Saturday, August 1, 2009

Toilet Paper Roll Art

Faces made from empty toilet paper rolls.

Thanks to The Daily Dish Sphere: Related Content

What Would Insurance Premiums Be Like For A Blind Driver

Washington Post reports on a car designed by Va. Tech students for the blind. Another DARPA inspired project. Sphere: Related Content

High Minded Political Attack Ads

Found through Jonah Goldberg at National Review Sphere: Related Content

Clear Channel Passes On Palin

It is being reported at Media Bistro that Clear Channel passed on Palin for radio show. Sphere: Related Content

Henry Louis Gates Makes Nice Gesture To 911 Caller

The Boston Globe reports that Gates sent Lucia Whalen flowers. Sphere: Related Content

CNN Makes Money From Group Attacking Lou Dobbs

The Plum Line reports that Media Matters bought airtime on CNN to run ads attacking Lou Dobbs on the birther issue. Perhaps Jon Klein's support of Dobbs' "judgment as various stories evolve" is wavering or perhaps CNN just needs the money

Sphere: Related Content

If Olbermann Can't Attack O'Reilly Why Watch UPDATE

Glenn Greenwald at Salon takes the NY Times story about NBC and Fox to the place where the NY Times should have. Greenwald writes:
"So here we have yet another example -- perhaps the most glaring yet -- of the corporations that own our largest media outlets controlling and censoring the content of their news organizations based on the unrelated interests of the parent corporation."
He goes further:
"It makes no difference what one thinks of O'Reilly's attacks on the corporate activities of GE or Olbermann's criticisms of O'Reilly and Fox News. Whatever one's views on that are -- and I watch neither show very often -- those are perfectly legitimate subjects for news reporting and commentary, and the corporate decree to stop commenting on those topics is nothing less than corporate censorship."
Greenwald also takes issue with the guest hosting slots by Richard Wolffe on the Olbermann program. I was unaware that Wolffe had left Newsweek for a corporate communication position, essentially a lobbyists. I was more disturbed by Howard Dean hosting. Sphere: Related Content

If Olbermann Can't Attack O'Reilly Why Watch.

The NY Times Business section reports on the deals being struck by NBC and Fox News to be nice to each other. Sphere: Related Content

Are You A Better Painter Than A Six Year Old?

This was painted by a six year old boy. Here is the story at the Daily Mail.
Sphere: Related Content

Friday, July 31, 2009

Will Losing Expertise Cost Us An Art And A Leg?

Robert Lee Hotz laments the loss of technical skills from generation to generation. Hotz uses the art and science of art restoration to explain the distressing situation we face as one generation of skilled people retire without passing on those skills to younger people.

Sorry about the stupid pun in the title. Sphere: Related Content

Isn't This A Lovely Moment

Sphere: Related Content

What Does The Country Know About Barack Obama

Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress shows this chart about misconceptions of President Obama. Follow the links to Think Progress for more info and commentary.

Sphere: Related Content

Is There Any Surprise Where The Birthers Are?

Research conducted by Research 2000 for the Daily Kos asked respondents the question, "Do you believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States of America or not?"

Results by region:

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clip Of Suspended Boston Cop Speaking With Larry King

Here is a clip from the recent interview conducted by Larry King with the Boston cop suspended for sending racist email.

My impression:
This man should be fired. While listening to him it sounds like he does not understand that his actions were wrong or offensive. He apologizes to police officers, soldiers and citizens but not to the author of the editorial nor Professor Gates who he called a jungle monkey. His excuse is that he did not mean for people to perceive his words as offensive or racist. He asserts that he isn't a racist. I think this guy is a racist. The quote that stands out from the apology is, "I did not intend any racial bigotry, harm or prejudice in my words." How is that possible? I could forgive a person that makes a statement that is prejudice or bigoted, if afterward they are aware that what they said is wrong and understand why it is wrong. This man is not aware of that he is racist.

Sorry about the quality.

Sphere: Related Content

More Shatner Reading Palin's New Poem

Sphere: Related Content

Boston Cop Apologizes, Should He Be Fired?

The cop suspended from the Boston PD for writing a racist email has apologized. He is going to fight the PD to keep his job if he is fired. His lawyer said, "I think the department has taken such an outwardly over-proportional response," he said. "We have police officers who do heroin, cocaine and keep their job, beat their wives, keep their jobs. The mayor isn't out on TV saying they're g-o-n-e."

If that is his argument he should start looking for a new job.

Should the cop be fired?

I think so. We are continuously told that cops should get the benefit of the doubt. I don't think that is appropriate but that it what some think is appropriate because cops do a potentially dangerous job. If we are to give cops this benefit we should also hold them to a higher standard of behavior. I think the language and ideas in this email surpass that standard. Sphere: Related Content

Will Same Sex Marriage Really Lead To The End Of Civilization? Wasn't Ending Segregation Supposed To Do That.

Charles Cooper in a letter to the Wall Street Journal yesterday contradicted an Op-Ed essay written by David Boies published in the same paper on July 20.

Cooper’s contention is that the State of California has the right to ban same sex-marriage obviously Boies’ argument is just the opposite.
My agreement with Boies could not be stronger.

Boies makes an explicit argument that equates Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws as being the same as a law banning same sex marriage. In his letter, Cooper attempts to show that the two issues are not analogous. I whole heartily disagree with Cooper.

Cooper asserts that Boies argument only serves to defame “as bigoted not only the majority of Californians, but also the overwhelming majority of Americans.” He writes:

“The traditional definition of marriage has nothing in common with anti-miscegenation laws.”
As you read his argument and ponder on the implications that arise from them you can find that similar arguments were made in support of anti-miscegenation laws.

Cooper's argument rests on the belief that same sex marriage is not natural because homosexuals cannot procreate and this change in marriage laws would lead to the downfall of our civilization. He writes:

“It is an undeniable biological fact that only opposite sex relationships naturally, and often inadvertently, produce children. Accordingly, traditional opposite-sex marriages further the fundamental purpose of marriage in a way that same-sex relationships do not. This purpose of marriage goes to the very survival of civilization.”
Coopers argument, as I understand it, is that the natural order dictates that only a man and a woman together can reproduce “naturally” and marriage is the institution that can facilitate the development of the offspring to maintain civilization. Ultimately what Cooper is arguing is the demise of our civilization will come if we expand the definition of marriage because justification of homosexuality would eventually lead to a rise in the acceptance of it and the inevitable rearing of children by homosexuals. This argument shuns the scientific consensus that homosexuality is a naturally occurring deviation from the norm. As ridiculous as I find this it is not the problem I have with Cooper’s argument.

His assertion that efforts to ban same sex marriage have “nothing in common with anti-miscegenation laws” is belied by my understanding of his argument and the history of arguments in support of anti-miscegenation laws. Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy details the history of anti-miscegenation laws in his essay “The Enforcement of Anti-Miscegenation Laws. Kennedy quotes a passage from a letter:

“White race purity is the corner-stone of our civilization. Its mongrelization with non-white blood, particularly with negro blood, would spell the downfall of our civilization.”
I am certain that arguments have been made throughout history similar to Coopers. Many changes in society have elicited the cry that society will fail. Arguments have been asserted that civilization began to fall when women received the voting franchise. The same arguments were made in the failed efforts to preserve school segregation.

These argument are based on the fear of the unknown or misunderstood.

On the issue of “judicial activism”, is it the role of the jurist to apply a specific belief as to the definition of our civilization or is the jurist only required to apply our laws to issues, such as same sex marriage? Is it judicial activism to measure our laws against what our constitution allows or is judicial activism to measure laws against our own belief of what civilization should be? I think the former should be path chosen by our judges.

I would hope that courts hear arguments on these laws and decide on the merits of the arguments as they relate to our legal precedent not “age old definitions” of civilization.

Sphere: Related Content

John Stossel On The Minimum Wage

Stossel writes at Reason an argument against minimum wages. Not a new argument but an economically sound one. Sphere: Related Content

Fox Affiliate In Boston Releases Email From Boston Cop

This is an image of the email sent buy Boston cop suspended for calling Gates "jungle monkey." Be aware that it is disgusting but I am sure you figured that already. Click on image for better view.

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

PBS Wide Angle: Contestant No. 2

Wide Angle's Contestant No. 2 is a beautiful presentation of Duah Fares' struggle for courage in the face of religious parochialism. I don't want to write much more about the program because there is no fun in ruining the story for you. It is great. You should see it. Sphere: Related Content

Beautiful Women Will Have Sex With Any Man, Researchers Say

OK they really don't say that but they do report that women are getting more attractive as men's attractiveness does not evolve at all.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found, as reported in The Times:
"'If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.'

In men, by contrast, good looks appear to count for little, with handsome men being no more successful than others in terms of numbers of children. This means there has been little pressure for men’s appearance to evolve."
Sphere: Related Content

Time For A Laugh

Jimmy Kimmel Bleeps People -- Funny

Sphere: Related Content

Ann Coulter Thinks The President Planted The Gates Questions In The News Conference

You could not ask for a more perfect illustration of the thesis of my latest book, 'Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America,' than the black president of the United States attacking a powerless white cop for arresting a black Harvard professor -- in a city with a black mayor and a state with a black governor -- as the professor vacations in Martha's Vineyard.

President Barack Obama planted the question during a health care press conference, hoping he could satisfy the Chicago Sun-Times, which has been accusing him of not being black enough. He somehow imagined that the rest of the country might not notice the president of the United States gratuitously attacking a cop in a case of alleged 'racial profiling.'"
If she wants to talk about hoaxes we should start with how anyone would put her on a list of the top 100 Public Intellectuals.

As if this situation wasn't bad enough its now helping Coulter sell books. Sphere: Related Content

Boston PD Acts Smartly, Suspends Cop For Calling Gates A "Jungle Monkey"

A Boston, Mass. cop writes email to friends calling Henry Louis Gates a " Jungle Monkey." I wan to hear the nuts defend him from being suspended. Is this just one idiot cop? Sphere: Related Content

Andrew Sullivan is entering Lou Dobbs territory.

Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish is one of my favorite places to get a broad spectrum of information. So this pains me. This afternoon he wrote at the Dish:
"On The Birthers"
"So many readers are furious that I have dared to ask the president to show the original copy of his birth certificate. The reason for demanding it is the same reason for demanding basic medical records proving Sarah Palin is the biological mother of Trig.

Because it would make it go away and it's easily done.

I'm tired of these public officials believing they have some right to privacy. They don't. It's the price of public office. If you don't like it, don't be president. And for goodness' sake, don't run for president on a platform of transparency."

I agree with Sullivan's overall premise that people who enter the arena to compete for public office are waving much of their right to privacy. But I depart from his opinion when the call for further information will not provide additional useful information. It has been widely accepted that the documents released and statements made by officials have proven Barack Obama to be a natural citizen of the Unites States. The release of any further documents will just be a repetition of previously released evidence.

I also disagree that this issue will go away. Sullivan will probably be satisfied but the lunatic fringe birthers will likely deny the information or mutate their complaint to fit the new facts.

If people don't accept the released information I can't but think that they believe that additional information would contradict the present evidence.

Sphere: Related Content

Instapundit asks, "If Congress can tax plastic surgery, can it tax abortion?"


Right off the bat, I think an argument against this type of tax would be that it is very regressive. There is also the matter of taxing a protected right. The TaxProf Blog covers the latter angle.

Paul Caron writes:
"Although there have been various suggestions to tax abortion, a colleague tells me that such a tax would raise serious constitutional concerns. In Minneapolis Star & Tribune Co. v. Minnesota Commissioner of Revenue, 460 U.S. 575 (1983), the Supreme Court held that a Minnesota use tax on the cost of paper and ink products violated a newspaper's First Amendment rights. Although the precise contours of this doctrine are much debated, a tax singling out the exercise of the constitutional right of abortion would likely face special scrutiny. But a general tax on elective cosmetic surgery that also reached elective abortions may be permissible under the Minneapolis Star doctrine."
Sphere: Related Content

Great Americans Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Palin?

No matter how bad Sarah Palin does in front of a microphone somebody tries to tell us how great the speech was. The American Thinker may want to amend its name.

A few highlights from Pamela Geller’s commentary of the Palin farewell, oops sorry I mean commencement address, as Geller calls it.

Geller writes: “her speech embodies what a great American sounds like, and what a President ought to sound like.”

Palin speaks: “And it is our men and women in uniform securing it, and we are facing tough challenges in America with some seeming to just be Hell bent maybe on tearing down our nation, perpetuating some pessimism, and suggesting American apologetics, suggesting perhaps that our best days were yesterdays.”

Geller:” Sarah Palin embodies what an American is. She is what Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin envisioned when they carved out the American idea.”

I wish Geller would explain how Palin is this figure.

Geller: “The more evil succeeds and overwhelms our foreign and domestic policy, our culture, our discourse and the very social fabric of our lives, the clearer it becomes that Palin is the antidote”

Sarah Palin sounds like a super hero.

Geller: “Smart, sharp, patriotic, she best represents the majority of Americans.”

I guess not since she did not get elected in November.

Geller: America wants Palin.

Again, obviously not in November.

Geller: “Sarah Palin is a Great American. She is the leader Americans need. She is the leader the tea parties need. In closing, Palin said, "G-d bless America." Have you ever heard Obama utter those words?”

Yes. Here is just one example.

Sphere: Related Content

We Should Talking About "The Right To Criticize Armed Agents Of The Government"

Radley Balko at Reason agrees with Harvey Silvergate that the first amendment and "police arrest powers" should be the topic of discussion regarding the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

Balko writes:
"By any account of what happened—Gates', Crowleys', or some version in between—Gates should never have been arrested. 'Contempt of cop,' as it's sometimes called, isn't a crime. Or at least it shouldn't be. It may be impolite, but mouthing off to police is protected speech, all the more so if your anger and insults are related to a perceived violation of your rights. The 'disorderly conduct' charge for which Gates was arrested was intended to prevent riots, not to prevent cops from enduring insults. Crowley is owed an apology for being portrayed as a racist, but he ought to be disciplined for making a wrongful arrest."
Sphere: Related Content

Not Exactly The Terminator, But Scary Nonetheless

Swedish robot attempts to kill a person in a factory.

"I've never heard of a robot attacking somebody like this," said local police. Sphere: Related Content

Matt Lauer Gets Testy With Michelle Malkin

Malkin thinks that the President planned the aftermath of the Gates Cambridge PD mess.

Sphere: Related Content

The "Limitless Idiocy" of Glenn Beck

Steven Benen at The Washington Monthly asks Fox News Execs if its talent can say "literally anything on the air" with out any reaction from the network. Of course he is asking about Beck's latest episode of crazy.

Sphere: Related Content

Henry Louis Gates's First Amendment Rights

Harvey Silvergate writes at Forbes magazine that the appropriate lens in which to understand the Gates-Cambridge PD affair is as a violation of a citizens first amendment protections.

Silvergate writes:

"By longstanding but unfortunate (and, in my view, clearly unconstitutional) practice in Cambridge and across the country, the charge of disorderly conduct is frequently lodged when the citizen restricts his response to the officer to mere verbal unpleasantness. (When the citizen gets physically unruly, the charge is upgraded to resisting arrest or assault and battery on an officer.) It would appear, from the available evidence--regardless of whether Gates' version or that of Officer Crowley is accepted--that Gates was arrested for saying, or perhaps yelling, things to Crowley that the sergeant did not want to hear.

As one of Crowley's friends told The New York Times: 'When he has the uniform on, Jim [Crowley] has an expectation of deference.' Deference and respect, of course, are much to be desired both in and out of government service--police want it, as do citizens in their own homes or on their porches or on the street. However, respect is earned and voluntarily extended; it is not required, regardless of rank."

Silvergate, a first amendment attorney, as he points out several times, takes the reader through a compelling explanation of his claim that Gates' first amendment rights were violated. He discusses the applicable precedents. Silvergaet writes:

Today, the law recognizes only four exceptions to the First Amendment's protection for free speech: (1) speech posing the "clear and present danger" of imminent violence or lawless action posited by Holmes, (2) disclosures threatening "national security," (3) "obscenity" and (4) so-called "fighting words" that would provoke a reasonable person to an imminent, violent response.

He later writes in reference to Gates' own writing on free speech on university campuses:

"Under Gates' own analysis of the University of Connecticut 'harassment' speech code, neither Officer Crowley's words to Gates, nor the professor's responses, nor the officer's replies to those responses, should prove the guilt of either. There was no violence. There were only words, some of which might have been insulting and otherwise unpleasant. And in a free society, verbal expression--even if disagreeable--should never lead to clamped handcuffs."

Definitely worth the complete read.

Sphere: Related Content

Radio Industry Reports That Palin Is Testing Waters

Inside Radio reports that Palin is taking the temperature of radio syndicators.

A twenty minute speech is a funny nightmare to hear. Can you imagine what three hours would be like. I imagine she would need a sidekick. Sphere: Related Content

Ezra Klein Looks Closely At Bill Kristol's Daily Show Appearance

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post takes a closer look at Kristol's conversation with Jon Stewart on health care costs. Klein corrects Kristol's errors.

Klein writes:

"Bill Kristol, who writes frequently about health care and advises the Republican Party about how to vote on bills, is misinformed on the basic facts of the situation. And even his misinformation isn't terribly coherent: Later in the interview, he says that the Army health-care system -- which is fully socialized -- is the best health-care system we've got, and the reason we can't give it to all Americans is that it's too expensive. Socialized medicine, in other words, works. The rest of us just don't deserve it.

To be fair, I don't believe that Kristol believes that. When he says that the danger with Obama's plan is that it 'would put us well on the road to government-run health care,' I take him at his word. But it is interesting to watch what happens when his adoration for all things military collides with the distrust of all things federal. Turns out that the conservative in Kristol is no match for the militarist"

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Bill Kristol Extended Interview
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Sphere: Related Content

Beer Meeting at the White House Will Be a Family Reunion

I thought about this a couple of days ago but not seriously. A story from ABC News claims that Gates "and the Cambridge, Mass., police officer who arrested him, Sgt. James Crowley, both trace their ancestry back to the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages." Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Howard Dean Sitting In For Keith Olbermann

Something about this bothers me. Sphere: Related Content

Gawker Reports That Vanity Fair Is Investigating Setup Of Spitzer

Gawker is reporting that Vanity Fair reporters are looking into a possible plan by finance industry folks to setup former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Sphere: Related Content

Colbert "Reports" On Palin Farewell

Stephen Colbert finds the secret to Palin's speech writing.
Sarah Palin Will Be Missed
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTasers
Sphere: Related Content

A Good Reason Why Dr. Gates Was Arrested?

He may have killed someone then dined on the body.

American Thinker may be one of the most disgusting websites I have seen. Writers for this site continually make outrageous arguments and comparisons. Today Randall Hoven writes "How Cops Should Do It?" The emphasis on "should" is Hoven's. Be warned, Hoven is a master the art of Reductio ad absurdum.

Hoven tries to explain the similarities between between Jeffrey Dahmer and the Gates-Cambridge PD affair. In his description of the Dahmer situation Hoven writes that police were called to the scene where a naked man, a homesexual, was walking naked outside a house. The house belonged to Dahmer. The police ask the naked man if he was OK and Dahmer tells them that the man is fine. The police leave and the man is killed by Dahmer. Dahmer had killed 17 men and boys before he was captured.

I know the connection to Gates so far is thin. But if you drink a lot it will not become clearer. Hoven tries to put the final coat of crap on this story. He writes:
"But the police did their jobs: no ethnic profiling, no homophobic biases - just good, politically correct police work.
When called to a potential crime scene at a residence and the legitimate resident tells you everything is fine, a good police officer makes no further inquiries, calls in his report that 'all is well', and returns to his previous duties.

Heck, politically correct policing is so easy that anyone can make the right call without even being at the scene, hearing witnesses or gathering evidence. You can do it from your own house, or even the White House."
The police did not capture Jeffrey Dahmer so Hoven believes the fourth amendment should be repealed unilaterally by police just in case.

How outrageous is that? Is that a conservative attitude?
Sphere: Related Content

Glenn Beck Confuses Himself

"I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem," Beck said. "This guy is, I believe, a racist."
Sphere: Related Content

David Frum, Reasonable Critique Of Current "Conservative Patriotism"

Frum testifies at to the American rule of law and the current misplaced "demise of liberty" attitude. A sample:

"If I lived in a country in imminent danger of a Bolshevik or Fascist seizure of power, I’d be a cowardly fool if I failed to use every means to prevent it, including violence if need be. If it were true that our political opponents wanted to impose tyranny on the United States – if (as Rush Limbaugh said the other day) a vote for the other party was a vote for “totalitarianism, dungeons, and torture,” then what patriot could possibly abide a political defeat?

Happily, none of those things are true. As wrong and harmful as the Obama administration’s plans are, the administration is playing by the rules of the game. To agitate people into thinking otherwise is to corrode the foundations of the American constitutional regime."

More discussion in this vein would be productive.

Sphere: Related Content

Perception, your brain and Warfare

Interesting article in NYTimes about how soldiers perceive danger.
A sample:
"'Some of these things cannot be trained, obviously,” said Jennifer Murphy, a psychologist at the Army Research Institute and the principal author of the I.E.D. study. 'But some may be; these are fighters who become very sensitive to small changes in the environment. They’ll clear the same road every day and notice ridiculously subtle things: this rock was not here yesterday.'"
Sphere: Related Content

Shatner Reading Palin's New Poem

Shatner reading part Palin's farewell on Conan.

Sphere: Related Content

Exploring The Arguments Against Human Organ Markets

The Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting post on organ markets. Worth a quick look. Sphere: Related Content

Sowell asks: What does a community organizer do? He does not know so he makes it up.

I have counted so far essays at various outlets that call President Obama a liar, either implicitly or explicitly. I am OK with that, I don't think it is true but it seems hard for people working in policy, politics and opinion to avoid the assumption if someone disagrees that person must be lying.

What bothered me was Thomas Sowell in the National Review online. Sowell's A Post-Racial President? asserts that the idea that we were entering the post-racial era was a naive hope. Sowell thinks if you understand where President Obama comes from a place where people "benefit greatly from crying racism." The place which Sowell refers is "community activist." Sowell writes:
"For 'community organizers' as well, racial resentments are a stock in trade. President Obama’s background as a community organizer has received far too little attention, though it should have been a high-alert warning that this was no post-racial figure.

What does a community organizer do? What he does not do is organize a community. What he organizes are the resentments and paranoia within a community, directing those feelings against other communities, from whom either benefits or revenge are to be gotten, using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish that purpose.
That is not my experience as a community organizer. Actually not my experience as a community organizer in the exact position Barack Obama held in early 1980 in Harlem. Perhaps there is a difference between a white and black community organizers but I have not witnessed any differences. A community organizer does not promote "grievance and polarization" as Sowell asserts. A community organizer, such as Barack Obama, is a instrument for people and communities that need to enter the policy process where they have been ignored.

Sowell's implication that a community organizer is a fan that blows rage, resentment and division between communities to gain "politically, financially, and socially" is grossly overstated and offensive. I agree there are some organizers who have a developed self interest but they are few.

Now to a point of act that Sowell gets wrong. Sowell writes:
"As a state senator in Illinois, Obama pushed the 'racial profiling' issue, so it is hardly surprising that he jumped to the conclusion that a policeman was engaging in racial profiling, when in fact the cop was investigating a report received from a neighbor that someone seemed to be breaking into the house that Professor Gates was renting in Cambridge."
Here his claim is that President Obama in the July 22 news conference accused Sergeant Crowley and the Cambridge PD of racial profiling. But a simple return to the text and or video of the news conference dispels this error. From the transcript of the news confernce (the video is at teh bottom):

Question: "Thank you, Mr. President. Recently Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested at his home in Cambridge. What does that incident say to you and what does it say about race relations in America?"

Answer: "Well, I should say at the outset that "Skip" Gates is a friend, so I may be a little biased here. I don't know all the facts...

But so far, so good. They're reporting -- the police are doing what they should. There's a call, they go investigate what happens. My understanding is at that point Professor Gates is already in his house. The police officer comes in, I'm sure there's some exchange of words, but my understanding is, is that Professor Gates then shows his ID to show that this is his house. And at that point, he gets arrested for disorderly conduct -- charges which are later dropped.

Now, I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that, but I think it's fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge Police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there is a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact."

It is very clear to me that President Obama did not claim this incident to be racial profiling. This line, "what I think we know separate and apart from this incident," is very important. Perhaps Sowell missed it or perhaps he is engaging in fanning the flames of "resentments and paranoia" and "using whatever rhetoric or tactics will accomplish [his] purpose."

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fighting For Our Freedoms?

I understand the need for a standing military but can someone explain how the troops are fighting for our freedoms? Sphere: Related Content

Huff Po On Citizenship Case

Huff Post follows our representatives to ask if Barack Obama is a natural born citizen, it is funny stuff.

Sphere: Related Content

If She Is Tracy Flick You Must Be Pinocchio.

Mark Hemingway’s piece at the National Review Online attempts to criticize the Green the Capitol Initiative but his arguments are ill formed, demeaning and distorted. The initiative is an effort to transform the U.S. Capitol into carbon neutral building. Becoming the first carbon neutral legislature in the world.

In his criticism Hemingway finds it necessary to belittle Allison Rogers, a graduate of Harvard University, because she happened to be Miss Rhode Island 2006. Hemingway writes:
“This is all overseen by the House’s Green the Capitol office, which is staffed mostly by eager young Ivy League grads billing themselves as “sustainability experts,” according to one of the business cards being handed out. The most notable member of the Green the Capitol office is one Allison Rogers. Ms. Rogers does her darnedest to appear thoroughly businesslike in her official portrait, but the Harvard grad is probably best known for an extracurricular achievement: Miss Rhode Island 2006.

It seems only natural that climate change is the 21st-century equivalent of “world peace” among the pageant set. Rogers used her reign to promote global-warming awareness. As a beauty queen, she made a point of walking the entire length of every parade she appeared in, because riding in the back of convertibles isn’t terribly fuel efficient.”
I looked back through Hemingway’s past pieces and was unable to find any reference to Sarah Palin’s beauty pageant past. So I am left wondering if beauty queens of progressive ideas can be less professional or as serious as those of the right.

Rogers has a degree in religious studies from Harvard according to Hemingway her conservation efforts are a dogmatic effort. Hemmingway further demeans Rogers as he refers to as a “non-fiction version of Tracy Flick.” This is an unnecessary jab that he does not explain. To what is it that Hemmingway thinks Rogers believes she is entitled? Other women in politics, government or activism have been labeled as Tracy Flick but none as undeserved as Rogers. Hemingway, again, never labeled Palin as Ms. Flick and her entitled attitude is legendary. How dare anyone question Gov. Palin’s qualifications or ask her questions and expect an answer. Hemingway never dared.

To get away from Hemingway’s obsession with degrading Roger, he literally goes on for two-thirds of his column talking about Rogers once calling her and people involved in the green effort a “precocious child demanding that the neighborhood association fine Mom and Dad for violating the housing development’s codes, covenants, and restrictions.”

The critique that the House of Representatives “isn’t paying for all these changes — American taxpayers are” displays a silliness that I am sure Hemingway would correct upon further thought. The House does not have funds that do not come from taxpayers.

Finally the easiest lie to prove and most credulous. Hemingway writes:
“In fact, getting any sort of cost-benefit analysis out of Green the Capitol is difficult at best...But if you do some digging on the site you can download the report submitted to Congress giving the details of the initiative. Buried 30 pages into the 60-page report is this pertinent information: In 2006, the House’s energy costs amounted to $15 million. In 2008, after the implementation of Green the Capitol, the House was spending over $20 million. The program claims that by 2017 it will have reduced the House’s energy use by over 50 percent, resulting in a significant annual savings.”
Hemingway is correct that a cost benefit analysis is not to be found but the report the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is found on the page that he link to from his essay. I found the report within a minute or two.

I also read through the report. Hemingway may have read the report but either way he is attempting to mislead. Hemingway implies that there was a five million dollar increase in energy between 2006 and 2008 therefore implying that the Green the Capital Initiative was a failure. He is wrong on two points with this argument. First the date of the report to the committee is dated June 21, 2007. Therefore costs are estimates. Second, these costs are estimates. Is it possible to conduct any cost cutting or efficiency exercises without incurring costs? Can Hemingway cut his own energy costs by installing a new furnace without have upfront costs and long-term savings? I don’t think so. Sphere: Related Content

I Might Buy The New Mary Jo Buttafuco Book Just For The Title...

"Getting It Through My Thick Skull" Sphere: Related Content

World Cup 2018?

A meeting with FIFA president Sepp Blatter is on President Obama's schedule today.

Does The Commander and Chief of The American Hammers fan club want the 2018 World Cup in the United States?

Saturday, August 19th Liverpool visit the Hammers in London. I hope the President is ready for a beating.

Sphere: Related Content

Congress Should Put Their Guns Where Their Mouth Are.

E.J. Dionne writes, only half facetiously:
"Why would freedom-loving lawmakers want to hide behind guards and metal detectors? Shouldn't NRA members be outraged that Second Amendment rights mean nothing in the very seat of our democracy?

Congress seems to think that gun restrictions are for wimps. It voted this year to allow people to bring their weapons into national parks, and pro-gun legislators have pushed for the right to carry in taverns, colleges and workplaces. Shouldn't Congress set an example in its own workplace?"
Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How Do You Fake A Zebra? Paint A Donkey.

Interesting story from about the sad state of affairs of zoos in Gaza and the economics of Gaza.

Sphere: Related Content

Goodbye Sarah. Don't Be A Stranger

Much like Shane, Sarah Palin came to us to fix our problems. And much like Shane we don't know is she is dead (politically). We can only hope not, because she is endlessly entertaining.

My favorite line from the end of Shane is not in this clip. "Man has to be what he is. Can't break the mold." Sphere: Related Content

Congressman McCotter To Introduce Legislation to Give The President A Time-Out

Rep. McCotter has pledged to introduce a House resolution demanding that President Obama apologize to Sgt. Crowley of the Cambridge Police Department. Sphere: Related Content

Is Barack Obama A "Regular Guy"?

I think the President addressed the Gates and Cambridge Police issue magnificently on Friday. I don't think he had to revisit the issue, if all thing were equal, but politically it was a distraction that needed to be dealt with.

What is the point of inviting Dr. Gates and Sgt. Crowley to the White House for a beer. The invitation is a good way to defuse the problem but the beer seems unneeded. Was President Obama trying to identify with Crowley?

Just three "regular guys" sitting around drinking some brews talking about race. That doesn't seem real.

What do you think?
Sphere: Related Content

A "eulogy for affirmative action?"

Juan Williams Writes in the Washington Post about the death of affirmative acction and essentially the middle ageness of discrimination, a sample of the essay:

"It is a death that has come too early, as even the nation's latest unemployment numbers show. African Americans have close to double the joblessness of whites, while the unemployment rate among Latinos is a third higher than that of whites. In a nation that is rapidly becoming more racially diverse, these are destabilizing disparities in power and class. In the professional world, blacks and Hispanics make up a mere 4 percent to 6 percent of the nation's lawyers, doctors and engineers. These gaps are exacerbated by differences in education and income and, more important, by the history of government-enforced segregation that long denied African Americans entry into schools and the business world.

So, why now? More often than not, it is the American left that gets lost in absurd fantasies about race in this country. They pretend there has been no progress in recent decades, even when they see the rise of a black middle class and witness the election of a mixed-race president and the likely confirmation of a Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court. But today, it is the right wing and its supporters on the high court who are making stuff up. They pretend that the nation is already so transformed that a colorblind America is a reality and that affirmative action is superfluous, so much so that white employees in a city fire department -- an arena long dominated by Irish and Italian Americans -- need help from the Supreme Court to get a promotion."
Sphere: Related Content
Add to Technorati Favorites