Was Va Tech wrong on the day of the shooting?

From the Post:

The federal government said Tuesday it plans to issue the maximum possible fine against Virginia Tech– $55,000 — for violations of a campus safety law in connection with the 2007 shooting rampage that left more than 30 students and teachers dead.

A federal official wrote in a letter to university President Charles W. Steger that the penalty for failing to provide timely warnings about the threat to the campus on the day of the massacre should be greater.

“Virginia Tech’s violations warrant a fine far in excess of what is currently permissible under the statute,” Mary E. Gust, an official in the Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, wrote to Steger.

Her conclusion represented a stinging rebuke for Virginia Tech, which has sought for nearly four years to overcome wounds inflicted by the deadliest school massacre in U.S. history. It also bolstered the view of some relatives of the shooting victims that the university was negligent in efforts to protect the campus community.

I emphatically disagree.  Early that morning Virginia Tech officials were confronted with what looked like at the time, from all reasonable appearances, to be an isolated act of murder between individuals who knew each other.  There was absolutely nothing to suggest that this was the just the first killing in what would turn out to be the infamous killing spree hours later.  Should a campus of 20,000 students automatically shut down because one of its students is murdered– in a crime that police consider to be isolated and with a killer with a known motive?  Maybe you can argue that, but it is entirely reasonable to notify students and simply move on.  Maybe Virginia Tech should have known better, but they were going with the best information supplied at the time.  I don’t think I want to live in a world where we always have to consider the absolute worst possibility.  Where any shooting anywhere may be the prelude to an unprecedented mass murder.  Looking at the totality of the evidence, I just don’t see how you can blame the University for their actions.


My wife is so over the hill, but I’ve got a long way to go

So, you’ve got to respond to your wife’s blogging suggestions– right?  Actually, as rarely as she suggests, I can count on it to be something interesting.  Here’s the key finding:

According to a recent study in Britain, women say they feel “over-the-hill” by 29, while men feel over-the-hill by 58 years old. And the reasons are the best part: Women feel old when they spot their first gray hairs and start acting like their mothers; men feel old when they can no longer perform in the bedroom and start to become annoyed by loud music in bars.

I’ll not comment on the first part, but I can say according to the loud music in bars standard, I’ve been over the hill for a long time.  I spotted some gray hairs a few years ago, but since they seem to be colonizing very slowly, it doesn’t really bother me.  And to Kim’s credit, I don’t think she feels particularly over the hill.  Of course her hair color is still great.

That said, I’d hate to me considered mid-40’s when I’m only 41 (as I’m only 2 years away from that age):

I am 29 years old, and I find the idea that I am over-the-hill ridiculous. Who wants to be 22, anyway? I was clueless at 22. Now I know what’s up… at least more than ever before, and I know I’ll only get smarter.

When I see a woman I aspire to be, it’s Kelly Ripa, mid-40s, got it together, looks great, smart, confident, successful


Quote of the day

To anybody who actually believes that Republicans have any interest whatsoever in reducing the deficit, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.  Both Klein and Drum flagged this very telling quote today:

Asked about the offer the White House has floated, a top Republican aide says, “This debate has always been about discretionary spending — not autopilot ‘mandatory’ spending or tax hikes.”

I.e., the debate has always been about the things that simply lack the potential to make meaningful changes in our budget deficit.  Or as Drum puts it, the debate is about programs where money goes to help less well-off Americans.  So frustrating how many people fall for all the ridiculous Republican posturing on the deficit.  I guess that’s why PT Barnum remains among my favorite people to quote.

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