news junkie

i’ve been paying a lot more attention to the news. i think it might have to do with the fading of republican control on capitol hill. anyway.

two things read recently that I find disturbing:

“‘Hate Crime’ of Beatings Divides a Campus”:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/27/us/27guilford.html?ref=education

I went to Guilford. It’s a Quaker school. During my brief tenure there, as part of certain required courses that _all_ freshman take, I listened to South African refugees speak about their experiences of being brought to America by the Quakers, and had tea with a Montenyard family whom the Quakers had helped get out of Vietnam. A part of school orientation was to visit an underground railroad stop in Greensboro.

Most Guilford students come to the school seeking an education that includes content about human rights, justice, and activisim. Why else go to what is, frankly, a small liberal arts hippie school?

Apparently the student body isn’t as self-selected as I thought. This incident makes me very sad. I am sure many professors at Guilford are doing some soul-searching right now. That’s just because of the _violence._ If this actually turns out to be a hate crime? This will shake the college to its core.

“Coal-To-Liquid Diesel Fuel: A Bipartisan Issue That Unites Environmentalists With Farmers”:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/coalto_liquid_f.php#ch01

I know very little about liquid coal fuel, and I’d like to get a more balanced view, but it does not sound like such a hot idea. While I’m glad there are legislators putting forth specific legislation to increase domestic alternative fuel output, this stuff sounds like a _bad_ idea. I know so little about coal, however, so I could be swayed.

I hope that “Obama”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901503.html isn’t involved in this because of pressure from coal interests in his state.