Isn't that nice?
Both Iran and its Hamas proxy in Gaza have been busy this Christmas week showing Christendom just what they think of it. But no one seems to have noticed.
On Tuesday, Hamas legislators marked the Christmas season by passing a Shari'a criminal code for the Palestinian Authority. Among other things, it legalizes crucifixion.
Hamas's endorsement of nailing enemies of Islam to crosses came at the same time it renewed its jihad. Here, too, Hamas wanted to make sure that Christians didn't feel neglected as its fighters launched missiles at Jewish day care centers and schools. So on Wednesday, Hamas lobbed a mortar shell at the Erez crossing point into Israel just as a group of Gazan Christians were standing on line waiting to travel to Bethlehem for Christmas. (Source.)
Where's Hamas' sense of "proportionality," for goodness sake??
UPDATE: Steve Newton at DE Libertarian has discovered more details about this story. It's what great blogging is all about, even though Steve makes a distinction between "blogging" and "reporting" in his post!
You don't have to be a libertarian to enjoy Steve's blog. It's the best researched and written blog in the First State, by far. Be sure to check it out!
Yesterday I saw a couple posts at a [couple] comics blogs opining on their favorite and least favorite Iron Man armors of all-time. Some of the facts and monikers in these posts were erroneous, but then what would one expect from Iron Man fan "novices," right? So, what we need here is a truly informed opinion ... from one who has been an Iron Man fan since the very early years ... who made a second-tier Marvel character his favorite over "marquee" characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four! In other words, MINE!!
Who cares? This armor was magnitudes more powerful than anything ever seen before (hence it was a bit bulkier) and the color change did have a reason: Tony Stark had just recovered from a long bout with alcoholism. He was still wary of even becoming Iron Man again. He still wanted to "forget" about much of his past.
Interestingly, Iron Man creator extraordinaire Bob Layton helped design this armor, but he didn't really like it. So, when he and writer-pal David Michelinie reassumed the mantle of Iron Man in the mid-80s, they quickly ditched the red and silver suit in favor of a new red and gold outfit. (See my past post about this armor.)
Also notable is the fact that several other people wore this outfit other than Tony Stark, most importantly of which was right-hand man Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes. This began in issue #169 -- when Stark succumbed to alcoholism.
This was the armor that Stark bequeathed to Jim Rhodes to use on his own; you may remember Terrance Howard in the movie looking at one of Stark's suits in the movie and uttering "Next time" -- a clear homage to this moment and possibly a look at things to come in "Iron Man 2."
This suit was, due to its futuristic design, packed with exotic weaponry, and was much "meaner" looking with a grimacing face-mask and serrated shoulder cuffs. In an issue of Iron Man (#250), David Michelinie and Bob Layton showed that this outfit survived to the year 2093 and was used by Arno's grandson Andros Stark. But Andros was a total baddie, in league with the 20th century-surviving Dr. Doom who plotted to wipe out most of the planet's population.
COMING SOON: Hube's Worst Iron Man Armors Ever.
Interesting article in The New Scientist regarding the ultimate fate of our universe: Will it keep it expanding? Or will it eventually begin to contract -- and coalesce into what's dubbed "The Big Crunch?"
No one really knows at this point (the universe is still expanding, and at a faster rate now than ever before), but if 'ya wanna read a terrific hard sci-fi yarn about how a handful of humans actually get to witness the ultimate fate, check out Poul Anderson's awesome Tau Zero.
Uh huh. Barack "The Messiah" Obama golfs while Gaza's in flames:
He joined a group of friends at a private club near his £6million rented, beach-front holiday home in Hawaii yesterday.
Meanwhile, 9,000 miles away in the Middle East, Israel rejected any truce with Hamas today and said it was ready for ‘long weeks of action’ in the Gaza Strip…
Mr. Obama has made the decision to leave all comments to outgoing President George Bush, who has so far chosen only to attack Hamas.
On the golf course, his security team even turned away a letter from pro-Palestinian campaigners urging him to help stop the four-day-old violence.
Just like the double standard regarding the exercise regimen of George Bush vs. Barack Obama, if Bush vacays while there's some international crisis he's an unfeeling sod; however, if The Messiah relaxes in the sun during same, his shorts are cool.
Yeah, proof would have been nice:
A Washington lobbyist is suing The New York Times over an article that she says gave the false impression she had an affair with Sen. John McCain in 1999.
Vicki L. Iseman filed the $27 million defamation suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond on Tuesday. It also names as defendants the Times' executive editor, its Washington bureau chief and four reporters. (Source.)
Maybe next time the GOP nominee could get law enforcement to intimidate the Times.
Question to Israeli Ambassador Jeremy Issacharoff via a conference call earlier today "about the avoiding the danger of an artificially short deadline how Israel can resist international pressure":
The Ambassador noted that during the time that Hamas was raining rockets on Israel at will, the world did not run to the Security Council for a truce. But now when the world sees Israel taking steps to defend itself—then there is a reaction.
Yeah, why is that, I wonder?
Or does he want people to simply eat fruits and vegetables rather than drinking 'em? At any rate, nothing much funnier than illiterate haters:
(h/t to LGF.)
... courtesy of Victor Davis Hanson:
1) Request that 50% of Israel's air-to-ground missiles be duds to ensure greater proportionality.
2) Allow Hamas another 1,000 free rocket launches to see if they can catch up with the body count.
3) Have Israeli soldiers congregate in border barracks so that Hamas's random rockets have a better chance of killing military personnel, to ensure it can claim at least a few military targets.
4) Redefine "holocaust" to refer to deaths of terrorists in numbers under 400 to give greater credence to Hamas's current claims.
5) In the interest of fairness, allow Hamas to establish both the date that war is supposed to begin and the date when it must end.
6) Send Israeli military advisers to Hamas to improve the accuracy of their missiles.
7) Take down the barriers to return to Hamas a fair chance of getting suicide bombers back inside Israel.
I wonder how many Americans would be concerned with "proportionality" if, say, some Aztlán-minded terrorists were lobbing crude missiles into Arizona on a daily basis ...
Oh, and here are some highlights of the Hamas Charter you might be interested in.
Loyal CoR reader "cardinals fan" will testify that I can "skat" the trumpet and sax solos found in this tune perfectly. ;-)
... courtesy of my favorite all-time band, E.W. & F.!!
"You won't find out ... if you never try ... !!"
The odious Liz Allen, perpetual talk radio caller-in, called in to the Mike Matthews Show on DE Talk Radio about an hour ago, and listening to her defend Hamas at every turn was ... nauseating, to say the least. I know Mike is pals with Liz, but he tactfully (and only HE could have done it tactfully) pushed and prodded Liz when it counted, and in my opinion he (tactfully) made her look like an ass. I was tempted to call in, but I was cooking dinner and wanted to retain somewhat of an appetite. But here's a few clues for 'ya, Liz, based on a few of the more obvious boners you spewed:
1) The Palestinians haven't been "occupied" by Israel for 60 years as you said at least twice. Gaza and the West Bank have been under Israeli "occupation" since 1967 which, by my math, equals 41 years.
I put "occupation" in quotes because, well, who "occupied" those areas prior to 1967? Palestine? Huh? What do you mean there wasn't a state called "Palestine?" Jordan and Egypt administered those regions prior to 1967? Say what?? Why??? Which brings me to my other clue:
2) You kept ragging on the "right" of Hamas to engage in their terrorism based on the rights established by the United Nations, and continually cited the UN as the overriding administrative factor in all this -- especially regarding how many UN resolutions Israel has "violated." But you neglected the most important UN edict of all in this entire matter: The original 1948 UN plan which established two sovereign states, one Jewish and one Arab (Palestinian). The latter refused the plan and in turn (along with other Arab states) attacked the nascent Jewish state (and lost). Get it? The Palestinians refused to accept the UN offer of a sovereign homeland from the start. In other words, they violated the United Nations.
UPDATE: I forgot to include this Liz whopper from yesterday: She actually said (more than once) that Hamas has not been lobbing rockets into Israel. When pressed about the evidence, her response? "It's from the 'corporate media.'"
Volokh's David Bernstein summarizes my feelings on the matter virtually perfectly, and it's also an apt response to DE Libertarian's Steve Newton (with whom I differ greatly on this subject, but whose opinion I nevertheless respect immensely). All emphasis mine:
Glenn Greenwald, I take it, will not take me up on my offer of a free vacation to Sderot. My offer was specifically in response to his claim that Israel is engaging in a "massively disproportionate response" to the shelling of southern Israel from Gaza.
He obscures the issue by writing:
That "argument" is the same as saying to someone who objects to Hamas' suicide bombs or rockets: "I'll personally pay for your Ramallah or Gaza City vacation, so you can see what it's like to live imprisoned by walls, under a 40-year foreign occupation, with blockades that cause your children's growth to stunt and to be denied basic nutritional and medical needs."
The fact that the people of Location X are suffering doesn't mean that anything and everything their government directs to the general vicinity of those inflicting the suffering is justified.
So, now that I don't have to worry about paying for Greenwald's vacation, I can ask, rhetorically (though Greenwald is free to answer): when a terrorist entity controls territory bordering that of a sovereign nation, and indiscriminately lobs rockets into that nation's territory, terrifying the civilian population and making normal life unlivable, what is a proportionate response?
Israel has engaged in pinpoint targeting of military facilities operated by said terrorist entities, and has gone so far as to send messages in Arabic to residents of Gaza, warning them that if they allow their homes or businesses are sheltering Hamas weaponry, they will be destroyed. Even according to Palestinian sources, the overwhelming majority of victims of Israeli bombs thus far have been Hamas fighters. This is perhaps the least extreme response that any sovereign nation faced with an analogous situation has ever engaged in. Cf. Russia in Chechnya.
Greenwald's real problem, I surmise, is that he thinks that Israel's response is "disproportionate" not because its disproportionate relative to Hamas's military actions and Israel's military objectives compared to the civilian damaged inflicted (more or less the international law definition of proportionality), but because he believes that Israel is primarily to blame for the situation in Gaza, and therefore any suffering inflicted on Gaza's civilians is primarily Israel's fault. Hence his observation about Israel's blockade of Gaza, which is not at all relevant to whether Israel's response to the rocket fire is "proportionate," but rather to whether Israel is morally at fault in general.
But by putting the issue in terms of the "proportionality" of Israel's response, Greenwald (and others) are obscuring their real argument, which is that Israel is not entitled to act in self-defense because no matter how many rockets are launched into Israeli territory, Israel is ultimately the aggressor in the Gaza situation.
I find that argument hopeless naive, and, in fact, counterfactual. Let's start with the fact that the blockade was a response to Hamas's actions against Israel, not vice versa. (If Hamas had been a peace-loving entity, and Israel had nevertheless blockaded its territory, and I had attacked Hamas's military response as "wildly disproportionate", then Greenwald's counter-offer of a trip to Gaza would make sense). Now imagine for a moment that Hamas announced, sincerely, that its goal was no longer to annihilate Israel, but to establish a peaceful Islamic democracy that was willing to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to achieve a lasting agreement with Israel, and then acted on that announcement by ceasing all violence aimed at Israel and offering to commence negotiations immediately. Is there any doubt that the blockade would end forthwith? And, for that matter, that Israel would happily cooperate with a peaceful Hamas and the international community to return Gaza to the incredible rates of economic growth (and beyond) it achieved under the first 20 years of the "brutal occupation"? Hamas, however, is not interested in a peaceful settlement with Israel, and, while its leaders hide in underground bunkers, is perfectly willing to fight Israel to the last Palestinian civilian.
So, to sum up, let's rephrase Greenwald's position: "I think that Israel is not entitled to cause any casualties, civilian or otherwise, in Gaza, because Israel bears the primary, indeed, almost the entire, responsibility for the conflict it is facing with Hamas. Therefore, Israeli civilians living in the range of Hamas rockets must simply bear with it until their government adopts more enlightened policies that will magically lead Hamas to prefer to live in peace with Israel."
Finally, I find it rather amusing that Greenwald refers to me as an "Israel-obsessive." I blog a fair amount about Israel, not least because I'm there twice a year and my wife is Israeli. Greenwald, meanwhile, blogs far more about Israel, without similar ties. What does that make him?
Meanwhile, CNN uses the headline "World rallies around Palestinians amid Gaza offensive" when in the article less than 3000 people in the "world" are actually noted. (The largest protest was in Germany.) And oh gee -- protests in ... Iran?? Who'da thought? Venezuela? How much did Uncle Chávez pay 'em?
Meanwhile, here's what you may not hear in the MSM: Leading Saudi paper: Hamas to blame for conflict. Not only that, but the Palestinian Authority and Egypt place the blame for the current Gaza conflict on ... Hamas, too!!
Don't forget -- I'll be taking over "The Maria Evans Show" from 9-11am EST tomorrow. At 10:30, I'll have on a pop culture icon -- best known in the comicbook realm, but even a layman will be familiar with some of the characters he created or helped to create -- who's been living right here in DE for over 20 years.
Before that, I'll be joined by Colossus R&D man "Gooch" for a discussion about politics, education and a segment I call "What's My Beef?" In addition, we'll be offering up some New Year's resolutions .... and taking yours!
Call toll-free: 888-645-8990.
Listen to the stream: Delaware Talk Radio.
UPDATE (12/29 at 3:35pm): Thanks to all who tuned in. I got a few e-mails from folks I know outside the US who caught the stream and they dug the discussion. Thanks! Special thanks go to [Delaware] pop culture icon David Michelinie for the 10:30 segment about Iron Man, Spider-Man and comics in general, as well as to Maria Evans who braved her [improving] illness to assist me at the control board!
"Gooch" was unable to make it because he came by tickets to yesterday's Eagles game and didn't get home until the very wee hours. Understandable, my friend.
To add to this post, Comic Book Resources has the Top 100 Comic Book Battles of All-Time as voted on by fans. The one's I've seen/read are in bold; needed commentary is added where absolutely necessary!! Here we go ... !!
100. Superboy Prime vs. the Teen Titans
99. Skurge vs. the Forces of Hel
98. Squadron Supreme vs. the Redeemers (at left) (The Squadron Supreme is Marvel's version of DC's Justice League; however, I've never seen a super-team have to deal with such adversity as that suffered by the SS. Pick up Mark Gruenwald's phenomenal SS trade paperback for some high-quality entertainment! The SS's battle against the Redeemers is at story's end.)
97. Superman vs. Batman (New Frontier)
96. Thanos vs. Warlock, Captain Marvel, Avengers, Thing and Spider-Man
95. Ogami Ittō vs. Yagyū Retsudō (Final Battle)
94. The DC Heroes vs. the Center
93. Spider-Man vs. the Hobgoblin (Amazing Spider-Man #249-251)
92. Silver Surfer vs. Thor (Silver Surfer #4)
91. Wolverine vs. the Hulk (First Battle)
90. Spider-Man vs. Sinister Six (First Battle)
89. Superman Prime vs. Ion
88. Avengers vs. Nefaria (First Battle) (A classic three-part saga by the awesome Jim Shooter and the equally awesome John Byrne. There has rarely been a better scripted and drawn all-out donneybrook!)
87. Captain America vs. Red Skull (Cosmic Cube)
86. Spider-Man vs. Firelord
85. Authority vs. Kaizen Gamorra (The Authority is a leftist's super-team wet dream-come true. Lefties will love what the team does because it is "right;" however, if George Bush had done even one tenth of one percent of what the Authority does, the calls for his war crimes trial would be overwhelming.)
84. Punisher vs. Barracuda
83. The Ultimates vs. Thor
82. Flash vs. Zoom (First Battle)
81. Deathstroke and Terra vs. the Teen Titans (The Judas Contract)
80. Spider-Man vs. Venom (First Battle) (Be sure to tune in to my Delaware Talk Radio gig December 29 for more on this one!)
79. X-Men vs. Cassandra Nova
78. Thing vs. Champion
77. Mr. Fantastic vs. Dr. Doom (Timeslip)
76. Captain Britain (and friends) vs. The Fury
75. Wonder Woman vs. Mind-Controlled Superman (Sacrifice)
74. Batman vs. Cops in Year One
73. Superboy Prime vs. Superboy
72. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vs. Martians
71. Avengers and Justice League vs. Krona
70. Wolverine vs. Sabretooth (Right before the Age of Apocalypse)
69. Spider-Man vs. Morlun (First Battle)
68. Doom vs. Beyonder
67. Magneto vs. Apocalypse
66. Swamp Thing and Friends vs. The Soul off Darkness (American Gothic)
65. Thor vs. Iron Man
64. Batman vs. Superman (Hush)
63. Batman vs. Ra’s Al Ghul (First Duel) (Never read these issues; however, they come highly recommend by any comics fan who've read 'em. Art is by the great Neal Adams at his pinnacle.)
62. Supergirl vs. Anti-Monitor
61. Batman vs. Joker (Dark Knight Returns)
60. Wolverine vs. Sabretooth (Mutant Massacre)
59. Superboy Prime vs. Supermen
58. The remains of the JLA vs. Darkseid
57. Punisher vs. the Russian
56. Superman vs. the Elite
55. Nova vs. Annihilus
54. Colossus vs. Juggernaut
53. Fantastic Four plus Friends vs. Galactus
52. Superman vs. Muhammad Ali
51. X-Men vs. Magneto (Fatal Attractions)
50. Jesse Custer vs. Cassidy
49. Thor vs. Beta Ray Bill
48. Hulk vs. The Superheroes of New York City
47. Flash vs. Professor Zoom (Return of Barry Allen)
46. Spider-Man vs. Kraven (Kraven’s Last Hunt)
45. Heroes vs. Villains (Secret Wars)
44. JLA (with a spotlight on Batman) vs. Hyperclan
43. We3 vs. The Government
42. Batman vs. Bane (Knightfall)
41. Batman vs. Joker (Killing Joke) (One of the better Batman stories of all-time.)
40. The Battle of Fabletown
39. JLA vs. Avengers
38. Superman vs. Mongul
37. Daredevil vs. Nuke
36. Ultimates (and friends) vs. The Liberators (For a good Colossus synopsis, see here.)
35. Jesse Custer vs. Jody
34. Daredevil vs. Bullseye (Daredevil #181; at left) (One of the best all-out slugfests ever! Many of the lines in the "Daredevil" movie were lifted verbatim from this issue.)
33. Superman vs. Lex Luthor (All Star Superman #12)
32. The X-Men vs. Magneto (in the Volcano Base)
31. JSA vs. Dynaman
30. Thor vs. The Midgard Serpent
29. X-Men vs. Dark Phoenix (Not as good as the X-Men vs. the [Shi'Ar] Imperial Guard vs. Dark Phoenix, though!)
28. Legion of Superheroes vs. The Forces of Darkseid
27. The Final Battle of Civil War
26. Morpheus vs Choronzon
The Brand New Heavies, yo. Man, can that N'Dea Davenport SING!
... that the charge of "racism" just doesn't mean much anymore.
Oh, it still has its sting as the MSM will always lap up such a charge and run with it ad nauseum. But overall -- and this is drastically unfortunate for instances of REAL racism -- this past presidential campaign, in particular, has really "lowered the bar" on what constitutes "racism." Just ask liberal icons Geraldine Ferraro and Bill Clinton, among others. Hell, Barack Obama, who was supposed to "transcend" race, couldn't but help invoke his own hue when it served his self-interest -- "I don't look like those other guys on our money ... I got a funny name ..." -- even though John McCain had contorted himself in every which way to avoid even the slightest inference about race during the campaign.
Hypocritical? To say the least.
Just like this latest instance of liberal self-righteous racial indignation.
The chairman of the Republican National Committee said Saturday he was "shocked and appalled" that one of his potential successors had sent committee members a CD this Christmas featuring a 2007 parody song called "Barack the Magic Negro."
In spite of RNC Chairman Robert M. "Mike" Duncan's sharply negative reaction, former Tennessee GOP leader Chip Saltsman said that party leaders should stand up to criticism over distributing a CD with the song. He earlier defended the tune as one of several "lighthearted political parodies" that have aired on Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
Our local looney-bin, totally predictably, is in a tizzy about it. But unlike (amazingly!) the AP report of the subject, our local loons neglect to report one important fact:
The ditty by conservative comedian Paul Shanklin refers to a March 2007 opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times by David Ehrenstein headlined "Obama the 'Magic Negro.'" In the article, Ehrenstein argued that voting for Obama helped white voters alleviate guilt over racial wrongs in the past.
Ehrenstein is a well-known liberal.
So, let's do the quick synopsis: Ehrenstein's original article is not a big deal; Shanklin's parody and distribution thereof is. The former is a liberal; the latter is a conservative. Check. It really is as simple as that.
Was the distribution of the song a lousy idea? In my opinion, yeah. If it was up to me I certainly wouldn't have done it. But considering the absolute viciousness of liberal entertainers' "jokes" and "parodies" about/of conservatives over the years, this song parody is nothing. Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (who's black) said as much: "'There is hypersensitivity in the press regarding matters of race' because of Obama's election ..."
Alas, the opinion of people like Blackwell doesn't wash with faux "progressives." He's just a GOP "Uncle Tom." But let's face it -- these faux "progressives" don't really care much about racial matters. What they actually care about is using race as a political tool -- a wedge by which to consolidate more political power. Period. For, if they really cared, the outrage directed at this song parody would have been directed at Ehrenstein, too.
Former Watcher's Council member Rick Moran has more thoughts.
Daniel Taylor of Wilmington rips The Messiah's choice of inauguration invocation speaker by getting his main "fact" ... well, wrong:
Why did President-elect Barack Obama pick Rev. Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation? Why not Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor of 20 years who married him and baptized his children? Sen. Obama is pro-choice and for gay and lesbian marriage. Rev. Warren is on the opposite side of both positions. This choice seems like a blatant political ploy to gather support from the evangelical and moderate conservatives (an oxymoron on the later).
Michelle Malkin nails it today, and good.
Check out how the Washington Post covered the workouts of two fitness fanatics -- President-Elect Barack "The Messiah" Obama and George W. Bush. First, The Messiah:
“The sun glinted off chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games.”
“Obama has gone to the gym for about 90 minutes a day, for at least 48 days in a row.”
“Gym Workouts Help Obama Carry the Weight of His Position.”
“He doesn’t think of it as something he has to do — it’s his time for himself, a chance for him to reflect. It’s his break. He feels better and more revved up after he gets in his workout.”
“Am I the only person who finds this disturbing?…What I mean is the fact that Bush has an obsession with exercise that borders on the creepy.”
“Does the leader of the free world need to attain that level of physical achievement?”
“It’s nice for Bush that he can take an hour or two out of every day to run, bike or pump iron. Unfortunately, most of us have more demanding jobs than he does.”
Mainstream media bias? Huh? Where?
First place in the Council category was The Razor with The Symbol of Oppression.
First place in the non-Council category was John Stossel with Arrogance and Conceit Won’t Fix the Economy.
Full results are here.
David Dagenais of Milton engages in the usual yawn-inducing nonsense:
With regard to the article “Global warming reports exaggerated,” the writer Mr. Broncelet’s employment by the University of Delaware is in no way relevant to his “expertise,” and is meaningless in the context of his opinions regarding global warming, so why include it? Use of this information is perhaps misleading.
Secondly, the writer’s facts are carefully sorted to prove his point; a wider study of the issue may prove he is absolutely wrong. In fact, most scientists disagree with him.
The letter contains at least one really basic error: its discussion of the effects of sea ice on sea level. There are way too many variables left out of the author’s simplistic explanation to give it any validity.
There is really no good reason for The News Journal to publish purported “scientific” information on an opinion page.
Oh Lordy, where to start. First, notice Dagenais' use of the conditionals "perhaps" and "may." Of course, those who believe that global warming hysteria is, well, just that could likewise claim that the Al Gore-ites MAY be wrong, and PERHAPS their hysteria is ridiculously misplaced. In fact, the latest opinions -- and facts -- demonstrate that this is precisely the case!
Second, Dagenais blasts the article writer for leaving out numerous variables?? Hel-LO! This is exactly what the Al Gore-ites revel in! Yeesh!!
Lastly, how stupid is the statement that [contrarian] scientific info should NOT be printed in an OPINION section? Here Dagenais just engages in what way too many Al Gore-ites do -- the propensity to want to shut down any debate about the global warming issue.
Sorry. Ain't happenin'.
Just remember Nancy Pelosi in 2006: "The American people voted to restore integrity and honesty in Washington, D.C., and the Democrats intend to lead the most honest, most open and most ethical Congress in history."
How's that workin' out, Nance?
Your Christmas dinner contributes -- quite heavily -- to ... you guessed it: global warming:
Wasted food at Christmas time is now being highlighted as an environmental problem.
Jon Dee, the chairman of Do Something, says gases from leftover food rotting in landfill are 20 times more potent than the carbon pollution from car exhausts.
Mr. Dee says there are simple ways to avoid over-catering at Christmas and damaging the environment.
"Australians waste more than 3 million tonnes of food every year and of course a lot of that food is wasted at Christmas," he said.
To which Newsbusters' Noel Sheppard opines:
Okay, I'll bite: if "gases from leftover food rotting in landfill are 20 times more potent than the carbon pollution from car exhausts," why are we worried about carbon pollution from car exhausts? Or from coal-fired power plants?
"So where is Desmond Tutu when my people call out for freedom? Where are you for Sudan, Bishop Tutu?" asks Simon Deng.
He's been too busy [ridiculously] calling out Israel as an "apartheid state."
The State of Israel is not an apartheid state. I know because I write this from Jerusalem where I have seen Arab mothers peacefully strolling with their families -- even though I also drove on Israeli roads protected by walls and fences from Arab bullets and stones. I know Arabs go to Israeli schools, and get the best medical care in the world. I know they vote and have elected representatives to the Israeli Parliament. I see street signs in Arabic, an official language here.
None of this was true for blacks under Apartheid in Tutu's South Africa. I also know countries that do deserve the apartheid label: My country, Sudan, is on the top of the list, but so are Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. What has happened to my people in Sudan is a thousand times worse than Apartheid in South Africa. And no matter how the Palestinians suffer, they suffer nothing compared to my people. Nothing. And most of the suffering is the fault of their leaders.
Read the whole thing.
To all of our loyal readers, commenters, and fellow bloggers (with one notable exception) ...
* The Provocateur - Obama Engulfed By Pay to Play?
* Rhymes With Right - Impeach Jerry Brown
* Joshuapundit - Cheney Slaps Biden Upside The Head
* Bookworm Room - Destruction of Property
* The Glittering Eye - How to Give a Bonus
* The Colossus of Rhodey - *Yawn* Lincoln “parallels” for Obama
* Cheat-Seeking Missiles - Gay Anger At Warren Unwarranted
* Bookworm Room - The Symbol of Oppression
* Soccer Dad - Don’t get too chummy with that flaming dummy
* Right Truth - Re-evaluating America’s Biggest Threat
* Mere Rhetoric - Smug Liberal Sophistication Undisturbed By Decades Of Disastrously Wrong Domestic And International Predictions
Check out the non-Council submissions here.
AP headline: Blagojevich questioning takes up Obama's time.
Say it with me: AWWWWWWW!!
It's only a matter of time before we begin reading "I need to get to work saving America from the last eight years of the worst [insert ANYTHING you wish here] ..."
... puts politics over science!
Then there's Nobel Prize winner and climate alarmist cum laude ... Al Gore:
Noted energy expert and Princeton physicist Dr. Will Happer has sharply criticized global warming alarmism. Happer, author of over 200 scientific papers and a past director of energy research at the Department of Energy, called fears over global warming "mistaken".
In 1991, Happer was appointed director of energy research for the US Department of Energy. In 1993, he testified before Congress that the scientific data didn't support widespread fears about the dangers of the ozone hole and global warming, remarks that caused then-Vice President Al Gore to fire him. "I was told that science was not going to intrude on public policy," he said. "I did not need the job that badly." (Source.)
What's the difference when George Bush does this and Al Gore does the same? Easy: Al Gore means well. He wants to save us from ourselves. He's a good person. Therefore, criticism directed his way is "hate," "fear-mongering" and "evil." (All according to "progressives," that is.)
(h/t to Ace.)
My pal Vic over at Screen Rant has what appears to be the definitive scoop: The new Star Trek film due out next May will take place in an alternate timeline.
Roberto Orci: It is the reason why some things are different, but not everything is different. Not everything is inconsistent with what might have actually happened, in canon. Some of the things that seem that they are totally different, I will argue, once the film comes out, fall well within what could have been the non-time travel version of this move.
TrekMovie.com: So, for example, Kirk is different, because his back story has totally changed, in that his parents…and all that. But you are saying that maybe Scotty or Spock’s back story would not be affected by that change?
Roberto Orci: Right.
Anthony: Does the time travel explain why the Enterprise looks different and why it is being built in Riverside Iowa?
TrekMovie.com: Yes, and yes.
So, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie takes place in/creates an alternate timeline/version of the Trek universe we know and love. He talks a lot about quantum physics and the new way of viewing time travel (if it were actually possible). According to Orci, the old time travel paradox question of whether you can go back and kill your own grandfather has been answered - and the answer is: Yes.
The idea is that event would exist in an alternate timeline in which you would never be born. In that timeline you’re a guy who came from nowhere and killed the man who was to be your grandfather. In that timeline you will never exist. According to this theory there is NO WAY to go back in time and change events that will affect the timeline you started from.
And this seems to be the more widely accepted versions of time travel utilized in science fiction. Currently, I am reading The Man Who Folded Himself which comes recommended, aptly enough, by Michael Okuda, co-author of the Star Trek Chronology. Though I’ve read better time travel stories (granted, this David Gerrold tale was written in the early 70s), it does take the, well, time to inform the reader as best as possible just how the protagonist can do what he does without creating all sorts of wacky paradoxes. But basically the gist is this: Every time you travel into the past, you create an alternate universe. Period. This is why you could encounter your younger self, or, as noted above, you could kill your grandfather (or father) and not suddenly disappear. Because your grandfather (or father) that you kill exist in a different timeline from yourself.
With Trek canon, however, there seems to be a hassle:
The problem with even this explanation is that it goes against what has been established in previous Star Trek episodes and movies: In prior Trek time travel DOES repair problems and the crew returns to the “fixed” future they left. Examples of this include the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise” where a starship was sent back to fight a crucial battle and it set the existing timeline straight, and the film “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” where Kirk and Co. went back in time to bring humpback whales back to the future to avert the destruction of humanity.
In other words, Trek has historically used a … “linear” model of time where corrections in the past actually docorrect what is “wrong” in the future (in the “actual” Trek future). Other examples include:
Of course, the main interrogative element in these Trek episodes is how, then, do people from the future exist in the past … in the same timeline. In other words, given standard Trek canon, Picard, Sisko or whoever could effectively change history by killing someone’s distant relative in the past – even their own, thus creating the standard “grandfather paradox.” Granted, Picard and Sisko (among others) always eventually hightail it back to their own time. However, it was established that in certain stories that some were “left behind.” For instance, the series “Enterprise” played on the events from “First Contact” when a few deactivated Borg drones were discovered. Yes, the drones were activated and wreaked a bit of havoc, but what would happen if these cybernetic goons began drastically altering the past – like offing a distant grandfather of Picard, say? According to Trek time travel law, the Federation would look a lot different. Not to mention, Picard would suddenly “disappear” from the bridge of the Enterprise-E.
In the aforementioned “Yesterday’s Enterprise” episode of TNG, Tasha Yar – who had been killed in the “standard” Trek timeline – reappeared as a bridge officer on the Enterprise-D when the Enterprise-C came through time to the future. To “restore” the timeline, Picard had to demand that the Enterprise-C go back to the past, but Yar – who realized she wasn’t supposed to exist – requested to go back with the older Enterprise. Picard agreed to allow her to go; however, we later learn that she survived the Enterprise-C’s battle with the Romulans twenty-two years prior, and was captured. What if she had managed to alter Romulan society in the past? What if Romulus was much friendlier to the Federation? According to Trek time travel law, the era of the Enterprise-D would suddenly transform into something quite different.
J.J. Abrams’ new twist to time travel in the Trek universe for the 11th film is actually akin to that of the popular “Back to the Future II.” This script was smart and detailed, explaining the “alternate timeline” theory of time travel quite thoroughly for the layman. Recall that Biff giving his younger self that sports almanac resulted in an alternate timeline where Biff became a rich (and unscrupulous) businessman. (Of course, this is a fundamental change from the classic first film, which seems to use a Trek-like linear approach. In that story, changes made to the past directly affected the future; recall that things disappeared – like Marty’s photos – and that the end result of Marty’s sojourn to 1955 resulted in his father becoming a confident and successful writer in the future of that same timeline.)
Most time travel novels I have read make use of “alternate universe” temporal mechanics; however, one excellent book that uses the “linear” approach is Orson Scott Card’s Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. In it, scientists from the future ponder the “negative” effect Columbus’ voyage had on the natives of the Americas. But some others wonder if Chris’s trip wasn’t actually beneficial in the long run. The ultimate “solution” is incredible in scope, but the decision to alter time in the past results in the “present” timeline being erased -- no alternate timeline is created.
The 11th Star Trek film should appeal to both new fans and old Trekkers alike. It makes use of the most popular (and established) time travel theory, but most importantly it will inject a much needed “new energy” into a franchise that was becoming old and worn.
A terrific compilation of time travel movies and the theories behind them/problems inherent in them can be found here.
“Muslim leaders reacted with frustration after the verdict” is a line from the AP report yesterday (via the Wilmington News Journal) regarding the “Fort Dix 5” who were convicted of conspiring to attack the Fort Dix (New Jersey) military base:
The five men were convicted Monday in federal court of conspiring to kill military personnel but acquitted of attempted murder. Prosecutors acknowledged the defendants were probably months away from an attack at Fort Dix and did not necessarily have a specific plan.
The arrests in 2007 and subsequent trial tested the FBI's post-Sept. 11 strategy of infiltrating and breaking up terrorist plots in their earliest stages. Muslim leaders reacted with frustration after the verdict.
"Many people in the Muslim community will see this as a case of entrapment,"said Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who attended five days of trial testimony. "From what I saw, there was a significant role played by the government informant."
With a last name like “Sues,” maybe Jim oughta become a lawyer, eh? At any rate, not surprisingly, the AP merely covers Sues’s and other “bigwigs’” beefs with the verdict, calling the conspiracy charge “far broader” than what was expected and “flimsy.” James Yee, the former Muslim chaplain at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, said, "All of this doesn't help build trust with the American Muslim community, and that is vital if our law enforcement is going to fight terrorism." It (amazingly) takes going to the New York Times to see that Sues doesn’t feel that the quintet are totally guiltless:
Jim Sues, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who spent several days in court listening to testimony, said that the men, though not innocent of any wrongdoing, were unjustifiably egged on by government informants into making conspiratorial statements about a terrorist attack on the base.
“The informant was much more than the informant,” Mr. Sues said in a telephone interview on Monday. “There was [sic] definitely some laws broken, but conspiracy to attack Fort Dix is a whole different story.”
Well that’s a relief! I suppose. Just curious, though: I wonder if Jim Sues and James Yee are at all concerned with the perception that many non-Muslim Americans have about Muslim Americans (or residents) who regularly listen/watch al Qaeda-inspired videotapes, and who purchase illegal firearms -- which then are fired at a shooting range while their bearers shout “God is great!” Think there’s something to be concerned about there?
At least the AP story delves into what some [Muslim] regular folk think, aside from Muslim “leaders” and other bigwigs:
Fuat "Mike" Mamo of Cresskill, a member of the Albanian community in New Jersey, said he feels ashamed of the three Albanian brothers who were convicted.
"I don't know what they were thinking," Mamo said of the Duka brothers. "They were just out of their mind and they should be put away for life. The Albanian community is nothing like this.
"We come from a country that has a reputation for religious diversity and tolerance. To go against the American government - that's unacceptable to our community."
I’m thinkin’ that if we had a lot more people like Mr. Mamo, that “trust” that Mr. Sues and Mr. Yee claim they’re so concerned about would be much more prevalent. It’s a two-way street, after all.
Oh, here’s a little reminder about the immigration status of the Duka brothers, three of the five involved.
Why? He blasted George Bush, that’s why. Instant endearment to the so-called “progressive” moonbat left:
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has rejected calls from the US and UK for him to stand down, branding them "stupid and foolish." Mr. Mugabe was speaking after the US said a power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe was not possible with him in power. He said criticism from President George Bush was irrelevant and the "last kicks of a dying horse.”
Mr Mugabe has been facing intensified criticism over the dire economic and humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. On Sunday, US Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Jendayi Frazer said Zimbabwe's leader had lost touch with reality.
Reality? Who cares!! Starving his people to death? No matter. Health crisis? Big woop. He laid out George W. Bush, yo! That means instant hero to these buttheads.
Historian James M. McPherson sees some “parallels” between our 16th president and our new president-elect:
[T]he president-elect may want to put a new Lincoln book on his nightstand, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief (Penguin).
The work by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James M. McPherson explores how the Illinois lawyer and self-taught military strategist managed to successfully prosecute the nation's bloodiest war.
Like Lincoln, Obama enters office without any military experience of his own, yet he becomes commander in chief during a time of not one but two wars. What can Obama learn from Lincoln's example? CNN put that question to McPherson, but first we discussed how the 16th president developed into arguably the country's greatest commander in chief.
Of course, Lincoln didn’t assume office in time of war now, did he? Not only that, when Lincoln did have to deal with military matters (shortly after he took office), he were exclusively dealing with matters right on American soil and territorial waters – not irregular conflicts thousands of miles away -- and already largely won. Ah, but what the heck, why let such a “trivial” detail get in the way of comparing The Messiah to one who many consider the country’s greatest president, eh?
Lincoln actually created the office of the modern commander in chief. The constitution merely says the president "shall be commander in chief of the army and navy of the United States and of the militia of the several states when called into federal service." Period. It doesn't define the powers of the president as commander in chief and there weren't any useful precedents for Lincoln in 1861, so he had to establish the precedents.
And what he did was to -- I wouldn't say usurp some of the powers that had been traditionally exercised by Congress in wartime in creating and maintaining an Army and Navy, but to assert powers that could really only be exercised by the commander in chief himself. ... He proclaimed the blockade of the Confederate coastline, which is really an act of war. ... He increased the size of the Army and Navy without congressional authorization. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus and the Chief Justice of the United States said that only Congress could do that. But Lincoln said this is logically an emergency function of the commander in chief and he established that precedent, as well.
Well, well, well. I wonder how McPherson would be viewed if he used the same justifications for George W. Bush that he uses for Lincoln. After all, the country has never fought a war like the current one we’re engaged in, the so-called War on Terror. Would McPherson legitimize [some of] the actions Bush’s administration has undertaken – say, like opening Guantánamo Bay for captured terrorists and terrorist suspects, and tapping phone calls where one party was located in a foreign country as … “establishing precedent?” Can you imagine if President Bush unilaterally suspended habeas corpus in the hours/days following 9/11? If he, without Congressional approval for funding, increased the size of the military? And what about what McPherson doesn’t mention at all about Lincoln: What if Bush, like Lincoln, regularly jailed and/or exiled his political opponents? As it is, the Left has been beyond apoplectic about Bush’s actions since 9/11 (hell, since his election!). He “shredded the Constitution,” he’s engaged in “a power grab,” he’s “in the pocket of Big Oil,” he’s “a fascist in the vein of Hitler,” he “should be tried for war crimes.” Etc.
The funny thing is, Lincoln’s opponents at the time said similar things. Now? “Greatest president of all time.” No, I’m not even close to saying George W. Bush should be considered such; however, Barack Obama shouldn’t be mentioned in comparison to Lincoln either … especially since the dude hasn’t even taken office yet!
I’ve said many times here and elsewhere that the measures the Bush administration has taken in the “War on Terror” pale in comparison to those done by presidents past, including FDR, Wilson, and especially Lincoln. Many of you know I think the Iraq War was a big mistake; however, the Afghan conflict was a legitimate response … and if we can now look back, as McPherson does here, with little or no reservations about quite questionable actions by presidents past, then history may indeed come to view George W. Bush’s tenure quite more favorably than it does now.
She has all the qualities -- intellectual curiosity; a friendly, at times pointed, sense of humor, and a deferential manner (she hails her own cabs) -- that are the stuff of a good legislator.
Well gosh. What are we waiting for? Get her in the Senate NOW!!
Hunt proved what an a-hole he is back in the early 90s when he execrably defended (by screaming at colleague Bob Novak on "Capital Gang") a couple of Wall St. Journal reporters for their hit job on then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
John Timpane’s glowing review of Obama inauguration poet Elizabeth Alexander in the Philly Inquirer is, well, just that – glowing:
"Elizabeth Alexander may turn out to be the perfect inaugural poet," says Al Young, California's poet laureate from 2005 to 2008.
"To me, she arrives at the perfect hour," says Aaron Fagan, poet and editor at Scientific American.
"Her selection really affirms our generation of American poets in ways that will resonate for a long time to come," says Herman Beavers, an associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, fellow poet, and longtime friend.
Brent Colburn, an Obama inaugural spokesperson, calls the poet "incredibly gifted" and says her selection "demonstrates the important role that the arts and literature can play in helping to bring our country together."
Based on Colburn’s assessment, there doesn’t seem that much controversial about Ms. Alexander, right? But if you read Timpane’s article carefully, you might get an inkling that something’s up. For instance, Aaron Fagan added to his quote (from above) that Alexander was "also a surprising choice, not at all polite or safe." Why might that be? We don’t know; Timpane doesn’t elucidate. All he notes is that “Alexander's poetry fits Obama's politics in taking a view of race and culture that will challenge Americans of all backgrounds,” and says “that's very American, as is her powerful directness.”
“Not at all polite or safe?” “Powerful directness?” Gee, thanks for being so cryptic, Mr. Timpane.
As could expected from a liberal hack newspaper like the Inquirer, it doesn’t want to do anything to … smudge The Messiah’s upcoming inaugural. That is, unless it’s an opportunity to rip his choice of a speaker like the Rev. Rick Warren. So, it looks like it’s up to an outfit like Newsbusters to fill ‘yas in. As contributor Colleen Raezler points out, we now know just why Ms. Alexander isn’t “polite or safe”:
Her poem "The Venus Hottentot" is about black female exploitation and contains the line, "her genitalia will float inside a labeled pickling jar." And: "Since my own genitals are public I have made other parts private." And: "I am a black cutout against a captive blue sky, pivoting nude so the paying audience can view my naked buttocks." And, most notably, this:
“In this newspaper lithograph, my buttocks are shown swollen and luminous as a planet.
Monsieur Cuvier investigates between my legs, poking, prodding, sure of his hypothesis.
I half expect him to pull silk scarves from inside me, paper poppies, then a rabbit.”
And there’s more. Just check out the NB link.
Raezler also shows which other MSM outlets (like the Inquirer) have ignored Alexander’s … “colorful” language. And why not? Such lingo is bound to only be upsetting to conservatives. And not only that, but, again, they’re way too busy detailing what a hateful bigot Rick Warren is and how his inclusion in Obama’s inaugural is “intolerant” and “insensitive” … and how Obama has “betrayed” his “progressive” supporters.
Hannibal Casanova of West Philly has a beef with Mayor Michael Nutter: He’s in a “slave-master relationship with the [Philly] white community.”
WHEN I FIRST heard that the Nutter administration would be cutting certain public libraries, I automatically knew the ones in the African-American communities would be targeted first (exception of the Fishtown branch).
Mayor Nutter clearly understands the consequences behind challenging the Philadelphia Eagles' multibillion-dollar football stadium, which owes the city $8 million, or targeting the Mummers Parade, which are both white-folks recreational establishments. But because this mayor has developed a slave-master relationship with the white community in this city, his tenure will forever be in a form of psychosocial obedient debt to them for electing him.
Unfortunately, resulting in the cutting of urban libraries where young African-American children go to access resources is no concern to this psychologically trained "Happy Negro" mayor.
Indeed. If the white folk can’t somehow get a white guy elected in Philly, they just resort to “psychosocial obedience” training on whichever black guy is voted in!
… or anyone else in his administration suspected of foul play. Would the MSM be having a field day? Would Keith Olbermann be having a stroke in one of his “Special Comments?”
President-elect Barack Obama’s aides plan to release a report this week absolving incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel of any impropriety in his contacts with the disgraced Illinois governor’s office, Democratic sources tell Politico.
The report is expected Monday or Tuesday. Obama said last week that he was delaying it until this week at the request of federal prosecutors.
The complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose conversations had been secretly taped by federal investigators, tested the smoothly running Obama transition, with some Democrats fretting that the case presents a distraction that could last into the new administration. (Link.)
Well I guess that is THAT!
UPDATE: Peter Kirsanow must read Colossus! ;-)
We in the tri-state region should know:
Federal investigators are questioning a discontinued scholarship program founded by a Pennsylvania congressman.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday that investigators are asking about the use of federal grants given to College Opportunity Resources for Education, or CORE Philly.
The program was set up by Rep. Chaka Fattah four years ago but is ending after next spring. He says the investigation was about a $700,000 grant from the Justice Department to cover staffing, computers and more.
Fattah believes interest in the inquiry increased because of complaints from a disgruntled employee.
He has said he's ending the program because of a subsidy cut.
Yep. He’s a Democrat.
You can't pass a constitutional amendment because it's ... unconstitutional.
Whaaa ... ??
In a surprise move, state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to invalidate Proposition 8. He said the November ballot measure that banned gay marriage "deprives people of the right to marry, an aspect of liberty that the Supreme Court has concluded is guaranteed by the California Constitution."
It is the attorney general's duty to defend the state's laws, and after gay rights activists filed legal challenges to Proposition 8, which amended the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, Brown said he planned to defend the proposition as enacted by the people of California.
But after studying the matter, Brown concluded that "Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification." (Link.)
Just imagine if the US Supreme Court attempted to "invalidate" a constitutional amendment passed by Congress (2/3 of both houses) and the requisite 3/4 of the state legislatures by ruling that the amendment was ... "unconstitutional." Um, that would be like missing the entire point -- of a thing called "checks and balances."
UPDATE: John Rosenberg offers his biting take on this.
... among other things. She is going through quite a difficult time.
Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus."
In other news, the Vince Foster investigation has been reopened.
Apollo 11 (and subsequent missions) never landed on the moon.
AIDS is a man-made disease created to kill black people.
The 2004 tsunami and various other disasters are the US's fault.
The Philadelphia Experiment was real.
Of course, no one was even close with their, um ... "guesses" as to who I'll have on with me December 29 from 9-11am when I take over "The Maria Evans Show" (on Delaware Talk Radio). So, here's a "teaser" of sorts ... if you can manage to ID the gent below:
You may already know my favorite comics blog is Mark Engblom's Comic Coverage. And this post is a perfect reason why. It's even better than last year's, and that post made me cry laughing at it was!
Well, mostly, at least.
THE first grandchild of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a boy, her father, Chuck Heath, revealed to Grandparents.com. Heath said his pregnant granddaughter, Bristol Palin, has a due date of Dec. 20. Asked what Bristol and the child's still unmarried father, Levi Johnston, will name the baby, Heath answered, "Oscar . . . No, I'm just kidding. They don't have a name for it yet." (Source.)
As blogger JammieWearingFool notes (see link above), young Trig Palin was born eight months ago. So, all the conspiracy theorists who claim that Trig is actually Bristol's son -- and not that of her mom, Sarah -- now have to figure out how Bristol had two kids within the normal gestation period of one child. It's not unheard of, true, but it adds just another layer of ... "difficulty" for the moronic hate spewers to "explain" how Sarah Palin is such a "bad mother."
The following exchange on the CBS "Early Show" yesterday (which was similar, by the way, to one I saw on CNN Thursday night) between correspondent Harry Smith, Dr. Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, and David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones magazine:
Smith turned to Jeffress and wondered why Warren would agree to speak at Obama’s inauguration.
JEFFRESS: But I want to say, to me, it's just unbelievable to think that because Rick Warren believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, somehow that characterizes him as a hate-monger and makes him unfit to pray at the inauguration. I mean, this sounds like bizzaro world to me-"
SMITH: Well, excuse me, excuse me though, this is a serious civil rights issue in this country.
OK, let's stop here for a sec. Gay "marriage" is a "serious civil rights issue?" No, it's not -- what is the serious civil rights issue is guaranteeing that gay Americans are afforded the same rights and protections that straight people are. Marriage isn't one of them; what is are the protections and rights that go along with having a spouse. In other words, so what if Warren thinks marriage should be between a man and a woman. Where I have a hassle with him is if he thinks gay civil unions should not be allowed, and/or if such unions shouldn't give gay partners rights and protections equivalent to those of straight Americans.
JEFRESS: David, Rick Warren is strictly teaching what the Bible teaches...Rick Warren is simply delivering the message of the Bible. Jesus said marriage is...Between a man and a woman and that's what the Bible is. Rick...is not making up the message he is simply delivering the message...of the Bible.
CORN: That's the biggest dodge there is...The Bible says a lot of things...Abraham was -- Abraham was a polygamist.
Not only that, Mr. Corn, but if Warren "is strictly teaching what the Bible teaches," then that would have to include a justification for slavery. I really doubt Warren would cede that point, don't you? (This site attempts to clarify the definitions of slavery during Biblical times and that of the 16th century onward; however, in my opinion the distinction is fairly weak.) For example, what does one make of the following passage from Exodus 21:20-21:
When a slave owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner's property.
Isn't that "strictly ... what the Bible teaches?"
Y'see, I actually have no hassle with Warren believing that marriage is for a man and a woman only. I've argued the point here and at numerous blogs ad nauseum. The problem is his justification for his belief. You can't argue that "it's because the Bible says so" on one point, but ignore what the Bible says on others. You can't pick and choose what the Bible "really" says when it's convenient.
First place in the Council category was Bookworm Room with Selfish is as selfish does.
First place in the non-Council category was The Brussels Journal with On Deconstructing the Majority: Nothing To Do With Islam? Really?
Full results can be found here.
John Rosenberg strikes again at Discriminations. Chaparral High School in Temecula, CA will see its teachers endure (my term) “cultural competency training” soon in an effort to boost student achievement:
Last week, the Temecula school board approved a $15,000 contract for a consultant to come to the campus for five days next semester and teach educators how to better understand where their students are coming from ---- on a cultural level ---- in an attempt to improve their grades.
Chaparral officials said the campus is becoming increasingly diverse, and has more than 1,800 students who have not passed either section of the exit exam, scored below proficient on standardized tests, or are still learning English.
The training is expected to examine why these students "are not being educated to their full potential" and to "promote educational equity for all students," according to district documents.
CA Superintendent of schools Jack O’Connell, a known nutty “progressive,” digs the idea:
“Students are more likely to do well in school if they feel supported and understood by their teachers ... and teachers are more likely to be effective if they understand and can relate to the diverse cultures of students in their classroom,” he said.
That sounds all peachy keen; however, as Jennifer Kabbany, columnist for the North County Times writes, “all teachers must have minored in Asian studies during college, because clearly they are adept at getting most Asian students to perform well academically.”
Indeed. I so do hope at least one teacher will ask the $15,000 consultant how Asian students excel academically – outperforming even [majority] white students – even though 99% of them don’t see teachers that “look like them.” Perhaps Discriminations commenter Alex Bensky says it best about this nonsense: “What this will do, of course, is encourage students to ghettoize themselves, to believe that unless the teacher looks just like them they aren't required to perform.”
MSN, in its “green” section, devotes ten pages to “debunking the skeptics of GW.” Did I mention that the “mythbusters” are courtesy of … The Environmental Defense Fund?? Let’s take a gander at some of these “mythbusters,” shall we?
The science of global warming is too uncertain to act on. The EDF says the “fact” is “There is no debate among scientists about the basic facts of global warming.”
Really? The EDF plays with definitions as it claims “the most respected scientific bodies have stated unequivocally that global warming is occurring.” Respected by whom? The EDF? And what time frame are we talking about when we say that global warming is occurring? Because in the last decade we have not experienced any global warming. There’s a ton more; Google is a good friend in that regards.
Accurate weather predictions a few days in advance are hard to come by. Why on earth should we have confidence in climate projections decades from now? The EDF says the “fact” is Climate prediction is fundamentally different from weather prediction, just as climate is different from weather.
That’s right – just like these very same alarmists were screaming about the next Ice Age 30 years ago! If they weren’t right then, what makes them so utterly and completely positive that GW is an absolute scientific certainty NOW??
And then there’s this very recent report from just a few days ago: Scientists call AP report on global warming “hysteria.” The article says
The mean global temperature, at least as measured by satellite, is now the same as it was in the year 1980. In the last couple of years sea level has stopped rising. Hurricane and cyclone activity in the northern hemisphere is at a 24-year low and sea ice globally is also the same as it was in 1980.
He (Michael R. Fox, a retired nuclear scientist and chemistry professor from the University of Idaho) said there is little evidence to believe that man-made carbon dioxide is causing temperature fluctuation. "It's silly to lay it all on man-made carbon dioxide," Fox said. "It was El Nino in 1998 that caused the big spike in global warming and little to do with carbon dioxide."
Other factors, including sun spots, solar winds, variations in the solar magnetic field and solar irradiation, could all be affecting temperature changes, he said.
The EDF is probably having fits, too, over this recent report from 650 scientists (that’s right, Chicken Littlers – 650 – “more than 12 times the number of UN scientists  who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary ”) “challenging man-made global-warming claims made by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and former Vice President Al Gore.” (Source.)
Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto the Global Warming Petition Project, a petition that urges “the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.”
The petition goes on say (and take good note, GW alarmists):
There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.
These last parts are in direct contradiction to the ninth “myth” that the EDF reports – “Global warming is just part of a natural cycle. The Arctic has warmed up in the past. It retorts, “The global warming we are experiencing is not natural. People are causing it.” The problem is, the EDF is relying on much of what is now being repudiated by these very same scientists!!
Time to face facts, people. We were swindled by the likes of Al “I Should Never Have Gotten a Nobel for my Hysteria” Gore and his ilk. Global warming will NOT bring about the destruction of human civilization, and even if all these scientists agreed that man was primarily responsible for GHGs (greenhouse gasses), the fact of the matter is that fossil fuels are finite, increasingly expensive, and its supply is volatile. We’re already seeing a massive change away from FFs, especially since the prodigious price spike from a few months ago. Hybrid cars are increasingly common, and soon cars like the Chevy Volt will take the hybrids’ place. It’s a safe bet that by before mid-century, use of fossil fuels will drop massively. And as a result of that, so should (“should” being the highly operative word) global warming madness.
Gotta love the MSM, in this case the illustrious Washington Post. They’re taking “ads” for The Messiah’s upcoming inaugural … but only those congratulatory in nature. Oh, and the Post "reserves the right to reject any notice."
Well, sure -- that last part is always in effect at papers. But … "all ads must be congratulatory in nature"?? Doesn’t the “progressive” Left always tell us that “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism?” Heh. Actually, for them, it’s actually “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism – unless you disagree with us.”
Just imagine the field day the MSM would have if the WaPo had a similar sentence about ads for George W. Bush’s farewell party. "Fascist!" "Censorship!" Yada yada yada.
Yours truly will be taking over Delaware Talk Radio's "net"waves during the "Maria Evans Show" (9-11am) on Monday, December 29th. Normally, I'd wait only a day or two before the date to announce it, but I've arranged an interview for the show with a pop culture ICON, one that lives right here in Delaware. And, many of you have no idea about this person's influence on said popular culture.
Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more info!
The UN’s climate change body has suspended one of its leading auditing companies after a spot check revealed ‘irregularities’.
... The UNFCCC has found that Norway’s Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is guilty of "non-conformity” in carrying out work in the name of the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
CDM ... allows industrialised countries to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by trading in the US$13.8 billion carbon market.
Projects can only qualify for CDM acceptance after a rigorous and public registration and issuance process designed to ensure real, measurable and verifiable emission reductions that are additional to what would have occurred without the project.
The process is overseen by the CDM Executive Board currently chaired by Mr Rajesh Kumar Sethi, who recently authored a book called “Doing Business in India”. ...
...DNV was not the only company that had been probed during checks to ensure that “auditing and verification procedures” are being carried out with full transparency....
DNV has 300 offices in 100 different countries and has profited massively by validating approximately 40 percent of the projects registered with the UN through the mechanism.
It has also emerged that DNV projects have been in receipt of more than 50 million credits out of the total 210 million issued so far. UNFCCC confirmed that nearly 1 million credits had been issued on DNV projects in October alone.
CDM has been under fire from several quarters this year. An ... analysis conducted at Stanford University (USA) in April found that as much as two-thirds of emission offsets under CDM do not represent actual emission cuts.
International Rivers chief Patrick McCully earlier this year described CDM as “a global shell game that is increasing greenhouse gas emissions behind the guise of promoting sustainable development. The misguided mechanism is handing out billions of dollars to chemical, coal and oil corporations and the developers of destructive dams - in many cases for projects they would have built anyway.”
Carbon credits ... a scam? What the ...!!
A school in North Carolina had temporarily ditched the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from a ... holiday concert because -- OH NO! -- it had "religious overtones."
The objecting parent was upset about the words "Christmas" and "Santa" in the song, feeling that they carried religious overtones.
That prompted the song to be pulled from the upcoming holiday concert, which in turn upset more parents.
But Rudolph will be shining bright next Tuesday after New Hanover County school administrators and lawyers determined the song was just, well, a secular song about a make-believe reindeer.
"They’ve determined that it signifies just a day in time, Dec. 25, not the promotion of a religious symbol," said Ed Higgins, chairman of the county Board of Education. "So Rudolph is back in."
School officials also found the use of "Santa" to be okay because he’s considered a nonreligious figure.
The kindergarten chorus’ holiday concert for the school’s PTA will now include Rudolph along with the songs "Winter Wonderland," a snowman rap and "Jingle Bells."
The parent who complained -- who is Jewish -- said she had contacted the school about including a Hannukah song but hadn't received a reply. This is not an unreasonable request, certainly. However, she added this:
"I don’t mind Christmas or anything Christmas-related at all, so long as you’re not imposing it on my child." Y'see, this is where the cult of multiculturalism comes back to bite us in the collective ass. If we're supposed to be all ABOUT multiculturalism, tolerance and the like, and the mom in question here admittedly doesn't "mind Christmas or anything Christmas-related at all," then ... what is the deal? If a social studies class is learning about Jewish traditions ... or Hindu traditions ... whatever, would that be "imposing" (in the words of this mother) those [religious] traditions on the students? If Christian parents believed that, and complained about it, would they be the ones considered "intolerant?" Or would the school that set up said curriculum be so considered?
Attendance at this holiday concert is not a requirement for students, according to the article. Students did practice the songs in their chorus class during the school day, however; where were mom's objections then?
I'm not one to go ballistic about the supposed "War on Christmas" like, say, Bill O'Reilly does. But ALL of us -- whatever your religious background -- need to get a BIG grip.
I haven't yet read a good review for "The Day the Earth Stood Still," which means I'll check out the DVD only. Most of the reviews say the remake of the classic was unnecessary, especially if it has a stupid premise (as this does). Given the subject that was touched on here, it's a rational guess that intelligent life is a rare commodity in the universe. So, why is Keanu Reeves (who plays "Klaatu") threatening Earth's lone intelligent species with extinction if we don't stop ... global warming??
At least the original Klaatu said he didn't much care what we did to ourselves and the planet Earth -- as long as we didn't f*** around with other planets when (if) we gained interstellar travel. If we do ... WATCH OUT. (Of course, by the time we acquire the knowledge to journey to the stars -- if we survive ourselves that long -- I think it is safe to assume we'll have largely overcome many of our aggressive tendencies.)
It looks like the "TDTESS" remake forgot that effects alone don't make a good film. Most scifi fans'd much rather sink their viewing teeth into an intelligent story than be mesmerized by boffo F/X.
Maryann Pike of Claymont wins hands down:
I am totally confused. Except for U. S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald grabbing the opportunity to call attention to himself what is all the fuss about?
Exactly what crime did the governor of Illinois actually commit?
He spouted some foul mouthed comments in private that were only overheard because there were bugs present. The governor attempted and talked of various deals which if he had succeeded in carrying them out would have been considered corrupt, but he wasn’t successful.
And most important of all, the President-elect assures us that he was totally unaware of any of these goings on in Chicago.
In my opinion this whole affair is “Much ado about nothing,” perhaps tweaked a bit by the Bush Administration for whatever benefit it might bring them.
My emphasis. "Confused" is an understatement, Ms. Pike. Your BDS infection now has you blaming the outgoing president ... for Chicago corruption that has been going on since time immemorial!! (All the while taking the President-Elect's word at face value.) But hey, even those in the MSM are shrugging their shoulders at it -- "Y'know, it's the 'Chicago Way!' What's the big deal?"
But at least (so far) no one in that arena has insinuated that George Bush is to blame for Rod Blagojevich's troubles!
Are there any movies which always (or usually always) make you cry? Or tear up? Especially at the end?
I have two:
1. Somewhere in Time, and
2. The Color Purple.
How 'bout you?
"With so many stars in the universe, science suggests we may not be alone." So writes MSNBC.com columnist John Roach.
I can think of no greater conceit than the Earth being the ONLY life-supporting planet in the entire universe. And to all those (usually religious fundies) who do believe Earth is the only planet that has life, ask why God would make the universe so freakin' huge ... if only ONE planet supports life.
Mark Steyn reports on racial conspiratorial nonsense, this time from Zimbabwe:
"I would like to affirm with factual information on how cholera was brought to Zimbabwe," [Information Minister Sikhanyiso] Ndlovu said.
“Cholera is a calculated, racist attack on Zimbabwe by the unrepentant former colonial power, which has enlisted support from its American and Western allies so that they can invade the country,” Ndlovu told a news conference.
“The cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe is a serious biological, chemical-war force, a genocidal onslaught, on the people of Zimbabwe by the British,” he said. “It's a genocide of our people.”
One day earlier, Mr. Mugabe had proclaimed in a nationally broadcast speech that “there is no cholera,” comments his spokesman George Charamba said yesterday were meant as “sarcasm.”
Sikhanyiso Ndlovu made the accusation on Friday, a day after Robert Mugabe, the president, said his government had brought the epidemic under control.
You might recall Barack Obama's "spiritual mentor" -- the Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- how his church's newsletter contained similar nonsense about Zimbabwe's neighbor South Africa:
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.
Maybe Bob Mugabe can hire Wright as some sort of "lunacy minister."
Stephen Zelnick has a great piece about yet another higher ed. verbal somersault, this time known as "critical thinking." My favorite passage:
For example, Rethinking the Color-Line, the textbook assigned for a required course I recently taught (English R50, a course in college composition and also race studies that fulfills two requirements at once) is uniformly leftist in its selections. Angela Davis, Howard Zinn, and Jonathan Kozol are well represented, along with a stellar list of urban sociologists and radical historians, including specialists in race studies like Howard Winant, all making the case that the United States has been brutal in its treatment of minorities. The writing is vigorous, as is the display of data demonstrating the wide gap in the distribution of the wealth of this country and the misery experienced by immigrant populations and racial and ethnic minorities.
One looks long and hard for an essay or two in which immigrant populations may appear to have done well in the United States or had some good reason for showing up here for what is apparently an unendurable social and cultural mauling. Also, although there are mentions of “African-American Conservative” writers, they seem to have been segregated out of the discussion, except to be denounced unheard.
Bingo. I don't think I've ever heard a rational answer as to why, if the United States is such a brutally racist and xenophobic country, immigrants continue to come here (or seek to come here) in droves.
... the name of the film or a generic advertisement as to what's showing?
(The above image comes from here.)
... he said he met with Patricia Delgado, Mr. Waxman's chief of staff, and offered his help if Mr. Waxman wishes to revive the Fairness Doctrine. Mr. Waxman is the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.
The mayor on Monday accused WSPD of violating the principles of the now-defunct rule by not giving him equal time to respond to its "daily diatribes" against him, and said he would take it up with Mr. Waxman. The doctrine, which was eliminated by President Reagan in 1987, required radio and TV stations to give equal time to issues and candidates.
How DARE a media outlet criticize a politician? This sounds a lot like what Barack Obama's surrogates did during the 2008 campaign: You broadcast criticisms of those in power, and those in power (whose job it is to protect the population's Bill of Rights freedoms) use their power to shut you up. That's precisely what it is! Period!
As if this moron Finkbeiner doesn't have his own bully pulpit to address any of this radio station's commentaries. He's the freakin' mayor, after all.
The esteemed Mike Matthews, DE Talk Radio host (5-7pm, Mon.-Fri.) and proprietor of Down With Absolutes, was in a blog convo the other day at Delaware Kos where he mentioned that my (Hube’s) … “view” of liberal media bias is wrong-headed.
Is it, Mike?
As frequent DE blog commenter “miscreant” pointed out to Mike in the relevant thread, [liberal] media bias here in the US is, well, pretty much a fact. Just Google “media bias” or “liberal media bias” for starters. For instance, take this UCLA study:
While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times. The Drudge Report may have a right-wing reputation, but it leans left. Coverage by public television and radio is conservative compared to the rest of the mainstream media. Meanwhile, almost all major media outlets tilt to the left.
Then there’s a Harvard study:
Just like so many reports before it, a joint survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy — hardly a bastion of conservative orthodoxy — found that in covering the current presidential race, the media are sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans.
Democrats are not only favored in the tone of the coverage. They get more coverage period. This is particularly evident on morning news shows, which "produced almost twice as many stories (51% to 27%) focused on Democratic candidates than on Republicans."
The most flagrant bias, however, was found in newspapers. In reviewing front-page coverage in 11 newspapers, the study found the tone positive in nearly six times as many stories about Democrats as it was negative.
So forth and so on. Then, of course, there’s how those who work in the media actually vote.
More stats can be found here. Of course, despite the FACT that the majority of journalists vote liberal/Democratic, this doesn’t automatically mean they cannot be objective in their reporting. True, this; however, unlike some who bemoan liberal media bias, I don’t see much of the bias as a conscious effort to skew the news reporting (to the left). As media bias commentator Bernie Goldberg has stated, the philosophies and views of these journalists simply, inevitably, seep into their coverage of various topics. The crowds these folks associate with all have essentially the same worldview. For instance, when it comes to, say, gun control, many of these pundits might be surprised or even appalled at some of the stances of the National Rifle Association (NRA) -- whereas a majority of the American public sees it the NRA’s way. Coverage of gun control and the 2nd Amendment would then be so “colored” on newscasts or in print.
In addition, some of those who mock the notion of liberal media bias (and I’m not saying Matthews falls into this category) believe that the public’s perception that there is such bias is the fault of conservatives/Republicans for “convincing” people of this bias. Or, to put it another way, “the American public really is too stupid to realize that the mainstream press is NOT biased.” Uh-huh. Right. And these same “morons” are the ones who bolted to watch Fox News and listen to talk radio is astronomical numbers when these mediums became available, right? (Another common liberal “explanation” for the meteoric rise of FNC and talk radio is that they “cater to the worst instincts” in people, or that “their simplistic reporting and explanations” of “complex” issues dumb down their viewership meaning, somehow, their ratings go sky-high. The ridiculously obvious fact that FNC and talk radio responded to market forces and provided – at last – a regular avenue by which conservative views could be expressed just cannot be accurate!)
Alas, the media world is rapidly changing. With the explosion of the Internet primarily, the avenues available to people for ALL sides of an issue continue to proliferate (that is, if the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress don't bring back the Fairness Doctrine). The term "mainstream media" will soon become an anachronism. And we'll all be better off for it.
First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with The Message Of Mumbai.
First place in the non-Council category was American Thinker with It’s time to speak out against the Mormon boycott.
Full results can be seen here.
From today’s News Journal:
This wasn't just a stop for coffee. A man who walked into a Lancaster County convenience store at 1:3O a.m. in his underwear says two men kidnapped him, drove him around, robbed him and shot him in the arm before leaving him on the side of the road.
How exactly does one rob a guy who’s … in his underwear?? Are they making underwear now that has a pocket for a wallet??
Recall my posting of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s utter and complete ignorance of history tailspinning into yet another anti-American rant from a few days ago. The dude thinks that December 7th is the date the United States dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima, for cripe’s sake. He said it, plain as day. So, how does the Chicago Tribune’s Manya A. Brachear report this craziness?
Noting the date, Dec. 7, which marks the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Wright instead chose to focus on the thousands of Japanese civilians who died four years later when the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
No, that’s not what Wright did at all, Ms. Brachear. He blatantly demonstrated his historical ignorance by outright stating that December 7 is the anniversary of the U.S. A-bomb drop. Period. He did not say “four years later,” nor did he state that the actual date of the first A-bombing was August 6th (1945). Why is it so difficult to just say that “Rev. Wright was, of course, mistaken about the actual date and year of the atomic bombing …”?
Brachear quotes Wright:
"Any preacher who dares to point out the simple ugly facts found in every field imaginable is demonized as volatile, controversial, incendiary, inflammatory, anti-American and radical," Wright said.
Here’s a clue for ‘ya, Rev.: Any individual who cannot get a very important date (or dates) in American history correct, and makes use of that [hilarious] error to rip his country IS “volatile, controversial, incendiary, inflammatory, anti-American and radical.” Especially when the date on which the soliloquy (or “sermon,” if you prefer) is offered is a date on which WE were attacked, and on which WE lost over 2000 American soldiers’ lives. Further, aside from the obvious ignorance of the timeframe, the soliloquy offers absolutely no context by which the decision to drop the A-bomb was made. It IS “volatile, controversial, incendiary, inflammatory, anti-American and radical” to essentially accuse the US of war crimes for the atomic bombing when, in fact, the bombing saved many more lives (American and Japanese) than it took, and hastened the end of the most destructive war in the planet’s history by at the very least months.
In a nutshell, Rev. – you’re a creep.
The Mexican music mecca of Monterrey strikes again. This time out it's Kinky from their self-titled album with "Cornman." Kinky's unique style blends rock, funk, and electronica with traditional Mexican (like accordion) sounds.
Just now on O'Reilly's show, Miller on billionaire and CNN founder Ted Turner (who appeared on "The Factor" yesterday):
"What's with the 'Dick Van Dyke on Thorazine with a milk mustache' look? I mean, what's THAT deal?"
… file a lawsuit claiming 14th Amendment equal protection rights.
A New Jersey panel commissioned to study civil unions has concluded that the state should allow same-sex couples to marry because civil unions are inherently unequal from marriage. (Source.)
And how are they “inherently unequal?” "Because a number of employers and hospitals do not recognize the rights and benefits of marriage for civil union couples."
OK, so redefining the term “marriage” could technically work; however, since the majority of the American public does not want to redefine “marriage” but is in favor of [gay] civil unions, how ‘bout a court challenge on 14th Amendment grounds? Start with local courts, then move it all the way up to the US Supreme Court if need be. That is, if employers and hospitals currently do not recognize gay union rights and benefits, this, to me, is “unequal treatment” under the law.
It would have been nice to read in the article precisely WHY New Jersey’s Civil Union Act did NOT place these legal requirements on employers and hospitals in the first place. I’m no lawyer, but if the state passes such an act, what is to then prevent it from mandating the same benefits as traditional marriage?
A white social studies teacher attempted to enliven a seventh-grade discussion of slavery by binding the hands and feet of two black girls, prompting outrage from one girl's mother and the local chapter of the NAACP.
After the mother complained to Haverstraw Middle School, the superintendent said he was having "conversations with our staff on how to deliver effective lessons."
"If a student was upset, then it was a bad idea," said Superintendent Brian Monahan of the North Rockland School District in New York City's northern suburbs.
The teacher apologized to the mother who complained and her 13-year-old daughter during a meeting Thursday that also included a representative of the local NAACP. But the mother, Christine Shand of Haverstraw, said Friday she thinks the teacher should be removed from the class.
I wonder if the teacher is fairly new. I can see a young teacher, full of energy but also some naïveté, trying something like this out. Still, you gotta let just a bit of common sense to prevail, eh? Ever see the movie “Amistad?” I recall reading that, during its filming, the shackling of the [black] actors was quite an emotional experience. In fact, only other black actors, production assistants, et. al. were permitted to put the shackles on these actors. I can only imagine what these seventh graders must’ve felt.
Here’s how I would have handled the lesson: First, I’d send a mass e-mail (or a snail mail letter) home explaining the unit or lesson -- due to the sensitivity of the topic. Usually, if I want to demonstrate something, I ask for student volunteers. I don’t randomly choose students to come up in front of the class since many are quite introverted. In this case, ‘though, I doubt I’d consider such volunteers. If anything, I’d use myself as the subject of the demonstration (students love it when they see their teachers in something other than their customary role), and perhaps would enlist the aid of a few fellow instructors.
Eileen Bernstein, the teacher in question, apologized as noted. For me, if this was Ms. Bernstein’s first such “infraction” as it were, that is sufficient. Demanding her removal from the class (not sure if this means her dismissal?) is unduly harsh. She made a mistake. She attempted to liven up a lesson – as all good teachers should do – but she went about it in quite the wrong manner.
Of course, a lawsuit isn’t out of the question for Mrs. Shand. It’s America! Land of the Lawsuit!
This “sensitivity” issue brings to me an otherwise innocuous “incident” in one of my classes the other day. (And it fits perfectly into the PC/anti-PC nature we see every holiday season.) I was doing a verb review activity whereby two students each have a small whiteboard, a marker, and an eraser. As I was handing out these implements, I said, “Whoa! Look! Holiday-themed markers!” (as the markers were red and green). Notice I didn’t even say “Christmas” -- I said “Holiday.” One (very bright & friendly) student immediately remarked (facetiously, mind you, but a tad seriously) “That’s insensitive! Not everyone celebrates Christmas!” I responded, “Sure, but I didn’t say ‘Christmas.’ I said ‘Holiday.’” The student retorted, “Ah, but what do the colors green and red represent? Christmas!” I then conceded that was pretty much accurate, but then pressed the student (again, all in good fun but with a touch of seriousness) on exactly how my bringing up these “representational” colors was “insensitive.” The student reiterated her point about everyone not celebrating Christmas.
I then asked if I had brought up a reference to, say, Hanukkah, if that would be "insensitive." Or Ramadan, say. Whatever. She found herself pondering that for a little bit. To which I said, “Y’see? Why worry about a reference [such as mine] to a particular holiday? I could have just as easily referenced Hanukkah or Ramadan in such an innocuous and well-meaning manner." I also asked is it “offensive” to reference a holiday whose overall general message is “goodwill towards all men?”
She got it. I like that. ;-)
President-Elect Obama regarding embattled IL Governor Blagojevich:
"I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not, I was not aware of what was happening."
...on November 23, 2008, his (Obama's) senior adviser David Axelrod appeared on Fox News Chicago and said something quite different.
While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."
Check out the Blagojevich round-up here.
UPDATE: A round-up of MSM "name that party" hilarity regarding Blagojevich.
Go read Tyler P. Nixon's dissection of neocon Bill Kristol over at DE Libertarian NOW.
Tyler is one of, if not THE, brightest brain in the DE blogosphere, love 'im or hate 'im.
Not much is new for the nut except that his history knowledge needs a little work:
"Any preacher who dares to point out the simple ugly facts found in every field imaginable is demonized as volatile, controversial, incendiary, inflammatory, anti-American and radical," Wright said, taking time out to note the thousands of Japanese civilians who died 67 years to the day when American warplane dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. (Actually, Dec. 7 marks the day when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.)
What. A. Freakin'. A-hole.
Randy Barnett has the best anniversary tribute to the Pearl Harbor attack I've seen today.
A friend tipped me to this; the facial expressions just kill me:
This actually is not a new idea, if one can actually call it an "idea." I recall my cooperating teacher during my student teaching days (over 20 yrs. ago, natch) laughing while recalling an educational "consultant" whose entire offering during a workshop was those "nasty red pens":
TEACHERS have been told to stop marking schoolchildren's work with red pen because it is an "aggressive" colour.
Queensland's Deputy Opposition Leader Mark McArdle told parliament today that teachers were being advised to reconsider their pen choice because it may offend children.
Mr McArdle tabled a Queensland Health document proposing "strategies for addressing mental health well-being in any classroom".
It says: "Don't mark in a red pen (which can be seen as aggressive) - use a different colour."
"Given your 10-year-old Labor government presides over the lowest numeracy and literacy standards of any state in Australia, don't you think it's time we focused on classroom outcomes rather than these kooky, loony, loopy, lefty policies?" Mr McArdle asked.
Got that right.
I use (and always have) a red pen when I grade papers for one simple reason: It stands out and kids can see it easily. Since I frequently allow students to make corrections on assignments for a higher score, I don't want my students to have difficulty finding what they had done wrong. And, I don't want to search for my initial marks when I re-grade the assignment.
I'm sorry if my use of red pen may "offend" some kids. I'm sure these same educational "consultants" will eventually determine that teachers actually correcting student work is offensive, too -- 100% on everything so as not to make little Johnny upset!
(h/t to Tongue Tied.)
Via the Independent (UK):
Indeed, new research at the University of Rochester in New York state shows that boys born to mothers with raised levels of phthalates were more likely to have smaller penises and undescended testicles. They also had a shorter distance between their anus and genitalia, a classic sign of feminisation. And a study at Rotterdam's Erasmus University showed that boys whose mothers had been exposed to PCBs grew up wanting to play with dolls and tea sets rather than with traditionally male toys.
On the more serious side, wouldn't that last sentence perturb sociologists who believe that gender is merely a sociological "construct?" (Just scroll down to the Optional Modules - List B, course SO229 to see what I mean.) In other words, isn't just how we raise our boys and girls that determines what, for example, they play with?
One of my favorite films from my youth is "The Right Stuff" (1983). Of course, being a huge aficionado of fighter aircraft, space flight and the battles of the Cold War made this a perfect choice for yours truly. Despite the film's length (over three hours, but it goes by quickly), the flick (based on Tom Wolfe's novel) is epic, charting the development of early space shots from Chuck Yeager's first sound barrier-breaking flight (1947) through the end of the Mercury Program (1963). And perhaps the very best thing is the humor that is injected into the story. Jeff Goldblum and Harry Shearer play two government bureaucrat recruiters whose wordplay and friendly arguments are riotous. But it is Donald Moffat's portrayal of Lyndon Johnson that really makes the movie, in my opinion, as evidenced by this clip (you'll also see some of Goldblum's and Shearer's antics):
The best dialogue:
SCIENTIST: "By combining our available rockets, the Redstone, the Atlas, I agree with those who say we could launch a pod."
JOHNSON: "A POT?"
SCIENTIST: "A POD! A capsule."
JOHNSON: "Well, what kind of SPAY-CEE-MEN?"
SCIENTIST: "A tough one... responsive to orders... I had in mind a chimp."
JOHNSON: "'Jimp?' Well, what the hell is a 'jimp?'"
SCIENTIST: "A chimp, a chimpanzee, senator, uh, an ape, unh?"
Check out one of AOL's features today -- Top Ten Living Geniuses.
I'm sorry, but in my book, real geniuses are those like Stephen Hawking, Tim Berners-Lee, Frederick Sanger and Grigori Perelman, all who made the list (thankfully). These guys deal with way-out concepts in physics, mathematics and chemistry. Phillip Glass, also on the list, could qualify too as a musician since music is highly reliant on mathematics (though I'm not too keen on on Glass's "minimalist" forte).
The real head-shakers on the list: Artist Oscar Niemeyer who "championed the idea of using reinforced concrete solely for its aesthetic impact." That's genius? Perhaps in the field of art it is, but what about its overall impact on humanity?
Dario Fo, the Italian satirist and playwright who is best known for his 1970 play "Accidental Death of an Anarchist." Genius? Uh, no.
Nelson Mandela? A heroic and great man with a constitution of adamantium. But a genius? No.
Creator of "The Simpsons" Matt Groening? Are you serious??
George Soros? Like Mandela, anyone who manages to survive brutal political oppression is heroic and is one strong individual. But does it really make one a genius? No.
A perfect example of it is on display today in the NY Times regarding the defeat of William "Cold Cash" Jefferson. (Shirley at Delaware Curmudgeon had the story first, locally.) For the Times, African-Americans are interested only in electing other African-Americans, while white voters are interested in getting rid of corruption and electing honest politicians:
The upset victory by the lawyer, Anh Cao, was thought by analysts to be the result of a strong turnout by white voters angered over federal corruption charges against Mr. Jefferson, a black Democrat who was counting on a loyal [read: black] base to return him to Congress for a 10th term....
In heavily white precincts, turnout was about 26 percent, while it was only about 12 percent in the heavily black precincts, said Greg Rigamer, a New Orleans demographer and analyst.
The exact percentage of blacks here, like the population itself, is unknown after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but is thought to be 55 percent to 60 percent, down from around 70 percent before the storm. The City Council has turned majority-white after years of being led by blacks.
"It’s clearly shifted," Mr. Rigamer said of the population. "You have fewer African-Americans in the city than previously."
But Mr. Rigamer also suggested that the corruption charges against Mr. Jefferson pushed whites to the polls in unusual numbers. "The bottom line," he said, "is this is an issue-driven race that ignited turnout in the white community."
Y'see? To Rigamer and Times writer Adam Nossiter, blacks don't turn out heavily for "issue-driven" elections. In this case, it didn't matter to African-Americans that Jefferson is a corrupt stooge, it only mattered to whites.
As I wrote, it's the bigotry of low expectations.
How many Delaware right-leaning blogs have written (seriously, that is) about Obama's supposed lack of US citizenship (thus he's unable to become president)? How many have written (seriously, that is) about Obama "really" being a Muslim?
Now, how many Delaware left-leaning blogs have written (seriously) about Sarah Palin not really being the mother of her Downs Syndrome baby? How many have written (seriously) about George W. Bush knowing in advance about the 9/11 attacks?
Just a few examples ...
... the economy is the worst it's been since the Great Depression yada yada yada, our new president is vacationing in luxury:
President-elect Barack Obama, returning to his home state of Hawaii for the holidays, plans a beachside vacation at one of Oahu's most exclusive properties, according to an islander involved in the planning.
Arrangements are being finalized for the Obamas and the families of two or three friends to stay at a Kailua beachfront location with three modern, multi-million-dollar homes. Each wraps around a lagoon-style swimming pool, with palm trees, grassy lawns and retractable glass walls for postcard views of the white sand and windsurfers.
Obama and his friends plan to rent the privately owned homes for several days including Christmas, said the islander, a Democratic activist who spoke Thursday night on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal the details.
Now, I really have little hassle with Obama's vacay plans. You know where I'm headed, 'tho: If this had been President G.W. Bush, the AP (and MSNBC which picked up the AP article) and every other mainstream media operation would be BLASTING him as I did in this post's first sentence. MSNBC titles its headline "Obama goes upscale in Hawaii for holiday." If this had been Bush, it'd be "Bush ignores plight of millions of Americans; vacations in luxury."
You know it's true.
(h/t to Media Blog.)
Read and be prepared to grab the proverbial vomit bag. Some of my favorite lines (my emphasis):
"The Weather Underground crossed lines of legality ..."
"I was cast in the 'unrepentant terrorist' role ..."
"With the mainstream news media and the blogosphere caught in the pre-election excitement, I saw no viable path to a rational discussion..."
"I felt at times like the enemy projected onto a large screen in the 'Two Minutes Hate' scene from George Orwell’s '1984,' when the faithful gathered in a frenzy of fear and loathing."
Awww. Poor baby.
UPDATE: Eric Posner shows what a tool Ayers is.
... to send a charitable donation this holiday season, consider CHOP -- the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (Donation form is here.) I don't think there's a more worthwhile cause, and CHOP really is a miraculous place.
Really. A good friend of mine's son needed to remain at CHOP for almost a year after being born. He's home now, thank God; however, without the miracle workers at CHOP, he might not be here period.
I'm heading to a benefit for the little guy today, and I'll be donating quite generously. Again, if you're considering a superb charitable cause during the holidays, please take a look at CHOP.
First place in the Council category was Right Truth with P.C./D.C.
First place in the non-Council category was Elder of Ziyon with Islamist strategy vs. Western tactics.
Full results can be found here.
The National Association of Scholars is exploring “The Changing Landscape of Higher Education” at its January conference. From the looks of the schedule, it sure looks like it’ll be a good one.
The dates: January 9-11, 2009.
Where: Washington DC, Marriott Hotel.
Contact: John Irving (609) 497-2480.
I've written about them so often I've lost track. (Feel free to search the Colossus archives on the topic -- search bar is at right.) I argue that the biggest joke about them is how they're so selectively enforced. For instance, an attack whereby, say, a white guy has his wallet taken by a black guy won't be dubbed a "hate crime" even if the epithet "cracker" was uttered at him because the motivation behind the crime was "economic," not "racial." This is a distinction with which I actually have little quibble; however, when a reverse situation occurs, the invocation of "hate crime" is more common. But on the whole in the US, mere verbal slurs by themselves and even those uttered during non-bias crimes [usually] aren't dubbed "hate crimes."
But now the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has come out and essentially endorsed the notion that the mere utterance of a racial epithet should be a "hate crime" (and a "violent" one at that):
Hate crimes against Arab Americans have decreased steadily since the September 11 attacks but are still more common than they were before the hijackings, a civil rights group said on Thursday.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said it received an average of 120 to 130 reports of ethnically motivated attacks or threats each year between 2003 and 2007, a sharp decrease from the 700 violent incidents (An ethnic threat is a VIOLENT act? -- Hube) it documented in the weeks following the 2001 attacks.
But that figure is still higher than the 80 to 90 reports it received in the late 1990s, the civil rights group said.
Incidents tended to increase after other terrorist attacks, such as the 2005 London subway bombings, the group said. Many incidents did not begin with a clear motivation of bias, but assailants would use racial or ethnic slurs as the situation intensified, the group said.
Got that? Even though "many incidents did not begin with a clear motivation of bias," since eventually a racial or ethnic slur was uttered, voilà -- instant hate crime, according to the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Utilizing this "definition," my example from above has to be a "hate crime": The initial motivation may be economic, but if a racial epithet is spewed in the process of the mugging, it's now [also] a "hate crime."
(h/t to Warner Todd Huston.)
UPDATE: How predictable. I am a "racist" for making this post.
UPDATE 2: At the link above, one semi-rational "progressive" (LiberalGeek) criticizes me for not delving into the "realm of possibility." He wonders why I didn't ponder if, say, a guy breaks into a house and, upon realizing the ethnicity of the home's owners, shoots the family merely because of that. Is that a "hate crime?"
Well, duh. That's quite a far cry from what I addressed based on the original ARTICLE. (Now I have to conceive of every possible angle, apparently, to "justify" my non-racism, y'see.) As I noted in the comments there, I actually have come to see some rationale for hate crimes since pretty much every crime has a severity "test" based on motivation. I don't see why hate crimes couldn't be added into that equation. But in this article, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee makes the case that a mere racial/ethnic epithet -- even in the commission of a petty crime (or even a general scuffle) whose initial motivation was NOT racially/ethnically based -- should be a hate crime. I think this is plain silly. If a white man and a black man happen to get into an argument on, say, a bus over a seat or something, and in the course of the argument one (or both) utter a racial epithet, should there be a prosecution of a "hate crime?" Merely because two men were angry and upset? For me that is the proverbial "slippery slope" territory and the beginning of thoughts becoming crimes.
Typical. Even the sports media is biased! ;-) Obama ranks 8th among 15 who played -- JFK atop leader board.
In the January issue of Golf Digest, which hits newsstands next week, the president-elect is No. 8 on the list of golfing presidents. "Yep, Obama is a golfer, too," is the headline.
John F. Kennedy and his 80-stroke average tops the list. Calvin Coolidge, who left his golf clubs behind when he departed the White House in 1929, is ranked 15th.
Bill Clinton is just in front of Obama at No. 7 -- although Golf Digest flags Clinton's use of the score-improving "Billigans."
Much has been made about Obama's basketball skills. Not so much on his golfing prowess.
Spokesman Robert Gibbs didn't exactly hype his game when asked in June about a round Obama had just played.
"I don't know if he would tell you they played golf," Gibbs told MSNBC. "They went to a golf course and they swung clubs, but I don't think it was real pretty."
OK, so maybe his political Cinderella story doesn't transfer to the links. He could turn out to be our duffer in chief.
But golfers at Olomano Golf Links, where the lefty-swinging Obama shot a round on his August Hawaiian vacation, were more gracious, saying what they saw looked pretty good. "He hit more than . . . 200 yards," one man told a local TV station.
Man, if Obama ranks 8th, I'd really hate to read about #9-15 on the list and how their game is (was). Hitting an occasional drive over 200 yards is nothing these days. You gotta do it closer to 220-250 every time for even the every-now-and-then golfer. Oh, and hit it straight. With today's technology and a few lessons, it ain't as hard to do as you may think.
Notice nowhere was noted Obama's average score, unlike JFK's. For me this means Obama is an over-100 duffer.
According to the "Marriage Calculator," my stats read as follows:
People with similar backgrounds who are already divorced: 23%
People with similar backgrounds who will be divorced over the next five years: 6%
Check it out. Here's a glimpse of "Genesis," featuring Aida and Eve:
"And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Aida, and she slept: and he took one of her ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from woman, made he another woman, and brought her unto the first. And Aida said, 'This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of me. Therefore shall a woman leave her mother, and shall cleave unto her wife: and they shall be one flesh.' And they were both naked, the woman and her wife, and were not ashamed."
So says the AP which probably feels it'd better hurry up and get as many "bash Bush" stories out there ... before he's gone!
The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.
The administration's blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s. (Link.)
*Yaaawn* I'm not here to defend Bush of the GOP for their role in the crisis. The fact of the matter is, Bush did warn about the problems in the lending industry; the NY Times reported back in 2003 the following: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago." But, y'see, the GOP was still in control of Congress in '03, so clearly blame falls on them at that time for not acting on these proposals.
The Bush administration has noted its efforts on its website.
Of course, it really didn't matter when the Democrats came to power in early '07 since most of their big guns didn't think there was anything to worry about! And then there's this little bit of inconvenient history.
Funny how the AP neglected all that. No it's not.