All too brief

I gagged yesterday when I read this article on "People's Park", the 3 acre plot of land seized from the University of California by rioters during the mass psychosis of the late 1960s, published in the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Rick DelVecchio. The land, property of California's taxpayers, was to have been the site of a critically-needed dormitory. Almost 40 years later, the university can only house freshmen and sophomores in dorms, with upperclassmen left to fend for themselves.
The Chron writes:
"...the park's most loyal users treasure it as one of the city's most vibrant open spaces....

"There's even been talk of adding features like outdoor movies, live theater and a dog run, and linking the park to possible new attractions on nearby Telegraph Avenue, such as a history cafe, a historic district and a museum."
In actuality, the "park" is a no-man's land, an open air drug emporium (be careful! Don't step on any of the discarded needles left there by junkies), an unlicensed food service facility where soft-hearted and soft-headed folks like to come and dole out eats to the denizens, and outdoor crash pad for the homeless. I avoid it like the plague, and even shudder mildly when driving by (which I do with regularity).

But when I noticed that Michelle Malkin had already posted a blog item on the article, I decided to move on to other items that might otherwise have escaped our readers' notice.

But then I happened across this account of the same plot of land, written by someone with rather more direct experience:   

Bumfest '07

I live very near to that venerable bastion of Old Berkeley known as People's Park. This afternoon marks the start of the summer "concert" series, which I have insensitively dubbed, "Bumfest '07". Why, oh why, must I be subjected to hours and hours of bad rap every Saturday afternoon? Whom does this acoustic abomination benefit?

Do these sentiments make me a fascist pig?

After several years living in the People's Park neighborhood, I can tell you this about the homeless: Except for the disaffected punk-à-bestia kids and their pitbull puppies, the homeless are either mentally ill, drug-addled or both--and perhaps there is very little difference between the two states. They are sick. Allowing people to live outdoors in a park full of human feces and used needles does not constitute support for "freedom", "free speech", or "the pursuit of happiness." It is a particular abomination when the people in question are sick. Berkeley's homeless need real help, not a big outdoor flophouse.

And bad amateur concerts audible for blocks are also an abomination.
This account comes from the personal blog, Nequita mea, of the late Corinne Crawford, who died after a weekend traffic accident. Ms. Crawford, who was finishing-up her doctoral thesis at UC Berkeley in Classics and already on the teaching faculty, was my son's instructor in a Classics course at the university. He is devastated by her loss.

Only 26 years old, she was obviously a woman of extraordinary brilliance, having graduated summa cum laude from Harvard at the age of 20, while simultaneously being awarded a Harvard master's degree.
Having taught at Harvard, I can attest that in this age of grade inflation, Harvard still guards the honor of summa degrees rather closely. The honor is reserved for those who qualify as one of the finest minds of their generation, in essence. To simultaneously be awarded a master's degree may have a precedent at Harvard, but I have never heard of this happening before.

I can only speculate what Corinne Crawford might have accomplished had she lived. A luminous mind, steeped in the history and literature of the ancients and grounded in social realities might have made a difference in many lives. The name Victor Davis Hanson, among others, floats to mind.

May Corinne Crawford rest in peace. My deep condolences go to her family, friends, colleagues, and students, including my own son.
I gagged yesterday when I read this article on "People's Park", the 3 acre plot of land seized from the University of California by rioters during the mass psychosis of the late 1960s, published in the San Francisco Chronicle, written by Rick DelVecchio. The land, property of California's taxpayers, was to have been the site of a critically-needed dormitory. Almost 40 years later, the university can only house freshmen and sophomores in dorms, with upperclassmen left to fend for themselves.
The Chron writes:
"...the park's most loyal users treasure it as one of the city's most vibrant open spaces....

"There's even been talk of adding features like outdoor movies, live theater and a dog run, and linking the park to possible new attractions on nearby Telegraph Avenue, such as a history cafe, a historic district and a museum."
In actuality, the "park" is a no-man's land, an open air drug emporium (be careful! Don't step on any of the discarded needles left there by junkies), an unlicensed food service facility where soft-hearted and soft-headed folks like to come and dole out eats to the denizens, and outdoor crash pad for the homeless. I avoid it like the plague, and even shudder mildly when driving by (which I do with regularity).

But when I noticed that Michelle Malkin had already posted a blog item on the article, I decided to move on to other items that might otherwise have escaped our readers' notice.

But then I happened across this account of the same plot of land, written by someone with rather more direct experience:   

Bumfest '07

I live very near to that venerable bastion of Old Berkeley known as People's Park. This afternoon marks the start of the summer "concert" series, which I have insensitively dubbed, "Bumfest '07". Why, oh why, must I be subjected to hours and hours of bad rap every Saturday afternoon? Whom does this acoustic abomination benefit?

Do these sentiments make me a fascist pig?

After several years living in the People's Park neighborhood, I can tell you this about the homeless: Except for the disaffected punk-à-bestia kids and their pitbull puppies, the homeless are either mentally ill, drug-addled or both--and perhaps there is very little difference between the two states. They are sick. Allowing people to live outdoors in a park full of human feces and used needles does not constitute support for "freedom", "free speech", or "the pursuit of happiness." It is a particular abomination when the people in question are sick. Berkeley's homeless need real help, not a big outdoor flophouse.

And bad amateur concerts audible for blocks are also an abomination.
This account comes from the personal blog, Nequita mea, of the late Corinne Crawford, who died after a weekend traffic accident. Ms. Crawford, who was finishing-up her doctoral thesis at UC Berkeley in Classics and already on the teaching faculty, was my son's instructor in a Classics course at the university. He is devastated by her loss.

Only 26 years old, she was obviously a woman of extraordinary brilliance, having graduated summa cum laude from Harvard at the age of 20, while simultaneously being awarded a Harvard master's degree.
Having taught at Harvard, I can attest that in this age of grade inflation, Harvard still guards the honor of summa degrees rather closely. The honor is reserved for those who qualify as one of the finest minds of their generation, in essence. To simultaneously be awarded a master's degree may have a precedent at Harvard, but I have never heard of this happening before.

I can only speculate what Corinne Crawford might have accomplished had she lived. A luminous mind, steeped in the history and literature of the ancients and grounded in social realities might have made a difference in many lives. The name Victor Davis Hanson, among others, floats to mind.

May Corinne Crawford rest in peace. My deep condolences go to her family, friends, colleagues, and students, including my own son.