posts | images | bookmarks

No Felony for St. Patrick's Four

By Miguel Diaz 26 Sep 2005

This morning, a jury found the St. Patrick’s Four of the felony conspiracy charges they faced, instead finding them guilty of a couple of misdemeanors with maximum sentences of 1.5 years combined. This is a HUGE victory for civil disobedience, even though I doubt the judge will let them off without jail time come sentencing (prior convictions in other civil disobedience cases will probably screw them).

Here are a couple of links to stories: The St. Patrick’s Four Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin

For those not familiar with the case, they are four Ithaca residents charged with dumping human blood on an American flag in an Army recruiting station.

Why I Hate America

By Miguel Diaz 14 Sep 2005

Every once in a while, planets align, worlds end, stars are born, and I read some op ed article to remind myself of why I hate conservatives so much (like I really need the reminder, but it gives me something to be pissed about). So, today’s article (which, is dressed up in some dialog dealing with Katrina), in typical white upper-class fashion, blames the poor people for being poor. Sure it dresses it up a bit to not sound quite so…evil, but it doesn’t try to hard to hide what it’s really saying. In fact, it goes out of its way to make sure the reader knows that poor black people are especially to blame for their plight.

Now, at this point in my life, I’m beyond getting upset at what any random conservative spews out of his mouth. I just get pissed because every time I hear crap like this it reminds me that there are 53 million of them; and I can’t bring myself to believe that even half of them are stupid enough to not realize they’re evil (especially ‘cause most of them are prep school grads who made most of their money when they finally got access to their trust fund).

I think the really sad thing is that, in this article, the following paragraph pissed me off the most:

bq. Given that most African Americans are middle class and almost half live outside central cities, and that 76 percent of all births to Louisiana African Americans were to unmarried women, it is a safe surmise that more than 80 percent of African American births in inner-city New Orleans – as in some other inner cities – were to women without husbands. That translates into a large and constantly renewed cohort of lightly parented adolescent males, and that translates into chaos in neighborhoods and schools, come rain or come shine.

And the reason it pisses me off is the complete lack of knowledge about how statistics work. You cannot make judgements of a sub-population (African Americans in New Orleans) using statistics from the larger population (African Americans and Louisiana African Americans). Plus, the inclusion of statistics that have little or no bearing on the argument (“most African Americans are middle class”) is only used to confuse the reader (and, in this case, make a subtle jab at the notion that poor blacks can’t help but be poor). The fact that “almost half” of African Americans live outside of central cities doesn’t mean a whole lot in this case…there are plenty of unwed mothers in rural areas as well. And I suppose I have to mention that this entire argument ignores the idea that it’s entirely possible that both parents may, in fact, be active in raising the child while not being married, especially since the rate of couples living together but not marrying is constantly rising.

I’m sure I had other stuff to say, but I do need to do some work at some point…

Trouble brewing...

By Miguel Diaz 12 Jul 2005

So…I was trying to respond to emile’s comment in my last post and it doesn’t seem to be working happily. Maybe I’m just impatient. After I added my comment it didn’t show up (either on the main page, or in the post itself)…so like a typical psycho, I tried several more times expecting something different to happen (e.g. the post to show up)…no love…then I login to the admin section and go to “Manage Comments” and all of them (4 or 5) were there…so I deleted the duplicates, but it still doesn’t seem to be showing up…what did I break?

<p>Update: Nevermind&#8230;I was just impatient&#8230;so now, I guess my next question is: Why the hell does it take so long for a comment to show up&#8230;I have <span class="caps">ADD</span>, I need the instant gratification&#8230;</p> 

MFR Sighting

By Miguel Diaz 11 Jul 2005

So, I was flying back from my wedding in DR yesterday (I’ll post a pic when I get a chance) and was flipping through American Way where they had an article about music blogs (can’t find it on their website)…anyway, MFR got a mention…just the name, but hey

I can read!

By Miguel Diaz 09 Mar 2005

It’s been a long time since I was really into reading for the “fun” of it…probably like early high school…anyway, I’ve been reading All the Names by Jose Saramago, and I must say it’s quite enjoyable. I read his Blindness a couple years ago and was quite impressed…he’s a great example of contemporary literature that doesn’t suck (probably one reason he won the Nobel in ’98)…his style takes a bit of getting used to (he doesn’t believe in quotation marks…or identifying who is speaking…), but it’s incredibly difficult to pull yourself away from one of his stories…

Common Sense

By Miguel Diaz 17 Nov 2004

So…I’m sitting here in my office when the public address system starts talking. To paraphrase, “This is a test of our public address system, anyone having trouble hearing this message should submit a service request”.

<p>Now, maybe it&#8217;s just me&#8230;but I&#8217;m thinking, if someone can&#8217;t hear the announcement, how the hell are they supposed to know that a: there was an announcement and b: what they should do about the fact that they can&#8217;t hear it.</p>

<p>Just seems like someone should&#8217;ve spent a little more time thinking that one through&#8230;</p> 


By Miguel Diaz 14 Sep 2004

Alright…I must say, the new versions of Firefox and ThunderBird are pretty sweet. I especially like the new “Live Bookmarks” for RSS feeds in Firefox along with the sweet new find tool. Time for an upgrade. (Firefox is 1.0PR, so it’s not quite final yet…1.0 final should be out around Dec.)

If one were lazy...

By Miguel Diaz 24 Aug 2004

which I am…would there happen to be a semi-decent, standards compliant, web authoring tool out there? Preferrably for free since I tend to be cheap as well as lazy :-)