Listen, My Children...

Every Little Helps

Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Go Black Rebel!

Friday, December 27, 2002

I just don't get it. The same people who say, "George Bush is dangerously ignoring the separation between church and state," and, "George Bush is putting too much power in the hands of the churches, and he's letting his religious beliefs and what the church says dictate how he acts," are now saying, "George Bush is ignoring the churches when they say he shouldn't attack Iraq -- and he should be paying attention to what the churches say!" Logic, anyone? Please?

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

By the way, various, I'm out for the break, so only posting when I get A Round Tuit.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Here is an article published as a parody of deconstruction in general and also postmodern approaches to, of all things, physics. Well, is was written as a parody; it was published as good science, so the joke's on the editors.

Matt Yglesias is right, and Democrats are sore to see Trent Lott leave because it means they can't criticize the Republican party anymore. ABC did some man-on-the-street interviews, and Democrats were the ones who said they were sad to see him leave -- Republicans said they were sad the whole thing had happened, but they were glad/relieved he left. Now, are Democrats sad to see him leave because they don't think he *should* leave (don't think he's racist or otherwise in their mind unfit to govern)? Do they think he leads well, do they regret losing him from such an important position? No; by all their logic, they should be sad to see him leave, but they've been proven wrong (Republicans are evilracistwhitemen and it's an old boy's club and they'll never oust anyone [nevermind that the Democrats are never asked to oust anyone for similarly -- or much more clearly -- racist remarks; everyone *knows* a Democrat could never be racist, so there's no room for suspicion there]). They'd rather have him in so they can make a big noise calling for his ouster. Hypocritical fools.

In other Lott news: so, he goes on BET and says he supports affirmative action. Response of liberal activist types? "He doesn't really believe it [ok, so I agree with them there], and, even if he does, he supports affirmative action because he doesn't believe black Americans can make it to the top any other way!" But isn't that what affirmative action is saying? And they see that that's what affirmative action is saying -- or at least what it could quite clearly be perceived as saying. So affirmative action is racist [which it is], but only when a Republican supports it? My goodness gracious me.

Friday, December 13, 2002

Interesting site.

So, Bert Vaux seems to have offended Kuumba, Harvard's black gospel choir (choir is slightly multiracial; music is not). Seems The Robot made a segue from a Kuumba performance to his Ebonics lecture, quite clearly implying that black people and Ebonics are related. So they're up in arms.

Now, I'm confused by this. The lecture presented Ebonics as "not some freaky slang but a regular language with interesting characteristics." Black activists call for Ebonics to be taught in school as a language course, calling it "the language of black America" and similar things. If you believe the people who claim to speak for all black Americans, then you will believe that black Americans would be at least more likely to speak Ebonics (the separate and valid language) than non-blacks. Stating that belief would simply be agreeing with them. Or not?

Of course, you're not allowed to ask offended groups what you can do to make amends. You get called racist for saying Ebonics is not a language, but rather is poor English -- unless Ebonics is race-related, such a statement could not be racist (saying Portuguese is just muddied Spanish is not very nice, but isn't racist). But you then get called racist for saying that Ebonics is race-related, even if you treat Ebonics as a perfectly valid language. And what can you do? Certainly not ask the racism-accusers what you're doing wrong or how you can fix it: Vaux did that, and a racism-accusing student replied, "he said, ‘What exactly would you like me to say?’ I don’t know if I’m ready to e-mail him. That was pretty dismissive and condescending.”

Pitiful peevish types. Of course, the FAS administration says "it’s a serious matter"... as always. Because it's wrong to imply a connection claimed by a group between that group and some behavior. But only if it's a group we want to protect. Marc Hauser's frequently-presented "connections" between Southerners and idiocy, belligerence, etc. in B-29 were not "a serious matter." Even though those aren't connections claimed by people claiming (mostly unchallenged) to speak for all southerners, and even though his "experiments" that "proved" it could so easily be explained in other ways (perhaps it's not stupidity but rather courtesy that makes Southerners be nicer to strangers than Northerners?).

Weirdest hit to my site so far: Google Search: want to marrying someone who speak french and white. Oh dear. Sorry, I'm afraid this ain't a matchmaking service, even though I'm trying it out with some people I know....

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Here is the article in response to Gladden's letter...

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875 -- a fascinating page. 1st session, column 757 ff., is about the establishment clause. This is a direct link to the page.(these are the transcripts.)
"Mr. Sylvester . . . feared it might be thought to have a tendency to abolish religion altogether. . . . Mr. Gerry said it would read better if it was, that no religious doctrine shall be established by law. Mr. Sherman thought the amendment altogether unnecessary, inasmuch as Congress had no authority whatever delegated to them by the constitution to make religious establishments . . . Mr. Huntington said that he feared . . . that the words might be taken in such latitude as to be extremely hurtful to the cause of religion. He understood the amendment to mean what had been expressed by [Madison], but others might find it convenient to put another construction upon it. . . . He hoped, therefore, the amendment would be made in such a way as to secure the rights of conscience, and a free exercise of the rights of religion, but not to patronize those who professed no religion at all. Mr. Madison thought, if the word national was inserted before religion, it would satisfy the minds of honorable gentlemen. He believed that the people feared one sect might obtain a pre-eminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform."

From this week's Federalist:
"On the Web I find that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the chairman of Afro-American Studies at Harvard, is demanding that whites pay reparations to blacks. It's because of slavery, see. He is joined in this endeavor by a gaggle of other professional blacks. I guess he'll send me a bill, huh? I feel like saying, Let me get this straight, Hank. I'm slow. Be patient. You want free money because of slavery, right? I don't blame you. I'd like free money too. Tell you what. I believe in justice. I'll give you a million dollars for every slave I own, and another million for every year you were a slave. Fair enough? But tell me, how many slaves do you suppose I have? In round numbers, I mean. Say to the nearest dozen. And how long were you a slave? Oh. In other words, I owe you reparations for something that I didn't do and didn't happen to you. That makes sense. Like lug nuts on a birthday cake. ... You may not believe it, but I, and most whites, don't like seeing blacks as miserable and screwed up as they are. I spend a fair amount of time in the projects. Those places are ugly. It's no fun watching perfectly good kids turn into semiliterate dope dealers who barely speak English. It just plain ain't right. But, Hank, what am I supposed to do about it? I can't do your children's homework. At some point, people have to do things for themselves, or they don't get done. Maybe it's time. I'll tell you what I see out in the world, Hank.I think blacks are too accustomed to getting anything they want by just demanding it. True, it has worked for over half a century. Get a few hundred people in the street, implicitly threaten to loot and burn, holler about slavery, and the Great White Cash Spigot turns on. Thing is, whites don't much buy it any longer.Most recognize that what once was a civil-rights movement has become a shake-down game. Few people still feel responsible for the failings and inadequacies of blacks. Political correctness keeps the lid on -- but everyone knows the score. ...Now, how about you? You've got a cushy job up there at Harvard, and you can hoot and holler about what swine and bandits whites are. I guess it's lots of fun, and you get a salary for it. But don't you think you might do blacks more good if you told them to complain less and study more? For example, if you want blacks to work in Silicon Gulch, the best approach might be to find some really smart black guys, and get them to study digital design, not Black Studies. That's how everybody else does it. It works. Then blacks wouldn't feel left out, and racial tension would decline. Sound like a plan? Just out of curiosity, how many hours a week do professors of Afro-American Studies spend in the projects, encouraging poor black kids to study real subjects, Hank?" --Fred Reed

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

According to Mark Steyn, Strom has done a lot of living: "he's the only circuit court judge in South Carolina history to have made love to a condemned murderess as she was being transferred from the women's prison to Death Row.

This was Sue Logue, the only woman in the state ever to be sent to the chair, but not before she'd been sent to the back seat of Strom's car for a lively final ride."

Outcry, to which I will link once it gets published, about a letter by Gladden Pappen to the Crimson about that whole 1920s homosexuality flap (he says it should be repressed and so forth). People saying that the Crimson should have refused to print his letter, the administration should condemn him, he should be expelled because of his views, etc.... This is most interesting in light of the recent Tom Paulin thang. I wonder how many of the people who then said that the English Department had no right to invite or uninvite or not invite speakers based on their views, who said that Harvard had a duty to sponsor him, who said that any official administrative condemnation (or something much more benign, even, like mild disapproval) would amount to censorship, who said that Larry Summers' opinion that Paulin's remarks were kind of anti-Semitic then deprived Paulin of free speech etc... I wonder how many of those people are the same people saying that the Crimson has not only a right but a duty to publish or not publish writers based on their views, who say that Harvard has a duty to refuse all sponsorship of him (by expulsion), who say that an official administrative condemnation is not only justified but necessary and should be demanded? Where are the censorship and free speech people now?

This guy is a total hoot. I wish I had the guts to make fun of protesters!

Monday, December 09, 2002

According to Instapundit, L.A. Times is coming down pretty hard on Mothers Against Drunk Driving, saying their new standards for "alcohol-related traffic deaths" (which "include every accident in which someone involved had something to drink") include things like a sober driver running a red light and hitting a driver who was driving correctly but had had two beers or a drunk *pedestrian* stumbling into the road and getting run over. Doesn't look good for them, if that article's right! (Mothers Against Poor Driving, Mothers Against Drunk Non-Drivers? Both may well be laudable groups, but they're not Mothers Against Drunk Driving!)

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Blogger's having some weird difficulties. Someone else's archives, denxpress, are stuck under my main page. Not accessible from my page, but if you're in his archives, and click to what should be his home, you get here. He seems like a pretty decent guy, though, so I don't really mind.

At the airport last week, I saw an old (70s) couple on the escalator; he leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek, and she giggled. I want that. More than anything, I want that. I want a relationship that will see me into my 70s, still with romance and flirtation and giggling. I'm pessimistic nowadays, and don't think I'll have that. Stay with Bob, if it ever even moves beyond a mistress-like relationship, we'll get dour and he'll just get depressed more and more often; find someone else, I'll end up with a boring businessman who will have affairs with his secretary. Oh, well. I'll do what I can.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Well, put away half a bottle of rum last night (ahh, hard liquor that can be drunk from the bottle without requiring grimaces), and now believe to have processed. Have first hangover since 1996, though. (And to think I thought I didn't get them anymore. Guess I just wasn't drinking fast enough.)

I'm so proud of Bob. I really am. He's reading a book on Israel, written from the perspective of the Jews in 1948, and he's coming down on their side (as the book does). Instead of coming down vaguely on the Palestinian side, as he often has.

lots of conversations tonight. The Scary One has gotten himself engaged. I'm so happy for him! But it's still hard to process. So many of my closest friends are getting married. I haven't even officially met the parents. Well, we'll see.

A Harvard student has just died.

Friday, December 06, 2002

From Matt Yglesias, this article on "Love and Race" -- interracial relationships and such. 40 percent of Asian-Americans marrying whites? I like!

Matthew Yglesias has a very intelligent and perceptive post here.

Best line from The Harvard Crimson today: "The College this week notified students that their rooms will once again be inspected over winter break, that illegal cooking appliances will be confiscated and that students who have microfridges will not be confiscated—despite local officials’ confirmation that they violate state sanitary laws." Students who have microfridges will not be confiscated! :)

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

What Type Of Retro Gal Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

This article, "We must be allowed to defend ourselves against burglars", has many useful points. And statistics. Like how the US has 1/5 the amount of burglaries that England does. (From Instapundit.)

Finally, someone gets my point about free speech into the Crimson: this article by Ruth Wisse says it quite well. Of course, because the Crimson can't be entirely sensible, this article by Jonathan Abel is ridiculous. In it, the writer is getting mad at the Miss World organizers for "imposing" the competition on Nigeria. The current Miss World is apparently not good enough to have won it herself -- she's just a token to hide their true racism. No criticism whatsoever of people who think it's just fine and dandy to go around in mobs killing people and demanding the death of a fashion columnist all because of a perceived slight against their religion. Imagine Christian mobs in Kansas rioting because Dave Barry says that Jesus obviously preferred wine to water? Yeah, that's not quite how they respond. And I'm not talking the miniscule lunatic fringe here -- I'm talking joe schmo on the street. But whatever the Muslims do is entirely always justified.

Interesting how, with increasing frequency, the far left joins with the far right on issues....