The Confederate Flag and my shame…

Yes, I know; this flag:


I’ll call the “Confederate flag” though it never flew over any capitol in the Confederate States. It was a union jack, the battle flag for the Tennessee army and a square version was the flag for the Northern Virginia army. (more here) But this is what went up over the state capitol in South Carolina and that is what is frequently used in many other settings.

And, when I attended (1975-1977), it was the flag for my High School, William B. Travis High in Austin, Texas. It was on our uniforms and it decorated the door to the football locker rooms.

And yes, as a high school student, I had these flags crossed on my bedroom wall, with a photo of my Yokota High School football team in between them. It was a “school spirit” thing.

What did it symbolize for us? Well, we were a working class high school (55 percent Mexican American, by the way); we saw ourselves as being looked down by those snobby “silk stocking” high schools in the wealthier parts of the city.
So, for us, it was “spunk”, “overcoming the odds”, fighting back against “the snobs who looked down on us”. “Rebel Pride”; “Your durn tootin I’m a Rebel” we said.

Yes, blacks were hated in my high school (the ones who were good at sports were tolerated); I remember the old “lunch lines” where many black students cut the line (no, I didn’t say anything) and sometimes fights broke out. The teachers did nothing to stop it. This was in sharp contrast to Yokota High School, where the mixing was far easier and I had a lot of black friends.

So I carried this flag stuff with me a matter how much it really didn’t fit me. I outgrew it.

I began to see the flag…well, I am being honest here; not so much as a sign of bigotry (which, it is) but more as a sign of uncultured ignorance; for example I would die of embarrassment to be seen riding in a car with such a decal.

I felt the same way about Dixie (the song) too; in fact, I blew a gasket when the church I belonged to sang it; in fact we had a big public dust up over it. (ok, it was a UU church).

But I remember seeing it fly over the capitol building in Columbia, South Carolina when I visited there.

So, let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised to see Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney call for South Carolina to take it down.

But…now WALMART???? I suppose they have a lot of black customers…(sorry to be so cynical).

Yeah, I continually read all of the dumb “it is about heritage” stuff. That is backward looking. The Civil War is over. The traitors lost. Personally, I would have voted to let the south go; it isn’t as if they add that much to our country anyway. But we didn’t and they are a part of the United States.

Put it in the museum and move forward.

Regional pride is fine but I hope they come up with something more positive. Remember that the flag went up over the capitol in Columbia in 1961. More on the history here.

June 23, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues, racism, social/political | | Leave a comment

Talking past each other: Racism

Yes, I’ve talked about this before. And yes, I remain pessimistic.

There are some hopeful signs though; for example President Obama and Governor Romney agree on that the “Confederate flag” (old battle flag really) should be taken down.

However, it is very difficult to get conservatives to even entertain the idea that racism is anything beyond what a statistically small percentage of sociopaths practice, even though there is evidence that racism affects our public policy discussions (e. g.: social safety net discussions)

Now Hillary Clinton addressed this:

But, this won’t convince conservatives, even those who accept the statistics that she cited.

After all, white people aren’t causing black people to commit crimes against each other and there is evidence that the police drawing back in Baltimore is causing an increase in black crime victims.

No one is telling people to have more kids than they can afford: (the video is about a glitch that cut off a SNAP payment; you can see a conservative’s reaction to this here)

Yes, I know. Inductive thinking can fool us; some statistics are very misleading and there is evidence that social pathology follows poverty rather than the other way around.

My personal take

When I am confronted with “people in group X aren’t getting a fair shake”, sometimes my first reaction is that my own (small amount) of success is being attacked! I might respond that “I worked hard for my Ph. D.” (and I did), etc. But, the truth is:

1. The opportunities were there for me to take advantage of
2. There were some things that I didn’t have to put up with and
3. I had encouragement along the way; that is significant!

Now of course, there are plenty of people who have ample opportunity and end up not doing anything with it. There is no doubt about that; individual choices matter and it appears to me that conservatives are better about understanding that. However individual choices matter within the realm of “what is reasonably probable” and social circumstances are a major driver of that.

Let me use a personal analogy: in yesterday’s Steamboat 15K I finished well behind the leaders in my age group. I was in the bottom of my age group (not quite dead last but..)
Now yes, I probably run less than those who finished in the top 5 of my age group; my physical activity is spread among many types of activities (weight lifting, swimming, walking and running). So if I really dedicated myself to running, did running speed work, planned my long runs and targeted this race, what would happen? In reality: I’d move up a few places; that would be about it. Finishing near the top of my age group in this race is just outside of the realm of “reasonably probable”; I don’t have the DNA to be a good athlete nor do I have a “runner’s body” (my frame is too heavy and I sweat too much; I lost 8.5 pounds during this race!)

Now my analogy is flawed in that it is an individual analogy and it concerns natural talent. But apply similar reasoning to a group when poverty and all of its trappings (schools, nutrition, safe environment, good role models at home) is concentrated in an area. Sure, a few will always escape, but on statistical grounds, you’d expect a lesser degree of economic achievement from the group as a whole.

Unfortunately when these sorts of things are brought up, some feel as they are accused of being immoral or evil people.

June 21, 2015 Posted by | racism, social/political | , | Leave a comment

A day without rain?

Walked to the W. Peoria track; did 5 laps (2.1 miles) of drills, quick step, focus on push-off (27:43) and then walked back home and did a little bit of yoga.

Call it 3+ miles, which is good enough for today.

We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately but none last night; so the track (paved asphalt) was mostly dry.

Hmm, it appears as if the University of Texas athletic director is alienating fans, alumni, coaches, faculty and…the college president?


Lindsey Graham:

Sorry, but most everything I’ve read has the murderer being a white supremacist of some sort. But it appears to me that conservatives are tip-toeing around the idea that racial bigotry was a driving factor.

June 19, 2015 Posted by | racism, republicans, social/political, walking | , | Leave a comment

Talking past each other: McKinney pool party fiasco

One thing seems clear: it sure appears that when the police responded to an incident at a pool party, one of the officers grossly overreacted and made a situation much more tense than it needed to be:

What happened: there is a pool in a residential area subdivision that is only open for residents of that subdivision. The subdivision, while mostly white, is still mixed and two black teens invited some friends. There are rules that allow only 2 guest passes per resident.

But more black teens showed up and wanted to be let in; a few climbed fences. They were asked to leave. Also, a fight broke out between a white woman and a black woman when the white woman used racially inflammatory language and a fight broke out.

The police were then called; and it appeared that, while some of the black kids HAD permission to be there (were residents or had proper guest passes), well, look at the video to see who drew the attention of the police.

(analysis from here and here)

You can see what some in the right wing are saying here. And yes, some said that the police did NOT overreact.

Now if the kids weren’t black, we might not be hearing about this on a national level.

Here are my thoughts and feelings:

1. Though this might appear to be a garden variety “wealthier neighborhood doesn’t want its things overrun by poor outsiders” situation, when the wealthier neighborhood IS mostly white, the non-white “outsiders” will stand out, and the non-white “insiders” will look like outsiders to law enforcement. I think that is human nature.

2. Lots of times, poverty issues have a racial tinge to them, given how concentrated poverty (or non-wealthiness) is in darker skinned communities. And sometimes wealthy or middle class minority individuals will be mistaken for “the outsiders” even when they belong; this happens all of the time.

3. Yes, some of the non-invited kids did wrong, but ..well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that as a teenager, I’ve sneaked in to places (not to escape a fee but just for the adventure, or to play ball when the court was closed). Sure I did wrong, but I didn’t become a career criminal. So, IMHO, being arrested by police isn’t always the appropriate answer for rowdy teenagers. It sure seems as if black teenagers (and possibly brown ones) get less benefit of the doubt than others.

4. It appears to me that some of the police officers tried to appropriately deescalate the situation by making the kids go home. But that one hothead appeared to be out of control.

And so it goes…and I don’t have an answer.

June 9, 2015 Posted by | politics/social, racism, social/political | | Leave a comment

“Honest” conversation on race: why I think that it will never happen

Workout notes: easy 3 mile walk. That was it.

“Honest conversation on race”: my guess is that this will never happen. Here is why I think this:

1. When I hear someone say “honest conversation”, it appears to me that the person who wants the “conversation” really wants is others to stay silent while they go on and on.

2. Honestly expressing what one feels can lead to trouble: (example 1, example 2)

3. The truth is quite complicated; there are many pieces to the puzzle which include things like jobs, the legacy of legal racism, educational opportunities, criminal justice practices (profiling , bad law enforcement practices and the like), lack of economic mobility (and increasingly dire consequences of this) and pathological social behavior.

4. Humans appear to be hard wired to reason inductively. That is, we tend to form conclusions on “what we see” and “what we see” tends to be very limited and

5. Humans appear to be tribal.

And so it goes. We notice that the crime rates are higher in the neighborhoods where more blacks live. Perhaps a black person has behaved rudely toward us. So our lesser developed part of our brain draws a hasty conclusion.

But then what about things like this? If we mostly associate with white people (or our own race), we KNOW that most “aren’t like that” and we write those behaving badly as a few “bad apples.” But…how many friends and colleagues do we have from another race? So when we find ourselves thinking “well, my friend X, who happens to be black, well, he/she must be “one of the exceptions” instead of realizing that it is the jerk and criminal that are the exceptions!

Our brains play tricks on us; our brains evolved to help us survive in the world as it was 50,000 years ago, when letting “that other tribe” get to our watering hole might have meant the end for us.

And, sadly, when people speak honestly, we demonize them. Those who express fear of “getting off on the “wrong exit”” are denounced as racists, and those who speak of “structural racism” are denounced as being apologists for all sorts of socially pathological behavior.

Sadly, I have no solutions. What I can say that I was the most comfortable back in the days when I played team sports, especially in Japan. Why? Well, then I had lots of different friends of different races (rather than just internet friends). We visited each other’s houses, trained together. practiced together, socialized together and took the field together.

Oh, I got in fights with people of “other colors”…as in “other color uniforms”.

I really miss those days.

I wish that our university could somehow merge with a historically black university so I could work in a more racially diverse environment, or at least I wish there were more racial diversity in the running/walking community.

But, I feel that Americans are really too racially segregated for there ever to be much common ground.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | racism, social/political, walking | | 4 Comments

Education, public discourse and ideas…

Bonus: has an interesting ranking of the all time bets NBA teams. The discussion is interesting as well.

Press coverage: Paul Krugman attacks an attack on Elizabeth Warren:

Yesterday Politico posted a hit piece on Elizabeth Warren, alleging that she’s being hypocritical in her opposition to a key aspect of TPP, that’s interesting in several ways. First, it was clearly based on information supplied by someone close to or inside the Obama administration – another illustration of the poisonous effect the determination to sell TPP is having on the Obama team’s intellectual ethics. Second, the charge of hypocrisy was ludicrous nonsense – “You say you’re against allowing corporations to sue governments, yet you were a paid witness against a corporations suing the government!” Um, what?

And more generally, the whole affair is an illustration of the key role of sheer laziness in bad journalism.

Think about it: when is the charge of hypocrisy relevant? Basically, only when a public figure is preaching about individual behavior, and perhaps holding himself or herself up as a role model. So yes, it’s fair to go after someone who preaches morality but turns out to be a crook or a sexual predator. But articles alleging that someone’s personal choices are somehow hypocritical given their policy positions are almost always off point. Someone can declare that inequality is a problem while being personally rich; they’re calling for policy changes, not mass self-abnegation. Someone can declare our judicial system flawed while fighting cases as best they can within that system — until policy change happens, you have to live in the world as it is.

I see this attack on Hillary Clinton as being similar (the attack: she wants to overturn Citizens United, but still welcomes support from 527 groups). To me, this is like advocating for a rules change, but playing within the rules prior to said change. I am fine with either side doing it.

Education One secret is that most students really don’t want to be educated. They are fine when learning is painless but ultimately, they want the grades, credits and credentials:

Dear Students:

The collective attitude you have shown toward reading and writing during the past semester is neither new nor surprising. You are not well-suited to do either. To your credit, you hate ignorance, as I do. To your discredit, you really only hate being shown that you are ignorant, through encountering words and ideas that are foreign to you and your immediate experience. Rather than look them up and learn about them, as is moronically simple these days, you disdain them, and then complain that you do not understand them. This complaint is disingenuous because you show no interest in having them explained.

Rather, you want to be relieved of responsibility for knowing them, and for reading the works that contain them. In short, you do not want to be educated, or even to go through the motions of education. What you want is a degree, and if there existed a system of academic indulgences, you would gladly fork over four years tuition to receive one without having to waste time going to classes. For a little extra, you could get someone like me to drop by and, for about a half-hour, confirm your base prejudices, the ones you’ve gotten from television and the movies and video games and life in general. You have written about these prejudices incessantly: why brute force is an answer for everything, why the whole world, with its little invisible workers everywhere, has come together for your material and personal happiness, why you live in the greatest country in the history of the world, led by its greatest leader, why your ethnic group has undergone suffering that leaves you preeminent over us, who are all racists… I will not go on.

I have read your stories about anime characters, complete with super-deformed doodles, your tales of extraterrestrials and werewolves and vampires. It is interesting that your eyes turn to the supernatural world so often, since you have such an impoverished notion of this one. […]

Note: I don’t think that, in this regard, much has changed since the time I was in college as an undergraduate; we were that way also. It is more comfortable to rationalize what you already know.

Public discourse: I think that honest discussions such as this one are a good thing; note that both of these students have some serious misconceptions.

However I really don’t like the headline. This is why: (opinion to follow) all too many times, people come to honestly held opinions and are loudly shouted down as “bigots” when they express them.

Examples: many of us have indigent family members who are lazy, dumb and perpetual moochers. So, it is easy to extend what we see in our own lives to conclude that laziness and stupidity is what causes poverty.

We see inner city riots and see mostly blacks. So, given that we humans are hard wired to “reason” inductively, it is easy to conclude that there is something wrong with black people.

We read about people leaving the US to join ISIS. We come to conclusions…without realizing that we are reading about extreme outlier behavior!

The same thing applies to lottery winners; the winners make the paper; the far more common “didn’t win diddly squat” people do not (in fact you are more likely to die in a car crash while driving to buy a lottery ticket than you are to draw the winning number)

I’d like to see more honest discussion and less “shouting down”.

Attitudes don’t help either. All too often I’ve seen conservatives make their own opinion as the benchmark for what is moral and patriotic. All too often I’ve seen liberals make their opinion as to what is bigoted or misogynistic. And all too often those setting their own opinion as the standard are those who are very limited in intellect and lacking in anything resembling accomplishment. I think that too many are overconfident in their own judgement and unaware of what they may be missing.

May 22, 2015 Posted by | basketball, NBA, political/social, racism, social/political | Leave a comment

Semester is over and I opine on politics, Fox News, etc.

Politics and Social Issues

Yes, President Obama called out Fox News for distorting the debate about poverty:

Of course, Fox News complained (and probably grinned ear to ear, enjoying a viewer surge) but..well, the DO say the kinds of things that he accused them of saying.

I am beginning to think that Fox is secretly hoping that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency.

Now speaking of the election: let us not forget how bad Gov. Jeb Bush would be. Think of who is advisers would be and of how awful they were the last time they were in power. The Democrats must remind people of this.

Yes, I am hearing about the Bush vs. Clinton “dynasties”. Please. This article gets it least mostly right. But it does leave one thing out: the Bush sons come from a super wealthy, very connected family whereas the Clintons are self-made.

Yes, I was never a big fan of Secretary Clinton as a presidential candidate in 2008; you can read my (sometimes scathing) opinion of her campaign and campaign tactics elsewhere on this blog. But here is something you can never take away from her and her husband: these were NOT silver spoon people. Bill grew up poor, and Hillary grew up middle class. Both excelled academically but this was NOT a matter of some outrageously wealthy, connected family pulling the strings for them. They made it under their own steam, period (as did President Obama). There is no comparison between their story and the story of the Bush family. Period.

And yes, I see her as a worthy candidate and I’ll support her if she wins the Democratic nomination, as expected. And no, I know of any other credible Democrat challenger and…forget the Republicans. Every Republican who has announced is a loon (at least, with respect to politics; many have achieved in other professions).

Social/Political snark

Yes, 32 percent of Republicans think there is something to the “Obama wants to take over Texas” conspiracy. That’s right..and this isn’t just Texas Republicans either.


Note who these people tend to favor for President; there is an interesting correlation, no?

Now, yes, sometimes a famous Democrat will speak out after a major event (in this case, the Amtrack crash in Philadelphia), and yes, in this case, the train was going 100 mph in a 50 mph maximum zone. And yes, often said famous Democrat will have no qualifications in that field. What is funny is that this offends some conservatives …I wonder how many of these listen to Chuck Norris or Ted Nugent? Heck, even Joe “the Plummer” has a following. :-) Pot: meet Kettle.

Academia: stuff like this gives academics, and the humanities in general, a bad name:

An incoming Boston University professor has apologized for her controversial remarks regarding White males on Twitter, Fox News reports.
Saida Grundy, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and African-American Studies at Boston University who identifies as a “feminist sociologist of race & ethnicity,” was hit with criticism after calling White college males a “problem population” on her social media page.
Many slammed the professor and called her tweets bigoted after she stated she wouldn’t contribute to White-owned businesses on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and called St. Patrick’s Day a “made up holiday.”

“Why is White America so reluctant to identify White college males as a problem population?” she wrote.
“Every MLK week, I commit myself to not spending a dime in White-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible.”
“Can we just call St. Patrick’s Day the White people’s Kwanzaa that it is? This is not a thing in actual Ireland. It’s completely made up.”

Her tweets have since been deleted.

OF COURSE, she claims that …well..her comment was “nuanced”. That is how the game is played; cry foul if it appears that YOUR group is being attacked, but turn around and make similar statements about other groups and claim to be “misunderstood”.

Yes, we in academia (especially us lefties) to have to clean up our act and this is a step in the right direction, as is this.

May 15, 2015 Posted by | 2016, hillary clinton, politics, politics/social, poverty, racism, republicans | , , , | Leave a comment

Poverty, Baltimore, disagreement, TPP, etc.

Baltimore protests and riots (which are different things)

The American Renaissance has a reputation as being a white supremacist site/publication. But some of what they say might appear to be merely “uncomfortable truth” that others are too polite or cowardly to say:

Discovers why blacks riot.
An article from yesterday’s New York Times about the relative calm in Baltimore stumbled by accident onto something like the real reason why blacks were rioting. Near the famous burned-out CVS–the city had begged the company to “invest” in a dodgy neighborhood–the Times reporter found someone it identified as “Robert Wilson, a college student who went to high school in Baltimore.” The article concludes with Mr. Wilson’s explanation of why blacks rioted. He said nothing about Freddie Gray or police brutality. Instead, he said this:

We’re just angry at the surroundings–like this is all that is given to us?–and we’re tired of this, like nobody wants to wake up and see broken-down buildings. They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers, and now we have traffic lights that don’t work, we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.

After the riots in Baltimore in 1968, whites panicked and sold their property at desperation prices. Now, these houses are “broken down” because blacks didn’t maintain them. This pattern of white flight and “broken down” houses was repeated in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington, St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, and countless other American cities. Some of the best city housing in the world was handed over to blacks who wrecked it. Neighborhoods filled with irreplaceable architecture are now wastelands.

Mr. Wilson complains that “we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.” The remedy for crumbling houses is for the people who live in them to fix them, but instead, Mr. Wilson asks, “Is this all that is given to us?”

This quote almost perfectly captures the black mentality that leads to rioting. Blacks live in neighborhoods that they, themselves, have wrecked, and then ask, “This is all that is given to us?”

Hard-working white people built the “broken-down” buildings Mr. Wilson is complaining about. Many had parquet floors, high ceilings, and fine moldings found today only in the most expensive new construction.

Like so many blacks, Mr. Wilson doesn’t realize how perverse it is even to think in terms of pleasant houses and neighborhoods being “given” to anyone. Does he imagine the white authorities “giving” nice neighborhoods to whites and cruelly handing out slums to blacks? They didn’t start out as slums. Whites saved and worked hard to build those neighborhoods. They maintained them, repaired them, and loved them.

But in today’s world of welfare, food stamps, government housing, and white guilt, Mr. Wilson doesn’t know any better than to ask for handouts.

Ok. Yes, it is true: those houses were once nice houses and now they aren’t; they weren’t kept up and yes, blacks were living in them when they went downhill.

But that is, at best, incomplete information.

For one: if these houses were rented (as they surely were), who is responsible for the major upkeep? Yes..the landlord. Who actually OWNED those houses?
And as far as the poor blacks that moved in: what we really had was well paying blue collar jobs leaving. Remember that higher education was less accessible to the poor, especially the black poor. They weren’t in a position to follow the paths of the well paying jobs.

Now as far as social pathology: yes, it is there. But the best evidence is that the dearth of employment opportunities and poverty come first; the social pathology follows. It is time to act economically. And yes, our poverty reduction measures have worked better than some claim.

TPP: Yes, much of this is about intellectual property and though this is not likely to be a disaster, Paul Krugman wonders why President Obama is spending political capital on this.

Robert Reich is a more passionate critic.

Me: sort of on the fence; I tend to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt based on how his other programs have worked out or are working out.

May 5, 2015 Posted by | economics, economy, political/social, politics, politics/social, poverty, racism, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Some sane discussion…

I had posted President Obama’s remarks about Baltimore and applauded him for distinguishing the rioters and looters from the protesters. People should remember that anytime there is a disturbance that leads to a lessening of order, some will take advantage, be they sports rioters, riots and looters during police strikes, looters or just plain morons.

But as far as the plight of the poorer inner city communities (such as Baltimore’s), the evidence is that much of the social pathology is the result of poverty rather than the cause of it.


Of course, this is where I get sore. Conservatives are quick to point out the pathology and often blame…well, who else..for it.

On the other hand, trying to get the rank and file liberal to admit that there IS a social pathology and that, yes, the looting and rioting in those communities are caused by bad people, just as they are in other communities…well good luck with that. Now-a-days if you call a looter a “thug” some delusional individual will call you a racist.

In the above video, the person who spoke just afterword had some good things to say (and yes, the arguments over the word is just a distraction)

To conclude: I think that Kathleen Parker’s remarks are well taken.

May 1, 2015 Posted by | political/social, politics/social, poverty, racism, ranting, social/political | , | Leave a comment

Sports Center, PC-ness, kids are NOT scientists, etc.

I’ve often heard that “children are natural scientists” followed by our schools taking that out of them. Frankly, that is nonsense. Science is hard and often counterintuitive as Adam Rutherford writes:

But evolution is not obvious at all, and it took thought and experiment and hard tenacious graft to reveal that truth. The real structure of the universe – the atomic, subatomic and quantum – was concealed from our eyes for all but the tiniest fragment of our tenure on Earth. We humans are awful at perceiving objective reality. We come with inbuilt preconceptions and prejudices. We’re dreadful at logic, and see patterns in things that are not there, and skip over trends that are. We attribute cause and agency to chance and coincidence, and blame the innocent as the root of all manner of evil. We use the phrase “common sense” as an admirable quality for scrutinising the world in front of us.

If this all sounds misanthropic, it’s not. Blind, directionless evolution gave us the gumption and the tools to frown at what we see, and ask if it really is how things are. Science is quite the opposite of common sense.

Our senses and psychology perceive the world in very particular ways that are comically easy to fool.
Common sense deceives us all the time: the horizon tells me the Earth is flat; people seem to get better after taking homeopathic pills; spiders are dangerous; a cold snap ridicules global warming. Of course, it is tricky to challenge someone’s opinion successfully if it is based on their learned experience. But that is exactly what science is for. It is to extract human flaws from reality; it is to set aside the bias that we lug around. Our senses and psychology perceive the world in very particular ways that are comically easy to fool. But the great strength of science is that it recognises the human fallibility that cripples our view of the universe. The scientific method attempts to remove these weaknesses.

This needs to be taught; it does NOT come naturally.

Yes, kids are naturally curious but undisciplined exploration will usually lead to nonsense.

But children are not scientists. As ever, anything of value comes with effort, not by grace. Science is a particular way of thinking, not beset but enabled by doubt, and it comes from teaching.

Double Standards Part I
When does a teacher get light punishment for seducing and raping a student? Answer: when the perpetrator is female and the victim is male:

Erica Ann Ginnetti, 35, was arrested in January in Lower Moreland after police were tipped off when the victim showed photos and videos of the woman to his classmates. According to court records, the photos included images of Ginnetti in a bikini, and others in just her underwear or thong. A video sent to the teen showed her undressing in a “sexually charged manner.”

The teacher and student were in frequent contact in July 2013, after the two had sex in her car parked at an industrial park.

Ginnetti pleaded guilty last year to sexual assault and disseminating sexually explicit materials. The maximum sentence for the two crimes was seven to 14 years behind bars, reports. Instead, Judge Garrett D. Page gave the woman just 30 days of jail time. Ginnetti will also have to register as a sex offender.

But..think about it. Somehow, male on female rape is…”scarier”; the act can be done aggressively and penetration is asymmetrical. The above: well, it does sound creepy and “yucky” and I can see how it can cause emotional and psychological harm.

Kentucky basketball fans are “heartbroken” that their team had to “settle” for a 38-1 season and a Final Four appearance (sounds wildly successful to me…but I digress).

So some of them (predictably) rioted and burned things:

Thirty-one people were arrested after Kentucky fans set fires in Lexington, police said, after the Wildcats’ undefeated streak came to a stunning end at the hands of Wisconsin in the NCAA tournament Saturday.

Sporadic fires were seen being set as the large crowd, chanting anti-Wisconsin slogans, gathered on State Street, which is adjacent to the University of Kentucky’s Lexington Campus.

Lexington Police Department spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said the crowd set fire to multiple objects, while a number of people were injured — some of whom were transported to a local hospital for treatment. None of the injuries were serious, Roberts said.

I don’t see anyone defending this behavior, but I miss the widespread statements about “those people” being “thugs”.

Double Standard: the “N-word” and its use.

We see white students widely condemned and expelled for use of this word (I think that the expulsions are improper, by the way).

Now a black student uses it…and it gets noted but no big deal is made of it. And yes, the black player uses it when referring to a white player?

A reporter asked Karl-Anthony Towns a question about Frank Kaminsky during Kentucky’s press conference after its Final Four loss to Wisconsin, and Andrew Harrison appeared to mutter a snide remark under his breath.

He’s frustrated, he’s heartbroken, and he probably never would’ve said this if he thought anybody could hear him. But still. Those mics are very, very sensitive!

Harrison apologized on Twitter early Sunday morning and said he called Kaminsky to wish him luck in the final.

A satire site made fun of this: (and anyone who doesn’t think that the Wisconsin basketball team is athletic has rocks in their head)


But you know what? In my opinion, this is a case of a frustrated, heartboken young man letting “locker room” talk slip out in public. To me, this really indicates that he saw the Wisconsin player as another basketball player; just another member of the larger basketball fraternity. This isn’t the PR that the public likes, but I doubt that this is a big deal to the athletes.

This is similar to what Colin Kaepernick said:

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Kaepernick used the N-word last week when he was penalized. In the Levi’s Stadium locker room after the game, Houston told the Tribune he didn’t hear anything.

Now that Glazer’s report has been out there –- though denied by Kaepernick -– Houston confirmed that is what happened.

“He was just saying inappropriate language,” Houston told the Tribune on Monday night at MetLife Stadium. He said Kaepernick cursed at him, including using the N-word.

Asked if he was insulted, Houston said it’s more a “cultural thing.” Houston reiterated that he incensed Kaepernick on the play by saying “nice pass” at the end of a Kyle Fuller interception.

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April 6, 2015 Posted by | basketball, big butts, butt, racism, science, social/political | , , | Leave a comment


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