I am sick as a dog and grading papers, so I am not sure how much I will be posting. I have not felt well since Friday night-Saturday morning.
I didn’t watch much of the Grammy show last night, but not because I was protesting it or afraid of what a few limousine liberals might have to say about Iraq. Basically, I didn’t watch because they never really nominate or reward the type of music I enjoy. I read the results with interest wondering, who the hell buys all this stuff. One strong reaction I do have after reading the results:
I know I am profoundly uncool, but I have never heard of Norah Jones before yesterday. I am unsure how Bruce Springsteen did not win- I am even more confused how Nelly and Eminem were snubbed. When I listen to the radio, it is usually NPR, talk radio, or ESPN Sports radio- so I am not a music expert when it comes to new music. I can tell you one thing though- when I went to a bar, when I went to a clothing store, when I was in a friend’s car, or at the lake, I know what I was hearing- people were playing Nelly and Eminem. Not Norah Jones.
Is it possible that the Grammy voters are more out of touch than I am?
An annotaed bibilography of sorts for the blogosphere.
I know, I have been ignored again. Mere words can not describe this blog, though.
I got my new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, and there was not one spread of Heidi Klum. I still love you, Heidi.
I want to know more about this, but if this is true, I am not amused:
You might think that with the country gearing up for war this would be the wrong time
This is just too distressing for words:
The North Korean ship that last year delivered Scud missiles to Yemen transferred a large shipment of chemical weapons material from Germany to North Korea recently, U.S. intelligence officials said.
The ship, the Sosan, was monitored as it arrived in North Korea earlier this month carrying a shipment of sodium cyanide, a precursor chemical used in making nerve gas, said officials familiar with intelligence reports.
The same ship was stopped by U.S. and Spanish naval vessels Dec. 9 as it neared Yemen. It was carrying 15 Scud missiles and warheads. After a brief delay and assurances from the Yemeni government, the ship was allowed to proceed to Yemen with the missile shipment.
After unloading the missiles in Yemen, the Sosan then traveled to Germany, where it took on a cargo of sodium cyanide estimated to weigh several tons. The ship then was tracked as it traveled to North Korea. It arrived at the west coast seaport of Nampo on Thursday, the officials said.
The Germans and the French- our partners on the Security Council.
TalkLeft and Oliver Willis link to this story as supposed evidence of a return to the ‘repressive fifities.’ I use the quotes of sarcasm because Oliver and I were not alive in the fifties, and I have seen Jeralynn on television numerous times and she doesn’t look nearly old enough to have been alive then. I don’t subscribe to the faulty hypothesis that you have to personally experience something to understand things, but I doubt most people living in the fifties felt that they were all too repressive- if they were, they would have done something about it- see the sixties. Most people probably thought it was, well, just normal. Who knows, in 50 years, someone may be pointing backwards talking about the ‘repressive 2000’s.’ At any rate, here is the story:
DEARBORN, Michigan (AP) — School officials ordered a 16-year-old student to either take off a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “International Terrorist” and a picture of President Bush and or go home, saying they worried it would inflame passions at the school where a majority of students are Arab-American.
The student, Bretton Barber, chose to go home. He said he wore the shirt Monday to express his anti-war position and for a class assignment in which he wrote a compare-contrast essay on Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Schools spokesman Dave Mustonen said students have the right to freedom of expression, but educators are sensitive to tensions caused by the conflict with Iraq.
“It was felt that emotions are running very high,” Mustonen said.
Dearborn is the center of an Arab-American community of about 300,000 in southeastern Michigan. About 55 percent of the district’s 17,600 students are Arab-American.
Let’s think about this a little bit before we break out the mass hysteria. Schools, in most cases, are allowed to decide what kids wear (we usually informally and formally refer to this as a Dress Code- if I remember correctly a recent President seemed to be very much in favor of dress codes and school uniforms), and they are generally given a lot of latitude in this regard. Free speech is routinely denied to students in schools (for instance, I was never allowed to call my High School English teacher a stupid flaming asshole, even though she clearly was one- yes, Mrs. Cuomo- I am talking about you), and in many cases for things far less obnoxious and far less volatile than the t-shirt in this case, and many other basic rights are not afforded to children until they become legal adults. We all know this, so why are we being so hysterical?
I think that the t-shirt was stupid, the assignment was stupid, and the reaction- well, that is a judgement call. But schools simply should have the right to make these decisions. I am generally in favor of civil rights- but until we start treating minors like adults in all cases (and I am against that in the criminal system- minors should be charged and tried as minors, until they are 18- period), Jeralynn and Oliver are going overboard with the rhetoric- unless this is just part of the Ashcroft shutting down our civil liberties meme. If that is the case, then they are really making a mistake, because they are hurting us all by lumping things like this with some of the real problems that have been identified with Ashcroft and diluting their credibility and their charge.
Me- I guess I will leave it up to the judgement of the school administrators- and somehow I get the feeling that this is motivated more by the fact that someone tried mindlessly and provacatively to criticize Bush but didn’t get away with it. Again, I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me the school was within their rights.
I don’t think Jeralynn and Oliver want their kids going to schools where kids can wear shirts that say ‘Kill All Niggers’ with a confederate flag displayed proudly. Or ‘Build More Ovens for the Rest of the Jews’ with a picture of Zyclon B displayed. Or ‘Kill all Muslims and Wrap ’em in Pigskin’ with the hole where the Twin Towers used to be located displayed prominently. I certainly don’t want that kind of crap in public or private schools, and to hell with you if you think that I am violating someone’s civil rights for sending a kid home for wearing that t-shirt.
But that’s just me- I don’t yearn for the fifties, but I did always like Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
*** Update ***
When I mention the ‘repressive’ fifties above and said that most people thought it was normal, I think I am right- and I was not referring to racial issues, as Oliver takes me to task in the comments section. I was talking about free speech issues. Certainly there was the ugliness of Uncle Joe- but really, how does sending a kid home for a potentially volatile t-shirt ‘send us back to the repressive fifties?’ Everything isn’t about race, you know, although as a white man I am probably less sensitive than others on this issue. I spend enough time dealing with badmouthing because I am a awhite Republican- I can’t even begin to describe what many must have felt having to start and end every discussion defending something they had no control over- that being the skin color they were born with. At any rate, I still don’t think this shirt issue is any big deal.
I am watching the West Wing, and in this episode, President Bartlett sent in the military into a fictional African country to stop genocide during a ‘civil war’ (think Rwanda during the 90’s). At any rate, the French denied the Americans use of their airspace, and the last scene had the President shouting into his cellphone to ‘tell those pansy hairdressers I am going to shove a loaf of bread up their ass.”
Earlier in the show, everyone agreed that they hated the President’s daughter’s boyfriend, who is French, and spends all his camera time berating Bartlett.
The French- uniting Republicans and Hollywood.
President Bush will sign legislation this week setting a 2003 budget that raises federal spending by 7.8 percent over last year, capping a remarkable two years in which the federal budget increased by 22 percent.
Although Bush has made controlling spending a recurring theme in recent months, the $791.5 billion spending bill for 2003 that he plans to approve by Thursday night will be one for the record books. The 2003 rate of discretionary spending increases — the part of the budget subject to Congress’s annual oversight — will be the second-fastest since 1985. It is topped only by the 2002 increase, which included the government’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Seven-point-eight percent? Twenty-two percent? Remember when you said this, Mr. Bush:
We must work together to fund only our most important priorities. I will send you a budget that increases discretionary spending by 4 percent next year — about as much as the average family’s income is expected to grow. And that is a good benchmark for us. Federal spending should not rise any faster than the paychecks of American families.
What happened here? Am I missing something? Am I reading about different budgets? Everett Dirksen is rolling in his grave.
Matt Yglesias links to this piece in TNR debunking the false hysteria promoted by the rhetoric of the pro-choice crowd. I understand that they must use this sort of nonsense to whip up their base, but it is really unappealing to the vast majority of voters. You think they would have learned this by now. I am pro-choice (within reason), but I have little sympathy or patience with the rabid abortion-at-all-costs that gets all the press. They make my head hurt as much as the Falwell’s and the Robertson’s. Every time Al Gore got up on the podium during the last election and said in his drawn out faux-good-old-boy accent “The right for women to choose is in deep peril,” I just wanted to smack him in the face. I am assuming I am not alone.
Matt closes with this remark:
At any rate, you won’t see me supporting pro-life Supreme Court nominees.
That is fine- everyone has their issues and their reasons. But can we stop the lying and the hysteria (and Matt agrees with the article, so I am not insinuating or implying he is lying, so don’t go flaming him)?
*** Update ***
Yglesias has updated his comments and I don’t know if initially interpreted him in the manner I should have. To hell with it. Go read the TNR article.
How many of you out there remember Mad-Libs?
If you don’t, it went something like this:
A famous or noted phrase was taken, and then verbs and nouns were removed, allowing players to insert words oftheir choice. You could come up with some great humor that way, and I spent hours in the car on long trips as a kid playing the game.
At any rate, now that every liberal in the House and Senate is running for the Democrat nomination, I thought it would be fun if I created a special series for the candidates. Thus, I introduce the first edition of Presidential Mad Libs (and yes, I think Mad Libs is a punny title and intend to keep it).
Week 1’s submission, from Dick ‘Gebhardt’s’ announcement today:
Fill in the following and then click on the extended link below to fill them in in the appropriate place. Don’t forget to submit your Presidential Mad Lib in the comments section. I will select the winner, and the reward will be a prominent link to your website for a week, or a pat on the back if you don’t have one.
Remember, keep it somewhat clean, folks, and don’t look at the phrase until AFTER you have chosen your words. That ruins it.