The article also fails to compare these rates to those in other countries, or to previous times in the US. My sense is that these rates are much better today than in years past, and better today in the US than in any non-democracy / civilized nation.
1. "The 911 widows are enjoying their widowhood." Well, if they don't want to receive partisan criticism, they shouldn't use their widowhood to make political points.
2. "John Edwards is a fag." Well, if he doesn't want to get called a fag, he should stop posing as a folksy populist while getting busted for paying $1,000 for a haircut, which is what inspired Coulter's comment here."
3. "I wish John Edwards would get killed by terrorists." She made this comment because Bill Mahr received zero outcry when he stated the same about Dick Cheney, whereas Coulter received a great outcry for calling Edwards a fag. So rhetorically she said, instead of calling him a fag I'll just wish the terrorists would kill him.
4. "John Edwards has a bumper sticker that reads, 'ask me about my dead son.'" This comment was inspired by the revelation of the Kerry-Edwards campaign manager that Edwards goes around using a canned story about his son's death in order to ingratiate himself to people both privately, and in $100,000 speeches given to poverty groups. Her full comment, rarely quoted when condemning the shocking part: "If you want points for not using your son's death politically, don't you have to take down all those 'Ask me about my son's death in a horrific car accident' bumper stickers?"
If you simply read the attached article you would think that Coulter was insane, simply blurting out ugly comments about Edwards and one group of wealthy 911 widows. But of course that is not the case. This reminds me of the phony bluster of Joe Wilson reacted with shock and indignation when his wife Valarie Plame's name got dragged into the debate over his trip to Niger; well, if you didn't want her name in the debate, then why in the hell did you start the debate, using a job that she got for you?
[Update to the linked story posted above: The article fails to mention that the knocked-out white guy is a proud friend of the white guys who admitted to hanging the nooses, that prior to his beating one of the arrested black guys had been attacked twice by white boys objecting to him sitting under the honkey tree and attempting to attend a honkey party, and that the beatup white guy had moments before his beating taunted that twice-jumped black guy. For more see all postings marked "jena6". 2007-09]
1. A white appellite judge has ruled in his favor, with a statement from the bench labeling his prosecution and conviction "a miscarriage of justice."
2. His white classmates made him homecoming king.
3. A group of rich white guys have raised $1 million to get him out on bail during the white prosecutor's appeal of the above appellate judge's ruling.
I hope that the Duke guys will rally around Wilson, and I regret that prosecutor seems to have covered himself much better than Nifong, protecting himself from ethics charges.
I caught her presentation, and she blew me away. Here below is most of her prepared remarks. I regret not finding the text of the Q&A that followed, which was equally excellent.
Why are Westerners so insecure about everything that is so wonderful about the West: political freedom, free press, freedom of expression, equal rights for women and men, gays and heterosexuals, critical thinking, and the great strength of scrutinizing ideas--and especially faith?
It is not the end of history. The 21st century began with a battle of ideas, and this battle is about the values of the West versus those of Islam. Tony Blair and the Pope should not be embarrassed in saying it, and you should stop self-censoring. Islam and liberal democracy are incompatible; cultures and religions are not equal. And perhaps most important of all, Muslims are not half-wits who can respond only in violence. The Koran is not a great book; it is reactionary and full of misogyny. The Byzantine emperor's analysis of Muhammad was correct: he spread his faith by the sword.
From this perspective journalists like all the rest of us face the unpleasant reality of taking sides or getting lost in the incoherence of the so-called middle ground. The role of journalists serving the West, who understand what this particular battle is about, will be to inform their audiences accordingly.
As I travel from country to country to testify from experience and observation that Islamic dogma creates a cult of death, a cage for women, and a curse against knowledge, I get both support and opposition. Europeans and Americans ask:
But what about the good Muslim living next to me? What about the different schools of thought in Islam? Is there no difference between the Muslims of Indonesia and the ones in Somalia, or the Muslims in Saudi Arabia and those in Turkey? Can we really generalize? What about the women who voluntarily wear the headscarf and the burqa and are happy to relinquish their freedom as their faith requires? If we give Catholics and Protestants and Jews their schools and their universities, isn't it only fair to give Muslims theirs, too? If generations of Jews, Italians, and Irish have assimilated, is it unreasonable to think that Muslims will assimilate too, eventually?" Isn't it more fruitful to engage in debate with your opponent and convince him through dialogue to take back his declaration of war than to attack him? Isn't it obvious that military attacks, such as those in Afghanistan after 9/11 and in Iraq, create more terrorists, and therefore more people who are determined to destroy the West than there would be if we had dialogue with them?
These questions are legitimate and deserve serious answers. Let's make a moral distinction between Islam and Muslims. Muslims are diverse. Some, like Irshad Manji and Tawfiq Hamid, want to reform their faith. Others want to spread their beliefs through persuasion, violence or both. Others are apathetic and do not care much for politics. Others want to leave it and convert to Christianity, like Nonie Darwish, or become atheist, like me.
Islam unreformed, as a set of beliefs, is hostile to everything Western.
In a free society, if Jews, Protestants, and Catholics have their own schools, then Muslims should have theirs, too. But how long should we ignore that in Muslim schools in the West, kids are taught to believe that Jews are pigs and dogs? Or that they should distance themselves from unbelievers and jihad is a virtue? Isn't it odd that everywhere in Europe with large Muslim organizations, demands are made not to teach kids about the Holocaust, while in mosques and Muslim bookshops The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is distributed?
And what about in Muslim lands, where Jews, Catholics, and Protestants cannot have their own schools, or churches, or graveyards? If Muslims can proselytize in Vatican City, why can't Christians proselytize in Mecca? Why do we find this acceptable? If Christians, Jews, and Atheists take to the streets in large numbers to protest against their own elected governments in objection to the war in Iraq, to the war against terror, why don't Muslims march in equally large number against the beheadings of Western aid workers? Why don't Muslims stand up for their own? Why are Jews and Christians and Atheists in the West the ones fighting genocide in Darfur? Why does it pass unnoticed in Muslim lands when Shias kill Sunnis and Sunnis, Shias by the thousands? It doesn't add up, does it? If you ask me, "What is the role of journalism today?" I would urge you to look into these questions.
As a woman in the West I have access to education. I have a job, and I can change jobs as I wish. I can marry the man of my choice, or I can choose not to marry at all. If nature allows it, I can have any number of children I want. I can manipulate nature and freeze my eggs. I can have an abortion. I can own property. I can travel wherever I want. I can read whichever book, newspaper, or magazine I wish. I can watch any movie I want or go to the museum of my choice. I can have an opinion on the moral choices of others and express my opinion, even publish it. And I can change my mind as time goes by. I can establish a political party or join an existing one; I am free to change parties or give up my membership. I can vote. I can choose not to vote. I can stand for election to office or go into business. This is what makes the West so great.
In Muslim lands, except for a very lucky few, women are denied education, have no job, and are forced into marriage with strangers. In the name of Islam, women are denied the right to their bodies; they cannot choose whether to have children or how many to have. They have no rights to abortion, and often they die trying to get one. They cannot own property, trade, or travel without the risk of robbery or rape. Most women (and men) live in state and religious censorship on what to read (if they can read at all) and what films to watch, and they have hardly any museums or art they can enjoy. Of the 57 Muslim nations that are members of the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference), only two are democracies. Both are frail and corrupt, and both face the risk of being overtaken by the agents of pure Islam. Turkey has a safety check in the shape of the army and Indonesia none. In none of these countries--except for the usual show-pieces to delude the West--are women allowed to establish their own political parties, play a meaningful role in one, vote, or run for office.
This obsession with subjugating women is one of the things that makes Islam so low. And the agents of Islam--from Riyadh to Tehran, from Islamabad to Cairo--know that any improvement in the lives of women will lead to the demise of Islam and a disappearance of their power. This is why, among other things, they are so desperate to cage in women. This is why they also hate the West.
Please don't be fooled by the few shrill voices--in or out of the veil--that enjoy the status quo and betray their fellow women.
If we do not understand the differences between Islam and the West--why one is so great and the other so low--and we don't fight back and win this battle of ideas in order to preserve our civilization, in my view there is no point to your profession or mine.
In passing, I will gratuitously state that Jolie is the most overrated bombshell ever. Her sex appeal rates a near zero with me, and in accounting for all the tattoos defacing her body, I'm actually repulsed.
The real problems afflicting the US healthcare system:
1. US citizens typically do not take responsibility for their health, and the current healthcare system encourages this view.
2. The insurance industry covers routine checkups and pharmaceutical treatments, rather than only catastrophic accidents and medical calamities.
Imagine how expensive auto insurance would be it it covered oil changes, tune-ups, and rust spots... and for every driver! Or if homeowners insurance covered repainting, leaky roofs, cracked driveways, broken windows, etc.
So on the one hand Americans typically create for themselves very refractory long-term illnesses (circulatory diseases and cancers account for 80% of US annual deaths; then there's the allergies, acne, and other chronic maladies) by eating terrible food, rarely exercising, and using toxic chemicals in their cleaning and other activities, and then expects to treat all these problems via insurance. Consider the average US worker: he pays $1,000 / year into his insurance, and his job pays about another grand. That's two grand annually, to cover all medical conditions, treated only only with expensive toxic drugs, invasive surgeries, and disease-causing radiation.
Now he wants his $2,000 worth. He gets a cold, and he wants a doctor to give him a "free" exam, and some "free" antibiotics. As his diet produced high blood pressure, rather than switch to a natural diet, treating himself with health-enhancing herbs and vitamins (not covered by insurance!), and exercising, he wants "free" hypertension drugs with an option for "free" bypass surgery.
Neither a free-market nor a socialist (Michaeal Moore) solution can work, though as in all cases the socialist option will fail even worse than the current socialis/capitalist hybrid approach. The only solution must involve two factors:
1. Americans start taking responsibility for their own health.
2. Health insurance covers only serious calamities. People must pay to treat their own acne, high blood pressure, allergies, and colds.
Now the competing capitalist or socialist solutions would address a much smaller list of problems.
Kane, Godfather, and Casablanca remain on top (who cares what order!).
The 23 films dropped from the list, these deserved it, because....
...these were just too damned racist through their very premises, even though they represented technologial milestones. Screw 'em!
44. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
90. The Jazz Singer (1927)
wish we could add Gone With the Wind to this list; I'd certainly remove it.
...excellent, and genuine cinematic milestones, but just not one the 100 best films ever, though every film nerd must possess them in their vocabulary:
63. Stagecoach (1939)
68. An American in Paris (1951)
64. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
87. Frankenstein (1931)
89. Patton (1970)
91. My Fair Lady (1964)
99. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
... just never was good enough to begin with
75. Dances With Wolves (1990)
"The Graduate" dropped in its ranking, and probably deserves to fall off entirely, though it's a pretty damn good film. And thank the lord that the list retains Midnight Cowboy, which I fear people are forgetting.
59. Nashville (1975)
61. Sullivan's Travels (1941)
63. Cabaret (1972)
67. Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
72. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
77. All The President's Men (1976)
81. Spartacus (1960)
95. The Last Picture Show (1971)
Of the 23 removed, these certainly should have stayed (especially when you consider the garbage that got added):
39. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
52. From Here to Eternity (1953)
53. Amadeus (1984)
57. The Third Man (1949)
67. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
73. Wuthering Heights (1939)
82. Giant (1956)
84. Fargo (1996)
86. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
89. Patton (1970)
92. A Place in the Sun (1951)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (No. 50); Nadir's dad watched because he thought it starred Michael Flately.
Saving Private Ryan (No. 71); watchable, but not top 100.
Titanic (No. 83); barely watchable.
The Sixth Sense (No. 89); unwatchably awful.
I would watch any of the above undeserved dropped films 1,000 times before watching any of the above added movies just once.
These very good films got added, though they don't belong in the best 100 ever, certainly not replacing any of the unjustifiably dropped films:
75. In The Heat Of The Night (1967)
85. A Night At The Opera (1935)
87. 12 Angry Men (1957)
96. Do The Right Thing (1989)
97. Blade Runner (1982)
"King Kong" remains on the list, but none of the deserving Wes Anderson films made it (Rushmore and Royal Tannenbaums), nor has "A Face in the Crowd" made it.
And here the Czech Republic president continues his global warming apostasy. He seems to me that rare political leader, like South Africa's Thabo Mbeki, who has a real mind, and really uses it. He writes of global warming:
• Is global warming a reality?
• If it is a reality, is it man-made?
• If it is a reality, is it a problem? Will the people in the world, and now I have to say “globally”, better-off or worse-off due to small increases of global temperature?
• If it is a reality, and if it is a problem, can men prevent it or stop it? Can any reasonable cost-benefit analysis justify anything – within the range of current proposals – to be done just now?
Surprisingly, we can say yes – with some degree of probability – only to the first question. To the remaining three my answer is no. And I am not alone in saying that. We are, however, still more or less the silent or silenced majority.
The video shows some white cops using billy clubs to beat a woman trying to fight them, after cops had intervened to break up a fight between her and another woman. Obviously these cops could have subdued her without beating her with clubs. More here and here and here.
And back in Austin, a mob beat to death a Mexican immigrant returning home to his apartment after working all day at a paint job, when his car accidentally hit a child (who survived with minor injuries), and he got out to assist.
Meanwhile the Juneteenth celebration in Syracuse degraded into fights that included two stabbings and a shooting.
I think these behaviors support my view that 99% of the problems in these areas derive from the poor choices of the residents. If they only all did the best that they could, they would need no help from anybody to create safe and prosperous lives for themselves.
"We demand that Britain should refrain from such acts which hurt the sentiments of Muslims and take back the title of Sir given to Rushdie," Pakistani parliamentary affairs minister and bigot Sher Afgan said. "If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet, then it is justified," Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Ijaz-ul-Haq told the crazed national assembly, which unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming that the award would encourage "contempt" for the Prophet Mohammed.
As well it should! Mohammad was surely one of the most detestable humans to ever live, as these calls to execute his critics exactly mimic his own actions. Among Mohammad's many malevolent distinctions, he may be history's only figure who executed a standup comedian for any reason; in his case, a female poet-comedian who delighted Mecca's pre-literate, and pre-conquest audiences with jokes about Mohammad, for his pre-Islamic battlefield cowardice, for claiming to be the Jewish messiah, for marrying a much older woman when he was a teen, and for obtaining his wealth from that woman's business. The manner her decapitation delighted Moh: it occurred suddenly and from behind as she nursed her baby (not that he didn't also delight in torture, but that would have precluded the novel image of a suckling infant unaware that its heretical mother had just lost her head).
Even if you somehow (via ignorance?) decide to respect this malicious sexual pervert (who imagined heaven contain "beautiful young boy servants", who married a 9 year-old girl, who cuckolded his own son, ordered rape and sexual slavery for all surviving females of his numerous bloody conquests), all humans should enjoy the right to besmirch him. Homicidal nuts who demand respect for Mohammad or anybody else deserve to endure the very expression of ideas that they wish to silence with swords. In fact, their success in squashing such expressions is surely one reason for their mental retardation. Confronting them with blasphme surely represents one necessary component of curing their mental disease.
"Protesters in the eastern cultural hub of Lahore used their shoes to pound burning British flags in a show of disrespect." Civilized Britons responded not by furiously demanding the deaths of these people, but instead by yawning. (Note to US retards who want to imprison citizens who set fire to their own US flags: isn't forced respect even worse when imposed by the state rather than ravenous mobs?)
"Five people died in the Pakistani capital Islamabad in 1989 in riots against Rushdie's book." Nice to know that the universe does occasionally smite the wicked; can hardly imagine a better candidate for death-by-stampede than a religious nut demanding the murder of a blasphemer.
Reid Bryson, known as the father of scientific climatology, considers global warming a bunch of hooey. The UW-Madison professor emeritus, who stands against the scientific consensus on this issue, is referred to as a global warming skeptic. But he is not skeptical that global warming exists, he is just doubtful that humans are the cause of it. There is no question the earth has been warming. It is coming out of the "Little Ice Age," he said in an interview this week.
"However, there is no credible evidence that it is due to mankind and carbon dioxide. We've been coming out of a Little Ice Age for 300 years. We have not been making very much carbon dioxide for 300 years. It's been warming up for a long time," Bryson said. The Little Ice Age was driven by volcanic activity. That settled down so it is getting warmer, he said. Humans are polluting the air and adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, but the effect is tiny, Bryson said."It's like there is an elephant charging in and you worry about the fact that there is a fly sitting on its head. It's just a total misplacement of emphasis," he said. "It really isn't science because there's no really good scientific evidence."
... Bryson, 87, was the founding chairman of the department of meteorology at UW-Madison and of the Institute for Environmental Studies, now known as the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He retired in 1985, but has gone into the office almost every day since. He does it without pay.
... So, if global warming isn't such a burning issue, why are thousands of scientists so concerned about it? "Why are so many thousands not concerned about it?" Bryson shot back. "There is a lot of money to be made in this," he added. "If you want to be an eminent scientist you have to have a lot of grad students and a lot of grants. You can't get grants unless you say, 'Oh global warming, yes, yes, carbon dioxide.'"... "There is very little truth to what is being said and an awful lot of religion. It's almost a religion. Where you have to believe in anthropogenic (or man-made) global warming or else you are nuts."
What a mess that was. Everybody "knew" that these guys were guilty assholes, and the same people lambasting them as racist hoodlums preposterously demanded that the accused should in news articles not be described as a "stripper" but as a "student and single mom." But the inciting incident did not involve her being a student or a single mom; she wasn't at the alleged crime scene dropping off her kid at day care or studying with a school mate. She was there as a stripper; her role as a mom and student were irrelevant to the story.
After getting disbarred, a reporter asked Nifong if he still thought that the Dukies assaulted Magnum (the accuser), he refused to admit the obvious, and instead held on beyond all logic: "something happened to make everybody leave that scene very quickly." Yes, clearly to all who have seen the facts: After a dispute over the money paid by the Dukies to the strippers, the strippers "left mad", with "Stripper 2" declaring that they were going to call the cops to report underage drinking and supplying booze to minors.
The NYT did a pretty spectacular job defaming the falsely accused, and bolstering the fantastic accusation long after it began falling apart; its report of the DA's disbarment received far less coverage. At least now the NYT reveals to its readers (who already know this from reading other sources) that the false accuser who had zero DNA from the accused had semen samples from four other men. Two of the falsehoods promoted by the NYT's biased reporting: that this cased "lacked DNA evidence", and that "most rape cases proceed without DNA evidence." To the contrary: this case *had* DNA evidence, albeit evidence that exonerated the accused; and approximately no rape charges survive such evidence. The oft-cited, and inappropriately applied statistic about lack of DNA evidence pertains to cases where, say, the accused comes forward weeks or longer after the alleged incident, when DNA evidence cannot be taken, not an hour later as in this case.
Finally, where are all the loud, angry supporters of this accusation? Shouldn't they either be protesting even more loudly now that the "mother and student" rape victim has been so thoroughly "disrespected" that all charges have been dropped, and the prosecutor now prosecuted? Or shouldn't they just as loudly as before now admit that they were wrong, cheer justice for the unjustly accused, and extend a hand of friendship to them in an effort to win their celebrated support for assisting others in a similar lot?
Nifong's Swan Song, by LaShawn Barber
Nifong confided to cops early on that the charges lacked evidence. "The testimony about Nifong from Det. Himan is key because not only does it provide strong evidence that the DA was intent on forcing a false first-degree felony case to trial based on nothing but the accuser’s shaky story, but also that Nifong knew he had no case when he came to Durham’s African-American community during a public forum at NCCU on April 11, 2006, two weeks after the allegations made worldwide news, and assured everyone, including Mayor Bill Bell, that despite a lack of DNA evidence, he would, and could, continue to seek justice."
Update: Wilson described as 17-year-old who gets 10 years for receiving consensual felitio from 15-year-old schoolmate. Two years into this needless, unjust conviction, when a righteous judge overturns on appeal, prosecutors waste more time and money continuing to press the matter. This is what we get from combination of righties who get too hysterical over "tough on crime", and lefties who just as hysterically promote the claim that "women never lie about rape".
Now come the demos, who convinced a majority of voters the last election to give them majorities of both houses, claiming that *they* would "clean up" DC. Nancey Pelosi of course was one of the loudest sellers of this claim. As House Speaker now for less than a year, has she proven to be any "cleaner" than the previous Speaker, a Repo? Of course not. Here she advocates not for reducing congressional junkets, but rather for adding rep's kids to the trips... on the tax payer's dime.
By the way, this is not the case so famously profiled on HBO's sports show, which featured another black Georgia football teen, Marcus Dixon, convicted of consensual sex with an officially underage white girl. An appeals court also eventually released him.
AP Article on Wilson
This article fails to connect these increased tax revs to the lower tax rates conceived by Bush and passed by the then-Republican congress and senate. Also, this article flatly reports state officials as "giving back" state tax income via lowering state tax rates. Prediction: the states that lower their tax rates will find that they get even larger tax revs by further boosting their local economies. Clearly, increased tax revs don't make states able to "afford" to lower their tax rates, but rather merely give state legislators ignorant of economic principles the courage to lower tax rates.
We sat at a U-shaped bar, in the middle of the U. On the left side a small group of honkies got served a pizza. "See, Paul. The barkeep just told us that the kitchen was closed." His girlfriend nodded in agreement: they had been denied service because they are black. The restaurant that had just opened itself to dozens of black folks paying money to employ black comedians had decided to sell liquor to a black couple, but to throw away food rather than trade it for money from black folks. And the two honkey bartenders knew this policy: sell 'em drinks, but not food.
But it's a pizza, they probably ordered it 30 mins ago. "That's true," the girlfriend said, seeming to by somewhat persuaded by my reasoning. About 30 mins later a small group of honkies to our right got served something in a basket; chicken bits or something, I assumed. "See!" exclaimed my friend. "What's your excuse for that?" I was shocked, I must admit. I walked over to the honkies, glanced in their bowl, and had my answer. "It's popcorn!" I reported back. "Why didn't we get offered popcorn?" Because you're black, of course was his unstated answer. I looked around. Of the 6 or so groups of people still at the bar, this was the only one with any popcorn. I pointed that out.
His response: to remind me that in Jan at a packed restaurant hosting a musical event, he and others in his group (all black) sitting far from the bar couldn't get the bartenders or waitresses to run a tab on their credit cards. However, those bartenders accepted mine for a tab with no hesitation. When I learned this, I investigated. The response I got from the manager: during this annual musical event, performed by a black group (this buddy belongs to the group, and the other members of his party were also "with the band") the house policy excludes tabs, except at the staff discretion.
And why would the staff take my credit card, but deny all the other people in my group, me the only honkey, they all black? Easy, says the manager: You are in here all the time. The staff knows what you drink (Guinness!), and they know you're name. The other people in your group they don't know.
Doesn't matter, though, these facts: the US is a stiflingly racist place, and racism is everywhere they look!
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin Questions Need to Combat Warming believe that some amount of global warming is occurring, I doubt that the implications are catastrophic, I'm pretty sure that human activities can neither explain it nor alter it, and I'm certain that the hysterics are behaving poorly.
... & former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt casts his lot with the skeptics.