Thursday, June 29, 2006

Conservative Howell to teach 12 year olds condom use

The Detroit News: Sex ed booklet for 7th-graders approved
"[Howell's] school board unanimously approved Monday night a change in curriculum that would include seventh-graders receiving a pamphlet that explains the purpose of condoms and how to use one. If asked, teachers will also be able to define the terms homosexuality, masturbation, anal and oral sex."

I'm curious how these questions will be answered. We already know they'll not be given a moral context because anything that keeps company with religion isn't allowed in schools. We also know the risks associated with sex (anal or otherwise) won't have the desired impact on 12 and 13-year-olds who think it's a good idea to chat and meet online strangers or even travel to Jericho and convert to Islam without notifying their parents. They aren't required to notify parents about abortions, how much less dangerous is masquerading as an 18 year old and hooking up with two guys from Indianapolis for a road trip?

Perhaps Howell and Birmingham can start an intramural Sex-Ed Olympics with seventh graders answering Sex-Ed questions in a Jeopardy-like format, or see which schools' 12-year-old girls can unroll a condom onto a model penis the fastest or list spermicide's active ingredients.

Or perhaps they should take field trips to visit unwed mothers who've dropped out of school, or interview parents taking care of their middle-school student's grandchildren. Will they meet with people infected with genital herpes or dying from AIDS? Perhaps they should study the economic affects of pregnancy, unwed motherhood, and abortion on young women. I bet we're able to discuss and show diagrams of anal sex and fisting but are unable to show pictures of aborted fetuses--just to drive home the point.

Apparently Howell's School District has all the money it requires and has met every need for remedial and advanced studies in reading, writing, arithmetic, foreign languages, vocational education and other things to help Howell's children compete in a flattened world.


On Wednesday The Detroit News reported Howell's school system is slashing their budget by $2.3 million. Maybe the school board trustees have been a little distracted reviewing the new sex-ed pamphlets?

Meanwhile, InformationWeek reports Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik is having trouble finding qualified candidates to hire. More than 2/3 of last year's new hires came from overseas.

"I think what I find most humbling about this is, when I leave the United States, most of the other officials welcome these discussions, while I have trouble getting the attention of the local school district at home."

Maybe the locals are busy spending some private time studying the new courseware.

At a speech in NY, Red Hat's CEO spoke about another major issue, the state of U.S. education at the K-12 and higher-education levels.

Howell's students will be seductive candidates indeed. If they get as far as an interview they'll be able to explain the purpose of a condom, how to use one, and define the terms homosexuality, masturbation, anal and oral sex.

Do you still think the answer is more money for schools?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Plan bans discrimination, not all affirmative action

Roger Clegg, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity penned a well-timed op-ed in today's edition describing the precise affects of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI). Well-timed because opponents of the state constitutional amendment have started an aggressive media campaign. Aggressive not only because of the frequency of the ads but the ads are as easily misleading as the sponsors accuse the MCRI of being. Roger Clegg's piece does something MCRI opponents would rather he not have done, and that's remind us what Affirmative Action is supposed to be, and not what it's morphed into.
When the term was first used in the civil rights context -- in an executive order signed by President John Kennedy in 1961 -- it meant taking positive steps, proactive measures -- affirmative action, get it? -- to make sure that racial discrimination was not occurring. The idea was that the employers had to do more than just give lip service to nondiscrimination; they had to make sure that no one in their companies was discriminated against, and they had to communicate that policy, and enforce it, and root out the discrimination and discriminators that were already there.
After listing examples of Affirmative Action the MCRI would not ban, Clegg introduces what the MCRI would prohibit with:
The fact of the matter is, then, that there is only one kind of affirmative action that will be outlawed by the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative: treating people differently -- some better and some worse -- because of their skin color, or what country their ancestors came from, or what kind of reproductive organs they have. This is the kind of affirmative action that Harvard professor Nathan Glazer called "affirmative discrimination."
Michigan's Board of Canvassers were misguided in requiring the initiative to change its language to specifically state it will eliminate affirmative action programs. Apparently the board's hearings weren't as thorough as they should have been, making up with rhetoric, vitriol, and political slight-of-hand what it lacked in reason, debate and inquisitiveness.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Grab Bag 20060623

Drivers take hit over pot smoking
Michigan's Supreme Court may have erred on this one. 4-week-old evidence of having inhaled pot (first or second-hand) is not evidence of driving under the influence. Everyone who attended a pop/R&B/rock concert within a month prior to a speeding ticket is at risk of an OUI offense.
Mayor's lawsuit targets Connerly
People usually keep reading comprehension deficiencies to themselves.
UAW Pays for fun, perks
With all that entertainment spending I was surprised Kwame Kilpatrick's name didn't show up. And people were concerned Delphi's Steve Miller was sending the wrong message?
Mortgage rates rise on inflation fears
They may be as high as four years ago, but they're still lower than the late 70s and early 80s when rates were in the teens.
Detroit Murder/Suicide: Woman feared for her life
PPO's aren't enough, but you can't arrest people for what they might do, or even for what they threaten to do. But when does it cross the line and become what they will do?
News Flash: heirs more likely to inherit fortunes than initiative to build them
This shouldn't surprise anyone, but it's always reassuring to know stereotypes aren't invented out of thin heir.
Seven terrorist suspects arrested in Miami
A few weeks ago it was 17 terrorists in Toronto, now there's seven in Miami. All young Muslim men. Is profiling really as absurd as we've been trained to think it is? Is Political Correctness the new McCarthyism?
Muslims and West blame each other
Can't imagine how that happened. Muslims think we're greedy. We think they're violent. They think we're selfish. We think they're lazy.

Meditate on that then consider America's own class warfare and how liberals complain "the rich" (however we define "them") are greedy, selfish, and not paying their fair share. What might "the rich" say of us?

And what has each of us done with the greatest fortune ever inherited, America? What kind of heirs are we?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Birmingham Schools did fail, but not how they thought

Last week, Birmingham Public Schools claimed responsibility for the death of a 17-year-old Groves High School junior. On any reasonable list of responsible parties the school district wouldn't even make the top 10, but their claim doesn't come from grief or guilt. It comes from opportunism.

Why do people claim responsibility for tragic events? Terrorists do it for attention and to promote their cause. Against overwhelming evidence, real criminals admit responsibility in exchange for leniency. Emotionally unstable people claim responsibility for crimes they didn't commit to attract attention to themselves.

Everyone knows Birmingham Public Schools had no role in the tragic overdose of the 17-year-old junior from fentanyl-laced heroin. They aren't responsible for students whereabouts 24-hours/day. They weren't the student's parole officer. They aren't the student's parent. They weren't dealers or bystanders. In fact, all evidence suggests Birmingham Schools does a terrific job at what it is actually is responsible for: educating Birmingham students.

So the School District claimed responsibility to draw attention to itself. But why would it do that?

There's another reason to claim responsibility for something you've no culpability for--to be part of the solution. Claiming responsibility for something you've no direct influence over attracts the admiration of the masses for such grand displays of selflessness. That admiration translates into a faux moral authority as everyone respects you for stepping up to the plate--whether it's your turn at bat or not. Since responsible parties must meet to figure out what went wrong the school system is now given a seat at the table. Being part of the solution means the school system can inject itself into a dialog that should be restricted to law enforcement and the family. Once the school system injects itself into one familial dynamic the village looks the other way when it injects itself into other familial dynamics. All this new counseling and administering to the needs of families will require a larger budget, and the dripping concern for these poor people will regretfully bring celebrity--but not to the family, to the school system's professional grievers.

So now the school system has celebrity and justification for a larger budget. What is it risking? Nothing. Professional grievers have no accountability. After all, they're volunteers! Their 21st century good Samaritans! The family is the only party involved required to make real sacrifices. They're the only party to this tragedy that will pay the price, whose grief is genuine, are directly responsible for their children, and after the criminals that sold her the drugs and delayed in getting her treatment, share any accountability.

When all is said and done the family will still be broken but the school system will not only remain intact, but they'll feel good about themselves for announcing, "We have failed."

They have failed. They've failed to leave healing to the parties that need healing. They've failed to leave remedies to those that must administer them. They've failed in showing deference to law enforcement.

In reality, they succeeded in more ways than they failed, but opportunism from trajedy is nothing to brag about.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Blondes in Black and the Doctrine of Infallibility

"Why haven't you written anything about Ann Coulter's new book?"

So asked a neighbor Wednesday night wondering why I had ignored the only media frenzy able to put Duke's Lacrosse Team scandal to bed: the publicity melee that has made Godless: The Church of Liberalism a best seller.

I heard Ann Coulter on Sean Hannity's talk show, saw the interview with The Today Show's host Matt Lauer, read Hillary Clinton's comments (and Ann's reply) and browsed the video archives at MSNBC but none of it was inspiring. But finally, nine days after releasing the book and criticisms of her being mean to the "Jersey Girls" (four wives whose husbands died September 11, 2001) I found something interesting.

Ann Coulter was a guest Wednesday night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jay Leno was the first interviewer not distracted by her witty sardonics and asked the question Lou Dobbs and Matt Lauer should have asked:
LENO: ".. the words you've used have overshadowed the point you were trying to make to the point people are upset about you attacking the widows [and miss] the point you were trying to make."

COULTER: "Other people have written acerbic little remarks about democrats sending out victims.. making the exact same points Howard Dean could be making ... I don't think the nation's attention has ever been riveted on this "victim as spokesman" as it has in the last week. I don't think that trick's going to work anymore."
Leave it to a comedian to conduct the tough interviews.

The reason the media and press have exploited the most trivial aspects of her new book is they, and the nation, aren't prepared to discuss the point of the chapter those comments are extracted from: The Doctrine of Infallibility. As ground shaking ideas go, criticizing liberals for parading victims as spokesmen is small potatoes compared to the writings of Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele.

Sowell's book, Black Redneck's and White Liberals, explodes myths about black culture, slavery, black education, and their progress since the civil rights movement. The media and black leaders don't want these ideas discussed--at all. The thoroughly researched facts in his book controvert commonly held beliefs that have become the foundation of all civil rights dialog since the 60s. So commonly held that black culture's propaganda has become more real than the history it's fictionalized, and with the help of white liberals, is trying to rewrite.

In White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, Shelby Steele proposes Affirmative Action (and all racial preferences the MCRI proposes to eliminate) is little more than the new slavery. Blacks, still unable to care for themselves, are dependent on the hand-outs of white people and white liberals promote it because Affirmative Action proves they aren't racists.

The fact neither book has drawn wide and loud criticism substantiates Ann Coulter's doctrine of infallibility. Both Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele are black writers. The popular media won't engage them because even journalistic action heroes like Lauer, Couric, Dobbs, and others are unable to match their intellect, command of history, but more importantly--they won't attack them because the authors are victims. Why are they victims? Because they're black.
The litmus test for being black required one to accept racial victimization not as an occasional event in one's life but as an ongoing identity. When victimization is identity, then the victim's passionate anger can be called out even when there is no actual victimization.

Shelby Steele -- White Guilt
The words of Sowell and Steele are more powerful accusations than anything Coulter has written, and yet nary a peep is heard. Nor will any be heard because both authors have lifted a mirror few, black or white, want to look into.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Our glass houses

Note: Of the many things that annoy me about The Detroit News and Free Press the most frequent aggravation is their refusal to keep articles online for reference. For that reason, I've copied Google's cache one Free Press article for the link below.

Also, this article's sporting metaphor (near the end) was inspired by watching Flash Point two weekends ago when representatives of Granholm's and DeVos' campaigns attended to discuss the Leadership Conference on Mackinac, and both representatives wore their school colors. The only thing missing was The Beach Boys.
From the suburbs, the City of Detroit has become a mere spectator sport -- reportedly
the poorest big city in the US. In 2000, Detroit's median family income was almost $30,000 and its average home value $63,000. Year after year Detroit voters (dead and alive) elect the most curious species of personalities to city-held offices. They flaunt the law, enrich their friends and family, and dance with unions while the city budget blooms deeper reds every year. Detroit was a city once swelled to capacity with factories and factory-workers' families, but as Detroit's auto giants' fortunes turned for the worse the city's population was the first hit as workers were laid off, factories closed, and the entire economy that surrounded it and pumped-up Detroit's tax revenues left the city with the faintest of hissing sounds. It became a city without "a good side of the tracks."

Across the road (literally), tuning in every night to watch the 11PM death spectacle are residents of Oakland County: home to automotive headquarters, Automation Alley, good schools, and a 2000 median income of over $61,000. Nearly half of Oakland County's residents could buy an entire average Detroit home with a single year's paycheck.

Detroit may be a glimpse into Oakland County's future. Oakland's population of salaried employees are equally dependent on automotive industries and those seem only to get smaller. Plant workers may get laid-off by the tens-of-thousands, but those numbers are distributed across wider geographies at plants scattered throughout the North America. White collar employees are more concentrated, and that concentration is centered in Oakland County.

Oakland County voters have to ask themselves if they're electing the kinds of politicians that can steer the county to a future less dependent on automotive executives, engineers, designers, accountants, clerks, advertisers, marketers, and the economic impact their loss will have on Oakland's retail and residential economies. I don't know how many convicted felons are on our cities' and county's boards, nor do I know what kind of leadership, innovation, or power they have to get new and powerful policies in place.

How long have we waited for mass transit? How long have we driven on poorly engineered, built, and maintained roads? How long will school districts continue shrinking before they're consolidated? How many small cities will be allowed to cut back on city services before they're consolidated to leverage infrastructure and personnel and provide full services to their (remaining) residents? How much longer will sprawl continue unabated stretching our county's finite manpower and budget resources to support them?

In short, where are the politicians and leaders with visions of what Oakland County and the entire South East Michigan region should look like in 10 years? If we haven't them already in office, what are we prepared to do to attract those people to risk candidacy and are we willing to follow and support them?

This year's election is focused on the governor's race, and it is important. Both Governor Jennifer Granholm and republican challenger Dick DeVos seem sympathetic to Michigan's predicament and are touting their support for the usual suspects, education and diversifying the state's economy, but these slogans have been repeated for over 20 years and Michigan is little changed for all the campaign rhetoric, and in fact can be said to have fallen further behind 47 out of 50 states. I wouldn't be surprised if some US Territories have higher employment than Michigan.

Instead of voting for cheerleaders, we need to vote for coaches and quarterbacks. Instead of somersaults, back flips, and human pyramids we need visions, strategy, and execution.

We should remember that as Oakland County, and perhaps the rest of Michigan find entertainment value in Detroit's flailing, the rest of the country is looking at Michigan and wondering what we're doing about it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

UAW and suicide bombers have death wish in common

If you know you're going to die, it's best to take as many casualties with you as possible. That's the opinion of some UAW members and labor historians whose interviews appeared today in the Detroit News.
"I believe our union will grow," said Robert Betts, president of UAW Local 2151. "It's like the Romans. The more they persecuted the Christians, the more the faith grew."
Wrong analogy. The UAW's future is less like Christians than it is dodo birds. Dodos had no predators until their peaceful island was invaded by rats, monkeys, and pigs brought by settlers in the 1500s--which ate the eggs and the dodos. The lesson here is dodos were fat, dumb, and happy until they were unable to compete with new, non-indigenous species.
"I think Gettelfinger has pussyfooted around the issues," said Dan Lamb, a machinist at a Delphi brake plant in Dayton, Ohio. "It's time to go back to our roots, back to when the union was militant."
That strategy is working well for Muslim fundamentalist. Unable to compete economically, scientifically, politically, or socially with the rest of the world they want to return to the stone age when women were property and people lived in tents. This is not a recipe for progress.

This next quote is my favorite from the article.
"Yet the spirit of cooperation with the automakers can only go so far," said labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein.

"You can cooperate with the company 90 percent of the time, but you have to hold in reserve the ability to throw a wrench in the works," said Lichtenstein, author of a 1995 biography on legendary UAW leader Walter Reuther.

While a strike now against Delphi would be "almost suicidal," Lichtenstein said the UAW would lose its bargaining power without the threat of a walkout. "The capacity to say no is essential to making the cooperation work," he said. "It requires both sides to have a gun in the holster, and you have to use that rusty gun every so often to be taken seriously."
So Lichtenstein advocates the UAW may have to suicide bomb Delphi even if it takes down GM as well, or maybe to make sure it takes Delphi, GM, and others down with it. What does the UAW care of collateral damage a strike may cause? They've already become an anachronism to the new capitalism forced on US car makers with the improving fortunes of Japanese, German, and eventually Chinese imports and transplants.

This kind of denial and irrational behavior to protect high-wage low-skill jobs has more in common with terrorism than the ideology of Walter Reuther. It's one thing to fight to protect workers from hazardous workplaces or exploitation and quite another to guarantee above-market pay and benefits regardless their or their company's health or performance.

Islamic extremists covet Western Culture's success and would prefer to destroy it than change. The UAW is jealous of its economic gains and would rather kill the cow than drink less milk. Let's hope cooler heads prevail.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Pardon me, was I hostile to you?

Rally pushes for immigrant rights - 06/05/06 - The Detroit News Online
"The diverse groups claim a climate of hostility toward immigrants, here legally and illegally, has risen since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."
Detroit's and other cities' newspapers have reported claims of increased hostility. There have been townhall style meetings, prayer groups, interfaith services, and media-organized roundtables to discuss how to address the issue. The only thing missing are police reports supporting the claims.

I haven't finished reading Shelby Steele's "White Guilt" but am already suspicious of claims of our hostility towards immigrants. Perhaps because all whites have been stigmatized as racists in a manner similar to how feminist propoganda is convincing males they're all rapers-in-waiting we're feeling guilty for crimes we haven't committed and never thought to commit in the first place. But we're feeling guilty anyway.

Is there any group of non-white males that the entirety of white males isn't guilty of offending since Columbus discovered the New World? They could direct their angst toward and demand dispensations from Italian explorers or the Spanish that sponsored his trip.

The city of Dearborn's Arab Community prepared in the weeks following 9/11 for retaliatory attacks that never happened. Now immigrants are organizing protests against hostility that hasn't surfaced yet. As is usual with socio-political charlatanry they follow the popular media's lead and have dropped the word illegal from the issue.

Are the blogosphere and Fox News Network the only news and opinion sources that can discriminate between legal and illegal immigrants?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Democrats in Tights

Ever wish for a peek inside a liberals head? Wonder what an interesting place it must be?

A letter to the editor in today's Washington Post, How Faith Works for Democrats, stunningly reveals the source of their mysticism. It's from James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. After paying homage to Thomas Jefferson's church and state separation the letter continues:
"[Democrats are] rooted in [Gospel of] Matthew's directive to provide for the least among us and are guided by [the New Testament's Letter of] James's admonition that "faith without works is dead [2:17]."

"We believe that the federal budget is a moral document in which our values are demonstrated through our spending priorities.

Any budget that favors the wealthy over working Americans, cuts aid to school children, slashes health care for veterans, under-funds first responders and reduces opportunities for those who are the least in our society is a budget that fails to keep faith with America's values."
This brief encyclical exposes a secret Dan Brown was saving for his next book, "The DeMocratic Code."

Translated for college students, it says the only way to realize democrats' moral obligations is by spending, not doing, and the federal budget is their bible. After extorting $2 from a man it's a sin to return $1. And whatever you steal for the least of my brothers you steal for Lyndon Johnson.

It finally makes sense: Ted Kennedy imagines himself in tights, handsome as Errol Flynn, redistributing from the rich to the poor. Assisted by his Merry Men with Nancy Pelosi playing Maid Merrian, Barney Frank her understudy, allied against George Bush, the scheming High Sheriff of Nottingham. Mel Brooks is a shoe-in to be the next Democratic Party Chairman.

This is why democrats complain social programs are cut 5% when the Sheriff only increases spending 7% instead of 12% (for college students, that's 12-7=5). Their path to eternal bliss is predicated on the work of others.

Like all religious texts, the faithful are selective in their reading. They must have missed Jefferson's, "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."