Lim: Racial Profiling Similar to Affirmative Action

Writing for The Faster Times, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, says that being for for affirmative action but against racial profiling, or vice-versa, creates a logical dilemma, as the same essential arguments are used to justify both.

“One can either be for race-based profiling and affirmative action, or against both. What is problematic is if one is for one but not the other,” Lim writes.”The problem is harder to resolve for the conservative who is anti-affirmative action but for racial profiling than it is for the liberal who is pro-affirmative action and anti-racial profiling.”

Amy Bloom’s ‘Silver Water’ Hilarious, Heartbreaking

The short story “Silver Water” by Amy Bloom ’75, Kim-Frank Family Writer in Residence, was recently featured in a live performance at Symphony Space on WNYC. The story, which ‘combines hilarity and heart-breaking sorrow in portraying a family with a schizophrenic daughter,’ was read by actress Linda Lavin. It begins at 28:47 in the program.

Fowler: Seasoned Operatives Handled Campaign Cash

A recent piece in The Los Angeles Times, Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of The Wesleyan Media Project, commented on where all that campaign cash from the 2010 election went. Despite the infusion of new candidates and the increased opportunities for outside groups supporting both sides, and with television ads in particular, 15 key firms dominated the campaigns and raked in over $400 million.

“Especially when it comes to television advertising … it’s dominated by a few key players and a few key firms,” Franklin-Fowler says in the article. “Key actors on both sides are going to go to the known quantities to place those advertisements.”

Yohe: Better Climate Change Communications Needed

A recent New York Times piece reports the call by scientists, communications professionals and others for the creation of “a nonpartisan education service aimed at helping organizations and governments make informed decisions about climate change.” The article cites Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, who discusses the need for more focused communications to nonscientific audiences, including disseminating contrasting views without creating a “fog of uncertainty.”

Election Retrospective: Attack Ads Work

Citing research by The Wesleyan Media Project, syndicated columnist Roger Simon writing in The Asheville Citizen Times says the reason we all saw so many attack ads in the last election cycle is simple: they work. Simon also cited Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government and director of the Wesleyan Media Project, who said: “More than half of all ads are pure attack ads. Attack ads have steadily increased since the 2004 election, and the 2010 House and Senate advertising is the most negative in the past decade.”

Yohe: NYC will ‘Feel like Savannah’ in Coming Century

In a story in The Fiscal Times that examines if recent extreme weather is a phenomenon or a result of global warming, Gary Yohe, Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies, says that cities will have to prepare for different types of climates in the coming years. In particular, he says that New York City and cities in the Northeast will take on the type of climate currently associated with the deep south.

Lim: Too Early to Call Obama a One-Term President

Writing for Faster Times, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, discusses the extensive recent theorizing by pundits on the right and left who say the recent midterm gains by the Republicans will result in a President Obama becoming a one-term president. No so fast Lim says. A variety of factors will play into this, not the least of which is the bully pulpit of the presidency. And in the case of the Obama Administration, Lim says they have “the best self-promoter the business has ever seen.”

Fowler: Attack Ads Up Because They’re Effective

In a piece by Roger Simon in The Chicago Sun Times, Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government, director of the Wesleyan Media Project, says the reason more than 50 percent of the T.V. ads run by candidates this election cycle were so-called attack ads is simple: politicians believe they work. The article goes on to discuss this and warns readers that 2012 will bring even more.

ABC News also had a similar story citing the Wesleyan Media Project.

Lim: Constitution Guarantees No or Slow Change

In an opinion piece for The Boston Globe, Elvin Lim, assistant professor of government, writes that despite two consecutive elections predicated on rhetoric of “change,” the constructs of the U.S. Constitution make rapid change very difficult, a design the Founders depended on to ensure stability and prevent radicalism. The newsmedia and others may call the result of this ‘gridlock’ in the coming weeks, but that situation was seen as a reasoned way to ”to lock into place our collective decisions when they were derived by ‘choice and deliberation,’ and not by ‘force and accident.’”

Swinehart Reviews ‘First Family’ by Joseph Ellis

In a piece for The Chicago Tribune, Kirk Swinehart, assistant professor of history, reviews First Family: Abigail and John Adams by Joseph Ellis. The book chronicles the two intertwining lives through the more than 1,100 letters they wrote to each other. The couple’s deep and enduring love is explored from its outset, along with their family life, the events leading up to and beyond the American Revolution, as well as Adams’ presidency. Swinhart says that “with ‘First Family,’ Ellis brings to seven the number of deep excursions he has had made into founders’ land. And, once again, he has returned bearing gifts.”