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Generic Confusion

When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei

News? Check. Politics? Check. Music? Check. Random thoughts about life? Check. Readership? Ummm.... let me get back to you on that. Updated when I feel like I have something to say, and remember to post it.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Ward Churchill, artiste

University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, known for several recent inflammatory statements, has been the subject of several controversies. Did he lie about his American Indian heritage? Is his scholarship questionable?

Now something new: did he plagiarize artwork?

A seriagraph attributed to him, Winter Attack, appears to be an altered version of artwork by Thomas Mails. The article and video clip are quite interesting. When first confronted with the accusations, Churchill tries to bully the reporters, assaulting one, lying, and not answering the question. Later (after thinking up a cover story?), he claims the seriagraph was based on the earlier Mails work, with the artists' permission. The artist's son disagrees, and in any case, the seriagraph does not credit Mails.

I believe we have a case of "fooling some people all of the time."

Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Story of a Star

If fame is what you're after
I'd find another way, so open your eyes
There's more to the story of a star
That lives inside your head.

As I was writing the previous post, the song Story of a Star by Madrid was playing on my computer. How appropriate!

Numa Numa

If there's one lesson Paris Hilton should teach you, it's don't let video of yourself get anywhere near the Internet.

Gary Brolsma will forever (okay, probably for a few months) be known as that guy who did the Numa Numa dance. He's now embarrassed. But his embarrassment is our entertainment.

I wouldn't want to get my 15 minutes of fame in this way. But I'm sure a lot of people who would like to be a star in this way. (Hint on identifying them: They're the ones trying out for reality TV show.)

Dragostea Din Tei isn't as obscure as you might think. It was a huge hit in Europe this summer, and reading about the song in Billboard Magazine got me to look up the O-Zone version. It's one of many songs that hit big everywhere but the United States. Previous examples are Asareje by Las Ketchup and Cotton Eye Joe by Rednex.

I'm curious if this Internet sensation is going to translate into a noticeable number of paid downloads. I'll be watching Billboard Magazine.

Lyrics with translation:

Love from the linden trees by The Outlaws
(Also performed by O-Zone)

- Chorus 1 (4 times) -

Ma-ia-hii / Miya-hee
Ma-ia-huu / Miya-hoo
Ma-ia-hoo / Miya-ho
Ma-ia-haha / Miya-haha
[These are just sounds.]

- Verse 2 -

Alo, Salut, sunt eu, un haiduc, / Hello [on a cellphone], greetings, it's me, an outlaw,
Si te rog, iubirea mea, primeste fericirea. / I ask you, my love, to accept happiness.
Alo, alo, sunt eu Picasso, / Hello, hello, it's me, Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic, / I sent you a beep [cellphone signal], and I'm brave [or strong],
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic. / But you should know that I'm not asking for anything from you.

- Chorus 3 (2 times) -

Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma, nu ma, nu ma iei. / You want to leave but you don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want to take me, don't want don't want don't want to take me.
Chipul tau si dragostea din tei, / Your face and the love from the linden trees,
Mi-amintesc de ochii tai. / And I remember your eyes.

- Verse 4 -

Te sun, sa-ti spun, ce simt acum, / I call you [over the phone], to tell you what I feel right now,
Alo, iubirea mea, sunt eu, fericirea. / Hello, my love, it's me, your happiness.
Alo, alo, sunt iarasi eu, Picasso, / Hello, hello, it's me again, Picasso,
Ti-am dat beep, si sunt voinic, / I sent you a beep [cellphone signal] and I'm brave [or strong],
Dar sa stii nu-ti cer nimic. / But you should know that I'm not asking for anything from you.

Repeat Chorus 3

Repeat Chorus 1

Repeat Chorus 3

Thursday, February 24, 2005

New hypocrisy

Throughout the blogosphere, we're seeing discussion of Jeff Gannon, a/k/a J. D. Guckert, whose big scandalous crime was to represent an unknown news service and lob softball questions to President Bush at a press conference.

Here, we see liberal hypocrisy again. For some reason, they can't seem to report the story without mentioning that Gannon ran a gay escort web site. Why, I didn't think that's the standard of reporting. You don't see articles mentioning Representative Barney Frank's past scandal with an escort/prostitute/aide (fixing his parking tickets and lying to his probation officer), for which he received a reprimand (not even a censure), every time his name comes up in the news.

Here I thought a person's sexuality is a private matter. In fact, I thought that was the reasoning behind court decisions legalizing gay marriage. And I thought that just because you're a member of an oppressed group, that doesn't mean you can't be a successful doctor, or lawyer, or even journalist.

The rules don't apply when the target is a Republican, obviously.

Just more hypocrisy.

Update: Andrew Sullivan weighs in. He's outraged at the hypocrisy:
Just ask yourself: if a Catholic conservative blogger had found out that a liberal-leaning pseudo-pundit/reporter was a gay sex worker, had outed the guy as gay and a "hooker," published pictures of the guy naked, and demanded a response from a Democratic administration, do you think gay rights groups would be silent? They'd rightly be outraged. But the left can get away with anything, can't they? Especially homophobia.

Yeah, I'd call it fiction.

Francesca Lia Block's Los Angeles is a glittering dream world of "stained-glass Marilyn Monroes shining in the trees, leopard-spotted cars, gardens full of pink poison oleander," where the pollution makes for extra-beautiful sunsets. It is also the home of Weetzie Bat, the heroine of Ms. Block's highly successful books for young adults.

Weetzie Bat wears vintage clothes decorated with sparkles. She has a boyfriend she calls "My Secret Agent Lover Man." They live with Dirk, Weetzie's gay best friend, his lover, Duck, and Weetzie's daughter, Cherokee, possibly conceived during group sex with Dirk and Duck. There is also Witch Baby, Lover Man's child with a witch. The family works in the movie business. And they become involved with seamier elements of Los Angeles: rough sex, pimps and drugs.

This may not seem like a conventional young-adult book or something to be promoted by your local library. But in January, the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association announced that Ms. Block was being given the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement, sponsored by School Library Journal. The award's web site (www.ala.org) says it "recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role" in society.

Re: the highlighted phrase: Gee, you think?

Aware of themselves? Addressing questions about their role?


Based on the above description, the world of Ms. Block's series is as much a fantasy as Joanne K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. After all, there are plenty of coming-of-age lessons that don't change just because you live in a concealed world of magic, right?

Here's an important life lesson that should be communicated to children at all times. Your role in society will probably be something that no one will want to write a book about, or translate to film. Despite that, your life will be successful. You will have a job, good friends, a special someone, a home, a community, interests, and hobbies.

I know it sounds bad, but it's part of being an adult.

The lessons communicated in Ms. Block's writing are not something I'd want young adults reading.

Many years ago, I remember reading books in the Encyclopedia Brown series, and I remember thinking "Idaville is a lot more interesting than my town." But I learned to accept that, and you know what? Life was fine.

Best description of Social Security... evah!

"Social Security, instead, is best thought of as a giant chain letter. Those at the top of the chain - today's retirees - receive their checks throuh taxes paid by current workers."

(From economic consultant Bill Styring, as quoted in the Indianapolis Star.)

Here's one way to get politicians to approve Daylight Savings Time

A comment in the Indianapolis Star by reader Jay Wilkerson:

Should the General Assembly fail to move Indiana to Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I have a proposal: All of the neighbors of the legislators should use the full sunlight at 5:30 AM this summer to mow their grass.

I think that just might work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Back again

Just came back from a trip to California. Although the warmer weather was nice, I noticed a couple of things that make me glad to be in Indiana. Gas prices were about 30 cents a gallon higher. And I heard a friend describe her new condominium, which emphasizes just how little house money buys in California.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Questions for conservatives on Social Security

Stephen Bainbridge raises three good questions on the Social Security debate. I thought I’d take a stab at answering them. I don’t know the exact figures that go into the actuarial analysis of Social Security, so I use illustrative examples below.

1. Would we achieve significant actuarial improvements in the health of the Social Security system by (a) changing the method by which the benefit is calculated from being based on wages to one based on prices (see Tyler Cowen's post for details) and (b) increasing the retirement age? Social security was designed for an era in which most folks would live to receive benefits for months rather than years. Why not deal with that problem directly? (Glenn Reynolds has a solution that goes somewhat in the other direction.)

Both of these would improve the health of Social Security, but both of these are benefit cuts. (The term “cut” is used colloquially, to indicate that the benefit would be less than that calculated under the current system.) There are only two reasonable approaches to saving Social Security, raising taxes or cutting benefits. (Unreasonable approaches would be to expect an increase in the working population supporting the retired population or to expect a decrease in life expectancy for retired individuals.) However, if returns are higher when invested in a private account, then we can have a similar nominal benefit for less cost.

Benefit cuts are more palatable when they don’t result in a loss of money. Let’s say $6,000 of annual Social Security taxes over a working life funds a $2,000 monthly Social Security benefit at retirement, but would fund a $2,600 monthly annuity if invested independently. Let’s say current Social Security taxes will only fund a benefit 70% of the current size in the future. We could reduce benefits to $1,400 a month, bringing the system into actuarial balance, or do the actuarial equivalent in changing the index or raising the retirement age. Now, if you take half of those Social Security taxes and invest them in the deferred annuity described above, you’d get half of the reduced Social Security benefit ($700), and half of the annuity benefit ($1300), resulting in the same monthly benefit.

2. If we can achieve significant savings and ensure the health of the system with the changes mentioned in # 1, is there a non-ideological reason for introducing private accounts? Even proponents of private accounts concede that the transition costs will require trillions of dollars of government borrowing. Do we conservatives really want revenge on FDR and the New Deal at that price? Personally, speaking as a small government fiscal conservative kind of guy, I'd give up personal accounts if any money thereby saved was spent on deficit reduction or, better yet, an income tax rate cut.

There are two reasons I can think of to introduce private accounts. One is the fact that you get more benefits from a private account if you don’t live to see retirement. I am unmarried and childless, so if I die now, my whole Social Security benefit is the $255 death benefit, less than what I pay into Social Security each month. My retirement savings, on the other hand, can be passed to my heirs. Social Security benefits can be at their current level thanks in part to the tontine nature of the program, where each death increases the benefits to the survivors.

The second reason is protection against future shortfalls. If in 2042 private accounts means both taxes collected and benefits paid are half the size, then the projected shortfall is half the size. Let’s say the actuarial estimates implicit in current projections are that the 67 year olds in 2042 will live to 84 (female) and 82 (male) on average. However, what if scientific discovery and new medical treatments mean that people live to 89 and 87 instead? Benefits would have to be cut a lot more than currently estimated to keep the system in balance. (In the case above, people will also realize a smaller monthly benefit from their annuity, due to increased life expectancy.) The smaller the future deficit is, the smaller the impact to the government will be if current estimates are wrong.

3. Why aren't conservatives talking about other entitlement programs, such as Medicare, which reportedly is scheduled to go broke long before Social Security does?

We should be. But I suspect Medicare would be even harder, politically, to fix. It may be that politicians will only be able to fix Medicare if it can first be demonstrated that Social Security can be fixed without the political world coming to an end.

Medicare is also more complicated, as the future shortfall depends on both the factors affecting Social Security (life expectancy and size of the workforce supporting retirees) and unknown future medical costs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Wonderful weather

Tuesday was the warmest day of the year, with a reported high of 67°F in the local paper. I felt comfortable going outside without a jacket. It then dropped 35°F to Wednesday's morning low of 32°F, with some scattered snow.

Why can't there be a sudden warmup of this magnitude?

All in all, it's been a pretty mild winter, temperature-wise. Since I only saw a bit of sun in mostly cloudy skies on February 2nd, does that mean we only get a fraction of the 6 weeks of winter?

Legislating by sob story

USAction.org is committed to fighting malpractice lawsuit reform. They display stories of people who have suffered because of egregious doctor errors, such as "Ian's Story." I agree that it's terrible for someone like Ian to suffer.

However, let me put it bluntly. Legislating by sob story is a lousy idea.

Let's say that 0.5% of medical malpractice lawsuits are for legitimate claims, where the doctor clearly erred. Then, 99.5% of lawsuits are frivolous, "John Edwards specials" with lawyers trying to make a quick buck from a quick out-of-court settlement. If this is the true distribution, then though every Ian is a tragedy, the system is clearly broken.

Obviously, the percentages aren't like that, but it's clear that there are a significant number of lawsuits that shouldn't be filed, and a significant number of outrageous jury awards.

Let me throw out one compromise: Enact caps on jury awards for pain and suffering, but allow judges to override the limits in cases when larger awards are warranted.

Right now, some juries feel like they have to give something to the plaintiff, because the plaintiff is hurt, even if the defendant is not liable, or not liable to the tune of $4.3 million. They can rationalize it away, saying that insurance will pay for it. But that's a terrible way to run a legal system.

I'll toss out my other suggested reforms:
  • Punitive damages go to the government, not the plaintiff or his or her lawyer. These awards serve to punish the culprit, not enrich the victim, so the government should collect these fees.
  • Most importantly, have a loser's-lawyer-pays provision. Now, it is to someone's economic advantage to settle out of court, rather than face huge legal bills and the possibility of an adverse award from a big-hearted jury. If an innocent defendant could collect from the plaintiff's lawyers for his or her legal fees, then this economic disconnect would be corrected, and there would be reason to fight off frivolous claims.

Wouldn't that last provision hurt lawyers? Oh, no. Their insurance would pay. You see, actuaries would price malpractice insurance for lawyers. I'm sure they'd set fair prices. *evil grin*

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The end of Star Trek: Enterprise

Adam Yoshida has some ideas to revive the moribund franchise.

Star Trek meets Smallville: famous Trek figures in their Starfleet Academy days.
Star Trek meets The West Wing: the politics of the Federation.
Star Trek meets CSI: Criminal investigations in the Star Trek universe.

All could be interesting, but here's my take on the Star Trek universe. We don't want to see most of it; it's largely a dismal place. At least by the time of Next Generation, there is limitless energy, technology to create any matter from energy, and, of course, the holodeck. On the starship, we are looking at the finest members of the society, the top achievers. But back on Earth, I suspect there are incredible numbers of lazy people, doing nothing with their lives. At the very least, there are probably many more people who think of themselves as actors, musicians, writers, and artists, who don't need success at the endeavors to feed themselves.

A Star Trek series set in Starfleet Academy would avoid this problem, and a CSI variant set in the Star Trek universe I imagine would shock most viewers. Chances are, everything would be a lot sunnier in the actual series, were it to be created.

Daylight Savings Time redux

The topic of Daylight Savings Time was mentioned on the evening news. No new progress; the committee that reviews the law didn't send it to the full legislature, but anticipates it will do so soon. Then, the debate will be fierce.

The news featured a clip with an opponent of daylight savings time, who talked about why farmers don't like it. You see, they need to wait for the dew to dry from the fields, and advancing the clock means they get a later start.

Think about that for a moment.

If the fields are dry two hours after sunup, it doesn't matter if the clock says 7:10 or 8:10. You could set your clock to New Delhi time, for all that it matters. The time between dry fields and sundown doesn't change, no matter what the clock says!

I'm unaware of any law that says farmers have to stop working at 6:00 PM. So why do they care what the clock says when they start or stop working? If you really want to watch the evening news, record it.


Seeing the advertisements for a new movie called Sahara reminded me of the novel of the same name by Clive Cussler. Then, the local paper's quarterly movie preview made it clear: the movie is based off the novel. I thought Clive Cussler would never have another novel made into a movie, after the dreadful Raise the Titanic. But apparently, this one has been in the works for four years. That shows how much attention I pay to Hollywood.

The credits on IMDB.com indicate that the author's daughter is one of the actresses in the film.

It's been years since I've read the novel (perhaps more than 10 years), so about all I remember is the surprise cargo, but I still want to see how faithful the movie is to the novel.

I guess I get to look forward to the novel being reissued with a cover resembling the movie poster.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Here's a real way to cut down on oil usage

Varifrank begins by saying that his lack of gas usage makes his big pickup truck more efficient than his brother-in-law's Honda. Seems surprising, but that's because he works at home, and without commuting, he needs much less gas. He suggests: what if one out of four people started working from home? Yes, that would create a drop in the demand for gas. I probably spend less of my car's mileage driving to work than most, due to taking long car trips and living ~8 miles from work. But I would save significant mileage if I worked at home.

He bravely asserts that 25% of American workers could work at home. It seems a reasonable estimate to me. I may be biased, though, as I work in an office, the type of work he envisions being done from home. (A more accurate estimate could be created by looking at percentages of employees in various fields. Factory workers, store employees, taxi drivers, and doctors are all examples of workers that wouldn't really be able to work at home.)

I'm sure I could work from home, but oh, the temptation. Soft, warm bed... or work. Beer in the fridge... or work. TV... or work.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

And people say bloggers get it wrong?

Check out this passage from an article by David Jackson, journalist for the Dallas Morning News:

Critics of the war said they welcomed elections but pointed out that more than 1,400 Americans have died in a country with no weapons of mass destruction and no ties to the 9-11 attacks – primary reasons cited by the Bush administration for the invasion.

These may be reasons critics cite, but they're not the reasons the Bush administration cited. The correct description of these reasons would be "a country that did not demonstrate destruction of its weapons of mass destruction" and "ties to terrorism."

Not having weapons of mass destruction was not enough to suit the terms of the UN resolutions. The weapons had to be destroyed in a verifiable manner, with inspectors determining that they were destroyed. And Saddam had ties with terrorism, including al-Qaeda, even if there is no evidence that he had a direct role in the September 11th attacks.

There are thousands of bloggers, and each and every one can fact-check you.

The problem with Black History Month

As part of Black History Month, Tuesday's paper featured several accomplished blacks from history. Among them are a politician, an inventor, a boxer, and a soldier. There are many people who have played small parts in the vast history of the world, and it's nice to see them getting some recognition.

But that's just the problem: There are many people who have played small parts in the vast history of the world. Thousands of people. Tens of thousands. But only those with a certain skin color get recognition. Others are lucky to be remembered outside their family: maybe they're remembered in their home town, if at all.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Two people confess to killing their mother and grandparents, hacking up the bodies, and burying them under concrete. All this to cover theft.

Death is too good for people who would do something like this.

Double standard

Take a look at these photos by Ann Althouse from St. Mary of the Oaks.

The notebook on the altar says "Allah Akbar."

If the message "Jesus died for your sins" were left in a mosque, wouldn't that be thought of as a hate crime?

At the very least, it would get you killed in Saudi Arabia.

Please relish America's religious freedom every day.

Selling out on feminism

Ann Althouse offers a new insight to the "wardrobe malfunction" controversy, asking why the left didn't object to the way Justin Timberlake objectified Janet Jackson by ripping off her clothes.

Her conclusion: Concern about sexual predation suddenly dropped in 1992, when a man who shared their overall political beliefs and supported abortion, but used women sexually, wanted to be President. "Feminism has never recovered!" she notes.

I agree it's a travesty that feminists didn't stand up for their principles when they had a chance. It shouldn't be hard to say, "It doesn't matter who you are, how much money you have, or how you vote. A man in a position of power does not proposition women under him. It is immoral and a crime."

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Evan Bayh wants to cut your Social Security benefits

In a response to the State of the Union address, Indiana Senator Evan Bayh said:

"However, any plan that increases our debt, diverts Social Security money into private accounts, or changes the very nature of Social Security is not a solution."

So, Senator Bayh has either supported cutting Social Security benefits or raising taxes. There are only three things we can do to fix Social Security, cut benefits, raise taxes, or restructure Social Security to eliminate the future deficiency. Bayh eliminated the third choice, so what's left?

Update: If demographics change considerably (life expectancy shortens, or population increases), then Social Security won't be in trouble. But it makes no sense to expect this turn of events.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Turn of the century?

Virginia Postrel wrote recently:

New regulations come from two places: new legislation, often in response to some sort of momentary panic (think Sarbanes-Oxley, the extraordinarily costly response to turn-of-the-century corporate scandals), and continuous bureaucratic rule making. In its first term, the Bush administration exercised unusual restraint in producing new regulations.

I clearly came of age in the 20th century, because when I read "turn-of-the-century," I immediately think 1900, not 2000.

At least now, I think the changes seen as of the turn of the 20th century will dwarf those seen as of the turn of the 21st century. But 100 years from now, people may look at things differently.

CD single sales are THAT low?

As a followup to this earlier post, I thought I'd share something I learned from the February 5th issue of Billboard. The Singles Minded column has two facts that highlight the pathetic state of CD single sales and the growth of paid downloads of song.

First, it was revealed that there was an error with tracking the Erasure single Breathe, and with sales of 1,000, it should have been #2 on the Singles Sales chart. (In comparison, the last Erasure hit, Always, did well on airplay but only reached #20 on the Hot 100 because its single sales were low.)

In a following story about songs that had reentered the downloads chart, Stacy's Mom by Fountains of Wayne (recently played in a Dr Pepper commercial) came in at #49 on the Top Downloads chart with sales of 5,500.

5,500 is #49. 1,000 is #2. Sad.

Stacy's Mom was another song that I didn't buy because there was no CD single available, and I was able to acquire it on one of the NOW CDs.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

An economic decision only the government could love

IndyGo added two diesel-electric buses to its fleet Monday, part of a larger effort by the transit agency to reduce smog, trim fuel costs and recast itself as more environmentally friendly.

The buses, which run on a combination of diesel and electricity, are faster and quieter. They also swill slightly less fuel and emit less pollution.

But the new vehicles are also expensive -- $500,000 each, or roughly $200,000 more than a regular diesel-only bus.

And what do we see revealed later in the article? The sidebar contains the following fact:

Hybrid advantages
Industry experts expect them to save one to two miles per gallon of diesel fuel, meaning IndyGo’s two hybrids would save about $4,000 each in yearly fuel costs. The hybrids emit fewer pollutants and also are credited with lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle.

So going strictly by saved fuel costs, these buses will pay for themselves in ... 50 years. If yearly maintenance costs are $2,000 less? Much better: the buses will pay for themselves in 33 years.

Were this the decision of a suburb like Carmel, I could see choosing a more expensive option to cut down pollution. But this is the Indianapolis public transit system, which is facing cutbacks in service. Someone made a very poor economic decision here.

Also notable in the article is this quote:
Transit officials in Seattle have been among the most aggressive, upgrading the city's aging diesel fleet with more than 200 hybrid buses in recent years.

But startup costs are steep, and fuel savings from the hybrids here likely will be small at first. Transit leaders in Seattle, for instance, projected they would lower fuel consumption by about 60 percent. By most estimates, they have saved about a third of that.

Continuing a grand tradition, politicians and government workers promise so much, and fail so utterly. Something tells me these "transit leaders" have not been fired for what was either gross incompetence or malicious lying in support of an agenda.

Although it would be ideal for IndyGo to use low-polluting, high-mileage, quiet, inexpensive buses, these don't exist. One must balance all these competing desires and choose the optimal solution. These hybrid buses aren't the optimal solution.

She rocked out to Wham! Not a big Limp Bizkit fan

The latest volume of the Now hits compilation features 1985 by Bowling for Soup, currently my favorite song on the compilation. Although I'm younger than the song's protagonist, I appreciate the song's reference to my favorite musical decade.

And nothing has been alright since
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV

(my favorite line)

That's another song I would have purchased a physical single for, but of course none was issued. Since the band's genre of music is not to my tastes, I wouldn't buy the album. And since I have the song now, there's no need to download the song, and thus investigate the band further.

For some reason, the local Top 40 station was an early supporter of Bowling for Soup, playing their song Girl All The Bad Guys Want long before it broke (such that it did) nationwide.

What is the NAACP hiding?

The nation's largest civil rights group is refusing to turn over documents for an Internal Revenue Service investigation into allegedly improper political activity, claiming the probe is politically motivated.

There is only one proper response to this kind of IRS inquiry. "We have done nothing wrong. Thus, we will fully comply with all requests and open up our archives to you, to demonstrate there is no substance to these claims."

Anyone with two functioning brain cells knows that the NAACP is violating the spirit of the laws guiding non-profit organizations and political expressions, even if they're not violating the letter of the law.