June 30, 2006

Los Amigos Invisibles on YouTube

Just discovered(!) this section of the fast-growing Internet video database. There's a massive Los Amigos Invisibles section, mainly a lot of videos shot by fans at various concerts. At any rate, below is the video for one of the more popular songs off their last album, titled "Diablo." (You don't need a translation for that, do you?) This video encapsulates what makes Los Amigos so much fun: Great music, havin' a good time, and ... hot Latin women!

(For the uninitiated, Los Amigos Invisibles are my fave band, and they aren't the women playing the instruments in the video. They just like having babes around them, natch!)

Posted by Hube at 06:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

New blog

Be sure to check out the latest and greatest Diamond State (that's Delaware, for you out-of-staters!) blog: First State Politics. Dave from FSP will be on along with Jason of Delaware Liberal each Weds. on WILM radio at 3:30 on the "Money and Politics" show.

Posted by Hube at 06:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Raid on the Reactor"

I caught this show on the Military Channel last night. It details the 1981 Israeli raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. It is excellent and I highly recommend it. And, lucky for you, Google has the entire show available for free here!

Posted by Hube at 10:32 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

More on Hamdan

Andy McCarthy's article for Commentary magazine regarding international law has been revived in response to the SCOTUS decision.

Did Nancy Pelosi really say “Today’s Supreme Court decision reaffirms the American ideal that all are entitled to the basic guarantees of our justice system"??

All?? Someone tell me again why the Geneva Convention makes distinctions between POWs and unlawful combatants ...?

Jack Balkin (via Volokh):

What the Court has done is not so much countermajoritarian as democracy forcing. It has limited the President by forcing him to go back to Congress to ask for more authority than he already has, and if Congress gives it to him, then the Court will not stand in his way.

Again I wonder: If Congress had formally declared war against, say, Islamic fascists in general, would the president have had much more leeway in asserting wartime powers/authority?

Ronald Cass:

The Supreme Court, trying hard on the anniversary of last term's Kelo decision to find a suitable sequel, performed a rare triple loop in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. It found jurisdiction in the face of a statute directly taking jurisdiction away from the Court. It second-guessed the President on the need for particular security features in trials of suspected al Qaeda terrorists. And it gave hope to One-World-ers by leaning on international common law to interpret U.S. federal law. If that weren't enough, the (left, lefter, and far left) turns were executed in the course of giving a court victory to Osama bin Laden's driver. What a perfect way to end the term!

Of course, the justices wrote a careful, precedent-laden, critically analyzed decision, well within the bounds of ordinary judicial craftsmanship - just as they did in Kelo. The proper criticism of their decision is not that it is politically inspired, not that it boldly ignores the law, and not that it is a decision that is utterly without support (though all these critiques may well come from the right). Instead, the proper criticism is that the decision is simply wrong, just as Kelo was, and will have consequences that no sensible American should applaud.

I also like this question posed by The Adventures of Chester:

Today's Supreme Court ruling seems to me a remarkable point in the development of a kind of quasi-sovereignty for non-state organizations.

Were there to develop an Anti-Qaeda force, a private military to pursue Al Qaeda and win the war on its own terms, then their members would also have the Geneva Conventions apply to them, were they ever to be apprehended or detained by the US, yes? In other words, if the Geneva Convention now applies to a non-state that is a non-signatory in the eyes of the US, does it not then apply to ALL non-states that are non-signatories?

In other words, from the way I understand this query, the US could secretly assemble a black-ops corps that would track and destroy al-Qaeda at any cost, using any methods, and they would have full Geneva Convention protections. Imagine: The US has plausible deniability in forming such a group, then when hostilities are over, the US can "apprehend" these merciless mercenaries, give them all the trimmings of the G.C., and then ... acquit them! Just one possible (but unlikely) scenario as a result of Hamdan.

Posted by Hube at 10:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The freaks come out at niiight ...

... or in this case, at the Madison, WI Capital Times: Media hide truth: 9/11 was inside job.

This is almost as funny as those who claim the moon landings were faked. Just think about it for a sec -- consider the enormity of the conspiracy, especially the prodigious number of folks that'd have to keep their yaps shut for eternity. Uh-huh.

Wonder if local loon Liz Allen traveled to the Dairy State for this "revealing" presentation?

(h/t: The Corner.)

Posted by Hube at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 29, 2006

See? Checks and balances work

Breaking news: SCOTUS rules against military tribunals at Gitmo.

But ... I thought President Bush was a dictator! (Snicker ...)

UPDATES: Instapundit agrees with me:

At the very least, this should serve as a rebuke to those who have been proclaiming that we live in an era of lawless fascism and rubberstamp courts.

SCOTUSblog:

The Court expressly declared that it was not questioning the government's power to hold Salim Ahmed Hamdan "for the duration of active hostilities" to prevent harm to innocent civilians. But, it said, "in undertaking to try Hamdan and subject him to criminal punishment, the Executive is bound to comply with the Rule of Law that prevails in this jurisdiction."

As I mentioned in the comments here, exactly how is the president not complying with the Rule of Law? Military tribunals for unlawful combatants ordered by the Chief Executive have a clear precedent: Ex Parte Quirin from 1942. But this pre-dates the Geneva Conventions. Uh-oh.

Instapundit quoting SCOTUSblog:

More importantly, the Court held that Common Article 3 of Geneva applies as a matter of treaty obligation to the conflict against Al Qaeda. That is the HUGE part of today's ruling. The commissions are the least of it. This basically resolves the debate about interrogation techniques, because Common Article 3 provides that detained persons "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely," and that "[t]o this end," certain specified acts "are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever"—including "cruel treatment and torture," and "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." This standard, not limited to the restrictions of the due process clause, is much more restrictive than even the McCain Amendment. . . . If I'm right about this, it's enormously significant."

Terrorists afforded Geneva Convention protections because ... the Supreme Court merely says so? Despite the clear wording of the Convention? Andy McCarthy makes further hay out of said Article 3:

Article 3 (which is "common" because it applies to all of the Geneva Conventions) prohibits "the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

The president, properly, has indicated that Common Article 3 does not apply to our war with al Qaeda because it applies, as relevant here, only to an "armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties." POTUS reasons that our conflict is international because al Qaeda is an international terrorist organization and the war is not limited to Afghanistan. However, some claim the war is limited to Afghanistan (notwithstanding, for example, the Twin Towers used to stand in Manhattan, not Kabul), and that a conflict with al Qaeda cannot be "international" because al Qaeda is not a nation.

Nevertheless, even granting that the president is right, internationalist activists (law professors, UN and Euro-bureaucrats, and self-styled human rights organizations) argue that Common Article 3 applies anyway, despite the literal limitations on it in the Geneva Conventions themselves, because it has somehow transmogrified into binding "customary international law." (For those interested, I wrote an article called "International Law v. the United States" for Commentary's February 2006 edition. It addresses how customary international law undermines American democratic self-determination.)

If this reasoning is used to apply Geneva, and thus strike a treaty with al Qaeda (one which obligates only the U.S. — al Qaeda can be expected to go on bombing civilians and torturing and beheading prisoners), who knows what combatant trials will look like? It will be the courts, ultimately, which decide what is "a regularly constituted court," and what "judicial guarantees" are "indispensible" according to "civilized people."

Anyone want to bet against me that this won't come to mean criminal trials with virtually all the protections required to be given to U.S. citizens under the Constitution?

Here's a key point to the majority's decision which makes sense: "[the] Government had not charged Hamdan with an "offense . . . that by the law of war may be tried by military commission."

"The Great One" Mark Levin:

Congress and the Court are systematically stripping the presidency of war-making powers. Congress demands that the president get court approval before intercepting enemy communications (we call that intelligence gathering) and the Court demands that the president get statutory support from Congress before he can use military tribunals to try terrorists.

And yet, neither Congress nor the Supreme Court have any explicit constitutional authority to make these decisions. Congress can cut-off funding for the war or any aspect of it, which it has not; and the judiciary's only role in these matters is to defer to the president, who has explicit and broad authority under the Constitution as the commander-in-chief.

Congress and the courts are conferring rights and privileges on terrorists. They are conferring constitutonal protections on the enemy. They are granting the enemy jurisdiction in our civilian courts. They are extending the Geneva Conventions to an enemy that is specifically excluded from those protections.

Let's look at the relevant Geneva Convention. First point - since when does a party that has NOT signed a treaty, and does not comply with a treaty, become a part of such a treaty?

The purpose of this language (Geneva Convention Article 4) is to make clear that NOT every combatant is covered by this treaty, i.e., that in order to receive the Convention's protections, combatants must accept and comply with basic rules of war. Any literate person should understand this.

Well, the activist Supreme Court majority in Hamdan decided to ignore this language. Instead, it looked to "Common Article 3," which has nothing to do with the current war. It requires, as an initial matter, that the conflict be not of an international character. But the war on terrorism clearly is of an international character. Are the justices blind to the numerous known terrorist cells and conflicts throughout the world?

I, for one, don't think people should be so surprised that the SCOTUS completely ignored clear precedent and the clear written language of treaties like the Geneva Convention, and replaced them with what they believe should apply. They've done it more and more over the last 50 years.

Read more at Orin Kerr and Volokh.

Posted by Hube at 10:18 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

In Appreciation of Barack Obama

It appears Barack Obama is the latest Democrat attempting to talk about religion. This week he spoke at the Call to Renewal’s Building a Covenant for a New America Conference, where he expressed his hopes that we can "bridge the gap" in the debate about religion and politics.

But today I’d like to talk about the connection between religion and politics and perhaps offer some thoughts about how we can sort through some of the often bitter arguments over this issue over the last several years.

I'm so glad we have Senator Obama to guide us through this debate. Yes, Barack, please help "sort through" these "often bitter arguments" over religion.

At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise.

There you go, argument sorted. If you're religious, you're unable to compromise. I'm sure that's making the bitterness just melt away. But wait, there's more, tell us why people turn to religion, Barack...

They want a sense of purpose, a narrative arc to their lives. They're looking to relieve a chronic loneliness, a feeling supported by a recent study that shows Americans have fewer close friends and confidants than ever before. And so they need an assurance that somebody out there cares about them, is listening to them – that they are not just destined to travel down a long highway towards nothingness.

I've always found that the best way to help "bridge the gap" between people engaged in "often bitter arguments" is by implying that one side is a bunch of losers. If George Bush can be the "Decider," than Barack Obama definitely has to be the "Bridger." But does Senator Obama have any suggestions for "progressives" in need of a way to relate better to church goers?

I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith – the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps – off rhythm – to the gospel choir.

It's about time people learned that the only really authentic "expressions of faith" are accompanied by a good sense of rhythm. I think that's covered in the Bible, you know, when Jesus goes to the blues club.

Thank you, Senator Obama, for expressing your thoughts about how religious people are losers who can't compromise. And, most importantly, for telling us that if you don't have rhythm, stay the Hell away from black churches. After reading that speech, I can't even imagine what all of the "bitterness" could have been about.

Posted by at 02:16 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 28, 2006

At Wimbledon, It's Advantage: Men

That's the headline of this CBSNews.com article. The sub-headline reads "When It Comes To Prize Money, Women Still Gets Less."

It's hard to beat Wimbledon for its annual show of tradition. The players still dress in white. The tennis is still played on grass. And as sure as there will be rain delays each year, [CBS News correspondent Richard Roth reports], the women will still be paid less than the men.

Nine-time women's champion Martina Navratilova says the All-England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs Wimbledon, just hates the idea of upsetting tradition.

The fact is that the All-England Club earned a $46 million profit last year, but will pay the women's champion $55,000 less than the winner of the men's title. That's not on account of the petunias — but because women's matches are shorter than men's matches.

It's an argument Navratilova's not buying.

"It's not quantity, it's quality," says Navratilova. "Sports is an entertainment … Tina Turner doesn't get paid less than (her) equivalent in the men because he's a guy and can hold a note longer."

But it is about quality too, Martina. Despite the fact that women's [tennis] matches are shorter, let's face it -- women by and large just cannot compete with men -- in tennis or in any other sport. This is why men get paid more for their sporting efforts, whether they be tennis, basketball or golf. Men hit harder, throw farther, run faster. It is a biological fact that cannot be changed. As a result, men's sports are more popular by far. People prefer watching the NBA over the WNBA. The soccer World Cup is light years more popular than the Women's World Cup. People would rather watch Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson than Annika Sorenstam or Se Ri Pak.

The article notes that the [tennis] US and Australian Opens "have paid equal prizes to women and men for years," and that "the French Open began doing it this year." Bully for them. They're politically correct. But if women really want to "be equal," then let's try abolishing all gender-separate sports, including the Olympic Games.

Let's see how the "fair sex" fares then. You can bet they'll want those separate sporting events with that lesser-than-men prize money back real quick.

Posted by Felix at 03:42 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

Flag Burning Amendment defeated

By the closest margin yet, the proposed Flag Burning Amendment was defeated in the Senate yesterday by a vote of 66-34. 67 votes were needed for passage.

My view on this proposed amendment is probably best expressed by Senator Daniel Inouye (D) of Hawaii, a World War II Congressional Medal of Honor winner:

"This objectionable expression is obscene, it is painful, it is unpatriotic. But I believe Americans gave their lives in many wars to make certain all Americans have a right to express themselves, even those who harbor hateful thoughts."

To be sure, I do not want to give the impression that Inouye represents a majority view of veterans. The Citizens Flag Alliance, a pro-amendment group, is led by Daniel S. Wheeler, an American Legion member.

In addition, I heard Judge Andrew Napolitano on FNC yesterday stating that if this amendment had made into the Constitution, it would be the first time that Americans' political expression had been so curtailed. That isn't a good thing, in my opinion.

Napolitano also had issues with the actual text of the amendment:

"The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States."

The judge asked exactly how this would be enforced (paraphrased examples): Would a ripped, old T-shirt that has a flag emblem be considered "desecration"? Flag emblems are put on golf balls, for example -- would smacking one with your driver be considered "desecration"? How about girls' shorts that may have a flag emblazoned across their bottom?

You can see the hassle. Do we really want Congress spending their time deciding what is "flag desecration" and what is not? Don't they have, y'know, more important issues with which to be concerned?

Both of Delaware's senators, Joe Biden and Tom Carper, voted against the proposed amendment.

Posted by Hube at 10:03 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 27, 2006

Don't take political science at this college

Davidson College, that is, in Davidson, North Carolina. Why? 'Cause they have on staff one Dr. Susan Roberts -- a political science professor -- who offered up a whopper in a recent op-ed on the proposed Flag Burning Amendment:

Flag burning was thrust into the public eye following an arrest of a young man during the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas. The man identified himself as a member of a group calling itself the Revolutionary Youth Brigade. He was charged with a violation of the Texas Desecration of Venerated Objects statute.

In 1989 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed an appellate court decision that the man was within his First Amendment rights. Wasting no time, Congress passed the Flag Protection Act just months after the ruling. Wasting no time, the Supreme Court ruled that the Flag Protection Act was inconsistent with First Amendment freedoms and thus unconstitutional.

It seems unlikely that the Supreme Court would now uphold an amendment prohibiting flag burning, even with the change in the court's composition.

Hey prof -- as any fairly studious middle-schooler should be able to tell you, the reason WHY Congress is attempting to pass an amendment is to make the Supreme Court's opinion irrelevant on the matter. It's called "checks and balances." You recall that in your teaching, right? Right? Hello?

Maybe not. Maybe that basic knowledge got lost in that neatly titled course of yours, "The Politics of Feminism."

(h/t: Taranto.)

Posted by Hube at 03:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tuesday Tidings

Last evening I was fortunate enough to take advantage of a break in the recent monsoons to get a run in. I was drenched after about a mile, not due to a sudden downpour, but due to the incredible humidity! You could cut it with a knife. This scenario happened again, too. It really befuddles me. I run three friggin' miles so how is it possible that so many cars just happen to come to a neighborhood entrance and/or end of driveway ... at the precise moment I'm about to cross it?? No runner's high this time out, however. Probably 'cause it's been four days since my last outing.

***************

I was recently speaking to my in-laws (who're from Costa Rica, for the uninitiated), mostly about the World Cup, but these conversations always result in my longing to go back for a long visit (like my family and I did last summer). It's been twenty -- TWENTY! -- years since my very first sojourn to the tiny Central American country. I wrote a bit about that experience last summer (see also here and here) and I often think about the professor who took our group of 13 undergrads on the trip. Dr. M. was (is) a genuinely fine human being. He was quite the committed leftist, but unlike too many others that share his political philosophy, he always maintained his sense of humor and his warm personality. (I'm speaking in the past tense here as I'm going by 20 year old memories.) He was one of my favorite -- if not the favorite -- undergraduate professor(s).

***************

Anyone else following the World Cup? Probably not, aside from Duffy over at Pencader Days, I'd wager. Italy beat Australia on a last second -- and I mean last second -- penalty kick. Duffy doesn't like the ref's call; however, I actually think the ref got one right here, despite the moment in the game in which it was made. ESPN's Eric Wynalda agreed with me on this morning's SportsCenter. Elsewhere, the Ukraine got by Switzerland in the first shoot-out of this Cup. The Swiss couldn't hit the goal in three attempts (yikes!), while the former Soviet republic nailed three of their first four.

***************

I'm watching an interview with "Superman Returns" star Brandon Routh. MAN does he look -- and sound -- like a young Christopher Reeve! It's uncanny.

***************

David Bernstein has an excellent analysis up concerning "The Cult of International Law." He begins:

I've noticed in a variety of contexts that there are some rather well-educated, articulate individuals out there who have what seems to me to be a fanatical, quasi-religious belief in "international law", and the idea that it should trump any other conflicting consideration. In the constitutional law field, this is reflected in the argument that the president and the courts should ignore domestic law and the Constitution if they conflict with international law--even if the United States isn't a party to any binding international agreements on the particular subject at hand.

He goes on to dissect the claims that Israel is "illegitimate" "because it violated international law by not allowing Palestinians who fled Israel during the War of Independence to return." (My emphasis.)

I'm not an expert on international law, but I do know something about Israeli history. There is no practical way Israel could have permitted the return of most of these refugees. First, the Palestinian and broader Arab leadership remained committed after the war to Israel's destruction. The Arab community within Israel's border had participated in the war against Israel. The immediate result of allowing hundreds of thousands of generally hostile Arabs back into Israel (which had well less than a million Jewish residents at its founding) would have been constant intercommunal violence and ultimately another war. You can't expect Israel to have committed national suicide.

He has many more rebuttals. Be sure to read them.

***************

Lastly, be sure to check out the DCBA's two recent posts. Way overdue.

Posted by Hube at 10:39 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 26, 2006

Geraldo get ready

Looks like the education trial of the new millenium will occur shortly after this happens: University of Colorado To Fire Ward Churchill.

"Today, I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position at the University of Colorado Boulder," CU Interim Chancellor Phil DiStefano said Monday afternoon.

Churchill has 10 days to make a request to have the university president or chancellor forward the recommendation to the faculty senate Committee on Privilege and Tenure. A special panel will then conduct hearings on the matter and make a recommendation to the president on whether grounds for dismissal are supported.

Churchill has "vowed to sue" if CU fires him:

"The basic situation here is that there was a call by high officials in the state, notably the governor but hardly restricted to the governor, for my termination clear back last February, whether or not it was legal. They were willing to take the heat and go to court if necessary to stand behind an illegitimate investigation."

Well, some of that's true. However, big Ward has forgotten an eensy-teensy detail: "Last month, an investigative subcommittee concluded that Churchill repeatedly fabricated his research, plagiarized others' work and strayed from the 'bedrock principles of scholarship.'"

Oops.

Posted by Felix at 06:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

But he served, so don't question him!

Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha is at it again -- this time claiming that the "American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran."

Just remember though -- do NOT question Murtha. He served. Therefore, he knows better. (See here, for more on this.)

(h/t: LGF.)

UPDATE (6/28 at 12:56pm): As noted recently in the comments, the quote attributed to Murtha isn't quite accurate. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Gail Bulfin "admits the paper’s report was inaccurate and says a correction will be printed tomorrow."

Congressman Murtha's office responded to Bulfin's "Murtha quote" report thusly: "That was in reference to international polls. It was not so much his own conjecture, but a conclusion drawn from polls in various countries.”

Posted by Rhodey at 02:50 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 23, 2006

Phillies ace arrested for striking wife

This is sure to add to the Phillies' woes: Their pitching ace likes to hit his wife.

Nice.

Posted by Hube at 02:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"BAMN" means what it stands for!

Via the NAS e-mail bag:

Today as a last ditch effort to try to keep the people from voting on the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that while collecting signatures to get MCRI on the ballot we violated the Voting Rights Act. It's a frivolous claim that is meant to tie up resources and drain our funds. It should be noted that BAMN has brought these allegations to the Secretary of State, Attorney General, Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court -- all have found these allegations to be meritless and we expect the same with the federal court.

At BAMN's press conferences today, Shanta Driver (BAMN co-chair and spokeswoman) made it clear again that when they say "by any means necessary" ... they mean it. Below is an absolutely outrageous quote from Ms. Driver, printed in Gongwer News Service.

Quote from Shanta Driver, Gongwer News Service Thursday, 6.22.06:

However, if the courts do not remove the proposal, Ms. Driver said her organization has already begun talking to city and local clerks to not put the proposal on their ballots (ballots are, in fact, printed at the county level).

Asked how clerks could legally refuse to have the proposal on a ballot, Ms. Driver said they have the "moral authority" to take a stand.

I have to wonder why BAMN is so afraid to let the people debate this issue and vote -- could it be that they know that the people of Michigan believe in fairness and in equal treatment under the law?!

Jennifer Gratz
Executive Director, MCRI
Plaintiff, Gratz v. Bollinger
www.michigancivilrights.org

You have to give to Ms. Driver some credit. Her organization's moniker is a perfect fit for its actions!

Posted by Hube at 01:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OK, name the real author of this Corner post and novelette

Hopefully, this'll be harder than this one. And don't even bring up the ridiculous movie starring Ah-nuld.

Oh, and no Googling!

Posted by Hube at 11:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 22, 2006

You must have served to make policy?

According to Democrat Party Chair Howard Dean, the answer is "yes."

John Murtha and John Kerry served in Vietnam. Karl Rove did not, George Bush did not, Dick Cheney did not, Don Rumsfeld did not and they wouldn't listen to the people who did. The fact is you can't trust these folks, they didn't serve abroad defending America.

Dean, who ran for president in 2004, would have been in a position to direct war policy had he been elected. By his own standard, he would have been "untrustworthy" -- because he did not serve abroad. (Good thing Dean added "abroad" in his statement because, in fact, George Bush did serve, as did Rumsfeld.)

In addition, why do we need to give greater credence to folks like Murtha and Kerry because of their service? Why not listen to John McCain, whose service record is more stellar than Kerry's and Murtha's? McCain -- who is in favor of completing the job victoriously in Iraq?

Wasn't the entire "service thing" supposed to have been settled in the 1996 election anyhow -- you know, where WW II veteran Bob Dole lost to draft dodger/protester-in-a-foreign country Bill Clinton? Weren't we told that Clinton's actions did not matter now? Didn't people like McCain agree that folks should lay off Bill Clinton for his Vietnam-era past? Don't civilians run the military ultimately, anyway? Clinton is the only modern president, by the way, with absolutely no sort of military service on his résume. You have to go back to FDR to get to the next Commander-in-Chief who did not serve in any capacity.

The bottom line is that there are indeed military vets on both sides of the Iraq War. It ultimately doesn't matter that Bush and co. didn't "listen to the people who did [serve]" -- that Howard Dean prefers.

To be sure, this is a bipartisan matter. Republicans scoured Clinton for his lack of service before and during his presidency. Republicans hassled Clinton for his direction of military adventures in Haiti and Kosovo. Maybe Dean is just utilizing fair turnabout. But saying "Well, this happened in the past, SO ..." isn't an argument and doesn't make it right nonetheless.

Ryan at Jokers to the Right and PolitaKid have been severely criticized by Jason and donviti in various blog comment sections for their support of the Iraq War -- because they have not signed up to help fight it. This is essentially the Howard Dean argument: In order to believe in the war, you must serve. donviti claims to have served; unknown about Jason. I have asked both Jason and donviti if they ran down to the recruitment center to join up (or re-up) to get some action in Haiti or Kosovo when Democrat President Bill Clinton mandated US military action in those areas. I haven't seen an answer from either yet.

Which is certainly OK. They're entitled to either not agree with the Kosovo and Haiti actions or, if they do agree, a desire not to serve there anyway. Just as Ryan and PolitaKid are entitled to their views. But consider -- using Dean/Jason/donviti logic, not only are Ryan and PK not entitled to support a military endeavor if they are personally not willing to get involved in it, no American is. This surely would have disastrous consequences for home support of any American military involvement: Only those who served (and perhaps those who are planning to sign up) are "entitled" to support any potential military action.

Posted by Hube at 04:18 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Ozzie Guillen (hilariously) defends his use of the "F" word

No, not the F-word, the F-word that means "male homosexual." The Chicago White Sox manager called sports columnist Jay Mariotti a "fag" in one of his notable tirades recently. Mariotti, a frequent visitor to ESPN shows, said on that network today that he really didn't care much what Guillen said about him.

But, of course, in today's world there's rarely a greater sin than Guillen's epithet. This incident will garner more self-righteous coverage than Guillen sending to the minors one of his pitchers who failed to hit an opposing batter. Indeed, just check out the Chicago Sun-Times' Roman Modrowski whose headline is "This time, Ozzie HAS gone too far." Modrowski, who defended Guillen when the manager ripped pitcher Tracey, now writes

I defended Ozzie Guillen after the Sean Tracey episode. I don't think he should have been so public about it, but that was a baseball matter and I trust Guillen's baseball instincts. And I love his candor. But this name-calling stuff with Jay Mariotti is classless and out of line.

And Guillen knows better. Saying the connotation of "fag" is different in Venezuela than it is in this country is ridiculous.

The worst thing about this whole matter is I can just see kids calling each other a bleeping fag because that's what their favorite manager said.

Oh, as opposed to a kid beaning an opposing batter and possibly causing serious injury? Riiiiight. Look, I agree that Guillen should be sanctioned, but let's keep our perspective.

At any rate, back to the title of this post: What is hilarious about Guillen's self-defense is this comment:

Guillen also defended himself by saying “that he has gay friends, goes to WNBA games, went to the Madonna concert and plans to attend [next month’s] Gay Games in Chicago.”

He forgot to throw in there that he "likes interior decorating, watches 'Will & Grace' and loved 'Brokeback Mountain!'"

Yeesh.

UPDATE (9:21am on 6/23): Guillen has been ordered to take "sensitivity training." Oh brother.

Does anyone recall if Chicago Cubs skipper Dusty Baker had to undergo such "re-education"? I don't think he did.

Posted by Hube at 10:15 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Clinton officials advocate striking North Korean missile

Vindication of Newt Gingrich's proposal? Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry in today's Washington Post:

But intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy.

Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

Posted by Hube at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Comment problems

Looks as if our server is experiencing problems with comments. The powers-that-be are aware of the problem, so if you want to leave a comment at a mu.nu site, just sit tight. The problem should be resolved shortly.

UPDATE: As of 10:10am, comments seem to be back up and functioning.

Posted by Hube at 08:46 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 21, 2006

"Ah, all those Asians look the same anyway!"

... at least to CBS News, that is.

Dopes.

(h/t: Instapundit.)

Posted by Hube at 10:57 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Gingrich advocates action that would lead directly to war

Is Newt serious?

In today's National Review Online, he advocates that "we should destroy the [North Korean] missile on its site before it is launched." Does he think the NKs would just sit there and take that? Or would they immediately mobilize and, most likely, attack their southern neighbors?

Yikes.

National Review's editors advocate a tough, yet more reasonable position: If the NKs fire their new ICBM and it penetrates our air defense perimeter, we should attempt to shoot it down. Our anti-missile technology is far from perfect, but the mere attempt would show the NKs we're serious.

Posted by Hube at 10:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Runnin'

Not only is it a terrific Earth, Wind and Fire tune, but it's something I try to do every other day. During the school year this is usually a quite difficult schedule to maintain; however, since school is now out I've been faithful about putting on the Asics on time.

Yesterday (early evening circa 8pm, to be precise) I got something I have not felt in a while: The "runner's high." It was on the return 1 and 1/2 miles of my usual 3 mile jaunt. I used to get the "high" quite often back in my prime when I would run virtually everyday. For me, the "high" manifests itself in a sudden burst of energy with virtually no feeling of fatigue. I love it. Of course, in order to obtain the "high," a normal schedule must be maintained, along with a good diet.

But also last night -- this same scenario happened. WTF?? And it wasn't just neighborhood intersections, it was houses' driveways, too! I lost track of how many times I had to make hand signals to the car driver to see who would get the right of way. Sheesh.

Posted by Hube at 10:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 20, 2006

Joe Lieberman: Good enough for veep; not good enough for Senate

From the Political Wire:

Interviewed on Bloomberg TV, Al Gore refused to endorse his former vice presidential running mate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (C-CT), in his re-election race.

Said Gore: "I am not involved. I typically do not get involved in Democratic primaries. Joe is my close friend, Joe and Hadassah are close to Tipper and me and it would be very difficult for me to ever oppose him. But I don't get involved in primaries typically. He's a great guy and he's right on a lot of other issues."

Of course, Gore did get involved in the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries and backed Howard Dean over Lieberman.

Update: Political Wire has learned that former Connecticut Democratic party chairman George Jepsen is endorsing Lieberman's primary challenger, Ned Lamont, in a press conference this afternoon.

How can this be, you may ask? The answer is simple. Gore backed Dean in '04 because Gore had fallen into the moonbat Left category since his narrow defeat in the 2000 election ... and remains there. On the other hand, Lieberman has retained his common sense and perspective.

Maybe that also explains why the Connecticut branch of the NEA (National Education Association) and the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) have come out and endorsed Lieberman challenger Lamont.

UPDATE: It what is sure to make Gore happy, ABC News.com has a page up where it is asking its readers to share their personal stories of global warming. I am not kidding. They state:

Has your life been directly affected by global warming?

We want to hear and see your stories. Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, unusual animals that have arrived in your community, higher water levels encroaching on your property.

As James Taranto notes, "Essentially ABC is asking viewers to send in their anecdotes of warm weather, which it will claim are evidence of a warming climate."

Posted by Rhodey at 05:42 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Get on "Today," get on soapbox

Unfortunately, the two American soldiers who had been missing since Friday have been discovered, and they're dead -- apparently "killed in a barbaric way."

But before this sad news was confirmed, however, this didn't stop the usual outlets from giving a forum to one of the soldier's relatives in order to rip the U.S.:

"Because the U.S. government did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid for it with his life," Ken MacKenzie, uncle of Army Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, told NBC's "Today" show.

"I think the U.S. government was too slow to react to this," MacKenzie said Tuesday. "They should have had a plan in place."

MacKenzie said the government should have offered a $100 million reward and offered to exchange mujahideen detainees for the soldiers' lives. The government seized enough money from Saddam Hussein to afford it, he said.

No plan? Slow to react? The military had 8,000 Iraqi and American soldiers searching for the missing duo. The sheer number of those involved in the hunt was even mocked by an al-Qaeda-linked group who has claimed responsibility for holding the missing soldiers. And, a "quick reaction" force reached the scene where the two were first abducted within fifteen minutes.

And, a $100 million reward? Million? What sort of precedent would that set?

It's completely understandable that family members are grieving now. It's ridiculous, however, for the usual MSM suspects to give certain family members a soapbox to use that grief in order to make frivolous statements about the actual situation and overall U.S. policy.

UPDATE: It looks as if "Today's" Matt Lauer did indeed challenge Mr. MacKenzie, especially about his $100 million ransom comment. That's refreshing.

Posted by Rhodey at 02:28 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 19, 2006

What famous sci-fi flick ...

... is based on this Corner headline (and short story title)?

I'm reading the author's most famous work at this moment. See if you can get it without Google!

Posted by Hube at 02:49 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

My Father's Day

... involved a round of golf at the (fairly) prestigious Inniscrone Golf Club. It was as hot as friggin' Hades out there which may have led to my miserable 53 on the front nine -- which included my first-ever 10 on the par-4 fourth hole. My consolation, such that is was, is that the fourth hole is the #1 handicap hole. It has a severely sloping green which will roll your ball right back to you if your chip is just a tad short, or right off the far side if your chip is just a tad long. I had three chips that were of the former variety! Ouch.

However, despite the heat, I rebounded on the back nine, shooting a 43 which included a birdie on the par-3 eleventh hole. After the round, I had to essentially peel my clothes off me, stuck to me with sweat they were. Yuck.

Afterwards, my buddy Roger (who also played, BTW) and I headed back to his place where the wives and daughters were awaiting us with a cookout and Coronas!

So, overall, especially considering my great-for-me back nine, it was a good day. Much better than Phil Mickelson's, I'd surmise!

Posted by Hube at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cyber-jihadists are attacking Mu.Nu

In other words, that's our server, folks. As tech guru Pixy Misa says

It's a group of Turkish Islamist hacker-wannabe's going after The Jawa Report. They can't actually break in, so they've settled for a Distributed Denial of Service attack which takes us offline.

Pixy notes that when the attacks happened, it was impossible to prevent all MuNu blogs from being affected. Now, only Jawa will go down if the hackers strike again. At this moment, it looks as if they have, as Jawa is down.

Posted by Hube at 10:06 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Man, what is going on??

It's happened yet again: Dover teacher facing multiple sex charges.

On June 7, a school resource officer began investigating the complaint from one of Savage's students.

The student told investigators that sometime in July 2005 he was left alone in Dover High's choral room with Savage, who handed him a box containing trophies. While the boy was holding the box, Savage kissed him on the mouth, police said in court records.

Between July and December, the student frequented Savage's house to practice choral selections, according to court records. While the two were at Savage's home in December, the teacher showed the boy a pornographic TV program called "Pornocopia," police said.

The youth told investigators Savage pinched his nipples at least nine times at Dover High between July 2005 and June 2006 and caressed his buttocks twice, according to court records. Around December or January, Savage offered the boy money if he would let Savage perform oral sex on him, court records said, but the boy refused. Savage also asked for a picture of the boy's genitals, court records said.

Unbelievable.

What do you think, though -- is there really an epidemic of teachers doing this sort of stuff with students, or it is just being more widely reported?

Posted by Hube at 08:51 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 17, 2006

Check it: Right-wing PC!

The Miami-Dade School Board recently voted, 6-3, to ban the book Vamos a Cuba and its English-language counterpart "against the recommendation of two review committees and the school system's superintendent."

The cover of the book shows smiling Cuban children in the uniform of the Pioneers, the Communist youth group to which every Cuban student must belong. The 32-page book describes July 26, a Cuban national holiday that celebrates a historic day in Fidel Castro's revolution, as a carnival where people dance and sing. Critics also found misleading a page reading, "People in Cuba eat, work, and go to school like you do."

"This is a very simplistic portrayal of all of the countries in the series because it's intended for our youngest readers," said Joseph Garcia, a spokesman for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and Superintendent Rudy Crew. "Complex subjects like Communism are not addressed."

But Juan Amador, the parent who made the complaint, said the book depicted Cuba as a paradise.

"It portrays a life in Cuba that does not exist and omits a lot of facts," Mr. Amador said. "Such a book should not be accessible to our children."

So what if the book depicts Cuba as a "paradise"? So what if Communism isn't addressed? (It's a kid's book!) So what if the book omits a lot of facts? For this we're supposed to become all Fahrenheit 451-ish and ban books? For goodness sake, as the ACLU points out (getting one right for a change), "the book was optional reading material and not a required textbook." This is a very good point as required school textbooks -- especially in the social studies -- are chock full of factual omissions (and outright errors) and non-coverage of important issues. Should these be banned too?

Just as silly leftist PCers attempt to silence critics of philosophies with which they agree, the Miami-Dade Board is following their piss-poor example. Conservatives and Libertarians should decry this school board just as they blast campus (and lower ed.) radicals.

The best solution would be to purchase some books that counter the scenario presented in Vamos a Cuba.

Posted by Hube at 08:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sports Saturday

ITEM: Today it's the USA soccer team vs. Italy at the World Cup. Here's the situation: After getting spanked by the Czech Republic 3-0 in their first game, the Americans need to win at all costs to keep (a good) hope alive for advancement into the Round of 16. Bad news: the Americans have never beaten Italy. Worse news: the Americans have never beaten a European team on European soil.

Game time: Approx. 2:55pm.

ITEM: Tiger Woods missed his first cut in a major golf event ("major" meaning one of the four premiere golf tournaments -- the Masters, the US Open, the British Open, and the PGA Tournament) yesterday at the US Open. Woods had taken an inordinate amount of time off since his father had died. Unfortunately, the lay-off showed. Tiger was constantly in trouble off the tee, and at Winged Foot golf course the rough means "rough."

ITEM: Former golf great David Duval surprised everyone yesterday at the US Open by posting only the second round under par of the first two days of the tournament. Duval's game had become completely dismantled the last five+ years or so after he was ranked #1 in the world.

ITEM: The Philadelphia Phillies SUCK! 'Nuff said.

ITEM: Jerry Stackhouse has been suspended from game 5 of the NBA Finals due to his flagrant hard foul of Shaquille O'Neal in game 4. This seriously affects the Mavericks' chances of winning the game. My question: Who the hell really cares??

ITEM: My daughter was selected as an all-star representative from her softball team!

UPDATE: The US soccer team tied Italy, 1-1. The match featured some of the worst officiating of all time. The US had to play two players short due to one PREPOSTEROUS red card call. The good news is that the US is still alive. They have to beat Ghana on Thursday, and hope that Italy beats the Czech Republic. If both of these happen, the US advances along with the Italians.

Posted by Hube at 10:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

That's what we've said

Ezra Levant, writing in the The Calgary Sun (h/t to Overlawyered), nails the problem with "hate crimes" legislation to a tee:

But hate laws aren't really about hate.

They're about abusing and stretching the criminal code to criminalize political dissidents. And, for whatever reason, radical Islam has been granted a special exemption by the arbiters of political correctness.

Levant writes about David Ahenakew, a Native American who made some stupid remarks about Jews and admiration of Adolph Hitler. He was convicted for a "hate crime," but the conviction has been temporarily set aside. This has ticked off "human rights" groups.

Levant finds this sadly humorous:

The proper response by colleagues, the public and the government should have been to rebut his absurd claims or ignore him.

He should have been socially marginalized by polite company, as any bigoted buffoon should be. But to criminalize such harmless dissension is an affront to the Canadian belief in the right to be wrong.

Canada has real hate crimes to worry about, and real anti-Semites to battle who are far more dangerous than an old man in the prairies. We've got 17 or more men arrested in Toronto for allegedly plotting to blow up the CN Tower, storm the CBC and Parliament, and behead the PM, all because of a hateful philosophy of jihadism.

Where are the hate crime charges there?

Why wasn't the head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, Mohamed Elmasry, charged with a hate crime when he went on TV last year, stating that every adult Jew in Israel -- which would include pregnant women, old men, young folks at a pizza parlour or dance club -- are legitimate targets for Palestinian terrorism?

Surely that was a lot more specific than the tired ramblings of old Ahenakew. Ahenakew has some politically correct Teflon -- he is aboriginal -- but Elmasry can trump that poker hand: He's a brown-skinned Muslim from Egypt who speaks with an accent.

I've written about Canada's hate crimes law here. They're incredibly overbroad and just waiting to be abused by the "right" people. But "hate crimes" statutes anywhere are virtually always selectively enforced.

Either enforce them across the board or ditch 'em.

Posted by Felix at 03:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dictatorship imminent

Not a surprise, really (except to the usual suspects): Chavez Threatens to Shut Down Venezuelan TV Stations. As Publius Pundit notes, Chavista "logic" is on full display:

“We can’t keep giving concessions to a group of people who use television stations against us,'’ Chavez said in a televised speech in Caracas.

“They hide behind a supposed freedom of speech,'’ said Chavez, who was wearing a green army uniform and red beret. “I don’t care what the oligarchs of the world say. We’ve shown that we aren’t authoritarian or arbitrary.'’

"Not authoritarian," eh? Sounds like Uncle Hugo needs to learn a certain four digit book title, especially one of its more [in]famous terms.

Hugo also seems to be a fan of this movie, with similar sentiment quoting the following: "Soldiers, this rifle is your new girlfriend. A real soldier loves his rifle.''

Posted by Felix at 02:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 14, 2006

Vast majority of Americans racist according to Harry Reid

A recent Rasmussen survey finds that 85% of Americans favor making English the official language of the United States.

It's favored by "92% of Republicans, 79% of Democrats, and 86% of those not affiliated with either major political party."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid called the effort by the US Senate to make English the official language "racist" back on May 18. Not only is Reid's comment yet another ridiculous misuse of the "R" word, but it has the makings of a perfect political commercial come election time.

(h/t: The Corner.)

Posted by Felix at 10:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Racist? Or learned via diversity training?

New Castle County Councilman Jea Street received a less-than-flattering voicemail recording, according to today's Wilmington News Journal. According to Street, the tape features a man ID'ing himself as a paramedic. He left a brief message, but apparently didn't hang up the phone all the way when he was through. The recording picks up the continued conversation of the [supposed] paramedic and another person discussing Street's comments regarding minority recruitment (or lack thereof) in the paramedic field. The News Journal writes:

One of the voices on the message repeats a portion of Street's statement in the newspaper, then the other voice says, "Culturally, they don't like to do that kind of work." The man compares paramedic recruitment to hiring an Italian employee to work in an Italian restaurant.

"They make a good sandwich," the man said, referring to Italians. The message is four minutes and 20 seconds long.

Now, the subheadline of the article states "Street says paramedics left racist comments." I'd tend to agree that the comment, if not overtly racist, is indeed stereotypical and insulting. Street said "When I first heard the message, I was infuriated. I had to walk outside."

Would Mr. Street consider just as infuriating the comments by the likes of Jonathan Kozol that black students are not responsible for their bad behavior? Maybe these [supposed] paramedics had "cultural sensitivity" training similar to this? Or especially this?

Therein lies the conundrum, as I've often said. Certain stereotypes are proffered by the cultural sensitivity trainers (or edu-babblers, or whatever the hell you want to call them) as reasons (they're excuses, really) why minorities do not do as well academically or are disciplined more often. I like to dub these "positive" stereotypes. Only edu-babblers and the like really believe in them; layfolk and clear-thinking people view them as what I said: Excuses.

But on the other hand, these very same people cry "racism" whenever someone like this [supposed] paramedic makes a claim that "Culturally, they (minorities) don't like to do that kind of work." But how is this comment substantially any different from what the edu-babblers offer? The answer is simple: It isn't!

To be clear, I am not claiming that Mr. Street himself believes in what the edu-babblers claim are "cultural" attributes. I am merely pointing to -- again -- the incredible logical maze EBs (edu-babblers) put themselves in with their claims of "positive" cultural dispositions.

Posted by Felix at 04:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

That Afghan "dream vacation"

Cliff May dissects what appears to be the New York Times' latest campaign -- the closing of Gitmo:

The New York Times is campaigning to shut down Gitmo, the facility housing enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay.

Their primary talking point is that the prisoners there suffer “despair.” An editorial on Monday spoke of a “netherworld of despair.” Human Rights Watch has chimed in with “incredible despair”. And this morning the Times runs an op-ed headlined “Detainees in Despair” written by someone who has been released from Gitmo.

It contains this line: “I made the mistake of listening to my older brother and going to Afghanistan on what I thought was a dream vacation.”

Somehow, he acknowledges, he ended up in an al-Qaeda training camp.

Don’t you hate when that happens? You consult your travel agent, you read your Fodor’s and the Times travel section and you think you’re on your way to Club Med Kandahar but instead of playing tennis and windsurfing you end up firing Kalashnikovs and assembling I.E.D.s. It could happen to anyone.

Well, geez, Cliff -- when I went to Costa Rica to study in 1986 I "somehow" ended up in a Contra training camp, and in no time I was ready to take on the Nicaraguan Sandinistas!

Posted by Hube at 09:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Newdow's new album

UPDATE (10:27am): Welcome, The Corner readers!

As we showed yesterday, atheist extraordinaire Michael Newdow is a musician! And, we were fortunate to get a glimpse of his new album:

Apparently, this disc is chock full of 80s cover songs as evidenced by the track listing:

1. "Save a Prayer (Until I Sue Your Ass)" (Duran Duran)
2. "Livin' on a Prayer (But Not in America)" (Bon Jovi)
3. "Papa Don't Preach on Public Property" (Madonna)
4. "Addicted to Lawsuits" (Robert Palmer)
5. "Church of the Litigant's Mind" (Culture Club)
6. "Do They Know It's Christmas? (They Won't After I'm Done)" (Band Aid)
7. "(Futile) Faith" (George Michael)
8. "Heaven is a Place on Earth (Not if I Can Help it)" Belinda Carlisle
9. "Promised You a Miracle (And You Fell for It)" (Simple Minds)
10. "Sister Non-Denomination" (Night Ranger)

Posted by Hube at 09:31 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

If at first you don't succeed ...

... keep trying and trying and trying. Especially when you have no life.

Perpetual suer Michael Newdow has lost again, this time in his effort to get "In God We Trust" removed from the country's money.


Click above for full-sized image
of rock star Michael Newdow!

More at Rhymes With Right, Right on the Left Coast and Stop the ACLU.

Posted by Hube at 05:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Nah, no bias

Covering the major political news of the day -- that Bush advisor Karl Rove will not be indicted by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald -- ABC News.com resorts to a leftist documentarian's title to highlight the story:


Posted by Hube at 08:46 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

Dutch: "Islam incompatible with Europe"

"63 per cent of [Dutch] respondents believe think Islam is incompatible with modern European life," according to a recent poll.

I wonder when Dutch Muslims to will attempt to make these poll results a "hate crime."

See here for some Dutch PC idiocy.

UPDATE: Speaking of PC idiocy, Michelle Malkin notes that the trial of Oriana Fallaci has begun in Italy. Why is she on trial? Get this: She insulted Islam.

Heaven forbid!

The AP reports:

Muslim activist Adel Smith filed a lawsuit against Fallaci, charging that some passages in her book, "The Strength of Reason," were offensive to Islam. Smith's lawyer cited a phrase from the book that refers to Islam as "a pool ... that never purifies."

Fallaci told The Associated Press last year that "I have expressed my opinion through the written word through my books, that is all."

Posted by Felix at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 11, 2006

World Cup

Anyone following it? After all, it is the biggest, most popular sporting event on the planet. Duffy over at Pencader Days wonders the same thing.

Soccer's a big thing in my family. After all, my wife is from Costa Rica where soccer (fútbol) is played in pick-up games like basketball is here. My wife's father played on the CR national team in the early 1960s. He was a midfielder ... a total goal-scoring stud.

Costa Rica, unfortunately, lost their opening Cup game on Friday to host Germany, 4-2.

The United States, ranked #5 in the world, plays their first game tomorrow at around 11:55am EDT against the #2 ranked team, the Czech Republic.

Posted by Hube at 10:24 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 10, 2006

Those "consistent" Dems

Democrats, who recently filed suit to keep Tom DeLay's name on the Texas ballot for the upcoming congressional election, are now attempting to get their candidate off the ballot in Alabama? Why? Because he can't win:

A teacher fired for showing profane videos to his students won a seat on the State Democratic Executive Committee. But party members say Steve White won't serve out his term.

White won the race for State Democratic Executive Committee District 4 Tuesday night.

White is also running in a separate election. White is a democratic candidate for the District 4 seat on the House of Representatives.

Brian Oakes, chairman of the Democratic Party, says White has been asked to step down.

"The Democratic party has asked him to withdraw his name. There's not been a response by him in relation to that request," says Oakes.

Greg at Rhymes With Right sums it up perfectly:

I do wish the Donks would make up their mind about replacing candidates.

Torricelli out, Lautenberg in -- fine, even though the statutory deadline had passed.

DeLay out, someone else in -- go to court to stop it, even though it complies with all aspects of state law.

Steve White not willing to drop out -- throw him off the ballot anyway because he is an embarassment who will lose the election.

There is no principle at work among the Democrats -- simply raw political calculation.

Posted by Felix at 04:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not bad for a dead, disgraced former president who resigned!

"Nixon's 3-run homer lifts BoSox into first." (Link.)

Posted by Hube at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Say it ain't so, Marshall!

The St. Louis Rams' running back extraordinaire, Marshall Faulk, is pondering retirement:

St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk is not attending the team’s final minicamp this weekend while contemplating retirement because of knees that have been slow to recover from offseason cleanup surgery.

New coach Scott Linehan said Friday that two weeks ago Faulk, who has undergone numerous such surgeries on both knees, expressed his concerns. Linehan said Faulk’s agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told him again on Thursday that Faulk “wasn’t physically ready to go.”

Faulk, 33, was the 2000 NFL MVP, is ninth on the career rushing list with 12,279 yards (34 yards behind Jim Brown), has been to seven Pro Bowls, has seven 1,000-yard rushing seasons and 38 100-yard games, and was the first player in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons from 1998-2001.

Marshall is probably my #1 sports hero. He helped lead my favorite team in the universe, the Rams, to their only Super Bowl victory in the 1999 season (and to what should have been their second in 2001, but don't get me started ... just don't ever say those dreaded two words to me: "Mike" and "Martz") and is one of the classiest athletes in all pro sports. When it was apparent that he was slowing down (due to age, injury) he went to his coaches, informed them that he essentially didn't mind that new RB Steven Jackson was the main guy now, and offered to rework his contract -- because he wanted to end his career with the team where he had all his success.

Posted by Hube at 09:15 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The top headline at MSNBC right now

Lingerie found at site of al-Zarqawi airstrike.

Yep. That's it. No kidding.

Here's a screen capture to prove it, 'cause the MSNBC main page is sure to change throughout the day:

The article gives scant mention of the headline in the article:

HIBHIB, Iraq - The ruins of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s house are strewn with a random jumble of wreckage -- magazines, a leopard-print nightgown, a religious slogan and a few hints at the violent career of Iraq’s most wanted man.

Further down in the story we read "other women’s clothes" were found in the rubble, but that's it. Talk about your ever-lovin' teaser, huh? Or, is MSNBC ignoring a possible scoop -- "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: Cross dresser?"

Posted by Hube at 08:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

You don't say!

The "No S*** Sherlock" Award for concise reporting goes to the News Journal this weekend for this revealing line: "Sen. Tom Carper received his party's backing."

How do they do it over there in New Castle, eh?

Posted by Hube at 07:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

End of the year (school, that is)

The end of another school year is upon us. I am now officially on my "way down" -- this is the end of my 15th year, with 15 more to go (supposedly). I am happy to report that I had a very satisfying year. My students were academically excellent and fun to be around, for the most part. This, despite the fact that my classes were immense -- 33 students was my smallest class.

I always enjoy this time of year, and it's not exclusively due to the summer vacation (but hey -- let's not kid ourselves ... it's a BIG reason!). I love getting small "farewell" gifts from students, "thank you" notes, parent "thank you" e-mails, and requests to sign kids' yearbooks. And, for the who-knows-how-long consecutive time, I was selected as our school's "Favorite Male Teacher," noted in the yearbook's "superlatives" section. This last honor means a heck of a lot to me. It shows I'm doing it right -- I'm getting through to 'em. Whenever I go through those doldrums (and all teachers go through 'em) about how I may not be getting through to [insert #] kids ... when a lesson didn't go so well ... when it appears student apathy seems to know a whole new level ... when the kids were off the wall that day ... these happenings at year's end put it all back into perspective.

I sometimes wonder if I can make it another 15 years. These last few days each and every year make me say "Yeah, I sure can."

Thanks, students -- past and present. :-)

Posted by Hube at 07:30 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 08, 2006

Ursuline teacher firing upheld

In my opinion, this is the correct decision. I agree with the following:

Anthony Picarello, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, praised the ruling, saying it "reaffirmed what should have been obvious all along" -- that anti-discrimination laws were not designed to prevent a religious school from firing a teacher who publicly repudiated a core religious teaching of the school.

The plaintiff, Michele Curay-Cramer, had signed a petition supporting abortion rights. Once [Catholic] Ursuline found out about this, they canned her. Abortion obviously is quite contrary to Catholic teaching.

Curay-Cramer claimed that the Church engaged in "gender discrimination" since male employees who had violated Church doctrines were not disciplined as harshly. The courts found little evidence of this.

Posted by Hube at 06:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A totally useless holiday

Queen Latifah, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and the YWCA-USA have made it official: The first Wednesday of every June will henceforth be known across the land as "National Women's Confidence Day."

The goal of the day is to acknowledge and increase the confidence of individual women in their personal and professional lives, say organizers. The YWCA hopes that the day will remind women to radiate confidence daily, which should help them reach their goals.

"I am someone with or without this man. I am someone with or without this job, with or without these tight jeans. I am a strong woman. I can survive," Latifah said while explaining the importance of confidence in the lives of women.

She also discussed the role of parental figures, society's exclusion of young girls and women, and the importance of women maintaining inspiration after college and into their careers.

Where is all this "lack of confidence"? Girls are surpassing boys in virtually every academic area. (See also here.) This sure doesn't sound like females are suffering from some severe lack of confidence now, does it? And what the hell is "society's exclusion of young girls and women"? Is this just PC feel-good speak? Or, is Latifah in some kind of time warp viewing reality from a 1950s-60s perspective?

Yeesh.

Posted by Hube at 06:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 07, 2006

Xrlq nails it again

As I was making the rounds on the blog circuit, I had to say out loud (even though no one else is home) "Yeah!" to this post of his.

I was thinking of writing a brief post on this myself, seeing as Ms. Busby just lost her replace-Duke Cunningham special election. Ms. Busby had said (in response to a question by a man in Spanish):

“Everybody can help, yeah, absolutely, you can all help. You don’t need papers for voting, you don’t need to be a registered voter to help.”

I heard this discussed all over talk radio and various cable news outlets and I was thinking -- as Xrlq did -- she probably meant that people don't need a voter registration card in order to cast a vote (we don't here in DE) and/or she simply slipped with "voting" and quickly clarified her reponse about "not having to be a registered voter" just to help with the campaign.

I understand the need to play political hardball, but conservatives rightly point out -- often -- about the need for context. They totally ignored it here and wrongly thrashed Francine Busby. I do admit her response could have been better, but she was put into a difficult situation (as a Democrat) by the question of a possible illegal immigrant. (Ironically, if she responded thusly -- "No sir, if you do not possess papers you cannot assist this campaign" -- she would have been hammered by her own Left and probably ended up losing the race by the same margin which she did.)

Posted by Hube at 08:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Distraction, distraction

Top priorities for Americans, according to a May 22-24 Gallup poll (the figure at left is for the May dates; the figure at right is for a month before):

* Situation in Iraq/war: 42 - 29
* Fuel/oil prices/lack of energy sources/ the energy crisis 29 - 13
* Immigration/illegal aliens 23 - 20
* Economy in general 14 - 14
* Poor health care/hospitals; high cost of health care 12 - 9

And where is concern over gay "marriage"? Absolutely nowhere to be found on the list. Yet there is the Senate debating it, and President Bush pushing it.

Nice try, George. You may get some of your base back on board, but in my opinion #3 is what really contributed to your downward spiral in the polls. At this point, unless things somehow miraculously turn around in Iraq, or Osama bin Laden is captured, you've helped make the Republicans probable toast in November.

Posted by Hube at 05:01 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

DE teacher salaries

The now-back in action Delavoice notes how the News Journal's methodology regarding a recent report on Delaware teachers' salaries was fundamentally flawed:

It seems the News Journal, in putting together the salary data, didn't work from the actual annual salary of employees. Instead, it used data from a current pay period, then extrapolated out the salary from there. (For those of you who went to Christina school, extrapolate means to predict or estimate a value from a known value set.) Basically, they took one payroll check and multiplied by the number of pay periods in the year.

And, as DV states, this leads to very misleading results: Teachers who coach, are sponsors of school activities (like yearbook) and/or do "extra pay for extra responsibility" (otherwise known as EPER) usually get these payments in a lump sum either all at one time, or in a few payments throughout the year. If the News Journal just took a "snapshot" -- especially at a coach's paycheck -- they're giving their readers a hugely distorted picture of state teacher salaries. I mean, check 'em:

  • German teacher, Newark High, 6 years experience: $86,442
  • Math teacher, Newark High, 11 years experience: $105,036
  • English teacher, Newark High, 1 year experience: $83,304
  • Driver's Ed teacher, Newark High, 35 years experience: $75,413
  • Student Advisor, Newark High, 1 year experience: $105,036
  • Agriculture(?!) teacher, Christiana High, 32 years experience: $82,302

A German teacher making over $85K?? With only 6 years experience? $83K for an English teacher with one year experience?? Like, since when??

If the WNJ wants to examine teachers' standard of living, what they ought to do is factor in the overall cost of the benefits that the state (and districts) offer them. Then, I could imagine that overall teacher compensation might approach somewhere around the faux salaries seen above.

Posted by Hube at 04:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 06, 2006

Top 11 Things That Anti-War Protesters Would Have Said At the Normandy Invasion on D-Day (Had There Been Anti-War Protesters At Normandy)

These are priceless -- via the Nihilist in Golf Pants:

11. No blood for French Wine!

10. It’s been two and a half years since Pearl Harbor and they still haven’t brought Admiral Nagumo to justice.

9. In 62 years, the date will be 6/6/6. A coincidence? I think not.

8. All this death and destruction is because the neo-cons are in the pocket of Israel.

7. The soldiers are still on the beach, this invasion is a quagmire.

6. Sure the Holocaust is evil, but so was slavery.

5. We are attacked by Japan and then attack France? Roosevelt is worse than the Kaiser!

4. Why bring democracy to Europe by force and not to Korea or Vietnam? I blame racism.

3. This war doesn’t attack the root causes of Nazism.

2. I support the troops, but invading Germany does not guarantee that in 56 years we won't have a President who's worse than Hitler.

1. I don't see Roosevelt or Churchill storming the beaches -- they're Chicken Hawks.

Posted by Rhodey at 09:06 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 05, 2006

Mu.Nu under attack

As noted by Instapundit, the MuNu server -- our server -- has been under a hacker attack.

Still, I'm sure this news still won't make some people believe our server gets gimpy at times ... !

Posted by Rhodey at 05:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 04, 2006

World enters Electronic Age: Women, minorities hardest hit

The Christian Science Monitor talks about how e-mails can be misunderstood:

Michael Morris and Jeff Lowenstein wouldn't have recognized each other if they'd met on the street, but that didn't stop them from getting into a shouting match. The professors had been working together on a research study when a technical glitch inconvenienced Mr. Lowenstein. He complained in an e-mail, raising Mr. Morris's ire. Tempers flared.

"It became very embarrassing later," says Morris, when it turned out there had been a miscommunication, "but we realized that we couldn't blame each other for yelling about it because that's what we were studying."

I think it's safe to say that all of us that use e-mail have been misunderstood at one time or another. This is probably what gave birth to little "emoticons" -- the little symbols you may see in e-mails and blog posts/comments like :-)

Of course, it took some college "studies" to figure out the following:

... e-mail lacks body language, tone of voice, and other cues - making it difficult to interpret emotion.

... to avoid miscommunication, e-mailers need to look at what they write from the recipient's perspective, Epley says. One strategy: Read it aloud in the opposite way you intend, whether serious or sarcastic. If it makes sense either way, revise.

These aren't quite as bad as "Study: Banging head against brick wall can harm skull"-type headlines, but silly nonetheless. But wait -- it gets sillier:

E-mail's ambiguity has special implications for minorities and women, because it tends to feed the preconceptions of a recipient. "You sign your e-mail with a name that people can use to make inferences about your ethnicity," says Epley. A misspelling in a black colleague's e-mail may be seen as ignorance, whereas a similar error by a white colleague might be excused as a typo.

OK, I can possibly see (though don't entirely agree with) the part about minorities, (Quick aside: do people really know the difference between an obvious typo and an obvious spelling error? To me, it's pretty easy to determine, but alas ...) but was the part about women thrown in there automatically, or what? What "preconceptions" about women would one have? The article doesn't say. Thus we're left to our own devices to infer just what the researchers mean about women. I find it extremely difficult to believe folks would have a preconception that women would be perceived as "more ignorant," especially since many educational statistics show they more often than not outperform their male counterparts. (The latter link shows more women earn bachelors and masters degrees than men.)

(h/t: Taranto.)

Posted by Felix at 02:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

So much for the "all-powerful" Zionists

As some oft do around here (meaning, locally) to "prove" that others' points are somehow misguided (to say the least), I figured I'd indulge in a little of the same. Case in point: the belief that any criticism of Israel or Israeli policy actions lead to unwarranted charges of anti-Semitism. Certainly there are people out there who are (wrongly) quick (or even slow) to utilize the charge when not appropriate. But, of course, there are times when the charge is appropriate.

But I digress.

My point today is that the atmosphere of leftist political correctness has led to what could be termed "the opposite" scenario: A professor at DePaul University was fired "for the 'crime' of speaking to the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian mindset that has come to dominate the DePaul campus."

For 15-20 minutes, [Thomas] Klocek, who is Catholic, not Jewish, confronted a group of 8 students manning two tables for the groups Students for Justice in Palestine, and United Muslims Moving Ahead. Klocek says he argued that the materials the groups were disseminating were one-sided.

Klocek says the discussion was heated at times, and he admits to raising his voice. He says he told the students that Palestinians were Arabs who lived in the West Bank and Gaza – that they had no unique national historical identity . He challenged one student's assertion that Israel was behaving like the Nazis. He stated that while most Muslims were not terrorists, pretty much all terrorists these days were Muslim. This statement had originally been made by the manager of an Arab news channel, and had recently been quoted in the Chicago Sun Times. It has the incidental merit of being true.

Agree or disagree with Klocek -- and considering that a professor like Ward Churchill is still employed despite the argument that his speech was much more offensive -- DePaul's actions in response to Klocek are preposterous. And, a judge agrees:

A defamation suit was filed in Illinois' Cook County Chancery last June charging that DePaul University and its leadership defamed Professor Thomas Klocek when DePaul publicly characterized arguments he presented to members of Palestinian and Muslim student groups as racist and bigoted.

Yesterday, Judge Stuart Nudelman of the Illinois Circuit County Law Division Court agreed that Klocek's claims have merit, which will allow his suit against DePaul to move forward toward a trial by jury. Klocek's advocates characterized the Judge's statements in court this way:

Judge Nudelman believes that DePaul's actions to discipline Professor Thomas Klocek went to such extreme that their conduct rose to the level of defamation. He noted that DePaul exhibited destructive political correctness when it gave way to its fear of students' reactions to Prof. Klocek's challenges to the student groups' literature and perspective on the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Judge Nudelman also commented that if such limited debate took place when he was a student, it would have resulted in having an inferior educational experience.

Judge Nudelman also stated that DePaul's public disclosures about Prof. Klocek defamed him in that they denigrated his ability to perform as a professor.

We've opined that even execrable folk like Ward Churchill, a public employee and tenured professor, should in no way be fired for their speech. We've also shown how professors with the "correct" offensive speech aren't as vigorously hounded by their universities as those with the "incorrect" offensive speech. And it's also revealing to note (regarding prof. Klocek) that

What is surprising at DePaul is that groups which might normally come to the defense of a beleaguered professor unjustly removed from his position have been nowhere in sight. The ACLU has been silent. The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has also not yet gotten involved. Perhaps for these groups, the "crime" of defending Israel may trump a professor's right to free speech.

Or, because these groups all share the same "groupthink" when it comes to certain issues.

And this comment by Klocek's immediate superior makes you wonder -- again -- just what the hell some people in the ivory tower are thinking:

"No one should ever use the role of teacher to demean the ideas of others or insist on the absoluteness of an opinion, much less press erroneous assertions."
Let's see -- a college professor engaging college students in a debate is now "demeaning." "Absoluteness of opinion" now equates to "defending your point of view." "Erroneous assertions" in this case means "Israel is wrong."

This supervisior of Klocek is Dean Susanne Dumbleton. It couldn't be more appropriate.

The students did not even know Klocek was a professor until they asked, which is significant since DePaul argued that Klocek used his "power" as a professor over the students. They even reasoned that Klocek's "older age" itself was a "power relationship." Guess that means I'd better not get into any debates/arguments with any of my younger co-workers from now on, eh?

You gotta love the modern academy, folks.

John J. Miller has a lot more about the case.

Posted by Felix at 10:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 03, 2006

Seattle schools remove definition of "cultural racism"

As noted here on Colossus by Felix, the Seattle School District had on its website a rather ... biased definition of "cultural racism." Now, however, it seems the district has removed it. Apparently the heat generated by this op-ed was getting to the Seattle educationists.

Here's the new version of the "Equity and Race Relations" page of the Seattle District. I was a bit confused by this line:

"Our intention is not to put up additional barriers or develop an 'us against them' mindset, nor is it to continue to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as a melting pot or colorblind mentality."

Did the Seattle District really "continue to hold onto" an "unsuccessful" concept like colorblindness? Hardly. It wholeheartedly rejected it, and it's rather easy to see that it did merely by noting their use here of the word "unsuccessful." "Unsuccessful" according to whom? Where's the science? The studies?

It's doubtful you'll find any. More likely it's just the convoluted "progressive" opinion of left-coast edu-babblers.

Posted by Hube at 11:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why they're now a "fave read"

It's because they make strong, logical points, and lace it with sarcasm and humor. Today's case in point:

Imagine the following hypothetical scenario, dear reader. Numerous groups of Mexican terrorists—whom the mainstream media deem "militants"—routinely fire rockets into the southern United States as part of an effort to de-legitimize Texas and compel Americans to give the second-largest state back to Mexico. The Mexican government, meanwhile, is in league with these terrorists, and thus won't stop them.

Now, here's the question: Exactly how long would it take the United States to put a stop to this? In how many minutes would the US Army take to northern Mexico to kill and/or capture these brutes? If you ask us, the answer is: Faster than you can say "burrito."

In addition, we firmly believe that no one in his right mind would consider a targeted strike at such hypothetical Mexican terrorists tantamount to "aggression." But, naturally, no one in his right mind believes that the lovable scamps in Hamas are in their right mind.

Israel, which routinely is the recipient of such rocket strikes -- even now after they've abandoned the formerly occupied Gaza Strip -- has often shown remarkable restraint in dealing with the attacks. (Speaking of "restraint," just recall Israel's reaction to Saddam Hussein launching numerous Scud missiles into the country during the Gulf War.) Of course, Israel normally retaliates in kind when shelled by [Hamas] rockets. But here's the chuckler: Regarding Israel's latest act of retaliation, here's what the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniya, did: he condemned "the Israeli policy of aggression against our people."

Posted by Hube at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"X-3" review

As Paul Smith noted, I caught X-Men 3: The Last Stand the other night with him, my wife and daughter, and my good buddy (and fellow comics junkie) Brent. Unlike Paul, however, I'm not going to go into much of the social and political implications (I do think what Paul touched on, however, is pretty much accurate). I usually jump at the chance to do so (I'm working on a guest commentary for Avi Green's Four Color Media Monitor blog), but in this case I'd rather point out the movie's connections to comicbook history.

SPOILER SPACE!! Do not click "continue" if you do not wish to have key details of the movie revealed!!

I had heard good and bad things about the movie since its premiere. I figured I'd like it nonetheless as I'm a big comics fan. (Then again, that's what I said about "Fantastic Four" -- YUCK!) Indeed, I was quite satisfied with "X-3." I had read via various Internet sites that the legendary "Dark Phoenix" saga was a significant subplot to the film, and this is true. Of course, the movie had to make some significant alterations to the Phoenix back-story to make it relevant to the X-Men films. This tends to alienate purist "fan-boys" (which is surely ridiculous, IMO); I think it's terrific that the film's creators wove into the film's history one of the X-Men's comic's greatest stories -- indeed, one of all of Marvel Comics' greatest stories.

The "alteration" is as follows: Jean Grey, who was apparently killed at the end of "X-2," is revealed to be alive, somehow "wrapped in a telekinetic coccoon" at the bottom of the lake. Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) reveals that Jean is actually the only "class-5" mutant alive -- the most powerful ever, more powerful than either Magneto or Xavier -- combined! Xavier had to "install" a series of "psychic circuit breakers" in Jean's mind to keep her "dark side" under wraps. This dark side is dubbed the "Phoenix."

In the comic (issue #100 of the "new" X-Men, to be precise), the X-Men had just finished a battle on an earth-orbit space station against the mutant-hunting robot Sentinels (one of which has a "cameo" in the movie -- the X-Men practice fighting against one in their famed "Danger Room"). Jean Grey has to pilot a space shuttle back to earth as only her mental powers can keep out deadly solar radiation from seeping through a hole in the craft. Unfortunately, her power didn't appear to be enough -- but when the shuttle crash-lands in Jamaica Bay (near New York City, of course!), Jean emerges from the drink virtually unscathed, and proclaims herself as the Phoenix.

It's eventually revealed that the Phoenix is sort of a cosmic/psionic entity that "took Jean's place" in her body when Jean was "killed" by the solar radiation. Subsequent retcons of the X-Men backstory have established essentially what is shown in the movie -- Xavier had placed psychic blocks in Jean's mind as a child, and that the Phoenix was always a subconscious part of her mind.

Beginning in issue X-Men #101, Phoenix is in control of her (increased) powers, but when one of the "evil" mutants (named Mastermind) projects illusions into her mind, the "dark" side of the Phoenix force overwhelms Jean and she loses control. She easily bests her teammates (all of whom have been seen in the X movies: Wolverine, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Beast) but when she engages Professor X in a telepathic battle, she loses -- only because she was also fighting herself from within. In the movie, Jean utterly destroys the Professor. Also noteworthy is that, during Jean's battle with the X-Men in the comics' pages, Wolverine had an opportunity to kill Jean while her human side had briefly regained control of her body -- but he was unable to do it. In the movie's climax, to save the whole planet, Wolverine barely hesitates to kill Jean.

Monetarily, the movie in no way would have been able to portray what subsequently occurs in the comic. After Professor X defeats Dark Phoenix and re-establishes the psychic blocks in Jean's mind, Jean, the Professor and the X-Men are teleported aboard a starship of the alien Shi'ar race. While Jean first was transformed into Dark Phoenix, she traveled to Shi'ar space and destroyed a sun and all of its planets, one of which was inhabited. As punishment, the Shi'ar want to execute Jean/Phoenix. Professor Xavier manages to convince the Shi'ar empress, Lilandra (who was once Xavier's lover, but that's another story), to allow a battle of super-teams (the X-Men and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard) to decide Jean's/Phoenix's fate. The X-Men lose, but as the victorious Imperial Guard close in on Jean, she once again transforms into Phoenix after seeing her lover, Cyclops, cut down by the Shi'ar super-team. Before the Dark Phoenix is able to take control of her once more, however, Jean manages to kill herself with an alien weapon (the classic X-Men #137).

There was much controversy surrounding the Dark Phoenix story, especially when Marvel decided to "resurrect" Jean/Phoenix. One [preceding] interesting tidbit is that then-X-Men creators Chris Claremont (who had a brief cameo in X-3 as the guy mowing his lawn in the film's beginning) and John Byrne did not want to have Jean killed in the climax issue #137. They were overruled by then-Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, who felt (correctly, in my view) that merely "excising" Jean's power wasn't sufficient punishment for the killing of over four billion people (when Dark Phoenix destroyed that sun, natch).

Claremont apparently never wanted Jean/Phoenix to be resurrected period, and bitterly opposed John Byrne's [later] plot to retcon the whole premise behind Phoenix. From here, things get really hectic and too in-depth with minutiae. One thing I appreciate, though, is that my favorite current comics writer, Kurt Busiek, actually is credited with coming up with the idea of resurrecting Jean that Marvel eventually decide to go with. Ironically, Byrne garnered much of his success by retconning many Marvel (and DC) characters, but this eventually lost its "lustre." Byrne's retconning of the Avengers' android Vision character was widely criticized (and, in another ironic twist of fate, was later ret-retconned by Kurt Busiek in the phenomenal Avengers Forever twelve issue series), as was his "Spider-Man: Chapter One."

Posted by Hube at 09:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 02, 2006

You report, We Run You Down

Sandy Wells of KABC radio had just finished conducting interviews of "parents, students and administrators of the Academia Semillas del Pueblo Charter School in El Sereno." KABC had been reporting that the school has been teaching the doctrine of separatism (the school is over 90% Mexican), and noted that the school has no white, black or Asian students.

Police said Wells had just finished his interviews and was calling his radio station when he saw a car coming toward him.

Wells ran for his car, authorities said, but the car followed him. The driver got out of the silver sedan and assaulted Wells, police said, and tried to take his equipment but got only the tape.

Hot Air notes:

Wells, equipped with a KABC mic and recorder, said that when he inquired at the school's office about interviewing Aguilar, he was told the principal was not in and did not want to talk.

The reporter asked the four or five black-garbed guards stationed outside for permission to interview parents as they arrived at the school with their children but was denied.

Then, according to Wells, the lady at the front desk came running out, angry, and a Dodge Magnum abruptly pulled up on the sidewalk just short of the reporter.

A large Hispanic man with a shaved head, about 25, leaped out of the vehicle and chased Wells down the street, tackled him and demanded the tape.

Wells, uninjured, said he turned over the tape, which had only ambient sound.

The guards offered no help, the reporter noted.

As Wells drove away, he noticed he was being tailed by a black SUV. The reporter called into McIntyre's show and was put on the air, hoping the exposure would prompt his pursuer to back off. The SUV eventually pulled away.

Talk radio host Doug McIntyre has reported that the school's principal and founder, Marcos Aguilar (who in college used his "Aztec" name "Huitzilixtlitiu"), has occasionally made racist statements, like this:

We are not interested in what they have because we have so much more and because the world is so much larger. And ultimately the White way, the American way, the neo liberal, capitalist way of life will eventually lead to our own destruction.

Look, we can't have stuff like separatism and racism -- especially by minorities -- being reported on, now can we? (/sarcasm) That's just another way of the "Man" keeping the (in this case) Mexicans "down." As such, the sentence? Death by car bumper.

Posted by Felix at 03:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

8 people in 5 years = "problem"

Tim Blair reports on the New York Times' idiocy (ain't too hard to do, actually) regarding a class-action suit by Muslim/Arab-Americans. The Times writes:

A number of American Muslims similarly upset by how federal agents treated them and their families are seeking relief through the courts. About eight men with Muslim or Arab roots are joining a suit already filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union ... The problem has become such a part of being a Muslim American that some comedians have built routines around it.

Blair responds:

Eight men. Coming up on five years since 9/11, only eight men are pursuing legal action over travel issues. That's how the NYT decides when something qualifies as a problem: comedians build a routine around it. Prepare for a 15-part NYT series on airline food.

Hell, just recall the constant stories the Times ran on Martha Burke's crusade against the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia. The Times is a master at creating controversy and societal "problems" ... where there really ain't none.

Posted by Hube at 01:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack