Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jed Rubenfeld Analyzes Campus Rape Issues

Yale Law professor Jed Rubenfeld analyzed the challenges of addressing the issue of rape on college campus in a November 15, 2014 piece in the New York Times titled "Mishandling Rape." In it, Rubenfeld writes,

OUR strategy for dealing with rape on college campuses has failed abysmally. Female students are raped in appalling numbers, and their rapists almost invariably go free. Forced by the federal government, colleges have now gotten into the business of conducting rape trials, but they are not competent to handle this job. They are simultaneously failing to punish rapists adequately and branding students sexual assailants when no sexual assault occurred.

We have to transform our approach to campus rape to get at the root problems, which the new college processes ignore and arguably even exacerbate.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Steve Humphreys Represents Georgia Academics in RICO Matter

Attorney Stephen Humphreys is representing two Georgia academics in lawsuits they filed involving charges of corruption against the University System of Georgia. According to an article on the website of WGCL TV in Atlanta,

CBS46 News has learned allegations of public corruption within the University System of Georgia have not been investigated by the office of Attorney General Sam Olens, which is now defending two lawsuits related to the claims.  
The suits filed individually by former Georgia Perimeter College president Anthony Tricoli and University of Georgia professor Dezso Benedek accuse various USG officials and Olens himself with violating the state's RICO statute. . . 
The office of attorney general is constitutionally required to prosecute public corruption within government and defend state agencies in litigation. . . 
"[The attorney general and university administration] attempted to take away [Benedek's] job, take away his pension, destroy his life and livelihood based on charges they knew were false," said attorney Stephen Humphreys, who represents both Benedek and Tricoli.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lt. General Mark Milley Promoted, Wins Fourth Star

Lt. General Mark Milley, until recently the Army Commander at Ft. Hood in Texas, has been promoted to a four-star general. On August 15 he took the position of the Commanding General of the. U.S. Armed Forces Command at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. According to an article:

Milley, former III Corps and Fort Hood commander, will be promoted to the rank of general just prior to the Aug. 15 FORSCOM change of command ceremony. Milley was confirmed for promotion to general and assignment as the commanding general of United States Army Forces Command, Fort Bragg, N.C., on July 24.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Adam Bellow Looks at New Conservative Counter-Culture

Adam Bellow has published a major article in the July 7 issue of the Nation Review titled "Let Your Right Brain Run Free." It surveys the cultural landscape and seeks indications of a conservative counter-culture against suffocating and puritanical left-wing cultural dominance. He writes,

How do we fight back against this liberal establishment with its politically correct regime of thought control? There is only one way that I know of and that is by turning their weapons against them and channeling the spirit of the Sixties counterculture. 
The original counterculture — that is, before it was hijacked and turned into a vehicle for progressive politics — was actually libertarian in spirit, and what made it work was its antic humor and its willingness to flout the sacred cows of the conservative establishment. From Mad magazine to George Carlin, no traditional object of piety went unscathed. Nothing like that has been seen in this country for decades, precisely because the culture is now dominated by sanctimonious liberals who have lost the capacity to laugh at themselves . . .  
The new conservative counterculture is a rebellion from below and from without. Fueled by the rise of digital self-publishing technologies, it is a simultaneous revolt against the hierarchical control of mass media and the ideological narrowing of acceptable discourse.
Bellow is the editorial director of Broadside Books at HarperCollins and the publisher and CEO of Liberty Island Media.

Clyde Wadsworth Considers Yee Olde Family Coat of Arms

Clyde Wadsworth provided an up-to-date perspective public radio station KQED on the matter of British coats-of-arms in the era of same-sex marriage. In a piece titled "A New Old Tradition," on June 25, Wadsworth said,

"Aquila non captat muscas." That's the Latin motto for the once medieval, very English Wadsworth clan that counts me as a modern family member. The motto anchors my ancestors' coat of arms; a blood red battle shield, marked with gold symbols representing the family's proud heritage. The Latin translates literally to "the eagle doesn't catch flies," which in everyday English basically means "big shots don't sweat the small stuff."  It's not the most dignified motto, but, hey, no one asked for my perspective 500 years ago. 

Imagine, then, my glee in learning that the British College of Arms, which has set the rules for heraldry since 1484, recently updated its laws to allow married same-sex couples to create their own coat of arms by combining both partners' family symbols into a single shield and motto. Who says tradition can't catch up with the modern family? And, finally, a good reason to marry my partner of 21 years - a new and improved family motto. 

His Scottish ancestors had their own noble mission statement: "Honor is acquired by virtue." It's hard to argue with that. Even if joining our families might take some work, mixing our mottos with those building blocks would be fuss free. 

I set my mind on eagles, flies and honor, and a simple, timeless truth floated from my lips: "The eagle flies with honor." I thought again. Sure, it's dignified, but maybe a little last century . . . and maybe better as a frequent flier ad. 

Our non-traditional family needs a motto with a progressive edge. And then it hit me: "Gay eagles fly with honor." Now that's moving truth forward. And on the shield, two eagles in flight, wing tips touching,  in a kind of Michael-Sam-and-his-boyfriend moment.

Sure, we may get some disapproving tweets. And Donald Trump may criticize our touching eagles as "pretty out there." But that's okay. Gay eagles don't sweat the small stuff. Oh, wait...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Anne-Marie Slaughter on Iraq and Syria

Former State Department director of policy planning Anne-Marie Slaughter published an op-ed piece in the New York Times yesterday. Titled "Don't Fight in Iraq and Ignore Syria," Slaughter wrote, 

What course of action will be best, in the short and the long term, for the Iraqi and Syrian people? What course of action will be most likely to stop the violence and misery they experience on a daily basis? What course of action will give them the best chance of peace, prosperity and a decent government?
The answer to those questions may well involve the use of force on a limited but immediate basis, in both countries. Enough force to remind all parties that we can, from the air, see and retaliate against not only Al Qaeda members, whom our drones track for months, but also any individuals guilty of mass atrocities and crimes against humanity. Enough force to compel governments and rebels alike to the negotiating table. And enough force to create a breathing space in which decent leaders can begin to consolidate power.

Slaughter is currently the President and CEO of the New America Foundation.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Levenson Volunteers to Fight Blindness

Dr. Jeffrey Levenson of Jacksonville, Fla., is one of the most enthusiastic eye doctors to volunteer with SEE Internationalhttp://www.seeintl.org/, an organization dedicated to eradicating preventable blindness worldwide, according to a recent release from SEE.
Dr. Jeffrey Levenson
Dr. Jeffrey Levenson
His commitment to the California-based nonprofit’s goal stems from personal experience, and a sense of perspective that can only be gained from partially losing one’s eye sight, and then having it restored.
In 2009, at age 51, Dr. Levenson was diagnosed with cataracts in both of his eyes. Over the course of six months, he found simple tasks such as reading, driving or even discerning objects through bright sunlight difficult.
The irony was not lost on him. Dr. Levenson is an ophthalmologist and specializes in performing cataract surgeries. He estimates that in his 30 years of practice, he has performed close to 20,000 surgeries. . . . 
As is the case with more than 98 percent of cataract surgeries, Dr. Levenson’s was successful. What surprised him, however, was how strongly having his eyesight totally restored would affect him.
“My cataract patients had always told me after they removed their eye patches how the world looked brighter, colors looked truer, how much more beautiful everything looked,” he said. “Now I really knew what they meant.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dr. Chris Daniel Reports on Efforts to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Dr. Chris Daniel filed a long post at smartglobalhealth.org on a discussion at the Instute of Medicine about  antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a worrisome trend in which infections prove resistant to treatment by antibiotics. Daniel wrote,

AMR’s human and economic costs are staggering. In the U.S. alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 23,000 deaths annually from drug-resistant bacterial infections, $20 billion in direct health care costs, and $35 billion in lost productivity.  
The worst could be yet to come. Last week, the World Health Organization called AMR a threat “so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,” requiring action across all sectors of government and society. Echoing similar pronouncements by CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden and others, the WHO noted that “a post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill – far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st Century.”

SmartGlobalHealth.org is the website for the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. The Global Health Policy Center is a leading policy research institution focused on building bipartisan awareness about global health and its importance to U.S. national security.

Daniel is a senior associate with CSIS’s Global Health Policy Center, where he focuses on the intersection of global health and security, including health diplomacy. A retired U.S. Navy Captain with extensive interagency and international senior leadership experience, Daniel was the first Naval Officer to serve as Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), which conducts innovative and lifesaving research, development and acquisition to deliver, distribute and maintain medical information, products, supplies and equipment to the U.S. military community.

An earlier post by Daniel on a related issue, "Fighting Drug-resistant Malaria with Bad Drugs," appeared last November. The CSIS published his report, "Drug-Resistant Malaria: A Generation of Progress in Jeopardy," last November and a PDF of it is available here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Jed Rubenfeld Co-Writes The Triple Package" with the One and Only Tiger Mom

We're a little late to the literary furor, but we certainly wanted to note the publication of the latest furor-provoking book co-write by classmate Jed Rubenfeld and his wife and fellow Yale Law professor, Amy Chua. "The Triple Package" looks at the success in the U.S. of specific ethnic groups and seeks to analyze the factors behind their success. Promotional materials lay out the book's thesis:

Why do some groups rise? Drawing on groundbreaking original research and startling statistics, The Triple Package uncovers the secret to their success. A superiority complex, insecurity, impulse control—these are the elements of the Triple Package, the rare and potent cultural constellation that drives disproportionate group success. The Triple Package is open to anyone. America itself was once a Triple Package culture. It’s been losing that edge for a long time now. Even as headlines proclaim the death of upward mobility in America, the truth is that the old-fashioned American Dream is very much alive—but some groups have a cultural edge, which enables them to take advantage of opportunity far more than others.

For those readers who have been living in an Internet-free isolation chamber for the past four years with no exposure to the furors of American culture, Chua  rose to notoriety in 2011 when she published "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom," about her distinctive mothering style involving her two daughters with Rubenfeld, Sophia and Lulu.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Doug McGrath Nominated for Tony Award-Best Book for "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"

Versatile writer/director Doug McGrath snagged a Tony nomination for Best Book for his work on "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," now packing them in at the Stephen Sondheim Theater in New York.

Beautiful earned seven nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Jarrod Spector '03. McGrath and Spector spoke at a post-matinee Q&A held at the Princeton Club of New York on April 26, an event organized by Wendy Gerber and the Princeton in the Arts group.

Entertainment Weekly's review of the play said McGrath's "smart, well-crafted and funny book cleverly threads together a memorable catalog of early rock hits."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ft. Hood Commander Michael Milley Speaks Out on Shooting, Aftermath

As the Commander of the Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas, Lieutenant. General Mark Milley has had the difficult duty in recent days of providing information about last Wednesday's shooting spree at the base, which left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded. The shooter, a soldier, killed himself. According to this article in the San Antonio Express-News,

Fort Hood commander Lt. Gen. Mark Milley said the shooting apparently followed an argument Lopez had with another soldier on the post. 
Milley said no evidence suggests that the shooting spree and killings were premeditated.

His official biography provides a depth of detail on Lt. Gen. Milley's 34-year career in the Army and Special Forces. His deployments include Egypt, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The Princeton Alumni Weekly published a Q&A with Gen. Milley  in April, with the interview conducted before the April 2 shooting. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Adam Bellow Launches "Liberty Island' Website for Creative Conservative Writers

Adam Bellow is shaking up the market for smart conservative fiction and speculative writing with his just-launched website, Liberty Island. As the publisher and CEO, Bellows brings to the project his eye for provocative literary projects that go against the prevailing cultural grain. He currently runs Broadside, the conservative imprint of Harper/Collins, which published Donald Rumsfeld '54's memoir, Rumsfeld Rules.

In an interview with the website PJ Media, Bellow explained the thinking behind the site, which has genres such as dystopia, alt-history, humor, mystery/thriller, horror and military. One cheeky article is, "Can You Write Better Than Maureen Dowd? A Liberty Island Contest." Bellow explains the site's goals and approach:

We started Liberty Island to help the new wave of conservative storytellers connect with their natural audience. Even before launching the site we’ve discovered dozens of new voices on the right that you won’t find anywhere else. These are talented and creative people who have previously been excluded from mainstream culture because they hold the wrong views and didn’t go to the right schools or attend the approved writing programs. This just confirms our hunch that something like Liberty Island is desperately needed. . . 

Liberty Island combines a magazine, a free range self-publishing platform, and a community of readers and writers who share a commitment to the values of freedom, individualism, and American exceptionalism. It also has a unique mission: to serve as the platform and gathering-place for the new right-of-center counterculture.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Join Doug McGrath in a Post-Show Q&A for His Play "Beautiful"

Princeton Alumni in the Arts and the Class of 1980 have organized an event for the April 26 matinee performance of the Broadway play "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," written by Doug McGrath. The performance will be followed by a post-show Q&A session with book writer Douglas McGrath '80 and performer Jarrod Spector '03 plus mingling afterwards. Celebrate these two Tigers on Broadway, at 2:00 pm, followed by the post-show Talk-Back session with drinks and appetizers near the theater from 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm.

For $110, you get an all-inclusive ticket for a rear orchestra ticket to the matinee performance plus admission to the Q&A session, 1 drink and appetizers.

Amy Myers Jaffe Examines Ukraine Crisis with Energy Focus

In a column for the Fuel Fix website, Amy Myers Jaffe looked at the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis from the perspective of how reveals Russia's challenges in the energy sphere, and how the crisis could benefit U.S. energy companies. In "Russia and Ukraine -- the Energy Angle," she writes,

Russia relies heavily on oil and gas for its national budget and has been under pressure from the prospects of increased competition. So far, that competitive pressure is limited to the natural gas side but prospects that either Iraq or shale oil could uptick in the coming years pose a long term threat as well. When Putin analyzes who to back in the Middle East, he most certainly needs conflict to stifle oil and gas production expansion there. Mideast conflict is also good for Moscow’s budget woes.
 Jaffe is the Executive Director for Energy and Sustainability at the University of California, Davis, with affiliation at the Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Transportation Studies. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yadin Kaufmann Speaks on Social Venture Funds at TEDx Roma

Yadin Kaufmann, the founding partner Veritas Ventures Partners, spoke at the recent TEDx Roma conference on the topic of "Can Business Make the World a Better Place?" The presentation focused on his involvement in two social-venture funds focused on Israel and Palestine. In a column in the Times of Israel on March 18, Kaufmann wrote,

In my recent TEDx Roma talk, I discussed two initiatives that are trying to make a difference through business. The first, Tmura – TheIsraeli Public Service Venture Fund, translates start-up company stock options into cash grants to education and youth non-profits in Israel.  

The second initiative, which I co-founded with Palestinian entrepreneur Saed Nashef, is Sadara – The Middle East Venture Capital Fund. Sadara aims to help build a Palestinian technology ecosystem by providing financing and support to Palestinian tech entrepreneurs who are starting companies. 

Both of these initiatives originate within the business community but have significant social impact.
Kaufmann has been involved in venture capital since 1987, when he joined the management of Athena Venture Partners, a US/Israel venture fund. He has managed Veritas's funds since 1990. He has served on the boards of numerous high-technology companies, including Gilat Satellite Networks, Class Data Systems, Mercury Interactive, and Escape Rescue Systems, among others.

Kaufmann is a native of New York and a member of both the New York and Israel bars. He has experience in commercial law and served as a law clerk to a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel. He received his A.B. from Princeton University, M.A. from Harvard University, and J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

'80 Makes Waves in NY Times as Greg Mankiw, John Rogers Share Thoughts on Wealth, Leadership

February 15 was an orange-letter day for the New York Times as Harvard professor Greg Mankiw and Ariel Investments CEO, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer John W. Rogers Jr. shared their thoughts on critical current business topics.

Rogers spoke about leadership, in a Q&A titled "A Great Teammate is a Great Listener." He recalled his time on the Princeton basketball team under coach Pete Carrill. Rogers said,

What were some lessons you learned playing basketball at Princeton?I was not a great player, so I don’t want to give any false impressions. I was fortunate to be on the team, and the coach, Pete Carril, said he kept me around because I worked so hard. I spent most of the time on the bench, but senior year, he asked me if I would be captain.
And Coach Carril taught two things better than anyone. The first lesson was about teamwork and caring about your teammates first. He pounded it home and eventually it became such a freeing and fun way to play. There was a transformation. He no longer had to push the idea; the team fully embraced it. You’re not thinking about who scores the points or who gets the credit; you’re thinking instead about how you can help your teammate succeed on the court. Coaches talk about it, but they don’t always get it through to the kids. Many kids still play selfishly. Princeton basketball is all about the team. It was just transformative. It changed my life. 
The other key thing is that he was very demanding about precision. The angle of the cut mattered; the footwork mattered. If the pass was off just a few inches, it mattered. Every detail mattered for the ultimate success of the team. He’d always say, “Do you want me not to notice?” He would stop you and constantly show you what you needed to see and what you needed to understand.
Mankiw, meanwhile, tackled the high-profile issue of compensation of corporate executives and linked pay to risk-taking and value creation in the essay, "Yes, the Wealth Can Be Deserving." He wrote,

A typical chief executive is overseeing billions of dollars of shareholder wealth as well as thousands of employees. The value of making the right decisions is tremendous. Just consider the role of Steve Jobs in the rise of Apple and its path-breaking products.
A similar case is the finance industry, where many hefty compensation packages can be found. There is no doubt that this sector plays a crucial economic role. Those who work in banking, venture capital and other financial firms are in charge of allocating the economy’s investment resources. They decide, in a decentralized and competitive way, which companies and industries will shrink and which will grow. It makes sense that a nation would allocate many of its most talented and thus highly compensated individuals to the task.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

John Wetmore Talks to Nerdwallet About Trend Toward Less Driving

Pedestrian pundit John Wetmore spoke with Nerdwallet.com about the ongoing trend of young people driving less, and the impact of this on urban environments and planning.

In the article "The Impact of Fewer Drivers on Cities," Wetmore told the website,

John Z. Wetmore is a firm believer in taking the road less traveled. He produces a television program entitled “Perils for Pedestrians.” His goal is to urge urban planners and local governments to build and maintain more sidewalks and crosswalks, as well as reduce speeding traffic, dangerous intersections and other hazards to cyclists and walkers. 
“The drop in vehicle-miles traveled (VMT) started before the economic downturn, and after several years VMT has not returned to its growth trends of past decades. This should not be surprising,” Wetmore says. “At some point, you have saturated the population with automobiles and hit the maximum mode share for driving. Additionally, people like having choices. As alternatives to driving improve, people will make the appropriate mode choice for each trip, and it will not always be driving.” 
Wetmore believes the big problem is not the drop in VMT, but the failure of transportation planners to respond to it. 
“Roads are typically built for traffic projections going out 20 years in the future,” he tells NerdWallet. “When those projections are based on outdated trends, we spend too much building roads that are too wide for the traffic they will actually see. When we build roads that are too wide, we have less space and fewer dollars for the modes that actually are growing in use, such as walking, bicycling and transit.”

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Does John Novaria Think about the Seahawks' Cornerback Richard Sherman? Well . . .

John Novaria shared his thoughts today on the brief but notable post-NFC championship interview by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Titled, "Will the Real Richard Sherman Please Stand Up?", the commentary appeared on Novaria's "Insights" blog, part of his Novaria Communication consulting business. He discussed his initial reactions to Sherman's outspoken interview, the feedback he got, and his reconsideration of Sherman's comments. Novaria wrote,

I posted my outrage on Twitter and Facebook. Just to show you the difference, tweeters I don’t know personally responded with things like “haters gonna hate” and “lolol we goin to the super bowl shut up” while Facebook friends supported me with “likes” and supportive comments. Over dinner, however, I started to second guess myself. Glass houses and all that. After all, I’m a communicator and should understand better than anyone that my objections were now laid bare and will remain public forever. 

I decided to not to delete my posts. No, I’m sticking with my opinion that Sherman’s rant was classless and when the Seahawks don’t muzzle him he brings dishonor to himself and his team. As a communications consultant, I would jump through the TV screen if I saw a client behaving that badly.

Bernardo Ferdman Profiled in Two-Part Article in San Diego Jewish World

Bernardo Ferdman was profiled in a two-part article that appeared in the San Diego Jewish World on January 12, coinciding with the publication of the book he co-edited and partially wrote, Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion. Titled "Latino Jew Makes the Case for Workplace Diversity," the article starts,

As a Jew who has lived in Argentina, Puerto Rico, and in different states in the mainland United States, Bernardo Ferdman has absorbed portions of numerous cultures and belief systems. Add to that the facts that he also is a professor, psychologist, and family man, among other roles, and one begins to understand Ferdman’s teaching that people need to bring to the workplace all of their identities, not just one or two aspects. Similarly, he counsels, employers will benefit from a heterogeneous work force.
Bernardo is a professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant University

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Doug McGrath Named "Tiger of the Week" as His Carol King Musical Debuts on Broadway

The Princeton Alumni Weekly tabbed Doug McGrath as its "Tiger of the Week" on January 8, as he prepared for the premiere of his new play Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, about the singer-songwriter's rise to stardom. The play debuts at the Stephen Sondheim Theater on January 12, following previews and a run in San Francisco. PAW wrote,

In working on the production, McGrath interviewed King, her ex-husband Gerry Goffin, and their fellow songwriters and friends Barry Mann (played by Jarrod Spector ’03) and Cynthia Weil. “It was quite emotional for all of them at different points, because they are talking about their youth, they’re talking about triumphs, and they are also talking about a lot of things that went wrong in their lives,” says McGrath. 
A filmmaker and playwright, McGrath wrote and directed the adaption of Jane Austen’s Emma for film, as well as Nicholas Nickleby, Company Man, and Infamous. With Woody Allen, he wrote the screenplay for Bullets Over Broadway, which was nominated for an Academy Award. 
McGrath listened to King and Goffin’s songs in his youth and was interested in the Brill Building, where songwriters of that era worked. The Brill Building sound, he says, really refers to two buildings on Broadway. King, Goffin, Mann, and Weill worked out of 1650 Broadway. “I was always fascinated by this idea that there was an office building … that was essentially a creative beehive,” he says,  “kids in cubicles with pianos and keyboards and desks, writing music.”