The Tucson shootings

Here are two links that I think are worth reading in connection with the aftermath of yesterday’s tragic shootings in Tucson:

Two sicknesses on display in Arizona.

Disgusting partisanship on display after shooting.

Above all, these murders are horrible and a terrible tragedy. For anyone from either party to try to make political gain from them is beyond despicable.

I should also note that, unlike most Islamic terrorists attacks where either no one in the Muslim community protests while many Muslim leaders express joy or agreement with the violence, I can find no one who is happy about yesterday’s murders. The general response from across the American political spectrum is horror and agony. Such things are wrong and should not happen. It is this distinction that separates Western culture from modern Islam. Until the Islamic community finally stands up to its medieval bullies, I will continue to consider it a threat to civilization and freedom.

Speech codes for the year of 2010 and for January 2011

Freedom of speech alert! Fire’s speech codes for the year of 2010 and for January 2011. For the yearly “award,” get these rules::

UMass Amherst’s policy on “Rallies” has special regulations applicable to what it calls “controversial rallies”—and it leaves “controversial” wholly undefined, giving the administration unfettered discretion to invoke the policy when it sees fit. If a rally is deemed controversial, it may only take place between noon and 1 p.m. on the Student Union steps, and must be registered at least five days in advance. That’s just one hour a day on one tiny area of a campus of more than 27,000 students! Worse yet, the policy also requires that when holding a controversial rally, “The sponsoring RSO [Registered Student Organization] must designate at least 6 members to act as a security team.” In other words, student groups wishing to publicly express a controversial opinion on campus must give at least five days notice, may only do it on one small area of campus for one hour a day, and must be willing to put themselves in harm’s way by acting as their own security in order to do so.

TSA: Living on Borrowed Time?

TSA: Living on borrowed time? Key quote:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year. At TSA headquarters alone, there are 3,526 staff whose average salary tops $106,000. And while the TSA has gotten very good at groping airline passengers and undressing them with full body scans, the organization has yet to prevent a single terrorist attack. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation released last spring revealed that at least 17 known terrorists have been able to pass through TSA security totally unhindered. [emphasis mine]

NPR Boss Who Fired Juan Williams Resigns

Progress? The NPR manager who fired Juan Williams has resigned. In addition, NPR’s CEO has been denied her 2010 bonus because of “concern over her role in the termination process.” And what does Juan Williams think of this?

“It’s good news for NPR if they can get someone who is the keeper of the flame of liberal orthodoxy out of NPR. . . , She had an executioner’s knife for anybody who didn’t abide by her way of thinking. . . . And I think she represented a very ingrown, incestuous culture in that institution that’s not open to not only different ways of thinking, but angry at the fact that I would even talk or be on Fox.”

“The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated,”

A Charlottesville man was arrested for protesting airport security searches. Key quote, written on his chest and abdomen:

“Amendment 4: The right of the people to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”

I wonder if liberal Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein needs someone to explain what this quote means.

The joy of stats

An evening pause: As we approach the end of the this first decade of the 21st century, let’s take a look back at the progress of the past two hundred years, illustrated by the progress of a single graph and animated in a way you’ve never seen before.

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