Winter Break

21 12 2011

Gotta put off procrastination and get both Christmas shopping and various household and personal chores done tomorrow and Friday.

Will be at relatives on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I’ll be in transit to Kansas City on December 26, for a job that lasts December 27-30, and back home the night of the 30th.

It’s just too bad I’ll miss St. Louis’s Kwanzaa celebration; it’s one of the very best around.

Of course, I’ll be drinking heavily on New Years Eve and hung over on New Years Day.

Life won’t be back to normal until January 2.

Expect only sporadic blogging until then.

Merry Christmas.


In the Spring of 1988, I, Too, Was In the Fifth Grade

21 12 2011

And in the spring of 1988, the trend of rich people offering to pay the college rides of “underprivileged youths” was starting to hit its stride.

Enough time has passed in order to examine the results.

WaPo has a three-part spread on such a promise made to fifth graders at at Prince Georges County, Maryland elementary school in May 1988, and how it all turned out.

How Anti-Semitic of Thee

21 12 2011

I don’t know how or why, but I’ve been on Allen West’s e-mail list for more than a year.

This doozy landed in my e-mail box during the afternoon:

Hanukkah Celebration

In observance of Hanukkah, Congressman West will be attending the following events:

Thursday, December 22nd
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Chabad of Lauderdale by Sea Menorah Lighting
Beach Pavillion
Lauderdale by the Sea, FL

Thursday, December 22nd
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Hanukkah Festival of the Chabad of West Palm Beach
West Palm Beach, FL

How nice of him.

Conveniently, though, were it entirely up to the Hanukkah celebrants in his own district, he would have never been elected to anything.

I have no problem wishing genuine friends and acquaintances who happen to be Jewish a Happy Hanukkah, and I do send a non-sectarian “Holiday Card” to someone on my Christmas Card list.  I can’t find any Hanukkah cards at any brick and mortar store close to me, and if I can’t find any in St. Louis, a strong center of Reform Judaism, I don’t think there are any to be had.  Probably the reason for that is that Hanukkah is a relatively minor Jewish holiday; the big two religious days on the Jewish calendar are Passover and Rosh Hashanah.  By the way, this person does send me Christmas cards.

But what West is doing is blatant political pandering, which I’m sure very few people appreciate, and most Jews appreciate even less.  It’s much the same as his websites, both campaign and Congressional, boasting that he “Stands With Israel.”  Someone who swore an oath to protect and defend the American Constitution three times in his life, (Army enlisted man, Army officer, Congress), and hopes to be doing it a lot more, ought to be more concerned with the United States of America than Israel, but that’s just me.  Hell, most Jews of his Congressional district aren’t really Pro-Israel; I don’t think most Israelis are that Pro-Israel.

It should be noted that he put a Hanukkah celebrant out of a job a little more than a year ago.  His last two Hanukkahs have probably been all the more gloomy and uncertain for it.  How anti-Semitic of thee, Allen.

When You Play With Fire

21 12 2011

Random thought:  The left-center-right establishment better be careful trying to torpedo Ron Paul with this “newsletter” business.  For all he would have to do is to acknowledge himself as the author, (if he’s not the author and doesn’t want to lie about that, then at least endorse the content), then defend the substance, and he would instantly have the Republican nomination locked up, and maybe even the general election.

How? By Constantly Doing Press Releases Full of Business School Jargon?

21 12 2011


St. Louis police teams with UMSL criminologists

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Police Department is partnering with the University of Missouri-St. Louis in a new crime-fighting initiative.

The partnership announced Wednesday is aimed at reducing crime in part by using criminologists from the university to help implement and evaluate crime reduction initiatives. In fact, an UMSL graduate student will work 20 hours per week at the police department.

The partnership comes as crime is on the decline in St. Louis. Police Chief Dan Isom told the Board of Police Commissioners Wednesday that overall crime is expected to drop about 5 percent in 2011 compared to 2010, and crime in the city has declined 40 percent over the past five years.

But Isom and Mayor Francis Slay say the partnership will seek to reduce crime even further.

That’s probably all that will happen, if this news article full of business school jargon is any indication.

UPDATE 12/22:  P-D fills in the blanks:

One that Rosenfeld said has proven effective is “hot-spot policing,” which focuses officers on a crime-spike area.

Rosenfeld said another proven strategy is a “focused deterrence” that gives an ultimatum to known offenders to stop committing crimes or face harsh consequences. That approach is based on the “Ceasefire” model, which originated in Boston.

So what do we have here?  The cops go where the crime is, and cops tell do-badders to knock it off or else.

How profound.  What brilliance and genius.  It’s like inventing the wheel in a world that did not previously have it.


It’s also going to involve some buy-in from the officers, said Richard Rosenfeld, an UMSL criminologist.

“The last thing we want to do is tell this department what it should and should not be doing,” Rosenfeld cautioned. “We want to assist this department by enhancing it’s existing strategies.”

You think beat cops might be a little leery about taking advice from people who are associated with an institution which does its fair share to breed far-left black militant hatred of cops?  It wasn’t Dr. Rosenfeld, but someone in the UMSL criminology department wrote one of the more famous books about gang ethnography quite a few years ago, the book focused on St. Louis gangs and their bangers.  (UPDATE:  Life in the Gang, by Scott Decker.  Google Books has it online to read for free.)  While this book didn’t make excuses or try to illicit sympathy for the subjects of its study, most literature of that genre does.  As an example, Dead End Kids:  Gang Girls and the Boys They Know, by Mark Fleisher, University of Illinois.  That one is a study of several Kansas City ‘bangers.  I remember at one point in that book, Fleisher became so sympathetically entangled with the gang he was studying, that he wanted to make sure that the University of Illinois would defend him if he got arrested for some sort of conspiracy charge, and he also, by his own admission, developed the same kind of fear of and loathing toward the KCPD as his study subjects had; he actually feared a passing KCPD squad car.

The Bright Side of Civil Unions

21 12 2011

“Straight but not narrow” heteros getting them to “show their solidarity” with the alternate orientation community.

It wouldn’t be such a bad idea for more and more straight couples to get civil unioned instead of married.  It would leave the marriage business for men and women that really want to be married.  It’s probably easier to get out of a civil union than a marriage.

Non Sequitur

21 12 2011


White Castle burger chain considers alcohol sales

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The White Castle hamburger chain is sipping on the idea of selling alcoholic beverages at its restaurants.

The 90-year-old company is testing beer and wine sales at a location in Lafayette, Ind., that combines a traditional White Castle burger joint with a Blaze Modern BBQ, a new restaurant concept also being tried out. In other cities, Columbus, Ohio-based White Castle is testing an Asian food concept and a restaurant that serves grilled sandwiches.

Customers in Lafayette can buy a glass wine for $4.50 or a domestic beer for $3.

They don’t get it.  White Castle is a place you go in the middle of the night after you’re already drunk.  Every St. Louisan, as well as every denizen of a metro area that has WCs, has their particular “Drunk at 3 AM” White Castle location.  But it does not follow that people will want to go to White Castle just to get souzed when they’re not already souzed.