Saturday, February 17, 2007

Nope, nope, nope, no terrorism here

I've been following the Salt Lake City shooting stories and although I haven't been able to blog much about them I've definitely noticed a trend: The MainStreamMedia will do their very best to make sure that no one thinks this could possibly be due to terrorism.

When the story first broke, the Media and police were all shaking their heads and saying that no one knew any explanation for his behavior. After his name was released and people made the obvious connection that he was a Muslim, the Media went into full denial mode and began digging up stories about childhood misbehavior that implied he was a psycho. Now the Party Line is that there's absolutely no evidence of terrorism and by the way anyone who even thinks so must be a Right-Wing Christer Bigot.

Nice try, but the connection has already been made, and the fact the police have no explanation for his behavior but know for a certainty it wasn't terrorism makes even more people suspicious that this is political correctness run amok. I would joke that Mr. Talovic could have yelled "Allah Akbar" before he started shooting and could have been wearing a "Kill Infidels" t-shirt and they still wouldn't be calling it terrorism, but I'm afraid of being proven correct in the future. Denial, as they say, isn't just a river in Egypt.

Look, I don't know if this was an act of terrorism, either. But it would seem logical that if there's no other explanation for his behavior then terrorism is just as valid as any other theory. And it's not wholly incompatible with the "disaffected loner" explanation: Mr. Talovic could have been an angry, alienated young man who hated life and wanted to commit suicide and he could have been eager to settle some old scores with Christians and try to verify that 72 Virgins thingy while doing it. The fact that there were no Al-Qaeda training manuals in his bedroom doesn't mean he wasn't a pathetic wannabee.

SLC police chief Burbank said that he's "amazed and concerned" that so many people are "hung up" on the fact that he's a Muslim. That's right, because we all know that Muslims would never commit acts of terrorism in the United States. Nope, no terrorism here, nope, nope nope. None whatsoever. Move along, people.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Saturday Morning Socialism

My daughters were watching the Smurfs on TV this morning while I was fixing breakfast. I watched too, in between flipping pancakes.

The plot had to do with some smarter-than-average Smurf (I believe his name was -- I kid you not -- "Greedy") who baked up a bunch of delicious biscuits. Naturally, every Smurf wanted one, and demanded that he "share" with them. Just then, a little devil appeared above his shoulder and told him to charge them for his goods. He did, and soon the Smurfs were bringing all sorts of valuable stuff to him to exchange for a biscuit.

When Grampa Smurf wanted his roof fixed (for free, natch) the Carpenter Smurf told him he had traded his tools for a biscuit. Grampa Smurf was quite put out by this, and got all mad. Everyone started getting mad at Greedy for making something nice and tasty and then having the nerve to charge them for it.

By this time, I was pretty disgusted and turned it to something less idiotic. I wondered who in this day and age would still think socialism is a good idea, but then I also remembered that the Smurfs are a French invention, so there you have it.

In the real world, Greedy would see that his biscuits are valuable, and so he would naturally want to make more. He would go to Farmer Smurf and pay him something to grow more wheat, and then he would pay Miller Smurf to grind it for him, and hire that Smurf chick to help him to bake it. All along the way, he would be paying out what he took in, and pretty soon everyone would not only have yummy biscuits to eat but they would earn back whatever they paid in the first place.

The Smurfs would then become wealthy enough to buy weapons, kill off that insufferable wizard and his silly cat, take his money, and then build themselves a autonomous collective commune somewhere in the Bordeaux region, where Grampa Smurf could anoint himself a guru, bilk the rest out of their savings, and buy a bunch of Rolls-Royce limos with the proceeds. That is, until the Smurf chick, strung out on meth and ecstacy, turns him in to the local narcs and tax investigators in exchange for a plea deal.

Now I'd pay to see that episode.

An Historic Day for Utah (I think)

The Republican majority in the Utah Legislature has finally lived up to their conservative reputation and passed -- by a single vote -- a school voucher system for all children in Utah.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is a great development. But there are some caveats, one of which I'm not really pleased with: Homeschoolers can't get a voucher to help cover the sometimes considerable costs of homeschooling. You will have to enroll your kid in a private school, and for most people that will mean they will still have to pay a significant amount out of pocket. So the upshot will be that many people who wish to send their children to private schools will have to put up with Publik Ejukashun for a while until private tuition prices fall or the program is expanded. Thus, I don't forsee a massive rush to the exits by parents, even though the desire is definitely there.

Nevertheless, the usual suspects -- the bloated Utah Education Association -- are hysterically shrieking. Their attitude is best summed up by this stupid comment from their president in the Salt Lake Tribune:

"This isn't the way I teach my fifth-graders the system works," said Kim Campbell, president of the Utah Education Association.

Really? So Legislators, responding to constituent demands, pass a law affecting an issue that is entirely within their consitutional authority and that's not how America works? How is it supposed to work, you ignorant dolt? With teachers like this, it's no wonder our kids don't learn anything. I have a hard time believing this bill will make it worse; we're already at rock bottom.