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Showing posts from October, 2006

Weekend Looking Around

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I've spent a relatively quiet weekend; on Saturday, I went shopping, and, unbelievably, actually spent money, something I'm usually disinclined to do.

Today, my asthma is flaring up, so I'm pumping in meds every two hours. Hopefully, I'll be better by tomorrow. If not, I'll make an appointment with my doctor.

TV sucks today, so I'm catching up on blogs I don't usually have the time to vist every day. One of those is The Smallest Minority, whose post I'm exerpting below is classic:We must understand that the ideals of Lockean philosophy must yield to objective reality when objective reality rears its ugly head.

All societies are defined by their philosophies, and their philosophies are, in effect, shared delusions. When placed in conflict, objective reality highlights the flaws in those philosophies, and makes them obvious. If the society will not recognize the flaws and take pragmatic steps to counter their effects, that society will most probably be on…

Vatican Hack Unsuccessful

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I find this strange, but ultimately funny. Apparently a group of Muslim hackers attempted to bring down the Vatican computers. They were unsuccessful. Apparently, they were ticked off about the Pope's speech on Islam, and its need to be more tolerant. But the Vatican is protected by Michael - no, not the Archangel, the firewall.

I found the picture below on The Curt Jester, a great site that pokes some fun at Catholic practices in a loving way.

Torture - A Necessary Evil?

Over at Against The Grain, I found a fascinating post discussing the uses of torture, and whether it was an acceptable technique, according to Catholic theology. Torture, described as the deliberate infliction of pain, is compared with corporal punishment, and put into context for Catholics.

Contrary to many of the "peace and non-violence" crowd, the Catholic Church hasn't taken a stand against every type of violence. The underlying issue is what is the intent of the person who is either injuring someone, or at the most extreme, killing them (which, in SOME cases, is not contrary to Church teachings).

Take the case of capital punishment. Catholics are permitted to vote, as a member of the jury, for the death penalty. Several things are necessary:
There must be overwhelming evidence of the person's guilt (fulfilling the "reasonable doubt" condition). Since the penalty is so severe, the juror must be convinced that the person is truly guilty - not just go a…

Guard the Borders - A Little Late

Beheadings Aren't Just For Islamists Anymore
By Toni at Bear Creek LedgerThose pro-illegal aliens should be paying attention to what's happening with the drug cartels south of the border. This is what we in the US have to look forward to if there isn't something done to control our southern borders.
We also have Venezuela's Chavez giving legal ID's to members of Hezbollah and Hamas but he is also assisting their efforts to become proficient in Spanish to help these terrorists to infiltrate the US.Here's a story that is definitely not been publicized on the front page but should be since these drug cartels are controlling many areas of our southern border. I am getting to the point of believing the US should be placing active duty troops on our southern border to protect us. There is an assault and invasion occurring today that has been ignored and local law enforcement doesn't have a prayer against these drug cartels. And don't tell me about "posse c…

Isn't this rewarding slave-owners?

I found this reference at FoxNews.comAbdel-Nasser Youssef Ibrahim, 45, was sentenced to three years in prison, and his former wife, Amal Ahmed Ewis Abdel-Motelib, 43, received a 22-month sentence. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna ordered the pair to pay restitution of $76,173 to the girl, who is now 16 years old, for the work she performed.

Ibrahim and his ex-wife each pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy, holding a person in involuntary servitude through force or coercion, obtaining labor through unlawful force or coercion and harboring an illegal alien.OK, let me see if I understand this:

They bring an illegal alien - who is, BTW, 10 years old - to this country, take away her passport, and force her to clean their house and take care of their 5 children.

She is a prisoner in their home, living in squalor.

He gets 3 years in prison, his wife gets just under 2 years. And they have to pay $38,000 for their 2-year enslavement of a pre-adolescent?

Is that a financial bargain? Heck, the re…

I Can't Believe They Are So Bold in Planning This!

When I first found this link, I apparently misread it. I read it as an official report of the House Judiciary Committee.

No.

It's theFinal Investigative Report of the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff, that's all. Now, does that read like a report from a partisan part of the committee, or an attempt to masquerade as an official document?

It outlines the plan to shove through an impeachment trial for President Bush. The leadership of the House (Pelosi) has said that option is "off the table". But, she also will be looking at investigating Bush's actions. Would that include impeachment? She won't say yes, and she won't say no.

How coy.

What's the motivation? To secure Clinton's place in the history books as a picked-upon victim of a vicious Republican cabal. If several presidents are impeached, what's the big deal? It makes that pesky trial hardly worth mentioning.


I found a particular piece of egregious nonsense:implicate the Presi…

Catching Up

I traveled to Savannah yesterday afternoon. Arrived back home around 8pm, with my laptop. It was a tiring trip, but well worth it - I now have a usable laptop - I mean, notebook. That's apparently the current lingo.

It's a Gateway, about the same footprint as my HP, but LOTS lighter in weight. I've been busy today (most of the students were testing) with installing software. I'll probably be doing that for the next few weeks - I really had a lot of utilities on the previous one.

This is a nice break tonight - tomorrow we have parent meetings, but don't have to go into work until 11am. I figure I'll head to Curves first thing in the am. For me, sleeping late means lolling around until 7:30.

There's not a lot of major interest going on right now. The election coverage, so far, seems to favor Democrats. I hear a lot of smug assumption that the Dems will be taking over Congress. It's possible. But, not sure.

In my experience (I've been voting for…

Noonan Fan Club Day

Peggy Noonan mentions 4 different episodes of anti-Free Speech activity in the last 10- days.It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This--listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity--is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.

We all know this, at least in the abstract. Why are so many forgetting it in the particular?

Let us be more pointed. Students, stars, media movers, academics: They are always saying they want debate, but they don't. They want their vision imposed. They want to win. And if the win doesn't come quickly, they'll rush the stage, curse you out, attempt to intimidate.

And they don't always recognize themselves to be bullying. So full of their righteousness are they that t…

Republicans: Will They Stay or Go?

An article in the Washington Post, no conservative mouthpiece, says that the GOP results in this next election won't be as gloomy as predicted.party operatives say Rove is predicting that, at worst, Republicans will lose only 8 to 10 seats -- shy of the 15-seat threshold that would cede control to Democrats for the first time since the 1994 elections and probably hobble the balance of Bush's second term.

In the Senate, Rove and associates believe, a Democratic victory would require the opposition to "run the table," as one official put it, to pick up the necessary six seats -- a prospect the White House seems to regard as nearly inconceivable.The Washington Post article seems to think that Rove and Bush are blowing smoke, at best, in an effort to stem a likely stampede. I don't think I agree. My hunch is that master strategist Rove wouldn't put his reputation on the line in a doubtful case.The question is whether this is a case of justified confidence -- bas…

The New Anointed One

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I'm from Cleveland, where for several years, the talk around town was Lebron James, the Original Anointed One.

Now, according to Time and other MSM pundits, Barack Obama, the Senator from Illinois, may be coaxed into assuming his rightful role as the Democrat standard-bearer. As CNN.com puts it:The question of when Obama -- who has not yet served two years in the U.S. Senate -- will run for president is omnipresent. That he will eventually run, and win, is assumed by almost everyone who comes to watch him speak.It reminds me of the obsessive speculation in the 50's and 60's, that used to accompany any half-way acceptable fighter of suitably pale complexion - could this lad be the Next Champion? He was usually tagged The Great White Hope.

Is Barack Obama The Great Black Hope?

He seems to be an OK guy, and a competent Senator. My big concern about him is that the would-be kingmakers will push him too fast. Frankly, I'd prefer to see him serve at least one full term as S…

Weekend Meandering

I'm anticipating a quiet weekend. I finished the grades. Although I COULD grade the new stuff - no way! I'm going to have a totally indulgent weekend. I deserve it.

Is it just me, or is the Foley scandal kind of anemic? I mean, what are we to make of a sex scandal with no sex? What's next - a drunken carouse without booze?

I'm a little concerned about the "Project Red" initiative. It's the new whimsy by Bono to increase the amount of money he and his cronies control that, theoretically, are used to fight AIDS, Tb and Malaria. What is Global Fund?

If you want to see what the Fund has previously spent the money on, go to this page, and you can download each round of proposals, with all the details. For instance, in Round 5, Total Total approved US$ 770 million in 60 countries

By Region

East Asia & the Pacific - US$ 128 million in 17 countries
Eastern Europe & Central Asia - US$ 27 million in 8 country
Latin America & the Caribbean -…

NORK

I've been reading the results of the NORK ka-boom test, and I've decided several things:
The test apparently wasn't all that powerful. It was the equivalent of Hiroshima or less. Nonetheless, it confirms that they are serious about pursuing the program, so we need to act as though they are a danger to us and the rest of the world.
If the NORKs can do it, so can any other country. We've been training the world's engineers for a long time. Yeah, I know that we intended to produce people that could build a society, not explode it, but apparently, that's not what THEY intended.
Given this, does it REALLY make sense to keep training engineers for other countries? Just asking.
Touchy-feely experimenting with the educational system has to stop. We can't afford to have so many students ignorant of math, the precursor to science and engineering. We need to bring in the calvalry. If we can get students up to speed, but only the white male ones, well, tough. Let …

GuardtheBorders

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By Diane of Diane's Stuff, via Third World County

As I’ve said countless times on my own blog, I am not a very political animal. I have my opinions on things of a political nature but I rarely express them, and I very seldom post on anything political because I don’t feel as if I’m well enough informed on particular issues. I do have an opinion on whether or not there should be a fence along the border between Mexico and the States, and it has always seemed like a very good idea to me.

Living in Texas I see a lot of illegals and every time I see someone that’s clearly Hispanic in front of me in the grocery store, paying for their food with a LoneStar Card (plastic food stamps) or presenting a WIC form, I have to wonder how much of that is going to sustain illegal cousins, brothers, aunts, uncles, etc. I’m not naive enough to think that the only nationality that can use our Southern borders as a crossing is Mexican, but let’s be honest here for a minute; aren’t they the main concern…

Telecommuting for Congress?

I found an old article in the archives of The American Thinker. It suggests a radical solution to the problem of sending our representatives and Senators to Washington, only to have them fall victim to the Washington Mindset.Many businesses have discovered that there is no real need to keep people in one physical location, in order to effectively and efficiently coordinate their work effort. Telecommuting, the pratice of working from remote locations, be it a client’s premises or even from home, offers many advantages. It is long past time for Congress to consider the possibility of applying the lessons learned in the private sector. The benefits mught be numerous and substantial.I really like this idea. Rather than exhaust the Congressperson by forcing them into a jet-lagged lifestyle, it makes sense to convene Congress remotely, with personal appearances for only a few days a month.

Think about the difference it could make for limiting the influence of lobbyists, not to mention the…

Common Sense Isn't So Common

Myrna Blyth hits the essential question about Foley on the head:That is what every woman I’ve spoken to has said about the Foley mess.

“What were those guys thinking?”

It’s just that simple.

Why didn’t Hastert and Reynolds and Shimkus understand what every vigilant parent knows, that there is something very fishy about an older guy, any older guy, sending overly friendly e-mails to a 16-year-old, whether the 16-year-old is a boy or a girl.

Sure, the fundamental problem here is that Foley was sending those e-mails and, even worse, those even more explicit and disgusting text messages. But just as big a problem is that the House leadership was so dumb or disinterested that they really believed (at least, so they say) Foley’s alleged excuse that he was just “being friendly.”

Didn’t they ever wonder why a 52-year-old congressman needed a 16-year-old friend? A congressman whom almost everyone on the Hill thought was gay?

Would they have believed him and then just gone about their business if the…

Livin' Large

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As you can see from the above graphic, I've once again hit the Large Mammal classification in the TTLB ecosystem.

The first time, I was honestly delighted.
BlogStardom was just around the corner.

That was, until the Bear tinkered with the 'code, and many of my links were disqualified.

It happened again. Again, same tinkering. Same precipitous drop in status.

So, even though I am perched on the precarious heights, I'm keeping my parachute handy.

'Cause I know the fall is only a matter of time.

So, I'm savoring the moment, but not taking it too seriously.

Minuteman Protest - Calm & Peaceful? You Decide

I found the video of the Columbia protest. To me, this was a planned disruption, intended to prevent the Minutemen from expressing their views. So, how does this NOT count as a violation of the Minutemen's 1st Amendment rights? Why did the university (a public one) not remove the protesters immediately? Could it be that they wanted the talk interrupted?

Judge for yourself - were they quietly expressing their view? Were they destroying property and deliberately intimidating the anti-immigration attendees?

Scott, the young man at the end of the video, provides a refreshing example of calm and reason.

YouTube Again

I just saw the YouTube video about Jack Straw's comments. He's the British politician who said that fully-veiled women might consider, in a modern society, wearing a partial veil, in situations where they are interacting privately (as in a constituent meeting to seek assistance). He stated that, to him, it seemed to inhibit communication, as it was not possible to read faces.

It was an opinion. That's all. He may have interpreted the situation differently than a follower of Islam would have, but he's entitled to his opinion.

Not according to the spokesmen (1 male, 1 female - Haleema Hussein - who was not fully veiled) of Islam that are in this interview. According to Ms. Hussein,He shouldn't be allowed to comment on these issues - it's a Muslim issue.Dhimmi, know your place!

Watch Quickly, Before it Disappears!

I just viewed the Michelle Malkin video - First They Came.... I can't describe it - but I strongly urge you to see it.

Does This Seem Like the Democratic Party You Know?

Well, the sharks have been lurking around, and the first one has taken his chunk out of the victim. What do I mean?The first campaign television ad featuring disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida, hit the airwaves Friday in southern Indiana, as a Democratic challenger sought to link the ongoing page scandal to the Republican congressman.

Former Rep. Baron Hill, D-Indiana, criticizes Rep. Mike Sodrel, R-Indiana, for refusing to return $77,000 in campaign contributions "from the House leadership who knew about but did nothing to stop sexual predator Congressman Foley.Here's the link to the ad.

So, the smear is to extend to ALL Republicans who took money from the leadership. In other words, just about ALL Republicans.

Sounds fair. So, anyone who is in any way connected to the incident, which, BTW, is as follows (according to Andrew Sullivan, well-known gay Republican):The most infuriating aspect of the Mark Foley fiasco is that we're still unclear on what exactly it is…

I'm a Big Girl

I can handle bad news - heck, I raised 3 teenagers, I got used to it.

So why is the government trying to keep the bad news about retirement from me?From Ace of Spades HQLast month, JP Morgan released what it considers the most comprehensive preliminary estimate. It projects the present value of unfunded health care and other non-pension benefits at between $600 billion and $1.3 trillion.

By comparison, the debt rating agency Standard and Poors estimates the country's total unfunded public pension debt at around $285 billion.

"There's a good chance some government entities are going to go bankrupt," said California Assemblyman Keith Richman, a Republican from Chatsworth. "But the issue isn't just bankruptcy, it's governments dying of a thousand cuts in services. The costs of promises that have been made are going to be astronomical."This is the way conservative politicians need to come clean with the electorate. They need to say:Folks, I've got som…

What Americans are Like

I've been reading about American vs. European cultures, and I'm getting hooked on Rants and Raves. He's been living in Poland with his Polish-born wife, and his perspective is riveting.

One year in college, in a Literature class, I was, by happenstance, in a class that was surprisingly multi-national. There were, I remember, 17 different nationalities represented, as I remember:
Dutch
French
Polish
Ukranian
several different groups of Spanish-speaking students (don't remember exactly which countries)
Africans - Ugandan, Ethiopian, Nigerian, Liberian
Mulsims from - Lebanon, Syria, UAE, Egypt
Asians - Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese
One delightful side effect was a renewed appreciation of what it meant to be an American. During the time I was in this class, I began to see the American experience as never before. Compared to other cultures, we are:
Friendly - we are not generally suspicious. We answer questions, even personal ones, readily. Even strangers can ask us questions a…

Random Thoughts

I'm typing this on my laptop, with an external keyboard attached. The on-board keyboard, alas, has terminal cancer. The problem is common on many HP Omnibook computers.

My husband will probably be bringing a replacement down, but first it have to have the closing latch fixed. It's easier to get repairs in a major city than here.

My dear SIL is in charge of the repairs. He'll either personally do it, or have someone else do it. God love him.

One of the other teachers, another Ohioan, has been telling us about the shooting in PA recently. I confess, I only glanced at the news - another teen goes gonzo, shoots up a school, ho-hum.

But, it was more like the Lockerbie, Scotland shootings than Columbine. This was an adult determined to make his statement by killing unassociated children, girls, to be exact. The principal got shot by trying to stop him.

I don't know that there is a way to stop a person who's laid his plans and is willing to die. Unless the family reali…

GuardtheBorders

By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

This is a MUST SEE video for anyone interested in the immigration debate, whether you are a citizen, a legal immigrant, an illegal alien or a Congressman. This clip is from the longer video, Immigration by the Numbers, and features Roy Beck of NumbersUSA demonstrating the catastrophe of unrestricted immigration by Third World people into our nation. He uses standard statistics and simple gumballs to show this disaster in the making.

This video is very short - only 17 minutes total - don't miss it! Even if you think you know what our future looks like, this video will shock you!



H/T for the video: Third World County

Here are some additional resources concerning the population disaster that is pending for our nation.

You can order videos of Immigration by the Numbers and others for only $10.

A chart of the declining levels of Americans and the exploding numbers of foreign-born immigrants.



A chart of the future of the U.S. in this century

*These numbers …

You Gotta See This Blog!

Via Power and Control, I found a link to Rants and Raves, which had this intriguing post:“…the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But this has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people – and this is true whether or not they are well-educated – is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations – in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.”
Neal Stephenson “The Diamond Age”

Question: What is the stupidest thing that walks God's green earth?

Answer: An adolescent with above average intelligence.And, with that intro, Stephen Browne continues to explain why smart people do dumb things.

As I said, intriguing. And, BTW, don't miss another of his lengthy posts, on Tribalism. I guarantee, you won't look at the current political/social situations in…