Archive for July, 2009

A Teaching Moment

Posted in Society on July 29th, 2009

One thing that has, for good or ill, come out of the whole Gates-Crowley-Obama affair is the creation or dissemination of the phrase, “a teaching moment.” It seems to be the new catchphrase in the lexicon of race relations, especially relations between Blacks and Whites.

I assume, possibly incorrectly due to the odd inconsistency with which social engineers’ expropriate and redefine words and terms, that “teaching moment” is a corruption of Robert Havighurst’s term, “teachable moment.”

Teachable Moment
Pronunciation: \?t?-ch?-b?l\ \?m?-m?nt\
Function: noun
Date: 1952

Definition(s):

  1. A moment of educational opportunity: a time at which a person, especially a child, is likely to be particularly disposed to learn something or particularly responsive to being taught or made aware of something.

Specifically, in 1952 Havighurst advised educators that,

A developmental task is a task which is learned at a specific point and which makes achievement of succeeding tasks possible. When the timing is right, the ability to learn a particular task will be possible. This is referred to as a ‘teachable moment.’ It is important to keep in mind that unless the time is right, learning will not occur. Hence, it is important to repeat important points whenever possible so that when a student’s teachable moment occurs, s/he can benefit from the knowledge.

— Robert Havighurst
Human Development and Education

Both the phrase and its meaning make perfect sense to me. Likewise, I cannot do other than agree with the idea that repetition is often necessary in order give the best chance of teaching someone something. It makes even more sense in the context of social engineering or any of its sub-disciplines. If you keep repeating something, people will eventually believe it and accept it as fact.

But, since these phrases, “teachable moment” and “teaching moment” are currently coming to forefront of the rhetoric surrounding prejudice, racism, and race relations between Blacks and Whites in America, I have a couple of very serious questions:

  1. Who is intended to be the Teachers and who the Students?
  2. Who decided upon the Curriculum?

If these “teachable moments” are solely meant to be uni-directional and solely meant to be used by Blacks to teach Whites about the Blacks’ perception of America, as I suspect that most of the people using the term intend things to be, then they need to cease and desist misusing and abusing such lofty terms as “race relations” and “racial reconciliation.” Both relationships and reconciliation requires compromise, collaboration, and bi-directional learning / teaching.

Not A Hate Crime?

Posted in Politics, Society on July 28th, 2009

I’m utterly against Hate Crimes legislation in the first place but, if we’re to be forced to endure the evil of criminalizing thought and motive in addition to action, the standard and the law should be enforced fairly and equally, irrespective of the minority status of the perpetrators and the victims. Sadly but quite expectedly, the people who created these “thought crime” laws had no such equality in mind when they did so and enforcement of these laws is very unidirectional.

Recently a woman living in East Austin, TX was awakened by a brick being thrown through her 4 year-old son’s bedroom window. Attached to the brick was a note reading, “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

Austin Police say that the incident doesn’t fall under the hate crime category, which is a classification of a charge but not a charge itself. The excuse is that the the note attached to the brick didn’t include hate speech.

The truth, after the apologetics and dissembling are removed, is that the incident won’t be allowed to fall under the hate crime category because the women in question, Barbara Frische, and her young son are White.

Detail’s via The Austin American-Statesman:

Early Friday morning, Barbara Frische said she woke up to the sound of glass breaking inside her East Austin home.

She called police but didn’t learn what had shattered the double-paned window in her 4-year-old son’s room until after police arrived. Officers showed her a brick with a note attached: “Keep Eastside Black. Keep Eastside Strong.”

“It’s the first time anything like this has ever happened to me,” said Frische, who is white. She has lived in her house on 13th Street for about 10 years.

The incident doesn’t fall under the hate crime category, which is a classification of a charge but not a charge itself, said Austin police Sgt. Richard Stresing. He said the charge probably would be criminal mischief and deadly conduct, both misdemeanors.

Crimes based on race, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability or gender are flagged as hate crimes, Stresing said, so they can be referred to the Department of Justice. The note attached to the brick didn’t include hate speech, he said.

Frische was featured in a Statesman Watch article in May in which she lobbied for action to be taken on a charred house that neighbors said had been a gathering place for drug dealers, prostitutes and squatters.

Frische said she received no negative feedback from area residents after the article ran and said she does not think this incident is connected to the article.

Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said incidents such as the one that happened to Frische are rare.

“Throwing a brick into somebody’s home, that’s a crime,” Linder said. “It’s a criminal act, and that’s how it should be addressed.”

Linder said this incident is linked to an undercurrent of racism that city leaders have yet to address in East Austin.

Even Nelson Linder, president of the Austin chapter of the NAACP, amid his apologetics admits that the crime is linked to an undercurrent of racism in East Austin. Yet the law will not address it as such.

If Barbara Frische and her son were Black or Hispanic and living in a White neighborhood in western Austin such an incident would certainly be treated as a hate crime because a note reading, “Keep Westside White. Keep Westside Strong,” would definitely be classed as hate speech – even if it’d been taped to her front door instead of hurled through her son’s bedroom window!

But, of course, hate crimes laws were never meant to be enforced evenly. The people who championed them are primarily minorities and White ethno-guiltists who operate under a particularly self-serving (mis)definition of racism. In their minds only Whites can commit hate crimes based on race because only Whites can be racist.

If this wasn’t a hate crime then neither was anytime the Klan burned a cross in some Black’s front yard.

What’s The Point?

Posted in Politics on July 27th, 2009

During his speech at a National Press Club luncheon, Democratic Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, questioned the point and necessity of lawmakers reading the health care bill before voting upon it.


What’s The Point of Reading The Bill?

That is an almost unbelievable statement, both for its candor and for its gross irresponsibility. I think that there are few in Congress who would make such a statement, irrespective of how many of them are like Rep. Conyers and lack the ability to read and comprehend such a piece of legislation. Most would, at least, pretend to be marginally qualified to do their jobs.

I love these members, they get up and say, “Read the bill.”

What good is reading the bill if its a thousand pages and you dont have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?

— Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
National Press Club luncheon

I’m not without a certain small – very small – sympathy for Rep. Conyers; any bill of over 1000 pages is painful to read. Yet it is Rep. Conyers’ job to read these bills and to develop at least a modicum of understanding of them before voting for or against them.

For that matter, how is it that the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee requires a team of attorneys to explain a legal document to him? How and why is Rep. John Conyers a member of the House Judiciary Committee, much less its Chairman, if he cannot comprehend the text and meaning of such a document?

The question should not be, “What’s the point in reading the bill?” The question should be, “What’s the point in Conyers being in his position if he’s functionally illiterate?”

Boiling Down Gates

Posted in Society on July 25th, 2009

By now most of America, and probably the Civilized World, knows the basics of the altercation between Cambridge Police Officer, James Crowley and Black Activist and Harvard Professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr. President Obama’s cronyism, stupidity, and racism assured that the incident would be headline news.

Still, there is a lot of divergent opinions on the matter and the underlying causes of it. This is to be expected, since there are many who would use such an incident, and it’s inappropriate addition to the national news, to further their own biased agendas.

So let’s boil down the situation that occurred between Prof. Gates and Officer Crowley:

Gates and Crowley - You Peckerwood Honkie
No! I won’t excuse You for being White and a Cop

On one side of the issue we have Harvard Prof. Henry Louis Gates Jr., a professional racial activist who made his fame and fortune largely, though not exclusively, by capitalizing on the “plight of the Black man in America.”

Prof. Gates and his attorney, Charles Ogletree, released a statement – to The Root, a purely “Afrocentric” organ, of course – outlining Gate’s view of the incident.

On the other side of the issue we have Cambridge Cambridge Police Officer, James Crowley, an 11-year veteran of the police force. Officer Crowley, in addition to his regular duties, has for the past 5 years taught a class on avoiding racial profiling for five years at the Lowell Police Academy. He was hand-picked to teach the course by former police Commissioner Ronny Watson, who is Black.

Officer gates, along with his partner, Officer Carlos Figueroa, who is Latino, filed their official police reports of the incident.

What happened? A professional Black Activist and a White police officer who teaches an anti-Racial Profiling course had a dispute during the course of investigating a burglary. Since the issue boils down to the character and probable motives, I’ll you all decide whose story is closer to the truth and who had a motivation and predilection for racial antagonism.

Barring further developments, I’m done with this farce, though I may comment futher on tangential issues.

The 47 Million Uninsured

Posted in Humor, Politics on July 24th, 2009

President Obama and his Liberals are trying very hard to build outrage over the fact that supposedly 47 Million Americans are uninsured. They paint a sad and heart wrenching picture of poor but proud families who have to choose between food and healthcare – if they even have that choice in the first place.

Somehow I don’t think that the picture that they’re painting is of the Realism school; it’s likely Impressionist at best and completely Surrealist at worst.

So, about that picture …

Michael Ramirez from IBDeditorials proves once again that a single picture is worth more than a 1018 pages of words:

A Comical Breakdown of the 47 Million Uninsured in America by IBDeditorials' Michael Ramirez
The 47 Million Uninsured in America

Oddly enough the number’s in Ramirez’ cartoon add up to 59.9 Million, not 47 Million Uninsured. I’m assuming he just discounted the 12.6 Million Illegal Aliens from the title so as to match up to the Liberals’ numbers.

Does that imply that the Liberals’ 47 Million uninsured claim are also discounting the 12.6 Million Illegal Aliens from their totals? That might sit poorly with some of their constituency 😉

Healthcare and Health Insurance – related but tangential issue – Reform is certainly needed in the United States; that I don’t dispute. I strongly dispute that healthcare is a right though, and I even more strongly dispute that it is within the government’s purview to mandate it and control it. Most of all I staunchly dispute that the abomination that is Obama and his Liberals’ “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (AAHCA)” is anything but destructive to the American economy and Americans’ freedom.

Even if there truly were 47 Million Americans unable to receive healthcare, the price tag – both monetary and socio-political – attached to this bill is just too high to make it worthwhile.

So let President Obama and his Liberals in and out of Congress paint the situation anyway that they like. I’ll stick with something a bit more realistic, like Ramirez’ cartoon. It may be not be pretty, but it a lot more realistic – as well as being sarcastically funny. 😉