Some people have been getting excited about Frank Ellis, the quite obviously foaming-at-the-mouth racist who got sacked by Leeds University for saying various foaming-at-the-mouth racist things, on the grounds of suppression of his freedom of speech. As I said here, he broke the terms of his employment contract, and so of course the university were entitled to sack him. Beyond that, I just wanted to say, there's a degree of irony in a lecturer in Russian and Slavonic studies attempting to resurrect the category of the untermenschen.
The Virtua Stoa has had up, for a while now, a set of questions Chris thinks might be interesting in light of Madeleine Bunting's much-commented on confusion about exactly what the Enlightenment is. They are interesting questions, but I think they actually miss the point somewhat, because they, like Bunting, don't distinguish fully between the Enlightenment, series of historical events, and the Enlightenment, touchstone of a particular set of values. By analogy, think about liberalism. When someone says, I am a liberal, we don't feel compelled to interrogate their agreement or otherwise with the pronouncements and projects of every major liberal thinker or movement in the canon, because they are referring to a set of ideas which have come to be called liberal, which might not necessarily have perfect correlation with every set of ideas which has ever been called liberal. Likewise, when someone says, I believe in the Enlightenment, it's not clear that they have to be in perfect agreement, were that even possible, with some original conception, were it to exist, of what the Enlightenment was. Which is not to say that asking what the Enlightenment was isn't interesting, or useful.
More briefly, Stumbling and Mumbling asks whether education is worth it, Indymedia claims the BBC is misrepresenting public views, Jonathan Wolff writes very sensibly about animal testing in the Grauniad, it would appear that the Herceptin story is being manipulated by drug companies, and apparently US Supreme Court Justices feel it's OK to tell reporters to 'go f*ck themselves', so long as it's in Italian.