Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homosexuality is a 'Sexual Addiction'

Well, yeah.

At Hot Dish Politics, "Gruenhagen: Homosexuality is a 'sexual addiction'":
One of the [Minnesota] Legislature’s most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage says homosexuality is a choice and form of sexual addiction.

“It’s an unhealthy, sexual addiction,” state Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen said Wednesday.

The Glencoe Republican said he has a friend who ran a sexual addiction clinic. "He helped many homosexuals and other people come out of the lifestyle.”

Gruenhagen made the statements after advocates unveiled their proposal to legalize same-sex marriage, which would make Minnesota among nearly a dozen states that allow gays and lesbians to wed.

“When we talk about gay marriage, we are not talking about an immutable characteristic, like the color of your skin.” Gruenhagen said. Referencing a decade- old genome study, he added: “There is no gay gene. The concept that there is a gay gene is an unscientific lie.”
More at that top link.

PREVIOUSLY: "Yes, Homosexuality's a Lifestyle Choice."

Nothing Makes a Statement Like Having an Army Tank in the Garage

This is way cool.

At WSJ, "These Vehicles Are Tons of Fun, and Good for Thwarting Road Rage: Private Tank Owners Roll Out Heavy Weaponry; A Spin in Parking Lot":
PORT LAVACA, Texas—Weapons buffs may stock semiautomatics in the gun safe. But nothing makes a statement like having an Army tank in the garage.

Scattered around the country are members of a small fraternity of guys who own tanks. They are hyper-avid history buffs or hyper-edgy investors or just wealthy men who can now afford hyper-sized versions of the toys they played with when they were boys. Tank brokers—yes, there is such a thing—estimate there are several hundred to 1,000 private tank owners in the U.S.

"There's always a little boy in the man," says Barbara Bauer, whose husband, Bill Bauer, owns a pristine, 20-ton, World War II Chaffee tank in Port Lavaca.

Mr. Bauer, the 70-year-old chairman of First National Bank in Port Lavaca, stores his Chaffee, a pair of armored half-tracks and other vintage military vehicles in a climate-controlled warehouse, where his four-man team of mechanics keeps them in showroom condition. On Veterans Day he takes the tank out for the parade, but mostly he just likes to admire it and preserve it for the next generation of history fans.

Brothers Ken and Gene Neal, owners of Bullet Proof Diesel, a truck-parts manufacturer in Mesa, Ariz., once took their 1966 British Chieftain tank into the desert and joyfully drove it over a rusty car, with the turret facing backward...
Continue reading.

MSNBC's Steve Kornacki Jokes That Bob Woodward 'Found Dead'

Well, stay classy dude.

At Twitchy, "Did Salon writer crack joke about Bob Woodward being found dead?; Update: Oh yes he did [video]."

And click right here for the clip.

Even Touré groaned on that one.

Jodi Arias Breaks Down as Prosecutor Recounts Details of Murder Stabbing, Slashing

Well, so much for keeping your composure.

This can't be good for her.

And see yesterday at London's Daily Mail, "Jodi Arias' graphic phone sex recording replayed at murder trial as she admits instigating explicit acts which 'helped her to blossom'." And more at this search link.

Marilyn Musgrave: 'I Don't Think There's Anything More Important Out There Than the Marriage Issue...'

Former U.S. Representative Marilyn Musgrave is pushing back hard against a New York Times report that claimed she'd changed her position on homosexual marriage.

At KDVR Fox 31 Denver, "Marilyn Musgrave denies NYT report that she supports gay marriage."

DENVER — Finally, a concession from Marilyn Musgrave.

Or so it seemed for a short time on the website of the New York Times, which initially reported Wednesday that the former Colorado Congresswoman, who never officially conceded her 2008 defeat to Democrat Betsy Markey, had done a complete reversal on what has always been her signature issue: gay marriage.

But Musgrave, who sponsored a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and famously said that there was no bigger threat to the country, tells FOX31 Denver that the report is flat-out wrong.

“I’m very befuddled by this story,” Musgrave told FOX31 Denver. “There’s absolutely no truth to that. I’m reading it thinking, ‘what in the world?’

“I wasn’t even aware of it. I have not changed my position. I’m trying to imagine where anyone would get that information and I can’t figure it out.”

The brief, organized by former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, who is openly gay, urges the Supreme Court to declare that gay and lesbian couples have a Constitutional right to marry.

Musgrave was cited in the lede paragraph of a story by the New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg as part of a growing group of conservative Republicans supporting Mehlman’s brief.
Here's the piece, which was riddled with errors, "Brief Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Gets More Republican Support."

And listen to Musgrave at the clip, in a speech to the Family Research Council in 2008. (She lost her seat that year.)

Gun Background Checks DOA in Congress

Hey what the heck?

The Dems are looking to get bubkas?

At LAT, "Gun background check bill in danger of stalling in Congress":
WASHINGTON — The centerpiece of President Obama's initiative to lower gun violence, a law that would require background checks for nearly all gun purchases, is in danger of stalling in Congress, signaling a steep climb for any potential changes to the nation's gun laws.

New regulations on private sales appeared the most likely reform to pass Congress after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December. But no legislation has been introduced to expand the background check requirement even though a key committee in the Democratic-controlled Senate is scheduled to begin deliberations on gun proposals Thursday.

Separately, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he would oppose any expansion of background check requirements. His committee would oversee any gun bills in the House.

Frustration by gun control advocates surfaced Wednesday when Vice President Joe Biden described concessions sought by gun rights proponents as "so porous that they are going to allow a truck to be driven through the holes in the legislation they are proposing, loaded with tens of thousands of weapons."

Seeking to break the logjam, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has made gun control a personal crusade, flew to Washington to meet with Biden and key members of Congress. Bloomberg brought evidence that gun control can win votes: He spent more than $2.2 million to help a Chicago-area candidate, Robin Kelly, win an upset victory Tuesday over a fellow Democrat who had an A rating from the National Rifle Assn.

Bloomberg and other gun control supporters cast the vote as a rebuke to the gun rights lobby. NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam disagreed, saying a liberal Chicago district had replaced one pro-gun control representative with another.

"They did not gain an inch," he said. "We did not lose an inch."

Although negotiations continued, no progress on background checks appeared evident in the Senate, where a bipartisan group struggled over how to broaden them. The major sticking point: whether private citizens who sell guns directly to others should be required, like licensed dealers, to keep records of the sale.

Gun rights backers warn those records could be used to create a national registry of gun owners, which they oppose.

The buzz was that expanded background checks were the main thing the Dems would ram through, but there's no support it turns out. The GOP needs to be bold and wrap a gun bill defeat around the president's neck. They need to hammer this White House for fiddling while our fiscal solvency burns. These are awful people. Hammer these idiots.

Joaquin Phoenix Is Drowning in PETA's Idiotic New Advertisement

PETA wanted it to run during the Oscars, the losers.

At AdWeek, "Actor relates to suffocation of fish."

The video is here.

And Dennis Miller ripped it on last night's O'Reilly Factor: "Dennis Miller Time - Oscars Review and PETA Ad."

Liberal Racists Warn of Chaos

James Taranto on the left's racist attack on Elaine Chao: "Only the left has a problem with an interracial political marriage."

PREVIOUSLY: "The Left's Racist Attack on Elaine Chao."

You Have to Hammer the Idiot Leftists on the Culture

Michelle Malkin gets it done:

And from the comments at Michelle's blog:
On February 24th, 2013 at 11:39 am, conservative hispanic said:

Wow, Michelle! You had Mrs. CH cracking up! She kept asking: “Is that just her head on someone’s body?” When I said no, she said that you’re smooth.
Very smooth.

Immigration Has Completely Altered the United Kingdom

From Douglas Murray, at Britain's Standpoint, "Census That Revealed a Troubling Future":
To study the results of the latest census is to stare at one unalterable conclusion: mass immigration has altered our country completely. It has become a radically different place, and London has become a foreign country. In 23 of London's 33 boroughs "white Britons" are now in a minority. A spokesman for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) hailed this as "diversity".

Of course there are numerous claims as to how it all occurred. One — made in 2009 by the former Labour adviser Andrew Neather — is that Tony Blair's government wilfully aimed to "rub the Right's nose in diversity" and create what it unwisely took to be a new client class. Another theory, not running entirely counter to this, is that the whole thing was a bureaucratic cock-up which ran out of control under successive governments, only doing so spectacularly under New Labour.

Whatever the cause, the public response has been surprisingly uniform. There have been no significant or sustained outbreaks of racism or violence. Most of us feel absolutely no personal animosity towards immigrants. But — as poll after poll has shown — a majority do worry very much about what all this means for our country and its future. And they are right to worry. For nobody has any idea of where are we heading next.

RELATED: Video: "Gordon Brown 'Bigot' insult to Gillian Duffy."

Slavery Flap Shows Emory University Professors are Morons

Well, I'm not the only one blogging about this.

Check Warner Todd Huston, at Wizbang:
Earlier this month the President of Emory University wrote a piece for the school magazine about the efficacy of compromise. By the 24th he was forced to apologize for the piece because he mentioned slavery fully in context in his piece. The faux outrage that his comments caused proved three things: that no one at Emory has any grasp of American history, that the professors at Emory University are morons, and that the student body are utterly unable to employ critical thinking.

The segment that upset everyone was utterly innocuous and cited properly in context by Wagner, without hate or racism. Unfortunately, logic and context isn’t what the race baiters of Emory University are interested in, sad to say.

President James Wagner’s piece was meant to extol the virtues of compromise and meant his piece to explain that this vaunted compromise was as American as Apple Pie, baseball, and the restl. Pursuant to that, Wagner wrote the following:
One instance of constitutional compromise was the agreement to count three-fifths of the slave population for purposes of state representation in Congress. Southern delegates wanted to count the whole slave population, which would have given the South greater influence over national policy. Northern delegates argued that slaves should not be counted at all, because they had no vote. As the price for achieving the ultimate aim of the Constitution—“to form a more perfect union”—the two sides compromised on this immediate issue of how to count slaves in the new nation. Pragmatic half-victories kept in view the higher aspiration of drawing the country more closely together.
Such as it is, this is correct, straight forward, pure fact. It has not a whiff of controversy to it. Well, it wouldn’t have a whiff of controversy if an intelligent, informed person were reading that excerpt, anyway.

Instead of intelligent people, however, we ended up with dolts like Emory history “professor” Leslie Harris, halfwits like “professor” Leroy Davis, and racebaiters like student Jovanna Jones.

The idiocy from Davis is typical of the taunts doled out to the hapless president. “The use of the Three-Fifths Compromise for any reason is unacceptable because, regardless of the context of the compromise, African-Americans see it simply as looking at black people as less than a human being,” he said in an open letter to President Wagner.

These people all view the three-fifths compromise in an entirely negative light without any thought as to what it actually meant.
Continue reading.

Well, I did mention teh stupid. See: "Emory President James Wagner's 'Contrition'."

Bob Woodward Alleges White House Threats on the Sequester

Here's Woodward on CNN last night:

And see: "TRENDING: Bob Woodward says he was threatened by White House."

PREVIOUSLY: "Obama's Madness."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Obama's Madness

Bob Woodward cuts Obama down to size, via Gateway Pundit:

Also, at AoSHQ, "Bob Woodward: A White House Staffer Threatened, "You're Going to Regret Challenging Us" on Our Sequester Narrative."

Keith Ellison's Meltdown

It's surprising how quickly Ellison comes out of the gate attacking Sean Hannity. The guy's going  berserk.

See: "Outrageous Statement of the Day: Ellison":
Honestly, I am glad that the American people got to see this implosion. I think we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the Obama Democrats. What I hoped would have been a rational discussion about the big issues of our day – particularly Obama's ever-growing $6.6 trillion debt – turned into an unhinged rant about anything but the topic at hand. Liberals like Ellison and others are losing it, and it is highlighting the recklessness of the Democratic Party.

Seth MacFarlane Won't Host Oscars Again

You gotta be really thick skinned to take the abuse.

At Rolling Stone, "Seth MacFarlane on Hosting the Oscars Again: 'No Way'."

MacFarlane's Oscars garnered the show's best ratings since 2007, increasing four percent over last year. In the prized adult 18-49 demographic, the telecast saw a 19 percent jump in viewers, earning a 12.1 rating. While the box-office success of popular nominees like Argo, Lincoln and Les Misérables certainly helped, interest in first-time host MacFarlane could have also led to the ratings bump.

Obama and the Sequester Scare

From former Senator Phil Gramm, at WSJ, "Governing isn't about blaming someone else. It is about choosing":

President Obama's message could not be clearer: Life as we know it in America will change dramatically on March 1, when automatic cuts are imposed to achieve $85 billion in government-spending reductions. Furloughed government employees, flight delays and criminals set free are among the dire consequences the president has predicted. If the Washington Monument weren't already closed for repairs, no doubt it too would be shut down.

Scare tactics such as these are similar to the ones that were made when I co-authored the first sequester legislation in 1985, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. The 1986 sequester was triggered anyway, but the predicted disaster never came. The nation survived then. It will now.

The president's response to the sequester demonstrates how out of touch he is with the real world of working families. Even after the sequester, the federal government will spend $15 billion more than it did last year, and 30% more than it spent in 2007. Government spending on nondefense discretionary programs will be 19.2% higher and spending on defense will be 13.8% higher than it was in 2007.
Continue reading.

Cartoon Credit: Legal Insurrection, "Frankenquester."

Harry C. Alford, CEO of National Black Chamber of Commerce, Slams Obama as 'Borderline Communist'

Yeah, brother's calling out truth to power.


The Purity Trap Snares Chris Christie

Christie screwed up by getting too close to Obama during Hurricane Sandy. And some of his policy initiatives are trending very leftward, it turns out. But most of all, his banning from CPAC is pure partisan cleansing. It's hard out there for an iconoclast.

From Elahe Izadi, at National Journal, "The Real Reason Why Chris Christie Wasn't Invited to CPAC":
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was not invited to speak at the annual CPAC conference this year because he broke with conservatives on key issues over the past year, according to American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas.

Cardenas, whose group organizes the conference, wrote in an e-mail to National Journal that while CPAC was “proud” to invite Christie last year based on his record of balancing the budget and taking on teachers unions, Christie’s record over the past year is far less conservative.

“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” Cardenas said. “Hopefully he will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”
RELATED: A great piece from Scott Conroy, at RCP, "Romney's CPAC Return Draws Interest, Questions."

The Constitution's Immoral Compromise

A "Room for Debate" colloquium at the New York Times.

Background here: "Emory President James Wagner's 'Contrition'."

Man Killed in Shark Attack at New Zealand's Muriwai Beach

At the Herald Sun, "Man dies in shark attack at Muriwai Beach, north of Auckland."

Egypt Hot Air Balloon Tragedy

I've never really liked the idea of going up in one of these, and I'm even less sold on it now.

At Telegraph UK, "Luxor balloon flights suspended."
All hot air balloon flights in Luxor have been suspended following a crash which resulted in the death of 19 tourists, including two Britons and a UK resident.

Also, "Egypt hot air balloon crash: '18 tourists, including Britons, killed'."

Added: From Bloomberg, "Egypt Balloon Pilot Jumped From Gondola Before Fatal Crash."

The Left's Racist Attack on Elaine Chao

From Robert Stacy McCain, "By Any Means Necessary":
The important thing to understand about the Democrat Party is that they have no moral or philosophical principles of any kind. The Democrat Party is about power for its own sake, and everything that Democrats claim to stand for is negotiable, subject to change if necessary to win elections. For example, if racism will win election for Democrats, then they will use racism to win elections...
Following the link takes us to WFPL, "Liberal Super PAC Goes After Mitch McConnell's 'Chinese' Wife."

Elaine Chao

More Memeorandum.

PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons.

U.S. Counterterrorism Struggles in Africa

At WSJ, "On Terror's New Front Line, Mistrust Blunts U.S. Strategy":
KUMBOTSO, Nigeria—The shooting clattered on for 30 minutes, residents of this dusty town say, and when it ended, four militants holding a German engineer hostage were dead.

So were the engineer, and four innocent bystanders.

In vast West Africa, a new front-line region in the battle against al Qaeda, Nigeria is America's strategic linchpin, its military one the U.S. counts on to help contain the spread of Islamic militancy. Yet Nigeria has rebuffed American attempts to train that military, whose history of shooting freely has U.S. officials concerned that soldiers here fuel the very militancy they are supposed to counter.

It is just one example of the limits to what is now American policy for policing troubled parts of the world: to rely as much as possible on local partners.

The U.S. and Nigerian authorities don't fully trust each other, limiting cooperation against the threat. And U.S. officials say they are wary of sharing highly sensitive intelligence with the Nigerian government and security services for fear it can't be safeguarded. Nigerian officials concede militants have informants within the government and security forces.

For the U.S., though, cooperation with Nigeria is unavoidable. The country is America's largest African trading partner and fifth-largest oil supplier. Some 30,000 Americans work here. Nigeria has by far the biggest army in a region where al Qaeda has kidnapped scores of Westerners, trained local militants to rig car bombs and waged war across an expanse of Mali the size of Texas. Last month, al Qaeda-linked extremists' attack on a natural-gas plant in faraway Algeria left at least 37 foreigners dead.

In Nigeria, a homegrown Islamic extremist group loosely called Boko Haram has for years attacked churches and schools. The name translates as "Western education is sin."

Now, the sect's followers are joining a broader holy war, led by al Qaeda and financed by kidnappings. On Feb. 16, militants in Nigeria's Muslim north abducted seven mostly European construction workers.

Three days later, gunmen crossed into neighboring Cameroon to kidnap a family of French tourists outside an elephant park. The family appeared in a YouTube video posted this week, its four children squirming on camera, as a spokesman read a message for France, which last month attacked al Qaeda fighters in its former West African colony of Mali.

"We say to the president of France, we are the jihadists who people refer to as Boko Haram," the turban-shrouded man said. "We are fighting the war that he has declared on Islam."

French officials said they were analyzing the video and considering the difficulties in either entrusting Nigerian soldiers to rescue their citizens or staging a rescue raid in a foreign land.

Such kidnappings, like the attack in Algeria, show how extremist groups are leapfrogging borders.
Continue reading.

What's Your Favorite? 'Fingers of Blame' or 'Fly Like a Menendez'?

Or "Driving the Prius"?

Heck, they're all fantastic!

From Michelle Malkin, "Parody video: Evolution of Liberal Dance":

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italian Election Rattles World Markets

At the video, security personnel thrash FEMEN activists protesting Silvio Berlusconi.

And the Wall Street Journal reports on the messy Italian election results, "Italy Vote Brings Political Gridlock":

ROME—In a national election meant to push Italy further down a path of economic reform, voters delivered political gridlock that could once again rattle Europe's financial stability.

Markets fell in response to returns. Yields on 10-year Italian bonds jumped 0.45 percentage point in mid-morning trading to 4.81%, their highest level this year. Spanish yields were higher by nearly 0.2 percentage point, and bonds of Portugal and Greece were hit as well. Bond yields rise when their prices fall.
In early trading, stock markets in France, Germany, Spain and Italy were each down around 2%. Hardest hit was the Italian benchmark, which traded down around 4%. Italian banks suffered particularly. UniCredit SpA fell sharply.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average swung nearly 300 points Monday, ending with its worst day in almost four months, as the prospects of a stable government appeared to drop.

A majority of voters endorsed parties that had promised to tone down or even reverse the financial sacrifices Italy has promised its European partners, giving surprise lifts to both the center-right coalition of former premier Silvio Berlusconi and a party of protest led by a former comedian.

Early Tuesday, the left-wing coalition led by the Democratic Party's Pier Luigi Bersani appeared to have gained a razor-thin victory in the lower house of parliament over the center-right coalition headed by Mr. Berlusconi—29.6% to 29.2%, final data from the Interior Ministry showed. By leading the vote count in the lower house, the Democratic Party will automatically get the majority of 340 out 630 seats and, therefore, will likely receive the mandate to form a government.

he Senate, however, appeared headed for political impasse. The Democratic Party was the leading vote-getter in the upper house as well, by less than one percentage point. But its 31.6% result fails to provide its coalition with a majority to pass legislation. If a new government isn't able to guarantee clear parliamentary support, Italians could return to the polls within months.

Battle lines were already being drawn late Monday. The Democratic Party declared slim victories in both houses, saying it will keep Italy's interests in mind during this "very delicate situation for the country." But a top official in Mr. Berlusconi's center-right coalition said he is asking the country's interior minister to call the vote a draw.

The apparent stalemate reflects the groundswell of support for former comedian Beppe Grillo's Five-Star Movement. His throw-the-rascals-out platform drew enough voters to give it nearly as many votes as Italy's mainstream coalitions—25.6% in the lower house, according to final data from the Interior Ministry, making it the single largest party in that house.
More at Business Week, "In Italy's Disarray, Berlusconi Emerges Anew as a Power." And at the Economist, "Italian politics: A dangerous mess."

Former White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs Told to Deny Existence of Obama's Unconstitutional Kill List Regime

Megyn Kelly reports:

Want to Help Children Rise From Poverty? Fix Broken Families

At last, some serious mainstream commentary on what's truly needed in federal anti-poverty policy: an agenda to strengthen families.

See the editorial at USA Today, "Preschool debate obscures core problem: Our view" (via Ed Morrissey).

'Dr. Douglas is a bit of a drag as a professor. He does not provide study guides for the test which means you must study the book VERY well...'

I cribbed the title from the first entry at my Rate My Professors profile:
Loved the class material and enjoyed reading the book. However, Dr. Douglas is a bit of a drag as a professor. He does not provide study guides for the test which means you must study the book VERY well. Not a lot of class work, and no homework. I would recommend you take someone else if you are a polsc major or wish to gain from the course.
I haven't checked the evaluations over there in a couple of years. They're largely useless from the instructor's perspective. (Or at least from my perspective.) And they have no impact on me professionally, so I ignore them. I've always thought students are poorly equipped to evaluate the quality of teaching, and not just because they have a vested interest in a good grade. Students don't have training in pedagogy and most of them haven't the foggiest idea of what constitutes excellent instruction. As for the student's evaluation above, I'm sorta tickled by that review. Sure, the student didn't like my class, but only because I didn't make it easy for her. I made her read the book "VERY" well, which is exactly as planned. That the student thoroughly enjoyed the material is only added positive feedback. Moreover, I do provide study guides --- just not the photocopied handouts that many faculty members provide to students. My class textbook (which the student enjoyed) comes with a tremendously helpful companion website that features online practice tests, glossaries of all the key terms and concepts, electronic flashcards and fill-in-the-blank exercises, problem simulations based on the readings, and more. Students have access to the material. It's up to them to make use of it. I don't spoon feed, and for a lot of students, that makes me a "poor quality" instructor.

C'est la vie.

What got me going on this is Janice Fiamengo's piece at PJ Media, "How Well Does ‘Rate My Professors’ Rate?"

It doesn't rate very well, obviously, but let's hear it from Professor Fiamengo:
No one, likely, will be surprised to discover that students are critical of instructors who have a high standard and mark them down when they fail to reach it: “A sweet person who seems to really care about her students,” runs a typical comment attached to an “Average Quality” ranking, “but don’t expect an A, even if your [sic] sure you aced the test.” Statistical researcher Valen Johnson has demonstrated in Grade Inflation: A Crisis in College Education (2003) that student responses to their university experience have been corrupted by an entitlement mentality about grades. Because students tend to excuse poor performance by pointing to external factors, they often blame their teachers when marks are lower than expected — when, as one student wrote on the site, they are “completely blindsided by a bad grade.” The problem is acute in the grade-inflating Humanities disciplines, where an element of subjectivity is always present and where one instructor’s decision to give higher marks than the material deserves — whether from pedagogical principle or to grease the wheels of a happy classroom — creates pressure on other instructors to do the same, and leads to negative evaluations of those who will not. As even a cursory perusal of Rate My Professors uncovers, “Very hard marker” almost always equates to a “Poor Quality” evaluation. This fact alone, as Johnson concludes and as many thoughtful observers can attest, makes teacher evaluations, which are widely used as a ranking method in the modern university, next to meaningless.

In such a context, it might seem that the most valuable commendations are those — and they are certainly the most heartening — that warn against the professor’s difficulty or dryness while still recommending him or her. “Sure, he’s tough, even mean. But he is also brilliant.” “You’ll find no great excitement in her lecture room, but you will have the chance to hear tremendously intelligent and thoughtful ideas on life and literature that will stay with you outside the classroom.” For a student to find a professor’s teaching valuable despite the instructor’s refusal to provide esteem-boosting marks or a jazzy presentation speaks to some other quality that has touched the student. But what is the quality, exactly? Can it be distinguished from personal charm, winsomeness, superficial articulateness, or an engrossing manner? Can the vast majority of students tell if an instructor actually knows his subject or has wisdom to impart?

Not very likely. Given that a significant percentage of students, according to a recent National Post article based on a study by a Memorial University (Newfoundland) professor, cannot locate the continent of Africa on a world map or even identify the Atlantic Ocean, how can they possibly locate their professors on the scale of intelligence and knowledge? Too frequently, the most enthusiastic declarations about an instructor’s “amazing lectures” and “brilliance” also dwell on the sexy looks and other forms of personal appeal that make him or her so easy to listen to. “Never worked so hard for an A. Loved the material, and his lectures were stimulating and hilarious. He’s hot too, great outfits.”

This, really, is what Rate My Professors most consistently highlights, that physical attractiveness, a magnetic style, and the ability to relate good stories, deliver witty one-liners, or toss off nuggets of seeming profundity (with today’s short attention spans, they can only be nuggets, usually liberally interspersed with jokes, chitchat, and sentimental fluff) have come to define “good teaching” — and make it nearly indistinguishable from a diverting performance — for the majority of students. In the main, such teaching does not meet the standard that David Solway defined in Education Lost (1989), where he analyzed education as a performative co-encounter in which the teacher “performs” the “initiating presence” and the student “impersonates his ideal or projected self” in a complex drama taking full account of the “prolonged” and often “agonistic” process of learning.
That sounds about right, but it's nothing new to me. Websites like can be actually painful for instructors who're worried about their evaluations. Rumor has it that administrators read the evaluations --- a horrifying thought in light of the criticisms mentioned above. But again, I personally don't care. But part-timers or probationary faculty members probably check their ratings --- I did --- because some of the same kind of comments are submitted by students on the college-sponsored teaching evaluations that are required periodically. So this stuff matters. (Note that RateMyProfessors can be gameed easily and legitimately, simply by asking the students who do well in classes, the ones who've developed relationships with their instructors, to post their own evaluations. Indeed, the RateMyProfessors feedback page suggests just that to instructors who're unhappy with their rankings.)

In any case, here's the remainder of my ratings from the front page:
Talks a lot about current events during class, sometimes leaves little time for lecture. Only writes titles of sections on board. Writing notes is useless. Have to read book. Grade consist of 5 tests and one report.
I wish Dr. D would give more time to discuss the lesson than talk about current events. And I wish that he will give study guides, so that the students will know what he expects from them. Dr. D is a nice professor, though.
He is a very good teacher. You must attend class because he notices and will call you out on it. There's two books required for this class. He only goes over one and the other you have to read on your own. He is available during office hours and tells you where your [sic] at and what you need to do to pass the class.
And by the way, the student rankings are 2 "poor quality," 1 "average quality," and 2 "good quality" --- which is pretty interesting, quite balanced, actually, and useful! The students here are expressing straight evaluations rather than trying to attack the professor and harm his ratings in revenge for a poor grade (something that's pretty common with this kind of thing).

In any case, there's still more at PJ Media, at the link.

Fellow Travelers!

At the People's Cube, "Come Out of the Political Closet, Fellow Travelers!"

Fellow Travelers!

RELATED: from Janice Fiamengo, at FrontPage Magazine, "Loving the Enemy: Why the Left Hates America."

If I Were Homosexual I'd Have a Flaming Crush on Daniel Day-Lewis

He's handsome as all get out, extremely well spoken, witty, funny, and gracious. What else could you ask for?

The Old Gray Lady Unchained

From Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, at PuffHo, "The New York Times Is Leaving the U.S Newspaper Industry Behind":
The announcement that the New York Times Company wants to sell the New England Media Group (including the Boston Globe) and focus on its flagship title illustrates how the New York Times is leaving the U.S. newspaper industry behind.

The paper that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Sr. worked to transform from a Manhattan-based operation into a national operation through satellite printing and regional editions his son Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. now works to turn into a truly global news content company through an emphasis on digital subscriptions and new Portuguese and Chinese language editions oriented towards cosmopolitan elites in emerging markets.

This transition from metropolitan newspaper with national aspirations to metropolitan news organization with both national and international readership is not an easy move for the New York Times. But it is an impossible move to even contemplate for the Boston Globe, let alone the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the two titles that, with various related operations, make up the bulk of the New England Media Group.

By putting the New England Media Group up for sales, the New York Times Company and its new CEO, former BBC General Director Mark Thompson, has implicitly acknowledged that searching for a way forward for the Globe and the Telegram & Gazette, important as that is in itself, is an unwelcome distraction from the company's primary objective of moving the flagship title forward by building the national and international audience.

It is no longer clear that the Times has much in common with these titles, or that the synergies sought when they were bought in 1993 (in joint advertising sales, for example) matter very much anymore. It is, however, clear that these titles do not have the resources or the brand to cater to the global audience the New York Times itself seeks, and that they are now probably losing money or at best breaking even.

And at the Old Gray Lady, "Herald Tribune to Be Renamed The International New York Times."

I don't care. Just don't go out of business.

Folks can cry all they want about left wing bias at the New York Times --- and that includes me with some frequency --- but no matter. It's still at the top of the heap for the national newspapers. I read it. I critique it. What are you gonna do? You go to media war with the media you have.

We're Europe

At Lonely Con, "Video: How America Is Going the Way of Europe."

BONUS: Linkmaster Smith has commentary, "Yes."

EXTRA: From Steve McCann, at American Thinker, "The United States is a Euro-Socialist Nation."

Seth MacFarlane 'Pushed the Envelope'

Says Adam Carolla on last night's O'Reilly Factor:

PREVIOUSLY: "Plurality of 39 Percent Want Seth McFarlane Invited Back to Host the Oscars."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Plurality of 39 Percent Want Seth MacFarlane Invited Back to Host the Oscars

That's at the unscientific "Poll Daddy" survey at the Los Angeles Times, "Oscars 2013: How was MacFarlane as host? [Poll]."

Look, I loved Nikke Finke's Oscar's live snark, but I have to admit that I was ROTFLMFAO when McFarlane sang "We Saw Your Boobs" with the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. That's completely not what you're expecting. Sure, the dude probably should watch it on the ugly Jew-bashing jokes, although I personally was not offended by Rihanna and Chris Brown's date night for "Django Unchained."

In any case, ratings were up, at LAT, "Oscars 2013: TV ratings rise with Seth MacFarlane as host," and at NYT, "Academy Award Show Raises Ratings and Hackles."

More at LAT, "Oscars 2013: MacFarlane opens the show both crude and polished."

And from David Denby at the New Yorker, "THE WHITE HOUSE OSCAR," and Amy Davidson, "Seth MacFarlane and the Oscars’ Hostile, Ugly, Sexist Night."

And from Marlow Stern, at the Daily Beast, "The Juvenile Oscars."

But see Eisa Nefertari Ulen, at the Washington Post, "Seth MacFarlane and The Oscars: What’s all the fuss?":
... anyone familiar with Seth MacFarlane’s work expected him to teeter over the knife’s edge of good taste. This is the dude who created “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” “The Cleveland Show.” Someone with more power than MacFarlane even gave him the opportunity to hit The Big Screen, and Seth gave us “Ted.”

And last night was just as fresh. I don’t want waving peace signs. I don’t want an explicit request for greater diversity in the industry that purports to show us, bigger than life and in HD. I don’t want seductive yet vaguely paternalistic expressions of respect for women actresses. You want that? Dig in the crates. You’re gonna have to go back in the Academy Awards days to get that display of political correctness.

Me? I want exactly what I got last night. I want a 9-year-old black girl flexing muscles for millions of other 9-year-old black girls to see. (Beast it, Quvenzhane!) I want Robin Roberts bald and beautiful. I want Octavia Spencer just a little bit cocky on the mic. And I want a host willing to push buttons that will keep the audience awake, engaged, clicking about more than smoky eyes and body size.
More at that link above, and from the comments at the New York Times:
The Onion overstepped the bounds of civility. Mr. MacFarlane merely caused a bit of discomfort. His funniest line - cocaine trees! - got lost. Something tells me that there's a direct correlation between one's age and how offensive one found him.

Heidi Klum Lets it All Hang Out in Plunging Gown at Elton John Oscar Party

Actually, I was planning to write something about Seth McFarland's Oscar performance, but that'll have to wait. This is amazing.

At London's Daily Mail, "Liquid gold! Heidi Klum steals the show at Elton John's annual Oscar viewing party as she takes the plunge in a VERY daring Art Deco-style gown."

Don't Miss Nikki Finke's Snarky Oscar Smackdown

This is the ultimate takedown, "Nikki Finke's Oscar Live-Snark.
"Uh-oh. Seth MacFarlane opens the show with a lame joke. No one laughs. He does an impression. No one knows who he’s imitating. Does this guy even have any experience doing standup? Obviously not. This is one of the lamest show openings I’ve ever watched. The worst part is that Seth is killing every punchline by laughing over it. And here comes the inevitable Mel Gibson putdown.

This is going to be a loooooong night. “The room is dead,” says one agent from inside the Dolby Theatre.

Thank God, William Shatner (as Capt Kirk) is saying what I’m thinking; “The show is a disaster.” And I agree with that newspaper headline, “Seth MacFarlane Is Worst Oscar Host Ever.”
Read it all at the link.

And more from Ed Driscoll, "Hollywood Sucker Punch."

France: Leader of the Free World

A great piece, from Philip Delves Broughton, at Newsweek: "The French are a decisive, manly superpower. Unlike America."

France, of course, is nowhere near being the leader of the free world. But with his intervention in Mali, French President François Hollande has made a tremendously important statement about the need for leadership in the fight against global jihad. On objective measures, France can't do the job alone, which is why the U.S. is sending drone contingents to North Africa. But the moral statement is uniquely powerful. And the intervention raises questions of a renewed "idea of France" as a powerhouse of international relations. Read the essay at the link. France probably can't afford a long deployment, but if it gets other countries to face up to facing down the terrorists with real material capabilities --- i.e., boots on the ground --- it'll be worth the costs.

Domestic Terror Fears Spike in France

France is taking risks in Mali. Many risks, including a backlash among homegrown jihadis.

At the New York Times, "French Intervention in Mali Raises Threat of Domestic Terrorism, Judge Says."

Mohamed Merah

Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown to Funnel More Public Funding to Poor Schools


At the Los Angeles Times, "Brown's school funding plan draws mixed reactions":
In the Anaheim City School District, where most students are low-income and struggling to learn English, teachers need special training, extra tutoring time and lots of visual materials to help their pupils achieve at grade level.

In the well-heeled Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, poverty and limited English are not widespread problems. But officials there say their student needs include more expensive Advanced Placement classes to challenge them with college-level material in high school.

Who should get more state educational dollars? Last week, school districts got their first glimpse of how that question would be answered under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed new funding formula: Anaheim would receive an estimated $11,656 per student annually; Palos Verdes would get $8,429 by the time the plan is fully implemented in seven years.

And that disparity draws distinctly different reactions.

"It's great news," said Darren Dang, Anaheim's assistant superintendent of administrative services. "Given our demographics, we'll be getting much-needed resources for our students."

But Lydia Cano, Palos Verdes' deputy superintendent of business services, said she believed the new scheme would shortchange her students. Disadvantaged students already receive a bigger share of state and federal dollars, she said.

"It's not fair," she said. "It will make the divide even bigger."

In the most significant change in four decades in how school dollars would be distributed, Brown is proposing to give all districts a base grant, then add an extra 35% of that for each student who is low-income, struggling with English or in foster care. If such students make up more than 50% of a district's population, another 35% supplement would be given.

The formula is part of Brown's proposed budget, which requires the Legislature's approval.
This program explicitly makes children from more affluent neighborhoods bear the costs of helping children from less affluent neighborhoods. Not all of the kids in the more affluent districts will be affluent, so the policy could have an exponentially negative affect on those less fortunate students in the more fortunate districts. But this is what happens when the state decides to redistribute resources to lift those who're more disadvantaged. In theory, this is exactly backward of what good public policy would promote. We should be boosting (relatively) the performance of the more advantaged students, because they'll be positioned as the next leaders of industry and society. They'll help lift the rest of their generation as they rise. In disproportionately assisting those least well off and those least advantaged, public policy is looking to achieve equality of result. It won't happen, not perfect equality of result, and indeed far from it most likely. But that's the progressive agenda in action.

Pope Benedict XVI Says He is Following God's Wishes by Stepping Down

At the Los Angeles Times, "In final Sunday blessing, pope pledges service."

Video: "Pope Benedict XVI delivers final Angelus blessing."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Daniel Day-Lewis Wins Best Actor for 'Lincoln'

Well, I would've been a little disappointed if he didn't win.

The Los Angeles Times reports, "It was Daniel Day-Lewis by a landslide for “Lincoln”."

I haven't seen "Silver Linings Playbook." I'm sure it's a wonderful movie. But I thought Jessica Chastain would get Best Actress in what would've been at least a minimal recognition by the Academy of the tremendous movie that was "Zero Dark Thirty." Maybe she'll reject the radical left's progressive antiwar (anti-Bush) agenda, to say nothing of the progressive hypocrisy. In any case, I'll have more on this later. A complete shutout for director Kathryn Bigelow (well, not a complete shutout, if one considers the movie's tie for the sound editing category).

RELATED: "F*ck Your Consideration: Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty Doesn't Need You, Oscar."

Jessica Chastain: The Sweet Smell of Success

At the New York Times:
As she rose from her chair at the Calvin Klein fashion show in Midtown Manhattan the other week, Jessica Chastain was all but engulfed by an onrush of journalists and celebrity groupies imploring the lanky, flame-haired actress for a word, a glance, a nanosecond of her time.

Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W, embraced her showily as cameras clicked and whirred. Tim Blanks, the editor at large for, thrust a microphone in her face, pleading for an interview, before a pair of overzealous handlers leapt onto the catwalk to spirit her away.

Yes, Ms. Chastain can Hoover that kind of attention. One of Hollywood’s most avidly courted actresses, she is bait these days for the style set as well, having shone in recent months as fashion’s favorite clothes hanger. Reporters’ in-boxes are cluttered with bulletins announcing that she wore Roland Mouret to the Bafta Awards, appeared in Alexander McQueen on the SAG red carpet, and in Dior at the Writers Guild Awards. Before long we’ll be reading she was turned out in Dolce & Gabbana for the opening of a Sicilian breadbox.

Twice nominated for an Oscar (she is a front-runner on Sunday for best actress for her role in “Zero Dark Thirty”) and an increasingly high-profile presence on the red carpet, Ms. Chastain has become a paparazzi favorite, yet not one who projects the worldly glamour of a Cate Blanchett or Julianne Moore.

Funny, but as I was posting this, Kristin Chenoweth was interview Ms. Chastain on the red carpet at the Oscars. She's indeed looking fabulous.

More later...

Nationwide Day of Resistance Rallies — February 23, 2013

Doug Ross has a roundup, "Top 15 #DayofResistance Photos You Will Never See in Democrat Media."

I was cracking up at this photo below. It's the 405 Freeway tea party patriot. I've been seeing this guy during my afternoon drive time since late 2009. A couple of months back I saw him getting on the freeway around Seal Beach Boulevard and I snapped a couple of photos with my iPhone. I never did get around to posting them, but now's a good a time as ever, considering his appearance at the Westminster rally on Saturday, photo courtesy of The 405 Radio, "Day of Resistance - 2/23." More on that later.

Meanwhile, at Twitchy, "Thousands attend Day of Resistance rallies in support of Second Amendment [photos]."

Day of Resistance

'We live in a culture of violence, and that culture is nurtured and glamorized by the movies...'

From the letters at the Los Angeles Times, "Feedback: The culture of violence":
Betsy Sharkey's premise, "A Critic Says the Problem Isn't the Movies but Real Life, Where Killing Is All Too Common," is misguided and unrealistic [Feb. 17]. If killing and violence are all too common in real life, does producing more films, which seem to glorify gratuitous killing and violence, alleviate the problem? I don't think so.

After all, fashion, sexual behavior and language in films seem to have an influential and imitative effect in people's lives. Why would violence be exempt?

Sharkey claims that nothing she's seen in movies comes close to what she's witnessed firsthand. How can this be? In real life, one kick to the head could end a life, or most likely end the fight, but in films, a dozen kicks to the head seem to prolong a fight rather than end it.

We live in a culture of violence, and that culture is nurtured and glamorized by the movies. We can become only more inured to that violence and more violent as a society, because ultimately, life imitates art.

Giuseppe Mirelli

Los Angeles
More letters at the link.

And see Instapundit, "SHILLING FOR HOLLYWOOD: L.A. Times: Violent Movies Don’t Cause Violence, but Guns Do." Also, "IF YOU’RE WATCHING THE OSCARS TONIGHT — OR IF YOU’RE NOT — you might want to read my Wall Street Journal column: The Hollywood Tax Story They Won’t Tell at the Oscars: It’s easy to demand higher levies on the ‘rich’ when your own industry gets $1.5 billion in government handouts."

Damon Harris, Temptations Singer, Dead at 62

At the Baltimore Sun, "Otis ‘Damon’ Harris, Temptations singer and Baltimore native, dead at 62."

Harris is singing lead toward the end of the clip.

More here, "Damon Harris of the Temptations, RIP."

George Will Picks 'Zero Dark Thirty' for Best Picture

A rebuke to Senators Levin, Feinstein, and McCain.

From this morning's "This Week":

My preditions: Best Picture: "Argo." Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis for "Lincoln." Best Actress: Jessica Chastain for "Zero Dark Thirty."

Not sure about Best Director or any of the others. We'll see tonight.

RELATED: At the New York Times, "A 9/11 Victim's Family Raises New Objections to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’." (At Memeorandum.)

Whiney bitches. Sorry for you loss, but sheesh.

Oscar Sunday Rule 5

Tonight the Academy Awards will broadcast from Hollywood. I'm sure I'll have some roundups from the red carpet tomorrow. In the meantime, here's Jennifer Lawrence, "'I don't want anything coming undone!': Jennifer Lawrence raises the wow factor in racy cut-out black dress at Independent Spirit Awards." (More here.)

Rule 5 Sunday Babe
Now, some Sunday Rule 5.

At the home of the originator, "Rule 5 Sunday: Gold, Girls And Guns."

Also at Pirate's Cove, "If All You See……is an evil big soft drink causing obesity which makes the world boil, you might just be a Warmist." And, "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup."

More at 90Ninety Miles From Tyranny, "Morning Mistress." Also, "Hot Pick of the Late Night - Rule 5," and "Lingerie Ladies - Rule 5."

And at Subject to Change, "Armed Chicks."

Still more from A View From the Beach, "Rule 5 Saturday – Katherine Heigl."

And at Laughing Conservative, "Alyssa Miller."

And speaking of restraining orders, we're going to have to put Bob Belvedere on lockdown! See, "Rule 5 Saturday: Caitlin Wynters."

Also going on lockdown is Reaganite Republican, "Mexican TV Weather-Girls: Today's Forecast? HAWT!"

Plus, at The H2 "Big Boob Friday," and at Randy's Roundtable, "Thursday Nite Tart (on Saturday?) - Cameron Russel."

Plus, Theo's got his Sunday "Bonus Totty..."

And wrapping it up for now is Daley Gator, "DaleyGator DaleyBabe Sabine Jemeljanova."

Portland, Maine, Police Officer Illegally Detains Lawfully Carrying Law Student, Promptly Gets Schooled on Arrest and Reasonable Suspicion Case Law

This is absolutely amazing.

At Gateway Pundit, "Ballsy Law Student Schools Uninformed Law Officer on Gun Rights (Video)."

Video at Adrienne's Corner, "Law student lawfully carrying gun refuses to be intimidated by police...(video)."

Don't Miss This Surprisingly Good Piece on 'Gleeful Provocateur' Michael GoldFarb at the New York Times

This piece had me laughing a couple of times, which is unusual for the reporting at the Old Gray Lady.

See, "Michael Goldfarb Gleeful Provocateur at Intersection of Many Worlds":
At 11:42 a.m. on Feb. 14, a conservative online magazine called The Washington Free Beacon posted a dispatch about a speech Chuck Hagel gave in 2007 in which it said he called the State Department “an adjunct to the Israeli foreign minister’s office.”

The report was based on “contemporaneous” notes an attendee posted online. An hour later on the floor of the United States Senate, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina urgently cited that statement as another reason to delay Mr. Hagel’s nomination as defense secretary.

Mr. Hagel denied saying it, and no recording has surfaced. But after a successful filibuster against the nominee, a group called the Emergency Committee for Israel effectively declared partial victory and vowed to “redouble its efforts to bring to light Mr. Hagel’s complete record.”

All in all, it was a very bad day for Mr. Hagel, and a smashingly good one for the conservative political operative of the moment — Michael Goldfarb.

At 32, Mr. Goldfarb is a founder of The Free Beacon, which is gaining prominence as a conservative clarion; a onetime presidential campaign aide to Senator John McCain, who provided critical support for the filibuster; and the strategist for the Emergency Committee for Israel, an anonymously financed group that advertises against President Obama and Congressional Democrats as insufficiently supportive of Israel. On top of that, he is a partner at Orion Strategies, a consulting firm whose clients have included the national governments of Taiwan and Georgia.

An all-around anti-liberal provocateur, Mr. Goldfarb has blazed a trail in the new era of campaign finance, in which loosened restrictions have flooded the political world with cash for a whole new array of organizations that operate outside the traditional bounds of the parties.

Often working with money from major Republican donors, most of whom have preferred anonymity, Mr. Goldfarb has been in the middle of nearly every major partisan dispute of Mr. Obama’s presidency — over Iran, Israel, terrorism policy and now Mr. Hagel and guns. For a time, Mr. Goldfarb worked as a communications strategist to the leading bêtes noires of liberals, the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Mr. Goldfarb did not come up via state politics, Capitol Hill or the Republican National Committee, proving grounds that made the careers of top party operatives like Lee Atwater, Karl Rove and Matt Rhoades, the campaign manager for Mitt Romney.

His career was spawned, rather, in the conservative confines of The Weekly Standard and allied organizations, namely the Project for the New American Century, which is well known for promoting the war in Iraq. He has since gone on to thrive in the influential world of outside ideological groups. Mr. Goldfarb, known as a flamethrower on both sides of the aisle, has achieved unparalleled hybrid status in the process.

In his work at The Free Beacon, for groups like the Emergency Committee for Israel and at Orion, he has combined a relatively new form of weaponized journalism, politicking and public policy into a potent mix.

“He’s at the intersection of a lot of different worlds,” said William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, who has been a boss, mentor and colleague to Mr. Goldfarb. He said Mr. Goldfarb was representative of a new generation of conservatives whose emergence at a low ebb of their party’s power has made them “a little more entrepreneurial, more outspoken and risk-taking — not so worried about moving up a corporate ladder.”

A wisecracking native of suburban Philadelphia, Mr. Goldfarb has described himself as a cudgel. His signature political attack can best be described as gleeful evisceration, which at times has exposed him to charges of going too far and of getting too personal.

The liberal writer Lee Fang got a taste when he wrote an article for The Nation linking work that Orion has done for Taiwan to articles in The Free Beacon voicing criticism of the Obama administration for blocking a sale to Taiwan of F-16 jets.

Mr. Goldfarb denied any connection between his work at Orion and the articles, saying he did not personally handle Taiwan’s account or write the articles.

But The Free Beacon responded viscerally, with a report featuring pictures of Mr. Fang — who formerly wrote for the anonymously financed liberal blog ThinkProgress that frequently attacks the Kochs — shirtless and blowing a thick cloud of smoke. The headline read: “High Times at The Nation.”

In an interview, Mr. Fang, 26, said the photographs were from college and could have been found only in his password-protected account with Photobucket. He said he had filed a police report to get to the bottom of it. He said he felt doubly violated because the photograph was in a file that included revealing shots of his girlfriend.

“I think he’s just out to hurt people,” said Mr. Fang, who first tangled with Mr. Goldfarb when he was writing for ThinkProgress about the Kochs. “I don’t understand what his greater goal is; what would be the perfect solution to fix the most serious problems in America?”

Though Mr. Goldfarb would not share how The Free Beacon obtained the photographs, he said in a telephone interview that they were publicly available and were secured by legal means.

As he tells it, he is simply trying to have fun while practicing his admittedly combative brand of politics — the humor of which, he said, his liberal critics are too self-serious to get.
Here's that piece, "High Times at the Nation." That alone is worth the price of this report. Man, that photo of Fang is hilarious --- perfectly encapsulating the stupidity of today's radical left-wing Democrats.

More seriously, check out the home page for the Emergency Committee on Israel, which features its YouTube ads right on the main page.

And don't miss the rest at NYT. A surprisingly pleasant read first thing Sunday morning.

Added: A Memeorandum thread.

Alhambra Woman Blown Away at Bank Mural Featuring Her Picture From 1926

An amazing story, at the Los Angeles Times, "Taken aback by a photo from way back":
A bank's branch office in Alhambra is helping Fame Rybicki become famous.

The 91-year-old former school administrator and community activist was startled to discover that a photograph taken of her in August 1926 had been incorporated into a large mural that decorates a newly opened Wells Fargo office on the city's Main Street.

The mural is a montage of historic photos that salute 112-year-old Alhambra's early days. A 5-year-old Rybicki is shown standing with family members and uniformed attendants in front of several cars gassing up at her father's service station.

"My father had just opened the service station at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Valley Boulevard," Rybicki said. "My mother and my uncle from back East are also in the picture."

Rybicki learned of the mural when she spied a photo of it in a newsletter mailed to her last month by the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce. She and her husband, Anton, 95, now live close to daughter Joan Steen in Newport Beach.

The gas station, named Fremont Service, was a focal point in Rybicki's life.

Her father, Giles Ratkowski, a civil engineer for the Chicago North Alton Railroad, had contracted tuberculosis on a trip to Washington, D.C., where he had gone to testify before Congress about government payments owed for services during World War I.

"It was believed at that time that the only cure for TB was sunshine," she said. "One of his friends had already quit the railroad and moved to Glendale, so my father wrote to him for information and we came to California in January of 1925."

Her father decided to open a gas station so he could work outdoors in the sunlight, Rybicki said.

He looked at a spot on Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue but "decided that there weren't enough residents there to warrant building a station," she said. "That corner is now worth millions."

Instead, Ratkowski settled on the corner of Fremont and Valley and bought a double-sized lot that contained a citrus grove and a rambling, 16-room Asian-themed house that had been built 24 years earlier by an engineer named Antonio Cajal, who had served in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion.

To clear space for his gas station and a planned mini-market, Ratkowski removed rows of orange, acacia, avocado and palm trees, Rybicki said.

Being an engineer, her father designed his eight gasoline pumps himself. "They were built to keep anyone from tampering with them and stealing gasoline at night. They were the first of their kind — the gas would go back into the tanks in the ground when they were turned off," she said.

Her father closed the station and its small market at midnight and carried the day's receipts back to the family home. He was never robbed.

Rybicki, whose first name is Euphemia but is known to friends as Fame, spent much of her childhood at the station. It was from there that her father taught her to drive the family's big Packard — at age 10. And it was in the Fremont Service mini-market that as a 13-year-old she met the man she would eventually be married to for more than 70 years.

"He was 17 and was in there buying something," she said. "He later told me that he told himself that day that someday he was going to marry that girl."

How the New ObamaCare Mandates Are Already Reducing Full-Time Employment

At WSJ, "ObamaCare and the '29ers'":
Here's a trend you'll be reading more about: part-time "job sharing," not only within firms but across different businesses.

It's already happening across the country at fast-food restaurants, as employers try to avoid being punished by the Affordable Care Act. In some cases we've heard about, a local McDonalds has hired employees to operate the cash register or flip burgers for 20 hours a week and then the workers head to the nearby Burger King or Wendy's to log another 20 hours. Other employees take the opposite shifts.

Welcome to the strange new world of small-business hiring under ObamaCare. The law requires firms with 50 or more "full-time equivalent workers" to offer health plans to employees who work more than 30 hours a week. (The law says "equivalent" because two 15 hour a week workers equal one full-time worker.) Employers that pass the 50-employee threshold and don't offer insurance face a $2,000 penalty for each uncovered worker beyond 30 employees. So by hiring the 50th worker, the firm pays a penalty on the previous 20 as well.

These employment cliffs are especially perverse economic incentives. Thousands of employers will face a $40,000 penalty if they dare expand and hire a 50th worker. The law is effectively a $2,000 tax on each additional hire after that, so to move to 60 workers costs $60,000.

A 2011 Hudson Institute study estimates that this insurance mandate will cost the franchise industry $6.4 billion and put 3.2 million jobs "at risk." The insurance mandate is so onerous for small firms that Stephen Caldeira, president of the International Franchise Association, predicts that "Many stores will have to cut worker hours out of necessity. It could be the difference between staying in business or going out of business." The franchise association says the average fast-food restaurant has profits of only about $50,000 to $100,000 and a margin of about 3.5%.

Because other federal employment regulations also kick in when a firm crosses the 50 worker threshold, employers are starting to cap payrolls at 49 full-time workers. These firms have come to be known as "49ers." Businesses that hire young and lower-skilled workers are also starting to put a ceiling on the work week of below 30 hours. These firms are the new "29ers." Part-time workers don't have to be offered insurance under ObamaCare.
Continue reading.

Obama Endorsed By...

Via What Bubba Knows:

Obama Endorsed By...

Former First Lady Laura Bush Slams Radical Homosexual Coalition: Demands Removal From Same-Sex Marriage Advertisement

Good for her.

At WND, "Laura Bush: Remove me from pro-gay marriage ad."

And at CSM, "Laura Bush: Gay marriage group 'sorry' Bush wants out of gay marriage ads."

Yeah, decent folks like Mrs. Bush don't want to be part of your homosexual nightmare.

Texas Going Blue? Bwahaha!!

At WSJ, "Gov. Rick Perry: Texas Will Never Go Blue."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Progressives Attack Sen. Ted Cruz as the 'New McCarthy'

When the left attacks people for "McCarthyism" they've already lost the debate.

It's not red-baiting when your enemies really are red.

At Weasel Zippers, "MSNBC’s Grating Leftist Rachel Maddow Accuses Ted Cruz of “McCarthyism”… (VIDEO)." And at the Blaze, "TED CRUZ RESPONDS TO ‘NEW MCCARTHY’ NEW YORKER ARTICLE: ‘CURIOUS’ THEY WOULD ‘DREDGE UP A 3-YEAR-OLD SPEECH & CALL IT NEWS’" (via Memeorandum).

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on Cover of New Spanish Vogue


At London's Daily Mail, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley debuts new blonde hairdo as she stars as Spanish Vogue's March cover girl." Also, "Model of joy and love: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley shows off new hummingbird tattoo as she steps out in olive leather trousers."

BONUS: At Egotastic, "Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Nipple Pokes and Asstastic Flashing Makes Our Day a Little Brighter."

Horrific Last-Lap Crash Mars Nationwide Race at Daytona

The New York Times reports, "Last-Lap Crash in Nascar Race Injures Fans."

And also at Deadspin, "Crash at NASCAR Nationwide Race at Daytona Leaves Kyle Larson’s Car Torn In Half By Fence, Spectators Injured By Debris."

NASCAR initially blocked this clip on YouTube, raising quite a controversy:

Emory President James Wagner's 'Contrition'

I saw the controversy over the 3/5 Compromise last week. I ignored it because it was so stupid.

But here's the headline at the New York Times' homepage, "Protest and Contrition After Slavery Comment." "Contrition"? That's big --- and stupid.

And clicking through at the link is the article, "Emory University Leader Revives Racial Concerns."

There's multiple layers of stupid here. The simple refusal to understand the 3/5 Compromise as a devil's bargain that made possible a constitutional agreement in 1787 is stupid. And the aggrieved leftists are monstrously stupid for applying at presentist epistemology to a political deal made 226 years ago. And it's a stupid lie that the 3/5 Compromise categorized black slaves as three-fifths human. The deal was that states with slave populations would be able to count them as three-fifths of the total number for purposes of representation. Black slaves had no rights, duh. Of course they were dehumanized. The institution of slavery was evil. But it's wicked stupid not to realize that there might have been no agreement on the Constitution had the deal not been struck. The stupid leftists are applying Marxist social justice ideology to attack President Wagner, who obviously wasn't in tune to the raging stupidity of political correctness that has infected America's campuses. Race and racial recrimination are enormous sources of power for the idiots of the radical left. Praising the 3/5 Compromise in such away is like giving away the store. You can call it a day with these retards. The Obama media will play up the non-troversy and the school's administration will capitulate to the stupid aggrieved race-mongers' demands. Rinse and repeat.

From the article:
ATLANTA — A reception Friday at Emory University to celebrate the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the years after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could have been more poorly timed, but not by much.

All week long, the president of Emory, James W. Wagner, had been trying to rewind a column that he had written for the university magazine. In it, he praised the 1787 three-fifths compromise, which allowed slaves to be counted as three-fifths of a person as a way to determine how much Congressional power Southern states would have, as an example of how polarized people can find common ground.

It was, he has since said, a clumsy and regrettable mistake.

A faculty group censured him last week for the remarks. And in a speech at Friday’s reception for the campus exhibition, “And the Struggle Continues: The Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Fight for Social Change,” Dr. Wagner acknowledged both the nation’s ongoing education in race relations and his own.

“I know that I personally have a long way to go,” he said.

His article has been seized upon by students and faculty who say it was yet one more example of insensitivity from the Emory administration, which in September announced sweeping cuts that some say unfairly targeted some programs popular with minorities.

About 45 protesting students showed up at the reception, silently holding signs that read “This is 5/5 outrageous” and “Shame on James” as Dr. Wagner; Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a veteran of the civil rights movement; and leaders of the S.C.L.C. spoke about the fight for racial equality.

Whether the cuts, which include the elimination of physical education, visual arts, journalism, and graduate programs in economics and Spanish, disproportionately affect racial minorities is in dispute at the university, whose student body is 31 percent minority.

Certain programs that focused on or made recruiting minorities a priority have been shifted to other departments or eliminated, but university officials say the numbers are not as drastic as protesters believe.

Savings from the reorganization will be reinvested in other departments, including neurosciences, studies of contemporary China, and new media studies.

Such academic realignment is starting to happen at liberal arts colleges around the country, said Phil Kleweno, a consultant at Bain & Company who specializes in higher education.

“Not every school can excel in every subject,” he said. “Given where we are financially, these are wise decisions for many universities to make.”

More money for programs. What better way to get more money for programs the university can't afford than to shame the president as an unreconstructed racist.

More at the link.

And more of teh stupid here: "Almost Verbatim Emory University President James Wagner: “The 3/5 Compromise is a Model to Which We Should Aspire. Also, the Liberal Arts are Like Slaves and Should Be Treated As Such”."

Gun Culture

From the always interesting Theo Spark, "Pic Dump..."

Gun Culture

More at Theo's, "Wednesday Wenches...", and "Bedtime Totty..."

Lame Impasse Looms on Budget Cuts

Well, it's Sequester Saturday. A boring Sequester Saturday at that. This is Obama manufactured crisis. The so-called "cuts" are minuscule to non-existent and if Republicans have a spine they'll continue to hold firm. We'll see.

The Wall Street Journal has a front-page report, "Budget Standoff Presents Political Risks on Both Sides."

Manufactured Sequester

See also Bill Wilson, at Forbes, "The Non-Existent Spending Cuts Wrought By the ‘Devastating’ Sequester" (via Memeorandum).

More at the Daley Gator, "Bob Woodward: Obama lied about the sequester," and go straight to Woodward, "Obama’s sequester deal-changer." (At Memeorandum.)

Plus, from Peggy Noonan, "Government by Freakout."

IMAGE CREDIT: "The Looking Spoon, "An Easy Visual Explanation of How Democrats Are Exaggerating the Depth of the Sequester."

Who the Hell is Kurt Eichenwald?

Asks Robert Stacy McCain, "Never Doubt That Kurt Eichenwald Cares Deeply About Gay Kids With Bad Haircuts."

Read it at the link.

Yet more weird shit from the progressive left.

Here's the post that started the controversy, "Austin Gates Is a Victim of Abuse, Homophobia, and a Really Bad Haircut."