Sunday, December 30, 2007
My vacation, from the day before Christmas Eve until New Year's Day, when I head back to work, is drawing to an end, and I've spent the time so far nearly news-free.
I read about the slaying of Benazir Bhutto, and about the tiger that managed to maul some guys at a zoo, but that's about it.
I skipped the local news, so I have no idea who got shot, or killed in a car crash, or burned in a fire. I don't know if anything was stolen, broken into or destroyed. I don't know if anyone got molested, robbed, beaten, persecuted or jilted.
And it feels great.
For a few days I was able to not be surrounded by mayhem; I didn't have to intellectually digest every rotten incident.
Most people in the news business have to hear about all the death and crime, the corruption and incompetence of local, state and federal government, and it's amazing what that does to your demeanor. You internalize it -- at least I do -- and it creates this blanket of pessimism that can get pretty thick.
To be able to spend a few days with friends and family, to get quality time that isn't interrupted by foul news reports or analysis, to be ignorant of all the horrible things in the world that I can't do a damn thing about anyway ... well, it's such a relief.
And, even at 36 years old, spending a little time with a Nintendo Wii was both entertaining and awe-inspiring, considering that I was around for the advent of Pong.
So, that's it -- no work, no posting, no news hunting for a week ... and I started to turn human again. As my return to work looms, I'm determined to make some quality resolutions for the new year -- Seeing as I can go day to day without worrying about my neighborhood getting blown up or not having food and shelter, so to not fully participate in the calculation of my quality of life is just silly and wasteful.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Honestly and respectfully,
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The No Child Left Behind Act, which you can -- and should -- read about at the source, is criticized incessantly by school officials, from teachers to the superintendent.
They complain that the act forces schools to spend all their time "teaching to the test," at the expense of arts, culture ... and recess.
They complain that the act forces schools to maintain a high standard -- and high performance -- but does not provide extra money.
Some states, Connecticut one of them, even tried legal action against the federal government over this act.
I like the No Child Left Behind Act, I think it was one thing I am happiest for from the Bush administration.
The No Child Left Behind Act is an effort by the government to force abysmal schools to show to the public what they are doing with the millions of dollars they take each year from the state and federal governments.
Taxpayers are getting beat twice for education, and yet only about half the kids in the country are getting educated.
The act forces schools to recognize that rich or poor, black or white, it doesn't take just money to put a kid in a desk and have someone who knows something about something to tell a kid something and have that kid remember it.
In fact, it doesn't take a lot more than an effort on the part of the student and the teacher.
The teacher should make the effort or face losing their job. The kid should make the effort or face a bleak future, period.
The No Child Left Behind Act simply asks a school how they can spend millions and millions of dollars a year on education, and not be providing an education!
If taxpayers are the ones funding education, then I think we should get to make the rules, too. School officials -- like superintendents -- make more than $100,000 a year. That's just too much. I think a school superintendent should make no more than 75,000 a year, period. And teacher shouldn't make more than 60,000.
Now, before anyone jumps down my throat ... I think it should be that way because those are decent wages, and if you get people that really care about the education of the children, then they can deal with that kind of money, especially with the perks. It's more than I make, and I have a good job, so if I can live on it, so can they. If they want to choose money over being a teacher, so be it. Go ahead.
If you make it about the money, then you're going to get people that are in it for the money, and then they ktake the money.
And then that's where the money goes.
The biggest complaint seems to be the whole "teaching to the test" blather I keep hearing. So? What the hell is wrong with teaching kids enough that they can pass a test of their crucial cognitive skills?
How is that not automatically labeled the most idiotic concept in the history of the world?
So, what should they be learning how to do in school? Dance? Sing? Be completely inundated with "culture"?
No! They should be learning how to read, how to study, how to answer questions in a literate manner. They should learn to speak English, and add numbers. And if they can't do that then something is wrong.
And if the school system can piss away $25 million to $100 million dollars and not be able to have the majority of kids learn at a normal level, then they're simply not spending the money on the right things.
I'm old enough now to say this:
- When I was in grammar school, we had no air conditioning, and no cafeteria.
- We weren't allowed to wear shorts to school. We had a couple of assemblies a year, maybe 2 field trips.
- Our classes were math, science, history, English, reading, art and music, and recess. That was it.
- If you did poorly, you failed, and had to go to summer school. If you still failed, you stayed back a grade. No one wanted to stay back a grade because then they would be "the kid who got held back."
Now, it's totally different. School has become something other than school. It's become this place where people think you should make children into little adults where they make their own decisions, and have fun, and enjoy going there. They go there and learn how others live, how people feel differently. They go there and learn how people dance in every frigging continent on the globe.
That's not school. School isn't supposed to be fun, it's supposed to challenge you. You're supposed to go there and learn things, and learning is hard work.
It's easier to give slower kids easier work, because then they finish and you can move on without conflict or difficulty.
Yeah, I know, some of you have kids that are just the smartest things, and they go to school and they love it and have a great experience and are smart. Congratulations, you have a smart kid.
But when you put average and below-average kids in an environment like that, where the if they fail the challenge the challenge is made easier, then they're not going to get smarter, which, hello, is the goal of schooling.
So, no, I don't think the No Child Left Behind Act is detrimental to education, I think it's detrimental to bloated, misguided school systems that need to be revamped. The problem is that the people in power are the ones who should be tossed out, and they won't let that happen.
The most important aspect of the act is that it finally takes money away from failing schools instead of just dumping more money on them. It says to a failing school, "You threw that money out the window. Now, work with less."
It forces a school to restructure itself from the administration down -- if they get rid of the all the crap that has nothing to do with the education part of the education system, there's plenty of money to run a good system and pay to test the kids annually.
School vouchers and the No Child Left Behind Act are perhaps the last chances to make our education systems work.
Monday, December 10, 2007
I attended Southern Connecticut State University beginning in fall 1989, enrolled in a program they called the "Honors College."
It was an interesting experiment. Instead of taking courses like chemistry, English 101, physics and such, we were given team-taught courses called things like "Science & Technology: Triumph or Tragedy?" and "The Idea of Self in the Middle Ages to the Renaissance."
The courses were taught by two professors from differing disciplines -- the science course above, for example, was team-taught by a scientist and a theologian.
It made for mind-bending work, let me tell you.
Anyway, my favorite course was called "Introduction to Critical Inquiry." The point of the course, and from other follow-up courses, was that everything you read or hear about, everything you are told, is potentially a gigantic crock of lies.
Unless you personally know a piece of information, then you have to trace it back through every stage, every "interpretation" it's gone through, in order to find truth. And, if you cannot, then you simply do not know.
So, if a newspaper reports a story about something an Iraqi said about something that he heard about, you have no idea at all if that's true, and you never will, unless you can start with the story in the paper, and go backward.
Story = To paper, from paginator from copy editor from editor from reporter from source; then you have to know if the source was the firsthand info, because if it's not, then you have to go further back -- to source, from a guy in the market, from a vendor who sold the guy grapes, from his son, from that kid's friend ....
Just a thought, is all.
I argue back and forth with people about different policies and situations and whatnot, but at the bottom, neither of us really have a clue as to whether the information we're basing our opinions on is true, so you have to base your opinions on logic and things that you can reasonably consider accurate and true.
In terms of this war, I think most of start out on the same page -- war is bad. I think most people prefer peace over war. That's why when I see people who have the opportunity for peace but make war where there is no need, like the factions in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, I get really confused. Why is there turmoil when there is nothing to fight about?
So even though I think war is bad, I see video of radical Muslims calling for people's deaths, plain as day, whether it be over a cartoon in a newspaper, or a teddy bear, or a book. I've seen video of people getting their heads cut off because they are not Muslims. What did Daniel Pearl ever do to deserve to have his head cut off in Karachi?
Now, to be accurate, I do not know if those videos were real. But, they found Pearl's head, so I'm guessing the video shows how it got detached from his body.
I don't know exactly why, but people flew planes into the World Trade Center
So, in foreign policy sometimes you have to make a call, politics aside -- do you wait and see if diplomacy works, or do you attack your enemy before he is stronger than you? Waiting would be nicer, except that in these days, waiting is essentially giving your enemy time to amass weapons you cannot defend against.
What if Hitler had been stopped years before he was?
That's what makes the whole Iraq argument so insane. I don't know that Bush lied about the WMDs in Iraq. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn't. The fact is that we do not know, and we probably never will, unless someone comes out with a tape of Bush stating his intention to mislead the world. Until they do, you have to pick a side based on nothing more than faith -- faith in your country, faith that sometimes people make honest mistakes, faith that the man elected -- twice -- to be the president of the United States actually cares what happens to the country and did what he thought was right at the time.
And for the record, again, I'm not rah-rah-rah for the war in Iraq. Knowing only the publicly-known information that I know, I would probably have tried to ally with Iraq against Iran, because Saddam wasn't a religious nut, he was a power hungry dictator who liked wealth and fame and glory, and he could have been bought off -- which I think is why some people were so gung-ho to get him out, because if he had or got a hold of WMDs, it's not unreasonable to think he would have passed them on to others if the price was right.
So, not knowing anything about anything, I just support what seems to make the most sense at the time. Sometimes I'll be right, other times I'll be wrong.
But sometimes I'll never know for sure.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Here's the latest story.
The thing is, the class chose to name the bear Muhammad after one of the more popular boys in the class, not after the prophet.
Also, the original sentence was to be 40 lashes, which was reduced to imprisonment.
Now, understand this: According to the story, thousands of protesters are rallying in Sudan, calling for the execution of the teacher for insulting Islam!
Are these people absolutely insane? They want to kill someone because she let children give a teddy bear the same name as a religious figure?
This is just another example of how screwed up these Muslims are, and how blind the left is about the danger they pose to the rest of the world.
I hear liberals bitch and moan about every mention of Christianity here in the U.S. -- they want to make sure that no one is even allowed to say the word "God" in public, let alone dictate social policy based on religious beliefs. They want all religious references taken out of schools, courts, government buildings ...
Can you imagine if Christians started executing Hispanics all over the United States because they dare name their children "Jesus"?
How about executing so-called comedian Kathy Griffin for openly mocking Christians and their beliefs? Or killing all atheists?
Liberals happily ignore the fact that these hardline Muslims are completely intolerant, violent, misogynistic barbarians who think that they are allowed to kill everyone they disagree with. I have no idea what part of this is so hard for libs to understand, because the Muslims are not quiet about their desire to kill everyone in the world, each other included, for every perceived slight.
Someone draws a cartoon about Islam? Kill the cartoonist AND the editor of the newspaper that ran the cartoon.
Someone writes a book critical of Islam? Kill the author.
The pope makes a historical reference to the barbaric practices in Islam? Kill him.
What the hell is wrong with these Muslims? And what the hell is wrong with liberals that they can completely disregard example after example after example of the violent, oppressive nature of these fanatics?
These fanatics kill homosexuals, oppress and abuse women, indoctrinate children to be fanatical killers as well ...
I know that there are Muslims that are not crazy and violent and bloodthirsty. But, there are so many that are crazy and bloodthirsty and intolerant that they have to be confronted because they pose a realistic threat to the rest of the free world. Because we let people come into this country pretty freely, we basically have the door open for the whackos to come in and kill us for not following their rules.
Iran jails and kills people because of the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, the way they dance. A woman who gets raped can't go to the police because they'll kill her for having been made unclean!
All the things that liberals espouse here in the United States are things that fanatical Muslims would kill someone for doing. And yet they ignore that, because they are afraid of the confrontation. They try to pass off cowardice as pacifism, and I'm sick of it.
I'm sick of hearing Muslims here in the U.S. bitch about how they get a bum rap or are profiled, because they're "peaceful" and "only the fanatics are dangerous." Well, there are millions of those fanatics, not dozens or hundreds or thousands, millions.
To steal a comparison from Bill O'Reilly: Not every German was a Nazi, but the Nazis posed a threat to the entire world. And if it wasn't for the United States confronting Hitler, the Nazis would have won.
It took warfare to end the threat. But for some reason, liberals cannot come to terms with this. I contend that fanatical Muslims post a bigger threat to the world than even Nazi Germany did, because Nazis weren't allowed to come into the United States freely and set up camp. These crazy Muslims are here in the U.S., they are in Britain.
And if you turn your back, they will cut off your head. Stop kidding yourself. It's not paranoia, it's not a "fear" of a "different culture," as liberals would like to believe.
You should be afraid, because someone has vowed to kill you, and your government is not being allowed to protect you.
How many more examples will it take? How many more videos of beheadings do we have to see? How many more innocent people have to be murdered in the name of the "religion of peace" for liberals to understand that it's not a joke, and that they would be the first to be killed under Muslim sharia law?
Rosie O'Donnell will criticize the U.S. and defend fanatical Islam, and yet the Muslims would kill her not only for being a lesbian, but simply for speaking her mind!
Liberals seem to be so comfortable with the freedoms they enjoy from the blood shed by others that they cannot see that fanatical Islam wants to take those freedoms away. They criticize every effort by the U.S. to protect its people from these barbarians, but they're silent on the real threat, because it's easier to stand outside the White House with a silly little sign than it is to fight the enemy.
When the crazy Muslims start running through the streets of American cities, burning the flag and killing innocent Americans, who are you going to look to to save you and your family -- a sensitive politically correct liberal? Or Dick Cheney and his shotgun?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It seems researchers have discovered that sitting for extended periods actually reroutes the fat in the body:
"The radioactive tracer revealed that when the animals were sitting down, the fat did not remain in the blood vessels that pass through the muscles, where it could be burned. Instead, it was captured by the adipose tissue, a type of connective tissue where globules of fat are stored. That tissue is found around organs such as the kidneys, so it's not really where you want to see the fat end up. "I thought I had gained weight because of the food I was eating and the lack of regular exercise; now I'm kind of happy because I can blame my waist expansion on work, TV, riding in the car and the Internet.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
What I find disturbing, aside from the story itself, is that a father of one of the boys is quoted as saying the girl made up the story to cover up her own misbehavior ... which, even if it was true, wouldn't take away the fact that 8- and 9-year-old kids are having sex.
Stories like this really make me want to scream. What the hell is going on in our society? Where is the outrage over the realization that our society is declining right in front of our eyes?
And, I have to wonder, is this the result of the secular-progressive movement in America that seems to think that expecting people to behave is somehow infringing on their rights? Or has this stuff always gone on but simply was not known across the country because of the lack of technology do get the information out there?
It's a good read. I can't imagine having to live like that. After reading it a second time, though, I started to wonder: Aren't there places in America right now where people are just as afraid to be out of the house after dark?
From what I've read, some people right here in the U.S. live in neighborhoods where violence and crime is so rampant that anyone can be a target, intended or not.
Jajuana Cole, 13, was shot and killed by a stray bullet in front of her apartment building in New Haven a while back.
The story mentions that when the family returned to their apartment, there was a bullet hole in the microwave.
Not that long ago, a New Haven alderman's home was hit by bullets.
The Iraqis talk about the violence between Shia and Sunni sects ... while in New Haven, kids from rival neighborhoods target each other without even knowing who it is they're shooting at; just being from a certain neighborhood can make a kid a target.
I would think -- without really knowing, of course -- that living in Baghdad is still much worse than the worst place in America, but how much?
Just because the violence surrounding the people in some U.S. cities comes from ignorance and criminality rather than religious fanaticism or political motives, does that make it any less horrific? Does a bullet from a 16-year-old city kid's 9 mm hurt any less than one from an Iraqi militant's AK-47?
Just something I was thinking about.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Some of the highlights:
- 20% said they would trade their vote in the 2008 presidential election for an Apple iPod Touch mp3 player.
- 66% said they'd give up their vote for free college tuition.
- 50% said they give up the right to vote forever for $1 million.
Neat story. Remember, this is for the '08 presidential race only -- would you give up your vote? If so, what's your price?
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
1. This story is about an FBI guy who interrogated Saddam Hussein for a while, but in a very friendly way. Turns out Saddam liked Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and also that his goal was to have a nuclear weapon.
2. A neat little story here about a college student who says she -- and others -- were given specific questions to ask Hillary Clinton at a campaign event. I'm sure lots of campaigns do this kind of stuff, but it's interesting to actually read about it.
3. You know, some people keep bitching and moaning about what an awful company Wal-Mart is, but, at least according to this story, they're doing fantastic.
So, take a few minutes to read these over. Interesting stuff.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
What Love means to a 4-8 year oldA group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, 'What does love mean?'
'When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore.
So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love.'
Rebecca- age 8
'When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.
You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.'
Billy - age 4
'Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.'
Karl - age 5
'Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.'
Chrissy - age 6
'Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.'
Terri - age 4
'Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.'
Danny - age 7
'Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.
My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss'
Emily - age 8
'Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.'
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)
'If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,'
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)
'Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.'
Noelle - age 7
'Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.'
Tommy - age 6
'During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling.
He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore.'
Cindy - age 8
'My mommy loves me more than anybody
You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.'
Clare - age 6
'Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.'
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.'
Chris - age 7
'Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.'
Mary Ann - age 4
'I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.'
Lauren - age 4
'When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.' (what an image)
Karen - age 7
'Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross.'
Mark - age 6
'You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.'
Jessica - age 8
The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
'Nothing, I just helped him cry'
Friday, November 9, 2007
He has not had a raise in 4 years.
If approved, his salary will go up from $115,000 to $140,000 ...
Please, please tell me I'm not the only one sitting here ready to vomit.
A $25,000 raise? For what?
For making New Haven a sanctuary city, to the detriment of every legal resident?
For spending millions upon millions of dollars building new, shiny schools that don't make kids any smarter than the old schools did?
For allowing crime to continue so much that average citizens had to start an armed patrol, and the Guardian Angels came down from New York to help deal with the thefts, muggings and shootings? Someone gets shot in New Haven almost every day, and on some days there are several, so that makes up for the days when there are none.
For wasting a whole lot of time and money running for governor instead of running the city, only to get whacked hard by M. Jodi Rell because outside of New Haven no one is impressed?
The people of New Haven should be outraged -- insulted and offended -- that with the state the city is in the mayor wants a raise larger than many of his constituents' annual salaries.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
In the story, the FBI admits that the information may or may not be credible -- so what's the point? It's nice to have the warning, but what's the solution? Stay away from shopping malls? Not likely. And even then, if the alleged threat is against malls in L.A. and Chicago, it could just as easily be any shopping mall in any state.
The idea that, as the story says, supposed jihadists boasting of such plans on the Internet would raise the fear level in America means that they don't even actually have to attack -- if they can disrupt the normal economy, then the goal is met without having to actually carry out the attack.
The simple threat was enough.
Or, maybe they will bomb a shopping mall. Who knows? People in Israel, Pakistan, Iraq and other places get blown up all the time while just out being "normal" ... so it can happen, or it might not.
I say go to the mall. If some crazy Muslim blows it up, then maybe more people will finally get angry enough at Islamic fanatics to accept the fact that they are dangerous.
And yes, I am profiling, because the people calling for jihad are all Muslim. Not Catholic, not Jewish, not Mormon. Muslim.
And if you're a Muslim and that sentiment ticks you off, good. Stand up and defend your religion from the people that are giving it a bad name, because if you don't, at some point it will be too late and no one will give you the chance to show you're not "one of them."
By the way, in that same thought ... here's another story about a 23-year-old British Muslim woman who wants to help kill "depraved Westerners" ... seems this mindless subhuman wants very badly to do anything she can to help the mujahadeen, murderous fanatical Muslims, and likes watching non-Muslims be beheaded on video.
So, here's my question -- if someone declares themself your enemy, and states plainly that you should be killed and that she will help kill you, shouldn't the targets, now that they have her, be allowed to kill her? Or, should she be allowed to lie and say she didn't mean it and go on her merry way to kill you another day instead?
I'm serious -- how many times does someone have to vow to kill you before you take them seriously, and kill them while you have the chance?
How shameful is that?
I don't even have a real post about it, it's just flat-out disgusting.
Forty percent? So my misanthropy is somewhat validated, I guess, if 60% of state voters couldn't find 5 minutes to cast a ballot.
I'll be generous and say 10% seriously could not make it to the polls -- that leaves 50% of registered voters in this state that deserve to have their voting rights revoked.
If you did not vote Tuesday and have no real excuse, you're just a fool. You didn't have to dodge bullets or IEDs to get to the polls, and you still couldn't manage to vote. Why?
I hate it when people say they didn't vote "because it doesn't make a difference" ... well, maybe if you had voted, it would have!
One point Gingrich makes that you should pay attention to is that people who are motivated by religion will do things that do not follow the law of man, or logic, for that matter.
Watch this video, and don't be prejudiced by the fact that it's Newt Gingrich, because this is not a partisan issue. Here's the link to the clip -- http://edition.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/08/gingrich/index.html#cnnSTCVideo -- watch it, and show it to people.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Of course, as is the norm with some folks, there was no actual example of racism, just the label, which usually achieves the desired effect even without factual backup. I asked the person to provide me with an example of FOX's alleged racism.
So, today, I get this reply: "As an baby boomer African-American, I have experienced racism all my life, and I do not need someone who has never experienced racism to tell me anything about racism. Anyone who watches FAUX as I do on a regular basis)and truly listens to what is said even by Juan Williams (he has no choice or he would be out of a job but to go along with O'Reilly) and his hateful remarks, not only regarding African-Americans, but anyone who does not totally agree with what he says, know that the racism is there. How can you tell me about somthing you have never and will never experience or understand. Just because you have this blog, does not mean a lot. Give me some examples of the racism you have heard or experienced personally, and I will listen to you. Until that time, you need to STFU."
Nice! All those words, and still not a single example of FOX's racism! What a waste of time. But, it's amusing, so I'll go along with it.
First off -- You assume that because Juan Williams is on FOX, he is forced to go along with whatever is said, because he would otherwise be out of a job. But you forget two things: The comments Williams made in agreement with Bill O'Reilly were not on FOX. And, if you think that every commentator on FOX has to agree with the talking points of whatever show they are on, look at Alan Colmes and Sean Hannity. They disagree constantly.
Second -- About experiencing racism ... yes, actually, I have. I've been called a "cracker" (which, until someone told me that it had to do with whip-cracking, I thought meant I was the color of a Saltine cracker!); I've been labeled a "half-breed" because I have Italian-Polish ancestry (oddly enough, both Italians and Poles have some problem with this) ... I've been called a "breeder" by a gay person, because I'm heterosexual, although I don't know if that counts.
Now, I don't even consider that stuff real "racism" -- just silly words from silly people. But, if the Imus controversy taught me anything, it's that in this day and age, just using a "slur" will get you labeled a racist who uses "hate speech." So I guess being the target of ignorant name-calling counts.
But there are some other examples of how I've been affected by something race-based ... when I needed financial aid my last year at college, the financial aid officer looked over all my information and denied my aid request, but said that, all other things being equal, I would have qualified if I was a minority; but being "white" I was just SOL and had to get a second job.
At one of the restaurants I was waiting tables at (to get the dough to finish school because I was denied financial aid because all us white folks have money out the wazoo, don't you know), I had a nice couple inform me ahead of time that I shouldn't expect a tip, because since their ancestors had to serve my ancestors for free, then here was the payback. The looked so proud to finally be giving it to whitey that I didn't have the heart to tell them that my ancestors weren't in this country when slavery was practiced, and when they did get here other people gave them a hard time and called them polaks or skis, wops or dagos.
But, you know what? None of that makes a difference, nor does the claim that you have experienced racism "all your life" -- this isn't about you, or me, this is about your claim that FOX is a "racist network" ... which, may I remind you, you still haven't given me an example of.
Third -- This is one of my favorites: "Just because you have this blog, does not mean a lot." What does that even mean? Again, what does my having a blog -- which, no, doesn't mean a whole hell of a lot, and is especially tedious when I have to sort through silly mail -- have to do with your unfounded claim that FOX is racist?
This whole thing is a great example of how people argue when they don't have an argument. They say "So-and-so is a racist" and I ask "How so?" and then they just ramble on and on about racism and injustice and pain and suffering, but they never actually answer the "How so?" question.
By the way, if I'm correct, "STFU" means "Shut the f**k up," which in some circles constitutes intelligent debate -- but not mine, which is why I'm still waiting for him to tell me how FOX is racist.
Anyway, if you think of an example, I'd still like to hear it. I'll even post it up here, because some people are getting a real bang out of this whole thing.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Someone sent me a comment claiming that FOX hosts Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and columnist Ann Coulter "make no bones about the fact that they feels blacks are inferior."
So I asked the commenter to please tell me when such statements of "fact" were ever made.
Rather than give me an example (because there are none to give), I received this gem of a reply:
"If you don't think what was said by Bill O'Reilly about blacks was racist, I can see why you watch Fox. Fox is a racist network, so I cannot speak about that network without mentioning race. Remember, O'Reilly was shocked to see that blacks knew how to behave in a restaurant. "
OK. Now, the item this poster cites to make the claim that the entire FOX network is racist was a part of O'Reilly's radio show (not on FOX, by the way) and he was speaking to Juan Williams (who is not white, by the way). They were discussing race relations in America, the after-effects of segregation and such, and the effect of things like gangsta rap and stereotyped movies on people's perception of "black culture." And even though it's long, the only way YOU can make up your own mind is to ignore whatever liberal TV show or newspaper is telling you "Bill O'Reilly said ...", and make up your OWN mind if it's racist. You HAVE to read the WHOLE thing -- without context, everything can be manipulated to show anything.:
So where is the racist stuff? I mean, I read that, and I find it pretty straightforward. There are people in this world who don't have a lot of interaction with black people, and all they know is what they see on TV, read in the papers, hear on the radio. They have misconceptions about "black culture" that the media feeds them.
From the September 19 edition of Westwood One's The Radio Factor:
O'REILLY: Now, how do we get to this point? Black people in this
country understand that they've had a very, very tough go of it, and some of
them can get past that, and some of them cannot. I don't think there's a black
American who hasn't had a personal insult that they've had to deal with because
of the color of their skin. I don't think there's one in the country. So you've
got to accept that as being the truth. People deal with that stuff in a variety
of ways. Some get bitter. Some say, [unintelligible] "You call me that, I'm
gonna be more successful." OK, it depends on the personality.
So it's there. It's there, and I think it's getting better. I think black Americans are
starting to think more and more for themselves. They're getting away from the
Sharptons and the Jacksons and the people trying to lead them into a race-based
culture. They're just trying to figure it out: "Look, I can make it. If I work
hard and get educated, I can make it."
You know, I was up in Harlem a few weeks ago, and I actually had dinner with Al Sharpton, who is a very, very interesting guy. And he comes on The Factor a lot, and then I treated him to dinner, because he's made himself available to us, and I felt that I wanted to take him up there. And we went to Sylvia's, a very famous restaurant in Harlem.
I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful.
They all watch The Factor. You know, when Sharpton and I walked in, it was like
a big commotion and everything, but everybody was very nice.
And I couldn't
get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and
any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even
though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and
that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A. There's no
difference. There's no difference. There may be a cultural entertainment --
people may gravitate toward different cultural entertainment, but you go down to
Little Italy, and you're gonna have that. It has nothing to do with the color of
WILLIAMS: Well, let me just tell you, the one thing I would say is
this. And we're talking about the kids who still like this gangsta rap, this
vile poison that I think is absolutely, you know, literally a corruption of
culture. I think that what you've got to take into account that it's still a
majority white audience -- young, white people who think they're into rebelling
against their parents who buy this stuff and think it's just a kick. You know,
it's just a way of expressing their anti-authoritarianism.
O'REILLY: But it's
a different -- it's a different dynamic, though.
WILLIAMS: Exactly right
O'REILLY: Because the young, white kids don't have to struggle out of the
WILLIAMS: Right, and also, I think they can have that as one phase of
WILLIAMS: I think too many of the black kids
take it as, "Oh, that's what it means to be authentically black. That's how you
make money. That's how you become rich and famous and get on TV and get music
videos." And you either get the boys or the girls. The girls think they have to,
you know, be half-naked and spinning around like they're on meth in order to get
any attention. It really corrupts people, and I think it adds, Bill, to some
serious sociological problems, like the high out-of-wedlock birth rate because
of this hypersexual imagery that then the kids adapt to some kind of reality. I
mean, it's inauthentic. It's not in keeping with great black traditions of
struggle and excellence, from Willie Mays to Aretha Franklin, but even in terms
of academics, you know, going back to people like Charles
Drew or Ben Carson
here, the neurosurgeon at [Johns] Hopkins [University]. That stuff, all of a
sudden, is pushed aside. That's treated as, "You're a nerd, you're acting
white," if you try to be excellent and black.
O'REILLY: You know, and I went
to the concert by Anita Baker at Radio City Music Hall, and the crowd was 50/50,
black/white, and the blacks were well-dressed. And she came out -- Anita Baker
came out on the stage and said, "Look, this is a show for the family. We're not
gonna have any profanity here. We're not gonna do any rapping here." The band
was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America
doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black
Americans. They think that the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris, and
WILLIAMS: Oh, and it's just so awful. It's just so awful because,
I mean, it's literally the sewer come to the surface, and now people take it
that the sewer is the whole story --
O'REILLY: That's right. That's right.
There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, "M-Fer, I want more iced
WILLIAMS: Please --
O'REILLY: You know, I mean, everybody was -- it
was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of
people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there
wasn't any kind of craziness at all.
"O'REILLY: The band was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black Americans. They think that the culture is dominated by Twista, Ludacris, and Snoop Dogg. WILLIAMS: Oh, and it's just so awful. It's just so awful because, I mean, it's literally the sewer come to the surface, and now people take it that the sewer is the whole story."
Seriously, how is that racist? I mean, to say that "O'Reilly was shocked to see that blacks knew how to behave in a restaurant" is silly if you actually read the whole thing, and not just the lines the left wing tosses out to support their agenda.
But wait! The poster had more for me: "O'Reilly intimated that Blacks could not think for themselves and had to follow people like Jackson and Sharpton. Any race that cannot think for itself would have to be inferior. "
Are you serious? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have thousands upon thousands of "followers" that consider them to be the "voices" of black America. If they see an injustice -- even if there's not really an injustice there (Tawana Brawley? Duke Lacrosse?) -- they can get those followers to come out in droves, with the whole us vs. them thing going on.
It IS bad for people to not think for themselves. But the fact that so many people do follow Sharpton and Jackson blindly isn't O'Reilly's fault -- that's just the way it is. And if he perceives that fewer and fewer people are doing that, well, that may or may not be correct, but it certainly is not a "racist" viewpoint. The poster inferred that on his/her own.
TO THE POSTER: I ask you again, please give me an example -- a real one this time, not one the left made up -- how FOX is a "racist network."
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Here's a neat little story about how some folks managed to give Barack Obama more campaign cash than they were supposed to ...
I have no comments. I'm sure there are a lot of politicians that get extra money this way. This is just another example.
The Democratic candidates avoid Fox like the plague, and criticize the network and its commentators every chance they get.
The whole thing seems really stupid on their part. With the size of Fox's audience, wouldn't it make sense to go after those votes?
I mean, all they seem to be doing is spouting the same rhetoric, to the same people -- the people that already support them.
It's as if they don't even want to tell me why I should vote for them -- they figure that because I'm watching Fox News that they shouldn't bother trying.
It's ridiculous. At the same time they piss and moan about how others are "divisive," and how the country needs "unity," they have no problem discounting a huge number of voters based purely on what channel their TV is on.
It's easy to pander to the people who already support you -- the challenge, and the test of a true "candidate," is to make an effort to convince other people to vote for you, too.
I was reading some of the posts on John Edwards' campaign Web site, and I really wanted to puke -- post after post after post of people talking about all the "hate" that gets spewed on FNC, and how, if he had "any guts," O'Reilly would do his show from Iraq.
Here's the laugh -- if they had every actually watched the show they would know he already has -- more than once. And they were good shows, where he interviewed soldiers at the heart of the war.
But they wouldn't know, because their opinions are based not on personal knowledge, but on the regurgitation of other uninformed people's spouting.
How do the lefties do it? They criticize FNC, but haven't ever seen it; they condemn Ann Coulter, without ever having read one of her books ...
You know, it's OK to disagree with something, but for Pete's sake, at least go and watch it and form your own opinion, instead of just repeating whatever Tim Robbins or Sean Penn or Susan Sarandon or Rosie said about it on TV.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Actually, aside from the political games some lawmakers are playing with kids' health, "SCHIP is a discretionary spending program run by the states and designed mainly to provide private insurance for children of low-income families that are not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. About 92 percent of the children receiving coverage under this bill would be from families earning up to twice the federal poverty level. The bill would expand coverage from 6.6 million children to 9.8 million children and deny SCHIP eligibility to children of illegal aliens and adults." (from Thomas Voting Reports' Roll Call, 10-19-07)
Did you read that? Did you notice the line, "About 92 percent of the children receiving coverage under this bill would be from families earning up to twice the federal poverty level" ...?
To me, that's key -- that is the difference between helping the "needy" get medical insurance and the liberals' goal of completely socialized health care (that you pay for).
Listen to me: If your income is twice the poverty level, you are not poor.
If your income is twice the poverty level and you do not have health insurance, then you are not spending your money wisely, period.
If you make that much money and don't have enough cash left for health insurance, then your priorities are screwed, and the rest of us taxpayers should not have to cover for your stupidity.
You know? I'm so sick and tired of people trying to take my money and give it to other people who are irresponsible.
Here's the worst part -- I can't even blame this solely on the Democrats, or libs, or lefties, or whatever you want to call the gang of whiners that usually have their hands in our pockets, because Chris Shays, that dope, voted to override the veto.
Just one more reason to get that guy out of office. It's bad enough when left-wingers try and screw us out of money, but when people from the "conservative" party encourage such behavior, and follow it, it's time for them to get the boot.
Kick out Chris Shays, and get someone who has a clue.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Well, it turns out, according to Robert Novak, that the "leak" was nothing more than "an off-hand remark to a question I asked in an interview I requested. This was not a conspiracy in the federal government to go after Valerie Plame Wilson.”
Here's the full story, which I'm betting you won't hear from the liberal, Bush-hating news outlets.
Friday, October 5, 2007
NEW YORK/LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The recording industry has won a major fight in its effort to stop illegal music downloading with a U.S. jury decision to impose $222,000 damages against a Minnesota woman who used a Web service to share music.
(Read the full story here.)
OK. Long story short, a woman was using a peer-to-peer file sharing program on her computer, called Kazaa, where a user can download files -- music, graphics, etc. -- from other users; at the same time, files on her computer could be downloaded by other people using Kazaa. So some record companies sued her for intellectual property rights infringement, and the jury awarded the record companies $222,000 for 24 songs -- more than $9,000 per song -- they said she made available for others to download.
An interesting factoid in an earlier article about this woman is that she buys many CDs.
This is just ludicrous. I understand the whole concept of intellectual property rights, and I also understand that downloading/uploading music is a violation of those property rights. But, to me, there are several mistakes being made on the part of the record companies.
First, just because someone downloads a song doesn't mean that they would have bought the whole CD if that download had been unavailable.
Second, by restricting music to those who can afford to buy numerous CDs, the recording industry is actually decreasing the market for their products: The music industry has to stop looking at the business as simply selling CDs; they are selling the performers, and if they restrict the number of people that are exposed to that performer, they are limiting the number of fans, which means fewer dollars on the bottom line (everything from concert tickets to T-shirts, posters, magazines).
Example: I've downloaded songs from bands I never heard of because the people offering the songs for download compared them to bands I already like -- and I've ended up being a fan of those new bands, though I never would have known about them had it not been for file sharing. File sharing, in fact, has resulted in more money for the companies, because I've then bought CDs, concert tickets and other related items that I would never have bought had I not been introduced to the music -- It's not like I'm going to walk into a store and plunk down $15 for something I've never heard of.
Which leads to another point: Maybe fewer people would download music if CDs weren't priced so incredibly high. When you have to pay $15-$20, or more, for something that costs pennies, you're getting ripped off.
And it's not even just the record companies that are screwing the fans -- some bands do it, too. A while back, the band Metallica started going after people on the Internet that were sharing Metallica songs. They got lists of thousands of names and actually tried to get the people -- their own fans -- in trouble. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was the leader of the effort, and complained that his art was being stolen.
Next thing you know, Ulrich will try getting a cut every time someone remembers a song he played.
I personally boycotted Metallica after that. I refuse to spend a dime on anything related to Metallica, which wasn't hard because they really are lousy now (they were good back in 1983-1988, and then got all serious about themselves and turned into "artists" instead of musicians, and, not surprisingly, the "art" suffered).
I'm a firm believer that the consumer has the power to break a company. Stop buying music -- CDs are not essential items. Listen to the radio, listen to them online, or borrow CDs from your local library -- but do NOT buy any more CDs.
If the record companies are whining about only making millions of dollars instead of billions, let them taste what it's like to make NO money. Convince everyone you know to boycott the music industry -- you won't have to do it for long. One or two quarters of slashed revenues can make a huge negative impact on a company.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
You can read the story here.
It seems a guy who had been teaching in the parish religious education program called the parish priest one day to complain about the quality of the priest's sermon, and left a message on the priest's answering machine.
The priest then played the message one Sunday. The message allegedly said "Father Rios, this is Angel Llavona. I attended mass on Sunday and I have seen poor homilies, but yesterday broke all records."
The priest then made a remark connecting the complaint to what he perceived as the low quality of the religious education program.
So now the guy is suing the church for $50,000. He says he was defamed and suffered "immediate emotional distress, embarrassment and humiliation."
So he gets the legal system involved?
If you have a complaint, but are embarrassed about that complaint being made public, then maybe you shouldn't have complained in the first place. It's called standing behind what you say, and everyone should do it. Granted, maybe it was in poor taste to play the message for the rest of the parish, but it's certainly not an issue for the courts.
Some, I suppose, are fine, doing good work navigating through the tangled legal system. But, for the most part, I think there are too many people who just have law degrees so they can make money off other people, wither by charging them crazy fees, or by taking it from them in court for ridiculous reasons.
Here's a nifty story about a 51-year-old paralegal who sued his school for what he considered a poor grade.
I think it's really funny that this guy wants to be a lawyer, but his suit against the school gets immediately dismissed ... so maybe he's not that good at understanding the law?
And, the fact that he wants to be a lawyer, and thinks that the judicial system is where you go to argue about a grade ... I guess maybe he does have a promising career as an ambulance chaser.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Yes, there are many, many reasons I would say this, but I simply don't have the time to list them all here. This post is about one issue in particular.
Senate Democrats are condemning radio talker Rush Limbaugh for some stupid thing he said on the radio. (Here's the latest story.)
Now, to me, it doesn't even matter what he said, short of calling for genocide. The very idea that our tax dollars pay enormous salaries to these morons in Congress so that they can sit there and play around taking votes on what people say on the radio, TV or whatever is just ridiculous.
Hello? There's a war going on, people in the U.S. are going broke even though they're working their butts off ... but Congress has to take time to deal with Limbaugh? What's next, a resolution condemning Britney Spears for being a no-talent gutter skank?
The saddest part of all this -- aside from the fact that we can't just toss these dopes out on the street -- is that some of the fools supporting this action actually want to be president of the nation.
Yeah, that's what I want, a president who will stop and put all the other trivial issues like war, fanaticism, poverty and education aside, and deal with the true issues, like Limbaugh's stupid comments.
Cripes. Hell, give me $160,000 a year, I'll do more work for you then these nimrods. I swear, some of these people have their heads so far up their butts they're using their bellybuttons for peepholes so they don't bump into each other when they ravage the complimentary bagel cart.
Man, I really hate these politicians. They don't do squat - neither party. I mean, they have the power to change the way things are, but things are still bad, so what does that tell you?
They're not doing squat.
And, I have to ask, because people like Harry Reid are at the forefront of the whole Limbaugh thing: Is this the big turnaround the Dems promised everyone in exchange for their votes? Forget Osama and al-Sadr, they caught Limbaugh!
Seems to me you got ripped off.
Here's a quick story about Clear Channel's CEO responding to Reid. Make sure you read some of the user comments, that's usually where the real humor is, you can read comments from people who are dumb but think they are smart (like people who complain about politicians but don't know what party the politician belongs to).
And, here's another story about radio guy Mike Savage (who, personally, annoys me to no end). Seems people are trying to take away HIS freedom of speech, too, because they don't agree with it.
You know, it never ceases to amaze me that the people who cry the most for tolerance and equality are the most intolerant, self-centered people around.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
There's really nothing new about the story, other than the date. It's the same old thing: Palestinans repeatedly fire rockets and mortars into Israel, Israel eventually goes and blows up some Palestinians, Palestinians vow revenge on the evil Israel.
Ever burn yourself touching a hot stove when you were a kid? How many times did you get burned before you figured it out?
So I can't for the life of me figure out why the Palestinans don't connect the dots here -- if you shoot things into Israel, Israel is going to get angry and fire back.
That seems pretty simple.
The most interesting part of this, to me, is that people will continue to criticize Israel for retaliating against hostile acts.
I personally have no horse in this race, I have no particular affection -- or disdain -- for Israel. I also think a Palestinian state is in order, if it would calm things down.
But I question that when I see the continued irrational behavior of the Palestinians. Every time there is a cease-fire, Palestinians are the ones to break it. Every time Palestinians attack Israelis, they cry foul when Israel fires back.
Eventually Israel is just going to obliterate the Palestinans.