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Saturday, August 30, 2008

And He Wants To Represent Texas?

Normally, if you want to represent your area of citizenship (city, county, state, or country), you have a lot of pride in that area, right? Barack Obama bucked that trend early this year, and it looks like Rick Noriega, US Senator wannabe from Texas, is following his lead.

Mr. Noriega was in Denver for Obamapalooza this past week, and, while trolling for cash at a gathering of Democrat deep pockets (since he seems to have trouble raising funds in his own state), he let everyone know how he feels about our great state.
Being a Texan today, Mr. Noriega said, means always having to say you're sorry.

"I immediately feel compelled to just apologize to all of you," Mr. Noriega told high-rollers who flocked to the elegant Brown Palace Hotel to hear pleas for donations from about a dozen Democratic senatorial hopefuls.

Mr. Noriega said Texans "have all been incredibly embarrassed" by the Potomac performances of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Tom DeLay and Mr. Noriega's own opponent, freshman GOP Sen. John Cornyn.
Which Texans are embarrassed, Mr. Noriega? I'm not... at least, not usually by the folks you mentioned. And I don't feel the need to apologize to anyone for our President or his administration. No one is perfect, Mr. Noriega, but this administration is far better than anything your side of the aisle has put forward in a very long time.

Oh, but wait. Mr. Noriega and his campaign weren't finished.
But Noriega media strategist Dawn Laguens said the campaign remains well positioned because Cornyn has not been able to use his financial advantage to "put it away."
Oh, really? He has a double digit lead in the polls, and a recent Rasmussen survey gives him a 70% chance of keeping his jobs. Sounds a lot like "putting it away" to me.
Noriega told the donors that Cornyn's voting record has been close to giving President Bush everything he's wanted. And, he said, Cornyn's seat on the Judiciary Committee puts him in a position to affect the confirmation of Supreme Court nominees.
He says that like it's a bad thing. It's a very good thing, if you want Justices who will not legislate from the bench. But I'm goofy that way.

But the political atmosphere Obama has created gives Noriega a chance to pull off an upset.
"We need to kill the snake while we have the hoe in the hand," Noriega said.
um... did he just call Obama a hoe? I know he called Senator Cornyn a snake, but we're used to him being... surly. Whatever... Seriously, though- I don't think Senator Obama is going to be the Democrat party messiah that they think he will be. His numbers are only going to fall now that the DNC is over and the issues will be at the forefront, and Senator Obama may just drag the party down with him.

Representative Noriega didn't quite get this one right:
Voters are fed up with the Republicans, Mr. Noriega said. He said Mr. Cornyn wants to avoid letting voters compare their positions. His opponent's campaign is out to discredit him, he said.

"They can't allow us to get out of the cradle," he said.
No, Mr. Noriega. Voters are fed up with RINOs and Democrats- real conservatives are wanted desperately. And I'm pretty sure that Senator Cornyn would love nothing more than to have your positions compared. He's not out to discredit you- he's out to show just how wrong you are for the job you're applying for. You're not ready to get out of the cradle... just like the presidential nominee for your party. (Does that cradle comment strike anyone else as odd?)

In the midst of all this apology nonsense and name calling, this little bit of paranoia struck me as funny and more than a bit illustrative:
Chatting with reporters at one stop, Mr. Noriega suddenly flinched. A video crew, hired by Ms. Laguens (Noriega's media consultant-B), was taping him. He said he's grown distrustful of videographers. The Cornyn camp acknowledges it sends one to virtually all of Mr. Noriega's public appearances.
He freaks when he sees a video crew... that his campaign hired. Can you imagine how he'd react to all those video cameras shoved in his face at press conference after press conference. Camera crews follow Senators around 24/7. If he flinches at one crew- that he hired- now, he'll have a nervous tic by the end of his first month in office.

Of course the Cornyn campaign would send crews to Noriega's public appearances- between his gaffes and inane policy statements, he's practically doing their work for them.

Honestly, looking over these quotes and the rest of the articles that I linked to above, I just don't get it. Rick Noriega is embarrassed by the State of Texas. He's ashamed of it. Why would he want to represent it?

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Tickets Are Now Complete

Let's see... Obama/Biden v. McCain/Palin... The Messiah/The Mouth v. POW/WOW. This could get fun, fast.

Sarah Palin, the governor of the largest State in the Union, has been chosen by Senator McCain to be his running mate. She's young, conservative, and gutsy. If you need some background on her, try these links.

Gov. Palin's selection was a well kept secret- so well kept that the Democrats' Veep watch site didn't even have her listed.The Obama campaign's knee-jerk reaction was this:
Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency.
They quickly backpedaled when they realized that their top-spot candidate has less foreign policy experience than Governor Palin- she has to deal with Canada and Russia on a regular basis. Obama? He had to deal with the folks from the 'burbs in Chicago once. 

Let's have a quick a comparison between Senator Obama's coronation last night at Invesco Field and Governor Palin's speech this morning. During Obama's speech, the chant "O-bam-a... O-bam-a... O-bam-a..." began. During Governor Palin's speech, you could hear "U-S-A... U-S-A... U-S-A..." Make of that what you will...

Here is the video of McCain's introduction and Palin's speech. Good stuff.

She's funny, she's smart. She can co-opt a slogan when the mood strikes her. I think she surprised a lot of people with that speech.

She is not without controversy or critics. "Trooper-gate" (I hate that stupid "gate" business!) will make news, and the windfall profits tax issue will raise some eyebrows among fiscal conservatives (scroll through these comments to find a decent explanation of why it's not nearly as bad as it sounds). And we can't forget the Kos Kiddies, who are blasting her for being an evangelical Christian, a true feminist, and a member of *gasp* Campus Crusade and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (I'll admit it- I know nothing about the minister they're talking about or the Joel's Army they're referring to, but... it doesn't sound anything like the vile hatred that came out of the mouth of a certain Chicago minister we've heard of lately. If I learn otherwise, I'll mention it.) Then again, a Kos Kiddie is also accusing Gov. Palin of faking a pregnancy to hide her daughter's pregnancy and is raising her grandson as her own (even though her water broke in a most public fashion- see more below).

In the next few days, we'll learn more than we probably want to know about Governor Sarah Palin. If a picture paints a thousand words... here's the start of the biography. This might be a chapter:

Here are some other Palin Facts. Sweet! Someone pointed out that no matter how Chuck Norris-ish she may seem, some of those feats are true. (She did actually have her water break in Texas, stay to give a 30 minute talk, and then fly back to Alaska before she gave birth to Trig.)

One more thing... I'm still not quite on the McCain bandwagon... but I keep inching closer and closer. I do definitely support Governor Palin in her quest to be Vice President, though (it sounds like a cop out, but it's not). No, it's not because she's a woman. It's because she's a conservative who is passionate about the issues and willing to "stir the puddin' " (to quote Neal Boortz). The fact that she's a woman is gravy as far as I'm concerned. Then again, I'm more into the whole "content of their character" than any outward appearance. Funny that way, I guess. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bloggus Interuptus

I'm taking a couple of days off. Just thought I'd let you know.

Also, when I get back, things will be a little different. Then again, because I'm a little sporatic when it comes to posting, y'all may or may not notice.

Blogging will be non-existent on Tuesdays (unless I do a scheduled post for some reason) because I will be at the homeschool co-op all day. Mondays, at first, will be used to get ready for co-op. Once I get into a routine, Monday blogging will probably resume.

Have a great rest of the week and a restful Labor Day weekend.

Raisin' McCain

Well... this is interesting... I'm still not quite on the McCain bandwagon, but this is still cool. Add this video to this article, and you have more celebrity support than many people would expect.

The DNC Drinking Game

This is funny. This would be even funnier if a: I had seen it before the convention started; and b: I drank like a fish. (edited for language content-B)
Want to watch the Democratic National Convention, but afraid it'll distract from your alcoholism? The DNC Drinking Game can help. Pour yourself a cocktail (or a latte) and prepare to get drunk on booze and hope.

Take a drink every time Obama reminds you of JFK, but only because your knowledge of historical figures is limited.

Take a drink every time the Republicans are blamed for high gas prices, the weak economy, or America's loss in Olympic softball.

Take a drink every time TV commentators say the words "punditry," "blogosphere," or "Obamania."

Take a drink if you've heard of Senators Jeff Bingaman, Maria Cantwell, Dean Burgess, or Amy Klobuchar. Take another if you knew that there is no Dean Burgess in the Senate.

Take a drink every time Obama stands in the light in such a way as to make you believe his skin color is a mix of red, white and blue.

Take a drink every time Evan Bayh says, "I didn't want v.p. anyway ... Postmaster General's where the real power's at."

Take a drink if either Iraq or the environment are described as a "sh*tstorm."

Take a drink if anyone you're watching with describes Bill Richardson as "the smoking hot governor of New Sex-ico."

Take a drink for every state delegation that makes a point of showing off what state they are (Hawaiians wearing leis, Texans wearing cowboy hats, Utahans practicing polygamy, etc.)

Take a drink every time your parents give you an excuse for why they don't like Obama that can be translated as "I'm racist."

Take a drink every time Obama says something so amazing that you don't even care about your kids not having health insurance.

Take a drink if you see Jesse Jackson trying to get a peek at the convention through an air conditioning vent.

Take a drink if--when--the crowd screams for a Harry Reid encore.

Take a drink every time Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper humiliates a Republican...also known as "getting Hickenloopered."

Take a drink every time Hillary says something bad about Obama in the secret code language that all white people know.

Take a drink every time a Democrat follows up the Pledge of Allegiance with a chuckle and a "Just kidding."

Take a drink every time John Edwards shouts into a megaphone outside the Pepsi Center that he only had sex with Rielle Hunter when his wife's cancer was in remission.

Take a drink of champagne when you're filled with excitement as you realize, "Oh my god, this can really happen. A black man named Barack Obama might be elected president."

Take a shot of whiskey when that feeling is swiftly followed by dread as you think, "There's no way this is gonna happen." (Republicans feel free to swap the beverages in the last two rules. -B)

Take a drink every time during Obama's speech when all other sounds fall away, and you feel as though an electric current is coursing through your veins, and for one all-too-brief moment, there are no problems, no distractions, nothing at all. Just Barack.

Take a drink every time Kathleen Sebelius says something that is flat-out funny.

In honor of Ted Kennedy, take a million drinks.

Take a long, emotional swig of gin every time Hillary does.

Take a drink every time Obama solves race in America.
Run to the liquor store... or Starbucks... load up on libations (in honor of the setting for Obama's speech and all that), and prepare for the next 2 nights of fun and frivolity. Y'all will wind up drunk as a skunk after the 4th or 5th rule, or you'll be so jacked up on caffeine and sugar from the latte that you won't sleep until sometime after the general election.

Bottom's up!

Wednesday's Hero

Today, we have a "twofer". It's the 2nd anniversary of Wednesday's Hero, so here's a slideshow of the past year's heroes.

Second, here is this week's hero.

Lt. Col. Nathan Blood
Lt. Col. Nathan Blood
U.S. Army

Lt. Col. Nathan Blood, brigade effects coordinator for 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Multi-National Division - Baghdad, says "Hello" to his 16-month-old daughter, Mackenzie, during a web camera communication.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Have Every Right To Dream Heroic Dreams. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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It's Mugga Day!

Sing along. You know the words!

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Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes
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Have a great day, Mom!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a DNC Link Dump

I'm doing my best to avoid coverage of the Democrat National Convention. Sure, there will be some humorous moments in that oxygen-poor environment, but will we be able to tell the difference between oxygen-starved brains and their normal logic-starved brains?

Here are a few links just to prove I don't live in a vacuum.
Tonight's big fun includes Senator Clinton not telling her delegates who to vote for. Once again, I think I'll find something else to do.

Ed And The Bishop- 1 Pelosi-0

This past weekend, Speaker Pelosi opened her mouth and, as she is prone to do, got it totally wrong. Ed over at Hot Air has the transcript. San Fran's Grand Nan was asked about the Catholic Church's position that life begins at conception. Here's part of her response:
REP. PELOSI:  I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time.  And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.  And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months.  We don’t know.

...And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.  As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…

...And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that.  So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy. 
Ed points out in his post that the Church decided this one at least 1930 years ago (Didache in A.D. 70 condemned abortion and infanticide- wonder if Obama knows that... but I digress... ). Not much of a controversy there, Madam Speaker.

But Ed's not the only one weighing in on this one. Archbishop Donald Wuerl felt compelled to correct her mistaken notions about the teachings of her faith.
He said, "We respect the right of elected officials such as Speaker Pelosi to address matters of public policy that are before them, but the interpretation of Catholic faith has rightfully been entrusted to the Catholic bishops. Given this responsibility to teach, it is important to make this correction for the record."

Wuerl pointed out that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear, and has been clear for 2,000 years. He cited Catechism language that reads, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception … Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.”
You know, I'm usually Sola Scriptura, but since she brought up the teachings of the Church... the Catechism is a good place to start, no? 

Maybe Speaker Pelosi should avoid the communion line at Washington Cathedral. She might be in for a surprise...  then again, I'm not sure she'd care.

Check Out The Tough Guy

Oh, yeah... nothing screams testosterone poisoning louder than bullying a person less than half your size. Yup... talk about a tough guy.

How... bizarre. If you actually go to the You Tube site, the explanation of the clip says "Alex Jones shreds Michelle Malkin." Funny... I must not have watched the same clip. He didn't shred Michelle- he just kept yelling that she wants to imprison US citizens and how her neo-con friends are doing something or other. Supposedly, one of his minions yelled, "Kill Michelle Malkin," but I didn't hear that. Then again, when I hear his voice, I instinctively tune him out.

"Who is this Alex Jones?" I hear you ask. (No, I'm not going to link to his wiki page or his "infowars" and "prisonplanet" websites. Look 'em up yourself.) He's an Austin radio personality, a Truther among Truthers. (I haven't heard his response to the report that came out last week that said that fire can melt steel and Tower 7 came down as a result of debris from the Twin Towers falling and hitting the building- I'm sure he thinks it's just furthing the government conspiracy to cover up the fact that either the US government did it or knew about it and let it happen. The Build-a-Bears Bilderberg group is one of his favorite targets when he's not trying to pin anything and everything on neo-cons.) According to his wiki page (which I think he wrote, although it's almost objective), he's a paleoconservative. No, he's not- he's nuttier than Jimmy Carter's farm who says that everyone who doesn't agree with him is a liberal in on the conspiracy (which conspiracy? the one he's talking about at the moment, of course). He has a weekday show that, mercifully, I've never heard. I have had the misfortune of hearing his Sunday show. It's odd... he'll make sense... up to a point... and then he jets off into a land of silliness where I dare not follow.

Take his beef with Michelle Malkin, for instance. Several years ago, Ms. Malkin wrote a book about about the internment of nisei (Japanese Americans) and other hyphenated Americans during World War II. Because she did not universally condemn the internment and thinks that there may again be a need for it, Jones attacked her, saying that she doesn't believe in free speech and that she wants to imprison American citizens.

hmmm... she doesn't believe in freedom of speech, and who kept shouting her down when she tried to talk? Checked a mirror lately, Alex?

Gateway Pundit called it an attack. Ace thought it seemed more like stalking and, perhaps, criminal menacing. Me? I'm leaning toward stalking and assault with intent to annoy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Welcome to Denver Obama May Not Have Expected

When Senator Obama and Co. arrived at the Mile High City , these billboards greeted them.


Here is the press release from the National Black Republican Association.
Obama Is Not MLK's Dream

Forty-five years ago, on August 28, 1963, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was a Republican and embraced the traditional values that made this country great delivered his inspirational civil rights "I Have a Dream" speech.

Today, Senator Barack Obama, with the most liberal voting record in the US Senate, is delivering his political acceptance speech, in an apparent attempt to assume for himself the mantle of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Dr. King did not embrace the type of secularist agenda promoted by Obama and the Democratic Party of today, which includes fostering dependency on welfare that breaks up families, supporting same-sex marriage and partial-birth abortion, and banning God from the public square.

Obama is no MLK!

Then we also have this ad from the Black Republican PAC:

Like Gateway Pundit said... they must be racists!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Obligatory Obama/Biden Post

At 3am this morning, the text message finally went out. The Obama campaign thought it was so clever, sending out text messages to their "loyal supporters" first, letting them in on the little secret of who the lucky person was who gets to be The One's running mate, but the press knew hours before the message was sent. (I think the big hint was the Secret Service showing up at his house. Just a guess.)

My personal opinion? Obama didn't have much of a choice. He couldn't pick Hillary; Bayh or Paine would have probably really annoyed the PUMAs; no one knew who Chet Edwards was. Biden was safe, and he lends that air of experience that Obama definitely lacks. (I actually heard a talking head use the term "gravitas" yesterday... isn't that so... 2000??) That being said, Senator Biden is a typical Washington liberal. Hardly the hopey changy person Obama wants to appear to be. Biden also  has plenty of baggage, and I'm sure someone has already has a file on him, ready to go. I can't wait to hear Rush's take on Monday.

That's my opinion (well, the starts of one). Here are other people's opinions:
What do you think about Obama's choice? Will it sway McCain in his choice?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Will They Actually Find Anything?

Since before the women's gymnastics Olympic events even began in Beijing, there have been accusations that at least one of the Chinese gymnasts isn't as old as her passport claims. Now, almost two weeks after the competition began, the International Olympic Committee is opening an investigation. I guess that's easy for them to do now- Mike Walker, a computer analyst, did most of the investigating for them.
The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning gymnastics star because she was too young to compete. 

An IOC official told The Times that because of "discrepancies" that have come to light about the age of He Kexin, the host nation’s darling who won gold in both team and individual events, an official inquiry has been launched that could result in the gymnast being stripped of her medals. 

The investigation was triggered as a US computer expert claimed yesterday to have uncovered Chinese government documents that he says prove she is only 14 - making her ineligible to compete in the Olympics - rather than 16, as officials in Beijing insist is her age. 

Mike Walker, a computer security expert, told The Times how he tracked down two documents that he says had been removed from a Chinese government website. The documents, he said, stated that He’s birth date was January 1 1994 - making her 14 - and not January 1 1992, which is printed in her passport. 
Kind of hard to pretend that there's no problem, isn't it? Not even the IOC can ignore some of what's been found.  But they might be taking the easy way out- they asked the Internation Gymnastics Federation to look into it, and the IGF is the group of rocket scientists who put judges in the Olympics events who have never come close to medaling in those events. Makes perfect sense to me.

The fact that China might have been less than honest about the gymnast's age shouldn't actually surprise anyone. I mean, they're a communist country- it's what they do. They lied about cleaning up the air and insuring internet freedom in order to be awarded the Olympics in the first place. They lied about tickets being sold out for all events, if the empty seats in some of the stands are any indication. Why should this be any different? (FYI, China is lying about at least one gymnast... maybe more...)

Just wondering... if the IOC concludes that China is lying about He's age, then she will be stripped of her medals. What happens to the team medal? Does the entire team lose it, or just her?

Chocolately Oddness

Last week, links to Edwards! The Musical made the rounds on the right side of the blogosphere. Funny. Twisted, but funny. A friend of mine sent me the link to something else on that same site... just as twisted, just as funny... if you know much about Lovecraft.

Coconut Creme Swirl

They say that the Coconut Creme Swirl sleeps. But if the dread Coconut Creme Swirl slumbers, surely it must also dream. It is certain that while it dozes the Coconut Creme Swirl is absorbed by terrifying visions of exacting its creamy tropical vengeance upon mankind! Consume the Coconut Creme Swirl before it awakens to consume you!

Chocolate Cherry Cordial

You must not think me mad when I tell you what I found below the thin shell of chocolate used to disguise this bonbon's true face. Yes! Hidden beneath its rich exterior is a hideously moist cherry cordial! What deranged architect could have engineered this non-Euclidean aberration? I dare not speculate.
A deranged architect? Well, that explains that. The rest are pretty funny, too. Go check 'em out. 

Cue Styx in 3...2...1...

When people get bored, there are a lot of ways to pass time. Some read. Others watch tv. Some goof off (h't to HDD for that link). And some people play with Legos.


There are more photos at the link. Not the most amazing Lego display I've ever seen. Still very cool.

Afterthought: Questioning the post title? Click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Check this out. After seeing this at Ace's,  T1 and T2 were trying to figure out a way to actually whack the fuselage with a baseball bat (as Laura commented). They're pretty sure that standing on a minivan would work.

Telling It Like It Is

Last week, the Taliban murdered two Canadian aid workers and sent a letter threatening Canada if they didn't pull their soldiers out of Afghanistan. A Canadian officer, Col George Petrolekas, responds beautifully.
An open letter to the Taliban:

You purport to speak for Afghans and Afghanistan yet your only questionable legitimacy comes from the barrel of a gun, the slaughter and intimidation of innocents supported by the profits of the opium crop that you protect. You do not answer for the night letters you send, the people you behead, or the villages you hold hostage whose only crime is that they do not agree with your views.

And yet you dare say that we come to kill your innocent, equally forgetting the deaths of thousands of innocents committed by your fellow travellers in crime; so conveniently forgetting the slaughters of Bali, Madrid, London and New York City. Your words may sound high and mighty, but your actions and deeds betray the truth of what you are: a movement committed to the enslavement and servitude of those whose voices cannot be heard. You revile America forgetting that it gave you more food, flour and wheat than any other nation while you were in power; what did you do for the Afghan people?

.... You kill doctors, teachers and aid workers, making a mockery of the words "God the merciful and compassionate." Your deeds make you the ultimate apostates, your actions are the ultimate heresy.

...And in the face of your threats, you will also find that we are made of sterner stuff as are the Afghan people who only wish to live lives in some semblance of security. Liberty does not come freely and ours has been a steep price to pay, and that gives us no joy, but we pay that price in the fervent belief that to not do so is to consign a nation and a people to a darker fate at your hands. And thus we will continue until you are no more.

If those Afghan voices tell us that we should leave, then we will. But we will never leave them alone to face the threats and killings that so brutally demonstrate what you are, because you do not and never have spoken for the Afghan people. And with God's help, you never will.
Read the whole thing. It's great.

Random Obama Links

I have 3 links for you this morning, all related to Senator Obama.

First up, we have this link to a Rott piece on Obama's voting record on infanticide. (No real language alert on the post itself, but I didn't read the comments, so you're on your own there.) Senator Obama, as an Illinois State Senator, voted 3 times against a bill that would have required doctors to try to save a baby that somehow survived an abortion. His reason for voting against it? The federal law was symbolic, but the state law would actually do something. Can't have that, now, can we? (This is the same man who said how much he loved the verse from Matthew that talked about "the least of these." To quote Rush, who among us is more "least" than unborn children?)

Next, on a lighter note, we have the Obama edition of "what I did on summer vacation." While he was in Hawaii, he spent some time learning how to speak without a teleprompter. If Saddleback was any indication, he needs to go back to school.

Finally, we have a link that discusses a blog on the Obama community site. While I think that military personnel who support Obama are confused and delusional, they can support whomever they choose... but not in uniform. DODI is pretty specific (3.1.3), as is the US Code when it comes to political activity in uniform. (Here's a summary.) I'm sure that this Kyle person will say that he wasn't trying to use the uniform to influence voters. If that was true, then he would have gone ahead and used a different photo. He's a whiner, and he's probably in trouble with his command (who will probably just tell him to pull the photo).

Yeah... that's all I have for you this morning. I'll see if I can do more later.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday's Hero

Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker
Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker
18 years old from Greenbrier, Arkansas
2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division
October 12, 2007
U.S. Army

Pvt. Nathan Z. Thacker had only been in the country for two weeks before his death, according to the soldier's father, Stephen Thacker.

Thacker's father said his son felt a duty to enlist. "He said it was his job. Even after he got his orders that he was going over there, he said it's his job."

Thacker had attended Guy-Perkins High School in Guy, Arkansas. He earned his GED in 2006, his father said. Thacker enlisted in the Army in April 2007 and completed his training at Fort Benning, Ga. He arrived at Fort Drum in August 2007. His honors include the Purple Heart.

"Nathan was an excellent man," sister Sabrina Black said. "He loved me, I loved him, and I’d give anything to have him back."

Pvt. Thacker was killed when an IED was detonated near his vehicle near Kirkuk. Three other soldiers were injured in the attack.

Pvt. Thacker is survived by his parents, siblings and his grandfather.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Insane HOA

My love affair hatred of homeowners' associations is well documented. I have to admit that is one good thing about living in an apartment- no HOA. It's about the only good thing about living in an apartment, but it's there.

I think I may have found someone who despises HOAs more than me... with good reason.
But a Frisco man says his truck is being targeted simply because his homeowners association doesn't think it's classy enough.

Jim Greenwood said he never dreamed his HOA would have a problem with his new Ford F-150 pickup. Then he received the first of three notices threatening him with fines.

"Mr. Greenwood, you're violating a subdivision rule that prohibits pickup trucks in your driveway," the notice reads.

Stonebriar HOA rules allow several luxury trucks on driveways, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Honda Ridgeline and Lincoln Mark LT.

But most Ford, Dodge or Chevy pickups are restricted. 
"Luxury trucks"? Talk about an oxymoron.  And talk about snobbery gone overboard! But they did make one concession- pickups can be parked in the garage. How nice of them. One of the board members told Greenwood's wife that "if they don't like it, they can move." How... classy.

And a HOA board member said that "Lincoln markets to a different class of people." Uh... yeah... I don't know about Frisco, TX, but where I grew up, Lincoln and Cadillac are still the preferred ride of drug dealers. No,really. You see a pimped out a Lincoln Towncar or Mark LT or Cadillac Escalade where I come from and you can almost bet it didn't get paid for with legal earnings. Just sayin'...

But here's the problem. When you buy a house in a covenant community, you also sign legal documents that you will abide by their silly rules. While I agree that the rule is stupid and snobbish, it's the rule. If it was there when they moved in, then they should have read the rules. If it became a rule after they moved... maybe they should attend the HOA meetings or maybe even run for a HOA board position.

I agree with Mr. Greenwood that it's a stupid rule. But he signed up for the stupidity when he moved into a HOA neighborhood.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Are the Olympics Officially Over Now?

Michael Phelps has won his eighth gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Since NBC has been wall-to-wall Phelps for the past week, we can presume that the Games are over now... right?
Cheering from the pool deck, Michael Phelps won his record eighth gold medal of the Beijing Games on Sunday to become the grandest of Olympic champions.

Jason Lezak held on to the lead Phelps gave him, anchoring the United States to a world record in the 400-meter medley relay against an Australian team that did its best to spoil history.

But Phelps, with a big hand from three teammates, would not be denied. He eclipsed Mark Spitz's seven-gold performance at the 1972 Munich Games, an iconic performance that was surpassed by a swimmer fitting of this generation: a 23-year-old from Baltimore who loves hip-hop music and texting with his buddies.

"I don't even know what to feel right now," Phelps said. "There's so much emotions going through my head and so much excitement. I kind of just want to see my mom."
Seriously, though... he's an amazing athlete, and he's quite humble. He knows just how great a swimmer he is, and he still thanks those who helped him get there.
"It wouldn't have been possible without the help of my teammates." Phelps said. "For the three Olympics I've been a part of, this is by far the closest men's team that we've ever had. I didn't know everybody coming into this Olympics, but I feel going out I know every single person very well. The team that we had is the difference."
uh... yeah... speaking of that team... the one consistent member of your relay teams was Jason Lezak... I wonder if Phelps will cut him a check for 1/8 of that bonus? 

Congrats to Michael Phelps. Also congrats to Jason Lezak, Aaron Peirsol, and Brendan Hansen for an awesome job in that race.

Friday, August 15, 2008

OK... That Is A Lot of Food

For some reason, a lot of people are obsessed with Michael Phelps' Olympic diet. I did the math, and my recommended calorie intake on my current diet is 1/8 of Phelps' diet. It will take me over a week to eat what he inhales in a day. Granted, he uses every single one of those calories and I don't, but I just wanted to put it in perspective.

Here's another way to put it in perspective. The  Guardian's Jon Henley tried to eat what Michael Phelps does... and well... you can watch the video here. It is kind of funny. I think he was turning a little green around the edges as his adventure continued.

Being the Guardian, they also had to count the cost, and I'd hate to be footing the grocery bill for Phelps. For the day, Henley spent £40.03, which translates into about $75.Oh, wait... I have teenaged boys living here- some days I come close!

They're Not Really That Stupid, Are They?

Powerline has a (yet another) great post today about the Russian reaction to the agreement between the United States and Poland to put a missile defense system in Poland. You should go and read the whole thing, but, in a nutshell, Russia said something to the effect of, " yeah, well... do that and we just might have to nuke you." No, really. That's what they said. Look:
A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported.

The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.

Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, feels it is aimed at Russia's missile force.

"Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike—100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying.

He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them." Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax.
hmmm... let's see... the US calls Russia a bully... then the Poles decide to heed the paraphrased motto of 2nd Amendment proponents (when seconds count, NATO is days away)... and Russia proves the US right and goes all bully on Poland and says "don't do it or I'll have to beat you up for your lunch money again."

Sorry, Putin and Company, but you're no longer in charge of all the little Warsaw Pact minions anymore... and they kind of like it that way. Think of it as Poland's way of saying, "you're not the boss of me." It doesn't work for toddlers, but it does work on the playground when you have the upperclassman backing you up.

I still can't believe that this general is idiotic enough to say that, though. Photobucket

An American Carol

What do you get when you combine David Zucker satire and an Dickens' classic? An American Carol.

Let's see... Kevin Farley as "Michael Malone" (why does he look so familiar? hmm...) ... Kelsey Grammer as a Pattonesque general (he may actually play the ghost of Patton, I'm not sure)... Leslie Nielson as George Washington... Trace Atkins as the Spirit of Christmas Future Death... this could be interesting.

 Those who know me know I am not a fan of Airplane or the Naked Gun movies (sorry, Mr. Zucker... just have to be honest here). I have been told that I have a humor-defect, but I don't think so... I just don't usually like that type of humor. It's more... guy humor, I guess. This doesn't look quite so... "guyish"... or maybe it's just because they're making fun of Michael Mooron... either way, I'll be there the weekend of October 3rd to see it.

Just a Reminder

Powerline mentions one of Obama's old primary campaign commercials this morning. They're right- the commercial is a good reminder, in light of events in Georgia, why Obama is scarier than your average Democrat candidate.

From the Powerline post:
With events in Georgia over the past week, it is time to revisit Barack Obama's stated views on America's defense needs. In the video above, Obama pronounces a McGovernite disarmament credo:
I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems... ...I will not weaponize space...
...I will slow development of future combat systems...
...and I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending...
...I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons...
...and to seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons...
...I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material...
...and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert...
...and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals...
Isn't it time for someone who covers politics for a living to ask Obama about this credo? JOHN adds: When Obama refers to "unproven missile defense systems," does he mean the ones we're installing in Poland?

UPDATE: Here is Michael Ramirez's take on how Obama would handle the Georgian problem:


Well, that about sums that up, doesn't it?

Well, What Do You Know?

Hope really does float.


Blech... talk about a puff piece... 

UPDATE: Wizbang is having a caption contest. Many are much better than mine.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Life Well Lived

I have had discussions with several Protestant friends of mine about the place of the Saints in the Catholic Church. Having been raised Catholic but now a Protestant, I have a slightly... different view than either the average Catholic or the average Protestant. At least, I think I do.

According to the Bible, every Believer is a saint. (Just go here and put "saint" into the search box. You'll see how often the faithful were called "saints.") To me, the "Capital S" Saints are those Believers of the past whose lives we can look to for encouragement. They faced trials and were faithful through them. I do not believe, as Catholics do, that they are to be prayed to, however. I pray to God in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, with the intercession of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:13-14; Romans 8:26-27)

OK... I just needed to get that out of the way before I got to the topic of this post. Today is the feast day of Saint Maximilian Kolbe.

The inscription reads "Knight of the Immaculate" or "Immaculate Knight" in Polish.
I can't translate the Japanese. It may be "Seibo no Kishi" which is also "Immaculate Knight."

He was a Franciscan priest and missionary to Japan in the 1930s. He founded a monastery near Nagasaki which survived the bombing at the end of World War II and is still in use today.

That is not why he was sainted by the Catholic Church, however. This is why:
During the Second World War he provided shelter to refugees from Greater Poland, including 2,000 Jews whom he hid from Nazi persecution in his friary in Niepokalanów. He was also active as a radio amateur, with Polish call letters SP3RN, vilifying Nazi activities through his reports.

On February 17, 1941 he was arrested by the German Gestapo and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison, and on May 25 was transferred to Auschwitz I as prisoner #16670.

In July 1941 a man from Kolbe's barracks vanished, prompting SS-Hauptsturmführer Karl Fritzsch, the deputy camp commander, to pick 10 men from the same barracks to be starved to death in Block 13 (notorious for torture), in order to deter further escape attempts.[citation needed] (The man who had disappeared was later found drowned in the camp latrine). One of the selected men, Franciszek Gajowniczek, cried out, lamenting his family, and Kolbe volunteered to take his place.

During the time in the cell he led the men in songs and prayer. After three weeks of dehydration and starvation, only Kolbe and three others were still alive. Finally he was murdered with an injection of carbolic acid.
Mr. Gajowniczek was present when John Paul II canonized Father Kolbe as a martyr. His classificationas a martyr was not without controversy, though. (He was beatified as a "confessor" but canonized as a "martyr", even though he was not murdered odium Fidei (out of hatred for the Faith). He is the patron saint of, among other things, the pro-life movement.

Does it really matter how he is classified? No, not really. Was he the only person who sacrificed himself to the point of death during World War II. Hardly. But his was a life of service that we can look up to and admire.

(h't to Gateway Pundit, who added this link.)

Election Links

It's been a while since I've talked about Texas politics, so... here's a quick rundown.

From Chairman Michael Williams' site, we have a bunch of linky goodness. First, we have a three part Energy Solutions series. (It may be more than three parts- there are only three there right now.) Then, there is a post about the "100 year" supply of natural gas and a report on the Governor's Competitiveness Council. And then we end our tour with a little snarky goodness.

Now, we're off to Senator Cornyn's campaign. The Senator has received an endorsement from the Texas Fraternal Order of Police. He has a petition up, asking Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi to bring Congress back to DC to vote on drilling. A recent poll shows Cornyn up by double digits. That's not all that surprising, considering his competition. Mr. Noriega, in a recent radio interview, didn't know if Congress should come back and vote on offshore drilling. Literally, his answer was, "I don't know." That's leadership for you.

Well, as long as I mentioned Rick Noriega, I might as well give him some more linky love, right? Let's see... what's in my grab bag? Oh, here's an audio clip about him blaming the media for his poor showing. (Memo to Mr. Noriega- Senator Cornyn has been having those conference calls for years... it's part of being a Senator.) Here are some more of his... campaign glitches (not all his fault, granted. Glitches, none-the-less). And it looks like it takes some bad press to get him back on the Twitter wagon.

OK... that's enough for now.

A Georgian reporter, Tamara Urushadze, was grazed by a bullet (I'm not sure who shot her, though... the Daily Mail article says it may have been South Ossetian militia) during a live broadcast... and kept reporting.

I find it interesting that her support crew was putting a bulletproof vest with "TV" across the front onto Urushadze as she tried to explain what happened (I think I heard the word "snipe" or "sniper" as she spoke). She was standing in the middle of a road, microphone in hand, looking into a camera. I think the sniper knew she was part of the media and didn't really care.

The other day, I mentioned  several posts that posited the notion that Georgia isn't an innocent victim in all of this. That's not to say that Russian seems to be taking advantage of the situation. It's funny... based on the posts I mentioned, I was willing to give Russia the benefit of the doubt. Now, it's kind of difficult to continue because of the way they're ignoring ceasefires and international concerns. If they were really just trying to honor the wishes of the breakaway area, things would be a little different.

Russia is messing up big time. "This is not 1968" was about as big of a smackdown as you can get diplomatically. The US has pulled out of several joint military exercises, and has suggested that, if the Russians are going to act this way, then maybe they don't need to play with the other kiddos in the G87 and other neat clubs. Wonder how they'll respond to that...

Nothing to See Here

A man was found dead in a hotel in Denver. It probably wouldn't have made the blogosphere except for one little combination of facts: he was Muslim, and he had a pound of cyanide (enough to kill a hundred people or so) in the room.
Police confirmed Wednesday that they found about a pound of sodium cyanide in a Denver hotel room where the body of a Canadian man was discovered earlier this week.

Police spokesman John White identified the white powder as sodium cyanide, the crystal form of cyanide. Fire officials say they found a bottle containing about a pound of the white powder, or between a pint and a quart by volume.An expert told the Denver Post that the amount of cyanide is enough to kill hundreds of people.

The medical examiner's office said it is awaiting test results to determine whether cyanide killed 29-year-old Saleman Abdirahman Dirie, of Ottawa, Canada.

His body was found Monday inside Room 408 at The Burnsley Hotel, which is about four blocks from the state Capitol.

...The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is assisting in the investigation but FBI spokeswoman Kathy Wright said the incident has no apparent connection to terrorism.

"You have a suspicious substance that was found in a hotel room in conjunction with person being a foreign national, and we have a lot of questions and that is why we are assisting," Wright told the Post.

An online threat posted in July by a man with a similar name warned of death. The blog discussed the killing of Christians in Somalia by Islamists. The person who posted on the blog appeared to condemn Christians.
So... a Canadian Muslim, originally from Solmalia, is found dead with a pound of cyanide in a not-cheap hotel in the town where the Democrat National Convention will be held in a couple of weeks... and there's no indication, not even a hint, that there might be a terrorism connection?

I can only guess that it's one of two things. Either the FBI thinks we're so stupid that we'll believe them as they try to cover up a credible terrorist threat to the DNC, or they are so stupid that they don't see the possibility. I really hope it's the former. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In Austin, It's Hot During The Summer

We know that. Really, we do. But this summer is hot, even for Austin.
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - This is now the hottest summer in 83 years.

In 1925, Austin recorded 69 days of triple-digit heat.The high temperature reached 101 degree in Austin this Friday afternoon-the 44th day this summer that highs have reached or exceeded 100 degrees.

It is possible the all-time record for 100 degree heat will be threatened since more high-temperture days are forecasted for at least another week.  If the record of 70 days is to be broken, triple-digit highs would have to continue into September.

The earliest the all-time record could be broken would be September 3rd, but only if temperatures reach 100 degrees every day between now and then.  It's not likely to happen, but the First Warning Weather team is forecasting 100 degree readings for the next seven consecutive days. 
Yeah. It's hot. People in Texas know that. It happens.

If you'll excuse me, I need a refill on my iced tea.

A Little Bit of Olympic Posting

I guess I should say, "a little bit of swimming posting." Or, even more exactly, "here's some Michael Phelps accolades" and a little bit of some other stuff. Yeah... that's about it.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Michael Phelps has won more gold medals than any other single athlete in modern Olympic history. Not bad, not bad at all. Let's see what's being said...

Lebron James, Jason Kidd and Dara Torres showed up to cheer the men's swim team. HDD told me (but I can't find a link... sorry) that James sent Phelps a text message, congratulating him after one of his gold medal performances. And Phelps doesn't think he's all that. No, really

 Here are some ESPN pieces on Phelps. The New York Post calls Phelps "Boy Gorge"... not without cause. Last night on FoxSports Radio, I heard the host (Ben Maller?) say that Phelps had tested positive... for gill slits. That ties in nicely with this cartoon from the New York Post:

I check out Sean Delonas' cartoon every day. Love him. I'm sure this is copyrighted by the NYPost.

You know... I've seen Phelps' mom's picture... she doesn't look like a fish. (Aw... isn't he sweet? He gave his mom his bouquet! Good son! Boys... take note!) Then again... her daughter also swam competitively... maybe she is part fish... 

Phelps recorded yet another world record in the 200m butterfly, and he was upset. He could have gone faster, you see, if his goggles hadn't filled with water. I agree with Joy Russo... the fact that he could have been faster is just plain scary. (Personal note- I'm impressed when  anyone, Olympic athlete or Joe Blow, can open their eyes under water and see something. Can't do it. Never could.) 

Let's go back to the 4x100 freestyle relay. before the race, the French team (go figure) engaged in a little trash talking ("The Americans? We're going to sm ash them. That's what we came here for. If the relay goes according to plans, then we'll be on a roll." -- French swimmer Alain Bernard) How'd that work for you, Alain? Oh, yeah... you were beat at the wall by .08 sec. No problem... (Cudos to the Washington Post for beating up Alain. They did a good job... for a change.)

Here's the non-swimming note. India has its first gold medal... ever. Here's what gold medalist Abhinav Bindra's mom had to say to reporters:
"Now I have lots of work ahead as he is the country's most eligible bachelor." 
Yup... that's a mom for you. [His status as "most eligible bachelor" has been boosted by a 1.5 million rupee (~$35,000) bonus for bringing home the gold.] Supposedly, the search for his future bride is in full swing.

Wednesday's Hero

Spc. Matthew A. Koch
Spc. Matthew A. Koch
23 years old from West Henrietta, New York
Company C, 70th Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division
March 9, 2005
U.S. Army

Spc. Matthew A. Koch was on his second tour of duty when he was killed by an IED that was detonated near his vehicle in Taji. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He previously was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon and medals for service in the fight against terrorism.

Koch enlisted in the Army in January 2002 after the attacks on September 11, 2001 and re-enlisted because he wanted to help the Iraqi people. "He was a brave soldier who made the greatest sacrifice anyone could make for everyone else's freedom," Diane Worman, Koch's mother, said through tears. "He realized that by being over there, he was going to make a difference in the lives of those people." She said her son once unsuccessfully sought green cards for an Iraqi family that had been threatened for helping Americans.

"He always looked out for the other guy, never thought of himself. He volunteered to go to C Co before our first deployment so that one of the guys from our Platoon didn't have to deploy early and would have a chance to marry his fiance. That's Koch for you, always looking out for his buddies." - David A. "Buch" Buchanan.

"He really loved the service and went back," said James Worman, Koch's stepfather. "He had no problem. He was dedicated to the fact that people over there needed help. He was always concerned about other people. He loved children. He was a nice, soft-hearted kid."

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More Than Just A Homeschool Planner

This post is an unpaid product review.

When you homeschool, you have to be organized. I mean really organized. On top of keeping track of menus and grocery lists, contemplate a budget, remember who is supposed to be where when, and staying on top of housecleaning, we have to keep track of curriculum, assignments, actually teaching, and grades. That can be a little overwhelming. Trust me on that one. In the past, I relied on a combination of a calendar, a couple of notebooks, and a bunch of loose leaf pages stuffed into a notebook to try to keep it all together. How do you think it worked out? Worse.

I've been test-driving a new organizer, and I think it's amazing. It's called The Schoolhouse Planner, but it's so much more (here's a sneak peek). There's a calendar to keep track of the day-to-day stuff, as well as study ideas and recipes for each month. There is a section of household forms, so you can find your grocery list and make a note in the menu section if Little Johnnie can't stand the casserole you made yesterday. Also in that section you'll find gardening tips and planning pages, inventory lists, contact pages (for doctors and repair people and utilities and...) , a loaned and borrowed list, a page to write down directions, and that's just the beginning.

But, wait! There's more! There is a section of homeschool forms. You can track course of study over several years, establish goals for the year, log weekly plans and actions, plan field trips, organize science projects, put grades in one place, keep track of contact numbers for curriculum companies and homeschool organizations, and more!

The Schoolhouse Planner comes in a convenient PDF format, so you can alter the pages and then print out the completed pages, or you can print out the pages and then write in the information. Your call.

I have only one complaint about The Schoolhouse Planner- I didn't have it sooner.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

This is a non-paid product review. This is cross-posted at my homeschooling blog.

As a homeschooling mom, I can use all the help (and encouragement) I can get. I pick the brains of several other homeschool parents, and I scour the internet, looking for products and tips and curriculum. Every little bit helps, right?

Recently, I came across The Old Schoolhouse magazine, a Christian resource for homeschooling families.Here is a sample of last summer's issue if you want to take a look. It's a digital magazine- no waiting for the mail to arrive, no additions to the clutter on the coffee table. You can download it and read it offline, or you can read it straight from the website.

You'll find just about everything in The Old Schoolhouse. In the most recent issue, I found encouraging article-testimonials from families who have been homeschooling a lot longer than we have, tips and advice, how-to unit studies, articles on adoption and special needs kids,ads and contact information for many of the homeschool curriculum companies,  reviews and explanations of different curriculum and teaching styles, contests, and a whole lot more. With over 150 pages to look through, it's definitely not a magazine that you'll be finished with after one viewing.

Is it a perfect magazine? No, but, then again, there isn't a perfect anything out there. There are a lot of ads, but those do come in handy when it's time to reconsider curriculum for the upcoming year. And the magazine is a little difficult to navigate at first, but once you get used to the toolbar and the zoom-in feature, it runs smoothly. All-in-all, those seem like inconsequential, personal preference issues and not major problems.

Who should read The Old Schoolhouse? Homeschool parents should read it for the encouragement and ideas. Potential homeschool parents should read an issue or two for inspiration and advice.

Praying For Rain

Focus on the Family Action (the PAC, not the religious non-profit) had a little video that made me go "hmmmm..."

So... would it be wrong to pray for rain at Invesco Field on a specific night in August? According to Allahpundit, it might be wrong from a Biblical standpoint. Let's leave out the fact that an atheist is trying to school us all on the Biblical objections to praying for another's misfortune. Is it ok, or is it wrong?

There is a Bible verse that says, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15). Then compare "…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). to "When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures" (James 4:3).

Where am I going with this? Did you hear the man's motives in the video? He fears that Barack Obama, if elected, will do his best to enact anti-life legislation and, if a Justice steps down from the SCOTUS, he will appoint a very liberal, activist Justice to take his or her place. I agree with him that both of those actions could result in actions that are very much against God's desires and will for His People. If the righteous are praying and it is within God's will, then the rain will pour on Invesco Field on Aug. 28th. If they are asking with wrong motives or it is not within God's will, then the sun will shine.

Personally, I think the video is kind of funny. As a commenter on Allah's post pointed out, haven't we all secretly wished for rain that night? But it seems like a waste to me. In my opinion, believers instead should pray for revival in our land, wisdom for our leaders, wisdom for the electorate, and that God's will be done in our lives.

That reminds me... I probably need to start my "prayers for the election" posts like I did in '04.

FOFA pulled the video after it had several complaints. I'm not sure what the complaints were and what, if any, theological points were made.

A Platform I Can Almost Stand Behind

A friend e-mailed this to me, and it looked ok, but... I thought I'd tweak it a bit.

Top 10 Reasons YOU Should Support the Platform
  1. English should be the official language of government. (I'm on board with this one.)
  2. We want our elected leaders in Washington to focus on increasing the energy supplies of the United States and lowering the costs of gasoline and electricity. (Kind of... I want our elected leaders to get their noses out of business, period. That includes petroleum production.)
  3. The option of a single rate system should give taxpayers the convenience of filing their taxes with just a single sheet of paper. (Either a flat tax or a consumption tax. I'm still not sure which one I like better. Definitely not this progressive stupidity we  have now.)
  4. Every worker should continue to have the right to a federally supervised secret ballot election when deciding whether to organize a union.(Many of you don't realize why this is important. Here's one explanation that might help.)
  5. Keeping the reference to “One Nation Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is very important. (In spite of what detractors say, our nation was founded by Christians who felt that this form of government was impossible without the moral compass of Christianity. Sorry, folks. That's just the way it is.)
  6. Congress should make it a crime to advocate acts of terrorism, violent conduct, or the killing of innocent people in the United States. (So, you're saying that the First Amendment doesn't say what it says? People have the right to say stupid things. As long as it doesn't rise to the level of yelling fire in a movie theater, they can advocate whatever they want. The conspiracy to act on that advocacy is a different matter, however.)
  7. We should dramatically increase our investment in math and science education.(The federal government should GET OUT of the education business. Unfortunately, education in this country is operating as designed- to create barely literate workers. The states should have minor influence over the local school districts, who should have control over their school system. Then again, I homeschool my kids, so I don't have to worry about their idiotic influence, period.)
  8. We believe that if research indicates we could build clean coal plants in the United States with no carbon emissions, it would be important to build such plants as rapidly as possible. (Well, yeah... but what does that have to do with government... except for the removing of any bans that the legislatures have places on building them.)
  9. Illegal immigrants who commit felonies should be deported. (Close, but... all illegal immigrants should be deported.)
  10. We support giving a large financial prize to the first company or individual who invents a new, safer way to dispose of nuclear waste products. (Great idea. You going to pony up the cash? The government shouldn't.)
So, you see, I don't think it's a bad platform. It's a whole lot better than many of the platforms different groups are putting forward. Do I see either of the major party candidates advocating this platform? Not a chance.

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