Scary Thoughts for Halloween

Over the past year or so, there have been various scary developments about which we have blogged.  Most recently there is the recently-filed anti-pension initiative that sweeps in UC.  There is the volatility of state budget because of its heavy dependence on the income tax and the incomes of those in the upper brackets that are reflective of the ups and downs of financial markets.  There is the illusion that online ed will resolve the long-term budget squeeze on the university.

The hotel shown below is pretty scary but so, too, is the UCLA Grand Hotel, in part because of its potential costs but also because it represents an outmoded fixation on new capital projects and a lack of regental ability to oversee and monitor such projects.

We have long noted the invasion of privacy represented by online disclosure of UC employee salary information, the danger it poses of ID theft, and the fact that it facilitates raiding by private universities that do not have to publish such information.  More recently, we have noted that emails of faculty that they might have thought were private are viewed as public documents that can be requested by anyone for whatever purpose.

Well, at least in the area of private communications, we are not the only ones to be concerned, as Harry Shearer pointed out last Sunday on his radio program:

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