Monday, July 31, 2006

Dopplers Are Cool

I was gone with Mr. Freeman Hunt to the doctor's office for much of this morning.

Getting to hear your kid's heartbeat when he's only an inch and half long is pretty darn neat. And yes, everything went well.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Internet Hatchet Man?


John Brummett equates making legitimate criticisms online to being an "Internet Hatchet Man." The money quote:

Criticism from a politician - or, to be precise, the politician's designated Internet hatchet man - is a small price to pay for sharing honest insight with readers.
If you're a writer, the fact that people will sometimes criticize you does not make you a hero. Criticism is a normal part of any type of production, and calling David Kinkade, the man in charge of the blog on Asa's website, an "Internet hatchet man" is silly. The blog Kinkade runs provides an alternative perspective to the ADG. Does that mean Brummett is a "newspaper hatchet man?"

Brummett and others in the MSM are quick to criticize, but then cry "hatchet job!" when criticized themselves.

UPDATE: I was going to save this for another post, but one post about John Brummett is plenty. I think he should rethink his "proud certainties":

A few weeks ago, David Kinkade, communications director for Hutchinson, told me that he was the one compiling this blog. But he said I could consider the blog's words tantamount to Asa's own official pronouncements.

You might recall that, on that basis, I wanted Hutchinson to apologize for misrepresentations of my columns on this blog. But he never did. That's fine. I'm not apologizing to him, either, for calling him a brazen hypocrite his own self.

That was because he asserted that a pro-choice position separated one from acceptable Arkansas values, then cavorted with the radically pro-choice Rudy Giuliani to try to drum up money and energy for his idling gubernatorial campaign.

At least I'm willing to tell you that those were my words, my honest sentiments, my proud certainties.
"Brazen hypocrite?" ...that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Under Brummett's definition, no one could work with anyone else. How often are our moral and political positions in perfect unison with those of others? By Brummett's way of thinking, it would be impossible to avoid being a hypocrite. Thus his definition of "hypocrite", apart from being incorrect, would render the word utterly meaningless.

Working with someone who is pro-choice does not turn a person who is pro-life into a hypocrite. Telling one group that you support them, and then telling another group that you do not support the first group is definitively hypocritical. Look it up.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Iraq WMD Moved to Syria?

We've all heard about the pictures of convoys. But there's more:

On Moharram 10th (Arabic calendar), prior to US/allied invasion to Iraq, fifty (50) Iraqi trucks entered Syria as convoys (or groups), I met some the drivers of those trucks, they got no idea about the content of their trucks.
The loads basically came from some where in Baghdad, Iraqi intelligence were escorting the loads. During their tripe, those truck drivers were stopped and asked frequently by the intelligence officers about whether or not they got any idea about the content of their loads, the divers replied “we have no idea”, then the officers would say “thank you”.

Upon their arrival to Deayr Ezoor city/ Syria, the drivers were ordered to get down, elements from Syrian intelligence got into the trucks, they took the trucks to big barracks for downloading.

After that; Iraqi drivers got their trucks back, they got $200 as a reward.

The drivers told me that it was their second time to bring such secret shipment; the first shipment was Moharram 1st.
Read the rest of it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Underestimating Pacman's Depravity

Slashdot via Instapundit:

During the recent Senate hearings on video game violence, one expert claimed that the ESRB underrated violent games. They went on to say that Pacman was 64% violent. To some, this means you shouldn't play Pacman; to others, it highlights what's wrong with Senate hearings.
Pacman must be stopped. He kills ghosts (not that different from people) by consuming them whole through his mouth. Terrifying! When he is caught by ghosts, he is spun in circles until the centrifugal force causes his brain to hemorrage and kills him. Awful! Plus, given the current epidemic of childhood obesity, is it really okay to show a heroic character who eats everywhere he travels and receives bonus points for consuming delicious fruits as large as his body?

Good thing the Senate is working to protect us from this sort of villainy.

Thoughts Spurred by Impending Parenthood

Wouldn't it be great if you could get a GPS transmitter implanted in your kid at birth? They could set up GPS Chip Centers. You'd go there and have the chip implanted in your kid. On your kid's eighteenth birthday, he could go there, show his ID, and have it removed.

Going a bit further, I guess asking for a fiber scope to be implanted in a child's forehead that could transmit a video feed wirelessly to the parent's PDA would be asking too much...

Pork Lovers in Arkansas

Congressman Jeff Flake of Arizona recently introduced 19 anti-pork amendments. Each one forced members of Congress to give an up or down vote on a specific pork project. So how did the Congressional delegation from Arkansas do? Club for Growth has the scorecard (YES = good anti-pork vote, NO = bad pro-pork vote):

AR 1 Berry D N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N 0
AR 2 Snyder D X X X X X N N N N N N N N N N N N N N 0
AR 3 Boozman R N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N 0
AR 4 Ross D N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N 0

Not one Representative from our state managed to vote against pork even once. We might expect such irresponsible behavior from Democrats, but Boozman? You're supposed to be a Republican. You're supposed to be for fiscal responsibility. You're expected to do better.

Click here and scroll to the bottom to see the specific projects addressed by each amendment.

Hopefully our delegation does better next time and stops opening our wallets to steal money for pet projects in other states.

UPDATE: More on Boozman at Overtaken by Events.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Can't Be Bothered With My Own Children

So says Helen Kirwan-Taylor:

Helen Kirwan-Taylor, a 42-year-old writer, lives in Notting Hill, West London, with her businessman husband Charles and their sons Constantin, 12, and Ivan, ten. Here, she argues provocatively that modern women must not be enslaved by their children.
"Enslaved" sounds pretty serious. Perhaps she will argue that parents shouldn't bend to a child's every whim. That's reasonable. But no:

Invitations to attend a child's birthday party or, worse, a singalong session were met with the same refrain: 'I would love to but I just can't spare the time.'

The nanny was dispatched in my place, and almost always returned complaining that my son had been singled out for pitiful stares by the other mothers.
Well, perhaps Helen was doing something important...

I confess that I was probably ogling the merchandise at Harvey Nichols or having my highlights done instead.
Oh. Interesting that she finds shopping and sitting in a chair while someone highlights her hair more interesting than her kids.

To be honest, I spent much of the early years of my children's lives in a workaholic frenzy because the thought of spending time with them was more stressful than any journalistic assignment I could imagine.

Kids are supposed to be fulfilling, life-changing, life-enhancing fun: why was my attitude towards them so different?

While all my girlfriends were dropping important careers and occupying their afternoons with cake baking, I was begging the nanny to stay on, at least until she had read my two a bedtime story. What kind of mother hates reading bedtime stories? A bad mother, that's who, and a mother who is bored rigid by her children.
Emphasis mine.

My children have got used to my disappearing to the gym when they're doing their prep (how boring to learn something you never wanted to learn in the first place).

They know better than to expect me to sit through a cricket match, and they've completely given up on expecting me to spend school holidays taking them to museums or enjoying the latest cinema block-boster alongside them. (I spent two hours texting friends throughout a screening of Pirates Of The Caribbean the other day).
Interact with my children? Take them somewhere? Egads! Are you serious? I don't have time to support them and teach them a bunch of boring crap. How would I maintain my me-time? I must have maximum ME-TIME!

Am I a lazy, superficial person because I don't enjoy packing up their sports kit, or making their lunch, or sitting through coffee mornings with other mothers discussing how Mr Science (I can't remember most of the teachers' names) said such and such to Little Johnny and should we all complain to the headmaster.

At this point in the conversation, my mind drifts to thoughts of my own lunch and which shoes I plan to wear with what skirt.
Yeah, thinking about shoes is way more interesting than thinking about your kid's teachers. There are like so many different shoes. There are high heels, flats, wedges, kitten heels, and on and on. Endless fascination. In school there's what, maybe 7 or 8 subjects with only one teacher for each? Booooooring. Why think about your children when you could be thinking about outfits?

The other mothers tease me for my inability to know anything about school life. But since when did masterminding 20 school runs a week become an accomplishment? Getting a First at college was an accomplishment.
I doubt they're teasing. Probably more like chiding disguised as teasing. The last time this woman was in college was probably something like 24 years ago! What adult still keeps his score by what he did back in school? Perhaps it's time to stop resting on those past laurels long enough to realize that you're failing in the present.

Arabella Cant, an art director with two young children, admits that she considered jumping off a bridge in the early stages of her career in motherhood. 'Bringing up children is among the most boring and exhausting things you can do,' she says.

Her solution was to avoid subjugating her own life to that of her children's. 'I'm certainly not traipsing around museums or sitting on the floor doing Lego if that's what you mean by being at home,' she explains. 'I'm loving it, but my children fit into my life and not the other way around.
I shouldn't have to do anything for those brats. If they want a trip out of the house, they can go to my hairdresser. I don't do kid things. It's all about me me me mememememememememe.

Psychotherapist Kati St Clair has listened to the frustrations of scores of mothers. 'Women now feel great pressure to enjoy their children at all times,' she says. 'The truth is, a lot of it is plain tedium. It's very unlikely that a mother doesn't love her child, but it can be very dull. Still, it takes a brave woman to admit that.'

All us bored mothers can take comfort from the fact that our children may yet turn out to be more balanced than those who are love-bombed from the day they are born. ...

This, of course, makes mothers like me — who love their children but refuse to cater to their every whim — feel vindicated.
To assuage one's guilt, it's best to equate normal parenting with obsessive parenting. Those who aren't neglectful are all obsessive. There is no middle ground.

Frankly, as long as you've fed them, sheltered them and told them they are loved, children will be fine.
Children need no more care than the family dog. In fact, because children are smarter than dogs, you don't even need to show them any love or interest in them. You can just tell them that you love and are interested in them, and they'll understand.

Mine are — at the risk of sounding smug — well-adjusted, creative children who respect the concept of work.
You can thank your nanny for that. The same nanny who acts as their mother by reading them stories, taking them places, caring for their needs, and showing interest in them. The same nanny who you ignored when she encouraged you to be more involved. The same nanny who has taken your place.

They stopped asking me to take them to the park (how tedious) years ago. But now when I try to entertain them and say: 'Why don't we get out the Monopoly board?' they simply look at me woefully and sigh: 'Don't bother, Mum, you'll just get bored.'

How right they are.

Has the me-obsessed culture really come to this? People who can't even be bothered with their own offspring? Perhaps her children will find her boring and not worth borthering about when she gets older and expects them to visit and care about her.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Larry Maze, Arkansas ECUSA Bishop Approves Blessings for Same-Sex Relationships

Read about it here:

"It is my belief that seeking ways of recognizing and blessing faithful, monogamous same-sex relationships falls within the parameters of providing pastoral concern and care for our gay and lesbian members," wrote the Right Rev. Larry Maze, bishop of the 14,000-member Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas.

Maze noted in his letter sent to clergy Wednesday that no other national or state Episcopal leaders have produced or approved official rites for the blessings of same-sex unions.
More here:

Maze's rather confused explanation about exactly what he is authorizing reflects this double-mindedness. "Neither the General Convention nor the Diocese of Arkansas has produced or approved official rites for the blessing of same-sex unions....No congregation, vestry, or priest is expected to interpret the pastoral concern and care of the Church for gay and lesbian persons in a way that includes the possibility of formal rites of blessing," the bishop stated. "However, those that do, have permission to proceed to work as a congregation to come to clarity around the issues involved when the Church blesses anything or anyone. If a couple seeks blessing in that congregation, they will join in that exploration much to the benefit of the congregation and the couple. This is a pastoral response and it is expected that each case will reflect the uniqueness of the congregation and the couple involved. It is expected that the bishop will be informed of each process, receive a report of work done, and see any liturgy that is produced before proceeding with a blessing rite."
That kind of writing puts me to sleep. It reads like it was dictated in a soft and breathy NPR voice.

In short, this is news, but it's not much of a surprise.

The 30th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up.

Finesse, Lying, and Getting Caught

Only the third is a sin for John Brummett's idea of an effective Democratic candidate. I hope that "rural conservatives" in Arkansas read his column and send off some letters to the editor. Portraying people as ignorant boobs is the opposite of "finesse."

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dick Cheney Visited Springdale

Unfortunately pictures of Asa Hutchinson and Dick Cheney were impossible to capture during their speeches without being rude. But here's the rundown:

A caveat: The sequence here could be out of order. Things may even be left out. So it goes.

At the beginning they played a mini-bio about Asa Hutchinson. I support Asa because I agree with his political positions. I didn't know much about his life, so I found the bio interesting, and I hope they put it on his campaign website.

Everyone stood up. Everyone said the Pledge of Allegiance. Someone sang our national anthem. Everyone sat down. Patriotic music came on--oops--a recording of our national anthem. Everyone stood back up.

Often I find prayers at events to be sort of fillerish, like please and thank you, a bit of politeness. This prayer, however, was particularly good. The pastor commented that most people, including the people in the room, had no idea what great sacrifices were involved in the founding of the United States. He pretty much said that most of us are ingrates who should be striving to learn more about our history so that we can better appreciate how blessed we are and what a blessing our country has been. He's right. I like him. He also asked God's blessings on our political leaders that they would make sound decisions and be rightly guided.

As you would expect, there was a nice tribute to Win Rockefeller, a statesman who recently passed and who everyone seems to agree was a good man down to his core.

Asa introduced Dick Cheney:

Vice president Dick Cheney traveled to northwestern Arkansas today to campaign for Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman and Homeland Security official who is running for governor. Cheney called Hutchinson a "first-class" public servant and praised his experience in Washington. Hutchinson said he was proud of his work in Washington and said the experience would help him as governor.

Cheney also expressed support for American efforts in Iraq. He said if the nation pulled out of the war now, attacks on American interests would increase. The vice president also said the nation's enemies are "fractured" but that they are still lethal.
What that doesn't mention is that Cheney again made the case for the War on Terror. One of my favorite things about Cheney is his tenacity in reminding people about why we are doing what we are doing. He pointed out that terrorist acts were being committed against the United States for many many years before we took any action. Our inaction led to our being perceived as weak, and terrorism escalated as a result. Now that we are acting, progress is being made. We have not been attacked again as a result of our extraordinary efforts.

Great speech. Great lunch.

If you're wondering why certain names are missing, (Who sang the anthem? Who was the pastor?) I apologize. I meant to pick up my program and take it with me, but just before I did, I recognized a friend who I hadn't seen since high school. Maybe I'll be able to get ahold of a program later and add names.

Dick Cheney Visits Springdale

I'll be here a little later today. If possible, I'll take pictures. Either way I'll let you know how it went.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Decent People

This would be scary:

A 14-year-old who was sucked to the bottom of a hotel hot tub and kept under water for at least seven minutes was likely saved by air his father breathed into his mouth during the ordeal.

Aljuwon Pipkin, who was visiting Walt Disney World from New Jersey, became stuck at the bottom of the hot tub last Thursday at the Radisson Parkway Hotel.

Officials said a grate at the bottom of the tub apparently broke and created a strong suction that pulled the teen underwater. ...

As people jumped in to pull the teen from the bottom of the tub, Pipkin's father jumped in and began to breathe air into his son's mouth, the report said.
And then there's this, contrary to our lawsuit-happy culture:

Pipkin's family said they do not blame the Radisson Hotel and said they believe what happened was an accident, the report said.
Not only is the boy's father so awesome that he manages to save his son's life even though the son is stuck underwater for seven minutes, but the family acknowledges that accidents happen and doesn't plan to sue the hotel. Great people.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Why Did Freeman Hunt Abandon Atheism?

If I had a FAQ page on this blog, this question would be at the top. It is, by far, the most frequently asked.

Believers usually ask with a bit of optimistic enthusiasm. Some are encouraged by the fact than an atheist can become a person of faith. Others, I think, hope for tips in leading their atheist friends and relatives to God. Unfortunately, as you'll see below, I am probably not much help in the second case. There was no argument that swayed me, no logical silver bullet that broke my position.

Atheists, on the other hand, usually ask with a bit of annoyance. I've been an atheist, so I know the feeling. There's a slight sense of betrayal, as if the one who's "found God" has pushed aside intellectual integrity for an easier path. As if, perhaps, the newly religious certainly must know that he is being absurd and could easily recognize the fact except that he willfully refuses to look.

The annoyance also comes from the fact that most atheists in my experience, myself included when I was one, believe that atheism is an advance in a kind of spiritual human progression. Faith and all of that was fine for the primitives, but eventually we will all know better. When an atheist leaves atheism, it is as though he is minutely gumming up the works. Why can he not progress with the rest of us? Why must he take a step back? That will only encourage the others to stay behind.

I remember being quite sure that someday, no one would be religious. Even the agnostics, I thought, were quite frivolous. Either you were rational or you weren't, and if you were rational, you were, by definition, an atheist.

I would say that I was also an evangelical atheist. I loved to talk about religion and especially to argue holes in the so-called proofs of the existence of God. So many good and well-intentioned people wanted to persuade me away from atheism, that I was never at a loss for a debating partner. I also loved to read religious texts to find "absurdities." I would compile them into lists, and, in one case, use them in a debate via letters with a best friend.

I worked hard to help the atheist cause. I wrote letters supporting an absolutist view of the separation or church and state with the goal of making society less religious and more secular. I tried to convince as many people as possible to become atheists. I preached secular humanism as an easy alternative to the Christian ethic. I thought I might even get a degree in theology to know better how to tear it down.

But all of that met an abrupt end.

I could never have been convinced that faith was valid. I could never have been convinced that "personal experience" had any relevance to higher truth. So instead of being convinced, I was made to know it. Like a flash. An a priori knowledge inserted into my brain, upsetting the whole matrix of perspective. "I AM," but without the words.

This happened in the moment that I met my husband for the first time, and other knowledge went along with it, like both of us knowing that we would get married, but all of the additional knowledge and other happenings were secondary to the validation of theism. I had never before considered that it could possibly be valid, and then it was personally confirmed.

To write that it was a very strange feeling is an understatement, but I don't have the words to state it more accurately. I have never had a similar experience to use as an analogy. To have your entire worldview overturned in one instant is rare.

So there it is. I didn't give up atheism, it was knocked out of me in one shot.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

New Club for Growth Website in Blog Format

They've revamped the website at Club for Growth. The blog is now on the main page along with recommended candidates and a link to their Congressional Scorecard. Check and see how your elected officials are doing. Mine aren't doing too well.

RIP Cap Sleeves

This is probably only of interest to me, but I am happy to see that women's shirts are getting back to regular sleeves. For the last couple years it has seemed as though all short-sleeved shirts, especially t-shirts, were moving to cap sleeves. I hate cap sleeves. They look like someone was making a shirt and ran out of material. They stick up like goofy winglets. May regular sleeves prevail!

Surprise: Twins Feel Like People

I can't believe someone paid for this:

A cloned human would probably consider themselves to be an individual, a study suggests.

Scientists drew their conclusions after interviewing identical twins about their experiences of sharing exactly the same genes with somebody else.
Did they expect the twins to stand up and say, "We are Borg"? Of course a twin feels like an individual person--he is an individual person. This kind of "research" annoys me as does the idea that clones would somehow be different from other people:

"But this interesting study and, although small, reveals how we should not have any prejudiced feelings about the idea of genetically identical individuals living amongst us."
So if the twins had said that they didn't feel like individuals, then it would have been okay to have prejudiced feelings about genetically identical individuals?

Keep Up with Events in the Middle East

Pajamas Media has running coverage. This is their latest post, but there are links to previouw updates on the right sidebar.

Fox News has more. And, of course, the Drudge Report is running a list of pertinent headlines at the top of the page.

Catholic Discussion About Israel's Response

There's an interesting thread of comments going over at Amy Welborn's place. You can't post over there right now because she's got all comments closed while traveling, but it's great reading.

UPDATE: Tough questions at Pontifications.

Monday, July 17, 2006

"Israel will not be held hostage - not by terror gangs or by a terrorist authority or by any sovereign state."


Recount for the Baseball Stadium?

See the updates below.

They've already corrected the tally, so the margin of victory for the baseball stadium proposal now stands at 15 votes out of 4801 total votes cast. Pretty darn close.

I bet that the results would come out the same, but since we do have over $50 million riding on this thing, wouldn't it be a good idea to recount and make sure that we got it right?

How do you get a recount? Well, you can pay for it:

(h) The costs of any recount shall be based on the actual costs incurred to conduct the recount, but in no instance shall the amount charged to conduct a recount exceed the rate of twenty-five cents (25›) per vote cast in the precincts where the recount is requested or a total of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) for the entire county, whichever is less.
But if you don't have over $1000, or you aren't a candidate (Who qualifies as a candidate in this vote?) you can hope that the county board cares enough about accuracy to check the results:

The county board may upon its own motion conduct a recount of the returns from any or all precincts.
So I suppose we'll see. They're meeting tomorrow.

UPDATE: People have asked if there isn't some kind of automatic recount trigger for close votes in Arkansas. I think most states have these, but in Arkansas there isn't one that I know of. If I'm wrong, send me the link to the pertinent information, and I'll post a correction.

UPDATE 2: My father-in-law just talked to the head of the election commission in Washington County. He said that a recount of the Washington County portion of Springdale would cost $250 (a bargain considering what they're allowed to charge), but had no idea what Benton County would charge for their portion. He also said that the votes have already been recounted several times. No special trigger or request, the county just wanted to be careful. Kudos to the Washington County Election Commission--they do care about accuracy!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Perfect Parents Like Us Won't Settle for Less Than Perfect Babies

Dan Phillips offers an excellent fisking of an editorial by another woman who'd like to convince the world that she was forced to kill her child. In this case, the woman meted out her death sentence to her child because the child had the genetic variation known as triplo-x. More on triplo-x:

The average IQ of children with an extra X chromosome was 11 points lower than normal children. 18% of the 47, XXX girls showed some amount of reading impairment. Of these, 3% showed severe impairment. On a bright note, 3% showed above average reading performance. Likewise, 30% of these girls had a poor arithmetic performance. Of these 4.5% showed severe impairment with an equal amount of girls performing above average.
Kill your child over 11 IQ points. Reprehensible.

Gross Invasion of Privacy

It's their cross to bear. Hat tip to Overtaken by Events.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Question About Moving to Movable Type

Pregnancy and its initial crushing and relentless fatigue put moving to the new site on hold. I'm slowly getting back to it.

But I do have a question: If one ports one's entries from Blogger to another site, and leaves the entries intact in both places, could that count as duplicate (spam) content for Google and potentially get one booted from the Google index?

Another question: Some readers have emailed to let me know that they like Haloscan comments. If you prefer Haloscan, why? I use Haloscan trackbacks already, but if you have a good case for implementing their comments on the new site, let me know.

Another Famous Person Disappoints Me

She's not exactly Einstein, but I did always find her likable. Hat tip to Instapundit.

McCain Podcast in Text

Blogometer has the highlights from the most recent Glenn and Helen Show. More comments on the podcast linked at Instapundit.

If the AEA Endorses You...

...that is a very very bad sign. If a person didn't keep up with politics or current events at all, he could probably do fairly well in his voting simply by voting against any candidate endorsed by a teachers' union.

So, What Is Your Position?

Beebe is flailing for a position on allowing gay people to adopt children or serve as foster parents:

...someone asked Beebe what he would do if a lawmaker sponsored a bill like HB 1119 from the 2005 legislative session, which would have prohibited gays and any unmarried couples from being foster parents. (It passed the House but failed in a Senate committee.)

There are differing accounts of what Beebe said exactly, whether he only promised to work to stop it before it reached his desk, or if he said he would actually veto it. But all agree he committed to trying to prevent such a measure from becoming law.

Nine days later, the Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously struck down the existing ban on gay foster parents that was instituted by the Child Welfare Review Board. Beebe’s initial reaction was cautious and moderate.

“The court has ruled on this and the agency will have to abide by that ruling,” Beebe said in a prepared statement on June 29.

However, the very next day he changed his tone and his tune, expressing support for a law to prevent gays from becoming foster parents — preferably writing it into the state constitution.

“I don’t think, given today’s society and the controversy, it would be in the best interest of the child to be” placed in a home with a gay foster parent, Beebe asserted on June 30.
So, which is it? Does this guy have a clear position on anything?

Asa has an extensive docket of concrete positions and plans. If one wants to know Asa's position on an issue or his plans for the state, the pertinent information is readily available.

As for Beebe, check his "Issues" page. There is only one issue, and even the policy paper for that is heavily padded and could probably be cut down to a fifth of its current length. It is also chock full of bureaucratic love. One example:

I propose the creation of a new dynamic organization that gives existing businesses a greater role and voice in the state’s economic development policies. I will bring the private sector together with public policy makers and research institutions to create an environment where Arkansas can grow enterprises better than any state.
Yeah, that's what business people really want: another agency.

Can this even be called a race? Only Asa appears to be running on anything. The other guy just seems to be milling around next to the track, hoping that someone will notice him there and give him a medal for showing up. Not going to happen.

You Don't See That Everyday

In Fort Smith, Arkansas:

When a rainbow formed in the sky people stopped and stared at the natural wonder.

But then lightning sparked across the evening panorama as two of nature's most spectacular phenomenon created an unusual alliance.
Go to the link for pictures.

Another interesting quote from the article:

The clash of weather was seen above the affluent city of Fort Smith, in the Southern state Arkansas.
I'd never thought of Fort Smith as being particularly affluent.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Springdale Is Getting a Stadium

By a 17 vote margin:

Another bond issue, to finance construction of the baseball stadium and also to be paid off with the extension of the 1 percent sales tax, got favorable votes from 2,410 of those participating in the election, while 2,393 people voted against it.
Ridiculous. Springdale suddenly becomes a less attractive place to live.

The 28th Carnival of Homeschooling... up.

Sheehan Hunger Striking Except When Eating

What is this buffoonery? (Hat tip to Malkin.)

You can't be on a hunger strike and also eat. This is the epitome of stupid. This is more stupid than the Hollywooders.

Maybe these people didn't understand the phrase "hunger strike." It does not mean a strike from hunger. Juice smoothies with protein powder, coffee, and ice cream do not a hunger strike make.

To go on a hunger strike you actually have to experience hunger.

Vote Against the Springdale Stadium Today

Off to cast my vote against using tax dollars to fund private ventures. If you are eligible to vote in Springdale, I hope you're doing the same.

UPDATE: What joy to be able to vote against three 1% sales tax hikes on one ballot.

Wacky in Wisconsin

Althouse has a great recap of the Kevin Barrett interview on Hannity and Colmes. Barrett has been hired as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to teach a class about Islam. He's decided to devote a week to 9/11 conspiracy theories to teach that the American government blew up the World Trade Center.

Another example of why our children will be provided with a list of colleges that we are willing to pay for. As of now, I wouldn't pay for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. People are paying for an education, and it is bad business to provide garbage instead.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Einstein's Letters

Now released. I had never given any thought to Einstein's personal life, but now that I've been given a glimpse of it, I have to admit: I'm a bit disappointed.

Oh well. Isn't that often the way of it when you find out more about someone whose work you have admired for a long time?

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Next Carnival of Homeschooling... not yet up. If you'd like to submit a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling, you can find entry information here and here. Post entry deadline for the next carnival is 6:00PM PST on Monday.

She Doesn't Retch Totally Alone

I'm right there with her.

The rhetoric I despise most from the left is that which infantilizes people. Talking about grown men and women as though they are helpless babies is extraordinarily insulting, and the left seems to have a special penchant for doing this in regards to minorities and people who are poor.

"Nothing can possibly be expected from someone like you. Don't worry. We expect nothing of your kind. We'll take care of you."

Racist. Classist. Detestable.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

"24" Gets 12

The best show on television leads in Emmy nominations.

Fudging the Facts on the Springdale Ballpark

On July 11th voters in Springdale, Arkansas will decide whether or not to fund what should be a private development: a ballpark. It's annoying enough that we have land developers trying to put their hands in the tax till, but things like this from the Chamber of Commerce are worse:

The stadium and the commercial development it spawns will mean new jobs, new revenue, a fresh new image for Springdale and will help make Springdale a shopping and entertainment destination - all without increasing the sales tax rate citizens now pay.
Technically that's not a lie. What it doesn't mention, however, is that we have a current 1% tax set to expire. To have the ballpark, that tax must be extended. Extending a tax is raising taxes, but politicos always sell us tax extensions by telling us that they're not raising the rate. Never mind that they sold us the taxes in the first place by telling us that the taxes would expire in a short time.

I love baseball, and I grew up going to Tulsa Drillers games and visiting Wrigley Field, but stadiums are capitalist ventures like any other, and they should be funded by private entities looking to make a profit. It is a disgrace that taxpayers should be asked to foot the bill.

Racist Democrats vs. Colorblind Republicans

A must read column from John Hawkins of Right Wing News:

To begin with, the Republican Party was founded by anti-slavery activists, in contrast to the pro-slavery Democratic Party. It was Abe Lincoln, a Republican President, who led the North to victory in the Civil War and freed the slaves while the Democrats did everything in their power to keep black Americans down.

Fast forward to 1898 in Wilmington, N.C., where Democrats murdered black Republicans so they could stage, "the nation's only recorded coup d'etat." Then, in 1922, Democrats in the Senate filibustered a Republican attempt to make lynching a federal crime. A little later on, FDR nominated former Klansman Hugo Black to the Supreme Court. Contrast that to Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, who actually "sent troops" to ensure that schools in Little Rock, Ark., were desegregated and ordered the "complete desegregation of the Armed Forces." Noticing any trends?

But, that was such a long time ago, right? Things really changed in the '60s, didn't they? Yes, Americans -- particularly black Americans -- really owe Democratic President Lyndon Johnson a debt of gratitude for destroying American families and causing the number of illegitimate births to skyrocket -- by pushing entitlement programs that made it much easier to have children out of wedlock.
There is much much more. Read the rest of it. In fact, you might want to print it--it's that good.

Someone should send a link to Eugene Robinson.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A New Blogging Venue

Hewitt introduces:

Attract. Inform. Activate. Motivate.

That's the purpose of the new, and I hope the launch will inspire you to begin blogging today, or if you have been blogging, to move your blog to the Townhall platform where we believe your traffic will increase substantially given the nature of the more than a million users already has.
I'm a big fan of Townhall, and I like the new site. For those of you thinking about blogging, you might want to check it out. (Though it wouldn't hurt to wait until this afternoon. The site seems a little inundated from the new launch.)

News! Hollywood Activists NOT on Hunger Strike!

From BreitBart:

Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a 'rolling" fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade.
Note to Hollywood: A "relay" or "rolling hunger strike" is not a hunger strike at all. It is a single day without food.

How about a rolling labor strike? One guy will picket outside for one day while everyone else works. He'll go back to work the next day, and another guy will come out and picket for a day. Then that guy will trade off with someone else and so on.

Lame and unserious.

As long as I'm on the subject, I'll offer a prediction: If Sheehan does truly fast without sneaking food, she will tire of it before her two months are up. She'll feign a medical emergency (my guess: collapsing from exhaustion), be taken to the hospital, and end her fast. Then she'll hail herself as having almost died in service to her ideals, and the Left will trumpet her as a great hero.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How Did You Celebrate Independence Day?

We went to a cookout where our friends set off fireworks complete with a patriotic musical score. Great fun was had by all.

We imagined the first Independence Day for the founding fathers and figured it was probably a bit more frightening than fun. Thank God that they were courageous men.

50 Years Ago Today

My grandfather was piloting a B-47:
from Upper Heyford, England to El Paso, Texas. Here's a picture of the crew:

My grandfather, the pilot, is on the right. The other two are Bob King, radar navigator, and Cliff Coble, aircraft commander.

The 27th Carnival of Homeschooling...

... is up.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Where Is Freeman?

She's going to cookouts, going to birthday parties, going to the doctor, preregistering at the hospital, hiring an arborist, hiring someone to clean the gutters, hiring someone to fix the sprinkler system, having her car serviced, going to the paint store, researching baby things, cleaning out closets, adjusting her stock portfolio, showing people 24, working, and sleeping.

I have been almost entirely apart from current events for the last few days. Hopefully there will be a nice editorial to shred as I catch back up.

UPDATE: And yes, I did end up skipping Superman.