You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 22, 2007.

Somebody was kind enough to post this link in a thread below.

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, the nation will be rocked by the biggest conservative campus protest ever – Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, a wake-up call for Americans on 200 university and college campuses. The purpose of this protest is as simple as it is crucial: to confront the two Big Lies of the political left: that George Bush created the war on terror and that Global Warming is a greater danger to Americans than the terrorist threat. Nothing could be more politically incorrect than to point this out. But nothing could be more important for American students to hear. In the face of the greatest danger Americans have ever confronted, the academic left has mobilized to create sympathy for the enemy and to fight anyone who rallies Americans to defend themselves. According to the academic left, anyone who links Islamic radicalism to the war on terror is an “Islamophobe.” According to the academic left, the Islamo-fascists hate us not because we are tolerant and free, but because we are “oppressors.”

So I’ve been looking for news clips to see how it’s going on this first day of the celebrations. To my knowledge it’s the first time anybody has tried to organize conservative students on a nation-wide level for demonstrations.

According to CAIR, one of the key speakers is Robert Spencer who advocates driving Muslims out by making their lives miserable. They also claim that a photograph used to promote the events depicting a woman being stoned to death was actually taken from a fictional movie. So now they have a photo of an execution. They could have used the beheading in Saudi Arabia which was in Fahrenheit 911, but for some reason it was “tasteless” and “deliberately provocative” when Moore did it. Wouldn’t be seemly to use the same shot.

This blogger noted a proposed name change for the event.

Barbara Ehrenreich notes the proximity of the festivities to Halloween and draws some parallels.

Michelle Malkin has a few notes. Drudge has nothing on the front page. Horowitz has a calendar of speakers, but no updated news. The link at the top contains a list of all the schools with organized events. HSU isn’t among them.

But I can’t find any stories on events today, not even on Fox News which did cover this demonstration. If anybody has any links please share them and I’ll post them to the front page.

NASA is burying an 8.5 million dollar study which suggests that maybe the Reagan years deregulation wasn’t such a great idea. AP can’t get it under the Freedom of Information Act, and the contractor was instructed to purge its files of the study.

The study consisted of 30 minute interviews with 24 thousand pilots. Apparently NASA doesn’t think it was a statistically representative sample?

NASA’s planning to publish it’s own report… based on… tea leaves?

Photo comes from MSNBC

Chris Durant has another article on the “Mexican cartels” allegedly responsible for the big grows being busted this year.

“I can count on one hand the amount of grows we came across that were linked to DTOs (drug trafficking organizations) before this year,” Peterson said.

But this year that changed.

Of the record number of plants eradicated — 345,000 so far this year — 270,000 are attributed to Mexican drug cartels, Peterson said.

And of the 220 garden sites raided, exactly half have been attributed to Mexican drug cartels.

The article goes on to say that while that while no clear ties have been uncovered a “variety of factors” have led to the conclusions, including the number of plants (white people are too lazy?), and the materials found (a few months ago I posted a photo from the DEA of a container of pesticide with Spanish-worded labeling). But while there is certainly direct and circumstantial evidence of Mexican-originating growers, I’m still perplexed about the “cartel” claim.

The article cites the sophistication of the methods (why aren’t they sophisticated enough to grow in an area outside of the heaviest enforcement?), and names of people caught. So far, nobody’s specifically identified any particular cartels in the media articles. Maybe there are tactical reasons for that, but another possibility is that it’s speculative and purposely kept vague just to evoke visceral racial fears in urban white folk who might otherwise challenge certain enforcement tactics – the “them” factor at work. Certainly this latest incident where one of the growers allegedly threatened enforcement with a gun plays into those fears.

I’m not saying it isn’t happening. Just calling for a healthy skepticism.

That’s the medical term for couch-potato syndrome. But it’s more than just sitting on asses and avoiding exercise. The kids hate trees, or at least they concur with Ronald Reagan.

What, after all, is a 15-year-old supposed to do in what John Muir called “the grandest of all special temples of nature” without cell phone service? “I’d rather be at the mall because you can enjoy yourself walking around looking at stuff as opposed to the woods,” Nguyen said from the comfort of the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall.

….

It isn’t just national forests and wilderness areas that young people are avoiding, according to the experts. Kids these days aren’t digging holes, building tree houses, catching frogs or lizards, frolicking by the creek or even throwing dirt clods.

“Nature is increasingly an abstraction you watch on a nature channel,” said Richard Louv, the author of the book “Last Child in the Woods,” an account of how children are slowly disconnecting from the natural world. “That abstract relationship with nature is replacing the kinship with nature that America grew up with.”

….

“We are city kids, so we don’t get to experience the outdoors,” said Ronnisha Johnson, a 17-year-old senior at Philip Burton High School. “I don’t like bugs, and most of my friends don’t like wild animals. And they don’t teach you about the wilderness in school. Kids don’t think of it as a park. They just think of it as a big open space where there is nothing to do.”

….

Nguyen said he plays video games two hours a day on average, but has been known to spend the whole day in front of a new game. He doesn’t know anybody who camps, backpacks or who has ever built a tree fort.

Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend an average of 61/2 hours a day with electronic media, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The trend starts early. A 2002 study found that 8-year-olds could identify 25 percent more Pokémon characters than wildlife species.

I wonder if there is any correspondence between the detachment and wussification tendencies imposed by overprotective parents.

By the way, have I discussed what a rip-off Pokemom is?

If anybody ever develops virtual sex, the species is history.

The TS has a review of the play, which just finished at the Van Duzer at HSU but is playing again at the Arcata Playhouse at 501 9th Street for three additional performances at 8 p.m. Oct. 25, Oct. 26, and Oct. 27.

This one-woman play about the the woman who lost her life trying to prevent an Israeli bulldozing of a Palestinian home allegedly suspected of containing hidden entrances to tunnels containing caches of weapons. It has been the subject of controversy, more for the politics surrounding it than anything in the play itself. As the NY Times put it:

Given Ms. Corrie’s lightning-rod status as a pro-Palestinian activist — she has been held up as both a heroic martyr (by Yasir Arafat, among others) and a terminally naïve pawn — the New York Theater Workshop drew accusations of moral cowardice. Theater artists including Vanessa Redgrave, Harold Pinter and the American playwrights Tony Kushner and Christopher Shinn joined the fray. Rachel Corrie became a name best not mentioned at Manhattan dinner parties if you wanted your guests to hold on to their good manners.

But politics aside and despite a rather unimaginative title the play has received rave reviews. There have also been responses including censorship efforts. There are particularly nasty reviews such as this one claiming that the play is anti-semitic because it omits the fact that she burned flags at demonstrations and because the Israelis were trying to destroy “a structure” but were unable to stop the arms going through the tunnels thanks to Corrie and her “fellow activists.” The blogger’s account contradicts the Israeli report however, which denies that any demolition was intended. The nearby “structure” belonged to Samir Nasrallah, a Palestinian pharmacist.

There is dispute as to whether the driver saw Corrie. You can read the details of the eye witnesses at Wikipedia and probably a thousand other sites. Normally soldiers are supposed to clear the areas for the bulldozings, but they weren’t out on the day in question. They claim they remained in armored vehicles in fear of Palestinian snipers, but wouldn’t that danger be present at any time? Such danger would seem to be at its least when western activists are present. In any case, whether the driver’s actions were deliberate is probably beside the point of the play, which is that a brave and perhaps naive young woman took a stand and lost her life for her cause. That should earn her some respect, whether you ultimately agree with her politics.

The conservative blogger’s rant about her also contains a paradox in that they blame her for the inability to stop the transportation of arms through the house. But despite her efforts the home was destroyed, which would suggest that maybe the home wasn’t what the IDF believed it was. Certainly it wasn’t crucial to the underground operation.

I haven’t yet seen it so I can’t review it, but obviously it’s not light entertainment. The following passage from the above-linked NY Times review captures what I anticipate.

The play, directed by Mr. Rickman, is not an animated recruiting poster for Palestinian activists. Its deeper fascination lies in its invigoratingly detailed portrait of a passionate political idealist in search of a constructive outlet. And its inevitable sentimental power is in its presentation of a blazing young life that you realize is on the verge of being snuffed out. (I kept thinking of the letters from Julian Bell, Virginia Woolf’s nephew, who was killed in the Spanish Civil War.) The play’s most obvious hold on the audience’s attention comes from its being structured as a sort of countdown to a tragic death. The very look of the stage at the beginning — in which Rachel’s bedroom in Olympia, Wash., seems to float against a ravaged Middle Eastern townscape — presages a journey we know will be fatal.

The photo comes from her memorial website.

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