Amusing Bumper Stickers
Living in Olympia, WA, I see plenty of anti-Bush bumperstickers. I don't pay attention to much of them. They're dull and don't seem like any creative effort went into them. But I will give this one credit: it made me chuckle.
"Frodo failed. Bush has the Ring."
Seattle Public Schools & "Cultural Racism"
From the Seattle Schools website;
Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as “other”, different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers.
So, according to Seattle public schools, being opposed to socialism/communism is racist. What kind of twisted, bass-ackward reasoning do they use to arrive at that conclusion? I thought emphasizing the autonomy of the individual and judging each person according to his/her own merits was the ultimate form of non-racism. Didn't Martin Luther King, Jr. say he dreamed of a day when all people would be judged by the "content of their character?" That seems pretty darned individualist to me.
Of course, there's some other wierd bits in there. "Having a future time orientation." I'm not even really sure what they mean by that. Do they mean placing value on looking ahead and planning and preparing for the future, as opposed to living exclusively for the present? I thought the whole purpose of educating children was to prepare them to be self sufficient and productive members of society in the future. Does this mean that insisting that kids are educated is racist?
And "defining one form of English as standard." Last I checked, for pretty much every language in the world, there's one form that's thought of as 'standard.' I took German in high school in college. The German language is spoken in four countries in Europe-Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Leichtenstein-and, at least in written form, is standardized across the four, although spoken German can be decidedly different. But 'High German' (it's a mountains vs lower altitude thing), the German into which Martin Luther translated the Bible, is what's defined as 'standard.' And anyway, most people will tell you there are two forms of 'standard' English-British English and American English, with different spellings and terms.
Of course, going back to the top of the district's page, we find that only white people can be racist:
The systematic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites).
This is opposed to the more standard dictionary definition: "the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races."
Now, I know members of non-white races can be racist. I have a friend who of Chinese descent, second generation American. She married a white guy, and her parents disowned her, haven't spoken to her since. Not because he was white specifically, but because he wasn't Chinese. Or maybe that national/ethnic-ist, because from talking to her about it, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese wouldn't have satisfied them either. But the point remains: it's not just whites who are capable of being racist.
These are the people who educate children in Seattle. And they wonder why people who have the option move out of the district or put their kids in private school.
Great Moment in Baseball History
Outfielder Rick Monday of the Chicago Cubs dashes between two men in the Dodger Stadium outfield in Los Angeles, in this April 25, 1976 photo, snatching an American flag the men were about to burn. In honor of the 30th anniversary of his saving the American flag, Monday will be honored Tuesday with a video tribute at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Photo by Jim Roark, Los Angeles Herald Examiner via
Flag-saving moment still winning salutes
By Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY
The hand was trembling, the voice was quivering and tears were running down his face.
The World War II sailor, who survived the Pearl Harbor attack, looked Rick Monday in the eyes, slowly raised his right arm, and saluted him.
"Thank you," Monday recalls the soldier telling him last year. "And thank you from all of my shipmates."
Thirty years ago today, Monday became an American hero. It was the day he saved the American flag.
"It was the greatest heroic act that's ever happened on a baseball field," Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda said. "He protected the symbol of everything that we live for. And the symbol that we live in the greatest country in the world."
The Hall of Fame recently voted Monday's act as one of the 100 classic moments in the history of the game. Monday, who spent 19 years in the major leagues and is a Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, will be honored tonight with a video tribute at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
They'll replay a grainy videotape that was discovered in 1984 showing two people jumping over the railing in left field and spreading the American flag onto the Dodger Stadium turf. One man dousing the flag with lighter fluid. The other lighting a match. And Monday, playing for the Chicago Cubs, running in from center field, grabbing the flag and carrying it to safety.
They'll play Vin Scully's voice from the radio broadcast: "Wait a minute, there's an animal loose. Two of them! I'm not sure what he's doing out there. It looks like he's going to burn a flag. ...
"And Rick Monday runs and takes it away from him!"
And perhaps the crowd will duplicate the same reaction as 30 years ago: sitting in stunned silence, then standing, cheering and spontaneously singing God Bless America.
"It moved the entire crowd," Monday said. "I don't remember if we won or lost the game, but I'll never forget the people singing."
Monday, 60, a six-year veteran of the Marine Corps Reserves, still receives letters each week about the incident. Most are from military veterans, others from kids wanting to learn about American history.
"The world has changed," Monday said. "We weren't that far removed from Vietnam at the time. But what they were trying to do in 1976 was wrong. It's still wrong today.
"That little piece of cloth represents a lot of rights and freedoms that people have given up their lives to protect."
"It was a dramatic day, and a day that made you proud to be in baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said.
Today, questions remain:
Why did these protesters, William Thomas, 36, and his 11-year-old son run onto the field to burn the flag? They were arrested and fined $60.
Monday said he never was interested in asking. Attempts to locate Thomas, or to determine whether he's still alive, were unsuccessful.
What happened to the photographer, James Roark, of the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner, who shot the only photo of the incident? Roark, whose photo was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, lost his job, became a night cook in Portland and was beaten and killed outside a restaurant in 1995. He was 49.
And the tattered flag that was soaked with lighter fluid? It's in Monday's possession in a safe-deposit box, surviving the hurricanes near his Vero Beach, Fla., home. He was offered $1 million for the flag several years ago, he said, but rejected the overture.
"The flag is faded, and it's somewhat tattered," Monday said. "It wasn't like it was just bought off the shelf. It wasn't in great shape from the start.
"But the flag is not for sale. What this flag represents, you can't buy."
Michal Bloomberg Is An Asshole
The city is suing 15 out-of-state gun shops it says supply a significant portion of the guns that flow into New York, including some that end up in the hands of criminals.
The lawsuit being filed Monday asks the federal court to order supervision and extra training for the dealers in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia. It also seeks some damages and compensation.
“By and large, most gun dealers respect and follow the law, but the small group of dealers that do not should be held accountable,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.
The city’s law department singled out the 15 gun shops after hiring private investigators who fanned out to dealers in the five states over the past several weeks.
Wearing hidden cameras, the investigators entered stores in teams of two and attempted “straw purchases,” in which the buyer completes the paperwork and passes the background check, but later hands over the weapon to someone else who is not allowed to own a firearm.
The scam, prohibited by federal law, is typically used by people who are under 21 or convicted felons. The 15 dealers named in the suit sold guns to the undercover investigators. The city said the sales were refused at about 30 other shops.
As Uncle points out, if the investigators (private type, remember) did indeed purchase guns and transfer them to persons who could not legally own them, then those investigators are guilty of a federal crime. Two, actually-they lied on the 4473, and then they transferred the gun(s) to a person prohibited by law from owning them. If they didn't do this, and the PIs are in fact legally allowed to purchase guns at the shops in question, then the whole lawsuit is bunk.
BUT...I can do one better. IF the investigators broke federal law(s) regarding straw purchases, and if they were doing so while in the pay of, and at the behest of, officials of the city of New York, wouldn't that make those officials guilty of conspiracy to violate federal firearms laws? And exactly how high uip in the NYC power structure does this go? I'd love to see Mayor Mike and whatever underrlings are involved doing the perp walk for this.
More at Gun Law News.
Am I A Liberal?
Well, generally, the answer is, not just no, but FUCK NO!, but here's my answers to the Atrios/Drum list of platform planks good little
socialists Liberals should support. HT: Instapundit
NOTE: Future political opponents, when I run for office (any office) in twenty years or so when I'm done with the killing-people-and-breaking-things trade, you may feel free to use this against me. Or at least try.
1) Repeal the estate tax repeal: Given that the estate tax was enacted to fund WWI, which last I checked had been over for over 80 years, I think we should not only keep it repealed, we should make the repeal retroactive to the date the last of the war bonds was paid off, and start giving folks their money back.
2) Increase the minimum wage and index it to the CPI. Nope. Get rid of it entirely.
3) Universal health care (obviously the devil is in the details on this one). Drezner: "Do free ponies come with this one?" Insty: "The current health insurance system sucks; turning it into a government monopoly will increase, rather than decrease, the overall level of suckage." When I eliminate the income tax (see #6, below) much of the perversions of the current system will be eliminated along with it, making individual insurance more affordable and the norm, rather that employer-provided.
4) Increase CAFE standards. Some other environment-related regulation. Nope. The market will take care of this stuff. And why hasn't some private organization come up with something like the X-prize for the first people to make a working nuclear fusion reactor? You do that, and your bank account will make Bill Gates' look like mine.
5) Pro-reproductive rights, getting rid of abstinence-only education, improving education about and access to contraception including the morning after pill, and supporting choice. I think schools shouldn't be involved in teaching sex-ed at all, at least not beyond the mechanics of where babies come from. Bring back those amazingly dry "This is a penis" videos from the mid-20th century. As far as access to contraception, I don't think the government should be banning it, but I don't think they should be forcing doctors and pharmacists to make it available, either.
6) Simplify and increase the progressivity of the tax code. Repeal the 16th Amendment, and enact the FairTax. Rich folks spend a lot more money, and a lot more of what they buy is new, so they'd be paying a heck of a lot more that folks on the lower end of the income spectrum.
7) Kill faith-based funding. Certainly kill federal funding of anything that engages in religious discrimination. How about we just kill federal funding for all that stuff, especially since I don't see any of it mentioned in Article I of the Constitution.
8) Reduce corporate giveaways. Defined as what, exactly? And do you include all the quasi-public corporations in this as well? (Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Amtrak, FDIC, FSLIC, etc)
9) Have Medicare run the Medicare drug plan. Hell, no. Just kill both the f#$ers.
10) Force companies to stop underfunding their pensions. Change corporate bankruptcy law to put workers and retirees at the head of the line with respect to their pensions. No. I'm going to have to defer to others more knowledgable than me, here.
11) Leave the states alone on issues like medical marijuana. Generally move towards "more decriminalization" of drugs, though the details complicated there too. I agree with Insty-leave the states alone in general. Drop federal laws on drugs in general -- except antibiotics, since their misuse has the greatest potential to harm innocent third parties.
12) Paper ballots. Yes. And greatly reduced absentee voting, too. If you're too damn lazy to get to the polls, you shouldn't be voting anyway.
13) Improve access to daycare and other pro-family policies. Not if you mean more government funding for it. If you mean getting the government out of the way of making it easier to run a daycare, then sure.
14) Raise the cap on wages covered by FICA taxes. Eliminate the programs funded by FICA taxes, and the taxes along with them.
15) Marriage rights for all, which includes "gay marriage" and quicker transition to citizenship for the foreign spouses of citizens. Again, I agree with Insty: Separate marriage and state, and make it a matter of private contract only. Since I also want to eliminate the income tax, the .gov doesn't need to be involved. On immigration -- is three years really too long to wait when they've already got a dang resident green card? Stop whining and worry about the real immigration issues-like the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants entered the country each year.
16) Undo the bankruptcy bill enacted by this administration. No. I favor anything that enforces taking more responsibility for one's own actions.
Interesting, the quiz/platform doesn't mention anything about gun control/gun rights. Maybe because they know it's a loser for them.