Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Honorary Degree Lunacy

Procrasinator's Link of the Day: First, a housekeeping note: there have been a disturbing number of people linking to this blog from Salt Lake City ever since I published links to the Mormon documents at Wikileaks. Does this mean the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is about to drop the heavy end of the hammer on the Church of the Orange Sky? I sure hope not. My god is bigger than your god, but I don't think she does copyright litigation. In my defence I haven't actually published or distributed any copyrighted material myself. The fault lies with the copyright violators at Wikileaks.

In other news, recently I suggested that Phyllis Schlafly might perhaps not deserve the honorary degree she's being given by Washington University for her lifetime of work in suppressing women's rights. Some media muttering about this issue led someone to point out that the University of Massachusetts once gave Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe, whom one of my professors humorously refers to as "Zimbabwe Bob," an honorary doctorate too. A doctorate of laws, in fact. Now the University in question is considering whether to revoke the honorary degree.

Can you revoke a university degree? If so, what's the point of giving an honorary one in the first place?

Yet another reason not to give out honorary degrees: the person might turn into a dictator.

In related news, I've just discovered a really cool site, At the moment, the recent news on the site is a summary that would seem to suggest - though they don't say so explicitly - that, at least in Georgia, you can legally rape a woman as long as you've had sex with her at least once consensually. This beats even Schlafly's pathetically half-assed "rape can't happen in the marriage bed" compromise position. At present Georgian precedent also allows the defendant to claim, in his defence, that the victim had shaved her pubic hair and was not a virgin.