethics Society won the Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl at Villanova University last week. The competition included situational case studies that teams analyzed and applied to real-life scenarios. Teams were judged on the speed of their responses and on whether they could generate consensus on the topic. The Dartmouth team, as well as other top performers in the region, will travel to San Antonio, Texas in February for the national championships. Aine Donovan, executive director of the College's Ethics Institute, coaches the team.

Alumni Assoc. files latest motion in suit

(11/19/07 8:19am)

The Dartmouth Association of Alumni made the latest filing in its ongoing lawsuit against the College in Grafton County Superior Court on Friday. The filing, a response to the College's Oct. 26 request that the court dismiss the suit, highlights the tradition of all alumni who are elected to the board as nominees actually being appointed, among other factors, as evidence of the board's alleged contractual obligation to have a consistent structure of alumni representation. "Reviewing our lawyers' response to the College's motion to dismiss confirms my confidence in the strength of our case," Frank Gado '58, a member of the Association executive committee who voted in favor the suit, said in an e-mail. "The Executive Committee, with only three of its eleven members voting in opposition, initiated this lawsuit with grave regret after every effort at another solution was rejected by the Board."

Consumerizing Charity

(11/19/07 6:25am)

I have recently noticed that Gap has advertisements for Product (RED) in their windows for the second time this year. Don't all of the movie stars look sexy in their nice red T-shirts? Product (RED) is a collection of corporations with popular brands -- Gap, Motorola, Converse, Emporio Armani, etc. -- that have agreed to give half of the profits they receive from selling the (RED) merchandise to the Global Fund. This money is then used to buy antiretroviral drugs for women and children with HIV/AIDS in Africa. The ad campaign for Product (RED), which was founded by Bono and friends, claims that by buying the products associated with the campaign, you will be a "good-looking Samaritan." What a deal, not only sexy, but altruistic also!

Speak Free or Die Hard

(11/19/07 6:24am)

Last Saturday, Spain's King Juan Carlos made headlines at the Ibero-American summit for asking Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, "Why don't you shut up?" The heated and slightly comical exchange occurred after Chavez called former Spanish Prime Minister Azner a "fascist," an especially sensitive accusation considering that Juan Carlos's immediate predecessor was the fascist dictator Francisco Franco. The irony of the situation is that, by insulting Chavez, the Spanish monarch exercised his right to free speech, a right that he does not fully extend to his own citizens.

Toe to Toe: Hodes versus Schmidley

(11/19/07 6:23am)

Last Thursday, Barry Bonds was indicted by the federal government on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. Baseball's new home run king could face up to 30 years in prison if found guilty on all counts. Bonds's legal woes got Hodes and I thinking about another athlete whose career has been lessened by "tragedy" -- Ken Griffey, Jr. Hodes gladly acquiesced to argue that Griffey has had the more "tragic" career, a fact I will now refute.

Toe to Toe: Hodes versus Schmidley (Hodes)

(11/19/07 6:22am)

A few weeks ago, Schmidley and I debated sports's greatest heroes. Just this past week, perhaps the greatest anti-hero of all-time was indicted for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury during the BALCO investigation four years ago. Without a doubt, Barry Bonds will never be remembered as simply one of the greatest players to ever play -- he'll always have a shroud of uncertainty surrounding his much-heralded career. That's unfortunate, but a tragedy?