September 28, 2007

Bill O'Reilly gets called a "racist" for being anti-racist II

Democrat prez candidate John Edwards:

“We cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

When can we expect CNN, MSNBC and major newspapers to pick this up and wonder aloud just how can a guy "get away with this" in 2007? Not to mention dissect Edwards' "racism"?

Posted by Hube at 10:34 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Bweare of sutdents

Florida education at its not-so-finest:

(h/t: Joanne Jacobs.)

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

Bill O'Reilly gets called a "racist" for being anti-racist ...

... then there's today's Boston Globe which writes this headline: At the elite colleges - dim white kids.

Author Peter Schmidt's article is actually a very good one -- well worth reading -- but I wonder what would happen, or even if it'd get it past the editors, if the Globe wrote At the elite colleges - dim black kids??

Hmm, actually, maybe I do know: Nothing. The headline appears in a liberal newspaper in a liberal town. This alone makes it "OK."

(h/t to Brian Flaherty via the Newsbusters tip line.)

Posted by Hube at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Cosmic Ironies by Bookworm Room, and Rafael Medoff: Columbia "Invites Hitler to Campus" -- As it Did in 1933 by History News Network. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3Cosmic Ironies
Bookworm Room
1  2/3The Human Touch
Big Lizards
1  1/3Gates' Iraq Agenda Short On Democracy
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1A Big Hole in the Desert (and in the story)
Soccer Dad
1Point of Inflection
The Glittering Eye
1How The Arab Lobby Works
Joshuapundit
1Columbia Dhimmis Get Ahmedinejad Earful! Some Applaud, Some Laugh -- We All Should Just Cry...
‘Okie’ on the Lam
2/3"Jena 6" Update
The Colossus of Rhodey
1/3Krugman Spews Race-Baiting Bile
Rhymes With Right

VotesNon-council link
2  1/3Rafael Medoff: Columbia "Invites Hitler to Campus" -- As it Did in 1933
History News Network
2Islam and Marxism -- A Marriage Made In Allah's Socialist Paradise
Dr. Sanity
1  2/3The Next Iranian Revolution
Reason Magazine
1  1/3The Ugly Side of Bob Herbert
The QandO Blog
1  1/3Acting On Principle Rather Than On Policy
The Paragraph Farmer
2/3Review of 'The Kingdom'
Crossroads Arabia
2/3Gays, Haircuts, Nooses. Some Denial Required.
Classical Values
1/3Musharraf Will Resign From Army
Captain's Quarters
1/3Abourezk, Part 3
Elder of Ziyon
1/3There's Slanting a Story, Then There's This Doozy.
The Sundries Shack

Posted by Hube at 06:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2007

Yep, there's right-wing college suppression of speech too

Andrew Stuttaford reports via The Corner:

A community college instructor in Red Oak claims he was fired after he told his students that the biblical story of Adam and Eve should not be literally interpreted. Steve Bitterman, 60, said officials at Southwestern Community College sided with a handful of students who threatened legal action over his remarks in a western civilization class Tuesday. He said he was fired Thursday... (Link.)

This is obviously no different from the myriad instances of "historically aggrieved" college students (and their other liberal counterparts) who whine and complain about what they perceive as "racist," "sexist," "homophobic" etc., and then try to get a prof axed.

This "handful of students" need to get a friggin' life. They probably belong on a show like this.

Posted by Hube at 09:08 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Excellent graphic on why socialism is a failure ...

... and how its adherents keep trying (courtesy Dr. Sanity):

Meanwhile, the Angry Left hate mail continues to roll in via the Newsbusters tip line:

Are you serious or messing with us? Didn't fox patent the "make a provacative statement agaisnt the democrats/liberals and put a question mark to NOt make it a truth but a question?"

You facscists are funny. Bill O'Reilly should have been pulled long ago.
Like rush and hannity for lying to the eldery for profit. for lying our
country into war. I got a question for you fascists. If a
journalist/newsman has zero credibility, are they still a journalist? Or do
they cross over to propoganda? Another question would be, If you choose a
party or money over country and you sell out your country for the benifet
of one party, are you then a traitor to you nation? Benidict arnold was.
When did treason change? You people are a joke. The gop is about to be
eliminated from politics for 30 years. Goo d luck toiling in obstrurity,
you fascists.

I got an analogy for you regarding O'RIElly. But you propogandist it won't
make a bit of differance. you people don't care abou tthsi great nation
that I served as an 11B. You only care abou tyourselves and money. you sell
the country out in the proess. For all intensive purposes O'Reilly is done.
He has been marginalized. He is a fscist and a racist and now veryone see;s
it. No amount of spin will change that. You propoganda attempts only work
on your 15% of dittoheads you people like to lie to. Independants now know
you for what you are. God Will be yoru judge, not me. You people have the
blood of my brothers and sisters on your hands. And you propogate for
profit. Horrendous.

In addition, the NB tip line also serves as a vent for [severely grammatically handicapped] "middle class suckers":

this goverment has proven to me it dosent work and never will 200 years ago it did. dont call me four jury duty ore to vote agine.i have lost all faith in my so called goverment. yours truely a middel class sucker
Posted by Hube at 06:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 26, 2007

MSNBC: Trainwreck in the making

They're apoplectic over Bill O'Reilly's supposedly "racist" comments, they routinely "make fun" of their cable competition like a bunch of grade schoolers, and now idiot David Shuster hasn't yet apologized for ripping a congresswoman for not knowing the name of a soldier from her district who recently died in Iraq -- except that he wasn't from her district.

Maybe the rep. can request another meeting where she can continually berate Shuster like so: "Did you check your facts? How come you didn't check your facts? I think it's a little surprising you couldn't even verify if the soldier was from my district. You weren't very appreciative about actually knowing the facts, were you Davie?"

Posted by Hube at 05:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Again -- just don't call it a hate crime!

I saw this report on the morning (ABC affiliate) news, too. Anchor Matt O'Donnell reported the vandalism (at left)as "evil writing." "Hate" wasn't a term used throughout the entire report, nor is it used in the web article:

Members of a Montgomery County congregation will spend Wednesday cleaning anti-religious graffiti from their church. It happened at Zion's United Church of Christ on Chestnut Street in Pottstown. Vandals spray painted "God is dead," and "666" on the church. Plus, the spray painted a sketch of the devil on a door, with the words "Hail, Satan" underneath.

The original church was built more than 200 years ago.

If they perpetrators are ever caught, will be they be charged with a hate crime? Sure doesn't seem like it based on this report.

Posted by Hube at 04:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Yeah, let's keep on inviting brutal dictators ...

... so cretins like the News Journal editorial board can act all self-important:

In a democracy, even a despot is worth granting a hearing.

Unfortunately, some state representatives and Jewish organizations failed to realize this as they criticized Columbia University's invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at the World Leaders Forum on Monday.

If this wasn't so laughable, it'd be incredibly sad. Did the News Journal do up an editorial on "granting the hearing" (and its importance to democracy) to Minuteman Jim Gilchrist? A search of their archives proves not. Did they do up an editorial criticizing the University of California for rescinding an invitation to former Harvard President Larry Summers because he had the audacity to suggest inherent gender differences might actually exist in people that account for interests in different fields of endeavor? Another archives search comes up empty.

So let's see -- the News Journal criticizes people and groups that criticize Columbia University for even inviting Iran's leader to speak in the first place ... a guy who has outright denied the Holocaust happened and advocated genocide against an entire group of people (Israeli Jews). They claim such invitations will "expose [the] fraudulent basis" of his ideas. If that's the case, why not invite any and all crackpots with some nutty idea? Why not invite a Flat Earther to explain why he believes the planet is indeed as thin as a pancake?

Isn't it a university's job to provide a REAL education to its students? Ahmadinejad's assertion about the Holocaust -- an event that is a clear, precise and historically accurate FACT -- is NOT like debating legitimate social issues like Larry Summers was, or legitimate political ones like Jim Gilchrist.

First State Politics has more.

Posted by Hube at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 25, 2007

"Honest" discussion on race in America? Forget it!!

How many times have you heard MSM-types clamor for "an honest discussion" about race in America? (Many others do, too.) But here's the sad truth: They don't really want one. Just look at how the MSM has gone nutso over Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's comments about going to dinner at a Harlem restaurant. You can listen to the segment in question (where Bill uttered the supposedly offensive comments) here.

Here's the thing: Anyone who's even a little bit fair KNOWS the point that O'Reilly was trying to make -- and that is that racial stereotypes are dumb, stupid, and ultimately damaging. On Bill's show this evening, guest Juan Williams was visibly angry at the ridiculously unfair reactions to Bill's comments by CNN, MSNBC and other MSM outlets. But what speaks the loudest, probably, is that O'Reilly's Harlem dinner companion was none other than Al Sharpton! And if HE hasn't sought out a microphone to denounce what Bill said, then it's a safe bet that even HE knows the comments were woefully taken out of context.

The Catch-22 established by the PC left (and their way-too willing allies in the media) is wonderful to behold, really: Explain [racial] differences away with seemingly bizarre reasoning; yet, when someone notes [racial] similarities (even with taken-out-of-context glee), rip into that person for "being out of touch" and "insensitive."

Posted by Felix at 08:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Reflections on Ahm-a-dim-nutjob

I've been watching the progress of the Ahmadinejad "scandal" at Columbia for a while now, and while initially highly critical of the university's decision to invite that little weasel, I find myself filled with conflicting thoughts at how it all played out in the end.

On the first hand is admiration: I never in a million years would have credited anyone in academia with the kind of courage it takes to publically insult someone like Ahmadinejad. Now, granted, the insulting took place at Columbia, safely on U.S. soil, and President Bollinger was in no real danger at the time he came out swinging.

But Lee Bollinger is a smart guy -- he has to know that if Ahmadinejad really wants the President of Columbia University dead, being in the United States isn't going to save him. I mean, the guy wants to rain nuclear fire on Israel -- you think he's going to balk at ordering a hit on an academic who peed in his Cheerios? It takes balls to tell a guy with a track history of murder and his own secret police force that he's a "petty and cruel dictator." The President of the United States might say it -- might call Iran the "Axis of Evil", for instance -- but the President has a Secret Service of his own.

On the second hand is yet another ambivalence: was it dishonest of Columbia to invite Ahmadinejad into a rhetorical ambush? Is that how one should treat guests, even murdering, lying, genocidal nutcase guests? (Given, of course, that Columbia knew of Ahmadinejad's genocidal nutcase ways prior to the invitation.) It seems a little on the sly-and-underhanded side of things, but do we really owe a duty of candor to our enemies? Horatio Hornblower (at least on the TV series) never really seemed to balk at dressing up his ship as belonging to another nation. That never really sat well with me -- it seems "against the rules" and I like to consider myself an honorable guy.

But at the same time, Columbia has performed a valuable service by trussing up and roasting that petty, cruel dictator in a public forum. People all over the planet heard him waffle about the Holocaust, and heard him say that there are no gays in Iran. (Although to be fair, what he said was that Iran doesn't have gays "like in your country." I'm actually willing to concede that point.)

It was a brilliant hornswaggle, and I'm filled with both approval and an unsettling sense of discomfort at how wonderfulyl backstabbing Lee Bollinger turned out to be.

But, before we go back to our normal, please just the facts consumption of news, let me highlight one thing that Ahmadinejad said that can forever be branded as the underlying motto of tyrants and butchers everywhere:

“There’s nothing known as absolute.”

So says the man who professes to love Allah, creator of the universe, the one true God.

So say all who plan to kill millions.

Posted by at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2007

Brooklyn Bridge for sale, too

"This is the last territorial claim which I have to make in Europe." -- Adolph Hitler, 1939.

"Ahmadinejad says Iran will not attack Israel or any others." -- Associated Press report, 2007.

Posted by Hube at 06:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Oh No! Dearth of Gays on Network Tube!

MSNBC.com highlights the AP story with the headline "Gay characters disappearing from network TV." But as is often typically the case, the situation is not as dire as it seems. The first paragraph reads:

A new report says a total of seven series on the five broadcast networks feature regular lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters this season, down from nine last season. The number has dropped for the past three years, according to the annual "Where We Are on TV" study by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

"Studies" of this type will never produce "satisfactory" results since they would require an increase every year! In addition, with the "massive" decrease of two whole shows not featuring gay characters this season, doesn't this mean that it is likely some other "underrepresented group" thus gained representation?

"While we acknowledge there have been improvements made in how we are seen on the broadcast networks, most notably on ABC, our declining representation clearly indicates a failure to inclusively reflect the audience watching television," said GLAAD president Neil Giuliano.

Does it really? Gay Americans have an entire television cable network devoted to them, Logo. And the term "cable" is what makes this entire "the sky is falling" article unnecessary. Here is the very last paragraph of the story:

On the other hand, LGBT representation on the mainstream cable networks is skyrocketing with 57 characters this year, including 40 regular, up from a total of 35 (regular and recurring) last year.

So the news isn't quite as bad as it seems for gay Americans now, is it -- especially when considering just how cable TV has eaten away at network TV's share of the viewing public. Why would GLAAD even care much about the so-called "Big Three" networks anyway when, according to Media Life Magazine, that trio's audience share and ratings have been steadily declining -- and cable's have been steadily rising? Indeed, in 2004-2005, cable TV was virtually deadlocked with broadcast TV for audience share. The Television Bureau of Advertising indicates that the total household viewer share for all broadcast [ad-supported] networks is only a mere 4.35 points higher than all of [ad-supported] cable programming.

The AP didn't bother to report just how prodigious cable TV's share of the viewing audience really is. This fact, combined with the incredible increase in the number of gay characters on cable shows (which was noted by the AP, but not until the very end of the article) would have completely shredded the entire basis for GLAAD's "concern."

(Cross-posted at NewsBusters.)

Posted by Hube at 06:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 23, 2007

Astute Statement of the Week

"There's no question that a parent, seeing that students were shooting one another on a college campus, would have cause for concern," said Rev. Paul Sadler, a Howard University graduate from Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted by Hube at 10:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2007

Dan Rather's chances

Fritz Schranck offers some insight on Dan Rather's lawsuit chances:

Two other famous people tried that tactic, with disastrous results: Oscar Wilde and Alger Hiss.

In the 1890s, Wilde sued the Marquess of Queensbury for criminal libel, after the nobleman accused the famous writer of being a "somdomite":

In police court on Bow Street [the marquess] made the statement that not only had he called Wilde a sodomite, he had done so for the good of the general public. This last statement was important, because now if Wilde lost, the government would have no choice but to pursue criminal charges for gross indecency....

His plan worked. Wilde lost, and was later convicted.

Just over fifty years later, Hiss sued Whitaker Chambers for slander, after Chambers stated on Meet the Press that the former State Department official "was a Communist and may be now."

During the litigation, Chambers produced documents to defend himself that incriminated Hiss as a Communist spy. The documents eventually led to two perjury trials against Hiss, the first ending in a hung jury and the second in his conviction.

Posted by Hube at 06:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"Jena 6" update

As I noted in the update on this post, columnist Jason Whitlock has revealed some facts about the "Jena 6" case that have not been reported by the MSM. Now, Noel Sheppard over at Newsbusters has highlighted Whitlock's article.

As I also wrote in my previous post, I agree with Whitlock that this is -- or was -- a legitimate case of "unequal justice": The white students who hung the three nooses were not expelled as their school principal suggested; inexplicably, the school board overruled the principal and gave the students a mere three-day suspension. (And hey -- no hate crimes charges? If they exist on the books at least USE them when a real instance of such rears its ugly head, eh?) On the other hand, the black students who beat up a white student were charged with attempted murder -- charges which could have put them away for most of their lives.

But the importance of Whitlock's column is exemplified by this article in yesterday's Philly Daily News (h/t to Colossus R&D man Gooch!). Columnist Dana DiFilippo writes:

NAKA ALAMO, 14, never thought she'd see nooses hanging from trees anyplace else than in her history books.

But when a December schoolyard fight in Jena, La., exploded into a raging national debate this week about racial injustice, Alamo couldn't stay in her classroom.

So yesterday she joined hundreds of protesters on city streets in a show of support for the Jena 6, six black teens charged with offenses up to attempted murder for brawling with white teens after someone hung nooses from a schoolyard tree some claimed was a "whites-only" area.

My emphasis. Although the word "after" is technically accurate, it leaves the most-clear impression that the "brawl" (more on that misnomer in a second) was a result and reaction to the hanging of the nooses. Not so, Whitlock writes:

A black U.S. attorney, Don Washington, investigated the "Jena Six" case and concluded that the attack on [white student] Barker had absolutely nothing to do with the noose-hanging incident three months before. The nooses and two off-campus incidents were tied to Barker's assault by people wanting to gain sympathy for the "Jena Six" in reaction to [Jena District Attorney Reed] Walters' extreme charges of attempted murder.

Again, my emphasis. As for DiFilippo's usage of the word "brawl," would you call an attack by six people against one victim a "brawl"? Whitlock sure wouldn't -- because that's not what happened:

There was no "schoolyard fight" as a result of nooses being hung on a whites-only tree.

Justin Barker, the white victim, was cold-cocked from behind, knocked unconscious and stomped by six black athletes. Barker, luckily, sustained no life-threatening injuries and was released from the hospital three hours after the attack.

In between describing various activists' invocation of teaching about racism, DiFilippo then quotes a sixth grader who was chanting "It's not right!" "No Justice, No Peace!" and "Free the Jena 6!"

Free the Jena 6? Besides the ugliness of racism, shouldn't students also be taught that there are consequences for one's actions? The charges against the offending black students have already been reduced to what they should've been in the first place. As Whitlock states,

I am in no way excusing the nooses. The responsible kids should've been expelled. A few years after I'd graduated, a similar incident happened at my high school involving our best football player, a future NFL tight end. He was expelled.

The Jena school board foolishly overruled its principal and suspended the kids for three days.

But the kids responsible for Barker's beating deserve to be punished. The prosecutor needed to be challenged on his excessive charges. And we as black folks need to question ourselves about why too many of us can only get energized to help our young people once they're in harm's way.

I've been the spokesman for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City for six years. Getting black men to volunteer to mentor for just two hours a week to the more than 100 black boys on a waiting list is a yearly crisis. It's a nationwide crisis for the organization. In Kansas City, we're lucky if we get 20 black Big Brothers a year.

You don't want to see any more "Jena Six" cases? Love Mychal Bell before he violently breaks the law.

This is what's sad about this whole mess. It is a legitimate issue of unequal justice with obvious racist overtones in a part of the country historically known for such. The matter might have been "swept under the carpet" if the media hadn't pointed out the unfairness of the initial disparate charges. But once guys like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton stick their noses in, it's all but guaranteed that the story will get twisted and shredded into something it ain't. Not to mention, these two have made "racial" cases out of virtually anything so often that the 'ol "Boy Who Cried Wolf" scenario makes [almost] anything they say worth only a contemptuous shrug. As Whitlock says, why is it that the Jena case can get thousands from all over the country to show up and protest, but even a big star like Bill Cosby can only muster approximately 300 at a rally against gun violence in Philadelphia?

Posted by Hube at 12:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

E-mail -- unsolicited and sort of

Ah, the Hateful Left is soooo "nice," aren't they? Check out this e-mail sent via the Newsbusters tip line:

Jack MeHoffer sent a message using the contact form:

Hay pricks. You sons of bitches wouldn't know a god damn thing about the
US Military. You're just a bunch of rightwing chickenshits who claim to
care about the troops. As a veteran, I know the real truth and not the
propaganda that is spewed by you and your ilk. Olbermann strikes fear in
your hearts because you know damn well the perfect storm is coming, and it
will swallow you motherfuckers whole. Have a nice day.

That sure is an interesting name, ain't it? And why is he telling us about getting pricked by hay?

Next was this intriguing e-mail about artists needing healthcare:

Artists Unite for Affordable Health Care!

Artists have long been left out of the health care debate.

Current legislation in California provides an unique opportunity to change that.

Artists United has partnered with Evolve to launch a campaign to mobilize artists around this important issue. Along with a website and campaign strategy we helped Artists United with a unique set of campaign tools to help get artists the health care they deserve.

I'm not exactly sure why I should worry about some guy who chose to play the clarinet for a living's healthcare, nor am I certain that someone making such a life choice "deserves" the healthcare they wish. What's more, I'm not sure just why in the hell I got this friggin' e-mail!

Posted by Hube at 09:27 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 21, 2007

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Is War With Iran Now Just a Matter of Time? by Right Wing Nut House, and Dead Eyes by Acute Politics.  There was actually a tie in the non-council category this week...  there were two very good posts about Iraq but Teflon Don's post about the weariness of war ultimately won the Watcher over.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3Is War With Iran Now Just a Matter of Time?
Right Wing Nut House
2  1/3Freedom, But From What?
Bookworm Room
2"Surge a Failure, Democrats Tell General"
Big Lizards
1California Legislature Intent On Violating California Constitution
Rhymes With Right
1LA Times: "No Blood For Oil" Lackey
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1Exploitation?
The Education Wonks
2/3Detering the Deterrers
Soccer Dad
2/3America Must Be Defeated!
Joshuapundit
1/3I'd Like To Buy Into It, But Then I Read On...
The Colossus of Rhodey
1/3Why? What? When?
The Glittering Eye

VotesNon-council link
3  2/3Dead Eyes
Acute Politics
2  2/3Iraq the Model
Hugh Hewitt
1  2/3Taking Away Rights and Calling It a "Right"
Classical Values
1"al Qaidastan" Rising
ZenPundit
2/3"Conservatives" and the Lacrosse Case
The Volokh Conspiracy
2/3Chomsky Recollects
Oliver Kamm
2/3Looking to Madison
The QandO Blog
2/3In Context
In Context
2/3Hillary Missed "Mister Soldier" Moment
The Anchoress
1/3Book Review: Culturism
Dodgeblogium
1/3Chemerinsky and Drake To Do Beer Commercials?
Captain's Quarters

Posted by Hube at 11:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 20, 2007

Poor Dan Rather

He's on Larry King at this very moment still insisting that his story about George Bush's military record is "accurate" and that no one yet has proven that the documents used were fake or forgeries. Yeah, OK.

Time for some lithium, Dan. Here's why especially (my emphasis):

In the suit, Rather alleges that he was forced to apologize for the Bush story as part of a conspiracy by top CBS management to ensure that no further damaging revelations about the president's time in the Texas Air National Guard would become public. Rather also alleges that CBS hired a private investigator to re-report the original story -- after Rather threatened to hire his own private eye to do the same thing -- and that the investigator found the story to be accurate, only to have his findings suppressed by CBS as part of an effort to curry favor with the Bush White House. Finally, Rather alleges that CBS fired him over the story the day after Bush was reelected, despite his later claims that his departure was separate from the Bush story. . . .

Rather says the cover-up was part of CBS's "plan to pacify the White House" and to "appease angry government officials" by offering up Rather as the "scapegoat for CBS management's bungling of the entire episode."

The notion that CBS -- CBS!! -- would make sure "nothing damaging" would come out about George W. Bush, and would "curry favor" with a GOP-controlled White House is about as believable as Louis Farrakhan donning a yarmulke and attending a bar mitzvah.

Posted by Hube at 09:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 19, 2007

Democracy Now?

Anyone ever catch that show [usually] hosted by Amy Goodman? It's on cable channel 20 (WYBE) where I'm at, at 7pm in the evening. What makes me snicker is that they always have this "Free Speech" logo in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, yet this is the same show that regularly lauds the virtues of Fidel Castro and Cuba, not to mention Hugo Chávez and his Venezuela!

Figure that one out.

Posted by Hube at 09:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Finally, a legit issue and Jackson still blows it

Friggin' Jesse Jackson. There's now actually a legitimate racial issue out there for him to seek out the publicity camera, and he still makes an ass of himself. He accused Democrat prez candidate Barack Obama of "acting like he's white" because he's supposedly not paying enough attention to the situation in Jena, Louisiana.

Jackson, who claimed that Jena is "a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," (everything is like Selma to Jackson) must be beside himself since the case in this small Louisiana town truly appears to be a case of racial injustice, unlike much of what Jackson insinuates himself into. White students who hung nooses on a tree at the local high school were only given three days suspension, yet when a fight later erupted between white and black students over the incident, the black students involved in the scuffle were charged with attempted murder! For a school fight?? Unbelievable.

Just don't expect an apology from Jackson for his racial slur against Obama. That's because, in Jackson's mind, he is "authentically" black, while Obama -- since he has a broad appeal to all Americans -- is some sort of racial "charlatan."

UPDATE at 5:56pm on 9/20: [Black] sportswriter Jason Whitlock adds a sane voice to this whole imbroglio. There's no doubt that Jackson, Sharpton et. al. are chomping at the bit over this whole deal (do they do anything else?), but my opinion remains that this is a legitimate equal justice issue. There's no excuse for the ridiculous three-day suspension (after a recommended expulsion) of the three white kids who hung the nooses on the tree, and there's no excuse for charges of attempted murder for the six black students who beat up that white kid. Since comments appear to be down at the moment, to answer Anna and orestes: Yes, the white student was hospitalized, but he was back attending a school-related function the same night. I'm not, of course, excusing his attackers, but simple assault charges would have sufficed against his assailants. Murder charges were quite extreme.

Posted by Hube at 09:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 18, 2007

And some people still say that Hugo Chávez isn't a dictator??

The Venezuelan budding tyrant's latest maneuver: Private schools that refuse to teach a socialist curriculum will be taken over by the state.

Posted by Hube at 07:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

He plays in Philly for heaven's sake! What's he expect?

Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles thinks he and other black quarterbacks get more scrutiny than their white counterparts:

In an interview on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” to be broadcast Tuesday, McNabb said black quarterbacks “have to do a little bit extra” because there are relatively few of them, adding “people didn’t want us to play this position.”

McNabb said if he passes for 300 yards and his team wins by a touchdown, critics will say, “Oh, he could have made this throw here. We would have scored more points if he would have done this.”

Asked if white quarterbacks such as Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer are held to the same standards, McNabb replied: “Let me start by saying, I love those guys. But they don’t get criticized as much as we do. They don’t.”

Is McNabb, when he says "people didn’t want us to play this position," referring to the past or the present? If he's talking about thirty years ago, he might have a point. I'm sure the first black QB ever to start an NFL game -- one of my childhood sports heroes, Grambling grad and LA Rams quarterback James Harris -- dealt with real pressure and criticism, not to mention outright racism. But now? If McNabb is referring to the present, who exactly doesn't want him (and other black QBs) to play that position?

Second, how precisely does Donovan know that he and the other black QBs are criticized more than Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer? Does he regularly monitor the Indianapolis (Manning) and the Cincinnati (Palmer) press? Not to mention that of other cities?

Lastly, his comment about being criticized despite a huge passing game and winning by a TD just reveals how tough it is to play in Philly. Face it -- Philly is the toughest city in which to play a sport as a pro athlete! Hell, Philly fans would boo the Eagles if they were up by 31 but let the other team creep a couple TDs closer in the waning minutes of the game. They'd boo the Phillies if they won the World Series in six games instead of five because they happened to blow a big lead in that fifth game. They'd criticize the Flyers for allowing a shorthanded goal despite them winning by four. Remember: This is the town that booed Santa Claus.

Black QBs, still relatively rare, surely might be scrutinized more than the more numerous white QBs, but criticized is a whole other matter. Hell, Rush Limbaugh was promptly canned by ESPN -- not because he criticized Donovan -- but because he pointed out that (in his opinion) since the media wanted to see McNabb succeed so badly, Donovan was hence "overrated." (Limbaugh did indeed believe McNabb wasn't that great of a QB, but that wasn't the issue in that "controversy.") Feel free to argue the point, but considering how the MSM is so politically correct when dealing with race, he definitely had some degree of a point. But notice I said MSM. Local Philly media is as hard on 'ol Don as anyone else who plays sports in Philly. All one has to do is listen to WIP sports radio on a daily basis.

Posted by Hube at 07:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

University of Nebraska Descends Into Self-Parody.

Sometimes you can't make fun of someone. Sometimes they do such a good job of it themselves that you just have to let the Res Loquate for Ipself.

I give you... the University of Nebraska at Lincoln's "Get to Know Me" packet, sent out to all Faculty and Staff from 5 Vice Chancellors, where college instructors are told how to relate to today's modern college student, a member of the generation commonly known as "Milennials."

Here's a taste, but you have to read the whole thing to believe it.

Traditional motivators may not work, and could actually cause more harm than good.

Attempts to motivate a student out of their respect for authority, their social position in the academy, or their age may not only fail but could backfire into a negative relationship that keeps you from serving the student well. Though challenging, communicate with students from a place of sincere respect for their ideas, interests, and positions. You’ll find plenty of self-motivation from this high-achieving group, if they believe that their efforts will yield positive results.

So much for respecting your elders or acknowledging that you've come to college to learn from the professor. Everyone is equal now, it seems.

But this has to be my favourite:

Yes, it IS all about them. How can you use this knowledge to help them belong and succeed?

Perhaps the most difficult characteristic of the Millennial generation is their tendency toward self-absorption: It seems as if it is all about them. It is! Knowing that this is a generational characteristic will help you avoid reaction and judgement when a student seems oblivious to anyone else’s needs but their own. Here’s where negotiation is critical. Communicate your own needs, and explain why a deadline, rule, or procedure exists. Most students will reject a process if they feel it exists just for the convenience of the institution, so explain the reasoning or simply express your own need. Then help a student find solutions so that they can benefit from the system itself. Also remember that this is developmental. Keep exposing students to other real needs around them, and help them find ways to meet their needs without hurting the needs or rights of others.

And here I thought that self-absorption was something of which adults were supposed to break children. But no... it's apparently just part of the territory:

Why the label Generation Me? Since GenMe’ers were born, we’ve been taught to put ourselves first. Reliable birth control, legalized abortion, and a cultural shift toward parenthood as a choice made us the most wanted generation of children in American history. Television, movies, and school programs have told us we were special from toddlerhood to high school, and we believe it with a self-confidence that approaches boredom: why talk about it? It’s just the way things are. This blase attitude is very different from the Boomer focus on introspection and self-absorption: GenMe is not self-absorbed; we’re self-important. We take it for granted that we’re independent, special individuals, so we really don’t need to think about it.

My bad. I meant to say self-importance.

Anyway, try to keep in mind when you're reading this that this was sent out to the faculty of a large state research university by that university's administration. It thus has at least the imprimatur of official administrative policy:

It is the way that the adults who have busted their ass for years to get their PhD are supposed to treat the callow youth who find themselves bothered with the obligation to take their class.

Posted by at 01:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 17, 2007

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Don McHugh of Felton has a, er, rather "unique" idea about how to handle illegal immigration (my emphasis):

The immigration situation has to be re-examained from a new set of perspectives and prerogatives. Borders, boundaries and regional lines are essentially European concepts.

The people living in the western hemisphere, prior to the landing of European explorers, had no or few needs for territorial identifiers. The land was as vast and open as the oceans and the sky to the sparse human population of more than 500 years ago.

On a regular basis the news media touts the flow of people into the United States, most dramatically across the southern border with Mexico.

Most or possibly all of the people coming north from Mexico, Central America and South America are of European ancestry. The inequity and injustice, in nation's south of the American border, are the results of ruling (generally minority) populations of people with lineages outside the Americas.

The majority of people oppressed are pre-European descendants. An effort should be made, from the Arctic Circle to Cape Horn, to identify, by DNA, all persons who have blood ties to the original Americans.

Once these persons are classified they then should be recognized as citizens of the Americas and given the rights of travel, employment, education, etc., in every nation of North, Central and South America.

Obviously there would be a tremendous population shift to Canada and the U.S., but these people could be absorbed by the fabric of these nations if adjustments were made to immigrant populations from the rest of the world.

As fortunes would shift, an All-Americas Union of a United States of the Americas could be established to assist in world market participation.

Sure! Everyone in line for their DNA test!

Yeesh. Hey Don -- after some 500 years of racial mixing, who exactly would "qualify" as having "blood ties" with original Americans? And why not take the concept even further? Since the original Americans actually came from Asia, why not give any Asians the right to immigrate to the Americas if they so desire?

Don seems to have that typical misconception that before the Europeans came, the Americas were some sort of an idyllic paradise. In some cases, this may have been close to accurate. But just don't tell that to the victims of the Aztecs. Or those of the Maya and other tribes. Don's "plan" is absurd on its face and belongs in one realm only: That of mildly interesting alternate history or science fiction.

Posted by Hube at 06:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Liberals in a [racial] bind again

Nobody does it better than John Rosenberg in exposing the perpetual contradictions of "progressive" theory on race. Today, John wonders why it is somehow "good" to have majority-minority voting districts, but "bad" to have majority-minority school feeder patterns.

An excellent question, of course. I'm sure anyone attempting a rational answer to it will have to jump through an interminable succession of hoops.

Posted by Hube at 04:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Ambivalence About the War... in Miami.

Those lucky, helpless residents of Miami won't have to worry any more: their policeman will be carrying assault rifles.

Police Chief John Timoney approved the new policy last week, before a Miami-Dade police officer was killed in a shootout with an assault rifle-wielding suspect on Thursday.

"This is something we do not do with any relish. We do this reluctantly," Timoney said.

The policy had been under review for about a year due to officers seeing an increase in the weapons, Timoney said.

Officers interested in the guns will have to undergo two days of training and be certified to use the weapons. The police department doesn't yet have money to purchase the guns, and if officers want to use them now, they will have to pay for them, Timoney said.

Years ago, law enforcement specialists like SWAT teams were the only officers to carry assault weapons, but now even small town police agencies are expanding access to the AR-15, a civilian version of the military M-16 rifle.

I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand, I'm perfectly OK with the police having this sort of stuff in reserve (i.e., carrying it in the car) for when the you-know-what hits the fan. I don't like the idea of police being caught flat-footed any more than they do.

But I also have grave concerns about the ongoing militarization of police forces. In part because of the "War on Drugs", military equipment finds its way into police departments at an alarming rate, with even small town departments having more weapons than they really need.

Have you ever heard the old saying, "When you have a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail?" I'm generally OK with the idea of SWAT teams -- I think there needs to be an intermediate level between patrol officers and calling in the Army. But how we train and equip our police officers affects how they visualize themselves. (If you don't believe me, howsabout we dress the officers of your department in frilly pink dresses and see what happens to morale?) If they are all wearing body armor and carrying assault weapons like the police in Robocop, how long before they start to see themselves as soldiers in a war? A former captian of the New Haven Police Department put it best, I think:

And since the end of the cold war, the military's giveaway of surplus hardware has proved irresistible to many SWAT teams. An amphibious armored personnel carrier was just picked up by the Boone County Sheriff's office in Indiana, and bayonets were recently accepted, then rejected, by the police in Los Angeles.

''I was offered tanks, bazookas, anything I wanted,'' said Nick Pastore, former Police Chief of New Haven. ''I turned it all down, because it feeds a mind-set that you're not a police officer serving a community, you're a soldier at war.''

And it's arguable that even the widespread use of SWAT teams has already had an effect on the self-image and behavior of police departments:

Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they’re sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers.

So when I hear that Miami officers -- not just SWAT teams -- are going to be carrying around military-grade weaponry, I get a little nervous. There's got to be some threshold for using such weaponry, even if it's just "We're going out on patrol." But is that threshold going to be "People are shooting at us with an automatic weapon!" Will it be "People are shooting at us with a semi-automatic weapon!"

Will it be enough that a suspect in a building could have an assault weapon?

I get nervous because it's one thing to keep in the trunk for emergencies. It's another thing not to have your definition of "emergency" changed by the fact that you've got it in the trunk. This issue is something that I think deserves a little time and attention from all of us, as we all have neighborhoods, and we all have police departments.

Are the police at war? With whom? And if they are, how do we want to fight it? Is there really a war in Miami? Do we actually want to win? Are bigger guns the answer?

Maybe bigger guns are the answer, but at the end of the day, the training and care of police departments is our responsibility, an it is our responsibility to shape our communities, to answer those questions above. If we don't think hard about this, someone else is going to do it for us.

Posted by at 12:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 16, 2007

Ivy League academic "rigor"

Isn't Harvard lucky:

A husband-and-wife team of social scientists who left Harvard University three years ago after one was denied tenure is returning to the university's Department of African and African American Studies, officials said yesterday.

Marcyliena Morgan and Lawrence Bobo left for Stanford University in 2003 after Morgan was denied tenure under former president Lawrence H. Summers.

Summers, who is in the news again recently because he was dropped as a speaker at a University of California Board of Regents event -- mainly because of "controversial" comments he made about innate ability differences between men and women (which also helped get him ousted as Harvard pres.) -- also had an academic scuffle with African-American Studies prof. Cornel West a few years back. Summers had the gall to ask West to get a bit more serious about his scholarship and help to fight grade inflation. West got all indignant, as did many others. Summers was, of course, lambasted by the PC Left for this horrific act. Nevertheless, it may help explain why he declined to give tenure to Marcyliena Morgan:

Morgan is a linguistic anthropologist and authority on global hip-hop culture who will concentrate on hip-hip's role in AIDS prevention, [Department of African and African American Studies Chair Evelyn] Higginbotham said.
Posted by Felix at 01:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Diversity is OK, but ...

In the midst of the MSM frenzy over the "Jena 6" case (a case in which Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson actually had a legitimate reason to go down and raise hell), once again the double standard over "diversity" pops up -- this time about the changing complexion of Washington DC:

Much has changed since Ben's Chili Bowl opened nearly 50 years ago on a bustling strip known as America's Black Broadway for its thriving black-owned shops and theaters.

Back then, the diner was a popular hangout for black bankers, doctors and blue-collar workers. Jazz greats Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald could be found enjoying chili half-smokes and milkshakes after performing at clubs.

Now, the crowd at the Washington landmark is sometimes mostly white, reflecting a neighborhood metamorphosis characterized by high-end condominiums and businesses such as Starbucks. "Sometimes you look around and wonder, 'Where are all the black people?' " said Virginia Ali, who opened the diner with her husband, Ben, in 1958.

A similar transformation is happening across Washington as the black population declines and more white residents and other ethnic groups move in. Demographers say if the trend continues, the District of Columbia could lose its longtime majority-black status within 10 years.

The key quote is Ms. Ali's at the article's end:

While diversity is good and change is inevitable, she said, "you lose the closeness of an ethnic community."

"Diversity" is only important, it seems, when people want it to be important. The concept is not as necessary, apparently, for minorities ("... you lose the closeness of an ethnic community"). As we've noted here previously, Historically Black Colleges see no need to "diversify," or are criticized when they attempt it. Why don't these institutions need a "critical mass" of diversity as argued by the defendants in the famous Michigan affirmative action cases? Wouldn't such a critical mass be a good thing for Washington DC?

In addition, can you imagine what the reaction would be if a Caucasian resident said what Ms. Ali stated at the end of the article if white residents were becoming the minority group in a town? I bet that the AP's Brian Westley's tone wouldn't be as amiable.

Posted by Felix at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

N.A.S. rips education schools

Ten years ago the National Association of Social Work (NASW) "altered its ethics code, ruling that all social workers must promote social justice 'from local to global level.' " The Council on Social Work Education, (the national accreditor of social work education programs), "says candidates must fight 'oppression,' and sees American society as pervaded by the 'global interconnections of oppression.' " (Link.)

You might see where this could head, eh? Fortunately, the National Association of Scholars dissects the crap.

Posted by Hube at 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2007

Psych prof needs a shrink

An offensive cartoon published in a student newspaper at Central Connecticut State University has caused a "stir." Gee, what else is new. You know, free speech is all important -- unless said speech is directed at a "protected group." In this case, it is Hispanics:

The three-frame comic, titled “Polydongs,” features two characters who mention locking a “14-year-old Latino girl” in a closet and urinating on her. It was published in Wednesday’s issue of The Recorder, a weekly newspaper distributed free on campus.

The university’s president vowed on Friday to cut off advertising in the paper, and its critics have planned a protest on Monday on campus to push for reforms, including the ouster of the paper’s editor, Mark Rowan.

Offensive? Sure. Totally poor taste? Check. Free speech? Wellll ...

Of course, the sensitivity/multicultural/PC police are besides themselves, panicking about that "hostile environment" etc. The money quote in this story comes from psychology professor and president of the university’s Latin American Association Francisco Donis:

“We believe the climate here at Central is one that fosters this kind of behavior ... so we want more systematic changes to create a welcoming environment for everyone to feel safe and secure.”

The thought that a college campus "fosters" such behavior is so totally laughable as to be tossed in the landfill. Donis is merely a multiculti opportunist, jumping at the chance to make his university even more PC.

But, on second thought, maybe Donis is right. Maybe the climate at Central does foster the sort of behavior that leads to the offensive cartoon. Maybe politically correct yahoos like Donis are so numerous and so vocal that the student newspaper had simply had enough of their nonsense ... and they just wanted to make a point about free expression. You know, real life as opposed to the ivory tower.

UPDATE: Jay Bergman, a prof at CCSU, sheds more on the university.

Posted by Hube at 03:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 14, 2007

Ah, the irony

Down at the University of Maryland, some a**hole hung a noose near the [black] student center, obviously designed to intimidate African-American students. The university held a "unity rally" in response. All fine and good. I just wonder if article writer Avis Thomas-Lester realizes the following rich irony all within two paragraphs of one another (emphasis mine):

[Student Ugonna] Madueke was among more than 300 students and faculty members who converged on Cole Field House this week for a "speak out" to express their feelings about the noose and to discuss possible solutions to the racism and cultural separatism that led to it.

The crudely tied noose was found hanging from a tree just outside the Nyumburu Cultural Center and the Stamp Student Union on Campus Drive, the college's main thoroughfare.

Nyumburu, Swahili for "freedom house," is home to a student-run newspaper, the Black Explosion, as well as the Black Student Union and other programs affiliated primarily with minority students and faculty members, officials said.

Hmm, if "cultural separatism" is a factor in someone feeling the need to hang a crude noose on a tree, what factors lead people to set up racially/culturally identifiable student centers, newspapers and programs?

Posted by Hube at 07:06 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are 2001 -- Our Own Odyssey Began On 9/11 by ‘Okie’ on the Lam, and When the Left Cares, and When It Doesn't by American Thinker. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
1  2/32001 -- Our Own Odyssey Began On 9/11
‘Okie’ on the Lam
1  1/350 Million Intellectuals Can Be Wrong
Bookworm Room
1  1/3The Way We Were
Right Wing Nut House
1  1/3Osama's Real Message
Joshuapundit
1  1/3Voter Racism Must Be Condemned!
Rhymes With Right
1/3Bush Moves Goal Post in Iraq from Security -- to Security
Big Lizards
2/3Give Peace a Chance
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1/3Missile-leading Modifiers
Soccer Dad
1/3News Journal Provides Forum for What We All Knew
The Colossus of Rhodey

VotesNon-council link
2  1/3When the Left Cares, and When It Doesn't
American Thinker
1  2/3Iran Plan for Iraq
Counterterrorism Blog
1  1/3The Self-Righteous (Religious) Zeal of the "Outers"
Gay Patriot
1  1/3Apples and Oranges
Logosphilia
2/3Wrong Song! It's Not 1992!
Classical Values
2/3Reflections On Terror
JunkYardBlog
2/3George Bush and the Legacy of the Lincoln Era Democrats
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred
2/3Today's Qassam Attack
Israellycool
1/3The Unbearable Lightness of Being Martin Feldstein
Free Exchange
1/3Clueless Sister of a Midshipman
Right on the Left Coast: Views From a Conservative Teacher

Posted by Hube at 06:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2007

Wining the Battle of Silent Pictures

So I watched the speeches tonight -- the President's address and Senator Reed's response. And I mean that in a literal, limited sense: I watched the speeches. I didn't listen to them, because the volume was turned down on the Hospital's television. President Bush looked calm, assured, and as always he had that slightly clueless glint in his eyes.

Senator Reed, on the other hand, gave his entire speech with a frown, a furrowed brow, and a violent shaking of the head that made me wonder if he was really OK.

I've read the transcripts, and they're what you'd expect. Blah blah blah. But I'll be damned if just watching those speeches didn't make me want to vote Republican, just because they don't seem to be in such a bad mood.

Speaking of the Democrat Response -- when did this become a tradition? Responses to State of the Union speeches... maybe. (Although I don't remember them having those when I was younger... maybe I just didn't notice.)

But a response to a Presidential address? What the hell? Does everything have to be a bloodsport? Does every Presidential speech have to be considered some sort of Campaign Issue that calls for "fair time"?

Why can't a President address the public without the other side getting in their two cents? It's demeaning to the office of the President, and demonstrates a profound lack of humility on the part of the opposition (whatever party they may come to be). I don't like it.

But hey, what do I know? I didn't even listen to the speeches.

Posted by at 11:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Besides their own loathsome 9/11 blogging, looks like the culpable DE bloggers flew cross country to disrupt this 9/11 tribute

Posted by Hube at 08:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Separated at birth

Beleaguered Hillary Clinton fundraiser Norman Hsu and character actor Don Calfa, one of my favorite regular Barney Miller precinct visitors:


Posted by Hube at 07:15 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Frieda Berryhill thinks nuclear power ain't worth it:

Billions of dollars are being invested to solve the nuclear waste problem with no end in sight. There are contaminated sites throughout the country waiting for cleanup. This administration has to appropriate billions in government subsidies to carry on the myth that nuclear power is still a viable source in the energy mix.

After beginning her letter with a sensical concern over building a nuke plant on land that is not exactly suited for such construction, Ms. Berryhill just HAD to get some Bush-bashing in there, eh? And even though there is a nuke waste "problem," why does this then make the power source not "viable?" More usage of current fission nuke plants would help to alleviate Al Gore's global warming "disaster," after all. Ms. Berryhill's logic also would dictate that every power source we've utilized since the Industrial Revolution "isn't viable" since they've all had some sort of waste product.

Nuclear power also includes the not-yet-realized fusion power. Once commerically viable fusion is available, humanity's energy needs will be essentially solved forever. Fusion only needs water, and it burns completely clean. Does this fact make viable nuclear power "a myth," Ms. Berryhill?

Posted by Hube at 05:22 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Market For Teachers

This article, found in Education Week, seems dismayed at the idea that so many school districts around the country don't have strict standards for their substitute teachers...

But the bar that Congress and most states and school systems have set for such educators is much lower than for regular classroom teachers.

The majority of states don’t require substitutes to have more than a high school diploma. Nor do they require districts to give them any training before they set foot in classrooms.

In Prince George’s County, Md., administrators had to rope in 140 subs for the opening day of classes after the 134,000-student district, located just outside Washington, failed to fill more than 10 percent of vacancies.

We're constantly hearing about the shortage of qualified teachers in this country. (Which really is a shortage of qualified teachers willing to work all day with children for the money that's being offerred.)

Why should it come as a surprise, if we can't get highly qualified people with college degrees and training to be the primary teachers, that we can't find highly qualified people to act as substitutes for less money, no benefits, and no job security?

Still, 90 percent of the substitutes don’t receive any formal training before taking charge of a classroom. “That’s a big area that needs to be addressed and worked on,” Mr. Smith said.

If you had enough substitutes with formal training, don't you think you might not have such a shortage of teachers?

Substitutes are just that: substitutes for the real thing. They are almost always going to be inferior in quality (of course there will be exceptions) to the thing for which they are substitutes. And if we can't get highly qualified teachers at the salaries we're paying, why should we be dismayed that we can't get highly qualified substitutes for even less money?

Posted by at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 12, 2007

I'd like to buy into it, but then I read on ...

Education "research" is at it again. This time, Pittsburgh Public Schools hosted Robert Strauss, a professor in the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Basically, he says,

When it comes to the racial achievement gap, principals or teachers can have a bigger impact on achievement in one year than whether a child is poor or from a single-parent home.

So, does this mean that the "impact" is limited to one year, or does it continue if the students have the same teachers and principals in subsequent years? Gotta read on ...

The study looked at 89 principals, 236 English teachers and 199 math teachers of students taking the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment tests in reading and math in March 2005.

He found that some principals and teachers didn't have a positive or negative impact on results. However, 62 principals had an effect on math results -- ranging from scores 17.5 percent higher to those 37.2 percent lower. And 33 principals had an effect on reading -- ranging from scores 15.66 percent higher to 35.65 percent lower.

Among teachers, 148 had a significant impact in math scores and 90 did so in reading, both also by a wide range, positive and negative.

Wow. Sounds impressive. Personally I'm starting to wonder, though, just how the study determined that principals, in particular (let alone the teachers), had a positive or negative impact. Then I read this and my question appears answered:

Dr. Strauss said his study showed that those teachers and principals who made a positive difference helped both white and black students, not just students of one race or the other.

Dr. Strauss urged the district to find out what those who make significant differences are doing so other professionals can learn from them.

In other words, Strauss has no idea just what in the hell the teachers did, let alone the principals! If he did, why would he make that last statement? Since this is essentially a "snapshot in time," how can Strauss and co. draw the conclusion that it was the teachers -- and especially the principals -- who exerted the "positive" or "negative" impact? Based on this "research," it's possible that a school could be loaded with the best teachers and principals, yet see their scores in the "lower" category ... because their school(s) have a higher degree of poverty and single-parent homes! In other words, since Strauss doesn't even know what the teachers and principals did, then it just may indeed be possible that poverty and single-parentage CAN (and it's only fair to say "can" since the article says "principals or teachers CAN have a bigger impact on achievement") play a bigger role than the school.

Do not get me wrong. I'm far the negative teacher stereotype that seeks to blame all things negative on everything but him/herself. And I'm certainly all in favor of schools exerting the largest possible positive influence on achievement that they can ... I mean, who the hell wouldn't? But I'm also in favor of seeing a non-BS educational study for once. Oh, and lest I forget that the subject of the article is actually the racial achievement gap, the end of the article provides the following gem:

Linda Lane, deputy superintendent, also gave a presentation on the racial achievement gap, saying that race is a larger factor than poverty.

She said that black achievement levels vary widely across schools.

She noted specific efforts to improve achievement, including increasing "the work in ways which are specific to the needs of African-American students."

Here we go again. Let the "well-intentioned deprecation" continue.

Posted by Hube at 04:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I say they cheated too

The MSNBC.com story.

They have to forfeit Super Bowl XXXVI. The St. Louis Rams are 2001 NFL champions. 'Nuff said.

Posted by Hube at 03:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why Educators Should Stick to Education

First, thank you, Hube, for letting me join the team. That was a lovely, succinct introduction.

Now, on to posting.

I've often marveled at how the modern day teacher often fancies him- (or more often, her-) self as so much more than a teacher. Often because law mandates certain extra-educational behaviors, teachers can come to see themselves as psychiatrists, social workers, even parents. But the job of a teacher is to teach.

It's much like how entertainers come to view themselves as important instruments of social policy: their primary job is to make me smile, not change my vote.

Here's a fine example of why educators (both teachers and administration) should stick to their area of professed expertise. It seems that certain people don't like the idea of Williamson Evers becoming an Assistant Secretary of Education. In the course of attempting to tank his nomination...

"If he was a child in school, you would think he had attention-deficit disorder," said Delaine Eastin, then California's superintendent of public instruction, the highest-ranking education official. "I'm talking about not letting people talk -- being rude, being unprofessional, thinking that because his voice was loudest he should dominate," she said, adding that she knows several people who experienced Evers's "temperament." Like her, she said they are now briefing influential friends in Washington about his unsuitability for the department's post, but doing so quietly.

What does Delaine Eastin know about ADD? My guess is very little if she thinks that someone is psychologically unsound just because he is (allegedly) loud, rude, and overbearing.

This person was in charge of the largest school system in the country. How many kids are being sent in to doctors by teachers who view a strong personality as clinically deficient? We already know that some consider conservatism a pathology. Now, if she's to be taken seriously, psychological non-expert Delaine Eastin is telling us that being loud and obnoxious is a pathology. What's next? Forced medication for people who don't like Baked Brie?

Posted by at 12:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007

Sad, but is there an answer?

From today's Philly Inquirer on a "positive behavior approach" in Philly schools:

"Fight-free" weeks also are used at times of the year known to be particularly disruptive - the end of October, mid-February and the spring. Classrooms that go several days without physical fights or arguments are rewarded with pizza parties and other treats.

A whole class pizza party -- for going several days without a fight or argument?? In education lingo this is called "extrinsic motivation," and it's supposed to be frowned upon as its opposite -- "intrinsic motivation" -- is preferred. That's probably because the latter serves the long-term interests of students much better; it doesn't teach them to expect tangible rewards every time they act and do things that are normally and regularly expected of them.

Barry McCurdy, a school psychologist who directs the Devereux Center for Effective Schools, claims that a "get-tough" approach doesn't work in schools with major discipline issues. I wonder if a guy named Joe Clark agrees with this. Of course, the silver screen story of Clark's experiences left me wondering about many of the tactics he utilized -- not that disagreed with how he did things, but that he could actually get away with them. For instance, he summarily booted a prodigious amount of students -- perpetual troublemakers -- out of school. This is virtually impossible without running afoul of the law in a big way.

But, I don't teach in Philly schools and I can only guess at the magnitude of their discipline issues. I suppose I'd be willing to try whatever worked to settle kids down. But what will these kids be expecting when they get into the real world? A free pizza for showing up to work on time "several days in a row"?

Posted by Hube at 04:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Just in time for 9/11: Olbermann goes overboard with moonbattery

That bastion of common sense over at MSNBC, Keith Olbermann:

"Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda — worse for our society. It's as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was."

OK, what can one say to something as outrageously out there as this??

UPDATE: Hube points to our local ultra-moonbats.

Posted by Felix at 03:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 10, 2007

New Colossus contributor

A blogger whom I thoroughly enjoyed back in my "Cube" days -- but who took an extended leave of absence -- has found an outlet for his renewed interest in blogging: Colossus of Rhodey! Be sure to check out "Imparfait's" (no, that wasn't his blogging moniker back in the day) posts coming soon! You won't be sorry!

Posted by Hube at 07:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

News Journal at it again

BadIdeaGuy over at Target Rich Environment noticed something a little odd in yesterday's News Journal (I did too but was too busy to write about it). The headline stated "More Americans Converting to Islam," but there was nothing in the article that actually substantiated this claim. As BadIdeaGuy notes:

The only thing resembling a fact about more Americans converting to Islam was the statement that Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. (I guess that accounts for conversions at gunpoint?) But as for Americans, no data was shown.

Hyperbole aside, he's right. More:

Back to the title that’s wholly unsupported by the article. The article cites a May 2007 Pew study, which itself says “The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans”. So if it’s the first survey of its kind, how do you come up with “more americans converting”? Is it because among the population of U of D, which is approximately 19,000 including graduate students, you came up with a handful? I read (this:, sic)

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/483/muslim-americans

However, the study does mention that “the US Census does not ask about a respondent’s religious affiliation in its national surveys, as a consequence, there are no generally accepted estimates of the size of the Muslim American population. The Pew study projects approximately 1.5 million adult Muslim Americans… the total Muslim American population is estimated at 2.35 Million, based on data from this survey… It is important to note that both of these estimates are approximations.”

Our state's largest newspaper at it again, peeps.

Posted by Hube at 06:57 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 08, 2007

Comic fans, you don't know what you're missing ...

... if you're not checking out Mark Engblom's Comic Coverage. Regularly updated, full of biting wit, laced with hilarity, and chock-stocked with riotous original graphics (see below), it is by far my favorite fan-originated comics blog.


Posted by Hube at 09:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

News Journal provides forum for what we all knew

"Section 8 recipients change face of city's neighborhoods" is the headline in today's News Journal, and it provides a voice for those who state the obvious: That Section 8 housing usually results in a neighborhood going down the tubes.

Some City Council members and their longtime constituents contend the influx of new, low-income renters from the projects has been as bad for their already-struggling communities as the influx of expensive new neighborhoods has been good for downtown and the Riverfront. Nuisance crimes, litter, noise, loitering and poor yard care have increased as new Section 8 tenants moved in, they said.

No studies have been conducted that validate such contentions or suggest that crimes have spiked in those neighborhoods.

Actually, there has been a [related] study, and it says that there are little to no schooling benefits for low income children whose families happen to move into higher income neighborhoods. But really, why do you think there has been a dearth of such studies? Easy: No one wants to be called a racist or a classist when they report the results, especially ivory tower academics, the ones who usually do such "studies." Anyone with common sense already knows what these council members have said, and it's actually pretty amazing that the ridiculously PC News Journal allowed these sentiments to see print.

People will even outright ignore the on-ground reality to make their "case." Educationists like Richard Rothstein, who, in order to improve academic performance of poorer children advocates integrating whole neighborhoods by income level, is just one such "theorist." The recent study noted above refutes him. (Not surprisingly, it was the News Journal that provided the forum for Rothstein's out-there theories, as well as those of sociologist James Coleman. But the Journal never bothered to find out that Coleman actually changed his mind about the so-called benefits of forced social engineering, in his case busing.)

Granted, to be clear, not all Section 8 recipients fall into the category of those "dragging down" a neighborhood. But as many voucher recipients have never known anything but public assistance, it is difficult to get them to start appreciating what it means to maintain a decent residence -- especially when there is no incentive to do so. As Howard Husock, a housing expert at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government says, "If your rent is paid forever, then you don’t have an incentive to improve your living situation.” As I noted, it's basic common sense: You appreciate what you have when you've worked for it. If you get [keep getting] stuff for free, such appreciation and value is nil. Check out here for such Section 8 horror stories.

What is the solution? I don't know; however, I recall seeing a "60 Minutes" episode many years ago when Jack Kemp was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He had what I thought was an ingenious plan that offered just such needed incentives for public housing residents. Maybe it's time to bring that idea back.

Posted by Hube at 09:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"Get a Life"

That's what Geraldo Rivera just told a bunch of 9/11 conspiracy nuts who were protesting at his [live] NYC studio show. They were all holding banners "Expose the 9/11 Cover-Up."

I wonder if Jason was among them.

Posted by Hube at 08:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 07, 2007

Still more hypocrisy ('cause Larry Craig ain't the only one)

Radley Balko writes at Reason (my emphasis):

The workers who clean Baltimore's Camden Yards baseball stadium are planning a hunger strike to protest their $7 per hour wages. The stadium is the largest employer of the city's homeless day laborers. The kicker, though, is that the Maryland legislature recently passed a "living wage" bill, setting the minimum at $11.30 per hour. But while the bill covers any business with state contracts in the Baltimore area, the state government is exempt, and Camden is owned by the state of Maryland.

Such double standards aren't new to the living wage debate. The labor activist group ACORN is largely credited with jump-starting the national living wage movement. But ACORN itself has a notoriously shabby record when it comes to paying its own workers. In fact, not only did the group once sue the state of California to exempt itself from the very living wage it helped the state to pass, ACORN actually used free market critiques of the minimum wage in its brief (ACORN argued that if it had to pay existing workers more, it wouldn't be able to hire more workers).

As for Maryland, this would be the same state that attempted to pass legislation directed solely at Wal-Mart because of the allegedly low wages and benefits Wal-Mart pays its workers. Average starting wage at Wal-Mart: Just under $10 per hour. Average Camden clean-up worker pay: $7 per hour.

Can it get any better than this? The state of Maryland that wanted to force Wal-Mart to spend more cash on its employees' health benefits ... that passed a "living wage" bill setting said wage at $11.30 ... EXEMPTS ITSELF from these laws!! And the ACORN bit is even more rich -- they actually utilized the VERY ARGUMENT businesses use against minimum wage (or "living wage") increases, that being it'll be unable to hire more workers (and/or lay off current ones).

As they say in text lingo, "LOL!"

Posted by Hube at 05:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Contemptible by Done With Mirrors, and Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt by Small Wars Journal.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
3  1/3Contemptible
Done With Mirrors
3The War To Remember 9/11
Right Wing Nut House
1  1/3Civilian Deaths in Iraq Are Up, But They're Really Down
Big Lizards
1One Year
Soccer Dad
1Why I Support Israel
Bookworm Room
1Thoughts On Mother Teresa and Religion Bashing By the MSM
‘Okie’ on the Lam
2/3Natan Sharansky: Where Bush Went Wrong
Joshuapundit
1/3Gripes About Public Discourse
The Glittering Eye
1/3Proof: The News Journal Is Politically Correct
The Colossus of Rhodey

VotesNon-council link
5Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt
Small Wars Journal
1  2/3The State Which Must Not Be Named
Thoughts By Seawitch
1  1/3Iraq Big and Small
Hugh Hewitt
1The Big Picture(s)
Protein Wisdom
2/3Invasions of Privacy. [UPDATED]
AmbivaBlog
2/3Video: Let's Get Retarded
The Jawa Report
2/3Mike Rogers: The Most Feared Thug on the Hill?
Patterico's Pontifications
1/3On Freedom and Smoke
Logosphilia
1/3Ban Islam?
Family Security Matters
1/3I Don't Suck... Er, I Mean I'm NOT Gay!
The True Facts

Posted by Hube at 02:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 06, 2007

This explains it

I'm the oldest of three.

Posted by Hube at 05:11 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why do [some] Democrats want to FORCE you to serve?

Or, engage in politically correct "service"? You know the old adage: Democrats want to spend YOUR money ... or they know how to spend it BETTER than you. Hence they like higher taxes, etc. because they don't trust you to handle your own money "properly." Now, according to Time magazine, some of the Democrat presidential candidates also want to mandate national service:

  • John Edwards "favors a mandatory community service requirement for high school graduation."
  • Chris Dodd "would require public high school students to do 100 hours of service."
  • Barack Obama "proposes a national-service program that would engage disadvantaged youth in energy-efficiency and environmental work in their communities."

In contrast, none of the GOP contenders have anything similar in mind.

Edwards' and Dodd's ideas are not unlike the military draft. What good is public service/volunteerism when one is forced to do it? (In Edwards' case this is becoming a disturbing trend as he has said he wants everyone to ditch their SUVs, and that everyone must go to the doctor under his health care plan.)

Bill Richardson and Joe Biden have better ideas -- they want to offer subsidized loans in exchange for service (Biden) and loan forgiveness for work in public sector fields (Richardson). Unfortunately, these two guys are dark horses for the nomination.

Why do front-runners Edwards and Obama desire such a mandate? Perhaps it's because of the fact that the states that rank at the very top of total REAL volunteerism are red states. Check it out:

  • #1: Utah (reddest state in the Union)
  • #2: Nebraska
  • #4: Alaska
  • #5: Kansas
  • #6: Iowa
  • #7: Montana
  • #8: Wyoming
  • #9 (tie): South Dakota

The only blue state exceptions in the top ten are Minnesota (#3) and Vermont (tied for #9). So, you see, the GOP candidates don't need to pander for compulsory national service. Their constituents already do it. Despite the [Democrat/liberal] notion that Republicans and conservatives are "heartless," "mean" and "overly individualistic," the facts just don't bear that out. Left to their own devices, right-leaning voters are already quite generous with their volunteer time and charity.

Posted by Hube at 04:31 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Well there you have it!

Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum informed incoming Yale freshmen that

Racism is a system of advantage based on race, a combination of racial prejudice and social power. Because they benefit from this arrangement, almost all white Americans — but not their black peers — can fairly be called racist. (Link.)
Tatum's book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race, was mailed home to all froshes and was mandatory reading -- a first ever for Yalies. Isn't that terrific? It's mandatory to have to take in the [ridiculous] definition of racism that holds [virtually] all Caucasians cuplable as racists!
Dean of Freshman Affairs George Levesque said he met last spring and over the summer with residential college deans, freshman and ethnic counselors, and members of student groups such as the Coalition for Campus Unity and Realizing Race, who wanted to see the administration take active steps to raise awareness about racial relations among freshmen upon their arrival in New Haven.

Yeah, right. "Raising awareness" sure doesn't mean offering an alternate official ("official" because of the Yale invite) viewpoint about racism now, did it? No, it was just Tatum. In college (or education in general), whenever you hear the term "raising awareness" it is akin to hearing that we need to have a "real discussion" about race. (Indeed, the article later stresses it is "important" to "have a conversation." See how predictable the campus PCers are?) In other words, what people like Levesque (and Tatum) really want is for whites to "be aware" that only they can be racists (and blacks cannot), and "really discussing" race means listening to folks like Levesque and Tatum spout their views on race while whites should only listen -- and offer nothing in rebuttal.

Sam Ng '09, who spoke on the student panel in Branford and led a small-group discussion, said students were initially reluctant to share their thoughts because they were fearful of giving offense, and many said they had not openly discussed race relations in high school.

"What about talking about race is so stigmatized?" said Ng, the moderator of Realizing Race.

Gee, what do you think, Sam? When a top university invites another college president to tell [white] students that only THEY can be racist, what do you think would stigmatize young freshmen? What possibly would cause them to be reluctant to express their views?? Let's see ... 17-18 year olds being told they're racists by an Ivy League college and another college president ...

Ye gad.

(h/t: Discriminations.)

Posted by Hube at 03:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2007

Live Earth a stinker, so BBC cancels global warming show

Noel Sheppard over at Newsbusters notes that the BBC is ditching a planned special on global warming in part because Al Gore's "Live Earth" concerts proved to be such a bust:

The BBC announced today that the project has been scrapped. Negative reaction to this summer's flop Live Earth concert, promoted by Al Gore, the former US Vice-President, was cited as a factor. Viewers told the BBC to present the debate around climate change in an informed and rigorous manner. They did not want to be lectured by wealthy pop stars and celebrities.

'Ya think? But hey, maybe Gore can coddle together this "all-star" line-up for another pathetic attempt at do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do elitist hypocrisy:

  • A-Ha reunites to perform the "carbon offset" favorite "Take On Me (And My Carbon Footprint)."
  • Asia likewise regroups to perform a retooled "Heat of the Moment" now called "Heat of the Last Century."
  • Big Country sings "In A Big Country (Too Much Damn CO2 is Emitted)."
  • The Cars reform to sing "Drive -- A Hybrid, That Is."
  • Thomas Dolby breaks out those synths to do "She Blinded Me With Greenhouse Gasses."
  • The Go Go's do "Our Lips Are Sealed," a great tribute to lesser CO2 emissions. After all, no exhalation, no carbon dioxide!
  • Gary Numan revives his hit "Cars" but will offer a huge heartfelt apology for ever writing the damn thing in the first place!
  • The Pet Shop Boys will perform on a stage mock-up of a heat-devastated Earth and sing "What've I -- What've I -- What've I Done to Deserve This?"
  • What do you do when global warming skeptics try to speak? Get the Thompson Twins to sing "Lies, Lies, Lies, yeah-ah!"
  • and, last but not least that very first MTV video band Buggles retools to perform "Hydrogen Killed the Petroleum Star."

Have fun, Al!

Posted by Hube at 09:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

But it's just a bumper sticker!

Terror in Germany.

Not only that, but remember -- George Bush and America are "worse than Saddam"!

Posted by Hube at 03:22 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 04, 2007

Heh

Jay Nordlinger:

You know that Elvira Arellano, the famous deported Mexican lady, has become a hero in her home country. I have to ask: What kind of country makes a hero out of a person whose highest ambition is to live in another country?

Indeed.

Posted by Hube at 04:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Delaware tinfoil hat-wearing nutjob comes right out and says it

It's been pretty well established by now that Jason at DE Liberal is indeed a semi-thinking partisan automaton, but now we have written proof that he believes that the United States "took over" Saddam Hussein's role as the prime world terrorist, and that of the Iraqi people:

Here's Jason's original post:

The famous quote:

"We are more secure today than we were two years ago. The Taliban no longer rules Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein is no longer terrorizing the world or his own people." - Michael Castle September 7, 2004

Jason's reply to my [italicized] query:

Regardless of the nature of the war now, how is that an inaccurate statement?

1) Even at the time we were not more secure.

2) The Taliban no longer ruled but had not been rolled up.

3) Saddam Hussein no longer terrorized the world or his own people. We had taken over that role.

Get it? WE have "taken over" the role of main terrorist of the world ... and of the Iraqi people, according Jason.

There's the moonbat profile for you in a nutshell.


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

September 03, 2007

That "cheesy" McDonald's suit

Remember this ridiculous lawsuit? It gets better:

"By my count, he took at least five independent steps to make sure that thing had no cheese on it," [Attorney Tim] Houston told the paper. "And it did and almost cost him his life."

I am REALLY curious as to just what those "five independent steps" were. Certainly the most OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT ONE wasn't utilized: Looking at the damned food in the first place. Here's what I think those "five independent steps" were:

1. Wished the burgers didn't have cheese on them.
2. REALLY wished the burgers didn't have cheese on them.
3. Asked mom if she thought burgers might have cheese on them.
4. Asked the burgers if they had cheese on them.
5. Flipped a coin on whether the burgers had cheese on them.

Gad, 'ya gotta love lawyers!

Then there's this:

According to an interview with the Charleston Daily Mail, Houston said Jackson, his mother and his friend got their food, then drove to Clarksburg to watch a movie in a darkened room. Houston claims Jackson pulled out his burger and bit into it, thinking there would be no cheese on it.

You know, that "pitch black darkened room." And still not checking the burgers for cheese! And was that "room" an actual theatre? What theatre lets you bring in your own food?

"While we, the plaintiffs against McDonald's, are flattered that the public had found Mr. Jackson's story interesting, we feel it is important to emphasize that all the facts in this case have not yet been brought to light," Houston said Thursday in the statement.

Yeah, like the FACT that you and your client are a bunch of jackasses, for one.

Posted by Hube at 12:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Here's an idea -- let's change the Constitution!

No, not our own, but Venezuela's:

President Hugo Chavez said Sunday he could continue governing until 2027 if voters do away with re-election limits because he needs more time in office to establish a socialist economic model in Venezuela.

He has previously said he could stay on as president until 2021 if his proposed constitutional reforms -- which among other changes would eliminate presidential term limits, letting him run as many more times as he wants -- are approved.

My emphasis. The first thing that comes to mind is, "Can you imagine if George Bush proposed something like this?" Especially in the wake of 9/11? In a nutshell, the Left would be apoplectic.

Some argue that Chávez is actually more democratic than Bush (or the US in general) because he is allowing for direct popular input (change) in the government/constitution. Hmmm, wasn't there a reason why the Founding Fathers shunned such an idea? A republic vs. a [direct] democracy. Rule of law vs. mob rule. Again, just imagine if George Bush, with a GOP majority in both houses of Congress and a majority of the public on his side in the wake of 9/11, had proposed changes similar to those of Chávez. How easy would it have been to get them implemented via such a "direct democracy"?

And envision George Bush saying this shortly after 9/11 and the beginning of the War on Terror:

"I need more time in the presidency to finish this. We are only beginning. Maybe until 2020 or 2027. I'd be old if I'm still alive."

Then, envision the public voting directly to rescind the 22nd Amendment (probably a bad analogy since a direct democracy wouldn't allow for a 22nd Amendment -- or the process to put it there -- in the first place, but you take my meaning) and then the GOP establishing "communal councils" throughout the country to "implement" George Bush's action plan(s).

Sounds scary, eh?

Posted by Hube at 09:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 02, 2007

Can someone explain to me ...

... especially perhaps Mike Mahaffie and/or Fritz Schranck ... exactly how one can go from playing absolutely DISMAL golf for two weeks in a row, then turn around the third week and play one of the most stellar rounds of one's life?

Case in point: Three weeks ago I had an opportunity to play The Peninsula, a spectacular new private course between Lewes and Rehoboth. There is some sort of water on virtually every hole there, and the rough is akin to that of a US Open course (meaning it's thick as hell). Still, there is no excuse for putting up the number that I did: a 113!! Actually, there's a small excuse. My friend Roger and I weren't expecting to play that day, so we (and our wives) imbibed a bit too much the night before. We weren't exactly in the best physical prowess that morning if you know what I mean. Still, a 113!! I hadn't carded such a number since junior high school. The next week, my old college roommate Gregg and I hit Loch Nairn right outside of Kennett Square, PA. Loch Nairn is considerably easier than Peninsula, but even so, my swing was still as ridiculously unreliable as it was the week before. Final score: 101!

Forward to this past Friday: Three buddies and I hit the very nice Back Creek course in Middletown, DE. Back Creek is not an easy course (though easier than Peninsula) and I've put up some rather big numbers there in the past. Not this time. From out of nowhere my swing reappeared -- drives were fairly straight and long, iron shots true, and best of all I putted like a demon. Final score: 85!

What's the deal?

Posted by Hube at 11:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Another reason Hugo Chávez is a tyrant

The country wants to "ban ridiculous names for babies."

While this news essentially is tongue-in-cheek, just imagine if Fascist Dictator George Bush proposed such a law ... or even a mere state legislator. The ridicule heaped upon them (rightly) by the MSM would be prodigious. Yet, the AP provides a surprisingly balanced report with regards to Venezuela.

Surprise.

Posted by Hube at 10:07 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

The real giveaway that Larry Craig was lying

... about not only his public bathroom intentions, but about his sexuality:

I’ve no doubt Senator Craig went to that bathroom looking for sex. Listen to the tape of his encounter with Sergeant Karsnia and then imagine ... how the conversation would go if Senators McCain or Webb had been in that stall and were accused of brushing shoes with the flatfoot. Not being privy to the codes of the privy, it would take ‘em 15 minutes even to figure out what Sarge was accusing ‘em of and, when it became clear, the conversation would erupt in a blizzard of asterisks and, shortly thereafter, fists. Instead, Senator Craig copped a plea. (Link.)

That was my very first thought when I heard Craig holler ad nauseum that he "was not gay": Who in the world would cop a plea that basically admits to it if you indeed are not?

Please.

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

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

John Flynn of Wilmington serves up an oldie-but-a-goodie today. He says that the 3000 dead due to the terrorist attack of 9/11/01 doesn't warrant all the money spent on the War on Terror (remember -- that's just a "bumper sticker"!) because there's no way we'd spent all the cash we have if 3000 were killed by, say, disease or traffic accidents on that fateful September morning:

What if terrorism were a disease? What if that disease killed 3,000 people six years ago in the United States? Would we spend $500 billion plus $12 billion a month to control it? Would we tolerate 100 young American lives a month lost, thousands injured or traumatized in experiments?

If terrorism were a disease, 9/11 would be a dim memory in a country where 1,200 die a day from smoking, 100 from murder/suicides, 6,000 teens die every year in vehicle accidents and there are 100,000 hospital mistakes a year.

The odds of dying by terrorism are tiny by comparison.

Certainly the money John cites in his figures includes that delegated to the Iraq War. It is well-known that I've been against that war from the start, though obviously not for the same reasons as John. But I digress. I recalled reading a while back other such comparisons similar to those made by John here -- y'know, that disease, smoking, alcohol, car accidents etc. all kill more folks per year than the 9/11 terror attack did. With the exception of some diseases, these comparisons are just laughable -- the principal reason being that they are voluntary actions and/or accidents. You can prevent your death by smoking by -- get this -- NOT SMOKING. And car accidents? Sure -- let's compare the number of people killed by a purposeful terrorist act to that of people commuting to work or vacation via the main method of transportation in the world today. Y'know, we can change those car deaths right now -- all it would take is drastically altering the economies and cultures of just about every society on the planet! Ye gad, the inanity. How can people not make the distinction between the planned, purposeful deaths of people, and voluntary actions/accidents/mistakes?

Back in April, James Taranto blasted a sentiment similar to Flynn's expressed by the LA Times' Rosa Brooks. He noted (my emphasis),

According to this table, 4,742 people were lynched in America between 1882 and 1964. That's an average of but 57 people a year, and the number of annual lynchings peaked in 1892, at 230. By the standards Brooks applies to 9/11, lynching was not a big problem. It killed far fewer people than war, disease, accidents, etc.

Yet if someone were lynched tomorrow, would we shrug it off because the number of deaths is only 1/43,000th of the annual car-crash toll? Of course not. It takes a stunning degree of moral obtuseness to treat a murder in the furtherance of a hateful ideology--be it white supremacy or Islamic fundamentalism--as the equivalent of an accidental death.

Indeed. See my thoughts in the preceding paragraph. And can you imagine a major newspaper ever making the comparison of the number of blacks lynched ("not that bad" in the overall scheme of things) to those killed in car accidents? Or smoking? Absolutely not. It would execrably insulting.

So why do it with 9/11?

Posted by Hube at 08:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 01, 2007

That didn't take long

For the News Journal's "But On The Other Hand" blogs to cease operation, that is. Could it be that no one was reading -- or even cared what the editors had to say outside their regular columns -- especially since they didn't say anything all that different from what was in their columns?

The last entry was posted on August 8. Not a good sign.

Posted by Hube at 02:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Liberals: Craig got what he deserved

The reasoning: "Because Craig -- and other GOPers -- constantly tell others how to live and hold themselves up as paragons of morality."

They're 100% right. But that same reasoning also applies to them. Never let a liberal tell you otherwise. After all, how often have you heard from liberals about how "we're all in this together" so your taxes must be raised to pay for "things we all use"? How often have you heard from liberals how you have to change your lifestyle to prevent global warming -- or some other enviro-cause? How often have you heard from liberals that you gotta join everyone else in a "single-payer" healthcare industry run by -- who else? -- the government?

Just as it 100% dead on to blast Craig, it is likewise 100% dead on to rip Al Gore and his $2000/mo.-on-electric bill hypocrisy; 100% dead on to rip John Edwards for his four-figure haircuts all the while campaigning on "Two Americas"; the Kennedys and others for fighting a proposed windfarm off Nantucket Sound; and 100% dead on to blast those who demand "diversity" yet maintain all-white (or virtually all-white) staffs (recent Yearly Kos anyone?).

'Nuff said.

Posted by Hube at 02:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bold editorial stance by the Wilmington News Journal

"Parents remain crucial element in a child's school success or failure." (Link.)

File under: "Duh, 'Ya Think?"

Posted by Hube at 01:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

*Yawn* News Journal does article about U.D. needing to be "diverse"

Fresh off the revelation that their editorial board is ridiculously PC, today's News Journal "informs us" of the "woes" of some "students of color" in attending the University of Delaware. You know, "there's not enough people who look like me"; that Cinco de Mayo party last year "caused some concern"; and "what is UD doing to attract more minorities."

As freshmen prepared to begin classes this week, several commented that they already had sought out multicultural organizations, such as the Center for Black Culture or Hola. And they were looking forward to a more diverse campus life than what they had experienced in high school.

Lynce Jordane Milien, who came to the university from Rockland County, N.Y., said she signed up for the Each One Reach One mentor program through the Center for Black Culture as a way to meet people she knows she has at least one thing in common with -- race. Such bonds, she said, help minorities feel less alone.

Here's an even better way: Try the "historically black" Delaware State University down in Dover! And NO -- I'm NOT saying Milien should go there; the point is that we way too often read about how UD and other universities "have to do something" to make minorities "feel welcome," yet the solutions always prove that the very notion of "diversity" and "multiculturalism" ensnare liberal PCers in their very own net. After all, no one worries about how Del. State "is not diverse." Indeed, in this day and age, the very notion of a Historically Black College (HBC) is an anachronism. And when its [black] president actually attempted to utilize the diversity gambit on DSU, he was excoriated for not "building on DSU's committment to its historical mission," i.e., as an HBC! And, one may wonder if there is a "Center for White Culture" at DSU to make the minority white students there "feel more welcome."

Ugh. This nonsense should have been dead and buried long ago. The rest of the article treats us to "reseachers" who "inform us" as to the "benefits" of diversity. We've heard it all before -- and laughed at all the inherent contradictions. The funny part is that diversiphiles never seem to realize it. After all, check it from the NJ article:

Richard Fry, senior research associate at the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C., said the college experience isn't just about academic success. Many feel socially isolated, and that factors into dropout rates.

Both Hispanics and blacks are less likely than their white peers to complete a four-year college degree in six years, Fry said. Asians are more likely than whites to do so.

Then we read this:

"The climate is more favorable for white students ... which helps in their motivation to succeed," [Assistant Provost of Student Diversity and Success Terry] Whittaker said. "Predominantly white schools have done a good job meeting the cultural needs of predominantly white students, but not as well with minority students."

After you're done laughing at the fact that UD actually has a paid employee with a title "Assistant Provost of Student Diversity and Success," just consider the emphasized parts above: Minority students can "feel isolated" and hence drop out, and that predominately white schools cater to the cultural needs of white students, leaving out minority students. But oh, but by the way -- Asian students are more likely than whites to complete a four year degree!

Unbelievable. In other words, all that "research" goes right down the tubes. But "trust us," they say, anyway!

Posted by Hube at 01:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack