April 09, 2005

Before I forget

Between endless reruns of the Pope's funeral and the (choke, cough) marriage of Charles and Camilla, CNN et al have been trumpeting an anti-US demonstration that took place in Iraq earlier today.

Several thousand protestors, under the orders of Muqtada-Al-Sadr gathered in the square in Baghdad that witnessed the demolishing of that statue of saddam hussein two years ago today.

According to CNN's TV coverage this is a bad thing. Really? I think it's great. Here's why:

Read More "Before I forget" »
Posted by caltechgirl at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2005

Of course it was FoxNews....

I haven't seen much coverage of this on the 'Net.

This couple's house was misidentified as a terrorist hideout because a possible terrorist used to live there....

Link fixed...

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

An important week

Over at Vodkapundit, Steve posits that the NY Times is making a bad business decision, between laying off hundreds of employees and charging for access to their opinion pages.

To me, it signals the end of a long era in journalism. The layoffs and the desperate bids for increased revenue tell me that the Times is bleeding and is trying unsuccessfully to staunch the flow. Instead of looking seriously at the big knife stuck in their chest, they're trying to stitch around it.

Ok, enough with the blood metaphor. Clearly the growth of new media and the internet has taken a chunk out of their business, and they are scrambling to catch up. You could argue that these layoffs represent the first concrete evidence that "flammable" media is dying. The problem is that like most large corporations, those who are responsible for fixing the problems refuse to examine their own biases. A paradigm shift has taken place in the last 5 years. Media consumers now have multiple sources for news, and freely compare the information they get from each. They don't just accept the editorializing found at one source or another. Editors and publishers haven't (as yet) been able to look carefully at their own papers or broadcasts to see what it is that consumers are turning away from.

The Times will never be the same. It will never wield the same kind of authority that it did in days past. Why? Because as they lay off reporters they will lose the newsroom flexibility to cover breaking news, update older stories, and fact check pieces before publication. Forget editing, if you've even perused the Grey Lady over the last couple of years, you know that went out the window a long time ago.

Another step away from the "old media" also took place this week, though it was largely symbolic. During Sunday night's Emmy broadcast, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and the late Peter Jennings were honored for their contributions to network news over the last two decades. Although the segment was supposed to serve as a memorial to Jennings, and a recognition of the careers of Brokaw and Rather, it was also a tacit memorial to the role of network news in American culture. Since the birth of TV, the majority of Americans got their national and international news from the evening broadcasts of each of the three major networks. With the retirement of Brokaw, the "retirement" of Rather, and the death of Jennings, clearly an era has ended. What remains to be seen is whether the evening news will ever be as important in American culture as it was before.

It is likely that in years to come we will look back at this week as highly significant in the history of media in that the events of this week represent the emerging importance of "new media" and the effect that internet journalism and blogging have on the bottom line of older media outlets.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:20 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 24, 2005

Yes, I guess I was bored

I got into the AIDS debate with Dean again. I know, I know, I really shouldn't, but this one pissed me off.

The argument is based on this article from the LA Times detailing the death of Eliza Jane Scovill, the 3 year old daughter of a well known "HIV does not cause AIDS" activist mother. EJ was conceived, carried, and breast-fed by an HIV positive mother who was not on medication and because of her beliefs, refused to have either EJ or her brother Charlie tested for HIV.

EJ's death was recently ruled by the LA county coroner's office to be due to "AIDS-related pneumonia".

This pissed me off on so many levels: the parents, the doctors, and the article.

1. The kid was sick with a cold and then an ear infection that got worse for over two weeks from the first peds visit until her death

2. Given her well documented risk, why did NONE of the 3 doctors who examined her even think to give her antibiotics or take a culture swab to see what was causing her symptoms? They knew mom was HIV+ and she was at risk (according to the article)

3. The second doctor suspected an ear infection but never gave her drugs, the third doctor FINALLY gave her an antibiotic the day before she died. I'm no fan of over medicating, but in a case where a kid (or an adult) is at risk of being severely immunocompromised, you do a swab and then use a drug that kills whatever you found. It's too easy for something relatively innocuous to take hold in someone who is already defenseless. I know from experience.

3.5 What about the drug they gave her? The article says she was vomiting severely the day after starting the amoxicillin. Was she having a reaction? Amox and the other cillins and some derivatives make me break out, vomit, or both. Did her reaction (if any) to the drug contribute to her death? Was she too sick before starting the drug to overcome any effects of a reaction? Did a drug reaction weaken her to the point that she could no longer fight the illness?

4. I don't appreciate anyone (this girl's mother) who equates "small apartments on busy streets, extended day care, and oscar mayer lunchables" with neglect. Just because not all parents can AFFORD to stay home and give their kids organic vegetables doesn't make their kids any less special than yours or make you any less neglectful and selfish. I'd rather VACCINATE my babies (which this mom didn't), make sure I knew what ALL their health issues were, and give them junk food than be so deep in denial that I can't face the fact that it might have killed my baby and let the doctors take the blame.

UPDATE: Dean points out in the comments that not all vaccines are safe and effective. I actually agree with him, but I had forgotten about the "new" vaccines, which I utterly disagree with: chicken pox, pneumonia, and ear infection. The long-term safety of these vaccines is clearly unknown as they are less than 10 years old, and the effectiveness of them is also in question, as a large chunk of kids who get these vaccines still get sick when exposed....

5. Where's the HIV test? They say she died of AIDS related pneumonia, but there was no mention of them even doing an HIV test. I know there are some legal issues with reporting someone's HIV status, but I assume the parents would want the truth to be told, since they say that they still believe HIV doesn't cause AIDS.

I guess what gets me here is the disconnect and the denial. On the part of the parents AND the doctors. Look, I respect your right to parent as you see fit, including whether or not you find out about your kids HIV status if they are at risk. However, that doesn't give you the right to act imprudently. Based on ALL the evidence out there, HIV is clearly linked to AIDS, and MOST LIKELY causes AIDS. If your child is at risk of being HIV+ and you choose not to find out, for whatever reason, then you have to be aware that when that child gets sick, it could spiral out of control quickly, as it may have in this case. If you choose not to vaccinate your child, you have to be aware of the risks that go along with that and the risks that your children import to other people because they have not been vaccinated. If you choose to avoid antibiotics, then you need to be aware that your child can die just as quickly from a bacterial infection as from a car accident. It can happen that fast.

In this case, prudence dicated an aggressive treatment strategy. One that should have started by determining what bacteria/virus/fungus was causing the symptoms, instead of looking, guessing, and sending the kid home. More than once. It took two weeks before she was given anything other than "naturopathic remedies"(link)

And what of the reporting? Surely the author of the 5 page LA Times article was intelligent enough to ask the questions I've raised. Especially with regard to the HIV testing. That's clearly relevant here. Perhaps the journalist wouldn't know enough about the possible side effects and reactions to amoxicillin, but a simple Google search would have sufficed. Also, the journalist doesn't appear to have enough healthy criticism of the doctors. While the writer allows Dr. Gordon to second-guess himself, Dr. Fleiss is paraded out as the pediatrician to the stars, notorious and controversial, but well established. Little criticism of the treatment strategy of any of the doctors is offered, except by unnamed, uncredentialed "experts". While it is likely that the little girl died of HIV related symptoms, no direct evidence to support this is presented except the single conclusion of the coroner.

I am flabbergasted by the ignorance and denial among educated people. By all accounts this was a healthy, active, intelligent child who should not have fallen so fast. Something was missed. Whether or not it was AIDS remains to be seen (where's the test??), but clearly there was more going on here than meets the eye.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:18 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

Tom and Katie: Preggo

This is sick. Just sick.

Some people should be banned from procreating.

Taking odds that:

-- Non-natural conception was involved -or-
-- Tom isn't really the dad
-and-
-- The baby will be born in silence as per Scientology bullshit
-- The baby will get a really weird Hollywood name, like, oh, Kal-El

No comment yet from Nicole Kidman who got divorced for getting pregnant while married to Cruise.....

I thought he was gay....

((woolly) h/t Robbo and (hobbity) h/t to Emily who gets it right)

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:02 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005

WTF with the Pigs already???

I saw this story over at LGF this morning, and I can't take it anymore.

WTF? Kids can't have piggy banks now?

Ok, I'm all for not offending people, but there has to be a happy medium, a limit.

I understand that muslims consider pigs and pork to be unclean. I get it. I even understand the historical significance of the halal dietary laws. Like kosher laws, the entire point of halal cooking is to protect the body from sickness. In not-so modern times, and with not so modern cooking methods, it makes perfect sense. Even in today's world, it's a good way to avoid certain rare illnesses.

However, isn't there something in the Koran about how God (or Allah, I suppose, in my mind they are the same) made all of the creatures of the Earth and Seas? Aren't we supposed to respect their existence and NOT be offended by them simply because they are the works of the Almighty? I know the Bible and the Torah both exhort the people of the Lord to respect even the LEAST of His creatures. I suspect that this is why most Jews are not offended by the MERE PRESENCE of pigs, real or literary in our modern world.

So then why the hoo-hah? Or are these the same group of muslims who believe in slaughtering their daughters for being raped and that blowing up buildings and trains is a rational way to make a point.

If so, why are the Brits even giving them the time of day???

Free Piglet!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 08, 2006

Ted Kennedy, Historical scholar

WaPo's Dana Milbank notes this scholarly gem from Massachussetts' favorite drunken driver:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), hosting a morning roundtable with reporters, had nothing nice to say about Alito. "We here in the United States are not going to stand for monarchial tyranny," he said, protesting Alito's support for "unfettered, unlimited power of the executive." He faulted Alito for belonging to a group that was "anti-black and also anti-women." Kennedy wondered if "the average person is going to be able to get a fair shake" under Alito.

Briefly, Kennedy rewrote the outcome of the 1964 election. "This nominee was influenced by the Goldwater presidency," he said. "The Goldwater battles of those times were the battles against the civil rights laws." Only then did Kennedy acknowledge that "Judge Alito at that time was 14 years old."
Yep.  You read that right. Further proof that the esteemed gentleman from Massachussetts lives in an alternate universe.

h/t McGehee, who found it here

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 09, 2006

Late to the party as usual...

So last night DH and were up late celebrating the last "non-school night" of vacation, and we were watching TV when Bowling for Columbine came on Bravo.  Neither of us had seen it, and as we're not directly paying that Fat Fcuk to see it, we decided to watch it.  Quite an interesting movie, and I had been unaware of the fact that the Fat Fcuk, the Nichols brothers, and Eric Harris (of the Columbine massacre) all lived in the same area of MI as kids.  Kinda creepy.  But still....

Here's my one word movie review:  Hypocrisy.

Here's my 8 word movie review:  Holy shit! What a difference a year makes.

One of the main subtexts of the film, as far as I could tell is that it's hypocritical to tell out kids not to shoot each other while we bomb the hell out of innocent countries....  That is, we cannot simultaneously demand peace and peddle war, even on different scales.

Who does Señor Fat Fcuk (and any number of others in the film) blame for this?  Why President Bill Clinton, of course.  Funny how just 2 years later Clinton is the benevolent savior of the universe and George W Bush is the only bastard that ever peddled war to the rest of the world.  How conveniently the righteous indignation over the bombing of Bosnia was forgotten as soon as we went to war in the Middle East.

The other thing that got to me was this statement "[during the Clinton administration] 500,000 Iraqi children were killed by bombing raids and sanctions", displayed while a picture of a US bomber dropping bombs was also shown.  Clearly implying that US bombs did most of the killing, when the reality of the matter is that the vast majority of those Iraqi children died because Saddam and friends wouldn't cooperate with the sanctions AND pocketed the Oil for Food money.

At least the shithead was blaming it on the Clinton administration for a change, evidently he hadn't gotten BDS yet.....

The saddest thing is, I used to love the Fat Fcuk.  Ben can vouch for this.  We both were HUGE fans of TV Nation, especially after he stood up for Sean Boyd, a weatherman from Fresno who was fired from his job after refusing to lie (scroll down to "Story #3") about the weather forecast during a station-sponsored event.
It was also interesting to see Matt Stone (of South Park) agreeing with the Fat Fcuk, as in subsequent years he and Trey have literally skewered the Fat Fcuk on South Park and in Team America.

Funny how things change.  Hypocritical Fcuk.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Osama Been Dyin?

In the National Review, Michael Ledeen sends:

"...according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The Iranians who reported this note that this year's message in conjunction with the Muslim Haj came from his number two, Ayman al-Zawahiri, for the first time."

Veddy Interesting, but perhaps another instance of crying wolf? I won't believe it until I see the DNA results from his corpse.

h/t Greyhawk and Not Dale Gribble

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:20 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006

Hugh vs. Helen

Maybe I should start listening to Hugh Hewitt.

The other H-dawg takes on the grand dame of the WH press corps, Helen Thomas, in a sometimes barely-coherent conversation on Dick Cheney, media bias, and why Hugh Hewitt is completely forgettable....   Hilarity ensues.  Here's a quick clip (FYI: this is at least halfway through the conversation, HH is Hugh, HT is Ms. Thomas):

HT: Who are you?

HH: I...

HT: Who am I talking to?

HH: Hugh Hewitt.

HT: Am I talking to a journalist?

HH: Yes. Yes, for a long time. I'm just curious about what's gone wrong...

HT: Tell me about your career. What have you really done?

HH: Well, it's not nearly as impressive as you.

HT: Where did...yes, it's...it's very important to me. Where did you work?

HH: PBS for ten years.

HT: PBS?

HH: Yes.

HT: Well, that's a good credential.

HH: There you have it. See? I'm...

HT: But then you decided to switch over?

HH: To switch over to what?

HT: God knows what you are.

There you have it. Hewitt is officially an unknown lifeform.  And God officially exists.  At least according to la belle Helene.  Before she HUNG UP ON HIM

Running away like all her ilk, I suppose.

Read the rest at Radio Blogger.  Or hear it here.

h/t Rusty and the Jawa band

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:51 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

I've been sitting on this...

But somehow this post from Christina reminded me of it.

This may possibly be the truest thing published in USA Today in YEARS.  I couldn't pick and choose, so here is the majority of the article:

Last month, as I averaged the second-quarter grades for my senior English classes at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., the same familiar pattern leapt out at me.

Kids who had emigrated from foreign countries — such as Shewit Giovanni from Ethiopia, Farah Ali from Guyana and Edgar Awumey from Ghana — often aced every test, while many of their U.S.-born classmates from upper-class homes with highly educated parents had a string of C's and D's.

As one would expect, the middle-class American kids usually had higher SAT verbal scores than did their immigrant classmates, many of whom had only been speaking English for a few years.

What many of the American kids I taught did not have was the motivation, self-discipline or work ethic of the foreign-born kids.

Politicians and education bureaucrats can talk all they want about reform, but until the work ethic of U.S. students changes, until they are willing to put in the time and effort to master their subjects, little will change.

A study released in December by University of Pennsylvania researchers Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman suggests that the reason so many U.S. students are "falling short of their intellectual potential" is not "inadequate teachers, boring textbooks and large class sizes" and the rest of the usual litany cited by the so-called reformers — but "their failure to exercise self-discipline."

The sad fact is that in the USA, hard work on the part of students is no longer seen as a key factor in academic success.
...

When asked to identify the most important factors in their performance in math, the percentage of Japanese and Taiwanese students who answered "studying hard" was twice that of American students.

American students named native intelligence, and some said the home environment. But a clear majority of U.S. students put the responsibility on their teachers. A good teacher, they said, was the determining factor in how well they did in math.

"Kids have convinced parents that it is the teacher or the system that is the problem, not their own lack of effort," says Dave Roscher, a chemistry teacher at T.C. Williams in this Washington suburb. "In my day, parents didn't listen when kids complained about teachers. We are supposed to miraculously make kids learn even though they are not working."

As my colleague Ed Cannon puts it: "Today, the teacher is supposed to be responsible for motivating the kid. If they don't learn it is supposed to be our problem, not theirs."

And, of course, busy parents guilt-ridden over the little time they spend with their kids are big subscribers to this theory.

...

"Nowadays, it's the kids who have the power. When they don't do the work and get lower grades, they scream and yell. Parents side with the kids who pressure teachers to lower standards," says Joel Kaplan, another chemistry teacher at T.C. Williams.

Every year, I have had parents come in to argue about the grades I have given in my AP English classes. To me, my grades are far too generous; to middle-class parents, they are often an affront to their sense of entitlement. If their kids do a modicum of work, many parents expect them to get at least a B. When I have given C's or D's to bright middle-class kids who have done poor or mediocre work, some parents have accused me of destroying their children's futures.

...

Colleges keep complaining that students are coming to them unprepared. Instead of raising admissions standards, however, they keep accepting mediocre students, lest cuts have to be made in faculty and administration.


Author Patrick Welsh is an English teacher in suburban Alexandria, VA.

As the wife of a teacher and a professor to recent High School grads I can attest to every word being said here.  What do you think?
h/t Weekend Pundit

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:03 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Blogburst for Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez

Senor Fariñas has rejected food and water for 57 days to protest the lack of freely available, uncensored internet access to the people of Cuba.

57 days.  The latest updates indicate that he will die soon.

Join the Blogburst.  Spread the word.  Read More.  Speak Out.  Sign the Petition.

You can.  You're reading this now, after all.

(technorati tag , , )

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 30, 2006

Jill Carroll is Free!

Rusty (as usual) has the latest!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 05, 2006

While I'm busy...

Michael Yon is in the UAE preparing to return to Iraq.  And he has some interesting things to say.



Posted by caltechgirl at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2006

Idiots!

I'm gonna freakin' puke next time I hear one of these news-chickens refer to dook as "an Ivy League school".

Last time I checked, dook competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference (a.k.a. the ACC).  Same as they have for the last 40+ years.  Ivy League Schools are so-called ONLY because they compete in the ACTUAL Ivy League.

Yes, the name is synonymous with excellence in education, but that doesn't mean that a school with a reputation for fine academics and located on the East Coast is AUTOMATICALLY an Ivy League School.

Sheesh.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:18 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

April 18, 2006

Memo to Keith Olbermann: Go back to ESPN. Now.

I used to like Keith Olbermann.  I thought he was really funny, and some of the stunts that he pulled with his SportsCenter colleagues (especially Dan Patrick) are classics in TV history.

Then he decided to be a serious journalist.  Or something like that.  And got his own show on msnbc (the conflicted network).

Now he votes Michelle Malkin as "The Worst Person in the World".  I'll admit she's often over the top and takes positions that even her fellow Conservatives sometimes scratch their heads at, but NONE of this qualifies her as the "worst person in the world".

Michelle and I don't always agree, but there's no doubt she is a loving and devoted Mom and Wife, a thoughtful intellect, and above all a law-abiding tax-payer.  Sure, she broadcast some phone numbers, THAT WERE ON A PRESS RELEASE.  It's not like she used some clandestine cabal to obtain them.  They were published and publicly available.  Who did she rape or murder?  When did she plot a terrorist attack?

This Guy, now, he might merit "world's worst", or This Guy  or This Guy.

Yet another example of the "Unhinged" left, throwing words around like they don't mean anything.  Or maybe Olbermann is simply too ashamed to admit that he doesn't ever look outside his own backyard.

Expose the Left has the video.  Flap has the press release in question.


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 20, 2006

Lefty Morons get it WRONG again

Go here quick before they take it down!

You know the whole flap about Michelle Malkin? Well, these assholes tried to do the same thing with some prominent Righty Bloggers and supposed-Righty Bloggers.

Except the contact info is pretty much all wrong. Poor Jonah Goldberg of Forest Park, GA....

And Rusty Shackelford? Umm, that's a pseudonym you morons.

h/t Rachel, who found it here

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Bow before Steve-O!

Cook and Brew-meister extraordinaire Steve-O displays another talent: Brilliant criticism.

He links this fabulous Ann Coulter column, then synthesizes it into something beautiful of his own. Especially with regard to the oft heard cry of "hypocrisy!":

"Ann is right about hypocrisy, too. We live in a country where mouth-breathers and slackjaws accuse people of hypocrisy whenever they criticize any action they themselves have taken in the past. It's sad that the average person has a tiny brain, and that such stupidity passes for logic. Ann tears that argument apart pretty well this week.

An accusation of hypocrisy is a tool a sub-par mind uses to excuse bad or stupid behavior. If I jumped off the Empire State Building, does that mean I lose the right to tell other people not to jump? Of course not. It may seem otherwise to you, if you move your lips when you read and you find butterfly ballots confusing, but to an intelligent person, it's obvious that it's ALWAYS okay for ANYONE to advise you to avoid stupid behavior.
...
True hypocrisy involves an element of dishonesty. Falling short of perfection does not make you a hypocrite.

If you want to do something stupid or immoral, don't be a whiny little boy and say, "You're not perfect, either." Be a man and say, "I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm doing it anyway, because I don't care if it's right." Or "because I'm weak." Or "because I'm an addict." Don't hide behind a child's favorite lame argument."
Read the whole thing!  It is a thing of beauty.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 24, 2006

What's the difference...

...between and Brown Noser and a Sh*thead?

Depth Perception

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:50 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 01, 2006

Nahuatl is the language of nature...

So says this piece of what George Moneo has so rightly termed "Bovine Excrement".  It's worth the 2 minutes out of your life to laugh and shake your head at the self-important idiocy that passes for education around here.  Keep in mind that this POS had to get a charter from the county, so somebody actually bought into this.....

Quick!  The Smug cloud is descending over Los Angeles!  Oh no!

On a related note, Cobb has some interesting thoughts on immigration and the Latino community....

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:21 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 02, 2006

June 07, 2006

Potential good news....BREAKING

According to ABC news, who is the ONLY one on the story right now....

Zarqawi is TOAST.

Special Report interrupted Nightline, not even on the web page yet

Update: Acc. to Technorati, I am indeed the first to report this. I even beat Kos by 10 minutes! Holy Crap!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:46 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

June 08, 2006

Confirmed

The Pig F*cker is in fact actually dead. You heard it here first.
Now that the MSM is on the story full-blast, here are some of the more interesting articles:

FoxNews: Terminated
CNN: Hunted Down
BBC: Iraq Allies Hail Zarqawi Killing
Aljazeera: Al-Zarqawi Killed in Airstrike

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 09, 2006

Makes you wonder if they read their own blog

The ABC News' blog The Blotter has a very interesting piece on the man who turned in Zarqawi... And they're getting slammed by the readers for it. 280 comments and counting.

This is EXACTLY why your ratings are going down, you opportunistic slugs.

h/t LGF

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

That's longer than a bad TV show....

According to news reports, Zarqawi lived 52 minutes after the bombing.

So I'm wondering, what were the commercials like?  And what took him so long to croak?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

Spin it!

Two headlines, same story:

1) "Bush May Meet Vow To Halve The Deficit Three Years Early" --Investors Business Daily

2) "Bush Deficit Reduction Plan Falls Off-Schedule." -- Guess who (acc. to Insty, but I can't find the headline anywhere on their site anymore)

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 15, 2006

I'd Rather Not

Seems Old Dan has finally gotten the boot at CBS....

CBS executives have decided there is no future role at the network for Dan Rather, making it certain that the man who sat in the anchor chair for 24 years will depart by this fall.
h/t OTB

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:17 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

Quote of the Year!

"See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive),"-- President Bush in what he thought were private remarks to UK PM Tony Blair
Did I mention how much I love our President? and Mr. Blair, too?
Posted by caltechgirl at 11:55 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006

Your daily rant

don't fucking get me started on these quacks.

Here's what got me:
"Head cases

A few neurological differences between women and men from Louann Brizendine's "The Female Brain":

Thoughts about sex enter women's brains once every couple of days; for men, thoughts about sex occur every minute.

Women use 20,000 words per day; men use 7,000 per day.

Women excel at knowing what people are feeling; men have difficulty spotting an emotion unless someone cries or threatens bodily harm.

Women remember fights that a man insists never happened.

Women over 50 are more likely to initiate divorce."

NONE OF THESE ARE NEUROLOGICAL DIFFERENCES!

SOME of them have to do with functionality/ functional outcome, but for FUCK's SAKE, is it AT ALL responsible to say that because a woman is over 50 that she files for divorce because her brain is hard-wired to do so????  I mean COME ON.

MAYBE MAYBE you COULD make the case that women's brains are MORE dependent on the influence of sex hormones than men's and that after menopause function is decreased BECAUSE hormone levels drop.

Sorry to be so mad, but while I am technically a developmental neurobiologist, I am ALSO a neuroendocrinologist.  Which means I study how hormone signals affect the brain.  This is my field, folks.

It is ENTIRELY not clear that the differences in the way women and men think are at all somatic (body-based) rather than socially nurtured.  There is a growing body of evidence that Estrogen and Testosterone drive certain biological processes in the brain,  HOWEVER, E and T are both converted to the same physiologically active molecule (they're not that different to begin with).  Some of the proposed difference may have to do with feedback mechanisms based on progesterone (P), which women have in abundance compared to men.

The idiot who wrote this book argues that women's brains are "wired for communication".  Sure, fine, but IT IS NOT AT ALL CLEAR based on the available evidence that this wiring is a direct effect of having 2 X chromosomes.  MUCH of the wiring in our brains, and in fact the very essence of what we believe about learning and memory, is based on our experience.  The neurological imprint of experience shapes the pattern of wiring in our brains.  If we speak multiple languages as children, for example, we are more able as adults to learn and comprehend multiple languages, as our brains are wired for it.  Because Estrogen and Progesterone affect the processes of wiring, that may play a small role, but clearly, experience is the basis of preferential wiring and preferential connectivity.

There are some anatomical differences in the brains of men and women.  First of all, men have bigger brains.  No shit.  They have bigger bodies.  They also have bigger feet.  the overlap is also pretty significant.  There are some small areas within the brain that are smaller or larger between the sexes, most notably an area in the hypothalamus smaller than the end of your pinky that is significantly different between the sexes (except, purportedly in homosexuals....) according to Simon LeVay back in the late 80s/early90s.  He's a pretty well respected researcher, even though some of his stuff is pretty controversial, like that study.

Grrrr.

Also, she talks about hormone cycling and clinical trials, and thats no longer a valid excuse.  Women MUST be included in ALL trials where a therapeutic benefit to females may be achieved (so, that's everything but things like prostate cancer or ED...).  Women who participate in studies that may be affected by their hormones have to keep track of their cycles and note if they are taking any other medications that could alter hormone levels or function, such as birth control, HRT, anti-cholesterol medications (statins especially), and some antibiotics.  These factors are generally accounted for, and generally make no difference.

To sum up, while the premise of the book is not entrely bogus, based on her arguments in the interview and the "neurological differences" presented at the end, it is clear that this book is full of inconclusive data and incomplete understanding, and should be viewed as a POSSIBLE explanation for some of the cognitive/ personality/ functional differences between the sexes.  And a far too simple one, at that.

Just also wanted to point out that it appears that the author of this book is in fact a "real" scientist, who evidently publishes research about hormones and depression.... So perhaps this book is an extended theoretical paper.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:43 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006

Damn I'm old....

This year's Beloit College "Mindset List." 

75 things that the Class of 2010 doesn't know:
(before you bitch at me, remember this is what the average 18 year old thinks, according to Beloit)

1. The Soviet Union has never existed and therefore is about as scary as the student union.
2. They have known only two presidents.
3. For most of their lives, major U.S. airlines have been bankrupt.
4. Manuel Noriega has always been in jail in the U.S.
5. They have grown up getting lost in "big boxes".
6. There has always been only one Germany.
7. They have never heard anyone actually "ring it up" on a cash register.
8. They are wireless, yet always connected.
9. A stained blue dress is as famous to their generation as a third-rate burglary was to their parents'.
10. Thanks to pervasive head phones in the back seat, parents have always been able to speak freely in the front.
11. A coffee has always taken longer to make than a milkshake.
12. Smoking has never been permitted on U.S. airlines.
13. Faux fur has always been a necessary element of style.
14. The Moral Majority has never needed an organization.
15. They have never had to distinguish between the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and football teams.
16. DNA fingerprinting has always been admissible evidence in court.
17. They grew up pushing their own miniature shopping carts in the supermarket.
18. They grew up with and have outgrown faxing as a means of communication.
19. "Google" has always been a verb.
20. Text messaging is their e-mail.
21. Milli Vanilli has never had anything to say.
22. Mr. Rogers, not Walter Cronkite, has always been the most trusted man in America.
23. Bar codes have always been on everything, from library cards and snail mail to retail items.
24. Madden has always been a game, not a Super Bowl-winning coach.
25. Phantom of the Opera has always been on Broadway.
26. “Boogers� candy has always been a favorite for grossing out parents.
27. There has never been a "skyhook" in the NBA.
28. Carbon copies are oddities found in their grandparents' attics.
29. Computerized player pianos have always been tinkling in the lobby.
30. Non-denominational mega-churches have always been the fastest growing. religious organizations in the U.S.
31. They grew up in minivans.
32. Reality shows have always been on television.
33. They have no idea why we needed to ask "...can't we all just get along?"
34. They have always known that "In the criminal justice system the people have been represented by two separate yet equally important groups."
35. Young women's fashions have never been concerned with where the waist is.
36. They have rarely mailed anything using a stamp.
37. Brides have always worn white for a first, second, or third wedding.
38. Being techno-savvy has always been inversely proportional to age.
39. "So" as in "Sooooo New York", has always been a drawn-out adjective modifying a proper noun, which in turn modifies something else.
40. Affluent troubled teens in Southern California have always been the subjects of television series.
41. They have always been able to watch wars and revolutions live on television.
42. Ken Burns has always been producing very long documentaries on PBS.
43. They are not aware that "flock of seagulls hair" has nothing to do with birds flying into it.
44. Retin-A has always made America look less wrinkled.
45. Green tea has always been marketed for health purposes.
46. Public school officials have always had the right to censor school newspapers.
47. Small white holiday lights have always been in style.
48. Most of them have never had the chance to eat bad airline food.
49. They have always been searching for "Waldo".
50. The really rich have regularly expressed exuberance with outlandish birthday parties.
51. Michael Moore has always been showing up uninvited.
52. They never played the game of state license plates in the car.
53. They have always preferred going out in groups as opposed to dating.
54. There have always been live organ donors.
55. They have always had access to their own credit cards.
56. They have never put their money in a "Savings & Loan"
57. Sara Lee has always made underwear.
58. Bad behavior has always been getting captured on amateur videos.
59. Disneyland has always been in Europe and Asia.
60. They never saw Bernard Shaw on CNN.
61. Beach volleyball has always been a recognized sport.
62. Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti have always been luxury cars of choice.
63. Television stations have never concluded the broadcast day with the national anthem.
64. LoJack transmitters have always been finding lost cars.
65. Diane Sawyer has always been live in Prime Time.
66. Dolphin-free canned tuna has always been on sale.
67. Disposable contact lenses have always been available.
68. "Outing" has always been a threat.
69. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss has always been the perfect graduation gift.
70. They have always "dissed" what they don't like.
71. The U.S. has always been studying global warming to confirm its existence.
72. Richard M. Daley has always been the mayor of Chicago.
73. They grew up with virtual pets to feed, water, and play games with, lest they die.
74. Ringo Starr has always been clean and sober.
75. Professional athletes have always competed in the Olympics.

h/t Prof. Taylor

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August 28, 2006

The Message we SHOULD be Sending

Today's Editorial Cartoon by Cox and Forkum:


Posted by caltechgirl at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BREAKING

Denver NBC affiliate KUSA has confirmed from 2 sources that child-rapist and all-around creepo John Mark Karr is NOT the killer of JonBenet Ramsey. DNA taken from Karr DID NOT match evidence from the murder case.

I knew it.

Watch this space for more.

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September 05, 2006

How many scientists does it take.....

Having been there from time to time, I can say that for once, The Onion reports fact:

Caltech Physicists Successfully Split The Bill

September 5, 2006

PASADENA, CA--Sequestered in a private booth at a Pasadena-area Cheesecake Factory for nearly 25 minutes, a party of eight California Institute Of Technology physicists emerged exhausted but visibly excited Friday evening after successfully splitting the bill.

read the rest!

h/t RL friend (and physicist) AS

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September 26, 2006

More than a comedian

As many of you probably know, Bill Cosby has an Ed.D. That's Education Doctor, BTW.

Here's what he has to say about education: "Why can't students practice algebra for hours like teams practice sports?"

Further:

...[W]hen freshman Kimya Thompson shouted that the subject was boring, Cosby, from Shelburne, brought her on stage.

He told her that if she and her peers didn't sharpen their academic skills, they'd be earning minimum wage.

Cosby told the 450 students that they couldn't go to jail for getting straight As, but they could get shot for selling drugs.
You tell 'em Bill!

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October 27, 2006

Camille Paglia Tells the Truth

And it's the real truth, not just "truthiness".

And what she has to say isn't easy for EITHER party to hear, but a much needed wake up call for Washington.

It's quite long, but well worth the read.  Some tidbits:

"...I felt the Democrats were shooting themselves in the foot. I was especially repulsed by the manipulative use of a gay issue for political purposes by my own party. I think it was not only poor judgment but positively evil. Whatever short-term political gain there is, it can only have a negative impact on gay men. When a moralistic, buttoned-up Republican like Foley is revealed to have a secret, seamy gay life, it simply casts all gay men under a shadow and makes people distrust them. Why don't the Democratic strategists see this? These tactics are extremely foolish....."

"...[G]ay men been tarnished by the over-promotion of the Foley scandal, but they have actually been put into physical danger. It's already starting with news items about teenage boys using online sites to lure gay men on dates to attack and rob them. What in the world are the Democrats thinking? We saw the beginning of this in that grotesque moment in the last presidential debates when John Kerry came out with that clearly prefab line identifying Mary Cheney as a lesbian. Since when does the Democratic Party use any gay issue in this coldblooded way as a token on the chessboard? You'd expect this stuff from right-wing ideologues, not progressives."
...

"There was a time when feminists were arguing, in regard to sexual harassment in the workplace, that any gross disparity in power cannot possibly produce informed consent. All of a sudden, all of that was abandoned for partisan reasons in the Clinton case. I take the European view that any government official has the right to conduct as many sexual affairs as he wishes -- off government property. But Clinton, with all his power, somehow couldn't figure out a way to discreetly meet his chosen women at the mansions of his many friends. I can understand why hotels and motels might have been difficult to manage, with the telltale Secret Service presence. But to use the hallway off the Oval Office for those encounters -- to be serviced by a young woman to whom he gave no other dignity and whom he used like a washrag -- he turned that hallway into a sleazy mosh pit! The Democrats are being extremely imprudent to arouse all those sleeping tigers again -- particularly if their next presidential nomination is Hillary Clinton."
...

"A big problem is that in the minds of too many Americans, Iraqi culpability for the disaster of 9/11 is still pretty deeply rooted. It's because of the vagueness with which most Americans perceive the map and peoples of the Middle East. It shows how bad education has been in geography and international history at both the high school and college levels. It's highly alarming. The reflex mind-set after 9/11 was, "We've got to do something!" So there was this lashing out at whatever seemed Arab or Muslim."
...

" And we do face an international crisis of mammoth proportions. What should we do in the face of this ruthless and barbaric Islamic fundamentalism? Is there an answer to the problem of Israel? There was a time when the left's call for a transnational Israel made sense to me, but at this point does anyone really think that, if Israel stops calling itself a Jewish state and opens its borders to all Palestinians who wish to return, there would be instant peace? Because of the shocking upsurge in anti-Semitism in the last few years -- exacerbated by the American incursion into Iraq -- surely such a development would mean suicide for Jews who reside in Israel. Passions have become too inflamed among young Muslims all over the world. I think it will be a century before any of this is resolved."

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 03, 2006

Hypocrisy lives at the NYT

And we're all a little less safe for it.....

The Grey Lady now claims that not only was the President correct about WMD in Iraq, but posting the relevant documents on-line contributed to Iran's nuclear program.

So which is it?  No WMD or a Security Breach?  Make up your mind people!

Well, in any case....

Jim Geraghty has more pertinent thoughts.

Seen everywhere, but the Robbo the Llama has the most entertaining post!

UPDATE: What Charles Johnson said.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006

If it doesn't fit.....

Oh wait.  It sure as hell does:



h/t Darleen via email

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December 07, 2006

Mwahahahahahahahaha

NY Post gets it right:




h/t Linda

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Two in a row

PBS gets it right this time with a great story about Project Valour-IT on their MediaShift blog:

...While most of the bloggers who supported Valour-IT have been on the conservative side of the political spectrum, FbL notes that the project cuts across ideology by focusing on helping out wounded veterans.

"Doing a program like this is so beyond politics," FbL said. "You have someone here who is hurt, and you have the ability to make their lives better, why wouldn't you do that? That's part of our success with this. How do you say no to this without looking like a total jerk? [laughs] You can say, "It's all George Bush's fault." Yes, it is, but how are you going to help? It's beyond politics and it's so human. It's a winning concept and I am lucky enough to know brilliant people who have made this project work."

Valour-IT is another result of average folks banding together online to make a difference, getting beyond petty politics and government bureacracy to get something done and do it right. It's one of those classic holiday stories of people giving of their time, their money and even the bully-pulpit space of their blogs to help others in need.
Go read the whole thing, and maybe leave a comment telling PBS how much you appreciate the story.

h/t BethD

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It's a child, not a political plank

The Vice President's daughter is pregnant and due in late spring.

I am overjoyed for what seems to be a close and loving family, by all accounts, to be adding a new member.  I am beyond happy for Mary and her partner Heather that they are about to realize their dream of becoming parents.

Seems a lot of people can't feel that way.  On one side, they're too busy blaming the VP for supporting policies that go against his daughter's (and her partner's) interest.  On the other side, they're panicking because a conservative leader is about to have a grandchild with homosexual parents.

Every article I've seen on this goes out of its way to point out that Gays and Straights are both up in arms over Mary Cheney's bundle of joy.

You'd think it was the second coming, or at least a new Brangelina baby for all of the fuss going on out there today.  Or maybe that you'd picked up an old newspaper.  Didn't we go through this when Melissa Etheridge and her (then) partner Julie Cypher had children a decade ago?

Can't we get past this and just say that a healthy baby is a blessing to a family, no matter how traditional?  Can we admit that two stable parents are always better than one, whether it's two moms, two dads, or one of each?  Can we agree that this child will have some wonderful role models for strength and integrity?

I am disgusted.  These opportunistic political vultures have taken what should be a happy occasion for the entire family and turned it into a political fracas.

For myself, I will say this much:  Congratulations to Mary and Heather and their families.  I wish you a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and all the joys that come with that.  Anything else that anyone has to say on the subject is bullshite.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:59 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

December 11, 2006

Matt and Trey: Prescient or just Damn Smart? You decide.

Shamelessly stolen from Armed Liberal at Winds of Change:

Over at HuffPo, Alec Baldwin, (of the "Film Actors Guild") speaks out on what's wrong, and what we need to do about it. One of these is real, and one is a line from a puppet movie. Can you tell which is which?

Quote #1: "By following the rules of the Film Actor's Guild, the world can become a better place; that handles dangerous people with talk, and reasoning; that, is the fag way. One day you'll all look at the world us actors created and say, "wow, good going, fag. You really made the world a better place, didntcha, fag?" "

Quote #2: "There is an answer to this problem. There is a way to defeat terrorism while building new and better alliances in the Arab world. It will be an enormously complex and difficult diplomatic puzzle. But the first step might be oddly simple. Get rid of the CIA, which has outlived its usefulness and is an embarrassment to this great country, and rebuild and reform US intelligence capabilities to fight this new type of threat. I think our hopes must begin there."

Answer below the fold, in case you didn't know

Read More "Matt and Trey: Prescient or just Damn Smart? You decide." »
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December 14, 2006

Don't let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you...

Ban Ki-moon was sworn in today as the 8th Secretary General of the United Nations, officially ending the decade-long term of his predecessor, Kofi Annan.

Today, Mr Ban pledged to "be mindful of... loyalty, discretion, and conscience" and to "set the highest ethical standards..."

Even if all he does is remind people that taking bribes is a bad thing, he'll already be miles ahead of Mr. Annan's repugnant term at the helm.

The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal reminds us of the words and deeds of the UN under Annan's direction:

...When Mr. Annan was named Secretary General 10 years ago, he did so as the U.S.-backed candidate of reform. Jesse Helms, then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Mr. Annan that "if you choose to be an agent of real and deep-seated change, you will find many supporters--and even allies--here in the U.S. Congress."

Senator Helms's expectations were not met. Seven years later--thanks to U.S. military action that Mr. Annan did everything in his power to prevent--we learned that he had presided over the greatest bribery scheme in history, known as Oil for Food. We learned that Benon Sevan, Mr. Annan's trusted confidant in charge of administering the program, had himself been a beneficiary of Iraqi kickbacks to the tune of $160,000. We learned that Mr. Annan's chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, had ordered potentially incriminating documents to be destroyed. We learned that Mr. Annan and his deputy, Louise Frechette, were both aware of the kickback scheme but failed to report it to the Security Council, as their fiduciary duties required. However, we haven't yet learned whether the senior Annan illegally helped his son Kojo obtain a discounted Mercedes, an issue on which the Secretary General has stonewalled reporters.

Earlier this year, Mr. Annan was also forced to place eight senior U.N. procurement officials on leave pending investigations on bribery and other charges. Vladimir Kuznetsov, the head of the U.N. budget-oversight committee, was indicted this year on money-laundering charges. Alexander Yakovlev, another procurement official, pled guilty to skimming nearly $1 million off U.N. contracts. The U.N.'s own office of Internal Oversight found that U.N. peacekeeping operations had mismanaged some $300 million in expenditures.

...

Mr. Annan came to office after a stint as head of U.N. peacekeeping operations. The period corresponded with the massacre in Srebenica of 7,000 Bosnians and the genocide of 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda, both of which were facilitated by the nonfeasance of peacekeepers on the ground. It was later revealed that Mr. Annan's office explicitly forbade peacekeepers from raiding Hutu arms caches in Rwanda just four months before the genocide.

The world's worst man-made humanitarian catastrophes have since taken place in Zimbabwe, North Korea, Congo and Darfur. Mr. Annan has been mostly silent about the first two, perhaps on the time-honored U.N. principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states other than the U.S. In the Congo, U.N. peacekeepers haven't stopped the bloodshed, but they have made themselves notorious as sexual predators.

Funny what can happen when a ball-less, incompetent, selfish mis-manager takes over a large organization, no?

These are the facts, folks.  Under Annan's "leadership" the UN has failed.  In Darfur, in Congo, in Somalia.  In Kosovo and Rwanda and the middle east.  And these failures can all be traced to one person: Kofi Annan.

In a global community the objective SHOULD be the protection of human rights and promotion of tolerance and communication.  Under Annan, the UN's objective appeared to be "anything that makes the US look bad". 

By default, that attitude prevents the neediest among us (like the Darfuris) from receiving the help that would otherwise be freely offered.

Ask the Kosovars.

Mr Annan has singlehandedly brought the UN from an organization of hope, that had the possibility of effecting real global change to a mockery of its former self.

Opinion Journal says it more eloquently than I can:

Mr. Annan came to power at a moment when it was at least plausible to believe that a properly reformed U.N. could serve the purposes it was originally meant to serve: to be a guarantor of collective security and a moral compass in global affairs. Mr. Annan's legacy is that nobody can entertain those hopes today.
So Long, Kofi. Please enjoy a very restful retirement somewhere far away from the media. And while you're at it, see if you can convince your buddy Jimmeh to join you.

h/t Lex

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December 17, 2006

The Holocaust on paper

The horror was DOCUMENTED.  On paper.  It's all there.  17 miles of file cabinets containing Nazi records on everything from head lice to mail records to executions...

17,000,000 victims: Jews, laborers, homosexuals, and political dissidents.

The documents are being scanned and will be available within the next year to a number of research programs and libraries.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 10, 2007

In re: Barbara, Rosie, and Donald

Here are some facts:

1.  Donald is a publicity whore
2.  Barbara Walters is a publicity whore
3.  Rosie is a bitch

I have no dog in this fight, so I'm not going to pull any punches.  I am 100% certain that this started as a publicity stunt and now it has spiraled out of control.  Someone needs to quit cheerleading for one side or the other (like Joy Behar does.  sheesh) and be THE ADULT and tell these three children to quit whining over who gets the nice toy and who is the biggest poopyhead.

At this point they are ALL poopyheads.

As to the criticisms of Donald for calling Rosie a pig, in that a man shouldn't call a woman a pig....

Well why the fuck not?  The post-modern feminists tell us that there's no difference between the sexes, so why is it ok for Rosie to ching-chong his combover but he can't attack her?

And frankly, she is a pig.  She's a fat, indulgent, arrogant hypocrite.  Actually, calling her a pig insults pigs.  Pigs are smarter and friendlier.  They don't judge based on cash in your wallet.

And Barbara Walters probably IS a liar.  I have no doubt that she did say those things about Rosie, that it IS difficult for her to deal with having Rosie on the show, that she dislikes the sharp political rhetoric Rosie brings with her.  And maybe she's afraid her comfortable women's chat show is about to become a referendum for the Liberal Lesbian Agenda.

That's the thing with Rosie, she is DEFINED by her political agenda.  She assumes immediately that EVERYONE is out to get her because she is out of the closet (e.g. Kelly Ripa).  That somehow her sexual identity makes her odious to the rest of us.  That EVERY straight person who dares to disagree with her is doing so because she's a lesbian.

As fucking if.


Maybe she thinks that because somewhere in her own psyche SHE is truly uncomfortable with herself, for whatever reason, and she is projecting that on to others.

On this same page I have specifically defended, nay, applauded her right to live with the partner of her choice and co-parent her 4 children.  I love that she has a committed relationship and brings the values of that relationship to the rearing of her kids.  I love that her kids have two parents.

And yet, I call her a pig.  She's not an arrogant hypocrite because she's gay.  She's an arrogant hypocrite because she's willfully ignorant.

But Donald doesn't get out of this clean either.  He picked this fight, and then he added fuel to the fire.  Probably in an attempt to raise the buzz for the newest season of the Apprentice, which started this week.  He is a smart and savvy businessman, and probably thought that getting his name out there would improve his audience numbers.  But it clearly backfired.  And now a lot of people think he's a dickhead for calling her a pig.

Honestly, my sympathies lie with Donald.  Of the three, he has the most honest and respected reputation.  People who know him will tell you that he treats everyone equally and can be fair to a fault because his motivators are not personal, only business.  Barbara is well known as a manipulator, and Rosie is widely considered a bitch to all but a select (rich and famous) few.

And for the record, aren't there more important things to discuss on TV all day?  Like the war, for instance?

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:02 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

January 11, 2007

I think the bunny got to him, finally.....

14 members of the Carter Center Board of Councilors resigned today in protest of Jimmy Carter's recent views on Israel.  In response to Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid.", the 14 councilors wrote:

"We can no longer endorse your strident and uncompromising position," the letter to Carter said. "This is not the Carter Center or the Jimmy Carter we came to respect and support."
and
"We are deeply troubled by the president's comments and writings and are submitting the following letter of resignation to the Carter Center,"
Perhaps most telling, however, is their indictment of Carter for,
"[abandoning his] historic role of broker in favor of becoming an advocate for one side." and "[confusing] opinion with fact, subjectivity with objectivity and force for change with partisan advocacy,"
Yeeeouch.

Kenneth Stein, the first Executive Director of the Carter Center resigned a month ago over this same book.

Perhaps Mr. Carter should re-think his strategy here.  Continuing to be "relevant" will do far less for his legacy than returning to his roots in fair-dealing. 

Or maybe he's tired of hiding his true colors.

Update: This brings to 16 the number of advisors that Carter's book has alienated. Professsor Melvin Konner declined the honor even before joining the committee, saying in part:

"I am now carefully rereading parts of this very puzzling and problematic book, having read it through once quickly. I am not going to point out again here all the mistakes and misrepresentations pointed out by others (to take just one example, his flat contradiction of the accounts by President Clinton and Dennis Ross of events at Camp David at which they were present and he was not)none of which he has answerednor explain the grotesque distortion caused by his almost completely ignoring Jewish history between ancient times and 1947 (he devotes five lines on page 64 to that millennial tragic story and mentions the Holocaust twice; his "Historical Chronology" at the outset contains nothingnothingbetween 1939 and 1947). However, I will call your attention to a sentence on p. 213 that had not stood out for me the first time I read it: "It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel."

As someone who has lived his life as a professional reader and writer, I cannot find any way to read this sentence that does not condone the murder of Jews until such time as Israel unilaterally follows President Carter's prescription for peace. This sentence, simply put, makes President Carter an apologist for terrorists and places my children, along with all Jews everywhere, in greater danger. "-- Emphasis mine, Ed.

Give it up Jimmah. It's time to go.
h/t Fausta

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Everything you ever wanted to know about The Surge*

* but were afraid to ask...
Dean Barnett has a great FAQ about the new Iraq strategy posted at Hugh Hewitt.

Here's a brief sample:

1) How in the hell are an additional 20,000 troops going to make such a big difference when we already have about 140,000 troops in Iraq? It makes no sense! Cut and run!!

First, calm down. We're going to walk through this analytically, not sprint through it hysterically. The current troop level in Baghdad is only 13,000. Most of the 20,000 new troops are going to be headed to Baghdad. That means we're going to increase our troop complement in Baghdad by roughly 150%. In other words, as regards the Battle of Baghdad, this is an enormous tactical adjustment, not a symbolic gesture.

Now go read the rest!

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 17, 2007

Unexpected in January

The Newhall Pass over the infamous Grapevine into Southern California is closed due to blizzard conditions.

The storm struck shortly before 9 a.m.

"It was a cell that hit us. We had no idea that it was coming, it just hit us all at once," [CHP Officer Dave] Pokorny said.

Stranded motorist Ernest Eckhardt he thought he could make it through the blizzard.

"It was kind of raining and it turned to sleet and I thought, 'Well, the rest I can go,' but then it turned bad quickly," he said. "It just dropped so much snow and the water on the road froze and the snow on top of it was just too slick."
Needless to say the storm was NOT in the forecast and it's pretty damn cold, although Pasadena seems to have missed the majority of the precipitation....

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February 05, 2007

Global Warming - don't believe the hype

The words of a REAL CLIMATOLOGIST, which has nothing to do with inventing the internet.....

What would happen if tomorrow we were told that, after all, the Earth is flat? It would probably be the most important piece of news in the media and would generate a lot of debate. So why is it that when scientists who have studied the Global Warming phenomenon for years say that humans are not the cause nobody listens? Why does no one acknowledge that the Emperor has no clothes on?

Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification. For example, Environment Canada brags about spending $3.7 billion in the last five years dealing with climate change almost all on propaganda trying to defend an indefensible scientific position while at the same time closing weather stations and failing to meet legislated pollution targets.

No sensible person seeks conflict, especially with governments, but if we don't pursue the truth, we are lost as individuals and as a society. That is why I insist on saying that there is no evidence that we are, or could ever cause global climate change. And, recently, Yuri A. Izrael, Vice President of the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed this statement. So how has the world come to believe that something is wrong?

Maybe for the same reason we believed, 30 years ago, that global cooling was the biggest threat: a matter of faith. "It is a cold fact: the Global Cooling presents humankind with the most important social, political, and adaptive challenge we have had to deal with for ten thousand years. Your stake in the decisions we make concerning it is of ultimate importance; the survival of ourselves, our children, our species," wrote Lowell Ponte in 1976.

I was as opposed to the threats of impending doom global cooling engendered as I am to the threats made about Global Warming. Let me stress I am not denying the phenomenon has occurred. The world has warmed since 1680, the nadir of a cool period called the Little Ice Age (LIA) that has generally continued to the present. These climate changes are well within natural variability and explained quite easily by changes in the sun. But there is nothing unusual going on.

Since I obtained my doctorate in climatology from the University of London, Queen Mary College, England my career has spanned two climate cycles. Temperatures declined from 1940 to 1980 and in the early 1970's global cooling became the consensus. This proves that consensus is not a scientific fact. By the 1990's temperatures appeared to have reversed and Global Warming became the consensus. It appears I'll witness another cycle before retiring, as the major mechanisms and the global temperature trends now indicate a cooling.

Here's the summation for those of you who zombied at the very idea of such a long passage:
 
-- It is UNBELIEVABLY PREMATURE to state that people are the main cause of Global Warming. PERIOD.

-- Thirty years ago many of the same scientists raising a ruckus today were DEAD SURE we were headed for a man-made ice age FROM THE SAME CAUSES (greenhouse gasses, etc.)

--Consensus is different from fact: 95% of 4 year olds believe in Santa, but this doesn't make him REAL, does it?  So why should we believe something just because a majority of pinheads with PhDs do?

And yes, for the record I too have a PhD.  So what?  But I'm not a pinhead.  Doesn't make me a sheep, either.

Please read all of Dr. Bell's article (yes, there is more. A lot more.),  It is a fascinating look at how popular politics colors even the most rigorous of disciplines.

h/t Q and O via RWV

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:19 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

February 20, 2007

Removing the Pajamas

Jeff Goldstein has been told in no uncertain terms that PJM doesn't want him anymore.

Why you ask?  Well, frankly, because he lost a lot of traffic when his site was down while he was dealing with that crazy left-wing whore who threatened his child and wife.

The screwing began with Dennis the Peasant and it hasn't stopped. Steve lays it out:

I'm only guessing, but the logical assumption is that the principals are going to get paid no matter what, while the investors and member bloggers who don't prosper in spite of joining PJM get the shaft. You know how this works. You saw The Producers, didn't you?

Michelle Malkin improved her traffic somewhat, no thanks to PJM, so she gets no pay cut. Instapundit's traffic stayed flat in spite of the dullest, laziest, most unnecessary and useless blogging in the top half of the ecosystem, so he gets no pay cut. PJM failed to drive traffic to Jeff, and for one reason or another he didn't generate it on his own, so Jeff takes a beating. Meanwhile, I'm sure he's grateful for all those print opportunities they rounded up for him. I know Raj and Rerun were busy, busy, busy every day, knocking on doors and handing out business cards, securing those MSM ins we heard so much about back before respectable folks like Larry Kudlow bailed out.

The investors get milked, the castle in the sky fails to materialize, Raj and Rerun feather their nests, and a top-notch writer has his valuable time wasted. Is that an incorrect assessment? If Pajamas Media were as transparent as the workings of a Cheney energy-policy session, maybe we would know. It's a good guess, though.

Jeff was distracted, because a vicious lunatic whore threatened his family and had to be dealt with, and maybe that hurt his traffic. But would that have mattered, had PJM been anything but a house of cards? Where is the synergy we used to hear about? Obviously, the PJs didn't pull their own weight, and now they care more about money than they do about Jeff taking time off to protect his wife and son.

Shady underhanded crap. As I've said before.  And you know, crap floats.  You can keep flushing it all you want, it just pops up somewhere else.

It'll be a real fucking shame if Goldstein quits because PJM drops his paycheck.

Posted by caltechgirl at 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 21, 2007

Gardasil: doesn't protect against HPV or cancer?

Turns out one of the main reasons that Merck is backing off on the Gardasil lobby is that the vaccinations as recommended may be pointless:

Lawmakers looking to force preteen girls to take Gardasil, a new vaccine against a virus that causes cervical cancer, are targeting the wrong age group, cancer data shows.

Middle-school girls inoculated with the breakthrough vaccine will be no older than 18 when they pass Gardasil’s five-year window of proven effectiveness — more than a decade before the typical cancer patient contracts the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV). emphasis mine --Ed.

Gardasil is currently only FDA approved for girls and women age 12-26, and is therefore not KNOWN to be effective at the age when the majority of HPV  infections occur and HPV-related cancers are diagnosed for ANY woman receiving the vaccine, under current guidelines.

This is why I (and MANY medical professionals) am against mandating this vaccine.  All of this bandwagon science in the name of "the children" completely jumped the gun on this one.  If there is no evidence that the vaccine will even protect these girls from this virus or subsequent cervical cancer at the age when many of them will contract it, then why should we subject our daughters to the potential hazards and side effects of the injections?

Nurse and Cotillion sister Raven has a lot more in her very thoughtful post:

Far be it for me to say, but with the known side effects being reported so far, from doctors who have given the shots to young girls, I question it’s worth. Reports of seizures, blindness, episodes of passing out, tremors, memory problems, vision loss-are coming in at an alarming rate. Are these true side effects of the vaccine, or just the bad luck of coincidence for the young ladies? We don’t know, yet. It takes many years of data collection and analysis to come up with an honest, medically sound answer.

One thing we do know: Condoms prevent the spread of ALL forms of HPV. Period. As well as other viral infections and disease. They’re much cheaper and don’t cause the serious side effects drugs cause. Why are little girls being mandated to get vaccinations that cause them harm, that do not guarantee freedom from the very disease the vaccine is said to protect against when we could mandate condom use for boys? Don’t answer that because I know it’s a stupid question. But for the love of GAWD people…do we see a problem here?

Read the whole thing!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:13 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Walter Reed Fracas

By now if you read any MilBloggers, you probably have heard about the "outpatient mess" at Walter Reed and all of the subsequent blame being shifted around because of it.

Blogger and Walter Reed frequent flyer CPT. Chuck Ziegenfuss has some interesting things to add to the debate:

Look at the charities who help the wounded--whether flying them or their families to hospitals, making Velcro clothes so they can dress themselves, helping to take care of the soldier's kids, getting them a drastically discounted rental vehicle so they can get from hospital to hotel and back, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam. Every single gap that a charity had to fill equates to a leadership failure--a failure to recognize the unique needs of the soldiers and their families. Please don't misconstrue this as my dislike of charities, the exact opposite is true, they are lifesavers. But when a wounded soldier has to rely on the sympathy and charity of others to simply live day to day, to meet his most basic needs, then the Army, and the government as a whole, has failed them.

As a leader in the Army, who has gone through this system, I SHOULDER PART OF THE BLAME FOR NOT TRYING TO FIX THE PROBLEM. I left my brothers behind, and got myself home. After recovery, I moved on to other things, even though the complaints made today are the same as they were 2 years ago. Families are in the dark, medhold is a ridiculous and poor taste joke and apparent cover-your-ass move by the chain of command. I am an officer. I am a leader. By allowing this to happen, and continue to happen, I am at fault for not getting it fixed earlier or fixing it myself.

Other people who share the blame: The soldiers and family members who didn't use normal channels, like the Inspector General, the Chain of Command, or even letters to congressmen to fix the problem. They ran to the press, and embarrassed the Army. The chain of command, and more to the point, the NCO support channel and "chain of concern." Every Sergeant from the newly-minted Corporal to the Command Sergeant Major is tasked with looking out for the health, safety, and welfare of the soldier, and advising the command on the soldier's needs. As a matter of fact the ONLY role of a Command Sergeant Major is to advise the commander on enlisted matters. Clearly, the ignorance of these issues by the chain of command indicated an extreme dereliction of duty on the part of the Non Commissioned Officer (Hey CSM: maybe if you'd spent more time with the soldiers at the Mologne house, Fisher house, and other places the wounded congregate, instead of chasing me another 25 feet up the hill to the designated smoking area; or making sure that there were plenty of signs in the right areas to tell people they couldn't smoke there.)

Maybe you, hospital commander, and all of your high-ranking staff could move your designated parking spots to the other side of post, forcing yourselves to walk up and down the hill to the Mologne house every day, through winter's ice and snow, spring's rain, and summer's heat, just like the men on prosthetic legs and wheelchairs do. (But hey, thanks bunches for the chain link handrail, it sure does come in handy when trying to pull yourself up the hill.

As a company commander, I made time to walk through my billets, and even in combat I made soldier's living conditions a priority. I agree with Dr. Harvey. The command is to blame for this. I will accept the challenge of fixing it, assuming that I receive the commensurate promotion and pay raise. It'll be fixed in 6-12 months--but I need the authority to hire and fire anyone working on Walter Reed, military and civilian, to move people and organizations as I deem necessary, and the authority top bring in other officers and soldiers who I know will get the job done. (not that it'll happen, but hey, I'd take the job in a heartbeat.
As for getting that job done, Chuck's not alone.  There are plenty of folks who would be more than happy to pitch in.  Myself included.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 04, 2007

It's not often when you know the genesis of a story idea

...and you don't even know the reporter.

But this story, from Sunday's Raleigh News and Observer, well, it's not hard.

Hispanic DWIs rooted in immigrants' culture

When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago.

Then, last year, a young Hispanic man who authorities say was drunk nearly killed Hernandez's only son, Diego, in a crash on a rural Johnston County road. Eliseo Hernandez's daughter, who was nine months pregnant, lost her unborn child in the accident.

Hernandez has spent the past year following Diego through four hospitals and 14 brain surgeries. Diego only recently began to smile again and might never walk.

Hernandez said he hopes his painful journey will teach his friends and family a lesson. Car accidents are the top killer of Hispanics in North Carolina, and the disproportionate number of alcohol-related arrests and wrecks are an embarrassment to a minority already beleaguered by hard feelings over illegal immigration.

"It makes the Mexicans look bad, very bad," Hernandez said. "The American people say 'Oh, it's just another Hispanic, the same as the others.' "

It was a commonly held assumption among the Orange County sheriff's deputies and other local cops that a hispanic man driving to the ABC (state-owned liquor store) was probably already drunk.  And that if you pulled over a hispanic man, chances are he would fail a roadside sobriety test.

DWIs are far higher among hispanics than any other culture in NC, and for a while this was seen as racial profiling by police and State Troopers.  In CA, many times the DWI hispanic driver is also an illegal alien. Interesting now to see this article owning that DWI/DUI is sometimes part of the culture.

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Posted by caltechgirl at 07:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 15, 2007

An Open Letter to Michael Moore

Dear Mooreon,

You really shouldn't attempt to play big boy games until you are potty trained and no longer wail for Mommy at the drop of a hat.  Oh, and BTW, not that you care, but you can't hide behind Mommy's skirts and question her parenting skills at the same time....

Love and Kisses,

CTG

Friends and Neighbors, if I wasn't 100% behind Fred before, I am now.  Not only did he best the Mooreon in HIS OWN MEDIUM, it was a timely, witty, and on-point response. 



Can you imagine a President with this kind of response to our enemies?  Fred gets it.  He totally gets it.  For more on this, see Bob Krumm's commentary on Fred and the OODA Loop.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:53 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

The "Nuge" Speaks!

Ted Nugent rocks.

... Especially here in the great Republic of Texas, a smiling, drooling preference for succulent, protein-rich, nutritious backstrap over aromatic mesquite coals is as American and natural and right as Mom, apple pie and the flag. It's beautiful, really.

But a culture war rages against such universal, self-evident truths. It would be laughable if it were not so deranged. Some weirdos actually are on a crusade to outlaw the consumption of flesh.

I have musical touring associates who have been fired from their jobs with ex-Beatle Paul McCartney for sneaking a hamburger.

You heard that right. Fired for eating meat by an animal-rights maniac, hard-core vegan bass player.

The entire agenda of the gazillion-dollar-financed joke known as PETA literally is dedicated to outlawing meat.

Neither I, nor any hunter or meat eater on the planet, has any desire whatsoever to influence any vegetarian's choice of diet or to force them to eat meat. We are the friendly, tolerant Americans.

This is but one of many issues that represent the line drawn in the sand between liberals and conservatives.

There's more. Check out the rest here. Be sure to note Nuge's views on the Left in this country, and how much their rhetoric sounds like the commies...

h/t el Pitbull at Babalu

Posted by caltechgirl at 02:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 10, 2007

Irony in Arlington?

Dear Mary Jo,

Clearly you have learned nothing, either from your master's thesis at Columbia, or about your own children.

But that's not surprising, given that you would publicly insult your own son. Calling him a pawn is pretty low.  As if he can't think for himself.  I don't know whether that says more about his shallowness, or YOUR inability to mold him into a self-reliant and thoughtful young man if you think so poorly of his ability to make decisions about his life.

You say your life is surrounded by signs and symbols of the military. Perhaps you should take advantage of your unique situation and learn about that which you seem to loathe without understanding.

Oh, and one more thing.  You say you are worried about how the experience will affect your son.  You worry he will be seriously harmed.  But did you ever think that maybe he might be changed for the better?  That perhaps the "horrors" he sees over there will spur him on to great things?  That he might dedicate himself to removing the suffering of others.

I wish you luck in dealing with your issues, and I thank your son for the choice he made to serve our country.

--CTG

h/t Cass and Lex

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 13, 2007

Charlotte Mayor won't apologize for telling the truth

Pat McCrory, Mayor of Charlotte NC tells it like it is:

The NAACP wants Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory to apologize for remarks he made about African American youth after last week's arrests during Fourth of July festivities in uptown.

Ken White, president of the Charlotte Branch of the NAACP, on Wednesday called the mayor's comments "insensitive" and said he's concerned they painted "African American youth with a broad swath that cuts deep in many of our communities."

McCrory's comments came July 5 in a letter to the city manager congratulating police on their efforts the night before, when 169 people were arrested in uptown. McCrory also wrote that "too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action."

Later Wednesday, McCrory said he won't apologize.

Why not?

"Because my comments were accurate. Period."

Mayor McCrory's comments, as discussed above, were in regards to many arrests at the city's 4th of July celebration. From the Charlotte Observer:
The uptown crowd was primarily African American, as were most of those arrested: Of 143 adults arrested, 122 were black. Police later noted that those arrested comprised fewer than 1 percent of the uptown revelers.
Mayor McCrory went on to explain both his statements, and why he refuses to apologize:
McCrory ... cited statistics showing more than 60 percent of Charlotte's gang members are African American. And, he said, the victims of gang violence also tend to be black.

"One thing we agree on is that it is a horrible stereotype," McCrory said, "but it's being perpetuated by those who continue to dress like, behave like and act like gang members. It's not productive to our community, our neighborhoods, our schools, or to those individuals who are doing it."

Kudos for Mayor McCrory for saying the truth, and refusing to back down from it. Too often in this society our leaders back down from a stand because powerful opposition groups (in this case the NAACP) start threatening them.

But I must echo LaShawn Barber and ask: When did it become more of a crime in this country to SAY that something is wrong, than to do the wrong thing?

LaShawn goes on:

Too many black youth eschew education and decent living, while embracing a lifestyle that glorifies criminal activity, triflingness (yes, theres such a word), and having illicit and zero-responsibility sex with as many women as possible. The resultant children are sentenced to fatherless homes and instability. That, too, makes me sick to my stomach.

...

Blacks cannot complain about what white people may or may not be doing to them when they dont even care about their own children. Ive lost patience with it, and I advise everybody no matter what color you are to stop being afraid of the truth or of black people making demands. Take it from an insider: the bark, as loud and annoying as it is, is much worse than the bite.

It's my hope that more of our leaders, of ALL colors, stand up and ask the tough questions and give the tough answers about what's wrong in our communities, following Pat McCrory's example.

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:49 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007

The sad thing is, this is how most people see science

From the Onion:



Posted by caltechgirl at 02:51 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 09, 2007

Why am I not surprised? Fair for me but NOT for thee.....

The American Spectator reports:

Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called "Fairness Doctrine".

"Limbaugh isn't the only one who needs to be made uncomfortable about what he says on the radio," says a House leadership source. "We don't have as big a megaphone as these guys, but this all political, and we'll do what we can to gain the advantage. If we can take them off their game for a while, it will help our folks out there on the campaign trail."

Now that's creepy.

But not surprising.

Let me sum this up for you, in case you don't understand just what's at stake here: The Fairness Doctrine was a policy implemented by the FCC in the earliest days of TV and radio, when small media markets were dominated by a handful of stations, or in many cases, just one station. And, as is often the case when you have a media monopoly, FCC regulators were concerned that all views wouldn't be broadcast fairly and some candidates for office might lose out because of a lack of coverage.

Fast forward to 1987. It was the end of the Reagan era, and the rise of mass communications in the US. In 1987 the FCC overturned the Fairness Doctrine because the market had grown so much that there was enough market pressure to allow for opposing viewpoints to be presented, not to mention an increased expectation of such presentation from the media-consuming public. With so many opportunities for coverage and so much media to keep track of, enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine became obsolete and the policy was ended.

In the two decades since, the US has seen an exponential increase in the amount of political speech broadcast through the media. Commercials, debates, opinion and news shows, radio talk shows, etc. have all increased the public's awareness of political issues and political thought. Admittedly, much of this increase has been on the conservative side of the fence. However, the financial disaster formerly known as "Air America" clearly highlights that this is likely due to purely market forces; that Americans want to hear conservative political thought in the media more than they want to hear liberals.

You can come up for your own explanation for that one. I'm sure it's not hard to think of a dozen reasons why, but left-leaning media (other than, it can be argued, mainstream "news") is simply not commercially viable in this country.

Faced with the fact that they can't compete in the open marketplace, what do the liberals do? As usual, they try to level the playing field... to their advantage. If the market won't admit "liberal" political thought, then it's time to simply break down the doors to the market. With the Fairness Doctrine bulldozer.

While it might seem, naively, that the more speech accessible to the masses, the better; in reality this is nothing more than censorship. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine limits the amount of political speech that can be presented for either side to an amount that can be feasibly presented by the media in consideration of their need (under the FD) to present opposing viewpoints. Is that what we want? Sound bites and snippets? Well, if that's all you're getting anyway, and your opposition has a three-hour talk show, you might just say yes, and damn the consequences.

Let's look at this economically, too: the consumer prefers conservative media (e.g. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.), and we know this because these ventures are commercially viable. By limiting the supply of the preferred goods, and forcing the consumer to take some non-preferred goods (Liberal media) instead, the re-institution of the Fairness Doctrine forces the consumer's choice. Sounds a lot like Communism to me...

Let me ask you this: Why is it ok to have NO Fairness Doctrine for 20 years while the left consolidates their power base and makes in roads into the MSM, but the SECOND that conservative media shows some strength, it's time to put it back? Why is the playing field level until the other team goes ahead? Why didn't ANY of these things matter until people started to challenge the status quo?

Funny how the First Amendment gets bought and sold by the left like so much cattle, depending on whether they're winning or losing.

h/t FRED who makes his own case for a Free Press.

Posted by caltechgirl at 09:29 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 08, 2007

And Neither is Britney Spears

Headline of the Day: "Spears' Lawyer To Judge: 'You're Not A Pop Star'"

Seems poor li'l Brit Brit just can't make it to the drug lab on time. You'd think that since she has cars and drivers a plenty this would actually be an EASIER task for her than it would be for the rest of us who need to drive ourselves or rely on a crappy car or **horrors** take the bus to get where we need to go.

Her justification? That she has a Number One album to promote (sorry Brit, but you're actually #2. Ever heard of the Eagles?) and she's too busy to make time for the drug lab in less than 6 hours. SIX.

The judge rebuffed this claim, saying, "I have to get here at 7:30 a.m. to read (court) papers," implying that getting out of bed to go to the lab is not an unreasonable demand from the court.

Britney's lawyer responded, "But you're not a pop star with a number one album."

No, idiot, he's a JUDGE. Well, technically a court commissioner, but still. He's the judge in charge of whether or not she ever gets to see her kids. I suppose that means your client should act accordingly, huh?

I never thought I'd ever say it, but I'm starting to hope those two little boys take after their Dad in the brains department.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:35 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008

It's articles like this that prove the Onion's writers have better journalism skills than the MSM's

In Today's Onion:

EPA Shuts Down Local Ghost-Entrapment Business

NEW YORK --Citing unsafe practices and potential toxic contamination, the Environmental Protection Agency shut down a small ghost- entrapment operation in downtown Manhattan today, and had four of the business' spectral-containment specialists arrested in the process.

According to EPA agent Walter Peck, employees of the company located in an old fire station in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York had repeatedly refused to grant him access to their storage facility, which posed a health hazard to the surrounding community.

"The facility in question unlawfully used public utilities for the purpose of non-sanctioned waste-handling, and was in direct violation of the Environmental Protection Act," Peck said. "Additionally, this company possessed several unlicensed portable nuclear accelerators that were frequently discharged within mere feet of civilians."

Some who witnessed the arrests felt that Peck had launched a personal crusade against the business, possibly due to a previous verbal altercation with one of the ghost-removal professionals, former parapsychology research professor Dr. Peter Venkman.

"It definitely seemed as though Agent Peck had an ax to grind," said Consolidated Edison technician Brian Holmes, who was ordered by Peck to turn off the containment system located in the basement of the company's headquarters. "I had never seen anything even resembling that type of equipment before. I was extremely hesitant to shut it down, but I didn't want to lose my job."

Though its incarcerated employees were unavailable for comment, the company released a statement denying any wrongdoing. The statement also repudiated claims that those associated with the spectral-entrapment operation were afraid of any individual ghost, and went on to say that the act of capturing said ghosts simply made them "feel good."

Read the rest, and be sure you put down your drink before you read the last paragraph!

Posted by caltechgirl at 04:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 22, 2008

Funny, I was going to blog something

Damn cold medicine. It makes me loopy, so just a few quick takes for y'all

It has become increasingly clear to me that the Democrats are scared shitless of Sarah Palin. The sheer amount of vitriol being flung around (BTW, anyone know what vitriol REALLY is?) combined with the increasing hysteria about the fact that they can find any dirt that seems to stick is becoming increasingly laughable. Memo to the MSM: when hardcore BDS suffering Liberals begin to feel that the all-out, anti-Sarah barrage is TOO much, it's time to back off. And on a related note, so what if Sarah won't sit don for yet another hit-piece interview? Who said she had to let you piss in her sandbox? Or that she had to play your game? Especially when the rules change more frequently than Calvinball and the only thing that stays the same is that Sarah loses...

ESPN makes me happy. Not sure why, but there's really something comforting about being able to turn on something on the TV that sounds like the news, but won't make me scream and throw things at the TV. I need the "audio/visual wallpaper" when I'm working. Usually I have FoxNews or the local news on, but I just am so tired of knowing more about the story being reported than the editor or reporter who write and read the news scripts.

Anyone else think Kenley's dress on Project Runway last Wednesday looked like something Betty would wear on Ugly Betty? Yeah, me too.

Fake sudafed is for shit. It works about 1/10 as well as the real stuff, and they don't make the formulation that works for me with the real stuff any more. AARRGH. So I suffer. Benedryl ain't cutting it either, and I am sneezing every 5 minutes. Not to mention waking up every 45 minutes and sleeping badly in between...

Just waiting to see if shit rains down on my head about coming home early. I met all my responsibilities for the day, I taught my class and picked up HW and went to my meeting, where I also sat far away from everyone so I wouldn't give them germs.

I still have a hell of a lot of work to do, and a million small personal things to get taken care of. But I think it's nappy nap time.

Two quick links before I go:
1. Check out the investigative journalism done by the fine folks at My Pet Jawa regarding anti-Palin "viral" videos

2.wRitErsbLock went to see the Sarah Palin rally at the Villages, FL this weekend, check out her pictures.

Posted by caltechgirl at 01:11 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 27, 2008

Dear African American "Community Leaders",

You are all a bunch of fucking hypocrites.  That's right.  I said hypocrites.  I call BS on you and, as they say in South Park, I declare shenanigans!

Some idiot with bad taste and a worse sense of humor hangs a Sarah Palin doll from a noose and you don't respond?  Dare I even suggest that you think it's funny because she's running against your Obamessiah?



Correct me if I'm wrong, but about 10 years ago you all were so mad about a BEAR in a noose that you forced USC to abandon a decades old student tradition of hanging bruins (the UCLA mascot) from tiny nooses.  LITTLE TINY TEDDY BEARS. In UCLA shirts.  You said it was racist.  You said that it was reminiscent of the lynching of black men by the KKK.  You said you were offended.  So we stopped hanging TEDDY BEARS.

I get your point, though.  Hanging people is not a joke.  It's MURDER.  And that's never funny.

And now, these people have NOT A BEAR, but a life-size mannequin of a woman, dressed as Sarah Palin, hanging from a noose in their yard and you say not one word.  Why?

I'll bet my house that if it was Barry Obama swinging from the yardarm you'd have had 3 press conferences already, and called the police out to arrest these homeowners for a hate crime.  Perhaps for racial intimidation.

And yet you say nothing about this.  I'm offended by it, and I'm clearly not black.  Not as a conservative, or because I am a woman, but because I think it's disgusting.  Hanging a bear, or a skeleton, or something clearly not representing a particular person is one thing, demonstrating by your Halloween display that you wish someone a painful death is quite another.

And I still want to hear your outrage.  If you all could muster that kind of vitriol for a few teddy bears, I bet you can come out and preach it about this Sarah Palin mannequin.

I'll be sure to be there to support you when you do.

Regards,
CTG

h/t Flap

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:08 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

January 21, 2009

Like Cheese on Chinese Food

Republican rhetoric coming from The One, that is:



I'm not a big fan of Jon Stewart, and I often think he's just plain unfunny.  But when he nails it, he nails it.  This made me laugh.  A lot.

Thanks to my afternoon Therapy Pool pals (Hi Stan!) for telling me to find the clip!

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 27, 2009

The News from LA LA LAnd...

Most of the time, the news just disgusts me and makes me sad....

But every once in a while it also gives me hope....

Posted by caltechgirl at 05:31 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 04, 2009

A New Hunt for the Nuge

Ted Nugent is hunting a new animal these days, The Porkasaurus!

I'm on the track of one, a bigger more dangerous critter than I've ever hunted before: the Obama-Pelosi Porkosaurus.

The Porkosaurus is plenty dangerous by itself. It subsidizes unemployment by increasing unemployment benefits. And, as the man said, when you subsidize something you get more of it. It doesn't spend anything -- not one thin dime -- on the one thing that economists say is guaranteed to stimulate the economy, defense spending. And its whole purpose is to feed Fedzilla and make it grow even bigger, swallowing our economy whole.

Click over and read the rest. Uncle Ted has some interesting ideas about stalking the beast and starving it to death.

If you've never read Ted before, you're in for a treat.

Posted by caltechgirl at 08:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 30, 2009

Walking uphill in the snow both ways

At the risk of sounding like the proverbial old grandpa, kids these days have it too easy.  Case in point: a 13-year-old's review of the now THIRTY YEAR OLD Sony Walkman.

It took me three days to figure out that there was another side to the tape. That was not the only naive mistake that I made; I mistook the metal/normal switch on the Walkman for a genre-specific equaliser, but later I discovered that it was in fact used to switch between two different types of cassette.
Yeah, and the cell phones were the size of bricks and had batteries like the one in your mom's car.

Can you believe this kid?  Or his parents for that matter?  You mean to tell me that his mom and dad have never showed him a cassette tape?

Later, he whines about having to listen to the tape all the way through because there "is no shuffle,"and breaking the cassette"
Its a function that, on the face of it, the Walkman lacks. But I managed to create an impromptu shuffle feature simply by holding down "rewind" and releasing it randomly - effective, if a little laboured.

I told my dad about my clever idea. His words of warning brought home the difference between the portable music players of today, which don't have moving parts, and the mechanical playback of old. In his words, "Walkmans eat tapes". So my clumsy clicking could have ended up ruining my favourite tape, leaving me music-less for the rest of the day

HONESTLY!

The ignorance of this kid is breathtaking.  He's 13, meaning he was born in 1995 or 1996, depending on when his birthday is.  My 1995 car came with a tape deck in the top model stereo.  You could not GET a CD player in that car, and yet this kid acts as if the cassette is some kind of dinosaur.

And they gave HIM a platform?  If all 13-year-olds are like this, I am frankly scared.

Get a life, kid, and pull your selfish head out of your own ass and pay attention to the whole world around you.  Not just your easy little toys.

Posted by caltechgirl at 12:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 29, 2009

Hating dook is really all that matters

Even in the NY Times:

"At the University of North Carolina, there are many different types of people: frat boys and flamboyant gays, football players and math geniuses, evangelical Christians and newly converted Buddhists; but it is safe to assume that all of us agree about what's most important: hating Duke."
In this student essay about the community that is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, sophomore Emily Banks spells it out. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from or what you believe, as long as you hate dook. It's a feeling, an experience, a sense of community: the Carolina family.

And no, it's really not all about hating dook. That just comes with the territory. But I do have to say that having been a part of many university communities, the UNC family really is a family, with its own community and values and sense of belonging. Even as a yankee-Californian-grad-student-transplant, I have no qualms feeling an equal member of the Tar-Heel-born, Tar-Heel-bred set. And sure as hell, when I die, I'm planning on being a Tar Heel dead.

I can empathize with Emily.  I came from a school with no sports and a bunch of nerds too (Caltech, you know?) and entered this bizarro world with green trees and flowers and HUMIDITY and gods on the basketball courts.  I mean, have you ever seen the Dean Smith Center (click for the picture)?  If you didn't know what you were looking at you would think it was one of those Megachurches.  No kidding.  It didn't take long for Carolina to embrace me with both arms.  Probably the second best desicion of my life was to go to UNC.  The place and the people changed me in ways I am only now beginning to understand.  And like Emily, it's a place I love with my whole heart.  Something I never thought I'd find anywhere but here.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 17, 2010

Flying While Fat*

* one girl's take on the idiocy of American air travel.  Fuck that.  The idiocy of AMERICANS.  Period.

By now we all know what happened to director Kevin Smith.  I watched it unfold live on twitter, as I follow both @southwestair and @thatkevinsmith.

And I feel for him.  As a fat chick who takes her chances every time I fly, I feel every ounce of the humiliation he was put through.  He paid for a seat.  He should get a seat.

Why do they kick off the "fatties" but not the smelly drunks, sick people, or SEAT KICKING BRATS?  I'd argue that any of the above pose more of a "security risk" than your average oversize person who would really rather melt in to the corner, not touch you, and just ignore you for the rest of the flight.

Maybe it's because our society sees fat as something reprehensible, the outward manifestation of a lifetime of bad choices.

In reality, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Most overweight people are just trying to be normal, in fact they're PROBABLY trying a lot HARDER than the rest of you.  A combination of bad genes, bad luck, and the occasional bad choice makes me look like a tub of lard, and is not discernible on you. 

And yet I used to be afraid to eat in public.  That if I went out for ice cream with my husband everyone would think "Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sprat".  That people were automatically looking at me and thinking "lazy idiot" and "pig", which those of you who know me well know couldn't be farther from the truth.  I work out more than most people (at least up until the holidays, when I kind of fell off the wagon),  I rarely even eat three meals. A part of which,  I know, is my hang up about fat people eating too much.  I don't snack.  I don't eat dessert except on special occasions and rarely outside my own home or my workplace. Ironically, the fact that I eat very little probably is more dangerous for me than eating too much.

And of course fat must = stupid, since what smart person would choose to treat their body so badly or live with the daily humiliation, right?  Wrong. Like I said, it's a train wreck of bad genes and bad luck for a lot of people.    Some people do eat 3 fast food combo meals at a time**. Neither of which invalidates the PhD in Neurobiology hanging on my wall.
**one person I know who can do this regularly is my husband (who is 6'0, 165 pounds), so it's not like pigging out even computes.

But getting back to Kevin Smith.  The humiliation of even the possibility of being considered "too fat to fly" rankles.  It's one of the reasons I don't jump on a lot of airplanes.  It's why I have a number of flying strategies.  First, I always choose a window seat so I can bury myself against the window, away from other passengers.  I board early so I don't have to walk in front of anyone, I make sure the armrest is completely down at all times, and I carry my own spare seatbelt extender for those just-in-case flights.

Having flown on a variety of planes I can tell you this much: the belt sizes vary from plane to plane, and even from side to side on the SAME PLANE.  I have gotten off one plane where I had several inches to spare on the belt, only to board a connection and need the extender. Ridiculous.  And shameful.  I often wonder if I would have been kicked off any of those flights for even ASKING for an extender, if I didn't have my own. Once I get seated, I breathe a sigh of relief.

I do fit in the seat, in case you're wondering. Rather well, armrests 100% down.  It's just that you never know whether someone will single you out just by looking at you. Or whether you'll be randomly stranded at some connection because one flight crew passed and another took exception.  I think that may be the most frightening aspect: why apply the policy differently on different flights?  Why be vague about who needs to buy two seats?  Why make it so frigging difficult and so much more expensive?

Which brings me to my motivation for writing this piece.  I rarely agree, as many of you know, with the columnists in Salon.  Usually the tripe and drivel they spew makes me want to hurl.  But another tweeter passed this piece by Kate Harding on to Mr. Smith, and what she says is exactly what I have to say, regarding Southwest's ridiculous policy, and the haters both. Here's the beginning and end of her piece:

Whenever the issue of whether larger people should be forced to buy two airline seats comes up -- as it did this weekend, when director Kevin Smith was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight, and as it did last April, after United introduced a policy practically identical to Southwest's -- the first and only thing a lot of folks think of is that time they had to sit next to a fat person on a flight, and it was so uncomfortable.

Perhaps they even had the special misfortune of sitting next to a rude fat person, the kind who doesn't even seem contrite about infringing on someone else's severely restricted personal space -- a portly cousin to The Armrest Hog, The Seat-Kicking Kid or Reclines Right Into Your Lap Guy.  There's no shortage of rude people of all sizes, but it seems like everyone's got a story about that whale who made a two-hour or three-hour or even five-hour flight pure hell for the adjacent paying customers. (The fact that airlines try to keep costs down by packing passengers in like sardines and routinely overbooking flights has nothing to do with it, evidently.) And most of those people think charging larger customers double to make everyone a little less miserable is a perfectly reasonable solution.

Which is why part of me is glad the Kevin Smith debacle happened -- though I'm terribly sorry he had to go through it -- because it put a recognizable face on the experience of flying while fat. See, those of us who are and/or love people to whom airlines' "person of size policies" apply don't automatically envision the discomfort of getting stuck next to a fatty; we envision the physical and emotional pain of being the fatty crammed between two potentially hostile strangers, at the mercy of flight attendants who might decide we're fine on one flight and a "safety risk" on the next.

{snip}

And then, against my better judgment, I read the comments sections on articles about this issue and see things like "Fat people should be imprisoned for over consumption. They've eaten more than their share! I'm glad I wasn't sitting next to this hog" and "I have travelled next to someone like, sweaty, panting, snoring, knocking drinks over at a sigh because the table was resting on him... Should have gone as cargo," and right here at Salon, "Fat people are disgusting. They should travel by ox cart or something. I mean really. Do they need to inflict their smelly fatness on everyone else?" (That person even finishes with a little straight-up eliminationist rhetoric for good measure.)

And I read comments from lots of people who are less openly hateful, but still think that fat people should buy two seats or lose weight or stay home -- not that the airline has any responsibility to, say, ensure that adequate seating is available for everyone or treat people of all sizes like equal (not to mention individual) human beings -- and you know what I think? Forgive me, but sometimes there's no other way to say it: Fuck you. That's what I think.

Fuck you indeed.  Read Kate's entire moving, thought-provoking piece.

If you still think Southwest was right, let me ask you this: In your heart of hearts, would you still agree with Southwest if Mr. Smith (or any of the other people Kate reminds us of) was removed from the flight for being openly gay rather than fat?

Posted by caltechgirl at 03:20 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

May 02, 2010

Look Before You Leap

I'm getting excruciatingly tired of the debate in this country over the new AZ anti-immigration law.  Everywhere you look it's one talking head or another bloviating about how the law is illegal and immoral and racist.

Really?  A piece of paper is racist?

But I distract myself from my point.

The point is this:  most people have never actually read the law, and all ANYONE seems to be interested in doing is screaming "NAZIS!!!" and "RACISTS!!!" rather than looking objectively at the REAL problem and trying to solve it constructively.

Let's lay out some basic facts first. 

1.  Anyone in this country illegally is a criminal.  That's what the word illegal means, folks.  No matter how well-meaning their intentions, if you come into this country without permission, you have committed a crime, whether you are Mexican, Chinese, Canadian, or ET.

2.  Producing documentation is not a burden.  Try to use that argument with TSA next time you fly anywhere.  See how fast you get on a plane without some form of ID.  I am so tired of people comparing this requirement to the nazis.  If this documentation requirement is nazi-esque, then so is the cop who pulls you over for speeding.  In the state of CA, if your license is not PHYSICALLY PRESENT with you in the car, you can be fined and have your car towed, even if the license is valid and you are able to give the cop your license number.  The kinds of documents that the AZ law requires are things like a driver's license, green card, or passport with entry date stamped.  These all fit in your pocket.  As an American traveling abroad, I would be sure to keep these things with me, in fact, if I was arrested in Europe, that would be the FIRST thing a policeman would expect me to give him.

3. Reasonable Suspicion is how police operate.  It's not automatically a racist intention.  If I am a policeman and I see a person running down the street carrying a large TV, I have a reasonable suspicion the TV might be stolen, and I can therefore investigate.  Which means to stop the guy with the TV and ask him some questions.  If it's his tv, he has nothing to worry about.  Without "reasonable suspicion", our justice system doesn't work.  I admit, as words on paper they are open to a lot of different interpretations, but NO ONE would agree that racism as a basis for reasonable suspicion is REASONABLE.  This is why racial profiling was deemed unconstitutional. Racial profiling IS using race together with other characteristics and circumstances as a basis for reasonable suspicion.  There are laws against that which people use every day to punish racist cops that use racial profiling.  Perhaps we should act against the racist people carrying out the laws rather than restrict the laws to the lowest common denominator. There's not much lower than racism.

4. The pot calling the kettle black doesn't strengthen your argument.  Here in Los Angeles we have heard quite a bit about the Mexican government's warning to all of its citizens to steer clear of AZ, yet they persist in some pretty harsh immigration policies of their own.  Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. Mexico's General Law on Population (Consejo Nacional de Poblacion, last amended in 2000) requires the following: Foreigners may be barred from the country if their presence upsets 'the equilibrium of the national demographics,' when foreigners are deemed detrimental to 'economic or national interests,' when they do not behave like good citizens in their own country, when they have broken Mexican laws, and when 'they are not found to be physically or mentally healthy.' (Article 37) (ed. note: does this mean they can prevent you from going to Mexico if you are black???);  and The Secretary of Governance may 'suspend or prohibit the admission of foreigners when he determines it to be in the national interest.' (Article 38).  According to the law, Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country: Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73); A National Population Registry keeps track of 'every single individual who comprises the population of the country,' and verifies each individual's identity. (Articles 85 and 86); A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).  The law also imposes harsh penalties: A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally. (Article 123); Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125);  Foreigners who 'attempt against national sovereignty or security' will be deported. (Article 126); and Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law.  Mexico strictly enforces these rules when they choose to, yet they would ask us to limit our own control over illegal immigrants in our country. (analysis borrowed from here, originally here).

5. Hysteria and hype don't help ANYONE.  I am SO DISGUSTED by the parade of people wandering across my TV screen bemoaning this law.  NONE of them have read it, and none of them have any practical solutions.  They just want to get on TV screaming about racism and nazis and whatever else they can say to be sensational and get headlines and sway emotinal people who are either too busy or not intellectual enough to MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.  It's very easy in this society to be BAD consumers of information.  We get a LOT of information thrown at us.  A lot of people are very good at making baseless, biased, and non-factual arguments to try and sway their audience (and they aren't all lawyers).  When you have so much information in your face, it's harder to sift through and find 1) the facts and 2) the informed arguments both pro and con, especially when most people have so few tools with which to think critically about what is being presented to them (based on US test scores in critical thinking, and our curricular focus elsewhere).  We need to make educated decisions based on good information and reasoned argument, not buzzwords and sound bites.  Have we become so intellectually lazy that we automatically label people and ideas because SOMEONE ELSE calls them a name?

6. Immigration is not important just because "life isn't fun without Mexicans".  Are you kidding me?  Do you know how racist it sounds when you say things like "Yeah, well, just see who looks after your kids without Mexicans around?"  As if that's all Mexican people can do is watch children, mow lawns, pick fruit, and clean toilets?  Can you be any more dismissive or racist?  Immigration is an important issue because this country is a place where anyone who comes legally can make something great.  What ensures that is our society and our system.  In our society, people must contribute both time and money for civic good.  They are accountable for that through our system of law.  People who are here illegally reap benefits without the accountability of those contributions, which drains all legal citizens, directly or indirectly.  Furthermore, there are a hell of a lot of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who are NOT Mexican.  Making the immigration debate about US vs Mexico, or only Mexican illegals, diminishes the real threat posed by illegal border-crossers and visa-overstayers of all nationalities who smuggle drugs and weapons and plot against law-abiding citizens.  Someone who "looks American" isn't necessarily here legally.

7.One last thing: nazis??  Really???  Do you remember what the nazis did?  Do you really, honestly think that the Arizona Legislature intends to round up all the Mexican people in Arizona, put them in camps, and slaughter them?  Every time we compare someone or their ideas to the nazis, we diminish the impact of the horrors they perpetrated on millions of Jews, Blacks, Armenians, homosexuals, communists, dissenters...... Let's not forget what they did, please.  Let's not diminish it.

Getting that out there, my own take on the law is that if it does nothing else, it gives a voice to the rising frustration that Americans feel about the tide of crap coming over our borders.  This DOES NOT mean that everything and everyone who comes into this country is bad.  Nor does it imply only our southern border, though without a doubt the majority of immigrants and immigration (both legal and illegal) in AZ comes via Mexico.  There are obviously many illegal entrants who come to the US because they want to improve their families, contribute to their communities, and have a positive impact. Perhaps even the majority of illegal immigrants could be described this way. However, it is increasingly clear that a large percentage of crime and poverty (and their costs to the rest of society) are tied directly to illegal immigration.  Which is in and of itself a crime. It's not difficult logic: an illegal immigrant commits a crime by crossing the border illegally.  If we punish them for that crime, we can stop them from committing others.  I get it.

PRACTICALLY, however, this is not an easy situation.  How do you accomplish the goal of removing criminals from society without inconveniencing the law-abiding citizenry?  That's difficult enough when you talk about mundane theft or vehicular violations, which are overt acts.  How do you find the people who are committing a crime just by being in the wrong place without asking everyone whether or not they are allowed?  We aren't born with color-coded wristbands. Until we can find an easy solution, the debate continues.  I would just like it to be more focused, reasoned, and objective.  Without objective and reasoned debate, practical, acceptable solutions can not be found.

Think people, don't just form an opinion by osmosis.

Posted by caltechgirl at 11:00 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack