Via former Watcher's Council great Rick Moran:
1. Within a few years "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event." -- Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000.
2. "[By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots ... [By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers." -- Michael Oppenheimer, published in "Dead Heat," St. Martin's Press, 1990.
7. "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." -- Paul Ehrlich, who famously predicted in the 1970's that both China and India would suffer famines by 1985.
Much more here.
Christiane Amanpour's Greatest Hits of 2010 (h/t to Ace):
Is there anyone who talks with their hands more?
First place in the Council category was The Glittering Eye with Domestic sitrep.
First place in the non-Council category was my nomination of Discriminations with Journalistic History Lessons (Or Not).
Full results are here.
... blame racism:
But remember that in this country one of the ways that black people were enslaved, one of the ways that segregation and other civil rights violations were allowed is that black people were equated to animals. They were called apes or chattel or beasts of burden. And remember also that during the civil rights movement and even during slavery, dogs were often used directly against black people. And so there is a weird kind of interconnection and anxiety when you start talking about, simultaneously, issues about race, and often when you're talking about black athletes and in this case also a black president, and then animal rights. And so there's a lot of emotions that, and old historical stuff, that comes up.
"Weird kind of interconnection" is right. So weird, in fact, that people should be laughing their collective asses off at this pathetic "explanation."
Say it with me: "OH NO!!!"
Look, the obvious reason Marvel did this (as someone thankfully pointed out in the comments) is that, given the insane popularity of their other "Avengers"-based films ("Iron Man," "Iron Man 2," "The Incredible Hulk"), they're appealing to a mass, worldwide audience. The color Marvel is most concerned about is green. Besides, over the years, how often have white actors portrayed folks of other ethnicities?
Methinks somebody has too much time on his/her hands.
Also noted at the site is a bit about a "Black Panther" cartoon that never made its way to TV. I was totally unaware of this 'toon, which, as you may surmise, should be shocking! ;-) Nevertheless, one needs to take Reginald Hudlin's scripts into some context: Yes, the premise is somewhat anti-white and especially anti-West, but ... this is comics/cartoons. Some of the complaints noted are that it is ludicrous to believe that there's an incredibly scientifically advanced nation in the heart of the African continent. (One of the items noted to have been created there is a cure for cancer.) Again, this is comics! It's all about suspension of disbelief! Why is it silly to conceive of such a nation (named "Wakanda," by the way) yet no one whines that the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards creates all sorts of wildly advanced gadgets that we're not even likely to have prototypes for in less than half a millennium! Know what I mean? Other complaints included the silliness of having an overtly racist American general represented in the Joint Chiefs of Staff (a valid gripe), and the Panther decisively defeating Captain America on one of his first missions during World War II (not a valid beef as it's clearly stated in the dialogue that Cap at the time was "inexperienced" and, again, it was one of his first missions).
Hey, at least this is comics. Unfortunately, some of this like-minded fantasy has actually been disseminated in some of our schools. One noteworthy example is the Portland Baseline Essays which, among other things, teaches that the Egyptians were [exclusively] black Africans and that the Greeks, among others, stole their ideas from the Egyptians. The Science Baseline Essay claims that the Egyptians could fly, discovered the Theory of Evolution, and had psychokinetic powers. In higher ed, there were professors like Leonard Jeffries who postulated similarly nutty "facts."
But back to the point. Yes, Marvel has become ridiculously P.C. and left-leaning over the last 10-15 years. And, yes, this has affected titles like the Black Panther. But one needs to consider, especially, where characters like the Panther came from initially. Yes, Stan Lee and crew were ahead of the curve, so to speak, in intro'ing black characters into their stories in the 1960s and 70s. But the Panther (who debuted in the pages of the Fantastic Four) despite being shown to lead a highly advanced nation, became a "second fiddle" character when he decided to leave Wakanda and travel to the US to join the Avengers. He was shown to be a "protege" of, ironically, Captain America, who vouched for him to be his replacement in Earth's Mightiest. And remember this? What more perfect example of the state of black America in comicbooks some 30 years ago or so. Pretty sad, eh?
So maybe this is why Hudlin's T'Chaka, father of modern-day Black Panther T'Challa, dresses down that Western businessman in episode 3 for using his first name without permission. Someone needs to address that [unfortunately still too prevalent] unspoken assumption of presumed inferiority.
In a nutshell:
and from Newsweek:
To read the second image up close and personal, click here.
(h/t to Newsbusters.)
UPDATE: Powerline reports that the Time cover is a Photoshop job. It's a play on this actual 2007 cover. Ah well. But it is true that the fake cover reflects what was being published in Time and like-minded mags at the time.
#7: JOHN BYRNE. I dug Byrne's stuff before he became "popular," via his work on Iron Fist. When he got chores on The Avengers and especially X-Men, I was overjoyed. But be sure to take a gander at his art and writing chores on Fantastic Four beginning in the early #230s -- unbelievable stuff (see his Thing at left) with outstanding homages to those who came before him. Byrne's characters too often look the same, but his art is clean, crisp, and maintains a perfect combination of realism and cartooniness. His "tech" art rivals that of the master, Jack Kirby.
#6: JIM LEE. Feh. He's a good artist, sure, but I was never overly impressed. He got hyped thanks to the Image craze of the mid-1990s, much like the much-less talented Rob Liefeld (among others).
#5: NEAL ADAMS. Indeed. Adams is a god among men in the comicbook art realm. Insanely realistic and detailed, his work on the "Kree-Skrull War" for Marvel in the 1970s remains a highlight in Avengers history. He also had an incredible stint on the [original] X-Men series, not to mention very memorable runs on Batman and Green Lantern.
#4: GEORGE PÉREZ. I love me some George, but there's no way he's ahead of Adams. Nevertheless, I grew up on his debut in The Avengers (#141) -- so memorable was the issue that it was immortalized with a binder-style notebook (see top of the display) and that I guarded it with my life in 6th grade. I still consider Avengers #147 to be one of the best issues ever (Vinnie Colletta's inks really help George here), and the highlight of Pérez's Avengers-Squadron Supreme run. More recently, his volume 3 Avengers run with Kurt Busiek is superb (which includes an homage to the original #141 Squadron Supreme cover, which was drawn by Gil Kane by the way), not to mention the four-issue series (also with Busiek) Avengers-JLA.
#3: J.H. WILLIAMS III.
#2: FRANK QUITELY. Huh??? I am totally flabbergasted that this average artist made it so far up the list. I was disappointed when he replaced Bryan Hitch on The Authority, and his New X-Men work is merely OK. WTF??
#1: JACK KIRBY. Without question, he should be #1. He set the standard for all who came after, and he's the true creative genius behind the Marvel explosion of the 1960s. No amount of praise can do "The King" adequate justice; I'll just offer up a classic Kirby cover as tribute:
[List] via Jennifer Rubin:
Aren't "progressives" those who most vociferously claim "don't tell me what to do with my body" when it comes to things like ... abortion?
The St. Paul school district will make all public schools "sweet-free zones" by the end of the school year.
Debra LaBounty, president of the Minnesota School Nutrition Association, said she believes St. Paul is the only district in the state to institute such a dramatic measure. National nutrition leaders say fewer than a handful of school districts in the country have tried such a thing.
With a nod to their role in reducing the nation's high obesity rate, Minnesota's second-largest school district plans to fully enforce the ban on sweets.
Reminders have been sent to teachers, students and parents that "sweet, sticky, fat-laden [and] salty treats" aren't allowed during the school day, said Jean Ronnei, the district's director of nutrition services.
OK, how are they going to "fully enforce the ban on sweets"? The article says that only verbal warnings will be given; however, knowing kids as I do, if that's the maximum punishment, what happens if said warnings don't suffice? I'd like to see the write-up: "Possession of Hershey's Kisses in sweet-free zone; refused to put away." Sheesh. A 10 year-old seems to understand the concept of freedom a lot better than the district's educationists: "A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies," said the [ironically named] Misky Salad.
But this has to take the cake, so to speak:
They call themselves the "Christmas Sweater Club" because they wear the craziest ones they can find. They also sing Christmas songs at school and try their best to spread Christmas cheer.
Now all 10 of them are in trouble because of what they did at their school.
"They said, 'maliciously maim students with the intent to injure.' And I don't think any of us here intentionally meant to injure anyone, or did," said Zakk Rhine, a junior at Battlefield High School.
The boys say they were just tossing small two-inch candy canes to fellow students as they entered school. The ones in plastic wrap that are so small they often break apart.
Skylar Torbett, also a junior, said administrators told him, "They said the candy canes are weapons because you can sharpen them with your mouth and stab people with them." He said neither he nor any of their friend did that.
The kicker in this one? "Mother Kathleen Flannery said an administrator called her and explained 'not everyone wants Christmas cheer. That suicide rates are up over Christmas, and that they should keep their cheer to themselves, perhaps.'"
(h/t to Cato at Liberty.)
* Simply Jews – Rejected by Mossad
* Joshuapundit - Standing Upright
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – FM 3-24 – v2.0
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Latest “torture”: hard blankets
* Rhymes With Right – About Those Polar Bears
* Right Truth – When Illusion Meets Reality
* VA Right - Weighing Michael Steel’s Pros and Cons
* The Razor – Because 27 Year Old Aspiring Models Drop Dead All the Time
* The Glittering Eye - Domestic Sitrep
* Bookworm Room – A Christmas Appreciation – Updated
* Snapped Shot – A Family’s Grief, The Patriot Guard, And A “Thank You”
And the non-Council nominations are here!
From Cracked.com: 8 Stupid Amazon Products With Impressively Sarcastic Reviews.
... the Kree and the Skrulls? Sounds like the making of a blockbuster!!!
Gotta love the caption of this San Francisco Chronicle photo: "A friendship tree stands near the snowflake lights that hang above a list of Christmas wishes from all sorts of people outside the garage of Mick Lee near Sanchez and 16th streets."
Merry Friendship, everyone.
The Philly Daily News's Will Bunch, who's never met a nanny state government program he didn't like, now has a hissy fit that the NFL postponed the Eagles game last night ... decrying -- yep! -- the "nanny state" mentality: "If we're not "a nanny state," then we've become a nation of overcautious risk managers, also known as wimps."
Well worth the read, especially for the comments -- many of which blast Bunch for the pathetic hypocrite that he is.
Manning related to me on December 19 2010 that his blankets are similar in weight and heft to lead aprons used in X-ray laboratories, and similar in texture to coarse and stiff carpet. He stated explicitly that the blankets are not soft in the least and expressed concern that he had to lie very still at night to avoid receiving carpet burns.
That would be Bradley Manning, accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. He previously bitched about not having a soft pillow.
I suppose we can next prepare ourselves for his next complaints:
This is probably my favorite tune from Lady T, "Out on a Limb":
Interesting factoid: Spam accounts for 90% of all e-mail traffic. Whoa!
... to the Watcher's Council for winning the "Best Blog Ring" award in Doug Ross @ Journal's "Fabulous Fifty Blog Awards" for 2010!
... recognize Peru's historical claims to Ecuadoran territory, then.
Y'know, in response to this: Ecuador recognizes a Palestinian state.
Controlled waterboarding of murderous terrorists to gain vital information? WAR CRIMINAL!!!
Electrocution of Sarah Palin because you don't like the sound of her voice? A "win-win for everyone"!
I blame the hate rhetoric generated by sites such as this.
Piers Corbyn believes that the last three winters could be the harbinger of a mini ice age that could be upon us by 2035, and that it could start to be colder than at any time in the last 200 years. He goes on to speculate that a genuine ice age might then settle in, since an ice age is now cyclically overdue.
Gotta be global warming. Ice Age? Global warming. Massive snowfall? Global warming. Earthquakes? Global warming. Great Red Spot on Jupiter? Global warming. Asteroid about to hit Earth? Global warming. Etc. It's like Chris Rock going off on Ricky Martin and his hit "Livin' La Vida Loca" at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards!
Soccer Dad brings me word of this: 2011 is bringing a death to the 'Fantastic Four' family.
The series -- about a group of space explorers given various superpowers after being hit by cosmic rays -- began a new era for Marvel Comics, signaling the start of their wave of Silver Age characters, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, Iron Man and many more.
Now, nearly 50 years later, the company has announced that the series' current story arc, "Three" -- the next-to-last issue of which hits stores Wednesday -- will result in the demise of one member of the iconic superhero team.
Marvel executive editor Tom Brevoort made it crystal clear: "A core character from the series, whom you've seen in the [2005 and 2007] films, will be no more," he told CNN.
*Sigh* remember -- No. One. Cares. Anymore.
First place in the Council category was The Razor with Michael Vick and redemption.
First place in the non-Council category was Seraphic Secrets with Harry Potter Actress Beaten and Branded a Prostitute by Her Family After Dating a Non-Muslim.
Full results are here.
Via The Daily Caller:
CBS aired a grammatically incorrect book cover that read, “Desision Points: How I managed to go on eight years without making one good decision.”
A CBS spokesperson told Newsday that the false cover was aired by accident, and was the result of the network pulling a bad photo from the internet.
“Good catch: It’s a mistake no one could see because you’d have to freeze the frame to notice it. Another cautionary tale about the risks of the internet age – clearly, we have to be more careful when downloading material,” the CBS spokesperson said.
Layers and layers of fact-checkers, I believe someone once said the MSM has as opposed to Joe Six-Pack bloggers.
* Simply Jews – WikiLeaks as a Zionist tool
* The Razor – Michael Vick and redemption
* Joshuapundit - A Few Final Thoughts On Gays In The Military And DADT
* Right Truth – Muslims Gaming the System for Terror
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Heinleinian wisdom
* The Glittering Eye - Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One (Christmas Edition)
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Imperial! By Design
* Rhymes With Right – Michael Moore Invokes Clinton Doctrine In Assange Case
* VA Right - Reinstate ‘Don’T Ask, Don’t Tell’ in 2012
* Bookworm Room – It takes a bureaucracy to kill a bureaucracy
* Snapped Shot – The Giant Television Speaks
And the non-Council nominations are here!
The Unapologetic Geek has his list, so naturally it piqued my interest -- and memory -- as to what my own list would include.
10) TOLIAN SORAN. Not who you'd normally think of when nominating "Trek" villains; however, just consider what this El-Aurian (yep, he's of the same race as "TNG's" Guinan) did (pictured at right): He destroyed an entire star (and hence, its solar system) just so he could live forever. Yep, for over 100 years he was obsessed with getting into the Nexus, where immortality is achieved and dreams come true. Apparently, he tried getting into it during the maiden voyage of the USS Enterprise-B, was unsuccessful, and his next opportunity didn't come again until Capt. Picard's era. (See "Star Trek: Generations.")
9) THE THOLIANS. These crystal/insect-like aliens (regular "Trek" universe) were first glimpsed in TOS's "The Tholian Web" but really came to life during "Enterprise." In that series' "In a Mirror, Darkly," the [Mirror Universe] Tholians have captured the USS Defiant from the "regular" universe (and from over 100 years in the future) -- indeed, this Defiant is the same vessel seen in "The Tholian Web." Y'see, the Tholians have a thing for capturing future technology and using it for themselves! They slaughtered everyone on board the Defiant and would have been successful in reverse-engineering the ship had not the ISS Enterprise, the Mirror Universe doppleganger of the "standard" 1701, intervened and stolen the ship from the Tholians' clutches. Even "standard" universe Tholians have a knack for future tech, as shown in "Enterprise's" "Future Tense."
8) V'GER. It's debatable as to whether this massive, all-devouring space cloud is actually a villain, but when you kill untold numbers of people because you're on a ... quest, well ... V'Ger is actually Voyager VI, launched by long-dead NASA and which disappeared into a black hole a couple of hundred years prior. It was discovered by a highly advanced race "of machines" (Gene Roddenberry himself once said it may have been the Borg planet that discovered V'Ger) on the other side of the galaxy, which then sent it on its way back to find its creator -- humans. It was about to totally annihilate the Earth until Kirk and co. convinced it otherwise.
7) SPECIES 8472. What sort of ... creature can dismantle the Borg? Species 8472 can, that's who. Seen only in "Voyager," these denizens of "fluidic space" eventually actually set up a faux Starfleet Academy to prepare for what they thought would be an inevitable conflict with the Federation. Fortunately, thanks especially to Chakotay, the Voyager gang persuaded them not to ... and even made friends of them!
6) THE CARDASSIANS. Geek only mentions one, Gul Dukat, at #7. But there were many more, and their occupation of -- and subsequent departure from -- the planet Bajor is the basis for the series "Deep Space Nine." These nasties teamed up with the Dominion over the Federation/Klingon/Romulan Alliance, and one had the audacity to torture Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (at left)! They're first seen in "TNG's" "The Wounded," and though there was a peace treaty between the Fed and Cardassians at that time, they were clearly up to no good.
5) THE ROMULANS. Geek's #6 choice, these Roman Legion knock-offs have caused numerous instances of grief for the Federation since before its founding. According to "Trek" lore, the Earth-Romulan War occurred in the mid-22nd century, and gets a mention (thanks to the time-traveling Daniels) in an early episode of "Enterprise." We first see these Vulcan cousins in TOS's superb "Balance of Terror," and they've connived against Starfleet ever since. Notably, the Roms once attempted to invade Vulcan ("TNGs" "Unification" parts 1 and 2), and to infiltrate Starfleet with a clone of Picard ("Star Trek: Nemesis"), but now the planet no longer exists based on the backstory of the reimagined "Star Trek" film from 2009 -- it was destroyed by a supernova. In fact, the whole alternate universe in which the reimagined "Trek" exists was created by the time-traveling Romulan Nero.
4) THE DOMINION. They are Geek's #5. I didn't follow "Deep Space Nine" very closely except for various individual episodes (especially the absolutely sensational "Far Beyond the Stars"); nevertheless, many of the Dominion War entries filled that bill. Led by the shapeshifting Founders, the Dominion was comprised of many races and eventually came into contact with the Federation via the Bajoran wormhole. Some of "Trek's" best space battle scenes take place in this conflict's pinnacle, with Starfeet teaming up with the Klingons and Romulans against this Gamma Quadrant threat.
3) THE KLINGONS. Also Geek's #3. And rightly so! Warriors bred, the exist solely for battle, and that alone alone makes them worthy ... and deadly. Over the course of the various "Treks" we learned that Klingon society was once a lot more peaceful and even bookwormish, which sorta makes sense since they have high technology -- and you wouldn't expect the society that they currently possess to even manage a world government let alone interstellar travel. (Larry Niven's very similar Kzinti race obtained their high-tech from another [star-faring] species.)
2) KHAN. He's Geek's #2, too. And why not? He's a diabolical as they come -- a genetically engineered superman in part responsible for "Trek"-Earth's World War III. He and some of his similarly enhanced comrades were shot into space aboard a spaceship, to be later salvaged by Capt. Kirk's Enterprise. Fortunate to have defeated Khan, Kirk maroons Khan and his minions on Ceti Alpha V -- only to be later discovered by the crew (which included Pavel Chekov) of the USS Reliant, as seen in the best "Trek" film of all, "The Wrath of Khan." (Yes, just ignore that Chekov wasn't onboard the Enterprise when Khan first appeared, and that the Federation somehow didn't know about Ceti Alpha VI exploding shortly after Kirk deposited Khan and crew on its neighboring planet ...)
1) THE BORG. They're Geek's #1 as well. Introduced during the second season of "TNG" by the omnipotent Q (he had to teach the Federation a lesson in humility, it seemed), they're like a humanoid version of Robert Heinlein's Pseudo-Arachnids from Starship Troopers. They're the basis for "TNG's" best two-part cliffhanger episode(s) and the second-best "Trek" film of all-time ("First Contact"). Also noteworthy: Their "transwarp conduit" network allowed the starship Voyager to get back to Earth in that series' finale.
OK, hit me with those who I forgot! ;-)
UPDATE: How about these villains I conveniently forgot?
I'm currently in the process of re-reading Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers for the umpteenth time. If you're not familiar with this outstanding novel, don't let the title -- or the 1997 film based on the novel -- fool you. It's far from a kiddie cookie-cutter tale (although, in its original incarnation, it was intended to be). Indeed, it's a treatise on the weaknesses of our current culture, both moral and political, because we've forgotten what works. Dana Pico over at one of my favorite blogs, Common Sense Political Thought, recently commented on this during a discussion about the decline of the city of Baltimore. He writes,
I’d like to say that I am constantly amazed how our modern society has managed to take 6,000 years of accumulated wisdom from every culture ever known on this planet and decide that it’s not worth crap, but to say that I am constantly amazed by it would be a lie. Now it’s just a dull feeling of, “What else is new?”
Heinlein, in the guise of Lt. Col. Jean V. Dubois in the novel (who is protagonist Juan Rico's high school teacher of History and Moral Philosophy), continually muses on this very subject throughout most of the novel. While not sparing vehement criticism of Marxism and communism whatsoever, Dubois doesn't let Western society off the hook for its failings either. In chapter 8, Rico, while in boot camp, reminisces about high school and Dubois's lectures:
Mr. Dubois was talking about the disorders that preceded the breakup of the North American republic, back in the XXth century. According to him, there was a time just before they went down the drain when crimes such as Dillinger's (a trooper who deserted and killed a little girl) were as common as dog fights. The Terror had not been just in North America -- Russia and the British Isles had it, too, as well as other places. But it reached its peak in North America shortly before things went to pieces.
"Law-abiding people," Dubois had told us, "hardly dared go into a public park at night. To do so was to risk attack by wolf packs of children, armed with chains, knives, homemade guns, bludgeons ... to be hurt at least, robbed most certainly, injured for life probably -- or even killed ... Murder, drug addiction, larceny, assault, and vandalism were commonplace. Nor were parks the only places -- these things happened also on the streets in daylight, on school grounds, even inside school buildings."
Sound familiar? Heinlein wrote Troopers in 1959 -- fifty-one years ago -- yet what he writes above is found every single day in newspaper headlines and stories.
But ... why? Why are we in this exact situation today that was described by Heinlein over half a century ago? Dubois tells us:
Back to these young criminals -- they probably were not spanked as babies; they certainly were not flogged for their crimes. The usual sequence was: for a first offense, a warning -- a scolding, often without trial. After several offenses a sentence of confinement but with sentence suspended and the youngster placed on probation. A boy might be arrested many times and convicted several times before he was punished -- and then it would merely be confinement, with others like him from whom he learned still more criminal habits.
This incredible sequence could go on for years while his crimes increased in frequency and viciousness, with no punishment whatever save rare dull-but-comfortable confinements.
Suppose you merely scolded your puppy, never punished him, let him go on making messes in the house ... and occasionally locked him up in the outbuilding but soon let him back into the house with a warning not to do it again. Then one day you notice that he is a grown dog and still not housebroken -- whereupon you whip out a gun and shoot him dead.
Rico responds, "Why ... that's the craziest way to raise a dog I ever heard of!"
Indeed. And Colonel Dubois explains why it was crazy: People like "social workers" and "child psychologists" attempted to appeal to children's "better nature." They assumed "Man has a moral instinct." But man is not born with a moral sense -- it is acquired -- "through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind." [Child] criminals never acquired moral sense, hence the efforts of said social workers and child psychologists was for naught. The only instinct one is born with is that for survival, and the only sense these people developed was "a shaky loyalty to a peer group, a street gang."
Dubois continues with perhaps the summary of Heinlein's entire book:
The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual. Nobody preached duty to these kids in a way they could understand -- that is, with a spanking. But the society they were in told them endlessly about their "rights."
In a nutshell, Heinlein's future society in Troopers has been constructed by veterans -- those who have freely chosen to do a term of service. Only they get to vote -- because they, through their free choice, have demonstrated that they can serve the greater good; that is, humanity as a whole. If this sounds Marxian, think again -- the words "free choice" demolish that concept. There's no conscription in Troopers; you can serve if you wish and gain the franchise, or you choose not to, but still enjoy all the freedoms that Western nations enjoy now -- save suffrage. (And if you think that's authoritarian in itself, consider: countries restrict voting rights all the time, the most ludicrous of which is age.) If this scenario sounds fascist, also think again. For one, again, suffrage has always had limitations on who could exercise such. (Heinlein once remarked about his novel's critics in this regard "I think I know what offends most of my critics the most about STARSHIP TROOPERS: It is the dismaying idea that a voice in governing the state should be earned instead of being handed to anyone who is 18 years old and has a body temperature near 37C.")
Second, Heinlein merely extrapolates on what many of our Founding Fathers noted about what was necessary for our nation to survive, notably and especially, morality. For instance, take John Adams:
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
In the West today, it can be argued that self-interest has come to dominate duty, as Colonel Dubois would put it. And Dubois isn't talking about "duty" as an idiot like Joe Biden would -- like saying paying higher taxes is a patriotic "duty." Politicians today become such merely to enrich themselves, to make laws for everyone else but themselves, and want other people to put their lives on the line to do their bidding. Dubois absolutely rips how Western militaries operated -- a gazillion officers, most of whom never saw a single day of combat, and how only certain soldiers would do the actual fighting. In Troopers (and in one of the few book quotes to make it into the movie), "everybody fights, nobody quits." Irregardless of rank.
Which brings us back to Dana Pico's original comment about "accumulated wisdom." Dare I delve into the travails of wealthy and pampered societies? Those which get so comfortable with themselves that so-called "experts" are churned out who "know" how to do things better than ever before, going so far as to outright ignore basic human nature?
Ben Franklin once said, "[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." I think that, beginning with the grumblings, mostly by those on the right during the latter half of the Bush administration, some were seemingly heeding Ben's profound words, on which Heinlein extrapolated much further in his novel. People were -- are -- fed up with the corruption, fed up with the feeling of the "more need of masters" (ie, more government) later ushered in by Bush's successor.
This post is not an advocation for the actual, military-led type of society that Heinlein posited in Starship Troopers. What it is, very much like Heinlein's novel, is a warning of sorts.
I blame the hate rhetoric generated by sites like this.
Why, who else? George W. Bush. Well, specifically, "Bush's Brain" Karl Rove.
GEORGE W. BUSH:
There's NOTHING for which
he can't be blamed!
But a new study of ancient copper mines in southern Israel found that the strength of the magnetic field could double and then fall back down in less than 20 years.
YOU SEE!? There is nothing that man does not destroy. We had a perfectly good magnetic field going then we had to come along and screw it up. I'll bet the use of electromagnets is to blame. We must immediately place severe restrictions on the use of any magnetics. They should be restricted to laboratories, government agencies (like law enforcement) and of course, celebrities. We need a MUC's. Magnetic User Credits. Any business or individual who wants to use magnets has to pay for their damage to our precious and finite magneticness. Call your Congresscritter today and demand they take swift action to avoid any further magnetic change.
Must. Not. Mention. Ham. In. Class.
According to the account of the facts, the teacher was explaining the different climates in a geography class and cited the village of Trevelez due to its cold and dry climate. According to the newspaper account, ”as a story, the teacher told his students that such a climate was conducive to making hams (this refers to the procedure that it’s necessary between the pig is killed and the ham is actually ready to be eaten). Then the student asked the teacher not to speak of hams since it offended him, because he was a Muslim. “
The teacher told the students that in his classes, he did not consider the religion of their students, but apparently the family did not stay at home when they learned the facts, to the extent that they went to the National Police to file a complaint without speaking in advance with the teacher. (Link.)
The maestro “is accused of being the author of an alleged crime of abuse of workers, also alleging racist and xenophobic motives.“
UPDATE: Elsewhere in the land of Euro-"free" speech nuttery (via Tongue Tied):
Lars Hedegaard, President of The Free Press Society in Denmark, said,
"Of course [Danish MP] Lars Hedegaard should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make due with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them."
This violated § 266b of the Danish penal code so Hedegaard was fined $1,000.
In the UK, a bar that advertised a drink called a "Suicide Bomber" was accused of "insensitivity" by that area's Race Equality Council.
In Italy, an atheist requests "asylum" in Sweden due to the "overabundance" of crucifixes in his own country.
Back in the UK, a local pol got arrested for supposedly calling for the stoning of a Muslim woman ... in an attempt at irony -- since said woman had previously stated on the radio that "no politician had the right to comment on human rights abuses, even the stoning of women in Iran."
Lastly, in New Zealand (I know -- not Europe, but culturally close enough!), Air New Zealand's ditching of a commercial where an All Blacks (not a racial term) rugby player refuses a kiss from a gay flight attendant "could lead to gay male suicides" according to (surprise) a professor.
Anyone catch John Stossel's ‘Politicians’ Top 10 Promises Gone Wrong’ on Fox News this past Friday? Well, here they are:
10. Cash for Clunkers would save the auto industry.
9. Increasing the minimum wage would be good for the working poor.
8. Title IX would end gender-based discrimination in college sports.
7. Mega-construction projects like stadiums, arenas, and conference centers would create jobs.
6. Changing the tax code would save small farmers and the environment.
5. Credit card reform would save us from banking fees.
4. Reforming the health care system would give us more affordable and more comprehensive care.
3. Ethanol would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and save the environment.
2. Home ownership for all would be good for America.
1. Politicians promising to spend less.
I've no reason to go to Seattle and I never will as long as clueless hippies run the joint: 'Israeli War Crimes' signs to go on Metro buses.
[Chicago] Mayoral challenger James Meeks recently said that the term "minority" should only apply to blacks:
“The word ‘minority’ from our standpoint should mean African American. I don’t think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title,” he said. “That’s why our numbers cannot improve — because we use women, Asians and Hispanics who are not people of color, who are not people who have been discriminated against.”
Meeks later apologized. But I'm sure that would be news to women, Asians and Hispanics! And maybe Meeks ought to check out a bit of history and the Constitution -- specifically, Amendments XV and XIX.
Nevertheless, Meeks merely voiced what is pretty much standard practice, notably in education: "Minority" doesn't mean "anyone other than Caucasian," including women -- especially Asian. Why? Because Asians outperform Caucasians in virtually every measure. And women? They're not the minority, either in general population nor college enrollment population, though higher ed certainly appears to be a lot more "sympathetic" towards them than Asians.
Comic Book Resources has a list of the best 50 artists of all-time as voted on by readers. Here's the list thus far (they're in the Top 10, doing three per day now, apparently); the ones I'm familiar with are in bold ... and my commentary is in italics. I'll update the Top Ten, as CBR does, in new posts.
50 Jaime Hernandez – 213 points (3 first place votes)
49 Sean Phillips – 222 points (1 first place vote)
48 Francis Manapul – 230 points (8 first place votes)
47 David Finch – 242 points
46 Doug Mahnke – 249 points (5 first place votes)
45 Mike Deodato – 251 points (5 first place votes). Realistic artist, although his men are way too muscular and females way too curvaceous (see the Black Widow at right, for example). Did quite a bit of work during the wretched "The Crossing," where Iron Man became a teenager.
44 Steve Dillon – 253 points (2 first place votes)
43 Paul Pope – 255 points (3 first place votes)
42 Ryan Ottley – 261 points (7 first place votes)
41 Mike Allred – 262 points (2 first place votes)
40 Adam Hughes – 273 points (3 first place votes)
39 Alex Maleev – 276 points (2 first place votes)
38 Dave Gibbons – 278 points (1 first place vote) Perhaps best known for his work on Watchmen, in my opinion Gibbons is just a middle-of-the-road artist -- not great, but certainly not bad, either. He also teamed with [writer] Frank Miller (#8 on the list) on the superb Give Me Liberty and its sequels.
37 Tim Sale – 283 points (5 first place votes)
36 Joe Kubert – 285 points (4 first place votes)
35 Steve McNiven – 291 points (4 first place votes) Has done a lot of modern work, notably on various Avengers titles. Pretty good stuff.
34 Barry Windsor-Smith – 294 points (3 first place votes) Very gritty work with a quite realistic touch; some of his early work, however, featured way-out of proportion anatomy. But that same work was quite "cinematic" in approach. I loved his work on Machine Man 2020.
33 Jim Aparo – 298 points (4 first place votes)
32 Moebius – 305 points (10 first place votes) Didn't this guy only do posters??
31 Gene Colan – 335 points (4 first place votes) Gene set the standard for the "cinematic" approach to comics. His panels were angled in such a way as to make it feel as if you were watching a film. His work on Daredevil and Iron Man in the 1960s was sensational.
30 Ivan Reis – 385 points (5 first place votes) Very realistic contemporary artist with a John Buscema-feel to his work.
29 Arthur Adams – 388 points (6 first place votes)
28 Olivier Coipel – 408 points (6 first place votes)
27 Chris Bachalo – 429 points (11 first place votes)
26 Gil Kane – 435 points (3 first place votes) One of the masters of the Silver Age, his realistic work perhaps reached its zenith with Amazing Spider-Man #s 121-122, the death of Gwen Stacy. Check out Kane's "signature pose."
25 David Mazzucchelli – 438 points (5 first place votes) Incredibly detailed and realistic artist, he's perhaps best known for his work with the aforementioned Frank Miller on Batman: Year One and Daredevil: Born Again.
24 Walter Simonson – 449 points (7 first place votes)
23 Jim Steranko – 467 points (5 first place votes)
22 Brian Bolland – 489 points (9 first place votes)
21 Bill Sienkiewicz – 493 points (10 first place votes)
20 Bryan Hitch – 495 points (6 first place votes) Incredible contemporary artist perhaps best known for his work on Marvel's The Ultimates and Wildstrom's The Authority. Hitch masterfully extrapolates on the "cinematic" approach perfected by guys like Gene Colan and John Buscema.
19 John Romita Sr. – 505 points (7 first place votes) Although a stalwart Marvel Silver Ager, I was never overly impressed with his work. His women, in particular, all looked the same, and his action scenes were too "wooden."
18 Will Eisner – 512 points (10 first place votes)
17 Stuart Immonen – 535 points (10 first place votes)
16 John Buscema – 593 points (17 first place votes) Buscema is a god among men in the comic realm. His Silver Age work was beyond phenomenal (Avengers, Silver Surfer, Fantastic Four) and his sense of realism and cinematography were unparalleled. (At left: Buscema details how the Silver Surfer first got his powers from Galactus.)
15 Alan Davis – 678 points (14 first place votes) Another superb contemporary penciller, he perhaps is best known for his work on Excalibur and more recently his stint on The Avengers.
14 Darwyn Cooke – 686 points (21 first place votes)
13 John Cassaday – 728 points (13 first place votes)
12 Steve Ditko – 749 points (5 first place votes) Ditko is a hard guy to pigeonhole. His work on the beginnings of Amazing Spider-Man has to be his best-ever; his other stuff, in my opinion, is easily forgettable due to its ridiculous overly cartoony nature.
11 Mike Mignola – 810 points (12 first place votes) I've never read his Hellboy, but I've seen some of his other stuff. He has a very cartoony style, but it works well because of his incredible cinematographic approach.
10 Alex Ross – 822 points (21 first place votes) You really cannot get much better than Alex Ross. Why he is only #10 is a travesty. Just scan through Kingdom Come and Marvels and if you're not literally gasping at how breathtaking his paints are, well, you're a dolt.
9 John Romita Jr. – 846 points (13 first place votes) Sorry, but the fact that JR Jr. is ahead of such giants as John Buscema, Gene Colan and Alex Ross makes me want to tear my hair out. If Romita Jr. doesn't have the right inker, he's a mess. Period.
8 Frank Miller – 897 points (10 first place votes) Miller is just an OK penciller but his action sense is hard to top. Just check out his work on Daredevil to see what I mean. He's a much better writer, in my opinion.
Cashing in? But they're commies! Maybe they should call it "The Walking Red":
An eerie silence hangs over Havana's main sea-front avenue as smoke drifts out of a lone abandoned car. Suddenly, dozens of bloodied figures lurch into view, some with empty eye sockets, others dragging limbs behind them. It's another day on location for "Juan of the Dead," Cuba's first zombie movie, a mix of camp gore and wry satire.
In this version, the communist government blames the zombie invasion on U.S.-backed dissidents intent on destabilizing the country (surprise!). The hero Juan is an unemployed loafer who sees a chance to make a buck. For a price, he and his partner will eliminate your possessed loved ones for you.
The film is slated to hit theatres next year, but the filmmakers are "are hoping to secure a coveted spot at one of the prestigious film festivals first." Given the political bent of these festivals, that's probably all but assured!
Since the Wilmington News Journal "in-house" voices are all left-liberal, ya'd think their "Other Voices" section might -- just might -- have some views different from the homebodies.
Check it today:
And there you have it, folks. I'd ask the WNJ to rename the section "Similar Voices," but they're probably too busy contemplating why they keep losing readers. Or maybe not.
Or maybe it could be titled "What If A Conservative Had Said It?" but you know what I mean. Check out what MSDNC pundit Ed Schultz's producer, James "Holmy" Holm, said about 20 of the nation's top CEOs:
The president is going to speak with business leaders that are sitting on $1.9 trillion dollars -- $1.9 trillion dollars. Maybe what we should do is put a gun to their head and just say, give us that $1.9 trillion dollars, you don't need to read anything, just hand it to us!
What d'ya think Schultz's response would have been if some Republican member of Congress had said "We've got hundreds of al Qaeda detainees just sitting there in Guantánamo with valuable information. Maybe what we should do is put a gun to their heads and just say, 'Give us that info, you don't need no Koran, just spill it -- or else!'"
First place in the Council category was yours truly, The Colossus of Rhodey, with What makes America great …?
First place in the non-Council category was Raymond Ibrahim/Pajamas Media with Islamists Target Christians ‘Wherever They Can Reach Them.’
Full results are here.
... at the Culture and Media Institute.
Saw this vid over at Ace's ...
Personally, my fave Star Wars sound is the Millenium Falcon's engines.
Also coming next summer -- DC's Wielder of the Green Ring:
I never followed Green Lantern much except for a bit within the last few years (various "big event" scenarios like "Blackest Night") and that stuff has generally been pretty good. I definitely look forward to this flick.
I blame the hate rhetoric generated from sites like this:
Last Friday we held our downtown Christmas Party at Dugan’s Irish Pub. We had a great crowd and the bar was filled with Christmas cheer until smoke began to fill the entire venue. At approximately 8 p.m. the Chicago Fire Department were called to the bar to put out what was a very smoked filled bar. After waiting outside for nearly an hour, we were told that the bar was closed for the night and we were asked to gather our belongings. There were four small dynamite looking devices found in the men’s bathroom, smoldering in the trash can.
The following evening I received a phone call from Chicago Police Department Bomb and Arson officials. Written on the lid of one of the toliets were: F*CK THE TEA PARTY. (Link.)
Y'know, "fun" little utterances like this.
A California mother, Monet Parham, has filed a class action suit against McDonald’s. How come? Because she absolutely SUCKS at basic parenting:
“I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience,” Parham said. “But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say ‘no’ to our young children so many times, and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.”
Using such "logic," why not a class action suit against candy makers? Toy makers? Video game designers?
Overlawyered's inimitable Walter Olson chimes in:
You’re probably wondering: How is this grounds for a lawsuit? No one forced Parham to take her daughters to McDonald’s, buy them that particular menu item, and sit by as they ate every last French fry in the bag (if they did).
No, she’s suing because when she said no, her kids became disagreeable and “pouted” – for which she wants class action status. If she gets it, McDonald’s isn’t the only company that should worry. Other kids pout because parents won’t get them 800-piece Lego sets, Madame Alexander dolls and Disney World vacations. Are those companies going to be liable too?
And, back to the title of this post, you can imagine how such ... "parents" react to their kids getting into trouble at school and/or them getting bad grades. "But as other busy, working moms and dads know, it tough to stay up on what our kids are doing at school! How are we supposed to make sure our kids are doing their homework? That they're studying for tests? Why can't the teachers check in on them -- after all, isn't that their job?"
I say all responsible parents file a class action suit against Parham (and those like her who've sired offspring) for defamation of parents everywhere.
"Progressives" screamed and hollered, rightly or wrongly, about George W. Bush OK'ing "torture" (waterboarding -- administered to only three top-level al Qaeda operatives and under strict physician supervision and which saved thousands of lives via the information gathered); now (as then), these same faux progressives want to deem anything "torture" that even remotely inconveniences someone for whom they feel sympathy:
Yesterday on Twitter, Salon's Glenn Greenwald promised followers a forthcoming story detailing allegations of torture against Private First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking to WikiLeaks. Manning, you may recall, is currently in the brig at Marine Corps Base Quantico.
"A major story brewing is the cruel, inhuman treatment - torture - to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly," Greenwald pledged on December 14. Greenwald's story was published early this morning.
So what was Greenwald's big scoop? What's the "torture" that Manning is subjected to? If you said that he's in solitary confinement, can't watch MSNBC, and doesn't get a soft pillow with his cot, you guessed correctly.
And that's it: he's been placed in solitary confinement.
That's a real shame. Maybe he should've thought long and hard about accessing classified info and leaking it to someone who distributes it everywhere.
Check out this hilarious parody of the Teen Titans supergroup. My favorite: Christine O'Donnell as "Stark Raven"!!
Via Zero Out of Five:
Look at #6. Those of you who had even a little Spanish back in the day may remember that "pen" is usually either "[la] pluma" or "[el] bolígrafo."
"Pene" in Spanish means ... "penis."
That would be one Mike Protack. And that's not all -- Obama is really a Muslim:
That birth certificate will never be produced as it will likely have as the religion-Muslim listed and that fact is untenable by the Obama brigades.
The following bumper sticker soon to be released ... ?
Katrina Trinko makes note of Ten Outrageous Earmarks in the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. These -- out of 6,600!!
● $40 million for a National Bio and Agro-defense facility in Kansas, requested by Sen. Sam Brownback (R., Kansas).
● $8 million for expanding Anchorage’s port, requested by Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R) (who campaigned on her ability to bring Alaska earmarks) and Mark Begich (D).
● $165,000 for maple research in Vermont, to further delve into the quality and food safety of syrup and to consider how current production methods affect tree health, requested by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vermont).
● $1 million for arthropod damage control, requested by Sen. Harry Reid (D., Nev.).
● $21 million for Hawaii Federal Health Care system, requested by Appropriations committee chair Sen. Daniel Inouye (D., Hawaii.)
● $2.5 million to improve pedestrian and bicycling paths in Illinois, requested by Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.)
● $307,000 for research on small fruits, requested by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D., Oregon), Norm Dicks (D., Wash.), Rick Larsen (D., Wash.), Kurt Schrader (D., Oregon), and David Wu (D., Oregon) and Sens. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.), Mike Crapo (R., Idaho), Jeff Merkley (D., Oregon), Patty Murray (D., Wash.), James Risch (R., Idaho), and Ron Wyden (D., Oregon).
● $350,000 for Cool Season Legume Research, which would fund studies on what diseases harm and what improvements could help crops such as lentils and beans, requested by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D., Wash.) Kent Conrad (D., N.D.), Bryon Dorgan (D., N.D.) and Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Reps. Norm Dicks (D., Wash.) and Earl Pomeroy (D., N.D.).
● $15 million to reduce emission-caused pollution in California, requested by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D., Calif) and Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, and Jay McNerney of California.
● $1 million for AFL-CIO training programs, requested by Sen. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa).
* Simply Jews – Thomas L. Friedman reader – chapter one
* The Colossus of Rhodey – What makes America great …?
* Joshuapundit - Israel Slammed For Rejecting Non-Existent Obama ‘Offer’ On Building Freeze!?!
* VA Right - Most Ridiculous Question Asked of Cuccinelli in ObamaCare Press Conference
* Rhymes With Right – Ill-Advised Religious Rights Suit Brought Against School District By Feds
* Right Truth – Support for Repeal of Obama-care Increases
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Unleashed!
* Bookworm Room – It’s no fun, being an illegal alien
* Mere Rhetoric – The Night After – London’s Parliament Square In Ruins [Photos]
* The Razor – Japan Gets Serious
* The Glittering Eye - The Debate Over Higher Education (Updated)
* Snapped Shot – Rebooting This Blog
And the non-Council nominations are here!
WR Terrell Owens blames Bengals coaches, says franchise underachieving 'from the top down':
Receiver Terrell Owens says the Cincinnati Bengals' lousy season is the result of underachieving "from the top down," and he particularly points a finger at the coaches.
Teammate Chad Ochocinco asked Owens during "The T.Ocho Show" on Versus cable network Tuesday night why he thinks the team is 2-11.
"I think there's underachieving from the top down," Owens said. "You start with the owner, you start with the coaches. And obviously we as players, we are a product of what the coaches are coaching us throughout the course of the week.
"Of course, we have to go out there and play the game. But in order for us to do what we're allowed to do at the best of our abilities, the coaches have to put the players in the best position."
Translation: Owens and Ochocinco are crybaby prima donnas who aren't getting the ball enough, in their highly subjective opinion. Maybe if these two loudmouthed a-holes spent more time on team matters rather than their wretched reality and talk shows, the Bengals might be doing better.
Commenter "anonone" over at the LGOMB:
I guess UI wants us to deliberately ignore all the dishonest, anti-progressive, and incompetent acts that Obomba has performed all on his own. (Hint: that means the other “co-equal branches of government” had nothing to do with them.)
To which Jason "Trust Fund" Scott hilariously retorts: "Knock it off with the Obomba dumbass."
"Knock it off"? "KNOCK IT OFF"??? This -- from the guy who referred to the last chief exec as everything from the Devil to any adjective/noun with the "F" word in front of it.
"An Associated Press-Stanford University Poll on education found that 68 percent of adults believe parents deserve heavy blame for what's wrong with the U.S. education system — more than teachers, school administrators, the government or teachers unions." (Link.)
Only 35% said teachers deserve "a great deal or a lot of the blame."
Not surprisingly, conservatives blame parents more than liberals do. And those who placed more blame on parents cited "a lack of student discipline and low expectations for students as serious problems in schools."
Here's a good example of the liberal view: Julie Woestehoff, executive director of Parents United for Responsible Education, a Chicago advocacy group, says,
The problems children and their parents deal with inside and outside of school every day are growing. Children are tired, they're hungry and they need someone to help with their homework. Some kids face violence at home or in their neighborhood. Some parents are trying so hard to keep a roof over their family that they can't help with school.
Excuse me, but how exactly is this different from any other time in American history? How are the problems "growing?" And even if they are, why? Just to name one, but d'ya think the huge growth in illegitimacy might have anything to do with the downward trend in school discipline and academic performance?
And here's what kills me:
"A variety of research in past years backs up the poll respondents' sense that parenting plays key roles in school performance."
IT TAKES RESEARCH TO CONFIRM THIS !!!!!!!!!!
"Exposing kids under 2 to too much television can cause them to develop language skills later, researchers at the University of Washington have found."
IT TAKES RESEARCH TO CONFIRM THIS !!!!!!!!!!
Educating parents about how the school system works and welcoming them to get involved may also help their children, according to Joyce L. Epstein, research professor of sociology at Johns Hopkins University, who focuses on school, family and community partnerships.
"Without programs to educate parents, everyone is working in some stage of ignorance." Epstein said.
True; however, just imagine attempting to ask a parent why in the world he/she cannot fix a simple lunch for his/her kid every morning ... like a very simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, say. Or, get them a bowl of cereal in the morning. Even those on food stamps can do this. What do you think the reaction will be? Would it be like "You're right -- I need to plan a little better and do more," or would it be like "Who are YOU to tell ME how to live MY life?" And this is in large part why we see a lot of what we do in schools. Apathy. Irresponsiblility. No one's fault. Free school breakfasts and lunches should be for only those that truly need them. How many kids who receive such now have expensive sneakers and cell phones, for example? Therefore, in this regard, what sort of incentives do the parents of such children have to do things for their children ... themselves?
"These are tough times we're living in," [Mike] Principe said. "What's our world going to be like when our 2-year-old is an adult?"
No times are too "tough" when it comes to your own children, Mr. Principe. Or, at least they shouldn't be. More parents need to heed this very simple message.
MSM outlets across the land "sounded the alarm" (including our own Wilmington News Journal) about how American students fared on the recent PISA tests. But edu-writer Diane Ravitch has to slap the faces of the cretins at the WNJ to knock some sense into them, among others:
Consider the two top contenders on PISA: Shanghai and Finland. These two places — one a very large city of nearly 21 million, the other a small nation of less than six million — represent two very different approaches to education. The one thing they have in common is that neither of the world leaders in education is doing what American reformers propose.
According to the OECD, the international group that sponsors PISA, the schools of Shanghai — like those in all of China — are dominated by pressure to get higher scores on examinations. . . .
OECD points out that more than 80 percent of students in Shanghai attend after-school tutoring. It remarked on the academic intensity of Chinese students. Non-attention is not tolerated. . . .
Finland is at the other end of the educational spectrum. Its education system is modeled on American progressive ideas. It is student-centered. It has a broad (and non-directive) national curriculum. Its teachers are drawn from the top 10 percent of university graduates. They are highly educated and well prepared. Students never take a high-stakes test; their teachers make their own tests. The only test they take that counts is the one required to enter university.
Can you imagine 80% of American students coming for after-school tutoring? And "non-attention is not tolerated ..."?? Ha! Hell, teachers here can get a parental 3rd degree for booting a kid out of class for raising holy hades in the room ... and preventing any instruction!
The US used to allow what Finland does to a degree, though I doubt American teachers ever came from 10% of college graduates.
This all doesn't mean that the US can't learn anything from the Chinese, the Fins, or anyone else. But when doltish outlets like the News Journal completely overlook political and especially cultural differences when it comes to discussing education, you should be highly skeptical of their "sky is falling" rants.
This is our modern Justice Dept. -- sues a state for enforcing immigration policy, fails to prosecute thugs who intimidate voters (caught on tape!), sues universities for using the Kindle reader, seeks attorneys who may be mentally retarded, and now ... sues a school district for not allowing a teacher three weeks off for the Hajj:
The federal government sued a suburban Chicago school district Monday for denying a Muslim middle school teacher unpaid leave to make a pilgrimage to Mecca that is a central part of her religion.
In a civil rights case, the department said the school district in Berkeley, Ill., denied the request of Safoorah Khan on grounds that her requested leave was unrelated to her professional duties and was not set forth in the contract between the school district and the teachers union. In doing so the school district violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to reasonably accommodate her religious practices, the government said.
Khan wanted to perform the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia which every adult Muslim is supposed to make at least once in a lifetime if they are physically and financially able to. Millions go each year.
Again, the teach wanted three weeks of leave for the trip, even though the Hajj lasts ... five days. Yes, she said she'd take three weeks unpaid leave, but why three weeks if the pilgramage takes less than a week? (And the district would still have to pay for a substitute teacher for those three weeks, by the way.) It seems to me that the district didn't fail to "accommodate" her at all. One, because three weeks isn't needed, two, because the Hajj only has to be done once in a lifetime, and three, as Ace notes:
... the timing of the Hajj varies due to the Islamic calendar. This means that in some years, the Hajj will naturally coincide with already-scheduled breaks in the school year. She couldn't wait for such a year?
I can't help but notice that when she demanded her three weeks off, it seems to have fallen right in the middle of Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. I'm betting good money she planned to take off the entire month and a quarter between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I wouldn't take that bet!
Hey, I'm just glad to see our Justice Dept. is out there fighting for YOU!
Syracuse University College of Law (SUCOL) has threatened a student with "harassment" charges for the last two months because of the content of a satirical blog about life in law school, but the university has refused to tell him what expression in particular justified the charges or even who is charging him. Worse still, SUCOL is now demanding a gag order on law student Len Audaer, his attorney, and any media outlets that receive information about the case.
"Because of his alleged involvement with a blog intended to resemble The Onion, Syracuse has held harassment charges over Len Audaer's head for two months," FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. "Now the university is trying to force him into silence, despite the fact that Audaer still doesn't know the identity of his accuser or even what expression is at issue. Syracuse University College of Law should be demonstrating the importance of free speech and due process to its students by example; instead it seems to prefer the example of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland."
Yet again, folks, never believe it when a so-called "progressive" tells you he/she stands for freedom, especially freedom of speech. The only freedom faux progressives believe in is the right to agree with them.
A site I frequent -- Common Sense Political Thought -- gets quite a few regular commenters from both sides of the political spectrum. In one recent thread, one regular lefty opined on the demise of America as he sees it:
We’re not the country we used to be. We turned our backs on our own values for the love of our own abject fear. We ignore the very real growing fascism within our borders, while accusing efforts at improvement of being fascist.
We revere the generation that fought WWII while being completely incapable of continuing their work at national improvement. We can’t even maintain the 60-year-old infrastructure they built. Because it’s too expensive. Self-destructive greed from the bottom up.
Out of a desire for national machismo, we’ve ruined the good name of our country all over the world for the privilege of swinging our Florida in everyone’s face. We export corruption to friendly and defenseless countries. We’ve lost control of our foreign intelligence arm, as well as our internal police forces.
We loudly boast of our number one status while rapidly dropping on the list of every desirable metric.
We still have the plan for a great country as the core of our law, but we keep ignoring it, while touting its greatness. We refuse to understand the words on the page, which gets easier year after year, because we’ve let our schools go to shit. We’re in the process of re-instituting slavery, which only requires assigning it another name, or no name at all.
We are testing the limits of success of propaganda and fear-based politics.
Virtues are derided.
This post will be seen as an attack on America.
There will be actual violence, on a national scale. The wealthiest will retire to other countries. The remainder will have to rebuild, and we may envy Haiti their standard of living. It’s only a matter of time.
"We turned our backs on our own values for the love of our own abject fear"? What exactly does this mean? But if I had a nickel for every time some "progressive" cried "fascism" due to the efforts in the GWOT (General War on Terror) let alone anything suggested by conservatives/Republicans, I'd be a rich man right now. And here, again, we see how utterly incapable "progressives" are at even considering fundamental political and philosophical differences with conservatives. "Efforts at improvement" are accused of being "fascist?" Not exactly; more likely they're deemed "socialist" (although in their ultimate forms there's actually little difference anyway). Nevertheless, what conservatives take issue with are not "efforts at improvement" but who exactly should make the improvement. Frankly, if the federal government backed off one-third of what it's intertwined in at present, we'd be much better off.
Next, a false premise. Why should the federal government maintain infrastructure anyway? Why shouldn't that be a state/local responsibility? And "greed from the bottom up?" How so? Here's is one of many differences between "progressives" and conservatives on this: "Progressives" think you're "greedy" and "stingy" if you want to keep more of your hard-earned money. After all, as noted above, it's needed for "good public works." On the other hand, conservatives recognize that government has squandered so much of your tax money already, and will merely squander more if they get it. It's not your fault that bridges may be in disrepair; it's the idiots in government who waste our money on things other than what it should be spent on! Period. Groups like the Tea Party in part were generated by the "had it up to here" feeling myriad folks had pent for years.
Following, what does our little progressive mean by his next quip? Does he mean that, because we allowed our Constitution to work in 2000 when George W. Bush battled Al Gore for the presidency, we're ... "corrupt?" How deluded does a "progressive" have to be to think this "ruined" the name of our country by how that ultimately played out? And which "friendly and defenseless countries" have we exported corruption to? Even with "progressives'" holy grail -- Iraq -- that supposition cannot be made even remotely credibly. As bad as the situation may seem since the US invasion, any semblance of democracy is inherently less corrupt than an authoritarian dictatorship. Not to mention that it puts in place the structures for further improvement. (And I state the above as a libertarian-conservative who was AGAINST the invasion of Iraq.) In Afghanistan, the same principle applies. "Oh, gosh -- since the US invaded the heroin trade has picked up." Yeah, but in the meantime, the Taliban and al Qaeda aren't terrorizing the living hell out of the populace, murdering anyone who so much as looks the wrong way at them. Sorry, but yes -- freedom can have a "down" side. People can take advantage of freedom, especially newly founded freedom, in negative ways.
Regarding the next point, the US certainly may be dropping in certain metrics, but it's not "rapidly" nor is it dire.
In response to the next point, by "ignoring the law" do we mean things like stretching the Commerce Clause beyond any recognition? Do we mean like hiring political appointees who haven't paid their taxes, yet you and I face killer fines and liens? Do we mean like letting politicians get a slap on the wrist while Joe Six-Pack would be thrown in jail? Do we mean like going to war without declaring such?
And who is "letting the schools go to sh**?" Are we actually claiming there's a lack of funds for schools? Why do countries with worse educational infrastructures beat us in various measures, then? Might there actually be something other than mere money involved in the decline of American education? The rest of that paragraph is just neo-Marxian drivel.
Following, whose virtues are derided? Why do "progressives" see one as virtuous only if they agree (or, voice no disagreement) to have more wealth confiscated from him/her so that the "virtuous" federal government can "do more" with it? "Progressives" also feel they are more "virtuous" because they want to grant things like habeas corpus to people like radical Islamic terrorists who have no compunctions about killing innocent women and children. Yet, somehow, it is not virtuous to clearly state who our country's enemies are, all the while stating that things like childhood obesity is a "national security risk."
Lastly, the notion that the US will envy Haiti is simply beyond reason. The US does not riot like European countries do merely because college tuition goes up, or because politicians want to hike the retirement age for benefits. If there's going to violence in the streets here, it will more likely be because our politicians refused to cut profligate spending, refused to get the federal government off the average person's back (and wallet), and continued to allow the unelected court system to make laws instead of interpret them.
Among other things.
Iran? North Korea? Radical Islamic terrorists? PSHAW! Know what our biggest threat is? FAT KIDS!!!!
First lady Michelle Obama plans to warn in remarks Monday that the nation is seeing “a groundswell of support” for curbing childhood obesity, and she is unveiling new ammunition from current and retired military leaders.
“Military leaders … tell us that when more than one in four young people are unqualified for military service because of their weight,” the first lady says in the prepared remarks, “childhood obesity isn’t just a public health threat, it’s not just an economic threat, it’s a national security threat as well." (Link.)
Folks, the era of preposterous hyperbole is NOT over. By any means.
Not to mention more than a few schools (for anti-US exam questions, of course): Teacher arrested in Kashmir for 'anti-India' exam questions.
Coming next May:
I never was a big fan of the Asgardian God of Thunder aside from his exploits with the Avengers, mainly because (like Tony Stark/Iron Man) I detest magic. However, as you can see by the trailer, it appears they're setting Thor up to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes (The Avengers, natch!) and if that was the Destroyer I saw in there (the big silver robot -- see below), the battle scenes should kick ass. And Anthony Hopkins as Odin?
Count me in.
How awful does this look? Obama has to bring in someone ... who actually knew what he was doing ... ??
Ending weeks of speculation and rumors, President-Elect Barack Obama today named Bill Clinton to join his incoming administration as President of the United States, where he will head the federal government’s executive branch.
“I am pleased that Bill Clinton has agreed to come out of retirement to head up this crucial post in my administration,” said Obama. “He brings a lifetime of previous executive experience as Governor of Arkansas and President of the United States, and has worked closely with most of the members of my Cabinet.”
Clinton said he was “excited and honored” by the appointment, and would work “day and night” to defeat all the key policy objectives proposed by Mr. Obama during the campaign.
First place in the Council category was The Razor with Friends Like These.
First place in the non-Council category was Rubin Reports with Thanks to International Aid, Gaza Is Going To Be A Well-Off Islamist Republic.
Full results are here.
My good buddy Brent informs me of an anecdote about the imminent fall of American civilization ...
At last weekend's University of Delaware football game against Lehigh, he and his wife were setting up their tailgate when he noticed a group of four college guys pulling up in a small car. The guys in the back were all bunched up, but there were only two of them in the backseat. Whaaa ...?
The punchline: These geniuses had packed a waist-high sized refrigerator into the back seat! A REFRIGERATOR. Consider:
I've heard that since my UD days the school has upped its entrance requirements quite a bit. These Einsteins must've bribed the admissions officials quite handsomely!
(Thanks to the LGOMB's Jason Scott for letting me use his picture!)
Via The Daily Caller:
That’s the only rational conclusion to be derived from their behavior lately.
The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.
One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f— the president” while Rep. Shelley Berkley was defending the package the president negotiated with Republicans. Berkley confirmed the incident, although she declined to name the specific lawmaker.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last two years, it’s that dissenting against Obama is racist. It’s disappointing that these racist Democrats in Congress are so racist, but that’s to be expected from a bunch of racists.
Indeed. Anyone remember Joe Wilson? I could fill the biggest blog post ever with all the instances of MSM idiots and other "progressives" opining on [conservative] opposition to Obama as "racist." But I've yet to hear a conservative/Republican use the F-bomb against the president!
MSNBC's Chris Matthews says [his show] "Hardball" "is absolutely nonpartisan."
The MSM says Fox News is "anti-Islamist" (and racist, homophobic, and every other elitist snob "progressive" complaint of the moment) ... but surprise!! Guess who doesn't agree? Muslims!
A favorite among Saudis, according to the UK Guardian, is a TV channel called Rotana, which is partially owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. And yes, Rotana does broadcast the Fox News Channel.
That last fact really stumped the Guardian and CBS News. The former called it "particularly surprising," given that FNC "takes a hard line against Islamic radicalism and has strongly supported US military intervention in the Middle East."
CBS had this to say about the apparent popularity of Fox News in Saudi Arabia:
…it's something of a surprise that [Saudis] enjoy watching Fox News programming. American critics of Fox News have accused it of pushing a right-wing, anti-Islam agenda.
It's only a surprise if you accept that Fox does in fact push an "anti-Islam agenda." CBS is surprised, so clearly they share that view. (Link.)
Bernie Goldberg said it best: Progressive elites have NO idea what those of us who exist outside the former's comfy little wombs think and believe. And it surprises the living hell out of them when they actually bother to find out.
My sports-nut buddy Brent caught this earlier today:
Those who deal with Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott on a daily basis know the deal: Scott is one of the nicer, happier guys in baseball.
He is also one of the most outspoken players about things he believes strongly in. That starts with religion and his Christian beliefs. He is also a huge Second Amendment supporter – and has gone on national TV on multiple occasions about the right to carry guns.
And he is a big right-wing conservative. Oftentimes he’ll share his opinions in the clubhouse. He says things matter-of-factly, and those around him have come to accept that that is just Luke.
Well, Luke was being Luke Tuesday at the winter meetings and it was President Barack Obama who ended up in his crosshairs. After talking with an Internet blogger on media row Tuesday about baseball and hunting and other topics, politics and Obama came up.
The Yahoo Sports blogger asked Scott whether he thought Obama was born in the United States – long a topic of discussion and passion for conservatives. And this is what Scott said: “He was not born here.”
Yeesh. C'mahn, already. I'm with Bill O'Reilly, who once said that, for him, the end of this "discussion" is proved by the Hawaiian newspapers which carried the [small bit of] news of Obama's birth. Like, why would they print something like that if it didn't actually happen? I mean, were they somehow clairvoyant that this birther stuff would be an issue 47 years later?
Photo #1, the caption reads:
This Dec. 7, 1941 file photo provided by the Dept. of Defense shows the USS California, right, after being struck by two battleships and two big bombs during a Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
Um, exactly when did Japanese battleships attack Pearl Harbor??
Photo #2, the caption reads:
Heavy damage is seen on the battleships U.S.S. Casin and the U.S.S. Downes, stationed at Pearl Harbor after the Japanese attack on the Hawaiian island, Dec. 7, 1941.
(h/t to NB reader Bart B.)
Yeah, the "deep thinker" who was even tossed out of the LGOMB because he dared split from the dogma too often, shows -- again -- how statements that would get conservatives on the hot seat merely get ... agreement among fellow [faux] progressives.
Dimwitty recently said "I guess Obama is the Chauffeur driving us into the ditch now…"
Greg at Rhymes With Right asks,
Hmmmmm. . . isn’t that statement rather racist? Wouldn't Al Sharpton demand another meeting with the FCC in an attempt to ban conservative talk radio if Rush had said such a thing? Why, then, didn't the liberals at the site condemn the statement -- and why did they instead agree with it? Could it be that they are simply airing out their white sheets now that their black president is disappointing them?
Heh heh ...
* Joshuapundit - US And Israel To Announce That The Freeze Deal Is Off The Table
* Simply Jews – Spanking Sarah Palin? Maybe, but to spank Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey?
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Righteous Hit
* Mere Rhetoric – “I Will Make A Lot Of Peace In The Middle East”
* VA Right - Bush Tax Cuts Averted A Depression
* Right Truth – Tennessee Christmas
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Julian Assange as cowardly publisher
* The Razor – Friends Like These
* Bookworm Room – Israel, American Jews, American Christians and a whole bunch of other stuff too
* The Glittering Eye - A Ceiling on the Government’s Share
* Rhymes With Right – When Liberals Declare Words Mean What They Want Them To, Not What They Actually Mean
* Snapped Shot – Searching for Th3j35t3r
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Hey Fiscal Strength, your proposal has been defeated. I have a counter offer; write a check to the Tax Me More fund. Failure to do so will undermine your self proclaimed patriotism and gut any credibility you now think you have.
Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.
Barton was reacting to a proposal made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who in a speech suggested that broadcasters be subject to a new "public values test" every four years.
"I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume,” Barton wrote Monday in a letter to Copps.
Copps had suggested that the test would make a broadcaster's license renewal contingent upon proof that they meet a prospective set of federal criteria.
He said outlets should be mandated to do the following: prove they have made a meaningful commitment to public affairs and news programming, prove they are committed to diversity programming (for instance, by showing that they depict women and minorities), report more to the government about which shows they plan to air, require greater disclosure about who funds political ads and devote 25 percent of their prime-time coverage to local news.
You can just imagine the subjectivity involved with government bureaucrats "determining" just the "right" amount of "public interest" and "diversity" a station should have/report. It's pure nonsense, and still more proof that the Democrat Party (and "progressives" in general) still don't get why they got pasted a month ago.
"Keep an eye on the money."
A candidate who had persistent financial problems pulls off a surprise upset in the primary, and the conservative grassroots open their wallets wide and often in order to help ensure the campaign’s competitiveness – only to see the candidate end the campaign with nearly $1 million in unspent funds.
Is this how Christine O’Donnell wanted it?
Jim Geraghty has much more here.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO): "It really is time for people to take up pitchforks" if GOP gets its way on maintaining Bush tax cuts for everyone.
Considering all the time they devoted to the Tea Party using such colorful metaphors over the past year, I presume we'll see Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow and Dylan Ratigan screaming and yelling about all the violence such hateful language can lead to ...?
UPDATE: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's President William Gheen is the subject of a death threat from, among others, the President of Immigration Clearinghouse:
William Gheen appeared on Fox News at 6:15am EST on Tuesday, November 30, 2010. In the interview, Gheen said that the Dream Act Amnesty was a "Political Teddy Bear with a hand grenade in it," and that passage of the Dream Act Amnesty could eventually lead to "millions of innocent American students, workers, and voters being displaced and replaced by illegal aliens."
Mr. Porter Corn, the President of Immigration Clearinghouse, posted the following comments beneath the video accompanied by William Gheen's home address. Corn later removed the comment when ALIPAC notified activists of the threats but screen shots can be seen in the evidence thread provided here.
"Someone should put a grenade up Willy's teddy bear ass and pull the pin." -- posted at 8:30pm EST Nov. 30, 2010 on Youtube by Borderbandit54 aka Mr. Porter Corn of Laredo Texas / President of Immigration Clearinghouse.
Back in the summer of '09 a good friend gave me her collection of The Walking Dead graphic novels by Robert Kirkman to read. I was pleasantly surprised at how well done they were. The writing was realistic and the premise eerily spooky. So, when AMC (American Movie Classics) announced it was developing a TV series based on the comic, I was eagerly anticipating it.
Well, the first "season" (only six episodes) ended last evening and the verdict is ... it's just OK.
I fear the show will devolve into ridiculousness much as "Battlestar Galactica" did beginning in its third season. The essential question is, "Are the [actor] survivors acting like real survivors would in such a situation?" So far, I believe they mostly are. Another question viewers have to keep in the back of their heads is, "Can anyone really accurately predict how people would act in such a situation?" Remember, we're talking total apocalypse here, with flesh-eating monsters walking around everywhere!
SPOILER ALERT BELOW THE FOLD!
Question #1: Would Rick (and crew) really take a chance on everyone's lives just to potentially rescue a hateful, bigoted red-neck?
No! While I appreciate the necessity of "not losing one's humanity" in the most inhumane of circumstances, why would you risk the lives of the empathetic, innocent members of your survivor group for that of a despicable hater? I'm reminded of the episode of "Battlestar Galactica" where the crew had an opportunity to wipe out most of the Cylons with a devastating disease-like weapon. They decided not to use it because it "would make humanity just like them." Uh huh -- right.
Question #2: Would the CDC really be abandoned except for one lone scientist?
Highly unlikely. The scientist's claim that this was case because everyone else wanted to be with their families seems like nonsense -- especially considering the plush facilities in the CDC underground bunker.
Question #3: The CDC no longer has any means of communicating with the outside world?
Poppycock. You're talking about the most elaborate germ-fighting/research laboratory on the planet.
Question #4: The French scientists managed to "stay on the job" while American scientists fled like mewling babies?
Cough me up a lung laughing.
I worry that, as mentioned, the writers will forgo good, common sense scripts in favor of "making points." For instance, aside from the silly "French scientists" comment from the sole remaining CDC tech, also managed to be slipped in was a comment about our reliance on fossil fuels (the reason why the CDC was losing power!). Not to mention, I fear the whole zombie infection thing will be yet another "secret government plot" gone awry, and this has led to humanity's total demise (or close enough to it). Maybe it can be something like in "I Am Legend," where the massive plague was the result of trying to do something good -- a cure for cancer? Y'know, a 180 from the usual Hollywood government-secret-cabal-hates-the-general public outline.
Why can't it be the result of Islamist terrorists setting loose a Chinese, Russian or Nork engineered virus in an attempt to destroy the West? Hell no, can't have that; the entertainment columnists will have a field day lambasting the show's writers as "appealing to the basest fears and prejudices of Americans" which "rightist pundits and politicians love to exploit," yada yada yada. And Hollywood is nothing if not one, big like-minded club.
Man, you think American reality shows are bad and/or dangerous? Try Germany. NBC refuses to show the actual accident at their website, so of course I turned to YouTube:
The stunt-dude, Samuel Koch, may be paralyzed according to doctors.
"Just imagine, they say, if we hadn’t spend $800 billion in stimulus!" Obama and Co. say.
First place in the Council category was The Razor with America’s China Problem.
First place in the non-Council category was Iowahawk with White House in Talks With Elusive Taliban Leader.
Full results are here.
I managed to miss this when I first read the article in Friday's News-Journal, but this headline from that day's Dear Abby column says more than it likely meant to:
Beau's awkward dad may need help
The Dallas Independent School District has named a new magnet school after our current chief exec -- except they apparently forgot how Mr. Obama spells his first name (scroll down to second-to-last school):
(BTW, if you're admiring those pretty hands, they belong to my girlfriend, not yours truly.) ;-)
I'm not a fan of the President but when he gets one right you gotta give him the credit he deserves.
Good for him. Seems his advisers have gotten better since Rahm left town. I wish he had made it for Thanksgiving or Christmas but he made it so well done him.
Well, in Japan at any rate. Cannot wait till it gets to the States!
Anyone else remember that soap opera-like cartoon from the late 70s/early 80s -- "Star Blazers" but originally called "Space Cruiser/Battleship Yamato" in Japan? The first two series were fairly prominent here in the local TV market and were cutting edge for that time. In the original series, Earth is under attack by the planet Gamilon. By 2199, most of humanity is dead and its remnants are underground. But then a mysterious capsule lands on the planet -- with a message of hope. It contains schematics for a "wave motion" engine, an FTL (faster than light) drive, and a notification that their planet, Iscandar, (located in the Larger Magellanic Cloud) has a device which will remove the radiation from Earth. (I always wondered why, if they can send blueprints for an FTL drive, they couldn't also just send plans for the radiation cleaner! Oh well ...) The Yamato's long journey to obtain the device features some of the coolest space battle scenes ever seen in cartoons, especially when the Yamato (renamed Argo for the American audience) fires its "wave motion gun." And you can check out the [English] show's introduction here.
The sequel featured the Yamato/Argo and the Earth Defense Fleet against the Comet Empire from the Andromeda Galaxy. It's probably longer than it had to be, but the space battle sequences in the second series are absolutely sensational, particularly the epic confrontation between the C.E. and the Earth Defense Fleet led by the cruiser Andromeda. The Argo, which was damaged, wasn't present at this battle, but ultimately leads the last-ditch effort against the Comet Empire's Prince Zordar. Here's the cartoon's second season intro.
Series 3 was a definite step down. Seemingly playing on the original series' premise, our sun is hit by a stray missile from a nearby galactic battle which increases its rate of fusion. Earth must either evacuate or find a way to stop the sun from going nova. Of course, the crew of the Yamato/Argo leads the way. Interestingly, the Galman Empire in this series is shown to be from where the Gamilons of series 1 descended. I at one time possessed series 3, but it was so convoluted and its premise so repetitive that I never actually finished watching it.
Via The Corner:
St. Martin’s Press has purchased the rights to a book by U.S. Senate candidate from Delaware, Christine O’Donnell. The deal was negotiated by St. Martin’s publisher Matthew Shear and Dan Strone, CEO of Trident Media Group.
A Tea Party favorite, O’Donnell was the Republican Party nominee in Delaware’s 2010 U.S. Senate special election. With strong support from Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, she defeated nine-term U.S. Representative and former governor Michael Castle in the Republican primary, losing the general election to Democrat Chris Coons. In the process, she became the most covered candidate by the media in 2010.
O’Donnell’s book will take the reader behind the scenes of her race for the Senate, and embody O’Donnell’s identification with America’s frustrations and concerns with the current political climate. According to O’Donnell, “The 2010 midterm elections were just the beginning—the first rumblings of a revolution that has not fully erupted. I plan on making my book one of the revolution’s catalysts.”
Gee, I can't wait. The excitement mounts ... uh, yeah.
Word has it the title will be Maybe Writing This Will Earn Me An Actual Salary For Once In My Life.
Yeah -- teachers should not slap kids. I get it. But ... *shakes head*
Page 10 is where the fun really begins. Wow.
Via the AP:
Two Oklahoma women are accused of hiding hundreds of dollars worth of goods in their belly fat.
"These two individuals were actually concealing them in areas of their body where excess skin was," according to Officer James Hamm of the Edmond Police Department. "Under their chest area and up under armpits and things of that nature. They were concealing large items."
Edmond police say the women used their bodies to make the heist.
Police say they found 4 pairs of boots, 3 pairs of jeans, a wallet and gloves hidden on 28-year-old Ailene Brown and 37-year-old Shmeco Thomas. Officers say one of the women hid three of the boots beneath her breasts and bra.
I love that facial expression! And I wonder if she remembered to get me those Tims I wanted ...?
Like the WaPo's Dana Milbank, who besides working for that paper is a prominent talking head on various pundit shows. And that really makes one wonder, especially when he titles columns thusly: "A strange way to honor the founding fathers." In it, he chides several newly elected Republicans for ... wanting to amend the Constitution:
Republicans gained control of the House last month on a promise to "restore the Constitution." So it is no small irony that one of their first orders of business is an attempt to rewrite the Constitution.
Um, hello?? Adding amendments to the Constitution is not "rewriting" the document. It might surprise idiot Milbank, but it is precisely what the Founders allowed for in the Constitution. It's in a little thing called "Article V":
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ...
Amazing, that, eh? Glenn Reynolds notes,
The Framers had no illusions that they were creating perfection, and believed in the sovereignty of the people and in the power of the people to revise the Constitution as needed, through the process they created. The idea that the text of the Constitution should be revised only through judicial reinterpretation is a modern conceit, and one that does no honor to the Framers at all.
Australians can now buy odor-trapping underwear designed to stop flatulence in its tracks.
The specially treated men's jocks are infused with nanotechnology designed to prevent less than savoury smells passing through fabric.
The Australian entrepreneur behind the wind-breaking scheme admitted, however, he was powerless to prevent the embarrassment of a noisy flatulent faux pas in polite company.
Well that's no good to me, then!
(h/t to Cardinals Fan.)
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Hoot!
* The Colossus of Rhodey – Why can’t this same statement be applied to profiling?
* Joshuapundit - Wikileaks Proved Obama Lied Repeatedly About Middle East Policy
* The Razor – America’s China Problem
* Simply Jews – Lori Berenson: a nice Jewish girl from a nice Jewish family? You bet…
* Mere Rhetoric – Wikileaks – Anti-Israel Foreign Policy Experts Got Saudi Arabia, Other Arab Countries 100% Backward On Iran Attack
* Right Truth – WikiLeak Documents, There Must Be Consequences
* Bookworm Room – Taxes, government dependency and happiness
* Snapped Shot – Best Comment in History
* VA Right - Wikileaks: Does Obama Have a Hidden Agenda in Allowing Classified Leaks?
* The Glittering Eye - Building What Sort of Nation?
* Rhymes With Right – Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Speaker Straus Has Got To Go!
And the non-Council nominations are here!
My jaw dropped when I read this:
Professors routinely complain about students who spend class time on Facebook or texting their friends or otherwise making it clear that their attention is elsewhere. But is it acceptable for a faculty member to deal with these disruptions by walking out of class?
Two years ago, a Syracuse University professor set off a debate with his simple policy: If he spots a student texting, he will walk out of class for the day.
Now two faculty members at Ryerson University, in Toronto, sparked discussion at their institution with a similar (if somewhat more lenient) policy -- and their university's administrators and faculty union have both urged them to back down, which they apparently have.
The Ryerson professors' policy was first reported last week in The Eyeopener (the student newspaper) .... Two professors who teach an introductory engineering course in chemistry jointly adopted a policy by posting it on the courses' Blackboard sites. ... [T]he professors said that after three warnings about disruptions such as cell phone discussions and movies playing on laptops, the professors would walk out of class -- and students would have to learn the rest of that day's material themselves. ...
The student newspaper described a chaotic environment in the class where the faculty members made the threat to walk out, with loud chatting among students and even paper airplanes being shot around the room.
Wow. The advantage professors have is that they can walk out. Garden-variety school teachers certainly can't. (Although substitutes can, and have.)
In a related matter, several teachers and I were chatting at lunch today and though we agreed that our students this year really aren't any less well-behaved than usual, the overall tone of parent complaints, inquiries and demands has been eyebrow raising. As you might expect, with this in mind, such just might explain (some of) the behavior witnessed in those college classrooms!
“The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.” – New York Times, on the Climategate emails, Nov. 20, 2009
“The articles published today and in coming days are based on thousands of United States embassy cables, the daily reports from the field intended for the eyes of senior policy makers in Washington. . . . The Times believes that the documents serve an important public interest, illuminating the goals, successes, compromises and frustrations of American diplomacy in a way that other accounts cannot match.” – New York Times, on the WikiLeaks documents, Nov. 29, 2010
How sadly comical.
Max Boot challenges the Times to make its internal correspondence public:
I wondered why, if the Times believes that openness is so important to the operations of the U.S. government, that same logic doesn’t apply to the newspaper itself. The Times, after all, is still, despite its loss of influence in the Internet age, the leading newspaper in the U.S. and indeed the world. It still shakes governments, shapes opinions, and moves markets, even if it doesn’t do so as often or as much as it used to.
Isn’t it presumptuous to assume that readers of the New York Times have no right to know what is being done in their name by the editors of the New York Times? Isn’t it important for us to learn “the unvarnished story” of how the Times makes its editorial decisions — such as the decision to publish the WikiLeaks documents? Sure, we know the official explanation — it’s in the newspaper. But what happened behind the scenes? Maybe there were embarrassing squabbles that will make for juicy reading? Therefore, I humbly suggest that in the interest of the greater public good (as determined by me), Bill Keller, the editor, and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, should release to the world all their private e-mails and memos concerning WikiLeaks.
But don't hold your breath.