Pub Coverage

Best of Old Pub: Reaction Posts

It’s no secret that the Cub Pub has changed over the years. In fact, this version is a redesigned, remixed, and relaunched version of our old blog, now affectionately referred to as Old Pub. It was a simpler time, a time when the country was lead by a hot shot youngster from Chicago and everyone wasn’t really sure if this Twitter thing would catch on. Relive those glory days with the Best of Old Pub.

Today we examine Old Pub’s reactions to articles published elsewhere. 

Liberals Worry Over Obama
by Bailey’s Original, December 2008 

The New York Times has a report on liberal dissatisfaction with Obama’s picks so far. The complaints aired in this article are very similar to the issues raised in a post on the site Open Left: Obama has made picks for his economic and national security teams that tack hard toward the center. Many liberals wonder if and when Obama will have progressives advising him, and are worried that the progressive sea change they originally envisioned will take place. Only time will tell, but many liberal pundits are cautioning a wait and see approach. After all, the only way we can know whether or not Obama will govern as a progressive is to see his policies. What do you guys think? Will Obama be as progressive as we all thought? Is it even advisable for him to govern from the left in this political and financial climate, when the fate of the nation will rest in cooperation on both sides of the isle?

Blindness To Black On Black Violence
by Bailey’s Original, January 2009

Stanley Crouch, a columnist over at the New York Daily News, has a superb article up about the most recent case of shocking police brutality, wherein a young black male in Oakland was shot point blank in the back even though he was subdued by police on the ground. However, Crouch has a different take on the issue than those who rioted in Oakland earlier this week expressed – he takes on the issue of black on black crime that plagues that black community. While many fault the police and the system for the horrifying conditions of the inner city, Crouch says that that liberal mentality is erroneous. Not all problems can be ascribed to social and economic ills, as if people are wind up dolls. I urge you to hit the link and read the article – it’s a profound look at a growing problem.

Trouble for Humanities Majors?
by Bailey’s Original, Febuary 2009

The NY Times reports on the renewed assault on the humanities in an article featuring Columbia’s very own Professor Delbanco, the director of American studies. Fields such as English, philosophy, and religion have been forced for some time now to justify their worth to society, but with the financial crisis affecting virtually every facet of American life, the humanities are facing questions regarding the validity of the liberal arts and personal intellectual development. This comes as bad news for yours truly … let’s hope that the nation is in need of some English professors by the time i get finished with schooling.

Thoughts on Education
by Old Fashioned, March 2009

Will Wilkinson’s post on Friday got me thinking about the public vs. private education debate, the two sides of which are essentially as follows (if anyone needs a refresher): Democrats favor more spending on public education while Republicans favor putting that money toward vouchers for use at private schools. It occurred to me that the argument for ditching public education in favor of private schools (based on the often correct notion that private schools are better and on the idea that parents should be able to choose their child’s school) makes the assumption that education is a good or service offered to the market. This assumption is dangerous though, and is representative of what’s been holding the U.S. back in education standards worldwide.

Democrats believe that education is a right, whereas Republicans treat it like any other service available in the free market. The problem with treating education as a service is that without it, individuals have little hope of further advancement in society; on a broader scale, if every American does not have an education, the U.S. will begin to stall (in fact, has already stalled and is lagging behind even further) in math and science, the two most important fields for a green energy sector. The notion that providing an education is an option rather than an obligation implies that success can be achieved without it, a notion that has no basis in fact in this century.

And if education is a right, the government has a duty to protect that right by providing a good standard of public education to every student. Draining money from public education to pour into vouchers only further prevents us from providing that education. Vouchers are not, and can never be, a solution for every family. Treating public education as a lost cause is not a productive use of our time or tax dollars.

Fish Asks, “What Should Colleges Teach?”
by Bailey’s Original, August 2009

Stanley Fish, who blogs over at the NY Times, has posted a new entry asking what exactly counts as essential skills when teaching college students. Fish asserts that some things, such as writing courses, must teach specific skills that students will need to compete in life. If students are not learning how to properly use grammar and rhetoric in a writing class, then that class is not serving its purpose.

However, the idea of “essential skills” also leaves the door open to outside activists imposing political goals upon the academy. For example, he fears that conservative activists might use the notion of essential skills to push an American-centric idea of history upon the academy, among other things.

This entry was inspired by a new report called “What Will They Learn?” from the conservative leaning activist group American Council of Trustees and Alumni. This report graded universities nationwide based upon their focus on essential skills. These schools were judged based on their dedication to a core curriculum that emphasized knowledge of traditional skills such as rhetoric, mathematics, grammar. However, Fish has some issues with what the report qualifies essential knowledge (i.e. knowledge of American history rather than world history).

It’s an interesting read. And in case you were wondering, Columbia received a B.

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