Fear & Loathing

Politically Correct Left Update:

The principal of a Brooklyn, N.Y. elementary school has reportedly pulled the song “God Bless the USA” from a kindergarten graduation ceremony so as not to offend other cultures, according to the New York Post.

The kindergartners had spent several months learning the song, which was set to close out the program, until P.S. 90 principal Greta Hawkins came into a recent rehearsal and told teachers to scrap it.

“We don’t want to offend other cultures,” teachers quoted Hawkins as saying, according to the Post.

Teachers and parents were reportedly shocked by Hawkins’ decision, particularly because the Lee Greenwood song has been sung at school events in the past — and because a rendition of Justin Bieber’s song “Baby” was kept in the program.

Kindergarten mother Luz Lozada told the Post “God Bless the USA” got a standing ovation at last year’s fifth-grade graduation, and that the school’s immigrant parents, including those from Pakistan, Mexico and Ecuador, “love it.”

But New York’s Department of Education gave the Post a different reason for pulling the song: Hawkins thought the lyrics were “too grown up” for 5-year-olds to sing — though Bieber’s were apparently fine.

According to the Post, the Education Department is supporting Hawkins’ decision.

“The lyrics are not age-appropriate,” spokeswoman Jessica Scaperotti said.

It’s not the first time “God Bless the USA” has attracted controversy: In April, a Massachusetts elementary school made headlines after students were taught to sing “We love the U.S.A.“ instead of ”God bless” before ultimately backing down. (The Blaze)

Another one: Last year, a sixth-grader from Fremont, Nebraska, was banned from wearing her rosary-like necklace at school. Now, months later, another religious flap is unfolding in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, where 15-year-old Jake Balthazor has been told that he cannot wear the rosary he purchased to support his cancer-stricken grandmother. In both instances, school officials’ fears that the necklaces would indicate gang membership were cited as the basis for the bans.

The school district’s policy forbids any “apparel, jewelry, accessories or matter of grooming which by virtue of its color arrangement, trademark or any other attribute denotes membership in an organized gang,” Mary Olson, director of communication for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, told FoxNews.com.

Meaning they can capriciously ban anything at anytime with this as the excuse whether it’s true or not.

School Liaison Officer: “I’m not Catholic, but I have been educated by friends that are and the rosary is not appropriate to use as jewelry or dress.”

Well, neither is the offender apparently. But don’t let lame excuses get in the way of Political Correctness.

What we really need is for Gangs to buy up the Obama T-shirts and use the “O” Logo as a gang sign. Then watch the little twerps squirm.

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Self-Avowed Communist and Former Obama “Czar” Van Jones at annual Looney Left Convention, Netroots: “If the Tea Party is allowed to score a trifecta, their ideas already are corrupting the Supreme Court, you see that with Scalia’s antics, they already have half of the Congress. If they get the rest…and the White House…if the Tea Party governs America — if this time next year, you are living in a government run by the Tea Party — let me suggest to you that they might use power a little bit differently than we did. When they get power, they use it to decimate us…”

Decimating Communists and Orwellian Thought Police doesn’t sound so bad. 🙂

Jones also charged the Tea Party with “decapitating” unions. In the end, he went on to encourage progressives to push their values and to set their sights on December, when important budget issues will be under consideration.

That would Taxmageddon that occurs in January 2013. After all, the only solution is to raise Taxes (aka “revenues”). Cutting Spending is now apparently “decapitation”.

“The last election was a hope election,” he said. “This one might be a fear election. They’re scared of us. We should be terrified of them. When they get power they use it to decimate us. Look at what they did in the state houses. They didn’t run on destroying the unions. … They decapitated our unions.”

Van Jones, on ABC today, said the GOP 1) is rooting for failure and pain for America so they can capitalize on it, and 2) the GOP won’t pass their own bills to help America right now. (Townhall)

And if we want to talk about parties not passing their own bills, what about the Obama budget, which failed in the Democrat Senate two years running.

Remember, Republicans passing bills that the Democrats don’t like is “obstructing” the process. 🙂

“Obama’s a lifeguard trying to help people drowning. These guys are sitting back on the rock, hoping more people drown.“- Van Jones

Hope and Change, my friends. New Tone. Civility. Hope and Change. Forward… 🙂

The al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia has mocked the new $33 million bounty on its top leaders heads by offering its own bounty for President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – 10 camels for Obama and 20 chickens for Clinton.

“Anyone who helps the Mujahideen find the whereabouts of Obama and Hillary Clinton will be rewarded with 10 Camels to the information leading to Obama and 10 hens and 10 cocks for Hillary,” said senior Shabaab commander Fuad Mohamed Khalaf in a statement reported on numerous websites.

Earlier this week, the U.S. offered a total of $33 million through the State Department’s Rewards for Justice program for information leading to the capture of seven different Shabaab leaders, including Khalaf. (KFYI)

What to do with those Camels. Show them off on Google…

Spy planes able to photograph sunbathers in their back gardens are being deployed by Google and Apple.

The U.S. technology giants are racing to produce aerial maps so detailed they can show up objects just four inches wide.

But campaigners say the technology is a sinister development that brings the surveillance society a step closer.

Google admits it has already sent planes over cities while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London.

Apple’s military-grade cameras are understood to be so powerful they could potentially see into homes through skylights and windows. The technology is similar to that used by intelligence agencies in identifying terrorist targets in Afghanistan.

Drone attack on the rosary-wearing gang member… 🙂

Tea Party “terrorists” in sight….

Google will use its spy planes to help create 3D maps with much more detail than its satellite-derived Google Earth images.

Apple hopes its rumoured mapping service for the iPhone and iPad will overtake the hugely popular Google Maps

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, warned that privacy risked being sacrificed in a commercial ‘race to the bottom’.

‘The next generation of maps is taking us over the garden fence,’ he warned. ‘You won’t be able to sunbathe in your garden without worrying about an Apple or Google plane buzzing overhead taking pictures.’

He said householders should be asked for their consent before images of their homes go online. Apple is expected to unveil its new mapping applications for its iPhone and other devices today – along with privacy safeguards. Its 3D maps will reportedly show for the first time the sides of tall buildings, such as the Big Ben clock tower.

Google expects by the end of the year to have 3D coverage of towns and cities with a combined population of 300million. It has not revealed any locations so far.

Current 3D mapping technology relies on aerial images taken at a much lower resolution than the technology Apple is thought to be using. This means that when users ‘zoom in’, details tend to be lost because of the poor image quality.

Google ran into trouble when it emerged that its Street View cars, which gathered ground-level panoramic photographs for Google Maps, had also harvested personal data from household wifi networks.

Emails, text messages, photographs and documents were taken from unsecured wifi networks all around Britain.

MILITARY TECHNOLOGY

Apple’s spy planes are believed to be equipped with technology developed by defence agencies to guide missile strikes.

Each plane is equipped with multiple cameras taking high-resolution photographs of buildings and landmarks from every possible angle, which are then compiled to make three-dimensional images.

The military-grade images are taken at a height of around 1,600ft, meaning people below are very unlikely to realise they are being photographed.

The cameras can be installed on planes, helicopters or even unmanned drones, although there are safety restrictions about the use of the latter in Britain.

A small plane carrying the cameras can photograph up to 100 square kilometres (38.6 square miles) every hour.

 

pugh

 

Google claimed it was a mistake even though a senior manager was warned as early as 2007 that the extra information was being captured. Around one in four home networks is thought to be unsecured because they lack password protection.

Little has been revealed about the technology involved in the spy planes used to capture the aerial images.

But they are thought to be able to photograph around 40 square miles every hour, suggesting they would be flying too quickly and at too great a height to access domestic wifi networks.
Like Google Maps, the resulting images would not be streamed live to computers but would provide a snapshot image of the moment the camera passed by.

Google pixellates faces and car number plates but faced criticism after its service showed one recognisable man leaving a sex shop and another being sick in the street.

Amie Stepanovich, of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in America, said she believed Apple and Google would be forced to blur out homes in the same way Street View pixellates faces.

She said: ‘With satellite images, privacy is built in because you can’t zoom down into a garden. Homeowners need to be asked to opt in to show their property in high definition – otherwise it should be blurred out.’

Apple has previously used Google for its mapping services but last year it emerged it had bought C3 Technologies, a 3D mapping company that uses technology developed by Saab AB, the aerospace and defence company.

At the time C3 had already mapped 20 cities and it is believed to have added more with Apple’s backing. Its photographs have been shot from 1,600ft and one C3 executive described it as ‘Google on steroids’.

There are already 3D maps available online for most big city centres, but the images are often low resolution, meaning they are of little use for navigation and users cannot zoom in on detail.
Critics have argued that Apple and Google will face a backlash if they offer detailed 3D mapping of residential areas in suburbs and rural locations. (UK Daily Mail)

So Smile for the Candid Camera!

NOT SPECIAL

For those of you who have long since gotten sick of the trend among education experts toward “self esteem” rather than actual learning, this story will be extremely cathartic.
Wellesley High School teacher David McCullough, Jr. (son of historian David McCullough) had apparently had enough of feeding blithering platitudes to his students and decided to tell the truth. The result sparked controversy among the parents, who didn’t like hearing their children accused of being cosseted and pampered little brats who believed they were special for no reason. But sometimes the truth hurts. Read the greatest hits below:You are not special.  You are not exceptional.

Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you… you’re nothing special.

Yes, you’ve been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped.  Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again.  You’ve been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored.  You’ve been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie.  Yes, you have.  And, certainly, we’ve been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs.  Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet.  Why, maybe you’ve even had your picture in the Townsman!  [Editor’s upgrade: Or The Swellesley Report!] And now you’ve conquered high school… and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building…

But do not get the idea you’re anything special.  Because you’re not.[…]

“But, Dave,” you cry, “Walt Whitman tells me I’m my own version of perfection!  Epictetus tells me I have the spark of Zeus!”  And I don’t disagree.  So that makes 6.8 billion examples of perfection, 6.8 billion sparks of Zeus.  You see, if everyone is special, then no one is.  If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless.  In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another-which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality – we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement.  We have come to see them as the point – and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem pole.  No longer is it how you play the game, no longer is it even whether you win or lose, or learn or grow, or enjoy yourself doing it…  Now it’s “So what does this get me?”  As a consequence, we cheapen worthy endeavors, and building a Guatemalan medical clinic becomes more about the application to Bowdoin than the well-being of Guatemalans.  It’s an epidemic – and in its way, not even dear old Wellesley High is immune… one of the best of the 37,000 nationwide, Wellesley High School… where good is no longer good enough, where a B is the new C, and the midlevel curriculum is called Advanced College Placement.  And I hope you caught me when I said “one of the best.”  I said “one of the best” so we can feel better about ourselves, so we can bask in a little easy distinction, however vague and unverifiable, and count ourselves among the elite, whoever they might be, and enjoy a perceived leg up on the perceived competition.  But the phrase defies logic.  By definition there can be only one best.  You‘re it or you’re not. (The Blaze)

You mean life isn’t “fair” and I’m “entitled”? Said it ain’t so! 🙂