The big early word on Bush's nominee to the SCOTUS, Samuel Alito, is that he was the lone dissenting vote in a Pennsylvania case (Planned Parenthood v. Casey) that dealt with requiring a woman to notify her spouse before she got an abortion. Still, those who reflexively believe that Roe v. Wade will be overturned if Alito gets on the high court should know
in 2000 ... Alito joined the majority that found a New Jersey law banning late-term abortions unconstitutional. In his concurring opinion, Alito said the Supreme Court required such a ban to include an exception if the mother's health was endangered.
Jim Lindgren points out that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that spousal notification is the right thing to do -- by a whopping 72% to 26%. This figure has remained pretty steady over the last decade and a half.
I've wondered about this whole premise. If a woman (wife) does not have to inform her husband if she goes ahead and has an abortion, then why is the father legally liable for [child] support if the wife decides to have the child? The ultra pro-choicers believe that it's the woman's body and thus she can do as she wishes, husband be damned; however, if she wishes to have the child, these pro-choicers are right out there demanding to know where daddy is with his wallet!
Someone once made the point to me that "the woman has a special responsibility" by carrying a child, so she should have "special" rights in this case.
Hmm. If she has a "special responsibility," maybe that ought to be taken to mean she should be damn sure she and her partner both have birth control measures before getting it on!
Joe Wilson says that he and his "covert operative" wife Valerie Plame's apearance in Vanity Fair magazine was an attempt at "humor and irony," Cliff May reports. Wilson went further, claiming
... that having her picture in that and other publications did not harm her prospects for future employment as a covert agent.
But geez, that nasty Karl Rove "outing" her sure was bad, though. Oh crap, that's right -- Rove wasn't indicted. Well, then, that nasty Scooter Libby "outing" her sure was bad!
Huh? Libby's indictment makes no mention of him knowing she was a covert agent? Whaa ....???
UPDATE: Joe Wilson wouldn't lie now, would he?? If Scooter's been indicted for lying, maybe "humorous and ironic" Joe will be too?
You Are 30% Weird
Not enough to scare other people...
But sometimes you scare yourself.
... Cuba and the USSR would have "flourished."
One panelist responded to this by claiming that, while Cuba (which is ostensibly a socialist dictatorship) and other centralized systems are cruel and mean—to, say, gays and journalists—their main problem is the U.S.; this country just will not allow them to flourish. Then he added that this was the problem with the Soviet Union—countries of the West would not permit its socialist dictatorship to succeed as it would have, had it been left to its own resources.
Cripes. Read all about it here.
Good 'ol Gooch, who's listed as one of our contributors, has just added his bio to our "About Us" section. Yes, he's a real contributor, but he's been busy of late with grad school work. Look for his first official posts soon!
I know this probably interests like ... nobody, but sorry -- I just can't say enough about this group!! Once again, Los Amigos Invisibles provided an outstanding show, this time at Philly's South Street's TLA. The wife and I got a spot right in front of the stage (as we usually try to do), right in front of singer Julio Briceño (aka "Chulius").
Funny moment: before the last song of their encore, some [fairly inebriated] dude yells for the song "En Cuatro" whereupon Julio's eyes got very wide, and he says into the mike (but in Spanish) "Dude, we just played that!"
Indeed -- they had played that tune about 10 minutes ago. All of us around this guy were dying laughing at his obvious embarrassment (especially 'cause he was with a very fine looking babe who was obviously beside herself)!
As a foreign language teacher, I was intrigued by this:
Your Linguistic Profile:
Geez, the Christmas holiday season is barely upon us and already the "sensitivities" of a few are beginning to ruin it for everyone else. Just a few days ago here in Delaware there was this silly little incident; now in Massachusetts, a school has banned dressing up for Halloween -- "because the school's traditional Halloween celebrations offended their religious beliefs." The article doesn't which religion was offended, but my guess is Christian fundies 'cause I've heard about such before.
Across the pond, however, it seems just the opposite is occuring -- at least for one particular religion. A student's poem which praises Hitler's "Final Solution" made its way into a ... book of children's poetry!!
The publication, entitled Great Minds, features the work of school children aged 11 to 18 who won a nationwide literary competition. The entry by the 14-year-old Gideon Taylor is apparently written from the viewpoint of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
It includes the lines "Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces."
Another part reads: "Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber, where they will sleep in their manger… I'll be happy Jews have died."
Aww, isn't that "sweet"? What a "poet!" What "insight"!
It's absolutely disgusting, is what it is.
I'm all for freedom of expression, even that of disgusting views. But that freedom doesn't mean we have to reward such idiocy. And this happened in a country that is soooo concerned about offending Muslims that it's seemingly in the process of banning anything having to do with a pig.
(h/t: Joanne Jacobs.)
My fave band, Los Amigos Invisibles, are in Philly tonight at the TLA (Theatre of Living Arts). The wife has some friends in from Costa Rica, and we're all heading up. Mike M. has become a fan, and I asked him if he wanted to join us, but alas, he's heading out of town.
Next time, Mike!
The "big guns" have the news and the good links:
We believe that if all the charges against "Scooter" Libby are accurate, he should suffer the consequences, including jail time if appropriate. One of the charges is perjury, which, as you may recall, Bill Clinton was exonerated of in his impeachment.
The main [possible] charge (and best hope for Democrats) appears to be a complete bust -- that of knowingly "outing" Valerie Plame as a "covert" CIA agent. As noted above, Fitzgerald isn't making that case. But this is what Dems -- and Joe Wilson -- were screaming loudest about. The law in question does indeed state that such an exposure must be knowingly made; that is, it has to be proven that Plame's ID as a covert agent had to be known.
This makes the alleged lying by Libby seem all the more uncalled for. Besides, there's plenty of holes in Wilson's claims, which we're sure will be brought in trial.
UPDATE (10/29 at 8:35am): Rhymes With Right has further analysis.
UPDATE 2: And more from Powerline.
UPDATE 3: Andy McCarthy has word for those who believe Libby is being "smeared," among other things.
Since the News Journal is his employer, I suppose Al Mascitti had to straddle when it came to addressing the ridiculous placement of this past Sunday's headline glorifying a known thug drug dealer, while the death of Rosa Parks got bottom page treatment a couple days later.
Al mentions the WNJ "made clear" why the thug was such a "big man" in the community. Then he goes on to make an association with the popular book Freakonomics.
Irrelevant, Al. That all may be true. But the story should never have been the front page headline/story on the News Journal's largest weekly edition. Especially when Rosa Parks' passing got bottom page treatment.
The Philadelphia Eagles' Tra Thomas was invited to speak at Newark (DE) High School on Tuesday. During the 45 minute last period assembly, Thomas spoke of "being a leader, not a follower," and to not "worry about what everyone else is doing."
But then there was a problem. After the assembly, Thomas and others from his group, Athletes United Through Christ, spoke to some students. OH NO! He mentioned the "C" word -- "Christ."
Now, the article doesn't say that Thomas -- during the assembly -- mentioned the dreaded "C" word or invoked "C" in any way. But they had -- again, OH NO! -- their organization's logo hanging up when they were talking, and this included ... A CROSS!! Of course, the ACLU was right on top of the situation, claiming it was unconstitutional, and denouncing it:
"Organizations like this one across the country are gaining access to schools through the famous people and entertainment value and then using those opportunities to proselytize," Drewry Fennell said. "These organizations sometimes take advantage of the schools' desire to provide compelling experiences for their students."
And where in the friggin' world was the ACLU one year ago, when another Christina school clearly violated constitutional principles by providing students with a room -- supervised by paid school staff -- to pray in during Ramadan?? Nowhere, apparently. Amazingly, Christina then was chastised for not being "sensitive" to the Muslim students' needs. Get it? "Sensitivity" works in one religious "direction" -- if a public school doesn't accommodate a non-Christian religion, that's "insensitive." If, however, an invited group's (or speaker's) logo has as part of its overall design a cross among other items, and after the official assembly the speaker talks with students about his group, which may include religious content (the "C" word), well then the reverse applies -- that group isn't being sensitive to the school (population).
Newark Principal Emmanuel Caulk has apologized to the community, but he really shouldn't have had to.
UPDATE (10/30 at 8:10am): An update by the WNJ.
If you live near Wilmington (Delaware, that is, if there's anyone from way out of town reading this), tune into 1450 on the AM dial. If not, you can listen to the stream at the WILM link above.
All four of us were on Wendy's show about a year ago discussing the "blog phenomenon"; now we'll be discussing more about actual happenings, local, national and international.
... I really don't want him to come back and coach my team.
Who? St. Louis Rams head coach Mike Martz, that's who. Martz, who has been fighting a heart infection, has taken a leave of absence from the team while he recovers, and lately team president John Shaw has expressed doubts that Martz will be back next year. OK by me.
Martz is an offensive genius, true. Just witness the team's turn-around from 1998 to 1999 -- when they won the Super Bowl. But unfortunately for Rams fans, head coach Dick Vermiel retired from the team following the Super Bowl 34 victory, and handed the reins to Martz. The Rams offense has remained a potent force since, but with the exception of 2001, the team's defense and special teams have sucked. And in 2001, when the Rams had the -- get this -- first ranked total offense and third ranked total defense -- they LOST Super Bowl 36 to the New England Patriots largely because of Martz's dopey game management.
And that's been the main problem: lousy game management and overall coaching. How can you have one of the best teams of ALL TIME -- the 2001 Rams, better than even the 1999 team -- and blow your place in history by being so upset in the championship? (The Rams were 14 pt. favorites, the second biggest upset in SB history; the biggest upset was in SB III when the New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Colts, who were 18 pt. faves.)
People across the sports spectrum don't call him "Mad" Mike for nothing. I could go on and on and on. But since I know virtually no one in Delaware is a Rams fan, why?
But again, I wish his health improves. But don't come back, Mike. You've had your chance. Thanks for the Super Bowl 34 offense.
... the entire Muslim world wanted peace with Israel -- and by a Delaware blogger, nonetheless!
Oops. Wrong. Again. Iran Leader Calls for Israel's Destruction is a headline in today's News Journal. Nice, eh?
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Wednesday that Israel is a "disgraceful blot" that should be "wiped off the map" - fiery words that Washington said underscores its concern over Iran's nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad also condemned Iran's neighbors which seek to break new ground in their relations with Israel. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," state-run television quoted him as saying.
Referring to Palestinian suicide bomb attacks in Israel, Ahmadinejad said: "there is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world."
Nah, there's no need to be concerned about Iran getting nukes, eh? I mean, all they want to do is annihilate a people because ... they're different from them! What's wrong with that, huh?
From today's Wilmington News Journal:
A new study ranks Delaware the top state for workers. Researchers at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia on average pay, adjusted for cost of living; the proportion of workers receiving health insurance and retirement benefits; and the ability of workers to unionize.Anecdotally, I've always been pleased working in the First State. Before I got into teaching, I worked in banking, and the pay and bennies were pretty darn good. As a teacher, I enjoy some of the finest benefits in the entire country based on many conversations I've had with teachers from other states. Some DE teachers bemoan their lower pay compared to our surrounding states (PA, NJ and Maryland all rank higher than DE in teacher pay), but out of the 50 states Delaware ranks 11th. But one surely has to take into account benefits, and from what I've seen, DE teacher bennies surpass those of the surrounding states. This is why I tend to cringe when I hear DE teachers bemoan their "low" pay. But that's just me.
I thought the bit about unions was interesting, though. DE must have one of the weaker teacher "unions" (it's actually dubbed just an "association" here), but I certainly don't have much knowledge of other DE unions. Striking (for teachers) is illegal, and that's a component I always figured essential for an effective union. (Not that I personally advocate striking, but does a union really have much leverage without the ability to strike?) When DE teachers went on strike back in 1978 (due to uneven pay upon the onset of desegregation -- the county-wide district wanted to keep old district pay scales even though the entire county now was one big district), it affected the retirement dates of all those involved. I'm not entirely certain of the specifics, but I believe if you were a striking teacher, you had to extend your term of service (before retirement) to include the number of days on strike. And I remember that that strike went on into November.
The Politboro Diktat is constructing a bloggers "family tree." Journey on over and answer the following questions if you wanna help him out:
1. The one blog, if any, that inspired you more than any other to begin blogging.
2. The month and year you began blogging.
3. Where on the poli. spectrum your blog leans.
4. Any blogs that you know your own blog inspired.
For the record, my answers (Hube's) were:
2. December, 2003
4. None that I know of.
Poor Mike M. over at Down With Absolutes! I was picking my daughter up from school and had the tail end of WDEL's Rick Jensen Show on the radio. Rick had Fox News's John Gibson on, who was hawking his new book about the Left's "war" on Christmas:
Rick: OK, we have a call from Mike.
Mike: Hi, I'm Mike from Down With Absolutes!
Rick: Who? What's that?
Mike: Mike, from Down With Absolutes! That's my blog. You've never heard of it?
Rick: Um, no.
Mike: Well, OK. Anyway ...
I hadda laugh, Mike m'man! Mainly 'cause I probably would have said something similar, and Rick would have had an identical response! Rick obviously ain't as with it with DE blogs as downstate's Dan Gaffney and WDEL/News Journal's Al Mascitti.
You sounded great otherwise, Mike. I didn't agree with your point about Gibson's book, but I did with what you said about the ACLU. And, you have a good radio voice!
You 'da man!
Ahhhh yes. "Hate the Western World" George Galloway, whom Christopher Hitchens thoroughly shredded in a debate a few weeks ago, may be guilty after all of wrong-doing in the so-called "Oil for Food" program:
Galloway faces possible criminal charges after a US Senate investigation tracked $150,000 (£85,000) in Iraqi oil money to his wife’s bank account in Jordan.
The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations will refer the Respect Party MP for possible prosecution after concluding that he gave “false and misleading” testimony at his appearance before the panel in May.
The sub-committee claimed that, through intermediaries, Mr Galloway and the Mariam Appeal were granted eight allocations of Iraqi crude oil totalling 23 million barrels from 1999 to 2003.
But just remember -- it's somehow George W. Bush's fault.
May her soul rest in peace. Rosa's legacy is almost beyond words. Her action in 1955 -- refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man who demanded it (and legally, believe it or not, was "entitled" to it) -- sparked the current-era civil rights movement.
Actually, one could say the REAL civil rights movement. Unfortunately, the present day "civil rights" movement hardly resembles what Parks and King fought for.
La Shawn Barber has more.
Man, does Microsoft's Internet Explorer blow or what? See what happens when you get a virtual monopoly? You get sloppy. Not only has our blog seen its share of formatting hassles with IE, but I've seen, more and more, other bloggers complaining about the same thing.
At home and work, "Colossus's" links are all shunted to the bottom of the last post on the main page when using IE. In addition, our "Who We Are," our e-mail addy and the "About Us" link play disappearing games. They're there sometimes, other times not.
This is why we have the "This site is best viewed with Netscape or Firefox browsers" note at right. I've yet to encounter a formatting problem with either browser. They do things right, obviously.
Just got back from my three mile run and not only did my St. Louis Rams come back from a 14 point deficit to win 28-17 over the New Orleans Saints, but the local Philadelphia Eagles staged a miraculous comeback -- blocking a field goal and returning it for a TD, and then stripping the ball from a San Diego receiver late in the game -- to defeat the Chargers 20-17.
That makes for a pretty darn good Sunday in my book. Of course, it helps if you're a football fanatic. Like me.
Gooch, who will indeed be contributing to "Colossus" soon (he's been busy working on his masters), will add his bio when he friggin' gets around to it.
... what's wrong with this headline? Can you figure it out?
Riverside mourns slain 'ghetto icon' J.R. Perkins was a violent drug dealer who bought food and shoes for poor families
Did you do it? Now read the article. It gets "better."
Claymont's Deborah Grant gets the nod this week. Although her letter isn't technically "dopey," it is misguided in a couple ways. She says:
Scientific data has shown that mankind is directly affecting the Earth's climate. Our government is negligent in not addressing this issue and not informing the public of the danger if we continue to ignore it.
Actually, the scientific data is far from conclusive that mankind is directly affecting the environment. The data has shown that yes, the earth is currently warming. But whether man's actions are the reason is highly debatable. (There's even room for debate on the general warming issue as certain measures of the globe's temperature have actually shown cooling.)
She goes on to state
If the scientists are wrong, we have nothing to lose and will gain a stronger economy, cleaner environment and no longer need to get involved in foreign disputes with unstable countries.
But many of these same scientists were screaming about global cooling back during those killer winters of the mid-late 70s. If we followed Grant's (and the scientists') advice then, we'd be in an even bigger global warming pickle now as we'd have taken measures to warm the planet 30 years ago!
While Grant is correct that the economy will be cleaner and less dependence on foreign oil is a good thing, as witnessed recently, skyrocketing oil prices and the dwindling [finite] supply will move people (and governments) to other energy sources. It's called "the market."
UPDATE (9:43): Maybe Ms. Grant ought to check this post out.
This friggin' cracked me up. Hard.
... there's a couple new First State bloggers around. First is Into Good and Evil, who apparently believes I'm a pretty good writer and clear thinker (hey, who am I to disagree? Geez, I sound like friggin' Annie Lennox there ...); second, is Delawired which I discovered via Down With Absolutes!
The former I'm still trying to figure, so under our DE Bloggers listing I labeled him as "middle." Delawired appears to lean left. If I'm wrong about either, feel free to let me know.
The wife was invited by our state rep. to attend the Brandywine Region Republican Committee Dinner last night, and naturally I went with her! (Wife occasionally works with our state rep. in her job.) The event was at the Brandywine Country Club, and my obvious motive for wanting to attend was politics; however, I had worked at the club since I was 16, first at the old site on rt. 202 (Concord Pike), then for a few years at its present Shipley Rd. location (before I eventually exited to go get the love of my life in Costa Rica!). Quite a few of the folks with whom I worked are still there, and it was like "old home" week when I snuck back into the kitchen to chat!
Delaware House Majority Leader Wayne Smith (on whose campaigns I have worked) was there, as was Delaware's lone US representative, Mike Castle. But the keynote speaker was PA's 7th District Congressman Curt Weldon.
Weldon has been outspoken on "Able Danger," and he touched on that in his speech. However, what I found more impressive was learning about Weldon's beginnings and background. He's the youngest of nine children. His parents never made it past a middle school-level education. He grew up in Marcus Hook, PA, which just about anyone in my general living area will refer to with derision (it's crowded with oil refineries). But Curt worked his way through college, and along the way acquired an impressive skill: he speaks and reads Russian. His tale of when he went to Russia after the tragic Beslan terrorist attack was truly touching.
Weldon has over 200 relatives in Delaware, and he lived and worked in DE while growing up. He knows all about our state. No wonder Mike Castle joked that he hopes Weldon never decides to return to live here -- else 'ol Mike will likely be out of a job!
Weldon would have talked longer, but he had to make an appearance on "Hannity and Colmes" at 9:15. He must have been late; his segment didn't air until 9:22. ;-)
From the NAS mailbag: Here's how low standards must be at NC State. Dr. Kamau Kambon teaches there, and he made an appearance recently at the "Black Media Forum on the Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media" at Howard University. As Mike Adams notes, about three hours into the four event, Kambon had these remarks to offer (emphasis mine):
And then finally I want to say that we need one idea, and we're not thinking about a solution to the problem. We're thinking about all these other things, but we're not dealing with a solution to the problem. And we have to start to think about a solution to the problem so that these young brothers and sisters who are here now, who are 15, 16 or 17, are not here 25 years later talking about these same problems.
Now how do I know that the white people know that we are going to come up with a solution to the problem? I know it because they have retina scans, they have what they call racial profiling, DNA banks, and they're monitoring our people to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea. And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem. Now I don't care whether you clap or not, but I'm saying to you that we need to solve this problem because they are going to kill us. And I will leave on that. So we just have to just set up our own system and stop playing and get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem and the problem on the planet is white people.
Dr. Kambon also said that "white people want to kill you because that is part of their plan" and that "the only n**ger on the planet is the white man and the white woman, and our people are not n**gers, they are imitation n**gers."
NC State claims Kambon is no longer a member of their faculty. However, he is still listed on their faculty webpage.
before teaching at NCSU, Kambon was a professor of education(!) at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, a historically black institution. He was given a Citizen's Award in 1999 by the Triangle's left-wing newspaper, The Independent Weekly. Ironically, Kambon is also an opponent of the death penalty.
You can view Kambon's complete talk at C-SPAN online (www.cspan.com) by searching the recent programs for "Black Media Forum on Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media."
UPDATE (10/25 at 3:39pm): The chancellor's office at North Carolina State University reports:
Dr. Kamau Kambon's remarks have received widespread coverage on various websites, blogs and in the media. In some cases, it has been incorrectly reported that Kambon is an employee of NC State. Kambon sporadically taught at North Carolina State University on an as-needed basis. He has not been employed by the university since June 30, 2005. When I learned of his comments, I released the following statement: The remarks recently attributed to one of our former employees do not in any way represent the values and standards of the university. This type of speech is counter to any reasoned discussion on the issue of race relations, and is absolutely unacceptable in the NC State community.
Thank you for your concern and email.
Larry A. Nielsen
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for
The NBA is instituting a dress code for its players:
Players will be required to wear business-casual attire when involved in team or league business. They can't wear visible chains, pendants or medallions over their clothes.
Jackson, who is black, said the NBA's new rule about jewelry targets young black males because chains are associated with hip-hop culture, and he said the league is afraid of becoming "too hip-hop." In protest, he wore four chains to the Pacers' exhibition game against San Antonio on Tuesday night.
"I feel like if they want us to dress a certain way, they should pay for our clothes," he said. "It's just tough, man, knowing that all of a sudden you have to have a dress code out of nowhere. I don't think that's still going to help the image of the league at all."
I caught Bill O'Reilly the other night, and on his "Talking Points Memo" he highlighted a column (may require free registration) by the Dallas Morning News' Macarena(!) Hernandez. She wrote about the murders of six [illegal] Mexican immigrants in Georgia -- murdered, by the way, for their money -- which doesn't technically make it a "hate crime." But Hernandez wants to make it a hate crime. For instance, the mayor of Tifton, GA where the murders occurred flew the Mexican flag at city hall in remembrance of the six, some residents were upset. For Hernandez, that's just TOO much:
Were the complainers angrier about the red, white and green Mexican flag fluttering in the Georgia air than they were about the horrific murders? Do they watch Fox's The O'Reilly Factor, where the anchor and the callers constantly point to the southern border as the birth of all America's ills?
"Taken literally, such rhetoric gives criminals like those in southern Georgia license to kill," Hernandez says. No, it does not! This is akin to righties calling everyone who disagrees with the Iraq War or the War on Terror "subversives" or "anti-American."
Ms. Hernandez knows better. I believe she really does. But in today's ultra-sensitive racial climate, she's playing the game to the hilt -- to her beliefs' benefit.
Why science fiction only remains so for so long. James Taranto notes (scroll down):
"A new type of transparent armor made of aluminum could one day replace glass in military vehicles. . . . 'The substance itself is light-years ahead of glass,' said 1st Lt. Joseph La Monica, who heads the research."
Sound familiar, sci-fi fans?
"The chemical formula for transparent aluminum plays a key role in the plot of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home . In the movie, the formula is traded for Plexiglas sheets thick enough to create water tanks suitable for transporting two humpback whales through time, from the 20th century to the 23rd century, inside a Klingon Bird of Prey. Since the crew was temporarily stranded in the past without money appropriate to the period, they had to barter with the owner of the Plexicorp company (a fictional manufacturer of Plexiglas). Scotty trades the chemical formula for transparent aluminum for enough of the material to build the tanks."
A classic scene, too: Scotty begins talking to the MacIntosh computer, Dr. Nichols (the owner of Plexicorp) tells him to "use the mouse," whereupon Scotty then talks into the mouse! An astonished Nichols then impatiently states "Just use the keyboard!"
"How quaint!" is the Enterprise engineer's response.
When "Bones" McCoy asks Scotty if they'll be changing the timeline by giving Nichols the formula for transparent aluminum, Scotty offers, "Heh -- how do we know he didn't invent the thing?"
Norman Levitt says: By preaching the virtues of 'cultural competence', the academy betrays its lack of confidence.
... anti-Muslim hate crimes, but there Louis Farrakhan was, preaching the same old hate-filled garbage this past Saturday. And there was the MSM, bending over for him yet again.
Anti-Jewish incidents: 954.
Anti-Muslim incidents: 156. (Via the 2004 FBI annual crime report.)
Now, you do the math.
Is this the next thing we'll have to fear from Islamicists? Via the Sydney Morning Herald:
A violent gang rapist should have been given a lesser sentence partly because he was a "cultural time bomb" whose attacks were inevitable, as he had emigrated from a country with traditional views of women, his barrister has argued.
MSK, who, with his three Pakistani brothers, raped several girls at their Ashfield family home over six months in 2002, was affected by "cultural conditioning … in the context of intoxification", Stephen Odgers, SC, told the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday.
Mr Odgers said the new evidence showed that he had a disease, which, combined with alcohol and the cultural conditioning of "a society with very traditional views of women", was "clearly a factor in the commissioning of these offences".
You know how the multi-cultis preach how no culture is "superior" to another -- how can WE sit there and judge another culture? Here it is in action, folks. Geez, if this keeps up then maybe most of the rest of the world will shut up when George Bush makes use of this "defense" -- his "cultural conditioning" is responsible for his sending in troops to remove a brutal dictator and to set up a democratic regime.
(h/t Prof. Plum.)
"The fact is the right wing that is braying about this supported Clarence Thomas, who's one of the most unqualified nominees ever to the United States Supreme Court..."
Miraculously, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews called him on it:
MATTHEWS: What's the toughest law school to get into, Bob?
SHRUM: Well, I think, you know, there're —
MATTHEWS: Yeah, okay. Clarence Thomas got into Yale Law School —
SHRUM: Well, there's Yale, Harvard, NYU —
MATTHEWS: No, but Yale is very exclusive, it's very academic, it's very small compared to Harvard. How can you say not qualified when somebody's cleared Yale Law?
He can say it because he is a liberal Democrat, Chris. It's that simple.
I hadn't put up an Oh, That Liberal Media post in a long while, but today I found a doozy and had to write. And rarely are examples this blatant.
I'll be damned if I can't find the blog where I saw this, but the crux was that the new movie "Serenity" is unabashedly libertarian, which is a "refreshing" change from "liberal" Star Trek. Why is Trek liberal? Stated were: it has a multicultural cast and the governing body of the show/movies is a UN-like federation (The United Federation of Planets, to be precise) that seems to function a lot like our ... own UN!
I would ask: Multicultural? So what! Even a casual viewer would know that Starfleet (the Federation's "military" arm, so to speak ... y'know, of which Kirk, Picard, et. al. are members) places merit above all else. There's no racial quota nonsense, and the only sensitivity training offered would occur when dealing with an alien species.
As for the Federation, I believe that is only the logical outgrowth of civilization. If Earth is to move beyond its own solar system and explore the stars, it is doubtful we will do it as separate nations. In Trek, cheap power is available to all (via fusion and antimatter reactions, the latter being the power source for warp drive) meaning that poverty is -- or should be -- a thing of the past. Once most -- all -- nations are "industrialized," it stands to reason a planetwide unity would be much easier to come by. (But, if -- when -- cheap power becomes available, will it turn out to be like what occurs in Joe Haldeman's Forever Peace?)
One thing that always bothered me about Trek, though: With unlimited cheap power, with replicators that can make just about anything, with "holodecks" that can recreate just about anything one can imagine ... how in the world can Starfleet even recruit people who meet their intellectual and physical standards? I mean, I think most people would prefer to spend their days in pursuit of endless leisure. (See the premiere issue of The Silver Surfer, 1968, for an excellent view on this, as well as various Larry Niven short stories which include "wireheads".) What real incentive would people have to do otherwise? Why would humans put themselves in danger of being killed by Klingons, Romulans or Cardassians when you can live out any fantasy you can imagine in a holodeck?
Roger Sandall busts through some PC romanticizing regarding the ancient Maya:
Let’s take Jared Diamond by the horns.
He would like us to believe that the decline and fall of the Maya was a tragic loss, and a sadly overgrown sculpture in the jungle ornaments the cover of his book Collapse.
But I don’t care if the Maya civilization did collapse. I don’t think we should shed a single retrospective tear. It might be interesting to know how or why it fell—whether from war or drought or disease or soil exhaustion—but I don’t much care about that either. Because quite frankly, as civilizations go, the Mayan civilization in Mexico didn’t amount to much.
Now I know this is a shocking thing to say. Gallery owners in New York and elsewhere will cry out indignantly about the glories of Maya art. They will show you terra cotta figurines and fine reliefs and paintings and tell splendid tales of “kings” and “nobles” and such. In deference to this view we shall gladly concede that Maya art is not uninteresting. But it is sheer romantic fantasy to mourn the passing, around 900 AD, of an aristocracy of hypersensitive native aesthetes—though anthropologists and art critics have written reams of such stuff.
Glamorous talk of “kings” and “lords” and “nobles” always sounds better than a realistic description of murderous and predatory chieftains with little but power, conquest, self-glorification, enslavement, and killing and torture on their minds. Yes: they wore spectacular feather head-dresses. Yes: they built sky-high piles of masonry. But their hands dripped blood—incessantly.
Geez. If Sandall utters any of this at a university, he may just be tried for "hate speech." That, or Tom "Indigenous Resistance" Olson may write an op-ed calling for his [figurative] head. (Hey! Just like the Maya! What irony.) While the insulated universities denounce people like Columbus and "forge an alliance" with indigenous peoples, just keep in mind what could have happened if Columbus did not reach the shores of the Americas.
Yes, Columbus, Cortez, Pizarro, the Spanish in general, the Portuguese and the English all engaged in brutality against native peoples in the Americas. But, compare the levels of brutality -- and civilization -- then ask yourself which system you'd prefer to be the ancestral beneficiary of: Western or Native.
... as we wrote here, if AP wrote such a softball article about David Duke?
Instead, the Wilmington News Journal and the AP bring us this about Louis Farrakhan and his "Millions More Movement." Still, there's a good sign: attendance was significantly smaller than ten years ago when Farrakhan headed the "Million Man March." Estimates then were that slightly over 800K attended; yesterday, the estimate appears to be just a bit over 150,000 if the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority's figures are correct.
Why is this a good sign? It seems to show that many [African-Americans] are getting the message that Farrakhan is a nutcase. He and his Nation of Islam are virulently anti-Semitic, anti-white, and Farrakhan believes he was transported to a "mother ship" where he encountered the "honorable" Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam. Just check out Don Feder's summary of some of Louie's "best."
The idiot who wears a winter hat in the summer, or the cretin who soups up a small sedan like a Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic or first year Dodge Neon with a humungous spoiler and ultra-loud tailpipe?
I just saw both on my three-mile run this afternoon and I realized guys who do either are total douches.
And Joanne Jacobs has a post that offers a reason why: Asian parents push their children harder.
When a Chinese-American student wrote about the Asian-Mexican achievement gap in the Alhambra High newspaper, many Latino students were angry, the LA Times reports. But Robin Zhou's column, which argued Asian parents push their children harder than Latino parents, eventually sparked discussion.
(Psychologist Laurence) Steinberg's research further suggested that an "attitudinal profile" influenced academic success, and that Asians tended to have the most students that fit the profile.
The first variable wasn't parental involvement, as Zhou concluded, but something more subtle: parental expectation. Steinberg asked students what was the worst grade they could get without their parents getting angry. For Asian children, it was a B-plus; for Latino and African American children, it was a C.
. . . Steinberg found two other differences that seemed linked to success. Asian children were much more likely to attribute their grades to hard work rather than aptitude. They also were more likely to believe that doing poorly in school would harm their chances for success in life. (My emphasis.)
Joanne's post goes on to note how Latino students complained about teacher low expectations. While I certainly believe that teachers should expect the same from all students, I don't necessarily blame teachers if they don't. I blame the "diversiphiles" and "edu-babblists" who tell teachers, for example, that different groups "learn differently" and how they "may not be able to relate to you" as a [white] teacher ... and all the peripheral edu-garbage that goes along with those two beliefs. For example, a couple years ago I heard from teachers at a nearby school whose administration once considered not allowing teachers to grade homework -- because students that come from poorer backgrounds frequently don't do it.
What is that, if not lowered expectations, hmm?
UPDATE: In a semi-related piece, Greg reports on a Washington Times article that says Americans' fast-paced lifestyle has resulted in a severe decline in manners:
A whopping 93 percent blamed parents.
Peggy Newfield, founder and president of Personal Best, said the generation that came of age in the times-a-changin' 1960s and 1970s are now parents who don't stress the importance of manners, such as opening a door for a female.
. . . Miss Newfield also blamed "the media."
Sulking athletes and boorish celebrities grab the headlines while television and Hollywood often glorify crude behavior.
At school, I'm frequently referred to by just my last name (no "Mr."), students interrupt me or another student when I'm (they're) having a conversation, and bumping others in the hallways is frequently not accompanied by "excuse me" or "sorry about that."
Not all, or even a majority (at least my students) are culprits, and I must say many of my students are incredibly polite. But I have indeed seen manners wane in my 15 years in the classroom, that's fer sher.
UPDATE (2:27pm): The LA Times has more on the reaction to Zhou's column.
And another example of how American universities house morons: Americans Prepare to Celebrate Genocidal Racist Slaver Day.
The article is written by Tom "Indigenous Resistance" Olson.
The MSM (that's Mainstream Media) that had its panties all in a bunch over Pres. Bush's supposed "staging" of a press conference with US troops in Iraq, was caught red-handed attempting to pass off the belief that recent hard rains in the northeast brought big-time flooding. "The Today Show's" Michelle Kosinski was nailed point-blank as host Matt Lauer went to her -- as she's paddling in a canoe -- when all of a sudden two men go walking by right in front of her, demonstrating that the water depth was only about six inches!!
Watch the video at Newsbusters.
The AP reports:
Later, an NBC News spokeswoman explained that Kosinski had been riding in deeper water near an overflowing river down the street, but there were concerns that the current was too strong for her.
"It's not like we were trying to pass it off as something it wasn't," spokeswoman Lauren Kapp said.
We've said it before (most recently here), and we'll say it again: "Diversity" doesn't equate to any academic benefits, and those who argue loudest for "diversity" never can answer why the supposed "benefit" of their ideology doesn't apply to HBCs -- Historically Black Colleges. John Rosenberg picks up on the latest example. And, like John's Florida A&M post, more recently Delaware State University recently revealed its own share of ... troubles. Wonder how that will affect enrollment.
Notice what John posts about the University of Kentucky:
That explanation (about reasons why black enrollment dropped) brought an angry response from several black Kentucky lawmakers, who accused the university of offering poor excuses for its own failure to maintain diversity...
"All are welcome at our university, and should be welcome, but we can't stand idly by and allow the legacy of the institution to change. He (DSU President Allen Sessoms) needs to go, and the board needs to go. The onus falls on the governor. I want to hear two words from him: 'I quit.' "
Don't believe Street for a second. If Sessoms' efforts to "increase diversity" succeed, and whites begin to outnumber blacks at DSU, Street will be screaming bloody murder about DSU's "lost legacy" and will have forgotten all about his "all are welcome" statement mighty quick.
But therein lies the conundrum: Sessoms, like those black lawmakers Rosenberg noted in Kentucky, want "diversity" -- apparently for its supposed educational/academic benefits. However, one of the reasons Sessoms is under fire (by black lawmakers and alumni alike) at DSU is precisely because of his spoken efforts to increase ... diversity! Loudmouths like Street are constantly in the newspaper and local TV screaming about how [public] school choice in Delaware is leading to "resegregation"; but it's plain 'ol Jea just wants his cake and to be able to eat it too -- as evidenced by his ranting about DSU.
For the record: We at Colossus believe that HBCs should be allowed to maintain their unique legacy and identity. But we also recognize that "diversity" is a pitiful excuse for a desire to increase "academic achievement," and university efforts to do whatever it takes to increase such "diversity" (ie, minority enrollment) are largely a waste of time of money.
(Thanks to Hube for his assist on this post!)
CNN just gave a total softball interview to David Duke, the white supremacist who's heading up the Million More Whitey March this weekend in D.C.
Oh, sorry -- CNN actually interviewed Louis Farrakhan. Why oh why in the world is this guy getting serious airtime on a major network? Can you just imagine if CNN did do that for Duke? You think people would have the gall to state that one "has to separate the message from the messenger" regarding Duke ... like they frequently do for Farrakhan?
It's back! The "Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week"! (That's the Wilmington, DE News Journal, Delaware's largest circulated -- by far -- newspaper, for those out of state.) I've heard from several readers saying that this was a favorite feature of my old site. There was really no reason not to restart it, so here is the first [re]installment. This week's winner is Richard C. Stout who wrote on Oct. 8:
Last night I had a dream. Superman swooped down, gathered up all the SUVs and tossed them into the Pacific Ocean, thereby causing gasoline prices to sink to 99 cents a gallon. It was sweet and exhilarating for a brief moment. Sadly, SUVs will be with us until the next fad. Let's hope it will be much more sensible and practical.'Nuff said.
I have a suspicion that Casey would be very proud of his mother and her crusade of telling the truth in a world of lies.
I thought our country had become civilized. We stopped killing American Indians, freed the slaves and permit women to vote. Genocide happens somewhere else, doesn't it?
The Philadelphia Phillies finally -- FINALLY -- ditched general manager Ed Wade from their payroll yesterday. The team let manager Larry Bowa go last year after not making the playoffs, but Bowa had to endure numerous injuries and still managed to get the Phils just two wins less than what the team achieved this year under first-year idiot manager Charlie Manuel.
The Phils have one world championship in their almost 100 year history. That was in 1980 when I was a lad of 15. They were in two other World Series -- 1983 when they lost to Baltimore 4 games to 1, and 1993, losing to the Blue Jays 4 games to 2 -- but nothing else. In all those years. Since Wade took the reins eight years ago, the team's payroll has skyrocketed with little to show for it. Hiring Manuel was the perhaps the biggest joke -- I've never seen such an inept manager who knows so little about fundamentals. But hey -- it was known that the players thought former manager Bowa was "too tough," and, well, hey -- Manuel was so accommodating that he played subs in games that actually mattered. Don't wanna tick off the poor players now, do we? Can't have a manager ... yelling at players who make multi-millions, right?
The new GM had better ditch Manuel -- like the minute after the Phil's hire him.
Aren't colleges the one place where they get sympathy?
Via John Rosenberg: Wake County schools in North Carolina are pondering a move away from busing. The News & Observer calls the busing the district's "diversity policy," yet refers to the "policy's" opponents as "mov[ing] Wake toward resegregation." Nice choice. Is the busing for desegregation -- or is it for [economic, in this case] diversity? Or... both? Or more?
"These policies that have driven the schools have been critical to the harmony of the community," [school board candidate Bill] Fletcher said. Wake's approach to integration was profiled last month in The New York Times. The report credited the policy with helping to narrow the racial achievement gap."
Yeesh. The fact is that the abstract notion of "diversity" shows NO educational benefits, nor does busing. It didn't raise the academic standards of the intended beneficiaries in northern Delaware, or in the famous Kansas City case.
But that won't stop the babblists and diversiphiles. They "know" better than you and me.
Reading SCSU Scholars' post about a public "execution" of Christopher Columbus could only garner mild chuckles from me this morning. Advertised thusly -- "Christopher Columbus to be strung up and beat [sic] with a stick until dead" -- about 10-15 people showed up to view a child brandishing said stick and clubbing the effigy of Chris until the [literal] stuffing poured from him.
Hey, it's at a university so what would you expect, eh? Saying anything good about Columbus might get you charged with a "hate crime." I won't go into the usual leftist swill about Columbus being the "catalyst for the rape of the world;" however, I will be happy to plug an excellent alternate history novel by noted sci-fi author Orson Scott Card. In Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus, Card weaves a very balanced (and, to the chagrin of radicals everywhere) a non-PC novel of what might have been had Chris and his sailors not made it back to Spain -- and had formed a cross-cultural society with the Caribbean natives. Sometime in the near future, an historical society called Pastwatch has developed the technology to view historical events at any time in earth's past. One of the novel's protagonists, Tagiri, is horrified by the legacy of slavery, and sets upon a project -- "The Columbus Project" -- to try and avert this scourge on the human vision. Ironically, it takes a Mayan descendant, Hunahpu, to point out to Tagiri that slavery was actually a more civilized natural progression for humanity -- a step forward from human sacrifice which his ancestors and other "New World" civilizations practiced quite readily.
Eventually, a plan develops among Tagiri, Hunahphu and the other main characters to travel back to 1492 to not only avert slavery in the New World, but to bring about an entirely different type of civilization/community. What results is quite astonishing in its philosophy and overall scope. Imagining if this actually occured is enlightening and hopeful.
PS -- Hey, Philip! Thanks for the tip on "War of the Worlds"! I almost rented it thinking it was the Spielberg-Cruise film. Now I definitely won't rent it!
I hit the video store for the first time in a long while this past weekend, and I saw another version of the classic War of the Worlds on the shelf. (I was actually hoping Spielberg's film was released, but it ain't yet.) It stars C. Thomas Howell as astronomer "George Herbert" (clever, huh?) and quite frankly -- THE MOVIE SUCKED. Howell and his co-stars go off on quasi-philosophical tangents every five minutes or so, and we never find out anything about the aliens. The reactions of various townspeople are just downright silly; why aren't they terrified of what's coming? Is there no such thing as news? Where were all the counter-offensives? No jets? Tanks? Artillery? One victim of the "martians" actually appears to laugh as the alien's tentacles are about to slice her open.
I cannot believe some of the comments (at the IMDB site) in favor of this dreadful abomination. You can bet the video store put this dreck on the shelf hoping folks would think it's the recent Spielberg film. That's what I thought initially, but once I saw it wasn't, I still figured I'd try it, being somewhat of a sci-fi fan. What a waste of $4.00. If you see this on the shelf, DON'T BE FOOLED. Save it for the compact cranium crowd.
Fred's World has a list of symptoms to check if you think you're a "blogoholic." I found this post interesting because I shut down "Hube's Cube" back in July due to (mainly) spending WAY too much time on blogging efforts. But geez -- I "only" suffered from the second symptom, "reading and responding to blogs more than four hours a day."
Some of the other maladies are .... whoa. I mean, "checking your blog every five minutes to see if you have another comment"? "Skipping meals so you can blog"? "Telling your partner 'I have a headache' so you can blog"??
Not. On. Your. Life.
Certainly, Bush v. Gore is a colossal case in presidential election lore. However, how many of you know a few folks filed suit to prevent the 2000 Texas electors from casting their ballots? Here's why: they claimed Dick Cheney was still legally a Texan, and this would have violated the 12th Amendment.
I found (somewhere on my old computer) an old -- and apt -- cartoon from my old blog:
... at this friggin' hilarious 2008 presidential "candidate" website. Anyone familiar with the Superman movies should cough up a lung with laughter.
I dunno, maybe his narrower-than-Hube's-fourteen-year-old-physique defeat in the 2000 election really has affected his mind. On Wednesday, Al Gore, among other things, complained that
something has "gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled 'marketplace of ideas' now functions," and "some extremely important elements of American Democracy have been pushed to the sidelines, and the most prominent casualty has been the 'marketplace of ideas' that was so beloved and so carefully protected by our Founders. It effectively no longer exists."
Gore bitches about the "lack of interactivity"(!) that television (still the dominant information medium) provides. If you read between the lines, Gore is really upset that his ideology no longers exclusively controls just what information reaches the public. But regardless, Al -- though he briefly mentions it -- completely glosses over the massive and incredible interactivity of the Internet! He also laments the eradication of the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Provision, but doing away with these has served to do what Gore [supposedly] desires -- vastly widened the array of opinions and outlets available to the public! (Another clue that Gore is merely miffed that liberal ideology no longer dominates as it once did -- once the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987, he says "Rush Limbaugh and other hate-mongers began to fill the airwaves.")
It gets better: Gore claims that CBS's Dan Rather "was, of course, forced out of his anchor job after angering the White House." It had nothing to do, you see, with Rather relying on forged documents for a "story." Not to mention the primary role of the "interactivity" of the new media Gore so desires in pointing out Rather's immense error.
It goes on and on. It's just damn easy to make fun of Gore by continuing to point out his lunacies here. Just keep in mind his real objective, however: Trying to get support for his new media venture:
So, unlike the marketplace of ideas that emerged in the wake of the printing press, there is virtually no exchange of ideas at all in television's domain. My partner Joel Hyatt and I are trying to change that - at least where Current TV is concerned. Perhaps not coincidentally, we are the only independently owned news and information network in all of American television.
Al Gore TV: Watch us ... or else.
UPDATE: Maybe Walter Cronkite will get a gig on the new Al Gore Network:
"We [as a nation] are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders ... if we fail at that," Cronkite warned, "our democracy, our republic, I think, is in serious danger."
Hmm. Sounds like Walt should be in favor of requiring a photo ID to vote at the very least, then, eh?
One of my favorite Delaware blogs, Ken and Stephen's Blogolution, hasn't been updated in almost a month. Hope it ain't going the way of Political Tracker.
Ignore the neo-socialist rantings of Venezuelan ambassador Bernardo Alvarez during his visit to Delaware. And a cultural exchange? Screw him on that, too. You want Venezuelan culture? Get some tickets to the Los Amigos Invisibles show at Philly's Theatre of Living Arts (TLA) on Oct. 29. That's some authentic Venezuelan culture for 'ya!
And don't just take my word for it -- ask Mike over at Down With Absolutes. At our "blogger dinner" over a month ago, Mike informed me that he had purchased an Amigos CD -- and loved it! Mike is a David Byrne (from Talking Heads fame) fan, and Los Amigos are signed to the Luaka Bop label, which is owned by Byrne.
(By the way -- at that blogger dinner ... if you didn't already know, I take back what I said about Garrett. He's a total dick.)
I caught this segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" a few weeks ago; however, I couldn't find a transcript of it or any other report about it, except on the white racialist site American Renaissance. Of course, they used the story for their own purposes -- purposes with which we heartily disagree (that's why we won't link to their site ... if you wish to visit it, just Google the damn thing). Luckily, Colossus reader Fred e-mailed us the transcript in question yesterday. The show segment involved Brandy Stokes, a middle school teacher, and, well, read for yourself (emphases all mine):
O'REILLY: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, I started a firestorm earlier this month when I made a simple statement in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. If you're poor, you'll get hosed. Not a matter of if but when. And the way out of poverty is education. Everybody knows that.
But there's a dirty secret in many public school systems these days, and that is teachers are not allowed to control unruly students.
Joining us now from Charleston, South Carolina, is Brandy Stokes, a former public high school teacher who is suing her district because it refused to discipline dangerous students.
You know, we talked to you on the radio, and I'm glad you came on the program. Your story is actually harrowing. You taught what grade? How old were the kids?
BRANDY STOKES, SUING SCHOOL DISTRICT: I taught eighth grade English. And because of the No Child Left Behind Act, I had 15 and 16-year-olds in my eighth grade.
O'REILLY: OK. So you had older kids in your class, trying to teach them English, basic skills. And some of these kids, one in particular, began harassing you, swearing at you, and threatening you in the classroom, correct?
STOKES: That's correct.
O'REILLY: And then pick it up if from there. You did what? You told whom and what happened?
STOKES: Well, it was several -- several children that I was subjected to horrible racial comments. I was sexually harassed. I was threatened to be raped and killed. I would consistently refer these kids to the principal at Brentwood. And 20 minutes later, the same child would be back in my classroom.
O'REILLY: All right. So these children in front of the whole class demeaned you and threatened you. Everybody heard it, wasn't secret. They were bold in what they did, correct?
O'REILLY: All right. Now when you confronted the principal of your school, who's in charge of overall authority and discipline and said, "Look, this has got to stop. I can't teach these children if people are threatening me and calling me racial names and using sexual" -- some of the language is absolutely outrageous. What did the principal say to you?
STOKES: The principal told me that I had to accept these kids' behavior. It was a part of their culture. And that if I was going to teach at Brentwood, I just had to -- I just had to accept their behavior. It was the way they were.
O'REILLY: Now, were other teachers subjected to this kind of thing, and did they accept the behavior?
STOKES: Yes, sir, there were other teachers that were subjected to this. Some of them did accept it. Some of them were just quiet and didn't want to make any trouble.
And myself and two other teachers stepped forward and tried to get assistance from the higher-ups at the district office, and then we basically got nothing there either, so we were forced to file a lawsuit.
O'REILLY: Now you're out of the classroom now as the case moves along, but I don't see how any teacher, because I'm a former high school teacher myself, could teach anything in an atmosphere like that.
STOKES: You couldn't. I spent the majority of my time trying to gain order in my classroom.
One particular incident, I had a child who climbed through my window during my planning period. The other kids were at special area. And at Brentwood, we had to keep our doors locked at all times. And we also had panic buttons in every room.
The child threatened to rape and kill me. And when I went to the principal, she looked at me, rolled her eyes, and said, "Here we go again, another white teacher trying to bring these kids down."
O'REILLY: I know this is -- I know your case isn't unusual. It happens all over. It happens, unfortunately, in the poorest schools, as yours is. And we're going to follow your lawsuit, Ms. Stokes. And we appreciate you coming on. Thank you very much.
STOKES: Thank you.
Two things: One, you'll never hear an incident such as this reported on the mainstream media. If it was the reverse, however (black teacher, white unruly students) you can bet your bottom dollar it would be.
Two, Hube once wrote on his old blog about a race merchant who headed an inservice at his district. I recall similar "It's their culture" sentiments in some of those posts. Maybe Hube will chime in here when he has a moment.
UPDATE (10/7 at 8:43am) by Hube: Felix: The guy to whom you're referring is Glenn Singleton, a so-called "diversity expert" who did indeed lead the first half of our [first] all-day inservice a couple years ago. As I wrote at the time:
At this inservice, Mr. Singleton stated up front that he wasn't going to discuss family structure, economics and peers. How convenient that is, especially since they are probably the biggest factors contributing to the "achievement gap" between majority and minority children in schools. His résume states he is a "diversity expert." What is that, exactly? How does one become such an expert? I wonder if Mr. Singleton has lived abroad in various countries to thorougly examine different cultures? I've lived abroad in Latin America for quite some time; does this make me an "expert" on Hispanic culture?
Glenn leads what he dubs "Courageous Conversations." The conversations we had at our inservice seemed to be anything but courageous; indeed, most were typical and defensive. If a white educator inquired about the huge number of minority discipline referrals in schools, it couldn't have been because those students are misbehaving in class. It had to be some "lack of understanding" between the [white] teacher and [minority] student. As a result, the "courageous" portion of the whole shebang became a sad joke as the program rapidly devolved into stereotypical politically correct dogma.
Singleton has also "advised" the Seattle school system. Seattle schools have attempted to deal with disproportionate discipline rates and the achievement gap thusly -- which is eeriely similar to what Ms. Stokes was told. Take note from the article (emphases mine):
* Many African American students bring particular styles of learning, speaking and behaving with them from home -- and schools are quick to punish those styles.
* Researchers of all races acknowledge that classic classroom rules, established by a predominately white system, reward sitting still, staying quiet and working independently.
* African American students have louder, more direct speaking styles and more physical learning styles, such as preferring hands-on projects rather than sitting through lectures.
* African American students often speak to adults more as equals than as authority figures, because that's the way many speak with their families.
* And African American students are frequently more out-front with their emotions.
* "We, as a people, are loud," (said Jacob Ellis, an African American counselor at Nathan Hale High School).
* Some staff and students also say "play-fighting" leads to many disciplinary actions. And a number of school officials said these mock battles are more prevalent among African American boys and too often are misread as being real.
Reading the above, is it any wonder where Stokes' principal got the notion that it was "just her [black] students' culture" -- despite the obvious noxious self-deprecation? But hey, if things don't work out in Seattle, maybe they can just sue.
high schooler you!
The Maine College Republicans are expressing strong support of Lewiston High School senior Brent Bowen, whose First Amendment rights were violated by a member of the school's faculty during an unfortunate incident there last week.
The incident occurred last Monday when Bowen, who founded the first Teenage Republican chapter in Maine, was handing out copies of the official Maine College Republican newspaper, The Pachyderm Press, in the school cafeteria: "After handing out the paper at the first lunch, an openly socialist teacher came up and questioned me," recounted Bowen. "She asked whether I had permission to hand out the paper." After replying that there was no policy regarding handouts at lunch, the faculty member then told Bowen he had to get permission from school administrators to continue handing the newspaper out. "I didn't know I needed permission to practice free speech," Bowen remarked.
Well, there are limits to free speech in schools, but this certainly doesn't appear to be of a nature that would "disrupt the educational environment." Indeed, it looks as if it would serve to enlighten the typical apathetic slug student, whatever his/her political beliefs. But it gets better:
After receiving the support of the school's vice principal to continue handing out The Pachyderm Press, Bowen was confronted by a group of faculty who threatened him with suspension. "It's actually not the first time I've been threatened like that because of my political views," said Bowen. "Another Lewiston High School faculty member ripped four or five of the newspapers up in frustration after hearing I had permission to distribute them. The papers certainly made quite a splash at Lewiston High," he concluded.
Unfortunately for Bowen, it won't get any better for him in college. American campuses are the perfect bastions for groupthink and groupspeak -- as long as your beliefs and discussions are of the prevailing "approved" orthodoxy, you'll be OK. That is to say, contrary to much of what Bowen probably believes if he ticked off some socialist teachers.
And what kind of friggin' example do these "teachers" set? That speech you don't like is to be prevented? That opinions you don't approve of should be torn up? Is it any wonder many people refer to these idiots as "anti-American"? After all, what's more un-American than purposely stifling political speech?
... San Fran Mayor Gavin Newsom:
A disabled Danish man is fighting for the state to pay for him to have a prostitute visit him at home.
Torben Hansen, who has cerebral palsy, which severely affects his speech and mobility, believes his local authority should pay the extra charge he incurs when he hires a sex worker - because his disability means he cannot go to see them. His case is currently being considered.
In Denmark, local authorities compensate disabled people for extra costs incurred because of their disability.
"I want them to cover the extra expenses for the prostitutes to get here, because it's a lot more expensive getting them to come to my home rather than me going to a brothel," Mr Hansen told BBC World Service's Outlook programme.
Only in ... Europe? Probably anywhere in the Western world, actually. Shit like this happens when your society becomes too affluent. Not to mention soft, relativistic and lazy. Such tends to make one ... silly.
I think I'm gonna be sick ....
Via Jenny D:
A court in Pinellas, Florida has ruled that the district's 20,000 black students can join together in a class action suit against the schools, claiming that the achievement gap between black and white students is the result of the district's failure to educate minority students.
I can't think of a much bigger travesty for education, and what a horrible precedent it will set. As I once said, next we'll be seeing people suing their doctors for not making them take the medication they were prescribed.
What makes crap like this so ... sad ... is that I've been around a few other countries and have talked with some parents of my students that are from other countries. These other countries I've visited would kill for a fraction of the resources that American [black, to tie in to the article] children have at their disposal. Parents of immigrant students I've had are shocked and appalled at not only the behavior of American students, but their apathy and casual disregard for what their schools have -- and what their teachers do for them. They openly mock and scoff at "disabilities" like ADD and the accommodations teachers have to make for them, and are totally flummoxed at the notion that different races and ethnicities can have different "learning styles" -- which teachers also have to accommodate.
You can have every possible resource at your disposal, and the best-ever teachers armed with the best-ever teaching methods. But if the subjects couldn't care less? And you can't make them care? No matter how hard you try?
Answer: Lawsuit. It's the American way.
Only a dude like the mayor of San Francisco could come up with something like this:
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who became internationally known for his campaign a year ago to legalise gay marriage, said on Monday he considered wireless Internet access a fundamental right of all citizens.
Wireless access can be seen a basic right that should be available not just to business professionals but also lower-income citizens. "This is a civil rights issue as much as anything else," Newsom said.
Isn't that special? Well, here are some more fundamental "rights" I'd like to see:
I'm sure I'll come up with more; in the meantime, what "rights" do you want?
La Shawn Barber and John Zmirak have more on the "controversy." La Shawn, as a black woman, is hard to ignore on a topic like this, despite what you think about Bennett. Zmirak offers three "commandments" on contemporary racial discourse:
1) Thou shalt ignore any statistics that cast racial minorities, even provisionally, in an unflattering light.
2) Thou shalt condemn anyone who mentions these statistics as a racist, even if you know that he is not a racist. The truth is not important. The important thing is the taboo.
3) Thou mayst entertain and promote racist fantasies of eliminating poor babies, Hispanic babies, and black babies in the womb, so long as you don’t mention their race. It’s okay to kill them, but not to mention their race.
On the subject, I don't know if anyone caught Fox News Sunday's roundtable segment. Brit Hume usually offers common sensical logic to Juan Williams' visceral spewing, and this was no more apparent than yesterday's dicussion over the Bennett flap. Williams was beside himself on what Bennett's supposed meaning was (killing black babies, black criminality) -- and Mara Liasson assisted him in that regard, amazingly -- but thankfully Hume was there to inject much needed common sense. Listening to Williams, geez -- he'd be banned from La Shawn's place for getting completely off topic!
UPDATE (10/4 at 6:51pm): Joseph Walther, a Delaware blogger with whom Hube once appeared on radio, weighs in on the Bennett matter.
UPDATE 2 (10/5 at 4:14): Ward Connerly chimes in on the controversy.
The Wilmington (DE) News Journal is becoming such an easy target that it's losing its appeal. Today, Mike Chalmers thinks he's on to some "racist revelation" when he headlines "Blacks hit with high-interest loans." Similar articles have proliferated in newspapers over the last decade or so. It must be RACISM!!! See:
Black homeowners, such as Brown, are twice as likely as whites to pay high interest rates on their refinance loans and three times more likely to borrow from lenders that specialize in borrowers with poor credit, an analysis by The News Journal found.
That disparity holds true even when borrowers come from the same income groups. Thirty-seven percent of low-income blacks in Delaware paid high interest rates, and 42 percent borrowed from so-called subprime lenders. By contrast, only 16 percent of low-income whites paid high interest rates, and 12 percent borrowed in the subprime market. The figures are similar nationwide.
Those "analysts" at the News Journal. Masters at single-digit addition. Hoo-rah.
Just don't read the entire NJ article -- please! -- 'cause you might run into some "uncomfortable" facts that even Chalmers couldn't avoid completely. For instance:
State and federal officials who enforce anti-discrimination laws said they are concerned about the disparities and intend to ask lenders for more data on borrowers' credit histories, debts and other factors.
Gee -- you think those items just may have something to do with the disparity? Credit histories?? How dare they sneak some sensical verbiage into their article. But don't worry, it doesn't last long. The geniuses at the NJ delve deeper into their "analysis":
The News Journal found:
•Black borrowers pay slightly higher interest rates than whites in Delaware. The average high-interest refinance loan is about 0.25 percentage points higher for blacks. That can mean thousands of dollars more in interest over the life of a 30-year loan.
•Subprime lenders deny refinance applications from black homeowners more often than white borrowers, even when they fall into the same income bracket. Forty percent of high-income blacks are denied refinance loans, compared to 30 percent of high-income whites.
•White, upper-income borrowers increasingly are turning to subprime lenders for their refinance loans. They now get a third of the subprime refinancings, compared with less than a fifth in 1999.
The message (again)? RACISM!!!!
But wait -- more sense:
David Bakerian, president of the Delaware Bankers Association, said HMDA data do not include many factors that lenders use to make loans, such as borrowers' credit scores, debt loads and the value of their home. Including that information in the HMDA data would violate borrowers' privacy, he said.
"Two borrowers with the same income might be offered significantly different loan rates because of what isn't in the HMDA data," Bakerian said. "We can't automatically assume there's a discriminatory act going on here."
The News Journal can, Dave. And will.
OK, maybe the NJ article isn't as nutty as I'm making it sound, but the implication -- via the headline and "sad" picture of prime story subject Vicki Brown -- is clear: The "R" word. But just how "sorry" are we supposed to feel for Ms. Brown when she utters winners like these:
You just have to wait until I give you your money. I've been paying and something happened, and you're just going to have to wait."
Now that's certainly a sensible thing to tell a creditor, eh? "You'll just have to wait." "Something happened." It doesn't work that way, Ms. Brown. Just about any creditor will work with you if you contact them and explain your difficulties. Second, you have an attitude like that and you (and the NJ) somehow expect a top-notch lending deal?
For a sensible, thoughtful and perhaps non-PC analysis of black-white lending differences, check out the always-insightful Thomas Sowell's article, "Recycled 'racism.'" Here's a teaser:
For example, neither study took credit histories into account. People with lower credit ratings tend to get turned down for loans more often than those with higher credit ratings. Or they have to go where loans have higher interest rates. This is not rocket science. It is Economics 1.
Blacks in the earlier study turned out to have poor credit histories more often than whites. But the more recent news story did not even look into that.
Not rocket science? Econ. 1? Sorry, Mr. Sowell -- remember, this is the News Journal. Hmm, I wonder if the News Journal would ever consider headlining an article "Blacks' poorer credit histories result in higher interest loans"? Or, "Pay bills on time, improve your credit, get better loan deals"?
Don't hold your breath.
Did a suicide bomber kill himself during yesterday's Univ. of Oklahoma football game? Seems that way. Hopefully, it's not the beginning of a trend. Yesterday, me and three other teachers traveled to Happy Valley to watch Penn State trounce #18 Minnesota. There weren't quite as many fans in attendance this time as opposed to two years when we last hit a game (106K vs. 108K), but it gives me the willies thinking about what would happen if a suicide bomber decided to detonate himself in just the right place at Beaver Stadium. Ugh.
The Left gets apoplectic over Valerie Plame's name being "exposed" ("It would endanger CIA operatives all over the world"); where are they now since a judge in New York has ordered the release of even more Abu Ghraib torture photos? Like this won't endanger more American lives?
Thanks again, ACLU.