THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Is Obama Already A Lame Duck?: New York Times columnist Charles Blow writes that “Blacks are living a tale of two Americas - one of the ascension of the first black president with the cultural capital that accrues; the other of a collapsing quality of life and amplified racial tensions, while supporting a president who is loath to even acknowledge their pain, let alone commiserate in it.” That pain includes foreclosures of homes financed with sub-prime loans, unemployment and “food insecurity.”
Editorial Note: Blow also observes that “this hasn’t exactly been a good year for black men in the news,” citing amongst other examples, “Plaxico Burress was locked up for accidentally shooting off a gun in a club.” Um, that’s not exactly why Burress was jailed. The former New York Giants wide receiver would have been criminally charged with gun possession if he were white, Hispanic or Asian, because of gun ownership restrictions in NYC that have the practical effect of nullifying the Second Amendment so that it is all-but-impossible for a law-abiding citizen to legally own a handgun.
Burress was indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment, charges that carried a minimum sentence of 3½ years if he had been convicted. In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison. If anything, Burress was given favorable treatment by the justice system - he had shot himself in the thigh with his gun, thus his possession of it was established and not attempted.
† Now Is Not The Time To Talk About Race: The Stiletto has a passing interest in golf (she tried playing the game once and liked it well enough to make a mental note to take lessons when she got older and had more leisure time) and no interest whatsoever in celebrity scandals, so this sorry business of Tiger Woods tomcatting on his wife wasn’t worth commenting on. At least, not until The Associated Press went and made a racial thing out of it:
Amid all the headlines generated by Tiger Woods' troubles - the puzzling car accident, the suggestions of marital turmoil and multiple mistresses - little attention has been given to the race of the women linked with the world's greatest golfer. Except in the black community. …
Woods has declined to identify himself as black, and famously chose the term "Cablinasian" (Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian) to describe the racial mixture he inherited from his African-American father and Thai mother.
This vexed some blacks, but it hasn't stopped them from claiming Woods as one of their own. Or from disapproving of his marriage to Elin Nordegren, despite blacks' historical fight against white racist opponents of mixed marriage. …
Black women have long felt slighted by the tendency of famous black men to pair with white women, and many have a list of current transgressors at the ready.
"We've discussed this for years among black women," said Denene Millner, author of several books on black relationships. "Why is it when they get to this level ... they tend to go directly for the nearest blonde?" …
The color of one's companion has long been a major measure of "blackness" - which is a big reason why the biracial Barack Obama was able to fend off early questions about his black authenticity.
Well guess what? Just like “bad hair” (third item) men who become famous and then marry outside their ethnic groups – favoring blondes, in particular – is not just a “black thing,” either. But anecdotal evidence (that is to say, The Stiletto dishing with her Greek, Italian, Puerto Rican, etc., friends) suggests that women increasingly want to marry outside their ethnic groups. It hasn’t escaped our notice that when we marry “our own kind” we end up with male chauvinist, machismo husbands who expect us to wait on them hand and foot while also holding down a full-time job – these same men, BTW, do the dishes and vacuum when they marry an “outsider.” Let them have their blondes; we want husbands who treat us like equals, and share the load at home.
† How ACORN Got Buried By “Squirrelly Right-Wingers”: An internal investigation by ACORN finds … wait for it … “no pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staffers” on the undercover “pimp and ho” videos shot by citizen journalists James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.
† Banks Giveth, But Mostly Taketh Away: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has asked the Federal Reserve to look into “double dipping” by banks on ATM fees - when you withdraw money from the ATM of a bank at which you don’t have an account, both that bank and your own charge you a fee - reports the New York Daily News:
Nonbank ATM fees have jumped by almost 13% in the last year to an average $2.22, Bankrate.com says.
Banks and credit card companies have hiked a wide range of fees and rates in anticipation of tighter regulations expected next year.
Meanwhile, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) is looking into whether credit card companies are partnering with online retailers to enroll consumers in online discount clubs for which monthly membership fees are charged, reports Online Media Daily:
The investigation by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation previously focused on three companies in the post-transaction space - Affinion, Vertrue and Webloyalty - and more than a dozen online retail sites like Orbitz and Fandango.
Post-transaction companies target consumers who have just made purchases at retail sites by sending people pop-up ads that offer discounts. In the past, customers who clicked through landed on a site where they could enroll in coupon programs by providing their email address and clicking a 'yes' button. The retail sites then shared credit/debit card information with the post-transaction companies, which then began charging consumers monthly fees of between $9 and $12 and sending them coupons and discounts.
Many Web users have said they did not realize that their credit cards would be charged. A group of consumers also filed a class-action lawsuit against Webloyalty and other companies, which was settled for $10 million in August.
American Express and MasterCard said they were cooperating with the Commerce Committee, and several online retailers have changed their enrollment procedures since the investigation began.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, Scientists Who Refuse To Toe The Line On Global Warming: Part II): The Los Angeles Times blog “Top of the Ticket” reports that on the heels of “Climategate” Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, both members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, are calling on the Oscar-awarding organization to rescind Al Gore’s gold statuette for "An Inconvenient Truth":
In 2007, Hollywood's Academy sanctified Gore's cinematic message of global warming with its famous statue, enriched his earnings by $100,000 per 85-minute appearance and helped elevate the Tennesseean's profile to win the Nobel Peace Prize despite losing the election battle of 2000 to a Texan and living in a large house with lots of energy-driven appliances. …
Simon, a screenwriter who is also chief executive officer of Pajamas Media, a network of conservative online blogs, conceded he knew of no precedent for the Academy withdrawing a previously-awarded Oscar, despite decades of Hollywood hijinks and worse.
Meanwhile, writing on his “Green Hell” blog Steven Milloy takes exception to global warming alarmists and their MSM minions characterizing the E-mails at the center of the climate change storm as having been “hacked:
There is no evidence of any hacking or theft of the e-mails. They were collected in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and were then stored on a public server - inadvertently or not. Info stored on a public server is legally available to the public.
Hackers, by definition, have no credibility and their motives can easily be impugned. Also, the global warming cabal is hoping that relentlessly harping on the allegedly illegal act by which these E-mails came to light has the effect of minimizing the perception (or reality) of scientific impropriety the messages revealed.
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, The Pot Calling The Kettle Fat): The Associated Press reports that historically black college Lincoln University is backing down from imposing a requirement on obese students to take a fitness class before they can graduate because it “undermined a school principle of equal treatment”:
The school had initiated the policy to address high rates of obesity and diabetes, especially in the African-American community.
About 80 students had gotten e-mails saying they had to take the fitness course to graduate. The plan was to target students with a body mass index of 30 or above. That's considered obese.
The "Fitness for Life" course will instead be suggested to certain students after a freshman wellness class that addresses a number of health issues.
Meanwhile, British researchers found that severely obese children – who can top 200 pounds before the age of 10 – are missing a segment of DNA on chromosome 16. As a result, nine genes that respond to the the appetite-controlling hormone leptin are inoperable. Lead researcher Sadaf Farooqi of Cambridge University tells The Associated Press that children affected with this rare chromosomal abnormality are "very, very hungry, they always want to eat." While research into genetic causes of obesity is too preliminary to develop into a drug that enables these children lose weight, their families were immediately helped by these findings:
Farooqi said four children with the chromosome 16 deletion had drawn the attention of British child welfare authorities, who blamed the parents for overfeeding them.
"We were able to intervene" and get the parents of two children off the hook, and the other two cases are under discussion, she said.
That's happened before when the scientists uncovered genetic causes for severe childhood obesity, she said.
"It's a slightly unusual outcome of our research, but one we think is very important," she said.
England is not alone in trying to criminalize obesity. Should obesity and related conditions, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, actually be caused by genetic damage, retroviruses or some other factor that a person cannot control, the entire premise of "wellness" is upended. And any healthcare “reform” proposal that requires insurers and companies providing health benefits to employees to impose a “fat tax” can be challenged on Constitutional grounds. As it is, the relationship between obesity and higher-than-average lifetime healthcare expenditures is shaky.