Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Does rap music make you stupid?

Okay, so I only have some anecdotal evidence, but I had to ask the question:

Does Listening to rap music cause brain damage?

I'm just wondering! In my short time teaching I have noticed a trend that can be summed up thusly: If a student writes "G-Unit" all over his or her notebook, they perform very poorly and in fact can barely come out of their stupor long enough to put a proper heading on their paper.

Similarly, nobody in my advanced class ever writes "G-Unit" or "50 Cent" on their paper. (I think G-Unit is 50 Cent's band, but I don't know because when I asked a student with "G-Unit" on his notebook, arms, shirt, shoes etc., what G-Unit was he said, "huh?"). My advanced class doodles on their notebooks too, but never the name of rap groups.

Before anyone gets all excited, I am not speaking of any particular ethnic group. The only thing these kids have in common is that none of them are African-American. Also, I actually like some rap music (that doo, doo, doo whup song by Usher, Ton Loc, and the theme song for Dexter's Lab).

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Olympic Marathon Attack: The Reaction

This should be interesting. A very disturbed person has chosen a hideous method for playing out his obvious insanity for all the world to see. Figuring out why a person would do such a thing is an interesting subject in itself. However, I think what will be even more interesting is the reaction his dirty deed engenders from various bloggers, columnists, and media types.

I have a prediction and a question about the pending discussions.

The prediction:

Much of the aftermath will center on the fact that he is or was a Catholic priest and people will try to tarnish that religious institution.

The question:

Why will the man's religious affiliation get so much attention in light of people's reticence to mention the religious persuasion of other newsmakers of the past few years?

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Scott Peterson/Amber Fry phone tapes (audio)

Ok, I do live very close to this whole mess, but I promise that I am not a fanatic about following this trial. Actually I didn't follow it all until I found this link where you could read or listen to the actual phone conversations that Amber secretly taped. I was mesmerized by them as was Mrs. Ugly Naked Guy.

The thing that is most chilling to me is the many lies he tells and the statements he makes about how he "used to be a jerk" or how a year ago he was such "a turd." Lots of it is boring, but I couldn't stop listening because it was amazing to hear the killer talk after what we all know happened. (That said, I don't think they have enough to convict him--I couldn't vote guilty at this point.)

Modbee.com | The Modesto Bee

Friday, August 27, 2004

A New Poll! What's Your Opinion?

Why is racial profiling wrong?


Free polls from Pollhost.com

Racial Profiling and Japanese internment

This new post is here to get you to look at my last post which really was NOT about my date with Mrs. UNG. So if anybody skipped it because it looked like a boring recount of my evening with the wife, it was not. It is actually about what I learned while on the date. The link is to Michelle Malkin's interesting columns. Worth pondering.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

My date tonight with Mrs. Ugly Naked Guy

I spent part of another evening with the rest of the wannabe intellectual coffee-slurping clones down at the Starbucks/Barnes and Noble. As usual I read books for free that I have no intention of buying (they don't mind though because I asked them and my wife makes up for my free-loading ways with her purchases).

Anyway, I picked up a book that validated ideas I have had for years but never verbalize for fear I will be fired from my job for not agreeing with the NEA. (Even my usually like-minded wife and friends cringe when I mention my feelings on this subject.) I have always felt that the internment of the Japanese during WWII was not only justified, but the common sense thing to do.

Until I saw Michelle Malkin's new book, In Defense of Internment: The Case for "Racial Profiling" in World War II and The War on Terror, I never knew anyone who agreed with me. Now not only have I found validation for my ideas, but I also have information about the whole period that you never hear about in your history class.

But first, I must confess my amazement over all the hand-wringing about the internment issue. People make out that we were so unenlightened in the 40's that we reacted with unreasonable fear. How can we say that people acted hysterically when we weren't there? We weren't in their shoes! Maybe we would think internment a good idea too, if we lived back then. I am not saying that for this reason alone it must have been a good idea, but I cannot dismiss out-of-hand the possibility that there were good reasons.

That is why I was so interested to finally find someone who agreed with me and documented some of the assumptions that I held. A good starting place to really examine the issue is some of Ms. Malkin's recent columns (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/mm20040810.shtml). Also, MichelleMalkin.com has other columns and her blogs that discuss the same issue. Here are some of the most interesting items to me:

*Japanese made up only half of the internees during the war. We ugly Americans are guilted into believing that only people who looked different were interred, but in truth there were large numbers of Germans and Italians too.

*We had to give $20,000 to redress the wrongs done to the Japanese in these camps, but in way back in 1948 Congress paid out millions to those internees who had losses; they were already compensated by this law and many others over the years while immigrants from other countries got nothing.

*We are constantly told that it is silly to assume that a first-generation Japanese immigrant might still have some loyalty to Japan in wartime. Malkin's book gives irrefutable evidence that in fact there were instances of espionage and worse.

Heck, if I moved to a different country that was at war with America, I would certainly help my homeland all I could, who wouldn't?

Paul Hamm Hysteria (I'm part of it)

People are sooo interesting! I am amazed at the reactions to the scoring controversy in the gymnastics competition--I thought everyone would think the same thing I did! (Even my wife and kids disagree with me!)

OK, to me it is a no-brainer: give the medal to the Korean guy who got ripped off because someone can't keep score correctly.

People like to point out that there are mistakes in sports all of the time and the results don't get changed. This is true, but the kinds of mistakes we mean are judgement calls--was the player safe or out, did the receiver have his feet in bounds or not, did the baseball go to the fair side of the foul pole or the foul side---they are not the types of errors that decides how many points something is worth.

What happened to the Korean gymnast was not an error in judgement that an instant replay has brought out into the open; those are the types of mistakes that we just live with in sports. This mistake was a fundamental error in the scoring that is akin to forgetting to post a run on the scoreboard when someone crosses home plate. To me, not giving the athlete the points he should have had is a far cry from any error made in judgement.

Paul Hamm turned in an unforgettable performance in coming back the way he did. Unfortunately, he did not win this competition and as painful as it may be for his fans and his family and himself, the right thing to do would be to give the medal back. Going by the rules he doesn't have to give it up, but common decency demands as far as I see it.