grist for the mill
A not-so-secret research cache
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Why Sudan has become a Bush priority | csmonitor.com
: "The last time a US secretary of State visited Sudan was 1978, when Jimmy Carter's envoy, Cyrus Vance, stopped to refuel his plane.
But in a sign of Sudan's growing significance, Colin Powell arrived Tuesday for a high-profile two-day visit. The trip is the latest evidence of a major shift in US policy toward the Muslim-led state that once harbored Osama bin Laden."
Oakland must prove mom meant to kill kids - 06/30/04
: "Maynor confessed to leaving her son and baby daughter inside her black Dodge Neon while she visited a Southfield hair salon.
During her appointment, Maynor had her hair washed, relaxed and styled. She also had a shoulder massage, tried on a sundress and bought a snack. She never mentioned to anyone in the salon that her children were in the car, and she never left to check on them.
After discovering the children were dead, Maynor drove around for several hours before going to the hospital. She lied to police, telling them she had been kidnapped and raped and that her children were left in the car. "
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The New York Times > Washington > National Review Founder to Leave Stage
: "Asked whether the growth of the federal government over the last four years diminished his enthusiasm for Mr. Bush, he reluctantly acknowledged that it did. 'It bothers me enormously,' he said. 'Should I growl?'"
Kilpatrick is mum on alleged affairs
: "In Saturday's deposition, which started at 6 p.m., Kilpatrick testified he didn't confirm that Brown had been conducting unauthorized investigations until after he removed him. The mayor said he lost confidence in Brown after Beatty told him she received a vague, anonymous memo accusing Brown of working behind Oliver's back.
Kilpatrick testified that he took the information from Beatty and called Oliver. The mayor said he talked to Oliver 'about things going on in his department that he didn't know about,' Kilpatrick said. Kilpatrick said that conversation, combined with Beatty's recommendation, convinced him to oust Brown.
Oliver said in his deposition that the only time he discussed the issue with Kilpatrick was the day the mayor told him Brown had to go. "
Monday, June 28, 2004
Major turmoil began with an unsigned note
: "' 'You guys are investigating the mayor of Detroit? That's the dumbest shit I ever heard,' '"
Cheney Dismisses Critic With Obscenity (washingtonpost.com)
: "'Fuck yourself,' said the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency."
Thursday, June 24, 2004
TRIBnet 24-hour News Page - Dave Chapelle Get's Real
: "Much of Chappelle's act - with its jokes about genitals,and sex talk, tales of strip-club escapades and frequent use of the n-word - is unprintable in a family newspaper. But that's not the best part, anyway. Chappelle is most effective when he ventures into social commentary - race, poverty, the cult of personality.
One of his better rants had to do with children and at what age they might be responsible for their own lives. Elizabeth Smart, the 15-year-old Utah girl who was kidnapped from her home, figured prominently in the commentary. He contrasted her case - she was discovered about nine months after her abduction only a few miles from her home - with that of 7-year-old Erica Pratt, who gnawed through her duct tape bindings to free herself from kidnappers in Philadelphia and was responsible for the arrest of the two men who had taken her. Pratt is African American, and her story received much less attention than did Smart's.
Then Chappelle placed Smart's case in opposition to that of Lionel Tate of Florida, who was convicted of murder in the death of a 6-year-old neighbor. Smart, at 15, was considered a child. But at 14, two years after the crime, Tate was sentenced as an adult to life in prison without parole. (A previously rejected plea bargain was later accepted, and he is now free.)
'When is a 15-year-old a kid and a 12-year-old an adult?' he asked, indicating it might be because one was white and one was not.
Chappelle said race relations are at such a low point in America that, 'You can't say anything real when it comes to race. That's why Bill Cosby's in such trouble for saying black folks have got to take responsibility for their own lives.
'I spoke at my high school last week,' he said, 'and I told them, 'You've got to focus. Stop blaming white people for your problems.' '
He then added, sarcastically, ' 'Learn to play basketball, tell jokes or sell crack. That's the only way I've seen people get out.' '
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Minority scholarships to face legal critique
: "Although the Supreme Court decision last summer focused on admissions, opponents of affirmative action programs have also questioned other methods universities use to recruit minority students, such as scholarships based on race. Some critics suggested they might make such scholarships the focus of their next legal challenge of affirmative action programs.
In March 2003, the Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative think-tank based in Virginia, sent a letter to U-M raising concerns about a dozen programs and scholarships aimed at minority students.
'We're not trying to end any programs,' said Roger Clegg, the center's general counsel. 'We're not trying to close down the school. We just want the programs to be opened up to all students regardless of race or ethnicity. Just as a matter of policy and fairness, it makes sense. To say that you can add to a university's diversity if and only if you are African-American I think is ridiculous.'
Clegg seemed to back off his challenge of U-M's scholarships in a recent interview, saying he is satisfied that U-M is reviewing its methods.
Thomas Roelofs of Plymouth, who has a daughter attending U-M, recalled going to a Campus Day event for families of admitted students, and listening with incredulity as many parents' questions about scholarships were not answered.
'What's really galling about them is they've always concealed what they do,' Roelofs said. 'If it was up to me, it would be socio-economic and academic (criteria for scholarships). Consider racial diversity, too. It's not a bad thing. But it's not the sacred holy cow they make it out to be.'
U-M administrators said they do not keep track of how many of their scholarships use race as an eligibility criteria, although they "
Ananova - Childless couple told to try sex
: "A clinic spokesman said: 'When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: 'What do you mean?'."
Thursday, June 17, 2004
BRIAN DICKERSON: Court actions a mystery to Michiganders
: "Republican justices believe the purpose of Michigan's civil rights law is best revealed by its literal words; Democratic justices insist those words must be interpreted in their historical context, and that Michigan's history of discrimination against women and minorities entitles them to a greater presumption of illegal bias.
In short, there's less to the justices' apparent role-reversal than meets the eye. But for angry white men, the consequences may be big indeed."
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
A Moral Chernobyl - Prepare for the worst of Abu Ghraib. By Christopher Hitchens
Yes, but what about the ticking bomb? Listen: There's always going to be a ticking bomb somewhere. Some of these will go off, and it's just as likely to be in my part of Washington, D.C., as anywhere else. But we shall be fighting a war against jihad for decades to come. And the jihadists will continue to make big mistakes based on their mad theory. And they are not superhuman: They can be infiltrated, bribed, and turned. You don't have to tell them what time of day it is, or where they are, or when the next meal will be served. (Though it must be served.) But you must not bring in that pig or that electrode. That way lies madness and corruption and the extraction of junk confessions. So even if law and principle didn't enter into the question, we sure as hell know what doesn't work. The cranky Puritan voice of Sir Edmund Compton comes back to me down the corridor of the years: If it gives anyone pleasure, then you are doing it wrong and doing wrong into the bargain.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
: "A 1/1 millionth scale version of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, invisible to the naked eye."[ via boingboing
The Village Voice: Features: Death of a Salesman by Tom Carson
: "Ronald Reagan is the man who destroyed America's sense of reality--a paltry target, all in all, given our predilections."
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
State identifies 10 new birds in six counties with West Nile virus
: "In 2002, Michigan reported 644 human cases of the West Nile virus and 51 deaths. The number of cases dropped to 19 and two deaths last year, the department said.
The department said it is difficult to predict the impact the virus will have on the state this year."
The Morning News - [Robert] Birnbaum v. Jim Harrison
JH: It’s just like young writers, of whom I am deluged—you have to be giving your entire life to this because that’s the only way it’s possible. This can’t be an avocation. It’s the whole thing. Or nothing.
RB: And what do they say?
JH: Most of them, that’s very intimidating. They really haven’t wanted to commit to it, to that extent. But they have to. It’s a strange thing—I didn’t want to understand it when I first read it but I was 19 or something—Dylan Thomas said in order to be a poet or a writer you have to be willing to fall on your face over and over and over. Everybody wants to be cool—
RB: You have to be willing?
JH: Yeah. Which is an interesting point, yeah.
RB: You have to know that that’s going to happen.
JH: You should. [both laugh]
RB: I may never get over Tibor Fischer’s story of having being rejected by 56 publishers.
JH: It happens doesn’t it? Portrait of the Artist went to 19. The old fun thing is when somebody typed up the first chapter of War and Peace. And then made a précis of the rest of it and sent it out and only one publisher recognized it.
RB: That does speak to the crapshoot nature of the enterprise.
JH: Yeah, somewhat. Persist, though, and it will happen
The New York Times > Business > Some Popular S.U.V.'s Fare Badly in Rollover Tests
: "G.M., in a statement, pointed to drivers, not vehicles, as the real rollover problem.
'The dominant causes of rollover crashes and injuries are: excessive vehicle speed; impaired driving due to alcohol, drugs, fatigue and distraction; and failure to wear seat belts,' the company said.
Consumer groups argue that rollovers need to be addressed as a design problem and are urging the government to make vehicles meet a minimum rollover performance standard. Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, has proposed such a change in a bill before Congress. "
Monday, June 07, 2004
2004 MACKINAC POLICY CONFERENCE: In metro Detroit, cooperation is a point of contention
: "'What is it with you white people? You love your drug wars. We don't have a drug war going on. We have too many homicides. . . . You constantly want to scare the suburbs.
'We really need to partner with our media,' he added"
[ Oh my stars and garters....perhaps emboldened by the Pistons victory over the Lakers, the mayor of Detroit has loosed his fury. -Barry
Friday, June 04, 2004
NPR : The Legacy of Blackface
[I'm continually amazed that anyone actually found this entertaining. But then again I acutally looked forward to watching "Good Times" at one time. - Barry... found via npr]
Thursday, June 03, 2004
A great guy is killed; some aren't surprised
: "According to Farmington Hills police, Robert and Nancy Seaman began to argue the evening of Mother's Day. Their fighting grew so intense that Jeffrey left his parent's Tudor home in the gated Ramblewood subdivision for his home in Brownstown Township.
Police said that within 10 minutes of the fight, Nancy Seaman, a fourth-grade teacher, drove to a nearby Home Depot and purchased an ax.
She returned home, walked into the kitchen and slammed the ax into her husband's head, police said. She then dragged his body a short distance into the attached garage, they said, stabbed him 20 times, slashed his throat and pounded his body with a sledgehammer.
The next morning, she went to Longacre Elementary in Farmington and spent the day teaching. School employees told police that she appeared disheveled and out of sorts. When the final school bell rang, she returned to the Home Depot, police said. Video and receipts from the store show that she paid cash for a blue tarp, duct tape, bleach and other cleaning supplies, according to police. "
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
Tuesday, June 01, 2004