Friday, June 29, 2007

SCOTUS Gets It Right

The Supreme Court ruling (5-4) of June 28 did not reverse the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling of 1954, from which flowed the desegregation of public-school students and their integration in common schools; rather, it mandated that race cannot be a primary factor in assigning students to schools. Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts used the 1954 decision to anchor the current one, i.e., that the color of skin does not determine the assigning of the student – any student – since to do so involves discrimination on the basis of race.

Ironically, the decision applied specifically to the school systems in Seattle and Louisville, the former not under court orders before and the latter under a very strict order of District Court Judge James Gordon in 1974, which amounted to an order for the Louisville and Jefferson County schools systems to merge whether they liked it or not. The method used by the merged systems, as was the case throughout the country, was forced busing, its supposed efficacy based on the philosophy of James S. Coleman, a renowned sociologist at the University of Chicago. In later years, the orders were adjusted but forced busing was hated in communities everywhere by both black and white parents, eating up time and money that could have been better spent.

Also ironically, Coleman came to realize that he had been wrong and had the integrity to say so, such integrity costing him dearly in his academic community. This is from the University of Chicago Chronicle obituary of Coleman published 30 March 1995: Coleman's early research on schools and schooling helped shape government policy on racial integration and school busing. The best-known product of that research was "Equality of Educational Opportunity," commonly known as the Coleman Report (1966). … In 1975, Coleman reported the conclusion that massive numbers of whites moved out of public schools in communities that had implemented busing programs.

During 1975, the year forced busing was introduced in Louisville, Coleman had already discovered the fallacy of forced busing; yet, the busing went forward anyway, disrupting the community and the school systems. The busing itself was unfair in that many students were required to spend almost three hours a day on getting to and from school. It was also unfair in that it mandated that blacks be bused 10 of 12 years while whites endure it for only two years of 12.

This is an excerpt by Richard Kahlenberg from The Public Interest of 22 June 2001: Forced busing did not promote the common school, he [Coleman] argued, but policy makers should provide incentives to promote integration through magnet schools, urban-suburban school transfer programs like those found in Milwaukee, and portable funding, weighted to encourage integration in all directions. Coleman finally had the right answers, but the die was cast and communities like Louisville were stuck.

The Court – quite out of the ordinary – was not only almost evenly divided, but was vociferously so, its members verbally slugging it out in the announcing of its decision. Forced busing and quotas have been the darlings of the liberal community for decades, notwithstanding the fact that they've been ineffective and even destructive of the educational process.

As expected, the lead editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader included the magic term "diversity." The editorialist wrote: But it certainly does nothing to help districts, like defendant Louisville, that are working hard and successfully to ensure diversity in public schools. This is sort of like the paper's insistence that "domestic partner" benefits should be extended by the University of Kentucky to homosexuals in order to get the "brightest and the best." Neither diversity nor homosexuals are necessary to the educational process. Academic excellence is what's required and neither of those entities per se have anything to offer.

The Court is right on this call, not only on the basis of the Constitution but – even more demonstrably – on the basis of plain, common sense. In the days since forced busing took hold, the "achievement gap" vis-à-vis black and white students has been huge and remains so, even to the point of structuring "special" programs to address this problem, one which "diversity" has totally failed to touch. School-boards should be glad to be out from under this stifling quota system, not to mention both the parents and students who've had to put up with unspeakable inconveniences in mega-numbers of locations for years.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Education Tomfoolery

In 1990, the Kentucky legislature heaved and groaned and delivered itself of something called the Kentucky Education Reform Act, its purpose – on paper, of course – to virtually turn the state's public-school students (all of them, no kidding) into budding geniuses by the year 2015…one generation by age, two generations by school-age. It switched the state's pedagogy from whatever it was to something called "Outcomes-Based Education," which had "self-esteem" at its core, a non-academic entity, but eminently politically correct. It boggles the mind to think that these guys – quite a number of whom went to the Big House just months later on bribery convictions – actually thought they could do pedagogy, while a gaggle of them didn't even have enough sense to successfully take money under the table.

The Act involved the biggest tax increase in the state's history and was so loaded with pork that it easily greased (sorry about that) its way through the voting, with the solons almost literally wiping the residue from their elbows. Despite much, if not most, of the Act being rescinded by later legislative fiats, it still attacks the state with its blatant ignorance and threatens almost total mental retardation by 2015. As an example of the legislative approach, the Act mandated CASH REWARDS for schools, administrators, and teachers when their little darlings made good grades on state tests. OUTCOME (couldn't resist that): gobs of teachers and administrators cheated (now, isn't that strange…acting like legislators) and rigged the results, laughing all the way to the bank…but at least they didn't go to the Big House, even though they were guilty of something – make it theft by deception.

The current big deal educationally throughout the nation involves the fact that African-American boys are three times as likely as whites to be placed in "special needs" classes but only half as likely to make it into classes for gifted and high-achieving students. There are all sorts of reasons given for this, but the most cogent are politically incorrect to repeat and therefore ignored. In tests in Kentucky in 2006, the reading scores for black and white boys in grades 3, 4, 7 and 10, respectively, indicated the following percentages reading at the proficient/distinguished level, respectively, to be 41, 79; 48, 73; 37, 68; and 17, 52. In math, using the same respective readings for grades 3, 5, 8 and 11, the results were 35, 68; 33, 69; 20, 54; and 19, 56. Obviously, the gaps are huge in these fields, 3-to-1 in the last category each of both sophomores and juniors.

Those results are tragic enough, but a more serious tragedy lies in the fact that in both races the progress (actually lack of it) spirals steadily and precipitously downward as the students pass through the system. Forty percent of blacks (boys, remember) are top readers in the third grade, but only 17 percent are tops in the tenth grade. For whites, the numbers are 79 and 52, respectively, both races dropping at about the same rate. In math, the numbers for blacks are 35% tops in grade 3, but only 19% in grade 11. For whites, the numbers are 68 and 56. This circumstance is graphically remarked in the fact that more than 50% of first-year students at the state universities must take remedial courses in at least one subject.

This is from the Lexington Herald-Leader of June 24, with regard to the Fayette County system: "The initiative, the first of its kind in a public school statewide, is expected to place 20 African-American boys, based on a preschool test, in a special kindergarten class with a rigorous curriculum that will focus on critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The students would remain together through the second grade, when they would be tested for placement in the district's gifted and talented program. The class could be taught all three years by a teacher from the gifted and talented program who would work with an assistant instructor and a speech pathologist."

A specialist with 15 years experience is in the $60-70,000 range. Throw in at least $35,000 for an assistant instructor (not a teacher's aide), and that works out to about $160,000 per year in salaries alone – about $8,000 per student per year, with a guarantee for the gifted and talented program at the end, the obvious presumption being that the student will belong there. Perhaps it's worth a try, though the remaining student body of 34,000 will not be affected, just 20 special cases, none of them girls.

If the 20 are successful (and they should be), will the system then separate students into blocs of 20 and give them the same treatment? Of course not. The large-scale learning gap will not be narrowed until the social aspects of the problem are corrected, meaning that the vast majority of black male students will stay in the gap, caused primarily because black men and women engage in non-support mode, primarily due to their refusal to establish viable families as the vital support instruments that actually will make a difference.

In 1960, the rate of illegitimacy among blacks was 23.6% of births, meaning that more than 75% of black families could be assumed to be headed by a man and wife. Now, that illegitimacy rate is 70%, probably much higher in places like New Orleans, the logical conclusion being that currently only 30% of black families or fewer are headed by both parents. Whites have also gotten into the act, with illegitimacy rates increasing from 3 percent in 1960 to 28.5% in 2002 and probably 30% by now, for a probable increase of 900%. Besides connoting a perverse lifestyle, these figures explain in large part why millions of youngsters are damned educationally and economically. They lack the most important kind of support – that of the family.

The school systems can try everything under the sun, but pedagogy-change is not the primary answer, just as KERA, with its self-esteem nonsense, hasn't been. Students do their best in every area of endeavor when they function in stable households. The school people know this, but political correctness rules the day, and ever-changing programs come on line, only to make no difference.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Stumbo, Conway, and Lee -- November

It's hard to imagine an attorney general so lacking in integrity that he would devise a plan specifically to help an institution evade the law in awarding its perks. It's also hard to imagine that this same attorney general doesn't realize what that action means with respect to all the people who work for the state and who rightfully, on the basis of the a-g machinations, feel they have the right to take advantage of the same loophole, although there actually isn't any such loophole.

The interesting thing regarding this matter – the "domestic partner" caper at UK – has to do with the November election of a new attorney general. The sitting, conniving A-G Greg Stumbo, hoping for a spot – lieutenant governor – almost automatically leading to the governorship, ran on the wrong ticket, notwithstanding the mega-millions of dollars financing it, and lost out big-time, since he would have been a shoo-in if he had run for reelection and then tried on his own to nail the top spot.

As it is, either republican Stan Lee or democrat Jack Conway will be the incoming a-g. Lee, of course, is already indelibly on the record as opposing the "domestic-partner" perks at the universities, and has solid legal grounds for having declared them unconstitutional. Conway very publicly agreed with Stumbo's original opinion that both UK and UL were in violation of the constitutional amendment passed by three-to-one in 2004.

So…it would seem that Conway would take exception to Stumbo's kiss-off of the law with regard to the perks. Maybe…but more likely maybe not. According to the Louisville-area publication The Bridge of June 1, this is Conway's take: "Attorney General Stumbo has also provided some guidance to our distinguished universities on how they may proceed in the future." Does Conway join Stumbo in his current hanky-panky, or will he be a strict-constructionist attorney general. If not, he will join Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence, who said, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal of 24 April 2007, "You have to let the universities make decisions like that," when UL did its thing earlier regarding "domestic partners."

The a-g campaign could well turn on this issue. Stan Lee should make it the prime issue, noting that he could be expected to not only follow the letter of the amendment but also respect the fact that the vast majority of Kentuckians are responsible specifically for that law. Conway is already at a disadvantage in this area, if only on the basis of the quote above. Regardless of how he or anyone else feels about the "domestic-partner" perks, the law is the law is the law, and he must declare himself with respect to ALL of the law, including the extraordinarily important "marriage amendment."

Stumbo may well have sunk his chances to unseat Mitch McConnell in the 2008 Senate race on the basis of his obvious perverseness in this matter. Anyone – whether attorney general or anything else, but especially the state's chief law-enforcement official – who purposefully designs a method to circumvent the concrete establishment of a law is unworthy of any official position and – especially in Stumbo's case – should be held to account, even to the point of malfeasance in office and all which that entails.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The "Domestic-Partner" Stench

A few days ago, the Kentucky attorney general, hard on the heels of being badly defeated as the lieutenant governor candidate in the primary, went into labor and delivered himself of an opinion which he should have aborted at least nine months before, to wit, that the "domestic-partner" goodies devised and approved by the pooh-bahs at both the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville happened to be illegal, according to the State Constitution. Naturally, he had to consider the possible consequences of dispensing that opinion until after the primary, if defeated, or after the general election in November, if on the ballot.

Acting in the interest of the citizens who approved the constitutional amendment structuring his decision, he then proceeded to inform the universities of a way to "beat" the amendment, apparently mostly by plagiarizing material from other states to get the correct language, thus enhancing his integrity as the top prosecutor in the state and informing every school-kid that the law doesn't actually matter if it can be blown away without anyone going to the Big House. After all, the state needs to protect its reputation as being politically the damnedest in the nation.

A "domestic partner" is defined as "either one of an unmarried heterosexual or homosexual cohabiting couple especially when considered as to eligibility for spousal benefits." On 02 November 2004, Amendment 233A was overwhelmingly (about 3 to 1) approved by Kentucky voters and made a part of the Kentucky Constitution: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." In Kentucky, homosexuals may not legally be married to each other, thus the “partners” are not accorded standing accruing to spouses for consideration(s) provided by the state or institutions regulated or supported by it. The same is true for non-married cohabitating couples, known more familiarly as “shack-ups.” In other words, the "domestic partner" business is a rip-off.

Under the plan adopted erroneously by the universities there were requirements for documentary proof of connections, but that kind of stuff smacked of something like marriage licenses, such as shared credit cards, bank accounts or debts, and even insurance beneficiaries, thus definitely violating the law…too much like marriage/family. Under the new plan, there seem to be no requirements requiring any documents or affidavits to prove anything. Those who apply simply indicate how they satisfy the new language that requires nothing in writing, and their word is just as valid as legal tender. It would appear that the attorney general found a loophole big enough to accommodate a freight train. Well…maybe…remains to be seen.

The current applicants must reapply, and the first requirement is that they must share a primary residence with a covered UK employee for at least 12 months. Applications and/or re-applications are already in process or re-process, even though no one will be eligible under this rule until he/she has shared a primary residence with him/her for a year…unless, of course, the applicant and partner say this is already the case, furnishing no proof, since to do so would require a document of some kind, thus being in violation of the law.

Then, there's the matter of exactly what a primary residence is. How is a primary residence different from a plain, old residence? Who knows? Has anyone heard of a secondary residence, the sharing of which might invalidate the partner? Who knows? Will the university assign policepersons to check every primary residence every day or week to see if the right folks are in the primary residence, whatever that is? Eligible children must be under the age of 25. Twenty-five? How about voting-age – 18, or drinking-age – 21? The child can't be married, either…why not? He/she may not be a relative, either, for obvious reasons. In fact, the "domestic partner" absolutely may not be a relative…that "family" thing again.

Perhaps the most insulting claim made is that no general fund monies will be used in the plan. According to the university, the money will come from the health-care budget that includes money from the general fund, athletics, taxes, and tuition. Do these people think all the great unwashed in the state are dumb enough to fall for that? Even if their statement were true, the money used could, instead, be used for general-fund outlays, which benefit all the citizens legally.

The most egregious aspect of this entire mess of pottage, for which the university is selling its soul, is the selling of its soul…the total in-your-face kiss-off of integrity, law, decency, the will of the people, not to mention its elitism carried to the most obnoxious limits possible. Conspiring with the penultimate politician to thwart the expressed will of the citizens puts the universities in an attitude of "if they don't like it, let 'em eat cake." Hopefully, an attorney general who will take office in January will see to this matter realistically, even if lawsuits are brought before then. If they are, they will be successful, since this scheme stinks legally as well as morally.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who Fired and Re-hired the Coach?

I recently wrote a column about the firing of Champ Ligon as basketball coach at Lexington's Bryan Station High School, noting that he had compiled the best three-year (2004-06) record of all the teams (5 of them) at Lexington's public schools, and that for a time during the last season his team was rated second in the state. In the year prior to his five-year stint at Bryan Station, the school won only two games.

In none of the articles published in the Lexington Herald-Leader relating to this matter was the information that Fayette Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman was involved. Ligon said that he was told by Bryan Station Gladys Peoples, as she fired him, that the team had to be taken to the next level, hard to do because it was already at the top level. She had nothing to say at the time. Schools operating under the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 may hire their own principals, notwithstanding any objections by the elected superintendent and school-board. They also may devise their own curricula and do just about anything else they desire. Councils, according to law, are made up of the principal, two parents, and three teachers (at least at the beginning), although it appears that some schools may have done as they pleased with that regulation.

A comment was posted to my article by a principal calling to my attention that this can't happen. This is the comment: As a high school principal, let me correct two incorrect statements here. I know nothing of the coach or the principal, but do know school council laws. The council has no authority, nor input, nor responsibility for evaluations, terminations or any personnel action, other than hiring the principal. They do not have the authority to evaluate or fire a principal. That is done by the superintendent. I just wanted to let the public know how the council really works.

Ligon was rehired as coach, following an outcry from the players and others, as well as a petition-drive to keep him in place. This is part of a Herald-Leader article of June 16: Ligon was also supposed to meet with Fayette County Superintendent Stu Silberman, but Silberman encouraged Ligon to meet with Peoples because it was a "school-level situation."

Since the Bryan Station School Council also was never mentioned in this matter, it would appear that Principal Peoples did both the firing and the re-hiring. If that's not the case, someone in the school system should explain exactly what happened. It's a lead-pipe cinch that the superintendent not only had nothing to do with this mess, but also had no intention of getting into it. Apparently, he felt that Peoples or the school council did have the authority to do what the principal's comment (noted above) indicated they couldn't do.

The team is virtually all black, as is the principal. Ligon happens to be white. In the same article mentioned above, Peoples was quoted: "He understands that the program has not been meeting the high expectations and standards we have for our students up to this point. But he is sincere in his desire to help our students and to move the program to the next level. We have decided that we can work together next year and elevate our boys' basketball program." In other words, everything is back to square-one and none of the mess should have happened, in the first place. She heads a school having the following percentage of students rated proficient/distinguished in 2006 by the Commonwealth Accountability Testing System in these areas: math, 25%; reading, 23%; Science, 22%. These are the abysmal marks after 16 years of KERA, and it's doubtful that the boys' basketball coach can do very much to change things.

According to the H-L, Ligon said this in the re-hiring statement: "The standards we are talking about go beyond wins and losses. We want our students to achieve at a high level academically with the ultimate expectation of going on to college and completing a college degree. We also want the boys' basketball team to set the standard for the students in our school in terms of behavior." So, apparently Ligon is aware that his team is supposed to enhance academics and behavior as well as sports; but, isn't it the principal's job to see to those things?

This is the kind of mumbo-jumbo that causes one to be unsurprised at the fact that education has not been reformed in Kentucky. It's also an example of how teachers/coaches can be at the mercy and/or the whim of their superiors, notwithstanding anything the law specifies, allows, or prohibits. I take the communicating principal's word that he has set the record straight and appreciate that, as well as stand corrected, but it doesn't seem to wash in this matter, unless someone is simply sweeping things under the rug.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"Diversity Syndrome" Strikes Herald-Leader Again

The "Diversity Syndrome" has raised its ugly head again, this time appearing – not for the first time – in the Lexington Herald-Leader of June 17 as a re-visitation to – also not for the first time – columnist Merlene Davis. She is afflicted and conflicted by the fact that the university prez, Lee Todd, has been given a huge bonus in spite of the fact that he scored only somewhere in the mid-nineties with respect to diversity-acuity and diversity-achievement (whatever that is), in his latest evaluation.

A couple years ago, the syndrome afflicted Davis in the form called "fear of the university." She explained that black students simply feared going to the University of Kentucky and that a gaggle of them had headed on over to Louisville. If memory serves, she didn't explain what engendered the fright and flight, only that they existed. Last year, enrolment of black freshmen picked up considerably at UK, so the syndrome must have been somehow neutralized, but there's never been an explanation how that happened. According to Davis, Todd had nothing to do with it, since he's the guilty party with respect to the syndrome's reappearance.

However, the syndrome this time around seems to have more to do with faculty appointments. Davis noted that three black professors had been offered positions but had turned them down, apparently because of the "Diversity Syndrome," the disease now attacking UK again, as well. The syndrome must be responsible, since Davis did not give any reasons for the prospective teachers eschewing university positions.

Diverse is defined as "differing from one another," and syndrome is defined as "a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality or condition" (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition), so "Diversity Syndrome" can probably be defined as an affliction having as it main symptom a "particular abnormality or condition in people who differ from one another." Maybe the folks who turned down the teaching positions felt like they were too different from all the other professor-types to be successful, so they just opted out, being particularly abnormal.

Or, they might have felt themselves far too different in that they were simply too academically superior to fit in at an institution that actually prided itself, along with the prez and the athletics director, who makes much more than the prez, in winning six football games last season. Davis mentioned, also, that UK has a new basketball coach and that president Todd has been going around telling folk that UK will be a top-20 school one day, though she didn't say these startling facts would be the reason.

Davis mentioned, also, that the black basketball coach's head had been requested "by the people" at the same time the prez eventually received a bonus, meaning, apparently, that somebody thought letting the coach go was the proper thing to do and Todd just did the deed. It was the syndrome that got the coach, though, since his particular abnormality was in winning only 20 games a year instead of the required 25-27. Besides, the university had only allowed him ten years on the job, and he didn't make much more than $2,000,000 per year, only a bit more than five times as much as Todd.

The suspicion is that the purpose of Davis's column had less to do with diversity than with the change in basketball coaches. When Tubby Smith was hired, Davis stopped just short of warning him that the KKK would burn a cross on his front-lawn every night in this racist town and that rattlesnakes would appear in his mailbox upon occasion. Davis was right, of course, since Tubby only lasted ten years and probably didn't make much more that a cool $15 million, give or take a few million either way. Who knows?

Diversity is GOD right now with the politically correct crowd, but people responsible for operating the university understand that competency trumps diversity every time if an institution is aspiring to top-20 status, or even a respectable status, for that matter. Until Davis provides the reasons the three refused teaching assignments, she perhaps should stick to just the usual racist routine for Lexington and leave the university alone for a while. Otherwise, the "Diversity Syndrome" is the culprit…that particular abnormality or condition business. Davis ended her piece by saying she probably would have to run this same column next year. It's a lead-pipe cinch that she will.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, June 15, 2007

"Leaky" Leahy Gang Rides Again

Summer entertainment is often – okay nearly always – devoid of…well, entertainment, especially TV, what with reruns, etc., even on the news shows. There's baseball, of course, and one can become entertained and educated as well in the art of spitting sunflower seeds all over the dugout, spitting Redman all over the pitcher's mound, scratching here and there on body parts, glaring (as of batter at ump), and how to afford a snack without mortgaging the farm (smuggle goodies into the stands). Okay, just kidding a bit about the baseball, though a pit stop at the bathroom is possible while some pitchers go through their between-pitch routines as babies and old codgers nod off.

There have been summers when the TV action was too good to miss. The Watergate matter in the summer of 1974 comes to mind – a reality show for current prez wannabe Fred Thompson – with its consequent Nixon resignation…marvelous TV. Then, there was the O.J. Simpson trial in summer 1995, with the greatest miscarriage of justice known to mankind…but unparalleled TV, complete with a judge who was on and off another planet at times in the process, or checking his many hourglasses, apparently mistrusting ordinary clocks, not to mention that the plethora of sidebars with the lawyers was actually interspersed with the trial proceedings instead of the other way around.

Of course, it would be hard to match the Iran-Contra hearings of summer 1987, with Ollie North and gang (the famous "potted plant" remark by North's lawyer), and this brings to mind the possibility of another hearing this summer, which, indeed, has already started, namely, the "out-to-get-Gonzales" hearing put on by a penultimate grandstander and entertainer, Senator Pat "Leaky" Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

It was during the Iran-Contra hearing that Leahy leaked a draft report on the Iran-Contra affair, leading to his resignation from the Intelligence Committee. Behavior like this earned for him the nickname" Leaky Leahy." So…Leahy is just the perfect role model of what a committee chairman should be – devious and crooked. In the 80s, he was also charged with revealing classified information during the Achille Lauro (cruise ship) terrorist incident. The terrorists killed a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and threw his body overboard, along with his wheelchair.

Since taking over the Congress in January – with Speaker Pelosi announcing that "things were now different" – the Congress has mostly held hearings (trying to hang republicans), at least as far as doing anything substantive is concerned. Not so strangely, her House Ethics Committee has not held a hearing on Congressman Jefferson, who was recently charged with taking bribes of hundreds of thousands and even having $90,000 stashed in his deep-freeze, thus giving a new meaning to the term "cold, hard cash." Over in the Senate, Leahy and his wolf-pack, including the likes of Kennedy, Biden, Feingold, Schumer, and Durbin, have tried mightily to nail Gonzales' hide to the wall, but to no avail.

The "no confidence" vote was supposed to mean something, but, of course, the prez had already nullified it by simply saying it meant nothing. In the process, ranking republican member Specter…well, made a specter of himself. Another summer hearing – although lasting only a few days – was held in September 2005, when Specter (this time, the chairman), "Leaky," and the wolf-pack were made to look silly by Chief Justice John Roberts, who, without notes or even a writing pad before him, cited cases and precedents like they were just printed in the paper that morning. His tormentors had piles of documents on their desks, while a multitude of aides delivered them gems of wisdom, but – alas – to no avail, as Roberts politely gave them the fifth-grade treatment. A few months later, Justice Alito gave them about the same treatment, thus traumatizing them to such an extent that Feingold, Kennedy, and Schumer were seen frothing at the mouth.

Now, "Leaky" and the Keystone Kops are busily subpoenaing White House aides, figuring that maybe they'll wilt and admit that Gonzales gave them Hershey bars to help them conveniently forget the facts. The alternative to committee hearings is actual work toward actual objectives, but the dems can't produce an immigration bill and had to take a horrific licking by the prez on the funds-for-war thing…so what's a Congress to do – conduct hearings, of course. The entire Congress, including republicans, is up in arms over the illegal guys picking oranges in California, when the truth is that they neglected their much self-ballyhooed "oversight" responsibilities by never demanding that existing laws be enforced for years. They've obviously been too mesmerized by those tantalizing "earmark" opportunities. Egad!

The prez may have learned a lesson when he threw "Brownie" under the bus over the "Katrina/FEMA affair." He also let Rumsfeld go, but at least Rummie had a lot of years in the job. The Katrina Hearings (famous in the House since the democrats didn't participate) produced the startling fact that FEMA-chief Michael Brown did as well as could be expected under the circumstances, especially as impacted by two hopeless incompetents, the New Orleans mayor and the Louisiana governor. So…while the hearings may drone on and on, Gonzie, who gives the committee fits, will not go under the bus, and the beauty of the whole thing is that current summer TV may include a knockdown-drag-out fight between the Senate and the Executive Privilege gangs – a tasty bit of viewing for 2007 entertainment.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mining or Damming...Which is Worse?

Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning is pushing for support for introducing facilities into Kentucky to convert coal to gasoline or a similar product that can be used to power cars and other equipment. There's a huge coal reserve in the state, much, if not most, of what's being mined now shipped out of state primarily to power plants generating electricity. By installing conversion plants in the state, the coal would not only be mined but processed in Kentucky, creating jobs for many more people than just the miners.

Understandably, there are many people who see this matter as creating an even further threat to the mountains of eastern Kentucky and the flatter lands in the western part of the state due to strip-mining, although much of Kentucky coal is still mined underground. Strip-mining has changed the looks of many once-beautiful mountains, as well as created unwanted holding ponds in both the eastern and western areas of the state. Laxity in arranging for emptied deep mines has also caused problems, such as the "blowout" of sludge a few years ago eventuating in the pollution of waterways all the way to the Ohio River.

Fines are assessed and damages awarded in instances in which problems have arisen. These take care of material matters, but those who inveigh most heavily against mining do so for reasons of aesthetics – changing the landscape, sometimes to hideous departures from their once verdant, primitive state. This is regrettable, though it has been amply proven, especially when operators are constrained to obey the law and restore these areas, that, though different in appearance in the short term, these affected areas can be restored to beauty and usefulness in the long term, the latter important in establishing "flat" places for the building of facilities.

Writers and poets, as well as conservationists, have been especially critical of strip-mining, in particular. A strip-mined mountain is not a pretty sight as it's being mined or in the immediate aftermath of this procedure. The mountain is not removed in the process – or at least most of it – but undergoes a significant change. As restoration takes place, its beauty and "different" usage (and not just for golf courses), though different from those of its previous configuration, are advanced.

One wonders, in light of this subject, what the writers, poets, conservationists, and just plain citizens think of this matter as it might be compared to the lakes impounded by dams – lakes that displace beautiful, verdant valleys, not to mention the thousands of people – removing from sight forever once beautiful parts of nature. Actually, those folks don't seem to think anything about exchanging the beauty of the covered lands for huge puddles of water hardly aesthetically striking to the eye. A flat water-surface doesn't engender much attention, at least until it's whipped up a bit by a strong breeze.

Lake Cumberland, backed up behind Wolf Creek Dam, is the largest of Kentucky's lakes, impounding 63,350 acres, or just over 99 square miles at top flood-control level. With much, if not most, of its surface in Kentucky; Lake Barkley impounds 57,920 acres, or 91 square miles, and Kentucky Lake, the largest manmade lake in the eastern United States, with a huge area in Kentucky, covers 160,300 acres, or 250 square miles.

These three huge lakes cover an area of 440 Square miles, the size of Kentucky's Madison County, among the largest in the state. If Interstate 75 had to cross it, instead of just traversing it, the bridge would reach from just south of Lexington nearly to Mt. Vernon. Richmond and Berea would have long since gone beneath its waves, just as much of Burnside, including U.S.-highway 27, the railroad, two bridges, and the business section, did when Lake Cumberland was impounded, even though the town was some 40 miles away from the dam, as the crow flies.

This is not a brief for the coal industry, though the gasification plants would bring in many new jobs, meaning a significant employment and tax-base increase, not to mention the raising of the standard of living for many citizens who now live at the poverty level. It is, rather, a suggestion that folks whose primary interest is in the aesthetics connected to mining also compare them to those of river-control, a necessary enterprise, especially in affording water sources for communities and cities such as Lexington that depend upon dams for impounding water for private and commercial use.

The mountains and flatlands are changed by surface mining, but the changes can be, if not completely reversed, put to good use, even aesthetically. Once they go under water impounded by dams, however, those lands will not be seen again, no matter their beauty, and this is not even to mention that probably most of the former owners were stripped of their land through the "power of eminent domain," whether they liked it or not. Something to think about.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dr. Holsinger...Latter-Day Hitler?

The president recently announced his nomination of UK Medical School professor and former Kentucky health secretary James Holsinger to the post of U.S. Surgeon General. Holsinger is also a retired Army Reserve Major General and has taught in several medical schools, besides serving as Chancellor of the UK Medical Center. He would seem to be the perfect choice with respect to medical and administrative experience.

Terrible problem: The various gay-lesbian outfits consider Dr. Holsinger a homophobe and therefore unqualified for a job that has nothing to do with sexual preference or orientation or whatever else can be used to describe people who use bodily orifices in strange ways, but only with the health and welfare of the citizens. Actually, these folks should be thankful for someone like Holsinger to look out for them, since they do things with their genitals and other body parts that predispose them to exposure to deadly germs in strategic locations. After all, when a component used to discharge impurities is placed in someone else's mouth or rectum there can be a heap of infection, not least among which are things like syphilis and AIDS.

Liberal newspaper outlets such as the McClatchy-owned Lexington Herald-Leader become terribly exercised when there's a perceived threat to the glorification of homosexuality, such as in its published belief that the University of Kentucky has to do special things in order to attract homosexuals to the faculty, since they are among the "brightest and the best," though one wonders about the lack of brainpower necessary to doing anal/oral sex, if, indeed, these procedures are sex. So, the drumbeat has begun. From June 6 through June 10, the newspaper put Holsinger on the front page three times, twice above the fold, obviously making certain that Holsinger is recognized as the very devil itself, a threat to the national well-being and security, and probably should be in jail or some booby-hatch.

The H-L did the same thing – only to a much greater extent – last year, when it took out its wrath on the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., because the school, operating on its well-documented code of conduct, expelled a homosexual, not for being such but for advertising it on the Internet, complete with lurid pictures. This is also what happens in the military. As Yogi would say, "Deja Vu all over again."

Always to be expected when venality is to be remarked is the comparison of a culprit with Adolph Hitler, usually in conjunction with the Holocaust. It would seem hard to do that in this case, involving a man who has spent his career in trying to help people, but H-L cartoonist Joel Pett managed to pull it off in the issue of June 10. In his cartoon is a man who has rolled up his shirt-sleeve so that his admirers can see the number or whatever that's tattooed on his arm, a la the tattooed Jews killed by the millions by the Nazis in World War II. The caption: "Actually, I'm gay…see, here's my tattoo of the new surgeon general's warning about me." It doesn't get any lower than this, but keep watching. The H-L will find a way to outdo even this bit of mockery of both Holsinger and the victims of the Holocaust. One remembers when the paper actually editorially compared former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott (R.I.P.) to Hitler some years ago.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, June 10, 2007

A Muslim by Any Other Name

There was an article in the 10 June Lexington Herald-Leader by Nabeel Jawahir, a Lexington resident who is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Kentucky. His writing was a sort of apologetic for the Muslim community with regard to the claim many make that the community is not vociferous enough in its condemnation of the actions taken by those who participate in jihad, or "holy war," such "war" actually, if not primarily, comprised of acts of murder and terrorism by Muslims on infidels (all non-Muslims), but also if not more so by Muslims upon Muslims.

Jawahir went to some pains to explain that the vast majority of Muslims – certainly those in this country – want no part of the type of jihad that everyone sees played out every day on the TV news programs. He's right about that, and most folks don't blame American Muslims for the atrocities that are routine stuff of Muslims in other parts of the world, such as Sudan, where the Muslim-controlled government has been engaging in genocide of the country's "infidels" for years – up to a couple-hundred-thousand dead numbered most recently, as consensually figured by those who are supposed to know. This is not even to mention Iraq and Lebanon, where Muslims kill indiscriminately – non-Muslims, women, children, anyone who just happens to be in the wrong place at the right time.

In any case, this is how Jawahir finished his column: Kentucky is home to thousands of Muslims who make positive contributions every day. We are part of the fabric of this state. In fact, one of the most prominent Muslims in the world is from Kentucky. If it does not immediately come to mind that I am referring to Muhammad Ali, perhaps this illustrates the extent to which positive imagery has been disassociated from Islam. A worse example to prove his point could not have been imagined by Jawahir.

Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., named for his father who is said to have been named for one of the most famous emancipationists in the South, also a Kentuckian. Insulting his own father, he changed his name. His notoriety and fame accrue to his one-time ability to knock the stuffing out of others – even their lives – if they should be very unlucky. He waged his own jihad for one thing – MONEY – by trying to knock out other men's brains. Surely, Jawahir could have found a better example of a Muslim than that, someone whose legacy is blood dripping from other men's eyes, mouth, ears, and wherever else he tormented them.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Friday, June 08, 2007

Obama, Dodd Incise Surgeon-General Nominee; H-L Happy

Predictably, the Lexington Herald-Leader had as a front-page account in the June 8 issue the positions of two members of the Senate committee that will hold hearings regarding the president's nomination of Dr. James Holsinger of the University of Kentucky Medical School faculty to the position of U.S. Surgeon General. Senators Obama and Dodd, both members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chaired by Massachusetts democrat Ted Kennedy, are already on the record as looking with a jaundiced eye at the nomination. Their beef, ostensibly: Holsinger just might be anti-homosexual, thus an absolute violator of political correctness, the ruling ideology of the day. So, a deep incision into Holsinger is appropriate.

Coincidentally, Obama and Dodd are also running for the democrat nomination vis-à-vis the presidential sweepstakes next year, as is fellow democrat Senator Hillary Clinton, who is also a member of Kennedy's committee. It will be interesting to see if or how she responds to this nomination, especially in light of the fact that Obama is reputed, according to polls, to be gaining on her. The candidates made much of their religion in the last debate, so one wonders if Hillary, taking into account the aversion to homosexuality held in the community of evangelicals and her unique unpopularity in the South, stronghold of the evangelicals, will join Obama and Dodd, keep quiet, or actually look with favor upon the nomination, consequently putting space between her and Obama. Dodd doesn't register, at least yet, as being a serious contender.

Holsinger, just as does everyone else, undoubtedly has personal views regarding homosexuality, but the surgeon general's responsibility has nothing to do with religion, but only with the health and well-being of the society. Obama said in a statement, "I have serious reservations about nominating someone who would inject his own anti-gay ideology into critical decisions about the health and well-being of our nation. ... This administration must know that the United States Surgeon General's office is no place for bigotry or ideology that would trump sound science and good judgment."

Dodd said in his statement, "I fear that Dr. Holsinger's previous comments and actions will prevent him from representing each and every individual." So…these two politicians have apparently already made up their minds about Holsinger and found him unacceptable. In a paper prepared for a United Methodist study of homosexuality in 1991, Holsinger, using documentation, remarked the physical damages related to participation in homosexual behavior, as well as the fact that such behavior is unnatural, though this is readily understood by anyone with walking-around sense. His statement had to do with the science and obvious nature of the matter, which would be his only concern as S-G.

As a church matter, according to the Herald-Leader, Holsinger is on the record as officially ruling with others, that a practicing lesbian could not continue to be a minister and that a pastor could withhold church membership from a gay man. This has nothing to do with the science regarding homosexuality or with the medical ramifications of homosexual behavior, the parameters of the surgeon general's responsibility. Ironically, Senator Dodd is a Catholic, in whose denomination homosexuality is not acceptable and considered immoral.

The Lexington Herald-Leader sort of declared war on the Baptists (Holsinger is Methodist) just over a year ago. It began about 08 April at which time the paper started a run of seven front-page-above-the-fold articles out of nine front pages (six consecutively), complete with huge pictorial displays and equally huge interior sections of the (A) section, devoted to the expulsion by the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., of a student who “outed” himself as homosexual on two Web sites (including details about his “dating life” and pictures of young men kissing each other). The editorialists also had a field day(s) in excoriating the school.

In the regulations governing the student body and spelled out in the student’s handbook was the school policy making homosexual behavior cause for expulsion, as well as fornication, adultery, drinking on campus, etc. In this regard, it is noteworthy that homosexuals are routinely discharged from the military, as well. In a statement made in March, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Peter Pace said this, "I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts." One wonders if Obama or Dodd will call for Pace's resignation before his retirement later this year.

Also in the H-L Op-Ed section of 24 April 2006 was a column by Christina Gilgor, the executive director of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, headquartered in the state capital to advance the homosexual agenda. Citing Kinsey’s statistics, Gilgor claimed 10 percent, or some 400,000 Kentuckians, are homosexual, a claim so absurd as to be laughable. There will be more front-page stuff about Holsinger and homosexuality, all of it as unflattering as possible. Stay tuned.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Scalpel for Dr. Holsinger (or a scalp)

The country needs a surgeon-general and President Bush picked one a few days ago, nominating a prominent cardiologist, James W. Holsinger, a member of the faculty at the Lexington, Ky., University of Kentucky Medical School, a seminary graduate, a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council since 2000 and its president since 2004. Dr. Holsinger also served as secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for two years, returning to the university in 2005. He has taught at several medical schools and spent more than three decades in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1993 as a major general.

There's a problem, to wit, the homosexuals are out for his scalp-(el). He comes before Senator Kennedy's committee, on which also sit senators Clinton, Obama, and Dodd, all president wannabes and therefore anxious for all possible votes, meaning a huge pandering to the homosexual community. This will be a humdinger of a hearing, also taking into account that anything goes – even the weird concept of men marrying men – in Massachusetts, Kennedy's state, as well as that of Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and the highest-profile homosexual in the nation.

The "gay and lesbian" groups are having a hissy-fit over the appointment, primarily because of a paper prepared by Holsinger in 1991 for a United Methodist Church committee studying homosexuality. Holsinger said this: "When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur." Obviously, he merely stated the obvious, but he also produced studies showing higher rates of sexually transmitted disease in gay men and the likelihood of injury from anal sex to argue that homosexuality isn't natural, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader article that also noted that Holsinger's nomination is opposed by the groups Human Rights Campaign, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and AIDS Action.

A further fly in the ointment is occasioned by the fact that Holsinger helped found a Lexington, Ky., church, Hope Springs Community Church, that has a ministry dedicated to helping gay people who want to become heterosexual. The homosexual community insists that its perversion is not correctable since it's not a disease, something Holsinger apparently doesn't accept.

The question, of course, has to do with whether or not Holsinger will be able to separate what many feel to be his religious beliefs from his secular duties in the high-profile surgeon-general job that has to do with purely scientific/medical/health matters. The question is moot, however, since Holsinger is already on the record as having outlined the physical damage caused by homosexual behavior. His religion, whatever his beliefs, does not intersect with the cold, hard, physical facts of the matter. In any case, the brains of a genius are not needed for one to understand that homosexual behavior is unnatural, and just the publicity given to the AIDS epidemic in the last 25 years is proof of the horrific damage it causes.

Dr. Joel Ginsberg, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association based in (where else) San Francisco, said, "He's (Holsinger's) pathologizing homosexual practices to make a point, and we think that's inappropriate scientifically." If Ginsberg considers the "point" to be religious in nature, he, of all people – a medical doctor – needs to understand that Holsinger's religious convictions (Golden Rule) should impel him to level with the public about the physical problems associated with homosexual behavior, and that's a purely scientific approach with religion an issue only as it relates to one's being his "brother's keeper," a spiritual concept that also can be held without benefit of any religious conviction.

If Ginsberg considers the "point" to be that Holsinger's position is that people are not "born that way," meaning they can't change, the point is still moot in that, regardless of the origin of homosexuality (genetic or not), Holsinger must deal with the facts on the ground and let the "experts" continue the never-ending discussion of whether or not people are "born that way." Holsinger obviously feels that change is possible, regardless of the circumstances, and shouldn't be faulted for it. Indeed, his approach should be welcome for the very reason that the "converts" become much less susceptible to the physical damage that the studies – not to mention just plain common sense – indicate accrue to homosexual behavior.

According to the Herald-Leader, Holsinger's colleagues insist that his "personal objections to homosexuality -- if he had any -- would not affect policy decisions as surgeon general." He is, indeed, a highly respected citizen and profoundly well-qualified in both medicine and administration, so Kennedy's committee – Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – should have no trouble with this nomination. Kennedy also serves on the Judiciary Committee and on the Armed Services Committee, the latter particularly germane to the hearing and the job, since known homosexuals are not allowed in the military.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Kentucky Education Reform Act Gone Amok...Again

The intersection of the Kentucky Education reform Act of 1990 with some of the consequent stupidity it entailed can be seen in the recent firing of the most successful public-school basketball coach in Lexington. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader of 06 June, Champ Ligon, coach of the boys basketball team at Bryan Station High School during the last five years said he was informed a couple days before by school principal Gladys Peoples that he was not to be rehired, another way of indicating that he was fired, since teachers/coaches sign contracts.

This is what Ligon said, "(Peoples) told me I had done a great job bringing the program back to a high level, but she felt it was time to give somebody else a chance to take it to an even higher level." The problem with that statement lies in the fact that Ligon's teams have won more games in the last three years than any other Fayette-system high school. The records, respectively, are 20-8; 20-10; and 24-8. In fact, he took a team that had won only two games the year before he took the job and in two years managed to compile this 3-year record. Especially considering the fact that at one time during the season Bryan Station was rated second in the state, one wonders to what level Ms. Peoples wanted the team to aspire. It's already at the top, obviously, unless Peoples thinks it is allowed to play on the college level.

Now to the connection with the Education Reform Act! Where is Fayette school superintendent Stu Silberman in all of this? He's paid about a quarter of a million a year to see to things such as personnel…or is he? According to KERA, the school-based council (principal, three teachers, two parents) can hire and fire its principal, so it certainly can hire and fire its coach. The Bryan Station council was not mentioned in the H-L article, nor was Mr. Silberman. Indeed, a ruling came down to the Fayette system from the Kentucky Supreme Court a few years ago stating flatly that, pursuant to KERA, the elected system superintendent had no say in the hiring of a principal, nor does the elected board of education. Much of KERA has been rescinded, but the school-based council provision, by far the worst aspect of the statute, is still in place.

Ms. Peoples apparently has not commented other than in the way Ligon explained. If she has a genuine reason, she should explain. Is moral turpitude, for instance, involved? Ligon said he was shocked and that he expected to finish his career at Bryan Station, so he seems not to be afraid of any sort of scandal. His record, sports-wise, speaks for itself. Did Ms. Peoples act on her own, or did she have authority from her school council? She needs to explain this.

Is the element of race a factor? A look at a Web-site photograph taken of the Bryan Station team at its banquet earlier this year reveals that the team (at least the ten players in the picture) is made up of virtually all African Americans, but Ligon is white. The school has a large African-American population. Is Peoples playing the race card? Does she have a friend or acquaintance she wants to have the job? Does she have any other incentive for doing what is obviously off-the-wall, by any standard? There has to be a better reason than "getting someone to take the team to a higher level." She needs to level with the public.

This is not to say Peoples doesn't have a valid reason for her action. It is to say that – unless she knows absolutely nothing about basketball – the reason Ligon said she gave doesn't signify. The end of this episode is not in sight, but it serves as another wake-up call on the damage KERA has done to Kentucky education.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Preemption & Beheading - Right & Wrong

The vagaries attendant upon the existence of mankind are called to mind during this week because of both past and current events. June 5 marks the 40th anniversary of the Seven-Day War between the Israelis and the surrounding Arab nations. It was not the first war by any means since the founding of Israel and its acceptance in the United Nations in 1948. War started, indeed, as soon as Israel became a nation and continued through the 50s, though the Arabs (aka Muslims, for the most part) could never quite get it together, and the Israelis, tired of the constant harassment that had gone on for years, pulled off what some might call the first preemptive strike in modern history in 1967, literally changing the map in the region.

For their part, the Palestinians refused to organize a nation in 1948, claiming that all of the area called Palestine belonged to them, though one-third of the population at that time was Israeli, and despite the fact that much (nearly half or so) of the territory allotted to Israel was the Negev Desert, the dwelling place of Bedouins and their herds and virtually useless for any productive purpose. This means that the people called Palestinians chose to be refugees in their own region, did virtually nothing to establish productivity, and have lived largely off the largesse of their Arab neighbors. This is the case today. They live in poverty, with no hope in sight, since the two major parties, Fatah and Hamas, the former the descendent group of Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization and the latter a radical Islamic fundamentalist movement, can't even live with each other, much less form a government and join the community of nations.

This segues into a circumstance noted in an Associated Press account recently having to do with the alarming increase in the number of beheadings (a "weapon" of choice among Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East) in Asia. The article had to do particularly with this increase in Thailand and gave as an example a beheading of a 72-year-old man by a 23-year-old Thai Muslim, who plainly said he was told to carry out the gory deed and did not dare to disobey. His words: "I knew they would come after me if I did not do what I was told." The irony is that folks in this country complain about the un-injurious interrogation method called "water-boarding," while the orders a young man receives in his Mosque (religious fiat, therefore) call for something too heinous to contemplate.

The article went on to enumerate the number of known beheadings (one can only wonder at the actual number) in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines. There have been 25 in Thailand alone since 2004, a nation with no past history of this gory and senseless practice. The problem area is in the southern part of the nation, which is heavily Islamic and where 2,200 killings have been carried out in an Islamic-inspired insurgency since 2004. This calls to mind the beheadings and other brutalities carried out at the behest of the late Zarqawi, Muslim-al Qaeda honcho in Iraq.

It also calls to mind the fact that Muslims – particularly young Muslim men – are brainwashed by their imams and other Muslim clerics into believing that jihad (holy war) is absolutely required in the ongoing effort to expand Muslim territory at the expense of territory owned by the "infidel," anyone who isn't Muslim, and that such actions as blowing up women and children in their own country as well as other countries and thus fomenting terror as a weapon of choice, is perfectly acceptable. This is unspeakably cowardly, but speaks to the bloodthirstiness of jihad, as well as to the intolerable sanguinary nature of Islam. The Koran (Islamic holy book manufactured by Mohammed 1400 or so years ago) mandates the killing of the infidel at every opportunity.

The intertwining of Islam with the intransigence of the Palestinians with respect to their refusal to form a viable government and their penchant for homicide/suicide bombing of innocent people in the marketplace or in a restaurant in Israel with the beheading activity in Thailand and throughout the Far East now is well-documented and intolerable. Perhaps the time has come for civilized people (including out the beheaders and homicide/suicide murderers) to make a distinction between Islam and all other faiths, with respect to religion. Hitler indoctrinated German youth with the "Aryan superiority" claptrap, and they helped him kill millions…before being killed. The ayatollahs are indoctrinating their youth with the "Muslim superiority" claptrap, and they will help these old men kill untold multitudes (200,000 in Sudan at last count)…until they are killed, as they must be, if civilization is to endure.

And so it goes.

Jim Clark