Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Christian boy murdered

Another horrible atrocity in Iraq. This time against a young Christian boy. From WND:
A website in Assyria is confirming that a 14-year-old Christian boy who was working a 12-hour shift maintaining an electric generator has been murdered by Muslim insurgents.

The Assyrian International News Agency said the tragedy was reported by an Assyrian language web page at http://www.ankawa.com./

The youth was identified as Ayad Tariq, who lived in Baqouba, Iraq, and was at work on Oct. 21 when a group of "disguised Muslim insurgents" went into the power plant shortly after his shift began at 6 a.m.

The website reported the insurgents asked him for his identification and, according to other witnesses who hid and stayed alive to report on the attack, questioned his identification card's reference to him as a "Christian."

Are you truly a "Christian sinner," they asked.

"Yes, I am Christian but I am not a sinner," he replied.

The insurgents then called him a "dirty Christian sinner," grabbed his limbs and held them while beheading him, the witnesses reported.


Current estimates are that there are about 2.5 million Assyrian Christians in Iraq.

Kenneth Scott LaTourette wrote in "A History of Christianity" that the Assyrian Christians became the first nation to accept Christianity, and one of the largest missionary-sending peoples in Christian history.

"The Assyrian Christians are one of the last remaining Christian communities in the Middle East," said Rev. Ken Joseph Jr., of the Assyrian Christians organization.

Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians have fled their traditional homelands in recent months, officials confirmed.
Now I suppose there are two ways to look at this. The first is to say, "My God, that poor boy was the same age as my little brother." With that in mind, I suppose I could say that this is just horrific. Then I could ask, "Is this what we're fighting for? A people that would behead a 14 year-old boy because of his views? Isn't this enough? There's no way that people like that are deserving of any more of the blood of our soldiers. There is no hope for a nation that would routinely allow this to happen. This can no longer be our find.

Indeed this was my first reaction--how can we allow our troops to fight and die any longer for people like this, but looking at things through those lenses is reactionary. We cannot allow that actions of the terrorists--which is what these folks were, cold blooded, murdering terrorist monsters--to dictate our continuation of this mission. Yes, I know, that sounded like something straight out of a Bush speech, but it is the exact and definite truth. It is the simple fact.

Instead of seeing the abusers as the ones for which we are fighting, we have to identify with the abused. If we pull out, atrocities like this one will worsen in severity and frequency, neither of which is an acceptable outcome of a pullout by US authorities. For this brave young man, we must continue the fight. We cannot allow the terrorists to dictate our action. In the face of tragedy such as this, we cannot simply turn our tails and flee. To the contrary, in the face of such tragedy is exactly when we must strengthen our resolve. This should be a rallying point for Christians, whose brothers are being persecuted, and Americans, who should be highly concerned with the proliferation of one of the greatest American rights--freedom to worship as we please.

In Sean Hannity's TV interview with Bush last night, he asked the President if this was a war between good and evil. Mr. Bush said he thought it was. And it is. We cannot allow evil to triumph over good. It is just that simple.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

'Patriotic Assassination?'

From WND:

WASHINGTON – An anti-Semitic white supremacist who conducts an Internet radio show says if Americans return incumbents to Washington in the Nov. 7 election, he may just have to assassinate them.

Hal Turner describes himself as "outspoken, opinionated and brutally blunt." The biography on his website says he was a registered Republican until this month, when he changed his registration to unaffiliated.

If that's true, he has fallen hard and fast from the Republican ranks.

"As the November 7 Election approaches, I decided to write a few lines to my fellow Americans about the state of our nation and the ugliness that may have to occur if the people who caused these problems are re-elected: They may have to be assassinated," he writes in his Oct. 27 screed.

In his "Last Chance America" plea, he also says: "If you re-elect the same people who have gotten us into the mess we're in, folks like me may have to assassinate them!"

Turner lists his beefs with the government:

  • curtailment of political speech through campaign finance law restrictions;
  • killing innocent people in Iraq;
  • that members of Congress don't read the legislation they pass;
  • that elected officials ignore the will of the people;
  • that politicians lie to get themselves elected;
  • spending is breaking the nation's financial back;
  • disapproves of USA Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act of 2006;
  • eminent domain ruling jeopardizing property rights.

Turner evidently believes the time is right for a violent overthrow of the federal government because the U.S. military is so overextended around the world it would not be in a position to defend officials.

"In watching the military campaigns of the past 25 years, I have come to admire 'surgical strikes,'" he writes. "When force is applied in a specific, limited way, the results can be magnificent. Such is my HYPOTHETICAL thinking for our present circumstance."

He poses the hypothetical scenario that half the members of Congress represent "problems" – a total of 267. He also sees at least three "problems" on the Supreme Court.

"Imagine if you will, teams of 5 committed citizens each, who were fed up with these 'problems,'" he writes of the assassination squads he envisions. He says it can be done with just 1,350 "committed citizens."

"Do you think that in America, a nation of 300,000,000 people, there are 1,350 committed citizens willing to put it all on the line to 'correct' these 'problems' and thus save the nation?" he asks. "I do," he answers.

Turner even has a name for his kind of political mass murder: "It could be called 'patriotic assassination,'" he writes.

As if to cover his tracks, Turner also says he renounces and repudiates the use of force and violence to affect political change – "for now."

In closing, just remember, you may be willing to live under tyranny, but I am not. You may be willing to give up your rights, but I won't let you give up MY rights.

"I don't want to see such an attack against our government," he concludes. "I have no plans (at this time) to kill anybody. But I can – and I am willing to – if it comes down to it."

The Washington field office of the FBI did not return a phone call about the matter tonight.

Oh boy. This guy sounds like an outright nut, although in his bulleted list of grievances he does make a few good points, specifically 1) that members of Congress don't read the legislation they pass; and 2) eminent domain ruling jeopardizing property rights. That, however, does not by any means justify the action he ("hypothetically") suggests.

When action such as this is taken, it undermines the entire system of government which it proclaims to be saving. Need we go back and explain "The Terror" of the French Revolution? Wherein a few radicals took harsh action to "purge the government" of those who are not seen as being patriotic enough?

And these kind of folks say Bush is undermining our government?

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Female genital mutilation

Read this originally on Common Sense and Wonder, one of my favorite blogs. It originally appeared via the AP:

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The trial of an Atlanta-area father accused of circumcising his 2-year-old daughter with scissors is focusing attention on an ancient African practice that experts say is slowly becoming more common in the U.S. as immigrant communities grow.

Khalid Adem, a 30-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, is charged with aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Human rights observers said they believe this is the first criminal case in the U.S. involving the 5,000-year-old practice.

Prosecutors say Adem used scissors to remove his daughter's clitoris in their apartment in 2001. The child's mother said she did not discover it until more than a year later.

"He said he wanted to preserve her virginity," Fortunate Adem, the girl's mother, testified this week. "He said it was the will of God. I became angry in my mind. I thought he was crazy."

The girl, now 7, also testified, clutching a teddy bear and saying that her father "cut me on my private part."

Adem cried loudly as his daughter left the courtroom.

Testifying on his own behalf Friday, Adem said he never circumcised his daughter or asked anyone else to do so. He said he grew up in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and considers the practice more prevalent in rural areas.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, using figures from the 1990 Census, estimated that 168,000 girls and women in the U.S. had undergone the procedure or were at risk of being subjected to it.

The State Department estimates that up to 130 million women worldwide had undergone circumcision as of 2001. Knives, razors or even sharp stones are usually used, according to a 2001 department report. The tools often are not sterilized, and often, many girls are circumcised at the same ceremony, leading to infection.

It is unknown how many girls have died from the procedure, either during the cutting or from infections, or years later in childbirth.

Nightmares, depression, shock and feelings of betrayal are common psychological side effects, according to the federal report.

The report estimated that 73 percent of women in Ethiopia had undergone the procedure, based on a 1997 survey.

Taina Bien-Aime, executive director of Equality Now, an international human rights group, said female circumcision is most widely practiced in a 28-country swath of Africa. She said more than 90 percent of women in Ethiopia are believed to have been subjected to the practice, and more in places like Egypt and Somalia.

"It is a preparation for marriage," Bien-Aime said. "If the girl is not circumcised, her chances of being married are very slim."

Federal law specifically bans the practice, but many states do not have a law addressing it. Georgia lawmakers, with the support of Fortunate Adem, passed an anti-mutilation law last year. Khalid Adem is not being tried under that law, since it did not exist when his daughter's cutting allegedly happened.

This is disgusting and horrific. I suppose that one could label me a xenophobic slimebag, but I don't care. I don't know how anybody can advocate the spread or continued practice of such a horrific prprocedure.

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Wolf Blitzer shot down by Lynne Cheney

This interview has gotten quite a bit of coverage. I finally had a few minutes to do a quick google search to find the video and watch it. Here are some of my favorite parts. Please note that the entire interview was supposedly to be about Cheney's new children's book. So much for that:

(On CNN's Broken Government series)

Wolf Blitzer: "You're talking about the Broken Government series..."

Lynne Cheney: (Cuts in) "Right there. Right there, Wolf. What kind of stance is that?...We're a country where the economy is healthy...a country that hasn't been attacked (in five years)...that's not broken government"


(On CNN's playing of a terrorist sniper video):

LC: "Do you want American to win"

WB: "Of course, we're Americans"

LC: "Then why are you running terrorist propoganda?"

WB: "That's not terrorist propoganda. We show both sides of the news."

LC: "That's not news, it's propoganda"

WB: "Which is news"

LC: "Oh, Wolf."

Here's video courtesy of YouTube. It's a little grainy, but the audio is good.

Now way back in the days before Fox News, my family were all CNN junkies. It was on all the time. Even through 9/11, we remained loyal to CNN. Aaron Brown was awe inspiring in his (early) coverage of the terrorist attacks. Lou Dobbs was captivating. Bill Hemmer (now with Fox) was great. And Crossfire, even with its loud mouth James Carville and Paul Begala, was balanced with Tucker Carlson (no longer with CNN) and Bob "the dog-faced man" Novak (now with Fox). The one host I could never stand? Wolf Blitzer.

Kudos to you, Lynne Cheney, for a job well done--until you got to the part about the lesbian sex in your book...what the hell was that? "They are lesbians, aren't they?"...."Well", says Mrs. Cheney, "not necessarily." Not sure what that means, but still.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why vote Republican?

A friend of mine sent me a link to this video that had been posted at Dean's World. Here's the video:

It's pretty darn funny, no? Four Howard Dean screams? Kanye West, Ted "Fat Man" Kennedy and John "Long Face" Kerry all on one video? That's a lot to handle...


Friday, October 27, 2006


Last week I posted a clip from Boston Legal, with Alan Shore and Denny Crane dressed up like flamingos for Halloween. This week, here's Ray Parker Jr.'s incredibly tacky 80's video to the theme from Ghostbusters. I'm a little late today...usually this goofiness that nobody really cares about is posted by 9 or 10 at the latest, but I was a little preoccupied. So here is the display of total 80's bad taste, but first...you guessed it...Week in Review:

Sorry for the lack of posting, but I just haven't had the drive this week. Here's the Ghostbuster theme:

For those who will be celebrating Halloween early (ie over the weekend via parties and gatherings), be safe and have fun.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

It makes it hard to disagree...

Stuff like this makes it hard to convince people that arming teachers isn't such a good idea after all...
Letters have been sent home with Reagan High school students to advise parents of an attempted assault on a teacher there.

Meanwhile, the Texas Youth Commission is trying to locate the teen who may been responsible. Nathan Manuel Mendoza, 18, did not return to the Turman Halfway House in Austin on Tuesday afternoon.

Mendoza is accused of holding scissors to the teacher's throat and threatening to sexually assault her.

District police say the teacher had allowed him to sit in her classroom after school to work on an assignment.

Mendoza is a registered sex offender. The Texas Youth Commission said the teen should be considered very dangerous.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call police immediately.

Related post: Arming Our Teachers


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Politicizing disease

*Update: The folks over at Gateway Pundit explain that it's not just "America's Anchorman: that harmless, loveable little fuzzball el Rushmo" who's railing against the M.J. Fox ads.

When we politicize diseases, this is the kind of debate we get...

As I was skimming the blogs this morning--as I do nearly every morning--I came across several entries regarding comments by Rush Limbaugh on Michael J. Fox entering the political arena by doing ads for senatorial candidates in Maryland (Cardin) and Missouri (McCaskill ). The debate seems to be over what Limbaugh said--that Fox either acted well or had stopped taking his medication to make his condition look as bad as possible for the purpose of misleading people who suffer. The bigger debate--and the one which I think Limbaugh was trying to frame--is that the Democrats think that they can use 'victims' in political attack ads without any reprecutions. From Limbaugh:

Then you bring forth a person who's suffering the disease, and you illustrate the disease and the ravages and the suffering on TV to create sympathy and infallibility, because you're not supposed to be able to attack somebody or criticize somebody in any way or in any regard if they suffer from the disease. It's considered cold-hearted and cruel. What's happening here is that Michael Fox has entered the political arena with his attack, which includes false information about Senator Talent and Michael Steele in Maryland. That's fair ame, and I am not going to follow the script that says we're not allowed to comment on the things said by participants, "victims," what have you, that the Democrats put forth as infallible in the middle of a political campaign.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what Limbaugh said. Sister Toldjah covered the debate here and here. She says that Limbaugh's comments about Fox possibly acting 'disgraceful.' I disagree. The comments may have been distasteful, though I think even that's a stretch, but he is not somehow insulated to say whatever he wants about this issue with out some sort of backlash from those who oppose his political views

Rush clearly outlines what the Dems are trying to do in this. They are painting conservatives as "for Parkinsons" for opposing stem cell research. We've seen it before. Conservatives are "for incest and babies born from rape victims" if we oppose abortion. We are for...well I'll let Rush explain:

That's what the Democrats are doing, politicizing diseases and illnesses, damaging what has traditionally been a bipartisan effort at addressing and curing illnesses, and the same time they claim if you don't embrace their political and cultural agenda, then you're for Parkinson's disease, and you are for spinal paralysis. It's no different than the way they do it in the environmental movement. They talk about dirty water and dirty air, and if you oppose the environmentalists, why, you must be for dirty water and dirty air! You don't want clean water and clean air, and this is a script that they have written for years. Senate Democrats used to parade victims of various diseases or social concerns or poverty up before congressional committees and let them testify, and they were infallible. You couldn't criticize them.

The bottom line is that celebrities, victims, disease patients etc. are not any different than anybody else once they enter the political arena--the are open to insult, debate and rebuttle just as anywone else. And so it should be. Rush's main point is simply that we cannot sit by and let somebody spew disinformation simply because they are victims etc. More:

The truth is, all stem cell research is legal today in Missouri. Jim Talent does not seek to criminalize it, as Michael J. Fox asserts in his television commercial. Stem cell research is legal today in Missouri, it is happening at universities across the state. The truth is Amendment 2 would put human cloning in the Constitution. Now, the Michael J. Fox ad says that Talent wants to criminalize research, and this is false. It is already legal and it's already happening. Senator Talent and other opponents of Amendment 2 are not touching stem cell research in any way. What they want to do is stop human cloning from becoming a new right in the Missouri Constitution, and so they have named the pro-cloning bill the stem cell research and cures initiative so that people will go to the polls on November the 7th and think they're voting for stem cell research, which is already legal.

Michael J. Fox is participating in this disinformation campaign. Folks, I don't care what anybody says, it is unseemly, it is exploitative, and it is downright mean to mislead people who suffer from incurable diseases at the moment or horrible diseases, that there is a cure around the corner if only, if only Republicans could be defeated. There has been a tradition in this country of bipartisan efforts to cure all of these diseases or to come up with vaccinations for them, but never mind that, we're in the process here now of damaging what has traditionally been this bipartisan effort in addressing and curing illnesses by politicizing them. We're now politicizing diseases and illnesses.


So the Michael J. Fox Foundation currently, with its namesake, doing commercials misleading Missourians and Marylanders on the effects of stem cell research and the idea that Republicans want to criminalize this research and stop and prevent a cure for Parkinson's disease has actually funded a follow-up study to this virus research that involves gene therapy. Do I need to say more? They're still not sure about this but it shows promising results, far more promising than anything that has come from embryonic stem cell research to date, ladies and gentlemen. Now, this has to be known by Mr. Fox since his foundation donated $1.9 million for a follow-up study on this and yet he still is producing these commercials.

But Rush doesn't blame Fox. He blames the candidates:

Now, who do you want to blame, you want to blame Fox or do you want to blame the candidates for running them? Robert George, the professor at Princeton, blames the candidates. They're the ones who are disgraced by exploiting and using the sufferers of this disease to politicize the illness and for political gain.

And so, love him or hate him, Rush is right yet again. Kudos to Rush for seeing--yet again--through the liberal trap.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Setting the record straight

Sister Toldjah (who is just an amazing writer) sets the record straight on feminism. Here is the entire post. Read it all:

Just got done reading this piece by Joan Z. Shore at the Huffington Post, in which she states her opinion that women really aren’t liberated today - they are merely sex objects being exploited. This is an argument I’ve seen written by other feminists before, but have neglected to address the topic until now. Shore writes:

Let’s be honest — we have taken women out of the factory, out of the kitchen, out of the maternity ward only to turn them, again, into sex objects. Sixty years ago, they were pin-ups or calendar girls; today, they’re advertising gismos and media bimbos. This isn’t progress — it’s promiscuity parading as freedom. And the biggest danger is that this shallow, cynical view of women ends up making them thoroughly interchangeable, dispensable and, ultimately, vulnerable.

This is not simply a feminist issue; this is a question of where we place our values. As long as we encourage and reward women solely for their entertainment value, we are turning them into dolls and puppets. We are denying their human-ness, and our own. We are creating a seraglio society.

Note the repeated use of the word “we” - it’s used to denote “society”, as in it’s society’s fault these women have chosen the path they have, when the reality is that the majority of women who sell their faces and bodies are doing it because they chose to, not because society forced them to do so. This is yet another all-too familiar example of feminists not wanting to accept responsibility for their actions, or more importantly, what they advocated. The women’s lib/sexual freedom movement of the 60s and 70s helped bring about the voluntary sexualization of women (and I say voluntary meaning that women willingly engage in it) that we see today in part because leading feminists of that time were big on the idea of women being able to do whatever they wanted and whenever ever they wanted with their bodies - including sex with multiple partners whenever and however, sex with other women, sex without responsibility. Anything and everything revolved around sexual freedom. Magazines and books about sex became immensely popular. Cable movie channels showing explict sex scenes would become popular starting in the 80s and continue to be so today.

And nowadays we have some of those same feminists who advocated or believed in that ‘whatever, whenever’ attitude wanting to complain about the fact that hundreds of thousands of women have chosen to use their bodies as sex objects in order to make money. Astounding. While I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that the ’sex anytime, anywhere, I’ll be fast and loose with my body’ attitude does not equate to ‘progress for women’, I, unlike Shore, am aware of where exactly this attitude stemmed from and it did so, in large part, thanks to feminists of the 60s and 70s who encouraged women to uncover their bodies, shake their booties, and be sexually free to do whatever with whoever. In other words, women were encouraged to be as irresponsible with their bodies as possible, and told not to worry about the consequences of their actions.

What was ‘right’ then, apparently, is wrong today, if what Ms. Shore writes is any indication. Irresponsiblity back then was acceptable because women were just engaging in free love every chance they got as part of their newfound freedom. And for the past couple of decades, in addition to doing that, some of them have also learned to take advantage of their looks by selling them for money via photos, movies, etc. Ironically, back during the time of the women’s lib/sexual revolution movement, conservative female voices decrying what the feministas were preaching were laughed at and called ‘repressed, subservient, old-fashioned, behind the times’ etc simply because they said that the feminist movement was carrying things too far - those drowned out voices tried to get the femmes to understand that what they pushed for would have consequences down the road. They argued that with this newfound sexual freedom came responsibility. They were ignored. Guess what? Those conservative voices were right. The push for sexual freedom without responsibility over time led to an increase in the number of women with sexual diseases, higher illegitimacy rates, and a rise in abortions (once they became legal again).

According to Shore, women are still ’subjugated’ by men because those men enjoy the sight of the female form (horrors!) and in response, some women cash in. Shore makes the mistake of implying that most of the women who do this do so because they have no choice but to do it, which is a hell of a lot more convenient than admitting to the fact that telling women back in the 60s and 70s that they could be sexually irresponsible with their bodies actually translated into telling women they shouldn’t respect their bodies, which paved the way for the voluntary sexualization of women we see today. Think about it: If a woman respects her body, is she going to share it with just anyone? No self-respecting woman would. Sharing it over and over again - whether it be through sex, or revealing photos, or what have you - isn’t a sign of respect for your body, I don’t care how you spin it. Men don’t respect women who are fast and loose with their bodies, either. They might enjoy looking at them and, ahem, spending a little time with them, but they don’t enjoy coming home to them.

Feminists have always been fond of talking about how women should be empowered sexually, but in the process ignore where the real ’sexual empowerment’ begans. It looks as though Shore realizes now, as I do, that the real ’sexual power’ (if it should even be called that) was and always has been in the mystery of the female mind, body, and soul - and holding on to that mystery, not in literally and figuratively putting it out there on the table at drop of a hat. Too bad Shore doesn’t realize that what’s happening today has come about in part thanks to what the feminists of yesteryear - feminists she no doubt admired - pushed for with extreme vigor, because if she did understand and admit to the root causes of the problem, she might be able to come up with solutions better than this one:

We look in revulsion at Muslim women wrapped in scarves and veils. We pity them, and we despise the male chauvinism that imposes that on them. But here’s the catch: they are not caught up in our Western cult of exhibitionism and vanity. They are not openly competing with each other for men and men’s favors. They are
even, to a large degree, protected from assault and rape because they are virtually invisible. Home is their domain, husbands are their guardians.

Somewhere, between that repressive culture and our own permissive one, there must be a middle way.

Shore almost seems to be taking the same attitude of western convert to Islam Yvonne Ridley, whose delusional piece about Islam and feminsim I discussed at length Sunday. Not a good sign.
The solutions to the problem of sexualization should start in the home, with parents (rather than teachers) talking to their sons and daughters about respecting their bodies and making sure they know that it’s not a toy. The biggest battle comes not so much from getting parents to do that - because I’m sure most do try and instill a sense of values in their children, values that include loving and respecting one’s self - but culturally, through the images we see in magazines, on TV, on the Internet. Cultural reinforcement of good values, like abstinence until marriage, would go a long way towards reversing the social ills that radical feminism hath wrought. Ultimately, of course, the decision on what to do with their bodies is up to women themselves, but if we devoted as much time in this country to encouraging a strong sense of pride and respect in ourselves and our bodies as we did to glorifying sex, think about the positive social influence it could have on society as a whole, and look at the potential for real progress to be made. Sadly, that’s a more idealistic than realistic approach, as I don’t see America changing culturally as far as attitudes about sex are concerned anytime soon, if ever. Even today conservatives get laughed at for preaching the value of modesty. The Janet Jackson Super Bowl boob flash controversy almost three years ago is a perfect illustration of that. Every name in the book was thrown at conservatives after that: “prude” and “repressed” are two that come to mind.

I should also state for the record that I believe Shore way overstates her case and makes it sound like there aren’t many women out there who have been successful based on anything other than their looks. Yes, there are women out there who sell their looks for cash, but I believe there are far more women who have made it using their brains: Nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants, CEOs, and so many more. But I won’t deny there is a problem with the voluntary sexualization of women - and I also won’t deny some of the root causes of this problem. You have to be able to recognize what those problems are in order to try and not repeat those mistakes. Along with that I won’t stop adovacting solutions that may seem hopeless now. Who knows? One day we may see a modesty revolution - ‘twould be interesting to see the feministas reaction to that one, eh? If there ever is such a revolution, yours truly will be standing on the front lines of it. In fact, I think I already am

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Monday, October 23, 2006

How much is loyalty worth?

Note: I wrote this post last week, but had not published it as I was considering adding a little more. But I've since gotten lazy. So here it is, take it for what it's worth.

How about 36.4 million dollars for a BioDiesel research facility at Marshal University? 10+ million for a new facility to house the nursing education program at Shepherd University? A few million for that, a few million for this?

This is the debate all West Virginians face when they go to the polls in November. Do we reelect Robert C. Byrd because he is the self-proclaimed "big-daddy," or do we send him packing because he does NOT represent West Virginia values? My vote stands solidly in the "send him packing" camp.

One of my professors and I had a little discussion about this on Monday. He's an interesting guy who, by his own account, is one of the more "conservative" profs on campus. Usually we get along and we're right there together on the issues. On this particular issue, though, we are a world apart. The following dialogue ensued (I will quote as accurately as I possibly can):

Prof: Jeff, you know me, I'm a pretty conservative guy, but have you heard these new radio ads by John...Rainie I think it is?

Jeff: It's Raese, but no, I haven't heard them. Why? What does he have to say?

P: Well he basically paints Byrd as a racist. He says he hasn't done any thing to develop West Virginia. Byrd's a liberal guy, but that doesn't always mean bad things...

J: Well Dr. ****, I don't really think that Raese is too far from the truth. I mean, Byrd was a member of the KKK for a long time. He did vote against the civil rights bill--he tried to filibuster it.

P: Yea, but....

J: And as far as development is concerned, what has he done to develop WV?

P: How can you question that? Walk through the campus. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, the library addition, the new nursing facility. He's done a lot.

J: Is that how you measure development? Whether we get some 'goodies?' I don't measure whether my US Senator is doing his job in terms of how many goodies I get. What has he done for the state in terms of real development? Very little when we consider he's been in the Senate for ever.

P: Well I don't know. We can't really blame Byrd for that, can we?

J: I think so. At least partially. I mean it can also be give up to the fact that the Democrats have had a strangle hold on Charleston, but Byrd and Manchin--those two names have been here for the past 50+ years, and very little positive has been said about WV in that time.

P: We'll see how this pans out I guess.

Some people--even a smart guy like this--just don't get it. It all goes back to the old proverb: "Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime." Well Byrd throws us another fish ever 6 years or so. What about when he dies? How are we going to eat then?

Robert C. Byrd has grown more and more arrogant in his old age. In a speech at Marshall University, Byrd declared himself "Big Daddy." Big Daddy!! Here's the link.

Better still, though, was Raese's response radio response.

Raese doesn't stand a chance. I read a poll today that showed Byrd peaking at 62ish% to Raese's 30ish%. It's a damn shame, because John Raese is the kind of conservative we could use. Maybe he'll run against Rockefeller?


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Homecoming '06

Shepherd University's homecoming was this weekend. I wanted to post a few pictures Saturday night but Blogger was (apparently) down. So here are some pictures:
McMurran Hall stands as the pillar of tradition at Shepherd University. The oldest building on campus, McMurran hosts various administrative offices and was recently repainted. In front of McMurran, spectators are gathered and waiting for the start of the annual parade.
.The Shepherd Ram Band marches down German Street to the tune of Rob Thomas' Smooth from this year's show Viva Santana

Following the parade, Dining Services provided a delicious pig-roast. It was 'fun for all'--except the pig tee-hee.

The weather was perfect; sunny and 60. The stands were also packed; the fullest I've ever seen. And, Shepherd won the big game--42-0, an ass-whoopin' by all accounts.


Friday, October 20, 2006

In early honor of Halloween

...but first, as always, the week in review:

I talked about Boston Legal in my post on 'medical tourism,' which inspired me to see if YouTube had any clips from the show. Like I said in the medical post, the show more often than not annoys me. But I still watch it. Consistently. Why? Because of Denny Crane. Here's a clip from last year's Halloween episode.

Even though Alan Shore and Denny have a sometimes turbulent relationship, I sometimes wish I had an Alan that I could stay friends with, though disagree with. And that I could smoke cigars on the rough with...I need a flamingo friend, heh.


Outsourcing everything?

As if it weren't bad enough that one cannot call Dell for help with his laptop or PDA without the call travelling halfway around the world to India, now we're going to outsource our medicine? From CNN:

Think globalization means little more than call centers in New Delhi? Then you haven't seen what happens when seriously large numbers of Americans, who spend more than $570 billion at U.S. hospitals annually, start taking health-care holidays in far cheaper climes. Nor have you seen how much money there is to be made by helping them get there.

We're about to find out. This year alone, upwards of 500,000 Americans are expected to travel overseas to get their bodies fixed, at prices 30 to 80 percent less than at home. Medical tourism, as the practice is known, is rapidly becoming the top choice for consumers who grapple with hefty medical bills. Adult Americans who are either uninsured or considered "underinsured" number more than 61 million - a figure that's likely to soar in coming years.


While disruptive to U.S.-based hospitals and HMOs, the overseas stampede is
already spawning a brand-new business opportunity: medical tourism agencies. Not
only do these companies act as middlemen between patients and foreign physicians, but they also find hospitals, schedule surgeries, buy airline tickets, reserve hotel rooms, and, yes, even plan sightseeing tours for recovering patients. Most important, they aim to reassure customers that cheap does not equal poor quality


[Many] believes that the big money in medical tourism is in two markets: uninsured retirees ages 50 to 65 for whom Medicare hasn't yet kicked in, and self-insured companies that can no longer afford benefits for workers. He has met with Fortune 100 companies, though "they want to see the market mature first," he admits. If they do sign up, Erickson believes, he's sitting on a $500 million gold mine.

He has reason to be optimistic. Blue Ridge Paper Products, a Canton, N.C., paper manufacturer, may soon allow its 5,500 employees and dependents to go to India for certain company-insured treatments.

In West Virginia, a legislator is pushing a bill that would give incentives to state workers for seeking treatments overseas. "The early adoption has begun," says Arnold Milstein, a Mercer consultant hired by PlanetHospital, a Los Angeles-based medical referral startup, to strike deals to coordinate foreign-based care on behalf of employers and insurers.

No. No. No. No. I saw a little something like this on the ABC show Boston Legal (which consistently gets on my nerves, yet I continue to watch it...). The patient was flown to India to have some sort of heart surgery. Her husband had to stay to work (he couldn't afford the surgery as was, let alone afford the surgery AND miss a week or two of work). She died in flight on the way back.

I didn't give much credence to this sort of thing just seeing it on the show. I thought it was something the writers had made up. Until yesterday. In the State and Local Politics class I'm in, we often have sort of "round table" (really big round tables) discussions about what's going on in WV, as well as what's going on in the states we've been assigned for a project we're working on. Medical tourism--particularly that part above about the WV lawmaker--was brought up in class.

The professor, herself a WV employee, hadn't heard of such thing. One student sitting behind me yelled, "Don't do it. You might go over to have a knee replacement and come back home with a panda-bear leg dangling from your body." Another person suggested, "they'll harvest your parts. You'll come back with three kidneys but only 1/2 a lung."

This led to a rather heated discussion from the area of that class that has come to be so affectionately known as simply, "The Caucus." This group of ultra-leftwing nuts sit together and run their mouths about the evils of Republicans, Bush, Capito and any student who supports them. When the student behind me--who seems to lean to the right, as do all the students who sit around me (possibly because we feel there is strength in numbers?)--made his statement about the kidneys, it was just too much for the Caucus, who fight to defend all who cannot defend themselves. "You're just being a typical American: xenophobic. These doctors have probably been trained in America, but have gone home to work for next to nothing--something Americans never do. " The debate went on until the bell rang and the prof. ushered us out of the class.

Probably has been trained? That ain't good enough for this ole boy. I don't even trust the doctors at the county hospital where I live most of the time. I'll pay the extra money for myself and my (future) family to ensure that we have good--no, great--medical care.

As I alluded to in my opening, I have had my fair share of problems trying to deal with the technical support folks that work for Dell, but live in India. Habib or Karpul or whatever the individual's name is, never speaks clear English. They never understand what I'm telling them. I always end up hanging up the phone in disgust and either A) Googling my problem and trying to fix it myself or B) calling a friend of mine who is certified in most of this junk and having him walk me through the problem the best that he can. I am sure as hell not going to trust Habib with my health if I can't even trust him with my computer.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

New and unimproved internet

From The Guardian:
Iran's Islamic government has opened a new front in its drive to stifle domestic political dissent and combat the influence of western culture - by banning high-speed internet links.

In a blow to the country's estimated 5 million internet users, service providers have been told to restrict online speeds to 128 kilobytes a second and been forbidden from offering fast broadband packages. The move by Iran's telecommunications regulator ill make it more difficult to download foreign music, films and television programmes, which the authorities blame for undermining Islamic culture among the younger eneration. It will also impede efforts by political opposition groups to organise by uploading information on to the net.

The order follows a purge on illegal satellite dishes, which millions of Iranians use to clandestinely watch western television. Police have seized thousands of dishes in recent months. The latest step has drawn condemnation from MPs, internet service companies and academics, who say it will hamper Iran's progress. "Every country in the world is moving towards modernisation and a major element of this is high-speed nternet access," said Ramazan-ali Sedeghzadeh, chairman of the parliamentary telecommunications committee. "The country needs it for development and access to contemporary science."

And the Arab world wonders why Israel and the West have all passed them. It is their unwillingess to modernize--relgious views, economics, technology, culture etc. etc.

A petition branding the high-speed ban as "backward and unprincipled" bearing more than 1,000 signatures is to be sent to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Scores of websites and blogs are censored using hi-tech US-made filtering equipment. Iran filters more websites than any other country apart from China. High-speed links can be used with anti-filtering devices to access filtered sites.

Companies providing this sort of filtering software should be punished. Yea, yea free market, capitalism and all that. I don't care. The way we "win the hearts and minds" of our enemies is not to sell them our goods--particularly if the goods are used to keep our influence out. The way to 'win hearts and minds' is through selling them--or just giving them via the internet--our ideas. In today's world, that can't be done without high-speed internet access.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Arming our teachers

In light of the school shootings which have seemed to spread like the plague the past few weeks, there has been much consideration regarding arming our teachers, very much in the way we keep an armed Air Marshal on many of our flights now. Utah is doing just that:

More than a dozen teachers and public school employees will spend part of their UEA weekend in a classroom — learning how to use a gun.

Clark Aposhian is offering a free class today to public school employees seeking to get their concealed- weapons permit.

"It is self-defense," he told the Deseret Morning News on Thursday. "But because teachers and school administrators and custodians are typically surrounded by students all day, any threat to any individual with a firearm would also be a threat to those students."

The concealed-weapons instructor's offer was met with opposition from some teachers and union representatives at the Utah Education Association's conference in Salt Lake City.

"We've always resisted the idea of arming school employees," said Susan Kuziak, executive director of the 18,000-member teachers union. "Though the intentions may be good, ultimately, the potential for harm is too great."

The intent is pretty clear:
"A shooter going in there may pause to reflect," he said. "Because they may find a teacher carrying a firearm for self-defense."

But I'm not convinced that the outcome will be quite as successful.

I'm going to act like a liberal for a minute...I'm going to rant and complain about how the current policy (or the policy being developed) isn't good, but I'm going to pose absoluely ZERO alternatives. REady? Here we go:

I do not like the idea of arming our teachers. Frankly it scares me. Although this may come as a shock to some, there are teachers out there that aren't nice people, that shouldn't be allowed to have readily accessible weapons with them at all time, that frankly, I wouldn't trust with a sling-shot made from a rubber band. Aside from the potential for a deranged looney-tune teacher, aren't we transforming teachers from what they're supposed to be (compforting, knowledgable, trustworthy role-models) to rigid armed gaurds? That is just not their place.

I also do not like the talk about chaining our school doors shut, putting 8' tall security fences with razor wire on the top around our schools and having armed gaurds at the front door. School is supposed to be a comfortable place. Now I understand that one cannot be comfortable if he feels threatened that at any moment a psychopath could walk through the front door and start mowing down students, but I do not think any student will feel any better if he is forced to sit in a classroom surounded by razor wire, as if he is in some sort of high security prison. That's just not acceptable.

Many schools (particularly high schools) already have armed officer of the law on campus most if not all of the time. There is talk of expanding that program. That could be the best method.

Like I said, I'm not really looking to offer any real alternatives--I'm acting like a liberal and refusing to do so, but I did want to get that little rant off my chest.

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The difference...

...between them and us? That's an easy one. They (Muslim extremists/Islamofacists) blow themselves up to kill as many 'infidels' as they possibly can. We blow ourselves up to save our brothers and sisters. More on this brave Navy SEAL who threw himself on a live grenade in order to protect his fellow SEALs from GatewayPundit and from Sister Toldjah.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

Everybody's cookin' for the weekend?

I posted back in September about how I like to go home from school on the weekends and cook.

Last weekend, I told my mom that I would really like some paella this weekend. She said that sounded good, and said we'd definatly eat delicious Spanish yum on Saturday. Little did I know that not only would I be eating it, but I'd also be cooking it myself. Here's a picture of the finished product:

Aborro rice, Shrimp, chicken, Chorizo, clams and spices come together in the Paella pan.

The plated product, garnished with lemon and roasted red peppers and served with a glass of Fat Bastard's Sauvignon Blanc.

Mom and I just sort of made the recipe up as we went, so here's the best I can remember:

You will need:

  • A quart or so of chicken stock (pre-made will do fine)
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 pound or so of chopped panchetta
  • 2 tspn olive oil
  • 16 ounces aborro rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 medium sized can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 links Chorizo cut into chunks
  • 1-2 lemons for garnish
  • 1 large roasted red pepper; sliced
  • 1-2 pounds of chicken cut into chunks (leave bones in)
  • Little-neck clams
  • Shrimp (frozen, peeled shrimp work best)

Put about 1-2 cups of stock in a small sauce pan. Add the saffron. Heat the remaining stock in a separate pan.

In paella pan, heat the olive oil. Fry chorizo; remove and save for later. Add the pancetta; cook until crispy. Remove the pancetta. Add the chicken to the skillet. Brown on all sides. Remove chicken and place on a baking sheet, then into a 375 degree oven.

Saute garlic and onions in the paella pan until soft and lightly browned. Add 1-1 1/2 cups white wine. Add aborro rice and allow to absorb wine. Add saffron-infused stock to aborro rice. Allow rice to absorb stock. Add plain stock to rice about 1/2-1 cup at a time until rice is soft.

Once soft, add peas and tomatoes. Add clams. Allow to heat for 4-5 minutes. Add shrimp. Cook until clams are open and shrimp turn orange. Add chicken. Garnish with lemons and sliced red peppers. Serve with white wine.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Holy Shmokes

Watch what you say, or the P.C. police might arrest you... No seriously:

A teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English.

Codie Stott’s family claim she was forced to spend three-and-a-half hours in a police cell after she was reported by her teachers.

The 14-year-old - who was released without charge - said it had been a simple matter of commonsense and accused the school and police of an over-the-top reaction.

The incident happened in the same local education authority where a ten-year-old boy was prosecuted earlier this year for calling a schoolfriend racist names in the playground, a move branded by a judge “political correctness gone mad.”

Codie was attending a GCSE science class at Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened.

The teenager had not been in school the day before due to a hospital appointment and had missed the start of a project, so the teacher allocated her a group to sit with.

“She said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils,” said Codie yesterday.

“Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said ‘Discuss’.”

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn’t understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

“I said ‘I’m not being funny, but can I change groups because I can’t understand them?’ But she started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police’.”

Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day.

A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school, and more than a week after the incident on September 26 she was taken to Swinton police station and placed under arrest.

“They told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my jewellery, and I had my fingerprints and photograph taken,” said Codie. “It was awful.”

After questioning on suspicion of committing a section five racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours then released without charge.

There's no need for me to comment, as Sister Toldjah says it all perfectly. Read what she's got to say about it.

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"He answers the phone...he don't actually talk, but he moves his lips."

More on that in a minute...

But first a roundup of what was an extremely short week of posting--actually, I think this is the least amount of posting I've done since school started. That can be attributed to midterms and plain and simple lack of time.

This week in review:

Now for the video. I originally saw this a year or two ago, but decided to revisit it today. This horse is just downright amazing...though I'm sure PETA would object to him being 'exploited' for personal gain:

On a questionably related note, did anybody else know that horses are now being used as guides for the blind? It's true!

I will try to be back this afternoon. I have a few things I'd like to hit on...namely the death of cursive, which has been covered by a couple of other blogs, but I have some observations I'd like to make. Also, though, I attended the Callaghan/Capito debate in Martinsburg, WV on Wednesday night, and I have a few notes to share on that...


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

"Unlike basketball, the security of the United States is not a game. Can we afford a party that treats it like one?"

Updated: Scroll down

How great is this?

I first saw this on Instapundit (surprise surprise, Glenn Reynolds was the first to post on it--how shocking). Since then LGF has posted on it. It originally appeared on the Drudge Report.

The video has been "flagged" and as such requires a password if viewing it on the YouTube site. But, LGF notes that:

the fictional assassination of George W. Bush? No problem:

YouTube - Death of a President.

The ad is apparently not being shown on TV (I certainly haven't seen it--though I've seen the stupid ad about Bob Byrd supporting a law protecting silent prayer about 9,000 times). Why? Well Ann Althouse--who I am not overly familiar with--explains it all:

Noooooo! It wouldn't be nice! [We] must be niiiiiiiiiice. So they're not showing it, and it's a good thing no one can see it.

I think that is said with tongue-in-cheek, though.

Anyway, it's an interesting video--quite good. It sure does lay it out there for the American people to take it--too bad relatively few people are seeing it.

PS--As a side note, does Google's recent acquisition of YouTube mean an end to countless hours of browsing free stupid videos? I hope not...


I just viewed the video "Death of a President" that LGF linked to. How disgusting. The producer says it's not anti-Bush, and he can't understand why people would think it is. Gee. A video about killing Bush, how could that possibly be seen as anti-Bush?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

That just ain't for me...

I wasn't planning on posting today--with midterms hitting their pinnacle tomorrow, I really should be studying--but sometimes something strikes one's attention and just begs to be blogged about.

I saw this just now on CommonSense and Wonder, one of my personal favorite blogs. The original article appeared here:

Cremation to be replaced by eco-friendly freeze-drying of corpses

It brings a new meaning to the phrase "dust to dust".

Funerals in Britain could soon end with the body of a loved-one being frozen to -196C in liquid nitrogen and then shaken until it disintegrates into powder.

The process - known as "promession" - could be the answer to the dwindling amount of space in Britain's cemeteries as well as being more environmentally friendly than cremation, say campaigners.

It has already been given the go-ahead in Sweden, and now councils are lobbying the Government to change the law to allow it to happen here - currently bodies can only be buried or cremated.


Around seven out of ten people currently opt for the cheaper option of cremation, but that also has its problems.

Burning dental fillings creates mercury emissions, and Government targets mean filters must be fitted to crematoria, some of which may have to be completely rebuilt as a result at a cost of millions.

Supporters also say it boosts the environment further as it is better at recycling nutrients than burial where the body is embalmed and buried at greater depth.
So as bizarre as it sounds, growing numbers of councils are signing up to the idea of freeze-drying bodies.

The process involves dipping the body in -196C liquid nitrogen until it is brittle, and then placing it on a vibrating mat so it disintegrates into powder.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I do know that I do NOT want to be embalmed, nor do I want an autopsy, even if foul play is suspected. There is just something disgusting about that. It seems almost disrespectful.

Last year I watched a single--one!--episode of the show "House." In that episode, Dr. House (is that his name?) treated a dead woman's body very terribly as he attempted to convince her husband to let him use one of her organs. It was very upsetting to me. That's when I decided I am not so sure about organ donations either...

But to be shattered into oblivion upon death might be worse. It's like that seen in Terminator 2, when 'the Governator' freezes the liquid guy and then bashes him...

Shattering one's dead body...that just ain't for me.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Homosexuals on the moon?

In theory anyway. From WorldNetDaily:

Fly me to the moon? No thanks, said a 13-year-old girl who refused, because of her faith, to write an assignment for her health and physical education class about being the only heterosexual in a lunar colony with 10 homosexuals.

The class at Windaroo Valley State High School, made up of 13- and 14-year-old girls, was given the scenario and told to answer 10 questions, including how it felt to be a "minority" and what they would do to cope with their situation. They were also
told to discuss where ideas about homosexuality came from.

While many of the students were uncomfortable with the assignment or said they didn't understand the questions, one girl instantly refused because of her religious faith. "It is against my beliefs and I am not going there," she told the teacher.

For this, she was given her first-ever failing grade in a health and physical education class. According to the Brisbane Sunday Mail of Australia, students were told that details of the assignment were to remain in class and they weren't to discuss it with their parents.

And there's the real problem. The worst part isn't the assignment, or even the 'F' the girl recieved for not doing the assignment, but rather that the kids were told not to discuss school with the parents. If the assignment is one that shouldn't be discussed with parents--aside, of course, from those cheeseball assignments were the kids make their mommies and daddies something nice for Mother's Day or Father's Day, though I don't think that kind of stuff is allowed any more--then it shouldn't even be brought up in class. Not that such tactics can prevent assertive parents from getting to the root of the problem:

"I went to the school thinking there might have been a personality clash with the teacher," said the teen's mother, who only learned of the assignment after her report card was sent home. "When I started to read it I thought, 'Oh my God' ... I was shocked by the content," she said of the assignment.

"My daughter said she didn't want to do the assignment because she did not believe in homosexuality and did not want to answer the questions. She was being challenged, but she should not be challenged like that at her age."
No 13 year-old student should be challenged like this. Kids don't even get a childhood now. Though I sound like an old man when I say this, I honestly do not remember it being this way just 8 years ago when I was 13. Kids barely know what they belief at this point, challenging them on why they believe it is just uncalled for.

"It's no wonder our kids are struggling with the basics when the government is allowing this sort of rubbish to be taught in the classroom," Queensland, Australia Opposition Leader Jeff Seeney said.

The government "has created a system that tries to tell kids what to think instead of teaching them how to think," he said. "It is completely out of line for students to be graded on their moral beliefs. It's not the job of our schools to politicize our children. It is their function to provide our kids with the basics, like reading, writing and math."

The revelation of "faith-based grading" came to light in the same week Federal
Education Minister Julie Bishop
announced plans to take control of the schools from Australia's separate states.

The state education systems, she told a history teachers' conference, had been hijacked by leftist "ideologues" promoting ideas "straight from Chairman Mao."

Regarding Windaroo Valley's homosexuals-on-the-moon assignment, Bishop
said it was one more reason to be concerned about Australia's schools.

"This is another example of a politically-correct agenda masquerading as curriculum," she said. "Parents need to know the content of school curriculum so they can be confident their children are receiving a high quality education that is also consistent with their values."

"Knowing the content," said the girl's mother, was precisely what Windaroo Valley High did not seem to want, noting that school officials seemed more concerned about how parents learned of the assignment than her daughter's religious beliefs.

"That's what concerns me most ... the parents had no opportunity to even see the assignment," she said.

The school website had this to say about the school:

That should be good news for one 13-year-old girl at Windaroo Valley High
where the school's website makes this promise:

"Ultimately we offer choice, opportunity and potential. There is something for everyone with new additions being made every year to enhance our progressive curriculum. We want students to be happy."

This stuff has to stop. Period.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Wasted government funds

We'll get to the outrageous waste of tax payers money in just a minute.

But first, a HUGE congratulations to Brendan Shanahan (the new New York Ranger) for becoming the 15th player in NHL history to net 600 goals. We love you already, Brendan!

Secondly, the week in review

Now to unneeded government expenses...like, say, national defense:

"There's defense, social security, health, housing, and silly walks. Last year the government spent less on the ministry of Silly Walks than they did on defense"...absolutely unacceptable. Here's the proof:

Everybody have a great weekend. For you Shepherd U folks, best wishes for MIDTERM WEEK next week!



I'm no fan of this trending multiculturalism stuff, but it seems to be the way of the future. Here's an interesting story from Little Green Footballs on a case of multiculturalism that may have gone a little far--though the courts are upholding it:

Here’s a case of multiculturalism gone berserk, in a Supreme Court ruling that must have greatly pleased CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood: Appeal on school’s lesson in Muslim culture is rejected. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday by evangelical
Christian students and their parents who said a Contra Costa County school district engaged in unconstitutional religious indoctrination when it taught students about Islam by having them recite language from prayers. [They did quite a bit more than simply recite prayers, as you’ll see below. —ed.]

The court, without comment, left intact a ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco last November in favor of the Byron Union School District in eastern Contra Costa.

The suit challenged the content of a seventh-grade history course at Excelsior Middle School in Byron in the fall of 2001. The teacher, using an instructional guide, told students they would adopt roles as Muslims for three weeks to help them learn what Muslims believe.

She encouraged them to use Muslim names, recited prayers in class, had
them memorize and recite a passage from the Quran and made them give up something for a day, such as television or candy, to simulate fasting during the month of Ramadan. The final exam asked students for a critique of elements of Muslim culture.

The students and parents who sued argued that the class activities had crossed the line from education into an official endorsement of a religious practice. A federal judge and the appeals court disagreed, saying the class had an instructional purpose and the students had engaged in no actual religious exercises.

UPDATE at 10/4/06 12:45:52 pm:
Some important context on this, from LGF reader ‘nonic:’

It must be noted that the Supreme Court did NOT “approve” the Ninth Circuit’s decision by not taking the appeal.

This is standard practice in the Supreme Court. And the more conservative the court (as we have now), the more you will see this sort of thing, i.e., NOT jumping at the first possible opportunity to overturn a lower court – UNTIL there are several such lower decisions, and preferably conflicting decisions, so that it can be assumed that the issue has received full debate with vigorous support on both sides.

UPDATE at 10/4/06 1:02:39 pm:
The Islamic immersion course is
now also being taught in Oregon: Students Wear Islam Dress For Class. (Hat tip: zombie.)

NYSSA, Ore. — Officials at a public school in Oregon are defending a
seventh-grade social studies unit on Islam that included students dressing in traditional Islamic dress.

Kendlee Garner of Nyssa told the Ontario Argus Observer that she
objected to the amount of time dedicated to the unit on Islam — four weeks — as well as the wearing of religious garb and the lack of parental notification. She said her son told her about the activity, and when she objected, he got an alternate assignment in the library. Nyssa school officials respond that teaching about Islam is not promoting the religion. Superintendent Don Grotting said it’s part of meeting state standards that call for students to “understand the importance of the rise of Islam and its interaction with Europe.”

It'd be interesting to see how this would pan out if it where Christian 'culture' being forced upon them. If they were being instructed to memorize Bible versus or Catholic 'rituals.' I doubt the courts would be so eager to uphold the comparable practice...


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today is the day...

That I've been waiting for since the New York Rangers were eliminated by those horrid New Jersey Devils last spring: It's hockey time at last.
The Hockey Bird has a good report. Of course the Ranger's website covers the new season as well. Let's go Lundqvist. Let's go Jagr. Let's go Shanny. LETS GO RANGERS.

My butt will be glued to the chair and stairing at the television from approximately 7pm-10pm tonight, as the Rangers host the Capitals on channel 37 of the Martinsburg cable package.

Did I mention...LETS GO RANGERS?! I don't know if I did, so I'll do so now: LETS GO RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Correct on all accounts

I have to admit that yestarday's rantings about the Foley incident were written in anger and disgust, though even after I have "cooled down," I can't help but stand by them. Maybe it's something to do with the unseasonably warm weather we've experienced the past two days, but I am just completely and utterly disgusted.

Instapundit hits the nail right on the head:

DO THE REPUBLICANS DESERVE TO RETAIN THE HOUSE? This morning driving in to work I heard Neal Boortz saying no, and he made a pretty compelling case. (If it weren't for silly Democratic talk about impeachment and show-trial hearings I'd find it even more compelling.) The counter-case is that a Democratic House would be a disaster for the country. I gathered from Boortz's discussion that that's the case that Hannity and Limbaugh were making yesterday. It's a strong argument -- except that if Republican control of the Congress is so all-fired important to the future of civilization, then why haven't the Republicans who
control Congress been acting as if it is so important?

And it's not so much the Foley affair -- that's just the pebble that starts the valanche. It's the past two years of more substantive problems, which, as Rich Lowry notes, have exhausted their stock of moral and political capital on a lot of issues. Were GOP control of the Congress so important to the country, wouldn't the GOP leadership have exercised a trifle more self-discipline and self-denial? And if it's not capable of doing so, then what kind of leadership is it?
Boy is that the truth... I have heard Dick Morris (FoxNews contributor and former Clinton advisor) say several times that neither party deserves to win this election--and he's right.

As Glenn Reynolds said above, "If it weren't for silly Democratic talk about impeachment and show-trial hearings I'd find it even more compelling." I feel the exact same way. Here we are debating text messages about masturbation when the focus for Republicans and Dems alike should be protecting this Nation. That is what they are charged with in the Constitution, and yet it seems like that is at the bottom of the list of concerns for many of these people.

What to do?


Body Paint, Democrats and WV Politics

All in one riveting article from The Washington Post:

W. Va. Lawmaker Embarasssed by Photos

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A state senator said he is evaluating whether to continue his bid for a second term after a Charleston television station aired revealing pictures of him last week.

"My family has urged me not to withdraw from the election and I will work with them to make a decision in the immediate future," State Sen. Randy White, a Webster County Democrat, said in a letter to newspapers in his district.

An apologetic White also wrote that he was "shocked" and "horribly embarrassed" after WCHS-TV aired photos depicting him and at least two other men wearing only body paint.

"The pictures were taken approximately two years ago in private and were stolen from my personal computer," said White, 51, a married father of three. "I am not sure why they were given to the media, but I must assume for obvious political reasons."

WCHS said it received the photos anonymously on a compact disc. The various photos, censored by the station, were shown for about 80 seconds during a 5-minute news segment alleging White was the apparent victim of a blackmail plot. The station aired the segment during several newscasts last week.

White did not mention extortion during a brief Monday interview with The Associated Press or in Tuesday's letter. White wrote that he had been working with his family to overcome a "personal identification situation" and to overcome depression for which he has been treated through medication for over a year.

"I am a religious person and have been for some months praying to God to help my family and me through this tragic and troubling episode in my life," the letter said.

In its news segment, WCHS said it had reported the disc and its contents to the FBI.

White served three terms in the House of Delegates before winning his seat in the 11th Senate District in 2002.

Republican Harold "Pete" Sigler is challenging White in the November election. Sigler did not immediately respond to messages requesting comment Tuesday.

Lovely. Just lovely. What the hell is wrong with people?

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh Muuh

E.D. Hill is no longer the co-host of Fox's "Fox and Friends" morning show. I was so used to hearing her in the mornings on TV and on Sirius Radio on the way to the school that I am doing my preliminary student teaching at.

Hill moves on to become anchor of the 10-12 FoxNews show. From foxnews.com:

E.D. Hill joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in March of 1998. Hill anchors "Fox News Live" from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET. Prior to "Fox News Live," Hill was co-anchor on the network's weekday morning program "FOX & Friends."

Prior to joining FNC, Hill was a contributing reporter for ABC News' "Good Morning America" from 1995 to 1998 covering family issues. Before that, she served as the morning and noon anchor for ABC's flagship station in New York, WABC-TV.

Prior to WABC-TV, Hill was WHDH-TV's (NBC-Boston, MA) mid-day news anchor, where she won a local EMMY Award for "Outstanding News Special."

Earlier in her career, Hill served as a business anchor for CBS Morning News and CBS Radio Network and was the anchor for WPXI-TV's (NBC-Pittsburgh, PA) evening newscasts.

A graduate of University of Texas and mother of eight children, Hill is also the recipient of a Golden Quill Award for live spot news reporting.

...I liked her better with Steve and Brian. Apparently this happened sometime last week or the week before. I heard Gretchen Whateverhernameis last week, but I just figured E.D. was on vacation or something. Guess I figured wrong. Hmph.


*Updated, see below...
*Updated again--scroll down

My lack of blogging on the typical Friday afternoon and continuing throught the weekend has caused me to be "behind" in the news. Yesarday I covered the horrid slaying of the young Amish students. Today I am compelled to throw my two cents in on the Foley situation.

First on Foley from The Washington Post:

"Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today," Foley said in a statement.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

Foley was the author of the key sexual predator provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which Bush signed in July.

Foley, who represents a district in southern Florida, also was a member if the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax and trade policy.
My initial reaction was something like this, "surely this can't be as bad as it's being made to be...surely this is purely politics. Those rat democrats wills top at nothing." I was angry at "them."

As more information has been made available, though, my anger is slowly but surely being redirected. Most infuriating thus far has been Speaker of the House Hastert's reaction and behavior. Now my anger is at "us."From another article at The Washington Post:

Hastert, as the House's top officer and the man in line after the vice president to succeed the president, has been the main target of questions and barbs from both parties. He reiterated yesterday that he recalled hearing nothing about Foley's e-mails until last Friday, but he does not dispute the assertion of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.) that he informed the speaker last spring.

"If Reynolds told me, it was in a line of things, and we were in the middle of another crisis this spring, so I just don't remember that," Hastert told reporters. He defended the decision by several top staffers to handle the Foley matter without telling him. "I see no reason to bump it up to me at that time," he said.

No reason to bump it up? No reason? What kind of response is that? He might as well have said, "well, I wasn't that concerned that one of the Congress members was sending sexually explicit messages that are definately unethical and possibly illegal. I had other things to do so I let one of my hired helpers do my job for me."

Aside from that, Hastert claims he "recalls hearing nothing" of the emails until Friday in the above report. But in a report by The Washington Times, he says that he did see them and that he acted:

Hastert and other leaders have laid out a complicated series of events. They say they first became aware of overly friendly e-mails from Foley to one underage male page last spring, but had no idea that the congressman had sent other sexually explicit messages to additional pages.

Even before then, Foley had been confronted in the fall of 2005 about his communications with the one page, and told to break off contact with him and all other pages. According to a weekend statement issued by Hastert's office, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who heads the page board, and the House clerk, met with the Florida lawmaker and told him to "immediately cease any communication" with the page.

Boehner, the second-ranking GOP leader, became the latest member of the party's high command to outline his involvement when he answered questions in his radio interview.

"I believe I talked to the speaker, and he told me it had been taken care of," he said, when asked about the e-mails that were not sexually explicit. He said that had occurred last spring.

"In my position, it's in his corner. It's his responsibility. The clerk of the House, who runs the page program, the page board, all report to the speaker, and I believed it had been dealt with. Again, I didn't know the context of what even the original message (said)," he added.

In a seperate editorial, the Times is calling for Hastert to step down. They clearly articulate my precise feelings:

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once.

Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away.

He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.

But the President stands behind Hastert:

"I know that he wants all the facts to come out and he wants to ensure that these children up there on Capitol Hill are protected," the president said. "I'm confident he will provide whatever leadership he can to law enforcement in this investigation."

How can Hastert provide the leadership needed when he did not even believe it was a big enough deal for him to personally address when the revolations were made to him in the spring? Simply, he cannot. Sorry, Mr. President, but you are wrong on this one.

I'm not advocating Hastert's resignation from congress, simply just to step down from his chairmanship. But Hastert is not enough...

What about the Page Board? Rumors suggest that Republican leaders on the page board--including WV's own Shelly Moore-Capito (who will be in my home county this weekend)--knew about the incident and did not share the information with Democrats. Unacceptable. I don't like most democrats any more than the next good Republican does, but good God, how is anything going to be done without communication--even with your political enemies.

Although nobody cares--The Vent Pipe is stepping up to the plate alongside The Wasington Times: Mr. Speaker, I urge you to resign. Step aside and allow someone else step up. I also urge that the United States House of Representatives investigate each and every member of the page board. If any member--even my own--had any knowledge of the situation and failed to act or to communicate their knowledge with other members (including Democrats) then they too should step down from their position on the Board. That's to bottom line.

Is this somehow indicitive of a decline in the moral fiber of today? Are the Republicans imploding? Have they single-handedly lost the election for themselves? I think the answers to the questions are YES, YES and YES. But we shall have to see.


Shep Smith on the Fox News Channel just featured a story by Major Garret on the Foley mess. The story ran in the first 15 minutes of the show.

Garret reported that a text dialogue between the boy and Foley about masturbation was just released. The dialogue occurred during debate on a bill concerning FUNDING INCREASES FOR THE IRAQ WAR.

Clarification: Shep just offered a clarification. Foley, apparently left the Chamber to have "cybersex" with a page. The conversation ended with Foley saying, "well, I better go vote, I miss you." The boy replied "I miss you too." Then Foley said, "can I have a kiss goodnight?"

Good GOD. This is a Representative. Sent to Washington, DC to do the people's business--but is he? NO. He's leaving meetings to go have cybersex with some kid.

That's right--while the House was debating sending money to help protect our men and women who are fighting and DYING in Iraq, Foley thought it would be better to talk about his disgusting sexual habbits. This man is scum. How many other bills concerning the life and death nature of the war on terror was he sitting idly by during? How many other times was he talking dirty to young men rather than debating the most important elements of the responsiblities of our Congress? The more I think about it, the more angry I get.


Outside the Beltway covers the developments about the messaging during debate on the Emergancy War Fund Bill (or whatever the proper title was...)

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