The Surreal Life: Ben Ladner Edition

Johnny Law has an update on the situation, including pics from the on-campus protest we attended yesterday evening.

As if the personal chef and exquisite five thousand dollar lunches weren't enough for President Ladner, the Washington Post uncovered a confidental memo to the Board requsting an additional five million in compensation to maintain his current standard of living at his retirement.

Too bad we had to go to class before we got to start chanting on the bullhorn; I really wanted to lead a rousing chorus of "He-ey, ho-oh, Benjamin Ladner has got to go!" However, AU Libertarians member, Calvin Beaulier did a great job of rallying the troops; he is pictured in the front-page DC Examiner story

This quote sums up the feeling on campus:

"No matter what the outcome of the investigation, he's going to come back to a student body that doesn't trust him and a Board of Trustees that is one vote away from letting him go," [Emily Freifeld] said. "He has to go."

It doesn't matter whether he was living extravagently with our tuition money in violation of his contract or in conformance with it. We still don't want him back.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...Ladner out of AU...


Ladner, a Message to You...


The faculty, student government, and half the board of trustees agree. Like closing time at the bar (e.g the open bar you bought with $44,000 of our money), you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.

I think that this picture from BenLadner.com says it all:

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...not amused...


Porkbusters: Make Congress Trim Some Fat

Stephen VanDyke's heads up informed me about the Porkbusters campaign to reduce wasteful government spending to offset Katrina rebuilding efforts. I may not be the Libertarian Party, but as a Libertarian, I contacted my
Congressman, Albert Wynn, to request a specific spending cut.

Dear Congressman Wynn,
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the whole country was shocked by the devestation and poured out support to our fellow citizens in New Orleans. As a supplement to the private response, President Bush has proposed to do 'whatever it takes' to rebuild the affected area.

Given the high price tag of a Federal rebuilding effort (potentially more than $200 billion), combined with the already high national debt and budget deficit, it is imperative that disaster spending be offset by spending cuts elsewhere.

I am writing as a concerned constituent to ask you to propose cutting the $3,000,000 earmarked for the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to help offset Katrina spending. If you are not willing to cut this spending (highlighted in Citizens Against Government Waste's 2005 Pig Book), I'm eager to hear what other specific spending cuts you are willing to make to offset Katrina spending.

I look forward to your response and will be publishing this letter and any subsequent response from your office on my blog.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

I will update this post if and when I receive a response. In the meantime, you can look up pork to contact your representatives about here. Blogging's not all fun, games, and boobies. Sometimes it's serious stuff.

Yours truly,
Mr. X



Role Model?

Is AU President Ben Ladner a good role model? As noted in this Washington Post story, Mr. Ladner has bilked the school for $500,000 in spurious expenses, above and beyond his ridiculous $800,000 annual salary.

The spending in dispute includes travel expenses, more than $6,000 in club dues, nearly $54,000 in drivers' costs, more than $220,000 in chef services, more than $100,000 in services from the social secretary and nearly $44,000 in alcohol.

As a student who is spending in excess of $20,000 per year to attend this fine institution (part-time, no less), my initial reaction would to call for his ouster, along with the worthless trustees who allowed this to go unchecked.

On the other hand, anyone who spends $44,000 on alcohol can't be all bad, can he? I just wish he had bought me a drink.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...a little peeved...

UPDATE: Obligatory legal question: Can we sue the trustees for breach of fiduciary duty?


The Onion: Satire site or Delphic oracle?

On February 18, 2004, The Onion published a story entitled, "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five Blades," describing a fictional Gillette executive's response to the Schick Quattro, a razor that offered four blades to the Gillette Mach 3's paltry three.

You think it's crazy? It is crazy. But I don't give a shit. From now on, we're the ones who have the edge in the multi-blade game. Are they the best a man can get? Fuck, no. Gillette is the best a man can get.

What part of this don't you understand? If two blades is good, and three blades is better, obviously five blades would make us the best fucking razor that ever existed. Comprende? We didn't claw our way to the top of the razor game by clinging to the two-blade industry standard. We got here by taking chances. Well, five blades is the biggest chance of all.

Now an actual Gillette executive has announced that they're going beyond satire to launch the Gillette Fusion, a five-bladed razor. Not only five-blades, but a goddamn microchip (to "regulate the voltage and blade action") as well.

Gillette has escalated the razor wars yet again, unveiling a new line of razors on Wednesday with five blades and a lubricating strip on both the front and back.

The razor, known as the Fusion, has blades spaced 30 percent closer than Gillette's current MACH3Turbo system. It also has a single blade on the back of the cartridge for shaving sideburns or trimming under the nose.

Close readers of this blog will note that this is not the first time that the Onion's predictions have come true. Horoscope writers and palm readers should beware. Nostradamus publishers should quake. There's a new oracle of the future in town: America's Finest News Source.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...shocked and awed...



Breaking the Silence

I finished my first cite-checking assignment Sunday night. Somehow I found about 25 hours above and beyond my normal work and school duties to find sources in three different libraries, copy and collate them, and edit 20 or so pages of scholarly article. All that, and I still don't feel like I did a good enough job.

Thank you to everyone who has been patient with me over the last week or so, especially the lovely girl who made me dinner on Sunday night.

It's six o'clock on a Tuesday and I still have a ton of work to do, so I'm going to get back to it.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...alive, barely...

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Stoicism in Action: New Orleans Edition

A commentary this morning on NPR by Chris Rose served as a reminder of how hard it can be to remain stoic in the face of disaster.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...dealing with smaller problems...