And now some fresh pickings from the political grapevine.
A graduate teaching instructor at the University of California-Berkley, birthplace of something called the Free Speech Movement, has served warning that conservative-minded students will not be welcome. Snehal Shingavi will teach a course called "The Politics and Poetics of Palestinian Resistance" this fall. The course description includes a warning that "conservative thinkers are encouraged to seek other" classes, saying that Palestinians' right to fight for self-determination is not up for debate. The Berkeley chancellor said there was a "failure of oversight" that indoctrination is not education... and that the class will be monitored to ensure no one is discouraged from participating.
Twenty-four-year-old Jeremiah Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, called ahead to make sure the elevators were working at the Washington subway stations he was about to use. But he went first to one station, then to another, only to find the elevators broken, leaving him stranded below ground. Metro officials didn't show much interest – until he shouted some profanity in frustration, which got him a $25 ticket for cursing in a subway station. A Metro spokesman defended the fine, saying, "this is not the type of behavior we condone in our Metro system," which "is used by a million people a day, including children." However, late today the transit police chief said he'll ask that the charge be dismissed, citing what he called the "totality" of the circumstances.
That Was Then, This Is Now
Former Vice President Dan Quayle, who 10 years ago blasted TV character Murphy Brown for having a baby out of wedlock, has praise for MTV's hit show The Osbournes. Quayle said the show, which features rock artist Ozzie Osbourne and his family living in their large Beverly Hills home, projects family values, despite the bleeped-out profanity: Quayle also said that in a weird way, Ozzy, who's slurred speech can barely be understood, is a great anti-drug promotion. People will look at how fried his brains are from taking all those drugs, Quayle said, and everyone will say, “I don't want to be like that."
Students at Villanova University near Philadelphia thought they were tuning in to the movie Reindeer Games on the campus TV station early yesterday morning. But instead of seeing the R-rated thriller, they saw an X-rated flick titled Cheap Thrills. The porn film aired for about half an hour before campus security officials pulled the plug. School officials say the skin-flick stunt was probably a senior prank.