Sunday, September 29, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Jakiyah McKoy was crowned Little Miss Hispanic Delaware but… “There was uproar when the winner was announced because, according to the public, she was not the best representative of a Latin beauty.” According to a college friend of mine, who knows the family: “[the pageant] required proof of only her ethnicity, not the other contestants. On top of that they take her title and crown away, because she can’t show proof of ethnicity because her undocumented grandmother who was from the Dominican Republic, which gives her the necessary 25% of Latino ancestry, is deceased.”The persistent disappearing of black women in a well known phenomenon to those who have been paying attention. Of course when we see beauty pageants in central and south America we see many contestants who are CLEARLY of European descent or who look very much like the European "ideal" winning contests. I have previously written about it in Brazil
The goal, he and other model scouts say, is to find the right genetic cocktail of German and Italian ancestry, perhaps with some Russian or other Slavic blood thrown in. Such a mix, they say, helps produce the tall, thin girls with straight hair, fair skin and light eyes that Brazil exports to the runways of New York, Milan and Paris with stunning success.Once you have read the above, look at various "hispanic" media (tv, print, internet) then you know that what happened to the young lady from Delaware is not only unexpected but not surprising in the least bit. Jennifer Lopez, in an advertisement for a cosmetic line, claims 100% Puerto Rican. Exactly WHAT is that in an island made up of people from various races (even if one is dominant)? It would be one thing if Puerto Rico was a homogeneous society much like Korea or Japan but it is not. The clear implication is that if Jennifer Lopez is "100% Puerto Rican" then anything not resembling her is not 100%. It is much like how Mexico attempts to call itself a Meztizo nation. A statement which clearly implies that being unmixed is somehow less "Mexican". What is also amusing with this is that the current Pope is from Argentina and embraced as a Latino while he is actually a child of Italian immigrants and has no genetic roots in that part of the world AT ALL. Why the acceptance of an Italian as a "latino" (or a German, Russian, etc.) and a stink about this little girl? Well it' simple really. As in the north it is in the south: White is allllllll right. Enjoy that immigration reform negritos. You'll soon figure out that anti-black attitudes do not stop at the southern border. If you wish for a quick primer I suggest seeking out and watching the movie Quilombo.
Friday, September 27, 2013
The National Security Agency secretly tapped into the overseas phone calls of prominent critics of the Vietnam War, including Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and two actively serving US senators, newly declassified material has revealed.Absolutely nothing new about this information. Anyone who's read the FBI files on MLK and Malcolm X and the multi-volume work on Marcus Garvey knows this already. Only folks who have recently "discovered" what the government has been up to in general and to black folks in particular would think this "new". And certainly those in the movement(s) knew they were being recorded and watched (among other things).
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Somehow, "I told you this already" doesn't seem quite enough of a statement.
As diplomats at the United Nations push for a peace conference to end Syria’s civil war, a collection of some of the country’s most powerful rebel groups publicly abandoned the opposition’s political leaders, casting their lot with an affiliate of Al Qaeda...What was it Al-Assad said was behind the war? Matter of fact who what it that the deposed and executed Ghaddaffi said was behind the civil war in his country. US fighting and scheming on the side of Al Qaeda. My, my.
As support for the Western-backed leadership has dwindled, a second, more extreme Al Qaeda group has carved out footholds across parts of Syria, frequently clashing with mainline rebels who accuse it of making the establishment of an Islamic state a priority over the fight to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
The fractured nature of the opposition, the rising radical Islamist character of some rebel fighters, and the increasing complexity of Syria’s battle lines have left the exile leadership with diminished clout inside the country and have raised the question of whether it could hold up its end of any agreement reached to end the war.
From our friend Cappuccino Soul:
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative transmedia art project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of Black men from diverse and contending backgrounds; and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine Black male identity in America.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
So there I was reading another post at SBPDL about the alleged genetic inferiority of black folks when I was struck by the cited article. It is a must read for anyone who is seriously concerned with the state of African people. The alarming quotes:
During the 2011 administration of the Georgia High School End of Course Test for Mathematics I examination, more than half, 54 percent, of the nearly 52,000 black students who took the exam, failed. The failure rate got worse when considering Mathematics II which is the integrated mathematics course that covers statistics, algebra and geometry. Of the approximately 44,000 black students who took that exam, nearly 60 percent failed.Of 52,000 black students in the state of Georgia 28,080 failed Mathematics I. Of the 44,000 black students in the state of Georgia, 26,400 failed Mathematics II. For a people who appears to have coined the phrase "Droppin' science", this is not good at all. Just to make sure we all understand just how bad this is, consider the following chart from the article:
71 percent of the 2,500 black students in APS who took the Mathematics II exam in 2011, failed and only 1 percent, 25 students, passed with distinction (Pass Plus). By contrast, only 21 percent of white students failed with 79 percent passing and 23 percent of those passing with distinction. In Fulton County, where 62 percent of black students failed the Mathematics II exam, 90 percent of the white students passed, 32 percent with distinction. The failure rates and achievement gaps throughout most of the school districts in the metro-Atlanta area are astonishing.Astonishing is right. But the following statement fails to adequately understand the problem:
The consequence of this reality is that black students are excluded from much of the STEM conversation and are nearly entirely excluded from the higher level STEM education discourse.Black students are not "excluded". Excluded implies that some outside force is preventing black students from passing these tests. No, the black students have absented themselves from "much of the STEM conversation". Because black students are not doing the work required. Full stop. Full. Stop. In recent postings on education (just in time for the start of school), I pointed to research that shows that:
About the age when a child’s voice stops cracking, education itself has a relatively mild effect on academic success. IQ, good parenting, and personal motivation are by far the most important factors.So applying this to the report we have to ask the question. What is the cause of the abysmal failure rates from the black students? Well it's not Jim Crow. It's not Republicans. It's not the KKK either. Why? Because none of these things determine whether you can add, subtract, multiply and divide. The IQ argument has been dismissed by scholars. It's the easiest explanation. If negroes are simply not constituted to grasp algebra and trigonometry then there's no point even being upset when the vast majority of them fail to do so. The exceptions are, well, exceptional. But we've rejected that as the argument so that leaves two other options: Good parenting Personal motivation. Let me propose that these two items are the cause of this catastrophic failure. Exhibit A: If "back to school" for your kid is about clothes, rapping and dancing. They are not going to pass the maths exams. Sorry. For all I know this group of kids are rocket scientists. Fact is though most likely most of them are not. Not even close. Exhibit B: Oh what's that you say? There are commercials with other kids of other races that do fashion? I see, And their fail rate is what exactly? When most of a community's children cannot pass basic mathematics, the above commercial ought not be made or presented. Either we're serious about this education thing or we're not. We're either preparing our children to do big things or we're preparing them for failure. Writing in MommyNoire we find:
Kids from both groups are part of Beats and Rhymes Program, a YMCA after school program in Minneapolis. In order to participate in studio time and video shoots, the kids, middle school students, must finish an hour of homework each day they come to the program. The kids told a local CBS station they love the program and know it keeps them out of trouble. Said one ninth grader, “There’s a lot of bad things out here that I could easily adapt to, so, Beats and Rhymes really kept me out of there, so [without it] I would probably be nowhere.” The programs organizers want the kids to understand the importance of school, even writing it into lyrics. One little lyricist says in “Khaki Pants”, “You better stay on your Ps and Qs, ’cause in school I stay on mine.”Let me remind you: 71% failed basic math. Clearly a whole lot of somebody's are not on their P's and Q's. But the video is cute and adorable. 70% failure rate is not "cute". Nor is it "adorable". Let me make a wild guess and suppose that these same 70% who do not know basic maths do know the latest dance moves and the latest hip hop tracks and artists. And lest we think this kind of failure rate is limited to Georgia or Atlanta, look at the Common Core test results from NY:
Chrystina Russell, principal of Global Technology Preparatory in East Harlem, said she did not know what she would tell parents, who will receive scores for their children in late August. At her middle school, which serves a large population of students from poor families, 7 percent of students were rated proficient in English, and 10 percent in math. Last year, those numbers were 33 percent and 46 percent, respectively.Do I need to discuss the demographics of Harlem public schools? Thought not. How are only 7% of students in middle school simply "proficient"? How are 93% (see, easy math) of the students NOT simply "proficient" in English? Don't blame the schools. Don't blame the teachers. Don't blame the teachers union. Why are 90% of the children not even "proficient" in math. Basic math? And let's examine the results from last year. 67% were NOT proficient in English? Thats' a majority fail rate. 54% were not proficient in math? That's a majority fail rate. So the results in the previous year, before the changes were abysmal:
But striking gaps in achievement between black and Hispanic students and their counterparts persisted. In math, 15 percent of black students and 19 percent of Hispanic students passed the exam, compared with 50 percent of white students and 61 percent of Asian students.85% of black students failed? 85%? Mayor Bloomberg, thinking that we are complete idiots says:
black and Hispanic students, who make up two-thirds of the student population, had made progress that was not reflected in the scores.85% failure in math is progress? I wonder what egress looks like. I'm sure a bunch of folks reading this are not happy. Don't care. 71% failure rate of basic maths. The videos of black students singing, dancing and rapping are not cute because that's the only thing that the vast majority of our students are doing and failing in the stuff that matters. Either black folks are inherently stupid or parents (and the community at large) are messing up badly. If we reject one, then other must be the case.
Monday, September 23, 2013
This is what democracy looks like.
An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the Muslim Brotherhood to be banned and its assets confiscated in a dramatic escalation of a crackdown by the military-backed government against supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi...What's old is new again.
The ruling opens the door for a wider crackdown on the vast network of the Brotherhood, which includes social organizations that have been key for building the group's grassroots support and helping its election victories. The verdict banned the group itself — including the official association it registered earlier this year — as well as "any institution branching out of it or ... receiving financial support from it," according to the court ruling, made public on Egypt's state official news agency MENA.
The judge at the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters also ordered the "confiscation of all the group's money, assets, and buildings" and said that an independent committee should be formed by the Cabinet to manage the money until final court orders are issued. The verdict can be appealed.
The Brotherhood was outlawed for most of its 85 years in existence.
Friday, September 20, 2013
So last night I'm watching 48 Hours Mystery. At least that's what I think the show is called. I know they have 48 hours (which turned out to be 4 months I think) to solve a murder case. In this one a 40 year old going to get chicken from a fast food place was bum rushed and shot. I don't usually watch the show but this one I decided to for whatever reason. A couple of things were just sad about that episode: When they went to arrest the shooter and were putting him in the car, I noted that he was particularly cut (as in fit) and guessed that he had done time in prison before. I was right. See, I don't get the whole I been to jail and trying to go back thing. But we'll get back to that in a few. So then this guy is being questioned by the detective because apparently this guy shot another guy a few hours later while attempting yet another robbery. The way he explained it was that victim no. 2 at the hotel, kinda figured he was being set up and refused to enter the room. So this guy went out to "convince him". When the victim put up resistance, this guy, O.J. decided that such resistance offended his sensibilities so "I shot him". And that's how he put it. "So I shot him." Plain as day. Like there was nothing unusual about it. Then when he was being questioned about victim one at the chicken place he says: "Well you know, I don't just shoot people." Really. After just stating how he shot a man for resisting his attempts at robbing him, he straight faced told the detective that he isn't the type to shoot a man who is resisting being robbed. *Silence* Then once this guy understood he was going back to jail, he starts with the crying. Oh. NOWWWW he's sad. Don't give a damn that he took two lives. Not a tear shed over that. This "man" feels sad 'cause his butt was headed back to lockup with not one but two murder charges. Then here comes his mother. This woman calls her son "fat daddy" and "baby". Really? Hugging his ass. What? See this is part of the problem. your grown ass offspring is not a baby. You need to stop calling your grown ass offspring "baby". And what is this "fat daddy"? Why are you calling your child "daddy"? Your offspring is not your daddy and you shouldn't refer to your offspring as daddy, with the possible exception of father's day. Instead of upbraiding his ass for the two murders he willfully committed and telling him he's a piece of shit who apparently didn't learn from the first stint in jail and so now is returning on two murder charges like he NEEDS to be told. This "mother" was there cuddling him like he was a 3 year old. Talking to him like he was a child rather than a grown man who once again brought shame and disrepute on hims AND his family by taking the lives of two people. Until we change our attitudes to our children and increasingly grown "men" making mayhem in the places where we live (I strain to call them "our communities" since "we" clearly do not "control" them) we are going to continue to see this kind of behavior. Just last night 13 people were shot at a basketball court in Chicago at 10PM. Why, on a school night and work night were people out on a basketball court at 10PM? Allow me to suggest what folks should be doing at 10PM: Sleeping. Reading. Studying for job training or school (or GED if applicable). Working. Folks don't wanna hear all that. Let me go and write about how the super-agency white folks are responsible because they want their guns and so we cannot outlaw them and keep ourselves safe.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
There's always controversy when IQ is discussed. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea that IQ is measurable, variable and averages differently among different populations. Many of the same folks who are uncomfortable discussing IQ, also don't want to point the fingers at culture and parenting in the academic [non] performance of certain groups relative to others. It's amusing (in the not funny way) when I see the following:
Public policy research tank, MDRC, finds that as students age, the effect of any change in education (an “intervention”) shrinks dramatically. The average Intervention for a first grader can bring a failing student in the 27th percentile into the middle of the pack. 10 years later, the average intervention has half the effect. By senior year, it’s expected that students won’t budge more than 6-percentile points.So when we see reports of low test score performance being blamed on "poor schools" and "bad teachers", lets look at the above and realize that the number 1,2 and 3 determinants of scholastic performance has nothing to do with teachers or the kind of school a child attends or WHO that child is sitting next to. *ahem* Eventually we, African descended folks are going to have to admit that our kids are not all up in Brooklyn Tech or Stuyvesant High has more to do with what we as adults and parents are doing rather than any other force "out there". We will have to stop giving white folks super agency over us and our decisions. Stop giving the Educational system super agency over our children's lives and come face to face with what others have known for a long time: Sneakers are not important. Clothes are not important. Contrary to Target back to school advertising, dancing and being popular in school is NOT important. Facebook is not important. Twitter is not important. Homework and more homework and a clear expectation of academic excellence is important. Period.
About the age when a child’s voice stops cracking, education itself has a relatively mild effect on academic success. IQ, good parenting, and personal motivation are by far the most important factors.
Indeed, a recent National Science Foundation report of an online experiment at San Jose State University revealed that student effort was a key variable.
Asked by DAVID MACARAY in a piece run by Counterpunch In his run down, he neglects to note that the number of African-Americans at certain universities would drop as well. Particularly African-Americans who otherwise could not afford a university education (however flawed). No more "free ride" for them eh?
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Please pay special attention to Appendix 5 where it states in part:
The sites have been well travelled by other individuals both before and during the investigation. Fragments and other possible evidence have clearly been handled/moved prior to the arrival of the investigating team
As with other sites, the locations have been well traveled by other individuals prior to the arrival of the Mission. Time spent on the sites was well used but limited. During the time spent at these locations, individuals arrived carrying other suspected munitions indicating that such potential evidence is being moved and possibly manipulated.
Monday, September 16, 2013
I heard about this in the morning. Read the report and thought about it for a while. Jonathan Ferrell had an accident wherein his car went off the road. He got out of the car and since he apparently had no cell phone (or it was dead, we do not know) walked until he found "civilization" and approached a house.
Ferrell apparently walked about a half-mile to the nearest house and was "banging on the door viciously" to attract attention, Monroe said. Thinking it was her husband coming home late from work, the woman who lives there opened the door. When she saw Ferrell, she shut it and called police about 2:30 a.m., Monroe said.Firstly. This woman. Is her husband in the habit of coming home at 2-3AM "viciously banging on the door"? Does that sound right to you? Does her husband often forget his keys? Does he not have a cell phone which he can call his wife and say "sorry dear, I forgot my keys again, could you come down and let me in?" Secondly this woman is in the habit of simply opening her door at 2:30 AM to a person "viciously banging on the door"? Thirdly, your going to tell me that at no point from when she answered the door and shut the door did Jonathan say anything to the effect of "I had an accident and need help"? or simply "help"? This is a southern boy. Southern boys are known to say "ma'am". He didn't say that? She saw his black face and decided she was being robbed shut the door (never mind that an actual robber would have pushed her in the minute that door was unlocked) hits the alarm and calls the police. So far no crime but very questionable story from the woman.
Officers responding to the breaking and entering call found Ferrell a short distance from the home, police said. As they approached him, Ferrell ran toward the officers, who tried to stop him with a Taser. Police said he continued to run toward them when officer Randall Kerrick fired his gun, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell died at the scene.Now lets get something clear. There was no "breaking" and there was no "entering". So the woman in this case, IF she made such a claim made a false claim. Knocking on a door is not "breaking and entering" and being scared of the black man at your door is not "breaking and entering". So this report (likely false, like in the case of Trayvon) lead the police to come to the home. Now they reach the scene and the "robber" is still in the area even though his "victim" slammed the door in his face and sounded the alarm. Now any actual burglar or "break and enterer" would have left the premises because the risk of getting caught is way to high. But our actual victim, having done nothing wrong was still looking for help. However, since he's been deemed a criminal. Now the police said they approached Ferrell (who again, did nothing wrong) who they claimed "ran towards them". Note that there is no statement of whether Ferrell was saying anything. Note they say nothing about whether he was waving his arms. You know, the things people trying to get help for themselves are likely to do. Why don't we have these statements? Where is the statement that Ferrell was coming at them "With what looked like a weapon"? There is not even the usual "We identified ourselves as police". So these police, believing the false report assume Ferrell to be a threat and shoot him with a Taser. They claim that Ferrell kept coming. Now I'm not an expert on the use of Tasers and I don't know what this fellow was wearing, but most of the times that I have seen demonstrations of Tasers, most people go down and tend to spaz out unless they have some kind of protection or are high. I suppose a toxicology report will determine the latter. Was the "continued to run" actually a response to being tazered while moving? And still where is the report that the officers, by now, saw a weapon of some kind that justified the use of deadly force? And certainly a person being Tazered is not generally able to execute commands while they are in pain. A Tazer is effective up to 15 feet (roughly two body lengths of an average height male). Are you telling me that the officers could not tell that Ferrell was not armed at that distance? Yes it was night time, but we know police roll with flood lights, head lights and flashlights. That does not include any illumination from street and house lights. At this point Kerrick shoots at Ferrell multiple times. 10 times. Just to be sure, I'm sure.
Police called Ferrell and Kerrick's initial encounter "appropriate and lawful." But in their statement late Saturday, they said "the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive" and "Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter."Much like with Trayvon Martin, the police in this town were unable to come to grips with the fact that a person who had not committed and was not committing any crime whatsoever was dead at the hands of the state and all because they believed that it was OK that the dead black man was assumed to be a criminal. Only later after pressure mounted did they realize that the usual "our officer thought his life was in danger" line was not going to fly. I will give the police department credit on this one, they didn't take as long as others to act.
Friday, September 13, 2013
An indictment issued in the southern city of Adana alleged that a Syrian national identified as Hytham Qassap, 35, was in Turkey trying to procure chemical materials for a pair of well-known Islamist rebel blocs, Al Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham Brigades, the reports said. Washington has designated Al Nusra Front as a terrorist group linked to Al Qaeda.Oh really?
Neither group is affiliated with the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.Of course they're not.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
These past few weeks have shown the world John Kerry's true colors. It's not that they weren't on display before but since his rise to an administration post with international dealings, John Kerry has shown us just how craven and two faced Democrats have become. I rarely, if I ever recall, agree with Ann Coulter *managing to avert a bit of barf welling in my throat*, but she has the current Democrats pegged when she wrote the following:
Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, escalated the war in Vietnam in order to prove that Democrats could be trusted with national defense. Which they cannot.Though the rest of the piece leaves much to be corrected, that comment absolutely describes Democrats of late and John Kerry in particular. Let us recall that then Senator John Kerry sat by while a citizen in an "open forum" meeting was tasered by the police (or security) because they objected to his line of questioning. That one act convinced me once and for all that John Kerry was a coward. How does a supposed representative of the people sit by and watch one of the people be abused by state authority? This coward sat in his seat the entire time while a citizen exercising his supposed freedom of speech and possibly his freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, was assaulted by multiple officers. Kerry kept his seat. Now this coward extraordinaire finds something in his pants that he thinks are testicles and attempts to push the US into war. This guy who was supposed to be the 2004 Anti-Bush (tm). The former "anti war" soldier who "famously" tossed his medals was supposed to be the Democratic "peace" presidential candidate. So yeah, it seems Kerry is doing exactly what Ann proposed. Nice to know he cares more about the well being of Syrians than about citizens right in front of his face being abused by the state. Democratic party symbol is the donkey. Fits Kerry perfectly.
Others are more blunt. Haliru Andi, who served as Yerima's top aide while he led the call for sharia, bristles at the idea of interference with his faith. "How I even use the toilet, how I share my time with my family – everything is contained in my religion," he says in his Persian-carpeted living room. "How, then, can I take instructions from anybody who does not have a deep understanding of Islam?"Idiot. And I'm being nice.
In one, a woman is being forcibly restrained on a woven palm-frond mat. An assistant grabs her legs; another sits on her chest, and yet another reaches between her legs with a razor blade.Because no way she could just not want to have sex. Nope. 2013 and this dumb shit is happening and folks wanna hide behind their religion.
The scene shows a common recourse when a child bride refuses to sleep with her husband, prompting her parents or in-laws to drag her to the wanzan, or traditional barber. "This traditional barber, he doesn't understand anatomy. He thinks there's something obstructing the girl down there, and that's why she fears her husband. So anything he sees, he will just use his knife to cut it," Mutia explains. "They think they are helping."
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
"He's in his car and he continually has his hand on his gun and keeps saying step closer ... and he's gonna shoot us," a breathless and clearly scared Shellie Zimmerman told the police emergency operator, according to the 911 call released by police. "He's just threatening all of us with his firearm," she added. Shellie Zimmerman, who filed for divorce last week, also said her husband had punched her father in the nose and smashed her iPad.This is the accusation of the wife of George Zimmerman. The same George Zimmerman who insisted he was "minding his own business" and posed no threat and made no threats to Trayvon Martin. So now the world knows he quite possibly has a habit of sitting in his car with his gun seeking whom he may assault. Now the world knows quite well that Zimmerman apparently has a habit of hitting people in the face whom he has a problem with. Now we know beyond reasonable doubt that Trayvon did, in fact, say "Get off me" when Zimmerman attacked him. The world can reflect on the apparently factual testimony of Rachel Jeantel, roasted for being unable to read (or write)in cursive (like that meant shit) and for being "combative". We can reflect that she was most likely the most truthful witness (as in direct to the incident) on the stand. The world can now reflect that the video presenting Martin as "sucker punching" Zimmerman was likely a total misrepresentation of the facts.
O'Mara confirmed Zimmerman had his gun on him. "He was armed ... He put his hand (on the gun) to make sure it was holstered," he said. "He knows how to carry responsibly."Yes. I'm quite sure he had his hand on his gun. He's had practice. Besides...who brings a gun to an argument with their wife? Uh huh. We see you George.
Sunday, September 08, 2013
I have an ongoing series on the coming effects of robotics and the profound effects it will have on employment and society, particularly the relationships between increasingly disposable men and child bearing women. Some people have questioned my predictions and assertions but the evidence, most recently an expose on 60 Minutes still supports my assertions
President Bashar al-Assad did not personally order last month's chemical weapons attack near Damascus that has triggered calls for US military intervention, and blocked numerous requests from his military commanders to use chemical weapons against regime opponents in recent months, a German newspaper has reported , citing unidentified, high-level national security sources.Lets assume this report to be true. By claiming that Assad is responsible for the unapproved actions of his subordinates would be the same as saying that Bush was directly responsible for the crimes committed by US troops in Iraq. If one isn't willing to "take it to the top" when such events are done by US personnel then how can it be justified in Syria?
Friday, September 06, 2013
Good for them.
the ICC prosecutions bolstered their campaign as they portrayed it as foreign interference in Kenya's domestic affairs.Certainly. It's pretty bad for the defender of democracy, particularly one who deems itself the sole arbiter of "red lines" to not sign up for the international court? Actually I think that not only should Kenya remove itself from the ICC, it should also resign from the UN itself. That body has shown itself to be totally incapable of being anything of a neutral body upholding so called international law. I think the events of the past few years has proven beyond doubt that the UN is simply a tool of certain nations to: 1) Police other nations by whatever standards and whims the [permanent] Security Council members has for the day. 2) To provide philanthropic cover for [permanent] security council members while they put their agents into various organizations to foment dissent in target nations while bragging about how many wells they dug and how many drugs they injected. If the UN actually had any credibility, there would be ships in the Mediterranean sea right now making it clear to the US that any actions taken against Syria would be met with [peace keeping] force. There is no justification under the UN charter for a member state (or any state) to go to war against another for any reason other than immediate self defense. If the US (or France or Britain) can bomb Syria as it did Libya then what exactly is the point of the UN Charter? And if the charter means nothing more than the paper it was printed on, then what is the point of the organization itself? It's time for the member states, which greatly outnumber the security council states to force Ban Ki Moon to either make the UN live up to it's charter and face the errant [permanent] members of the Security Council (sic) or for those states to exit the arena.
The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse reports from the capital, Nairobi that even though the vote does not halt the cases, it sends a powerful signal of defiance to The Hague - a sentiment that is becoming increasingly popular, in Kenya and across much of Africa....
Mr Duale noted that the US had refused to sign the Rome Statute to protect its citizens and soldiers from potential politically motivated prosecutions.
"Let us protect our citizens. Let us defend the sovereignty of the nation of Kenya," Mr Duale is quoted as saying
[Update 9-25-2013 9:15AM: Following up on this report, I was informed that the information relayed to me was, shall we say, faulty. It was found that the student who had relayed the information was under the impression that the boys in her previous class had failed because the boys she knew had been struggling in the class. The teacher says that though there were in fact a number of failures (perhaps above what would be considered average), that it was not the case that all the boys failed. Furthermore,the reason for the lack of any boys in the second level Spanish class was that none had decided to sign up. This makes sense given that it is an elective. I want to extend an apology to the readership for the misinformation below. It was my fault. I knew that statistically the story as relayed to me was extremely remote. Knowing that, I should not have posted this piece without a thorough investigation. As the saying goes: Trust but verify. Original post below for posterity. I still stand behind the commentary that education has become hostile to boys and the way that they learn. I am still bothered by the fact that you have an entire class of an "upper level" subject with no boys in it. ] Wednesday a friend of mine relayed information from her daughter whereby her daughter's Spanish II class had no boys in it allegedly because all of the boys failed Spanish I and had to repeat it. I found the information quite disturbing. I have never been even a B student when it came to second languages. In fact had it not been for my second language classes (French and Spanish) I would have probably been an A student. We all have our weaknesses. In all my years in education as both a student and a staff member I have never, ever heard of an entire group of a single gender to have all failed a class. I know there are educators that frequent this blog and I'd be happy to have any of them contact me about such a phenomenon that has occurred. I simply have not seen it. Ever. I'm not going to say that it is impossible to happen. Supposedly this was an elective. Even so, who would purposely throw an F into their grades just because it's not a requirement? The likelihood that every boy in the class (I am not aware of the total number of boys in that class) failed the subject because they were intellectually incapable of getting at least a C level grasp of the material flies in the face of probability. In every class there is a range of intellectual capacity among the students. Some are going to find the work easy and some will struggle to the point of failure. It is generally understood that if you give an exam and everybody gets 100% that the exam was way too easy or a significant amount of the population cheated. Similarly if one gives an exam and 100% of the students were to fail then you know that either the exam was way too hard (possibly covering material not taught) or nobody in the class studied. Generally test scores fall into a distribution curve that a decent teacher can often predict based upon the activity of the students in class including homework. You would think that a teacher faced with the prospect of each and every boy in the class failing would be alarmed. Indeed I wonder (again not knowing the specific demographics of the class) if the administration is aware that such a glaring gender disparity in performance is going on. Among people who are advocates for men and boys there are people who have collected a lot of data that shows that in education there has been a swing in teaching styles and attitudes that are decidedly anti-boy and anti-male. In one example that I read about recently there is a school system that teaches young grade school boys that they are in fact potential rapists! Never mind the inappropriateness of telling male children that they are likely budding felons, but it ignores the fact that the vast majority of males (96+%) do not and will not rape anyone. Along with that bullshit, are teaching styles that punish boys for being boys, you know, can't sit still, aggressive, hyper, etc. Mind you the age of the group in this Spanish class is 12-13 years of age, there are many teachers who have very negative opinions of males and boys and seek to make life as difficult for them as possible. I won't go into the college student who was working in a college admissions office who was of the opinion that [white male applicants (presumably heterosexual) deserved to be binned in favor of anyone else but preferably women. Not that I am accusing the teacher in this case of anything inappropriate. I do not have enough information to make an outright charge of gender discrimination and perhaps straight out incompetence. I am simply pointing out that statistically, the results indicate that something is not right in Denmark. On the flip side; while contemplating this issue I drove past a bunch of school age boys and girls in a neighborhood with 'failing public schools" and noticed that they were not doing homework, studying or anything else that should be going on this time of year. Currently we are in the midst of a mayoral campaign and there is a lot of talk of "failing public schools" and how there is a need to "get tough on teachers". Education is a partnership. We cannot hold teachers accountable when parents are allowing their kids to hang out rather than do homework and study. We cannot hold teachers responsible for behavior and habits that they have no control over. No teacher can make a student do homework. No teacher can force a student to read on their own. No teacher can force a parent to make sure homework is done even if that parent has no clue what the answer should be. I remember when my studies past my mother's knowledge of math. It was made clear to me that she would STILL be checking that it was done and I showed work. No teacher can be held responsible for the food that a child eats (or does not eat) before coming to class. No teacher is responsible for the social environment that the child has at home. These are all variables that greatly affect whether a student will succeed or fail in school yet I never hear anyone talk about these responsibilities that belong squarely on the parents.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
I don't often agree with Patrick Buchanan but he has the Syria situation down pat.
Gas is a sickening weapon. Yet, there is no evidence thus far that Assad ordered its use. Rebel elements are said to have been found with sarin. As for Americans who tend to prefer white phosphorus, napalm and cluster bombs, upon what lofty moral ground do we stand? Have we forgotten that Churchill wanted to drop anthrax on Germany and settled for two days of firebombing the defenseless city of Dresden? Or that our great friend Anwar Sadat was the confidante of Gamal Abdel Nasser when Egypt was using poison gas on Yemeni tribesmen?And
The Israeli Air force is five minutes from Damascus, its army a two-day march. The Turks have three times Syria's population and a 400,000-man army equipped with NATO weapons. Together, they could invade and turn the tide in a week. Why do they not man up?Yeah. Why not? This is the kind of analysis and discussion I expect of so called left organizations and so called leadership. Thus far Van Jones and Sharpton (among others) have totally failed in this regard.
Asked why the scope of the chemical weapons investigation had been limited to whether the banned munitions had been deployed — and did not address the question of who had used them — Mr. Ban said that was his decision. “It was not to determine who has used against whom,” he said. The investigation was based on internationally recognized protocols, he said.You'd think that WHO did what would be central to the issue. It's like saying someone was murdered and we're trying to find out how it happened but not who did it. By the way we're going to execute this guy over here for the crime.
The White House’s aggressive push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria appeared to have won the tentative support of one of President Obama’s most hawkish critics, Senator John McCain, who said Monday that he would back a limited strike if the president did more to arm the Syrian rebels and the attack was punishing enough to weaken the Syrian military....No, seriously. Cannot even make these things up.
There appeared to be broad agreement with the president, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham said, that any attack on Syria should be to “degrade” the Syrian government’s delivery systems. Such a strike could include aircraft, artillery and the kind of rockets that the Obama administration says the forces of President Bashar al-Assad used to carry out an Aug. 21 sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs that killed more than 1,400 people.
In remarks to reporters outside the West Wing, he called the meeting “encouraging,” urged lawmakers to support Mr. Obama in his plan for military action in Syria and said a no vote in Congress would be “catastrophic” for the United States and its credibility in the world. Mr. McCain said he believed after his conversation with the president that any strikes would be “very serious” and not “cosmetic."Catastrophic". Exaggerate much? Look. Obama painted himself in a corner with his red line talk. I told y'all that already. Should have never done it. So this whole congressional approval thing is about getting out from under that by being able to place blame and responsibility on congress regardless of whether "approval" is given or not. The best case scenario here is that Congress grows a pair and says "no".
“The debate is shifting away from ‘Did he use chemical weapons?’ to ‘What should be done about it?' ”Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The debate should be who used chemical weapons since there still hasn't been proof of use by either side. And please spare me the speech about what the rebels do and do not have and what they would and would not do. I've seen suicide bombings in mosques. So please. In regards to "what should be done about it", that is the job for the UN. And if the UN was actually a functioning neutral body the US would find itself in problems for Libya, providing Saddam with cover for using chemical weapons against Iran and the use of Depleted Uranium munitions in Iraq which is the source of many medical problems. Yeah. All during the 2008 campaign I heard McSame....and now who's front and center. Two sides of the same coin.
Monday, September 02, 2013
Two pieces in regards to the "proof" that Assad was the source of the Sarin gas use in Syria: 1) Story Leak reports the following:
The German magazine Focus and The Guardian are reporting that the majority of the information indicating dictator Bashir Assad’s use of poisonous gas comes from the 8200 unit of the Israeli Defense Forces.Of course one may not feel that Story Leak is a reputable source, so we can go to their source material, The Guardian
The 8200 unit is Israel’s equivalent of the National Security Agency; it intercepts and collects electronic intelligence. The evidence the unit collected apparently consists of a recording of two Syrian officials talking about the use of poisonous gas. There appears to be no physical evidence that the poisonous gas actually exists, yet US officials are discussing the possibility of an imminent attack on Syria. An attack that, as Anthony Gucciardi has warned us, could really be all about entering a ‘hot’ scenario with Russia and other nations who support Assad.
The 8200 unit of the Israeli Defence Forces, which specialises in electronic surveillance, intercepted a conversation between Syrian officials regarding the use of chemical weapons, an unnamed former Mossad official told Focus. The content of the conversation was relayed to the US, the ex-official said.2) A report from Mint Press
However, from numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack.Take that with however amounts of salt you want but I believe this account. It supports a theory I've had that the rebels had these items and they were detonated when the government forces attacked their position which made it look like the Syrian government had deployed the weapons. Unlike the claims of the administration, we know the rebel groups have Al-Qaeda elements in them. We know Al-Qaeda is not beyond killing civilians to further it's aims. Remember that the US and Israel have a deep interest in going after Syria as it sees that as a way of getting at Hezbollah and Iran. And remember the entire Libya campaign.
“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.
Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”