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Ralph Nader questions why UC Berkeley employs ‘a war criminal’

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

imageThat was quite a guest speaker at a UC Berkeley event yesterday tied to a class taught by anthropology professor Laura Nader—her brother, consumer activist icon Ralph Nader. And since the ostensible subject was the impact of athletics on university life, he told a standing-room only crowd that big-time college athletics have dumbed down society and universities should get rid of scholarships for athletes: “Education is a secondary concern at big-time programs. Exploitation is the inevitable outcome.”

Add: The Contra Costa Times’ Matt Krupnick has a full rundown of Nader’s remarks, which touched on a variety of other hot-button issues. An excerpt:

He questioned, for example, why the UC Berkeley law school employed "a war criminal," saying professor John Yoo's role in crafting President George W. Bush's torture policies should not be tolerated.

He also told students they should design a statewide referendum to help slow continually rising tuition. And, he said, college students no longer develop the "civic skills" needed to be leaders.

"That's the skill that determines whether you're going to make a difference in a democratic society," Nader said, "or whether you're going to atrophy your mind in a cul-de-sac."

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