Sunday, February 28, 2010

More Anti-Catholic Bigotry On Display By BBC

Gee, what are the chance? Netherlands gays in protest over Catholic snub

Hundreds of activists in the Netherlands have walked out of a Sunday Mass in protest at the Roman Catholic policy of denying gay people communion.

There is, of course, no such "policy." There is a policy that states that anyone known to be out of communion with the Church, for any reason, should not receive communion. There is no "policy" singling out homosexuals for special treatment. Therefore, if a parish priest knows, for example, that a parishioner has divorced and re-married outside the sanction of the church, the priest is required to deny communion to them as well.

Maybe the BBC would then run a story outlining the "Church's policy of denying heterosexual people communion."

That is the thing about being bigoted like the BBC; it makes you incredibly stupid.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fat Cat Scientists To Rest Of World: "See Ya! Wouldn't Wanna Be Ya!"

Science is hell, isn't it?
They just don't get it:

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The pace of global warming continues unabated, scientists said on Thursday, despite images of Europe crippled by a deep freeze and parts of the United States blasted by blizzards.

The bitter cold, with more intense winter weather forecast for March in parts of the United States, have led some to question if global warming has stalled.

Understanding the overall trend is crucial for estimating consumption of energy supplies, such as demand for winter heating oil in the U.S. northeast, and impacts on agricultural production.

"It's not warming the same everywhere but it is really quite challenging to find places that haven't warmed in the past 50 years," veteran Australian climate scientist Neville Nicholls told an online climate science media briefing.

Mr. Nicholls then called for the "boy" to bring him another cocktail and retired to the pool.

It's is amazing that a so-called scientists can attempt to make pronouncements on "climate" based upon 30 years worth of satellite data. Any climate moron knows you cannot make assessments on climate with only 30 years worth of data. That is not debatable. To do so means you are not doing science.

But, hey, it does pay for trip to the tropics.

Nice work if you can get it.

BTW, this is the way the deception is being run these days. Using satellite data that encompasses areas over land and oceans do show this has been one of the warmer winters, though it clearly shows that the warmth has been confined almost entirely to ocean areas. Over land in the northern hemisphere we have been freezing to death. But, that doesn't matter to them because they will then compare global (land and ocean) temps with pre-satellite number, which of course do not take into account what temps were like over oceans. They then have the unmitigated gall to claim that represents an apples-to-apples comparison.

It's fraud pure and simple. It's a fraud that is buying them a lot of Singapore Slings as well.

Wow. Crist Is A Desperate Loser

Talk about a non-story:

Marco Rubio, a conservative Senate candidate in Florida, charged personal expenses such as car repairs and groceries to a credit card issued to him by the state Republican Party while he was speaker of the Florida House...

Hmm...last time I checked the Republican Party was a private organization. Did they file criminal charges agaisnt Rubio for theft? No, they didn't. Is there any evidence that Rubio misdirected donation funds? No, there isn't.

Next up: Crist camp reveals Rubio once got parking ticket.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michael Moore: Supporter Of Slavery

Cuba trades doctors, who must serve terms of involuntary servitude (i.e. slavery), to Venezuela in exchange for oil. That's the charge:

Seven Cuban doctors and a nurse say their government conspired with Venezuela and its state-owned oil company to hold them in a "modern form of slavery," as Cuba barters their services for cheap Venezuelan oil. The doctors and nurse say they were put into "servitude for debt," with their work used to "to discount ... the commercial debt ... of the subsidized oil supplies provided by Venezuela to Cuba."

The doctors say that faced with precarious conditions and material needs in Cuba, they were deceived and threatened by Cuban authorities and taken by force to work in violent places in Venezuela, including the jungle and the frontier with Colombia.

The plaintiffs are a part of a mission called "Barrio Adentro." They say they are held in captivity in crowded lodgings or in houses with families affiliated with the Venezuelan regime. They say they are under strict control, surveillance, and threats by "slave hunters": Venezuelan security officials.

This is the system film maker and moron Michael Moore wants to bring to the United States.

Because, nothing says "progress" more than re-introducing slavery into America.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Bane Of My Existence: Golf People

First, I'm subjected (along with other exciting sports lovers) to their interminable tournaments monopolizing huge chunks of weekend television coverage. Now, I can't hear about the Winter Olympics, or the start of baseball Spring Training, or the tight conference races in college basketball, or anything else remotely interesting to those who like sports, because I'm supposed to care about where Tiger Woods sticks his John Thomas and the state of his marital vows.


Golf people...please go away (and don't ever come back.)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, Grow Up

It's eye rolling time: Photo Evidence: Michelle Obama Keeps Socialist Books In The White House Library.

So what? Good Lord, I can glance over my shoulder and see copies of Marx, Marcuse, Sartre, and various other sundry socialists and communists. Hell, I got some Hitler over there as well. It doesn't mean crap.

I'm sorry, I not afraid of people reading any of these books. What are we going to do? Ban certain books from the White House? Have a book burning? What nonsense. What stupid nonsense.

If you want to complain about Obama's socialism, then stick to his actions. Leave books out of it. You just wind up looking like a thought police thug.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yeah Right

Study Finds Public Discontent With Colleges:

Most Americans believe that colleges today operate like businesses, concerned more with their bottom line than with the educational experience of students, according to a new study. And the proportion of people who hold that view has increased to 60 percent, from 52 percent in 2007.

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said that colleges should use federal stimulus money to hold down tuition, even if it means less money for operations and programs.

The study, a joint project of Public Agenda and the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, also found that most Americans believe that colleges could admit a lot more students without lowering quality or raising prices, and that colleges could spend less and maintain a high quality of education.

“One of the really disturbing things about this, for those of us who work in higher education,” said Patrick Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, “is the vote of no confidence we’re getting from the public. They think college is important, but they’re really losing trust in the management and leadership.”

And the public is right to have no confidence in the management and leadership of our universities. It sucks, and it in no way is prioritized in a manner that would benefit students or the largest majority of professors whose job it is to teach them.

The truth is, teaching faculty has almost no say in what the policies are at American colleges and universities. Administration has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 50 years until it now consumes most of the resources in higher education, and its rapacious appetite is ever demanding more. The way this appetite is fed is two-fold: 1) by increasing the tuition they charge students (and their parents), and 2) by cutting what they pay the teaching faculty, through removing tenure track lines, and shifting the teaching burden to lower paid part time adjuncts.

Of course, the New York Times doesn't follow up on this story by asking teachers what they think...they ask college administrators:

In “Iron Triangle,” a 2008 study of 25 college presidents, Public Agenda and the center found that most saw an unbreakable link between the cost of running their operations, the number of students they can educate and maintaining educational quality.

To serve more students or offer higher quality education, the college presidents said, would require more money — and conversely, cuts in their budgets would inevitably translate into either a smaller number of students or diminished educational quality.

According to the new report, the public disagrees.

“It’s nice to think that we can have guns and butter, but it’s not that easy,” said Terry Hartle, the senior vice president of government and public affairs for the American Council on Education. “The public is not always right.”

While it is true that colleges and universities could provide higher education for less money, Mr. Hartle said, it would require cuts in areas that most people see as fundamental to quality.

“We probably wouldn’t have libraries open as much, we wouldn’t update I.T. regularly, we wouldn’t have small classes,” he said. “Running a first-class college or university costs money. It’s a very labor-intensive enterprise, in which it’s common to spend 70 to 76 percent of the budget on faculty and staff.”

This is all unmitigated bullshit and lies. For example, at the University of Michigan (I picked it at random) "Instruction" and "Operation and Maintenance" account for a grand total of 37% of the money spent. This means 63% of the budget is going elsewhere. Now, I'm not saying all the rest of the money is wasted, but if the main duty of a university is to educate students, what is more important than paying for teachers and the facilities they teach in?

Well, if they don't get their money, what are the administrators above threatening to cut?

Hint: It isn't the budget for administrators.


I mean, wow.

In March, 2002, Bishop walked into an International House of Pancakes in Peabody with her family, asked for a booster seat for one of her children, and learned the last seat had gone to another mother.

Bishop, according to a police report, strode over to the other woman, demanded the seat and launched into a profanity-laced rant.

When the woman would not give the seat up, Bishop punched her in the head, all the while yelling "I am Dr. Amy Bishop."

Bishop received probation and prosecutors recommended that she be sent to anger management classes, though it is unclear from court documents whether a judge ever sent her there.

The woman, identified in court documents as Michelle Gjika, declined to comment, saying only "It's not something I want to relive."

In other words, everyone on earth had to know this woman was a time bomb and, yet, those in academia missed it all together.


Another Reason To Have Free Speech

Too bad no one knows Constiutional history or liberal political theory anymore, because this would be a great teaching moment:

Americans of both parties overwhelmingly oppose a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to spend as much as they want on political campaigns, and most favor new limits on such spending, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court's Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent "strongly" opposed. Nearly as many backed congressional action to curb the ruling, with 72 percent in favor of reinstating limits.

One of the main reasons why we have the 1st Amendment is exactly to stop a majority from denying a minority the right to speak.

Unfortunately, too many people in this country are only interested in exercising power over others, particularly if the other is unpopular in some way.

To their mind the Bill of Rights sucks because it doesn't allow them to always get their way.

I say, thank God for that!

Scientists: "We Have No Idea What The Hell Is Going On"

Oh, they won't admit to the headline, but you only have to look at what they actually say. Fog over San Francisco thins by a third due to climate change:

The coastal fog along the Californian coast has declined by a third over the past 100years – the equivalent of three hours cover a day, new research shows....

"Since 1901, the average number of hours of fog along the coast in summer has dropped from 56 per cent to 42 per cent, which is a loss of about three hours per day," said the study leader Dr James Johnstone at the University of California.

He said that it was unclear whether this is part of a natural cycle of the result of human activity, but the fog is receding because of a reduction in the difference between the temperature of the sea and the land.

"A cool coast and warm interior is one of the defining characteristics of California's coastal climate, but the temperature difference between the coast and interior has declined substantially in the last century, in step with the decline in summer fog," he added.

Got that?

OK, let's move on. Science has spoken... WTH is this? Get ready for even foggier summers:

The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it's about to get even foggier.

That's the conclusion of several state researchers, whose soon-to-be-published study predicts that even with average temperatures on the rise, the mercury won't be soaring everywhere.

"There'll be winners and losers," says Robert Bornstein, a meteorology professor at San Jose State University. "Global warming is warming the interior part of California, but it leads to a reverse reaction of more fog along the coast."

The study, which will appear in the journal Climate, is the latest to argue that colder summers are indeed in store for parts of the Bay Area.

Scientists began sounding the alarm 20 years ago when looking at greenhouse gases and their possible reverse effects along the foggy Northern California coast. The theory, then and now, is that the hotter the Central Valley gets, the greater the temperature and pressure gradients between the inland and coast will be - therefore forming more fog.

In the new fog study, Bornstein broke the Bay Area down into smaller regions and looked at daily temperatures for the last half century, focusing on the rapid post-1970 warming period. He found that although temperatures were trending upward as a whole, it was asymmetric - the hills and inland areas were warming, while low-elevation coastal areas were actually cooling.

Got that?

Scientist #1: "temperature difference between the coast and interior has declined substantially in the last century..."

Scientist #2: "temperatures were trending upward as a whole, it was asymmetric - the hills and inland areas were warming, while low-elevation coastal areas were actually cooling..."

Isn't "consensus" a beautiful thing? Quick, let's allow these guys to destroy the economy based upon the state of our present knowledge!


(Gleaned from Gateway Pundit)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Desert Island Here I Come?

Joe Carter over at First Thoughts makes note of the Vatican's picks for the Top 10 Pop/Rock albums of all-time: Geezer Rock-Listening Baby Boomers Take Over Vatican Newspaper

Did Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski get a job at L’ Osservatore Romano? That seems to be the only explanation for the Holy See’s official newspaper including these works on their list of top ten rock and pop albums of all time:

The Beatles’ “Revolver”
Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of The Moon”
Oasis’ “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?”
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”
U2’s “Achtung Baby”
Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”
Donald Fagen’s “The Nightfly”
Carlos Santana’s “Supernatural”
Paul Simon’s “Graceland”
David Crosby’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name.”

According to the WSJ, the rock critics at L’ Osservatore claim the albums are perfect listening material for anyone who finds himself marooned on a desert island. This could not be more wrong. Unless you’re stranded on a island with a bunch of hippies, there is no way you want to listen to Pink Floyd, Donald Fagen, and David Crosby. (As a matter of fact, if you’re stranded on an island with hippies those are also the last albums you’d ever want to listen to.)

Unlike Joe, I believe they at least got "Revolver" right, but the rest of the picks have to go.

Here is my comment on what are the other nine albums should be:

1. The Kinks – Singles Collection: OK, maybe I’m cheating here, but this compilation of early Kinks’ singles thru to “Apeman” can’t be beat. “Sunny Afternoon” echoes trad jazz but no one at the time seemed to notice. Brilliant.

2. Simon & Garfunkel – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme: Simply buries Simon’s “Graceland.” Garfunkel’s voice on “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her” is one of the prettiest things ever found on a pop record.

3. Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend: Were there any justice in the record business (or fewer record executives in the record business) this guitar driven power pop jam fest would have spawned the great music movement of the 1990’s. Sadly, that distinction went to Nirvana. Granted, a subtext here is Sweet’s mistrust of organized religion (e.g. “Divine Intervention” “Evangeline” and “Holy War”) but there isn’t as much rancor as you might expect.

4. The Alan Parsons Project – The Turn of a Friendly Card: Too prog for a lot of pop lovers, too poppy for a lot of prog purists, this album (best known for the two singles “Time” and “Games People Play”) is seriously underrated. The second side title track suite is gorgeous symphonic rock. That it examines the human cost of gambling and addiction makes it unusual, to say the least.

5. Jellyfish – Spilt Milk: Go ahead and roll your eyes if you must…I know this is a record that lots of folks claim as a “influence” and, normally, that would be enough to frighten me away, but this “throw everything including the kitchen sink production” is a sonic work of art. Yes, I realize there is a song about a penis here, but I just said it was “art” not “high art”. The track “New Mistake” is sublime.

6. Graham Parker – Heat Treatment: “Squeezing out Sparks” usually gets mentioned, and it’s raw power is impressive, but it is Parker’s blast of rocking R&B that I need to have with me. “Fool’s Gold” is the sort of anthem the world needs more of at all times.

7. Crowded House – Woodface: The finest thing ever to come from the Kiwi brothers Finn. The more patriotic among us may take exception to the song “Chocolate Cake” but maybe we do live up to it sometimes. As for the rest of the album, it is as smooth a piece of pop as you could want to hear. “Weather With You” sparkles from beginning to end.

8. They Might Be Giants – Apollo 18: Even among those who love TMBG, choosing between the records is a bit of a fool’s errand. They are so varied in their makeups that reactions will be even more subjective than normal. Still, this is a cornucopia of tunes, hummable, slightly smart, slightly stupid, and yet substantive. I’ve no idea how they manage it. “Mammal” and “See the Constellation” always make me smile.

9. Al Stewart – Between the Wars: For my money, easily the finest thing Mr. Stewart has ever done. Literate pop-folk with a good ear for the jazz rhythms of the age, and if it is a little sonically jarring it mimics the recordings of the 20’s while updating them. A list of the stand out tracks would simply be a listing of every track on the album, but I’ll mention “Last Train to Munich” and “Laughing into 1939″. Wow.

Now, as long as I get washed up on shore with a well stocked bar, I'm ready for that desert island.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cold Cases

For some odd reason today you can have your choice of Ye Olde Murder Mysteries to puzzle you.

First, was Descartes murdered back in 1650? Someone thinks so. The culprit? Those dastardly Catholics, of course.

Is that too contemporary for you? Well, there is always the question of who killed Baroness Laura Lanza in 1563.

My guess?

Mr. Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

Deep Down Inside I'm A Scotsman

The other day I wanted to buy a nice bottle of wine for a nice Valentine's Evening dinner with my wife. "Well," I said to myself, "We are doing pretty well financially these days, all things considered.... So let's splurge a little!" And what better way to splurge than to buy a bottle of Dom Pérignon?

So, I got to my local wine shop (or I should say the nearest wine shop that would carry Dom Pérignon), and there it was! $160 a bottle.

But, hey, it wouldn't be a splurge if it wasn't expensive, right?

I couldn't do it. I really tried, but my hand instead grabbed a more price friendly Perrier-Jouët.

Damn my thrifty genes!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Wishes

The IMW sends all sorts of positive thoughts in the direction of President Clinton this afternoon. Hopefully he will be out of the hospital and continuing his good work very soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This Is Wrong On So Many Levels

Another for the "What the f**k are they thinking" file: Brewers to erect 7-foot high statue of Bud Selig outside Miller Park

The Brewers are erecting a statue of baseball commissioner Bud Selig outside Miller Park and will unveil it on Aug. 24.

Selig headed a group that bought the Seattle Pilots in bankruptcy court in 1970, moved the franchise to Milwaukee and renamed it the Brewers.

Oh, wow. Someone call a sculptor, stat!

Really, this is the sort of stupid idea that usually only results in the aftermath of a head of state departing to the hereafter. And, yes, I'm thinking here of the McKinley monument in the Antietam National Battlefield Park, dedicated to the memory of the day the future President served coffee to troops while under fire.

I'm not joking. That really is what it commemorates. Compared to what they are planning to do in Milwaukee the McKinley monument seems downright sane.


A reader has chided me for minimizing the "accomplishment" of President McKinley upon that fateful September day when, as the monument makes clear:

Sergeant McKinley Co. E. 23rd Ohio Vol. Infantry, while in charge of the Commissary Department, on the afternoon of the day of the battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862, personally and without orders served "hot coffee" and "warm food" to every man in the Regiment, on this spot and in doing so had to pass under fire.

I stand corrected. Sgt. McKinley was a damn fine waiter.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Your Musical Interlude XXV

Fun on a Friday!

Remember, Calling Democrats "Socialist" Is A "Smear"

I've never seen so many self-smearers in my life:

The Gallup Poll reports that a majority of Democrats, 53%, have a “positive” image of socialism, which includes independents who lean toward the blue party.

Only 17 percent of Republican and GOP-leaners hold socialism in a positive light. In total, more than one-third of Americans, 36%, have a positive image of socialism.

Also viewing socialism positively: 61% of liberals, 39% of moderates and 20% of conservatives.

Really, the whole "We're not Socialists" thing has been one of the more asinine components of American politics for awhile. I ran a bookstore Washington DC for years and I saw firsthand what sorts of things "Democrats" and "liberals" were buying, and it wasn't anything supporting classical liberalism. It was socialist garbage like Howard Zinn or Neo-Marxist insanity like Hardt and Negri's Empire . In the universities it is "Democrats" and "liberals" that are pushing socialists/communists like Alinsky or, even worse drivel, like Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.

And, I'm not talking about the fringes here. Socialist ideals, of the Fabian or state socialism variety, have become the norm over the last two decades. It's true that in the 1990's you still had a core of Democrats who held basically liberal belief systems that individuals could run their own lives largely free of the state's "help." Clinton's welfare reform, for example, had this belief at its heart. Today, however, such a belief in entirely absent from the leadership of the Democratic party. When the President makes speeches like the SOTU where he is constantly referring to himself, "I this" and "I that," it is not an expression of narcissism as some on the right would have folks believe, but instead an expression of Obama as the leader of a government that will use its power and expertise to "save" us from ourselves. Relocating the central concern of politics away from the choices of free individuals in favor of the role of the state is socialism.

If you don't like it, then believe something else.

Too Damn Funny

Really, there are lots of dumb people on this earth: Shelby Blocks All Obama Nominations In The Senate Over AL Earmarks

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, according to multiple reports this evening. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

"While holds are frequent," CongressDaily's Dan Friedman and Megan Scully report (sub. req.), "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal." The magazine reported aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were the source of the news about Shelby's blanket hold.

The Mobile Press-Register picked up the story early this afternoon. The paper confirmed Reid's account of the hold, and reported that a Shelby spokesperson "did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking confirmation of the senator's action or his reason for doing so."


According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama's nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. The two programs Shelby wants to move forward or else:

- A $40 billion contract to build air-to-air refueling tankers. From CongressDaily: "Northrop/EADS team would build the planes in Mobile, Ala., but has threatened to pull out of the competition unless the Air Force makes changes to a draft request for proposals." Federal Times offers more details on the tanker deal, and also confirms its connection to the hold.

- An improvised explosive device testing lab for the FBI. From CongressDaily: "[Shelby] is frustrated that the Obama administration won't build" the center, which Shelby earmarked $45 million for in 2008. The center is due to be based "at the Army's Redstone Arsenal."

The funny part? Well, go and read the Armageddon style comments by the readers over at TPM. These folks are outraged, OUTRAGED I SAY!, by the holding up of nominations of people they have never heard of, for positions they never knew existed. They are further demanding that Obama spend loads of political capital to show up Shelby, who will of course just counter that the Obama administration has been attempting to punish states like Alabama for being Republican led by withholding funds that could be used to employ people in the state which has the 9th worst unemployment rate in the country. That the tanker deal would benefit Obama friendly Washington state (and big political donors within said state) would just put the cherry on this craptastic sundae.

Yeah, that will be political gold.

Mr. Nim, meet Mr. Rod.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Really, We Guys Are Just Scumbags

This saddens me: Woman seeks "Jessica Alba" makeover to win back lover

A Chinese woman is seeking extensive plastic surgery to look like U.S. actress Jessica Alba, mainly because she hopes to win back her boyfriend who she said always wished she looked more like the Hollywood star.

The 21-year-old, who would only give her name as Xiaoqing, said she was devastated after she broke up with her lover, an ardent fan of the actress who has starred in hit movies such as "Fantastic Four" and "Into the Blue."

Xiaoqing, who works at an Internet firm in Shanghai, said that during their 18-month-long relationship, her 28-year-old boyfriend had been obsessed with Alba, adorning their apartment with her photographs and talking about her constantly.

She said that while her boyfriend had not forced her to look like Alba, he always hinted that the wanted her to resemble his favorite star and even bought her a blonde wig to wear.

A month ago, Xiaoqing left her boyfriend, whom she did not name, because his Alba obsession became too much for her. But now she says she can't get over the break-up and wants him back.

"When I broke up with my boyfriend, I was very sad," she told Reuters at the Shanghai Time Plastic Surgery Hospital which has agreed to help her fulfill her wish.

This is all sad enough, but when you see a picture of the young woman it becomes truly pathetic and heartbreaking.

She is absolutely lovely the way she is, yet she is going to obliterate a part of who she has been since her birth in order to do what exactly? To satisfy some guys masturbatory fantasies about a Hollywood starlet?


I've lamented such things before, noting studies that link plastic surgery to increased suicide rates in young women. What I said then still holds today:

I've never warmed to the idea of such artificial body sculpting at all. For starters, women seem to have a terrible idea of what men actually find attractive. Being incredibly thin AND having large breasts is not the recipe for attractiveness, and I'd say 90% of the guys I know feel exactly the same way. So it doesn't surprise me that the women who choose to have such surgery often don't like themselves very much. I don't know that breast augmentation surgery is a cause as much as it is a symptom for a lot of these women, but it is still a sad story to hear.

There are so many different ways to be beautiful. Here is to the day when every little girl knows that already.

Unfortunately, there is always someone ready to make a buck off the pain women like Xiaoqing experience.

I really wished these doctors would use their skills for something socially useful, like giving Xiaoqing's ex-boyfriend a lobotomy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Irony In Oregon

You can't make up this kind of stuff. Fascism on the march: University of Oregon Divided over Free Speech Controversy

The University of Oregon student body has been learning some useful lessons in liberty as the campus debates what to do about an extremely controversial group's presence on campus. Last week, the student government narrowly voted to defend free expression when it voted down a resolution designed to push the group off campus for good.

The organization is the Pacifica Forum, a discussion group hosted on campus by an emeritus professor, as permitted by university rules. The group is so controversial, it appears, because every so often it discusses topics that a lot of people on campus find extremely offensive—such as the swastika or Nazism—well, not just because of the topics, but because some of the participants appear to the critics to be voicing far too much sympathy for ideas of white supremacy....

The group met at the university's Erb Memorial Student Union until a few weeks ago, when it met in a larger space than usual because of the expectation of hundreds of protesters for the discussion of the swastika on January 15. The protesters came and disrupted the event.

The disruption appears to have been organized by student government president Emma Kallaway, and Vice President Getachew Kassa who, according to the Oregon Commentator's January 25 issue, helped to coordinate a rally prior to the disruption:

"We wanted to create fear and anger in the forum, and we accomplished that today," said Kassa.
[emphasis added]

Of course, the irony here is the only fascism practiced in this situation was by Kallaway and Kassa who admit they wanted to use fear to intimidate their political opponents.

Mussolini couldn't have said it better himself.

State Funded Research Is Not "Independent" Research

There is a very interesting article up on Sp!ked about public health research that everyone interested in the connection between scientific research and public policy should go and read: A bleary-eyed attitude to alcohol research

[T]here is the claim, explicit in the [British Medical Journal] Lobby Watch article, that researchers funded by the UK government are objective in the debate over alcohol advertising policy because they are ‘independent’, whereas researchers funded by the alcohol industry are not. Second, there is the claim that it is ‘established’ that alcohol advertising ‘encourages young people to drink alcohol sooner and in greater quantities’.

The effect of these two claims is to suggest to the public and policymakers that, first, the debate over the effects of alcohol advertising is over and, second, only those people funded by the alcohol industry question this reality.

Is this true? The idea that people whose research is funded by the taxpayer are independent, and therefore objective in their findings and policy prescriptions, is naive at best, disingenuous at worst. Public Choice theory explains that the interests of those who claim to represent the public are themselves conflicted and self-serving, and certainly neither independent nor objective.

This is most assuredly correct, and has far reaching implications for a variety of important research areas including climate science. Thus the IPCC has no problem citing as authorities groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, but would never be caught dead citing work by Cato or AEI. This is an intellectually untenable position, as the Sp!iked piece makes clear:

To simply reduce research to a question of funding avoids the hard question of the quality of the research itself. Rather than evaluating each piece of research on its individual merits, evidence which doesn’t fit what the public health community wants to hear is simply dismissed or ignored on the grounds that it is done and funded by the wrong people.

Public policy should not be decided based largely upon the perceived moral qualities of this or that researcher. It should be based upon the quality of the work itself.

End of story.

Sweden Takes (Another) Fascist Turn?

What the hell is going on in Sweden? Jews Flee Swedish Town in Wake of Anti-Semitism

Violent anti-Semitism has become increasingly commonplace in Sweden’s southern city of Malmö, leading many Jewish residents to leave out of fear for their safety. “Threats against Jews have increased steadily in Malmö in recent years and many young Jewish families are choosing to leave the city,” said Fredrik Sieradzki of the Jewish Community of Malmö.

Last year, 79 crimes against Jewish residents were reported to the Malmö police, roughly double the number reported in 2008. In addition, Jewish cemeteries and synagogues have been repeatedly defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti, and a chapel at another Jewish burial site in Malmö was firebombed last January during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. Many Jewish residents of Malmö feel that local anti-Jewish sentiment is linked with negative attitudes towards Israel.

In addition to its small community of roughly 700 Jews, Malmö is home to a growing Muslim population. However, local Jews insist that the majority of anti-Jewish sentiment, although certainly existent in the Muslim community, is coming from local Swedes.

Sadly, this isn't the first time Sweden and fascist tendencies could be linked together.

A Good Argument In Favor Of Loyalty Oaths

I swear, the more of this kind of crap I read the more I begin to think all public university employees should be required to take an oath pledging they will conduct themselves in accordance with the Constitution under pain of dismissal. This time it is my alma mater the University of Illinois where the anti-First Amendment fascists have arisen. The lengths the power that be will go to in order to squelch speech they don't like is truly repugnant. This time they are targeting students who wish to bring back the Chielf Illiniwek mascot, which I guess ranks as a criminal enterprise to the minds of these "scholars."

The efforts to actually stop the SFCI event appear to have ended here — but the attempts to silence expression about the Illiniwek mascot continued. Professor Robert Warrior, director of American Indian Studies at UI, wrote to Romano to complain about the fact that the SFCI event was being promoted on the billboard outside the venue where it was to take place, asking, “Can ROs that rent the hall say anything they want on the billboard, including racial stereotyping?” Romano responded, “I share your feeling about the billboard,” but she said that there was nothing she could do because it was “part of the package.”

Warrior also demanded that the university take down posters in the student union that he found to have a “genocidal” message. The posters had a picture of Illinois fans on it and read: “Never seen a real Indian? GOOD! Because obviously we haven’t either. The ‘Next Dance’ — Because even though ignorance may not be bliss, it sure is fun!” When informed that administrators would look into posting rules to see if the posters could be removed (that e-mail is missing from the FOIA materials), Warrior wrote to Gonzalez on September 29 that he was taking his ball and going home: “I don’t care about posting rules. Hate escalates. It’s a fact. … I am no longer willing to participate on diversity committees like the one I am on that you chair, initiatives, or events.”

Gee, they would have to do without the good professor's ignorance of the Constitution on diversity committees. That would be a blow. I mean, who would take on the role of ignorant hateful buffoon? Oh wait, its a modern university, there would be plenty of folks ready to step into that role.


I am philosophically opposed to loyalty oaths, but when you see such persistent rank stupidity the oaths begin to look more and more appealing.