The following is an excerpt from OpinionJournal’s “Best of the Web” at WSJ written by the editor, James Taranto.
Get a Horse!
Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker has proposed cutting the budget of the University of Wisconsin, which prompts Michael Mirer, a doctoral candidate at the flagship Madison campus, to write a piece for the Washington Post titled “Scott Walker Thinks My University Has Fat to Trim. Yet My Department Is Barely Scraping By.”
That’s a non sequitur in itself, but his hardship story seems a bit out of date:
During one of the many rounds of budget cuts the University of Wisconsin has endured over the past few years, the department ended all nonessential long-distance service. This was essential to me, I explained to the front-office staff. I am hoping to log about 25 hours of interviews with people who are outside the university’s 608 area code. Long-distance phone calls cost less than 4 cents per minute; the entire project would cost about $60, surely something could be worked out? Could I pay for it myself? Write a grant? They didn’t think so.
There’s no using the telephone in, of all places, the communication department. The budget is too tight. The phone jack in my office is a vestige of a time when the state invested in higher education.
At least they let him have typewriter ribbons, or he wouldn’t have been able to compose the Post story. But speaking of fat, we hear the university has been forced to end night classes because it can’t afford whale oil for the lamps.
What Would We Do Without Experts?
“Experts Say Hackers Looking for New Targets”—headline, Associated Press, Feb. 5
For more “Best of the Web” click here and look for the “Best of the Web Today” link in the middle column below “Today’s Columnists.”