Thoughts prior to my first spandex chase of the year

The roads seem ok, so I’ll probably run that local spandex chase (5K in West Peoria). I am already signed up.

I have no idea how I’ll do or if there are ice patches on this course. Many of the roads look ok but we’ll see when we get out there. The piriformis “ache” is down to a dull roar.

Reading ability: this is a real weakness among today’s college students:

Today, though, I had them read an essay. In class. Aloud to me. After each paragraph, I stopped them and asked them to paraphrase.

Student: “He’s arguing that gerbils are hamsters.”
Me: “Where do you see that?”
Student: “‘Although some people are inclined to the foolish and idiotic opinion that gerbils are hamsters, we know from overwhelming evidence that this is not the case.'”
Me: “Why does he call it foolish if he thinks that?”
Student: “I don’t know. He just does.”

Me: “Okay, what’s he assuming in this passage?”
Student: “That black people can’t raise gerbils effectively. He’s racist.”
Me: “Where does he say that?”
Student: “‘Of course, there is no correlation between race and effective rodent cultivation.'”
Me: “That’s kind of the opposite of what you just said he said.”
Student: “I feel that he’s racist.”
Me: “I feel a headache. Moving on . . . ”

Here’s the thing I realized. They sound out words, sure, and read the sight-words with great ease. But they don’t know what they mean. […]

I’ve noticed this is mathematics classes. 15 years ago or so, those who couldn’t read the applications problems on a math exam couldn’t do the calculations either. Now, many who can’t read the problem accurately can actually do the calculations. I wonder what is going on in high school or before.

You see some of this after college. Example: a Daily Kos diary discusses an ugly incident in which a lesbian was beat up in a playground; it turns out that the person doing the assaulting yelled anti-lesbian stuff. However a dispute in a playground started the confrontation (the lady had stepped in when she thought that a kid was being bullied by older kids) and, as a commenter pointed out, Texas hate crimes law is very specific as to what constitutes a hate crime:

But lost in this debate has been something important. That is, the ACTUAL language of Texas’s hate crime statute. Because every person thinks they know what a hate crime is, and that’s fine, but it’s not really germane to the conversation. Really what matters (in terms of getting all pissed of at the police) is what’s in the statute. And it says:

In the trial of an offense under Title 5, Penal Code, or Section 28.02, 28.03, or 28.08, Penal Code, the judge shall make an affirmative finding of fact and enter the affirmative finding in the judgment of the case if at the guilt or innocence phase of the trial, the judge or the jury, whichever is the trier of fact, determines beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally selected the person against whom the offense was committed or intentionally selected property damaged or affected as a result of the offense because of the defendant’s bias or prejudice against a group identified by race, color, disability, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, gender, or sexual preference.

I have bolded what I believe to be the relevant part of this statute.

Of course, some understand. But others really don’t; they said that because the attacker was prejudiced against gays (certainly the case here) and yelled out anti-gay stuff (also clearly the case) this was a hate crime. But that isn’t the standard for hate crimes.

Of course, some “activists” just like to yell and really don’t consider things like, well, what the actual statute says.

Social Stuff

Can you believe that the predominately black gang, The Crips, and a local KKK group are banding together to do something?

Basically, Memphis decided to rename some of its parks; they had been named after Confederate “heros”. Some outside KKK groups are protesting this change, and the local KKK group and the local Crips say “this is our city; it is none of your business.”


Wal Mart
I haven’t been inside a Wal Mart in years; perhaps a decade. Nevertheless the last few times I went there, I thought that the store was a dirty, unkempt dump. Perhaps that is catching up to them? I admit that I might be the one who is out of touch; perhaps sales are declining and inventory is dropping for some other reason.


March 2, 2013 - Posted by | civil liberties, education, racism, running, social/political | ,

1 Comment »

  1. If I just read the highlighted portion what I get is that one would be guilty of a hate crime just because they chose to attack a person that happened to be a minority or gay. It doesn’t specify that the person chosen was chosen because they were gay or a minority.

    Comment by Byron oost | March 2, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: