March 31, 2011

A perfect example of why Philly schools have the discipline issues they do

If you can actually stomach to sit through and read the following remarks by Philadelphia School District Assistant Superintendent of Alternative Education Benjamin Wright regarding discipline problems in those schools, God bless you. I'll merely highlight the "best of the worst" here for some guaranteed jaw-dropping.

The past week, Philly.com has been running a huge exposé on the awful discipline problems in the city school district. Part 3 features incidents between students but also those against staff members. Here are some of Wright's classic remarks -- and excuses -- which personify why this district is such a mess:

He (Wright) opposes sending children that young to alternative schools or classrooms. They are in school to learn good behavior, and it's not right to banish them to a disciplinary setting, he said.

"It's not right" for whom? What about the many other children -- and staff -- who may be the victims of such out of control students? Is it "right" for them?

Wright says the problem is due in part to poor responses by staff, who inflame rather than defuse bad behavior.

Take the case of a young student who refuses his teacher's directive to take his seat. "Does that mean that child's being disobedient? No, that means the child is bored.

"So you might want to say 'OK, I'll give you five minutes to move around and then I'm going to ask you to take your seat.'"

Ultimately, who cares if the child is bored? Why is that an excuse to defy a teacher's authority? Consider how Wright would "handle" that situation: In the meantime, other kids see this, and they refuse to sit down too. They want five minutes to walk around the class too. And what do all these kids do during these five minutes? Tantalize kids who aren't walking around? What happens if the kids want five more minutes? If the teacher refuses, is he/she "inflaming" the situation further?

And then there's this classic gem:

Wright also blamed the staff's unequal treatment of boys and Hispanic and black students.

"A boy can't do what a girl does in some schools. A black or Latino kid can't do what a nonblack or Latino kid does," he said.

He also said that adequate counseling and resources were available and that the staff received ample training to deal with problem students.

In other words, since there's an "imbalance" of discipline referrals of a particular racial/ethnic group, it's something the staff is doing ... like "inherent racism."

There's barely anything more risible in education than advocates for differential treatment for different groups of people just because the bean counters may be offended. Just never ask an educationist like Wright why, if racial/ethnic groups are "different" -- so much so that teachers need to "understand" these differences and hence treat students differently -- why the "achievement gap" is such a big deal? I mean, racial/ethnic groups are different! Shouldn't we therefore expect differences in achievement (in this case)?

And it gets better. Here's what this idiot said about a pregnant teacher who was punched in the stomach by a student who didn't get what he wanted:

Hearing of the case, Wright said pregnant teachers should know how to protect themselves.

In this case, he said, the teacher should have given the boy what he wanted at the time and then called for help.

"If I'm in a school, and I'm a teacher, and I'm pregnant, make sure I don't put myself in harm's way, because the kids are going to be kids," Wright said.

"Kids will be kids" = punching a pregnant woman in the stomach. How does this mental pygmy have the position he has again??

Wright also "was skeptical" about a teacher aide who was attacked four times, "most recently by a 5-year-old kindergartner at Dobson Elementary who kicked and punched her." She suffered torn ligaments and tendons. Says Wright? "He probably only weighs 65 pounds. I can hold that kid off until some help comes."

Ye. Gad.

Be sure to read the entire series. And then thank The Maker that your kids (hopefully!) aren't in the Philly School District.

Posted by Hube at 07:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Freeze frame


Posted by Duffy at 03:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Excuse me while I slam this door behind me

Leave it to the Brits. They are masters of the indirect insult:

"It should be harder to be an artist. You shouldn't just be able to put a song on YouTube and go out on tour," the daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus said.

Yeah you shouldn't become an artist easily. You should be like, born into it or something. Perhaps one has to get a tweener show on Nickelodeon or something to pay your dues as an *ahem* "artist" before going on tour.

I will however, point out the irony of Brits complaining about people being born into something they clearly don't deserve. *cough* Prince Charles *cough*

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Research was needed for this!

Study: Best way to reduce childhood obesity is to be involved in your kid's life.

The Australian study examined 165 overweight children and randomly assigned them to one of three programs: an exercise program, a parent-controlled diet program, or a program combining both diet and exercise. After two years, all children experienced weight loss but the report noted that “the greatest effects were achieved through inclusion of a parent-centered diet program, indicating the importance of targeting parents within treatment and the possibility of targeting them exclusively in treating obese prepubertal children.”

Next we may actually be treated to research that concludes the best way for children to do well in school is if their parents get involved in their lives!

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Dopey Philly.com Letter of the Week

Bill Franshel of Bryn Mawr apparently doesn't know what a "fact" is:

That is an ironic position for [columnist Charles] Krauthammer to take considering that he was such a champion of the Iraq war, a quagmire that the United States arrogantly and almost unilaterally entered without understanding the ramifications. The history of the last decade should make abundantly clear how foolish that approach was.

I seem to recall that, under the last president, Americans were supposed to refrain from criticizing the commander-in-chief while our troops were fighting overseas. Have the rules changed?

"Almost unilaterally," Bill? Uh huh:

Bush coalition in Iraq:

Afghanistan
Albania
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bulgaria
Colombia
Czech Republic
Denmark
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Georgia
Hungary
Italy
Japan
South Korea
Latvia
Lithuania
Macedonia
Netherlands
Nicaragua
Philippines
Poland
Romania
Slovakia
Spain
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States
Uzbekistan

Obama coalition in Libya:

United States
France
United Kingdom
Italy
Canada
Belgium
Denmark
Norway
Qatar
Spain
Greece
Germany
Poland
Jordan
Morocco
United Arab Emirates

Oh, and Bill? The old adage is that politicians should refrain from criticizing a president's foreign policy while they're in a foreign land.

Posted by Hube at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

And it's by Iris Gonzalez of Newark regarding the continuing basketball hoop imbroglio:

Here we are fighting obesity, trying to get kids active and away from the TV and electronic games, and there is a law restricting the positioning and use of hoops?Moreover, having kids play at home is a lot less expensive to the state than setting up community centers and playgrounds!

She also wonders what "grinch" passed that Free Space law, the law that was violated in this case.

Earth to Ms. Gonzalez: The law in question does not specifically target basketball hoops. It pertains to anything within a certain distance of a "common" area like a street. And while yes, having kids play at home is a lot less expensive than the state building another park, the obvious solution is to either set up portable hoops which can be moved at will, or put in a basketball hoop adjacent to your driveway so that it doesn't violate the law.

Posted by Hube at 02:41 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Looters and moochers

I recently finished reading "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. I'm not going to review the book here. I mention it because whether you liked the book or hate it, it makes some salient points and many of them remain relevant today.

One recurring theme is that "looters and moochers" are immoral and they seek only to live off of others work and effort. They expect to share in the rewards for that they are not (by Rand's reckoning) entitled to.

Looters are typically government entities that seek to use connections and cronyism to take from the productive and unconnected and give to those that are untalented, unskilled and lazy but connected who feel they are entitled to things.

Irrespective of whether her moral calculus is correct I believe she is correct that government is ceaselessly meddling in business in order to take from some to give to others who are deemed "unfortunate". The problem remains; who determines who can afford to give? Who determines how much is enough? Who determines who the unfortunate ones are?

One example from the book; Hank Reardon is a wildly successful and innovative businessman who invents a new type of metal that is stronger than steel, lighter and cheaper. Toward the end of the book the central government committee plans to allow all the mills to run at full production (something they previously prevented) and the total tonnage will be sold at a fixed price. The profits from that sale will then be given back to the producers but it will be allocated according to the number of furnaces they have at each plant.

Reardon points out that while he has only 20% (or so) of the furnaces, he is producing over 40% of the metal making it to market. Whereas another character who is politically connected has 60% of the mills but produces less than 10% of the metal on the market. Reardon would then be operating at a loss every month.

The book is thick with examples of this reasoning. In Rand's world it's a sure sign that everything is collapsing and the productive men of the world will check out and leave.

I thought the example extreme. No way would there be a regulation or law. It would never pass Constitutional muster. Right?

Wrong.

Marin’s Community Development Agency recommended amending zoning regulations to ease the construction of new apartments, passing new laws requiring new developments to offer housing at below-market rates, and stepping up programs to combat discrimination by landlords and realtors.

So let's review:

1. Large numbers of white people are, by definition, racist. Even among the Eloi of California.

2. Minorities are poor

3. Women apparently count as minorities sometimes but not others.

4. California legislators think that forcing people to change their business to lose money on units sold is legal

5. They further think this is not going to adversely affect the number of new housing developments in California.

So that's what California has come to. They are so far down the path that they refuse to accept that it is their policies that are creating the very problems they seek to solve. If they can only just tweak the regulations properly, they'll somehow be able to achieve equal outcomes for all.

Posted by Duffy at 12:54 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

QOTD

What new music are you listening to?


What are you reading right now?


What event you are most looking forward to this year?

Posted by Duffy at 10:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 30, 2011

Watcher's Council nominations

* The Colossus of Rhodey – Declaring war vs. “authorizations”: “Legal” conflicts and the War Powers Act
* The Noisy Room – Preemptive Anarchy
* Joshuapundit - A Message For The Tribe
* Right Truth – Grains Of Sand: The Fall Of Neve Dekalim
* New Zeal – Obama-Linked Socialists Encourage Spread of Militant Protests
* Rhymes With Right – Is It Time To Impeach Obama?
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Syria Slipping
* The Political Commentator – Is religion heading towards extinction?
* Bookworm Room – Yes, there is an Obama doctrine
* The Glittering Eye - Reading up on Hyperinflation
* VA Right - Another Parody Video From Va Right! “Just Like a Real War” Music Performed by Tom White
* The Razor – The Road to Hell pt. 2
* Snapped Shot – The Great Wall Of Cowardice
* Simply Jews – Iran Plans To Introduce Clean Web

Honorable Mentions:

* The Grouch – Woe is Me! I’m Disabled!
* Capitalist Preservation – Look out below. Deja Vu for February new home sales

And don't forget the non-Council nominations here!

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March 29, 2011

Those evil Joooooooooos!

Toni Morrison famously said that Bill Clinton was the "first black President." Obama would have to settle for being the first biracial President or the second black President or the first Muslim President. Good news for Mr. Obama, another first: according to racist demagogue and Libyan shill Louis Farrakhan he is "the first Jewish president." I wonder what other firsts he's going to rack up before his run is over.

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Follow up 2: Basketball hoop controversy

The News Journal follows up further on the basketball hoop incident today with some information that wasn't in the original story. For instance,

[State Rep. Bryon] Short said he had been working with the McCaffertys since September, when the family was first warned their basketball hoop was in violation and could be removed by the state.

What does this mean, however? Did Short specifically speak to DelDOT? The police? Did he specifically seek to get no action taken against the McCaffertys until the matter was concretely resolved?

Also,

Melissa McCafferty said her family did not install the pole -- it was there when they moved into the home in 2005. She said that according to people in the neighborhood, the pole was there at least as far back as 1995 and it may have been there as far back as the home's construction in 1950.

In a thread over at DE Politics, it was mentioned in the comments that, if this is accurate, it pre-dates the state's Free Space law. And if so, why couldn't the hoops in question "grandfathered" in? (Of course, there have to be certain limitations to such grandfathering ... for instance, how does one prove the actual date of such a pole/hoop? It's not like the deed to a house.)

Previous Colossus coverage on this here and here.

Posted by Hube at 07:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 28, 2011

Hey ...

... did anyone else catch Newt Gingrich on Fox News Sunday yesterday? The dude has cheated on not one, but two wives, and his "reason" for that was ... he was "too dedicated to serving the country" and things "got out of hand." Or something like that.

Kudos to host Chris Wallace who asked him, "Isn't that kind of lame?" Yep. It is. Very much so.

Amazing how a brilliant guy like Gingrich can be ... so stupid.

Posted by Hube at 05:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Beyond parody

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck personifies the utter, outright lunacy of political correctness:

Los Angeles Police Department officers manning sobriety checkpoints will no longer, as a matter of department policy, impound cars driven by unlicensed drivers. That is unless the unlicensed driver is a United States citizen or lawful resident, in which case he can say adios to his car for 30 days, as authorized by California law …

The change in policy was announced last week by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who called it a question of “fairness” …

The new rules, Beck said, were an attempt to mitigate somewhat “the current reality, which is that for a vast number of people, who are a valuable asset to our community and who have very limited resources, their ability to live and work in L.A. is severely limited by their immigration status.”

Yep, you read that right. US citizen? F you -- your car gets impounded. In the US illegally? Oh, sorry buddy. Sorry 'bout how "severely limited" your are. Go right ahead ...

Posted by Hube at 04:47 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

KILL IT WITH FIRE!


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March 27, 2011

Follow up: Basketball hoop controversy

Following up on yesterday's basketball hoop issue where Delaware's DelDOT took away several hoops that were put up too close to the street in a local neighborhood, the News Journal opines correctly on it today:

As DelDOT crews and police removed street-side nets from other residents in Radnor Green and Ashbourne Hills -- who also object to the law -- Mrs. McCafferty's kids got the message they are above the law. And that's unfortunate. One wonders what the parents would have done if a wayward car crashed into a lively game outside their home, or a youngster chased a ball into a passing car. Sue the state for not following up on its own pre-identified safety concern?

Mrs. McCafferty's husband, John, said he is considering emergency court action to prevent DelDOT crews from returning. That's extremely admirable parenting: Take appropriate legal action after you knowingly violate the law.

One message was clear, though: Even when the state sends out a warning months in advance that you are violating the law, ignore it until you can get some news coverage of your complaint.

Extremely well-stated. As I wrote yesterday,

I also don't think the parents are setting a particularly good example (like the mom climbing on top of her family's basket) for their kids. What's that say to the youngsters? "It doesn't matter what the law, or other neighbors, say -- we're gonna do what we want"? Great lesson, there. And they did receive warnings from the state about this, too. They just ignored them.

I'd also add, with this sort of situation, it's no freakin' wonder teachers bang their collective heads against the wall on a daily basis. Myriad methods of communicating grades and behavior are either ignored or not cared about ... until teacher takes some sort of disciplinary action against their child. Then mom or dad show remarkable speed in communicating and/or getting to school ... to complain about how those dastardly teachers and administrators are treating their kid!

*Sigh*

Posted by Hube at 09:25 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 26, 2011

Who knew? Sleeping air traffic controllers the fault of ...

you guessed it -- George W. Bush:

“One-person shifts are unsafe. Period,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said in a statement Thursday. He said the union has long been concerned about single controller shifts, citing a 2006 air crash in Lexington, Ky., in which a Comair regional airliner attempted a takeoff at night from the wrong runway. A single air traffic controller was on duty in the airport tower at the time.

The administration inherited an unsafe policy of staffing to budget instead of putting safety first, Rinaldi said. “We fully support the administration’s aggressive actions to change this policy.” (Link.)

Naturally, two-plus years was somehow insufficient to rectify this "inherited policy."


GEORGE W. BUSH:
There's NOTHING for which
he can't be blamed!

Posted by Hube at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The two sides of this story

Interesting tale of civil disobedience this morning in today's News Journal. It's a tale of DelDOT (Delaware Dept. of Transportation) and the police against local residents who have put up basketball hoops "curbside" so kids can play ball on the street.

I always love reading the comments to get better "feel" for how your average joe thinks (just so I don't have to rely on the notoriously ridiculous News Journal), and in this case -- just like me -- the opinions seems perfectly split down the middle.

On the police and DelDOT's side is the law. The relevant statute is the "Free Zone law, which prohibits hoops, trees, shrubs and other objects from being within seven feet of the pavement's edge in subdivisions." On the parents'/kids' side is common sense -- the kids are engaging in a wholesome, aerobic activity (instead of sitting on the couch and playing video games), and the fact that there are Lord-knows how many roads in pathetic shape (like the nearby-to-this-neighborhood [and yours truly] Foulk Rd.) that DelDOT should be busily repairing, not worrying about showing up to tow away basketball hoops.

I sympathize with the old gentleman quoted in the article, who complained about the activity in the streets damaging cars and the influx of kids from other areas which make it virtually impossible to drive down the street. I also sympathize with the parents who put up the hoops regarding their complaints about DelDOT, and the aforementioned point about sedentary teens. However, ultimately, I come down on the side of the police and DelDOT. If the Free Space law is the law, then people have to follow it. As mentioned in the story, why can't these parents put the hoops in their driveways? That's what my friends and I did back in the day. Playing on the street does allow for more space, but again, the Free Space law is so that everybody has space, not just those playing b-ball. And, damage to surrounding vehicles (and property) can, and I'm sure does, happen. I also don't think the parents are setting a particularly good example (like the mom climbing on top of her family's basket) for their kids. What's that say to the youngsters? "It doesn't matter what the law, or other neighbors, say -- we're gonna do what we want"? Great lesson, there. And they did receive warnings from the state about this, too. They just ignored them.

But still -- c'mon, DelDOT. Aside from your recent scandal, many of the state's roads outright SUCK. Again, north Wilmington's heavily traveled Foulk Rd. is a disaster area. Meanwhile, there's been ongoing major construction on Governor Printz Blvd. -- one of the least traveled double-lane roads in New Castle County?? Lovely. Things haven't changed, obviously, since the department paved -- and then repaved -- Naamans Rd. within two years of one another.

Nice "priorities."

UPDATE: Check out the comments by regular readers of the LGOMB. Did these idiots even bother to read the article?? The most sensical (surprise, I know) was made by MJ:

Not debating whether the law or policy is correct, the McCafferty’s were told that they had to remove the basketball pole. They refused. DelDOT did what they were supposed to do under law and regulation. The State Police were called in because there was a fear of violence or obstruction. As for the trooper in the hoodie, we don’t know if she works undercover or what. And she may have had a badge hanging around her neck for all we know.

We cannot pick and choose which laws we are going to obey and which ones we wish to ignore.

Posted by Hube at 10:09 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 25, 2011

Beware, from Japan

... a deadly "plutanium" leak:

That would be CBS Early Show co-host (and never-passed-science class) Chris Wragge.

(h/t: Newsbusters.)

Posted by Hube at 09:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More Climategate nonsense?

Via Watts Up With That?

Just when you think the bottom of the Hockey Stick rabbit hole has been reached, Steve McIntyre finds yet more evidence of misconduct by the Team.

The research was from Briffa and Osborn (1999) published in Science magazine and purported to show the consistency of the reconstruction of past climate using tree rings with other reconstructions including the Mann Hockey Stick. But the trick was exposed in the Climategate dossier, which also included code segments and datasets.

In the next picture, Steve shows what Briffa and Osborn did – not only did they truncate their reconstruction to hide a steep decline in the late 20th Century but also a substantial early segment from 1402-1550.

As I’ve written elsewhere, this sort of truncation can be characterized as research misconduct – specifically falsification. But where are the academic cops? Any comment from Science magazine?

Steve also discusses the code underlying the plot and you can see how the truncation is a clear deliberate choice – not something that falls out of poorly understood analysis or poor programming.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Hube at 07:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Declaring war vs. "authorizations": "Legal" conflicts and the War Powers Act

Now that Barack Obama has blatantly defied his very own edict on what constitutes a "legitimate" United States use of the military, let's take a gander at how some recent presidents handled various US military actions from the "legality" or "legitimacy" aspect. And, has the Congress abdicated its stated constitutional responsibility for declaring war?

Ronald Reagan:

  • Invasion of Grenada. The Gipper ordered troops in the tiny Caribbean island on October 25, 1983. Based on the War Powers Act, it appears Reagan's actions were "legal," since section 4(a)(1) of the Act gives the executive a 60-90 day time limit on troop action (without further congressional approval). All US forces were out of Grenada within that time frame. Stated reason for invasion: "... response to a request from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States which had formed a collective security force to restore order in Grenada, where anarchic conditions had developed, and to protect the lives of U.S. citizens."

  • Lebanon. Reagan dithered on invoking section 4(a)(1) of the Act, mainly because he argued that US forces (as part of a multi-national effort) were involved in "imminent hostilities." Of course, many in Congress begged to differ, and the murder of 241 Marines in Beirut on October 23, 1983 gave concrete credence to those concerns. Nevertheless, Reagan and Congress had agreed to invoke section 4(a)(1) back on September 20 of that year after much back and forth. Stated reason for troops sent: to be part of Multinational Force in Lebanon.

George H. W. Bush:

  • Panama. Bush the Father reported to Congress about his decision to send troops to Panama a day after the order was given, consistent with the WPA. All US troops were removed from the country within the 90-day time limit, within the confines of the Act. Stated reason for invasion: "to protect the 35,000 American citizens in Panama, restore the democratic process, preserve the integrity of the Panama Canal treaties, and apprehend General Manuel Noriega, who had been accused of massive electoral fraud in the Panamanian elections and indicted on drug trafficking charges by two U.S. Federal courts."

  • 1991 Gulf War. The issues surrounding the WPA and this conflict are pretty elaborate. Check out just how elaborate here.

  • Somalia. On December 4, 1992 President Bush ordered troops into the eastern African nation "to protect humanitarian relief from armed gangs." The day before, the United Nations adopted Resolution 794 which allowed the US and cooperating forces "to use all necessary means to establish as soon as possible a secure environment for humanitarian relief operations..." Congress did not get around to officially approving any military action until February of the following year (and under a new president, Clinton), and several UN Security Council Resolutions had been passed based on occurrences on the ground there. By March 1994, Congress refused to authorize more funds for US action in Somalia unless President Clinton sought Congressional approval for such. (Funds were available for the process of exiting US troops, however.)

Bill Clinton:

  • Kosovo. Perhaps no other recent US intervention generated as much legal wrangling as this one. Some members of the [GOP-led] House actually filed a lawsuit to thwart further action in 1999. The suit was dismissed later that year. Other than the Senate's S.Con.Res. 21 prior to Clinton ordering strikes in Kosovo, Congress never explicitly approved of the use of force there other than defeating several measures (in both chambers) designed to stop continued US military activity. Stated reason for action: "response to the Yugoslav government's campaign of violence and repression against the ethnic Albanian population."

George W. Bush:

  • Post-9/11 & Afghanistan. After the attacks of September 11, President Bush consulted with members of Congress about steps to take in retaliation. A team from the White House and members of both houses deliberated and eventually resolutions authorizing the president to use force against those responsible were written up. "It was first considered and passed by the Senate in the morning of September 14, as Senate Joint Resolution 23, by a vote of 98-0. The House of Representatives passed it later that evening, by a vote of 420-1." One interesting tidbit that came from this was the president stating, "In signing this resolution, I maintain the longstanding position of the executive branch regarding the President's constitutional authority to use force, including the Armed Forces of the United States and regarding the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution."

    Also interestingly, members of Congress and the president actually substituted the aforementioned Senate resolution for invoking the War Powers Act which, it appears, is "is contemplated by the language of the War Powers Resolution itself."

  • Iraq. Despite what the popular theme was (is) in the MSM these days, President Bush sought, and got, approval from both houses of Congress for the use of force against Iraq in 2002: H.J.Res. 114 by a vote of 296-133; the Senate passed the House version of H.J. Res 144 on October 11 by a vote of 77-23. The president signed the "Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq Resolution of 2002" into law on October 16, 2002. President Bush did indeed state "his intent to submit written reports to Congress every 60 days on matters 'relevant to this resolution.'" Stated reason for invasion: "number of violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions by Iraq regarding the obligation imposed at the end of the Gulf War in 1991 to end its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs;" ""to restore international peace and security in the region," among others.

Once again we see a president making use of US military force and the usual controversies that follow. Aside from the previously mentioned edict as to what constitutes "legitimate" use of US force from the Commander-in-Chief himself, our own (as in Delaware's) Vice President Joe Biden has opined on the "proper" way to use our military:

Did Joe say

“I want to make it clear. And I made it clear to the President that if he takes this nation to war with Iran without Congressional approval. I will make it my business to impeach him. That’s a fact. That is a fact.”
??

Why, yes he did!

But the thing is, both parties play politics when the other party holds the White House. Read again how the GOP-led Congress attacked President Clinton's Kosovo adventure, for instance. And now, some members of Congress who backed the invasion of Iraq are questioning President Obama's use of force in Libya.

I essentially stand with folks like Ron Paul on this issue and believe that Congress should "reacquire" its constitutional obligation to declare war. Essentially, I don't believe any president should have the ability to send US forces anywhere without said declaration from Congress, whether it's a scenario like Iraq (one of the more concrete cases where such a declaration should have been issued), or one like Kosovo that involved virtually all air power. The only instance I can see the executive making use of military force without congressional approval is during an attack on the United States, or the [very] imminent threat of one. This view appears to jibe quite a bit with the original Senate version of the War Powers Act, by Thomas Eagleton in 1977:

This would require prior congressional authorization for the introduction of forces into conflict abroad without a declaration of war except to respond to or forestall an armed attack against the United States or its forces or to protect U.S. citizens while evacuating them. The amendment would eliminate the construction that the President has 60 to 90 days in which he can militarily act without authorization. Opponents fear the exceptions to forestall attacks or rescue American citizens abroad would serve as a blanket authorization and might be abused, yet might not allow the needed speed of action and provide adequate flexibility in other circumstances.

Except that, certainly, I would change it to "require a declaration of war" in cases of armed conflict abroad.

Congress giving [the president] an "authorization" to use military force seems to me just another way for the legislature to abdicate real constitutional responsibility. Article I Section 8 doesn't say "To grant Authorization for War ..." It says "To declare War ..." For those who may think there is no substantive difference, then what's the problem with carrying out the Section 8 duties as written?

I know people better versed on this and related issues than myself can make better arguments pro or con. (My pal Greg at Rhymes With Right is probably one of them.) But I'm a simple man and believe things should be done as originally intended; or, if not, then change the way they should be done ... as intended. I am just weary of our nation making use of our military for purposes that I believe they were not intended. President Bush himself during campaign 2000 said he did not believe in "nation-building;" yet, that's precisely what he did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military should only be used to defend the United States and our allies against attack, not as, say, distributors of food.

I don't believe American men and women should lose their lives in the hope that a country like Iraq will become democratic (and sustain such). I don't believe we should spend billions upon billions of dollars on such ventures when we face massive deficits and debt right here at home. Is that old fashioned? Then call me old fashioned.

(Source material: The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty Years.)

Posted by Hube at 06:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Imagine if it someone wrote ...

... well, you know what to imagine.

First up Philly.com with A wary Point Breeze confronts its demographic shifts:

IT MAY NOT SEEM like an emotionally charged issue: City Council yesterday held a public hearing on a bill that would limit construction in Point Breeze for one year.

But Council Bill 110134 speaks to larger tensions involving gentrification and even race in this evolving neighborhood. It has exposed a rift between the neighborhood's historically African-American population and the mostly white newcomers who can buy homes there for thousands less than what they would just a few blocks to the north.

Last year, [a group called] Concerned Citizens caused a stir in the area with a flyer that warned against the influx of "yuppies."

"This will begin removing the poor, seniors, fix and low income, working class families and minorities," the flyer said. (Emphasis is Concerned Citizens'.)

Then there's the Washington Post with Number of black D.C. residents plummets as majority status slips away:

The number of African Americans residing in the District plummeted by more than 11 percent during the past decade, with blacks on the verge of losing their majority status in the city for the first time in half a century.

Some say the precipitous decline in the number of African Americans is alarming.

“We’re going to stop this trend — gentrification,” said D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8). “We can’t displace old-time Washingtonians.”

“The key to keeping this city black is jobs, jobs, jobs for black people so they can have a better quality of life in neighborhoods in the city,” he added.

[Poet E. Ethelbert Miller said], “We’re seeing the eroding of a community. If you’re a black person accustomed to a way of life, that way of life is coming to an end. The city ain’t gonna be black no more ..."

And yes, that would be the same former DC Mayor Marion Barry, in case you were wondering.

Posted by Hube at 05:55 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was The Razor with Unforeseen Consequences of American Foreign Policy.

First place in the non-Council category was Lee Stranahan/The Huffington Post with Shame: Ignoring Death Threats to Wisconsin Politicians Is Media Bias.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

They will love us...

if only we elect Obama. Right. Well, no.

Posted by Duffy at 03:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2011

Captain America

Looks awesome. Can't wait.

Posted by Duffy at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2011

Once again from the MSM: You're too stupid to understand why Obama is doing this

... and why Bush's reasons for attacking Iraq were stupid too.

Here's Salon.com's execrable Joan Walsh:

Well, it’s so shallow, too. You know? And that is what you’re saying, Chris. It doesn’t matter. If something different happened, they would have a different principle. So they’re not, they’re not applying any kind of coherent principle of foreign policy or of domestic policy. They’re just looking for opportunities to cheap shot the President. The people who were criticizing Bush had a coherent, had coherent reasons to criticize him. It wasn’t like that. There was coherence to the point of view, where as here, I think you’re exactly right. They would just be trashing him whatever he did, and it feels that way. It feels cheap, it feels shallow. (Link.)

Got that? Criticism of George W. Bush's sojourn into Iraq was "coherent," but criticism of Barack Obama's adventure into Libya is merely "trashing the president."

Let's put it this way, Joan: You are an incoherent elitist POS.

'Nuff said.

Posted by Hube at 05:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council nominations

* The Noisy Room – Welcoming Our New Masters…
* Bookworm Room – Defining terms so that they align with values
* Rhymes With Right – Dems Find Tax Increase They Won’t Support!
* Joshuapundit - Libya: War By UN Diktat
* GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Operation Odyssey Dawn
* The Political Commentator – Note to Obama: If you want to be treated like a superpower then act like a superpower
* Right Truth – Why Not Iran?
* New Zeal – Obama-Linked Socialists Encourage Spread of Militant Protests
* VA Right - Is Rigell Virginia’s Lone Fiscal Conservative in Congress???
* The Razor – Unforeseen Consequences of American Foreign Policy
* The Glittering Eye - Uncertainty
* Snapped Shot – Reuters Leaves Something Out
* The Colossus of Rhodey – It’s the private sector, Rev
* Simply Jews – Colonel Gaddafi and UN: the love story

Honorable Mentions:

* The Grouch – The She Devil Speaks – BEWARE!
* Maggie’s Notebook – Egypt’s Protesters Back in Tahrir Square: Referendum Vote Passes – Favors Muslim Brotherhood
* Restoring Honor Starts Here – Are You a Person “Worthy of Protection?”
* Capitalist Preservation – They hate us. It’s time to hate them right back.

And the non-Council links can be found here!

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

Remember this next time you have a First World Problem


Posted by Duffy at 03:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The truth about "green energy"

Some people drone on endlessly about the magical wonders of green energy. It is unreliable, expensive and doesn't scale. On top of all that you have this:

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the ‘green’ companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

..."This toxic lake poisons Chinese farmers, their children and their land. It is what's left behind after making the magnets for Britain's latest wind turbines...

So even now when it's more expensive and being made on the cheap in China with what appears to be total disregard for safety and environmental legislation. It seems to me that supporting this industry is promoting that behavior. Either that or they have to demand it is made some place with strict environmental laws which would inevitably drive up the cost far beyond any other available power source.

Which will it be? You can't have it both ways. You cannot have "cheap" green energy and have strong environmental laws where the equipment is made.

Posted by Duffy at 03:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The "Specific Case" Argument

At War in Iraq Libya : "Iraq Libya is a specific case: Saddam Hussein Muammar el-Qaddafi is erratic, widely reviled, armed with mustard gas and has a history of supporting terrorism. If he is allowed to crush the opposition, it would chill pro-democracy movements across the Arab world."

It's like they're channeling Karl Rove from 2003. This is fun. Wonder how much more absurd it can get. As much as I disagree with Don Viti, the guy is consistent. Unlike his frenemies.

h/t: American Digest

Posted by Duffy at 02:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 22, 2011

It's the private sector, Rev.

Via Philly.com:

The Rev. James St. George will not be returning to teach religion as an adjunct professor at Chestnut Hill College, according to a settlement between the gay priest and the school announced Monday.

"I'm glad it's over," said St. George, 45, pastor of St. Miriam Catholic Apostolic Church of Blue Bell. "I'm going back to my ministry and to take care of my parish."

A popular teacher at the traditional Catholic college since the fall of 2009, St. George was not retained this spring to teach two courses after officials learned of public statements he had made about being involved in a 15-year partnership with a man.

School officials said such statements defied the Catholic Church's teachings. He countered that the action was biased against gays.

Of course it's biased against gays, Reverend. And, at least still, such teachings (and actions) have a right to be. The Catholic Church has stipulations against that sort of conduct, and if you CHOOSE to be a member of its teachings and faith -- let alone hold a position of authority in such -- then you have NO basis for your claims ... let alone a settlement.

Posted by Hube at 07:17 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 21, 2011

Laugher of the Day

The LGOMB (that's "Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers") grind their collective teeth and tell us that "Libya is not Iraq."

LMAO!!!!

Posted by Hube at 04:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day

Boston.com - Special reports - News: "The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Posted by Duffy at 02:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 20, 2011

DOH!

Soccer ball prank goes dreadfully awry:


Posted by Hube at 11:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"Warmly welcomed"

AP headline via our own Wilmington News Journal: Obama warmly welcomed on economic trip to Brazil.

Really?

Forbes: Rubber Bullets Fly at Anti-Obama Protest In Rio.

Ultimo Segundo: Leftists Protest, Firebomb US Consulate in Brazil Ahead of Obama Visit.

AFP: Anti-US Protest Before Obama's Brazil Visit.

The Blaze: Violent Protests Erupt, US Consulate Firebombed Ahead of Obama’s Brazil Visit.

Breitbart TV: Brazilian Military Silences Anti-Obama Protest With Gunfire.

Politico: Anti-Obama protest turns violent.

One thing's for certain -- if George W. Bush was still in office, these would be the headlines we'd be reading!

Posted by Hube at 10:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

More fun with "diversity"

Ilya Somin reports over at The Volokh Conspiracy the lunacy that is law school "diversity" rankings:

Larsen ranks schools on the basis of the percentage of students and faculty who are African-American, Hispanic, or Asian, with a bonus if that percentage is significantly higher than the percentage of these groups in the state population. Under this system, most of the schools that get the highest possible rating (“A+”) turn out to be historically black schools where the student body is overwhelmingly black. Ironically, many of these schools are actually not especially diverse if that concept is understood as having a wide range of different groups represented by a “critical mass” in the student body, the theory adopted by the Supreme court in Grutter v. Bollinger as a justification for affirmative action. For example, one of the schools with an A+ rating is Howard University, where the student body is 78% African-American. Why should Howard be considered any more diverse than a school that is 78% white?

Because, as we've noted here at Colossus for years, "diversity," as understood by the Left, is a colossal sham. Leftists twist themselves into literal pretzels attempting to rationalize "diversity," only to laughingly contradict themselves, ultimately.

Posted by Felix at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2011

Delaware Blog Review Guide updated

A lot of blogs were excised due to no posts for almost a year and/or are known to have shut down; some grade layouts were updated, some names changed, and at least one addition was posted.

Your [un]abashedly thorough guide to the Delaware blogosphere.

Posted by Hube at 05:45 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president in action

US fires 110 missiles at targets in Libya.

UPDATE: Louie Farrakhan tells Obama: "Who the hell do you think you are?"

UPDATE 2: Drew M. over at Ace writes,

People complained that Bush and Rumsfeld tried to do Iraq on the cheap and didn't commit enough forces for what came after victory (the Phase IV Operations). Well, does anyone really think that air power alone is enough depose a regime? What about the cities where Kadaffi's forces are already inside, among the population? Air power isn't going to protect them. And what if we do get rid of him? How do we know the country won't dissolve into chaos? If it does, air power isn't going to do anything about it.
Posted by Hube at 04:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Where was this language in '07?

Not much of a surprise from Philly.com:

Amazingly, many Americans continue to think Obama wasn't born in this country and is a Muslim. Perhaps they also believe in leprechauns.

But a survey last year also found that nearly one in five Americans (18 percent) think Obama is a Muslim. A separate survey last month found 51 percent of likely Republican primary voters believe Obama wasn't born in the United States.

That, as the Irish say, is a bunch of blarney.

While I agree with the sentiment, where was this editorial board back in 2007 when it was noted that 35% of Democrats believe that George W. Bush knew in advance of the 9/11 attacks (and 26% say they "aren't sure")?

Exactly -- nowhere to be found. Doesn't. Fit. The. Narrative.

Posted by Hube at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Idiot of the Day

That would be Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) who went to the House floor to advocate ... defunding Fox News. This, in response to the House voting to defund National Public Radio:

Read more here.

Posted by Hube at 10:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Our "lovable" vice president

In yet another "just imagine if this was a Republican" scenario, well, just read on ...

In the first minute, he tells thousands of labor activists how much his political career owes to the muscle of the labor movement and how there is a quid pro quo — right before touting the Obama administration as a neutral referee in the labor fights around the country.

Then, the vice president assures his listeners that the administration sees “the absolute positive necessity of collective bargaining” — without mentioning, of course, that federal workers are denied that very same collective bargaining.

Much worse, he says that the people who worked at the Labor Department and the National Labor Relations Board during the Bush administration were “wearing black shirts.”

Whatever was the vice president referring to? We’ve asked his office for a clarification, but have received no response in the past four hours. His office owes those people either an explanation or an apology, lest they believe that a sitting vice president of the United States meant to compare the people who worked in the last administration to Benito Mussolini’s paramilitary brutes.

Vice President Biden also called Republicans (or conservatives, at least) “barbarians.” (Link.)

Then we read about the recent naming of the Wilmington train station after him, which, as you'd expect, makes no mention of the $5.7 million that the project was over budget.

At least when people have a say in the matter, they just say "no" to Joe.

Posted by Hube at 09:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2011

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Horror Returns; Sleeping Israeli Family Murdered by Arabs, Including An Infant.

First place in the non-Council category was Sultan Knish with An Open Letter to Harvey Weinstein.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 09:36 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Amazing how this old b**ch was coddled for years by the White House

Via Politico: Helen Thomas to Playboy: Jews 'own the White House'

"[The Jews are] using their power, and they have power in every direction,” she told Playboy. “Power over the White House, power over Congress … Everybody is in the pocket of the Israeli lobbies, which are funded by wealthy supporters, including those from Hollywood. Same thing with the financial markets. There's total control … It isn't the 2 percent. It's real power when you own the White House, when you own these other places in terms of your political persuasion. Of course they have power. [To the interviewer] You don't deny that. You're Jewish, aren't you?"

She also had some controversial views about memorializing the Holocaust.

"There's nothing wrong with remembering it, but why do we have to constantly remember?" she said. "We're not at fault. I mean, if they're going to put a Holocaust museum in every city in Germany, that's fine with me. But we didn't do this to the Jews. Why do we have to keep paying the price and why do they keep oppressing the Palestinians? Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That's true, but they shouldn't use that to dominate."

Be sure to read the entire interview at Playboy here. It's truly astonishing how a supposedly educated woman has such a lack of knowledge of actual history -- which is, of course, very convenient since that's usually how your typical vehement anti-Semite operates.

Oh, and Helen? That red nail polish is like polishing a warthog's tusks, sweetheart.

Posted by Hube at 06:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 17, 2011

Is this really a good idea?

Houston Prepares To Host 1st African American Spelling Bee.

Spelling is an important building block to teaching children how to read. Research shows children who are good spellers become more confident readers. The movie “Akeelah and the Bee” was a heartwarming story however; no African-American child has ever won the Scripps National Spelling Bee in its 85-year history. The African American National Spelling Bee Championships, Inc.’s (“AANSBC”) focus is to get children excited about spelling. The goal is to help African American kids expand their vocabulary, which will make them stronger readers.

It goes on to say that the AANSBC will "will train our children to be able to compete in spelling on a national and international level." That's a laudable goal; however, why have a segregated spelling bee to do this? Won't children have to prepare for the AANSBC too? So, why can't this same preparation be utilized to compete in the Scripps (and other) non-segregated bees?

I'm just getting the same vibe with this as I did with Eric Holder's DOJ mandating that Dayton, Ohio lower the passing score of its Civil Service test so that more African-Americans can pass it. It's a bad idea and sets a poor example.

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

"Superman: Man of Steel" a true reboot

Via Screen Rant:

Bryan Singer’s attempt to both reboot the Superman franchise with Superman Returns and pay homage to its cinematic predecessors ultimately proved less profitable than Warner Bros. had hoped. Now Zack Snyder has been charged with giving the iconic costumed hero a makeover in the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel – and as far as the 300 director is concerned, he’s starting with a blank slate.

Snyder says his Superman reboot (which likely will be titled Man of Steel, but that decision is not set in stone yet) will “respect the canon” of the character without being a slave to his previous film incarnations.

The best news for me is that Snyder plans on bringing back General Zod as the main baddie. Of course, it'll sure be tough to top Terence Stamp's classic portrayal.


Who is this usurper? Why does he seek
to replace me -- when he knows I shall kill
him for it?

Posted by Hube at 06:18 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

No wonder unemployment is going "down"

bargraphfail.jpg

Posted by Duffy at 03:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Irony

Barack Obama Elementary School -- closed due to fiscal mismanagement and lack of achievement.

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

Quick Adrian Peterson -- call some local Wilmington "activists" for help

Greg at Rhymes With Right points to yet another ridiculous [racial] statement made by a millionaire athlete:

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared NFL owners' treatment of players to "modern-day slavery," according to an online interview published Tuesday by Yahoo! Sports.

Yahoo's Doug Farrar, who conducted the interview Friday with Peterson, removed that comment from the story later Tuesday, explaining on Twitter that he wants to give Peterson the chance to provide context.

"The players are getting robbed. They are," Peterson told Yahoo. "The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don't know that I want to quote myself on that."

When discussing other players feeling the same way, Peterson said: "It's modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too."

Except, of course, that most "people working at regular jobs" 1) aren't stupid enough to call their situation "slavery," and 2) don't make one iota of what YOU make for a living ... and you play a freakin' game.

Perhaps Peterson can get some of our usual [local] "activists" to take up his cause, because it surely can't be any sillier than the cause they're currently working on.

Posted by Hube at 12:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Who knew?

The Messiah's NCAA tournament picks (mentioned by Paul Smith earlier today) helped the Japan situation, according to New York Magazine:

People, understandably, would generally prefer their presidents to be doing important presidential things instead of goofing around, which is why pointing out when they do the goofy things — whether it’s golfing or clearing brush — is such a common political attack. But in reality, Obama is not in charge of solving the nuclear crisis in Japan. He should keep abreast of developments, but spending a few minutes with ESPN in the White House isn’t going to prevent him from doing that. And, in fact, Obama ensured that the ESPN video will actually help the Japanese people in tangible ways.

A lot of people are going to hear that message on TV and online, and some of them will go donate. That will end up helping Japan a lot more than Obama not doing the ESPN segment because of concerns about superficially damaging optics.

Wow! Remember when the MSM reported on how George W. Bush's time on his ranch actually helped the Iraq War effort, because seeing him there "led" people to donate to our troops? Same with his father -- when he was seen fishing at Kennebunkport, Maine, people got right on the phones and took up the cause ...

Unbelievable ...

Posted by Hube at 12:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 16, 2011

It's not just about perks, there's responsibility too

Years ago, back in my politically involved days, there were quite a few people who were very eager to climb the party leadership ladder as they wanted to be invited to the insider meetings and know what was going on, and be treated with the respect due to a party official. But when the time came for organizational work, they were nowhere to be found. They wanted the prestige, perks and ego-boost of the office, but refused to do the work that was the other part of the job.

Watching Barack Obama's performance as President has reminded me of those people. While this has been especially true recently, it was evident from the beginning of his political career. By the end of his time in the Illinois State Senate, he had voted "present" 130 times, rather than take a stand on controversial issues. His career in the United States Senate continued this pattern as he kept his head down and didn't stand out from the pack, preferring instead to focus on a Presidential campaign. This lack of energy continued in the the first year of his Presidency as he was largely a bystander on the passage of both the mis-named stimulus package and Obamacare through Congress. In both cases, he offered little more than rhetorical support and rarely intervened in the legislative process beyond making speeches. Similarly, when the people of Iran rose up in revolt against its dictatorial leadership who have spent years pursuing nuclear weapons they are threatening to use against Israel, he sided with Iran's dictators.

This lack of effort has become especially noticeable in recent weeks. When the people of Egypt erupted in revolt in search of democracy, Obama did little more than make a speech offering support to Egypt's dictator. When Libya followed in revolt, he made a speech stating that Qaddafi had to go, but has done nothing else to support those attempting to overthrow a man with long ties to terrorists, who was caught pursuing weapons of mass destruction and has a long record of brutality against his own people. He has opposed enacting a no-fly zone over Libya to keep Libyan air power from being able to kill the revolutionaries, a move which even the Arab League has endorsed. Even France, home of cheese-eating surrender monkeys, has been more active than the United States on this matter, going so far as to grant diplomatic recognition to the rebels.

He's taken a similar approach as our budget deficit has exploded. (An explosion he bears much responsibility for.) He's done little more than criticize the Republican budget proposals, while offering little input of his own, even going so far as to reject the recommendations of the panel he convened. Despite bipartisan calls for his involvement in entitlement reform, he has said it's the responsibility of the Republicans to take the lead, even though he leads the Executive Branch and the Democrats still control the Senate.

But not to worry, not all the president's responsibilities have been abdicated: he has been on ESPN to announce his NCAA tournament picks and hung out with celebrities at a White House event honoring Motown. And he has headlined four Democrat fundraisers already this month.

It seems pretty clear that Obama was really after the ego-boosting and prestige of the Presidency, rather than actually being interested in doing the work that the country needs the President to do. This country, and the world, will be worse off for this lack of leadership. Although the case could be made that given his instincts we're better off with him not trying to lead, with everything going on right now the world needs a leader in the White House. It's a shame we don't have one and won't until at least January of 2013.

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

They named it after the wrong person...

Delaware train station to get Vice President Joe Biden's name

Amtrak is hosting an open house Saturday for the newly renovated [Wilmington train] station, which it is renaming the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station. ... The Wilmington Station, which is Amtrak's 12th busiest, just completed $37.7 million in renovations, $20 million of which came from the economic stimulus program Biden has been charged with overseeing.

Amtrak spent $5.7 million, DelDOT contributed $2 million and the Delaware congressional delegation secured another $10 million from transportation and appropriations bills.

Shouldn't they have named it after the American taxpayers? After all, virtually all of the money came from them.

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 06:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Colossal dud

New "Red Dawn" remake ditches references to Red China; North Korea will now be the invading force.

When MGM decided a few years ago to remake "Red Dawn," a 1984 Cold War drama about a bunch of American farm kids repelling a Soviet invasion, the studio needed new villains, since the U.S.S.R. had collapsed in 1991. The producers substituted Chinese aggressors for the Soviets and filmed the movie in Michigan in 2009.

But potential distributors are nervous about becoming associated with the finished film, concerned that doing so would harm their ability to do business with the rising Asian superpower, one of the fastest-growing and potentially most lucrative markets for American movies, not to mention other U.S. products.

As a result, the filmmakers now are digitally erasing Chinese flags and military symbols from "Red Dawn," substituting dialogue and altering the film to depict much of the invading force as being from North Korea, an isolated country where American media companies have no dollars at stake.

Daniel Foster remarks:

And who are the new invaders? North Korea. That’s right, the starving-to-death, massively brainwashed “Hermit Kingdom.” I imagine at this very moment, Hollywood script doctors are working on a revised first act in which Kim Jong Il decides it’s a good idea to let hundreds of thousands of his captive countrymen travel to America.

The North Korean horde — lacking a blue-water navy and any airborne capacity to speak of — would then, I imagine, travel through Russia and cross the Bering Strait into Alaska, living off . . . er, the land or something . . . before eventually making its way to Michigan, where the film is set. Or wait, even better! The Norks sneak across the 38th parallel, through the DMZ, and steal most or all of the U.S. Pacific Fleet while the U.S. Navy is on shore leave!

Oh brother. Count me out -- and how -- for this one.

If you wanna make the Norks out to be the bad guys, how 'bout doing up a film version of One Second After, the scary-as-sh** novel where the NKs hide several EMP missiles on commercial ships and launch them over the US -- where they detonate and wreak massive havoc on the country, effectively turning us back to the Bronze Age. It's certainly magnitudes more feasible than them physically invading us, for cripe's sake!

Posted by Hube at 05:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 15, 2011

Ignorance and Hypocrisy

Nobody ever said that "progressives" are actually a very smart lot. (Scratch that -- as Paul says in the comments, plenty of people have said that ... and they're all "progressives!") Recent case in point is CNN's Roland Martin who complains about the oil price situation and desires alternative energies:

The crisis in northern Africa, specifically in Libya, has led the dramatic rise in the cost of oil, which now tops $101 a barrel, over the past month. And with summer approaching, Americans are fretting over whether to hit the highway for vacation because the price of gas, averaging $3.52 a gallon nationwide, is expected to go even higher.

Embracing non-oil energy alternatives -- wind, natural gas, electric and solar -- can absolutely create jobs in this country, and we should require Americans to make their homes more energy efficient with products built by Americans. What's wrong with that? How can the United States create solar technology and then allow the Chinese to become the leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels?

No one alternative energy source can replace oil. It has to be a comprehensive plan that addresses our long-term needs. And it is going to mean we will have to spend money. Yes, we will be affected in the short-term, but if someone told me we could spend $500 billion today, and that would create millions of jobs over the next several years and lead to a transition to an alternative-energy economy, I would ask where I should sign up.

But as Steven Hayward notes, we already did make massive changes in the way we do things -- back in the 1970s. We used to generate approximately 20% of our electricity using oil; now, it's around 1%. High prices did that. The market functioned as it should, leading the public, and companies, to react accordingly. Coal and nuclear power replaced that 19-something percent, by the way.

But why didn't these industries expand further? Well, in the case of nuclear power, the Three Mile Island incident halted that power source for over thirty years. (1986's Chernobyl explosion didn't help either.) Environmentalists seized on this incident (despite there being not a single documented radiation-caused illness as a result of TMI's partial meltdown) to thwart expansion of a power source that Europe -- yes, progressive Europe -- has utilized more and more over the decades. France, for example, generates almost 80% of its electricity from nuclear power, and even exports said electricity to neighboring countries.

This is the key ingredient missing from Martin's diatribe, aside from the usual "progressive" "let's have government spend even more and create many jobs" mantra. Even the New York Times managed to get its journalistic thumb out of its keyster and write on the following:

Park Slope, Brooklyn. Cape Cod, Mass. Berkeley, Calif. Three famously progressive places, right? The yin to the Tea Party yang. But just try putting a bike lane or some wind turbines in their lines of sight. And the karma can get very different.

Last week, two groups of New Yorkers who live “on or near” Prospect Park West, a prestigious address in Park Slope, filed a suit against the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to remove a nine-month-old bike lane that has commandeered a lane previously used by cars.

In Massachusetts, the formidable opponents of Cape Wind, a proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, include members of the Kennedy family, whose compound looks out over the body of water. In Berkeley last year, the objections of store owners and residents forced the city to shelve plans for a full bus rapid transit system (B.R.T.), a form of green mass transit in which lanes that formerly served cars are blocked off and usurped by high-capacity buses that resemble above-ground subways.

"Plain 'ol NIMBYism," writes the Times -- "Not In My Backyard." From ... "progressives"?? But I thought ...? That's right -- like Martin, they're the most vociferous in advocating environmentally friendly power sources ... low or no GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions is the latest en vogue facet of such. But as long as you develop these in a way that doesn't irritate them!! It's akin to people like Al Gore bitching about massive quantities of GHGs being emitted by the everyday activities of your typical Joe Six-Pack, while he jets all over creation producing tons of the stuff. Not to mention many other famous hypocrite leftist bigwigs.

This is also like the recent leftist catcalls for "more civility" in our political discourse. In other words, it's all a bunch of bullsh**. Period. Really. Like this alternative power complaint, the Left doesn't really want more civility in discourse; they want their opponents to be more civil in their discourse, while they can do whatever the hell they please. Martin's is just the latest example of "progressive" paternalism -- they must "lead" us because their collective intelligence is so "superior" -- that is in reality stupefyingly condescending. "We" just cannot be trusted to do the right thing ... we must be guided by the "anointed" (with apologies to Thomas Sowell) such as Martin, et. al.

Meanwhile, Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds for some time has been writing about, and linking to, the subject of thorium reactors as a clean, plentiful and safe nuclear power source:

Three to four times more plentiful than uranium, today's most common nuclear fuel, thorium packs a serious energetic punch: A single ton of it can generate as much energy as 200 tons of uranium, according to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Carlo Rubbia. In the mid-twentieth century, some U.S. physicists considered building the nuclear power landscape around thorium. But uranium-fueled reactors produced plutonium as a byproduct, a necessary ingredient for nuclear weapons production, and uranium ended up dominating through the Cold War and beyond.

Thorium produces no such byproducts, and overall much less toxic remnants than our current commercial reactors. And it's being developed commercially -- no big government cash infusions, "stimulus," or so-called "shovel-ready" projects.

Just don't expect something like this to catch the glance of people like Martin and co. The boogeyman of the term "nuclear" is bad enough which means that "progressive" NIMBYism is the least of its worries.

Posted by Hube at 12:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 14, 2011

How 'bout that "new civility," eh?

Time magazine headline: Wisconsin's Governor Wins, but Is He Now Dead Man Walker?


Posted by Hube at 07:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2011

You don't get me

I am not a Republican; I'm a conservative. - My loyalty is not some amorphous organization whose primary motive is to win elections. It's to a set of principles that I believe are both morally licit and provide the best chance for the moral and economic growth of any culture. Should the Republicans completely abandon them or the Democrats (or a viable third party) become the best method for promoting those values, I would leave the Republican Party without a second thought.

I'm not pro-business; I'm pro-free market. - I don't seek to encourage business development or the growth of existing businesses. I instead favor an environment that would level the playing field between consumers and business. Many (and possibly most) of the reforms of our business laws would be to the detriment of big businesses. When government gets involved in the economy, it skews the playing field in favor of some businesses (usually big business who can afford the cost of regulations) and also limits the freedom of choice of consumers who face either limited choices as to what purchases they can make or who they can make those purchases from.

I'm not anti-abortion; I'm pro-life. - My position on life is not limited to a stance on abortion; life guides my views on a variety of issues. While it shouldn't be stretched to the limits that many take the "seamless garment" argument to, life is more than just the issue of abortion. Innocent life should be respected and defended from conception to the moment of natural death and never intentionally ended.

The media and other liberals consistently misrepresent the views conservatives put forth, either out of malice or laziness. (Or both.) The above are just a few examples.

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 09:34 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Our Justice Dept. at work

Lowering entrance scores for police exams ... because there aren't enough of a certain group being represented:

DAYTON — The city’s Civil Service Board and the U.S. Department of Justice have agreed on a lower passing score for the police recruit exam after it was rejected because not enough blacks passed the exam.

The city lowered both written exams a combined 15 points that resulted in 258 more people passing the exam, according to a statement released Thursday by Civil Service officials. The agreement allows the city to immediately resume its plans to hire police and firefighters.

The original passing scores determined by Civil Service required candidates to answer 57 of 86 (66 percent) questions correctly on one portion and 73 of 102 (72 percent) on the other. The lowered benchmark requires candidates to answer 50 of 86 (58 percent) questions correctly and 64 of 102 (63 percent) of questions on the other.

What's next? Will the DOJ go after schools now because not enough minorities are passing state tests and/or assorted teacher tests? As it is, the Education Dept. is using "disparate impact analysis" to go after school districts for varying discipline rates among ethnic groups.

Is this not just a step on the road to chaos? Failing is "passing," and schools afraid to apply disciplinary measures for fear of DOJ lawsuits?

Maybe more people like Zachary Williams need to speak out:

Williams said he understands what the Justice Department is trying to accomplish, but he thinks it’s the wrong method and it’s keeping him from achieving his dream.

“You can’t blame the city for the lack of diversity,” Williams said. “This isn’t your normal 9 to 5 job and you have to want it. I don’t want to be in a department where I was hired because of my skin color. I want it because I earned it.”

Community leaders agree with Williams and said the Justice Department’s method stigmatizes blacks.

'Ya think? Why is this so easy to figure out for clear-thinking people, but not hotshot lawyers and career federal employees?

Got me.

UPDATE: It gets "better": Check out what happens when you call for a paramedic in Massachusetts!

Posted by Felix at 11:44 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 12, 2011

Because NPR fired him, he must be ... "conservative!"

How ridiculous is this: ABC News labels Juan Williams -- Juan Williams!! -- a "conservative" in a story about National Public Radio CEO Vivian Schiller resigning:

NPR's embattled chief executive resigned today after the top fundraiser for NPR said offensive things about Republicans and the Tea Party during an undercover sting orchestrated by conservative activist James O'Keefe.

Vivian Schiller, the ousted CEO, had also come under fire in recent months for NPR's firing of conservative commentator Juan Williams last October.

The only Williams could be considered "conservative" is either 1) you're so far left that "merely left" is "de facto conservative," or 2) his working for Fox News now automatically makes him a boogeyman (aka "conservative").

Ridiculous.

Posted by Hube at 10:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Awwww, poor baby!

Poor Bill Maher is tired of Red Staters thinking they're "better than him." Oh, gee -- you mean after you constantly reinforce how "superior" YOU are all the time, Bill?

Nevertheless, his point about agricultural subsidies is spot-on. The other day I saw a half gallon of milk for ... $3.99?? Gimme an F'in break.

Posted by Hube at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

But of course!

Earthquakes and tsunamis due to ... global warming.

Posted by Hube at 09:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 11, 2011

Earthquake good for Japan's economy

From the Wall Street Journal:

Insurer Swiss Re's Asia chief economist, Clarence Wong, said he doesn't expect the earthquake to have a severe impact on Japan's exports at large, given that many production lines of electronics producers have already been moved to other Asian countries.

However, he said domestic consumption will likely be hurt by the impact of the quake, "but post-crisis reconstruction will help drive gross domestic product upwards due to the increase of government spending."

A natural disaster can be good for the economy? In that case, why don't we drop bombs on downtown Wilmington and spur Delaware's economy? Or start a fire that burns down most of New York City? Wouldn't those rebuilding efforts be good for the economy?

The broken window fallacy never seems to die.

Posted by PaulSmithJr at 06:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Peter King's hearings on radical Islam "just show?"

Perhaps -- but it's from the other side:

This morning, Rep. Keith Ellison (Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, Minn.) appropriated a hearing on Islamic radicalism by weeping his way through a speech about whata-buncha-nasty-bigots Americans are. He chose as his case in point Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-born Muslim American who rushed to lower Manhattan on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, to assist in rescue efforts, and died in the collapse of the World Trade Center. Here’s how Representative Ellison tells the story of the aftermath of his death:

After the tragedy some people tried to smear his character solely because of his Islamic faith. Some people spread false rumors and speculated that he was in league with the attackers only because he was Muslim. It was only when his remains were identified that these lies were fully exposed. Mohammed Salman Hamdani was a fellow American who gave his life for other Americans. His life should not be defined as a member of an ethnic group or a member of a religion, but as an American who gave everything for his fellow citizens.

Does Ellison’s account check out with reality?

No. It is actually pretty close to the opposite of the truth. In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks — before Hamdani’s remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception — Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: “Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing.” That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.

And there's very little evidence of the rumors surrounding Hamdani that Ellison spoke of. Read the rest of Matthew Shaffer's article.

Posted by Hube at 01:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Eyes Wide Shut – Dealing With ‘Anti-Zionism’ On Campus.

First place in the non-Council category was Iowahawk with Longhorns 17, Badgers 1.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee shows her "historic" intellect once again

She's at it again. This time that bastion of historical knowledge Ms. Jackson-Lee informs us that the last time our country was invaded was ... during the Revolutionary War. Just fast forward to about 17:10 into the video:

Oops. Not to mention other "minor" incursions since.

Remember this Jackson-Lee moment? Or this one? And then there's her nonsensical rants at yesterday's hearings on radical Islam.

UPDATE: Hans Bader has a lot more on Jackson-Lee's antics.

Posted by Hube at 11:30 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 10, 2011

Would the ACLU back him up?

Good question. As it is, he contacted the a "conservative" civil liberties group (how often does the AP or other MSM outlets refer to the ACLU as a "liberal" civil rights group, by the way?):

An Oregon school bus driver fired after he refused to remove a Confederate battle flag flying from his pickup truck has enlisted the help of a conservative civil liberties group in hopes of getting his job back.

The Rutherford Institute of Charlottesville, Va., sent a letter Wednesday to First Student Bus Transportation Services demanding that Ken Webber of Medford, Ore., be reinstated. The institute says flying the flag is covered by his First Amendment right to free speech. (Link.)

It's not that he refused to move a flag from the bus he drives; it's that he refused to move it from his own vehicle -- that was parked (obviously) on school property. This seems like a pretty easy case to me; doesn't a person have a 1st Amendment right to fly a flag on his own property? Would this district have fired the driver if he had, say a flag of the USSR or China flying on it? Or of a person like Stalin or Mao? Or even someone like Louis Farrakhan?

Posted by Hube at 03:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Laugher of the Day

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof on NY Rep. Peter King's upcoming House hearings on radical Islam in America:

I'm sure that at mosques around this country, especially the more radical mosques, this is going to be seen as one more evidence that people are picking on us.

Indeed. As if those "more radical mosques" need someone like King to "pick on them." Yeesh.

Posted by Hube at 02:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Not good

North Korea near completion of an EMP bomb. That's "Electro-Magnetic Pulse."

What's it mean? Read this, and be scared sh**less. I wrote about the novel One Second After previously here.

Posted by Hube at 02:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Site of the day

http://whatinthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

Posted by Duffy at 12:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Whom should we arm?

So the Justice Department is ordering the ATF to let drug gangs buy automatic weapons and .50 caliber rifles:

An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Oddly, the State Department is not going to arm the Libyan rebels.

So if you're a violent drug gang intent on murder and establishing a narcostate we'll let you have all the guns you want.

If you're a middle easterner overthrowing a tyrant we're not going to arm you because we don't quite know what your politics are and we don't want to annoy your despot.

The country is in the very best of hands.

Posted by Duffy at 10:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

One Cheer for France

Moving ahead of its allies, France on Thursday became the first country to recognize Libya’s rebel leadership in the eastern city of Benghazi and said it would soon exchange ambassadors with the insurgents.

Good for them. They are toothless as a military power so they're using what little leverage they have. France has a long history in North Africa so they're not operating in a vacuum.

Now can we stop screwing around with Libya and get serious?

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

March 09, 2011

Wisdom from a Wisconsin Democrat legislator

Don't wanna pay forced union dues? Find another job, then.

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

Best "real human origins" science fiction

Numerous science fiction outlets have postulated that humanity actually has extraterrestrial origins. It's quite a popular concept. Two of my favorite written word examples follow ...

I'm currently into the fourth book of James P. Hogan's "Giants" series, Entoverse. The entire series is five novels -- Inherit the Stars, The Gentle Giants of Ganymede (at left), Giants' Star, Entoverse, and Mission to Minerva -- and establishes that humanity actually sprang from a race of beings called the Lunarians. The Lunarians are so named due to a dessicated remnant of one being discovered by humans on our moon. These Lunarians were actually a genetically altered race based on Earth's early hominids, and lived on the planet Minerva, which occupied the orbit where our Solar System's asteroid belt is now. But who ... "made" them?

The answer to that is the Ganymeans. The Ganymeans, so named because an old vessel of theirs was discovered by humans on Jupiter's moon of Ganymede, had naturally evolved on Minerva, and experimented on Earth's early hominids in an attempt to battle their own physiological shortcomings in their planet's impending ecological shift. When they realized this would not work, they allowed their creations to occupy their planet, while they took off for another star whose planet would be better suited to them. Over the course of two millennia, these beings built a civilization. But they eventually split into two distinct camps, the Cerians and the Lambians, and a battle for dominance ensued. The ultimate battle destroyed Minerva (creating our asteroid belt), and the Cerians escaped to Earth -- to become Modern Man. And if you're wondering why these advanced beings didn't advance Earth much earlier than what actually occurred in history, the answer to that is part of the annihilated Minerva was eventually captured by Earth's gravity ... to become our moon. The resultant ecological upheaval almost eradicated the Cerians; as it was, the survivors reverted to barbarism, needing the numerous thousands of subsequent years to crawl back to a semblance of what they once were.

In Larry Niven's Known Space universe, it's established that humanity on Earth descended from the Pak (at right) -- a species of humanoid bipeds who lived on a planet in the center of the Milky Way. Millions of years ago, thousands of Pak hollowed out an asteroid and journeyed outward towards the galactic arms, eventually settling on Earth. The Pak had two stages of life: breeder and protector. Their breeders were our planet's early hominids as a results of this long Pak space journey. On the Pak homeworld, breeders would become protectors (at around age 40) by eating a fibrous root dubbed "Tree of Life." The breeder would undergo a drastic physiological change over the course of a few weeks (while in a coma): its brain case would expand for increased intelligence, its joints would swell to allow greater leverage, its sexual organs would disappear, a secondary heart would form, and its skin would harden into a leathery armor. This change to "protector" meant just that -- the protector guarded its own breeders, and was specifically altered to do just that, via enhanced intelligence and strength. (Most of the backstory regarding the Pak and protectors is told in Niven's novel Protector.

But the Pak discovered something very unfortunate a little while after landing on Earth: the Tree of Life root did not grow properly in our soil. The root grew ok, but the virus within which triggered the change to protector died in the root. Eventually, the protectors died out, leaving only breeders to populate our planet. These breeders, over millions of years, evolved into ... Modern Man.

Protector told the tale of Phthsspok, a lone Pak who journeyed from the Pak homeworld in hopes of discovering what had happened to those who traveled to Earth millions of years prior. He succeeded, but discovered what the old breeders had turned into -- a vastly mutated, space-faring race! It is via Phthsspok that humanity learned of its true origins, and in later Niven-approved stories we learn that the Pak themselves are a genetically engineered race created by one of Niven's oldest Known Space background creations, the Tnuctipun, over a billion years ago.

Protector and some later stories (mainly in the Niven-approved "Man-Kzin Wars" books) detailed how some human protectors acted "behind the scenes" to guide humanity to progress and annihilate any threats to humans across Known Space. In addition, it's later established that the Pak constructed Niven's greatest-ever literary creation -- the Ringworld.

**********

But what about movies and/or television? In one of my favorite scifi shows ever, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," the episode "The Chase" clearly establishes that an ancient humanoid race once "seeded" the Earth and the homeworlds of several Star Trek alien races (Klingon, Romulan, Cardassian) to allow intelligent life to evolve (and also seemingly explains how all these races are more or less at the same technological level!).

What are some others -- that either I've never heard about or am obviously forgetting?

Posted by Hube at 06:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Jack Webb Schools Holder


Posted by Duffy at 03:31 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Shirley's back!

As in Vandever, as in the Delaware Curmudgeon! She couldn't stay away, and we're all much better off for it.

Go check out her re-established DE blog now!

Posted by Hube at 02:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Do they just vanish or would they not have been born?

Harry Reid wants to stop prostitution in Nevada but wants to fund cowboy poets.  The GOP bill H.R. 1 eliminates arts funding.  Harry's key quote;  "Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”  Wouldn't exist?  Really?  How does that work?  Do they disappear in a puff of smoke or are they simply never born.  Their would-be parents realize that if there is no funding for cowboy poets there is no point in reproducing.  

Posted by Duffy at 11:23 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 08, 2011

Why I can't watch shows with computers in them

I have family members who are medical professionals and they can't watch medical shows because they get it wrong so often it becomes distracting. I'm finding the same of late with any shows that rely on technology to advance the plot or to create a MacGuffin.

Example:

Didja get that?


Make a GUI interface using visual basic to track an IP address.

Ugh. I know this may sound nitpicky or just nerdy but it's like poking me in the eye when I'm trying to watch your show. You either need to hire better writers or find consultants who know enough about technology to make this stuff credible. Frankly, this tells me I shouldn't be watching the show b/c I'm not their demographic. Duly noted.

Posted by Duffy at 05:02 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"Save our children" has the opposite meaning now?

Interesting article in today's News Journal which quotes a Danny Young, a 1973 graduate of PS DuPont High School who wants a Wilmington city school district again:

In the future, he wants to see that children in Wilmington go to schools near their homes. He thinks they have the opportunity to get a solid education in their own neighborhoods, but the only way that will happen is if Wilmington has its own school district.

"Other powers that be have had control of our schools for 35 years and they failed," said Young, 56. "It's time to give it back to us. It's time to give us control. Even if the Legislature says 'no,' we're willing to go all the way to the Supreme Court to save our children."

Interesting choice of words there, Mr. Young. Because there exists a group from the city called The Coalition to Save Our Children which litigated to maintain the system of busing that had been in place since 1978! And those "other powers" you mention were the Coalition (or, its precursor), its plaintiffs ... and the then-extremely "progressive" judiciary, namely in the guise of one Judge Murray Schwartz!

So the question is ... which will save the children, then? Is it the system of busing which still essentially remains in place in New Castle County (the four major school districts have never substantially reverted to what they once were since the federal desegregation order was lifted in 1996), or is it going back to the existence of a Wilmington School District like that which was around pre-1978?

Back to the Future.

UPDATE: For a comprehensive overview of the New Castle County busing history, check out this classic Colossus post.

Posted by Hube at 03:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Don't dare call it a hate crime!

OK everybody, just imagine if the races were reversed in this video. As it is, where's the Delaware Human Relations Commission? At least this has some real examples of racism evident.

Or, maybe Attorney General Eric Holder can explain away this as a situation not as bad as "what [black] people endured in the South in the 60s," like he did regarding complaints about his Justice Dept. dropping the case against those Black Panthers in Philly in 2008. Perplexingly, too, Philly's own Rep. Chaka Fattah said the following:

The most unethical thing a person can do is make allegations based on absolutely nothing. The only issue of race is singling out this particular decision...That this rises to national significance is bogus on its face.

Maybe Fattah ought to inform his own Congressional Black Caucus of that "most unethical" behavior, especially considering the allegations of racial epithets it made against the Tea Party ... which were based on absolutely nothing. (So much so that a substantial financial reward was offered for proof of these epithets, and not a single individual came forward to collect ... despite video cameras being all over the place at the Capitol.) On the other hand, somehow to Fattah "absolutely nothing" includes video evidence of the Panthers' intimidation at a polling place, then the fact that the Holder Justice Dept. dropped charges against the Panthers involved, and lastly sworn testimony by a DOJ insider that the current Dept. of Justice operates in a racially biased manner.

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

Gaddafi leaving?

Two Arab newspapers and al Jazeera television said on Monday Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was looking for an agreement allowing him to step down, but there was no official confirmation of the reports.

Interesting. I don't know how reliable the sources are but the other reporting seems to indicate that his forces are able to disrupt rebel strongholds but haven't been able to turn the tide. Even with heavy weapons he might not be able to hold on. Yesterday I saw a video of a secret police headquarters that was torched with the secret police still inside. They were jumping to their deaths to escape the fire while the crowds cheered. I'll not link to it here, it's too graphic.

I don't think Gaddafi has the numbers to hang on. I hope I'm right because if not, the Arab world is about to get much bloodier.

Up next on the block: Saudi Arabia

Saudis mobilise thousands of troops to quell growing revolt

This report is from Robert Fisk to it's almost certainly incorrect. If you think oil is expensive now, wait until Saudi Arabia is in the hands of Shia fundamentalists.

"May you live in interesting times". Indeed.

Posted by Duffy at 11:23 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Huckabee's selective outrage

Recently Mike Huckabee took a shot at Natalie Portman for being pregnant and unmarried. I yawned and moved on to the next page. It took me a minute but I remembered something. Or rather, didn't remember; Where was Mike Huckabee when Bristol Palin was pregnant? Oddly he seemed not outraged or he somehow missed that whole thing.

So, Natalie Portman who has millions of dollars, an Ivy League education, untold earning potential and a soon-to-be husband is somehow irresponsible?

Really?

Amazing that people think this guy is somehow electable as President.

Posted by Duffy at 10:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 07, 2011

Perspective

Much needed from Victor Davis Hanson:

For all the anger at Bush’s budget deficits, a single month of Obama’s red ink now equals federal borrowing for the entire 2007 budget year. A better way of looking at it might be in terms of the Democrats’ offer to cut $6 billion from the annual budget — or 1/37th of what the U.S. Treasury is now borrowing each month.

Whoa.

Posted by Hube at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Obama: "Bush was right"

No, he didn't really say that. But he should: US to resume Guantanamo trials after 2-year freeze. As Peter Hoekstra writes,

It is amazing. After 16 months of review we end up at essentially the same place we started. After years of harshly criticizing President Bush, President Obama now continues his policies. The least he could do is say “I’m sorry” or “Thank you.”

Yep.

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

If the "Captain America" movie is anything like this ...

... you can forget it. Via a fan at the Dixonverse.net site:

So, I picked up the first issue of the New Ultimate Captain, where the 40's Cap runs into the Vietnam-era Cap. The issue ends with 40's Cap taken hostage by 60's Cap who is about to show him the true face of what America has become since WW 2. The latest issue #3, which, I did not buy has 60's Cap reading the 40's Cap about the 'crimes' done by America during the Cold War, quote 'Illegal Bombings by tbe most evil man ever Richard Nixon" the overthrow of the democratilly-elected elected govt of Chile replaced by Pinochet, playing a US Backed Contras audio tape of torture and screams and ending with 60's Cap 'waterboarding' the 40's Cap as it's 'not torture?' I'll tell you what is torture the continuous rewriting of real history by far-left zealot writing in comics and media and the whitewashing of the greatest crminals since WW 2 Nazis, the Communists. I think I'll be adding the writer of this stuff to my do not buy Alex Ross list. Keep it up and the only people who'll be buying your books is Mickey Moore at a Wisconsin rally.

For cripe's sake, what's the secret ID of the Ultimate Cap -- Ward Churchill??

There's really no use in responding to Marvel's latest nonsense point-by-point; if a person cannot see the contextual idiocy (or lack thereof) in this, all's lost. Which is certainly what I hope Marvel's revenues are with this title ... and others.

(h/t: Four Color Media Monitor.)

Posted by Hube at 05:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Don't send Joe Wilson to investigate

Blast from the past?

Does this news story bring back memories, or what? Iran is arranging to buy yellowcake in Africa:

A leaked intelligence report suggests Iran will be awarded with exclusive access to Zimbabwe's uranium in return for providing the country with fuel.

The report - compiled by the United Nations' nuclear watchdog - said Iran's Foreign and Co-operative Ministers had visited Zimbabwe to strike a deal, and sent engineers to assess uranium deposits. ...

Uranium ore, or yellow cake, can be converted to a uranium gas which is then processed into nuclear fuel or enriched to make nuclear weapons. ...

Under this administration, there'll be no urgency to actually send someone like Joe Wilson to check this out. The administration itself will go out of its way not to "demonize" Iran in order to "maintain" a "positive" relationship with them. Just like it cannot bring itself to say "radical Islamic terrorism" even though, well, it is.

Posted by Hube at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 06, 2011

A.P., as usual, editorializes in news story

How utterly ridiculous is this:

PARIS – After years of claiming presidential immunity to avoid legal proceedings, Jacques Chirac is finally facing a court.

The former president, a bugaboo for George W. Bush during his rush to war in Iraq, on Monday becomes France's first former head of state to go on trial since its Nazi-era leader was exiled.

How 'bout that!! It only took until the second paragraph -- out of an otherwise quite lengthy article -- for Jamey Keaten to insert a gratuitous shot at the former US president!

Posted by Hube at 10:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Brown v. Board of Ed. still misunderstood

... this time -- and not surprisingly -- by New Castle County Councilman Jea Street. In a column disagreeing with the recreation of a Wilmington School District, he writes,

Sixth, the re-creation of a Wilmington School District would be deemed unconstitutional and new litigation would be required. Contrary to the Delaware General Assembly's action over the last 16 years and the nostalgic desire to re-create a Wilmington School District, the legal determination made in Brown v. Board is still the law of the land. In that regard, separate but equal is still inherently unequal. Therefore, segregation -- whether imposed by segregationists, the Delaware General Assembly or self-imposed -- is still segregation that is inherently unequal and in violation of the law.

Street must still be basking in the "progressive" desegregation heyday that brought Delaware the most "Draconian [plan] than any ever approved by this [US Supreme] Court." Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for rational, free will-favoring people), courts in the last 30 or so years have looked quite unfavorably on government-imposed, social engineering-based "desegregation" ideas, most especially ones that undercut the aforementioned concept of free will/choice.

Heck, even as far back as 1962, Judge Caleb Wright said, "Discrimination is forbidden, but integration is not compelled." Street therefore is pipe dreaming that a move to a new Wilmington District would be deemed unconstitutional, especially if based (wholly or in part) on the self-imposed choices of its participants/inhabitants.

Moreover, one may wonder if city residents (mainly minority) who favor a return to a district of their own are "racist" according to Street's very own rules. Because, after all, back during the debate over Delaware's Neighborhood Schools bill, he referred to the legislation as "new millennium racism."

There may be good reasons why a renewed Wilmington District shouldn't come into being. But it "being unconstitutional" and a return to "racism" sure ain't part of them. That's just trademark Jea Street bluster.

Posted by Hube at 10:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 05, 2011

Atlantic City 5th grader phones threat to George W. Bush

Read all about it here.

I blame the consistent hate rhetoric generated by sites such as this.

Posted by Hube at 09:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Democrat Rep. beats "Watson" supercomputer ... or does he?

Hey, he's a Democrat, so let's do this "right!" Take the Daily Mail, for instance. Salon.com. ABC News. Time magazine.

But hidden at the very bottom of this story we read this:

IBM spokeswoman Lia Davis said the computer that went up against Holt was not the exact one that competed on television, but a simulation.

Oh, OK. So Rep. Holt really didn't beat "Watson," did he? Maybe next time Holt can "fly" an F-18 ... in a flight simulator.

Posted by Hube at 08:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2011

First look at "Captain America's" Red Skull

Via Newsarama:

This certainly looks light-years better than the ridiculous Red Skull from the direct-to-video "Captain America" film from 1990:

And no wonder that flick went straight to video. It's hideous. Matt Salinger (maybe best known for his supporting role in "Revenge of the Nerds") is far from the Adonis-like person Steve Rogers should be (ugly, even), while the special effects are guffaw-inducing. And worst of all: The Red Skull is ... Italian??? I kid you not. One of comicdom's most insidiously evil Nazis is ... Il Duce Mussolini's right-hand man. And his accent couldn't be any lamer.

And the 1990 "Cap" features two of the biggest "YEAH, RIGHT!!" moments in the history of comic films. First, the Skull straps Cap onto an ICBM aimed at Washington DC ... and how does Cap stop this attack? He kicks the missile while it's descending to change its trajectory!! (Yeah, I know -- how did Cap even survive the missile's flight in the first place? But trust me -- the kick is funnier.) Second, after spending several decades frozen in icy suspended animation, once discovered by an intrepid Ned Beatty, what does Cap do? He pops right up and begins running down the road!! Yeah, no muscle atrophy whatsoever, let alone any questions as to what the hell happened to him!!

Here's the film's trailer:


Posted by Hube at 05:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Joshuapundit with Schooling Dave Weigel On ‘Incivility.’

First place in the non-Council category was Bruce Kesler/Maggie’s Farm with Jawohl, Mein Professor.

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at 03:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beyond parody

MSDNC's Ed Schultz calls Wisconsin's budget -- wait for it! -- "racist" with guest -- wait for it! -- Al Sharpton!

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Reverend, when you hear that tax dollars would be diverted from all taxpayers to pay for private schooling -- where does that take us in your opinion?

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: I mean, that’s the epitome of an insult, Ed. At one level, you have this governor as well as in Ohio and other states and we are talking Wisconsin here, that are talking about what they are dealing with terms of the deficit, in terms of being in the red, the unions, the teachers, everyone gives back. They say we’ll concede a lot of these things, we all will sacrifice, take collective bargaining off the table.

That’s not enough. On top of that, they now want to spend public dollars to give vouchers to private schools for kids that will never ever come from the neighborhoods that most need public education. I’m against vouchers, period. But now to come with this is an insult to add insult to injury, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Well, I’ll say it. This is a racist budget. I mean, anybody with a brain knows that those 82 percent of the kids under the poverty level are never going to go to a private school, and yet the governor wants the parents of those kids to take a portion of their tax dollars and fund private schools. I mean, it is a racist budget. You cannot get around it. It’s picking on the poor. It’s picking on the inner-city kids. How else can you read it?

You can read several ways, idiot, and by all means please do so at the link above!

Posted by Hube at 03:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Why I now love Obama

I've been consistently critical of the man since before he took office. Of late he seems to be casting about for a way to improve his poll numbers. Well, this one puts me on his team (if only for a little while)

Barack Obama will go down in history as, among other things, the first president to brew his own beer in the White House.

The blog Obama Foodorama reported this week that the president's Super Bowl party featured a selection called "White House Honey Ale,” brewed right at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I'm not a fan of honey beers but props for brewing your own. Hell if he spent more time brewing that's less time he has to screw up the country. It would have been cooler if he published the recipe.

Credit where it's due. Well done, Mr. President.

Posted by Duffy at 01:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 03, 2011

It takes 2-5 years to fire a teacher in Chicago

badteacher.jpg

from here.

This is exactly the crap I hate about unions and public education. TWO YEARS to get rid of a teacher? Insanity. Me? I can be canned today. This minute and I gotta find another job. Sanity is somewhere in the middle of those two.

Posted by Duffy at 02:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Comment Rescue

Ohio Senate Passes Bill Limiting Collective Bargaining

Ha! Get a job in IT. Long "uncompensated" hours ("uncompensated" if you're foolish enough to believe that the expectation of a 40 hour work week applies to degreed professionals), the same concerns about being replaced by younger workers (with the added bonus of potentially being off-shored or replaced by an H1-B), stress (when is the last time you pulled an all-nighter trying to recover a dead server with the knowledge that if you can't bring it back there is a very real chance that your entire company will fold?), and the added threat of becoming obsolete as technologies progress while you're busy maintaining the legacy systems.

Somehow we manage to get by without a union propping us up. Somehow merit-based performance seems to work for us. In the cases when it doesn't, we move to another employer.

Granted, that's not easy and I'd sleep better at night knowing that I had a collective at my back that could use the extortion of a strike threat to get our way, but at some point I had to grow up and accept adult life as it is, not as I'd like it to be.

Exactly what I've been thinking of late.

Posted by Duffy at 01:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 02, 2011

I detest anti-Semites more than most, probably

... but being arrested and standing trial for making anti-Semitic remarks? Sorry, that's just stupid. Once again, thank goodness for our [American] First Amendment:

John Galliano has been ordered to stand trial on charges related to anti-Semitic remarks he's alleged to have made at a Paris restaurant last week, French prosecutors said Wednesday, even as the 50-year-old designer spoke out for the first time about recent events.

Suspended by fashion house Dior in the wake of a Thursday altercation in which anti-Semitic and anti-Asian remarks and threats of violence were alleged, Galliano was fired Tuesday after a 2010 video surfaced Monday in which the designer was saying, among other things, "I love Hitler."

Dior fragrance spokesmodel Natalie Portman, who won a best actress Oscar on Sunday, said Monday that "as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way." (Link.)

And that's how it should be. You shouldn't battle asinine, insensitive hate speech with arrests, fines and jail time. (In France, anti-Semitic remarks can get you "up to six months in prison and more than $30,000 in fines.") You do it like Ms. Portman, via ostracism -- shunning, whether it be social, economic or ... more speech. Because once you start making some insensitive -- or "hate" -- speech illegal, what's to stop the powers that be from making some other words or phrases illegal?

Again, the old adage works perfectly well: Fight speech ... with more speech. Countries without a First Amendment analogue would do well to heed that -- if they believe in freedom.

UPDATE: Case in point -- today's 8-1 Supreme Court decision in favor of the vile Westboro Baptist Church a-holes:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that when the disputed words "address matters of public import on public property" and when the protest is conducted "in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials," they are protected.

Roberts cited past rulings that shielded offensive words and outrageous protests.

He pointed to the decision that freed protesters who burned the American flag and another that protected a Hustler magazine satirist who portrayed the Rev. Jerry Falwell in an outhouse. Last year, Roberts spoke for the court in striking down on free-speech grounds a law that made it crime to sell videos of illegal dog-fighting.

The "bedrock principle underlying the 1st Amendment," Roberts said in quoting the flag-burning ruling by the late liberal Justice William J. Brennan Jr., "is that the government cannot punish words or ideas "simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."

Indeed. And Bill O'Reilly just argued (quite futilely, in my opinion) in favor of Justice Samuel Alito's lone dissent, which said in part "... that the father of the dead Marine who sued the protesters was 'not a public figure' who could be expected to tolerate such an onslaught, but a private person who sought to 'bury his son in peace.'" But O'Reilly counterpoint Megan Kelly correctly noted that the Westboro goons were at least 1,000 feet away and were protesting a matter of "public import," in this case gays (in American society).

Posted by Hube at 05:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Let's start with you

I have decided that I "collectively own" his job as a director and producer.

Posted by Duffy at 02:15 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

This is funny


Posted by Duffy at 02:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2011

This may surprise you

Actually ... it shouldn't. Not at all: Networks Link Bush to 'Skyrocketing' Gas Prices 15 Times More Than Obama.

Comparing a 20-day span of rising gas prices in 2008 to 24 days of rising prices in February 2011, the Business & Media Institute found the networks did more than 2 ½ times as many stories during the Bush years versus Obama.

Unrest in the Mideast has hit American consumers hard, driving up gas prices that had already been above $3-a-gallon since Dec. 23. The national average for gasoline hit $3.36 on Feb. 28, the highest ever for the month of February according to The Associated Press. But the amount of network news coverage of rising gas prices did not reflect it.

All three broadcast networks together averaged just one story about rising gas prices per day. In contrast, when gas prices rose similarly in 2008, the networks averaged more than one story, per network, per day.

It took 24 days, from Feb. 1, to Feb. 24 for the national average for unleaded gasoline to climb from $3.101 to 3.228. The last comparable period of "eye-popping" gas prices: the 20 days between Feb. 21, 2008, and March 11, 2008, when the national average climbed from $3.086 to $3.227.

But it was more than just the amount of coverage that showed the media's willingness to spin gas prices one way under Bush, and another way under Obama. In 2008, network reporters mentioned "Bush," the "president" or "government" in gas price reports 15 times more often than in 2011 under President Obama (15 stories to 1). A number of stories portrayed Bush as out-of-the-loop when he was asked about the possibility of $4-a-gallon gas and hadn't yet heard that prediction.

In contrast to the 15 reports referencing the Bush administration when gas prices were "through the roof," the only 2011 story to mention the president was NBC "Nightly News" on Feb. 24. Tom Costello's report on the impact of surging gas prices quoted President Obama who was "optimistic."

To those of us who live in the real world, this is no surprise at all. Just as calls from the mainstream media for "civility" are so much bulls**t (because, if it's "progressives" being uncivil, that's perfectly acceptable), somehow, someway, a Democrat in the White House can't be accountable for skyrocketing [gas] prices ... or much else, for that matter.

Except by the voters. Thankfully.

Posted by Hube at 05:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The final word on Obamacare

"Let's get this straight. We're going to be 'gifted' with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke!!

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?"

-Denis Gartman

Posted by Duffy at 09:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack