Friday, June 03, 2005

Why do some parents hate America?

According to the New York Times (free registration required), parents are becoming a major obstacle to military recruitment, thanks a great deal to the Iraq conflict. Parents are throwing obstacles in the way of military recruiter visits to schools, despite the requirements of NCLB, and are sometimes threatening bodily harm to recruiters that call the house of a student. Do these parents just hate America and want the terrorists to win? From the NY Times article:
A few years ago, after Sept. 11, the issue might not have gotten Mr. Terrazas's attention. His father served in World War II, his brother in Vietnam, and he said that he had always supported having a strong military able to defend the country.

But after the war in Iraq yielded no weapons of mass destruction, and as the death toll has mounted, he cannot reconcile the pride he feels at seeing marines deliver aid after the tsunami in Asia with his concern over the effort in Baghdad, he said.

"Because of the situation we're in now, I would not want my son to serve," he said. "It's the policy that I'm against, not the military."

September 11 saw a rush to enlist. Iraq has seen an incredible drop off in that rush as Americans realize that hey, maybe Iraq wasn't such a good idea. I really don't know how I feel on the matter. I continue to encourage my students to consider the military as a career, particularly Air Force, but that they need to recognize that it is more than just another job or a way to make money. They could end up suffering bodily harm, and they need to realize it. Really, I try to push them toward the Navy or the Air Force, branches where you are less likely to end up patrolling the streets of Baghdad.
I would never try to prevent my child or my student from serving the country, but I would encourage them to enter the service with eyes wide open, and read the contract word for word. And, of course, I teach them about the lovely Stop-Loss policy.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

For his sake, let's hope that the name does NOT make the man

From Andrew Sullivan, in its entirety:
SO SIZE DOESN'T MATTER: "'The Dutch people won against this crazy constitution,' said Tiny Kox, a member of the small Socialist Party, which was pivotal in the campaign opposing ratification." - New York Times today.

Can there possibly be a more unfortunate name for a man?

Index librorum prohibitorum (novo II)

Jesse Taylor shares with us a story of horror, corruption, and low morals that simply is too disgusting to be believed. An English teacher made a student read a story that had a mention of a sexually aroused boy! So how do we avoid this situation in the future? Rate the books! From the NY Times article:
After the meeting, however, Mrs. Hahn said she felt her arguments had been given short shrift, and she met privately with Mr. Nelson, the board president, to push the idea of a rating system for schoolbooks, similar to what the Motion Picture Association of America does for films. And on May 18, the board rejected the English department's new policy for book challenges and asked that Mrs. Hahn's requests be accommodated: that reading lists made available to parents include a ratings system, plot summaries of all assigned books, and the identification of any potentially objectionable content.

Geez. I will be interested to see what rating and objectionable material is found in Shakespeare. And the Bible? With all the implied sex and outright violence? An X for sure.

Remembering the Fallen Heroes

From MyDD, discovered through Florida Blues.

Memorial Day is every day, not just one day a year. I was stationed there. Dover AFB, Delaware. I worked on that flightline for four of the greatest, proudest years of my life. I am proud of my service, and honestly, I have thought of re-enlisting, but it would mean divorce, and I could not function without my beloved. But when I think of Dover, if I were there now...God, I would hate to be working on the line when those planes come in.


...BIG PAPI!!!!!(courtesy of the Boston Globe)

Thanks to another walk-off jack by David Ortiz, the Sox avoid losing the 4 game series to the Orioles, thank God. And the Yanks get swept by the freaking Royals. Yessss.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

If Wishes Were Horses...Derek Jeter Would be A Nag.

Shaun Powell at Newsday tells us that Pedro should have been a Yankee, damnit. Jesus. Let's ignore the fact that as Baseball Musings has pointed out before, a switch from the AL to the NL, where the bottom third of the order is often weaker, will lower a pitcher's ERA by almost a full run. If the Yankees had offered Pedro what he was demanding from the Sox and Mets, then they would be in more trouble in 3 years than they are now.
And, well, if the Yankees are Pedro's daddy, wouldn't his pitching for them be some sort of incest? Ick.

Heading for Trouble?

Head First, from the Boston Globe

Johnny Damon suffered ANOTHER head injury last night. Not good. The Sox need him at his best, and it took him awhile to recover from smacking headfirst into Damian Jackson in the playoffs a couple of years ago. I hope it is just the 4 stitches, and no hangovers or hangups. Get better Johnny, go Sox!

Downing Street, Downing Shrubco

Gatorchick over at Florida Blues has a good roundup and set of links on the seemingly buried Downing Street Memo, which claims with excellent sourcing that the Administration was planning on Iraq almost as soon as the second tower (may they rest in peace) fell. Go check it out, and sign the petition she links to.

Friendly Open Right-thinking Driving

The Watchful Babbler points us to an American Family Association boycott of Ford Motor Company for such horrors as:

  • "Ford defines "family" to include homosexual and lesbian couples."(because love doesn't matter in deciding what is a family)
  • "Ford gave more than $5000 to help sponsor the 2004 Motor City Pride Weekend." because a company shouldn't be allowed to do what it wants with it's money)
  • "Ford supports homosexual publications with ads." (damn capitalism)
  • "Ford is an "Emerald Sponsor" of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG)" (Because if nobody sponsored them, they would just go away)
  • "Ford hired a D.C. marketing firm to target the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender market and developed a plan to involve Ford in the day-to-day business of selling vehicles worldwide to gay and lesbian customers." (Damn that capitalism again)
  • "Ford actively recruits homosexuals for employment by advertising on gay job websites." (If they couldn't work, maybe they would die off)
  • "Ford held the first automotive conference aimed at bringing diversity to the car industry." (Diversity is a code-word for Satan!)

Well, in response to this boycott, I am sponsoring a 'Buy Ford' drive. Why? Because it would piss off Donald Wildmon and the nuts at AFA, and it would probably be just as effective as their boycott. As Watchful Babbler points out, Disney made mad money during the just ended AFA boycott. Ford should be so lucky.

Index librorum prohibitorum (novo)

So Human Events Online, a conservative journal that often makes National Review read like The Nation , has issued a list of the top ten most damaging books of the past 200 years, plus several honorable mentions. Among the authors are some that should not be surprising: Marx and Engels, Hitler, Nietzsche, Mao...and of course Friedan, Comte, Dewey, and Kinsey, with John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin, and Ralph Nader (among others) getting honorable mentions. The good folks at the libertarian blog Hit and Run link to the article without comment, though it is pointed out that the folks at Human Events have an link to each book. Huh. Guess they aren't all bad then.
Amanda Marcotte over at Pandagon has a pretty good take on the list here; I wish I had half of her humor.
In the spirit of the list and in all seriousness, I would like to present my own version of the top ten most damaging works of all time.

1. Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A book which helped spread the myth of Jewish cabals and reinforce the idea that anti-Semitism is simply a reaction to Jewish plots. It remains in print and heavily read throughout the world, particularly the Middle East.

2. Mein Kampf: Hitler's ponderous vision of a pure, expansionist Germany was ignored until he rose to power in 1932-1933. Even then, few outside Germany cared to read it until it was too late.

3. Triumph of the Will: Leni Riefenstahl's classic, fascinating, and frightening documentary covering the 1934 Nazi Party rally at Nuremberg. It captivated a nation and painted the Party as the restorer of German pride and glorified (to understate things) the militarism, nationalism, and anti-intellectualism of the Third Reich. But damn, it's a good movie to watch. I show parts to my World History classes.

4. The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital: I put these books here simply because it was used by so-called 'Communists' to justify murder and economic disaster. The book itself was certainly misread and misapplied; the Communist Revolution was supposed to occur in an industrialized society with a strong bourgeois class; it instead took place in two societies that were primarily agrarian and with a tiny bourgeois class, and both societies also experienced their revolutions in part due to the chaos of a horrific war (WWI on the part of Russia, WWII on the part of China). Marx and Engels were reacting to the harshness of the early Industrial Revolution; they would, I think, be horrified at what their works were used to justify.

5. What is To Be Done: The Bolshevik manifesto, it is perhaps more responsible for the horrors of the Soviet System than even The Communist Manifesto. Lenin's plan for the Revolution led to the end of the kulaks and forced collectivization and Stalin's later 5 year plans.

6. Quotations from Chairman Mao, or The Little Red Book: I actually agree with the folks over at Human Events on this one. The basis for China's Cultural Revolution, it led to the deaths of millions. Again, not true Communism, but a sick perversion.

7. Birth of a Nation: The film that made the KKK seem like heroes, Griffith's 'classic' helped the Klan in its rebirth in the first half of the twentieth century. While a cinematic masterpiece, it is one of the most racist and revisionist films of all time.

8. The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry: Written about 30 years after the end of WWII, Arthur Butz's 'debunking' of the Holocaust is often considered the seminal work of Holocaust Revisionism, and is often used by Revisionists and Deniers in claiming the Holocaust was a Jewish lie. Certainly, it influenced the 'research' of 'famed' fascist historian David Irving.

9. The Confederate Declarations of secession and the Confederate Constitution: Certainly as a Yankee, I am biased, but these documents stand as a rejection of freedom and liberty that have never been equalled, and stand by themselves as a rejection of the idea that the American South betrayed the Union soley due to so-called 'state's rights' rather than a fear of the eventual loss of the 'peculiar institution.'

10. The Nuremberg Laws of 1935: Disgusting. These laws stripped Jews of their rights as German citizens and attempted to codify into law just who was and was not Jewish. They could perhaps be higher.

Certainly, these works are my own personal views, and are subject to change as I read more. They are, obviously, not all books, but films and constitutions and laws can be just as influential as books, if not moreso. I would appreciate your thoughts, and your own ideas on the most damaging works of the past 200 years.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Still Alive!!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile; it's the end of the school year, and it's been hellabusy. I will blog a bunch later this week, once things have settled down. Have a great week, and remember, if you have any poo, now is the time to fling it! ;-)
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