October 31, 2006

At least he gave up power

Paul Smith notes how former Chilean strongman Augusto Pinochet has been placed under arrest for the crimes of "torture, murder and kidnapping" following the immediate years of his 1973 coup against Salvador Allende. But since the old coot is 90 years of age, he'll be placed under house arrest. But Paul says:

But more importantly, as I understand it one of the terms in the agreement that was reached for Pinochet to step down was that he would not face prosecution. If other dictators see us violating promises like this, it makes it that much harder for us to obtain their resignations in the future.

Interesting point, that.

Consider too: How many dictatorial regimes have we witnessed actually relinquish power once they've had it? Pinochet did it in 1990. The Apartheid regime of South Africa did it in 1994. (Sidenote: SA's P.W. Botha just died at the age of 90.) The only leftist regime that did it was the Nicaraguan Sandinistas in 1989. (However, Daniel Ortega may be back -- he's a major candidate for president of Nicaragua in the upcoming elections!) I'm going purely by memory here, so give me some assistance.

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October 30, 2006


Yep. Just yep.

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October 29, 2006

Dix Chicks whine about "censorship"

Or is it their cunning movie backers, the Weinstein brothers? James Joyner notes that NBC is rejecting the claim that a Dixie Chicks TV spot critical of President Bush was refused: “The spot was not declined. In fact, we were told they were not going to make a national spot buy on CW,” NBC said.

Seixon notices a pattern by the Weinsteins -- they did the same thing with Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." In other words, build the [movie] hype by promoting the [fake] idea of censorship.

I'm with Joyner: "First, this is not a movie I have any interest in seeing. Watching multi-millionaires whine about being ostracized by their fans after having gone out of their way to alienate them is, shall we say, less than gripping."

Posted by Hube at 06:42 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Limbaugh, Fox News are liberal

... so says the perpetually rib-tickling Hatemongers Quarterly. But how can this be, you ask? Check it:

Everyone’s seen the [Eric Alterman] arguments: The New York Times is right-wing; NBC, ABC, and CBS are arch-conservative outlets; The Washington Post is crypto-fascist; &c. These are just a few of the countless examples of what we’ve taken to calling “The Eric Alterman Proposition.”

Mr. Alterman has made something of a name for himself by excoriating the mainstream media for its sickening conservative bias. If Mr. Alterman's palaver weren’t taken so seriously, it would actually serve as an interesting experiment: How unhinged from reality does an argument have to get before our “progressive” pals won’t believe it any longer?

So, the HMQ has its own "philosophy": "The Crack Young Staff Proposition." It says:

... our moronic contention is this: All so-called “conservative” media—right-wing talk radio; conservative “weblogs”; Fox News—are actually fountains of paleo-liberalism. Rush Limbaugh? He’s a Communist. Brit Hume? That sickening Trotskyite. Ann Coulter? Well, she’s a liberal and guilty of treason in our book. Q.E.D.
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Running dangerous

Two letters to the News Journal on Friday address the dangers of running on major roadways. (A woman was recently killed on Naamans Rd. in north Wilmington while jogging on the shoulder.) One writer, Ryan Wilkins, is correct when he says "As a driver and runner/cyclist, most of us understand that the shoulder is not a passing lane, but reserved for emergencies and breakdowns." But being a runner myself, I always take an extra safety step: I never run on [shoulder] bike paths for precisely the reason he states -- drivers always pass cars (that are turning left) on the bike paths. Thus, I run on the sidewalks.

After all, why complain about the shoulder not being a passing lane and risk your life? Even if only very few drivers passed on the shoulder, I still wouldn't gamble on running on shoulder bike paths. To me it's just too dangerous.

Posted by Hube at 07:52 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 28, 2006

Judge Not

CNN has up the headline, "Poll: Americans don't want politicians constraining judges".

I take this to be CNN trying to blunt the New Jersey Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling's effect. After all, if Americans don't want judges constrained, it follows they're okay with the judiciary making up new rights and presenting their findings as ultimatums to the voters and the legislature. No need to register your discontent at the judiciary come November 7th, I guess. We're only supposed to be angry at Republicans this year.

The article states that, "Despite complaints about "activist judges" from both the right and the left following controversial rulings, two-thirds of Americans do not believe elected officials should have more control over federal judges." The article doesn't specify when the poll by Opinion Research Corp. was taken. I'd be curious to know if this was conducted before or after the NJ Supreme Court mandated gay marriage, allbeit by another name.

Also note that this poll focused on federal judges. Another Opinion Research Corp. poll on judges, this one conducted in September of 2005, would seem to indicate that when all levels of the judiciary are in play and the focus is judicial conduct rather than legislative interference, the results are very different:

Fifty-six percent of the respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the opinions expressed in each of two survey statements:

* A U.S. congressman has said, "Judicial activism … seems to have reached a crisis. Judges routinely overrule the will of the people, invent new rights and ignore traditional morality." (Twenty-nine percent strongly agreed and 27 percent somewhat agreed.)

* A state governor has said that court opinions should be in line with voters’ values, and judges who repeatedly ignore those values should be impeached. (Twenty-eight percent strongly agreed and 28 percent somewhat agreed.)

Forty-six percent strongly or somewhat agreed with the opinion expressed in a third statement:

* A U.S. congressman has called judges arrogant, out-of-control and unaccountable. (Twenty-one percent strongly agreed and 25 percent somewhat agreed.)

There's also a big difference between wanting politicians to have more power over judges, as the poll CNN is headlining frames the debate, and wanting judges to refrain from stepping on the public, as the second poll puts things. Just because the public doesn't want the judges micromanaged doesn't mean it will tolerate a rogue judiciary either.

UPDATE at 1:44 p.m.: Can't get the CNN pop-up to link properly here, but the poll was conducted between October 20th and 22nd, so obviously would not show any impact from the October 25th Jersey gay marriage decision.

UPDATE at 2:00 p.m.: The Weekly Standard is irritated with Republicans for not making more of an issue about judges this campaign season, much less after the New Jersey ruling. Maybe they believe the CNN poll's headline. (h/t Hugh Hewitt)

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October 26, 2006

Minnesota taxi case redux

Remember this story about Muslim taxi drivers in Minneapolis who refused to take people who were carrying alcohol? Seems not all -- or even many -- of the Muslim cabbies were keen on the idea of denying such service:

"I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport," said Faysal Omar. "Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi."

Jama Dirie said, "If a driver doesn't pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport."

Ahmed Samatar, a nationally recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College, confirmed that view. "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking," he said, "but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden. There is no basis in Somali cultural practice or legal tradition for that.

"This is one of those new concoctions. "It is being foisted on the Somali community by an inside or outside group," he added. "I do not know who."

But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam."

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a "no-alcohol-carry" agenda with no basis in Somali culture. "MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs," he said. "MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda. They look for issues they can capitalize on, like religion, to rally the community around. The majority of Somalis oppose this, but they are vulnerable because of their social and economic situation."

What is the Muslim American Society? Well, "just" the US branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Brotherhood believes that "religion and politics cannot be separated and that governments eventually should be Islamic," and "want people here to convert to Islam so that one day a majority will support a society governed by Islamic law."

Ain't that just terrific? (And again -- where's the ACLU here?)

(h/t: James Taranto.)

Posted by Felix at 05:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

GOP Tennessee ad -- racist?

Which is more racist: The GOP ad that has run in Tennessee poking fun at Democrat Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., or the assumption (mostly by the vociferous mainstream media critics) that it is somehow taboo in the South for a white woman to "get chummy" with a black man? These critics claim that it is part of [the continuing] sinister GOP "southern strategy" to play on southerners' "fears" of interracial relationships. In 2006? I dunno -- maybe this is just the northeasterner in me, but until I began to see and read all of the MSM and Democrat screaming about the ad, I actually thought it was just merely cute and funny.

Now, this isn't to say -- after watching and reading some of the critics' complaints -- that I do not understand some of their concerns. But, of course, the media pundits have been all over this ad (Steve Spruiell is just the latest covering Tim Russert) like fruit flies on an overripe banana. Chris Matthews, the last couple of days, I thought was going to have a heart attack he was so upset at the ad.

Did Russert, Matthews, et. al. get all self-righteously angry when that [in]famous James Byrd/NAACP ad aired blasting George W. Bush? Nah. The Gore/Lieberman campaign saw nothing at all wrong with the commercial. Or how about the ads where people were told that a vote for the GOP would lead to black churches being burnt to the ground? The criticism of these ads came from the right. I certainly do not recall the Byrd commercial being excoriated by Matthews, Russert and the other former Democrat assistants-come news pundits. At most there were comments like "Wow, that's a pretty powerful/controversial ad!"

As John Leo stated back in 2002 (my emphasis):

The positive outcome of the Trent Lott affair seems to have revived the old Hillary. She has spotted yet another vast right-wing conspiracy, this time a vast Republican racist one. She said: "If anyone thinks that one person stepping down from a leadership position cleanses the Republican Party of their constant exploitation of race, then I think you're naive."

Constant exploitation of race? In an effort to keep the charge of racism alive, umpteen Democrats in the past two weeks have pointed to the Willie Horton issue and Jesse Helms' old "hands" ad that showed a white male losing out to a black because of affirmative action. But the Willie Horton issue -- whether it makes any sense to grant dangerous felons unsupervised vacations from prison ("furloughs") -- is obviously legitimate. It was aired at great length in Massachusetts when Dukakis was governor, and was introduced into 1988 presidential politics by then-candidate Al Gore.

Beyond that, "the constant exploitation of race" in recent political ads has been a virtual Democratic monopoly. How about the 2000 ad in Texas that associated George W. Bush with the vicious dragging killing of a black man? (A vote against enhanced penalties for hate crimes was depicted as a vote for racial murders.) Or the Democrats' 1996 California ad opposing Proposition 209 that featured David Duke and burning crosses (a vote against quotas and preferences was depicted as a vote for the Klan). After the wave of church burnings, radio ads aimed at black voters suggested that a vote for Republicans was a vote for more arson at black churches.

The theme of many Democratic appeals this year to blacks in Florida was "Don't let them do it to you again" -- rhetoric explicitly used by Bill Clinton -- meaning that the racist Republicans stole the election from you in 2002. Armies of reporters from liberal Democratic media descended on Florida and found no basis for this charge. What they found was that large numbers of votes in predominantly black areas were invalid because they were incompetently marked. But Democrats have been massively unwilling to shed the useful myth of Republican racism in Florida.

Crying "racism!" over and over is strategy to keep blacks angry and whites guilty. Which party is "constantly exploiting" race in this way?

Ramesh Ponnuru has some related thoughts on ads targeting [illegal] immigration.

UPDATE (10/29 at 9:09am): Harold Ford Jr. himself stated just now on "Fox News Sunday" that he did not think the ad in question is racist. He said he thought it was just a piece of "smut."

Posted by Felix at 04:59 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Hate crime?


Three men have been indicted on hate crimes charges in the death of a gay man who was attacked alongside a parkway then hit by a car while trying to escape, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Michael Sandy, 29, died five days after the Oct. 13 attack when he was taken off life support.

Anthony Fortunato, 20, was indicted Wednesday after the indictments last week of John Fox, 19, and Ilya Shurov, 20. They were charged with numerous counts including second-degree murder as a hate crime and first-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The bastards should most definitely be put away for life. (The article states that they could get up to 25 years in prison which, in my opinion, is too light.) However, an interesting segment of the column caught my eye (my emphasis):

Prosecutors said the defendants met Sandy in an online gay chat room and arranged to meet him at a popular spot for gay men seeking sexual encounters.

They intended to rob Sandy, prosecutors said, but when one of the defendants punched him, he ran onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a car.

Intent: Robbery. So, prosecutors admit that the defendants' motive was robbery, yet they're utilizing hate crimes statutes because the victim was ... gay? There is nothing in the article to indicate the defendants are "anti-gay." Arranging to meet someone at a well-known gay "hangout" via a gay chat room could certainly mean that, as prosecutors appear to say, that the target for robbery would be easier. Don't hoods prefer easy targets?

This is what we've debated at Colossus numerous times. For instance, what if the defendants were white, and they happened to lure a victim from a chat room that catered to ... blacks? Asians? Transvestite Hispanics? One would assume that a hate crime would be charged in these cases, too. However, if the defendants were of a minority group who lured a Caucasian from, say, a "divorced white 40-something" chat room, and in the course of robbing him that victim was killed ... would there be an invocation of "hate crime"? Most probably not. The motive, authorities would say, "was money." "Robbery," they'd continue. "There's nothing to indicate the victim was chosen because of his race."

We've said it once, we'll say it again: Hate crimes are selectively and unevenly utilized by authorities to placate the politically correct sensibilities of various interest groups.

Posted by Felix at 04:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 25, 2006

I do love coffee

You are a Black Coffee
At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high
What Kind of Coffee Are You?

(h/t: Jeff the Baptist.)

Posted by Hube at 08:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"Root causes"

Kim Stanley Robinson's The Wild Shore details a post-apocalyptic United States some 50+ years after a country (or countries) clandestinely brought in approximately 3000 small nuclear devices and detonated them in major cities. Afterwards, the United States is "contained" by United Nations edict (the western coast is routinely patrolled by the Japanese navy) and not permitted to develop into anything more than a barter type society.

The premise seems a tad far-fetched (at least the smuggling of 3000 nukes does), but would the other nations of the world really act to decimate -- and contain -- a United States that they perceive has gotten "too big for its britches"? Mark Millar utilizes a similar scenario in Marvel Comics' The Ultimates series where a team of international super-humans invades the United States for, among several reasons, refusing to stop its own super-human development program and using said program to enforce US foreign policy.

Question: Would the intelligensia (that survived, that is) in the United States (mostly on the left, no doubt) believe that such an attack was justified? Would they claim that the United States "brought it upon themselves"?

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October 24, 2006

Battlestar Galactica, 3-4

I finally caught Friday's episode this evening via the magic of -- get this -- a VHS tape and a programmed VCR!! How's that for retro, huh? "Exodus part 2" features a slam-bang all-out battle with the Battlestars Galactica and Pegasus duking it out against several Cylon base-ships. All this is happening while a coordinated attack of Galactica and Pegasus Viper fighter craft assist the human "insurgents" on New Caprica to escape the planet.


It seems to me that this new generation "Battlestar Galactica" is paying more of an homage to the original series than ever before. Consider:

  • The Battlestar Pegasus goes down in a "blaze of glory." Commander Lee Adama violates orders and "jumps" into New Caprica orbit to essentially save the entire rescue mission. But upon doing so, he has to sacrifice the ship -- but he takes out what appears to be three Cylon base-ships in the process. This is almost a direct parallel to the original BSG's "The Living Legend" where Commander Cain (Lloyd Bridges) goes down with his ship, so to speak. Hey -- why didn't Lee Adama do that with his Pegasus? My guess: It ain't really his ship. He "merely" inherited it after new BSG's Admiral Cain and her exec were killed. Besides, they're gonna need his expertise in the future!

  • Baltar escapes with the Cylons. Despite his continuous babbling and claims of wanting to suicide, he just never follows through and instead boogies from the planet with Cylon Number 6. Now it's all set up for him to assist the Cylons against humanity just like the Baltar in original BSG -- although the original series' Baltar was a complete lunatic while new BSG's is just an overly intellectual and philosophical milksop.

  • The search for Earth begins in earnest. It seemed for a while there that the search for the "missing 13th colony" would be nothing but an afterthought. No more. Admiral Adama had informed his son Lee that if he didn't return from New Caprica that Lee should take the Pegasus and the remaining human fleet and "find Earth."

The whole "New Caprica-Iraq" comparison seems almost a waste of time in retrospect after viewing this climax. However, if next week's advanced scenes are any indication, we'll be facing yet another sort-of analogy: The human collaborators from New Caprica that managed to escape with the Galactica rescue mission are hunted down and face execution. What might this be like -- Iraqi collaborators (with the US) who're tracked down by Islamic fundamentalists and blown to bits for their treachery? Hmmm. If so, yet more double and triple think brought to you by BSG's writing staff!

Posted by Hube at 08:41 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

DE 2006

I have a new post up over at the DE 2006 blog. Check it out!

Posted by Hube at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 23, 2006

Christina funds flap gets curiouser and curiouser

Here's one possible way to get State Auditor Tom Wagner off of the Christina School District's back: Claim his motives for the audit are "racist."

Christina’s former financial chief today defended her administration, saying state officials haven’t proven a $28 million deficit exists or that the school district misspent money meant for special-needs students.

Thresa Giles, who followed former Superintendent Joseph Wise to Duval County, Fla., also accused state Auditor R. Thomas Wagner Jr. of being racist, saying his scrutiny and repeated audits of Christina began after Wise appointed her, a black woman, over Wagner’s preferred candidate, a white man.

The fun really begins in earnest now, eh?

Posted by Hube at 05:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why I don't (and won't) coach anymore

'Cause you never know when you'll have one of these idiots show up (my emphasis):

A peewee football game turned violent Sunday when a parent began fighting with the coach, and allegedly pulled out a loaded gun.

During the game that started at 10am Sunday morning at Burholme Park, a father of a player started arguing with the coach because his son wasn't playing enough.

The father and the coach started fist fighting and the father allegedly pulled out a 357 magnum loaded with 5 live rounds after the coach started getting the upper hand in the fight.

I had coached track & field and softball over my 15+ years of teaching, and it got more brutal every year. Not the student athletes -- the parents. My brother-in-law used to coach soccer regularly, and he had to give that up for similar reasons.

What the hell is wrong with people??

Posted by Hube at 05:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 22, 2006

Education notes

The News Journal has some give and take on the Vision 2015 proposal, a plan to make Delaware's education system "number one" by the year 2015. Phillip Kaplan's op-ed nails it, however, and it pretty much sums up what I commented on over at First State Politics regarding the issue. As Kaplan notes, "Vision 2015 merely hints at how they intend to do this ..." regarding implementation of discipline and parental involvement issues, and as such, it is essentially just another "grand vision" -- with not very many specifics about actualization. For instance, Vision 2015 says this:

And require accountability for student success from all involved, including parents, community groups, teachers, principals, business leaders, and public officials.

Again, [much] easier said than done. The state couldn't even come up with an accountability plan that made sense for possibly the easiest component of that group above -- teachers. So, how in the world does Vision 2015 make parents accountable? Community groups? Business leaders? What -- do we impose fines on them, or what? Good luck.

Posted by Hube at 09:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 20, 2006

The center. Yeah, right.

The AP reports (at ABC News):

They're mostly a liberal bunch. Yet the would-be chairmen in a House under Democratic control promise to rule from the center.

Right. And Dana Garrett is an incredibly humble right-winger.

Tim Graham at The Corner notes:

Has anyone considered how the Democrats can present themselves as a vote for "change" when you consider the term-unlimited people that will chair the committees, as AP reviews it? John Dingell: first elected December of 1955. That's almost pre-rock-and-roll. John Conyers: first elected 1964. Charles Rangel? 1970. Henry Waxman? 1974. George Miller? 1974.

Indeed. As the AP continues,

The Democratic chairmen deposed in 1994 were a sometimes imperious group, often uninterested in the opinions of junior lawmakers, even those of fellow Democrats. But the arrogance is gone after 12 demoralizing years in the minority.

Yes. After 12 "demoralizing" years in the minority, they'll suddenly be a lot more humble and will in no way seek ... vengeance, for lack of a better term, against Republicans for their dozen years of utilizing power. Yessiree.

Posted by Rhodey at 03:21 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 19, 2006

'Ya think??

Erica Roane in today's Wilmington News Journal: Rigorous security at DSU homecoming doesn’t dampen concertgoers’ spirits.

Many students thought that the level of security was absurd and unnecessary. Members of the Dover Police, Delaware State Police, Capitol Police and Delaware State University Police were all there.

I doubt that this was the scenario in Newark at the University of Delaware’s homecoming (which was the same weekend) or right down the highway on U.S. 13 at Wesley College.

There was some speculation as to why the security was so excessive. Many in the audience thought the extra security was because of performer Jim Jones, who is a reputed gang member.

Well, gee! 'Ya think??

You'll notice the reference to UD and Wesley, two post-secondary institutions that are not predominately black, like DSU is. Of course, the implication is that race played a role in the level of security at DSU. But maybe -- just maybe -- if UD or Wesley had a reputed gang member performing at a packed concert, they might have had a little extra security there, too.

You can bet, though, that if security was at a minimum at the DSU homecoming and some violent occurence had taken place, Ms. Roane would probably be writing "Many people were left wondering, 'Where was all the security?'"

Posted by Felix at 09:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Net neutrality

Must viewing for those interested in keeping the Internet as it is -- just better (meaning, faster) -- is Bill Moyers On America's "The Net @ Risk." I caught this last evening and, frankly, was incensed at the implications of what will happen to the Internet if the Big Telecoms get their way. One thing that pissed me off further was that we -- right now this second -- could be surfing the 'net at up to 100 times faster than we currently do if Big Telecom had kept their word and invested in developing a fiber-optic network in the 1990s. (Get this: a cable or DSL connection here in the US costs approx. $40/month, right? Japan and South Korea already have a fiber-optic Internet network for consumers, and they pay ... about $40/month! Their Internet connection speeds are just, oh, about 40 times faster than American broadband, that's all!!)

We've put up an image for "It's Our Net" at top right which if you click on it will take you to many more resources dealing with "net neutrality." Net neutrality is one of the great bipartisan efforts of the current era. People on the right and left recognize that the 'net is the greatest thing for democracy since, well, probably democracy. Giving certain already-powerful entities a huge chunk (or even more) control of that greatly diminishes that democracy.

Bottom line: Make yourself heard on net neutrality. Fight FOR it.

More: Google has more on the importance of net neutrality. Jason of DE Liberal was way ahead of the curve on this (way to go, Jase!). Read this post of his from back in July.

Posted by Hube at 04:50 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 17, 2006

Democrats "more alert"?

Cris Barrish in today's News Journal notes a poll in which there are some discrepancies between whites and blacks -- and Republicans and Democrats -- regarding perceptions about law enforcement. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise about the racial differences, but in examining the divide between the GOP and the Dems, we read this:

• Republicans have more trust than Democrats in the system. For example, 89 percent of GOP members had faith in police investigative skills, compared with 71 percent of Democrats.

• Seventy-seven percent of Republicans support the death penalty, compared with 49 percent of Democrats. A similar split was found along racial lines, with 65 percent of whites in favor of state execution vs. 29 percent of blacks.

“Some of these numbers are striking,’’ said Bruce Peabody, a PublicMind associate who teaches political science at Fairleigh Dickinson. “Delaware's Democrats seem to be more alert to the ways the system can sometimes go wrong.’’ (My emphasis.)

How does Peabody jump to that conclusion? How does a higher number for "trust" in the [law enforcement] system signify that a group is "not as alert for systemic problems" as a group that doesn't "trust" in the system as much? Does Peabody have figures for the number of instances where the system "breaks down"? And, does he provide a definition for what exactly would constitute a "breakdown" in law enforcement procedures? No, he does not -- at least in the WNJ article.

Given that 11% of Republicans do not voice "trust" in law enforcement, if there exists a statistic of 11% -- or less -- for "breakdown" in law enforcement procedures, then the perceptions of the GOP constituents are actually much more reasoned and quite in line with reality.

Indeed, without actual figures or statistics for law enforcement irregularities, this very same "study" could be reworded as saying that Democrats "are unrealistically pessimistic" about Delaware law enforcement.

Posted by Hube at 06:48 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 16, 2006

Your [un]abashedly thorough guide to the Delaware blogosphere!

(Last updated: June 10, 2013.)

I have a penchant for reviews. And during, of all things, brushing my teeth yesterday morning, it occured to me that there really isn't a thorough review guide to all the blogs in the DE blogosphere. Now, I'm certainly far from the least biased person in said blogosphere, but like reporters are supposed to, I will attempt to put these biases aside for a compelling DE blog guide. (Oh, and a friend reviewed Colossus, by the way. FYI.) The list is not completely comprehensive, mind you; all those listed below are political in nature to one degree or another.

Here we go, in alphabetical order:

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Mike W's blog concentrates on -- take a guess -- guns. Which, by the way, includes interesting bits on the Second Amendment, natch.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: A.
Notes: Just what it says -- the Limited Government and Free Market Views in Delaware blog for the C.R.I.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Movable Type.
Layout Appeal Grade: A.
Notes: A group blog, members "Felix," "Duffy," and Paul Smith Jr., alongside proprietor "Hube," run the gamut of topics from politics (local, national and international) to comicbooks, movies, education and political correctness. The blog's layout is neat, organized and well-categorized.

Politics: Nutty Left.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: A.
Notes: Basically the Democratic Underground of Delaware, this collection of ultra-moonbats suffer from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) in a big way. Their political and historical knowledge is so shallow as to take virtually nothing they say seriously. Only bloggers "LiberalGeek" and "pandora" show any semblance of common sense.

Politics: Middle.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B+.
Notes: Host Steve Newton is a history professor at Delaware State University and is active in Libertarian politics. This site is not for the shallow of thought.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B+.
Notes: David Anderson leads the way on this [very] conservative blog originally started by Dave Burris. Joining David are Timothy Pancoast, Frank Knotts and more.

Politics: Left.
Blog software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Community activist Nancy Willing, long a commenter on DE blogs, eventually started up her own. She still seems to have difficulty with the Blogger software interface as there's no blogroll and the generic links given by Blogger are still up on her main page. Nancy's herky-jerky writing style can be trying at times, but she's a passionate believer in her causes and now has an outlet for them.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Jim Cordie and Nicole maintain this blog for Delaware Right to Life.

Politics: Left.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: As you might expect, G.D. is "a community-based organization working on environment, public health, and democracy/open government issues."

Politics: Middle.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Daryl Cobranchi's "Home Education, Religion, Politics & Eclectic Stuff" blog concentrates on the phenomenon of home-schooling ... 'cause that's what he does, after all!

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Pat Fish has been blogging longer than just about anyone in DE. (She started in Dec. 2003, the same time as me; I believe only Fritz Schranck has been at it longer.) She covers a gamut of topics, but the layout -- which includes quite a few graphics -- suffers from clutter.

Politics: Middle-Left.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: A-.
Notes: One of the better writers in the DE blogosphere, kavips is a "a Celebration of American Politics, deeply rooted in the lives and actions of our Founding Fathers." Kavips "examines today’s politics through the lens of history and sorts out what is relevant, from what is personal vanity."

Politics: Middle.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B+.
Notes: John Allison's main focus is Delaware education. He's very passionate about it, without a doubt, something that makes for interesting reading. The only drawback is that John's lack of proper grammar and spelling can make reading his posts quite tedious at times.

Politics: Center-left.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: A.
Notes: Mike Mahaffie could be known as the "Gentleman of the DE Blogosphere" for his charming and friendly posts, as well as his demeanor in comments on others' blogs. Mike posts about anything that suits his fancy, including golf, photography and politics. He turns the notoriously tricky Blogger layout into a visually pleasing visit.

Politics: Center-left.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: A.
Notes: Former host of Down With Absolutes! Mike Matthews has now been teaching for a few years and this is where he occasionally vents.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: C+.
Notes: Miriam might just be DE's most underrated blogger. She's snarky and cogent, and covers many topics. But her blog layout is plain and quite boring, and her picture placements need a lot of work.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: Blogger.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Actually, "Duffy" may be Delaware's most underrated blogger. Duff covers myriad topics, international, national and local, and he has a crisp, to-the-point writing style. Duff also makes the most of the limitations of Blogger as his template is neat and attractive.

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: R.D. "was created to offer a center-right perspective on politics and policy concerning Delaware and the nation. Our goal is to present policy alternatives and suggestions, feedback on political activity, and general information on what is transpiring in Delaware’s government as well as across the country."

Politics: Right.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: B.
Notes: Angel's site "contains the thoughts and opinions of Sussex County Angel. Angel moderates all comments. Angel reserves the right to remove any comments she chooses based on any reasons she sees fit."

Politics: Middle.
Blog Software: WordPress.
Layout Appeal Grade: A-.
Notes: Christina Board member John M. Young runs this site with the "pledge to make [his] actions on this board 100% transparent and to ask the board to join [him] in setting a new standard of communication and openness." But, he also throws in occasional non-education posts for good measure! The site's design suffers from a cluttered layout and erratic font size and design.

Politics: Middle.
Blog Software: Blogdrive.
Layout Appeal Grade: B+.
Notes: Joe Walther is an older gentlemen with whom I've sat on a couple talk radio shows at WILM. He's a very friendly guy and a great writer. His "blog" isn't typical of what you'd expect; it's more a collection of essays. Joe covers the topic gamut too, with an emphasis on the local scene.

Posted by Hube at 04:22 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

October 15, 2006

New comic next year based on original BSG

Comic Book Resources reports that a new comic based on the original "Battlestar Galactica" will be coming out in 2007:

Javier Grillo-Marxuach of TV's "Lost" and Dynamite Entertainment are all set to bring you "Battlestar Galactica: Cylon Apocalypse," a new mini-series based on the classic TV show and scheduled for an early 2007 release. CBR News caught up with Grillo-Marxuach recently to get all the frackin' details.

"It's a big, epic war story about Adama having to make a daring forward assault on the Cylons even as he has to protect his fleet and more importantly his ethics," Grillo-Marxuach explained. "It's also a story about Starbuck balancing his roguish nature with a growing understanding of his own mortality. And it's also about blowing up the frackin' bad guys. A lot of frackin' bad guys."

That's the good thing about the huge popularity of the new series. It's guaranteed to spawn all sorts of "Galactica"-related stories/spin-offs. And that's just dandy with me!

Posted by Hube at 12:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Steven Grant dissects "Galactica" (sort of)

Nutty Steven Grant, who writes over at Comic Book Resources (his pic can be seen at lower right on the comics blogroll), is known for virtually never letting some tinfoil theory slip by his column. This past week he opined on the "Battlestar Galactica" season premiere. I'll give him credit for informing readers they should be watching the show. But that's about all.

He writes:

But the stunner of the week was the two hour season opener of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (SciFi, Fridays 9P) which, as the surviving humans on New Caprica resort to increasingly violent and bloody terrorism while living under the self-reputed benevolent heel of their Cylon saviors, was a disorienting examination of how a people can come to believe terrorism is justifiable behavior. Not exactly what you'd expect to see on American TV these days. Most startling, perhaps, was a shot where one of the aging human commanders, just released from imprisonment and torture that cost him an eye, grizzled and head bandaged, takes on the bearing of Osama bin Laden as he notes how suicide bombing has been the one tactic that has made the Cylons take notice. And it's not hard to understand why the Cylons view themselves as the good guys either. (My emphasis.)

In a word: HUH? What exactly has been the "rationale" for bin Laden's terrorism again? Just examine that for one second and then compare that with the human survivors of "Galactica." The analogy is just plain ludicrous. Human civilization has all but been extinguished from the universe by the Cylons -- tens/hundreds of billions murdered by nuclear orbital bombardment -- while Osama bin Laden is miffed at things like ... the United States having a military presence in Saudi Arabia ... oh, and by the way, he also desires just what the Cylons want: To have everyone believe in their religion. Indeed. Sounds like very similar situations, right? Sheesh.

And what precisely does he mean by "And it's not hard to understand why the Cylons view themselves as the good guys either"? Because they're convinced that their religion is "the way" and that all must accept it as the path to "true" salvation? Again, if this is supposed to be some sort of correlation to the current USA, Grant's got it all backwards -- it's Osama and his merry band of radical Islamists who crave world domination via the dissemination of their beliefs. When Grant says the show "was a disorienting examination of how a people can come to believe terrorism is justifiable behavior," it has to be understood that "Galactica's" entire premise is almost completely beyond imagining. If you consider how many human beings were murdered in "Galactica's" opening mini-series and then made a proportionate analysis to planet Earth, it'd be like something on the order of the annihilation of 5,999,999,990 people with approximately ten survivors. Maybe less. Then, a year later, these ten were captured and lorded over by those that killed all the other people. It'd sure be quite easy to comprehend why these ten people would desire the deaths of their captors, now, wouldn't it? Now, compare that to the "grievances" of [wealthy!] people like bin Laden.

Maybe, just maybe Grant isn't invoking such a direct comparison. But knowing him (via his columns) as I do over the years, I'd tend to doubt it.

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

Must reads

One of my favorite blogger/writers, Benjamin Kerstein, is back with a couple must reads: Here and here.

Posted by Hube at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 14, 2006

Worthy of major news website headline

Dean chides law students over ‘ghetto’ party is a headline over at MSNBC.com. In the article:

A group of first-year law students at the University of Texas at Austin has been chided by the dean for participating in a “Ghetto Fabulous”-themed costume party and posting pictures from it online.

The party is the latest racially insensitive incident to emerge from the university, which has struggled for years to boost minority enrollment and make students of color feel welcome.

“Among the many ways to happily party in Austin, this particular one was singularly heedless and odious,” Dean Larry Sager said in an e-mail Friday to the law school’s student body.

Say whaaaat? College students -- acting silly? "Insensitive"? But the point to ponder is that MSNBC considered this worthy of a headline on their website, yet a search of that same site reveals not a single article about the debacle at Columbia University where representatives of the Minuteman Project were harassed off of the stage -- after being invited to speak -- by student radicals "representing" various [student] organizations. One of the Minutemen, Marvin Stewart, is black, and he stated some of these student protestors yelled the "N" word at him.

Now that's insensitive. But consider who was being "insensitive" in each of the noted cases. That's why one gets MSNBC coverage and one does not.

UPDATE: Boy this is even better. Check out the big headline at the top of MSNBC.com at approx. midday EDT:

"Political Pioneer"?? For what -- having the first known sex tryst with an underaged [same sex] page?

No, you know that's not what MSNBC really means, don'tcha? And even though it's mentioned in the article, it really "ain't that bad":

Studds was never ashamed of the relationship with the page.

“This young man knew what he was doing" (said Studds' partner) ... "he was at (Studds’) side.”

Think Mark Foley could get away with that in the press? Y'know, the same Mark Foley whose scandal is greatly assisting in the defeat of Republicans this Novermber?

Posted by Felix at 01:59 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Mascitti and the News Journal

Hey Delawareans -- anyone know why Al Mascitti's mug still appears regularly on the main page of the News Journal's online version?

Pretty funny if you ask me. Sort of like "We just can't get rid of the guy!!"

Posted by Hube at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battlestar Galactica, 3-3

"3-3" meaning season 3, episode 3. (OK, the season premiere was actually one two-hour episode, but they're then usually broken down into one-hour segments later.) I suppose I could titled it "Exodus," as that was the actual title of the episode. So I want to be different. Sue me.

At any rate, what we saw was basically a continuation of the premiere, where the Galactica is planning a rescue mission on New Caprica. But in 3-3, the Cylons are getting royally fed up with occupying the last vestiges of humanity. One of the humanoid Cylons suggests leaving New Caprica and nuking the city from orbit. (Was that an homage to the line from "Aliens" where Sigourney Weaver -- Ripley -- says "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure," whereupon the swarmy Burke, played by Paul Reiser, vociferously disagrees, to which Cpl. Hicks -- Michael Biehn, the original star of "The Terminator" -- simply restates Weaver's quip: "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure"?? I'm probably over-analyzing.) What helped lead to that suggestion was a raid by human insurgent forces where a woman purposely let a humanoid Cylon lie on the ground, grievously injured, suffer. The woman seems to take pleasure in the Cylon's suffering, which really pisses off the cadre of humanoid Cylons running the occupation. One of the humanoid Cylons -- dubbed "skin-jobs" by the humans in what is probably another homage, this time to the classic "Blade Runner" term for human-looking androids -- even remarks how "callous" and "uncaring" humans are. This -- from those who exterminated countless billions of human beings in atomic fire!

Other developments:

  • The humanoid Cylon "Sharon" now working for Adama successfully infiltrates the Cylon safehouse on New Caprica and obtains the "launch keys" to the human spaceships that landed on New Caprica during the initial settlement.
  • Starbuck is still imprisoned by her humanoid Cylon "mate" and their "daughter" appears to be fine following an injury in the season opener. Starbuck appears to be falling for the Cylon's mind games -- forcing her to accept him as his "mate" and the "fact" that they have a "daughter" -- but I don't buy it. Starbuck is the toughest character on BSG -- she's faking it and I predict she'll end up killing yet another copy of her "mate" and escaping with her "daughter" to safety aboard the Galactica.
  • Tigh's wife's collaboration with the Cylons is discovered, and the Colonel is beside himself. This matter is unresolved in the episode.

Next week's episode will feature the raid on New Caprica by the Galactica if the previews are a real indication. It'll be cool to finally see some space battle action.

Speaking of which, at midday yesterday the SciFi Channel replayed the original BSG episodes of "The Living Legend" on which the new BSG's "Pegasus" two-parter is based. Lloyd Bridges plays Commander Cain, legendary Battlestar leader who miraculously is discovered to have survived the big Cylon surprise attack along with his Battlestar Pegasus crew. There is friction between Adama (Lorne Greene) and Cain, but the two work through their differences, and the climactic battle between the Pegasus and three Cylon base-ships is pretty awesome by 1979 standards.

Hey -- speaking of the Pegasus, has there ever been an explanation of why the Cylon computer virus that led to the destruction of the whole Battlestar fleet doesn't seem to affect the Pegasus? We know why it didn't work on the Galactica (because Adama refused to allow networked computers on his old ship), but I don't recall ever being given a reason as to how Pegasus got around the cyber-attack.

There's lot's a cool discussion about the many aspects of BSG over the message boards of the Internet Movie Database. If you're a fan, you gotta check it out.

UPDATE: I sent an e-mail query to BSG fan Jonah Goldberg at The Corner asking the following: Were not the original Cylons (in the TOS version of BSG) "replacements" for a dying lizard-like race? And wasn't the "imperious leader" (voiced by Patrick MacNee) one of the few (only?) surviving lizards?

Is this accurate? Anyone?

UPDATE 2: Google is your friend. Seriously. I typed in "Battlestar Galactica Cylons Lizards" and more than a couple references turned up. Like this one (a review of the new series) which states (my emphasis)

The Cylons were created by Man. Some people feel this was a betrayal of the original premise in which the original Cylons were lizards who created machines and were overcome by their own technology. There were strong hints that Count Iblis had a hand in the original Cylons’ extinction. It was a fascinating story, but too complex to be effectively done over the course of a four-hour miniseries.

By making humans the creators of the Cylons, the Destruction becomes much more poignant in that the Colonials are the victims of their own sins. When you think about it, the premise isn’t all that much different from the original. All Moore did was substitute the lizard Cylons with the Colonials.


The premise of the classic Battlestar: Galactica series (1978-1979) is that a species of robots called Cylons (actually lizards that morphed into the mechanical automatons) wants to eliminate humanity so that it can be the sole power in the universe. After wiping out the Twelve Colonies of mankind, the Cylons continue their relentless pursuit of a small group of survivors who reside aboard one of the last surviving warships in the galaxy: the Galactica.

And finally:

The Imperious Leader is the highest authority of the Cylon Empire. There is only one Imperious Leader, although there are others to replace it should the Cylon succumb to destruction. Typically, their potential replacements are called IL-series Cylons, and are typically the politicians or viceroys of the Cylon Empire.

So, apparently the Cylon leader is just a construct, like the centurions themselves, and not one of the few remaining "lizard" Cylons. (Although, after reading various BSG sources, there are considerable clues throughout TOS BSG that can lead one to conclude that Imperious Leader is indeed a lizard.)

Posted by Hube at 08:39 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 13, 2006

Want to speak English in class? You're a "racist" and get arrested

Via Joanne Jacobs comes word of a 14 year old student who was arrested for ... wanting to work with English-speaking students in her classroom (emphasis mine):

A teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English.

Codie Stott's family claim she was forced to spend three-and-a-half hours in a police cell after she was reported by her teachers.

The incident happened in the same local education authority where a ten-year-old boy was prosecuted earlier this year for calling a schoolfriend racist names in the playground, a move branded by a judge "political correctness gone mad."

Codie was attending a GCSE science class at Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened.

The teenager had not been in school the day before due to a hospital appointment and had missed the start of a project, so the teacher allocated her a group to sit with.

"She said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils," said Codie yesterday.

"Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said 'Discuss'."

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn't understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."

Cripes, what's the name of this school -- 1984 Thought Control High? What kind of "teacher" would respond in such a manner to a completely reasonable query? Wait -- I know. "Teachers" who've been thoroughly sucked into this sort of nonsense:

[Columbia University's] Teachers College’s Conceptual Framework, which represents the “philosophy for teacher education at Teachers College,” requires students to possess a “commitment to social justice.” Moreover, students are expected to recognize that “social inequalities are often produced and perpetuated through systematic discrimination and justified by societal ideology of merit, social mobility, and individual responsibility.”

Indeed. Those "silly" concepts of individual merit and responsibility! (The Columbia TC's "Conceptual Framework," by the way, is awfully familiar to the since-retracted definition of "cultural racism" utilized by the Seattle Public Schools which, among other things, claimed that "having a future time orientation" and "emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology" were racist.)

Sigh. All this garbage is is neo-Marxism reconfigured into a new type of overly verbose edu-babble. As I noted yesterday, good thing there are groups like FIRE to bring these loonies to the fore. To coin a cliché, "sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Posted by Hube at 08:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"This is an election unlike any other I have ever participated in"

... said Bill Clinton yesterday in Las Vegas.

Except for one other one, of course -- the 1994 mid-term election which was light-years more drastic than any "switch" we'll witness in a few weeks.

Wonder how Bill forgot that? Oh, right -- the "right-wing conspiracy," of course!

Posted by Hube at 07:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 12, 2006

Climate change skeptic? You're a war criminal!

Say "hi" to tinfoil [mad]hatter David Roberts who advocated "war crimes" trials for global climate change skeptics:

When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg. (My emphasis.)

Today, 'ol Davey backpedaled a tad, saying

There are people and institutions knowingly disseminating falsehoods and distortions about global warming. They deserve to be held publicly accountable.

As to what shape that accountability would take, my analogy to the Nuremberg trials was woefully inappropriate -- nay, stupid. I retract it wholeheartedly.

Don't believe it, folks. Far-left nutjobs would love to bring people "up on charges" for the "crime" of voicing dissent to their prevailing "wisdom." Just do a bit of reading about how this sort of nonsense happens on American college campuses all the time. (See Columbia University, most recently.) Thankfully, though, there's a group called FIRE out there that battles this garbage.

Personally, I wonder if Roberts would advocate "war crimes" trials for the pseudo-science that has pervaded education over the last few decades.

Posted by Hube at 06:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Well, he is right!

Rep. Chris Shays defends Hastert and gives it to Dems, specifically Teddy Kennedy:

"I know the speaker didn't go over a bridge and leave a young person in the water, and then have a press conference the next day," the embattled Connecticut congressman told The Hartford Courant in remarks published Wednesday.

"Dennis Hastert didn't kill anybody," he added.

Dude! Harsh, brutal, and dead on target. Gotta love election season politics!

Still, it's my opinion that the GOP will lose both houses of Congress on Election Day. And, in my opinion, this will be a good thing, ultimately, for the Republicans. I agree with Joe Scarborough -- the GOP has lost its way from their "revolution" of 1994 to the degree that, to many, they're not even Republicans (well, at least conservatives) anymore.

Posted by Hube at 03:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 11, 2006

More "diversi-babble"

John Rosenberg, Hube's "blog father" over at Discriminations, brings to light an article that raises the discomforting -- though, not surprising -- fact of Asians/Asian-Americans being discriminated against in university admissions:

Many counselors — during and after the session — said that they have little doubt that when applying for undergraduate admission to research universities, white applicants are getting admitted with lower test scores and grades than Asian applicants are. One high school guidance counselor told the panel of experts that a sign of the distrust of the system is that he is increasingly asked by Asian American students if they would be better off applying to college if they declined to check the race/ethnicity box on the applications.

[Jon] Reider [a counselor at University High School, in San Francisco and former admissions officer at Stanford] said he thought the article and the question of "Too Asian?" that it posed was "shameful" and said that he was "embarrassed" as an American that such a piece would appear today. He asked whether anyone would think of publishing an article called "Too Latino?" and compared the bias to the kind of bigotry that for decades limited the enrollment of Jewish students at top private universities. "This is a racist question," he said.

Perhaps it is, Jon. However, that doesn't make it not accurate -- that Asians are indeed being discriminated against in a manner that Jewish college applicants were in days gone by. We've seen it already with Asians and white students where, in the name of "diversity," black and Latino students are admitted over them even though they have lower SAT scores and GPAs. Now, it's Asians with regards to whites. Can't have "too many" of those overly studious [Asian] pupils mucking up "diversity," now can we?

In a semi-related tidbit over in yesterday's Wilmington News Journal, Lois Johnson, the chief of the Northeast Region of the National Association of Black School Educators, told a group of potential new members that "We have teachers who do not look like our children." The meeting's main focus was how to best address the "achievement gap" between white and black students. The obvious implication here is that if there were more black teachers, black student achievement would improve.

How many Asian teachers are there across the country? Do Asians have teachers "who look like them" in "sufficient" numbers? Depending on just what the definition of "sufficient" in this case would be, my [somewhat educated] guess is no, they do not. Yet, despite this, Asians as a group academically outperform every other [ethnic] group out there.

Why is this?

UPDATE (10/15): Stan Stein of Dover writes in the News Journal today:

The media regularly depict some version of racism. Whether it's violence, an immigration controversy or schools, white people seem to take the blame.

A retired New York principal visiting here insinuated that black and Hispanic students would do better if they had teachers that looked like them. How racist is that?

The woman, who is black, also grouped Asians in with white people. Maybe this aspiring anthropologist can determine where native Americans fit in.

The East Coast portion of my family are mostly teachers. I will not let my wife, daughter and son in-law be labeled as some sort of educational detriment, so someone can make excuses for parents who make little time and effort to become involved in their children's education. Saying there is a problem because people look different is beyond the standards of racism and should be a wake-up call to school boards and legislators.

Posted by Felix at 04:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 10, 2006

More Battlestar Galactica politics

I thought this summary of the original version of BSG was quite interesting:

I think it worth mentioning that the original (and in my view the one, true and only) Battlestar Galactica was perhaps the most unambiguously right-wing show on TV at the time, perhaps even since. Parts of it might as well have been written by the Committee on the Present Danger. Consider: The heroes were all military hard-liners: the Colonies are destroyed because they listened to the peaceniks instead of Adama. The peaceniks were all either naďve dupes (President Adar), decadent hedonists (Sire Uri) or outright traitors (Baltar). This continued even after the destruction of the colonies, as dopey civilian leaders still thought they could make peace with the Cylons or other implacable opponents.

"Terra" (an ersatz Earth found later in the show's run) made the Cold War parallel even more explicit, as the "Eastern Alliance" launches a surprise nuclear first strike just as the President of the Nationalists (the good guys) was about to announce a disarmament treaty. Apollo gives a peace-through-strength speech that is probably the most Reaganite declamation ever given by a fictional character on TV.

The story was based on Mormon theology and history and was chock full of Biblical allusions and parallels. (http://www.michaellorenzen.com/galactica.html)
Couples actually got married (or talked about getting married) and forming families, in contrast to the new series' humping nympho-Cylons.

Like John Podhoretz, I still think the new series is light-years (hadda get a space reference in there) better than the original. Still, if you check out what original series star (and new series occasional guest-star) Richard Hatch had in mind for "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" based on the original series, it looked pretty damned cool. It would have had a lot less "cheese" than the original, and would have dealt much more in-depth with human interest stories, much like the new series. There's supposed to be a nine-minute (or so) trailer of "Second Coming" which Hatch presented to potential producers, but I've never seen it and I don't believe there's one available on the web. If you're privy as to where to find it, please let me know!

Posted by Hube at 04:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I experienced a similar situation

Check out this nugget about Barbra Streisand injecting too damn much politics into her show -- when people apparently showed up to watch her sing! (Imagine that!)

There was Streisand, enduring a smattering of very loud jeers as she and "George Bush" _ a celebrity impersonator _ muddled through a skit that portrayed the president as a bumbling idiot.

Though most of the crowd offered polite applause during the slightly humorous routine, it got a bit too long, especially for a few in the audience who just wanted to hear Streisand sing like she had been doing for the past hour.

"Come on, be polite!" the well-known liberal implored during the sketch as she and "Bush" exchanged zingers. But one heckler wouldn't let up. And finally, Streisand let him have it.

"Shut the (expletive) up!" Streisand bellowed, drawing wild applause. "Shut up if you can't take a joke!"

With that one F-word, the jeers ended. And the message was delivered -- no one gets away with trying to upstage Barbra Streisand, especially not in her hometown.

Geez, I guess so. As I recall writing about on my old blog, in Feb. 2005 I went to see folk artist Jimmy Dale Gilmore with some good buddies. We had seen him at the same venue a few years prior, and we had a great time. He put on one good show. Not in '05, however. Like Streisand, Gilmore rambled on and on about George Bush and conservative politics in general, thinking he was quite funny, but he was failing miserably. And, he wouldn't stop. My pals and I estimated that about half of the [small] venue was not happy with Gilmore's rantings. People were uttering things like "OK, already -- shut up and play!" We added to those complaints ourselves, especially since we also estimated that Gilmore had actually played about half the total number of tunes that he did years prior.

Streisand's politics are probably more well-known than Gilmore's, although if you're unaware it's probably a safe bet to guess (mainly just by lookin' at him) where Jimmy Dale's beliefs lie. Still, when you buy tickets to a concert to either -- of any other music group -- you pay your money for the tunes, not the artist's proselytizing. The sooner singers/performers get that through their thick domes, the better!

Posted by Hube at 04:08 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Haven't we said that ad nauseum?

The San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders utters some common sense (emphasis mine):

Now don't tell me that Fox News is biased but the New York Times is not.

Do I like everything on Fox? No. I hit the remote when feuding talking heads are spouting prefab talking points and I can get a real news story on CNN. (Other times, I turn to Fox to escape the same on CNN.) I also turn to Fox because its coverage on the war in Iraq takes the longer view, and its coverage on intelligence eavesdropping does not read like an ACLU press release.

But I don't like how Fox News leads some conservatives to believe they should not be exposed to liberal media, just as some Chronicle readers are indignant at the very thought that they — or their friends — should have to suffer exposure to a dissenting point of view (e.g., mine). When people have a strict diet of Designer News, they run the danger of thinking — ŕ la [NYT reporter Linda] Greenhouse — that their opinions are fact.

Besides, it's not as if Fox never reaches across the aisle. Its opinion shows feature partisans on both sides. Fox mogul Rupert Murdoch gave half a million dollars to former President Clinton's global confab and held a fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Nonetheless, Bill Clinton berated Fox anchor Chris Wallace for a "nice conservative little hit job" -- just because Wallace asked Clinton a question. In a respectful tone, Wallace told Clinton that Fox viewers wanted him to ask why the former president had not done more to stop Osama bin Laden.

A Bubba tirade followed, when an answer would have worked fine.

As Wallace told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, the surprising thing was that he (Wallace) was the only TV interviewer among many to ask Clinton that question, even though Clinton had been complaining about an ABC miniseries that faulted his handling of bin Laden. It is amazing no one else asked. It goes to show that Fox News keeps American media fair and balanced.

Not much else to add except -- again -- it's quite comical when liberals bitch about Fox News considering the size of its overall audience and the fact that just about every other major media outlet is left-leaning. Give it a rest already. It's just ONE right-leaning media wing. Stop acting like campus radicals who demand only one point of view -- theirs!

(h/t: Media Blog.)

Posted by Hube at 03:52 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 09, 2006

4-1? Unreal!

New head coach, new defensive coordinator, new overall philosophy ... I was expecting one loooooong year this season for my St. Louis Rams. But a funny thing has happened: They've won four of their first five games. Yesterday it was in always-tough Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers. All of their wins have been tough -- yesterday they had to recover a fumble late in the game to preserve the win as GB was well within [a game-tying] field goal range -- but that's what makes the wins more savory. They're winning the closeones AND they're doing it with defense. Yes, defense. The Rams, who were once dubbed the "Greatest Show on Turf" because of their explosive offense, are now winning games with tough defensive play.

But, it's a long season, as they say, and some very tough games lie ahead -- like two against Seattle, at Carolina, at San Diego and at home against what looks to be THE team to beat this year, the Chicago Bears.

Posted by Hube at 02:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

News Journal celebrates P.C. on Columbus Day

That never-let-you-down bastion of political correctness (the News Journal) -- the daily that won't print the race of criminal suspects out of the "necessity" not to offend certain groups -- has a pair of PC morsels in its Columbus Day edition.

First there's the Festival celebrates 'Unity in Diversity' story which highlights the Riverfront's IndiaFest 2006. You can ignore the Gandhi quote of "India has a mission for all -- individual freedom, political liberty, passive resistance and religious tolerance" (especially considering India has one of the most rigidly socially stratified societies on the planet) and the fact that multiculturalists would frown upon a so ... "superficial" example of "diversity." Just ponder the "Unity in Diversity" quip. Does diversity really result in unity? If the diversity really is as "superficial" as this NJ article says -- different foods, dress, crafts -- then sure, unity of community isn't a hassle. But if it's the "diversity" that the multicultis really desire, then be aware that that diversity includes diversity of political and cultural philosophy ... based on one's inclusion in a racial/ethnic group. And it's this which in no way assists in "unity."

Over in the Opinion section, "Delaware Voice" contributor Michael Haley notes that "Others should emulate BofA's hiring of MBNA's 'differently able' workers." I actually had to click on the link because at first I was puzzled at the "differently able" phrase. Then I remembered. It's a more "positive" handle for "handicapped." Since I consider myself fairly well-versed in the lexicon of PC, I wondered how many laymen would be perplexed at "differently able" -- since I had forgotten. But even if we agree that "handicapped" is too "negative" a term, in the op-ed Haley uses the designation "disabled." But ... I thought the correct usage is "differently abled"? Isn't the prefix "dis" as negative a connotation as "handicapped"? But even more important (if this topic actually can be considered such in the first place!), wouldn't using "disabled" in the headline lead to a lot less head-scratching over just what the hell the article is about? Less PC terminology usually does. Still, I recommend reading Haley's op-ed since it's right on the money. Disab, er, uh, differently abled employees are indeed some of the hardest working, loyal and personable help in the labor pool today.

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

The world has changed

North Korea appears to have conducted its first nuke test.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has a gazillion links and follow-ups.

Posted by Felix at 08:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 07, 2006

Down time

I was perusing the mu.nu tech site and it looks as if they're finally making the big move to all new servers sometime early Sunday. This could lead to some significant down-time here and there. (As it is, we currently can't even get e-mail notification of new Colossus comments, which sucks.)

Just an FYI. We know you're all worried sick about it. ;-)

Posted by Hube at 06:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Battlestar Galactica season 3 premiere

I got a little worried when I read this e-mail to Jonah Goldberg yesterday. And ... my worry was upheld as I watched the two-hour season opener.

Humanity has now settled upon a habitable world after [clandestine] traitor Gaius Baltar wins the 12 Colonies' presidency. A year after settlement, the Cylons appear in orbit about "New Caprica" (named after one of the Cylon-annihilated planets in the BSG mini-series) in force and send an occupation force to take over the humans' new world. The Battlestar Galactica (headed by Admiral Adama -- Edward James Olmos) and the Battlestar Pegasus (headed by Commander Lee Adama, the admiral's son) realize they don't stand a chance in hell of beating this Cylon battle-group, so they reluctantly "jump" (along with myriad civilian spacecraft) to a safe locale.

Four months later, the Cylons are interning and torturing humans seemingly at random, and they're recruiting a human police force to help keep the "peace." This latter point is reminiscent of the "V" miniseries (and subsequent series) from the early 1980s where a race a lizards disguised as humans came to "take our water" and also humans for food. Part of their tactics was the use of humans themselves as a lizard-loyal police force, which obviously caused a great deal of resentment and hatred -- on both sides. As Goldberg's letter writer warned, this could also indeed be viewed as an allegory to the Iraq War/ War on Terror (or, at least, a liberal's definition of it) -- Americans interning and "torturing" Iraqis/al Qaeda, and American troops recruiting and training an Iraqi police force.

But it gets ... "better." The humans on New Caprica decide to take to terrorism to battle their mechanical oppressors. We see them setting off "road-side" bombs and even strapping explosives to themselves -- becoming suicide bombers. But any comparison to either the Iraqi insurgency (a word used quite often by the Cylons, as a matter of fact) or the Palestinian intifada is weak if you think about it. Keep in mind that the Cylons have already engaged in genocide on an almost unimaginable scale. They've murdered tens -- possibly hundreds -- of billions of human beings on the twelve colony worlds. Now, they've arrived to oppress and brutalize the remaining few humans, numbering in the mere tens of thousands. How this relates to the United States invading Iraq for violating myriad agreements and mandates, as well as ousting a murderous dictatorial regime, is beyond me. Likewise the Palestinian intifada; after all, it was they, along with their many Arab allies, who would have engaged in genocide had not the Israelis beaten them in 1948, 1967 and 1973, not even counting the countless "minor" military "flare-ups." To make an apt comparison to BSG would require the Cylons to be under human occupation!

What still gets me is the unrealistic ... "morality" the humans still appear to possess. For instance, Colonel Tigh's wife accedes to a [humanoid] Cylon's orders to find out when a group of insurgents will meet with a group of marines from the Galactica that will be "jumping" in to assist them. If she does not, the Cylons will re-arrest Col. Tigh and torture him worse than before. (They already gouged one of his eyes out.) Despite the obvious repercussions of following through with the Cylon's demand, she does it anyway. Let's see -- humanity has been virtually extinguished, you're (Tigh's wife) being used as a humanoid Cylon's personal sex toy who now demands you betray the only form of human opposition anywhere. And you do it -- to apparently save ONE human life. I don't buy it. The degree of human desperation among BSG's humans would be uncalculable. Triage-type survival would be paramount, as would the need for vengeance.

Elsewhere, former President Roslin is also having doubts about using "terror" tactics (especially suicide bombers) against the Cylons. By all people, she was swayed by the traitorous Baltar, who now is president himself. The same Baltar whose innate cowardice makes him sign the death warrants of over 200 humans for "subversive" activities! Speaking of which, the Cylons ultimately begin to utilize the tactic (used quite often in "Red Dawn") of executing countless people in retaliation for acts of insurgency. The opener closes with a horde of robotic Cylons firing upon many "rounded up" humans in a desolate part of town, as well as surprising (thanks to Mrs. Tigh) the Galactica marine raiders who've arrived to support the New Caprica insurgents.

Among the many scenes of what's to come this season on "Battlestar," we see an apparent opportunity for the humans to eradicate ALL Cylons in their midst -- to repay genocide with genocide. Should be interesting, to say the least. Stay tuned.

Previous Battlestar posts: Battlestar Galactica season finale; Battlestar Galactica mid-season opener; "Best show on TV?"; First "Trek," now more "Galactica"!

UPDATE: Be sure to check out the forester's analysis over at seedlings.

Posted by Hube at 10:18 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Russell Losco of West Grove, PA spouts the usual -- and decidedly tiresome -- "dictator" nonsense, sounding a lot like Jason:

With recent passage of the bill in the House and Senate to legitimize military tribunals and detainment of enemy combatants, this nation has entered a frightening period.

Now the administration can deem anybody to be an enemy combatant and immediately imprisoned without trial. They can be held without access to an attorney, without even knowing the charges against them. They can be tortured on the word of one person, George W. Bush.

American diplomat George Kennan, speaking of the Soviet Union during the Cold War, said, "The worst thing the Communists could do to us and the thing we have most to fear from their activities is that we should become like them."

Welcome to the dictatorship. Be careful what you say or write, because Big Brother is watching and listening and now has the authority to silence you and make you disappear.

Our rights are evaporating under the Republican-controlled Congress, Supreme Court and White House. We need a Congress that will safeguard our liberties and stand up to this president.

The mid-term elections are Nov. 7. We need to vote for a change. Vote Democratic.

Despite the fact that Russ' second paragraph is erroneous, it sure serves to send a "chill" down your spine, eh? I mean, come on -- we're becoming the Soviet Union, after all! And you just know pulling that lever for Democrats will put a stop to this -- and make our country safer! After all, that great Democrat icon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sure put a stop to illegal wiretapping during WW II, military trials for illegal combatants, and halted the internment of American citizens in prison camps, remember?

Oh, wait ...

(Photo h/t to Duffy.)

Posted by Hube at 09:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 06, 2006

Mark Millar still hates America

I've previously written about the Scottish Marvel Comics scribe here and here and how he injects his leftist politics into just about any comic he is asked to write. As noted in the latter link, Millar writes The Ultimates, which is the modern "re-imagining" of the old Marvel super-team The Avengers. Back in that January post, I pointed out how in that Ultimates issue a super-team dubbed The Liberators had invaded the United States. These "Liberators" included super "heroes" from China, North Korea and some un-named Muslim nation. They invaded the US basically because George Bushian foreign policy has "run amok," and all the other countries of the world (well, those not in the West, that is) got fed up. Government officials are executed, the general population is interned, national symbols (like the Statue of Liberty) are toppled and destroyed.

However, the Ultimates -- after seemingly being destroyed -- begin to fight back. Tony Stark (Iron Man) sets the "revenge" in motion using his usual high-tech solutions (in this case, "nano-bots" which have infected various agents of the Liberators). The latest issue, #12, has virtually all of the "Ultimate" universe's heroes (now freed) battling the Liberators, with the highlight being the showdown between Captain America and his Muslim country analogue (which issue #12 seems to indicate is from Azerbaijan). This Muslim country analogue (henceforth known as "MCA") is armed with a Darth Maul-type light sabre and, of course, Cap has his stalwart shield. Amazingly, Millar makes Cap the victor -- but not without injecting not only dreadful characterization, but his usual political swill. As the MCA lies beaten in a fountain pool, he asks of Cap "Do you not even appreciate why we did this thing?" (We're supposed to ponder, I suppose, the actions the US undertook to justify a genocidal invasion by nations with absolutely abysmal human rights records.) Seconds prior he asks Cap "And why should I give up? So you can humiliate and execute me before your fellow officers?" Cap retorts "Don't be ridiculous. That's not the way we do things in this country."

But Millar has Cap do that very thing to the MCA. Again, beaten and defeated in a fountain pool, the MCA is just lying there. Cap, now armed with one half of the MCA's light sabre, straddles the MCA and drives the weapon right into the MCA's chest cavity -- executing him. Captain America did this. Granted, the Ultimate universe is supposed to be "grittier" than the standard Marvel Universe, but certain characterizations are (or, should be) maintained. Like Cap's purity (or attempted purity) of purpose. Anyone who's anyone would simply not have Capt. America killing a person in cold blood. Unless, of course, he wanted to disparage a certain country!

An excellent example of Cap's aversion to killing is the "Galactic Storm" saga from the 90s where the Avengers were torn over a decision to "kill" the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Half the team wanted to obliterate the mental entity (including Iron Man), and half were against the action -- most vociferously Cap. In fact, Cap held a vote and his "side" won. He ordered that no one kill the Intelligence, but Iron Man and his "side" disobeyed. The Supreme Intelligence had used a "nega-bomb" to destroy virtually the entire Kree race in an attempt to "jump start" their evolution. The Avengers, who were drawn into the galactic conflict (it was the Kree vs. the X-Men-notorious Shi'ar) were horrified by the Intelligence's actions, hence the intra-team struggle. The continuing discord among the team following "Storm" led to the [forceful] dismantling of the West Coast Avengers team, which in turn led to the creation (led by Iron Man) of the short-lived Force Works team.

Meanwhile, over in the Marvel Universe proper, Millar is writing "Civil War." Actually, Civil War #4 doesn't seem like Millar really took to writing much at all. It is simply dreadful. However, at least here, Cap is more in his usual character. He heads the side of the "war" that supposedly is for "freedom" -- against the registration -- and use -- of superhumans by the government. He (and counterpart Iron Man) are going to extreme measures to "vindicate" their side -- their philosophy. In issue #4, Iron Man has Capt. America at his mercy. When Iron Man asks him to essentially give up, a totally out-of-character Cap (at right, below) says "You think I'm really going down -- to a pampered punk like you?"

"Pampered"? "Punk"? This is utterly ludicrous coming from [the Marvel Universe] Cap. As a fellow Avenger from virtually Day One, Cap knows Iron Man better than almost anybody. And he knows that Tony Stark -- above anyone else -- does not personify the denigration inherent in Cap's exclamation. Would a "pampered punk" surpass his father's business and technological acumen at the age of 16?? Would a "pampered punk" take his family's business to heights never conceived? Would a "pampered punk" devote his company's resources to making the planet a better place? But most of all, would a "pampered punk" put his very own life on the line time after time after time as Tony Stark (as Iron Man) has done? In many ways, Iron Man is Marvel's Batman -- heir to a family fortune who uses it to become a hero.

Interestingly, Cap's and Iron Man's roles have done a 180 from the classic Avengers #181 -- where the United States government first took a [large] degree of control over Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Just by looking at the awesome George PĂ©rez cover shows you that it's Iron Man who's angry at the prospect of government control, and it's Cap who's holding him back. Henry Gyrich (whose fictional character played a bit part in the "X-Men" film) dictates the rules by which the Avengers must now play (or have most of their taken-for-granted privileges revoked), including their very membership. Iron Man yells at Gyrich (and I'm going by memory here, though I am quite accurate) "Who the hell do you think you are?" to which the red-haired annoyance retorts "I'm the government, mister." Cap is the one calming Iron Man down, asking "Would it better to have Avengers clearance revoked?" and "vouching" for government-mandated new member Falcon, a hero who has never even been an Avenger before. (Falcon was mandated because of government affirmative action policies; the Black Panther, an oft-member of the Avengers, was not available to join at that time.)

I think it just might be time to give up on these "hot" contemporary comics writers.

Posted by Hube at 05:39 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 04, 2006

Useless WNJ headline of the week

Lieberthal undergoes abdominal surgery -- Phillies catcher will need 6-10 weeks to recover. (Link.)

Hmm. Maybe the fact that he had surgery is worth some news (even though he sucks). But at this point, who the hell cares how long it'll take for him to recover -- especially since the 6-10 weeks will leave him plenty of time to get ready for spring training next year!! (Translation: the Phils' season is OVER so the time-frame for recovery is totally IRRELEVANT.)

Posted by Hube at 05:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 03, 2006

Danny Ortega back as Nicaragua president?

This is sure to make many lefties happy, including for sure one here in the DE blogosphere; however, it looks as if there will be a run-off between Danny and Eduardo Montealegre for the chief exec. of the Central American nation. And the good news for the latter is that "66% of the voters identified themselves as anti-Ortega, and 74% of those said they would be disposed to vote for whichever candidate could defeat Ortega even if that candidate were not their first choice."

Ortega blew it big time after he led the successful revolution against Anastasio Somoza. He (and the other members of the FSLN, the "Sandinista Front") lied to the Nicaraguan populace about who the FSLN really were in order to garner much needed popular support -- especially from moderate political entities -- and once the FSLN ousted Somoza, well, Danny didn't waste much time spouting -- and implementing -- Castroite rhetoric. Many Sandinistas who got pissed off at this turnabout eventually formed the Contras, and we all know who Ronald Reagan supported in that little tussle, don't we?

Posted by Hube at 06:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

This week's winner is Thomas Koval of Bear who writes the following (my emphasis):

In a recent letter a writer proclaimed the pride of being a liberal. The writer used former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman as examples of stalwarts of liberalism. Both of these men have contributed significantly to the success of our great nation. What the letter writer failed to point out is that President Roosevelt, fearing for the safety of our nation, started interment camps for people of Japanese heritage, while President Truman, justifiably so, ordered the atomic bombing of Japan in order to save hundreds of thousands of American soldiers lives.

These strategic acts would be harshly criticized by today's liberals. I conclude that liberalism is not bad. It is today's liberals that have lost their direction.

OK Tom, I certainly have no beef with the decision to drop the A-bomb on Japan; however, interning American citizens merely because of their race/ethnicity -- in prison camps?? Without due process? C'mahn. This is one of the biggest blights on our country in American 20th century history. Should we extrapolate from your thesis that we should now intern Arab-Americans merely because they share a common ancestry with a current foe?

Absolutely not. It's bad enough that groups like CAIR (along with their absolutist pals on the Left) scream and holler about even using a term like "Islamic fascism," let alone mere surveillance of groups that may have some shady dealings with less savory people in the mid-east. But that would have been the just -- and legal -- thing to do in the 40s -- surveillance of any Japanese-Americans who were suspected of assisting the Empire during the war. Not throwing them in camps. FDR should not be venerated for that action whatsoever.

Posted by Hube at 05:54 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 02, 2006

G.O.P. = Garble Our Posteriors

Two sets of two-words why the Republicans will most likely now lose in Novermber -- and deservedly so: Mark and Foley, and Cover and Up.

La Shawn Barber is all over it. More from ABC News.


UPDATE: Michelle Malkin is on it, too. No excuses, no blaming liberals or the MSM. Yep.

UPDATE 2 by Hube at 6:27pm 10/3: Word to the wise: Never listen to liberals when they attempt to take the "moral high ground." Just check out this thread over at DE Liberal. Refreshingly, for the most part, Jason keeps his head on straight regarding the issue. But then there's dimwitty, various anonymi, and tinfoil hat-wearing Nancy Willing who want to ignore the way-too obvious double standard when comparing the Democrat/liberal reaction to Rep. Gerry Studds and Rep. Foley. As Jeff the Baptist points out, Studds actually had an affair with a 17 year old [male] page. He was censured by the House, but he was disdainful of the whole deal. He was later promoted to committee chairs by his [Democrat] peers, and re-elected numerous times!

Amazingly, as I discovered watching a pundit show last night discussing the Foley matter, 16 years old is the age of consent in Washington DC! Legally, Foley -- it seems -- can't be indicted on some sort of "child endangerment" charge. However, Foley himself apparently was instrumental in passing some sort of Internet-based bill (now law) that prohibits the sort of lewd messages he sent to that page. Doh!

The bottom line is that what Foley did is dead wrong. Felix -- and La Shawn Barber and Michelle Malkin -- are 100% correct. There's no excuses. Whether or not 16 is the age of consent in DC is beside the point. (First of all, THAT should be raised. IMMEDIATELY.) I raised the age of consent angle over at DE Liberal to point out what the liberal "defense" talking points would most likely be if Foley were a Democrat. Check it: Foley used his position of POWER to influence and to attempt to engage in a sexual relationship with an underling -- both in position and age. Resigning was the proper course of action.

Posted by Felix at 07:01 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Why Hate Crimes are a Joke, part 5971

The New York Post's Phil Mushnick reports on a story that you'd think would grab some pretty big headlines. Oops -- then again, maybe not. Y'see, the accused is black -- and a pro athlete -- so his infraction isn't as "bad" in the eyes of the media (and liberals).

After all, the story broke Tuesday, and, while it's hardly news that the NFL's violent criminal population is on the grow, this one's too ugly to be shorted or ignored. But it has been. Tuesday in a Los Angeles courtroom, Bears CB Ricky Manning, already on probation for a 2003 assault, pleaded no contest to felony assault.

The assault occurred in a Denny's restaurant near UCLA on April 23 at 3 a.m.

According to the victim's claims in the police report obtained by NBCsports.com, Manning, Tyler Ebell and Maurice Jones-Drew - all former UCLA football players - were among a group of customers who began to bully 25-year-old Soroush Sabzi, who was seated alone nearby, working on his laptop.

When Sabzi, a student and Swedish citizen of Persian descent, asked to be left alone, the insults, including, "Are you a faggot?" and "You f - - - ing Jew," continued.

Sabzi, the police report continues, next called out for restaurant management. At that point, Manning approached Sabzi, who was still seated, stood above him and called him a "an ugly f - - - ing Jew" and a "faggot."

When, according to the report, the victim again asked to be left alone, Manning began to slap him. Manning's accomplices joined in. Sabzi was punched to the ground then kicked, leaving "visible injuries to his face, cheek, head and [sic] lost consciousness for approximately 10 seconds." (My emphasis.)

Now consider the media hype over the actions by someone like John Rocker. Rocker, to be sure, is a total idiot and bigot. But at least all he did was use some generalized inappropriate words about certain groups of people. And what happened? He was turned into something anathema. There's also Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. Al Campanis. And, most recently, Rush Limbaugh whose comments weren't even about stereotypical aspects of race (like the two before him), only an opinion about media perception.

Which leads into Mushnick's closer:

But imagine - and by now most of us can - the fallout if Manning and his pals, African-Americans, had been white, and their victim had been black. And imagine if the victim's claim in the police report read that, instead of being cursed as a Jew and a homosexual, he'd been called a "f - - - ing n - - - - r."

Then take it from there - the no contest felony plea, followed by a specious insistence of innocence, followed by the Bears' "disappointment with Ricky," followed by the NFL's position that "it's under review."

Imagine the outrage from the news media, the sports media, politicians and, yes, Chicago's own Rev. Jesse ("Hymietown") Jackson.

Just imagine.

Indeed. And it's another reason why so-called "hate crimes" are a joke. As we've argued here numerous times, they're selectively enforced. Selectively UNenforced, that is, usually when the perpetrator is a member of a minority group. After all, it doesn't get much more cut and dry than Manning's case -- he used violence against a man after uttering ethnic and homophobic epithets.

Posted by Felix at 06:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 01, 2006

A Scanner Starkly

So Hube beat me to this, but as a fan, I'm writing about it anyway.

On Friday, it came out that Robert Downey, Jr., would be playing Tony Stark, the billionaire industrialist who leads a double-life as his own bodyguard/corporate icon, Iron Man, in the up-coming movie. There has been the suggestion that RDJ, most recently seen in "A Scanner Darkly", may be a good fit for the roll being as it is that in the comics, Stark is a recovering alcoholic, and in real life, Downey is a recovering cocaine addict. If that were the only qualification for the roll, of course, any number of people in inner-city Wilmington would be ideal for the part.

What is needed can be summed up in how Alex Ross portrayed Stark in "Marvels". Wikipedia says Timothy Dalton was Ross's reference for Stark, but I've got a copy of "Comics Scene" #39 that says it was Errol Flynn. Whether it was Dalton or Flynn, the point is that Ross knew that the Stark character needed to convey class and confident sophistication. You're talking about a guy that in terms of technological vision and world reknown is pretty much the Howard Hughes of the Marvel Universe (with the alcoholism maybe substituting for the paranoid schizophrenia).

It seems to me that successful superhero movies use an actor that is more or less a blank canvas -- career-wise -- in the audience's mind. Think of Christopher Reeve in the original Superman movies, Christian Bale in "Batman Begins" or Tobey Maguire in "Spider-Man". A viewer of a comic book movie has to suspend a considerable amount of disbelief while watching. Any distractions ruin the effect. Having this blank canvas allows the director to envelope the audience in that belief suspension by allowing viewers to see the actor as the superhero as opposed to seeing them as a known actor just playing a superhero.

In contrast, Downey is a known quantity at this point. Moreover, what he's known for is not the class and confident sophistication of a Tony Stark. He seems to have been picked more for the fetish of having one addict play another.

As an Iron Man fan, more than anything I want to be wrong here. I want the movie to be a success and I want Downey to be great in it. But I just don't see him pulling it off at this point.

Posted by JakeM at 06:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

House of M

Was in a nostalgic mood a few weeks back, so bought volumes 5 and 6 of “Essential X-Men”, collectively reprinting Uncanny X-Men 180 through 213 and chronicling the adventures of that band of mutants heroes that – all together now – use their powers to protect a world that fears and hates them. Originally published in the mid-80s, it was the point where writer Chris Claremont began to really explore a world in which anti-mutant bigotry was rampant.

In these stories, Congress is debating the Mutant Registration Act. Under this law, mutants would be compelled to identify themselves with the government and presumably live under the ever-present threat of being rounded up and exterminated (a scenario which played out in the earlier “Days of Futures Past” story arc). It’s grim stuff, featuring an America where fear so colors American life that laws are passed to limit the freedom of a specific people, where the kinds of invective that would start a fist fight if they were said about any other minority are accepted in polite conversation when said about mutants, and where the public is are just an election away from sanctioning genocide.

I have no idea if Claremont was trying to be political with all this. Maybe he really saw America as having the potential to be so monstrous, maybe he wanted to speak out against intolerance in general, or maybe he was just trying to make things interesting for our heroes. Still, it made me wonder how these old stories would read if they borrowed from today’s headlines. Some ideas below the fold.

1) Everyone from the administration to the news media repeats the meme on how mutants are peaceful, the recent attacks being just the work of a tiny minority and not an expression of mutants as a whole. When someone suggests otherwise, mutants worldwide riot, some using their pyrokinetic abilities to burn American flags.

2) Captain America holds his shield to a Brotherhood of Evil Mutants member’s throat in an effort to get information on an imminent attack. Cap's gambit works as he's able to stop the attack. The left side of the blogosphere erupts with torture allegations.

3) The public wonders why they never hear about the X-Men, that band of moderate mutants, aggressively opposing mutant supremacists like Magneto.

4) Despite a series of hijackings committed by mutants, airline security is directed not to give special scrutiny to passengers who, for instance, have more than two arms or use telekinesis to hold their carry-on.

5) Mutants are free to practice with their powers in non-mutant countries. Ordinary humans, by contrast, are not permitted to practice ordinary skills such as, say, drawing breath in mutant countries.

6) Academia, studying the root causes of mutant terror, blames the West. After all, it was all those open-air, nuclear tests in the 60’s that caused cells to mutate. Thus, they argue, if our environmental policies were just more enlightened, mutant attacks would stop.

7) Magneto receives standing ovations when he speaks at the UN.

8) Mutants feel no need to assimilate. If, for instance, you think that a mutant should use a ruby-quartz visor to protect the public from his death-ray eyes, you’re probably a bigot and not respectful of his culture.

Posted by JakeM at 06:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't forget the "A"!!

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." So said the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong in 1969.

Or did he?

Computer software has determined that Neil actually said [the more grammatically correct] "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." After all, his original quote is really a contradiction -- how can his step be both "small" and a "giant leap" for mankind since "man" (without the "a") in the apparent original quote means "mankind"?

Armstrong "has maintained he intended to say it properly and believes he did." You may have just been proven right, Neil!

Posted by Hube at 12:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack