9/30/2003 06:36:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Well, I'll blog today after all. Here's a sports story you wont see on ESPN and a news story you won't find out about on CNN. Yassir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, the unindicted co-conspirator of the Axis of Evil, have sponsored a soccer tournament glorifying terrorists. Each of the 24 teams is named for a terrorist, a terror group, or someone who died fighting the Israelis. In keeping with the gruesome leitmotif, one of the teams is named for Hassan Salame, part of the group that invented bombings at the Olympics. |W|P|106496139428629551|W|P|Red Cards for Elbowing, Not for Terrorism|W|P|9/30/2003 04:41:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Well, I've been pretty busy with work, but, happily, the link wagon stopped by and dropped off all sorts of web-swag - also somewhat inspired by Thomas Sowell's 'Random Thoughts' column today. Lots of little gems here, but the quote that hit home for me, for personal reasons, was:
"No matter how old I get or how sophisticated I think I have become, I still find it hard to deal with betrayal."
Applying to college? Thinking about transferring? Well, make sure you know how to write your "Diversity Essay." Want to know just how badly a Stalinist gulag the colleges to which you've applied are likely to be? Check out FIRE's SpeechCodes.org, which has all the depressing news not only on how oppressive your college is likely to be, but also which policies it will use to suppress your views (to liven your mood after, try saying that sentence like you're Jesse Jackson). I've attended two "red light" and one "yellow light" schools. Sigh. Link props to Michael Boland, who doesn't know me from Adam, but writes a page filled with the FDA's RDA of bloggity goodness. And Jim Caple writes a funny bit about the World Series being carried on Russian television. Read down far enough to see the fake Geiko add. Not quite roll-on-the-floor funny, but pretty darned drole. |W|P|106495447714389580|W|P|Link-o-Rama|W|P|9/30/2003 04:40:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|With the baseball playoffs upon us, go to your library and pick out W.P. Kinsella's (yeah, the guy who wrote the book that Field of Dreams was based on) The Thrill of the Grass. Some really good short stories, but with the Cubs in the playoffs and the North Koreans talking about nuclear missles, there's one story that's just too funny not read. |W|P|106495607418226299|W|P|Reading List, v. II|W|P|9/26/2003 04:03:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Poor Southern Methodist University. The reigning, best little PC thughouse in Texas is so upset that the media classified their closing of an "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" as a "free speech issue" (blogged here on 25 September) that they've issued a press release to disabuse us simpleminded folk of our misguided impression. SMU's "new" position is (my commentary in italics):
  1. That a dozen (SMU has not denied this number) students gathering in a public place, debating an issue created a "volatile situation," and, implicitly, a "threat to student safety" which had to be shut down. SMU's Ford Stadium holds 2667 dozen people.
  2. SMU doesn't brook discrimination. Nope. Uh uh. Negatory. The students violated SMU's nondiscrimination policy by selling the cookies at disparate prices. Well, duh!
  3. Location, Location, location. It appears the students may not have set up their table in "the [sic] designated campus debate area." Oh, those crazy college kids these days, goin' around with their flip flops and crazy notions like the entire point of a college campus being for...I dunno...debating different ideas.
  4. But that's all forgotten because SMU had already scheduled a debate about Affirmative Action for October 8th and, because SMU is so magnanimous, these students will get to "express their views" then as long as they don't act on their beliefs. "In Russia, everyone has the right to speak his mind freely. Once!" -- Yakov Smirnoff.
SMU is a nondiscrimination institution.|W|P|106460663989712010|W|P|Discrimination for Me, Not for Thee: SMU Redux|W|P|9/25/2003 04:59:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Quick trivia question. When Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, what was the charge on which he was being held? Anyone....Baker, Bishop, Beuller, Beuller...? The answer: Parading Without a Permit. So, on today's upside down, PC campus, irony as thick and rich as a good fudge brownie shouldn't surprise anyone. Yesterday, Southern Methodist University shut down an "Affirmative Action Bake Sale" not because it was "an issue about free speech...It was really an issue where we had a hostile environment being created," says two-bit Bull Connor wannabe Tim Moore, director of SMU's student center. Affirmative Action Bake Sales have been used all over the country by clever students as a non-violent, humorous (and possibly even delicious) way to protest the perceived injustice of affirmative action. The concept is simple, and at SMU worked like this: white males had to pay $1 for a cookie, while the cost was 75 cents for white women, 50 cents for Hispanics and 25 cents for blacks. Requiring permits for parades, of course, is a reasonable enough regulation. Traffic needs to be routed, etc. But, MLK was never going to get a permit from Bull Connor - the subjective nature of the latter's permit process ensured that. King ended getting pinched on a superficially legitimate, but morally and constitutionally bankrupt charge. So the irony of a black student filing a complaint with SMU about a subjectively "offensive" event and the university using the veneer of public safety to close down a non-violent and benign protest smacks of small time tyranny and large scale moral bankruptcy. SMU's "fact page" claims that the university endeavors "to enhance the intellectual, cultural...ethical, and social development of a diverse student body" and is "...committed to academic freedom..." What portion of the $30,000 room and board do you think these students are entitled to have refunded as a result of SMU's fraudulent claim? Well, at least they won't go hungry waiting for the refund. |W|P|106448036187534798|W|P|Taking a Bite Out of Academic Freedom|W|P|9/24/2003 08:43:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Even though I own it on DVD, I got sidetracked over dinner watching The Manchurian Candidate on cable. It has always been one of my favorite movies, but I don't think I've sat down and watched it since before 9/11. The movie was originally made in 1962, though between its conspiracy theory underpinnings and a feud between star Frank Sinatra and the studio over the royalties to which 'Ol Blue Eyes was entitled, the movie was buried around the time of the Kennedy assassination and didn't see the light of day for almost two decades after. For the longest time, even after the end of the Cold War, the movie really held up well not just as a tense, psychological thriller (before that phrase became a bromide) but as a good political satire of the McCarthy era mentality. The performances are superb - notably Sinatra's Captain Bennett Marco. The script is taut and the story keeps you wound up throughout the film...and even the ending very subtly leaves an important question unanswered. All that said, I mentioned 9/11 because I found myself surprised that the film suddenly seems somewhat worse for the wear. In an age when we worry about cells of conspirators hiding in the small folds of the American fabric and many on the right (and the extreme right) belittled for crying wolf about the threat, a movie that should seem as relevant as ever comes across a bit shrill and simple. Maybe the endless whining of the angry-Left is desensitizing me to the important lessons to be learned from that era. It's hard to say. That said, among the many great lines (the movie has moments of great humor as well) is this gem that is as true today as it ever was:
Have you noticed that the human rice is divided into two distinct and irreconcilable groups? Those who walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on and those who walk into rooms and automatically turn them off.
Rent this movie though. It is still well worth it.|W|P|106445062237305721|W|P|The Manchurian Candidate (No...Not Dennis Kucinich)|W|P|9/21/2003 02:08:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|If you read no other article about the U.S., the U.N., (old) Europe and Iraq, read this one. Link props (indirectly) to [blogless] Bill Beebe.|W|P|106416768254829698|W|P|Victor Davis Hanson = VDH = The Man|W|P|9/21/2003 10:57:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Dave Barry's brilliant idea to call the American Teleservices Association (the fine folks who help bring you only the highest quality, "constitutionally protected," annoyance phone calls during dinner) at their toll-free number proved so wildly successful that even the automated system the ATA put in place to screen your phone calls (lest they be disturbed while doing something worthwhile) has been overwhelmed. They even had to change the phone number. It is now 1-866-500-4272. Let them know what you think about the changes they made. And, please, only use constitutionally protected speech when you do so.|W|P|106415624148363619|W|P|You Make the Call|W|P|9/12/2003 12:36:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|I'm about 153/361st of the way through Philip Roth's The Human Stain. Definitely a Philip Roth book, but after a bit of an arduous start, it is getting interesting and it definitely isn't nice about political correctness. That gets a thumbs up. In a perspicacious little passage that Ambrose Bierce probably would have loved to include in The Devil's Dictionary, Roth uncorks a gem about the word 'appropriate,' probably second only to 'community' in the lexicon of fatuous PC words.
Appropriate. The current code word for reining in most any deviation from the wholesome guidelines and thereby making everybody "comfortable."
About as dead-on a summation as I've ever seen. Well done.|W|P|106334136195365003|W|P|Reading List, v. I(a)|W|P|9/12/2003 12:05:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|This is probably going to be a very long list someday. It wouldn't, of course, if I was more creative and witty, but, I digress...anyhoo, Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry gets serious props for coming up with a startlingly successful way to turn the tables on telemarketers. The American Teleservices Association (ATA), the mouthpiece for the telemarketing industry, claims that it has a constitutional right to annoy the crap out every American citizen at whatever time it wants by calling you, on a phone line that you've paid for with your own money, at any hour they feel like it or, if they don't feel like it, hanging up on you at their pleasure. In his 31 August 2003 column, Barry came up with a simple gem - exercise your own constitutional rights!
Call the American Teleservices Association, toll-free, at 1-877-779-3974, and tell them what you think. I'm sure they'd love to hear your constitutionally protected views!
Thousands of Barry's readers did just that, forcing ATA to stop answering their phones and begin screening them! As Jerry Seinfeld once said, "Now you know how I feel!" |W|P|106333500061237945|W|P|Great Ideas I Wish I´d Thought of First, But Didn´t|W|P|9/11/2003 12:00:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|
In Memoriam

September 11, 2001
|W|P|106325098437230373|W|P|In Memoriam|W|P|9/10/2003 09:12:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Geez, this really can be a tawdry little burg sometimes! From the Athens Banner-Herald:
ATHENS -- An employee of a tire dealership in Athens has been arrested on charges that he offered tires to a woman in exchange for sex. Athens-Clarke County police say 42-year-old Gregory Wade Mulligan of Maysville was charged Monday with solicitation of prostitution and pandering. Police say the 25-year-old Athens woman decided not to buy the tires from Mulligan at Tires Plus because she thought they were too expensive. She told police that Mulligan telephoned her later to say he would give her the tires if she would meet him at a motel and have sex with him.
P.S.: For the record, I got my last set of Goodyears in April, at Sam's Club. |W|P|106324274325970287|W|P|Is This What They Mean By Using "Rubbers?"|W|P|9/09/2003 11:43:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|So the Palestinian Authority, the unindicted co-conspirator of the Axis of Evil, has a new Prime Minister. The Israelis say they can work with him. The U.S. says it can work with him. Hamas, apparently, can definitely work with him - and it immediately proceeded to prove it by launching twin homicide bombings in Israel today. Thank G-d Qureia is a moderate and a peace negotiator. Being two days short of the anniversary of the 3,000 hate-crime murders at the Twin Towers and having had two more terrorist attacks today, I decided to pull out an old Mike Luckovich cartoon from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This is the future to which we can look forward to in this country if we don't stop terrorists dead in their tracks today.
|W|P|106316543837550252|W|P|Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss|W|P|9/07/2003 12:58:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Howard Dean, who continues to change directions on issues like a diabetic hummingbird in a sugar cane field, has topped even himself this time. Appearing at the side of beleaguered California Governor Gray Davis, the former Vermont governor (who looks to be shilling for a movie deal with conspiracy theorist par excellance Oliver Stone), said of the pending recall election, "I believe the right wing of the Republican Party is deliberately undermining the democratic underpinnings of this country." Now, just about any standard definition of democracy, is going to give you something about rule "by the people" or by the "majority." If a majority of those who vote in the recall election want Gray Davis gone, that's democracy at work, Howard. The democratic underpinnings of recall elections may be good or they may be bad - draw your own conclusions - but they're inescapably democratic. Which raises the obvious question of why Howard Dean is having trouble figuring all this out. If Dean had spent more of his time at Yale time in political science class instead of striking to shut down the power plant, he might have a clue. Clearly, he can not tell the difference between a democrat (somewho who believes in democracy) and a Democrat (someone who's a member of the Democratic party. The recall in California is clearly anti-Democratic - it seeks to remove a member of the Democratic political party from the governorship. But the effort itself is the epitome of democratic action. So, Dr. Dean, if you're upset about pure democracy, join the club - that's why this country was underpinned with republican ideals about government (one of which is that we elect decision-makers to serve a set term and leave them there until the next election). Perhaps Howard will try reading The Federalist Papers, perhaps with special attention to number 10 - there's something in there about what "overbearing majorit[ies]" tend to do to the rights of the minority party. You are, after all, a candidate for president and any presidential aspirant who has qualms about democracy would do well to see what the Founders had to say about our republic. But then again, all these meanings, like the constitution, are organic, aren't they? So, I suppose, undemocratic democracies can still be democratic. If you're a Democrat. |W|P|106295393043975153|W|P|Democrat Says Democracy is Undemocratic!|W|P|9/05/2003 03:09:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|You thought the ABBA revival on Broadway was a borderline crime against humanity. You know that meth, X, G, Roofies and polyester are all synthetics that can destroy bodies and minds. But the insidious effects of disco don't stop with people. Its gone reptile and its ugly. Consider this Reuters headline: Turtles Lured to Disco Death in Park Dilemma. Yes, it seems that young loggerheads in increasing numbers are forgoing the straight and narrow virtues of a disciplined seaside life and are being drawn to the bright lights, glamor and glitz of the disco crowd. Following the trail of people before them, the naive youngsters, clearly confused and out of their element, quickly fall prey to the food chain's sleaziest elements and die - young and alone - in a place none of God's creatures was ever meant to see. So, the next time someone puts Carl Douglas's Kung Fu Fighting in the 8-track, do as Groundskeeper Willie does amd ask yourself, "If I don't save the wee turtles, who will?" UPDATE: Yay me! I got this story into today's Best of the Web...and then they misspelled my name. D'oh! |W|P|106278894562801010|W|P|Disco is Bad for Children and Other Living Things|W|P|9/04/2003 10:44:00 AM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Fox News reports today on a Missouri company, VSM Abrasives', employee health contest, "Get Healthy for Life," which rewards workers for shedding extra pounds (thin employees get similar bonuses for good attendence). But we live in a world where no good deed goes unpunished, so enter Marilyn Wann. Ms. Wann, the author of "Fat? So!," levels three charges at the program, two of which are speculative (possible peer pressure and yo-yo dieting), but one of which she is convinced to be true and pernicious. What do you think the most dastardly crime this company has committed is? Quoth Ms. Wann, "It's just counterproductive and not really forward thinking," she said. "It's certainly not diversity minded." Quoth Charlie Brown, "Good grief!" |W|P|106268669495874352|W|P|And ever [s]he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever wann'd with despair. -- Tennyson|W|P|9/03/2003 06:06:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|So, France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg want to form their own European defense command. No, that isn't a typo - you did just read the words 'France' and 'defense' in the same sentence. C'mon, I don't make this stuff up! But, if you found that drole, you gotta give props to Richard Boucher, spokesman for the Department of State. The normally staid, diplomatic mouthpiece for our foreign office supercilliously characterized the four nations' meeting on the topic earlier this year as "a little, bitty summit." The kicker, however, came when he then referred to perfidious foursome as "the chocolate makers." The comment appeared most directly aimed at Belgium, noted for its confections and which wants the HQ near Brussells. Boucher declined to elaborate, however, whether the reference to 'making chocolate' had any additional connection to the well known reflexive response of French soldiers upon hearing the word "Achtung!" Which reminds me...here's today's eBay Tip of the Day: When buying weapons online, its a good idea to purchase a French gun - never been fired and only dropped once! Happy bidding.|W|P|106262679775782706|W|P|Blessed Are the Chocolate-makers...|W|P|9/02/2003 11:05:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|Mike Myers, as 'Linda Richman' in his old Saturday Night Live skit, "Coffee Talk" had a signature catchphrase..."talk amongst yourselves...I'll give you a topic." Since I've been caught up with the mundane aspects of work today, I'll pass on a long involved commentary (yes, the 1.683 of you who read this can thank God for small mercies now). Here's the topic: Anthony Hopkins gets a gold star for his lunchbox, at least based on his comments promoting his new movie, a fim adaptation of Philip Roth's The Human Stain, "It's a cancer - that's all I can say." Must be that English gift of understatement. So I went out and bought the book and have started reading it. Grab yourself a copy and we'll talk it out. Any book savaging political correctness - let alone political correctness at a small liberal arts college in New England should be enjoyable - even if Philip Roth is one strange dude. Must be that English gift of understatement. Let's discuss. |W|P|106255831061856321|W|P|Reading List, v. I|W|P|9/01/2003 11:03:00 PM|W|P|SDG|W|P|It may be the Labor Day long weekend, but that didn't stop someone with a sense of humor from kicking it into high gear. Since we like the Ivory Tower so much here at CI, let's start at Yale University where one of America's most liberal administrations takes on the mantle of 'capitalist swine' as it faces down a strike from about 4,000 employee-members of several of its unions. Although the parents of Yale's student bodies have shelled out 35 Large for the year, strikers and professors are already seizing the opportunity to either indoctrinate, intimidate or simply bag out on having to teach students altogether. Of course, this doesn't bother Howard Dean. After dropping his daughter off for the start of the semester, he encouraged the strikers to continue the struggle, just like how it was back in his pony-tail, hippie days when he helped shut down the Yale power plant during a strike. So, basically, the word from the Democratic nominee presumptive: "I encourage you to keep wasting the thousands of dollars that parents spend for their childrens' educations." I can't wait to see who his Secretary of Education will be. Sheesh. Meanwhile, charter member of the Axis of Weasel, France, cracked me up too. In 1999, the government of Jacques chIraq settled with a Libyan charity in the pocket of Muammar Gaddafi to pay $33M to French victims of a UTA flight murdered by Libyan agents in a terrorist (substitute 'militant' for 'terrorist' if you're Reuters or the AP) attack. Not sharing the salentian affinity for appeasement, the United States and Britain held out and just recently settled on a $2.7 billion figure for the 270 victims killed by Libyan terrorists in the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. After much pressure from victims families, the French have now concluded a revised deal with Gaddafi, to ease the embarassment that their unconscienable cowardice brought upon them. Now, to be clear, I've got no problem with the French getting a more equitable settlement out of the Libyans, surely the victims of the families deserve better than the appeasement (doesn't everyone?), but it makes the French perfidy in Iraq even more pathetic. Once again, the French profit on the strength of American and British spines. |W|P|106247180593560090|W|P|The Gods of Irony Were Workin' It All Weekend Long |W|P|