January 31, 2008

Bravo to Bubba

Got to give credit where credit is rightly due:

The Clinton campaign may be stopping President Bill from taking on Senator Barack Obama in his public appearances on his wife's behalf. But that doesn't mean he can't go on the rampage against '9/11 hecklers.'

"9/11 was not an inside job, it was an Osama Bin Laden job," President Clinton proclaimed in the campaign stop.

"We look like idiots, folks, denying that the people who murdered our fellow citizens didn't when they are continuing to murder people all around the world," he added. "So we heard from you, you go away."

Check out the video here. Bravo, Bill. Put these nutjobs in their place whenever you can. Look out for Liz Allen if you ever come to Delaware.

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It's two, two, two climates in one

From MSNBC.com's main page circa 8:50pm, literally right on top of one another:

Posted by Hube at 08:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Comics and football: They're a lot alike

Mark over at Comics Coverage shows you how and why.

Yet another classic by the 'net's best comics blog!

Posted by Hube at 08:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 30, 2008

Clinton v. DNC a la Bush v. Gore?

Election 2000 redux?

Five months after all Democratic candidates agreed Florida and Michigan wouldn't get delegates to the August presidential convention, Hillary Clinton now says they should--a reversal that would benefit her now that she has won both states, unchallenged, following Tuesday's Florida primary.

But that, some Democrats fear, could ignite a racially charged fight rivaling conventions of the 1960s, should her contest against Barack Obama remain close to the end. . . .

With perhaps several hundred delegates at stake toward the 2,025 needed for nomination, the New York senator's position "could lead to the mother of all credentials challenges" for the Michigan and Florida delegates at the convention, said Tad Devine, an expert on the Democratic Party's nominating process.

If the number were enough to defeat Illinois Sen. Obama, who is trying to become the first black president, "the most loyal constituency in the Democratic Party"--African-Americans--"will feel that they've been shut out of the party," he added. "And that will have huge repercussions--not just at the presidential level, but in every race where African-American support can determine the outcome."

The DNC "penalized" Florida for moving up its primary and thus no delegates were to be awarded to any candidates. Apparently, according to what I heard last night, the candidates agreed to honor the move. But now, just like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary is wanting to change the rules in mid-stream. But even the most hardened of liberal pundits are getting fed up. As I watched a bit of MSNBC last evening, Keith Olbermann was visibly aggravated at what the Clinton camp was hinting at.

I like James Taranto's (to whom the h/t goes for this post) take on it:

If Mrs. Clinton does need Michigan and Florida to win the nomination, and she does wage a fight to honor their credentials, she will have behaved just as the Democratic Party and the Gore campaign did in Florida in 2000.

Having lost a heartbreakingly narrow election, Gore and the Dems sought to change the rules after the fact in order to provide him a margin of victory. But here's a crucial practical difference: The Gore gambit helped reinforce black voters' loyalty to the Democratic Party by playing on their fears of racist disfranchisement. What Mrs. Clinton is contemplating will be directed against a black Democrat. If she wins the nomination by playing this game, blacks may end up feeling that the Democratic Party is not loyal to them.

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I'd have to ask??

If I taught in Dallas I would. That is, to give a kid less than 50%:

Dallas teacher representatives asked trustees Thursday to reconsider a policy that prevents teachers from giving students who are failing any grade lower than a 50.

Currently, students can receive a grade no lower than 50 for any marking period, even if they do no work. District officials said that's a long-standing policy meant to give students who bomb their work early in the semester a chance to earn a passing grade if they clean up their acts.

If students received a grade of zero for the first six-week grading period, for example, they would be unable to pass the class even if they produced near-perfect work in the rest of the course. Administrators fear kids would realize that and give up entirely.

That one sentence unfortunately demonstrates how clueless some administrators really are. I mean, consider: In order to get a grade of zero for an entire marking period, you'd have to do 100% NOTHING. Absolutely zilch. And administrators think that's... OK?? You do ZIP and you still get a 50%?? But these wise sage-like administrators think some don't "fear" that kids know precisely what they're doing -- meaning, they'll do that 100% nothing, still get a 50% for half the year, then kick it in gear a bit towards the end of the year to "salvage" a passing grade? That's just how it is, trust me. And all the while they should've gotten exactly what they deserved: A big fat "F."

"The only reason this policy exists is to give kids a chance to recover from a short-term failure," district curriculum chief Denise Collier said. "A student who gets a zero or a 20 has absolutely no hope of passing."

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa agreed.

Even when students receive 50s, "they still have to work double-time to pass," he said. "Are we interested in seeing kids fail or seeing them be successful?"

Again, I have little to no sympathy for a kid who gets a zero -- because it means he/she has done zero. A kid who gets a 20% also deserves little sympathy because he/she has done close to zero. Just take a gander at Hinojosa's statement above. Talk about your ridiculous "logic"! What teacher wants to see a kid fail? But teachers also desire to expose their students to real world consequences. Like, doing nothing will result in nothing -- you get fired from your job, you get your car repossessed, etc.

I know of no teacher that will fail a student that has worked his/her tail off, but still may come up a bit "short" grade-wise. This is because teachers want to show that hard work does have benefits, even if the material was difficult for a kid. Using the job analogy, I'd say it'd be like someone working extremely hard at one dept. in a co., but ultimately it's not serving the company's needs in the whole scheme of things. But since the employee is a very hard worker, they just move him to a different dept. where his/her abilities are better suited. It's not a perfect analogy, mind you, and some will certainly disagree. But I've kids over my many years of teaching that worked their butts off, came for extra help all the time, and still may have ended up "just short" of a passing grade. But I didn't mark that "F" on the report sheet.

At any rate, thankfully, the Dallas teachers union (the AFT in this case) wants this nonsene halted:

But teacher groups see a double standard. At a time when the district will begin paying bonuses to teachers based on student achievement, the policy requires that students be given points for doing inadequate work.

"To assign actual grades earned by students, instead of grades of not less than 50 percent, is a vital part of raising the achievement bar," Alliance-AFT vice president Maureen Peters said. "An education is not something a child is given. An education is something the child must work for and earn."

Whoa, there, Ms. Peters! You're making way too much sense! We can't have a plethora of that in education now, can we? I mean, sheesh -- a child has to work for an education? In this day and age? Remarkable!

"What are we asking the board to do?" Ms. Peters said. "Hold students accountable for their grades. Raise the bar. Increase student rigor. Allow teachers to assign students the grades they legitimately earned. Stop supporting grade inflation."

But it's [sadly] amazing that the board is actually split on this matter. For instance, Board President Jack Lowe says "he supported the minimum grade of 50 because, ultimately, the most important thing is whether students learned the material, not what their grade was in the first six weeks of class." Nice. Go back to what I said about the kids being all too aware of this 50% policy. Consider how that affects classroom environment: Kids know they can do literally squat for half a year and still pass the class. If they're doing squat, what are they doing then? You got it: MISBEHAVING. DISRUPTING CLASS. RUINING IT FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO LEARN.

If Lowe is so concerned about the material actually being learned, maybe he could suggest that the course final exam figure in more prominently in a kid's final overall grade.

More idiotic is "former teacher" Nancy Bingham who also sits on the board:

Trustee Nancy Bingham, a former teacher in Mesquite whose district had the same policy, said she doesn't want teachers to be able to give grades lower than 50.

"You fail with a 50 just as much as with a 25," Mrs. Bingham said.

Ms. Bingham is a living example of why teachers aren't very highly regarded today. Too many of them are idiots. I mean, how does a 25% equal a 50% -- especially when computing a kid's overall final average? Sure, they're both "Fs" using the letter grade format, but that 25% difference can sure come into play when that final average is figured.

Wow, I sure must be old fashioned -- I'd rather have a 25% that I earned than be given a 50% for doing nothing.

Posted by Hube at 05:51 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 29, 2008

I blame ...

... racism.

Posted by Hube at 03:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letters of the Week

We have three in one, today. First, Middletown's Bill Keinath has a rather interesting way to view unborn children, and why there really should be little hesitation to exterminate them in order to control population:

It concerns me how those who oppose the destruction of a human fetus try to make their point by using human beings as their examples.

A human fetus is not a human being. It possesses no knowledge of its existence.

Oh. It's "not human" because it simply hasn't learned yet. How convenient.

The same principle applies to animals. We kill them and eat their flesh as food, and consider this morally acceptable because they too possess no knowledge of their existence and suffer no anguish upon their deaths.

There are some animal rights activists that would take issue with that last part. But consider: Bill is comparing unborn human children to ... food animals. FOOD ANIMALS! And Bill -- most consider it OK to slaughter animals for food because animals do not possess higher order thinking skills. They only exist on an instinctual level, whereas humans operate on the rational level. By killing an animal, we're doing just that. For food. By killing an unborn child, we're offing a potential Einstein. Or Madison. Or Gandhi. Etc.

This does not apply to human beings who possess knowledge of their being. That we rightly condemn as murder.

Based on this definition of "possess knowledge of their being," it would then be "murder" to execute a condemned multiple murderer.

For these reasons I believe abortion can and should be used to regulate population. I respect and applaud the Chinese government for using this method to try to control population. Abortion in this instance is a matter of applying a practical solution to a practical problem and is within the normal parameters of morality.

Speak for yourself, Bill. Your morality, maybe. Not mine. I'll never grasp how "pro-choicers" will decry the execution of heinous killers, but will fight to the death for supposed "reproductive freedom."

Next, Carol Lynn of Wilmington is another of those senior citizens who believes society has to attend to her needs, but she doesn't have any responsibility to the younger generation:

I have no problem with paying school taxes for books, paper, teachers etc. Where I have a problem is having to pay for after-school activities and sports.

Senior citizens and those without children should not have to pay to entertain other people's children. Those with children who wish to participate should pay the expense.

Aw, how "generous" of her! She "has no problem" paying taxes for books, etc.!! I tell 'ya what, Ms. Lynn: If you get your wish, let's also means test your Social Security payments. If you're making over a certain amount (of S.S.) in order to live comfortably, your payments should then be slashed. After all, to paraphrase a certain letter writer, "I have no problem with paying Social Security taxes for seniors who need it; where I have a problem is having to pay for well-to-do seniors who have no reason whatsoever to take my money."

The seventh letter on that same page has a really "unique" take on "no taxation without representation." Hockessin's L. Eudora Pettigrew believes that no one should pay taxes if their ethnic group is not proportionately -- or, rather, "appropriately" -- represented in various fields of endeavor:

It is absolutely amazing that after more than 40 years of approval by the United States Congress of landmark equal opportunity legislation that Attorney General Beau Biden, who has been in office for a year, is still pledging to diversify his office by the appointment of just" one" black woman as chief of staff.

There has not been any legislation or declaration by legislators to inform me a black woman, or others that we do not have to pay taxes to support the state or national government because we, and those like us are not appropriately represented.

State attorneys general swear to uphold the law when sworn into office. Apparently, there has not been any real attempt to do so in the past by the Delaware. I suspect the same is true in other states.

I wonder which law(s) mandate(s) that government officials have to hire a certain number of people based on their skin color or ethnicity.

That being said, if we buy into Ms. Pettigrew's "appropriately represented" nonsense and not having to pay taxes, I suspect one heck of a lot of people would want tax rebates based on how they've been represented over the last 40 years.

Posted by Hube at 03:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 28, 2008

Must be in the employ of Dr. Hernandez

This Dr. Hernandez.

At any rate, gotta love it:

But 'ya know, the thing is, the GOP possibly-front-runner's last name is spelled phonetically correctly in Spanish, there!

Posted by Hube at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Root canal

Yep, that's what I had today. It wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. What started out a week and a half ago as just letting the hygienist know about a bit of increased sensitivity on a particular molar turned out to reveal that said molar was cracked. A week ago I went in to have the cracked portion drilled down and out, and replaced with filling material. Apparently, the crack went down further than that. The last four days the pain in my left jaw has been excruciating. I've been popping Advil like candy.

I went back to the dentist this morning who promptly informed me that a root canal must be done. He also said that if, by some chance, the crack is all the way down along the root of the tooth, I'll need to get the whole damn tooth extracted. So, off to the root canal guy. I was done in about an hour. No pain at all really, not even the shot of novacaine. But I'm just waiting for that novacaine to wear off now ...! We'll see what happens.

Posted by Hube at 04:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 27, 2008

Latest eBay auction

I kid you not. This is a real eBay auction as of this post (click on image for larger view):

(h/t to Newsbusters reader Jorge T.!)

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Comicbook Quirk of the Week

We're movin' up a few years since the last few quirks. Here we have "The Adventures of Gritboy" from Defenders #63 from 1978! Grit was a newspaper that kids could sell to earn some extra cash:

Yep, he sure did have a problem! And you know what it really was? He (and his buddies) wore the exact same clothes every day!

The actual final panel ought to go like this:

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Whoa! Revision in the history of space flight

Via Instapundit:

Any fan of space history knows that Russian Yuri Gagarin was the first human to enter outer space. Or was he?

As 40 years have passed since Gagarin’s flight, new sensational details of this event were disclosed: Gagarin was not the first man to fly to space. Three Soviet pilots died in attempts to conquer space before Gagarin's famous space flight, Mikhail Rudenko, senior engineer-experimenter with Experimental Design Office 456 (located in Khimki, in the Moscow region) said on Thursday. According to Rudenko, spacecraft with pilots Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov at the controls were launched from the Kapustin Yar cosmodrome (in the Astrakhan region) in 1957, 1958 and 1959. "All three pilots died during the flights, and their names were never officially published," Rudenko said. He explained that all these pilots took part in so-called sub- orbital flights, i.e., their goal was not to orbit around the earth, which Gagarin later did, but make a parabola-shaped flight. "The cosmonauts were to reach space heights in the highest point of such an orbit and then return to the Earth," Rudenko said. According to his information, Ledovskikh, Shaborin and Mitkov were regular test pilots, who had not had any special training, Interfax reports. "Obviously, after such a serious of tragic launches, the project managers decided to cardinally change the program and approach the training of cosmonauts much more seriously in order to create a cosmonaut detachment," Rudenko said.

Interesting stuff, and it's certainly not surprising that the Soviets wouldn't acknowledge failures, especially during that era. By the way, the first American to go into space, Alan Shepard, flew a sub-orbital mission, just like those previously unnamed Russians supposedly did. And as noted in the link, Shepard could have beaten Gagarin to space as his flight was initially scheduled for October 1960, and then March 6, 1961. (Gagarin's historic flight occurred on April 12, 1961.) Prep work caused the delays, and ultimately led to yet another embarrassment for the US (Sputnik being the biggie in 1957).

On a cool personal note, my maternal grandfather knew Alan Shepard from their flight school days. I remember my grandmother (now deceased) showing me photos of both families hanging on a beach during some leave time. My grandfather flew off the carrier Roosevelt and was killed in 1952 during a night-time landing accident. I never knew him. He died when my mother was only seven years old.

Posted by Hube at 10:49 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Enforce immigration laws, get blamed for child deaths

You're in a country illegally, and your infant child is very ill. Waddya do?

Well, being the person that I am, I'd do anything to ensure the well-being and life of my child. Possibly being deported would be a distant concern when compared to my child. Guess I'm just weird like that:

Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days(!) and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old didn't know what to do about it.

They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late. (Link.)

And, of course, the AP blames a new Oklahoma law for the child's demise:

A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of House Bill 1804 months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

"The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."

But wait -- it gets better. People here illegally who're worried about being deported compare the Oklahoma law to -- you guessed it -- Nazi Germany:

"I feel like I'm in some kind of Nazi country where if they see your color, you'll be stopped," said Maria Sanchez, a 22-year-old student who is looking to leave Oklahoma rather than risk waiting the seven years it will take to get her papers. "I can't work, I can't study, I can't go out, there's no point of me staying here."

"Risk" is exactly what you took, Ms. Sanchez, when you -- YOU -- decided to break the law and take up residence in the U.S. illegally. And the same thing goes for the Castorenas. THEY are responsible for what happened to their child, not Oklahoma, and not those who support the law, no matter what the AP would have you believe. (And of course, the AP doesn't mention until almost the article's end that the Castorena's predicament occurred before the new law took effect, and even so, the law has an exception for emergency medical care, as is the case everywhere.)

"Responsibility"? What's that? Especially when it's easier to blame the big, bad United States (and its individual states), compare them to Nazis, and you've got a willing big media on your side?

(Cross-posted at Newsbusters.)

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Democrats continue to fall prey to their own tactics

Bill Clinton yesterday in South Carolina:

"Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."

ABC's Jake Tapper is aghast that the "Clintons are running a race-baiting campaign." But what is actually wrong with Bill's statement? Isn't pointing out that Jackson -- who had much less broad appeal than Obama -- winning South Carolina twice mean that it's absolutely no surprise that Obama won so big yesterday? But Tapper doesn't stop there:

An African-American pal of mine writes me the following tonight, which I share because too many of those commenting on this all are melanin-deprived.

He writes: "Of all the things Bill Clinton has said, that comparison to Jesse Jackson is the most obvious -- and odious -- race baiting that he's done."

"I actually thought some of the other examples have been overblown. My feeling has been that the man is working hard for his wife, who cares if he's allowed himself a little hyperbole. It's the least he could do."

"But this Jesse comment takes the cake and is going to p--- a lot of people off. Hillary got pasted, and they can't take it, so they do their best to diminish Obama's victory. They know they can do this, because the national press corps will let him get away with it. . ."

"Let him get away with it"? This is all they're covering! But let's examine Tapper's friend's claims. He states that this recent [Bill] Clinton comment "takes the cake" ... but again, why, exactly? Because he brings up a polarizing figure like Jesse Jackson. But as noted, Jackson won S.C. not once but twice. Why is this so anathema to bring forth? It was Democrats in the first place that gave Jackson such a forum, then. And it was Democrats that never, ever challenged Jackson on many of his polarizing statements and views. (Actually, Bill Clinton was one of the rare few who did, in that "Sistah Souljah" moment.)

As I mentioned previously, I'd almost feel sorry for Clinton, but it is his own party that has perfected the use of race and perceived racial animus (otherwise known as "overly acute racial sensitivity") to use against opponents. And now its eating their own.

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

January 26, 2008

Saturday P.C. tidbits

A couple politically correct tidbits to share with y'all today. First, there's a controversy at the Naval Academy. Why? Get ready:

An attempt by the Naval Academy to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. this week by serving fried chicken, greens and cornbread in the midshipmen's dining hall sparked a debate on the Annapolis campus about racial sensitivity.

On Tuesday, the academy served those items along with mashed potatoes, pie and lemonade as clips of King speeches were broadcast in King Hall, named after an academy graduate. The meal was served Tuesday because classes were not held during the holiday honoring the civil rights leader.

How did it become a controversy?

Postings on GoMids.com, which includes a message board used by midshipmen and others affiliated with the academy, indicate some were offended by the attempt to honor King.

Ah yes, that nebulous "some." And on Internet message boards, at that. If 'net message boards are becoming a standard by which to label something a "controversy," then our own Wilmington News Journal would have a "controversy" on its hands every single day, most especially regarding its ridiculous policy of not indicating the race of criminal suspects wanted by police. And speaking of the News Journal, they also have this Annapolis "controversy" headlined here.

Interestingly, when the Academy held its Hispanic Heritage Month dinner, there were no complaints about the meal of beef fajitas, flour tortillas and Spanish rice.

Personally, if I were in charge, I wouldn't have utililized such a menu to honor Dr. King. But if I used a menu of, say, shrimp scampi and rice, it's a good bet some at GoMids.com would have had complaints about that meal. Bet on it.

Across the pond, meanwhile, another "aggrieved" group is making use of ridiculous restrictive European "hate speech" laws (also available in Canada, by the way):

The Spanish State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGT) has filed a criminal complaint against the Catholic bishop of Tenerife, Bernardo Álvarez, for making statements against homosexual behavior and comparing it to child sexual abuse.

Denouncing the Bishop for "identifying homosexuality with the sexual abuse of minors" and for "promoting an attitude of violence and discrimination" against homosexuals, FELGT president Antonio Poveda responded this week by filing formal charges against the bishop with state government prosecutors.

While, in my view, anyone affiliated with the Catholic ought to be really careful about denouncing anybody regarding sexual misconduct, prosecuting someone with criminal charges for his opinion -- however repugnant -- is that proverbial step toward totalitarianism. I wonder how the FELGT would react -- or anyone, for that matter -- if the Catholic Church filed charges against them for "promoting an attitude of violence and discrimination against Catholics" because of their criticism of Church doctrine and/or highlighting what a small percentage of the clergy have done (sexual misconduct).

And that's the thing leftist groups who advocate prosecuting use of speech as "hate" speech never grasp -- it will inevitably come back to haunt them.

Posted by Hube at 05:14 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

New James Bond villain modeled on current French president

... who, according to the actor who plays him, Mathieu Amalric, is "the worst villain we've ever had."

But of course!! French President Nicolas Sarkozy is right-of-center! He likes the United States! Thus, you can't get a "worse villain" than that for a nutty lefty moonbat. Not al Qaeda, not Hamas, not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. No, it's the freely elected head of state of a centuries-enduring democracy.

This is why they're called "moonbats," folks.

Posted by Hube at 12:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

McCain immigration 'adviser' believes in 'Mexico first'

One of GOP presidential candidate John McCain's greatest potential weaknesses is his view(s) on immigration. He supported an amnesty program in 2003, and most recently "comprehensive immigration reform" which many (especially on the right) considered just another form of amnesty. Now, in the thick of the primary season, McCain has said he "gets it," and "now understands that we need to secure the border" before any sort of immigration reform is enacted.


But how has John demonstrated that he "gets it"? By hiring open borders advocate Juan Hernandez as one of his advisors! I have watched Hernandez numerous times on pundit shows (like "The O'Reilly Factor") and Juan comes across as a genial fellow. (He has a habit of referring to debate opponents as "my friend.") However, his views on [Mexican] immigration are far from the mainstream, especially so from the conservative point-of-view. As Michelle Malkin and Bryan at Hot Air have shown, for example, Hernandez stated in 2001 that Mexican immigrants (presumably legal and illegal) “will think Mexico first…”I want ‘em all to think Mexico first.” In addition, Hernandez related to Rep. Tom Tancredo that the United States and Mexico "are not two separate countries, but 'just a region.'” Then there's Juan's defense of Mexican bus drivers who transport illegals across the border and his promotion of letting illegals open bank accounts.

As expected, no one (yet) in the MSM has picked up on this story, especially the important angle of how the revelation of having Hernandez as a campaign adviser will impact (further) McCain's image with conservatives.

(Cross-posted at Newsbusters.)

Posted by Hube at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 25, 2008

Republicans get blamed for everything

... especially everything racial:

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) is blaming a Republican presidential candidate for the racial divide that has emerged between Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

During an interview Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Joe Scarborough, Clyburn pointed the finger at former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) for injecting race into the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary.

“I don’t want to sound disingenuous here but we were doing well with this whole issue coming out of New Hampshire,” Clyburn said, noting that Obama had the support of Reps. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) and Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.), who are both white.

“It was not until Huckabee sort of brought the Confederate battle flag into this thing,” Clyburn said. “Nobody’s been talking about that. And I guarantee you people recoiled when he did. You remember not only did he talk about the flag in a disparaging way but he talked about what the people of Arkansas would do with the pole of the flag...That’s the kind of stuff that brought this back into [the Democratic presidential] campaign and it was not here until he did that.”

Why would we want to elect folks that blame everyone and everything else for their own problems? How will Obama or Clinton be effective when they -- and their associates in the Democrat Party -- will be busy blaming foreign leaders (and the GOP, of course) for their own faults?

Posted by Hube at 06:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

About those "lies"

The MSM has been recently apoplectic about a supposed "nonpartisan" study concluding that George Bush and others in his administration routinely and continually "lied" about Iraq leading up to the '03 invasion:

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses." The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.

At least the AP refers to them as "false statements." There is, however, a difference between a "false statement" and a "lie." (But it sure isn't difficult to decipher what the AP's intent was, now, is it?) "Lie" denotes a willful intent to deceive. Is that what the president and his officials actually did? Many others in the MSM had little difficulty utilizing the term "lie." There was CNN's Jack Cafferty, the New York Times (comparing to Bush's actions to Watergate), and, of course Keith Olbermann who presented a graphic with the words "935 Lies."

It's no surprise that those infected with the dread disease known as "BDS" (Bush Derangement Syndrome) see no difference between the two terms. For, if they did, their affliction would be meaningless. For example, the study concluded that President Bush "led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq..." Of course, we NOW know that the intelligence at the time -- the vast majority of which stated that Iraq had WMDs -- proved incorrect. But since virtually everyone was convinced that Saddam had WMDs at the time -- including Bush and co. -- does that make the president's statements "lies"? If so, what about these notable folks:

  • "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

  • "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." --President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

  • "Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." --Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

  • "He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." --Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

  • "[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by: -- Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998

  • "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

  • "Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies." -- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

  • "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." Letter to President Bush, Signed by: -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001

  • "We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them." -- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

  • "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

  • "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

  • "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

  • "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..." -- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

  • "I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

  • "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

  • "He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do" -- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

  • "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

  • "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

  • "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..." -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

I wonder if this George Soros-funded research group will do another study noting how many times Bill Clinton et. al. "lied" about Iraq and Saddam Hussein. No, of course they won't.

Although I was against any invasion of Iraq from the onset, it's just political hatred (BDS) to claim Bush and co. knowingly "lied" about Iraq to get done what they wanted to do. But the usual maxi-brow suspects will eat it all up.

(I always wondered why these supposed "liars" never just planted the WMDs so they could have been "proven" right.)

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Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Liberal Fascism by Done With Mirrors, and Bylines of Brutality by Iowahawk.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3Liberal Fascism
Done With Mirrors
1Grim Choices Confront GOP
Right Wing Nut House
1'I Have A Dream' -- The Democrat's Version
1Hillanomix 101
Wolf Howling
1The Radicalization of American Politics
The Glittering Eye
1Di Caprio Lies and Hustles Bucks
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1Our Out of Control Borders: Who's Accountable?
The Education Wonks
1What Is "Freedom"?
The Colossus of Rhodey
1/3Rose Colored Rudy
Soccer Dad
1/3The Problem With Obama's Race
Bookworm Room

VotesNon-council link
4Bylines of Brutality
1  2/3It's All Israel's Fault
Gates of Vienna
1  2/3About the Anarcholibertarians
The QandO Blog
1  1/3Doctors and Death and Doctors Death
The IgNoble Experiment
1The Navy's Failing China Policy
Pajamas Media
1/3Let's End the Cold War and Get Rid of Marxist BS Once and for All
Dr. Sanity
1/3Pondering the Google Slap
1/3A Relatively Scientific Experiment
Power Line
1/3Media Lens Tries History, Yet Again
Oliver Kamm

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January 24, 2008

Worthy of frontpage headlines

And indeed it was over at MSNBC.com circa 7:45pm:

"Democratic hopeful"?? Are you serial? "Democratic hopeless" is much more like it. At any rate, 'ol Denny didn't go out quietly. There he was on the House floor, demanding Bush and Cheney be impeached, and miraculously raising the number of Iraqi dead to one million.

Heck, even the ridiculously high figure of 600,000 + has been debunked. So, one million??

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The Altar

Compare & contrast:

Description one (last item).

Description two.

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He's all class

Just what we need in an atmosphere that cries out for "change" in DC (h/t to SCSU Scholars):

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Al Franken didn't exactly leave 'em laughing in Northfield.

Earlier this month Franken was at Carleton College, where the late Sen. Paul Wellstone was a professor, for a student rally related to a special election in the state Senate District 25. After the rally in the great space of Sayles-Hill some students crowded around to take photos with the "Saturday Night Live" alum, author, satirist and celebrity.

Franken apparently had more fun than senior history major Peter Fritz.

According to Fritz, things started out fine with him taking photos of fellow Carls (that's what students call themselves) with Franken. Then Franken's curiosity was raised about why Fritz didn't want to be in a pic.

He's a conservative, another Carl yelled out by way of explanation.

At that point, Franken reportedly began peppering Fritz with questions about supporting President George W. Bush and former President Ronald Reagan's tax hikes. Fritz told me he got tense and, as he does in those situations, started chewing the inside of his mouth, a gesture he said was mimicked by Franken; Fritz also thought his style of speech was mocked by Franken.

An aide eventually interrupted Franken's act, Fritz said, by announcing to the candidate that it was time to go.

Fritz told me Monday that he then stuck out his hand to shake Franken's. "Well, at least it's nice to meet you," the GOPer said he told Franken, who reportedly replied, I can't say the same.

There was no handshake, said Fritz. (Link.)

It's not surprising, really. Franken is of the belief system that NO conservative is worth ANY kind of respect. To them, conservatives are -- as George Orwell coined -- "unpersons." This same belief system holds that the severest criticism be spewed at conservatives for very "unprogressive" beliefs, but if by some chance one of these "progressives" happens to hold the same or similar belief, this is always conveniently overlooked, or explained away -- and even forgiven.

Watching the current Democratic primaries has been superlative entertainment, if anything else. Where else can one view the two main adversaries utilizing one of their most prodigious historical -- and hypocritical -- "weapons" (a.k.a. race), against one another to shred each another apart? The party that has skewered its opponents with the most deadly modern rhetorical weapon -- invocation of racism -- is now eating its own.

And as much as I'm tempted to feel sorry for Obama and Clinton, I'm just snickering and whispering to myself, "Told you so."

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January 23, 2008

"The White Man is the Jew of Liberal Fascism"

So says Jonah Goldberg. An excerpt:

Now look at today's culture. In academia you have the proliferation of "Whiteness Studies," simply the most absurd discipline dedicated to purging the "white mind" from society. Here's the full and subsequent paragraphs where I begin to explain that sentence that has annoyed so many:
The white male is the Jew of liberal fascism. The “key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race,” writes the whiteness studies scholar and historian Noel Ignatiev. Whiteness studies is a cutting-edge academic discipline sweeping American higher education. Some thirty universities have WS departments, but many more schools teach the essentials of whiteness studies in other courses. The executive director of the Center for the Study of White American Culture explains, “There is no crime that whiteness has not committed against people of color . . . We must blame whiteness for the continuing patterns today . . . which damage and prevent the humanity of those of us within it.” The journal Race Traitor (ironically, a Nazi term) is dedicated “to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race.” Now, this is not a genocidal movement; no one is suggesting that white people be rounded up and put in camps. But the principles, passions, and argumentation have troubling echoes.

First, there is the left’s shocking defense of black riot ideology and gangsterism. The glorification of violence, the romance of the street, the denunciations of “the system,” the conspiratorialism, the exaltation of racial solidarity, the misogyny of hip-hop culture: all of these things offer a disturbing sense of déjà vu. Hip-hop culture has incorporated. On college campuses, administrators routinely look the other way at classically fascist behavior, from newspaper burnings to the physical intimidation of dissident speakers. These attitudes ultimately stem from the view that the white man, like the Jew, represents every facet of what is wrong and oppressive to humanity. As Susan Sontag proclaimed in 1967, “The white race is the cancer of human history.” Meanwhile, Enlightenment notions of universal humanity are routinely mocked on the academic left as a con used to disguise entrenched white male privilege.

The discussion goes on for a while, addressing the tendency of the left to conflate white male privilege with traditional religion and the like. Then I move to Hollywood where I discuss how in movie after movie white men are the problem. It’s only by getting over their white maleness that they are redeemed. I’ll post some passages later. But the basic point is this, from Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States to critical legal studies, to the campaign against “dead white European males,” to popular culture, there is an abiding belief that “das system” was set up to benefit The Man and that The Man continues to pull the strings and rig the system for his own benefit.

And, I'll add, it's not just colleges dealing with "Whiteness Studies." The ... "philosophy" has moved right down into the grammar and secondary school arena as well, specifically teacher "training" and inservices.

The title of Goldberg's screed comes from the conspiratorial mindset of the Nazi Party -- anything and everything (bad, that is) could ultimately, in one way or another, be tied to the Jews.

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January 22, 2008

The National Association of Scholars asks:

How many Delawares? Looks like UMass Amherst has some problems ...

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Is there anything more agonizing than the dull, throbbing pain of post-dental surgery? I had a cracked toof, and yesterday the doc drilled out the bad piece(s) and put in filling material. He doesn't think a root canal is necessary. Maybe. Yet. It's been only about 36 hours, but the throbbing ache is driving me nuts. The sinus pressure I also have (which usually adds some pain to my upper gums) sure ain't helpin', not to mention my upper teef's natural sensitivity to heat and cold.

My current best friend's name: Advil.

Posted by Hube at 07:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Still yet another Comicbook Quirk

This time we have an intense thriller-of-an-ad from Iron Man #44 from 1971! It's the

Whoa! Is Mike Lee really gonna put his young sons in deadly danger for the benefit of a jeans commercial? You betcha:

"Be careful? Gee, thanks pop! Why does Danny get to go with you, huh?"

Thanks, Mike, for the gratuitous brand name insertion! Meanwhile, your next of kin are smoldering.

"But dad! I think my fingers have burned off! PLEASE can we wait for the firemen??"

"Say whaaat? Tell 'em to get the hell out of here! We're do to make some decent coin doing this Lee ad, natch!"

Dad's real thoughts: "Medals my ass. This could lead to a multi-ad jeans contract!"

"Yeah, sure pops. Risk our lives for a few friggin' bucks in your pocket, you sonuva ...!"

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January 21, 2008


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If this was Bush or Cheney or any GOP-er ...

... it'd be plastered all over the mainstream media:

Yep, that's our former prez dozing off at the Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem while wife Hillary was at the nearby Abyssinian Baptist Church.

More here.

Posted by Hube at 07:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Comicbook Quirk of the Week

I'm still finding some gems in those old Iron Man comics from the early 70s. Now, I'm diggin' the names of some of these "companies." Check this one out:

Here's that company moniker that's circled in red, in case your peepers aren't that great:

The Height Increase Bureau! Sounds like a subdivision of the F.B.I. or something. I can hear J. Edgar Hoover back in his heyday: "Boys, we need a lot more taller agents!" And bingo -- the H.I.B. was born.

Next we have another great "company" appellation:

The P.V.I.!! But if one wants a "he-man" voice, why not call it the "He-Man Voice Institute"? You might get too many inquiries from budding singers, otherwise.

Posted by Hube at 07:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"Cloverfield" as metaphor for Bush administration

Caught this via Taranto -- a movie reviewer thinks the monster in the recently reviewed-by-me "Cloverfield" represents the George W. Bush administration:

While Goddard wisely leaves out any specific explanation for the origin of the Cloverfield monster, it’s also easy to see it as a metaphor for the disastrous policies the United States has pursued under the current administration of President George W. Bush. Besides the similarities to seeing building topple in Manhattan like the 9/11 attacks, how else can you interpret the head of that supreme icon of American Liberty (namely the Statue of), being decapitated and shown landing like Medusa in the streets of Soho? (Link.)

The review author even goes further, reminding us that "Godzilla" was Japan's "indirect response" to the U.S. dropping atomic bombs on them some ten years prior. "It’s also rather sobering to realize that the U.S. is the only country in the history of the planet to use offensive nuclear weapons against another nation," he writes. But it's even more sobering to consider the total loss of life that would have resulted on both sides had the country not used the bombs. But how dare I disallow a morally relativistic BDSer his "moment," eh?

Y'know, I'll take this analogy bit a step further -- "Cloverfield" is the perfect metaphor for the Bush administration ... or, rather, the absolutely apoplectic response to it by its detractors. After all, we're constantly told by BDS-deranged moonbats that Bush is a "dictator" and a "fascist" (and Lord knows what else) and there's little anyone can do to stop him. As I mentioned in my movie review, it's almost laughable the military's response to the creature's attack on the New York City. That sounds a lot like the Democrat Party this past seven years or so -- all talk and pitifully little action against the "fascist dictator" that is George Bush! They just let him go on and on and on, waiting him out until deciding to let the "hammer fall." But in the Democrats' case, their "hammer" is still an action of INaction. It's called an "election," which, as too often escapes the mentality of moonbats, is impossible to wait for let alone plain have in a fascist state ruled by a dictator!

Just remember what I wrote earlier today about successful socities having too much time on their hands.

Posted by Hube at 04:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Which is your candidate?

Check out this site.

Whose my candidate? Ron Paul.

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What is "freedom"?

I happened to catch "1984" yesterday afternoon before the big football games while doing some laundry. It's a pretty powerful adaptation of the famous Orwell novel; John "an Alien burst from my chest" Hurt plays Winston Smith and does a superb job. Watching the back-and-forth between Hurt and Richard Burton's O'Brien got me pondering just what the essence of freedom is.

I don't think there's anything more defining of the term than freedom of thought, and subsequently the expression of that thought. There's nothing more stark, when contrasting the West and totalitarian countries, than how each handle their respective populace's speech and expression. The unfortunate thing for the West, however, is that the very things that have made us so prosperous and knowledgable have also given us "too much time on our hands," so to speak. Now that we've achieved a level of economic and cultural affluence never before witnessed on the globe, certain "progressive" elements in our convention want to make our society even more affluent, in their view -- at least culturally.

In the last year or so, perhaps no single incident personified how Western "progressives" want to make the West "more progressive" than the furor over those inflammatory cartoons of Mohammed. This progressive desire to make the West "better" now includes the "right not to be offended." At first glance, who can really denounce that? No one wants anyone to be offended, nor does anyone want to offend someone, right? The problem comes, of course, when you try to codify this supposed "right" into law. Colleges and universities have been doing this for decades now with their "speech codes." "Enlightened" Western progressives believed, for example, that publication of those Mohammed cartoons should have been suppressed because Muslims would be offended. Just take the Boston Globe, for instance. Some college professors will even invoke quite unusual definitions of "freedom" to support just the opposite, like Temple's Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub:

"It has a lot to do with the difference in belief about freedom ... the essential difference is how freedom is understood. I believe that my freedom ends where the dignity and respect for all the prophets begins."

That's quite, if I may say so, an Orwellian definition of "freedom." But Ayoub's views are shared by many Western progressives and are creeping into our law. Shortly after the Denmark paper reprinted those Mohammed 'toons, even the United Nations got into the act. Denmark was "accused of breaking its international obligations by not conforming with the following three articles in the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," which included, among other items

  • Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

But how is it "freedom" if the government is prescribed to protect the morals of others? The obvious point is that anyone's morals can be offended by any speech/expression of others. The essence of true freedom excludes the supposed "right" not to be offended. If "cannot give offense" becomes a codified right, then true freedom is thwarted. Indeed, "offense" is determined by whom, exactly? It's "progressive" bureaucrats like UN special rapporteur on racism and xenophobia Doudou Diéne and liberal major paper employees like the Washington Post's Fred Hiatt. And, most recently Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen who said "freedom of expression doesn't mean the right to offend." In addition, there's our neighbor to the north which, while finding the bureaucratic time to label the United States and Israel as "torture" nations is busy assembling "human rights commissions" in its provinces with the goal of regulating "offensive" speech. Probably the most well-known current vicitims of these commissions are Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

This bureaucratic/progressive attack on supposedly offensive speech does NOT include, by the way, speech that the majority population deems offensive. The aforementioned Boston Globe and Washington Post have spoken out vociferously for free speech in such instances, but changed their tune when (in this case) Muslims were offended. And it's not just out of "sensitivity" for the Islamic point of view; for, as liberal political pundit Lawrence O'Donnell admitted, it's out of naked fear of reprisals.

What is the ultimate outcome of this move to suppress "offensive" speech? That's easy: What I saw in "1984" yesterday. Levant and Steyn can actually face jail time for their expression. When people have to begin to wonder who might be offended by what they say -- because it might be against the law -- we are in a precarious situation, people. It is one thing (and plain common courtesy) to use polite language in certain circumstances. But if you have to anguish over arrest for what you say, say hello to Winston Smith.

Posted by Hube at 12:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 20, 2008

Comicbook Quirk of the Week 2

Hey everyone! Can you believe we've all been sitting on our asses while the greatest invention of the last 500 years was discovered over forty years ago?? That's right -- I just found this ad in yet another early 1970s Iron Man issue (#49 from 1972, specifically):

Can you imagine that? For a crummy quarter and a dime, an ANTI-GRAVITY DEVICE can be yours!!

What's not generally known is that Tony Stark (Iron Man's alter-ego) created the thing! That's right -- and then he proved what a lousy capitalist he is by offering it to the public at large ... for a crummy 35 cents!


Posted by Hube at 08:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

But just remember -- it's Fox News that is ridiculously biased!

I actually happened to catch -- unfortunately -- this first clip from MSNBC's coverage of the New Hampshire primary a week or so ago. It's a perfect illustration as to why I rarely watch the network, instead vacillating between FNC and CNN:

I've never seen outright mocking of a [major] presidential by a network's two biggest political reporters. Never. One thing I will add is that not shown on the clip is Chris Matthews supposedly coming to McCain's defense. Matthews mentions his POW past and how he's always "battled back." But he blew it by cracking up at the end of this so-called "defense."

And there MSNBC was at it again last night, this time the target being Fred Thompson:

I watch a lot of political coverage and I've never seen Brit Hume or Chris Wallace engage in anything like that, nor Wolf Blitzer and his CNN co-horts. I can only imagine Kos Kool-Aid microcephalics enjoy such coverage.

(h/t: Conservathink.)

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January 19, 2008

Comicbook Quirk of the Week

As I've mentioned several times, my favorite comics site (it is the best comics blog out there!) is Mark Engblom's Comic Coverage. Mark's a wiz with graphics; indeed, some of his best work is when he delves into the comical (pun intended) minutae of comicbooks, like their faux pas' and the [sometimes unintentionally] humorous ads that inhabit the pages of older books.

Anyhoo, last night as I'm laying in bed getting ready for slumberville, I find myself reading some early 1970s Iron Man books (surprise there, eh?). My daughter was beside me asking me questions about IM's origins and history, and when I turn one of the pages, daughter stops me: "Look at that ad!" she says, and proceeds to bust out in laughter. And no wonder:

You can check out a larger version of the ad here. A man's wig -- for the remarkably low price of $7.95!! Got an oversized dome? No worries -- this wig "stays in place on all size heads"! But I wonder -- would it fit a guy like Incredible Hulk nemesis The Leader (at left)?? It's also "cool and lightweight," yo. That's great, but was it really necessary to put "lightweight" in there? Like, what else would it be? Fifteen friggin' pounds or something?

But probably the best thing about this eight-buck piece (excuse me, that's seven ninety-five) is that it is constructed of "modacrylic fiber"! It "looks and feels like real hair -- has luster, rich body and bounce of human hair." It can also be "washed and shampooed," and it "never loses its shape"! Perhaps this ad is just too modest -- or didn't have enough room -- to continue on about that miracle modacrylic fiber. This fiber also makes the wig "dimensionally stable," "easily dyed," and resistant to "chemicals and solvents"! Oh, and did I leave out fireproof? Yes I did, dammit! And silly me -- it's also "not attacked by moths or mildew"! Sheesh!

But just take a gander at that dude's expression in the ad. You just know he's thinking "How the f*** did I get sucked into doing this?? This has got to be the most asinine-looking rug ever." I also like how the ad states "Mention Style M-105" when you order. I can see the dudes at Franklin Fashions when they open the mail: "Hey Joe! Another M-105!" and then the whole factory erupts in raucous laughter.

UPDATE: DE blogger extraordinaire Dana Garrett (at left) sends me word that he actually tried out one of these things:

"Hube: I felt I had to take a shot and sent in the $7.95. What the hell was I thinking?? The thing SUCKS!! Modacrylic fiber my ASS!"

Posted by Hube at 10:15 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

"Cloverfield" review (SPOILERS)

'Da wife sends me a text message yesterday: "Want me to get tickets for Cloverfield?" My reply: "OK, sure."

You've probably seen the teasers on TV. Some sort of ... something attacks New York City and the whole thing is filmed by a guy who was attending a going-away party for a friend. But before I get into the flick's nitty gritty, there were two awesome items about the pre-film previews: 1) I finally got to see the Iron Man trailer on the BIG screen! Needless to say, I was shivering with delight. And 2) since J.J. Abrams directed "Cloverfield," we just had to see a teaser (not a trailer) for his upcoming "Star Trek" prequel film!


"Cloverfield" is filmed from the perspective of an average guy holding a camcorder. Character Rob Hawkins got a new job, so his pals throw him a going-away gig. Buddy Hud Platt is filming the entire thing for posterity's sake. The film starts off slowly with typical 20-something Manhattan-esque yuppie banter to the extreme (it is a party, after all). Rob is all miffed that his former love, Beth, has shown up with another dude. While he's out in the hallway getting all depressed and stuff, there's suddenly a very loud BOOM!, and it seems as if NYC is suffering an earthquake. However, it soon becomes apparent it ain't no earthquake.

At this point, the wavering camera view began to affect my wife who is susceptible to motion sickness. She unfortunately had to excuse herself for a good portion of the rest of the movie. Keep this in mind if you're similarly susceptible. Anyhoo, as the party crowd makes its way to the streets of Manhattan to see just what the hell is going on, we get our first glimpse of ... the thing. It seems some gigantic creature has invaded NYC and is beginning to wreak general havoc. Viewers will immediately recall the events of 9/11 when they see and hear the explosions, see buildings crumble, and also not know just what the hell is happening. You may have seen the teaser poster of the film; Lady Liberty's head ends up in the street where our party guests are.

As we see more and more of the creature, we also witness something equally horrifying: the behemoth is ... dropping smaller creatures onto the streets below. They look like smaller versions of the arachnids from "Starship Troopers." In other words, they're like way-ugly giant spiders and they're attacking any humans they can get their, um, appendages on. In a rather cool scene, Hawkins busts into an appliance store to get batteries for his cell phone. There's also quite a few looters in there taking advantage of the mayhem. But everyone becomes transfixed by the news accounts being displayed on the numerous televisions in the store. You hear the very audible "OH!"s and "MY GOD!"s from looter and bystander alike -- especially when the smaller spider-like bugs viciously assault the first military troops to arrive on the scene.

It's here that the "AW, C'MON!"s begin to appear. The whole premise of the film is to give us a "real life" perspective of a monster attack on our largest city. Now, would you -- as an average joe -- worry about getting the f*** out of Manhattan at all costs, or would you continually place yourself in the utmost danger to film the whole f***ing event? Obviously, Hud Platt feels the latter, which is just silly. Then, of course, Rob has been separated from his love, Beth. She has left a voice-mail on Rob's phone indicating she "can't move" from where she is, and her voice sounds extremely raspy. Even though Beth's apartment is located at ground zero of the creature's skyscraper-wrecking terror, Rob just has to go and rescue her! OK, I can sort of buy this (if you buy that he "really" loves her), but why does Hud and two other party guests follow along?? WTF!!! Then, once Rob and co. arrive at Beth's building -- which has been partially toppled by the monolithic creature (it's laying at like 60 degrees or so) -- they go on in and up to her apt.!

Another big "SHEESH" factor was the seeming lack of military response. The whole flick takes place over the span of some seven hours. During that time we only see scattered tanks and artillery firing at the beast, and a few fighter jets launching [a few] missiles at it. Towards the end of the film, we see a B-2 bomber dropping bombs on it. (And not smart bombs! Standard "carpet-bombs"! Like, sure -- let's wreck even more of the city why don't we!) You might think that the military was wary of using more firepower due to the danger to civilians; however, we never hear any such talk, but we DO hear numerous references to the "hammer falling" -- a "last ditch" effort to destroy the creature (I'm guessing, presumably with a small nuke). If you keep bringing up "the hammer," why not first blast the living sh** out of the monster with every conventional means at your disposal? Y'know, like wave after wave of fighter craft, B-2 bomber-launched cruise missiles, helicopter strafing, etc.??

The best view we get of the destruction to the city -- and the creature -- is when Rob, Hud and co. are rescued by military helicopters. Hud keeps filming (of course) and in a neat sequence we see the monster combing through [wrecked] skyscrapers. This is when the B-2 attacks, though -- and its bombs seems to really hurt the grotesquerie. Nope. As Hud's helicopter closes for a closer look, the monster launches upward, and damages the chopper. It crashes in Central Park (I'm assuming, since this is where the video camera is eventually "found" by the military as is stated at the film's beginning), but naturally Rob, Hud and crew survive. But Hud's survival is short-lived. The monster itself appears at the crash site shortly thereafter, and proceeds to munch on Hud! I actually wondered whether this was the main monster or some "grown up" small spiderling. It just didn't seem big enough to be the main creature, especially after viewing it surrounded by NYC's skyscrapers. The [main] monster was bigger than multiple skyscrapers, natch! Yet, this one's mouth -- which should be able to swallow Hud like a Tic-Tac -- merely takes a "piece" out of him. Lame.

The only survivors -- Rob and love Beth -- find shelter under a bridge in Central Park. They soon hear warning sirens, apparently signaling that the "hammer" is gonna fall, so they film final messages for anyone who might find the camera if they're killed. Then, we hear a massive explosion, Rob drops the camera, rocks and stone fall, and then ... black nothing. That's it! That's the end! We never learn anything about the creature, what the "hammer" was, whether the "hammer" was successful (although we can assume it probably was as again, the camera was found by the military in "what used to be known as Central Park," it said at film's start), and whether Rob and/or Beth survived.

Obviously, that's how J.J. Abrams wanted it, but it was way unfulfilling in my opinion. If it was up to me, I'd have had a military guy (or someone) finding the camera, and begin to continue filming on his own ... all the while "explaining" what had ultimately transpired. This might seem silly, especially since you'd expect the camera to be wrecked; however, it was already silly enough that the camera's battery had lasted for over seven hours and the camera itself had survived numerous drops and falls during Hud's and Rob's usage. Also, what further makes my idea a good one is that the film runs a mere 80 minutes! Another ten certainly couldn't hurt, and it would make us feel like we got our money's worth.

My rating (out of 5): 3. If you have a HD large screen TV, wait for the DVD. Otherwise, see it in the theatre if you feel you gotta view it. A big screen is a must for this film.

Posted by Hube at 08:48 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

January 18, 2008

Bill & Ted meme

Picking up the meme started by Ryan and continued by Paul, which eight historical figures would I like to bring back to the present? I didn't wanna repeat any of Ryan's or Paul's, but I'm making one exception to that:

1. James Madison
2. Thomas Jefferson
3. Charlie Parker
4. John Coltrane
5. George Patton
6. Isaac Asimov
7. Albert Einstein
8. Ronald Reagan

Like Paul, I tried to mix up the "subject area," so to speak.

Posted by Hube at 05:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Never thought I'd see

Mark Levin ponders:

I never thought a president would be impeached in my lifetime, but Clinton was (and should have been). I never thought a president would be elected again without winning the popular vote, but Bush was (and legitimately so). I never thought the continental United States could be struck as it was on September 11, 2001. I have to say — at least at this point — that I don't believe it is impossible for the Republican nomination to be settled at the convention. I'm not saying it will, but it can't be completely ruled out.

I disagree with Mark that Clinton should have been impeached, but his point is valid. In my lifetime, as well, I've witnessed a president impeached, a president elected who got the least amount of popular votes, and a major party's presidential candidate who'll be either a woman or an African-American. But although I think that last point is rather significant, I won't be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The mere fact of gender and/or race is of no significance when weighed against their beliefs and policy proposals.

On the other hand, none of the GOP candidates impress me in the least. Huckabee is too entwined with the evangelicals and, frankly, has been too liberal in his [gubernatorial] policies. Romney has changed many of his positions to better suit his current political position. I really admire John McCain, but not really as a politician. Anyone who has endured what he has is deserving of the utmost respect; however, his positions on illegal immigration and free speech (McCain-Feingold) should be anathema to conservatives. I know these opinions just scratch the surface; I'll be writing more in-depth about 'em as the year progresses.

Of all the GOP candidates, I actually tend to agree most with Ron Paul's positions. Some major differences with this agreement would be (as I note here) his stance on supporting foreign allies, and doing away with organizations like the CIA. However, not getting US troops mixed up in conflicts not of our interest, ditching the IRS (in my case I'd favor a national sales tax to replace it), keeping education a state/local affair, and clamping down on illegal immigration win big points with me. But, of course, Paul has no shot at the nomination. So, what to do?

At any rate, the way things are going, Levin might be quite correct in that we just may see the GOP nomination be decided at this summer's convention.

Posted by Hube at 03:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

(Hey! I won!!)

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Ed. Schools: They're Awful (for the most part) by The Colossus of Rhodey, and Kangaroo Court by Ezra Levant.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
4  2/3Ed. Schools: They're Awful (for the most part)
The Colossus of Rhodey
1  1/3The Race Card, Liberal Guilt and Our Next President
Wolf Howling
1500,000 Iraqis Did Not Die
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1Paul of Mises; or How the New Republic Bewitches the Right
Big Lizards
2/3Idenity Politics Then and Now
Bookworm Room
2/3Tribes With Gods
Done With Mirrors
2/3You Be the General
The Glittering Eye
2/3Bush In Ramallah -- The Road To "Peace In Our Time"
1/3Disenfrancisement Example Is Actually Vote Fraud Queen -- And a Tax Cheat To Boot!
Rhymes With Right

VotesNon-council link
5  1/3Kangaroo Court
Ezra Levant
1Ashamed to be Canadian!
Covenant Zone
1Barack Obama -- I'm Sure We've Seen Him Somewhere Before
Guardian Unlimited
1The Media Does It Again
Winds of Change
2/3Ms. Magazine Refuses to Publish Ad About Israel's Most Powerful Women
2/3CNN Reporter as Terrorist Enabler
Seraphic Secret
1/3A Defining Moment For Republicans
Captain's Quarters
1/3Ron Paul's Blithe Reaction to 'Newslettergate'
Pajamas Media
1/3Hillary... I Am the Reason the Surge Has Worked!
Radio Vice Online
1/3Hillary Without Tears

Also, check out the Watcher's Council "Best of 2007"!

Posted by Hube at 12:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 16, 2008

Delaware Cretin acts up yet again

Far-left Nancy Willing agrees with me that the News Journal's policy of omitting the race of police suspects is utter nonsense. And in my [numerous] posts about this ridiculous bit of P.C. inanity, it's abundantly clear that the Journal omits race for every police suspect, white, black, or whoever (unless they have some sort of "special dispensation"). Still, a commenter today has a point in that I am "beating a dead horse." I responded, "Point taken."

Ah, but the slow-burning light bulb that is Jason's brain must've gotten an "idea": "Hube has a race 'problem.'" But of course! What better way to thwart debate than to cry "racist!" It's typical liberal play-book material, so deeply ingrained in the liberal psyche that even the top Democrat presidential candidates are using it against each other.

If you have it in you, check out Jason's "rationalization" of the News Journal policy, and why I'm wrong (and "racist") to criticize it. I'm sure you'll get a big kick out of how, while working in Scotland, he once described to authorities a thief as appearing "very Scottish." In other words, Jason uses an example of his own stupidity as proof as to why the News Journal is right

To quote the previously mentioned Ms. Willing, "Hoot."

Posted by Hube at 08:43 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Greatest weakness

The Corner highlights what the three major Democrat presidential candidates said was their "greatest weakness" in their debate last night. Who sounds like a complete bullshi**er, and who sounds most honest?

John Edwards: My greatest weakness is that I care too much, Tim. For 54 years, I've been fighting. I emerged from the womb with my dukes up, ready to do battle with every fiber of my day-old being.

Hillary Clinton: My greatest weakness is that I get impatient — impatient with people who don't care as much about children as I do.

Barack Obama: My greatest weakness? Sometimes I misplace stuff. I'm a little disorganized. It's probably a good thing I'm not in charge of my own schedule.

If you're not wincing and guffawing at Edwards' answer, you're a very gullible dolt. Clinton's response is a close second in that regard, so that leaves Obama as this question's "winner," as lousy as his answer is.

My greatest weakness is probably my short fuse.

How 'bout you?

Posted by Hube at 04:50 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

Worshiping at the Altar of P.C. -- daily post

It looks as if we're gonna make this a daily feature here at Colossus. It is, of course, way too easy, but at least I (we) get a tiny bit of satisfaction out of providing a public service -- UNLIKE Delaware's biggest paper, the News Journal.

Yesterday, a quartet of hoods broke into the wrong Dover apartment, but quickly corrected their mistake. Here's part of the News Journal's report:

Four armed men forced their way into a Dover-area apartment early Tuesday, holding the two occupants at gunpoint before realizing they were in the wrong place. They then invaded a second unit and attacked the occupant, Delaware State Police said.

The four armed males were dressed in black clothing with hooded sweat shirts.

WGMD radio's website gives the public safety -- and non-politically correct -- version:

State Police are investigating a home invasion robbery in Dover at the Autumn Run Apartment complex. Police say that four armed suspects knocked on the door of an apartment where two people lived at about 1:15 Tuesday morning. The suspects forced their way in when the tenants answered the door. While holding the tenants at gunpoint, the apartment was ransacked – and the suspects discovered they were in the wrong apartment and left. The suspects went to the correct apartment where they struck the tenant in the head with a handgun ...

All the suspects are black and were wearing black clothing and hooded sweatshirts –one had a light complexion.

Wow! WGMD even went further (as I suggested yesterday that the News Journal do) and described one of the men as having a "light complexion"! But wait -- doesn't WGMD know that "there are good reasons those descriptions never see the light of day. They generalize. They stereotype. And they require that everyone who hears the description has the same idea of what those folks look like"??

Posted by Hube at 03:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008

Even when there's a surveillance photo the News Journal refuses to note hue

This is just beyond comical. Even when the News Journal prints PHOTOS of police suspects which CLEARLY show the race of the person, it STILL refuses to mention race in the corresponding article:

Wilmington police released surveillance photos today of a suspect in the robbery of the PNC bank at 901 Market St. on Friday.

The bank was robbed about 1:40 p.m. by a man claiming he had a gun.

A man in his mid-30s wearing a black leather coat handed a teller a note saying he had a gun and demanding money.

The suspect fled with cash.

No one was injured.

The suspect was described as, 5’5” to 5’9” tall, weighing 150-160 pounds, with a light beard, blue jeans and a black baseball hat.

Not that one needs the mention in this case because of the photo, but you'd think that would be the Journal's "excuse" for FINALLY mentioning a suspect's hue! That being said, we once again have to go elsewhere for the non-P.C. version:

Wilmington police release a full description of the man wanted in connection with the PNC bank robbery on January 11th. Surveillance photos reveal the robber's identity.

He is described as a black man in his mid thirties, between five and a half feet tall and five foot nine, around 155 pounds with a light beard.

Police say he was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans and a black baseball cap.

Some commenters at the News Journal have the mistaken notion that the paper only omits race if the suspects are minorities. Not so! The Journal's "policy" appears fairly consistent for all hues of people. Still, the Journal has already admitted it's fearful of "stereotyping" folks. I can hear the editors now: "Is public safety really that important?" And what does 'race' really mean, right?" Once more, Journal-speak for you:

There are good reasons those descriptions never see the light of day. They generalize. They stereotype. And they require that everyone who hears the description has the same idea of what those folks look like. All Irish-Americans don’t look alike. Why, then, accept a description that says a suspect was African-American?

As we've mentioned before, this is just ludicrous. When's the last time you saw a police description stating "Police are seeking an Irish-American male ..."? You'd actually see something like "Police are seeking a white male with red hair ..." And people with common sense know what a description of an African-American is. Instead of omitting any mention of race at all, why doesn't the Journal enhance the specificity of police descriptions?

Two reasons why they don't: 1) It offends their P.C. sensibilities, and 2) it makes too much sense.

Posted by Hube at 06:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Politically incorrect discovery

Syphilis brought to Europe from the New World?

Oh no! How can that be? Don't you know that Chris Columbus is evil incarnate and responsible for the scourge that is Western Civilization? To even suggest that the peaceful, placid, utopian Indians could have been harboring a virulent germ like syphilis is, why ... sacrilege!!

Posted by Hube at 05:29 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Survey shows eco-warriors are worst polluters.

A survey of travel habits has revealed that the most environmentally conscious people are also the biggest polluters.

"Green" consumers have some of the biggest carbon footprints because they are still hooked on flying abroad or driving their cars while their adherence to the green cause is mostly limited to small gestures.

Identified as "eco-adopters", they are most likely to be members of an environmental organisation, buy green products such as detergents, recycle and have a keen interest in green issues.

But the survey of 25,000 people, by the market research company Target Group Index, found that eco-adopters are seven per cent more likely than the general population to take flights, and four per cent more likely to own a car. The survey found similar trends in France and the United States.

Say whaaat? Liberals ... hypocrites??

Posted by Hube at 04:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Once again, somebody else has to do the News Journal's job

The question is: Why does the Wilmington News Journal even bother to print police reports at all if they're not going to print ALL -- and the MOST RELEVANT -- of the details?

Today's News Journal description of a suspect who approached a young boy:

A bearded man in a black SUV with the letter H written in red on the hood accosted an 8-year-old Wilmington boy Monday. Police said the boy was waiting for a bus at Eighth and Spruce streets about 8 a.m. when a driver stopped at the traffic light and told the boy to "come over and get in the truck." The boy ran home and told his mother. Police said the man was wearing a blue shirt.

WDEL.com's description of the very same incident:

An eight year old boy runs home from his school bus stop, after a man tried to get the boy into his truck. Police say it happened Monday morning at the corner of 8th and Spruce Streets in Wilmington. The boy told police a black man with a black beard driving a black S-U-V with a red letter "H" on the hood, stopped at the traffic light, and called to the boy to get in.

As always, the News Journal -- worshiping at the altar of Political Correctness.

Posted by Hube at 03:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 14, 2008

Dopey WNJ Letters of the Week

We have two winners in one day. First, there's Anne Gildea of Wilmington who says "Women's right to choose is not up for discussion":

Abortion seems to have become a recent topic amongst some of the younger guys at work. A couple of guys have recently decided that it is flat out wrong. This angers me to no end.

A woman's right to choose is sacred and no one, especially, a man, has the right to challenge that.

Respect a woman's right to choose her own path and wake up to the fact that you don't know what's best for anyone other than yourself.

"Sacred"? Wow. I'm curious though -- isn't there just someone else involved here besides the woman and man ... especially after a couple months? And how 'bout this, Ms. Gildea -- if no one, "especially a man," has a right to challenge your "sacred" right to an abortion, then YOU have no right to make the MAN responsible (for any child you may conceive) for child support if HE decides HE doesn't want to support the child! Fair enough? GOOD!

Next, there's Newark's Greg McGill who blames -- you guessed it -- racism for Barack Obama's loss in the New Hampshire primary:

Despite polls showing Obama an easy winner, he somehow still lost to Hillary Clinton after the returns came in. It appears Obama is the latest victim of the "Bradley Effect." That is when white voters tell pollsters they would vote for an African-American candidate but don't do so in the privacy of the voting booth.

The Bradley Effect is named after former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley who, when running to be the governor of California in 1982, polled way ahead of his white opponent but still lost the election. This has happened to several black candidates in the years since.

And, of course, it also hasn't happened to black candidates in years past! Like, most recently, in a place called Iowa in their caucuses!

There are myriad reasons why Obama lost, the most likely of which is women voters breaking for Hillary Clinton at the last minute. Y'know, her "crying game" and all. Or, if you ask people like local moonbat Liz Allen, it's because voting machine magnate Diebold fixed the vote for Hillary.

Posted by Hube at 05:10 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

News Journal police reports: "Race? What's that? Help the public? Huh?"

News Journal police report about two robberies, probably connected:

State police are investigating two armed robberies in the Edgemoor area believed to have been committed by the same bandits. The first robbery was reported at 7:05 p.m. Saturday at the Bella Italy restaurant at 4817 Gov. Printz Blvd. Witnesses told police three young men and a young woman, all between ages 16 and 25, entered the eatery and demanded cash. One of the men displayed a gun while another removed cash from the register. About 10 minutes later, troopers were called to another robbery nearby at Clifton Liquors, 304 Edgemoor Road. In that incident, witnesses said three men, possibly teenagers, entered the store and robbed the clerk at gunpoint. In both cases, the males were described as wearing bandanas or masks, dark-colored jackets with fur around the hoods and dark-colored, baggy jeans. Both robberies were caught on surveillance video, which police said will be released soon.

WDEL report of same incident(s):

State Police are investigating two robberies that could be linked together.

On Saturday night, three men and a woman went into the Bella Italy restaurant on Governor Printz Boulevard in Wilmington armed with a handgun. The suspects allegedly showed the gun, grabbed the clerk and took an unknown amount of money from the register and then fled.

The second robbery happened shortly thereafter when three men went into the Clifton's Liquor Store on Edgemoor Road armed with a handgun. They allegedly showed the gun, grabbed the clerk and took an unknown amount of money from the register and then fled out the back door.

Security cameras caught both robberies and police are trying to piece them together.

The suspects were three black men between the ages of 16-25 and one woman of the same age.

The News Journal's description actually would be better in this case if they included what WDEL mentions -- the key factor in a suspect's description: the RACE of the person. Suspect's can change their clothes. They can't change their hue. In addition, the News Journal story features a commenter that copied and pasted an even better [full] description from WILM.com (now not available on that site).

Just remember the News Journal's mantra:

Our policy is not about being politically correct, it's about being accurate. Race is such an unreliable descriptor. What race is Halle Berry or Tiger Woods or Jennifer Lopez? They are extreme examples, but project them onto everyday people and you see the problem.

Etc. Yeah, "Race is such an unreliable descriptor," yet easily changed clothing somehow is reliable. Hell, why else would the Journal reveal a suspect's attire, right? PUH-LEASE.

Posted by Hube at 04:46 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 13, 2008

2 for 4 on Divisional Weekend, but ...

... I had the pick of the week with the Giants over the Cowboys 21-20. The G-Men won 21-17 and nobody I saw/read picked New York but me. My Jags over the Patriots pick was indeed a long shot, and it didn't pay off. Only comedian Frank Caliendo picked the Chargers to beat the Colts (that I saw/read), and indeed that was an upset. Green Bay beating Seattle was a bigger blowout than I expected.

OK, now for Championship Weekend:

  • AFC Championship. OK, as much as hate the fact, the Patriots are just a friggin' unbelievable team. If they go all the way -- and I can't see anyone stopping them now -- they should be ranked as the greatest team of all time. The Chargers were impressive against Indy, but they're banged up badly now. The cold of Foxboro sure ain't gonna help. LaDainian Tomlinson has a score to settle to with the Pats from a year ago, but it just ain't happenin', LD. Sorry. Pats 31, Chargers 14.

  • NFC Championship. The Giants have been impressive. That's why I picked 'em to beat the Cowboys, natch. However, their ride comes to an end in the cold tundra of Lambeau Field next Sunday. Brett Favre will feast on the beat-up Giants secondary, and the Pack's defense will give Eli Manning fits that'll force him to make errors, especially picks. Packers 30-20.

Now, get ready for next season by reading about the team to beat! ;-)

Posted by Hube at 08:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Ed. Schools: They're awful (for the most part)

There's a must-read article up by George Leef titled "Teaching Teachers How Not to Teach." Much of what Leef writes I can personally attest to. Take the following, for instance:

Criticism of education schools doesn't just come from outsiders. Some highly knowledgeable and vocal critics are to be found among the ranks of current and former education school professors. One of those critics is George Cunningham, who taught for many years at the University of Louisville. In a new paper for the Pope Center, Professor Cunningham explains why he does not believe that schools of education in North Carolina are doing an adequate job of training future teachers.

As he sees it, the great problem is that most of the American public holds to one view of the role of schools, while most of the education school elite – the deans and the professors – hold a very different view. The public overwhelmingly believes that the function of schools should be mainly academic – that is, to make sure that children learn very well the skills and knowledge that it takes to succeed in life. If you accept that view, then schools succeed only if their students graduate with a high degree of literacy, with proficiency in mathematics, with a good working knowledge of science, history, our social institutions, and so forth.

It follows that teacher training programs should ensure that their students are expert in teaching those things to young people. Someone who intends to teach math, for example, should be both well-versed in the field and well-trained in the techniques of explaining math to their students.

On the other hand, the dominant view among those who run and teach in our education schools is that the key role of schooling is to achieve various social objectives. In their opinion, it's more important for teachers to properly adjust students' outlook on life and society than to instruct them in "mere" knowledge and facts. Under that view, teachers who devote too much time to "rote learning" (for example, learning multiplication tables) are not doing a good job and a school could be performing poorly even though all its students have mastered the "3 Rs." Cunningham writes that according to this theory, "a child's education is successful if he is exposed to the right attitudes by teachers, even if he does poorly in measures of learning on reading, math, history, science, and so on."

As an undergrad, I didn't major in an education field. I filled all my free electives with the necessary courses to become a certified teacher. Many of these courses were, in a word, brutal. I'll never forget 'em, 'cause honestly, I think root canal without novacaine would have been more enjoyable. One was titled "Historical Foundations of Education" in which we traced the "evolution" of public ed. throughout American history. Another was "Psychological Foundations of Education." You might think the subject matter here would be relevant since learning about kids' developmental stages is a good idea if you're gonna become a teacher. However, the professor was pushing about 80 years old and pretty much went off on irrelevant [left-leaning] tangents each and every class. The only useful class I took as an undergrad (actually, it was immediately after graduation) was a curriculum planning course. The prof was a stickler for the most minute detail; we'd have to resubmit lesson plans over and over again until everything was perfect -- even if there was a small typo where the word "the," for example, was spelled incorrectly. I think the main reason this course was so ... pertinent is because the professor was actually a history professor and not an education prof.

My graduate experience a decade later was actually worse. Thankfully, my program allowed for numerous "elective" courses. These preserved my sanity. The electives could be chosen from my field(s) of study/teaching. I took one on multiculturalism and its critics, one on Latin American revolutions, and one on using technology in the classroom. From among the "mandatory" courses, the classroom "management" and educational "diversity" courses were laughable. I wouldn't have said that as an undergrad, of course, because I had no experience teaching. However, from the start of my graduate program through its end, I had six to eleven years of experience in the classroom. This was more than sufficient to call out the utter nonsense espoused in these classes as just what Leef writes about. For example, these classes were dreadfully similar to the philosophy of Appalachian State's Reich School of Education:

"We believe that theory should guide practice in all aspects of our work. While we use a variety of theoretical perspectives in the preparation of educators, socio-cultural and constructivist perspectives … are central to guiding our teaching and learning. Our core conceptualization of learning and knowing – that learning is a function of the social and cultural contexts in which it occurs ( i.e., it is situated) and that knowledge is actively constructed – emerges from the intersection of these two perspectives."

Yep, those "theoretical perspectives" unfortunately get in the way too much of actual reality. Leef also writes that ed. schools do not teach about [the successful] "direct instruction" method; in my experience they actually did, but it was with barely disguised disdain. Cooperative learning was a hot -- and highly regarded -- method. Cooperation over competition was a prevalent theme. In my classroom instruction class, cooperative learning was clearly shown in a positive light, while direct instruction had its negatives emphasized.

Cooperative learning can be a good change of pace in the classroom -- an occasional "break" from the norm which allows more student interaction. One of the [ed. school] bases for cooperative learning is to have higher achievers act as "tutors" for the lower achievers. But I -- and many others, including parents -- have a problem with that: How is that fair to the high achievers? Why do the high achievers have to do the teacher's job? Another was that teachers should always make up (construct) the cooperative groups, always taking the usual "diversity" factors into account: race, gender, ability level. There's that "socio-cultural" perspective, I suppose. I know many teachers who use cooperative learning and it seems to work successfully. It's just a philosophical difference with me. I don't think students should "officially" act as teachers during class time. If they want to assist students after school in a school-sponsored tutoring program, great. Over the last dozen years or so, my classes' student body has been fairly homogeneous in terms of ability level. You're not going to get some students "teaching" others. Still, that hasn't prevented [some] parents from letting me know that they do not like "group work" since it tends to dilute an individual's effort. There are myriad ways to structure cooperative learning activities to maximize individual performance and accountability; however, ultimately at some level there is a group assessment that has to be measured. If there isn't, then it isn't a cooperative learning activity.

One of the instructors of my classroom management class (I say "instructors" because they weren't professors, or even classroom teachers -- I honestly don't know what they were) got her "digs" in on me on the back of one of my papers. In my paper, I gravely criticized our textbook and many of the readings as either naive or totally useless in real-life classrooms. The instructor called my feelings "visceral," and labeled me a "control freak" (mainly because I thought that a "conflict resolution" video we saw was ridiculous -- it placed the teacher and the student on the same "level" where a social worker, or some other staff member, would serve as a "mediator" in any dispute between a student and a teacher; in essence, the assumed "foundation" for the program was that the class/school wasn't the teacher's, it was a "democratic institution" where everybody -- especially the students -- contributed to the class rules, grading policies, etc.). Still, I got an "A" on the paper (it was meticulously researched!). But that was only a small fraction of the nonsense in that class. We played games -- yes, games -- that elementary school kids would play. This -- in a graduate level university course. We'd "brainstorm" main ideas from the previous night's reading. Some of my fellow students' answers were either just plain silly or purposely contrived to "match" the faux enthusiasm of the instructor. Questions like "What are some of the definitions that come to mind when you read that passage?" would elicit replies of "depressing," "ignorant," "distressing," etc. and this would go for about five minutes. The instructor would excitingly exclaim "Yes! What ELSE?!" One time I whispered to a teaching colleague of mine, "This is ridiculous -- watch this," and then I raised my hand and offered this [sarcastic] high quality adjective: "Bad." As predicted, the instructor said "GOOD!" Unbelievable.

The "multiculturalism/diversity in the classroom" (not the actual title) course, predictably, had the most loathsome content. There was no textbook, but every one of the readings was by a leftist. And by "leftist," I'm talking FAR-leftist. Howard Zinn was the author of an article that trashed Christopher Columbus and his subsequent Western legacy. In one of my papers on this reading, I pointed out that Bartólome de las Casas, whom Zinn quoted favorably in his article as standing up for Indian rights, was the main proponent of making use of Africans as slave labor to replace the Native Americans! The instructor's (she was a graduate student, not a professor) reply? "Interesting point." Numerous other readings dealt with the notion of "white privilege" (which detailed how minority students will never catch a "fair" break in schools unless whites "understand" their culture and/or there are more teachers that "look like them" in the classroom) and "liberation theology" in which a total restructuring of the educational system was advocated. Teaching students to be prepared to function in US society was insufficient and even "totalitarian" -- all it did was relegate them to becoming another cog in the "capitalist pie." The authors lamented that working class schools usually taught students to be prepared for the jobs they would most likely encounter in their reality. But at the same time, they argued, teaching them higher order knowledge and skills would give them "false hope." So, what should teachers do, then? The apparent answer was to yell "¡Viva la Revolución!" and fight to transform all of American (capitalist) society. Talk about your "key role of schooling is to achieve various social objectives," as Leef notes above, eh?

Elsewhere, Jay P. Greene and Catherine Shock note that "Students Lose When Diversity Is Main Focus," and their focus is schools of education:

To determine just how unbalanced teacher preparation is at ed schools, we counted the number of course titles and descriptions that contained the words "multiculturalism," "diversity," "inclusion" and variants thereof, and then compared those with the number that used variants of the word "math." We then computed a "multiculturalism-to-math ratio" — a rough indicator of the relative importance of social goals to academic skills in ed schools. A ratio of greater than 1 indicates a greater emphasis on multiculturalism; a ratio of less than 1 means that math courses predominate.

Our survey covered the nation's top 50 education programs as ranked by U.S. News and World Report, as well as programs at flagship state universities that weren't among the top 50 — a total of 71 education schools.

The average ed school, we found, has a multiculturalism-to-math ratio of 1.82, meaning that it offers 82% more courses featuring social goals than featuring math. At Harvard and Stanford, the ratio is about 2: Almost twice as many courses are social as mathematical.

Although a few commenters over at Joanne Jacobs' site take issue with this study, I think the overall point is clear: There's a definite disconnect -- as George Leef says -- between what the public wants teachers to focus on, and what ed. professors want.

In conclusion, and based on my own experience, ed. school reform is pretty easy:

  • Make "Mickey Mouse" ed. courses like "Historical Foundations of Education" electives, not required. They serve no practical purpose for budding teachers other than abstract knowledge.
  • Make the required courses focus on curriculum and lesson planning, assessment construction (a grad course on this was one of my useful classes) and classroom management. However, hire classroom teachers -- or at least former classroom teachers (with at least 15 years experience) -- to teach this course. Not social workers, not therapists, and not education professors who've done nothing but "observe" actual school classrooms.
  • Require more courses in [prospective] teachers' subject area.

And that should be sufficient. Pretty much everything else depends on a potential teacher's style, personality and disposition, not to mention what type of school the teacher may find him/herself. Any type of new teacher mentoring program is up to individual districts and/or schools.

I hope I didn't come off as some sort of omniscient, anointed sage in this post. I just wholeheartedly believe that a large dose of common sense needs to be injected into schools of education, and that that injection should flow into the new entrants of the teaching profession.

Posted by Hube at 10:43 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

January 12, 2008

4 for 4 on 1st week playoff picks

UPDATE: Moving this post up to today!

My score predictions weren't all that accurate, but I got the teams right. Now for the tougher part -- divisional playoff picks!


  • Seahawks at Packers. The weather's gonna be tough on the 'Hawks and so will Brett Favre, the NFL inspiration story of the season. Packers win 24-13.
  • Jaguars at Patriots. Obviously, the Pats are the team to beat in the entire league, but in my opinion only one team has the capability to end their dream of a perfect season -- and the Jags are it. Jags pull the upset of the decade and win 28-25.


  • Chargers at Colts. The Chargers looked pretty unimpressive most of the game at home in their win against Tennessee this afternoon/evening. They'll look even less impressive against Peyton Manning and co. Colts win 31-17.
  • Giants at Cowboys. The Giants were the most impressive team in the first playoff week, even better than the Jags in my opinion. They'll be impressive again against Dallas. Giants win 24-20.

Now, enjoy a trip in Super Bowl history.

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

Imagine the MSM headlines if this was Karl Rove

Hillary Clinton adviser Sid Blumenthal does 70 mph in a 30 mph zone, fails sobriety test and is arrested for drunk driving.

Posted by Hube at 09:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hugo Chávez's next scapegoats: The Jews

Just like your typical totalitarian:

Venezuelan Jews, long uneasy with the Chávez government's alliances with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries that espouse anti-Israel views, are concerned that the government is sponsoring anti-Semitism in this hemisphere, a prominent journalist said Tuesday.

''The situation we have now in Venezuela is that for the first time in modern history we have government-sponsored anti-Semitism in a Western country,'' said Sammy Eppel. "That is why this is very dangerous, not just for the Jewish community in Venezuela but for the Jewish community as a whole.''

Among the examples offered by Eppel:

Venezuelan government intelligence services twice have raided the country's most important Jewish center in a vague, ultimately unsuccessful search for weapons. Publications of the government's cultural ministry run articles entitled ''the Jewish Question,'' along with a Jewish star superimposed over a swastika. (Link.)

"The Jewish Question"?? Now what does that sound like?

Some of Eppel's other examples include a newspaper "debate" about whether to expel Jews from Venezuela, whether Jews were complicit in the murder of a government official, and government raids on Jewish centers.

Hugo Chávez is, after all, a big pal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Sadly, this sounds like it's par for the course.

Posted by Hube at 08:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 11, 2008

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Britain's Prosecution of The Blogger Lionheart for Criticism of Islam by Wolf Howling, and Andy Olmsted by Obsidian Wings.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
5Britain's Prosecution of The Blogger Lionheart for Criticism of Islam
Wolf Howling
2Getting a "Clue"
Soccer Dad
1  1/3The Cotton Candy Candidacy
Right Wing Nut House
1Honor Killings? What Honor Killings?
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1Major Andrew Olmsted, R.I.P
2/3Death and the Moonbat
Bookworm Room
1/3Major Papers Oppose Justice For Murderers
Rhymes With Right
1/3The Cop on the Beat
The Glittering Eye
1/3Dixville Notch This!
The Education Wonks

VotesNon-council link
6  2/3Andy Olmsted
Obsidian Wings
1  1/3Orchestrated Circuses and Clowns
Dr. Sanity
1Sen. Obama's Calls for Unity Are Not What They Seem
1'Iron My Shirt': Media Fooled By Radio Stunters at Hillary Stop
Stop The ACLU
2/3Seeking Support
Rocky Mountain News
1/3An Amusing Greenie Attack on the Inhofe Report
A Western Heart
1/3Enlightened Selfish Interest
Oliver Kamm
1/3The Disturbing Barack Hussein Obama
Flopping Aces
1/3On Hope: Audacity and Pandora

Posted by Hube at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hi, I'm the News Journal and I'm ridiculously P.C.

Police report from the News Journal today:

The suspect, described as 5 feet, 8 to 11 inches with a thin build, wore a black jacket, white shirt, blue jeans and a black knit hat. He appeared to be 17 to 25 years old.

Wow, that's sure some description! Very precise and in-depth! There's just one KEY ingredient missing, though ...

So, of COURSE we had to go to another -- REAL -- news outlet, in this case WGMD radio's website. Here's their description:

The suspect is a white man about 17 to 25, about 5' 10" with a thin build. He was wearing black jacket, white shirt, blue jeans and a black knit hat.

Thank you, WGMD, for providing a REAL service to the people of Delaware. The News Journal is too busy worshiping at the altar of political correctness.

Posted by Hube at 03:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2008

Transvestite channels Lawrence O'Donnell

Grayson Perry, "a Turner Prize recipient and England’s most famous cross-dressing potter," let's loose with the truth:

Perry has been heralded for his controversial explorations of religious imagery, which include a vase entitled “Transvestite Brides of Christ” and a portrayal of the Virgin Mary that is best left to the imagination. Yet apparently there are some boundaries that even groundbreaking artists dare not cross.

“I’ve censored myself,” Perry told the Times, admitting that he treads lightly around radical Islam. “With other targets you’ve got a better idea of who they are but Islamism is very amorphous. You don’t know what the threshold is. Even what seems an innocuous image might trigger off a really violent reaction so I just play safe all the time.” Self-censorship thus boils down to self-preservation. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Of course, this is just like moonbat pundit Lawrence O'Donnell who blasted Mitt Romney and Mormonism, and at the same time admitted he doesn't criticize radical Islam because, as he says, "I'm afraid for my life if I do." Like Perry, instead of taking a stand -- and advocating that everyone else do too -- they just go after the "soft" targets ... y'know, Christians, Jews, Mormons ... people who protest by writing letters to the editor and may picket. Instead of insisting that fundie Muslims who live in the West adapt to our way of life (including, of course, freedom of speech and expression), the O'Donnells and Perrys will go along and acquiesce to "progressives'" demands that the West accommodate them -- in the name of "tolerance" and "multiculturalism," of course.

UPDATE: Another perfect example of acquiescing is the ludicrous UK "incitement" laws. Check out what fellow Watcher's Council member Wolf Howling reports on UK blogger Lionheart:

1. The Bedfordshire police have contacted Lionheart to arrange for him to submit to arrest.

2. Lionheart asked the police why he would to be arrested. A Bedfordshire police officer sent Lionheart an e-mail, forwarded to me by Mr. Bennett, which read in pertinent part:

The offence that I need to arrest you for is "Stir up Racial Hatred by displaying written material" contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986. (In other words, he criticizes the extremes of radical/fundamentalist Islam.)

You will be arrested on SUSPICION of the offence. You would only be charged following a full investigation based on all the relevant facts and CPS consent.

3. Mr. Bennett adds "There are already a number of aspects about this case involving not only ‘Lionheart’ but concerning other friends of his which are almost certain to result in a complaint being made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission."

The UK is on the "cutting edge," so to speak, in caving in to the challenge of radical Muslims who refuse to assimilate to Western norms. Think it absurd, many of the actions and utterances of radical Muslims? Here's the UK solution: "We'll arrest you."

Posted by Hube at 05:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

Suzanne Gallo of Hockessin, who claims to be a feminist, writes the following in support of Hillary Clinton (my emphasis):

As a feminist, I wanted to like Hillary Clinton. But I just couldn't warm up to her. Hard-pressed to make an alliance, I like John Edwards. I like Ron Paul, but for not the right reasons to elect him president.

This week, I heard Hillary respond to a question from a 65-year-old woman in New Hampshire: "Is it hard for you, as a woman, to get ready for this type of everyday political exposure?" It was clear to me that this woman meant how Hillary had to bathe, dress and make up her aging self to be broadcast from here to Timbucktoo [sic]. Hillary's response was honest and heartfelt.

Of course it takes her more time than her male counterparts to prepare for public consumption. But I got a deeper feeling that women take more time to prepare their responses to critically important decisions. Women are peacemakers, not warmongers. Women support family values at the basic level. Women are compassionate level-headed supporters of sharing power.

I'm sorry, but I thought the main tenet of feminism was that there is fundamentally no difference between men and women! Y'know, "anything a man can do, a woman can do." But suddenly, Ms. Gallo would have us believe that there are inherent differences between the sexes! I wonder on what basis she concludes that "women are peacemakers," and that they support "family values" more. (Is having the unencumbered-by-the-father right to abort one's pregnancy "family values at the basic level"?)

And how does she know Clinton's response was "honest and heartfelt"? Remember, this is the wife of a guy who faked tears for the media after one of his closest advisers was killed.

Posted by Hube at 04:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 09, 2008

Thanks for making our case for us

Gotta love this:

On the eve of a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Voter ID law has become a story with a twist: One of the individuals used by opponents to the law as an example of how the law hurts older Hoosiers is registered to vote in two states.

(h/t: The Corner.)

Posted by Hube at 05:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Huck tries to "get tough" on immigration

For me, this is obviously an attempt to "toughen" what have been ridiculous past immigration policies; nevertheless, I agree with the idea:

Mike Huckabee wants to amend the Constitution to prevent children born in the U.S. to illegal aliens from automatically becoming American citizens, according to his top immigration surrogate — a radical step no other major presidential candidate has embraced.

Mr. Huckabee, who won last week's Republican Iowa caucuses, promised Minuteman Project founder James Gilchrist that he would force a test case to the Supreme Court to challenge birthright citizenship, and would push Congress to pass a 28th Amendment to the Constitution to remove any doubt.

It should be noted that the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) takes great exception to Huck's claim.

That being said, is an constitutional amendment really necessary to stop "birthright citizenship"? Not according to the Heritage Foundation. They say that Congress has the power via Section 5 of the 14th Amendment -- which says "The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article" -- to define, well, the Amendment's provisions!

In Elk v. Wilkins (1884), the Supreme Court decided that a native Indian who had renounced allegiance to his tribe did not become "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States by virtue of the renunciation. "The alien and dependent condition of the members of the Indian Tribes could not be put off at their own will, without the action or assent of the United States" signified either by treaty or legislation. Neither the "Indian Tribes" nor "individual members of those Tribes," no more than "other foreigners" can "become citizens of their own will."

Beginning in 1870 Congress began extending offers of citizenship to various Indian tribes. Any member of a specified tribe could become an American citizen if he so desired. Congress thus demonstrated that, using its Section 5 powers to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment, it could define who was properly within the jurisdiction of the United States.

It wasn't until 1898's United States v. Wong Kim Ark that birthright citizenship began. But this case granted citizenship rights to children born of legal residents of the United States. It has since been interpreted to include any type of US "resident" (most recently affirmed in 1982's Plyler v. Doe). Overall, there has been no real direct legal challenge to the notion (via the US Supreme Court) that children of illegal residents born in the US are automatically citizens.

Keep in mind too, obviously, that the 14th Amendment was originally designed to provide citizenship rights to former [United States] slaves. When the 14th Amendment was passed, [illegal] immigration was not a concern for the country. However, rectifying the issue of slavery certainly was.

Posted by Hube at 04:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Where's the conspiracy nuts?

Remember in 2004 (Ohio, in particular) -- and those exit polls that had John Kerry winning the election? But, then, George W. Bush just happened to get the most actual votes? The conspiracy nuts came out of the woodwork; of course, now, we're talking about a Democrat primary:

The exit polls, though, do not explain the mystery of how the opinion polls right up to election day got the result so wrong. Even the Clinton campaign confessed after the result was announced that its own private polling showed Obama winning by 11 percentage points, while Obama's campaign had internal polls that showed a 14 point margin between the pair.

Then there's these couple of links provided by an "Anonymous" over at Down With Absolutes.

Here's an easy premise to keep in mind: When an election involves exclusively Democrats, or when Democrats win against their GOP opponents, the notion of "vote fraud" is a total non-starter for the MSM. Like after the 2006 mid-terms!

UPDATE: It's advice sure to fall on deaf ears, but relax moonbats: An analysis of the voting last night.

Posted by Hube at 03:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Radical profs for Iran

Gotta chuckle at this news from Columbia:

An academic delegation of Columbia University professors and deans of faculties plans to visit Tehran to officially apologize to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

The delegation plans to express regret for the insulting remarks Columbia University President Lee Bollinger directed at Ahmadinejad on September 24 in his introductory speech, the Mehr News Agency correspondent in New York reported.

Since the incident, the deans and professors from the faculties of history, anthropology, Middle Eastern studies, philosophy, and Islamic studies have criticized Bollinger's behavior toward Ahmadinejad.

A member of the delegation, who requested anonymity, said the main goal of the visit is to meet the Iranian president and officially apologize to him.

This is just a more-than-perfect example of what a joke the modern university has become. Where are the delegations that have gone to apologize to [invited] conservative speakers who have been shouted down, and even physically attacked at universities? Where is the delegation from Duke, say -- that so-called "Group of 88" professors -- that will apologize to those lacrosse players?

Don't hold your breath. In the mind of the modern "progressive" radical, American conservatives -- especially white, male ones -- are more dangerous than radical Muslim fundamentalists who (as Iranian President Ahmadinejad unintentionally comically stated), don't "have gays" in their country (gee, wonder why), treat women as virtual slaves, and wish to annihilate the state of Israel. Just like during the Cold War, when these same "progressives" touted the "superiority" of the "great socialist states," we're witnessing that all the degrees in the world doesn't necessarily mean one has any common sense.

UPDATE: Some Columbia profs deny the above report. Ironically, one of the profs noted, Gary Sick, wrote a book about the supposed 1980 "October Surprise" which stated that Ronald Reagan won that year's election because GOP operatives had a secret deal with Iran: Iran would release the long-held American hostages until after Reagan was sworn in.

Posted by Hube at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 08, 2008

What liberal media, again?

"It’s 'hard to stay objective' when covering Obama," says NBC reporter.

File under "Of Course!"

Posted by Hube at 06:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 06, 2008

9/11 Truther nut-jobs

The History Channel has an excellent program on the 9/11 conspiracy movement. It not only provides info on the various nutty ideas behind the "conspiracy," but also examines the psyche of conspiratorialists. In a nutshell, that psyche is "they KNOW the truth" and everyone and everything else is either dead wrong or in on the conspiracy.

I didn't see local DE 9/11 Truther moonbat Liz Allen on the show, but I bet she sure wishes she got some camera time!

Posted by Hube at 07:27 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Mexican illegal immigrants allowed to vote? Let's see ...

Wow, look at this:

Arguing that the US has huge influence in Mexican elections and that Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal (undocumented), are fundamental to maintaining the US economy - ¡México Decide! concludes that all immigrants, legal and illegal, ought to have some say in the US Presidential election.

Well sure, they can. As long as it's limited to hypothetical votes via someone's internet site!

Posted by Felix at 10:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 05, 2008

Playoff picks

UPDATE: Moving this post from 12/31 to today!

Now that the NFL playoff scenarios are settled, here are my picks for Wildcard Weekend:


  • Redskins at Seahawks. Gotta love the Joe Gibbs-is-back storyline; unfortunately, this one's gonna end like it did two years ago. 'Hawks win 20-10.
  • Jaguars at Steelers. The Jags rested their starters yesterday (and lost) but it won't matter; the Steelers lost their finale too. The Jags are the team to watch in the AFC. Jags win 24-16.


  • Giants at Bucs. Can the G-Men recoup that fire they had in their finale against the Pats? Yep, but it'll be close. Giants win 21-20.
  • Titans at Chargers. The Titans have been impressive, but the Bolts are peaking. On the road it's gonna be tough for Jeff Fisher and co. Chargers win 28-14.

Meanwhile, Volokh has an interesting post on past Super Bowl winning teams that rested their starters in the final regular season game. Only one team since the '95-96 season won the SB after resting its starters in the finale: The 1999 St. Louis Rams. (They lost their finale to the Eagles 38-31; Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and co. played only the first half. That was actually the very first NFL game I attended in person!)

Posted by Hube at 09:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 04, 2008

Hi, I'm the News Journal and I'm ridiculously P.C. part II for today

News Journal report about a man that approached a 13 year-old girl today:

Wilmington police are investigating a report that a suspicious man approached a 13-year-old girl as she was walking home from a bus stop.

The man was described as being bald and heavy set, and was wearing a black t-shirt.

WDEL.com report of the same incident:

Wilmington police hope you can help them find a man they say tried to kidnap a 13-year-old girl as she walked home from her bus stop Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect is decribed as a heavy-set black man between 28 and 35 years old, bald, wearing a black T-shirt and driving a black Lexus.

Paul Smith Jr. wonders if the News Journal has given up on reporting the race of suspects entirely. He's got a point; however, as recently as December 7th, the News Journal "violated" its own policy by printing the following:

The witness described the suspect as a middle-age white man, slender built, about 6-feet-3 inches tall, with a light-colored goatee and square framed glasses. He was wearing blue jeans, a navy-colored jacket, knit hat, gloves and a scarf partially covering his face.

Writer Terri Sanginiti informed me that "she got 'special dispensation' from her editors" to use that full description. She also said that each case "is different and has to be discussed with an editor," and "that it is primarily dependent on the amount of details in the description provided that is considered."

Of course, this is utterly ridiculous and needs to be changed. As I've said ad nauseum, what kind of public service does the News Journal provide by purposely leaving out a vital detail -- perhaps the most vital detail -- of a criminal suspect's description?? The answer is "a very lousy one," given that other local media outlets like WDEL do provide full descriptions.

The News Journal would rather pat themselves on the back because they're "not engaging in and/or perpetuating stereotypes." Public safety? Huh?

The nonsense is so beyond pathetic that even lefty progressives like Nancy Willing are fed up. And if what Paul Smith says proves accurate -- that the News Journal has given up reporting the race of suspects for good -- it doesn't matter. I'll be here as often as I can pointing out where the ACCURATE and COMPLETE police reports can be found.

Posted by Hube at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hi, I'm the News Journal and I'm ridiculously P.C.

From today's News Journal Police Report section:

ROBBER SOUGHT: A suspect is being sought in the Dec. 29 robbery of a Royal Farms store in Seaford. Delaware State Police said the thief entered the store at about 2:40 a.m., said he had a gun and demanded money from a clerk. The clerk backed away and called police, but not before the thief took a donation jar from the counter. He fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money and headed toward a nearby Fran's dairy market. The thief was described as 5 feet 9 to 11 inches tall, 160 to 190 pounds and 18 to 30 years old. He was last seen wearing a red hooded sweat shirt, black pants, gloves and construction boots.

Knowing that the News Journal is infected with insane political correctness, I checked WGMD's website (since the incident occurred in Sussex County) and found their report on the same incident:

State police continue to investigate a robbery that happened Saturday at the Royal Farms Store in Seaford. It was 2:40 in the morning when a guy went into the store and approached the clerk at the register. He said he had a gun and demanded cash. The clerk backed away from the counter and called 9-11. The guy then removed a donation jar from the counter, which had little bit of money in it. After taking the jar, he ran out of the store towards Fran's Dairy Market. The guy is white, about 5'9 to 5'11 and 160 to 190 pounds. He is believed to be between 18 and 30 years old and was last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, gloves, black pants and construction boots.

Which news outlet is providing the better public service -- the News Journal or WGMD? Why is it so difficult to write "The guy is white," News Journal? Why do you feel it more necessary to be politically correct than assist in public safety? (Actually, it could be dubbed "anti-politically correct" since a white guy is the suspect; but let's make it even easier for the idiotic WNJ: IT'S JUST A FREAKIN' STUPID POLICY!)

Posted by Hube at 04:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are The Freddys Seven by Soccer Dad, and Exploding Myths by Treppenwitz.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3The Freddys Seven
Soccer Dad
2America Derangement Syndrome -- Or, Yes, You Can Call Them Unpatriotic
Bookworm Room
1  2/3The Best Years of Their Lives: Hollywood and Franklin's War
Big Lizards
1  2/3Did Bush Get Jamie Lynn Pregnant?
Cheat Seeking Missiles
Done With Mirrors
1Politics Anonymous
Right Wing Nut House
2/3Ron Paul Tripped Up On "Meet the Press" Despite Making Good Points
The Colossus of Rhodey
2/3Primary Scenarios
The Glittering Eye
1/3The State Department's Unilateral Foreign Policy
Wolf Howling
1/3Our Wish List For 2008
The Education Wonks

VotesNon-council link
3Exploding Myths
2Patterico's Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2007
Patterico's Pontifications
1  2/3The Wodehouse Primary
The Debatable Land
1  1/3Ms. Hillary Does Pakistan
Power Line
2/3Obsession to the Point of Dementia
Power Line (2)
2/3Bennie Bhutto
2/3Loser of the Year: Pelosi
Don Surber
2/32007: A Global Assessment of the Confrontation
American Thinker
2/3In the Name of the Father...
1/3Dallas Morning News Names "The Illegal Immigrant" as their 2007 Texan of the Year
1/3Thoughts on 2007

Posted by Hube at 04:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 02, 2008

Common sense

James Taranto serves up one of the most common sense rebuttals to those who claim requiring a photo ID to vote is somehow "discriminatory."

UPDATE: AJ Lynch over at The Ringleader reminds me of a relevant post of his from one year ago.

Posted by Hube at 06:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The "No, duh" statement of all human existence

Philly Inquirer headline of AP article: Poll finds N.J. men claim to have more sex than women.

Now, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Fortunately, the 'ol provides the ridiculously obvious:

New Jersey men claim more frequent sexual activity than women in the state, according to a new poll, but that difference could be exaggerated because women are less likely to answer the question.

That reticence, and the difference in rates of sexual activity reported, largely evaporate among women under 50, the Monmouth University/New Jersey Monthly Poll released Wednesday found.

"The difference between men and women may be due to impression management. Due to perceived social norms, men tend to inflate their self-reported sexual experience, while women may tend to underreport," said Gary Lewandowski, a Monmouth University psychology professor who specializes in the study of interpersonal relationships.

It's a good thing we have Monmouth University psychology professors who specialize in the study of interpersonal relationships, ain't it? That way we have someone to tell us what every person who ever grew up already knows!!

Posted by Hube at 05:42 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A word from the Angry (and Illiterate) Left

Via the Newsbusters tip line (which goes out to many contributors, not just me):

You're [sic] site is based on "mis-truths" [sic], and spin, take it down or face law suites [sic]. You need to correct that our next President [sic] Obama is not refusing to place his hand over his heart for the pledge [sic]. You must know it's to the Star Spangled Banner (or a very strange version of it)---get it straight. You so called "right-wingers" couldn't me [sic] more wrong 99.9999999 percent of the time!

Aren't "law suites" pretty luxurious?

Posted by Hube at 04:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time travel: Star Trek The Next Generation edition

I'm probably best acquainted with The Next Generation (TNG) than any other Trek series. (It helps that various networks have run reruns of the shows almost every day!) Jean-Luc Picard and crew sure had some funky -- and interesting -- time travel sojourns ...

The best time travel episode and, indeed, one of the best episodes of the entire series is "Yesterday's Enterprise." Trying to figure out the many facets of this tale can you give you a headache since it seems to make use of both "closed loop" and "branched stream" time geometry. Picard and the Enterprise-D encounter a space-time anomaly in which a starship emerges. Suddenly, the bridge of the Enterprise changes before our eyes. It is much darker, and every one of the crew is armed with a phaser. The ship that came through the space rift turns out to be the Enterprise-C from 22 years in the past. The effect on the present appears to show a "closed loop" in that the sudden change of events in the past have altered that timeline's future. In this case, the Federation is at war with the Klingon Empire, and it is going very badly for Starfleet. On the other hand, the alternate timeline aspect comes into play in that Tasha Yar -- the Enterprise-D's former security chief -- is alive, even though she had been killed (in the Enterprise-D timeline proper) two years prior. (Then again, if an event 22 years ago altered time, then events a mere two years ago could be moot. Got a headache yet?) The paradox is that Tasha ultimately decides to go back through the time rift with the Enterprise-C in the hopes that the timeline can be "restored." But if Tasha was already dead in the restored timeline, how can she continue to exist in it? For that's precisely what she does as we learn later on in TNG. She was captured by the Romulans after re-emerging into the past with the Enterprise-C, and ended up having a child with a Romulan commander. That child (Commander Sela, at left), 23 years later, ends up confronting Captain Picard during a Klingon civil war.

In effect, the question is: If the Enterprise-C needed to return to the past to "save" the original timeline, how could Tasha Yar have existed then if she was already deceased? The answer is that she couldn't (or, more properly, shouldn't) -- but she could if she was from an alternate timeline. Ultimately, this has to be what "Yesterday's Enterprise" is: A exploration of an alternate Trek timeline created by the Enterprise-C's emergence into the future. This "branch" of time allows for Tasha Yar to exist, and to go back with the Enterprise-C to the "real" Trek universe.

A neat season five offering starred Matt Frewer ("Max Headroom") as a small-time 22nd century "inventor" who happened upon a time traveler from the 26th century. He stole the traveler's ship and now, after encountering the Enterprise in the 24th century, hopes to return to his own era with various advanced gadgets (like a tricorder and phaser) that he will eventually "invent" ... and make a handsome profit as a result. There's no real indication of what the results of Frewer's actions would have been had he been successful (he wasn't -- Data and Picard outsmarted him); however, the 26th century timeship automatically returned to 22nd century New Jersey without Frewer in it. One is left wondering what happened to it and any alternate timeline that resulted in it being discovered (and reverse engineered!).

Season five also served up one of the spunkiest time travel stories ever. "Cause and Effect" shows the Enterprise caught up in a "temporal causality loop" where it relives the same segment of time over and over again. At the conclusion of each segment, the Enterprise is destroyed after encountering a space-time anomaly along with another spacecraft. The Enterprise crew experience a large degree of deja vu, giving them clues as to what may be happening. Data ultimately uses his android circuitry to send himself a "hint" as to what action to take at the conclusion of the next time segment. It works -- the Enterprise gets free of the loop, and the other ship that the Enterprise kept encountering turns out to be another Federation vessel -- one that had been caught in the same loop for over 90 years! (Picard and crew were stuck for a "mere" 17 days by comparison.)

The conclusion of season five saw the Enterprise crew journey back to 19th century San Francisco. "Time's Arrow" is an excellent "closed loop" story where in the 24th century, archaeologists discover Data's disembodied head among other relics from 500 years ago. Needless to say, the Enterprise and crew have to hoof it back to Earth to help figure out what's going on. It turns out time-traveling aliens are going back to the 19th century to absorb the life force of sickly humans. Picard and co. travel back through one of the alien time portals to track down Data, who was shunted back a while before. Much later, in the cave where Data's head was discovered, Picard and crew battle a couple of the aliens, and this is where the android officer's noggin gets blown off. Of course, though, since it was already "discovered" in the future, the now headless Data is fitted with his own head from the past. Follow? The two-parter ends with Picard "setting history right" by leaving behind Data's head before the cave in question is filled in. However, "setting things right" didn't seem to be concerned with Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens who learns the truth about Picard and co., and even spends a little time aboard the Enterprise. Where's that concern about the timeline, guys?

Another truly excellent offering was the last season's "Parallels." While technically not a time-travel story itself, it shows that Trek believes wholeheartedly in the "branched stream" theory of time. Case in point: Worf (at left), heading back to the Enterprise after a Bat'leth competition, finds himself zipping from reality to reality and there's nothing he can do. It seems a fissure in the time-space continuum is responsible, and whenever Worf is near crewmate Geordi LaForge's VISOR a new reality shift is triggered. Data eventually deduces that Worf doesn't belong in their reality, but just as what's going on is being figured out, the Bajorans (Federation enemies in this reality) attack the Enterprise and destabilize the space-time fissure. The destabilization results in thousands of realities (we see thousands of Enterprises materializing in space) merging into the one Worf finds himself in at the moment. Data theorizes that only by finding Worf's proper reality and sending him through the fissure to it will all be returned to normal. Interestingly, we witness one reality in which the Enterprise was not successful in defeating the Borg in their climactic encounter from season four's premiere episode.

I've purposely omitted any time-travel episode that featured the nigh-omnipotent "Q" pulling the strings. Still, these are worth viewing just for the great stories: The 6th season's "Tapestry" where Q gives Picard a chance to rectify certain decisions he made in his past, and the last season's two-part finale "All Good Things" in which the Enterprise literally has to save humanity's origins.

In addition, other time-related tales include 2nd season's "Time Squared", 4th season's "Future Imperfect", 5th season's "The Inner Light" (possibly my favorite TNG episode of all), 6th season's "Relics" (where TOS's "Scotty" is rescued by the Enterprise-D after being stuck in a transporter beam for 75 years), and "Timescape" in which the Enterprise and a Romulan Warbird are frozen in time in the middle of battle!

Posted by Hube at 04:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Story of the Day

Via Media Blog comes a story worthy of Delaware talk radio nemesis Liz Allen:

The controversy over former premier Benazir Bhutto's assassination has taken another turn with a section of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) claiming she was targeted with sophisticated "laser beam technology".

Bhutto's wounds were caused not by bullets but by some sort of laser weapon, 'The Nation' newspaper said quoting sources in the PPP.

When Bhutto was admitted to Rawalpindi General Hospital shortly after the fatal attack on her on December 27, doctor Musaddiq Khan, who treated her, told a PPP leader that he had seen "such a case for the first time in his life", sources said.

Bhutto's wounds were not caused by bullets and she had died before reaching the hospital. A part of her brain and blood had spilled out from her head, they quoted the doctor as saying.

Lord Palpatine's stormtroopers were unavailable for comment. At any rate, wouldn't a laser beam cauterize any wound it inflicted -- meaning that there wouldn't have been any blood or brains "spill[ing] out from her head"?

Posted by Hube at 04:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 01, 2008

Contrast and compare

News Journal report of a 17 year-old boy's stabbing yesterday:

A 17-year-old Wilmington boy remained hospitalized today following a weekend stabbing that left him in critical condition.

Wilmington police spokesman Master Sgt. Steven Barnes said the incident occurred about 10:50 p.m. Saturday in the area of 25th and West streets, where the victim was approached by three assailants in dark clothing.

The victim told officers that one of the assailants hit him in the head with some type of object and knocked him to the ground.

The other two men then took off his jacket and pants. During the robbery, the teenager was stabbed, Barnes said. The victim was rushed to Christiana Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was reported in critical condition today, Barnes said.

WDEL.com's online report of the very same incident:

Wilmington police are looking for three suspects in connection with a weekend stabbing that left a 17-year-old boy critically injured. Officers found the victim in the 300 block of West 25th Street Saturday night with multiple stab wounds to the upper body.

He said the suspects attacked him as he walked near 25th and West, one suspect hitting him in the head and knocking him to the ground and the other two taking off his jacket and pants.

The victim was stabbed at some point during the attack, and had to have emergency surgery at Christiana Hospital.

The suspects are described only as black men wearing dark clothing, and anyone with information can call Wilmington detectives or 9-1-1.

Now you tell me: Which news outlet is providing the better public service?

Posted by Hube at 03:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall ...

... with a black hooded sweatshirt with unknown writing on the front, and wearing a baseball cap.

Fill in the missing key ingredient, as usual. Your News Journal at it again.

UPDATE: Heard on WDEL that the suspect is a white guy. That helps significantly. But the WNJ clings to its PC ideals!

Posted by Hube at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Time travel: Star Trek TOS edition

Picking up on the theme from yesterday (and thanks to the inspiration from Steve Newton!), what better way to begin another revolution around the star Sol than by examining how one of the most successful science fiction franchises handled time travel. Was it a "closed loop" storyline or a "branching stream" yarn? Or a little of both? Let's see ...

I'm not as familiar with The Original Series (TOS) as the subsequent spin-offs, but the time travel stories are pretty well done. "Tomorrow is Yesterday" in TOS's first season invokes "closed loop" time geometry in that an accident catapults Kirk and co. to the 1960s. An Air Force pilot sees the Enterprise and he's later taken on board the ship. But how to prevent him from "polluting" the timeline if he's returned? Apparently "Bones" McCoy's medical science isn't good enough to erase the pilot's short term memory, so Kirk uses a more drastic method: They'll "recreate" the conditions that brought them to the 20th century in the first place (the 'ol "slingshot around the sun," natch). In the process, the pilot is returned to his jet just as he "thinks" he sees the Enterprise, and the NCC-1701 is shunted back to the 23rd century.

The classic "Space Seed" which introduced to Ricardo Montalban's "Khan" character wasn't so much a time travel story (well, Khan did sleep off a couple hundred years in suspended animation) as much as how its backstory had to be "retconned." Khan was the product of genetic engineering and presided over the "Eugenics Wars" of the 1990s. However, it seems the planet didn't suffer overmuch as the "Voyager" episode "Future's End" takes place in 1996 and there's nary a mention of the trouble Khan and his supermen caused (or were causing). This would seem to indicate a "branching stream" geometry whereby Khan's antics occurred in another timeline. The issue of Voyager's late 20th century appearance on Earth I'll discuss in the "Voyager" segment later on.

"The City on the Edge of Forever" is usually considered to be the finest of the original series. A deranged Bones ("Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a junkie!") jumps through a time portal, and suddenly the Enterprise vanishes from the sky above Kirk and Spock who were in pursuit of the doc. This right here indicates a "closed loop" time structure since Bones' meddling in the past changed Kirk's and Spock's present. The pivotal moment was Bones saving Edith Keeler (at left), a pacifist, from certain death. She winds up leading a movement which delays the US from entering World War II. This allows Hitler time to develop the A-bomb first, and the Nazis end up ruling the globe. Kirk and Spock, while tracking down McCoy in the 1930s, realize they'll have to let Edith die to preserve the timeline. The real bummer is that Kirk had fallen in love with her.

Season Two's "Mirror, Mirror" isn't so much a time travel offering as it is an alternate reality story. What's telling here, as I mentioned in my original post, is that Trek plays it both ways with time travel -- they make use of both "closed loop" and "branching stream" time geometry. The very existence of alternate realities allows for "branching streams" to be created by meddling with the past. Which makes one wonder why the need to "correct" interactions in the past even is addressed, then. (I've wondered a few times if the "Galactic Empire" of the Mirror Universe could have been the result of Bones's interference in "City on the Edge of Forever" -- interference that wasn't "corrected" by Kirk and Spock. But we saw that it was corrected, so ...!)

"Assignment: Earth" also applies "closed loop" geometry. While on assignment(!!) to travel back in time to "discover" how Earth managed to avoid blowing itself to bits during the early nuclear age, Kirk and co. discover that an alien-trained human is in large measure responsible for just what Kirk is trying to find out! The mysterious Gary Seven has to destroy a US-launched oribtal bomb in order to scare the nuclear-armed nations from attempting to put bombs in space. He succeeds, despite Kirk and Spock's meddling. This ultimate success "preserves" the timeline in this "closed loop" tale. (Too bad that Earth does go on to fight a devasting Third World War in the mid-21st century which kills approximately 600 million, as told in the TOS's "The Savage Curtain" and the 8th Trek film "Star Trek: First Contact." One wonders why Starfleet sent Kirk and crew back in time for the "investigation" of "Assignment: Earth" when it should've been in the Federation's history books that Earth almost didn't survive blowing itself to smithereens!)

One of the last episodes, "All Our Yesterdays" (which, admittedly, I barely remember viewing), deals almost exclusively with time travel, but it is not evident whether "closed loop" or "branching stream" architecture is applied. A "librarian" on a planet is saving many people of his doomed globe by sending them via time machine to their past. Whether this will ultimately save them is unknown as their sun eventually goes nova. Perhaps in a "branched" timeline, resulting in arrivals from the future, a method will be discovered to prevent their star from exploding.

Posted by Hube at 11:32 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack