Quotes, bon mots, and noteworthy utterances from the campus and beyond
07 May 2009
"[T]he justices we think of as the genuine conservatives . . . have made no secret of their eagerness to dump, trash, ignore, overturn, bury, and immolate volume after volume of the Supreme Court's liberal precedents."
Assistant Professor of Political Science Gordon Silverstein, arguing that retiring Justice David Souter, because of his commitment to judicial precedent, is "the court's only true conservative."
The New Republic, May 1
"Imagine trying to learn while your gums are bleeding, you're having problems breathing, and you can't make out the blackboard."
Professor of Public Policy David Kirp, arguing that "social circumstances" — such as poverty, poor health, malnutrition, and parental neglect — contribute far more to "racial and class gaps" in K-12 performance than do any heritable, genetic factors.
The American Prospect, May 2009
"What A-Rod did with the drugs he took was wrap them up in the startling and oh-so-beautiful achievement of his playing life."
Professor of Philosophy Alva Noe, arguing that the hoo-hah over steroid use in sports confers on these substances a magical power that, as tools put to use by supremely talented athletes, they don't possess.
Salon, May 1
"Relying on institutional investors to self-regulate is the economic equivalent of letting children decide their own diets."
Professor of Economics and Political Science Barry Eichengreen, assigning responsibility for the global financial crisis to multiple players, including the academics who chose not to challenge those of their high-profile colleagues who "consort[ed] with the financial sector in setting the stage for the collapse."
The National Interest, April 30
"Anyway you cut it, the union is going to be a major presence at the company."
Professor of Education and Geography Harley Shaiken, on the plan to turn bankrupt Chrysler's operations over to an employee-run trust.
Washington Post, April 30
"Plugged-in is not necessarily the best thing."
City of Berkeley police officer Andrew Frankel, noting that two of four strongarm-robbery victims in the south-campus area last Sunday were talking on cellphones when confronted.
InsideBayArea.com, April 28
"I don't know of any of them saying they're God. That sounds delusional to me."
Professor of African American Studies Ula Taylor, noting that Your Black Muslim Bakery owner Yusef Bay IV's assertions that he is God run counter to Black Muslim philosophy.
Contra Costa Times, April 29
"Hey, I write about angiosperm."
Michael J. Fox quoting the response of his brother-in-law and writing coach, journalism professor Michael Pollan, when Fox expressed disillusionment ("Who gives a crap?") with writing about his longstanding battle with Parkinson's disease.
San Francisco Chronicle, May 4