And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Buchanan's New Book: “Prepare Ye for the End” by Right Wing Nut House, and Have Our Copperheads Found Their McClellan in Retired LTG General Sanchez? by Wolf Howling. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2||Buchanan's New Book: “Prepare Ye for the End”|
Right Wing Nut House
|1 2/3||The Visual Imagery Society|
The Glittering Eye
|1 1/3||Arabs Coming To Annapolis|
Rhymes With Right
|1 1/3||"Apt Natural -- I Have a Gub"|
|1 1/3||Still No Evidence 9/11 Nuts Rule|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1||Legacy of Legacies|
|1||The Never-ending U.D. Thought-control Saga|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1/3||Today's Non Sequitur: San Fran's Bohemian Intolerance|
The Education Wonks
|1/3||Dealing With Disinformation|
|1/3||The Gap Between Critics and the Rest of Us|
Done With Mirrors
|2 2/3||Have Our Copperheads Found Their McClellan in Retired LTG General Sanchez?|
|2||Letter from the Front: Turkey Day in Tikrit|
|1 1/3||The American Non-Empire|
|1||A Remarkable Disconnect From Context and Causation|
|1||Outrage in Annapolis|
|1/3||Another Victory for Colorblind Government Policy|
La Shawn Barber's Corner
|1/3||US Withholding Reports That Are Critical of Abu Mazen's "Security Forces"|
|1/3||America Magazine: Two Items on Summorum Pontificum: A Jeer and a Reflection|
What Does The Prayer Really Say?
|1/3||What's Happening on the "Street"|
West Bank Mama
|1/3||One Lesson from Life of Logan Man: History Matters|
Better Living: Thoughts from Mark Daniels
|1/3||Bowling with Others|
People who think the US should be "more like Canada" ought to check this out:
Richard Warman, a lawyer who worked as an investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, often filed complaints against "hate speech" sites — complaints that were generally upheld under Canadian speech restrictions. [Paul] Fromm, a defender of various Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, has been publicly condemning Warman for, among other things, being "an enemy of free speech." Warman sued, claiming that these condemnations are defamatory.
Canada doesn't have a First Amendment like we do here in the States. "Hate" Internet sites can be shut down (the KKK could get in legal trouble for operating a website in Canada). While I obviously abhor Holocaust deniers and anti-Semites, I certainly believe they should have a right to express their [pathetic] views. That's the essence of free speech. At any rate, the kicker is that a Canadian court ruled for Warman -- "chiefly on the grounds that because Warman's claims were accepted by the legal system, they couldn't accurately be called an attack on free speech "!!
This is beyond preposterous. Under Canadian law, it's possible people could be found to have "defamed," say, OJ Simpson for calling him a "murderer," since a criminal court found him "not guilty" of that crime. (Maybe there's an "out" here since the civil court found him liable for the two deaths; who knows.) Under Canadian law, George Bush could actually use the DoJ to fine (or arrest) protestors who call him "an enemy of free speech" since said protestors have to do their protesting in an "approved" area. Since it is a lawful act to require protestors to keep themselves within a certain distance from the president and within a certain geographical area, these protestors would be engaging in "defamation" of the president!
Funny how I haven't seen the MSM or anyone (yet) from the Left criticize this ruling, especially since the Left believes that George Bush and 2007 America are the second coming of Hitler and Nazi Germany, respectively. The unfortunate truth for these loons however, is that the United States is MUCH more free when it comes to people's speech than our neighbors to the north and in Europe. Keep this in mind when dolts like those from Code Pink think that "free speech" equals the "right to disrupt" hearings or other people's speech.
Poor Bill Clinton. It's inevitable that trying to constantly be on both sides of an issue will getcha in the end:
A former senior aide to then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice disputed Bill Clinton's statement this week that he "opposed Iraq from the beginning," saying that the former president was privately briefed by top White House officials about war planning in 2003 and that he told them he supported the invasion.
Clinton's comments in Iowa on Tuesday went far beyond more nuanced remarks he made about the conflict in 2003. But the disclosure of his presence in briefings by Rice -- and his private expressions of support -- may add to the headaches that the former president has given his wife's campaign in recent weeks.
Y'think? But always remember, Bush lied, lied, LIED about Iraq having WMDs and yada yada yada. It just doesn't matter what Bill Clinton had said before ... or any of these other folks. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER, OK??
This map shows us in plain sight!
My Trek "Nerd" score (h/t to Duffy):
Dennis Supple, an employee of the city of Denver, CO, has had it. He says the city's "diversity program" -- specifically a video titled "Laughing Matters -- Think About It" -- is "racially motivated against white males" and the whole program is "institutional racism against Anglos:
The video, titled Laughing Matters - Think About It, is meant to show employees how humor at the expense of others diminishes respect in the workplace. The character who breaks all the rules is Billy, a white, blue-collar worker who's a racist, sexist goofball.
In one scene, Billy is told that another employee named Carlos can't do anything because he's waiting for supplies.
"What's his problem?" Billy says. "He can't sell breakfast burritos without the supplies or he takes a siesta?"
Supple said the video violates his civil rights and that he's considering taking the equity in his house to file a lawsuit to stop the city from showing it.
"Diversity, to me, doesn't mean hammer the white guy," Supple said. "Diversity means you have respect for everyone, regardless of their race, their gender, their religion, their sexual orientation."
Supple said further that "If you portrayed a black woman (or a Hispanic or a homosexual) in that manner, there'd be hell to pay." And he's 100% correct. It'd sure be interesting to see what the outcome of a lawsuit would be.
And wouldn't it be a good idea for irritated students at colleges around the country (like the University of Delaware!) to file "hostile educational environment" complaints with university officials or some other entity when they're mandated to listen to tripe like "only whites can be racist"? After all, someone please explain to me how this is any different from saying "only blacks can be ____________ (fill in the stereotype)" or "only Hispanics can be ___________ (fill in the stereotype)" or "only Asians can be ______________ (fill in the stereotype)"?
Why don't regular folks just stop paying to get their drivers license renewed, refuse to get insurance and myriad other things? I mean, to hell with the rules ... and the law, right?
I'm starting up a new category here at Colossus, the "Dopey College Op-Ed of the Week." I totally got a kick out of the Campus News Confab blog, but it looks to be defunct now as it hasn't been updated in almost a year. CNC was devoted to the inanity that is frequently demonstrated in college newspaper opinion sections. They would have thoroughly enjoyed this whopper from Mike Eber -- advisor of Michigan State's debate team! -- in the Michigan Daily. The title of Mike's ... article is "Guns Are for Liberals Too." Here's the money quote, as they say (my emphasis):
Consider our presidential election in 2000. Blatantly ignoring the will of Florida voters, the U.S. Supreme Court handed victory to Bush on a technicality. Liberals agreed that there was nothing more to do in appeal, but according to Locke, if a government is guilty of systematic abuse of its power, then citizens have a right install legitimate rule. Instead, liberals stood by willingly after the ruling, acting as if they had just lost a close football game.
Where to start? First, the SCOTUS didn't "blatantly ignore" the will of the Florida voters. In actuality, the "will of the voters" in Florida was that a slight majority wanted George Bush to be president (as various news agencies later determined using various standards of "chad analysis"). As an advisor of a debate team, is Eber actually saying that the "will" of FL voters was Al Gore ... because of that ridiculously laid-out "butterfly ballot"? If he is, he should know then that he is sowing the seeds of election and hence, democracy, chaos.
But I digress. Eber's main point is that citizens -- according to Second Amendment history, among others -- had a right to have Al Gore win Florida's electoral votes because of blatant Supreme Court interference, and could have (should have) made use of their 2nd Amendment rights to ensure that right. You follow? Florida's hotly disputed electoral votes -- which George Bush had won initially and in subsequent recounts, not to mention after the fact by myriad news agencie's analysis -- actually should have gone to Gore ... and the people could/should have used their weapons to make it so.
What else should people have used their 2nd Amendment rights to "install legitimate rule," Mike? How 'bout states that, by the opinion of a clear majority of their voters, wanted to either restrict abortion or outlaw it completely? When the SCOTUS ruled as they did in Roe v. Wade, the people should have ignored the edict and made use of their 2nd Amendment rights to make it happen, according to Eber!
There's also the instance of the SCOTUS interefering again in federalism and issuing from on high that the death penalty was unconstitutional in the early 1970s. According to Eber, the people should have ignored that too, and made use of their 2nd Amendment rights to make that so.
For what else should "the people" make use of their 2nd Amendment rights, Mike? How about the recent Kelo decision which makes a mockery of eminent domain? If a government (state, local) decides to take over someone's property to build condos that'll provide a "better tax base," say, should that property owner use his 2nd Amendment rights to guard against this government tyranny?
Actually, the question of the "compact" between the people and the government was settled in the Civil War. The southern states believed (obviously) that the northern states were acting (and legislating) in a manner that was detrimental to their interests -- in essence, acting in a "tyrannical" fashion. Slavery and economic matters were two of the biggest issues. Abe Lincoln believed that the Constitution held the states in union "in perpetuity;" in other words, the southern states had NO legitimate right to secede from the Union even though they felt that the federal government was no longer serving their interests. The "little" fact that the North won the Civil War sort of ends the debate about secession and the "compact."
So where does that leave the 2nd Amendment today? Do people [still] need the right to own a gun as protection from "government tyranny"? And would it even matter? (The government has all of the really big weapons; using handguns and rifles ain't gonna do much good against artillery, tanks and bombs!) A few things:
My opinion is that "tyrannical government" reason to own a firearm still matters in 2007. It admittedly would be extremely difficult for any American government to mobilize against its own people in this day and age, first and foremost because it is a government "by the people." The difficulty of convincing some Americans to take up [military] arms against their fellow citizens would be enormous. Making the difficulty of higher magnitude is the very fact that those "fellow citizens" would be armed. Certainly not as much as any military, of course, but armed nonetheless. That is enough to give quite a bit of pause to any "tyrannical" leader.
In this case the target is bloggers, and the one making the asinine comparison is the Philadelphia Daily News sports writer Bill Conlin:
The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler’s time on earth–I’m sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called “Pamphleteers.” They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO. Shakespeare accidentally summed up the genre best with these words from a MacBeth soliloquy: “. . .a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. . .”
Ace of Spades notes, "I mean, Good God, the 'pamphleteers' Conlin is so jazzed about Hitler executing were propagandizing against Hitler. And Conlin's all in favor of that."
"Battlestar Galactica: Razor" aired Saturday night, and it sure made my weekend. BSG fans may recall the cliffhanger of season two: Another Battlestar, the Pegasus, also survived the Cylon genocidal attack. Led by Admiral Cain (the lovely Michelle Forbes), we eventually learn that Cain and the Pegasus acted in ways that were borderline sadistic and criminal in their quest to survive. For example, in the cliffhanger, we hear that the admiral shot dead her first officer for refusing to follow her orders. In "Razor," we see it. Admiral Cain is essentially the antithesis to [now]-Admiral Adama and President Roslin. To Cain, her often brutal tactics are absolutely essential for the survival of the human species; humanity can worry about the rightness of her actions when -- if -- human civilization ever prospers again.
This is what "Razor" shows -- what happened to the Pegasus when the pivotal Cylon attacked occured, and how they survived. We also see what happened on the first post-Admiral Cain Pegasus mission under the command of Lee Adama (Admiral Adama's son). Told from the perspective of one Lt. Kendra Shaw, Cain instructs her (and others) that they now need to becomes "razors" -- a metaphor for toughness and deadliness ... that they'll have to do things they never thought they could do. All in the name of naked, plain survival.
What affects Lt. Shaw greatest is when Admiral Cain orders her and a cadre of soldiers from the Pegasus to board and confiscate various items from a fleet of civilian ships that also survived the Cylon attack. They're also ordered to conscript passengers with vital skills. (Anyone recall that flight engineer?) When the passengers object and eventually begin to riot, Cain orders her officers to shoot anyone who resists. Shaw complies first, shooting a civilian right in the head. Nine more are killed by the cadre.
What is not shown in detail in "Razor" that we saw quite a bit of in the cliffhanger was the treatment of the Pegasus Number 6 humanoid Cylon. You'll recall that once captured, the Pegasus #6 was brutally mistreated -- raped, sodmized, beaten, tortured. The only thing we see in "Razor" is Cain giving the order to the notorious Thorne: "Take it to the limit," she basically tells her officer, in her quest to see just how much the humanoid Cylons can withstand. Furthermore, we are clued in that Cain and the Pegasus #6 were lovers. Breaks for several commercials during "Razor" alluded to this , and this sure answered my question as to why Cain had #6 at her dinner table that was supposed to be reserved only for her officers.
I wish we could have seen greater detail into the plight of the Pegasus; however, the writers felt we needed to see some gratuitous features from the original "Battlestar" series from the 1970s. That was what Lee Adama's first mission was all about. It seems an enclave of original Cylon centurions were lurking around guarding a mystery ship that supposedly used captured humans for horrific experiments. Lee's pop, Admiral Bill Adama, had seen that very ship on one of his first missions as a new pilot aboard the Galactica. I'm supposing this "backstory" may have a role in the ultimate resolution of the BSG series, but it was ultimately a distraction from what I really wanted to see -- the Pegasus.
One tidbit I had always wondered about since the cliffhanger: How in the frak did the Pegasus survive that Cylon computer virus that crippled the entire Colonial fleet and defense grid? (Galactica's excuse was that it is so old, and that Adama refused to allow networked computers aboard his ship.) Pegasus got around it because its crucial systems were offline when the attack occurred. The Pegasus #6 eventually got the "safe" codes from the unknowing Lt. Shaw (the Pegasus #6 was that Battlestar's systems "wizard") and it led to a brutal Cylon attack shortly after the main [genocidal] attack. Shaw sees another #6 when some Cylons board Pegasus, and this is what leads to the Pegasus #6's capture and subsequent torture.
One of "Razor's" main purposes is for viewers to contrast and compare the governing styles of Cain and Adama. Very telling is near movie's end where Admiral Adama tells his son that what Cain did "made sense." Lee can't believe what he's hearing. I think Admiral Bill Adama is more like Admiral Cain than we all think. Recall how Adama wanted the military to assume command of the fleet after the Cylon attack on the Colonies, and initially deeply resented Roslin interfering. Adama has made a number of Cain-like decisions over the last three seasons, only to be "restrained" by President Roslin, his son, and others. Nevertheless, BSG's creators want us to examine how the Galactica ran (runs) things, and how the Pegasus functioned. Which is the more ... "appropriate" considering the circumstances? I've more than criticized some of the ridiculously obtuse decisions made by various Galactica crewmen (like preventing a Galactica bio-attack that could have annihilated a large percentage of Cylons), as well as allowing an act-like-genocide-never-occured style democracy among the surviving ships of the fleet. However, actions like Cain ordering the killing of civilians for their protests were over the top. Such a riot could have easily been quelled by threats and at the most the stunning and/or wounding of the passengers. Pegasus had the means to take what it wanted without Cain's [murderous] orders.
In the entire scheme of things, while I don't concur with everything Admiral Cain did (as far as we've been told), I believe that the way she acted in the face of extinction makes magnitudes more sense than what we've witnessed aboard the Galactica. The viewer has to realize -- the human race is on the verge of extinction!! Would you, as a survivor, be more concerned with that survival, or making sure all the "luxuries" and amenities you used to enjoy on your colony planet were re-established among the surviving ships of the fleet? Would you want a 40+ year seasoned commander to make decisions in the wake of annihilation, or the Colonial Secretary of Education, elevated to the Colonial Presidency merely by order of succession (everyone else above her was killed)? I surely understand that a show called "Battlestar Pegasus" where we saw, week after week, military scuffles between humans and Cylons would make for rather boring TV (which is why the original BSG series, after initial phenomenal success, plummeted quickly in the ratings). "Battlestar Galactica" still is one terrific scifi show, but last year's season three began to stretch credibility to the breaking point. In order to regain such, I think it'd ill behoove the writers to incorporate just a little more of Admiral Cain's philosophy into how the Galactica and the fleet are run.
An spot on the distinguished Watcher's Council has opened up. If you're a blogger and would like to apply, or know of a blog that you believe is worthy, check out the info here.
Ah yes, the "big" University of Delaware vs. Delaware State University football match-up took place yesterday. It was historic as the two teams had never played each other before. Some believe race has been a factor for that situation; others believe it because DSU just isn't good enough of a football team. The outcome of yesterday's game (44-7, UD won) sure gives a lot of credence to those who hold the latter view. (Of course, however, UD continually played milksops like West Chester year after year, so why not DSU for that "intrastate rivalry," right?) At any rate, today's News Journal has a big write-up about the event. One thing caught my eye, and my first impression was that of many commenters to the WNJ article. Look at the pose DSU President Allen Sessoms is striking in that photo above left. The caption says the following:
DSU President Allen L. Sessoms raises his fist in a salute to the team's fans as the school band plays the alma mater Friday after the Hornets' loss to the Blue Hens.
Is that a ... "black power" salute reminiscent of the late 60s-early 70s? (Recall the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.) It does look like it. However, after mulling it through, I considered:
Thus, I'm sure inclined to give Mr. Sessoms the benefit of the doubt. Of course, if Sessoms did mean it as a "black power" salute, it is highly inappropriate. (But not so inappropriate that the News Journal thought it a good idea to publish the photo, right? But hey, when you're losing readers left and right, why not attempt to stir up controversy where there most likely isn't any, eh?)
This would be the case for one Islamic activist and journalist Yvonne Ridley, who gave a speech about the "valiant" Taliban the other day at UC Irvine. Yes, she's a bona fide nutjob, but d'ya notice anything in that video? There was no major disruption by pro-American protestors. There was no speech-stopping heckling by anti-radical Muslim activists. Ms. Ridley was allowed to speak.
Funny how that doesn't apply to those on the other side of the spectrum, eh?
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
what idiots you are.
"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni Vernelli.
Read more of this enviro-nonsense here.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Charting a New Course In Iraq Messaging by Cheat Seeking Missiles, and The Irrationality of Europe by The Van Der Galiën Gazette. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3||Charting a New Course In Iraq Messaging|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2||Prophets in a Freudian Age|
|1 2/3||Who Won't Be the Next President|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 1/3||The Infantilization of American Politics|
Right Wing Nut House
|1||Desertion in Perspective|
Done With Mirrors
|2/3||Lebanon's Presidential Election Postponed -- Again|
|2/3||Blood's a Rover|
|2/3||LA Auto Show 2007 -- Expectation Leads to Disappointment... Again|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|1/3||Iran's Nuclear Development|
The Glittering Eye
|3||The Irrationality of Europe|
The Van Der Galiën Gazette
|2 2/3||The Ultimate War Simulation Game|
|2||Al Dura Affair: France 2 Cooks the Raw Footage|
|1 2/3||Dissecting Media "Bias": The Case of Eric Alterman|
|1/3||Good News Leaks Past the Embargo On Good News...|
|1/3||Farewell Israel: A Review|
|1/3||Why Lincoln Beat McClellan|
The Jerusalem Post
|1/3||Agreed: God Hates Sex|
|1/3||Sleepwalking Through History|
Copying the meme from a post I saw this morning over at The Corner, I'd like to give thanks to some liberals in my life. Here they are, in no particular order:
He proves that, despite a history of knock-down, drag-'em-out arguments and insult matches, he can still be friends after all is said and done. In addition, he demonstrates that libs can be friggin' smart, too!
Mike shows that you can be a hell of a writer, reporter and humorist despite being a lib ... and using the F-word in every sentence!
Whenever I think I'm not making a good argument, or that my writing isn't all that persuasive, all I have to do is go read one of his posts ... and all of a sudden I feel a whole lot better!
Her utter moonbattery is always entertaining when she calls in to talk radio.
My first principal, Dr. B.
My first (and best) principal, the man who hired me way back when, Dr. B. is a lib in the tradition of JFK and Johnson. When the GOP captured the House back in '94, he had a field day ribbing me about it, and I, him. Political banter and humor has never been as much fun as it was with 'ol Doc B.!
Technically an Independent, dad is really a liberal. I'll never forget our arguments (sometimes screaming matches) about the military and Reagan during my college and immediate post-college years. His favorite line was "The military only exists to kill people, admit it!" to which I always retorted "The military exists to defend people." Poor mom, whose father (that'd be my grandfather, natch) was navy pilot (he flew Corsairs off the carrier Roosevelt), never overtly intervened, but privately always told me that I was right!
"Battlestar Galactica" fans should NOT miss the special two-hour movie "Razor" this Saturday night at 9pm EST. It centers around the Battlestar Pegasus from the phenomenal season two finale and what transpired aboard it during, and immediately after, the Cylon attack that nearly annihilated humanity. The awesome (and beautiful) Michelle Forbes plays Admiral Cain (below).
Check out some reviews here.
What I'm thankful for:
I'm a simple man.
Well deserved, J-Roll!
... over at Phi Beta Cons.
UPDATE: Loyal Colossus reader Fred Gregory sends word of a FrontPage magazine article detailing still more on the UD thought-control garbage. Check this out:
... the Gilbert/Harrington complex’s “assessment plan” states that “through the Gilbert/Harrington curriculum experience (a treatment) specific attitudinal or behavioral changes (learning) will occur.” A curriculum assessment plan from the Russell Complex questions: “What is [students’] attitude and/or values about those specific social identities after the treatment?”
Ye gad. I lived in Harrington complex my freshman year and I tell 'ya -- if some freakin' RA tried to force me to participate in this nonsense ... !! You just gotta love that use of the term "treatment" as if the frosh had some sort of "disease." (Well, to the typical radical diversophile, they do have a disease: Racism!)
Then there's this from Rodney complex, home of the phone booth-sized dorm rooms:
The Rodney Housing Complex documents echo the language of psychological conditioning, explaining that they chose to hire “strong male RA’s” after concluding that male students displayed “a higher degree of resistance to educational efforts” than female students and that a strong male figure “combats male residents’ concepts of traditional male identity.”
Gee, I wonder what that could possibly mean!
And now the testimonials from RAs who disliked the program are coming to the fore:
“I was an RA before they started this new curriculum at the University of Delaware. When they instituted this curriculum, they had a ‘you better love it, or get out!’ attitude… Many of the former RAs who had returned were fed up with this curriculum, and any time we spoke up about it, our concerns were shot down, and we were branded as trouble makers … supervisors were selected not based on their abilities to manage dorms … but instead, those RAs who were most passionate about the curriculum got to lead the residence halls.”
Monique Frugier of Ardmore thinks President Bush and Dick Cheney ought to be impeached. Why?
We all have blood on our hands if we do not defend and protect our Constitution, which clearly reads in Article I, Section 8, that only Congress has the power to declare war. Where is the outrage for Bush's war?
While I certainly agree that we'd all be better off if Congress demanded that it retake this very power as prescribed by the Constitution, let's examine that 2002 Iraq authorization vote: The House of Representatives passed H.J. Res. 114 (Public Law 107–243) on October 10, 2002 by a vote of 296-133 with 81 Democrats agreeing to the resolution. The Senate, the following day, passed the resolution 77-23 with a majority of Democrats (29) agreeing to same.
With the quantity of Democrats agreeing with the resolution authorizing President Bush to use force against Iraq, that hardly makes it "Bush's war," Ms. Frugier. If the opposition party was truly against "Bush's war," they could have easily stopped it, especially in the Senate. Not to mention, especially, over this past year when the Dems took control of both the House and Senate. They could have ended the war outright by pulling the plug on funding. Why haven't they?
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she had "no use" for the "flying rats" after a fellow councilperson suggested fining those who feed pigeons $1,000. This upset Urban Wildlife Coalition founder Johana Clearfield who compared Quinn's statement with using the "N word." (Link.)
Just when I thought I couldn't shake my head anymore in disbelief ...
Tawana Brawley's mother and stepfather want to reopen her case. "New York State owes my daughter. They owe her the truth," said Glenda Brawley, Tawana's mother.
New York already got the truth, Mrs. Brawley. And it showed your daughter to be a liar.
The University of Delaware held a forum for students last night to discuss the temporarily dismantled freshmen "diversity" program. Alison Kepner's article is what is to be expected -- a bunch of fluff giving a forum to those who dislike and like the [former] program -- but I wonder, for one thing, if a sub-headline "UD forum on now-scrapped diversity training draws about 50" would be used for an article about politically correct gathering. I doubt it. And here's the money quote:
But a third group worried that without mandating or formalizing the talks, they may never happen, a concern on a campus where tensions already exist -- especially after a graduate student told police he had seen a noose on a tree by Orchard Road near the main campus earlier this year.
Well, of course! I've already opined that this ... "incident" has already given UD President Harker and his minions the "excuse" they need to continue with the program, however "changed" they may try to make it.
In other news, Sunday's News Journal featured an article about the UD diversity program's creator. Shakti Butler of the World Trust Educational Services claims she was "stunned" by the [negative] reaction to the UD program. (Notice too article author Beth Miller's editorializing -- she writes "The Oakland, Calif., filmmaker's efforts to build bridges between people of vastly different backgrounds -- work that had been hailed on campuses and at offices around the nation..." Oh, so there has been NO criticism other than that at UD? And hailed by whom, exactly? Who on campuses and offices around the nation?) Butler, who believes her African, Arawak Indian and Russian-Jewish heritage gives her "credibility," said she never has seen a reaction like that seen at UD:
"I've never had this kind of reaction," she said. "I call this reaction totally reactionary and designed to create a deep divide among people, which is the antithesis of what I'm trying to do."
"It's not to shove information down people's throats," she said. "It's not, 'This is what you need to believe. This is true.' But 'What is going on and why is that so?' It's a process of critical thinking."
"Reactionary," of course, equals "right-wing."
Oh please, Ms. Butler. Wake up and smell the thought-control. It is YOUR program that is fostering any divide among people! When perfectly nice and thoughtful young people are forced to discuss things they do not wish, and are coerced to adopt a particular point-of-view, THAT is what divides people.
"There are a lot of people in this country who believe there are no racial problems here," she said. "And there are no problems with gays and lesbians -- they just need to learn to be straight. We have to be able to explore our weaknesses so they can become strengths. That way, we can create a society that is equitable for everybody."
It is your opinion, Ms. Butler, that there are "a lot" of people who think there are no racial problems in the USA. But let's cut through the BS and break it down: Ms. Butler and those like her believe racism and racial strife are rampant in America, hence programs like that at UD are "desperately needed." To them, it is completely unacceptable to believe the contrary -- that racism, while still existing, is not a very big problem at all. Therefore, programs like UD's are essential.
For what it's worth, Ms. Butler's PhD was received from the School of Transformative Learning and Change at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Whatever the hell they are. This might help, from Ms. Butler's organization's website:
Transformative learning is a form of adult education involving experiences that result in a deep, structural shift in thoughts and feelings, which then inform one's actions. This shift in consciousness can be very subtle or quite extraordinary. Often, it alters our way of making meaning and being in the world. Such a deep-seated shift involves our understanding and our relationships with other people, the natural world, and ourselves. (Link.)
Um, er, uh, OK ....
Speaking of California and along the same topic, the superintendent of the state's schools, in his infinite "wisdom," has adopted the program of a one Glenn Singleton, creator of "Courageous Conversations":
[Jack] O'Connell now believes that widespread cultural ignorance within the California school system is responsible for the poor academic performance of many black and Latino students in school.
He offered the example of black children who learn at church that it's good to clap, speak loudly and be a bit raucous. But doing the same thing at school, where 72 percent of teachers are white and may be unfamiliar with such customs, will get them in trouble, he said.
Also on center stage will be Glenn Singleton, the coach O'Connell hired for the Education Department's racial sensitivity classes. Singleton runs a San Francisco consulting firm called Pacific Educational Group and is the author of "Courageous Conversations about Race: a Strategy for Achieving Equity in Schools."
Contrary to widely held views that parents play a strong role in whether their children do well academically, Singleton believes the schools, not parents, are the biggest influence.
"If we were to say that black or brown kids don't perform as well because of their parents, we're saying black and brown parents aren't as effective as white parents," Singleton told The Chronicle. "That's pretty much a racist statement."
Where to start? We at Colossus have covered this sort of utter nonsense countless times before. The first, and obvious, thing that comes to mind is, if "cultural ignorance" is primarily responsible for student under-achievement, how in the hell do Asian students outperform white students? A satisfactory answer is never forthcoming from these hacks. Why? Because it totally disproves their opinions. And make no mistake -- that's precisely what they are: opinions. Their programs are not based on any scientifically sound research. Actually, if you think about it, that's one of the benefits of such a program, especially Singleton's. The program has as one its "Four Agreements" that there might not be any resolution to the issues that CCs raise -- "Expect and accept non-closure." If there's not any closure, what better excuse to continue the program, eh? What a racket!
I'm almost speechless about that "clapping in church," anecdote. Do black parents inform their children that it is acceptable to be loud, raucous and clap their hands during whatever it is that they're doing -- like being in a classroom? (See how Singleton's beliefs are easily inverted to make them "racist" statements? Radical diversophilia is always like that!) What about at their job? O'Connell and Singleton (who has advised the Seattle School District in the past) might want to take a gander at the responses by [minority] students in this article as to what would help them succeed in school. One of the big answers? "Simple quiet." Say whaaat? Black children saying they can learn better -- if the class is quiet, with less distractions? Don't they know they're not acting as they ought, according to the "experts"? Aren't they aware, as one "expert" in Seattle has said, "We, as a people (blacks), are loud"?
Singleton may believe that schools are a bigger influence on children than parents. I happen to believe that Singleton is a singular dolt, so that makes it even out, I suppose.
Lastly, is it "racist" to bring up the fact that the illegitimacy rate among African-Americans, especially in the inner-cities, is ridiculously high -- and that this plays a huge role in these students' poor educational achievement? Is it a "racist" statement to say that Asian parents push their children harder than any other ethnic/racial group, and that accounts for much of those students' success?
If so, it's yet one more reason why the meaning of "racism" has lost much of its original [rightful] force.
What Your Pizza Reveals
You have a hearty appetite. You are likely to complain if a restaurant has small portions.
You are a very picky pizza eater. Not any pizza will do. You fit in best in the Northeast part of the US.
You like food that's traditional and well crafted. You aren't impressed with "gourmet" foods.
You are generous, outgoing, and considerate with your choices.
You are a flavorful and bold person. You should consider traveling to Spain.
The stereotype that best fits you is guy or girl next door. Hey, there's nothing wrong with being average.
1) Hearty appetite? You know it.
2) Northeast? How accurate is that, eh? Damn right not any pizza will do! The best I've ever eaten in the state of Delaware is from Tivoli To Go in north Wilmington (Naaman's Rd. across from Concord HS).
3) I rarely will eat a "gourmet" pizza.
4) I guess ...
5) Spain? Sounds good. I speak the lingo.
6) I've no problem with that whatsoever.
A recent poll indicates that Americans believe music education results in greater academic success as well as higher incomes.
Since I personally fit right into the parameters of this poll, I'll be the first to say that learning to play an instrument sure IS a good thing! Learning to read music assists one's math skills, and obviously, too, the growth of that right brain area! (That's the, um, creativity center of your noggin', natch.) By personal observation, the vast majority of my students that play an instrument (in the school band and elsewhere) are some of my best students.
Actually, one of my biggest regrets is not actively staying with music. My tenor sax remains in its case in my basement (case gathering dust), having only seen the light of day but a few times in the last decade. (But hey, I can get a nice coin if I ever decide to sell it; it's a Selmer Mark VI, one of the finest saxes ever made.) My bass guitar was donated to my school's music department years ago, and my school's jazz band's percussion section makes use of my old Peavy amplifier.
An article in today's News Journal details how a few Delaware State University students joined Al Sharpton in protesting for hate crimes laws that cover the hanging of nooses: "Every noose that's hung should be prosecuted by the law and we will demand that today," he said.
Interestingly, the New York Post reports that an ex-principal of an Arabic school -- who was "forced" out after it was revealed she had connections to a group who sold t-shirts that said "Intifada NYC" on them -- is now suing the city, claiming her free speech rights were violated:
Debbie Almontaser has said her right to free speech was violated when she was forced to resign in August as principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy for failing to condemn "Intifada NYC" T-shirts sold by a group with links to her.
Less than a week after defining "Intifada" as a "shaking off" of oppression - which led to public admonitions from the head of the teachers' union and other groups - she resigned.
Mm-hm. "Shaking off of oppression," huh? In New York City? I'm sure she was just "misinterpreted" as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "has been" all those times.
The question would be then, if [someone hanging] a noose should be prosecuted as a hate crime, why wouldn't [someone wearing] that t-shirt?
I think both are disgusting expressions; however, as I've opined many times, this is the inherent problem with "hate" crimes laws -- they're selectively chosen and selectively enforced. If Ms. Almontaser's t-shirts are "free expression," then why isn't someone hanging a noose on their own property also "free expression"? After all, the US Supreme Court has ruled that cross-burning is free expression (not to mention American flag burning). Isn't cross-burning as intimidating/inciteful (worse, even?) as the hanging of a noose?
Unless there is a clear incitement to violence in someone's speech or [hateful] expression, I'd rather err on the side of free speech and expression than on some politician's view of what is appropriate ... expression and ultimately thought.
After Thursday night's Democratic debate on CNN (admittedly, I watched only portions of it here and there), I can say with certainty who will NOT be the next president if the Democrat nomination is theirs:
1. Barack Obama
2. John Edwards
3. Bill Richardson
4. Dennis Kucinich
Why? Their answers about granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. You may recall in the last debate how front-runner Hillary Clinton got blasted by her rivals for her non-answer to Tim Russert's question asking if she agreed with the New York governor's plan to grant illegals drivers licenses. Thursday night, Wolf Blitzer asked Barack Obama this question: "On the issue that apparently tripped up Senator Clinton earlier, the issue of driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, I take it, Senator Obama, you support giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. Is that right?"
Here's Obama's "answer":
When I was a state senator in Illinois, I voted to require that illegal aliens get trained, get a license, get insurance to protect public safety. (Scattered applause.) That was my intention. And -- but I have to make sure that people understand the problem we have here is not drivers licenses. Undocumented workers don't come here to drive. (Laughter.) They don't go -- they're not coming here to go to the In-N-Out Burger. That's not the reason they're here. They're here to work. And so instead of being distracted by what has now become a wedge issue, let's focus on actually solving the problem that -- -- this administration, the Bush administration, has done nothing about.
Blitzer then clarified his question thusly:
Well, let's go through everybody because I want to be precise. I want to make sure the viewers and those of us who are here fully understand all of your positions on this.
Barring, avoiding, assuming there isn't going to be comprehensive immigration reform, do you support or oppose drivers licenses for illegal immigrants?
I am not proposing that that's what we do. What I'm saying is that we can't -- (interrupted by laughter). No, no, no, no, look, I have already said I support the notion that we have to deal with public safety and that drivers licenses at the state level can make that happen. But what I also -- But what I also know, Wolf, is that if we keep on getting distracted by this problem, then we are not solving it.
Say it with me now: SEE 'YA. Barack was Hillary's toughest competition. He was rising, she was falling. Not all that quickly, mind you, but after Clinton's hemming and hawing over this very same question in the last debate, you might think Obama WOULD BE READY FOR IT. His "answer" was pretty much what Clinton's "answer" was in the last debate!
Bye bye, Barack.
Then we have John Edwards on the same question:
No, but I don't accept the proposition that we're not going to have comprehensive immigration reform. What I do support -- (scattered applause) -- and what I will do as president of the United States is move this country toward comprehensive immigration reform -- -- and anyone who's on the path to earning American citizenship should be able to have a drivers license.
In other words, "I refuse to answer the question because I want to pander to both sides of the issue." Some presidential material there, eh? (The superficial "no" at the very beginning you can forget. It's Edwards.)
Chris Dodd next:
Well, it's important to put it in context. Obviously, look, clarity is important here. The American people in a debate like this want clarity here, and certainly the whole idea of getting immigration reform, something I strongly support -- but I believe part of our job is to discourage those who want to come here. I understand why they want to come, but coming illegally creates serious problems, 4(00,000) to 500,000.
Another non-answer. So Blitzer asks him is that a yes or a no:
No, my belief is that giving a driver's -- as I've said from the very beginning here, I think driver's licenses are the wrong thing to be doing in terms of attracting people to come here as undocumented.
Well, no, you didn't say right from the very beginning, Chris. But at least you answered the damn question, and answered correctly.
Next, Blitzer comes back to Obama (because the question went right down the line):
I am going to be fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, and we shouldn't pose the question that somehow we can't achieve that. I believe that the American people desperately want it. That's what I'm going to be fighting for as president.
Hillary Clinton was next:
And this is why Hillary will be the nominee. She was tripped up badly in the last debate, took her lumps, but eventually got it together and came straight out and said that NO -- she is not in favor of granting drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Coupled with [especially] Obama's and Edwards' ridiculous "answers" last night, Hill is back on top and back on top BIG.
Dennis Kucinich was next. I'd normally give him no mind, but his answer is just so much classic feel-good hippie-speak that I have to note it (Blitzer kept trying to butt in to rephrase his question to get a straight answer, by the way):
I take issue with your description of people being illegal immigrants. There aren't any illegal human beings; that's number one. Number two, they're undocumented. And I believe that the best way to do it -- (applause) -- thank you -- I believe the best way to deal with this is cancel NAFTA and renegotiate the trade agreement with Mexico. Also --
So the driver's --
Give people -- Wolf --
You give people a path to legalization, and then they can be legal and have their driver's license. That's the way to work it. That's the way to work it.
You know what? You give people a path to legalization, and you work to make sure that you don't criminalize their status any further. And again, I take exception to the way you frame that question.
Next, Bill Richardson, who as governor of New Mexico actually signed legislation that allowed drivers licenses for illegal immigrants:
Well, my answer is yes, and I did it. You know why? Because the Congress -- I notice Barack mentioned the president, but the Congress also failed miserably to pass comprehensive immigration. And we need to have it in this country.
I did it four years ago. My legislature sent me a bill. I signed it. My law enforcement people said it's a matter of public safety. What we need is public safety, a reduction in traffic fatalities. We wanted more people to be insured. When we started with this program, 33 percent of all New Mexicans had -- were uninsured. Today it's 11 percent. Traffic fatalities have gone down. It's a matter of public safety.
The states have to act when the federal government and the Congress doesn't act. The answer is comprehensive immigration. (Cheers, applause.) The answer is --
-- secure the borders, a stronger relationship with Mexico. Those that knowingly hire illegal workers should be punished, and a path to legalization. That is the solution.
But, somehow, it isn't a matter of public safety that millions of illegal -- undocumented -- immigrants are in the country! Richardson's answer -- that because the feds aren't doing their job the states must act -- can easily be inverted: Why not do as various localities have done, and work to get rid of those here illegally period? Fight the inevitable lawsuits and file your own -- against the federal government if they're not doing their damn job! In other words, Richardson's "actions" are giving in. And ultimately, that is NO solution.
Lastly, our own senator, Joe Biden:
Biden's an egotistical blowhard but he's right on this issue.
The VAST majority of the American public is AGAINST what they feel -- rightly -- is rewarding breaking the law. We just witnessed New York Governor Elliot Spitzer reverse course on his plan to grant drivers licenses to illegals in that state, mainly because over 70-some percent of New Yorkers believe he was nuts to do so. National polls reflect same. They're not going to stand for a presidential candidate lecturing them on why it's a "good idea" to reward law-breaking.
The fact is that this same vast majority of Americans are very much PRO-immigration -- but pro LEGAL immigration. They just want immigrants to follow the rules. That's all. It's quite simple. My wife is an immigrant (now a citizen) who followed all the rules. She played by the book. And she gets pissed off at "plans" like Spitzer's in New York.
And the federal government could do what it's supposed to if it wanted. But both political parties have an interest in keeping he status quo, and it's pissing off Americans in a big way. So-called "comprehensive immigration reform," in the form presented in the past, is pretty much nothing but a glorified amnesty -- in essence, still rewarding breaking the law. That's why it didn't pass in the first place.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are 'Land For Peace', American Style by Joshuapundit, and A Conversation in Bagram, Afghanistan by Austin Bay Blog. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|2 1/3||'Land For Peace', American Style|
|1 2/3||School District & Cops Agree -- Ignore The Law|
Rhymes With Right
|1 2/3||Racist Talk About Education|
|1 1/3||Behind the Anger|
Done With Mirrors
|1 1/3||Hollywood's KoolAid Fest Continues: Wimps for Lambs|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1 1/3||Poverty and Terror, Again|
|2/3||The Next Iron Chef vs Battle POTUS|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|2/3||John Edwards: The Biggest Phony in the Prez Race?|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|4 2/3||A Conversation in Bagram, Afghanistan|
Austin Bay Blog
|1 1/3||November 1947 and Annapolis Déjà Vu|
The Elder of Ziyon
|1 1/3||Stereotyping 101|
|2/3||How to Be a Bad Commenter|
|2/3||Why? Oh, Just Because!|
|2/3||A Hypothetical that (Some) Liberal Opponents of Waterboarding Will Not Answer|
|1/3||What I Said|
|1/3||Moderate Muslims, Nuclear Weapons, Democracy and Pakistan|
|1/3||Monuments to Wimpdom|
American Thinker (2)
|1/3||Shooting Elephants: Musharraf, Pakistan, and Iran|
|1/3||Libel Tourism at CUNY|
Mexican President Felipe Calderón is miffed at US presidential candidates for "demonizing" Mexican immigrants and even announced that his country would "finance a public relations campaign aimed at reversing Americans’ negative perceptions":
At a conference Wednesday of the Advisory Council of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, the government’s immigrant assistance agency, Calderón lashed out at the “increasing harassment” and “persecution” of Mexicans in the United States, those there legally as well as illegally.
“My duty is to make an appeal, respectfully but firmly, to the candidates of the various political parties in the United States to stop making Mexicans symbolic hostages in their speeches and their strategies,” Calderón said.
I have an idea: Maybe we oughta treat Mexican [illegal] immigrants just like Mexico treats its illegal immigrants. Check out what the Mexican Constitution provides for:
And let's go with current events, too: Does Mexico allow illegal immigrants residing there to get drivers licenses? Of course not.
All of Mexico's 31 states, along with Mexico City, require foreigners to present a valid visa if they want a driver's license, according to a survey of states by The Arizona Republic.
"When it comes to foreigners, we're a little more strict here," said Alejandro Ruíz, director of education at the Mexican Automobile Association. (Link.)
So here's what I say to Presidente Calderón: Cállese.
Via the NAS e-mail bag, article by Donald Downs:
A lot has been written about the details of the residential life program at the University of Delaware, and the ways in which it has bullied students and residential assistants to accept regnant orthodoxy. The nation's collective hat should go off to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education for exposing this program, and for compelling the university to back down - at least temporarily. The episode brings to mind last spring's heated debate in the Chronicle of Higher Education over whether FIRE was too extreme in its attacks on higher education, and whether FIRE had outlived its usefulness. One case is not statistical proof, but the fact remains that without FIRE, this remarkably repressive program would still be in effect.
I want to address a broader issue in the Delaware case that has not attracted enough attention thus far: the role of non-faculty members in promoting the politicization of higher education. Kathleen Kerr, a mastermind of the Delaware program, is director of residential life for the University of Delaware. Interestingly, as John Leo has recently pointed out, she is also the chairperson of the American College Personnel Association's Commission for Housing and Residential Life - a group with connections to universities across the country.
Most of the literature on the ideological politicization of higher education has focused on faculty members. The standard line is that the rise of political correctness and its tools of war (e.g., speech codes, sensitivity training, etc.) have been the product of left-wing baby-boomers assuming positions of authority on faculties and in the upper echelons of administration. The standard line provides an explanation in some cases. But my own experience and reading have caused me to look for further explanations of this state of affairs.
I do not know all the facts, but I would be surprised if the faculty at Delaware had been deeply involved in promulgating and promoting the residence halls program. I know that if such a program were to exist at my school, the faculty would have remained in the dark about its existence in the first place, and would have raised serious questions about it once faced with the facts. Though the faculty at my school is widely regarded as very much on the left, it has shown itself over the years to be very suspicious of policies that raise the specter of thought control. Other than the speech codes - which the faculty abolished after giving the measures a second look in the late 1990s - the major threats to free thought at Wisconsin have arisen from programs pushed by professionals who have not spent a lot of time teaching and researching, or have turned away from teaching and researching to pursue administrative careers.
This situation is similar to what others have found. In The Diversity Machine (2002), for example, Frederick Lynch provided a detailed portrait
of numerous interlocking national programs designed to promote diversity and
attitudinal change, almost all of which were run by non-faculty personnel. The University of Michigan, for example, had about 100 such programs (this is not a misprint), but the faculty tended to ignore them because they applied to areas outside of the faculty's main concern. As long as such programs did not jeopardize faculty research, no problem. In The Shadow University, Harvey Silverglate and Alan Kors also provide many examples of violations of academic freedom committed by administrative staff in the name of pet causes. Despite these and other works, public concern remains targeted at faculty members, not staff.
A few years ago I served on a speech code committee that ultimately led to the abolition of the university's faculty speech code. The committee consisted of faculty, students, and staff. One of the things that struck me during this year-long service was the posture of the staff members toward academic freedom and free speech. With one outstanding exception, the staff members evidenced little concern about the effects broad speech codes can have on the intellectual honesty and integrity of the classroom. Their experiences and professional agendas simply did not prepare or predispose them to take academic freedom all that seriously. This was not the case for faculty members on the committee, including those who supported some sort of code. (I should add that the students were among the most energetic defenders of freedom on the committee.)
It will be interesting to follow the plight of the residence life program at the University of Delaware now that it has the full attention of the faculty. Will the faculty exercise its fiduciary responsibility to defend the principles of free thought that comprise the core of liberal education, or will it eschew the burden of this responsibility out of indifference or fear? Nothing I have said here is meant to get faculty members off the hook for supporting such programs as Delaware's. Nor is it my intention to reflexively criticize university staff. After all, universities would grind to an immediate halt without its valued staff members. The problem is those staff members who promote agendas that threaten the truth-seeking mission of the university.
There is some evidence to suggest that faculties' main culpability may not lie in the active promotion of such programs, but rather in a kind of not so benign neglect. If this surmise has merits, it opens the door to a more nuanced analysis of the contemporary politics of higher education. Rather than routinely lumping faculty and staff together in a critical evaluation of higher education, perhaps we should look more closely at how faculty and staff culpabilities might often differ. It might be time to look more closely at the problem of faculty neglect as a distinct problem, and at the factors and forces that contribute to this neglect - above and beyond active faculty perpetration or complicity. I hope to do so in a future essay.
Meanwhile, here's an update about that supposed noose sighting at the University of Delaware:
Two weeks ago, a graduate student told police that he had seen a noose hanging from a tree by Orchard Road near the main campus downtown.
Officers responding to the report apparently found a rope tied in a loop around a hanging plastic drinking bottle, President Patrick Harker said.
The police department ended the investigation because officials were unable to determine whether the bottle and rope were meant to be a noose or whether the incident was racially motivated.
That's doesn't matter, however. UD SOMEHOW NEEDS TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS! So, UD cops are reopening the investigation. What they'll "find" is anybody's guess, but according to UD President Harker, even if they find squat, that really isn't the point:
"We want to make sure we understand exactly what happened," Harker said. "But that's kind of irrelevant. Whether the facts lead to one way or another, the important thing is people felt threatened and uncomfortable about this, and that's something we need to deal with. We cannot have an environment where people feel threatened and intimidated. That's just not acceptable."
And there you have it: The perfect excuse to bring back that ridiculous RA program. (Oh, but it'll be "revamped." My ass.) After all, it really doesn't matter what the hell that rope around a drinking bottle was. It's how it was interpreted. And something must be done to address these interpretations.
This sounds way too much like what's happened in past hoax hate crimes incidents. Once it's revealed what really happened, university officials rarely admit they were suckered; instead, they spew similar nonsense to Harker's: "It's a 'teachable moment' about racism." Or, "We still have a problem with diversity here. The hoax incident is really irrelevant when you get down to it."
At the end of the article, Harker admits outright that a definitive answer as to what exactly the object was won't be forthcoming. So what? Again, he reiterates: "What matters is the community felt threatened by this -- that's my deeper concern and that's what we want to try to address."
Yesterday's Colossus post on this is here.
UPDATE: Check out the Nov. 15 update on the UD "noose" incident.
... since the [supposed hate-crime] noose-hanging incident at Columbia University. On Oct. 11 the university turned over videotape to determine who the culprit was. As our own Felix asked nine days later, how long does such an examination take?
The proverbial odor in Denmark comes to mind...
... as it does now right here in the First State at the University of Delaware. Apparently, someone hung a noose somewhere on its campus, and after local police closed the investigation because they found nothing conclusive, the university asked them to reopen the case:
Several weeks ago, a report was made to police about a noose seen on Orchard Road near the main campus area downtown. Officers looked into the report, but the investigation was closed after police determined it not to be conclusive, Senior Vice President Scott Douglass said.
But reports of the siting(!!) persisted, and UD administrators asked police to reopen the investigation, Douglass said. Officials said they could not provide more details about the report because the investigation is ongoing.
Aside from writer Rachel Kipp's pathetic spelling skills, how fishy does THIS sound? Fresh off a national imbroglio over their RA indoctrination program, now the college has the perfect excuse to bring back the program -- or some derivative thereof:
“There is no room for such actions in our community and the university will continue to enforce a zero-tolerance for hate,” UD President Patrick Harker said in a statement.
Harker met with more than 30 African-American students this morning to discuss reports of the noose and the students’ concerns about the recent canceling of a residence life educational program.
Harker said UD officials are committed to having a revamped diversity awareness program in place by the time freshmen arrive for the fall 2008 semester.
There have been a number of reports across the country this year of nooses found on college campuses, at high schools, in post offices and elsewhere. One of the most highly publicized was the Jena Six case in Louisiana. In that case, six black teenagers were accused of beating a white student. The incident occurred after nooses were hung from a tree on a local high school campus.
See? In order to prevent this "epidemic" of noose hangings, UD MUST bring back its diversity program! (By the way, notice too the outright phony invocation of a direct relationship between the Jena noose hangings and the subsequent student beating. The two were not related to one another if Ms. Kipp had bothered to do even a smidgen of research. See here, also.)
Could this noose have been a plant? Way too early to tell. (It sure doesn't help that each incident garners major press coverage -- each "incident" is sure to generate some "copycats" just to grab a cheap headline.) "Several weeks ago" brings us back to around Halloween time, so perhaps it was an innocuous (in the owner's mind) decoration. But hate crimes hoaxes unfortunately are all too real (especially on campuses), and the lag time in the Columbia noose investigation -- and now this sudden reopening of an investigation that was dropped because nothing could be determined ... at the exact moment that the university is in the midst of a major diversity program scandal ...
Color me suspicious.
I like the message of Amy Alkon's article. I've argued this for years:
A child a man agrees to have is one thing, but should a man have to pay child support when he makes it clear to a woman that he does not want one?
Jennifer Spenner for the Saginaw News and Kathy Barks Hoffman for the AP wrote about a Michigan man who recently challenged being forced to pay child support for his girlfriend’s baby — despite what he alleges were her assurances that she couldn’t get pregnant because of a medical condition, and her knowledge that he didn’t want a child.
He made the point to the court that if a woman can choose whether to abort, adopt out, or raise the child, a man should have the same right, and argued that Michigan’s paternity law violates the Constitution’s equal protection clause. Matt Dubay lost the case, which he previously acknowledged was a long shot — but should it have been?
OK all you feminists and pro-choicers out there -- tell me why this guy doesn't have a case! After all, if it's purely a women's right to make a decision about having a baby in the first place (that took two people to conceive, by the way), then why isn't it a man's right to decide whether he wants to care for it or not, should the woman choose to have the child? After all, the father could desire profusely that the mother have the child, but if the mother refuses, then she has every right to abort it. The father is screwed. So, why does he have to pony up if the situation is flipped?
Tell me this is just, especially you feminists and pro-choicers.
The former New Jersey poet laureate was miffed that former governor Jim McGreevey eliminated the state post (the legislature had to send him a bill to do it, by the way), so he sued. He lost in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and now the SCOTUS has refused to hear the case, meaning, Baraka is done.
Efforts by former New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka to challenge the elimination of his post hit a dead end yesterday.
The U.S. Supreme Court, without comment, declined to hear Baraka's case against former Gov. Jim McGreevey, Gov. Corzine and other officials. In March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in a 2-1 decision, had ruled that the officials were immune from Baraka's lawsuit.
Baraka, a longtime activist in Newark, lost his post in July 2003 when McGreevey eliminated it amid an uproar after the poet had read his 60-stanza poem "Somebody Blew Up America."
Some lines suggested that Israel had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and the poem included a reference to then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: "Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed/Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day?/Why did Sharon stay away? "
Baraka denied being anti-Semitic and refused to resign. The governor and Legislature were barred from firing the poet laureate, so McGreevey signed a bill that eliminated the post. Baraka sued, asserting his First Amendment rights had been violated when he lost the post and its $10,000 total honorarium.
The Third Circuit also found that the officials did not withhold the money over Baraka's views because the Legislature had not yet appropriated it.
Baraka was at a poetry reading in -- ready? -- Venezuela when word came down. He said it was "confirmation of the neo-fascist trend in the United States." Yep. He said this while in Hugo Chávez's Venezuela. You can't make this stuff up!
This asshole still plans to get his $10K via New Jersey state courts. His attorney says "The government had no right to terminate his position based on what he said." I say, "Why the hell not?" When you state outright falsehoods, what "right" do you have to disseminate it on the taxpayers' dime?
Marvel is putting some of its older comics online Tuesday, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared.
It's a tentative move onto the Internet: Comics can only be viewed in a Web browser, not downloaded, and new issues will only go online at least six months after they first appear in print.
Still, it represents perhaps the comics industry's most aggressive Web push yet. Even as their creations -- from Iron Man to Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman isn't a Marvel character, by the way) -- become increasingly visible in pop culture through new movies and video games, old-school comics publishers rely primarily on specialized, out-of-the-way comic shops for distribution of their bread-and-butter product.
For Marvel, the general public has often already gotten its initial taste through movies like "Spider-Man" or the "Fantastic Four" franchises.
The publisher is hoping fans will be intrigued enough about the origins of those characters to shell out $9.99 a month, or $4.99 monthly with a year-long commitment. For that price, they'll be able to poke through, say, the first 100 issues of Stan Lee's 1963 creation "Amazing Spider-Man" at their leisure, along with more recent titles like "House of M" and "Young Avengers." Comics can be viewed in several different formats, including frame-by-frame navigation.
Ring expects Marvel's effort to put a slight dent in the back-issue segment of the comic shop industry, where rare, out-of-print titles sell for hundreds of dollars on eBay and at trade shows.
Though most comic fans are collectors, some simply want to catch up on the backstory of their favorite characters and would no longer have to pay top dollar to do so.
About 2,500 issues will be available at launch of Marvel Digital Comics, with 20 more being released each week.
This looks to be pretty cool. I fall into the latter category above, by the way -- a "casual collector." I just want to catch up on some back-stories and some classic reads. I'm not a fanatic about getting that much sought-after valuable issue. (I have a few valuable back-issues remaining; I sold most of 'em on eBay in the early 2000s to get funds to complete my Iron Man collection.) I think I'd be willing to put out the $$ to check out Marvel's entire inventory when (if) it goes online.
Casual collectors can already get many of the back-issues they want via Marvel's "Essential" collections -- 20+ issues in black and white from a title's early days. Popular titles like "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "The Avengers" and "Spider-Man" have five volumes or more each. I wonder if the digital launch will result in these collections' publications being stopped.
I can dig some digital offerings of classic comics; however, there's just somethin' about holding a comic in your hands and relaxing on the couch ...
Los Amigos Invisibles were in Philly this past weekend, and of course I was there! Besides the great music, the members of the band are the friendliest -- and funniest -- dudes around! Just check out this classic video from their third LP, Arepa 3000. The song itself is a beautiful melody, but the video is a hoot:
The song, "Si Estuvieras Aquí," means "If You Were Here."
We have the same problem that LB over at Don't Go Into the Light has: Blogrolling is not updating our site after we make new posts. In other words, if you check the DCBA blogroll down on the right side of Colossus, you'll notice that Colossus doesn't haven't a "NEW" next to it after we've made a recent post. 'Sup wit dat?
Technology can sure be a hassle at times ...
According to the UD student newspaper The Review, 58% of those polled said the program should have been ditched, 25% said it should have been just changed, and 18% said it was fine as is. (It's an Internet poll, so admittedly the results aren't scientific.)
Check out some of the student comments about the matter (all emphases mine):
The initiative seemed like a good idea to begin with but making sense of what both sides have said, it seemed to lack a productive objective. I don't think mandatory participation is a problem -- if it wasn't mandatory then who would go? -- but not everyone is comfortable talking about race issues and minority politics so it requires a light touch. I think such initiatives are important at a non-diverse college like UD after a series of hate crimes and the Cinco de Mayo party scandal but any such program needs a sensitive approach and clear objective. -- Mike Fox.
Bingo, Mike! You just answered your own question. People don't attend bulls**t "training" or "treatment" so you want to make it mandatory?? Don't seek political office, pal.
Let's take a closer look at the overall circumstances. 1) The program is written by Dr. Shakti Butler, whose credentials may be real but who has never had her "treatment" subjected to peer review. I personally searched more than ten major academic indices for her name and all I found were a couple reviews of one of her self-produced videotapes.
It's my opinion that residence halls are a place for rest and socialization separate from the rigors of the classroom, and that they should above all else be a "safe place" for the residents - safety in all areas including emotional and psychological dimensions. Every resident student already is faced with a new environment, new neighbors, loss of family connections, and a new culture nearly every year with few exceptions. This is stressful enough to create predictable issues that the R.A.s can readily address or pass up the chain of command. When the University adds diversity training to this mix, it becomes potentially explosive in much more unpredictable manners. -- ES.
In my experience as well, so-called "diversity consultants" or "experts" are anything but. Oh, well, they might have been "experts" in the radical multi-culti agenda that permeates campuses today, but when it comes to REAL diversity -- knowledge of actual cultures, countries, histories, geography -- these "experts" are pitifully uninformed.
And, as ES notes, who the hell wants to go through this indoctrination nonsense in the place where they're supposed to relax and rest??
The university would do well to ditch this program permanently and leave its frosh alone as they experience college life in all its forms without undue PC interference from ideologues.
UPDATE: The Chronicle of Higher Education has a new article up about UD dismantling its indoctrination program.
Be sure to check out Don't Go Into the Light, the latest and greatest Delaware blog to hit the 'sphere. Best of all, the blog leans right, natch!
Check out the nonsense that is Sandra Jones, Co-Vice President of Advocates for Equal Justice-Delaware, speaking at a Cape Henlopen School District board meeting last week. While advocating for school surveillance cameras at some elementary schools (you heard that right -- one Cape elementary school had TWELVE felonies committed by students), Jones devolved into the race-baiting "white privilege nonsense (my emphasis):
Current profiles of the 2006-2007 academic school year for Cape Henlopen School District revealed a total of 14 violent felonies. Thirteen (13) of these felonies were allegedly committed by elementary students. Twelve were from H.O. Brittingham Elementary, and one out of Milton Elementary School. In addition, data suggests that there were numberous violations of Delaware State Laws, which were confident lead to criminal convictions, and a host of African Americans obtaining juvenile records due to the disparities that exist in disciplining students.
Because many of you here have and continue to enjoy “White Privilege” you may say, we don’t need surveillance in our elementary school. For the purpose of this request, “White Privilege,” is defined as the ability of whites in America to ignore the issue of race because it privileges them in ways that are most often unrecognized. Things that Caucasian administrators, teachers, staff, and children take for granted, such as fair treatment in Cape Henlopen School District, are not privileges granted to African American students.
There you go -- we need the surveillance cameras to ensure that "white privileged" teachers and administrators do not make use of their "white privilege," and "unconsciously" treat African-American students harsher for their misbehavior. In other words, those twelve felonies at H.O. Brittingham Elementary were the result of "unconscious white privilege" and "unawareness of cultural differences" between Caucasian and African-American students.
Y'know, I (and Felix) have written about this ... nonsense more times than I can count. Whether the claims of ... "cultural difference" (or whatever terminology is in vogue currently) are invidiously self-deprecating or a Catch-22, it ultimately boils down to ... nonsense. I also wonder if Ms. Jones is a product of the University of Delaware's thought-control program.
Here's a thought: Imagine of the school district vigorously demanded surveillance cameras. Ms. Jones (or whoever) would probably find a racial angle to that, too. It's the inherent nature of radical diversophilia: Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. So, no matter what action is taken, no matter what idea is implemented, it is "wrong" or it is "right" depending on the mood of the diversophiles at that moment.
And, as such, it always comes down to this: Nonsense.
1) Waterboarding terrorists for vital intelligence regarding terror attacks = torture.
2) Killing an infant via "partial birth" abortion = women's reproductive freedom.
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Courts v. Terrorism = Wile E. Coyote v. Road Runner by Big Lizards, and A Great Shifting of the Winds by Eternity Road. There was actually a tie in the council category this week... both were very good posts, but Watcher ultimately cast his lot with Dafydd. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|4||Courts v. Terrorism = Wile E. Coyote v. Road Runner|
|3||Unsex Me... Not|
|1||Greenie Insanity and the Santiago Fire|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|1||Has Musharraf Come To a New Agreement With the Islamists In Pakistan?|
|2/3||Closing a Chapter of History|
Rhymes With Right
|2/3||The Origins of Bush Derangement Syndrome|
Right Wing Nut House
|1/3||Pakistan Heats Up -- Al Qaeda Licks Lips|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|2 1/3||A Great Shifting of the Winds|
|1 1/3||Thompson Goes Electric...|
|1||Condi Rice Is Not Tom Brady|
|1||Clinton & Bush Both Thrown a Curveball on Iraq?|
|1||Rockville's Bike Bridge To Nowhere|
|1||Neo-Soviet Russia Obliterates Its Internet|
|1||Hypocrisy or Decency? The Left's Dirty Little Secret|
Right Wing News
|2/3||Soldiers Still Need Some Cheer!|
|2/3||The Pulse of Amanda's Error|
Dennis the Peasant
|2/3||Dr. Johnson and Today's Liars for Hire|
|1/3||New GIMF Video: Caravan of Martyrs in Iraq (Updated: GIMF's English Propagandist Identified?)|
The Jawa Report
Check the irony: The incoming chairman of the California Legislative Black Caucus has called anti-gang legislation "racially loaded." He also claimed it "gratuitously criminalizes people," is "pandering to fear rather than offering reasoned public policy," and "overreaches."
The initiative, called the Safe Neighborhoods Act, is being championed by state Sen. George Runner and his wife, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, Republicans from Lancaster, a Los Angeles County desert suburb.
"I think it is racially loaded, and I think it will become kind of a wedge issue," said [State Sen. Mark] Ridley-Thomas (D), whose district includes predominantly African American and Latino neighborhoods in south-central and southwest Los Angeles, as well as suburban Culver City. He said the authors have injected a racial component into the initiative "substantially in terms of who they think they are targeting."
A "wedge issue"? I wonder how it is a wedge issue since CRIME and gang-related CRIMINAL ACTIVITY will be dealt with more harshly. Is Ridley-Thomas saying that law-abiding African-Americans and Latinos would rather ALLOW gangs to run rampant in their neighborhoods? Is this the bigotry of low expectations?
The initiative received unfavorable reviews from Sabrina Gabriel and Cynthia Simmons. Gabriel, 52, said her 17-year-old nephew was shot to death recently, so she is in favor of a targeted law enforcement approach that is "especially about guns." As for the broader reach of the initiative, "they're going to have to break it down just a little bit more," she said.
The problem, said Simmons, 50, is that "all the young men is not in no gangs. They're just affiliating with different types of people, like friends."
Gabriel wondered why it's primarily gangs that attract the attention of criminal justice policy makers. "Why can't it be white-collar crime? Why does it always have to be gangs? That's always the first thing that comes out of their mouths – gangs."
Gee, let's see -- gang related [gun] street violence which plagues whole neighborhoods with murder, rape and robbery ... vs. accounting embezzlement and mail fraud. Indeed! Why not go after white-collar crime more vigorously than gang crime? YEESH.
Just consider: If some lawmakers HAD proposed harsher penalties for white collar crime, you can just bet that "racism" would be invoked just the same: "Why are needed resources being utilized to fight what are basically victimless crimes, while neighborhoods are under siege by gangs?"
You can't win.
One thing I noticed about the proposal, though:
It would restrict federal court-ordered due process rights for parolees, including the right to a lawyer. It would allow hearsay testimony against defendants accused of dissuading witnesses from testifying.
Like I've asked similarly regarding [state-induced] immigration laws, how can a state legislature "restrict court- ordered due process rights for parolees, including the right to a lawyer."?? Isn't this a blatant violation of the Constitution? Ridley-Thomas would be much better served arguing against the legislation on that aspect of it rather than the ridiculously tiresome race angle.
We have two winners this week. The first is Newark's Michael Bower who writes:
Thank goodness the United States has finally decided to torture detainees. Otherwise, Iran's overlords would use their future nuclear bombs to force us to wear burkas and speak Farsi. And this country, which spends almost 100 times more money on its military than does Iran, would be helpless to stop them.Ah yes, "torture detainees." No context given whatsoever and the clear implication that this is a regular practice in the War on Terror. Again, as I've written a bit about recently, just compare how the United States has reacted in conflicts past to this entirely NEW type of war, the War on Terror. If waterboarding is the worst the United States does to prevent hundreds or thousands of Americans from being slaughtered, then we have little to worry about from the elitist moral judges who would rather see their fellow citizens murdered than inflict a bit of pain on a TERRORIST -- someone who will kill women and children without batting an eye.
As for Iran, the point isn't that the US is in danger of being defeated by that country; the quite legitimate fear is that even ONE nuclear bomb (which, let's see ... can kill MILLIONS of Americans) can be used against us. A crazy regime doesn't CARE that we can retaliate and turn their country into one large plane of glass.
The next winner is Philly's Aldustus Jordan who argues that the University of Delaware's thought-control program is "needed":
I was disheartened to learn of the University of Delaware's decision to cancel its diversity program. A decade ago I attended the university. While I had an overall wonderful experience, as a person of color I also have some unpleasant memories, as when one prominent fraternity decided to hoist the Confederate flag at its frat house in the middle of campus.
In the past year a group of honors students held a "spic and span" party where students dressed in costumes that reflected the worst stereotypes of Hispanics. In both cases, students were unaware of the inappropriateness of their actions.
Confronting our biases is always an uncomfortable self-discovery process. However, it is not until we take a hard look at our sometimes unconscious beliefs that we begin to bridge the racial and ethnic divide that is still pervasive in our society.
I hope that school administrators reconsider and reinstitute the diversity program. A failure to do so sends an unintended message to students that the university is willing to accept a climate of indifference at best and intolerance at worst.
Gosh. Mr. Jordan witnessed a Confederate flag when he was a student at UD. Some students held an insensitive Cinco de Mayo party OFF campus earlier this year. Therefore, the university MUST make sure its students are "thinking correctly."
Please. The university already has a mandatory multicultural course(s) requirement for undergrads, and its humanities and education departments are riddled with courses that are guaranteed to assuage the "one-must-think-correct-at-all-costs" crowd. And undergrads STILL must be indoctrinated in their friggin' resident halls?? Just take a gander at the questions and the terminology of the program.
What a more perfect example of "progressives" not really desiring free speech and freedom of thought. They really only want speech and thought that THEY consider "good" and "just."
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
Hey hypocrites, Why if Elisabeth Hasselbeck believes so strongly in the Iraq war, doesn't she and her NFL husband and NFL brother-in-law join the military and serve their country? Pat Tillman did! They are the typical "chickenhawk" republicans who cheer for killing and destruction, but won't put on the uniform because they are COWARDS. Why aren't all these conservative talking heads who are of military age joining the service instead of spewing their moronic propaganda about how we have to fight them overthere, so we don't have to fight them overhere. What a bunch of assholes. They are just the next generation of chickenhawk loudmouths who don't have the courage to put their asses where thier mouths are. (Limbaugh, O'reilly, Ted Nugent etc...) You morons suck
Hmm. And last time I checked, "overhere" and "overthere" were two words each.
In the most outrageous example of harassment via litigation since Judge Trousers sued his local dry cleaner, a DC talk host has been hit with legal action for criticizing a supporter of illegal alien day labor.
WMAL / Washington host Chris Core (left) has been slapped with a suit for allegedly calling Gary Jacobsen a "criminal" after the latter wrote a letter to the Washington Post outlining how he uses illegal immigrants to cut repair costs at his rental property.
The row began when Jacobsen's "How To Hire a Day Laborer" was published in the paper's 7 October edition.
Ah, but here's the stickler: Jacobsen (a former colonel in the Marines) says he never used the term "illegal alien." he only used the words "day laborer(s)." In a Potomac News article, Col. Jacobsen stated
"I have never broken a law. I'm a straight arrow, as straight as them come," Jacobsen said. "The exact words he (Core) used on the air were 'Gary Jacobsen broke the law.' And that's not true. It was way over the top."
Jacobsen's column referred to "day laborers," not to "illegal immigrants," he said.
"I never said 'illegal aliens;' I said 'day laborers.' A day laborer could be a college kid trying to earn extra money," Jacobsen said.
Oh, right. Mr. "Straight Arrow" actually believes that some of his potential hires from those day labor pools are college kids looking to earn some extra $$?? I think the good colonel might want to change his moniker to "Mr. Boomerang" after that whopper.
Technically, Jacobsen does have a point on the exact words he used, and then those used by Core. However, as Radio Equalizer's Brian Maloney notes, by offering up his letter to the WaPo, he has essentially made himself a public figure, and thus he'd have to prove an intended malice that went along with the [supposed] defamation.
Monsignor Francis X. Meehan of the St. Charles Seminary in Wynnewood says "We are torturers":
If there is one issue that none of us can distance ourselves from, it is torture and all dimensions of it. If there was ever an issue that pulls us into complicity, it is this ("Bush pushes to save Mukasey nomination," Nov. 2).
If our government and its agencies authorize such cruelties as waterboarding, and we do not reject this with all our might and vote and every method of resistance, then we not only authorize it, we actually do the waterboarding. We - each of us - become the torturers. There is no moral distance.
Actually, there is a moral distance, Monsignor. As I've [apparently not very persuasively] argued over at The Soapbox and Down With Absolutes, there most certainly IS a "moral distance" if our government decides to utilize something like waterboarding in order to save the lives of hundreds, thousands or perhaps even millions of Americans.
Do we as Americans look at ourselves in the mirror and "proudly" proclaim "We are moral giants! We didn't succumb to torturing anyone! It's just a shame 10,000 people were killed in that dirty bomb, though ..."??
Check out what Bret Stephens says about US "torture" (my emphasis):
"Oxygen starvation and carbon monoxide poisoning killed many; bomb shelters turned into ovens and roasted the persons inside, so that rescue workers days later found the bodies seared together in an indistinguishable mass; the molten asphalt of the streets engulfed those who fled the burning buildings." An estimated 45,000 people died this way in Hamburg. U.S. and British air forces would repeat the procedure over Dresden, Tokyo, Yokohama, Hiroshima, Nagasaki—cities of real or at least arguable military significance. Hundreds of smaller cities and towns of doubtful strategic value were also reduced to ash and rubble, bringing the total civilian death toll to about 600,000 Germans (including 75,000 children under 14) and a roughly equal number of Japanese.
The only compelling ethical defense that can be made for the bombing campaign is that it hastened Allied victory, spared at least as many lives (on both sides) as it cost, and created the conditions for a more peaceful postwar world. In other words, the question here isn't about the intrinsic morality of the bombing. It's about whether the good that flowed from the bombing outweighed the unmistakable evil of the act itself.
Would the Monsignor consider the US the equivalent of Nazis and Japanese for the actions we took against Dresden, Tokyo and ultimately Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Think about this again, people: We're actually going to call all of ourselves torturers and say there is no moral distance between we the people and those who waterboard (because we don't demand they stop it) -- even though doing so to terrorists might save countless American lives.
The debate, in the end, is about "results" — as Judge Mukasey put it in his confirmation hearing, the awful necessity of having to choose between terrible options. Stephens' conclusion:
Note the difference with the current debate over waterboarding, where opponents argue that the technique is unconscionable and inadmissible under any circumstances, even in hypothetical cases where the alternative to waterboarding is terrorist attacks resulting in mass casualties among innocent civilians. According to this view, it is possible to wage war yet avoid the classic "choice of evils" dilemmas that confronted past statesmen such as Churchill and Roosevelt. Or, to put the argument more precisely, it is possible to avoid this choice if one is also prepared to pay for it in blood—if not in one's own, than in that of kith and kin and whoever else's life must be sacrificed to keep our consciences clear.
UPDATE: Check out this from Taranto's Best of the Web (my emphasis):
Sen. Chris Dodd gave a speech in Iowa the other day, and one statement he made is worth pondering. After praising the conviction of Zacarias Moussaoui, Dodd said:Compare that case to the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who organized the attacks of 9/11. He was held in a secret prison, where he claims he was tortured severely. Whether he is lying or not, by our actions we have allowed Khalid Mohammed to claim the moral high ground. Khalid Mohammed plays martyr to a world that is inclined to believe it.
Imagine if a U.S. senator in 1945 had given a speech denouncing the bombing of Dresden and solemnly declaring, "We have allowed Hitler to take the moral high ground." Such a statement would have seemed disloyal, and it would have been not just erroneous but monstrously so. That America's conduct in World War II fell short of moral perfection does not mitigate the fundamental evil of Nazi Germany. (Bret Stephens develops the point further in his column this week.)
Dodd does not quite have the courage of his convictions in this matter. He does not actually make the primary assertion: that KSM is morally superior to USA. Rather, he relies on a secondary claim: that unspecified other people--"a world," presumably meaning Earth--are "inclined to believe it."
Is even this secondary assertion true? Color us skeptical. Sure, a significant portion of the "world" is inclined to believe bad things about America. How much weight such opinions are due, both as a practical matter and as a moral one, is a legitimate topic for debate. But we don't recall ever hearing a serious person say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has the moral high ground vis-à-vis the U.S.
Possibly our information is incomplete and someone actually has said such a thing. Doesn't Dodd agree that this is an outrageous slander? And if America is being slandered, doesn't Dodd, as an American political leader, have an obligation to set the record straight?
Either Dodd is condoning the most vicious defamation of America or he is engaging in such defamation himself via a straw man. Whichever the case--and regardless of the merits of the policy under debate--his rhetoric is despicable.
John Leo has still more on the fallout from the revelation that University of Delaware RAs were indoctrinating the students in their resident halls. I like this paragraph in particular:
The papers laying out the residential curriculum at the University of Delaware have a number of gassy euphemisms for insisting that students accept the ideas being imposed. One is "competency attainment" - in plain English the acceptance by students of ideas they are told to accept. The same insistence is available in clear language as well, often in sentences that begin "Students will." One example: "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society."
And what a surprise -- the RAs have been instructed not to discuss the [former] program with the media; however, Leo notes that one parent's UD-attending child said that RAs were instructed to "speak out against FIRE" (the organization that broke the story), and the The Chronicle of Higher Education blog stated that RAs were told to "speak favorably" about their [former] program.
Don't know if you've heard by now, but former Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula has stated that if the 2007 New England Patriots go undefeated this season, there should be an asterisk next to their achievement because of their earlier "spygate" scandal. But Associated Press writer Jim Litke calls Shula "a hypocrite" for his remarks. Why?
He was still the coach of the Baltimore Colts at the end of the 1969 season, when then-Miami owner Joe Robbie approached him and signed Shula to a contract. The NFL charged the Dolphins with tampering and awarded their first-round pick to the Colts.
"Tampering"? How? Litke doesn't elaborate. And since he doesn't elaborate, how does he make the comparison between Shula's transgression and that of NE coach Bill Belichick? The former apparently bolts for a new team in apparent violation of league rules; the latter uses cameras to spy on other teams' defensive schemes also in [obvious] violation of league rules. Now -- which one of these violations greatly benefits a teams chances of winning games? Belichick was penalized heavily for his team's trangressions (as was Shula for his), but we don't know (and probably never will) the extent of the advantages the Pats got from their clandestine videotaping. What precisely were the "advantages" that Shula (and the Dolphins) garnered by Don scramming Baltimore and heading for Miami? How does that translate into a "needed asterisk" for his undefeated 1972 team?
If anything, if the Pats win out this season, it could -- could -- be argued their season is even "more perfect" than that of the '72 Dolphins because they'll have played two more total games (19 vs. 17). Litke also points out that the '72 Dolphins played an extremely weak schedule: their opponents' collective winning percentage was under .400. The Pats '07 schedule isn't exactly tough though; only two of the teams they've played thus far have a winning record (Cowboys and Colts) and the collective winning percentage of their opponents is currently a mere .413. In the second half, the Pats' only opponents with winning records (currently, that is) are the Steelers and Giants. I personally don't care about that though; you can't control how other teams get worse while your team gets a lot better. The two additional games makes much more of a difference to me.
But these are all only tangential to Litke's [supposed] main "argument." Comparing Shula's past "violation" to Belichick's current one is just plain absurd when you just look at the potential benefits from those violations. Shula was right -- maybe there should be an asterisk next to the Pats' perfect season should they actually attain such. 'Cause we'll never ever know just how far Belichick's cheating went, and how much it benefited him and his team. Enough to win three Super Bowls each by a mere three points? Might have been just enough of an edge.
Wow. Check out this question from a 1970 DC Comics reader questionnaire:
"Black People"??? Talk about your ever lovin' snapshot in time. Thirty-seven years ago and nary a black face was seen in comics. Such a question today would seem utterly absurd, of course, but I'm wondering why DC didn't use a bit more tact and use "Civil Rights" since in 1970 that was a certainly a hot political and cultural topic.
At least Marvel was ahead of the curve back then.
Be sure to check out the best comics blog out there (from where I got this questionnaire image), Comic Coverage!
You've gotta read what was dubbed the "Worse One-on-One" (second one listed out of the two if you click the link) by a University of Delaware RA who administered the "treatment" to a Russell Hall undergrad last year. Read the RA's thoughts on the meeting, but the best part is below that -- the answers the undergrad wrote (italics) to the rather intrusive questions (bold):
1) When were you first made aware of your race?
"That is irrelevant to everything. My race is human being."
2) When did you discover your sexual identity?
"That is none of your damn business"
3) Who taught you a lesson in regards to some form of diversity awareness? What was that lesson?
"My grandparents sometimes make racial comments. And what the hell does that have to do with anything."
4) When was a time when you confronted someone regarding an issue of diversity? What was the confrontation about? If you haven't, why not?
"Why would I do something like that? Diversity exists. I like it. Leave it at that."
5) When was a time you felt oppressed? Who was oppressing you? How did you feel?
"I am oppressed everyday on basis of my undying and devont feelings for the opera. Regularly passerbys throw stones at me and jeer me with cruel names. Because of this I am exile dand often contemplate suicide. Unbearable adversity. But I will overcome, hear me, you rock loving majority. This is called 'sarcasm.'"
6) Can you think of a time when someone was offended by what you said? How did that make you feel? How did you think it made them feel? How did his/her behavior change towards you?
"I offend people everyday just by being alive. They look at me and feel insulted. Then I open my mouth and they are further insulted. I say things like 'good day!' and they take insult. More sarcasm! All right!"
This undergrad is my new hero, yo.
[The US Supreme Court case] Hoffman [v. National Labor Relations Board] was too much for California legislators who responded by enacting prevailing wage statutes that provided that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court's ruling in Hoffman, in determining whether an employee could sue for prevailing wages, his immigration status was "irrelevant."
The matter at hand is a [legal] Bulgarian immigrant, Emil Vassileu, who started a welding and steel-working company called Van Elk, Ltd. Four former employees -- who all turned out to be illegal immigrants -- sued Vassileu because he didn't pay them "prevailing wages" for public works projects the company had been contracted for, as mandated by Cali. law. But the aforementioned Hoffman SCOTUS case (2002) determined that illegal immigrants cannot sue for said "prevailing wages" because OF their illegal status. The SCOTUS said,
... that federal labor laws did not supersede federal immigration laws by ruling, 5-4, that illegal aliens could not sue to collect backpay. The Court noted that labor laws sought to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices, which required employer penalties and sanctions as well as the ability of wronged employees to sue. At the same time, recognized the Court, granting illegal aliens the rights citizens enjoy would both "trivialize the immigration laws" and violate Congress's intent to end the unlawful employment of illegal aliens, which Congress called a "magnet . . . attract[ing] aliens here illegally."
The ever-"wise" Cali. legislators sought to "do something about" this silly 'ol SCOTUS ruling -- the passed their own legislation which basically thumbs its nose at the high court's ruling. The plaintiffs in Vassileu case are using this POST-Hoffman legislation as the basis for the case ... and the Cali. Court of Appeal agreed with them. In addition,
the Court of Appeal rejected Van Elk's lawyers' argument that, by overturning Hoffman, the California Legislature violated the Constitution's Supremacy Clause.
Which begs the question(s): How many times have [liberal] advocacy groups like the ACLU lectured localities that immigration is a FEDERAL matter? So, leaving aside for the moment that the Cali. C. of A. overturned the SCOTUS, how can STATES (or localities) mandate that companies pay "prevailing wages" to people who have broken the law in the first place and should not even be here???
In addition, if California can get away with this, then why couldn't a state pass its own legislation that makes it completely illegal to get an abortion? After all, if Cali. can overturn a SCOTUS ruling about illegal immigrants and "prevailing wages" merely by passing legislation, why not with abortion?
I wonder if, like my erroneous [legal] arguments about student speech from a few months ago apply here. In other words, the Cali. legislation is granting more rights (freedoms?) whereas the hypothetical legislation banning abortion would restrict rights (freedoms). However, I don't think it's as cut and dry as that previous argument was (once it was explained to me). For instance, what about Mr. Vassileu's rights? Aren't they being infringed upon by making him essentially "follow the law to the letter ... for people that are law breakers"? And then again, how can a state (or locality) make laws regarding immigration if that is a FEDERAL matter? Where is the ACLU and the myriad "activist" groups going to court to argue that the state "has no jurisdiction" because only the feds can deal with immigration?
Even though I think Hillary Clinton actually got too much heat for her non-answer about illegal immigrants getting drivers licenses in New York state, the reaction by some of her pals to those who criticized her is, in a word, ridiculous. Pundit Linda Hirschman suggested that Hillary standing up to [debate moderator] Tim Russert is like "taking a stand against the Nazis." And hubby Bill is likening Russert's now-famous question to the "Swift Boating" of John Kerry in 2004. (Link.)
As former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora (at left) might say, "You kiddin' me??" If Hil can't handle a VERY simple and straightforward question like the one Russert gave her, how in the hell will she deal with hard-ass dictators like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Hugo Chávez? When/if Congress ever asks her about her meetings with these dudes, will she complain "You're Swift-Boating me" if the questions get too "tough"? Or worse yet, will she complain thusly to Ahmadinejad and Chávez?
You kiddin' me?
Every political junkie be sure to check out Delaware Libertarian, the latest First State political blog to join the growing Diamond State's blogosphere! (Like how I got two Delaware nicknames in there?)
Anything with the term "libertarian" usually sounds good to us here at Colossus ... !
Boy, last week was supposedly a very tough one for the Democrat prez candidate front-runner, Hillary Clinton. In that party's debate last week, Hil got a bit tripped up on a question by Tim Russert as to whether she agrees with New York Governor Elliot Spitzer's plan to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. Check out her response.
Now, being the great anti-Democrat that I like to be (especially at the national level), I thought it pretty cool when John Edwards and Barack Obama, Hillary's closest rivals, went for the jugular. That is, until I just happened upon Edwards' appearance on ABC's Sunday morning pundit show "This Week" yesterday.
To his credit, host George Stephanopoulos grilled Edwards pretty good on several issues. Here's the complete video of Edwards' interview. When George finally gets around to the subject of Hillary, notice how Edwards states that all the candidates should "be judged equally," regardless of their gender (and, one would surmise, their color, since Obama's in the race). Of course, right there, a terrific follow-up query for Stephy would have been "That's interesting ... would you say that sentiment should also apply to various state initiatives around the country (led by Ward Connerly) that call for the abolition of racial and gender preferences, quotas and essentially mandating the literal language of various 1960s civil rights acts?"
Next, at approximately 7:05 on the interview video, Edwards is asked specifically about Clinton's response to Spitzer's drivers license plan. Hillary did indeed waffle; she said Spitzer's plan "makes a lot of sense," but a bit later said "Do I think this is the best thing for governor to do? No." OK, so Clinton gave a non-answer that basically states: 1) She understands why Spitzer was doing it, and 2) It probably ain't the best idea for the underlying problem. Leaving aside the fact that she probably doesn't mean that at all in the whole scheme of things, what's John Edwards' answer to the Clinton/Spitzer haggle? Let the states decide. OK, but ... isn't that precisely what Spitzer took advantage of in New York? Edwards elaborates at around 7:30 in the video that "anyone making an effort" towards citizenship should get a drivers license. Um, what precisely does "making an effort" mean, John, especially when one is here illegally? (Oh, but Edwards says that we need "comprehensive immigration reform" which somehow will include these "paths" towards citizenship that illegals can take. Gotcha. I think. Never mind that Edwards, in 2004, was totally IN FAVOR of granting illegals drivers licenses, as Stephy nails him on at around 8:00 in the vid!)
Best of all, Stephanopoulos, at around 8:35 pointedly asks Edwards "How is that different from what Hillary Clinton said in the debate?" All Edwards can do is stammer and say "Well, I heard her say two different things." Sort of like your own positions, John?? To make his point, Stephy plays an excerpt of the debate (at 8:55).
To the larger issue, if I was Stephanopoulos, I would have asked that if illegal immigration is federal issue, how can states then legally on their own even grant drivers licenses in the first place? I'm very much in favor of federalism; however, in the instances we've seen where localities have had it up to here with lack of federal action on illegal immigration and thus take their own steps to deal with it, they're hauled into court by groups like the ACLU and told that they CAN'T act -- because immigration is a federal matter! Just take a gander at Hazleton, PA (my emphasis):
A federal judge threw out a Pennsylvania town's illegal-immigrant law Thursday in a decision likely to reverberate across the country.
Hazleton's Illegal Immigration Relief Act sought to fine landlords who rent to illegal immigrants and suspend business licenses of companies that hire them. A companion measure would have required tenants to obtain rental permits.
U.S. District Judge James Munley ruled the measures unconstitutional. He said immigration policies are a federal, not local, responsibility and that the ordinances don't give employers, workers, landlords and tenants an adequate chance to defend themselves.
"The city could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not," Munley writes. "The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public."
So, again, what difference would it make if the STATE of Pennsylvania did precisely what Hazleton did? Immigration is a FEDERAL matter, according to Judge Munley. Subsequently, since immigration is a FEDERAL matter, how then can a STATE grant a LEGAL piece of identification to someone who is VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW?
You tell me. But the bottom line is that Edwards, Chris Dodd and Barack Obama really had no business giving Hillary the business over her drivers licenses answer. It made good politics, sure, but their own views are as every bit as contradictory as Hillary's appeared to be.
OK, I began writing this last night, and since then there's been a bunch of like-minded articles put up. Nevertheless ...
I don't think I've seen anything as ridiculous as last night's "Football Night in America." There I was, still pissed at the New England Patriots beating the Indianapolis Colts about an hour prior, hoping that my second favorite team -- the Philadelphia Eagles -- would crush the Dallas Cowboys. Suddenly, I blurt out a huge "WTF??" Was I really seeing what I was seeing? The NBC Sunday Night Football crew -- actually managing to keep straight faces while they turned out the lights in their studio to "make a statement" about global warming?? And they apparently kept them out for a good portion of the game! (They were still off at halftime ... did they keep 'em off or just turn the lights off again for the cameras?)
There was Bob Costas, Cris Collingsworth and the execrable Keith Olbermann ... sitting in the friggin' dark with a few candles around them, "doing their part" for a "green planet." What a hoot. They looked like a trio of totally self-absorbed a-holes. And here's the thing: Do these morons even know who their audience is? Do environmentalist hippies turn on the tube to watch a football game on Sunday night? Or is the audience mostly Joe Six-Pack types whose very last wish is to see, during a football game, a TV network proselytizing about what they should "do" to save the Earth (mainly based on Al Gore's flawed "science")?
So, ultimately, there were two comedic aspects about last night: The Eagles' performance, and the elitist dolts that make up the "FNA" broadcast team. I mean, for God's sake -- Jerome Bettis' nickname for last night was -- I swear to God -- "The Hybrid Bus."
If I was the NFL commish, I'd be looking for another Sunday night broadcast network for next year. And quick.
Check out the video here.
Kevin McCullough adds his two cents:
... at halftime they cut to Matt Lauer looking like an eskimo virgin somewhere in the arctic circle, to preview the week of "Green is Universal" week of programming. He previewed how NBC's "Today Show" will be pandering to the environmental whack jobs all week with reports from himself out of his what appeared to be well lit igloo, Al Roker somewhere in some tropical jungle on the equator, and Ann Curry on the opposite pole.
A reader via the Newsbusters tip line adds regarding Lauer:
Matt Lauer just did a piece on SNF where he was allegedly broadcasting from Greenland. The funny thing was, it was supposed to be -12 degrees but not once did you see Matt's breath, nor did he show any outwards signs of being in a cold environment (shivering, nasal discharge, facial discomfort, etc). I've been in -12 degrees and let me tell you, after a few minutes you are displaying many, many signs. Matt may well have been in Greenland, but I suspect he was in a trailer with a blue screen behind him. There is no way he was outside.
Wouldn't surprise me one bit.
TV and radio writer Tom Jicha chimes in:
NBC is going green this week. Given the free fall the network's ratings are in, maybe NBC should be more concerned with going black. Then again, this might explain its attention-seeking "Green Is Universal" stunt, a week of programming dominated by environmental themes.
You have to wonder if NBC is driven as much by guilt as altruism. Show business is gluttonous when it comes to the use of energy.
But the zenith of inanity will come on Deal or No Deal. The 26 briefcase-opening models, each hot enough to exacerbate global warming, will be attired in dresses made from recycled army parachutes, material unlikely to ever touch their bodies again. If this weren't asinine enough, Howie Mandel will enter the studio on a bicycle, with the women trailing on bikes of their own. Don't they usually walk?
That last paragraph made me laugh up part of my lunch this afternoon!
I'm a big proponent of free speech, even granting a lot of leeway to college professors for what they [may] say in class. But is this going too far?
A University of Maine student alleges her former professor offered extra credit to class members if they burned the American flag or the U.S. Constitution or were arrested defending free speech.
On the first day of class, associate professor Paul Grosswiler offered the credit to members of his History of Mass Communications class, according to sophomore Rebekah McDade. Disturbed by the comment, McDade dropped the class and intends to take the course again next semester with a different professor.
Grosswiler said, "I don’t intend for students to burn either the Constitution or the flag, and over the years hundreds of students have understood that." Indeed, there seems to be a discrepancy as to whether there actually was an extra credit assignment for the activities. McDade noted that
When Grosswiler listed the extra-credit opportunities, the class of approximately 50 students grew very quiet, and some questioned whether he was serious.
But Univ. of Maine spokesman Joe Carr said that McDade (and others) are taking Grosswiler's lesson "too literally," and that no extra credit would be given for burning a flag or the Constitution.
OK, a few things make me lean towards the prof. in this case. One, The Leadership Institute is the group that made a big issue of this situation. The LI has as its mission "to identify, recruit, train and place conservatives in politics, government and the media, according to the organization’s Web site." In other words, to me, that means they're actively looking for anything that even mildly smacks of liberal bias in the classroom. Second, as a teacher I can understand the ... need to use some of what may be "extreme" examples in order to make a point. As flag burning and Constitution burning are protected by the First Amendment (which certainly may not be known to college students, trust me!), pointing these out, especially in a "provocative" manner, may surely elicit some ... "strong" feelings.
If anything, if I was McDade, I would have just asked the professor if he was serious about the extra credit assignment. I see no evidence that she did that in the article. If she had, that would have nipped the problem in the bud and there would have been no controversy.
Someone explain to me how this pertains to school "spirit":
A Bay Area Middle School has canceled a scheduled cross-dressing or “gender-switch” day after parents complained, according to an Oct. 30 Pacific Justice Institute news release. The Sacramento-based institute is a legal organization that defends parental rights, religious freedom, and other civil liberties.
Adams Middle School in Brentwood encouraged students to cross-dress – boys wearing girls clothing, girls wearing boys’ clothing – on the last day of “Spirit Week,” Friday, Nov. 2. Parents were given little notice of the event, said the Pacific Justice Institute, and only found out about it after flyers were posted at the school.
Hmm, we have a "Spirit Week" at my school and this includes things like "Hat Day" and "School Colors Day." Seems as if we just ain't "progressive" enough, eh?
Encouraging student cross-dressing to invite “free thinking” is not unique to Adams Middle School. A 2002 article by the Culture and Family Institute of Concerned Women for America reported how the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) encourages cross-dressing through a curriculum developed for Kindergarten through third grade.
The new Four Rs: Readin', Ritin', 'Rithmetic, and ... Reverse Gender Role-Playin'.
One of the more successful Dark Horse Comics titles has been "Aliens vs. Predator." A few years ago, the series was put on the silver screen to only mild box office success. Why? 'Cause frankly, the plot sucked! If the studio had stuck with the plot of the original graphic novel (at left), the flick would have raked in more cash. So, what to do with the sequel? Follow the plot of the graphic novel!
Well, sort of. "Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem," due out this Christmas, goes back to its roots. The graphic novel intertwined the universes of the Predators and the Aliens perfectly: The Predator race considered the Aliens to be the fiercest opponents ever to be faced ('ya think?), and in order to hone the skills of up-and-coming Predators, the "Ugly Muddafuckas" (to quote Ahnuld Schwarzenegger from 1987's "Predator") captured an Alien queen. They proceeded to harvest her eggs (taking care to kill any egg that held another queen) and then "seeded" a life-supporting planet with about a dozen of these eggs. The "face huggers" inside the eggs then infected various lifeforms on the planet, and the resultant birthed adult Aliens served as the "training tools" for the Predators' battle skills.
Unfortunately, an egg that contained an Alien queen eventually slipped by the Predator screening process, and this egg was shot off to a planet that was now colonized by humans (the Preds had used this planet previously, before humans arrived on it). Of course, with an Alien queen in the mix, the entire friggin' globe was in jeopardy, and Predators and humans alike ultimately had to join forces to stop the Alien scourge.
"Aliens vs. Predator" (the movie) barely touched on this aspect. About the only thing it did was have the Preds use the Aliens as a "rite of passage," but itridiculously made the Preds a part of human history -- they were shown to be the "inspiration" for cultures such as the Aztecs and their [human] sacrifices. Ugh. "Requiem" looks to fulfill the original premise, albeit with a mild twist. To "fit" into current lore, a Predator ship crash lands on Earth (a Colorado hamlet) and its cargo of Alien eggs are free to infect at will! We get our first look at an adult "Predalien" (at right) the result of an infected Predator giving "birth" to an Alien, and the Alien scourge decimates the small town as freaked-out humans and a lone surviving Predator (as there was in the graphic novel) struggle to survive -- and annihilate -- the bug-like monsters.
A cool "one-shot" Dark Horse Alien comic with this premise (sort of) was John Byrne's "Aliens: Earth Angel." In it, a space vessel lands with an alien being ... impregnated with an Alien embryo! The Alien bursts out of the poor ET's chest (as they always do, natch) and the makings of a classic 1950s-style sci-fi horror yarn begin!
And now... the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Syria's Assad Caught With His Hands in the Nuclear Cookie Jar by Joshuapundit, and Is This the State of Academics Today? by The QandO Blog. There was actually a tie in the council category this week... a tough choice, but Watcher ultimately cast his lot with Joshuapundit. Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:
|3 1/3||Syria's Assad Caught With His Hands in the Nuclear Cookie Jar|
|2 1/3||Why Hate Crimes Are a Joke Part 5783, and Why the University of Delaware Digs 'em|
The Colossus of Rhodey
|1 2/3||A Matter of Death|
Rhymes With Right
|1 1/3||Of Stonewalling and Blackwater|
Cheat Seeking Missiles
|2/3||The Race to Politicize Tragedy|
Right Wing Nut House
|1/3||The Iraq War -- Coming To a Theater Near You|
‘Okie’ on the Lam
|3||Is This the State of Academics Today?|
The QandO Blog
|2 1/3||I'm Sorry... Was That Supposed To Be Journalism?|
|1||The Inscrutable Angst of Little Round Headed Kids|
By Benjamin Kerstein
|1||What's Wrong with America?|
National Review Online
|1||Nevermind Alcohol, Is Living In Canada Haram?|
|2/3||The U.S. Media's Admiration of Chancellor Merkel Is Suddenly Over|
The Moderate Voice
|1/3||We Built This City On Pork and Bull|
|1/3||Impossible to Take Seriously|
|1/3||The Unbearable Lightness of Optimism|
Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):
you wrong right wingers are out of touch and you will loose the republican party forever. go on and pray to god for help. your idea of a compasionate god is to killwomen and children you did it in nicaragua sansalvador peru ecuador iraq vietnam you are the same devil with a different mask you rich right wingers suck and you will loose the peoples votes ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
Adib Rushdan is a former University of Delaware student who thinks the ridiculous resident dorm thought control program is just fine:
Adib Rushdan of New Castle worked hard to improve understanding between diverse student groups when he was a student at UD because, as a black man and a Muslim, he said he saw the need for it. Incidents on campus made it clear to him that students needed better awareness.
"In a lot of dormitories, there would be message boards on students' doors where absurd things were written that might have been racially motivated -- swastikas and other symbolic messages and images that speak to racial ignorance. Things of that nature have always been seen. It's necessary to have the type of diversity training that brings in people from different backgrounds."
After a spate of hate crimes, including racial graffiti, in 2005, former UD President David Roselle instituted a "zero-tolerance" policy for hate and hate crimes.
Rushdan said minorities always are the ones who press for such programs.
"The huge push for diversity and forums and discussions -- nine times out of 10 -- comes from those individuals who most of the time are the target groups who feel separated from the majority, " Rushdan said.
What is "a lot," Mr. Rushdan? Two? Three? And "might have been racially motivated?" So, you're not sure, right? And "absurd"? It's COLLEGE, Mr. Rushdan! Young adults do ABSURD THINGS. This doesn't mean that they must go through "treatment" (to use the university's very own term) to "rectify" their absurdity.
And if the "huge push" for these diversity programs comes mainly from minorities -- because they feel "separated from the majority," why do they feel the need then to isolate themselves even further with separate resident halls, student centers, and the like? The university's Ray Street Complex is home to fifteen "special interest communities" which include, among others, an Asian Community, a Latin American Culture Community, and a Sexuality and Gender Community. Then, of course, there's Warner Hall's Women's Interest Community (which, in this era, seems silly since women now make up a majority of undergraduate students at campuses across the US).
Oh well, even though UD has halted (at least temporarily) this inane resident hall program, there are still these incredibly intellectual and thought-provoking "diversity" events scheduled for November:
- Tuesday, November 14th
- 8:00 PM
- Ray Street C Lounge
There are cultural symbols all around us. Do you know what they mean? Symbols often have different meaning based on one's perspective. Join in a simulation style event to understand these symbols and the importance of understanding interpreting these correctly in today's society.
"Simulation style." Boy, THAT oughta knock your socks off, eh? But check out that last sentence -- you can be sure university "officials" will be on hand to make sure that your interpretation of these "cultural symbols" is "correct." And you know what THAT means!
Does the U.S. enable Size-ism?
- Wednesday, November 29 th
- 8:00 PM
- Bacchus Theatre
The pressures our society places on weight and idealistic beauty has caused a great amount of our population to fall to two extremes: overweight and the target of discrimination or extremely thin with many college students suffering from eating disorders. Come discover our society has created these extremes and how not to perpetuate these cycles of discrimination.
So, you see, your weight is a function of society. I'm just wondering how, with all those Fifth Avenue "ideals" of male and female physiques so prevalent in all media, these serve to "cause a great amount of the population" to become obese.
If anything, our society sends mixed messages about body image. On the one hand, fast food advertising is all over the place. On the other, programs and diets can't be missed that encourage fitness. But within our modern university, you don't really expect individuals to be able to make their own choices, right? It's society's fault we have "weight extremes"! Overweight? Not your fault. Underweight? Not your fault. Blame society. (Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware that certain factors can legitimately make one "faultless" regarding their weight, OK? You know what I mean though, right? So don't be silly.)
A bright spot: The News Journal editorial board opines that UD was out of line with this dunderheaded program.
I'll be on WGMD talk radio this Sunday during that most sought-after of time spots, 6:00-7:00am, with host Maria Evans. Since WILM's Dace Blaskovitz ditched Tom Noyes and I this month (he had a good reason, natch), it works out quite nice. Except that I have to get up at the same time I would on a weekday...
Maria and I go WAY back, so the banter should be fun. I'm sure the thought-control program at UD will be a topic.
Oh, I forgot to mention that WGMD has entered the 21st century and actually has live streaming audio via the Internets now. So if by some -- just some -- chance you're up at that hour and you're a Kent or New Castle Co. resident, tune in!
From today's News Journal:
A Wilmington woman, arrested after her young daughter was found wandering the streets Monday night, told police she had hired a baby sitter she met in a convenience store to watch her children while she was at work.
... while she was in [the] convenience store, she met a 19-year-old girl she didn't know who reportedly lived in the area; she gave the girl $20 to watch her kids while she went to work.
But remember: "Families are seen as the experts in their own lives"! Therefore, we shouldn't judge her.
First and foremost, Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE, and UD student Bill Rivers will be on "Hannity & Colmes" this evening at 9:00pm EDT on the Fox News Channel to discuss the University of Delaware's thought control program for dorm residents.
Samantha Harris, FIRE Director of Legal and Public Advocacy, will appear on "Fox Weekend."
And on Monday, Mr. Lukianoff will appear on "The O'Reilly Factor" (8:00pm EST).
(Info via the NAS e-mail bag.)
UPDATE: The News Journal has an update on the UD mess. I don't hesitate for a second to believe the students who related the various ridiculous instances of "training." I've seen very similar programs, sat in 'em, participated in 'em. Frankly, they're a farce. And despite the university's claim that the sessions were NOT mandatory, it's telling that two students -- one who disliked the training, and one who thought there should be more of them and that they should be more in-depth -- BOTH stated they were told the sessions WERE mandatory.
UPDATE 2: Fellow DE blogger/UD alumni Fritz Schranck notes that UD President Patrick Harker has suspended the resident hall "training" program until a thorough review is undertaken.
UPDATE 4: Bryan Preston has copies of the actual UD resident hall program! These are MUST READS!
Every now and then someone will say something like "People are more educated today than in the past." For instance, in the course of a very interesting post, Joanne Jacobs quotes a RAND report that says:
Mothers and fathers in 1990 were better educated than their 1970 counterparts. For example, 7 percent of mothers of 15-18-year-old children in 1970 were college graduates, compared to 16 percent in 1990. In addition, 38 percent of mothers did not have a high school degree in 1970, compared to only 17 percent in 1990.
So we know that the parents are "better educated" because they've completed more school. Here's my thought for the day:
Completing more years of school means that a person has experienced "more education," not that they are "better educated."