Precinct 333

Thursday, February 17, 2005

While I’m Working On Grades

It is that awful time of the marking period – the weekend before grades are due. As usual, a torrent of late work has come crashing onto my desk. It may be a while before I get back to regular posting.

So, without further ado, I give you a host of “stories that have caught my eye.”

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion won a round in Philadelphia today as a judge dismissed all charges against members of a Christian group arrested at Philadelphia’s Outfest. The judge indicated that a thorough review of video of the incident. "We are one of the very few countries that protect unpopular speech. And that means that Nazis can March in Skokie, Ill. ... That means that the Ku Klux Klan can march where they wish to," Judge Dembe said. "We cannot stifle speech because we don't want to hear it, or we don't want to hear it now.”

We kept hearing last year during the campaign that Clear Channel was conspiring to suppress liberal voices. Guess again – the nation’s largest radio network is trying out a liberal talk format on about 40 stations nationwide. They want to see if it is a moneymaker for them – which is exactly why so much of their programming is conservative.

Seems that Ward Churchill has been drawing criticism for a long time – and the folks out at Colorado have been ignoring it. Little things like plagiarism, poor scholarship, false claims of Native American heritage, and even threats or acts of violence against others have been raised for years, but the university has failed to investigate the matters further.

Even a court order isn’t sufficient in Massachusetts if a hospital wants to kill a patient. Barbara Howe has ALS, and her daughter, Carol Carvitt, has a court order allowing her to make medical decisions for her mother and forbidding the removal of life support without her consent. But Dr. Britain Nicholson, Massachusetts General Hospital 's chief medical officer, has ordered life support be removed next week. This makes the Terri Schiavo case look benign, as Ms. Cavitt is simply trying to uphold her mother’s expressed wishes regarding the removal of life-support – the very argument used to authorize Terri’s husband to order her execution food and water to be cut off.

It seems that the next royal wedding won’t take place in Windsor Castle after all, but in the local town hall. A quirk in British law would require that Windsor Castle be opened to the general public for weddings if Charles and Camilla were to be married there. So, it is off to the historic Windsor Guildhall for the civil ceremony.

Arizona has a “stupid motorist law” which authorizes government agencies to bill folks for the cost of their rescue if they drive around barricades or ignore the orders of safety personnel. It is about to be applied for the first time, after Paul Zalewski of Cave Creek decided to drive his Hummer across a flooded street. Zalewski is to be billed for over $800 for the helicopter rescue of himself and his six passengers, including three children.

Proving that she doesn’t know that her 15 minutes are up, former Apprentice competitor Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth is complaining that executive producer Mark Burnett is racist in his handling and presentation of black players. "Once you start looking at how all the black men are perceived as lazy and laid-back and nonaggressive," she said, "and all the black women are quite the opposite, I do think there is a pattern." Yeah – it shows what happens when you bring affirmative action hires into a highly competitive program.

Andrew Hyman cogently presents the case that certain Democrats are lying when they say that President Bush’s re-nomination of judicial candidates who have been filibustered have been rejected by the Senate. Rather, he argues, Senate Rule 31 makes it clear that they have not been rejected – and that same rule does not allow for the use of a filibuster as a means of rejecting a candidate at all.

Look who gave money to support Lynne Stewart’s defense fund – George Soros. How is it that a man who claims to love America gave money to a woman committed to destroying it? And why wasn’t this disclosed by the Mainstream Media when he was bankrolling the Kerry campaign with soft-money donations to liberal 527 organizations?

Bravo to FBI agent Robert Jordan for refusing to back off his comments that there are “people here in Oregon that have trained in jihadist camps”. I just hope that he got the name of all in attendance at his meeting with local Muslims and other community members in the Portland area. After all, if they were offended by comments that are clearly true, they may be part of the problem. Quite frankly, we need to quit apologizing to offended Muslims for speaking the truth – that there are members of the Muslim community who are active supporters of terrorism. The professionally offended need to take offense at the disloyalty of members of their own community, not at folks who comment on that reality.

Bravo to Colin Levey for pointing out that journalists have no greater rights under the First Amendment than any other American. No one is required to tell them anything or turn over information to them. They have no right to obstruct justice or withhold information from law enforcement. Those who pretend otherwise are engaged in a self-aggrandizement that can and will lead to their own downfall.

And why does this story make me think of Howard Dean and the Democrat Party?


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