To read the tribute to SFC Marcus Muralles, please click here
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Whatever You Do, Don't Make Her Mad
Here's how her husband, Jack, tells the tale:
Charmaine was live blogging when the confrontation occurred. Charmaine tells me that she did in fact "strongly encourage" Kim to leave the podium on the steps of the Supreme Court early in today's press conference.
Here's what happened: After Gandy gave her opening remarks, she asked for questions from the reporters. There were none. None.
So Charmaine stepped up to give her remarks. However, there was some resistance by the NOW President to vacate as the unwritten rules of press conference custom demands. Gandy wouldn't get gone.
But resistance was futile. Charmaine moved to the mic. The Good-Guys won. She delivered her statement and civility returned to the world.
Charmaine also made it as an EIB Extra, and Rush opened his show today with the story (why did I pick today not to listen to Rush???) Good job, Charmaine! Way to go!
UPDATE: Charmaine did an awesome job on Paula Zahn's show this evening. She rocks!
Someone's Obviously Not Paying Attention
The debate is not about "an artificial date for withdrawal," Kerry said. For Democrats, it's about "an estimated timetable for success," he said.Isn't that what the President did in that speech?
No one has ever suggested that we should "run in the face of car bombers or assassins," Kerry said, referring to a line in Bush's speech. "No one is talking about running in face of a challenge..."Senator, you're wrong. Flat out wrong. Congressman Murtha suggested just that.
An influential House Democrat who voted for the Iraq war called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, another sign of growing unease in Congress about the conflict.Maybe Senator Kerry just missed that press conference... and the firestorm that followed. Let's look at what else he had to be mistaken about.
“It is time for a change in direction,” said Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., one of Congress’ most hawkish Democrats. “Our military is suffering; the future of our country is at risk. We cannot continue on the present course. It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region.”
Kerry specifically criticized the president for refusing to acknowledge that U.S. troops on the ground are feeding the insurgency in Iraq.uh... Senator... Syria is feeding the insurgency. Al Q is feeding the insurgency. Radical Islam is feeding the insurgency. US troops are protecting the nation they just recently liberated.
I don't even know we bother listening to the Democrats when it comes to Iraq and the War on Terror. The only who gets anything right about it Senator Lieberman, and the MSM pretty much ignores him.
What Were They Thinking?
A 40-foot motor home was converted into a strip club on wheels, offering alcohol and lap dances to football fans outside the stadium before kickoff of Sunday's Tampa Bay Buccaneers game, police said.
Six women performed lap dances inside the motor home, charging $20 to $40 depending on whether they danced topless or totally nude, police said Tuesday. The vehicle, adorned with a sign for strip club Deja Vu, was parked across the street from Raymond James Stadium.
Patrons paid a $20 cover charge and were served alcohol, said Tampa police Sgt. Bill Todd. Officers also caught a male patron smoking marijuana in the back of the vehicle.
"We determined this was the fourth game this season where they had done this," Todd said. "I don't understand what justification they think they had, bringing this to a family environment like a Bucs game."
Police charged all six dancers with being nude where alcohol is served, and with being nude in a commercial establishment, misdemeanor violations of city ordinances. Two of the strippers who police said engaged in sex as part of the show each were charged with a misdemeanor count each of performing an unnatural and lascivious act.
The police don't understand the justification? The Bucs had lured Deja Vu's clientelle away, so they decided to bring the club to the fans. Interesting idea. Illegal, but interesting. I wonder how much money they made the other three times they were in the Bucs parking lot.
And... um... "unnatural and lascivious act" ???? I don't want to know. I really don't want to know.
Where Are the Parents?
Sexed-up and profanity-laced shows on cable and satellite television should be for adult eyes only, and providers must do more to shield children, or they may find themselves facing indecency fines, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, Kevin Martin, said yesterday. ''Parents need better and more tools to help them navigate the entertainment waters, particularly on cable and satellite TV," Martin said before the Senate Commerce Committee.Really? Parents already have the tools they need. They can use the remote to turn the channel. They can use their hand to pull the plug. Or they can use their arms (and legs, not back) to toss the tv into the trash. Oh, wait... that would require parents to actually pay attention to what their kids are watching. What was I thinking? N'er mind.
One of the ideas tossed around was having cable companies offer a la carte channels, instead of only offering bundles. At first, that sounds great. I mean, I think I watch 3, maybe 4 cable channels on a regular basis, but pay for a whole lot more. I'm not sure if I like that. Maybe a la carte bundles- a news bundle, a sports bundle, a kids bundle, an entertainment bundle. Something like that. Just a thought.
There was something at the end of one of those articles that caught my eye, and got me all confuzzled.
Kyle McSlarrow, head of National Cable & Telecommunications Association, called the a la carte mandate a “very dangerous idea.” He said it would violate cable companies' free-speech rights.Uh... free speech rights? Let's go to The Document and see what it says.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (First Amendment)I'm having trouble seeing how a company has that particular right. But, for argument's sake, let's say that they do have free speech rights. No where in the First Amendment does it say that anyone has to listen to them. That's the part of the free speech argument that people tend to forget.
Like I said, I'm not so sure about the a la carte idea. I don't even think the government should get more involved in this. Shows have ratings. Parents can pull the plug. Let them protect their children.
What a novel concept.
TSA to Lessen Carry On Rules, Just a Bit
Airline passengers will be allowed to carry small scissors and tools onto planes, reversing a rule that led to confiscation of many thousands of sharp objects at airports since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, a Homeland Security Department official said Wednesday....Uh... who carries wrenches and screwdrivers in their carry-ons? Okay, maybe the little screwdriver that comes in those eyeglass repair kits, but wrenches? From what I can tell, Swiss Army Knives and Leatherman multi-tools (and similar gadgets) still won't be on the list.
...With federal air marshals on planes, bulletproof cockpit doors, armed pilots and 100 percent screening of checked baggage, the threat of a terrorist taking over an airplane has lessened since the 2001 attacks, the official said. The biggest concern now is explosives.
Though the new list of prohibited items hasn't been finalized, certain sharp objects won't be on it, the official said, including scissors less than 4 inches long and wrenches and screwdrivers less than 7 inches long....
The official commented that terrorists probably can't take over a plane like they used to. Well, duh. That whole "just be calm and give them what they want" flew out the window on 9/11. The greatest threat is explosives (and if someone can explain why airline workers and cargo aren't screened as well as the passengers, I'd love to hear it).
If you look on the TSA web site, they have a handy dandy pdf file of what you can and can't take on the plane when you travel to Granny's for Christmas. Yes, you can take knitting needles. No, you can't take a meat cleaver. Who knew?
That still doesn't tell me why I got the extra-special treatment because I had an eyelash curler in my make-up bag and why little old ladies get searched all the time.
I'll Take That Deal
You know all those pictures we keep seeing of the ridiculously pregnant Jennifer Garner toting around Starbucks coffee? There's a rumor going around that she and hubby Ben Affleck have signed a million dollar deal with the coffee purveyor to be photographed all over the country with giant green-and-white cups. As Lloyd Grove puts it, as tacky as such a deal might seem, the twosome certainly have an incentive: "With his career in the dregs and hers on hold, a hefty endorsement deal could be just their cup."Yes, I know that Seattle-based coffee products are evil, for the most part (because they are WAY overpriced for what they offer.) And, the paparazzi should be shot for encouraging this horrid fascination with celebrities (and celeb wannabes). That being said... Starbucks could pay me 1/4 of that to promote their products. I'd do it.
Starbucks denies that any such arrangement has been made Â "We don't pay for play," a rep told Grove. "Our product placement is organic." On behalf of the couple, Affleck's flack Ken Sunshine insists that his client is just genuinely wrapped up in the Starbucks cult. "Maybe Ben likes Starbucks and is willing to ignore the morons who spend their life waiting to take the same photo every day of him drinking coffee."
They Need a Little 9mm Chlorine
From what the media has been told, the driver has been convicted twice on other offenses, and California has a three strike rule. No wonder he's running.
They're stopped again, in the middle of the street. Five police cars are stopped behind the fine, upstanding citizens, doors open, weapons drawn. Right now, I dare the doofus behind the wheel to pull a gun.
Oh, geez. He drove off again. Shoot the other two tires. RPG the car. Do SOMETHING. (More news as the idiocy plays itself out.)
UPDATE: Since I last typed, the car stopped again, the police shot out the side mirrors, and the
California law enforcement is lucky that no one was hurt. That car chase went on WAY too long.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I Would Have Changed My Name
Two employees have been charged with trying to steal money from the Wendy's Restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire early Monday morning.His parents should be arrested for cruelty to a child. Poor kid was probably teased mercilessly growing up.
Police say one of them is Ronald MacDonald - no relation to Ronald McDonald, the clown.
They say 22-year-old Ronald MacDonald of Manchester is charged with theft after the restaurant manager called police to say he found MacDonald and another employee stealing money from the store safe.
MacDonald and 20-year-old Steve Lemay of Manchester were held at the restaurant around 1:30 Monday morning until police arrived.
I'm Not Sure They Would Agree
A leading Italian expert has dismissed claims by an Australian marine biologist that sharks are a growing threat to humans .While this is facinating and all, I'd like to point something out. Just because the sharks spit out their victims doesn't make said victim any less DEAD (in the case of Great White and other large shark attacks).
Alberto Lucca Recchi, a photographer and writer who has made the study of sharks his life's passion, said suggestions that the mammals had developed a taste for human flesh were just not true .
"There are cases of attacks on humans but the shark does not eat the person," he said. "When they taste us, they actually spit us out" Recchi's remarks came in response to claims by Scoresby Shepherd, who pointed to a worrying increase in shark attacks on humans over recent years .
Bigger Needles = Better Medicine?
Injections may not work on some people because their bottoms are too big, researchers said yesterday.Ummm... OUCH! If that's not incentive to drop a few (dozen) pounds, I'm not sure what would be!
Many vaccines and other medications are administered by a jab in the rear. But doctors have found that needles cannot penetrate the excess bottom fat of many patients, particularly women.
To be effective, the drug has to be injected into the underlying muscle....
... They found that the success rate of the jabs was only eight per cent in women - meaning that 23 out of 25 women did not receive an injection into the muscle. In men, the success rate was 56 per cent.
She pointed out that women typically have more fat in their buttocks than men, and suggested that longer needles might be required.
I Guess It's Not Just Me
Well... lookie here. Evidently our Commander in Chief shares my opinion:
In this new century, we must continue to welcome immigrants, and to set high standards for those who follow the laws to become a part of our country. Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the English language. (emphasis mine- B)The President made these remarks yesterday while in Arizona on his Immigration Reform Tour (or whatever they're calling it). This first speech on the topic (in quite a while) was good, and it provides an important start on this important topic.
One of the proposals is putting up fencing in certain rural areas at a cost of $2 million per mile (or something like that). What kind of fence are they building for $2 million a mile? Dang. There is approximately 2000 miles of southern border, so that's about $2 billion. Yikes. There has to be a cheaper way, right? Maybe a discount for ordering more than 1000 miles? Well... in the long run, $2 billion isn't a lot when you consider how much is spent on health care and education and who-knows-what-else to take care of all of the "undocumented immigrants" (I guess it's just a little too un-PC to call them what they are- ILLEGAL aliens) who gush across the border every year.
No, I'm not anti-Latino. I'm anti-crime. They are committing a CRIME by sneaking across the border. They could come, legally, if they wanted to put forth the effort. I'm pro-immigration. This nation is great because of the immigrants who came to this land and help settle it. (Let's face facts. Unless you're pure-blood Native American, you're of immigrant stock. And, if you look back far enough, the Native Americans were immigrants themselves at some point.) And I'm not picking on just Mexico. So far, there hasn't been as much of a problem with illegal aliens sneaking across the border from Canada (and, if they do, they drive across on a highway). If that becomes a problem, then I'll harp on them, too (especially if they're speaking French).
There's an old saying: "Fences make good neighbors." After living in a neighborhood that has privacy fences (after growing up in a neighborhood with few, if any, fences) I don't agree with that on a small scale. On a global scale? It sounds better and better every day.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
That Must Have Been Some Kiss
A Quebec teenager with a peanut allergy has died after kissing her boyfriend who had eaten a peanut butter sandwich hours earlier.I knew a guy who spent his wedding night in an emergency room because there were crushed peanuts in one of the cookies at the wedding reception.
Fifteen-year-old Christina Desforges died Monday. She went into anaphylactic shock and in spite of being given an adrenalin shot, could not be revived.... The official cause of the teen's death has not yet been released.
Pediatric allergist Karen Sigman told CTV's Tania Krywiak if peanuts are still on the tongue or the lips, they can still cause a reaction.
My prayers go out to her family. And to her boyfriend, who has to be suffering a lot of guilt right now.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
You've Just Won the SW Regional Championship. What Will You Do Now?
The LCPYFL Bengals (the team the boys played for last year) won the Pop Warner Southwest Region Junior PeeWee Championship today, 33-0. This brings their record to 13-0, with a total of 25 points scored against them all season. (They scored over 350 points.)
A week from Monday, they will have practice at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. Then they will play Tuesday and Friday in the Pop Warner Super Bowl.
Good luck, guys! You can do it!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Serves Him Right
A naked man was accidentally shocked in the genitals by a Taser after he was found breaking windows and asking women to touch him inappropriately, police said.You know... a nice person would feel sorry for him. And I'm not feeling very nice right now.
Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, of Bonita Springs, attempted to run when approached by Lee County sheriff's deputies Saturday. When he ignored requested to stop, Deputy Daniel Hollywood shot Miljour with a Taser.
Thanksgiving Turkey To The Rescue!
Copsy and his son were leaving a Northlake grocery store, food in hand, when they saw a car burning on Wolf Road. An elderly couple was trapped in a Buick.Then, they, another Good Samaritan, and a couple of police officers put out the fire and pulled the couple out of the car. The couple is listed in critical condition with severe burns.
"I kicked the window, it didn't break, so I took the turkey to smash the window," said Mark Copsy, Good Samaritan.
That is some rescue. And, no, I don't think they're eating that bird. They said something about donating that one. Scorch marks and all.
Turkey Day Trivia
* The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.
* The Wampanoag chief invited to the first Thanksgiving feast was
* The Pilgrims didn't use forks.
* Only about one-third of the original colonists were Puritans.
* The Mayflower's crossing took 66 days.
* It's unclear if the Pilgrims at turkey at the first Thanksgiving.
At the time, "turkey" meant any kind of fowl.
* Evidence indicates that turkeys have been around for more than 10
* Turkey eggs hatch in 28 days.
* A baby turkey is called a "poult."
* A mature turkey has about 3,500 feathers.
* More than 45 million turkeys are consumed during Thanksgiving.
* The average weight of a Thanksgiving turkey is 15 pounds.
* The Mayflower weighed 180 tons.
* There were at least two dogs on the Mayflower.
* The typical 15-pound turkey is 70 percent white meat and 30
percent dark meat.
* Pilgrim children, boys and girls, wore linen or wool dresses up
until the ages of seven or eight.
* Cranberries are also called "bounceberries."
* A male turkey is called a "Tom." A female turkey is called a "hen."
* The Mayflower was a merchant vessel. Before transporting the
Pilgrims, the ship was in the wine trade, and before that, in the
* The pet food industry uses about 13 percent of U.S. turkey
* The Pilgrims did not eat cranberry sauce at the first Thanksgiving.
* In the typical Pilgrim household, adults sat down to dinner while
the children waited on them.
* A nest of turkey eggs is called a "clutch."
* The "caruncle" is the reddish, fleshy growth on the head and upper
neck of a turkey. The red, fleshy growth from the base of a turkey's
beak that hangs down over the neck is called the "snood."
* The first native Americans to introduce themselves to the Pilgrims
were Samoset and Squanto.
* Ninety-five percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.
A Turkey's Lament
When I was a young turkey, new to the coop,
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow,
And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember,
When he told me of the horrors of ..... Black November;
"Come about August, now listen to me,
Each day you'll be thick, where once you were thin,
And you'll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin.
"And then one morning, when you're warm in your bed,
In'll burst the farmer's wife, and hack off your head;
"Then she'll pluck out all your feathers so you're bald'n pink,
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin' in the sink,
"And then comes the worst part" he said not bluffing,
"She'll spread your cheeks and pack your rear with stuffing".
Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat,
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked,
I'd have to lay low and remain overlooked;
I began a new diet of nuts and granola,
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola,
And as they ate pastries, chocolates and crepes,
I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes,
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half,
And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed;
But 'twas I who was laughing, under my breath,
As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death;
And sure enough when Black November rolled around,
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound;
So now I'm a pet in the farmer's wife's lap;
I haven't a worry, so I eat and I nap,
She held me today, while sewing and humming,
And smiled at me and said "Christmas is coming........"
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
I Know He's a Dead Thing, But I'm Still Praying For Him
(Ken) Holland (team general manager) and team physician Tony Colucci — who performed CPR on Fischer on the bench Monday night — said the player was "in good spirits."
Fischer, 25, was in good condition after he began having convulsions on the bench late in the first period of a game against the Nashville Predators. Colucci wasn't able to detect a pulse after Fischer collapsed, and an auto defibrillator was used on Fischer.
After performing CPR, Colucci said he detected a good pulse and Fischer was taken out of the arena by ambulance to Detroit Receiving Hospital. Colucci said it was uncertain how long Fischer's heart may have stopped.
He's undergoing tests and will be under observation until they figure out what in the world happened to him.
NHL officials postponed the rest of the game, and a date to finish the game has not been announced yet.
Like I said, he may be a Dead Thing, but my prayers still go out to him and his doctors as they try to help him. He's so young... hopefully his hockey career can continue- if not on the ice, then coaching or scouting.
Update on the X Video
However, that doesn't take into account that the people in the control room at CNN got a big kick out of it. It almost sounds as if, although none of them did it intentionally, they were secretly wishing they had.
Update on the Update: HDD pointed me toward this site, with the following quote:
Callers were repeatedly told by CNN, "Tell the President and Vice-President Dick Cheney to stop lying." Team Hollywood's conversation with the newsdesk was recorded. When the tape is played back, amongst political statements being made by the network were the words that the "X" was intentional, as an act of free speech by CNN.Well, now isn't THAT interesting...
Driving Me Nuts!
In the news, it's come out that both kids were homeschooled. I just heard a "legal expert" say that he thinks homeschooling in high school is "dangerous" because there is no socialization. "There is no contact with kids their own age."
This is wrong, and this in insane. They were both very active in their church's youth group, and they did other "outside" activities. They don't need to spend every day with "kids their own age" to be well adjusted.
One thing that has been mentioned, and then glossed over, is that Ludwig and another friend had planned on doing some sort of home invasion. Obviously, the kid was a bit of a criminal wannabe going into this. It wasn't because he was homeschooled. It was because he's a bit off. (One could make the argument that he didn't go off earlier because of the calming influence of homeschooling... if one wanted to, that is.)
Let's look at some of the other stories that have been in the news about teenagers going off and shooting things up, shall we?
- Columbine- public high school
- Michigan grade school kid shoots and kills classmate- public school
- Georgia teen shoots up high school- public high school
- Oregon youth murders parents and classmates- public high school
- Missippi youth shoots classmates- public high school
- Jonesboro, Arkansas- public school
Too many people have a knee-jerk reaction when they hear about homeschooling. "The parents are paranoid." "Religious nuts." "It's a cult!" (Don't laugh- I've heard that one.) Yes, there are some whacky, paranoid people who homeschool their kids, but the vast majority of people who choose to teach their kids at home (and those kids) are perfectly normal, average people.
Don't blame homeschooling for these people's deaths. Look at the parents (but don't start on the guns thing- they have a Constitutional right to own those guns). Look at the young man who committed the crime. Look at his friends. That's where you need to look.
And the Worst Movie Is...
IMDb, the everything-movie website, has compiled a list of the 100 Worst Movies (based on votes by web site users). I've never heard of most of them. I've seen only 2 of them.
For those of who are more interested in the best movies, check out the Top 250. There are quite a few foreign films on there, but I had to read down into the 80s before I came across an English-language film that I hadn't heard about.
Taking Things a Bit Too Far
He'll be going to Disneyland, and he'll be the grand marshall in the Thanksgiving Day parade at the Magic Kingdom.
Some birds have all the luck.
Monday, November 21, 2005
"It was an accident" my...
Vice President Cheney gave a speech this morning at the American Enterprise Institute, which was covered live by most of the news networks. No biggie, right?
Well, it is if CNN put a giant black X over his face. From Drudge:
At 11:04:45 AM ET Monday CNN was airing Vice President Dick Cheney's speech live from the American Enterprise Institute in Washington -- when a large black 'X' repeatedly flashed over the vice president's face!Here's the screen capture:
The 'X' over Cheney's face appeared each time less than a second, creating an odd subliminal effect.
As this DRUDGE REPORT screen capture reveals, while one 'X' flashed over Cheney's face CNN ran a headline at the bottom of its screen: "CHENEY: I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS WRONG TO CRITICIZE."
One top White House source expressed concern about what was aired over CNN.
"Is someone in Atlanta trying to tell us something?"
A CNN spokesman did not return repeated calls late Monday night.
What message were they trying to send? Hmmm... I guess we should just consider ourselves lucky that it was some dingbat from DU doing this- it would have been a target.
Update: According to CNN...
"This was a technological malfunction, not an issue of operator error. A portion of the switcher experienced a momentary glitch."Glitch... accident... my original statement still stands.
Update: The Political Teen has video.
Ready. Aim. Splat.
The plan for Operation Marlborough was simple: allow the three suspected bombers to leave the house and get into the street, then kill them with head shots from the four sniper teams. Each team was equipped with L115A .338 sniper rifles, capable of killing at up to 1,000 yards.... The SAS soldiers were told that it was vital that the three bombers would have to be killed simultaneously.... As the terrorists entered the street, a volley of shots rang out and the three insurgents slumped to the ground. Each terrorist had been killed by a single head shot...Go, read the whole thing. And raise a pint in honor of our allies.
Idiots and Why I Loved Homeschooling
A couple of years ago, we homeschooled the boys for a year. It was awesome. It was amazing. My kids discovered that learning isn't all about worksheets and busy work and learning only what a select group of boring grown-ups in the state capitol thinks is important. And they learned a lot.
They went back to the public school (for several reasons). But, based on what I've read recently, and some of the things that are being taught to the boys, and my convictions, I'd homeschool them again in a heartbeat.
What did I read? Well, the 9th Circus Court of Appeals has been up to its old tricks again. A couple of weeks ago, they informed parents that they don't have sole authority to teach their children about sex (or anything else, for that matter). Then, last week, they decided that it wasn't a First amendment violation for a school to teach kids about Islam (including role-playing, taking Muslim names, fasting, and prayer). Fortunately, the 9th Circus is the most overturned appeals court in the country. Evidently, they keep SCOTUS in business.
Add to that what the boys have been learning. Evidently, Israel gets preferential treatment, and Palestine (which is legally where on a map?) gets the shaft. And a few other things. At least you can't screw up math and band all that much. Usually.
I'm not the only one thinking about homeschooling again. It's been a hot topic on other blogs (the Rott had a thread and an Instant Bark conversation or two get a little... heated on the subject). And the Humble Devildog is quite adamant about homeschooling any devilpuppies that might come along. A lot of other people are beginning to think that those crazy homeschoolers aren't so crazy after all.
Way back in the day (before I thought about homeschooling the boys) I thought that homeschooling was nuts. I mean, we're paying good money to the public school system, and, as far as ISDs go, Leander ISD really isn't bad. As far as they go. Then I talked to some people who were homeschooling, and those people weren't nuts. Then I started looking into it... and I was fascinated. And the more I read, the more I wanted to give it a try.
I will admit that we made a lot of mistakes. But we also got a lot of things right. And the boys learned. And matured. They didn't lack for social interaction (besides, you supposedly send your kids to school for socialization with their peers... but do you really WANT your kids to act like those rug rats?)... and they had fun. Learning wasn't confined to certain times during the day, certain days of the week. They took a modified online middle school class (when they were in 4th grade). They did research projects. They were learning how to learn (which is something often lost in a public school setting... they're not taught that... they're taught to regurgitate answers for the ever-important state testing).
Where am I going with all of this? Our Founding Fathers didn't go to a public school. The vast majority of the great minds from every century prior to the 20th were schooled either at home or in a church school. I'm not going to get into all of the indoctrination theories about the public school system in the US (which is based on a less than democracy-minded model). That's for bloggers who are far more knowledgeable and passionate about that. But I can't ignore the fact that the average classroom has to teach to the lowest common denominator. Or the fact that they are heavily influenced by liberal ideologies (just look at where the NEA sends its PAC money). Or the fact that, due to political correctness and some odd obsession with things not of the 3Rs, time is taken away from learning the basics in favor of learning ... other stuff.
Should everyone homeschool? Probably not. If your IQ is lower than that of a turnip, then it's probably better that you let someone else do it. But not having "training" is no excuse- you just have to have some initiative and the ability to learn. Not having patience? Not an excuse- they're YOUR children... you're not teaching the tricycle motor from down the street. Can't afford it? Well, that depends on how you budget and what your priorities are. No matter what society tells you, a family really can survive on one income, and it doesn't have to be a large income. A modest income, proper fiscal restraint, and some creativity go a long way. (I'd have to go back and check, but I'm 99% positive that we spent less than $1000 to homeschool the boys that one year. Both of them. A friend gave us a couple of books, we picked up a few more at a homeschool conference, found a BUNCH of stuff for free on the internet, and made plenty of trips to the library. And it worked!) And, honestly, I believe that, if more parents actually knew about some of the stuff taught at their local schools, they'd think twice about leaving their kids in that school system.
Me? It's not going to take much for me to go back to homeschooling. I already have the curriculum chosen, and the boys could still do band through a homeschool program. I'm already thinking about it... it wouldn't take much more...
Where Will He Go Now?
Hollywood star Johnny Depp is so shocked by the riots raging through France, he's considering abandoning his home in the country.According to rumors floating around (check the comments), Johnny's timely departure from LA had as much to do with the violence there as it did to his friend River's death and some problems with his partnership in the Viper Room. And, you can't forget how much we Americans love him for all of his wonderful anti-America comments.
The Finding Neverland heart-throb moved to Europe when life in Los Angeles became too violent.
He has since divided time between the two continents - but he fears France will be scarred permanently by the current troubles.
He says, "It's insane, that setting cars on fire is the new strike.
"I went there (to France) to live because it seemed so simple.
"Now it's anything but. I don't know how they'll recover from this."
Where will he go? Who will love him now? Not us, that's for sure.
It's Just a Game (Console), People!!!
So... tomorrow is the big day. If you want one... well... it's probably too late. There are already people in line at Toys-R-Us and Target. For a game console. And they're going on E-bay for more than twice their value.
It's just a game (console), people! What's the big deal????
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Don't Go Away Mad...
Cindy Sheehan, the Iraq war critic whose campsite along a Crawford roadside drew opponents and supporters by the hundreds in August, will try to recapture the public's attention and plans to break new local laws she inspired when she returns next week for Thanksgiving.First, I almost have to admire her tenacity. Well, I almost would, if I wasn't so sickened by her grandstanding and lies and insanity.
Second... look carefully at her plans. She's PLANNING on breaking the law. If she's planning to meet up with anyone or bring anyone on this little law-breaking adventure, I've got this sneaking suspicion that Cindy + friends+plans to break the law= conspiracy. Just a thought.
Cindy, listen up. We're sorry that you lost your son. He was a hero. But we don't care about your delusional little rants. We never did. Now go away.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Sad Cautionary Tale
WINNIPEG — Seven years ago, Gerald Muswagon was all smiles as his troubled life took a fairy-tale turn by winning a $10-million lottery jackpot.Unlike these people, I don't think this is unthinkable. Unfortunately, this is not unique (ok... the committing suicide part is... not the going broke part).
On Sunday, Muswagon hung himself in his parent’s garage.
It was a shocking end for a man who appeared to have the world at his fingertips, yet clearly never could grasp the instant fame and fortune he was handed through his lucky $2 Super 7 ticket.
‘‘People are very upset, and this is all very surprising,’’ said his cousin, Mike Muswagon. ‘‘But he had been very depressed lately, although he kept that part of him well hidden.’’
Muswagon, 42, somehow managed to do what seemed unthinkable and spent nearly every penny of his winnings in only a few years.
From just one article:
- "Winning the lottery isn't always what it's cracked up to be," says Evelyn Adams, who won the New Jersey lottery not just once but twice (1985, 1986) to the tune of $5.4 million. Today the money is all gone and Adams lives in a trailer.
- William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security.... Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps.
- Suzanne Mullins won $4.2 million in the Virginia lottery in 1993. Now she's deeply in debt to a company that lent her money using the winnings as collateral.
- Ken Proxmire was a machinist when he won $1 million in the Michigan lottery. He moved to California, went into the car business with his brothers and within five years, Ken had filed for bankruptcy.
- Willie Hurt of Lansing, Mich., won $3.1 million in 1989. Two years later he was broke and charged with murder. His lawyer says Hurt spent his fortune on a divorce and crack cocaine.
- Charles Riddle of Belleville, Mich., won $1 million in 1975. Afterward, he got divorced, faced several lawsuits and was indicted for selling cocaine.
- Missourian Janite Lee won $18 million in 1993. Lee was generous to a variety of causes, particularly politics, education and the community. But according to published reports, eight years after winning, Lee had filed for bankruptcy with only $700 left in two bank accounts and no cash on hand.
In fact, up to 80% of the lottery winners in this country file bankruptcy within five years.Yikes. Why? What causes people to seemingly "get it all" and then lose it? Gross stupidity? Greed? Naivete? Simple lack of planning? All of the above?
Is it going to happen again? The Mega Millions jackpot is up to an estimated $310 million. Today millions of people will stand in line and purchase their shot at the good life. Some of them have a plan, some don't. Some of the people who bought their tickets would be reasonably responsible with their winnings... some, like the poor folks mentioned above, will blow it all. (Although blowing through $310 million would take talent.)
Me? Yeah. I bought some tickets. I won't be like 80% of the winners (yeah... you've heard that before, right?) Yes, I have a plan. Some of that plan is quite responsible-go through the financial education program on this guy's site, and hire a financial advisor, college accounts for the boys, pay off debts, reasonably secure investments. Other parts of the plan- not so much of the responsible stuff. Flying first class ('cause my back would appreciate the thought), designing a home... who knows what else. And, no... I'm probably not telling many people. I still want to lead a reasonably modest life- telling everyone and having everyone ask for handouts or their share is not in the game plan. (I never said that I wouldn't be charitable or generous to friends/family... I'm just saying that sticking your hand out is the easiest way to NOT get anything.)
*Sigh* A girl can dream, can't she?
A Few "well, duhs"...
“I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.”
General George S. Patton.
“Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion.”
“We can stand here like the French, or we can do something about it.”
“As far as I’m concerned, war always means failure”
Jacques Chirac, President of France
“As far as France is concerned, you’re right.”
“The only time France wants us to go to war is when the German Army is sitting in Paris sipping coffee.”
“The French are a smallish, monkey-looking bunch and not dressed any better, on average, than the citizens of Baltimore.
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses
of whisky I don’t know.”
P.J O’Rourke (1989).
“You know, the French remind me a little bit of an aging actress of the 1940s who was still trying to dine out on her looks but doesn’t have the face for it.”
John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona.
“You know why the French don’t want to bomb Saddam Hussein?
Because he hates America, he loves mistresses and wears a beret. He is French, people!”
“I don’t know why people are surprised that France won’t help us get Saddam out of Iraq. After all, France wouldn’t help us get Hitler out of France either”
“The last time the French asked for ‘more proof’ it came marching into Paris under a German flag.”
Only thing worse than a Frenchman is a Frenchman who lives in Canada.
War without France would be like … uh … World War II.
The favorite bumper sticker in Washington now is one that says ‘First Iraq, then France.’”
“What do you expect from a culture and a nation that exerted more of its national will fighting against DisneyWorld and Big Macs than the Nazis?”
“It is important to remember that the French have always been there when they needed us.”
“They’ve taken their own precautions against al-Qa’ida. To prepare for an attack, each Frenchman is urged to keep duct tape, a white flag, and a three-day supply of mistresses in the house.”
“Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day – the description was, ‘Never shot. Dropped once.’”
Rep. Roy Blunt (MO)
“The French will only agree to go to war when we’ve proven we’ve found truffles in Iraq.”
Raise your right hand if you like the French … raise both hands if you
Q. What did the mayor of Paris say to the German Army as they entered the city in WWII?
A. Table for 100,000 m’sieur?
“Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris? It’s not known, it’s never been tried.”
Rep. R. Blount (MO)
“Do you know it only took Germany three days to conquer France in WWII? And that’s because it was raining.”
John Xereas, Manager, DC Improv.
The AP and UPI reported that the French Government announced after the London bombings that it has raised its terror alert level from Run to Hide. The only two higher levels in France are Surrender and Collaborate. The rise in the alert level was precipitated by a recent fire which destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively disabling
French Ban Fireworks at Euro Disney
(AP), Paris, March 5, 2003
The French Government announced today that it is imposing a ban on the use of fireworks at Euro Disney.
The decision comes the day after a nightly fireworks display at the park, located just 30 miles outside of Paris, caused the soldiers at a nearby French Army garrison to surrender to a group of Czech tourists.
America = Arnold Palmer.
France = Jean Van de Velde.
America = Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
France = Tony Parker.
America = John McEnroe.
France = Yannick Noah.
America = U.S.S. Nimitz.
France = The Charles de Gaulle.
America = Sex with your wife.
France = Sex with your boyfriend’s girlfriend.
America = Stoli with a beer chaser.
France = Grey Goose mixed with granapplestraworangeberry.
America = Marshall Plan.
France = Vichy.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Thank you to all of you who have served and are serving our nation. Our grateful nation owes you a debt of honor and gratitude that can never be replaced.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Happy Birthday, Jarheads!
Is It Just Me?
Tell me, ladies. Is it just me, or is Bongo Boy just not all that?
(FYI- for those of you looking for something cerebral on this site... I'm trying. Check back once I'm over the bug. Sorry.)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Is This Thing On?
In the meantime, check out this post from last year where I explain why this is my other birthday.