Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Monday, February 27, 2006
I've written twice about the pro-war TV ads sponsored by a fat-cat conservative group based in Washington. My points were simple: 1) The ads exploit the deaths of soldiers in order to advance the political agenda that led to the unnecessary war in which they fell. And 2) The ads do NOT represent all troops and families (the mother of one fallen soldier, an opponent of the war, was coldly left out).
Not all veterans agreed with the point of view expressed in the ads. Fair enough. One of the problems with Coleman, though, is the double standard he applies. I haven't seen any columns from him decrying the support by liberal fat cats who enable Cindy Sheehan's efforts to exploit her dead son for her political views, nor have there been any about the folks supporting Code Pink, who busily are attempting to exploit the war's wounded to their political advantage. As to his second point, veterans do not unanimously oppose the war either, which is the impression he tries to create in his column. Both points he makes are trivial. Plus, the only people he criticizes are those whom he disagrees with.
It isn't surprising that supporters of the war feel need to use paid advertising, given the inability or unwillingness to report (last link just in case the Strib link is bad) any stories other than negative ones out of Iraq. The other problem he has, namely getting his facts right, is better discussed by the guys at Power Line. Unfortunately, the Star Tribune is unwilling to print much criticism of him for his sloppiness and intellectual dishonesty, rather unlike the way Katherine Kersten is treated... . Given his rabid partisanship along with his propensity to use his column to make personal attacks on his political opponents, I once again urge the Star Tribune to engage in a little addition by subtraction, and drop this guy.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I didn't write anything about the Summers flap, mostly becuase it was so ludicrous. Summers posed a proposition/question that was a researchable question. He wasn't stating a conclusion, he posed a hypothesis. It was the reaction to what he said that didn't make any sense.
The people who had a case of the vapours over his words and forced an (in my view unwarranted) apology and an even more unwarranted resignation reacted in a emotional and political way to an idea outside of their emotional and conceptual comfort zone. They heard a voice from outside the echo chamber and rather than meet the challenge posed by the question, they attacked the person who challenged their comfortable world view. Instead of the academic give and take that is at the heart of free inquiry, these faculty showed the close-mindedness these same faculty undoubtedly assume is the province of rednecks, hicks, and midwestern hausfraus.
Update: Maybe the Summers debacle is just a symptom of this (via Arts and Letters Daily).
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
First, it was not the responsibility of local officials to make up for a failed federal immigration policy/system. Reasonable enough. His second reason was the economy of his upper-class New York suburb depended on illegal immigrants for labor. In his view, American citizens and legal immigrants are unwilling to do the jobs done by illegal workers. Basically, he took the same position often espoused by President Bush and the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Setting aside the security problems posed by our inability to control the movement of people across our borders, the problems with this reasoning are twofold. First is the disrespect for the rule of law that happens when we turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. Why should anyone go through the legal processes required to immigrate to the US legally when there is essentially no penalty in coming here illegally?
Second is the distortion of the labor market due to the presence of large numbers of illegal workers. When someone says that legal residents of the US are unwilling to do a job, what they are really saying is they are unwilling to do the job at the price the complainer is willing to pay. Not to mention doing the work under conditions that would normally be considered unsafe or unfair. Are legal residents willing to do dirty jobs? Yes, if paid enough. For anecdotal proof, one could watch a few episodes of Dirty Jobs, which documents all sorts of tough, dirty jobs. Fact is, if there were not illegal workers here to do those kinds of jobs the mayor was depending on them for, the price of doing those jobs would go up, and legal residents could then be found to do them. Illegal competition in the job market by illegals drives down wages and distorts the market. This makes life even harder for people who work the lower wage jobs by increasing competition in a market that is already extremely competitive. Appparently, that didn't bother the mayor much.
It's funny how the WSJ types decry market distortions caused by regulation when it raises costs for owners, but encourage government negligence in controlling our borders when it drives down labor costs. A fellow could get the idea that it's just all about the money or something.
First, Cheney screwed up. Despite some people's claims that Cheney was not at fault due to Whittington's failure to warn his fellow hunters that he was in the area, Vice President Cheney is still responsible for knowing what is in front of him when he fires, and is the fellow who pulled the trigger. That makes him responsible, no ifs, ands, or buts about it and he should publicly say so. Also, in a reasonable world the fact that he was involved in a hunting accident would not be a political issue. Unfortunately, we don't live in a reasonable world.
Next, the hissy fit thrown by the White House press corps because they didn't get the story first is embarassing. David Gregory in particular made a jackass of himself (Windows Media video via Michelle Malkin).
Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
I was quite pleased with this result....
Sunday, February 12, 2006
All in all, another example of why getting rid of him would be an example of "addition by subtraction" for the Star Tribune.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"There is a lot of overheated editorializing," said Mark Drake, communications director for the GOP Minnesota.
"I think the DFL is playing catch-up with the blog in the state," Drake said. "A lot of the energy from blogging has always been on the GOP side."
Although the state Republican Party does not have its own blog, Drake said it has a good relationship with bloggers across Minnesota who promote the ideas and messages of the GOP.
"It is a new medium, but the same old tired DFL attack stuff," Drake said of the new DFL site.
Said Ruth: "If they [Republicans] want to hammer on the freedom of speech, I welcome that. And if it drives more people to our site, I encourage Mark Drake to post regularly."
Just once, I would like to see proof that the GOP is against the 1st Amendment. Seems to me that lefty types who push stuff like banning hate speech are a bigger threat to free expression than the GOP.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The episode also provided more illustration of the overall bad attitude of Santino. Nothing is ever this guy's fault, even when the outfit (he designed a jumpsuit for Kara) is falling apart on the runway. He also is a remarkably brazen liar, telling tall ones about Kara's opinion of his outfit. All this while draining all of the goodwill out of the workroom.
Anyway, the outfits:
Chloe : designed pinstriped pants and vest for Nick. Looked like it fit well and it looked finished, it improved the way he looked. The winning outfit. Can't really argue with the judges about that.
Daniel V : red dress and leather vest for Chloe. Must have been slacking off becuase of his immunity. Not good. With the mere addition of a pair of fishnet stockings, she would have the compleat hooker look in his outfit. A rotten thing to do to her. I am disappointed because Chloe is adorable, gorgeous and absolutely pegs my hormone meter, she deserved better.
Kara: Sportswear for Santino. She had the almost impossible task of making the Great Santino presentable. She mostly succeeded, what greater praise can I give? Perhaps the judges should have given her the win.
Nick: A "gray" suit for Daniel. No pockets, the fit wasn't good, it didn't look well put together, even to my ignorant eyes. The material looked almost lavender on the runway, and the transformation of Daniel to Leisure Suit Larry was complete. The cause of Nick's farewell to Project Runway.
Santino: a jumpsuit for Kara. He literally sewed (and glued it) on to Kara for the runway show, and it was literally falling apart on the runway. The fit was terrible, making her look a little like the Michelin Man. He lied outrageously to the judges about the fit and and Kara's reaction to the garment prior to the show. I thought Kara did him a service by making sure to cover the disintegrating sleeve with her hair and by not giving him away on the runway. This outfit should have gotten Santino auf'ed. I guess with Santino, not even three strikes is enough.
I wonder if she was so caring about the feelings of Christians and Jews being oppressed and persecuted in Muslim lands, or those Christians offended by the Virgin Mary depicted in elephant dung, or Jesus Christ dunked in urine? I'll bet she backed those artists to the hilt. When will we see columns from her objecting to cartoonists in Arab newspapers depicting Jews and Israelis in the same ways the Nazis did? Maybe sometime after Hell freezes over, I expect.
In any case, in Zerbisias' world criticizing the groups she defends is the same thing as hatred. Dumb. Moreover, I didn't see glee in the postings of those supporting the Danish cartoonists. I did see a spirited defence of free expression, which Zerbisias is quite willing to abandon as long as it is Muslims and leftists who are offended. I also saw that name-calling is all right by her, as long as it is directed at people she disagrees with. Hypocrite.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
"The freedom of thought and expression, confirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, can not include the right to offend religious feelings of the faithful. That principle obviously applies to any religion," the Vatican said.
"Any form of excessive criticism or derision of others denotes a lack of human sensitivity and can in some cases constitute an unacceptable provocation," it said in a statement issued in response to media demands for the Church's opinion.
With all due respect to His Holiness, I think they got this one wrong. There is no right of not being offended by others. The reaction to the offensive material, though, is up to the viewer and parts of the Muslim world have not aquitted themselves very well.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
they sure can't take it. (via Michelle Malkin)
The Muslims now engaging in a violent temper tantrum because of a few cartoons of the Prophet need to grow up. Threats of violence, beheadings, riots are not exactly the hallmarks of a mature, peaceful faith or culture. It's more like the whiny, adult version of whiny, childish behavior. Given the intolerance and disrespect shown by extremist Muslims to those of other faiths, it also is pretty hypocritical.
Yes, I understand that depictions of Mohammed are not allowed in Islam. Yes, I can see how that would be offensive to many Muslims. Is it in good taste to print these kind of cartoons? Probably not. Does that justify death threats and acts of terrorism? Absolutely not.
See the larger versions of the cartoons here.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
The Democratic response was pretty lame, basically consisting of claiming they have a better way, but no explanation of what that "better way" is. The stuff to generate apathy with.
He had two incentives to win. First, proving that Santino is still Santino, was that immunity would allow him to design something "really offensive" for the next challenge. Considering a couple of the dresses he designed for previous challenges, what, does one suppose, would Santino consider offensive? Since offense is subjective, which judge or judges would he try to offend? Nina Garcia, Michael Kors, Heidi Klum, or all of the above? It's a shame he didn't win, because it might have been fun to find out.
The second incentive was as he put it, to keep an undeserving designer from hanging around an extra week. Kind of illogical, since if that other designer won the challenge, wouldn't it imply that he/she would be "deserving"? (Scratches head)