August 30, 2006

NEA Resolutions

Well, school is back in full swing. Education-related articles are popping up all over the place. One that I liked in particular was this one from English teacher Nancy Goodwin. Worth it for teachers and parents to read.

AND -- it's that time again! Time to have fun with the NEA (National Education Association) annual "Resolutions"!! Woo-hoo! As noted here at Colossus and elsewhere, some of these are real head-scratchers. Many essentially don't change from year to year, but here's a sampling of some resolution amendments from this year, as noted from the hard copy of the union monthly, NEA Today:

I-56. Ethnic-Minority Educators. (First paragraph): The National Education Association believes that multiracial teaching staffs are essential to the operation of schools. The Association deplores the current trend of diminishing numbers of ethnic-minority educators.

Essential to the operation of schools? Wow, that's pretty strong stuff. You mean that if there's not a single minority employed by a school -- that means the school isn't "operating properly?" Multi-culti mumbo-jumbo.

Here's one Mike from Down With Absolutes! will like:

H-3. The Right to Vote. (First paragraph): The National Education Association believes that the principle of one-person, one-vote must apply at all levels of government, including the election of the President of the United States.

Unlike Mike, however, who I feel is much more intellectually honest, I doubt the NEA would be so eager to include this amendment had John Kerry pulled out Ohio in 2004, won the electoral vote (and thus, the presidency), but still lost the popular vote by almost three million votes. (To contrast, Gore had about 500,000 more [popular] votes than George Bush in 2000.)

Continuing:

The Association opposes all actions that encourage or result in voter disenfranchisement. The Association supports voter education programs and uniform registration requirements without restrictive residency provisions or restrictive identification requirements. (My emphasis.)

What does "restrictive residency provisions" mean, exactly? I am hoping that it merely means that you should be able to register someplace, and that your registration would be forwarded to the proper locality. This isn't unreasonable.

Ah, but then we have the "restrictive identification requirement," i.e., mandated photo ID! As I noted back in early July, the NEA itself requires photo ID when members vote for its board of directors! Yeah, but we all know those NEA directors are more important than the President of the United States, right? One-person, one-vote ... as long as you don't check on whether that person is voting legally, eh?

I-1. Peace and International Relations. (Second paragraph): The Association supports the principles stated in the United Nations (UN) Charter and believes that the UN furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide.

Yeah. Tell that to Rwanda and Darfur. Or Israel. Or the Serbs. Etc.

Now here's a bold stance:

C-16. Telephone and the Internet. The National Education Association believes that children should be protected from exploitation via telephone and the Internet.

How 'bout this:

A-2. Educational Opportunity for All. (First sentence): The National Education Association believes that each student has the right to a free public education that should be suited to the needs of the individual and guaranteed by state constitutions and the United States Constitution.

Hmm. Where exactly does the U.S. Constitution mention "free public education"? Where does it mention "education" at all? The US Supreme Court has held that there is "no federal Constitutional right to an education;" education remains the domain of the individual states.

Then again, maybe the wording of this confuses me. Maybe the NEA in saying "believes" means to say that the US Constitution should guarantee such a right? If so, what accounts for this from July of this year (my emphasis):

After debate, NBI 79 was withdrawn by the delegate who introduced it. The item directed NEA to form a task force to study creating a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to guarantee every child in America a free, high-quality, public education. For a few sublime minutes, EIA was treated to the sound of NEA activists arguing against the federalization of public education. NEA General Counsel Bob Chanin mentioned the possibility of a federal court mandating vouchers if such an amendment existed, or teachers being subjected to educational malpractice lawsuits for violating the constitutional rights of students. Delegates painted pictures of all education policy being run by the current occupants of the White House and the current Congressional majority. The sweetest moment came when one delegate asked about "a clause in the Constitution that reserves powers to the states."

Guess they changed their minds ...?

Lastly, here's bold stance #2:

A-5. American Education Week. The National Education Association believes that American Education Week is an important observance during which positive attention should be focused on the contributions of public education and education employees.
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August 29, 2006

School's back in session II

Bomb threat already discovered at a [northern] Delaware high school.

UPDATE: Looks like the link was altered to take you to another breaking story. Trust us, the link was legit at the time of the post!

Posted by Felix at 04:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hitler 2 challenges Bush to debate

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has challenged President Bush to a debate. Really. But there's a condition:

"But the condition is that there can be no censorship, especially for the American nation," he said Tuesday.

I'd say he has a lot of chutzpah, but he might want to "annihilate" me for my use of a Yiddish-derived word.

Posted by Felix at 04:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 27, 2006

Favorite commercial

It's not even a funny one, and humorous ads are ones which most folks, I'd surmise, would consider a "favorite." But my current fave is the one where people around a town do "little considerate things" for some total strangers -- like holding an elevator for someone, or grabbing a person out of the way of falling boxes on a city sidewalk -- while someone who witnesses the selfless act is moved by it, and consequently engages in a selfless act of their own later on.

I'm not even sure what product is the ad is for. I think it's an insurance company.

Posted by Hube at 03:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The first day

... of the school year, that is. Rhymes With Right has some anecdotes from a few rookie teachers that are fun to read, especially considering how he and I are now "veterans."

Unlike many a rookie, I have no trouble falling asleep the day before the first student day. My first three to four years, it was a different story. I also used to think I was the only one who occasionally had a nightmare or two over the summer where I was in a classroom that was totally -- and I mean totally -- out of control. I found out this wasn't so while waiting in line at my Masters degree commencement. I overheard an older woman discussing this very same nightmare to a friend. She saw me smiling and chuckling and asked "You have them too?" They usually occur near the end of August; I only had one this summer but it was early in July. Go figure.

Being at the same school for just about all my 15 years makes it somewhat easier, too. You build up a reputation (hopefully a good one) that incoming students (and parents) are, even somewhat, acquainted with. You don't have to go in to the year feeling ... totally "unknown." Your knowing that many past students -- who have younger siblings that are now coming through your school -- and their parents know you (and like you!) sure makes the new school year beginning much smoother. And trust me -- that means a great deal to (experienced) teachers.

I am beginning my "downward cycle" this year. I've completed 15 years, so conventional wisdom says it's "15 more to go." I'm sure I'll have a decent amount of anecdotes to relate during the year, so stay tuned.

Posted by Hube at 12:36 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

School's back in session

You can tell because kids attempt to cripple their principal:

A 9-year-old boy who climbed onto the roof of Schreiber School and hurled rocks and a brick at his principal on the first day of school Thursday was arrested on felony charges.

When his mother, Maria Muhleman, arrived at the Woodland Avenue NW school, she found him being led away in handcuffs by police.

“I was saying, ‘He’s autistic. You’re going to take him in handcuffs. Come on,’ ” she said. “We’re talking about a 9-year-old with developmental disabilities.”

First instinct: "Handcuffs on my boy?? How dare you!" Not, "My gosh, is the principal OK?? Was anyone hurt?" How "modern parenting" of Mrs. Muhleman, eh?

Muhleman said that her son has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, which is part of a spectrum of disorders that includes autism and Asperger’s syndrome, but does not meet all the characteristics of either disorder.

Wow, that's quite a title. Sounds like it covers just about anything one would want it to.

Posted by Felix at 09:17 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 26, 2006

Awesome

Christopher Hitchens gives Bill Maher's audience the finger:

Apparently Hitch had had enough of the automaton audience clapping and cheering at every anti-Bush quip Maher offered, including a ludicrous comparison to Iran's president:

Hitchens: “He (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) says the Messiah is about to come back. Who's looking for a war here?”

Maher: “So does George Bush, by the way [audience applause]. That's not facetious [audience applause continues].”

Hitchens: “That's not facetious. Your audience, which will clap at apparently anything, is frivolous. [oohs and groans from audience, Hitchens gives them the finger] Fuck you, fuck you. [groans continue]”

Maher: “I was just saying what the President of Iran and the President of America have in common is that they both are a little too comfortable with the idea of the world coming to an end.”

Hitchens: “Cheer yourself up like that. The President has said, quite a great contrast before the podium of the Senate, I think applauded by most present, in his State of the Union address, that we support the democratic movement of the Iranian people to be free of theocracy -- not that we will impose ourselves on them, but that if they fight for it we're on their side. That seems to be the right position to take, jeer all you like.”

Posted by Rhodey at 09:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Well, of course!

Taller people are smarter, study says.

I'm 6'3". ;-)

Posted by Hube at 08:59 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Zero sum

Allen Kemp, former head of the group Citizens for Fair School Taxes, is back, I see, still portraying teachers' salaries and benefits as a zero-sum game. I saw him first do this in 1994 during a meeting about a major district's upcoming referendum, and I sure wasn't the only one giggling at his flawed logic. More on that in a sec.

In his News Journal op-ed today he writes:

The expenditure report for fiscal 2005 shows that in the four biggest districts in New Castle County, costs per student (excluding building alteration, construction and debt service) were: Brandywine, $12,226; Colonial, $11,128; Red Clay, $11,925; and Christina, $14,075.

One of the contributing factors to these high student costs are that the four districts pay for the supplemental medical benefits that other state employees pay themselves.

These benefits are dental, life insurance, disability insurance, prescription plans and vision care. The cost in fiscal 2005 out of local tax funds was $12.3 million. Why should they get benefits that not all taxpayers, state workers or school employees outside of New Castle County get?

Emphasis mine. Kemp is either deliberately leaving out a key distinction, or, remarkably, doesn't know ... and that's that the districts pay into the supplemental medical benefits for their teachers (and other employees). Employees have many choices from which to choose, and if they choose some of the "lesser" benefits, then the result may be that they do not pay any extra (have withholding taken from their paycheck). However, those many school employees that I am familiar with do not elect these minimums, and hence do pay some for their benefits.

Now Kemp's general overall point -- that districts tend to spend in the wrong places and need to clean up their act -- is a valid one. But like in 1994, he believes that the savings districts would garner by eliminating the offer of medical benefits would come without the obvious consequences. In 1994 he put up numerous transparencies on an overhead projector that "showed" how many more teachers districts could hire with the savings from eliminating benefits. What Kemp failed (fails) to realize -- is that you wouldn't be attracting teachers to these districts whatsoever (and current ones would be leaving) as they'd hightail it for [very] nearby Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland districts where, even if their benefits packages may not have been as good as what the DE districts used to offer, the increase in salary would surely work to offset this.

Posted by Hube at 08:41 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 25, 2006

Memed II

Greg at Rhymes With Right "tagged" me with the following questions:

1. One book that changed your life. I'm not big on apparent "life-changing" events, but one book that deeply affected me was C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. It was given to me by a deeply religious work colleague of mine at a time when I was going through a rough period. She knew I am not a big proponent of organized religion, and said that this book would be perfect in many ways. She was dead-on. And I thank her for it constantly.

2. One book that you've read more than once. I've raved about it before so I might as well do it again: Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. It's the perfect book for the scifi and politics fanatic, guaranteed.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island. This is a great question. I don't know. Something that is either incredibly motivational and something that'll help me friggin' survive on that desert island, natch!

4. One book that made you laugh. The Heterodoxy Handbook about rampant and ridiculous PC on American college campuses.

5. One book that made you cry. I honestly cannot think of a book that has made me cry. Plenty of movies have ("Somewhere In Time" does it every -- and I mean every -- time), but I'm fairly certain no book has.

6. One book that you wish had been written. A sequel to Starship Troopers by Heinlein himself.

7. One book that you wish had never been written. The Communist Manifesto. 'Nuff said.

8. One book you're currently reading. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson. In the 22nd century, a manned Bussard ramjet ship gets damaged en route to its destination and cannot stop. It keeps accelerating towards light-speed and effectively circumnavigates the known universe while the crew -- who age slowly due to relativistic time dilation -- deals with the psychological pressures of this most unique situation.

9. One book you've been meaning to read. Ronald Reagan, An American Life. The former president's autobiography, it was given to me as a 40th birthday gift.

Posted by Hube at 06:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Memed

We've been "tagged" for a couple "memes" over the last week, so I'm going to handle the chores on this. La Shawn Barber tagged us today. First, we thank her for that, since a mention by her guarantees a nice traffic spike to our blog visits! Secondly, on a personal level, La Shawn is definitely one of my favorite bloggers. I became a fan of her writings over two years ago, and was fortunate enough to have met her over my Christmas break 2004 in Washington, DC, at a bloggers get-together she had organized. She has that perfect combination of brains, beauty and talent.

The first question is: What haven’t you done yet in your life that you’d really like to do someday? Why? Will you do any of those things in the near future? Are you making progress toward them?

I am pretty content with my life as it is now. But, much like La Shawn, I'd really like to be able to make a living writing -- either similar to blogging (meaning, of a political/cultural nature), or in the science-fiction field or comicbook fields. I also think it would be most cool to host my own talk radio show.

I've barely begun to use my summers to make more progress in my writing goal. I recently finished another degree, so summers had been used primarily for that. During the school year, all my energy, obviously, is devoted towards teaching. Nevertheless, I have numerous contacts, especially in the comics field, that may be able to assist me and offer needed advice. I made most of these contacts during my tenure first as a writer, then as editor-in-chief, of a comics fan magazine that is devoted to a major Marvel comics character.

2) If you could completely start your life over from scratch, what would you do differently the second time around (if anything)? Why?

Make much more of an effort to stay in the music field. I miss playing music. As noted in my bio, I played the sax in numerous bands, notably in the American Youth Jazz Band during a tour of Europe, and a rock-pop band while in college. I also taught myself bass guitar in college. But since I got married shortly after college, my music at first took a back seat to married life and work, then no seat at all. My sax sits in the basement now, its case gathering dust, and I donated my bass and amplifier to my school's jazz band. Unfortunately, playing music isn't like riding a bike. You either use it or lose it. It's surely my own fault; I made other things a priority. But if I had a chance to do it again, I'd keep music a priority.

3) What do you think you’ll be like when you’re 70, 80, 90, possibly even 100 years old? Where do you think you’ll be living, and what activities do you think you’ll enjoy?

I hopefully will retire to my wife's native land of Costa Rica. I love it there. The climate is to die for, the people are among the friendliest you'll find anywhere, and best of all for American retirees (of which there are many already in CR) the dollar goes a long way. My teacher's pension should be sufficient to grant me a decent living. At that age (70+) I hopefully will still be writing. But I also plan to just do a lot of reading, a bit of traveling, and (hopefully) enjoying my grandchildren!

4) What ages do you think have been the best for you so far? Why? What do you think of your current age…are you enjoying it? Are you looking forward to your next birthday?

I've enjoyed my last 10 years probably the most, thus far. I'm currently in my early 40s. Why the last ten years? I've seen my daughter grow up to an adolescent, my teaching career has blossomed, I've made some great friends while teaching, and I've maintained just about all of my main, close childhood friendships. My three closest friends (since grade school!) and I still get together at least once per year for a weekend pow-wow.

I like my current age. I don't feel 40-ish at all. I exercise and play many sports regularly. With the exception of the increased pain I experience after playing some sports, I feel as I did when I was in my 20s. Teaching also helps me maintain a "youthful" mentality!

And yes, I look forward to my next birthday!

Next, stay tuned for my responses to Greg's (Rhymes With Right) "tag" from about a week ago.

Posted by Hube at 04:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 24, 2006

"The Jewish Problem"

Yesterday, it was the Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week winner who wants us to do something about us being "hated" so much in the Middle East. Now, it's cretinous Charley Reese who writes "Today there is no avoiding stating the plain truth: We have a Jewish problem."

"Jewish problem." How nice. Y'know, the " 'ol all-powerful Jewish Lobby." No, I'm not going to make the fairly obvious comparison -- figure it out for yourself. Un.be.liev.a.ble.

Mynym has more on this dangerous line of thinking.

UPDATE: Amnesty International also has a "Jewish problem." They've issued a report accusing Israel of "war crimes;" however, no such accusation has been leveled at Hizbollah. (h/t: Taranto who also discusses Charley Reese today.)

Posted by Hube at 04:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

9/11 tribute

You may notice the little "2,996" icon in the upper right of the Colossus main page. I joined us up as a blog "sponsor" for one of the fallen from 9/11. Colossus is honoring Michael Hardy Edwards. The site sponsoring the tribute is hoping to get each one of the 9/11 fallen sponsored by a separate blog.

Others in the DE blogosphere honoring 9/11 victims are PolitaKid, Miss Anonymous Opinion, and First State Politics (it's still on his old Blogger site).

Posted by Hube at 07:32 PM | Comments (528) | TrackBack

Conflict of interest?

The New York Times reports that Anna Diggs Taylor, the federal judge who ruled that the Bush administration's NSA spy program was unconstitutional, "is a trustee and an officer of a group that has given at least $125,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan."

Why is this a big deal? Because the national ACLU (including its Michigan chapter) was the group that brought the NSA suit! But, not surprisingly (as James Taranto notes), the legal ethicists whom the Times asks for opinions on this matter don't think it's all that big a deal. Take one Stephen Gillers of New York University who says (my emphasis)

"The question is whether her impartiality might reasonably be questioned, and the fact that she sits on the board of a group that gives money to the plaintiff for an otherwise unrelated endeavor would not in my mind raise reasonable questions about her partiality on the issue of warrantless wiretapping."

Of course, Gillers had a completely different take on the issue when it came to Justice Antonin Scalia back in 2004 (emphasis mine):

Scalia's opinion also claims that the appeal is not really about Cheney, who is sued only in his "official capacity," but about the power of the Vice President and the meaning of complex statutes. Ignored is the fact that rejection of the appeal can hurt Cheney politically in an election year if the secret records reveal a pro-industry bias in Cheney's leadership of the study group. That may also explain why Cheney stonewalled the nonpartisan General Accounting Office when it asked him for the same information.

An opposing argument could reveal these and other flaws in Scalia's logic and might well persuade a disinterested judge to reach a contrary conclusion. Judges have been disqualified for much less.

Gillers was disappointed then (the High Court ruled in Cheney's favor 7-2) and I will bet he'll be so again when the Sixth Circuit overturns Diggs' decision and the SCOTUS upholds the Sixth's decision on the inevitable appeal.

Posted by Hube at 07:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sounds like college!

Via The Corner comes word that the next season of "Survivor" will have teams segregated by race (my emphasis):

The announcement was made on CBS' Early Show. Host Jeff Probst says the idea "actually came from the criticism that 'Survivor' was not ethnically diverse enough." He says the twist fits in perfectly with what "Survivor" does, saying the show is "a social experiment. And this is adding another layer to that experiment." Probst says contestants had mixed reactions to the racial divisions.

Man, does that sound like the modern university or what! Colleges are always clamoring about "diversity" (actually, the lack thereof), and yet when one actually checks out the average campus, there are separate dorms and "centers" for every race and ethnicity imaginable. How oxymoronic can you get?

Posted by Hube at 06:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

This week's winner is Newark's Paul Keffer who writes:

Here we are watching another terroristic plot to destroy our way of life, just in time for the elections. I don't want to feed into conspiracy theory, but doesn't it seem strange that every time we are about to go into an election period, terrorists are going to blow something up in the world?

Here we go. Yeah, "I don't want to feed into conspiracy theory ..." But I'll go ahead and do it anyway! And Paul -- the 2006 election is over two months away. Don'tcha think it would have been much more effective for the "sly" Bush administration to have waited until, say, mid-October to "plan" this latest plot, hmmm?

Here's my recommendation, Paul: Watch "On Native Soil" which revisits the tragedy of 9/11, and then come back and complain that the administration is being needlessly and ridiculously preoccupied by terrorism plots. Watch how preposterously unprepared Americans were for what transpired that awful day, and watch the sad responses the myriad government officials gave to the 9/11 Comission when asked "What happened?" After the imbroglio that was 9/11, wouldn't you rather be safe than sorry, to coin a cliché?

I would think that because no Middle Eastern country likes us very much, especially since Bush has been president, they would want someone else in office in this country who they can work with a little better.

Yes, Paul -- those Middle Eastern countries liked us all so much pre-George Bush era -- especially al Qaeda and like-minded terror networks -- that they attacked many US interests (including the World Trade Center itself) various times during the previous administration alone. Then, look at the two administrations before that, including the Iranian Hostage Crisis during the [Democrat] Carter administration. If Carter couldn't get Middle Easterners to "like him," especially after brokering the landmark Camp David Accords which brought peace between Egypt and Israel, then ...? (Actually, that deal in itself was reason enough for many Middle Easterners to hate him. The deal cost Anwar Sadat his life, after all.) The peace plan that Bill Clinton brokered between the Palestinian Authority and Israel was such a "success" that Palestinian splinter groups still kept up their suicide bomber attacks against the Jewish state, even as Ariel Sharon presided over the unilateral pullout of Gaza. Yeah -- "if only we'd just do more so they'd like us better ..."

Argh. I think I'm gonna spew.

Posted by Hube at 03:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006

Don't listen to Jason ...

... regarding the Indian River School District. He says the district and several state representatives "have endorsed Christianity as the district's official religion." Of course, along with much of what Jason often utters, this is complete nonsense. He also opines that district constituents should be miffed that the Indian River's board's decision not to settle with the Dobrich and another unnamed family, since it will cost them all money. That may well be. The question is, if the district believes they are in the right -- why should they settle?

All too often, school boards are intimidated into settling religious-oriented lawsuits precisely because of the costs that would be entailed. In one respect, it is refreshing to see a school district not back down. Consider what the News Journal reports on the proposed settlement:

• A policy on religion within school and classroom settings so restrictive that it would have prohibited the mention of "Christmas Break" on district calendars.

• Guidelines on prayer at commencement exercises and baccalaureate ceremonies.

• A multistep complaint procedure for violations of these policies.

Another prong of the settlement would have allowed two children of the second family automatic admission into the district's arts schools -- jumping in front of other children who had applied.

One half of this settlement proposal is easily viewed through any rational lens as a reason for rejecting a settlement. Take the first: Christmas is a nationally recognized holiday. Why therefore should a school district (that is overwhelmingly Christian, by the way) agree to renounce calling the Christmas break ... Christmas break? The last one is obviously objectionable as well. The middle two points of the proposed settlement, on the other hand, are quite agreeable. But if all points must be agreed to in order to reach a settlement, then that's where the problem comes in.

Also, as the reports notes, the district's insurance company never consulted the school district's lawyers about the proposed settlement. Isn't that a bit ... well, weird?

If even some of what the Dobriches have complained about is accurate, they surely deserve some sort of satisfaction from the district. The question is what. And now, it looks as if litigation is going to decide that for all the parties involved.

Previous Colossus coverage on this issue here, here and here.

UPDATE (8/23): Indian River has offered an alternative settlement according to today's News Journal. No specifics on details as of yet.

Posted by Hube at 08:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006

Joe Rosenthal: R.I.P.

"Who?" you may ask. Just the guy who snapped this unforgettable image:


Posted by Hube at 09:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Indeed

The Dutchmeister asks a damn good question: Why is it that whenever a prominent black liberal speaks out about negative aspects of black American culture, it makes headlines?

In this case, it's -- unbelievably -- "The Rev." Al Sharpton who recently said to the National Association of Black Journalists (must've been the same gathering at which New Orleans Mayor Ray "Tough Spot" Nagin blamed racism for the [lack of] Katrina response)

"We have got to get out of this gangster mentality, acting as if gangsterism and blackness are synonymous. I think we've allowed a whole generation of young people to feel that if they're focused, they're not black enough. If they speak well and act well, they're acting white, and there's nothing more racist than that."

As Dutch notes, black conservatives have been saying this very thing for years. Ah, but you know how it works -- the big media "know" who the "real" black leaders are (like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson) so it really only matters what they say. That, and as Dutch continues, "That he [Sharpton] would choose to speak out against it now only causes me to further question his motives and credibility as a civil rights 'leader.'"

Posted by Felix at 05:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Confusing the issue

Josue has an interesting but sadly not-too-atypical bit about how Democrats blatantly try to play the xenophobia/racism/anti-immigrant card -- and how regular folks are, frankly, getting tired of it. He notes an LA Times story where idiot Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee

... sparked the biggest outburst when she displayed the decorations of an immigrant sailor she met on a Navy ship.

"This is the person being maligned today," she said.

Many in the crowd of about 100 people, including veterans, erupted in boos. "That's ridiculous!" one man yelled.

Indeed it is ridiculous. As Josue states, illegal immigrants are not permitted to serve in the US armed forces. And it is illegal immigrants that are the focus of so many people's scorn these days. Political and social liberals deliberately eliminate the very clear distinction between illegal and legal immigrants so that when your average joe gets miffed at illegal immigration, he is painted with the xenophobia, etc. brush. Jackson-Lee is but one who has done this. Locally and nationally it happens all the time.

Ryan at Jokers to the Right highlights a story I saw on local news last evening. The tone was surely that the town is "intolerant" (the lone moron in a pick-up truck that displayed the Confederate flag and the logo "The South Will Rise Again" played right into the media's hands) but they did show numerous people who clearly stated lines like "We don't care if they're here legally. We're concerned only about the people that are here illegally." Paul Smith Jr. has more thoughts.

It's bad enough that the federal government's lack of response to the growing illegal immigration problem has led to local governments doing what Riverside, NJ has done. It's a circular problem: The federal government does nothing, whereby local governments then take action. These local governments then get sued by "activists" whose main premise is that [illegal] immigration is the federal government's responsibility!

But just as people are getting fed up with political correctness regarding airline travel and "profiling" (or lack thereof), so too are they getting weary of the xenophobe/racist/anti-immigrant epithet merely because they want their elected leaders to actually DO something about illegal immigration.

Posted by Hube at 12:16 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006

I'm sorry, but isn't this just more lack of common sense?

From today's News Journal: Start of school means stressful schedule for kids -- After-class hours divided between band, sports & part-time jobs.

Soccer game. Ballet lesson. Band practice. Booster Club meeting. School play rehearsal.

Oh, yeah. And studying.

Classes resume this week for many Delaware students, and they have much to look forward to in addition to hitting the books.

Some are student council representatives, violinists in the orchestra, school newspaper reporters and athletes. They participate in church youth groups and Scout troops or work part-time jobs. They do all this while taking Advanced Placement classes and writing college-application essays.

Tired yet?

OK, whose fault is if they are tired? Mom and dad's? The kid's?

KidsHealth poll released this summer found 41 percent of younger children reported feeling stressed most or all of the time because they have too much to do. Seventy-seven percent of the 882 children ages 9 to 13 polled said they wish they had more free time. KidsHealth.org is owned by Nemours, which also owns the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children.

“You have to schedule your time by the hour and exactly what you are going to get done,” said Peter Briccotto, a 2006 Newark High School graduate who successfully balanced scholastics with figure skating, marching band, musicals and student activism.

To answer the above query, it's both. Kids shouldn't bite off more than they can chew. And mom and dad shouldn't let them, period. If there's any doubt about what should come first and foremost for a kid, let me make it plain: Academics and school. That's it. No "if" "ands" or "buts." If your child is feeling stressed or lacks free time, some activity (or activities) must be dropped -- and it shouldn't be homework or studying.

You'd be amazed at how many folks don't realize this.

Posted by Hube at 05:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 19, 2006

Surprise: Nagin blames racism

Ray "Tough Spot" Nagin "blamed racism and government bureaucracy for hamstringing his city's ability to weather Hurricane Katrina and recover from the disaster that struck the Gulf Coast nearly a year ago."

He made this comment while addressing the National Association of Black Journalists. No, really?

Again, remember that Nagin shouldn't be blamed for anything Katrina related. He was in a "tough spot" -- probably because of, well, you know, racism and bureaucracy.

Posted by Felix at 02:24 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Hey! Angry liberal musicians! Whoa!

From the NY Times:

Sitting at a table in early August, Bobby Braddock, the longtime songwriter, lamented the conservatism of the country music industry that was demonstrated when the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks became a target of fury three years ago after saying she was ashamed that her band and President Bush shared the same home state.

Country music, the genre of lonely hearts and highways, lost jobs and blue-collar woes, has become a cultural battleground. Conservatism is widely seen as having the upper hand, a red-state answer to left-leaning Hollywood.

Democrats on Music Row, the country music capital here, have grown frustrated with that reputation. A group of record-company executives, talent managers and artists has released an online compilation of 20 songs, several directly critical of Mr. Bush and the Iraq war.

The price for the set is $20, with most of the proceeds going to the group, which calls itself Music Row Democrats and is using the money to support local and national candidates who share its values.

Awwww. Sorry folks, but it's really tough to get all teary-eyed about your ... "situation" when, as the article [unbelievably] admits, liberals dominate Hollywood (and, I'll add education and the MSM to that list).

Democratic songwriters say that they have since hesitated to express political views, for fear of being “Dixie Chicked.�

Yawwwn. As we've written numerous times at Colossus, if musicians are too stupid to realize who comprises their core audience, they have no one to blame but themselves. Let's size it up [yet] again: No one is censoring you, and no one is infringing on your freedom of speech. Like too many other idiots, you want freedom of speech to equate to freedom from criticism -- and ultimately, freedom of guaranteed income.

If you want to see real muzzling of freedom of expression, ironically in an atmosphere that should be (above all) designed to support such, check out the myriad anecdotes from across the country regarding the aforementioned (liberal-dominated) education -- especially higher education -- field.

UPDATE: Wow, you gotta it like when an article to bolster your position falls right into your lap via blog surfing -- one using even some of the same words as the subjects of the Times article (like "lament").

Posted by Felix at 10:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006

What would they say about this profiling?

Blog Goliard poses the following hypothetical:

“Why is it morally superior to inconvenience old Mormon women of Swedish descent—for no reason at all—as much as young men from Pakistan?” A good question, that becomes an even better one if you switch around a few shoes.

Imagine, for instance, that it was the Ku Klux Klan that was bombing airplanes… and that on his next flight out of D.C., Jesse Jackson’s party got singled out, more or less randomly, for extra screening. What do you think he would say? Do you think he would find this morally superior to focusing the TSA’s attention on white males hailing from Southern and border states?

Perfect! Of course, Jackson would be not concerned in the least about the profiling of Aryan-looking white males, he'd be royally pissed off about being "randomly selected" for a search and scream "racism" as he usually does with anything remotely concerning race (and even not concerning race at all, for that matter). B.G. continues:

And just imagine how some Southern advocacy group would be received if they stepped forward to play the role that CAIR does now. How do you think the government would respond to their calls, in the immediate wake of a 21st-century version of the Birmingham church bombing, to reach out to disaffected white Southerners, to protect them from any hate or discrimination or other unpleasant backlash, to solemnly instruct Americans that the redneck culture is really one of peace and understanding? And don’t forget their demands that the “understandable rage” over this, that or the other thing be understood by everyone…not that any of it justifies terrorism, exactly; but we must always go after the “root causes”, you know…

Somehow I think it would all play out very differently, especially among the politically correct crowd, who would be making very different noises than they do now.

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

Now ... Andrew Young?

Mel Gibson. George Allen. Now ... Andrew Young?

Young, who was a close associate of Martin Luther King Jr., former ambassador to the U.N. and former mayor of Atlanta, was hired to assist Wal-Mart to "improve its image." I'm sure the retail giant was thrilled by the following remarks uttered by Young in an interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel -- when he asked if Wal-Mart puts "mom and pop" stores out of business (my emphasis):

"Well, I think they should; they ran the `mom and pop' stores out of my neighborhood," the paper quoted Young as saying. "But you see, those are the people who have been overcharging us selling us stale bread and bad meat and wilted vegetables. And they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they've ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it's Arabs; very few black people own these stores."

What makes this ... "worse" than Gibson's or Allen's remarks, in my opinion, is that Young is a major figure in the civil rights movement. OK, OK, so is (was) Jesse Jackson, but he lost much of his credibility long ago. Not so with Young. Unfortunately, now he's sounding too much like "Hymietown" Jackson, and even worse, "Freddie's Fashion Mart" Al Sharpton. But to Wal-Mart's most likely-obvious relief, Young has resigned from his position.

What the hell is it with folks like this who're in the public eye? Gibson at least had a semi-excuse in that he was inebriated (however minutely). What's George Allen's excuse? Young's? How stupid can you be?

"Kudos," for lack of a better term, to MSNBC for actually covering this. Why do I say that? Look at Gibson and Allen, first. They're conservatives and/or Republicans. Gibson's situation was covered everywhere ad nauseum. Allen's gaffe saw front page treatment in the Washington Post for two consecutive days. Young, on the other hand, is a liberal Democrat ... and a minority. That's why I was actually amazed MSNBC.com had the story as one of their "Top Stories." Wonder what other MSM outlets will say.

Posted by Felix at 11:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 17, 2006

Muslim family - Cape Henlopen update

This is the apparent situation with the "settlement" described on the US Dept. of Justice website regarding the Muslim family and the Cape Henlopen School District:

The settlement was based on a separate lawsuit brought BY the US DoJ's Civil Rights Division based on the [Muslim] family's complaint. This is a wholly separate legal case than the individual lawsuit brought by the family (the mother) that was reported on in the News Journal and NY Times.

Interestingly, much of what was involved in the settlement negotiated with US DoJ and the district was also sought by the family. Consider --

US DoJ settlement agreement:

In the settlement agreement reached between the school district and the Civil Rights Division, the school agreed to provide teacher training on diversity and the school’s policies regarding religious expression, to provide a tolerance education program for all K-5 students, and to create specific performance expectations for the teacher and ensure that she achieves them.

Family demands in their suit:

They also want the court to order the district to:

Develop policies to prevent intolerance and guide administrators on dealing with student complaints about harassment related to religious beliefs and social background.

Implement mandatory training for faculty and staff on religious and cultural diversity.

•Keep statistics on racial discrimination and harassment complaints by students and the action taken to resolve them.

But this isn't all the family desires. As the News Journal reported, "The mother and daughters are asking the court for monetary damages to cover their pain and suffering and to punish the district." If what was noted in my last update post about this whole deal is accurate, it is pretty easy to understand this. In addition, keep in mind that the family's complaint included this:

...the lawsuit alleges even that option (a home tutor) didn't work well because the instructor, approved by the district, continued to discuss ethnic hatreds and religious wars, despite the therapist cautioning against it. Another tutor was eventually sent to the family's house, but not for as much time as the family expected.

Furthermore, recall that Cape couldn't guarantee that the family's daughters wouldn't face ridicule if they returned to the school(s).

Personally, that last "guarantee," when considered, actually is something which realistically can't be guaranteed by the district. There's no way school officials can be everywhere and every place keeping an eye (and ear) out for student harassment of the Muslim girls. What they could guarantee that if any further harassment did take place, it would be promptly dealt with -- and severely.

Stay tuned for further info as it develops. (Past Colossus coverage on this here and here.)

Posted by Hube at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006

Another alternate reality front page of a major newspaper ...

... circa 1943. Explanation of the headlines is here.

(h/t: Armavirumque.)

Posted by Hube at 09:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Good to hear: Benefits of my liquid addiction!

Coffee as a Health Drink? Studies Find Some Benefits is the headline of this NY Times article.

Coffee is not usually thought of as health food, but a number of recent studies suggest that it can be a highly beneficial drink. Researchers have found strong evidence that coffee reduces the risk of several serious ailments, including diabetes, heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver.

Larger quantities of coffee seem to be especially helpful in diabetes prevention. In a report that combined statistical data from many studies, researchers found that people who drank four to six cups of coffee a day had a 28 percent reduced risk compared with people who drank two or fewer. Those who drank more than six had a 35 percent risk reduction.

I typically drink two travel mugs of coffee each morning, sometimes more during the school year. And it's a recent thing for me -- I didn't start drinking coffee regularly until about ten years ago, which is weird in itself considering my wife is from Costa Rica, home of the world's best coffee.

Posted by Hube at 09:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006

Christian and Jewish campus groups "subversive"

David French over at Phi Beta Cons notes that the University of Wisconsin -- which seeks to deny various religious groups official [campus] recognition -- is getting its legal advice from a group called the Judicial Equality Foundation. The JEF bases its reasoning on the following:

We object because these groups preach the Torah or the Holy Bible to their followers. That dogma urges violence against those who do not share their beliefs, see particularly Deuteronomy 13:6-11. Groups that advocate violence to others are subversive and should not be permitted to exist, much less claim protection of the First Amendment.

You get that? Campus religious groups are subversive, for heaven's sake (pun intended). "Not permitted to exist"? Islamic groups, based on the JEF's website readings, would likely be as unwelcome as Christian or Jewish, not to mention any group which may have somewhere, deep within the bowels of some old guidebook, something which could be construed as "leading to violence." But religion is the JEF's main target. Their website states

On September 11, 2001, we began to work to eliminate terror committed in the name of religion. We applied the methods used to correct the poor judgment that leads to juvenile crime to analyze the causes of religious motivated violence.

Campus religious groups versus ... worldwide Islamic terrorism? Riiiiight.

What the JEF obviously fails to realize is that the complete literal meaning of these ancient texts is hardly advocated, at least in modern Western societies. As French writes, "Note to self: I need to tell the Christian kids at Wisconsin to avoid stoning heretics until after the controversy is resolved." Indeed. JEF's "legal advice" is laughable, but also sadly bigoted.

UPDATE: Jeff the Baptist discusses some personal experiences regarding college religious groups and universities.

Posted by Felix at 06:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Honoring"

"Happy Birthday Fidel -- San Franciscans honor the life of the world's longest reigning revolutionary leader" is the headline of this San Francisco Sentinel article.

"Longest reigning revolutionary leader." Huh. I guess that's one way of putting it!

Be sure to check out the "celebrations" via words and pictures, especially this image of Green Party House candidate Krissy Keefer which looks like she's trying to either disgorge the most prodigious fart ever, or demonstrating what facial expressions one is likely to manifest when being tortured by Cuba's secret police.

Wait, the latter is unlikely given Keefer's expressed affection for 'ol Fidel. Scratch that ... !

(h/t: Val Prieto.)

Posted by Hube at 10:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter(s) of the Week

Two winners from the same pot today. First we have James Farny of Newark who thinks President Bush should be impeached for ... "allowing" 9/11 to happen:

The conversations of Air Force officials taped on Sept. 11, 2001, during the 9/11 attacks prove that our air defense personnel were completely surprised by the hijacked commercial airliners.

We have known since the Aug. 12, 2002, issue of Time magazine that in January 2001, Richard Clarke and Sandy Berger of the outgoing Clinton administration had warned the Bush administration of the al-Qaida threat. The 9/11 Commission revealed that a White House security briefing in August 2001 warned President Bush of the threat of hijacked airplanes as weapons of mass destruction.

President Bush and security adviser Condoleezza Rice did not pass on this information to the American people or to Air Force commanders.

The president has never acknowledged his failure in 9/11. The resulting destablization of the Middle East is a disastrous threat to peace. We should impeach Bush for failure to take action before 9/11 and for lying to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Yaaaawwwn. Then, obviously, Bill Clinton should have been impeached not over the ridiculous Whitewater deal, but for not offing Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to do so. It was mighty big of the previous administration to "warn" incoming president George Bush about the threat -- when they did little to nothing to neutralize the threat!

Next we have Margaret Cassling of Bear who chastises a Washington Post op-ed that criticized Daniel Ortega's manipulation of the electoral rules in Nicaragua to make it easier to win ... because George Bush (and Republicans) "stole" the last two elections here:

Let's look at what happened in the United States in 2000. Al Gore won 55 percent of the popular vote. Florida ballots were contested because of many irregularities. When the case was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia should have recused themselves because of conflict of interest, They did not. Our president was chosen by the Supreme Court.

What about 2004? Exit polls showed John Kerry ahead. Yet again it came down to one state, Ohio. Again, there were voting irregularities. Then a Republican victory was declared.

Reasonable people can disagree about the Supreme Court's decisions in the 2000 election, but conspiracy theories about the 2004 election are, frankly, over the top. And Ms. Cassling should know that the popular vote does not elect our president -- the Electoral College does -- so it's immaterial that Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000. And Ms. Cassling really should do a wee bit of research before spouting her statistics. Al Gore won 55% of the popular vote in 2000? Hardly, sister. The actual totals were Gore with 48.38% of the vote, and Bush with 47.87%. You weren't even in the ballpark, Ms. Cassling.

You cannot compare arbitrary changes made to an electoral system with the foundation laid in the United States Constitution that enables ours. Certainly things here aren't perfect, but the system works -- and has worked for over two centuries.

Posted by Hube at 09:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 14, 2006

Update: Why did the Cape Muslim family continue lawsuit?

After doing a lot of research on the 'net yesterday and today, the only conclusion I can come up with regarding the Muslim family lawsuit against the Cape Henlopen School District is that the family had reached a settlement with the district after the US Dept. of Justice got involved, but later something happened that caused them back out of the settlement and proceed with their lawsuit. I have not been able to find as yet a definitive answer why.

I went ahead and e-mailed (probably futilely) the Delaware ACLU asking them what happened to the settlement. If history is any guide, I won't get a response. I also sent out some other e-mails to those who might have (or be able to get) some info.

But how about this: Why didn't the News Journal (and consequently the NY Times) report on the initial settlement? The only legitimate reason I can think of is because there are two different families involved. But based on what I've seen, the chances of that are extremely remote. The grade of the student involved, the names of those involved, the time-frame ... are point to a single case, not different ones.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: One source has gotten back to me. No word as of yet on the revoked/reneged settlement of March 2005, but some disturbing reports of some of what went on that led to the suit (or threat of suit) in the first place. Apparently the family had three girls at the school, and aside from the "taunts such as 'no loser Muslims allowed'" and "[one of] the girls [being told] she was ugly and had an ugly name" that the News Journal reported, my source stated that one of the Muslim girls had her hair cut by other students and even worse -- one of the family's daughters (possibly the same one who had her hair cut) was at one time urinated on by another student. The school's response to these incidents, according to the source, was virtually non-existent.

Posted by Hube at 07:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Maybe because we were allowed to use total war?

Former counter-terrorism head Richard Clarke remarked on Thursday's "World News Tonight" (ABC) that

"... what today's plot reminds us is that five years after 9/11, the United States has not eliminated al-Qaeda. We eliminated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in under four years, but five years into this war against al-Qaeda, they're out there still plotting major attacks against the United States."

Well, no wonder Dick. We were allowed to engage in total war against Hitler and Tojo. FDR and Truman weren't hamstrung by political opponents who questioned and attempted to thwart virtually their every move. In order to truly win the War on Terror, if Bush and his administration implemented (or attempted to implement) a fraction of what FDR and Truman did to win WW II, they'd have been impeached and convicted long ago.

Posted by Rhodey at 02:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Spike Lee: The Next Michael Moore

Get ready for Spike's "Fahrenheit 9/11"-ish "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," a film about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. Now, you may ask "How do you know it'll be like "Fahrenheit 9/11, Felix?" Call it a hunch:

... the 49-year-old director visited the Gulf Coast region nine times and interviewed more than 100 people, including the mayor of New Orleans, the governor of Louisiana, Sean Penn, Soledad O'Brien, Kanye West, engineers, historians, journalists, radio DJs—even the guy who spotted the vice president during a post-Katrina photo-op and told him, "Go f--- yourself, Mr. Cheney."

His first stop was the office of embattled New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, whose handling of Katrina ranged from inept to impassioned. "Nagin was in a tough spot," Lee says now. "A lot of people say, 'It's similar to New York and look how [the then Mayor Rudy] Giuliani handled 9/11'." But you can't compare the two at all. One event was man-made, the other wasn't."

Ah. Nagin was in a "tough spot." So, in other words, Nagin, since he was in a "tough spot," gets a pass because, well, again, he was in a "tough spot," and the event he faced was not man-made. Right. OK.

Remarkably, we're then told that "Lee is careful in his film not to carve out a pie chart of accountability. He seems to share the view of the regular folks down in New Orleans: the failure was systemwide." Well gee, we already now know that Mayor Nagin isn't accountable because he was in a "tough spot!"

But then the truth flickers through:

Still, the Bush administration takes plenty of lumps—especially Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whose Manhattan shoe-shopping trip while New Orleans drowned is recalled in vivid detail. Lee says he spent months searching for the woman who approached Rice in a Ferragamo store and chastised her for her insensitivity. "I did my best to find her—talking about her in the media, hoping she'd see it or somebody would tell her," he says, "but I don't think she wanted to be found." (Lee has joked that she's probably in Guantánamo Bay.)

Yeah, "ha ha," Spike. Funny how you couldn't track down the folks "Tough Spot" Ray Nagin allowed to escape from relative luxury (Hyatt hotel tourists and employees) -- ahead of thousands of others who were waiting anxiously (you know, like at the Superdome?) -- on buses to evacuate the danger. (Nagin also had all his "ranking officials" located that Hyatt.) I also wonder if Spike asked Nagin about his comments that "the CIA might take him out" because of his criticism of federal officials. Probably not, since it's likely Spike already believes such a claim. More on that in a sec.

In her place, the Rev. Al Sharpton and the social critic and author Michael Eric Dyson take turns chopping down Rice. "I knew that what I had to say about this administration would see the light of day with Spike," says Sharpton. "Many times the mainstream news will cut you off when you have something negative to say about the White House. This documentary will make up for all those times."

Sharpton and Dyson. Uh huh. But remember Spike "is careful in his film not to carve out a pie chart of accountability." Gag me with a turkey baster.

Spike also lends credence to the Louis Farrakhan-hyped story that the New Orleans levees were deliberately destroyed. And why not? Spike said about a year ago that the idea was "not far-fetched":

"Presidents have been assassinated. So why is that so far-fetched?" To hearty applause from the Los Angeles audience, Lee asked: "Do you think that election in 2000 was fair? You don't think that was rigged?" Lee argued: “If they can rig an election, they can do anything!"

Just so you know the mind-set Spike is coming from!

Onscreen, Lee gives the boldfaced names—the Kanyes and the Sharptons—their fair share of face time. Right after the storm, Sean Penn raced to New Orleans, hired a boat and began hunting for survivors. He appears briefly in the film, looking askance at the camera, smoking a cigarette with studied nonchalance and proving forever that you can love the deed and still roll your eyes at the guy who did it. Other A-listers didn't wait for an invitation from Spike. On Election Day in May, while the director filmed Nagin campaigning on a busy street, the Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived out of nowhere in a black SUV.

Now THAT'S sure hard to believe, huh? The Rev. Jackson -- seeking out a camera??

And again, just so it's perfectly clear -- keep in mind that despite the more-than-obvious views of the disaster kept by those noted above, Spike "is careful in his film not to carve out a pie chart of accountability."

Posted by Felix at 10:18 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 13, 2006

Muslim student in Cape Henlopen harassed?

Back on July 29, the NY Times did an expose on the Dobrich family and their lawsuit against the Indian River School District. In that article, the author noted that "a Muslim family in another part of Sussex County" had also filed a lawsuit similar to that of the Dobrich's. I couldn't find anything via Google at that time using terms like "Muslim," "lawsuit" and "Sussex County;" however, I finally heard back from that original column's writer, Neela Banerjee, today. She writes:

It is against the Cape Henlopen school district, brought by the Muslim mother, "Jane Doe", in federal district court in Delaware. The defendants include Dane Brandenberger, Jane Maull and Cindy Cunningham, as well as the distrcit itself. Also, check with the state ACLU. They are involved, I believe.

Well, that narrows it down. Now, using Google, several articles appear about the lawsuit. Here's a sample from one:

A mother of three schoolgirls has filed a federal lawsuit against the Cape Henlopen School District, claiming school officials were disrespectful of their Islamic faith and didn't stop harassment by other students.

The lawsuit, made public Friday in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, accuses a teacher at Shields Elementary School in Lewes of equating Muslims to terrorists while instructing a fourth-grade class last school year.

"During the course of that lesson, students were told 'Muslims believe the Koran teaches war and hatred'; 'Muslims believe that people who do not practice Islam are evil,' " the lawsuit said.

School officials are accused of refusing to allow the girl in that class to explain Islam to her schoolmates, even though the teacher had discussed Christian symbols during Christmas.

"[When] it was suggested by the parent, that her daughter ... would make a balanced presentation explaining the Muslim religion to the classroom, to boost her self-esteem, it was expressed that such an action would be inappropriate, in that it would 'open a can of worms,' " the lawsuit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges the teachers' action, along with her supervisors' failure to stop it, made the fourth-grade girl so depressed that a therapist recommended she stay home from school and get tutoring.

But the lawsuit alleges even that option didn't work well because the instructor, approved by the district, continued to discuss ethnic hatreds and religious wars, despite the therapist cautioning against it. Another tutor was eventually sent to the family's house, but not for as much time as the family expected.

The mother tried to talk to school officials last summer to make sure her girls would not face ridicule this school year, the lawsuit claims. But because district officials could not guarantee any change, the family moved to a different school district.

This was reported back in early-to-mid 2005, but I don't remember ever hearing about it -- which would be unusual, to say the least, since as a local blogger interested in such topics, I really like to be in the know. The actual incident(s) occured over a year before that, the first complaint apparently being received by Cape Henlopen in May 2004. But what I found that is most interesting is that the lawsuit was apparently settled back in March 2005 via intervention by the United States Dept. of Justice's Civil Rights Division (my emphasis):

On March 1, the Civil Rights Division settled a case in which a Delaware student alleged she was harassed by a teacher because of her faith. In May 2004, the Department of Justice received a complaint that a teacher in the Cape Henlopen School District had harassed a fourth-grade Muslim girl, and that school officials had not taken adequate action in response. The Civil Rights Division opened an investigation, which was resolved by the March 1 settlement agreement.

In the settlement agreement reached between the school district and the Civil Rights Division, the school agreed to provide teacher training on diversity and the school’s policies regarding religious expression, to provide a tolerance education program for all K-5 students, and to create specific performance expectations for the teacher and ensure that she achieves them.

“We are pleased that this case has been resolved without recourse to a lawsuit,� said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.

Much, if not all, of what the family wanted implemented based on their lawsuit reported on in the News Journal (via other news outlets as seen above -- original N.J. link is not working at the moment) is included in this noted settlement. So -- what's the deal? Was this lawsuit settled or not? The Dept. of Justice website clearly indicates it was. This took place on March 1, 2005. Yet, the lawsuit was reported on by the News Journal almost four months later, on June 25, 2005, and again over a year later by the New York Times on July 29, 2006!

Did the Muslim family renege on the settlement? Is this lawsuit ongoing? NY Times writer Banerjee suggested I contact the Delaware division of the ACLU; chee-yeah -- over the years they have yet to return a single reply to e-mails I've sent them asking for information.

I have some information "feelers" out and about right now. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Hube at 09:52 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 12, 2006

It's because of George Bush, of course!

Via the Dallas Morning News:

This is for anyone who worries that Texas asks too much of public school students by administering TAKS tests: Take a look at the so-called "hardest" questions that stand between high school kids and a diploma.

Published in this newspaper on Monday, they couldn't be confused with an excessively high bar to clear for graduation.

Taking the challenge, this newspaper's editorial board aced the social studies and English portions and had a 95 percent passing rate in science. (OK, so we needed to bone up on our math formulas, as seen in our 25 percent passing rate.)

One of the "hardest" social studies questions called on students to find America's World War II ally in the following list of dictators: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco.

It's hard to believe, but more than seven of 10 high school students gave the wrong answer when taking a TAKS retest this spring, their worst showing among 55 questions.

Worse, more than a quarter of the test takers thought the United States was on Hitler's side.

These were probably kids from partisan Democrat and/or socialist homes where Bush and/or the United States in general are referred to as "Hitler" and "Nazi Germany" respectively!

Posted by Hube at 11:12 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Sounds VERY familiar!

My curiosity was piqued when I saw this MSNBC headline: When youth baseball goes bad . . . really bad. Why was it piqued? More on that in a moment. But now, check out what two a**hole coaches did in a 9-10 year old PONY league:

... none of these guys would ever consider pulling the stunt Bob Farley and Shaun Farr pulled in the 9- and 10-year-old Mueller Park PONY baseball league in Bountiful, Utah — ordering an intentional walk.

If the story were just about ordering an intentional walk, Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated and others outside of Bountiful wouldn’t have bothered this week to dissect Farley and Farr’s action, which took place in late June. But it so happens the weak hitter they wanted to set up for the last out of the championship game against, naturally, the Red Sox, was a 9-year-old brain cancer survivor.

Reports from the game have the fans booing, the pitcher — one of the league’s best — visibly shaken, and the child himself, Romney Oaks — who has a shunt in his head, and who, unlike major leaguers, requires human growth hormone to keep up his strength — crying almost before he got to the plate.

And yes, poor Romney struck out. F***ing a**hole coaches.

Now, my curiosity. It was aroused because there were a couple of coaches eerily similar to morons Farley and Farr in my daughter's softball league this past year -- a husband and wife duo. Their daughter, destined to become one of the premier pitchers in the state (if her parents don't make her psychotic before her senior high school year, that is) inexplicably was playing in the division for 10-12 year olds. Granted, this girl is twelve years old, but her ability is that of a 17 year old. Her pitching is fast enough to be considered "fast" at the high school level. Without a doubt, she should have been playing up in the next division, where she still would have been dominant. A large portion of her teammates, like her, played on the "traveling team" -- essentially the girls with the most talent in the league. This team had many more "travelers" than any other team in the league, and lopsidedly so.

My daughter's first game against this team was a travesty. "The girl's" dad put her on the pitching mound, and during her warm-ups my daughter and her teammates were petrified at her speed. (Indeed, this girl was not allowed to pitch for a few games later in the season because she had beaned -- and consequently injured -- too many batters.) Many of our team's girls were crying and did not want to bat. Our coach (a guy whom I've known since grade school and who is the complete antithesis of the other coach and dopes Farley and Farr) consoled the girls as best he could, indicating that if they were really frightened at the plate, they didn't have to swing, and could stand as far away from the plate (within the batter's box) as they could. And, as I learned later, after this bit of advice when he was walking back to the dugout (alone) he said under his breath "This girl is gonna kill somebody."

Oops. Not only did the wife half of the opposing team's coaching duo hear his batting advice, but she also caught this stray comment (which was well out of earshot of our team's players). When she informed her hubby of what she heard, all hell broke loose. He summoned our coach behind the backstop (while play was going on) and proceeded to scream and yell at him for his supposed "unethical" advice, using much profanity in the process. Our coach, who also possesses one of the longest fuses I know, did not argue back. He apologized for his stray comment, but not his batting advice. This did not assuage his opponent. He continued with his tirade. Our team's girls, already upset at the prospect of facing this coach's daughter at the plate, were now bawling about this coach's obscene behavior.

By now, many parents' (including mine) concern was reaching critical mass and began slowly approaching the two coaches. But they parted, and we thought all was settled. Wrong. At the end of the inning, this coach charged across the field screaming at our coach "RIGHT NOW, YOU AND ME" -- in other words, demanding to fight!! Thankfully, the umpire restrained this mental pygmy, and tossed him from the game (and the field). Most of the parents on our side of the field (including, again, me) wanted the game over and to take off. But our coach, the consummate diplomat, said "no." "It's for the girls, not us. And they want to play."

The sad thing is, every team in the league plays every other team twice. A few weeks later, our teams met again, and things went almost as badly. After the first two innings, remarkably our teams were tied 5-5. (This other team routed every other team in the league, went undefeated and won the championship. Surprise.) So here comes the dad portion of our coaching duo who calls his daughter in to pitch. Thankfully, our girls are mentally prepared for her this time, although physically they didn't do much better than they did the first time against her. And there's dad standing behind the backstop (which is against the rules, mind you) commenting on each call the umpire made about his daughter's pitches -- including yelps of "Bullsh**!" when a ball was called that he thought was a strike. This umpire, though different from last game, knew of what transpired previously. Instead of making a [potential] scene, he chose to ignore the mentally defective coach. But then, between innings, coach proceeds to argue the rules about when a runner can leave the base, and when they're allowed to advance to another base. (This league, being for 10-12 year olds, sets certain limits so innings are not interminable.) Coach doesn't back down until he gets his way. The delay in the game takes almost ten minutes. Our coach is off on the side subtly indicating to the umpire to "give him (the other coach) what he wants so we can play."

I was coaching first base during this delay. When I came back to the dugout, I saw the umpire's wife crying because of the treatment her husband received at the hands of this idiot coach. I was furious. I decided to leave the field because I knew I would say something I'd regret in my seething anger at this pathetic coaching couple. As I packed up my chair and belongings from the field, the wife portion of the coaching duo was standing by third base. I told her, "You people are pathetic. You live through your kids and you ruin it for everyone else. It's appalling. You ought to be ashamed of yourselves." And I left the field. Later, I found out that hubby-coach was yelling and having a fit later in the game about some inconsequential minutiae, and our team's assistant coach (who wasn't present at the first game between our teams and doesn't have as long a fuse as our head coach) challenged him on it. This led to further verbal scuffles, despite the fact that our team ended up getting crushed in the final score.

Needless to say, my daughter and many others are not returning to this league next year, mainly because of those two coaching cretins. The league had received many complaints about them over the course of the season, and were told (as I was, after I e-mailed a complaint) that, indeed their behavior was (is) unacceptable, and that the league higher-ups would talk to them. Hopefully they will not be back next season to ruin it all for other parents, but, unfortunately, the damage was done.

It's just, well, amazing that "parents" can act like that in front of not only their own children, but those of others, as well. So, just like the Utah state house nominee noted in the MSNBC story who was "so stunned" by such behavior that he "took to a state party operative’s blog to thump that the free pass was a symbol of 'society’s incivility,'" so too am I.

So there. I feel a little better.

Posted by Hube at 10:08 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 11, 2006

Speaking of family ...

... the New York Times actually admits that family -- FAMILY -- plays a crucial role in children's education!

Unfortunately, it recycles educational retreads like James S. Coleman and Richard Rothstein to help them make its points.

Coleman was dubbed "The Scholar Who Inspired Busing" by the National Observer way back when. Coleman was an inspiration for New Castle County's busing program back beginning in 1978, and Rothstein was featured in a Wilmington News Journal article a couple years ago where he advocated "integration, by income, to narrow the achievement gap." He also said

"... he doubted busing to integrate by income would be any more welcome in America than busing based on racial balancing. He believes a campaign to produce housing integrated by income is the better strategy."

Unfortunately, that's about as socially acceptable as busing was (and is). How would Rothstein accomplish this -- by putting a Section 8 housing project smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood of half a million dollar homes? How would this produce kids that read better -- especially if the families in the Section 8 are dysfunctional? Are the wealthier families supposed to pick up "the slack"?

I'm certainly curious what research Rothstein has -- real scientific research -- that proves his thesis about housing integration improving learning. Because, after all, Coleman changed his tune about how busing would improve the academic achievement of poor[er] students. (In other words, he was proved wrong.)

(Thanks to Hube for the research assist.)

Posted by Felix at 01:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Comical Captions for week ending 8/11

Should'a just stuck with plain 'ol marijuana: "Mexico mushrooms kill 10 from same family."

Murdering vagina: "Night ride gives Johnson a closer look at crime."

Best sleep aid available on the market today: "Sheehan Resumes Protest Near Bush Ranch."

I suppose so -- there's not nearly enough room! -- "Journalism groups oppose jailing of Calif."

That's quite a consumption of 6-13 year-olds! -- "Kobayashi Sets Brat-Eating Record."

Maybe it's because of those varicose vein-laden hairless chicken legs: "I Wore Shorts to Work, and They All Laughed."

That damn Religious Right at it again: "Vaccine for rabies will fall from sky."

Crustacean horror movie: "Tourists hold off BlueClaws."

Say whaaaat ...?? "Pope to serve jail time for having sex with inmate."

Posted by Hube at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battling bumper stickers

Humorous e-mail sent to Jay Nordlinger:

I recently saw a car (Honda Civic), the back of which was plastered with liberal bumper stickers, including these two beauties: Meat Is Murder and Pro-Child/Pro-Family/Pro-Choice.

I was disgusted. I’d love to respond with a pair that said: Abortion Is Murder and Steak or Chicken — That’s a Choice.

I’d probably get my windows knocked out.

Most likely, yeah.

Posted by Hube at 09:25 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006

(3rd) Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Doctor Philip Pollner of Newark praises Fidel Castro:

Fidel Castro chose the dangerous and heroic responsibility to oppose a ruthless, powerful and venal dictatorship in order to free his people from oppression and abject poverty. From my perspective as a physician, he should be rewarded for great achievements in health care and education -- the building blocks for any society.

Cuba's under-5 mortality rate, the barometer used by the United Nations to measure national health status, has consistently reached that of industrialized nations, a marvel for a third world country, even withstanding an evil and immoral U.S. blockade.

Cuba is approaching a 100 percent literacy rate. Universities flourish. Cuba trains and exports thousands of doctors and nurses to serve in Third World countries. Cuba is now training American medical students who will return to the United States to practice in underserved communities.

Fidel Castro is a true Latin patriot and liberator who put his life at risk to ensure a better quality of life for his people.

From my perspective as an average guy enjoying the freedoms that my country offers and protects for me, the doc has a screw loose. Sure, Cuba's healthcare is damn good, but when you have an absolute dictator presiding over an authoritarian communist regime, not much can't be accomplished that the ruler does not desire. The obvious question is, at what cost has Castro brought this "quality of life" to his people? The answer is: At the cost of their very freedom. "We're gonna give you universal healthcare whether you like or not! We just want you to give up every individual freedom in exchange!" Disagree with the regime? You're imprisoned. Perhaps tortured and beaten. Perhaps killed or "disappeared," never to be heard from again.

And then there's the always fun question to ask: If Cuba is such a "paradise," why do people constantly attempt to flee the island (for the United States) -- instead of the other way around?

That's always a monkey in the proverbial wrench!

UPDATE (11 Aug. at 9:40am): This must have been a letter so good, the News Journal printed it in the next day's (August 11) letters page, too!

Posted by Hube at 10:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

News Journal pisses off Jason ...

... with this headline.

Posted by Hube at 10:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I agree

MSNBC reports on Japan's love affair with robots.

Does anyone around 40 years old (perhaps younger) remember these classic Japanese robot shows from the 1960s? Not as well known as, say, "Ultraman," but fun nonetheless!

Posted by Hube at 10:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006

Tolerance for everybody except, well, you know ...

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Tolerance.org site has as its motto "Fight Hate and Promote Tolerance." The question that you may -- just may, now -- ask after reading their installment titled "PARENTING: Talk to Kids About White Privilege" is ... "How tolerant was that conversation??" Here is the treat, courtesy of freelance writer Elizabeth Bauchner:

Last month, my 7-year-old son and I were in the car when he asked me, "Mom, when you grow up, do you get to do whatever you want, or do other people tell you what to do?"

It just so happens that I've recently been involved in a great deal of anti-racist work in my community and have been thinking a lot about my privilege as a white person. With that in mind, I tried to answer his question.

"That's a very interesting question," I told him. "In some ways, it depends a lot on where you're born, how much money you have and what your skin color is."

I went on to explain in age-appropriate terms that our country was actually founded by white colonists who enslaved Africans and either killed Native Americans or moved them onto reservations. White people have been opening doors of opportunity for other whites ever since, I told him.

So much for the tolerance of white people! I mean, how can you legitimately tolerate a group of folks who enslaved Africans and killed Indians?

Unbelievable. Bauchner is just another perpetually guilty member of the "privileged" group who "can never do enough" for the oppressed. What conceit to inform "in age appropriate terms" that her child's ethnic group is responsible for all the ills of their own society, while, of course, omitted are the positive aspects.

Let's see, how could have Ms. Bauchner put it another way? You know, a more common sensical, non-PC guilt-ridden way?

"Mom, when you grow up, do you get to do whatever you want, or do other people tell you what to do?"

"People flock from all over the world to come to the United States, son. It's been called the 'Land of Opportunity.' People also frequently speak of the 'American Dream.' If you work hard and are determined, you can essentially do whatever you wish."

"Really, mom? Anybody can?"

"Yes, son. America has had its problems over its history, of course, just like any other country. It once allowed slavery. Many Indians were killed and many now live on reservations. Women once couldn't vote and were considered 'below' men. But the US has continually worked to improve the condition of ALL of its citizens."

"How so, mom?"

"Well, for one, it fought its most destructive war -- the Civil War -- in order to get rid of slavery. Almost three-quarters of a million Americans were killed in that war. Shortly thereafter, Black Americans were granted citizenship and the right to vote. We still had a long way to go before Blacks were fully integrated into society, but we've accomplished so much since that time. Did you know, son, for example, that Black Americans and Hispanics together as a group now have the 9th biggest buying power on the planet? This means they make and save a LOT of money."

"Number 9??? Wow!"

"Yes, indeed."

"That's incredible."

"Yes, it is, son. But don't forget that America isn't perfect, and we should always be on guard against things like racism and bigotry against ANY person. We're supposed to believe that here in America, everyone is equal under our laws, and we must always work to ensure that this remains true -- for everyone."

(h/t: Anthony Dick.)

Posted by Felix at 07:01 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

(2nd) Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Once more, we're treated to an astounding piece of moral equivalence, this time thanks to a couple -- Dolores and Alden Josey of Wilmington. They write (my emphasis):

In the meantime we are supplying weapons to Israel to fight a proxy war, the same kind of intervention we have deplored in Iran's support of Hezbollah. Does anyone in our government see in these events an ingenious trap, so far quite successful, set by Iran to distract the West from their nuclear goals, snare us in the endless Israel-Arab struggle and thereby cause us to become even more hated in the Arab world?

How many times does it need to be pointed out? Hezbollah are the aggressors. Their soul purpose for existing is to deny existence to the state of Israel. So, let me spell it out, AGAIN:

A country (the U.S.) supplying another country (Israel) with weapons to defend itself against a country (Iran) that is supplying with weapons a terrorist group (Hezbollah) that seeks to obliterate a people (Jews, in the form of Israel) is IN NO WAY MORALLY EQUIVALENT.

Furthermore, it is highly debatable that this current conflict is taking our attention away from Iran's nuclear ambitions. I'd be curious what the Josey's would have the U.S. do to prevent Iran from developing nukes.

Lastly, if helping to ensure the very survival of Israel continues to make the United States "hated" in the Arab world, then so be it. This is also a pathetic example of moral equivalence -- that, in order to "not be hated," we should cease defense of a staunch ally (which, by the way, just happens to be the only stable democracy in the region).

I can imagine similar letter writers back in the late 30s and 1940-41 castigating the U.S. for supplying Great Britain during its life and death struggle against Germany.

Meanwhile, chew on this courtesy of Stanley Kurtz (my emphasis):

The depth of the Moslem world's failure to adjust to modernity, the profundity of its need for scapegoats, the seeming boundlessness of its willingness to accept the death and destruction of its own in exchange for the 'honor' of 'revenge,' are difficult for Americans to acknowledge.

Meanwhile, short of a preemptive war, Iran is bound to get the bomb.

The entire Western world now stands in a position roughly analogous to that of Israel: locked in an essentially permanent struggle with a foe it is impossible either to placate, or to entirely destroy — a foe who demands our own destruction, and whose problems are so deep they would not be solved even by victory.

The West is on a collision course with Iran.

Posted by Hube at 04:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

"Someone"

Op-ed in today's Wilmington News Journal takes the "tough" stand that "Youthful ignorance does not excuse cruel and uncivil behavior." The focus of the story is poor Pedro Toala, a DART bus driver who was critically injured while inside a port-a-john because of bunch of young hoodlums tipped it over, and then stood there laughing about it, refusing to help Mr. Toala when he pleaded for help.

Those "insightful" News Journal editors state at the end: "The young are expected to learn the duties of living in a civil society. Why isn't someone teaching them?"

Someone? Why can't the Journal have the balls to say who that "someone" is? PARENTS. I'd be willing to bet top dollar that these thugs either 1) live in single-parent homes; 2) have single parents that are mothers; 3) don't know their father or rarely have contact with him if they do; 4) live with their grandparents, or 5) any combination thereof.

And don't give me any of that "It takes a village" bulls**t. You can't have a villiage if there ain't people leading the sub-groups properly, i.e. PARENTS. And there's a reason why entities like the News Journal refuse to come out and say exactly what the problem is. It's "insensitive." It's "intolerant." How can they judge what constitutes "parenting" and/or "a family?" What right do they have to tell women (girls) not to have kids until they're ready and/or not out of wedlock?

The answer is you have every right, especially when such individuals "raise" [pre-]pubescent criminals that are then set loose on society, wreak havoc, and make everyone nearby live in fear.

Posted by Felix at 02:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cali law: No teaching of anything "negative"

The bastion of political correctness, California, has a "long-standing" law that prohibits "... the adoption of official teaching materials or the conducting of school activities that reflect adversely on people on the basis of race, religion, gender and so on."

In a move to get the Governator's signature on a proposed law, a "watered down" version of a bill "that would have required public school instructional materials to include the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people" was put forth. It would only disallow "negative portrayals" of gays, etc.

This "negative portrayal" bit got me thinking: Do they teach about American slavery in the state of California? If so, how are they permitted to do so? Wouldn't this portray white people "negatively"? And, if the history of such slavery is taught completely, wouldn't it then also portray black people "negatively" since Africans were complicit in the trans-Atlantic slave trade?

How about Native Americans like the Aztecs -- who enslaved, murdered (via human sacrifice) and cannibalized countless people in their civilization's history? Etc. etc. etc.?

Teaching must be pretty bland on that left coast, I'd say.

Posted by Felix at 01:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 08, 2006

Oliver Stone: Another celeb who doesn't know what censorship is

The question to ask regarding Stone might be, "Does Stone think Mel Gibson should have absolutely no hassles getting work after his comments?" He indeed may, but that'd only show his complete misunderstanding of not only business economics, but also the freedom of expression that millions of average joes (which Stone isn't) possess.

Stone, while discussion his new film "World Trade Center," said the following:

“If I could go back, would I change it? Good question. At what point am I a filmmaker and at what point am I John Q. Citizen?� He begins quietly, and then rouses his own anger. “I hate that kind of censorship which says celebrities can't speak.� Stone hammers an open palm against his chest with each syllable: “John Q. Citizen — that's my right. I served my country. I've got a host of medals. I paid my taxes. I raised children, went through the whole system. And I can't (expletive) speak, as John Q. Citizen, about the state of the nation?�

Y'know, how many pampered celebrities just don't get it? Who is preventing Stone from speaking? How can't he speak? He's doing it right here in this very interview! What he's actually saying is that he can't speak without getting criticism and possible economic backlash. (We've addressed this previously here, among others.) Sorry, Ollie, but it just doesn't work that way. To disallow such does away with the free expression rights of those not nearly as fortunate as you. If you want to see REAL censorship and REAL oppression against those who voice unfavorable views, go back and view the subject of your film "Comandante." And this "censorship" sure didn't prevent the conspiracy-laden "JFK" from being made and shown in theatres, let alone "Nixon" or the wildly wacky "Wild Palms."

(h/t: Newsbusters.)

Posted by Felix at 09:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I was abused as a child, or, Those Nutty Europeans, part 9645

No, I wasn't really abused. But according to this teen textbook I was -- because I did a particular sport:

A chapter of the book, distributed by Co-ordination Group Publications, says children have the right to protection from physical and emotional abuse.

It lists bullying and cross-country runs as possible examples.

A spokesman for the publication says "the guide was 'light-hearted' and intended to make citizenship subjects 'accessible' to teenagers":

"It is used as an aid for starting discussions. It seems the part about cross-country has been taken as a serious suggestion, but it is simply a way of getting students involved."

A Department for Education and Skills spokesman added: "It is not official guidance. We encourage all children to do at least two hours of high-quality PE a week."

Hmm, curious. If it was a "light-hearted" and "non-serious," then why is the specific part about cross country running listed under the chapter titled "Your Legal Rights"?

Margaret Talbot, chief executive of the Association for Physical Education says, "I think what is in the book is just sloppy. They haven't researched it properly. It gives ammunition to backroom lawyers."

You got that right, Maggie.

Posted by Hube at 06:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"No threat," but we're searching for them

So if we're searching for them ... well, why are we searching for them? The FBI, that is?

Eleven Egyptian students who arrived in the United States last month are being sought by authorities after failing to turn up for an exchange program at Montana State University.

The Egyptian men were among a group of 17 students who arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York from Cairo on July 29 with valid visas, according to U.S. authorities and university officials.

The other six have arrived at the Bozeman, Mont., campus for a monthlong program on English language instruction and U.S. history and culture, university spokeswoman Cathy Conover said.

When the 11 didn't turn up by the end of the last week, the FBI issued a lookout to state and local law enforcement, said FBI Special Agent Richard Kolko.

"At this point all they have done is not show up for a scheduled academic program," Kolko said. "There is no threat associated with these men."

Of course! Again, that's why the FBI is looking for them. And if some violence associated with these men occurs, we can then say "It's not terror related."

Michelle Malkin notes that MSU isn't making a big deal about it all:

Rather than a case of international intrigue, this may well be a case of the Big Apple offering greater temptations than the Big Sky.

"I think these students decided they wanted to use their time in other ways, connected to being in New York, rather than Montana," Norm Peterson, MSU's vice provost for international education, said Monday.

So THAT'S where Norm went when they closed down "Cheers"!! NOOORM!!

No wonder the guy's such a dunce. But a lovable dunce, most likely!

Posted by Felix at 10:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006

Beware Conyers and Co.

Not only does Michigan Rep. John Conyers have impeachment articles ready to go against Pres. Bush should the Democrats gain control of the House this November, but he and buddy New York Rep. Chuck Rangel now want to use the IRS as a political tool to threaten anti-affirmative action spokesman Ward Connerly:

Two Democratic congressmen have asked the IRS to investigate whether affirmative action foe Ward Connerly's pay violates federal tax laws on excessive compensation.

Connerly receives more than $1 million a year from two Sacramento-based nonprofit groups he heads — the American Civil Rights Institute and the American Civil Rights Coalition.

"This compensation package ... raises more than a red flag," said Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan. "IRS rules could not be clearer that a nonprofit's purpose is not to pad the pockets of its executives."

As John Rosenberg notes, does anyone know what those other perpetual jobless-tax-exempt-salary-making moguls Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton make per year? And gee -- don't Conyers and Rangel care?? Of course not. Those two are big affirmative action supporters, natch!!

Posted by Hube at 09:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 06, 2006

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

This week's winner is George Turner of Wilmington who thinks the United States' Islamofascist enemies are emboldened because we treat some detainees harshly:

The winning of a war requires both military and moral strength. Today, America possesses the greatest military strength in history.

Given the current administration's attitude toward the treatment of detainees, we can hardly claim any real degree of moral strength.

The Geneva Conventions were agreed upon many years ago, by most countries of the world, in a show of moral strength.

American failure to follow those rules of war are truly shameful.

Our current standards for treatment of foreign detainees is leading to increased resistance among the Arab populations. By taking back the moral high ground, giving true protection to the detainees, the U.S. has a chance to regain our standing as a true world leader.

Without such moral standing we are doomed to fall to the position of follower rather than leader.

Some news for George:

1) The recent Hamdan decision by the US Supreme Court, using the Geneva Convention, confers on terrorists rights for prisoners of war -- despite the FACT that the Convention clearly states they are not entitled to them. In addition, the SCOTUS made a huge legal leap when it utilized Geneva's Article 3 in its reasoning, which only applies to a domestic conflict. Does Mr. Turner think that the current war on terror is not an international battle?

2) The United States appears to be following Geneva to the letter. See #1 above. But since some terror detainees have received harsh treatment, we should "rise above" the plain wording of the Geneva Convention (of course, using the Geneva Convention as the basis for argument!).

3) Cases where torture or borderline torture have been revealed in the current war on terror, investigations and prosecutions have taken place.

4) The claim that "Our current standards for treatment of foreign detainees is leading to increased resistance among the Arab populations" is laughable. Gitmo detainees getting air conditioned cells with religiously appropriate diets? It's better living conditions than they've probably ever experienced in their lives. What awful treatment of foreign detainees led to the WTC bombings in 1993 and 2001? The Islamofascists don't NEED a reason for "increased resistance." They HATE us. Just like they hate Jews and the state of Israel (no doubt a subsequent reason for their hatred of the US). PERIOD.

Now, as the president has stated, we all must follow the SCOTUS ruling in Hamdan and implement the proper procedures. As I noted, checks and balances work! But this does not mean one has to blindly agree with the SCOTUS decision in order to follow its dictates, as WDEL's Gerry Fulcher blatantly informed co-host Rick Jensen this past week. When Jensen pressed Fulcher on the Geneva Article Three question noted above, and whether he accepts it, Fulcher kept evading, repeating that we all have to follow the SCOTUS decision. Jensen wouldn't relent, and eventually Fulcher stated that he agrees with the SCOTUS that the war on terror must NOT be of an "international character" despite the obvious reality to the contrary. Thus, in his zeal to "zap" President Bush for being rebuked by the high court, Fulcher set himself up as a believer in whatever the SCOTUS dictates; in other words, one must BELIEVE in its reasoning -- you can't just follow its legal decisions.

Hey Ger -- tell that to the millions of Americans who believe Roe v. Wade was a lousy decision. And, Fulcher, if he was alive back then, must have believed that people of African descent were mere "property," and that the doctrine of "separate but equal" was moral and legitimate.

Posted by Hube at 10:57 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 05, 2006

If I only I could play bass like ...

... Mark King. The only remaining original member of the jazz/funk/fusion-turned-pop group Level 42 (he's always been the main guy anyway) is seen here with new band mates at the Jazz Café. The tune is the all-instrumental "Mr. Pink" and showcases King's extraordinary bass playing talents and how. Check it:


Posted by Hube at 06:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Braces yourselves: Global warming now blamed for ...

... taller mountains!

The mountains in Europe are growing taller and global warming is partly responsible, scientists say.

Heavy glaciers cause the Earth's crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.

How slow, you may ask?

The region where the most uplift is occurring is in the French Alps near Mount Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe. The mountains in this region are growing at a rate of about .035 inches per year. In 50 years, they will be about 1.8 inches taller than today. The average maximum growth for the rest of the Alps is a more modest .013 inches per year.

Run for the [increasingly growing] hills, people!

Posted by Felix at 05:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Good thing I don't have any kids approaching college age ...

... (or kids period, yet), for as Walter Williams notes, some of what passes for a college "course" these days is, well, stupefying. Take a look at some:

* "The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie." This is a mandatory course for some freshmen at Occidental College in Los Angeles. It's a course where "Professor Elizabeth J. Chin explores ways in 'which scientific racism' has been put to use in the making of Barbie [and] to an interpretation of the film 'The Matrix' as a Marxist critique of capitalism."

* "Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll in Ancient Egypt" is a Johns Hopkins University course where "part of the course includes slide shows of women in ancient Egypt 'vomiting on each other,' 'having intercourse' and 'fixing their hair.'"

* "Marxist Concepts of Racism" is available at Ivy League Harvard. The course examines "the role of capitalist development and expansion in creating racial inequality." As Prof. Williams says, "You can bet there's no mention of the genocide in Africa and former communist regimes like Yugoslavia."

Considering how many incoming college students are increasing unprepared for what college rigor should be, I'd like to offer some potential college courses of my own, but with the necessary nouveau-Gucci Marxist twist:

  • "1+1: An Re-Examination of Whole Number Addition in Imperialist Capitalist Societies."
  • "What Is the Bill of Rights?: How Guaranteed Freedoms Lead to Increasing Oppression."
  • "Writing a Complete Sentence in the Internet Age: How the Racist Prevailing Patriarchy May Preserve Standard English."
  • "I Feel Harassed: How Scientific Laws Endorse Gender Discrimination."
  • "The Scientific Method Rainbow: Famous Gay/Lesbian/Transgender/Cross-Dressing 19th Century Researchers.

Meanwhile, enjoy reading Dr. Kathleen Loftus' contention that "there is, without question, a deliberate and destructive effort by those in power in this country to limit the success of those deemed less worthy, while redirecting our nation's resources to its chosen few."

Posted by Felix at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Philly Inquirer priorities

Michael Vitez at the Philadelphia Inquirer (screen capture here) has his hand on pampered popular culture:

Despite the heat outside, are you freezing because of overblown A/C at work? E-mail your story to Inquirer reporter Michael Vitez at mvitez@phillynews.com

Yes yes, please e-mail Michael about this most pressing summertime concern so he can offer scintillating advice like "Have you thought about taking a sweater with you to the office?"

Posted by Hube at 12:51 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

News Journal shows its bias

Picking up on what Dave at First State Politics posted today, I just want to say I agree with him wholeheartedly about the News Journal's Doug Williams and the Journal in general. I got involved in the comments at Politakid's site, saying this:

Hey Doug -- I just added an update on the DE 2006 blog indicating Biden's reply. Satisfied?

And please don't get all snarky as if the WNJ is some paragon of "balance" and bipartisanship. I'm sure you're hitting all the left-leaning DE blogs and "setting them straight" too, right? You're jumping in their comment sections and filling them in on Wharton's positions and replies, right?

I bought Doug's explanation, saying this, and I still can buy some of his reasons. But then the News Journal prints this editorial today (emphasis mine).

It's still early for voters to become involved in politics. The election is not for another three months, more than adequate time for a reasonable number of debates before community groups, on radio and on television -- a pattern Delaware candidates have established in just about every important statewide race over the years. Starting campaigns on Labor Day still leaves two full months for debates, more than enough for both candidates to publicize their positions.

Sorry, Doug, but this pretty much confirms my suspicions that the News Journal is an unofficial mouthpiece for the Biden campaign -- not to mention insulting to people who follow politics regularly (and even those who don't follow 'em regularly). "It's still too early ..."?? According to whom?? The high and mighty News Journal editorial board sitting in their air conditioned ivory tower?

And not only does this confirm my initial suspicion about the WNJ and Biden, it also confirms my view that the Journal might just be getting miffed at the ever-increasing role blogs are beginning to play in local politics, especially those like First State Politics, DE Liberal and Down With Absolutes.

Posted by Hube at 11:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2006

Shameless act of imitation

Probably my favorite segment of James Taranto's "Best of the Web" site is the snarky comments for silly or "No, Duh" types of headlines. I've occasionally dibbled with such headlines in the past myself, but now I'd like to make it a regular weekly feature, not unlike the [more irregular] "Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week." Here's our first installment:

You don't say! -- "Prices at gas pumps soaring."

We've finally solved the riddle of multiple dimensions: "Fund to Soften Harsh Realities."

Guess this explains why my wife and I have [only] a girl, natch! -- "Pretty parents likely to have girl first."

It's called "Apocalypse Charter School" -- "UA charter school to host survival camp on Saturday."

No jury room must have been available: "Woman found guilty of capital murder in freezer case."

He was always bustin' on everybody: "Rankin supervisor dies."

But, I thought he was our state's lone congressman! -- "Castle keeps Circuit Court clerk."

What is this, illegal organ harvesting? -- "Girls fine, nerves belong to families."

What the hell else is new? -- "Lawyer wants share of fees."

Posted by Hube at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sci-fi Friday

As there's really nothing in the news that strikes my fancy (on which to opine), I figure I'd waste some of my morning informing y'all about some of my favorite science fiction books of all time. Here they are, in no particular order, save #1:

  • Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. I have read this at least twenty times by now, and may read it again before this summer's out. WARNING: Do not be dissuaded from potentially reading this because of the HORRIBLE movie bearing its title from almost a decade ago. Heinlein expertly mixes high action with political philosophy in a universe where humans are battling the "pseudo-arachnids" for earth-like worlds on which to live. Earth itself is ruled by a sort of "military democracy" where only those who have served in the Terran armed forces are permitted to vote. Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven mistakenly (in my view) must have skimmed the novel when making the film as he bluntly made Heinlein's world a quasi-fascist state (complete with military uniforms resembling those of the -- you got it -- Nazis). In actuality, the world was anything but; people enjoyed all the liberties we enjoy today and more. It was just voting that was restricted to veterans, and as Heinlein explains, the franchise has always had a degree of restriction -- first it was only [white] male landowners, then (in the US) blacks, then women, then younger Americans. Heinlein makes total sense when he asks (through the irrepressible Col. DuBois, paraphrase) "What sense did it make to allow a 60 year moron to vote, but not a 13 year-old genius?" In Troopers' Earth, Heinlein explains why only veterans have the franchise: Only they have the necessary collective sense of duty to ALL of humanity instead of personal, selfish interest. Sounds like communism's "New Man," I know, but it's clearly not. It's much deeper than that. As I said, it's an awesome read.

  • Neutron Star by Larry Niven. This collection of short stories by "hard" scifi master Niven neatly weaves many aspects of his "Known Space" universe. My favorite story by a slim margin is probably "At the Core" where protagonist Beowulf Shaeffer pilots an experimental hyperdrive ship to the center of the galaxy. But it's too fast; Shaeffer cannot adequately dodge the increasing numbers of stars while approaching the galaxy's core, and considering he has a time limit in which to reach it (in order to collect his fee), the mission appears a bust. But what he discovers makes him quite a wealthy man! Also excellent is "The Soft Weapon" (which was slightly rewritten to serve as an episode of the animated Star Trek series -- see my post about this here).

  • Speaking of Niven, his A World Out of Time is another gem. Corbell is an average guy who awakens 200 years in his future after being "frozen." The world is now a unified "State," and they want to train Corbell as a "Rammer" (the original name of Niven's short story which he later turned into this novel) -- a pilot of a Bussard ramjet starship. Corbell passes all the necessary requisites, gets much needed knowledge from "Memory RNA injections," and then straps in for the flight. Well, not really straps in as the flight will take years, subjectively speaking. But Corbell has other plans: He hijacks the ship, "slingshots" himself around a black hole, and arrives back at Earth some three million years later.

  • The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Very much like Starship Troopers but grittier. William Mandella is drafted by the "Elite Conscription Act" to assist in humanity's battle against the Taurans. Interstellar travel is accomplished via dives into "collapsars" (essentially small black holes) but the relativistic effects result in much time passing "outside," but little for the soldier "inside." After Mandella's first action, twenty-seven years have passed, and he can't adjust to how life has changed on Earth. So, he re-enlists and proceeds to fight for what is only several years for him, but a couple thousand for the "outside" world. Haldeman is a Vietnam veteran, and the ending he uses for the story clearly reflects what is his skepticism of that conflict. A sort of prequel and definite sequel to War were written by Haldeman; both are worth a read but they're not nearly as exceptional as War.

  • Protector by Larry Niven. Yet another twist on humanity's origins. This time Niven's "Pak" race is shown to be the distant fathers of humans via a 32,000 light year journeying alien. The book is in two parts: The first details the traveling Pak's journey to Earth; the second highlights the life of former human Jack Brennan, now a Pak himself. The attention to detail as Brennan and his human compatriot battle more bound-for-Earth Pak is sensational.

Posted by Hube at 01:39 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 03, 2006

New Delaware Blog

Perpetual DE blog commentor Nancy Willing has finally started up her own blog, The Delaware Way.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Nance! Good to have you.

(h/t: PolitaKid.)

Posted by Hube at 08:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 02, 2006

Alcohol talking?

I caught a brief segment on Scarborough Country last night, and Joe has it up on his blog now: He's gonna show tonight that Mel Gibson's excuse of "being drunk" (for his anti-Semitic tirade) is a bunch of bunk. Show producer Mike Yarvitz is going to imbibe and demonstrate that a 0.12 blood alcohol level isn't nearly enough for one to get "out of their mind" and rant incoherently about things they "don't really mean."

Posted by Hube at 02:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

ABC ditches Gibson Holocaust series

Not only that, but even Barbara Walters is nixing Mel! Now that is harsh! It certainly didn't help that ABC hasn't seen a script for the Holocaust series in two years.

Meanwhile, the reaction of Jewish leaders to Gibson's apology is mixed.


Posted by Hube at 11:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In election trouble? Then sue!!

Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney has taken to using a lawsuit against a local [Georgia] newspaper now that her re-election campaign appears to be faltering:

J.M. Raffauf, her attorney, has filed charges against the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, editor Cynthia Tucker, and its publisher John Mellott following an article the paper ran on Sunday, July 30, 2006.

According to Raffauf, Tucker's editorial column "was untrue, defamatory and libelous" when it read "'she (the Congresswoman) slugged him (the officer) with her cell phone.' This false allegation is not supported by any witness or any other evidence. Additionally, Tucker is maliciously attempting to spin this into a felony by falsely alleging that she assaulted the officer with a deadly weapon."

The suit alleges that other misstatements were made, including the statement that Congresswoman McKinney "suggested that President Bush had known in advance about the Sept. 11 attacks but did nothing to stop them so his friends could profit from the ensuing war," and "She doesn't have the power or prestige to pass a resolution in support of sweetened ice tea."

What is troubling about this are the last two parts of this. Tucker's piece was an opinion piece -- meaning she is writing her opinion about McKinney's "power" and "prestige" (or lack thereof) with her sweetened ice tea analogy. C'mon.

Second, regarding 9/11, McKinney did indeed make a suggestion that Pres. Bush knew in advance, and insinuated that perhaps Bush might be the beneficiary of the result. Both The Nation and National Review confirm this (although predictably the former magazine sees little wrong in the congresswoman's comments). Here's what McKinney said:

"We know there were numerous warnings of the events to come on September 11th. . . . What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11th? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered? . . . What do they have to hide?"

The bold segment above clearly implies that the administration had immediate knowledge of the 9/11 attacks -- else how could the president and co. warn the Big Apple in time?

And as for the president profiting from the attack, there's this follow-up:

"I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9-11. A complete investigation might reveal that to be the case."

Conclusion: How is Ms. Tucker's writing that McKinney suggested Bush knew in advance and possibly stood to profit from 9/11 libelous? It's right on the money!

Now, regarding the Capitol Police "hitting incident," Ms. Tucker could perhaps be forgiven for her writing of "cell phone" since many news outlets reported that McKinney did indeed hit officer Paul McKenna with a cell phone. However, since McKenna's actual written report of the incident never mentioned McKinney hit him with a cell phone (only a "closed fist") and Ms. Tucker's own paper confirmed this, it seems a written retraction/correction is in order on this point.

But on that point only. Again, what is most worrisome about this lawsuit is a claim of libel on an opinion -- Ms. Tucker's opinion that Representative McKinney "doesn't have the power or prestige to pass a resolution in support of sweetened ice tea." What's next -- a lawsuit for an op-ed that describes a public official as "arrogant"? A "jerk"? "Shallow"?

UPDATE (4:10pm): Seems the whole story about McKinney suing the paper is a bust!

U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney has not in fact filed suit against the Journal-Constitution, according to attorney Tom Clyde, who is representing the paper.

Yesterday, it was incorrectly reported that McKinney filed charges against AJC Editorial Page Editor Cynthia Tucker and Publisher John Mellott for an editorial column that ran in its July 30 edition about the congresswoman's alleged altercation with police.

Posted by Hube at 09:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006

Terrorism Against Israel Does Not Violate Any "International Norm"

Unbelievable yet again. So reports Rhymes With Right (my emphasis):

That is the argument made by a Jordanian bank seeking to have a lawsuit against it dismissed. The suit claims that the bank, which has a New York office and therefore is operating freely in the United States, facilitates the funding of terrorism.

Lawyers for the bank said that the 4,000 foreign citizens who are plaintiffs should not be allowed to have their case heard in the American court system. They argued that terrorism against Israel does not violate any "international norm." Lawyers for the bank said that some 80 countries, most Islamic or African, do not consider Palestinian Arab suicide bombers to be terrorists.

"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter — that holding is binding on this court," said an attorney for the bank, Kevin Walsh of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae.

Meanwhile, "human rights" groups persist in haranguing the United States about the "international norm" that detainees in Gitmo be allowed to have air conditioning at precise temperatures, as well as religiously-mandated diets.

Posted by Hube at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gibson asks to meet with Jewish leaders

Good luck, Mel:

The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God's child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.

I'm not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.

I think it's too late for that Mel -- at least your claim that you're not an anti-Semite. You weren't even that drunk (a blood alcohol level of .12 for a man of your size is not that debilitating). What could possibly have made you say what you did? In my view, the amount of alcohol in your system was just enough to release your inhibitions, such that they were.

I backed you up, Mel, when the furor over "The Passion" occurred, and when people tried to paint you as your father (a Holoacaust denier). I still don't think "The Passion" was anti-Semitic in and of itself, but I can surely see now why some people (Jews, mostly) were concerned. Seems they knew something I didn't.

Now you will suffer, Mel, just as other entertainers have suffered, via economic boycott by the general public. As it should be. Your very livelihood depends on public goodwill and you blew it -- big time. Of course, some (on the Left mostly) who have denounced such economic measures as "censorship" in the past (re: Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Dixie Chicks) will probably not come to your cause. Nor should they (but it just proves the hypocrisy of their position).

Jewish leaders most likely will agree to meet with you and accept your apologies, Mel. But your comments definitely reflect deep-seated beliefs and/or hatreds. You'll need to do some prodigious soul-searching to re-evaluate your personal tenets.

Posted by Hube at 12:48 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"Picnic" = racist term

What else does an "affirmative action director for the Student Assembly" have to do but find "offense" wherever possible (emphasis mine):

To many, the word "picnic" conjures images of romance, of leisurely days in the park with cheese and a bottle of wine.

But for 40 University at Albany students, it harks back to an ugly chapter in American history -- when picnic, they alleged, meant a racist lynching....

Zaheer Mustafa, a student who serves as affirmative action director for the Student Assembly, issued the warning despite learning that the word had a harmless French derivation. It stems from the 17th-century pique-nique and referred to a fashionable type of social entertainment in which each person who attended brought a share of the food.

"My job is to make sure people from underrepresented groups are heard," Mustafa said. "Whether the claims are true or not, the point is the word offended."

He said he received 40 complaints about the issue last week, most of them from black students, which he called "unusual for such an apathetic campus." ...

I have never, ever heard of any such racist derivation of the word "picnic." But what is scary is that Mr. Mustafa doesn't care what the truth is behind the word's origin -- he just doesn't want people to be offended. Such is what the modern university is becoming nowadays.

Posted by Hube at 09:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

How many of you knew ...

... that today marks the 25th anniversary of MTV?

Posted by Hube at 09:15 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack