Thursday, March 31, 2005
31 mar 05 @ 6:43 pm est
I’ve been down in Central Florida attending the funeral of a friend’s mother. I made a wrong turn in Polk County (Haines
City) after leaving Orlando
and cruised down State Road 17 instead of taking U.S. 17. It was a lucky mistake; I drove through, around and in the vicinity
of many orange groves and it was a beautiful sight. Not only that, their fragrance permeated the air. Luckily, State Road
60 in Lake Wales
was a good route west and got me to Bartow in good time.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say about Bartow in the coming days.
UPDATE: I found a website at southeastroads.com on scenic Florida roads that makes me feel better both
about taking that wrong turn and for recognizing that it was a scenic roadway:
Florida 17 (South 10th Street)
approaches U.S. 17-92 (Hinson
Avenue) in Haines City. Somewhat confusingly, Florida 17 intersects with
U.S. 17, and several signs in this area attempt to clarify the difference
between the state road and the U.S. highway.
Use U.S. 17-92 southwest to Lake
Alfred and northeast to Davenport.
To return to U.S. 27, use U.S.
They have some photos on that website but they don’t portray
the groves at all; just basic roadway shots.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
26 mar 05 @ 9:10 pm est
Gerard Van Der Leun is on a roll and has the GOOD NEWS:
rising in the center of all you can see. Take your eyes away and then look again and its gone. But the day goes on and the
light rises around you and you know, with an abiding faith, that beauty will surprise you again when you least expect it,
out of the dark on a rush of wings. There are many ways of this world and that one is not the least of them.
I thought for
a moment about turning on the news to see what had transpired in the rest of the world while I slept. I decided against it.
Held halfway between a death and a life, between Good Friday and Easter, I'd already learned the news of the day.
26 mar 05 @ 9:04 pm est
HAS BEEN CALLED . . . MUST YOU CHOOSE?
Gerard Van Der Leun thinks so:
IN THE END, it is never a matter of law, but a matter of what you believe. It is
clear that Americans today have two sets of beliefs. The first group believes:
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The second group believes:
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Government and their
Laws with many legislatable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty
and the pursuit of Happiness.
one you believe determines who you are. And you must choose.
this Easter weekend, another persuasive post. This is a comment I made on the thread:
Unlike Gerard, I'm not sure we have to choose in that fashion. The post is right on the money -- I think the choice that
must be made is more refined than you indicated, Gerard. Or, perhaps I've just assumed too much.
Where the choice has to be made, it seems to me, is whether or not you acknowledge the foundation of our laws and culture,
the basis for the founding of this model republic.
The particular tenets don't necessarily have to be yours [you are free to be agnostic, atheist, Bhuddist, even anarchist,
etc]. But you must, it seems to me, CHOOSE to be intellectually honest and not only acknowledge the Western Civilization that
gave birth to this nation but the centrality of that culture to our beliefs in certain "inalieanble" rights and from whom
those rights are derived.
That's where Europe has lost its way, as has the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.
They chose poorly.
I pray that America will not follow
Friday, March 25, 2005
25 mar 05 @ 10:21 am est
DIGESTING THE SCHIAVO MATTER AND CONSIDERING TERRI’S REVOLUTION
Bill Kristol on the evident conclusion of the Terri Schiavo case:
judges deserve some criticism. But we should not be too harsh. For example, it would be wrong to suggest, as some conservatives
have, that our judicial elite is systematically biased against "life." After all, they have saved the life of Christopher
Simmons. It would be wrong to argue, as some critics have, that our judges systematically give too much weight to the husband's
wishes in situations like Terri Schiavo's. After all, our judges have for three decades given husbands (or fathers) no standing
at all to participate in the decision whether to kill their unborn children. It would be wrong to claim that our judges don't
take seriously legislation passed by the elected representatives of the people. After all, our judges are committed to upholding
the "rule of law"--though not, perhaps, the rule of actual laws passed by actual lawmakers. And it would be wrong to accuse
our judges of being heartless. After all, Judges Carnes and Hull of the 11th U.S. Circuit told us, "We all have our own family, our own
loved ones, and our own children."
we all. They deserve a judiciary that is respectful of democratic self-government
and committed to a genuine constitutionalism. The Bush administration should nominate such judges, and Congress should
confirm them. And the president and Congress should lead a serious national debate on the distinction between judicial independence and judicial arrogance, and on the difference between judicial review
and judicial supremacy. After all, we are a "maturing society," as the Supreme Court has told us. Perhaps it is time, in mature
reaction to this latest installment of what Hugh Hewitt has called a "robed charade," to rise up against our robed masters,
and choose to govern ourselves. Call it Terri's revolution.
People keep talking about an overreach by Evangelicals, Christian
Conservatives, etc. I think they are missing the boat – just as they were deluded into thinking they could keep repeating
the line that the Swift Boat Vets for Truth were “sliming” John Kerry and think that would settle the matter. They were wrong.
John Kerry was and still is a lying opportunist who violated one of the fundamental rules of a fighting man – do not try and
get over on your mates.
The problem with the so-called “husband” in the Schiavo case
is that we all know he is not her husband in any commonly understood sense. It is, in fact, offensive to me to be battered
by this assertion. He is shacking up with another woman that is his common law wife, has fathered two children by that woman,
and people keep deferring to him as Terri’s husband.
Mickey-fickey, please. Terri Schiavo has no husband. Still,
the robed masters are not the problem (although I agree with Kristol – there is a drift in the judiciary that favorably contemplates
lecturing the public and lawmakers).
No, the problem here is that the Florida Senate blinked – now
the question is what will be the legacy of that “blinkering” during a time for action.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
24 mar 05 @ 8:14 pm est
DOES THE DENOUEMENT OF THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE MEAN FOR AMERICA?
Gerard Van Der Leun at
To me the lessons that should arise in our
souls out of this sorry spectacle are twofold.
The first is that, more clearly than any
moment I can recall, this case calls up the ancient demand of Deuteronomy:
set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live.... [Deuteronomy 30:19-20]. "
As a country we have, in this case, chosen
All our legal institutions have chosen death.
The husband has chosen death. His lawyers have a long history of choosing death. The judge chose death and all the judges
above the judge have now affirmed death. Death is where all our laws and all our "justices" have taken us.
That’s a sobering thought. But he’s not done:
That’s a tough assessment and likely goes further than I would
. . . but it speaks to my core, and it is persuasive.
24 mar 05 @ 7:52 am est
COURTS ARE NOT THE “WRONGDOERS” ON THE TERRI SCHIAVO CASE
Matt Conigliaro at Abstract
Appeal makes the point and sounds the right note:
This case is really turning out to be something of a perfect
storm for demonstrating the checks and balances of our branches of government AND how each branch has specific roles to play
with priorities unique to each branch. Far too many Americans, including reporters, don’t seem to grasp how these branches
of government interact.
The key player here was the Legislative branch not at the federal
level but the state level. Congress, in essence, tried to show the Florida Senate what it SHOULD have done. The Florida Senate,
in its infinite wisdom, was not persuaded.
That’s how politics works. By the way, Matt looks to have a
very interesting blog – check it out.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
23 mar 05 @ 2:54 pm est
COURTESY THAN A CONVICTED FELON?
Surely, the Terri Schiavo case has exposed a fault-line in
American politics more curious than I would have expected and (I suspect) I am likely not alone in this assessment. For instance,
Dale Franks at Q and O
Blog makes my point:
I have to say, though, I am somewhat surprised that the Schindlers' request for injunctive relief hasn't been
granted at least temporarily. After all, if Ms. Schindler was a convicted felon on Death Row, a fresh appeal like this would
instantly put the kibosh on any plans to execute her, until the appeal reached a final disposition. In this case, if Ms.
Schiavo dies before the final disposition of her appeal, the case is mooted, and there's no way that the Schindlers could
be made whole. Granted, after three runs at the Supremes already, there's probably no real chance of getting any relief
from them either, but still, if she was a convicted felon, there's be no question that her life would be spared.
Unfortunately, Ms. Schiavo didn't butcher a carload of tourists with a hatchet, so we can apparently just
let her die, and make her whole case moot. I mean, irrespective of whether or not you believe Congress exercised its authority
inappropriately in this case by ordering the de novo review, the clear intent of Congress was to spare Ms.
Schiavo's life through mandating another round of review. Too bad they couldn't find a way to make that explicit in
the text of the act. Apparently, the judiciary is coming over all originalist now, and deciding that, if it's not in
the text of the act, it isn't required.
Still, it's odd that Ms. Schiavo doesn't even receive the same courtesy a convicted felon would receive.
Strange, strange stuff. This is, in part, my response to Dale’s
post on his website:
A de novo review means de novo review—and the Schindler’s are the focus, not some squire
shacking up with another woman and raising a family with his shack-mate while still (wink, wink) claiming to be Terri
No, at this moment I am not sympathetic to Michael Schiavo.
Not at all. If that was my sister, and my family had made the determinations that the Schindler family obviously has made
– I’d be mad as hell.
23 mar 05 @ 8:54 am est
APPEAL DENIED BY THE FEDERAL 11TH CIRCUIT COUT OF APPEAL IN ATLANTA
Michelle Malkin has a good post on the subject, including this sampling
Isn't it reassuring to know that Terri Schiavo, a woman being deliberately starved
to death, retains her privacy rights?
In this week's column,
I argue that the MSM's coverage of the case has been abysmal. I focus in particular on ABC's coverage, including the biased
poll that Ed Morrissey deconstructed
on Monday. More questions about ABC's coverage here.
Not surprisingly, other columnists weighed in on Schiavo as well:
"There is no good outcome to this case. Except perhaps if Florida and the other states were to amend their laws and resolve
conflicts among loved ones differently -- by granting authority not necessarily to the spouse but to whatever first-degree
relative (even if in the minority) chooses life and is committed to support it. Call it Terri's law. It will help prevent
us having to choose in the future between travesty and tragedy."
"When is a husband not a husband? That's the question that keeps scratching at the back door of the hospice where Terri Schiavo
lay slowly dying of starvation through the weekend."
"If a court can order Terri Schiavo to be slowly starved to death on the wishes of an estranged husband, who will be next?"
I think many Republicans are right to focus on the invidious
“culture of death” that surreptitiously slinks throughout this whole 15-year ordeal. It is a slippery slope and people are
right to be fearful that we are lapsing far too much onto the “death” side of the ledger.
I liken this slippery slope to a particular difference between
American English and British English related to our different cultural histories. I was listening to BBC America news on television
this morning and the anchor said something to the effect of “Pakistan
are . . .” rather than “Pakistan is” and that’s when it struck me – the culture of life vs. culture of death is a similar
type of difference. Subtle, but often determinative.
How so? Our understanding of government has lead us to a grammatical
modification of the language while Britain (still holding onto the remnants
of its imperial colonial heritage) maintains the standard: “the United States are” [British English] rather than “the United States is,” [American English]. An American listening to a British broadcast
immediately hears these types of linguistic oddities, and vice-versa.
Given this fact, I’m not sure I will be able to agree with
Charles Krauthammer (who wrote an outstanding column that I otherwise agree with) when he said the action by Congress was
To the contrary, we may look back on this time and instead
focus on the actions by the Florida Senate and indict them for blinking when bold action was required. House Bill 701 and Senate Bill 804 are the two pieces of legislation in Florida that seem to be the only remaining hope for Terri Schiavo and both are tied
up in the Senate.
In my mind, I’m filing this episode under the “limits of human
23 mar 05 @ 8:45 am est
Who the heck is Randi Rhodes? A Palm
Beach County radio personality, apparently. Check out that interview link – then read this update, making sure to click on the comments and read them, too.
Here’s a picture of our fellow Floridian in action, apparently
at the Democratic National Convention:
Soon, she may be known as the “infamous” Randi Rhodes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
22 mar 05 @ 6:25 pm est
An all-time Gator Great, David Little, has passed away much too soon in Miami:
The shadows that
enveloped David Little always appeared to be immense.
He grew up and
played football in the same city as his older brother, Larry, an All-Pro guard with the Miami
Dolphins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When he was drafted
by the Steelers in 1981, he backed up perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Jack Lambert, another Hall of Famer, before replacing
Lambert in 1984.
But Little never
let that bother him. He never tried to ride his brother's fame. Nor did he try to emulate Lambert or any of the other great
"David was his
own man," his wife, Denise, said. "He never let anything affect him. He never got caught up in anything."
Little, 46, who
played 12 seasons with the Steelers until he was released in 1993, died Thursday while working out alone in his Miami home.
He wore the Orange
and Blue during my years in the Army, 1977-80. God speed, David Little.
22 mar 05 @ 7:01 am est
Is the commissioner spinning or will we get more Super Bowl's in Jacksonville?
everyone feels the Jacksonville Super Bowl was a big success,'' Tagliabue said at a news conference following the first session
of the league's annual March owners' meeting. "The city handled it very well. The host committee was very effective in getting
things done and delivering on the concept they had. I would say the way some people said it to me was that there were ancillary
aspects of the weekend apart from the game itself that maybe were not ideal, but they were certainly workable. It was a very
enjoyable and very successful weekend.''
And what “ancillary” things might that be Mr. Commissioner?
were hard to get. Some of the cruise ships leaving early (7 a.m.) on Monday so people couldn't leave at noon, things like
Of course, the Miami Dolphins are trying to raise the bar and
lock down South Florida
as a semi-permanent host. I’m not betting against the Dolphins and South Florida; the game
probably SHOULD be there on a semi-permanent basis.
22 mar 05 @ 6:59 am est
THEORY ON BLACK AMERICA?
Last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had a long piece on Roland
G. Fryer Jr., a native Floridian from Daytona Beach
with ties to Bethune-Cookman. He’s something of a prodigy, 27-years-old and already a force at Harvard.
G. Fryer Jr. is 27 years old and he is an assistant professor of economics at Harvard and he is black. Yes, 27 is young to
be any kind of professor anywhere. But after what might charitably be called a slow start in the scholarly life, Fryer has
been in a big hurry to catch up. He was in fact only 25 when he went on the job market, gaining offers from -- well, just
about everywhere. He abruptly ended his job search by accepting an invitation to join the Society of Fellows at Harvard, one
of academia’s most prestigious research posts. This meant he wouldn’t be teaching anywhere for three years. The Harvard economics
department told Fryer to take its offer anyway; he could have an office and defer his teaching obligation until the fellowship
he is halfway through his fellowship, the quality and breadth of Fryer’s research have surprised even his champions. ‘‘As
a pure technical economic theorist, he’s of the first rate,’’ says Lawrence
Katz, a prominent labor economist at Harvard. ‘‘But what’s really incredible is that he’s also much more of a broad social
theorist -- talking to psychologists, sociologists, behavioral geneticists -- and the ideas he comes up with aren’t the ‘let’s
take the standard economic model and push a little harder’ ideas. He makes you think of Nathan Glazer or William Julius Wilson,
but with economic rigor.’’ Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard humanities scholar, says that Fryer is ‘‘destined to be a star.
I mean, he’s a star already, just a baby star. I think he’ll raise the analysis of the African-American experience to new
levels of rigor and bring economics into the mainstream area of inquiry within the broader field of African-American studies.’’
Go ‘head, fella, go ‘head.
22 mar 05 @ 6:58 am est
TAKE ON MARY
I haven’t had a chance to really sink my teeth into it but
it looks as though Mark
D. Roberts has an interesting follow-on to the recent TIME
Magazine cover story on the Protestant Mary. This is how he breaks out the series:
Check it out.
Monday, March 21, 2005
21 mar 05 @ 9:56 am est
WATCH THE GAME BUT I DO FEEL THE PAIN
What can you say – Villanova matched up well against us, I
assume (76-65 speaks for itself). The little bit I did see – their big men seemed to be able to get their way. I saw Noah get completely used on one
play and the box score says he only played two minutes. Billy must have seen that play and said to himself, “No way.”
Official Basketball Box Score
Villanova vs Florida
3/20/05 1:15 PM CT at Gaylord Entertainment Ctr, Nashville, TN
VISITORS: Villanova 24-7
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
02 Foye, Randy......... f
6-17 1-4 5-6
1 3 4 3 18 1 3
0 2 36
34 Sumpter, Curtis..... f
1-1 2 4 6 1
8 1 0 0 0 10
Will...... c 2-5 0-0 0-0 3 4 7 4 4 0
1 1 1 20
12 Nardi, Mike......... g
0-0 0 0 0 2
3 3 2 0 2 38
14 Ray, Allan.......... g
7-8 0 1 1 4
7 3 4 0 2 29
13 Lowry, Kyle.........
7-11 0-0 1-3 0 5 5 3 15 2 1
1 3 31
20 Fraser, Jason.......
5-9 0-0 11-17 9 6 15 3 21 0 2 1
21 Charles, Chris......
0-0 0 1 1 2
0 0 1 0 0 3
44 Austin, Marcus......
0-0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 1 1 3
2 3 5
Totals.............. 24-58 3-11 25-35 17 27 44 23 76 10 14 4 11 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 15-33 45.5%
2nd Half: 9-25 36.0% Game:
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-7 28.6% 2nd Half: 1-4 25.0% Game:
F Throw % 1st Half: 7-11
63.6% 2nd Half: 18-24 75.0%
Game: 71.4% 3
HOME TEAM: Florida
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
01 Anthony Roberson....
2-2 0 0 0 4
5 1 2 0 0 26
02 Corey Brewer........
3-5 0 1 1 3
11 1 4 0 1 28
1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0
10 Cornelius Ingram....
0-0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 0 1
11 Taurean Green.......
4-6 0 1 1 1
9 1 3 0 1 22
12 Lee Humphrey........
1-2 0 0 0 1
4 0 2 0 0 16
13 Joakim Noah.........
0-0 0 1 1 1
0 0 0 0 0 2
24 David Lee...........
7-12 0-0 6-7 7 3 10 5 20 2 3 3
32 Chris Richard.......
0-0 0 2 2 3
4 0 1 0 0 15
42 Al Horford..........
0-1 1 4 5 4
0 1 0 1 1 22
44 Matt Walsh..........
4-13 2-6 2-2 1 8 9 5 12 3 4
0 0 32
Totals.............. 20-52 7-18 18-25 10 24 34 30 65 9 19
4 6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-25 40.0%
2nd Half: 10-27 37.0% Game: 38.5%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-8 37.5% 2nd Half: 4-10 40.0% Game: 38.9%
F Throw % 1st Half: 9-14
64.3% 2nd Half: 9-11 81.8% Game: 72.0% 2
Officials: Richard Cartmell, Larry Rose, Edwin Edsell
Technical fouls: Villanova-None. Florida-None.
Score by Periods
1st 2nd Total
39 37 - 76
Florida....................... 32 33 - 65
Look at the box score carefully; Matt Walsh was our
leading defensive rebounder (in fact, the leading defensive rebounder in the game). Meanwhile, look at Horford and you will
see all you need to know. Shooters (Walsh and Roberson) will sometimes be on and sometimes off. Both of our primary shooters
were off yesterday. We had to have Horford (and Noah) come through for us.
David Lee played well but what many people don’t seem to understand
– David Lee can’t carry a team. Fine player, and he goes down as a Gator great, but he’s never been able to carry our team
– and those facts are incontrovertible. Yes, he had great stats yesterday – but his responsibility was the paint and Villanova
imposed themselves on us right there. Horford will put a halt to that in years to come but not yesterday. So ends an era in
Gator basketball; bring on the next era, the Al Horford era. I think it will be a better one for the Orange and Blue.
Oh, and about those five brackets I entered on ESPN? All of
them have been absolutely BRUTALIZED! Time to kick back and just enjoy the games.
21 mar 05 @ 6:34 am est
TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY . . . WHERE ARE ALL THE IRAQI AND MIDDLE EASTERN PROTESTERS, HMMMM?
Arthur Chrenkoff comments on the apparent answer to a question that
has occurred to me as well:
As I wrote yesterday, on the occasion
of the second anniversary of the start of the liberation of Iraq, "I can't find any mention of Iraqis protesting their liberation,
and neither can I find any stories about anti-war and anti-occupation rallies anywhere else throughout the Middle East (with
exception of several hundred people protesting in Turkey). Perhaps they're all too busy rallying for democracy and against
their own governments."
And Good Old Wretchard signals (along with Greg Djerejian) that not simply is the so-called Iraqi “insurgency” dying, even the New York Times reporters are writing stories about it. Wretchard summarizes the apparent status quo two years after the launch of the War in Iraq:
posts from about the month before the Iraqi elections to the present suggests a qualitative change is taking place. Iraqi
forces are becoming more numerous and effective. Insurgents are being captured in larger numbers. Bigger weapons caches are
being discovered. More importantly, the trend against the insurgents has been increasing over time. No one has yet had the
sand to declare the 'tide turned' but General Sattler evidently feels a certain confidence.
Two more months
will reveal whether a trend against the insurgents has actually been established. In that event, its political effect once
that perception filters down to the mainstream media readers will be interesting to watch. There will probably be some damnation
through faint praise, but in general it will be met by a change of subject.
Change the damn subject. Go right ahead, please. Wretchard has another update on the tide having turned which is posted today based on a Robert Burns article in the New York Times:
When most roads
in central Baghdad are choked with traffic, there is rarely
more than a trickle of vehicles on Haifa Street. At
the day's height, a handful of pedestrians scurry down empty sidewalks, ducking into covered walkways that serve as sanctuaries
from gunfire - and as blinds for insurgent attacks in one of Iraq's most bitterly contested battle zones.
call the street Purple Heart Boulevard: the First Battalion of the Ninth Cavalry, patrolling here for the past year before
its recent rotation back to base at Fort Hood, Tex., received more than 160 Purple Hearts. Many patrols were on foot, to gather
intelligence on neighborhoods that American officers say have been the base for brutal car bombings, kidnappings and assassinations
In the first
18 months of the fighting, the insurgents mostly outmaneuvered the Americans along Haifa
Street, showing they could carry the war to the capital's core with something approaching impunity.
officers say there have been signs that the tide may be shifting. On Haifa Street, at least, , insurgents are attacking in
smaller numbers, and with less intensity; mortar attacks into the Green Zone have diminished sharply; major raids have uncovered
large weapons caches; and some rebel leaders have been arrested or killed.
People are saying the tide turned with the January 30 elections;
the fact of the matter is that it turned back last summer with the successful June 28, 2004 transfer of power that was pulled off without incident. THAT was when it was confirmed in my mind.
21 mar 05 @ 6:33 am est
RECRUITING IS STILL A.O.K.
Thanks to Jack Kelly for some much-needed perspective on the subject of Army recruiting. After noting that the last time the Army missed its
monthly recruiting target [in Y2K], the downtown was made up during the same year and the yearly target was met. Kelly then
Americans] and Hispanics still have a higher propensity to enlist than whites do, and more young people are willing to join
up now than before the war on terror began, the study also indicated. These facts didn't make it into Burns' story.
6 percent of blacks, 7 percent of Hispanics and 5 percent of whites surveyed in 2004 said they definitely would serve in the
military. An additional 17 percent of blacks, 15 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of whites said they probably would serve.
In 2001, only 11 percent of all young people surveyed said they would definitely (2 percent) or
probably (9 percent) enlist. Last year that figure rose to 15 percent (5 percent definitely, 10 percent probably).
[RattlerGator: so, to state the obvious – 24% of African Americans say they likely would serve in the military
while the number for Whites is 14%]
economy is stronger now than it was in 2001, and good economic times typically are hard times for military recruiters, a 36
percent increase in the proportion of young people willing to consider enlisting since the war on terror began says something
good about our young people that Burns, apparently, is not eager to have you hear.
with alarm that the proportion of young people who cite fear of combat as a reason for not joining the military nearly doubled
(from 14 to 26 percent) between 2000 and 2004. He quoted the study again: "In the past, barriers were about inconvenience
or preference for another life choice. Now they have switched to something quite different: fear of death or injury."
it all that astonishing that fear of death would be a bigger consideration during time of war than it is during peacetime?
college was the principal reason young people gave for a willingness to enlist, followed by "duty."
more blacks and women enlist for the economic benefits, while a higher proportion of white males give duty as a reason for
and women who enlisted primarily for the benefits are being replaced by white males who enlist primarily to serve their country.
That's not such a bad thing.
Nope, not bad at all. But it does represent lost opportunities
for quite a few African Americans.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
20 mar 05 @ 8:11 am est
First off, I haven’t seen much basketball this weekend because
I’ve been assisting my wife with her Artists in Bloom Festival here at Florida A&M. I’ve been attending to the needs of
Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters. And, man – what can I say – other than, WOW.
Tall (at least 6 feet, perhaps 6’1”), personable . . . AND
With all of my running around I didn’t get to hear her lecture
but the FAMU students did turn out in force to welcome her to The Hill. She and her two companions loved Tallahassee,
our Chez Pierre restaurant, and the FAMU campus. And that’s good enough for me.
Friday, March 18, 2005
18 mar 05 @ 7:08 pm est
ADVANCE – THAT’S THE ONLY MISSION
Job well done, Gators. I will gladly take a 67-62 victory with no complaints.
18 mar 05 @ 6:46 am est
My Florida Gator bracket, that is. I entered five different
pools on ESPN, with five different champions [Illinois, Duke, the Mighty Gators, Wake Forest, and Kentucky]. Here's how it
looks after the first day:
That Florida Gator bracket may be my worst opening ever. Hopefully
that’s a good sign for the Gators (I don’t think I ever pick the tournament winner).
Thursday, March 17, 2005
17 mar 05 @ 11:02 am est
TOURNAMENT – MY PICKS ARE . . .
I made five separate entries on the ESPN tournament website;
my five different selections for National Champion are . . . 1) Florida [of course], 2) Wake Forest,
3) Duke, 4) Kentucky, and 5) Illinois.
In the bracket where I picked the Gators, here are my picks
– region by region:
Final Four and Championship Game:
Read ‘em and weep, baby, read ‘em and weep!
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
15 mar 05 @ 11:12 am est
AS MORE THAN A SIMPLE SOCIAL CONSTRUCT
Race isn’t just a social construct after all. Or, so says
Armand Marie Leroi in the New York Times:
The dominance of the social construct theory
[RattlerGator: that race has no genetic basis] can be traced to a 1972
article by Dr. Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, who wrote that most human genetic variation can be found within any
given “race.” If one looked at genes rather than faces, he claimed, the difference between an African and a European would
be scarcely greater than the difference between any two Europeans. A few years later he wrote that the continued popularity
of race as an idea was an “indication of the power of socioeconomically based ideology over the supposed objectivity of knowledge.”
Most scientists are thoughtful, liberal-minded and socially aware people. It was just what they wanted to hear.
Three decades later, it seems that Dr. Lewontin’s
facts were correct, and have been abundantly confirmed by ever better techniques of detecting genetic variety. His reasoning,
however, was wrong. His error was an elementary one, but such was the appeal of his argument that it was only a couple of
years ago that a Cambridge University statistician, A. W. F.
Edwards, put his finger on it.
The error is easily illustrated. If one were
asked to judge the ancestry of 100 New Yorkers, one could look at the color of their skin. That would do much to single out
the Europeans, but little to distinguish the Senegalese from the Solomon Islanders. The same is true for any other feature
of our bodies. The shapes of our eyes, noses and skulls; the color of our eyes and our hair; the heaviness, height and hairiness
of our bodies are all, individually, poor guides to ancestry.
But this is not true when the features are
taken together. Certain skin colors tend to go with certain kinds of eyes, noses, skulls and bodies. When we glance at a stranger’s
face we use those associations to infer what continent, or even what country, he or his ancestors came from - and we usually
get it right. To put it more abstractly, human physical variation is correlated; and correlations contain information.
Seems like common damn sense to me.
Genetic variants that aren’t written on our
faces, but that can be detected only in the genome, show similar correlations. It is these correlations that Dr. Lewontin
seems to have ignored. In essence, he looked at one gene at a time and failed to see races. But if many - a few hundred -
variable genes are considered simultaneously, then it is very easy to do so. Indeed, a 2002 study by scientists at the University
of Southern California and Stanford showed that if a sample of people from around the world are sorted by computer into five
groups on the basis of genetic similarity, the groups that emerge are native to Europe, East Asia, Africa, America and Australasia
- more or less the major races of traditional anthropology.
Of course, the author has to state the obvious (because it
isn’t so obvious, and surely attempts will be made to use the information in the following disclaimed manner):
The identification of racial origins is not
a search for purity. The human species is irredeemably promiscuous. We have always seduced or coerced our neighbors even when
they have a foreign look about them and we don’t understand a word. If Hispanics, for example, are composed of a recent and
evolving blend of European, American Indian and African genes, then the Uighurs of Central Asia can be seen as a 3,000-year-old
mix of West European and East Asian genes. Even homogenous groups like native Swedes bear the genetic imprint of successive
The fact that certain folks, learned and not so learned, will
seek to use the information to lord over others certain unpleasant simplifications should not stop or delegitimize the research.
here, the author is analogizing racial identification with the physical topography of the Earth’s landscape] To navigate it,
you need a map with elevations, contour lines and reference grids. But it is hard to talk in numbers, and so we give the world’s
more prominent features - the mountain ranges and plateaus and plains - names. We do so despite the inherent ambiguity of
words. The Pennines of northern England are about one-tenth as high and
long as the Himalayas, yet both are intelligibly described as mountain ranges.
So, too, it is with the genetic topography
of our species. The billion or so of the world’s people of largely European descent have a set of genetic variants in common
that are collectively rare in everyone else; they are a race. At a smaller scale, three million Basques do as well; so they
are a race as well. Race is merely a shorthand that enables us to speak sensibly, though with no great precision, about genetic
rather than cultural or political differences.
But it is a shorthand that seems to be needed.
One of the more painful spectacles of modern science is that of human geneticists piously disavowing the existence of races
even as they investigate the genetic relationships between “ethnic groups.” Given the problematic, even vicious, history of
the word “race,” the use of euphemisms is understandable. But it hardly aids understanding, for the term “ethnic group” conflates
all the possible ways in which people differ from each other.
In fact, this seems to accord to my understanding of who I
am as an American. Physical basis: as an African American, I belong to
a minority racial group; as a heterosexual, I belong to a majority sexual group; as a righthander I belong to a majority physical
group, etc. Cultural basis: as a native of Northeast Florida whose maternal
and paternal lines trace back to Georgia, I’m a Southerner and a regional
minority in the United States; as a pecan-brown Negro in the South, I am
Black and belong to a minority sub-group of a regional minority in the United
The author of the piece does have one extremely curious statement
in the piece when he discusses an isolated tribe in India
affected by the recent tsunami:
They look like
African pygmies who have wandered away from Congo’s
jungles to take up life on a tropical isle. But they are not.
Don’t be so sure, Armand Marie Leroi. Don’t. Be. So. Sure.
15 mar 05 @ 11:08 am est
IWO JIMA MYTH HARMS MODERN APPRECIATION FOR THE REALITY OF WAR
Max Boot supports my contention that a modern phalanx of Americans
have no apparent ability to review warfare (what it involves . . . and necessarily includes) in part because of an incomplete
On Feb. 19, 1945, 30,000 Marines splashed ashore
on a small volcanic island in the central Pacific. After four days of bitter fighting, a small patrol reached the peak of Mt. Suribachi, where it planted a U.S. flag in an iconic scene captured by photographer Joe Rosenthal. This famous
image was hardly the end of the battle. Iwo Jima would not be secure until March 26. Almost
all of the 21,000 Japanese defenders elected to die rather than surrender. Rooting them out cost more than 6,000 American
dead and 20,000 wounded, making this the costliest battle in the storied history of the Marine Corps.
It is right
and proper that there should be 60th-anniversary commemorations of these heroics. For, as Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz famously
said, “ … on Iwo Island,
uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Yet it would be a mistake to bury this battle in a haze of “Greatest Generation” sentimentality.
Our awe at the bravery of the Marines and their Japanese adversaries should not cause us to overlook the stupidity that forced
them into this unnecessary meat grinder. Selective memories of World War II, which
record only inspiring deeds and block out all waste and folly, create an impossible standard of perfection against which
to judge contemporary conflicts.
Max Boot concludes with this proper context:
In modern parlance, you might say that Iwo Jima was a battle of choice waged on the basis of faulty intelligence and inadequate plans. If Ted
Kennedy had been in the Senate in 1945 (hard to believe, but he wasn’t), he would have been hollering about the incompetence
of the Roosevelt administration, which produced many times more casualties in five weeks than U.S. forces have suffered in
Iraq in the last two years.
No such criticism was heard at the time, in
part because of the rah-rah tone of World War II press coverage but also because Americans back then had a greater appreciation
for the ugly, unpredictable nature of combat. They even coined a word for it: snafu (in polite language: “situation normal,
all fouled up”). It’s a shame that so many sentimental tributes to the veterans of the Good War elide this unpleasant reality,
leaving us a bit less intellectually and emotionally prepared for the trauma of modern war.
15 mar 05 @ 11:06 am est
THE PREFERABLE TARGET: CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT HEIRS OR CIVIL RIGHTS ESTABLISHMENT HEIRS?
Stanley Crouch rightly notes that the Grand Old Party has cunningly targeted the modern heirs
of the civil rights movement while the Democratic Party is stuck in concrete with the ossified remains of the civil rights
icons such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton, for instance, have earned reputations and made careers out
of racial injustice and resentment. Both are committed Democrats — a no-no during
the some of the most dramatic days of the civil rights movement, when its leaders realized that their constituency's problems
transcended party affiliation. Color, they knew, would remain a concern, no matter which party controlled the White House.
however, changing demographics are undercutting the civil rights establishment's power. People with no history of legalized
discrimination and infused with that good old immigrant drive are arriving in this nation. And some of them are black people
from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
These new arrivals highlight a problem with one of the main legal remedies people
have used to fight the legacy of segregation: affirmative action. This tactic was intended to help the descendants of slaves.
But it is so loosely interpreted today that many blacks whose forebears were not American slaves demand and receive a boost
from affirmative action.
You mean to tell me . . . our political leaders used to KNOW that their constituency's problems transcended party
affiliation? Hell no, that can’t POSSIBLY be true. How could they do that and still be authentically black.
As a Christian, Bush seems to believe that
he can create a new grass-roots black leadership similar to the one that preceded the civil rights movement, which was rooted
in churches and often opposed the aggressive nonviolence that called out the dragon of racism. The president also must know
that black Christians tend to be conservative on issues of personal liberty and might well support his attempt to amend the
Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage — a possibility that has already stirred rumblings among gays who believe that black
evangelicals are prepared to make them the new universal pariah.
Whether or not Bush's overtures to black church leaders
are successful, conditions and goals are shifting on the horizon of color. If the civil rights establishment doesn't step
away from its Democratic partisanship and make itself more open to the values of both political parties, its relevance will
continue to erode.
Charge hard, Mr. President.
Monday, March 14, 2005
14 mar 05 @ 5:10 pm est
I want to change my logo at the top of the page and the image
I want to use is this:
Will that fly, I wonder?
14 mar 05 @ 11:06 am est
MEDIA REGULATION VIA BLOGS
[Update posted below] Exhibit A in the ongoing communications
revolution is on display HERE, via InstaPundit and (to me) it conclusively proves that our language and attitudes have not kept pace with the evolution of media technology.
Based on the old way of thinking, journalism professional maintain that slippery slopes are everywhere. I contend, however,
that in a nation completely comfortable with advertising “spin,” the supposed slippery slopes no longer exist in the manner
originally conceived. Look no further than this quote:
It is fair to say that the wholesale use of
others' work is a major part of modern journalism. But news officials are quick to distinguish that from plagiarism. In a
mini-scandal at the San Diego Tribune, a reporter's story was cancelled when editors noticed that it looked very much like
a story that had already appeared elsewhere. At first, presumably, it was thought that the story had been taken from the other
publication. Then it turned out that both stories were simply near-verbatim versions of a press release. According to the
Tribune's deputy editor, that wasn't plagiarism. "If you look up the definition
of plagiarism, it is the unauthorized use of someone's material. When someone sends you a press packet, you're entitled to
use everything in there."
someone who uses another person's words
or ideas as if they were his own.
a piece of writing that has been copied
from someone else and is presented as being your own work
the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's
words or ideas as if they were your own
Interestingly, the newspaper editor quoted above seems to assume
there is a duty owed only to the writer – not the reader – in the context of a plagiarism charge. That may certainly be true
(but I doubt it) in an academic sense . . . but for a media company? More particularly, a newspaper?
The answer is: yes. The standard is higher in academia than
it is for media. All of our news
providers are best thought of as brands with no substantive difference from corporations that advertise. But no, I don’t think
we need to go the British route and abandon a communal pressure to stay with the “objective” truth. America
in the 21st century requires a middle ground and that is what we are witnessing right now: the development, via
the marketplace and technology, of a middle ground that includes acknowledged partisans swimming in the information stream
alongside ideally neutral parties.
Blog swarms (it seems to me) are the vehicle presently used
to enforce that desired middle-ground; when an ideally neutral media party commits an error perceived to be egregious, bloggers
move in. Let the revolution continue.
UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt has a post up today related to this subject. Commenting
on a New York Times puff piece giving ink to various envious complaints by liberal bloggers:
“The way we perceive it,” [a liberal blogger,
Bob Fertig] said, “is that right-wing bloggers are able to invent stories, get them out on Drudge, get them on Rush Limbaugh,
get them on Fox, and pretty soon that spills over into the mainstream media. We, the progressives, we don’t have that kind
of network to work with.”
Ah, Bob, there was a story attached to Rathergate,
Jordan’s demise, John Kerry’s Christmas-Eve-Not-in-Cambodia etc. Even the small
beer story of Jeff Gannon got coverage, but the necessary ingredient in a blog-swarm
leading to an opinion storm is a real story. Conspiracy fevers don’t
As the white kids used to say back when I was in high school,
14 mar 05 @ 9:37 am est
IS NOT PRESENTLY A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT
Barnett delivers the cold, hard facts:
the biggest reason why she can't be elected president: she's single and she's never been married. Americans simply won't elect
that person in this day and age, and they're right not to. Voters want to see that personal connection to spouse and kids.
They trust that. It says powerful things about who the person is and how they can be expected to think about the larger world
and act within it. It's not just image, but the soul of the person that's reflected in family. Rice is as alone as alone can
be, and Americans don't get that, don't like that, don't trust that.
would you really trust someone who's married to his or her career to be president? Someone who's never be exposed to any of
the things all must learn in marriage and parenthood? Someone that single-minded? That uncompromising? That self-defined?
I don't see things I trust in that sort of life, not when I'm considering the presidency. Frankly, I see things I've always
feared about myself--expressed to the n-th degree. And I think, deep down, so will the vast majority of Americans. They simply
won't recognize themselves in this person, no matter the qualifications on paper.
is very talented and yes, she's had an amazing career, and yes, her stint as SECSTATE is going well. But no, she is not a
serious candidate for anything in her current incarnation. She is not the anti-Hillary, she is the anti-candidate.
He’s right, of course. I disagree with Barnett on some of his
other pronouncements on why she can’t be elected. He’s wedded to a particular script, it seems to me, that requires criticism
of the National Security Adviser for a perceived failure in Iraq that doesn’t look like a failure
to me and I doubt if the President or his inner circle sees it as such.
Now . . . if she marries former San Francisco 49er Gene Washington, things change big-time in my mind. I have no idea, however,
if that relationship is real or something others dreamed up, or is a public relations cover, etc. Whatever the case, I think
Eugene Robinson in the
Washington Post nailed it recently when he wrote on February 8th:
Condoleezza Rice is nothing if not different.
She's not a Democrat, though most African American women are. She's certainly not a liberal. She obviously is race-conscious,
but she puts that consciousness into a box that's more deeply hidden than the one most of us African Americans use to store
race when we're on the job. People see her walking next to President Bush and there are ugly snickers of the Jezebel sort;
but when Rice is escorted at social events, it is usually by Gene Washington, the former professional football player, a black
She is, in short, sui generis -- just like
every black woman in America.
Ain’t that truth. But when I saw that outfit she wore in Europe when she was with the troops, all I could think to say was “Go 'head wit ya bad self GIRL!”
14 mar 05 @ 12:25 am est
DELIVER A SMACK-DOWN!
This one basketball game made my season; we needed to come
up against U.K. to slay the dragon and that’s exactly what happened. Way to go, Gators!
FLORIDA vs KENTUCKY
03/13/05 1:00pm ET at
SEC Men’s Tourney-Finals - Atlanta, GA
VISITORS: FLORIDA 23-7, 12-4
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF
DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
02 Corey Brewer........
f 4-7 0-1 0-1 2
3 5 3 8 2 0 0 2
24 David Lee...........
f 4-11 0-0 1-2 3 14 17 2 9 0 4 0
42 Al Horford..........
c 2-5 0-0 3-6 5
4 9 3 7 2 0 1 2
01 Anthony Roberson....
g 3-11 2-5 2-2 0
0 0 3 10 3 3 0 1 33
44 Matt Walsh..........
g 8-17 5-11 5-6 0
2 2 0 26 1 4 0 1 38
04 Adrian Moss......... 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 5
10 Cornelius Ingram.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0+
11 Taurean Green....... 0-2 0-2 2-2 0 1 1 1 2 4
1 0 0 17
12 Lee Humphrey........ 0-1 0-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 6
13 Joakim Noah......... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0
1 0 0 1
32 Chris Richard....... 2-5 0-0 2-2 3 3 6 2 6 0
0 0 1 19
2 2 4 1
Totals.............. 24-60 7-20 15-21 16
32 48 18 70 12 14 1 7 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half:
13-36 36.1% 2nd Half: 11-24 45.8%
Game: 40.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-11 18.2% 2nd Half: 5-9 55.6% Game:
F Throw % 1st Half: 6-8 75.0%
2nd Half: 9-13 69.2% Game:
HOME TEAM: KENTUCKY 25-5, 14-2
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF
DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
24 Azubuike, Kelenna...
f 8-13 0-3 1-2 1
1 2 4 17 0 3 1 1 24
44 Hayes, Chuck........
f 0-4 0-0 4-4 0
3 3 3 4 2 1 2 3
33 Morris, Randolph....
c 2-6 0-0 2-4 2
8 10 2 6 0 2
1 0 27
04 Rondo, Rajon........
g 0-3 0-2 0-0 1
0 1 2 0 4 1 0 1
22 Sparks, Patrick..... g 2-8 0-6 0-1 1 1 2 1 4 2 2 0 2 33
01 Stockton, Brandon... 0-2 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 2
02 Moss, Ravi.......... 1-4 0-3 1-2 0 0 0 3 3 0 1 0 0 13
03 Bradley, Ramel...... 0-5 0-1 2-3 0 1 1 0 2 1
0 0 1 17
05 Carrier, Josh....... 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0
0 0 0 2
10 Obrzut, Lukasz...... 0-0 0-0 0-2 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 2
12 LeMaster, Preston... 0-0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13 Perry, Bobby........ 2-4 1-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 7 0
0 0 1 8
21 Alleyne, Shagari.... 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 2
23 Thomas, Sheray...... 2-2 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 2 5 0
1 0 0 8
32 Crawford, Joe....... 2-3 1-1 0-0 1 4 5 3 5 0
3 0 0 16
1 5 6
Totals.............. 19-54 2-19 13-21
8 23 31 21 53 9 14 4 9 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-24 37.5% 2nd Half: 10-30 33.3% Game: 35.2% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-8 25.0%
2nd Half: 0-11 0.0% Game: 10.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 7-11 63.6% 2nd Half: 6-10 60.0% Game: 61.9%
Officials: Gerald Boudreaux,
Doug Shows, Mike Stuart
Technical fouls: FLORIDA-None. KENTUCKY-None.
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
FLORIDA....................... 34 36 - 70
KENTUCKY...................... 27 26 - 53
That is one beautiful box score!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
13 mar 05 @ 8:28 am est
Down goes Bama, Down goes Bama, 68-62!
That was a great, gritty effort from the boys in Orange
and Blue; two down and one to go . . . then, it’s time to dance.
And oh yeah, way to “man up!” David Lee.
Official Basketball Box Score
FLORIDA vs ALABAMA
03/12/05 at SEC Men's Tourney-Semi-Finals-Atlanta,GA
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
02 Corey Brewer........ f
4-4 2 6 8 3
10 2 2 0 0 28
24 David Lee........... f 9-18 0-0 2-3 3 4 7 4 20 3 2 0 1 32
42 Al Horford.......... c
2-7 3 5 8 4
2 2 1 2 0 28
01 Anthony Roberson.... g
5-15 3-9 0-0 0 1 1 0 13 2 1
0 2 33
44 Matt Walsh.......... g
4-12 3-8 6-6 0 2 2 2 17 3 1
0 1 32
0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
11 Taurean Green.......
0-0 0 1 1 0
0 1 1 0 1 16
12 Lee Humphrey........
0-0 0 0 0 1
6 0 0 0 0 10
13 Joakim Noah.........
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 2
32 Chris Richard.......
0-0 1 3 4 2
0 0 0 0 0 14
Totals.............. 23-56 8-20 14-20 9 24 33
16 68 13 8 2 5 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-27 37.0%
2nd Half: 13-29 44.8% Game: 41.1%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-14
42.9% 2nd Half: 2-6 33.3% Game: 40.0%
F Throw % 1st Half: 1-2 50.0% 2nd Half: 13-18 72.2% Game: 70.0% 3,1
HOME TEAM: ALABAMA
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
01 Davis, Chuck........ f
4-12 0-0 1-3 3 3 6 4 9 1 3
1 1 36
03 Winston, Kennedy.... f
8-19 1-8 2-2 2 2 4 2 19 1 4
0 0 33
33 Davidson, Jermareo.. c
2-2 4 7 11 4 10 0 1 2 0 31
Earnest.... g 3-11 0-4 0-0 1 2 3 2 6 0
1 0 1 27
22 Steele, Ronald...... g
0-0 0 5 5 1
5 3 2 0 1 37
21 Brock, Evan.........
0-1 3 2 5 0
2 0 0 1 1 9
23 Felix, Jean.........
6-8 4 4 8 3
11 1 1 0 0 26
24 Reese, Jason........
0-1 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
44 Jonus, Justin.......
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 1
Totals.............. 24-63 3-19 11-17 18 25 43 16 62 6 13
4 4 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 9-29
31.0% 2nd Half: 15-34 44.1%
Game: 38.1% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 0-7 0.0% 2nd Half: 3-12 25.0% Game: 15.8%
F Throw % 1st Half: 2-4 50.0% 2nd Half: 9-13 69.2% Game: 64.7%
Officials: John Clougherty, Joe Lindsey, Doug Sirmons
Technical fouls: FLORIDA-None.
Score by Periods
1st 2nd Total
FLORIDA....................... 27 41 - 68
ALABAMA....................... 20 42 - 62
Points in the paint-UF 26,UA 36. Points off turnovers-UF 11,UA
2nd chance points-UF 5,UA 18. Fast break points-UF 8,UA 4.
Bench points-UF 6,UA 13. Score tied-2 times. Lead changed-5
Last FG-UF 2nd-00:28,
Alabama outrebounded UF 43-33, thanks to 18 offensive rebounds, but the Gators countered by locking down the
perimeter. Alabama went 3 of 19 from the 3-point line. Earnest
Shelton, who hit 8-of-11 3-pointers against Mississippi
on Friday, went 0 for 4, and Kennedy Winston went 1 for 8.
That helped Florida survive a scoring drought of 7:33 that began with 3:58 remaining in the first half.
Now the Gators get Kentucky,
which they beat 53-52 in Gainesville last Saturday to snap
an eight-game series losing streak.
[Florida] team has ever gotten here back-to-back and that's
exciting," Walsh said. "We've only been here five times in our history. I think it's a testament to how good our team is."
I agree, Matt Walsh. There’s always a focus on the negative
and this is a time to focus on the positive.
Go Gators! It’s time to slay the dragon.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
12 mar 05 @ 8:35 am est
It gives me great pleasure to print this box score this morning.
I just hope I can print another good one this afternoon!
VISITORS: MISSISSIPPI STATE
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
04 Roberts, Lawrence...
f 2-8 0-1 4-4 1
4 5 3 8 2 2 0 1
21 Power, Shane........ f
1-2 1 2 3 2
3 2 3 0 1 22
31 Harper, Ontario.....
f 7-12 2-5 0-0 0
2 2 0 16 1 2 0 4 32
11 Ervin, Gary.........
g 1-3 1-2 0-0 0
0 0 1 3 3 2 0 0
23 Frazier, Winsome.... g
1-2 1 1 2 2
6 0 3 0 1 18
01 Rhodes, Charles.....
0-0 0 3 3 1
4 0 0 0 0 11
03 Begley, Billy.......
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 1
05 Edmondson, Jamall...
5-7 3-5 1-2 0
0 0 0 14 1 0 0 0 22
12 Cannon, Seth........
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 2
20 Boler, Michael......
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 2
22 Slater, Dietric.....
0-0 2 0 2 3
5 3 2 0 0 21
25 Morgan, Wesley......
0-0 0 3 3 1
0 0 0 0 0 12
41 Stelmach, Piotr.....
0-0 1 1 2 1
3 0 0 0 0 4
42 Sharpe, Walter......
0-0 0 0 0 0
2 1 0 0 0 8
50 Campbell, Marcus....
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 2
2 2 4
Totals.............. 24-56 9-25 7-10 8 18 26
14 64 13 14 0 7 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 11-26 42.3%
2nd Half: 13-30 43.3% Game: 42.9%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 2-10
20.0% 2nd Half: 7-15 46.7% Game: 36.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 2-4 50.0% Game:
HOME TEAM: FLORIDA
## Player Name
FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP
A TO BLK S MIN
02 Corey Brewer........ f
7-12 3-4 0-0 2 4 6 2 17 3 2
0 3 30
24 David Lee........... f
4-4 2 7 9 2
12 4 3 0 2 26
42 Al Horford.......... c
4-4 2 2 4 0
6 0 0 2 1 26
01 Anthony Roberson.... g
8-18 3-6 0-0 3 2 5 0 19 2 0
0 0 29
44 Matt Walsh.......... g
5-12 5-10 0-0 0 4 4 3 15 2 5
0 2 32
4 3 7 2 6 1 2 2
10 Cornelius Ingram....
0-0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 2
11 Taurean Green.......
0-0 1 1 2 0
2 0 1 0 3 15
12 Lee Humphrey........
0-0 0 0 0 1
3 1 0 0 0 12
13 Joakim Noah.........
0-0 0 1 1 1
0 0 1 0 0 5
32 Chris Richard.......
0-0 0 1 1 2
0 1 1 0 1 10
Totals.............. 29-61 12-24 10-10 14 27 41 13 80 14 15 4 12 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-37 45.9%
2nd Half: 12-24 50.0% Game: 47.5%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 6-11
54.5% 2nd Half: 6-13 46.2% Game: 50.0% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 6-6 100 % 2nd Half: 4-4 100 % Game:
100 % 0
Officials: Gerald Boudreaux, Doug Shows, Bert Smith
Technical fouls: MISSISSIPPI
Score by Periods
1st 2nd Total
MISSISSIPPI STATE............. 29 35 - 64
FLORIDA....................... 46 34 - 80
Points in the paint-MSU 18,UF 32. Points off turnovers-MSU 15,UF
2nd chance points-MSU 4,UF 15. Fast break points-MSU 6,UF 12.
Bench points-MSU 28,UF 11. Score tied-1 time. Lead changed-0
Last FG-MSU 2nd-01:26,
It looks as though Billy has turned things around and the future
looks very, very bright again. I L-O-V-E reading reports like this, in the Florida Times-Union:
The Gators’ game plan was to make Roberts uncomfortable
by forcing him further away from the basket.
“Lawrence Roberts is a problem for most people,”
UF coach Billy Donovan said. “I thought we just did a good job of early post defense of trying not to allow him to catch the
ball where he wanted to catch it, and then once he did catch it try to come with quick and hard early double teams. He’s a
real hard guy to keep off a double-double. I thought we did a pretty good job in Starkville
and he still had 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“Collectively, Al Horford and Moss and Chris
Richard and the guys that lined up against him did a pretty good job defending against him.”
Horford, who blocked two of Roberts’ shots.
“We were just trying to play hard defensively,
make him work for everything,” said Horford, who had six points and four rebounds. “I don’t know if he was frustrated or not,
but I know I felt like we did our job.
“We were trying to shut him down. That’s what
The Gators were tough on both sides, Richard
said, which makes them much different than the past several seasons.
“It makes everybody respect us more,” Richard
said. “Before [other teams would say], ‘We’re going to get what we want on offense and all we got to do is try to stop them
“We play defense now better than we did.”
Hell yeah! And . . . we thank you, Larry Shyatt.
12 mar 05 @ 8:32 am est
SOFTWARE INDUSTRY HEADING TO FLORIDA?
Not really. But it does look as though we have a window of
opportunity to get a greater share of the work. The Orlando Sentinel has the story:
subsidiary of a leading video-game maker will probably expand even faster now that the company has changed the way some of
its California workers are paid, a company official said
Electronic Arts Inc.’s Tiburon studio, which
had planned to add about 100 jobs a year over the next four years to a staff of 400, could grow more quickly than that as
the result of new policies announced this week at its Redwood City, Calif., headquarters.
What policies? Reacting to rule changes, more of their creative
professionals will have to be treated as salaried employees and given overtime pay.
Read the whole story; it was my understanding that this sort of stuff was being targeted by Arnold Schwartzenegger but it
may be beyond his reach.
12 mar 05 @ 8:31 am est
EDWARD WATERS COLLEGE
GETS A TEMPORARY REPRIEVE
This Jacksonville school hasn’t quite knocked ITSELF out yet, but it sure has
tried mighty hard:
In a ruling that will keep the doors of Edward Waters College
open, a federal judge decided Friday the private Jacksonville
college can keep its accreditation while it sues the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The decision answered a key question about
the college’s future because it means seniors likely will graduate with accredited degrees and students will keep their federal
financial aid. Only students at accredited colleges may receive federal aid.
The EWC story is a sad one and I am very conflicted about it.
12 mar 05 @ 8:27 am est
BIOTECH BUILDING AT U.F. IS HALF-DONE
The Gainesville Sun has the news:
Construction of an $85 million building at
the University of Florida
meant to cultivate breakthroughs in genetics and cancer research hit a mid-point milestone Friday.
University officials joined more than 250 workers
on the site for a barbecue lunch in a traditional topping off celebration commemorating the completion of roofs on the two
massive structures at North-South Drive and Mowry Road.
The northern-most building rises six stories,
the bottom of which will house UF’s forensic investigation unit. A second building to the south of the first is five stories.
H-shaped structure is expected to become the new home to some of UF’s top genetic and cancer scientists, now spread among
numerous colleges and departments, as a way to spur collaboration.
My timing is obviously improving; I had a post regarding this
12 mar 05 @ 8:25 am est
HUBRIS? BACK ATCHA, PUNK
Thomas P.M. Barnett smacks down Mr. “Anonymous“ of the CIA:
Oh-oh. Michael Scheuer wants to both take credit for the rendition program
of sending terrorist suspects to states we know will torture them and blame any problems all on White House-types like Sandy
Berger and Richard Clarke. Scheuer originated the program at the request of the Clinton administration and ran it in its first,
formative 40 months.
Man, didn’t both Clarke and Scheuer singlehandedly win the global war on
al Qaeda before penning their best sellers describing their stunning exploits and victories? If they start turning on one
another, then where will we be?
Scheuer doesn’t want any hounding of CIA personnel over the program. Why?
First, the politicians called all the shots. Second, the program was/is a huge success. I mean, it stopped al Qaeda in its
tracks and prevented 9/11, right? Third, the CIA was/is only following orders.
If there’s any blame, give it to Clarke, Berger and Clinton, or the current
crew, but the CIA is blameless. Take it from Scheuer, because he’s the guy who so successfully ran the agency’s counter-terrorism
effort across the 1990s.
It’s really hard to believe what a dumb-ass that Scheuer guy
is, and even harder to believe what an important position he had in the CIA. Don’t even get me started on Richard Clarke.
Friday, March 11, 2005
11 mar 05 @ 7:00 pm est
COMMITTEE OF INTEREST
Recent press release from the Republican National Committee:
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Announces
African-American Advisory Committee
Washington, DC – Republican National Committee Chairman (RNC), Ken
Mehlman, today announced the formation of an African-American Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to bring
together respected community leaders, who meet regularly with the RNC leadership and provide a sounding board to assist in
strategy implementation of the RNC’s outreach efforts in the black community.
“This is an endeavor I take very seriously
and I look forward to working with this outstanding group of individuals to share ideas, grow our party and continue to achieve
progress for all Americans,” Mehlman said.
The distinguished group represents members of the business, faith and grassroots
sector. They include:
Harry C. Alford – National Black Chamber of Commerce (DC)
Renee Amoore – The Amoore Group
Rev. Vivian Berryhill – National Coalition of Pastor’s Spouses (MS)
The Honorable Kenneth Blackwell – Ohio Secretary
of State (OH)
The Honorable Lynette Boggs-McDonald – Nevada Board of Commissioners (NV)
Bishop Keith Butler – Pastor,
Word of Faith International Christian Center (MI)
John Colon – Florida Federation
of Black Republicans (FL)
Rep. Jennifer Carroll – Florida State Representative (FL)
Christopher Garrett – Impact
Strategies, LLC (DC)
Ed Gillespie – Quinn Gillespie &Associates (DC)
The Honorable Alphonso Jackson – HUD Secretary
Kay Cole James – Former OPM Director (DC)
Dorsey Miller – Florida Federation
of Black Republicans (FL)
Robert Shumake – CEO, Inheritance Investment Group (MI)
The Honorable Michael Steele
– Maryland Lieutenant Governor (MD)
Rev. Joe Watkins – Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church (PA)
JC Watts – CEO, The
J.C. Watts Companies (DC)
The Honorable Michael Williams – Texas Railroad Commissioner (TX)
Winston Wilkinson – National
Bob Wright – CEO, Deminisions International (VA)
The Advisory Committee will meet monthly with
Chairman Ken Mehlman.
It will be interesting to determine if this is a substantive
group given to more than simple posturing. One certainly hopes so.
11 mar 05 @ 6:58 pm est
PUTS THE CHICKEN LITTLES OF AMERICA IN CHECK
Davis Hanson reflects on the quick to panic crowd in America,
in full throat posturing just a few short months ago:
Without much appreciation that error is the
stuff of war, that by any historical benchmark the removal of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein was nothing short of miraculous,
that our ongoing assessments of success and failure changed hourly within the fluid 24-hour newscycle, or that acrimonious
hindsight was often used to save face about earlier wrongheaded pronouncements, we continued to tally up the “I told you so’s.”
Then, some perspective:
Lost in all this self-examination and lamentation
was any appreciation for the extraordinary things that went right — often against overwhelming odds and in the face of sharp
criticism and mistrust. In the past, I have cited the ostracism of Yasser Arafat and the withdrawal of troops from Saudi Arabia — both controversial at the time — as key events that began to change the calculus
of the Middle East in our favor. But there were other developments that are likewise scarcely
mentioned today that have made all the difference between sure failure and our present achievement.
We were attacked on September 11. A mere 26
days later on October 7, the United States
had already struck back in a fashion that would topple the Taliban in a mere six weeks. Few militaries now or in the past,
without any advanced planning and in less than a month, could pull off an invasion of a country of 26 million, and 8,000 miles
This can’t be stated enough, apparently, because so many are
still working so hard to not see the truth of the matter. And what about the odd argument that this war was either all about
oil or weapons of mass destruction, Hanson jabs with the facts:
In the lead-up to Iraq,
obtaining Senate approval for the invasion was critical — unlike the situation in Serbia when Bill Clinton neither sought nor obtained congressional sanction. Thus the Senate on its own cited 23 causes of action, well beyond the issue of weapons
of mass destruction, and thus established bipartisan agreement on several grounds for removing Saddam.
I’ve been harping on the fact that it is likely true that the
United States didn’t want or need the unwilling Europeans or the United
Nations heavily involved in Iraq for the
simple reason that they would have provided the enemy far more opportunities to screw the damn thing up:
The absence of the U.N. during the elections
was positive. However tragic the circumstances of its exit, the United States was free to use its own carrots and sticks leading
up to January 30 to ensure successful voting — without Jimmy Carter, the Europeans, or the blue helmets appeasing the forces
who wished to destroy democracy. Most international bureaucrats either would have called for full Sunni participation or,
in West Bank fashion, assured the world that a coerced election was in fact fair.
And who could forget the breathless opinions from the educated
fools, so cocksure that it was Dubya who was the fool:
We also rejected the communis opinio of the
CIA and “experts” such as “Anonymous” or Richard Clarke. Instead, the administration rightly listened to a much deeper wisdom
promulgated by the likes of Fouad Ajami, Bernard Lewis, Daniel Pipes, and Amir Taheri. Their correct view was that failed
autocrats deflected popular outrage onto Americans in state-censored media, often through a devil’s bargain with Islamicists.
The latter were given subsidies or freedom of action to whip up hatred of us — in exchange for keeping their terrorists distant
from a royal family, Saddam Hussein, Assad dynasty, Iranian theocracy, or their kindred spirits in the other Arab dictatorships.
This larger American embrace of a radical and systematic political solution was the most debated of all the decisions of
this war — and the most critical — since democratic reform alone led to
the only antidote to the entire Arab cycle of failure.
Imagine that. Hanson also correctly cites other important crossroads,
· the promotion of good
transitional figures like Hamid Karzai and Ayad Allawi,
· the demolition of the Sadr militia,
· the determination to retake Fallujah,
· the trust and confidence given Ayatollah
· the resolve not to postpone the January
· the careful cultivation of the British,
Australians, Italians, and Eastern Europeans,
the simultaneous efforts to steer the stalwart Sharon in a
fashion that would enhance Palestinian reformers.
Of course, Hanson next notes a curiosity that Democrats and
the left-wing will be a long time dealing with:
How odd that conservatives, usually derided
for their multicultural insensitivity and blinkered approach to the world abroad, had far more confidence in the Arab street
than did liberals at home and Euro elites who patronized Arabs as nice “others” who were “different” rather than oppressed
by murderous thugs in the manner of former Russians, Hungarians, Bosnians, and Afghans.
Again – imagine that!
America’s daring, not its support for the familiar — but ultimately
unstable and corrupt — status quo, explains why less than three years after September 11, the Middle
East is a world away from where it was on the first day of the war. And that is a very good thing indeed.
Even if George W. Bush drops dead tomorrow, he goes down in
history as one of our greatest Presidents. That’s a hell of an accomplishment for which he deserves tremendous praise.
11 mar 05 @ 1:52 pm est
BIOTECH RUSH IN FLORIDA
Of course, Palm Beach County is the focus:
First, the problem was a lack of land
to accommodate the huge biotech industry predicted for Palm Beach
County with the arrival of The Scripps Research Institute.
Now that Scripps has pledged its future
to Mecca Farms, the problem may be entirely different. The
Briger parcel, the Florida Research
Park, and the Vavrus Ranch are on track to become biotechnology research
That could either propel Palm Beach County into the ranks of the largest centers
for biotechnology in the world, or put taxpayers’ investment in Mecca
Farms at greater risk.
In all, nearly 9,000 acres of land
could be labeled “research park” in northern Palm Beach County, if landowners and elected officials follow through on plans now in the works.
That’s in addition to Pratt & Whitney,
and several other large industrial tracts already striving to find commercial tenants.
By comparison, the Research
Triangle Park in North
Carolina — the model Palm Beach County
hoped to achieve — is about 7,000 acres.
Have no doubt: they will get that “problem” figured out – if
it’s a genuine problem at all. In Gainesville, however, the University of Florida has its own big-time plans and is nearing completion (in the Spring of 2006) of this building:
What is it? The University of Florida Genetics and Cancer Research Center/Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research,
Budget: $85 million.
• Size: 350,000 ft.
• Completion date: Spring 2006.
• Description: This facility will house
research, training, and administrative operations of the University of Florida Genetics Institute and Shands
Cancer Research Center.
It will also be the home of the UF-based Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, a statewide resource serving more than 800 scientists
with lab services such as DNA and genome sequencing and genetic analysis. Features include a biotechnology lab pavilion, a
rooftop greenhouse, a vivarium, and the C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory, a forensics facility.
Bush has made this (biotechnology) a point of emphasis in the state and challenged different components within the state to
push forward. At U.F., these challenges will be met through the Interdisciplinary
Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR) on the University of Florida campus, the Sid Martin Biotechnology
Development Incubator (BDI) adjacent to Progress Corporate Park in Alachua, and the newly launched Center of Excellence
for Regenerative Health Biotechnology (CERHB). Collectively, they have been given a mandate
to . . .
and strengthen all aspects of molecular life science research;
Biotechnology theory, techniques, and applications;
the growth and development of Biotechnology throughout the State
the transfer of Biotechnology from the laboratory to the marketplace.
Science-wise, things are getting ready to really jump in the
Thursday, March 10, 2005
10 mar 05 @ 2:42 pm est
THIS BE “CHARMING” TO SOME LEARNED WHITE FOLKS?
Peter Schramm of No Left
Turns recently posted a curious “shout out” of sorts to
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina:
No Lincoln Day dinners in
heard this on CNN. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said this: “We don’t do Lincoln Day
Dinners in South Carolina. It’s nothing personal, but it
takes awhile to get over things.” Usually this stuff isn’t charming, but this one is.
Post by Peter Schramm | Link to this Entry
| 3/8/2005 4:29 PM
In the comments to the
post, I’ve made two responses. First, I asked:
Did you say charming? Forgive me, but I fail
to grasp the charm in that statement.
Needless to say, the post generated the kind of response you
might have expected (and is that why it was posted in the first place?). North versus South stuff; white Southerners writing
in as if white Southerners ARE the very definition of Southerner (and yes, that is where I fault Senator Lindsey Graham –
last I checked, his constituency is at least one-third African American). So . . . my second entry (but first, the post immediately
Comment 16 by Edward Crenshaw
One last thought -- who do you suppose
is holding this country together at this point...blue or red America? Most of the political pressure to 1) protect individual
rights, 2) reduce the size/burden of government, and 3) maintain our traditions (e.g., religion) comes from the Southern and
Western states. If were up to the political descendents of “Father Abraham” we’d all be living in “Europe
Lite” by this time. The Civil War has never ended.
Link to this Comment | 3/10/2005 1:22 PM
And my weary (you do get tired of having to make these obvious
factual statement but anything associated with race relations remains a minefield) response to a post that should not have
Comment 17 by RattlerGator [E-Mail]
Edward, Edward, Edward -- chill pill,
man. For the record, a question: “Why would anyone expect any Southerner to celebrate Lincoln?”
You mean WHITE Southerner, don’t you? Still, I know many that do -- right along with justified celebration of Robert E. Lee.
I know Lincoln the man had warts, and was likely complicated.
Who among us doesn’t suffer from such a condition, and who isn’t afflicted with curious contradictions? I know that white
Southerners have been unfairly scapegoated regarding racism. I know that racism is not contained within regional boundaries,
nor even cultural or racial ones. I also know we live in an interesting time of transformation -- racially, culturally, and
economically. Still, there’s nothing charming or slightly humorous about the intransigence that remains in South Carolina (my wife’s home state) and across much of the Southland. And what of those
patriots presently serving in our military and defending this nation so well? A healthy number of them are non-white, of course.
I’m surprised (and disappointed -- but not offended) to see it noted here so approvingly.
Link to this Comment | 3/10/2005 1:55 PM
There you have it. Your friendly Buffalo Soldier signing off
. . . for now.
10 mar 05 @ 1:33 pm est
IN BLOOM FESTIVAL 2005
If you’re in the Tallahassee area March 18-20, come on up to The Hill and
check out the Artists in Bloom Festival 2005:
Florida A&M University (FAMU) will be hosting its third annual Artists in Bloom Festival (ABF) on March 18th – 20th
2005. The mission of
the ABF is three-fold: To celebrate the arts, promote literacy, and encourage healthy living.
The ABF acts as an Open House invitation for one and all to visit our campus. At this “open
house” we will be displaying the talents and skills of local (FAMU, Tallahassee
and surrounding areas) artists but will also invite artists with state, regional, national, and international reputations.
Valencia Matthews, coordinator for the event, said “Our philosophy is that Art, in its
broadest definition, is a principle related to all human creativity and production and the work of all skilled labor. Every
human being is an artist in some fashion, because everyone is skilled at some form of creativity or production. As such, we
seek to involve every facet of our university community in this festival and we depend upon their subsequent outreach to the
larger world off-campus to bring in a variety of artists and artisans. We’ve found that this model works and makes for a very
good and unique festival.”
10 mar 05 @ 8:26 am est
I MAY BE TESTING A FEW DIFFERENT DISPLAYS OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO . . .
Hang in there with me as I try a different look or two over
the next few days.
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
8 mar 05 @ 11:50 am est
I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO
LAUGH AT THIS . . .
Gerard Van Der Leuen says we shall know our long racial nightmare is over
when . . . we see this:
Good one. Damn good one.
Actually, I think we will know our long racial nightmare is
over when African Americans born and raised in this country and here since slavery days increasingly see more and more of
three got elected, other immigrant groups and political watchers took notice.
leaders hoped that one or all of them could be part of a farm team groomed for higher office.
Broward's Jamaicans felt, politically speaking, they had arrived -- at least on the local level.
also hold local office -- but not majorities -- in Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill
and Southwest Ranches.
In Miramar, a city of 100,000, not one race or ethnic group -- including
whites, Hispanics, American black and West Indians -- can claim the majority of the population. West Indians make up about
25 percent of the population, according to the U.S.
Jamaican-Americans? Caribbean-Americans? One thing I can unequivocally
state – it is an incredible struggle to get black people from cultures outside of the United States to identify with or even appreciate the struggles of African Americans
in this country.
They have no problems, mind you, taking advantage of programs
ostensibly set up to alleviate the remnants of discrimination suffered by black folks in this country. No, no, no. But these
folks are quick to see the worst in African Americans and quickly remind you that they are Haitian, they are Jamaican, they
are Dominican, they are Trinidadian – anything but African Americans. Unless you’re talking about a governmental program,
This is yet another reason why Florida
is THE bellwether state in America. Because
the ultimate conflict in this country, race, has not been confronted in California, Texas or New York as it is about to be confronted in Florida.
Black folks in the Deep South
are the heart and soul of African America. Not Harlem or anywhere else. Certainly not that
Southern City that tries so hard to not be a Southern City, Washington, D.C. And make no mistake about it, Miami
is in the Deep South.
Because of what I see developing in Florida – it’s becoming
more and more self-evident to me that these categories are going to have to go away vis-à-vis governmental program awards.
How it occurs, and how fast it occurs is all that remains to
be determined. I suspect it will be sooner rather than later. And Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s speculation about a 25-year
period is at the end of the spectrum, not the beginning or the middle.
Monday, March 7, 2005
7 mar 05 @ 8:56 pm est
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE
GATOR BASKETBALL TEAM FOR THEIR 53-52 WIN OVER U.K.
Mighty Kentucky has finally been shown (again) that they can’t just come strolling down Alligator Alley – these Gators have sharp teeth
and a big man named Horford who is going to be an impact player in the SEC!
Of course, Roberson ain’t chopped liver either.
David Lee goes out a winner against the Wildcats and the Gators
head into both tournaments looking good and primed for the future. Let the madness begin!
7 mar 05 @ 8:52 pm est
WHY WE NEED TO ADDRESS
SOCIAL SECURITY . . . NOW
is never going to be as good of a deal for today’s young people as it was for their grandparents, or even their parents. With
people living longer, and fewer younger people having been born to pay into the system, the demographics just won’t allow
it, and we’re coming up fast on a time when there simply won’t be enough money available to pay out like we’ve been paying
out for the last several decades.
is going to come--and we can argue about when this will be, but it is going to happen one day--when we can’t keep the old
promises any more without either cutting benefits, or having a huge tax increase, or realistically, doing both. That’s a pretty
rotten thing to do to people who’re paying money out of their paychecks every day to support the current system, and reasonably
enough think they ought to get a decent return on their money.
accounts can do, but the pay-as-you-go system can’t, is grow the pot of money available for people to retire on. The government
can’t grow money, all we can do is tax or borrow, but the market can. With a private account that’ll grow for the next 35
years, a 30-year-old will have a cushion against the benefit cuts that will have to happen at some point in their lives--not
tomorrow, not next year, but someday--to keep the government from going broke and their taxes from growing to Swedenesque
tax ourselves out of this problem. There aren’t going to be enough people to tax. But we can use time and the market to give
people a fair shake. We just have to start now, or the situation is only going to get worse.
Works for me. Don’t miss James Lilek’s take on a new moral equivocation associated with the “Social Security
is A.O.K.” crowd. Here, he quotes from an article in the paper he writes for, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune – “Deciphering
the ‘Crisis’ Code” – but the story is unavailable online without registration/subscription:
[quoting the article] “The no-crisis
school believes the emphasis on workers per retiree neglects an important factor. The workers in the 1960s were supporting
fewer retirees but many more children.
“Dean Baker of the Washington-based Center for Economic Policy Research calculates that the ratio of all workers to all dependents –
including children, retirees and adults who don’t work for wages – is close to highest it has ever been. This so-called ‘total
dependency,’ approach covers a multitude of unknowables, such as the cost to a worker of supporting a child vs. a Social Security
“‘But if you’re looking at the strain on today’s workers of paying to support the nonworking population,
it’s much lower than it used to be,’ said Baker, author of ‘Social Security: the Phony Crisis.”
Wow. Get it? They’ve just made the costs of raising your own kids and the taxes paid to support “adults who don’t work
for wages” morally equivalent, part of your general responsibility as a citizen. Apparently your obligation to fund the sunset
years of Theoretical Gramps is ethically indistinguishable from your obligation to the kid across from the dinner table with
your chin and last name.
If the latter is the case, it’s nice they’re out in the open about it all, no? They believe
that the obligation to tend for your family is indistinguishable from your obligation to keep Theo. Gramps in meds and bingo
chits. But it’s not. I have a greater obligation to my family than to strangers. Note the clumsy attempt to equate retirees
with all welfare recipients – “dependents” becomes your kids, someone’s gramps, and adults who don’t work. All equal, presumably,
in their claims on your pocketbook.
This is the lamest argument I’ve heard for the do-nothing-ever-nowhere-anytime
approach that seems to characterize the opposition these days, but at least it tells you where some opponents of private accounts
reside. It’s not Social Security they love, I suspect, it’s what it represents. It’s not socialism as they’d like, but it’s
all we’ve got. In their vision of society, all obligations to one another are equal – at least that’s the presumption from
which their ideas flow. You’re permitted to take of your own first - as long as you understand that this bond doesn’t have
any real ideological basis for its special status. It’s a privilege we keep around until it withers on the vine.
I have an obligation to others? Of course. But I would prefer the freedom to express it as I see fit, thank you.
This social security debate is going
to be one very interesting and educational battle royale. Lileks casts the debate within the “freedom” context and I assume
the President is holding back his ace (the “it’s your money” angle) for later. People have forgotten that social security
is funded through a grant from the people known as the payroll tax. Because the purpose of the program is personal AND
social, I have a feeling Dubya will pull the debate back to its origination as a grant from the people AND THEN engage
in a full-throttle focus on its personal nature – because the Democrats only know how to discuss its social
nature. That will likely be their fatal flaw.
7 mar 05 @ 8:48 pm est
OPTION C? WHAT OPTION
Jim Geraghty, in part quoting the Ace of Spades blog, highlights a recent discussion among editors of liberal publications. When Vanden Heuvel blames the Vast Right
Wing Conspiracy for the tarring of the word “liberal,” Geraghty says hold on a minute there, sister:
There’s a problem here – when you insist that
the reason liberalism is disliked is solely because of an “assault by the right wing,” you overlook the fact that the right-wing
argument is resonating with a certain segment of the non-right-wing public. This argument assumes that those non-right-wing
voters are a bunch of weak-minded fools, somehow easily influenced by the right but oddly deaf to the arguments of the left.
Right. And because it requires that assumption, the Democrats
suffer from the widespread belief that the American electorate is stupid. Don’t dare question their patriotism, however, or
call them arrogant. But how can you not when you reflect on this pre-Afghanistan scenario:
In a radio debate (actually, not much of a
debate at all) between Katha Politt and the once-relevant Andrew Sullivan shortly before the invasion of Afghanistan,
Sullivan repeatedly asked Politt if she didn’t support an invasion and explusion of the Taliban, but also agreed that “something
should be done,” what, on earth, was she suggesting that “something” be? And she continuously dodged the question.
Actually, she kept answering she wanted Option
C: the option where there is no invasion or military action (or even sanctions!) and yet the Taliban agrees to not only turn
over all Al Qaeda suspects within the areas it controls but also peaceably departs to start a new organizational life as traveling
I don’t remember any such “Option C” being
readily available in October 2001.
And the left continues to choose Option C on
Iraq. Given that the French and Russians
(and to a lesser extent, the Chinese and Germans) were Saddam’s patrons and protectors (and business partners), we had only
Option A: defy the wishes of the pro-Saddam
coalition of the unwilling; destroy a corrupt and brutal regime, freeing millions, but with limited support, and at the expense
of alienating world opinion and bearing most of the costs of war ourselves.
Option B: join with the coalition of the unwilling,
united in opinion, and speak with a single voice, telling Saddam “You can pretty much keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll
do absolutely nothing at all about it.”
It’s been two years since the process which
led us to war in Iraq began, and the left
keeps refusing to answer the question.
They still want that [expletive] Option C,
and they’re not going to shut up about Option C until the sun flickers and fades and the earth freezes into a gray and lifeless
That’s my experience as well. It’s hard to find Democrats now
who admit to opposing the action in Afghanistan
– though many of them did. They will argue with you for hours and hours based on false pie-in-the-sky premises divorced from
any known reality in the developing world. They will go on and on about abuses at Abu Ghraib while knowing that greater injustices
are committed EVERY DAY in prisons throughout the Arab world. Yet, I’m supposed to believe Abu Ghraib was some great crime?
So sorry, but that ain’t gonna cut it. I don’t believe in the
fantasy existence Option C and unfortunately for Democrats, that’s all they seem to have.
7 mar 05 @ 8:39 pm est
RECOGNITION OF THE LOOMING
BLACK/DEMOCRATIC PARTY PROBLEM REGISTERS IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA
The Democratic Party’s dilemma
This New York Times article is not especially good, but
it cannot hide the fact that there is a growing rift among Black church leaders: More and more have become Bush and GOP supporters.
Democrats are realizing this and are, in my humble opinion, in a near panic over it. Clarence Page (not a Republican) reflects on all this
and says he is happy to be wooed by both parties. Both articles, interestingly enough, make reference to Bush’s faith based
initiative as a “new form of patronage,” (for Blacks, I presume). There is much political significance to all this, and I
prophesize that the GOP will pick up more and more black voters in the next many election cycles. I don’t think that moving
from 8% support to 11% among Blacks for the GOP is what scared the Dems. What shook them is that Bush got about 16% of the
Black vote in Ohio (and 13% in Florida), and the fact that Blacks are ever more publicly questioning their past absolute support
for the Dems by noting the appeal of the GOP based on some principle.
not the only group within the Democratic Party that is being picked off by the GOP, of course, but this group has a greater
moral and symbolic value than any other. The Demos can’t find a way to keep their factionalized Party together at a time--even
more so now than in Van Buren’s time--when there has been a GOP call for a national and principled view of the Republican
Party for many decades. In short, the Democratic Party, born of a need to give formal voice for the people in a way that is
disciplined in a party (rather than upholding a constitutional and principled view) that acted as an intermediary between
government and society, can no longer be held together as it once was. For example, FDR’s emphasis of programmatic rights
and entitlements and the federal government acting as the guarantor of social and economic welfare meant that he used the
Democratic Party to support the centralized welfare state, and each part of the Party would benefit. That arrangement was
thought to be permanent by the Demos (and most Republicans during the last century).
Party was useful to 20th century Progressives and Liberals as long as it supported the progress of Progressive democracy (Croly’s
term); the older form of patronage was petty compared to what the new Democratic Party wrought. But this could only last as
long as the older constitutional view of a political party did not reassert itself. Well, it has reasserted itself both in
theory and in practice, and now the Democrats can’t figure out what holds them together as a party. The loss of those vital
links is especially painful for them because they had thought--from FDR on--that those links were permanent. It should not
surprise us that the debate over Social Security reform, moral issues, and the needed principled clarification of what America
stands for in a post 9/11 universe, is causing havoc within the Democratic Party. And the slow but certain movement of Blacks
away from the Demos, reveals the heart of the problem.
I couldn’t have said it better.
Sunday, March 6, 2005
6 mar 05 @ 6:23 pm est
THE DEATH OF THE IDEA
OF “THE WEST,” PART 50-11
Because our entire formal structure in this country is geared
towards Europe, Mark Steyn’s perceptive sayonara to the centrality of Europe
in American foreign policy generated some understandable blowback. But the man was unquestionably right and one of the Asian
readers of Belgravia Dispatch takes pains to remind Gregory Djerejian of the big, wide world beyond the borders of Europe.
This administration has done such an incredibly good job that our pathological focus on Europe
has obscured the fact. Nevertheless, folks are noticing:
Sanjay Krishnaswamy writes in:
While I love the items on your scorecard--and who couldn't be thrilled?
(Don't answer that; I know)--I think you're way under tally. The simple fact is that while the administration has achieved
great things in the Middle East, despite its naysayers, I still am actually more impressed with Bush/Powell/Rice's maneuvering
in Asia, and that too has borne a lot of fruit in the last month. I think that Japan's agreeing to militarily support the
US in defending Taiwan against China is-- well, intellectually it is as amazing as elections in the Middle East, even if it's
not as thrilling. And I think Bush decided early on to handle North Korea (which, let's not forget, may be the biggest problem
in the world) by starting to build a sort of new Asian security group--and that paid big dividends too last month. I still
think that the biggest foreign policy miracle of this administration is the simultaneous improvement of relations with Pakistan, India, China
and Japan --- so much so that those last
three were actively pulling for Mr. Bush's re-election. It's not to downplay the amazing stuff in the Middle
East; only your scorecard has to look at global success stories and there've been no small number this past month
outside of the Arab world.
Score another one for Mark Steyn and our 21st Century
future as well as the high-performing Bush Administration – including Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
6 mar 05 @ 3:07 pm est
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD
Jason Van Steenwyk links to a Tom Philpot article in
Stars and Stripes on the 41% reduction in African American enlistments into the United States Army since 2000. Van Steenwyk adds:
is it blacks don't feel like they're part of this war, too?
a huge problem.
that's as much a problem for the leadership of the black community to solve as for George Bush.
I agree. There has been a relentless attack in the black community
on the policies of this administration. As usual, we will lose out as a result. What do you want to bet that most all of the
shortfall in black enlistments has been replaced by Hispanic enlistments?
No single factor explains
the drop, Rochelle said, but clearly the propensity of black youth to enlist is impacted by the war and increasingly by views
of parents, teachers, coaches, clergy and other “influencers.”
No – it’s popular culture. It’s Chris Rock making a joke about
not fighting any damn body, even if they’re rolling down Madison Avenue. At least, that’s the way I remember the joke. And
it wasn’t funny to me. Also, the pussification in this country has affected black folks, too. Except we are more easily fooled
by it and affected by it.
Saturday, March 5, 2005
5 mar 05 @ 8:50 pm est
DAVID BROOKS ON THE
DEATH OF THE PUBLICATION “THE PUBLIC INTEREST”
journal” is on its last legs. Brooks writes a fitting tribute, highlighting their ahead of the curve focus on returning to the basics. First, addressing our schools:
To the extent that schools could change things,
it was the ethos of the school that was crucial: Are expectations high? Is there a nurturing - and disciplined - culture?
It occurred to several of the editors that
they had accepted a simplistic view of human nature. They had thought of humans as economically motivated rational actors,
who would respond in relatively straightforward ways to incentives. In fact, what really matters, they decided, is culture,
ethos, character and morality.
But this wasn’t true just for schools:
Human beings, or governments, are not black
boxes engaged in a competition of interests. What matters most is the character of the individual, the character of the community
and the character of government. When designing policies, it’s most important to get them to complement, not undermine, people’s
permanent moral aspirations - the longing for freedom, faith and family happiness.
Culture, ethos, character and morality – these are likely the
primary ingredients in our continuing search for freedom, faith and family happiness. That’s a good column from David Brooks
and an important historical marker. It makes me reflect on how arrogant an individual or a culture must be to presuppose an end to history and it also demonstrates another limit
to human reason.
5 mar 05 @ 10:39 am est
PUSSIFICATION IN A RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL
Mickey Kaus, in a March 2nd post on the ridiculous
“story” at Harvard on Jada Pinkett Smith versus the transgendered crowd, makes this important point:
being a minority in a democratic society with a clear majority is that you don't find yourself validated and celebrated all
the time everywhere, no?
Exactly. The attempted pussification of America, however, has obscured this basic fact. And at this very moment I can’t help but think of the Robin Burk post at Winds
of Change that I commented on earlier this week. To my knowledge, she hasn’t engaged my question and neither has Joe Katzman, at least not directly.
5 mar 05 @ 9:40 am est
MICKEY KAUS IN SLATE
SLICES AND DICES THE PRESENT SPIN ON WHERE THE COUNTRY IS POLITICALLY
The interpretation of the latest New York Times poll is the
What's the pro-Bush number
in the latest NYT poll story--"New Poll Finds Americans Actually Despise President They Just Re-Elected," or something
like that--that Adam
Nagourney and Janet Elder don't tell their readers about? You know it's there somewhere!
Answer: Bush's approval rating for "handling the campaign against terrorism." 61% approve; 38% disapprove. ...
That's a 10 point net gain in a little over a month. ... P.S.: Matthew Yglesias says "the poll doesn't find much support
for the notion that a dash
to the right on cultural issues is the way out" for Democrats. I'm not
so sure. What percent of respondents thought gay couples "should be allowed to legally marry"? Answer: 23%, virtually
unchanged from March, 2004. Whether or not gay marriage is right, those numbers don't say "winning issue" to me. Why
doesn't the Times ask voters, in its loaded way:
Do you have confidence in the Democratic Party's ability to make the right decisions about the
legal status of gay couples, or are you uneasy about its approach?
I bet the answers would skew
at least 60% for the second option. ("Uneasy" is the biasing word here. It's easy to be "uneasy!" Even about people
you strongly support. Has the NYT never heard of anxiety?) 2:04 A.M.
More and more people are on to this game and are COMPLETELY
uninfluenced by it. I think the Democrats are being set up for another sucker punch by the “misunderestimated one” on the
Social Security tour, too.
The “negative” trend so hyped on this issue in the last few
days seems to reflect “anxiety” to me for a populace ready to be convinced that their ACTION President is on the right track
yet again. Sixty stops in sixty days. As Bishop T.D. Jakes might say – get ready, get ready, get ready!!!
Thursday, March 3, 2005
3 mar 05 @ 10:49 pm est
THINGS JUST HAPPENED
TO TURN OUT RIGHT
Mark Steyn in the British
Spectator remembers the “hope for American failure” crowd of just a few months ago and how they
are handling things now:
The other day in the Guardian Martin Kettle
wrote: ‘The war was a reckless, provocative, dangerous, lawless piece of unilateral arrogance. But it has nevertheless brought
forth a desirable outcome which would not have been achieved at all, or so quickly, by the means that the critics advocated,
right though they were in most respects.’
Very big of you, pal. And I guess that’s as
close to a mea culpa as we’re going to get: even though Bush got everything wrong, it turned out right. Funny how that happens,
isn’t it? In a few years’ time, they’ll have it down pat — just like they have with Eastern Europe. Oh, the Soviet bloc [the Middle East thugocracies]
was bound to collapse anyway. Nothing to do with that simpleton Ronnie Raygun [Chimpy Bushitler]. In fact, all Raygun [Chimpy]
did was delay the inevitable with his ridiculous arms build-up [illegal unprovoked Halliburton oil-grab], as many of us argued
at the time: see my 1984 column ‘Yuri Andropov, The Young, Smart, Sexy New Face Of Soviet Communism’ [see the April 2004 Spectator
column ‘Things Were Better Under Saddam: The coalition has destroyed Baathism, says
Rod Liddle, and with it all hopes of the emergence of secular democracy’ — and yes, that really ran in these pages, on 17
April, not 1 April.]
Incredible. It sure reads like some kind of April Fool’s joke.
Then again, so many of these folks are all talk and no action. For instance, Steyn writes:
The other day I found myself, for the umpteenth
time, driving in Vermont behind a Kerry/Edwards supporter whose vehicle also bore the slogan
‘FREE TIBET’. It must be great to be the
guy with the printing contract for the ‘FREE TIBET’ stickers. Not so good to be the guy back in Tibet wondering when the freeing thereof will actually get under way. For a while,
my otherwise not terribly political wife got extremely irritated by these stickers, demanding to know at a pancake breakfast
at the local church what precisely some harmless hippy-dippy old neighbour of ours meant by the slogan he’d been proudly displaying
decade in, decade out: ‘But what exactly are you doing to free Tibet?’ she demanded. ‘You’re not doing anything, are you?’
‘Give the guy a break,’ I said back home. ‘He’s advertising his moral virtue, not calling for action. If Rumsfeld were to
say, “Free Tibet? Jiminy, what a swell idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday”, the bumper-sticker crowd would
3 mar 05 @ 10:19 pm est
CAN WE ABOLISH WAR WITHOUT
Cat discusses a debate between Victor Davis Hanson and Dartmouth Professor Ronald Edsforth on the War in Iraq,
quoting Hanson and then asking a philosophical question in response to the debate:
nature is set,” he [Victor Davis Hanson] said—it was “primordial, reptilian,” adding that man is always “governed by pride
and fear and envy.” He cited Thucydides, who wrote that his works would remain valid through the ages precisely because human
nature is unchanging. “We have not reached the end of history.”
[Wretchard’s comment:] It is well that we have
not, as Dr. Hanson put it, “reached the end of history”. While man struggles on, his final chapter is postponed for yet a
little longer. Man may be reptilian, yet the snake was always destined to be crushed beneath his heel; pride and envy may
rule yet always be at war with man’s better nature. The more interesting philosophical question is whether we could abolish
war without abolishing ourselves. The possibility of heaven is purchased at the risk
of hell and the gift of fire balanced by the danger that we should set ourselves ablaze. The Leftist impulse is at heart a
longing to be rid of the burden of freedom. What was the dreamed-of Worker’s Paradise
except the same old places repopulated by the New Soviet Man?
1) Pride, fear and envy. I’ll have to remember that; 2) To
be rid of the burden of freedom – that immediately has the ring of truth.
3 mar 05 @ 12:57 pm est
WHO OWNS GOD IN POLITICS
AND THE BLOGOSPHERE?
Robin Burk at Winds of
Change has posted an interesting topic expressing a political
concern she has that I’ve somewhat taken issue with in the comments to the thread. Her concern centers on Evangelical Protestants
dancing too closely to the slippery slope of conflating God, their particular faith tradition, and their particular brand
of conservatism as “the” guiding lights in 21st Century American politics. At least, that’s my interpretation of
her concern. Read the piece for yourself; it’s a good question. She raises it in response to a post by blogger Matt Margolis about an upcoming conference referenced in this February 28th post
by Hugh Hewitt:
GodBlogCon I is now on for October 13-15, 2005,
on the campus of Biola University in La Mirada, California, under the guidance of Dr. John Mark Reynolds. Very good news indeed. I’ll
post more info as it becomes available, but save the dates.
In order to understand my response below you’ll have to read
Robin’s initial post at the very least, but here is my second comment in the thread:
You said, “it’s natural for those who sincerely
hold Christian beliefs to lay claim to the name of God when discussing their activities as Christians.
Keep that in mind when you read the next paragraph”
And I assure you that I understood you the
first time and did, in fact, keep that modification in mind. That was the very reason for my response, in fact. Unfortunately,
it seems to me that you’ve given a detailed response but not addressed “what I don’t get.” Do you or do you not suspect the
discomfort you feel is based on the perceived majoritarian ascendance of evangelicals?
You seem to place great weight on a bifurcation
of 1) activities undertaken as Christians, and 2) activities undertaken in the political sphere. In fact, you state “I moved
that question to the political sphere because I do see signs that many evangelical Christians, in particular, see themselves
as being the core and/or the main part of the conservative movement - and blur the religious and political spheres.”
It occurs to me, however, that an evangelical
will not make that bifurcation and you seem to want to deny said evangelicals that viewpoint. That’s the extremely curious
thing to me. That non-bifurcation viewpoint is likely central to their understanding of their personal faith yet there is
expressed in this thread “discomfort” with evangelicals organizing accordingly.
“And that’s exactly why I am cautious about
making too explicit a link between one such tradition and political events.” Fine, Robin -- from the outside keep that caution.
Who would begrudge you that right? It likely will prove to be a good counterbalance. However, all politics reduces down to
multiple coalitions of the willing. And from within, evangelicals (as one part of the coalition) must consider it mighty strange
indeed that a discomfort from outside their faith tradition but inside the political coalition, and based on a bifurcation
of faith and politics that they likely don’t ascribe to, should require a change in naming protocols so that non-evangelicals
in the coalition won’t be made to feel discomfort.
Respect their faith -- that is my point. “But
is it wise not to hear the concerns that Matt and I, in different ways, raise?” Of course not. I’m simply requesting (and
it seems entirely reasonable to me) that you and Matt consider the possibility that your concerns first and foremost require
further personal introspection.
“My theological concerns are not lightly adopted
or stated casually.” Of that I have no doubt. All the more reason, it seems to me, for my question. Because in this one quote:
“At least in its current nascent form, it appears
that it’s really pretty much just EvangelicalProtestantBlogCon. A perfectly fine and good thing to have. But maybe under some
other name than the one being advertised.”
I think you betray the need for further personal
introspection. Pretty much just? Evangelical Protestants, I’m fairly certain, have a personal relationship with God and to
them and many others your initial question, “Who owns God in politics and the blogosphere?” no doubt seems inapposite.
We all own God. Including Evangelical Protestants.
So there is no “pretty much just,” right?
This seems so straightforward to me but I suspect others will
not view it the same.
3 mar 05 @ 12:55 pm est
INTERESTING COLUMN ON
From the Chair of the Journalism Department in the J-School
at U.F., William McKeen:
It’s an old friend. Though we haven’t spoken in years, I know his voice instantly. He’s a reporter for the Los Angeles
Times. “Hunter’s dead. He killed himself tonight.” Pause. “I thought you’d want to hear it from a friend.” Then he’s all business,
asking me about Hunter Thompson and his place in American culture and journalism history. I shake off my grogginess and bark
a few words of benediction and semischolarly wisdom into the phone.
McKeen, it turns out, wrote one book on the man and helped
him with a literary anthology but admits he knows little about the man. This one line from his column, “Thompson was his own
worst enemy because he fed that caricature,” seems to capture the essence of what I’ve read in the aftermath of his death.
In that sense, I guess we can safely say not only that he was
niggerized but that he was self-niggerized. A Southern boy, naturally (Louisville,
Kentucky). Didn’t finish high school, taught himself to professionally write
in his own unique way. McKeen gives a curious insight on Thompson, or so it seems to me:
He rode with the Angels for a year, got stomped
by them when they demanded a piece of the book profits, and had his first national exposure, as that lunatic reporter who
went on the road with those outlaws.
He had a lot in common with them. He called
himself an outlaw journalist because he didn’t follow the same rules as everyone else. His journalism was usually about journalism:
No matter what he started off writing about, he ended up writing about Hunter Thompson trying to cover a story.
No, I think he called himself an outlaw journalist because
he was an insecure outsider, a perpetually insecure outsider . . . and excessively narcissistic. Consider this McKeen quote:
Thompson told me this in one of our interviews:
“As a journalist, I somehow managed to break most of the rules and still succeed. It’s a hard thing for most of today’s journeymen
journalists to understand, but only because they can’t do it. . . . I am a journalist, and I’ve never met, as a group, any
tribe I’d rather be part of or that are more fun to be with - in spite of the various punks and sycophants of the press. I’m
proud to be part of the tribe.”
Yeah, I bet. Few other "tribes" allow you to create your own
universe so easily. But there’s this little thing about your history that follows you around:
Thompson became estranged from Louisville for many years after his arrest in 1959 on a robbery charge while a high school
senior. Given the choice of going to jail or joining the military, Thompson enlisted in the Air Force and earned his diploma
But for the real clue that this self-niggerizer was forever
battling with, and insecure about, his youth is this quote:
Lewis Mathis of Shelbyville met Thompson when
both were teenagers. Mathis said Thompson showed some signs of the person who would later become famous.
“He was a likable guy, but he was liable to
say anything to anybody,” said Mathis, who is now a lawyer. “I was afraid he would get me in trouble.”
And don’t think for a second that Hunter didn’t sense that, know that. Nevertheless, he subsequently had a damn good ride, no doubt about that. He surely wrote extremely
well although I have no recollection of reading any of his material. However, if James Lileks gives him props . . . , well – that’s good enough for me.
McKeen went on to note Thompson’s irresponsible death fantasy
and concludes by writing, “I may know a lot about Hunter Thompson, but I don’t know why he did this.”
Well, I suspect that McKeen does know why he did this. He probably
knows that Thompson realized a bit late in life that he was part of a minstrel show of his own making. The self-niggerizer slowly but surely became self-aware . .
. and it was simply too much for the irresponsible control freak who never matured.
Yes, yes, yes -- I’m guessing he’s a control freak just like
I’m guessing about all of this. I didn’t know him. Hell, the author of a book about him says he knows a lot ABOUT him but
doesn’t admit to KNOWING him. So my opinion, it seems to me, is as good as any.
And my conclusion is this: true to form, the man saw that the
jig was up but this narcissist had to be the center of attention one more time, even if in the most gruesome and inconsiderate
way possible. Therefore, his friends and acquaintances should not blink when they stare into the abyss of Hunter S. Thompson:
his ending was a case of nihilistic sickness, pure and simple.
Wednesday, March 2, 2005
2 mar 05 @ 9:54 pm est
I KNOW YOU WERE LYING
– BUT WERE YOU LYING BACK THEN OR ARE YOU SIMPLY LYING RIGHT NOW?
Jason Van Steenwyk spots a conundrum for the Democrats based on a February press release
from Congressman Dennis Kucinich:
“Social Security benefits have increased over
the years because they long have been calculated to wage increases, which on the average go up 3.6% a year. So Social Security
benefits increase with rising wages. The Administration wants to change all that. They want to index Social Security benefits
based on a price index, not wages.
Understandably (given this press release), Jason has a simple
question for the Democrats:
Ok, the Democrats and Naderites have been
arguing for an entire generation - since Reagan took office, at least -- that “real wages have remained stagnant.”
If real wages have, indeed,
remained stagnant or
fallen, thaen it would follow that indexing Social Security to prices, rather than wages, would actually increase benefits, not reduce
them. Real wages cannot be stagnant if prices do not increase as fast as wages. Both statements are mutually exclusive
of one another.
So, are the Democrats lying now? Or have they only been lying to us for the last 25 years? Which is
I think we know that answer. THEY WERE LYING BACK THEN. We also know we’re still waiting for some
Democratic honesty on the Social Security question. The program has deviated from its historical roots AND the program is
not viable as presently constituted; those are two known facts.
2 mar 05 @ 1:20 pm est
TIMELY THOUGHT FOR THE
From Pejman Yousefzadeh, yesterday:
Never think that God's delays are God's
denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.
--Le Comte de Buffon
The man, Georges-Louis Leclerc,
is the cause of an interesting historical footnote that I immediately wondered about when I saw the name:
He was created Comte de Buffon in 1773. His tendency to be wrong led to his
name's being turned into an derogatory noun. He died in Paris
Nevertheless, he was obviously a great thinker in his time
and this quote from Pejman is right on the money.
2 mar 05 @ 11:58 am est
REPRESENTATIVE IN AUSTRALIA INTERVIEWS A NEW REPRESENTATIVE OF 21ST CENTURY AMERICA
How can you lose when you have Arthur Chrenkoff
interviewing Victor Davis Hanson? Answer: you can’t. Here are the two snippets I most want to share. First, on the subject of America and Europe:
Look, the more we talk about past “shared values”
and a once “common heritage,” the more we know the present problem: a postmodern Europe doesn’t want to spend any money on
defense, and is furious that the US doesn’t follow its multilateral lead in a policy that could be described as moral sanctimoniousness
while millions die and the West totters—whether that is a matter of Milosveric, Darfur, the Taliban, or Saddam.
we are on to them at last; here is the rule regarding these strange folk who peddle weapons to communist China, whitewash
Hizbollah, fund Hamas, and looted Iraq: the degree to which Europe is amoral by either its commission or negligence is directly
proportional to the degree we see in its media and state spokesmen moral posturing and invective against the United States.
we sit tight, praise them, and keep our powder dry, looking to see the fallow out from Islamicism on their shores, and whether
they curb anti-Semitism, get their birthrates up, rearm and make a real alliance, avoid antagonizing a surrounded Russia,
and buy off an Iran or crazy former Soviet Republic. We cannot do much in all that and so should expect very little from them
and get ready for some pretty crazy things coming out of Europe in the next few years. NATO
as we know it is dead, and we have no idea what will follow—so we praise it to the skies.
Second, on the subject of American stick-to-it-iveness versus a return to isolationism:
George Bush’s biggest problem is not democratization
of the Arab World, but convincing the American people that these seemingly ungracious people are worth the effort in our blood
and treasure—and that general rule applies also to NATO, the EU, the UN etc.
An American gets up, reads his paper,
turns on her computer, watches his TV, and gets hit with “why did Dick Cheney wear a parka at Auschwitz?
why was Bush in Texas during the Tsunami? why are Americans
“stingy”?—all this in-between images and sound-bites of some third-world tyrant or half-witted UN functionary lecturing about
morality, a Middle Eastern thug threatening us, and a subsidized European explaining to the world how awful the US really
And the reaction from us? Increasingly, it is to say, “Heck with these lunatics; let them be”—especially when an
American’s empirical sense is something quite different: ‘why do they keep coming here? why do they keep copying our popular
culture? why do they keep expecting our help when the weather, or nature, or enemies act up? and why are they becoming more
like us than we like them?’
So for the greater good, the President must hold his temper, go against his Texas nature,
calm us, and make us endure the petty slight for the greater good to come later—but it’s hard and all of us at times tire
of a mostly hypocritical world outside our shores.
In my case, I’ve met in
America, mostly on campuses and among students, one too many Europeans, Chinese, Indians, Mexicans, Arabs, or Koreans who
after becoming a naturalized US citizen or a legal resident alien, begin praising the country they under no circumstance wish
to return to while damning the country that they most certainly will not leave under any circumstance. I am sure the
psychotherapists have various names and classifications for this sick syndrome; but abstract identification of it does not
make it any easier to stomach in the here and now. So that is the burden of our diplomats and so far they are doing wonderfully.
Amen, amen, amen.
2 mar 05 @ 10:09 am est
THE DEATH OF THE IDEA
OF THE WEST, CONTINUED
In the continuing saga of Mark Steyn vs. Austin Bey, chalk
up another one for Mark Steyn in this piece from Reuel Marc Gerecht:
[T]he European proclivity towards rapid concessions--and the near-total absence of will to even allude to big sticks--has
disappointed the administration. Iran's ruling mullahs have now brought the EU3 talks to an impasse; European concessions,
unsurprisingly, are not enough. In a classic case of mirror-imaging, the Europeans believe the clerics are economic "realists"
who truly want accession to the World Trade Organization. For 26 years, however, the ruling mullahs have compromised economics
at home and abroad to fortify clerical dictatorship.
Gerecht sees even more conflict between America and the
presumed Big Three in Europe – Britain, Germany
and France, while lamenting the fact that
things could have (but have not) progressed differently:
But this is not the direction
we are going in. The odds are, Mr. Bush is not going to do Libya
again. And the French and Germans are not going to take America's
advice. The two-decade old strategy of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the influential former president and the driving force behind
Iran's nuclear weapons program, is soon
likely to come to fruition. The Islamic republic will have successfully played divide and conquer against the west. If this
leads to a clerical A-bomb, or to a pre-emptive United States strike amid
a chorus of European outrage, the odds are good that the bonds holding the United States
and Europe together will further fray. One day, perhaps after the EU lifts its arms embargo
on China and France
supplies sophisticated radar and torpedo technology to Beijing,
they will snap.
The sooner Eurocentric Americans admit this obvious reality,
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
1 mar 05 @ 9:57 am est
Thanks to the present-day skilled manipulation of the Democratic
Wing of the Democratic Party and the equally unskilled present-day lack of application of basic political realities, we African
Americans have self-segregated ourselves into a Third World polity.
For instance, Mark Steyn (writing for his British audience) noted the interesting reactions around Africa and Arabia to the changing realities
in the Middle East:
Four-time Egyptian election winner - and with
90 per cent of the vote! - President Mubarak announced that next polling day he wouldn't mind an opponent. Ordering his stenographer
to change the constitution to permit the first multi-choice presidential elections in Egyptian history, His Excellency said
the country would benefit from "more freedom and democracy".
Of course, that wasn’t the only reaction:
in Damascus, Boy Assad, having badly overplayed his hand in Lebanon and after months of denying that he was harbouring any
refugee Saddamites, suddenly discovered that - wouldja believe it? - Saddam's brother and 29 other bigshot Baghdad
Baathists were holed up in north-eastern Syria,
and promptly handed them over to the Iraqi government.
So, we have one status prior to the American-led invasion by
the Coalition of the Willing – and a quickly morphing NEW reality thereafter. The earlier reality involved so-called "elections"
lacking any meaningful choice ending with a candidate receiving 90 to 100 percent majorities.
Who, pray tell, in the United States of America votes (by unfettered choice!) at the 90 percent level for a certain political party’s candidate? That’s right – us
folks known as African Americans.
Job number one for us if we want to be treated as something
other than a Third World polity – quit acting like one.
1 mar 05 @ 9:03 am est
THIS IS WHY YOU LOVE
InstaPundit grabs a hot topic and posts a range of responses that
gives you the info you need. I’m still not sure how the hell he compiles this stuff, but . . . he does a damn good job of
it. Here’s his quick overview on the startling news coming out of the Middle East (by the way, yet another supposed Mission:Impossible task that may not be quite so impossible):
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS wonders what happened to the Arab street. I guess that Josh Marshall was right all along:
In their view, invasion
of Iraq was not merely, or even primarily,
about getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Nor was it really about weapons of mass destruction, though their elimination was an
important benefit. Rather, the administration sees the invasion as only the first move in a wider effort to reorder the power
structure of the entire Middle East. . . .
In short, the administration
is trying to roll the table--to use U.S. military force, or the threat
of it, to reform or topple virtually every regime in the region, from foes like Syria
to friends like Egypt, on the theory that
it is the undemocratic nature of these regimes that ultimately breeds terrorism.
He said that like it was a bad
thing. Or like it was some sort of secret, when some of us found the approach to be self-evident. Even Iraqis.
UPDATE: Zach Barbera notes that he had figured some stuff out a couple of years ago.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Gregory Djerejian says that lots of people are noticing.
STILL MORE: The Lebanese seem to have figured it out!
The man is amazing; and has a sense of humor to boot.