Monday, July 28, 2008

Random thoughts

An irony of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s reactionary, racist hate mongering: he was born in 1941, which means he lived 23 years (until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) when it was legal for the government to discriminate against blacks on the basis of their race…and has now lived 30 years (and counting) since the legality of the government discriminating against whites on the basis of their race was affirmed (in the Supreme Court’s 1978 Bakke decision).


My favorite bird? Yep, you guessed it.


Maybe the most amazing NBA stat I’ve ever seen: in April, Jose Calderon dished out 66 assists and turned the ball over…once.


From an Obama speech: “[A Pennsylvania man] can't afford four more years of an energy policy written by the oil companies and for the oil companies; a policy that is not only keeping gas at record prices but funding both sides of the war on terror and destroying our planet.”

Psst, Barack…one of the sides in the war on terror is the good guys, funding them is a good thing.


That deserves a “Wow!”: Argentine Olympian and occasional NBA rotation player Walter “Fabio” Herrmann can palm a basketball using just his index finger and thumb. Try that out sometime.


This Israeli story would seem certain to be a parody were we not so well-acquainted with hate speech as academic scholarship:

A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers' committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that "the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals."

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences - just as organized military rape would have done."

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers' eyes.

Did you get that? If Israeli soldiers rape Arab women, it is evidence of racism. And if Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab women, it is evidence of racism. Could you imagine a more perfect illustration of modern education?

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