Gail Collins: Bret, as always we’ve got a lot to talk about. The mass shooting in New Zealand, of course. But perhaps we can get started with something less painful. Everybody’s been talking about that college admissions scandal. What’s your take?
Bret Stephens: We definitely should get to talking about the terrorism in Christchurch, not only in its own right, as terrible as that is, but because we know it could easily have happened here, even if, in this instance, it took place thousands of miles away.
As for the admissions scandal, where to start? With the kids, I guess, who clearly didn’t deserve the parents to whom they were born and will be socially and emotionally scarred by this fiasco for many years. And even more so with the kids whose names we’ll never know and who were denied admission because beneficiaries of the cheating had taken their place at these schools.
Gail: As a matter of justice, I totally agree. I’m just not sure how much practical difference it makes where you wind up in college. This comes partly from our colleague Frank Bruni’s book on the subject, and partly from the fact that I went to a school that was, at the time, pretty mediocre. It worked out fine, so maybe I’m biased.
But let’s get back to the justice part.
Bret: At the next level there are the scammers themselves, starting with William Singer, who ran the business/fake charity that perpetrated the fraud, and everyone he enlisted to participate in it, including the athletic coaches and fraudulent test-takers and so on. In some ways, they’re the least interesting part of the story, because their motive was money and their method was fraud. Even so, I’m still a little stunned by the thought of the fraudulent test-takers who may be smart enough to ace an SAT for someone else but not smart enough to know that cheating is wrong. It’s another reminder that there is no correlation between a high IQ and a basic moral sense.
Gail: The idea of the students not realizing their parents were gaming the system for them does fall apart when you’ve got somebody else taking your SATs for you.
Bret: Well, I suspect there are ways of gaming that, too, but we’ll have to learn more.
About the parents: I have three kids and I totally get how natural it is to want the best for them — to put opportunities before them, develop their interests and do what you can to help and comfort them when they stumble. But a major part of raising children is setting an example for ethical behavior. And teaching them to accept that disappointment is not just an inevitable part of life but also, if you learn from it, a salutary part of it. And underlining that anything gained through cheating is not gained at all.
Finally, I guess, there’s the meta-lesson here about what this says about the way we live now and our social values. I’m reluctant to draw too large a moral from a scam in which only a tiny fraction of people participated. But there’s no doubt we’ve become a society that increasingly has a hard time distinguishing between the substance of a serious university education and the supposed benefits of a prestigious brand. All I can say is that my mom never went to college and she’s a heck of a lot wiser and savvier than I am.
Gail: And you know, Bret, you never can tell how these things are going to work out. As I said, I went to a Catholic school that was, back in the day, not on a top rung. It was the kind of place where the girls had curfews, everybody had to take theology classes and we were forbidden to invite a poet — Allen Ginsberg, in this particular case — to give a reading because he had an immoral outlook. (I suspect the gay thing was a big factor.)
Bret: Starving, hysterical, naked. Go on.
Gail: Anyhow, the place was so rigid it propelled me into a rebellion — lots of demonstrations for free speech and a boycotting of our ethics of journalism class. I could go on. But the bottom line was I had a wonderful time, made friends for life and developed a sense of confidence I never would have felt if I’d been surrounded by supercool high achievers and a sympathetic administration.
Wouldn’t necessarily recommend that for everybody, but I do think there are a lot of kids who would bloom much faster in a nonelite academic institution.
Bret: Totally agree. One of the problems with elite universities is that they accustom students to a sense of prestige that’s both superficial and inhibits a certain kind of risk-taking and genuine nonconformity. Obviously that’s not universally true but it is hard to move off the beaten path when the one before you seems well-lit and glittering. It’s also a truism that failure is life’s great teacher, and whatever else the beneficiaries of the cheating may get, they are being deprived of something ultimately more valuable.
The larger question is whether this scandal exposes how rotten the entire enterprise of higher education has become. I personally think the four-year college model is crazy — it should be three years, as it is in England. And that’s just for starters. We need to reinvent the model root-to-branch. That’s one of the reasons I’m against making college available to all: You are merely funneling more students into a system of increasingly dubious value.
Gail: Kids who can’t afford to go to college and who would benefit from college should get government funding. But the loan system is a different question. It’s worrisome. I’ve always wondered if high school graduates should have to work a year or two — volunteer programs count — before they can commit to an expensive education.
Bret: Agree completely. Frankly every 18-year-old at any level of income would benefit from a year of service of some sort. I know I would have, and I’d love to see my children take a gap year or two before college.
Gail: Our current government loan program is terrible. It helps schools grow by building up unnecessary programs and of course encourages kids to take out huge debt they’ll be dragging around for half their lives. The for-profit schools are the most egregious offenders. Many of them rake in a ton of money by making promises they can’t deliver on — great high-paying jobs that never materialize. I’m not sure students should even be able to get federal loans for for-profit schools. What do you think?
Bret: I don’t share your profound skepticism regarding for-profit schools, but I think you’re right on this point. The federal government should not be indirectly subsidizing for-profit entities, period, especially when they have a questionable track record of achieving the results they promise. Then again, I’m skeptical of federal student loans in general, because I think they help drive up the cost of tuition, exacerbating the problem they’re intended to solve.
But let’s turn to the appalling attack in New Zealand. One thing that struck me is that, as soon as it was learned that the killer owned his firearms legally, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “Our gun laws will change.” I only wish we had that kind of common sense here in the U.S.
Gail: The death toll in New Zealand is now up to 50. Less than two years ago we lost 58 people in a mass shooting in Las Vegas. Do you remember what our president said about gun laws then? He said: “We’re not going to talk about that today. We won’t talk about that.”
Our only options are to just moan, “I live in a crazy country,” and let it go, or to soldier on. So let’s give a cheer for the Americans who devote their lives to struggling for better gun regulation.
I know you’re a supporter. Any thoughts about how we could push the cause forward?
Bret: You know I have my doubts about piecemeal, state-by-state gun regulation because strong gun laws in, say, Illinois won’t matter much if someone can easily purchase a weapon in nearby Indiana. That’s why I’ve been banging a drum to repeal the Second Amendment. That amendment was written when a competent soldier could fire his weapon perhaps once or twice a minute. Today’s mass killers are using weapons that allow them to kill dozens of people in the same amount of time, and that’s not even with a fully automatic weapon.
Gail: This is where I express full agreement without any hope whatsoever. This is a country that hasn’t been able to pass a constitutional amendment saying women are equal to men.
Bret: It is staggering that we’ve come to accept as normal the mass murder of scores of people in places like Squirrel Hill, Orlando, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Aurora and Parkland simply because unhinged men, acting from whatever motive, have access to these weapons. We should have an annual day of national mourning for victims of gun violence. Perhaps on the anniversary of Columbine.
Gail: I like that idea.
Bret: This seems to me a more fruitful avenue of political action than another long conversation about hate. Of course we need to be on our guard against every manifestation of white nationalism, just as we are when it comes to jihadism and every other form of violent extremism. But the issue now is that one evil person can kill dozens of innocent people on any given day, and we are almost powerless to stop him.
Gail: What we need is so simple — strong background checks on gun purchases, a ban on rapid-fire weapons that make it easy to mow down dozens of people. But I wonder sometimes if we could up the ante. Require that everybody who buys a gun has to be able to demonstrate both an understanding of gun safety and a minimal level of marksmanship. The one thing we don’t talk about is how inept many gun owners are. You need a decent amount of skill to be able to hit a target, particularly if you’re nervous or on the move. Unless, of course, your target is a mass of people at prayer.
Bret: And while we are at it, a psychiatric evaluation. I’d rather allow guns to people who can think straight, even if they don’t shoot straight.
Gail: Before we go, any predictions on what happens next in Washington? It doesn’t seems like there’s much chance they’ll override the president’s veto of that bill aimed at keeping him from declaring a wall emergency.
Bret: None. And it is particularly disappointing to see a Republican like Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a so-called constitutional conservative, vote with the president just weeks after he delivered a statement denouncing the national-emergency declaration. It means that Republicans have no higher principle than their own political self-preservation.
So now it will be up to the Supreme Court to act to defend the separation of powers. Don’t be surprised if Chief Justice John Roberts or another conservative justice delivers the majority opinion against the president, along with the court’s liberal wing. As we both know, the Trump presidency makes for strange bedfellows.
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贵宾平码三中三【此】【时】【的】【叶】【尘】【并】【没】【有】【出】【现】【在】【众】【人】【视】【线】【之】【中】，【不】【过】【从】【声】【音】【来】【判】【断】，【慎】【敢】【肯】【定】【叶】【尘】【就】【在】【众】【人】【的】【头】【顶】【之】【上】 【正】【在】【疑】【惑】【间】，【那】【名】【在】【高】【处】【放】【哨】【的】【男】【子】【突】【然】【前】【倾】，【朝】【着】【地】【面】【栽】【倒】【而】【来】，【最】【终】【被】【慎】【接】【住】 【慎】【看】【了】【一】【眼】【怀】【中】【的】【同】【门】，【眼】【神】【变】【得】【无】【比】【阴】【翳】，【因】【为】【此】【时】【的】【后】【者】【已】【经】【气】【绝】【身】【亡】，【而】【且】【是】【脖】【颈】【处】【一】【刀】【毙】【命】 “【好】【决】【绝】【的】【剑】”【慎】【不】
【顾】【北】【屿】【说】【完】【放】【在】【一】【旁】【的】【平】【板】【电】【脑】【忽】【然】【响】【了】。 【顾】【北】【屿】【非】【常】【淡】【定】【接】【通】【视】【频】【电】【话】。 “【妈】【咪】，【爸】【比】”【顾】【北】【屿】【看】【到】【林】【清】【妍】【后】，【原】【本】【冷】【若】【冰】【霜】【的】【面】【容】【和】【三】【月】【的】【春】【雪】，【瞬】【间】【都】【被】【融】【化】【了】，【嘴】【角】【挂】【着】【甜】【甜】【的】【笑】【容】，【真】【的】【和】【刚】【刚】【那】【副】【样】【子】【判】【若】【两】【人】。 【顾】【语】【兮】【前】【脚】【还】【在】【和】【哥】【哥】【置】【气】，【听】【到】【是】【林】【清】【妍】【的】【电】【话】【后】，【非】【常】【乖】【巧】【的】【凑】【了】【过】【来】
【既】【然】【无】【法】【进】【入】【魔】【法】【师】【协】【会】，【艾】【文】【也】【不】【强】【求】，【立】【刻】【朝】【着】【魔】【法】【师】【协】【会】【旁】【边】【走】【去】。 【在】【魔】【法】【师】【协】【会】【的】【旁】【边】【是】【一】【家】【魔】【法】【用】【品】【商】【店】，【这】【家】【商】【店】【可】【是】【魔】【法】【师】【协】【会】【开】【办】【的】，【里】【面】【的】【魔】【法】【物】【品】【虽】【然】【价】【格】【价】【格】【昂】【贵】，【但】【是】【却】【绝】【对】【的】【保】【证】【资】【料】，【在】【这】【里】【买】【东】【西】【是】【不】【用】【担】【心】【被】【骗】【上】【当】【的】。 【而】【艾】【文】【要】【购】【买】【的】【技】【能】【书】，【也】【就】【在】【这】【家】【商】【店】【出】【售】。 贵宾平码三中三. 【元】【丹】【丘】【也】【曾】【听】【自】【己】【师】【傅】【胡】【紫】【阳】【说】【过】，【向】【无】【情】【虽】【说】【行】【事】【作】【风】【心】【狠】【手】【辣】【了】【些】，【可】【是】【她】【其】【实】【算】【不】【上】【是】【一】【个】【坏】【人】，【当】【然】，【也】【算】【不】【上】【是】【一】【个】【好】【人】。【但】【可】【以】【肯】【定】【的】【是】，【现】【在】【的】【向】【无】【情】【绝】【对】【不】【会】【做】【任】【何】【对】【不】【起】【峨】【眉】【的】【事】。 【所】【以】【放】【下】【心】【来】【后】，【元】【丹】【丘】【就】【说】：“【在】【下】【相】【信】【有】【了】【丰】【臣】【家】【的】【帮】【忙】，【此】【次】【我】【们】【对】【抗】【朝】【廷】【一】【事】【定】【会】【事】【倍】【功】【半】
【一】【场】【风】【暴】，【无】【声】【的】【平】【息】。 【焰】【成】【了】【木】【叶】【的】【英】【雄】。 【带】【领】【新】【生】【代】【木】【叶】【忍】【者】【追】【杀】【窃】【取】【木】【叶】【重】【要】【情】【报】【的】【岩】【隐】【村】【上】【忍】，【独】【自】【一】【人】【击】【杀】【雨】【忍】【村】【包】【括】【一】【名】【上】【忍】【在】【内】【的】【精】【英】【战】【队】【全】【员】【以】【及】【一】【名】【岩】【隐】【村】【上】【忍】【的】【英】【雄】。 【而】【袭】【击】【村】【民】【的】，【是】【岩】【隐】【村】【的】【上】【忍】。【他】【只】【是】【为】【了】【栽】【赃】【陷】【害】，【使】【木】【叶】【混】【乱】【起】【来】【而】【已】。 【这】【是】【木】【叶】【官】【方】【向】【村】【民】【们】【宣】
【浅】【娆】【笑】【着】，“【老】【人】【家】，【你】【还】【是】【回】【去】【看】【看】【你】【的】【大】【皇】【子】【吧】。【若】【是】【海】【族】【混】【不】【下】【去】【了】，【可】【以】【来】【找】【我】【啊】。【说】【不】【定】【我】【有】【办】【法】【治】【疗】【你】【的】【病】【呢】？” 【大】【皇】【子】！ 【海】【圣】【人】【立】【即】【转】【头】【去】【看】【大】【皇】【子】。 【船】【舱】【内】，【大】【皇】【子】【惨】【死】【在】【地】。 【海】【圣】【人】【紧】【紧】【握】【住】【拳】【头】。 【完】【全】【没】【想】【到】【大】【皇】【子】【居】【然】【这】【么】【死】【了】！【他】【没】【保】【护】【好】【大】【皇】【子】，【那】【么】……【海】【族】【必】【然】