Thursday, May 13, 2010
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
In one of the scenes of Shakespeare’s Richard II, six different characters “throw down the gauntlet (pictured left).” One character, having already thrown his own gauntlet down, is forced to borrow someone else's gauntlet. This is quite a bit of gauntlet throwing.
Here is my summary of Richard II, Act 1.
Richard: I am the king. We will now hear two men charge each other of treason.
Bolingbroke: Mowbray, you are a traitor.
Mowbray: Am not.
Bolingbroke: Are too.
[Throws down gauntlet]
Richard: Please don’t fight.
Mowbray: If I don’t I’ll be shamed.
Richard: Oh, well, go do it outside.
Duchess: Avenge my husband.
Richard: Time for the fight. Contestants announce your purposes.
Bolingbroke: I am Bolingbroke, and Mowbray is a traitor.
Mowbray: I am Mowbray, and Bolingbroke is a liar.
Herald: Start the fight.
Richard: Stop the fight. Bolingbroke you’re banished for 10 years, Mowbray you’re banished for life.
Bolingbroke: That sucks.
Mowbray: That sucks even more.
Richard: Because your father looks sad, Bolingbroke, you only have to be banished for 6 years.
Gaunt: Son, if you pretend this exile is a vacation, it’ll be fun.
Bolingbroke: No, this sucks. I can’t play pretend.
Gaunt: No really, it’ll be fun.
Bolingbroke: No, it’ll still suck.
Gaunt: I’m going to die if you leave.
Bolingbroke: Good bye.
Richard: Is Bolingbroke gone yet?
Richard: Everybody liked him.
Greene: Let’s go make war on Ireland.
Richard: Good idea. Let’s take everybody’s money too.
Bushy: John of Gaunt is almost dead.
Richard: Let’s hope he dies so we can take his money.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
To this premise I say: yes and no. There are two points to make here.
Newsweek embraces the bullshit notion that Catholicism is defined by what the members of the church personally hold. Under this concept, a religion is not defined by a certain set of beliefs, adherence to which is necessary if one wants to belongs to said religion. For Newsweek, what it means to be Catholic isn't based on the authoritative teachings of the Popes but on polls of the opinions of the faithful. Unfortunately for Newsweek, the church is a top down organization. No matter what a survey of "American Catholics" believe, it doesn't change what they should believe if they want to continue to call themselves Catholic.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
As you may know, several years ago, Sotomayor ruled on a case concerning a group of white firemen who had been denied promotion. The firemen had all passed the promotions test but the department threw it out because no black firemen had passed the test.
As part of a Second Circuit Court panel, Sotomayor ruled against the white firemen. Her reason? It wasn't fair to the black firemen because, you know, they're black.
This case eventually came before the Supreme Court, which returned a 5-4 decision stating that the white firemen were in the right and that the test should not have been thrown out.
Now, the problem is that many people see Sotomayor as having a little bit of the old racism in her. She claimed a wise latina woman can make better decisions than a white man, who she assumes are less likely to have led a hard life, to be liberal, and to look good in heels (I'm sure Larry Craig would object). All of which are key to making impartial judicial decisions. Wait. Did I say impartial? I meant empathetic and politically correct. Remember, under Obama, Justice isn't blind, she's empathetic.
Well, some have cited her ruling in the Ricci case, Ricci being the lead plaintiff for the white firefighters, as further evidence of this empathetic, wise Latina is racist. Well, now People for the American Way are here to clear this all up. It's just been a big misunderstanding you see. Naturally, they'll explain that she's not a racist. Point out that even if she is a bit vocal about, shall we say, female brown power, it's not that big of a deal.
Nope! Instead they decide to smear Ricci, the lead plaintiff in the firefighter case. According to McClatchy:
Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are quietly targeting the Connecticut firefighter who's at the center of Sotomayor's most controversial ruling.Should we call this Ricci Derangement Syndrome, or do we need to wait a week or two?
On the eve of Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearing, her advocates have been urging journalists to scrutinize what one called the "troubled and litigious work history" of firefighter Frank Ricci.
On Friday, citing in an e-mail "Frank Ricci's troubled and litigious work history," the liberal advocacy group People for the American Way drew reporters' attention to Ricci's past. Other advocates for Sotomayor have discreetly urged journalists to pursue similar story lines.
Specifically, the advocates have zeroed in on an earlier 1995 lawsuit Ricci filed claiming the city of New Haven discriminated against him because he's dyslexic. The advocates cite other Hartford Courant stories from the same era recounting how Ricci was fired by a fire department in Middletown, Conn., allegedly, Ricci said at the time, because of safety concerns he raised.
The Middletown-area fire department was subsequently fined for safety violations, but the Connecticut Department of Labor dismissed Ricci's retaliation complaint.
No People for the American Way officials could be reached Friday to speak on the record about the press campaign.
People for the American Way hope to distract us from Sotomayor's racism by focusing on Ricci's allegedly shady history. But even if Ricci does have a less that honest resume, it doesn't alter the racist taint in Sotomayor's ruling.
As a bit of fun, let's assume Ricci is questionable. Well, Sotomayor didn't know that when she ruled. All that mattered to her was that Ricci and his fellow litigants were white and that the firefighters who failed the test were black. Even if Ricci turns out to be a bum, it doesn't change his work history is completely accidental to the case.
This bears a striking difference to the case of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings. Again, from McClatchy:
In the case of Anita Hill, destroying her credibility would destroy her accusations of sexual harassment. But Ricci isn't accusing Sotomayor of sexual harrassment. Or even of calling him nasty names. The basis for calling Sotomayor a racist doesn't hinge on Ricci's work history. It all stems from her principle that someone can be denied promotion because of the pigmentation of their skin. To trash Ricci is cheap politics of the lowest, scummiest sort.
Nor is he the only Supreme Court confirmation witness to receive sharp elbows. In 1991, for instance, then-Senate Minority Leader Alan Simpson of Wyoming warned that witness Anita Hill would be "injured and destroyed and belittled and hounded and harassed" if she testified against nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill was preparing to testify that she'd been sexually harassed by Thomas.
Hill's subsequent testimony threw into question Thomas's confirmation, during a hearing he likened to a "high-tech lynching." A closely divided Senate ultimately confirmed him.
This is nothing more that the Joe the Plumber episode all over again. Good old Joe asked a question which caught Obama of guard. Obama gave an honest answer. He wanted to "Spread the wealth around." What was the left's reaction? Destroy Joe the Plumber. None of the things revealed about Joe changed what Obama said.
Of course, the left doesn't want Ricci to have any credibility when he testifies at her hearings. Let's hope the American people see through these petty attacks.
For shame People for the Unamerican Way. For shame.
Crossposted at iwatchobama.com
However, Bush gave a speech at the same Independence Square, so why the worry? Perhaps the threat of celebratory stampedes only applies to first black presidents. However, Drudge has another story which would seem to puncture the rosy picture painted by the P. The Ghanaian Chronicle reports "Bolgatanga Not Enthused About Obama's Visit." Apparently the enthusiasm on the ground was cooked up by overeager government officials.
Despite the huge excitement and anticipation surrounding Obama's first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as president, only relatively small crowds came out to meet him in Ghana's capital. The absence of any big public event outdoors, heavy security that blocked roads, and uncertainty over which routes Obama might take combined to keep large crowds away.
It also left many disappointed they never got a chance to see him.
"I came all the way here to see Obama, but I can't see him," said 35-year-old Kodjo Seddoh, a native of who traveled by bus to Ghana especially for the event.
"It's been a disappointment," he said, as he and a few hundred other people watched Obama pass in a black limousine en route to Ghana's presidential palace. "Nobody has seen him except on TV."
Many had hoped Obama would speak at an outdoor arena called Independence Square. But his main speech was delivered indoors at a nearby conference center because of fears over rain as well as fears it could cause a celebratory stampede, as a 1998 stop by nearly did. Then, a surging crowd toppled barricades at Independence Square after Clinton's speech, prompting him to shout, "Back up! Back up!", his clearly frantic.
So people--i.e. the government most likely--are renaming streets and buildings after President Obama. This brings into question how many people actually give a shit about Obama coming. It's clear that he's just sticking another feather in his cap, making the requisite speech in Africa. He goes up to the podium, reads of the teleprompter that
DESPITE THE much-talked about historic visit of US President Barack Hussein Obama to Ghana today, Friday, July, 10, most people in Bolgatanga are not enthused about this visit.
Their main reason is that Obama will come and go, and Ghanaians will still remain where they are with economic hardships.
Views sampled by the Upper East File in the Bolgatanga Municipality showed people had different opinions about the first African-American US President. For somebody like A. Emmanuel, it is only the politicians that the visit would benefit.
Though he believes the spotlight is on Ghana, as the whole, the world is talking about the visit, and he thinks Ghanaians should not put their hopes on the visit with the intention that the visit would end their woes.
Others are not happy that people are spending a lot of money decorating and renaming their buildings, restaurants and hotels, when they know that Mr. Obama would only be in the country for less than 24 hours.
When we contacted the regional manager of the Ghana Tourist Board, Madam Mary Aganmikry, she believed otherwise.
She believed the visit would promote Ghana's culture and boost tourism, as the same foreigners would be coming to grace the occasion.
She also said US President's visit had led to massive clean-ups in Accra, and Cape Coast, thus, improving sanitation situations of these cities.
"Africa is not separate from world affairs."
Obama said events in Africa do not lose their effects at the continent's borders and said Africa is a fully integrated part of the global economy.
"What happens here has an impact everywhere," Obama said during a meeting with Ghanaian President John Atta Mills.
Maybe I'm being cynical. Who knows. Tell me in the comments.