Thursday, May 27, 2004

This article gets it wrong.

Keith Boykin is befuddled that the African-American community has not come out in full support of "gay marriage." Frankly, I'd be shocked if they had.

The "book" on African-Americans politically has long been that, while they are strongly Democratic, black Protestants are in fact the most socially conservative group in the nation. While homosexuals may liken their cause to that of non-whites in the Jim Crow South, others don't see it that way.

"Has the black church succumbed to the machinations of the white religious right," Boykin asks. Well, no. It's not as if the Religious Right is a bunch of manipulators leading sheep, as much as their enemies would like to paint them as such.

Remember how much the black civil rights movement was tinged with Biblical imagery. Lincoln was the new Moses and emancipation the new Exodus. This was not just propaganda. People believed. People had faith. This isn't people assimilating into a white version of Christianity, this is people keeping the same Christian faith that they had in the first place.

The danger of blowback on gay rights and similar issues has always been this: will oppressed minorities ever feel that they have sufficiently gotten out from under the foot of "the man" that their socially conservative leanings will become the priority? Thus, the Bush team targets African-Americans and Catholic Latinos.

Ultimately, I don't think equating gay rights with black civil rights will sway a majority of hearts in America.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Check the bottom photo.

Yes, it's that Bobby Bonilla. What's he doing in the World Series of Poker main event? Not as cute, though, as Laura Prepon (who also made it past day one).

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Sunday, May 23, 2004

For the first time ever, I paid more than $30 for a tank of gas for a car (although I have paid that much filling up my dad's van). Daaaamn.
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Hey, look! Those anti-Semites are wrongfully comparing Israeli treatment of Palestinians to Holocaust! Those wicked, wicked people.

Oh, wait. . . .

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Apparently, religion and sports don't mix, Jon Kitna be damned.

It's interesting to learn that the rivalry between Glasgow's Rangers and Celtic has a religious tinge to it, because the latter was founded by Irish priests.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I've figured out how to get Congress to make anti-spyware legislation.

Just tell them that spyware is all about porn (which isn't that far from the truth) and tell them that regulating spyware would "protect the children" from porn peddlers.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Martin Sieff, UPI Senior New Analyst, alleges that the Army and CIA want the story of Abu Ghraib exposed.

They say that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, and the Bush administration has never seemed to be scholars of history.

I am reminded of what brought down Joseph McCarthy. It wasn't because he was excessively anti-Communist and a witch-hunting bastard. It was because he crossed the Army. If it turns out that Bush and company have stupidly gone consistently against the military and the results lead to a weakening of the armed forces, there will be political hell to pay come November.

I don't think that the military is above a little political intrigue, although I trust that they are suitably subtle about it, having learned over the years how to go about the job. In this respect, Kerry is a very good nominee for the Democrats, in that he is not some willy-nilly pacifist who would would make a realist go for Bush, warts and all.

Watch in the coming months how Colin Powell is treated by the administration, and to what degree he distances himself from Bush/Rumsfeld.

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Sunday, May 16, 2004

I figured someone would eventually put up this kind of site.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Liberal Media Update #4627 Check out what the Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent is doing.

"[T]he editors have found themselves in a "quandary." They feel their Views page takes "the political and social temperature of the Valley." But now the question is: "How can we balance the perspectives and topics of our letters when many of our submissions have been coming only from one side?"

"We've been getting more letters critical of President Bush than those that support him. We're not sure why, nor do we want to guess. But in today's increasingly polarized political environment, we would prefer our offering to put forward a better sense of balance ...

"Since we depend upon you, our readers, to supply our letters, that goal can be difficult. We can't run letters that we don't have.

"If you would like to help us 'balance' things out, send us a letter, make a call or punch out an e-mail ... We'd love to hear from you."

I am sure other people can speculate.

Of course, the paper back-tracked, claiming that they were responding to criticism that they were biased. So basically, the editors are either weak-kneed liberals or clueless putzes. Of course, I'm not sure why, and I wouldn't want to guess. . . .
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jack McDowell is an idiot. He was right not to write off Roger Clemens in the National League and he is perhaps right that Roger Clemens is not a "headhunter," but his use of statistics is deplorable.

Here are the hit batsmen per 100 innings pitched for selected pitchers through the end of last season:
Pedro Martinez--4.76
Roger Clemens--3.30
Curt Schilling--1.51

And some pitchers from history whose reputations were as headhunters or as wildmen on the mound:
Don Drysdale--4.49
Carl Mays--2.95
Nolan Ryan--2.93
Bob Gibson--2.63
Sal "the Barber" Maglie--2.55
Juan Marichal--1.14

And for fun's sake:
Jack McDowell--2.54

Which doesn't mean that Clemens is a headhunter, merely that Clemens' hit-by-pitch numbers are not unusual for a pitcher with a headhunting reputation and a "haedhunter" may not be the (good) pitcher hitting the most batsmen.

McDowell seems to think that a "headhunter" will necessarily hit more batters than other pitchers or that wildness is best indicated by HBP, although he is at least smart enough to not try to compare a pitcher like Clemens to outright scrubs.

A headhunter, rightfully so in my opinion, seeks to control the plate and to intimidate. This doesn't mean going out and hitting someone just because he can. Ideally, it is a conscious, reasoned choice rather than simply evidence of a mean streak. A brushback pitch isn't necessarily meant to hit, so they won't necessarily rack up hit-by-pitch numbers. And if the pitcher actually hits a batter, well, it just takes one or two early in your career to establish the proper reputation, which isn't really going to affect your career HBP by that much.

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Monday, May 10, 2004

The liberals are calling for the head of Donald Rumsfeld. The conservatives are saying it's not so bad.

Here are a few questions I have not seen addressed much with respect to prisoners in Iraq.

1) The Bush administration refused to be a part of an international war crimes tribunal. How would this have played out if the U.S. were party to such an institution? I have to guess that things like this are exactly what Bush and company wanted to avoid coming up before an international body of law and perhaps they anticipated such things occurring.

2) To what degree are the same things happening in Guantanamo Bay? If intelligence was directing the military to police to do these things as has been claimed by the guards, I would say this is occurring elsewhere.

3) If an Iraqi prison guard had treated American POW's this way, how would he have been punished by the U.S. post-war? Would it be more or less than the American MPs will receive? My guess is that the Iraqi dishing out the punishment and the Iraqi giving the orders will receive greater punishment than their American counterparts.

4) If Donald Rumsfeld is fired/resigns, who is his likely successor? Really, I doubt this will happen, but it's a fun political hot stove league question to pass around.

Just curious.
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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Ah, after a long absence, back to blogging. Here is a partial list of books I bought at a recent library sale.
Buddhism: A History by Noble Ross Reat
The Musical Companion (described as a modern guiide to classical music designed for reading enjoyment, easy reference and listening enrichment), edited by A.L. Bacharach and J.R. Pearce
The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Ilse Witch by Terry Brooks
Tales from the Left Coast: True Stories of Hollywood Stars and Their Outrageous Politics by James Hirsen
The Chicago Manual of Style (14th edition)
Four Ways to Forgiveness by Ursula K. LeGuin
How to Look at Modern Art by Philip Yenawine
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