Some stuff in the Times…

–> NY Times’ Quotations of the Day – demonstrating that there’s a little odd stuff going on in the current administration:

“As one who grew up on the receiving end of insensitive remarks, I should have chosen my words better.” – Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education

“He said he considered the N.E.A. to be a terrorist organization.” – Susan Aspey, spokeswoman for Education Secretary Rod Paige.

Hmm. Perhaps the NEA (the national union representing teachers) is a little sensitive about being viewed as terrorists. Perhaps Secretary Paige indeed made a strange choice of words – after all, one can criticize a union (even voice one’s frustration with them) without going so far as saying that the union is tantamount to a terrorist organization. I mean, the analogy isn’t even exactly accurate – union is to terrorist organization as apple is to kiwi. Last I checked, some union isn’t exactly going around making extremist political statements and threatening to bodily harm people, even if their lack of cooperation (at worst) or continued challenging (at best) an administration won’t make immediate improvements in educating kids. Plus, if one would like to have mutual efforts to improve education, does it help build consensus if one were to refer to the other as a terrorist?

So, yeah, I think that Secretary Paige should have made better choice of words – but his background of having grown up in a segregated South isn’t what would make him know better than to make an “insensitive remark”; this is supposed to be common sense – one can’t go around accusing the other of something ridiculous _and_ inflammatory.

–> I was telling a law school classmate about this so I’ll note some of my view here on the blog too: David Brooks’ column on Samuel Huntington’s latest writing; Huntington’s book is apparently arguing about how Latinos cannot be fully assimilated Americans. See, I don’t always agree with Brooks, but I agree with him that Huntington was being narrow-minded, to put it kindly. Brooks quoted Huntington’s book and he concluded that Huntington’s views are the “real threat to the American creed.” I just thought that the Huntington quotations were too reminiscent of what has been historically said (and probably continues to be said) about Asian Americans’ being unable to be truly assimilated Americans (i.e., America’s “Yellow Peril” fears of the 19th Century onwards). I suppose this is how it works for certain scholars like Huntington – one must fit the “American” scheme, he says, but what does he do with people who are neither black nor white – he’d say they’re not “American”? Maybe Huntington needs to sharpen how he defines “American.”

–> Anyway, on less serious subjects: enough on the Yankees; I liked this cute article on how the new Mets’ infielder tag team (Kaz Matsui and Jose Reyes) are getting adjusted. Let’s hope they can play well when the season starts. Mets fans need serious uplift.

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