... when The Nation begins voicing its doubts about man's influence on Al Gore's reason for living.
(If you get a subscriber warning at the link above, check Newsbusters here for more of the article.)
British academic union members are refusing to participate in what they regard as a "witch hunt." The University and College Union claims
... Muslims are being "demonized" because of new guidelines asking staff to log suspicious behavior in light of concerns that campuses are being infiltrated by extremists recruiting candidates to wage jihad, to vet Islamic preachers who have been invited to campuses, to see that "hate literature" is not distributed among students, and to report suspicious behavior to police.
Academics at the union's London Metropolitan University branch will say that "increasingly restrictive measures and the xenophobic language surrounding them" has led to an increase in racist attacks on Muslims.
"Islamophobia and the attempts at increased surveillance on Muslim communities are not only encouraging racist and xenophobic tendencies in Britain but are also leading to measures that threaten civil liberties," they will warn.
Meanwhile, this same union has called for a boycott of Israeli academia because, you know, Israel is like the old South Africa in its policies regarding the Palestinians. Even though, you know, the majority blacks in the old S.A. didn't actually want to completely annihilate their white oppressors like the Palestinians want to do to Israel. That distinction seems to have been overlooked by these "bright" individuals. Of course, too, this isn't seen as a "demonization" of Israel or "Jewishphobia."
The head honchos of Ecuador and Bolivia are following their pal Hugo Chávez's lead and cracking down on opposition press in their countries:
The leaders of Bolivia and Ecuador are moving with Cuban encouragement and in concert with their mentor, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, to restrict press freedom in their countries.
Bolivian President Evo Morales and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa both announced steps to crack down on independent broadcasters within days of Mr. Chavez's closure on Sunday of Venezuela's main independent television station, RCTV.
Speaking before an international gathering of leftist intellectuals in Cochabamba last week, Mr. Morales proposed creating a tribunal to oversee the operations of privately owned press and broadcast outlets. Mr. Correa announced over the weekend that he would order a review of the broadcasting licenses of opposition news channels in his country.
How can this be? I thought Chávez et. al. formed "true" democratic governments! And it's not only opposition media -- President Correa
... has ousted 51 opposition deputies from his nation's Congress and Mr. Morales this week ordered the arrests of four high court judges after they issued rulings that challenged his government.
Appearing alongside Cuba's minister of culture, Abel Prieto, [Bolivia's] Mr. Morales suggested "drawing on the experience of our friends in Venezuela and Cuba" to establish closer controls over the press.
Mr. Prieto suggested that some owners of the independent press should receive long prison sentences. "I wish that we could imprison the owner of a media outlet. With much pleasure we would give him a life sentence for lying, for confusing the people," Mr. Prieto said.
What's the deal? Is he following the lead of that TRUE dictator, George Bush? After all, we've seen how Bush has expelled over 50 Democratic members of Congress and has had four federal judges arrested, right? What's that? That didn't happen? Oh ...
And 'ya hear that? LONG prison sentences for opposition media. The next time you hear some radical lefty sing the praises of these socialist "paradises," just remember this little factoid. Among many others.
The NY Times laments the disparities of rulings by immigrations judges across the country via its front page headline:
Asylum seekers in the United States face broad disparities in the nation's 54 immigration courts, with the outcome of cases influenced by things like the location of the court and the sex and professional background of judges, a new study has found.
The study, by three law professors, analyzes 140,000 decisions by immigration judges, including those cases from the 15 countries that have produced the most asylum seekers in recent years, among them China, Haiti, Colombia, Albania and Russia. The professors compared for the first time the results of immigration court cases over more than four years, finding vast differences in the handling of claims with generally comparable factual circumstances.
First of all, how is this "study" so much of a revelation? Isn't this how an independent judiciary operates? (And has operated since the country's founding?) That different judges, faced with the same evidence, can come to different opinions and conclusions? After all, why does the US Supreme Court usually have split decisions? Gosh -- don't all nine justices see and hear the same evidence and facts?
Political differences weren't considered in the study (whaaa..?) but judge gender was. Female immigration judges are more lenient, the study found, than male judges. It also found that the more lenient judges "had previously worked for organizations that defended the rights of immigrants or the poor." Gee, y'think?
Of course, the study's authors (and NYT) find the study results "troubling"
... because of the impact of procedural changes introduced by the Bush administration in 2002 at the Board of Immigration Appeals, the appellate body that reviews decisions by the immigration court judges.
Those changes led to a "sudden and lasting decline" in appeals that were favorable to asylum seekers, the study found, raising doubts as to whether the board was providing fair appeals.
Of course! It's Bush's fault! (Of course, this is the same George Bush who is pushing -- against the wishes of many in his party -- a quite lenient immigration bill, but hey, why dicker?) The actual fact of the matter is, less favorable rulings do not necessarily equate to "troubling" situations. What "troubling" usually means is that it's a situation the Times doesn't like.
I also wonder if the NYT is likewise concerned about how lawyers "shop" for judges and [jury] venues that are favorable to plaintiffs in massive money class action lawsuits. I'm sure we'll soon see a similar front page "concern" from the Times about how greedy attorneys will file a class action suit somewhere in Mississippi where there's a plaintiff friendly judge and jury, even though the grievance actually occurred in Idaho.
The first dude in some 40 years has had to be officially quarantined by the US government for a rare form of tuberculosis. He ignored doctors' advice and went hopscotching all over the friggin' planet on jet flights which included stops in Paris, Rome, Prague and Montreal. Of course, in the enclosed confines of a jet, he exposed countless people to possible infection. Check out the arrogant chutzpah of this putz:
The man told the Journal-Constitution that CDC officials contacted him in Rome and said he had to be isolated and treated in Italy. He didn't want his honeymoon to end with him being carried away by authorities, he told authorities, so he and his wife took a flight to Canada and drove back to the United States, the newspaper reported.
Yeah, I don't want to disappoint my new wife, so I'll go ahead and possibly [lethally] infect a few hundred more people!
Then there's this knee-slapper:
"I'm a very well-educated, successful, intelligent person," the man told the paper. "This is insane to me that I have an armed guard outside my door when I've cooperated with everything other than the whole solitary-confinement-in-Italy thing."
OH! Other than nabbing a flight in which hundreds more innocent people were potentially exposed to a lethal disease, he's cooperated! And since that "mere" one instance of non-cooperation, it's "insane" that he be treated the way he has. Some "intelligence" and "good education"!
Is this really any surprise in this day and age? It's "all about me," and to hell with the welfare of everyone else. How dare authorities treat him like some sort of criminal (even though there are no plans to pursue prosecution against the man)! A communicable infectious (and potentially lethal) disease? Pshaw -- no big deal! You know, we have to "educate" the public about it, and what's more, next we'll have to "accommodate" people with such diseases. It would not surprise me if airlines eventually will have to provide a "quarantine section" in their jets soon -- but they can't call it a "quarantine section" because that would involve a "stigma." Such discernable notices of a jet's quarantine section could lead to lawsuits! In addition, to be doubly "safe," airlines would need to provide surgical masks for other passengers for the duration of the flight.
I'm willing to bet that the 'ol fear of lawsuits is a primary factor in why doctors (or other officials) could not -- or would not -- ground this idiot in the first place. This also reminds me of the early days of the appearance of HIV and AIDS. Doctors and other officials at the time still had many questions about the disease, and there were a great many unknowns still lingering. But, of course, since a very significant proportion (majority, actually) of those infected were gay men, this led to a vigorous PC offensive rarely seen. As David Horowitz (among others) wrote about that time,
Fourteen years and more than 300,000 deaths ago, Peter Collier and I wrote a story for California magazine about the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco. At the time the virus had not yet been isolated and there had been only 3,000 fatalities nationally. But it was already clear to the medical community that the culprit was a retrovirus, that there might never be a cure, that AIDS cases among gays were doubling every six months and that if the behavioral patterns of gays and drug users did not change, there would be more than 300,000 people dead by 1997.
In normal circumstances, the minimal public health response to an impending epidemic would have been to identify the carriers of the disease by mandatory testing of at-risk communities, closing off "hot zones" of the epidemic, such as gay bathhouses and drug "shooting galleries," contact-tracing of those who had been in touch with the already sick and honest public education about the dangers of promiscuous anal sex among gays and needle-sharing among drug addicts.
None of these measures, Collier and I found, was acceptable to a powerful lobby of gay activists that labeled them as "discriminatory" and "homophobic" and made clear to any public health official who advocated them that they would be doing so at the risk of their careers. As a result, none of the standard public health measures were consistently deployed. Instead, a series of politically correct ideas and "community-approved" policies became the only measures feasible for political leaders to advocate, for the media to promote and for public health agencies to pursue.
My emphasis. I remember some of the other things Horowitz mentions in his article, notably the PSAs that claimed AIDS "is an 'equal opportunity' disease." Anyone with even a smidgen of honesty knew that here in the US at least, that was a bunch of BS; if you did not engage in one of the risk behaviors (mainly anal sex, intravenous drug use) you were at virtually zero risk of ever contracting the disease. Most heterosexuals who got HIV were either intravenous drug users themselves, had sex with drug users, or had had a blood transfusion with infected blood. I also recall the self-righteousness of basketball great Ervin "Magic" Johnson at a meeting with President George HW Bush at the White House where he excoriated the chief exec for "not doing enough" in the battle against AIDS -- another PC line of attack by the way. Johnson, who had slept with literally thousands of women (a lot UNsafely, it's safe to assume), complaining to the president for his predicament? Reminds me a lot of our TB-infected air passenger.
While I can sympathize with how the far-Right would portray the illness among gay men ("God's wrath," which many indeed did), which ultimately makes more sense: The lives of people, or someone's sense of "correct" social perception? What should have happened during the early AIDS epidemic should have happened with this self-absorbed moronic world traveler -- namely, the dude should have been forbidden to travel period, under penalty of law. With regards to AIDS, Horowitz notes, usual measures would have been "mandatory testing of at-risk communities, closing off 'hot zones' of the epidemic," and "contact-tracing of those who had been in touch with the already sick."
That's what some headline writers could have said ... if they had the right political "bent," that is. I mean, check this winner: Chavez launches new Venezuela TV station.
Oh, is that it?? Silly me! Here I'd heard that he shut down a private TV station because -- GASP! -- it was critical of him. But he merely "launched" a new TV station? Oh, OK!
Now can someone please explain to me why all those protestors are running around Caracas?
Why? The endless, needless rules of New Jersey beaches. And not only that, you gotta friggin' pay to lay on your towel catching rays, as I learned a few years back when I hit Long Beach Island (where a couple of old college buddies had rented a place for the summer). A young girl actually comes around collecting cash for the "privilege" of hanging on the beach. Whoa.
How dare White House spokesman Tony Fratto dismiss former President Jimmy Carter as "increasingly irrelevant" after Carter criticized the Bush administration (May 21)? When was the last time Fratto or Bush constructed a Habitat for Humanity home? When was the last time they authored a well-received book on the continuing crisis in the Middle East, complete with ideas and suggestions based on years of presidential experience? For that matter, when was the last time Bush articulated the strategy for a peace process in the Middle East? Sadly, it is Bush and his administration that are "irrelevant."
Aside from building those homes (AFTER his pathetic presidency), the only success Carter can really point to is the Camp David agreement that established peace between Israel and Egypt. Let's take a look elsewhere:
And his book -- Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid?? Puh-lease. It caused the resignation of 14 members (15, eventually) of the Carter Center advisory board because of its one-sided "analysis" of the Israel-Palestinian problem. One CC advisor says that on page 213 of the book Carter goes so far as to actually condone Palestinian terrorism until they get a state of their own. Another former Carter Center advisor says the book is "replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments."
The book was "well-received," Joanne? If 15 members of Carter's own center resign over the book, who is "receiving" it "well"? The Palestinians? Probably. And most likely the utopian Left of which Carter arguably is a member.
There's an opening on the Watcher's Council for a willing and dedicated blogger. If interested, take a look here.
It's quite unusual for me to have played my first golf game of the season so late; however, considering how badly I injured my wrist in a soccer game approx. eight weeks ago, well, that's a good reason!! A group of eight of us played at the very nice Chesapeake Bay Golf Club (North East). We split up into duos, playing a two-man scramble format. This means that each duo plays the better of each other's shots all the way 'till the ball's in the cup. I didn't expect much as my first outing each year usually isn't that good. But, the scramble format helped alleviate some pressure! My pal Jay, with whom I was teamed, is about a 25 handicap; I'm about a 17. We ended up a mere three over-par, beating the closest next team by seven strokes! It was very unusual -- if I hit a lousy shot, Jay hit a great one, and vice versa. The times where each of us hit a pathetic shot were few and far between.
The wrist hurt on each and every shot (except putts), the degree of pain waffling between a dull ache to a moderate nuisance. I just ignored it, swung normally, and hit the ball pretty well. We ended up mostly taking Jay's drives and long iron shots, and my short iron shots and putts. I forgot my cell phone (which has a camera) in Jay's truck, so as an homage to the DE blogging/golfing Mike Mahaffie, I took a shot of my lovely St. Louis Rams helmet [driver] head cover after the round.
Reason's David Weigel says, "If You Say, 'Global Warming is the Biggest Threat,' You Will Get Laid."
Greg Gutfeld, the host of Fox's "Red Eye" -- the Fox show that's featured Reasonoids Kerry Howley and Nick Gillespie among its acid array of pundits -- is profiled in the New York Observer:
While Mr. Gutfeld tries to keep the show from idling too long on partisan territory (“They get that 23 hours a day”), his own politics are fairly at home on Fox. He dismisses liberalism as “romantic notions that are false, based on the idea of making yourself look good to other people. That’s why most men—Bill Clinton is a good example—are liberal, because they need to get laid. If you look at most left-wing guys, they’ve made a deal with the devil. They don’t really believe that shit—they’re going against their own innate nature, because liberalism is anti-man. If you believe that peace and love work, you’re not a man, because this world works on war. The only people who respect you are people who are scared of you—and that’s why Reagan was a great President. And the idea that you can negotiate with people who want you dead is a complete lie. That’s why the left is the most self-absorbed, vanity-driven enterprise. These are people who would rather feel good about themselves at a cocktail party that actually protect people’s lives. If you’re at a party and you say, ‘The war on terror is the most important thing in the world’—you won’t get a nod. But if you say, ‘Global warming is the biggest threat,’ you will get laid.”
Wow. I think that's pretty much on target.
Winsom Alvares of Wilmington offers the usual senior citizen canard that they shouldn't have to pay public school taxes like everyone else:
There are a lot of voices berating the way school districts keep having referenda to raise taxes. I add mine. Since last summer, Delawareans have seen a 60 percent electric rate hike, higher gas prices, looming New Castle County taxes. And now Red Clay School District once again wanting to siphon money from our pocketbooks.
Seniors are blamed for failing referenda. If that is so, then take us out of the equation by not levying any school taxes on us. With fixed incomes and high medical bills along with all of the above, we cannot sustain every other entity draining us of our life source.
School taxes should be used only for core classes. Costs for all extracurricular activities should be shouldered by parents on a sliding scale. There are a lot of affluent parents in the Red Clay district who can pay for their children's after-school activities. On the other hand, kids in Wilmington should not have to pay for activities as the majority of them are poor. These kids should be in extracurricular activities to keep them out of trouble and enrich their often sad lives.
As I've said before, it'd sure be nice if all us working people could vote on whether we wanted a hike in our Social Security taxes now, eh? After all, why are seniors permitted to keep receiving Social Security payments long after they've gotten back what they paid into it? That's pure welfare, ain't it? Why do seniors believe that they should get some sort of special treatment?
(The last two words on the closer poster are "Kids Walk.")
Students who had been planning to walk across the stage at graduation ceremonies this weekend were instead walking a picket line Thursday morning.
The Trimble Tech High School seniors marched in front of Fort Worth Independent School District headquarters to protest Wednesday's decision by trustees to bar students who failed the TAKS test from commencement exercises.
About a dozen young people, carrying signs and chanting, began picketing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday. They represent the 613 Fort Worth seniors who did not pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam. (Link.)
'Ya think? I'd say that dimwitty wrote that sign, but I don't wanna "offend" anybody ...
I've heard just a bit too much of this from liberals, lately. Most recently it was Leonardo DiCaprio the other day getting all self-righteously testy about a reporter questioning his use of private jets.
"I try to travel commercial as much as I can," he said. He added that he was irritated with the media for going after former Vice President Al Gore, whose own film "An Inconvenient Truth" picked up an Oscar. Gore was slammed for the amount of power his sprawling Tennessee mansion uses.
"We're all trying the best we can; truly, we really are," he said.
Oh yeah, we're sure you are, Leo. With your massive salary, you mean to tell us that you cannot find means to travel that are consistent with the views you spout -- and want everyone else to follow? Leo also added more about Al Gore:
"Don't shoot the messenger", he said. "This person is trying to relay a message to the public and the way that he travels should not be splayed out like that." (Link)
Why not? Why isn't it relevant? What about the 'ol maxim "Actions speak louder than words"? Why is OK for one to preach how others should live, yet do just the opposite?
Then there was Alan Colmes last night on "Hannity and Colmes." The argument was about the endlessly played-out feud between "The View's" Rosie O'Donnell and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Colmes chimes in DiCaprio-esquely (paraphrase): "Isn't the real issue that it's good what Rosie is doing because it stirs a debate about the Iraq War?" Huh?? She implies the American military are terrorists, quotes wildly inaccurate numbers regarding the Iraqi dead, spouts tinfoil hat conspiracy theories about 9/11, but the "REAL" issue is ... it stirs debate??
This takes me to Bernie Goldberg who had a chat with O'Reilly guest host John Kasich last night. Kasich was still miffed at how the recent Pew Research Poll that showed 26% of Muslim-Americans under 30 believe it "OK" to use suicide bombing terrorism. What really miffed him wasn't so much that figure -- it was how it was covered in various media outlets. For instance, take a look here, here and here. As Goldberg noted, with a mainstream media that'll find the negative in just about any story (contrary to its usual [leftist] values, that is), it now chooses to accentuate the positive -- even though a highly significant proportion (26 percent!!) of Islamic Americans under age 30 think suicide terrorism is OK!! In addition, Goldberg was dead-on when he said that if this same Pew poll had indicated that 26% of white Americans under 30 think "blacks shouldn't have the right to vote," or that 26% of Christian Americans under 30 thought it was "OK to kill Muslims," what would the media highlight then? There is no way in hell that we'd see a headline such as "Three-Quarters of White Americans Think Blacks Voting is OK."
Similarly, getting back to the hypocrisy issue, can you imagine Sean Hannity saying to Alan Colmes if, say, a vehemently anti-immigration racist (like David Duke) was spewing something like "All immigration of brown-skinned folks into the US must cease" that "Come on, Alan, isn't it a good thing that he's stirring up debate about an important issue -- immigration?" Or, to a lesser extreme, Hannity saying that about an outspoken anti-immigrant politician who knowingly hired illegal aliens as nannies and landscapers? What would Alan Colmes' reaction be?
You know what it would be. And rightly so.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Israel Faces Its Choices In Gaza by Joshuapundit, and On Dehumanizing the Enemy In War and the Nature of Victory by TigerHawk. Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week... I'm eager to see next week's entries! Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 1/3||Israel Faces Its Choices In Gaza|
|2||Musings on a Late Spring Afternoon|
Right Wing Nut House
|1 2/3||Why Are Liberals So Afraid of Their Own Ideas?|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||The Silent Iconoclasm|
|1 1/3||Pressure Mounts for Clinton, Obama, Feingold, Biden, Reid to Resign From Senate|
|1 1/3||Stuck in Westphalia|
Done With Mirrors
|2/3||The Political Problem: Changing the Game|
|2/3||Look in the Mirror|
The Glittering Eye
|1/3||Why Don't We Celebrate These Kids?|
Rhymes With Right
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2 1/3||On Dehumanizing the Enemy In War and the Nature of Victory|
|1 2/3||The Inbetween War|
|1 1/3||In the Shadow of the Wolfowitz Wars -- the Melkert & Malloch Brown Dollars-for-Despots Program|
The Rosett Report
|1 1/3||Poll: 26% of Young *American* Muslim Men Find Terrorism Sometimes Justified; 48% of All American Muslims Oppose War Against *Taliban*|
Ace of Spades HQ
|2/3||"Scorched Earth" Politics, Justice and Christianity|
|2/3||The Death of the American Way|
The Astute Bloggers
|2/3||Fisking Baskin: Why People Think You Are a Flake|
|2/3||Still Not Gone...|
|2/3||Strange New Respect, Judicial Branch|
|1/3||Rachel's Helpful Guide to Online Dating: For Men|
|1/3||The Revolution #4: A Modest Proposal: the Solution of Illegal Immigration and Foreign Terrorists Living in the United States|
The Jackalope's Voice
|1/3||Biden in NH|
|1/3||Competing Analyses On Immigration|
Probably not: All three Brandywine School District high schools (Brandywine, Concord and Mt. Pleasant) made Newsweek magazine's list of top high schools in the nation. Their formula is "based on the ratio of how many Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests their students took, divided by the number of graduating seniors."
So, WDEL's Rick and Ger? Have you been talking about this? Has anyone heard them? Or is Fulcher in particular still going on about his "anonymous" anecdotes regarding how poor the teaching is in the district? (His latest "winner" was him saying that "he knows about Romance languages" and said one of his relatives -- daughter? -- got a high grade she didn't deserve in an unspecified district foreign language class.)
UPDATE: Fulcher's nitpicking reminds me of an instance early in my teaching career. A parent at Open House came up to me and wanted to know why I didn't teach the verb form for "vosotros" to my students. ("Vosotros" is the plural "you" pronoun, and is really only used in Spain.) I explained why to the parent, but she wasn't satisfied. "It's in the book," she insisted. "Yes," I replied. "It is. But there's a reason why it is printed in italics. It's because it's not used in Latin America."
"But it's in the book!" she again told me. I again explained myself. The parent still wasn't satisfied.
Since then I eventually began teaching the "vosotros" form to my students, due in part to that incident ("It's in the book!"), and also because my old Spanish teachers (who only skirted "vosotros" use when I took Spanish with them) said it might be a good idea to teach it since our high schools take trips to Spain. Good enough.
At any rate, I can just imagine Gerry "I Know Something About Romance Languages" Fulcher going on and on about something like that. But he probably thinks these languages are called "Romance" because they sound sexier.
New FSP contributor "motsmitty" thinks I "went over the line" in my (to put it in my own terms) "needless needling" of new DE Liberal contributor dimwi, er, uh, donviti. I must admit I was flummoxed to read motsmitty's post, especially since motsmitty concedes exactly what it was.
Come on, man. If this is what you find the need to post about, things must really be moving slow in the news. You know darn well I didn't mean to slam anyone other than dimwitty -- you know it. And I wouldn't care less if anyone denigrated my degrees from UD; hell, I've freely admitted my masters (in education instruction) certainly wasn't the most work-intensive. As a matter of fact, I'd be the first to admit that a degree certainly doesn't automatically make someone thinking and rational, even if it's from somewhere like Harvard or Princeton!
So, if anyone else along with motsmitty was offended by my comments, I apologize. I do not, however, apologize to dimwitty as he still proves time and time again that he is the biggest dolt in the DE blogosphere.
According to Wizard magazine readers the winner is "Probe Droid."
The only other finalist I heard of was "Count Dooku." "The Emperor's Hand," "Kin Fisto," and "The Last Handmaiden" ... whaaa? They must be from novels and/or comics. I've only seen the movies.
At Harvard, the Black Men's Forum (BMF) and the Association of Black Harvard Women (ABHW) were playing dodgeball and flag football in an area known as the "Quad." Apparently, the noise level (among other things) irritated some students trying to study and eventually the campus police were called.
Bryan C. Barnhill II '08, president of the BMF, said that "the call to HUPD was 'disturbing' because of the 'assumption that we didn't belong there.'" Barnhill and ABHW President Anjelica M. Kelly '09 both said they felt racism was involved in Saturday's events.
It wouldn't be an American campus, now, if this assumption wasn't the case, now, would it?
Let's see -- the campus cops asked if the group had permission to use the grounds they were using (permission they needed), asked to see some IDs, and then asked the students to keep the noise down. Then the cops left! This = racism???
Some residents complained that the students were playing on roped-off sections of the Quad lawn, where the grass was being regrown for graduation ceremonies. Others were angry over the fact that the noise came in the middle of reading period, as students studied for exams and worked on papers.
What were these folks thinking? Reading and studying for exams? Working on papers? Who cares! How dare they insist on a bit of quiet in a university setting, let alone from members of a minority group! (Anyone remember the infamous University of Pennsylvania "water buffalo" incident?)
Please. I suppose those studying should have settled for the noise as opposed to being accused of racism. This reminds me of what I heard on the Michael Smerconish radio show the other morning: The guy who worked at that Circuit City that thought something was "fishy" about what some of those Fort Dix terror suspects wanted to copy via DVD was worried about reporting his suspicions because he thought people would think it "racist." He told a co-worker:
"Dude, I just saw some really weird s***." I don't know what to do. Should I call someone or is that being racist?"
Is this what we've come to? Afraid of reporting something because it might be viewed as racist, insensitive or ... worse?
Sheesh. Look, my senior year at UD some of my quad-mates in our Pencader dorm decided to throw a party. I didn't really want to open my room to strangers, but nevertheless I decided to invite my own friends to the party -- in my room only. At one point in the evening the UD police showed up because -- surprise! -- the party got too loud. (Not in my room, but other rooms in the quad.) A cop knocked on my door, asked to see everyone's ID (I made sure everyone in my room was over 21) and then he told me everyone would have to leave. In another room, one of my quad-mates got a little miffed with the cops , and I assisted in settling him down. One of the police shook my hand and thanked me, said "goodnight," and I thought that was that. Two days later I got a university "summons" in the mail informing that I would have to appear at a university hearing about my [supposed] "violations" of university policy. Stunned, I asked one my buddies, and an attendee at the party, to join me.
At the hearing, none of the cops who were present the evening of the party were there. In their place was a small woman officer who read their report. Nowhere in the report were the facts that 1) everyone in my room was over 21 years of age, and 2) how the one officer thanked me for my assistance in settling down that quad-mate, and for helping to disperse the party. My buddy affirmed all of this, and we both asked why weren't we informed of our campus violations that very evening if indeed we were engaging in such violations? The stand-in cop had no answer for that or any of our other questions, so, as a consequence, two days later I received word in the mail that all "charges" against me had been dropped.
What was I supposed to think here? Everyone (and everyone) with me and my room was perfectly in order and one of the cops showed his gratitude for my assistance in calming down an irate student and for dispersing the party. Then I get brought up on charges of violating campus policy?? If I didn't know better, I'd say those campus cops were engaging CLASSISM -- they thought I was probably some rich kid from north Jersey who drove a BMW or something, and they "were gonna show ME!" But hey, I went to the hearing, was polite, stated and then proved my case, and then was happy with the outcome. Case closed.
A good buddy of mine sent me a hard copy of Entertainment Weekly's best science fiction of the last quarter century. Here's some of my comments on selected picks:
#25: "V." OK for its time (1983) but a no-go for "intelligent" sci-fiers. They came to take our water?? Anyone who's read science fiction knows how utterly ridiculous that would be; it'd take a fraction of the time, effort and cost to just haul an ice asteroid to your planet's orbit!
#19: "Starship Troopers." Three letters: W-T-F???
#16: "Total Recall." Bloodier than a typical day in Iraq, this Ah-nuld vehicle kicks ass. The effects are awesome, the story is based on psycho (in a good way, mostly) Philip K. Dick's story, and Ah-nuld has his usual classic one-liners with thicker-than-usual accent. Best Laugh-Inducing Ah-Nuld Line (said to "fake" wife Sharon Stone): "You know your da girl of my dreams, baby."
#14: "Children of Men." I actually rented this flick based on this list, and I wasn't disappointed. Well, much. The ending let me down, and the side story (world anarchy dystopia) was actually more interesting than the main plot, but definitely a keeper.
#13: "Terminator/Terminator 2." What is there to say? A worthy choice. My fave moments from each flick: In the original, an "injured" Terminator selects response choices to answer a complaining landlord. He goes with "F*** you, asshole." In the sequel, I agree with ET: The chase scene through LA's sewer system.
#10: "The Thing." One of my favorite sci-fi films ever, this gorefest is also a legitimate scarefest. Light-years better than the original, I'm surprised director John Carpenter hasn't made a sequel as it would have been quite easy to do so. The best scene by far is when all the suspected "things" are tied to a couch while Kurt Russell tries to figure out who's who. If you're not freaked out AND laughing at the same time, it'll be a surprise.
#9: "Aliens." "Game over, man! Game over!" One of the best science fiction films ever, let alone the last 25 years.
#8: "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Only one thing to say: It should have been rated higher.
#6: "Brazil." One of my best friends absolutely loves this flick, and I can see why. Too many themes are touched on here, but the main ones are the scourges of collectivism, Communism, and centralization. Robert DeNiro's cameo is hilarious.
#5: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." "He tasks me! He tasks me, and I shall have him!" -- Khan (Ricardo Montalban) regarding Admiral James T. Kirk.
#3: "Blade Runner." Definitely worthy of this high ranking, what I dug most about the review was what the critic liked best about the film: Antagonist Rutger Hauer's "Roy's" final words before he dies. One of the best scenes ever in science fiction.
#2: "Battlestar Galactica" (reimagined series.) Certainly worthy of a top-25 ranking, but #2?? After the mini-series and first season I might have said "Sure!" But the last season has left me many doubts.
#1: "The Matrix." Tough to argue with if your bag is intelligent sci-fi!
Philly traffic court nominee Willie Singletary has a problem: He's been found guilty of reckless driving, driving without a license, careless driving, owes over eleven thousand dollars in fines, and there's a bench warrant out for his arrest. $11,000 in fines. While running as the Democrat nominee for traffic court judge, Singletary addressed a crowd of supporters:
"I'm running for Traffic Court Judge, right. And I need some money, I'm gonna tell y'all just like it is. I need some money. I got some stuff I gotta get - do. But If y'all could get $20 cause y'all gonna need me in traffic court, am I right about that?"
"Everybody say Amen." CROWD: AMEN! "Hold up, don't move, I need you before you leave, come right here to the center and drop a donation in the black ... pocket now if y'all want me to get you, y'all gonna need my hook-up right?" CROWD: YEAH! "Right?" CROWD: Yeah!
I bet you do, Willie! Those donations'd sure come in handy for all those outstanding fines, eh?
"You're stupid; leave the criticism and commentary to the 'experts.'"
Check out the words of the LA Times' Richard Schickel:
Let me put this bluntly, in language even a busy blogger can understand: Criticism — and its humble cousin, reviewing — is not a democratic activity. It is, or should be, an elite enterprise, ideally undertaken by individuals who bring something to the party beyond their hasty, instinctive opinions of a book (or any other cultural object). It is work that requires disciplined taste, historical and theoretical knowledge and a fairly deep sense of the author's (or filmmaker's or painter's) entire body of work, among other qualities.
Got that? Are you an average working stiff -- someone like a carpenter, an engineer, a plumber? Then how DARE you criticize politicians! Don't you know you aren't INFORMED enough to make such a complaint? After all, politicians only make use of YOUR money, so what do WE have to say anything about it, right?
Just place your faith in the Schickel's of the American Elite. Bitching about high taxes cutting in to your bottom line? Stop it, you ignorant peasant. Don't you know that your taxes go for society's "greater good"? Don't say a damn word unless you get educated.
Heh. Here's what I say to guys like Schickel: Go f*** yourself. You're just like the scared liberals detailed here who are pissed that their long-held monopoly on outlets for ideas has been torn asunder.
Former DE resident John Ramirez, who now lives in San Diego, CA, thinks the apology of those UD students who attended that notorious Cinco de Mayo party isn't enough:
I would like to see the President of the University of Delaware take an active approach to the racist party fallout on campus.
("UD won't discipline students over garb mocking Mexicans," May 16). Just saying they're sorry is not enough.
The participants should submit a plan of action on how they will work to understand other minority groups. (Link.)
Ah, the old "an apology isn't enough" made recently [in]famous by Al Sharpton's refusal to accept Don Imus' apology. We need a "plan of action." Like what, exactly, John? Should it be what another John stated previously, in this case Jonathan Martinez, who wants the offending students to attend mandatory sensitivity training? As Felix and I have noted incessantly here, these sensitivity seminars are a joke, usually led by faux experts whose only credentials are that they are members of a minority group.
Hey, do you think the offending students can use an excuse like that of Brentwood Middle School in South Carolina? They could argue (like the school district did in that case, where they defended black students' racial epithets and profanity) that "it's just our culture" to dress insensitively at theme parties!
Way back in 2005 I wrote about a little-known incident in Charleston, South Carolina schools where a white female teacher was being harrassed by her [mostly] black students, and the teacher was reprimanded for "not understanding the kids' culture." Brandy Stokes taught at Brentwood Middle School, and ended up suing her district. To my amazement, Brentwood is settling another such lawsuit, (h/t to Joanne Jacobs) this time by one Elizabeth Kandrac who has the exact same complaint as Stokes:
A white teacher at a black school in Charleston, South Carolina was subjected to a “racially hostile workplace” ruled a federal court because school officials did nothing to protect her from verbal abuse by her middle school students. They argued the profanity — with “white” as the adjective” — was “part of the students’ culture,” writes columnist Kathy Parker. Elizabeth Kandrac, who was fired when she filed a complaint, settled with the district for $200,000.
Kandrac’s attorney, Larry Kobrovsky, argued that the repeated use of “white” made these slurs racists in nature. But school officials insisted that because black students were equally abusive to other blacks, the language wasn’t inherently racist.
Other white teachers and students corroborated Kandrac's account, including a male war veteran who testified he would rather return to Vietnam than to Brentwood.
What about Mrs. Stokes? What happened to her and her lawsuit? This is too eerily similar to Ms. Kandrac's suit. I am beginning to wonder if perhaps Kandrac used a pseudonym when she appeared on the O'Reilly show a year and a half ago ...?
Or, to put it another way, why are they attempting to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine? This old FCC regulation requires, essentially, that "equal time" be given to opposing arguments in various media outlets' political programming. The [unfortunate] effect of the Doctrine was that media frequently avoided political discussion at all since they didn't want to possibly face sanctions for violating the rule. The Doctrine was ditched in the early 80s under the Reagan administration and this led to an explosion of new outlets of political opinion, especially AM talk radio.
And therein lies the rub: Politicians like Dennis Kucinich don't like that.
It's confounding really. A good liberal should think that a deregulation which allows political opinion to flourish would be a GOOD thing. Free speech. First Amendment. Ah, but that's what a classical liberal would think, not a modern liberal. Like the administrators (and professors) at college campuses across the country, modern liberals see the ... need to squelch speech they do not like. At colleges it's due to "sensitivity"; for liberals like Kucinich, it's for supposed "fairness."
"Fairness." It would be hilarious if Kucinich didn't have the [potential] power to bring this moronic Doctrine back. Liberals have most major outlets of the mainstream media sharing their political philosophy; conservatives have talk radio and Fox News. (If "fairness" was really the issue, liberals had -- and have -- already won just by the pure numbers here, and the issue is moot.) The Fairness Doctrine would require people like Rush Limbaugh to supply counters to his professed opinions, and Fox News pundits like Bill O'Reilly to do same. But MSM outlets like the New York Times or the AP could "get around" such provisions by utilizing what media pundit Bernie Goldberg essentially dubs "selective reporting" methods -- emphasizing certain stories over others (in "regular" news stories), emphasizing a point of view over another, labeling differences, etc.
I've always laughed at liberals' utter hatred of talk radio and Fox News. It's natural, I suppose, that when you have a monopoly for so long that when you see it disappearing you get miffed. But as noted above, if it's a pure numbers game, liberals still win. But, that lead has shrunk, and significantly over the last couple decades. Talk radio and Fox News have exploded in popularity. Why? The answer is simple: Conservatives finally got outlets for fair expressions of their viewpoints. Liberals try to use excuses like "It's because these outlets cater to the 'non-thinking'," they appeal to "racists" and "fascists," yada yada yada. But it's all bulls**t. What it boils down to is that, as George Will noted, liberals "reveal their lack of confidence in their ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and their disdain for consumer sovereignty—and hence for the public.”
One important thing to keep in mind, too: The Fairness Doctrine was used by both the Kennedy and Nixon administrations to harass media that were critical of them. How? By making it so costly for them (legal challenges via the Doctrine) that they'd relent. One can only imagine liberals' screaming and hollering at the Bush administration for utilizing such tactics against MSNBC, the New York Times, etc. "CENSORSHIP! FASCISM!" they'd cry. And they'd be, at least in this case, pretty much right. Yet now, aside from favoring a revival of a rule that favors their political view, we have liberals ridiculously boycotting debates on a conservative-leaning network because of its "unfairness." Heh. Yet, conservatives gladly appear on a liberal-leaning network, indeed enduring ridiculously liberally-loaded questions.
Bottom line -- Bruce Kesler says it:
Conservatives criticize the MSM, network TV, metropolitan newspapers and major wire services, as liberal and often incompetent. Yet, I’ve never heard a conservative calling for the government to regulate what the MSM can broadcast or publish, nor have I heard of Republican organizations threatening lawsuits against them to intimidate changes. There’s a respect for traditional liberal values of competing with ideas, rather than imposing government dictates.
That’s a key distinction to keep in mind. George Will properly labels the Democrats upside down concept of fairness “illiberal.”
A car that runs on compressed air (my emphasis):
Many respected engineers have been trying for years to bring a compressed air car to market, believing strongly that compressed air can power a viable "zero pollution" car. Now the first commercial compressed air car is on the verge of production and beginning to attract a lot of attention, and with a recently signed partnership with Tata, India's largest automotive manufacturer, the prospects of very cost-effective mass production are now a distinct possibility. The MiniC.A.T is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis that is glued not welded and a body of fibreglass. . . .
Most importantly, it is incredibly cost-efficient to run – according to the designers, it costs less than one Euro per 100Km (about a tenth that of a petrol car). Its mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car (200 to 300 km or 10 hours of driving), a factor which makes a perfect choice in cities where the 80% of motorists drive at less than 60Km. The car has a top speed of 68 mph.
Refilling the car will, once the market develops, take place at adapted petrol stations to administer compressed air. In two or three minutes, and at a cost of approximately 1.5 Euros, the car will be ready to go another 200-300 kilometres.
As a viable alternative, the car carries a small compressor which can be connected to the mains (220V or 380V) and refill the tank in 3-4 hours.
Due to the absence of combustion and, consequently, of residues, changing the oil (1 litre of vegetable oil) is necessary only every 50,000 Km.
The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0 - 15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.
This sounds ideal for huge urban areas or even fairly congested suburban areas (like north Wilmington, DE!) where one would barely even approach that top speed of 68 mph. Tom Noyes has been Delaware's information bastion about clean power, and his devotion to the topic has sparked my own interest.
Lack of serious innovation for items such as this makes me wonder sometimes if the premise for stories like this really aren't right on the money (pun intended).
One of the topics I brought up today on my WILM radio appearance (with liberal yin Tom Noyes to my conservative yang) was Rudy Giuliani's reaction to longshot GOP candidate Ron Paul's suggestion that somehow the US's policies were to blame for the attacks of 9/11. While Giuliani certainly took full advantage of this "strategically misplaced" response by Paul, the question was whether Paul really believes this, or, as Tom brought up today, was he just questioning the US's intelligence capabilities and/or a lack of understanding of our enemy.
Michelle Malkin look as if she has discovered some perspective, if not outright answers. For instance, Paul stated -- when addressing a group called the "Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth"
"Well, I never automatically trust anything the government does when they do an investigation because too often I think there's an area that the government covered up, whether it's the Kennedy assassination or whatever."
A member of this group also transcribed a later Paul statement about a further investigation into 9/11:
"...the investigation was an investigation in which there were government cover-ups?"
Malkin goes on to note the numerous appearances of Paul on 9/11 conspiratorialist Alex Jones' show.
You be the judge.
I was going to write a post on this AP article (via the News Journal) a couple days ago; however, Michelle Malkin does it one better. She shows -- as is just WAY too easy to do all too often (but fun!) -- the total hypocrisy of the diversiphiles and multicultis.
Notice anything about this pic of the Associated Press Board of Directors? This same Associated Press that laments Republican presidential candidate staffs' "lack of diversity"?
When the leading Republican presidential candidates sit down with their top advisers, those with a seat at the table don’t exactly look like America, to use the phrase popularized by former President Clinton.
The 2008 presidential race is notable for the presence of a woman and a black among the leading Democratic candidates. But progress is much slower when it comes to diversifying the ranks of top decision-makers within the various campaigns, especially those of the Republicans.
Perhaps. And progress is ALSO "much slower" when it comes to diversifying the ranks of the Associated Press' upper echelons. I'd bet that if someone pointed this bean-counting hypocrisy out to the AP, they'd probably say something like "Well, we're indeed committed to diversity ... but we remain committed to finding the best people, period." Sounds quite a bit like Rudy Giuliani's campaign spokesman: “We’re focused on hiring the best-qualified staff and proud to have such an accomplished and talented team.”
I also wonder if the AP would be willing to agree to a "solution" they highlight for [mainly GOP] political campaigns:
To increase minority representation, [black Democratic political consultant Jamal] Simmons advocates a political version of the so-called Rooney Rule from the National Football League, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate when filling a head coaching vacancy.
Which, of course, would merely lead to superficial interviews merely to satisfy the requirement, especially if there is clearly a much better candidate a campaign obviously desires. This has happened in the NFL.
Yet again, the diversiphiles prove way too easy to laugh at.
As before, we'll be chatting about -- get this -- politics at the national, state and local levels, and delving into what the blogs are talking about! Tune in -- and discover how my vocal skills rival my written discourse! ;-)
The always excellent Heather MacDonald tries -- in vain -- to get some straight answers from University of California at San Diego chief diversity officer(!) Jorge Huerta:
Q: As I understand it, when an academic department at UC San Diego initiates a faculty search, you provide an analysis of that department's racial and gender composition with the aim of helping the department increase its diversity.
A: The UC San Diego Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity completes that analysis. At UC San Diego, we view every recruitment effort as an opportunity to bring us closer to our goal of greater diversity.
Q: Do you believe that there are undiscovered black Ph.D.'s in nuclear physics, say (to choose a field at random), or in other hard science and engineering fields, who have not already been identified by every university in the country seeking to diversify itself? Isn't every university in the country chasing the same very small number of underrepresented minorities in the sciences?
A: UC San Diego is very focused on increasing diversity among faculty in the sciences as well as in other disciplines. It could be said, perhaps, that we are all vying for the same excellent candidates, precisely because they are excellent. This may make the process more challenging but it does not change UC San Diego's level of commitment and long-term goals.
Q: Do you think that without friendly encouragement from yourself or other administrators, a physics department, say (this is a purely hypothetical example) would discriminate against - or even merely ignore - highly qualified and competitive minority physicists?
A: I think all academic departments at UC San Diego are well-aware of the university's strong commitment to achieving greater levels of diversity. UC San Diego's chancellor Marye Anne Fox and I have made it a point to communicate the importance of this goal to all academic leaders and department heads. In addition, I think faculty at UC San Diego realize that a more diverse faculty that more accurately reflects the citizens of California is in everyone's best interests.
Q: If you don't think that a department would discriminate against a competitive minority scientist, might oversight from a diversity officer be interpreted as friendly pressure to make race-conscious hiring decisions?
A: The administration of UC San Diego cannot tell any academic department who to hire. Further, we are prohibited by law (Proposition 209) from using race as a factor in hiring. This makes achieving our goals more challenging but it just means we have to try harder through outreach and other efforts.
Q: You said in the La Prensa article that "you cannot have excellence without diversity." To take a purely hypothetical example, do you think that a cancer lab at UCSD, say, that was composed overwhelmingly of Chinese and South East Asian researchers and that was developing a way to turn off a cancer-prone gene, would be less "excellent" for its lack of underrepresented minorities?
A: I believe that's been taken out of context. Of course, a group of scientists who are not ethnically diverse can conduct excellent research. Our goal at UC San Diego is to achieve greater levels of diversity - ethnically, intellectually, and in terms of gender. Diverse perspectives lead to a more competitive and stimulating marketplace of ideas and the outcome of this is excellence in the greater community.
Q: If you do believe that such a lab would be less excellent than a lab with black or Chicano researchers, do you believe, to repeat my question from above, that there are competitive underrepresented minority [URM] microbiologists that UCSD is overlooking?
A: Those "competitive" URMS may be overlooking UC San Diego.
Heather's final retort (my emphasis):
"When he is not purporting not to pressure departments into hiring by race and gender, Mr. Huerta works with UC San Diego's Cross-Cultural Center, its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association, and its Women's Center on a 'Dialogue on Race' to celebrate what Huerta calls 'innovations in equity, diversity and excellence.' Those 'innovations' will presumably not include straight-speaking."
I've often wondered if there are "diversity officers" that are not members of a minority. On top of that, I really wonder if these officers, or "trainers," actually know about the cultures they're supposed to "train" the supposed unenlightened about. If you're ever in a "diversity seminar" for "training," ask the "trainer" if he or she has ever lived abroad in a country whose race/ethnicity/culture they're supposed to be "teaching" about. Don't be surprised if the answer is "no."
Donald "Stan" Olson of Wilmington has decided that he will vote against the Brandywine School District referendum because ... of an article in the News Journal stating that human-caused global warming is being taught as scientific fact:
Both of my boys went through Brandywine schools from kindergarten through graduation. I voted for all of the referendums over the years, and in a couple of cases was directly involved in helping to get them passed.
There are a number of questions in my mind regarding this latest referendum, but I was leaning toward voting for it until I read in The News Journal that human-caused global warming is being taught as scientific fact. But if that is the current state of science education in Delaware, I refuse to support it. The issue is not whether there is global warming. The issue is what's causing it.
Hey "Stan" -- I noticed the little qualifier "if" in your statement there. Have you bothered to check out whether Brandywine schools are teaching just this in its science classes? Have you contacted the district office to see if what the science curriculum is? Have you gone to a board meeting to ask about it? I bet the answer to all these is, in my educated estimation, a resounding "no." And here's a another bit of advice: Relying on the News Journal exclusively for "facts" isn't exactly the best idea.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Cheney's Chess Moves in the Middle East by Joshuapundit, and Don't Bury Your Heads in the Sand. by Iraq the Model. All members, please be sure to link to both winning entries (and to the full results of the vote) in a post. Two members were unable to vote this week... Right Wing Nut House and Cheat Seeking Missiles were both affected by the 2/3 vote penalty, which created a three-way tie in the council category that I ultimately decided to break in favor of Freedom Fighter's post about Dick Cheney's trip to the Middle East. Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week... I'm eager to see next week's entries! Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 2/3||Cheney's Chess Moves in the Middle East|
|1 2/3||Positive Thinking Vs. The Greenies|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1 2/3||Gone Across Peterson|
The Glittering Eye
|1 1/3||You Asked for It|
Done With Mirrors
|1 1/3||We Found the "Moslem Methodists!"|
|1/3||It Breaks My Heart To Say This|
Rhymes With Right
|1/3||Gaffes, and Why They're Interesting|
|1/3||Talk Isn't Cheap|
|2 2/3||Don't Bury Your Heads in the Sand.|
Iraq the Model
|2 1/3||A Communism for the 21st Century|
Gates of Vienna
|1 2/3||The New Anti-Blasphemy Rules, Again|
The Volokh Conspiracy
|1 1/3||The Black Pleasure of Hatred and Cultural Provincialism|
All Things Beautiful
|2/3||Siniora Pushes the Saudi Plan|
|1/3||Support Those Poor Troops!|
|1/3||Defining Patriotism Down|
|1/3||Springtime in Islamberg|
The New Media Journal
|1/3||Mort Kondracke's Plan B for Iraq: Ethnic Cleansing by Shiites|
So wonders Alan Feuer at the ever-politically correct New York Times when discussing the recent terror plot involving an attack on Fort Dix. His exact words:
It is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the attack Mr. Shnewer and the five other men are charged with planning.
To which Victor Davis Hanson retorts
Perhaps they were agnostics, or atheists, or Mormons who just happened from time to time to drop in at the local mosque for interfaith worship or out of intellectual curiosity.
University of Delaware President David Roselle said that university students who attended a Cinco de Mayo party with outfits that had insensitive sayings on them (get link) would not face disciplinary measures:
"First Amendment protections are sometimes a little bit inconvenient for us when we want to perhaps punish someone who we think by all rights deserves to be punished," Roselle said. "But it's the law of the land, and it's a wonderful law and one we all should happily abide by. So it is what it is, and you have to deal with it."
Yep. And considering groups like FIRE and its track record, Roselle actually demonstrated that he not only knows the law, but he saved the university some cash in the process. If UD was a private university, then Roselle could most likely do as he wished with the students. Ah, but UD is public, and hence bound by the 'ol Constitution.
Pathetic anti-American diatribe by the leftist rag The Guardian (UK): Benjamin Woolley says that any commemoration of the Jamestown founding is ... well, "misguided" because ... well, let's take a look at his list:
The Queen took a tour of Jamestown, Virginia, on Friday as part of the commemorations of its 400th anniversary. The site of England's first permanent colony in North America, recently uncovered in a series of spectacular archaeological excavations, is of huge historical importance. It is the reason the US is an English-speaking nation, with Anglo-Saxon legal, commercial and political institutions. However, the Queen will be not be present for the anniversary itself, which falls this weekend. The reason is a prior commitment that necessitated her presence in the US a week early: the Kentucky Derby, held last Saturday.
The Queen's desire to escape to the safety of the world of horse racing is understandable. Compared to a punt even on a rank outsider, commemorating the arrival of a motley crew of 100 or so English renegades and outcasts on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in 1607 has proved to be fraught with risk. Not only is there the solemn complication of the campus shootings at nearby Virginia Tech, but there is the small matter of Jamestown being the birthplace of African slavery, Native American genocide and the global tobacco trade, as well as of North American democracy and free enterprise.
My emphasis. I'm curious: Is Woolley claiming that African slavery and Native American genocide are somehow philosophically akin to democracy and free enterprise? I'm aware that this doesn't have to be read this way, but considering leftists' hatred of the latter two, it is an assumption easily made.
Then there's the "small" matter of Jamestown being the "birthplace of African slavery." This is just factually incorrect on two main grounds. First, slavery already existed (in Africa, but elsewhere too) before the Jamestown founding. Second, the Spanish priest Bartolomé de Las Casas, in the century before the founding of Jamestown, advocated using Africans as slaves instead of Native Americans in the newly conquered New World. The Spanish (and Portuguese) had begun trans-Atlantic African slavery quite a while before the English in North America.
As for the genocide of Native Americans, a frequently forgotten fact is that, by far, the majority of Natives died as a result of European diseases rather than a purposeful program of annihilation. Anywhere between 80-90% of Native Americans were the victims of smallpox, measles and other European scourges. This by no means is meant to absolve the Europeans of their brutality against the Natives; however, 80-90% of Native deaths by disease is indeed something by which Europeans had little control over.
What leftists like Woolley fail to realize is that anymore, no "celebration" of a Colonial/Revolutionary Era relic/icon takes place without mention of the darker aspects of that time. What is actually unique to the West is the degree to which this mention holds -- so much so that even free enterprise and democracy can be seen as "evil." The irony is that this free enterprise and democracy enables people to bring forth and mention these darker aspects of our history.
In the little (unfortunately) I was able to catch of Brandywine School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon's appearance on WDEL's the "Rick and Gerry Show" yesterday, Gerry Fulcher asked -- I kid you not -- why couldn't Brandywine handle the size classrooms that he himself had once taught: over 60 kids in a class?
Is Fulcher really serious about this? If so, he needs to check himself into Delaware State Hospital pronto.
(By the way, Fulcher taught??)
Jodilynn Jacob and Jennifer Lee Shultz-Jacob are two lesbians who wanted a child. They got some dude (a friend) to donate sperm to the former and she conceived two kids. But the lesbian couple split up, and so Shultz-Jacob decided to go after ... the sperm donor for child support!! One of the reasons given: He "spent thousands of dollars on the children, including purchases of toys and clothing"! Oh Gosh! Therefore, "Let's get him to pay!!"
*Shakes head ...*
A letter to the editor from today's News Journal:
Recently, I thoughtlessly cut off another motorist while driving. He glared angrily as he passed beside me. I placed my hands together prayerfully and mouthed, "I'm sorry." He nodded in acceptance. My apology made me feel better, and I'm sure the other driver felt less anger at my carelessness.
It is incomprehensible to me that our state Legislature would balk at an apology for slavery and segregation. An inconsiderate act while driving is but a minute grain of sand compared to the mountainous degradation of human bondage and legalized segregation.
Can we not agree at this point in time that slavery was wrong?
Judy C. Fisher, Middletown
I recalled seeing a very similar letter fairly recently in the paper, so I searched the online version under Ms. Fisher's name. Lo and behold, here's a letter from her dated a mere week ago, May 8:
Recently, I thoughtlessly cut off another motorist while driving. He glared angrily as he passed beside me. I placed my hands together prayerfully and mouthed, "I'm sorry." He nodded in acceptance. My apology made me feel better, and I'm sure the other driver felt less anger at my carelessness.
It is incomprehensible to me that our state legislature would balk at an apology for slavery and segregation. An inconsiderate act while driving is but a minute grain of sand compared to the mountainous degradation of human bondage and legalized segregation.
Can we not agree at this point in time that slavery was wrong?
Judy C. Fisher, Middletown
Since we know how race obsessed the Journal is, is this a deliberate attempt to "sway" whatever debate there is on Delaware officially apologizing for slavery by making it appear that Journal readers are demanding such -- by recycling letters only a week old? Or, is this just editorial sloppiness (y'know, the 'ol Sandy Berger "defense" for how he stuffed National Archive documents down his socks -- "sloppiness")?
Knowing the News Journal, it's easy to believe either one equally.
The city of Wilmington and several parents are proceeding with their lawsuit against the Christina School District for violating the Neighborhood Schools Act:
John Rago, Wilmington's director of communications, said city attorneys submitted a brief to the court Friday that will outline the city's argument.
"The city's clear position [is] that Christina has demonstrated a pattern of failure in complying with the Neighborhood Schools Act," he said. "Christina's previous and proposed actions regarding city schools, parents and children are adversely affecting the education of city children, and the mayor cannot and will not allow this to happen."
"Probably, what's going to result ... is we're going to, no doubt, end up resegregating schools ... and you're going to have litigation." -- Attorney George Evans.
"[The Neighborhood Schools Act is] new millenium racism" -- County Councilman Jea Street.
I detailed the history of New Castle County desegregation here, and the complaints against former State House Majority Leader Wayne Smith's Neighborhood Schools Act were the stuff of [predictable] legend. The irony, as they say, is delicious. I thought this Act was "racist," and would lead to dramatic resegregation! Yet, here are city officials using this very act to force a school district to keep open schools that they want open.
Where is George Evans now? Where is Jea Street, especially, who's never short on words especially when it comes to crying "racism"? Where is Nancy Willing who, as a member of the three-person strong "Delaware Clean Sweep" reiterated the News Journal's claim about how the Neighborhood Schools Act would lead to resegregation (in her typical attacks against Wayne Smith)?
And the News Journal? Heh. Don't expect it to remind its readers what it thought about the Act just a few years ago. *SSSSHHHHHHH!!!*
I was channel surfing last night and stopped at ABC's "20/20." I usually like this show since it has something rare for a mainstream media outlet -- a devout libertarian host, John Stossel. However, they did a segment on these bogus, two-bit "faith healers" who take advantage of not only people's gullability, but their faith. It wasn't quite an "undercover" story, though I have seen some of them before.
Now I ask you: Is that really hard undercover reporting? I mean, I do feel somewhat sorry for the saps who got suckered in to sending so much cash to these charlatans, but are we really supposed to think "Wow, ABC really showed these healers for what they are!"? And are we really supposed to get all weepy when they show the victims -- you know, some neat cinematic shot of them where they're sitting on a bench at the beach, looking off into the surf ...?? I mean, yeah it sucks what happened to them, but come on -- THEY'RE FRIGGIN' MORONS for believing these bad toupee'd overly made-up "healers"!!
Hey, speaking of undercover reporting, y'think ABC or another mainstream media venue would be willing to go undercover and report on something like this?
THAT will be the day!
Winfield Myers shows us all the depths of the ridiculous mindset that college elites have today at the contemporary academy. He notes that 11 academics were give the task: “If you were giving the commencement address at Virginia Tech this year, what is the core of the message you would like to leave with the graduates?” Check out some of the responses:
Edward J.W. Park, who teaches Asian Pacific American Studies at Loyola Marymount, titled his address “I Hope He’s Not Korean.” Park shows no compassion for the victims, whom he barely mentions, in his narcissistic immersion into identity politics:
“[A] Latino student quietly shared his anxiety: ‘God, I hope it’s not a Latino.’ Then we heard that the first two victims had been an African-American man and a white woman. ‘I hope it isn’t a black person,’ an African-American colleague told me in the mailroom. ‘If it is, we’re going to catch hell.’ ”
And: “ ‘I hope he’s not Vietnamese’; ‘I hope he’s not Filipino.’ The list went on.”
Park, whose career rests on categorizing Americans by ethnicity, concludes his address, with no irony intended, by imploring students to “see beyond racial and ethnic labels.”
Surpassing Park’s rhetorical substitution of imagined victims for real corpses is Karla Jay’s slander of American troops in Iraq. A professor of “English and women’s and gender studies” at Pace University, Jay wrote: “So, too, can the graduating and current students of Virginia Tech, including the more than 700 members of its cadet corps, now understand how violence and terror affect the innocent. More than 200 Iraqis, also guiltless bystanders, were blown up the very same week of the murders at Virginia Tech in senseless, brutal acts of terror. … If we treat individuals or groups of people as our enemies, those people have no choice but to be our enemies. If we hate them, they will demonize us.”
Is she saying that the mentally distrubed VA Tech killer was "made an enemy of" by the VT community? He was seriously mentally ill, for cripe's sake!
Always remember: When universities speak of "diversity," it NEVER means "diversity of thought or viewpoint." NEVER.
"Good Morning America" highlights a family which ... doesn't use toilet paper.
Best line in response by Diane Sawyer to this freak dad's ridiculous antics: "And so good for you. Yeah. What you were saying about the way it concentrates your mind to be free of concern about a lot of the things in your life. It really makes sense to me."
Only in the mind of a pampered, elitist multi-millionaire newscaster who REALLY thinks this guy is a complete lunatic, but has to show that she's "environmentally hip."
Guess this family wouldn't even bother with this "great deal":
Personally, I think it's probably a good move since you can only do SO much with a bunch of war-weary travelers running from an implacable enemy ... and keeping it fresh and interesting.
Here's hoping the Galactica finds Earth, but that the writers throw us a big twist: The fleet arrives at a highly technologically advanced Earth, sometime in our far-future (say, approximately 500-700 years from now). We're even more advanced than the Colonials, and it's us 13th Tribers that solves the Cylon "problem."
Wilmington's William A. Stoddart inadvertently makes the case against hate crimes legislation all the while excoriating black preachers for being against them:
I read that American black bishops, at their annual national meeting, will oppose gay hate crime legislation pending in Congress. The pending bill would add gay-motivated physical attacks to other protected minority groups.
If blacks or Jews are attacked or murdered, under present law this constitutes a hate crime. Higher penalties are accessed.
OK, now you might think that Mr. Stoddart is just using blacks and Jews as mere examples here. But read on further (my emphasis):
Hate crime legislation is not tied to freedom of speech. It simply targets vicious attacks on minorities based solely on their minority status.
And there you have it! The very reason hate crimes are, while perhaps a good idea, politically passed and then selectively enforced -- for minorities only. So, for Mr. Stoddart, it wouldn't be a "hate crime" if a bunch of blacks targeted and then beat up a white guy solely because he is white. After all, he is not a minority!
I initially was completely against any notion of hate crimes legislation; however, I was swayed by the arguments using the notion of "intent." Intent plays a role in every crime, and helps to determine severity of sentence. If intent can play a role in "standard" crimes, why cannot mere "hate" towards a person (or group) merely because of their race/ethnicity also play a role?
But the problem -- not unlike the mainstream media's own bias -- is that hate crimes statutes are selectively enforced. As Stoddart says, the perception (among people and law enforcement) is that hate crimes laws are only for minorities.
That's "equal justice"?
Sharon Desmond Griffin of Wilmington thinks that since neither she nor her husband went to public schools, she shouldn't have to support them. Not only that, she thinks "bloated" families take "advantage" of the public school system, and those who don't own property shouldn't have a say in referenda:
Just days after the latest money grab was defeated in the Brandywine School District, these grasping parasites are trying to wear us down by sneaking in yet another referendum on the heels of the last one. When are they going to learn that "no" means "no"?
I am disgusted by the sense of entitlement of people who have too many children or own no property, yet expect the rest of us to subsidize their bloated families. It should be the law that referenda can be held no more frequently than every two years, and that only property owners can vote in them.
Neither my husband nor I attended public schools. Although we have paid heavy taxes all of our working lives, we have no children in the school system. Our parents scraped by, working hard to pay for our educations themselves, while still paying income and property taxes.
These taxes are an especially cruel burden on older folks trying to live on fixed incomes, and now deserve a break from legalized thievery. I urge everyone who resents multiple attempts to pick our pockets to defeat this referendum on June 4.
Hey -- let's go even further! How 'bout only white male property owners be allowed to vote! THEM would the "good 'ol days," eh? Once again, it is ludicrous to assert that only property owners be allowed to vote in property tax referenda. Don't cretins like Sharon realize that the apartment owners will only raise their rent if property taxes go up? Does she really think these landlords will only eat the extra cost?
And, as I've queried in the past, I wonder how Sharon would feel if we were allowed to vote "yes" or "no" on the "legalized thievery" that is Social Security. Since it's fairly safe to assume Sharon collects it, I'd ask her for how long she's been collecting it. Studies have shown that people get back what they actually paid into the system in about three years time. Therefore, people like Sharon, after this approximate three year span, are being supported by current workers like me. Why does Sharon think it is OK to "pick our pockets" to support her -- or anyone else's -- retirement? Sounds like "legalized thievery," eh?
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Does America Elect Defeatists? by Big Lizards, and “Better a Thousand Israeli Invasions...” by Michael J. Totten. All members, please be sure to link to both winning entries (and to the full results of the vote) in a post. Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week... I'm eager to see next week's entries! Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 1/3||Does America Elect Defeatists?|
|2||"The Greatest Scientific Scandal of Our Time"|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1 2/3||Zawahiri Posts an Important New Video -- and Reveals al-Qaeda's Jihad Strategy|
|1 2/3||The Quietest Hero|
|1 1/3||I Know What You're Against, But What Are You For?|
|1||Authenticity, the West, and Islam|
|1||Suffering By Comparison|
Right Wing Nut House
|1/3||Have You Had Your Melamine Today?|
The Glittering Eye
|1/3||The Fort Dix Six|
Rhymes With Right
|1/3||After Iraq: Kurdish Option|
Done With Mirrors
|4||“Better a Thousand Israeli Invasions...”|
Michael J. Totten
|2 1/3||Two Words|
Cup of Love
|1 1/3||It Takes Two Sides to End a War|
Winds of Change
|1||"Truthers" Never Sleep|
Ace of Spades HQ
|2/3||The Gatekeepers' Gambit|
The Ornery American
|1/3||The Result of European Unification Will Be War|
The Brussels Journal
|1/3||I'm Fuzzy on This ‘Namecalling’ Thing|
|1/3||No More Partisanship|
|1/3||Blair's Legacy Coming Home to Roost...|
|1/3||Prostitutes and Politics|
Stay tuned. MuNu is having a hiccup.
Here's what I wrote about that Cinco de Mayo party that offended "so many" at an off-campus UD house:
Now, I wonder if this same News Journal would actually do some HARD reporting and get into the nitty gritty of the multicultural and sensitivity "seminars" that take place at UD and just about every other campus in the land ... Y'see, such "thought control" methods aren't seen as a danger to a free society by entities like the Journal. What they see as the true danger are kids like at the UD showing their insensitivity to an "oppressed" people.
Did'ja think I was overstating the case? Check it, from today's News Journal (my emphasis):
Jonathan Martinez, a first-year graduate student, said picnics and meetings [discussing the party] won't suffice. He said faculty and staff should be made to attend diversity training just as undergraduate students are made to take cultural awareness classes for graduation.
On Monday, he saw the party pictures and said he was "very hurt, in part because this is happening all over campus, and it's just considered normal."
He said when the university's new president begins this summer, he should begin work immediately to address racism on the UD campus.
If this is "happening all over campus," then we surely would be hearing about it much more often. We aren't, so it isn't. Does any rational thinker really believe that if such acts were "happening all over campus" that we WOULDN'T be hearing about it constantly in the [liberal] media? For goodness sakes, last night and this morning this recent story was on all the Philadelphia media -- as a major news item!
And this is a campus! You mean to tell all of us that racism is actually worse on a campus than in the population at large? (I mean, "it's all over!") Then this means that all this multiculti and diversity "training" somehow ain't workin'! And to top it off, to sustain the ever-lovin' self-maintaining industry, we now demand MORE of it!
I wonder if Mr. Martinez has any concerns with the National Council de La Raza's ties with groups like MEChA, the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán. The NCLR offers up familiar excuses for these ties, considering MEChA is an openly separatist -- and racist -- organization. Check out this "explanation":
NCLR has never supported, and does not support, separatist organizations. According to its mission statement, MEChA is a student organization whose primary objectives are educational – to help Latino students finish high school and go to college, and to support them while at institutions of higher education. NCLR freely acknowledges that some of the organization's founding documents, e.g., Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, contain inappropriate rhetoric, and NCLR acknowledges that rhetoric from some MEChA members has been extremist and inflammatory.*
NCLR will freely disavow statements we believe are inappropriate, as we did when we criticized a pro-separatist Latino website for its racist and anti-Semitic views, but we have no intention of ceasing support for activities that help more Hispanics enter and finish college. As a case in point, the one $2,500 subgrant that NCLR provided to the Georgetown University MEChA chapter in 2003 was to support a conference of Latino students – mainly from the Southwest and West Coast – who were attending East Coast colleges but who could not afford to travel home for Thanksgiving. These Latino student groups hold mini-conferences with workshops and speakers, bringing together students who are often the first high school graduates and college attendees in their families. In this context, were we to be approached for support by a university MEChA chapter, or any other student group, in the future, we would evaluate the request on its merits.
Again my emphasis. This is akin to a group saying it helps and supports (or will accept help and support) from a group like the Nation of Islam, even though its leader (and many others affiliated with the organization) are outright and even hostilely anti-Semitic and racist. After all, to many, the NOI "does some good things." (The inept drones over at DE Liberal once argued this very point -- "So what, if Louis Farrakhan has said some inflammatory things. His group has done some good," they argued.)
Does anyone really, truly believe that this same sentiment would be acceptable from an overtly racist white organization? That, since the group "does some good," that it is OK to donate to, and accept money/assistance from, that group?
You know the answer to that, and I know the answer to that. It's "no."
And to those who claim that whites "should understand" the NOI and MEChA since these are "oppressed" minority groups, I retort that this is the precise problem with the status of race relations -- and American culture in general -- today. To some, a failure to "understand" the actions of groups like NCLR (and MEChA) and the NOI makes one "insensitive" and even "racist." But they miss a key point: If we are truly to work towards an equal society, then shouldn't everyone be expected to play by the same rules? Shouldn't advocacy groups be expected to be as consistent as the next group? Why can't the NCLR just disavow groups like MEChA completely, and assist Hispanic students without them?
Perhaps if Mr. Martinez gets those mandatory diversity training seminars he wants, he could answer those questions above. My guess is he'd probably have the same answers as the NCLR itself; he'd say that any kind of affiliation with groups like MEChA does not mean NCLR endorses all of its statements. But then I'd ask him what he'd think if a UD student group accepted donations from a group like the National Alliance, or even less "severe," a group like the American Renaissance. Would it be OK for that student group to say "We don't agree with everything (or even anything) the group says, but its money is going to a good cause -- student scholarships"?
What do you think Mr. Martinez's answer would be?
If American science is to meet the needs of all of its citizens, its scientists must reflect the diversity of the country's population. -- Nature Medicine magazine.
Come again?? Like ... why??
The typical American lab is peopled almost entirely with white scientists. That's not reflective of society at large. A shake-up of the way minorities are recruited, trained and promoted could give minority representation in science the boost it so badly needs.
Now, is it me or do people want scientists to actually practice science, not worry about friggin' bean counting to satisfy some diversiphile's notion of "equity" or "correct proportions"? Once again we see the ugly notion of proportionate representation seeping into, this time now, the realm of science. This dictates that there "should be" proportionate numbers of races in virtually ANY field that reflect the numbers in the general population. Or, if you prefer, an "equal outcomes" approach that is, in essence, the very antithesis of "equal opportunity."
Again, why does science "badly need" a boost in minority representation? Do we not want the BEST scientists we possibly can get? And check this out:
In 2000, the US population was 75% white, 12% black and 12% Hispanic. But the proportion of minorities that completed biology PhDs between 1993 and 2002 did not match these numbers: only 2.6% of new PhDs were black and only 3.7% were Hispanic. The proportion of tenure-track biology faculty in 2002 was even more disparate: 89% white, 1% black and 2% Hispanic.
Notice anything? Where's the proportion of Asians?? You know, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans and Indians? Here's why they're omitted: I'd bet good money that the numbers of this group in the science field way outstrip their numbers in the general population. Notice the careful wording in the quote above -- selective use of only biology PhDs, and then tenure track biology faculty. Where's chemistry and physics, among many others?
This really shouldn't surprise anyone who regularly digests the miasma that is diversiphilia and multiculturalism. Asians aren't counted as "minorities" in academia, so why should they in the field of science? Simple: It's because their numbers grate against the dogma of proportionate representation; or, in other words, they "act too white." ("White" according to the multicultis.) They belie the "stigma" that the diversiphiles so readily attach to any field whose population "doesn't match up."
And good for them.
... "discovers" a Cinco de Mayo party at the University of Delaware where young adults -- ready for it? -- acted like drunken fools.
Of course, since this is a university, the politically correct speech police were out in force, and "aggrieved" groups -- in this case the Campus Alliance de La Raza -- are using the "R" word and clamoring that their feelings "were hurt." (Hint: Don't ask this group to translate the last part of their name: "of The Race." Gringos just might take it the wrong way.)
Is the News Journal so pathetically hard up? Are its reporters so imbibed on the PC themes of "social justice" (which includes the mantra that NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING must be even remotely "insensitive" to minority groups) that THIS actually made the paper as an ARTICLE?? Now, I wonder if this same News Journal would actually do some HARD reporting and get into the nitty gritty of the multicultural and sensitivity "seminars" that take place at UD and just about every other campus in the land ... seminars that constantly denigrate those of the white hue as inherently biased, racist, and privileged. Chee-yeah, don't hold your breath. Y'see, such "thought control" methods aren't seen as a danger to a free society by entities like the Journal. What they see as the true danger are kids like at the UD showing their insensitivity to an "oppressed" people. Unfortunately, the Journal, like nutty leftists on campus, only believe this until the time comes when something they want freely expressed comes into conflict with the same censorious values they once held dear.
You mean ... MTV is still on?? I think I stopped watching it when they actually thought they could do programming instead of doing what they were supposed to -- show friggin' ROCK music videos. This occurred, I'd say, around the late 80s, if anything.
Even frickin' VH-1 Classic on digital cable -- which started by showing all those classic early-day MTV videos -- has now succumbed to "programming." Maybe, sooner or later, there'll be that channel that just shows the videos. JUST the videos, and nothing else.
Who'da thought that two of our local blog types -- one blogger and one frequent commenter -- would be part of the moonbatty Left that holds that President Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks??
The two are none other than Jason Scott of Delaware Liberal and Perry Hood, formerly of the WGMD blog.
Keep that in mind when trying to entertain a thoughtful discussion with them. They believe that Pres. Bush knew about, and then willingly allowed, al Qaeda to smash those planes into the WTC and Pentagon.
Because you know you wanna know what I thought of it, right? ADMIT IT!
I suggest, if you haven't seen the movie and plan on doing so, not to read any further as I WILL UTILIZE SPOILERS!!
First of all, ignore all the reviews that claim the movie is horrible. Or just bad. It isn't either. However, it is worse than "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2." As I feared, having too many plot lines, characters, and villains made for a somewhat disjointed flick. The positive is that the film's effects and fight sequences are worth the price of admission alone.
Taking a page from Marvel Comics' "Secret Wars" series from the early 1980s (where several big Marvel characters got some major changes applied to them), Spidey gets a black costume. In "Secret Wars" that was because he, along with many other superheroes, were transported to a far-away alien world. The "costume" -- actually an alien lifeform which needs a symbiosis with another creature -- bonds with Peter Parker, and when the superheroes return to Earth from the planet, Pete brings his "costume" with him. In the movie, Pete and Mary Jane are watching a meteor shower, and unbeknownst to them one of the meteors lands nearby -- and out pops the alien symbiote. It latches onto Pete's moped, and eventually attaches itself to Pete. Like in the Spider-Man comic, the alien "suit" alters Pete's personality, making him much more belligerent and hot-tempered.
Elsewhere, a dude named Flint Marko is running from the police. They chase him into a physics experiment's testing chamber which conveniently activates when Marko is inside. The experiment turns Marko into longtime Spidey enemy Sandman (comic version at upper right) -- a guy who can control all his molecules which have become intertwined with the sand in which he was standing. We're shown that Marko's crime career is supposedly to save his daughter from a health affliction.
Further elsewhere, Pete's former pal Harry Osborn is still planning revenge against Pete/Spider-Man for what he thinks was his father's murder at the hands of the wall-crawler. One night, Harry augments his strength via his dad's old formulas, dons some of his dad's old weapons and duds, and goes after Pete. The sequence is amazing; one thing about "Spidey 3" that is vastly superior to any of the previous films is the choreography and F/X. Anyways, Pete gets the better of Harry, whose injuries cause him to forget anything about being the Green Goblin. To him now, he and Pete are still the best of buddies.
What possibly irritated long-time Spidey fans most was how Sandman -- back before his transformation -- was made responsible for the murder of Pete's Uncle Ben. However, I have to admit it was done quite well; the dude who Pete went after in "Spider-Man" was indeed part of the crime -- he and Marko were both in the process of robbing that wrestling promoter. Marko was the guy who actually carjacked Ben and shot him, but only after the other dude screamed at him to "hurry up and get in the car."
Once Parker learns that Marko -- Sandman -- is responsible for his uncle's death, he goes after him with a vengeance -- a vengeance only made possible by the personality-altering effects of the black suit-symbiote. Spidey apparently kills Sandman by flooding his form with water and literally washing him away. In the meantime, Harry gets his memory back, but when he decides to take on Pete again, Pete's black suit makes him a fighting madman. Pete shows little mercy as he tears into Harry, ultimately turning one of Harry's pumpkin bombs right back at the new Goblin, severely disfiguring him. The climax of Pete's sojourn with the alien suit comes at a nightclub where he ends up hitting Mary Jane who is trying to stop Pete from beating the crap out of some bouncers. He finally realizes that he has to get rid of the suit, and travels to a nearby cathedral to do so.
BUT (there's always a "but"!), photographer Eddie Brock, whose photos Pete had exposed as forgeries earlier in the film, is also at the cathedral (to "pray" for Parker's death, no less!). As Pete struggles to get rid of the symbiote, Brock glances up at the commotion. Eventually, Pete gets the symbiote off of him, but it then attaches to Brock. Brock uses the alien suit to become "Venom" (comicbook version at left) -- the perfect symbiosis since both entities now despise Peter Parker.
Eventually, Venom and Sandman team-up to destroy Spider-Man. But -- and this was a shocker to me as it never happened in comics as far as I know -- Harry decides to help Pete against the deadly duo! (After his butler fills him in on just how his dad really died, natch!) The climactic battle takes place in downtown Manhattan with Mary Jane once again the hostage bait. She's tangled in Venom's web, while it seems Spidey has just about had it (a hugely enlarged Sandman is pounding him with a giant fist while Venom holds him down). Suddenly, Harry appears and enters the fracas. Pete and Harry work together perfectly to hold off the bad guys. However, Venom gets the better of Pete at one point, but Harry sacrifices himself to save his friend! Pete realizes Venom's weakness -- sound -- and begins banging numerous metal pipes together to drive him crazy. One of Harry's pumpkin bombs disintegrates the Venom symbiote -- and Eddie Brock, who was diving towards the symbiote to reattach himself to it.
Pete and Mary Jane tend to a dying Harry, while suddenly Sandman appears. He doesn't want to fight anymore; he wants to apologize to Pete for his uncle's death, explaining why he did it (again, to help his daughter) and stating he realizes it was absolutely wrong -- and wishes Pete could forgive him. Pete does, as any hero truly would -- but then lets Sandman fly away!! For me, this was the biggest disappointment of the movie. What Spider-Man really would have done was forgive Sandman, but demand that he give himself up to the authorities while reassuring him that his daughter would be taken care of. Ugh.
The movie ends with absolutely no certainty of a sequel, but at least Pete and Mary Jane are apparently back together, after Pete's personality changes had driven them apart.
Some folks are watching the presidential election in France where -- believe it or not -- pro-American right-of-center Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to win. This doesn't sit well with the "International DU crowd":
Tony Essono, 32, an unemployed economist whose parents emigrated from Cameroon before he was born, said that despite years of anger and discrimination, people in La Courneuve were willing to put their faith in the ballot box "because they understand they can change something" by voting. But, he added, "if Sarkozy is elected, it means we haven't been heard, and we'll trash everything." (Link.)
Um, actually it means you HAVE been heard, Tony. But your "voice" didn't have enough support, apparently. And looks like France's problem of not assimilating immigrants is gonna lead to Third World solutions to being beat at the ballot box.
Wait -- Third World solutions? That's exactly what Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal is helping to foment if her rival is elected!
"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told the radio station RTL.
"It is my responsibility today to warn people of the risk of his candidacy concerning the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country," she said, suggesting that unrest was especially likely in the volatile suburbs that were the site of rioting in 2005.
Isn't that special. Well, she is a socialist, after all. And here I thought the moonbats over here with their specious complaints about conservatives "stealing elections" were nutty enough. At least post-election violence is still relatively unheard of.
Even though I've been swamped with work, Scalzi's latest novel -- The Last Colony -- has kept me from that work since it arrived from Amazon early last week.
The Last Colony is the sequel to the critically acclaimed Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades. I'm about half-way through the book and can't put it down. I'm even a bit miffed that I made plans to see "Spider-Man 3" today -- it'll keep me from the book!
A new Rasmussen poll shows -- unbelievably -- that 35% of Democrats think President Bush knew ahead of time about the 9/11 attacks, while 26% "aren't sure."
That's 61% total. 61% of Democrats believe Bush either knew in advance about 9/11, or aren't sure if he knew in advance.
Let that sink in, people.
UPDATE: Here's our friend Perry attempting to find proof that Bush knew in advance of 9/11:
Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson must really scare the left-leaning mainstream media. At least the pathetic Los Angeles Times. Check out how they characterize Thompson's ... "chances" with this little tidbit from his past:
So can "Law & Order" actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) become the first presidential candidate with this credit? Thompson played a white supremacist, spewing anti-Semitic comments and fondling an autographed copy of "Mein Kampf" on a television drama 19 years ago.
His colleagues say that he was just an actor putting everything he had into playing the role of a charismatic racist, named Knox Pooley, in three episodes of CBS' hit show "Wiseguy" in 1988. "Do you call Tom Cruise a killer because he played one in a movie?" asked show creator and writer Stephen J. Cannell.
"His colleagues say ..."?? Gee, y'think? After all, that's what actors do. Notice, too, how the Times notes the "putting everything he had" line in there, as if to emphasize that perhaps somehow Thompson really feels that way. Y'know, now that I think about it, Anthony Hopkins "put everything he had" into that Hannibal Lecter role. Maybe, just maybe, he really harbors cannibalistic tendencies!
Maybe now, on the basis of fairness, the Times will wonder if Al Franken's role as a drunken baggage handler in "Trading Places" -- a role he "put everything he had" into -- might somehow come into play in his upcoming US Senate run.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell:
There have been no major problems, other than the continuing economic difficulties that of course this country faces because of the U.S. embargo, the economic embargo.
Oh, right. Cuba's economic system is the fault of the US! And "no major problems"; in other words, a 40+ year dictatorship, continued human rights abuses, no free speech, no free press, secret police ... all must be what -- minor problems?
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi by Bookworm Room, and COIN: The Gravity Well by Blackfive. I actually had to cast a tie-breaking vote in the non-council category this week... I enjoyed Laurie Kendrick's imaginary telephone conversation with God, but Grim's analysis of the global insurgency/counterinsurgency ultimately won me over. Thanks to everyone for all the great entries this week... I'm eager to see next week's entries! Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3||Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi|
Done With Mirrors
|1 2/3||Giuliani on Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Terrorism|
|1 2/3||Changing Times Demand Telling the Truth in Wartime|
Right Wing Nut House
|1 1/3||Voter Fraud? Not a big deal!|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||"And Why the Sea Is Boiling Hot, and Whether Pigs Have Wings"|
|2/3||Lt. Col. Steele's Tragedy|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
The Glittering Eye
|3 1/3||COIN: The Gravity Well|
|2 1/3||God Called|
|1 2/3||Mitt and Osama|
|1 1/3||A Failure In Generalship|
Armed Forces Journal
|2/3||Meet the Iraqi Police in Kirkuk|
Michael J. Totten
|2/3||Speak No Truth|
La Shawn Barber's Corner
|2/3||The Socialist Food Chain|
|2/3||Jihad Destroys the Swedish Model|
|2/3||Turkish Believers Satanically Tortured for Hours Before Being Killed|
|1/3||Karen Armstrong reviews Spencer's The Truth About Muhammad!|
How pathetically stupid can people be? The Daily Telegraph's (UK) Melissa Whitworth, among others, once again compares skepticism of global warming to Holocaust denial.
Let's see -- measuring something that has virtually innumerable factors affecting it vs. an immutable historical fact. Did Holocaust deniers have a 180 degree view appoximately 30 years ago ... like those who are "absolutely sure" global warming is occuring now? They didn't?? What do you mean??
Let's be real, people: Global warming is most probably occurring at present, but the big argument is whether man is playing a key role in said warming. It is just ludicrous to compare these two items, especially since the friggin' weather cannot be accurately stated from day to day, let alone climate across centuries and millenia. Climate just doesn't compare to an outright FACT of history.
Why can't colleges just use composition courses ... to teach young adults to write?? I don't know if it's just me, but basic writing abilities have really gone to the crapper. Today at work I caught a major spelling boo-boo in something that was going to disseminated far and wide. Good thing it was in time. Too many blogs out there have poor grammar and sentence structure. (See here for a particularly grievous local example.) I've been flummoxed at the entries at Marvel.com -- its many characters' bios are rife with errors. (Many people work at correcting them, thankfully.)
I consider myself a pretty good writer, and I'm always looking to improve. College didn't help me much; I give most of the credit to my high school English teacher during my junior and senior years. Mr. W was one of the most eccentric dudes you'd ever meet, but he showed you -- and then made you use in your compositions -- proper language and writing techniques. At first I thought it was all a waste of time; now, I can't thank him enough.
So, I'll do it again: Thanks, Mr. W!
... and I'm embarrassed! Here's a first look at the Iron Man armor to be used in next year's Golden Avenger movie:
It seems like a good homage to the "Classic Red & Gold" armor he wore for almost 200 issues, and the current one he's been wearing for several years now.
... she knows common sense. Maria Conchita Alonso, Cuban-born singer/actress but raised in Venezuela (wonder if she is a fan of this group, natch?), spoke at the Latino Coalition in Washington ahead of Rudy Giuliani the other night.
She began by pointing out she deliberately wore red, and that the color and May Day were meant to be a celebration for workers, not for the Communist party. "We cannot let terrorists dictate our lives, so why acknowledge their claims and allow them to own a color red for a day? I wear red not in solidarity, but in protest of them!"
Then Alonso ripped into Castro and Chavez with a rare combination of ferocity and wit. She told of leaving Cuba as a child with her family to start a new life in Venzuela, with her mother hiding money, jewelry, and even the family dog on the way out of the country. As Latino Coalition President Robert de Posada noted, "She lost her first home country to communism, and she refuses to let it happen again."
"Even as a teenager, I wondered why John Lennon wore Mao jacket," she said, lamenting that Che is a popular t-shirt icon today. She suggested it was a triumph of appearance over substance: "If this man looked like Al Bundy [from the old Fox sitcom Married With Children], would teenage girls still be wearing his t-shirt?"
"When celebrities visit Castro and do not speak out, he gains a great propaganda advantage," she said. "I wonder if anyone told Robert Reford, "your films are all heavily edited on Cuban television.' And we know all directors like to have the last cut."
When a heckler stood up to contend that Chavez had been good for the poor of Venezuela, Alonso noted that the heckler enjoys rights to interrupt and speak freely here in America that she would not under Chavez's rule.
Referring to the former President's thumbs-up regarding the last "election," she declared, "Jimmy Carter, who I respect, should stick to counting peanuts, not votes."
Conchita-Alonso will be starring in an anti-Hugo Chávez movie titled "Two Minutes of Hate." In it, she actually plays a Chavista -- or Chávez supporter. The film's producer said "the concept is that 'Venezuela is the Titanic, Chavez is the captain,' " and that "Alonso's character is in love with an anti-Chavez professor who in the semi-fictional account is among those shot and killed in 2002."
You can't get a more common sensical talk. She's absolutely correct in her reply to that heckler -- how is "being good for the poor" a beneficient trade-off when you can no longer protest or speak freely? And John Lennon and Robert Redford -- I wonder if those two pop icons actually believe(d) they could have amassed their fame and fortunes under Mao ... or Castro. If they do (did), they're either lying or totally delusional. That's why neither of them (as well as many other limousine libs) ever actually MOVE to these socialist "paradises."
From what I understand, Lennon did consider moving to Mao's China, and he wanted to change the titles of some of his Beatles hits. Here are some of his proposed changes:
And, of course, "Revolution" and "Yellow Submarine" didn't really need any title changes!
Likewise, Robert Redford considered changing the titles of some of his films to suit the Cuban Revolution. Here were some of his proposals:
... put it out to the media, and then go to court to fight for your "rights" on First Amendment grounds -- if you're a Democrat.
Washington State Rep. Jim McDermott, known for his moonbattiness, disclosed the contents of an illegally taped phone convo between senior members of the then-GOP House leadership. He was sued, and has now lost this latest round of the appeals process. McDermott then served on the House Ethics Committee. How 'bout that??
Hey -- aren't Dems like McDermott all aghast at the president for wanting to wiretap foreign-originated/foreign-designated phone calls for possible terrorist connections? Can't have THAT, can we? But illegally recording your political opponents' phone calls and disclosing the private contents of the calls, well, come ON! That's GOTTA be OK, right?
Amazing (but typical) story from Sports Illustrated today in which a study claims that white NBA referees are biased against black players -- they call more fouls on black players than white players.
To which I ask the question: There are white players in the NBA??
OK, seriously -- I'm not nearly a statistics expert, but nowhere in the article is it explained how the vast disparity between the number of black players and white players in the NBA was taken into account. Nowhere. I mean, if upwards of 80%+ of the NBA is black, the much greater likelihood of even all players on the court at one time being black! And then, what about positions played? Many (most?) fouls occur underneath the hoop which is usually dominated by the taller players. How many white centers and forwards are there in the NBA compared to black?
The NBA hotly disputes the research and appears to back up their refutations quite well in the article:
The NBA strongly criticized the study, which was based on information from publicly available box scores, which show only the referees' names and contain no information about which official made a call.
"The study that is cited in The New York Times article is wrong," president of league and basketball operations Joel Litvin told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "The fact is there is no evidence of racial bias in foul calls made by NBA officials and that is based on a study conducted by our experts who looked at data that was far more robust and current than the data relied upon by Professor Wolfers.
"The short of it is Wolfers and Price only looked at calls made by three-man crews. Our experts were able to analyze calls made by individual referees."
Litvin said in an original version of the paper, dated March 2006, Wolfers and Price came to the conclusion that there was no bias. He added that the NBA's research "all prove beyond any doubt in our minds that these guys are just flat wrong."
Well, come on, Mr. Litvin! How else to get a study noticed than by invoking the 'ol "racism" charge??
At any rate, SI plays the usual game with the "scary" headline: Study: White officials call more fouls on black players. Oh, and also mentioned in the article was that the study "also found that black officials called fouls more frequently against white players than black, but noted that that tendency was not as pronounced." Oho! Black officials appear to show bias too! Not worthy of a headline, of course! And again, perhaps it's "not as pronounced" for black refs ... because there just aren't many white dudes in the league?
Even if the vast disparity in player numbers was taken into account (which I'm sure it was somehow, but again, I'm not expert enough to judge and the article never mentions it anyway), could it be that black players actually DO foul more? This sort of reminds me of the situation in education where the question is often asked "Why are black students disciplined more often than white students?" and the one answer that is usually never considered is "maybe it is because they just misbehave more often?" Instead, [white] teacher bias -- and racism -- are invoked as the culprits.
Hey, let's apply an education "solution" to the NBA problem here: Multicultural training for all NBA referees. [White] refs need to realize that what may be a foul in white culture isn't necessarily a foul in black culture. After all, since blacks tend to play more "street ball" when growing up, that kind of play tends to be more "freelance," hence a bit "rougher." Fouls aren't called as often. Therefore, white refs need to consider this before blowing the whistle against a [black] player.
Just a thought!
The one and only Gooch points me to nutjob Edward O'Donnell of Wilmington, DE -- who actually thinks the loon who killed over 30 people at Virginia Tech had, well, justification (my emphasis):
No mention was made of the fact that someone or many people must have mistreated the shooter since childhood to create such rage.
No mention of the fact that many of his complaints were valid.
There is no spirit of remorse or repentance at Virginia Tech about the school's weaknesses.
No mention was made of the fact that the shooter was being gossipped about, laughed at, and ridiculed by cruel Virginia Tech students and faculty for years.
This may have pushed him over the edge.
The president of Virginia Tech learned nothing - nothing - from the incident.
The simplistic and one-dimensional coverage of the Virginia Tech incident by the media demonstrates how the press has destroyed the world.
Many of his complaints were ... valid? That what -- VA Tech has a lot of snotty rich kids inhabiting its campus? And who hasn't mentioned his [supposed] mistreatment from the past? So, someone should "teach [VA Tech folk] a lesson" -- by ending their lives?? What about how he was harassing numerous young women? Stalking them, even? Yeah, that's nothing to "pick on" someone about. Y'know, someone acting like a complete freak. Please.
People are picked on and harassed all the time. It's clearly no justification for mass murder. Only a mental pygmy would think so. The VA Tech killer's incidence of mental health problems goes back years. To even attempt to lay the blame on the folks at VA Tech is perverted, sick and twisted.
Oh, and 'ol Eddie suffers from BDS -- Bush Derangement Syndrome -- as well:
The first thing he [the pres. of VA Tech] does after the incident is to invite or allow George Bush - one of the worst mass murderers in history - to speak at the school.
But wait -- using Eddie's "logic," Bush must have a legitimate REASON for those mass murders!! Maybe he too suffered as Cho did, right?
Ed -- get help. Now.
President Bush, who will exercise his constitutional right to veto the recently-passed Iraq War bill, will have the bill "shoved down his throat," according to our beloved First State Senator (and presidential candidate) Joe Biden.
Gee, Joe, what a "tough guy." Sort of reminds me George Bush pre-Iraq War. Or Biden back when he threatened to "shove rosary beads down [their] throat" the next time a Republican said he wasn't religious.
At any rate, how will this latest "shove" threat be made to count? Legally, that is?