Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Zero Tolerance = Zero Judgement 

In Ocala a ten-year-old girl brought a knife to school to cut a steak she had for lunch.

The little girl, who would probably be a fourth-grader, was arrested by Marion County sheriff's deputies "on a felony charge and transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center." She was suspended from school for ten days.

By all accounts, the girl never used the knife other than to cut her food, and was a good student.

Come on folks, she's ten years old!

Send her to the Principal's office and call her parents. Make sure that it won't happen again, but there doesn't seem to be any rational reason to charge her with a felony and take her to lock-up.

The Marion County School Board justifies the actions with the statement that it "has zero tolerance for weapons on school grounds." Which seems to be the modern equivalent of "I was only following orders."

On second thought, maybe the little girl was fortunate that she wasn't tazered.

So Sad 

Here's further proof that you generally find the most unfit elected officials on a school board.

In Pinellas County, four of the seven school board members made public statements in favor of teaching intelligent design. Only two were opposed and one would not offer an opinion.
"I think that students should be given the opportunity to view all theories on how man evolved and let their science background and their religious background take over as to which one they believe in," said [Jane] Gallucci, also the immediate past president of the National School Boards Association.

"To teach one as if nothing else existed, I think we're doing our students a disservice," [Carol] Cook said.

[Peggy] O'Shea worries that children who are taught creationism at home might be confused by evolution. And [Nancy] Bostock wonders if creationism could be taught without saying it's science.
Makes me embarrassed to admit I graduated from a Pinellas County high school.

(via Flablog)

Chris Matthew's Hillary Thing 

I'm an occasional viewer of Chis Matthew's Hardball on MSNBC, and am fascinated by the virulent hatred he expresses toward Hillary Clinton.

His show has become a monotonous, non-stop Hillary attack machine.

OK, he doesn't favor Senator Clinton, and that's fine, but his Procrustean efforts to turn everything she (or her husband) does into something of uniquely nefarious proportions is making me think there's something bigger going on here..

I mean, come on, is Hillary exceptional among presidential candidates in her ambition, use of hyperbole, will to win or self-righteousness? Aren't they, unfortunately, essential ingredients for a serious run for the highest office in the land?

One is tempted to attribute Chis Matthew's attitude toward Senator Clinton as sexism, since he often displays a condescending tone to women, but it goes deeper than that.

More likely is that this anti-Hillary thing is entirely scripted; calculated to increase viewers. At least that's the more favorable (to CM) explanation. The other is that sometime in the past he tried to hit on her and she rebuffed him.

What's in a Name? 

Eugene Volokh has an interesting discussion on pronunciation of personal names.

Particularly useful for South Floridians, what with all the residents who hail from the Caribbean, Brazil, Israel, Europe and virtually every other inhabited place on earth.

Eugene's commonsense advice: one should pronounce it like its owner does, but one has no obligation to include sounds that are not found in the English language.

Lots of interesting examples in the post and the comments.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Who is John Macchi? 

And why should we care what he thinks?

Well, the Sun-Sentinel offered up a hefty portion of its Sunday commentary page to him, described only as a "resident of Coral Springs" so he could assail us with the tired "War on Christmas" drivel.

Mr. Macchi doesn't go as far as many of his fellow defenders of the Christmas name -- he doesn't quite attribute this all to an ant-Christian bias. Rather, he thinks we are being just too sensitive to non-Christians. Come on, he says, they only constitute a small percentage of the U. S. population, so we don't need to worry about them.

Of course while arguing about the pervasiveness of his problem, he only mentions one company as being guilt of foisting holidayism on the long-suffering Christians (Best Buy).

Although I am a Christian, I think this is an absurd argument -- I think anyone can imagine why a big corporation would want to be as inclusive as possible (more money). Moreover, are there not bigger problems that Christians should be addressing than what verbiage an electrics store uses in promoting itself to consumers?

Which leads me to two logical explanations for the appearance of this vapid column: the Sun-Sentinel gets to fill space without having to pay for it, or Mr. Macchi is trying to get even with Best Buy for not taking back an opened dvd he tried to return.

I'm almost 100 percent sure about the first reason.

UPDATE: This is rich -- There seems to be a Mr. John Macchi who is supposedly one of the members of the Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee and the Special Funding Committee of the City of Corals Springs. I wonder which commissioner appointed him?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Worth Visiting 

Drop by the 13th Juror.

This blog provides a useful service in reminding us of Florida's homeless population and the everyday problems they face.

And while you're at it, give a few bucks to the homeless guy on the Interstate exit this Holiday season. Yeah, there's a chance you might be taken, but so what?

Point, Counterpoint 

Bush said the new intel "contradicting earlier US assessments...would not prompt him to take off the table the possibility of pre-emptive military action against Iran."

(U.S. News & World Report)

On what rational grounds could a president or vice president now order a strike? The order itself might be grounds for judging a commander-in-chief unfit to hold office. But some time it will be worth going back to see how close the president or vice president ever came to preparing for attack.

(James Fallows)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Unstable at any Speed 

Ann Althouse posts a cryptic comment on Anthony Lewis' review of Jeffrey Toobin's book on the Supreme Court -- " A rank slur on the Chief Justice," she states (without further explanation).

This, of course leads to a discussion in the comments about political motives of the justices, past and present.

One commenter, Jack, states:
Just curious: have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN? Are you aware of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?
This gets the following response from Althouse:
You sound like a presumptuous twit. You've got some nerve.
Even the Althouse groupies are a bit confused, and eventually she provides something like an apology, but then explains her initial reaction:
Let's remember what Jack wrote that ticked me off, "Ann" — he addresses me by my first name, taking an attitude of familiarity — "Just curious" — an intro that often signals insolence — "have you ever seen one of the Federalist Society's events broadcast on C-SPAN?" — indicating that the only way I'd have contact with the group is if I saw it on television — "Are you aware" — suggesting I have at best a shallow glimmer of understanding — "of just exactly how politically-rooted the Federalist Society actually is?" — asking a question you'd only ask of someone who you thought might know absolutely nothing about the current legal culture in America. And this, from someone who claims to read my blog a lot. Can you see why I thought that just didn't add up and made him look like a troll? I think it's damned obvious why I thought that.
Hmmmm . . . Captain Queeg, or Mrs. Lift?

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