This is sad. There is actually a Lebowskifest. Only in America. It is held to honor the movie The Great Leboski by the remarkable Coen brothers. I saw this movie and although I didn't really like it all that much I thought it was funny in an off beat way. The Coens and I must share a that's funny gene because I smile all the way through their movies. The Nixon bowling picture is in Lebowski's living room in the movie.
Their brutal movie, Fargo, is absolutely hilarious and tremendously sad at the same time. I actually can quote lines from that movie. "Prowler needs a jump." "And it was such a beautiful day" "Who the hell are you?" It is the only movie I can do that with and I have only seen it maybe 4 times. It also had probably the most evil character I have ever seen in a movie. Yet I felt some sympathy for him. It is amazing how the Coens structure a movie scene and use dialog. Even if you watch it several times you will pick up something new each time you watch it. They load their movie scenes with interesting comments about life or people as well as advance the story line. The Coens also made Raising Arizona. It is a classic too. An actor, Steve Buscemi, was fantastic in this movie as Carl Showalter.
The main activities at the Lebowskifest (what a great name for a bunch of wackos getting together) are watching the movie, bowling, and recalling lines from the movie. The Lebowskifest will not lead to world peace or ending hunger in the world but what the heck, Dude, people who watch this movie more than once probably have low expectations for things like that happening any time soon anyway.
John Scalzi at Whatever brought a smile to my face with a nice story about a special day with his daughter. Brought back some memories...
Everyone needs to read a Letter from Iraq. It is posted on the Winds of Change Blog. The letter presents an entirely different view about what is happening on the ground in Iraq than what you see on the nightly news or read about in the paper.
Keep in mind that the news media in this country has an agenda. It is, in my opinion, biased to the nth degree. Our media comes at us night after night with the worst of the worst about our country, its leaders and our troops in Iraq. As an extreme example one reporter actually reported with no facts or verification that our troops were torturing Iraqi children. I have been waiting for a firestorm of articles investigating this and there have been none. This tells me that it was a fabrication. Will the reporter be call on his shoddy lies and unsupported representations? I doubt it. He will be back at work tomorrow, writing more of them. As will the reporters from NBC, CBS, CNN, and ABC.
The truth about what is really happening in Iraq, good and bad, is available but you will not get it from our media. Read Letter from Iraq.
Kobe Bryant, I am sure would like to have me on his jury. I'd almost vote to acquit right now without any further evidence. I agree with attorney Roy Black in that any young woman who goes to a young man's hotel at midnight does so with a certain expectation in mind. If she willingly goes without considering the various possibilities as to what is going to happen or what might happen, she is dumb beyond description. Once the hotel room door closes behind her any cries of "rape" become an extreme believability problem for her in the he-said-she-said battle in the court room. Unless he pulled her into the room or tricked her somehow into stepping into the room then raping her, her credibility stayed out in the hall no matter if she is a former cheer leader and the sweetest, nicest young lady in Eagle, CO. She probably is all those things. If she went knowingly and willingly into that hotel room, no jury would side with the her unless there are other provable fact involved we are not aware of yet. Paula Jones had the same problem when she charged the Governor Clinton with sexually related improprieties. Many people did not believe her either. The Clinton-Jones episode was a slightly different set of circumstances than exist with Kobe and the young concierge who was off duty. Clinton was Governor and Jones was a lowly state employee who was told that the governor would like to meet her. Kobe and his wife called it a mistake of adultery and Clinton and his wife called it a vast right wing conspiracy.
There is another dumb person in this story, Kobe himself. He has already admitted to making a mistake. Fine. He should know, he should have been counseled 1000s of times to stay away from starry-eyed young women like this that are not his wife. Like President Clinton, Kobe made a stupid personal decision for some momentary pleasure that will cost him dearly if he is convicted. What could have gone wrong went wrong. Even if he was 24 years old he should have been aware of that possibility and all that he could lose by getting caught doing it or worst. If he were charged with stupidity as well as rape I would vote to convict him of that charge. Clinton was also guilty of being stupid.
Kobe is black. The young lady is white. For most black men in a rural county that is 75% white this might be a problem. Eagle, CO is no ordinary rural white county. The average price of a home there is over $300,000. Of course, the ink is barely dry on Bryant's indictment and references to race start playing a part in this case. A lawyer, Roy Black, who successfully defended one of the Kennedy boys from a rape charge might as well have called everyone in Eagle, CO a racist when he said the trial should be moved to an urban area where the jury would be more diverse. He also, in all fairness, also said the trial should be moved because everyone in town knows the young lady and her family. That sounds more reasonable than saying that Kobe could not get a fair trial in Eagle because he is black. Eagle is not in Mississippi in the 1940s. I hope Kobe's lawyers do not play the race card in order to try to win this case. He does not need it in my view. It may backfire on them if they do. OJ Simpson desperately needed the race card in his trial because his attorneys could not effectively argue the facts because they all overwhelmingly identified him as the murderer.
Read Wolf Blitzer's report.
Read story about the accuser (something we really want to or need to know?).
Kobe on Defense.
This will make the accuser feel better.
Another basketball player in trouble.
DA is confident but happy he does not have guard Kobe one-on-one.
A sad story about a true sports hero
A friend of accuser hits the talk show circuit.
All the News fit to print.
"She's not trying to drag him through the dirt." says accusers friend. Unless there some dirt in jail.
Politics is strange. Every Democrat is for repealing the recent tax cuts. Repealing the tax cuts is the same thing as raising taxes on everyone who pays taxes. The Some Democrats justify raising taxes by saying the money is needed to provide universal heathcare benefits. If they framed their proposal like this: we want to raise your taxes to provide increased healthcare benefits they would get almost no support for the idea. They say instead we want to repeal the tax cut for the richest 5% to so we can fund healthcare for everyone. For them it is not what you say but how you say it. Anybody with healthcare coverage now should be absolutely terrified of any Democratic attempts to tinker with the system.
Then a good revenue idea comes along that would tax internet users by not renewing a ban on taxes on internet access. Broadband users would see their monthly bills go up $5-10 a month. Why not do that? It would help support increasing healthcare benefits wouldn't it just as much as a repeal of the tax cuts would? And who are broadband users? They probably are the evil richest 5% !!! Everyone "knows" that the poor do not have computers let alone broadband access. We cannot not let the rich keep that $5-$10 a month while people are dying in the streets because they cannot afford healthcare!! That is so unfair!! Democrats should support every effort to not only continue the ban but to increase these taxes in order to fund one more massive backbreaking entitlement. I would love to see all the Democratic candidates support taxing internet accesss. This is their kind of issue. I know all the Democratic bloggers would probably even kick in a little extra if it meant some doctor would get an extra $10 in his check from the government each month. If any of the computer oriented Democratic candidates supported an internet access tax their computers would have to be shut down after the huge deluge of emails from angry taxpayers hit their systems.
I predict the ban will be either made permanent or extended another couple of years so some other congress will have to deal with it again. The extension looks like a political no-brainer to me. Don't look for a courageous Democratic candidate to support the ban on taxing internet access either. They have their computer systems to protect.
Robert Novak wrote that some "senior administration officials" told him that Joe Wilson's wife was a CIA operative. It has been written that the information about his wife was provided by these administration officials in order to smear Wilson, an anti-war media commentator with some impressive foreign service credentials, who was sent to Niger to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq. The information about Wilson's wife was buried in a paragraph deep in Novak's article.
A Nation article then picks up on the fact that this is appears to be a major smear and if Wilson's wife was an undercover operative then the the "senior administration officials" did something seriously illegal - expose an undercover CIA operative. The "important" blogs will blog this story to death.
I am looking forward to some clarifications about this whole thing. I was surprised to see the serious accusations based on Novak's article come raining hard and fast down on blogdom. Now that the nasty accusations of political payback and worse have been made and so many people are hanging out there with monumental conspiracy accusations I hope whether Plame is an undercover agent who has been compromised will be either authoritatively confirmed or denied quickly.
It seems Novak was trying to use that Plame was a CIA employee to explain why the CIA went to her to recruit Wilson for the controversial trip to Niger. Perhaps Novak had simply asked the administration officials in the CIA why and how Wilson was selected to go to Niger (because that was what the article was about *) and they told him that they had determined that Wilson was the right guy to go that since his wife worked for the CIA and they asked her to ask him to go. If Plame is not an undercover employee what is the harm here? Korn in his article in the Nation about Novak's article points out that Wilson says, "I will not answer questions about my wife. This is not about me and less so about my wife." This makes it sound mysterious except when you think about the "this" he is refering to in that 2nd sentence. A conspiracy buff could say he is covering up for his wife. It sounds to me as if he is trying to get the topic of conversation back to the uranium purchases and away from him or his wife because they aren't story. Just One Moment discusses this as well here.
If the government officials that gave Novak the information about Plame were CIA employees as the story seems to say, they outted their own employee if, of course, she was an undercover employee to begin with. The CIA outting one of their own sounds somewhat implausible.
* The story begins with this:
"The CIA's decision to send retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson to Africa in February 2002 to investigate possible Iraqi purchases of uranium was made routinely at a low level without Director George Tenet's knowledge. "
The fact that newspaper columnists are partisan is not new. It doesn't take a college degree to deduce that a well-known columnists like Molly Irvins, Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, or Paul Klugman are partisan. Usually reading the column's headline or the first paragraph or two will tell the reader from which side of political spectrum they are coming from. What is new, to me anyway, that there is a dedicated soul out there who tracks partisanship on his website. If this sort of thing interests you, truck on over to Lying in Ponds and see where your favorite columnist is ranked. This is Lying in Ponds's mission statement:
Lying in Ponds is an attempt to encourage vigorous, independent commentary in the American punditocracy by quantifying and analyzing partisanship. Lying in Ponds tries to draw a fundamental distinction between ordinary party preference and excessive partisanship. The presence of an excessive partisan bias transforms journalism into advertising, too distorted and unreliable to be useful in any serious political debate.
Looking over the data on Lying in Ponds I noticed that the Democratic pundits are primarily writing negatively about the Republicans and not writing positively about Democrats while the Republican pundits do the same but write considerably more positively things about their own party. Most of the conclusions I can draw from why this difference between negative and positive stories about the pundit's own party exists are obvious. It is interesting nevertheless.
One of the disturbing things about the punditry world is that many of the pundits who inhabit this world of words actually, with a straight face no doubt, claim they are not partisan. Paul Klugman is one. At one time in his career that may have been almost true but he has morphed into one of the league leaders in partisan hits on Republicans. His op-ed pieces in the New York Times generate such a visceral reaction from some people that anti-Klugmanite and pro-Klugmanite web sites and blogs have popped up on the web here (take a look at this one just for the beautiful picture of the Golden Gate Bridge) here here, and here (Klugman's own site) devoted to debunking or supporting Klugman's ideas. One of the reasons that these pundits do not think that they are partisan is, according to Bernard Goldberg in his book Bias, that all their friends and co-workers think exactly the same way they do. Diversity of political opinion does not exist in the world that these people live in. It probably comes as a rude shock that some people actually disagree with them.
There is an interesting book on bias in the visual news media called Bias by former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg that dissects the TV news business. And of course, Rush Limbaugh has beat the drum loudly and often that the media, visual and print, has been biased for years and years. He, without a trace of bias himself, would document case after case of it on his daily talk show. Limbaugh actually trained, some would say brainwashed, his listeners with his daily media jabs (whether they were true or fair or not) to become more critical viewers, readers, or listeners when they listened to, read, or watched what the media and pundits were presenting to the public. If a listener, viewer or reader knows what to look for it is relatively easy to detect bias in reporting or editing. It seemed that Limbaugh thought it was his primary mission to expose the media's propaganda methods to his listeners because people who listened to his show are or became big media consumers and the media was/is primarily and, to Limbaugh, dangerously liberal. Limbaugh's listeners, for the most part, were probably not initially aware of how the media slants the daily barrage of news. Limbaugh was trying to immunize a huge number of people from what he thought was the daily onslaught of liberally biased news and commentary. FoxNews' popularity probably grew from those people Limbaugh had educated over the years. Limbaugh's daily rants about media bias over the years may be the orgin of a growing concern and discussion today about media bias.
A quick observation of mine on how to detect political bias in the news: I have found that there is just one word that can reliably be used to determine the bias of the reporter or commentator when he or she is talking about the current administration in Washington. It is the word "this" as in "this administration" with the word "this" almost sneeringly pronounced with a hissing sound. Check it out. A conservative speaker would use the term "Bush administration" in a similar sentence. I can imagine all the liberal media types standing around in glittering beltway cocktail parties using the words "this administration" as sort of a perjorative code word for the Bush administration in a vain attempt to be smart, cool, urbane, hip, or intellectual. To me it is hilariously funny. The speaker might as well have LIBERAL PARTISAN tattooed on his or her forehead. Listen to NPR sometime. It is wall-to-wall discussion of actions "this" administration is taking. Do they really think they are fooling anyone?
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married. Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children - last of all, the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it! Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath"
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs"
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying "dirt poor".
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning, often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "uppercrust."
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."
England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."
And that's the truth...
Our trusty local Phoenix TV weatherman, Royal Norman, told us last night we were going to have a heat advisory for today. Then he said, for this time of year in the Valley of the Sun, that was the same thing as issuing a freeze warning for Nome, Alaska in January. As residents in the Phoenix area say under their breath (to keep everyone from laughing at them), "Its Dry Heat." Take it from me, dry or not, 115 degrees is uncomfortably warm. In this weather it is best to have some gloves with you when you go out. You need them to open the car door without blistering your fingers and put on while you attempt to steer your car with a steering wheel that is probably as hot as a stove burner. At least 3 more months of 100 plus temperatures for us. You can check Phoenix's current temperature in my little weather box on the right hand side of the blog.
Time to hit the pool!
We banked in Kansas with a great bank, Capitol Federal Savings for 30 plus years. Cap Fed, although a big bank, gave us just about perfect service for those 30 years. We continued using Cap Fed for the last 5 years that we have lived in Arizona. With automatic withdrawals and all the other electronic marvels that we enjoy it wasn't much of a hassle. A bank conglomerate here, Bank One, had an offer for free checking that caused me to change from Cap Fed. It has been an endless trial to get all the automatic withdrawals and deposits changed over. I am almost finished. Never again.
The last change-over was my wife's automatic payroll deposit. I sent the forms in 3 weeks ago and her payroll department has done nothing. My wife went down to her payroll office to inquire about it. They were "holding" our request. Apparently, I sent them a voided "unofficial" check. The bank gave me a book of ten checks without our name and address on them when I opened the account. Payroll was calling these "unofficial" checks. I was voiding these babies instead one of my "official" checks and sending them to companies that needed a voided check from my bank. Many companies now accept bank routing numbers and account numbers on the internet and do not need a voided check. Well, the payroll lady told my wife she needed an "official" check in order to process the request. I went bonkers. We gave payroll a signed form with our name, routing number, and account number on it with the voided "unofficial" check that any fool could use to verify that the routing number and account number matched. The lady insisted. Did I mention that my wife works for the State of Arizona? My wife called several people high up in the administration area who said they would get back to her. They didn't. She called again. Again, they said they would get back to her. They didn't. She finally called the director of the department (she works for a department director and worked in the governor's office so she knows how to get through to these people). The director got right on it and someone called her back finally in about 5 minutes. They said that they needed an "official" check, one with our name and address on it, in order to "protect" us and the bank. Give-me-a-f'ing-break!! Having a name and address on a check is meaningless. The routing and account number are what count. Everyone from Discover to other banks have accepted those "unofficial" checks. Where did the payroll department think we got those checks? Wal-Mart? Besides it was my wife's paycheck we were depositing. Would we deposit her check in someone else's account? Our government in action. I should take them to court for ... got any ideas for a cause? Stupidity is not illegal.
Electronic banking is cool. I see people writing checks in the market all the time. Mostly females for some reason. Why do they do that? I charge everything to Discover and pay it off each month so I do not pay interest. I get 1% back off each one of my purchases. It amounts to a nice piece of change each year. All my payments and deposits are automatically handled electronically. I write about 20 checks a year. It is unusual for me write a check for anything. Each day all my banking information downloads into Microsoft Money. Money keeps track of all my bills and deposits without me having to enter everything by hand. All my other financial accounts are handled the same way. I can go to Money right now and look at a cash flow forecast for the next month or what we spent the past month. It is really handy. Money is one of the reasons why I switched banks. Cap Fed doesn't download data and its website is sooooo 1999ish.
Tokyo Water Park
Their slogan reads:
"Get away from the hustle and bustle of city-life as we welcome you to the breathtaking Tokyo Water Park where you can wash away the pressure and stress of the overcrowded city and relax with your friends in the soothing enjoyment of sun, fun and splashing".
Where was this program when I was among the employed?
You might need this if you are reading this at work. Now if someone from the next cubical happens to look closely at your "email" screen and sees the kind of pictures you enjoy looking at ...
Did you buy too much duck tape during the last terrorist alert? Here are some creative uses for it.
I am going to rant like I did last summer. We saw a good free, outdoor concert at Fort McDowell, Arizona on Independence Day. The Coasters, the Drifters, and the Platters sang. Like Carl Showalter said in Fargo, "You can't go wrong with Jose Feliciano. ( Side Note: Feliciano was playing Lets find each other tonight which is pretty funny when you think about the scene in the movie.) Because we got there early my beloved spousal unit found some great seats about 40 rows from the stage while I took the illegal cooler back to the car. We settled in and then a mini Jerry Springer Show tryout began right in front of us. Why do people come to concerts like this if they are not going to watch or even listen? The male was drunk, loud and obnoxious. The female just had to get up and dance to every number not even remotely considering the dozen people behind her who were trying to see the show. She was the only one dancing out of 3000 people. Her child had perfected the yelling-and-whining-until-I-get-money-for-food bag of tricks and was using every trick in his repertoire. Fortunately his parents gave in to his demands and he was gone half the time. Then the male Springer, fortunately had to go hunt him down and get another beer. He would come back, light up, and loudly explain what happened to the kid, etc.. When he lit up this caused the usual smoker's chain reaction causing everyone in his party of loud people to light up. This routine was repeated 5 times. I asked them once to be quiet, but, frankly, this guy looked like an escaped Charile Manson type serial killer, so we suffered in silence. His spousal unit, the dancer, was probably the ugliest woman I have ever seen.
The music on stage was good enough to offset this sideshow in front of us. The Coasters were out of sync it seemed and were feeling the 110 degree Arizona desert air even though it was Dry Heat. The Drifters and the Platters pulled some old sounds out of the back of my mind with a smooth and effortless performance. How many dances did I dance in high school or college to those songs? Charlie Brown, Poison Ivy, Searchin', Yakety Yak, and Young Blood from the Coasters. Great Pretender, Magic Touch, My Prayer, Only You, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and Twilight Time from the Platters. On Broadway, Save The Last Dance For Me, This Magic Moment, Under The Boardwalk, and Up On The Roof by the Drifters. I pulled my cap over my eyes so I would not have to watch the ugly dancer and remembered the innocent days of my youth. Some songs brought tears to my eyes or was that from the smoke of those cheap Brand X cigarettes the Springers were smoking? At one point Charlie, the serial killer, got up and took the camera and shot some obligatory we-were-there photos of the rest of the Springers. While he was snapping away I was behind them, smiling and slowly raising a finger right before each snap. Did you get that Charlie?
I have started disliking events like this because people in general have gone from being plain rude to being obnoxiously rude. They must think they are in their living rooms or bathrooms. They talk, even yell at inappropriate times, and get up and go to the bathroom and to multiple visits to the food stands during the show. They have no respect for those around them or for the performers. They talk on their cell phones. "Guess where we are?" or "Where you at?" These people must consume 5000 calories each at these events. There isn't a fat-filled food item too gross for them to pass up.
Estonians outclass Finns in wife-carrying races. It is even a sport here in the US!!! You can actually sign up here. (Our US wife-carriers beat the Canadians who had to carry polar bears instead of women this year.) There is a 15 sec penalty if a contestant drops his wife during the race so that might take a little fun out of it for some people. The Estonians award the winner with his wife's weight in mineral water. The Finns awarded their winners with their wife's weight in beer. I would think the Finnish idea of a prize is more popular in the wife-carrying world. The Estonians won for the 5th straight year. The Finns are now considered the Boston Red Sox of wife-carrying and are plotting revenge.
The course is 278-yard oval track that includes a water trough and two hurdles of wooden logs. The Estonians came up with the revolutionary upside-down back carry that has supplanted the traditional piggy-back carry. There is also the fireman's carry that leaves the man/woman team a little top heavy. So far there have not been any reports of corked wives. Are some of these people getting carried away with this?
In order for our country to be politically correct hubby-carrying races should be next. Then life partner-carrying races. Of course, women in two income families, could always say that they already have been carrying their husband for years.
Wife-carrying has one of nicest, happiest rule for any sport I have ever seen: Every participant must have fun. All sports should adopt that rule and enforce it with an iron fist.
By using the phrase "that is offensive to me" without any real evidence people can adversely affect another person's life irreparablely. There is virtually no defense that a person can make against some one accusing them of being offensive. At least none that I know of. I have been accused in the past of being offensive to someone in the workplace. I apologized even though an apology was really not called for since my remark was obviously not directed at them personally. Nevertheless I apologized probably 5 times. Verbally and in writing. To no avail. I was severely reprimanded in writing by my boss at Human Resources insistence. I was so mad I could have .... I never spoke to that person I "offended" again.
The case of a Cal Poly Student being punished for posting a flier for a speech by an author is similar to mine. A Cal Poly student named, Steve Hinkle, legally posted a flier in a public area, the university's Multicultural Center, for an upcoming speech by Mason Weaver. Some other students saw the flier, as pictured on the left, as Hinkle was posting it and called the campus police and complained that the flier was offensive to them. Hinkle was taken before an university review board and was told by Vice Provost to write letters of apology to the offended students. The apology letters would be subject to review by the Office of Judicial Affairs. The board also said that its decision was final and that it could not guarantee that the apology letters would not become public. If the student refused to do as he was told he would be subject to further disciplinary action up to and including explusion from the university. Mr Hinkle sued the university. Good for him.
This kind of fascist behavior on the part of organizations like universities in order to appease groups that are simply out to stifle any thoughtful discussion of issues involving members of their groups has to stop. Freedom of speech trumps "being offended" in my opinion.
From a Amazon.com book review of It's OK to Leave the Plantation : The New Underground Railroad by Mason Weaver:
As a Masters level professional therapist I have read hundreds of books on behavior, thought process, belief, and social policy. Mason's book is one of the most revolutionary, honest, and accurate books I have ever read. The sad thing is, the people who need to read this don't have the love for the truth or the guts to do so. This book changed me, changed the way I view politics, race, and social policy. Mason has the credibility and bold honesty to force you to think about some of the core beliefs that you have about life in the US, hence the word revoulutionary. Now one of my top 5 favorite books ever. Mason is one of those rare individuals who is so deeply aware of racial and social truths that he is compelled to share them with everyone out of his love for this great country of ours. I have seen Mason speak publicly, met him personally, and believe him to be one of the greatest patriots the United States has ever produced. Inspirational.
This guy conducts all the 5th grade science projects you never had time for. Maybe there is a idea or two for a project for your 5th grader on his website? He and his merry band of fellow scientists look like they certainly have a good time getting the answers to questions you never thought of asking. There should be an award somewhere for these people. The Nobel Prize for Interesting but Worthless Experiments?
Fireworks on the Fourth of July are a family tradition at our house. Our neighbors back in Kansas used to buy a box load of fireworks for our annual neighborhood party. It was sort of a bring your own fireworks party. BYOF. After the city would shoot off 10 thousand dollars worth of the taxpayer's money we would set up our little fireworks party in the middle of the street on our block.
Fireworks were illegal in our county but not in surrounding counties or in Missouri. The roads into our county were lined with fireworks tents and everyone flocked to them. The police ignored the law unless someone complained. So for 5 years or more we had a nice neighborhood outing with all the neighborhood kids setting off firecrackers and bottle rockets. The adults either handled the large ordance or sat comfortably in folding chairs with cold beverages in hand watching it all. There was a certain amount of danger to all this. We all had wooden roofs. It all came to an end one year when a police car showed up and asked us nicely to shut it down. A neighbor, probably smiling at their curtained window as the squad car pulled up, called the police. That was the last year we had our little party.
We are in Arizona now and we will go up to Fort McDowell Indian Reservation to watch a huge display put on by the Indian community there. It seems ironic that Indians celebrate the 4th of July but this event puts a lot of money in the tribe's pockets so irony takes a backseat to practicality. It is a great display with great food and free entertainment. Be sure to move your mouse over the free entertainment link's menu on the left hand side of the page. It is the most unique menu effect I have ever seen.
There is a great web site that explains how fireworks works. At this site you can learn the names of the different kinds of shells and impress everyone. Here is a short video explaining the process of building a aerial bomb.
Have a great 4th!!!!
Diane McWhorter of Slate Magazine writes a nasty article today about a dead man that dredges up everything circumspect the man ever did. She doesn't have the courage to kick someone when they are alive and aged. She is the type of mean-spirited writer that carefully waits until someone they do not like is dead before aiming some wild kicks at the person's lifeless body. Such is the state of liberal journalism in our country today.
Ms. McWhorter is upset it seems because no one has prominently mentioned in the media that Senator Thurmond, (according to her - she gives no proof), may have fathered a daughter, Essie Mae Williams, with a black woman way way back in 1925, just 78 years ago. This child, she writes, was "almost certainly" fathered by Senator Thurmond. Just like Juantia Broaddrick may have been but was almost certainly raped by Bill Clinton. McWhorter unsuccessfully tried to contact the 78 year old child to get her "comments" about Senator Thurmond. Fortunately, Ms Williams was not available. McWhorter is, by golly, not going to let Senator Thurmond off the hook on this massive display of hypocrisy even if he is dead and the child he supposedly fathered is a mere 78 years old. Is this hard hitting investigative reporting or what?
Ms. McWhorter bad mouths not only the deceased Senator Thurmond but also his "almost certain" daughter by calling her a racist name - a "high yaller" sorority girl. "High Yaller" is a slang term that refers to the color of skin. She doesn't stop there. She throws a couple of feminist low blows at Senator Thurmond's wives as well. She calls them "conspicuously virginal choices" of Senator Thurmond. How can someone conspicously virginal? Are all attractive 20 year old women participants in beauty contests conspicously virginal to McWhorter or just those that marry senators?
McWhorter called the senator's second wife a "proverbial 'flower of southern womanhood,' the ideal that justified segregation's direst form of social control, the ritual castration of lynching." Note the snotty quotes around 'flower of southern womanhood'. Why use this old stereotypical term to describe a senator's wife? Ritual castration of lynching? Senator Thurmond married a beautiful woman to justify the ritual castration of lynching? And, of course, what is an article about an old line segregationist without including a passing learned reference to lynching or castration? No evidence is forthcoming from McWhorter about whether Senator Thurmond ever was involved in these activities. I guess Whorter wants the reader to assume that if someone was a segregationist they must lynched a couple of blacks at one time or another.
And, of course, to complete the circle of hate, Ms McWhorter brings up the death of the senator's 22 year old daughter in 1993 in a traffic accident as if the "all-merciful Christian deity", as Ms McWhorter delicately refers to God, was punishing Senator Thurmond for being an old line segregationist politician. McWhorter even hurls a shovel full of vindictive at the senator's dead daughter and his wives by happily italicizing the word 'she' in the sentence containing "22-year-old white daughter he did acknowledge, just before she was to enter the Miss South Carolina contest".
This is a new journalistic low: gleefully and hatefully dancing on a dead senator's grave and trashing the women in his life before the flowers on his grave have wilted . The all-merciful Christian deity knows McWhorter won't get another Pulitzer for this piece of garbage.