Sunday, April 30, 2006

When Labor Unions go wrong

National Center Blog provides insight into a failure of separation of union and state:

Parents may be fined for helping their own son:
...special education laws are so complex that children need experts, not untrained parents, looking out for their rights.
Whose fault is that, then? The government's or the lawyer's union?

As Amy Ridenour points out:
The government would do better to can the laws saying people need professional help to fight the government and instead run a government people don't need to fight.

Backbroke Mountain comes to Mohammed

Al-Qaeda leader plans an Iraq army

In a video posted yesterday [29-Apr] on an Islamist website, Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, claimed that 800 “martyrdom operations” in three years had “broken the back of America in Iraq”.
In other words, suicide bombings in Iraq have been a resounding success. One would presume an intensification of the tactic would be in order.

However, al-Qaeda seems to be missing its recruiting targets for suicide bomb delivery-boys.
The gratuities are said to be other-worldly, but potential recruits are apparently beginning to notice the leadership is not having any.
The leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is attempting to set up his own mini-army and move away from individual suicide attacks to a more organised resistance movement, according to US intelligence sources.

Faced with a shortage of foreign fighters willing to undertake suicide missions, Zarqawi wants to turn his group into a more traditional force mounting co-ordinated guerrilla raids on coalition targets.
Since a pace of around 270 suicide bombings per year is proving unsustainable, Zarqawi is proposing mass suicide missions. Good luck to you, Abu.

Is this an indication that one result of the liberation of Iraq is damaged recruitment of those willing to fly planes into skyscrapers? You'd have to be at least as intelligent as Zacarias Moussaoui for that duty, and maybe anyone within one standard deviation of his IQ has already blown themselves up, or, like his mosque buddy Richard Reid, at least tried to light his shoe.

H/T Captain's Quarters

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Why John McCain should never be President

I know I've said this before, but "anybody but McCain" includes Hillary by definition.

Check the link.

Update: 8:17PM, 1-May. Good post at Likelihood of Confusion.

Semper Fi

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Michael Burghardt communicating with terrorist after close encounter of the IED kind.

Last September 19 Sergeant Michael Burghardt was on his third tour of duty in Iraq... Michael joined the Marines right out of high school. He is now a veteran Gunnery Sergeant with almost 18 years’ experience, including 15 years in bomb disposal. During his second tour he too had been awarded the Bronze Star for disabling an astonishing 64 IEDs and destroying 1,548 pieces of ordnance.

...Earlier on this day he had signed up for another three months of duty, then went about his business in the wild Tammim neighborhood in a western corner of Ramadi, a Sunni Triangle city of 400,000 west of Fallujah on the main road to Syria. Less than one Iraqi in five is a Sunni Muslim, but Saddam Hussein and his Baathist Party elite were Sunnis. Many in this tribal city were enraged at those who toppled an Iraqi dictatorship that favored them.

Burghardt regarded Ramadi as “the scariest place on Earth.”

Four American soldiers had just been ambushed and killed there, and Sergeant Burghardt, part of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team supporting the 2nd Brigade 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania Army National Guard), was ordered to help sweep the area for the kind of secondary explosives the Islamist terrorists often planted to kill soldiers reacting to a first bomb or ambush.
Read the whole story here.

H/T Dust my Broom via NealeNews

For Liberals, devious = "smart"

Or maybe it depends on what the meaning of "political sociopath" is. As a bald-faced acknowledgement of the Leninist Liberal mind this*
deserves wide attention:
...the correct liberal point of view is that high gasoline prices are actually a good thing for environmental and foreign policy reasons. Ergo, Democrats propose "legislation that would put a moratorium on the Federal gasoline tax for at least 60-days to provide consumers immediate relief at the pump,” but would also "chop oil company tax benefits and burden refineries with unwarranted reporting requirements, making it unable to win enough support in Congress to have even a remote chance of passing." This accomplishes the political goal of making the Republicans unpopular -- siding with their corporate masters to defeat a plan to lower the price of gasoline -- while also accomplishing the policy goal of not making gasoline prices lower. That, to me, deserves the label "smart."
Not that the GOP proposal of $100 refunds is any less cynically unprincipled, but this blatant Liberal amorality isn't even original - it's been Democrat strategy for 30 years. The evidence is stymied refinery construction, byzantine fuel formulation requirements**, opposition to "clean coal", prohibition of drilling for oil in the United States, going NIMBY on windfarms (see also), and refusal to allow new nuclear power plants - the construction of which even Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, now admits is a good idea.
In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.
The populist pandering by all parties on energy issues is despicable, but the award for partisan reveling in it goes to Liberals by a neck.

This link is deliberately broken. I don't want to promote traffic to that site from TOC. If you must confirm the quote, copy the URL and delete the final character.

** Ethanol mandates aided and abetted by both parties in order to please corn farmers, and to deliver corporate welfare to Archer Daniels Midland. This state of affairs is a poster child for the evils of Democracy, and tells you why the Founders established a Republic instead.

H/T OpinionJournal

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Looting as an art-form

Here's the deal. The Republicans are proposing to apply an extra tax to the oil companies, which either, a) since corporations don't pay taxes, I will end up paying or, b) will reduce the oil companies' ability to find new oil, thereby making the gas I buy more expensive.

To make up for increasing the price and/or reducing the availability of gasoline, the Feds are going to send me $100 out of what they looted from the oil companies.

After that, I will have to report it on my income tax return.

Pretty clever, don't you think? The Feds take $100 of after-tax oil company money and give it to me to be taxed again, simultaneously creating new federal jobs to administer the tax "rebate" program.

I am aware, though, that the Feds already tax me 18.4 cents on every gallon, and my state adds a 6 percent sales tax. This brings my federally mandated gasoline tax to 19.5 cents a gallon.

If the average Michigander buys 15 gallons of gas a week, at 19.5 cents tax per gallon (ignoring the 19.9 cent Michigan tax for this example), that average Michigander would save $152.13 per annum - regardless of the actual price of gasoline - if the federal tax were eliminated. And he or she would not have to pay income tax on his or her "windfall."

Elimination of the existing federal tax would also enable the elimination of the federal jobs administering that tax. Better, our average Michigander wouldn't have to pay additional income tax on money looted from others (including, by the way, shareholders and pension funds), which will reduce his or her annual share of the booty to the $70-something range.

To compensate for the convoluted way in which this GOP proposal would work, I am advocating a rider to the bill which would add oil companies to the list of approved charities.

That way, when I get the $100, I can send it to Exxon and at least get a charitable deduction.

The quality of mercy is strained the insistence that Sally Jacobsen committed no crime because she was worried someone might actually closely examine their own moral position on abortion if "confronted" with the crosses. The Cinncinnati Inquirer reports:
[Jacobsen] said she was offended by the simulated cemetery, which she considered intimidating and harmful to women who might be considering abortions. NKU's campus newspaper, the Northerner, published photos of Jacobsen dismantling part of the display.
If you have not followed this story, TOC has here and here, as only two examples out of half-a-dozen.

Jacobsen's lawyer, the eponymous Margo Grubbs, apparently failed her Constitutional Law courses:
Jacobsen will plead not guilty, Grubbs said. Grubbs said the dismantling of the display doesn't amount to a criminal act.

"The intent was just an expression of freedom of speech," Grubbs said. "She saw harm coming from it, and she was just expressing her attitude towards the harm."
Who gives a rat's ass what Jacobsen's intent was? If that excuse worked, then - "I didn't mean to kill him, I was just upset." should, too.

Throw the book at her. She can write a feminist manifesto, an apology for the arrogant presumption that she is qualified to think for others, and an analysis of the First Amendment while she's in Martha Stewart's old cell.

In Los Angeles, if the crime was tearing down illegal immigrant support posters in a gay bar, the Feds would be issuing charges under Civil Rights/hate crime statutes.

Where do these people get the idea that they possess moral and intellectual superiority sufficient to place them outside the law? I guess it's comparable to tenure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Head is flat

The title above refers to one Thomas L. Freidman, who has recently written a novel length yawner entitled The World Is Flat, wherein he reveals that communications technologies are opening new opportunities, that China is a rising economic power and that India is investing in technology.

Mr. Freidman's day job is writing OpEds for the New York Times. You can find him here, but I warn you in advance that the Times wants you to pay for the privilege of actually reading his work. I suggest you settle for merely basking in the glow of his countenance on the soul sucker registration page.

I am allergic to the NYT but, courtesy of a friend of stouter constitution, I can give you a peek into the foreign policy regions of Mr.
Freidman's gray matter - or maybe that should be the gray regions constituting Freidman's foreign policy natters. Whatever.

In a recent column he reveals some of his own thinking ("his own", since nothing in The World is Flat could have been described as original even 10 years ago).

In an April 19th NYT OpEd, Mr. Freidman presented his arguments on the issue of Iran's immam-inent nuclearization:
Iraq II or a Nuclear Iran?

If these are our only choices, which would you rather have: a nuclear-armed Iran or an attack on Iran’s nuclear sites that is carried out and sold to the world by the Bush national security team, with Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon’s helm?

I’d rather live with a nuclear Iran.
Left entirely unexplored are the options of UN intervention, European Union diplomacy, and what might happen to small spheres of ice being air-dropped by pigs into the Inner Ring of the Seventh Circle.

Here is an example of what Mr. Freidman's preference entails.

H/T P.M.

The Mike Adams action figure ;)

I hadn't read Dr. Adams before. I think I will look for him now.

I don't wish to spoil your enjoyment of a few of his sayings, but here are two teasers:
“When I talk to liberals, I don’t expect them to understand my positions on various issues. I spend most of my time trying to help them understand their own.”

“Over the last couple of years, I’ve been tying to see things from a liberal perspective. Unfortunately, I can’t get my head that far up my ass. I guess it takes a lot of flexibility to be a liberal. It also takes a considerable lack of backbone.”
Worth reading the rest.

The cost of free health care

From the Fraser Institute. The link below permits you to read the whole thing:
Total Tax Bill for the Average Canadian Family has Increased 1,600 Percent Since 1961

The total tax bill of the average Canadian family has increased by 1,600 percent since 1961, according to a new book, Tax Facts 14, released today by The Fraser Institute. That translated into an additional $26,792 in taxes for the average Canadian family.

Canadians’ total tax bill now accounts for more of the family budget than shelter, food, and clothing combined. In contrast to the jump in taxes, expenditures on shelter increased by 1,006 percent, food by 481 percent and clothing by 439 percent over the same period.
The other cost of "free" health care is rationing; as Small Dead Animlas has been documenting, here
The family of a 57-year-old Meath Park woman says it will take at least three months before their mother gets to see a Saskatchewan oncologist who can tell her if her cancer is treatable or fatal.
and here.
18 month old Paige Hansen is currently in a hospital in Edmonton. Her family finally decided Thursday to seek help elsewhere (doing so without "permission" from SaskHealth, and therefore at their own expense) after waiting three weeks for diagnosis of her pain in Saskatoon. The child was "screaming every waking minute", and had stopped walking 6 days earlier. In the meantime, they were advised to give her children's Tylenol.

According to a family member being interviewed, the care they received in Edmonton began immediately, testing was done during the first night there. This morning they have a preliminary diagnosis of leukemia.
SaskHealth is the Province of Saskatchewan's monopoly. Saskatchewan is run by socialists - literally. Edmonton is in Alberta. It's like this: If you lived in Toledo your health"insurance" wouldn't pay for treatment in Ann Arbor even if all the hospitals in Ohio were refusing patients.

Supply and demand can be regulated fairly by markets; they cannot be fairly regulated by government.

Artificial limitation of supply to control prices never works. From price caps on gasoline in the 70's that produced interminable gas lineups, to 3 month waits to find out if your cancer is (now going to be?) fatal: This is your government, and it's here to get re-elected by appealing to your ignorance and gullibility.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Jennifer Granholm is a fool

She's not the only one of course, Sen. Carl Levin is right there, talking about "extreme, obscene profits," and he's joined by such GOP luminaries as Sen. Arlen Specter who said a "windfall" profits tax is "something worth considering".

Granholm, however, has taken to the bully pulpit by establishing a Website where you can sign up to lobby George Bush
for additional taxation on oil companies. Since she does not yet recognize that "high paying manufacturing jobs" has become an oxymoron, and is demonstrably ignorant of the fact that you pay the gasoline taxes, not the oil companies, this populist stupidity is no great surpise.

Since our Governor is asking us to sign up to add cost to the production of gasoline and/or to reduce the development of new sources, and her party is already primarily responsible for restricting domestic supply, a reasonable question might then be; what are the components of gasoline prices that the government already controls and how well do they do that?

State taxes in the U.S. average about 21 cents a gallon, while federal excise taxes are 18.4 cents a gallon. In Michigan the tax, if gasoline were given away by the oil companies, would about 40.5 cents a gallon (19.874 cents state excise tax + 18.4 cents federal excise tax, plus 6% sales Michigan sales tax on tax). Michigan also receives sales tax revenue on the actual product price which, of course, increases with that price. Talk about windfalls.

At a 9% margin, oil companies receive about 22 cents per gallon. Whose profits are obscene?

Since 1977, the obscene government profits were $1.34 trillion (that's a "T") while industry profits were $643 billion.

OK, you might say, but what have oil companies done for me lately?

Well, first ask what government has done for you lately, and then recognize that oil companies have to live in a world of cyclical commodity prices. When oil was cheap in 1986, for example, the oil companies' profit was $9 billion, but the government still got $41.5 billion in taxes. Nobody was screaming about saving the oil industry by cutting gasoline taxes and giving them the proceeds.

Once we start deciding that some particular industry has "excess" profits, what's to stop us from deciding what "reasonable" profits are for all industries? The oil industry's margins trail those of banking, financial services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and computer software. Why are those industries' profits not under threat of confiscation?

Someone should ask Senator Levin what he thinks would be reasonable profits, since once he starts regulating oil profits, that number will tell you something about the severity of the shortages he would cause.

We refuse to allow drilling in areas with proven reserves (like ANWR and off the Florida coast), so why would an oil company explore in the US for new domestic sources?

We refuse to build nuclear or coal fired electrical generation. This is forcing us to use natural gas to make electricity. Guess where natural gas comes from.

We've prohibited the building of any new refineries for almost 30 years. Our Byzantine regulation of gasoline formulation is responsible for a spike in prices every spring, because there is no capacity to produce the new formulations in advance and no place to store enough of it if the production capacity existed.

We're fools for allowing this to go on. And if the fools signing Granholm's petition are successful, gasoline will be as expensive as it can possibly get - you won't be able to buy any at all.

Update 7:40PM. Long, but a very good explanation of gasoline and market forces. OILY POLITICS


Sunday, April 23, 2006

If Fred Phelps and the Westboro Church got a nuke...

...then the American left would be less likely to advocate appeasement in a general sense.

Not that I wouldn't agree that Phelps is scary, but as it is, the only person
soon to be leading a nuclear weapon enabled theocracy is that wild-and-crazy Iranian - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For our more progressive thinkers, this prospect is not quite so worthy of condemnation as is some wingnut in Kansas making noise about a church-state merger based on foaming at the mouth homophobia. Homophobia being the common thread connecting fundamentalists in Topeka with those in Teheran, Phelps' people could use some help from their Islamofascist counterparts in the protocol for throwing gays off of buildings when there is not a wall handy that can be collapsed on them.

Since discussing separation of church and state with such a party animal as
Ahmadinejad (you did catch the dancers at his centrifuge success announcement ceremony supposedly carrying canisters of uranium hexaflouride?) would be imposing Western values at the risk of damaging Iranian self esteem, our left is advising diplomacy. You know, keep Cheney away from shotguns and make sure we get our EU allies on side... oh, right, that didn't work.

So, we're still dithering with our buddies the Russians for UN Security Council help, while they (the Russians) are selling uranium enrichment and air defense missile systems to the mullahs in Teheran. The condemnation from the EUnics has risen to a barely audible reprise of Dhimmi Carter's, "tut, tut."

The only good news is that if Dubya was right about being able to trust Putin, then the Russians are also selling us the codes to jam the air-defense systems they're selling to Iran. Russian capitalism having progressed to the Al Capone stage, we can expect demand for continuing protection payments against both the US and Iran.

Mark Steyn wrote a long piece on this
in City Journal, and more Mark Steyn is better than less. I recommend you read it in full, but here's an excerpt:
Back when nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, your average Western progressive was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute. The mushroom cloud was one of the most familiar images in the culture, a recurring feature of novels and album covers and movie posters. There were bestselling dystopian picture books for children, in which the handful of survivors spent their last days walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now a state openly committed to the annihilation of a neighboring nation has nukes, and we shrug: Can’t be helped. Just the way things are. One hears sophisticated arguments that perhaps the best thing is to let everyone get ’em, and then no one will use them. And if Iran’s head of state happens to threaten to wipe Israel off the map, we should understand that this is a rhetorical stylistic device that’s part of the Persian oral narrative tradition, and it would be a grossly Eurocentric misinterpretation to take it literally.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Universal Health Care Update

I mentioned this SDA post on Thursday.

I bumped it to remind you to read the comments: Canadians discuss Canadian Health Care.

Thanks, and sympathy, to Canada

From the Prime Minister's Office:
Statement by Prime Minister Harper on the death of four Canadian soldiers
April 22, 2006
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today, upon learning four Canadian soldiers were killed when their armoured G-Wagon was struck by a roadside bomb near the Gumbad platoon house at about 7:30 a.m. Kandahar time this morning.

“This morning, I learned that four Canadian soldiers had made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. They were Corporal Matthew Dinning, Bombardier Myles Mansell, Lieutenant William Turner and a forth soldier whose family has requested he not yet be named. All died serving their country.

“These men were working to bring security, democracy, self-sufficiency and prosperity to the Afghan people and to protect Canadians' national and collective security. We will not forget their selfless contribution to Canada.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend our deepest condolences to the families, friends, and co-workers of these four brave men. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

“Canada’s mission in Afghanistan faces significant risks such as this daily. I am proud of the work that is being done there, and the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to do it.”
See also:
Protecting Canadians
Rebuilding Afghanistan

And Recruits flock to join military (H/T Nealenews)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Universal Health Care

The result.

That's why it's called

There are a few other more personal notes in the Barbara Walters interview with Jane Fonda on PBS. Ted Turner's first words on his first date with Fonda are a little bizarre: "We got in the car. His first words to me was, ‘some of my best friends are communists. I’m thinking, ‘did he say that because he thinks I’m a communist, and it won’t get in the way’?" He named Gorbachev and Castro as his close friends.

Votruba: Issue threatened NKU

Since Professor Sally Jacobsen had already planned to retire next month, Northern Kentucky University's President James Votruba is showing compassion and loyalty (and probably avoiding a legal quagmire) by only suspending her with pay. Since criminal charges seem likely, he does not need to visit significant private punishment anyway.

He seems to understand that handling this issue fairly is about serving his customers - the students - and this makes him a rarity. He'd never last at Harvard and, in many ways, that makes NKU the better university.
Northern Kentucky University's very essence as a university was jeopardized by a professor's role in the destruction of a campus right-to-life display, said NKU President James Votruba.

...On Monday, Votruba placed Professor Sally Jacobsen on leave for "leading her students in the destruction of an approved student organization display" - nearly 400 crosses that had been erected last week by a campus right-to-life group. Jacobsen previously had decided to retire after this semester ends next month. The incident received national publicity. Votruba said it put the status of the university as a center for free expression at risk.

"It jeopardized the university in the sense that anything that has the potential of politicizing the campus puts it at risk," the NKU president said Wednesday. "If anything suggests that the university is not a place in which ideas are allowed to stand or fall on their merits, then you're not a university."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

1.5 cheers for Northern Kentucky University President James Vortuba

Some people have written to President Vortuba in support of Professor Sally Jacobsen, and he is now waffling on an earlier statement of impending discipline.
...NKU President James Votruba said that he has received e-mails from former students who have told him how important Jacobsen was to them. "She's been very important to many students on this campus," he said. "You don't judge a career on a single incident in the last two weeks. You don't judge Sally or anyone else like that." Votruba also said he understood "we all have moments in our lives that we'd like to replay."
Former students of the person who urged her current students to commit a felony are not the voices to which I would pay first heed. She taught them, and they found her ideas important; so how likely is it they have the balanced grasp of First Amendment principles (vs. Ms Jacobsens's feelings) that would lend any weight to their opinions in this case?

One thing that is in Sally Jacobsen's favor is that she has apologized for inciting her current students to criminal behavior. an e-mail dated April 18, Jacobsen wrote to students whom she invited to join the demonstration. "I want to do everything I can to keep any of you from being specifically named," she said. "And I am very sorry I got you involved in this."

Jacobsen also apologized in a television interview. She expressed her regret for including students and voiced her concern for the welfare of those students.
Being sorry she got others into trouble is an appropriate reaction, even if her own e-mail defeated her intent by identifying her co-conspirators. However, she should also have been apologizing for her totalitarian arrogance. Until she does, no pleas from former students matter much. That there is honor among vandals does little for the rest of us.

Jacobsen has not apologized for her presumption that her own feelings supersede the First Amendment. That she's sorry anybody was/might be caught is irrelevant - she still apparently believes she has the right to stifle the free speech of others, and is dispensing advice on how to get away with it.
Jacobsen also informed the students of the current investigation by the Northern Kentucky University Police Department. "In the meantime, the campus police continue their investigation," she said. "If you have not yet been interrogated, you do not have to talk to them without an attorney. You can make it hard to find you. Again, I am so sorry."
The offense Jacobsen is apologizing for is an abuse of power, she should be apologizing for abuses of principle.

Congress takes note

Since the Associated Press informed Congress yesterday that some schools are applying affirmative action principles cheating on "No Child Left Behind" test scoring, they've decided they have to intervene.

Right. Wonderful. That's how we got here in the first place.
Lawmakers who helped pass the law in 2001 said the system that [they set up] allows states to get exemptions to exclude large numbers of test scores from the required racial categories needs to be addressed.
Emphasis mine.
Former Bush Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, who now serves on a private commission studying the law, issued a joint statement with his co-leader of the commission calling the AP's findings alarming.

"If the goal of the No Child Left Behind Act is to ensure that all children meet state standards, then allowing large numbers of the most disadvantaged children to fall between the cracks is unacceptable," Thompson said with commission co-chairman Roy Barnes.
Tommy, you are old enough to know that the goal of the program was not to ensure any such thing, so a process that further disadvantages children should come as no surprise.

Teddy needs the money. Bush needs the statistics. The result of this wedding of state socialism with clueless compassionate conservatism was predictable.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

States Omitting Minorities' Test Scores

This demonstrates 2 things:

1- That affirmative action, with which this practice is philosophically and morally congruent, is inherently racist.

2- That centralized command-and-control should have ended with the Soviet Union.

Make that 3 things:

3- That, with the sole exception of the war on terror, George Bush and Ted Kennedy (co-progenitors of NCLB) are indistinguishable in any politically significant way.

Destruction is not free speech

Indeed it is not.

The vandalism that NKU Professor Sally Jacobsen aided and abetted nicely encapsulates the philosophically bankrupt isolation of most American campuses, and d
espite The Cinncinnati Enquirer's optimism, her ignorance is incurable because it would necessarily be feigned. Willful ignorance is something more serious than simply never having been exposed to fundamental ideas about liberty.

Jacobsen, we must presume, is highly educated. Ignorance does not enter into it. She deliberately and flagrantly placed her personal feeling above the rights of others to speak. She is a totalitarian, not an ignoramus. Instead of "she has much to learn", say rather that she has much to forget - the majority of which is gender feminist indoctrination - a mind-crippling crime she has also committed: against her own students.

When speech rights are denied, what matter any others? They will surely be destroyed in their turn. Without speech rights we would never have seen the principle expressed in Roe v. Wade - Jacobsen's apparent mantra.

She believes that she has rights and that others do not; if such rights offend her feelings. It would be snide to point out that an abortion on demand argument requires such a belief, so I will point it out.
Northern Kentucky University professor Sally Jacobsen overstepped her own rights and arrogantly stomped on the First Amendment rights of others when she invited students in her class to demolish an approved anti-abortion display on campus.

As a teacher she has much to learn.

Her own "outrage" at a display she found offensive pales beside the outrage students, college staff and the rest of us should feel at her behavior. What she called a "silly display" is symbolic speech clearly protected by the U.S. Constitution, as precious as any other right Jacobsen might say she was advocating for.

She said she was offended by the display. So what? Does she think she has the right to obliterate someone else's expression just because it offends her? Would she deface a painting she didn't care for? Smash a statue she didn't like? Burn books in the library if she disagreed with them?
Yes. Yes. Yes. And, yes. She has said so: "Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it." These are all "silly displays" relative to Jacobsen's utter arrogance.
The display of 400 crosses represented a cemetery of aborted fetuses. Jacobsen said it was dismantled by nine of her graduate students, and she acknowledged inviting them to destroy it. She would neither confirm nor deny that she took part in the activity.
I can understand the desire to distance herself from the crime, but since there are photographs of her participation, we can be confidence that she is a cowardly hypocrite. "I invited my students to destroy the crosses, but I do not share the courage of their convictions."

A principled professor would say: "It doesn't matter whether I did or did not. I accept full responsibility for the actions I encouraged my mind-numbed robots students to take."
Destroying such a display is a foolhardy and incendiary act for anyone, but even more so for a tenured professor at a university. Intellectual freedom of thought and expression is not only the foundation of our democratic society, but a cornerstone of institutions of higher learning as well.
Ms. Jacobsen cares not one whit for intellectual freedom of thought or she'd have been teaching it.
It is unthinkable that, rather than using a provocative and controversial display as a tool for debate and discussion, Jacobsen's instinct was to destroy the "provocation" and stifle free expression.
Unfortunately, it is entirely thinkable. Have you seen The Ohio State University's Star Chamber vs. Scott Savage?
But even beyond unprofessional behavior, demolishing the display appears to be a criminal act. Anyone convicted of taking part in it or abetting it should be prosecuted.
The students could plead ignorance, and any professor worth a pinch would stand up and take all responsibility.
This was not a protest in support of enlightened thinking. This was a threat to it.

In the end, the display, erected by a student Right to Life group with official permission, will be a silent reminder of more than one right and more than one cause. As such it serves as a particularly powerful - if embarrassing - teaching opportunity.

We hope NKU officials will take firm action on this issue.

They must question a faculty member's dedication to free thought and intellectual discourse if she destroys, rather than wisely employs, controversial displays as learning opportunities for NKU students.

And, clearly, they must intercede in the strongest way if a professor illegally obstructs students' First Amendment rights and encourages her students to join her in the endeavor.

If Jacobsen helped destroy the display, she deserves to face criminal charges.

For her crass disregard for free speech and self-righteous disdain for opinions she opposes, she deserves to lose her position on the NKU staff.

Her ignorance is correctable. Her arrogance deserves a harsher fate.
Her arrogance deserves the fate the Enquirer suggests. As I've pointed out, her ignorance is not correctable. I know of no Orwell inspired intervention groups.

Update 9:13PM, the whole thing is at Protein Wisdom, but here's an excerpt:
I applaud the actions taken by the University to this point. But I think it would be extra special swell if, before she “retires,” Professor Jacobsen—along with her entire band of “free-speech” vandals—would be forced, in lieu of criminal prosecution, to attend a series of cultural sensitivity seminars.

Those are big on campus these days, from what I understand.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Two Cheers for Northern Kentucky University President James Vortuba

The third comes when Professor Sally Jacobsen is canned (her confession and the photographic record appear conclusive regarding guilt). Note: that word has has two 'n''s, though if individual anger is sufficient justification for equating vandalism with free speech; well, then, she'd be the first to tell you she owns her own body.

From Cincinnatti's Channel 5.
University President James Votruba said any evidence of criminal activity would be turned over to prosecutors. Votruba said he also was investigating Jacobsen's alleged involvement in the destruction of the crosses.

"I don't know if she was pulling up the crosses, but I think she was out there with the students. If so, as far as I'm concerned, she went outside the conditions of her employment," Votruba said.

Taxes due today

IRS Commercial

1-[Long view of fortress-like, soot-streaked concrete building (think a Batman movie set in Pittsburgh). Zooming in, we see large gold letters cut into the facade:
Internal Revenue Service
which are being lovingly burnished by a person who just might be an illegal immigrant.]

2-[Pan and continue zoom to entrance - massive (10 feet by 12 feet) double doors of iron reinforced oak. Dissolve to building interior where an IRS seal floats, holographically insistent, visible from all angles, but flickering like a neon sign just beginning to fail (think Max Headroom): "Our motto: Service plus enforcement equals compliance."]

3-[Zooming out, we see dozens of burly men dressed in black carrying battle-axes and large leather sacks (cf. Hagar the Horrible) roughly shoving ordinary men and women hither and yon through a vast echoing space that is a collage of gleaming dark granite and pristine brass - lit by gas lamps, lending a flickering sense of Dante.]

4-[Scroll text plus voiceover.]
Half of the taxes in the United States are paid by 5% of income earners.

Two-thirds of the taxes in the United States are paid by the top 10% of earners.

Almost all the taxes, ninety-six percent, are extracted from the earnings of the top 50%.
----Note to casting, can we get Tom Daschle for the voice? He's not doing anything.

5-[Dissolve to plush office with painfully bright lighting, where an audit is obviously just completing. Shaken taxpayer is helped to his feet by one of the burly men and ushered out a side door clutching a raft of papers of all sizes to his chest. He drops a few in his confusion and despair.]

6-[Pan and zoom to office occupant - a florid, overweight, white-haired man with a heavy Massachusetts accent and a decided air of dissipation. He speaks, accompanied by a small lear showing a hint of yellowed teeth:]
What's in your wallet?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sally Jacobsen update


Update 6:14PM

Normally I place updates following my posts, but these are too good for that.

Read "Vigilante Censorship Alive and Well in Kentucky" at Protein Wisdom:
I write quite frequently here about how the tenets of classical western liberalism, particularly freedom of speech and assembly, have been bastardized in the humanities and social sciences of many modern “progressive” universities—and about how the subversion and re-signification of these concepts into their near opposites (free speech is now “free” only when confined to a designated space in the commons, and groups that gather willingly to express certain political views are considered “threatening” or “intimidating” or “intolerant” to those with competing views, and therefore must be broken up) are helping to promote an idea of “tolerance” that would find itself quite at home among history’s totalitarian regimes, where behavior is often controlled by an effort to control and delegitimize thought.

In an effort to show that I’m not overstating the case (this new paradigm for personal freedoms is, according to many on the progressive left who like to paint me as reactionary and paranoid, as toothless a constraint on liberty as dishonest criticism of the war is on public perception), I’ve been pointing out instances of such abuses, along with the rationale offered for them, courtesy of FIRE.
and FIRE's The Torch
After nearly five years of dealing with all the terrible and often absurd abuses of free speech in higher education, I am a hard person to shock, but hats off to professor Sally Jacobsen of Northern Kentucky University (NKU) for showing me the most perverted inversion of the concept of free speech I have seen in a long time.

Jacobsen, a professor at NKU, invited students in one of her classes to “to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy [an anti-abortion] display if they wished to.” The anti-abortion display had been erected by an NKU student group with permission from university officials. You can see a picture of her apparently actually helping destroy the display (which was a field of approximately 400 tiny crosses) in The Northerner On Line.

George Orwell’s name is bandied about a lot these days, but cases like this demonstrate why: a university professor is trying to claim destruction of others’ property and expression equals free speech? That’s madness.
Here's the professor personally destroying property in "defense" of free expression.

More pictures here. A criminal case against her seems like a slam dunk, since Jacobsen has also admitted her moral involvement while obfuscating her direct participation:
Sally Jacobsen, a longtime professor in NKU's literature and language department, said the display was dismantled by about nine students in one of her graduate-level classes.

"I did, outside of class during the break, invite students to express their freedom-of-speech rights to destroy the display if they wished to," Jacobsen said.

Asked whether she participated in pulling up the crosses, the professor said, "I have no comment." [I guess this is irrelvant since we have photos of her doing it and also indicative she doesn't actually possess the angst of her prejudices.]

She said she was infuriated by the display, which she saw as intimidating and a "slap in the face" to women who might be making "the agonizing and very private decision to have an abortion."

Jacobsen said it originally wasn't clear who had placed the crosses on campus. [So?]

She said that could make it appear that NKU endorsed the message. [A) "Endorsed" or not, the signs were legal. B) When did Ms Jacobsen become the sole administratrix of NKU?]

Pulling up the crosses was similar to citizens taking down Nazi displays on Fountain Square, she said. [Obligatory NAZI reference in defense of NAZI-like behaviour.]

"Any violence perpetrated against that silly display was minor compared to how I felt when I saw it. Some of my students felt the same way, just outraged," Jacobsen said.
Emphasis, mine. Excuse for irrational behavior, Ms Jacobsen's.

The group that had placed the crosses is pressing charges.

It will be interesting to see if Ms Jacobsen can retain her job. Never mind the documented felony. Her lack of understanding of what free speech means in this country, combined with a profound failure in judgment, brings her competence into question.

Bill Hobbs has resigned from his job at Belmont University for posting a Mohammed cartoon on a private blog.

Ms Jacobsen aided and abetted a felony as part of her teaching duties. She hasn't even apologized.

since Jacobsen is Interim Director of Women's Studies at NKU, don't miss NKU's Women's Studies home page, where felonious property destruction is not even mentioned:
Northern Kentucky University's Women's Studies Program offers an undergraduate minor. Through a cohesive curriculum exploring feminism, feminist theory, and social and political issues surrounding race, ethnicity and gender, the WMS Program introduces students to the history of women; their social, cultural and scientific contributions; as well as stressing the importance of social responsibility, activism, and community outreach. The program supports and sponsors both on and off campus events relevant to women's social, cultural and political issues with a strong sense of commitment to women in the metropolitan region.
... though perhaps it should be. Professor Jacobsen spoke at a conference in 2003 titled "Moral Education in a Diverse Society". Her session was Teaching Civic Responsibility in Women’s Studies. Apparently, she didn't intend this to be done by example.

Feminist theory and feminist activism have gained a new historical footnote via the actions of Professor Jacobsen.

Michelle Malkin
Pro-Life Blogs

Taliban Man and God at Yale

Power Line publishes letters to Yale that utterly devastate Yale's relativist and disingenuous defense of its admission of Taliban Ambassador, and GED holder candidate, Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi.

That he should not even be employed to clean the Yale latrines, much less matriculate, is obvious unless you are a Yale decision maker.

Read it all

Climate of fear update

Vanity Fair magazine (as in Bonfire of the) recently published a hit piece on
Frederick Seitz. Nick Shulz comments at TechCentral Station:
Frederick Seitz, the former president of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and the former President of Rockefeller University, the highly regarded New York-based research institute. Seitz is emeritus professor at Rockefeller

...the magazine is trying to blacken permanently the reputation of Seitz, one of America's highly regarded scientists, for not toeing the fashionable line on global warming.

...What's strange is that the NASA scientist Jim Hansen -- most famous of late for claiming he has been muzzled by the Bush administration for raising his concerns about climate change -- would participate in the attack on Seitz. Hansen participated in a press conference this week with Hertsgaard and activists from a green group during which they announced the startling "revelation" about Seitz. When a noted government scientist participates in the sort of character assassination attempted on Dr. Seitz, something is truly rotten in the state of American science.
Vanity Fair's attempt to vilify
Frederick Seitz is what you might expect from a magazine that breathlessly promotes such gurus as Julia Roberts, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Daryl Hannah, Martin Short, and Bette Midler - who among them possess a single B.A. (University of Wisconsin-Superior) in international marketing of fitness and business administration - as environmental policy experts.

The Other Club post, The heat goes on, mentioned another distinguished scientist's comment regarding ad-hominem attacks on scientists who disagree with statist conventional wisdom that "Global Warming is a more serious threat than terrorism."

These celebrities are certainly entitled to hold such opinions, but that Vanity Fair thinks anybody should care is indicative that Vanity Fair is aptly named, and a sad comment on its readers' intelligence.

H/T Amy Ridenour

Noam Chomsky

The Other Club often uses Noam Chomsky as a bad example. In case you are unfamilair with his perfidy, here are some references:

The Top 100 Chomsky Lies

Diary of an anti-Chomskyite

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Campus capers

Free Speech And Employment

Let us follow the stories of Bill Hobbs and Sally Jacobsen and Scott Savage.

Their offenses seem to predict unfortunate outcomes in all three cases.

Outsourcing immigration control

Mark Steyn analyzes immigration issues. Our government appears to be the biggest problem.

No easy answers on immigration conundrum
All developed countries have immigration issues, but few conduct the entire debate as disingenuously as America does: The president himself has contributed a whole barrelful of weaselly platitudes, beginning with his line that "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande." True. They don't stop at the 49th parallel either. Or the Atlantic shore. Or the Pacific. So where do family values stop? At the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you're an American and you marry a Canadian or Belgian or Fijian, the U.S. government can take years to process what's supposed to be a non-discretionary immigration application, in the course of which your spouse will be dependent on various transitional-status forms like "advance parole" that leave her vulnerable to the whims of the many eccentric interpreters of U.S. immigration law at the nation's airports and land borders.
Read the whole thing.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Betty Crocker had better keep her head down

Read this, and then come back.

I noted on The Other Club's first anniversary that the largest minority of posts had involved free speech issues. There was no plan for this, but I think I understand how it happened to unfold that way.

Statists of all stripes autonomically target free speech. Totalitarian minds go after that first. The vast majority of perpetrators lean far to the left and very, very often are gender-feminists. Issues surrounding free speech arise frequently on campuses, perhaps the only redoubt left to the gender-feminists. The irony is that this happens because the Universities are claiming to preserve freedom of speech.

What passes for a liberal education today - mocking of western civilization in favor of overarching cultural relativism, political correctness and statist bias - is not worth lamenting. Fix it or let it die, but as it stands it is a cruel joke.

The anecdotal evidence presented above at The Midwest Conservative Journal, when piled up with the constant din of issues like Larry Summers at Harvard, or Taliban ambassadors with (maybe) GEDs being admitted to Yale, or the tolerance of Ward Churchill by Colorado, or Juan Cole at the University of Michigan, or Noam Chomsky's infamous career - simply provide other data points.

On Churchill and academic free speech I will say this: If
Pons and Fleischmann can be disgraced for faking cold fusion, why is Churchill immune regarding lying on his resume? I don't care if the lie is about having created technology for cold fusion or about being Amerind - free speech does not cover it. There is no public obligation to finance either lie. I guess hard science is just that.

The point is that our public universities are so far out of touch with reality that we have professors like Sally Jacobsen convinced that their personal beliefs are sufficient to trump the free speech rights of others, using graduate students as agents in a felony, because of their personal anger. This is, in fact, morally equivalent to Islamofascism. A connection The Other Club has noted in the past. A few examples:

Iran: Killing the Victim
Feminism & Jihad
And, of course Ms Della Sentilles as the poster child for just about everything that's wrong with today's universities.

I recall a professor I know who, when asked by his university's Women's Studies program to recommend a book for their reading list, suggested "The Betty Crocker Cookbook."

Good thing he wasn't working at Ohio State.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The heat goes on

Richard Lindzen is Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT.

He has these comments regarding the Climate of Fear.
...lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

...To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let's start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased by about 30% over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming. These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man's responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn't just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.

So how is it that we don't have more scientists speaking up about this junk science? It's my belief that many scientists have been cowed not merely by money but by fear. An example: Earlier this year, Texas Rep. Joe Barton issued letters to paleoclimatologist Michael Mann and some of his co-authors seeking the details behind a taxpayer-funded analysis that claimed the 1990s were likely the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the last millennium. Mr. Barton's concern was based on the fact that the IPCC had singled out Mr. Mann's work as a means to encourage policy makers to take action. And they did so before his work could be replicated and tested--a task made difficult because Mr. Mann, a key IPCC author, had refused to release the details for analysis. The scientific community's defense of Mr. Mann was, nonetheless, immediate and harsh. The president of the National Academy of Sciences--as well as the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union--formally protested, saying that Rep. Barton's singling out of a scientist's work smacked of intimidation.
Mann is responsible for the famous "hockey stick" graph.

Please note that Mann's continued refusal to share his methods, in order that they may be subjected to independent verification, means his conclusions can't even be called science. Does anyone remember Pons and Fleischmann's "cold fusion?" Even though they likely were attempting a hoax, this pair published their technique so others could attempt to replicate it. Otherwise, it would have been regarded as just junk.

H/T Everything I know is wrong

"Support more illegal immigration" protest update

Ann Coulter: Brown is the new black
Consider this e-mail from Michele Waslin, La Raza's director of Immigration Policy Research, to her members denouncing Sen. Lamar Alexander's proposal to provide government grants to immigrants who want to learn English and American history and to organizations offering those courses. (I'd be happy with a law that simply trained new immigrants not to be "offended" all the time.)

Even though this potentially meant free money for La Raza, Waslin – of the Guadalajara Waslins – ominously warned that while the amendment "doesn't overtly mention assimilation, it is very strong on the patriotism and traditional American values language in a way which is potentially dangerous to our communities."

Meanwhile, Americans aren't allowed to consider whether millions of immigrants refusing to learn English and American history is "potentially dangerous to our communities."
Peggy Noonan: At the Immigration Rally
I love immigrants. That's not important or relevant, but it's where I start... I love them because they are brave. They left their country and struggled their way to this one to get a better life. (It's good to remember that that's not an insult to us but a compliment. They're saying: Your way is better.) I love immigrants because they make themselves lonely for their children. They go to a place where few share their language, their memories, their references. They do this so their children will have a greater chance at happiness. I love immigrants because they invest in the future with the biggest thing they can invest with: their life.

...Does my feeling for immigrants, and my afternoon at the march, leave me supporting open borders, or illegal immigration? No. Why should it? To love immigrants is not to believe America has no right to decide who can come to America and become a citizen. America has always decided who comes here. That's why it all worked.

While the marchers seemed to be good people, and were very likable, the march itself, I think, violated the old immigrant politesse--the general understanding that you're not supposed to get here and immediately start making demands. It would never have occurred to my grandparents to demand respect. They thought they had to earn it. It would never have occurred to them to air mass grievances, assert rights, issue a list of legislative demands. Especially if they were here unlawfully.

I happen to think America in general has deep affection for immigrants, knows they are part of the dynamic, a part of our growth and our endless coming-into-being. But when your heart is soft, and America's is, your head must be hard.

We are a sovereign nation operating under the rule of law. That, in fact, is why many immigrants come here. They come from places where the law, such as it is, is corrupt, malleable, limiting. Does it make sense to subvert our own laws to facilitate the entrance of those in pursuit of government by law? Whatever our sentiments and sympathies as individuals, America has the right, and the responsibility, to protect the integrity of its borders, to make the laws by which immigrants are granted entrance, and to enforce those laws.
Click the links to read the whole things.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

"Popetown" will be coming to MTV near you

MTV to broadcast pogo-sticking pope
Full-page advertisements show a grinning man with a crown of thorns sitting in an easy chair in front of a cross. The advert bears the slogan "Laugh instead of hanging around."
I wonder when we'll see Islamic protests over disrespect to another of their prophets?

For myself, I'm going to wait for the full comparative religion series;
"Muhammedville", "Buddhaberg", "Hymietown" and "Brahmacity" to be released on DVD.

Until then, I think I'll maintain my perfect record of never having seen MTV in any country.

Original here

Premature work stoppage has negative consequence

Immigrants' firing leads to protest

Though they were willing to skip a half day of work to join a protest supporting amnesty for illegal aliens on March 27th, and despite being warned not to (which they dispute), these particular people were apparently not planning on participating in the national work stoppage being planned for May Day by American Communists*.

In any case, they'll be free to participate now without any stoppage of work.

*"Communist" is not hyberole here, it is simply an accurate description of one of the major organizers of the "support continued illegal immigration" protests. See this Washington Times
article and/or yesterday's post.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Clod war begins

The article being discussed is linked above.

Communist organizers of some of the protests in support of illegal aliens have called for a national work stoppage.

Great idea. "Illegals of the World, UNITE!"

The United States provides the jobs these people claim as their right, but the idea is to destroy that capability.
The boycott, according to the coalition, means no work, no school, no shopping, buying or business as usual.
And, it goes without saying; no welfare, no medical care, no emergency services, no selling of anything to illegals and massive arrests of anybody driving without a license - or marching in a protest while criminally present in the United States.

Followed by swift deportation to France of said illegitimati and two-thirds of the Senate. Kerry first.

H/T Paladin

Monday, April 10, 2006

Global whatever

From The Daily Telegraph
There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998
By Bob Carter

For many years now, human-caused climate change has been viewed as a large and urgent problem. In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco. Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero).

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate.

Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth's recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn't seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated - ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible?
Read the whole thing.

The Iraqi Air Force requested a list of volunteers for suicide attackers on American interests

Well, you'd think this would have appeared in a newspaper by now, and you'd think it would be a fairly big story. I haven't seen it in the PNB, though.

We can thank Captain's Quarters for publicizing it, and obtaining confirmaing translations from independent sources. For anyone who hasn't seen it yet click here:
Saddam Targeted American Assets For Terrorism: Case Closed (Bumped)
This confirms that Saddam Hussein and his regime had every intention of attacking the US, either here or abroad or both, using members of their own military for terrorist attacks. That puts an end to all of the arguments about whether we should have attacked Iraq, we now know that Saddam and his military planned to attack us. This one document demonstrates that had we not acted to topple Saddam Hussein, he would have acted to kill Americans around the world.
I'd assumed I'd be way late to this party and that most readers here would already know about it, or I'd have linked to it already. Since that may not be the case, read the whole thing at the link above.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Clockwork Pig-Fruit

Apologies to Anthony Burgess, but nothing even rhymes with "Orange."

The Washington Times notes here that our Federal government is certainly as stupid as we think it. Among other idiocies of last year's
pork laden energy bill, we are getting a revision of Daylight Saving Time, starting in 2007.

The Other Club noted this stupidity in April 2005.

Unfortunately, I do not live in the Congressional District where I can vote against Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan, a co-sponsor of the amendment) on the obvious basis that he is stupid - nor much less because taking him at his word would require one to vote Green.

That is, you have to ignore logic and exalt in "feeling good" about some worse than useless environmental boondoggle.

This is as good a context appropriate description of Congresscritters and their environs as you are likely to come across:
"The sunny slow lulling afternoon yawns and moons through the dozy town...Pigs grunt in a wet wallow-bath, and smile as they snort and dream. They dream of the acorned swill of the world, the rooting for pig-fruit..."
-Dylan Thomas
Under Milk Wood

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Thought Balloons

George Bush: "Gotta keep my eyes off her chest. But it's practically eye-level! Why couldn't they get a point-guard to do this?"

Crystal Langhorne*: "Isn't that cute. The little fella is maintaining eye contact at all cost. Wonder what Laura would do if I planted one on his forehead?"

*Captain of the University of Maryland's NCAA champion basketball team.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Not since Korea...

have an American and a Canadian died next to each other in battle.

Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan
Private Robert Costall (Department of National Defence)

U.S. medic died next to Canadian soldier
Sgt. 1st Class John Thomas Stone (AP)
Despite the constant drone of appeasement from stage-left, we continue to grow such Men. It is, frankly, amazing.

Sheehanites aside, we are all grateful.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Mexican flags are not evidence of willingness to assimilate, no matter how you spin it

It isn't Amanda's fault, she's just reporting.

Protesters Defend Carrying Mexican Flags
Apr 06 10:17 AM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer
Hundreds of protesters gripped Mexican flags as they marched for immigration reform in the past few weeks, but they say a display of cultural unity is being mistaken as a lack of loyalty to the United States.
“Cultural unity” is identified with Mexican Nationalism? Maybe that is the problem. I guess those - protestors against the country they risked their lives to get to – are disavowing Aztlan? Not.
The displays turned off many Americans. Conservative talk show hosts admonished the protesters, while everyday people wrote angry letters to the editors of their local newspapers.
La Raza, MEChA and reconquista thugs everywhere were surprised. They didn't think anyone was paying attention to their intentions or even to Mexico's immigration law:
The granting of nationality status to foreigners is exercised in a very selective manner. The requirements include five years residency with immigrant status, which could be reduced to two years under certain circumstances. The granting of nationality is exercised in a discretional manner and often depends on economic, business and social considerations and the foreign effect thereon.
The Mexican laws in toto are far more draconian than this, including bans on ownership of real property. Mexico's economy bleeds Mexican people because it is so corrupt. But more from the AP story - about American ingrates:
Some called for those carrying the Mexican flag to return to Mexico. Others questioned why immigrants demanding rights in the United States would wave symbols of Mexico.
Good question, I’d say.
But those who carried them, and scholars of the immigrant community, say that pride in their culture should not be misconstrued as a lack of patriotism in their adopted nation.
If their patriotism is real why weren’t they carrying American flags in thanks? They did not think of it that way, that's why.
"Nobody gets upset with the Irish on St. Patrick's Day," said Gabriela Lemus, director of policy and legislation at the Washington, D.C.- based League of United Latin American Citizens, the group that organized most of the recent protests and is heading the dozens of marches and rallies scheduled across the nation Monday.
With all due respect Ms Lemus, the Irish aren’t saying most of the Southwestern United States belongs to them. The Irish are not protesting. The Irish assimilated, 99% of them did so as legal immigrants. We don’t share a thousand mile long border with Ireland. Give me an analogy break. Besides - Guinness or Cerveza? ...Right.
Critics of waving the red, white and green have questioned marchers' loyalty to the United States, but Latino activists deny the implications.
“Latino activists”, that would be the cultural activists, wouldn’t it? They’re La Raza and Aztlan and
MEChA aren’t they? Then they’re lying.
"The Mexican flag is like a symbol of dignity and identity and pride for the people who carry it," said Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez. "If people try to read more into that flag than what it is, they're wrong."
It’s what the people carrying the flags read into it that worries me. For example, high school students walking out in Texas because the Mexican flag is removed from their high school flagpole. If you want to attend a high school with a Mexican flag flying, then you are in the wrong country if you are attending high school in Texas. QED.
Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Denver and other U.S. cities since late March to protest a proposed federal crackdown on illegal immigration, and often the crowds have waved flags of Mexico, Guatemala and other countries.

"Pride and roots is what it is," said Huerta, who carried the Mexican flag during the farm workers' movement in the 1960s and, more recently, during rallies in Los Angeles and Tucson. "It definitely does not mean separation or nationalism in the sense that we want to go back to Mexico."
Pride in your adopted country would be more appropriate, since you’re asking for forgiveness of illegal activities, but I would agree it doesn’t mean they want to back to Mexico. A) Nobody’s stopping them. B) They want to make California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas part of greater Mexico - Aztlan. They want Mexico to come here.
Isidro D. Ortiz, a political scientist and professor of Chicano and Chicana studies at San Diego State University, said the flag is primarily a symbol of Mexican pride. But, in the current climate of the United States, Latinos also wave it to express dissatisfaction with how they are treated, Ortiz said.

"(Immigrants) have been trying for some time to imagine themselves as a part of the United States," he added. "What they've experienced is refusal."
The word that’s missing in front of (Immigrants) is illegal. And yes, the laws here, while far more generous than their Mexican equivalents, say “refusal” is the deal.
Intentional or not, protest organizers acknowledge that the controversy over the Mexican flag is detracting from the message demonstrators want to send.
"Intentional or not", now there's an interesting dichotomy. If it is intentional then it's subversive, so "or not" is exactly what needs to be resolved, not shrugged off.

In this clearly organized and highly coordinated confluence of protests, it strains anyone’s intelligence to believe that the puppet masters did not give Mexican flag waving even the 10 seconds of thought required to predict the reaction. They meant what it seems they meant. That, or they’re too stupid to have organized the protests - "We're Illegals and We Vote!"?
"(The flag) is a distraction," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. "What the marchers were marching for was to say, 'Hey, we are here, we work, we're tired of being made to blame for every ill that people experience.'"
Governor, that’s bullshit. I, for one, have never blamed an illegal immigrant for all my ills. For example, I’ve never even blamed anyone who wants to celebrate breaking immigration law by waving a Mexican flag in my country for 9/11. Illegal immigrants from Saudi Arabia, on the other hand…
Lemus said her organization is encouraging protesters to carry both the U.S. and Mexican flags to show their pride in both countries.
Sorry, Americans carry one flag. It is flaunting their pride in a second country when they claim to desire to become Americans by being forgiven for breaking American law that is the problem.
"The American flag is a symbol of what they are trying to become _ a U.S. citizen," she said.
Then the American flag is the flag they should carry, both to demonstrate their seriousness and so as not to upset the tolerance of their hosts.
Jennifer Allen, executive director of the immigrant rights group Border Action Network, said she is not discouraging anyone from bringing the Mexican flag to Monday's march in Tucson. Rather, the protesters themselves are spreading the word.
They are less stupid than Ms Allen, then.
"A lot of immigrant families in southern Arizona are telling one another to carry the American flag in their hands, but hold the Mexican flag in their hearts," she said.
A thing a wise person would leave unsaid. This is exactly the problem, as Peggy Noonan has so effectively pointed out:
…it's not fear about "them." It's anxiety about us.

It's the broad public knowledge, or intuition, in America, that we are not assimilating our immigrants patriotically. And if you don't do that, you'll lose it all.

We used to do it. We loved our country with full-throated love, we had no ambivalence. We had pride and appreciation. We were a free country. We communicated our pride and delight in this in a million ways--in our schools, our movies, our popular songs, our newspapers. It was just there, in the air. Immigrants breathed it in. That's how the last great wave of immigrants, the European wave of 1880-1920, was turned into a great wave of Americans.

We are not assimilating our immigrants patriotically now. We are assimilating them culturally. Within a generation their children speak Valley Girl on cell phones. "So I'm like 'no," and he's all 'yeah,' and I'm like, 'In your dreams.' " Whether their parents are from Trinidad, Bosnia, Lebanon or Chile, their children, once Americans, know the same music, the same references, watch the same shows. And to a degree and in a way it will hold them together. But not forever and not in a crunch.

So far we are assimilating our immigrants economically, too. They come here and work. Good.

But we are not communicating love of country. We are not giving them the great legend of our country. We are losing that great legend.
Except we aren't quite even assimilating them culturally, it seems.

But, back to the AP report we've been fisking:
Democrats and Republicans have each put forward immigration plans that would increase border security, regulate the flow of future immigrants and offer legal status to many of the men, women and children who came to the United States unlawfully or overstayed their visas.
The wimpiness of these proposals even overshadows “earmark protection.”
In general, the measure backed by Democrats would grant most of the 11 million immigrants legal status and let them apply for citizenship after they meet conditions that would include paying a fine and any back taxes, passing a background check and learning English.
I say let them wait in line for citizenship for at least the median time legal immigrants have waited - after the illegals have paid their taxes and fines, passed their background checks and can speak English at least as well as the average Dell help desk person.

One thing we can be sure of, if the Mexican flag apologists are correct: We won’t see any more Mexican flags. The disappearance of Mexican flags won’t prove anything beyond an ability for those apologists to recognize a problem, but seeing any more Mexican flags will prove something else entirely.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Right Brothers

Derivative (of Billy Joel?), but well worth a look and a listen.

Bush Was Right!

You can buy the full video here, as well as some other good stuff. Check the videos in particular.

Send 'em a couple of bucks even if you don't want a download.

H/T Sandmonkey

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Somewhere in Looterville NY

This may be the saddest thing you’ve so far heard this year, or it may be the most outrageous. Perhaps it is both.

It transcends both sadness and outrage by qualifying as further evidence that Atlas Shrugged wasn’t fiction. Ayn Rand just changed the names of the looters to protect the guilty.

The looter mentality, demonstrated by
an employee of a New York State BOCES, has recently been praised by New York Teacher, official publication of New York State United Teachers - "The Union that helps New York to learn."

The Divided Teachers, "Helping New York to forget the United Teachers", could not be reached for comment.

BOCES, you will be less than somewhat surprised to learn, is an acronym for Board of Cooperative Educational Services. (I rest my case about names being changed to protect the guilty.)

Mr. Jack Powell, a substitute teaching assistant in the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES, is making a “principled stand;” BOCES substitute makes principled stand - against... WalMart.
[Mr. Powell] works about three days a week as a sub, earning about $70 a day, with no benefits. From March to October, he rides his bike 20 miles to work when work is available.

Sometimes he works for a funeral home to make extra money. The shawl he has wrapped around himself on this winter day, he says simply, doubles as a blanket.

"I do whatever it takes to survive and live a socially conscious life," said Powell, who has a tepee in his yard.

Part of that survival — or so he thought — included shopping at Wal-Mart to take advantage of cheaper prices for himself, his partner and her two children. Then his discussions about Wal-Mart with Sandra Carner-Shafran, a teaching assistant at BOCES and a member of the Board of Directors of New York State United Teachers, started churning inside him.

… Powell put the brakes on his actions. Shopping at Wal-Mart? This is a place that encourages employees to get social services because it does not provide adequate health insurance or wages; sells goods made in sweatshops; and upsets entire communities by undercutting the downtown stores, then raising its prices when the locals go out of business.

"I don't like what Wal-Mart stands for," Powell said, noting the mega-chain's scanty health insurance for staffers. "Because of all those things they can lower the prices."
He has a shawl that doubles as a blanket. I would have said all shawls could qualify. I'm just thankful they didn't further wax hyperbolic by calling it a temporary shroud.

He has a tepee. I have a porch. We both have yards.

I doubt either of us live in our outdoor accommodations when the bicycling weather is sub-optimal, say from November to February. Or when the mosquitoes get serious. Or when we begin to regret the absence of running hot water. I am certain Mr. Powell’s principles do not extend so far, because he would not otherwise own a van upon which to affix bumper stickers:
"The more you know, the less you need."

"Think globally, act locally."

These are just two of dozens of bumper stickers that Jack Powell has carefully arranged on his white van. They've become stuck in his psyche as well.
Yes. Imagine his psyche. Imagine the other twenty or more Hallmark-for-the-distracted-driver bits of his van’s carefully dispensed wisdom. This is a van with whose rear end you could have a conversation, and it would be like a tête-à-tête with Howard Dean.

We’re told Mr. Powell makes about $210 a week substitute teaching. Calculations based on an eight hour day show that, at the New York state minimum wage of $6.75 per hour, he would make $270 per week if he worked five days at some other job. This is admittedly less than the $350 he would make if he could substitute teach five days a week. Either option might make up for the losses he is incurring by boycotting WalMart.

Neither option would leave time, however, for travelling with the Zucchini Brothers band -
"I'm just trying to live my life. I try to set an example and do what I believe," said Powell. When he travels across the country to schools, theaters and festivals for the Zucchini Brothers, he sings and strums about health and environmental awareness.
- as is Mr. Powell’s preference.

An average wage for a WalMart worker, according to to the United Food and Commercial Workers – a hostile witness at best – is $8.23 per hour. An average Walmart worker, then, accepting the union calculation of 34 hours per week worked, would be earning $280 per week.

Even if WalMart workers do not get discounts, Mr. Powell's best play would seem to be to work at WalMart rather than in a job where his Union seems unable to help him earn equivalent pay. Note that whatever Mr. Powell pays in union dues is left to the reader's imagination, though we can be sure he's been financing a WalMart boycott long before he decided on the tactic for himself.

One conclusion regarding Mr. Powell's employment situation is that he is not making full use of his education, assuming a four year degree is a necessity for teaching. Another is that he has made a choice that favors free time, especially since a full-time teaching position would require more than forty hours a week - if one approached it in a principled fashion. It would be interesting to know if Mr. Powell is seeking such a position. We are left to guess.

It seems unlikely that Mr. Powell’s partner and her two children are subsisting on the avails of Mr. Powell’s employment strategy. The article mentions Mr. Powell’s partner and her two children as participants in his decision of “principle” to substitute taxpayer funding food stamps for WalMart savings. Costs are where you find them, I guess.

The article mentions that Mr. Powell does not receive benefits as a substitute teacher. It does not mention Mr. Powell’s partner’s employment or benefits, which would seem germane, since many WalMart employee’s spouses, parents, or significant others may be able to confer such benefits upon their “partners”. It is also silent on what other social services the happy couple may already use.

Mr. Powell’s indulgence of the Zucchini Brothers road schedule, combined with his concern that WalMart workers do not receive important benefits, would suggest either that such benefits are available to him through his partner, or that he finds them unimportant for his family. We are left to guess.

When Mr. Powell became convinced his life choices were immoral because they required living off the labor of Chinese serfs, abetted by an uncaring US corporation, he decided to stop encouraging such behavior: He will no longer shop at WalMart, because though the confluence of productivity may have helped to indulge his unconventional lifestyle, WalMart workers do not have access to those same health care options to which he is advertised not to have access.

His solution (do not ask "to what?") is to attempt to deny other workers employment at wages comparable to his own, and to depend on taxpayers to make up for the spending deficit his newly minted “principles” incur.

If WalMart employees were granted the same options as Mr. Powell, they would be able to send their children, and their money, to schools that are not hostage to leftist labor unions actively lobbying against them having their jobs. Unfortunately, alternative education systems are not available to most WalMart employees because of people like Mr. Powell.

If all the Bozos on this bus choose a similar course of action, what do we get? Fewer jobs paying above minimum wage and taxpayer indulgence of moral fantasies.

If Mr. Powell doesn’t want to shop at WalMart, fine; but instead of having the taxpayers support him, why doesn’t he instead work an extra day or two a month at the funeral home? Because it would inconvenience his lifestyle with the Zucchini Brothers band? Because it would raise his income above the food stamp qualification limit? Because it might interfere with the philosophical cataloging of his bumperstickers? Because he just doesn’t want to? All these reasons would be fine free choices; minus the sanctimony.

Mr. Powell’s definition of “principled stand,” as endorsed by the WSWHE (Whiz-Whee?) BOCES (Box?), is living off someone else’s labor. So I don’t get why he’s worried about the Chinese, or about the WalMart employees who can make more than he does for working a similar number of hours.

Who does he think is indulging him anyway?

Update. 6:07PM Oops. H/T OpinionJournal. Taranto, March-31.