Here's a big problem with education today: You take a very basic common-sense "No Duh!"-type statement and make it some profound revelation -- like the following leading off a News Journal article from yesterday:
Research shows family engagement in a child's education can lead to greater student success.
Y'see? Research is even needed to "inform" us of this revelation.
Next, you bring in some "consultants" -- like the "60 education and social service leaders from across the state" -- to not only inform you of these revelations, but to make some really head-scratching philosophical judgments and arguments. Take this for instance:
"If you want to change your relationship with families, there's a way to do it," North Carolina-based consultant Laura Weber said. "Change what you're doing."
That means shifting the way teachers and administrators view parents, she said.
They are taught to recognize "children's value systems may be different than yours," said Marquita Davis, director of student services. "Try to go beyond the surface."
Rather than approaching parents with the philosophy, "What is wrong with this person, and how can I fix it?", the thinking becomes: "What is strong with this family, and how can we build upon it?"
Rather than assuming the professional must know best, families are seen as the experts in their own lives.
If this sounds really touchy-feelie ... it's because it is. It is just more of the "values-free" and "no judgments" approach to education that has infested it for too long. Granted, I'll be the first in line to stand up for parents being of first importance in children's lives. But one must always be aware of how values-free advocates phrase their sentences -- "... experts in their own lives." What does that mean, precisely? The article, circa the middle, says that sessions are regularly held for parents to get more info on proper nutrition and how to get their kids to succeed in school. "All our parents want our children to succeed. They might just not know the steps to take," Davis said. But then how can families be seen "as the experts in their own lives" if they aren't aware of even basic nutrition, or even the need to arrive on time? (See below.) This is an inherent contradiction of their own philosophy!
Here's what "experts in their own lives" means: You (or I) cannot make a value judgment on someone else because we don't know "their life." As an example, take this from the article:
Last year, they (Edison Charter School) gave out alarm clocks to parents who were perpetually late dropping off their children. This year, 50 students will take home backpacks each Friday filled with nutritious food to carry them through the weekend.
Instead of informing parents of the necessity of getting their kids to school on time, they BUY alarm clocks for them. Are alarm clocks really prohibitively expensive? What kind of message does the school's action send? "Be irresponsible, and things will be done for you." (OK, maybe school officials did inform parents of the need to be on time. But what happens when the alarm clocks don't do what they're supposed to -- not malfunction, but get the kids to school on time?) I am reminded here of what far-left education author Jonathan Kozol once wrote about his teaching experience in a Boston school: He didn't hold his students responsible for stealing because they were poor and minority ... and "historically oppressed."
It seems to me that Kozol, like the education "consultants" of the article, are more interested in advancing their nebulous "revolutionary" education theories than making sure students are best prepared for the real world. Will these future employees' bosses and managers send home alarm clocks if they're perpetually late for work? Will law enforcement not consider it stealing if these former students shoplift ... based on the country's [racial] historical record?
This values-free approach perfectly exemplifies the "bigotry of low expectations." We cannot expect poor (or minority) people to value a work ethic, or to take responsibility for their own actions. This is what it ultimately comes down to, after all. Let's stop beating around the bush. And, as has been noted here at Colossus too often to count, this sort of edu-babble is self-contradicting, elitist, and condescending.
What a day for Delaware in the [politically correct] news. First, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) comes out with a devastating report on the University of Delaware's outright Maoist approach to thought control by RAs on campus. The report was picked up by uber-blog Instapundit and later by national columnist John Leo.
From FIRE's press release on the UD matter (my emphasis):
The University of Delaware subjects students in its residence halls to a shocking program of ideological reeducation that is referred to in the university’s own materials as a “treatment” for students’ incorrect attitudes and beliefs. The Orwellian program requires the approximately 7,000 students in Delaware’s residence halls to adopt highly specific university-approved views on issues ranging from politics to race, sexuality, sociology, moral philosophy, and environmentalism. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is calling for the total dismantling of the program, which is a flagrant violation of students’ rights to freedom of conscience and freedom from compelled speech.
The university’s views are forced on students through a comprehensive manipulation of the residence hall environment, from mandatory training sessions to “sustainability” door decorations. Students living in the university’s eight housing complexes are required to attend training sessions, floor meetings, and one-on-one meetings with their Resident Assistants (RAs). The RAs who facilitate these meetings have received their own intensive training from the university, including a “diversity facilitation training” session at which RAs were taught, among other things, that “[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”
So, there you have it. This is some sick stuff, folks. For all those aghast at George Bush's America supposedly "leading us down the road to fascism," the sad fact is that all you have to do to really find it is just take a trip to Delaware's own Newark (that's pronounced "new ark" for non-Delawareans) campus.
Elsewhere today, we have an incident whereby a white cop supposedly raped a black woman. As with most Wilmington News Journal stories, the article leaves more questions than answers, but the telling part of the article for me was this:
[Plaintiff Gail] Weal’s attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger, called the assault a hate crime. Weal is black, [defendant Kevin] Hovatter is white.
“So now a jury and the courts will have to settle this dispute and compensate this victim for a black woman’s worst nightmare - being stopped by a renegade racist white cop in the middle of the night, being violently raped and wondering whether you will be killed,” Neuberger said.
Nowhere does the article state that Hovatter had any racist intentions nor uttered any racist epithets during the alleged rape. Is Neuberger making his case for a hate crime based on some esoteric social science that black women "have nightmares" about being raped by white men? If this is supposed to set some sort of precedent, will white women (or men) be permitted to make accusations of hate crimes based on "nightmares" of being attacked by black people?
Don't count on it. Because if Neuberger is using the same ridiculous psychological mumbo jimbo as the University of Delaware, white Americans shouldn't be allowed to ever invoke hate crime statutes -- because they're all inherently racists in the first place.
The study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy found, among other things:
And the kicker ...
Don't tell Al Gore (my emphasis):
A rapid cutback in greenhouse gas emissions could speed up global warming, the veteran environmental maverick James Lovelock will warn in a lecture today.
Prof Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory that the planet behaves like a single organism, says this is because current global warming is offset by global dimming - the 2-3ºC of cooling cause by industrial pollution, known to scientists as aerosol particles, in the atmosphere.
On second thought, Gore probably already knows -- he's a follower of the Gaia theory. This theory posits that the Earth functions as one big "superorganism." It holds that "all living things have a regulatory effect on the Earth's environment that promotes life overall." This whole concept is quite controversial to say the least, which means two things right off the bat: Al Gore, as a follower, shouldn't be taken too seriously. And Lovelock, as one of the theory's main proponents, should likewise not be taken too seriously.
At any rate, I wonder what Gore's reaction to his "mentor's" news will be. We're all told that "the debate is settled" about global warming, that "we must act NOW!" and that to wait will be "catastrophic." Al's probably on the horn now yelling "Thanks a LOT, James!!"
UPDATE: Semi-related hilarity alert: Former New Hampshire Gov. and current Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen on the California wildfires:
"These wildfires are a direct result of this Administration's failure to do something about Global Warming."
"Direct result." Either she's a high scorer on the low-IQ test, or she's one of the more shameless political opportunists around.
A tipster to Newsbusters shares the following info: A search of Google maps under "Israel" reveals a map that is completely devoid of any detail. Yet, neighboring Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and even Turkey all have cities and roads noted.
What's the deal? The tipster hasn't received a reply from Google about it.
So says a new poll.
Nobody does it better than John Rosenberg when it comes to fisking the inanity that is today's catch word known as "diversity." Today he notes how the governor of Iowa has decreed -- you guessed it -- "diversity" (my emphasis):
Now, moving from the sublime to the ridiculous, Gov. Chester Culver of Iowa has issued a new state executive order requiring “diversity.” It is considerably less principled, and considerably less clear.
Read the whole thing here, since I’m not going to discuss all of it.
In the second “WHEREAS” clause at the beginning, the order declares that
a “diverse workforce” includes employees with differences in age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, or disability.
It then goes on to require all state agencies and departments to achieve and maintain such a work force by such measures as
- “developing a recruitment and retention plan that includes a timetable and achievement milestones”
- submitting a “Diversity Plan to the Diversity Council”
- “outlin[ing] the steps taken by the agency to increase diversity in the department by recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce”
- “outlin[ing] the steps taken by the agency to train employees on diversity-related issues”
- “outlin[ing] how the agency intends to increase diversity among its staff in the next year...”
- “describ[ing] any other efforts undertaken by the agency during the reporting period to encourage workplace diversity and celebrate diversity....”
- provid[ing] “[d]iversity training ... for all state employees making hiring and promotion decisions within their respective agency...”
- etc., etc., etc.
To which I say:
I wondered back in September why the show "Democracy Now!" always seems to have a "Free Speech" logo in a corner of their screen all the while singing the praises of the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. Now, Newsbusters' Tim Graham picks up an interesting little nugget from Friday's "DN!" radio show: As the show was leading into a discussion of New York state's decision to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, the show aired a "rap" by an artist known as Immortal Technique. The song, titled "Underground Railroad Freestyle," featured the following lyrics (my emphasis):
The devil crept into heaven
god overslept on the 7th
the new world order was born on sept 11th
and just so conservatives dont take it to heart
i dont think Bush did it
cuz he isnt that smart
he's just a stupid puppet taking orders on his cell phone
and the same people that sabotaged Senator Wellstone
the military industry has it popping and locking
looking for a way to justify the Wolfowitz doctrine
as a matter of fact
Rumsfeld now that i think back
without 9-11 u couldnt have a war in iraq
but u act like america wouldnt destroy 2 buildings
in a country that was sponsoring bombs getting dropped on children
i was watching the towers
although i wasnt the closest
i saw them crumble to the earth like they were full of explosives
and they thought nobody noticed the news report that they did
about the bombs planted on the George Washington bridge
four non arabs arrested during the emergency
and then it dissapeared in the news permanently
they dubbed a tape Osama
and they said it was proof
jealous of our freedom
i cant believe u bought that excuse
So let's see, we have Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and others -- the same dudes who apparently "offed" the late Senator Paul Wellstone -- planning the 9/11 attacks, and their plans include the popular Truther notion of pre-planted explosives in the Twin Towers. Then some dudes who had put a bomb on the GW Bridge(?) never got noticed, and then Wolfowitz and Co. doctored up a tape that "proved" Osama bin Laden was the 9/11 culprit.
I guess if you think "free speech" is exemplified by the likes of Castro and Chávez, pretty much anything goes, eh?
A tip via the Newsbusters tip line:
Whose behind this crap? Check it out:
Radical Hispanic separatist organization MEChA ("Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan") is taking responsibility for setting the wildfires in California, confimed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
California officials received a letter earlier today containing photographs of individuals holding Molotov cocktails, then throwing them into dry brush. The faces of the individuals appeared to have been digitally distorted.
Also included was a rambling manifesto, stating that the reason for the act of arson was that "Aztlán belongs to indigenous people, the Chicanas and Chicanos of Aztlán. We are sovereign and not subject to a foreign culture."
You'd have to be sharp-eyed to notice the URL difference -- the fake site's is www.cnnheadlienews.com. But even if that managed to get by you, clicking most of the links doesn't get you anywhere, just a "Not Found" page. But again, who's behind this nonsense? Some far-reactionary anti-immigrant outfit? Or is it another instance of a do-it-yourself-and-then-demand-a-hate crime-investigation bit?
UPDATE: Our Newsbuster tipster did a little checking and discovered that an apparent company called Bleachboy Heavy Manufacturing in Nashville, TN owns the domain "CNNHEADLIENEWS.COM."
It's been long overdue, but here it is. If it isn't already obvious, we've purposely left out political candidates' blogs.
Let me know if there's any glaring omissions!
Of course, you should go read the whole thing.
Professor Reynolds properly says, "So much for that 'legal tender' thing." But I think that this is going to draw some government interest. Refusing to accept a note that the government has said is "Legal tender for all debts, public and private" is a direct and palpable challenge to the authority of that government.
I would not be the least bit surprised to discover that the Department of Justice is going to sue Apple to force them to accept the notes that the government has said must be accepted.
Or perhaps I'm wrong, and the government will say, "What a great idea. Let's eliminate cash and put everyone on a national credit system!"
I really can't figure out how liberals get their panties in a bunch because of conservative political views getting air time. Not only that, but the misbegotten view that the American media is "center to center-right." David Martin of the Delaware Association for Humanism is obviously one of the them (my emphasis):
... as Phillip Bannowsky succinctly puts in his Community View column, the conservative viewpoint is heard and seen more often than not. Print and electronic media have positioned themselves in the center or right of center and talk radio is dominated by hosts who make Barry Goldwater look like a socialist. The contemptuous vitriol Coulter spews forward would be laughable were it not amplified by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Dobson, Medved and others of their ilk.
It’s easy to hate. It’s difficult and takes effort to transcend the differences between us and reach that level of understanding and compassion inherent in us all.
First, so what if the conservative viewpoint "is heard and seen more often than not"?? It never ceases to amaze me how folks like Martin fail to realize just why [conservative] talk radio has flourished. Like, maybe it's precisely because -- contrary to what Martin believes -- print and electronic media ARE NOT positioned in the center/center-right! Y'know, people who've just maybe said to themselves, "Hey, I never heard this point of view before. I wonder how come?" The same goes for the massive growth of Fox News. God forbid a major news outlet actually cover conservative political views on major cultural and political matters.
As for the usual canard of "hate," stick with Coulter, Dave, and you'll have more credibility. Limbaugh, Hannity, et. al. aren't any more "hateful" than Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and all of Air America.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are The MSM's Rush Limbaugh Horror Story by Bookworm Room, and Resistance Is Futile by Michael Yon. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3 1/3||The MSM's Rush Limbaugh Horror Story|
|1||An Inconvenient Demographic Truth|
|1||Walking Back the Cat x 2|
|2/3||An LA Times Love Letter To Che Guevara|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|2/3||DC Coughs Up a War On Terror Win|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2/3||Cold Civil War|
Rhymes With Right
|2/3||News Journal Writer Falls Prey to Media Matters|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1/3||Kill the Messenger! Or Is the Message Already Dead?|
Right Wing Nut House
|2 1/3||Resistance Is Futile|
|1 1/3||The Niggers of Palestine|
|1 1/3||The Massacre at Karsaz Bridge: Analysis of the Bhutto Blast (Part 2)|
The Pakistan Policy Blog
|1||Thompson Gets Immigration Right|
|2/3||Dummycrats, Dhimmicrats, Democrats|
|2/3||The Inevitability of Neoconservatism|
By Benjamin Kerstein
|2/3||Can We Please Define 'Racism'?|
|2/3||When Mediocrity Attacks!|
National Review Online
|1/3||Police Deny Reports of Randi Rhodes Mugging|
Watching the Watchers
I love James Taranto, but he ain't very sports minded (scroll down towards bottom if you click link):
They call it "the curse of the Bambino" -- the Boston Red Sox's inability to win a World Series, something they haven't done since shortly after the turn of the century. But now there is a chance to break the curse, as the Sox face the expansion Colorado Rockies in the October classic.
The "curse" was broken in 2004 -- when the Red Sox won the World Series!
Technically, Taranto has an out since "shortly after the turn of the century" can mean the 21st century. But since he mentioned the "curse," he obviously meant the 20th.
Part 1 can be found here. Here's the Dr.'s position on American Independence and Sovereignty (my comments are in italics):
So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites.
The ICC wants to try our soldiers as war criminals. Both the WTO and CAFTA could force Americans to get a doctor’s prescription to take herbs and vitamins. Alternative treatments could be banned. (I think this goes without saying that any TRUE conservative believes in what Paul states here. Taken a step further, do we want US Supreme Court judges taking precedent from INTERNATIONAL LAW and other FOREIGN LAW?? Talk about diminishing the value of the Constitution even further!!)
The WTO has forced Congress to change our laws, yet we still face trade wars. Today, France is threatening to have U.S. goods taxed throughout Europe. If anything, the WTO makes trade relations worse by giving foreign competitors a new way to attack U.S. jobs.
NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme. (Although this is quite a ways away, this is a legitimate concern. How can we have a North American Union when one of the three countries involved has a MUCH lower standard of living than the other two? It's certainly not like Europe where the living standards are pretty much analogous to one another.)
And a free America, with limited, constitutional government, would be gone forever. (It's pretty much gone NOW, even without what the Dr. mentions above. But point taken, especially the "forever" part.)
Let’s not forget the UN. It wants to impose a direct tax on us. I successfully fought this move in Congress last year, but if we are going to stop ongoing attempts of this world government body to tax us, we will need leadership from the White House.
We must withdraw from any organizations and trade deals that infringe upon the freedom and independence of the United States of America.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT
I share our Founders’ belief that in a free society each citizen must have the right to keep and bear arms. They ratified the Second Amendment knowing that this right is the guardian of every other right, and they all would be horrified by the proliferation of unconstitutional legislation that prevents law-abiding Americans from exercising this right. (All of this is dead-on. However, I think Dr, Paul WOULD regognize that NO right is absolute and that even the Second Amendment can have certain -- reasonable -- restrictions. This does NOT mean outright banning of guns. Like Washington DC has attempted. Like New Orleans ordered after Katrina.)
I have always supported the Second Amendment and these are some of the bills I have introduced in the current Congress to help restore respect for it:
(Isn't this just common sense, after all?)
In the past, I introduced legislation to repeal the so-called “assault weapons” ban before its 2004 sunset, and I will oppose any attempts to reinstate it. (I actually disagree here. Again, the 2nd Amendment, like any amendment -- right, is open to reasonable restrictions.)
I also recently opposed H.R. 2640, which would allow government-appointed psychiatrists to ban U.S. veterans experiencing even mild forms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome from ever owning a gun. (The "ever" absolutist language is problematic, indeed. Not to mention GOVERNMENT psychiatrists ...)
You have the right to protect your life, liberty, and property. As President, I will continue to guard the liberties stated in the Second Amendment. (Amen to that, Doc.)
... of Delaware Watch. Dana and I disagree on many things, and we've had some knock down, drag 'em out screaming matches (written, thankfully) in the past. But there are things we agree on every now and then, and today he highlights one of 'em: 9/11 Truthers are dunderheaded imbeciles.
And that's being nice to these a**holes ...
David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy takes a quote by the Fantastic Four's Mr. Fantastic (Reed Richards) to Spider-Man (Peter Parker) about government coercion:
Uncle Ted was a writer. He found everyone interesting. He'd talk to strangers, wear the wrong colored socks, ate at strange little restaurants. My uncle Ted was eccentric. He was funny and colorful, and I loved him. But he was also stubborn, and didn't care for rules, and if you pushed him, he'd push back just as hard. Unfortunately, this is when Joe McCarthy and the House un-American activities committee was in full bloom looking for communists among the military, the government, and ... the arts. If you stood out, if you didn't conform, you had a better than even chance of being called before the committee. At my uncle Ted was all those things. So he was subpoenaed to appear before he lack and explain himself. To testify. To tell them he wasn't a communist, and to name the names of those who thought might be communists. [Uncle Ted told the committee to go to hell, was jailed for six months for contempt, and his life was ruined.]
Mr. F was actually on the government's side in the "epic" (only in size, not quality) "Civil War." Seems he's trying to express that he doesn't want to become Uncle Ted ...?? Bernstein thinks that Mr. F is overstating the case:
Whatever one thinks about the McCarthy era, and some of my views (at least on the relevant First Amendment issues) can be found in this paper, you didn't get hauled before HUAC because you talked to strangers, wore the wrong colored socks, or ate at strange restaurants. And the idea that random nonconformists had a "better than even chance" of being called before HUAC is just laughable.
I wrote about using comics as too-close-to-reality allegories here. Or, better yet, Tom Spurgeon -- who I quote in the post -- wrote about it. To a tee.
(h/t to Soccer Dad.)
Great take on the "conventional wisdom" that is "diversity is inherently a good thing" over at the Daily Texan. H/t to Discriminations where I absolutely love this definition of "diversity" offered by commenter "eddy": "merely a subterfuge for litigation insurance."
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
Please, please, please tell me Mark is not Jewish. Our faith is already so sadly damaged by people like Libby and Wolfowitz and Jonah Goldberg.
Oh, sure! Can't have Jews possessing different political beliefs, can we?
I'm intrigued by GOP prez contender Ron Paul. More than intrigued. So, I journeyed over to his website to invest a bit of time reading about his stances on issues ...
WAR & FOREIGN POLICY: (My comments in italics.)
The war in Iraq was sold to us with false information. (Paul needs to be careful here in that he sounds like an angry moonbat if he means Bush KNEW the info was false and went ahead with it anyway. He also needs to realize that there were quite a few other reasons laid out by Bush for going into Iraq than just WMDs. However, if he means that the info by which we went to war TURNED OUT to be false -- meaning WMDs, obviously -- then he's correct.) The area is more dangerous now than when we entered it. We destroyed a regime hated by our direct enemies, the jihadists, and created thousands of new recruits for them. This war has cost more than 3,000 American lives, thousands of seriously wounded, and hundreds of billions of dollars. We must have new leadership in the White House to ensure this never happens again. (The first sentence is technically correct, but that always applies in the short-term in similar situations. Nevertheless, the rest of Paul's position is well taken. In my opinion, it's not worth a SINGLE American life to "establish" democracy in Iraq or ANY country for that matter. George Bush himself, in the 2000 pres. campaign, stated that he does not believe in nation-building. What made him change his mind so?)
Both Jefferson and Washington warned us about entangling ourselves in the affairs of other nations. Today, we have troops in 130 countries. We are spread so thin that we have too few troops defending America. And now, there are new calls for a draft of our young men and women. (Perfectly said about Jefferson and Washington. And while I think the Dr. lays it on a bit thick about having "too few troops" to defend America, why do we need troops in 130 countries today? The Cold War is over. But sorry, Ron -- the "draft" part is just more hyperbole. Unnecessary.)
We can continue to fund and fight no-win police actions around the globe, or we can refocus on securing America and bring the troops home. No war should ever be fought without a declaration of war voted upon by the Congress, as required by the Constitution. (Absolutely! Why has Congress abdicated its precious right of declaring war? How many times have we heard, regarding Iraq, that Congress "essentially did just that" by AUTHORIZING military action? Sorry, legislative branch. You need to get some cojones and do what the Constitution specifically states: DECLARE WAR if we're to be in it for the long haul. And this includes the War on Terror, too.)
Under no circumstances should the U.S. again go to war as the result of a resolution that comes from an unelected, foreign body, such as the United Nations. (Absolutely! Regarding Iraq, if the UN felt that it was unnecessary to enforce its OWN resolutions against Saddam Hussein, why does this mean the United States has to do it for them -- alone?)
Too often we give foreign aid and intervene on behalf of governments that are despised. Then, we become despised. Too often we have supported those who turn on us, like the Kosovars who aid Islamic terrorists, or the Afghan jihads themselves, and their friend Osama bin Laden. We armed and trained them, and now we’re paying the price. (Too simplistic here, although I concur with the Dr.'s overall assessment. We aided the jihadis in Afghanistan back during the Cold War when the Soviets [illegally] occupied Afghanistan. We also provide billions in aid to countries like Egypt -- home to many Islamic radicals and a government that is not very hospitable to our own. Does Dr. Paul believe we should not provide this aid? What would it "say" to Egypt, and hence Muslims, then? We also aid the Saudis? If we did not, would there be a danger of Islamic militants taking over that regime? Etc.)
At the same time, we must not isolate ourselves. The generosity of the American people has been felt around the globe. Many have thanked God for it, in many languages. Let us have a strong America, conducting open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.
BORDER SECURITY AND IMMIGRATION REFORM
The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. (AMEN!) This is my six point plan:
* Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.
* Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
* No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws. (Indeed it is. People I know -- including my wife -- played by the rules, followed the law, and waited to become legal residents and some, later citizens. How do you think THEY feel about those who blatantly break these laws and are essentially REWARDED for it? Tell this to the moronic "sanctuary cities" and to cretinous politicians who give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.)
* No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services. (Isn't this just common sense, people?)
* End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong. (Many Americans are fond of saying "Look at how Europe does it!" In this case they're right -- many European countries do not have birthright citizenship, and neither should we. It's one MAJOR item that's helping fuel the illegal immigration problem.)
* Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.
More to come ....
Anyone else with non-digital cable here in New Castle County, DE notice how progressively worse the picture quality of Fox News Channel (channel 65) has gotten the last few weeks? I have digital on one TV in the house and it appears fine there. But it's pretty pathetic at the moment on my other TVs.
Every other channel comes in fine on non-digital, like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC ... !
Writer Joe Haldeman sucked me in many years ago with his spectacular The Forever War, a supposed allegory of the Vietnam War (in which Haldeman participated) where humans have conquered FTL (faster-than-light) travel, but not its relativistic effects (hence, the book's title). Haldeman comes across as a lefty in the books I have read; in Forever War, it is the massive "military-industrial complex" that begins an "unnecessary" war with an unknown alien race -- "unnecessary" because there was no proof that the aliens were responsible for several missing Earth vessels that disappeared while using a black hole-induced "jump.". So, y'know, we needed a war to jump-start the economy -- in this case, the worldwide economy. And the war lasts centuries.
In his sort-of prequel, Forever Peace, the chasm between First World nations and those of the Third World reaches critical mass as the latter wage a terrorist war against the developed societies. Why? The industrialized countries have created "nanoforges" which can create almost anything imaginable given the proper natural resources. The Third World has either no or very limited access to these devices, however, so they resort to terrorism. In some cases nuclear terrorism. Atlanta is nuked, but Haldeman inserts the doubt that the have-nots actually did it. The haves "probably" did it as a "set-up" -- to give them an "excuse" to go after the Third World full tilt. But most appallingly, Haldeman appears to endorse the sure way to world peace: Massive, planetwide brainwashing! You know when you find yourself agreeing with a radical religious loon in the novel that Haldeman's "solution" ain't somehow right. And, in my opinion, it also demonstrates how the Left operates today -- believe or be ostracized completely.
But despite Haldeman's belief structure, he weaves a helluva story. The Accidental Time Machine doesn't disappoint there, either. The yarn revolves around Matthew Fuller, who, while working on a physics project, discovers that he's unwittingly created a time machine. He doesn't know why, doesn't know how; he only knows that its functions appears to increase by a factor of twelve every time it's activated: it moves geographically by that factor, and forward in time by that factor. What makes Haldeman's writing enjoyable is that, like another favorite author of mine, Larry Niven, he creates a "simple" story and makes the scientific mumbo-jumbo very easy to grasp.
At any rate, Fuller ultimately discovers how to transport things with the time machine, and eventually takes the plunge -- he uses it on himself. Jumping several weeks into the future, his appearance causes a major traffic accident and gets him, as a result, into trouble with the law. Someone posts his million dollar(!) bail, though -- someone unknown to him. Matt deduces that, based on the man's description, it can only have been himself from the future! But -- his machine doesn't work that way! It only sends to the future, not the past! Einstein showed that time travel to the past can't work, anyhow!
Taking advantage of the timely bail, Matt uses his freedom to make use of the time machine again. This jump pushes him some 177 years forward, into a society that is decidedly backward compared to his own (which is the mid-21st century, by the way). Here's where Haldeman's lefty view comes into play: The northeast(!) coast of the United States has been taken over by a radical Christian organization that had actually fought a one-year war with most of the rest of the country. Most of the book centers on this time, and as such it's probably the weakest facet of the novel. (Maybe it's because I read too many armageddon books this summer and am weary of reading about little-to-no technology societies who use strict religion to get by.) But it's here Matt meets the woman he'll literally spend close to forever with -- a supressed innocent young woman who's been "drinking the Kool Aid," so to speak. But once Matt finally gets a chance to use the time machine again -- and jump almost over 2,000 years forward -- he inadvertantly takes the woman (Marth) with him.
From here, the book really takes off as interests begin to compete for use of the time machine, and how its ultimate resolution will play out. Haldeman keeps the story at a human level, and let's just say that his view of time is probably a among a minority in the science fiction realm. He essentially makes use of, for lack of a better term, a "closed loop" time geometry which for me was perfectly exemplified by the supremely awesome DC graphic novel Superman: Red Son.
My recommendation for The Accidental Time Machine: 4 out of 5 stars.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
SUBJECT: Global Warming.
Why do conservatives fight the truth? The truth will prevail, and your thick-headed determination to continue with lies will give way to the light.
Awww, isn't that sweet?
UPDATE: Delaware Cretin is more predictable than a sunrise.
In his "Community View" column today, Phillip Bannowsky laments the dearth of "left" reporting in the mainstream media. Unfortunately, Phil falls for a Media Matters.org study which claims that conservative commentators far outnumber liberals in America's newspaper op-ed pages. If (and it's a big "if") the report is accurate, I'd say "So?" Having more conservative op-ed articles in newspaper "opinion" sections only serves to offset the overall editorial stance of a substantial majority of the country's newspapers, not to mention how these papers choose to cover supposedly "objective" news stories. The Los Angeles Times agrees with me on this, too:
An abundance of conservative op-ed columnists doesn’t mean (except at The Wall Street Journal) that the editorial policy of the newspaper leans right. Indeed, some newspapers use syndicated op-ed columns as counter-programming for their own opinions.
That would certainly be the case with our own Wilmington News Journal, now wouldn't it? Nevertheless, I, and many others at other sites, have written about the numerous studies (this is just one, mind you) and opinion polls which demonstrably prove that the US media as a whole leans left.
Regarding the specifics of the Media Matters study, Bill Steigerwald of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes (my emphasis):
Paul Waldman, the author of the study, said Media Matters tried to make as few subjective judgments as possible. He admitted the study wasn't as definitive or nuanced as he would have liked. The major columnists were put in one of three boxes based on the conventional wisdom (Maureen Dowd is a progressive, etc.) or by how they were labeled either by themselves or their syndicates.
Not surprisingly, the "centrist" category brought a few complaints, Waldman said. "We got e-mails today from people who said, 'How can you say that David Broder is a centrist when he's really a conservative?' Then someone else wrote in and said, 'How can you say that he's a centrist when he's really a liberal?'"
Ultimately, Media Matters failed in its quest to prove there is a conservative bias on the nation's op-ed pages. Its relative conservative/progressive rankings are fatally skewed, mainly because from its perch on the far-left end of the political spectrum, the group sees -- and classified -- East Coast liberals like Friedman, Broder and Cokie Roberts as "centrists," not progressives.
Meanwhile, Media Matters lumped all varieties of conservatives together -- as if there's no difference between New York Times house neocon David Brooks, paleo-conservative Pat Buchanan and free-marketeer Thomas Sowell. Plus, Walter Williams, Steve Chapman and John Stossel aren't conservatives at all; they are libertarians.
Media Matters' conclusion is further undermined by its emphasis on the number of papers a columnist appears in, not a paper's quality or clout. How many small-town papers does it take to equal one New York Times column that will be read by the East Coast political and media elites?
And, by the way, eight of the Top 10 columnists by average circulation are progressives like Paul Krugman and E.J. Dionne.
As if by example, a local South Dakota paper cited in the study had a major hassle with how Media Matters rated its national op-ed coverage.
For me, the big predicament that Bannowsky has is that he fails to distinguish between radical and mere left. That's his complaint, mind you -- that there are too few radical voices available in the MSM. He asks,
Where are Manning Marable, Bill Fletcher, Naomi Klein, Barbara Ehrenreich, Robert Scheer, Dahr Jamail, or Robert Fisk? Where's Noam Chomsky, the most famous American intellectual in the world? Where are they even heard of, except in the dismissals of the liberals and the curses of the right?
(I'll leave aside the needed comment on Noam Chomsky as the "most famous American intellectual in the world.") Ironically, that right-leaning South Dakota paper noted above carries Robert Scheer, but tellingly notes that its readership frequently questions "the man's sanity." This is what you'd expect from a[n] [American] public that is largely centrist reading a column by far-left radical. But you'd expect the same from someone reading a column from a far-right reactionary. And that's just it -- Americans disdain extremes on both sides. That's why these "voices" are relatively "hard to find," so to speak, in the MSM. But even as Bannowsky criticizes the lack of radical voices in the media, he at the same time points out that these same voices are indeed readily accessible:
Maybe the mainstream media just doesn't know about the real lefties, but their fellow citizens deserve to hear them.
The left is accessible on-line. Democracynow.org features Amy Goodman's War and Peace Report. Common dreams.org, Alternet.org, and Blackcommentator.com provide reporters and analysts from liberal reformers to radical socialists.
At any rate, radical voices like those that Bannowsky mentions (The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel and Amy Goodman) not to mention others like Eric Alterman and Paul Krugman are quite often featured on "mainstream" talking-head pundit shows.
Admittedly, if I were a radical like Bannowsky, I might feel the same as he. But in this Internet Age, I think it's a tad incongruous to deplore the quantity of radical [political] voices since now anyone with a modem (and that's one big majority of Americans -- over 75% have access to the WWW and 40% have broadband) can find 'em. His protest would have more merit if it was made a mere 7-10 years ago when the Internet was still proliferating (and dial-up modems were still the norm!). Again, and ironically, it's a similar argument that was made by rightists, but the same riposte applies.
He assisted his show's security personnel in removing a bunch of 9-11 Truthers who had infiltrated the show's audience and disrupted the show.
I don't necessarily agree with Noel Sheppard's analysis that Maher sort of "deserves" this; I think he's been pretty consistent that 9-11 Truthers are a bunch of total loons (hear that, Liz Allen?). The fact that Maher is hostile to many (most) of President Bush's policies doesn't conflict with his anti-9/11 Truther position, nor does it mean he deserves these boneheads disrupting his broadcast.
There was a big flap when Barack Obama reasoned why he doesn't wear a flag lapel pin; will there be a bigger flap now that it's been revealed Barack did not put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance?
I commented over at First State Politics that I didn't think the lapel pin issue was a worthy issue. Many folks [rightly] pointed out that other candidates (including GOPers) haven't worn flag lapel pins; others wear them every now and then. But not putting your hand over your heart for the Pledge is another matter. While I certainly agree that anyone has a right NOT to put their hand over their heart for the Pledge, if you're running for the highest office in the land and you refuse to honor the very thing that represents that land, you're automatically disqualified for president in my book.
I wonder what Obama's explanation will be. The only one I can think of at the moment is that the Pledge had just started at the time that photo was snapped, and Barack was a tad late getting his hand up onto his chest.
Rapper "Nas" has a new album coming in December. It's title? The "N" word. (Yep, the whole word spelled out.) But I like how the Associated Press describes the term: "To some, it's a hurtful racial epithet. For Nas, it's an album title."
"To some ..."
Haven't we been told repeatedly that use of this term should cease completely? The New York City Council even considered banning the word. Don Imus was fired from his radio gig for using "lesser" hurtful terms, but the National Association of Black Journalists wants him to stay fired.
"The title using the 'N' word is morally offensive and socially distasteful. Nas has the right to degrade and denigrate in the name of free speech, but there is no honor in it," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a news release. "Radio and television stations have no obligation to play it and self-respecting people have no obligation to buy it. I wish he would use his talents to lift up and inspire, not degrade."
The question remains, however, whether Jackson (not to mention Al Sharpton and the other usual suspects) will be out there in the streets demanding Nas either re-title the album, and if not, demand he be dropped from his label. In addition, will they picket said label's offices and the record stores that carry the album?
Unlikely. Amazingly, Jackson actually mentions "free speech" in his quote above. That sure hasn't been a popular notion for him in the past, has it?
It's now been nine days since Columbia University reluctantly handed over surveillance tapes to law enforcement authorities. These tapes (hopefully) will show who hung a noose on a [black] professor's office door.
How long does it take to review such a tape? 'Cause in the meantime there are still opinion writers out there who would like you to believe that a single confederate flag-hanging racist a-hole is indicative of the larger picture -- not only on college campuses, but in the US at large. If the Columbia incident is revealed to be a hoax, will there be as much media coverage about it? Or will it be conveniently forgotten like the incident at George Washington University?
One of the more facetious aspects about collecting comics back in the day was the cheesy ads found at the very back of the books. In the mid-70s, many of these featured GI Joe and the various incarnations thereof. By "various incarnations" I mean the attempt by Hasbro to make Joe characters more "superhero-like." Take this ad, for instance (click on image for a larger version):
In the first panel, we see Mike Power, Atomic Man lugging around Eagle-Eye GI Joe. Notice it says that they're "on patrol." On patrol?? 'Ya think they could get Eagle-Eye Joe some sort of gandola or something to sit in, don'tcha? I mean, he's gotta just hang on to Mike Power's leg the whole time?? (Better view on the second panel below.) Face it -- after about ten minutes of grabbing a mere leg, Eagle-Eye would be bitching to his superiors "Hey guys, let's get real here. Gimme a friggin' seat or somethin', huh? I'm not super-strong, after all! All I got are sharp eyes!!"
But this ad actually introduces another GI Joe "superhero" into the mix: Bulletman, the Human Bullet. Not only does he have a costume that'd make the guys on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" wince, but he's quick with the witty quip, too!
In addition, it is a bit perplexing how Bulletman just ups and joins the GI Joe Crew with no hesitation whatsoever:
How d'ya like that? Bulletman, the Human Bullet and World's Thickest Superhero. I mean, there could be no chance that Mike Power and Eagle Eye could be ... Soviet Agents, right? (Remember -- this is the mid-70s!) "Hey Bulletman, come on back with us to our HQ so we can get you squared away with joining our little coffee clatch ... !" **WHAM!!** Instant prisoner. Now here comes the KGB to claim their prize!
Mark, over at the awesome Comic Coverage, has the scoop on a different Bulletman.
Maria Evans of WGMD has the story.
A lot of potential explosive power there, folks.
These loathsome insects are at it again. Just don't ask where their "proof" is. It won't be forthcoming. Ask and you'll get something like a "Ha ha, c'mon. He's just gotta be." Maybe they'll rely on some more lame "anecdotes" like those spewed by perpetual DE talk-radio caller (and nutjob) Liz Allen.
If by some chance Mike ever did come "out of the closet," the only person he'd need to apologize to is his wife, Jane. [The hypothetical of] Castle being gay is hardly a big deal. But that doesn't have anything to do with DE Loser's post today, now does it? It's just a vile continuation of his maniacal obsession with, and attempted besmirchment of, our lone representative.
Face it -- they're just jealous that Castle bagged a quite attractive woman (for her age) as his wife.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Carrolling by Done With Mirrors, and The Problems and Course of Rebuilding in Iraq by Dumb Looks Still Free. There was actually a tie in both the council and non-council categories this week... very good posts all around, but the Watcher ultimately cast his lot with Callimachus' post in the council vote and A Jacksonian's post in the non-council vote. Big Lizards was the only member unable to vote this week, and the only member affected by the 2/3 vote penalty. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
Done With Mirrors
|2||Texas Gang Rape and Murder Case Puts America's Sovereignty In Jeopardy|
|1 2/3||NY Times, Al Gore and the "Stolen" 2000 Election|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||Private Anti-terror Efforts|
|1 1/3||Gore Derangement Syndrome?|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2/3||Isolationism Watch: Let's Alienate Turkey!|
The Glittering Eye
|1/3||The Shia Awaken|
|1/3||Retired General Sanchez Blasts Press -- No One Reports It, Natch!|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|1/3||Headlines Vs. Content|
Rhymes With Right
|1/3||Catch 'Em Being Good|
|3 1/3||The Problems and Course of Rebuilding in Iraq|
Dumb Looks Still Free
|2 1/3||MSM Bias and Pallywood: Incompetence or Malice?|
|2||When Heidi Met Mehmet in the Meadow|
The Brussels Journal
|1 2/3||Timeline of the Amazing Disappearing Blog Posts and Comments at the L.A. Times|
|1||A Thought Experiment for Civil Libertarians|
|2/3||OK, This... Has... Got... To... Stop...|
|1/3||Will the Left Dominate the 'New Economy'?|
|1/3||October 15: 4th Anniversary of the Murder of 3 Americans By Palestinian Terrorists|
|1/3||Classical Liberalism Is for Kooks!|
Zombie is awesome at chronicling the moonbats in action. Be sure to check out his "Beach Impeach IV" and "Code Pink vs. The Marines." Here's a brief sample, taken only as a small part of a couple of the many pics (this, from the latter link):
The Hube-inserted arrow is indicating, if you can't tell, that the Code Pink ladies must not be very good with numbers. I mean, what the heck kind of number is 1,001,9713,78?? To be fair, maybe the sign(?) got sort of bent and the number actually indicates a number of Iraqi and American dead (separately), and the full numbers just can't be seen. But if so, why is the word "DEAD" seemingly seamless?
Then there are the 9-11 Truthers from the former link. Wonder if local DE moonbat Liz Allen was among those in attendance?
Former nutjob congresswoman Cynthia McKinney might run for president as a Green Party candidate.
Why she's a nutjob, among other sources.
'Ya just gotta shake your head and laugh: As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch (link).
Un. Frickin'. Real.
NAJAF, Iraq — At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
Cripes. Next we'll be reading something like "Murder rate finally levels off in Philly; defense lawyers lament drop in business."
What are the limits to free speech when one is still a member of the United States armed forces? That is a question being bandied about regarding one Sergeant First Class Donald Buswell.
According to unnamed military sources, Buswell
"used his Government issued email account to send messages disloyal to the United States …" Because of these statements, SFC Buswell could soon find himself dishonorably discharged, court martialed, or worse.
What messages were "disloyal"? Basically, Buswell is a 9/11 Truther. Responding to an unsolicited e-mail regarding plane impacts on hardened concrete targets, Buswell wrote (my emphasis):
I receive many unsolicited e-mails daily, this one I chose to respond to. The below mentioned premise that an F4 Phantom fighter jet hitting that hardened concrete barrier is akin to the alleged 757 hitting the Pentagon is like oil and water; they don't mix, and they serve to muddy the issue. The issue is 911 was filled with errors in the 'official report' and 'official story' of that day, and, what happened that day. We all know and saw 2 planes hitting the WTC buildings, we didn't see the 757 hit the Pentagon, nor did we see the plane crash in Shanksville PA. Both the PA and Pentagon 'crashes' don't have clues and tell-tale signs of a jumbo-jet impacting those zones!
The Pentagon would have huge wing impacts in the side of the building; it didn't. Shanksville PA would have had debris, and a large debris field; it didn't.
Getting back to the F4...The Pentagon isn't a nuclear hardened structure, so I can't follow your weak logic that since an F4 vaporized itself in a test impact on a nuclear hardened structure that the alleged 757 hitting the Pentagon should have exhibited the same characteristics!
I say Occums [sic] razor is the best way to deduce this 'day of infamy'; if you weigh all options, do some simple studying you will see 911 was clearly not executed by some arabs in caves with cell phones and 3 day old newspapers! I mean how are Arabs benefiting from pulling off 911? They have more war, more death and dismal conditions, so, how did 911 benefit them? Answer: It didn't. So, who benefited from 9-11? The answer is sad, but simple; The Military Industial [sic] Complex.
It's not a paranoid conspiracy to think there are conspiracies out there...and, it's not Liberal Lunacy either, nor is it Conservative Kookiness! People, fellow citizens we've been had! We must demand a new independent investigation into 911 and look at all options of that day, and all plausabilities [sic], even the most incredulous theories must be examined.
Buswell discovered that the next day "the locks had been changed, his security clearance was revoked, and an investigation had been launched." Why?
Buswell failed to obey Army regulations when he used his government issued email account to send what have been termed as messages disloyal to the United States with the intent of stirring up disloyalty, in a manner that brings discredit upon the United States Army.
Buswell's father commented:
"[To say he is disloyal to the United States] is totally ridiculous. And the discourtesy was, ah, very apparent at that particular time. … I've always thought the American way is this: to disagree is important. To dissent is important. And my son simply said, without any fanfare, 'Look, let's take a look at the whole picture. If you want to take a look at that, maybe there are a few paragraphs that a Michael Moore might want to emphasize.' That is all that my son has said. Never, however, to at all disparage the country and the patriotism that is so necessary for all of us. But, patriotism, as suggested by FOX News' [Bill O'Reilly], is following the line of George W. Bush and cohorts completely! All my son is saying is, 'Hey, maybe there's a what if.'
Hmm, funny that the dad knows precisely what he son "meant" by his e-mail, yet completely fabricates what Bill O'Reilly "means" with his definition of patriotism. (I'm a regular viewer of O'Reilly's show, and he has never suggested that patriotism = "following the line of George W. Bush and cohorts completely.")
Nevertheless, disagreement with one's government IS the American Way; however, the military is a whole other ball of wax. The article states that Buswell may be in violation of CFR 2635.705(a), DoD-R 5500.7, and Joint Ethics Regulation paragraph 2-301b. These rules "regulate how soldiers utilize government resources, how they use their off-duty time, and how they use their official time." So, what do you think? Can -- and should -- the military clamp down on one of their own that believes in the crackpot theory that the US government engineered the 9/11 attacks against itself? Being in the military does mean that your free speech rights get limited (you can't criticize orders or superiors openly), but you are always free to quit the service if these restrictions are worrisome to you!
In addition, if Buswell truly believes in his insane theory, is it "disloyal" to the United States? I don't know how the military code would determine that, but if Buswell keeps that to himself, that's one thing. Using his army e-mail account to spread the conspiracy theory opens him up to trouble (again, with the military, that is).
Lastly, I also got a chuckle out of Buswell's father invoking the name of Abe Lincoln in his son's defense:
"One of his heroes is Abraham Lincoln," Winthrop Buswell continued. "And Abraham Lincoln said many things, but one of the things he said - and I’m paraphrasing - was, ‘I may disagree with the fellow who’s speaking, but I will stand and defend his right to speak.’ That’s my son’s position."
Oh really? That's why Lincoln jailed -- without trial -- numerous political opponents who disagreed with his views on the Civil War! Lincoln unilaterally suspended habeas corpus, you may recall -- a power constitutionally reserved only for Congress. You might to rethink that "hero" thing, Mr. Buswell, especially when it comes to free speech.
At any rate, it's time to pull out an old favorite: Bruce Dickinson. Bruce, what do you say to all those nutty 9/11 Truthers like Sergeant Buswell?
I write this on a night when the "Today" show's Matt Lauer has a prime time special about the supposed gay bathroom dalliances of Idaho Senator Larry Craig ... just to give you a little perspective.
Just imagine if a couple Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists had written their book about Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney or Fred Thompson:
Republicans are focusing on an allegation in a recent book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, which suggests [Hillary] Clinton listened to a secretly recorded conversation between political opponents.
In their book about Clinton’s rise to power, Her Way, Don Van Natta Jr., an investigative reporter at The New York Times, and Jeff Gerth, who spent 30 years as an investigative reporter at the paper, wrote: “Hillary’s defense activities ranged from the inspirational to the microscopic to the down and dirty. She received memos about the status of various press inquiries; she vetted senior campaign aides; and she listened to a secretly recorded audiotape of a phone conversation of Clinton critics plotting their next attack.
“The tape contained discussions of another woman who might surface with allegations about an affair with Bill,” Gerth and Van Natta wrote in reference to Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton. “Bill’s supporters monitored frequencies used by cell phones, and the tape was made during one of those monitoring sessions.”
Come again? Hillary Clinton -- in on clandestinely recording phone conversations for ... political purposes?? WHOA! Meanwhile, she and just about every other Democrat in Washington is having a plotz because George Bush wants to monitor terrorist phone conversations ... with one party being outside the United States!
This past Sunday I journeyed south to Baltimore to attend the Baltimore Ravens vs. St. Louis Rams game. A former teaching colleague and her husband had promised me one of their season tickets for this game as soon as the 2007 schedule came out, knowing what a nut I am for the Rams. (Check it: I have been a fan of the Rams since 1971, natch.) We tailgated (see below) for approx. three hours before game time (right next to the stadium under numerous highway overpasses) and it featured my buddy's classic crab dip, brats and cheeseburgers.
I was a bit worried that I might get harassed by wearing all my Rams gear; however, such was not the case. As a matter of fact, I actually got a rather warm greeting when, after exiting the port-a-potty near game time (and about 100 yds. from our tailgate), I spotted a huge approx. 6'7" guy in an old-school Eric Dickerson jersey! He saw my shirt and vest, and smiled, to which I said, "Old School Eric Dickerson! YES!" He high-fived me, and the myriad Ravens fans just sort of hissed under their breath ...!
I got to the stadium about a half hour before game time, and our seats were tremendous -- seven rows from the field on the side corner of the end zone. And it happened to be the end zone where the Rams were warming up! A few minutes after we got our seats, there was Torry Holt catching a few passes! He soon took off his helmet and knelt down, taking a break. This was my chance. With virtually no one else yet seated in our section, I yelled out "YO TORRY! YOU 'DA MAN!" Holt actually looked up to see where the shout came from, spotted me (mainly 'cause I was waving and pointing at my Rams shirt!) and then pointed at me followed by giving me a thumbs up!! Now come on -- how COOL is THAT??
Yeah, I know the Rams are absolutely BRUTAL this season, but that's because Holt is actually one of the only remaining starters still uninjured on either side of the ball! I only recognized him and defensive lineman Leonard Little as two regular starters on the field who remain unhurt (as of yet!).
Check out how good our seats were below. The red arrow points to the only other Rams fan that was anywhere close by (he had an Isaac Bruce jersey on). Wonder why there were so few Rams fans in attendance? There were many many more back in 1999 when I went to see 'em play the Eagles at the old Vet! (Hint: That's because they won the Super Bowl that year, natch!).
Gossip is more powerful than truth, apparently.
Tell that to the loons who blamed right-wingers for Air America host Randi Rhodes' injuries.
*Sigh* Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for nothing to do with peace, and suddenly there's a resurgence of "what if" scenarios whereby Gore had actually won in 2000. The latest and "greatest" (but "greatest" only terms of volume) comes from the NY Times where they wrote:
One can generate a lot of heartburn thinking about all of the things that would be better about this country and the world if the Supreme Court had done the right thing and ruled for Al Gore instead of George W. Bush in 2000. Mr. Gore certainly hasn't let his disappointment stop him from putting the time since to very good use.
The Times' Thomas Friedman harped on the same theme in yesterday's NY Times edition:
Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush each faced a crucible moment. For Mr. Gore, it was winning the popular vote and having the election taken away from him by a Republican-dominated Supreme Court.
The New Republic's Marty Peretz chimes in as well:
Yes, the prize is rightly his. No one has devoted himself with such dedication and intellectual probity to a cause as important as this one. No one. So he deserves the Nobel. And the country deserves Al Gore to make another run at the presidency, he having lost his last try through chicanery and the arrogance of a party for which lying is second nature. Or maybe first.
As Newsbusters' Clay Waters notes, back in 2001 the "Paper of Record" reported that even with a permitted statewide manual recount in Florida, George Bush still would have won the state and hence, the election of 2000. Nevertheless, back in the day, I sure watched with intense interest how the historic election of 2000 played out. I actually think both camps -- Bush and Gore -- played the law meticulously and shrewdly, and ultimately (like it or not) Bush came out on top.
States' rights advocates (typically conservatives) must bristle at how the Bush camp was the first to go to court, especially federal court, in the whole imbroglio. The Gore camp played Florida law close to perfectly, in my opinion:
On Fri. Nov. 17th the judges ruled that "states have the primary authority to determine the manner of appointing presidential electors and to resolve most controversies concerning the appointment of electors.... Both the Constitution of the United States and 3 U.S.C. 5 indicate that states have the primary authority to determine the manner of appointing presidential electors and to resolve most controversies concerning the appointment of electors.
[The Florida Supreme Court said] it was the clear from the overall statutory scheme that 7 days after an election was not a firm deadline. (Manual recounts could be initiated as late as 6 days after the election, and fines could be levied against counties that were late -- which meant that the statute contemplated that counties could be pressured into turning in their late votes as soon as possible, presumably so those votes could be counted.) "Ignoring the county's returns is a drastic measure and is appropriate only if the returns are submitted to the Department so late that their inclusion will compromise the integrity of the electoral process in either of two ways: (1) by precluding a candidate, elector, or taxpayer from contesting the certification of an election pursuant to section 102.168; or (2) by precluding Florida voters from participating fully in the federal election process" by missing the federally-mandated deadline for certifying electors. In other words, rather than allow the Secretary of State to ignore the county's returns unless she approved of their reasons for being late, the Court required her to count all ballots unless delays put at risk everyone else's ballot.
The Bush camp, on the other hand, played a "separation of powers" hand. On the last Gore point above, Bush & co. argued that the FLSC was usurping the law that the state legislature laid down, and that was a firm seven-day deadline. In addition, the high court intruded upon executive branch powers by ignoring the Secretary of State's power of certification of the vote results. (After all, if it is OK to ignore the seven-day deadline set by the state legislature, then how in the world did the FLSC come up with an additional of five extra days -- and why wouldn't it then be OK to ignore it?) In addition, the FLSC -- while having little difficulty in setting "new" rules to make sure "every vote was counted" -- did not set any specific guidelines as to just how "voter intent" should be determined.
Eventually, Bush and co. went to the US Supreme Court hoping that they would determine that the FLSC had overstepped its bounds. The SCOTUS agreed to hear the case ...
and asked the parties to address "the consequences of this Court's finding that the decision of the Supreme Court of Florida does not comply with 3 U.S.C. Sec. 5," which requires that a state resolve controversies relating to the appointment of electors under "laws enacted prior to" election day.
The SCOTUS ended up vacating the FLSC ruling, but sent it back to them for further clarification. On the same day, FL judge N. Sanders Sauls ruled against every one of the Gore camp's bases for contesting the certified vote count. In what was viewed largely as an "amazing" reversal, the FLSC by a 4-3 vote ordered that Gore's contest be reinstated, that previous "certification" edicts be overturned, and that a statewide "undervote" count get underway. They also further extended the certification deadline.
At about the same time, the SCOTUS was deciding the historic Bush v. Gore case. Many either forget -- or choose not to remember -- that seven of the nine justices believed the lack of a uniform recount procedure in Florida was a "constitutional problem" (conflicting with the 14th Amendment). Indeed, the Bush camp argued in part that it was an equal protection violation that different counties and even within counties were using disparate guidelines by which to manually recount votes, and quite subjectively "determining the intent of the voter."
The majority of the Court argued using (in part) an Alabama case from the 1950s where the Alabama Supreme Court "railroaded" the state NAACP:
"...in NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson (1958), it was argued that we were without jurisdiction because the petitioner had not pursued the correct appellate remedy in Alabama's state courts. Petitioners had sought a state-law writ of certiorari in the Alabama Supreme Court when a writ of mandamus, according to that court, was proper. We found this state-law ground inadequate to defeat our jurisdiction because we were 'unable to reconcile the procedural holding of the Alabama Supreme Court' with prior Alabama precedent.... What we would do in the present case is precisely parallel: Hold that the Florida Supreme Court's interpretation of the Florida election laws impermissibly distorted them beyond what a fair reading required...."
The ironic thing about this opinion is that I argued a few times back in 2000 and early 2001 (on various political bulletin boards -- this was before blogs proliferated) that imagine if certain counties (and within certain counties) had differing recount standards -- and it was a white candidate vs. a black candidate. (And I wasn't aware at the time of the SCOTUS majority's views regarding that Alabama case! Pretty amazing, huh?). Would the usual federal government-is-needed-for-everything left wing settle for a "states' rights" argument that the Gore camp so vociferously espoused throughout this whole ordeal? It is extremely difficult to imagine that would be the case. So, what makes it OK for Bush and Gore?
The liberals and Democrats accused the Rehnquist wing of the SCOTUS of incredible hypocrisy on their ruling. In some respects they were right. Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas especially are quite states' rights aficionados and their ruling seems to contradict that philosophy. But on the other hand, the liberal wing of the SCOTUS -- and liberals/Democrats in general -- also were guilty of that very same hypocrisy by arguing so vehemently for states' rights! This quite cogent view did not see much time on the myriad pundit shows and papers (surprise!) following the momentous SCOTUS decision.
In addition, the Gore camp's claims of their desire to "see every vote counted" proved to be an outright lie as Gore's lawyers attempted to thwart the counting of innumerable military votes from overseas. How come? Because those votes would likely prove a majority for Bush. After all, that's why Gore only wanted manual recounts in certain -- Democratic -- counties in the first place!
In the end, I believe very good arguments were made by both camps, and ultimately Bush's camp prevailed. But you'll never hear that from the NY Times or others in the MSM now, will'ya?
(Most source material courtesy of this site.)
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
This website is a riot. You are so obviously biased against Ketih Olbermann is it pathetic. See ya.
"Biased against Keith Olbermann"? 'Ya think?
The only thing you should "see ya" to is what's left of your brain.
Well, sort of. He won't actually debate, so YouTube does it "for" him:
Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily reports that “experts in conflict resolution” have determined that “Israel will … be asked to apologize to its Arab and Muslim enemies for coming into existence in the first place” – in an effort to win the hearts and minds of “enemies who don’t accept Israel’s legitimacy as a Mideast state.”
The aforementioned “experts” include Scott Atran and Richard Davis from John Jay College’s Center on Terrorism, and University of Michigan professor of “human understanding” Robert Axelrod. The three write that “[s]ymbolic concessions of no apparent material benefit may be key in helping to solve seemingly intractable conflicts.” To buttress their argument, they quote Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad’s assertion that: “In principle, we have no problem with a Palestinian state encompassing all of our lands within the 1967 borders. But let Israel apologize for our tragedy in 1948, and then we can talk about negotiating over our right of return to historic Palestine.”
Oh, is that all? Even if Hamas (or whoever) gets all of the pre-1967 lands back (which they really have NO right to in the first place), an insistence on the so-called "right of return" will 100% guarantee a scuttling of any two-state agreement. Period. Israel would be taking a big enough risk turning over lands back to the hands of terrorists; allowing a right of return (wonder if Jews would be allowed to return to their pre-1948 homes in Arab lands, eh? Chee-yeah, right) basically guarantees the death of Israel.
Don't be shanghaied into believing that wannabe comic "greats" like Mark Millar and/or Bryan Hitch and their Marvel works are some of the "best of all-time." Take Marvel's recent "Civil War" er, "epic." Great? Yuck. It wasn't even good. The only reason such "events" are dubbed "epics" is because they include virtually every title in the Marvel catalogue and they make a ton of dough as a result. The storytelling? Well, that's another matter. Hell, today's creative teams don't even have the term "deadline" to deal with anymore. You can wait months for an issue that used to take a mere 30 days. The only modern creator worth his salt is Kurt Busiek (more on him later), but he hasn't done anything for Marvel in a few years.
Ah, the halcyon days of the Marvel Comics Group. Take me back to ... the early 1970s ...
... and the truly epic "Kree-Skrull War." Written by longtime Marvel stalwart Roy Thomas and drawn by the phenomenal Neal Adams and John Buscema, the KSW featured the Marvel Universe's two biggest alien races "battlin' it out for the Earth" (to quote former Hulk and Capt. America sidekick Rick Jones). The issues have all been collected in what's known as a "trade paperback;" however, Marvel also put out a two-issue "special edition" back in 1983 (somewhat more streamlined than the modern trade paperback) and that's what I own. I actually prefer these two issues instead of the TPB because it features a perfect commentary by writer Alan Zelentz in the prologue. He says that the KSW "is an epic so grand, only the comics could bring it to you!" And back in 1983 (and for many years thereafter), he was right. (Today's relatively cheap CGI could probably do a nice version of it and go right to DVD. Hey ...!!!) You can read all of Zelentz's commentary here.
Smack dab in the middle of the Kree and Skrulls -- Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers! Actually, the very Earth itself is "smack dab in the middle" -- in the middle of the two intergalactic empires (um, that's the Kree Empire and the Skrull Empire, natch.) In true astronomical terms, this is highly improbable as the Kree Empire is located in the Greater Magellanic Cloud (approx. 160,000 light years distant), and the Skrulls are HQ'd in the Andromeda Galaxy (some two million light years away). But hey, why let such a piddly detail spoil all the fun? The KSW had been going on for untold millenia, and now that humans on Earth were evolving at a more advanced pace than either Kree or Skrull suspected, both races were determined to either possess our planet -- or destroy it.
Thomas' writing is utterly impeccable as he weaves through various [past] Marvel storylines with perfection. Adams' artwork is so realistic you feel as if you're actually a living witness to the events. Science fiction movie aspects abound with a hat tip to the classic "Fantastic Voyage" and a foreshadow to the then still-to-come "Star Wars." But perhaps best of all, it's one of Marvel's regular joes that saves the day. Rick Jones, teenage wannabe rock star, Incredible Hulk sidekick, and former Capt. America confidante, is abducted by a Kree soldier and taken back to their home planet. The Kree Supreme Intelligence -- a monstrous grotesque head composed of the greatest minds in Kree history -- awakens in Rick dormant mental powers which allow the Avengers -- and Earth, as a consequence -- to be victorious, and the Kree-Skrull scuffle to end (for the nonce).
The aforementioned Kurt Busiek added to this awesome epic almost three decades later in what is in my opinion the second greatest Marvel epic of all-time -- "Avengers Forever" (premiere issue at left). Busiek uses Jones' mental powers -- now dubbed the "Destiny Force" -- as a prize fought over by long-time Avengers foes Immortus and Kang the Conqueror. It helps if you're an Avengers fan to really enjoy Kurt's tale, but if not, Busiek's affection for continuity is sure to make you one. That, and artist Carlos Pacheco's pencils are truly spectacular.
"AF" plucks various Avengers from the Marvel timestream to deal with the threat of Immortus who, it turns out, has the means to erase whole timelines that he has deemed "dangerous." Again, Busiek meticulously weaves aspects of Marvel yore throughout the twelve-issue tale, including even lesser known "What If?" tales (most intriguingly for me, one that included an apocryphal 1950s Avengers team).
Both the "Kree-Skrull War" and "Avengers Forever" are available as mass market trade paperback collections and are easy to find. I highly recommend them.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
I saw Marlo Lewis on CNN this morning and I must say that if you allow him to speak for your agency then you are in serious trouble. All he did was "pick" at Mr Gore's theory and movie. He skipped over the 99.9% of the facts that were correct only to concentrate on the .1%. If he wanted to speak out about something he should talk about males with insufficient testosterone, which he can speak from experience, or perhaps "MOMMA'S BOYS" why they are beaten up so often.
99.9%??? What a hoot! But what do you expect from one who can't even read? After all, there's no "Marlo Lewis" listed as a Newsbusters contributor. A quick Google search notes that he is a member of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
"Downtrodden" Pickle Hooker.
[Brian] Marquis, a 51-year-old paralegal seeking bachelor's degrees in legal studies and sociology, filed a 15-count lawsuit in US District Court in Springfield in January after a teaching assistant graded a political philosophy class on a curve and turned Marquis's A-minus into a C. Marquis contends that the university violated his civil rights and contractual rights and intentionally inflicted "emotional distress."
Last week, after a brief hearing with Marquis and a university lawyer, District Court Judge Michael A. Ponsor dismissed the suit. But Marquis said this week he is considering appealing to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
Good luck, pal. Lookin' too much like James Brolin ain't gonna help you, either.
I like what UMass-Amherst ombudsman Catharine Porter had to say: "If every student that didn't like his or her grade started to do this, we'd have to hire, I don't know, 25,000 attorneys."
You ain't whistlin' Dixie, sister.
One of my favorite Marvel titles from years gone by was the "What If?" series. In it, the Marvel "Bullpen" hypothesized what would happen if certain key aspects of Marvel continuity were changed. For instance, the premiere issue asked "What If Spider-Man Joined the Fantastic Four?"
Which brings me to another issue featuring the FF. In 1982, the book asked "What If the Fantastic Four Had Not Gained Their Super-Powers?" The story is mildly interesting, sustained only by great John Byrne artwork.
But the answer to the issue's question is simple: The book would've SUCKED!
Plain enough? I mean, who the hell would want to read about four average joes taking on the likes of Dr. Doom, the Silver Surfer and Galactus? Not me!
Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani said the other day that part of the reason Hitler did what he did in World War II was because Jews were “a pain in the neck.”
Rafsanjani noted that Jews caused problems for European governments because they “had a lot of property” and “controlled an empire of propaganda.” He also said that the Nazis were successful in saving Europe from the evil of Zionism.
Hmm, is it me or does that “controlled an empire of propaganda” line sound suspiciously like "the Jewish lobby has too much power in America"?
Anyone remember when Yassir Arafat won it?? Other "winners" have included Jimmy "I Was A Much Better President Than You Remember" Carter (2002), Kofi Annan and the UN (2001), Mikhail Gorbachev (1990) (funny how Ronald Reagan didn't get a co-prize); the UN Peace-Keeping Forces (1988); and perhaps most notoriously, the fraud author Rigoberta Menchu (1992).
It wasn't always this way. Back when, there were some true advocates for peace who actually risked their own hides. Take, for instance: Martin Luther King Jr. (1964); Andrei Sakharov (1975); Anwar Sadat (1978) (jointly with Menachem Begin; Sadat was assassinated a few years later); Mother Teresa (1979); Lech Walesa (1983); Desmond Tutu (1984); and, amazingly in the 1990s a common sense one to Nelson Mandela (1993) (shared with Frederik de Klerk).
UPDATE (Oct. 13 at 7:48pm): David Bernstein over at Volokh tried to find some criteria by which the Nobel Peace Prize recipient is chosen. This is all he could find, and it was from Wikipedia:
"according to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize should be awarded 'to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.'"
OK, so why did Gore win again??
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Murtha: Underhanded and Overlawyered
Big Lizards by Big Lizards, and Battleground Che by Publius Pundit. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2||Murtha: Underhanded and Overlawyered|
|1 2/3||The Enormous Damage Done To Our Space Program By "The Space Race"|
Right Wing Nut House
|1||What We Stand For|
|1||Fulfill the Old Commitments First|
|1||Don't Get Madison|
Done With Mirrors
|1||Why I Oppose a War Surtax|
Rhymes With Right
|2/3||Baby Boomers -- 'Rockin' On' into the Apocalypse|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|1/3||Should We Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?|
The Glittering Eye
|1 1/3||Mission Accomplished|
|1 1/3||'Journalists' Tell Howard Kurtz Why Good News from Iraq Shouldn't Get Reported (updated w/video)|
|2/3||An Astonishing and Sickening Breach of Trust|
|2/3||Anti-War Movement Stuck in a Quagmire|
|2/3||The Poison at the Heart of the Left|
|2/3||Hero Is To Heroine As Knitting Is To Pork!|
|2/3||Patriotism vs. Nationalism|
Right on the Left Coast: Views from a Conservative Teacher
|2/3||The Syria Strike: It Was Nukes|
|2/3||Another Decorative Number...|
Neurotic Iraqi Wife
|1/3||Out With a Whimper|
The Paragraph Farmer
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
Regarding Ann Coulter:
She's a nazi, an elitiest, and evil creature, not a human being and offers NOTHING positive or redeeming for this world. Cervical cancer would be a blessing on the planet.
Look, I don't like Ann Coulter either. I don't many folks on the Left, either. But to wish for them to contract something like cervical cancer, well, that person isn't a human being. And that's being nice.
The "hate crime" at Columbia University where someone placed a noose on a [black] professor's office door ... will turn out to be a hoax.
Why? The university stonewalled on turning over surveillance tapes. If you were dead-set on discovering who the hate-filled creeps who hung the noose were, why on earth would you cause delays?? Doesn't pass the smell test.
Place your bets now. My current money is on what this commenter says:
This’ll turn into a “teaching moment”, where the teacher explains she did this to address the on-going issues of racism and biogtry in the nation, that her actions were justified as a means to this end, and that she should not - in any way - be held culpable for what is clearly designed as a stunt.
There is NO reason the school would not want the tapes released if there was a real perpetrator. NONE WHATSOEVER.
What a surprise. Where else but in San Francisco will a judge BLOCK enforcement of federal immigration law? In cases where localities attempt to thwart illegal immigration, lawyers descend upon the place and their argument is always "Immigration is a federal matter." Now that the feds are DOING something, this nut of a "judge" says NO:
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued an order saying the agencies could not go forward with plans announced in August to send letters warning employers they face stiff penalties — including fines of up to $10,000 — if they hire workers whose Social Security numbers do not match their names.
Judge Breyer, appointed by President Clinton in 1997, said the new work-site rules likely would impose hardships on businesses and their workers, adding that the plaintiffs had "demonstrated they will be irreparably harmed" if the rules are enforced.
If the judiciary is supposed to interpret laws, how can it actually claim "irreparable harm" about a crystal clear law that is perfect common sense? The law is clear on the matter -- that recent [federal] rule changes require employers to verify work documents. But, the plaintiffs include the ACLU, AFL-CIO and numerous other labor and "immigrant activist" groups, so naturally San Francisco is the ideal place to get a ruling in your favor! Especially if the younger brother of one of the US Supreme Court's premier liberals, Stephen Breyer, is the judge!
Hector Figueroa, secretary-treasurer of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, called the ruling "a victory that will halt unnecessary discrimination against workers and turmoil in our economy."
"Unnecessary discrimination," huh? You just gotta love how terms get twisted beyond all recognition of what they actually mean. Next, we'll be saying that police "discriminate" against shoplifters because the suspects are "victims of Wall Street" -- they're inundated with commercials about nice clothing and other products. Here's a clue, Hector: What you call "discrimination" is, to the vast majority of CLEAR-THINKING people, actually ENFORCING A COMMON SENSE LAW. It's quite a simple thing to overcome, too. Enter the country LEGALLY, get a green card, and you can work legally. Then, the "discrimination" will cease! Get it?
Hazleton, PA, is a perfect example of the aforementioned locality getting fed up with the lack of federal effort at immigration enforcement. They're back in the news today because noted pollster, John Zogby, moved beyond his objective polling to outright advocacy:
One of the nation's leading political pollsters issued a scathing personal attack on Hazleton's "prejudiced and oppressive" attempts to drive out illegal immigrants, saying local leaders have created a climate of fear that is endangering the city's economic health.
John Zogby, president of Zogby International, said in a report released yesterday that "fear reigns supreme" in a community that once embraced diversity.
Writing in a "special executive summary," Zogby, whose mother was raised in the Hazleton area, said "a massive community effort needs to be made to root out the disease of racism" and urged residents to "challenge the mayor on every front."
Just wait for that tact to be implemented next out in San Fran -- the invocation of "racism." It's the logical (if it can be called that) argumentative process of the Left when they attempt to debate common sense.
Codified by US Supreme Court edict.
But burn a Hamas and Hezbollah flag? Get cited for "incitement, creation of a hostile environment, and incivility."
Burn the Mexican flag? Get cited for "burning without a permit" (even though no one gives permits to burn a flag) and for "illegal burning of rubbish" (even though the Mexican flag isn't rubbish). (Link.)
Ironically, the gentleman in question claims that while in police detention, "he was harassed, his life was threatened, and he was even assaulted by some tourists who spit on him." These are all punishable offenses!
Is this a great country, or what? Where else can you refuse to say your country's Pledge, let alone change it to what you wish? Of course, judging by the "informal student group's" name -- "Student Worker" -- one wonders what their real agenda is. And if it is that, then these kids' kids won't have the same rights as they once did.
Here's their "new" Pledge:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity in which our nation stands. One nation, part of one planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all."
"Directors of Diversity," whether at colleges or large employers, are akin in function to the "Political Officers" that once permeated the former USSR.
I was perusing through the few remaining long boxes in my basement, looking for some comics to reread for the umpteenth time before turning in for the night. Lo and behold, I yanked one issue out that I had never before stayed with all the way through, and no wonder -- it's 1991's inaugural issue of SuperPro!!
Oh. My. God. Does it get any more pathetic than this, not only for comics stories, but shameless product promotion (the product, in this case, being the National Football League)?? Did the NFL really need such an avenue of advertisement? I mean, come on: I'm sure once those young budding footballers read that "He went from sacking quarterbacks to tackling crime" cover blurb, they were instantly clamoring for Sunday afternoon in front of the tube! And better yet -- it's a first-issue "collector's item!" I'm sure it's a fast mover at comics conventions and on eBay. Not.
Phil Grayfield was a pigskin star until injuries forced his retirement. He went to work for a sports magazine when he encountered a sports memorabilia collector who showed him an "experimental" football suit. "Experimental"?? Nevertheless, a few "hoods" busted in on Phil and "left him for dead." The hoods must've left him near a DuPont dump or something (it doesn't say) for a "once-in-a-lifetime chemical combination" gave Phil "enhanced athletic abilities, strength and endurance." How convenient! And, naturally, Phil decided to use his amazing abilities -- not to mention that "experimental" NFL suit -- to fight crime!! (Click on the image below for a larger version):
Let's look at a couple real life issues here: One, the NFL would sue the pants off Grayfield for using their league logo without permission! He might have to give up superheroing altogether to pay his legal bills. Second, why is Phil's sidekick a black guy (named Ken Reid)? If this comic reflected REAL football, Phil would be Ken Reid's sidekick! The NFL is an overwhelmingly African-American sport, so the chances are that Ken should be SuperPro. Hey, I'm certainly not calling Marvel racist or anything, and 1991 is around the dawn of the PC Age, but since Phil used to "sack quarterbacks," he obviously played defense, most likely a lineman. These positions are overwhelmingly held by black players, and were back in 1991 too.
I wonder if Jackson and Sharpton picketed Marvel back then ... ? ;-)
For me, it started when I saw this Dave Burris post over at [the excellent] First State Politics. This Frost family, apparently is not nearly as "destitute" as the Democrats would have you believe. After all, couldn't they have found another family that is of [substantially] less means to make their "case"? I guess not. Burris' overall point is that why should we ("we" being the American public) somehow "feel" for this family when they are not as "bad off" as we were initially led to believe? One of the tidbits of contention was that the two children attend private school. Apparently one of the children is on a partial scholarship and the family "only" has to pay around $500 a year. The other child, disabled by a car accident, also attended a private school BEFORE she was injured (a point of contention was that the disabled girl gets free tuition to a private school based on her disability).
One can on and on about the specifics about this, but that isn't the point. Here are the points about this whole imbroglio in my view:
I thought this was great when the head of our school cafeteria showed it to me earlier today:
The best thing about it is the "action figure" part. I mean, who ever thinks of a lunch lady as someone in "action"??
Check out this IN-context note from the hardcopy version of NEA Today, the monthly teacher's magazine:
Findings in a recent Pew Survey show that support for gay educators is on the rise. Only 28 percent of people think a school board should fire educators based on their sexual orientation.
"I believe that the national conversation that is happening regarding sexual oritentation, gender identity, and gender self-expression has made a huge difference," says Mary Paradise, co-chair of the NEA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus. "When more and more people stand up to support their sons and daughters, their neighbors and friends, their home decorators and hairdressers, their teachers and health care providers, it makes a difference."
O ho! How's THAT for stereotyping?! Gotta add those home decorators and hairdressers, huh? What about clothing designers, for goodness sake??
Heh. Just imagine if Bill O'Reilly said the above.
In an unrelated NEA Today tidbit, check out the ominous headline in the "Notepad" section: Numbers of Black Students Dip in New Orleans. Just make sure you read the small article, though -- the number "dipped" a whole four percent, from 93% (pre-Katrina) to 89% (post-Katrina).
Wow. What "news"!
Gallup Poll headline: Republicans Remain Deeply Distrustful of News Media
Gallup Poll sub-headline: Democrats much more positive
Hmm, I wonder why that might be ... ?? (Rubs chin while eyes glance up ...)
Republicans in America today remain deeply distrustful of the national news media -- in sharp contrast to Democrats, who have a great deal more trust in the media's accuracy. Overall, less than half of Americans, regardless of partisanship, have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the mass media. Nearly half of Americans -- including over three-quarters of Republicans -- perceive the media as too liberal while fewer than one in five say the media are too conservative. Americans are less likely to perceive bias in their local news media than in the national news media.
Meanwhile, in terms of trust and confidence in the media, more Americans have "not very much" or "none at all" (52%) than those who have a "great deal" or a "fair amount" (47%):
The writer of a new Captain America title has the lefty comics bloc's panties in a bunch. Why? 'Cause he's the guy who wrote the novel First Blood. That doesn't ring a bell? Well, it was turned into a movie and two sequels. In other words, OH NO! The dude who penned a story about a true American hero ... is writing a book about ... a true American hero! We can't have that in modern comics, can we? Doesn't this writer, David Morrell, know that you can only show that the US is bad, bad, BAD?? Just ask these guys. And remember the "controversy" over popular comics legend Frank Miller's Batman vs. al Qaeda story? Wow -- a popular superhero takes on ruthless Islamic terrorists. Call CAIR -- quick!
At any rate, as the Philly Daily News' Jerome Maida says, "Read the book," lefties, before you moan and groan.
(h/t to Colossus R&D man Gooch!)
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
Here is a story. News Busters -- Neocon Right Wing Propaganda machine. All the lies you wanted to hear but were to smart to listen! Get a life! Neocons are done! You are the weakest link! Goodbye!
Obviously this dude isn't to smart too use the right word for "two!" ;-)
"I would also like to be compensated for the foul act!"
"Foul act?" What could this gentleman possibly mean? Why he claims he was served pork products while in jail! Why is this a big deal? He is a Muslim:
Odell M. Edwards, who as a Muslim is not allowed to eat pork, filed his lawsuit against the Greene County Justice Center this past week in U.S. District Court in Springfield. Jail officials maintain that the jelly is made with fruit pectin extracted from plants. Pectin is a natural substance that thickens jams and jellies.
The sandwiches in question were served to Edwards and other Muslim inmates during the holy month of Ramadan. Jail Director C.E. Wells said officials consulted with a Muslim spiritual adviser when planning the Ramadan menu, and the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were preapproved.
But Edwards said the jelly in the sandwiches contained gelatin, which is often extracted from pig tissue. He appears to be seeking $250,000 per day for the period in which he was served the jelly.
Not only does he miraculously "know" that it was gelatin, he's also miffed at getting that peanut butter:
Wells said Edwards didn't just have a problem with the jelly. In his court filing, the inmate also complained that an overabundance of peanut butter in his diet had led to stomach pain and constipation, Wells said.
"It's sad that your only answer to this problem is an unhealthy amount of peanut butter or don't participate in Ramadan," Edwards wrote. "Again it is my duty and right to share in Ramadan but not to be tricked and bullied by an unhealthy diet!"
Proximity is not destiny, educationally speaking. A generation of experience with racial integration has taught a clear lesson: Sitting black kids next to white kids in school is not a silver bullet that zaps unequal achievement.
However, the faith that proximity leads to equal achievement remains the cargo cult of education.
That last statement sure is accurate, even here in Delaware. However, that seems to be changing. Dwight L. Davis, a Wilmington resident and neighborhood schools committee member in the Christina District has said (about the district's recently approved compliance with the Neighborhood Schools Law) “I think that’s best for all children. I’m happy that they voted to approve the plans." David is at odds with Wilmington attorney George Evans who "has been a longtime critic of the state Neighborhood Schools Act and he still expressed criticism before voting yes":
“While it causes much concern with re-segregation, the plan does in fact incorporate the use of city schools,” he said. “It also concerns me that given the population numbers at some suburban schools, these schools are off limits to Wilmington students. This is a proposal that brings about separation.”
But Davis, unlike Evans and way too many others, understands the difference between pre-Brown v. Board of Ed. segregation and any segregation that we witness today:
Dwight L. Davis said people in the city are not worried about re-segregation anymore. He said people just want a good education for their children close to home.
“I think that’s best for all children. I’m happy that they voted to approve the plans,” Davis said. “It’s still up to the community.”
Davis told The Community News there is a difference between “de facto segregation and de jure segregation.” Davis said despite all attempts to integrate schools, there is de facto segregation in schools as evidenced by where children sit in the cafeteria.
As is often the case, the simplest explanations are right. Like Mr. Davis' above, isn't the education of children more important than some racial bean counter's theories about what is socially, culturally (and educationally) "just"? For instance, much of the rationale behind New Castle County's desegregation plan was based on what Joanne Jacobs calls the "proximity" theory -- that by merely placing poorer, academically needy students next to more affluent academically adequate students, somehow the achievement of the former will improve (my emphasis):
That's been tried too with no effect on academic achievement. The journal Education Next reports on a study of families who moved out of public housing projects and into better neighborhoods in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York: "A randomized evaluation of the 'Moving to Opportunity' (MTO) program—a federal housing program piloted in five major U.S. cities that sought to relocate poor families by providing housing vouchers—shows that, contrary to expectations, moving families out of high-poverty neighborhoods has no overall positive impact on children's learning."
The new neighborhoods were significantly less poor and their residents were better educated. But researchers found no difference in children's reading or math scores or in behavior or attitudes toward school when comparing families that won the housing lottery with those who didn't. There also was no effect on retentions in grade or suspensions.
But again, there seems a general attitude shift about busing in northern Delaware, many feeder patterns of which haven't been changed since the original 1978 federal order. The Community News' Antonio Prado reported back in August that a task force is even investigating a reconstitution of the Wilmington School District (which was dissolved in 1978 in favor of a county-wide district):
The task force has local educators and critics of education talking about whether the Wilmington School District should be reconstituted.
Brandywine Board of Education President Joseph Brumskill has appointed himself to the task force. Brumskill told The Community News that he believes in a Wilmington School District “philosophically.” He even told Brandywine officials when they recruited him to run for the school board four years ago that he would have no problem if the Wilmington School District still existed, given the way busing played out.
I wonder how much money has been wasted on educational theories (like forced busing) that have been proven a bust? (Probably as much as has been spent on Iraq!) The sooner all educators focus on teaching children and the sooner parents get their kids ready for that teaching, the sooner we'll witness academic achievement improve overall.
UPDATE: I also wonder how much ink has been wasted on phony "Oh No!" stories like this from today.
Wazzup with this News Journal headline: For dwarfs today, little remains out of reach.
"Dwarfs"? "DWARFS"?? Can someone let the News Journal know it's supposed to be either "Little People" or "Vertically Challenged"?? Maybe the NJ can get a small people version of this silly edict.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Gratefully Not Dead: Iraq Civilian and US Military Deaths Plummet by Big Lizards, and That's Propa-tainment! by Pajamas Media. There was actually a tie in the non-council category this week... there were two very good posts about anti-war propaganda but Jules Crittenden's post ultimately won the Watcher over. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3||Gratefully Not Dead: Iraq Civilian and US Military Deaths Plummet|
|2||Man Without a Party|
Right Wing Nut House
|1 2/3||Reporter-God Sy Hersh's Dixie Chick Moment|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1||Carrots, Sticks, Poisoned Apples|
Done With Mirrors
|2/3||Can American Culture Survive the Constant MSM Onslaught?|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|2/3||Boondoggle Chronicles: Public Housing for the Affluent|
The Education Wonks
|2/3||Oh No! Dearth of Gays on Network Tube!|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|2/3||The Unraveling Narrative|
|2||The Hollywood Surge Is Failing|
|1||Traitors and Liberals|
|1||Hillary 1993: Nationalize Health Care Through the Kids|
|2/3||Shiite Militias vs. al Qaeda Terrorists in Iraq|
Blogs for Bush
|2/3||The Last of Zimbawe's White Farmers Are Forced Off Their Land Today|
|2/3||Our Dead Are Our Fault|
National Review Online
|2/3||Keeping the Memory of Shiri Negari Alive|
|2/3||NYC anti-Ahmadinejad Protests|
Spinning Clio: Where History and Politics Meet
|1/3||Fake War Hero Tom Harkin Smears Rush Limbaugh|
Michelle Malkin (2)
|1/3||Democrats and Board Games|
Get a grade of "C" and file a lawsuit.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
bush has hard times coming wen hes out of office he wont have anyboudy to take the blame four being such a LOSER
That may be, but who gets the blame for your constant slumber in English class?
Target Rich Environment nails the AP (and their parrot, the Wilmington News Journal), Philly.com and, surprisingly, WPHT radio's website over a report about two armored car guards being murdered in the City of Brotherly Love.
Guess what the AP (News Journal, WPHT) and Philly.com completely omitted from their reports of the incident? Take a guess, based on this report from KYW 1060's website, which includes a more thorough description:
Philadelphia police are investigating an armored car robbery Thursday morning in the city’s Rhawnhurst section that resulted in the death of two guards.
The robbery happened outside of a Wachovia bank branch just after 8am near Bustleton Avenue and Bleigh Street. Three armored car guards were removing money from ATM machines at the time of the robbery.
Police officials say two guards were shot to death at point-blank range. A third guard suffered a graze wound.
Police were said to be looking for at least suspect — a black male wearing a yellow baseball cap – who escaped in a black car with tinted glass windows and a sunroof. Police say the suspect got away with an unspecified amount of money.
Get it yet? Here -- here's another clue.
This past Sunday I played what may be my last round of golf of the year at the Three Little Bakers course in Pike Creek. I played a good front nine (43) but considerably worse on the back (50) for a not-so-hot-for-me 93 total. But, my buddy Roger and I really didn't care -- it was a spectacular day, and even though our tee time was the same [start] time as the Phils' game against Washington where they clinched the division, we had our wives sending us text messages for game updates!
But even on the friggin' golf course we couldn't escape the dalliances of the Nutty Left. On the 8th hole, near the green, there was an abandoned old stone building. Smack dab in the middle of it some dunce dubbing himself "Che" spray-painted the phrase "Legalize it" (click image to see larger version):
First of all, legalize what? It's probably a safe assumption it is some kind of drug, most likely marijuana. Second, is this yet another dope (no pun intended) seeking to glorify Che Guevara? At first glance it appears to be the case, but was Guevara in favor of drug legalization? That, and Guevara didn't use an accent mark on the "e" in his nickname.
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
Combating liberal media bias....what a bunch of bullshit. You guys disgust me. How do you sleep at night? Wait I know, you are all addicted to Lunesta. You live in your own little worlds constantly thinking that those who do not believe in the same views are out to get you. Man, you have pathetic lives. What kind of messed up childhood did you have?
"Out to get" us? Hardly. (But tell that to Bill O'Reilly, maybe.) And just in case in you're as Lithium-filled as this dunce, it ain't about exposing those "who do not believe in the same views" as us. It's about putting a little sunlight on the not-so-subtle agendas of too many supposedly "objective" newspeople.
... you're like a Moon Landing skeptic!! First being a global warming skeptic got you compared to a Holocaust denier, now this. The idiot this time? Sharon Begley -- a senior editor at Newsweek (no, there's no liberal media bias there!):
When asked if journalists should be more interpretive or analytical in their climate change reporting Begley said, “It depends …When you cover the history of the space program, you don't quote the percentage of Americans who think the moon landings took place on a stage in Arizona.”
In related news, some common sense from Europe has burst through: A judge in the UK has ruled that Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" ... "promotes partisan views, and that teachers who show the film to their pupils must make it clear that there are opposing opinions on the subject." (Link.) The man who brought the suit actually wanted the film banned outright; however, I think the ruling is a good one at first glance. But it's sad that a judge has to legally coerce teachers to inform their students that there are other views on this topic! Good teachers (who are not propagandists) already know to do that.
(h/t to Newsbusters reader Mike McNally.)
Larry Lambert of Claymont obviously got sucked in to the "Bill O'Reilly is a racist" garbage because he relied on the ridiculously biased and out-of-context coverage provided by numerous MSM outlets. He says O'Reilly "has absolutely no intention of understanding black people as anything more than the one-dimensional gangsters and prostitutes the mass media portrays us to be." Hey cretin -- that's precisely what O'Reilly's message WAS in the entire CONTEXT of his conversation -- that too many people have only the perception that blacks are gangstas, etc.
THIS is why the preposterously biased coverage of this whole matter was so poisonous. It sours race relations worse than any group of true racists can. Biased "news" outlets pick a completely out-of-context quote and disseminate it, making it look as if one of cable news' top talking heads is a racist. Guys like Larry obviously rely on newspapers and other news outlets for the "news" (which is reasonable, after all), but this is what he "learned." As Felix wrote when this whole ordeal began, "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."
And there's no better proof than what they did to Bill O'Reilly. And just keep in mind -- if Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson aren't miffed at 'ya, chances are You're "in the clear."
Fatimah Ali adds to this ignorance in the Philly Daily News. She actually has the nerve to title her article "The Great Race Debate." Debate?? DEBATE?? Hardly.
"I just have to say in all candor that since this nation was founded primarily on Christian principles ... personally, I prefer someone who I know who has a solid grounding in my faith," McCain said. "But that doesn't mean that I'm sure that someone who is Muslim would not make a good president."
Later, McCain said, "I would vote for a Muslim if he or she was the candidate best able to lead the country and defend our political values." He added that "the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation."
Hmm. I must've missed that part of the Constitution. Can someone direct me to where that's "established"?
Look, when one feels the need to pander to Christian groups, all one has to say without getting into hot water is that the United States is "primarily a Christian nation," and that "Judeo-Christian values predominate" in our country. It's an accurate statement to which only the ultra-sensitive can take offense.
Here's some news: I grew up reading Marvel Comics. Even if you didn't, you most likely know the name "Stan Lee," one of the main dudes behind the company. The other half is, of course, Jack "King" Kirby. These guys did virtually every early Marvel comic (Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, The X-Men), "early" meaning "throughout the 60s." Stan's writing (as I note here) was top-notch -- creative, intelligent and it used a lot of get-the-dictionary type words -- and one of the truly finest examples is seen here from Fantastic Four #60 on which much of the "Fantastic Four" sequel is based (click image to view larger version):
Maybe Stan's nickname should be "Stan the Alliteration Man"! I mean, check it: "See, you mountainous, misanthropic misfit ...!" "On your knees, you sentienceless savage!" Awesome stuff. No one makes a maniacal madman rant like Stan used to.
Another thing Stan was silly like a fox at was giving heroes and villains "real" names that suited their superhero or super-villain moniker! Seen right here is a perfect example: Dr. Doom, whose "real" name is Victor Von Doom. Has anyone ever heard of someone with that last name?? Even better is Spider-Man arch-villain Dr. Octopus. His "real" name is Otto Octavius! Cheeyeah, right! This knack was picked up by many subsequent writers, much to the chagrin of fans (mainly 'cause none did it better than Stan!). One that sticks out -- painfully -- is totally lame Iron Man villain from the early 1980s "Vibro." His "real" name was Anton Vibereaux! Gee, sounds ... French!
I mean, Jimmy Olsen, Nazi hero? I get this was probably from a time travel story, but does he have to seem so happy? And do we even want to know what he had to do to get that Field Marshal baton?
Remember Anita Hill? Neither do I, but I think she was the woman who wrongly accused some Duke lacrosse players of rape.
Wait, my mistake. Actually she was the woman that accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court nomination hearings. Ms. Hill gets an additional 15 minutes of fame this week what with Justice Thomas's autobiography getting published. The New York Times today helpfully gives her a platform upon which to again stage her grievance theater. Ed Morrissey, however, provides some context:
I recall that it was Hill who went to the Judiciary Committee with a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears in 1991. The committee had noted the lack of substantiation and had dismissed her effort until someone leaked it to the press. Her colleagues testified that they had never witnessed any of the events or any other harrassing behavior from Thomas when they came before the committee. In fact, at the time, the other women who worked for Thomas testified to his professional mien in the office.
Captain Ed also notes that Hill, a graduate of Yale law school who one might think would have learned something about the timeliness of claims, waited ten years before accusing Thomas of anything.
Which brings me back to the Duke non-rape case. But for the blogosphere (by which I mean largely, but by no means solely, conservative bloggers), those lacrosse players would have been sacrificed at the alter of Mike Nifong's political ambition and the MSM's racial narrative. During Thomas's confirmation hearings, there was of course no conservative blogosphere to question an accuser whose credibility was questionable, or to fact-check a MSM eager to use any accusation to bludgeon a Republican Supreme Court nominee. The media transmitted the narrative of the defenseless woman being harassed by a lecherous supervisor gladly, and without question. The fact that this narrative mirrored the character assassination which left-wing interest groups and Senate Democrats wanted I'm sure was just a coincidence.
Those hearings are now remembered for popularizing "sexual harassment," thus making the caddish the criminal, and setting up a legal regime that wastes millions of dollars in litigation and sensitivity training courses every year. I think, however, that they should also be seen an example of what would happen if there was no conservative blogosphere looking over the shoulders of both the press and policymakers.
Simon Miller of New Castle rivals Gary L. Francione from over a month ago in utter inanity regarding the cessation of eating animals. He compares the killing of animals for food to the Holocaust and those who kill/eat animals to Nazis (my emphasis):
We are rightfully outraged by visiting Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's taunting denial of the Holocaust last week.
Yet, at every meal, we deny the daily abuse and slaughter of millions of cows, pigs, and other innocent, feeling animals in U.S. factory farms and slaughterhouses.
There is no life before death for these animals. From birth, they are caged, crowded, deprived, drugged, and mutilated. At the slaughterhouse, they are frequently dismembered, skinned, or scalded, while fully conscious.
Like the "good Germans" of the 1940s, we have a fair idea of what goes on behind those walls, but we reject any reality checks. We fear that the truth might offend our sensibilities and perhaps even force us to change our diet. (Link.)
Nothin' like just slightly overdoing it, eh? Needless to say, comparing the purposeful, systematic genocide of an entire people to the killing of animals for food is simply execrable. Again, just check out Felix's previous post (noted above) for a bit of reality and common sense.
Here's a new regular feature I've been toying around with for a while. My favorite comic blog, Comic Coverage, does such an awesome job dissecting various tidbits of comicbook minutae that it inspired me (especially its "Friday Night Fights"!). So, here it is -- the inaugural installment of Colossus of Rhodey's "Comicbook Quirk of the Week"! (And keep in mind -- when I say "quirk," it's usually ... almost certainly ... unintentional!)
Many of you know that my fave comicbook hero is Marvel's Iron Man. Many consider the late 1980s' "Armor Wars" to be the best-ever story the title has seen. (I even wrote the vast majority of the event's synopsis for Marvel.com's website, by the way natch!) The third-to-last issue in this multi-issue installment features the destruction of Iron Man's famous (or INfamous, depending your POV) armor, the red and silver "Silver Centurion" suit. Creators David Michelinie (a Delaware resident, by the way) and Bob Layton responded to fan advice and brought back the usual red and gold armor (after all, one of Iron Man's nicknames is the "Golden Avenger") in unforgettable style: They have the US government prepare to do battle with a supposedly "rogue" Iron Man with their own armored operative: a guy named Firepower:
Pretty impressive, eh? I think it's pretty weird how the helmet fits perfectly, but he's obviously going to have to use some sort of "virtual movement" program to operate the suit given the armor's prodigious size! (Actual size of man inside approximated in red!) Somehow, though, this guy can run, jump and fly like an agile gymnast! And wince at the [unintentional] stereotyping:
"The projects"?? Ouch.
Now, keep in mind that this whole story is based on Iron Man trying to neutralize armored villains and heroes who've managed to acquire some of his secret technology. Tony Stark (Iron Man's alter-ego) makes up a fake story that his "employee and bodyguard" Iron Man has gone "rogue" -- even Stark needs protection from the now-nutso superhero. So, if that's supposedly the case, tell me something -- how will these guys "protect" Stark from one of the most powerful super-beings on the whole friggin' planet??
A pistol?? A machine gun?? And why is that guy at left posing as he is? Why is he looking right "at the camera" holding up his "deadly" handgun?? Seems like a "Commando" moment to me!
Lastly, at issue's end, 'ol Firepower gets the better of the Armored Avenger, severely damaging his armor. FP's last act is to launch a tactical nuke at him, which apparently blows Iron Man to bits. Then someone explain to me the issue's last panel:
OK, I can buy that the helmet survived the blast, but how is there blood splattered all over it?? It was hit by a nuke! Like, it wouldn't have been instantly vaporized?? Y'see, this blood was Tony Stark's attempt to "trick" the government into believing that Iron Man was actually killed in the attack. Funny how government forensics experts didn't wonder how blood managed to survive a nuclear explosion, yet traces of bone (like a skull) and other matter did not!!
There you have it. Y'see, I can even bust on my favorite hero, one of my favorite storylines of all-time, and even one of my favorite creative teams!