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Jul 20, 2005 3:42 pm

More Noted Things ...

President Bush's nomination of Judge John G. Roberts of the D. C. Court of Appeals dominates the newspaper headlines this morning. There will be hearings on and debate about the nomination, particularly perhaps on Judge Roberts' attitude toward Roe and stare decisis. The early betting, however, is that this is a responsible, conservative nomination that may spare the Senate and the country another showdown and could result in a confirmation by October, when the Court will reconvene. I take it as a positive sign that Ann Coulter's"Souter in Roberts Clothing," 20 July, throws the first blow at Roberts from the wacko Right.

Two good reads, thanks to Moby Lives:

Matt Bai,"The Framing Wars," New York Times, 17 July, profiles George Lakoff and his break with his mentor, Noam Chomsky.
Alan Travis,"How a real Big Brother kept an eye on George Orwell, the bohemian communist," The Guardian, 18 July, discusses the twelve years of police surveillance of George Orwell.
Well, at least I made the Gryffindor cut:
Want to Get Sorted?
I'm a Gryffindor!
Thanks to New Kid on the Hallway,
who's a Ravenclaw, for the tip.
More seriously, Harry Potter has lately dominated the blogosphere. Tim Burke, Jon Dresner, and Sharon Howard have each made important contributions to the discussion. I found Mika LaVaque-Monty's"J. K. Rowling's Modern World" at Left2Right particularly provocative. Noting that it has become commonplace to observe that Max Weber's"secularization thesis" has turned out to be false, LaVaque-Monty observes that, for all the witchcraftery, Harry Potter's world is a remarkably modern/secular one. No church, no synagogue, no mosque. No Ten Commandments, but nonetheless a fairly keen sensitivity to moral values. At bottom, it may be that – the very notion that there can be a secular moral sensibility -- rather than all the witchcraft, that threatens religious conservatives, from Pope Benedict to the right wing evangelicals in the United States.

In"That Terror Thing, III," at Chapati Mystery, Sepoy explains the course of civilization.

Helen at Classics, etc. tells you why graduate students are like the seven dwarfs. Thanks to Rebecca Goetz at (a)musings of a graduate student for the tip.

Through your laughter and tears, be assured that your students' gaffs are no worse than those that have gone before them. Dr. History was combing through a 1932 Boston newspaper. It reported that BU students had said on their mid-year exams that"Lord Baltimore helped Ben Franklin in the Louisiana Purchase and that America was discovered by a Spinach."

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