Y'know, this garbage would be funny if it wasn't so pathetically serious:
The Green Party of the United States has endorsed a statement calling for a comprehensive strategy of boycott and divestment that would pressure the government of Israel to guarantee human rights for Palestinians.
The resolution, introduced by the Wisconsin Green Party and passed in the Green Party's National Committee, seeks reversal of Israel's current policies.
"Israel's treatment of Palestinians -- those who are Israeli citizens as well as those in the territories -- is comparable in many ways to South African apartheid, and has resulted in a cycle of violence and lack of security for both Israelis and Palestinians," said Mohammed Abed, a member of the Green Party of Wisconsin.
Greens allege that the 'peace process' will ensure neither peace nor human rights, and have called the Gaza Disengagement Plan a smokescreen to buy time and accumulate political capital for the Sharon government while it pursues a plan to force Palestinians into disconnected reservations on less than half the West Bank. (My emphasis.)
And now the big yawner:
The Green Party is already on record as supporting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to receive compensation for their losses; immediate Israeli withdrawal from all lands acquired since 1967, including the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem; maintenance of Jerusalem as a shared city open to people of all faiths; suspension of U.S. military and foreign aid to Israel; complete dismantling of the Israeli separation wall; and serious consideration of a single secular, democratic state as the national home of both Israelis and Palestinians. Greens have affirmed the right of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis.
The self-righteous syrupy drip is so viscous I just can't stand it.
Need I address these inanities one by one? No. But let's look at that last sentence: "self determination for both Palestinians and Israelis." Hey -- sounds much like the original 1948 UN setup! Of course, back then, the Palestinians and surrounding Arab states would have none of that; indeed, they invoked the UN's own "right to self determination" clause to decree that they refused to accept the [UN] partition plan (even though the former was not previously a sovereign state), and proceeded in their attempts to obliterate the new Israel.
I wonder if the Greens have the cojones to urge divestment of each and every Arab state that refuses to recognize Israel fully -- and that teach in their schools that Jews are akin to "devils," among other rubbish.
Nah. It's too easy to pat oneself on the back because "you're on the side of the 'oppressed.'" Never mind that once, a puny new and oppressed nation, comprised of arguably the most historically oppressed people ever, turned back much larger nations -- in area and population -- time and time again in their determination to merely exist. And now as they grapple -- still -- with that same problem (albeit less severe) and its many moral and political implications, we have idiots like the Greens calling for their heads.
You ought to be ashamed.
(h/t: John Ray.)
Those (like me) that live around the Philly area know well that it's the Eagles that get most of the sports "respect" out of the major sports teams. However, as AJ Lynch notes, the perpetually aggravating Phillies have actually surpassed the Eagles in at least one regard:
I saw a letter in the newspaper this week and the writer was complaining that when the NFL deems the Eagles may be "a playoff team", the Eagles quickly send the season ticket holders an invoice to pay the Eagles for the playoff tickets. But if the playoff game is never played cause the team does not make the playoffs, the Eagles don't send a refund- THEY GIVE A CREDIT TOWARDS NEXT YEARS SEASON TICKETS!!! Well that is pretty frigging stingy. The letter writer estimated the Eagles could make mucho dinero in interest on that money.
Compare that to the Phillies- I bought playoff tickets online this year and when the Phils did not make the playoffs, they credited my credit card for the full amount of $304 including the relatively measly $4.00 service fee. I was pleasantly surprised. So Kudos to the Phils and Jeers to the money-grubbing Eagles!
Amen to that. Now, let's just hope the Phils will finally get their management act together and frickin' make the playoffs next year. One more key move to make: Axe manager Charlie Manuel NOW!
As I checked my e-mail early this a.m. I got a very nice surprise: an offer to guest blog over at La Shawn Barber's place while she takes a brief respite! I met La Shawn almost one year ago in Washington DC -- she had organized a "local" bloggers get-together, and it just so happened that my family and another had planned a New Year's road trip to the nation's capital during that exact time! She is a wonderful person -- extremely personable and friendly, not to mention smart as a whip. (Where did that expression come from, anyway? How smart can a whip be?)
Be sure to stop on by; there'll be a few other guest bloggers joining me!
This week's winner is David Quinn of Wilmington. The headline is "Invasion of Iraq has given terrorists reason to hate us," and he writes:
The debate over the Iraq war is supposedly emboldening the terrorists. Let's be clear that the single thing that has emboldened terrorists more than anything is the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They have been emboldened for generations to come by George W. Bush.
Right, Dave. There wasn't an invasion of Iraq on Sept. 11, 2001 and I seem to recall three jets slamming into the World Trade Center and Pentagon. And the bombing of the USS Cole and a couple American embassies before that. Oh yeah, and the 1993 WTC attack. Etc.
The Iraq War is a very debatable topic, but it's clear as crystal that the terrorists didn't -- and don't -- need a damned thing to be "emboldened" to attack us.
Simon Jenkins of the Sunday (UK) Times joins the "Blame Bush for Everything" crowd:
That Blair and Bush should have discussed bombing the Al-Jazeera building in Qatar is hardly surprising. They agreed to bomb the headquarters of Serbian television during the Kosovo war.
Amazing how President Clinton agreed to allow Texas Governor George W. Bush do such a thing, ain't it?
Inspired by my best buddy Mark who tipped me off to a local story on bad album covers, I recently did some Googling for same. I recall early on in my blogging days (about two years ago) discovering an hilarious site similar to the one Mark told me about. What made it great was the sarcastic commentary! Here are some of my faves that I dug up recently, along with my own "descriptions." (Due to copyright issues, I am not posting the actual pics of the covers here. Just click the various links -- but to get the best effect, right-click the cover links and choose "open in a new window"!)
* Now, I'm just a tad hesitant to bust on these nimrods TOO much -- they're religious, after all -- but they got that "swarmy" look about 'em (especially the dude on the far right) ... y'know, the one that we're finding out more and more that priests have ...
* Now WONDER that easy chair is turned around! And that bulldog sure appears to be engaged in some heavy panting!
* I'm ashamed to share the same first name as this dolt. And how DARE he mock the 13th Amendment like that!! I mean, the property of an inanimate object??
* Meet Snoop's long lost uncle.
* Yeah, swing that "gospel axe" ... right through my neck, so that I'm spared the agony of having this on my turntable.
* 'Nuff said on this one, dawgs. But what gets me is ... this is VOLUME 2!!!
* "Hey! Please buy us! Please? PLEASE??"
* OK, I'm completely mystified here. Colonel Saunders put out a frickin' ALBUM? And WTF is up with that title? Do Mexicans *really* eat KFC when they go on a picnic? And why would the colonel wear his standard suit to a picnic? And, is this a stereotypical insinuation that Mexicans are lazy with that album title?
* Downer album of the century. Maybe they're all just pretending to be dead so they don't have to hang around you in those dreadful white boots.
* Now why in the world would someone who looks like this dancing want to advertise such on an album cover? SHEESH.
* Now, finally -- an apt album title: "Flewey," or it's more apt phonetic equivalent "Phlooey." God, do these dweebs really think they're some kind of fashion plates? The guy on the right perhaps is -- for the Hair Club for Men.
* Is it me or were hair styles NEVER this putrid? Here's another one.
* "Popular Russian Hits"? Like the following: "I Love Borscht," "Gulag Nights," and don't forget "Get Downski Tonight" by KGB and the Sunshine Band.
* Now WHO would actually make a request of this dude? Enough that he has an entire album of them??
* Or, "At Play with the Playmates: Bangin' Each Other on our Vespa."
* "Hey Mr. Banjo" -- your racial stereotyping really disgusts us!
* Otherwise known as "The Best of the James Bond Villains."
Many more awful album covers are here! (But my commentary is better!) ;-)
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has maintained since his first election in 1982 that he was once drafted by the Kansas City A's back in 1966. (That's the farm system of the now-Oakland A's, just in case.) The thing is, it isn't true.
... an investigation by the Albuquerque Journal found no record of Richardson being drafted by the A's, who have since moved to Oakland, or any other team.
Informed by the newspaper of its findings, the governor acknowledged the error in a story in Thursday's editions.
I love this quote: "After being notified of the situation and after researching the matter ... I came to the conclusion that I was not drafted by the A's," Richardson said.
*Shakes head laughing* What else can one say?
Kind of reminds me of the time I was notified of my own situation, and when I researched the matter: I came to the conclusion that I didn't get a PhD in physics from Harvard.
Mike Adams says he would protect at all costs recently resigned professor John Daly's right to free speech -- and his right to poor speech. Besides dissecting Daly's bad grammar in his hateful letter to college student Rebecca Beach, he discovers why Daly is so lame at his own supposed specialty:
The answer can be found in Daly’s biography/teaching philosophy, which is posted on the WCCC (Warren County Community College) website:
“Often linguists do not use their skills to teach grammar and writing, but Professor Daly finds that linguists have a special view on language that may help students—particularly students who have had trouble in these areas in the past. English courses generally are taught from a rule-based perspective. Students become overwhelmed with these rules and often find the exceptions make them impossible to manage. Linguistics [sic] view language from a descriptive point of view—that is they understand language in the same way you might organize a sock draw [sic] — by dumping the contents on the ground and seeing what goes together until finally ending up with a super-efficient drawer (or deeper understand [sic] of grammar and writing). Students often respond to this approach.” (Emphasis mine.)
Un-frickin' real, man. This guy is an English professor!! At any rate, Adams thankfully translates the above [poorly written] drivel:
“English is a really hard language with a lot of confusing rules. So when you take my class, you don’t have to follow rules at all. I do not try to bring you up to a higher standard. Instead, I am committed to lowering myself to your standards – even to semi-literacy, if necessary. That way, we can all avoid judgments and keep everyone’s self-esteem intact. And, best of all, when I am not teaching English I have plenty of time to talk about my political views. ”
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up, I'd say. Just yet another doofus edu-babblist who's way too concerned with "empowering" his students and worrying their self-esteem instead of friggin' teaching them. Check it, Mr. Daly: people are fed up with this garbage. Keep the ridiculous unproven theories (and your politics) outta the classroom and teach. The basics and their derivatives. And, while you're at it, sign up for a refresher course yourself, huh?
Readers of my old blog "Hube's Cube" as well as newer readers may know of my ties to the "Switzerland of the Americas," Costa Rica. The English-language Tico Times reports on pro-CAFTA (Central American Free Trade Agreement) demonstrations in the capital of San José three days ago. Publius Pundit has a round-up of stories on the demonstration.
I'm certainly no expert on CAFTA nor econcomics in general, but having lived in CR for some time, I can tell you that the average "tico" (what Costa Ricans refer to themselves as) is pretty darn fed up with the monopolies that many sectors of the country have embraced. The largest, ICE (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, or Costa Rican Institute of Electricity) single-handedly runs the power industry and virtually all communications (telephone, Internet). Tales of absolutely brutal customer service, non-caring employees and constant strikes and strike threats have made the calls for privatization louder over the years. One of the most common anecdotes I've heard time and time again was people going to the main ICE office (quite close to where my in-laws live, by the way) to either pay or dispute bills, and having to wait interminably -- sometimes for almost an entire day -- while the ultra-unionized ICE employees fulfilled their "contract" to a tee: breaks seemingly every 15 minutes, drinking coffee and/or reading the newspaper while people wait in line right in front of them, and disappearing to do some "chore" after every second or third person in line is served.
Sound familiar? Ever call your cable company? (Here in Delaware, longtime residents may remember Rollins Cable -- the first cable company in New Castle County -- and their customer service was scant to non-existent.) How about service at your local post office? Granted, this isn't exactly a fair comparison because, despite the monopoly (or virtual monopoly) of the cable industry and postal services here in the US, customer service and service in general are magnitudes better here than in Costa Rica. This is in large measure due to the power of the countries' unions. In CR, they're extremely powerful, and ICE's is frequently the instigator in union disputes in other sectors of the Costa Rican economy. They'll get thousands of people into the streets demonstrating in no time, even if it has nothing to do with ICE.
Pro-ICE people point out that the monopoly has brought communications to the entire country at low cost. The former is largely true, though the quality of communications leaves a lot to be desired. "Low cost" is misleading, certainly, as ICE is heavily subsidized by the government, which merely means the population pays for it via taxes -- and taxes as a whole are quite high in Costa Rica. (I always get a kick out of folks who claim things like "cost little" or "free" just because one may not pay for it directly out of pocket.)
Those old enough to recall when AT&T was the only long-distance phone network in the United States will remember high prices and lousy customer service. What has happened since the giant was "broken up"? Massive competition has resulted in a plethora of [cheap] phone services and excellent service. It seems only logical. Costa Rica has a highly educated workforce that not only national but international companies can take advantage of (and I certainly don't mean "advantage" in a negative way!). Computer chip manufacturing is a huge industry in CR and it's growing; it will serve all ticos well to open up their communications -- and all services -- to competition.
UPDATE (9:01am): Welcome Instapundit readers!
NBC's Andrea Mitchell, who once claimed that Valerie Plame's (wife of Joe Wilson and supposed CIA covert operative) identity was "widely known," now has stated that she "messed up" -- that her statement then was wrong and that she indeed did not know about Plame's ID until after Robert Novak's column. Excerpt from the Imus radio show this past Wednesday:
IMUS: Well, [Alan Murray's] question seems plain. "Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA. And you said that his wife worked . . .
MITCHELL: When you look at my answer, I said: "It was widely known - and we were trying to track down who among the foreign community was the envoy to Niger." So far, so good. Okay? [Quoting herself again.] "So some of us began to pick up on that. But frankly I wasn't aware of her actual role at the CIA and the fact the she had a covert role involving weapons of mass destruction, not until Bob Novak wrote it.
IMUS: Well, that part is clear.
MITCHELL: That's clear. So, what's not clear is that I didn't know about her role at the CIA until Bob Novak wrote it. And I obviously got it muddled.
IMUS: Well, what this suggests to me is that, you knew she worked at the CIA but you didn't know what she did there.
MITCHELL: Yes, but that's not . . .
IMUS: Is that fair? Did you know that?
MITCHELL: I didn't.
IMUS: Well, then - why did you say you did, Andrea?
MITCHELL: Because, I messed up.
Sounds as if Ms. Mitchell has been getting some advice from Sandy "Sloppiness" or "I Stuffed 'Em In My Pants" Berger.
Tom Maguire (from first link above) proves that Mitchell isn't very believable with her claims.
... in that they have no lives: Sisters get arrested for "Nothing" is a headline in today's Wilmington (DE) News Journal.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shoppers at Christiana Mall, Santa Claus got himself handcuffed and arrested for trespassing Friday afternoon.
So did the three White sisters -- anti-commercialism activists who were arrested at the mall a year ago for promoting "Buy Nothing Day." Three other supporters also were arrested.
The sisters have been touting Buy Nothing Day at Christiana Mall on Black Friday for the past five years. They were arrested for the first time last year.
"We're not against shoppers; we are against the advertising culture that insists we have to buy merchandise at Christmas to show people you care," she said.
WTF ...?? What a friggin' hoot, I tell 'ya. Here's what I'm against -- a culture that gets so taken in with itself that it enables people to have the free time to "protest" against companies and people that are merely advertising their wares.
And how does the "advertising culture" INSIST one must buy things "to show that you care?" ("You are all under our influence you brainless consumers ... you must buy ten X-Boxes to show what a good capitalist you are ... that you 'care'...") Sheesh.
And good 'ol Alan Muller of Green Delaware was among those arrested. Surprise there, too.
Anna White, like too many other misguided lefties, complained that her free speech "rights" were violated: "We got the word out," she said. "It's unfortunate that we got arrested for exercising our free speech, but where do you go when you want to exercise your free speech?
"All we want for Christmas is free speech, but I guess we can't get it at the mall."
That's right, you can't, Anna. Because the mall is private property and as such gets to establish its own rules regarding conduct. And one of those rules is an anti-solicitation policy, as mall marketing director Christina Steinbrenner stated earlier in the article.
Now, aren't there much more pressing matters to protest against, people? Aren't there things to complain about other than how companies advertise for Christmas, and how/what people buy this time of year?
Ironically, their very "protest" indicates just how American affluence has affected our culture -- getting out there to protest nothing.
UPDATE (9:47pm): PolitaKid has more, including a name that looked familiar to me but I didn't include in my post -- that of Michael Berg, one of the protestors at the mall. He's the father of Nick Berg, who was beheaded in Iraq and who is planning a run against Mike Castle for the US House.
More likely this is a case of the Boston Globe's headline writing bias from an AP story: Teacher under investigation for alleged liberalism:
The school superintendent whose district includes Mount Anthony Union High School has labeled "inappropriate" and "irresponsible" an English teacher's use of liberal statements in a vocabulary quiz.
"I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes," said one question on a quiz written by English and social studies teacher Bret Chenkin.
The question referring to the president asked students to say whether coherent or eschewed was the proper word. The sentence would be more coherent if one eschewed eschewed.
Another example said, "It is frightening the way the extreme right has (balled, arrogated) aspects of the Constitution and warped them for their own agenda." Arrogated would be the proper word there.
Well, it doesn't surprise me that more and more ed schools these days are producing "activist-minded" instructors. It used to be however, that teachers were taught to keep their personal views mum so they wouldn't sway young minds. And this is the point: Chenkin is being investigated for his unprofessionalism, not his liberalism. Who cares what political views teachers hold, as long as they don't promulgate them in their classes?
By using "liberalism" in their headline, the Globe insinuates that Chenkin himself is the victim of politically-motivated attack -- that his classroom conduct wasn't the issue.
Looks like George Lucas may have had a [young] George W. Bush in mind when he first released Episode IV (otherwise known as "Star Wars"). Well, at least that's something like what former Candian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer thinks:
Paul Hellyer, Canada’s Defence Minister from 1963-67 under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prime Minister Lester Pearson, publicly stated: "UFOs, are as real as the airplanes that fly over your head."
Hellyer warned, "The United States military are preparing weapons which could be used against the aliens, and they could get us into an intergalactic war without us ever having any warning." He stated, "The Bush administration has finally agreed to let the military build a forward base on the moon, which will put them in a better position to keep track of the goings and comings of the visitors from space, and to shoot at them, if they so decide."
No word yet from Yoda, Mace Windu and the rest of the Jedi Council on these disturbing developments.
Just got back from my semi-regular three mile run. It was 34 degrees when I took off. I had forgotten how much I hate running in cold weather. Why?
Thankfully, though, when school's in session I usually run there after hours (the downstairs is about a 250 meter square box). It's not that I'm too cheap to join a gym, it's just that I hate those measly 50-meter tracks they have ... and the fact that I prefer to run alone.
Noriyuki "Pat" Morita has died:
Actor Pat Morita, whose portrayal of the wise and dry-witted Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" earned him an Oscar nomination, has died. He was 73.
Morita died Thursday at his home in Las Vegas of natural causes, said his wife of 12 years, Evelyn. She said in a statement that her husband, who first rose to fame with a role on "Happy Days," had "dedicated his entire life to acting and comedy."
In 1984, he appeared in the role that would define his career and spawn countless affectionate imitations. As Kesuke Miyagi, the mentor to Ralph Macchio's "Daniel-san," he taught karate while trying to catch flies with chopsticks and offering such advice as "wax on, wax off" to guide Daniel through chores to improve his skills.
Morita said in a 1986 interview with The Associated Press he was billed as Noriyuki "Pat" Morita in the film because producer Jerry Weintraub wanted him to sound more ethnic. He said he used the billing because it was "the only name my parents gave me."
He lost the 1984 best supporting actor award to Haing S. Ngor, who appeared in "The Killing Fields."
For years, Morita played small and sometimes demeaning roles in such films as "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and TV series such as "The Odd Couple" and "Green Acres." His first breakthrough came with "Happy Days," and he followed with his own brief series, "Mr. T and Tina."
"The Karate Kid," led to three sequels, the last of which, 1994's "The Next Karate Kid," paired him with a young Hilary Swank.
Morita was prolific outside of the "Karate Kid" series as well, appearing in "Honeymoon in Vegas," "Spy Hard," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" and "The Center of the World." He also provided the voice for a character in the Disney movie "Mulan" in 1998.
Morita said co-starring in `The Karate Kid' made him what he was.
Born in northern California on June 28, 1932, the son of migrant fruit pickers, Morita spent most of his early years in the hospital with spinal tuberculosis. He later recovered only to be sent to a Japanese-American internment camp in Arizona during World War II.
"One day I was an invalid," he recalled in a 1989 AP interview. "The next day I was public enemy No. 1 being escorted to an internment camp by an FBI agent wearing a piece."
After the war, Morita's family tried to repair their finances by operating a Sacramento restaurant. It was there that Morita first tried his comedy on patrons.
Because prospects for a Japanese-American standup comic seemed poor, Morita found steady work in computers at Aerojet General. But at age 30 he entered show business full time.
"Only in America could you get away with the kind of comedy I did," he commented. "If I tried it in Japan before the war, it would have been considered blasphemy, and I would have ended in leg irons. "
Morita was to be buried at Palm Green Valley Mortuary and Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife and three daughters from a previous marriage.
Pat was a staple of my teen years, first as Arnold in "Happy Days," and then in his Oscar-nominated role as Mr. Miyagi. His boisterous laugh as Arnold, though, was absolutely hilarious. Even to this day, when watching "Happy Days" reruns, I bag up everytime he lets that raucous laughter fly.
Ah, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez:
If all there was to the Venezuelan president was his backward socialist views, Chavez wouldn't be such a problem. He'd just be a hypocrite whose government enriches itself on highly globalized, state-controlled oil revenues, while he denies the region's privately owned businesses the same opportunity.
The trouble is, Chavez is about much more than hypocrisy. He's become an exporter of revolution, a socialist authoritarian with a Fidel Castro-style agenda to destabilize the region and with oil dollars to finance his ambitions.
Consider how his government takes advantage of Venezuela's oil wealth. When an American driver fills up at the local Citgo station, those gas dollars go from American wallets into Chavez's governing pockets -- after all, his government controls Citgo. From Venezuelan coffers, the money goes to fund leftist narco-insurgencies in Colombia, Ecuador, and other Latin American countries -- insurgencies the U.S. soldiers and U.S. taxpayers have expended great resources to tamp down.
Leftist guerrillas from eight Latin American countries have received training at Venezuelan military bases this year, according to an Ecuadorian intelligence report revealed in a Quito newspaper earlier this month. El Presidente Chavez of course denies the charges. But his recent vows to create a regional, anti-American leftist front, his alliance with Fidel Castro's Cuba, his rising military expenditures and persistent reports that weapons disappear from the Venezuelan military into the hands of regional leftist rebels, make the charges all the more believable.
What is funny (if it wasn't so sad) is Chavez's offer to sell Venezuelan oil to the poor here in the US -- all the while most of his country lives in abject poverty. Idiots like Massachusetts Rep. William Delahunt (Democrat -- surprise!) -- who met with Chavez to help broker the deal -- claim it's only a "humanitarian" gesture. How naive, folks. Again, if Uncle Hugo really cared about helping the poor, he'd worry a lot less about those in the US (who are quite well-off compared to the Venezuelan poor) and concentrate on those who are responsible for him being elected in the first place.
Chavez's "gestures," such that they are, are merely political stunts, most likely orchestrated by -- you guessed it -- Fidel Castro. Fidel is on his way out, and he appears to be grooming his successor. But you think Fidel would learn; Castro has always had somewhat of an adoration of the American Left, but it hasn't helped him in all those 45+ years of power. Why advise Chavez to do the same?
Prof. John Daly, who said in an e-mail that “real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people’s needs” and intimidated a student at his college by saying “I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like yours won’t dare show their face on a college campus,” has resigned from Warren Community College.
In my original post about Daly, I stated I believe he should not be fired, most especially for his speech, and that a reprimand would be sufficient for his intimidation of the student in question, Rebecca Beach. However, Daly has said that
... he thought he was sending the e-mail to an organizer for Young America’s Foundation, and that he did not realize that he was sending the e-mail to a student.
The student, Beach, had sent e-mail messages to faculty members about her lecture. But Daly said that since she had sent her e-mail from a personal account, and he had replied from a personal account, there was no reason for the college to be involved. He also said in an interview on Sunday that he was not advocating a literal revolt by soldiers, and that he would have replied with a different tone had he realized he was communicating with a student.
This is quite a reasonable explanation. (Although, his "explanation" of his soldiers' revolt comment is laughable. But again, to me his speech isn't the issue.) Daly definitely had a case if the college had proceeded to take action against him. In my view, based on this new information, the college has little authority in the whole matter.
Interesting comments and debate below the Inside Higher Ed. article. Be sure to check 'em out.
I'm a simple guy, and I'm thankful for "simple" things. Here are a few I'm thankful for this year:
Enjoy your day, and be thankful for at least one thing.
One of my favorite movie "moments" takes place in the Oscar-winning script of "Good Will Hunting." Matt Damon plays a boy genius, but is wary of using his talent to its fullest potential. He and his Boston-area buds (Ben Affleck's "Chuckie" among them) are essentially paycheck-to-paycheck working class dudes who occassionally get into trouble. Anyway, early in the flick, Will and his buds go into a Harvard bar (or, as Affleck's character says, "Hahvahd bah"). Affleck scopes out Minnie Driver at the other end of the bar, and proceeds to "move in." He's promptly interrupted by a Harvard douchebag (named "Clark" -- how many of you knew that?) and his academic "posse" who attempt to make Affleck look like a microcephalic buffoon (which he pretty much is, but he doesn't have to be told that, especially by Harvard a-holes). But in steps genius Will, who completely turns the tables on the douchebag:
Will: You're a first year grad student. You just got finished reading some Marxian historian -- Pete Garrison, probably -- you gunna' be convinced of that till next month when you get to James Lemon, then you're gunna' be talkin' about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That's gunna' last until next year, you're gunna' be in here regurgitatin' Gordon Wood. Talkin' about, you know, the pre-Revolutionary Utopia and the capital forming effects of military mobilization ....
Douchebag: Well, as a matter of fact I won't because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social di--
Will: Wood drastically...Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth. You got that from Vickers. Work in Essex County, page 98, right? Yeah, I read that, too. You gunna' plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts that...of your own on this matter? Or do you-- is that your thing? You come into a bar, you read some obscure passage, and then pretend you, you..pawn it off as your own..as your own idea just to impress some girls..? Embarrass my friend? See, the sad thing about a guy like you is in fifty years you're gunna start doing some thinkin' on your own, and you're gunna' come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and, two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fuckin' education you coulda' got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.
Douchebag: Yeah, but I will have a degree. and you'll be serving my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.
Will: Yeah, maybe. Eh, but at least I won't be unoriginal. Pardon me, if you have a problem like that, you and me could just outside 'n we could figure it out.
Classic! Every time the movie's on, I'll tune in just to catch that sequence. It's one of best verbal thrashings in movie history. (My favorite of all time, however, has to be Alec Baldwin's "dressing down" of Ed Harris and co. in "Glengarry Glen Ross.") Despite the fact that Damon is a fan of Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, a fact which he neatly injects into a brief sequence with co-star Robin Williams, the movie is damn good.
But, back to the title of this post. Hmm, let's see ... what blogger does "Clark" remind me of? (Massages chin with right thumb and index finger...)
Police accidentally hit a naked man in the genitals with a Taser after he was caught breaking windows and asking women to touch him, authorities said.
Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, tried to run away when sheriff's deputies approached so one of them shot their Taser, said Cpl. Matt Chitwood. But one of the gun's prongs accidentally hit Miljour's genitals and got stuck, Chitwood said.
"The Taser is relatively accurate, but when someone is moving like that, it doesn't matter if you have a Taser, or a pistol. (Officers) can't aim," Chitwood said.
Miljour was treated at a hospital before being taken to the Lee County jail. He was charged with indecent exposure, resisting an officer and criminal damage.
Chesnuts roasting on the proverbial open fire. Just in time for the holidays, natch.
Via Paul Smith Jr.:
The index, released to The Associated Press last week, takes into account both ‘‘having'' and ‘‘giving.'' It is based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the latest available. ... Using that standard, the 10 most generous states were, in descending order, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The 10 stingiest, starting from the bottom, were New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and Michigan.
Anyone remember Al Gore's stinginess?
Blue-staters: generous with YOUR money.
Via Michelle Malkin:
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lawsuit by two Christian students and their parents, who accused the Byron Union School District of unconstitutionally endorsing a religious practice. "The Islam program activities were not overt religious exercises that raise Establishment Clause concerns,'' the three-judge panel said, referring to the First Amendment ban on government sanctioning a religion.
"Not overt religious exercises?" Let's see ...
During the history course at Excelsior School in the fall of 2001, the teacher, using an instructional guide, told the students they would adopt roles as Muslims for three weeks to help them learn what Muslims believe. She encouraged them to use Muslim names, recited prayers in class and made them give up something for a day, such as television or candy, to simulate fasting during Ramadan. The final exam asked students for a critique of elements of Muslim culture.
Three weeks? Fasting? RECITING PRAYERS?? Absolutely astonishing. This -- the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- that banned "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, but has now allowed Muslim prayers to be recited as part of public school instruction!
Where's the ACLU in all this? Jay at Stop the ACLU is rightly asking this and bringing up other points, such as:
1. You can bet if the children were subjected to participate in a Christian themed role playing game such as a nativity scene in a Christmas Winter Break play that the Separation of Church and State Clause of the Living Document would have had precedent;
2. How is it that Gideons giving out little new testaments are found as a threat, but teaching children to recite Muslim prayers is not?
3. So they had the choice to opt out, just like voluntary prayer, or reciting the pledge without using "Under God", but somehow this is different.
Protein Wisdom says:
My problem with this ruling is not that it that it violates parental rights, or that it impinges on "freedom to exercise the religion one chooses"; after all, this is a role-playing exercise, and I don't believe playing at being Muslim for three weeks establishes a religion anymore than I'd believe playing cowboys and Indians for three weeks will turn kids into little warmongering imperialists drunk on genocide and imperialism.
What does bother me about this ruling, however, is this: this same Circuit Court ruled that reciting the Pledge, when it includes the phrase "under God," is a coercive exercise, and is therefore unconstitutional-despite having an opt-out option. Which is to say, that the 9th Circuit ruled that the Pledge is unconstitutional even though nobody was being forced to recite it.
Here, however, the coercion standard has shifted, it seems-and the opt out clause in this instance apparently satisfied the Court.
Here in Delaware, a similar situation arose last year: Muslim students were provided a private room in which to pray -- in a public school -- and monitored by a teacher. The ACLU, to my knowledge, never intervened in this situation on "separation of church and state" grounds. Yet, there they were just recently, blasting the Philadelphia Eagles' Tra Thomas group, Athletes United Through Christ, at Newark High School, back at the end of October.
NPR: Crips co-founder Tookie Williams faces execution in California on Dec. 13 unless the governor grants him clemency. Williams, convicted of four murders, has become a noted anti-gang crusader, writer of children's books, and a Nobel Prize nominee while in prison at San Quentin.
LA Times/AP: He has received several Nobel Prize nominations and has attracted a cadre of celebrity supporters, including actor Jamie Foxx, who played Williams in a television movie, actor-activist Mike Farrell and rapper Snoop Dogg, who is scheduled to appear at a rally Saturday outside the prison.
Geez, 'ya might as well nominate Adolph Hitler for a Nobel! What's that? He was nominated for a Nobel?? And the Peace Prize at that?
Bono, frontman of U2 says:
... that his music will still be around in 100 years, explaining that his songs occupy "an emotional terrain that didn't exist before our group did."
Kinda reminds me of another Island Nation superstar group who once thought they were more popular than one religion's Son of God.
OK, U2 puts out some damned good stuff, I'll give 'em that, but let's not get carried away. At least not yet. You've only been around a bit over 20 years, after all, Mr. Bono. (And did y'all know that Bono's full name when U2 first came out was "Bono Vox" which I believe in Latin means "Good Voice"?) That's a lot of catchin' up to do, especially to yet another group from your neck of the woods, whose initials are R.S.
Shen Dingli, an expert on international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai on President Bush's recent provocative comments to his Chinese audiences:
"We'll pretend not to hear," says Shen. "We're mature enough not to oppose everything he says."
The Chinese -- apparently more grown up than the American Democrat party.
Via Joanne Jacobs:
White students are fleeing majority-Asian high schools in Cupertino, a Silicon Valley town, reports the Wall Street Journal. The competition with hard-working, high-achieving Asian students -- especially those from immigrant families -- is too tough.
Whites aren't quitting the schools because the schools are failing academically. Quite the contrary: Many white parents say they're leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurriculars like sports and other personal interests.
The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.
At Monte Vista and Lynbrook, B students rank in the bottom third of the class. "White kids are thought of as the dumb kids," says a white PTA president.
Hmm. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was time to bring in some "diversity consultants" to do a number of things. 1) Check to see if the tests are "culturally biased" against whites. 2) Are teachers in these schools "culturally sensitive" to white students' needs? 3) How many non-Asian teachers are in these schools? In other words, there might be a need for more white "role models."
Michelle Malkin, love or hate her views, sets the record straight on a few matters today, mainly how she's her own woman and how it is indeed possible for a minority woman to hold conservative views.
And that picture sure is nice ... !
Today a buddy of mine and I are heading to Chester County, PA to rake/blow a gazillion leaves for the wife and newborn child of another buddy of ours -- an Army reservist currently serving in Iraq. He's written that he misses the colors and smells of the northeast autumn; we miss you, buddy.
Samuel Alito or Ruth Bader Ginsburg? You decide.
... and a penchant for grabbing headlines.
HE'S BAAAAAACK!! Yep, it's Michael Newdow, possibly the country's most famous atheist, who's now trying to get the "In God We Trust" removed from American currency. Well, he's got his work cut out for him. His lawsuit comes just five days after the US Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the phrase "In God We Trust" on a government building:
"In this situation, the reasonable observer must be deemed aware of the patriotic uses, both historical and present, of the phrase 'In God We Trust,'" the appeals panel ruled in upholding the inscription's display. (My emphasis.)
Indeed. Reasonable observers also realize that atheists are in no way compelled to such a belief here in the US. But ... who ever said Newdow was reasonable?
Warren Community College freshman -- freshman -- Rebecca Beach had invited Iraq War veteran Lt. Col. Scott Rutter to a campus event organized by her to discuss the war on terror. But this irked professor John Daly, who vowed to intimidate Beach and any others who invited conservative speakers, and better yet stated that "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors ..." Here's the full text of prof. Daly's e-mail:
I am asking my students to boycott your event. I am also going to ask others to boycott it. Your literature and signs in the entrance lobby look like fascist propaganda and is extremely offensive. Your main poster "Communism killed 100,000,000" is not only untrue, but ignores the fact that CAPITALISM has killed many more and the evidence for that can be seen in the daily news papers. The U.S. government can fly to dominate the people of Iraq in 12 hours, yet it took them five days to assist the people devastated by huricane Katrina. Racism and profits were key to their priorities. Exxon, by the way, made $9 Billion in profits this last quarter--their highest proft margin ever. Thanks to the students of WCCC and other poor and working class people who are recruited to fight and die for EXXON and other corporations who earning megaprofits from their imperialist plunders. If you want to count the number of deaths based on political systems, you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war. Or the million African American people who died from lack of access to healthcare in the US over the last 10 years.
I will continue to expose your right-wing, anti-people politics until groups like your won't dare show their face on a college campus. Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors and fight for just causes and for people's needs--such freedom fighters can be counted throughout American history and they certainly will be counted again.
Prof. John Daly
By the way, Daly teaches English, which is scary enough considering his spelling and grammar! But, this is clearly an example of intimidation. I bet Daly feels all "rough and tough" picking on a female college freshman, eh? And once again, Daly is just another example of a nutjob leftist too insecure in his views that he cannot tolerate any disagreement to them. He absolutely has the First Amendment right to voice his views, but he does not have the right to intimidate one over which he has power (harassment, if there ever was any), nor the right to abuse his position as a teacher.
As I've written many times, good teachers (especially in humanties-related fields) keep their personal views to themselves, and encourage students to formulate and voice their own opinions. Daly, by contrast, is a disgrace. No -- I don't think he should be fired, most especially for his speech, but he should at least be reprimanded for intimidating/harassing a student merely for her political opinions.
In a hilarious twist, Ms. Beach has demanded "that Warren Community College President William Austin institute seminars on free speech and sensitivity to teach intolerant leftists, such as Daly, to be respectful of differing opinion." Just goes to show 'ya that leftist yammerings about "tolerance" and "diversity" do not mean views and opinions contrary to leftist beliefs.
The college's recent official statement on the matter is here.
This past Monday, the US Supreme Court let stand individual states' laws that ban felons from voting. What caught my eye was (of course!) the following:
The U.S. Supreme Court let stand Monday a Civil War-era law that bars felons from voting in Florida, ending a five-year legal battle waged on behalf of 600,000 ex-felons by civil-rights groups who argued the lifetime ban is biased against blacks.
The decision was a major blow to advocates for ex-felons who say the 137-year-old law is racially discriminatory because blacks comprise a disproportionate number of the former convicts.
This is virtually the same argument found in education -- that tests in which blacks (and/or other minorities) do poorly are "discriminatory." Of course, in the realm of common sense, people ask the following: "Don't want to lose your voting rights? Don't commit a felony!" In education, it's "Want to do better on tests? Study harder!"
It's quite simple, actually.
Now, only three states have a lifetime ban on felons voting (Florida, Kentucky and Virginia) but these can be overturned on an individual basis by appeal. Of course, these no-vote-for-felons laws can be changed by the states' legislatures. In Florida's case, however, good luck:
An effort by Sen. Mandy Dawson, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, to sidestep the Legislature by gathering voters' signatures to place the measure on the ballot has failed to gather traction. Her Committee to Restore Voter Dignity has raised just $3,500 and organizers have not turned in any signatures.
And, US Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Miami Democrat, called the court ruling a "defeat for democracy." Hmm, let's see which is more "democratic" -- going the judicial route to hope they'll overturn a state law, or appealing to the people to get said legislature to change said law?
Considering the pitiful results of "galvanizing the people" noted above, I guess I might resort to court action and laughable rhetoric like Meek, too.
... Christopher Hitchens makes his usual sense here:
Let us suppose, then, that we can find a senator who voted for the 1998 act to remove Saddam Hussein yet did not anticipate that it might entail the use of force, and who later voted for the 2002 resolution and did not appreciate that the authorization of force would entail the removal of Saddam Hussein! Would this senator kindly stand up and take a bow? He or she embodies all the moral and intellectual force of the anti-war movement. And don't be bashful, ladies and gentlemen of the "shocked, shocked" faction, we already know who you are.
It was, of course, the sinuous and dastardly forces of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress who persuaded the entire Senate to take leave of its senses in 1998. I know at least one of its two or three staffers, who actually admits to having engaged in the plan. By the same alchemy and hypnotism, the INC was able to manipulate the combined intelligence services of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, as well as the CIA, the DIA, and the NSA, who between them employ perhaps 1.4 million people, and who in the American case dispose of an intelligence budget of $44 billion, with only a handful of Iraqi defectors and an operating budget of $320,000 per month. That's what you have to believe.
A few little strokes of Occam's razor are enough to dispose of this whole accumulation of fantasy. (My emphasis.)
... Democrats say. Such is a headline in today's Wilmington News Journal.
Reality check now: Democrats only have 45 votes in the Senate. So, unless they're privy to some words of waffling by at least six Republicans (which the article doesn't mention), they can't do a danged thing to prevent Alito's confirmation to the US Supreme Court.
Yeah, I tampered with the look of the place. We got ourselves a "logo," so to speak -- it's akin to that of the classic "Colossus: The Forbin Project," one of Philip and Hube's favorite sci-fi films. I played with the colors of the site to match the logo better ... and after all that I realized I probably could've just changed the logo's colors to match the site's orange-y motif ... that would have been easier! *Sigh*
I also picked up on an idea Hube had tried on his old place -- adding a small version of the logo right by the title of a new post entry.
Lastly, I registered Colossus at Technorati (and this is what actually gave me the idea of adding a logo in the first place). Check out the Technorati/Colossus related links at lower right.
I hope you like the changes. Feel free to let me (us) know your thoughts if it at all matters to you!
Boy, it's bad enough the current crop of Republicans in Congress don't act like Republicans; the Dems' leader Howard Dean told "Meet the Press'" Tim Russert on Sunday that his party stands for ... well, just wait and he'll tell 'yas soon:
Russert: What is the Democratic position on Iraq? Should we withdraw troops now? What do the Democrats stand for?
Dean: Tim, first of all, we don't control the House, the Senate or the White House. We have plenty of time to show Americans what our agenda is and we will long before the '06 elections.
Russert: But there's no Democratic plan on Social Security. There's no Democratic plan on the deficit problem. There's no specifics. They say, "Well, we want a strong Social Security. We want to reduce the deficit. We want health care for everyone," but there's no plan how to pay for it.
Dean: Right now it's not our job to give out specifics. (My emphasis.)
One thing they're quite specific on: "We hate George W. Bush."
Normally, at this point, I'd say the chances were great that the GOP will lose their majority in both houses of congress next November. But Dean's admission that the Dems stand for zippo gives the "Republicans" (or should I say "RINOs"?) hope. And I'm not really sure that's a good thing, unfortunately.
... when you search out media by sticking up for a complete jackass like Terrell Owens. Cases in point: Jesse Jackson and Ralph Nader.
Byron Knight of New Castle believes that "those cheering execution reveal their animal nature."
I couldn't imagine we would celebrate the death of another human being by publishing a photo of cheering throngs (Nov. 5) at the announcement of an execution. How much lower can we go? Rather than cheering "an eye for an eye," our higher calling is to engender a deep sense of forgiveness. I recognize the difficulty of that, and at the same time know it is the only way we can know true closure and peace.Now, there are legitimate arguments against capital punishment, but referring to people as "animals" because they are ... happy a heinous, brutal rapist/murderer has been put to death is just plain ... dopey. Consider that the killer (Brian Steckel) was put to sleep for his death, while the girl he murdered ... didn't have that "luxury." (Steckel was sentenced to death in 1997 for the 1994 murder of Sandra Lee Long in her apartment near Wilmington. Long was burned to death in a fire Steckel set after strangling her into unconsciousness and raping and sodomizing her.)
Why then publish a photo that promotes our animalistic nature?"
Personally, I am against the death penalty but not for "moral" reasons. I do not believe, as Mr. Knight does, in "engender[ing] a deep sense of forgiveness" for a monster like Steckel.
John Edwards admits he made a mistake by voting for the Iraq War resolution. This is mighty big of him, of course, now that he's no longer in public office! Our guess is that if he was still a senator, he'd never have written this op-ed. But hey, let's not quibble. What caught our eye was this Edwards contradiction:
George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace. . . .
We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals.
James Taranto, from whom we learned of this story, says that "Someone should introduce this Edwards guy to John Kerry, who, as we noted last month, also thinks the number of troops in Iraq is simultaneously too large and too small."
"Civil Rights Focus Shift Roils Staff At Justice; Veterans Exit Division as Traditional Cases Decline" is the headline at the Washington Post today.
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which has enforced the nation's anti-discrimination laws for nearly half a century, is in the midst of an upheaval that has driven away dozens of veteran lawyers and has damaged morale for many of those who remain, according to former and current career employees.
Nearly 20 percent of the division's lawyers left in fiscal 2005, in part because of a buyout program that some lawyers believe was aimed at pushing out those who did not share the administration's conservative views on civil rights laws. Longtime litigators complain that political appointees have cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions, including approvals of controversial GOP redistricting plans in Mississippi and Texas. (My emphasis.)
We kind of figured our pal John Rosenberg would weigh in on this, and lo and behold he certainly did. He says
Let me get this straight: the career civil service lawyers are upset that the political appointees in charge of the division (appointees whose views of civil rights most of the careerists do not share) have "cut them out of hiring and major policy decisions"? Imagine that! Politically responsible appointees actually following the policy preferences of the administration that appointed them! As Roger Clegg of the Center for Individual Rights points out, "elections have consequences in a democracy." (Again, my emphasis.)
Clegg also noted that "If the career people are not reflecting the policy priorities of the political appointees, then there's a problem." Sure. Obviously the ideologically different don't like how the Bush administration ... "administers" Justice. Winning an election will help in that regard.
In other civil rights oriented news, it's come to light that SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito stated "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government argued that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."
Of course, the Left will have a field day with the latter -- that Alito is "out of the mainstream" regarding abortion; I hope they also attempt to make that same case regarding the former. If so, the Left will discover it is they who are way out of the mainstream on that.
Hey all -- you may notice when you leave a comment that it's "stamped" an hour in advance. The change of the MuNu server has left a glitch that didn't take into account the change back to Standard Time. We can correct the "stamp" on posts (and we have been), and can change it on individual comments, but the latter is kind of a hassle. So just bear with us on that, please. :-)
Remarkable story via Joanne Jacobs: A[n] "English composition professor, assigned freshmen writing students to read and write about Howard Zinn's polemic History of the American People. One [of the prof's] students thought Zinn was wrong.
My student claimed that equality can never exist and that American capitalism is as good as it gets, saying that we live in a violent world and any claim that a people's movement will change that is laughable.
After the first draft, I pressed him on his claim that "most people have it pretty good," because it was clear to me that his definition of "most people" did not correlate with Zinn's definition of "most people," and that my student was ignoring the plight of the lower class and underprivileged groups in his analysis. He turned in a revision that continued to tiptoe around the real assumptions he was making.
I wrote to him--and this is probably the result of poor teaching on my part, I'm still learning how to do this effectively--that he wasn't countering Zinn's logic directly because he was comparing apples to oranges. The only way his argument "works," in my opinion, is if he has some fundamental belief that economically underprivileged individuals are basically evil. If that were the case, as he implies, then he'd be right-- equality couldn't exist, and even if economic equality were achieved, violence would continue to plague our society.
So I decided to test him. I told him that if he typed out the following paragraph with his signature and date at the bottom and turned it in, I would award him a perfect score on this draft of his essay (he was in the "C" range under my rubric): "I, [name], believe Zinn is wrong because socially and/or economically underprivileged individuals are inherently evil; that true freedom, justice, and equality can never exist because the world is a dark and violent place; and that those who bear the burden so that the upper class can exist deserve their fate."
OK, at least the prof makes the admission that it may have been the result of "poor teaching" on his part -- because it certainly is. He even states that "in his opinion the only way the student's argument works ..." Geez, even as a mere public school teacher I was trained to never "box a student in," like the prof. did, on matters of opinion. It comes off as just a power trip and belittles the student's views. Aren't we supposed to encourage critical thinking?
The prof in question has his own blog, and has posted a follow-up. It's subtitled, "Or why I don't think what I did was wrong." It's certainly worth reading, and remember -- it is the guy's first year teaching. ;-)
By the way, speaking of Joanne Jacobs, her new book Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the School That Beat the Odds is now on sale.
Dave over at Soccer Dad sadly reports something that is just all too common -- the scapegoating "Jewish conspiracy": Meryl Yourish caught a couple of bloggers repeating a bogus story that Israelis had been evacuated from one of the Jordanian hotels prior to terror blasts. (Capt. Ed was one of the bloggers, but he indeed expressed skepticism about the claim at the onset. And, he's since published a retraction.)
Unfortunately, the "story" was first reported in the "New York Times of Israel," Ha’aretz. (Which should be reason enough to invoke skepticism.) It later published an "explanation" of sorts, but too late -- you can just bet the Arab "press" will have a field day with it. And dudes like Amiri Baraka.
UPDATE: Amazing -- Al Jazeera issued the explanation that Ha’aretz did.
UPDATE 2: Non-Jewish consipracy semi-related bit -- a Brigham Young professor believes 9/11 was an "inside job" with bombs being set off when the planes hit the towers:
"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings and set off after the two plane crashes — which were actually a diversion tactic," he writes. "Muslims are (probably) not to blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all," Jones writes.
Muslims not blame ...? Whaa? Oh, I get it -- the "Muslim" hijackers were really US agents who flew the planes into the Towers and Pentagon! I see!
We apologize for any technical difficulties you may have experienced over the last six hours or so. The "MuNu" server was in the process of being transferred to a brand new server, and there were -- as there always are in matters like this -- some snafus.
All should be kosher now. :-)
One of the "US Headlines" featured in the Wilmington News Journal's "Nation/World" section: School newspaper apologizes for caption.
What was the caption?
A newspaper apologized and fired a copy editor for posting an online photo of a girls' soccer team that suggested one of the players was a lesbian.
The Immaculate High School team was celebrating a goal scored in a championship game Nov. 5. But the caption on the Web site of The News-Times said the team was celebrating a teammate's decision to "come out of the closet as a lesbian."
The copy editor, who was not identified, was "goofing around" and did not realize the caption had gone online, Steinmetz said. The bogus caption stayed on the Web page for a few hours on Sunday and received a few hundred hits, he said.
Actually, I'm a bit confused. If the girl in question is actually straight, then is her [possible] anger at being falsely "outed" ... homophobic? After all, wouldn't the multi-culti diversity crowd claim "What's the big deal? Why be upset that someone thinks you're gay?" If she actually is a lesbian, then again -- what's the big deal?
Seriously, though, the copy editor should apologize and it was a childish prank. But the fact that this makes AP's national headlines is quite the head scratcher. It kinda makes you wonder why the News Journal isn't made to apologize for its "Ghetto Icon" headline from a few weeks ago.
Bush -- finally -- takes on the increasingly moonbat Left regarding him "lying" about the Iraq War:
"While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war. These critics are fully aware that a bipartisan Senate investigation found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. They also know that intelligence agencies from around the world agreed with our assessment of Saddam Hussein.
They know the United Nations passed more than a dozen resolutions citing his development and possession of weapons of mass destruction. Many of these critics supported my opponent during the last election, who explained his position to support the resolution in the Congress this way: 'When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security.' That's why more than 100 Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.
Indeed. The Democrats have been gaining traction of late using the tact that Bush "misled" us into war, and I believe this traction is mainly because Bush and the WH have been way too wimpy in responding. Maybe they've felt hamstrung by the Libby indictment, but hell, the special prosecutor didn't even indict him on the charge every Democrat the world over wanted -- that of intentionally revealing the name of CIA "covert" operative Valerie Plame. Nevertheless, regaring Bush's sudden cojones, to coin a cliché, "Better late than never."
If Democrats wish to pursue the current tact, they should consider:
How is the constant repetition of, ‘Bush fooled me, I didn’t know what I was doing!’, help the Democrats? How will they stand up to the perfidy and guile of our real enemies and sometimes allies? Maybe someone can work that into a winning campaign slogan, but it’s beyond me. How about “We’re Dumber than Bush!”?
Delawarean bloggers Jokers to the Right have more.
The stats aren't good:
Box Office: down by 7% this year (tickets per capita have fallen every year since 2001).
Newspapers: circulation, which peaked in 1987, is declining faster than ever and is down another 2.6% so far this year.
Music: Sales are down another 5.7% this year; although digital downloads (still just 6% of the business) are climbing nicely.
Radio: down 4% this year alone, continuing a multi-decade decline.
Books: down by 7% in 2004.
There's much more, including what's up.
Sussex center loses Head Start funding -- Director says poor review was given to justify deep federal budget cuts is the headline in yesterday's WNJ article.
OK. Get it? Who can argue against Head Start? It gives poor kids ... a head start, after all, right? There MUST be some nasty conservative shenanigans at play here -- y'know, to save money to, among other things, probably the finance the Iraq War or fight the deficit or ... something, right?
But then, however, the nitty gritty:
The review conducted in March 2004 turned up 32 instances of noncompliance with standards. The center was given a year to improve its performance, but a follow-up review revealed that many of the deficiencies had not been corrected.
The federal review report found 32 instances of noncompliance with performance standards, including failure to ensure that all children were up to date on preventive and primary health care. A review of 32 children's files indicated, for instance, that 24 kids were not current on immunizations
Other findings centered on failure to provide mental health services for children and families, failure to maintain health care tracking services and failure to recruit special-needs children.
[Director Carolyn] Williams said she brought in consultants for training and was confident the problems had been ironed out. But Martha Brooks, who oversees the early childhood program for the state Department of Education, said a follow-up review in May indicated that many of the shortcomings -- including health services shortfalls -- had not been corrected.
"I assure you that we didn't do this lightly," Brooks said of canceling the center's grant.
Ah, but yes, despite this, the article is laced with "ooh-ahh" feel-sorryisms, most especially this photo.
Yeah -- let's just keep funding the program despite the mismanagement. One more case of visceral emotion over common sense.
Via the Corner:
Paralyzed French officials complain of "unfair" media attention (welcome to the reality club, Pierre). Yet, hardly two months ago the French media celebrated the suffering in New Orleans — ignoring the brave response of millions of Americans to Hurricane Katrina to concentrate exclusively on the Crescent City's lower 9th ward and one nutty, incompetent mayor.
Utterly devoid of self-awareness, the French cherish their image of America as racist. But minorities in the United States have opportunities for which their French counterparts would risk their lives. Our problem is that demagogues convince the poorest of our poor to give up on getting ahead. In France, the non-white poor never have a chance of any kind.
France has no Colin Powell or Condi Rice, no minority heading the equivalent of a Fortune 500 company, no vibrant minority political culture. When Americans who adore la vie en France go to Paris (the intelligentsia's Orlando), they don't visit the drug-and-crime-plagued slums. If tourists encounter a Moroccan or a Senegalese "Frenchman," he's cleaning up the sidewalks after the dogs of the bourgeoisie.
Willfully blind to reality, liberals continue to praise the racist culture of France by citing the Parisian welcome for Josephine Baker or the Harlem jazz musicians in the 1920s. But the French regarded those few as exotic pets. The test is how they treat the millions of immigrant families whose members don't play trumpets in bars or sell their flesh in strip clubs.
There is no Western country more profoundly racist than France. …Does anyone really believe that the country that enthusiastically handed over more of its Jewish citizens to the Nazis than the Nazis asked for is going to treat brown or black Muslims as equals?
Meanwhile, the Chirac government is stunned. Its members truly believed that supporting Arab and African dictators and defying America's efforts to liberate tens of millions of Muslims would buy safety from the 5 million immigrants and their children who have not the slightest hope of a decent future. …
Desperate apologists for France's apartheid system claim that the present uproar is merely about youthful anger, that Muslim fundamentalism isn't in play. Just wait. Islamist extremists aren't stupid. Thrilled by this spontaneous uprising, they'll move to exploit the fervor of the young to serve their own ends.
Expect terror. Whether the current violence ebbs tonight or lasts for weeks to come, the uprising of the excluded and oppressed in the streets of France has only begun.
Just a little nugget to keep in mind the next time we're lectured when a Rodney King-type incident occurs.
... who will be one of eleven recipients of the National Humanities Medal tomorrow. Kors, the quintessential libertarian, is chairman of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. His book, The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America's Campuses (along with Harvey Silverglate) is outstanding, and he's quite the speaker in person, too (caught him at UD a couple years ago).
" ... frankly, if the country, according to the polls, believes by a margin of 55 percent that President Bush misled us into war, the next logical step is impeachment and I think you're going to hear that word come up and if the Democrats ever capture either house of Congress there are going to be serious proceedings against this administration."
"Believes." Belief = reality in the ever-increasingly nutty world of the moonbat Left.
... that individual states do indeed have a right to secede from our Union. It is one of the basic tenets of the founding of the United States. The Declaration of Independence states
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Lincoln felt secession was based on an erroneous claim about the nation's founding. In the secession view, expounded by South Carolina Sen. John Calhoun in the 1840s and echoed by SVR's Naylor today, the Union was a voluntary compact among sovereign states, which can be broken.
"The other view is no, the Constitution is not a pact among states; it is a contract among all people in the nation - it's an irreversible commitment," says Stephen Presser, a legal historian at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
... the Resolves were not merely protests against despotic legislation, but protests against an interpretation of the Constitution that would lead to a centralized government like the one the colonists had just seceded from.
The Kentucky Resolve averred that the states were not "united on the principles of unlimited submission to their General Government" insofar as they had only delegated definite powers. Thus, "whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force."
Madison in the Virginia Resolve emphasized that the national government's powers were "limited by the plain sense and intention of the instrument constituting the compact." And that in case of "deliberate, palpable, and dangerous exercise of other powers," the states were duty bound "to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil."
Madison did not see interposition as a remedy for any disagreement with the central government --only for dangerous violations of the Constitution.
Historians who have not ignored the Resolves have vilified them as contrary to the command of the Constitution; the logic of the Resolves, they say, points directly toward secession. But those who heap abuse on the Resolves disregard the principles behind the federal union. The Americans who seceded from Great Britain valued the right of a people to govern themselves.
For example, when Virginia ratified the Constitution it made clear that if the national government attempted to aggrandize itself, the delegated powers could be "resumed." Rhode Island also unequivocally stated that "the powers of government may be resumed by the people whensoever it shall become necessary to their happiness." (Sounds just like the Declaration!)
Clearly, the only way the delegated powers can be resumed is through secession. Thus, rather than purveying an alien doctrine, the Resolves simply affirmed what most took for granted-viz, the right of the people of a state to withdraw from the union.
The passage of "Measure I," dubbed "College not Combat" would seem to say that it has. Apparently, by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent, the voters of San Francisco have called for military recruiters to stay out of public high schools and colleges.
Well gee, let's see -- if such "encouragement" leads to outright exclusion of military recruiters, I say let the federal funds dry up immediately.
At the risk of ... irritating my right-of-center friends, I've had this post coming for some time, but I just couldn't find the best way to express it. No, I'm most assuredly NOT turning into a Garrett-esque pseudo-intellectual and hater of everything conservative. But I, like many other right-leaning folk, have had misgivings about the Iraq engagement since its inception.
First of all, was Iraq under Saddam Hussein really that much of a threat? Sure, as long as he remained in power he could be a nuisance and a potential menace, but to what degree? The coalition from the first Iraq War had Iraq "boxed in," so to speak, primarily via the "no-fly zone." And, yes, Saddam had defied the UN upwards of over fifteen times since the Gulf War's end in 1991. The US tried to make its case to the UN for military action against Saddam in '02 and '03, but Kofi and the gang wouldn't go for it. So as a result, why does this mean that WE -- the US -- must do it alone? Why must US forces risk their lives because the weak-kneed, yellow-bellied and milksop UN refuses to act to enforce its own sanctions and edicts?
And this brings me to my primary reason why I am against the Iraq War: Removing a dictator and instituting democracy to a country that's never had it is NOT -- NOT -- a job for the US military. Not a single US soldier's life is worth it. It's "nation-building," after all. Aren't conservatives supposed to be against "nation-building"? Representative Ron Paul makes a good case conservatives should consider here. Furthermore, James L. Payne demonstrates that "nation-building" has been effective only 27% of the time since 1850, and he argues that these sucesses were not the products of military intervention. In addition, he notes
One group of countries that seem especially resistant to democracy-building efforts are the Arab lands. There have been are nine interventions in Arab countries in the past century. In no case did stable democracy follow the military occupation.George W. Bush himself declared that "We're not into nation building. We're focused on justice" shortly after the 9/11 attacks. And Claudia Rosett, in the conservative Wall Street Journal opinion pages said about W's claim (my emphasis)
That's a crucial distinction. Nation building entails America trying to construct an entire way of life for others. And though building a free and democratic world would be a wondrous thing, experience suggests that for any nation it is a vastly complex project that must come mainly from within. America can serve as an example and an ally. But we cannot reliably reengineer other societies, and we risk enormous resentment when we try. No amount of social or political engineering can produce a paradise in which evil urges will never intrude, and though a more widely free and benign world order would produce fewer monsters, we can hardly arrange that within the week. But if we cannot quickly fix all creation, we can at least minimize the opportunities and maximize the penalties for evil actions--something we have not done for a decade now.
Of course, not too soon after, President Bush did a 180 on his above claim regarding Iraq. And, predictably, many -- most? -- conservatives fell in line behind him. This is understandable, certainly -- the need to put up a "united front" -- but it's very intellectually and philosophically dishonest for conservatives. After all, didn't conservatives flame Bill Clinton for his efforts in Haiti? Somalia? Kosovo? They sure did.
At least I believe I'm consistent. I'm against all instances of "nation-building," whether they be attempted under a liberal administration or a conservative one. The only exceptions would be examples such as Japan and Germany which were utterly destroyed after total war and, frankly, needed a major degree of "nation-[re]building."
US soldiers are there to FIGHT, not to police foreign lands or to engage in "building" democracy. Removing Saddam was a good thing, yes, but consider the long-term consequences.
You may say, "Well, the long-term consequences could have been that Saddam could acquire nuclear weapons and continue to support/finance terrorism." That's true. But in addition to "nation-building," the US implemented a dangerous doctrine of "pre-emptive" war in Iraq. Besides the reason of Saddam violating numerous UN sanctions and that of being one nasty sonuvabitch, we invaded so that he "would not be able to use his weapons" against us or others in some unglimpsed future. What does this say to other countries? If THEY feel threatened that THEY can attack another country so that THEY can prevent the future war-making ability of that other nation? Wouldn't this then somehow give retroactive justification to Japan for December 7, 1941?
If I was G.W. Bush, I would have issued an edict akin to that of John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I would have declared -- quite publicly -- that any nation to have been determined to support and/or assist terrorists in an attack on the United States would suffer grave [military] consequences. (Recall in Kennedy's case it was "any attack launched by Cuba against the US or elsewhere in the western hemisphere would be considered by as an attack by the Soviet Union against the US.") If Saddam had supported al Qaeda in another US attack, we'd quite simply blow the living shit out of his entire infrastructure. If Syria's Assad supported terrorists, the same thing. Iran? Same thing.
Again, overt "pre-emption" sets a horrible precedent. Leave the pre-emption to the covert agents and Delta Forces.
I hope I've expressed my sentiments adequately. I want our soldiers to defend the US and to bring retribution to the enemy. That's what they're trained for. Leave the nation-building to the nations themselves and/or let the UN have a hand in it. That's why it exists.
And worse -- does John Kerry believe it?
According to Mark Crispin Miller, the answer is "yes" to both counts. Miller has written a book, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They'll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them), which, as you can guess, posits that Republicans snatched the 2004 election via a
conspiracy of GOP officials, voting-machine companies, and shadowy political operatives [which] created, in the words of Miller's publisher, "a new Republican electoral strategy...not one overwhelming fraud but thousands of little ones."
And last week, Miller, on Pacifica Radio, stated
Speaking of John Kerry, I have some news for you. On Friday, this last Friday night, I arranged to meet Senator Kerry at a fundraiser to give him a copy of my book. He told me he now thinks the election was stolen. He said he doesn't believe that he is the person who can go out front on the issue, because of the sour grapes, you know, question. But he said he believes it was stolen. He says he argues about this with his Democratic colleagues on the Hill. He had just had a big fight with Christopher Dodd about it, because he said, you know, "There's this stuff about the voting machines; they’re really questionable." And Dodd was angry. "I don’t want to hear about it," you know, "I looked into it. There’s nothing there."
Kerry's spokeswoman says Miller's account is "simply not true."
I'm inclined to go with the spokeswoman's statement. Miller, after all, is the dude who was
on a crusade to convince Americans that a powerful, well-organized theocratic movement, fronted by George W. Bush but controlled by a secretive group of right-wing religious figures, is working to establish Biblical law in the United States. Miller wasn't speaking figuratively; he wrote of a Republican-dominated United States in which adultery, for example, is punishable by death by stoning.
Sounds just like a certain cretinous troll about a week ago!
Valerie Young of Middletown rips President Bush because he "said he would take action against anyone in his administration guilty of revealing the name of a CIA operative to the press, an act most agree involves treason." Jumping to conclusions, Val states that this "betrayal" was traced back to his aides, "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove.
Oops on a few counts. First, there is ample evidence that Ms. Valerie Plame, the operative in question, was not covert. Second, in order for a crime to have been committed, it has to have been known that she was a covert operative if her identity is revealed. Third, Bush adviser Karl Rove hasn't been indicted for anything (yet), so Ms. Young is either just wishing upon a star or picking up false signals on her tinfoil hat. Fourth, Scooter Libby was not indicted for revealing the name of a covert CIA operative -- special prosecutor Fitzgerald made that clear -- he was indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice. Serious charges, yes, but not the crime to which Ms. Young refers. And, Libby resigned his post immediately after being indicted.
There's a good chance that this whole matter may prove futile (Plame wasn't covert and/or if so it wasn't known to whoever leaked her name) or it may be what's been dubbed the "criminalization of politics;" White House aides, in their quest to rebut/correct Joe Wilson (who had told various media that he was sent to Africa by the Vice President's office and that the Saddam/Niger/uranium yellowcake story was bogus) revealed that Wilson was sent by the CIA and was recommended by his wife, Ms. Plame.
Whether or not you like the tactics employed by the White House isn't the issue. They certainly had a right to correct the record and inform who really was responsible for Wilson's trip. Fitzgerald's indictment only deals with Libby's alleged lying about the matter, which, at first glance, appears silly. Silly as in "why did Libby feel the need to lie." We'll find out soon enough.
Maybe Libby can make a deal like Sandy Berger did and just blame it all on "sloppiness."
I just checked and there's no mention of the story on their website. Yet. The segment only garnered about a minute and a half anyway.
More wackiness via the AP:
A Westmoreland County jury on Friday ordered a woman to pay $46,200 to her ex-boyfriend for gluing his genitals to his abdomen.
Kenneth Slaby's lawsuit said the two broke up in 1999 after dating for 10 months, and he began dating someone else. After he broke up with his other girlfriend, Slaby said, [Gail] O'Toole invited him over to her home on May 7, 2000, where he fell asleep.
He said he woke up to find that O'Toole had used Super Glue to stick his genitals to his abdomen, glued his buttocks together and spelled out a profanity on his back in nail polish.
Slaby said O'Toole told him that her actions were payback for their breakup, and he had to walk a mile to a gas station to call for help. He pressed charges and O'Toole pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and spent six months on probation.
But O'Toole's attorney contended that the incident was nothing more than part of the couple's adventurous, consensual sex.
Gotta love Gail's last name, eh? How appropriate. That aside, how in the hell did Slaby walk a friggin' mile for help ... with his buttocks glued together??
The Hanna High School basketball team can take some consolation: It didn't get shut out.
It did, however, lose 112-2 on Friday night to Earlsboro.
I like the following emphasized line best (that's my emphasis):
The [Earlsboro] Wildcats led 42-0 after one quarter and 73-2 at halftime. [Coach Jim] Walling pulled his starters in the second half, and game officials kept a running clock, stopping it only for free throws.
Pulled the starters in the second half?? Cripes, he really WAS looking for that triple-digit victory! What a jerk.
James Taranto: When They Get Done, Gaza Will Be as Peaceful as Paris.
"The EU plans to announce on Monday that it will launch a three-year mission, starting January 1, to help the Palestinians build up a credible police force, EU officials said." -- Jerusalem Post, Nov. 6.
What's this crack all about? To quote the greasy spoon diner owner from "Superman 2," "Where you been mac -- on a desert island?"
Deepak Chopra, that guru of ... whatever it is he's the guru of, wants us to think ... peace.
So where are we now? Still afraid, still unsafe, still without revenge, still losing pride every day in the eyes of other nations, and still inflicting violence without purpose. Terrorism in Northern Ireland wasn't ended by the use of British military force. It was ended by a combination of negotiation, public fatigue, international pressure, and moral force. Certainly it was necessary to forcefully counter IRA terrorist acts and to imprison those who committed acts of terror. But without a peace movement, success is impossible in these situations.
Sadly, a peace movement has barely gotten started since 9/11. The Bush administration set down the argument as pro-war versus anti-war. No thought was given by either faction to achieving peace with the sizable portion of the planet who sees us as a militaristic bully. Among Democrats and independents, I don't detect any willingness to take seriously the truth that peace is our only alternative to a ruinous future devoted to more hatred from the Islamic world and endless skirmishes against insurgents and guerillas as they crop up anywhere.
Earth to Deepak: The IRA isn't (wasn't) an organization bent on world domination via forced religious conversion. They also weren't hell-bent on completely destroying a neighboring country (whom they incidentally vastly numerically outnumber). The "moral force" that Deepak espouses is virtually impossible against Muslim fundamentalists because they have no sense of morals. The only "peace offer" they'll accept is our unconditional surrender.
(Iraq and Afghanistan are two different situations anyway, Deepak. Your "bully" argument has a bit of merit regarding the former, but almost none on the latter.)
Peace is the only alternative, Deepak. Unfortunately, our enemies don't see it that way. Doofus.
Politakid, that young nouveau DE blogger with a keen mind, has a portion of Hube's appearance (along with Ken and Stephen of Blogolution and Joe from The True Facts) from WILM 1450 AM this past Saturday.
And yeah -- work on those "um's" and "uh's," Hube. ;-)
Looks like the Eagles' Terrell Owens may never play another game in an Eagles uniform.
I don't care how talented an individual athlete is. This only matters in sports that are ... individual. Like golf. Like track and field. But in team sports, the individual has to take a back seat to the team. Outstanding individuals do not win championships -- outstanding teams do. Back in 1999, the St. Louis Rams didn't win the Super Bowl because of the incredible talents of Marshall Faulk. Or Isaac Bruce. Or Torry Holt. The won it all because their team was outstanding, led by an outstanding coach (Dick Vermeil).
Blowhards like Owens (and Keyshawn Johnson, whom the Tampa Bay Bucs elected to pay to not play a few years ago for pretty much the same reason as Owens) could well learn a lesson from the aforementioned Marshall Faulk. Faulk, a multiple-time Pro Bowler and 2000 NFL MVP, before this football season started approached his head coach -- Faulk approached him -- about restructuring the Rams' offense to allow new running back Stephen Jackson to flourish. Jackson -- Faulk's competition at the running back position. This is the essence of class. Faulk earlier had also agreed to restructure his contract with the Rams (effectively reducing his salary so the team could remain under salary cap) because he's -- get this -- a team player.
Can you imagine T.O. or Keyshawn Johnson doing something like that? Hell, no. It's all about THEM, not the team. I'd prefer to coach a less-talented team but one composed of team players ... rather than an amalgamation of ego maniacs.
It was great getting together with Ken, Stephen and Joe last evening over at the "throwback" studios of WILM radio. Host Wendy Levine was sans producer, and she was running between the studio and the producer's booth doing ... everything to run the place! Indeed, she was the only employee present. (Someone else -- the producer? -- showed up at 10pm, when we were finished.)
There was some general banter expressed at the studio and at the bar afterwards about making a "bloggers appearance" a regular or semi-regular deal during Wendy's show. Stay tuned.
As you may have heard during the show, Stephen and I indeed expressed our liking of Politakid's outstanding fledgling blog, but I want to note that at show's end last night I was attempting to also give a "shout out" to Mike M.'s awesome Down With Absolutes site. Unfortunately, Wendy was "waving me off," so to speak, as our time had expired (time for a "hard break," I suppose, for a required commercial). These just happen to be two of my fave DE blogs (I dig most of 'em), not only exemplified by their site's content, but by the fact that the sites' proprietors are genuinely nice, personable guys.
Now for the I Really Feel Old Now Dept.: At the Washington Street Ale House after the show, Ken, Stephen and I were sipping our ales (Joe was there earlier, but had to leave after a couple Guinesses) when two familiar-looking women entered the front door. Uh-oh -- I remember one's name. "Steph!" I called out (as in "Stephanie," not to be confused with "Stephen" of Blogolution. Just in case!). Yep, the two were former students of mine, now 22 yrs. old and recent college grads. They were in my classroom back in the 1996-1997 school year. Whoa. To coin a cliché, time flies, eh?
Back to blogging, Joe informed us that he'll be starting up an interactive portion of his site shortly. Right now he has no means for readers to comment directly and immediately (you have to e-mail him), but this will be changing. Cool deal. I definitely dig Joe's commentaries. Also, Ken said he'll definitely be updating Blogolution's blogroll -- as soon as he figures out how. This may sound comical at first glance, but anyone familiar with blog programs knows this can indeed be a technical hassle. You have to know quite a bit of [HTML, for one] code and where to change/place it. We use Movable Type here at Colossus, and even though the [web-based] interface is quite user-friendly, changing the look and feel of the blog can be trying if you're not well versed in the needed code. I learned most of what I needed (wanted) simply by Googling the research I required, and through trial and error when applying it. I got most of the kinks out working on the old "Hube's Cube," so anything I (or the other guys) wanted to do with Colossus so far has been relatively hassle free.
Thanks to all who tuned in, and thanks to Wendy Levine for allowing us to spew our opinions on her show!
Don't forget that today, Nov. 5th, Ken and Stephen from Blogolution, Joe Walther from The True Facts and yours truly will be on WILM 1450 AM news radio from 9pm to 10pm. It'll be an "anniversary" of sorts -- one year since host Wendy Levine first invited us on the air.
You can listen via the WILM site stream if you're out of radio range. And if you have absolutely nothing better to do on a Saturday night!
And best of all, it's free! ;-)
David Corn, exemplifying liberal elitism at its finest:
[Radio host] Tom Ashbrook: "But when you say it’s “kindergarten clear” David Corn, is that disdainful of the American people? Is that saying that they knew and they voted stupidly?"
Corn: "Well some people, I think, did not care. I think some people didn’t, you know, listen Tom, not everybody listens to your show and reads the Nation or Op-Ed pages."
The "kindergarten clear" reference was to Bush "lying" in order to get us into war with Iraq. Also on the show was Phyllis Bennis, an anti-Israel activist who spewed the usual leftist "war for oil" and "prop up Israel" reasons for the Iraq War.
Do as I say, not as I do:
Hypocrisy is on show in a Manhattan courtroom today. The New York Civil Liberties Union will argue for the second day before Judge Richard Berman that the city's subway bag search policy is an "unjustifiable erosion of the privacy rights of the American public." Yet take a walk into the NYCLU's Manhattan headquarters - which it shares with other organizations - and you'll find a sign warning visitors that all bags are subject to search. One of the city's lawyers, Jay Kranis, pointed this out yesterday in court while cross-examining a witness. Either the NYCLU believes its headquarters are at greater risk of a terrorist threat than the city's subway system, or it believes ordinary New Yorkers don't deserve the same safety precautions that they do.
(Via the Corner.)
Headline in today's Wilmington News Journal: Steckel's Execution Didn't Go Quickly -- Expert says murderer's final moments seemed "strange."
Where's that proverbial tiniest violin?
Folks, it doesn't get much dopier than this: EU mandates that "Christ" be spelled with a lower case "c."
It must be getting a little too close for Christmas for the chi-chi crystal palace of the pretentious European Union. Pooh-bahs in Brussels have come up with a new grammar rule for themselves and the Netherlands--making it official that the name "Christ" will soon be written with a lower-case "c". That was the stipulation in an orthography reform published earlier this month in Brussels.
According to the Kath.net agency, the new spelling legislation will also stipulate that the Dutch word for "jews" (joden) be spelled with a capital "J" when referring to nationality and with a lower-case "j" when referring to the religion. The changes will be mandatory in August of 2006. There is no description of the fines offenders will face if they keep right on spelling "Christ" with a capital "C".
Well, I suppose European Jews are 50% happy!
And these are the societies that the American Left wants the US to emulate? Oh, right, that makes sense -- obliterate all traces of religion and mandate groupthink. Perfectly in line with the American Left.
(h/t: PC Watch.)
"If the administration knew Saddam didn't have. . . weapons [of mass destruction], then it also knew its 'pretext' would be exposed as soon as the invasion was complete. No one would be dumb enough to go to war on the basis of a claim that was not only wrong but would quickly be shown to be wrong."
Makes sense. Of course, too, there's this.
Those with any common sense on this subject will ask, "What else is new?"
Meanwhile, this is a good one, too. The title reminds me of that classic "Jerky Boys" album where one of them calls an attorney looking to sue someone for "punitive damages." Towards the end of the bit, the JB says "Sue you, sue everybody!"
Then there's the New York Times ... selectively editing soldiers' letters from Iraq?? Come on, that's outrageous! They wouldn't do something like that! They're a big-time news organization!
Speaking of big-time news organizations, dope Emily Messner of the Washington Post didn't know a well known fact about one of her city's biggest pundits. Describing conservatives' glee over SCOTUS nominee Samuel Alito, she wrote “Nonetheless, it is amusing to imagine Charles Krauthammer doing a touchdown dance.” Uhh ... Krauthammer has been a paraplegic since 1972. She later apologized, but as Michelle Malkin notes, just imagine if a conservative writer had written such about Max Cleland ... or Christopher Reeve.
Lastly, adding to Rhodey's post yesterday about the [nutty] 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling about parental rights and public schools, Rod Dreher discovered what some of the school in question's "survey" questions were. Check 'em:
[Students] were asked to rate how much they thought about these specific topics:
a. "Touching my private parts too much."
b. "Thinking about having sex"
c. "Thinking about touching other people's private parts."
d. "Thinking about sex when I don't want to."
e. "Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside."
f. "Not trusting people because they might want sex."
g. "Getting scared or upset when I think about sex."
h. "Having sex feelings in my body."
i. "Can't stop thinking about sex."
j. "Getting upset when people talk about sex."
Um, why in the world was the school asking about this crap in the first place??
The Wilmington News Journal -- trying to make waves yet again. Sub headline today under "Seniors search public clinics for flu shots": Elderly patients forced to wait in line.
Oh no! How horrid! How awful! For as hot a commodity as a flu shot, you think people would expect to have to wait in line, right?
Not the News Journal.
Next maybe they'll complain about long lines for those waiting to pass by the viewing stand of a "ghetto icon."
The, er, "unique" 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
... affirmed a lower court's decision that found the rights of parents were not violated by a California public school district that allowed a psychological survey of its elementary school children.
Among the survey questions asked of the children were 10 with sexual references, such as "Can't stop thinking about sex" and "Not trusting people because they might want sex."
A group of parents whose children were surveyed sued the Palmdale School District, alleging their right to privacy and civil rights had been violated because control of their children's upbringing had been "robbed."
My question would be, is there a school "opt out" policy for controversial instances such as this? Judge Stephen Reinhardt noted "Schools cannot be expected to accommodate the personal, moral or religious concerns of every parent," and I certainly agree with that. But on something such as this, it seems only quite logical that something would be sent home to parents informing them of the survey, and giving them the option of not having their children participate.
So far, a news search shows no evidence of such.
UPDATE: Joanne Jacobs has an answer. She notes, "Parents whose students took the survey signed consent forms, however the forms never mentioned sex would be a topic."
Not quite sure what this means, but ...
It does? How come? The Philly Inquirer article makes it pretty clear why the kid was beaten: he's different.
... if the eighth-grader had not been African, some say, he may not have been attacked by local thugs who regularly bully members of Southwest's fast-growing West African refugee population.
"There is quite a lot of tension between the larger community and the West African community," said Dr. Anne Holland, director of trauma services at the Children's Crisis Treatment Center, a nonprofit agency that helps West African refugee children and families adapt to life in Southwest Philadelphia.
[Local school officials say] the Liberian students are at times the victims of teasing due to their thick accents.
"When you're dealing with children, they get picked on because they have an accent, they don't quite look like the other children and they also have a history of trauma. These things make them stand out and they get targeted," Dr. Holland said. "It's very sad."
Black Democratic leaders in Maryland say that racially tinged attacks against Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele in his bid for the U.S. Senate are fair because he is a conservative Republican.
Such attacks against the first black man to win a statewide election in Maryland include pelting him with Oreo cookies during a campaign appearance, calling him an "Uncle Tom" and depicting him as a black-faced minstrel on a liberal Web log.
Delegate Salima Siler Marriott, a black Baltimore Democrat, said Mr. Steele invites comparisons to a slave who loves his cruel master or a cookie that is black on the outside and white inside because his conservative political philosophy is, in her view, anti-black.
"Because he is a conservative, he is different than most public blacks, and he is different than most people in our community," she said. "His politics are not in the best interest of the masses of black people."
I heard somebody say Jim Crow is who she fought and Jim Crow is still around. But Jim Crow is old. That's not who I'm mindful of today. The problem is Jim Crow has sons. (Cheers.)
One we gotta battle is James Crow Jr. Esq. He's a little more educated. He's a little slicker. He's a little more polished. But the results are the same. He doesn't put you in the back of the bus. He just puts referendums on the ballot to end affirmative action when you can't go to school. He doesn't call you a racial name, he just marginalizes your existence. He doesn't tell you that he's set against you, he sets up institutional racism. Where you have a nation respond looking for weapons in Iraq that are not there but can't see a hurricane in Louisiana that is there. (Cheers.) James Crow Jr. Esquire, that's who we gotta fight.
... just guffaw and shake your head.
|You Are Somewhat Machiavellian|
But you're also powerful enough to make things happen for yourself.
You understand how the world works, even when it's an ugly place.
You just don't get ugly yourself - unless you have to!
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It's because New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin is black. Oh, and Democrat, too. If he were white and Republican, you KNOW he'd be scoured by the media for uttering this:
"How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?"
Bet on it.
... because it's such an "epidemic"? Hardly. In a campus of approximately 19,000, the FBI noted that there were -- ready? -- FIVE instances of "hate crimes" at UD in 2003. In 2004 it went up a "staggering" two instances. In 2005, it's up to 13.
SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!
And it is. Delaware is having a "Stop the Hate" march today, where everyone will be treated to "various groups making presentations," and "facilitators leading discussions." One can only imagine what will be discussed. If it's anything like what goes on in many humanities college classrooms, it'll be full of politically correct "white-racism-is-to-blame-for-everything" socio-babble.
I wonder if criticism of policies such as affirmative action or gay "marriage" will be considered "hate speech" on campus.
UD President David Roselle instituted a "zero tolerance" policy for hate crimes recently. Maybe he can do the same for 1st Amendment protected speech?
The WNJ reports one lesbian student was "victimized" by someone who had written "dyke" on a whiteboard outside her dorm room. "Victimized"? Isn't that a little extreme? People get asinine things written on dorm whiteboards all the time. Will the university have "zero tolerance" if someone writes "asshole" on someone's whiteboard? Or "prick"? Or something similar? Aren't these just as hateful as "dyke"? Can people say they were "victimized" by such profanity?
The WNJ interviews Lauren Stephenson who related the lesbian student's incident. Stephenson, who is lesbian herself, said she hasn't been a victim of "hate" herself, but was "'forced' out of her dorm freshman after a negative experience with a roommate who 'wasn't tolerant of her sexuality."
How was she "forced" out, first of all? What was negative about her experience? How was the roommate "not tolerant"? This is the WNJ at its typical self, portraying Stephenson as an "innocent victim" in the matter because she's gay -- and the roommate obviously must be some Neanderthal-browed redneck. Question: How many straight people would feel comfortable rooming with a gay person, especially freshman year? It's a quite logical question. After all, if it's supposed to be "no big deal," then why not just have co-ed HABITATION? In other words, what does it matter if a girl and GUY room together? Oh, you mean they might be sexually attracted to one another? (Making the connection yet?) If a girl felt uncomfortable about having a guy as her freshman roommate, would she be "intolerant"? Would her guy roommate thus have a "negative experience"?
The common sense of the article comes from Newark Police Lt. Thomas LeMin, who said "hate crimes are uncommon in the Newark community." The statistics noted above and in the article certainly bear him out. But that won't stop a university! We've seen this at other campuses around the country where even FAKE hate crimes reporting hasn't stifled marches. Indeed, the fake incidents are utilized as "Well, the issue is still one of great importance and one can never speak out against 'hate' enough." Even if nothing happened.