Thursday, May 31, 2012

Save Me From Upper Darby Art Zealots

I will be following up on the Save Upper Darby Arts "crisis" tomorrow. Some people have taken offense at yesterday's column.

In the meantime, there's this and my response:
Hey Gil,
If Tina Fey is guilty of a misdemeanor in romanticizing the importance of arts in schools then you're equally guilty of felony trivialization of the matter. I am a proud UD grad and former editor of their school paper - a job Tina happened to hold a few years later.  Today it's 3rd grade fingerpainting getting the axe and before you know it it's music, sports, publications and other 'non essential' activities that develop critical thinking, socialization, and sense of community.  Perhaps I didn't see you full piece but it appears you sidestepped the central issue of local property tax diversion to out of district charter schools.  Have you checked on the state of their resources?  Even if you don't think you insulted public school parents with your parody, I wouldn't want to engage in a satire arms race with Ms. Fey unless the Delco Times is a larger launch pad than newspaper circulation  reports suggest.
Hagen Jeffrey Fekete, UDHS/Acorn - Class of 1980 
Slippery slope arguments don't impress me. As for Ms. Fey, she can bring it on. What's she gonna' do, dress up like me as on SNL? She already stole my arms for the cover of Bossypants. I'm not a-scared-a her. Cheers.


On second thought, those aren't my arms.

It's a Girl! Where's the Trash Can?

I thought gender discrimination was a Democratic issue... but, it seems, not for girls waiting to be born.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fair Question

Racism Illustrated

This guy draws fast.

Con Artists

Some Upper Darby parents and teachers are in a tizzy over a proposal that would see some cuts in elementary school art classes.

Why don't I care? I asked my shrink. My print column is up.

UPDATE: The first commenter on the column stepped up to the plate and suggested cutting gym teachers and gym time instead. I applaud the suggestion but just imagine what our First Lady would say.

UPDATE II: From the mailbag:
I read your column today   -  Why stop at music and arts?    Lets get rid of football, basketball, cheerleading, and all clubs.  Lets continue to raise a bunch of zombies. Have you ever been to Upper Darby Performing arts?  I would like to know if you have ever been to a district art show, or a band concert?  May be you might have a different view.   Elizabeth Williams
To which I replied...
Ms. Williams, I can guarantee you that going to a district art show or band concert would not change my view about this minor restructuring of district's elementary school arts programs.
But I would be supportive of anyone who wanted to started a charter School for the Performing Arts? In the meantime, I will continue to consult my shrink to see if I can get my mind right.

It's the Spending, Stupid

Obama's goes after Mitt Romney for his experience in private equity but real issue is spending.  Holman Jenkins explains...

Money quote:
Mr. Obama's great political talent has been his knack for granting his admirers permission to think highly of themselves for thinking highly of him. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tanning Mom: She's Toast

The New DADT

Is President Obama a socialist? Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attention Drop Outs: All Is Not Lost

My speech to Drop Outs and Never Wents is up.

UPDATE: A reader writes in to take me to task for suggesting that Angelina Jolie may not have actually graduated from high school. (I wrote I believe that she didn't.) The reader cites a Wikipedia entry that Jolie graduated at the age of 16 from Beverly Hills High. But other bios suggest that this was a rather turbulent time in her life. Here's one.

One bio only mentions her dropping out of high school. Another suggests that she went back and graduated from a "special program" which sounds like she may have gotten her GED, or high school equivalency diploma.

In any case, the column is about the ability of many people to succeed without finishing college or getting advanced degrees.

When it comes to Angelina's high school diploma, I'll believe it when I see it. Given all her success, she's one of the people who makes my larger point.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Grifter

This man needs some theme music. Dig it.

Take Your Pick

The Mod Squad

His house a wreck and condemned, Wallingford's Dave Coletta is living in a small, two bedroom modular home on his property with his three young sons while the Nether Providence Township officials look to evict him. He says he'll "outlast them."

My print column is up.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Son Killed Over Cigarette

Young Philly man shot to death in argument over a cigarette. Bill Maher would be proud of him.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Teachable Moment

Check out this exchange between her students and a public school teacher in a North Carolina classroom.

It's not so much the teacher's ignorant and hysterical claim that a student could be arrested for disrespecting President Obama, it's that the teacher obviously has no control over her classroom, doesn't have the respect of her students and based on how she conducts herself, doesn't deserve it.

That public schools hire such people to be teachers and then can't get rid of them, is a lot of what's wrong with public education.

Listen and learn...

The Redskin Fraud

More on Prof. Elizabeth Warren's color scheme from the Editors at NRO:
Set aside, for a moment, the mere fact of Elizabeth Warren’s undocumented claims of Cherokee heritage, such sentences as “My pawpaw had high cheekbones, like all the Indians do,” the hokey Pow Wow Chow cookbook with recipes from Le Pavillon (which was located in the famous Cherokee territory of Fifth Avenue, across from the St. Regis Hotel — happy hunting grounds, indeed), and listing herself as a member of a minority group in the Harvard directory. Forget all of that for a moment and consider that Harvard Law School advertised Elizabeth Warren — blond-haired, blue-eyed, pale to the point of translucence — as its “first woman of color” enjoying tenure. It would later cite her presence on the faculty as evidence of its commitment to “diversity.” And she allowed it.
One would think that Harvard’s law school and one of its most prominent professors might have some interest in the question of evidence. (They still teach the rules of evidence at Harvard Law.) Like most Indian tribes, the Cherokee are fairly picky about who gets to call himself a Cherokee, and, unlike Harvard, they demand documentation. Indeed, it is a commentary on our times that “Cherokee genealogist” describes an occupational specialization, and a prominent Cherokee genealogist has reiterated that Ms. Warren has no documentable claim to Cherokee ancestry. This is not unusual: So common are false claims of Cherokee ancestry that among genealogists “My grandmother was a Cherokee princess” is a punch line. But the typical third-grader uttering this sentence is not running for the U.S. Senate nor contributing to the alleged “diversity” of Harvard Law.
So while the situation is amusing, it is not a joke — it is the poison fruit of the Left’s long history of racial exploitation reaching its ripeness.
Read it all. The Diversity Chickens are coming home to roost.

Universities that Fail to Launch

Check out the public universities with the worst graduation rates...

For instance at Number 5 is Texas Southern University in Houston, which boasts "Excellence in Achievement" at its entry way. What it achieves is a 86.7 percent drop out rate.

But that's great compared to the beautiful University of the District of Columbia. It's graduation rate is an anemic 7.7 percent. And that ain't the worst.

UDC accepts 63.2 percent of the students who apply. Makes you wonder who it turns down.

My Speech to the Graduates...

is up.

UPDATE: Coming Soon: My speech to the Drop Outs.

Bill Maher's Retarded Maturity

New evidence released by Florida prosecutors suggest that George Zimmerman was telling the truth about being attacked by Trayvon Martin for the "crime" of trying to keep an eye on him after calling the police.

Enter Bill Maher with his latest comments about the case.
"There is lots of new evidence that was made public this week in the Trayvon Martin case. He did have marijuana in his system, a drug that has never made anyone on planet Earth violent. And at the moment that he confronted, or was confronted by the wannabe cop loser who was stalking him, turns out he probably did beat the dog shit out of that guy. I just want to say if I had a son he would not look like Trayvon Martin, but I hope he would act like him." 
Bill Maher has admitted to being beaten up by playground bullies as a 12-year-old so maybe that did some lasting damage to his path to maturity.

He appears stuck in his adolescent/rebellious phase. After all, who thinks it cool when a teenager attacks and beats up a grown-up? Other misguided teenagers, that's who.

Maher's sense of humor is that of a schoolboy - angry, mean-spirited and girl-hating.

Also, it is the odd parent who would take pride in the sort of teenage behavior that helps gets young men killed everyday. Such ghetto pride cuts lives short. But to small, physically insecure men like Bill Maher it's a sign of masculinity.

That he never had a son - or any children - is probably a good thing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bigoted Foot in Mouth

Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao gets banned (then unbanned) from a trendy L.A. shopping mall by its politically ambitious owner for expressing a mainstream opinion about gay marriage.

Michele Malkin has the goods:
L.A. bigwig developer Rick Caruso, who has mayoral aspirations, squeezed himself into the Catholic-bashing clown car. He announced on Twitter that Pacquiao would be banned from his trendy shopping complex, The Grove. The mall, Caruso wrote, “is a gathering place for all Angelenos, not a place for intolerance.”
Except for intolerance of completely mainstream views on gay marriage that millions of people of faith hold.
L.A. media outlets reported that The Grove has retracted its ban. Nonetheless, as of late Thursday, Caruso had failed to apologize on Twitter or acknowledge the false smears that prompted the Soros goon squad to demand a boycott against Pacquiao. Caruso also refused to answer questions about his own rancid double standards:
Did he ban President Obama from his retail developments for publicly opposing gay marriage before he supported it?
Would Caruso be banning devout anti-gay Muslims from The Grove?
What kind of similarly selective tolerance litmus tests would Caruso support if elected to public office?

Friday, May 18, 2012

God Bless The Howler!

The Daily Howler (a.k.a. Bob Somerby) calls out his fellow liberals - especially the stars in the progressive media - on their mendacity and stupidity. That makes him something of a national treasure.

Here's a taste from today's missive.

Friday Funny

Our Pols are Marketers, Not Leaders

David Brooks explains where America and Europe are failing.
The people who pioneered democracy in Europe and the United States had a low but pretty accurate view of human nature. They knew that if we get the chance, most of us will try to get something for nothing. They knew that people generally prize short-term goodies over long-term prosperity. So, in centuries past, the democratic pioneers built a series of checks to make sure their nations wouldn’t be ruined by their own frailties.
Read it all. He hits the nail right smack on the head.

Reversal of Fortune for Zimmerman

Alan Dershowitz says its time to drop the murder charge against George Zimmerman.

Certainly, all the new evidence released by the DA suggests an incredibly weak case for Second Degree Murder and even, possibly, prosecutorial maliciousness in filing the charge in the first place.

Vampire Politics

The Obama campaign is trying to portray Mitt Romney as a "vampire capitalist" during his career at Bain Capital.

Kim Strassel has the real story.

It seems, it's the Obama campaign that is engaged in vampirism; sucking the truth out of the body politic.

By day, a mild-mannered and cool POTUS. By night, a truth-sucking Chicago pol. Isn't turnabout fair play?

Going Native

In the world of academia - with its cult of diversity worshippers - if you say you're an Indian, you're an Indian. My print column is up.

Colwyn Cop Zaps Career

Colwyn tazer cop charged with assault.

One would think, convicted or not, Officer Parham can kiss his law enforcement career goodbye.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Amusement Tax Follies

Dress rehearsal for Chester City mayor John Linder scheduled meeting with Philadelphia Union partner Nick Sakiewicz over the city's new tax proposal.

False Accusation of Rape

Gay artist accused of raping his two toddler daughters, cleared. Whatever your position on gay rights and gay marriage this is bull----!

He is now suing his accusers and they may be charged with filing a false police report.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dream Weaver

The suspect in a domestic abuse case claims his wife has a sleeping disorder that caused her to break her own arm while she was asleep. And the wife? She sort of agrees with him.

My print column is up.

Pa. in Play?

Stu Rosenberg thinks Pennsylvania could be up for grabs in November.  I have my doubts.

All the president has to do is promise a couple of federally-funded art teachers to Upper Darby and he'll probably squeak out a win.

Viva la Revolution

As predicted by Spencerblog, here comes the online college education revolution.
Andrew Ng is an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, and he has a rather charming way of explaining how the new interactive online education company that he cofounded, Coursera, hopes to revolutionize higher education by allowing students from all over the world to not only hear his lectures, but to do homework assignments, be graded, receive a certificate for completing the course and use that to get a better job or gain admission to a better school.
“I normally teach 400 students,” Ng explained, but last semester he taught 100,000 in an online course on machine learning. “To reach that many students before,” he said, “I would have had to teach my normal Stanford class for 250 years.”
What this portends is good for students and learning, bad for mediocre college professors.

College Diversity Follies

Mike Barone on the paleface Harvard Prof. Elizabeth Warren claiming to be an Indian.

When Warren was teaching at law schools in Philadelphia, Houston, and Austin, she identified herself as Indian — or, to be politically correct, Native American.
Then she was hired at Harvard and dropped the Native American from her biographical description. Harvard Law today says it has one faculty member of Native American heritage. But it won’t say which one.
Heh. It won't say which one. Why? Here's a guess: Because that faculty member wasn't raised on a reservation and isn't truly a Native American. They're white and were raised white by white parents but they too gamed the university minority-hiring system by claiming an Indian great-grand parent or something. 

In short, it would be another embarrassment, ripe for mocking. 

Media Malpractice

Hey remember all those news reports about how George Zimmerman didn't have any injuries the night Trayvon Martin was killed?

They appear to have been inaccurate.

UPDATE: Martin autopsy shows injuries to his knuckles.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Meaning of "Liberal" Education

Universities set record for choosing "liberal" commencement speakers.
The liberal tilt of America’s top colleges and universities has gone off the charts with the ratio of liberal-to-conservative commencement speakers reaching 7-1, an all-time high, according to a new survey of graduation ceremonies at the top 100 schools.
“It was particularly awful this year,” said Ron Meyer of the Young America’s Foundation, which conducted the survey. “The ratio has never been this bad.”
Meanwhile... more Americans identify themselves as "conservative" than any other group. Twice as many as identify as liberal.

Go figure.

Sticks and Stones

President Cheap Applause Line

The President pander? Really? Even WaPo's Dana Milbank notices.
Obama was still early in his address when he acknowledged that his praise for the young generation of women is “a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.”
But Obama was being modest. He didn’t deliver a cheap applause line. He delivered an entire speech full of them. His reelection campaign has been working for months to exploit the considerable gender gap, which puts him far ahead of likely GOP rival Mitt Romney among women. But Monday’s activities veered into pandering, as Obama brazenly flaunted his feminine mystique.
Veered? He's been doing it for months. Years. So much so that even the liberal commentariat notices. But the young ladies, apparently, loved it. Cheap applause lines and knocking down straw men are the president's specialty. If he gets reelected going this route, America will deserve four more years of his inadequacy.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, ripped from the business page: "Why Women-owned Business Don't Grow..."
Women-owned businesses represent nearly 50% of privately held companies in the U.S., however, three quarters of these businesses are not able to grow their businesses past $50,000 in annual gross revenue.
This is a challenge that Nell Merlino, the founder and CEO of Count Me In for Women's Economic Independence, would like to solve. Count me In is a not-for-profit organization providing resources and support to women-owned businesses in need of funding for growth.
Consider that 17% of women-owned business owners don't have employees -- a major influence on why they can't increase revenue, Merlino says, citing U.S. Census statistics.
Hmmm. At least Nell got some free publicity for her own not-for-profit biz.

Obama's Enemies List

Kim Strassel reports on how the Obama campaign is targeting private citizens for supporting Mitt Romney.
Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, "Keeping GOP Honest," took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled "Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney's donors," the post accused the eight of being "wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records." Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being "litigious, combative and a bitter.
About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot's divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.
Read it all. It's kind of creepy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prof. Running Joke

President Panderbash

Will someone please explain to me how President Obama's new vocal support for gay marriage is not a flip-flop and rather obvious pander to an important constituency for him and his party.

Not only that, but how does it actually move the ball forward for gay activists? The president expressed personal support but said the matter should be left to the states. That's where it is now.

Given that one out of six of the Obama campaign's money bundlers is openly gay, it's not hard to see why the president has "evolved" to his new position. That makes the dewy-eyed fawning over it a little pathetic.

Granted, the president risks some political capital in battleground states for even this lame bit of lip service. But on the whole he would rather have the campaign money generated by Democrat gay activists to bash Mitt Romney until Election Day.

The president's campaign strategy is to cobble together enough disparate Democrat special interest groups (Greens, unions, educationists, blacks, single women, students, pro-choicers, Hispanics and gays) to win in November. He is aggressively pandering to all of them. And hoping they'll forget the wretchedly spent trillion-dollar stimulus and his egregious health-care reform law. He can't run on those "accomplishments." So he has to pander and bash.

Could work.

UPDATE: I wonder if magazine covers like this will help:

Nice Gaylo!

Animal Kingdom

This is the least predictable, coolest and most disturbing movie I've seen in a long time.

You can get on Netflix and anywhere else fine films are rented.

No Stunning Developments in Colwyn

Doesn't sound like there had been much progress in the police and political situation in Colwyn since I left town.

Mayor Dan Rutland is once again declaring a "state of emergency" and refusing to schedule officers for work who are under investigation for the now famous tazing of a 17-year-old prisoner. He has also attempted to promote the "whistle-blowing" officer Wesley Seitz to acting chief.

This is over the top.

The only officer who needs to be suspended right now is Trevor Parham, the alleged tazer. There is no reason the others - including the current acting chief, Wendell Reed - can't be working, as long as they are cooperating with the investigation into the matter.

If anyone else needs to be disciplined for their conduct in the incident that can be done later.

The council has already voted on the matter and decided to keep Reed in place for the time being.

Colwyn may be screwed up politically but it's no Banana Republic. It shouldn't be run like one.

Government's Answer to Everything...

If it moves, tax it!

Spencerblog Returns

Reminds of a ditty my mother read to me when I was sick and in the hospital when I was 8 years old. It went like this:
Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over,
a candlestick!
Big Deal

Monday, May 7, 2012

Super Moon Saturday

In case you missed it.

Electrified in Colwyn

My Sunday print column is up.

Julia and Our Dear Leader

The Obama campaign's "Life of Julia" infographic is being unmercifully (and appropriately) mocked for its Maoist similarities and clumsy attacks on Mitt Romney.

Check it out here.

The propaganda begins:

The mocking begins:

That's from America's Mocker-in-Chief Dave Burge at Iowahawk. From this version, my favorite time in Julia's life is when she gets knocked up by a U.S. Senator and her son Zachary gets to attend the Federal Orphanage for Senate Bastards.

Enjoy it all here.

Anyone Speak Duck?

Mike Chitwood does.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday Funny

Sign of the Times Quiz

Seen today at West Chester University

Don't Stop Belevin in....

A. Higher Education.
B. Vandalism
C. Spell Check  
D. 3-Ways

"A Hot Mess" in Colwyn

Colywn was dead quiet yesterday morning. It was anything but at last night's borough council meeting.

At least nobody got tazed, as far as we know.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, next door in Darby Borough, stabbing victims don't need police help in getting to the hospital. They take the bus.

Give that man a free T-shirt.

Maybe this one is more appropriate...

Our Post Hope President

Chucky the K wants you to meet our Slice 'em and Dice 'em president.

What else to run on with 1.7 percent GDP growth (2011), record long-term joblessness and record 8 percent-plus unemployment (38 consecutive months, as of this writing). Slice and dice, group against group.
There is a problem, however. It makes a mockery of Obama’s pose as the great transcender, uniter, healer of divisions. This is the man who sprang from nowhere with that thrilling 2004 convention speech declaring that there is “not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”
Not any more. Barack Obama hops from special interest or identity group to another, promising this new entitlement (better rates on student loans) or warning against those nasty Republicans who would take away your right to vote without proving who you are.

Then, of course, there's the "war on women" the president's supporters keep attempting to sell female voters and the media with the pitch that Republicans want to take away a women's right to free contraception.

Obama is a pathetic sham of the candidate he ran as in 2008. The healer, the hoper, the changer is now the fear monger, the panderer, the failure trying to cobble together just enough votes from disparate and desperate voting blocs to win another term.

But then what? Four more years like the last four?

Thanks, but no thanks.

UPDATE: And let's not forget his sop to the environmental left on the Keystone XL pipeline. He killed it for no other reason than election year politics.

Furthermore, one of his top EPA regulators had to resign for making the mistake of publicly saying how the agency goes about its business of "crucifying" the oil and gas industry. Political denials aside, that's exactly how this administration has gone about the business of "governing."

Kim Strassel fleshes this out more

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Domino Theory

Occupy Bomb Plot Fizzles

Occupy Cleveland boasts several anarchists who were hoping to blow up a bridge.
What a lucky, lucky week this has been for Greater Cleveland -- especially for whichever unsuspecting souls were driving across the Ohio 82 bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley while five petty criminals associated with Occupy Cleveland were trying to community organize it.
The Occupiers, authorities tell us, thought they had rigged the span with plastic explosives that would detonate when they punched a code into a cellphone.
The only thing that went up in smoke, though, was their plot. They were working with dummy devices -- fitting -- sold to them by an FBI informant whom they failed to recognize as the Man.
I'm sorry. Your call to anarchist glory cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number and dial again. And again. And again.  
Meet The Lost Boys... The evil one percent forced them to do it.

"I Go Tanning with Mommy!"

This woman has to be kidding.

And why does the police photo of her not show her to be as "tan" as she was during the TV interview? In any case, her daughter's cute. Could use a little color though.

Ymmm, Yummm, Beat 'Em Up!

Man sparks melee after attempting to steal hash browns from the Brookhaven WAWA.

Hey, if you were short cash, you'd steal WAWA hash browns too. They're good! And I've got the ad campaign.

WAWA Hash Browns: Worth Going to Jail For!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jon

Jonathan Will turns 40. George Will celebrates.

Crazy Ball

If you're not watching Phillies and Braves, you're missing a crazy game. It's 9-8 in the bottom of 7th.


UPDATE II: 12-12 in the bottom of the 8th. Like I said, crazy game.

UPDATE III: 13-12 Braves, top of the 9th. Ugh.

UPDATE IV: This is NUTS! 13-13.

UPDATE V: Chipper Jones ends it with a walk-off. What a pitcher's duel.


Occupy Wall Street is BACK, baby! Sweeeeeet!

Barack Obama's Million Little Girlfriends?

So, in his autobiography "Dreams of My Father," Barack Obama now admits that he made up at least one character in the book, his "New York girlfriend."

Now, he says, she was a "composite" of his many girlfriends. Hmmmm.

I think we need Oprah to get to the bottom of this like she did with my fellow Denison alum James Frey and the falsehoods in his "A Million Little Pieces."

Warren's Descent

Have you heard that U.S. Senate candidate and Harvard Prof. Elizabeth Warren once identified herself as a Native American? Howie Carr has...
We all know about “undocumented workers.” Now we have Elizabeth Warren, the undocumented Indian.
Funny thing, I think Ted Williams was one-fourth Mexican. He was white. Johnny Bench is one-eighth Indian. I always think of him as white. And then there’s Pocahantas Warren, the blue-eyed, one-32nd Cherokee (or so we’re told) who went from the Southwest Conference to the Ivy League over the course of a decade in which she was claiming to be a “minority professor.”
But once she’d parlayed the racial-spoils racket all the way to a tenured position at Harvard Law, she decided to ... pass, as they used to say in the old South. Once she’d reached the pinnacle of her trade, she ditched the fake-Indian routine. Maybe White Eyes Warren saw the smoke signals and figured out that someone was going to call her out on her ancestry. She was right.
Obviously, she's a member of the Fugawi tribe. Or maybe, the Hekawi... Who's her campaign manager? Agarn?

UPDATE: Heh. Pinochio-hontas. Heh.

Respecting Female Voters

Dorothy Rabinowitz advises Mitt Romney...
From all corners of the commentariat, advisers friendly and unfriendly have declared it time for Mitt Romney to reveal himself—to let go at last and show the real Mitt he's allegedly been keeping secret. A fetching notion, but not the kind that wins elections. Forget the real Romney. Voters looking for a victory over Barack Obama would settle for the Romney on hand—the only real one, and unlikely to get any more so—as long as he's equipped for the requirements of the battle ahead.
It would help if he showed, first of all, a capacity to run a campaign not obviously dependent on the latest polls, or the fears of consultants. He could begin by ignoring the chorus of hysterics agonizing over the gender gap, then proceed to comport himself like a presidential candidate who grasps that women see themselves as citizens like any other—not as a separate group assigned victim status, to be favored with special tenderness.
Here, here. Read it all. It's full of good advice on other matters too. Including this gem...
It would help, finally, if Mr. Romney proved himself the first candidate in years to grasp that aspirants to the presidency who appear on late-night comedy shows invariably end up looking like buffoons. That's in addition to denigrating their candidacy, the presidency itself, and looking unutterably pathetic in the effort to look like regular guys.
Most voters with any sense—this will perhaps exclude a fair number of the screamers in the late-night studio audiences—will understand that the candidate isn't one of them, not even close. That voters in their right minds don't choose a candidate for president because they've had the privilege of seeing him look unspeakably absurd while engaging in obsequious exchanges with late-night hosts.

Classrooms Gone Viral

Not too long, Spencerblog argued that the future of education was in online courses over the Internet. They called Spencerblog a hater of public schools. They called Spencerblog a hater of smaller classrooms. They called Spencerblog crazy.

Well, check this out.
What’s it like taking a course with 120,000 other students? 
That is one of the questions raised this spring by the debut of MITx, the Institute’s new online educational initiative. The first offering — a course dubbed 6.002x, or “Circuits and Electronics” — is running from March 5 through June 8, modeled after one of the introductory courses taught in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).
Here's one review from a student
Myriam Nonaka, an electrical engineering student at the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional in Buenos Aires, Argentina, finds 6.002x to be “very entertaining,” and singles out the course’s online discussion forum as a place “where you can share and learn.” Indeed, the forum, where students discuss the course and offer assistance to each other, is something that almost all MITx participants cite as a defining feature of the experience.
The future is now.

Liberals Lecture Supreme Court on How to be Popular!

Jon Cohn at The New Republic argues that the Supreme Court "should be careful" when it comes to deciding the constitutionality of Obamacare.

Why? Mostly because getting it wrong - that is deciding that the individual mandate is unconstitutional - would undermine the court's popularity with the American public. He quotes blogger Brad Joondeph on this dire threat to the court's legitimacy.
... (a) steady stream of highly divisive, conservative 5-4 decisions, led off by a decision to invalidate the most important federal statute in a generation, could be toxic. It could take years for the Court to regain its standing among the American public.
Doesn't Cohn mean it could take years for the court to regain its standing among American liberals? The public dislikes Obamacare.

In California, the public dislikes have gay marriage rammed it throat. Nationally, the public likes Voter ID laws of the sort that liberals want stuck down.

If 5-4 decisions are so bad for the image of the court, maybe a couple of the court's liberals should actually consider voting with the less liberal majority on some of these matters.

But it's actually funny listening to liberals like Cohn and Joondeph lecture the court about how to be popular with the American people when their own standing with the public is so pathetically low.

Last year, according to Gallup, some 40 percent of Americans described their views as conservative, while 35 percent claimed to be moderate. Only 21 percent copped to being liberal. That's one in five Americans who'll admit to be a liberal.

Clearly the justices on the Supreme Court shouldn't decide cases based on their popularity with the American people. All decisions should be based on the justices' understanding of the constitution, the law and the relevant facts of the cases that come before them.

For Cohn and Joondeph to suggest otherwise is not only wrong, it would be self-defeating for the progressive goals of their incredibly shrinking tribe.

Art vs. Crime?

In Upper Darby some 1,000 parents and students showed up to protest school budget cuts in arts and music education.

Some of the organizers of this campaign are calling the cuts part of a "war on children." The ogres who run the district obviously hate kids. Why else would they cut such essential programs that help young people stay out of prison?

That's right, prison!

From the story:
Bill Caughlan, of Drexel Hill, whose children are enrolled at Garrettford Elementary, never attended a school board meeting before and joined the throng outside the auditorium prior to the meeting.
“My daughter Emma (11) loves music,” Caughlan said. “And it doesn’t make sense to take away foreign language and technology at the middle schools. My concern is if they cut them from the schools, later on we’ll pay for it with fighting crime.”
That's right. If poor little Emma doesn't get music instruction in school she's likely to start holding up convenience stores. Worse, she may even take up smoking.

Back on planet earth, school officials actually have to set priorities and budget for them. When tens of millions of school dollars are being paid to retired teachers and current ones get gold-plated health benefits, there is less money available for kids who want to learn how to play the trombone.

Kids, you want to learn how to draw? To paint? To sculpt? Ask your parents for pen and paper, an easel, a kiln for your birthday. Google an instructional video on You Tube. And take up smoking. All of the cooler artists smoke these days. But don't hold-up any convenience stores. It costs money to put you in jail.

UPDATE: Plus, its seems musical ability, appreciation and/or being a public school teacher don't necessarily go hand in hand with being a responsible parent.
RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — A Rutledge father is facing a misdemeanor child endangerment offense after allegedly leaving his 3-year-old son alone in the car while he and his 4-year-old were inside a bar listening to a band...
Keith Charles Barnes, 50, of the 100 block of Rutledge Avenue, reportedly told police he had both of his young sons inside the bar Saturday listening to “Blackthorn.” But when the youngest began acting up, documents state he “took him outside and locked him in the vehicle...”
“Barnes failed to see the severity of the situation as he kept saying that he is a musician, and Blackthorn is a national act,” the affidavit states. Barnes also indicated to police at the scene that he was a teacher in the Haverford School District, authorities said Tuesday night.
When speaking with Barnes Saturday night, police detected an odor of alcohol, the affidavit states. Back at the station, his blood alcohol content (BAC) registered 0.06 on a portable breath test.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stun Gun Fun

A Colwyn policeman under investigation for using a stun gun on a juvenile. Doesn't sound like anyone was seriously hurt and here's hoping everything was done by the book.

But there is a lighter side to stun gunning... (Rated PG for some bad language)

Sitting Out the Pledge

Dumb school administrators in Western Pa. allegedly punish 8th grader for sitting out the Pledge of Allegiance.

They should've just let her classmates tease her about being a commie and let it go at that.

Our Wonderful Public Servants

It's very nice that Delta Airlines and ConocoPhillips have come up with a deal to keep that refinery operating. It's good for the workers and local economy.

But the parade of politicians - from the governor on down - running to the announcement to take some sort of credit for the deal is as silly as it is routine.

Two businesses saw a mutual benefit in making this deal. Delta needs jet fuel to run its fleet. And ConocoPhillips wanted out of the northeast refinery biz. Delta got the plant for a song and hopes that the  state DEP and federal EPA will be reasonable in their future requirements and regulations.

We'll see. In the meantime, all this yakking and knee-bent running about by public officials is nothing more than your typical political grandstanding by politicians. It isn't pretty. But then it never has been.

Using Bin Laden

The Seals aren't happy to be used for political purposes.

UPDATE: Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey writes:
The first anniversary of the SEAL Team 6 operation that killed Osama bin Laden brings the news that President Obama plans during the coming campaign to exploit the bragging rights to the achievement. That plan invites scrutiny that is unlikely to benefit him.
Consider the events surrounding the operation. A recently disclosed memorandum from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta shows that the president's celebrated derring-do in authorizing the operation included a responsibility-escape clause: "The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven's hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out."
Which is to say, if the mission went wrong, the fault would be Adm. McRaven's, not the president's. 

Read it all here.

This isn't classy. This isn't classy, at all.

UPDATE II: Former CIA man Jose Rodriquez argues the Obama Team is no Seal Team.
As we mark the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama deserves credit for making the right choice on taking out Public Enemy No. 1.
But his administration never would have had the opportunity to do the right thing had it not been for some extraordinary work during the George W. Bush administration. Much of that work has been denigrated by Obama as unproductive and contrary to American principle.
He is wrong on both counts.

What Do George Bush and Nelson Mandela Have in Common?

The Dalai Lama knows a good man when he meets one.

Good News

See. I leave town for a couple of days and good things happen.

For his 27th birthday, Jake Spencer, got a boys' trip to Las Vegas. He shot crap, played slots, had a beer and went to see Donny and Marie (Osmond). He even had a puff of a cigar. But, shhhh! Don't tell his mother. What happens in Vegas...