April 30, 2004
A Sad Day
If there has ever been an opportunity to show the Arab world what America stands for, this is it.
Like everyone else who sees these pictures, I am sickened by this. But living in a just society doesn't mean bad things don't happen. People are people, in all cultures, in all nations.
What it does mean is that when we see an outrage, we investigate and expose evil for what it is and bring the perpetrators to justice. And that justice must be inexorable, measured, even-handed, and suited to the crime.
And above all, it must be public. The Arab world must know that we will not stand for this sort of behavior. Not against our own people. And not against them. Some things are just intolerable among civilized people.
Friday Book Question Followup
OK here's a fun question.
Screw the kids (well, not literally - this isn't a Michael Jackson convention). The heck with values and civilization. If you had to run out the door to that desert island, what 10 books would you take JUST FOR FUN?
We're talking guilty pleasures here - books you love. The kind you don't want to end. The ones that make you cry on the last page or give you that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach (or somewhere else).
The comments section is officially open for submissions. This is just informal.
Well here's an outsourcing article you did not expect from me:
In April, 2003, Kevin Flanagan, a computer programmer with Bank of America, was fired from his job after being forced to train his replacement, an Indian worker who was taking over Flanagan's job as part of Bank of America's effort to replace its American workforce with foreign labor.
Flanagan walked outside into his office parking lot and shot himself to death.
A year later, it's no surprise that the impact of foreign labor on American workers has become a potent political issue this campaign season. What Americans need to understand is how complicit the U.S. government has been in helping large corporations secure cheap foreign labor, and the impact that has had not just on American workers, but on the foreign laborers doing their jobs for a fraction of their wages.
In 2000, with the economy entering a full recession, America imported 650,263 foreign workers under two employer-friendly visa programs, H-1B and L-1. In 2001, with the economy still struggling and the tech industry laying off 500,000 American workers, Congress responded to heavy lobbying by business interests by signing off on another 712, 671 employment-related visas for the year -- a surge of nearly 10 percent in labor imports.
Even a 2002 report by the undersecretary for technology at the Department of Commerce, which found that several years of data did not support the IT industry lobbyists’ claims of a critical worker shortage, could not stop Congress from issuing another 684,189 H-1B and L-1 visas that year.
The flood continued into 2003. As top-dollar lobbyists made the rounds on Capitol Hill with the story that technology corporations couldn't find American computer programmers (and those corporations dumped money into Washington -- $201 million in 2000 alone), American IT workers across the country were being laid off.
And while some members of Congress, fresh from depositing their campaign contribution checks, were justifying their pro-industry votes with the industry line that Americans -- the people who invented computers -- were just too lacking in skills to program them, story after story emerged of middle-aged American IT workers fired and replaced with 25-year-old foreign nationals. As a final indignity, these American workers -- many with families, American mortgages to pay, and college tuitions to save -- are often required to train their own replacements in order to receive their desperately needed severance packages.
My youngest son emailed this to me. From Slate Mag: John Kerry's Military Records, The PowerPoint version
The Arizona Rangers
AHEM! ANNOUNCING THE ASCENSION OF ONE SPD RDR TO THE SOAPBOX. The half-vast editorial staff may regret letting Mr. Rdr guest-blog. If this is a sample of his writing, we are feeling distinctly threatened :)
Please welcome him and give him your undivided attention:
Seldom does an idea come along, and the instant you see it you know it’s so right, so perfect, that your mind immediately sets itself to the task of implementing it. Such was my experience this morning when I opened Baseball Crank’s fine blog and saw the term “Arizona Rangers.”
The Crank floats the proposition that the Arizona Cardinals, the NFL team for which the recently fallen U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Pat Tillman played prior to his enlisting, consider renaming the franchise in honor of Sgt. Tillman, his storied unit, and all the men and women who have volunteered to defend this nation. The idea has true merit and deserves the support of football fans and armchair patriots everywhere.
Sgt. Tillman, although born and raised in California, had strong ties to the Grand Canyon State. His drive for excellence both on and off the football field at Arizona State University (summa cum laude in a straight four year stint), transferred to his professional play and personal life. In short, Sgt. Tillman was a good man all around. But he played for a very bad professional football team.
The Cardinal franchise holds the distinction of being “the oldest continuously-run professional football franchise in the nation,” and indeed the franchise has a glorious history. Unfortunately, none of that celebrated history has been written in Arizona. Indeed, the Cardinals have made it to the post season only once since moving from St. Louis in 1988. Many fans still associate the Cardinals with their mid-western roots, and even referees have been caught in recent years calling “Time out, St. Louis” in the middle of a game in the desert. The Cards and Arizona need a fresh identity. And the timing could not be more opportune for them to fashion one.
The Cardinals are awaiting the completion of a new stadium, the name of which will undoubtedly be auctioned to help defray the cost. (“Welcome to Krispy Kreme Field folks.”). The Cardinals’ decision to name the plaza outside the new stadium after Sgt. Tillman is gracious and correct. But why not take this new-day attitude a few steps further? A new team name: Arizona Rangers. A new Team uniform: Army black and gold jersey, white pants, black helmet with gold laurel wreath. A new rallying cry: “Rangers lead the way!” Such changes might just bring a new attitude to the team and its fans as well. No more getting slapped around at the draft by the likes of lesser Mannings. “We’ve got a great new quarterback in Phil Rivers and we taking it to the top. We are RANGERS! Fear THIS!”
Anyway, you’ve got the idea. It’s right. It works. And it’s time.
There’s a Rookie League baseball team named the Arizona Rangers. They should be very proud and honored to be so known. I’m sure Sgt. Tillman would agree.
- spd rdr
The Daily Collegian
I saw a short blurb on the news with a view of the headlines which basically said that he got what he deserved. Needless to say I was furious. I CAN NOT COMPREHEND the mind set that comes up with such drivel, and that this alleged "News" paper would print it is un-consionable.
I tried a Google search and keep comming up with the "high traffic" message, but I think they may have had to shut down their site,even Lexis-Nexis can`t do any better.
NOTE: Here is the cached article from Google.
Apparentley Noam Chomsky Rulz at the U Mass publication. I intend to find out all I can about this and if it`s what I think it is, I`m going to work on getting the guilty parties fired.
I would also like to know why the major news orginizations aren`t all over this.
There is no media bias? Wait till the story becomes more readily available, then read it, then you tell me there`s no media bias.
These people need your help. Give generously. This is a tragic affliction we can wipe out in our lifetime.
The scientific method is alive and well at Purdue.
Your tax dollars at work...
You feel much better about that turquoise taffeta bridesmaid's dress now, don't you?
We don't need no stinking tests. We're educaturs.
Who knew he had ties to organized crime?
Somehow I think divorce law made more sense back in the day... You've gotta love this: "If the "finger is pointed" at a man's wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for her husband."
1.000 is the mathematical value of perfect flatness.
.957 is the flatness of a pancake.
.9997 is the flatness of Kansas.
My question is: What is Kerrys flatness formula?
(No nit picking about the zeros)
Anti-semitism: The Real MidEast Poison
"It is the Jews, with their hidden, filthy hands, who . . . are behind all troubles, disasters and catastrophes in the world," including, of course, the attacks of Sept. 11 and the Madrid bombings.
It is in this kind of atmosphere that Israel offers unilateral withdrawal from Gaza -- uprooting 7,000 Jews, turning over to the Palestinians 21 settlements with their extensive infrastructure intact and creating the first independent Palestinian territory in history -- and is almost universally attacked.
Moreover, and much overlooked, Israel will also evacuate four small West Bank settlements, which creates extensive Palestinian territorial contiguity throughout the northern half of the West Bank.
The Arabs have variously denounced this as Israeli unilateralism, a departure from the "road map" and a ruse and a plot. The craven Europeans have duly followed suit. And when Tony Blair defied the mob by expressing support for the plan, he was rewarded with a letter from 52 Arabist ex-diplomats denouncing him.
When I listen to the rhetoric on Israel and the Middle East, I often wonder if I've wandered into an insane asylum - no one seems to be talking sense. The vitriol directed against Israel (and these days against Jews in general) is frightening - it almost makes me want to reconsider my opposition to hate speech laws.
The fact is that there are no negotiations because under the road map -- adopted even by the United Nations -- there can be no negotiations until the Palestinians end the terror and dismantle the terror apparatus.
To argue that neither Israel nor the United States can act in the absence of negotiations is to give the Palestinians, by continuing the terror, a veto over any constructive actions by the United States or Israel -- whether disengaging from Gaza, uprooting settlements or establishing conditions for a final peace settlement that would ensure the survival of a Jewish state. This is an argument of singular absurdity. And a prescription for perpetual violence and perpetual stalemate.
This is so obvious I can't see why Krauthammer even needs to say it. But no one is listening, because their arguments presuppose the underlying assumption that Israel has no right to defend itself: indeed, no right to exist at all.
NY Post Chides Kerrey, Commission
The New York Post has a few choice words for Bob Kerrey and the 9/11 commission:
We never thought former Sen. Bob Kerrey was taking seriously his responsibilities to the national 9/11 commission. But his insulting mid-meeting abandonment of President Bush's sitdown with the body yesterday was beyond the beyond. Kerrey and fellow Democrat Lee Hamilton bugged out early from the three-hour sitdown - each pleading "a prior engagement" - while Bush and Vice President Cheney sat calmly and answered the commission's questions.
Almost as insulting as the walkout was commission Chairman Tom Kean's decision to let it happen. Obviously, Hamilton, Kerrey and Kean don't consider the panel's probe to be all that important. Imagine the furor had the White House declined to participate (or even sought to end the meeting early - say, to tend to the war).
Of course, the worst message sent yesterday was not so much that the panel had been politicized and lacked seriousness; that's been clear for months.
No, it was that civility - and simple respect for the highest offices in the land - are dead and buried in Washington.
Well, this isn't news, but it still needed saying.