Jason.Willick

After divestment

The Devil's Advocate

The ASUC Senate’s deeply misguided vote to divest UC funds from companies affiliated with the Israeli military is, in one sense, utterly irrelevant. Despite its best efforts, the coterie of far-left activists that dominates student politics rarely influences university policy — Chancellor Birgeneau helpfully reminded us that the regents’ investment portfolio will
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Jason.Willick

The politics of hookups

The Devil's Advocate

In her provocatively titled new book “The End of Sex,” noted religion and sexuality scholar Donna Freitas does something rather unusual — she attacks the notorious college “hookup culture” from the feminist left. Commentators sometimes nostalgically lament the supposed collapse of courtship among young people. But as of late, feminists
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Jason.Willick

Imagining a sane GOP

The Devil's Advocate

The Republican Party’s best possible argument against government intervention in the economy is that it has negative unintended consequences — in particular, that it harms the vulnerable. Of course, this isn’t usually the case — government programs, from Pell Grants to food stamps, have helped expand opportunity and lift millions
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jason.web

The Millennial misconception

The Devil's Advocate

“Generations, like people, have personalities,” wrote the Pew Research Center in an introduction to its detailed 2010 report on the characteristics of young voters, “and Millennials — the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium — have begun to
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jason.web

Memo to the next chancellor

The Devil's Advocate

Dear Nicholas Dirks, Congratulations on your selection as UC Berkeley’s next chancellor. Your reputation will rise or fall depending on your ability to navigate an unpredictable and sometimes explosive political environment, win the trust of students who are notoriously wary of authority and guide the world’s leading public university through
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jason.web

The Republican civil war

The Devil's Advocate

“If the Republican Party cannot win in this environment,” declared conservative luminary George Will in September, “it has to get out of politics and find another business.” Fox News host and Tea Party darling Laura Ingraham agreed, telling Republicans, “if you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut
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jason.web

Reagan on the ballot

The Devil's Advocate

Ronald Reagan entered California politics in the 1960s with the University of California, and the Berkeley campus in particular, as political targets. A recent article in Dissent Magazine argues that Berkeley “provided the most useful political foil” for Reagan’s gubernatorial campaign, “crystallizing all of his ideological themes into a single figure for
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jason.web

Guilty until proven innocent

The Devil's Advocate

In October 2010, members of Yale’s Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity marched around campus chanting, “No means yes! Yes means anal!” The incident — and subsequent allegations that the Yale administration failed to respond adequately to the fraternity’s abhorrent behavior — provoked a national discussion about sexual violence and rape culture
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jason.web

Homeless by choice

The Devil's Advocate

There are two major points of contention in the bitter debate over Berkeley’s Measure S, which would prohibit sitting on sidewalks in commercial districts from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The first concerns the vitality of local businesses and the quality of life for Berkeley residents. On this front, proponents
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jason.web

The future of flip-floppers

The Devil's Advocate

In an appearance on CNN in March, Mitt Romney spokesperson Eric Fehrnstrom was asked whether the far-right positions Romney took during the primaries would hurt his chances in the general election. Fehrnstrom was not concerned. “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s
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