Sunday, January 07, 2007

Weekend Update: A Little Bit of Outrage

Two news stories today that intrigued Fosco:

1. The NYTimes reports on the progress of the search for a new Harvard president. As an alumnus of the "Big H," Fosco is naturally interested in this topic (and wouldn't mind seeing the job offered to Al Gore). However, the Times took at different angle. Here's the lede:

Could Harvard be preparing to select a woman as its new president? A scientist? A female scientist?
Is it me, or are those increasingly incredulous question marks a bit offensive? I'm a little surprised the headline isn't something like "Harvard Seeks Scientifickal Lady: Feminine Charms Still Required."

One possible candidate for the position? Non-scientifickal political theorist Amy Guttman, president of Penn. That's her in the picture to the right during her 2006 Halloween party. She's posing with a Palestinian suicide bomber (costume). She's dressed as Glinda the Good Witch. As the Times article points out, this photograph may be enough to prevent her ascent to the Harvard presidency.

2. This story, from the Santa Cruz Sentinel made Fosco really mad at first. But then it started to make a little sense. Now Fosco is a bit ambivalent about the whole thing.

It seems that an anonymous donor has been paying for one-way bus tickets out-of-town for the Santa Cruz homeless. The program is being administered by the local Homeless Services Center. This sounds absolutely evil, right?

Well, except that, the idea sort of makes sense. According to the article:
the idea of helping homeless people move is gaining traction among people who think it makes little sense to provide meals and temporary shelter in a city where even the working poor have a hard time finding housing.
It is expensive to live here. And the program is totally voluntary, as the tickets are only offered to homeless people who want to leave Santa Cruz and start over someplace else.

Apparently, some other communities have been much less conscientious about the whole thing. According to the article, this is different from the "practice of dumping homeless people into other jurisdictions, as in 2004, when officials in San Benito County gave their homeless one-way bus tickets to Santa Cruz."

Now that's evil. Go to hell, San Benito County.

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