Say Anything Segment: Discussing Mozilla Intolerence, Higher Ed, And NDGOP Convention

Here’s something fun: Chris Berg has invited me to do a regular segment on his 6:30 Point of View television program which airs on Valley News Live in Fargo. He’s calling it the “Say Anything Segment,” which is pretty cool. I’ve done several segments with Chris in the past, and I always enjoy it. And I promise not to wear a hooded sweatshirt on most of the segments. I ran out of time to change last night.

The segment was a little awkward last night as they had some problems with my audio early on in the show, so we ended up going through some of the topics kind of rapid fire, but I’m sure that’ll get ironed out.

Here’s what we talked about:

Mozilla CEO Resigning: This has been a hot topic here on SAB. As I said in my post, I think the situation speaks to a growing intolerance in our society. Some have compared Eich’s situation to that of the Dixie Chicks, who faced backlash from their fans over some comments made about the Iraq war, but I’m not sure the two situations are the same. Eich made a private political contribution that was discovered and advertised by other people. He wasn’t speaking about it publicly, and he didn’t bring his politics into the workplace. Targeting him for backlash was an illiberal reaction, to say the least.

Higher Education: We also talked about the proposal from state Senator Ray Holmberg which would require North Dakota’s universities to spend a specific percentage of legislative appropriations on actually educating students (instead of all the extracurricular things they get up to, like crony capitalism deals with big business, etc). Holmberg mentioned a figure as high as 80 percent. I think this is a great idea, because the status quo in higher education is ridiculous. We have university presidents who fly to Bismarck in private airplanes to tell legislators about how their institutions are chronically underfunded. Yet, appropriations to the university system have increased by more than half a billion dollars over the last decade to educate just 3,000 more students. Clearly, with that amount of money flowing into the universities, you have to question how much of it is reaching the students and how much of is is being gobbled up by administration.

NDGOP Convention: Chris asked me about my reactions to the NDGOP convention here in Minot which I attended. I thought it was a good event for Republcians. Attracting nearly 1,000 delegates to Minot (as opposed to a larger city like Fargo or Grand Forks) in a mid-term election year with just one competitive race on the agenda is a good sign for them.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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