Blackboard is awful

The University of Nebraska – Lincoln uses “Blackboard” as its course-management software. This hurts students. Blackboard temporarily freezes both Internet Explorer and Firefox on my XP laptop — a trick which no other website I visit does.

I don’t think I would be able to write a piece of web software as awful as blackboard. It’s clear that the designers of blackboard faced several instances of the question — do we do this the usable way or the way that lets us say we implemented Java or some other hip technology — and they went with the high-tech, gizmo-rich solution.

Too bad. Students and faculty of UNL pay for Blackboard’s lousy coding in time, energy, and frustration.

Against Bush 44

If elected President, Hillary Clinton will continue the worst behaviors of the Bush Administration.

By this, I do not mean the Iraq War. The Iraq War is a good thing, and Hillary is a firm supporter of it. By this, I do not meant the Containment of the Kremlin. Twisting the bear’s nose while Russia slides into oblivion is a good thing. By this I do not mean the “separate lanes” policy toward China: while not ideal, “separate lanes” at least keeps our countries moving in the right direction.

Rather, Hillary Clinton will not be able to explain why we are fighting this Long War.

Because defending America is a preoccupation of Republican candidates, every serious contender for the White House among the GOP can elucidate better rhetoric than George Bush. On national security issues, however, sympathy towards our enemies and suspicion about our own power tends ot make this difficult for Democrats in the post-Vietnam era.

The candidacy of Barack Obama is a unique opportunity for Democrats. Obama’s rhetorical “hope” recall nothing so much as the speeches of John F. Kennedy. Further, his comfort in the English language combined with family still living in Africa, that he will be able to militarily execute and politically defend operations on that continent.

The candidacy of Hillary Clinton would waste this opportunity. Worse, Hillary’s focus on domestic politics would prevent any coherent message. A Clinton presidency would present us with crisis-by-crisis defenses of policy, rather than the unifying themes possible under a McCain or Obama Presidency.