Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Explain Yourself!

NBC file photo courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle

Elizabeth Docent has requested another interview with me concerning my blog post from 7/24/2012.  Here’s the transcript…

Libby: I had to get some feedback on yesterday’s post.

Howard: Happy to comply!

Libby: It seems rather obscure.  What was your point?

Howard: It relates to the scholarship on which James Holmes was attending CU-Denver.  Reports had indicated a $26,000 amount was involved.  The Denver Post said it was $171,024.  I thought the difference was significant.

Libby: But why bother?

Howard: It has to do with vetting. The medical professionals at CU-Denver wouldn’t hand out that kind of money to just anyone off the street.  What made them think Mr. Holmes was one of the “best and brightest” and deserving of this grant?  Did they truly vet him or just fill a slot that had available grant money?

Libby: But CU-Denver, through the reporting of The Denver Post, seems to be walking back the distribution of the grant money.  They now say it was shared between six individuals, not just Mr. Holmes.

Howard: That points to the bureaucratic treatment of this issue.  On the one hand, you’ve got a person from Byers, Colorado who has underwritten Mr. Holmes and found him disqualifying.  Then you’ve got academic professionals, charged with administering grant money, underwriting Mr. Holmes and finding him exceptionally well qualified.  Why the difference?  Is that difference, in the minds of CU-Denver academics, not important because the amount of money is less?

Libby: That’s an interesting juxtaposition, but is it newsworthy?

Howard: Only if you are interested in preventing the acts Mr. Holmes is alleged to have committed.  CU-Denver, with its mentors and counselors, has insight into the motives of Mr. Holmes.  For legal and bureaucratic reasons, they are not disclosing that insight.

Libby:  OK, but what about the graphic at the top of your post?

Howard: That’s the whimsical side of the issue.  Chancellor Elliman (in the final paragraph of the story) was reported to say that he felt the university had done all it could in the stewardship of Mr. Holmes.  That brings to mind the statements of Madeline Albright in regard to the Rwanda genocide, saying the United States had done everything possible.

The graphic is essentially a wall of bureaucrats, with Kathleen Sebelius standing between Hillary “Assad the Reformer” Clinton and Joe “Master of the Sanctimonious Gaffe” Biden.  Also in the front row are Timothy “Tax Cheat” Geithner and Eric “Make My Day” Holder.  These are people who see the world in an abstract sense, and don’t understand how their actions cause personal suffering to Americans.  There just might be some of that at CU-Denver.

Libby: OK, this is starting to come into focus, but is there an anti-Republican component somewhere?

Howard: I’ve got a previous post on authoritarianism, and that is what we are seeing here.  Our current crop of authoritarians (to continue along that “abstraction” line) will save us from global warming, world opinion, financial distress and Mideast turmoil.  On a mundane level, they focus on gas-guzzling vehicles, fast-food outlets, and gun control.  Authoritarians wish to keep us from being killed by an SUV, suffering from diabetes, or dying from gunshot wounds – as long as it increases their power.  Right now, authoritarians are working an angle that gives them an opportunity to disarm Americans.  Republicans don’t think that is such a good idea.

Libby: To be continued, right?

Howard: Yes, with our elections this fall being a focal point.

Libby: Thanks for your time.

Howard: I’ll look forward to our next visit.

UPDATE 8/31/2012:
The University of Iowa, like the owner of Lead Valley Range (linked above), interviewed Mr. Holmes and found him disqualifying.  It brings up the question of whether CU-Denver did an in-person interview of Mr. Holmes.

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