Ohio State University has gotten national media attention for something other than Gordon Gee’s excessive compensation and the football team’s diminished prospects following quarterback Braxton Miller’s season-ending injury.
The university’s police department has recently acquired a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protection Vehicle through a program that distributes surplus military equipment and supplies not only to local police departments but also to campus police departments.
This is what a Mine-Resistant Ambush Vehicle looks like:
University spokespersons have offered various explanations for why this acquisition was necessary, but none of those explanations has been completely convincing.
In 2008, George Grayson’s seemingly unrelated article “Los Zetas: the Ruthless Army Spawned by a Mexican Drug Cartel” [http://www.fpri.org/articles/2008/05/los-zetas-ruthless-army-spawned-mexican-drug-cartel], was published on the ENotes blog of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The article includes the following paragraphs:
“Los Zetas have set up camps in which to train recruits aged 15 to 18 years old, as well as ex-federal, state, and local police officers. In addition, they have invited into their ranks ex-troops from Guatemala known as Kaibiles. Reviled as ‘killing machines,’ these tough-as-nails experts in jungle warfare and counterinsurgency adhere to the motto: ‘If I advance, follow me. If I stop, urge me on. If I retreat, kill me.’
“Their arsenal includes AR-15 and AK-47 assault rifles, MP5s submachine guns, 50-mm machine guns, grenade launchers, ground-to-air missiles, dynamite, bazookas, and helicopters.”
I believe that I may have found the needed missing link between these two seemingly unrelated news items in an article that Jordan Weissman wrote for Slate. The article’s title and sub-title are “Smash the System: The Dangerous Plan to Make College Cheaper by Busting ‘the College Cartel’” [http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/08/busting_the_college_cartel_a_dangerous_conservative_idea_for_making_college.html]. Here are the opening paragraphs of that article:
“Ask liberals why college is getting so expensive, and they’ll probably tell you it’s a case of government neglect. States have cut education funding. Federal Pell Grants for low-income students haven’t kept up with the cost of tuition. Regulators have failed to crack down on predatory for-profit schools that charge high prices for sometimes worthless degrees.
“Ask conservatives the same question, and they’ll tell you the opposite. The real problem, they’ll say, is a pernicious case of government coddling. The unlimited supply of federal student loans has allowed schools to hike their prices to stratospheric heights without driving away undergrads. Feds have smothered low-cost competition by turning higher education into one big highly protected ‘cartel,’ as Utah Sen. Mike Lee put it in an essay for The Federalist.”
So, much as I hate to admit it, Congressman Lee may actually have a legitimate point: our institutions do seem to be arming themselves much as the drug cartels have armed themselves. He has a right to feel outraged by that.
So why do I suspect that he’s not only not very likely to be outraged by that, but he is also not likely even to get the point?