“Ugly Americans” Superceded by Brits and Germans

According to this BBC report Germans are the most obnoxious tourists, followed by the British. Americans and the French are tied for third place, just squeeking out the Italians.

Dammit, we’re falling behind again.

D’you think the Beeb “sexed up” the report?

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools

Larry Wright of the Detroit News weighs in:

Of course, this doesn’t help either:

by Jeff Stahler of the Cincinnati Post.

Apparently Bruce Plante of the Chattanooga Times Free Press has met my sister:

Dick Wright of the Columbus Dispatch seems to have his finger on the pulse of the problem:

Though there are worse alternatives:

Brian Gable, Toronto Globe & Mail.


Over on Emperor Misha’s blog an apparent über-moonbat is defending the righteousness (lefteousness?) of the Democratic Underground in a comment thread. “Barney Grumble” of the redundantly named “Media Whores Online Watch Watch Watch Watch” (I think I have the right number of “watch”es there) wrote:

DU is not a shouting board.

While I’m not certain exactly what he meant, I responded:


I was kicked off DU (Sep-03-02) after a little over 1800 posts and several months – for something I wrote on another site. Not only that, I was booted by Skinner himself – and this is what he said:

“This is a message board for liberals. We don’t expect people to vote straight-ticket Democratic, but we do expect our members to be generally supportive of liberal priorities. If that guy is a liberal, I will eat my firstborn.”

This was less than a week (Aug-27-02) after a moderator wrote to me in a post:

“Don’t shut up. I wildly disagree with most of your positions on this subject, but you are a damn fine advocate. And you make me think. And that is important.”

It would appear that making people think is an ejectable offense on Democratic Underground.

I cannot help but wonder why that is.

To which he responded:

Kevin: I don’t believe you.

When I offered to e-mail him the archived threads in question, he responded:

Kevin: It will be adequate to post it to your blog, liar.

He seems defensive, doesn’t he? Well, I tried posting the HTML code from the archived files here on Blogspot but it makes the system puke. Instead, I’ve got screenshots, but they won’t post here in full size, and reduced they’re illegible. You can view them here:

The image entitled “dear pita” is the one where moderator “Cappurr” encourages me to keep posting. Note the date. The image entitled “skinner 1” is where I am “outed” by the SysAdmin, and the image entitled “skinner 2” is where he explains his reasoning – and is the one I quoted. You have to register to see them. Sorry about that.

Interesting. After 1819 posts (none of which were objectionable enough to get me banned) he had to find something off-site to justify booting me – because I was making his poor little liberals think. And I was booted by the SysAdmin himself! I think I should be honored. Or I should have taken a shower immediately afterward.

Offer’s still open “Barney.” I’d be more than happy to send you the entire threads, and all the others I archived. They might make you think.

Our Collapsing Schools Dept. – Humor Bureau

From The Braden Files comes this list that I e-mailed to my schoolteacher sister:

You might be a teacher if…

You believe “shallow gene pool” should have its own box on the report card.

You want to slap the next person who says, “Must be nice to work 8 to 3:20 and have summers free.”

You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside.

You believe the playground should be equipped with a Ritalin salt lick.

You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.”

When out in public you feel the urge to snap your fingers at children you do not know and correct their behavior.

You have no social life between September and June.

Marking all A’s on report cards would make your life SO much easier.

You think people should be required to get a government permit before being allowed to reproduce.

You wonder how some parents ever MANAGED to reproduce.

You laugh uncontrollably when people refer to the staff room as the “lounge”.

You encourage an obnoxious parent to check into charter schools or home schooling.

You can’t have children because there’s no name you could give a child that wouldn’t bring on high blood pressure the moment you heard it uttered.

You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

You know you are in for a major project when a parent says, “I have a great idea I’d like to discuss. I think it would be such fun.”

Meeting a child’s parent instantly answers the question, “Why is this kid like this?”

Can I get an “AMEN!”?

“This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.”

Via Ravenwood comes this NY Times article (registration required) on the New York City Coucil’s at least six new gun control measures formulated in response to the death of Coucilperson James E. Davis who was shot in the council chambers last month. Here’s what they’re considering:

The proposals include holding gun makers, dealers and importers liable for damages if their weapons are used to kill or injure people in the city, as well as prohibiting gun dealers from selling more than one firearm to the same person within 90 days. Another proposal would require gun owners in the city to obtain liability insurance.

So the first thing they want to do is place the blame on everybody but the guy behind the trigger (in direct opposition to the bills in Congress that would prohibit such liability.) The second is, unsurprisingly an extension of the “one gun a month” idea to “one gun every THREE months.” Shortly to be followed by “one gun every TWELVE months,” to “Gun? You don’t NEED a gun.”

More quotes:

There was no urgency prior to the shooting,” said Peter Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, which is holding next month’s hearing.

“But now there is a sense that we all want to move as quickly as possible on these bills in his memory.”

Why? Not one of the ideas presented would have prevented his death. Again, they’re just useless, knee-jerk reactions.

The city’s renewed focus on gun control is also expected to open the door for broader state legislation, in much the same way that the city’s ban on smoking in restaurants and other public places did.

Right, after New Yorkers were told that the increasing legislation against smoking would never result in a ban on it. Just like we’re told that the increasing legislation against gun ownership will never result in a ban on it. Go ahead, pull my other leg.

“I think it would be a good thing if the city did it, and showed the state the way,” said the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who represents the Lower East Side.

That’s because you’re a useful idiot, Mr. Silver.

This reminds me of a favorite quote:

“The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.” – former U.S. Sen. Malcolm Wallop (R-Wy.)

It also reminds me of Riss v. New York which I covered in “Is the Government Responsible for Your Protection?”

How about the City Council consider a law that would make the City of New York liable for not protecting its citizens? I’d like to see the liability insurance bill for that.

Is it worth $985 to live free of Hoplophobia?

Ran across this over at AR15.com. Very cute. The Phobia Clinic Go look. Here’s a sample:

HOPLOPHOBIA: (Hoplophobia, Fear of Firearms, and Fear of Guns)

1: hoplophobia: a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of firearms that compels avoidance, despite the understanding by the phobic individual and reassurance by others that there is no danger. 2: hoplophobia: a strong fear of, dislike of, or aversion to firearms.

Our board certified team specializes in helping individuals overcome fears, phobias & anxiety of all kinds, and is particularly focused on problems such as hoplophobia. With a success rate close to 100% we can offer to refund our fee to clients if they are not successful in overcoming the fear.

Hell, I can probably cure you for a lot less. Say $650?

A Followup to Steven’s Post on Crime and Race

Now that I’ve had time to read and digest Steven Den Beste’s essay I have just a couple of comments. Overall, I agree with his points, but I have a some issues with his argument. First, I’d like to point out that the object of my post was directly in conjunction with the abuse of firearms in crime, and the overwhelming (6:1) ratio of young black men to all other young men who are both the victims and the perpetrators of violent crime. Steven writes:

[I]t leaves open the question of why it is that inner city blacks are so much more at risk, and whether anything can be done to help them. There have been many attempts to do so, and they’re something of a cause célèbre in certain circles. Their apparent failure is used by many as evidence that there are still lingering effects of slavery and discrimination, even after all this time.

Is it true? Certainly there are still such effects; things are vastly better now than they were when I was a kid, but we haven’t yet reached the point of having a race-blind culture. But there’s also the fact that a lot of blacks live in the suburbs, hold professional positions (some with great responsibility), make a good living, and don’t seem to be any more prone to crime than anyone else. And recent immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean who are also Negroes don’t seem to have the same troubles. Whatever is going on is more complicated than skin color.

I did not intend to imply that “whatever is going on” is due to “skin color.” It just so happens that skin color is one of the recognizable traits. You also have to add youth and sex, urbanization and culture. Steven also wrote:

But I’m not sure we can conclude that the correlation of high crime to race is actually significant.

I would certainly say that you can’t conclude causation, but correlation? Even Jesse Jackson has concluded differently.

Steven asks:

Are we rather seeing the result of a residue of natural filtration, whose tendencies to crime are then reinforced through local concentration?

If you remove the words “to crime,” isn’t that another description of culture? Steven concludes with this question:

Before we can solve a problem, we have to understand what the problem is. And we have to begin by asking whether there even is a problem. Are we just seeing a physical concentration of the low end of the curve?

Um, Steven, there is a problem. That problem is defined by the fact that young, black, urban males perpetrate and are the victims of violent crime at six times the rate of the rest of their age and sex demographic. The reason is cultural, and it is the same reason that young black urban males do poorly in school. It is not socially acceptable in their peer groups to be academically proficient, and it is socially acceptable to be violent. Recent immigrants from Africa and the Carribean, while sharing the same skin color, age group, sex and urbanization, do not share the culture. This is illustrated well by a May 19 Washington Times Weekly Edition article (no longer available online without subscription) entitled “African immigrants balk at views of U.S. black leaders.” Money quotes:

Many immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean do not wish to be classified as black, because black leaders here have failed to reach out to the immigrants and identify their concerns, said members of the panel, which was composed primarily of representatives from the liberal black establishment.”

Studies have also found that African-born residents in the U.S. are better-educated and have among the highest per-capita incomes of any immigrant group….

The Economist reported in 1996 that ¾ of African immigrants have some college experience and that one if four has an advanced degree….

Many immigrants are not even aware of the “color line” that prevents minorities here from excelling, other panelists said in amazement.

Perhaps because the “color line” is completely overblown, but a fixture in the culture that African and Carribean immigrants reject?

The whole point of my (unfortunately butchered) piece is that violent crime in America is excessively concentrated in a very small, identifiable group. The volume of violent crime in that very small group is large enough to significantly elevate the national statistics. The general response to this has not been to attempt to address this specific problem, it has been (in large part) an effort to implement wholesale “gun control.” That effort affects overwhelmingly the people who are NOT perpetrators of violent crime, but affects not at all those who are. It’s the definition of insanity – repeating the same behavior over and over while expecting a different result.

As Steven has illustrated in great detail, the U.S. government is currently investing billions of dollars and hundreds of lives in an attempt to change a culture – on the other side of the world. That culture is directly responsible for taking the lives of several thousand Americans over the past few decades. Here in this country we have a culture responsible for taking thousands of American lives every year, and we are not attempting to change that culture at all. We must be supporting it, because otherwise the loss of one in every thousand young black men between the ages of 15 and 30 every year to violence ought to be enough of an incentive all by itself to produce a paradigm shift in that culture.

Instead, we argue about “gun control.”

When It’s This Good, All I Can Do is Link To It.

The Spoons Experience disassembles, folds, spindles, mutilates, and tears the manufacturers tag off of a recent BBC piece on American women and guns. A teaser:

I want to talk about the bint who wrote the BBC piece, Limey Reporterette Vanessa Collingridge (Nota Bene — with that sentence, I’ve just broken 17 laws of the European Union, and have technically committed a war crime in Belgium).


Go read. Don’t imbibe whilst doing so.

(Did that sound Limey enough?)