Saturday, April 30, 2011
4 Round Knockout
I confess. I am an unrepentant draftnik. This year I even caught a break with the royal wedding. The wife, who typically harrumphs and complains about the family room being turned into a draft war room, went frolicking down the street Friday at 4AM to a neighbor's, in her pajamas and tiara, to celebrate the nuptials of William and Kate. Kind of hard to make the case about the questionable worth of the NFL draft when you're wrapped up in the nuances of royal wedding dresses and Anglo hat fashion.
But I diverge. If there's anything that can get me over my enjoyment of the draft, it's the Eagles' attitude and picks. Only halfway through the 4th round and already I am so sick and tired of these guys, who can't win the big game, telling us how they're the smartest guys in the league.
Does it really make sense to draft a 27 year-old rookie lineman, Danny Watkins, when the team's longstanding practice is to not re-sign any player over 30? I get it that he's a hard-nosed, blue collar sort, but what's a matter with getting an impact player with your first pick? An offensive guard has to be cohesive with the rest of the line. By design, he can't be an impact player.
Meanwhile, a big, strong, fast cornerback is sitting there, just waiting to line up opposite Asante. But no, he had an underage drinking violation two years ago and the Gold Standard Eagles don't select guys with "character issues", whatever that has to do with winning. Actually though, as soon as we saw Jimmy Smith sitting on his couch next to Drew Rosenthal, we knew the Eagles weren't picking him. Not that Jeffrey and Joe hold a grudge or anything.
Second round, it's more of the same. Despite a defense that's too small and too lacking in playmakers, the Eagles take a safety out of Temple, Jaiquawn Jarrett, who isn't even 200 lbs. I'm just as happy as the next guy to see a local kid make good, but come on. Andy wants to sell on us on a guy who will line up as the smallest safety in the NFC East as a "Big Hitter". And just to throw some salt in the wound, he ran a pedestrian 4.65 in the 40, not the speed that could compensate for an undersized safety.
In the meantime, the rival Giants got an impact corner in the first round and a beast of a defensive tackle in the second round, despite his "character issues". I know I'll feel better when the Giants are kicking our butts next year, that our team has more Boy Scouts than they do.
But not to worry. In the third round, the Eagles struck gold...NOT. Despite still working the draft's earlier rounds, the hometown brain trust decided it was a good time to trade down and pick a project. The kid, Curtis Marsh, has NFL bloodlines and potential, but who in their right mind thinks our present cast of cornerbacks is good enough now? How does a project in the third round, for a team that has so many needs, demonstrate Super Bowl commitment?
Maybe the Eagles are just sleeping through this draft. They've got so much money under the cap that they're just going to go out and buy whatever they need on the free agent market. After all, Jeffrey Lurie can only make so many liberal documentaries.
This just in...Eagles trade back in the fourth round to pick (drum roll please) another small and slow defensive player. That's it, I'm done. I'm just giving in and going to watch royal wedding videos.
Crazy U, Crazy Me
In the meantime, I watched this: It's good.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Kit Summers Not Guilty
After hearing testimony from Summers' alleged victim, Craig Essick, and from Summers himself, Kenney overturned the verdict of Linwood District Court Magistrate David Griffin, who declared Summers guilty of the two misdemeanors. Griffin dropped the more serious charge of terroristic threats brought against Summers by Trainer police last year.
The case stank from the very beginning and stank even worse when Griffin attempted to split the difference and find Summers guilty of the misdemeanors and not hold Summers for trial on the more serious charge.
At the preliminary hearing, Essick's testimony was contradictory, confused and basically unbelievable. He claimed that Summers had threatened to get a gun and shoot him. There was no evidence other than Essick's questionable word Summers ever said any such thing. (You can read all about it here.)
Griffin ordered Summers and Essick, who are neighbors, to attend community dispute settlement class. Summers went. Essick refused.
When Summers appealed his convictions to Media, Essick failed to appear to testify. Trainer police showed up but the case was postponed.
Tuesday, Essick appeared, but nobody from the Trainer police force did. Essick testified, then Summers told his story. After hearing from both men, Kenney found Summers not guilty of all charges.
Summers attorney, Ted Hoppe, said that Essick, 61, was no more believable this time around than he was at the preliminary hearing.
According to the neighbors I talked to last year, it was Essick who had been bullying Summers for weeks before Essick told his sad story to police. One neighbor witnessed Essick throw a rock at Summers from his property, hitting him in the chest. Other neighbors complained that Essick was the neighborhood bully, frequently getting into arguments with others who lived on the street.
Nevertheless, after Essick made his complaint to Trainer police, Summers was arrested, charged and held at Delaware County prison for almost a month pending a psychiatric evaluation, before he was released.
Summers suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car in 1982. The accident ended his professional juggling career but he continues to lecture and give motivational talks at schools and to any group that asks him. He also makes Summers' Salsa, which he sells at local markets.
Kit says he is considering legal claims against Essick, the Trainer Police and the county jail.
Any More Questions, Donald?
UPDATE: More at Politifact:
"I'm very proud of myself because I've accomplished something that nobody else has been able to accomplish," Trump said this morning.Good grief!
"He should have done it a long time ago," Trump said. "I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully -- hopefully -- getting rid of this issue."
He said the document needs to be verified but that now the campaign can focus on more important issues like China and OPEC.
"I feel like I have accomplished something really, really important and I'm honored by it."
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Have You Seen This Man/Woman?
He/she successfully demanded money from a teller at the TD Bank in Chadds Ford without showing or implying he/she had a weapon of any sort. But he/she was clever enough to cover his/her face to prevent being identified.
The petite bandit is described as being male (probably) between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-6, and either Asian or caucasian. The bandit's sexual orientation was not speculated upon.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
See this guy on the right. His name is Brian Scharlott. He's a tenured journalism professor at Northern Kentucky University. He thinks Sarah Palin is not the mother of 3-year-old Trig Palin. He thinks Palin faked her pregnancy, got a Down syndrome baby from someone and has been raising him as her own since. Why would she do that? To help her political career of course. This guy should not be a journalism professor.
See this guy on the left? His name is Donald Trump. He thinks Barack Obama was not born in America. He thinks he was born somewhere else, which would make him ineligible to be president. This despite all the evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. This guy wants to be President of the United States. This guy should not be president. But I think his wife would make a great First Lady
Saturday, April 23, 2011
It's All About Him
He may sincerely have wished his awesome job came with a cooler phone (or a Bat Signal perhaps?), and he may honestly feel trapped in a bubble. But he's also determined to pretend that he is running "against Washington" in 2012. And that is outrageous nonsense for a president who effectively owned the government for two years.
Already his campaign's messaging is all about recapturing the feeling of insurgency from the first time around. Finish the mission. Complete the work. Remember the feeling. That's why he's running his reelection campaign out of Chicago, as if people won't notice he's the incumbent.
Obama has never run on a record. He's always run almost literally on a hope and a prayer. Now he must defend what he has done - and what he has failed to do.
If that makes him cranky, that's just too bad.
Friday, April 22, 2011
The College Scam
My print column is up.
Fun and Stuef at Wonkette
Initially, the editor of the site Ken Layne boldly defended the piece and later tried to explain that the intention was not to make fun of the child but of his mother, who is, he claims, a disgusting person and horrible mother because she uses her son as a "political prop."
Anyway, Mr. Layne's excuse didn't convince many people, including several of his advertisers who pulled their ads from his site.
He has since issued an unapologetic apology. The writer, Jack Stuef, has issued his own unconvincing apology for writing this among other things:
That strange man yelling unintelligibly at Sarah Palin? He’s merely a lowly shepherd proclaiming the birth of our savior. Today is the day we come together to celebrate the snowbilly grifter’s magical journey from Texas to Alaska to deliver to the America the great gentleman scholar Trig Palin. Is Palin his true mother? Or was Bristol? (And why is it that nobody questions who the father is? Because, either way, Todd definitely did it.) It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are privileged to live in a time when we can witness the greatest prop in world political history. [...]Incest jokes and making fun of a 3-year-old's dreams because "What's he dreaming about? Nothing! He's retarded."
That's Stuef in the photo. His alma mater must be very proud of him.
UPDATE: More here from Mediaite's Tommy Christopher.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
The Professor Doth Protest Too Much
Dr. Weldon McWilliams, a professor of African-American studies at Cheyney, deemed the cuts unfair. He noted the cuts to higher education funding were more than offset by a proposed 11 percent increase to corrections of almost $2 billion.Quick question: What is it about a degree in African-American studies that Prof. McWilliams thinks prepares students for jobs in a 21st century economy?
He said there was a contradiction in stumping for bringing 21st-century jobs to the state, then removing the tools for students to learn how to do those jobs.
“I think that in order to have these jobs and these investments in technology, you have to continually invest in education and these … students who are going to find these innovative ways to bring us into the future,” he said. “So it seems almost contradictory that on one hand you say we’re going to move towards these jobs and different technologies, but on the other hand you see a slash in education.”
Chemistry, computer programming, engineering, certainly. But African-American studies? I don't think so.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The chief provided a chronological chain of events beginning at 10:16 p.m. at the Hess gas station, located at Township Line and State Road, when Holloman approached two customers pumping gas and demanded money while displaying a silver gun in his waistband.Holloman later got $5 from an old lady.
“The woman says she doesn’t have any more money,” Chitwood said. “And the man says, “(Expletive) you, get a job,’ and doesn’t give him anything.”
He wasn't wasn't very good at his chosen profession. He should have taken the FU guy's advice. But then, Holloman doesn't sound as if he was very employable. Too bad. For everybody.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Another Alleged Pred Spiked
The Tao of Steve
This after publicly embarrassing the powers that be, the very people who will decide the matter. Sounds unlikely without a protracted legal battle.
In the meantime, I'm with the reader wants one of those petite lap giraffes featured in those DirectTV commercials.
Cute little guy, isn't he? And, I understand, very affectionate.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Our Tim Logue has the story.
When will people ever learn, you just don't get between a man and his pig.
UPDATE: Here's a dramatization of Steve's return.
UPDATE II: Maguire reports Steve is healthy and happy. He even weighs 10 pounds more than when Brian last saw him. The bad news is he's not as well litter box trained as before his disappearance. That's what happens when you hang with chickens.
But Maguire still remains a bit suspicious about where Steve has been for the last week and a half. Ridley Township officials refuse to tell him the name of the guy whose Reading farmette. Brian says his vet wants to know all the animals with which Steve came in contact.
Lt. Scott Willoughby told me that the reason he declined to give Maguire the "farmer's" name or address was because he was concerned that he would be harassed when all he did was do the township a favor in taking the pig.
Maguire says he is grateful to the guy who took his pig and took good care of him. He has no intention of harassing him. But he remains curious.
Don't we all.
In the meantime, the township has given Maguire just 2 days to get rid of Steve. Maguire hopes to get the township to change it's "opinion" concerning the definition of a farm animal. Steve is a pet. He was sold by a Media pet store and there are plenty of municipalities that accept pot-bellied pigs as domesticated pets.
"Where's Steve" t-shirts are still a hot item. Proceeds are going to Maguire's legal fund and some sort of Pot-Bellied Pig Rescue organization.
Next up, if they're smart (and they are) are "Steve's Back" t-shirts with the depiction of Steve's hindquarters. If they haven't thought of it, all I want for the idea is a free "Steve's Back" T.
Friday, April 15, 2011
The Obama "Plan" Panned
The most serious charge against Rep. Paul Ryan's budget is not the risible claim, made most prominently by President Obama in his George Washington University address, that it would "sacrifice the America we believe in." The serious charge is that the Ryan plan fails by its own standards: Because it only cuts spending without raising taxes, it accumulates trillions of debt and doesn't balance the budget until the 2030s. If the debt is such a national emergency, they say, Ryan never really gets you there from here.
But the critics miss the point. You can't get there from here without Ryan's plan. It's the essential element. Of course Ryan is not going to propose tax increases. You don't need Republicans for that. That's what Democrats do. The president's speech was a prose poem to higher taxes – with every allusion to spending cuts guarded by a phalanx of impenetrable caveats.
One Steve Still Missing
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Fore! Trillion and Counting
This Little Piggy Went to Reading
My print column is up.
Forecast for Liberals: Gloomy!
Their latest defeat is the failure of the administration to try 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal criminal court in Manhattan. He will face a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay instead.
Guantanamo Bay? Wasn't that supposed to be closed years ago? Wasn't that the first thing on President Changey Hope's To-Do list? What's it doing still open and holding some of America's most committed enemies?
Anyway, Hendrik Hertzberg is gloomy.
The collapse of Obama’s effort to close Guantánamo is the kind of failure that, in our atomized, increasingly dysfunctional political system, has a thousand deadbeat dads. But it has always been within the President’s power to remedy one aspect of the moral morass that Guantánamo symbolizes: the lack of any official accountability for the abuses of the past, especially the embrace of torture. There is no dispute that there was torture, that it was systematic, and that it was encouraged at the highest levels—George W. Bush, in his memoir, currently adorning the best-seller lists, practically boasts of approving it. Perhaps there are good, prudential reasons for stopping short of prosecuting those who authorized this vile offense to elementary morality for the crimes against American and international law that it entailed. No such reasons forbid the appointment of a truth commission. The work of such a commission, charged with compiling the record, affixing responsibility, and formally acknowledging what was done, would be a healthy act of atonement.Ah yes. A "truth commission." What a great idea. And after Obama leaves office, another one can be appointed to investigate all the innocent civilians, woman and children in countries like Afghanistan and Libya who were killed by drone missile attacks authorized by this president. Affixing moral responsibility and atonement will demand it.
But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were Hendrik. Obama may be a naïve, promise-breaking hypocrite, but he isn't stupid. Listening to and trying to please the left-wing base of his party is what dropped his approval ratings from 80 to below 50 percent.
They are now whining in wind. Neither the president nor his advisors are about to act on this sort of nonsense. They've been tone-deaf enough to the concerns of the American people and they've got a reelection campaign to win.
But you've got to love the New Yorker. What other American magazine would put umlauts over the second "e" in reelection?
A week ago, on the same day that President Obama officially launched his campaign for reëlection...Now that's class!
Vera's Lack of Veritas
NORRISTOWN — With some hesitation, a secretary for the Delaware County District Attorney’s office admitted she lied to a state grand jury about leaking confidential information to obstruct a robbery investigation involving her grandson.
Vera Ellen Carroll, 59, of the 1000 block of Thomas Street, Chester, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court Tuesday to two felony counts of perjury in connection with incidents that occurred in September 2009.
The rest of the story here.
The Skin Gun
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Law Professor Sues Dean for Defamation
Connell faced trumped up charges of offending of handful of minority students last year. Connell hired a lawyer and responded to the charges. They were recently dismissed by a panel of fellow law professors only to be reinstated by Ammons.
Connell is white and conservative. Ammons is black and liberal.
Connell's formal and convincing response to the original charges can be found here.
Here is the press release about the suit from Connell's attorney Tom Neuberger. It begins:
Today, conservative tenured law professor Lawrence Connell announced that Dean Linda Ammons has retaliated against him after the law school tenured faculty refused to join her vendetta against him and it refused to fire him.And ends:
On March 7th the tenured faculty Informal Committee of Inquiry upheld Connell’s academic freedom and dismissed her charges against Connell. The lack of any basis for her charges was abundantly clear when anyone reviews Connell’s 39 page sworn affidavit which was filed with the Committee.
But, after he praised the faculty for its courage, Connell warned that Ammons might retaliate against him and take her partisan crusade to a more sympathetic forum over which she had total control, instead of independent and fair minded tenured faculty. And she did so, just three days later on March 10th and the legal papers were just delivered by mail to Connell yesterday.
On March 10th just days after Connell’s sworn affidavit was posted on line, Ammons had two female minority law students in the class of 2012 refile their prior false charges against Connell but still not under oath. Now Connell must defend the charges the Faculty dismissed before an administrative body much more favorable to Ammons, which Connell’s attorney Thomas S. Neuberger describes as a “hanging kangaroo court.”
“I will do everything in my power to save this man’s career and hold these two students accountable for their falsehoods in a court of law, under sworn oath, and not under the protection of this renegade autocratic Dean.”How about that?
A copy of the lawsuit can be found here. It's a pip.
A Subpoena, A Plea and Justice
The plea came in the middle of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault.
Last year I wrote a column about Keith after he sent me a letter. It began:
Keith has been in jail since April 22, (of last year) charged with raping his common-law stepdaughter. He recently contacted me by letter.Yesterday, he and his lawyer agreed to a deal that will see him released from prison after serving a little more than a year in jail. He will be eligible for parole July 18. After that he will be on probation. He will also be listed as a sexual offender on Megan's List.
“When the average citizen reads your paper that someone has been accused of a sexual offense, innocent until proven guilty goes out the window. They believe that there surely must be some evidence, but in many cases, such as mine, there is none.
“In Delaware County, a teenager can say you touched her last year and you will be arrested, regardless if there are any inconsistencies in their statement, no medical evidence, or witnesses — just because you put them on punishment or refused to let them go to a party.”
The letter went on:
“After you’ve sat in jail for a year waiting to go to trial, then you’re found innocent, who gives (you) your life back?”
Because of what I wrote in my column, concerning what Beaver told me while he was in jail, I was subpoenaed by the Delaware County DAs office as a possible witness against him in the case.
What I reported was that I offered to set up a polygraph test for him and that he agreed to take it, then reneged. The results of a polygraph test are not admissible in a court. But his agreeing to take one and then reneging led me to believe he had not been completely honest with me about what had occured between him and this 15-year-old girl.
How any of that would have been admissible at his trial was beyond me. I tried and failed to get the subpoena quashed.
It was the testimony of the victim that led both the prosecution and the defense to agree to a plea bargain. The girl is intellectually challenged and emotional fragile but was convincing enough on the witness stand to cause Beaver and his lawyer to be concerned that a jury might find him guilty.
The plea allowed the girl not to have to endure a rough and rigorous cross examination, Beaver to get out of jail soon, and me to be excused from having to testify.
Was justice served? You tell me.
Shepherd Suit Silly, Sad
Robert Reich Sides With Government Bullies
The problem is he sees Americans who want to keep their own hard-earned money as bullies and President Obama as their victim, when it is government that is the biggest bully in the world.
When a government wants half your sandwich it passes a law and takes it. If it wants your cupcake it will take that too. When it wants to take over one-sixth of the American economy, it will twist arms, facts and hand out bribes. It will tell you that you better do what you're told or you will be fined and/or imprisoned.
Even worse, when these government bullies started to fear their victims wouldn't stand for it any longer, they started picking on their children and grandchildren, saddling them with a massive debt even before they were old enough to vote and fight for themselves. These "people" might as well have all been wearing T-shirts that bragged, "I Drank Your Milkshake!"
From the sidelines, little Robert Reich sides with the those who would bully their fellow citizens into giving up what is rightfully theirs in the name of what he calls the common good.
Last November, America stood up to the bullies and booted a bunch of them out of office and replaced with people who promised to fight the ones that are left.
Because Robert Reich is right. Bullies have to be stood up to, even when they are pretending to be something other than what they are.
Monday, April 11, 2011
The Masters: What's Going On Here?
I believe they are both from District 9.
Freakin' at Swarthmore
Nice call, Bob
The Donald: A Tasty Morsel
During his “This Week” appearance Christiane Amanpour asked Plouffe about Donald Trump‘s chances at winning the White House.Spencerblog's father, who was the editor of the New York Daily News back in the 1980s recalls a phone call from Mr. Trump asking his advice about a possible run to be mayor of the Big Apple.
“There is zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job,” says Plouffe. “I saw Donald Trump kind of rising in some polls and given his behavior and spectacle the last couple of weeks, I hope he keeps on rising.”
Spencer Sr. recalls telling The Donald, "That's the dumbest f---ing thing I've ever heard. They will eat you alive."
The advice still holds.
UPDATE: Here's a differing opinion from the Washington Times.
Toddler Over-served at Applebees
A Michigan family got a big scare when their toddler was accidentally served alcohol in a kids meal at Applebee's. After a few swigs from his sippy cup, the 15-month-old boy needed a ride to the hospital.Well obviously, he couldn't drive himself in that condition.
Taylor Dill-Reese says her son started acting strangely after drinking what she thought was apple juice. So, she tasted it and discovered the cup contained an alcoholic margarita mix.What's the legal limit for baby drivers in Detroit?
The incident allegedly happened at 4:30 p.m. Friday at the Applebee's on 14 Mile Rd. After being checked out by doctors, the family learned the boy's blood alcohol level was .10 -- over the legal limit for an adult driver.
You Can Take the U.S. Government Off Suicide Watch
We in America have created suicidal government; the threatened federal shutdown and stubborn budget deficits are but symptoms. By suicidal, I mean that government has promised more than it can realistically deliver and, as a result, repeatedly disappoints by providing less than people expect or jeopardizing what they already have. But government can't easily correct its excesses, because Americans depend on it for so much that any effort to change the status arouses a firestorm of opposition that virtually ensures defeat. Government's very expansion has brought it into disrepute, paralyzed politics and impeded it from acting in the national interest.Samuelson analysis is quite correct, even if his metaphor is ridiculous.
The U.S. Government isn't suicidal. A suicide ceases to exist, leaving family and friends to grieve. Big Government isn't going anywhere. It will continue to be at war with itself and the appetites of the American people. But it won't put a bullet through its own brain. It will continue to ineffectively lord over the country.
The $38 billion in budget cuts the GOP managed to wring out of the president and his party, are miniscule compared with what needs to be done to bring the deficit under control. They are the equivalent of an 800-pound, morbidly obese man losing an ounce and declaring the pain and sacrifice of it all.
America may be "suicidal" for continuing to elect a large number of unserious Democrats (and Republicans) to office, but the government's will to live and expand is as healthy as ever.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
UPDATE: A reader from Media who seems to think that Genderf**k is the height of sophisticated good fun, writes:
"I think that you underestimate Delaware County's worldliness, Gil"Spencerblog responds:
Drunken cross-dressing = worldliness?Go figure.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Obama Losing White Support
During the campaign he tried to sound like a moderate Democrat and a uniter. He has not governed like a moderate. He has governed like a big government liberal. He is in trouble with white voters for the same reason Democrats lost the House in the last election and seats in the Senate. Whites, especially white males, think the federal government is too big, too busy, too profligate, and too intrusive. Obama made it more so.
It is also true, that President Obama is losing support among black voters. Though overall, his black support remains very high (85 percent), it has to be through the roof to make-up for his loses among whites come 2012. That is to say any slippage in black turn-out could prove deadly to the president's reelection chances. Which explains his recent suck-up to race-hustler Al Sharpton, a man he avoided during his 2008 campaign.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Shut. It. Down.
It’s amusing to watch the mainstream media try to blow this non-emergency into a national calamity.He's got a point. I mean, here in Delco the Heinz Wildlife Preserve might be off limits for a while. Anyone losing any sleep over that?
Cancer research will apparently come to a screeching halt tomorrow, if you believe ABC News, which of course no one under the age of 80 does.
These bowtied bumkissers now trying to gin up a “crisis” are the same people who have been giving a good leaving-alone to every gas station in the country as prices approach $4 a gallon. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Is America really “bracing” for a shutdown? You gotta be kidding me.
The Democrats are praying this is 1995 all over again. Too bad for them, a few things have changed. Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton. And in 1995, there was no Internet, no Fox News and damn little talk radio. People still thought Dan Rather was on the level.
There’s an old saying, “No man’s life or liberty is safe while the Legislature is in session.”
Same thing applies to the federal bureaucracy. The Internal Revenue Service isn’t going to be open for business? What a tragedy.
Comment of the Week...
Just so you know, on the term 'ville rat': high school students in the ville are routinely harassing college students, especially gay people and women, but mostly just anyone they can bother while sit around in the evening, bored outside of the dunkin donuts off-campus.I think Bitter makes some good points.
They often yell homophobic comments, such as "faggot." I know a number of students to whom this has happened. I know you think this is not a hate crime, and that it's just "those annoying gay people trying to say that they're oppressed," but this is a real issue. And let me tell you, 'faggot' is a much more offensive term than 'ville rat.' 'Faggots' get beaten up all the time after being designated as 'faggots' by the people who hate them. No ville rat has ever gotten beaten up after being called a ville rat. Ville rat is just NOT as threatening of a term, and not one that connotes violent intent in the same way. Now, the incident at hand did not involve the use of the term faggot, but given the previous incidents that college students have experienced from groups of high school students like this one, I don't think that the fear we have of homophobic high school students is unfounded.
To the extent that kids are hanging out in Swarthmore at night and casually flipping insults at gay (or perceived to be gay) Swarthmore students, they should be sent on their way by local business owners and the cops. Such boorish teenage behavior should not be tolerated by responsible grown-ups. It should be confronted and their parents should be notified. One would hope Swarthmore parents would be disgusted that their own children would act in such a way.
That said, such conduct is NOT, by definition, a hate-crime.
As for 'Faggots' getting "beaten up all the time..." no, they don't. Not in Swarthmore. Just check the crime statistics.
To the issue that "faggot" is a much more "offensive term" than "ville rat," that depends on just who's taking offense. And Bitter ignores that the obvious insulting nature of the term "ville rat." If it is true that no "ville rat" has ever been beaten up after being called one that is hardly a justification for anyone using the term. It was certainly stupid for one or both of the college students in this case to use it to the faces of a bunch of booze-seeking teenagers.
I doubt the victims in this case would have said to a similar young gang made up of black males, "Aren't you Negroes?" They too might consider those to be fighting words.
Imputing homophobia as a motive in this attack, when no anti-gay comments were made just prior to the assault, is a rush to judgement at best, and cynically exploitative at worst.
It is just as likely, if not more so, that the gang of high schoolers became inflamed by what they perceived to be the dismissive and insulting attitudes coming from the college students. Does that justify such a vicious and cowardly attack? Of course not. Hopefully, these kids will be caught and appropriately punished.
But using this incident to claim that Swarthmore students' alleged fear of homophobic high school students is well-founded, is well, unconvincing.
At Swarthmore: Gender WHAT?
Read the story in the college newspaper here. Despite the weird headline, the kids do an excellent job reporting the story.
WARNING: As you might imagine links contain bad words... But who knew cross-dressing could be such good clean fun?
UPDATE: Among the Tips for Genderf--k!
If you put your drink down don’t pick it back up. Just grab another one — you never know what could be in it.Would "suspicious looking people" include boys who are NOT wearing eye-shadow and cocktail gowns?
Water bottles will be available throughout the night. Keep hydrated because water helps hangovers.
If you are worried about your friend and they can walk, take them to Worth. If someone is vomiting and/ or unresponsive, find a PA or call Public Safety (610-328-8333). It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Non-Swarthmore students (Tri-co included) will not be treated at Worth Health Center and will immediately be sent to the hospital.
If you see suspicious looking people, don’t hesitate to call Public Safety immediately.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Rev. Al and President Barry: A Match Made in Race-Hustling Heaven
The other thing that hasn’t changed," Obama continued, "is the National Action Network’s commitment to fight injustice and inequality here in New York City and across America. And that's not only a testament to Reverend Sharpton. It's a testament to all of you who are here tonight. I want to commend you for the work that you’ve done over the last two decades to lift up not only the African American community but the broader American family. That's what you’re about."Yeah, bringing together the "broader American family" is what Al is all about.
That's what the Tawana Brawley hoax was all about. That's what the Crown Heights riot was all about. That's what the killings and arson at Freddie's Fashion Mart was all about; lifting the broader American family.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Spaced Out on Art Funding
Spacey makes the wild assertion that for every $1 billion the federal government invests in art programs, it gets $29 billion in return to the U.S. Treasury.
"For that billion dollars that is put into the funding of arts and culture around this country, $29 billion comes back into the Treasury... There is no other issue, no other area of the budget, that has that kind of return on its investment,” he said.Really Kevin? How does that work? Where do you get that $29 billion figure and how is it directly connected to the $1 billion showered on the arts community by the federal government?
Because if it's true the government shouldn't invest $1 trillion to subsidize America's starving artists. After all wouldn't that mean $29 trillion for the U.S. Treasury that could be spent on such boring things as infrastructure, childhood education, and feeding poor people?
Could the $29 billion be the amount of taxes artists, art-related businesses, movie-producers, and other art-related industries pay to the government? And if so, what doesn't the $1 billion of government subsidies have to do with it? If that $1 billion were withheld tomorrow, there were still be movies, painters, actors, singers, etc. There were still be a huge market for art in this country even if government cuts its subsidy for it in half or to even to zero.
At a time when all sorts of special pleaders are being told they're going to have to do with less from the government, it shouldn't be hard to tell a couple of millionaire actors where to shove their demand to keep the handouts coming.
A Loose Cannon Goes to Libya
Hate Crime at Swarthmore College?
Saturday night, two male college students behaving "affectionately" toward each other were allegedly roughed up by a group of five high-school age students.
H. Elizabeth Braun, dean of students, wrote a letter Tuesday to the college community saying both victims are OK after being treated for their injuries, both on campus and later at the hospital.But Swarthmore Police Chief Brian Craig was slightly dismissive of homophobia being the motive for the attack.
“I am writing both out of concern for the victims and campus safety and because I have been made aware of some additional facts and corrections since the initial (public safety) alert went out that I want to share with you,” she stated.
Braun indicated the Swarthmore student and his friend were on Mertz Field early Sunday when they were assaulted by a group of five males and one female. The initial alert indicated the attack happened when the college males were on Magill walk, near the train tracks, and were met by four males and one female.
“Our student has also shared that he and his friend were being affectionate with one another when they were approached by the high school-aged students. While it still isn’t clear what prompted the assault on our student and his friend, it does appear that homophobia could have been a factor in the attack,” Braun wrote. “I know that you share my distress and concern that any type of physical assault would take place on our campus, particularly one that may have been motivated by hate. I know that you will join me in condemning this act of violence on our campus and I appreciate that many of you have already expressed your concern to me.”
“The first I heard of that was this morning,” Craig told our Rose Quinn Tuesday night. Craig said separate reports were taken by campus security and police, shortly after the about 12:30 a.m. Sunday incident.
“There was no mention of homophobia,” Craig said, adding that such an attack “would be out of character for this community.”Ville rats? Is that how Swarthmore and Penn college students refer to local kids? As vermin? That's not very nice.
“What little I know about these type of incidents, if it centered about homophobia, there are usually comments made,” Craig said. “If any comments were made, it was not reported to us at that time.”
Craig said about 30 minutes prior to the attack, four males and a female were turned away from a fraternity. They were described as two white males, two Indian males and a female.
According to Craig, police suspected the Swarthmore College student and his friend, visiting from the University of Pennsylvania, probably angered a group of high school-aged youth who had asked them for booze.
“Were they ville rats?” Craig said one of the college males wanted to know, referring to youth who live in the town and do not belong on campus.
So far, the only slurs attributed in the incident came from one of these elite college students. Obviously, a more thorough investigation is necessary to get to the bottom of this.
Cue the Swarthmore Human Relations Commission. It's been idle since it's founding three years ago, mainly because Chief Craig is right, attacking gay people and other minorities is "out of character for this community."
Not being provided with booze on demand is hardly a justification for assault. But it could be that the sexual orientation of the victims was incidental and not the motive for the attack.
Swarthmore College officials, however, seem to be leaning the other way. Based on what, Ms. Braun doesn't quite make clear.
"Concerns" have been raised. An assault that "may have been motivated by hate" has occurred. "Homophobia could have been a factor..."
Or, you know, not.
We must find out.
UPDATE: I just left Swarthmore Police headquarters where I met with Chief Brian Craig. One thing that was a little unclear from the story was who said what to whom during the incident.
According to the police report prepared by Ptl Anthony Aloi:
... I spoke with both victims who advised me that they were walking through Mertz Field when they were approached by a croup of approx. 5-7 juveniles. The group asked the victims to get them liquore and the victims responded, "Aren't you guys ville rats." The group responded them them, "No." The victims then said what are you high-schoolers thne after this comment the group, which is believed to have consisted of 5-6 males and 1 femal, began to beat on the 2 victims, knocking them to the ground where they were repeatedly kicked..."Chief Craig called the attack no "joke."
"We're seriously concerned about this assault, no matter who it is...," he said.
He said they had information that a group fitting this discription had been turned away from a frat party.
"I'm very encouraged that somebody in the fraternity was responsible enough to question someobdy who should have been there."
He said that his department has what he considers to be a very good working relationship with the college and its campus safety team and that they meet monthly to deal with any concerns either of them have.
As for the possibility that this was a "hate crime," he said, "We're not at the point to say that." He said that Ptl. Aloi will re-interview the victims to see if they have any more information to suggest an anti-gay motive here.
As he said before typically attackers say things, shout slurs, etc, during an assault that provide evidence they are being motiviated by such animus. But right after the attack, the victims claimed no such slurs. The only slurs made that night, according to the police report, were directed at the gang of kids by the victims, prior to the attack.
"These guys were hurt and it shouldn't happen to anybody," said Craig. "If we get information that this is a hate crime it will be classified as a hate crime."
But so far, such evidence is severely lacking.
I am waiting to hear back from Swarthmore College officials about what information they have that leads them to believe otherwise.
UPDATE: Phone interview is set with Swarthmore's Liz Braun for 12:30 p.m.
UPDATE III: Come to think of it this isn't a matter for the Swarthmore Human Relations Commission. Their mission is to investigate civil matters of discrimination in housing, the work place, or places of public accommodation. Not actual crimes. What happened here was a crime, there are no two ways about that. The question is was it a "hate crime," as is being suggested by the college. We'll see.
UPDATE IV: Just got off the phone with Swarthmore Dean of Students Liz Braun. She's been very busy with press requests and was a little late calling me at the assigned time.
First, she wanted it made clear that the most important thing was that "regardless of what motivated this attack we don't tolerate any violence of this sort on our campus. When something like this does happen the college going to take this very seriously."
I asked her what new information the victims had provided that led her and them to believe that this crime may have been motivated by hatred toward gays.
"The student victim reported to me that when he and his friend were approached they were being affectionate with one another."
I asked her the how that affection was being exhibited. At first she said she the two students "didn't go into specifics."
When I pressed her, she did say, "I definitely know they were holding hands."
She reiterated "regardless of what motivated this..." this sort of violence is not be tolerated on our campus.
But the only reason we were talking about this was because she, the Dean of Students in a letter to the whole campus community, suggested it was motivated by homophobia.
"I felt that it could have been a factor," she said. And in the interests of getting as much information out to the students as possible, she said, that's what she put in her mass email.
She did not include in the email the the student victims had admittedly referred to gang of kids who stopped to ask if they could get them any booze, "Ville Rats."
"Do you have any problem with that being said?" I asked.
"I wasn't present," she replied.
"Do you consider 'Ville Rat' to be an insult?"
She wouldn't say.
"Any type of incivility is not OK. Physically violence in not OK."
As for Ville Rat?
"I am not going to claim to know how people view that term," she told me. "It's not for me to say."
And then she repeated that all the factors that "were in play" are being investigated. She said incidents like this are "rare" and that there have been no other incidents reported of alleged gay-bashing by local teenagers on campus or in town.
Braun said the victims' failure to report to police that they were gay and holding hands at the time they were approached by the gang, might be attributed to "shock."
"They came through a very difficult and traumatizing experience. It's not unusual in the first few hours of shock not to include every detail (of what happened.)"
This sounds perfectly plausible to me. But who knows if any of their assailants even saw this hand-holding.
It seems to me that being called an insulting name would be stronger motive for violence than seeing two young men holding hands, especially in Swarthmore. Neither, obviously, justifies such a cowardly attack.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A Giant Mistake
Monday, April 4, 2011
Giving In To Head Hackers
Mark Steyn responds:
...(E)ver since I ran into a spot of bother in Canada, I’ve found myself giving speeches in defense of freedom of expression in Toronto, London, Copenhagen, etc. I did not think it would be necessary quite so soon to take the same stand in the land of the First Amendment against craven squishes of the political class willing to trade core liberties for a quiet life. I have no expectations of Harry Reid or the New York Times, but I have nothing but total contempt for the wretched buffoon Graham.Read it all here.
A mob of deranged ululating blood-lusting head-hackers slaughter Norwegian female aid-workers and Nepalese guards — and we’re the ones with the problem?
I agree with the Instaprof: Lindsey Graham is unfit for office. The good news is there’s no need for the excitable lads of Mazar e-Sharif to chop his head off because he’s already walking around with nothing up there. And, as for his halfwitted analogy with World War II, he’s too ignorant to realize it but he’s singing the dhimmi remake of an ancient Noel Coward satire.
The Presidential Politics of Race
Obama has a black father and a white mother. What does that make him? Black, of course.
In indentifying himself as "black" instead of multiracial, which would have been more accurate...
"Obama made the politically correct choice," San Francisco State University political scientist Robert C. Smith told me last week. "If he had come to Chicago calling himself multiracial, he would have had no political career. And I think if he called himself multiracial now, black people would see it as a betrayal."Hey, not talking so much about race isn't the worse thing this president has done.
For all the post-racial symbolism millions of Americans have projected onto the president, his political choices are at odds with emerging demographic trends. America will just have to find its way into the new multiracial era without him.
Back to Square One
Regi..at the last meeting I told you I would check the township ordinancesWhat is shocking about this email? Two things: That Irvine is big enough to admit his mistake. And 2, the grammar. (Give him a pass if he sent it from his phone.)
re.the power of the Manager to suspend an employee.I reviewed the ordinance
and you were correct and I was wrongThe Manager has the the power to
suspened a police officer but not other employees.About 11 years thye
ordinance was changed.Your memory was better than mine.Bruce
At the last meeting, Supervisor George "I've Looked Into It" Wood ham-handedly attempted to convince the other side that Jim Sheldrake had the authority to impose punishments on township employees. He doesn't, as I pointed out in Friday's column.
That leaves the township supervisors back with the responsibility to discipline township secretary Gwen Toyzer for her $900 misuse of the township's FedEx account. The board is split 2 to 2 on what to do. With supervisor Bob Slawter unable to attend meetings because of a very serious illness, a new board member may need to be appointed to break the tie.
Getting Real on Spending
“You can’t spend more money than you make,” Cuomo said on February 5, setting a tone for his administration. “There are only two groups of people who don’t understand this. No. 1 is the leadership of the New York State legislature. No. 2 are my daughters.”See, he hates kids too. Even his own.
Friday, April 1, 2011
Sestak Running for Governor, Treasurer, Auditor General and Newtown Square Supervisor
BTW, I just made up the part about Newtown Square Supervisor. April Fools!
So Long, Scott!
Scott's viewing was well attended. I signed the guest book "Spencerblog Friends".Blue Skies! Bohney, you're a class act.
I did get a chance to speak to his younger brother. I told him that I used to debate politics and social issues with Scott, to which he laughingly replied, "And you never won."