Then this morning I found that Hakimullah Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban, is still alive.
This made me think of the Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, aka the Yale Taliban.
The Yale admissions folks could have saved themselves a boatload of bad publicity if they had just looked at their own website when considering Hashemi and applied their own admissions criteria:
Fourth, moral concern and consideration for others has its place high in the list of attributes worthy of reward. Not only should demonstrated amorality and selfishness be held against an applicant no matter how bright he may seem, but outstanding public motivation and capacity to sacrifice the self for something larger seems to me to deserve positive appreciation in the admissions process.
. . .
"Moral concern and consideration for others" is almost impossible to weigh in the competitive terms which the admissions process requires. However there may be some cases where its demonstration has been so dramatic or objectively convincing as to deserve reward. On the negative side a demonstrated failure of moral sensitivity or regard for the dignity of others cannot be redeemed by allegations that the young man is extremely "interesting."