Here at Colossus 2013 will mark our eighth year of blogging ... and tenth for yours truly.
Be safe everyone, and Happy 2013.
[Dimitar Sasselov, professor of astrophysics and director of Harvard University’s Origins of Life Initiative] believes that life is probably common in the universe. He said that he believes life is a natural “planetary phenomenon” that occurs easily on planets with the right conditions. “It takes a long time to do this,” Sasselov said at a 2011 Harvard conference. “It may be that we are the first generation in this galaxy.”
Though it may be hard to think of it this way, at roughly 14 billion years old, the universe is quite young, he said. The heavy elements that make up planets like Earth were not available in the early universe; instead, they are formed by the stars. Enough of these materials were available to begin forming rocky planets like Earth just 7 billion or 8 billion years ago. When one considers that it took nearly 4 billion years for intelligent life to evolve on Earth, it would perhaps not be surprising if intelligence is still rare.
Which would really suck for outfits like SETI.
Insty points to this article, which posits that aliens would be too much like us -- meaning they'd probably want to destroy us. That'd suck for us all. Though one thing I found as a head-scratcher in the article is Stephen Hawking noting that aliens would probably be more interested in "mining our planet for vital resources than in getting to know us." Mining our planet? I've said this many times previously, but here it is again: If aliens are advanced enough to travel here and meet us, why would they want to mine a planet that is highly likely to have been stripped of most of its resources already? Not to mention that said mining would be much more economically feasible in space.
Insty mentions The Forge of God as a good treatment of alien invasion. I though it was OK; I never could concretely wrap my head around the "reasons" for the desire among the mysterious machines to eradicate humanity. It's sort of analogous to Fred Saberhagen's "Berserkers." Its sequel, Anvil of Stars, features the remnants of humanity seeking out its destroyers with the help of the highly advanced Benefactors. It's ultra-hard scifi, a novel of immense scope that'll blow your mind.
DesMoines Register columnist Donald Kaul -- who, it notes, suffered a heart attack back in July -- had better simmer down about gun control, or he'll endanger his health (again). He sounds just like Delaware's own Delaware Dem of the LGOMB, who once advocated "rounding up all Republicans" and shooting them:
• Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.
• Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control.
Dare I say "remember this" the next time some "progressive" dolt yammers about "civil dialogue"?
Kaul also wants a repeal of the 2nd Amendment. But in order to do what he wants above, he'll need that first. (And he did put that first in his bullet point list, by the way.) And the chances of such a repeal are incredibly slim to less than none. (Indeed -- if possible, the chances would be a negative integer.)
It truly is amazing how "tolerant" "progressives" pick and choose who their enemies are. Radical Islamic fundie terrorists who spare nothing to behead those whom they despise (meaning virtually everybody) are treated with kid gloves by these "progressives" ("Be sensitive and tolerant!" we're told, "Give them constitutional rights!" etc. etc. etc.), yet, stupefyingly, these fundies are remarkably similar to people like Daul. Seriously. "Progressives" frequently compare fundies like al Qaeda and the Taliban to conservative Americans; however, when has a conservative American penned something like Daul in a mainstream periodical -- advocating torturing politicians who disagree with them on policy, and murdering those who refuse to follow [an unjust] law??
I like Glenn Reynolds' retort:
This kind of talk makes me want to buy an assault rifle. Or twelve. And really, dude, the fact that you’re angry doesn’t give you some sort of a pass from the norms of civil society. Or, if it does, be prepared to tolerate a lot of things that you’ll find intolerable. Because, you know, a lot of people are angry.
Forum: What Are Your Predictions For President Obama’s Second Term?
By way of my "blogfather" John Rosenberg, Iowahawk notes that "a Briton is 5 times more likely to die from government health care than an American is to die from a gunshot.”
... there are “nearly 12,000 preventable deaths in hospitals in England every year.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there were 11,493 firearms homicides in the U.S. in 2009, about the same number as deaths by hospital in Great Britain. Since the population of the U.S. is about five times greater than Great Britain’s 62 million, Iowahawk’s conclusion seems about right, if you substitute “die from a firearm homicide” for his “die from a gunshot.”
In related news, many "progressives" thought NRA chief Wayne LaPierre was nuts for asking for an armed cop in every school; however, just as these "progressives" have forgotten how George W. Bush "shredded the Constitution" now that Boss Obama is in office and has not only continued but upped these very same policies, they conveniently look the other way and slyly whistle when one asks about Bill Clinton's LaPierre-esque proposal back over a decade ago?
When I showed skepticism about Hillary Clinton's health, I was relying on the best intelligence available at the time.
... no matter how few you are.
Out of Denver: Lone Protester Pickets Tanner Gun Show In Denver.
(Thanks, as always, to RWR.)
“People who want reform of our FISA laws need to work for the election of a Republican President so the NY Times and the rest of the liberal media can become enraged again. The next renewal is in five years; if it happens under President Hillary it will be perfunctory, but if it is President Rubio, well, the media will discover FISA problems by the bushel.” -- Tom Maguire
The non-Council winner was Larry Corriea/Monster Hunter Nation with An opinion on gun control.
Full results are here.
Poll #1: No ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal? 44% Blame GOP, 36% Obama.
"Progressive" reaction: "You're damn right! The GOP is to blame for EVERYTHING!"
Poll #2: 54% have a favorable opinion of the NRA.
"Progressive" reaction: "THAT POLL IS BIASED!! THOSE 54% BELIEVE IN MURDER! THEY FAVOR THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENT CHILDREN!!"
It's sadly hilarious when limousine "progressives" like NBC's David Gregory lecture guns rights advocates about the need for control -- when he possesses an illegal gun part and sends his kids to an elite school that has no less than eleven security guards on campus. But perhaps even more laughable is the "progressive" comicbook creative community that comes down on 2nd Amendment advocates.
Just check out the tweets by such creators captured by Avi Green over at Four Color Media Monitor. The most hilarious has gotta be Gail Simone's -- she writes "What post? The gun thing? I loathe the NRA, they are horrible."
Isn't that so hypocritically sweet? Indeed -- these pinheads' entire profession relies on violence ... violence that they have upped to the Nth degree over the last decade or so. And ironically, as Avi notes, the NRA supported Marvel heroes back in 1989 when a plot thread dealt with heroes having to register with the government. More recently in the company's "Civil War" storyline, which side had the sympathy of the creators? It was the anti-registration side. The current crop of low-thinking "creators" apparently forgot the 1989 thread, "Civil War," and certainly classic utopian-visions like Mark Gruenwald's Squadron Supreme mini-series from 1985. In that, Earth-S's super-team takes over the globe, and among other things, confiscates all privately owned firearms. Former team member Nighthawk, who quit the team because of its new dictatorial edict, assembles a new crew of "rebel" heroes dubbed the "Redeemers." 'Hawk and the Redeemers eventually take on the Squadron to eliminate their forced dictatorship and restore full civil rights.
As Avi so pointedly remarks, if these idiot creators believe private citizens should not be permitted to own a gun, then why would they write/draw stories that are sympathetic to superheroes being allowed to keep their weapons/powers without, at the very least, some sort of government regulation:
... surely by that logic even the Green Lantern power ring his creation of Kyle Rayner wore should be regulated, and Sara Pezzini shouldn't be allowed to use the Witchblade. Even Spider-Man's web-shooters should be restricted, Wolverine shouldn't have his adamantium claws, Superman shouldn't be permitted his own powers, Hawkeye shouldn't use archery, Batman shouldn't be allowed to carry Batarangs and Daredevil shouldn't be allowed to use his billy clubs.
"Progressive" creators, like these and in Hollywood, will spout off about their First Amendment rights if someone tries to restrict what they do (like quell the violence in their books, TV shows and movies). But they're the first to forget there's the amendment directly after the one they invoke. They demand "more responsibility" from groups like the NRA (and parents, and society in general) all the while poo-pooing the need to it themselves. (First Amendment again, y'know.)
Just yet another reason modern comics and creators suck.
“The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.” -- Thomas Sowell
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas (unless you're a certain guy named Perry, or everyone at the LGOMB). Santa was very good to me -- a new iPod with dock and a very nice St. Louis Rams hoodie being a couple of the highlights. But the joy never ends watching my now-college attending daughter open her gifts. Her face when she opened her new Beats headphones was priceless.
But that's the "commercial" aspect. Being with my family (and my GF's family) is what truly makes this season all worthwhile.
And the non-Council submissions are here!
The illustrious Watcher's Council has won the Doug Ross @ Journal's "Best Blog Ring" for the third year in a row in his Fabulous Fifty Blog Awards.
... so called "progressives" yammered that the "gun confiscation" complaints of pro-2nd Amendment types were "paranoid delusion?" Uh huh: “Confiscation could be an option.”
In a radio interview on Thursday with Albany’s WGDJ-AM, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that he plans to work with state legislators next month to submit a proposal for new gun-control laws; in particular, Cuomo said, “our focus is assault weapons,” because current state laws regulating the weapons “have more holes that Swiss cheese.”
“I don’t think legitimate sportsmen are going to say, ‘I need an assault weapon to go hunting,’” he said.
Cuomo continued, “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”
Elsewhere, Chicago War Zone Mayor and former Boss Obama official Rahm Emanuel thinks his power extends beyond his
city's war zone's boundaries:
Sneed is told that Mayor Rahm Emanuel isn’t waiting for federal or state governments to act on gun control.
◆ Translation: The mayor, who supports a ban on assault weapons, is planning a crackdown on suburban gun shops that sell to “straw purchasers” — people who buy guns for those who can’t legally own them — and it could include police stings on suburban gun shops.
◆ To wit: Although there are no gun shops in Chicago, a top mayoral source tells Sneed that Rahm has ordered Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and the city corporation counsel’s office to begin using the “city’s own authority” to stem such gun sales by shops outside the city.
But again, these must just be ... gun nut "paranoid fantasies."
(Thanks, as always, to RWR.)
Please read John Young's response to County Councilman Jea Street over at Transparent Christina (newly linked in our Delaware Bloggers section). It deals with the recent federal Dept. of Ed. probe into the Christina District's (Delaware's most populous) [supposed] discriminatory discipline practices.
... we take a gander at some of the dopier comments and suggestions regarding guns and public safety.
-- Moonbat Cali Senator Barbara Boxer wants to use the National Guard in the nation's schools.
-- "How in the World Did This Dope Get a Gig" Touré says the NRA wants the mass killing of children.
-- CNN's Piers Morgan calls a pro-2nd Amendment guest "unbelievably stupid," "dangerous," and a "shame" to the country.
-- The NY Times' Helene Cooper says we all have to choose between our 2nd Amendment rights and kids being safe in school.
-- MSDNC's Thomas Roberts: "We need to just be complacent in the fact that we can send our children to school to be assassinated?”
-- Washington Post editor and Barack Obama biographer David Maraniss on Boss Obama's prayer vigil speech in Connecticut: "People will long remember what Barack Obama said in Newtown ... his Gettysburg address."
-- MSDNC's Ed Schultz's anti-gun rights venom: Founding Fathers just "some dead people."
-- CNN's Don Lemon: "We need to get guns and bullets and automatic weapons off the streets. They should only be available to police officers and to hunt al-Qaeda and the Taliban and not hunt elementary school children."
-- Democrat New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler: "We have a lobby, the leadership of the NRA, who function as enablers of mass murder. And that's what they are. They're enablers of mass murder."
-- University of Rhode Island Professor Erik Loomis: “Looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children. Now I want [NRA chief] Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick. You are g*dd*mn right we should politicize this tragedy. F**k the NRA.”
David Mage of Newark jumps in as our latest constitutional scholar on gun rights:
The Second Amendment says, “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” It does not say “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms for shooting innocent children shall not be infringed.”
If the Second Amendment was interpreted to mean that only anyone who is a member of the Armed Forces, National Guard or a military reserve unit had the right to bear arms, then almost all these terrible shootings would be prevented.
Well, Dave, all I can say is that the First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech ... It doesn't say "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech of complete idiots who spout off out of emotion without knowing the lightest bit of history.
The non-Council winner was Ben Stein with G-d Help Us.
Full results are here.
Gun control legislation taskmaster Joe Biden back in 2008 regarding, ahem, his now-boss:
"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t buy that malarkey,” Biden said to voters during a campaign stop in Castlewood, Virginia on September 20. “Don’t buy that malarkey. They’re going to start peddling that to you.”
Biden informed the crowd that he was the proud owner of two guns.
“If he tries to fool with my Beretta, he’s got a problem,” Biden added, referring to Obama.
Look at it this way: At least he'll be entertaining, as he always is.
Americans are most likely to say that an increased police presence at schools, increased government spending on mental health screening and treatment, and decreased depiction of gun violence in entertainment venues would be effective in preventing mass shootings at schools. Americans rate the potential effectiveness of a ban on assault and semi-automatic guns as fourth on a list of six actions Gallup asked about.
Rational thought is returning after the high emotions.
Patricia Morrison of Wilmington oozes emotion ahead of common sense and facts:
Over the past 30 years, America has seen an ever-increasing rise in gun violence and mass murders by assault weapons. The effect is ruining the fabric of society. People seem to have given up in trying to make America safer because of fear of the political power of the National Rifle Association. Once a respected organization promoting gun safety, the NRA has been highjacked by an extremist vision that verges on paranoia. Now, without real restrictions, anyone can purchase assault weapons and ammunition. These are truly “weapons of mass destruction.” Meanwhile, our constitutional rights of life, liberty and happiness are lost because we cannot go to the movies, to the mall, to a political rally or school without worrying about being killed.
1) There hasn't been "an ever-increasing rise in gun violence and mass murders" in the United States:
But the fact is that, while mass public shootings always tend to galvanize massive media coverage, they are becoming increasingly less common, falling sharply in the last decade compared with the previous two.
Although mass public shootings may seem to be on the rise, newly compiled data show that there were 24 such incidents in the past decade. While that’s still significantly higher than the average of the first eight decades of the 20th century, it does mark a significant decline (nearly 50 percent) from the 43 cases in the 1990s.
Highly publicized shootings often renew the call to either loosen or tighten gun laws, but the availability of guns doesn’t appear to be much of a factor. Right-to-carry concealed firearms laws do not have a significant impact on mass public shootings, according to a peer-reviewed study I co-authored with Tom Kovandzic and Carl Moody. And rates of gun ownership remained relatively constant in the last several decades of the 20th century, when mass public shootings were on the rise.
Note, Patricia, the part about "mass media coverage." It seems you have been sucked into just that, and haven't thoroughly thought things out.
2) Exactly how has the NRA been "hijacked" by "extremists," and how is its vision "paranoid?" I guess we'll just accept your word. Not.
3) Actually not anyone can purchase assault weapons and ammunition. It's possible this could occur -- between private individuals at gun shows -- but the vast majority of purchases require background checks.
4) Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not constitutional rights. They were in the Declaration of Independence. The right to bears arms, on the other hand, is a constitutional right -- most recently affirmed by the Supreme Court in McDonald v. Chicago.
And the non-Council submissions are here!
From the Are You Fucking Kidding Me files: In response to a recent increase in crime, Paragould Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall offered residents at a town hall meeting Thursday night at West View Baptist Church what could be considered an extreme solution — armed officers patrolling the streets on foot.
Stovall told the group of almost 40 residents that beginning in 2013, the department would deploy a new street crimes unit to high crime areas on foot to take back the streets.
"[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."
Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be.
"We're going to do it to everybody," he said. "Criminals don't like being talked to."
Gaskill backed Stovall's proposed actions during Thursday's town hall.
"They may not be doing anything but walking their dog," he said. "But they're going to have to prove it."
So let's recap: If you are doing something suspicious like walking in public, police have a reasonable suspicion you are a criminal and you may be stopped and questioned. I've not researched this but what are the odds that the area in question is populated mostly by black or brown people? I can assure you I'd be out walking and would absolutely refuse to provide any ID for anything whatsoever. I would also sue the pants off the city, the department and the chief personally.
Next: Who owns the company that made the gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting?
So before you go blaming the NRA, blame the teachers.
Steve Newton at DE Libertarian has, as usual, a thoughtful post up today about what to do regarding guns in America. He highlights the American government's track record of violence as a ... "measure":
The problem with the call that "This. Has. To. Stop." is that much of the underlying culture of violence has been perpetuated by the government -- especially for the past forty years -- and that asking for solutions from the government when violence is the problem is, well, problematic.
We are killing other people's kids around the world every day in Pakistan, in Yemen, in Honduras. There's an important if unlovely and uncomfortable point to be reinforced here: dead Pakistani school children at the hands of US drones no less constitute young lives pointlessly snuffed out, with grieving parents who have emptiness in their souls than the children who will never come back to their bedrooms in Connecticut.
We are the world's largest exporter of weapons. We spend more on weapons for our "defense" than the rest of the world combined. That, "They are coming to get us" mentality within the US is exactly the mentality that politicians of all parties use with reference to the rest of the world, so why should you be surprised to see it echoed internally. It's fractal, I think.
Violence in America is in part so prevalent because, despite our mantra of freedom, the power of the State is as pre-conditioned to the use of violence as those paranoid nuts that pandora believes should not own guns.
pandora being of the LGOMB, of course.
Speaking of the LGOMB, Steve also shreds the execrable Delaware Douche, whose actual appearance is as disgusting as his moronic invective. If you can get past DD's asininity, you might actually find some agreement -- like I did.
Douche then says:
Next step, anyone caught with an illegally purchased gun or a banned gun is sentenced to life in prison, or permanent deportation from the United States. Your choice.
This is just a tad of the absurdity in the vast majority of the rest of this idiot's post. Like, yeah -- a battered wife who fears for her life as a last resort purchases and illegal gun to protect herself. She should go to prison for the rest of her life. Right. Yet Douche scoffs and screams when anyone even suggests any sort of criminal penalty for a late term abortion simply for convenience. Not to mention, isn't it the "progressives" who scream loudest about the US having the largest prison population on the planet?
Douche also blames -- wait for it! -- Ronald Reagan for the lack of mental health care. Uh huh. Sorry, Douche, but your kindred spirits bear a lot of blame for that one. And it was in the name of civil liberties that they did what they did. Y'know, civil liberties which the 2nd Amendment is a part of. But we know very well by now that for radical moonbats like Delaware Douche, some liberties are more important than others. And they're the ones that radical moonbats like. It's that simple.
Forum: What Celebrity Or Public Figure Would You Most Like To Meet And Spend Time With?
Though technically not related to the Connecticut tragedy and the continuing news of the assailant, I was struck by this profile of RG II -- Robert Griffin Jr. and RG III's father:
Griffin says if you’re serious about your kid’s success, both in the classroom and on the field, his secret is simple.
“Get involved with your child. Spend more time with them,” he says. “Don’t let your kids be raised by the television. Take time to work with your children to show them wisdom.
“That’s what I do even now. I showed him people who had tremendous talent, but lost it making poor decisions. That keeps them humble.”
That’s one of the reasons he’s spending time right now researching Heisman winners who did not go on to do well professionally, so that he can help his son explore the common pitfalls.
Meanwhile, he says, developing strength of character is just as important as developing a strong body.
You may have heard about how RG III was derided by an ESPN commentator as not being "authentically black;" I wonder now if his father will be condemned by similar racialist idiots for his "Euro/Asia-centric comments," or for his "being blinded by the culture of 'white privilege.'" But that's beside the point. Look at the first quote by RG II. Our country's teachers perhaps greater than any others have witnessed the decline in such parental time. And the really sad thing is ... performing basic parental duties is so painfully, painfully obvious.
But we don't care. In the era of non-responsibility (or irresponsibility), too many parents will pass on their responsibilities to others, frequently our teachers. And remarkably, many of these parents then scream to high heaven when those to whom responsibility has been passed actually act as a surrogate parent ... by attempting to hold children accountable. Teaching them manners. Respect. Responsibility.
And as a society we've even become accustomed to viewing the RG IIIs of the world as "lucky," even "privileged," merely because he had parents (or a parent) who actually did what parents are supposed to. And unfortunately, in an ironic dichotomy, far too many in the education industry believe it is their job to "even out" the playing field for those who may not have parents like RG II with those who do. The effect of this is as fatuous as it is devastating. Excellence, hard work and responsibility is perceived as "elitist," which makes those who do perform as well "feel bad." And we just cannot have that, now, can we?
Is it any wonder, then, why the responsible, the hard working, and the driven get frustrated and irritated? That they seek out schools, whether private or charter, that encourage excellence? That they'll seek financial shelters from a government that seeks class-evening through more and more tax confiscation? For now, those who excel still can thrive. But if we're not careful, the "eveners" will make your motivation, ambition and desire for excellence "unfair," maybe even illegal.
So, for now, praise parents like Robert Griffin Jr. and all like him. They respresent the true hope of the country. Just as they always have.
The best way to neuter the individual is to remove responsibility from the equation. Now responsibility is actively discouraged.
The "progressives" are out in force today, as could easily be predicted, pushing for more gun control in the wake of the incredibly tragic massacre in Connecticut yesterday. Here are some links which will hopefully quell some of the hyperbole:
Jeffrey Goldberg: What can we do stop massacres?
Glenn Reynolds: Gun-free zones provide false sense of security.
Britain: Gun crime goes up by 89% in a decade. And the UK has very strict gun control laws.
Roger Kimball: Already one is hearing the predictable homilies about “gun control,” as if depriving people of their liberties would somehow contravene evil.
Donald Sensing: Maybe the Left oughta look at Hollywood and its glorification of guns.
I've also seen a lot of talk in the last 24 hours about the need for more mental health services. While this is certainly a decent sentiment, consider: If there is an obviously mentally disturbed person, how does one -- or the state -- force an individual to get needed assistance? And if you do attempt to mandate mental health treatment, groups like the ACLU will step in to "inform you of your rights." They did it with mental hospitals, and they do it with [mentally ill] homeless, telling them that they do not have to get off the streets to get necessary treatment, or in the case of, say, nasty weather.
So again, tell me "progressives": How do we get people that need treatment the reatment they need ... if they don't want it?
The ACLU is so "vigilant" about a person's rights that even mentally disturbed people have 'em. After all, that is the essence of a free society, is it not? However, ironically (and astonishingly), the civil rights group has always believed that the 2nd Amendment is a collective right. Thus, the ACLU's "free society" means the mentally ill can refuse necessary treatment and assistance, but a completely sane, law-abiding individual is not permitted to defend him/herself with a handgun.
First up is his PolitiFact Is The Liar Of The Year.
But more importantly (to us) is his Where Will the Senate ‘School-to-Prison Pipeline’ Hearing Lead?
But the facts do not support the kind of legislation that seems to be under consideration. Two recent and highly sophisticated studies by Rochester University professor Joshua Kinsler shed new light on the well-established trends noted above. For the first time, Kinsler factored-in between school variations in discipline policy when looking at the racial disparity in out-of-school suspensions. He discovered that, within any given school, black and white students sent to the principal’s office for a given reason are issued the same suspensions at the same rates. The disparity is all between schools.
Schools with predominantly black student bodies are more likely to issue suspensions, and to issue longer ones, for a given offense. White students at those schools get the same treatment, but most white students are in predominantly white schools that are less severe in their discipline policies. Black students at mostly white schools also get less severe punishments.
Kinsler did find that African American students were more likely to be referred to the principal’s office, which has long been seen as evidence of systemic racism. To investigate that explanation, Kinsler looked for any relationship between teachers’ referral rates to the principal’s office and the race of those teachers and of the students they refer. He found none. This does not mean that racism plays no role, but it calls into question the view that racism is a dominant factor in referrals to the principal’s office.
In a subsequent empirical study, Kinsler investigated what would happen if all schools were compelled to observe a more lenient suspension policy, to close the black/white discipline gap. He found that this would disproportionately hurt the achievement of African American students, widening the black/white achievement gap. The reason for this, according to Kinsler’s findings, is that serious suspensions do in fact discourage misbehavior, and that removing disruptive students from the class does improve the achievement of the other students.
Gee, who'da thought? Actually punishing misbehavior results in ... less of it!
It's always amusing to occasionally venture over to the Local Gaggle of Moonbat Bloggers' place to see what lunacy has been going. Today, pandora writes about how the country "has lost its mind" because there was another shooting -- this time at a school in Connecticut. Naturally, these so-called "progressives" have a problem with the 2nd Amendment:
pandora: Hard to keep up with all these responsible gun owners. If only those 5th graders had been armed. I’m so sick of this.
Naturally, because of some freak, ALL gun owners -- the vast majority of which ARE responsible -- should be disarmed.
Is this really the price we continue to pay for freedom?
Yes, it is the price we pay for freedom. Because the freedom for the vast majority -- responsible people -- means there will always be a few irresponsible sickos who do what this vile specimen did in CT.
Then there's the illustrious Delaware Dem, whose invective is about as disturbing as his appearance:
A hearty fuck you to the NRA.
Ah! Maybe DD can round up all NRA members and have them shot?
Gun lovers: what’s more sacred? The life of a child, or a self-serving misinterpretation of the 2nd amendment? (Don’t bother answering).
Question 1: What "misinterpretation" of the 2nd Amendment abounds? Question 2: You actually ask the first part of your question when it's "progressives" who are the ones who prefer the killing of children with their "pro-choice at all times" stance?
The NRA is a terrorist organization and should be dealt with accordingly.
But of course! Again, they should all be rounded up and shot -- seriously. Right, DD?
Then, pandora agrees with DD that everyone should watch coverage of the shooting:
Everyone should watch every second of this. Maybe then we can actually discuss this.
LOL! But you don't WANT a discussion about it, pandora! You want people who believe in gun rights to accept YOUR beliefs.
There's assorted other snarky comments in there, about just what you'd expect. But ultimately it's not surprising at all that these peons want gun rights eradicated. They believe in government, after all -- that it can do anything. But do you trust government to protect you if you're threatened ... and your 2nd Amendment rights have been stripped? Y'know, like the government protected our personnel in Benghazi? Like it took care of its citizens in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy?
Don't be fooled. These cretins will spout off about mythical "misinterpretations" of the 2nd Amendment until the cows come home, but you can bet they'll be the first to nab a handgun in order to protect themselves if/when they realize government can't -- and won't -- protect them. It's exactly like how they yammer about how taxes should be higher, yet they do everything they can to avoid paying them. And remember how after 9/11 and other assorted instances of radical Islamic terror we were constantly reminded by the LGOMB about "tolerance" and "understanding," and how not all Muslims are terrorists, etc. This same message doesn't apply to law-abiding American gun owners, or the completely lawful National Rifle Association. The former should be stripped of their 2nd Amendment rights, and the latter is a "terrorist" organization.
Remember the words of William S. Burroughs: “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.”
One last thing: These faux empaths are having a pow-wow this evening so they can feel good about themselves in part by collecting goods for the local food bank. But you can bet that if someone came in wearing an NRA hat, they'd have their canned goods thrown right back at 'em. Your contributions must be pure. Because that's how the LGOMB roll.
MSDNC's Andrea Mitchell claims John McCain's attacks on Susan Rice won't "help Republicans at all," because Rice is "a woman of color," and for McCain "this was personal" = RACISM.
Documentarian Ken Burns says that the falsely accused Duke lacrosse players were "three rich white boys" who were "mildly inconvenienced" by the rape charges = NOT RACISM.
The non-Council winner was The Commentator with Rejection and Terror: Same old Palestinian choices.
Full results are here.
Lack of media coverage of deceased Latina music star Jenni Rivera = RACISM.
Black ESPN commentator calls Redskins QB Robert Griffin III ("RG3") a “cornball brother" because he's is engaged to a white woman, and could be a Republican = NOT RACISM.
Legal Insurrection has the vid of a black hot dog vendor who was caught up in the violence precipitated by union goons in Michigan the other day. This vendor claims he was the subject of racial taunts and epithets. To be fair, so too claimed members of the Congressional Black Caucus a couple years back during the crucial healthcare vote, and Andrew Breitbart offered $100K (yes, $100K not $10K as I previous blogged) for video proof. No such proof ever came forth, despite a plethora of recording devices on the scene.
So, in the interest of fairness, does anyone have proof of what this gentleman claims?
Of course, the mainstream media dutifully reported the claims of the CBC. There's been nary a word about this hot dog vendor, of course. The NARRATIVETM after all.
If they can't forcibly silence their opponents, then jail 'em!
Yep, that's Harry Belafonte on Al Sharpton's MSDNC show, saying that Boss Obama should “work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.” Because, they're "violating" the American people's "desire" (Boss Obama's agenda).
Senility has clearly set in with Mr. Tally Me Banana. He says the American "have matured" because they elected Boss Obama (twice), and they clearly want his agenda. What he fails to note, obviously, is that in 2010 the American people clearly sent Boss Obama a message with the House elections that they didn't like a lot of his agenda, and in 2012 they kept these same Republicans in the [clear] majority there.
No wonder Belafonte wants political opponents jailed. He's a big buddy of Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, after all.
We've said it here many, many times: Forced proportionate representation is a laughable joke, yet the Obama DOE's civil rights division has chimed in on Delaware's Christina District. Kilroy has all the details.
It's worth noting here Hans Bader's past column wherein he notes,
Crimes and infractions are not evenly distributed among racial groups, as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996). As that 8-to-1 Supreme Court ruling emphasized, there is no legal “presumption that people of all races commit all types of crimes” at the same rate, since such a presumption is “contradicted by” real world data.
Kilroy shares a News Journal analysis which found that
... black students made up about 32 percent of the state’s public school population but accounted for 55 percent of students who were suspended or expelled.
Which, according to the United States Supreme Court, this in and of itself means zilch. But then again, this is Obama's America -- where the mere suspicion of racism means ... racism. School officials, instead of enforcing standard, rational discipline, will look the other way now -- because they certainly do not want to be labeled a "racist."
Get ready for chaos, American teachers.
And the non-Council submissions are here!
Gag video mocks Harrisburg, PA's mayor = RACISM.
Jamie Foxx jokes about killing all the white people in his latest movie = NOT RACISM.
The NY Times' Maureen Dowd says that the GOP is a "universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys" = NOT RACISM.
Boss Obama's 2008 inauguration reverend claims "all whites are going to hell" = NOT RACISM.
This is an interesting read. Wired has a eulogy for Occupy that seems, to me, quite fair. The author is clearly a supporter and in retrospect, probably a disenchanted one. Read the whole thing.
Head of Obama’s jobs council and the CEO of GE Jeffrey Immelt says "one thing that 'actually works' is 'state-run Communism'”:
UPDATE: Deleted the embedded video as it was one of those annoying auto-play vids. Check the link above for the video snippet.
The president has rewarded his campaign loyalists from MSNBC with an off-schedule West Wing meeting, where he's given them new talking points to win the next battle over taxes.
Yes, this state-press collusion is happening in your capital, not just Caracas or Havana.
The lovefest between Obama and MSNBC toadies Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Al Sharpton actually took place on Dec. 4.
A White House spokesperson confirmed the president met with them and other "influential progressives" to discuss the "importance of extending the Bush middle-class tax cut" — not to mention mau-mauing Republicans against "tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
Funny, though, we don't recall Fox's prime-time lineup of anchors slipping into the West Wing for a special pow-wow with President Bush. Maybe if they had, he could have made his across-the-board tax cuts permanent. Maybe if they had coordinated propaganda the way this president and MSNBC have, there would be no expiration date on tax relief for hardworking Americans.
But they didn't do that because that's not the way a free society works.
In contrast, this president is personally coordinating state propaganda with a prominent TV network. The now-naked collusion between the Obama White House and MSNBC sets a dangerous precedent for an otherwise free press and republic.
Yet Rachel Maddow will blast Fox News saying it is "officially just a media arm of the Republican Party ... they are a political operation serving the needs of the Republican Party."
Forum: Whom Would Your Choice Be For Person Of The Year?
Yours truly contributed this time out. His choice? Barack Obama.
As the natural inverse to "Grace notes" over at American Digest, I present, Grim Notes. Items which concern me as I try to muster some holiday cheer:
If you want to see our future when hospitals are run by the state: My husband died like a battery hen in hospital. This is an account of the husband of a Member of Parliment who's husband languished for hours before dying under the "care" (and I use the word advisedly) of the state. Disinterest and callousness are the norm. No one is ever fired and nothing changes. This is going to be a treat.
Up next a company that owns the newspaper that backed the president that created this punative tax policy is now doing everything it can to avoid that policy. Got it.
Soaking the rich will never work. Britain tried it and had a multibillion pound shortfall. California is looking at a billion dollar shortfall from the same policies. These policies are not negotiable, they are inherent to the Democrat party beliefs now. It is not about raising revenue or in any way about anything other than taking from people they think didn't deserve it.
Green energy is dead. Here are a host of nifty charts and graphs to show you why. Add to that this one which shows that the entire industry is collapsing and simply doesn't scale. Renewables are a great pipe dream. Unless or until there is some massive breakthrough in the technology (or our understanding of the laws of physics) it's only going to be a marginal provider.
Note well that nuclear is at the bottom of the cost charts for energy production. That the green industry isn't screaming for nuclear (and most probably Thorium reactors) tells me they're more interested in constraining human activity than anything else.
"Didn’t FDR insist for two weeks that Pearl Harbor was a spontaneous response to an Abbott and Costello routine?"
... Bob Costas will deliver a diatribe on the "alcohol and fancy car culture" of the NFL following this tragedy.
The non-Council winner was Victor Davis Hanson with Waiting for the GOP’s Populist Turn.
Full results are here.
The NFL is considering yet another rule change:
[...] after a touchdown or field goal, instead of kicking off, a team would get the ball on its own 30-yard line, where it’s fourth and 15. The options are either to go for it and try to retain possession, or punt. If you go for it and fall short, the opposing team would take over with good field position. In essence, punts would replace kickoffs, and punts are less susceptible to violent collisions than kickoffs.
Really? Really?? Exactly how much "less susceptible" to violent collisions are punts than kickoffs? Because they're incredibly similar in function. The option does sound intriguing, I'll admit, but if you're really serious about thwarting serious injury, then move the kick off up to the 40 yard line from the now-35. That way virtually no returns would materialize, unless the kicker really flubbed the kick.
What's next -- full body armor??
The First State's governor made the cut with this whopper: When it comes to jobless workers, “Mitt Romney says he likes to fire people.”
Red Alert Politics has its own list, including such goodies as David Axelrod's Libya boner, “We have reported, the administration has reported everything that we’ve been told, and we’ve shared it in real time.”
Also included is Harry Reid's whopper about Mitt Romney: “He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years!”
The Japanese got the corner on the extension, for what it's worth:
Bill Thurnau of Elkton, MD rightly mocks the Wilmington News Journal's race emphasis -- but the emphasis only manifests itself for the "right" reasons:
The new Delaware State Police superintendent, Maj. Nate McQueen, is obviously an admirable man, judging by the article, saying he is a veteran state trooper, and U.S. Marine. I applaud his achievements and sincerely hope he continues his service in his new appointment. I am sad, that The News Journal had to point he is a black man.
The unfortunate thing for everyone, is when reading the crime report, race and color are rarely in the description of the perpetrator. It would help the reader if they knew, was it a white, black, Hispanic, or Asian?
Correction, Bill: The paper never prints the race of crime suspects. And long-time readers will be familiar with the reason why. 'Ya gotta like this utter nonsense:
Our policy is not about being politically correct, it's about being accurate. Race is such an unreliable descriptor. What race is Halle Berry or Tiger Woods or Jennifer Lopez? They are extreme examples, but project them onto everyday people and you see the problem.
Or what real information is conveyed in a description that says: She is a 5-foot-6-inch white woman with brown hair? How many women fit that description? Who is that of use to? By the way, that description is of me -- and I haven't committed any crimes.
It is truly amazing how these PC dopes think. Didn't they ask themselves "Or what real information is conveyed in only noting the height of the suspect and what they were wearing"? Because that's about all you read in WNJ crime reports these days. Saying "it's not about being politically correct" is laughable in the extreme. It's precisely what it's about. Including the race of a crime suspect gives the public a lot more info than just an approximate height and weight, and especially what they were wearing. Or has the WNJ forgotten that people, y'know, actually change their clothes?
And if "race is such an unreliable descriptor," then why is it worthy of mention in the report about Mr. McQueen, hmm?
Simply put, the News Journal places political correctness over the public's safety. Period.
And the non-Council nominations are here!
Documentarian Ken Burns claims a friend of his attended a Tea Party meeting once, and "almost every one she met there invoked the 'n-word' about the president." Yeah -- I guess that's sort of like someone saying "some of my best friends are black." Puh-lease.
Recall that despite myriad claims that [Tea Party] protesters hurled racial epithets at black members of Congress during the ObamaCare showdown, not a single piece of audio or video evidence ever came forth to substantiate such claims (even from Jesse Jackson Jr. who had a video camera at the event). Even after Andrew Breitbart offered $10,000 for such proof. (And despite this, the MSM still reported on the supposed epithets as fact.)
Burns has recently put out a film titled "'The Central Park Five,' a documentary detailing how five innocent teens were convicted of a horrific rape which shocked the Big Apple back in 1989." Maybe Burns could next turn his docu-eye on another 1980s travesty of justice, Al Sharpton and the infamous Tawana Brawley case. Burns also claims "there wouldn't be a birther movement with a President Joe Biden in the White House." Actually, if Joe Biden had purposely sold himself as a foreign student like Boss Obama did, that claim would be inaccurate.
*Yawn* Just another day in Racerville.
Our own Dept. of Agriculture mocks Spanish-speaking immigrants who are too prideful to get on food stamps:
One of the more shocking examples is a Spanish-language telenovela produced by the Department of Agriculture. It depicts a woman who doesn’t want to get on food stamps because she feels her family can adequately provide for itself — which apparently is just silly pride, by the USDA’s reckoning. Her friends pressure her, and finally she gives in. Cue the victorious music.
As author Jillian Kay Melchior notes, "extending eligibility and promoting usage are two different things." But hey, why not? It'll sure help ensure a future Democrat Party voter, right?
It's not an entirely fair question, certainly, given the age of the franchise, but we'll try to be as even-handed as possible. Take a gander at this most-cool graphic (via Insty). In my view, the winner is Jane Seymour (at right; Solitaire from Live and Let Die). She still is seen on those commercials pitching her product line (for whatever store chain it is) and she looks fabulous. And who didn't want Owen Wilson to take advantage of her overtures in Wedding Crashers??
And the "Uh, yeah -- OKs":
A cool title I enjoyed from the late 70s will be coming back -- Time Warp, a comics collection of science fiction stories. I wrote about a few of their yarns at my old comics blog, including some of the premises which didn't make sense.
It will be put out by the Vertigo line.
Forum: The Fiscal Cliff – Let It Happen Or Grand Bargain?
It was bad enough when they had uber-loon Keith Olbermann sit in with them on the pre-game and halftime, and when they engaged in doltish PC antics. Now, Bob Costas (who I already can't stand for his condescending delivery of practically everything) decides to lecture us all about gun control:
“Our current gun culture,” [sports writer Jason] Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead."
“Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football, will be analyzed. Who knows?"
“But here,” wrote Jason Whitlock, “is what I believe: If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Because you're an idiot, Whitlock. And you too, Costas. Belcher was obviously suffering from some severe mental and emotional issues. Thinking that because he may not have had access to a gun he wouldn't have killed his girlfriend and himself is wishful thinking at best, and plain stupidity at worst. Not to mention that handguns enhance people's safety every freakin' day.
It's bad enough I tuned in to see how my second favorite football team (Eagles) was faring against "America's Team" (Cowboys) last evening. I certainly didn't need this sanctimonious garbage on a football game yet again. It's one thing for Costas to say "Looks like the gun control debate may resurface" or something to that effect, but don't f'in lecture me.
I'll never be tuning into Sunday Night Football henceforth. Who needs it. I'll just scope the constantly updating ESPN.com game schematics.
UPDATE: Idiot Whitlock ups the ante -- equates the NRA to the KKK:
You know, I did not go as far as I’d like to go because my thoughts on the NRA and America’s gun culture — I believe the NRA is the new KKK. And that the arming of so many black youths, uh, and loading up our community with drugs, and then just having an open shooting gallery, is the work of people who obviously don’t have our best interests [at heart].
A couple things: 1) Whitlock is obviously quite ignorant of history. 2) He engages in the 'ol "progressive" bigotry of low expectations by blaming the NRA ("the work of people ...") for gun violence, not those who actually engage in it. Those "black youths" are somehow merely puppets of the gun rights organization. Or something. Sheesh.
First, I admit I dig it for the sheer unbridled fun and patriotism, but anyone with a dose of moderate reality has to admit that the original Red Dawn (1984) is an unadulterated piece of excrement. And it starts right from the very beginning (literally) with what we have to accept before the attack begins:
I suppose if we can buy all of the above, then we can also accept that much of the mixed Soviet/Cuban/Nicaraguan landing forces arrived via "masqueraded" commercial jets. (Shot-down Air Force Colonel Powers Booth tell us so.) I suppose we can also buy that our presumed allies in this whole farce -- the Red Chinese, of all countries -- would just sit back and not answer the annihilation of almost half a billion of their citizens via Russian nukes. (A Wolverine: "I thought there were a billion screamin' Chinamen." Powers Booth: "There were." [Tosses whiskey on fire causing dramatic flare-up] Remember?) I'm no nuclear war strategist, but it seems to me that if China had nearly half its population incinerated, they'd have little qualms about totally retaliating against the USSR in any way possible. It's unlikely the Soviets would zap all of China's then-estimated 360 nukes, so it stands to reason the Chi-Coms would off quite a few Soviet targets in response. Not to mention a land invasion of the sparsely populated western portion of the USSR.
Alas, Booth's statement that the war was "pretty much conventional now" stands to reason. If the Soviets had managed to off much of our land-based ICBMs thus leaving only our nuclear subs, their ultimatum of "If you launch those we will utterly FINISH you" could cause US leaders to refrain from an all-out nuclear counter-offensive.
And why not? The president knows he has THE WOLVERINES defending the western half of our beloved country for him!
Uh huh. Right. Guess the best Russian and Cuban troops were fighting elsewhere.