While you were away

Patrick Gibbons

The holiday season may bring families together, but sometimes it also takes us away from the world around us.  Here is some news you may have missed over the past few days.

The University of Denver wants to permanently get rid of its mascot, Denver Boone.

According to the university's chancellor, "The old Boone figure is one that does not reflect the broad diversity of the DU community and is not an image that many of today's women, persons of color, international students and faculty and others can easily relate to as defining the pioneering spirit."

Let's take that thinking a little further.  What about someone who goes to Penn State – a human, for instance? That person may find it difficult to relate to mountain lions living on Mount Nittany.  Or consider those attending any of the colleges or high schools around the country using the nickname "Tigers."  Or imagine a person of Irish ancestry attending a school whose mascot is a Trojan, which represents a 3,000-year-old ancient Greek culture that existed in present-day Turkey.

Interestingly, the University of Denver first replaced Boone with a Hawk, which represents absolutely nobody at the school.  Struggling to find something reflective of the school's diverse nature, the current approach is simply to spell out "D-E-N-V-E-R."  Nothing says school spirit and diversity like the alphabet.

The university's History and Tradition Task Force reportedly voted to permanently shelve the original mascot because "critics argued that he represented an era of Western imperialism and was offensive to women and minority groups."

            Here is the offender, drawn by a Disney-affiliated artist in 1968:

Who would have thought Western imperialism could look so cute?


Russian Professor Predicts Breakup of U.S.

This professor, named Igor Panarin, stated in 1998 that the United States would enter a civil war starting in 2009 and would break up in 2010.  The article includes a map of the future U.S.

If the country were to break up, something tells us that Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona will NOT be joining the "Republic of California," as Panarin predicts.  Yes, California is an economic and political powerhouse in the region.  But it is also a juggernaut of bad policy ideas, and many other people in the region know this.


The Goldwater Institute wins a lawsuit against corporate welfare down in Phoenix.

Policymakers down in Phoenix thought it would be a good idea to give $97.4 million in tax money to a mall developer in exchange for the "privilege" of renting a few parking spaces at the mall (a wily attempt to circumvent the state's constitutional ban on corporate welfare). Interestingly enough, if the city really wanted a parking garage, it could have built and owned  6,900 parking spaces for the price it paid to rent 200.


Samuel P. Huntington dies at age 81

Dr. Huntington was not only one of the most prolific conservative academics of the 20th Century, he was also an author who could write on a broad scale, taking complex ideas and boiling them down into readable books – a monumental task for any Ivy League graduate or professor.  Dr. Huntington was best known for his controversial book, "The Clash of Civilizations," published in 1996, which argued that future conflict would result from cultural and religious differences rather than ideological differences.