Daily Archives: February 17, 2014

Ah, the intolerance of the left

Happier days at Alcorn State

Happier days at Alcorn State

Assistant UConn football coach Ernest Jones fired after telling Hartford Courant, “We’re going to make sure (the players) understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle. That’s something that is important.”

That’s probably inappropriate these days for a state school, although a devout Christian working with some pretty tough inner city boys might think it useful, but a firing offense? Not just a reprimand?

After an uproar in the Hartford Courant, led by that paper’s editor, UConn’s president Susan Herbst explained that she’d reprimanded Jones, and made it clear to him and the head coach Bob Diaco that Jesus has no place on the gridiron. That should have been that, and it mollified the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, usually a prickly, but fairly sane arbitrator  of these things:

Gary Jones, director of the Connecticut Regional Anti-Defamation League, said that UConn addressed the issue properly.

“Clearly, this was a mistake on the part of the coach who is now employed by a public university, but we understand that both the president of the university and the coach have addressed the problem and corrected it and we’re very comfortable with the response,” Gary Jones said. “It was a mistake that was corrected. The last thing we want anyone to do is feel like this is a bad person or he had bad motivation. That’s just not true.”

But a reprimand and caution was not enough, and a letter writing campaign by offended citizens did Jones in. Rena Epstein of West Hartford said that she felt “alientated” after reading Jones’ statement; “it sounds like football players who are not Christian might not be welcome at UConn, and would not feel a part of that huddle. ” Certainly she wasn’t alone in her sentiments and feelings of alienation, although it’s unclear whether Ms. Epstein plans on playing for the Huskies herself.

What was Jones hired to do? His coach explained, before the firing:

 “It is a great role that [Jones] is an expert at and it is making sure players have a yearlong plan for developing in a myriad of different areas. Let’s just call it social development. It is teaching them about agents; it’s teaching them about drugs and alcohol; it’s teaching them and giving them inspirational stories from people that had adversity and persevered, bringing those people into clinic and lecture. It’s teaching them how to write a resume. It’s teaching them how to do an interview. It’s teaching them how to set a table or eat with a fork and knife properly, and etiquette; a myriad of different life-skills lessons and social development levels that help the players engage. It will also develop for a yearlong plan, a detailed community service plan where we are out in the community helping.”

Nowhere in that job description is there anything about religion, for God’s sake, so it’s a good thing this threat to civilized society has been ridden out of town.


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Happens on American campuses too

McGille University male self-criticism squad

McGille University male self-criticism squad

McGill University student forced to recant, apologize, for publishing racist picture of Obama.

A student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada was forced to issue a formal apology for emailing a picture of President Obama kicking open a door–all because some students thought the image was somehow racist.

The image was actually an edited .gif, and was shown by Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” last fall. It humorously suggests that the president may be fed up with press conferences. McGill student Brian Farnan, vice president of the university’s student government, sent out an email with the .gif and the harmless caption, “Honestly midterms get out of here,” according to Legal Insurrection.

What happened next is almost unbelievable: Another student issued a formal complaint against Farnan for committing a “micro-aggression.”For those not up-to-date on the PC lexicon, “micro-aggression” is the latest phrase of choice for leftist radicals seeking to blame racism for common annoyances suffered by people of all races. Minority activists at the University of Michigan, for example, have insisted that trivial slights, such as “Having your opinion second-guessed in a group assignment,” are micro-aggressions that betray the campus as a hostile place for students of color.

The .gif of Obama kicking a door was racist because of the “cultural, historical and living legacy surrounding people of color—particularly young men—being portrayed as violent,” according to the apology letter that Farnan was forced to write.

Technically, Farnan got off easy. Under the McGill student government’s Orwellian “equity policy,” Farnan could have been suspended or even dismissed from his position as vice president in the organization. The decision to force Farnan to apologize was apparently made by an “equity commissioner,” whose will can only be overturned by a two-thirds majority of the student government.

Like a true victim of the thought police, Farnan was forced to denounce his heretical email.

“Despite the innocent intentions influencing my decision to use this particular image, I have come to recognize the negative implications of adding the .GIF image within this given context,” he said. “By using this particular image of President Obama, I unknowingly perpetuated this living legacy and subsequently allowed a medium of [Student Society of McGill University] communication to become the site of a microaggression; for this, I am deeply sorry.”

The punishment of Farnan has proved controversial, however, and now the student government has plans to review the equity policy in the coming weeks.

UPDATE: “Microagression” defined: Catch 22. If you deny you’re a racist, you’re a racist; if you deny there’s no difference between races, you’re a racist.

Microaggressions can take a number of different forms, for example, questioning the existence of racial-cultural issues, making stereotypic assumptions, and cultural insensitivity. Some other types of microaggressions that have been identified include Colorblindness (e.g., “I don’t think of you as Black. You are just a normal person”), Denial of personal bias (e.g., “I’m not homophobic; I even have gay friends.”), and Minimization of racial-cultural issues (e.g., “Just because you feel alone in this group doesn’t mean that there’s a racial issue involved.”). “Colorblindness” in particular has been associated with higher levels of racism and lower levels of empathy.

Here’s the offending picture, by the way:



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Worst prediction of 2014

Presidential vacation

Presidential vacation

The president relaxed at the 19th hole of his billionaire friend Larry Ellison’s private golf courseto chat with the nation about sacrifice, the little people, and his hopes for the future before jetting back to the east coast.

Barkley asked, “What do you think of the term Obamacare?”

“I like it. I don’t mind. And I tell you, five years from now, when everybody’s saying, ‘Man, I’m sure glad we got healthcare,’ there are going to be a whole bunch of people who don’t call it Obamacare anymore because they don’t want me to get the credit.”

The man is delusional, to add to our other worries.


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While Michelle and the girls are off in Aspen, here’s an old chestnut that’s still warm

So you get a tingle up your leg, Chris? That's so sweet.

So you get a tingle up your leg, Chris? That’s so sweet.

Mr. “We can’t let Americans just sit around in their 72 ° heated rooms Obama” doesn’t like it that cold himself.

Here’s the NYT’s take on the matter back in 2009 – typically, it saw it as a refreshing sign of hope and change – others might have seen it as an ominous sign of the true character of the man who’d just been elected to lead the country.

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Thus did a rule of the George W. Bush administration — coat and tie in the Oval Office at all times — fall by the wayside, only the first of many signs that a more informal culture is growing up in the White House under new management. Mr. Obama promised to bring change to Washington and he has — not just in substance, but in presidential style.


“We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” Obama said.

“That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen,” he added.

Eat as much as we want”?  Mandatory food rationing next?


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I blame Bush

Reporting off duty

Reporting off duty

John Kerry has exclusive authority to approve or disapprove of the Keystone pipeline, and it was an executive order by George Bush that gave it to him.

Just yesterday Kerry, who’s in Indonesia to escape the third coldest winter in recent (1800s on) history, wrung his hands and mewled about global warming being as being as big a threat to the world as nuclear destruction, so it’s pretty clear where his sentiments are. The problem for Kerry, however, is that his boss will be blamed by one side or the other of the dispute regardless of what he decides, and, presumably, the Vacationer in Chief still has some say in what his Secretary of State does. Presumably.

Look for a delay until past the 2014 elections, then disapproval.


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Why Walt is FWIW’s official, and sole Olympic correspondent

Bode, we just burned down Disneyworld - how do you feel, and where will you go now?

Bode, we just burned down Disneyworld – how do you feel, and where will you go now?

Well yes, we could only afford to send one reporter, but also because no one else should be forced to watch the NBC ghouls probe and pry into the athletes’ personal lives.

NBC is under fire after one of its reporters questioned bronze medal winning skier Bode Miller so much about the death of his brother he began to sob uncontrollably.

Correspondent Christin Cooper interviewed Miller just moments after he finished third in the Super G fnal, making him both the most medaled skier in history and the oldest person to win an alpine medal at the Games.

However, what should have been a happy conversation quickly turned to tears.

Miller was the first to bring up his brother, Chilly, a snowboarder who died in April from a seizure, but Cooper continued to push to the point that he had to walk away.

The interview was conducted on Sunday, and NBC’s edit Sunday night showed Miller for more than a minute after the interview ended, crying, from different camera angles.

I lost what little interest I had in watching the Olympics when ABC, I think, started this crap back in  maybe 1980? For every thirty-second bit of coverage of a particular event, they’d run fifteen minutes of how the athlete grew up, what his third grade teacher thought of him, and how he felt when an ABC producer deliberately ran over his dog to get live reaction footage (or like that). Bah. I can’t take it, but Walt’s made of sterner stuff: “I just tell myself dead baby jokes”, he cabled from Sochi, “and press on.”


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Take two aspirin and call the undertaker in the morning


Homeopathic medicines could do no worse

Homeopathic medicines could do no worse

NYT is out with a (very) alarming article on the lack of quality control in Indian drug manufacturing plants, including the fact that 25% of all drugs shipped from there are counterfeit, with no active ingredients. That’s bad enough, but as Glenn Reynolds points out, they buried the lede:

American businesses and F.D.A. officials are just as concerned about the quality of drugs coming out of China, but the F.D.A.’s efforts to increase inspections there have so far been frustrated by the Chinese government.

“China is the source of some of the largest counterfeit manufacturing operations that we find globally,” said John P. Clark, Pfizer’s chief security officer, who added that Chinese authorities were cooperative.

Using its new revenues, the F.D.A. tried to bolster its staff in China in February 2012. But the Chinese government has so far failed to provide the necessary visas despite an announced agreement in December 2013 during a visit by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., said Erica Jefferson, an F.D.A. spokeswoman.

The United States has become so dependent on Chinese imports, however, that the F.D.A. may not be able to do much about the Chinese refusal. The crucial ingredients for nearly all antibiotics, steroids and many other lifesaving drugs are now made exclusively in China.

The article states that 25% of the cost of manufacturing drugs in America can be attributed to the requirements of inspections. That makes it easy to understand why drug companies in India and China avoid them, but I’m a limited-government, not a no-government, pure libertarian, and I’d rather not trust the free market to provide quality control in this instance – I’d be dead before market forces corrected the situation.


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A nifty house goes up on the Mianus

(Greenwich Time)

Good article in Greenwich Time on a local builder’s project on an impossible site at 265 Valley Road.

The demolition phase began in early March 2013. “It took six to eight weeks to excavate,” says Muldoon, rather than the usual 10 days. The excavator told Muldoon it was the first time he ever had to wear a seat belt. “And every day there was a hiccup,” says Muldoon, “Every 30 minutes I would get a call from the excavator.”

“Then we had to dig out a foundation that included hammering out a 30-foot-high rock ledge,” he continues, “and you have to dig 42 inches below the frost line to avoid the frost heave. We’re building a California-style house in the Northeast, where you have to worry about winter thaw.”

The next hurdle was to get all the building material down to the base of the hill. “It was incredibly difficult,” Muldoon says, “You’re slipping and falling down the hill. And, oh, I forgot my hammer and that meant a 10-minute walk up or down the hill. At the end of a day of walking up and down the hill, my legs were burning.”

The day the inspector came, before the steps down were built, he asked Muldoon, “How am I going to get down there?”

“When the concrete guys came,” says Muldoon, “It took them three weeks to pour in the concrete.”

“This house is one of the smallest houses I’ve built, at 3,000 square feet,” he says,” and it’s taking the longest time. I could have built three houses in the same amount as this one and made three times as much money. But,” he adds, “I would not have been as proud as I am of this one.”

River views, a dock, even a swimming pool (I’ll bet it’s small), and what looks like a great, open design. I can’t wait to see it.


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