March 31, 2008

The repeated historical falsehood

It just happened again. Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (whom I recently posted about at Newsbusters here) was on the O'Reilly show discussing the recent rousing reception that Barack Obama mentor Jeremiah Wright got at a church this past weekend. Hill, like many others, brought up the "context" in which many in the black community believe Wright's claim that the US government created AIDS to destroy African-Americans. That context is that our government "gave" syphilis to some 400 black men in the infamous Tuskegee experiment.

The problem with that oft-repeated statement is ... it's not accurate.

As David Mills reports at the Huffington Post (hardly a bastion of conservatism for anyone unfamiliar)

Rev. Wright said from the pulpit, in a video clip shown on Fox News: "The government lied about the Tuskegee experiment! They purposely infected African-American men with syphilis!"

Wright is wrong. That's not what the Tuskegee experiment was.

In the "Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male," federal researchers refused to treat a group of black men who already had syphilis, long after a cure had been found.

Instead, doctors treated these men like laboratory animals, studying the course of the disease over decades.

The Tuskegee experiment was the most shameful episode in the history of the U.S. Public Health Service. President Bill Clinton apologized on behalf of the nation in 1997.

But the government did not infect black men with syphilis.

I would tend to concur with anyone who might say that this is a fine point to argue, because, regardless, the experiment was a truly heinous episode in our country's history. But it should be noted -- correctly -- that the government did not purposely "inject" black men with the virulent STD. There are sufficient instances in American history (this one included) that aren't very favorable to black Americans. Embellishing [some of] them isn't necessary.

Furthermore, it wasn't African-Americans who were uniquely subjected to past government experiments. For example, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, Army regulars were subjected to the radiation of above-ground nuclear bomb tests. In 1989, a TV movie titled "Nightbreaker" was made detailing how some of these tests were conducted.

Both the Tuskegee survivors and many of those involved in the atomic exposure tests received federal compensation. Of course, it is extremely difficult to put into dollar figures a price for suffering, but, ultimately, it was revealed what had happened in these cases. Corrective action was taken. To touch on my original premise, how far should such episodes in history be utilized to ... justify current philosophy and/or anger? In addition, could such experiments be conducted today in our age of instant communications? I think that it's unlikely; however, unfortunately, such sordid historical events serve as a springboard for the Grassy Knollers and the 9/11 Truthers.

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

The irrational "logic" of [college] diversity

... again. John Rosenberg, as usual, nails it -- and hard (my emphasis):

According to this report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Hampshire College students walked out of class today to protest the administration’s “insufficient commitment to fighting racism.”
Among other things, the students were calling for additional faculty and staff positions in multicultural affairs, mandatory “anti-oppression training” for all employees, and residence halls exclusively for students of color and for “queer-identified” students.

If Hampshire College administrators, faculty, librarians, secretaries, janitors, etc., have been oppressing anyone, I’m all in favor of someone teaching them how to stop. But maybe someone could explain to me how racially segregated dorms will increase “diversity.”

If “queer-identified” students deserve a dorm of their own, what about “straight-identified” students? Shouldn’t they be able to have a dorm of their own, i.e., one that excludes “queer-identified” students? Moreover, shouldn’t there be separate dorms for black “queer-identified” students and Hispanic “queer-identified” students? Without such separate dorms, those students would be forced to reject one of their core identities. And let’s not forget the Jews....

I know I've said it at least once, but it's just too damn easy to pick out how ridiculous these university-oriented diversophiles are. Diversity is "all-important," but we must have separate dorms. Diversity is omniscient, but Historically Black Colleges are necessary. Predominately white faculty are "oppressive," even though the vast majority of them are leftist/progressive (it must be that "white privilege" thing).

Fish. Barrel. Shoot.

Posted by Hube at 08:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Altar

News Journal report on a liquor store robbery in Kent County:

MASKED ROBBER SOUGHT: A Kenton liquor store was held up about 8:30 p.m. Friday when a bandit pointed a gun at a clerk and demanded money, state police said. The bandit opened the register at Country Wine and Spirits, 31 Main St., took cash and fled out the front door. The clerk, a 66-year-old Clayton woman, was not injured. She described the robber as about 6 feet tall with an average build and wearing a black pullover sweatshirt, black pants and light color gloves. His face was covered with a black ski mask that had holes cut around the eyes.

WGMD.com report of the same incident:

State Police are looking for information into an armed robbery at the Country Wine & Spirits in Kenton Friday night. Police say the suspect opened the register himself after demanding money from the clerk. He is a black man with light brown skin, about 6 feet tall with an average build. He was wearing a black pullover sweatshirt, black pants, light colored gloves and a black ski mask with holes cut out around the eyes.


Posted by Hube at 08:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

22 questions to ask Barack Obama

Courtesy of National Review.com's Peter Wehner.

Posted by Felix at 06:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Noose mania

I first wrote about this in early October, and I titled it "Place Your Bets." Columbia Professor Madonna Constantine first "found" a noose hanging on her office door shortly before; now, it's becoming more evident that the "incident" was an "inside job":

A Manhattan grand jury has subpoenaed the university records of the controversial black Columbia Teachers College professor who found a noose hanging from her office door - signaling that the investigation is broadening to examine possible links between the teacher, her closest friends and the racially charged incident, The Post has learned.

According to sources, the subpoenas obtained recently by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and prosecutors demanded the college hand over a laundry list of records pertaining to embattled professor Madonna Constantine, whose colleague found a 4-foot hangman's noose on her office doorknob last October.

The incident happened at the height of the school's probe of plagiarism charges against her.

Sources said the records would provide investigators with a timeline on the tightly guarded 18-month plagiarism probe and what Constantine - one of only two tenured black Teachers College professors - stood to possibly lose if she were found guilty and her job were threatened.

The revelation that Constantine had been under university review provides a possible motive for a sympathetic friend to consider placing a noose on her door - thinking it could whip up support for her, sources said.

Jammie Wearing Fool states what I think is the obvious: Prediction: Someone close to Constantine or Constantine herself will be found to have placed the noose there, and they'll somehow blame it on racism and a climate of intolerance.

That's indeed how it works. (Also see the very first link above!) Constantine and her supporters will state that "it's not really important who hung the noose" (even if it's Constantine herself) because the "overriding theme -- institutional racism -- needs to be highlighted at all costs."

Posted by Felix at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The real Obama

Very interesting story in The Politico today which details just how radical Barack Obama really is. For example,

Consider the question of whether minors should be required to get parental consent — or at least notify their parents — before having abortion.

The first version of Obama’s questionnaire responds with a simple “No.”

Both versions of the 1996 questionnaires provide answers his presidential campaign disavows to questions about whether Obama supports capital punishment and state legislation to “ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns.”

He responded simply “No” and “Yes,” respectively, to those questions on both questionnaires.

There's just one problem: Obama insists he didn't see the questionnaire --

Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.

They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize[d] his position.”

But The Politico is having none of it:

But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago nonprofit group that issued it. And it found that Obama — the day after sitting for the interview — filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes added to one answer.

Well, this wasn't exactly accurate. And there's his claims about Jeremiah Wright which strain believability. And this story confirms at least one of the Barack's answers on the questionnaire.

Some in the blogosphere have deemed as bunk Ron Paul's explanation when he claimed a ghost writer was responsible for some racist articles that appeared in a newsletter -- with Paul's name in the title. Are Obama's similar excuses about this questionnaire "bunk" as well?

Posted by Felix at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 30, 2008

Well, it happened once before!

Sort of. But first:

The world’s physicists have spent 14 years and $8 billion building the Large Hadron Collider, in which the colliding protons will recreate energies and conditions last seen a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. Researchers will sift the debris from these primordial recreations for clues to the nature of mass and new forces and symmetries of nature.

But Walter L. Wagner and Luis Sancho contend that scientists at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, have played down the chances that the collider could produce, among other horrors, a tiny black hole, which, they say, could eat the Earth. Or it could spit out something called a “strangelet” that would convert our planet to a shrunken dense dead lump of something called “strange matter.” Their suit also says CERN has failed to provide an environmental impact statement as required under the National Environmental Policy Act. . . . (Link.)

Here's where it happened already: In 2021, the USS Hillary Clinton, among other vessels, was a victim of such a black hole mishap. A wormhole test created a black [worm]hole which sent the Clinton and her fleet back to 1942. And wow, how that changed things ... !!

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

Addendum to yesterday's Saturday Night Fun

There are a lot of freaky scenes from John Carpenter's "The Thing" from 1982. Last night I posted my fave scene from the flick; the following is a close second. I like yesterday's a bit better because it's so unintentionally funny -- the suspects all tied up right next to one another (why would they be seated so close if one of them is the Thing? How is that fair to those unaffected?), and they can't escape when one of their pals transforms into the creature. The very last spoken line in the following scene makes this one a classic:


Posted by Hube at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Man, wish I was there to see that

Joe Walther, fellow DE blogger (with whom I've had the pleasure to appear on WILM radio a couple times), reports on an incident at a local Wendy's.

I'd have been cheering too.

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

March 29, 2008

Saturday night fun

Possibly my favorite all-time scifi horror movie scene:


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

March 28, 2008

What was that about the "Black Value System" again?

Barack Obama spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright's church has a race-conscious "Black Value System." This philosophy espouses:

  • blacks should patronize black-only businesses;
  • one should support black leaders;
  • one should avoid becoming "entrapped" by the pursuit of a "black middle-classness."

Y'know that little saying "Practice what you preach"? You would think that Wright would take that [especially] literally; however, that pull of "middle-classness" must be too strong:

FOX News has uncovered documents that indicate Wright is about to move to a 10,340-square-foot, four-bedroom home in suburban Chicago, currently under construction in a gated community.

While it is not uncommon for an accomplished clergyman to live in luxury, Wright’s retirement residence is raising some questions.

“Some people think deals like this are hypocritical. Jeremiah Wright himself criticizes people from the pulpit for middle classism, for too much materialism,” said Andrew Walsh, Associate Director of the Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life with Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

“So he’s entitled to be tweaked here. So the question really is, how unusual is this? Somewhat unusual,” he said.

In a word: Heh.

Posted by Felix at 01:49 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Ignorant ripping the ignorant

OK, I admit it -- when I'm home during the day I frequently tune in to "Jerry Springer" for some [very] cheap laughs. Today Jer featured a "classic" episode that had an unrepentant KKK dude and his son on stage getting abuse (rightly so) from everyone in the audience. But one moment caught my ear (as I was surfing the 'net at the same time): An ear-ringed hippie stood up and proudly proclaimed to the KKK dad "Hey moron -- freedom speech isn't in the Bill of Rights, it's in the Constitution, you ignorant SOB!!"

The audience went wild cheering and clapping. *Sigh*

Posted by Hube at 09:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I know where I'm moving

Where teachers really get respect.

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

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Get Your Grim Milestone Today? by Done With Mirrors, and Stake Through Their Hearts by Michael Yon.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  1/3Get Your Grim Milestone Today?
Done With Mirrors
2What Would You Do?
Bookworm Room
1  2/3Beer-Soaked Politics
Cheat Seeking Missiles
1  1/3It's All in the Branding
Soccer Dad
1Question "Authority"
The Colossus of Rhodey
2/3Welcome To a Brave New World
Right Wing Nut House
2/3Municipal Internet -- Deader Than a Doornail?
Rhymes With Right
2/3Genocide By Inches
Joshuapundit
1/3A Conversation With Sa'ad
Wolf Howling
1/3A Taxonomy of Mea Culpas
The Glittering Eye

VotesNon-council link
3  2/3Stake Through Their Hearts
Michael Yon
2  2/3CAIR Exposed: Part 1
The Investigative Project on Terrorism
1  1/3Thoughts On Cheap Symbols of Patriotism
The Paragraph Farmer
1  1/3The Showdown Cometh
Defence of the Realm
1Britain's Broken Heart
Melanie Phillips
2/3Obama, Israel, and American Jews -- It Just Keeps Getting Worse
Power Line
2/3University of the Absurd
Minding the Campus
1/3The Labor of Hate -- Part I
Simply Jews
1/3Can Obama Overcome the ‘Wright Stuff?’
Pajamas Media

Posted by Hube at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008

Keith Olbermann: John McCain needs Depends

Conservative Punk provides the video:

C.P. sums it up best: "By the way Keith, you ever taken an auto Kalashnikov butt to the jaw like Senator McCain? Had you ever, you might have been the one who needed the Depends..."

Posted by Hube at 12:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Zombie's tribute to San Fran anti-war protest

Zombie is the best. His pics are spectacular and accompanying commentary hilarious. His latest is the portfolio of the Iraq War fifth anniversary protest(s) in San Francisco. Here are some of my personal faves (some cropped and emphasized):


Check out the circled sign. Three letters: WTF??


Gotta love it. Defending China's rule over Tibet. Nice.


This guy obviously is a graduate of this site's spelling school. Maybe he's a global warming skeptic -- y'know, the coming "thaw" won't kill us?


Her next birthday present: A friggin' razor.

Posted by Hube at 09:02 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008

But "he's like an uncle"

Yeah, an incredibly loopy one. Check out Rev. Jeremiah Wright's "Pastor Page" (.pdf file) from his church's June 2007 newsletter. Ali Baghdadi not only offers up a totally revisionist history of Israel and its conflict with its Arab neighbors, but delves into conspiracy theories that make Jeremiah Wright's beliefs about AIDS seem tame in comparison:

I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs. (h/t to The Corner.)

I wonder if Obama's campaign co-chair is also sort of a "crazy uncle" when he blames the influence of American Jews for the lack of a lasting peace in the Middle East?

Posted by Hube at 10:24 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

A.C.L.U. sues for equal outcomes

The ACLU is suing the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida because its graduation rate "is too low":

In a class-action lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union is demanding that the district boost its graduation rates and reduce the gaps in those rates between racial and socioeconomic groups. The lawsuit is the first in the United States to make such demands of a school district, the ACLU and other sources say.

Lawyers from the national ACLU and its Florida chapter filed the suit in state court on March 18. Specifically, the ACLU is asking the court to require the district to improve its graduation rates by a certain percentage each year – overall and for subgroups. It also wants the court to determine a more accurate way of calculating graduation rates – a complex issue nationwide.

PBC's stats essentially mirror those of districts across the nation, so one wonders why the "Guardian of the Bill of Rights" decided to sue the Florida district. And what percentages would the ACLU find "acceptable?" They do not say. But we get a glimpse of their mindset courtesy of Vanita Gupta, an ACLU staff attorney. She says PBC needs to "live up to its constitutional obligations [in Florida] to provide a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high-quality education."

Emphasis mine. It appears that the ACLU is using the term "uniform" to signify "equal outcome." In other words, graduation rates should be uniform (or, as close to "uniform" as possible, whatever that might mean to the ACLU ... who can ever tell) across ethnic and racial groups. Equal opportunity for education isn't sufficient.

The ACLU backs its claim by noting "a number of school districts with demographics similar to Palm Beach's that have higher graduation rates and smaller gaps." Gee, 'ya think? There are myriad factors involved in determining graduation rates and academic performance. But have no fear -- the ACLU doesn't put it all on schools:

"The ACLU has never said parents have zero role, but the school districts have a tremendous role in ensuring that as many as possible are graduating," Ms. Gupta says.

And you know what schools under a frivolous lawsuit will do to "ensure" that more students are graduating, Ms. Gupta? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Posted by Hube at 09:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Separated at birth?

Spongebob Squarepants' Patchy the Pirate:

Golf great Jim Furyk:


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

March 25, 2008

Question "Authority"

The Authority is one of the slickest, slam-bang and ... most radical comics in the history of the genre. I first wrote about this superhero group over two years ago in a post about comics and politics. The Authority is a progressive's masturbatory fantasy -- incredibly powerful super-beings decide to impose their will and values onto a population that they deem is just too stupid to do what's right. The Authority's rationale is that they've saved the world enough times, "but it has to be a world worth saving."

Much like the recent discussion carried on in the comments here, the various writers of The Authority don't even bother trying to mask their disdain for the United States and its leadership. The president? Merely a figurehead. In the Coup d'Etat, trade paperback (at left) the US government is duped into utilizing an engine which allows for inter-dimensional travel. The results prove disastrous, so the Authority makes a decision: Take over the US government. Team leader Jack Hawksmoor informs the American public via an APB address that "These scumbags you elected to serve you have decided to serve themselves at every turn, instead." The president (named Kent) acts like the biggest buffoon you've ever seen, squealing like a baby when the Authority assumes control. The Doctor, the Authority's resident shaman, explains it further:

The women and men who defend this nation are not our enemies. The worthless bastards who lied, schemed, and cheated their way into power are the ones we're after.

Ah, yes. In other words, according to both those quotes, the American people are total idiots. They've no clue what they're doing or who they choose to lead them. What a perfect illustration of "progressive" thinking. If the public doesn't do what "enlightened" progressives desire, extreme measures are in order!

The hilarious thing about Coup d'Etat is that one of its writers is Micah Wright, "padded his résume," so to speak. He falsely claimed he was an Army Ranger, only admitting to the lie when he got caught. Cretin. But hey -- he's attempting a "comeback."

Even before the Authority decided to assume control of the United States, the title's authors showed they didn't think much of the US and its people. Co-creator Warren Ellis wasn't nearly as guilty as his successor, Mark Millar. While Ellis focused mainly on "the big picture" -- extreme worldwide threats that needed dealing with (with minimal politics) -- Millar changed direction. Oh, the extreme worldwide threats were still there, but 'ol Mark couldn't resist the politicking.

Millar's first effort was with "Under New Management" (at right). Millar doesn't waste any time -- in the first few pages, we see Jack Hawksmoor lecturing Bill Clinton on not lecturing him or his team. The Authority's former leader, Jenny Sparks, has been "reborn," so to speak, and naturally the dastardly US government attempts to kidnap this very powerful newborn. And how does it do this? It sends a sadistic team of its own superheroes to capture her. This team is blatantly patterned after Marvel's original Avengers line-up, too. I wonder how Marvel felt about Millar using these analogues to wantonly murder anyone who got in their way? (This site argues that these Avengers copies, as well as other heroes in the story, represent a "corruption" of comics legend Jack Kirby's vision.) You can view the cover to The Authority #14 here. There's Tank-Man (Iron Man), Commander (Capt. America), The Hornet (The Wasp), Storm God (Thor) and Titan (Giant Man). Commander kills and rapes at will and utters vile racist epithets, Tank-Man uses his weaponry on infants, and Titan tosses an airliner full of people smack into the ground. Gotta love those "American values a la Millar," eh?

It gets even "better" with Millar's "Transfer of Power" trade. The entire Western power base (the so-called G-7 nations) has had it with the Authority's meddling in international affairs, so they dispatch a super-agent chock full of weapons enhancements after the team. This ... creature, dubbed "Seth," is a perverse sociopathic hillbilly. He easily defeats the Authority, and the Western powers already have a "substitute" Authority waiting in the wings -- one that will do what the "rich countries" desire, that is. As could be expected, this new "Authority" is comprised of folks just like Seth -- sadistic, cruel and without conscience. Millar laces his word balloons with dialogue that gives the reader nothing but the impression that the West is exactly like the "heroes" with which it has replaced the Authority. Again, the underlying message: You're all idiots. Of course, Millar spews this "message" all the while collecting a rather handsome check in the process. Don't let the Authority find out, Mark. They aren't very fond of rich people.

I could write for hours about the myriad instances of anti-West, anti-capitalist and anti-US gibes found throughout the editions of The Authority. But that's too easy. I actually can withstand such if the overall story is a good one. But as science fiction writers, oft times The Authority's creators let their political bias get in the way of the actual genre in which they subsist. For instance, in the "Fractured Worlds" trade, writer Robbie Morrison has Authority leader Jack Hawksmoor proclaiming Democratic Party talking points:

[President] Kent's trillions in tax cuts that benefitted those rich enough not to need them and royally screwed everyone else will be repealed. The income generated will be used to ensure that everyone in this country has basic health coverage. Over 43 million Americans are without health insurance. As far as the Authority's concerned, medical care should be a right, not a privilege!

Now understand this: The Engineer, one of the Authority's members, had her blood replaced by nine pints of hyperintelligent "machinery." She can, literally, work miracles with the stuff. Why doesn't writer Morrison have the Engineer develop a nanotech-based immunity "program" that every American -- heck, every world citizen -- can get vaccinated with? All six billion humans wouldn't ever have to worry about things like the common cold, the flu, or sinusitis ever again. Heck, in one Authority volume, Hawksmoor indeed brags that the Engineer would have cancer cured "before Christmas." So ...?

The Authority's headquarters is known as a "shiftship" -- a sentient, city-sized entity powered by an entire universe's total energy output, and which can traverse dimensions as easily as you or I would change the channel on our TV. But what does the Authority do when they assume power over the US? Threaten the government and the oil companies to adopt "environmentally friendly forms of energy." (Hawksmoor even issues an edict in one volume about converting all vehicles to bio-diesel fuel!) Now wait -- the Authority's HQ could power the entire freakin' planet Earth and then some, but they want everyone to convert to freakin' bio diesel?? I thought these folks wanted to better everyone's lives!!

And then there's the Right to Bear Arms. You just knew that writer Morrison, like Millar (and probably just about every other UK writer before 'em) was going to "rectify" that! When a reporter asks Jack Hawksmoor "What about the constitutional Right to Bear Arms?" he replies, "What about the right of innocent children to go to school without getting gunned down? Of law-abiding citizens to walk the streets without fear?" He then notes that if voluntary measures to turn in guns aren't followed, the Authority will begin confiscation:

Believe me, if any trigger-happy asshole out there really wants the gun to be pulled out of his cold, dead hand, we'll be more than happy to oblige.

Of course, the aforementioned Engineer could probably whip up a nanotech-based personal security system for every Earth citizen (like a force field) without batting an eye, but why let common sense science fiction get in the way of blatant "progressive" pontificating?

Eventually, the Authority decides to give up their control in the two-volume trade "Revolution." The team comes to the same realization that the Squadron Supreme did in the classic Mark Gruenwald-written twelve issue series -- that progress at the "end of a gun" may not be perceived as progress at all. Written by current Captain America scribe Ed Brubaker, "Revolution" still can't resist the anti-US swipes. Here, the Authority has to tangle with a team of World War II-era heroes who have been "regenerated" by old Authority nemesis Henry Bendix. And these "Greatest Generation" icons are revealed to be anything but (of course!). One is a complete racist ("I wanna get out there and shred those gook-lovin' race-mixin' sons of bitches!") and the leader's "super charisma" leads to mass killings of people who follow the Authority's Doctor's religion.

Lastly, there's the team's threat to the new president in the trade "Human on the Inside" (at left). With civilian control of the US re-established, the prez has the temerity to send US warships towards North Korea because it just admitted to possessing "weapons of mass destruction." Hawksmoor threatens the president, telling him to turn around the carrier group. Again -- this makes no science fiction sense. Even if the Authority relinquished "official" power, they still are defacto guardians of the planet. Why wouldn't they do something about North Korea themselves? Why would they even let the situation get as far as it did, where the prez felt he had to send a battle group to the country? But an even better question is, how did union-buster John Ridley get writing chores on a title like The Authority?

Ultimately, The Authority fails because of its inherent contradictions. If the team really wanted to make a better world, it would have shared much (or all) of the magnificent technology at its disposal with the whole Earth. Remember -- it wouldn't matter to them that the general public "might not be ready for it" as is the premise of many a sci-fi yarn. This is the Authority. Basic paradigms are out the window with them. They want(ed) to make a better world now and do it their way. The fact that the team doesn't do this shows that the title's many writers just wanted a vehicle by which to vomit their left-wing politics. The Authority at its end is selfish; they keep all of their HQ's tech to themselves and indulge themselves with it (much like Millar and co. make mega bucks for using a friggin' word processor). In a way they're entitled to it, given the amount of times they've saved the world. But spare us the "better world" stuff if you're not really prepared to offer it.

Posted by Hube at 05:57 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

A Delaware "progressive" wishes death upon me

A regular contributor to this site did so just today. Check out the comments at this post.

But he is a "progressive," after all. Wishing death upon one's ideological enemies is merely one step in the "revolution."

Posted by Hube at 04:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The smallest violin

Oh gosh. Their neighbors are "snobby":

Known as the "Shameless" family among horrified neighbours, the McFaddens "boast" three generations of adults who are not working.

All ten members of the clan share a council house and live off benefits amounting to around £32,000 a year. And very happy they are, too.

Matriarch is grandmother Sue McFadden, 54. "Our neighbours are so snobby - they call us the 'Shameless' family and say that we ought to go out to work. But how can we work when we have all these children to look after? The only problem is," she says without a hint of irony, "that we're living in a three-bedroom council house, which is ridiculous.

"I'm asking the council for a ten-bedroom home for all of us. We need more space. It's awful sometimes when all the children are squabbling. Still, we do have a big TV with Sky, but we need some relaxation."

And are you ready? Approximately six million British are living in a similar situation. A government adviser is quoted as saying it is a "terrible legacy" such, er, "parents" are leaving their kids. Uh, 'ya think?

Sue herself is defiant. "People don't understand how hard it is to keep a family like this going - no wonder we can't work. How could I go out to work with all these children at home? Local people call us scroungers and that is so unfair. We need the money to keep the family going."

Read the additional whining of other lazy shlubs who expect others to pay for their life of lethargy. I swear the Daily Mail had to have swiped this story from the Onion. But it doesn't appear so.

Yikes.

Posted by Hube at 10:46 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 24, 2008

Ouch

U.S. tourist dies after falling during zip line ride.

Of course, this was in Honduras where regulations probably aren't as strict as in Costa Rica -- where yours truly did a little zip-lining two years ago:


Posted by Hube at 10:43 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 23, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Watch the New Season of "Battlestar Galactica"

(h/t: Instapundit.)

Posted by Hube at 12:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Smallest Violin

The AP writes:

When shooting suspect Christopher Williams acted up in prison, he was given nutraloaf — a mixture of cubed whole wheat bread, nondairy cheese, raw carrots, spinach, seedless raisins, beans, vegetable oil, tomato paste, powdered milk and dehydrated potato flakes.

Prison officials call it a complete meal. Inmates say it's so awful they'd rather go hungry.

On Monday, the Vermont Supreme Court will hear arguments in a class-action suit brought by inmates who say it's not food but punishment and that anyone subjected to it should get a formal disciplinary process first.

Seth Lipschutz, an attorney with Vermont's Prisoner's Rights office, says the state has a legitimate interest in changing the behavior of inmates who misbehave.

But he says a diet of nutraloaf is punishment, plain and simple. To call it anything else is "playing with words to get what they want. It's wrong and it's sad," Lipschutz said.

Williams, 29, who is charged in a 2006 school shooting that killed two people in Essex, was given nutraloaf after he'd assaulted guards and smeared excrement in his cell.

Yes indeed. I'm entirely certain that the general public at large is just so incredibly concerned and saddened at how such inmates are "mistreated." How dare multiple murderers who assault prison guards be given poor-tasting food? OUTRAGEOUS!

As a certain demolition driver says, "'Ya gotta be jackin' me!"


(Click image for video clip.)

Posted by Hube at 10:32 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Heh

By all means! Bring on the full congressional investigation!

Posted by Hube at 08:35 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A.P.: Muggers attack man "to prepare for an Army physical fitness test"

This isn't necessarily an instance of media bias, but talk about your ever-lovin' lame writing:

Knife-wielding muggers attacked a jogger running in Central Park to prepare for an Army physical fitness test, police and his family said.

"I'm in a lot of pain," Johnny Reberon, 23, said as he returned from a hospital Friday to his Manhattan home.

He was slashed in the arm and leg by two men who accosted him around 8:45 p.m. Thursday, police said. (Link.)

It was Mr. Reberon who was preparing for the Army. Now read that first sentence again!

Posted by Hube at 08:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 22, 2008

If this wasn't B.S.G.'s last season ...

... it'd probably be anyway if it kept up its season 3 "morality play." Lesson to learn? The fate of "Jericho."

It's also a reason I began changing the channel on the "X-Files" about halfway through its run.

UPDATE: Instalanche! Thanks for the link, Glenn! Had I any idea that would happen, I'd have expanded my thoughts further, natch!

Oh, and "B.S.G." = "Battlestar Galactica." 'Cause someone e-mailed and asked.

semi-related UPDATE 2: Vic Holtreman, a comics-related acquaintance of mine, gets a mention at Newsbusters. His site, Screenrant, notes the tone of the upcoming remake of the classic scifi film "The Day the Earth Stood Still":

Over at MTV.com they've quoted Keanu Reeves(!!) in an interview and while he admits that yes, there is a huge threat posed by the staggering number of international conflicts...

"The version [of 'The Day the Earth Stood Still'] I was just working on, instead of being man against man, it’s more about man against nature. My Klaatu says that if the Earth dies, you die. If you die, the earth survives. I’m a friend to the earth."

To which Vic responds, "With all the conflict and outright genocide going on in the world today, an alien is going to come from outer space and try to get us to buy carbon credits?"

Indeed. "Friend to the Earth" as opposed to friend to a fellow intelligent species. As rare as such species are in the universe, Keanu-Klaatu somehow still chooses Earthian-Hollywood P.C.!

Posted by Hube at 04:13 PM | Comments (22) | TrackBack

Darn! Registration is closed ...

... at the University of Colorado at Silver Springs for the ninth annual White Privilege Conference in Springfield, Mass.!

I gotta admit, I was a little concerned at first, but what a relief -- the website clearly says "This conference is not about beating up on white folks"!! *WHEW!* Still, I'm kinda bummed 'cause I won't be able to get a cool t-shirt like those worn in this pic. And I was really planning on taking this conference seriously -- probably about as seriously as the guy on the far right of the same picture!

Posted by Hube at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

And so it goes ...

Good thing I'm more than halfway to retirement, eh?

Another shake-your-head education story.

(h/t: Joanne Jacobs.)

Posted by Hube at 10:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 21, 2008

Watcher's Council vacancy

The illustrious Watcher's Council has a vacancy. If you're a fairly proficient blogger and are interested, check out the post here.

Posted by Hube at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Guess the political party!

What party was former NJ governor Jim McGreevey again ... ?

UPDATE: There's a mention of the "Democratic governor" in the second-to-last paragraph. I swear it wasn't there previously as I scoured the article. But, contrary to popular belief, I ain't perfect. I may have erred! ;-)

Posted by Hube at 09:59 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

U.D. issues guidelines for "residence life" program

Months after gaining national notoriety for its ridiculous freshman indoctrination program, the University of Delaware's Faculty Senate has issued [new] guidelines for a refurbished agenda (my comments in italics):

The committee's assessment of the 4-year-old program that was in place included:

Residence Life should have relied on faculty to develop the curriculum. (Better to rely on nutty leftists with DEGREES than not!)

Qualified professionals and faculty should have led discussions. (See above.)

Programs should have been clearly understood to be voluntary, not mandatory. (Should have been a no-brainer from the start.)

Programs relied inappropriately on resident assistants. (See first comment.)

Some activities and materials suggested that a particular viewpoint was correct. (You can almost hear the profs' teeth grinding with this admission!)

The written materials of guest speaker Shakti Butler should not have been posted on UD's Web site. (Indeed! We don't want the general public to be able to read such nonsense! What were we thinking?)

The committee's recommendations for a new program include:

Use the term "Residence Life program" instead of "curriculum." (Y'know, like "revenue enhancement" instead of "raising taxes.")

Simplify programs from eight to two -- one for freshmen, one for upperclassmen. (Good luck, seniors!)

Make it clear that participation in all Residence Life programs is voluntary.
(More teeth grinding here ...)

Revise learning outcomes, goals and implementation related to Residence Life, while continuing to provide learning opportunities related to study habits, personal development, citizenship, community, sustainability and diversity. (Edu-babble at its finest.)

Identify ways to include expertise of faculty and staff in the overall Residence Life program. (Yeah, like Shakti Butler's "expertise!" Puh-lease.)

Provide annual reports on future programs.

Articulate clearly the activities that will be facilitated by Residence Life staff.

Promote communication between Residence Life staff and the Student Life Committee of the Faculty Senate, with opportunity annually for the committee to review and endorse the program proposed for the following year.

All snark aside, I do hope UD can get the "laughing stock" monkey off its back as quickly as possible.

Posted by Hube at 09:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Help me

I'm trying to figure this one out. Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet.

School officials told a board member to apologize rather than resign for using a racial slur.

Jeffrey L. Morse offered to quit during the board's closed session last week, when members discussed a complaint filed against him, according to Edmund O'Meally, an attorney for the Board of Education of Carroll County.

The complaint was made by a school system worker. It involved a remark Morse made about rock that was creating problems for employees at a school construction site.

Rock? ROCK?

Now that doesn't sound like "a typical white person's" comments! (/sarcasm)

Posted by Hube at 09:12 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Obama's passport files looked at

Maybe it was Sandy Berger?

Two State Department employees were fired recently and a third disciplined for improperly accessing electronic personal data on Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Bush administration officials said today.

The officials, all contract workers, used their authorized computer network access to look up files within the department's consular affairs section, which processes and stores passport information, and read Mr. Obama's passport application and other records, in violation of department privacy rules, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. (Link.)

Well, if it wasn't Berger, maybe the workers can use his excuse -- "sloppiness."

A Newsbusters tipster reports that on the AOL blogs, the gossip is that the passport snooping occurred because there's a rumor Obama wasn't born in the United States proper -- that he was born in flight before he got to Hawaii, or he was born in Kenya and brought to the US while only days old. Of course, I find this all highly dubious, but it is an interesting twist considering the recent questions surrounding John McCain's birth.

Posted by Hube at 09:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Obama flap rolls on

Check it out: Even Al Sharpton thought that Barack Obama should have vamoosed (h/t to Chickaboomer) from Jeremiah Wright's church "if he had heard" any of those nasty comments Wright spewed. (Newsflash Al: Obama has already admitted such.)

Also, Jawa is noting that Wright's/Obama's church once published the Hamas Terror Manifesto:

Sen. Barack Obama's Chicago church reprinted a manifesto by Hamas that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group's official charter – which calls for the murder of Jews – to America's Declaration of Independence.

The Hamas piece was published on the "Pastor's Page" of the Trinity United Church of Christ newsletter reserved for Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whose anti-American, anti-Israel remarks landed Obama in hot water, prompting the presidential candidate to deliver a major race speech earlier this week.[...]

Conveniently, the piece was retitled "A Fresh View of the Palestinian Struggle" by Obama's church.

Lastly, Barack Obama let us all know what a "typical white person" is like yesterday on local Philly sports radio WIP 610AM:

610 WIP host Angelo Cataldi asked Obama about his Tuesday morning speech on race at the National Constitution Center in which he referenced his own white grandmother and her prejudice. Obama told Cataldi that "The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know - there's a reaction in her that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and sometimes come out in the wrong way and that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it. What makes me optimistic is you see each generation feeling less like that. And that's pretty powerful stuff"

You can listen to the segment here.

Needless to say, do you think Hillary Clinton or John McCain would be able to get away with making references to "typical black people"? Anyone remember how pundit Bill O'Reilly was raked over the coals for his remarks about diners in Harlem? He's only a talking head. Obama is running for the most powerful position on the planet.

Posted by Felix at 08:24 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Fisking the Obama Speech by Rhymes With Right, and David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal' by The Village Voice.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
2  2/3Fisking the Obama Speech
Rhymes With Right
2Judge Not Lest You Be Judged
Bookworm Room
1  1/3Should We Ignore Reverend Wright?
Right Wing Nut House
1The Problem Is...
Done With Mirrors
1Talking With Terrorists
Soccer Dad
2/3"We don't want to embarrass anyone"
The Colossus of Rhodey
2/3A Matter Of Free Speech Or Simple Disrespect?
The Education Wonks
1/3Hypocrisy and Obaminations (Update 3)
Wolf Howling
1/3Obama Shucks and Jives On Jeremiah Wright
Joshuapundit

VotesNon-council link
2David Mamet: Why I Am No Longer a 'Brain-Dead Liberal'
The Village Voice
1  2/3Doron: Story of a True Tzaddik
Lazer Beams
1  1/3Trendy
The Mudville Gazette
1  1/3The AP Style Guide on Defending Barack Obama
NewsBusters
1  1/3The Suicide Vest and the Suicide Mind
The Belmont Club
1The Hate Crime You Didn't Hear About
TFS Magnum
2/3Deconstructing Obama's Lawyerly Evasions on Wright
American Thinker
2/3Yid WIth Lid Used BY NY Times as Example of Slanders against Obama's Foreign Policy Adviser
Yid With Lid

Posted by Hube at 07:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 20, 2008

Sean Penn wraps up filming about gay martyr ...

... then makes a "gay" joke. And it's OK. How so typical for "progressives," eh?

"Harvey will be coming out soon," an extra assured the crowd in front of City Hall on a recent Sunday. They had gathered to be in a scene in "Milk"- the movie about the life and death of Harvey Milk - in which the San Francisco supervisor delivers an impassioned speech. It was really Sean Penn, of course, who plays the martyred supervisor, who would be appearing. But, this extra explained, because he's a "method actor," he wants to be called Harvey.

Appearing on the City Hall steps to deafening applause, Penn looked shockingly like Milk. He had his almost Grecian nose and dark wavy hair parted to one side and wore a tight T-shirt that showed off his muscles.

"Brothers and sisters, you must come out to your parents," Penn/Harvey shouted, pronouncing his vowels distinctly to sound like a New Yorker. "It may hurt them. But think how they could hurt you in the voting booth."

Penn would do eight takes of this speech all to loud applause from an indefatigable crowd, including people who had stood in the same spot 30 years ago listening to Milk urge gays to protect their rights from those trying to get gay-friendly legislation repealed.

"I almost wish Jerry Falwell were alive to see this. Almost," Penn shouted to the crowd. After dropping some names of conservatives who are still with us - "Bill O'Reilly, who is too stupid to talk about," and "Sean Hannity, the butt boy of Rupert Murdoch," Penn said, "We know something more. We know their end is near." (Link.)

Now why is that acceptable? In this context, "butt boy" is a slur not only of a gay relationship, but one of total subservience. Why weren't the homosexuals in attendance (whom I assume were quite numerous) angry at this comment by Penn? Why didn't they denounce his homophobia and insensitivity?

Answer: He is a "progressive."

Posted by Hube at 07:14 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Proof I'm a News Junkie

I scored a perfect 12 out of 12 on this "Pew News IQ Score" quiz. According to them, that places me in the top 3% of the American public.

Take it and see how you do!

Posted by Hube at 07:04 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008

Nightmare parent conferences

The weekly Carnival of Education is up at So You Want to Teach? I loved Learn Me Good's entry about worst parent-teacher conferences. I've tried at this blog (unlike my old one) not to delve much into my own similar experiences; let's just say that many of the anecdotes noted in the comments "rang a bell!"

Posted by Hube at 07:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Evolution of Arbitrariness

As I was flipping through the Chronicle of Higher Education this morning, I came upon an article about the syllabus. (I would offer a link, but I was reading the hard copy and the Chronicle is subscriber-only anyway. If you're interested in looking it up, it's a March 14 article by Paula Wasley entitled, "The Syllabus Becomes a Repository of Legalese.")

Syllabi, it seems, have been becoming longer and more complex and the documents turn into pseudo-contracts governing the supposedly increasingly "adversarial" relationships between students and professors.

Many of you will already be familiar with this phenomenon. I do not come here to bemoan the state of education, or even the state of teacher-professor authority dynamics.

Oh no, I came here to pick on someone and to try to parse a very important concept. The someone on whom I would like to pick is Linda S. Garavalia, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She is quoted -- indirectly in part, to be sure -- as saying the following:

Particularly important, she says, is the inclusion of well-thought-out policies on makeup exams, grading, and late assignments. That way, she says, "you're not asked every time a student comes to you to make an arbitrary decision."

When I read this, I realized something about Ms. Garavalia. She thinks that any decision not made in accordance with some written rule spelled out for all relevant parties is arbitrary.

Arbitrary. That's a heavy word. It can mean capricious or whimsical. More generously to Ms. Garavalia, it can also mean that "subject to personal discretion rather than a rule" or "a matter of personal judgment." (Let us also admit, however, that very few people actually use the word that way.)

But when a professor is gauging the worthiness of a student's late paper excuse without the benefit of a written policy, it is not necessarily an "arbitrary" act. Not all laws or rules must be written down in order to qualify as laws or rules.

Yes, Virginia. We have unwritten rules about behavior and expectation in society.

Mightn't it be that part of the role of the professor is to impress upon these young students some of the unwritten rules of our society? Rules such as, "Your mother's dying this morning is a good excuse for not coming to class, but your second cousin's dying last week is not a good excuse for not turning in a paper you've known about for months."

Indeed, that's not so much a "rule" in and of itself as it is the application of a principle of reasonableness -- something which, despite its wishy-washy appearance, really can serve as an objective guide to behavior once one acquires the concept in a deployable form. Yes, you have to acclimate yourself to the social definition of reasonableness, but that's part of growing up. And there's no reason to think that the professor isn't part of the social apparatus for inculcating the social definition of reasonableness into the college student.

Now, I will be the first to admit that oftentimes someone's personal judgments might seemarbitrary, but that is often because one does not understand the principle from which the person is acting. Part of the reason teenagers hate their parents (at least in many cases) is that the teenagers are going through the very painful process of learning about unspoken rules. Have you ever noticed how children past a certain age ardently argue against any rule that isn't written in stone and washed in the blood of twelve virgins? That's because unwritten rules are scary when you don't know them.

But the solution isn't to write them all down. It does no one any good to write down "Do the reasonable thing", and it's impossible to write down what all the possible reasonable and unreasonable things are. Reasonability must be acquired, as a deployable concept, through trial and error, through observation, or through harsh experience (or some combination of the three).

But that doesn't mean it's not an actual rule, and it doesn't mean that it's arbitrary. You'd think that, of all people, a professor of psychology would know that.

Posted by at 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008

Quite inventive excuse from Reuters

Check it out at my latest Newsbusters post!

Posted by Hube at 04:03 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

A quick question about Barack Obama

... compared to John McCain:

If John McCain had had a twenty year intimate (not like that) relationship with Jerry Falwell (or Pat Robertson, or someone like them), had been married by him, had his children baptized by him, titled his autobiography after a quote of his, and attended his church on a regular basis for those twenty years ... despite the myriad politically-charged comments by him ...

... would the Left be as forgiving and understanding of McCain as they expect everyone to be with Barack Obama?

Posted by Hube at 03:57 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008

Obama testimonials -- before and after

Via the Obama campaign website: The before Testimonial page; the after Testimonial page.

Hmm, I wonder why they changed it ...

(h/t: Hot Air.)

Posted by Hube at 07:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Obama agrees with his reverend?

According to this report he does.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama preaches on the campaign trail that America needs a new consensus based on faith and bipartisanship, yet he continues to attend a controversial Chicago church whose pastor routinely refers to "white arrogance" and "the United States of White America." In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22.

. . . Wright's strong sentiments were echoed in the Sunday morning service attended by NewsMax.

Wright laced into America's establishment, blaming the "white arrogance" of
America's Caucasian majority for the woes of the world, especially the
oppression suffered by blacks. To underscore the point he refers to the country
as the "United States of White America." Many in the congregation, including
Obama, nodded in apparent agreement as these statements were made.

The sermon also addressed the Iraq war, a frequent area of Wright's
fulminations. "Young African-American men," Wright thundered, were "dying
for nothing." The "illegal war," he shouted, was "based on Bush's lies" and is
being "fought for oil money."

Obama put himself in a box when he stated he had never heard Jeremiah Wright use such rhetoric; now the instances are seeping out. The Left in large measure won't care, but what will independents think about a presidential candidate that shares [many of] the views of this fiery pastor?

Posted by Felix at 01:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wake up a sleeping student in class -- and get sued!

Via Joanne Jacobs comes another yarn of overly litigious nitwits:

To wake a snoozing student, the math teacher slapped her palm on his desk. The 15-year-old boy’s lawyer claims he suffered pain and “very severe injuries to his left eardrum” as a result and has threatened to sue the high school.

“Many of us have fallen asleep in class and had the teacher wake us up. But what happened here was more in the nature of an assault and battery,” (lawyer Alan Barry) said. “My client is an extraordinarily bright young man. He’s a computer wizard who works late into the night, and that’s probably why he fell asleep.”

I find it very difficult to believe that a teacher could slap her palm on a desk so hard that it would damage someone's eardrum. If you struck a desk that hard, there'd likely be more damage to your hand than an adjacent eardrum! Only in America, folks ...

My usual method of waking slumbering students is not as ... "forceful." As I wrote in the comments at Joanne's site, when I see a snoozing pupil, I'll quietly get the class's attention, carefully walk over to the sleeping student's desk, grab his/her pencil, and delicately tickle his/her ear with it -- so they think it's an insect or something. The whole class -- including the sleepyhead student -- cracks up at the subsequent (and predictable) reaction.

But will I now have to fear being litigated for instigating acarophobia or entomophobia?

Sheesh.

Posted by Hube at 10:53 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Al Mascitti would have had it tough in his previous job

Across the pond in Ireland, a food critic and her newspaper were recently sued ... because he gave a restaurant a negative review!! Thankfully, a judge overturned the ruling:

Restaurant critics, and newspaper proprietors, were celebrating yesterday after a judge upheld their rights to publish unflattering reviews of bad food and lousy service.

Sir Brian Kerr, the Northern Ireland Lord Chief Justice, overturned the award of £25,000 to Goodfellas pizza restaurant in West Belfast against The Irish News.

Ciarnan Convery, the pizzeria owner, sued the newspaper for libel over a highly critical review of his restaurant in August 2000.

What is it with Europeans and the concept of free speech? Are people like Sir Brian Kerr becoming less and less common?

Posted by Hube at 09:23 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 15, 2008

Barack uses the Bill Clinton excuse

But instead of "I didn't inhale," it's "I don't recall him [Jeremiah Wright] using that sort of rhetoric" while I was in church. Does it wash? Jake Tapper wonders:

Obama told CNN that he "didn't know about all these statements. I knew about one or two of these statements that had been made. One or two statements would not lead me to distance myself from either my church or my pastor. ... If I had thought that was the tenor or tone on an ongoing basis, then yes, I don't think it would have been reflective of my values."

But according to a New York Times story from a year ago, the Obama campaign dis-invited Wright from delivering a public invocation at Obama's candidacy announcement.

“Fifteen minutes before Shabbos I get a call from Barack,” Wright told the Times. “One of his members had talked him into uninviting me."

In a phone call with Wright, Obama cited a Rolling Stone story, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama," (the name of which has curiously been changed on the RS website) and told him, according to Wright, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”

That was a year ago. So, obviously Obama did know about "how rough" Wright's sermons could get. This isn't some sort of "revelation" for him.

Obama supporters are getting even nuttier. The LA Times' Rosa Brooks suggested that Obama was "probably sitting in church and not listening" during all those years attending Wright's sermons.

'Ya gotta love liberals, I tell 'ya. First, Obama is this ultra-intelligent, charismatic Jesus-like figure. Now, he's some half asleep, ADD suffering fop. But that's just like how liberals view George Bush! First he was this super-conniving, cunning swashbuckler; the next he's the pinnacle of a doltish bungler.

Posted by Felix at 08:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

L.O.L. -- Muslim nations "considering taking legal action" against defamers

At a "summit" in Senegal this past week, various Muslim nations drew up a plan by which to take legal action against those who would "insult" Islam:

The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots.

Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world's Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.

The Muslim leaders are attempting to demand redress from nations like Denmark, which allowed the publication of cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and again last month, to the fury of the Muslim world.

"Battle plan?" Hasn't that already been demonstrated? Namely, riot and put out a contract for people's deaths?

That being said, of course there's just a small problem with this "plan": Such would run afoul of the Western tradition of freedom of speech and expression. Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade wants to restrict that freedom by including "blasphemy" along with things like "fighting words" and the proverbial "yelling fire in a crowded theatre."

The report urges the creation of a "legal instrument" to crack down on defamation of Islam. Some delegates point to laws in Europe criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust and other anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Interesting conundrum, that, as Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (among others) routinely denies the Holocaust. Nevertheless, I feel that said European laws are wrong-headed. Why criminalize such speech? Why jail idiots who deny the Holocaust? It's just speech. Better to let such morons face the ridicule and scorn they so richly deserve.

Meanwhile, there's been no word on whether this same conference discussed similar measures for the hatred and defamation of Jews and their religion. You know, that which is taught from the earliest years in Muslim countries.

With apologies to one Ben Grimm, talk about your ever lovin' chutzpah.

Posted by Hube at 11:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Altar

Here's the News Journal police report about a woman in Dover who was robbed and shot with a pellet gun.

Here's WGMD.com's more thorough report.

Here's the News Journal's report about a rape suspect of a teenage girl.

Here's WDEL.com's report of same, relevant portions noted here since their site doesn't use permalinks for individual reports:

The suspect is described as a black man, mid to late 20s, around 5 foot 6, medium build, clean shaven with a close hair cut, last seen wearing a long sleeve navy blue jacket with white stripes down the sleeves and jeans.

Once again, that "pillar of journalism," the News Journal, is really demonstrating its commitment to the community, eh?


Posted by Hube at 10:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Words from the Angry Left

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

I find it quite interesting that shows like Tucker have not mentioned the fact that Jerimiah [sic] Wright retired last month. Why haven't you mentioned that fact? What a dumbed [sic] question! You haven't mentioned it because that would nullify this stupid anti-Obama campaign that you have waged. About Jeremiah Wright's comments - is it not true that the vast majority of this countries [sic] leaders and corporate owners are white American men? What is it? What's new? Your arrogance is repulsive! Are you saying, "How dare you tell the truth! How dare anyone who publicly verbalizes truths about any of our wrong-doings or privileges?" You are unduly pompous! Who are you? WHO ARE YOU!

Then there's this little gem:

William F. Buckley, Jr. is buried inside your anus.

The title of this e-mail was "Your Magazine." Since when is Newsbusters a magazine?

Posted by Hube at 10:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Again: P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G

I've recently opined about the concept of parenting, or, more specifically, the lack of it. The other day, I stepped right into a real-life example.

I went to pick up my daughter from one of her after-school activities (not at school). As I walked in, I saw a young child throwing a paper airplane directly at the proprietor of the place. I could tell the proprietor was annoyed; the airplane was fairly large and had a decent-sized pointed tip on it. If that thing hit someone (like the proprietor) in the eye, it'd do some damage. I said "hi" to the proprietor as I walked in. She then got up and went into her office, obviously annoyed with this kid. The kid asks the proprietor (gesturing to me), "Who's this?" She replies "That's Mr. Hube," slightly rolling her eyes at me as she walks by. Then, the kid walks up to me and starts tossing the plane directly towards my head.

Where is the parent, you may ask? Sitting right there -- with a big smile on her face. Yep, there was mom, not saying a word to the kid like "Don't throw that at anyone," or "Get over here and sit down," or even grabbing the airplane and telling the kid to occupy himself with something else.

The kid kept saying to me, "Look! Look!" and then would proceed to launch the plane right at my face. (Good thing I wear glasses or I might've lost my cool.) I glanced over at "mom," with a scowl on my face which clearly indicated "Get your kid away from me NOW." No dice. I walked over to look at some photos on the wall, my back turned to the kid and mom. The kid persists: "Hey! Hey! Hey!" I don't turn around. The mom says, with a clear tone of condescension, "He might not want to play with yooouu ..." Play? PLAY??!! Mercifully, my daughter came out then. We left quickly. There were two other waiting parents sitting down in the room, both of which had "oh my God" looks on their faces.

I sincerely hope I never have that kid in my classroom in however many years. I've a feeling I'll be sending him out of class quite often. No thanks to his "mom."

(Note: That's NOT the actual kid in the photo.)

Posted by Hube at 09:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 14, 2008

A perfect example of why so many native Dutch are leaving their country

The Netherlands, the Western European country with the highest emigration rate, has given further cause for that verb:

Dutch council officials will permit gay sex in public areas but fine dog owners who let their pets off the leash in Amsterdam's Vondelpark. Paul van Grieken, an Alderman in the Oud-Zuid district of the city, has startled many Amsterdammers, despite their famously liberal attitudes, with plans to allow public sex as part of this summer's new rules of conduct for the country's best-known park. Mr. van Grieken stresses that tolerance to "cruising" gays, aimed at protecting homosexuals from violence, will have "strict rules attached".

"Thus, condoms must always be cleared away, it must never take place in the neighbourhood of children's playgrounds and the sex must be restricted to the evening and night-time," he said.

The new park rules have the blessing of the Dutch police, who have urged all Dutch parks to follow Amsterdam's lead.

But Amsterdam's dog owners are less impressed. The new park code of conduct will set out stiff fines for dogs that are allowed to run around the Vondelpark off the leash.

Well that's a relief. I was very worried about all that condom clutter!

Posted by Hube at 06:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Guess the political party

Yesterday it was Yahoo and the AFP; today it's Reuters. The former governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer -- a Republican!

Posted by Hube at 06:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2008

Guess the Political Party!

Disgraced NY Governor Eliot Spitzer -- a Republican! Who knew?

(Oh, but remember -- only Fox News mislabels politicians!)

Posted by Hube at 05:28 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Why are Geraldine Ferraro's comments a big deal?

For a political party that believes in race and gender preferences, quotas and "proportionate" representation, why are the former veep candidate's comments about Barack Obama such a big deal?

Barack Obama assailed as "slice and dice" politics Geraldine Ferraro's assertion that he wouldn't be where he is in the presidential race if he weren't black. "Part of what I think Geraldine Ferraro is doing, and I respect the fact that she was a trailblazer, is to participate in the kind of slice and dice politics that's about race and about gender and about this and that, and that's what Americans are tired of because they recognize that when we divide ourselves in that way we can't solve problems," Obama said on NBC's "Today" show.
Here's what Ferraro actually said:
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

Now let's look at this. Would a white guy -- with only a few years experience in the Senate, and a few years before that in the Illinois House and Senate -- be a serious candidate for president, especially given the same liberal track record as Obama? No way.

And lucky? Why does everyone (especially in the MSM) believe Ferraro was only specifically referring to race here? Look at Barack Obama. Physically attractive candidate (lucky). Excellent speaker (lucky, but also some work involved). Joined presidential race at perfect time; George Bush poll #s are dismal, public tired of GOP (lucky). Other major candidate for Democratic nomination has very high negatives (lucky). And yes, he is black -- "lucky" in the sense that

  • A) African-Americans have long been clamoring for a viable candidate -- "viable" meaning one that's incredibly bright, a great orator (can't say "articulate" y'know!) and has wide crossover appeal -- for high[est] office and will vote for him in droves because of his race,
  • B) white liberals love it because they have an opportunity to show how "progressive" and "enlightened" they are by supporting a black man (it helps, of course, that they share most of Obama's political and cultural views; Condoleeza Rice or even Colin Powell would not attract these same folks), and
  • C) people -- including, remarkably, liberal Democrats like Ferraro -- have to walk on eggs watching how they say everything, worried that it'll be misunderstood as "racist."

And Ferraro isn't backing down. And amazingly, liberal Democrat Ferraro -- who has spent most of her life fighting for the rights of racial and ethnic minorities -- will now be branded the "R" word.

Will people NOW understand why there can't be "frank" and "real" discussions about race in America? I mean, if a liberal Democrat like Ferraro cannot state her opinion that Obama's race is A factor in his presidential popularity, how can such "frank" and "real" conversations take place? And part of what makes Ferraro's point is that she has been raked over the coals, but the Obama campaign has hardly been scrutinized about their candidate's "spiritual adviser," the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Will Obama repudiate Wright? Apologize for Wright's overtly racist comments? Doesn't look like it:

Obama defended Wright’s longtime activism for blacks in America last week at a campaign event in Ohio.

“Jeremiah Wright … has said some things that are considered controversial because he’s considered that part of his social gospel,” Obama said.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months, that's for sure.

Colossus friends talking about this: Chanman over at Buckhorn Road, who makes a comparison to Dan Quayle; John Rosenberg at Discriminations; Cheat Seeking Missiles; and Bookworm Room.

UPDATE: Barack Obama's pastor says blacks should not sing "God Bless America" but "God damn America":

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's south side, has a long history of what even Obama's campaign aides concede is "inflammatory rhetoric," including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own "terrorism."

In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." He said Rev. Wright "is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with," telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family.

But, of course, Geraldine Ferraro being "the old aunt" in the Clinton family isn't an acceptable retort, now is it?

An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda's attacks because of its own terrorism.

Wright goes on to blast (no pun intended) the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (obviously it's OK to Wright that tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans -- not to mention many more Japanese -- would've died without their use), and "terrorism" against the Palestinians (never mind that the Palestinians have perfected the art form attempting to eradicate their "nasty" Jewish neighbors merely for ... being Jewish, eh?).

Posted by Felix at 01:23 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 12, 2008

Words from the Angry Left

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

The obvious TRUTH is that you are VERY interested in advocating FOR the REPUBLICAN party and politicians and AGAINST the DEMOCRATIC party and politicians. So in order to make such a preposterous claim you must have either your mind, your conscience or both TURNED OFF.

And you demonstrate your cowardice by termination the subscription of
anyone like me with brains enough to expose you for the liars that you are.

You also demonstrate that contrary to your posturing as friends of religion, you have no fear of GOD, because you probably don't believe there even is a GOD to whom you will one day have to answer for your deceits.

And that was (supposedly) from a reverend! Gotta love it.

Next:

This website is a sorry excuse for a rebuttal to media matters [sic]. No articles on here come close to the crap we endure from Foxnews [sic]. or [sic] Rush etc....Disingenuous at best.

As opposed to Media Matters being a sorry excuse for Newsbusters, and the crap we have to endure from MSNBC!

Posted by Hube at 06:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wanna go to college? Get into trouble

The thinking of some people never ceases to amaze me:

[Maryland] State lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant free college tuition for some juvenile offenders. Supporters say it's a way to encourage troubled youth to get their lives back on track. John Dixon, Deputy Secretary for the MD Department of Juvenile Services says, "The kids the department serves face a lot of obstacles and challenges when they return to the community. This bill will allow kids who are interested in attending public institution to go there tuition free."

Delegate Norm Conway is sponsoring the bill. As an educator for 39 years, he says it's important to help troubled teens make a positive transition. "They're out of their own families in many instances. You're hoping for the best possible transition and incentives that say hey if you're willing to do your part there are some opportunities out there for you."

Under the proposal, committed juveniles under the age of 21 would be eligible for free tuition at any public institution in the state. If the measure is approved, about 450 kids who are in group homes, youth centers, and residential treatment homes would be eligible for the program each year.

Meanwhile, kids who played by the rules, never got into a lick of trouble and got OK grades -- but whose families only earn a modest income -- get squat. What about these kids, lawmakers?

Don't these buffoons think about this stuff ahead of time, and realize the ridiculous message it sends? Why don't these lawmakers seek out philanthropists who can pony up the cash for such a program, instead of making us pay for freebies that aren't deserved?

Posted by Hube at 06:05 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Guess the Political Party!

The party of disgraced Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo, that is, courtesy of this Philly Inquirer article.

Posted by Hube at 04:46 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

MSNBC solidifies itself as the leftist network

...by canceling conservative Tucker Carlson's show.

The bow tie is out at MNSBC. David Gregory is replacing Tucker Carlson as host of a one-hour show each evening.

The news network is making a handful of changes to respond to heavy political interest. Gregory's new show is called "Race for the White House" and will be on each weekday at 6 p.m. starting next Monday.

Carlson has been at MSNBC for nearly three years.

Carlson's ratings did suck; however, they're hardly much worse than those of Dan Abrams, who hosts the 9:00pm time slot. Abrams' show is so weak that they don't even have a Friday edition.

To compare Abrams to Carlson for last week:

  • Monday, 3/3: Abrams beats Carlson 251 to 128, the biggest margin of the week.
  • Weds., 3/5: Abrams eeks out Carlson, 147 to 142.
  • Thurs., 3/6: Abrams wins 176 to 125.

Tuesday was a wash due to Super Tuesday 2.

In addition, Abrams gets crushed by all the other cable competition in his time slot. Just as a quick snapshot, on Thursday, March 6, Abrams (rating of 176) got hammered by CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck (217), CNN's Larry King (359) and Fox's Hannity & Colmes (431).

Will MSNBC do something about this much-more-coveted-than-6:00pm time slot too? Probably not, as Abrams pretty much just continues what uber-moonbat Keith Olbermann does the hour before.

Posted by Hube at 04:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008

Sorry, Michelle. I don't feel for 'ya

Michelle Obama explaining to a group of women "how tough it is":

"I know we're spending — I added it up for the first time — we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth. And summer programs. That's the other huge cost. Barack is saying, 'Whyyyyyy are we spending that?' And I'm saying, 'Do you know what summer camp costs?'"

Awww. Poooor baby. Cripes, my wife and I have half the number of kids Michelle and Barack have, and we don't spend anywhere near $5,000 a year on her for the "so on and so forth."

If I was in attendance at that meeting, I'd have been "No, Mrs. Obama. I have NO idea. Because I make nowhere near what you and your husband make. So pardon me if I don't have much sympathy for you."

Posted by Hube at 06:29 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A new segment here at Colossus!

It's called "Guess That Political Party!" The contributors to Newsbusters get many tips on a daily basis, and a good proportion of these have to do with the MSM's "labeling problem" -- that is, their fascination with including the "R" (Republican) for such a politician in hot water, but omitting the "D" (Democrat) for same.

Today's inaugural installment comes courtesy of MSNBC (surprise). Check out their "slide show" on political sex scandals (half-way down on this page). Who was labeled and who was not?

  • 1. NY Governor Elliot Spitzer: No label.
  • 2. ID Senator Larry Craig: Label.
  • 3. LA Senator David Vitter: Label.
  • 4. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: No label.
  • 5. Former FL Rep. Mark Foley: Label.
  • 6. Former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey: No label.
  • 7. IL senate candidate Jack Ryan: No label, but mentions "Democratic opponent."
  • 8. Former LA Rep. Bob Livingston: Label.
  • 9. Former President Bill Clinton: No label.
  • 10. Former OR Senator Bob Packwood: Label.
  • 11. Mass. Rep. Barney Frank: Label!
  • 12. Former presidential candidate Gary Hart: Label!
  • 13. Former IL Rep. Dan Crane: Label.
  • 14. Former AR Rep. Wilbur Mills: Label!

Guess why I put exclamation points after those three!

And the totals: Every Republican is so labeled, whereas only three out of seven Democrats are.

UPDATE: ABC.com's similar slide show ain't much better.

Posted by Hube at 06:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

This week's winner is Carole Last of Newark who isn't proud of the US, just like Michelle Obama apparently:

A recent letter writer said that she was not proud of America. I feel the same way. The country is like one's family. You can love it, but you're not always proud of it.

To maintain pride in my family, we can't invade and kill our neighbors, secretly tape each other, assault each other's civil liberties, ignore our health problems, run up our credit cards beyond belief, or torture people we don't like.

These are our rules, so please don't suggest we leave the country, we couldn't sell our house.

Let's take 'em one at a time, shall we Carol?

1. I assume you're referring to Iraq. While I personally believe it not worth it to essentially act alone to enforce UN mandates on Saddam Hussein, the "invasion" was certainly not without merit.

2. Who is "secretly taping each other"? What the Bush administration wants to do is to give intel agencies the right to listen in on calls that have at least one foreign party. The Left, which is so fond of Europe, would do well to emulate it in this regard.

3. How are we "assaulting" each other's civil liberties, pray tell? By implementing the above? Get a clue -- this president, among all others, has done the least in terms of "rolling back" civil liberties in time of war. And this is a whole new kind of war, Carol.

4. Who's ignoring health problems? Are you? I'm not ignoring my health. Why should I be concerned about yours, Carol? Or anyone else's? There is no health care crisis, Carol. It's a health coverage problem. Getting the government out of the "business" to begin with is the best start.

5. Again, I don't run up my credit cards beyond belief, so why is credit card debt my problem? Do you run yours up, Carol? If so, why should I care? I don't even care about high interest rates as I pay of my monthly balance in full. Why should I feel guilty about others' lack of self-control, Carol?

6. "Torture people we don't like"?? Are you serial? Is that what you really believe the US has been doing -- torturing people because we don't LIKE them?? Sheesh. The US has waterboarded three people -- well-known terrorists who had vital information that could prevent further killing. The use of such techniques is a legitimate debate; however, simplifying it to "people we don't like" makes a total mockery of how we should deal with a whole new kind of enemy.

Posted by Hube at 05:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Once again, spell it with me:

P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G. Here's the latest:

The family of a middle school student who was given detention for wearing a T-shirt bearing the image of a gun has filed suit in federal court, accusing the school district of violating their son's freedom of speech.

Donald Miller 3d, 14, went to Penn Manor High School in December wearing a T-shirt he said was intended to honor his uncle, an Army soldier fighting in Iraq.

The shirt bears the image of a military sidearm and on the front pocket says "Volunteer Homeland Security." On the back, over another image of the weapon, are the words "Special Issue Resident Lifetime License - United States Terrorist Hunting Permit - Permit No. 91101 - Gun Owner - No Bag Limit."

Officials at the Millersville school told him to turn his shirt inside out. When Miller refused, he got two days of detention.

His parents, Donald and Tina Miller of Holtwood, have accused the Penn Manor School District in a lawsuit of violating their son's First Amendment rights with a "vague Orwellian policy" that stifles patriotism and free speech.

I don't know of any school district that would allow a shirt to worn that prominently (or even didn't prominently) display[ed] a gun. Even in the pre-Columbine era this didn't happen. I am very curious why this kid's parents think this OK to wear among other 13-14 year olds in an educational setting. Aren't there [many] other ways in which to show one's patriotism? There sure are. Why not a shirt with an American flag on it with the kid's uncle's unit designation?

I hope the school district wins. It's been quite established (by the Supreme Court, among others) that schools can limit students' free speech expression if such expression is deemed a disruption to the educational environment of the school. But my issue in the post isn't so much the legal aspects of the coming case. My issue is the parents. What the hell are they thinking? I'm sorry, but for me this is yet another case of people overly focusing on their "rights," and not enough on their responsibilities.

From last year: Other parents who believe rights don't come with responsibilities.

Posted by Hube at 05:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008

Elliot Spitzer flap: It's Bush's fault!!

But of course! Courtesy of our Diamond State lunatics' favorite website:

I'll bet you $50 to $500 that this story...

is the unseamly [sic] underside of Bush's FISA fanatcism [sic] ....that this government..OUR government...is casting a net "in search of terrorists" so wide, and so deliberately. so as to reel in shit like this...and use it politically.

If Spitzer has a taste for call girls, I won't defend that... Neither am I prone to jump on it and go to town. I'm strictly of the Larry Flynt camp...Let it all out, and let the hypocrites wither in the light of day.

But I have a very discerning internal alarm. and that alarm tells me that this story only hit the news because the NSA, or the FBI...was snooping on this guy because he is so on the record as a trust buster and corporate cop.

Mark my words...this has the Bush Administration's fingerprints all over it...and if the MSM digs a little deeper, they will find what Congress is afraid to look for...evidence that Bush's wiretap program has less to do with terrorists than it has to do with political foes.

In case you're just joining us, they call this "BDS."

Posted by Hube at 08:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

What? No charge of a hate crime?

This happened at the Christiana Mall:

Cpl. John Barnett of the Delaware State Police said troopers working a security detail at the mall told the disorderly man, identified as Ramon A. Falcon, 19, to leave at about 7:10 p.m. The troopers said they tried to escort Falcon to the mall security office when he began yelling racial slurs. When the troopers tried to arrest him, Falcon ran out to the mall parking lot. Barnett said troopers used a Taser to take Falcon into custody. He was charged with felony resisting arrest, two counts of offensive touching of a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct.

No "ethnic intimidation" charges? No "hate crime" offense? Oh, that's right -- Falcon is obviously Hispanic. Therefore, he doesn't qualify for such charges.

Posted by Hube at 05:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 09, 2008

The biggest, baddest plane ever

As a kid, I frequently had my jaw agape when I saw this aircraft:

The SR-71 Blackbird. My jaw is still agape. Wow.

Maggie's Farm has a terrific tribute to the plane, courtesy of Major Brain Shul. My favorite line of the post: The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire.

Posted by Hube at 06:29 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

"We don't want to embarrass anyone"

That's the reasoning behind the Guilford County (NC) Board of Education's decision to force the school district to pay for the lunches of kids who do not happen to have money on a particular day (or days). And NO -- we're not talking about kids who already qualify for free lunches. We're talking about kids that pay full (or reduced) price for lunch.

Members of the Guilford County Board of Education argued at two March 4 meetings over whether the schools should pay to fund a rapidly expanding practice of allowing elementary and middle school students to eat regular meals without paying.

At the meeting of the full board Tuesday night, board members and school staff framed the issue as either a case of hungry students who cannot afford meals, or of parents who are gaming the system to get the schools to pay for them.

But the former argument is moot for if students cannot afford the meals, then they would qualify for free lunches! A bit further down in the article, it seems the real reason for this dunderheaded decision comes forth -- and its loaded with the usual educationist theorist drivel:

Since 2003, Guilford County Schools has allowed elementary and middle school students without cash to charge meals, in order to avoid singling students out and halting meal lines.

Guilford County Schools is alone on that list in that it doesn't provide alternate lunches, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or vegetables, for students who charge lunches. Guilford County school officials say alternate lunches embarrass students, saddle principals with making case-by-case judgments on which students qualify, and force cashiers in meal lines to discard meals that students have been served in order to replace them with alternate meals.

Of course. We can't negatively affect a child's self esteem now, can we, no matter what. Even if it drives a school district into debt because parents that have the means are too damn lazy to either pay, or better yet, fix their own children their own lunch. Absolutely amazing.

Personally, I can perhaps understand not singling out young elementary school kids (say, grades 1-3), but eventually a line has to be drawn. And I especially liked the following comment from an article reader, which reflected my own thoughts on the matter:

I teach at an area Middle School. The kids that owe money have plenty to buy slushies, pretzles, cookies, chips, and Gatorade. They buy all of these extras and then run up a tab. The parents pay only what the regular meals cost - if that. Several of my students owe as much as $17.00, but they eat the extras every single day. Board members are out of touch with what is going on in the schools. It looks like they would ask the people that really know. Where is the money coming from?

Maybe next, school boards across the land can begin ponying up for students' i-pods, fancy sneakers and cell phones ... at least those who do not yet have such. After all, we wouldn't want the students to be "singled out" or "embarrassed," right?

Spell it with me: P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G.

(Thanks to faithful Colossus reader Fred Gregory for the tip!)

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

LOL alert: Online petition calls for MSNBC to fire talking heads

... for being unfair to Hillary Clinton:

MSNBC and NBC have persisted in a pattern of slanting the news coverage of the Democratic Primary with regard to Senator Clinton. The coverage has been manipulated, biased and filled with half-truths and denigrating personal remarks aimed at Senator Clinton. A short list of the scores of abuses is below. Consequently, we have turned to CNN and other reputable news outlets for information and are currently not watching election or other coverage on MSNBC and NBC.

We the undersigned call upon NBC to suspend Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough and Keith Olberman [sic] until the Presidential Election is over, and to replace them with anchors who are capable of stating facts and not reciting false, inappropriate and sexist remarks. Senator Clinton, former First Lady, is deserving of the highest respect afforded to statespersons.

Once you're finished gasping at the utter chutzpah of this, you'll then wonder -- what about the coverage that "has been manipulated, biased and filled with half-truths and denigrating personal remarks" towards Republicans and conservatives?

Here's the full letter and petition. Have a good laugh!

Posted by Hube at 12:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Even the sports media is biased!

Then again, it is where moonbat Keith Olbermann came from. ESPN.com's "Page 2" segment discusses "rewriting" various moments in sports history, but it just can't resist including one non-sports moment:

On Saturday night, the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat will replay the final 51.9 seconds of their Dec. 19 overtime game.

The Hawks believed they won that game 117-111, but commissioner David Stern overturned the result because Atlanta's stat crew incorrectly disqualified Miami's Shaquille O'Neal after his fifth foul.

Never mind that Shaq has since been traded to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Never mind that the Hawks have since acquired Mike Bibby. Confused?

Nevertheless, this got us to thinking that as long as we're fixing one injustice, we might just want to keep rewriting various moments in history.

  • The 2000 U.S. presidential election: The former owner of the Texas Rangers won, courtesy of the Supreme Court, and then was re-elected. If you need to ask why we need a do-over on this one, you've just returned from being abducted by aliens. Welcome home.

Oh, but of course. The old canard that the SCOTUS "gave" George Bush his victory. I bet ESPN would have included a bit on the Florida State Supreme Court "giving" Al Gore the 2000 election win if the SCOTUS had stayed out of the whole matter. Yeah, right.

And where's the inclusion of the "do-over" for the 1960 election whose popular vote was a hell of a lot closer than 2000's? How silly of me. That winner was a Democrat!

Posted by Hube at 11:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 07, 2008

I agree with Heather Mac Donald

"I think it could end up being the most destructive welfare program ever devised," says Mac Donald.

What is she talking about? This:

A pilot program called Opportunity NYC pays low-income families cash incentives to do what many say they should be doing anyway.
  • $25 dollars for attending parent teacher conferences;
  • $600 for kids passing a standardized test;
  • $200 for getting a yearly physical;
  • All told, up to $6,000 a year in cash rewards per family.

"... what many say they should be doing anyway." Gee, 'ya think? I can't begin to describe the "Oh. My. God." feeling I got when I first heard of this.

But those in favor of the payment programs say it's hard to argue with success. In Dallas, students have been rewarded $100 for passing college prep exams for the past 12 years - with striking results.

"Over 30 percent are scoring over 1100 on the SAT or ACT college equivalent," said Gregg Fleisher of the National Math and Science Initiative.

Um, isn't the top score on the SAT now a 2400 and not a 1600? So a 1100 ain't exactly, um, very good ...? Even if it's based on the old 1600 score, a one-time $100 payout for passing a college prep exam is just a bit different from up to $6,000(!!) in payments for ... doing what the hell you're supposed to do. And if it's hard to "argue with success," why stop here? Why not open it up to all families, not just low-income ones? Don't we want all kids to succeed? Don't more well-to-do kids respond to such ... incentives too?

But let's take a gander at what these "payments for doing what normal people expect you to do" could mean down the road, eh?

  • New entry worker Bill asks his boss why he "didn't get a 'special bonus' for getting to work on time" for five consecutive days.
  • Barbara can't believe that the bank she works at doesn't offer "free" lunch. "I work here! Why do I have to pay for it?"
  • Since Thomas has to drive to work, he is aghast that his office won't offer to pay for his weekly gas fill-up.
  • Barney's job requires him to keep his hair cut short. When he realizes that his company won't pay for his haircuts, he throws a tantrum.
  • Gertrude's new job requires her to wear skirts, not pants. "What do you mean the company won't pay for my new skirts? It's you guys that require them! That's not fair!"

And so on.

And what will it mean down the road for teachers? Kids saying "Pay me a dollar if you want me to stay seated"? "Give me a dollar to take out my pencil"? "I'll shut up if you gimme $5.00"??

Thankfully, the public at large seems to get it (as is usually the case; so-called educational "elites" are usually the ones who dream up these inane "ideas") as exemplified by the comment section under the story. Here's just a sampling:

Cost to get a parent to care how their child is doing in school: $25 Cost to remind a parent of the importance of physicals for their children: $200 Cost to convince a kid to do well on a test because the parent won''t: $600

Taking the standard responsibility of any parent and putting it on the government and our schools...Priceless.

What ever happened to holding people responsible for their actions and in this case their lack of. This is a perfect example of a society where band-aids are the daily cure for broken arms.

Why are we so afraid of telling parents they''re doing a really bad job of parenting? And that they must do a better job, or else.

I am extremely upset at this story. To even consider paying people as incentive to parent their children is unacceptable. Library cards are free and to think tht it took a mom to be offered money in order to take her children to the library makes me ill. This type of program does not promote pride in learning and education, but rather selfishness and the feeling of entitlement in order to succeed. This is not the answer to our education problems in this country.
We are from a middle income family and we pretty much live paycheck to paycheck, but my bills are always paid. I would like someone to pay me for my son to have a physical or for passing a test. No wonder this country is so messed up. I guess it would be better for me to quite my job and become part of the economy that is lower class and have everything paid for me.
Are they going to pay my child for doing well in school although I work with her every night at home? How fair it is to the families who work hard at home and their kids are doing well. Should they too not be rewarding for performing well in the classroom? What should the teachers get for working with the disadvantaged children who come to school one to two years behind and have to pull them up to grade level in a semester. What about me? I have been a single-mother for almost three years now. I get up, cook breakfast, comb hair, get myself dressed, drop off my child and then go to work for 8 hrs. Pick her up try to get in some gym time on lunch. Go home and try to prepare somewhat of a decent meal and work on phonics, math, reading or something. What’s the difference, shouldn’t we get a little something for our hard work? Society would say no because: I have two degrees and work in the school system and "make too much money." I say it’s no different from the single mother who sits at home all day! Okay she lives in a low socio-economic situation, but she is choosing to become her situation and not change it. Her kids didn''t ask to be on this earth. I personally don’t want to be paid for something that I signed up to be: a parent! I am not leaving my child''s education up to the school. What happened to working hard for everything that you have? Paying parents and kids…please.
Posted by Hube at 07:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Philly Inquirer talks Matamoros

I just did a detailed post about the anti-jihad comicbook Matamoros; today, the Philly Inquirer's Kevin Ferris takes a look.

Posted by Hube at 06:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

And now...  the winning entries in the Watcher's Council vote for this week are Chicago Rules by Big Lizards, and Dissecting the 60 Minutes Scandal by Power Line.  Here are the full tallies of all votes cast:

VotesCouncil link
3  1/3Chicago Rules
Big Lizards
2  2/3The Rape of Rape On American Campuses
Cheat Seeking Missiles
2  2/3The Dershowitz Questions
Wolf Howling
1  2/3Exchange Student Woes
The Colossus of Rhodey
2/3Rape
Bookworm Room
1/3Ending the War in Iraq
The Glittering Eye
1/3The Terrorism Conundrum for Democrats
Right Wing Nut House
1/3The Fine Art of Flying (with the president)
Soccer Dad

VotesNon-council link
2  2/3Dissecting the 60 Minutes Scandal
Power Line
2Why Don't Jews Like the Christians Who Like Them?
City Journal
1  1/3Defending Against Terror Impossible In International Law
Elder of Ziyon
1  1/3Inside Iraqi politics -- Part 5. A Look At Legislative Progress: Sunnis’ and States’ Rights
The Long War Journal
1  1/3Think Happy Thoughts About People Who Want to Kill You!
Breath of the Beast
1Maybe in the Future Things Will Be Different?
Dr. Sanity
2/3Not to Complicate Matters, But...
The Chronicle of Higher Education
2/3Redeeming the Old Stereotypes
Classical Values
2/3Title: A Shot Across the Bow
Dodgeblogium
1/3Blogging While Female: 5 Conservative Women Bloggers Talk About Gender Issues and the Blogosphere
Right Wing News

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

March 06, 2008

A word from the Angry Left

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

Look, I'm certainly not a liberal because of any media bias. If there's any bias in the media, it is clearly toward the "conservatives" [sic] side. (What is he taking for these delusions?) The news has not even hit the tip of the iceberg as far as what is out there to be exposed. I think that when neocons hear the truth it might sound like liberal bias, because the truth does, in fact, have a liberal bias. (Anyone have a barf bag?) I am a liberal because it is what is right. (No, because it is what is STUPID.) I only hear foolishness and ignorance on the right. (Check the batteries in your hearing aids.) Liberals are clearly more intelligent than those on the right. (If you're an example, we're REALLY in trouble.) I don't mean to offend, but it is true. (And the Pope is Jewish. Did'ja know that?) The right has destroyed America and we are now hated around the world, and rightfully so. (Those that hate us SHOULD hate us. We've little to be ashamed of, actually.) The Republicans have clumsily trampled over the delicate bond we had with the rest of the world and it is going to take the left to fix it, as always. I try not to have any hate in my heart for Republicans, but they seem to be making it more and more difficult. (Uncross your fingers now, lefty!) Soon the Repulicans [sic] will dissapear [sic] as their ideals are slowly but surely exposed for the crap-heaps that they are. Repulicans [sic] are fading away and I am so glad to see them go. (Yet, somehow, John McCain is very much in the current presidential race. Go figure.)
Posted by Hube at 05:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whaaat? An anti-jihad comicbook? NOOO!!

As mainstream comics creators have been falling all over themselves to mock the War on Terror, the Iraq War, President Bush, Republicans, and the United States in general, Darius LaMonica and "Sleet" have done something ... "unusual" in this day and age -- they've created a comic about heroes fighting radical Islamic jihadists, titled Matamoros. But it will most likely meet with much of the same disdain that noted creator Frank Miller's Holy Terror, Batman did (and still may -- it's scheduled for release later this year). Just take a gander at what Miller faced:

  • Fellow comics writer Grant Morrison said "Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I'd be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb 'vs' Al Qaeda." (Link.)

Wow. I thought that even the most hardened lefties believe that al Qaeda are real terrorists. And Miller is "full of hate" because he has the temerity to create a story that vilifies real haters! Oh. And then, of course, there's the obligatory jab that Miller is somehow a "chickenhawk" for not actually joining up and fighting. (Miller, by the way, is in his 50s.)

  • Marvel Comics godfather Stan Lee remarked that "such 'corny' propaganda methods were outdated and inappropriate." (Link.)

That's easy for you to say now, Stan -- you, the very personification of the Cold War stereotypist.

And the various blogs out there are chock full of bad things to say about this Miller work.

Which brings us back to Matamoros:

"Matamoros" follows an American NCO, Charles Sobietti, who is wounded in the war, undergoes an experimental medical procedure to recover, returns home to New York to recuperate and then discovers a radical Islamic terror cell in Queens. We put Sobietti in New York because radical Islam has been there for quite a while. The blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman reached New York mosques in 1990 and currently a radical group called the Islamic Thinkers Society is located in Queens. This group is believed to be an offshoot of the UK's al Mahajiroun, the radical group that is now banned by the British government. And of course we all know what radical Islam did to New York in 2001.
Authors LaMonica and "Sleet" had to self-publish. Apparently no comics publisher wanted the project; amazing that, considering said publishers have little hassle signing up a story which has a "superhero" team storming the White House, arresting and then executing the president for "election fraud" and "starting an 'illegal war.'"

Why would LaMonica and Sleet have to self-publish such a book? My first guess was -- you got it -- political correctness, and LaMonica pretty much confirms this:

FP: Why do you think most of popular entertainment and Western academia confronts Islamo-fascism with moral equivalence in comparison to our own side? And then why does it refuse to use moral equivalence in reverse? In other words, when the Islamists do something evil, they point to something Bush or America did that they consider just as bad if not worse. But when our side is accused of something, they never point to the enemy and start equivocating.

LaMonica: Part of this is related to the whole notion of the loss of an "objective" sense of right and wrong which forms the basis of moral and cultural relativism. Let's face it -- the counterculture won big in the cultural wars and today it's un-PC even to call Islamofascists evil.

I think the "elitist left" frames the war with radical Islamism through a post-colonial Edward Said-ian lens. They view radical Islam as some type of "people's reaction" against western "imperialism" -- as if Islamism is some type of "liberation theology" which aims to empower peasants struggling against plantation owners through the crescent instead of the cross. It's as if the left views these Islamist thugs as drinking coffee and reading Gramsci while plotting to overthrow the bourgeoisie. They're stuck in a mindset and can't seem to process the information which would indicate that Islamism doesn't fit with this post-colonial worldview.

Possibly worse still for these elites is that Matamoros uses symbolism from -- gasp! -- the reconquista (reconquest) of Spain by the Christians over the Muslims. The very term "matamoros" means "kill Moors," "Moor" being the then-temporal term for "Muslim Arab." And if that's not bad enough, once people discover this fact, the title will be associated with the Crusades. But LaMonica is quick to clarify (my emphasis):

We were aware of the etymology of the word "moros" and even of its origins from Greco-Roman times ... the name was used in the context of classifying Moslem invaders during the civilizational war for the Iberian peninsula. The sole use of the word in the comic was in the context of resisting a jihadist military attack.

I think it is unfortunate that people just equate [matamoros] with the Crusades. The "crusades" is now equivalent in postmodern lingo to a religiously motivated imperialist war, which nobody wants, whereas the reconquista was about punching an aggressive bully in the face. People do not want to forcibly convert Moslem countries from their religion, but neither do they want Islamists to destroy Western civilization and replace it with a sharia state. FYI - I think the west has done enough self-flagellation about the Crusades. I have yet to hear an apology for 1400 years of jihadist imperialism.

The cover of issue #1 features a "Moorish-style doorway with a crumbling painted Cross of Santiago Matamoros," which was the emblem worn by the Knights of the Order of Santiago during the reconquista period. But the cross image is crumbling, and this represents the status of Western civilization in Europe. The solider on the cover isn't European, it's American since, as LaMonica notes, "Europeans have given up fighting against the jihadist imperative to "fight until all men say 'there is no god but Allah.'"

I know people (usually on the right) have postulated how the Left would have reacted in the 1940s if said reactions were similar to their present reactions to the Iraq War and War on Terror. Here's a couple of hypothetical comic adventures that might have taken place had such a mind-set prevailed then:

  • In an issue of Captain America, Cap fights his way through the streets of Washington DC on his way to the White House. FDR has been alerted that Steve Rogers (Cap's alter ego) is after him. Why? Cap found out that Roosevelt clandestinely ordered warrantless wiretapping -- directly contrary to Supreme Court edict. To Cap, it didn't matter that Adolf Hitler was evil incarnate; FDR broke the law and violated the privacy of Americans. Cap succeeds in arresting Roosevelt, and the president is later impeached and convicted.

  • Clark Kent -- Superman -- in an issue Action Comics, is absolutely fraught with grief that the Allies perpetrated the firebombing of the German city of Dresden. He flies from Washington to London to apprehend FDR and Churchill, and later brings them before a war crimes tribunal. The verdict is that the two leaders are to be imprisoned and subjected to a special type of Kryptonite that affects only older humans.

Thankfully, our heads were a bit clearer back then.

Avi Green at Four Color Media Monitor has more on Matamoros.

Posted by Hube at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2008

Just when you thought campus PC couldn't get any more silly

... be sure to read this.

Posted by Hube at 07:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Another blog meme

Answer the following questions -- using just three words.

1. Where is your cell phone?
On the table.

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?
I am married.

3. Your hair?
Salt and pepper.

4. Where is your father?
Down the road.

5. Cheesecake?
It's too rich.

6. Your favorite thing to do?
Lots of golf.

7. Your dream last night?
Not a nightmare.

8. Your favorite drink?
Tanqueray gin gimlet.

9. Your dream car?
Fair Lady "Z."

10. The room you're in?
Office computer room.

11. George W. Bush?
Not that bad.

12. Your fears?
Try to control.

13. Nipple rings?
Are you nuts?

14. Who did you hang out with last night?
Wife and daughter.

15. What you're not good at?
Merengue, Salsa dancing.

16. Your best friends?
Just like me.

17. One of your wish list items?
New golf clubs.

18. Where did you grow up?
The Diamond State.

19. The last thing you did?
Belched up lunch.

20. What are you wearing?
Sweats, sandals, shirt.

21. Tattoo on the lower back?
Sexy women, yes.

22. Ketchup?
My favorite condiment.

23. Your computer?
Starting to go.

24. Your life?
Not many complaints.

25. Your mood?
Goes in swings.

26. Missing?
My paternal grandfather.

27. What are you thinking about right now?
Usually always sex. ;-)

28. Your car?
Wife doesn't like.

29. Your work?
Aggravating, tiring, fulfilling.

30. Your summer?
Always very relaxing.

31. Your relationship status?
Vicissitudes of life.

32. Your favorite color(s)
Red, blue, green.

33. Last time you laughed?
7th period class.

34. Last time you cried?
I can't remember.

35. High school?
Lots of fun.

36. This quiz
Fun to do.

(h/t: Peevish.)

Posted by Hube at 05:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Talk about your cognitive dissonance!

There may not be a bigger example of [political] cognitive dissonance on the friggin' planet than this: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, in a new network promo ad, states

"We as citizens must at some point ignore partisanship, not that we may prosper as a nation, but that merely we may function as a nation."

You can view the video here, courtesy of Newsbusters.

To perfectly demonstrate what an egotistical, bipolar-like hypocrite Olbermann truly is, check out the REAL promo ad MSNBC should have run:


Posted by Hube at 05:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Is this where Obama is coming from?

Barack's wife, Michelle, recently gave an interview to the New Yorker magazine, and she declared that the U.S. is "just downright mean":

Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents. “We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews. “Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”

“The life that I’m talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl. . . . So if you want to pretend like there was some point over the last couple of decades when your lives were easy, I want to meet you!”

1) If we're a nation that is "just downright mean," why in the hell do so many people clamor to come here to live and work?

2) Sloths? Complacents? Meaning what, exactly? (I wonder if George Bush was "complacent" by actually dealing with Saddam Hussein and with radical Islamic terrorists head-on, rather than sort of nit-pick at the problem -- like the administration that preceded him?)

3) The whole nation is "struggling" and "barely making it everyday"?? This statement is just downright ignorant. And stupid.

4) The nation has gotten worse as Michelle Obama has gotten older? In terms of ... ? (That's right -- just don't ask for specifics, especially regarding the Obama's personal lot in life which would make this statement, among others, look downright pathetic.)

Does Barack share this sentiment? Does he really believe that things have deteriorated in America since he was a little boy? If you listen to his speeches, it's easy to get that impression.

Will America go for a man who thinks that ... America sucks? And that only he can save it? Hmm. Many have compared a potential Obama presidency to that of Jimmy Carter. Anyone remember Carter's [in]famous "malaise" speech? Sounds a lot like Barack and Michelle Obama, doesn't it?

If you're wondering about the mindset of Michelle Obama (recall her college thesis), it might be interesting to note her brother's college thesis, “The Nature of Informal Social Structures Within a Prison”:

Trenton State Prison houses inmates mostly from the Trenton and Newark areas. This partially accounts for the racial make-up of the population. Racism, as I will show later, is accounted for as a result of the number of inmates who make up the majority of prisoners.

When one begins to examine the highly unequal numbers of blacks in prison, one cannot begin with the prison itself. In order to understand the significant effect of racism one must examine the whole criminal justice system from arrest to ajudication to incarceration. It is no secret that Black males have and still do account for the majority of men incarcerated in the United States…

In order to understand the disproportion one must realize that, “…if the percentage of Black males in prison had been as low as the proportion of white men, the number of Black men in jail would have been 25,000!” These numbers should be inflated to attain an accurate picture of 1983. These figures only reinforce the notion of institutional racism throughout the criminal justice system.

It was clear after completing the interviews that racism within the prison community is as one ex-guard put it, “…just as the whites, in normal societal situations, they have ‘control’ because they make up the majority.” As a result of being the majority instead of the minority Blacks do to whites on the inside what has been done to them on the outside.

Obviously, Craig Robinson adheres to the "proportionate representation" theory of society, in that if there's any significant deviation from general population figures (in this case, the very high number of black males in prison compared to their overall number in the population), there is something inherently wrong -- usually, and in this case, racism.

If this is an accurate assessment, then the Robinsons (Craig and Michelle) may well be right in that "things have gotten worse" and America "is just mean," etc. But Craig Robinson's theory is more than a highly debatable point. I think most rational people would feel that racism still does play a role in the criminal justice system (and elsewhere), but is it the major factor behind the disproportionate numbers we see in prisons?

If this is the mind-set the Obamas are bringing to the table, they may find it's going to be a very long campaign indeed if they attempt to sell people on it. That is, if they actually bring such issues to the fore.

Posted by Felix at 04:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 04, 2008

Interesting things found among Colombian leftist guerrillas

Here's a surprise: Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is sympathetic to the leftist Colombian FARC guerrillas (or terrorists, if you prefer). Chávez made some news by mobilizing some of his army near Colombia recently, due to apparent border incursions by the Colombian army (which was pursuing FARC). Recent discoveries of computerized files seized from FARC indicate that Chávez was the beneficiary of a FARC-donated 100 million pesos when he was an imprisoned [Venezuelan] rebel leader, and even more scary is the evidence that indicates FARC "purchased 50 kilograms of uranium this month."

And how 'bout this regarding those lefty Colombian insurgents: Barack Obama is mentioned among documents recovered from slain FARC leader Raúl Reyes:

Los gringos pedirán cita con el ministro para solicitarle nos comunicara su interés en conversar estos temas. Dicen que el nuevo presidente de su país será Obama y que ellos están interesados en sus compatriotas. Obama no apoyara Plan Colombia ni firma de TLC. Aquí respondimos que nos interesan las relaciones con todos los gobiernos en igualdad de condiciones y que en el caso de Estados Unidos se requiere in pronunciamiento público expresando su interés en conversar con las Farc dada su eterna guerra con nosotros.

The gringos will ask for an appointment with the minister to solicit him to communicate to us his interest in discussing these topics. They say that the new president of their country will be Obama and that they are interested in your compatriots. Obama will not support "Plan Colombia" nor will he sign the TLC (Colombian Free Trade agreement). Here we responded that we are interested in relations with all governments in equality of conditions and that in the case of the US it is required a public pronouncement expressing their interest in talking with the FARC given their eternal war against us. (Original Spanish article.)

This isn't necessarily any implication of the Obama (campaign) per se; however, it sure is quite interesting that far-left guerrillas would feel so comfortable with a President Obama. And why not? Obama has reiterated several times that he would meet face-to-face with people like Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Cuba's Raúl Castro with no preconditions whatsoever. (And interestingly, Obama "can understand" why Israel doesn't meet with Hamas -- because it Hamas doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist -- yet Iran doesn't recognize that right either. But, a President Obama would be quite happy to meet with Iran -- without conditions. Nice.)

Posted by Hube at 06:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

No wonder they want "every vote to count"

Remember, though -- if you listen to the Dems, it's the GOP that's always involved in election highlinks ... y'know, "stealing elections."

AN ELECTION-fraud prosecution in Erie, pursued by the state Attorney General's Office, is sending tremors into Philadelphia, where two state House members and a state Senate candidate submitted scores of apparently bogus signatures on recent nomination petitions.

Attorney General Tom Corbett announced last week that he was filing criminal charges against former state Rep. Linda Bebko-Jones, 61, a Democrat who had represented Erie in the state House for 14 years, and her former chief of staff, Mary Fiolek.

A state grand jury alleged that when Bebko-Jones was running for re-election in 2006, she and Fiolek sat in their Harrisburg offices and forged dozens of signatures on her nominating petitions, using an Erie County phone book and the lawmaker's personal address book to find the names.

Bebko-Jones gave up her re-election bid when the charges surfaced two years ago. But Corbett pushed the case anyway, spurred by a complaint from former Democratic state senator Anthony "Buzz" Andrezeski, who said the signature of his 87-year-old mother was among those forged on the Bebko-Jones petitions.

In Philadelphia, two incumbent House members - Tony J. Payton Jr. and Thomas W. Blackwell, both Democrats - are accused by opponents of turning in petitions with dozens of forged signatures, among other problems.

The same charge is leveled against Lawrence M. Farnese Jr., one of four Democratic contenders for the state Senate seat now held by Vincent Fumo. (Link.)

Elsewhere, so-called "undocumented immigrants" are getting people to "speak for them" in a rather ... unusual way:

Jose Ruiz is like many college students.

He's outspoken. He's politically active. And, most importantly, he wants to make sure as many people as possible hit the polls come Election Day.

Why? Because he can't. Ruiz is an illegal immigrant.

Buoyed by Super Tuesday's record Latino voter turnout, a San Jose State University student group — made up of both legal and illegal residents — is planning a widespread, grass-roots campaign to register voters, especially those who can speak for them at the polls. (Link.)

As they say, folks, "Only in America."

Posted by Hube at 05:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2008

Being First Lady makes one "better qualified" than having served in military

So says the [ridiculous] Wesley Clark:

In the national security business, the question is, do you have — when you have served in uniform, do you really have the relevant experience for making the decisions at the top that have to be made? Everybody admires John McCain's service as a fighter pilot, his courage as a prisoner of war. There's no issue there. He's a great man and an honorable man. But having served as a fighter pilot — and I know my experience as a company commander in Vietnam — that doesn’t prepare you to be commander-in-chief in terms of dealing with the national strategic issues that are involved. It may give you a feeling for what the troops are going through in the process, but it doesn't give you the experience first hand of the national strategic issues.

If you look at what Hillary Clinton has done during her time as the First Lady of the United States, her travel to 80 countries, her representing the us abroad, plus her years in the Senate, I think she's the most experienced and capable person in the race, not only for representing am [sic] abroad, but for dealing with the tough issues of national security. (Link.)

McCain hasn't traveled? He hasn't been in the Senate for quite a while? I think Wes either has a royal screw loose, or his dictionary sure has weird definitions for "experience" and "capable."

Posted by Hube at 02:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mistake

Right now on CNN, TX Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is making excuses for controversial church leader John Hagee. When host Wolf Blitzer asked her why won't John McCain offer a repudiation of Hagee like Barack Obama did with Louis Farrakhan, Hutchinson said that the two situations "were different."

How so? She said that Hagee "has done a lot of good things." Sorry, Kay, but many Farrakhan supporters say exactly the same thing about him. This does not excuse his loathsome comments, and it should be the same with Hagee!

Blitzer made you look like a fool, Kay, and John McCain along with you. McCain needs to do what Obama did with Farrakhan, and pronto.

More on the Hagee controversy at two DE blogs, Delaware Politics.net and Delaware Watch.

Posted by Hube at 12:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Inside the ACPA Conference

The National Association of Scholars takes a gander at the continuing saga of the University of Delaware Residence Life Program:

Success breeds success, and UD residence life folks decided to hold another institute in January 2008. Billed as "the Second Annual Residential Curriculum Institute," the meeting was planned to help residential life officials "to uncover the opportunities to deliver educational messages in every student interaction," beginning with the moment when students first check-in to their rooms. It was co-sponsored by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

If you've forgotten about the U. of D. residence life "program" and the controversy surrounding it, refresh yourself here and here. The above conference had to be moved away from the UD campus (to nearby Frazer, PA) because of the controversy. And, predictably, the individual rights group FIRE was the big "boogie man" for many speakers and attendees (since it was they who put the word out on the UD program) -- but not all of them (thankfully):

Not all the attendees were aware of who had snuffed the great candle of enlightened responsibility. One attendee explained to another that the culprit was indeed FIRE, which she characterized as a "bad organization with ties to white supremacy groups." Others did not put all the blame on FIRE, and instead blamed the UD student affairs directors for giving too much latitude to the RDs and RAs in carrying out programming.

My emphasis. Ah yes, what else to do but bring up the devious spectre of "white supremacy" when that proverbial disinfectant known as sunlight has been projected onto your program? And this attendee couldn't think of a better adjective than "bad"? Sheesh.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Posted by Hube at 10:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Altar

Today's Wilmington News Journal "descriptions" of two robberies.

WDEL.com's stories on same from their main page (partially copied since their main page changes often). As usual, pick out the details the WNJ omitted:

Story one:

State Police are investigating the second robbery in about a week at the Wilmington Trust branch in the Community Plaza Shopping Center.
Police say a man entered the bank around 10 Saturday morning and handed a teller a holdup note saying he had a gun. The suspect got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as black, between 30 to 40 years old, five four to five six with an average build, and was wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, and a black knit hat.

Story two:

Newark police hope you can help them find a pair of masked robbery suspects. Police say the suspects approached the victim as he walked along Madison Drive around 7:20 PM Friday, and one suspect held an object against the victim's back and demanded he turn over his belongings. The victim gave the suspects his stuff, and they took off.

Police describe the suspects as black, weaing blue coats, dark masks and wool hats, and are asking anyone with information to call Newark detectives or Crimestoppers.

In addition, WDEL.com has a report on a Middletown gas station that was robbed yesterday:

Police in Middletown are asking for your help in finding the suspect in a gas station holdup. Police say a man demanded and got cash at knifepoint from the clerk at the Shore Stop Valero station on Broad Street around 10 Saturday morning. A search of the area using a police dog turned up nothing.

The suspect is described as white, between 20 to 30 years old, six feet tall, with a medium build, wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket, a white mask, and gloves.

Here's the WNJ report on same:

(That's right -- keep looking!)



Posted by Hube at 09:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

And they call conservatives hateful?

Check out Mark Morford's San Francisco Chronicle's column.

Posted by Hube at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2008

Obama himself admits he's not experienced enough

Don't take my word for it; let Barack speak for himself:

Didn't he once say "Words matter"?

Posted by Hube at 07:15 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Winner of the "Six-Word Motto for the U.S."

And it's "Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay."

I must say that I really do like that! (I also like what the Aussie Herald Sun said about the winner: Cant say that about Cuba!)

Here are the runners-up:

  • "Caution! Experiment in Progress Since 1776"
  • "The Most Gentle Empire So Far"
  • "You Should See the Other Guy"
  • "Just Like Canada, With Better Bacon"

The Freakanomics Blog's Stephen Dubner says,

I applaud your choice of winner, and I especially applaud “edholston,” the blog reader who wrote the motto. “Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay” is, while perhaps not outrightly uplifting, a wonderfully concise acknowledgment of the paradox that a capitalist democracy inevitably is: a place that is often well worth complaining about, and which allows you to complain as loudly as you wish.
Posted by Hube at 05:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dearth of male teachers!

Via an e-mail by Soccer Dad comes word of this Dr. Helen article: Percentage of Male Teachers Hits 40-Year Low.

According to statistics recently released by the National Education Association (NEA), men made up just 24.4 percent of the total number of teachers in 2006. In fact, the number of male public school teachers in the U.S. has hit a record 40-year low. Arkansas, at 17.5 percent, and Mississippi, with 17.7 percent, have the lowest percentage of male teachers, while Kansas, at 33.3 percent, and Oregon, with 31.4 percent, boast the largest percentage of men leading the classroom.....

Why the downward trend in male teaching? According to Bryan Nelson, founder of MenTeach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recruiting male teachers, research suggests three key reasons for the shortage of male teachers: low status and pay, the perception that teaching is "women's work," and the fear of accusation of child abuse.

Many men once in the profession say they quit because of worries that innocuous contact with students could be misconstrued, reports the NEA.

In addition, the article says that men "face discrimination in the interview process." Wow.

I must admit, as a male teacher in the profession for going on 18 years now, that that "worry [of] innocuous contact with a student" turning into a complaint or outright accusation is indeed a concern. (This, by the way, is one good reason to be a member of the teachers union, whatever your politics.) Many school administrations now tell teachers not to touch students for any reason. It's sad, really, but given our [ridiculously] litigious society, a necessity. Over my years, at times I've had female students come up to me wanting to give me a hug, but I've backed away and said (tactfully, of course) "No no no -- just a handshake, please!"

The problem is worse, it seems, at the elementary school level. Some of the comments at Dr. Helen's post:

You know, I hadn't realized it until I read this column, but, growing up in the '60s, I didn't have a male teacher until junior high.
I told a co-worker of my plans to teach and maybe teach at an elementary school and the first thing she said was, "There is no way I would let my two girls be in a class with a male teacher."
And this sort of thing creates a vicious cycle where boys become convinced a young age that education is for girls. This will make the already scary male / female college population mix even worse.

And this is probably the saddest:

I spent a year and a half teaching computers to elementary school kids in Beverly Hills. i was the only male in a teaching staff of 30. Since I have that "Dad Voice." i was often called into other teacher's classes to bring order to chaos. it was a lot of fun working with the kids but near the end of the year, i was accused of "inappropriately touching" one of the little girls. i had to face the father who decided that he was going to kick my butt. i had to take the rest of the day off while it was investigated. i literally spent the weekend throwing up.

fortunately for me, the administrator knew the young girl and she had a history of making unfounded charges. the child was forced to admit to her parent that she had lied in an effort to get out of doing her work. the father never apologized for his threats. The best part is that the child was forced to apologize and admit her lie in front of her entire class and her classmates treated her with the distain she deserved.

i would advise any man to avoid teaching children. the rewards are amazing but this sort of thing happens much too often. all the good feelings i had toward the experience of teaching were blown aside during that attack. and i won't forget that the father never apologized for this threats and for raising a liar.

There's also a plethora of [negative] comments about education departments at colleges as well as education majors. And many of these ring true -- nutty courses that have little-to-nothing to do with curriculum, subject matter or class management, but everything to do with "diversity," self-esteem, gender/racial/sexual "identity," and other "progressive" pedagogical claptrap. I've written about these before (numerous times), and unfortunately most of these types of ... "courses" are prevalent in the "major" of education (which usually caters to those seeking to teach at the elementary level ... usually).

I'm not certain if these types of ... "fluff" courses may turn off prospective male teachers; I can only offer my personal assessment, and that is that they certainly turned me off, the few (fortunately) I had to take in my graduate program. Maybe the innate female "nurturing" sense attracts them to these courses (or, at least makes the courses more "palatable" to them) as well as teaching elementary age kids in the first place. This sure would seem logical enough to me. (Oh no! The feminists will come after me now!) Still, kids need to see male figures in positions of authority, especially in lower-income/high-risk schools where single parent homes are the norm and not the exception.

It is amazing (well, not really) that the MSM hasn't picked up on this story. A Google News search turns up a single article -- a local news affiliate in Indiana. (A standard Google search did yield a Newsweek article on the topic.) I'd bet good money that if this story was on the shrinking percentage of women, minorities or homosexuals in education, we'd be reading about it all over.

Posted by Hube at 11:02 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Associated Press forces blogger to shut down

Check it out here.

Seems from what I've read that the blogger's use of AP photos falls under "fair use." Maybe a lawyer can shed some more light on this.

UPDATE: Another blogger is threatened with legal action for her opinions of an apparent pro-jihad "rabbi." The rabbi, among other things, has an issue with her use of the adjective "crazy." Check this photo -- does this look like a crazy man ... or not?

Posted by Hube at 09:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack