The San Francisco Chronicle and the various demagogue politicians of Berkeley and Oakland, California should really be ashamed of themselves for ginning up into sensational "raids" a few arrests by ICE agents and making of them actions designed to empty those community's schools of children. In reality a few routine U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations in those cities occurred yesterday that had nothing to do with school children. Yet, these politicians shamelessly ran about the countryside waving their arms, serving grave warnings to ICE about their supposed targeting of school children, and ginning up parents with the false bravado of standing athwart ICE's "harassment and fear." But, with all the running about like Chicken Little claiming the ICE is falling, no raids either occurred or were even planned. To top it off, the San Francisco Chronicle reports the incident as the "fear across the communities" being "real" instead of correctly noting that these pandering pols in office made much ado about nothing just to inflate their own importance.
Apparently ICE made a few arrests at some homes in Berkeley and Oakland and that somehow sent a "wave of panic among parents" who were fooled into believing that ICE officers were about to raid all the schools in the area to snap up illegals for deportation.
College textbooks are overpriced and something should be done. Why, Congress should even step in! That is the message that The New York Times wants us to understand and I can't say it is, in and of itself, entirely the wrong message -- save the whole bit about Congress stepping in, of course. But, as is typical of The New York Times, their story is only a small part of the whole story. In their exuberance to shake a finger at book manufacturers and in their hurry to blame capitalism the Times missed the bigger story.
The Times reports that "College students and their families are rightly outraged about the bankrupting costs of textbooks that have nearly tripled since the 1980s." They also report that a bill is pending in Congress that would "require publishers to sell 'unbundled' versions of the books..." This, the Times feels, is the right move to solve the problem. Any first year economics student, however, knows there is far more to it than just slapping more regulations on book publishers.
Friday's 20/20 aired a piece on liberal columnist Arianna Huffington in which ABC host John Stossel got to challenge Huffington's views on issues like welfare, OSHA regulations, and the "lunatic fringe" of the Republican party. When Stossel took her to task for living in a $7 million home that is "burning more carbon than 100 people in the Third World" even while she is part of the "war on global warming," Huffington responded: "There is no question that the fact that I'm living in a big house, I occasionally travel on private planes, all those things are a contradiction. I'm not setting myself up as some paragon who only goes around on a bicycle and lives by candlelight." (Transcript follows)
Looks like the daughter of the West Virginia's Democratic governor has gotten herself into a bit of a scandal with an unearned, politically awarded college degree from West Virginia University. A panel to review allegations that the woman didn't really earn that degree was convened and it was determined that she just does not qualify to get that degree that was awarded her by "High-ranking academic officers" at the school. Naturally, no report mentions that Gov. Joe Manchin is a member of the Democratic Party and that HE was the one that appointed the school's officials.
It seems that at the school, highly placed friends of the Democratic governor were trying to cover for the Guv's daughter who claimed for several years that she had a degree when she did not. Heather Bresch was suddenly awarded an MBA from WVU nearly a decade after she left the school and after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called the University to check on the woman's degree.
LAT television critic Mary McNamara made the slip up in this April 19 article about HBO's surge in popularity when she began describing the cable network's “John Adams” miniseries (via Patterico) (all bold mine):
In his portrayal of our second president, Paul Giamatti creates a man perpetually dissatisfied, disgusted by the preening ambition of politics even as he is infected by it... [S]etting up a new government is a bureaucratic nightmare, with oversized personalities disagreeing over things both petty and fundamental. George Washington (David Morse) so quickly tired of the infighting among his Cabinet and vagaries of public opinion that he stepped down from the presidency after a single term. "I know now what it is like to be disliked," he says to Adams, his perpetually disliked vice president.
I confess that when the producers of Ben Stein’s new documentary "Expelled" called, offering me a private screening, I was less than excited.
It is a reality of PC liberalism: There is only one credible side to an issue, and any dissent is not only rejected, it is scorned. Global warming. Gay "rights." Abortion "rights." On these and so many other issues there is enlightenment, and then there is the Idiotic Other Side. PC liberalism’s power centers are the news media, the entertainment industry and academia and all are in the clutches of an unmistakable hypocrisy: Theirs is an ideology that preaches the freedom of thought and expression at every opportunity, yet practices absolute intolerance toward dissension.
Evolution is another one of those one-sided debates. We know the concept of Intelligent Design is stifled in academic circles. An entire documentary to state the obvious? You can see my reluctance to view it.
I went into the screening bored. I came out of it stunned.
The Yale Daily News breathlessly informed us of a female student, art major Aliza Shvarts, who claimed that her senior art project was a documentation of nine months of self-induced miscarriages. Her goal, of course, was to "spark conversation" about "the relationship between art and the human body." What is really the truth with this so-called "art" project, though, is that Shvarts has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Yale Daily News, the willing dupes who claim to be her professors, and anyone reading this story on Drudge and believing she really induced her own miscarriages. It's all a hoax. Or if not an outright hoax, it’s a misleading tale of a girl who hasn't a clue about how one becomes pregnant, what the fake drugs she took are really capable of doing, and the psychological pain of a real miscarriage.
It's also proof that our sources of news rarely if ever employ any common sense in how they write up the news. A tiny bit of logic put to this story of "self-induced miscarriages" would reveal it to be all stuff and nonsense. But, no, what we get instead is the story reported as if it is fact and not the cynical efforts of a kid that just wants her 15 minutes of fame. It is also proof that the liberal side of the abortion debate leads the ideological mindset of the news.
We have another incident of empty showboating by a college kid who imagines herself to be making "art" and a "statement" by placing American flags on the floor in hopes that people would disrespect them enough to walk upon them. One Miss Susan Crane of the University of Maine at Farmington decided that her "art" was going to be an exercise in desecration. Keep your eye on this and see if the MSM will cover it. It is just starting to make the blog rounds.
Unfortunately, all we have is another disrespectful kid doing the same thing that a dozen other disrespectful kids have done at anti-American campuses across the country over the last 40 years or so. There isn't a thing "new" or even unexpected about it at this point. This makes her "statement" empty and pointless. But Crane has been fooled by her anti-American professors into imagining she is sparking a "conversation" about patriotism and the flag.
"The biggest tab for taxpayers is defense," CBS correspondent Bob Orr reported. "The average American household is paying $2,761 in 2007 - or put another way, enough to cover 12 car payments for a new Honda Accord. Social security is nearly as expensive, $2,663 - enough to heat and cool a home for a year. In total, the average tax bill this year tops $13,000 and most taxpayers have no idea what the government is doing with their cash."
If Barack Obama is looking for proof there are indeed bitter Americans out there, he need look no further than across the kitchen table.
Morning Joe opened today with a clip of Michelle Obama on the stump that I can only call stunning. By her tone, and her language both verbal and physical, this is one angry lady. The transcript below doesn't begin to convey Mrs. Obama's apparent rage.
That Bill Clinton was elected twice is proof that an angry wife is no bar to office. But Michelle Obama's level of ire can certainly be no asset on the campaign trail. Morning Joe did air it, but just how much MSM coverage will we see of what I would sincerely call an astounding piece of video?
It seems to do a serviceable job of describing their upcoming nuptials, what the attendants will wear, where it will be (an informal affair at the Bush family Crawford, Texas ranch), where they met, where he proposed. All nice stuff.
It's only slightly annoying that a picture caption at the article reads, "Jenna Bush, 25, and her fiance Henry Hager are scheduled to be married on May 10 in Texas." Cold feet on the part of the bride or the groom is always a possibility, but "will be married" seems more appropriate. But really, not a big deal.
But towards the end, Celizic drops in this:
Jenna Bush, 26, is a 2004 graduate of the University of Texas, where she was twice charged with misdemeanors for alcohol-related offenses.
We no longer educate in the United States of America. No, instead of making to educate our children we emot-ucate them. It's all about our children's tender egos, their vaunted self esteem, their itty bitty feewings. We don't want them to know or understand so much as we want them to "feel good" about themselves. If they don't know during what years the civil war was fought, that's OK as long as they think they are "good people" anyway. If their math skills are substandard, who cares as long as they really like themselves?
The Boston Globe, for its part, seems to agree that everything is better when our students "feel better." As far as real life's lessons go, as far as hard work, good grades, educational standards go... well, not so much. No, it’s "group therapy, "liberation", and "collective defiance" meant to make kids "feel good" that the paper seems to feel is a story worth pursuing.
Rosie O’Donnell, who once said it is "physically impossible" for fire to melt steel, shockingly revealed she did not make it through college. Promoting her new book "Crafty U" on the April 8 edition of "Martha," Rosie admitted she was not able to get through a real university. Rosie also recounted bitter memories from "The View."
Fawning over Martha Stewart’s intellect, Rosie implied she does not match up as she confessed to dropping out of Boston University with a 1.62 grade point average. She claimed she was too busy working at the local comedy club to focus on her classes. [Audio available here.]
Later in the same segment, Rosie discussed her experience on "The View" noting "it’s hard for me when I’m not the boss." This is stating the obvious for the viewers that witness her bully another co-host and nearly mistakenly referred to "The View" as "The Rosie O’Donnell Show." Rosie added "there was a little Republican who scared me," referring to Elisabeth Hasselbeck who stood up to Rosie in the end.
On the flimsy pretext of this being the season when HS seniors get their college acceptances, a New York Times column has set about asking current college students about their plans for future sexual conquests.
Stephen Dubner handed his 'Freakonomics' column over to his assistant, Nicole Tourtelot, this week. She asked five collegians five questions. Three of them were innocuous: who's paying for your education, how do you view cigarette smoking, what's your dream job?
But then came:
How many more people do you think you’ll sleep with before you get married?
Just once I'd like to see blame for one of our societal ills put in the proper place these days. Everyone has to finger point at everyone else while ignoring their own part in the mess. This incident, though, is just another bad example of blame put everywhere but where it belongs. In this case, the AP reports about a University of Texas at San Antonio incident of plagiarism of which Clemson University's Daniel Wueste ridiculously blames on the Internet.
At the UofT, a student committee was convened to write an honor code to discourage cheating and plagiarizing, a rising problem in our Universities nation wide. Unfortunately, the student committee's results lifted sections of Brigham Young University's honor code that the UofT students found on-line. Yes, the code to discourage cheating and plagiarism was, in part, plagiarized.
In today's "The Heck With Equal Opportunity, We Want Equal Outcome" segment, the New York Times on Sunday accidentally introduced a new concept to readers: mortality socialism.
For those unfamiliar -- please count me amongst this woefully ignorant group until a few minutes ago!!! -- the Times feels that something has to be done to make sure that everybody's life expectancies are exactly the same regardless of income, wealth, or lifestyle.
I wonder if that's what Robin Hood had in mind all along.
While you ponder, please extinguish all cigarettes, fasten your seatbelts, and prepare yourself for one of the most inane gripes ever published at a major American newspaper (emphasis added, h/t Moonbattery via NBer Roger the Shrubber):
The story of an Illinois high school making a gay pornographic play required reading for seniors has been reported since March 7th, but it has been ignored for the most part with only a handful of news outlets having taken on this issue. The fact that a public high school that requires such reading doesn't raise a fuss in the media shows how the media supports the gay agenda, of course. It also shows the arrogance of the Deefield, Illinois school administrators that tried to slip this advocacy for homosexuality into the curriculum without bothering to sponsor a discussion on including it among the community that pays the taxes for the school district.
The book, "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes," has numerous passages that describes gay sexual encounters in exacting, sometimes violent, detail.
The Denver Post gave us a fine example -- not that they meant to -- of why every year our schools are turning out more semi-literate kids with over inflated egos. To the Post, of course, it's all good news that being poor in the Denver School Districts now qualifies a kid to be placed in the "gifted students" programs. To the Post this new classification "makes things more equitable" in those gifted programs. Why, it's giving minorities a "lift," you see? Of course, there isn't a word out of anyone in Denver if whether or not any of these kids suddenly classified as "gifted" students actually have any gifts that might prove them worthy of their politically motivated status.
In the typically empty fashion so popular among our ideologically left infested school administrations the country over, it's merely a matter of quotas and economic stats by which we measure success, not any true educational achievement. If your program for gifted students doesn't have enough of the right race of children (or the minority du jour) why then it must be obvious that the program is a failure. So, instead of improving the overall education for all students in order to bring minority students up to snuff so as to qualify them for entrance into a gifted program, the Denver Schools are just going to "add points" to the tests for kids merely because they are "poor," or if "English is their second language."
Saturday's Fox News Watch featured a discussion on revelations that CNN staff were sent a memo advising them to make positive claims about Fidel Castro to balance out the regime's critics, crediting the communist dictator as a "revolutionary hero" to leftists who established "free education and universal health care." FNC's liberal contributor and NPR correspondent Juan Williams took exception:
I don't know what was going on there. ... what news man is at work and saying here is what we want to say nice about a man who was an oppressive force in his culture, in his society? A man who long ago left the heroic stance, the Che Guevara time period, and became somewhat of a hard hand that has left his people living at a low quality of life. I don't get it.
The dean of journalism at Northwestern University seems to have gotten himself in a bit of a sticky wicket, as it were. Apparently, John Lavine, the dean of the Medill School of Journalism, has been indulging in the use of unattributed and unnamed sources in his columns for the Medill alumni magazine and 16 NU journo instructors aren't very happy about it. Not only are they not happy about it, but according to the Chicago Tribune they are demanding that the dean prove that he didn't make his quotes up out of whole cloth.
You know the journalist's favorite source, don't you? It's the "unnamed source," the "anonymous quote" and the famed "deep throat" sources that journalists make out to be "protecting" from discovery. This sort of source has a long history in the kind of journalism of whistleblowers or muckrakers that have been increasingly popular since Watergate. But, everyone knows that you cannot base a factual story solely on the anonymous source. There must be other things, other sources, other proofs backing up these unnamed sources or the fact in question becomes an allegation instead of a proven truth. Naturally, employing unnamed sources too often damages the veracity of any story -- as well it should.
The same day CNN’s Allison Flexner, an one-time producer of Cuban stories, apparently issued a memo instructing how the "resignation" of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was to be covered, CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour neatly matched one of the points made in the memo during two segments on Tuesday’s "American Morning."
During the first segment, which was six minutes into 7 am Eastern hour, Amanpour heralded Cuba being "a leader in many things such as education, health care -- all of those things that it has been able to bring to its people, but not the fundamentals" such as "openness, freedom, the ability to have enough wherewithal, and, you know, the same kind of bread and butter issues that everybody all around the world wants."
Fans of NewsBusters are quite familiar with how we track instances of labeling bias: where the media don't label liberal activists or employ double standards in labeling conservatives vs. liberals, Republicans vs. Democrats, etc.
Not that we need any more proof that our colleges and universities have degraded to near foolishness, but the Daily Collegian, a paper that bills itself as "New England's largest college daily," gives us one more reason to assume it is true. The paper, published at the University of Massachusetts, gives us an uninformed screed against Ronald Reagan that is a mere exercise in name calling as opposed to a cogent review of Reagan's presidency. And, most ridiculous of all, the headline to the piece spells Reagan's name "Regan." Apparently this "school" doesn't have an encyclopedia handy to find out about this "Regan" guy?
Like many college journalist wannabes they assume that petulance and bombast is the road to "journalism" and this fellow, Ted Rogers, is no different. He begins by smearing Reagan admirers as sexual perverts:
Covering Hillary's tricked-up "victory" event for a Dem Florida primary that was not supposed to be contested, even MSNBC co-anchor Keith Olbermann eventually got bored and pulled away.
But before he did, the junior senator from New York began to lay out her plans for America. Though sheer ennui eventually drove MSNBC off, the network hung in for enough of Clinton's "victory" speech to give us a taste for what might rightly be called "Hillary's Manifesto."
Warning: remove small children and sensitive pets from room before viewing video here.
The New York Times wants you to know that legislators in Arizona are mean to illegal immigrants trying to go to the state's schools on the cheap. The Times wants you to imagine that Arizona's new anti-illegal laws are oppressing those poor, illegal immigrant students that come into Arizona expecting to get all sorts of loans and financial breaks just because... well, just because they happen to draw a breath. The Times wants us all to tsk tsk the state of Arizona because it had the guts to finally do something about the billions of dollars lost to this flood of criminal aliens. Somehow, I don't feel so bad, though.
With the sensational headline, "Arizona Law Takes a Toll on Nonresident Students," the Times gives us the tale of woe of students that want to steal from Arizona's educational system. They begin their tale with the experience of Marco Carrillo who was asked by his college counselor if he was a legal resident or not. The Times acts as if even asking this question is somehow mean-spirited or shocking.
File this under the Misleading Headlines category. On Drudge today, there was a link to a story headlined Greenwich School Bans Desserts. Drudge's link was entitled 'School Bans Desserts; Parents Given Strict Policy For Bag Lunches'. The only problem with this was that that was NOT the actual content of the story. According to the actual story, as reported by WCBS TV Channel 2 in Connecticut,
Glenville School in Greenwich is trying to turn things around, starting this year ice cream and cookies are no longer sold in the cafeteria. Instead they have fruit and yogurt as an option. Parents were doing their best, sending their kids to school with healthy lunches or hoping they'd make decent choices if they were buying lunch at school. But when cookies and ice cream were offered two days a week, things changed in a hurry.
In other words, the school simply ceased selling certain desserts in the school cafeteria- they did not ban students from eating said desserts, nor are students forbidden from bringing these desserts from home.
The oldest trick in the book in the "news" biz is to take a photo of a politician that makes him look worried, sad, or downcast to offset a story of how things aren't working so well for that pol's policies or plans. Well, the Chicago Sun-Times has used that ages old trick to lambast president Bush's "No Child Left Behind" program by giving us the stories of several Illinois students that supposedly slipped through the cracks of the Federal program and using a picture of Bush with furrowed brow with inset pictures of the several students. Of course, their stories are expectedly filled with nonsense, but it is the photo that the Sun-Times really expects to tell the tale. This photo says "failure and he knows it" all over the thing and sets the tone of bias from the start.
The Sun-Times starts out to lower our expectations of Bush's policies:
This is the time of year for lighthearted fluff for most news agencies and it is usually a welcome respite from hard news as we all get ready to celebrate the arrival of "Baby New Year." The year-end list is a staple of that happy, fluff and we get them up the wazoo, for sure. The list of "overused words" is one of those that we see every year, as well, and Reuters gives us a list by which they hope we wring out a few overused words and phrases as we ring in 2008. But, I am a bit dismayed over the choice of two of the words and phrases they want us to forget. The first is "post 9/11"and the other one is "surge." The choice of words and phrases in the case of these particular two seems to be made not only with a left leaning bias, but with a bias that leads to the sort of dangerous ignorance that caused 9/11 and the surge in the first place. The ignorance of head-in-the-sand, looking the other way that allowed Islamofascism so so easily sneak up on all of us is rampant with the inclusion of these two in this list.
Chris Matthews shouldn't count on a Christmas card from Hillary after the way he absolutely unloaded on her on Morning Joe today. The topic was her Christmas ad [view YouTube here], which shows her "giving" a variety of government programs to the American people.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I always thought the problem with Hillary was, her notion of government was, "I am Evita, I am the one who gives gifts to the little people and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita."