April 29, 2007
The news story Rosie O'Donnell will skip
This is one to keep handy when encountering the "9/11 Truthers."
OAKLAND, Calif. - A stretch of highway near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed Sunday after a gasoline tanker crashed and burst into flames, a loss that officials said could leave freeways leading to one of the nation's busiest spans in near paralysis at rush hour. Officials said traffic will be disrupted for weeks, if not months.Hey, fire does melt steel. Imagine that!
Flames shot 200 feet in the air and the heat was intense enough to melt part of the freeway and cause the collapse, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. No other injuries were reported in the 3:45 a.m. crash, which officials said could have been deadly had it occurred at a busier time. [...]
The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited after crashing into a pylon on the interchange, which connects westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound I-880, on the edge of downtown Oakland about half a mile from the Bay Bridge's toll plaza. [...]
Witnesses reported flames rising up to 200 feet into the air. Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse, California Department of Transportation director Will Kempton said.
The charred section of collapsed freeway was draped at a sharp angle onto the highway beneath, exposing a web of twisted metal beneath the concrete. Officials said that altogether a 250-yard portion of the upper roadway was damaged.
The inauthenticity of Hillary
Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Why can't a woman be like that?
There are times I loathe the extended campaign season. It is reminiscent of retail stores dragging out the Christmas decorations in mid-October in an attempt to artificially whip up the “holiday spirit” and get people to part with more of their money sooner. The money quest drives political campaigns to “officially” start at ever earlier dates (thank you, McCain and Feingold) with the same kind of one-upsmanship. This threatens, if it hasn’t already engendered, a kind of campaign fatigue on voters. “Bah, humbug! I’ll start paying attention in the summer … next summer.”
However, along the way will be written reams of articles, examinations and puff pieces on the putative candidates. Interestingly, some of these columnar inches will reveal more about the mindset of the author then the candidate they are dissecting.
Case in point is Susan J. Douglas’ current article Why Women Hate Hillary
Contemplate the title for a moment and try not to laugh at the implication that Ms. Douglas knows what lurks in the hearts and minds of all women. She actually begins the article examining the demographics of the poll numbers concerning the negative reactions to Mrs. Clinton. However, the frame in which she judges Hillary and finds her wanting is quite clear:
Hillary, by contrast, seems to want to be more like a man in her demeanor and politics, makes few concessions to the social demands of femininity, and yet seems to be only a partial feminist. … In other words, she seems like patriarchy in sheep’s clothing.Ms. Douglas is judging Hillary not just on her views, but how those views are at odds with her definition of what makes an authentic woman:
One of progressive feminism’s biggest (and so far, failed) battles has been against the Genghis Khan principle of American politics: that our leaders must be ruthless, macho empire builders fully prepared to drop the big one if they have to and invade anytime, anywhere. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for vice president in 1984, the recurring question was whether she had the cojones to push the red button, as if that is the ultimate criterion for leading the country.Certainly the “recurring” question was present during 1984, but contrary to Ms. Douglas’ assertion, it had more to do with what was between Ferraro’s ears then what was between Ferraro’s thighs. Voters in 1984 had the example of Margaret Thatcher and the fresh memory of Golda Meir as strong, unflinching leaders who just happened to be women. Willingness to make the hard moral decisions is not sex-specific, though Ms. Douglas wants to make it so:
But now, with the massive failures of this callous macho posture everywhere—a disastrous war, a deeply endangered environment and more people than ever without health insurance—millions are desperate for a new vision and a new model of leadership.Notice Ms. Douglas’ odd mix of “disasters” … war, nature and insurance. Somehow all the fault of The Patriarchy. This is the kind of kitchen-sink argument that allows the arguer to set up a singular set of “facts” and if the opposing side objects to one portion of it, then the arguer can attack them on the most serious part of the set. Thus, a person who disagrees with the assertion of “man-made global warming” then, but of course, that person is a war-monger.
If she’s a feminist, how could she continue to support this war for so long? If she’s such a passionate advocate for children, women and families, how could she countenance the ongoing killing of innocent Iraqi families, and of American soldiers who are also someone’s children? …Leaving aside Ms. Douglas' snarky slam on Senator Lieberman, she is quite clear about what "authentic" women believe. “We” are pacifists. “We” are to be against the next war before it happens. “We” are to change the world by swapping our incandescent lightbulbs for florescent, using less toilet tissue and making doctors and nurses civil servants.
We don’t want the first female president to be Joe Lieberman in drag, pushing Bush-lite politics. We expect something better.
Actually, Ms. Douglas inadvertantly stumbles on the real reason so many people have a negative reaction to Hillary
Clearly, Hillary and her advisors have calculated that for a woman to be elected in this country, she’s got to come across as just as tough as the guys. And maybe they’re right. But so far, Hillary is not getting men with this strategy, and women feel written off.It is not the “get tough” strategy that hurts Hillary. It is the fact that Hillary is nothing but strategy. Many people feel uneasy with a candidate that lacks sincerely held values. People even accept that over time, with changing facts and contexts, that a candidates policy positions can change. However, when there’s no “there there”, except an obsession to be elected at all costs, voters will turn away.
But that kind of equity feminism doesn’t fit in Ms. Douglas’ “progressive” feminist narrative. It isn’t Hillary’s pretense at hawkishness that makes Ms. Douglas discount her, it’s that Ms. Douglas’ defines war as patriarchal and, afterall,
We want a break with the past, optimism, and a recommitment to the government caring about and serving the needs of everyday people. We want what feminism began to fight for 40 years ago—humanizing deeply patriarchal institutions.Ms. Douglas then falls lockstep with every “progressive” feminist confronted with a “sister” who engages in apostasy:
If Hillary Clinton wants to be the first female president, then maybe, just maybe, she should actually run as a woman.It is instructive to see the invalidation of “authentic woman” in action.
Brava, Susan. Brava.
April 27, 2007
The Democrats wrap themselves in a flag ...
... a white flag, that is. Michelle Malkin has a suggestion to send each one of the contemporary Copperheads one of these:
Politically craven? Opportunistic? In denial about the Islamist enemy? Either way, Cad Reid et al are acting with reckless disregard for the long range interests of this country. They are demoralizing moderate Muslims who are needed to fight their radicalized brethren and can only embolden the Islamists in their jihad. Certainly even the most pissant Islamist dweller of Londonistan feels free to engage in unironic Nazi projection.
Good show, Dems. The Party of Tolerance adds Party of Victory through Peace In Our Time to its list of subtitles.
April 25, 2007
The Cad from Searchlight
April 24, 2007
2 orange crayons
1 tv remote to a tv given away 2 1/2 years ago
Inside the VHS player.
April 23, 2007
Study says: It's the Patriarchy[tm]!! Cue the Vagina Warriors!!
It's a pretty damning headline and opening from AP
Women make less 1 year after collegeAt the Yahoo link provided above, this AP article is accompanied on the left sidebar with a Reuters photo of a bow-tied graduation cap captioned thusly:
NEW YORK - Women make only 80 percent of the salaries their male peers do one year after college; after 10 years in the work force, the gap between their pay widens further, according to a study released Monday.
The study, by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, found that 10 years after college, women earn only 69 percent of what men earn.
A dramatic pay gap emerges between women and men in America the year after they graduate from college and widens over the ensuing decade, according to research released on Monday.The study is to be released today and it will be interesting to see what it really says outside the usual sturm und drang headlines and breathless, handwringing prose from "news" organizations like AP. I've always been a bit suspicious of the advocacy tact of policy by statistic without offering up the methodology by which the statistic was developed, regardless of study. My rule-of-thumb has been if the study appears to contradict common sense, then it needs to be further scrutinized.
Running through the different coverages of this study, I ran across more details from that purveyor of vast-rightwinger-conspiracy rantings, the Los Angeles Times (for a non-subscription look at the article, click here.)
Analyzing U.S. Department of Education data on 19,000 men and women, Hill's team found that one year out of college, women in 1994 earned 80% of what their male counterparts made. By 2003, a decade after graduation, they had fallen further behind, to 69% of men's incomes.Ah, so the dramatic 20-31% "gap" is pretty much the apples/oranges fiction. While 12% shouldn't be ignored, maybe we should take the claims of "We also need to take a hard look at sex discrimination in the workplace, which is affecting young women just as it affected their mothers and grandmothers" with just a shake or two of ye old salt mill in light of the lead "20-31% gap".
Controlling for the number of hours worked, parenthood and other factors, college-educated women still earned 12% less than their male peers, according to the report.
Previous studies have found that more women than men are earning college degrees and that the salaries of college-educated women have risen much faster than those of male graduates.Good news, right? Or maybe not.
Students' individual choices explain part of the gap, Hill said.How much of the 12% is due to the dreaded individual choices? Not stated in the article.
Engineering and computer science majors typically command higher salaries than those with education or English degrees. Yet those technical fields still draw fewer women than men nationwide — 18% of undergraduate engineering majors and 39% of mathematics majors were women in 2000, according to the Department of Education.Of course, this begs the questions ... is the goal of "how much money can I make?" the primary reason someone decides on a major? Should it be? Does this study actually interview both men and women on their motivations on why they chose one major over another?
The authors urge colleges to do more to encourage women to consider scientific and technological majors and to aim for higher-paying jobs in those fields.Are colleges discouraging women from those fields? Obviously, women are currently out performing men when it comes to obtaining degrees just not the "correct" ones.
Even among those with the same technical degree, such as mathematics, female graduates often become teachers, earning less than men who move into industryWhat were/are women's motivations to go more into teaching than into industry? Is it an internal choice based on what individual women find fulfilling or is it imposed by outside sources?
This isn't a frivolous question. While money is a great motivator for the choices people make in choosing careers, it is not the only, nor even the most significant, factor. Law enforcement, teaching, social workers ... just some of the careers where money is, in fact, a negative motivator of choice.
If that "12% gap" is explained by individual choices and those individual choices are based on individual motivating factors other than money, should solutions involve top-down legislative "cures"?
Hill and her colleagues argue that tougher legislation is needed to erase the pay gap.Tougher legislation to erase ... what, exactly? How does one legally crawl into an individual's mind and force them to reject something they find fulfilling in favor of something they have already considered and rejected?
The American Assn. of University Women is backing two bills before Congress that would require equal pay for comparable but not identical jobs, and eliminate provisions allowing some employers to discipline workers who discuss their wages with co-workers.Ah! And just who would be incharge of deciding what are "comparable" jobs, using what criteria and criteria developed by whom?.
Indeed, the authors of this study are proposing yet another politically motivated Federal bureaucracy to impose "solutions" based on fuzzy, ideological standards of what American society "should look like" regardless of what individuals might want or choose.
Also there's nothing in the article to indicate that the study even touched women-owned businesses
As of 2005, there are an estimated 10.1 million majority-owned, privately-held, women-owned firms in the U.S., employing 18.2 million people and generating $2.32 trillion in sales. Women-owned businesses account for 28 percent of all businesses in the United States and represent about 775,000 new startups per year and account for 55 percent of new startups.Then, again, examining or including such information just might derail the meme of The White Patriarchy™ out to Oppress Womyn and People of Color.
Between 1997 and 2002, women-owned firms grew by 19.8 percent while all U.S. firms grew by seven percent. Employment increased by 30 percent—1½ times the U.S. rate—and sales grew by 40 percent—the same rate as all firms in the U.S.
Between 1997 and 2004, the number of privately held firms owned by women of color grew by 54.6 percent. Meanwhile, the overall number of firms in the United States grew by only 9 percent over this period. Women's business ownership is up among all groups, but the number of Hispanic (up 63.9 percent) and Asian owned firms (69.3 percent) has grown especially fast. An estimated one in five (21 percent) women-owned businesses are owned by women of color.
84.8 percent of all businesses owned by women are sole proprietorships. Sole proprietorships operated by women in the United States underwent dramatic increases from 1990 to 1998 in terms of numbers, gross receipts and net income.
"Legislation has made a difference in the past," Hill said. It wasn't so long ago that law schools and medical schools could bar women from enrolling, she said, or fire women who became pregnant. "That's no longer true."How long ago was that, Ms. Hill? Surely it was before those same law schools started engaging in such White Male Heteronormative Privilege
This is, of course, not to say that sex discrimination, or even race discrimination, does not exist. It most certainly does. However, it exists on the micro level, not the macro. There is nothing in this article, even if we were to accept the 12% as a result solely of sex discrimination, to indicate it is the result of institutional discrimination.
I'm sure the usual Vagina Warriors will seize on this "study" and raise cries of TOTBAL (there ought to be a law)! Yet, let me propose one question that should be uppermost in the minds of those who posit that vaginas are the critical factor in pay scale differences --
If an employer is only concerned about the bottom line, why would s/he hire a man at all to perform a job where an equally qualified woman will do it for 69% of pay?
Common sense, people. Common sense.
April 19, 2007
No right to self-defense
... at least as far as one particular California college is concerned when it comes to the rules that Resident Advisors are to follow.
Being attacked by a dorm resident? Too bad, touch them at all and you're fired. Another RA under physical attack by a dorm resident? You touch, you fired.
As I said in my previous post, this kind of inculcated behavior to submit or to rely only on "proper authorities" (even as you watch a friend or colleague having the shit beat out of 'em) is doing enormous harm.
Harm both at the immediate individual level and at the societal level.
If we can't teach reasonable reactions to violence directed at them or other innocents, what kind of national policies can we expect them to help shape as adults?
April 17, 2007
'You never know what to expect out of people in situations like this'
The Virginia Tech massacre is not a tragedy. "Tragedy" is a twister wiping out a town. "Tragedy" is an earthquake, a hurricane, a car accident.
This was an act of unspeakable evil.
And sometimes, those that have experienced such evil, know how to react when confronted with it again.
Such a person became a hero on Monday, Liviu Librescu.
Caroline Merrey is one of the students who jumped.While the focus over the next several days will be to dissecting the personality of the murderer, his motives, his thoughts; accompanied by the cacophony of voices placing blame on guns and "American gun culture" (mostly in an self-serving effort not to examine their own failings), my hope is that stories of heroism such as Librescu's is not lost.
It was a frightening whirlwind. An average Monday in professor Liviu Librescu’s solid mechanics class that in a blink turned from reviewing homework to the unmistakable pop of gunshots outside her Norris Hall classroom.
In the flurry of students dialing 911 on cell phones, taking cover on the floor and twisting open second story windows to escape, Merrey, 22, glanced over her shoulder before jumping.
“I just remember looking back and seeing him at the door,” the Virginia Tech senior recalled of her professor. “I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for him.”
By Tuesday morning, newspapers from Washington, D.C., to Jerusalem shared the story of how Librescu — a 76 year-old Holocaust survivor — blocked his classroom doorway from a gunman while his students leapt to freedom.
“It wouldn’t amaze me he would do such a thing,” fellow engineering professor Muhammad Hajj said. “He’s that kind of person, willing to take care of others, protect others.”
There are too few stories like his. "Heroism" isn't that popular, concepts of "good" and "evil" give way to "healthy" and "unhealthy". As our culture has become more Euro-phied, we have gone out of our way to teach our children to rely, not on themselves, but on government (or its agents) to take care of every need.
Liviu Librescu lived through an era of great evil as a youngster. I suspect such clear knowledge gave him a point of reference, a split second of recognition and a sure decision to act, rather than passing the responsibility off.
May his family find peace and may we all honor such a fine human being.
Update Wild Thing has more.
April 16, 2007
There are few words ...
... that can be said in the light of the evil committed on the Virginia Tech campus.
In the coming days there will be questions asked, fingers pointed, investigations begun, red herrings proffered, personal agendas attended to ...
But right now belongs to us to offer our prayers and our thoughts to the families and friends of the victims.
April 15, 2007
Day Five ...
...and still no acknowledgement from St. Amanda that the North Carolina Attorney General declared the Duke 3 "innocent", let alone an apology for her tenacious grip on her expressed belief in their guilt. Maybe she's going to try and start a record to match John Kerry's refusal to release his military records - complete and without strings? I guess she's just too busy taking exception to someone noticing her powers of mindreading are not quite up to snuff. Who can't understand how this might slip her mind, what with all the Christian mocking to be done.
Oh! And let me note that Jill at Feministe has actually let the teenyist, tinyist bit of conscience to creep under the Vagina Warrior shield and has in an UPDATE TWO to her post (not in the original) said she now believes the Duke 3 didn't rape Ms. Magnum.
I am in no way saying that I think these three lacrosse players are guilty. My opinion on their guilt or not isn’t really relevant since I wasn’t there and I don’t know all the facts of the case, but if you’re interested, I don’t think that they raped her. That’s neither here nor there, but there it is.Of course, there's no apology there -- Jill presents her little revelation as "People! People! What are you thinking? I didn't say they were guilty"...
I am in no way saying that I think these three lacrosse players are guilty. My opinion on their guilt or not isn’t really relevant since I wasn’t there and I don’t know all the facts of the case, but if you’re interested, I don’t think that they raped her. That’s neither here nor there, but there it is.and then she tacks on some heavy duty BUTS
-I do, however, think that something happened in that house ...... hoping that this is lost down the memory hole.
I’m not sure what else explains her fingernails (sic) on the bathroom floor, her leaving her cellphone and wallet at the house (especially if she’s a greedy whore, as many people seem to be arguing), and the medical examination which showed trauma consistent with sexual assault.
He continues to assert that men will not rape (or rape less) if they’re given more power over women, ignoring the fact that these boys’ power was what enabled and encouraged them to rape in the first place.(h/t Pablo)
I am not interested in determining whether or not the Duke lacrosse team had anything to do with the alleged assault.Of course not, sweetypie! The question of their guilt never crossed your mind ... Oooooo....look! A squirrel! Pretty pretty squirrel!
Yeah. That's the ticket.
April 13, 2007
Day Three - UPDATE
and still not one word from St. Amanda about the Duke players being declared innocent by the NC AG.
It took sometime, but Jill at Feministe steps up to the plate. However, don't expect anything like honesty from her on this.
To a hammer, everything is a nail, and rather than Jill taking the tact that a desperate-to-be-elected-at-all-costs DA has permanently damaged these young men along with people in the old and new media who couldn't wait to buy into stereotypes about "white priviledge", she does the weasly Vagina Warrior Against the Pervasive Patriarchy schtick
Anti-feminists in particular are overjoyed with the players’ exoneration — not because they particularly care about justice, but because they think this is a good way to stick it to the feminists who support rape survivors,Such a nice way of reading minds, eh? Not a link to any of these people who eschew justice either.
Last I checked, the woman has not recanted her story. Last I checked, she isn’t being prosecuted for filing false charges. Last I checked, there is no evidence that she lied about a rape occurring.Last I checked, she hasn't come out at all with any statements.
At this point, what’s obvious is that there was not a strong enough case against Reade W. Seligmann, David F. Evans, and Collin Finnerty to take it to trial.Vagina Warrior Jill has hearing problems. The NC AG said they were innocent. Not "not guilty" but innocent. Maybe she should quietly check with some lawyer acquaintances of hers to understand the stunning significance of that word in that context.
That doesn’t mean that they’re upstanding citizens — after all, they hired a stripper for a team party,I swear, did Jill have her irony gene removed? What happened to "consenting adult behavior is beyond criticism" meme? What happened to the "pro-sex" feminism that embraces the "hook-up" culture? What happened to the anti-parental notification activists whose basic argument is "there's nothing wrong with minor girls having sex, they do it all the time, so why punish them with pregnancy?" Suddenly we're hearing VW's talk about appropriate behavior?
She was taken to the hospital an examination supported her claim of sexual assault. Several of her fingernails were left behind on the bathroom floor, along with her cell phone and her purse. She fled the house without collecting her money. She called 911. Is that definitive evidence that she was raped? No. But it lends itself to the contention that something out of the ordinary happened in that house.Notice how Jill has to omit some truths to get to that "something went on with those white boys" allegations. IE the fingernails were really press-on artificial nails and the rape exam merely confirmed that sex had taken place, not that a rape had occured. As as we found out later, DNA was found on her, from several men none of which matched any Duke player.
Jill wants to make this about rape victims not being believed, and she is partially correct. This case will make it harder for some women to be believed. But the responsibility for that lays at the feet of Sharpton, Jackson, the 88 Duke professors, Amanda, the indecent Samhita and especially [may he soon be disbarred forever] Nifong, for their racism, classim, sexism and cynical, political opportunism in trying to frame these young [and stupid] men.
The woman who helped perpetuate the hoax may be either mentally ill or just another opportunist, so her degree of responsibility in making it harder for real victims cannot be fully assessed yet. But she, or those that supported her, do bear some degree.
Own up to your failings in this matter, Vagina Warriors. It is also you and your continued efforts to say these men are anything but innocent that condemns the credibility of real rape victims.
UPDATE Jemele Hill
I could blame Durham County district attorney Mike Nifong, but that would be too easy. Oh, he's a lout, no doubt. He played upon the emotions of a community and its long-held hostilities, and put his reelection bid above morality and common sense. He played all of us and should be punished with nothing less than disbarment.See? That's how classy adults behave.
I could blame Jesse Jackson, who I have hoped for years would disappear to a faraway land where CNN wouldn't follow. As usual, Jesse showed up and showed out. He incited the masses and then left everyone else to sort out the wreckage. And if Jesse wants to gain an ounce of the credibility he no longer has, he would find the nearest camera -- and we know he's good at that -- and express sorrow with all the sincerity he can muster. But the day Jesse apologizes for causing a scene is the day Rosie O'Donnell wears a muzzle.
But if there is anything to be learned from Don Imus' fall, it's that real apologies are never accompanied by rationalizations.
So to Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and David Evans, the three Duke lacrosse players whose lives were mangled by an unsupported rape accusation, I say two of the hardest words in the English language:
(h/t Jeff Goldstein)
April 12, 2007
Sure, fire Don Imus
But make it part of a mass firing that rids the airways of rap "artists", standup comedians and most actors, directors and screenwriters.
Jaysus on a Pony, shut up already.
While I was aware of the name "Don Imus", I wouldn't have even recognized his voice if someone played a clip of of it until this week. He could be one of the biggest filthy cranks in the US and he just never was on my radar. But I find this whole "outrage" way out-of-proportion.
And the biggest clue to a manufactured circus comes with the high profile of the usual race-hustlers, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ...
... two reprobates significantly absent from the airwaves ONLY where it concerns their overdue apologies to the innocent Duke players.
If sponsors want to remove their money from his show, it is their right, just as it is the right of any station to refuse to carry it.
But I'm trying to figure out the angle here. There is no proportionality here.
What is Hillary and others really trying to accomplish?
Ah heck, Imus should have just acted like Rosie "fire doesn't melt steel" O'Donnell and blamed 9/11 on Bush and the people histrionic over Imus' indecent utterance not only wouldn't have batted an eye, but would be screaming "censorship!" over any resultant criticism.
Technorati: Don Imus
April 10, 2007
Breaking News: Accused Duke players to have charges dismissed
April 10, 2007 — The office of North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will announce that he is dismissing all charges against three Duke Lacrosse players, ABC News has learned from sources close to the case.(h/t Jeff Goldstein)
The three players, Reade Seligmann, David Evans and Collin Finnerty, were facing charges of first degree kidnapping and first degree forcible sexual offense. The charges stem from an off-campus party on the night of March 13, 2006.
It will be interesting to watch the long due fall-out from this hoax. From the despicable Duke professors, to the craven DA Nifong to the so-called "rape victim" herself, they should all be held responsible for their part in stealing from the three young men whose lives have been tainted forever.
Because, make no mistake, there will be those who won't accept that the rape never happened.
Watch and see who among those that had already judged the Duke players guilty offer even the smallest confession of "I was wrong."
We'll be watching, Mandy
April 09, 2007
Compare and contrast: April 9, 1942 and today
The Bataan Death March claimed the lives of at least 600 Americans and 5,000 to 10,000 Filipinos; some historians estimate the numbers are even higher. For Onufry, then 18, it was the beginning of 3½ years as a prisoner of war.As a POW that survived the march, Onufry and others were taken to Japan where they became slave labor. None of them knew when they'd be rescued or release, if ever. Yet they endured.
"You should be dead, but you just keep going," said Onufry, who now lives in the North Country town of Freedom. "Another day, and you're still alive."
Onufry, now 84, is one of the few remaining "Battling Bastards of Bataan." He says good luck kept him alive. But skills he learned as a Boy Scout also helped: He staved off thirst by sucking on his uniform buttons and made clothes from scraps of tents.
And then we are confronted by the bizarre news of the 15 Brit hostages (alleged Royal Marines) who are going to be paid for their stories, rather then being asked to resign or dishonorably discharged.
Of course, the reason for any military code of conduct (and the Geneva Conventions) that require prisoners to not cooperate with their captors is easy to demonstrate
Hardliners in the Iranian regime have warned that the seizure of British naval personnel demonstrates that they can make trouble for the West whenever they want to and do so with impunity.Appeasing the Iranian pirates is only going to bring more piracy.
The bullish reaction from Teheran will reinforce the fears of western diplomats and military officials that more kidnap attempts may be planned. [...]
"Iran has got what it wants. They have secured free passage for smuggling weapons into Iraq without a fight," one US defence department official said.
It is also clear that the Iranian government believes that the outcome has strengthened its position over such contentious issues as its nuclear programme. Hardliners within the regime have been lining up to crow about Britain's humiliation, and indicated that the operation was planned.
The famed British Lion is merely a neutered housecat.
April 06, 2007
The embarrassment that is Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi has set back women's rights more in a few brief weeks than any other American in recent memory. How in the world can anyone take seriously a woman as "leader" who runs around with terrorist dictators wearing a headscarf to demonstrate she is "down with" Muslims while ignoring (or is ignorant of) the misogynist dictates that demand that headcovering. She covers her hair to keep the "eminations" from driving local males insane yet wears an above-the-knee skirt ... there may be Hermes on her head but she's clueless about appropriate dress for a 67 y/o grannie who wants to be taken seriously.
Good lord! Coupled with British fecklessness (whatever happened to "name, rank and serial number"?) is America doomed to the slow suicide by Islamism that Euros are embracing?
April 02, 2007
'Shhh! Stop talking about the Jews...you're upsetting the moslem kids!'
Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.Jeff Goldstein writes:
It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.
The self-esteem movement, multiculturalism, and Western guilt and weakness have finally come together in a perfect storm of philosophical surrender.Which is right on the mark and Jeff expands on it both eloquently and persuasively.
I have been writing on this for what seems like ages, but at base, identity politics—which manifests itself in political correctness and a perverse, inverted, Orwellian idea of “tolerance”—is an irreconcilable enemy of liberalism. And, when the ascendant minority also happens to be an opponent of pluralism, the more the majority cedes to that aggressive and demanding minority, the more illiberal the social ethos inexorably becomes.
And it won't make a whit of difference to the illiberal
Liberals Leftists who defend, apologize for, and support with little question, the exotic "Other" (as long as that other loathes The West with the same passion they hold).
A shorter response to such "what's wrong with not offending moslems?" is to counter with this proposal:
Demand that slavery lessons be dropped from history books least white children be offended.
April 01, 2007
The fine line between creepy and criminal
I'm your wicked Uncle Ernie; I'm glad you won't see or hear me, As I fiddle about, fiddle about, fiddle about. Your mother left me here to mind you, And I'm doing exactly what I bleedin' well want to, Fiddling about, fiddling about, fiddle about.Several years ago, husband Eric and I were enjoying a relaxing day at the beach. Warm sun, cooling breeze off the ocean, moderate crowds of people sunning, swimming, jogging. A happy group of kids were not too far from us. At the waterline they had built a rambling sand castle and were busy trying to dig moats to keep the waves from washing it away. Each foaming reach of the Pacific would have them squeeling and diving to their knees to scoop wet sand out of trenches and onto haphazard battlements.
From "Tommy" by The Who
It was Eric who first noticed the guy. Middle-aged, sunglasses, shorts, shirt, towel folded over his forearm, a backpack hanging from one shoulder, he paced and paused a few yards from the kids, between them and the ocean. His behavior became noticeable not because he was watching them, but because he seemed to be trying not to be noticed watching them. He'd gaze out over the ocean, shifting from foot to foot, then take surreptitious looks over his shoulder.
Immediately suspicious, Eric and I watched him closely.
That's when we noticed the camera.
The guy held it just under his towel. He'd move to a spot, then turn to momentarily face the kids. Out would come the camera, shoot, back under the towel, and he'd turn back to the ocean and take a few steps.
Alarmed, we watched this creepy behavior repeat itself a couple more times and also noticed he seemed to be concentrating his camera shots at one energetic eight-year old boy bent over the castle moat shouting encouragement to his friends rebuilding the castle.
What to do? It was a public place and he wasn't annoying the kids. Infact, they were oblivious to him. Trying to decide on a course of action, he finally looked around and saw us staring at him. He scurried off down the beach and we flagged down a lifeguard and pointed him out.
Unfortunately, there was nothing any of us could do. The guy didn't do anything illegal. The best that could be done was that the lifeguard saw him and then radioed his description and behavior to all the other stations up and down the beach.
Creepy, but not criminal. Yet.
I was reminded of this by this report (related video) of a website run by an admitted pedophile aimed at helping other pedophiles engage in the same legal, but creepy, behavior my husband and I witnessed.
The man who runs it, 45-year-old Jack McClellan, has never been convicted of a sex crime, which means he can attend any family-friendly events where children are present, and take all the pictures he wants for his Web site. He also lives close to a school bus stop.I'm unfamiliar with Oregon child molestation statutes; however, McClellan is dead wrong if he thinks "consensual cuddling" would be a legitimate defense in California. California Penal Code 288(a) reads:
McClellan says his purpose is to promote association, friendship and legal, consensual hugging and cuddling between men and pre-pubescent girls. He admitted to FOX News that his "age of attraction" is between 3 and 11 years old. ...
McClellan wants to bring pedophiles out of the closet and give them a way to get some relief, by going out and being around little girls. He suggests a number of places, such as plays at elementary schools, parks, swimming pools and libraries. ...
McClellan said that for pedophiles, just being around children is almost like a "legal high" that makes them happy. ...
"I know it sounds kind of crazy, but there's kind of a code of ethics that these pedophiles have developed and what it is ... the contact has to be completely consensual, no coercion, if you're going to do it," McClellan said.
Any person who willfully and lewdly commits any lewd or lascivious act, including any of the acts constituting other crimes provided for in Part 1, upon or with the body, or any part or member thereof, of a child who is under the age of 14 years, with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of that person or the child, is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or eight years.Just like a footfetish who uses a ruse to touch women's feet, so a pedophile who admits he touches a child - even a touch that would under other circumstances be considered totally innocent - to become aroused has committed child molestation.
Impossible? No, just difficult. Consider the dramatic case of Eric Olsen
ONTARIO - A 28-year-old substitute teacher arrested Thursday on suspicion of molesting a 10-year-old girl may have molested more than 100 children over the past three years. ...That's because Olsen "explained it" as touching for his own arousal and that touching was not the kind of touching of genitals we tend to think of when we hear the term "child molestation."
Police began their investigation on June 13 after a student reported that Olsen had inappropriately touched a 10-year-old female student. That student reported the incident to a staff member and the police were contacted. The alleged lewd acts occurred at Berlyn Elementary in the Ontario/Montclair School District.
The victim told investigators that Olsen touched her inappropriately on several occasions, the police statement said. During one incident, Olsen is alleged to have used force to touch the victim.
Olsen claims to have molested between 100 and 200 female children over a three-year time period, police said.
Olsen may have molested the other children while he was employed at various school districts within the Inland Empire.
Investigators said they do not believe Olsen is making false claims on the number of children he admitted to molesting "because of the way he explained it to us," Galindo said.
Olsen recently plead to the court over the DA's objection.
Detectives initially said the Ontario man may have molested more than 100 students, but only six counts stuck.Hopefully Olsen will spend five years away from children. He will have to register as a sex offender and his days of having kids on his lap or rubbing their shoulders are over for good.
Most of the allegations involved subtle sexual situations, such as Olsen placing first-grade girls on his lap inside classrooms. Olsen, however, confessed that such contact sexually aroused him, which is all that is necessary to sustain a molestation charge.
Olsen's no contest plea on Friday was not part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. Rather, he pleaded no contest to the charges in exchange for a promise from the judge of a sentence of no more than five years behind bars.
The Seattle neighborhood where McClellan lives is understandably very upset. A behavior can be "legal", but a community does not have to tolerate it. McClellan is arrogant enough with this pro-pedophilia agenda to slip up somewhere. In the mean time, they can keep tabs on him, shun him and warn their kids about creepy "Uncle Jack".