Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif., Endures Loss of Seven Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Most From Any School in California

I'll be in Clovis at the end of August to attend my father-in-law's 70th birthday gathering. I called him this morning to give him the heads up on today's front-page story at the Los Angeles Times, "Wars Take a Heavy Toll on One California School." He thanked me, although Clovis is a small town, and he was well familiar with the losses:
The seventh funeral was Friday. The church was full, even strangers lined the streets and everyone in sight stopped what they were doing and bowed their heads as Brian Piercy's body moved from church to cemetery — the same as they had done for six others.

Seven boys from Clovis' Buchanan High Shool have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With Piercy's death, Buchanan has the somber distinction of more war dead than any other school in California.

There's no sure answer as to how such a thing could happen. But many people in this Central Valley city have a theory. They say Clovis is an extraordinarily patriotic community and its children are raised on God and country, duty and honor. They're willing to serve and willing to die, the same as Clovis' generations who went before them.

Buchanan's school colors are red, white and blue. The stadium is named Veteran's Memorial. Former classmates and older siblings come back in uniform for campus visits. Friday night football games include a moment of silence for Buchanan's fallen soldiers.

"The cheerleaders wear six stars on their uniforms. I guess it will be seven now," said 15-year-old Julie Thaxter. "We're not proud they died, but we're proud they fought. It makes others from here even more ready to go and honor them. My brother wants to join. He's 14 and he's been set on it since he was 8."

Also, "
California’s War Dead" (for Buchanan High).

Cancer Patient Nikki Phelps vs. Virginity Repairs in Britain — i.e., Islamic Hymen Replacement Surgery

Doug Ross reports on the British cancer patient who fought the NHS, which denied life-saving drug treatment. "Nikki Phelps, R.I.P."
Nikki Phelp's insurer was Britain's National Health Service (NHS), the model for Barack Obama and his hand-picked appointment for the head of Medicare, Donald Berwick.

Nikki Phelps


And at London's Daily Mail, "
Virginity Repairs and an NHS That's Lost Its Way":

Three months ago, Bill Phelps became a widower — he watched, helpless, as his cancer-stricken young wife Nikki’s life slowly ebbed away.

Nikki, 37, a former teacher and mother of two-year-old twins, was denied the drug that might have saved her life, as it was deemed too costly by her NHS Primary Care Trust.

I wonder, then, how Mr Phelps feels after reading yesterday’s report that the NHS is happy to foot the bill for young women to have ‘virginity repairs’?

How can it be right that the mother of his two little boys was condemned to death by an NHS that put women’s desire to appear ‘untouched’ before the right of a mother to live as long as she can to raise her children?

Latest figures show that there has been a 25 per cent rise in hymen replacement operations carried out on the NHS over the past four years.

And, while there is no way of knowing the ethnic, cultural or religious background of the women undergoing these procedures, we do know that there has been a three-fold increase in Muslim women having the operation done privately — fearful that a future husband might discover they were not a virgin on their wedding night.

Might some of the rise in NHS cases be for the same reason? The NHS insists that it carries out the procedure only ‘to secure physical or psychological health’.

The same justification is often used for state-funded cosmetic procedures such as breast reductions.

Whatever the case, I find it astonishing that at a time when women are dying because they can’t get cancer treatment, other women are having their virginity repairs paid for by the State.

Let me be clear: I have every sympathy for a woman, of whatever cultural origin, who is so fearful of an oppressive partner that she would seek surgery to restore her ‘purity’.

We must never forget that it’s certain men who are to blame for this, as they demand a standard of behaviour from their wives, sisters and daughters that they would not dream of applying to themselves.

But how can we defend aesthetic breast procedures, sex- change operations or hymen repairs at a time of crippling national debt, and when we have some of the worst cancer survival rates in Europe?

RELATED: "A Victory Too Late: Mother Dies as the NHS Finally Agrees to Pay for Cancer Drugs."

Summer School 2010 — One of the Best Classes in Memory

I watched "The Paper Chase" again last week for the first time in years. I'd been having such a fabulous summer session — with some of the best classroom discussions in years — that I wanted to share the opening scenes with my students on the day before the final exam — and not just so they'd get a look at Professor Kingsfield's method. I love how the movie opens with the first-year law students settling into their seats on the first day of class with the caption "Harvard Law School" flashing at the screen just as John Houseman enters the room. It does capture that supreme sense of both excitement and fear that is the college classroom experience, all the more so since it's Harvard. We couldn't watch the whole movie, of course, and amazingly not one of my students had seen it, so perhaps they'll dwell on it if they find it while surfing the cable channels in the future.

Teaching this summer was a lot different for a number of reasons: We're fully moved into the
South Quad Complex, and the new classrooms are fully modernized with smart technology; the computer console/media setup is extremely user-friendly, which facilitates use of short video clips for quick discussion launchers; I'm using a new textbook, one that offers an "exceptionalist" take on American politics, and one that helped drive some dramatic sections; lots of university students attend community college in the summer, to save money and finish up their G.E., so they help elevate the quality of the experience; I also had two Iraq war veterans and a public relations officer from the Long Beach Police Department, and they further added to the diversity of the summer session; and I taught just this one class, which left me with more time to think about my students and how to improve instruction.

All of that, plus after ten years at LBCC I'm more comfortable in my methods than ever. I try less to be a Professor Kingsfield and more like when I was younger — i.e., more hip and laid back, and even more understanding.

In any case, things really came together. Not only were the sections dynamic and endlessly vibrant, but the students were not shy in sharing their feedback on the learning experience. Some classes go better than others (every classroom is different), and you'll know when you're hitting it off. But I was surprised and honored that the students put together
some thank you cards on the day before the final. One student in particular had a life-changing experience. His comments are up on the "guys" card at top right:


Professor Douglas!!! I have never been so excited to come to class as I was this semester! You are a tremendous leader and a Class-A example of looking at both sides of stories. Thank you for your passion for teaching.
At top left, a UCI student comments:
You've made me realize that your political ideas should be based on sound knowledge/reasoning. Thanks ....
Now that is interesting! It seems to me that upper-division students at a top-tiered public university would have already gotten instruction in "sound knowledge/reasoning"? Or maybe that's just a good reflection on the (non)quality of instruction at UCI, where the reputation's as one of the most radical campuses in the country.

The students signed the cards on the same morning that I showed "The Paper Chase" clip. I went around the entire room and asked each student their major and their plans for college and beyond — and I called on each by name to personally validate and humanize their participation and experience. Lots of students are majoring in psychology, and they laughed when I joked that I was now recruiting political scientists! But some took that discussion to heart. It made them think about what they were doing in the context of the career aspirations of the others. As one fellow wrote, on the left at middle-top:
Professor Douglas ... It's been an interesting summer session, and the discussion today has made me consider my immediate future a little more. Keep doing what you are doing.
Reading the card from the "girls" seemed almost like reading farewells in a high school yearbook at graduation! The comments had more of that kind of a feel, for example, at the ladies' card center-left:
Thank you for being a great teacher! You are one of the funniest teachers I've had a LBCC. I know I'm not the best student although I try as hard as I can but thank you for taking your summer to teach us!
And this one, second to the bottom at right:
Thank you for being a cool guy. I really appreciate teachers who take the time to emotionally reach out to students. Sorry I couldn't have been a better student! Anyways, thanks for the fun lectures! I'll miss them. Thanks and have a great summer.
Some of the other comments are readable at the picture above. Not all the students in class signed the cards, but 42 students took the final exam, which ended up being almost 100 percent retention (a key measure of classroom effectiveness from the administration's perspective, especially when the drop-out rated exceeds 50 percent for a lot of professors) .

In any case, I mostly wanted to share all this with readers.

It takes a long time to get truly comfortable in the classroom. Teaching is not a natural ability for a lot of people, and even for great teachers it takes a while to warm up the inner attributes that can enliven a classroom and change lives. Meanwhile, I don't push myself off as some kind of "Master Teacher" or "Expert Instructor." We have a few like that on my campus. Folks who dominate curriculum development and are fairly closed-minded on pedagogical inputs from others. I just do my thing. I teach it right down the middle. With the new textbook I'm making more of an explicit effort to counteract left-wing indoctrination on campus, but as you can see from the students' comments, the kids appreciate a balanced approach that focuses on sound argument and careful evidence.

I think this is also important in the context of blogging as well. I don't use the blog in class, although some of my idiot antagonists online love to launch attacks on AmPower as perverted and "creepy." For example, after eviscerating Scott Eric Kaufman the other day, the LGM lamebrain
commented at the post (twice actually, since comments are moderated, and Insecure Little Scotty wanted to be sure he got his digs in):
You've got me there. My whole world view invalidated by a spelling error. No amount of having taught Dispatches can ever take back that typo ... on the internet, at least among children. Please, tell me how teaching critical thinking and persuasive writing through complex texts with students are familiar is necessarily a bad thing? I await your silence, since the last time you thought twice about pedagogy was when you decided which of the beautiful ladies in the second row would require the bulk of your creepy attention. For the rest of us, we aim to teach.
Scott proves correct my criticisms of him: He never once has acknowledged he's not that good with language, which is not good, since he's an English professor. So word to Scotty: Your use of "flack" wasn't a spelling error or a typo. You didn't know the differences. And you'd show some intellectual maturity by just admitting that you still have things to learn, even in what should be your field of expertise. And no, Scott, as you can see above, this isn't the "last time" I thought about pedagogy. A good professor thinks of it whenever she sets foot in the classroom. And my sense is that trolling the conservative 'sphere for snarky attack material against your ideological enemies is eminently more "creepy" than your allusion to "beautiful ladies."

Eyes Without a Face (Stylin' Replay Version)

I played this song over and over when I posted it the other night. So, while doodling around online I found that Billy Idol's playing the Pechanga Resort in Temecula on August 11th. Recall that I just took my family out that way a couple of weeks ago (to nearby Harrah's Rincon). A lot of these casinos have great concert venues. Well, checking with my wife it turns out that she's got complimentary room stays at the hotel, so we booked a room and scored tickets for Idol's concert — hence, here's a stylin' replay of "Eyes Without a Face." Billy Idol's homepage is here (with tour dates). Here's Pechanga's Billy Idol blurb. This YouTube's concert information is below:

In November 2009, a 70 minute version of this concert was released on DVD and Blu-Ray and is available via various stores online.

Billy Idol Live from the Congress Theater, Chicago on July 28, 2006. This program was originally aired as a two-hour show on the Voom RaveHD channel in 2007, and then rebroadcast as a one-hour program as part of the PBS Soundstage series in 2009.

Billy Idol - Vocals
Steve Stevens - Guitars
Derek Sherinian - Keyboards
Stephen McGrath - Bass, Vocals
Brian Tichy - Drums

One is the Loneliest Number

From Carolyn Tackett, "Help a Friend."

And previously, "
The Recession Hits Stogie at Saberpoint." Stogie's blog is here.

Horrible Paris Rosen Front-Flip Crash at X-Games Motocross Event

Don't watch if you've got a soft stomach. It's much worse in slow-motion. Rosen lands head-first:

Mexican Drug Cartel Puts $1 Million Bounty on Sheriff Joe Arpaio

This is totally WTF territory.

Via MAinfo, "
Juarez Cartel Offers 1 Million For Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Head":

Howard Zinn's 'The People Speak'

Well, perhaps I'll get some Google traffic today with another post on Howard Zinn's Marxist education project, "The People's Speak."

And don't miss all the earlier coverage at Michelle's, e.g., "
“Social Justice” for grade-schoolers: The Howard Zinn Education Project." And previously, "FBI Releases 423 File on Communist Historian Howard Zinn."

RELATED: "FBI Files Reveal Historian Howard Zinn Lied to Hide CPUSA Membership."

Revving Up Weekend Rule 5

Mind Numbed Robot kicks off the weekend's Rule 5 festivities. And my friend Patrick at Political Byline runs a great blog, but I'm searching in vain for some beauties, LOL!

And as alway, look for some wonderful posting at MAinfo.


And be sure to visit some of other friends of American Power:

* Another Black Conservative.

Astute Bloggers (Honorary).

Blazing Cat Fur.

Bob Belvedere.

* Cold Fury.

Classical Liberal.

Daley Gator.

Left Coast Rebel.

* Mind Numbed Robot.

Not a Sheep.

* Paco Enterprises.

* Panhandle Perspective.

* Political Byline.


The Other McCain.

Reaganite Republican (Honorary).

Right Klik (Honorary).

Saberpoint (Honorary).

Serr8d (Honorary).

Snooper's Report (Honorary).


Theo Spark.

* TrogloPundit.

* Washington Rebel.


BONUS: Don't forget Instapundit.

And drop your link in the comments to be added to the weekly roundups!

The Recession Hits Stogie at Saberpoint

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job. It's a depression when you lose yours, or at least that's what they say. All I know is it's a heartbreak when your friends are losing their home. Stogie at Saberpoint's been a blog buddy of mine for roughly four years. A good guy and great patriot, facing financial hardship:
It's just a matter of weeks before I lose my home. I never, ever thought I'd be in such a predicament. This happened to other people, sure, but not to me. I am a college graduate and a CPA. Accountants were supposed to be immune from unemployment. Not any more. The fact that I am well past 50 doesn't help. Seniors and new grads are the hardest hit.

I am not feeling sorry for myself. I am pissed, but have entered a phase of my life where nothing surprises me anymore. If one could get jaded to bad news, political malfeasance and power-grabbing, I am about there. No outrage now seems to surprise me. The neo-Marxists now running the country are capable of the most outrageous usurpations of the Constitution, which in effect, is no longer the law of the land. It is merely a quaint old parchment kept under glass in the museum of history, for people to gawk at. The economy is being destroyed by fools, mostly Democrat fools, but with the assistance of RINO Republicans who haven't the sense or the gonads to resist.
Hit Stogie's tip jar if you're able.

FBI Releases 423 Files on Communist Historian Howard Zinn

Great reading at Robert Stacy McCain's: "FBI Files Reveal Historian Howard Zinn Lied to Hide CPUSA Membership."

It's lengthy so just go over there and read the post.
Leftists are denying that the files prove Zinn was an active member of the Communist Party USA (pointing to Zinn's own denials). But McCain's sifting through the files carefully. Lots of clues, but this is especially noteworthy:


This might end up being big on Memeorandum today. And self-identified CPUSA member or not, Zinn's left-wing extremism has worked havoc on young minds for decades, and continues with the school indoctrination programs he left in place. See Michell's entry, "Hollywood & Howard Zinn’s Marxist Education Project."

DISCLOSURE: I attended a Howard Zinn lecture at Fresno State in the early '90s. My copy of A People's History is at the office.

Outlook Dims on (Obama) the Economy

At NYT (FWIW), "With Recovery Slowing, the Jobs Outlook Dims":

There is no more disputing it: the economic recovery in the United States has indeed slowed.

The nation’s economy has been growing for a year, with few new jobs to show for it. Now, with the government reporting a growth rate of just 2.4 percent in the second quarter and federal stimulus measures fading, the jobs outlook appears even more discouraging.

“Given how weak the labor market is, how long we’ve been without real growth, the rest of this year is probably still going to feel like a recession,” said Prajakta Bhide, a research analyst for the United States economy at Roubini Global Economics. “It’s still positive growth — rather than contraction — but it’s going to be very, very protracted.”

A Commerce Department report on Friday showed that economic growth slipped sharply in the latest quarter from a much brisker pace earlier, an annual rate of 5 percent at the end of 2009 and 3.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Consumer spending, however, was weaker than initially indicated earlier in the recovery.

Many economists are forecasting a further slowdown in the second half of the year, perhaps to an annual rate as low as 1.5 percent. That is largely because businesses have refilled the stockroom shelves that were whittled down during the financial crisis, and there will not be much need for additional orders.

Additionally, the fiscal stimulus measures that have propped up growth are expiring. Proposals for individual programs like another expansion of unemployment benefits have been beaten back each time they have come up in Congress.

“We need 2.5 percent growth just to keep the unemployment rate where it is,” said Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. “If you want to get it down quickly, you need substantially stronger growth than that. That’s what I’ve been saying for the last several quarters, and that’s why I’ve been hoping that we’ll please pass the jobs measures just sitting on the floor of Congress.”

The approaching midterm elections, however, may harden the political standoff after Congress returns from its August recess. As a result, pressure will probably increase on the Federal Reserve to use its available tools to prevent a double-dip recession. Recent reports from Fed policy makers suggest the central bank has become increasingly worried about where the economy is headed.

American businesses, if not American households, seem to be hanging on.
Image Credit: Blogmocracy.

Saturday FMJRA

Theo's fired up, that's for sure!

See also Blazing Cat Fur, "
Veiled in secrecy: Religious observance or cultural apartheid?" Plus, Astute Bloggers, and Astute Bloggers, "A CORRUPTOCRATIC TWOFER: MAXINE WATERS TO GET CONGRESSIONAL ETHICS TRIAL, TOO - (ALONG WITH RANGEL)." And check Instapundit while you're at it!


Taliban to Hunt Down Informants Identified by WikiLeaks

At Telegraph UK, "Wikileaks Afghanistan: Taliban Hhunting Down Informants'":

The Taliban has issued a warning to Afghans whose names might appear on the leaked Afghanistan war logs as informers for the Nato-led coalition.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said they were studying and investigating the report, adding “If they are US spies, then we know how to punish them.”

The warning came as the US military's top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen said that Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, may already have blood on his hands following the leak of 92,000 classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan by his website.

Is White Privilege a Myth?

Terence Samuel, on Senator Jim Webb's call to abolish affirmative action, at The Root:

In last Friday's Wall Street Journal, Webb asserted that affirmative action programs, which he and most everyone else now refer to as ''diversity'' programs, have strayed from their original intent and today do more to hurt white Americans and harm the country than they do to redress past racial injustice.

''I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America's economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship,'' Webb writes. ''Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.''

The piece is headlined, ''Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege.'' The notion that white privilege is a myth will surely ignite a backlash among many black Americans, who will say that there is nothing mythical about the advantages that being white bestows in America. Alternately, Webb will be hailed as a hero and a truth-teller among those who see the racial landscape in America so vastly altered in the last 50 years that the idea that whites continue to have any inherent advantage based on race is at least outdated and, more likely, a perverse, intentional corruption of the truth. People will argue that white privilege is a social conceit intended to gain political and economic advantage -- the race card, in common parlance.

So here we are, almost 150 years after monumental disagreements about race led to the outbreak on the Civil War, confronting monumental disagreements about how to deal with the consequences of the last 150 years. Racial injustice has been at the core of the national debate for the entire life of the republic; it has been a blunt-force instrument used to destroy the lives and aspirations of a whole race of people over many generations and with lasting consequences. The remedies, when they've been sought, have never been elegant, largely because the blunt force of racial injustice and discrimination has never allowed for elegant solutions. From the Dred Scott decision to the present-day diversity programs, we have argued consistently about the role of race in the American life. Black people have almost always come out on the losing end of that debate. The length of the debate alone is evidence of how difficult progress has been.


I could write a long rebuttal, but nah. Folks already know pretty much where I stand (or, Jim Webb's right).

Friday, July 30, 2010

Update on Billy Idol...

...Coming tomorrow.

Meanwhile, enjoy some Gen X:

The Only Exception

A little late-night change of pace, from Paramore, "The Only Exception":

I've got a tight grip on reality,
but I can't let go of whats part of me here.
I know you're leaving in the morning, when you wake up,
leave me with some kind of proof it's not a dream.


You are the only exception (x8)
And I'm on my way to believing.. (x2)

Republicans React to Secret Democratic Amnesty Memorandum

At Politico:

Republicans are seizing on an internal memo they say is further evidence the Obama administration wants to bypass a gridlocked Congress and use its executive powers to grant “back-door amnesty” to thousands of illegal immigrants. But administration officials tried to downplay the significance of the draft memo Friday, reiterating that they have no plans to grant permanent residency to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S.

Written by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officials to the agency’s director, the memo discusses ways the administration – facing the reality that immigration reform is all but dead this year – could grant illegal immigrants permanent status, including indefinitely delaying deportation or issuing green cards.

“This memorandum offers administrative relief options to promote family unity, foster economic growth, achieve significant process improvements and reduce the threat of removal for certain individuals present in the United States without authorization,” states the memo, which was addressed to Director Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, USCIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations.”

The 11-page memo provides fresh ammunition to Republican lawmakers who have been questioning the administration for the past month about rumors of a plan allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country.

“The document provides an additional basis for our concerns that the administration will go to great lengths to circumvent Congress and unilaterally execute a back-door amnesty plan,” Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a statement.

Communist ANSWER Coalition Spearheads Immigration Protests in Phoenix — Special Forum Edition, 'Moments With Fidel'

Griff Jenkins interviews Michael Prysner at the clip below. Folks will remember Prysner as the Iraq war veteran and "Winter Soldier" who leads a program of resistance and revolution against the United States. Turns out that A.N.S.W.E.R. cadres were out in full force for the Phoenix protests against SB 1070. See, "Statement from the ANSWER Coalition: SB 1070 Court Ruling: An 'Important But Partial Victory'":
The ANSWER Coalition has been deeply involved in the organization of today’s and tomorrow’s demonstrations protesting SB 1070 in Phoenix, Arizona, and in all of the earlier demonstrations in Arizona and around the country.

Without the mobilization of people in the streets throughout the country, the reactionary and racist forces that pushed this law through in Arizona would have succeeded. Moreover, state legislatures throughout the country are watching Arizona with an eye to the outcome of this battle. If this clearly unconstitutional law could take effect in Arizona, racist bigots will eagerly try to pass similar measures in states throughout the country.
And once again, MSM outlets miss the key ingredients to the story, while downplaying the threats. See, " The 'Dangerous' Border: Actually One of America's Safest Places" (via Memeorandum). (Also, Doug Mataconis has more.)


RELATED: "Protesters Raise Mexican Flag Outside Phoenix Jailhouse."

Update on The Post American Presidency

Did you get your copy?

Pamela Geller's in the midst of a whirlwind promotional tour. She works hard at what she does, and she's got unshakable convictions. I'm learning a lot from the book too!

Check it out: The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America.

The 'Moderates' at Ground Zero

The Anti-Defamation League is in the news for condemning bigotry while embracing it?

See Jeffrey Goldberg, "
A Terrible Decision by the Anti-Defamation League":


1) The organization behind the project, the Cordoba Initiative, is a moderate group interested in advancing cross-cultural understanding. It is very far from being a Wahhabist organization;

2) This is a strange war we're fighting against Islamist terrorism. We must fight the terrorists with alacrity, but at the same time we must understand that what the terrorists seek is a clash of civilizations. We must do everything possible to avoid giving them propaganda victories in their attempt to create a cosmic war between Judeo-Christian civilization and Muslim civilization. The fight is not between the West and Islam; it is between modernists of all monotheist faiths, on the one hand, and the advocates of a specific strain of medievalist Islam, on the other. If we as a society punish Muslims of good faith, Muslims of good faith will join the other side. It's not that hard to understand. I'm disappointed that the ADL doesn't understand this.
I'm still not convinced that the Mega Mosque builders are all that moderate.

That said,
who's stoking whose pain here? The political debate on this is getting ridiculous. It is not racist to oppose the mosque. I have a hard time believing that supporters of the mosque are that quick to dismiss opponents as "racist." It just plays into the left's meme. Whenever a conservative stands up for what they believe they're attacked as bigots. But, hmm ... no such a big outcry when The Divider in Chief slurs blacks as mongrels, etc., etc. It all relates friends. Where's the consistency?

See also, "Imam Feisal and the Ground Zero Mosque."

RELATED: "Anti-Defamation League Opposes Ground Zero Mosque."

RINO Watch — For Starters, Cross Gingrich Off List for 2012

I can see November from my house. (And November 2012's just over the horizon.)

At The Hill, "
Gingrich expects Palin to run in 2012." (Via Memeorandum.)

And how many RINOs are among the bunch? ...

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said Friday that he expects former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to be among the crowd of GOP presidential candidates in 2012.

Gingrich, himself a potential candidate for president, sized up the field of would-be competitors, detailing which GOP politicians he expects to jump into the race.

The field Gingrich listed included: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas).

"There are going to be lots of Republicans running — Gov. Romney clearly, Gov. Palin, Gov. Huckabee, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Tim Pawlenty. I think John Thune, the senator from South Dakota, is probably going to get in. Ron Paul's probably going to run again," Gingrich said in an interview with Newsmax, a conservative magazine. "I think it's going to be a lively campaign, there'll be a lot of good candidates."
How about Pawlenty? He's no RINO, right? I like Romney, and Mitch Daniels is intriguing. Other than that, I'm pulling for Sarah ...

Image Credit:
American Weasel.

Colin Hay Plays Las Vegas Monte Carlo Tonight

I met Colin Hay in 1982 ('83?) at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. He was hanging out in the lobby before a Dexy's Midnight Runners performance. It was strange. He asked me where I lived. I asked him what he was doing here??!! I called a couple of my friends over to say hello and that was it. Just seemed like the funniest thing. It was the same time that Men at Work were going super big, and here's Hay just hanging out for a couple of drinks with the L.A. locals.

In any case,
he's playing tonight at the Brew Pub at Vegas' Monte Carlo. Sounds fun. Turns out he's toured with Ringo Star's All Star Band, so what in the heck? (And I'm reminded of how enjoyable the flute is sometimes.) ...

Robert Stacy McCain to Slam GOP Congressional Candidate Rocky Raczkowski for Phyllis Schlafly Renunciation?

GOP congressional candiate Andrew (Rocky) Raczkowski backed away from comments made by Phyllis Schlafly over the weekend. The long-time leader of the Eagle Forum noted that:
"Do you know what the second-biggest demographic group that voted for Obama -- obviously the blacks were the biggest demographic group. But do you all know what was the second-biggest? ... "Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider."
This kind of commentary stirs the hackles among hard-lefties, for example, at Daily Kos:
Phyllis Schlafly bashing women is nothing new. After all, the woman made a career out of saying women shouldn't have careers. Or equal rights.
These are stupid allegations, of course. Schlafly's right on, as Robert Stacy McCain points out, "When Phyllis Schlafly Speaks the Truth, Democrats Call It ‘Extremism’" (via Memeorandum):
Phyllis Schlafly is one of conservatism’s great heroines. Both Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter acknowledge Schlafly’s influence as a role model. Forty-six years after her rallying cry for Goldwater, A Choice Not an Echo, and three decades after she led the crusade to stop ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, she’s still driving liberals nuts ...
Check the link. At the end there Robert announces:
I plan to renounce any Republican who renounces Phyllis Schlafly.
Okay, Robert. Your first target should be Rocky Raczkowski, who renounced Schlafly after she spoke at his own campaign event!
The comments caused a furor with Progress Michigan, a liberal activist group that obtained a tape of the event. They called on Raczkowski to denounce Schlafly's words. One of Raczkowski's Republican opponents in the GOP primary -- Paul Welday of Farmington Hills -- echoed the sentiment.

Raczkowski said he was taken aback by the comments, but noted that they didn't reflect his beliefs.

"I will fight vehemently for her to have her beliefs. That's what makes this country so great," he said. "I believe in equality for everyone. I'm color-blind and gender blind."
Hey Rocky ... Dede Scozzafava called. She's got some endorsements lined up from top GOP RINOs.

The Blog Prof, who's on the ground in Michigan, says Raczkowski's gettting worked over from the "feminazi" press. See, "Oakland Press launches liberal hatchet piece against Rocky Raczkowski days before the primary." Okay, but let's see a statement from Rocky clarifying his renunciation of Shlafly's remarks. (I don't see any sign of retraction, which according to The Blog Prof's reporting would be capitulation to the mob, "Women Want Apology from Candidate Rocky Raczkowski.")

RELATED: Taylor Marsh claims to know Phyllis Schlafly intimately: "Phyllis Schlafly, What the Republican Tea Party Really Thinks About Women."

Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Barack Obama

At Hannity's.

She says she separates personality and politics to get along with everyone. A classy lady all around:

Christiane Amanpour Debuts This Sunday at ABC's 'This Week'

I wasn't thrilled with the news last march of Christiane Amanpour's appointment as ABC News' 'This Week'. I like Amanpour. I had a crush on her in the 1990s, around the time of the Gulf War and she was doing hot satellite reports from hot spots around the world. But she's hopelessly leftist. She'll be just one more Democratic Party insider who's now going to report an unbalanced load of "news" on one of the remaining marquee network programs.

Note as well that's she's been criticized for compromising her objectivity in the past. As it notes at her Wikipedia entry:
Following Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in 1990, Amanpour's reports of the Persian Gulf War brought her wide notice while also taking the network to a new level of news coverage. Thereafter, she reported from the Bosnian war and many other conflict zones. Her emotional delivery from Sarajevo during the Siege of Sarajevo led some viewers and critics to question her professional objectivity, claiming that many of her reports were unjustified and favoured the Bosnian Muslims, to which she replied, "There are some situations one simply cannot be neutral about, because when you are neutral you are an accomplice. Objectivity doesn't mean treating all sides equally. It means giving each side a hearing."
Amanpour is also married to top Democratic foreign policy insider Jamie Rubin, who was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and is a current advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

No surprise then that Amanpour's first broadcast will give top Democrats a platform for their spin. See, "
Coming up: TWO EXCLUSIVES: Christiane Amanpour interviews House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Defense Secretary Robert Gates."

Plus, "Christiane Amanpour's 'This Week' Preview":

Midnight Cowboy

Watched it last night, on Cinemax — Rob Thomas was watching too!

Wyalusing State Park, Wisconsin

At Althouse:


Ana de la Reguera

At Esquire's "Women We Love":

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Protesters Raise Mexican Flag Outside Phoenix Jailhouse

At The Hot Joints, "Mexican Flag Waving Protesters Gather Outside Arizona Jail":

See also, "Arizona immigration protesters hit the streets," and "Hundreds protest Ariz. immigration law in Phoenix."

Obama Slurs Blacks as 'Mongrels' on 'The View'‎

If you're a black Democratic President of the United States with a slobbering media class and radical blogosphere stifling the opposition, it's totally cool to slur black Americans as "mongrels." Of course, according to Wikipedia, "Among humans, mongrel and mongrelize are derogatory terms for the mixing of "races", known as miscegenation." If any single figure on the right had even remotely implied blacks were "mongrels" in the context of Barack Obama, we'd be having another weeks-long media extravaganza on "racism" in America. Personally, as one who is mixed, like the president, I'm having a hard time finding what's appropriate about his discussion. Yeah, I can see the context, but this isn't a classroom lecture. It's an appearance on a daytime talk show. Most people wouldn't speak of blacks as "all kinds of mixed up" historically. There's simply too many painful connotations for this to be a useful primer on race.

And rightfully, this is the kind of thing that makes folks angry, for example, Bruce at Gay Patriot, "
Was Obama Channeling Robert Byrd on The View?"(via Memeorandum):

I initially was going to resist posting on this because I really despise racial politics. But since we are getting some new readership from the Left (and they have no clue about American history), I thought it was important.

Does President Obama have any idea what he just put out there on the table? Perhaps the most incendiary language in American history.

From the article ‘D. W. Griffith and “The Birth of A Monster‘: [Reference: Who Is D. W. Griffith?]

D.W. Griffith’s 1915 motion picture The Birth of a Nation — originally titled The Clansman — a film which presented a re-writing of the actual history of post Civil War Reconstruction by the same Confederate traitors aginst whom the war had to be fought. It portrayed African-Americans in the post-Civil War South as depraved, lascivious beasts whose rampant lawlessness and alleged domination of the South — through military force and control of the state legislatures — threatened to destroy “Southern civilization” and “mongrelize the races”. The film asserts that this could only be stopped by the glorified lynchings and reign of terror carried out by the “honorable” new, secret order of the “chivalrous” Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.


In most of the Northern cities where the The Birth of a Nation was scheduled to be shown, political fights exploded, and some small riots did occur in Philadelphia and elsewhere where the film was shown. The NAACP and others attempted to seek either a banning of the film completely, or to force the editing-out of the most egregious racist scenes. For the most part, those attempts were futile. Endless hearings were held before mayors, state legislatures, city councils, and state and city censorship boards across the country. The Illinois legislature voted 111-2 to ban the showing in that state, but eventually lost on judicial appeals filed by the film’s promoters.

Those hearings became platforms for the pro-Griffith lobby to pronounce the alleged virtues of eugenics. In New York City, Griffith’s lawyer Martin W. Littleton told Mayor Mitchell that the film was a “protest against the mongrel mixture of black and white.”

It is disgusting and putrid that a President of the United States bring this kind of filth language into the public discourse when our nation has moved so far past it. Laura Ingraham is correct, Obama is not “post-racial” — he is the most racial and divisive President we have ever had.

Scott Eric Kaufman — An English Professor Who Doesn't Know Sh*t About English

One of the most interesting things about Scott Eric Kaufman is that he doesn't seem to know anything about the things in which he writes. Oh sure, the prick's good at laying down the demonic snark while surfing the conservative 'sphere for tidbits of attack material, but when it actually comes to writing quality content ... well, the guy's pure fail. I was already thinking about this when I noticed SEK's stuffy mini-"review" of Leo DiCaprio's Inception — the most noteworthy thing of which is that SEK and his wife actually walked out on the film. I'm planning to see the movie this weekend, so I wasn't going to offer my comments on whether it merited that kind of antipathy, although I was tempted to just post a snarky piece hammering Scott Erik Kaufman for his hopelessly effete left-wing university-ish elitism.

But now I'm glad I held off. It turns out SEK's initial review didn't go over so well with some
like-minded effete types, and he's written an update, "Bit more on Inception." And while I might be persuaded that one of SEK's critics is on the money when he implies that Scott's an unsympathetic childless asshole, I'm content to simply indicate SEK's non-typo completely FUBAR ignorance of the word "flak."

As you can see at the first sentence of the post: "I’ve taken a lot of interesting flack for my non-review of Inception ..."


Actually, SEK means to say, "flak." It's a word that leftists apparently have a hard time using, which is easy to explain, given the left's ideological hostility to the military. In context, you might say I'm "giving him a lot of flak" for his stupidity — and boomerang smears, since he likes to attack opponents as "functionally illiterate." It's too good, really, for nearly every time SEK's trolled my site for some jollies, he's ended up making himself look lame with massive errors at the original post. And like clockwork he always comes back with some lame excuse for why an English professor shouldn't actually be required to write proper English, but in the case of "flack" I imagine he'll just have to take his lumps. And since Ann Althouse is a frequent target of SEK's idiotic trolling, I'll let her take him to the woodshed.

See, "
Flak" (where Ann hammers Josh Marshall, another Ph.D. know-it-all, who misused "flack" in 2007):
From me, you're going to first catch flak for writing "catch flack."
“Flak” is WW II airman’s slang for shells being fired at you in the air, so to catch a lot of flak is to feel in danger of being shot down. However, most civilians these days have never heard of “flak,” so they use “flack” instead, which originally meant “salesman” or “huckster.” You need to worry about this only if you’re among old-time veterans.
When you're showing off your expertise about fighting a war, you ought to get your war imagery right. A flack is a press agent. Hacks -- "writer[s] hired to produce routine or commercial writing" -- know more about flacks and not so much about flak, but they need to try not to let it show.
Gotta love it. A law professor schooling a history Ph.D.

But even better is schooling an alleged professor of English on English language usage. Can you say epic fail? And the references to teaching "English" are quite loose, since SEK's
apparently teaching courses on "Manga" and the literary origins of films like The Last Airbender. My kids could probably lecture on that stuff, although they aren't stuffy Ph.D.s who write half-baked movie reviews on films on which they've walked out on.

Well, at least SEK's no longer claiming to have a "Doctorate of Philosophy of English."

RELATED: "Scott Eric Kaufman, Self-Hating Skankwad, Does It Again!"

Eyes Without a Face

Billy Idol plays the Hollywood Palladium on August 14th. I'm not going, LOL!

I saw Idol in concert twice at The Roxy in Hollywood, circa 1981. In any case, Triple Play Thursday played Idol this morning, so enjoy "Eyes Without a Face":

Billy Idol

I'm all out of hope
One more bad break
could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me your alone
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
I spend so much time
Believing all the lies
To keep the dream alive
Now it makes me sad
It makes me mad at truth
For lovin' what was you.
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face ...

Erin Andrews Vanity Fair Photo Shoot

Some midweek hotness with Erin Andrews.

PREVIOUSLY: "Erin Andrews in the News."

BONUS: Looking forward to some FMRA at
The Other McCain this weekend. Bob Belvedere wasn't waiting, however: "A Little Hump Day Rule 5: Margaret Nolan." And at Washington Rebel: "Irreverent?"

True/Slant Shuts Down — Charles Johnson, E.D. Kain Looking for New Digital Media Bones to Suck Dry

A belated follow-up to last year's entry, "Sleaze-Blogger E.D. Kain Interviews Despicable Libel-Blogger Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs."

Both of these bozos were sucking the guts out of the digital media beta site True/Slant, cross-posting material from their own digs for an extra couple of bucks in slimeball blogging.

Background at Neil Ungerleider, "
Last post on True/Slant."

This is probably no big deal for most readers, although it's interesting to me that the Internet publishing gods weren't smiling down on
these two libel-blogging bloviators. Maybe they'll actually hafta get jobs, you know, like most people of good moral standing. That said, Barret Brown is on True/Slant and I've found him to be a fairly decent guy after going a few rounds in the flamewars (and Barret's at Vanity Fair, so he has something of a viable inside thing going already). And I hope Kashmir Hill's social networking blog lands quickly on its feet at another location, and I'm confident it will (she's good).



Added: Dan Riehl links, "Conor Friedersdorf: Angel Of Death In Web Publishing." I forgot about that idiot Conor Friedersdorf, but he's right up there with E.D. Kain and Charles Johnson.