Thursday, February 18, 2010

More Amy Bishop nonsense

I just read that idiotic Jonathan Curiel column at TrueSlant, where he builds a fence around America in order to put Amy Bishop and the Tea Party in the same corral.

Behney’s remarks don’t reflect the sentiments on all Tea Party members. Nor does Bishop’s shooting spree mean that race is a factor whenever a white professor gets disgruntled by a tenure process overseen by minority administrators.

"But that's what I just spent my allotted column inches insinuating, so oopsie if you got that impression."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Amy Bishop rampage...why should politics matter?

The dextrosphere is airing out accused killer Amy Bishop's political leanings. She's alleged to be left-leaning, like 10 out of every 10 Harvard educated professors seem to be. A partisan though fair-enough roundup is here, at American Power blog.

So, so what? Is there any indication that her alleged crime was motivated by her political beliefs? Or that the police bungled her previous cases in deference to those beliefs? Can't people with advanced degrees succumb to workplace character flaws and frustrations that have nothing to do with religion or politics, same as we've sadly seen at any number of offices and yes post offices over the years? Where is the proof that she was channelling her inner Stalin?

People are dead and hurting because of this wicked woman, dropping the "allegedly" now. Information is still coming out, and will continue to come out, I hope. I seriously doubt that there is going to be any underlying political manisfesto in her motives, unlike Major Nidal or Timothy McVeigh. Anyone who's familiar with me knows I don't have the time of day for socialism. So let's not cheapen and invalidate the good fight against socialism by playing silly guilt-by-association games.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love, personalized

Heard this in church today: Take the passage from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7--

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Now replace "love" with "I":

I am patient, I am kind. I do not envy, I do not boast, I am not proud. I am not rude, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered, I keep no record of wrongs. I do not delight in evil but rejoice with the truth. I always protect, always trust, always hope, always persevere.

Gives one pause, eh?

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Who at the Super Bowl

Pete was understanding of their subdued reception:

Backstage after their show, Townshend laughed and said: "You know, you could kind of tell from the stage the crowd is really here for the game."

"It was nice for that reason. It was nice to feel a part of something and not having it all to be about us," he added. When it was mentioned that most rock stars want everything to revolve around them, he joked and said: "We're too far gone to care I think."

They looked so faded. They were my favorite band in high school & college, though I never saw them live. It's hard to listen to Daltrey sing anymore. The only hard rock vocalist from his era who's kept his pipes intact, IMO, is Paul Rodgers:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

On the value of a free press

Journalists perform on an invisible stage. A broadsheet proscenium. We can't see the audience but we know they're there. Millions of them. Every Sunday I'm read by more people than will pick up a Booker Prize-nominated novel in a year. That's not a comparison of quality, it's a statement of impact. Almost every other bit of the culture may have more value but none has more importance. Without poetry, fiction, drama, music, art, dance and origami, we'd be immeasurably poorer, but we'd get on. Without news, without information we'd be back in the Dark Ages. There's no democracy without a free press. It's an absolute prerequisite for a free market. There is no global anything, just rumour and speculation based on ignorance. Freedom of speech is what all the other human rights and freedoms balance on. That may sound like unspeakable arrogance when applied to restaurant reviews or gossip columns. But that's not the point. Journalism isn't an individual sport like books and plays; it's a team effort. The power of the press is cumulative. It has a conscious humming momentum. You can - and probable do - pick up bits of it and sneer or sigh or fling them with great force at the dog. But together they make up the most precious thing we own.
-- A. A. Gill, Sunday Times, 2003

"It's very well for him, '' I hear you say, ''on his high horse about freedom, but just look at the papers. They're full of lies and gossip and laziness. The theory's fine, the practice is disgusting," Well, let's just look at that, I don't know what it is you do, what you make or sell, but consider this. Consider starting each morning with three or so dozen blank sheets of broadsheet paper. And then having to fill them with columns of facts, opinions based on facts and predictions extrapolated from facts. I don't know how many facts a newspaper has in it. Thousands. Tens of thousands, Millions. From the Stock Market to TV listings by way of court-rooms, parliaments, disasters, wars, celebrity denials, births, deaths, horoscopes and the pictures to go with them. Now tell me, how long did your last annual general report take? Days? Weeks? And you had all that information to hand. How long did the last letter you wrote take? You just made that up. Newspapers are the size of long novels. They're put together from around the globe from sources who lie, manipulate, want to sell things, hide things, spin things. Despite threats, injunctions, bullets, jails and non-returned phone calls, journalists do it every single day, from scratch. What's amazing, what's utterly staggering, is not the things papers get wrong, it's just how much they get right. Your business, no other business, could guarantee the percentage of accuracy that a newspaper does. And what's more, if you live in Britain, you don't get just one, you have the choice of a dozen national papers. Oh, and a small boy will come and put it through your letter box before you've even got out of bed. Nothing, but nothing, makes me prouder than being a hack.
-- ibid

Monday, February 01, 2010

Twitter saves baby's life

Well, if the Iranian resistance wasn't enough of a reason to quit sneering at Twitter, here's another one. A sick baby with a rare blood type got a suitable blood donor thanks to Twitter.